DAP To Lodge Reports Nationwide Against IGP Over Interfaith Custodial Cases

DAP has told all its Wanita and Socialist Youth state committees to lodge reports against Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pic) for refusing to comply with the orders of the civil court in interfaith custodial cases.

Its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that the party made this decision at the Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting last night following Khalid's statement that police would not enforce any order from either the civil or Shariah Court on custody battles where one parent had converted to Islam.

"The DAP CEC instructs all DAP Wanita and DAPSY state committees to lodge police reports against the IGP for being in contempt of the Federal Constitution and for gross failure to perform his statutory role by refusing to enforce and comply with civil court orders on child custody cases," Lim said in a statement today. The IGP's refusal to comply with civil court orders, he added, is a "breach of statutory duty" that has exposed the nation's top cop as "completely unfit" for his position.

"He has forgotten that one of the police duties under Section 20 of the Police Act 1967 is to execute any orders of summons, subpoenas, warrants, etc, legally issued by the courts.

"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s suggestion of referring such child custody cases to the Federal Court fails to address, correct and punish such open contempt of courts and defiance of the IGP’s statutory duty," the Penang chief minister said.

Khalid had also said that the children of couples involved in such custody battles in both courts would be placed in the care of the Welfare Department. This, he had said, applied in the case of kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi in Ipoh and clerk S. Deepa in Seremban His comments were criticised by various groups, who had accused the IGP of "taking the easy way out".

Lim said Legal Bureau chief Gobind Singh Deo would kickstart the filing of the nationwide series of police reports in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow and added that a template of the report will be provided by Gobind and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran. Meanwhile, Lim said a special committee will be set up to look into police custodial deaths, which will comprise Penang deputy chief minister Professor P. Ramasamy, Gobind, Kula and Senator Ariffin S.M. Omar.

"The DAP CEC is gravely concerned about the failure of the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the police and the IGP to prevent police custodial deaths." The death of 26-year-old Agin Raj Sunmarkkan in Penang on June 7 brings the total number of custodial deaths in the state to seven and 10 nationwide.

"Blaming the police custodial deaths on the health of the victim is not only an abdication of responsibility but also indicates that custodial deaths will only persist, continuing this inhuman cruelty and sorrow to many helpless families," Lim said. He added that the special committee would help to collect information, assist the victim’s family and include filing civil suits against the police.

The Bagan MP also took Umno to task for "playing political games" with Islamic hudud law in an attempt to win Muslim support, adding that the party fully endorsed Selangor state speaker Hannah Yeoh’s decision to allow a motion by Umno on whether hudud law could be implemented in the state.

"Hannah has demonstrated that despite her publicly stated opposition to hudud, she is performing her constitutional role as an impartial, neutral and democratic Speaker for all including the Opposition, by allowing freedom of expression at the highest legislative body in Selangor.

"Umno surprisingly withdrew the motion yesterday without any reason given and Hannah is correct to view the filing and withdrawal of Umno’s hudud motion as a blatant political stunt.” He called on Umno and Barisan Nasional to instead respect the sanctity of the secular nature of the Federal Constitution.

"DAP is consistent in our principle of opposing the implementation of hudud laws in Malaysia because it is unconstitutional. Whilst we respect Islam and the position of hudud in Islam, implementation of hudud laws is against the Federal Constitution and not suitable in a plural society like Malaysia,” he said.

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