A leading member of Malaysian opposition has been arrested on charges under the Official Secrets Act after he made revelations about the ongoing 1 Malaysia Development Berhard (1MDB) corruption probe.
Rafizi Ramli, vice-president of the People's Justice Party (PKR), which was founded by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, was arrested outside the Malaysian parliament on Tuesday, reports said.
He was slapped with charges of wrongful communication of classified documents under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) of 1972.
Rafizi had allegedly distributed a page from the Auditor-General's classified report on state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhard (1MDB), Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said, TODAy reported.
In March, Rafizi, who is also the secretary general of Parti Kedilan Rakyat (PKR), said the financial scandal at 1MDB had affected the Armed Forces Fund Board's (LTAT) ability to make timely gratuity payments, a charge IMDB vehemently denies.
"He was stopped in front of me. There were around two to three police cars and a lot of police officers," Raja Kamarul Bahrain said.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said Rafizi's arrest was arbitrary and unlawful and called for his immediate release.
"Such a drastic measure by the police only serves to reinforce the impression that the rule of law is standing on its head, and the country's organs of power are more interested in shielding the political masters rather than the citizens," he said in a statement.
Opposition parties and leaders have united under former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in launching a strident political attack on Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is reeling from multiple financial scandals.
The opposition says Najib abused his power and tried to scupper an investigation into the corruption at 1 Malaysia Development Berhard.
The prime minister is also under the scanner after reports emerged that millions of dollars from the state funds might have been diverted into his personal bank accounts.
Further dwindling Najib's standing, the latest revelations in the Panama papers showed that his family had used the services of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in hiding wealth.