Archive for October 17th, 2007

“Never” suspend Myanmar from ASEAN – Hamid’s statement most deplorable and reprehensible

I am totally flabbergasted by the statement of the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar that ASEAN will never suspend Myanmar despite its bloody crackdown on mass protests after his meeting with the United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari yesterday.

Hamid’s declaration is most deplorable and reprehensible as it has undone the “revulsion” statement of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in the United Nations last month over the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar, given encouragement to the Myanmar military junta’s hardline position and undermined Ibrahim Gambari’s diplomatic efforts to kickstart a political dialogue in Burma for national reconciliation and democratization.

Malaysia’s public position that Myanmar will never be suspended from ASEAN under any circumstances will only strengthen and harden the Myanmar military junta in its defiant and unrepentant responses to the international outrage at its bloody repression of peaceful dissent, shrugging off international action to punish it for its crackdown of the saffron revolution last month, even as Japan cut aid and European nations widened sanctions.

Even if the Malaysian government is currently of the view that Myanmar should never be suspended, let alone expelled, from ASEAN whatever egregious violations of human rights and democratic freedoms of the people of Burma are committed by the Myanmar military junta, why was it tactically necessary for Hamid to make such a public statement at a time when every lever should be applied to single-mindedly impress on the Myanmar military junta the unity and weight of regional and international opinion that it should respond positively to United Nations initiatives for a political dialogue for national reconciliation and democratization in Burma and to end all human right violations. Read the rest of this entry »


Haider Panel on Lingam Tape – greatest service to cause of justice is to resign en masse

Sin Chew Daily and China Press reported today that the Haidar Panel into the authenticity of the Lingam Tape, which was supposed to meet for the second time today, has postponed its second meeting indefinitely.

China Press reported that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)’s inability to complete its investigations into the Lingam Tape as the reason for the postponement of its second meeting today, which was fixed when the Haidar Panel met for the first time on October 3.

It is three weeks since the Haidar Panel’s appointment by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Sept. 27 to complete its terms of reference within a month. The Haidar Panel took one week to prepare for its first meeting on Oct. 3, after which it went into hibernation for two weeks leaving all the legwork to the ACA.

China Press reported that the next meeting of the Haidar Panel may be on Oct. 27, the last day of its one-month life tenure.

In the past fortnight, the three-man Haidar Panel disappeared from public view completely upstaged by the two-act histrionics of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, viz:

  • Firstly claiming that witnesses and whistleblowers are protected by the law, even offering plastic surgery to give “a new identity or even new look” for the person or persons who took the Lingam Tape, only to find subsequently that there is no such Witness Protection Act or Bill; and
  • Secondly claiming that he will ask the Cabinet to provide protection for the people behind the recording of the Lingam Tape, only to announce after the Cabinet meeting that there would be no such protection.

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