Attorney-General should be summoned to the Cabinet meeting tomorrow to advise the immediate calling off of Ops Warta II


Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday):   The Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Gani Patail should be summoned to the Cabinet meeting tomorrow to advise the immediate calling off of Ops Warta II to ensure that the police first meet the legal requirements on service of summonses before arresting traffic offenders who had not settled their summonses. 

The Cabinet meeting tomorrow should end the farce of Ops Warta II with Cabinet Ministers in sixes and sevens. On the one hand, the de facto Minister, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim has pronounced  Ops Warta II illegal and that the police would have to postpone action against offenders whose summons could not be served on them until certain provisions of the law are amended. 

However,  the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has adopted the  latest position  that the second deadline of May 16  for the settling of summons under Ops Warta II would not be extended - ignoring  the question as to the legality of Ops Warta II, including its second deadline, which was why Rais had called the Ops Warta II to be put on hold. 

New Straits Times reported today that the Attorney-General  is expected to meet the Deputy Prime Minister within the week to discuss the issue of traffic summonses. 

The Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser of the government, and it is a bad reflection not only on the government but also on the Attorney-General himself that the farce of the legality or otherwise of Ops Warta II had been allowed to drag on for so long, undermining public confidence not only in the efficiency of the police, the Attorney-Generalís Chambers and the government as a whole but their commitment to the rule of law. 

The Cabinet meeting tomorrow  should end the Ops Warta II farce  and the Attorney-General should advise the Cabinet, the Home Ministry and the Police of the legal way to settle the three million outstanding  traffic summons.  The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai should initiate a dialogue with political parties, consumer groups, trade unions, the Bar Council and other interested NGOs to devise a  satisfactory formula to effect the settlement of the  outstanding three million traffic summons without trampling on the rule of law.

(7/5/2002)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman