19 September, 2008

Teresa Kok's Release Decided Entirely By Police ?

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the release of the Seputeh Member of Parliament, Teresa Kok, from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was decided entirely by the police without referring to him or requiring his approval.

He said he was in fact informed of the matter after Kok had been released, and believed that the release was made after police investigation revealed that the detention was no longer necessary.

"I don't ask questions (to the police) because when it comes to police exercising their power, I let them do their work without any hassle.

"And if they feel there is no need to make any recommendations (to detain further) and they are satisfied, they will release in accordance with the powers that they have," he told reporters after presenting contributions to the ministry's staff.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said in a statement that police were satisfied with the cooperation rendered by Kok during the investigation and there was no longer any reason to continue her detention.

Commenting further, Syed Hamid said that under Section 73, an individual could be detained for up to 60 days for investigation if the police suspected that he or she was a threat to national security.

He said that his role as the minister was only needed to approve detention that exceeded the 60-day period, where police felt that the extended detention was a necessity.

On the statement by the United States (US) which claimed that the use of the ISA was an infringement of 'democratic rise and value', Syed Hamid said every nation should be given the right to administer the country according to the laws determined by it.

Use of the Internal Security Act in Malaysia

The United States views with grave concern recent use by the Government of Malaysia of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the possibility that it might be used again to detain opposition political figures. The statement by a government figure that a leading member of the opposition had become "a threat to the economy and national security" is extremely troubling.

The United States firmly believes that national security laws, such as the ISA, must not be used to curtail or inhibit the exercise of universal democratic liberties or the peaceful expression of political views. The detention of opposition leaders under the ISA would be viewed by the United States and the international community as a fundamental infringement of democratic rights and values.

2008/747

(Source: U.S. Department of State)



"Malaysia should be responsible to Malaysia. We have the greatest respect for the US and we've got good bilateral relations, but it doesn't mean that wherever we are going we have to ask them 'can we go?' If we want to go into a room also we ask them 'would you allow us to go into the room?'

"Each country has got its own peculiar position or circumstances and I think we should be happy with what we are doing with our law, in order to protect our citizens," he added.


Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s full statement

My ISA detention is without any legal or moral basis. It is a clear abuse of detention without trial.

I have been released after being detained in solitary confinement in a 6ft by 8ft holding cell for seven days under the Internal Security Act. I was informed by the police that they detained me under Section 73(1) of Internal Security Act 1960, which means I have incited racial and religious tension and conflict.

After being detained for seven days under the guise of so-called investigations, the police failed to produce any evidence or proof of me being involved in the activities of causing racial and religious tension.

They were only able to ask me few questions based entirely on the false and malicious article written by Zaini Hassan under the topic “Azan, jawi, JAIS, Uitm dan ba-alif-ba-ya” that was published in Utusan Malaysia on Sept 10, 2008.

The three main questions that the investigation officers asked me were:

1) Whether I had mobilised a group of residents at Bandar Kinrara to present a petition to oppose to the azan at the Bandar Kinrara mosque;

2) Whether I had made a statement that 30% of the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) allocation is to be given to other non-Islam religious bodies; and

3) Whether I had opposed the Jawi wording in road signages in Kuala Lumpur.

I denied the first two accusations as I did not do any such things as accused. I also told them that the issue of opposing Jawi road signages in Kuala Lumpur was done in January/ February 2008 at the request and following the pressure of resident associations. The resident associations, particularly in Taman Seputeh, were most unhappy because many of the road signages were changed arbitrarily by DBKL a few months before and changed again soon after this time with Jawi wordings. They were strongly opposed to this kind of wastage of public funds by DBKL.

I was quite surprised that there were no other questions posed to me besides these few main questions.

The Internal Security Act is meant to detain people who threaten national security. The three issues stated above have nothing to do with national security. If the police wanted to carry out investigations on me, they can always ask me to give statements in any police station and there was absolutely no need to detain me under the ISA for seven days. This is a phenomenal abuse of the power of police under the ISA.

Besides, it is nonsensical for the police to detain me under the ISA merely based on the unsubstantiated article written by an irresponsible columnist in Utusan Malaysia. How can they regard that article as the gospel truth without investigating the writer in the first place? How can Utusan Malaysia publish it without verifying the facts?

I wish to ask the police whether they have called Zaini Hassan and Utusan Malaysia’s editors for questioning before and after my detention.

I know that the imam of Bandar Kinrara mosque has publicly denied that I got involved in the Puchong residents petition against the azan of his mosque on Sept 13. I am also quite surprised to read in the New Straits Times dated Sept 19 that the official of the Bandar Kinrara mosque was called by the Dang Wangi police for statement recording only yesterday afternoon. Why did the police do it so late, one week after I was arrested? Why didn’t they check their facts first before they arrested me and put me behind bars?

I have been made scapegoat in the internal squabbles of Umno.

I see my detention as a ploy by Umno to try to cover up the embarrassment and the outrage of the racist statements made by Ahmad Ismail in Penang. I wonder why did they choose an innocent person like me as I have never made any racist statements or racist speeches in the past?

I lodged a police report on Sept 17 against Utusan Malaysia, Zaini Hassan and Dr Khir Toyo for criminal defamation. I would therefore urge the police to investigate Utusan Malaysia’s editors, those racist bloggers and Dr Khir Toyo under the Penal Code.

As I have mentioned in my previous lawyer’s visit, I will sue Utusan Malaysia, Zaini Hassan and Dr Khir Toyo. I have also instructed my lawyers to sue the Malaysian government for my unlawful arrest and detention.

Raja Petra should be released.

As I am free from ISA detention today, I also call for the release of Raja Petra, the Hindraf Five and all other 60 over detainees under the draconian ISA.

I would also like to thank all politicians in the ruling parties as well as in the Pakatan Rakyat, NGOs, churches and all social organisations who have campaigned and prayed for my release.

(Source: Malaysiakini)

Labels: ,

1 Comments:

Blogger Zawi said...

Has he an iota of credibility to be believed? I for one doubt it.

September 21, 2008 6:46 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home