IPU to re-open Guan Engís case as DAP calls on the Yang di Pertuan Agong to pardon Guan Eng so that he could stand for 10th general election


Media Comment
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya,  Friday): I have been informed by the Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Anders B Johnson that the IPU would re-open the case of former DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng which it had dropped from the IPU agenda as a result of misinformation  by the Malaysian IPU Chairman, Datuk Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Two weeks ago, Nazri told a press conference at Parliament lobby that the IPU had dropped Lim Guan Engís case from its agenda after hearing the explanation by the Malaysian IPU delegation at the 102nd Conference of the IPU in Berlin from 10th to 15th October 1999.

Nazri said  that the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians was told that Guan Eng had exhausted all legal avenues in his bid to retain his MP  status as well as the right to contest in the next general election.

This is untrue.  In actual fact, Guan Eng had submitted a new appeal to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for pardon to enable him to contest in the tenth general election

It is  this misinformation from Nazri which made the IPU  believe that it had no choice but to close Guan Engís case "since no further remedy is henceforth available to him" although the IPU in its Berlin  resolution "deeply deplores this state of affairs and calls on the Malaysian Parliament and the Malaysian National Group to do their utmost to ensure that its members, including opposition members, may fulfil without fear of prosecution and, in particular imprisonment the mandate entrusted to them by the people."

In his letter dated November 9, 1999, after receiving the information that Guan Eng had lodged a new pardon petition to the Yang di Pertuan Agong, Anders Johnson  said the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians  in Berlin "having been informed that no further remedy was henceforth open to Lim Guan Eng, saw itself compelled to propose the closure of this to the Inter-Parliamentary Council while reaffirming the Unionís firm conviction that Lim Guan Eng was prosecuted and sentenced on political grounds".

However, after the IPU was  informed that Guan Eng had lodged a new pardon petition, Anders  reiterated the IPUís support of a pardon for Guan Eng and the reconsideration of Guan Engís case at the next session of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians from January 23-27, 2000.

The IPU has also written to the Malaysian government on the IPUís "strong appeal" in favour of Guan Engís pardon.  All member parliaments of the 128-member  IPU had also been informed of Guan Engís new pardon petition requesting their support.

I would urge the Yang di Pertuan Agong to favourably consider Guan Engís new pardon petition so that he could stand as a candidate in the tenth general election when nomination is held on 20th November 1999.

(12/11/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong