(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Former DAP MP for Kota Melaka Lim Guan Eng and and former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have become permanent concerns of the world community of Parliaments as represented by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) as blatant examples of violations of human rights of Parliamentarians following the 101st Inter-Parliamentary Conference at Brussels at the European Parliament from April 10 to 16, 1999.
At the end of the seven-day conference, the final sitting of the Inter-Parliamentary Council (the IPU's governing body) examined the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which meets four times yearly to examine cases of MPs who have been subjected to arbitrary treatment during their term.
The Committee on the Human Rights of MPs regretted having to examine a new case in Malaysia, that of Anwar Ibrahim who had just been sentenced to a six-year prison term.
In addition, the Committee, composed of five members: François Autain, France, President; Hilarion Etong, Cameroon, Vice-President, as well as François Borel, Switzerland; Juan Pablo Letelier, Chile, and Mahinda Samarasinghe, Sri Lanka "remained very concerned about the case of Lim Guang Eng, another Malaysian MP".
The IPU in a press release released after the IPU Conference in Brussels said: "The Committee, which had been entrusted with carrying out an on-site mission in November 1998, had not been able to meet with Mr. Lim Guang Eng in prison. The Malaysian delegation had expressed regret in that connection, for which the Committee wished to thank it."
The "regret" at the shabby treatment of the IPU fact-finding mission to Malaysia on the case of Lim Guan Eng was conveyed to the Committee on the Human Rights of MPs by the head of the Malaysian delegation, Deputy Foreign Minister, Datuk Abdul Kadir bin Sheik Fadzir at its hearing on Guan Eng’s case at the European Parliament, Brussels last Monday, 12th April 1999.
It is most regrettable, however, that in his submission to the Committee on the Human Rights of MPs in Brussels last Monday, Abdul Kadir had made misrepresentations about the conditions of Guan Eng’s imprisonment, which I had to correct when I appeared before the IPU Committee later on the same day.
I expect both Guan Eng and Anwar’s cases of the deprivation of their
human rights as Parliamentarians will be actively pursued in the next 102nd
IPU Conference, which is represented by 138 Parliaments, in Berlin
from October 10 to 16, 1999. The Berlin Conference topics
The official Malaysian IPU delegation to the Brussels Conference should submit an official report to the Malaysian Parliament and the six Malaysian delegates who went to Brussels should individually report on the concerns which had been expressed to them by Parliamentarians from other countries concerning the cases of Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim.