Siti Hasmah quizzed for an hour by police over rally

Two police officers from Bukit Aman leaving Albukhary Foundation after recording Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Ali’s statement over her speech during a rally on Sept 10, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Siti Hasmah Ali, the wife of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was questioned by police today for over an hour on the speech she made at a women’s rights rally four months ago.

Her lawyer, Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said police from Dang Wangi asked Siti Hasmah 12 questions.

“Police said they received a report on the same day of the rally (Sept 10) and are investigating the case under Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act,” he told reporters after accompanying Siti Hasmah at the police interview at the Yayasan Al-Bukhary office here.

The interview was conducted by two police officers, with the ranks of ASP and inspector, who arrived at the Yayasan about 11.30am and left around 1pm.

Haniff said Siti Hasmah answered all the 12 questions well, and she would answer any other questions related to the rally in court, if needed.

“In fact, Tun (Siti Hasmah) was very jovial throughout the interview and even joked it was the first time the police interviewed her,” he said.

However, Haniff questioned why the police needed to question a 91-year-old woman and “a former mother figure of the country” four months after the event.

“The rally was done peacefully. What is the point of taking her statement?” he asked, adding that it was a waste of her time.

Haniff recalled that Mahathir himself had been questioned over various issues four times within two years by police but there was no action taken until today.

“If there is evidence, then the authorities should just charge them in court.”

In September last year, Siti Hasmah joined a rally of over 1,000 women to protest against the country’s “toxic politics”.

The rally, dubbed the “Purple Rally” as most of the participants were clad in purple clothes, called on all women to play their role in putting an end to toxic politics in the country.

Other public figures who took part were PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan and G25 spokesman Noor Farida Ariffin.

In her speech, Siti Hasmah said women wanted peace and stability in their lives.

“However, we can see that there is violence against women, and it is a violation of our rights.”

1,000 women gather to rally against country’s toxic politics