Malaysia

Arrested youth’s family fear Johor palace interference, urge cops to help

By Clara Chooi,
Assistant News Editor

November 04, 2012

Ahmad Abd Jalil is being investigated over allegedly seditious remarks he had made against the Johor Sultan on his Facebook page. - Reuters picAhmad Abd Jalil is being investigated over allegedly seditious remarks he had made against the Johor Sultan on his Facebook page. - Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — The family members of Ahmad Abd Jalil, who was arrested on Friday for insulting the Johor Sultan, is pleading with the police not to permit the palace authorities to haul the youth to the royal house for an apology. 

The family, responding to talks that Ahmad may be brought personally before the Sultan to apologise for his remarks, expressed fear today over the safety of the 27-year-old if he were to be taken to the palace. 

According to an SMS from Ahmad’s sister to one of the family’s lawyer late last night, the police had told her mother that, “if the palace calls, they (the police) would be forced to bring Ahmad to face the Sultan”. 

“If they want my son to apologise, bring him to court. Once he enters someone else’s territory, anything can happen and we wouldn’t know who to blame,” Ahmad’s father Abd Jalil Abd Rahman told The Malaysian Insider today. 

“Everyone has to respect the due process of the law. And if they want to take my son to court to extract an apology, then so be it. 

“Do not force him into palace custody where we have no control over. We are Penangites. We are not used to having a Sultan and we have heard many horror stories. This is our right,” he added. 

The 60-year-old former government servant said the police have so far refused all attempts by his family to visit Ahmad, who was arrested in Kuala Lumpur at 8pm on Friday and transferred into the Johor police custody the same night. 

As at noon today, Abd Jalil said he will be meeting with the investigating officer in Ahmad’s case. 

“We hope to have a positive outcome from the meeting... I just want to see my son,” he said, adding that if it would look bad on the police if they were to forbid him from doing so. 

In an SMS to The Malaysian Insider, Ahmad’s older brother agreed with his father in saying that the youth must be kept safely away from the palace compound. 

“It is wrong to extract him from the balai/lokap to anywhere. We an apologise but thru proper procedures. Ahmad will apologise openly at court. 

“Otherwise, we condone that the system is being used as ‘mode of ugutan (threat)’,” he said in the text message. 

Ahmad is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, believed to be over allegedly seditious remarks he had made against the Johor Sultan on his Facebook page. 

He was picked up from his office at around 8pm in Cheras yesterday by several plainclothes policemen before he was brought to the Wangsa Maju police station for questioning. 

According to Ahmad’s lawyer Mohd Zakwan Adenan yesterday, the youth was at first not informed of his offence, except that he was allegedly being investigated under the Sedition Act 1948. 

“They said they wanted to charge him under the Sedition Act for remarks he made on Facebook but when we asked the police which statement they were referring to, they could not answer,” he said. 

Section 4(1) stipulates that any person who utters, prints or publishes any seditious words, on conviction, would be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both. 

After interrogating him for several hours at the Wangsa Maju police station yesterday, the police raided Ahmad’s parents’ house in Damansara Damai before taking the youth with them to Johor. 

At 3pm yesterday, Ahmad was taken before a Johor magistrate by the police to obtain a three-day remand order.