Lawyer confirms Kit Siang to sue ex-IGP Hanif Omar over two Malaysia claim

Debra Chong

Former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar (pictured) may face a defamation suit over his claim that DAP leader Lim Kit Siang had pushed for the division of peninsula Malaysia into two after the 1969 race riots. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has instructed his lawyer Ramkarpal Singh to initiate a defamation lawsuit against Tun Hanif Omar over the former inspector-general of police’s claim that he had pushed for the division of peninsula Malaysia into two after the 1969 race riots.

Ramkarpal said he will be issuing a letter of demand in accordance to Lim’s instructions as Hanif has not responded to Lim’s demand for an explanation by two-day deadline, which expired at 12.30pm today.

“In the circumstances, I will take the necessary steps to initiate such legal proceedings by issuing a letter of demand to Hanif, which will be served on him after the holidays on Wednesday (12.9.2018) for him to, inter alia, apologise and retract his said statement and further, to propose a sum in damages to be agreed upon by parties within fourteen (14) days from the date of the said letter of demand failing which, legal proceedings will be commenced against him for such defamatory comments.

“I also urge the police to investigate Hanif for sedition as there can be no doubt that his said statement has a tendency to pit one race against another, namely the Malays against the Chinese,” Ramkarpal, who is the DAP national legal bureau chairman, said in a statement.

He said the Hanif’s statement was deliberately provocative and intended to pit the Malays and Chinese against each other.

Lim had threatened legal action against Hanif two days ago, after the ex-top policeman was reported telling a forum in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on Thursday that the DAP had advocated for Malays to get the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and for the west coast to go to the Chinese after the controversial 1969 general election.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also called Hanif’s bluff on the latter being the police chief who ordered his detention under the Internal Security Act 1960 — now repealed — following the May 13 riots in 1969.

Hanif’s remarks were reported by Malay daily Sinar Harian to have been made at the “Karamah Bangsa” Convention in UiTM last Thursday, during a talk in which he was a panellist.

He was speaking about the communist threat at that time and claimed the DAP had not offered to help the government fight the scourge, but instead asked for “Malaya” to be separated into two parts.

“The Alliance formed Barisan Nasional then because our country was nearly destroyed. DAP asked Malaya to be divided into two.

“East coast to the Malays and west coast to the Chinese. What was my answer? I put Lim Kit Siang in jail.

“Two years he was there. That’s how Hanif takes action as Inspector-General of Police,” Hanif was quoted saying in the Sinar Harian report.

Hanif served as IGP from 1974 to 1999. The BN was formed in 1973.

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