Monday, March 15, 2010

China Press to Give Valid Explanation or Face Stern Action

Stern action will be taken against China Press if it fails to give a reasonable explanation to the Home Ministry regarding its report on the alleged resignation of the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.


Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein

Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said besides issuing a show-cause letter to the newspaper on March 13, the Home Ministry had also asked a representative from the newspaper to be present at the ministry this morning to provide clarification.

"What we have done is the same as what we did with Al-Islam and The Star.

If the explanation is not reasonable, we will view it in that context," he told reporters in the Parliament lobby here today.

Asked about the form of action that can be taken if the newspaper was found to be in the wrong, Hishammuddin said there were many actions that can be taken but he left it to the enforcement side.

"This matter is important as said in the King's speech. The freedom of expression and speech in the new landsacpe must be based on certain principles and the most basic is truth," he said.

The newspaper in a report recently said that Musa would retire before Police Day on March 25 and his place will be taken by his deputy Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

The paper's source said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Hishammuddin had received a letter of resignation, but Hishammuddin and Musa had denied the paper's report.

On the issue of leadership in the police force, Hishammuddin did not deny that a process of transition was taking place but the time and place would only be determined by the government's leadership and not by pressure or the media.

"In this matter it does not revolve around the IGP only as there are four more directors from the seven police force divisions who will retire this year.

One of them has taken leave as normal prior to retirement," he said.

As such, the process of change is seen as a new chapter in the Royal Malaysian Police but need not depend on a certain post or individual only.

"I know who will replace the IGP, I know who will replace Datuk Koh (Hong Sun) in commercial crime (as director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department) and the like. So there is no need to speculate, more so making reports that have no basis whatsover," he said.

Meanwhile, Hishamuddin said today that the proposed amendments to the Internal Security Act (ISA) will be scrutinised by the cabinet on Friday before it can be tabled and debated in the current parliament sitting.

He said although the draft of the amendments was ready, it had to be submitted to the cabinet for approval.

Hishammuddin hoped the bill could be tabled during the current parliament session but said that it was important that the public would also get a chance to give their views on the issue.

"If we just push it for tabling in this session, the people will not be happy," he told reporters at the Parliament building here.

If the bill was to be tabled at the current sitting, Hishammuddin said he would like the matter to be thoroughly debated.

The proposed amendments cover five issues namely the powers of the Home Minister, period of detention, rights and treatment of detainees, public perception that the ISA is misused for political purposes, and detention without trial.

courtesy of Malaysian Digest

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