Charging of Al-Ma置nah members for arms heists and killings welcomed but why no court martials of security personnel for negligence in the arms heists

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Friday): The announcement by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai that the 27 deviant Al-Ma置nah followers would be charged this week  for the Grik arms heists and the Bukit Jenalik hostage-taking and killings early this month is welcomed by all Malaysians.

However, Norian should explain why Subki Omar, 28, who was arrested by police in Kuala Selangor on July 8 and took the police to his Sungei Petani shophouse the next day to recover a M16-203 grenade  launcher, had not been charged under the Firearms (Increased Penalty) Act 1971 as initially intended by the police but has now been detained under the Internal Security Act.

Is this because Subki痴 case would prove embarrassing to the authorities, particularly the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, as showing that he had been giving incorrect information to Malaysians in his television interview last week?

The Prime Minister had revealed on television last  Wednesday (19th July 2000) that several members of the Al-Ma置nah gang, one armed with an M16 assault rifle equipped with a grenade launcher, left  Sauk for Kuala Lumpur and attacked a brewery and a temple after the arms heists in Grik.  Malaysians were subsequently   told that the Carlsberg brewery in Shah Alam was attacked twice with a  grenade launcher on July 3 at about 4 a.m. while  two grenades were launched at the Batu      Caves Hindu temple complex on July 9 at about 2 a.m.

As the police had all along claimed that only one M16-203 rocket-launcher had been missing from the Grik arms heists and which was subsequently recovered in Sungei Petani, the discrepancy is how could this grenade-launcher be used to shoot two grenades at the Batu Caves Hindu temple complex on July 9 at 2 a.m., when Subki was already arrested in Kuala Selangor on July 8 and took the police to Sungei Petani the next day to recover the grenade launcher?

Top police officers have conceded privately that the two grenades at the Batu Caves hindu temple might not have come from a grenade-launcher. If so, how sure are the police authorities that the two grenades found at the Carlsberg brewery on July 3 were from the missing M16-203 grenade launcher from the Grik arms heists?

The Inspector-General of Police has a responsibility to immediately explain these inconsistencies and discrepancies and not wait indefinitely for the White Paper痴 publication  so as not to forfeit public credibility of police accounts about the Al-Ma置nah arms heists and killings.

 In this connection, Malaysians want to know why no  court martial proceedings has been instituted against security personnel whose negligence and breakdown of military discipline have allowed the Al-Ma置nah arms heists to succeed in the first place, making the Malaysian army and the country the laughing stock of the world.

There appears to be an attempt to sweep the serious security lapses which had allowed the Al-Ma置nah arms heists to succeed in the first place under the carpet by the diversionary tactics of focussing on the religious, security and political aspects of the Al-Ma置nah issue.  This will be a great disservice to the nation痴 security and well-being.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman