UMNO Anti-Defamation Committee chairman Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who is also Deputy Minister in the Prime Ministerís Department, said several quarters were anxious to know how far police have gone in investigating 20 Umno police reports of alleged defamation against the party by opposition parties.
He said: "We'll try to get feedback from the police on the status of our reports lodged so far as several quarters have asked us about the outcome."
A week earlier, I had written to Norian Mai on behalf of leaders of Parti Keadilan Nasional, DAP, PAS and PRM asking for a meeting with the top police command at the increasing public concerns at the trigger-happy police mentality, whether in the fatal shooting of Dr. Tai Eng Teck, the roughing-up of peaceful demonstrators or the arrest of opposition political activists.
Opposition leaders would also ask for an update on the progress of police investigations into the four police reports lodged by former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim since July alleging corruption and abuses of power at the highest levels of government leadership, naming in particular the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the first Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, the two highest law officers in the land, namely the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah and Datuk Gani Patail, the former Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Cik, involving scandals and malpractices like the RM7 billion Perwaja scandal - all supported by documentary evidence concerning such allegations and abuses of power.
Norian Mai should therefore meet the leaders of the four opposition parties first before meeting the UMNO Anti-Defamation Committee, unless the Inspector-General of Police does not have the independence and authority to meet with Opposition leaders without the clearance from the highest authorities.
Leaders of the four Opposition parties had an useful meeting with Norian Mai and top police officers at Bukit Aman on June 19 this year, but the meeting was set up only after the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi had publicly given his blessing for such a meeting.
I hope the impression that the IGP could only meet with the Opposition leaders after getting the "green-light" from the Deputy Prime Minister is wrong, and that Norian Mai would meet Opposition Leaders without any delay in view of the many issues affecting public confidence in the independence, integrity and professionalism of the police which have cropped up in the past three months.