DAP has no confidence in the "headless" special police   investigation team  and calls for the establishment of a second Royal Commission of Inquiry on the arsenic poisoning of Anwar Ibrahim

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Although  Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister,  Datuk Seri Abdullah  Ahmad Badawi has ordered an immediate investigation into the  allegation of suspected arsenic poisoning of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP and the Malaysian public have no confidence in such police investigation.

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai was present when Abdullah announced at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport last night before leaving for New Zealand to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Leaders’ Summit in Auckland  that he had ordered a special team of investigators to be formed to immediately investigate the allegation.

It is significant that when asked by reporters who would head the investigation team, Norian Mai said as it would be a normal investigation there would be no need for a head, adding: "He (Abdullah) just announced it tonight. We will work on it."

It is clear that the police itself has no confidence from past experience  that it would have the power and authority to conduct an independent investigation into  matters affecting the former Deputy Prime Minister, because Anwar  is "the  hottest political potato" in the country involving the direct interest and in fact the future of the Prime Minister himself, and it is reluctant to sacrifice another police officer and expose him  to the public ridicule of incompetence as happened to the previous head of the special police investigation team on Anwar’s "black-eye" while in police custody.

This is why nobody is being named to head the special team of investigators - creating history for the first time in Malaysia and probably the world where a special team of investigators is without a head - which is not only unthinkable but  most irresponsible!

I believe that if a national opinion poll is conducted as to whether there is public confidence in such "headless" special investigation into the arsenic poisoning of Anwar Ibrahim, the result will be an overwhelming "No"!

Malaysians still vividly  remember the ignominous failure of the special police investigation team  headed by ACP Mat Zain bin Ibrahim which was set up to inquire into Anwar’s "black eye" when he was in police custody in Bukit Aman, and how it failed to identify the culprit or culprits responsible for such lawless acts against the handcuffed  and blindfolded Anwar  although it was clearly an open secret in the Police High Command right from the very beginning that it was the then Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor, who was the assailant !

In fact, there should have been a full public inquiry as to why the special police investigation team had failed in its investigation to pin-point Rahim Noor as the assailant, requiring a Royal Commission of Inquiry to expose the identity.

Instead of going through the charade of the previous special police investigation into Anwar’s black-eye, Norian Mai should formally propose to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister that a second Royal Commission of Inquiry be established instead into the arsenic poisoning of Anwar.

Abdullah Badawi said yesterday that he took a serious view of the allegations on arsenic poisoning made by Datin Seri Dr. Wan  Azizah against the government.

Abdullah said the police and prison authorities were not aware of Anwar’s  urine sample which an Australian pathologist had analysed as having arsenic content which was almost 80 times higher than normal level and  when they were taken out from the Sungai Buloh prison where Anwar is being detained.

It is a sad commentary of the abysmal lack of public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the institutions of government from political and Ministerial interference that Anwar’s urine sample had to be taken surreptitiously and even sent abroad under another person’s name.

Malaysians understand why such precautions had to be taken and they are entitled to ask when public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the public service and the institutions of government is going to be fully restored in Malaysia!

In this connection, Malaysians are outraged by the insinuation by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah in court yesterday that Anwar’s family could be poisoning him with arsenic, reminding the people and the world of the infamous allegation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad last September that Anwar’s "black eye" injuries were "self-inflicted"!

The Prime Minister has yet to publicly apologise to Anwar for such an preposterous allegation. The Attorney-General should publicly apologise to Azizah and Anwar’s family for making such a new dishonourable insinuation.


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