Invitation to shootout: AG should speak up

The Malaysian government must take full responsibility for any harm which may come upon Padang Serai MP N Surendran in any shootout he takes part in on invitation of the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

I'm of the view that the IGP reacted foolishly in extending this somewhat ridiculous invitation to Surendran when pinned down under pressure over criticisms over his men's handling of shootings of late.

But that does not mean that the Attorney-General, who is the nations top legal officer and advisor to the federal cabinet should remain silent especially where the matter may involve an illegality which could result in serious harm being brought upon an ordinary citizen and a Member of Parliament.

The AG should tell us if the Standard Operating Procedures governing police shootouts allow for ordinary civilians to be included in such operations. He should also tell us which law permits the IGP to invite ordinary citizens to participate in operations exclusively reserved for trained members of the force if he is to convince us that such an invitation is in the first place lawful at all.

It is also alarming to see the IGP insist that Surendran sign letters of indemnity so as to absolve others of liability in the event harm does come to Surendran during the shootout. The AG must comment on the legality of this as well.

As Member of Parliament, I demand that the Attorney General break his silence. He must respond. I call upon him to put some sense into the IGP and to advise him that what he is doing does not find support be it in law or otherwise.

Maybe the AG should also remind the IGP that it is the criticism over his men's handling of shootings which he needs to deal with and not the Member of Parliament personally instead.

Gobind Singh Deo MP Puchong