Asia

Malaysian politician's video leads to sedition charge

This file photo taken on September 19, 2008 shows Malaysian opposition politician Teresa Kok holding a news conference Image copyright AFP

A Malaysian opposition politician has been charged with sedition after appearing in a satirical video.

The film angered a number of Muslim groups for poking fun at a range of political issues.

Teresa Kok, of the Democratic Action Party, pleaded not guilty when she appeared in court in Kuala Lumpur.

The member of parliament claims the case is politically motivated, intended to undermine Malaysia's alliance of opposition parties.

'Political darkness'

The video, called "Onederful Malaysia", was released in January and depicts Ms Kok as a talk show host with three guests.

One section in the film suggests Malaysia is a dangerous country because of kidnappings on the island of Borneo.

Some Muslim groups reacted angrily, saying the video insulted the country's leaders and Islam.

They held a protest against Ms Kok and offered 1,200 ringgit ($370, £220) to anyone who slapped the politician. The police received more than 300 complaints about the film.

But the politician dismissed suggestions that the video was offensive.

"Prosecuting me over a simple political satire not only shows how hollow and insincere is the prime minister's promise to repeal the Sedition Act, it also shows the extent of political darkness that has descended on this nation," she told the Associated Press.

Ms Kok said her prosecution - and charges against other politicians - were an orchestrated attack on the opposition following good results in last year's general election.

Last month, the opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was sentenced to five years in prison after his acquittal on sodomy charges was overturned.

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