KUALA LUMPUR: Dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof is now in Segamat and will be remanded till tomorrow afternoon after having spent a night in police lockup here.
Her counsel Latheefa Koya, in a text message this morning, said: “She has been brought to Segamat…just spoke to (Investigating Officer) Inspector Othman.
“He confirms she (is) currently being taken to the magistrate in Segamat to be remanded. I am trying to get a lawyer to represent her. (Being further remanded) is a normal procedure.
“But it is an abuse of power as there is no need to bring her all the way to Johor just (because) a police report was apparently lodged there.”
She later confirmed that the police had obtained a two-day remand against Maznah.
Lawyers for Liberty tweeted last night: “Even if the report was made in Segamat, it’s no reason to take her there. PDRMsia has taken her statement. She (should) be released”.
In a following tweet, they wrote: “@PDRMsia ni betul tak masuk akal, saja nak salahguna kuasa. Jadi kalu ada 100 repot suluruh negara, Chetz akan dibawa merata2? Kerja bodo”.
(The police are not making any sense, they are just abusing their power. So if 100 police reports were made across the whole country, Chetz will be brought all over the nation? This is foolish.)
Police arrested Maznah also known as Chetz under Section 298A of the Penal Code as well as the Sedition Act yesterday evening after a three-year-old video of her bathing her dogs and wishing viewers Selamat Hari Raya resurfaced online the day before.
She was brought to the Bukit Perdana Commercial Crimes Department at around 5pm, where she had her statement recorded by the police as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
‘No forgiveness for such a video’
The controversial video was uploaded by user “acaiseven fiska” two days ago, who titled it “Video menghina Islam. 1 hari di hari raya” (video insulting Islam. 1 day in Hari Raya).
But Maznah has clarified to the media that her intention was to remind Muslims to celebrate Hari Raya with animals and humans.
“I have no intention to demean Islam. I made the video for fun but later decided to ‘educate’ outsiders on dogs and cleanliness,” the 38-year-old was quoted as saying by news site Mynewshub.com.
But many, including the Director-General of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), see her video as insulting Islam.
“To us, those involved in making the video had intended on angering Muslims by likening them to dogs while the ‘takbir’ (calls of Allahu Akbar) is playing in the background,” Othman Mustapha said in a statement yesterday, adding that there could be no forgiveness for such a video.
A clip of Maznah washing a dog’s feet before washing her own while the Takbir Raya plays in the background has been interpreted by some quarters as mocking the ablution – a cleansing ritual Muslims perform before praying.
But Maznah told news portal Malaysiakini: “My religion has taught me about the importance of cleanliness… hence this is why in the video, I am cleaning myself and my dogs.”
While Maznah could not be contacted for comment, Latheefa tweeted last night: “Maznah or Chetz would like to thank everybody for all the support. (She’s) calm and looks strong.”
The 1:44-second video shows Maznah strolling along a street with her three dogs as the ‘takbir raya’ plays in the background. The video also shows her sharing Raya cookies with the dogs.
It broadcasts 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 her three dogs.
Anisah Shukry, Free Malaysia Today