Home Civil Society Voices Police action against Umany an act of intimidation of Malaysians

Police action against Umany an act of intimidation of Malaysians

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Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) condemns the arrest and detention of Wong Yan Ke in relation to the investigation against the University of Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) for an alleged offence under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

The investigation against Umany and the student activist behind the movement is an act of intimidation as the concerns raised by the group are not uncommon and cannot be reasonably construed as an offence under both laws.

The police decision to conduct raids for such a matter suggests the authorities are victimising Umany to intimidate others with the hope that a group of student activists would be vulnerable to the police antics.

Furthermore, the arrest and detention of Wong Yan Ke for merely recording the presence and action of a police officer during the raid is absurd. There is no law in the country that criminalises and forbids the recording of police officers on duty.

The arrest under Section 186 of the Penal Code is yet another absurd incident that does nothing but exemplify how the police are unafraid of abusing their power to coerce citizens into complying with unlawful actions.

This incident also highlights the complete disregard of the rule of law by the police and the unprofessional antics of senior officers within the police force. The police cannot police themselves and remedy their flaws.

The government must introduce an independent police complaints and misconduct commission in line with the recommendation of the parliamentary select committee in 2019.

READ MORE:  Stop constant intimidation and harassment tactics against journalists

Suaram calls for the immediate release of Wong Yan Ke and for the investigations against Umany to be halted.

7 November 2020

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