Abdullah should nip in the bud any proposal for police raids on private houses for pornographic VCDS before citizens in the privacy of their home are subject to a reign of terror by police abusing their powers or criminals pretending to be police officers searching for illegal VCDs
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should nip in the bud any proposal for police raids on private houses for pornographic video compact discs before citizens in the privacy of their home are subject to a reign of terror by police abusing their powers or criminals pretending to be police officers searching for illegal VCDs.
Yesterday’s papers carried the screaming headlines like “Search for porn to include houses too” when quoting the Home Ministry’s Central Zone Enforcement unit chief, Mamat Ibrahim, that the crackdown on pornographic VCDs was going a step further with raids on houses suspected of having such VCDs, as possessing pornographic VCDs was an offence punishable with a fine of between RM10,000 and RM50,000 or a maximum five years in jail.
The clarification by Abdullah in Butterworth yesterday that the Home Ministry will study the legal implications of conducting house-to-house raids for pornographic VCDs before embarking on such a move is not good enough, as great damage has been done to the notion of the sanctity of the privacy of one’s home with the great publicity given to the issue – with one Chinese national daily today giving the front-page headline “House-to-house search for pornographic VCDs – Action by enforcement officers anytime”. (Nanyang Siang Pau)
What is needed to undo the damage, before any Malaysian is exposed to harm whether from police abusing powers or criminals fraudulently claiming to be police officers searching for pornographic VCDs, is a clear-cut statement allowing for no ambiguity that the police are not allowed to launch any house-to-house search or raid for pornographic or pirate VCDs.
The campaign against pornographic VCDs deserves full public support, but the target of the police action must be the manufacturers, distributors and dealers. DAP is fully opposed to any house-to-house police raids for pornographic or pirate VCDs, as it will do more harm than good, resulting in a reign of terror by the police and criminals camouflaging as police to tyrannise over private citizens in their homes. DAP lawyers will give full assistance to Malaysians subject to such improper raids in their homes.
Is the police prepared to make an example of Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Members of Parliament by sending police teams to raid their homes to search for pornographic or pirated VCDs, as such raids will not end up empty-handed?
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman