KUALA LUMPUR (July 31, 2013): Dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof was arrested today over a video clip of herself with dogs that has drawn public anger three years after it was uploaded.
She was brought to Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crime Division to have her statement recorded as part of investigations over the video.
However, her counsel Latheefa Koya said Maznah, or Chetz as she is known, was denied her right to legal representation when her statement was taken after being arrested at 4.30pm under Section 298 of the Penal Code.
Section 298 makes it an offence to utter words with the intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.
Latheefa said she was told by the investigating officer he would wait for her before taking Maznah’s statement.
She said she arrived at Bukit Aman at 6pm.
“The next thing I knew, Maznah called me at about 6.10pm and said they were going to start taking her statement without her lawyer present and they told her they have every right to do so,” she said.
The video, which has the “takbir raya” playing in the background shows her walking with three dogs by a mosque, and also shows her sharing Hari Raya cookies with the dogs.
It also displayed the words “Raikanlah Aidilfitri bersama-sama, tanpa mengira spesis, warna, asal- usul” (Celebrate Aidilfitri together irrespective of species, colour and origin) while featuring a shot of the three dogs.
Malaysian Animal Rights Society (Roar) president N. Surendran said he was shocked to hear of Maznah’s arrest. He said Maznah should be commended for the care and compassion she shows animals.
“We demand that she be released unconditionally without any charges” said Surendran, who is also PKR vice-president and Padang Serai MP.
Suaram secretariat member Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said the arrest was oppressive.
Tan Yi Liang and Soo Wern Jun, The Sun