Dr M can’t wash his hands of Ops Lalang, says ex-detainee

Kua Kia Soong points out that it was the former prime minister who signed the detention orders

(Berita Daily) – PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad cannot absolve himself from blame for Internal Security Act detentions, including those under Ops Lalang, as he was the home minister and prime minister at that time, said former detainee Kua Kia Soong.

“He was the home minister who signed the detention order. Even if he wasn’t home minister, Dr Mahathir was the prime minister. His claim that he is not responsible for the arrests doesn’t hold water,” said Kua, a former PJ Utara MP who eventually founded human rights NGO Suaram.

Kua also pointed out that many groups blamed Mahathir for Ops Lalang.

“The comments at that time from the Malaysian Bar, Amnesty International, first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, former chief justice Suffian Abas and the foreign governments of the UK and Australia all blamed Mahathir for Ops Lalang and ISA detention,” he told Berita Daily today.

Kua said this when reacting to Mahathir’s latest comments on the subject.

During a town-hall session with youth last night, Mahathir blamed his security advisors for the arrests and detentions without trial but said he would do it again under similar circumstances.

He also denied that his administration abused its powers by making the arrests.

Kua said it was wrong for Mahathir to blame the IGP for the arrests by saying he was just listening to police advice.

He also said Mahathir cannot deny the torture tactics used by the police against detainees.

“He can’t say (PKR de facto leader) Anwar Ibrahim was not punched by former IGP Rahim Noor when Anwar was detained,” he said, citing an example of torture.

“Mahathir can’t just get out by saying he is not responsible,” he added.

Kua said Mahathir’s denial of responsibility only proves that the former prime minister cannot be trusted.

“And if Pakatan Harapan think he is fit to helm the opposition coalition, they too cannot be trusted.”

Kua also trained his guns on DAP parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang for joining forces with Mahathir now.

“If what Lim has said all the years is true, then he has played a political game on the people. He is not fit to be the leader of the opposition,” said Kua, referring to Lim’s critical words against Ops Lalang previously.

“As the leader of the opposition he must hold office with impunity,” Kua added.

Ops Lalang Mark ll

Kua also said that Mahathir must be held responsible for the various financial scandals and the displacement of indigenous people who were moved for the construction of the Bakun Dam in Sarawak.

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia founder Badrul Hisham Shaharin meanwhile said the possibility of Ops Lalang recurring is real based on what Mahathir had spoken.

“If you empower him and his people, Ops Lalang will happen again. He would not hesitate to do that,” said Badrul, who is better known as Chegu Bard.

Chegu Bard, a former PKR life member, also questioned whether PKR and Anwar’s family had any dignity left.

“It indicates that Dr Mahathir never felt guilty and is convinced by the slanders made against Anwar. It is clear that he can’t accept Anwar.

“Anwar’s family and supporters are being used by Dr Mahathir. I want to ask PKR and Anwar’s family this: Don’t you have dignity left?”

“It is a political accusation,” said Chegu Bard.

Yesterday Mahathir said that he had spoken to Anwar’s sodomy victims and were convinced by what they said.

Chegu Bard also believes that Mahathir was forced to reply to questions on Anwar’s sodomy case due to Prime Minister Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi visiting Anwar in hospital recently. Anwar, who is serving prison term, is currently warded after a shoulder surgery.