Cops probing ex-PKR rep over Facebook post on Islam

By Opalyn Mok
A screen capture showing former PKR assemblyman Raveentharan Subramaniam's post on Facebook.

GEORGE TOWN, March 14 — Penang police has opened investigation papers against former PKR assemblyman Raveentharan Subramaniam over the latter’s controversial social media post yesterday.

Northeast District Police chief ACP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said they had received a police report at 4pm yesterday afternoon from a member of the Pertubuhan Penyebaran Islam Antarabangsa regarding the post on social media.

He said the complainant had reported seeing on Raveentharan’s Facebook status the words “Firstly, Islam was never a religion of peace” which was posted yesterday morning.

“We will be investigating this case under Section 298 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act,” he told reporters.

Section 298 of the Penal Code is for uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of another person and Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 is for improper use of network facilities.

Mior said the complainant believed that the statement was provocative and could cause disharmony.

“We have already started investigations and are now recording statements on this case,” he said.

He said the results of the investigation will be handed to the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s office for further action.

However, Mior did not reveal if the former Batu Uban assemblyman has been detained for further questioning.

“I will inform the media if there is any updates to this,” he said.

A check on Raveentharan’s Facebook showed that the lawyer had immediately posted an apology and deleted his first post on Islam.

He posted this at 10.45am yesterday: “My sincere apologies to all our Muslim brothers and sisters if my Fb posting had indeed offended anyone. This was my reply towards Zakhir Naik statements “my critics are terrorists”. I never intended to Offend Islam. My best of friends are Muslims.”

His initial post had caught the attention of the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who tweeted it.

Khalid, using his @KBAB51 handle, instructed the police to “panggil penama dibwh dan minta dia jelaskan apa yg dimaksudkan ‘...Islam was never a religion of PEACE’” [Translated: Call him in to explain what he meant by Islam was never a religion of Peace].