Withdraw all charges against
Batu Caves 31 and challenge to AG and IGP to substantiate or withdraw
allegations of terrorist links against Hindraf leaders
by Lim Kit Siang
I just came back to Parliament
from the Shah Alam Sessions Court where the Attorney-General, Tan Sri
Abdul Gani Patail as expected dropped the attempted murder charge against
the Batu Caves 31 after being incarcerated for close to two weeks on the
ground that they are “national security” threats.
Of course I welcome the Attorney-General’s change of mind and the
withdrawal of the charge of attempted murder of a policeman preferred
against the Batu Caves 31 – as I had right from the beginning called on
Gani to drop the charges of “attempted murder” against the 31 as well as
the manhunt for another 30 on the same charge of attempted murder, as it
would precipitate a new crisis of confidence in the administration of
justice over selective and malicious prosecution in the abuse of the
Attorney-General’s discretionary prosecution powers.
However, I am still very disappointed by Gani’s conduct in the Shah Alam
Although the charges against five students for causing mischief and
illegal assembly were also dropped (and they should never have been
charged in the first place), the charges of causing mischief and illegal
assembly against 26 remained, with their case adjourned till December 27
for sentencing following their guilty pleas this morning.
The very fact that Gani had to drop the capital charge of attempted murder
against the Batu Caves 31, (which also means the abandonment of his
intention to charge 30 others with the same capital offence) - which could
land the guilty with a sentence of life imprisonment - is proof that the
Attorney-General had abused his powers in preferring such capital charges
in the first place.
It raises the question as to the real motive of the Attorney-General in
abusing his powers in slapping the Batu Caves 31 with such a serious
charge when there is no basis or justification whatsoever.
The two-week incarceration of the Batu Caves 31 who were denied bail on
the ground of being “national and security threats” remains a blot on the
nation’s administration of justice and the tenure of Gani Patail as
What Gani should have done in the Shah Alam Sessions Court this morning is
to withdraw all charges against all the Batu Caves 31, which would still
not be full recompense for the injustice he had done to the 31 Malaysians
in incarcerating them for a fortnight in prison.
I call on Gani to further reconsider the charges against the remaining 26
and when their cases come up on Dec. 27, to withdraw all charges against
Just before the Sessions Court convened this morning at about noon, after
inordinate delays, word spread that MIC President and Works Minister Datuk
Seri S. Samy Vellu would be showing up in court.
However, he did not turn up – probably after he received information that
he would be publicly booed by the families of the Batu Caves 31!
I had given notice to the Parliament Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah, to move
an emergency motion last Monday (10th December) on the allegation by the
Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan on Hindraf’s links to
terrorists and canvassing for support from terrorist groups.
The motion did not come up in Parliament last Monday as the PAS MP for
Kubang Kerian Sallehuddin Ayub had earlier given notice for an emergency
motion about electoral abuses – and Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat
permitted only one such motion a day.
The first time the alleged terrorist links of Hindraf leaders were alleged
in the public domain was in the court proceedings of the Batu Caves 13 and
made by the Attorney-General to strengthen his argument to deny bail to
As Gani could withdraw the serious charge of capital offence of attempted
murder against the Batu Caves 31, the veracity of his allegation (and that
of the IGP) of Hindraf’s terrorist links is most suspect.
The Attorney-General and Inspector-General of Police should substantiate
their allegations of terrorist links against Hindraf leaders or they
should withdraw them.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman