Monday, 16 March 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015 Nationalist , News , Sabah , Sabah Sarawak Union (SSU) , Sarawak , Sharing No comments
Four men were charged with sedition in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, today, for allegedly possessing materials urging Sabah and Sarawak to leave Malaysia, The Star Online reported.
The materials are said to be linked to the Facebook page Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia, which advocates the two Bornean states leave the federation of Malaysia, according to the news portal.
The four are Azrie Situ, 25, Jemmy Liku Markus Situ, 32, Erick Jack William, 29, and Joseph Kolis, 29, who pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court before judge Dean Wayne Dally.
The men were released on RM20,000 bail in one surety each, and also had to surrender their passports.
The portal said the four were among nine people arrested on February 1 for possessing seditious material. They had reportedly distributed pamphlets on Sabah's rights and a petition to support these rights.
The Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia Facebook page is run by a Sabah activist, Doris Jones, who is now based in London. The page currently has more than 32,000 “likes”.
Sabah police have issued a warrant for her arrest, but Jones had told local media that she had not heard from any authority or Interpol about the warrant.
On March 13, police said they had made contact with her.
Secession calls will soon be defined as seditious under the Sedition Act after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib said last year that the law would be retained and strengthened.
The act in its present form gives wide ambit to the authorities to decide what is seditious.
The four were represented by counsel Arthur Chin.
A crowd of about 100 people reportedly turned up at the courthouse today in a show of support.
Among them was former chief minister Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, who is now with the opposition.
Talk of secession among Sabah nationalists has increased of late against as awareness grows among people about poverty, immigration and political issues, such as "Project IC", a move to change the demographics and electoral roll of the state by issuing identity cards to migrants. – March 16, 2015.
The activists are being charged for sowing hatred between the people of Sabah and the peninsula.
TUARAN: Four Borneo rights activists have been charged in the Sessions Court following their distribution of leaflets generated by the Sabah Sarawak Union (UK), headed by Doris Jones, 46, who also runs the Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) Facebook Page.
The four who pleaded not guilty before Judge Dean Wayne Dally were named as Azrie Situ, 25; Jemmy Liku Markus Situ, 32; Erick Jack William, 29; and Joseph Kolis, 29.
Bail was set at RM 20,000 each of which RM10,000 had to be deposited in Court. They paid the bail.
The charge, under Section 4(2) of the Sedition Act 1948, carries a maximum fine of RM2,000, 18 months jail term or both.
Over 100 people turned up in Court in a show of support for the four activists.
Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim) chairman, Daniel John Jambun, expressed surprise that the charge sheet read; Tanah Melayu/Malaya di Kota Kinabalu. “Did they print tonnes of these sheets in the peninsula in 1957 and they are still being used?” he asked. “The bail sum set is manifestly high considering the fine is only RM2,000. Clearly, this serves as a warning for others.”
He said that the prosecution’s claim that the four accused are a flight risk does not hold water. “Why should they flee the country because of a RM2,000 fine for a charge which will not hold up in Court anyway?
Daniel said that he understood the lawyer for the four accused, Tengku Fuad Ahmad is in Perth, Australia but will be back this week. “Lawyer Arthur Chin stood in for Fuad.”
Daniel said that specifically the four are being charged for sowing hatred between the people of Sabah and the peninsula.
“There’s no element of incitement or inflammatory statements in their activities,” said former Sabah Chief Minister Yong Teck Lee who turned up in support along with former Berjaya Government Finance Minister Mohd Noor Mansor.
Fuad, in a Whatsapp message from Australia said: “I will be back this Thursday and will go through matters. My focus is on getting an acquittal for the Tuaran four.”
Jones told BBC News Radio Northampton on Friday that she doesn’t understand why Malaysia doesn’t want to allow Sabah and Sarawak to go from the list of states in the Federation, so that they can stand on their own two feet. “It’s a big question.”
BBC claimed that Jones was leading the campaign in the UK for independence back home on behalf of “some people in Sabah and Sarawak”. The station did not elaborate.
“If they don’t let us go, then we have the right to go independent,” said Jones. “We are countries which can be on our own like Singapore and Brunei. We are entitled to stand on our own two feet.”
KOTA KINABALU, March 16 — Four volunteers of the outlawed Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) movement were charged under the Sedition Act today for being in possession of pamphlets allegedly propagating Sabah’s secession from the federation.
The four, Jemmy Liku Markus Ratu, 32, Erick Jack William, 28, Joseph Kolis, 29 and Azrie Situ, 24 were accused of distributing the pamphlets at the Tuaran open market at around 10am on February 1 this year.
The pamphlets, which bore SSKM’s unofficial logo, claimed to promote the rights of North Borneo folk, and said the movement hopes to collect 100,000 signatures for a petition to be sent to the United Nations to show that Sabahans are no longer interested in being a part of the Malaysian federation.
All four pleaded not guilty to the charge today under Section 4 (2) of the Sedition Act 194, which carries a maximum fine of RM2,000 or 18 months’ jail or both upon conviction.
The four were represented by counsel Arthur Chin who was standing in for lawyer Tengku Fuad Ahmad who was not present in court today.
Judge Dean Wayne Daly set the hearing dates for May 18 to 22. Bail was set at RM10,000 each plus one surety.
When contacted, Fuad said the bail set was excessive for a charge of this nature.
“The case is also highly academic in nature and will lead to issues pertaining to customary international law, Malaysia’s treaty obligations and the special constitutional right of any Sabahan to question the position of the state in the federation.
“It’s not about the four accused and what they did. It’s about their right to do it in the first place,” said Fuad.
Over 100 people including former chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee and former state finance minister Datuk Mohd Noor Mansoor turned up in court today to show support for the four accused.
Supporters also carried the Sabah flag and signs bearing the words “Free Tuaran 9 activist” and calling for freedom of expression and Sabah rights to be restored.
On February 1, nine people were arrested in Tuaran to assist in a sedition probe due to their alleged links to the outlawed secession movement.
The nine who were wearing t-shirts with the words “Semangat Satu Perjuangan Rakyat”, were detained at the Tuaran tamu grounds where they were allegedly approaching people for signatures for the petition seeking Sabah rights.
Aged between 24 and 50, they were released on the same day with RM2,000 police bail.
KUALA LUMPUR: Authorities have been urged to engage with pro-secession groups such as Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) instead of threatening and arresting its members, said Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh (pic).
He said the members should be investigated and charged if the allegation was true but some of them were concerned about the security of the state.
Abdul Ghapur cited examples from various news reports where nine people were detained in Tuaran while five others were detained in Lahad Datu, Sabah for allegedly involved in seditious activities.
"This is not a police state but this is an independent and autonomous state via Malaysia.
"Many Sabahan people are unhappy and concerned over the security in the state," he said while debating the motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong royal address, here on Monday.
Abdul Ghapur stressed that he was not supportive of any secession movement for Sabah and Sarawak but authorities should investigate the motives of the group involved in such activities.
"I know this is a sensitive matter but authorities must ask why Sabahan are resorting to such activities.
"Do not resort to threats and meet them instead," he said in reply to Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh, who asked whether the latter was afraid of getting arrested under the Internat Security Act for making such remarks.
Abdul Ghapur also urged the federal government to further strengthen its assets under the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to help thwart any attacks from outsiders.
"I have met with representatives from the Prime Minister's Department and raise my concern over the security in Sabah.
"Some of the criminals are using pump boats and we need to increase our assets to ensure the security are well protected," he said.