Monday, April 29, 2013

Musa Hassan joins Pakatan security panel, concerned about political violence

Former federal police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan has joined Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) security advisory council, saying today he was concerned about political violence in Election 2013.

The ex-Inspector-General of Police insisted he was apolitical, telling reporters that he would do the same if the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) asked for his advice on national security matters.

“I’m apolitical... I came today because I take the safety of the people very seriously,” Musa (picture) told a press conference here.

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PR security advisory council chairman, retired army chief General Tan Sri Md Hashim Hussein, told reporters that caretaker Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement in March that violent incidents would worsen during the campaign period due to police shortage was tantamount to an endorsement of political violence.

“As people who have spent a great part of our lives protecting and serving Malaysians to ensure peace and safety in our country, we wish to categorically state that political violence has no place in our democratic process,” said Md Hashim, who is also the PKR candidate for Johor Baru.

Md Hashim told The Malaysian Insider that the PR security advisory council plays a supporting role to the police force, and denies that it was set up due to a lack of confidence in the police.

“I think it’s just for us to create public awareness about the law... Security is everybody’s business. Don’t just leave it to the security forces,” he said.

In a similar message, Musa Hassan also told reporters that he would advise the security council on how to engage with the police and the authorities, and at the same time called for the police to be fair in their investigations to both sides of the political divide.

He encouraged political parties to cooperate with the police, saying: “That’s why it’s good if every party that wants to hold a ceramah informs the police first, which area u want to do it in, and the police will send their men there earlier to do certain clearings to make sure the area is safe.”

He also called for the supporters of political parties not to provoke others or be easily provoked.

“If a provocation happens, don’t take the law into your own hands. The best possible way is to get all the evidence of the person provoking you... and that will be given as evidence to the police later on which would assist them in their investigation,” he said.

Violent acts have dogged the campaign trial in the run-up to the hotly anticipated general election on May 5, touted to be the closest fight in Malaysia’s political history.

A petrol bomb was thrown into the house compound of the daughter of PKR candidate for the Sri Andalas state seat last Thursday, setting her car on fire.

Caretaker Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reportedly filed a police report last Thursday over a text message he received that threatened death against his wife and son if he was re-appointed chief minister.

Petrol bombs were also thrown at BN operations centres in Penang, Selangor and Kedah last week.

The PR security advisory council was set up at the end of March to prevent violent incidents during the campaign period and to ensure a peaceful transition of power in the upcoming general election.

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