Political interference: Kit Siang sees parallels with Lingam tapes, questions PN’s silence

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Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang drew parallels to outgoing Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador’s complaints about political interference in the force with allegations of judicial interference in 2007.

Lim noted that in the 2007 incident where a well-connected lawyer was caught on recording discussing the fixing the appointment of judges, then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had at least decided to address the issue by establishing a royal commission of inquiry (RCI).

In contrast, Lim said no action appear to be forthcoming in Hamid’s revelations.

“Hamid’s farewell press conference on Friday reminds Malaysians of the ‘It looks like me, it sounds like me, but it is not me’ Lingam tapes episode in 2007 which led to the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry into the fixing of judges for appointments and promotions.

In failing to establish an RCI on Hamid’s serious allegations about corruption and interference with police independence and professionalism, Lim asked if Muhyiddin Yassin was a worse prime minister than Abdullah, who set up an RCI on Lingam tapes with regard to illegal intervention into the judicial appointment process.

“What is holding back Muhyiddin from doing what is right and proper for the country, when he should know national interests demand such an RCI being formed immediately?” said Lim.

Hamid, in his final press conference as the top cop, had taken aim at Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin for interfering in the appointments of senior police officers.

Hamzah had admitted that he was the person in a leaked audio recording where he discussed appointing “our boys” in the police force.

Hamzah maintained he had done nothing wrong and the only offence was the act of recording what he had said.

Lim questioned the government’s continued silence on the matter.

“Is the bloated Muhyiddin cabinet just a cabinet of yes-men and self-seekers who dare not decide on an RCI on the IGP’s many serious allegations?

“Two days have passed and Muhyiddin has kept his silence on the issue. When will he speak on the IGP’s shocking exposé?” he said.

In a separate statement, Lim said it was also shocking that many hair-raising stories about cruelty, brutality and inhumanity in prisons and police lock-ups are appearing during Hamzah’s tenure.

He noted complaints by families of 10 prison inmates that their incarcerated relatives were allegedly abused at the Jelebu Prison with their genitals and anuses purportedly pepper-sprayed.

Lim called a public inquiry into the incident.

He also noted another incident where A Ganapathy’s legs were amputated and later died in the intensive care unit after being released from police custody.

His mother claimed his legs were beaten with a hose.

“It is shocking and completely unacceptable that prisoners are treated worse than animals, completely denied their human rights,” he said.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim also called for an investigation into the alleged political interference in the police force.

“The interference also indirectly proves the illegitimate government is using various means and tactics to cling to power.

“This action will erode the people’s confidence and create doubt towards to Royal Malaysian Police’s credibility,” he said in a statement.

Anwar stressed that the police force should be free of political interference.

“I urge for a thorough investigation into the revelation. the government must also respond as soon as possible,” he said. – Malaysiakini