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Caretaker Kedah chief minister’s indictment ‘selective’, says Malaysia opposition leader

He also noted that the “(Sanusi’s) arrest went beyond the alleged offence” as the bail offered to Sanusi was equivalent to the maximum penalty of the Sedition Act, under which the latter was charged. 

“The accusation against Muhammad Sanusi is for an offence under section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948 which brings the maximum penalty of RM5,000 (US$1,100) … However, the prosecution team led by the Attorney-General himself offered RM5,000 bail,” he said 

On Tuesday, Sanusi pleaded not guilty to two charges of sedition which carry a maximum sentence of three years in jail or a fine of RM5,000 (US$1,100). He was granted bail of RM5,000 for each charge.

The first charge was in relation to him making seditious remarks against the Selangor ruler while the second charge was related to uttering seditious words regarding the establishment of the unity government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. 

Both the alleged utterances were said during a political rally in Selangor on Jul 11.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Tuesday that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has a strong case to charge Sanusi in court. 

“In my opinion, the prosecution was made because the AGC has a strong case, so if he is innocent, the court is the best platform to answer all the accusations and defend himself,” he was quoted by Bernama as telling reporters. 

He added that the charges against Sanusi had nothing to do with the upcoming state elections. 

According to Bernama, Ahmad Zahid was commenting on Pendang Member of Parliament (MP) Awang Hashim’s statement that Sanusi’s prosecution was to “cripple” PN and its component party Parti Islam Se-Malaysia’s (PAS) progress ahead of the state polls.

Sanusi is the election director for both PAS and PN. 

Six states – Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan – will be holding their state polls concurrently on Aug 12. The by-election for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat will also be held on the same day. 

When asked by the media why Sanusi was arrested at 3am, Ahmad Zahid said it was the police’s right to do so.

“That’s the right of the enforcement agency, they can make an arrest at any time, 24/7,” he reportedly said.

According to the Malay Mail, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Razarudin Husain said that Sanusi was arrested to ensure that he faced his charges in court amid worries that he may abscond from appearing in court. 

Mr Razarudin said on Tuesday that police officers from the Kedah state contingent were unable to locate Sanusi after they were informed of the AGC’s plan to charge Sanusi with sedition.

“At the same time, all of our calls to inform him to attend court the next day were rejected, which include calls made to his senior private secretary and political secretary,” Mr Razarudin reportedly said. 


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