Undi18: Arrest of students over SPM clip already ruined them, should’ve stayed within school jurisdiction

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Youth civil society organisation Undi18 today slammed the heavy-handed arrest of two 18-year-olds for a viral video allegedly insulting the SPM history paper, saying the move affected their examination.

The group criticised the action of the teacher who lodged the police report, saying it was unfair as the boys were still school students and had little exposure to the improper use of social media.

“This issue will indirectly disturb the focus and emotions of the students who are still sitting the SPM exam,” it said in a statement today.

It said the matter should have just been handled by the school disciplinary board and its guidance and counselling units, which could have advised the boys as part of preventative measures rather than involving the police.

“Even so, this has already happened and surely had a deep impact on the mental and emotional state of the students involved who may in the future be more afraid to express their freedom of expression,” it added.

Undi18 also called for Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998, which the boys are being investigated under, to be repealed.

Undi18 also pointed out that the video was just a joke among peers to relieve the pressure from an examination paper that must have been to them quite difficult to answer and did not threaten public order.

Yesterday, two 18-year-olds were reportedly arrested for a video they had made which went viral in which they reportedly expressed their dissatisfaction with the history paper in the SPM examination and insulted Singapore.

The case is being investigated under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1995 and Section 233 of the CMA.

Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1995 says that any insulting behaviour, which includes the use of insulting words, intended or likely to breach the peace is liable to a fine of not more than RM100.

S233 of the CMA criminalises the use of network facilities or network services by a person to transmit communication deemed offensive.

Those found guilty of this offence can be punished with a maximum fine of RM50,000, or a jail term of up to one year, or both.