Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, on Monday, 1st, March, 1982.
Urgent cable to Acting Prime Minister urging immediate inquiry and stern disciplinary action including court martial against soldiers involved in rampage assaulting and molesting tappers at Batu 66, Mengkarak on February 26, 1982
I have today sent an urgent cable to Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, urging an immediate inquiry and stern disciplinary action including court martial against a platoon of soldiers who went on a rampage last Friday at Batu 66, Mengkarak, Pahang, assaulting and molesting rubber tappers in their holdings, including, women and a 13-years-old boy.
At least 14 of the victims had lodged police reports of assault with rifle butts and barrels, kicks slaps and abuses and molestation of women tappers in demanding that they strip themselves.
The New Straits Times today reported that the security forces had two clashed with a communist group in the Temerloh district on Thursday and Friday and that they are in pursuit of the communist group.
Such incidents can be no justification for a breakdown of military discipline and utter lawlessness, where the innocent public are treated as public enemies on sight, to be assaulted and brutalised at will. This is because such behaviour by the security forces can only turn the public against them, sowing the ground for greater government alienation.
In view of the urgency to restore public confidence in the security forces as a responsible and disciplined force in the Mengkarak area in particular and in Pahang in general, I have cabled to the Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, for immediate action to publicly dissociate the government from any misuse of power by the security forces or any form of military indiscipline.
My cable to the Acting Prime Minister reads:
“YAB Datuk Musa Hitam,
Acting Prime Minister,
Urge immediate inquiry and stern disciplinary action including court martial against soldiers who went on a rampage last Friday at Batu 66, Mengkarak, Pahang, assaulting and molesting rubber tappers including women and a 13-year-old boy.
A tapper, Yap Soon Kuan, a Rela member, was seriously injured and still is in the Mentakab hospital.
The soldiers assaulted tappers, ordering them to strip themselves, further assaulting women when they refused and when tappers showed their curfew passes, identify cards and Rela cards, the soldiers threw them away.
The military rampage has greatly undermined public confidence in the security forces and in the public interest, urge YAB Datuk to publicly dissociate government from such military indiscipline.
At least 14 of the victims of rampage already lodged police reports. I am prepared to give every available assistance in the inquiry and to restore public confidence in the security forces.
Lim Kit Siang
Parliamentary Opposition Leader”