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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 12th February 2009: 

Are all the judges, lawyers, law professors and lecturers in the country going to be questioned and charged for treason for holding that rulers can be sued in court for their official capacities?

The police questioned DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh for two hours yesterday in connection with 89 reports which had been lodged against him nationwide for being disrespectful to the Sultan of Perak over the most simple proposition – that rulers in Malaysia’s system of constitutional monarchy can be taken to court in their official capacities.

This is the height of nonsense in the police and the Home Ministry!

Are all the law professors and lecturers in the Malaysian universities and colleges going to be questioned by the police for the crime of treason for teaching their students that rulers can be sued in court for their official capacities?

Are all the judges and the lawyers in the country going to be charged for treason for holding that rulers can be sued in their official capacities?

The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan should be fully aware of this simple legal proposition or they are simply not fit to continue for a single second in their high positions and in Hamid’s case, everyone must wonder how he got his law qualifications in the first place!

Why then are Hamid and Musa condoning and pandering to such criminal activities in lodging false police reports against Karpal, which under section 182 of the Penal Code, are crimes, as the offence of “false information, with intent to cause a public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person”, is liable on conviction to a penalty of six months’ jail, RM2,000 fine or both.

All the 89 persons who had lodged police reports against Karpal had committed the offence of giving false information under Section 182, and the police should have opened investigations to prosecute them, instead of questioning Karpal.

The “illegitimate” MCA Perak State Exco member, Dr. Mah Hang Soon is one of the 89 who should be investigated by the police and prosecuted under the Penal Code, for he had joined the Umno and Umno Youth extremists in lodging a false report against Karpal in his capacity as Perak MCA Youth leader.

The illegitimate MCA Perak Exco member and the other 88 who had lodged false reports against Karpal cannot be such simpletons that they do not know the law that rulers in Malaysia can be taken to court in their official capacities.

If they still have doubts, the illegitimate MCA Perak Exco member and the other miscreants need only refer to the article by Dr. Shad Faruqi, Professor of Law at UiTM, in the Star yesterday, “Legal turmoil over Perak defections” where he concluded:

Treason: Opinions are being expressed that to defy the Sultan and to threaten to go to court for defence of one’s legal rights amount to treason and a ground for deprivation of citizenship. There are fundamental misunderstandings here.

From day one of Merdeka, the King and the Sultans were open to civil suit for their official actions. They were only immune personally. In 1993 even the personal immunity was taken away.

In sum it is not a violation of the Constitution to resort to the courts to seek an authoritative opinion on one’s rights and duties. Where else does one go, what else does one do, if one has a claim?

Ignorance of the law is however no defence for the commission of any crime. It may go to mitigation, and only if Dr. Mah and the other 88 are prepared to immediately admit remorse and withdraw their false reports forthwith.

Hamid and Musa have again made Malaysia into an international laughing stock. When are they going to make immediate amends?

If Hamid and Musa are not prepared to take immediate action against the 89 (including Dr. Mah) by opening police investigation papers against them, is the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail who is currently overseas, prepared to restore public confidence in the impartiality and professionalism of the law enforcement agencies by instituting criminal prosecutions against the 89 troublemakers the first thing he returns to his duties?

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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