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Saturday September 20, 2008

Kok freed, to sue Government for arrest

Teresa Kok released from ISA detention

KUALA LUMPUR: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was released yesterday after being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for seven days.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar confirmed that police found no reason to detain her any longer.

Savoring her freedom: Kok waving as she leaves the Bangsar police station in Jalan Travers, Kuala Lumpur, Friday while accompanied by her personal assistant Mandy Ooi and lawyer Sankaran Nair.

Kok, 44, who is a senior Selangor executive councillor, was arrested on Friday last week following allegations that she had urged several mosque officials to turn down the loudspeakers for the azan prayers.

“I have instructed my lawyers to sue the Government for my unlawful arrest and detention,” said Kok.

She said she had lodged a police report against Utusan Malaysia and its columnist Zaini Hassan and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for criminal defamation on Sept 14, and that she would sue them.

Kok called her ISA detention “nonsensical” and a “phenomenal abuse by the police”.

Arrested along with her were Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng. Tan was released 18 hours after her detention but Raja Petra is still being detained.

During her detention, Kok said the police had asked her whether she had mobilised a group of residents at Bandar Kinrara to present a petition to oppose the azan at the Bandar Kinrara mosque; whether she had stated that 30% of the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) allocation is to be given to other non-Islamic religious bodies; and whether she had opposed the Jawi road signs in Kuala Lumpur.

“I denied the first two accusations, and I also told them that the issue of opposing the Jawi road signs was done in January or February. This was done at the request of residents’ associations who opposed the wastage of public funds as the road signs had only been changed a few months before,” said Kok.

“They (police) asked me the same questions twice and nothing else. I told them my version and even offered to type out my statement, which I did when they gave me a laptop,” she said.

Asked if the police told her why she was released, she said: “No.”

Her parents, Kok Kim Tong, 74, and Pong Seh Kwan, 71, were present at the press conference and looked happy.

“I have not been able to sleep in the last one week, and my blood pressure has gone up,” said Pong.

“But I am so happy today that my daughter has been released. It feels like the darkness which had been present all week has been lifted from my home and my heart.

“It’s bright again,” she added.

Related stories:
Minister: Kok not a threat to public order
DPM hopes release will calm the situation
BN parties told to act against ISA

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