Police were 'sheepish, embarrassed' when questioning Dr Siti Hasmah, says lawyer

Bede Hong

Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali's lawyer says the policemen sent to take her statement this morning were clearly uncomfortable with their task. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 26, 2018.

IT was clear that the two police officers sent to question Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali this morning wished they were somewhere else, said the lawyer who was present during the session today.

Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla described the two police officers from the Federal police headquarters as being “sheepish” and “embarrassed”.

“They were also apologetic. They definitely appeared embarrassed and were clearly not comfortable that they had to come take a statement from such an elderly statesman,” Haniff told The Malaysian Insight.

Earlier today, police questioned Dr Siti Hasmah over a speech she had given at the Purple Walk, a gathering of women against the current state of Malaysian politics.

The event was held in Kuala Lumpur on September 10, 2017. Her speech, which was posted online, lasted 5 minutes and 40 seconds. Over 1,000 people participated in that rally.

Dr Siti Hasmah is now being investigated for allegedly violating the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Women leaders and lawyers, however, cried foul over Dr Siti Hasmah’s treatment, questioning why would the police investigate her now, four months after the event.

Haniff told The Malaysian Insight Dr Siti Hasmah was “calm, collected and very attentive” during the questioning.

“She even cracked jokes when a police officer’s handphone went off, and the ringtone was a Hindi song. She said ‘We can have the music along when we are talking.’”

Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla says it is 'too much' for the police to investigate Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali under the Peaceful Assembly Act. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 26, 2018.

Two officers questioned her for about an hour. Dr Siti Hasmah had two lawyers and a personal assistant present.

Haniff did not comment on the questions which Dr Siti Hasmah was asked but said she answered 12 questions. The rest, he said, she told the police she would answer in court.

“The police officers may be embarrassed, but they did their job. Personally, I still find it too much that, at the age of 91, she (Dr Siti Hasmah) had to be dragged through this. This is not right.

“Yes, the police were instructed to do this. And it is clear that it is to instil fear into the public. If they can do this to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister, and now his wife, you better watch out,” Haniff said.

Dr Mahathir, who is Pakatan Harapan chairman, was informed that police was questioning his wife while he was away at another meeting.

“He left the matter to the wisdom of his wife and her counsel,” Haniff said.

This is the first time in her life that Dr Siti Hasmah has been questioned by the police, her lawyer said.

“She has given testimony in court before, but it was related to accidents and rape cases when she was a practising doctor.”

Dr Siti Hasmah turns 92 on July 12. She will be celebrating her 62nd wedding anniversary with Dr Mahathir this August. – January 26, 2018.

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  • Can we start a #meetoo4SitiHasmah movement? Maybe rural women and elderly in Felda can be convinced to turn.

    Posted 6 years ago by Bigjoe Lam · Reply

  • The rakyat should watch all these intimidations and other abuses by the authorities and play their role fairly in the upcoming election.

    Posted 6 years ago by Peter Johnson · Reply

  • Apahal kau nak gangggu tugas polis. Ini bukan zaman BN.... polis boleh tangkap dan soal sesiapa sahaja tetmasuk peguam macsm kau...

    Posted 6 years ago by Nasa Kritikal · Reply