Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Wednesday, 24th September 2008:
All eyes on MCA Ministers in Cabinet today
– will they censure Hamid and demand immediate release of RPK under ISA?
The formal detention of blogger Raja Petra
Kamaruddin (RPK) hours before his habeas corpus application hearing at
the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday is a gross violation of human
rights, a blatant abuse of power and downright contempt of court by the
Home Minister and a travesty of the rule of law in Malaysia.
One would have expected that being a lawyer by training, the Home
Minister Syed Hamid Albar would have greater regard, respect and
understanding of the principles of a just of rule and would not do
anything to frustrate the legal process as in RPK's habeas corpus
application hearing yesterday. But Hamid has proved everyone wrong.
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should explain whether he
was privy to the Home Minister's decision on Monday night to frustrate
the legal process over RPK's habeas corpus application hearing yesterday
challenging the police detention under Section 73 of the Internal
Security Act (ISA) by the simple but most cynical and irresponsible
expedient of the Minister signing a formal detention order under Section
8 of the ISA.
Was the Attorney-General consulted and his agreement sought to this
irresponsible ploy to frustrate RPK's habeas corpus application and did
he advise the Home Minister against such flagrant contempt of court and
to trust in the impartiality and integrity of the judicial system to
pronounce on the legality of the police detention of RPK under the ISA
under Section 73?
Whose idea was it that the Home Minister should abuse his powers to
expedite the formal detention of RPK under Section 8 of the ISA in order
to frustrate RPK's habeas corpus application, when RPK had been detained
for only 10 days under Section 73 which provides for a 60-day police
All eyes are on the four MCA Ministers in Cabinet today – will they
censure Hamid and demand immediate release of RPK under ISA?
This is because MCA Ministers and leaders have been going to town in the
past few days declaring that the MCA will continue its call for the
repeal or review of the ISA, in particular the comprehensive review of
the draconian law to ensure that the ISA is applied strictly to cases
relating to terrorism and subversive elements to prevent possible abuse
of the law.
As the MCA Ministers and leaders have declared that RPK is not a
suitable case for ISA detention, Malaysians want to know what the four
MCA Ministers are going to do in Cabinet apart from making statements in
Are the MCA Ministers prepared to spearhead a decision in Cabinet
dissociating Ministers from the contempt of court perpetrated by Hamid
in his abuse of power under Section 8 of the ISA to frustrate RPK's
habeas corpus application as well as to demand the immediate release of
RPK from Kamunting Detention Centre under the ISA?
The MCA Ministers should also raise in this morning's Cabinet meeting
the three-hour questioning of rapper Wee Meng Chee and express
disapproval for any vindictive action against Wee for his "Negarakuku"
rap video and to demand immediate end of police harassment of Wee.
If the police and the Attorney-General's Chambers are not prepared to
take action against the suspended Umno Bukit Bendera Chairman Datuk
Ahmad Ismail for his offensive, provocative and racist "penumpang"
reference to the Chinese in Malaysia, what justification can the police
give for the harassment of Wee as subjecting him to questioning and
possible prosecution under the Sedition Act?
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor