PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has directed the Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun to submit a comprehensive report on the arrest of lawyer and activist Siti Kasim who was accused of kidnapping her client and preventing police officers from discharging their duties.
Muhyiddin said he had asked for the report to be submitted before any action is taken on the matter.
He said he had taken cognisance of the public outcry over the matter but as the home minister, he had to balance public interest with the private interests of those directly affected without impeding police investigations.
“I have also noted lawyer Siti Kasim’s response that she was at all times acting as legal counsel for the victim.
“I am fully aware of the right of the individual to legal counsel, and the right of counsel to act without being subjected to threats and harrassment by any parties,” he said in a statement.
Muhyiddin also noted that the application by the police to further detain Siti was rejected by the court and said this was consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers.
“The court’s role to adjudicate the merits of the application by the police, and to balance them against the fundamental liberties enshrined under the Constitution must be respected by all parties concerned,” he said.
Siti had heaped scorn on claims by the police that they had rescued her client, whom she was accused of kidnapping.
In a video uploaded on Facebook, she said she had no reason to kidnap her client.
“Why would I want to kidnap her? For what? Did I send out a ransom note?” she asked.
She had expressed hope that the home minister would look into the police’s actions which she described as “high-handed” to ensure that there would be no repeat of such incidents in the “new Malaysia”.
It is understood that Siti’s client, a woman in her 20s, was picked up by police after a complaint lodged by her mother claiming that her daughter’s faith was in question.
Siti earlier said that the woman, whom she claimed was abused by the mother, had been “abducted” by the police and Islamic authorities in Selangor.
A video posted on Facebook showed Siti at the police station, demanding that her client be freed. A woman was also heard from another room, denying that she had been kidnapped by Siti.
Siti was arrested at the Kajang police headquarters on Saturday and released yesterday following the court’s dismissal of an application for her remand.