PSM sec-gen Arutchelvan and Mohd Khalid are being investigated under the Sedition Act for speeches made at an ABU ceramah on Jan 23.

KAJANG: PSM secretary general S Arutchelvan and second year UiTM law student cum activist Mohd Khalid Ismath were called up by the police and questioned for about 40 minutes today over speeches they made at an Anything But Umno (ABU) ceramah on Jan 23 in Beranang.

According to the police, they are being investigated under section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948. Both gave their statements at the Kajang district police headquarters today.

“They recorded the entire ceramah on Jan 23. If there was something seditious, they could have handed the clip to the prosecution and charge us,” said Arutchelvan.

Arutchelvan, who is also Kajang municipal councillor, added that he had not uttered anything that can be deemed as seditious and the whole excercise “was a waste of time.”.

“I didn’t touch on race, religion or the royalty. Maybe it is seditious for those in power because I called for Umno to be ousted,” he added.

He also revealed that the report against them was made by the police and when he requested for a copy, they refused.

Khalid, 22, was accompanied by his lawyer Farhana Abdul Halim when he reported to the district police headquarters.

“I spoke on issues relating to students’ problems, the burden of young people and the stiffling of academic freedom,” said Khalid.

ABU co-founder Haris Ibrahim, who was at the police station today, criticised the use of the Sedition Act against Arutchelvan and Khalid.

“Even if one speaks the truth, it is no defence in sedition. In other countries there are no sedition laws because they allow people to freedom to express.

Asked whether this would hamper the ABU campaign, Haris said: “We will continue with our ceramahs. People cannot be challenged,” said Haris.

By K Pragalath | March 2, 2012