Man behind ‘Royal family sucks’ tweet to be released: lawyer

The May 31 tweet by Twitter user Aiman Hakim. Background photo: Istana Negara/Twitter
The May 31 tweet by Twitter user Aiman Hakim. Background photo: Istana Negara/Twitter

An activist who was arrested yesterday over a tweet that was deemed offensive to Malaysian royal families is expected to be out today, according to his lawyer. 

Aiman Hakim, 27, is expected to walk free no later than 6pm today after spending a night in remand at the Dang Wangi police station. Police were investigating him under the Communications and Multimedia Act over a May 31 tweet that criticized Malaysia’s sultans and their families. 

“Aiman Hakim will be freed today before 6pm,” his lawyer Rajsurian Pillai told reporters today. The police had originally asked to detain Aiman for four days but the magistrate only allowed him to be in custody for a day. 

The activist, who goes by the handle @AimanHkim, had also surrendered his phone and had his Twitter account suspended, upon checks by Coconuts. His phone was seized for “forensic analysis” to determine who had published the tweet, according to his lawyer. 

The police were investigating him under Sedition Act 1948 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 relating to improper use of network facilities. 

The offensive tweet had said: “9 idolized Malay rulers. No function, they just know greed (9 Berhala raja-raja Melayu. Tiada function, hanya tau mentekedaghah.) Royal family sucks.” 

Aiman, who previously participated in the Blackout 505 series of 15 rallies against alleged electoral fraud in 2013, was not the only one who has run afoul of the law over social media posts targeting people in positions of power. 

Recently, famed activist Fahmi Reza was arrested for posting artworks and putting together a playlist taking a jab at the queen. 

Student activist Wong Yan Ke was arrested for allegedly obstructing the duties of public servants last year after he filmed police officers raiding a fellow activist’s home in Petaling Jaya.

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