Suhakam should officially release the rules and procedures governing its investigation into Kesas Highway police brutality and vandalism and state when the public inquiry would be held

Media statement
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): An unnamed  Suhakam official was quoted by The Sun today as saying that the Human Rights Commission has initiated investigations into claims of police brutality during the peaceful gathering at the Kesas Highway in Kiang on November 5, 2000.

This is most welcome, and in its investigations, Suhakam should focus on four important dimensions:

While Suhakam should be commended for having started its investigations into the police brutality and vandalism at Kesas Highway, I am gravely concerned that the Chairman of the Suhakam inquiry, Tan Sri Anuar Zainal Abidin, who is assisted by  commissioners Tan Sri Simon Sipaun and Mehrun Siraj, have not announced that the inquiry would be open and public to ensure that it is not only fair and objective but seen to be fair and objective.  Up to now, no indications have been given as to when the public hearings of the Suhakam inquiry would be held.

Human Rights Commissions in other countries, like in South Africa, conduct open and public inquiries in accordance with rules and procedures which are also made known to the public.

Suhakam should not delay and without ado officially release the rules and procedures governing its investigation into police brutality and vandalism at the peaceful gathering at Kesas Highway on November 5, stating when the public inquiry  sessions would  be held.

As the police has been instructed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to give full co-operation with the Suhakam inquiry, the Suhakam inquiry should have a panel of assisting officers to represent those who have special interests in the inquiry.

Suhakam should have its own assisting officer, while the victims of police brutality as well as the police itself should have their representatives on the panel.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman