Saudi Arabia has once again made headlines for its strict stance against government criticism, as a Malaysian man, Saifuddin Amri, finds himself in trouble after expressing his views on social media.
Saifuddin’s arrest has prompted a plea for assistance from the Malaysian government and stirred a debate on free speech in the kingdom.
The ordeal came to light when a Twitter user, known as “Ustaz Addien,” shared the distressing news on the platform, claiming to have received information from Saifuddin’s family. Ustaz Addien passionately appealed to the Malaysian government, including Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and Foreign Affairs Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir, to intervene on Saifuddin’s behalf.
Malaysian man working in Saudi has been jailed for his tweet criticizing Saudi Arabia
Saifuddin, who allegedly resided alone in Saudi Arabia while his wife and children remained in Malaysia, found himself in hot water due to a now-deactivated tweet that criticized various aspects of life in the kingdom. The controversial tweet was captured by vigilant netizens before his account was taken down.
In the tweet, Saifuddin reportedly took issue with the vice activities he claimed to have witnessed in the country, such as the prevalence of entertainment, prostitution, and illicit alcohol on the black market. He also made allegations against many preachers in Saudi Arabia, suggesting they were affiliated with the “Madkhalis” gang, which is believed to be loyal to the country’s rulers or monarchs. It is speculated that his outspoken views may have cost him his job.
As of the time of writing, the Foreign Affairs Minister has not issued a statement verifying the claims surrounding Saifuddin’s arrest. The situation has put them under pressure to respond to the calls for intervention on behalf of the detained Malaysian national.
It is no secret that Saudi Arabia has a reputation for its strict and unyielding laws when it comes to criticizing the government and its leaders. Detractors face severe consequences, including imprisonment.