Media Comment by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 4th May 2010:
Powerless Special Panel into Aminulrasyid’s police killing neither fish nor fowl even with Tun Hanif as member – Cabinet tomorrow should end “guerrilla” responses and take holistic decision on Tun Hanif RCI on all police shooting deaths since 2005
The Home Ministry is under great pressure. Because I have proposed a Tun Haniff Royal Commission of Inquiry into the police killing of 14-year-old Form III student Aminulrasyid Amzah in Shah Alam at 2 am the previous Monday, it has been announced that the former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar has been roped in as a member of the Special Panel on Aminulrasyid’s death headed by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusup.
This is typical “guerrilla warfare” operation, making decisions on the run without an overall strategy.
The powerless Special Panel into Aminulrasyid’s police killing is neither fish nor fowl even with Tun Haniff as member, as well as other members including former Suhakam commissioner Denison Jayasooria, crime analyst Kamal Affendi Hashim, lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief executive officer Dr Michael Yeoh and UiTM deputy vice-chancellor Prof Abdul Halim Sidek.
The “guerrilla” response of the Home Ministry could be seen from the “on the run” chop-and-change as to what the Special Panel can and cannot do.
At first, Abu Seman said the Special Panel can neither inquire on its own nor make recommendations to the police.
After furious public criticism, Abu Seman now says that the Special Panel into Aminul’s death is empowered to call up witnesses and to review the procedures involving the discharge of firearms.
Abu Seman had said that politicians would not be appointed to the Special Panel on the ground that they would have “special interests”. As Abu Seman is himself a politician, would he step down and hand over the chairmanship to Tun Hanif?
Abu Seman now claims that the Special Panel is “powerful” because it is empowered to scrutinise the investigation papers at any time without needing the approval of the police or Attorney-General's Chambers.
Where did Abu Seman get such powers? How did a powerless Special Panel become a “powerful” panel overnight? On what basis are the powers of this Special Panel derived from, when the Cabinet had not met on the matter?
There is profound confusion as to the actual powers and terms of reference of the Special Panel which is neither fish nor fowl even with Tun Hanif as a member.
The Cabinet tomorrow should boldly and decisively put an end to such “guerrilla” responses to the police killing of Aminulrasyid, as the repercussions have reached far and wide as to affect public confidence in the independence, efficiency and professionalism of the police force.
The Cabinet should end the “guerrilla” responses to Aminulrasyid’s killing and take a holistic decision to establish a Tun Hanif Royal Commission of Inquiry on Aminul’s killing as well as into all police shooting deaths since 2005.
Will the Cabinet Ministers fail Malaysians once again?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor