by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 18th May 1991:
DAP proposes a meeting of MPs from all parties concerned about human rights over the detention of Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan.
The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, has clarified that foreigners believed to be involved in the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia are not missionary groups, as mistakenly reported yesterday.
Tan Sri Haniff said that there are foreigners from two countries who are believed to be involved in the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia.
Statements by the top police officer in the country about foreigners “believed to be involved in the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia” is most unsatisfactory, as such speculative and ambiguous statements should never be made by him in the first place.
Two weeks ago, Tan Sri Haniff, in response to UMNO Youth statement, said that the police does not exclude the possibility that Zionist groups based in Australia are helping certain groups in Sabah to take Sabah out of Malaysia. He added however that up to then, the authorities had no firm evidence about it but such a possibility cannot be excluded altogether.
Malaysians must be outraged at such a statement. Why don’t the IGP say that the police does not exclude the possibility that Barisan Nasional elements such as from the Gerakan for instance are involved in the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia but up to the present stage, the police had no firm evidence?
The police should not be involved in speculative or conjectural statements on issues which have become the subject of protracted political conflict, especially involving the Barisan Nasional leadership.
The Police must be seen to be neutral, non-partisan and completely uninvolved in political disputes. It must be careful to ensure that when it gets entangled in such disputes, it must be able to convince the people that it is acting purely from a security angle, and is not using the security apparatus to further the political interests of the Barisan Nasional.
This is why the Police should either produce evidence of the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia, or it should not bandy such a plot of secession about and talk about arresting more people under the ISA.
So that the pecans in Sabah and Malaysia understand the true facts of the the position, the Inspector-General of Police should give a clear answer to the following three questions:
Firstly, does the Police have evidence that there is a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia;
Secondly, if the Police have such evidence, why is it unable to produce one lots of evidence in the past one year, although the Police had detained seven persons in this period?
Thirdly, does the Police have evidence that foreigners in two countries are involved in a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia?
Immediately after the arrest of Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan on Monday, the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, conceded in his public statement that the police had certain investigatory powers and he hoped that the investigations would be carried out ‘with complete professionalism’.
The DAP rejects the argument that the police have the powers under the ISA to arrest anyone they like for purposes of investigation for 60 days. To concede such police powers would mean a serious inroad and gross denial of the constitutional right of Malaysians to the liberty of the person, for it would mean the assertion of a police right for arrest of anyone for 60 days for purpose of investigation.
This is a dangerous theory which attacks the whole structure of constitutional guarantee of fundamental liberty, and which must be resisted and opposed by all Malaysians concerned about human rights.
DAP proposes that a meeting of all MPs from all political parties concerned about human rights should be convened over the detention of Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan and the dangerous new theory that the police has the right to arrest anyone for purpose of investigation for 60 days under the ISA.