Apr 24, 2008

Karpal: She cannot legally withdraw report

In term of law, it is lawful for the woman who lodged a police report alleging a former cabinet minister had outraged her modesty at her workplace in a hotel in KL Sentral to withdraw the report?.

KUALA LUMPUR: The woman who lodged a police report alleging a former cabinet minister had outraged her modesty at her workplace in a hotel in KL Sentral cannot in law withdraw the report, said Gelugor MP Karpal Singh.

Karpal, a lawyer, said a person who lodged a police report could not at her whim and fancies withdraw a report by way of a letter or statutory declaration. The person ran the risk of lodging a false report and was bound by the contents of the report, he added.

"The police have to investigate the woman's report despite withdrawal of same by her. If the allegations against the ex-minister, as set out in the police report, are true, then the police have no alternative but to take action," he said.

Karpal said this was a serious offence under Section 354 of the Penal Code, which carried imprisonment of up to 10 years or fine or whipping or with two of such punishments.

He said that if it was revealed in the course of the investigation that the contents of the police report was false, then the woman concerned should be charged for giving false information to the police.

This was an offence under Section 182 of the Penal Code, which provided for an imprisonment for a term which may be extended to six months, or a fine which may extend to RM,2000, or both.

Karpal thus called on the police to carry out an in-depth investigation to determine the culpability of the ex-minister for allegedly outraging the woman's modesty, or the culpability of the woman concerned for giving false information to the police.

This would be in the public interest, he said.

The woman retracted the report lodged against the ex-minister, saying that she misunderstood the incident.

As reported yesterday:
KUALA LUMPUR: A hotel restaurant waitress has lodged a police report against a former cabinet minister, accusing him of molesting her at her workplace in Brickfields.

It is learnt the woman, who is in her mid-30’s, claimed the man, who is a Datuk Seri in his late 50’s and a regular diner at the restaurant, had touched her buttocks about 6pm on Thursday.

It is believed that the ex-minister, who is currently overseas, had also passed some sexual remarks at her at the time.

The woman lodged a report at about 10pm the same day at the Brickfields district police headquarters and the case has been handed over to the city CID’s sexual crimes division for investigations.

City CID chief SAC II Ku Chin Wa, who confirmed a report was lodged against the ex-minister, said the case had been classified as sexual molestation.

Two years ago, while still in the cabinet, the ex-minister was criticised for making disparaging remarks on the ethnicity of a Malaysian female student during his visit to a university in the United States.

The minister later apologised to the student after word of the incident was spread through emails.

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