Why Gani Patail’s personal
appearance to lay charges against 26 people for attempted murder of a cop
when Attorney-General does not think it important to personally handle the
high-profile Mongolian Altantunya
Shaariibuu murder trial?
Media Conference (1)
by Lim Kit Siang
The personal appearance of the
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail at the Shah Alam Sessions
Court yesterday to lay charges against 26 Hindraf supporters for attempted
murder of a cop has raised many questions.
The first question is why Gani Patail thought it important to appear on an
attempted murder charge when he never thought it important to personally
handle the high-profile Mongolian Altantunya Shaariibuu murder trial on
its 66th day of High Court trial in very same court building in Shah Alam,
although the murder trial of the Mongolian woman has far-reaching national
and international implications in view of ramifications reaching to the
highest government level?
Yesterday, the Shah Alam High Court was told that plastic explosives were
placed on three parts of Altantunya Shaariibuu’s body – her head, chest
and lower abdomen – before she was blown up when the explosive were
detonated simultaneously by using a single detonator connected to all
Secondly, questions arising from one of disbelief that as many people as
26 people are being charged for the attempted murder of a cop injured in
the Batu Caves fracas in connection with the Kuala Lumpur Hindraf
demonstration on November 25, a charge which entailed a maximum 20 years’
jail with fine for the 26 persons.
If the Attorney-General succeeds in his prosecution and in securing
maximum sentence, Malaysia will create world history in getting the most
number of people sent for life sentence for the attempted murder of a cop
– but what a world record!
These troubling thoughts raise the further question as to the real motives
of the re-arrest and new charge of attempted murder for 26 people – and
whether this is conducive to the larger national objective to de-escalate
the tensions caused by the long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian
Indians and highlighted by the 30,000-strong Hindraf demonstration on
Several policemen were hurt in the Hindraf demonstration – including Dadi
Abdul Rani, the policeman named in the attempted murder charge of the 26
people, sub-inspector Chew Choon Peng, Sergeant-Major Harjigt Singh and
Lance Corporal Razali Redzuan. Many more Hindraf supporters were injured.
Such injuries, whether suffered by policeman or by Hindraf supporters,
could and should have been avoided if the police had handled the Hindraf
demonstration with professionalism and greater respect for the
constitutional rights of Malaysians to peaceful assembly and freedom of
This is why there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Hindraf
demonstration, carrying out an objective and professional investigation
into the police handling of the Hindraf gathering and the long-standing
grievances of the Indian community on their marginalization as full and
equal Malaysian citizens, whether in the political, economic, educational,
social, cultural or religious sphere.
The Attorney-General should suspend all prosecutions until a Royal
Commission of Inquiry into the Hindraf demonstration has been set up and
come out with its findings. Gani Patail should personally recommend that
such a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be set up without any delay.
There is currently a very strange phenomenon in the Barisan Nasional. On
Monday, the MIC MP for Cameron Highlands S.K. Devamany let down the Indian
community and the Malaysian people when he tendered his regret and apology
for saying in Parliament that the 50,000 people at the Hindraf
demonstration on Nov. 25 showed the Government’s failure in distributing
wealth equally and nation-building.
MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu loudly denied
that the Malaysian Indians had been marginalized.
But leaders of MCA and Gerakan apparently disagreed with the MIC leaders –
as MCA National Vice President and Health Minister, Datuk Chua Soi Lok had
gone on public record twice as calling on the government to be responsive
to and address the sense of alienation, discrimination and deprivation of
the marginalized Indians. A Penang Gerakan Assemblywoman had also
expressed similar sentiments about the marginalization of the Malaysian
The question is why some MCA and Gerakan leaders are prepared to admit
that there is serious marginalization among the Malaysian Indians, which
is strenuously denied by the MIC leadership, when h MCA and Gerakan
Ministers and leaders are not prepared about the marginalization of the
Malaysian Chinese – as they were the most ferocious in attacking Singapore
Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew when he made the remark about the
marginalization of the Chinese in Malaysia not so long ago.
Is this solely because MCA and Gerakan leadership are more worried than
MIC leaders about the electoral effects of the marginalization of the
Malaysian Indians and their frustration when their “cry of desperation” is
totally ignored – as there are at least 24 Parliamentary and 38 State
Assembly seats in Peninsular Malaysia where Indian voters are more than
10% and can lead to the defeat of Barisan Nasional candidates?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman