An Indictment of Police bias when investigating government leaders and police officers as compared to Opposition leaders presented to Bukit Aman Police Headquarters by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, on Thursday, 28th September 1995
Yesterday evening, just before I left the DAP Hqrs for the Subang International Airport to catch a flight to Penang, I learn of the Bukit Aman police statement that I have been asked to give clarification to the CID Director. Datuk Mohd Said Awang on my statements calling on the police to withdraw the report against Irene Fernandez for criminal defamation, to co-operate in an independent inquiry into Tenaganita allegations about mal-treatment of Bangladeshi and other illegal immigrants in Imigration detention camps and for expressing my lack of confidence in the impartiality and independence of the Police when it has to conduct investigations involving government leaders and the Police.
I am always prepared to co-operate with the police in the public interest and I immediately cancelled my flight to Penang and phoned up Bukit Aman to contact as I was told CID director, Datuk Mohd Said Awang. I could not contact him as I was told he was playing golf.
In my press statements, I had said that the Police should not interrogate Irene Fernandez as there should be an independent inquiry into Tenagenita’s allegations about maltreatment of Bangladeshi and other migrant workers in immigration detention camps.
This is because 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. The police must not only be fair and even-handed in its investigations, but must be seen to be fair and even-handed when complaints are lodged against the Police force.
“The Malaysia police force can be trusted with ordinary 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 of justice, integrity and fair play.”
I had also said that a book could be written of such examples. I hereby present an Indictment of six charges of Police bias when investigating government leaders and police officers as compared to Opposition leaders.
First Charges: The police handling of Australian mass media allegations of recruitment of government politicians and UMNO leaders by Australian spies is a classic example of police bias and interference in politics.
The first charge in the Indictment was the Police handling to the Australian mass media report that Malaysian politicians had been recruited and biribed as spies by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS),
On January 16, 1994, the Australian Sunday Sydney Telegraph carried a report “Aussie Spies Bribe Asian MPs” in its issue of January 16, 1994 with the preposterous allegation that Australian spies bribed “senior opposition politicians” with tens of thousands of dollars.
This Australian mass media report was made public in Malaysia after a Cabinet decision on 26th January 1994, and this was followed by an witch-hunt against Opposition leaders by certain Barisan Nasional leaders.
Even the Inspector-General of Police, tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor jumped into the fray when he directed Bukti Aman Police itself to lodge a police, based on the Sunday Sydney Telegraph report, and announced that “the allegation was serious as such acts could be considered treasonous” and that a committee had been set up to conduct investigations.
However, on 3rd February, 1994, the Canberra Times cleared the Malaysian opposition politicians and
MPs of having received bribes from Australians spies, and pinpointed that it was the government politicians and UMNO leaders who had been recruited and bribed by Australian spies.
The difference in the attitude and reactions of the Police could immediately be seen when the Canberra Times cleared the Opposition leaders and pinpointed government politicians and UMNO leaders.
The IGP did not make any statement that such alleged activities by government politicians and UMNO leaders were “treasonous” activities, nor did he direct the Bukit Aman Police to lodge a second police report so that the Police could begin investigations into allegations into government politicians and UMNO leaders.
Once government politicians and UMNO leaders were pinpointed instead of Opposition leaders, the IGP and the Police lost interest in the Australian mass media allegations, making perfunctory motions of seeking co-operation from the Australian government.
The police handling of Australian mass media allegations of recruitment of government politicians and UMNO leaders by Australian spies is a classic example of police bias and interference in politics.
It made the Malaysian police look most unprofessional as if the top Malaysian Police leadership was more interested in playing politics than in its serious task of upholding law and order in the country.
Incidentally, the IGP had not explained why in the case of the Sunday Sydney Telegraph allegation against Opposition leaders, the Police made an exception of lodging a police report itself in order to allow investigations to begin – when this had not been done before or since with other “serious charges” affecting government leaders or police officials.
Yesterday, for instance, it was reported that the Public Services Department (PSD) has yet to decide on the application by a former top Selangor official for optional retirement. This officer, who was caught committing an intimate act with a woman in his official car in the Shah Alam stadium carpark last month, was transferred to the PSD without any specific post on Sept. 16 but has since applied for early retirement.
It was also reported that no police report had been lodged and that the police are waiting for instructions from “higher authorities” before taking the next step. Why didn’t Tan Sri Rahim Noor direct Bukit Aman to lodge a police report on this matter, so that the police could initiate investigations as in the case of the ASIS allegations?
Second Charge: Police charged Lim Guan Eng for “false news” but failed to act against Mahathir for creating “false news” against me in alleging that I had challenged the Police to arrest me during the April general election campaign
A second charge of Police bias and playing politics with the Barisan Nasional against the Opposition is to be found in the April general election, when the Police echoed the Barisan Nasional falsehood that I had challenged the Police to arrest me.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had repeated this “false news” against me many times, which were extensively reported in the printed and electronic media, with top police and government officers echoing the Prime Minister’s threat to arrest me during the general election.
Three Penang DAP leaders lodged police reports against Mahathir for creating “false news” under the Printing Presses and Publications Act for repeatedly and falsely claiming that I had challenged the police to arrest me, but the Police had not taken any action against Mahathir.
In contrast, the Police had arrested and charged the DAPSY National Chairman and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng for creating “false news” in connection with his expose of the former Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik. Isn’t this another example of the inability of the Police to act fairly and even-handedly against politicians from both ruling and opposition parties?
Third Charge: DAPSY National Secretary Ronnie Liu brutally assaulted by FRU who had not been interdicted from service, arrested and charged in court
My third charge happened only on Monday of the previous week, when DAPSY National Secretary, Ronnie Liu was brutally assaulted with batons and kicked by the FRU in public when unarmed., he had sought to squatters of Taman Aman, Petaling Jaya whose houses were being demolished for the LRT project by asking whether the FRU had the legal authority to enforce the demolition exercise.
A blood-spattered Ronnie Liu was seriously wounded, sustaining a head injury, and was even hand-cuffed when sent to Universiti Hospital for treatment. Ronnie is now released on police bail – when it should be the FRU officer and squad which brutally assaulted Ronnie should have been arrested and charged in court.
What is most deplorable is that three days after the demolition, the High Court granted an injunction to prevent the demolition for the squatters standing in the way of the LRT project. However, the Police, who should uphold law and order, showed no respect for the rule of law in refusing to await a judicial determination of the dispute over the Taman Aman squatters.
Fourth Charge: Failure of Police to act against gangsterism, violence and lawlessness of MIC elected representatives and leaders to suppress the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal.
The Fourth Charge in this Indictment is the failure of the Police to act against gangsterism, violence and lawlessness committed by MIC elected representatives and leaders in 1992 to suppress the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal.
Examples of such gangsterism, violence and lawlessness include the assault of MAIKA shareholders peacefully picketting outside MAIKA Headquarters on May 13, 1992; the disruption of a MAIKA ceramah in Port Klang on May 31, 1992 and the assault of a Perak DAP State Committee member in Sungei Siput on June 15, 1992.
Fifth Charge: Double-standards in the police handling of the case of Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik and the 14-year-old girl.
The fifth charge of police double-standards is the handling of former Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik and the 14-year-old girl, where for the first eight days, the girl was illegally held in police custody without parental consent and the family members not allowed to see her, while Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik was never held in remand.
Sixth Charge: IGP’s denial after naming Tan Sris and Datuks as being involved in the “sex-for-hire ring” in Kuala Lumpur involving television personalities.
Call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into police bias in cases involving government leaders and police officers
In view of Police bias in cases involving government leaders and police officers , I call for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to inquire into all such cases, using the six charges in this Indictment as the first set of its’ terms of reference and to make recommendations as to how public confidence in the Police in such cases could be restored.
I also urge the Police to declare its preparedness to co-operate with such a Royal Commission of Inquiry.