Long Due Release from Sedition Charge

By : Arul

Today the Attorney General office finally accepted my Lawyers Representation letter dated 17 July 2018 and this was notified by Deputy public prosecutor Norinna Bahadun at around 10.45am that the prosecution wants to discontinue its case against me and Eric Paulsen.

I welcome this long overdue decision. Yes long overdue. It is now 70 years since the Sedition Act was enacted by the British to fight Independence Fighters in 1948 after declaring an emergency that year. This same law which was used by the British to prosecute Gandhi in India was never repealed in Malaysia though it has been repealed in its county of origin Britain. When Merdeka was proclaimed in August 1957, this act was not repealed. All Prime Minister from Tengku, Razak, Hussain Onn, Mahathir, Badawi and Najib continue to keep the sedition Act. It is sad that the PH Government which in its election manifesto pledge 27 said that it will repeal the act but till today as PH mark their 100 days in power, this draconian colonial law is yet to be repealed.

What was even sad was when I was released from this charge today, a news appeared that Hishamuddin Rais would be questioned by the police under the same act the PH Government vowed it wanted to repeal.

And in court today, again DPP Norinna Bahadun after stating that the AG is withdrawing the charge, asked for Discharge not amounting to an acquittal. Both my Lawyer Sin Yew and Eric’s lawyer objected and called for a full acquittal citing some authority. Sessions Court judge Edwin Paramjothy then full acquitted and discharged both of us.

Flashback

Just after noon on 10 february 2015, the court dismissed Anwar’s appeal and Anwar was going to jail again for Sodomy2. All International media called this verdict a charade. At 3pm on the same day, I released a statement as the Secretary General of PSM. It was an angry statement which captured the mood of the day and mood of the nation.
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PSM Statement: 10 FEBRUARY 2015 – Political Judgement – Beyond Reasonable Doubt!

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is appalled with the disgraceful Judgement by the highest court in the nation on Anwar’s sodomy II case. Any person following the trial in the Federal Court would have made an overwhelming foregone conclusion that Anwar is innocent and he will be free man today. This hope was dashed and now in shambles.

The Judgement today further deepens our convictions that the courts are not independent and are politically driven. The Prime Minister department which in normal circumstances responds late to any issues but on this issue, has already issued a statement very promptly and efficiently. Was this statement already ready before the judgement? One would not need a genius to answer this.

The highest court has unanimously put to shame our criminal justice system and Judiciary beyond repair. It is time people wake up that something is seriously wrong.

The decision today besides creating a political crisis as well as leadership crisis in PR; will also derail real issues faced by the normal rakyat such as the serious increase in prices of goods, the Floods, the dengue epidemic, the implementation of the GST and other real issues. The decision is designed to keep us away from addressing the real issues while the culprits continue to reap huge profit and immense huge power.

It is time to unite against this corrupt system. We stand in unity with PR and Anwar’s family on this. 
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty !

Released by
S.Arutchelvan
Secretary General

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The very next day, the IGP issued a statement which was picked up by the SUN that he will investigate my statement and others. I knew it was a statement to create fear so that to curb any dissent resulting from Anwar’s latest conviction.

Nevertheless, I never expected the police to arrest me on the first day of Chinese New year on 19 February 2015. I was away the whole morning and afternnon distributing the Party newspapers in Semenyih. At around 6pm, I was arrested by around 15 policemen from Dang Wangi police station. They also confiscated my laptop, my modem and my phone. ASP Redzaime who was my investigating officer was also complaining that he wanted to take his family to PD for a holiday when he received instruction to arrest me.

Likewise, many of my friends had to short live their holidays and return back to campaign for my release. Party members came to my house. New Sin Yew my lawyer and friend from Bon abandoned his Chinese new year family reunion dinner to come to Dang Wangi to represent me. A vigil was called outside the station as the PSM Leadership and others condemn the arrest.

The next day the Police requested for a four day remand saying among other things that they have 2 more places to raid – my party office in Semenyih and Brickfields to confiscate my other computers. The police also said that that they are also investigating how come my statement came out so fast indicating that I have some heavy connections. Amer Hamzah represented me and did a pretty good job in ridiculing the entire remand request. I told the court that I am not denying the statement and in fact stand by it as it is the party’s statement and it was released to the media. There is no need for any further raid. The Police was unsuccessful and was told to release me upon my statement is taken.

On 18 November 2015, I was informed that they plan to charge me and on the 23 November 2015, I was charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act which provided for a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a maximum jail term of three years, or both, for first-time offenders. I was also charged to an alternative charge under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 for allegedly posting a statement on Facebook with the intention to injure the feelings of others.

I challenged the charge and was released on a police bail of RM 5,000.

On 22 January 2016, my lawyer made a representative to the AG to drop the charge since the Najib Government planned to amend the sedition act and one of the amendment was that critiquing a court decision does not construed as a sedition. But on 23 February 2016, the AG rejected my lawyers representation and fixed trial for 13 till 17 June 2016.

The case did not move on from13 June 2016 onwards as there was numerous postponements pending Mat Shuhaime challenge on a question of law to the Federal court. Because of this, many cases were postponed. Some people were convicted by then. Finally the end was coming for BN.

On 9 May 2018, The BN Government fell. Two days after that on 11 May, The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V consented in granting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a full and immediate pardon. Anwar was released on 16 May 2018 where he said his appeal for the pardon was on the basis of a “miscarriage of justice” or “travesty of justice” and this meant that his convictions and sentences had been erased from the records.

If his convictions have been erased from the records that mean my charging would not be able to stand at all. My lawyer on the 17 July 2018 again put in a representation to the new AG Tommy Thomas.

Outside the court I called for the Sedition Act to be repealed. I thank all my lawyers who did the case without any fees. To all PSM members and other supporters for their continuous support.

Thank You everyone. This is long overdue. Let me repeat the last para of my statement which got me into trouble

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty !

S.Arutchelvan
11.09pm 15 August 2018


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of  TTKM

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