PRESS STATEMENT, 8 JULY 2011

Artists condemn the police investigation of Datuk A. Samad Said, National Laureate for reciting a poem during the Bersih 2.0 launch on 19 June 2011 at the Chinese Assembly Hall.

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

Datuk 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