(Kuala Lumpur, Sunday): Malaysians are shocked by the statement by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah yesterday that it could take months before he could decide on the police investigation report on the black eye and alleged police assault of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when in police custody on the first night of his detention on Sept. 20.
Mohtar Abdullah’s statement is most insensitive and irresponsible and makes a mockery of the national and international concern about Anwar’s black eye and allegation of police brutalities against the former Deputy Prime Minister.
The Attorney-General should realise that the special public interest in Anwar’s case is not so much because of Anwar himself, but that if a person who had just been a Deputy Prime Minister could be brutalised while under police custody, how can ordinary Malaysians expect justice, fair play, decency and civility when they fall into the hands of the police!
There can be no reason for the continued foot-dragging by the Attorney-General and his officers in the investigation into Anwar’s black eye, as it is nearly three months since the incident and three weeks since the independent police investigation team had submitted its report to the Attorney-General.
The Cabinet should give the Attorney-General 48 hours to decide on the
police report on Anwar’s black eye, failing which, the Cabinet at its meeting
on Wednesday should make public the entire police investigation reports.
It is improper for the post of Deputy Prime Minister to be left vacant for such a long time as it would leave the country in considerable uncertainty should anything untoward suddenly happen to the Prime Minister.
The DAP is not interested in who the Prime Minister decides should be the Deputy Prime Minister, whether Datuk Abdullah Badawi, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, Tun Daim Zainuddin or Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, but it is in the national interest that the No. 2 post in the government should be filled.
In this connection, why shouldn’t the post of Deputy Prime Minister be a matter to be considered by the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council, rather than only by the UMNO Supreme Council? Even if the Deputy Prime Minister is to come from UMNO, it should be the result of a Barisan Nasional Supreme Council deliberation - if the Barisan Nasional government is a genuine coalition of political parties.
However, it is significant that no one in MCA, Gerakan, MIC or any other Barisan Nasional component party had asked for a Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to discuss the question of the post of Deputy Prime Minister in all these months.