Artist and activist Fahmi Reza was arrested this evening for alleged sedition.
His lawyer Yohendra Nadarajan said police arrested him at his home at 7pm before taking him to the Dang Wangi police district headquarters in the capital.
As of 9pm, he was still being questioned and will be detained overnight in the police lockup.
“Remand (hearing) is tomorrow at 10am at the Dang Wangi police station itself,” Yohendra told Malaysiakini when contacted.
So, the same police force who arrested cartoonist Fahmi Reza for correctly depicting Najib Razak as a kleptocratic clown have now arrested him for listing songs about jealousy on Twitter. The situation must be serious.
Bemused folk from anywhere but Malaysia may well ask why is satirising jealousy (if that is what this was supposed to be) regarded as a seditious act resulting in the most serious charges?
The reason is that the police, like everyone in the country, know that jealousy was the topic of a major ‘faux pas’ by the Queen last week – an utterance that has acted as a spark to a tinderbox of public rage against a self-serving and unelected backdoor regime propped up by her husband.
Indeed, sticking to the French motif, there can hardly have been a more incendiary remark made by a reigning Queen since Marie Antoinette notoriously suggested “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (“let them eat cake”) after being informed that the folk of Paris were marching on Versailles because her husband’s ruinous policies had run them out of bread.
It seems there are those even in the Malaysian police force who know what happened next to her (and her husband and the bulk of the French nobility). Hence, presumably, the sedition charges.
In Malaysia the issue in hand is not basic foodstuffs, although for many these also are becoming extremely scarce along with cash, but vaccines against the deadly Coronavirus. These have yet to start to be rolled out to the most vulnerable and elderly in the general population of Malaysia, despite vast sums of taxpayers money having been appropriated to buy them.
Meanwhile, the ‘Top 400k’ of elite Malaysians – politicians and government workers – have all smugly received not just their first but second dose. When a citizen asked if these included the palace chef with whom the Queen was making tasty morsels for her table (as depicted on her instagram account) the sovereign messaged back “Are you jealous?”. When a wave of anger then washed over the internet she snapped shut her account.
So, which lady is to be least forgiven? It has been pointed out that the pampered Austrian princess on the eve of the French Revolution was simply vastly naive and had no concept of poverty and hunger, matters she had never encountered in the vast palaces she had dwelt in all her life. She simply revealed how out of touch her kind had long become and they paid a vicious price.
The Malaysian royal on the other hand was smug. She knew exactly what the question was all about and appeared happy to flaunt her privileged position as a safely vaccinated creature (as well as being vastly rich, pampered and all the rest) compared to all her compatriots who are suffering thanks to the incompetence and suspected corruption of her husband’s government.
Thankfully, in the present era and under the present constitution of Malaysia there are ample means by which an out of touch, unsympathetic, thieving set of politicians can be ejected from office without resorting to the methods forced on Parisiennes in 1789.
The Constitution could even be altered, if necessary, to rein in the powers of royals should they be shown to have abused them.