CIJ: Why subject PAS member to drug test over FB post?

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 8 Jan 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) has questioned the need for authorities to conduct a urine drug test on a PAS member who was arrested for allegedly criticising four DAP MPs.

CIJ director Sonia Randhawa said it was concerned that an individual under investigation for a social media posting was subjected to a urine drug test.

"While news report indicate that the detainee tested positive for illicit substance as a result, it is unclear how a urine test could help in investigations for criticising members of Parliament," she said.

In a statement issued Tuesday (Jan 8), Sonia said that criticising elected officials should not be a prosecutable offence.

"While expressing the wish for other people to die is in very poor taste, it does not appear that there was a call for violence," she added.

At the same time, Sonia called on Putrajaya to enact legislations that has clear definitions on the limits to freedom of expression in Malaysia, which should be in line with the best practices of international human rights values.

"And, repeal all pieces of legislation that impinge upon freedom of expression, including the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act and relevant sections of both the Penal Code and the Communications and Multimedia Act," she said.

Last Thursday, the 40-year-old Sarawak PAS member, who is also the manager of a tahfiz (religious school), was arrested after a report was lodged by an assistant of Lanang MP Alice Lau over a remark made on Facebook.

In that remark, the man said he hoped that the four YBs from DAP would "perish" for failing to organise a "back to school" campaign for their constituencies.

On Sunday, authorities conducted a urine test on the suspect, which came back positive for methamphetamine.

The man was remanded to assist investigations under Section 223 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Section 507 of the Penal Code.