Wednesday, 5 June, 2002

Malaysian opposition leader arrested

A Malaysian opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang, has been arrested after distributing pamphlets criticising Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
The police say they are investigating whether the material is seditious, but they have released Mr Lim on bail.
Mr Lim has criticised his arrest as unlawful and malicious.
He was in Ipoh 400 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur launching a campaign for his Democratic Action party to highlight its concern over the prime minister's declaration in September that the nation was an Islamic state.
Mr Lim says that according to the constitution, Malaysia is a secular country with Islam as the official religion.
He has voiced fears that non-Muslims could become second class citizens in an Islamic state. But Dr Mahathir had said that Malaysia was effectively already an Islamic state because the official religion is Islam and Muslims are subject to Islamic laws.