by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, July 8, 1991:
Home Ministry should declare whether Jeffrey Kitingan has been formally detained for two years under ISA
I am gravely concerned by the statement by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohamed Noor, on Saturday claiming that the 38-year-old Ariffin Haji Hamid who was arrested under the Internal Security Act in Kota Kinabalu last Monday was being held in connection with the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia.
My concern arises from the following two reasons:
Firstly, the Police seems to be building up a public case for the formal detention of Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Sabah Foundation Director, whose 60-day interrogative custody expires in four days time.
Secondly, although the Home Ministry had not been able to produce a White Paper to substantiate its serious allegation of a conspiracy or plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia, the constant reference by top Police officers about such a plot seems designed to influence Malaysians to accept the police account at its face value that there was indeed such a treacherous plot without having to produce any evidence.
This is most unfair on the part of the Police, and makes a complete mockery of the fundamental principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Police treating the so-called Sabah plot to secede from Malaysia as psychological warfare rather than as a strictly security problem
I get the impression that the Police seems to be engaged in a psychological warfare with the Sabah leaders on the so-called plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia, rather than handling it as a strictly security problem producing proof of its existence to convince Sabahans as well as Malaysians.
The people of Sabah and Malaysia want to know whether the Police are playing politics on this issue, as a proxy for the Federal Government in its running battle against the Sabah PBS leaders.
This is unhealthy and undesirable as it not the role of the Police to get involved in political dispute and controversies.
How can the top Police officers continue to talk about a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia for more than a year, when they have not been able to produce one iota of evidence except to detain six Sabahans without trial under the Internal Security Act?
If the Police has evidence of a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia, then the Police must charge the persons involved in court to give them a chance to defend themselves and to satisfy the Malaysian public and the world that the Police has some semblance of evidence for its talk of Sabah secession plot for the past year.
In this connection, I understand that one of the Sabahans detained under the ISA. Albinus Yudah, is seriously ill. The DAP calls for the immediate release of Albinus Yudah so that he could get the best possible medical treatment for his serious illness.
The Home Ministry should declare whether it has decided to formally detain Jeffrey Kitingan for two years under the ISA and to sent him to the Kamunting Detention Centre. From my personal experience of two ISA detentions and other cases, I know that the Police would have already decided well before the final week of the 60-day period whether to formally detain Jeffrey Kitingan for two years.
In other words, the Ministry has already made its decision whether to formally detain Jeffrey under the ISA for two years or not.