PETALING JAYA, May 11 — Tun Mohammad Hanif Omar must step down as head of Putrajaya’s independent panel probe on the Bersih 3.0 violence, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said last night in Subang Jaya.
“Tun Hanif still thinks he is the Inspector-General of Police fighting the communists, need to fight Chin Peng to the end… eh it (the communist threat) is already over,” Anwar said at a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) ceramah attended by over 1,000 supporters.
“I am asking that Tun Hanif withdraw as chairman. Do not fool the people. You know you are not neutral, insulting Bersih… the other panel members should also step down,” Anwar demanded. DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang echoed Anwar’s remarks, saying that Hanif’s appointment was the “worst” decision the Najib administration had made in three years.
“Tun Hanif should be a star witness in the enquiry, not the chairman… save the enquiry from embarrassment,” the Ipoh Timor MP said to loud cheers from people at the ceramah. “Tun Hanif says Bersih 3.0 was a plot to overthrow the present government… where is the proof? “Rational Malaysians won’t accept this explanation… that there were pro-communist elements during the rally,” said Lim.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had said that Hanif had already made clear his opposition to Bersih and his former position as IGP would serve as a conflict of interest when the panel probes allegations of police brutality. As such, he said, it was a “forgone conclusion” that the panel would absolve all police personnel from blame over the violent incidents during Bersih 3.0 last month.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced the names of the six-man panel tasked to investigate allegations of police violence against Bersih 3.0 protesters on April 28.
Apart from Hanif, the other panel members include former Chief Judge of Borneo Tan Sri Steve Shim, Sinar Harian managing director Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub, Media Chinese International legal adviser Liew Peng Chuan, Petronas corporate affairs senior general manager Datuk Medan Abdullah and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia psychology Professor Dr Ruszmi Ismail.
Chaos reigned on the streets of Kuala Lumpur for over four hours after 3pm on April 28 when police fired tear gas and water cannons and chased protesters down the streets to disperse what had initially begun as a peaceful protest calling for free and fair elections.
The Bar Council has said that its observers found that police brutality at the rally was “magnified” compared to already chaotic scenes during a similar gathering for free and fair elections last July 9.
Six local pressmen and 12 photographers and journalists from the foreign media were reportedly assaulted during the fracas on April 28.
Both local and foreign media groups have condemned the hard-handed tactics used on the media, whom they pointed out were merely doing their job.
Police had begun firing the tear gas and water cannons after some demonstrators breached the barricade in front of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and rushed into Dataran Merdeka, which the court had barred the public from entering that particular weekend.
They fired as far as the DBKL premises, which are across Jalan Parlimen, and the move broke up the crowd who fled helter-skelter but police chased them down at Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Raja Laut. – The Malaysian Insider