Malaysia

Nurul Izzah says Sedition Act a tool for Putrajaya against its critics

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
August 16, 2013
Latest Update: August 16, 2013 08:58 pm

PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (pic) says the Sedition Act has not been abolished, as promised by the prime minister, as Putrajaya wants to use it against the opposition and activists critical of the government.

"The law and the police force are only good to be used against those who criticise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"Therefore, if you criticise him over issues surrounding the Scorpene submarine procurement or corruption, you will likely get called by the police."

Nurul Izzah, who is also PKR vice-president, said this to reporters after having her statement recorded at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters today over statements she allegedly made at a Suaram fund-raising dinner recently.

In July last year, Najib announced that the 1948 law will be repealed but added that this would only be done once a replacement law — a National Harmony Act — is introduced in its place.

Nurul Izzah said she was unsure if she is a suspect or a witness in the police investigations.

She said police had called her as a witness, but that their questions seemed to paint her as a suspect.

“This is mala fide (in bad faith). I was called to aid in the investigation as a witness following a police report lodged by a supposed non-governmental organisation (NGO),” the Lembah Pantai MP said, adding that police had asked her if she had incited the guests who had attended the Suaram fund-raising dinner.

"My answers can be used against me as the police did not clarify if I am being investigated as a witness or suspect first and foremost. This is being done under political orders,” she said.

Nurul Izzah is the latest to be called up by police over the Suaram fund-raising dinner after Suaram secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel gave a statement earlier under the Sedition Act.

She had said Suaram was being investigated as the dinner, which was attended by 750 people, was held to raise funds for the on-going inquiry in France, where startling revelations about Malaysian’s purchase of Scorpene submarines have emerged.

Cynthia had described the investigation as yet another round of harassment for Suaram.

“They are taking action against the whistleblower (Suaram) who is calling out for transparency in the Scorpene deal.

“We are the complainant. We initiated the probe in France and because we had revealed information that Malaysians did not hear of before, we are now being investigated.”

Cynthia said the police should be investigating the complaint and not the complainant.

Present at the dinner was Americk Singh, who was the lawyer for the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam.

Balasubramanian, or PI Bala as he was known, was hired by political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda to deal with Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu when she was in Malaysia in 2006.

Americk told the dinner audience that the two bodyguards of the then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak found guilty of Altantuya’s murder in 2006 were scapegoats.

Although Abdul Razak was jointly charged with the policemen for the murder, he was acquitted without his defence being called.

The human rights group had filed a suit against French-based naval defence firm DCNS, for allegedly paying €114.9 million (RM452 million) in illegal commissions to Perimekar Sdn Bhd, which is partly owned by Abdul Razak, a close confidante of Najib. – August 16, 2013