Batu Buruk riot: 'No inquiry' decision derided

Oct 10, 07

Opposition party PKR has expressed its disappointment with Malaysian Human Right Commission’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the Batu Buruk in Terengganu riot last month.
In a media statement today, PKR secretary-general Khalid Ibrahim said that his party was “terribly disappointed” with Suhakam’s decision.

Suhakam’s decision was made despite its preliminary fact-finding team concluding that there was enough evidence of police brutality and human rights violations during the incident.
Suhakam commissioner N Siva Subramaniam said that the commission was powerless to investigate the riot because of an ongoing court proceeding.
Khalid questioned as to how Suhakam failed to see the need for a public inquiry in order to discover the truth surrounding the case.
“Two unarmed people were viciously shot in cold blood. The mysteries surrounding of these shootings are highly suspicious and badly require investigation,” said Khalid.
“The police cannot even agree on the number of shots fired and which policeman fired them. This is shocking as the police usually keep meticulous records of everything, especially the discharge of firearms,” he said.
“Such discharges can usually be immediately verified simply by inspecting the weapons issued to each policeman,” he added.

Serious doubts on gov’t

Khalid said that if the police and the government were as innocent as they claimed, they must support a fully transparent public inquiry to clear their reputation and good name.
“After their failure to establish a Royal Commission into the Chief Justice video scandal, this decision casts serious doubts as to the ability and will on the part of the authorities to investigate anything that truly threatens the safety and integrity of Malaysia and Malaysians.”
The Sept 8 riot occurred following the police’s refusal to grant a permit for a public forum organised by election watchdog Bersih.
A police constable shot live bullets to the crowd when the situation became out of control.
While the police have described the shooting as self-defence, the opposition was of the view that the act was unprovoked.