Rafizi pleads not guilty to provoking Umno members

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KUALA LUMPUR: Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli pleaded not guilty yesterday to insulting and provoking Umno members through an article published by The Edge Financial Daily.

Rafizi, who was represented by counsel N Surendran, was charged in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court with intentionally insulting Umno members and causing their wrath with the knowledge that it could disturb public peace.

He was accused of making the insulting comment in an article titled Will Rafizi quit if Selangor is not toppled? In the article, the PKR strategy director explained the “Kajang move” and had alleged that Selangor Umno was creating issues and campaigns harping on race and religion to create discord in the state.

Magistrate Abu Bakar Manat granted Rafizi RM2,000 bail with one surety. Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Mohd Azari Harun had suggested that bail be set at RM4,000. The magistrate also set Sept 30 for mention.

Rafizi also faces three other sedition investigations, including one for disclosing a letter from a minister addressed to Bank Rakyat, in which the latter had demanded preferential treatment from the bank for carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan.

In March, Rafizi was investigated for sedition over remarks he made against right-wing groups which had threatened to gather outside churches in protest against the use of the word “Allah” by the Christians.

In May, he was investigated for sedition over a book he had authored titled Reformasi 2.0: Fakta kes Anwar Ibrahim.

He is the fifth opposition leader to be charged with sedition this week. Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad was charged with sedition over remarks he allegedly made on the Sultan of Selangor and the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council. In Penang on Wednesday Seri Delima assemblyman R S N Rayer had been slapped with two sedition charges over his “Umno celaka” remark.

Former Perak menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, who is from PAS, was also charged early this week with defaming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a speech he allegedly made two years ago. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 29, 2014.