Forward    Feedback    

Attorney-General should drop all the charges against the Batu Caves 31 and not just the ridiculous “attempted murder” charge against them

Media Statement          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has asked the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail to reconsider the “attempted murder” charge preferred against the Batu Caves 31, for which they were denied bail and had been incarcerated at the Sungai Buloh Prison for the past 11 days since Dec. 5.

The denial of bail for the Batu Caves 31 is a blot on the administration of justice in Malaysia, as it is harsh, inhumane and unconscionable, completely indefensible on any ground as the contention of national security advanced by the Attorney-General for the collective incarceration of the Batu Caves 31 until their trial in January and the final disposal of their cases do not stand up to any close scrutiny.

The Attorney-General should not only drop the charge of “attempted murder” of a policeman leveled against all the 31, but he should go one step further and withdraw all other charges preferred against them as well.

Furthermore, the police manhunt for more than 30 others to prosecute them under a similar charge of “attempted murder” as the Batu Caves 31 should also be dropped altogether.

The paramount consideration which should be top national priority is to heal the wounds caused by the government insensitivity and mishandling of the long-standing grievances of the Malaysian Indian community at their political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious polarization and not to aggravate the deep-seated and legitimate discontents of the Malaysian Indian community with harsh and vindictive reprisals by the various state agencies.

The Prime Minister had given a pledge to representatives of 14 NGOs on Friday that the plight of the Indian community in the country will be addressed.

This pledge would have greater credibility if the Prime Minister’s meeting had not been confined to the 14 NGOs regarded as under the thumb of Samy Vellu and MIC but a truly representative dialogue with the Indian community, including NGOs which are not under the sphere of influence of Samy Vellu and MIC.

Furthermore, the Cabinet must show greater seriousness in its response to the “cry of desperation” of the Malaysian Indians at their long-standing marginalization in the form of the 30,000 peaceful Hindraf demonstration on November 25 and come out with a New Deal for the marginalized Indians instead of just asking the MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to set up a special committee and a hotline to handle the problems faced by the Indian community.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: