Over the last few days, there has been much debate in the various media relating to a statement made by Suaram’s Adviser Dr.Kua Kia Soong, “challenging Pakatan Harapan leaders to state their position on Tun Mahathir’s continued denial that he was responsible for Ops Lalang”.
Ops Lalang was a “major crackdown carried out beginning 27 October 1987 by the Royal Malaysia Police, ostensibly to prevent the occurrence of racial riots in Malaysia” (Operation Lalang – Wikipedia). During this crackdown, a total of 106 persons of various preoccupations were arrested; most being political figures and activists. Tun Mahathir was then the Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs.
We, the members of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan comprising of retired military and police officers take a firm stand on the statement made by Dr. Kua Kia Soong, given its serious nature. We oppose any attempt by anyone in trying to ‘revisit’ a thirty year old political crackdown by the government at the time on political figures and activists.
Dr. Kua Kia Soong ought to know that the decision to activate Ops Lalang was certainly not a decision taken by ‘one man’ as decisions of such gravity is taken upon the advice of the Royal Malaysia Police, the Special Branch in particular and other intelligence agencies given to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet members.
It is therefore morally, ethically and factually wrong to place the blame squarely on the Prime Minister then for activating Ops Lalang.
Most of our Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan members were in active service at the time when Ops Lalang was launched, and we were cognizant and of clear conscience on the need and justifications for Ops Lalang. We do not deny that the operations was hard; and for some it came across as being ‘nasty’ but it had to be done at a time when the nation was going through a tumultuous period of political instability, that threatened the peace and security of the country and its people.
Dr. Kau Kia Soong may have overlooked at a statement made by Tun Mahathir as reported by Malay Mail dated 18 February 2017, where Tun Mahathir said, “Even if the decision was made by somebody else, the Cabinet and I accept responsibility”.
As a leader of the nation, Tun had the moral standing to declare that he has accepted responsibility for Ops Lalang. If this is not honorable, what else would Dr. Kau Kia Soong seem to want puzzles us veterans who served in the nation’s interest.
We would like to advice Dr. Kau Kia Soong to be not held back by what had occurred in the past as it was clearly a measure taken to secure the big picture for a progressive, peaceful nation. We believe and with reasons too, that focusing our attention and energies on what is happening currently to the nation is a proactive measure that weighs on the shoulders of all responsible, caring citizens and leaders. The call of duty to nation, King and democracy demands our collaborative understanding in view of the many troubling issues confronting the nation today.
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan wishes to categorically state that we are apolitical and a non partisan NGO, and we hold dearly to our founding principles of wanting to see that this blessed nation of ours and its people of all races live in peace and harmony.
We are open to a dialogue with Dr. Kau Kia Soong if it will help bridge any imagined or real divides on the concern as registered by him in the public sphere.
Persatuan Patiot Kebangsaan