Forward    Feedback    

Who will back down – PM and DPM or Deputy IGP?


Media  Statement

by Lim Kit Siang  

, Monday): Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Musa Hassan provoked a nation-wide fire-storm of protest and outrage with his statement in the Star yesterday: “It is the perpetrator behind the video footage whom we are after and not the policewoman, who was carrying out a routine check.”, exonerating the policewoman in the handphone video clip of a naked Chinese woman doing ear squats while in police custody.

The recent spate of scandals of mistreatment of visitors, tourists and Malaysian citizens are bad enough but not irredeemable if there is the commitment from the highest levels of government to make amends and to root out such abuses and excesses of power – which the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers and MPs had been most impressively unanimous on this issue.

Musa’s statement, however, has shown that there is no support whatsoever from the top police leadership which is unrepentantly addicted to the denial syndrome maintaining that there is nothing wrong or even criminal in the cases of abuses and excesses of power which had recently come to light – and in the infamous case of the handphone video clip of the Chinese woman “strip-and-ear-squat”, the only offender is the “perpetrator behind the video footage”!

Musa and the top police leadership are in a very serious state of denial. They do not realize that police stocks are plunging fast and quick to the disreputable times of September 1998 when former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim emerged in court from a brief police custody in “black eyes”.

The police leadership also does not seem to grasp the enormity of the repercussions of the issues involved. Pray think, how else could the Pengkalan Pasir by-election (with the whole UMNO leadership and Cabinet parked in Pasir Mas) or the Prime Minister’s attendance of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) be completely overshadowed by the handphone video clip scandal – Malaysia’s own police Abu Ghraib scandal?

Musa’s statement is in fact an open slap-in-the-face for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as his exoneration of the policewoman in the videoclip has made nonsense of the apology made by the Prime Minister in Malta yesterday to Chinese nationals who have been mistreated – whether by an immigration officer or police officer.

Or is Musa claiming that Abdullah was only apologizing for the videotape footage but not the fact of the mistreatment of the woman being stripped and made to do the ear-squats?

If the offence is some “perpetrator” illegally video-taping the “strip-and-ear squat”, then why should a Cabinet Minister be sent to China to assure the Chinese authorities and people that the Malaysian government is not profiling Chinese nationals?

There is an expressive term “The shit has hit the fan” which aptly describes the mess which Hassan has created for the police force with his outrageous exoneration of the policewoman in the handphone video clip, in utter disregard of public reservations as to whether the police can be trusted professionally to investigate crime involving police personnel and the fact that what was revealed in the video clip was not an isolated instance but the tip of an iceberg of police abuses.

The question now is: Who will back down – the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister or the Deputy IGP who is clearly backed by the top police leadership.

The call by the Gerakan President Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik over the weekend for the establishment of a Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission to check abuses of power by some black sheep in the police is welcome though belated.

As one of the most senior Ministers, Keng Yaik should not just talk outside but must speak up in Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting to get approval for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) – the most important of the 125 recommendations of the Police Royal Commission – and entrust it with the first task to take over all investigations into the police handphone videoclip scandal and all mistreatment of visitors, tourists and Malaysian citizens.

In the past, Keng Yaik said one thing outside and did the opposite inside the Cabinet – whether it is over the 2-4-3 issue over the use of English to teach mathematics and science in Std. One in Chinese primary schools or the “929 Declaration” on Malaysia as an Islamic state. He should not repeat such a record.

The Cabinet on Wednesday must take bold and decisive action to staunch the haemorrhage of national and international confidence over Musa’s open defiance of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in a no-holds-barred investigation into the police Abu Ghraib videoclip scandal.

Is Keng Yaik for instance prepared to propose the suspension o Hassan as Deputy IGP for insubordination in his open defiance of the PM and DPM on this issue?

This is imperative with more and more media reports in China reporting accounts by victims of such mistreatment in Malaysia in the recent past – like the report by, carried in the front page of China press today, about 32 woman Chinese nationals who were ill-treated by Penang Immigration for as long as 14 days.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: