Malaysian artist arrested for allegedly insulting queen

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Kuala Lumpur

A Malaysian artist has been arrested for allegedly insulting the queen by posting a satirical playlist online, police said, fuelling concerns about a widening crackdown on freedom of expression.

Fahmi Reza, also an activist, is best known for a cartoon of Najib Razak depicted as a clown that became a symbol of protest before the ex-leader’s scandal-hit regime lost power in 2018.

He was detained late Friday over a playlist he posted on Spotify which allegedly insulted Malaysia’s queen, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah, police said.

It featured a portrait of the royal and 101 songs, nearly of all which included the word “jealously”, senior police official Huzir Mohamed said in a statement.

It came after a storm of criticism online after someone raised questions about the royal family and coronavirus vaccines, and the queen reportedly responded “Are you jealous?”.—APP

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