SHAH ALAM: Former inspector-general of police (IGP) Hanif Omar said his claim that the DAP had once suggested Peninsular Malaysia be split into two parts along racial lines was based on a police Special Branch (SB) report.
He said he received the SB report while serving as the chief staff officer of the National Operations Council (NOC) that was set up to administer the country during the emergency rule imposed after the May 13, 1969, race riots.
He said the report contained the suggestion made by a DAP leader in Europe after the riots.
“The information was passed to me by the police Special Branch. At that time, Tun Mohamed Salleh Ismael was the inspector-general of police.
“He (Salleh) briefed the NOC every week but, whenever something important occurred before the next briefing, they (SB) would send a report to me.
“I also reported to Tun Razak (Hussein, the then director of operations of NOC who later succeeded Tunku Abdul Rahman as the second prime minister),” he said in an interview published by Sinar Harian yesterday.
Hanif was reported to have said last week that he had put Lim in prison under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in May 1969 because DAP wanted to divide Peninsular Malaysia into two parts after the 1969 race riots — the east coast for the Malays and the west coast for the Chinese.
Lim slammed Hanif’s statement as a “cock-and-bull story” and instructed his lawyer to sue the former top cop for defamation.
Hanif said the remarks he made during a speech at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) recently were not aimed at demonising DAP but merely to share his experiences in the NOC.
He also clarified that he ordered the detention of Lim during the 1987 Operation Lalang, and not after the race riots in 1969.
“In my speech, I spoke about the communists, then communalism, when it all began. The Malays and Chinese never fought each other before then.
“I then said that in 1987 during Operation Lalang, Kit Siang was among those detained when I was the inspector-general of police. That was what I meant, not that I ordered his detention in 1969,” he said.
Lim was also detained in 1969 for 18 months under the ISA.
Hanif said he had no issues with the Iskandar Puteri MP.
“After he was released from detention, I held an open house and he (Lim) visited me. We definitely have no personal quarrel, no problem with anyone else,” he said.
Hanif also laughed off a reported statement by Lim calling him senile.
“If he wants to call me senile, I can’t say it isn’t true. It’s his opinion. If something is important to us, we can remember it,” he said.