May 11, 2012
Bar Council: Hanif Omar unsuitable to head BERSIH3.0 Panel
Speaking at a press conference after chairing the Bar Council’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) today, its president Lim Chee Wee said Hanif had disqualified himself by taking a stand against Bersih 3.0 earlier.
“It’s unfortunate that the former IGP had referred to some of the protesters as communists,” he added. On April 28, tens of thousands marched in the nation’s capital but the rally was marred with reports of police assaulting scores of protesters and journalists.
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced the formation of the six-member panel on Wednesday with Hanif heading the investigation team. However, Hanif had reportedly told the media earlier that some of the demonstrators were communists as he claimed to recognise their faces.
Meanwhile, Lim said he was disappointed when Hanif had alleged that the rally was aimed at overthrowing the government.
“In my view, panel member Steve Sim (former Sabah and Sarawak Chief Justice) is more qualified to head the panel,” he added. Lim also expressed doubt if the panel could probe the assaults during the BERSIH rally effectively, saying that it lacked the legal framework for this task.
“It doesn’t have the power to call witnesses or ask for documents as opposed to a Royal Commission or a Suhakam Inquiry,” he pointed out.
Of the 1,270 Bar members who attended today’s EGM, 939 voted in favour of today’s resolution to oppose the police brutality against the Bersih demonstrators, while 16 voted against.The rest either left the venue before the event ended or did not take part in the vote.