IGP should have urgent meeting with BA leaders to explain why the double-standards by police with regard to unruly, abusive and gangsterish UMNO Youth demos


Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, should have an urgent meeting with the Barisan Alternative leaders to explain why the police has adopted  double-standards as highlighted by its response or lack of one to the  unruly, abusive and gangsterish UMNO Youth demonstrations.

It reflects most adversely on the independence, impartiality, integrity and professionalism of the police that although police reports have been lodged against the unruly, abusive and gangsterish UMNO Youth demonstration at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur the previous Friday on August 19, 2000, where Inflammatory and racist placards were  displayed,  reporters   abused and assaulteld, threats uttered  to "burn down the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall", no police action has been initiated against UMNO Youth Deputy Leader Datuk  Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir and the UMNO Youth demonstrators.

There is no doubt that a PAS or Keadilan leader who had done half of what Abdul Aziz had done or  said would already have been detained by the police whether under the Internal Security Act or Penal Code for threatening inter-racial harmony and undermining national security.

How can the government expect all Malaysians to fully celebrate the 43rd Merdeka Month celebrations with the theme of "togetherness" of 22 million Malaysians despite the diversity of race, religion, district or political beliefs when the police double-standards demonstrate to all Malaysians that the police does not respect such a spirit of "togetherness" of 22 million Malaysians or   Article 8 of the Constitution on equality before the law. The message the police is sending out from its double-standards is that whether police take action against  law-breakers is not based on the  law but on the personalities  who break the law - that Malaysia is a government of men rather than a government of laws.

What is even more  regrettable is that up to now, no  top government leader, whether Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad or the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Abdullah Badawi, or any Cabinet Minister,  has censured Abdul Aziz and the UMNO Youth demonstrators for their unruly, abusive and gangsterish demonstration at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and for  showing utter contempt for the sensitivities of a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia.

If the demonstration outside the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall had been staged by PAS or Keadilan, the mainstream media would be carrying reams and reams of criticisms and censure  by the Barisan Nasional leaders. Why then their  silence on the unruly, abusive and gangsterish UMNO Youth demonstration?

In this connection, the Police should make clear its stand on the planned UMNO Youth gathering at Putrajaya on the eve of National Day to "show off its strength" on the issue of Malay special rights. Although UMNO Youth had not yet announced the gathering to the local press, the foreign media had been informed and the Singapore Straits Times had reported it yesterday.

Is the UMNO Youth gathering at Putraja on National Day eve going to be a re-enactment of the UMNO Youth rally at the TPCA Padang, Kuala Lumpur on 17.10.1987 which carried banners like "May 13 HAS BEGUN"  and  "SOAK IT (KRIS) WITH CHINESE BLOOD", as narrated by  the Government White Paper "Towards Preserving National Security" which was tabled in Parliament on 23rd March 1988?

The police must make a clear distinction between two issues: the issue of Malay special rights and the holding of unruly, abusive and gangsterish demonstrations which threaten inter-racial harmony and undermine national security.

The Minister in the Prime Ministerís Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim said in Penang yesterday that the government would not hesitate to invoke the Sedition Act against anyone for questioning Malay special rights, which has been entrenched as one of the four "sensitive issues" in the Constitution.

The controversy over Malay special rights should therefore stop and not be prolonged, as it is fully protected by the criminal laws of the land.

However, the second and separate issue of unruly, abusive and gangsterish demonstrations which threaten inter-racial harmony and undermine national security cannot be sidestepped or ignored by the police, and if the police continues to shut its eyes to the open breaches of the law by UMNO Youth, the Inspector-General of Police should explain to Barisan Alternative leaders why there is one set of laws for the Barisan Nasional and a different set of laws for the Opposition and NGOs.

(27/8/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman