Photo via Malaysiakini
In case you missed it, Penang police raided two restaurants in Juru and Pulau Tikus over the weekend, and the owner is currently under investigation for using Communist-themed wallpaper to decorate her establishments.
The wallpaper, which has of course been removed by police, depicted drawings of late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, as well as caricatures of soldiers in communist uniform.
The case is being investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for making, publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public.
It’s also being probed under Section 47 of the Societies Act 1966, in which those found guilty face up to two years in prison or a maximum RM5,000 fine.
“We have opened an investigation paper for both cases, one here, and another in the Seberang Prai Tengah district. We have yet to call the 40-year-old restaurant owner in for questioning since she is under COVID-19 quarantine,” said State Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Rahimi Ra'ais.
The restaurant owner admitted that the artwork style was similar to that of communist propaganda posters but stressed the writings did not promote communism and were actually humorous culinary slogans.
“The text is not about promoting communism, it does not even touch the topic of communism. The content is all about food and our restaurant. When I started my own business, I decided to use this as a theme, but I really didn't expect that I would get in trouble with the law four years later,” she told Malaysiakini.
The owner, who was born and raised in Hunan, China, married a Malaysian and they decided to start a restaurant business together in 2016 in Penang, where they have settled, serving food from her birthplace.
If you remember your Malaysian history correctly, all communist-linked materials are banned in Malaysia due to our bitter memories with communist insurgency.
It’s understood that five employees were brought in for questioning since the raid, on whether they had been implanted with communist ideology.
Many are demanding strict action against the restaurant owner, with some calling for her husband’s citizenship to be stripped.
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by Kyle Roshen Jacob