If police cannot solve the "straightforward" case of Anwar’s black- eye while under policy custody, how can  it solve the case of Anwar’s arsenic poisoning?

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai said yesterday that investigations into the arsenic poisoning of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be "straightforward and not complicated".

He said the  investigations are classified under Section 328 of the Penal Code relating to causing hurt by means of poison, and that samples of Anwar’s hair, nails and urine would be sent to several parties for test.

Norian Mai’s description of investigations into Anwar’s arsenic poisoning as "straightforward and not complicated" cannot inspire public confidence in the police, especially as the police had failed badly in an early "straightforward and not complicated" case, namely Anwar’s "black eye" while under police custody. In retrospect, the investigation into Anwar’s "black eye" was easier than the case of Anwar’s arsenic poisoning, as it was an open-and-shut case of the then Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor assaulting a blind-folded and handcuffed Anwar in the Bukit Aman lock-up, in the presence of top police personnel.

If the police cannot solve the "straightforward and not complicated" case of Anwar’s black eye while under police custody, how could the police solve the "straightforward and not complicated" case of Anwar’s arsenic poisoning?

Another reason why the public have no confidence in a police probe into Anwar’s arsenic poisoning is the lack of seriousness on the part of the police.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister,  Datuk Seri Abdullah  Ahmad Badawi had announced last Friday before leaving for the APEC Summit that he had "ordered a special team of investigators to be formed" to immediately investigate the allegation of Anwar’s arsenic poisoning.

Yesterday, when Norian Mai was asked whether "specialised" and high-ranking police officers would be appointed to the special team of investigators, Norian May said: "All our officers are specialised officers….This is a normal investigation under existing procedures."

Norian Mai’s response made a mockery of the assurance to the nation and the world given by Abdullah that a "special team of investigators" would be formed to probe Anwar’s arsenic poisoning, clearly implying that this would not be an ordinary investigation but involving the most senior and specialised officers.

If all police officers are "specialised officers", then what is the meaning of a "special team of investigators" and what is its difference from "an ordinary team of investigators"?

The evasiveness and inability of the Inspector-General of Police, after about a week after the revelation of Anwar’s arsenic poisoning, on who is leading the investigations and the members of the investigation team,  is another blackmark for the Malaysian Royal Malaysian Police coming after the shameful of police investigations into Anwar’s black-eye.

The latest development is  not helpful to efforts which Norian Mai had undertaken since appointed to the top police post to repair the police image and regain public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the police force.

Norian Mai should realise why there is widespread skepticism about  the police’s capability  to get to the bottom of the case of Anwar’s arsenic poisoning after its dismal failure in its investigations into Anwar’s black-eye.

This is why Norian Mai should officially propose to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister that in the interests of safeguarding the good image of the police force, a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be established to conduct comprehensive investigations into the allegation of Anwar’s arsenic poisoning, with the police pledging to give full support and help to the Royal Commission of Inquiry.


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