Call On Abdullah Badawi
To Clarify Conflicting And Misleading Ministerial Explanation In Parliament
Regarding The Police Abuse Of Indian IT Professionals
by Teresa Kok
I have sent a letter to the Acting Prime Minister via Minister of
Entrepreneur Development Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz to express my
displeasure and outrage at the explanation given by the Deputy Home Minister
Datuk Zainal Abidin on March 20, 2003 in the Dewan Rakyat on the accusation
of abuse of police powers against Indian IT professionals during a raid on
the Palm Court Condominium in Brickfields recently.
In his reply, Zainal Abidin denied that the police had use force against the
Indian nationals. He also denied that their passports were scratched and
defaced as alleged by the Indian IT professionals.
Zainal Abidin is not being truthful as DAP leaders and I had visited more
than a hundred of the Indian nationals at Palm Court Condominium two weeks
ago where we were told of how the police had abused them and defaced and
damaged the visa page of their passport during the operation concerned. That
is why the I am incensed by the lie told by the Deputy Home Minister.
The police brutality had caused a considerable number of them to resign from
their jobs and return home to India. It had also resulted in tension in the
bilateral relationship between Malaysia and India where Entrepreneur
Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri was questioned by Indian
ministers during his visit to India and Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng
was denied entry into India. In addition, the Indian government had also
threatened to reduce the import of palm oil from Malaysia and had in fact
refused to send their national hockey team to participate in the Sultan
Azlan Shah hockey tournament.
Clearly, this unfortunate incident had smeared the image of our country and
undermined our efforts to promote the Malaysian tourism industry in India as
well as internationally.
Zainal Abidin's denial of police brutality in the Dewan Rakyat directly
contradicts the statements of apology issued by both the Secretary General
of the Home Ministry Datuk Seri Aseh Che Mat and the Acting Prime Minister
cum Home Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The conflicting
statements by such important office bearers in the Home Ministry are
shocking. Zainal Abidin's remark in Parliament would only worsen the
diplomatic ties between the Indian and the Malaysian governments.
In my letter to Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi, I urged him to correct the
conflicting statements by the Home Ministry as a mark of the ministry's
respect towards Parliament. In my letter, I had also expressed the hope that
Abdullah, as future Prime Minister, could address the attitude of lying
which is a common problem amongst ministers and deputy ministers when making
speeches and giving replies in the Dewan Rakyat.
Hence, Abdullah should clarify the conflicting and misleading ministerial
explanation made by Zainal Abidin in Parliament regarding the police abuse
of Indian IT professionals in order to restore the image, accountability and
credibility of the Malaysian government and Parliament.
* Teresa Kok,
DAP MP for Seputeh