Suhakam should hold public inquiry into Bersih 3.0 incident — Proham
MAY 21 — Proham welcomes the statement from Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein that Suhakam is free to investigate the April 28 incident even if there is an independent panel.
We also welcome his view that what is ultimately being sought for is “to know the truth”.
Proham is however concerned that the home minister may not have adequately appreciated the need for a truly independent mechanism as proposed by the royal police commission to investigate into wrongdoings by the public and the police.
Proham therefore reiterates its earlier call for the independent panel to be established either under the Commission of Inquiry Act or for Suhakam to undertake the task as the current panel set up by Ministry of Home Affairs does not have adequate powers under the law like a royal commission or even Suhakam to independently and fully conduct a public inquiry.
Under the current circumstances Proham urges Suhakam to exercise its legal right to establish a public inquiry on the April 28 events.
Proham feels that this should be done with some sense of urgency due to the tremendous public interest to know the truth concerning the April 28 incident, while the memories of the April 28th are still fresh.
Furthermore, some sections have publicly come out in the open to express their unhappiness with the current Ministry of Home Affairs panel as they view it as inadequately independent and neutral.
There is therefore an urgent public demand to restore confidence and bring to public light the real truth of what really transpired.
Proham is of the opinion that if Suhakam is understaffed at this point due to its many current commitments and due to the small size of the current commission, that it be encouraged to appoint independent consultants from among the former human rights commissioners or other public personalities who could assist the commission in the inquiry process as is now being done in the national inquiry into the land rights of indigenous people.
Proham urges the government to give this matter the highest priority from a Human Rights perspective as any more delay will further erode public confidence in the intention to seek the truth as soon as possible and in order to dismiss growing public misgivings on this matter, particularly at this critical time before the13th general election.
* Proham is a grouping of ex-human rights commissioners, including Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, Prof Hamdan Adnan and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.