PETALING JAYA, Sept 11 ― Former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar has clarified the claims that DAP had pushed for the division of peninsula Malaysia into two after the 1969 race riots originated from intelligence gathered by Special Branch (SB).
“That information arrived to me through SB reports and at that time it was Tun Mohamed Salleh Ismael who was the Inspector-General of Police.
“That report was given to me after a DAP leader claimed to have made the proposal in Europe shortly after the race riots,” he said during an exclusive interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian yesterday.
According to the daily, Hanif’s remarks were reportedly made at the Karamah Bangsa Convention in Universiti Teknologi Mara last Thursday, during a talk where he was a panellist.
According to Hanif who was the chief officer (Police) of the National Operations Council (Mageran) at that time, Mohamed Salleh briefed Mageran weekly but reports from SB would be delivered directly to Hanif if it was deemed important.
“I would also report to then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein,” he said.
On Sunday, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang instructed lawyer Ramkarpal Singh to initiate a defamation lawsuit against Hanif after the ex-top policeman was reported telling a forum that the DAP had advocated for Malays to get the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and for the west coast to go to the Chinese after the controversial 1969 general election.
The Iskandar Puteri MP also called Hanif’s bluff on the latter being the police chief who ordered his detention under the Internal Security Act 1960 — now repealed — following the May 13 riots in 1969.
“I was not the one who ordered him to be jailed immediately after the riots. It was only during Operation Lalang in 1987 that Lim was among those arrested during my tenure as the Inspector-General of Police,” Hanif said.
On the claims that Lim was not aware of any such proposal, Hanif explained that at that time Lim was imprisoned under the Internal Security Act for 18 months.
According to Hanif, he said his remarks was not meant to discredit DAP but to share his experience during his tenure in Mageran.
“I do not even have a personal problem with Lim and shortly after he was released from detention, both of us even visited one another,” he said.