KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised the police today for investigating PKR Youth and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) over a gathering telling Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki to step down.
He also decried the summoning of Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik who observed the event and the police investigation against Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching over a five-year-old social media posting that she shared.
“This move is clearly a form of intimidation and pressure by the authorities on Opposition leaders who are merely addressing the symptoms of corruption in the country.
“I urge the inspector-general of police to stop such harassment against them,” he said in a statement this evening.
On Monday, a group of PKR Youth members and supporters held a peaceful protest in front of the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya demanding Azam step down.
Led by PKR Youth chief and Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasir and Batu MP P Prabakaran, the group of about 30 people also demanded that the government launch an investigation against Azam over his alleged ownership of millions in shares in a public-listed company.
The group also expressed their disappointment over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s alleged lack of commitment in addressing the scandal.
Police are investigating Teo, who is a former deputy education minister, over a social media post she shared in April 2017.
The post was originally by activist-artist Fahmi Reza and she shared it on her official Facebook account along with the caption “pertahankan kebebasan berekspresi, kebebasan bersatire” (defend the freedom to express, freedom to be satirical).
The investigation is being conducted under Section 504 of the Penal Code (intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace) as well as Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (improper use of network facilities or network service, etc)
It was reported earlier today that Maszlee has been called in by the police for questioning tomorrow for attending the protest held at the MACC headquarters.
Maszlee tweeted that he will be at Putrajaya police headquarters at 10am.
“In relation to my presence in witnessing the handing over of a memorandum from PKR Youth to MACC on Monday, I’m being called in by police tomorrow for questioning,” he said.
Last month, Azam was accused of owning millions of publicly traded shares by an anti-corruption activist, Lalitha Kunaratnam.
As the public caught wind of the allegations and pressure mounted, Azam and MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang during a press conference on January 5 said that Azam’s brother had borrowed his account to trade stocks, and there was nothing wrong with that.
However, many remained unconvinced, including the remaining six members of the board, while Ismail Sabri has called for patience while the MACC itself inspects the alleged wrongdoings of its own head.