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Malaysian National News Agency

Nude Squat Incident Not A Racial Issue, Says Najib
General
December 16, 2005 13:35 PM
PEKAN, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- The incident involving a woman detainee who was ordered to do ear squats in the nude in a locker room of the Petaling Jaya police station, was not a racial issue, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said Malaysia, in realising this from the very beginning, had expressed its concern over the matter, which became a hot issue after it was sensationalised by certain quarters.

He said in the initial stage, both he and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi thought that the woman detainee was a China national until her identity was revealed recently.

"This is not a racial issue as from the start, we had expressed our concern over the issue. Although the detainee is a Malaysian citizen, the government still feels that whatever that can be regarded as insulting a detainee, is not appropriate, unless it is guided by laws and regulations," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after presenting contributions in the form of school uniforms and school bags for primary and secondary school students in Pekan parliamentary constituency here Friday.

He said this in response to a question from reporters whether the issue raised by the DAP had a racial motive as the opposition party had earlier claimed that the woman detainee was a China national.

Najib who is also Defence Minister said that in principle, he did not regard the issue as racial as any individual, irrespective of his or her race and religion, had the right for protection based on human rights, which had long been a practice of the Malaysian government.

"The Barisan Nasional (BN) government has never ruled on the basis of race. I do not know if other parties have such intentions but the BN government does not adopt such an approach," he said.

-- BERNAMA

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