KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Muhammad Sanusi Md Noor, the caretaker Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Kedah state, was arrested by the police at 3 am on Tuesday (18 Jul).
He was subsequently brought to court the same morning to face charges of making seditious remarks against the Sultan of Selangor.
The arrest was captured in a video shared by Helmi Khalid, Sanusi’s assistant, which went viral on social media.
It is understood that the arrest took place at a hotel in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, and Sanusi was later taken to the Gombak District Police Headquarters (IPD) for investigation under Section 4(1)(A) of the Sedition Act 1948.
Helmi mentioned that Sanusi, who also serves as the election director for the Malaysian opposition alliance The Perikatan Nasional (PN), returned from the PN Supreme Council meeting around 11:40 pm on Monday (17 Jul).
According to Helmi, Sanusi was taken out of the hotel room at 3 am and instructed to get into an MPV, which then headed to the Gombak District Police Headquarters for the investigation.
The same video was also shared by Muhammad Sanusi, who is also the incumbent Jeneri State Assemblyman on his Facebook.
In the post’s description, possibly posted by one of Sanusi’s official Facebook page admin, asked for supporter’s prayer for him, and advised them not to gather in large numbers at the courthouse.
“There are fears that some parties might try to provoke and plan something unpleasant, ” the post wrote.
Sanusi was brought to Selayang court on Tuesday morning
On Tuesday morning at 9 am, Sanusi was brought to the Selayang court to face charges related to his political speech, which allegedly touched on the sensitive 3R (race, religion, royalty) issue.
As reported by the Malaysian media outlet, the New Straits Times, Sanusi pleaded not guilty to two counts of uttering seditious remarks that could incite disloyalty toward the Rulers.
His plea was made separately before two Sessions Court Judges, Nor Rajiah Mat Zin and Osman Affendi Mohd Salleh.
Sanusi was alleged to have made seditious and insulting remarks concerning the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, near Taman Selayang Mutiara at about 11 pm on 11 July.
Meanwhile, before Judge Osman Affendi, Sanusi faced charges for a similar offence when he allegedly uttered seditious remarks questioning Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s statement on the King’s decree regarding the establishment of a unity government.
These charges fall under Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act, which carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment or an RM5,000 fine, or both.
The courts set bail at RM5,000 for each charge and scheduled the mention for 4 October.
Additionally, the courts issued a gag order, prohibiting Sanusi from making any statements regarding the case.
The Selangor Royal Office issued a statement, considering Sanusi’s remarks in one of the political rallies held in Selangor recently as an insult to the Selangor Royal Institution.
In his speech, Sanusi drew comparisons between the Sultan of Kedah (Al-Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah) and the Sultan of Selangor, referring to Sultan Sharafuddin’s choice as “cokia” (substandard).
Following public backlash and the lodging of 57 police reports against him, Sanusi sent a warkah (letter) to Sultan Sharafuddin, explaining his remarks, and apologized to the Sultan.