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16-year-old arrested over seditious SMS

JOHOR BARU, 24 April 2009: A man dutifully lodged a police report in Pontian after receiving an SMS message smacking of racial overtones on 20 April, only to find out that the sender was his own daughter!

The police arrested the 16-year-old girl, a student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Yunus Sulaiman in Pekan Nanas, at noon today at the Pontian police station. She was accompanied to the police station by her 47-year-old father.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed the arrest of the girl.

She is to be investigated under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 for having sent a Mandarin text message at 8.17pm on 20 April which stated that the situation was unsafe following a racial riot in Pekan Nanas.

“We are looking seriously into this matter. Action will be taken against those who created the SMS,” Musa told reporters after attending the police Heads of Logistics Departments Conference, here.

He said the problem started from interference in the disciplinary efforts of a school, he said.

“This is wrong. We should allow teachers to discipline the students through the proper means acceptable by the parents,” he said.

On 20 April, a Form One student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pekan Nanas was allegedly slapped by a Form Five student after the former was said to have accidentally brushed a shoulder of the older boy.

The younger boy’s father turned up at the school with three of his friends to “settle the matter” but was stopped by a teacher who is believed to be the father of the Form Five student.

A fight broke out between the two sides and the father of the Form One student was arrested when he lodged a report at the Pekan Nanas police station.

When news of the incident circulated via SMS, more than 1,000 people surrounded the police station.

Members of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) were summoned to prevent the crowd from barging into the police station.

The father of the Form One student, Ker Pyad Earnn, 36, was charged in the Pontian Magistrate’s Court yesterday on four counts including trespassing on the school grounds and causing hurt to two students and a teacher.

Meanwhile, Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff had convened meetings with various parties in Pekan Nanas to relate what had actually happened.

He said two other men were arrested at 1.40pm today for trespassing on the school grounds while another man was being sought by the police. — Bernama

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