Friday, May 11, 2012

Rejecting UN offer, govt resurrects ex-IGP to probe rally

Harakahdaily,09 May 2012 

May 9: Former inspector general of police Hanif Omar, who accused the massive Bersih 3.0 demonstration on April 28 of having communist tendencies, has been appointed to head an 'independent' advisory board to investigate the cause of the fracas which resulted in arrests and injuries.

The announcement came soon after the government snubbed an offer by United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank William La Rue, to objectively investigate the incidents during the rally.

After his retirement from the police force in 1994, Hanif (pic) was appointed as the deputy chairman of Genting Berhad, the country's sole casino operator.

Prior to this, Hanif had accused Bersih 3.0 protesters of using 'provocateurs' to cause violent clashes with police and of being inspired by pro-communist demonstrations. In spite of his condemnations of the rally participants, he will now lead the six-member 'independent' panel which also includes chief judge of Borneo Steve Sim, Sinar Harian managing editor Hussamuddin Yaacub, Media Chinese International's Liew Peng Chuan, Petronas's Medan Abdullah and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Dr Ruszmi Ismail.

Earlier, PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar said the government's rejection of La Rue was not surprising given that even the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) had been snubbed.

“If Suhakam, a body established by the government is feared by Najib (Razak)’s administration, one should not expect it to approve an independent investigation from the UN,” he said.

Foreign minister Anifah Aman said the Barisan Nasional government could conduct an “impartial investigation”.

“We have faith in the authorities and the police," Anifah declared.

Some 200,000 people gathered for the Bersih 3.0 rally in several parts of the capital on April 28, calling for urgent electoral reforms be carried out before the next general election.

More than 500 protesters were arrested and scores injured, including policemen and journalists.

Related post : bersih welcomes un probe 
                       un denies approving tear gas

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