Akmal faces sedition probe


KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh is being investigated for sedition after two police reports were lodged against him, says the Inspector-General of Police.

Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said Dr Muhamad Akmal was detained upon his arrival at Kota Kinabalu International Airport yesterday.

“He was detained and taken to Kota Kinabalu police headquarters so that investigators could take his statement.

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“We received two police reports so far pertaining to his speech on the socks sold by KK Super Mart,” he said when contacted.

The IGP said the case was classified under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for misuse of network facilities.

“We are conducting an investigation into his speech and the investigation paper will be referred to the Attorney General’s Chambers once completed.

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“We advise the public not to raise issues related to the controversial socks, as those involved have already been charged.

“Let the due process of the law take its course and let justice be decided by the courts,” he added.

In a Facebook video posted earlier yesterday, Dr Muhamad Akmal was seen being whisked away by police in a sports utility vehicle.

As he left, he gave the thumbs-up sign to a few Umno members at the airport and said: “No fear, no surrender.”

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He was subsequently released at about noon yesterday after police completed recording his statement.

However, he was called up again by the police soon after, where further statements were taken, before he was finally released at 2.30pm.

“I was shocked at being detained by police as I was supposed to give my statement at the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday,” said Dr Muhamad Akmal.

“I was told that my statement must be recorded today. I asked if they could wait, (but) they said it must be recorded today. So, I said no problem; I will give my statement,” he told the media outside the police station after he was first released.

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It has been learnt that Dr Muhamad Akmal is no longer required to give his statement at Dang Wangi police headquarters, as he has done so at Kota Kinabalu police headquarters.

It is believed that police have the prerogative to call up individuals to record their statements more than once, depending on the investigation.

Dr Muhamad Akmal said the police told him that the investigation was with regard to a sedition case over his speech in Kelantan.

“I was not told of any other cases (reports),” said the Umno youth leader, who looked composed and calm.

“I would like to thank the Kota Kinabalu police for treating me very well,” he added.

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He said he and Umno Youth would fully cooperate with the police investigation and he was ready to face any challenges.

“I leave all this for the police to investigate and if there is any case, I am ready to fight it in court. I am not afraid.

“I believe the issues we raise are the voice of truth. We have not committed any offence,” he added.

Dr Muhamad Akmal said he was prepared to give further statements if the police called him again.

He added that he was in Sabah to attend a breaking of fast event with Sabah Umno Youth leaders in Beaufort, about 100km from here.

He said he would continue with his programme in Beaufort and return to Kuala Lumpur today.

“This incident does not break my spirit. The programme (in Sabah) continues. The spirits of Umno Youth leaders in Sabah are high. It gives me the strength to carry on our struggle,” he said.

Previously, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said those who “cross the red line” by drumming up seditious sentiments would face the law.

His warning follows a rise in incendiary public comments on communal issues by certain groups, including on socks bearing the word “Allah”, which has sparked Molotov cocktail attacks on three KK Super Mart outlets.

“There are sensitivities that have their red line. There exist groups whose work is to give rise to uneasiness through seditious matters that are extreme and which are then acted upon,” Saifuddin Nasution had said.

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