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THE ANWAR AMENDMENT


        First, there was the famous black-eye shown around the world, courtesy of CNN. Then the denials, then the rumours- who dun'it?
Then the BN government did the unexpected, it appointed a Royal Commission to inquire into the -truth, a sort of S.African 'truth and reconciliation' Commission a la Malaysia as it turned out.
        The culprit- confessed, it was none other than the Chief of the National police- the IGP.
        The announcement of the Royal Commission was originally greeted by the usual host of skeptics. Some oppositionists pointed out the bias of the members, especially Abu Talib, a former AG, who had not come out of the Vijendren Affair unscared. Then they objected to the connections of Dr. Yeoh. There was talk of a cover-up.
        But, credit must be given where it is due! For once a Commission delivered.
        The Police inquiries had come up with a big fat zero. How could it investigate its highest? Or rather, why couldn't it investigate its highest? This remains a persistently  disturbing fact. There had been  rumours enough of the guilt of the IGP, even the cynics could not believe, but this time the rumours proved to be founded.
        It is gainsay that the Royal Commission is riding high in public esteem, but what is this Royal Commission all about?  About that a detainee under police custody as famous, as powerful  and prominent as a former DPM could be assaulted? We already know that!
        If the Anwar Affair is to have any meaning, if that black-eye that resounded around the world is not to rank with a third rate boxer biting off his opponent's ear, it must be vindicated by amendments to the very law that will ensure that this is never repeated again, to any former DPM or even a lowly office-boy.
        Therefore it is incumbent on the Royal Commission  to recommend to the Agong and the Government to adopt, and Parliament to pass and the Opposition to unanimously support, an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code to entrench the now universal right of any suspect to have a lawyer present immediately upon being arrested or detained by the police for questioning on whatever ground or offence or investigations in any capacity, be it under the Penal Code, or ISA or any law.
        If we fail to move  on that, then we have failed the nation, and the Anwar incident will be just one more incident in the catalogue of abuses in the annuls of the police and we will have officially swept everything under the proverbial carpet, albeit a Royal one.
        Anyway, looking on the bright side, Malaysia should be ensured of an Olympic gold in the 1st Olympic Games of the new Millenium in Sydney or the 2nd in Peking, if our former IGP continues with his training, but with a more traditional punching bag-ofcourse, in the category of heavy-weight boxing! HOME