Putrajaya did not ask Suhakam to probe Bersih 3.0 violence, says deputy minister
KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop says the government did not ask Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to probe the Bersih 3.0 violence.
“However, the government can’t prevent the establishment of a public inquiry panel as it is provided under the Human Rights Commission Act 1999,” he said in reply to Datuk Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong) in the Dewan Rakyat who asked whether the government would take legal action against organisers of Bersih 3.0.
On action against Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and nine others responsible for the rally, he said police had submitted a report to the Attorney-General’s Chambers but yet to receive feedback.
Abu Seman said if the organisers and participants had observed the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the violence that threatened public security and public order would not have happened.
“Nobody had sent a police notice on the April 28 although the Act was effective April 23. The government does not restrict freedom of assembly and expression but abuse by holding street protests must be avoided.”
Based on information received before Bersih 3.0 on April 28, the opposition and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had incited the people to commit violence at the rally.
“The opposition and NGOs held a countdown on April 26 and 27 where the 3,000 people were incited to become aggressive to threaten security and public order.
“The opposition had also provoked participants to gatecrash Dataran Merdeka despite the presence of police and barbed wire put up by DBKL.”
A war of words broke out between Barisan Nasional and opposition members after Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) asked a supplementary question and defended the rally.
Abu Seman told Kit Siang the opposition should not be proud of participants of the rally as they had been incited.
The war of words continued when Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) and Chong Eng (DAP-Bukit Mertajam) questioned the decision of Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee to allow Datuk Lilah Yasin (BN-Jempol) to ask the third supplementary question.
This forced Kiandee to snap: “The Speaker has made a decision, please follow it. We don’t need to be at loggerheads.”
Lilah asked whether the government intends to prosecute the opposition under the Sedition Act 1948 for inciting people to violence at Bersih 3.0.
Abu Seman told Dewan Rakyat the government wants the Independent Advisory Panel on Bersih 3.0 rally to gather the correct information. — Bernama