Mahathir rewriting history on Ops Lalang


Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is rewriting history when he blamed the police for the 1987 Operation Lalang mass Internal Security Act (ISA) arrests, claiming that he was furious over the mass crackdown.

In the new book, “Doctor M: Operation Malaysia – Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad” by Tom Plate, Mahathir said:

“Well, I would have handled it differently, except that the police wanted to do these things because they say it is necessary…

“I actually met all of the opposition members (beforehand) and assured them that they would not be arrested. And you know what the police did? They arrested them. My credibility is gone.”

Mahathir is not only suffering from selective memory and faulty memory but is spinning untruths about his misdeeds in his 22 years as Prime Minister.

I never met Mahathir and he never gave me any assurance that I would not be arrested before the launch of Operation Lalang on Oct. 27, 1987, although a day earlier I had spoken in Parliament in the 1988 budget debate warning of escalation of racial tensions and calling on all political parties “to agree to a one-year moratorium where no racial, language, cultural or religious issues will be created or raised for every Malaysian to concentrate on the national priority of achieving economic recovery and growth”.

Let Mahathir name the Opposition leaders had had met and given assurance that they would not be arrested but subsequently overruled by the police in the Operation Lalang crackdown!

It is unworthy of Mahathir to “pass the buck” to the Police for the responsibility for the Operation Lalang crackdown, as he not only defended the initial 106 arrests by the police under Section 73 of the ISA, he exercised his powers as Home Minister under Section 8 to formally issue two-year ISA detention orders for 49 Malaysians, including seven DAP MPs!

Mahathir had always made the false and baseless claim that DAP MPs had not been detained because they were MPs or their political beliefs, but for “trying to stir racial unrest”.

For instance, Mahathir told Asiaweek (11th November 1988): “A few are still under detention because they refuse to give up stirring racial hatred. (Lim) was arrested not because he was leader of the opposition but because he was stirring racial tension in the country…They will be detained until they come around to thinking it is not the right thing to do…”

I did not change a jot of my thinking during my detention that none of the Operation Lalang detainees should have been detained especially as “the real culprits of the tensions and grave situation” in Malaysia in October 1987 were left free completely, and not a single police officer interviewed me to secure my agreement to purportedly “give up stirring racial hatred” before my release in April 1989.

This applied to all the six DAP MPs detained under Operation Lalang – Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, the late P. Patto, the late V. David and Lau Dak Kee – who were released without the so-called “come around to thinking it is not the right thing to do”, when they had done nothing wrong in the first place!

In fact, the personal, petty and vindictive nature in the misuse of an already very oppressive ISA was further highlighted by the fact that Guan Eng and I were the last two of the 49 Operation Lalang detainees to be released in April 1989 – when the various batches of releases started in June 1988.

I had always conceded that there were racial tensions in October 1987, but these racial tensions were not created by DAP MPs or others detained under Operation Lalang, but solely the deliberate and irresponsible creation of certain power-seekers in UMNO at a time when there was general insecurity at all levels of the UMNO leadership because of deep UMNO party split between two factions, one led by Mahathir and the other by Tengku Razaleigh-Musa Hitam.

As Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman said immediately after the Operation Lalang crackdown in November 1987, “It’s not a question of Chinese against the Government but his own party, UMNO, who are against him”. – The London Times, 9th November 1987.

The Government White Paper “Towards Preserving National Security” issued in March 1988 to justify the Operation Lalang detentions referred to the UMNO Youth Rally at the Jalan Raja Muda Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on 17th October 1987 with banners displaying slogans: “MAY 13 HAS BEGUN” and “SOAK IT (KRIS) WITH CHINESE BLOOD” but no action was taken against the UMNO Youth leaders who enjoyed immunity and impunity for such seditious and criminal incitements.

The UMNO Youth leader at the time is none other than the present Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Mahathir cannot shirk responsibility by passing the buck to the police but must come clean and apologise to the nation for masterminding Operation Lalang, the darkest chapter of human rights in Malaysia, paving the way for a wholesale clampdown and subversion of the media, the judiciary and organs of state, whether the Police, the Election Commission or the Anti-Corruption Agency in the rest of his premiership.

Or is Mahathir going to blame the judiciary, the police, the Election Commission, the Anti-Corruption Agency, the media and the key national institutions for their failure to stand up to oppose him to protect, preserve and promote their efficiency, independence and professionalism during his premiership?

  1. #1 by k1980 on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 2:31 pm

    Next, he will claim that he tried to stop the hijacks in 9/11 but osamia refused to listen to him. He also tried to stop hitler from killing jews in the 1930s and 40s but that mad fella too, refused to listen to him. What a great humantarian! (sic)

  2. #2 by Godfather on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 2:56 pm

    Islam says that if you have sinned, you will be made to account for your sins in the afterlife. People like Mamakthir obviously don’t care about the afterlife, as they continue to spew lies, untruths, and defamatory statements. Why they do it at this late stage in their lives is anyone’s guess, but it serves as a “green light” to the UMNOputras to continue to pillage, steal and defame others with impunity.

    These people are constantly quoted that they are religious and would uphold the tenets of Islam, but I would spit in their faces if they ever say this lie to me directly.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 3:07 pm

    Mamakthir loves to take digs at LKY because he knows that history will record LKY as having a significantly bigger impact on the world than Mamakthir. Mamakthir calls LKY a big fish in a small pond, but he obviously does not understand that LKY’s “pond” is the world, and not just Singapore. Mamakthir’s pond is Bolehland combined with Zimbabwe.

    We can now call Mamakthir the father of all Jaguh Kampungs.

  4. #4 by DAP man on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 3:14 pm

    This Indian turned Malay is the most despicable and evil human being to set foot in this country.

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 3:34 pm

    Mahathir is never wrong, never at fault.

    It is always some other guys, institution, the likes of George Soros, Jews, Anwar Ibrahim etc. etc. that are to blame.

    Never him. He’s the good guy. Others are baaaaad. When he finally exits, he will go to the aircon place while others will fry.

    This man is despicable. He’s gone crazy in his old age. Come to think of it he was crazy when he was young too. This man is evil.

  6. #6 by dagen on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 3:37 pm

    Hey, wots soaking man?

  7. #7 by wanderer on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 3:47 pm

    Hey!…this self-claimed melayu is history…..

  8. #8 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 4:08 pm

    This father of racist is obviously being at his own fault by breaking up our nation’s prosperity,communal and racial unity thru created so much wicked deed on his own.He will be forever indebted or accountable for what he had and has been deliberately harming our nation through racial divisive and calculated evil ploy.A man wearing a wolf face acting without conscience even to his own fella countrymen.

  9. #9 by Billy on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 4:36 pm

    If the police could override the prime minister, then what does that tell us of our country. It has degenerated to a POLICE STATE. But then again, who signed the detention order. If it was not Mahathir then who else? Surely they must still have the records somewhere or have they shredded the document as well?

  10. #10 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 4:45 pm

    From ex-premier to liar – it is unthinkable!

  11. #11 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 5:29 pm

    That devil racist mamak cum liar should be held responsible for all the irreparable damage that he had directly and indirectly inflicted during his 22 year reign.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 5:49 pm

    There is a new book ‘Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going’
    MMK must also hv lor, ai yo yo, cannot su 1 mah

  13. #13 by Loh on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 6:06 pm

    Godfather :
    Islam says that if you have sinned, you will be made to account for your sins in the afterlife. People like Mamakthir obviously don’t care about the afterlife, as they continue to spew lies, untruths, and defamatory statements. Why they do it at this late stage in their lives is anyone’s guess, but it serves as a “green light” to the UMNOputras to continue to pillage, steal and defame others with impunity.
    These people are constantly quoted that they are religious and would uphold the tenets of Islam, but I would spit in their faces if they ever say this lie to me directly.

    I suppose some people who could forsake his own race to gain power and wealth this life would be ready to forsake his religion in afterlife, to escape answering to the sins. Well, nobody had come back to tell, and opportunists are optimists. They believe that their schemes would work out. That is why people claim to defend the race and religion when inside their heart, they only defend their own agenda.

  14. #14 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 6:08 pm

    Our beloved Mahathir was the most true and upright democrat state premier but actually he was boycotted by PDRM,Judicial members,MACC etc.Please don’t exert another additional burden already incured by him.Poor old SAINT!

  15. #15 by Loh on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 6:12 pm

    ///The Government White Paper “Towards Preserving National Security” issued in March 1988 to justify the Operation Lalang detentions referred to the UMNO Youth Rally at the Jalan Raja Muda Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on 17th October 1987 with banners displaying slogans: “MAY 13 HAS BEGUN” and “SOAK IT (KRIS) WITH CHINESE BLOOD” but no action was taken against the UMNO Youth leaders who enjoyed immunity and impunity for such seditious and criminal incitements.

    The UMNO Youth leader at the time is none other than the present Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.///

    That is why John R. Malott suggested that Najib should first look himself in the mirror. His action in 1987 cannot square with his slogan of 1Malaysia. Can we believe that he had come around to thinking that it was not right to be racist? That is why when it was said that NEM was hijacked by Perkasa, people should question whether the mastermind to that hijacking was not Najib himself, and the person who was forever looking for spotlight attention was ever ready to prove that he was not dead yet.

  16. #16 by dagen on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 6:25 pm

    Look. He has re-written his own race. So what else he could not re-write. Re-writing one’s own race is denying one’s own ancestors; and it is a betrayal of the most despicable kind known to man.

  17. #17 by Thor on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 6:43 pm

    Don’t worry, he won’t stay for long.
    His next heart attack will come anyday.
    His memory is failing and these are signs that he has to go.

  18. #18 by sotong on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 6:56 pm

    His time, of 2 decades, was crucial to the success of our country but he failed badly to provide a foundation for a modern, progressive and democratic country.

    Popularity seeking…..at the great expense of our country and her ordinary people.

  19. #19 by -e- on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 7:03 pm

    Thor :
    Don’t worry, he won’t stay for long.
    His next heart attack will come anyday.
    His memory is failing and these are signs that he has to go.

    …stop cursing him, else nr will give you a public holiday.

  20. #20 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 7:49 pm

    Would you go this this quack doctor for treatment? He might accidentally sew your a_nus up.

  21. #21 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 8:24 pm

    ….and blames it on the nurse.

  22. #22 by Thor on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 9:46 pm

    …stop cursing him, else nr will give you a public holiday. : by-e-
    ————————————

    I ain’t cursing him!
    Human have to go one day.
    It’s just now or later.
    As for him, he just “overstayed” because the country is not totally ruin yet.
    He’s not much difference than an expired canned food.
    He even betrayed his own ancestor by denouncing his very own religion and race.
    I’m sure his already dead father even wanna “fix” him as well, be it in hell or heaven.
    I may be cruel with my words but to aim it at these sort of evil, there’s nothing wrong with it.
    You just mark my words that one of these days, his wife will personally apologize to us for all his evil deeds, the time when he’s dead.

  23. #23 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 10:40 pm

    You just mark my words that one of these days, his wife will personally apologize to us for all his evil deeds, the time when he’s dead. by Thor

    His wife ain’t apologize but maybe if their apple of their eyes,Mukriz gone together oops,sorry,beh tehen.Choi choi choi..that’s what we were taught when swore a lot

  24. #24 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 11:08 pm

    He is trying so hard and desperately to appeal to the Malay crowds to justify his self sacrifice he did and is still doing for them.He so hard uo for their support to stay put in bolehland.What else doest it come across our mind to ponder why he is talking rubbish and self denial like nonsensical kid.He is corrupted to the core,Tun father of racist,wrongful accuser, and champion of tiga suku nyanyuk.

  25. #25 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 11:10 pm

    #24 should be He is so hard up for….

  26. #26 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 11:34 pm

    Ar..wanderer,not like belalai gajah right?Anyway sorry to digress if permited..

    http://malaysiansmustknowthetruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/voting-time.html

  27. #27 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 - 11:38 pm

    So Dr. M is Liar Extraordinaire.

    And Najib is Racist sans Equal.

    So what does that make of UMNO?

    Simply, Garbage for the bin.

    Some people I hear are going to rot in hell where the fires quench not and the worms die not.

    Good luck.

  28. #28 by born in Malaya on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 1:52 am

    In 1969, he is the evil one who started all the racist terms like : special rigths and quota systems, he is the father of racism and disunity in Malaysia. All Malaysian generation was ruin by this evil person. He enshrine all this racist terms in the federal constituition, no thanks to this evil leader. MCA and MIC just agreed to them and hand over our citizenship rights to UMNO. Perkasa are their latest plot. Real evil and stupid politicians.

  29. #29 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 7:53 am

    When Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (“TDM”) blamed the police he already calculated that he would not be contradicted by the then Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tun Haniff Omar (“Haniff”).

    Haniff is actually put in dilemma by TDM’s re-visitation of this infamous incident with Tom Plate, now blown public.

    Haniff who is now big corporate man (Genting, GCB etc) must be weighing the pros and cons of how to publicly respond.

    If he maintains elegant silence, it may look to the public as if he agrees with what TDM said (though silence does not necessarily imply consent). It then would lend weight to those who objected to his appointment by ex premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as deputy chairman to the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). The IPCMC has done well – though its recommendations are fully implemented because of PDRM’s objections – and from there onwards Hanif had been roped in as a member of the Special Panel on Aminulrasyid’s death. His name was even proposed by the 126 NGOs led by KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to head the Royal Commission on Teoh Beng Hock.

    The former IGP has done well to build up his public liberal image through his column “Point of View” in Sunday Star previously.

    Now TDM puts the spanner in the works by stating that police headed by him was responsible in even overriding TDM’s decision as PM on Operation Lallang. Hanif is the most relevant person to respond to TDM’s remarks. However if Hanif were to rebut – and say that it was TDM as then premier and also Home Affairs Minister who directed him to do so – Hanif could on one hand deflect the blame of being draconian and abusive of police powers off his shoulders but on the other hand earn a separate blame of being not politically neutral to launch an operation at TDM’s bidding to buttress the latter’s political position in the face of challenge from his UMNO rival Ku Li!

    Either response – elegant silence or public rebuttal – would incur for him public flak that would blemish his carefully nurtured reputation since retirement from the force.

    On balance he might choose elegant silence because of the additional tipping factor that no one including prime ministers takes on TDM without suffering reprisal one way or another.

    In that sense TDM has the license to say whatever he wants to say or re-write history so to speak per Kit. He has likely calculated that Haniff will not public contradict his version of this dark chapter in the nation’s history..

  30. #30 by tunglang on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 8:28 am

    Is Mahathir going to blame the judiciary, the police, the Election Commission, the Anti-Corruption Agency, the media and the key national institutions for their failure to stand up to oppose him to protect, preserve and promote their efficiency, independence and professionalism during his premiership?

    Blame his BAD gene from MakanKerala, too bad for Malaysian leadership.

  31. #31 by k1980 on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 8:41 am

    He is the mamak bendahara, the adopted grand-uncle of Parasmeswaran, who founded melaka after being chased by a mousedeer all the way from Temasik. The first act of the new PR federal govt must be to withdraw his toonship

  32. #32 by dagen on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 8:57 am

    Dr mamak will next blame mca, gerakan and mic for not objecting when he proposed and then implemented all those rotten measures/policies.

  33. #33 by tuahpekkong on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 9:12 am

    Only a consummate politician like Mahathir could tell such kind of lies. Although Mahathir might not have made the most incendiary racist remarks to stoke up racial tension in Oct. 1987, like some of his ministers from UMNO did, he certainly was complicit in the whole saga. Sin Chew, which reported UMNO leaders’ fiery speeches and statements verbatim, was banned but the bigger culprit Utusan was spared. Racial tension during that time was so high that missiles were hurled at ethnic Chinese reporters covering UMNO’s AGM, all courtesy of UMNO and Utusan.

  34. #34 by Taikohtai on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 9:28 am

    TDM is now Dr Mung ChaCha! Somehow he has lost his sense of reality. The eyes are burning, the nose is burning, the ears are burning, all his senses are burning, including his mind. Who can put out his fire? Not God, not Allah, not even Buddha but himself when and only when he realises the heat are all self generated!

  35. #35 by boh-liao on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 9:45 am

    MMK started d BOHONG CORRUPT RACIST SELF-ENRICH culture in UmnoB
    Now see NR n RM in action in 2day’s papers

    NR said: B creatif in helping hardcore poor = UmnoB ppl will find more ways 2 allocate more gomen funds supposed 2 help hardcore poor, then jiak ka liao (happened b4)

    NR said: GLC appointments based on ability = Tried 2 justify dat Isa is d best guy as Felda chairman; blardi lie, sent a proven corrupt wolf in2 d chicken coop; also pathetic, dis corrupt guy is d best dat UmnoB can come out with, shake head

    RM told wives not 2 stress their husbands (2 prevent stroke) = best joke of d year!

    Ha, ha, ha …. rakyat hv d opportunity 4 a face-to-face QnA session with NR 2moro
    Plz go ask him got C4 Altantuya Shaariibuu or not?
    Plz go ask him Y got dis Fat Lady of M’sia FLOM in PM’s dept?

  36. #36 by Godfather on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 11:52 am

    We must all remember that Mamakthir never really had confidence in anyone or anything, so he had to do many things himself. He would read all cabinet papers thoroughly, and he started his day at 7.45 a.m. No one dared to be late for cabinet meetings or for any meeting in which he was present.

    He prided himself on being better at economics than most economists; he understood the power of the multiplier effect of money, but he was disappointed that much of the money he threw at his cronies ended up offshore rather than onshore. He was also his own counsel, and he scoffed at lawyers during meetings. Most important of all, he was an Actor. A Class A actor who could laugh or cry whenever the situation demanded it.

    It is difficult to prosecute him simply because almost everything that he was accused of doing – corruption, influence on the judiciary and PDRM – was always done verbally, and he seldom made the phone calls. The phone calls would be done by his attack dogs, especially Ali Abu Hasan.

    The events of Tunisia and Egypt must have greatly shaken him, and his fear that any overthrow of this government could well end up with probing the excesses of his years in power. Thus he ends up trying to divide the country even further with his outlandish claims.

  37. #37 by Godfather on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 12:41 pm

    That’s why Mamakthir’s performance at the RCI on Lingam-gate cannot be believed. The charge against Ling Liong Sik – that Ling misled the cabinet in the valuation of PKFZ land – is also preposterous, given that Mamakthir would have been apprised of everything, especially on a deal of that magnitude.

  38. #38 by cintanegara on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 1:05 pm

    Even after his retirement our beloved statesman, Tun Dr Mahathir remains an influential political voice in this country. People still talking about him and have great respect and high regard for him. As a charismatic leader, TDM carried out his promise to step down from the post he’s held for more than two decades. Unlike DAP ‘veteran’ leaders who are not willing to step down and afraid of losing power. No doubt, TDM is a great leader whom Malaysians and the rest of the world admire the most.

    Long Live our beloved statesman…

  39. #39 by k1980 on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 1:20 pm

    //carried out his promise to step down from the post he’s held for more than two decades.//

    Some fools are still ignorant of the fact that in truly democratic countries, there is a maximum of 2 terms(8 years) for their leaders to be in power. After stepping down, those leaders keep their mouths shut, e.g. you do not having ex-President Bush criticizing Obama’s policies.

  40. #40 by k1980 on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 1:26 pm

    During the interview—

    Q: What is your name?

    A: I can’t remember…..

    Q: How old are you?

    A: I can’t remember…..

    Q: Where do you live?

    A: I can’t remember…..

    Q: Well, can you remember 1987’s Ops Lalang?

    A: “Well, I would have handled it differently, except that the police wanted to do these things because they say it is necessary. Yes, I actually met all of the opposition members (beforehand) and assured them that they would not be arrested. And you know what the police did? They arrested them. My credibility is gone….blah, blah”

  41. #41 by dagen on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 2:45 pm

    Bush junior stuck his butt out in iraq, then. And of course he is all ready to defend his butt now.

    We thought dr mamak too was bold enough to have stuck his butt out on many issues. But now it is clear that he is not prepared to defend his own butt. Instead, he is now playing the finger-pointing game. He wants others to sacrifice to sacrifice their butts to protect his.

  42. #42 by Godfather on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 3:00 pm

    Oh Great Leader, thank you for your constant supply of free fertilizers, without which I would not have been able to harvest my bountiful rambutans. And thank you for constantly reminding us that the other races are forever trying to stop us from getting the free fertilisers.

    Yes, may [email protected] bless you with a long life. I hereby donate two of my rambutans to you, oh Great Leader.

  43. #43 by monsterball on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 4:41 pm

    He has non stop blaming and accusing others for past 7 years..since his so call retirement.
    Now another old ex IGP Tun Hanif comes to lend him support.
    He was the powerful PM…and if he can control the Sultans..he can surely released all to fight police wrongs?
    He is painting our country is governed by Police..little by little and so prepare ourselves for full Emergency Rule by the Police?

  44. #44 by dagen on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 5:02 pm

    Internal Security Act 1960
    Detention Order
    (Section 8(1))

    To.:
    Superintendent
    Protected Detention Place Taiping
    Inspector General of Police
    Bukit Aman — Kuala Lumpur
    To all officers of Royal Malaysian Police and all other persons concerned.
    That I, being satisfied that this order is necessary, make against the person mentioned below with an intention of preventing the said person from acting prejudicial to:
    (a) the security of Malaysia,
    (b) x x x x
    (c) x x x x
    Pen/1282
    Name Karpal Singh s/o Ram Singh
    Identity Card No 18xxxxx(B)
    And that in exercising the powers conferred upon me under s 8(1) of the Internal Security Act 1960, the Minister of Home Affairs, Malaysia, direct with this order that the person whose name is stated above be detained for a period of two years effective from 19 December 1987 at Protected Detention Place Taiping or any other place as directed by me from time to time.
    Made on 18 December 1987.
    Dr Mahathir Mohamad
    Minister of Home Affairs, Malaysia

    No, dr mamak did not sign the detention order. Errr maybe badawi did. Or maybe it was hanif. Well I dont know alright. The point is it was not dr mamak. Ask his grandson, cintanegara. Even if dr mamak did sign the order, he did so under duress. He was afraid of those people with guns – the police. And really if that is so then we ought to be poooing uncontrollably at the sight of people with guns – the police. Anyway, dr mamak is not responsible. End of argument alright. Ask his grandson!

  45. #45 by johnnypok on Thursday, 10 February 2011 - 8:56 pm

    The world will rejoice and explode like a good orgasm to hear him drop dead.

  46. #46 by Jamesy on Friday, 11 February 2011 - 10:50 pm

    Ops Lalang: Dr M insists he met Kit Siang before crackdown
    (The Malaysian Insider) UPDATED @ 06:33:06 PM 11-02-2011
    By Lee Wei Lian
    February 11, 2011

    SHAH ALAM, Feb 11 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has disputed Lim Kit Siang’s claim that he was re-writing history over events leading up to Ops Lalang — the mass detentions under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1987

    This comes after the former prime minister was quoted in a new book by American journalist Tom Plate as saying he had met all opposition members before Ops Lalang and assured them they would not be arrested.

    In a reaction to the book, Lim said in his blog on Wednesday that he had never met Dr Mahathir and the former prime minister never gave any assurances that the former would not be arrested .

    “I met Kit Siang and his friends,” said Dr Mahathir in a press conference today when asked about Lim’s assertions.

    The former prime minister has been criticised for using ISA during the crackdown which is widely regarded as a black mark on his legacy but today appeared to shift part of the responsibility for the arrests to the police.

    “I thought they would not be detained but the police thought they were dangerous, that their actions were dangerous.

    “The police took the action to detain them. I cannot counter their decision because I depend on the police for security. I had to accept it. This is the first time I ever told anybody about that,” he added.

    Dr Mahathir claimed that Lim and the rest of the group were afraid they would be detained but he said that he felt detention was not warranted.

    “In my opinion, they didn’t need to be detained,” he said. “But as the police are my security advisors, I could not just reject what they feel is important.”

    Asked about why he kept Lim and others under ISA beyond the initial 60 day detention period if he did not feel they should have been detained in the first place, Dr Mahathir said that he could not reveal the reasons.

    “They were released as soon as the police felt they should be released,” he said. “But what I talk to the police, I cannot tell the public even now.”

    Asked about who else was with Lim when they had met, Mahathir simply replied: “I met them as a group”.

    Following Mahathir’s remarks in the book titled ‘Dr M : Operation Malaysia — Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad’, Lim blogged that the now retired former Umno leader was “spinning untruths” and accused him of “passing the buck” to the police for the crackdown.

    Lim said that “the personal, petty and vindictive nature in the misuse of the ISA” was highlighted by the fact that he and his son Lim Guan Eng were the last to be released from detention.

    “Mahathir cannot shirk responsibility by passing the buck to the police,” said Lim. “He must come clean and apologise for masterminding Ops Lalang, the darkest chapter of human rights in Malaysia.”

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