Malaysia's police chief defends questioning of two opposition MPs over critical comments

Malaysia's police chief Abdul Hamid Bador said the probes were not the result of pressure from any group or political party. PHOTO: CHINA PRESS

IPOH - Malaysia's police chief on Friday (June 19) defended the police's move to question two opposition MPs over what they said three months ago that appeared to be critical of the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Inspector General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said the probes were not the result of pressure from any groups or political parties, amid claims by the opposition that the days of being harassed by police over their statements have returned.

He said the police were merely calling the politicians to record statements and give them the space and opportunity to explain their side of the story over reports that were lodged against them, Malay Mail online news reported.

He said that Bukit Aman's (police headquarters) Classified Criminal Investigation Unit, which has been given the responsibility to investigate special cases that involve politicians, previously reviewed several reports lodged by certain individuals throughout the country in relation to political issues.

"Therefore, several politicians were called to record their statement and this action was not done at the insistence of any groups or political parties," he told a news conference in Perak.

"I can assure that there is no such thing and I will not allow the police force to be pressured by any individuals," he added, as quoted by Malay Mail.

Opposition MP Hannah Yeoh, the former deputy minister of Women, Family and Community Development in the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, said last week that she had called up by police over a tweet related to child marriage.

"I have been called in by Bukit Aman to give a statement over an investigation in relation to the Twitter posting.

"Nowadays even asking questions is not allowed," she said in a post accompanied by a screenshot of the original tweet.

The former deputy minister had asked on March 9, a few days after the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Muhyiddin was formed, what would happen to the roadmap on ending child marriages drawn up by PH.

"This roadmap was the hard work of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (former deputy prime minister) and myself," she tweeted in Bahasa Malaysia.

The then PH government launched the plan in January as a five-year plan to end child marriages.

The roadmap outlined seven objectives, 17 strategies, and 58 programmes and actions to address the causes. local media reported.

Meanwhile, former Youth and Sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has also been called up by police for an investigation.

He said on Thursday that he was being called up over a televised interview on Al Jazeera TV in March. He had then spoken about how the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) that was ousted in May 2018 tried to control the media to avoid public scrutiny, and still failed to steer perception. BN is now part of Tan Sri Muhyiddin's Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

In the March 6 interview with Al Jazeera, Mr Syed Saddiq spoke of his disappointment with PM Muhyiddin for betraying the party's founding principles by working with "kleptocrats".

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