A Malaysian independent artist has landed in hot soup recently when his artwork was ‘investigated’ by police for sedition. He was summoned by the police for questioning at the Serdang district police station recently after his ‘artwork’ was printed on t-shirts and sold at the price hike rally in Dataran Merdeka during the New Year’s Eve celebration.
The artist is known as Eddy Gordo from the Yellow Boutique where he is expected to be charged with sedition. His real name is Mohd Zullraidy Ahmad Tarmizi and if he is found guilty, he could face a prison term between 15 and 20 years under the Penal Code together with the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act or SOSMA.
Mandeep Singh, the committee member of Club Bangsar Utama said that the move was unacceptable as the artist was expressing his art and that printing and selling t-shirts would not have threatened democracy in any way. He said that the police’s action is an act of harassment against the freedom of expression provided in art. The artist’s passport has been reportedly confiscated by the police, together with 22 t-shirts from his home late last year. He has since been released on bail.