Friday, June 27, 2014

Government must be fair to Indira Gandhi

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on June 27, 2014

Government must be fair to Indira Gandhi

Finally, the Attorney General has broken his silence on the issue of the interfaith custody battles.

It is a welcome move but whether he has any locus standi or otherwise, we can be certain only know in the coming days when the court papers are served on the parties.

The present interfaith custody battles are nothing very extraordinary. They are private matters between private individuals. If the IGP carries out his duties professionally, the issue would have been solved. Why should the state intervene?

The Prime Minister had two weeks ago announced that inter faith custody matters should be decided and disposed of in the Federal Court. Probably the AG is now finally giving effect to Prime Minister’s expert opinion!

But he must also help to heal the anger and upset caused by the failure of IGP in his discharge of public duties vis a vis on these inter faith matters.

IGP inconsistent and incorrect conduct very untenable to hold the position.

When parties in the inter faith custody matters served court papers asking the IGP to arrest the fugitive converts and retrieve the children,  the Inspector of Police Tan Sri Khalid  acted very irrationally by making the following remarks:-

1. that it is best that the children in custody issues be kept in welfare homes. 
2) police are looking for the runaways fugitives (when public pressures mounted on him)
3) the police will take a middle path on the inter faith matters and will not enforce the court orders
4) there are two conflicting custody decisions and the constraints he is facing in relation Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution 
5) the police are only monitoring the whereabouts of the fugitives and no arrests will be done.

The IGP’s refusal to act on the Court order served on him is something no average citizen can accept of a person holding the position as the head of the police in this country.

Further, do we have a Home Minister? If yes why no statement from him on the conduct of the IGP thus far? Why has the Prime Minister kept silent too?  

Although late, the AG is finally getting involved in this intricate family disputes. Malaysia   could be the only country in the world which is undergoing this supposedly "difficult" inter faith custody issue.  Indonesia which has the largest Muslim populace does not have this inter faith matters. Why? 

Government formed a toothless high level cabinet committee to address this interfaith issue way back in 2009. Other than giving lame duck unenforceable guidelines, nothing has happened? It boils down to the lack of political will on the part of the Government.

Be fair to Indira

In the Indira case, there are court orders of not only on custody but also warrant of arrest. The IGP should direct the police to complete their task by retrieving the child and handling it over to the mother. 

Court remedies will take years. Indira’s battle started in 2009. Is it reasonable to now await for the AG's further action on this matter which may drag on?

Indria Gandhi’s child was only 11 months old when her ex husband and convert Ridzuan ran away with the child. 

Let's all get the family ties restored first. Indira was still breast feeding the child when she was taken away in 2009.

The government must look at the issue from the human angle too.  Be fair to the mother. Would the IGP, AG and the PM act differently if it was their child?

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