The news that the Home Ministry would summon Malaysiakini and China Press over their articles on Deputy Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah’s remarks on a threat of rape made against a teenager as the said reports were claimed to be inaccurate, is disturbing and shrouded in controversy for at least three reasons.
Firstly, it is unclear why the Home Ministry needs to get involved in this controversy since this is a matter which ought to be investigated by the police, assuming what was reported was fake news.
No doubt, the police come within the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry but questions arise as to why such investigations are going to be carried out, particularly when, to my knowledge, no police report has been lodged alleging the reports by Malaysiakini and China Press were inaccurate.
Were no police reports lodged because the remarks allegedly made by Acryl Sani which were reported by Malaysiakini and China Press actually made by him?
Is it going to be a norm in the future for the Home Ministry to start investigations instead of the police?
Secondly, it is to be noted that Bukit Aman Police corporate communication secretariat representative Skandaguru Anandan was reported to have said yesterday that the police were taking the said rape threat seriously and did not view it as a joke.
In fact, Skandaguru was also reported to have said Acryl Sani’s “may be a joke” comment referred to the aspects that were being investigated and it did not mean the issue was being taken lightly, which seems to confirm that Acryl Sani did make the said remarks!
It must also be noted that nowhere did Skandaguru say that Acryl Sani did not make such remarks.
Thirdly, to my knowledge, Acryl Sani himself has not come out publicly to deny he made such remarks or clarify in what context he made them, if he did.
Wouldn’t this be a natural response from him if the said reports attributed to him were inaccurate as claimed?
Since the Home Ministry is going to start investigating as reported, it should summon Acryl Sani as well to confirm if he did or did not make such remarks and if so, in what context they were made, particularly since he himself has not denied it to date.
The police might claim that the context of Acryl Sani’s speech suggests that this so called joke was an aspect of its investigations but this certainly does not, in any way, indicate any wrongdoing on the part of Malaysiakini or China Press if they simply reported what he said, since he did not clarify the purported context in which he said it.
In light of the above, I call on the Minister of Home Affairs to confirm if Acryl Sani would also be summoned for the reasons stated above, failing which, it would be hard to dismiss the possibility that Malaysiakini and China Press are being victimised for reporting the truth, a serious affront to freedom of speech and expression in this country.
Dated this 28th of April, 2021.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LEGAL BUREAU
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY