The detention of Nurul Izzah Anwar, eldest daughter of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, was much talked about on social media on Tuesday where it was one of Twitter's top three trending topics in Malaysia, but the news received low-key coverage in most mainstream media.
The case was widely discussed on Twitter, with her name making it to the No. 2 trending topic in Malaysia on Tuesday afternoon. The term Sedition Act was also on the list of the country’s trending topics.
Some social media users tweeted about their happiness over her release on Tuesday and hailed her as the country's next and first female Prime Minister. "Nurul Izzah future Prime Minister of Malaysia,” user @Famet4u tweeted.
Nurul Izzah future Prime Minister of Malaysia
— famet4u (@Famet4u) March 17, 2015
Ms Nurul Izzah, a 34-year-old member of parliament, was arrested for sedition on Monday and held overnight over a recent parliamentary speech in which she slammed the judiciary for jailing her father.
A February ruling by the country’s highest court had upheld Anwar's sodomy conviction and sentenced him to five years in prison. Ms Nurul Izzah was released on Tuesday at 12.30pm, her lawyer said, after she gave a statement on the sedition probe.
Some netizens remarked on the “twists and turns” in her detention, noting that the police had released her on Tuesday morning only to have her return later to give a statement, before she was released on bail.
"So Nurul Izzah Anwar was arrested just to take her statement, then released, then arrested again??", user @iammushu questioned. But not all tweets were supportive of her.
So Nurul Izzah Anwar was arrested just to take her statement, then released, then arrested again??
— alif sutrisno (@iammushu) March 17, 2015
User @EzadHfizy wondered what all the fuss about her detention was about. "I dont know why certain people support Nurul Izzah just because she wear(s) tudung? she (has) done nothing to our country but (be an) attention seeker," he wrote.
I dont know why certain people support Nurul Izzah just because she wear tudung? she done nothing to our country but attention seeker.
— Ezad Hfizy (@EzadHfizy) March 17, 2015
On the mainstream news websites, The Malaysian Insider, The Star Online and Malay Mail Online were among the few that gave more prominent coverage to Ms Nurul Izzah’s detention and release, with a story on the front page of their websites.
The news coverage in most of Malaysian media on Tuesday was focused on the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA'15), which was attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak and other high-ranking ministers.
Coverage was also focused on a widely-anticipated move by the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia's (PAS) to table legislative amendments that would seek to implement hudud - or Islamic criminal law - in the state of Kelantan which it controls. PAS, along with Ms Nurul Izzah's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP), are members of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance.