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Noh Omar had trifled with Parliament and undermined the national interests when he withheld from Parliament information in his possession about the nationality of the woman victim of the police naked ear-squat videoclip scandal
by Lim Kit Siang
With such a revelation, Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Noh Omar stands guilty of trifling with Parliament and undermining the national interests in withholding from Parliament information in his possession about the nationality of the woman victim of the police naked ear-squat videoclip scandal.
In the week following the expose of the naked ear-squat videoclip in Parliament on Nov. 24 by DAP MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok, which led to national and international outrage, there was already media report that the woman victim was not a Chinese national but a local Malay woman.
During the abortive attempt by Teresa Kok to adjourn Parliament for an urgent debate on the police scandal on Nov. 28 and 29, 2005, Noh Omar told the press that the had received a full report of the police investigation into the case, indicating that he knew of the nationality of the woman victim.
The Police ill-treatment of the woman detainee, violating her human rights and dignity, must be condemned in equally reprehensible terms regardless of her nationality – whether Chinese national or local Malay – for there can be no justification or excuse whatsoever to such cruel and inhumane treatment.
There are however two reasons why Noh Omar had acted most irresponsibly in withholding information from Parliament about the nationality of the woman victim.
Firstly, Noh Omar had shown utter contempt for Parliament in withholding information which were in his possession about the nationality of the woman victim, which tantamounts to a breach of parliamentary privilege. This is particularly serious as during the parliamentary debate on December 7, I had repeatedly asked him to disclose the nationality of the woman victim – whether Chinese national or local Malay woman.
Secondly, while the nationality of the woman victim cannot reduce by one jot the cruelty and inhumanity of the police naked ear-squat treatment, there is the international dimension that should have been taken into account. As the woman victim was generally believed to be a Chinese national, the disclosure at the earliest available opportunity about her true nationality would have helped to defuse the furore aroused by the incident on the part of the Chinese government and people that the police was profiling Chinese visitors and tourists.
As I said in Parliament on Dec. 7, the immediate disclosure that the woman victim was not a Chinese national would have helped the Home Affairs Minister, Datuk Azmi Khalid in his mission to China to assure the Chinese government and people that there was no profiling of Chinese tourists and visitors to Malaysia.
It is most ridiculous if a Royal Commission of Inquiry has to be established to ascertain the nationality of the woman victim, when such information is in the hands of the police, which should have been disclosed to Parliament at the first available opportunity.
Finally, what must never be lost sight is that the naked ear-squat videoclip scandal could spark such national and international outrage was because of the general belief that this was not an isolated incident, but merely the “tip of an iceberg”, representing a pattern of reprehensible police conduct against detainees, regardless of local citizen or foreign national, which must be exposed and eradicated.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman