DAP wants clarification on Anwar’s ‘black-eye’ probe

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

The DAP has demanded a clarification from the Najib administration on its commitment to reopen the infamous Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim “black-eye” incident, accusing Cabinet ministers of making contradictory statements.

Party adviser Lim Kit Siang questioned today if Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had usurped the responsibility given to his Cabinet colleague Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz to handle the matter by declaring last week that the case was closed.

“Did he just make irrelevant Nazri Aziz’s assurance to Parliament that the Cabinet wants to investigate the new allegations made on the case by speaking with those implicated, including the Attorney-General himself and the former Inspector-General of Police (IGP)?” Lim told The Malaysian Insider today.

The veteran politician was referring to a letter he had received from Hishammuddin on December 2 where the minister denied any discrepancy in the 1998 “black-eye” case involving Anwar and declared that there was no need to reopen investigations despite fresh allegations of evidence fabrication made by a former investigating officer.

Hishammuddin, writing in response to Lim’s questions on the matter during the debate in Parliament on the ministry’s 2011 budget earlier, also told the Ipoh Timor MP that the police had completed their checks on the old investigation and had found no reason to suggest that false evidence had been given.

Lim had raised in Parliament the issue of former KL CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, the investigating officer in Anwar’s assault case, who had revealed in an open letter to the new IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar on October 8 that he had new information on the “black-eye incident” which implicated A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

Following Mat Zain’s revelations, the Najib administration had instructed two Cabinet ministers — Nazri and Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim — to question Abdul Gani on the matter.

Nazri, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told The Malaysian Insider two weeks ago that the Cabinet wanted to hear an explanation from the country’s top lawyer before taking any action on the matter.

But Hishammuddin’s intervention on the issue has now cast doubt on the government’s stand on the matter, raising questions on whether the administration had already brushed it aside.

In his letter to Lim, the minister had insisted that that despite Mat Zain’s allegations, the former police officer’s open letter had not contained any elements of incitement, defamation, criminal intimidation and was not vulgar to trigger any police investigation.