Siti Hasmah Questioned by Police over Last Year’s Rally Speech

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The 91-year-old wife of former prime minister and Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was quizzed by police today over a speech she made at a women’s rights rally four months ago.

Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali was questioned by police today for more than an hour over her speech at the ‘Wanita Bantah Politik Toksik’ (Women Against Toxic Politics) rally on Sept 10 last year.

She was questioned at Yayasan Al Bukhary in Kuala Lumpur by two police officers, with the ranks of ASP and inspector, from Bukit Aman. The cops arrived at about 11.30am and left around 1pm.

According to her lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla, Siti Hasmah was asked 12 questions.

“Police said they received a report on the same day of the rally (Sept 10) and are investigating the case under Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act,” he told reporters after accompanying Siti Hasmah at the police interview.

Haniff said Siti Hasmah answered all the 12 questions well, and she would answer any other questions related to the rally in court, if required.

“In fact, Tun (Siti Hasmah) was very jovial throughout the interview and even joked it was the first time the police interviewed her,” he said.

However, Haniff questioned why the police needed to interrogate a 91-year-old woman and “a former mother figure of the country” four months after the event.

“The rally was done peacefully. What is the point of taking her statement?” he asked, adding that it was a waste of her time.

Haniff said that Mahathir himself had been questioned over various issues four times within two years by police but no action was taken.

“If there is evidence, then the authorities should just charge them in court.”

In September last year, Siti Hasmah joined a rally of over 1,000 women to protest against the country’s “toxic politics”.

Norman Goh/Malaysiakini

The rally, dubbed the “Purple Rally” as most of the participants were dressed in purple attire, urged all women to play their role in putting an end to toxic politics in the country.

Other public figures who took part were PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan, G25 spokesperson Noor Farida Ariffin and Siti Hasmah’s daughter Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

Marina posted on Twitter today: “Off to lend support to Mum while she’s being questioned by the cops for her speech at #wanitabantahpolitiktoksik last September. Imagine that! Some of us women going to keep her company. #whatisthiscountrycomingto.”

She also posted a photo of her and other female figures such as Maria and Ambiga who were there to show support. 

Related report: Aug 25, Women Against Toxic Politics