I just came back to Parliament from the Shah Alam Sessions Court where the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as expected dropped the attempted murder charge against the Batu Caves 31 after being incarcerated for close to two weeks on the ground that they are “national security” threats.
Of course I welcome the Attorney-General’s change of mind and the withdrawal of the charge of attempted murder of a policeman preferred against the Batu Caves 31 – as I had right from the beginning called on Gani to drop the charges of “attempted murder” against the 31 as well as the manhunt for another 30 on the same charge of attempted murder, as it would precipitate a new crisis of confidence in the administration of justice over selective and malicious prosecution in the abuse of the Attorney-General’s discretionary prosecution powers.
However, I am still very disappointed by Gani’s conduct in the Shah Alam Sessions Court.
Although the charges against five students for causing mischief and illegal assembly were also dropped (and they should never have been charged in the first place), the charges of causing mischief and illegal assembly against 26 remained, with their case adjourned till December 27 for sentencing following their guilty pleas this morning.
The very fact that Gani had to drop the capital charge of attempted murder against the Batu Caves 31, (which also means the abandonment of his intention to charge 30 others with the same capital offence) – which could land the guilty with a sentence of life imprisonment – is proof that the Attorney-General had abused his powers in preferring such capital charges in the first place.
It raises the question as to the real motive of the Attorney-General in abusing his powers in slapping the Batu Caves 31 with such a serious charge when there is no basis or justification whatsoever.
The two-week incarceration of the Batu Caves 31 who were denied bail on the ground of being “national and security threats” remains a blot on the nation’s administration of justice and the tenure of Gani Patail as Attorney-General.
What Gani should have done in the Shah Alam Sessions Court this morning is to withdraw all charges against all the Batu Caves 31, which would still not be full recompense for the injustice he had done to the 31 Malaysians in incarcerating them for a fortnight in prison.
I call on Gani to further reconsider the charges against the remaining 26 and when their case come up on Dec. 27, to withdraw all charges against them.
Just before the Sessions Court convened this morning at about noon, after inordinate delays, word spread that MIC President and Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu would be showing up in court.
However, he did not turn up – probably after he received information that he would be publicly booed by the families of the Batu Caves 31!
I had given notice to the Parliament Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah, to move an emergency motion last Monday (10th December) on the allegation by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan on Hindraf’s links to terrorists and canvassing for support from terrorist groups.
The motion did not come up in Parliament last Monday as the PAS MP for Kubang Kerian Sallehuddin Ayub had earlier given notice for an emergency motion about electoral abuses – and Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat permitted only one such motion a day.
The first time the alleged terrorist links of Hindraf leaders were alleged in the public domain was in the court proceedings of the Batu Caves 13 and made by the Attorney-General to strengthen his argument to deny bail to the accused.
As Gani could withdraw the serious charge of capital offence of attempted murder against the Batu Caves 31, the veracity of his allegation (and that of the IGP) of Hindraf’s terrorist links is most suspect.
The Attorney-General and Inspector-General of Police should substantiate their allegations of terrorist links against Hindraf leaders or they should withdraw them.