i’m sure by now you you have read about this from many blogs here and there. nat (picture left) was detained at 4.45pm yesterday, thus beginning that time many bloggers had started blogging about it. i can’t… yet because i was not free, not at home. so this is kind of late news… well i still got to blog on it. i had met nat (his blog jelas.info) before at the BUM gathering in may this year. he, with some others, was in the organising committee with me. i found him to be a nice and friendly man, easy to talk with, no airs about him. glad that i had made a new friend in him. (however i am sad that i had lost an old friend just because of a difference of opinion).
OSA probe: Police detains PKR webmaster.
A PKR information bureau staff, who helps maintain the opposition party website, was taken for questioning by three plainclothes police officers this afternoon.
Nathaniel Tan, 26, was picked up from the office of a non-governmental organisation Yayasan Aman in Petaling Jaya.
According to witnesses, the policemen did not provide any reasons as to why Tan was asked to go with them.
They said the policemen entered the office at about 4.45pm and requested for Tan to follow them to the Bukit Aman police headquarters for questioning.
The policemen also requested that Tan bring his notebook computer with him. It is believed that he is being questioned on matters relating to certain postings on the Internet.
Tan, a Harvard University graduate, has been involved in the maintenance of the opposition party’s website and is also a prominent blogger.
According to a press statement by PKR, Tan also works in the Foundation for the Future as the secretary to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim who chairs the foundation.
His lawyer Latheefa Koya told malaysiakini that according to a special branch officer known only as inspector William, there were no records of Tan being brought to Bukit Aman.
“We have also checked with Malaysian Control Centre (MCC) which is under the Bukit Aman to no avail. Instead, they advised us to make a police report,” she said.
In an immediate response, PKR information chief Tian Chua said the incident was an attempt to intimidate party workers.
“This is very shocking and incredible that they are using this sort of intimidation tactics. We are extremely outraged,” said Tian Chua, who is Tan’s boss.
Tian Chua is currently being investigated for a blog posting, which was claimed to have violated the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
The posting contained a photo montage purportedly depicting Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak dining with his political advisor Abdul Razak Baginda and slain Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
A police report has been filed on Tan’s "kidnapping" this evening.
Police confirm Tan’s detention
At 10pm, more than six hours after Tan’s disappearance, the police finally confirmed that he was indeed being held at Bukit Aman.
His family and a group of 20 supporters have gathered outside the police headquarters to press for his release. A number of them were seen holding ‘Free Nathaniel’ placards.
According to the police, Tan will be held for 24 hours by the Cyber Crime Unit in Jalan Dato Onn to facilite investigation under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Tan was later transferred to Kuala Lumpur’s Dang Wangi police station and is expected to be brought before a magistrate for further remand at 4.30pm tomorrow.
His supporters are holding a vigil outside the police station. Tian Chua, who was present tonight, lambasted the government of abusing its powers to curb freedom of speech.
It is not known exactly what OSA offence Tan is being investigated for. The police have also earlier gone to Tan’s house to seize his desktop computer.
Anyone found guilty of committing an offence under the Act is punished with a mandatory jail sentence of least one year to a maximum of seven years. imprisonment.
According to international rights group Amnesty International, the OSA provides "vaguely worded definitions" of what constitutes an official secret.
"It gives the authorities wide powers to curb and impose penalties on the unauthorised publication of any information in the hands of the government, no matter how insignificant or whether such information is already in the public domain."
some random pick from bloggers who blog on this matter:
elizabeth wong – nat tan nabbed by special branch
susan lone – malaysian police/special branch nabs blogger/anwar staff
jeff ooi – spirited away away by UFO,… ended up in orange t-shirt, police cells
ktemoc – police at it again with draconian intimidation of bloggers
rocky’s bru – bloggers arrested in malaysia?
lengthy but very good post from john lee – my boss, nathaniel tan, martyred by the special branch
lim kit siang – abdullah should intervene to ‘free nat now’ so that 50th merdeka anniversary would not start off infamously.
from nat’s sister, cheryl – nat been taken to bukit aman
and finally of course from nat’s girlfriend, soon li tsin @ polytikus
also from PKR’s website (it is in bahasa malaysia) and see the ‘free nat’ and ‘say no to intimidation’ poster created by mob1900.