Wednesday, February 3, 1999
PM: Govt will make public findings of inquiry panelLANGKAWI: The Government will make public the findings of the independent commission of inquiry investigating the injuries on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim while in police custody.
The Prime Minister also said that the findings would be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong contrary to earlier reports that they would be given directly to Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah.
He said it would be pointless to have the inquiry if they (the findings) were not made public.
"I think they (the findings) will (be made public)," he said in reply to questions after a welcome luncheon for officials and cyclists of the Le Tour de Langkawi championship at a resort here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir said the commission must be given sufficient time to complete its task "although we want it to finish the work as quickly as possible."
On a sources report on the Internet which stated that the commission had been given two weeks to complete the inquiry, Dr Mahathir replied: "I'm not sure about that. I don't know who did that."
The Prime Minister added that the commission might take some time to begin its task as its approval had yet to be given while the terms of reference and setting up of the secretariat needed approval.
"Although we would like to see this done fast, it will still take time," he said.
The four-member commission, headed by former Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Anuar Zainal Aabidin, comprises former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mahadev Shankar, Pantai Medical Centre consultant orthopaedic surgeon Datuk Dr Yeoh Poh Hong and former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman.
The commission was set up on Jan 27 following Mohtar's statement that police officers had caused some of the injuries on the former deputy prime minister while in police custody last September.
Dr Mahathir also dismissed allegations by Aliran and the DAP questioning the credibility of Abu Talib over the alleged destruction of evidence involving former Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker D.P. Vijandran and Dr Yeoh who was attached to Pantai Medical Centre which was linked to the Prime Minister's son.
The Prime Minister said he did not appoint members of the commission, adding: "I don't think he (Abu Talib) is involved in destroying evidence."
"Was he (Abu Talib) found guilty of that? He should be charged if it is true but this is just the same kind of suspicion thrown at a person without any basis."
Dr Mahathir also said his son had nothing to do with the appointment (of Dr Yeoh), adding: "Oh my God. I never knew that.
* TURN TO PAGE THREE