Section 124 of the Penal Code reads as follows:
"Whoever, with the intention of inducing or compelling or attempting to induce or compel a member of Parliament or of any legislative assembly or of any state executive council to exercise or refrain from exercising in any manner the lawful powers of such member, assaults or wrongfully restrains, or attempts wrongfully to restrain, or overawes by means of criminal force, or the show of criminal force, or attempts so to overawe, such member shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to a fine."
The Perak CPO, Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, has breached Section 124 of the Penal Code. Technically, therefore, he can be charged for a criminal offence -- and, if found guilty, can be jailed or fined, or both. That is the law and one just can’t avoid punishment if one has broken the law.
But will he be made to face punishment? If the Speaker of the Perak State Assembly -- or any member of the public for that matter -- makes a police report against him, then the police are obligated, by law, to open a case file and investigate the report.
Over the last 11 years, thousands upon thousands of police reports have been made against those who walk in the corridors of power. But almost every single report has ended up in the NFA (No Further Action) tray. Try, however, to make a police report against someone perceived as ‘anti-establishment’. Within 24 hours an investigation will be launched and the police, with guns and Balaclavas, will swoop on the ‘dangerous criminal’.
Remember what happened to Anwar Ibrahim back in September 1998 and then, ten years later, in 2008? Both times the police came as if they were about to arrest Botak Chin, Bentong Kali, the Mamak Gang, or what have you. And, mind you, in both these incidences Anwar’s lawyers had contacted the police to inform them that their client would voluntarily surrender himself at any police station that they want him to if asked.
Why the need to do a military-style operation as if Anwar was going to fight with guns and bombs till the last man standing? He had already said he would go in to the police station if asked. In fact, in the 2008 Hollywood-style arrest, Anwar was already on the way to the police station to make good his 2.00pm appointment when they arrested him so dramatically just outside his house as he was leaving for the police station.
Thousands upon thousands of police reports have been made over the 11 years which have all come to nought in the end. I have personally made two, one against the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Bakri Zinin, and another against JAKIM. The police not only classified them as NFA, they did not even call me in for my statement to be recorded, which is the usual procedure. In short, the police just totally ignored my two police reports.
I remember, back in 2001, when ten of us, all Reformasi activists, were detained under the Internal Security Act. The Special Branch goaded us and asked whether we really think we can take over the government. You can take to the streets, said the police. You can even win the general elections. But we own the guns and we decide who gets to form the government. Saari Sungib, in fact, wrote about this in his series of eight or ten books about his two-year experience in Kamunting and the two-month detention prior to that.
The police support the government-of-the-day, one very senior police officer told me. But we decide who gets to form the government and who becomes the Prime Minister, another officer told Saari. And if the Prime Minister tak betul jalan, they might even find his car dalam gaung the next day.
Strong and confrontational words indeed from the defenders of justice and upholders of public safety and security. Are they employed as guardians of the peace or to decide who gets to form the government and becomes the Prime Minister?
I remember what one Deputy Director of the Special Branch once told me. When the May 13 race riots broke out, Bukit Aman held a briefing for all its officers and the instructions to the officers was: you are Malays first and police officers second. You job is to defend Malay political power and dominance. Understandably, only the Malay officers were invited for that briefing.
Another non-Malay Special Branch officer who was on duty outside Datuk Harun Idris’s house moments before the May 13 riots started had this to relate. He saw the crowd surge forward after a series of rabble-rousing speeches by various UMNO leaders and they started hacking to death all the non-Malays they came across.
I was alone and had just one revolver with six bullets, he told me. What could I do against thousands of parang-wielding rioters bent on drawing blood? I tucked my revolver in my waste and just stood by helplessly and watched as they hacked to death innocent non-Malays who did not know what the hell was going on.
This officer managed to save a couple of people but was himself confronted by some soldiers who raised their rifles and took aim at his head. In desperation he took out his authority card and explained that he was a police officer. The soldiers gave him ten seconds to get out of there before they shoot him dead. Invariably, he resigned from the force in disgust soon after that. Being a Special Branch officer who was on duty at ‘Ground Zero’ when May 13 exploded means he knew more than he could endure.
Another friend whose father was an army camp commander at the time of May 13 told me how his father opted for early retirement not long after that. On retirement he became a recluse and refused to meet any of this old army mates. He totally turned his back on the army and on his old friends from his army days. He knew something that we all don’t but he would refuse to talk about the army or May 13 till the day he died.
The police revealed their ‘true colours’ again in Perak today. No, Barisan Nasional is not a coalition of 14 political parties. It is a coalition of 16. The other two are the police and the Elections Commission (SPR). The police and SPR are also part of Barisan Nasional and are out to serve the interests of that ruling coalition. Can we trust the police and SPR when their job is to ensure that UMNO stays in power?
This was, in fact, confirmed by SPR in a meeting we had with them back in 2000. When asked why they would not abolish the postal vote system now that the Communist insurgency has ended and the soldiers are no longer in the jungles fighting the CTs (Communist Terrorists), they replied: if we abolish the postal vote system then not a single Minister would be able to retain his or her seat.
We were shocked by that reply and, after a few minutes of deafening silence, we asked them, “Isn’t it the job of the SPR to guarantee fair and free elections?”
They replied, “No, the job of the SPR is to ensure that the Malays do not lose political power.”
The SPR may be crooks but at least they are honest about it. I suppose that makes them honest crooks just like we have virgin prostitutes. And the police are no less slimy. And if what happened today in Perak can’t convince you of this then nothing in the world will ever convince you.
Perak is supposed to be Najib’s ‘
Najib needs to make sure he does not lose Perak. The forces opposed to him do not really mind if Perak falls back into Pakatan Rakyat’s hands. Okay, so they lose Perak. But then they will lose Najib as well. It is a sort of ‘package deal’. If Perak goes, then Najib goes as well. Losing Perak is a small price to pay for blocking Najib from becoming Prime Minister.
I realised, when they postponed my sedition and criminal defamation trials to end-April and end-May respectively, that bringing Najib down through the evidence I was supposed to reveal during these trials would not happen as planned after all. Thus far, only the sedition trial has commenced. The criminal defamation trial has not even started yet. Even then, the sedition trial is not even halfway through.
Currently, the prosecution is still presenting its case. At the end of the prosecution’s case the court will decide whether I have a case to answer to and whether my defence needs to be called. If, just like in the Altantuya murder trial, the court feels there is no case, then I will be acquitted without my defence being called, just like what happened to Razak Baginda. This would mean nothing would be revealed, as there will be no trial.
The problem with this would be, all this may happen a year or more down the road, long after Najib takes over as Prime Minister. So there is really no reason to hold my breath until I turn blue. I will be long dead from asphyxiation by the time anything is going to happen, and even then only if it will happen. It will not be in the interest of Najib to allow the trial to go its entire length and breadth, as he knows I am waiting to reveal the evidence once my defence is called. The best would be for the court to acquit me without my defence being called. Even now, when it is still only the prosecution’s case, much of what is surfacing in court is proving very embarrassing for Najib.
Anyway, not knowing whether what I want to say will ever see the light of day, I have decided to change my strategy. Instead of depending on the trial, I have sent all the notes of the court proceedings to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Sure, they have blocked most from surfacing in the trial. Superintendent Gan Tack Guan refuses to reply to all the questions posed by my lawyer, YB Gobind Singh Deo. But what he has told us thus far is damaging enough.
For example, Supt Gan confirmed that no investigation was ever launched to confirm whether Najib was, or was not, involved in Altantuya’s murder. Okay, this is not evidence that he was. But there is also no evidence to prove he was not. And no less than Supt Gan, the Investigating Officer of the Altantuya murder, who said this. And he said this while testifying during my sedition trial.
Most lawyers would argue that just because one was not proven innocent does not mean this is evidence that one is guilty (although this was how they found Anwar guilty and sent him to jail for more than six years). Sure, if seen in isolation this may be so. But it should not be seen in isolation. It must be read together with the Affidavit that Razak Baginda signed when he applied for bail in the early days of his trial.
Now, this Affidavit can’t be ignored because this Affidavit was the basis for the court to rule that Razak is not guilty and subsequently acquitted him of the murder charge. This Affidavit is crucial. This Affidavit bought Razak his freedom. And the court believed what Razak had said in his Affidavit. So, what did this Affidavit say?
Razak said, simply, that he never knew the two police officers on trial for Altantuya’s murder until they were introduced to him by Musa Safri, Najib’s ADC. That was when he first met them. Then Razak goes into detail about what happened thereafter, which I had already written about before and, therefore, do not need to repeat here.
The question that begs answer is: who instructed Musa to assist Razak and who subsequently sent the police officer -- Chief Inspector Azilah -- to go and see him to help him out of his predicament? And did not Razak also say, in the same Affidavit, that he went to Najib’s office to meet Musa and accidentally bumped into (teserempak) Azilah there?
Razak’s conversation with Azilah, about who sent him, etc., also needs to be noted. In short, Najib’s office or someone in Najib’s office set up the whole arrangement. This is what Razak said. And the court believed Razak and freed him from jail.
Was this investigated? According to Supt Gan, no! So they have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. But the court thinks it is true and that is why it freed Razak. So the matter is not about whether Najib was proven guilty. It is about him not being proven innocent. And Najib is not simple man-in-the-street. He is the man who is going to be the next Prime Minister. And a Prime Minister must be above suspicion, especially when it involves murder.
That was my argument. And I explained this when I sent the official court papers to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with a plea to not appoint Najib as the next Prime Minister. I tried to make it simple. I am not saying that Najib has been proven guilty of murder. I am saying that Supt Gan confirmed that Najib has not been proven innocent. The police did nothing. They never launched any investigation. And Supt Gan confirmed this during my trial.
Okay, maybe I did not win first prize. They made sure I would not with the ‘I can’t reply’, ‘I don’t know how to reply’, ‘How do I reply to that’ answers that Supt Gan gave us. But at least I won second prize, for now. We have thus far failed to prove that Najib is guilty, and that may take us another year of hearings before we can do that -- which might be too late by then. But we have succeeded in proving that the police never cleared him either.
The ball is now at Abdullah Badawi’s feet. Whether he wants to hand over to Najib at the end of this month or not is his call. But the Altantuya murder is not the only issue. Perak is one more nail in Najib’s coffin. Today, it looks like Barisan Nasional has lost Perak, which means Najib lost. Then there is the emergency meeting this afternoon where some UMNO veterans are going to apply for a court injunction to delay the UMNO Assembly scheduled for the end of this month.
More than 1,000 reports have been made alleging corruption by the many contestants in the UMNO party elections. That is more reports than number of candidates. The UMNO veterans want the party to delay the Assembly until after all the cases have been investigated. What happens if someone (or many) wins the party elections and later is found guilty of corruption (money politics)? They would have to resign and this would be embarrassing for UMNO.
Imagine the entire UMNO Supreme Council and its three Vice-Presidents who win at the end of this month are found guilty of corruption. The entire leadership would need to resign or get sacked. UMNO would be put to shame, not to mention the bother of holding the party elections all over again.
I said this before and I will say it again. 24 hours is a long time in politics. Governments can fall in a mere 24 hours. What more 24 days? Najib may yet not become Prime Minister come end of this month. Sure, he may make Deputy President of UMNO. But that does not mean he will also become Prime Minister. How he handles Perak the next 24 hours and what results from the emergency meeting by the UMNO veterans this afternoon and the injunction that may follow it would have a bearing on Najib’s chances of becoming Prime Minister.
And if Abdullah Badawi does what I hope he will do with the court papers I sent him, then Najib’s goose is cooked. And it will no longer matter what they do to me. Najib will be out and Perak will be back under Pakatan Rakyat. My job is done. What happens thereafter is not a big deal.
This is something Najib does not understand. He thought he knew the game. In reality, he does not. The game is actually very simple indeed. It is called ‘Russian Roulette’. We load the chamber with one bullet, spin the chamber, and pull the trigger. I have pulled it and it did not fire. It just ‘clicked’. It is now Najib’s turn to pull the trigger. Will it fire or will it also go ‘click’? I really don’t know. Najib will have to pull the trigger for us to see. If it ‘clicks’, then the gun comes back to me and it is my turn to, again, pull the trigger. And this game of Russian Roulette will continue until one of us gets a bullet in the head.
Yes, I live dangerously. But I do not do so for the sake of living dangerously. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No pain, no gain. This is all necessary. Perak was Najib’s doing. He created that mess. So we have to mess him up if need be to get back Perak. And it looks like that may have happened today in spite of what Najib and the police tried to do.
To the Perak CPO, Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, I have only one thing to say: you have breached Section 124 of the Penal Code. Go straight to jail, do not pass ‘go’, and do not collect RM200 on the way to jail. And to Nizar, well done. We were in Perak today and we are very honoured to have witnessed history in the making. This is the first time in history that a legitimate government was forced to conduct its business under a tree. I am going to propose a ceremony to place a bronze plaque under that tree so that generations to come can get to see the spot where the people took back power from the government, minus the bloodshed as well.
This is peoples’ power in the true sense of the word. Syabas. I am proud of you, Nizar.