Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal lawmakers will move a motion to censure Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar following the arrest of Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai) for sedition over a speech made in Parliament last week.
Speaking to the media at a press conference in the Parliament lobby today, Nurul Izzah said they hoped the move will inculcate an understanding in Malaysia’s top cop on the concept of separation of powers.
They will move the motion under Section 7 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952.
“We must affirm our Federal Constitution and separation of powers principle by sanctioning the police for contempt of court in both going against the Court’s decision in the ongoing investigations under the Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act as well as Section 7 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952,” she said.
Section 7 of the Act states that no Member of Parliament is liable for civil or criminal proceedings for what they said within the Chambers.
Nurul Izzah was detained overnight for allegedly making a seditious statement while debating on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech, where she criticised the judiciary over the Federal Court verdict that upheld Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction for sodomy.
Anwar is the opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP.
She had been earlier ordered by the police to give her statement at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today in connection with the #KitaLawan rally held in Kuala Lumpur on March 7.
In thanking Malaysians for the overwhelming show of support for her wellbeing, she charged that Putrajaya is abusing their powers by using the police to silence critics.
“We are more determined than ever to fight against the injustice and flagrant attack on democracy. I would like to stress that this incident is a clear sign the government is desperate, and is resorting to cowardly tactics to intimidate the opposition,” she said.
The PKR vice-president maintained that her arrest and detention was completely unnecessary, charging that it was malicious, unlawful and an assault on the institution of Parliament.
She said her arrest confirmed what PR had maintained all this while: that Anwar is Malaysia’s number one political prisoner and there are “hidden intentions” to make her a political prisoner to further consolidate power by the ruling elite.
“I will be discussing with my lawyers on the legal recourse for the unlawful arrest and detention that I was subjected to,” she added.
‘Twitter trigger-happy IGP’
In condemning Nurul Izzah’s arrest, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said it was clear that the IGP has declared war against PR leaders and activists when he should be focussing his energies on tackling the threat of Islamic State recruitment, where scores of Malaysians have either gone abroad to join the militant group or been arrested for supporting the organisation or seeking to travel to Syria.
He said PR MPs will seek a meeting with Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin to protect the House’s sovereignity.
“We are not the threat. We are just doing our jobs by expressing our views. Stop this war against PR and NGO activists. Stop being a Twitter trigger-happy IGP,” he said in reference to Khalid’s penchant of using his Twitter account to issue warnings to dissidents and directives to his men.
The latest opposition leader who came under Khalid’s radar was DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua who is in trouble with the police over a tweet he posted: “Bastards. Real bastards. Royal my foot” in response to Nurul Izzah’s arrest.
Khalid then tweeted on the social media platform that police would call Pua up to explain his Twitter post and determine if he was trying to insult the Malay Rulers.
Pua has since deleted the Twitter post and replaced it with “Bastards. “Nurul Izzah arrested under Sedition Act”.
To this, Lim said even school children will understand that Pua did not insult Malay rulers with this tweet.
“Ask the students, what does the tweet mean? Does it affect royalty? All of them will say no. No one will read it as an attack on royalty.
“Does the IGP has such a low IQ that he cannot even understand such a phrase? What’s wrong with him?
“He is not fit to be IGP,” said the Gelang Patah MP, adding that he expected such conduct from an Umno cybertrooper but not from the nation’s top cop.
PAS’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said Khalid has gone overboard with his actions in using his Twitter account to warn critics, which he described as “immature, infantile, childish and irresponsible”.
“Profesional police, let alone an IGP should not be doing this. It is as though giving an impression that he is policing the citizens of this country and if there is anything (deemed) untowards, they will get a tweet from the IGP.
“This is worst than a communist state or nearly like a communist state, under constant watch and surveillance. If a teenager does it, I will understand, but if an IGP acts as such, it is childish.” he added.