The Reformasi Six should end their boycott and appear before  the resumed  Suhakam Inquiry to give testimony that the Internal Security Act constitutes multiple  gross violations of human rights

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Saturday): With the announcement by Suhakam today that it would be continuing with its public inquiry into Internal Security Act detentions on Monday, the six Internal Security Act (ISA) reformasi activists, namely Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor, Hishamuddin Rais, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Badrulamin Bahron and Lokman Noor Adam, should end  their boycott of the Harun Hashim Suhakam public inquiry and apply to have their public say on the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The six ISA reformasi activists had boycotted the Harun Hashim public inquiry  at the Taiping Prisons Club in June on two main grounds: the scope of the inquiry and limitation to their appearance by two representatives instead of by all the six.  

Their grave reservations about the scope of the Harun Hashim public inquiry were valid, and I had repeatedly asked Suhakam to clarify whether the inquiry was  the  beginning of a  wide-ranging Suhakam review of the ISA including whether it should be repealed  or whether it would be  strictly limited to inquiry into the detention conditions of the ISA detainees, including their medical and visitation rights. 

As  Harun had  said during  the  Suhakam public inquiry in June that it  was  being held to give the commission, the public and the world “a clear picture of the Internal Security Act”, the Suhakam inquiry will be estopped  from preventing the Reformasi Six from giving   testimony,  submissions and proof  that the ISA constitutes multiple  fundamental  violations of human rights.  

I had misgivings about the Harun Hashim public inquiry when I attended the morning session on the first day of its proceedings in Taiping on June 18.

In the first two days of the public inquiry at the Taiping Prisons Club, although Suhakam commissioners had publicly stated that the inquiry would be  limited to the detention conditions of the ISA detainees, the testimony went well beyond parameters purely about the detention conditions.

In the circumstances, the Reformasi Six should apply to appear before the Suhakam public inquiry,  headed by Tan Sri Harun Hashim, Suhakam vice chairperson and assisted by commissioners Prof Hamdan Adnan and Asiah Abu Samah, as it would be a most ridiculous Suhakam inquiry into the ISA if none of the Reformasi Six ISA detainees appear before it – and give personal testimony as to the ISA’s multiple gross violations of human rights.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman