Has NBI lost its teeth since its transfer to the A.G.’s Chambers

Speech by Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, on the Ministry of Law in the Dewan Rakyat on 7th December, 1976.

Has NBI lost its teeth since its transfer to the A.G.’s Chambers

The transfer of the National Bureau of Investigations from the Prime Minister’s Department early this year to the Ministry of Law and A.G.’s Department was seen as a downgrading of the NBI. And what happened these 12 months since, the A.G’s Chambers has only confirmed these conclusions.

In the previous 12 months not a single shark has been charged in court. This has been a particularly good year for the corrupt in high places, although is started with a lot of them suffering considerable fright. This was because at the end of last year, and at the beginning of this year, I especially with the assumption of P.M.’s office by Dato Hussein Onn, there was expectation that there would be a determined drive against corruption, especially corruption in high public places.

In fact, in his first few months in office; the Prime Minister spoke strongly about the imperative need to-fight corruption. He even took the occasion to talk about corruption in high public places when he spoke it a drugs meeting.

But somewhere along the line, the fervour and the atmosphere against corruption evaporated.

Instead, if we follow the public statements and positions taken by the UMNO Youth, led by Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar, it would appear that given the power, the UMNO Youth under Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar would like to abolish the NBI altogether.

All over the country,corruption has become even more rampant than before. In Malacca, for instance, applications for sub-division of land into housing lots was frozen on grounds that the whole matter was being reviewed by a sub-committee, which itself was awaiting the result of a Master Plan study of Malacca.

The Master Plan study of Malacca has hardly got off the ground, nor has the sub-committee to review the whole question of land-subdivision completed its study, but in the meantime, housing developers whose applications have got stuck were told by middlemen sent by an Executive Councillor that for a price, their applications can be passed. At first the asking was $200,000. One application was passed by the State Executive Council in August this year, after $50,000 had changed hands.The DAP State Assemblyman for Tranquerah, Sdr. Chan Teck Chan, had personally reported this corrupt deal involving a Malacca State Executive Councillor to the NBI, Malacca but nothing has transpired.

The government should be more tough in its fight against corruption in high public places, for corruption can never be brought under control if corruption in high places are allowed unchecked.

There are strong powerful voices who oppose the fight or campaign against corruption, especially corruption in high public places, on the ground that that this would benefit the communists.

This is the Voice of the enemies of Malaysia. What would benefit communists is not the fight against corruption but allowing corruption to ride rampant. Those who oppose the campaign to bring to book the corrupt in high public places are the defenders and protectors of corruption, and are the real enemies of the people.

Call on A.G. to investigate into Dato Asri’s statement that Christianity is one of the three enemies of Malaysia, as to whether this is an offence under the Sedition Act.

The Attorney-General is the guardian of laws in the country, and he should be impartial in the discharge of his duties.

In this connection, I wish to refer to a Utusan Malaysia report of 2nd August 1976, reporting a speech by the PAS President and Minister of Land and Regional Development, when officiating a delegates’ meeting of the Padang Rengas Branch of PAS.

This is the relevant paragraph.

“Menurutnya negara sekarang menghadapi tiga musuh yang di satu masa nanti akan bersatu untuk menghancurkan rakyat dan pemerintah yang ada.

“Musuh-musuh tersebut, kata Datuk Dr, Haji Mohd. Asri, pertama: Kristianity yang cuba menukarkan kehidupan rakyat dari fahaman timur kepada fahaman lain melalui kebudayaan sopan santun dan identiti yang lain.”

I am not a Christian, but I share the concern that Malaysian Christians feel towards such a statement which virtually branded all Malaysian Chris¬tians as enemies of the country.

This clearly goes against the Constitutional guarantee in Clause 11, which provides that “every person has the right to profess and practise his religion”.

This statement has very disturbing implications, which will go a long way to put the clock of nation building back by decades if it is not scotched.

In fact, together with the recent announcement by the Attorney General that he intends to extend Muslim law to cover non-Muslims, considerable anxiety among the people have been created.

I ask the Attorney General to investigate as to whether Dato Asri’s statement comes under the Sedition Act of 1948 which defines “seditious tendency” as a tendency to, among other things, to “raise discontent or dis¬content or disaffection amongst the inhabitatants of Malaysia” or to “promote feelings of illwill and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia.”

The mystery of Botak Chin

Finally, I wish to refer to the mystery of Botak Chin. Since his highly-¬publicised arrest five months ago, and his production before the Sessions Court and subsequent remand to date, I am now told that the government proposes to drop the case in court against him, and detain him instead under the Internal Security Act.

I have been told that he has made a confession where he said he had paid $76,000 during the last Chinese New Year to the police to avoid being captured, and that everytime he left his hideout in Kepong his lieutenants would inform the police the number of the car he used and he would be waved through the check-point.

I ask the Minister concerned to clarify this matter.