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Wong Chin Huat arrested for sedition (Updated)

Updated 1am on 6 May 2009

PETALING JAYA, 5 May 2009: Political scientist Wong Chin Huat was arrested tonight for sedition for writing several articles, including on the 1BLACKMalaysia campaign.

Wong (Pic courtesy of Bersih)
The academic was arrested at his apartment in Seri Sentosa, Kuala Lumpur and taken to Bukit Aman. His personal computer has also been seized by the police, who have thus far denied him legal access.

Bukit Aman Commercial CID director Datuk Koh Hong Sun said Wong was detained under the Sedition Act 1948 for writing several articles, including on the 1BLACK Malaysia campaign, Bernama reported.

Koh, who declined to give details on Wong’s detention, said police would decide tomorrow whether to extend his detention or not.

At 12.15am, Wong was whisked away to an undisclosed destination in a police car without having had a chance to meet his lawyers, said lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Lawyer Latheefa Koya said the police took the academic away while the lawyers were in the midst of negotiating to gain access to him. “They made us wait for at least four hours without indicating that they were denying him legal representation,” she said in an SMS to The Nut Graph.

Earlier, human rights lawyer Edmund Bon had told The Nut Graph that he had received a phone call from Wong at about 7.45pm to say the police were at his apartment.

The lawyer said he spoke to the police officer on the phone, and was told that a police report had been lodged against Wong for sedition.

“However, the officer refused to say who lodged the report and over what,” Bon said.

Bon also said Wong remained in the car park of his apartment building, and, as of 8.15pm, had refused to follow the police until someone arrived to accompany him.

Wong was eventually taken to Bukit Aman at 8.30pm.

Bon had also added that he would be asking the police to record Wong’s statement and to release him immediately. Under the law, the police can detain a person for 24 hours under arrest before bringing him or her before a magistrate.

As of 11pm tonight, a group of about 40 people held a candlelight vigil for Wong outside Bukit Aman.

Earlier this morning, Wong, as a representative of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih), held a press conference to launch the 1BLACKMalaysia campaign, and urged all Malaysians to wear black on 7 May to protest the “ongoing Perak coup” by the Barisan Nasional government.

Wong teaches journalism at Monash University (Malaysia). He is also a columnist with The Nut Graph.

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36 Responses to “Wong Chin Huat arrested for sedition (Updated)”

  1. RAILCOOP says:

    Reminds us of Haiti in the old days and Papa Doc Duvalier. So things are starting to move. This was expected and the people expect worse things to happen. It may even make the Japanese Occupation look like child’s play.

  2. Eric says:

    I support Chin Huat in his fight. I’ll be in Ipoh and will wear black. Let’s all do so to show our support to this dedicated activist and talented lecturer!

  3. Cyren says:

    Oh my goodness…Mr Wong?!

  4. Jonathan Ong says:

    Can black be any blacker? I believe so.

    Chin Huat, the Malaysian people are behind you!

  5. Mustapha Kamal says:

    I have never been so disgusted in my life. Because of this arrest, I will be returning to my home state after a long time, to show my support for Wong Chin Huat and the legitimate government of Perak, the one headed by Datuk Seri Nizar. Long live Malaysia!

  6. BigNoToUMNO says:

    Perakians and other Malaysians should wear black on 7/5/09 anywhere they go to relay the message to Umno. It is not an offence to wear black. The police cannot do anything.

  7. ambrose says:

    Black it shall be.

  8. black says:

    I am a Perakian but work in Penang. I do not like to wear black, but I will borrow a black T-shirt and wear it with my black skirt on that day.

  9. lizzie says:

    I stand with Chin Huat and all Malaysians… I will wear black on 7/5.

  10. amir says:

    Bebaskan Wong Chin Huat!

  11. jane says:

    Count me in. Black for support.

  12. Jessica A says:

    Mr Wong, I hope you will be released soon…it’s unfair…I will wear black shirt also.

  13. KW Mak says:

    I pray for your safety, Chin Huat… and I, too, shall be wearing black this Thursday.

  14. Gan Pei Ling says:

    Hurray! Free publicity for 1BLACKMalaysia!

  15. manoharan says:

    Wong Chin Huat are alone? .. No… 1Malaysia is behind you.

    Every One Malaysian will contribute One Malaysian ringgit for your legal battle. One judge will release you soon.

  16. manoharan says:

    One Malaysia supports one Wong Chin Huat.

    Wong is One Malaysia Hero.

  17. Ritchie says:

    Such unwarranted aggression and abuse of authority against Wong is a step back to the autocratic Mahathir regime. The rakyat will not be coerced or silenced in the face of political anarchy by the Barisan Nasional or any quarter. We the people will stand with Wong and we the people will not be intimidated by threats, detentions and crimes against those that exercise their constitutional right to speak freely.

    The real sedition is a country run by rascals. Malaysia found its voice on March 8th 2008. The more a regime attempts to silence the rakyat, the brighter the light will shine. [Wearing black in solidarity.]

  18. Penang Laksa says:

    Silencing of the truth can never right the wrongs. The biggest mistake of a tyrant is to ‘shed the blood’ of the innocent, for the ground will shout with a voice that reaches the heavens. The wrath from above strikes when you least expected and in mysterious ways!

  19. JAS,

    The Powers that Be {PTB} seem to have this Divine Gift of creating negative perceptions.

    With Jom ke Ipoh & 1Black Malaysia being rolled out, someone {as usual} makes a police report, which is promptly acted upon, whereupon a fuse is lit – a citizen is arrested.

    Now, there will reactionary thrust and pull taking place.

    And some person will say it is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s work!

    Sheesh, JAS, these PTBs are cockeyed!

    JAS, please keep us updated on Wong’s situation as and when you are able to {I always call him “grumps”!}

    Mr M

  20. jerry says:

    Perhaps we shall all wear black for 49 days to mourn the loss of democracy and freedom of expression.

  21. Brothers & Sisters says:

    Chin Huat, all your family members including our beloved father will staunchly support your movement, fight for all Perakians, for peace, democracy and justice. Say no to the cowardly actions of Barisan Nasional! Truly 1BlackMalaysia now!

  22. may says:

    Mr Wong. I pray for your safety. You are a great man for what you have done. I will wear black tomorrow.

  23. Desmond says:

    Malaysia has another hero!

    We are with you, Wong!

  24. BN Supporter says:

    I am very disappointed with the government. When will they learn? This is a bad political strategy.

  25. Dap man says:

    Why the need to remand him on this sort of case? The magistrate must refuse the extension application by police. He can be questioned anytime, anyplace by the police. This is intimidation and gross abuse of power — nothing else.

    May I request, some people who know his family, visit them and give them some moral strength.

  26. today.. says:

    Free Mr Wong! We will support you!

  27. PM says:

    Whatkind of nonsense is this? Is this the 1Malaysia that Najib is talking about – arresting a noble rakyat like Wong chin Huat, whose aim is to create a civil society, and where citizens are encouraged to speak up against the government’s wrongdoings? If it is, then we should kick out the BN government come the next GE.

  28. Melissa Wong says:

    Mr Wong, I am behind you!

  29. SY says:

    Chin Huat, we Perakians are very proud of you, you are our king of fighters! If Malaysia Boleh, Chin Huat Boleh juga.

  30. arah says:

    Umno and BN are power crazy and too old to learn and understand the rakyat. Their actions will justify their downfall.

  31. beeyong says:

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comforts and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy!”

    Martin Luther King

    Black is Power … May the force be with you.

  32. Karin says:

    All behind you, sir. Will be wearing black tomorrow!

  33. Shannya says:

    Back in Black.

    What more do we need to know [about who we are being led by]?

    Freedom of speech, [yeah, right].

    Is it just me, or are we really moving backwards instead of excelling to become a 1st world country like we’re supposed to be?

    Kill the government, I say (metaphorically speaking, of course… ).

    I won’t be surprised if I wake tomorrow to the sound of police sirens outside my house with police waiting to arrest me for implying terrorism towards the Malaysian government through this comment.

    Back in Black.

  34. f.n. says:

    I was just on the way home when I saw some commotion outside my university. Students protesting + some police with two vans on stand-by. Way to go democracy?

  35. manoharan says:

    Perak assembly a kangaroo assembly.

  36. Lew Weng Shee says:

    People like Wong destroy countries with his words. We must never be like Indonesia and Thailand. I can’t believe we have people like Wong as academics.

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