I googled “Altantuya murder” and find 82,900 results for this issue. As for “Sultan Perak dissolve state assembly” there were 13,700 results. Apparently, these are issues discussed not only in Malaysia but throughout the world. I think the Police are adopting a wrong notion that if these two issues are not brought in the campaign speeches, Malaysians are ignorant of what happened as the old wives tale that a cat thinks the world is dark when it closes its eyes.
The other wrong conception is the issues will die down if not brought up in the speeches, but once this news is carried by word of mouth that Police has restricted the raising of these two issues, even the most ignorant, or the most indifferent man or woman on what is happening around him will make an attempt to find out more, thereby giving more publicity, than warranted.
Some may not know the name Altantuya, but mention Mongolia or Mongolian the man in the street gives a knowing smile, such is the notorious nature of the word.
The Police are, unwittingly giving more prominence to these two issues, opposite their attempt to muzzle discussion.
Cops ban PKR from raising Altantuya issue
Mar 31, 09 1:57pm
In the run-up to the Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7, PKR has been dealt with a severe blow by the police in restricting the issues that the opposition party can raise at its daily ceramah.
For instance, party leaders are barred from raising the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in their speeches.
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is expected to stop in Bukit Gantang tomorrow as part of his campaign trail.
According to a state PKR leader, the police imposed several conditions when issuing permits for the PKR ceramah.
Among the main restrictions are:
- No instigating the crowd by questioning the Perak sultan’s decision
- No mention of the Altantuya issue must be made
- No racial and religious issues can be raised
In addition, PKR must ensure that the crowd at its ceramah is confined to a specific area where the event is being held. [see below]
The police have warned that action will be taken if the crowd spills beyond the permitted area, said Lau Teck Hai, who had applied for the permits on behalf of his party.
Lau, who is political secretary to PKR’s Kuala Sepetang state representative Tai Sing Ng, was told to go to the Taiping district police headquarters yesterday where he was informed of the conditions.
Ready to defy
Addressing a press conference on the matter this afternoon in Taiping, Perak PKR deputy chief Chan Lih Kang said the party is ready to defy the police on these restrictions.
He also said that it would not appeal against the police decision to impose such restrictions.
"These restrictions are new. They have never been imposed before," said Chan, who is also the Teja state assemblyperson.
"We will not be appealing against these restrictions and will be not be adhering to them as well."
He said the party is ready to face whatever action the police take against it for breaching the conditions.
"They cannot stop us from exercising our freedom of expression," he said.
The controversial issues
However, PAS, whose candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is contesting the by-election, has not been barred from raising these issues.
It is learnt that PAS was only told to stop its ceramah by 11pm so that this does not cause any disturbance in village areas.
The Altantuya issue has been used by the opposition, especially the PKR, to implicate Najib in the death of the Mongolian, a charge which the Umno politician has repeatedly denied.
As in previous election campaigns, several posters of Altantuya and Najib have already found their way to Bukit Gantang.
Altantuya’s remains were found scattered in a jungle reserve in Shah Alam, Selangor on Oct 19, 2006.
Two special elite policemen who were bodyguards to VIPs including Najib are facing murder charge. The verdict is expected early next month.
The opposition has also been highlighting the manner in which Perak Umno, led by Najib, ‘stole’ the state government from Pakatan. They have questioned the manner in which an Umno representative was then named as the new menteri besar.
Mohd Nizar has refused to step down as menteri besar although the Perak sultan had ordered him to do so. This had led to him being accused of committing derhaka (treason) against the sultan.
The by-election will see a three-cornered fight involving BN’s Ismail Saffian, Mohd Nizar (photo) and independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris.
It is being held following the death of PAS member of parliament Roslan Shaharum on Feb 9 from a heart attack.
In the last general election on March 8, 2008, Roslan defeated Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi of BN and independent candidate M Mohganan by 1,566 votes.
Meanwhile in Bukit Selambau, it is learnt that one of the restrictions imposed on political parties is that all ceramah must be held indoors.
Share your views