Letter: artists condemn police investigation of Samad Said for sedition

Malaysian artists and writers of all disciplines and ethnicities unite to condemn the police investigation of Sasterawan Negara (National Laureate) A. Samad Said, 76, for alleged sedition.

Samad was called by the police on 25 June, 2011, for reading a poem at the Bersih 2.0 launch on 19 June. He was told he was being investigated under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 27(5) of the Police Act 1967 relating to unlawful assembly.

Artists and writers are appalled that the reading of a poem can be considered seditious. In the context of the many arrests that have been recently carried out on sympathisers of the Bersih 2.0 rally planned for 9 July, we believe that the investigation on Datuk Samad amounts to an act of harassment and intimidation.

This is something that we, as citizens of Malaysia, do not condone.

We the undersigned artists and writers hereby state the following:

1)    That every citizen has the right to speak up and to take a stand on issues of national interest. Malaysian citizens have the right to freedom of speech and the right to lawful assembly.

2)    That the recent harassments/arrests will not prevent Malaysian artists from continuing to support the principles of freedom of speech and expression.

3)    That the arrests will also not stop Malaysian artists from creating work that challenges the status quo and points out corruption, injustice, unfairness and other practices that undermine democracy.

4)    That freedom of speech or expression has been argued by some to have its limits in a plural society such as Malaysia’s, but those limits do not include the arbitrary intimidation and arrest of individuals for expressing themselves, however offensive to some.

5)    That Datuk A Samad Said is a nationally respected and internationally recognised public figure who has provided leadership and guidance for the benefit of many.

6)    That the call for ‘Free and Fair Elections’ is a legitimate and reasonable claim and we support it unreservedly.

We artists and writers call for a complete STOP to these tactics of intimidation against Datuk A. Samad Said and all others who want a better Malaysia.

Undersigned,

1.             PERSATUAN SENI RUMAH AIR PANAS

2.            FIVE ARTS CENTRE

3.            THE JUMPING JELLYBEANS SDN BHD

4.             RUMAH ANAK TEATER

5.            INSTANT CAFÉ THEATRE

6.             THE PARKING PROJECT

 

 

1.            Kee Thuan Chye

2.            Farish A Noor

3.             Anne James

4.            Marion D’Cruz

5.             Nur Hanim Khairuddin

6.             Wong Hoy Cheong

7.            Rahmat Haron

8.            Chai Chang Hwang

9.            Yap Sau Bin

10.            Eddin Khoo

11.            Janet Pillai

12.            Fahmi Fadzil

13.            Dr. Siti Zainon Ismail

14.            Mano Maniam

15.            Jo Kukathas

16.            Sharaad Kuttan

17.            Pyanhabib Rahman

18.            Yee  I-Lann

19.            Tengku Sabri Tengku Ibrahim

20.            Goh Lee Kwang

21.            Joe Kidd

22.            Hasnul Jamal Saidon

23.            Elizabeth Cardosa

24.            Lim Kok Yoong

25.            Chuah Chong Yong

26.            Ismail Hashim

27.            Lee Kian Seng

28.            Sharon Chin

28.            Ng Seksan

30.            Chong Kim Chiew

31.            Koh Cheng Kuan

32.            Chan Kok Hooi

33.            Bernice Chauly

34.            Loo Hoe Tiang

35.            Amir Zainorin

35.            Abdullah Jones

36.            Dr. Carmen Nge

37.            Goh Sze Ying

38.            Tshiung Han See

39.            Bebek

40.            Adeline Ooi

41.             Beverly Yong

42.             Au Sow Yee

43.             Jason Tan

44.            Iskandar Razak

45.             Wong Pey Yu

46.            Wong Eng Leong

47.            Shanthini Venugopal

48.            Charlene Rajendran

49.            Shieko Reto

50.            Ezrena Marwan

51.            Rachel Jena

52.            Chi Too

53.            Daniel Chong

54.            Zedeck Siew

55.            Al-Jafree Md. Yusop

56.            Nusratnajwani Bt. Mohammad

57.            Tey Tat Sing

58.            Ili Farhana

59.            Roopesh Sitharan

60.            Low Yi Chin

61.            Tan Ru Yi

62.            Leong Ching Foon

63.            Tan Ming Jie

64.            Nyu Ka Jin

65.            Ise Aka Roslisham Hashim

66.            Hamidon Bin Ahmed

67.            Christina Kang

68.            Shaffiq Ahmad

69.            Lim Li Wen

70.            Tan Hui Koon

71.            Tan Sei Hon

72.            JC Wong

73.            Dr. Goh Beng Lan

74.            Lui Thai Hong

75.            Munkao

76.            Chifong Foo

77.            Chang Fee Ming

78.            Gan How Ming

79.            Patricia Leong

80.            Meor Khairol Nizam Bin Meor Nazro

81.            Phuan Thai Meng

82.            Chai Chik Ying

83.            Suzanne Chin Suk Ching

84.            Jason Lai

85.            Ng Ee Ching @ Candice

86.            Tc Liew

87.            Suzy Sulaiman

88.            Cheng Yen Pheng

89.            Ahmad Syakir

90.            Melissa Lin

91.            Chong Wu Ling

92.            Airmaz

93.            Muhammad Tarzizi

94.            Yin Shao Loong

95.            John Rock

96.            Linus Chung

97.            Snow Ng

98.            Loh Yeen Teng

99.            Juria Toramae

100.            Koh Nguang How

101.            Leong Tzu Ann

102.            Ayisha Rahman

103.            Nor Akmar Nahar

104.            Annabelle Ng

105.            Hipodamus

106.            Mark Teh

107.             Marzuki Mahbob

108.            Mohd Aizat Ahmad Tarmizi

109.            Ronnie Khoo

110.            Saiful Razman

111.            Eva McGovern

112.            Justin Lim

113.            Vincent Leong

114.            Joseph Foo

115.             Simon Soon

116.            Govin Ruben

117.             Gan Chin Lee

118.             Ayam Fared

119.             Wening Cheah

120.             Matotytee

121.             Valentine Willie

122.             Thor Kah Hoong

123.             Foo Kee How

124.             Carolyn Joan Lau

125.             Gan Siong King

126.             Sukania Venugopal

127.             Foo Fei Ling