Only People 'Causing Trouble' Are the Police Themselves

Klang MP Charles Santiago has been summoned for questioning at the Bukit Aman police headquarters, the DAP elected representative said on Facebook today.

He said the questioning tomorrow morning will be regarding a forum on the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), which was held on Nov 25, 2019.

Charles is understood to have appeared as a panellist at the forum organised by human rights group Suaram as part of the latter’s campaign to repeal Sosma.

Controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik had threatened to sue Charles over his remarks at the same forum.

Zakir had accused Charles of defaming him by linking him to the arrests of a dozen individuals accused of attempting to revive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), while lawyers representing Charles said the remarks were not defamatory.

Prior to the forum, the police also said it would not rule out summoning several people including Charles over the allegation there was a ‘deep state’ operating within the government….

In December last year, Bukit Aman police also questioned Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy over the same forum under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code.

The section refers to “statements conducive to public mischief” that are intended or likely to cause public fear or alarm or induce someone to commit an offence against the government or public tranquillity.

Our comment

What is most “likely to cause public fear or alarm or induce someone to commit an offence against the government or public tranquillity” is police listening in on public forums and then hauling in people (a year later) who say things the police or influential people don’t like.

Did anyone at the Suaram event start committing violent acts? Was anyone incited to do so in the aftermath of the forum by the remarks made by this elected representative of the people or anyone else? Clearly, with a year gone by the answer is no.

Meanwhile, if Zakir Naik, who is hiding in Malaysia from terrorism charges in his own country, feels insulted by something said, he has access to the civil routes.

Citizens of Malaysia have much more reason to become fearful and alarmed at the sight of their police force championing the battles of such a fellow against their own elected representatives.

With regard to talk of a ‘Deep State’, it seems that were these doughty police officers to be transferred to the United States they would have no hesitation in hauling the very President in for questioning. However, it is simply not the job of the police to make judgements about politics, which are the province of the electorate.

Harassing elected representatives of the people on spurious grounds of inciting public disorder in the total absence of any evidence of such disorder, instead of picking up genuine law breakers is – repeat – something that does cause public fear and alarm.

Such behaviour is a sign of a police force out of control or under the control of factional interests. In these circumstances the public might then indeed feel driven to acts against such a government.

Police are there to serve and solve problems of law breaking and disorder, not to cause disorder or raise public concern about their government.

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