Sunday, 13 May 2012

BERSIH 2.0 : Hanif`s panel will neither be effective nor independent

Press Statement

BERSIH 2.0 : Hanif`s panel will neither be effective nor independent

11 May 2012

BERSIH 2.0 rejects the establishment of the so-called independent panel formed to investigate incidents of violence which occurred after the BERSIH 3.0 rally on 28 April 2012 ended. In our view, the panel will neither be effective nor independent.

Firstly, this panel is nothing more than a glorified task force. No indication has been given by the Government as to what law will regulate the establishment and functioning of this panel. If it is not to be constituted under any existing law relating to commissions of inquiry, the panel will have no power to summon witnesses, no power to insist that documents and information be produced, and no power to grant immunity to any person giving evidence to it. There will be no protection for any of the victims of brutality who come forward to give evidence against a possible suit for defamation by the police in the event their evidence is not accepted and the panel concludes there was no brutality on the part of the police force. There is therefore no assurance that it will be able to form a comprehensive understanding of the events that transpired on 28 April 2012 and form a sufficiently objective view of the same.

Secondly, the chair of the panel, Tun Hanif Omar, has already made 2 public comments in relation to the BERSIH 3.0 assembly. He has claimed that communist sympathisers who were active demonstrators in the 1970s were involved in the BERSIH 3.0 assembly and utilised tactics learnt from past pro-communist demonstrations. He has also agreed with Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib’s allegation that BERSIH 3.0 was an attempted coup d’état against the government. By so doing he has shown that he is biased and has already pre-judged the outcome of the investigation. As such, he is unable to approach the investigation with a fair and open mind. These are very clear grounds for disqualification.

Thirdly, we also note that another of the panel members is the corporate affairs senior general manager of Petronas, the national petroleum company, and thus an employee of a government-linked company. This would compromise his independence. The other members of the panel are not known for their strong human rights positions, if at all.

Rather than proceed with this so-called “independent panel”, we reiterate our call to the Malaysian Government to invite and allow the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank La Rue and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai, to carry out their own independent investigations and to present their report to the Malaysian people and to the international community. We also call on SUHAKAM, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, to hold a public inquiry into the events of 28 April 2012. These mechanisms have the necessary independence, impartiality and integrity to conduct a proper inquiry into the BERSIH 3.0 assembly.

Salam BERSIH!

Steering Committee
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)


The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdillah, Dr Farouk Musa, Hishamuddin Rais, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh, Zaid Kamaruddin.

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通告 Notification

人民之友对下届大选意见书
英巫文译稿将在此陆续贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在上个月对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的意见书,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!。

这篇意见书的英文译稿,将在近期内在本部落格贴出。马来文译稿将在下个月内贴出。敬请关注!

我们希望,我们在意见书内所表达的对下届大选的立场和观点,能够准确而又广泛地传播到我国各民族、各阶层的人民群众中接受考验,并接受各党派在这次全国大选斗争和今后实践的检验。


The English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election will be published here consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!”

The English rendition of this statement will be published in our blog in the near future whereas the Malay rendition will be published next month (November). Please stay tuned!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the next General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicities and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.


Akan datang: Penerbitan penterjemahan pendapat Sahabat Rakyat mengenai pilihan raya ke-14 dalam Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! "

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut akan diterbitkan dalam blog kita dalam waktu terdekat manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu akan diterbitkan pada bulan hadapan.

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun masa depan.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)