Kit Siang flays police for Maria’s arrest

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PETALING JAYA: The DAP’s adviser, Lim Kit Siang, has criticised the “excessive and unreasonable action” by the police in arresting Maria Chin Abdullah, head of the Bersih reform group, in Sabah yesterday.

Chin was held and later released on police bail for distributing Bersih flyers in Langkon to promote the Bersih 5 rally planned for Nov 19.

Speaking at a party event in Kota Kinabalu today, Lim also criticised the police for their intimidation of members of the public who accepted the Bersih leaflets, by taking down their identity card numbers, and making threats to arrest them.

He said the action was “nothing short of illegal police harassment and abuse of power” and noted that it was no crime for anyone to take or receive Bersih flyers.

He urged the Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, to reprimand and penalise police personnel who abused their powers.

He should be as “quick on the draw” with the police as he has shown when members of the establishment make complaints about critics of the government.

However, he criticised Khalid’s announcement that the police would record statements from three former Cabinet ministers who are alleged to have revealed government secrets in Parliament.

The three are former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, former Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal and former Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

Lim said the three men were protected by parliamentary privilege and accused the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat for publicly suggesting that the Attorney-General and the IGP should take action.