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Malaysia's national poet questioned over poetry recital

Police interviewed the 76-year-old poet for 90 minutes after he read his poem at the launch of a political rally.

Image: Facebook

MALAYSIA’S POET laureate has been questioned by police under the country’s Sedition Act after reciting one of his poems in public.

A Samad Said, 76, recited his poem “Unggun Bersih” (“Net Camp”) at an event launching a political rally planned for 9 July and was brought to a police station for a 90-minute interrogation today, MalaysiaKini reports.

After meeting with police, the poet said his poetry was being treated as a weapon by the authorities and he can’t understand how it could be seen as a threat to national security.

Free Malaysia Today reports that the rally’s chairman S Ambiga was also taken for police questioning over her group’s plan to hold a rally early next month calling for electoral reform.

Ambiga refuses to apply for a police permit for the rally and criticised the arrest of other activists over the weekend, saying: “The authorities should try to engage us more, not threaten us.”

Malaysia has strict censorship laws, which cover a range of media including newspapers, television programmes and music videos.

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Listen to A Samad Said reading his poem with guitar accompaniment >

(Hat tip to @OceanClub for this story)

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