Not a single Human Rights Commissioner for more than a week an indictment of the cavalier and contemptuous attitude of Najib administration to democracy and human rights

The country has been without a Human Rights Commissioner for more than a week – which is an indictment of the cavalier and contemptuous attitude of the Najib administration to democracy and human rights.

The appointment of all the Suhakam Commissioners expired last Friday and the vacuum or even void in Suhakam for more than a week is not only a terrible reflection of inefficiency and incompetence of the Najib administration but it could not have come at a worse time as there were serious violations of human rights in this one-week period.

The most heinous human rights violation is undoubtedly the national furore over the trigger-happy police killing of 14-year-old Form III student Aminulrasyid Hamzah in the early hours of Monday some 100 metres from his Shah Alam Section 11 house and the shameful episode where the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan tried to hold the nation to ransom threatening to call off police off the streets and not to enforce the law in retaliation against widespread public criticisms over the Aminulrasyid killing.

The police is facing the worst crisis of public confidence its history – all because of police refusal to accept the key recommendation of the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commissionn in 2005 to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service.

If the IPCMC had been set up and had been able to command public confidence and support, the system of good governance for the police would have been put in place and the tragic case of the police shooting and killing of Aminulrasyid would be handled without causing an immediate plunge of public confidence – to the extent that Aminulrasyid’s neighbours shouted in protest against the trigger-happy police action: “This is not Manchester or Los Angeles, this is bloody Malaysia!”

Public confidence have plunged further with the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail sending back the police investigations papers on Aminulrasyid’s killing back to the police while the Inspector-General of Police is publicly canvassing for an inquest.

Why should there be an inquest when the PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad has produced a second witness on the trigger-happy police shooting of Aminulrasyid.

With the evidence quite clear-cut, why is there no immediate prosecution for murder or at least homicide charge?

These are grave human rights issues which should engage the attention of the Human Rights Commission – but unfortunately, there is not a single Human Rights Commissioner for this period until now, and Suhakam can only operate for house-keeping purposes by its staff.

It is a great disappointment and even grave dereliction duty that Suhakam has been silent on the Aminulrasyid killing – and the Suhakam commissioners cannot be blamed because there is not a single one of them.

This is a shame and an outrage for which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak must bear full responsibility.

The vacuum and void in Suhakam has happened at a time when there is gross violation of media freedom as in NTV7 and RTM, which should be subjects for Suhakam action and rectification.

At present, Suhakam is only an empty shell as there is nobody empowered in it to protect human rights of Malaysians from these violations.

Najib should explain whether he is going to continue the Suhakam vacuum and void for some time and if not, when the new appointments would be made.

  1. #1 by albert308 on Saturday, 1 May 2010 - 7:23 pm

    Suhakam should better categorized as ‘Hidup Segan Mati Tak Mahu’ with the return of Mahathirism era under Najib. The legitimacy of public institutions will continue to deteriorate with the power that be using it as tools for political interest. One after another public institutions become the victim of political struggle. Now, MACC under scrutiny since Teoh Beng Hock’s so called ‘suicidal’ death.
    One important pillar in nation advancement we have not put in much limelight is Bank Negara. Big question mark: Is our beloved nation going to be the next Greece debt crisis when debt swept under the carpet?

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 1 May 2010 - 8:56 pm

    ///the vacuum or even void in Suhakam for more than a week is not only a terrible reflection of inefficiency and incompetence of the Najib administration…./// – Kit

    Judging from the inefficiency and incompetence of the Najib administration, one can predict that Najib will fail in the implementation of the New Economic Model and our beloved nation going to be the next Greece debt crisis is not far-fetched. After all, London School of Economics Professor Danny Quah had already forewarned that Malaysia could be Greek tragedy if planned economic reforms are not undertaken.

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 1 May 2010 - 11:30 pm

    On the “the Inspector-General of Police publicly canvassing for an inquest”, why should there be an inquest when the PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad has produced a second witness on the trigger-happy police shooting of Aminulrasyid?” – YB Kit.

    Interestingly the independent Bar Council also canvassed the same position for an inquest (though before Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said he could produce 2nd witness).

    In normal cases police investigation (without inquest) ought to suffice as there are already two witnesses (one who was with Aminulrasyid, and the second who lived next to the house where the car crashed in a drain and was at the scene).

    However this is NOT a normal case as it involves the police themselves whose esprit de corps is not seen a helpful factor to facilitate independent investigation. It tantamounts to police investigating themselves, which is not helpful for public confidence in accountability as people will always wonder would members of same force implicate their own? Impartiality of investigation must not only be done but seen done. (This is compounded by AG returning the investigation papers on the police shooting of 14-year-old).

    We don’t have (unlike in the USA) an Internal Affairs department to provide check and balance against Police abuse of power. So, in context, if the police could not be relied upon to check its own self and investigate one of its own, the next best thing within institutional framework is, as the Bar Council proposed, the Inquest. What the IGP said, in context, was “if you don’t trust our objectivity and independence in investigating one of our own” by all means you can have the Inquest.
    The purpose of inquest under our Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) is to inquire when, where, how and after what manner the deceased came by his death and also whether any person is criminally concerned in the cause of such death. It is supposed to be customarily carried out each time there is a fatality in the course of police operations, regardless of the circumstances precisely because the police ought not to be seen investigating their own and be a judge of their own cause!
    The advantage of an Inquest is that a legally more competent senior majistrate will hold an inquiry by examining witnesses on oath and usually following as closely the ordinary rules of evidence to ferret out the truth. Then evidence adduced in an Inquest may then be used in a trial against any person subsequently charged as a consequence of the Inquest’s findings.
    If magistrate/court is truly independent and system can be relied upon to deliver the truth then the royal commission would not be necessary as its investigations will be duplicitous in such instance. However if the system including the Inquest is suspect as to – or otherwise does not satisfy public expectations for – impartiality, then there is perhaps a reason to call for a Royal Commission (as I remember Kit called for one).
    However invoking Royal Commission is government’s prerogative exercised when it relents to public demands. If it does not relent to invoke one, then an Inquest has got several advantages over just the police investigating its own self no matter how many witnesses….

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 1 May 2010 - 11:34 pm

    last para – “then the royal commission would not be necessary as its investigations will be DUPLICATING in such instance” – not duplicitous (which conveys another meaning). Sorry.

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 12:23 am

    “Not a single Human Rights Commissioner for more than a week….”

    Does it matter?

    Does it make any difference at all?

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 12:28 am

    According to Sahila Koshy’s report in The Star Wednesday April 21, 2010, the Suhakam Act was amended last year in response to the threat of Suhakam being downgraded from status ‘A’ to ‘B’ by the International Coordinating Com­mittee of National’s accreditation sub-committee unless its independence was strengthened by a clear and transparent ap­­pointment/dismissal process.

    Accordingly “the Suhakam Selection Committee has picked nine candidates, including Malay­sia’s former UN permanent representative Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, for the new team. According to sources, the list of names was finalised last Friday and submitted to the Government for the Prime Minister’s consideration and subsequent recommendation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.”

    “Sources said the committee selected six activists and two academics. According to sources, the six are native customary rights (NCR) advocate Jannie Lasimbang from Sabah, NCR advocate and lawyer Detta Samen from Sarawak, children’s rights advocate Dr James Nayagam, women’s rights advocate Maria Chin Abdullah, Fomca secretary-general Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah and former Abim president Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman. The two academics are Uni­versiti Malaya deputy vice-chancellor (Development) Prof Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee and Inter­national Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation deputy dean Prof Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abd Majid.”

  7. #7 by monsterball on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 1:08 am

    I think he knows what’s coming….ran away….like Pak Lah did so.
    He should resign and let a person who have real passion for Human Rights… take over.
    Is that Musa Hitam we are talking about?

  8. #8 by limkamput on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 1:52 am

    Why talk long story. Just subject the policemen involved to the same kind of investigation techniques the police use on criminals, I am sure the truth will come out very quickly. Same for TBH’s death, why inquest, which to me also leads to no where. He was under the custody of MACC, who was last with him, just do a criminal investigation and I am sure the truth will emerge very quickly. But of course if we want to hide and do all the nonsense, that will be another story.

  9. #9 by limkamput on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 1:56 am

    For Suhakam, i just have one question: how much are the members paid and who pay them? Some of the former members were probably more desperate than the resident odd ball. So what can we expect from them? King and country and our human rights, dream on.

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 2:25 am

    Y me worry, d vacancy can b easily filled by someone fr Perkasa

    The ceiling of a Penang state assembly observation office collapsed. Following Terengganu’s situation. Siapa contractor or sub-con or sub-sub-sub-con? Gravy train nya orang?

  11. #11 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 7:42 am

    “Najis = C4 for Human Rights.”

    Logical mathematical proposition. Q.E.D.

  12. #12 by Joshua on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 8:30 am

    This Suhakam case would the bullet for SIBU buy election..

    The Suhakam so far has failed miserably because of the pro- establishment attitude or not to rock the boat which is also sinking by its own fault..

    The latest bullet for SIBU is the 5% capital gain tax on native land titles in Sabah & Sarawak..

    The Suhakam is just a sham of sort whoever come into the new committee..unless they bring all the cases raised to the Court as the next step for public hearing…

    Who would dare to do that?

    If EC does not function independently, and if MACC is not independent, then Suhakam shuts both eyes to all the rigging of many General Election especially GE 2004 and GE 2008, what do we expect then?

  13. #13 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 8:31 am

    All the weakness discussed here missed the biggest one – the talent pool of PKR is particularly thin. Zaid Ibrahim is one of tthe best, or even the best, that PR has, few and far between – yet he lost.

    You can argue about the failures during the campaign and the unfairness but the fact of the matter while some failures can be improved a bit, the unfairness not. There are many areas much harder to win from BN than Hulu Selangor. If PR threw everything it can and yet still failed regardless of the failures, its highly doubtful it can win GE 13.

    What is worst is while young voters continue to give PR its momentum, those same young voters are migrating in droves and will only accelerate after Zaid lost. Even if there is a net gain, its not fast enough for GE13.

    What you really have is a limbo situation where BN is able to hold on to power by taking the country in a catastrophic direction but PR cannot effect change fast enough to avoid it.

    In the end, we have to hit another economic malaise before we can effect change. PR just don’t have it in them but its not entirely their fault – we Malaysian don’t have it in us. We never had or the problems and obscenities of Mahathirism should have ended many years ago before he retired and yet ten years after he left office, he still causing the same problems and we are unable to do much against it even something simple as the death of a 15 year old child in suburban Shah Alam at the hands of police.

  14. #14 by cseng on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 9:45 am

    Agree with Singh the king! not many knows that we got so many human right commissioners. What good could Jimmy Choo be the shoe commissioners, if that Africa tribe never wear shoes nor appreciate shoes.

    The problem is our government, our system and many human right commissioners under such environment are part of the problem to smoke screen the perception, rather offering real solution.

    In fact, if were to without MACC, it makes not much different!

  15. #15 by yhsiew on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 9:46 am

    The despotic and pseudo-democratic regime has to be ousted in the 13th GE.

  16. #16 by jus legitimum on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 12:43 pm

    People in many countries are allowed to stage potest and demonstration on May Day but in bolehland the trigger happy police force forever makes it difficult for the workers here to protest and demonstrate.There is absolutely no human right in this bodohland.

  17. #17 by k1980 on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 1:20 pm

  18. #18 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 1:56 pm

    So what did the previous Commissioners achieve?

    What proposals of theirs were implemented by the government?

    Did the government take them seriously?

  19. #19 by ekompute on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 5:05 pm

    We have to forgive Najib for the lapse because he is obviously having difficulties finding UMNO-friendly Human Rights Commissioners to take over.

  20. #20 by cseng on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 9:35 pm

    Sibu and Sabah must be really beautiful, no LKS press for 2-May, boring la like this.

  21. #21 by monsterball on Sunday, 2 May 2010 - 10:02 pm

    Jeffery…you continue debating with that Lim Suck Ass.
    This young suck ass chicko is trying to make me respond over his stupid comment…and I am know that too.
    Don’t worry about me…you battle him.

  22. #22 by Hassan on Monday, 3 May 2010 - 9:02 am

    People from all around malaysia are very upset on this killing. If there is any demostration rgrdng this case count me, my family and friends in..

  23. #23 by monsterball on Friday, 7 May 2010 - 10:00 pm

    No demonstration needed.
    That’s exactly what Najib want.
    Hassan can walk the talks…when right time arrives.
    Hope to see him there.

  24. #24 by monsterball on Friday, 7 May 2010 - 10:09 pm

    Lim Suck Ass is jealous on Jeffery’s smart long stories…hahahahahahaha
    In fact Lim Suck Ass is jealous of my stories too.
    PS:That will wake him up to cal me odd ball again…and I can depend on Jeffery to defend me.
    Jeffery can faarked him with long stories. I will faaked him short and sweet.
    I ignored him….out came his nonsense at me at Tunku Aziz post.
    Lim Suck Ass is a professional sucker…..that is ..if he understands puns and punches…….hahahahahahaha

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