Anwar's black-eye

Media Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP
Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya
on Saturday, 7th November 1998:

Mohtar Abdullah should be concerned about the long delay in police
investigation into Anwar’s black-eye rather than an incorrect report
that police inquiries have been completed and submitted to him

The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah was very angry
yesterday, personally signing a statement vehemently denying a press
report that his office has received a report from the special team
investigating former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
that he was beaten up while in police custody at Bukit Aman.

Mohtar said in a strongly-worded statement that his office will lodge
a police report against The Star for publishing false news.

Mohtar’s vehement reaction raised eyebrows, both nationally and
internationally, for what should concerned him most as
Attorney-General should be the long delay in the police
investigation into Anwar’s black-eye and bruises while in police
custody rather than an incorrect press report that police inquiries
have been completed and submitted to him.

The Attorney-General has got his sense of priorities all wrong when he
is more obsessed by an incorrect press report clearly made in good
faith, wanting to launch a prosecution over it for "false news", when
what should incense him most is the manifest injustice at the
inordinate delay over police investigations into Anwar’s "black eye"
which has caused such great damage to Malaysia’s reputation, both
nationally and internationally.

Mohtar told the New Straits Times today that he did not have the
authority to speed up police investigations into Anwar "black-eye" and
it was improper for him to instruct the police to speed up their

This has intensified the mystery surrounding the police investigations
into Anwar’s allegations of police brutality against him on the first
night of his arrest on September 20, why the police is taking such an
inordinately long time, now for more than one-and-a-half-months, to
complete investigations into a very straightforward case, when Anwar
was completely in police custody in Bukit Aman lock-up!

There had earlier been a flurry of contradictory statements by the
Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim
Noor, and the Malaysian public are still completely in the dark about
the identity of the members of the "independent police investigation
team" into Anwar’s black-eye; how the police can credibly establish
an "independent police investigation team" into allegations of police
brutality against Anwar when the police is itself the subject of the
accusation; why the government and police had rejected calls for a
completely independent inquiry board without any police participation
to regain public confidence and establish the integrity of the police

The Malaysian public are now told that the independent police
investigation team is not answerable to the Inspector-General of
Police or even to the Prime Minister in his capacity as Home Minister.
The Attorney-General said yesterday that he had no authority to ask
the independent police investigation team to speed up its
investigations. Who then is responsible for the independent police
investigation team?

It would appear that nobody is now responsible for the independent
police investigations team and there is nobody to turn to if the team
sits on its investigation indefinitely.

This is most ridiculous and unacceptable situation because everyone is
trying to "pass the buck" over Anwar’s black-eye. The Malaysian public
are entitled to know why the special police investigation team into
Anwar’s black-eye is taking such an inordinately long time, who are
the members of the team, and whether it is true and believable that
the Inspector-General of Police and the Prime Minister are not
responsible whatsoever for the conduct of the special police
investigations team - to the extent that they know nothing about the
police investigations.

- Lim Kit Siang (7/11/98)
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Subject: The Anwar Saga: What is the Attorney-General Up to?
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 11:15:50 +0800
From: "M.G.G. Pillai" <>
Organization: Unconfigured
To: Sang Kancil <>
CC: SK <>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.malaysia, jaring.general

Why is the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, so tetchy and
nervous? Has this anythind to do with that the man who orders
prosecutions is subpoenaed as a witness for the prosecution in the
Anwar Ibrahim corruption and sodomy trial? He snapped at reporters
yesterday to deny that he has received the police investigation
report on the former deputy prime minister's allegation that he had
been assaulted when detained under the Internal Security Act. A
newspaper report yesterday said he had. His Chambers will lodge a
police report on this false report? If this mistake is serious
enough to warrant a police report, has he advised the prime
minister, Dato' Seri Mahathir Mohamed, about the false reports -- on
the economy, of his "excellent" relationship with his former deputy
four days before his dismissal, of the dangers of releasing false
news? The Attorney-General says: "I strongly deny I have received
the findings which was said to have been submitted by the special
police team (set up to investigation the allegation) to the A-G's
Chambers." Indeed, he seems to be as unnerved as other agencies of
the government are, frozen-faced at the prospect of speaking from
the witness box under oath on their role in the demonization of
Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

If the Attorney-General does not have the grace to call up the
newspaper to request a correction, and decides to go for the
jugular, what does he hope to achieve? That in a climate when
officials retort to every question: "No comment" or "I cannot
talk", such mistakes are inevitable. Has it done him or his
Chambers any irreparable harm or damage so beyond repair that he
must use a police sledghammer to swat the fly of a mistake? He
should just shut up, and await his turn at the witness stand to vent
his anger at those who question his conduct in the Anwar Saga.

But he must sweat it out. There is no short cut. And each
clanger from the first, prime, witness, the director of the Special
Branch himself, should induce more cold sweat from him an others.
Venting his anger at the local press does not help. Like the others
whose name have been released so far -- Tun Daim Zainuddin, special
functions minister; Dato' Seri Megat Junid Ayob, domestic trade and
consumer affairs minister; his second wife, Norzilah Jalil; Tan
Sri Rahim Tamby Chik, the former chief minister (fresh from his
throwing the gauntlet to seek libel damages of tens of millions in
US dollars from those who question his pristine personal conduct
vis-a-vis an underaged girl); Dato' Aziz Shamsuddin, a political
secretary of the prime minister. I can, however, understand and
completely sympathise with Tan Sri Mohtar, as I can with Dato'
Mohamed Said Awang, for suddenly having to explain under oath
matters he would not normally be expected to. But then it is also
not normal to sack the deputy prime minister in the hamfisted way he

M.G.G. Pillai

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