PSM activist Khalid Ismath arrested over alleged tweet to Queen

Yiswaree Palansamy
Tunku Azizah (left) today said she deactivated her Twitter account due to personal reasons. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activist Khalid Mohd Ismath has been detained by the police and is expected to be remanded tomorrow, his party colleague S. Arutchelvan confirmed.

When contacted, Arutchelvan said that the outspoken PSM Youth chief was detained by police officers from the Bukit Aman Federal Police Headquarters, who had arrived at the latter’s home, and he would possibly be investigated for sedition over an alleged tweet aimed at the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

“What his wife told me was they took him to Dang Wangi now, most likely to be remanded tomorrow for sedition,” he said, referring to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

“Actually under the law, you can remand after 24 hours of investigation, but the police are saying they want to remand him tomorrow itself.

“I think Khalid has been cooperative. They should just record his statement and release him today. There is a moratorium on the Sedition Act anyway,” Arutchelvan told Malay Mail when contacted.

He informed Malay Mail that Khalid was detained by three police personnel from the D5 unit, and is expected to be investigated under Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948.

Khalid had in a Facebook posting yesterday, claimed that his photo was being spread on social media, alongside accusations that he had posted upsetting tweets to Tunku Azizah.

He also vehemently denied tweets of any sort from him, to the Queen.

“I have already checked, there is not one single tweet of mine on Tuanku Permaisuri’s Twitter.

“Hopefully those who defame me are placed by God among those who have received forgiveness. But I would not forgive until that person apologises to me directly,” Khalid wrote.

Malay Mail has contacted the police for a confirmation on the matter, and is awaiting for an official reply.

Tunku Azizah was believed to have come under unprovoked attack over her tweets promoting optimism, positivity and good relations prior to the deactivation of her @cheminahsayang account.

Malaysians had previously launched the #AmpunTuanku hashtag on Twitter in an apparent bid to convince Tunku Azizah to reactivate her account, after she abruptly deactivated it.

Yesterday, the #AmpunTuanku hashtag was trending at the number one spot in Malaysia, while “Permaisuri Agong” ranked as the third trending topic in the same list.

At a time of increasing racial polarisation and negativity, Tunku Azizah and her husband Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah have been beacons of national hope and unity.

Yesterday, police said a sedition investigation has been launched following a police report on alleged online insults against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong.

However, earlier today, Tunku Azizah cleared the air over why she deactivated her account on microblogging site Twitter, adding that there was no need to lodge complaints to the police over comments made against her previously.

While it was initially believed that toxic comments online may have prompted the account deactivation, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah instead said it was due to personal reasons.

In what appears to be a screengrab of a post on her private Instagram account, Tunku Azizah wrote a simple note to say she did not even read and was not even aware of the comments that allegedly led to the deactivation.

“Pls ...... I deactivated my account not bcos [sic] I’m upset, hurt or angry with their comments,” part of her note read.

“It had nothing to do with those postings... i have my personal reasons... pls do not make any police reports,” the same note read.

The screengrab was posted via the Twitter account of the queen’s daughter Tengku Puteri Afzan Aminah Hafizatullah Al-Sultan Abdullah.

The princess later posted a separate tweet stating in Bahasa Malaysia: “Tuanku Permaisuri berharap supaya semua orang dapat menghormati apa yang Tuanku mahu. Tuanku Permaisuri juga tidak mahu orang ramai cepat menilai jika tidak mengetahui perkara yang sebenar”.

(Translation: Tuanku Permaisuri hopes that everyone will be able to respect what Tuanku wishes. Tuanku Permaisuri also does not wish the public to be quick to judge without knowing the actual matter).

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