DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang has reiterated the need for a formation of a Royal Commission on the bloody Memali incident on Nov 19, 1985 following recent revelation by former deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam that the then Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad was in Malaysia during the incident.
Lim pointed out that it was believed for the past three decades that Mahathir was in China during the incident and therefore he had called for the Commission since the former premier had absolved himself from the death of 18 pepoole in the incident including four policemen.
In a statement Apr 2, Lim also pointed out that another reason for a Commission to revisit the incident is because the protagonist of the incident like Mahathir, Musa, former Inspector General of Police Tun Hanif Omar, former acting Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Datuk Mohd Amin Osman, the then Information Minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim, deputy Home Minister Tan Sri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, the then Umno secretary general Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, then Baling OCPD during the Memali incident Tunku Muszaffar Shah and a follower of Ibrahim Libya who is now Senator Muhamad Yusof Husin from Baling, Kedah are still alive and can testify on the avoidable tragedy.
"In fact, the eye-witness testimony of the Baling OCPD at time of Memali Incident, Tunku Muszaffar Shah, is itself an extra potent reason why there should be a Commission to revisit the 1985 tragedy which cost 18 lives so that the real truth could be uncovered for the nation and people," he said.
Book on Memali
Lim pointed out that two years ago, Tunku Muszaffar wrote a book retailing how the bloody incident on Nov 19, 1985 which resulted in the death of Ibrahim Libya, 13 of his followers and four police personnel was the result from political interference with police operations, causing the federal police headquarters at Bukit Aman to make poor decisions in its bid to arrest Ibrahim Libya after a second botched attempt to arrest him under the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960.
In his book entitled Memali: A Policeman Remembers, Lim pointed out that Tunku Muszaffar was the opinion that the poor decision-making was the result of political interference and underestimation of the tenacity of Ibrahim’s followers.
Tunku Muszaffar wrote that the top officers in Bukit Aman should never take orders from their “political masters” and reject requests that are not in line with police norms or procedures.
Lim said according to the White Paper on the Memali incident tabled in Parliament in February 1986, the government justified attempts to arrest Ibrahim under the ISA by accusing him of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Movement that aimed to topple the federal government by force.
Lim said another potent reason for a Commission into the tragedy was to ascertain whether it represented the first of political interferences with the professionalism, independence and integrity of national institutions under the 22-year Mahathir premiership and which is now not confined to the police and have spread to other institutions including the civil service, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Judiciary, the Elections Commission and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
He said there is also the need and formula to de-politicise and end political interferences in these national institutions to restore public confidence in the system of good governance in Malaysia.