The Young Democrats met with Mr Abdul Malik Muhammad Ghazali yesterday. Mr Abdul was
arrested for posting the following comment on Facebook: “It’s time to burn the minister and the pap for this incident”. He was released on bail pending further investigation.
During our meeting Mr Malik revealed that, on top of the questions pertaining to the issue, the police had asked him questions such as whether he had joined any political party and what were his political affiliations.
It is also disturbing that comments made by netizens can be taken out of context and be misconstrued by the authorities who are showing increasing signs of paranoia.
Mr Abdul’s use of the word “burn” is a figure of speech and should not be taken literally just as Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s violent imagery of meeting his opponents in a cul-de-sac and drawing a hatchet is not taken literally by the police.
Mr Lee’s actual
quote: “Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”
Mr Abdul is being investigated for “inciting violence and public disorder” under Section 267 Chapter 244 of the penal code. His laptop was also seized as part of the investigation. He is also being investigated for his involvement in the ‘
I Hate YOG Organising Committee‘ group in Facebook.
The Young Democrats stand by Mr Abdul Malik. It is perfectly within his rights to set up the Facebook group and to be associated in any way to any political group he wishes.
Also, it is the Young Democrats’ view that Mr Abdul Malik has been singled out. A perusal of said group’s content shows comments that are even more contentious.
The ‘I Hate the YOG Organising Committee’ group was formed by netizens to express their disatisfaction and disgruntlement towards the YOG’s organising committee over their handling of the event. The comments therein should be taken as fair comment and criticism. Our mother party has also spoken up on the matter as have several bloggers.
The Internet is currently the only way that citizens can voice out their dissent and dissatisfaction because the traditional media is heavily influenced by the state. And yet, even this little avenue that is left for the citizens to exercise our rights to freedom of expression is fast being taken away.
This development is of grave concern to us in the
Young Democrats and we emphatically register our disquiet over the matter. We will continue to speak up and act for Singaporean youths whenever and wherever they are unjustly treated by the state.
We offer our support to Mr Abdul Malik and we hope that all other youth organisations will do the same.
for Young Democrats