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Monday, March 30, 2015

Speaker rejects opposition motion to sack top cop

PKR lawmaker Sim Tze Tzin’s bid to file a motion calling for the sacking of the inspector-general of police was rejected today. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 30, 2015.PKR lawmaker Sim Tze Tzin’s bid to file a motion calling for the sacking of the inspector-general of police was rejected today. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 30, 2015.
The Dewan Rakyat Speaker today rejected a motion by PKR lawmaker Sim Tze Tzin to sack the inspector-general of police (IGP), amid concerns that the nation's top cop was abusing the colonial-era Sedition Act to silence dissent.
Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected Sim's motion in chambers, on grounds that Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's actions as the IGP were allocated to him under the laws to ensure the nation's security and public order.
"As such, there is no urgency in the matter," Pandikar said in his letter to Sim today, justifying his decision to reject the motion, which was filed last Wednesday.
"We see a worrying trend of what has been happening. This is becoming a threat to parliamentarians. The arrests are politically motivated," Sim said in a press conference at the Parliament lobby today, referring to the recent spate of arrests of opposition politicians, activists and others.
"The House would have been the best forum to discuss the conduct of the IGP. It is a political problem, so we solve it in a political way."
Earlier in the House, Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng also attempted to discuss the IGP's actions in arresting several opposition leaders ahead of the #KitaLawan rally last Saturday, but was shot down by Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee.
"It is not reasonable to misuse remand orders to prolong their detention that they cannot attend the parliamentary sitting," said Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general.
"I want to urge the House to ask the IGP to not detain lawmakers longer than a reasonable amount of time.
"We will not stop the police from making any arrests which are justified by the law but don't, when they are arrested for illegal assembly, treat them as if they had committed a serious crime, like murder or corruption."
Lim was referring to the arrest of Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, who was arrested on Friday afternoon, a day before the #KitaLawan demonstration in the capital city.
Lim added that Rafizi had been pictured cuffed and barefooted while in detention, adding that lawmakers should not be subjected to such a treatment.
"He did not do anything wrong. He did not steal or rob the people's money. This is just an appeal for the IGP to respect the parliamentary institution," the Penang chief minister said.
His comments were met with cheers from opposition lawmakers in the House while several Barisan Nasional lawmakers, including Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, who is Lenggong MP, stood up to interject.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who was arrested at 3.20am on Sunday following the rally, said that he would have appeared at the police station to have his statement taken if the cops had just called him.
"There was no need to send so many of them and with weapons to arrest me," he said.
Kiandee, however, told the opposition bench that the motion to discuss the IGP's conduct had already been rejected in Chambers and could not be debated in the House.
In a press conference later, Khalid said the whole process of arresting him, keeping him in detention and attempting to remand him was a waste of the government's resources.
"The last time, when I was investigated under the Sedition Act, the police called me and I went to give my statement," he said.
Referring to a robbery at the home of Selangor Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh's parents in USJ Subang Jaya at around 10am yesterday, the PAS lawmaker said it was odd that robbers were now appearing in the morning while police were appearing in the wee hours of the night.
He also hit out at the IGP, saying that the top cop was being partisan in only taking action against opposition leaders.
"He wants to apple polish the BN government, he has his own political agenda. If we continue to have such an IGP, our country will definitely see some damage," he said.

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