Government should immediately reconcile the conflicting accounts by the army and police  on the final encounter between the  Al-Ma’unah leader and chief police negotiator Abdul  Hadi and army general Zaini

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Thursday): Discerning Malaysians are disturbed by the conflicting accounts given by the army and the police on the final encounter between the Al-Ma’unah leader, Mohd Amin and the chief police negotiator Abdul Hadi Mahmud and army general Lt. Gen Zainai Said.

Star (7.7.00) reported  on  the following account of the final encounter, according to Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

This was Zaini’s own account as reported in the Star of the same date:

This is another account by Zaini the next day, as reported by the New Straits Times of 8th July 2000:

However, this army account of Zaini single-handedly entering the lion’s den and risking his life to force the surrender of the Al-Ma’unah leader and gang is  not consistent with the police account as  given by the Chief police negotiator in the Sauk hostage-standoff, Senior Asst Comm. II Abdul Hadi Mahmud in the Star of 16th July 2000.

After explaining how he had for two days used pleas and cries of the wives and children of the armed men, as well as P.Ramlee’s songs, to "work up" and "wear out" the Al-Ma’unah members holed up in Bukit Jenalik, this was his account of the final encounter:

From  Abdul Hadi’s account, the following facts emerge:

  1. That when  Zaini and Hadi approached the hide-out for the final encounter with Amin, "the security forces comprising police SOF members and several commandos from the army had already occupied the camp".
  2. Apart from Amin who was armed, all the other members of the  Al-Ma’unah gang  had already "laid down their arms" and not as claimed by Zaini, "ready with their guns and parangs at the time, all set to fight with members of the security forces".
  3. Both Abdul Hadi and Zaini had faced the direct risk of having Amin’s M-16 pointed directly at them, and not just Zaini alone.

Malaysians are entitled to know which account is true, whether it is  the army or the police one  with regard to the final encounter with Amin in the Al-Ma’unah arms heists an hostage killings.

If the police account is the correct account, the Abdul Hadi deserves as much commendation as Zaini, including the police and army personnel who risked their lives in the Bukit Jenalik hostage stand-off.

I call on the authorities to immediately reconcile the conflicting police and army accounts of  the final encounter between Al-Ma’unah leader and army general Zaini  and police chief negotiator Abdul Hadi even before the publication of the White Paper, as the government  failure or inability to produce a consistent version can only further aggravate its  grave crisis of credibility gap.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman