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Aliran: Mahathir's response betrays his desperation and confusion
By P Ramakrishnan
24/8/2001 6:17 pm Fri
Mahathir's response betrays his desperation and confusion
Aliran congratulates the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam)
for a job well done. We are particularly happy that their findings have
confirmed what the victims of police brutality have been accusing the
police of since the Kesas Highway episode.
It is now officially established through its inquiry that:
These are not merely the views of Suhakam as Dr Mahathir would have us
believe, but are the findings of a lawful and legitimate inquiry conducted
under the authorisation of Parliament, which enacted the Human Rights
Commission of Malaysia Act, 1999.
Instead of responding to the findings, which revealed terrible violations of
human rights, he is desperately trying to confuse the people.
He says, "The police had given their side of the story and that should be
given some weight?"
We would like to ask Mahathir what evidence did the police give?
We understand that:
Mahathir accuses Suhakam of being "disinclined to make an independent
decision based on Malaysian values?"
What are these so-called "Malaysian values" he is alluding to? Are they
universal values or Mahathir's values, which he is trying to impose on the
Malaysian people? Can the atrocities committed by the police be considered
as "Malaysian values"?
Can anybody, either from the East or West, condone this barbarity? Do the
above atrocities resemble any values that should be cherished?
The Act of Parliament that created Suhakam and empowered them to act was
the handiwork of Mahathir's government, which was desperate to repair its
human rights image in the wake of the Anwar black eye episode. But Mahathir
rejected input from other groups, did not allow any public debate or
discussion, and instead rushed the Bill through Parliament.
The Act further states under "Powers of Inquiry of the Commission:
Under Section 12 (1), Suhakam was compelled to act on receiving complaints
from many victims of human rights infringements. It is a statutory requirement
that such an inquiry be held and the findings be made known.
In dismissing the entire findings and in launching a diatribe against the
Commission, Mahathir is indeed exposing his desperation and confusion. His
words betray his own bias, his one-sidedness and his extreme intolerance of
any criticism, however justified. His reaction, though predictable and typical,
is totally irrational, illogical and irrelevant.