PETALING JAYA: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh has condemned the recent assault on DAP’s Liew Chin Tong, saying police inaction may be the cause of several similar acts over the past weeks.
He said the incident at the Kluang Ramadan bazaar yesterday, which saw Liew and DAP’s assistant publicity secretary Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali chased away from from the market, was “the latest of a series of disgraceful behaviour which is fast becoming a norm in this country”.
“This is not the first time this has happened to Liew and it certainly will not be the last as long as the police do not take action immediately against the perpetrators,” he said in a statement today.
Although a few of the youths involved have been arrested, Ramkarpal said Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar must commence investigations immediately with a view of charging them.
Failure to do so would only encourage more of such incidents in the future, he added.
“That police inaction over such disgraceful acts may be the reason for such frequent occurrences of late cannot be excluded.”
Ramkarpal pointed to another incident on May 17, where film maker David Teo was slapped by comedian Sulaiman Yassin, better known as Mat Over, at a National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
On May 22, Kuala Lumpur police criminal investigation department chief Rusdi Mohd Isa said both Sulaiman and Teo would be called in for questioning.
Police said the case is being investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt.
However, Ramkarpal said to date, Sulaiman had not been charged with assault despite video footage of the episode.
Likewise, Major (Rtd) Zaidi Ahmad, the information officer of the Chief Minister of Penang, was slapped in front of a mosque on May 26 by a group of protesters who accused the state government of interfering in the issuance of fatwas.
Yet, no one has been charged to date, Ramkarpal said.
Hitting out at the police for their delay in action, he said it was “shocking” that such straightforward cases seemed to have escaped the arm of the law.
“Perhaps if Mat Over was charged for the assault of Teo immediately after the incident, a stern message might have been sent that such disgraceful and dastardly behaviour will not be tolerated, which might have made the perpetrators in Liew’s case think twice before they acted.
“The delay of the police in taking action and in some cases, their complete failure to do so is certainly a cause for concern and cannot be allowed to continue.
“The examples mentioned above are straightforward cases caught on camera and really ought to be open and shut cases that can be resolved without much difficulty.”
Adding that the incidents were “downright unlawful”, Ramkarpal called on Khalid to act immediately or risk being labelled “useless” for his inability to address “elementary social ills”.
This in turn will “undoubtedly tarnish the image of the force irreparably”, he warned.