Is Malaysia pioneering a new-fangled “trial by police reports” in the latest twist of injustice and selective prosecution under Malaysia’s “rule by law”?

The charging of Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Vice President and MP for Batu, Chua Tian Chang for sedition for allegedly linking Umno to the Sulu-Police shoot-outs in Lahad Datu in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today is most regrettable and deplorable, for two reasons:

Firstly, it would appear that the Federal Government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not prepared to provide the lead and set the example to unite and rally all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and political affiliation as one patriotic Malaysian people to face up to the challenges posed by the Sulu terrorists to protect unequivocally our national sovereignty and the right to security of the people of Sabah and the security forces.

Is this the reason why the Cabinet in two consecutive meetings yesterday and the previous Wednesday refused to act on the proposal for the convening of a special session of Parliament on a six-point proposal (1) to give full support to the security forces to take all necessary measures to protect the national sovereignty and security; (2) pay tribute and honour to the nine fallen heroes from the police and armed forces in the shoot-outs in Lahad Datu and Semporna; (3) set up a special foundation to look after the welfare of the families of the fallen heroes and ensure the life-long education up to university level for their children at government expense; (4) condemn the atrocities committed against the fallen heroes by Sulu terrorists; (5) urge the immediate halt of the annual “cession payment” of RM5,300 to the self-proclaimed heir of Sulu Sultanate and (6) to call on the Philippines Government to drop all claims to Sabah.

Secondly, the prosecution of Tian Chua is setting a most dangerous precedent for the grave and gross miscarriage of justice in present-day Malaysia for at least two reasons:

(I) This is a case of selective prosecution as it is politically motivated. Not only has Tian Chua denied that he had insulted the security forces like describing the death of the police commandoes as “mati katak” (dying in vain), he is instituting defamation proceedings to clear his name of these slander and lies.

(II) The failure by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail to prosecute those who had said things which are a thousand times more seditious and who had refused to deny what they had said or to act against those who had clearly committed treason against the country.

(III) Whether Malaysia is pioneering a new-fangled “trial by police reports” – in addition to the unacceptable “trial by media” – in the latest twist of injustice and selective prosecution under Malaysia’s unjust “rule by law”? The police have said that as of yesterday, 318 police reports throughout the country had been lodged against Chua. Is Gani Patail going to be first Attorney-General in the world whose decision whether to prosecute or not will depend on the number of police reports lodged on the matter – however contrived and politically-motivated this may be?

Malaysians should end the madness of division and dissension among themselves when they should unite and stand as one against external threats like the Sulu terrorist incidents in Lahad Datu and Semporna.

There should be an immediate end to finger-pointing to fix blame for the Sabah Sulu crisis as the priority must to restore peace, calm and normalcy fo the east coast of Sabah in the shortest possible time.

The prosecution of Tian Chua is completely unjustifiable, indefensible and discriminatory especially as the PKR leader had denied the allegations made against him and has in fact instituted legal proceedings to clear his name.

I reiterate my call on all Malaysian political parties and leaders to focus on what should unite the people rather than what can divide the people at this moment of the Sabah Sulu crisis, which have cost the lives of eight policemen and two solders, and grave hardships to the Sabahans in the affected areas in Sabah – particularly the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) stretching from Kudat to Tawau on the east coast and which has Lahad Datu as the central command.

In the spirit of greater national unity, the Attorney-General should reconsider and drop all charges against Tian Chua who had denied the allegations against him, as he should only charge those who refused to deny, retract or apologise for their blatant seditious utterances and treasonous acts in the Sabah Sulu crisis.

DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur
Media statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 14th March 2013