Stubborn insistence to have Hanif to head probe into Bersih 3.0 violence raises larger question – whether time has come for a new PM and Home Minister as incumbents are so cut off from reasonable expectations of ordinary Malaysians

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.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 3:42 pm

    This is what happens when a party is about to face demise. It loses its sense and direction and struggles desperately to win people’s approval.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 3:59 pm

    PM says he wants “credible experienced and respectable” person to head the enqiry to probe Bersih 3.0 violence. OK : if he appoints Tun Hanif Omar the enquiry won’t be credible – not because as a person Hanif is not credible experienced and respectable – but because to head such an enquiry the person has to be “seen” free from bias, which he is perceived not to be by reason being an ex IGP (people think he would be partial towards and bias in favour of PDRM) and also he has earlier made certain derogatory statements about Bersih 3.0 that suggests that he is bias against it. To appoint Hanif is to be unjust to him as his enquiry will be viewed bias no matter how hard he tries not to be. The person who heads it has to be politically neutral and yet have a qualifications to control enquiry, conduct it, evaluate issues and findings and give correct conclusions. Whilst Hanif is not suitable is there any suggestion of who (amongst Malaysians) would fit the bill? Try thinking of some names, its not easy. It’s easy to shoot down who and who is not suitable but try suggesting who and who is. It’s not so simple.

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 4:12 pm

    I have gone through the list of famous or notable Malaysians from Wikipedia and can’t find a single name which fits the bill of a Malaysian who is (1) “credible experienced and respectable” and (2) politically neutral in not having earlier taken sides of either BN or PR and (3) not having earlier seen to have taken sides of Bersih’s Cause or one way or another connected to PDRM, the Court System or Administration of Justice or big businesses beholden to government or friendly to BN or otherwise consistently anti BN or anti government! Even Cartoonist Zunar, Bar Council Chairman, DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, Irene Fernandez will not by these criteria qualify. Who would? Badminton star Lee Chong Wei or Datuk Michelle Yeoh- could they sit and deliberate on such issues??? Can you think of any one who is having appearance of free of ‘bias’? I can’t off the cuff!

  4. #4 by monsterball on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 4:14 pm

    Hishammuddin will open his big mouth AFTER getting the signal what to say.
    He is the worst Minster of all.
    It’s protecting his cousin and his political party.
    You can NEVER hear him open his big mouth first.
    It’s always last.
    He must not make any mistakes like bragging with the kris…wanting blood.
    13th GE is near.
    This show dog Minister has the lowest IQ.
    He shamed his grandfather and father.

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 4:59 pm

    For 55 years we have known only one government whose influence and tentacles have permeated everywhere – into society, the many public and private institutions, religious organisations, organs of government, NGOs, individuals, the whole works.

    Over the years, we have not developed (perhaps deliberately) people who are capable of independent thought and who can act independently without fear or favour.

    Indeed, our education system and the way we have been governed have resulted in very compliant and very obedient citizens (generally speaking) who will always toe the official line.

    Recently things have changed a bit but only just a tiny bit. Some people have stood up and even sat down but these people remain a minority. They are however, still tainted people, people who have bias too.

    Then there are those who have turned rogue or have shot themselves in their foot.

    Overall, I think people from both sides have been ‘branded’ and ‘labelled’ as this or that, whether with or without basis. This has unfortunately the effect of disqualifying them all.

    So now we are stuck with no one to rely on.

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 5:19 pm

    The kind of mind set – follow your leader, his political party,ideology etc – for that’s whats good for you whether a career in business, academia and politics- cut across the board and no one thinks its any value in having independent thought. (The whole system is screw*d up rewarding the wrong guys who bodek and ampu for expedience than the guys who speak their thoughts independently according to their thoughts (be they right or wrong) or conscience. Not only on the ruling coalition side – even PR. Why no one says or questions DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim’s integrity or independence of thought, not until he apparently spoke against PR’s decision to support Bersih’s Duduk Bantah! First of all he wasn’t against BERSIH agenda of planned rally; he was merely against forcing a confrontation at the specific venue of Dataran Merdeka (after police obtained a court order to ban it from Bersih) as to do otherwise would appear breaking the law. For that his senatorship was taken away for not towing Party line: isn’t that what everyone complains about BN’s politicians that they don’t address what’s unconscionable and to national interest because they have to toe BN/UMNO Party line? So what’s benefit of being independent? Even PR that espouses freedom of speech/conscience behaves no better than BN that it criticises when it comes to party discipline!

  7. #7 by Loh on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 7:21 pm

    Najib said that Tunku Aziz should remain senator. Najib can easily appoint him as one; but would Najib do it beyond disparaging DAP?

  8. #8 by Winston on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 8:16 pm

    Malaysians still don’t seem to get it.
    After being ruled by this government for umpteenth years, don’t you know that anything that will eventually end up with UMNO/BN on the losing end will be thwarted!

  9. #9 by Godfather on Saturday, 12 May 2012 - 8:47 pm

    Jeffrey: There are people out there much less tainted than Hanif, and probably a lot more acceptable. People like Tengku Razaleigh could be acceptable to both sides. Prof Ghauth Jasmon is another. Maybe even Keng Yaik.

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 3:57 am

    Don’t know much about Prof Ghauth Jasmon who being Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaya is still under govt’s payroll though his claim to independence is more in relation to his criticism of quota policies and the importance of international university rankings. Don’t think politicians whether UMNO’s (Ku Li) or ex BN like Keng Yaik will satisfy in ordinary perception the independence criteria. Maybe Suhakam but even in Suhakam’s case its main mission has always been investigation of human rights violation and the govt may not view it “independent” enough to balance against police’s side of the story. Besides if Suhakam were to conduct the inquiry, it would beg the question whether there is a need for the government to form a separate independent panel for Suhakam commissioners to preside. .

You must be logged in to post a comment.