'I was made a scapegoat...'
Friday, 19 September 2008 04:17pm
©The Sun (Used by permission)by Giam Say KhoonPETALING JAYA (Sept 19, 2008) : DAP's Seputeh MP and Selangor senior executive councilor Teresa Kok, who was released from a seven-day detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) today, has claimed that she was made scapegoat in the move to contain the outrage over the alleged racist remarks."I see my detention as a ploy by Umno to try to cover up the embarrassment and the outrage over the racist statements made by (Bukit Bendera Umno division chief) Ahmad Ismail in Penang," she told a press conference shortly after her release at the DAP headquarters here."I wonder why they chose an innocent person like me as I have never made any racist remarks or racist speeches in the past," she said, adding that she has instructed her lawyer to sue the government for her unlawful arrest and detention.She also urged police to investigate her report lodged against Utusan Malaysia, columnist Zaini Hassan and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo under the Penal Code.She also reiterated that she will sue the newspaper, the columnist and Mohd Khir for defamation.On her detention, she said she was held at a detention camp "somewhere between Sentul and Jalan Ipoh" in Kuala Lumpur.Kok, 44, said the police officers were only able to ask her a few questions entirely based on an article by Zaini, titled "Azan, jawi, JAIS, Uitm dan ba-alif-ba-ya" that was published in Utusan Malaysia on Sept 10.She said the three main questions that the investigation officers asked were:> Whether she mobilised a group of residents at Bandar Kinrara to present a petition to oppose the azan at the Bandar Kinrara mosque;> Whether she made a statement that 30% of the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) allocation is to be given to other non-Islamic religious bodies; and> Whether she opposed the road signates which contained Jawi wordings in Kuala Lumpur."I denied the first two accusations as I did not do any such things. I also told them the issue of opposing Jawi road signages in Kuala Lumpur were done in January or February this year at the request and following the pressure of resident associations."I was quite surprised that there were no other questions posed to me besides these few main questions," she said, adding that when she asked why she was being detained, the police officers only told her that they were only following orders from "the top".Recounting her ISA detention ordeal, Kok said: "I was put in a six by eight holding cell everyday after 5.30pm and my only opportunity to get fresh air was during the sessions with the investigation officers which was conducted in an air-conditioned room."The food (at the detention camp) was similar to dog food, there was one day that I was only given two hard-boiled eggs with gravy and cucumber for my lunch and dinner," she said. (It was earlier reported by her parents that Kok suffered from diarrhoea).Kok was spirited and happy at the press conference and answered questions animatedly. Asked if she cried during her detention, she said she was very upset and sorry for her family, friends and supporters who prayed for her release when she was informed that she might be detained for 28 days."A chief inspector told me that I would be detained for another 28 days and asked me to sign the order. This was ridiculous as I had given my full cooperation answering all questions and there was nothing else they needed to know."I blasted all the officers and told them that it was uncalled for but I did not blame them because it was not their fault," she said.Kok also said when she was detained, she had just had a meeting with potential investors from Guangdong, China, adding that her arrest would have an impact on her duty which was to bring investors into Selangor, and by extension , the country.Kok also called for the release of Malaysia-Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, the five Hindraf leaders and all other 60 over detainees under the ISA."I would like to thank all politicians in the ruling parties as well as the Pakatan Rakyat, NGOs, churches and all social organisations who have campaigned and prayed for my release," she added.Asked if she would fight for the release of Zaini if the author is detained under the ISA, she said: "Of course, I will fight for Zaini's release because one should be charged in court and not detained under the ISA."Kok also specially thanked former de facto Law Minister Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who resigned after protesting against the use of the ISA on the three people arrested last Friday."He (Zaid) is really my friend and I thank him for taking a stand on this issue and I hope that he will be one of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) members," she said.Also present were Kok's parents, Kok Kim Tong and Poh Seh Kwon, Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang, , DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, SelangorMentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, other Selangor executive councilors, Federal Territories and Selangor MPs from Pakatan Rakyat and a group of supporters who brought a chocolate cake, mooncakes and a few bouquets of flowers.Lim said the release of Kok and Sinchew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng after their detention under the ISA was further proof of the abuse of the Act, as the law is only meant for subversion and organised violence.Kok's father, Kim Tong said he was very happy for his daughter's release. "I thank the people who showed their love, concern and care about Teresa.She is now not just my daughter as everyone has taken her like their daughter. I also would like to thank all religious bodies, the churches, temples and mosques for their support," he said.
Teresa Kok's press statement in full
Friday, 19 September 2008 04:32pm
The following is the press statement issued by Teresa Kok who was released after being detained for seven days under the ISA.I have been released after being detained in solitary confinement in a 6-by-8 holding cell for seven days under the Internal Security Act (ISA). I was informed by the police that they detained me under section 73(1) of Internal Security Act 1960, which means I have incited racial and religious tension and conflict.After being detained for seven days under the guise of so-called investigations, the police failed to produce any evidence or proof of me being involved in the activities of causing racial and religious tension. They were only able to ask me few questions based entirely on the false and malicious article written by Zaini Hassan under the topic ‘Azan, Jawi, JAIS, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya’ that was published in Utusan Malaysia on Sept 10, 2008.The three main questions that the investigation officers asked me were: 1. whether I have mobilised a group of residents at Bandar Kinrara to present a petition to oppose to the azan at the Bandar Kinrara mosque;
2. whether I have made a statement that 30 percent of the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) allocation is to be given to other non-Islam religious bodies; and
3. whether I have opposed to the Jawi-wording road signages in Kuala Lumpur.I denied the first two accusations as I did not do any such things as accused. I also told them that the issue of opposing Jawi road signages in Kuala Lumpur were done in January/February 2008 at the request and following the pressure of resident associations.The resident associations, particularly in Taman Seputeh, were most unhappy because many of the road signages were changed arbitrarily by DBKL a few months before and changed again soon after, this time with Jawi wordings. They were strongly opposed to this kind of wastage of public funds by DBKL.I was quite surprised that there were no other questions posed to me besides these few main questions.The ISA is meant to detain people who threaten national security. The three issues stated above have nothing to do with national security. If the police wanted to carry out investigation on me, they can always ask me to give statements in any of the police station and there was absolutely no need to detain me under the ISA for seven days. This is a phenomenal abuse of the power of police under the ISA. Besides, it is nonsensical for the police to detain me under the ISA merely based on the unsubstantiated article written by an irresponsible columnist in Utusan Malaysia. How can they regard that article as the gospel truth without investigating the writer in the first place? How can Utusan Malaysia publish it without verifying the facts?I wish to ask the police whether they have called Zaini and Utusan Malaysia's editors for questioning before and after my detention.I know that the imam of Bandar Kinrara mosque has publicly denied that I was involved in the Puchong residents petition against azan of his mosque on Sept 13. I am also quite surprised to read in the New Straits Times dated Sept 19 that the official of the Bandar Kinrara mosque was called by the Dang Wangi police for statement recording only yesterday afternoon.Why did the police do it so late, one week after I was arrested? Why didn't they check their facts first before they arrest me and put me behind bars?I see my detention as a ploy by Umno to try to cover up the embarrassment and the outrage of the racist statements made by (ex-Bukit Bendera Umno division chief) Ahmad Ismail in Penang. I wonder why did they choose an innocent person like me as I have never made any racist statements or racist speeches in the past? I have lodged the police report on Sept 17, 2008 against Utusan Malaysia, Zaini and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for criminal defamation. I would therefore urge the police to investigate Utusan Malaysia's editors, those racist bloggers and Khir Toyo under the Penal Code.As I have mentioned in my previous lawyer's visit, I will sue Utusan Malaysia, Zaini and Khir Toyo. I have also instructed my lawyers to sue the Malaysian government for my unlawful arrest and detention.As I am free from ISA detention today, I also call for the release of Raja Petra Kamarudin, the Hindraf Five and all other 60 over detainees under the draconian ISA.I would also like to thank all politicians in the ruling parties as well as in the Pakatan Rakyat, NGOs, churches and all social organisations who have campaigned and prayed for my release.TERESA KOKSeputeh MPSelangor senior excoKinrara state assemblyperson