Daily Express
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Task force to probe secession talk

Published on: Thursday, September 04, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah police have set up a task force, which also involves the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), to address sedition activities on bringing Sabah and Sarawak out of Malaysia.

State Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the task force would monitor social media in the Internet, including activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or unregistered associations that have plans to conduct gatherings that do not comply with the Peaceful Assembly Act.

"I have also instructed all district police chiefs in the State to establish a guideline and observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to ensure peace and harmony continue to exist in Sabah.

"In addition, the task force through MCMC will also identify owners of social media groups, especially like in Facebook that have postings containing inciting and instigation elements, as well as provocations that pose threats to peace and security," he told a press conference, Wednesday.

On a recent statement by Deputy Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin that police have identified individuals who have issued statements on seceding Sabah from the country, Jalaluddin said the individuals could be from Sabah or residing elsewhere.

"We will get information from MCMC in regards to the secession statements made by some people in Sabah while others are still under investigation.

"The most important thing is that we get the witnesses and the owner of the account in Facebook," he said.

In a related development, Jalaluddin said they received a report on Tuesday against an active NGO that is determined to bring Sabah out of Malaysia, including one group known as Sabah, Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) promoting the secession idea in Facebook, Twitter, blogs and YouTube.

He said an investigation paper has been opened under Section 4(1) of Sedition Act following the report pertaining to the action of a group and the concerned NGO allegedly carrying campaigns and distributing pamphlets containing seditious elements in interior areas.

"We have recorded statements from the complainant who lodged the police report as well as witnesses to facilitate the investigation.

"I will look for those who carry out the (secession) campaigns and printing sources from Internet and blogs to be spread to villagers and youths in the rural areas who may not know much on the issue.

"What these groups and concerned NGOs are doing is not good and seem to be poisoning the minds of the people, especially the youths, which could affect the State's stability in the aspect of economy, politics and harmony," he said.

Jalaluddin called on the public in Sabah to not be easily influenced by rumours related to secession which could pose a threat to national security and cause racial clashes in the country. He said police would gather evidence so that those responsible could be brought to court.