Journalist Susan Loone arrested in Penang over ‘seditious’ article

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GEORGE TOWN: Malaysiakini journalist Susan Loone was arrested in Penang yesterday over her article on an interview with state exco Phee Boon Poh and the mass arrests of the state’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) on Merdeka Day.

George Town District police chief ACP Mior Faridalatrash Wahid confirmed the arrest four hours after she had gone in for questioning at 3pm at the district headquarters.

He also said she would be released under police bail but did not state when this would happen.

Loone was arrested after being questioned over her phone interview with Phee, in which he was quoted as saying that he had been “treated like a criminal” while in detention. Phee is the exco in charge of PPS.

The article was published in the news portal on Monday.

Phee had claimed that he was interrogated by the police “for four hours” in addition to being treated poorly. He was released a day later.

Both Loone and Phee are now being investigated under the Sedition Act.

Phee was scheduled to arrive for questioning at 8.30pm yesterday.

On Aug 31, 156 PPS members, many of whom are elderly, were arrested after taking part in a Merdeka Day march-past in George Town.

It was reported that 10 police reports have been lodged against the online news portal and Loone over the news report which was said to have defamed the police.

Perkasa and 13 other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that call themselves “The Coalition of Penang Malay Representatives” lodged the reports at the Jalan Pantai police station in Penang on Tuesday at about 6pm.

The NGOs urged the police to investigate the article headlined “Disoal siasat selama 4 jam, dakwa dilayan seperti penjenayah” published on Monday in Malaysiakini’s Bahasa Malaysia site.

The news report is a translation of Loone’s article, “Exco man grilled for four hours, treated like a criminal”, which was published on the same day. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 5, 2014.