Teresa Kok Out, Petra is still inside…and Teresa to sue Government
Posted September 19, 2008on:
|Teresa Kok released|
|S Pathmawathy | Sep 19, 08 1:22pm|
|DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was released unconditionally at 1pm today, after being held under the Internal Security Act for seven days.
Kok, 43, walked out from the Jalan Travers police station at 1.40pm, accompanied by her lawyer Sankara Nair and her personal aide, Mandy Ooi.
She was greeted by her visibly elated parents.
Kok was immediately hugged by her 71-year-old mother, Poon Seh Kwon, who gave her daughter a bunch of white and pink roses.
“I don’t know what I’ve got into… I don’t know what is the real reason (that) caused me to (be) put behind bars for one week,” she told journalists outside the police station.
Kok, who is also the Selangor state executive council member, expressed that she was still slightly shaken but glad that she was released.
“(There is) no reason at all to put me under ISA… What have I done? What have I said?” she asked.
“During the whole one week, they didn’t show any proof or evidence to show that I made statements that have caused racial and religious tension.”
The parliamentarian said that she felt like “fool” when she was incarcerated not knowing the grounds for her arrest.
When asked the reason for her release, Kok said, “I don’t know… I don’t know why I was charged… Of course, they have to release me; they find no case against me.”
Kok thanked all those who had campaigned for her release including those from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, such as “her friend” Zaid Ibrahim who had resigned as the de facto law minister following her arrest.
Deputy inspector-general of police Ismail Omar said that Kok was released after investigations showed that there was no reason to detain her any further.
Kok will be holding a press conference at 3.30pm at the DAP headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
Minutes after the IT-savvy and affable politician was released, she updated her social networking Facebook account.
At 1.35pm, she posted an entry in her Facebook saying, “Teresa sings ‘Honey, I’m home, I’ve had a hard day, pour me a cold one da da da…”, which immediately attracted comments welcoming her release.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang also appeared to be surprised by Kok’s early release.
Lim wrote in his blog that he received a phone call with the caller identification ‘Teresa’ at 12.56pm while he was having lunch in Ipoh, Perak and he had wondered who was using the MP’s mobile phone.
“But it was her on the line and I wondered how she wangled the use of her phone while in detention. But no, she did no such improper thing. She told me that she was being released.
“Bravo. The irresistible pressures for her unjust and undemocratic detention had succeeded,” wrote Lim, who is also the Ipoh Timor MP.
Last Friday, Kok was arrested under Section 73(1) of the ISA at 11.18pm, allegedly for sparking religious and racial tension ostensibly for her role in an Islamic matter.
She was arrested on the same day with controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, who was however released after 18 hours.
Raja Petra, who has targeted the top government figures on his popular Malaysia Today website, however is still under detention.
Her release today came as a surprise as her parents who were allowed to visit her on Monday has said there was a notice to Kok which stated that she would be held under ISA for 28 days.
Kok was held under the ISA detention for allegedly causing tension and conflict among races.
The three-term MP has been in news in recent days – especially in Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia – after it was claimed that she had told mosque officials in Kota Damansara, Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya to tone down the call to prayer.
Kok, who is also Kinrara state assemblyperson, has denied the allegations and one of the mosques, Masjid Kota Damansara, has clarified that a damaged amplifier has resulted in the calls to prayers to be made without the aid of a PA system.
Another mosque, Masjid Kinrara, has also denied that she was involved in a residents petition asking for the mosque to lower the volume of its loudspeakers during prayers.
Kok’s press statement in full
Sep 19, 08 4:21pm
The following is the press statement issued by Teresa Kok who was released after being detained for seven days under the ISA.
teresa kok released from isa 190908 13I have been released after being detained in solitary confinement in a 6-by-8 holding cell for seven days under the Internal Security Act (ISA). I was informed by the police that they detained me under section 73(1) of Internal Security Act 1960, which means I have incited racial and religious tension and conflict.
After being detained for seven days under the guise of so-called investigations, the police failed to produce any evidence or proof of me being involved in the activities of causing racial and religious tension. They were only able to ask me few questions based entirely on the false and malicious article written by Zaini Hassan under the topic ‘Azan, Jawi, JAIS, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya’ that was published in Utusan Malaysia on Sept 10, 2008.
The three main questions that the investigation officers asked me were:
1. whether I have mobilised a group of residents at Bandar Kinrara to present a petition to oppose to the azan at the Bandar Kinrara mosque;
2. whether I have made a statement that 30 percent of the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) allocation is to be given to other non-Islam religious bodies; and
3. whether I have opposed to the Jawi-wording road signages in Kuala Lumpur.
I denied the first two accusations as I did not do any such things as accused. I also told them that the issue of opposing Jawi road signages in Kuala Lumpur were done in January/February 2008 at the request and following the pressure of resident associations.
The resident associations, particularly in Taman Seputeh, were most unhappy because many of the road signages were changed arbitrarily by DBKL a few months before and changed again soon after, this time with Jawi wordings. They were strongly opposed to this kind of wastage of public funds by DBKL.
I was quite surprised that there were no other questions posed to me besides these few main questions.
internal security act section 73 subsection 1 isa 120908The ISA is meant to detain people who threaten national security. The three issues stated above have nothing to do with national security. If the police wanted to carry out investigation on me, they can always ask me to give statements in any of the police station and there was absolutely no need to detain me under the ISA for seven days. This is a phenomenal abuse of the power of police under the ISA.
Besides, it is nonsensical for the police to detain me under the ISA merely based on the unsubstantiated article written by an irresponsible columnist in Utusan Malaysia. How can they regard that article as the gospel truth without investigating the writer in the first place? How can Utusan Malaysia publish it without verifying the facts?
I wish to ask the police whether they have called Zaini and Utusan Malaysia’s editors for questioning before and after my detention.
I know that the imam of Bandar Kinrara mosque has publicly denied that I was involved in the Puchong residents petition against azan of his mosque on Sept 13. I am also quite surprised to read in the New Straits Times dated Sept 19 that the official of the Bandar Kinrara mosque was called by the Dang Wangi police for statement recording only yesterday afternoon.
Why did the police do it so late, one week after I was arrested? Why didn’t they check their facts first before they arrest me and put me behind bars?
I see my detention as a ploy by Umno to try to cover up the embarrassment and the outrage of the racist statements made by (ex-Bukit Bendera Umno division chief) Ahmad Ismail in Penang. I wonder why did they choose an innocent person like me as I have never made any racist statements or racist speeches in the past?
I have lodged the police report on Sept 17, 2008 against Utusan Malaysia, Zaini and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for criminal defamation. I would therefore urge the police to investigate Utusan Malaysia’s editors, those racist bloggers and Khir Toyo under the Penal Code.
As I have mentioned in my previous lawyer’s visit, I will sue Utusan Malaysia, Zaini and Khir Toyo. I have also instructed my lawyers to sue the Malaysian government for my unlawful arrest and detention.
As I am free from ISA detention today, I also call for the release of Raja Petra Kamarudin, the Hindraf Five and all other 60 over detainees under the draconian ISA.
I would also like to thank all politicians in the ruling parties as well as in the Pakatan Rakyat, NGOs, churches and all social organisations who have campaigned and prayed for my release.
Selangor senior exco
Kinrara state assemblyperson