Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jed Yoong Faces Police Harrassment

A sometimes controversial blogger, and often a critic of Tony Pua, Wong Chun Wai and many others, is currently being harrassed by the Police. Honestly, I'm not a fan of Jed Yoong but I respect her right to freedom of speech and I never once attempted to stop her from say her piece.

But then again, I'm no fan of the Malaysian police either, who has a tendency to beat up citizens who light up candles for a cause in a peaceful manner, and take on (or ignore) investigations at the whims and fancies of their political masters. Clearly, Jed is now being investigated for sedition for one of her blog pieces, due to police reports filed by some UMNO ultras in Petaling Jaya.

Without dwelling on the merits of her case, the police investigation against her shows the bias of the force, for a similar report I made against "Kelab Penyokong Maya Umno" last year was never investigated despite my statement being taken.

The police attempted to intimidate bloggers last year, for example with the high profile arrest of Nathaniel Tan, and it appears that they'll only continue to exert such pressure on bloggers, possibly increasingly so, after Najib takes over as the new Prime Minister.

Anyway, below is the press statement issued by Jed Yoong to all press.

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2009 WEDNESDAY

Inspector Mohd Riduan Abd Majid (Office Phone No.: 03-26163989 / H/Phone No.: 019-9890484) from the Bukit Aman Commerical Crime Department's Cyber and Multimedia Crime Investigation Unit emailed me this morning, saying:

"I want to continue a statement recording with you. There are several questions to ask, so it will make your statement very clear. Hope you to come at JSJK Bukit Aman this evening at 5pm or 6pm. I will make it fast."

I've agreed to go in at 7pm this evening (Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009).

On Monday (23/02/2009), I went to the Bukit Aman Commerical Crime Department's Cyber and Multimedia Crime Investigation Unit and gave my statement to Inspector Riduan from about 6pm -- 10pm after he called and emailed me on the same day. I was unrepresented by a lawyer as, when asked, Inspector Riduan says he doesn't need one.

Under tremendous pressure, with my handphone taken away from me, facing two officers and one or two that came in and out, I felt I had no choice but to give and sign a statement against my wishes in order to ensure my safety. Riduan at many points refuse to allow me to give me the answers that I want and changed my statement many times to fit his preferred answers. I was also not allowed to see the police report and had no idea why I was being interrogated. However, the police were courteous and professional at all times and I am happy to cooperate with the police who are merely doing their jobs.

Following that, at about 10pm, as instructed by the police, I brought four policemen (ASP Hazizi Bin A Samad, Insp Mohd Faizal B Zainal, Insp Zurina Bt Alias and KPL 128548 Zawahid Bin Nik) to my family's house. I led the way with Insp Zuraina in the car while the others followed my car.

Before entering my house ASP Hazizi informed me that he is entering the premises and seizing my computers under the Sedition Act, which I am being investigated under. They came in drew floor plans of my house, took photos, recorded videos and confiscated my laptop, its power cable, a desktop CPU, a router and a modem. At all times, the police were professional and courteous.

The next day (Tuesday, February 24, 2009), I lodged a police report at the Brickfields police station/IPD about the the items confiscated as I am concerned that the data in the items would be tampered with as I am not the only one using the computers (which are not password protected) and I did not check the data before I handed over the items to the police.

I feel that I am being set up by the police and my rights has been violated as I've not been shown the police report, my statement taken from me under conditions in which I feared for my safety, items seized from my house and I've not been advised by the police to get legal representation.

If I have broken any laws, I wish to say that it is unintentional and there is no malice involved, what more an intent to incite hatred of any sorts. I am merely expressing my opinion using modern technology in the 21st century.

I feel that the country's laws are not equally applied to everyone but used to silent dissent, in particular ordinary bloggers with no political backing.

My blog is not particularly influential, compared to mainstream newspapers like Utusan, The Star, Sin Chew, etc, and other news outlets like TV3. These media have the potential to easily incite hatred and cause racial riots. In my view, in many cases, the Malay-vernacular press have published many articles that can be said to incite racial hatred, for instance, Utusan's frontpage yesterday that claimed DAP Hina Islam? (DAP Insults Islam?) ( http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2009&dt=0224&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Muka_Hadapan&pg=mh_01.htm )

Hence I strongly feel it is ludicrous and absurd to say that I can even influence anyone what more incite racial hatred or any sort of hatred towards anyone. If anyone is hateful, they will be so without reading my blog. I am not God.

I also wish to say as a Malaysian, I am loyal to King and Country. In many posts I've always expressed my gratitude towards the country for allowing my family to have a happy prosperous live, especially under the Barisan government led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad. If I've offended anyone with my honest feelings based on facts, it is not my intention to do so. In the 21st century, rulers of all kind should be open to feedback because after all they are not gods that are are beyond reproach.

It would be much appreciated if the media will carry my statement or send reporters to the Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Unit tonite. I will be there from 7pm and am not sure what time this second interrogation will end.

I've lost my handphone and can only be contacted via email now till I get a new handphone later today.

Thanks.

Jed Yoong Yui Foong
熊玉鳳
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