MCA: Treatment of young female activists inexcusable

PETALING JAYA: The harsh treatment of young female activists by the authorities in the past week is inexcusable, says MCA.

MCA spokesperson Saw Yee Fung said the police’s heavy-handedness in the arrests of Heidy Quah Gaik Li, 26, and Sarah Irdina, 20, would be detrimental to the nation as it might deter young women from speaking up in future.

The two women were arrested and subjected to hours of questioning, among others.

“This week, we have seen the arrest of activists of both genders by the police for the mere crime of voicing up.

“The ill treatment of young female activists is unacceptable,” said Saw.

She questioned why Quah, who exposed the inhumanity at an immigration detention centre, was grilled for two hours by the police.

“Quah exposed how a woman detained at an Immigration detention centre with her newborn baby in 2018 was subjected to unsanitary conditions and abusive treatment.

“Instead of being thanked for bringing this to light, Quah was questioned by the police before being slapped with charges under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which provides a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to one year or both, if convicted,” she added.

Saw added that Sarah, the founder of the youth group Misi Solidariti, was held for over 10 hours and subjected to harsh police questioning, among others.

“How are we supposed to encourage young women leaders to speak up in the future when this is the treatment they receive?

“MCA stands by their plight and is ready to help them if necessary.

“Such treatment is inexcusable,” said Saw in the statement which was issued yesterday.

On July 27, Quah, the founder of NGO Refuge for Refugees, pleaded not guilty at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to a charge of sharing offensive content in a Facebook post that alleged mistreatment of refugees at the Immigration detention centre.

On July 29, Bukit Aman’s Prosecution and Law Division (D5) arrested Sarah and confiscated her mobile phone over a tweet calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and being part of the #Lawan protest held at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday.

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