KUALA LUMPUR: Sept 17, 2008 By FLORENCE A. SAMY and RASHITHA A. HAMID
ISA detainee Teresa Kok has lodged a police report against Utusan Melayu Sdn Bhd, its columnist Zaini Hassan and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for criminal defamation over the azan issue.
The Seputeh MP’s lawyer Sankara Nair lodged the police report on her behalf at the Travers Police Station at 4.10pm Wednesday after meeting her at the Bukit Aman police headquarters.
Teresa was accused of petitioning a mosque to reduce the volume for azan, something which she had vehemently denied previously. The two mosques had also stated she was not involved.
According to the police report, Zaini’s Sept 10 article in Utusan Malaysia entitled Azan, Jawi, JAIS, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya referred to Kok and contained baseless accusations against her.
“I strongly deny all accusations contained in the article. It is not true,” she said in the report.
The accusations were also refuted by the Kinrara mosque committee chairman and Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah had lodged a police report against Dr Mohd Khir on this issue, she said.
Attached to the police report were Zaini’s article and two articles from online news portal Malaysiakini (www.Malaysiakini.com) entitled Kok not involved in azan petition, says mosque and Report lodged against Khir Toyo for stirring up azan.
“I am making this police report to protect myself as an MP, a Selangor state assemblyman and as a Selangor state executive councillor.
“I believe one of the excuses for my ISA detention is in relation to that article and I place Utusan Malaysia, Zaini Hassan and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo responsible for my arrest,” she stated in the report.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Sankara said Kok had asked him to file more action and did not discount lodging more police reports including against the Government for Kok’s ISA detention.
On Monday, Kok filed a habeas corpus application in the High Court for her release citing that her arrest and detention under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.
Sankara said the court had fixed Sept 23 for hearing but said they would apply for Sept 22 instead as he had another case and Karpal Singh would be in East Malaysia on that date.
Besides Karpal Singh and Sankara, Kok would also be represented by Gobind Singh Deo and Param Cumaraswamy.
“Four of us have applied to see her this Friday as we need to prepare for the hearing. We will go all out to fight this case,” Sankara said.
On the letter of demand sent to Utusan Malaysia on Tuesday, Sankara said the daily sent them a letter on Wednesday asking for more time to reply.
Meanwhile, City CID Chief Senior Asst Comm II Ku Chin Wah confirmed that the police had received the report but declined to state which Section the report would be classified under.