DAP calls on the Cabinet -to discuss the Attorney-General’s handling of the Rahim case and theinjustice meted out to the 15-year-old girl and take all necessary measures to ensure that she is not victimised for Rahim’s downfall as Malacca Chief Minister and UMNO Youth Leader

Speech (Part 2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, October 25, 1.994 on -the 1994 supplementary estimates

DAP calls on the Cabinet -to discuss the Attorney-General’s handling of the Rahim case and theinjustice meted out to the 15-year-old girl and take all necessary measures to ensure that she is not victimised for Rahim’s downfall as Malacca Chief Minister and UMNO Youth Leader

The reply of the Law Minister, Datuk Hamid Albar on the Attorney-General’s has citing of the Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik case with regard to the allegation of statutory rape of an underaged schoolgirl and the injustice meted out to the 15-year-old girl is most unsatisfactory and unacceptable.

Hamid Albar had completely failed to address four by questions posed by the DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, the DAP IMP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh and myself – as well as other Opposition MPs in Dewan Rakyat yesterday:

Firstly, what is the relevance of the allegation that the 14 other men had sex relations with the 15-year-old schoolgirl to the issue as to whether Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik had committed statutory rape by having sex relations with her;

As I told the Deputy Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Abdul Kadair Sheikh Fadzir when he sought: my clarification yesterday, Rahim would have committed the offence of statutory rape if he had sex relations with the girl regardless of the truth or otherwise of the allegation that 14 other men had sex relations with her;

Secondly, if the background of the 15-year-old girl is regarded as relevant, why didn’t the Police investigate into the background of Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik which should be equally relevailt! Is the Attorney-General prepared to publicly reveal the background of Tan Sri Rahim Tamby and to let the public decide who has cot a more ‘colourful’ background?

Thirdly, what is the relevance of the girl’s pregnancy to the question as to whether Rahim had committed statutory rape?

Fourthly, why did the Attorney-General breach the legal maxim that ‘ Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done’ in being overprotective of Rahim while being very unfair to the 15-year-old girl.

Hamid Albar’s weak response was that the Attorney-General, Datuk Mohtar Abdullah only revealed about the allegation that the girl bad sex relations with 14 other men and about her pregnancy when he was pressed by the media.

However, why didn’t the Attorney-General reveal whether Rahim Tamby Cik had denied having sex with the girl, how many times the girl alleged Tan Sri Rahim had sex with her, although the Attorney-General was pressed by the media with these questions?

Why was the Attorney-General so willing to volunteer information about the girl but so ‘close-lipped’ when it came to Tan Sri Rahim Tammy Cik?

This is where the Attorney-General was overprotective of Rahim and was very unfair to the girl.

May be the answer why the Attorney-General was so unfair to the girl while being so overprotective of Rahim could be found in the remarks of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in Fukuoka, Japan yesterday when commenting on the reaction of the girl’s father to the Datuk Mohtar Abdullah’s revelations.

The Prime Minister said: “Saya ada membaca bahawa ayah budak itu agak march dengan Peguan Negara kerana mendedahkan kelakuan anaknya, tetapi yang membuat pendedahan, yang memulakannya, ialah budak itu sendiri.

“Sama ada dia (budak perempuan) membuatnya dengan rela hati atau dipujuk oleh orang Iain, tak kiralah. Tetapi pendeda¬han itu dibuat oleh budak itu sendiri.

“Jadi tak patutlah dianggap bahawa memalukan Rahim tidak mengapa, tapi memalukan budak itu tidak boleh.

“Kalau kita buat pada orang dan selepas itu kita terkena perkara yang sama, kita Irma tanggunglah.”

If the Prime Minister had not been incorrectly report, it would confirm what I said yesterday that the Government is now embarking on a vindictive, campaign to victimise and penalise the girl for causing the downfall of Rahim as Malacca Chief Minister and UMNO Youth Leader, although it was not the girl who initiated the police report or police investigations.

Hamill Albar said yesterday that there is ‘free press’ in Malaysia and the police commenced investigations based on police reports.

Only Hamill can believe in such ‘free press’ in Malay¬sia, while everybody knows that the press in Malaysia are ‘in chains’.

There is no doubt that no newspaper would have dared to carry any report of the allegation that Rahim had committed statutory rape with an underaged schoolgirl if the sources of such stories had not come from the highest political and govern¬ment levels – even higher than the Minister for Law himself!

I must refute the allegation by the Law Minister yesterday that the DAP is exploiting this issue by usingpolitics and not the law.

The DAP was initially accused by the Acting UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Nazri Tan Sri Aziz of being responsible for spreading the allegation about Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik having affair with an underaged schoolgirl and getting the story into the front pages of the newspapers.

Datuk Nazri is now wiser, but Hamid Albar does not seem to have become any wiser when he repeated such a baseless allegation – as more and more Malays have now realised that the
DAP does not view issues as a Malay, Chinese or Indian issue, but strictly from the perspectives of justice, humanity and truth and the standpoint of the interests of the people and country.

In Fukuoka, Mahathir said that “ada orang yang baling batu sembunyi tangan” untuk menjatuhkan pemimpin. Nazri said that he had earlier thought Mahathir was referring to DAP arid later found that the Prime Minister was referring to UMNO and UMNO Youth. Hamid Albar should not make the mistakes which Nazri had made.

Overwhelming view that the girl had been treated unfairly if a public opinions poll is conducted in the country

I have no doubt that if a public opinion poll is conducted in the country, as to whether the 15-year-old girl had been unfairly treated by the Attorney-General, the overwhelming response would be in the positive.

The Unfairness being meted out to the girl seems to be lust beginning – for we have the UMNO Youth joining the chorus demanding that the girl should be charged under the syariah law and yesterday, the girl was committed to the Welfare Department instead of being placed under the loving care of her grandmother.

Is the unfairness and victimisation meted out to the girl part of a “game plan” for Rahim to make a political comeback, at the national level?

What the girl needs is compassion and rehabilitation – and not victimisation and punishment for unwittingly causing fall of Tan Sri Rahim as Malacca Chief Minister and UMNO Youth Leader.

Is the girl’s victimisation and punishment part of a larger ‘game-plan’ for a political come-back for Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik – if not in Malacca state politics, in Federal politics with Tan Sri Rahim standing for Parliamentary elections in the Alor Gajah parliamentary seat for a start?

Be that as it may, there can be no justification for the injustice and victimisation meted out to the girl. I there¬fore call on the Cabinet to discuss the Attorney-General’s han¬dling of the Rahim case and the injustice meted out to the 15-year-old girl and to take all necessary measures to ensure that she is not victimised for Ralhim’s downfall as Malacca Chief Minister and UMNO Youth Leader

FINALLY, let me express the general unease, unhappiness and disquiet felt by the people at large at the turn of events in the Rahim Tamby Cik case and the girl – as it is the general view that something is very wrong, unfair and unjust in the whole system of government and legal system where the whole resources of the state and government seemed to be mobilised be thrown at the girl to victimise and punish her for Rahim’s downfall – when she is in fact the victim in the case.

The girl was not the one who lodged the police report against Rahim nor the one who initiated police investigations – and the allegation concerned solely the girl and Rahim Tamby Cik.

Now, however, the girl is threatened with all. sorts of proceedings, including shariah court proceedings, for having illicit sex while Rahim Tamby Cik, who had already been let off when the Attorney-General directed the closing of police investigations, does not have to face similar jeopardy as the girl.

If the government is fair, then both persons involved in the allegation – both the girl and Tan Sri Rahim – should face criminal and/or shariah law proceedings for having illicit sex. If so, will the Attorney-General direct the police to open new investigations into the life history of Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik and to offer all evidence collected from the police investigations for shariah court proceedings?

If the Attorney-General is not prepared to order full police investigations into the sex life of Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik, then let the Attorney-General mitigate the injustice he has done to the girl by ensuring that the girl is left alone and is not harassed by anyone or under any proceedings!

DAP calls for checks on the abuses and malpractices of the Land Acquisition Amendment Act by introducing new legislation requiring higher and fairer compensation to be paid for acquisition for eventual private development as distinct from for public purposes

When the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill was debated in the Dewan Rakyat on July 30, 1991, I had warned that when it becomes law, it would destroy the constitutional right to proper¬ty enjoyed by Malaysians for 34 years since Merdeka and would become the I mother’ of all corruption, abuses of power, con¬flicts-of-interest and unethical malpractices in Malaysia.

The DAP took a clear and strong stand against the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill because we were speaking for all Malaysians and all races who would be adversely affected by it, as all Malaysians who own land, whether those with large land- holdings or the ordinary Malaysian, whether a kampong Malay, a Chinese new villager or an Indian wage-earner, could be deprived of their constitutional right to property.

The DAP’s warning in the Dewan Rakyat in July 1991 have come to pass, and throughout, the country, there is rising public anger at the corruption, abuses of power, conflicts-of interest and unethical malpractices accompanying massive land acquisitions not just for public purpose, as the building of schools, hospitals, but for eventual private development – wheth¬er for golf courses, holdiay resorts, housing estates or indus¬tries ending up in profits for selected individuals.

Yesterday, I visited the Batu Kawan area in Nibong Tebal, Penang where the Penang State Government had acquired the Batu Kawan Estate and the surrounding areas for housing and industrial development.

I was told that before the land acquisition of Batu Kawan by the Penang State Government, the land was being trans¬acted at RM25,000 per acre, but the State Government was only offering compensation at the rate of RM8,000 per acre. The affected landowners cannot be blamed if they felt that what is happening to them is not land acquisition but ‘daylight robbery’!

This was why in the debate on the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill in July 1991, I had called for more safeguard protection to be given to the individual land owner under law. Before any major or project involving acquisition of land is implemented, there should be a public inquiry to hear objections from interested and affected parties. Such objections should not be restricted to the inadequacy of compensation but also as to the social, economic, cultural and ecological loss to the community caused by such an acquisition.

As an example, before the Penang State Government acquisition of Batu Kawan estate, the workers there were supplied with about 12 hours of electricity supply a day. After acquis-tion by the Penang State Government beaded by the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, electricity supply for the the workers and their families in the area had been reduced to three-and- a-half hours to four-and-a-half hours a day.

The Penang State Government prides itself with the slogan, ‘Penang Leads’ and being the most developed state in the country-but this is one example where Penang should not be’ leading’ where workers in Penang are getting even worse facilities than before.

The spate of land acquisition problems throughout tile country, particular in Malacca state, are symptomatic of the unjust nature of the Land Acquisition Act.

The most famous case is undoubtedly the Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah land acquisition case in Malacca. The new Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Mohd Zin, had announced on 11th October that Malacca State Government had decided to resolve the contro¬versy by reconnecting the water, electricity, telephone and postal supplies and services, but unfortunately, two weeks have passed and the Malacca State Government had not kept its word.

Is this because Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik still exercises unusual influence in the Malacca State Government, that Although he had resigned as Malacca Chief Minister, he is still the ‘real power’ in the Malacca State Government and Datuk Mohd. Zin is merely Rahim’s spokesman and agent?

I call on the Datuk Mohd Zin to demonstrate his prowess and capability as the new Malacca State Chief Minister and move swiftly to resolve the outstanding issues over the land controversy at Pantai Kundor and Tanah Merah.

The Malacca State Government should also hold dialogues with the affected. villagers over the intended state government acquisition of Ayer Salak new village – the only Catholic new village out of the 452 new villages in the country – and the Kuala Sungai Baru Chinese, cemetry, to firstly convince them that the State Government has no other alternative but to acquire their properties and homes; and secondly, to give fair and adequate compensation for aaqusition not meant for public purpose but for private development.

In fact, one way to chock the Land Acquisition Act from being the ‘mother’ of all corruption, abuses of power, conflicts-of-interest and unethical malpractices is for new legislation to be introduced requiring higher and fairer compensation to be paid for acquisition intended for eventual private development and profits -to individuals as compared to acquisition for public purposes.