Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 3rd May 2010:
Najib’s “Do not cover up” warning to Police over Aminulrasyid killing long overdue and a clear slap in the face of IGP and Home Minister
The screaming front-page headline of New Straits Times today tells it all –“‘Do not cover up’ – Public wants transparent inquiry into boy’s shooting, says Najib”.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “Do not cover up” warning to the police over the fatal police shooting of 14-year-old Form III student Aminulrashyid Hamzah in the early hours of Monday last week 100 metres from his Shah Alam house is long overdue and a clear slap in the face of the Inspector-General Tan Sri Musa Hassan and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
One is entitled to ask why the Prime Minister had only spoken after six days of national outrage at the police shooting of Aminulrasyid and outrageous government response and mishandling of the heinous killing, from the IGP downwards and even the Home Minister – but it is better late than never.
Speaking in Sibu, while expressing regret over the shooting of Aminulrasyid, Najib said the investigations must be open and transparent as the public demanded this.
“The public wants answers and I hope the police will fully cooperate in the investigations.
“The investigations should also satisfy the family of the victim as they have the right to know what really happened. I hope the police will cooperate and not cover up for anyone if they are wrong.”
It is sad that for the past week, both the IGP and Home Minister had outraged Malaysians because they are not seen as upholding the rights of Aminulrasyid’s family and the Malaysian public to answers for the fatal shooting and to demand full transparency and “no cover-up” of the investigations. On the contrary, they are perceived as openly trampling on Najib’s “People First, Performance Now” motto!
Only yesterday, it was reported that the police were believed to have fired almost 20 shots but only one hit and killed Aminulrasyid.
In a “People First, Performance Now” regime, why is the bereaved family and Malaysian public denied this information – and why has the Police yet to clear the name of Amirulrasyid and his family when the first official police version had described the Form III student as a “criminal” as well as the allegation rebutted by eye-witnesses that Amirulrasyid had tried to reverse to ram the police personnel?
Hishammuddin’s establishment of a “toothless” Special Panel into Aminulrasyid’s shooting death as an attempt at transparency is a bad joke, when the Chairman of the Special Panel, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop admitted that the Special Panel had no powers to inquire into the death or even to make recommendations to the Police.
The Special Panel’s offence against “transparency” is compounded when Abu Seman could not announce the other members of the eight-member panel and the farce of his statement that politicians are not wanted on the Special Panel as they have special interests – forgetting that he is himself first and foremost a politician or he would not be Deputy Home Minister!
Abu Seman and the Special Panel suffered irreparable blow to their credibility when he dared not even murmur a criticism of IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s inexcusable outbursts threatening to call the police off the streets in exasperation at public criticisms of the police over Aminulrasyid’s killing.
It is most deplorable that the IGP gave blind support to the police shooting of Aminulrasyid when he should have assured Malaysians that all police personnel had been properly trained to abide by international standards for law enforcement officials set out in the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, where force may only be used when strictly necessary, requiring restraint when use of firearms is unavoidable and “in proportion to the seriousness of the offence” to “minimise damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life”.
It is because of IGP’s conspicuous and colossal failures over these policy considerations that calls are again made for his removal as the top policeman in the country and not, as Najib said, over “a single incident” of Aminulrasyid’s shooting death.
It would appear that despite the Prime Minister’s call on the police for a transparent inquiry to satisfy legitimate public expectations, Najib appears to be a lone voice in the highest councils of state or there should be no obstacles or delay in the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Hanif Omar into Aminulrasyhid’s shooting death and all other cases of police shooting deaths going back to 2005.
Najib should ask the Cabinet to decide on the establishment of a Hanif Royal Commission of Inquiry into Aminulrasyid’s death as well as into all cases of police shooting deaths since 2005, making recommendations to end the high incidence of official police “murders” from police shootings in Malaysia.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor