LAST_UPDATESat, 21 Jul 2018 4pm

Muhyiddin Wants Detailed Report On Siti Kasim's Case

File pic: Berita HarianFile pic: Berita HarianPUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today urged Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun to give him a detailed report on the incident involving lawyer and activist Siti Zabedah Kasim who is better known as Siti Kasim, before taking any action.

Muhyiddin, in a statement today, said he took note of the public's view on the police investigation into Siti Kasim based on a police report lodged by a parent saying that her 24-year-old daughter was kidnapped by the former.

He said he also noted Siti Kasim's response that at the time, she was acting as the lawyer for the 24-year-old woman.

"I agree on the right of individuals to seek legal aid, and the right to act without being influenced or threatened by any party.

"However, as Home Minister, I have to to find a balance between public interest and as well as the interest of the individual, without compromising the police investigation," he said.

Muhyiddin said he was aware that the police’s application to remand Siti Kasim was rejected by the court yesterday.

He said this was in line with the concept of separation of power, where the role of the court was to determine the legitimacy of the police action, based on the constitution.

Siti Kasim was detained at the Kajang District Police Headquarters at 12.40 am yesterday for allegedly obstructing law enforcement personnel from carrying out their duties following a report lodged by a woman claiming the lawyer had kidnapped her daughter on Thursday.

The woman was said to have been abducted while undergoing a psychiatric examination at the Kajang Hospital before being rescued by a police team at a condominium unit in Segambut on Saturday night.

The police released Siti Kasim after the Kajang Court rejected the remand order against her but investigations are still ongoing.

Meanwhile Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chairman, Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the police’s action to breakdown the door of Siti’s home for the purpose of a late-night arrest was unacceptable and unjustifiable.

Razali, in his statement, said Siti’s arrest for allegedly kidnapping her client and obstructing the police from discharging their duties was made without the police having adequately and reasonably investigating the factual circumstances of the case.

“The police must stop what appears to be targeted police harassment of Siti Kasim as there was no justification or necessity to arrest and detain her for performing her duty as a lawyer in defence of her client,” he said.

He said the arrest and detention contravened the United Nations Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers and Declaration of Human Rights Defenders in that the police officers appeared not to have discharged their functions in full appreciation of and respect for human rights.

“Suhakam regrets that arrests are still made before a completed police investigation, which can lead to overzealousness of the police officers making the arrest, resulting in a violation of the rights of the detainee as evident in this case,” he added.