Netizen detained over tweet on RM70m vaccination management system

·2-min read
Netizen detained over tweet on RM70m vaccination management system
Netizen detained over tweet on RM70m vaccination management system

Police have arrested a netizen last night over a tweet about the RM70 million government budget to develop a system for the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme, which is allegedly fake news.

Lawyer Rajsurian Pillai said the 36-year-old sales personnel, whose Twitter account is Abah @ChairmanGLC famous for its posts critical of the government, was detained at the Kota Damansara police station.

He said the police then raided the man's house where they seized several electronic gadgets, including a handphone, a modem and a router. The suspect also had to surrender his Twitter account password to the authority.

His client is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) and under a one-day remand.

"He was taken before magistrate S Mageswary this morning. The police have asked for a four-day remand order, citing that they needed the time to investigate, record the statement, and document the suspect's fingerprints and photographs.

"However, we argued that he is not a flight risk and will not interfere in the investigation. The magistrate gave police a one-day remand, and he is expected to be released by 6pm today," said Rajsurian, who is representing the Twitter-famous netizen together with lawyer Adly Zulfadhly.

Dang Wangi district police chief Zainal Abdullah confirmed the arrest and said the investigation is being carried out by Bukit Aman.

"Please check with Bukit Aman, as the case is being investigated by the Classified Crimes Investigation Unit. They are only utilising the Dang Wangi lock-up to detain the suspect," Zainal told reporters in a WhatsApp group for Kuala Lumpur police and media this morning.

Rajsurian also said the father of four is being investigated following a report lodged by the Covid-19 Task Force (CITF) over his tweet alleging that MySejahtera did not get the RM70 million, which was said to have been allocated by the government to fund the online system that manages the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP).

Instead, the suspect claimed that the funding had gone to a system used to manage the AstraZeneca vaccine.

It is understood that the man's tweet was made on May 29, during a hype of criticisms against the government, particularly agencies that handle the NIP after many had bad experiences trying to register for the AstraZeneca vaccine.