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Sedition charge against Malaysian Indian lawmaker

A court in Malaysia today pressed a sedition charge against ethnic Indian lawmaker Karpal Singh for "threatening to sue" Perak state's royal constitutional head, Sultan Azlan Shah.

world Updated: Mar 17, 2009 13:39 IST

A court in Malaysia on Tuesday pressed a sedition charge against ethnic Indian lawmaker Karpal Singh for "threatening to sue" Perak state's royal constitutional head, Sultan Azlan Shah.

The move came a day after Singh's lawmaker-son Gobind Singh Deo was suspended for a year by Dewan Rakyat (parliament) for alleging that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was involved in the murder of a Mongolian businesswoman.

The father and son belong to the opposition. The father heads the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and was adjudged a "prisoner of conscience" for fighting policies of Malaysia's long-time Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Karpal Singh, who represented himself, "claimed trial to the charge under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Sedition Act", after the charge was read to him, Star Online said.

The prosecution team of Kamaludin Mohammed Said and Hanafiah Zakaria requested that the case be transferred to the High Court.

The request was granted by Sessions Judge Mohamad Sekeri Mamat after Karpal Singh said he had no objection.

Judge Mohamad Sekeri also allowed a bail of RM2,000 in one surety. The veteran politician and lawyer was served with a notice Monday to present himself at the court hours after his second son and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo was suspended from parliament for a year.

Gobind Singh's suspension was effective from Monday.

The Dewan Rakyat had on Monday voted for a motion to have him suspended from parliament for alleging that Deputy Prime Minister Razak was involved in a murder case and for contempt against the speaker.

Karpal Singh had allegedly threatened to sue the Sultan of Perak state Sultan Azlan Shah for acting beyond his powers and consenting to the appointment of a new Perak state chief minister.

The government of the opposition-ruled Perak state collapsed following defections.

Since he criticised the royal chief, Karpal Singh has received death threats, mail carrying bullets and was sought to be roughed up by some youths just outside the parliament complex some days ago.