The (Re)Making of Musa Hassan (1) September 8, 2006Posted by elizabethwong in Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics.
The one and only time I’d come face-to-face with incoming Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Musa Hassan was almost five years ago, despite the fact that we live in the same neighbourhood.
It was at a meeting between then IGP Norian Mai, S. Arutchelvan (Suaram) and I on the case of Tian Chua‘s custodial assault. Musa was present at this meeting at Bukit Aman which all of lawyer friends had this fantastical assumption that we would not be able to walk out of the police HQ.
Whenever I think of that meeting, two things come to mind.
The first was when I examined the coffee offered to me, Norian Mai quipped, “Don’t worry, it’s not poisoned,” – referring perhaps to the case of political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim’s unusually high concentration of arsenic found in his body.
The second was when one of the senior police officer suggested that Tian Chua may have beaten himself in the lockup – again referring to the statement by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad that it was Anwar had given himself a black eye and not the police.
Musa, who was seated opposite the table from me, sniggered rather loudly, which led me to say, “I doubt assault in police custody is a laughing matter.”
And his face dropped and he looked a little embarassed.
Now that was precious.
Of late, history is being rewritten (as opposed to deconstructed) even as we speak, by revisionists amidst us. Witness how increasingly inexpensive this commodity known as intellectualism has been used to write autobiographies and biographies, competing as if one is bidding for a lucrative project. And one can only gag at how some very dead personalities have been invoked to serve the interests of certain political elites while those who live on are valorised and even made to sound like the new folk heroes.
No doubt these skills in the coming months will be useful to (re)make the image of Musa.
Thus it is pertinent that we remember Musa and his vital role in the political upheaval of late 20th Century Malaysia, and examine how he fits into the present day crisis of Umno.