DAP calls for a total re-orientation of police, immigration and the entire civil service to have an K-economy mentality and mindset where the roughing up of IT professionals in Brickfields would be completely unthinkable
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The high-handed and arbitrary police/immigration roughing up of 270 Indians, including many IT professionals, in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday dawn should be a final object lesson to the Malaysian government of the urgent need for a total re-orientation of the police, immigration and the entire civil service if Malaysia is serious in wanting to become an IT powerhouse at the cutting edge of information and communications technology.
The Malaysian High Commisioner to India, Dato Choo Siew Kioh was called to the Indian Foreign Office in New Delhi yesterday and warned that diplomatic relations could be affected by the incident.
This is a black mark for Malaysia’s foreign relations, coming so soon after the 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Kuala Lumpur a fortnight ago, straining bilateral relations, but even more serious, causing untold damage to Malaysia’s reputation to the global IT community which though small and scattered worldwide, would have immediate access to news about the Malaysian police/immigration rampage against Indian IT professionals!
If Malaysia is to make the quantum leap into the information society and become a successful knowledge-economy, we must be able to attract IT professionals from all over the world to provide the necessary IT brain-power for such a transition.
What happened in Brickfields to the Indian IT professionals, who were treated as criminals, raided from their apartments, not allowed time to produce their documents, and rough physical treatment, will not enhance Malaysia’s attractiveness as a magnet for the world’s IT professionals but drive them away.
The disgraceful Brickfields incident on Sunday is a lesson, not only as to how small the world has become, but how the action of every police or immigration officer can have grave consequences in creating disastrous repercussions for the country’s quest for IT power and undermine Malaysia’s international competitiveness.
The Malaysian Government should have the humility and sincerity to publicly own up to the mistakes of its police and immigration personnel, and this is the reason for my suggestion yesterday for the Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in his capacity as Home Minister, to make a Ministerial statement in Parliament on the unfortunate matter, tendering an open apology for the incident.
DAP calls for a total re-orientation of police, immigration and the entire civil service to have an K-economy mentality and mindset where incidents like the roughing up of IT professionals by police and immigration would be completely unthinkable.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman