(Permatng Pauh, Monday): While Malaysians wait for confirmation from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad whether the Commission of Inquiry has been given 14 days to complete the probe into the police assault of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim while in police custody, six days have gone by and the Commission of Inquiry has not been officially constituted yet.
This raises the question whether the government is really serious in wanting a high-powered and independent Commission of Inquiry to quickly get to the bottom of the heinous crime of the police assault of Anwar in the very inner sanctum of the police high command in Bukit Aman until he got a black eye and suffered other injuries and lost consciousness.
Two days ago, I had said that every member of the Commission of Inquiry should be mindful of the need to command public confidence in his independence, integrity and professionalism and if there is any reason why such public confidence might come under question, such a member should decline appointment to the Commission of Inquiry or resign as Commissioner to protect the reputation and integrity of the Commission.
In this connection, I wish to ask one of the members appointed to the Commission of Inquiry, Datuk Dr. Yeoh Poh Hong to consider whether he should decline appointment so as not to affect the commissionís public credibility and confidence because he is consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Pantai Medical Centre which is in the stable of companies of one of the sons of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr. Yeoh should be aware of the maxim that "Justice must not only be done, but seen to be done" and in view of his position in Pantai Medical Centre, he should consider whether his appointment would seriously compromise public confidence in the independence of the Commission of Inquiry.
In this connection, public interest requires that persons who have strong views about Anwarís "black eye" and have made known these views to others should not be appointed to the Commission.
For instance, it is clearly unfair and against all concepts of justice if a person who openly held the strong view that Anwar had inflicted the "black eye" on himself is appointed to the Commission of Inquiry and I would advise any Commissioner in this category to decline the appointment to avoid any future public controversy.
The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai said on Saturday that the police will give their full support to the Commission of Inquiry into Anwarís "black eye".
This is a superfluous statement as this is only expected of the Police. What should be Norian Maiís top priority is to work out a new strategy to restore public confidence in the independence and professionalism of the police, which had never plunged to such a depth in the history of the police force as at present.
The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should ensure that Norian Mai is immediately appointed the Inspector-General of Police with the special commission to regain public confidence in the independence and professionalism of the Malaysian police.