Updated 7.04pm, 6 May 2009
PETALING JAYA, 6 May 2009: Political scientist Wong Chin Huat, who was arrested last night under the Sedition Act and remanded for a day this morning, will have to stay in police custody for a two more days.
His lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad told The Nut Graph that the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court this afternoon granted a two-day extension to the police, who had applied for a three-day remand order.
“Wong’s remand has been extended till 8 May. However, we are trying to get him out by tomorrow,” said Amer.
Earlier this morning, Wong was taken to the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court as police sought a four-day remand order to complete their investigations. However, his lawyers Amer and Latheefa Koya opposed the application and magistrate Naziah Alias only granted a one-day remand order.
Wong was originally expected to be released by 6pm today.
Amer said Wong should be released as soon as the police investigation are concluded, adding that the academician need not have been remanded in the first place.
“The police should always investigate the case first and arrest later; they could investigate and question a person without remanding him/her,” said the lawyer, citing the example of Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was not remanded after being arrested over sodomy allegations in July last year.
Amer said the police requested for an extension of the remand as they needed to confirm some information about the allegedly seditious articles.
He also declined to named the person who lodged the report against Wong, while led to his arrest.
“Wong knows who it is that lodged the report, but I cannot reveal the person’s name because he/she may lodge another report claiming that I’m putting pressure on him/her and trying to subvert police investigation,” explained Amer.
Meanwhile, there will be a candle light vigil to protest against Wong’s arrest at the Brickfields police station at 9pm tonight.
Wong was arrested by the police at 8pm yesterday under the Sedition Act for writing several allegedly seditious articles including on the 1BLACKMalaysia campaign.
At the launch of the campaign yesterday, Wong, as a representative of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, 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.
See also PAS’s Mat Sabu detained