IGP must prove he is not political catspaw of Home Minister Zahid

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar protests too much when he claimed that the arrest of Opposition figures and activists were not politically motivated, that nobody is above the law and offenders should stop using politics as a shield to avoid prosecution.

Khalid is quite a “catch” for UMNO/Barisan Nasional as he is proving to be the most “political” IGP in his first week as the top police officer in the country.

In the past week under a new IGP, Malaysians do not see any new initiatives, breakthrough or success in the most important challenge of the police to make safety and security the top police priority, return the streets to the people and abolish the “fear of crime” which is paralyzing the freedom of movement and activities of citizens, tourists and investors.

What for instance is Khalid doing to end the decades-long infamy of Johor Baru as the “capital of crime” in Malaysia?

Instead, we see the police under the IGP coming down hard on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and social activists, although public peace and order had not been undermined in any manner – raising the question of the commitment of the police under the IGP to promote and protect the human rights of Malaysians in the coming years.

It is no coincidence that the police crackdown on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and social activists comes at the same time as the announcement of a new Cabinet and a new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid has claimed that he had no hand in the crackdown on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and civil society activists, like the arrests of student leader Adam Adli, PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua, democracy activist Haris Ibrahim and PAS activist Tamrin Ghaffar, the harassment of DAP founding chairman Dr. Chen Man Hin 87, DAP MP for Serdang Ong Kian Ming, DAP MP for Taiping Nga Kor Ming and two DAP Pahang State Assemblymen Chow Yu Hui (Bilut) and Lee Chin Chen (Ketari) or the confiscation of Pakatan Rakyat publications, vize Harakah (PAS), Rocket (DAP) and Suara Keadilan (PKR).

When Zahid claims that he had no hand in the police arrests or harassments, the new Home Minister was taking a leaf out of Tun Mahathir’s “draconian rule” book in the latter’s 22 years as Prime Minister – like Mahathir’s “zero credulity” claim that he was completely in the dark about the infamous and nefarious Operationg Lalang mass arrests when it was launched 26 years ago.

Are Najib and Zahid both going to claim ignorance when the police launches an Ops Lalang 2 of mass arrests and suppression of human rights in Malaysia?

I have just been informed that the DAP MP for Ipoh Timor Thomas Su would be charged in court on Monday, on the same ground as the PKR Communications Director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who was charged last week - under Section 9 (1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, on the failure to inform the district police regarding a public ceramah.

Thomas is facing a charge which allows a fine up to RM10,000 on conviction, putting at risk his MP-ship of Ipoh Timor and even his qualification to be an MP.

Under Article 48 (1) (e) of the Federal Constitution, an elected representative would be disqualified if sentenced to a minimum one year jail term, slapped with a fine of not less than RM2,000 and has not received a pardon.

The IGP should pause and review its order of priorities – as the police should not veer from its primary responsibility to ensure that Malaysians are safe from crime whether in the streets and public places or even in the privacy of their homes.

Nobody believes that IGP had acted independently of Zahid.

Najib and Zahid have cause to ponder whether they want to be remembered for another “dark” chapter of the nation’s history, an Operation Lalang2 like of crackdown to help consolidate the power base of Najib in the upcoming UMNO party elections.

Let the IGP prove he is not political catspaw of Home Minister Zahid out to extract vengeance for Najib’s poor showing in the 13GE.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah