Zamihan remanded for two days (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officer and Sunni Organisation Malaysia (Aswaja) president Zamihan Mat Zin, who was arrested for sedition on Wednesday for his alleged criticism of the Johor Sultan over a Johor-based Muslim-only launderette, was remanded for two days today to facilitate investigations.

The remand order was issued against Zamihan at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters by a magistrate today morning.

Federal CID director Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd confirmed this.

The suspect is being held at the district headquarters lock-up but Bukit Aman is undertaking investigations.

In a statement Wednesday, Jakim Director-General Tan Sri Datuk Othman Mustapha said he and his department viewed the comments made in the speech seriously and had summoned Zamihan for questioning.

He said the case was referred to the Jakim's disciplinary board.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen said Zamihan Mat Zin's action of criticising a Sultan for banning a Muslim-only launderette does not warrant his arrest.

He said while the former Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officer's statement at a recent lecture was insulting in nature, it did not threaten or incite violence and did not constitute a crime.

The Lawyers for Liberty executive director added that the threshold for criminalising free speech should be high, and should protect even offensive and hateful speeches such as Zamihan's.

"Although what he said was quite racist and insulting, I don't feel he should be arrested. The Sedition Act 1948 should be abolished," he said in a series of tweets today.