Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Serdang/Klang
DAP Dialogue for branch leaders and local councillors at the Oriental
Crystal Hotel, Klang on Sunday, 14th September 2008 at 12
I will meet the Parliament Speaker Tan
Sri Pandikar Amin tomorrow on the actions that should be taken by
Parliament over an MP’s ISA arrest on totally baseless grounds
I will meet the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar
Amin Mulia in Parliament tomorrow over the detention of DAP MP for
Seputeh Teresa Kok under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the actions
which should be taken by Parliament over an MP’s arrest on totally
baseless and non-existent grounds.
Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said yesterday that Teresa
was detained under the ISA as she had questioned the sensitive issues
such as the azan (call for prayers for Muslims) and that could cause
ill-will and disharmony.
This allegation was first made by the former Selangor Mentri Besar,
Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Khir Toyo, which was then sensationalised by
Teresa had made an immediate denial that she had tried to disallow azan
in Kota Damansara Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya. The mosque committees in
both areas have endorsed Teresa’s denial with the Masjid Kota Damansara
officials explaining that a damaged ampliflier had resulted in the calls
to prayer to be made without the aid of a PA system while Masjid Kinrara
mosque committee said Teresa had never set foot in Masjid Kinrara and
was not involved in the azan petition issue in the area.
The PAS MP for Kota Raja Dr. Siti Mariah Mahmud had also lodged a police
report against Khir on Thursday for his statement published in Utusan
Malaysia on Tuesday, as it was “maliciously intended and aimed at
raising the anger and anxiety of Malay Muslims”.
The police has no basis whatsoever therefore to detain Teresa under the
ISA for the baseless and non-existent grounds linking her to any azan
As an active political leader, how can Hamid repeat the baseless claim
of the police about Teresa’s questioning the azan issue as anyone
following the news whether in the printed or electronic media would know
that it was the irresponsible and sole concoction of Khir Toyo and
The competence and professionalism of the police is suffering another
fatal blow – after the scandal of the 20-hour ISA detention of senior
Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng - when they could detain an MP and
Selangor Senior State Exco on completely frivolous and non-existing
grounds, known to anyone who follow current news.
As a responsible Home Minister, he should have called up the police
officer responsible for Teresa’s arrest to demand explanation wny the
ISA had been invoked against a Member of Parliament and State Exco on
completely non-existent grounds and even to take disciplinary action
against the police officer concerned for such irresponsibility,
incompetence and gross misuse of powers.
I want to discuss Teresa’s ISA arrest with the Speaker as it is not just
about the violation of an MP’s individual human rights and parliamentary
responsibilities, but the utter contempt of Parliament shown by the
Police and the Executive when an MP could be silenced and Malaysians
deprived of their elected representative and spokesperson on completely
The United States yesterday summoned Malaysia’s top envoy in Washington
to protest its crackdown on dissent.
In response, the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim warned the
United States not to interfere in the country’s domestic affairs.
Rais should know that in the present world of 2008, where human rights
is recognised as an universal one, no country has the right to shut out
international scrutiny, criticism and censure for gross human rights
violations – and this applies to Malaysia as well as to the United
The United States must face the present-day international reality of
being subjected to criticism by foreign governments and leaders
including from Malaysia for any gross human rights violations such as
the Guatanamao Bay human rights scandals.
Similarly, Malaysia cannot claim immunity from scrutiny, criticism and
even censure from foreign governments and leaders for local human rights
blemishes, like the recent spate of crackdown of ISA arrests and threats
to media freedom.
It would be more worthwhile for Rais to invest effort to remove the
causes justifying the United States criticism of Malaysia for the latest
bout of human rights violations by getting the Cabinet to free
immediately and unconditionally Teresa and RPK (also the Hindraf Five
and other ISA detainees in Kamunting) as well as to cancel the show
cause letters to three newspapers instead of issuing a meaningless
warning to the United States.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor