Police quiz anti-RUU355 rally organiser

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Azrul said for now, he was the only person to be called in for questioning and was uncertain if the police were seeking to record the statements of other individuals involved in the rally. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The police are investigating the organiser of a rally that had protested against the PAS president’s Bill on enhancing Shariah punishments.

Azrul Mohd Khalib of BEBAS, a group of activists behind the gathering, said he was called in for questioning and had his statement recorded earlier today under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

He said the police wanted to see if the organisers had complied with the law.

"Basically the police want to know who is behind it, who organised it, if we followed procedures or complied with the law.

"They are investigating us," Azrul told Malay Mail Online.

Azrul said for now, he was the only person to be called in for questioning and was uncertain if the police were seeking to record the statements of other individuals involved in the rally.

BEBAS held the gathering in Petaling Jaya on February 18, the same day Islamist groups held a rally at Padang Merbok to demonstrate support for a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, informally known as RUU355.

The Bill was proposed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. The Marang MP had already tabled the Bill twice, only to defer the debate to this year's Dewan Rakyat sitting. The Bill has appeared on the Dewan Rakyat order paper for tomorrow.

The latest version of Hadi’s Bill aims to expand the punishments that Shariah courts can currently mete out from three years’ jail, six strokes of the cane and an RM5,000 fine to 30 years’ imprisonment, 100 strokes, and an RM100,000 fine.