Fascist Bombers & the Selective Efficiency of the Malaysian Police

Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM

The three bombs that exploded at the Jalan Duta court car park after the Anwar verdict were the most serious and ominous defilement of our peaceful political culture so far. The dastardly act was an extension of a growing fascist tendency among the far right in this country. Thankfully no one was killed in the explosions although a few were injured by the shrapnel and ball bearings in the bombs. We do not wish to speculate on who the culprits were who planted the bombs but we wish to send this message to the Malaysian police:


The Malaysian police were well trained during the Emergency

The Malaysian police and the Special Branch were trained by the British during the Emergency which lasted from 1948 to 1960. Their “expertise” in “psychological warfare” and “strategic hamlets” was even sought after by the Americans during the Vietnam War during the sixties. Certainly, their “efficiency” in quickly putting down demonstrations and riots was seen even during the workers’ strikes of the 1940s. We saw the speed in which the police dispersed the tens of thousands of Reformasi demonstrators after Anwar Ibrahim’s detention in 1998 and especially the Kesas Highway demonstration in 2000.

The baffling inefficiency of the Malaysian police during May 13, 1969

With such an impeccable record on suppressing the armed insurrection, why did it take the Malaysian police more than two months to restore order in Kuala Lumpur after fascists had unleashed a pogrom against the Chinese in the capital starting on May 13, 1969? It was only after two months had lapsed in July 1969 that the police force acted in the way that was expected of them in quelling the pogrom.

Missing in action during the mob assault on East Timor conference, 1996

The role of the Malaysian police was likewise suspect in 1996 when the 600-strong mob from UMNO Youth tore down the dividing door of the conference hall where the East Timor conference was being held and harassed the participants. It took the police two hours to arrive to restore order even though plain clothed police were already at the scene early that morning. Then, instead of apprehending the mob for their violent criminal acts, the police arrested 59 conference participants who had been victims of the mob. A few of us were even detained for as long as six nights and seven days for participating in a conference to search for peace in East Timor!

Unprofessional during the Kg Medan killings, 2001

Then, in the “racial incident” at Kg Medan, Petaling Jaya in March 2001, five Indians and an Indonesian were killed and over a hundred others injured, mainly ethnic Indians. It took the Malaysian police 15 days, from the 8th to 23rd to restore order while a small band of armed fascist thugs went on a rampage. There has to be a public inquiry into this incident, the reasons for the police tardiness and the murderers brought to justice.

How come Mat Top was never arrested under the ISA?

Now consider this fact: More than 10,000 Malaysians have been arrested and detained for being threats to national security since 1960 and yet not one has ever been tried and convicted for any terrorist activities. And yet Mat Top, the Malaysian who was killed by the Indonesian police for alleged involvement in the Bali bombings had never been detained by the Malaysian police for being a threat to national security! That’s an amazing irony that is probably lost on the IGP and the government.

Don’t ever let the latest bombers out of our sight

Malaysians would do well to pursue the truth behind the latest bombings if we are to ensure that our civil and political rights are not usurped by the far-right fascists. They and their dirty tricks department must not be allowed to prevail or our country will go down the slippery road to a fascist banana republic.

SUARAM will continue to pursue this case until the culprits have been defrocked and brought to justice. We expect the Royal Malaysian Police to demonstrate their highest standard of efficiency and professionalism by solving this latest bombing case as soon as possible in order to satisfy the peace-loving Malaysian public.