Umno leaders should refrain from stoking racial tension in their attempts to seek political mileage from firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim's death, Penang Deputy Chief II Minister P Ramasamy said today.
The DAP leader said the allegations that the government is covering up the incident or that attorney-general Tommy Thomas is protecting the alleged assailants are ridiculous.
“Those who peddle these claims expect us to believe the government would stage an elaborate cover-up in favour of the Indians at the risk of angering the Malay electorate.
“What is the Harapan administration or the attorney-general hoping to gain from this? To win Indian support and lose the support of the Malays, who form the majority in this country? That is absurd.
“Instead of crying 'cover-up', perhaps those making the allegations can enlighten us on what Harapan hopes to achieve by doing this. I am clueless as well,” he told Malaysiakini.
Ramasamy noted that it was during the BN administration that allegations of cover-ups were rampant, especially when it involved Indians killed in police shootouts or during detention.
Therefore, he urged those exploiting Adib's death for political purposes to have some respect for the deceased and his family.
Avoid 'exploiting' issue for politics
“What happened to Adib is most tragic. A young man had unnecessarily lost his life. I am sure his loved ones want answers.
“The ongoing inquest into the circumstances which led to his death aims to bring closure. The inquest is held because the circumstances surrounding his death are vague, and there are conflicting accounts as to what happened.
“So please wait for the inquest to end and for the decision to be delivered. Please do not exploit the issue for politics,” he added.
Ramasamy said if the inquest concluded that Adib's injuries were the result of an assault during the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple riots last November, then action must be taken against the perpetrators.
He was responding to Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam who reiterated the allegation of a cover-up in a blog posting this afternoon.
Last Friday, Hospital Kuala Lumpur's forensic medical specialist Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi told the inquest that the firefighter's injuries were more likely caused by the impact of a vehicle hitting him, as opposed to being beaten.
However, Lokman, who furnished a video recording, disputed this claim.
On Dec 10, four men, aged between 21 and 24, who were remanded for four days to assist an investigation under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder in relation to Adib's death, were released on bail.
In his posting, Lokman urged the attorney-general to charge the four and claimed that DAP and PKR would be vocal if the deceased were a Chinese, like Teoh Beng Hock.