Civil Society Joint Statement

We, members of the civil society, are deeply concern over a statement on forming a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the Sulu incursion in Lahad Datu, Sabah on 23rdMarch 2013 made by the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. It stated that the details would be revealed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Monday 25 March.

While the setting up of an RCI on the Sulu incursion is welcome in principle, however we are alarmed by the haste at which the Government is doing this in the run up of the next general elections. We are further dismayed by the suspicious manner which it is being planned while the public is kept in the dark of its Terms of Reference (TOR) and criteria in selecting the commissioners.

We hold that the appointment of RCI is a major decision and as the Parliament will be dissolved anytime now, the current government should restrain from making this decision in the spirit of caretaker government. Unfortunately in Malaysia’s history, as shown by the RCI on the custodial death of Teoh Beng Hock, the RCI can be a tool of injustice rather than an avenue for delivering justice.

The unusual haste of setting up the RCI has raised suspicion that it may be politically motivated. The Najib Administration has not been forthcoming to be transparent and accountable on the Sulu incursion that it has arrogantly ignored the call by the opposition and civil society to convene an emergency sitting of a parliament session to discuss this issue. Even as of now, to date neither the police and the national security of Malaysia nor that of the Philippines have completed their investigation. Why then the haste?

Current development suggests that the Sulu incursion is increasingly being used by the BN to demonise opposition and dissidents. Citing unsubstantiated reports in the Filipino media, BN leaders had accused Anwar Ibrahim of being the culprit of the incursion. This is reminiscent of the systematic state persecutions previously inflicted on Anwar Ibrahim since 1998. Baseless accusations have included abuse of power, sodomy I, sodomy II and sex video.

Given the much anticipated 13th General Election to be held soon, any partial and manipulated information from the RCI may mislead voters and therefore undermine the practice of fair and equal access to accurate information. Violating the principles of democracy, this may undermine the legitimacy and stability of the next government.

We therefore suggest that:

(1) An Inter-State Commission of Inquiry be set up between the governments of Philippines and Malaysia, after the conclusion of the parliamentary elections in Malaysia and congressional elections in the Philippines, to investigate the root causes leading to the Sabah invasion, its funding and its military operation. The people have the right to know the complete truth from both the Philippines and Malaysian governments.

(2) The members of the Inter-State Commission of Inquiry must comprise of reputable members of the civil society from both the Philippines and Malaysia. The selection of its members, its functioning and the establishment of its terms of reference must be transparent and democratic.

Endorsing organizations :

1.    Malaysians for Beng Hock
2.    Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
3.    Pahang Green Corridor
4.    Seniman Paksi Rakyat (PAKSI)
5.    Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM)
6.    Tenaganita
7.    Youth for Change – Northen Region
8.    Projek Dialog
9.    Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
10.    Hartal MSM
11.    Northen Green Youth
12.    Social and economy Committee of KLSCAH
13.    Centre for Policy Intiative (CPI)
14.    Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
15.    Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
16.    Sibu Bersih
17.    Kluang Bersih
18.    Mama Bersih
19.    Kill The Bill
20.    Alumni PBTUSM KL & Selangor
21.    Radio Bangsar utama (Mandarin)
22.    TakNak1Care
23.    Semparuthi Iyakkam
24.    Group of Concerned Citizens
25.    Sunflower Electoral Education
26.    Radio Bangsar utama
27.    Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH
28.    Save Vui Kong Campaign
29.    Youth Section of KLSCAH
30.    Malaysia Youth & Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
31.    Youth Section of Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall
32.    Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
33.    LLG Cultural Development Centre
34.    Gabungan NGO Pengerang
35.    Streets Project Kuala Lumpur
36.    Rainbow Genders Society
37.    Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
38.    National Indian Advancement Team (NIAT)
39.    Jihad for Justice
40.    Save Sarawak Rivers Network
41.    Damn the Dams Action Group
42.    Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
43.    Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
44.    Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
45.    All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
46.    Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
47.    Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
48.    Community Action Network (CAN)
49.     People’s Green Coalition
50.     Sarawak for Change


Endorsing Individuals :
1.    Ng Yap Hwa
2.    Wong Chin Huat
3.    Pa Khim Ghee
4.    Toh Kin Woon
5.    Hishamuddin Rais
6.    Faisal Mustaffa
7.    Sharifuddin A Latiff
8.    Ivy Josiah
9.    Colin Nicholas
10.    K. Arumugam
11.    Azmi Sharom
12.    Josh Hong
13.    HoYock Lin
14.    A. Jayanath
15.    Wong Meng Chuo
16.    Teoh Lee Lan
17.    Tan Woen Tian
18.    Thomas Fann
19.    Ngeow Chow Ying
20.    Lee Ying Wai
21.    Lua Khang Wei
22.    Yong Kin Yin
23.    Kua Sin Kheng
24.    Chong Kok Siong
25.    Koo Kai Soon
26.    Leong Lih Sy
27.    Chaw Teck Long
28.    Ong Jing Cheng
29.    Syafiq Alamsah
30.    Mohd Hariszuan Jaharudin
31.    Ayam Fared
32.    Anusha Arumugam
33.    Wong Su Zane
34.    Alven Loh Hong Ping
35.    Tam Foon Meng
36.    Chong Wu Ling
37.    Toh Chin Hong
38.    Ng Boon Hui
39.    Heng Kiah Chun
40.    Soh Sook Hwa
41.    Teh Yee Keong
42.    Kew Si Cheng
43.    Teoh Jie Hong
44.    Khor Sock Kun Allisia
45.    Goh Shu Hoe
46.    Lim Sue Pei
47.    Lee Mei Fong
48.    Ray Foong
49.    Pow Kiew Ann
50.    Sean Ho
51.    Khoo Jeun Fun
52.    Wong Siew Ki
53.    Alvin Yap Vui
54.    George Fong
55.    Melaine Yong
56.    Tee Boon Tsong
57.    Siah Kwong Liang
58.    Mah Chee Hoe
59.    Lam Choong Wah
60.    Lim Hong Siang
61.    Koh Wee Sun
62.    Rayner Yeo
63.    Teh Hon Seng
64.    Elain Tan
65.    Gan Yu Lin
66.    Low Seong Teong
67.    Aw Yuen Hing
68.    Ng Tien Eng
69.    Ng Kai Chan
70.    Chan Wei See
71.    Cheng Fui Lien
72.    Wong Pei Chin
73.    Lee Hui Fei
74.    Pang Sheue Chyn
75.    Wong Tze Yen
76.    Law Chan Yee
77.    Lee Soo Wei
78.    Teh Chian Yi
79.    Yong Kiat
80.    Ng Lee Yen
81.    Saw Jia Ying
82.    Ng Sui Thye
83.    Hew Li Huang
84.    Phang Sce Hwai
85.    Alan Lai Fook Chiong
86.    Monny Chong Mun Yee
87.    Vienna Looi Vien Na
88.    Ng Kim Fong
89.    CK Ang Chuan Koon
90.    Gan Kah Choon
91.    Chuah Ee Chia
92.    Woong Chow Wah
93.    Hor Hoi Yen
94.    Lee Hui Hui
95.    Andrew Cheng
96.    Syukri Razab
97.    Padma Hannah Zachariah
98.    Steven Ng
99.    Vinod Naidu Munikrishnayya
100.    Nazreen Nizam
101.    Yuen Swee Lian
102.    Tania Jo
103.    Kelvin Lee
104.    Sarah Devaraj
105.    Law Yee Wan
106.    Lee Shok Jing
107.    Loo Que Lin
108.    Chom Lee
109.    Goh Han Koon
110.    Lew Poh Chen
111.    Tey Hui Yu
112.    Choon Kai Ling
113.    Cheong Peng Seng, Steve