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AP: Malaysian PM Slams Human Rts Grp Over Criticism Of Police
By Dow Jones

23/8/2001 2:10 am Thu

[Setiap kali Mahathir teraib dia mengaibkan lawannya dengan tuduhan bukan-bukan pula. Dia menuduh Suhakam dipengaruhi oleh nilai Barat dan berat-sebelah. Dia cuba lari dari topik sebenarnya. Persoalan di sini ialah polis telah melakukan KESALAHAN dan bertindak ganas tidak seperti orang yang menghormati dan mematuhi undang-undang.

Mahathir sudah terjerat di sini. Jika Suhakam berbohong dia perlu mendakwa Suhakam. Tetapi jika Suhakam benar, polis perlu dihukum kerana melakukan kesalahan di sisi undang-undang. Biarkanlah dia pening sendirian. Sekarang kita menunggu apakah hakim akan berdiam? - Editor] story/0,2619,3099-190200,00.html?

August 22, 2001

Dow Jones Newswires

Malaysian PM Slams Human Rts Grp Over Criticism Of Police

KUALA LUMPUR (AP)--Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused the government-appointed human rights commission Wednesday of being biased in favor of Western values for accusing the police of brutality in breaking up an opposition demonstration last year.

"They are influenced by Western thinking," Mahathir told reporters upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur after a trip to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Their reports seem to reflect a very Western bias. This is our country, and we have a different set of values."

The Malaysian leader, who marked 20 years in power last month, has long been critical of Western standards of democracy and human rights if they conflict with Asian values and traditions.

The Malaysian Human Rights Commission published a scathing report Monday on an inquiry into the police handling of a demonstration by about 5,000 supporters of jailed former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim last November.

At least 122 people were arrested and detained up to several days. Some claimed they had been assaulted during arrest and suffered delays in receiving medical treatment.

Though the commission has no enforcement powers, its conclusions of cruelty and use of excessive force were another blow to the reputation of the police, which has suffered since Anwar was beaten in his jail cell by the then-chief of the national force in 1998.

The government set up the commission last year with 13 judges, politicians, academics and representatives from non-governmental groups. The panel recently criticized the government for holding several opposition leaders in a prison camp without trial.

"Yes, we appointed them, but we expect them to be fair, to understand that they are Malaysians and they should think in terms of being Malaysian," Mahathir said.

Mahathir said that police were working under "pressure" and were more "considerate" with protesters and did not shoot them, an apparent reference to the recent death of a demonstrator in Genoa, Italy, during the Group of Eight summit.

Anwar was fired as deputy premier in 1998 in a dispute over the Asian economic crisis. The event triggered Malaysia's biggest street protests in decades. He has been sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for corruption and s###my, which he calls a conspiracy to prevent him from challenging Mahathir for power. The government denies it.