(Penang, Wednesday): The statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad yesterday that the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah is studying suggestions by several quarters that an independent commission be set up to investigate injuries sustained by former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim while under police custody has come as a great Hari Raya disappointment.
This is because this statement is generally perceived as a preparatory step by Mahathir to renege on his earlier undertaking of a serious consideration for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into Anwar’s "black eye" and other injuries while under police custody.
Today is the fourth full month in the brutal police beating of Anwar when he was first detained on Sept. 20 last year until he lost consciousness, and it is a most shameful reflection on the professionalism and integrity of the institutions of government in Malaysia, whether the Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers or the Cabinet, that after such a length of time, such a simple and straightforward case where all the facts must be in the possession of the police remain an unresolved mystery - a heinous crime without criminals!
What is worse, there is no sense of public duty, national honour or political will by any institution of government in Malaysia to establish the necessary mechanism to immediately get to the bottom of the scandal as to how a person who had just held the second highest office in the land could be brutally assaulted in the very inner sanctum of the police high command, which raises alarming implications as to how ordinary Malaysians can feel safe and secure if they ran afoul of the police in the country.
After four months of the international scandal of the unresolved mystery and heinous crime of Anwar’s "black eye", the Prime Minister and the Cabinet should not abdicate from their responsibilities and pass the buck on the establishment of Royal Commission of Inquiry into Anwar’s "black eye" to the Attorney-General, but must decide that this is an issue which is too big for the Attorney-General to decide and that national honour, public accountability and government integrity demands no more delay in the setting up of such a Royal Commission of Inquiry.