PETALING JAYA: DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has instructed his lawyers to initiate legal proceedings against former top cop Hanif Omar on allegations that the former opposition leader had supposedly suggested that Peninsular Malaysia be split into two along racial lines.
In a statement today, the Iskandar Puteri MP gave the former inspector-general of police (IGP) until 12.30pm Sunday to give an acceptable or satisfactory response on his allegations.
Sinar Harian had reported Hanif as saying that he had put Lim in prison under the Internal Security Act in May 1969 because DAP wanted to divide Peninsular Malaysia into two parts after the 1969 general election — the east coast for the Malays and the west coast for the Chinese.
“This is a downright lie and falsehood, as neither DAP nor I had ever made such a preposterous proposal, whether in 1969, before or after it.
“In fact, in the seven grounds for my detention under the Internal Security Act in 1969, there was no reference whatsoever to the proposal to divide Peninsular Malaysia into the east coast for Malays and the west coast for Chinese.
“During my initial 60-day custodial detention at the Kuala Selangor police lock-up in 1969, when I was questioned by squads of Special Branch officers, I was never questioned about this allegation.
“This is why I want to know from where Hanif sourced this preposterous allegation,” Lim said.
He said it was his right to institute legal proceedings to protect his character and reputation.
In an earlier statement yesterday, Lim had said if the information about his detention was classified as an official secret, then it should be declassified.
He dismissed Hanif’s remarks, calling them “cock-and-bull stories about his past police career” which were “replete with errors”.
“This is the first time I have heard that he was responsible for my first detention under the ISA,” he said.
“In the first place, he was not the IGP when I was detained for the first time under the ISA on May 18, 1969.
“Hanif served as IGP from 1974 to 1994, after I was released from ISA detention on Oct 1, 1970.”
Lim said he had been “the most demonised political leader in the past half a century”.
“I was accused of being a communist; of being responsible for the May 13, 1969 riots; of leading street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur shouting anti-Malay and anti-Islam slogans although I was never in Kuala Lumpur after the May 10, 1969 general election.
“I was painted as a devil, a puaka, even jembalang; accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam; called a stooge of foreign powers.
“I was accused of dominating Pakatan Harapan (PH) and making other leaders like Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Muhyiddin Yassin, Mohamed Azmin Ali and Mohamad Sabu into my stooges and puppets; and of wanting to be prime minister if PH could win the 14th general election.
“But all these lies, falsehoods and demonisation pale into insignificance compared with Hanif’s cock-and-bull story that I advocated after the May 1969 general election for Peninsular Malaysia to be split into two, east coast for the Malays and the west coast for the Chinese.”