Bakaq released! Abu Bakar Mohd Rashid, 50, who runs the blog Penarik Beca, has been released by the police. He walked out of the CCID hq in KL about 5.30pm, nearly 40 hours after he had been picked up from his home on Wednesday night.
The blogger said he was being investigated him under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act, which deals with the act of republishing materials which are seditious in nature.
The material in question is the police crest that accompanies his posting Kenapa Tak Saman Raja Petra? (which I am not going to reproduce here for obvious reasons).
Bakaq told me he will stand by the contents of his posting. "I defended my posting during the police interrogation and I will defend it again and again".
But of the crest, Bakaq expressed regret.The police crest has a tiger at the centre; in the crest that Bakaq republished in his blog, the tiger is replaced by the image of a dog. The word "Allah" (in Arabic) on the top right hand corner of the crest has been replaced by "$" and the word "Muhammed" (also in Arabic) by "C4"."I would like to say that I regret putting the crest there. It was wrong, a stupid mistake. I would like to tender my sincere apology to the whole police force.
"I defended and still defend what I wrote but since the first moment they hauled me in, I've said without any reservation that I regretted having copied-and-pasted the image."
Bakaq said he intends to bring down the image (but not the posting) from his blog, "but I don't have my computer". The cops took away his desktop, sound box, etc when they picked him up.
p.s. The National Alliance of Bloggers and the Centre of Policy Initiatives issued a joint press statement this afternoon calling for the release of the blogger. That press statement has now been overtaken by events, but my gratitude to Dr Lim Teck Ghee and my bro Desi for the initiative. Click here to read the press release.
I would also like to thank Bakaq. His unreserved regret about republishing the defaced crest has compelled me to review my earlier stand on how we should/should not treat the crest.