Five-day extension of detention of  Ong Boon Keong and Ooi Chuan Seng completely unnecessary and a gross abuse of power

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Monday): The five-day extension of the detention SOS (Save Ourselves) secretary Ong Boon Keong and Ooi Chuan Seng in connection with the attempt by a group of pre-war premises tenants and SOS members to seek Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon’s intervention when the Chief Minister attended a heritage function in Georgetown on Friday is completely unnecessary and a gross abuse of power.

What is there for the police to further investigate in this case when it is a very simple straightfoward case of the SOS and the tenants seeking to get Tsu Koon to give a response regarding the ill-planned repeal of the Rent Control Act and the Chief Minister’s refusal to give personal attention to this problem despite several approaches?

As SOS Committee member Goh Hun Ming said at a press conference yesterday, "We do not enjoly ‘ambushing’ him. All we want is an answer".

Gerakan leaders, including the Chief Minister, must bear responsibility for the unreasonable and unwarranted five-day extension of detention of Ong and Ooi, for if Gerakan leaders can publicly allege that  there is a "political blackhand" orchestrating the events, they could be saying even more terrible things about Ong and Ooi in private to the police.

Gerakan leaders should come forward to declare whether they agree that it is proper and justified that Ong and Ooi should be detained for another five days or whether they agree this is  uncompletely unwarranted and a gross abuse of power and both should be released immediately and unconditionally.

The Chief Minister’s Office should officially express its concern to the Penang police at the five-day extension of the detention of Ong and Ooi and support their immediate and unconditional release.

Meanwhile, Tsu Koon should announce  an emergency plan to resolve the problems faced by the tenants who have received eviction notices expiring at the end of the month, by making use of the RM100 million fund to directly benefit the tenants as landlords are not keen on its grants.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman