(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): DAP condemns the arrests and
high-handed police actions at the May Day peaceful gathering planned for the
Kuala Lumpur City Centre this morning, which is the latest example of police
brutality against workers and citizens
gathering peacefully to celebrate Workers’ Day.
As Suhakam has specified in its first
annual report that the “right to assembly peacefully and without arms” is
one of the ten human rights which it would specifically protect, Suhakam under
the new Chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman should publicly deplore the police
brutality and institute a public inquiry into the latest police abuses of human
This is in fact the first test case for
the new Suhakam chairman and the second-term Suhakam appointed last week as to
whether they will discharge their
statutory powers and responsibilities to “protect and promote human rights” or whether they
have a new policy of eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak
not about human rights violations.
The police brutality during this
year’s May Day is particularly ominous, coming less than two weeks before the
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad meets United States President
Bush, as it seems to be a cynical declaration
by the government to the nation and the world that human rights in Malaysia
would be treated with even greater contempt after the September 11 Incident,
with or without Suhakam.