Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 12th May 2012:
Stubborn insistence to have Hanif to head probe into Bersih 3.0 violence raises larger question
It is a sad commentary on the quality and judgment of the Najib premiership when both the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein could not see anything wrong in appointing Tun Hanif Omar as head to probe the Bersih 3.0 violence when the former Inspector-General of Police had clearly disqualified himself with preconceived and prejudicial views about the Bersih 3.0 rally.
It is most shocking that what seems crystal clear to ordinary citizens, even to school children, that the issue at stake is about impartiality and not Hanif’s track record, is totally beyond the grasp of the most important decision-makers in government, including the Prime Minister and Home Minister.
This is most ironic as it was only two days ago that Najib said that he could not even afford a single mistake as Prime Minister, declaring:
"When you are PM, if we have to make 10 major decisions, we need to get 10 out of 10 right. If we only get nine right and one inaccurate, that is the one that people would fault us for."
And here we have the Najib premiership refusing to correct what could probably be Najib's worst decision in his three years as Prime Minister, appointing Hanif as head to probe the Bersih 3.0 violence – an appointment which had elicited the unprecedented reaction of instant and all-round rejection and even condemnation by thinking and decent Malaysians, which is why the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Suaram, Bersih 2.0, the Malaysian Bar and even the Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah have declared their objection to Hanif’s appointment.
Malaysians and the world must wonder why important personages like the Prime Minister and the Home Minister could not understand the very clear, simple and irrefutable reason for objecting to Hanif’s appointment to head the probe into the Bersih 3.0 violence – that it has nothing to do with his track record as the longest-serving IGP in the country, Deputy Chairman of the Special Commission to Enhance the Operations and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police in 2004 or as member of the panel investigating the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Aminulrasyhid Amzah.
The objection to Hanif’s appointment lies solely and squarely in the incontrovertible fact that the former IGP had stained and disqualified himself as a member of any inquiry, let alone chairman, into the Bersih 3.0 violence because of his preconceived and very prejudicial statements about the Bersih 3.0 rally – when these are subject-matters which should be within the terms of reference of the inquiry.
In fact, if Hanif stands by his prejudicial statements against Bersih 3.0 that it is an attempted coup to topple the government and involved pro-communist sympathizers and tactics, the former IGP should appear before the Bersih 3.0 probe as a “star witness” to substantiate his allegations - definitely not as a Chairman to probe into the truth or otherwise into these allegations.
The refusal of Najib and Hishammuddin to accede to the most proper and reasonable demand by thinking and decent Malaysians and their stubborn insistence that Hanif should head the probe into the Bersih 3.0 violence has only raised a larger question:
Whether it is not time for Malaysia to have a new Prime Minister and new Home Minister - in fact a new government – as the present incumbents are so cut off from the very reasonable expectations and legitimate aspirations of ordinary Malaysians transcending race, religion, class, region, age or gender.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor