(Penang, Saturday): I find the statement yesterday by the
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that I
would be prosecuted for the offence of sedition because the “No
to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” campaign is politically-motivated most outrageous.
fact, it raises the disturbing question whether Abdullah is fit and suitable to
be the Prime Minister of Malaysia after Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
does not seem to know the rudimentary constitutional
law that neither he, whether as Deputy Prime Minister or Home Minister,
nor the Police has the power to decide that I be prosecuted for the offence of
should have read the timely column by former Federal Court judge, professor of
law in the International Islamic University and Suhakam Deputy Chairman, Tan Sri
Harun Hashim who wrote on precisely this subject in his regular New Straits Times column Benchmark
only two days ago (6.6.2002), where he states:
our criminal justice system it is the duty of the police and the ACA to
investigate offences alleged to have been committed without fear or favour.
Their duty is to collect all available evidence which has to be proven in a
court of law in respect of every single charge…
”Once the investigation is completed, the police must submit the investigation papers to the Attorney-General. It is not for the police to decide whether there should be a prosecution. That is for the A-G alone to decide in his absolute discretion. As far as the police are concerned, all they can say is that they have completed investigations and that the papers have been submitted to the A-G.
”In a normal case, the A-G decides as a matter of law that there is sufficient evidence to sanction a prosecution. He will decline to prosecute if there is insufficient evidence. He could, however, decline to prosecute even if there is sufficient evidence by entering a nolle prosequi.
the Constitution, the A-G is not answerable to anybody in deciding to institute,
conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings
before a Syariah court, a native court or
want to ask Abdullah whether he has usurped the constitutional powers and absolute discretion of the Attorney-General, Datuk Abdul
Gani Patail and is issuing an open directive, through his public statement, that
I should be prosecuted under the Sedition Act because the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” pamphlet is
politically-motivated even before the police has submitted its investigation
papers to the Attorney-General?
When did “political motivation”
become a crime and a sedition offence
in Malaysia? Would Abdullah
be the Deputy Prime Minister and heir apparent to the highest office in the land
today if not for his “political motivations” and is this an arrestable and
I do not deny the political objectives
of the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
1957” People’s Awareness Campaign, which
is to create awareness among all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion
or political beliefs, of the
far-reaching political, economic, legal, social and citizenship implications of
the “929 Declaration” by Mahathir that Malaysia is an Islamic State, as this
is the most critical issue to be decided in the next general election expected
in less than 12 months.
It is unthinkable that the overwhelming
majority of Malaysians will make a conscious choice to abandon the 1957 Merdeka
Constitution and “social contract” that Malaysia is a democratic, secular
and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an
Islamic state, but Malaysians may
“sleep-walk” into endorsing Mahathir’s
“929 declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic State if they are not
aware of its far-reaching implications.
I am sure Abdullah will not dispute
the political motives of Mahathir in making the “929 declaration”
that Malaysia is an Islamic state, in particular to compete with PAS to win the
electoral support of the Malay heartland or it would not have been made at the
Gerakan national conference on September 29
But does this make Mahathir’s “929
declaration” a sedition offence
because of its political motivation, as he is claiming with regard to the
DAP’s “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
Nobody would blame Abdullah for not
being well-versed in the law and the constitution, as this is not his field of
expertise; but he must be held responsible for surrounding himself with bad
advisers who could not give him the proper briefing, not only about the law and
the constitution, but also the duties and responsibilities of a Deputy Prime
Minister and Home Minister.
Even more shocking, Abdullah is being
given bad political advice by his coterie of political consultants.
For instance, he accused the DAP of
supporting the PAS’ Islamic State and hudud laws and only opposing UMNO’s
It is most shocking that Abdullah could
be so ignorant of what all Malaysians know, that the DAP’s opposition to an
Islamic State in plural Malaysia is
consistent whether ala- UMNO or ala- PAS –
and this was why DAP had pulled out of the Barisan Alternative.
It would appear that Abdullah and his advisers do not even read their own
“mainstream media” like the New
Straits Times which only yesterday carried
the following headline “Party doesn’t
want an Islamic state as advocated by Pas” in its report on my comments on
the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
In criticizing the DAP for keeping
“silent” on the Terengganu hudud enactment,
Abdullah does not seem to know what the Minister for Women and Family
Development, Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil knows very well - that the DAP is
openly and unreservedly opposed to the Terengganu PAS Government’s proposed
Syariah Criminal Enactment Bill, calling for its withdrawal and that I had
myself said in Penang on Monday that the
Terengganu hudud bill violates human
rights and discriminates against women in providing, among others,
that a woman who reports she has been raped will be charged with
qazaf (slanderous accusation) and flogged 80 lashes if she is unable to
prove the rape while an unmarried
woman who is pregnant is assumed to have committed zina
, even if she has been raped.
But equally or more disturbing that
being surrounded by bad advisers giving him bad advice is his political
judgement in stating that I should be prosecuted for sedition for opposing
Mahathir’s “929 Declaration”.
Abdullah should specifically state his
stand on the following two issues:
Firstly, whether he is claiming that
Malaysian democracy, human rights and the rule of law have reached a stage of
development where it is only permissible to support Mahathir’s “929
declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic State, while any criticism or
opposition is not permissible and even constitutes “sedition” offence?
If so, would the
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism,
Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (MCCBCHS) be guilty of sedition because of
their statement of 31st
January , signed by its President, Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Most Reverend
Anthony Soter Fernandez, opposing the “929 declaration” for violating the
1957 Merdeka Constitution and “social contract”
and reaffirming that Malaysia is a secular state?
Secondly, if the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” campaign to defend the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and “social contract” reached by our forefathers from the major communities before Independence and reaffirmed by the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak on the formation of Malaysia in 1963 is seditious, then isn’t Mahathir’s “929 Declaration” which went against the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and “social contract” even more seditious.
If the DAP lodges a police report
against Mahathir for committing the offence of sedition in making the “929
Declaration”, can Abdullah give
the public assurance that there would be no double standards and that the police
will act with same “lightning speed” as the Ipoh Police
in raiding the UMNO Headquarters and the Prime Minister’s Office?
It is no sedition to say “No
to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957”, which is a patriotic, nationalistic,
peaceful and democratic campaign to defend the
1957 Merdeka Constitution and “social contract” and for this reason, there
will be no let-up in the campaign
to defend the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and social contract.
Malaysia has not reached the stage
where the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister has been vested with the
powers of the Attorney-General to decide who or what to prosecute as well as the
powers of the judiciary to decide who is guilty of the offence of sedition.
It is very disappointing that instead
of restraining and disciplining the few “black sheep” in Ipoh police guilty
of abuses of police powers, as in my wrongful arrest, the wrongful raid of Perak
DAP premises, wrongful seizure of 18,000 campaign pamphlets, and violations of
human rights, Abdullah should be making irresponsible and
baseless allegations against the DAP.
I commend the Suhakam Commissioner, Dr
Abdul Monir Yaacob, who had received the official complaint of the Perak DAP
yesterday in connection with the police abuses of power and calling for a public
inquiry into the police violation of human rights from the DAP Perak Chairman,
Ngeh Koo Ham, and who promised that the complaint would be considered at the
full Suhakam Board meeting on Monday.
I hope the Suhakam would establish a
public inquiry into the abuses of power and human rights violations by the Ipoh
police, as the police education of their human rights responsibilities is
essential if Suhakam is to be able to discharge its statutory duties to
“protect and promote” human rights.
I have not reached the stage where I am
publicly declaring that Abdullah is not fit and suitable to be the Prime
Minister of Malaysia after Mahathir, but he would shatter all public confidence
in him if he continues to say outrageous things about important issues affecting
the people and nation – and I hope he would be more circumspect, serious and
responsible in all his future utterances.