Until a month ago, nobody has heard of Section 124B but in the past few weeks, Section 124B of the Penal Code has forced itself into public consciousness as the new monstrous weapon which the Najib administration is using to launch a major crackdown and usher a new Dark Age in Malaysia.
How many people have been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code.
I do not know, but it is safe to say that never have so many people been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code on “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a person to jail for a maximum of 20 years – and all these police arrests and investigations are against the ministerial assurances given to Parliament in 2012 when the new law was enacted that it would only be used against those who carry out “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”.
When pressed in Parliament on why Section 124B had not spelt out clearly that Section 124B only referred to “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”, the then de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz claimed that this is understood and even referred to Oxford Dictionary that “activities detrimental to Parliamentary Democracy” means “by violent and unconstitutional means”.
When Nazri presented the Penal Code amendment of the new Section 124B, Parliament was in fact given to understand that it was meant to tackle terrorism previously covered by the already repealed Internal Security Act.
Unfortunatley, what was clear and obvious to the Law Minister in 2012 at the time of the passage of Section 124B in Parlaiment is no more “clear and obvious” whether to the new Attorney-General or the Inspector-General of Police as I dare say that all the police arrests and investigations under Section 124B in the past month do not have the element of “violent or unconstitutional means”.
It would appear that we have reached a stage where anyone who wants to have a change of Prime Minister or government is liable to be investigated, arrested and charged under Section 124B for “activities detrimental to Parliamentary Democracy” which is a total betrayal of both the Parliamentary and Ministerial intention in enacting Section 124B of the Penal Code.
The majority of Malaysians (as the Umno/BN government is a minority government winning only 47 per cent of the popular vote in the 13th General Election) would want to see Datuk Seri Najib Razak toppled as Prime Minister and the UMNO/BN Government replaced as well.
But this cannot bring them under the ambit of Section 124B of the Penal Code for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send those guilty under this section to 20 years in jail because they reject any violent or unconstitutional means of change and are only committed to peaceful, democratic and constitutional means of change or toppling of the Prime Minsiter or government.
If a law which is meant to deal with the advocates of violent and unconstitutional means of political change could be used on those advocating peaceful, democratic and constitutional means of political change, it would even mean the death of democracy itself!
What I find most astonishing is the emergence of a website on the very same day (July 28) that Tan Sri Gani Patail was summarily sacked as Attorney-General and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin sacked as Deputy Prime Minister, which made the most ludicrous and outrageous allegations implicating top officers in government, especially key officers in three of the four “Special Task Force” investigating into 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts – Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) – for involvement in an international conspiracy to topple the elected government of Malaysia.
The first posting of this new website entitled “Ops Lalang 2015: Special Branch leads investigation into conspirators” named at first 12 then 13 names on a “list of conspirators to be investigated under Section 124 of the penal code which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison”.
The website said:
“The power to carry out the investigation is held by the police and special branch whilst the power to charge an offender under section 124 lies with the Attorney General.
“It is no surprise that the position of the head of the Special branch was changed today. It was announced that Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun was appointed as the new Special Branch director, replacing Datuk Seri Akhil Bulat.
“This comes at a time when on the same day the Attorney General has been replaced as reported here and here.
“Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has been named the new Attorney-General today, replacing Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
“With Section 124 in place coupled with the new appointments for special branch and the Attorney general, it is possible to imprison anyone for up to 20 years. The new appointments are instrumental in making this possible.”
The names listed in what is described as “Top Wanted List of Conspirators Against the Democratically Elected Government” are:
Top Wanted List of Conspirators Against The Democratically Elected Government:
1) Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus (BNM)
– Deputy Governor
2) Shamsuddin bin Mohd Mahayidin (BNM)
– Foreign Exchange Administration
3) Abdul Rahman bin Abu Bakar (BNM)
– Financial Intelligence and Enforcement
4) Dato ‘ Sri Mohd Shukri Bin Abdul (MACC)
– Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operation)
5) Datuk Tan Kang Sai
– MACC Special Operation Division Deputy Director
6) YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Rashpal Singh a/l Jeswant Singh
-A Member of the Advisory Board of the Anti-Corruption (ACAB)
7) Jessica Gurmeet Kaur D/O Nashattar Singh
– Heads the Special Task Force Secretariat, Administration and Finance department
8) Dr.Tong Kooi Ong
– Executive Chairman, The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd.
– Executive Chairman, Sunrise Berhad
– Chairman, Taiga Building Products Ltd
– International Advisory Panel, CIMB
9) Ho Kay Tat
– Group Chief Executive Officer and Publisher, The Edge Communications Sdn. Bhd.
10) Clare Rewcastle Brown
– British investigative journalist Editor-in-chief of Sarawak Report
11) Sufi Yusof
– Mahathir Mohamad’s Press Secretary
12) Tony Pua
– Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara – National Publicity Secretary for Democratic Action Party (DAP)
13) Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz
– Governor Bank Negara Malaysia
The 13th name of Tan Sri Zeti was not in the original posting but was added soon after it was posted.
As is publicly known, No. 5, 6 and 7 i.e. Tan Kang Sai of MACC, Tan Sri Rashpal Singh and Jessica Gurmeet Kaur had been arrested and released on bail, while No. 8 and 9, i.e. Tong Kooi Ong and Ho Kay Tat are under police investigation under Section 124B, while their publications Edge Weekly and Edge Financial Daily have been suspended for three months. A warrant of arrest has been issued for No. 10, i.e. Clare Rewcastle Brown.
Also on the so-called “Top wanted list of conspirators” are the DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua who became the first MP in the country to be banned from leaving the country; the Bank Negara Governor Zeti and Bank Negara Deputy Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus; the No. 2 of MACC, Deputy Chief Commissioner Dato’ Sri Mohd Shukri bin Abdul and Sufi Yusof, Press Secretary to Tun Dr. Mahathir.
Is there any truth in this website, and has it violated any official secrets in stating that there would be a police crackdown under Section 124B against them?
If there is no truth in these allegations, or if there had been violations of the Official Secrets Act in making public top police secrets, why is there no police action against this website, as this website is still up and operating when l last checked before the forum.
The mystery is why the Internet-savvy Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had not done anything in the past two weeks on this malicious and mischievous website, when he would have tweeted a few dozen times if such a website was from Opposition camp and directed at Najib?
Why the double standards, Khalid, or is this proof enough that this website had the backing from very powerful forces – even more powerful than Khalid himself?
If the IGP is not aware of this website, I am prepared to be of help.
(Speech at the DAP forum “Section 124B – An Affront to Parliamentary Democracy” at MBPJ Civic Hall on Thursday, 13th August 2014 at 9 pm)