Parliament will be sending the parliamentary notice of the budget meeting starting on Oct. 20 to Lim Guan Eng c/o Kajang Prison

-   third  night of the 18-day Marathon 
"Free Guan Eng" Fast Vigil Ceramah

by Lim Kit Siang  

(Kajang, Saturday):  Parliament will be sending the parliamentary notice of the budget meeting starting on Oct. 20 to DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, c/o Kajang Prison, as this is now the new address of Guan Eng for the next 18 months.

This is the first time that there is a sitting Member of Parliament in jail who will exercise his rights and responsibilities as an MP until his petition for pardon has been decided by the Yang di Pertuan Agong as to whether to remove or reject  his disqualification as an MP.

Up to now, Guan Eng has not received any mail although many people, both inside and outside the country, have sent him letters and messages of support, sympathy and solidarity.

I hope that when Parliament sends out its notice to all MPs to invite  questions for the budget meeting, all facilities would be given by the Kajang Prisons not only to receive it but to enable him to send out questions to Parliament at the first available opportunity.

The 18-day Marathon "Free Guan Eng" Fast, which has entered into the third day, is not merely about justice for Guan Eng, but also justice for Irene Fernandez and justice for Anwar Ibrahim.  If a Member of Parliament, a social activist and a Deputy Prime Minister cannot get justice in Malaysia, how can the 21 million ordinary Malaysians get justice in our country?

On Sept. 2, 1998, Anwar was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in a flood of allegations of sexual misconduct, corruption, sedition, murder and treason, and it is most shocking that Anwar has not been arrested and charged in court despite such allegations of heinous crimes ten days ago.

It is not only Malaysians, but the world, who wondered how the No. 2 man in the country has suddenly become the No. 1 criminal in the land!

I agree with Anwar who said that it was most appalling that the police had yet to complete investigations into the allegations against him, which raises the question about the justice of Anwar’s sacking as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister as it runs counter to the fundamental principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty!

I welcome Anwar’s statement  that he would co-operate with the police if they want to arrest him, refuting the allegation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that the former DPM was surrounding himself with thousands of supporters for protection and to resist arrest.

Anwar said his lawyers have written to the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah about certain "anxiety and concern that public security may be threatened if our client is arrested" and offering "to make the necessary preparations to surrender our client so that his arrest is made in a peaceful and dignified manner" and to "avoid  any accusations from any party and protect public security".

I would urge the Attorney-General and the Police to reciprocate the most co-operative and responsible attitude of Anwar that if they want to make an arrest, "they can inform us honourably and we will leave honourably" and to inform Anwar’s lawyers of the date and time of such an arrest.

Let Malaysians show the world that such an arrest of a person who was only Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister ten days ago could be conducted in an honourable and civilized fashion so that Anwar could be afforded a full public trial to clear himself of all the charges levelled against him.

In this connection, Anwar as well as the Malaysian public are entitled to a satisfactory answer to the question raised by the Deputy Prime Minister about "the transfer of judges who are known for their objectivity", including the High Court judge who presided over his libel suit against author Khalid Jafri.

Anwar has here raised a fundamental question about the independence of the judiciary, which had troubled the legal and judicial circles, both inside and outside the country, as well as Malaysians as a whole for the past decade.

*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong