Dr M has said worse, Zaid says of his sedition probe

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PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said worse things about the government and Prime Minister Najib Razak, yet no action has been taken against him, pointed out former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim.

Speaking in an interview with FMT, Zaid said the police move to investigate him under the Sedition Act 1972 was an act of “injustice” as he was just an ordinary man, unlike former premier Mahathir.

“I am not the leader of PPBM (Mahathir’s new political outfit Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia). I am not even Mahathir’s right hand man for the police to take an interest in.

“Mahathir has said worse about the prime minister, (calling the latter) a thief, a crook. Why no action against him? That’s not fair.

“I want to ask the Inspector-General of Police (Khalid Abu Bakar), why is he so afraid of Mahathir? Why persecute me, an ordinary man?”

Zaid was commenting on the probe over a tweet he made recently.

Khalid, in turn, tweeted a directive to his personnel, asking for Zaid’s “seditious and confusing” statement to be investigated.

To this, Zaid said: “This is the unfortunate situation, when we have an IGP who acts like a sheriff in a cowboy movie.”

Zaid has been called to Bukit Aman to have his statement over the matter recorded.

“I was quite surprised (to be called in) as there was nothing seditious with what I said. I was just responding to the High Court’s decision,” said the former Umno leader.

Zaid explained that his tweet was only in response to the court’s ruling over his request to have Apandi’s decision not to prosecute Najib reviewed.

“The court took the view that if the AG decided not to take any action against the prime minister, then there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

“So I said if that is the law of our country, then it makes it difficult for the ordinary citizens.

“Like I said in my tweet, it looks like if we have a crooked prime minister, all he has to do is appoint a crooked AG and the courts won’t help us.”

He added that the way the authorities have been acting lately portrayed a Malaysia where only statements that are flattering to Najib wouldn’t be considered seditious.

“Well, it appears that the people of this country can only think in a certain way.”

When asked if he feared the same fate as PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli, who has been handed an 18-month prison sentence for committing an offence under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by exposing a page of the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB, Zaid said that was part and parcel of being one who stood up for the good of the country.

He then proceeded to say that what Rafizi did shouldn’t be considered a crime, especially as the document might not necessarily fall under the OSA.

“It can’t be that any document with the word ‘secret’ stamped on it should be considered a secret of the country.

“There is a difference between the country’s secrets and that of Najib’s. As a lawyer myself, I believe the document should be shown in court, but this wasn’t done.

“Besides, what is so secret about the document? Everyone knows the contents already by now. Sarawak Report knows about it, so the whole world knows about it too.” – FMT

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