Media statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 29th May 2012:
Cabinet tomorrow should cut the Gordian Knot and end the rigmarole of two Bersih inquiries
The Cabinet tomorrow should cut the Gordian Knot and end the rigmarole of two Bersih inquiries – by dissolving the Hanif Omar “independent advisory panel” and giving full support to the Suhakam inquiry.
Yesterday, former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar announced the ten terms of reference of the “independent advisory board” into Bersih 3.0 violence.
Notably absent from the “independent advisory board” terms of reference is whether it is to establish Bersih 3.0 rally was an attempted coup d’etat by the Opposition to topple the government, that there were pro-communist individuals at Bersih 3.0 from demonstrations in the 1970s and whether there was use of provocateurs and children ala-“tactics of the communists” in the Bersih 3.0 rally or whether the panel is to take these three allegations as “accepted and proven truths” as Hanif himself had publicly endorsed them.
Hanif had defended his appointment, saying that his track record has proven that he acts with integrity.
It is precisely because Hanif should cherish his reputation of integrity that he should recuse himself as head of the Bersih 3.0 panel, as there is no way he could come out of it with his integrity unscathed after he had publicly made known his anti-Bersih 3.0 views.
In fact, the Cabinet tomorrow should ask the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for full explanation and evidence that the Bersih 3.0 really was an attempted coup d’etat by the Opposition to topple the government as he had a week before April 28 dismissed Bersih 3.0 as “not a security threat” and “not an issue as it had gained little traction with the public”.
When did Bersih 3.0 transform from “not a security threat” and “not an issue…with little traction with the public” into a sinister anti-national conspiracy including a coup attempt to topple the government?
Clearly, both the political and security establishments in government had made grave errors of misjudgment and failed to realize the massive support of Malaysians for the Bersih 3.0 campaign for a clean election.
They should not compound this pre-Bersih 3.0 misjudgment with a more colossal post-Bersih 3.0 error by demonizing 250,000 patriotic Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, class, region, age or gender, who had peacefully gathered in support of a clean election as anti-national trouble-makers out to oust the elected system of government.
Najib and the Cabinet were able to make amends and realize that they were wrong in their mishandling of Bersih 2.0 and initial reactions to the outpouring of 50,000 Malaysians who are gathered peacefully on July 9, 2011 for free, fair and clean elections.
Are Najib and Cabinet incapable of making amends in their misjudgment and colossal mistakes in mishandling of Bersih 3.0 with some 250,000 Malaysians gathering peacefully on April 28 in support for free, fair and clean elections – with the first step the government dissolution of the Hanif panel and full support to the Suhakam inquiry?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor