Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Penanti, Penang on Sunday, 31st May 2009 at 8.30 am:
Are there enough courts and prisons for overwhelming majority of Malaysians who believe that Najib must be held responsible for the protracted Perak constitutional crisis?
I believe the overwhelming majority of the people, in Perak and Malaysia, agree with what I said at the Guar Perahu ceramah – that Najib must bear the greatest responsibility for the protracted Perak political and constitutional crisis, set off by Najib’s unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak, which has now broadened into a larger national crisis of confidence of key national institutions, like police, election commission, MACC, civil service, judiciary, whose credibility, legitimacy and integrity have been compromised in serving Najib’s political agenda.
Are there enough court houses for the police to prosecute the overwhelming majority of Malaysians who think alike with me and are there enough prisons for them if they are convicted of the serious offences of sedition and criminal defamation of the Prime Minister?
What really surprised me is not that the police are investigating a police report lodged against me for sedition and criminal defamation, but that the police report was lodged by the police itself.
Chief Inspector Pang Meng Tuck lodged the police report against me because, as the police recording officer for the PKR Penanti by-election ceramah in Guar Perahu, Kubang Semang on Sunday, 24th May 2009, he was of the view that my speech defamed the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and was seditious.
If my speech is defamatory of Najib’s character and reputation, why is the Prime Minister not instituting civil legal proceedings to clear his name and secure just compensation from me?
When did the Police acquire the new task of protecting the reputation or lack of reputation of Barisan Nasional leaders in government?
Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research conducted several polls on the popularity ratings from Feb. 08 to Dec. 8 of the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister, Najib.
Although Abdullah’s popularity rating had plunged from a record high of 91 per cent in November 2004 to 61 per cent in January 2008 (just before the March 8, 2008 general election), down to 46 per cent in Dec 2008, he was at all times more popular than Najib, as demonstrated by the following surveys by Merdeka Centre:
I do not think anyone will dispute that if an opinion poll is now conducted, Najib’s popularity would have fallen further even below the lowest point of 34% recorded in July last year.
Is it going to be an offence, whether sedition or criminal defamation, to speak the truth in holding Najib responsible for the protracted Perak political and constitutional crisis or to express Najib’s e unpopularity held by the public towards him?
The lodging of a police report by Chief Inspector Pang Meng Tuck against me for sedition and criminal defamation over my Penanti by-election ceramah last Sunday is a clear abuse of police powers, betraying the total lack of independence, impartiality and non-partisan position which the police and all branches of government should maintain towards the roiling political storms whether the Perak political crisis which sees no light at the end of the tunnel or over the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of Najib as Prime Minister among 27 million Malaysians.
Was Pang acting under the directive from the “highest up” to lodge the police report against me for sedition and criminal defamation? If not, Najib and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should publicly dissociate themselves from Chief Inspector Pang’s action.
Otherwise, Malaysians are safe to conclude that Chief Inspector Pang’s lodging of a police report against me has the blessing and support Najib and Hishamnmudin – a clear message of Malaysia moving towards a Police State in a darkening national landscape particularly on political rights, civil liberties and human rights.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor