The Police should not interrogate Irene Fernandez as there should be an independent inquiry into Tenaganita’s allegations about maltreatment in immigration detention camps


by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 23rd September 1995:

The Police should not interrogate Irene Fernandez as there should be an independent inquiry into Tenaganita’s allegations about maltreatment in immigration detention camps

The Police should not interrogate Irene Fernandez as there should be an independent inquiry into Tenaganita’s allegations about maltreatment of Bangladeshi and other migrant workers in immigration detention camps.

The police will be the subject of investigations in such an inquiry and it is ridiculous and against the rules of natural justice for the police to be both investigator and the investigated.

This is especially so as Malaysians have no confidence from past experience in police investigations affecting government leaders and the police force.

The Malaysian police force can be trusted with ordinates law and order enforcement duties affecting ordinary citizens, but when government leaders and the police force are involved, experience have shown that they are subject to extraneous considerations and influences which are totally alien to the principles if justice, integrity and fair play.

A book could be written of such example. Thus, when Australian newspaper reported in early 1994 that Opposition politicians had been in the pay of Australian spies, the Malaysian Police reacted immediately and wanted to interview the Opposition politicians helping to fan a mass media frenzy against the Opposition.

But when another Australian newspaper reported that it was actually the government politicians who had been recruited and paid by the Australian spies, the attitude of the Malaysian Police underwent a seachange – and the subject was quietly forgotten! This makes the Malaysian police look most unprofessional – as if the top Malaysian Police leadership was also interested in playing politics!

The police handling and treatment of the case of the DAPSY National Chairman and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng and the former Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik, is another example.

The latest example happened only on Monday, when DAPSY National Secretary, Ronnie Liu was brutally assaulted with batons and kicked by the FRU in public when unarmed, he had sought to help squatters of Taman Amau, Petaling Jaya whose houses were being demolished for the LRT project.

A blood-spattered Ronnie Liu was seriously wounded, sustaining a head injury, and was even hand-cuffed when sent to Universiti Hospital fro treatment. Ronnie is now released on police ball when it should be the FRU officer and squad which brutally assaulted Ronnie who should have been arrested and charged in court.

I myself have lost all confidence in the impartiality and independence of the Police when it has to conduct investigations involving government leaders Lind the Police force.

For this reason, I call on the Inspector-General Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor, to respect public opinion and request the Cabinet to set up an independent into Tenaganita’s allegations of maltreatment of illegal immigrants in the immigra¬tion detention camps, and to pledge full police co-operation to the inquiry.

If the police has nothing to hide, there is no reason why the Police should be afraid of an independent inquiry into the Tenaganita’s allegations.

Meanwhile, the Police should leave Irene Fernandez alone and stop issuing threats. I have no doubt that the Irene Fernandez would fully co-operate with an independent inquiry into the Tenaganita’s allegations about maltreatment of illegal immigrants in the immigration detention camps.