By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Ipoh on Saturday, 5.7.1986:
Attorney-General had acted in a disgraceful fashion in repudiating the Penang State Legal Adviser’s assurance in court about stay of execution of Chambers and Barlow
The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, had acted in a most disgraceful manner in repudiating the solemn assurance given by the Penang State Legal Adviser, Shaari Yusuf, that there would be a stay of execution of the two Australians, Brian Geoffrey Chambers and John Kevin Barlow, until completion of pending court appeals.
Tan Sri Abu Talib gives the Malaysian public the impression that he is very keen to have Chambers and Barlow to be executed, without allowing the entire legal process to be exhausted.
Why can’t the Attorney-General allow Chambers and Barlow to exhaust whatever legal avenues they and their counsel have decied upon, before proceeding with any execution order, to convince not only Malaysians, but also Australians and the whole world that Attorney-General’s Chambers itself respect the rule of law the their Judiciary.
The Attorney-General should realise that ‘Justice should not only be done, but be seen to be done’. What has the Attorney-General or Malaysia to lose of Chambers and Barlow are allowed to pursue whatever legal appeals open to them. In fact, if Chambers or Barlow are still open to them and are executed to frustrate and stymie suoh legal appeals, Malaysia’s international image and standing will have a lot to lose.
Malaysia will be seen to be a ‘blood-thirsty’ nation, which could not allow Chambers and Barlow to fully exhaust whatever legal steps still
open to them, as advised by their counsel.
I call on the Attorney-General to take immediate steps of safeguard Malaysia’s honour and imave in the civilized comity of nation by ensuring that the death warrants issued against Chambers and Barlow are not carried out, until both had fully and finally exhausted their legal right and appeals.
Attorney-General should be charged for dereliction of duty if he could not charge the Sabah bombers, arsonists and rioters with more serious offences than as illegal assembly summon.
It has been reported from Kota Kinabalu that certain political party leader involved in illegal demonstrations during the Sabah anarchy in March would be charged in the magistrates’ count on July 14.
The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, should be charged with negligence and dereliction of duty if he could not charge the political leaders behind the 12-day anarchy in Sabah in March, with its spate of bomb blasts, arson and rioting killing five people and destroying over $10 million of property, as well as the Sabah bombers, arsonists and rioters with more serious offence than an illegal assembly summons.
I told Parliament in March that there was clearly a conspiracy to overcome and topple the Sabah State Government of Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, which is the high offence of treason under Section 121 B of the Penal Code, which provided that “Whoever compasses, imagines, invents or intends…. The overawing by means of criminal force or the show of criminal force the Government of Malaysia or of any State, shall be punished with imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.”
It is agreat shabe if all that the Attorney-General can invoke is an illegal assembly summons, which at maximum is a fine of $500 or a six- month jail sentence. Is this commensurate with the 12 days of lawlessness arson, bomb blasts and and rioting, killing five and destroying over $10 million of property? I will write a strong letter of protest to Tan Sri Abu Talib expressing the public’s consternation at the failure of the Attorney-General’s Chambers to uphold the rule of law in Sabah and Malaysia.