IGP: Warrant not needed in ex-journo’s wee hours arrest

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Top cop Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today that an arrest warrant was unnecessary when the police nabbed ex-journalist Sidek Kamiso at his home in Petaling Jaya in the early morning before taking him to Johor for questioning.

According to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), no such warrant was needed as the alleged offence, over a tweet on the death of PAS spiritual leader Datuk Dr Haron Din, fell under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Act 1998.

“For this offence, a warrant is not needed. For offences under the MCMC Act, there is no need for warrants.

“There is no need for a warrant to detain and no need for a warrant to search homes,” Khalid told Malay Mail Online when contacted tonight.

However, Khalid did not specify what was Sidek’s offence under the MCMC Act, merely commenting that the he had allegedly abused the social media, which is covered under the said Act.

“Abusing social media under SKMM,” Khalid said when queried over the offence, using the Malay acronym for MCMC.

Sidek’s wife Norlin Wan Musa had earlier told Malay Mail Online that several plainclothes officer had entered their home compound at 4.30am to arrest her husband without explaining why he was arrested.

A court in Johor Baru however has denied the police a remand order to further detain Sidek for allegedly insulting Haron’s passing.

When contacted, Sidek’s lawyer Roger Chan said the police had applied for the remand order under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code at a Magistrate Court there, which allows for the detention of a suspect for more than 24 hours for an investigation.

According to Chan, the former journalist was taken to the court at about 4pm today, almost 12 hours after he was arrested from his home at Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.

The 50-year-old man was taken in for tweeting about the demise of PAS spiritual leader Datuk Dr Haron Din, who passed away after seeking treatment for heart ailments on Friday.

The tweet has caused an uproar after Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi retweeted it from his account.

Ooi is now being investigated under Section 298 of the Penal Code, for allegedly intending to hurt the religious feelings of a person.

Khalid tweeted this morning that three people had been detained for allegedly insulting Islam over their comments on Haron’s death, with one detained in Shah Alam, Selangor, and another in Ipoh, Perak.

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