Update @ 1721 hrs: This is probably about a couple of hours old by now, but worth mentioning. Nat has been remanded for four days, beginning today, until Tuesday, to "assist" in the investigations of an alledged violation of an Official Secret that was supposedly posted, via a comment, on Nat's blog, jelas.info (via Cheryl's blog). Jeff Ooi's Screenshots posted the news at 1551 hrs today. At least we know that Nat's okay... as for the real why... Walski smells rodents - rodents brandishing ancient wavy-bladed weapons... More updates to come.
Update @ 1624 hrs: Thanks to Xpyre for the head's up. Things are not looking too good. From Cheryl's blog (Cheryl is Nat's sister), there seems to still be uncertainty as to exactly what Nat is being held for. OSA or not OSA... that is the question. The courtroom was cleared of everyone except for the lawyers and the accused, so we won't know anything until the proceedings are completed. It's looking more and more like police harassment for political reasons... in Walski's view anyway. Any aspiration for Malaysia to progress away from draconian intimidation, as of this very point in time, seems just wishful thinking...
The story so far, as updated on the Malaysiakini report (Walski gives you the condensed version, and they also have a video of the vigil from last night):
Nat gets arrested at 1630 hrs yesterday, Friday July 13, 2007, without being told why he's being taken in, by 3 plainclothes policemen. A frantic goose chase ensues for the next 6 hours, and finally at 2230 hrs, confirmation is given that he'd been hauled in to assist with investigations by the Cyber Crime Unit. It is not clear, however, for what investigations, although there is speculation that it is linked either to the photo-montage pertaining to the ongoing Altantunya case, or to the spat between the IGP and deputy minister Datuk Johari Baharum. What is known, though, is that Nat's detainment was the result of a police report that was filed against him.
According to Eli Wong, Nat can be held only until 1630 hrs today (24-hour remand), at which time he must be released, or brought to a Magistrate for a further remand of up to 10 days. Furthermore, she has listed a few things that you (yes, YOU reading this) can do - check out Eli's post on the details.
(positive citizen action, and more, in the full post)
Among them, is to make it known to the police about how you, as a citizen, feel. Eli's provided a list of numbers on her post that you can sms, or call, or fax. Walski's advice: be civil, and show the police that we're not a bunch of angry hooligans. We are simply enraged citizens, angry at the heavy handed approach to what can be seen as selective law enforcement.
That said, according to the reports Walski's read, there are members of PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police Force) that have cooperated and provided pertinent information, within the bounds of their responsibility to the public. These (few) officers of the law are the ones that help maintain the public's respect for the police. What little of it that's left.
This latest incident, in Walski's view, is all the more reason why the citizens of Malaysia should renew the call for the setting up of the IPCMC. Remember the IPCMC? You know, the elusive watchdog body recommended by a royal commission and committed to by what's-his-name. How long ago was that? Walski forgets.
Every civil society needs check and balances to ensure that no one's rights get trampled upon. While the police's job is to maintain law and order, their job cannot be achieved by resorting to lawlessness and disorderly conduct. That's what the IPCMC is for - to ensure that the police do thei job within the bounds of the law. No one - and Walski repeats - no one, is above the law.
In any case, enough of the Walskitorializing - let's hope and pray for Nat's immediate release.