Cabinet tomorrow should make
public in toto without censorship the full 433-page report of the Police
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament, Tuesday): The Cabinet tomorrow should make public in toto without censorship the full 433-page report of the Royal Commission on the Police Force which was submitted to the Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Prime Minister last Friday.
In a genuine information society, there should have been no need for the Prime Minister to present the report to the Cabinet for a decision whether it is to be made public, in full or in part.
In a country which practices good governance, accountability and transparency, a report of a commission of inquiry should be public property at the first available opportunity – which is simultaneously it is presented to the King and/or Prime Minister - and the question of whether the government-of-the-day having to decide whether to make it public, in full or in part, should not arise.
The objective of the Police Royal Commission of Inquiry is to restore public confidence in the efficiency, professionalism and integrity of the police force, and any attempt to suppress or deny to the public any portion of the commission report will only give rise to suspicion that the government has things to hide about the police record or performance – which will defeat the very purpose of the establishment of the Commission.
The failure last August to make public the interim report of the Police Royal Commission – with the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Noh Omar publicly breaking his promise made in Parliament to give me a copy – is a blow to the credibility and integrity of the Commission, which should not be aggravated by another attempt to suppress any part of the report or delay in its publications.
Today is World Press Freedom Day 2005. The Cabinet should honour the fundamental principle of press freedom by upholding the freedom of information of all Malaysians and make two policy decisions tomorrow:
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman