Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 2nd August 2009:
IGP Musa – play hardball with murderers, robbers, rapists, Ah Longs and gangsters but not with teenagers and peaceful, patriotic advocates for abolition of ISA
The four-day remand of 16-year-old Faizudin Hamzah who was arrested in yesterday’s anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) for four days is outrageous, deplorable and underlines the biggest human rights problem in Malaysia – that the greatest violaters of human rights are often the police and the law enforcement agencies.
It is very clear from yesterday’s proceedings that it was the police and not the peaceful and patriotic advocates for abolition of ISA who provoked breaches of peace and created disorder, precipitated by the indiscriminate police firing of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannon on all and sundry.
The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan must be told in no uncertain terms by the Cabinet on Wednesday – play hardball with murderers, robbers, rapists, Ah Longs and gangsters but not with teenagers and peaceful, patriotic advocates for abolition of ISA.
Otherwise, the entire Cabinet must bear responsibility for the IGP playing hardball with teenagers and patriotic Malaysians who peacefully advocated removal of draconian laws like the ISA instead of with hard-core criminals.
There can be no justification for the arrest and another four-day remand for Faizudin Hamzah or the indiscriminate mass arrest of 589 persons including 44 women and 40 underaged in yesterday’s peaceful gathering in Kuala Lumpur of tens of thousands of Malaysians for the abolition of ISA.
The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should see to it that all those arrested, including all women and underaged, are released today or he would be failing in his duty as Police Minister.
Suhakam – the Human Rights Commission – should convene an emergency meeting to hold a public inquiry into the gross human rights abuses by IGP Musa in orchestrating the latest blot on the human rights record of the Malaysian police, with 5,000-police personnel mobilized against defenceless, peaceful and patriotic Malaysians who want a better, safer and more democratic Malaysia instead of being used to fight and arrest criminals to keep the streets, public places and the privacy of homes safe for Malaysians, tourists and investors.
The Suhakam Commissioners should not fail in their statutory duty to protect and promote human rights. They cannot remain mute and blind to the blatant and systematic police violation of human rights in the Kuala Lumpur streets yesterday – in the full sight of the world!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor