Call for an independent  public inquiry to establish whether police agents provocateurs responsible for all the violence associated with the protests in connection with Anwar’s six-year jail sentences

Speech (3)
- Mid-Term Review of the Seventh Malaysia Plan
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Dewan Rakyat, Thursday): There is  growing evidence, both photographic and video  footage,  that all the violence associated with the peaceful protests in connection with Anwar’s six-year jail sentences last Wednesday were the work of police agents provocateurs and I  call for the establishment of an independent public inquiry to get to the bottom of the matter.

Multiple reports raised strong suspicion of agents instigating violence for staged photography and TV coverage during the 14 April peaceful demonstration outside the court house and later vigil.

Not all Internet accounts are credible, but much less so our official media. One nagging question is why the police hasn’t traced the specific provocateurs as all these accounts have witnesses, lodged reports, and video footage with clearly identifiable faces.

During the recent demonstrations which followed the jailing of Anwar, the police arrested hundreds of demonstrators but not one who attacked TV3 and Bernama vans and motorcars.  The newspapers even had a front page photo of a well-built young man kicking a police car, his face fortuitously unrecognisable.  Why did not the police men in the car jump out and arrest him?

It is curious that the press and police photographers could get ample coverage of these atrocities, but the police could not arrest one of them.  Could it be that they were not arrested because the police would not arrest their men?  That these agents provocateurs were promised immunity for taking the law into their own hands?

There are convincing accounts that incidents like  the "burning of trash cans"  and "damaging of  TV3 car" were stage-managed by "professionals" and not by the peaceful reformasi demonstrators.  There are mass media which scoff at such a notion, but as ample still photography and videotape footage are available, a member of the mass media could be appointed to the independent public inquiry to examine in depth the cause of the violence associated with the peaceful protests at Anwar’s jailing last Wednesday.

The police actions and behaviour of the last week highlights the need for the establishment of a Police Ombudsman, who is completely independent of the Police, whose functions would include receiving and investigating public complaints about serious police misconduct such as abuses of power and corruption.

If there is a Police Ombudsman, then complaints that there had been police agent provocateurs who were responsible for the violence associated with the peaceful protests over Anwar’s conviction and sentence last Wednesday could be thoroughly investigated from outside the police force.

The failure of the Special Independent Investigation Team into Anwar’s "black eye", until a Royal Commission of Inquiry has to be established,  to pinpoint the culprits concerned is the most powerful reason why a Police Ombudsman is urgently needed, if the police are to restore public confidence in their independednce, integrity and professionalism.

I welcome the appointment of Tan Sri Norian Mai as Inspector-General of Police, which I had been pressing for the past two months, and I urge the new IGP to show leadership and take bold measures to win back public confidence as in supporting the establishment of a second Royal Commission of Inquiry into police abuses of power such as  the recent spate of police shootouts, including:

In the past 10 years, 635 people had been shot dead by the police. The second Royal Commission of Inquiry should review all these 635 cases to make recommendations as to how to ensure that the innocent do not become the victims of police shoot-outs.

Government should present a Human Rights National Action Plan

Yesterday, I had asked the Foreign Minister, Datuk Syed Hamid Albar why the proposed National Commission for Human Rights comes within his Ministry and he replied that this was to meet Malaysia’s international commitments on human rights.

During the debate on the 1999 budgetary estimates for the Foreign Ministry last December, I had asked why the Malaysia government had opted out of the United Nations human rights mechanism to review progress made in implementing the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, as Malaysia was one of the countries which had failed to respond to the United Nations request to submit contributions to the review process.

I call on the government to fully consult with the the civil society on the establishment of the National Commission of Human Rights whether it be on its structure, functions or composition.  The government should draw up and present to Parliament a national action plan for human rights to mainstream human rights and to strengthen the institutions of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Malaysia - which have all suffered severe body blows recently.

The establishment of the National Commission for Human Rights should be one of the items of the Malaysian Human Rights Action Plan, which should lay down the framework for the enlargement of human rights capacities in the country, including the introduction of a Human Rights law and the introduction of human rights-oriented changes in national legislation, the ratification of core human rights treaties like the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic,  Social and Cultural Rights.


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