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AWSJ: Malaysian Police Seize Computers
By Dow Jones

11/3/2001 3:43 am Sun

[Polis kini cuba memantau dan mengenal pasti pengendali laman web untuk diambil tindakkan. Tetapi masih belum mampu mengcam. Sikap kerajaan memusuhi maklumat akan melunturkan cita-cita MSC yang diimpi-impikan. Internet adalah revolusi perhubungan maklumat. Kerajaan boleh membunuh satu dua orang tetapi tidak akan mampu menyekat maklumat yang bertebaran.

"You can kill the revolusionary... but you can't kill the revolution." (F/Prophet)

- Editor]

From The Asian Wall Street Journal
9th March 2001

Malaysian Police Seize Computers
Used to Run Opposition Web Site

Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Police seized computers used to run an opposition Web site suspected of sedition, and a judge rejected a party leader's bid for bail Friday pending investigations that he threatened to overthrow Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The actions reflect a new crackdown on media critical of the government and on an opposition that has managed in recent months to step up political demonstrations, some of them in the home state of Mr. Mahathir, Asia's longest-serving ruler.

Police raided the home of Raja Petra Kamaruddin, editor of the opposition National Justice Party's Web site, on Thursday and seized several computers. The editor said that the site would now be operated "offshore." Police Chief Bakri Zinin was reported by the Sun newspaper as saying that the raid was based on a report by one of his men that an article on the site was seditious.

Because of strict licensing laws which allow the government to ban opposition publications, Malaysia's four-party opposition coalition relies heavily on the Internet to get its message out. The Internet has been largely exempt from press restrictions because of promises made by Mr. Mahathir to information-technology investors that the government will not try to restrict Malaysian content.

"The police have made a mockery of the government policy not to censor the Internet," said Mr. Raja Petra.

In recent weeks, officials have delayed the distribution of some foreign news magazines and harshly criticized an independent news Web site called ( The magazines, including Asiaweek and the Far Eastern Economic Review, have carried stories the government would consider negative. Malaysiakini was accused of receiving funds from financier George Soros, whom Mr. Mahathir blames for the 1997 Asian economic crisis. Malaysiakini denied that it receives support from Mr. Soros.

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Separately, a judge refused to release Ezam Mohamad Noor, the Justice Party's youth leader who is in jail charged with sedition while police investigate statements attributed to him in a newspaper, in which he allegedly vowed to organize demonstrations daily until the government was ousted.

Hours after the ruling, about 500 opposition supporters shouted anti-Mahathir slogans outside a mosque. Riot police, backed by water cannon, looked on but did not intervene. The protesters dispersed.

"Our enemy is Mahathir," Azmin Ali, a Justice Party official, told the crowd. "We will continue to protest against the government abuses."

The crowd shouted "Reformasi!" -- the party's cry for reform that dates back to 1998 street demonstrations led by former Deputy Premier Anwar Ibrahim after Mr. Mahathir fired him. Mr. Anwar's wife leads the party now.

Street demonstrations dwindled during Mr. Anwar's two-year trial and eventual sentence to 15 years in prison for s###my and corruption. But, due partly to Mr. Ezam's organizational capabilities, the opposition has managed to muster several thousand people at protests since November, prompting police baton charges and tear-gassings in some cases.

Mr. Ezam, who was arrested Tuesday, has said he does not advocate violence. He had asked the High Court to quash a lower court's order that he be held in custody, but Judge Abdul Wahab Patail ruled that the police had sufficient reason to hold him and needed time to determine if his actions had threatened national security.

Mr. Ezam accused the newspaper that reported the comments of conspiring with Mr. Mahathir's United Malays National Organization to ruin him and threatened to take legal action. y=010309084020.g9ewpzq3.txt

Malaysian police to monitor websites amid crackdown on demos

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (AFP) - Malaysian police mounting a crackdown on anti-government protests said Friday they would investigate websites which call for street demonstrations.

Earlier this week police seized a computer from the operator of a website which supports jailed ex-deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

Police have also arrested an opposition leader on suspicion of sedition over his alleged call for protests to topple Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government.

Officers will monitor websites that invite people to take part in street demonstrations, said deputy national police chief Mohamad Jamil Johari.

"We will monitor and investigate every such website. We will try to identify the individuals involved for us to take action," he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

Raja Petra Kamarudin who operates the FreeAnwar website, told AFP Friday that police raided his house Wednesday and seized a computer following a complaint about seditious articles.

"They said my articles on the website are very seditious and that posting such news on the website means inciting people to demonstrate and encouraging chaos in the country," he said.

Mahathir, who is promoting Malaysia as an information technology centre, has promised not to censor the Internet.

Opposition leader Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor was still behind bars after a judge ruled Friday that police have a right to remand him while they investigate him for alleged sedition.

Ezam was detained Monday following his alleged call in Sunday's edition of Utusan Malaysia newspaper for mass protests to topple the government.

Ezam, who is youth chief of the National Justice Party (Keadilan) headed by Anwar's wife, said he was misquoted. He said he spoke only of planned peaceful protests against alleged corruption and cronyism.

On Wednesday police obtained a court order to detain Ezam in custody till Saturday for investigations. His lawyers challenged the order in the High Court on Friday but the judge upheld it.

It was not clear if Ezam would be charged on Saturday. He could face up to three years' jail if charged with sedition and convicted.

Justice Abdul Wahab Patail said reported plans to hold street rallies "indicates that the scope of investigation is not as simple and narrow" as it involved the "participation and cooperation" of others.

"I cannot therefore say that the order of remand is wrong and would therefore confirm the remand order of four days to Saturday," he added.

Ezam, who was handcuffed as he was led out of court, said: "Another day in the lockup is nothing to me ... my arrest from day one has raised many concerns.

"I will pursue my earlier intentions to take legal action against Utusan Malaysia for purportedly plotting with some UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) leaders to give a very negative image of me."

Demonstrations are illegal in Malaysia without a permit and were once a rare occurrence. But street protests have become more common since Mahathir sacked his heir apparent Anwar in September 1998.

Anwar was later convicted of abuse of power and s###my and jailed for a total of 15 years in what he says was political persecution. The government denies any political motive. icle/


Police can't trace owners of website instigating demos

by M. Jeffri Razali

It is difficult for police to initiate action against owners of websites promoting street demonstrations as most of them could not be traced, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Jamil Johari said today.

Acknowledging that it was impossible to prevent people from accessing such websites, Jamil said even the task of identifying the operators was difficult.

Is there a way we can stop people from going into these websites? I don't think so, let alone try to trace the operators.

However, the police will monitor such websites, he said, while declining to elaborate.

Jamil was asked to comment on several websites which are promoting the proposed street demonstrations and calling surfers to join hand to go against the Government.

Such websites had in the past been used as bulletin boards by organisers of illegal gatherings, calling on the public to participate in such activities.

Jamil had earlier chaired a meeting with Malacca and Johor senior police officers on crime prevention at the State police headquarters.

Meanwhile, Jamil said snatch and motorcycle thefts in Malacca and Johor could be reduced if the public played their role in assisting the police.

He said most of the cases could have been prevented if the owners were more security-conscious.

"They cannot rely entirely on the police,"he said, "to prevent such incidents as the job starts with them to ensure the safety of their property."

In preventing snatch thefts, the public should be more sensitive to their surroundings, apart from not bringing with them too much valuables.

Jamil said police had been stationed in public areas following the increasing number of snatch and motorcycle thefts in Malacca and Johor.

Link Reference : Asia Times