IGP should show to Opposition leaders the police videotapes of last Sundayís gathering at National Mosque to establish whether it was police agent provocateurs or demonstrators who made it unruly


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The police yesterday released the photographs of 37 people alleged to have taken part in the illegal demonstration at the National Mosque last Sunday.

Questions have been raised as to why the peaceful gathering in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday turned unruly, when similar gatherings all over the states the previous day with the same purpose of presenting a memorandum to the Rulers concerning Anwar Ibrahimís arsenic poisoning went off peacefully - whether this was caused by police agent provocateurs or demonstrators.

I have written to the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai on behalf of leaders of Parti Keadilan Nasional, DAP, PAS and PRM asking for a meeting, where we propose to raise several issues concerning public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the  police,  how it should discharge its role as custodians of law and order , and 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 feel strongly that the police should steer clear of politics, especially in the present pre-election season when the battle for the hearts and minds of the voters is most intensive, and the Police should not be seen, directly or indirectly, to be tools of  the political  powers-that-be to serve their political agendas.

It is clear that the police have captured on videotape the entire process of last Sundayís demonstration.  I call on  Norian Mai to show to the Opposition leaders the  police videotapes to  establish whether it was police agent provocateurs or demonstrators who made last Sundayís  demonstration at the National Mosque  unruly.

DAP is opposed to violent protests or riots, but the police must also  be mindful of its higher national duty to promote a democratic way of life, and it must not be in the frontline to suppress the democratic rights of the people but  give more democratic space for Malaysians to exercise their constitutional right of peaceful assembly.

Public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity  of the police has also been greatly shaken by the senseless and tragic killing of Dr. Tai Eng Teck, the latest victim of the trigger-happy police.

To restore public confidence and assure Malaysians that the Royal Malaysian Police Force want to root out any  trigger-happy police mentality, DAP had proposed two measures, namely the police  payment of RM500,000 ex gratia compensation to Dr. Tanís family and a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 640 deaths caused by police shoot-outs in the past 10 years, including a review of police procedures and regulations on the police carrying of firearms.

Norian Mai should declare the stand of the police force on these two proposals.

(25/9/99)


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