Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Sabah secessionist group under sedition probe, cops confirm

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 3 — Sabah police have kicked off a sedition probe on the owners of a Facebook page propagating the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia, state police commissioner Deputy Comm Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said.

DCP Jalaluddin said a special taskforce has been formed with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to identify those behind the controversial page dubbed “Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia” (SSKM), as well as its affiliated blog and other social media websites.

“We are still in the process of gathering all the witnesses to facilitate investigations under Section 4 of the Sedition Act,” he said, declining to elaborate on the suspects.

He said the group has allegedly influenced Sabah’s rural folk by using “distorted facts” from the blog, which he said has been inciting sentiments that could cause racial disunity and create public disorder.

“Talk of separation from Malaysia is seditious and can threaten public order. We hope that members of the public can come forward and provide us with more information,” Jalaluddin told a press conference here.

The state police chief said the police are also monitoring the social media websites run by NGOs and other unregistered groups that organise unlawful assemblies.

A civil activist group Sabah Solidarity Organisation had previously lodged a police report against SSKM, alleging a hate campaign using social network sites such as Facebook and

Twitter, as well as newsletters and blogs. According to its blog site, SSKM, formed in August 2011, is petitioning for 300,000 signatures to support its stand to reinstate the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

The group is led by Doris Jones, a Sabahan and UK-based lawyer.

SSKM has one public Facebook page with over 1,200 “Likes” and another “closed” group with a following of over 16,000 people, with numbers climbing since the report was lodged yesterday.

The group also has a blog with over 101,000 page views and several videos of historical facts and local people voicing their issues, one which has over 108,000 views since it was posted two years ago.

When contacted by the Malay Mail Online, Jones said she has received many threatening messages since the page was put up but has yet to receive any contact from the Home Ministry or the police.

“They can shut it (the blog or Facebook page) if they wish, but I can create another or many more to serve the same purpose. We are ready to deal with them,” she said.

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