Second Aliran member hauled up in crackdown against freedom of expression, media

2
Wong Hoi Cheng with his lawyer accompanied by Aliran and PRM members

As the dragnet against dissenting and critical views spreads, the list of individuals hauled up is growing longer.

Wong Hoi Cheng with his lawyer accompanied by Aliran and PRM members
Wong Hoi Cheng with his lawyer accompanied by Aliran and PRM members

Yesterday, Wong Hoi Cheng, an Aliran member, was charged with posting comments through his Twitter account that allegedly demeaned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the police.

Wong, a director at the Inter-Research and Studies (IRAS), was charged despite having retracted his tweet and apologising online to both the IGP and the police for allegedly likening the police chief to Nazi military commander Henrich Himmler.

Wong pleaded not guilty to a charge under Section 504 of the Penal Code, which provides for a maximum jail sentence of two years or a fine or both. He also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a maximum of a year’s imprisonment or both.

He was allowed bail of RM4,000, and his case was fixed for mention on 27 October 2014, which happens to coincide with the 27th anniversary of the Operation Lalang ISA crackdown in 1987. Some have dubbed the present crackdown against dissent as ‘Operation Lalang II’.

Previously, Malaysiakini journalist Susan Loone, also an Aliran member, was arrested and investigated under the Sedition Act. Loone had reported about her conversation with Penang state exco member Phee Boon Poh, who was at the time in police custody in Penang following the mass arrests of Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) members after a Merdeka Day parade. The Malaysiakini report was titled ‘Exco man grilled for four hours, treated like criminal’. Loone is waiting to find out if she will be formally charged.

READ MORE:  Facilitate legitimate discourse; uphold, protect freedom of expression

Aliran appeals to the attorney general to let good sense prevail and not to waste the court’s time and taxpayers’ money. He should drop all charges under the Sedition Act and other repressive laws.

In fact, the Sedition Act and other repressive laws should be repealed. After all, the prime minister himself had pledged to repeal the Act two years ago. In line with good governance practices, other vague laws which allow for abuse of power should also be abolished.

Aliran executive committee member
16 September 2014

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ed G
Ed G
17 Sep 2014 5.21pm

As far as I can remember, Himmler was the head of the Nazi Germany secret service division known as the SS. He was the mastermind behind the project to ‘rid the world of all the Jewish problem’ via the project euphemistically named ‘The Final Solution’ in which Jews were rounded up into concentration camps where they were systematically mass exterminated. The scope of this horrendous act against humanity which took the lives of over 6 million Jews was unprecedented and so unimaginable that the name ‘Holocaust’ was coined for it. It was also the catalyst for the formation of the state of Isreal as the Jews were convinced that they could only rely upon themselves as far as their well-being, security and survival were concerned. While it is hardly flattering or even insulting for a decent person to be associated with Himmler, the IGP should not resort to the power entrusted by the state, or by extension the people, to act against those whom he alleges to demean him lest he may be misunderstood by the public to be misusing his power for personal vengeance. Moreover,… Read more »

charleskiwi
16 Sep 2014 4.01pm

If there is a blatant case of intimidation this has to be one, who is this IGP ? His name is not to be mentioned derogatory in any way, (is) he (the) monarch of this land who is not subject to criticism nor to the truth being reviewed to the public(?) Soon his instructions are to be taken and be implemented, who … is this IGP ? He must thinks he is above everyone else in this country , he (appears to be) just another lackey of this government!
He should be sent … to Iraq to bring back all the Malaysian terrorists that are there…!