Barisan Nasional MPs caught red-handed telling a  lie about what transpired at the  IPU Conference in Havana

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): On Monday,  the head of the Malaysian delegation to the 105th  Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference in Havana, Cuba, Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (MP for Tambun) said that the Human Rights Committee of the IPU had “accepted favourably” the Malaysian delegation’s report on human rights issues affecting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. (Bernama 16.4.2001)

He said the 15-page report was presented by Malaysia’s five-member delegation to the Havana IPU Conference.  Other members of the delegation were Datuk Ng Lip Yong (BN-Batu), Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (BN-Batang Lupar), P. Komala Devi (BN-Kapar) and Senator Datuk Christina Tibok Vanhouten.

Ahmad Husni told parliamentary reporters that the Malaysian report at the Havana IPU Conference was the only one out of 18 country reports which had been “accepted” without having to undergo closed-door examination as was  the case with  the other 17 reports. (Nanyang Siang Pao 17.4.2001).

I have checked with the IPU secretariat in Geneva and found that Ahmad Husni’s claim  that the Malaysian report had been “accepted favourably” by the IPU Human Rights Committee  is completely untrue.

I have received from the IPU secretariat in Geneva the resolution on Anwar Ibrahim’s case   adopted without a vote by the Council of the IPU at its 168th session (Havana 7th  April 2001) which said, among other things:

“Noting that the Malaysian delegation to the 105th Conference (April 2001) submitted to the Committee (on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians), during the session it held on the occasion of the Conference, a comprehensive document presenting detailed comments and explanations on the points referred to above, in particular the contempt of court judgment regarding defence counsel Zakaria, the sedition charge brought against defence counsel Karpal Singh, the ‘confession’ of Sukma Darmawan and the applicable rules of evidence, the Malaysian ‘Lock-up Rules’, Anwar Ibrahim’s ill-treatment by the Inspector-General of Police, general conditions of detention and Malaysia’s position in regard to international human rights standards, as well as on the Council’s position on Mr. Anwar Ibrahim,

“Considering that that the Committee wishes to give that document its full and thorough attention,

  1. Thanks the Malaysian delegation for submitting detailed comments on this case;
  2. Considers it essential that, in line with its Procedure, the Committee devote the necessary time to studying the comments put forward by the Malaysian delegation, and consequently requests it to report to it at its next session (September 2001) with a presentation of its conclusions.”

The Barisan Nasional MPs have been caught red-handed telling a  lie as to what transpired at the IPU Conference in Havana early this month, as the report  of the Malaysian delegation had not been “accepted favourably” but would be subject to a rigorous study by the IPU Human Rights Committee which would submit a report of its conclusions  to the next IPU Conference in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) from  9 - 14 September 2001.

Ahmad Husni and the five-person Malaysian delegation should publicly apologise for telling the lie that its report had been “accepted favourably”, implying that the IPU is satisfied with its explanations on the Anwar Ibrahim case and that it is no more being actively pursued by the IPU - when   these are all  completely untrue.

In this connection, it is most deplorable that no Opposition MP was included in the Malaysian delegation to the IPU Conference in Havana, which would have prevented such blatant lie being told after the conference.

Ahmad Husni should also make public the report submitted by the Malaysian IPU delegation in Cuba, as a pertinent question is who authorised such a report to be submitted to the IPU when all MPs, both Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternative, are members of the Malaysian IPU and no general meeting authorising the submission of such a report had been held.

The Malaysian Parliament and people are entitled to know the contents of the report of the Malaysian IPU delegation to Havana, so as to decide whether the Malaysian IPU delegation had exceeded its powers in submitting such a report without full authority of the Malaysian IPU chapter.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman