September 7, 2012
Guan Eng: Handcuffing girl is double standards
DAP has slammed the Government for “double standards” and “abuse of power” in handcuffing the teenaged girl who had allegedly stepped on the Prime Minister’s photograph during the Merdeka Eve celebrations at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.
Calling the action “high-handed and severe”, DAP Secretary-General and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng pointed out that BN leaders had not been similarly handcuffed when they were detained on charges of corruption.
“Malaysians are outraged by the handcuffs placed on the kids, who included the 19 year-old girl Ong Sing Yee, who voluntarily surrendered.
“Handcuffs are not usually required, unless the accused is violent or has committed a crime of violence, or may attempt to escape.
“In this case, handcuffing a young girl who had voluntarily surrendered is nothing but an abuse of power and an act of humiliation,” Lim said in a statement today.
He said Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Mohmad Salleh’s justification did not make sense in the light of how BN leaders had been treated in the past.
“Such a statement (by Mohmad) only shows that the Police are insensitive, irresponsible and not making any sense as to why BN leaders are given special treatment and not handcuffed in the back when they were charged with corruption or cheating the public.”
While Lim did not specify who the said BN leaders were, they may include a number of high profile BN leaders charged in recent years. For example former Selangor Menteri Besar Mohd Khir Toyo was charged with corruption in December 2010, while in June that year former transport minister and former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik was charged with misleading the cabinet on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.
In February 2011, another former transport minister, Chan Kong Choy, who was also a former MCA Deputy President, was slapped with three charges of cheating in relation to the (PKFZ) scandal.
In March this year, the husband of former federal minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Mohamad Salleh Ismail was charged with two counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and two counts of violating the Companies Act 1965 in connection with the RM250 million soft loan the government granted to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC).
Act worse than corruption?
Lim asked if the government was sending the message that the alleged act of stepping on the Prime Minister’s picture was worse than corruption.
“Is Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and the Police trying to tell Malaysians that stepping on a picture is a more serious crime compared with corruption?
“By victimising young, powerless and defenceless kids, they are merely revealing themselves to being bullies and cowards,” said Lim.
“The treatment suffered by the young girl and the other teenagers shows the abuse of power, double-standards, bullying and cowardly tactics of Hishammuddin that question his fitness as Home Minister,” he added.
The handcuffing of Ong has provoked an outcry from both sides of the political divide.
Earlier today, PAS Vice-President Dato’ Mahfuz Omar (right) asked why the authorities had not acted with similar haste against PERKASA Kedah for throwing a shoe into a mosque where opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was giving a talk last Sunday.
Mahfuz said the act of throwing a shoe into a mosque was surely far more deplorable than stepping on photographs of the prime minister and his wife.
Meanwhile, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Gan Ping Sieu said he will write to inspector-general of police Ismail Omar asking for a review of the standard operating procedures (SOP) on making arrests, especially against women, teenagers, elders, non-violent suspects and those who surrender themselves to the Police.
Gerakan’s central bureau on environment, safety and quality of life head Cheah Soon Hai also called the handcuffing of Ong “an unnecessary show of force by the Police”.