Consumerist: Panel Haniff Should Step Down!


Consumerist: Panel Haniff Should Step Down!

We both read law at the same university in England!

He was also well liked and great fun!

But he was already someone I respected well before that as he ‘rescued’ former home minister, the late Uncle Ghazali Shafie (pix above), who was very3 dear to me in January 10, 1982 when a Cessna 206 plane he piloted crashed!

‘A Younger Uncle Ghazali – with former premiers, Hussein Onn and Dr Mahathir!’

Indeed Haniff, the former Inspector-General of Police Mohammad Hanif Omar has maintained he will be fair and impartial when heading Putrajaya’s independent panel on allegations of violence during Bersih 3.0.

He has dismissed allegations that the panel would return biased findings with him on board, saying that he has always acted fairly in previous inquiries and police investigations.

He was willing to meet the Malaysian Bar and to clear the air!

But the Malaysian Bar had stood its grounds which won them many brownie points!

And Malaysia’s new darling of the masses – Bersih a coalition of 84 NGOs have already dismissed the Putrajaya’s panel to probe the violence at the electoral reforms movement’s April 28 rally, saying the team led by former police chief would be biased and “nothing more than a glorified task force.”

And all this coming after premier Najib Razak had pledged last week that “credible, experienced and respectable” individuals would investigate the events during Bersih’s third rally for free and fair elections, which descended into chaos after police clashed with protestors.

And political decorum, common sense, convention and ethics demanded the premier stayed silent without further commenting and holding his elegant silence’ as he did, when there were unprovoked attacks against civil society members, members of the opposition holding their dialogues in Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, the attack against students at the Dataran and the immoral, vulgar, disgusting behavior of others in front of the home of the Bersih co-chairman!

But this Najib did not do and he without any justification and in bad taste, stated quite publicly that Bersih 3.0 was an attempted coup d’état against the government.

And he followed this through with another political gathering involving a hastily gathered ‘pretty trader group’ of repeating several allegations and demonizing Bersih who echoed all Malaysians call for ‘free and fair election’ and voters perception which was justified by a recent independent pollster – the Merdeka Center report!

But having said all this to date, it is strange such a glorified panel is being set up and may I ask my learned friends behind this advice, as to which and what law will regulate the establishment and functioning of this panel?

Already there are allegations and quite disturbing that the panel may no power to summon witnesses, no power to insist that documents and information be produced, and no power to grant immunity to any person giving evidence to it which makes it a ‘cosmetic exercise’ perhaps as some believe, to further demonize Bersih!

As for my dear friend Hanif, he has already compromised his position by making very damaging premature and biased statements that communist sympathizers who were active demonstrators in the 1970s were involved in Bersih!

Haniff my friend, you had also agreed with Najib’s allegation that Bersih 3.0 was an attempted coup d’état against the government.

With this well documented backdrop and with you as head of the probe group it would be tantamount to condoning a total disregard for the fundamental principle of natural justice which is ‘the rule against bias.’

And of all persons, you should know this!

Since you have openly made prejudicial statements on the Bersih rally, you have now without any doubt proven yourself to be actually biased.

My friendly advice to you, my dear friend, is to do the right thing which is
1. Retract the premature and prejudicial statements you have made and
2. Resign as head of the panel!




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