Has the IGP gone bonkers as to order the police probe of UM lecturer raising the most legitimate questions about political protest and protest policing?
I read, re-read and read a third time the article “Who owns the police” by University of Malaya senior lecturer, Dr. Khoo Ying Hooi in The Malaysian Insider on 16th March 2015 and I still cannot fathom how it could be the basis for two police officers to question Khoo for one-and-a-half hours under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation of the police – without committing a gross abuse of police power.
Has the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Bakar gone bonkers in his latest tweet-trigger happy response to Khoo’s article on the same day, saying
“KYH’s article in MI is misleading the readers, When did @PDRMsia allow the 7th street protest?”
Khoo, in her article, had said that police “had earlier allowed the #KitaLawan rally on March 7 to carry on smoothly, but began their ‘arrest spree’ the next day” – with 11 people, including DAP Youth leader and MP for Rasah Teo Kok Seong, PKR Secretary-General and MP for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli, PKR Youth Chief and Selangor State Exco Member Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad arrested over the March 7 rally.
When Khoo said the police had earlier “allowed” the March 7 rally to be held smoothly, it did not and need not mean that the Police had issued a police permit to hold a rally, as all that it meant was that the Police did not disturb or disrupt the rally and permitted it to be held smoothly.
What is wrong with that statement?
What is the “criminal defamation” against the police in such a statement?
Will the IGP now set the police after me for asking whether he has gone bonkers in ordering the police to investigate Khoo under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation of the police, when Khoo’s article as a very innocuous piece raising the most legitimate questions about political protests and protest policing?
I have said in Parliament that Khalid’s grasp and comprehension of the English language is far from what a top cop in Malaysia should possess – or he would not have thought that DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua’s tweet “Royal my foot” was an attack on the royalty, a mistake no person with minimum grasp of English language would commit.
Let the IGP not give Malaysians reasons to believe that his general grasp and comprehension of the written material like Khoo’s article “Who owns the police” is also questionable when he can find something criminal in her article when ordinary Malaysians cannot find anything remotely “criminal intimidation” about it!
Malaysians want an IGP who share the same understanding as ordinary Malaysians, in particular on what is right and wrong – not an IGP who regards as wrong what all Malaysians think is normal and right, while regarding as right what all Malaysians think as wrong and reprehensible.
Are are having an Inspector-General of Police who is going to start policing lecturers and Malaysians violating their freedom of speech and expressions guaranteed under the Malaysian Constitution – in which case, we may have to appoint another IGP whose job is just to read writings on the Internet as we have already an IGP who seem to spend 24/7 on tweets.
The IGP should realise that he is bringing odium and disrepute to Malaysia’s good name internationally, for he is violating not only the freedom of speech and expression of Malaysians, but also violating academic freedom – one important reason why Malaysian universities remain at the bottom of the pile every year in world rankings of universities.