Attorney-General should drop
all the charges against the Batu Caves 31 and not just the ridiculous
“attempted murder” charge against them
by Lim Kit Siang
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has asked the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail
to reconsider the “attempted murder” charge preferred against the Batu
Caves 31, for which they were denied bail and had been incarcerated at the
Sungai Buloh Prison for the past 11 days since Dec. 5.
The denial of bail for the Batu Caves 31 is a blot on the administration
of justice in Malaysia, as it is harsh, inhumane and unconscionable,
completely indefensible on any ground as the contention of national
security advanced by the Attorney-General for the collective incarceration
of the Batu Caves 31 until their trial in January and the final disposal
of their cases do not stand up to any close scrutiny.
The Attorney-General should not only drop the charge of “attempted murder”
of a policeman leveled against all the 31, but he should go one step
further and withdraw all other charges preferred against them as well.
Furthermore, the police manhunt for more than 30 others to prosecute them
under a similar charge of “attempted murder” as the Batu Caves 31 should
also be dropped altogether.
The paramount consideration which should be top national priority is to
heal the wounds caused by the government insensitivity and mishandling of
the long-standing grievances of the Malaysian Indian community at their
political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious
polarization and not to aggravate the deep-seated and legitimate
discontents of the Malaysian Indian community with harsh and vindictive
reprisals by the various state agencies.
The Prime Minister had given a pledge to representatives of 14 NGOs on
Friday that the plight of the Indian community in the country will be
This pledge would have greater credibility if the Prime Minister’s meeting
had not been confined to the 14 NGOs regarded as under the thumb of Samy
Vellu and MIC but a truly representative dialogue with the Indian
community, including NGOs which are not under the sphere of influence of
Samy Vellu and MIC.
Furthermore, the Cabinet must show greater seriousness in its response to
the “cry of desperation” of the Malaysian Indians at their long-standing
marginalization in the form of the 30,000 peaceful Hindraf demonstration
on November 25 and come out with a New Deal for the marginalized Indians
instead of just asking the MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to set
up a special committee and a hotline to handle the problems faced by the
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman