Home Civil Society Voices 2016 Civil Society Voices Lawyers probed for sedition: Police intimidation must stop, says Suaram

Lawyers probed for sedition: Police intimidation must stop, says Suaram

Charles (centre) Hector and Francis Pereira

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Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) condemns the Royal Malaysian Police’s investigation and questioning of the members of the Malaysian Bar Council under the Sedition Act 1948 for fulfilling the role expected of the council in line with the statutory obligations and limitations imposed upon them under the Legal Profession Act 1976.

Once again, the Royal Malaysian Police has decided to spearhead another crackdown against dissenters on behalf of the government of Malaysia. There is no sound justification for members of the Malaysian Bar to be investigated and called for questioning for demanding the resignation of a public official. The notion that the motion passed by the Malaysian Bar Council could be construed as seditious is unfathomable and perverse.

In the absence of sound justifications, the investigation and questioning of the secretary of the Malaysian Bar, Karen Cheah Yea Lynn, and members of the Malaysian Bar – Charles Hector Fernandez, Francis Pereira and Shanmugam a/l Ramasamy – can only be interpreted as a malicious attempt to intimidate and silence dissent. The police should remember that it is not their duty to ‘protect’ any public official from criticisms.

On this note, Suaram demands that the police cease their harassment of the Bar Council and issue a public apology to the Bar for this debacle. Failure to take appropriate remedial steps for this gross mistake in judgement would only serve to invalidate the claim made by the inspector general of police’s claim that the Royal Malaysian Police is always professional.

Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.

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