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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let’s jointly condemn political violence — Nurul Izzah Anwar

Let’s jointly condemn political violence — Nurul Izzah Anwar | TMI


Raja Nong Chik’s response to the “Night of Bloodshed in Lembah Pantai” reveals an attempt to distract and distort the facts of the incident. 


The fact is that violence did take place which caused injuries to an elderly man and a young girl, both who rightly should be respected and protected by society. Unfortunately, it was not only an attack on innocent citizens but also an attack on democracy.

Firstly, the violence that occurred was fostered through the Lembah Pantai Umno-created climate of intimidation and political thuggery, clearly seen by several incidences on the night and prior to it as well. (In the cases of 1. Pekida protest at Masjid al-Ikhlasiah, Pantai Dalam; 2. the punching of Adam Adli at Flat PKNS 4 Tingkat Kampung Kerinchi by known Lembah Pantai Umn members; 3. TIBAI-Umno-organised ceramahs such as the one in Kampung Kerinchi recently.)

Secondly, the feeble attempt to distract the public’s attention by speculating and blaming KEADILAN for inviting outsiders to what he claims is local politics is demeaning to democracy and a disservice to the people of Lembah Pantai.

As the member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai I have always welcomed a long list of national leaders such as Najib Razak, Muhyiddin Yassin, Daim Zainuddin and other Cabinet ministers who have graced Lembah Pantai over the past few months. I do not see this as Umno inviting outsiders into local politics but rather as a recognition that KEADILAN is doing something right to deserve such attention.

Furthermore, the disproportionate attention and funds lavished on Lembah Pantai compared to other Kuala Lumpur constituencies by Raja Nong Chik as Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister, along with an unelected mayor, is proof that the government needs to work doubly hard when the majority of support in Kuala Lumpur is with Pakatan Rakyat.

Thirdly, with regards to the claim that there is lack of proof of those responsible, I invite Raja Nong Chik to jointly declare with me to condemn all forms of political violence and to jointly invite both the police and Suhakam to investigate fairly on this Thursday.

Finally, in the spirit of setting a healthy democratic example and to demonstrate that political violence is unacceptable, I wish to once again reaffirm my acceptance of Raja Nong Chik’s invitation to a public debate in two weeks’ time at the same location, Pantai Permai. I shall be there and wait for him to translate words into deeds as he appears to believe that all politics is local.

* Nurul Izzah Anwar is the Lembah Pantai MP and and vice-president of KEADILAN.

Substantial Reforms Needed to Ensure Free and Fair Access to Media

BERSIH 2.0 Press Statement, 28. May 2012

Substantial Reforms Needed to Ensure Free and Fair Access to Media

On 22 May, Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Rais Yatim announced that a cabinet paper is being prepared on RTM providing equal media access for parties to present their election manifestos. While BERSIH 2.0 acknowledges that a move is finally being made towards ensuring free and fair media access during elections, we are of the view that this is but the first step. Free and fair access, BERSIH 2.0’s #4 demand, cannot be achieved by merely allocating airtime for manifestos of candidates and/or political parties. Equal and proportionate airtime in news and other programmes must be given to all parties and candidates, as well as balanced coverage, including the right to reply to any allegations or negative reporting.

BERSIH 2.0 is of the view that it is equally, if not more, important to address the factors contributing to poor free and fair access to media in Malaysia. There are more crucial issues that need to be addressed before the demand for free and fair access to media is fulfilled.

1.   Media ownership

Mass media are either state-owned (Bernama and RTM) or privately owned largely by component parties of the Barisan Nasional (BN) or individuals with close links to the BN. This represents a huge and unfair advantage for the ruling government.

The lack of diversity of private ownership of the media can be attributed to the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, by which the Home Affairs Minister had absolute discretionary powers to grant, revoke or suspend licences and printing permits, and to impose any conditions.  Licenses and permits had to be annually renewed. Those affected had no recourse to the courts, whose jurisdiction was ousted by law. Any publication that publishes content that is deemed to be critical of the ruling coalition faces the threat of suspension or revocation of permits. The arbitrary use of these powers has contributed to the concentration of ownership by individuals supporting BN. Recent changes in the law to do away with annual licenses and permits, and to allow for legal challenges to decisions of the Minister, have yet to come into effect but in any event are too new to have an impact in the 13th General Election. It remains to be seen how any such challenge will be dealt with by the courts.

At the same time, has tried to apply for a permit to print a paper-based version of the online newspaper, but has faced resistance from the Home Ministry. Other publications by opposition parties have also been banned on numerous occasions, especially closer to a General Election.

2.   Content control

Malaysian laws, mainly the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, Sedition Act 1948 and Official Secrets Act 1972, contribute to control of content published in the media. The laws provide for wide discretionary powers to the Home Minister and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to regulate content or prosecute any individuals for publishing content deemed to be false or a threat to public order.

Existing laws and the arbitrary application of the law make it difficult for mainstream media outlets to publish content that is critical of the establishment without the risk of serious repercussion such as prosecution or suspension or revocation of licenses.

Restrictive laws and concentrated media ownership by the ruling coalition contribute to the practice of self-censorship and political bias by media practitioners.

BERSIH 2.0 believes that merely to allow the airing of each party’s election manifesto is superficial at best and does not even scratch the surface of fulfilling the demand for free and fair access to media. To add to these concerns, the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture was quoted as saying the manifestos would be aired depending on their newsworthiness. This cannot be correct. Voters must have access to adequate information to make an informed choice during elections and the media plays a critical role in facilitating this. A clean, free and fair election is not possible without free and fair access to media by all candidates and contesting political parties, and balanced reporting. As such, safeguards against political censorship, unfair government advantage, unequal access and biased reporting must be established.

The following are BERSIH 2.0’s recommendations to ensure free and fair access to media before, during and after elections:

a.  The Elections Act should be amended to compel state-owned media to allocate reasonably equal free airtime to contesting parties and candidates. In addition, live public debates between leaders of component parties should be televised.

b.  The Election Offences Act should be amended to ensure fair access to private media for all contesting parties and candidates. This includes fair access to paid advertisements. Any media outlets that practise unreasonable discrimination for access to advertising can be prosecuted.

c.   The Election Offences Act should be amended to make an offence of any deliberate denial to any contesting party or candidate the right to reply (and to have that reply published) towards any allegations made against them.

d.  The EC should establish a code of conduct for media to govern the reporting of the election campaign and the polling period;

e.  The Printing Press and Publications Act, 1984 and the Communications and Multimedia Act, 1998 must be amended to remove restrictions on content regulation and to broaden media ownership. Repressive laws that contradict democratic and human rights principles such as the Sedition Act 1948 and Official Secrets Act 1972 must be repealed.

These recommendations and the seven other BERSIH 2.0 demands must be implemented before the 13th General Elections

Keluar Mengundi, Lawan Penipuan!


Steering Committee

Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)

The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdillah, Dr Farouk Musa, Hishamuddin Rais, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamar

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bersih 3.0 lives on: Thursday at Ambiga's

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Thursday at Ambiga's

By Zaharom Nain

Well, this seems to me, forgive me, to fall into a very simple trap. Illegal assembly, violence provoked, more anti-Bersih fuel and headlines. Ignoring idiots is much better, they look foolish. It is foolish to fight with s**t .

Sean, my expatriate English friend

God, that lot are bloody losers. And a crowd of men menacing a woman in her position is tiringly predictable, but still horribly depressing and threatening behaviour. Not sure what they were selling but every trader I saw was having trouble keeping up with demand, at least until their customers were tear-gassed.

Tessa, my friend and colleague from New Zealand

The text message that I received from my old friend, author Kee Thuan Chye, last Wednesday read, ‘Wanna join me for the pooja at Ambiga's home tomorrow?'

Indeed, Thursday was going to be the first of the two days that the anti-Bersih petty traders, led by the slimy Jamal Mohd Yunus, planned to set up stalls in the enclave where Bersih co-chair Ambiga Sreenevasan lives.

NONEI'd never really met Ambiga before, save for two fleeting moments - the first at the lawyers' march against the (then) Peaceful Assembly Bill and, the second, on that fateful Saturday afternoon of April 28.

So when Thuan Chye's text message came through, my almost instant response was, ‘Sure, what time do we go?'

The reason I wanted to go wasn't so much because I was looking forward to a confrontation with, not one, but two groups of what I believed (and still do believe) were moronic thugs.

Indeed, imbeciles who didn't know what the issues were all about but, given the lowest monetary incentive possible, would nonetheless go out to pick a fight against a defenceless woman.

Like those butt-exposing ex-soldiers who would have probably lost us any battle with the Girl Guides of America, let alone a konfrontasi with any of Malaysia's enemies.

No, confrontations with such butt-heads, I felt, would be an utter waste of time and effort and, as my concerned English friend, Sean, reminded me in his e-mail to me, would make me stoop down to their primitive level.

Indeed, the reason I said ‘yes' to the invitation was to give me the opportunity to, hopefully, meet up with this remarkable, decent woman whose only ‘crime', I felt, was to have alerted all of us Malaysians to our right to free and fair elections. And to ask that we be given nothing less, as befitting a ‘democratic' society.

 Ambiga the consummate hostess

When we finally arrived in her neighbourhood that Thursday afternoon, the place looked like a crime scene, with almost a hundred police officers and DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) enforcement officers having set up a roadblock at the top of her street.

NONEAfter we had walked through the army of newsmen and women, we were warmly greeted at Ambiga's gate by the always smiling social activist Hishamuddin Rais (centre in photo) and ushered into her home.

Well-wishers and friends apparently had been in and out of the house since morning. One could sense the family's bewilderment and perhaps annoyance at this ongoing disruption to their daily lives, the feeling of having their personal space and privacy violated by people who, frankly, couldn't see any picture, let alone the bigger picture.

In a corner sat the serene, the almost regal Pak Samad, calmly waiting for the traders and other assorted yobs to come a-calling. Ambiga was the consummate hostess, offering us drinks, curry puffs, and even what seemed to be a freshly-baked ‘Viva Bersih' cake.

This despite the fact that many of us were perfect strangers to her and her family, despite the fact that all this was clearly testing her, her family and her neighbours. But as she rightly put it, all this is also education for the people. It will make us see the true nature of those supposedly leading us.

NONEAround 4pm, an hour later than expected, as we Malaysians tend to be, the police let through the leaders of a bunch of youngsters - a group whose totally forgettable name now escapes me - to send their ‘memorandum'.

All I remember is that they had white T-shirts on that said ‘Halau '. Evidently these dropouts don't know the difference between a memorandum and a mimeograph. Indeed, it was nothing more than a sick, vicious, racist attack on Ambiga.

I felt then that if, God forbid, I had been their parent, I would have disowned them a long time ago.

NONENext came the ‘main act', the petty traders. Surprisingly, they'd changed their tune somewhat, assuring us all that they would not now hold a two-day pasar malam on the road outside the house.

Why the change of mind, I wouldn't like to hazard a guess, save for the possibility that they finally realised that they were making total mockeries and utter ninnies not only of themselves but also of their benefactors.

Apology for not fighting hard enough
Indeed, since the deputy police chief made that unfortunate - and, let's face it, quite irresponsible and plain stupid - statement, virtually inviting uncivilised acts of intimidation of this nature, Malaysians have been extremely vocal condemning these acts that indicate a descent to lawlessness.

And condemning the people they perceive to be behind these acts - the very same people who profess to be leading us.

And as the dust settled in Damansara Heights that Thursday evening, as we walked to our car parked beside two busloads of what looked like mak ciks, pak ciks, and their anak remaja, I couldn't help wondering what the package deal had been for them - a few ringgit each perhaps, plus a day trip to Putrajaya, with lunch thrown in?

NONEHow cheap, how unnecessary, I said to myself. And I remembered Ambiga's apology at the ‘post-pasar malam (that never was)' press conference.

An apology for not having fought hard enough to prevent the situation in this country from descending to this pathetic level.

It is an apology, I strongly believe, that this gentle, stoic woman need not have to make. Instead, it is an apology that the leaders of this country should make to us all.

ZAHAROM NAIN is a media analyst who is concerned about the way decent Malaysians are now being demonised by immoral leaders, their mindless minions, and their lackeys in the media.

Keep Bersih 3.0 alive, defend it and lend support to Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan

We must keep on defending Bersih 3.0 from the kotor evil liars. They keep on attacking the rakyat, the organisers and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan that supported Bersih 3.0 which calls for a clean and fair election. Why are they, the kotor, so frighten of a clean and fair election?

This blog will reproduce news and videos that defended Bersih 3.0 and true stories told from those whom believe Bersih is the only way to go for this country.

MediaRakyat "Speak Your Mind": Bersih 3.0, What's Next? 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Read and Decide for our Country’s Future

Make the right decision when you vote in the coming 13 GE

From Din Merican's blog

I received this via e-mail from a Malayisian friend who is residing in the Land of the Free (USofA). He told me that he is sick to his inner core about our politics and feels very frustrated the current administration ad its so-called transformation agenda. “It is not transformation. It is retrogression, back to the Age of Ignorance and barbarism”, he says. Ithought, I should  share this with you. I am very sick knowing that law and order has broken down and the Police are part of the ruling kleptocracy.–Din Merican

Never in the history of any country has a government been as hypocritical, deceptive, dishonest and destructive as this government in question.

Which country has had only one political party in government for more than half a century?

Which country allows the government to use public funds for political purposes?

Which country uses the Police to beat up peaceful protestors and corner them when they have already dispersed?

Which country has a Prime Minister linked to murder?

Which country has a Prime Minister linked to corruption and his colleagues don’t bother?

Which country uses Islam as a political tool to destroy other Muslims?

Which country practices racial discrimination in its policies like South Africa?

Which country gives money to the rich to buy houses cheaper because of their race?

Which country gives money to ministers so they get very rich while the poor suffer?

Which country punishes honest former top Custom and Police officers who whistleblow?

Which country allows its government to rob the poor and fill the pockets of the rich by unreasonable road tolls?

Which country bails out cronies in business with public money into billions of ringgit?

Which country forces religion down people’s throats while the political leaders live in sin?

Which country has an anti-corruption agency accused of murder?

Which country has a police system that sees so many Indian youths die in police lock-ups?

Which country has former soldiers take part in politics and act like thugs against a clean and honest lady?

Which country has a ‘First Lady’ who spends the people’s money when the country does not even have a president?

Which country builds a costly palace when many people do not have proper housing, water and electricity?

Which country denies the Opposition time to speak freely yet claims to be the world’s best democracy?

Which country allows the Police to beat its journalists doing their jobs without mercy?

Which country forces its young into national youth programmes and see many die in freak accidents?

Which country has its Prime Minister say something and the DPM disagrees. Remember 1Malaysia and “Aku Melayu”.

Which country has a Prime Minister who runs away while important things happen in his country?

Which country allows dirty videos and other slanderous material to be published against others freely?

Which country has conspired against its Opposition leader in a sex scandal that we know is a conspiracy?

Which country has a retired Prime Minister and No Ass-Hole who can’t keep his mouth shut and creates disharmony?

Which country has someone like former Premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad whose word cannot be trusted – who has said he has retired from politics but is still blabbing?

Which country has a Royal Commission  which exposes mismanagement and corruption in the Police force but nothing is done to correct the shortcomings?

Which country has a Royal Commission to expose judge  fixing and yet still no one is charged?

Which country has the NEP but sees many Malays denied of opportunities because they belong to the wrong political party?

Which country sees the non-Malays discriminated against and deprived of the constitutional rights  while the corrupt take the lion’s share of their prosperity?

Which country makes a car and sells it at a higher price in the country but charges less for it in other countries?

Which country sees the people divided into bumiputera and non-bumiputera and practises apartheid policies?

Which country has gone so backward in its political culture and stays in power by bribing others with money?

Which country has a farmers’ cooperative and short changes  its members not giving them their due money?

Which country has seen so many abuses of power and yet  the government can still stay in power because of electoral irregularities?

Which country has punished its honest citizens for calling for democracy and clean and fair elections?

Which country controls all the country’s mainstream media and spreads propaganda?

Which country punishes media producers who merely want to promote a free country, what’s wrong with that?

Which country spends money on 1Malaysia but promotes racial hatred and disharmony?

Which country allows a politician like that white snake in Sarawak to be filthy rich and rob the natives of their lands and trees?

Which country allows a politician to spend public money to promote himself overseas?

Which country has been censured by the BBC for censoring their news we see?

Which country but Malaysia! 

Many Malaysians and I have had enough. I can go on and on forever but I don’t want the UMNO-Barisan political coalition to govern our country and lead us to extinction while their sons and daughters party and drive around in Lamborghini and Ferrari cars while the majority of us live in poverty.

The Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Mamak Mahathir are masters of hypocrisy and their deeds expose their forked-tongues, because they say one thing and do something else, and they are able to trick the blind and impressionable who they know how to keep in check with money and illiteracy but not with intelligence, whether they are Malays, Indian, Chinese, Sarawakians or Sabahans.

What happened to Anwar Ibrahim, Teoh Beng Hock, Ahmad Sarban, and Kugan and many innocent Malaysians can happen to anybody when you have morally depraved politicians in power.

Whatever your status in the country, whatever your race, whatever your religion, your enemy is the one who is turning your country into a disaster zone and the sooner you vote those crooks out of power the sooner you can save your nation and get something better.

No one can do worse than what has been done to Malaysia. Only those who are on the BN’s political payroll or get the kickbacks will disagree when there is the mounting evidence of corruption and abuses of power.

The Umno-MCA-MIC and their Sarawak and Sarawak cronies have sold out their people and traded their interests for their own selfish power and positions.

I am not a member of the Opposition, just a citizen sick of the situation and only a fool will want the same government. If I can, I will vote for change of government for the sake of the nation.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Best democracy in the world – mobocracy

 By Mariam Mokhtar | FMT

The Malaysians who oppose clean, free and fair elections, otherwise known as Umno and their cronies, have claimed two casualties; democracy and the rule of law.

In place of democracy, we now have mobocracy. S Ambiga and her neighbours have been targeted. Now anything to do with Bersih and the opposition are subject to mob attacks. How soon before the same happens to ordinary citizens like you, should you disagree with Umno policy?

The harassment of Ambiga is a calculated distraction. For the past 54 years, Umno has broken every rule in the book to continue its stranglehold on the country.

Then, along comes Ambiga and Bersih to reproach the government for its shoddy election practices. Bersih stands in the way of the continued Umno domination of Malaysia and the face which one normally associates with Bersih, is Ambiga’s.

Umno wants us to focus on protecting Ambiga, so that we will forget about Umno and the Election Commission’s (EC) electoral fraud.

It has been suggested that race, religion and her gender were in some way connected with Ambiga’s harassment.

To make these links is to overlook decades of known atrocities committed by Umno to control the rakyat. We cannot ignore the wider picture in an effort to seek easy answers and scapegoats to explain these abhorrent actions.

The tragedy of May 13 was blamed on worsening Malay-Chinese relations, the Memali incident on a banned Islamic sect and the murder of Altantuya on a greedy vindictive woman. Scratch beneath the surface and a different picture emerges.

The men who are intimidating Ambiga do so under strict orders from the top. These men include the “butt regiment”, a group claiming to be army veterans and the elite “petty traders” whose chief leads the life of a Bollywood film star. Both are aided by their mercenaries, the Mat Rempits.

Umno and their cronies have been spoilt by their continual abuse of the constitution and other initiatives which were meant to help all sections of the rakyat, not just a select few.

Tough future

With a stronger opposition party, and with Bersih demanding free and fair elections, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is backed into a corner. It is no surprise that Bersih received a violent reception.

Malaysians face a tough future because extremist elements within the government do not wish to relinquish power. The extremists have a strong sense of entitlement because of their wrong and unshaken belief that they deserve it; but why should one’s race and religious inclination be the determining factors in education, financial aid and welfare programmes? Why should others be held hostage by the extremists? Why exclude legitimate Malaysians from sharing Malaysia’s wealth?

What did the police do to stop the petty stall holders who distributed free burgers outside Ambiga’ house?
The deputy chief of police, Khalid Abu Bakar, seems incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and condoned the actions of the petty trader’s group. He made a mockery of the rule of law. He does not deserve his badge of office.

If he was more responsible, he could have stopped the thugs from perpetrating their act of civil disobedience and there would have been none of the farcical selling of lots outside Ambiga’s residence and none of the “butt” displays from so-called veteran soldiers.

No servicemen would dishonour his old unit. The butt-exhibitionists brought the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s name into disrepute, because all soldiers swear allegiance to King and country. They also brought shame to the Malay community.

Khalid’s stupidity was nothing compared to the silence of the Malaysian leaders who were mute when it came to these personal attacks on individuals. Did we hear our PM condemn the harassment? Did the Home Minister, under whose purview the police come, rebuke the mob-rule? Their silence gave tacit support to anarchy.

These mobs want to hold all of Malaysia to ransom. They are now attacking any Bersih talk, and have targeted ceramahs by the opposition. Last night, a senior citizen suffered head injuries when a talk by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, was pelted with stones and eggs.

So who will accept responsibility should a death occur in these attacks? One man risks losing the sight in one eye because the police fired tear-gas canisters directly at the crowd during the Bersih 3.0 rally of April 28.

Umno lackeys

These Umno lackeys have defied the rule of law. They invade residential areas, invite Mat Rempits to intimidate the public by revving their engines and racing around dangerously; they deface public property just so Umno can continue to govern. Reasoning with them is like reasoning with a toddler in a temper tantrum.

The IGP has no grip on policing just as Najib has no clue on how to govern his “best democracy in the world”. Mat Rempits are encouraged to harass and intimidate the rakyat through their acts of civil disobedience.

Najib tells the whole world he practises moderation but he is a leader who is frustrated by the power-struggles within his party. His government is weak and inefficient. Voting them in at the 13th general election will be like voting for the lunatics to run the asylum.

Now, Malaysia is ruled by mobocracy or mob-rule. Najib has said that he will “defend Putrajaya at all costs, and with blood, sweat and tears”; perhaps the mob-rule will be used to fulfil this promise. If mob-rule dominates, emergency powers will be swept in and Umno can continue to govern. There would be no need for GE13.

The divisive tactics used against Ambiga are not new. They were used in Memali and the May 13, 1969 incident. The reason has always been the same: to divide and rule.

It is time Malaysians snapped out of their delusions and make a stand.

Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Totally lost respect for an incompetent and bias PM

The soon to be powerless leaders are scrambling to seek divine in historical books like The Art Of War - Sun Tzu and The Three Kingdoms. In fact most political leaders have all along secretly reading these books, never mind if they were written by foreigners, as long as they can apply the methods to win and stay in power.

War is never a good thing, people get killed, properties destroyed and the ramification cause will be tremendous, yet these leaders have no qualm in going to war.

We have to go to war, without choice, should there be an invasion on our soil from outsiders. But there must be something seriously wrong with leaders should they permit a war to start within the nation, own citizens killing each other?

Thank God the internal war in this country has not started due to tolerance right minded Malaysians, albeit a one sided one, cause by gangsters and hooligans with speculations that they are state sponsored. These speculations may turn out to be true after all, judging from the leaders non action and silence as compared to the fast and furious actions taken against Bersih 3.0

The Prime Minister has the right to condemn Bersih 3.0 all he wants even though investigation is ongoing on the exact cause of chaos but his silence on the continue gangsterism and hooliganism which targeted mostly at opposition functions, NGOs forums, individual like Ambiga are truly worrying. "Qui tacet consentit" (silence implies consent)

A Prime Minister that screamed and shouted that he is the PM for all Malaysians and Malaysia has the best democracy in the world but now is suing Malaysians for causing damage to public property due to large crowd at Bersih 3.0 rally even though the investigation has yet to conclude who the real culprits were.

When you hold power you are acknowledged to be tough but why want to act extra tougher against the innocent rakyat by claiming (without a shred of evidence) that Bersih 3.0 rally goers are there to overthrow the government. You completely lost your dignity and respect by insulting the 200K Malaysians attending the rally.

The fast and furious actions taken against any group and individual that criticised the government but letting loose the criminal act of gangsterism and hooliganism may have hit the nerves of Malaysians across the board and I for one have totally lost respect to a PM that is incapable of running the nation in a non partisan way. Has he forgotten he is a PM of a nation and not his party when performing his governmental duties?

The Bar Council was chastised to be partisan when it passed a resolution that does not bolt well with the ruling regime. So, Mr. Prime Minister, are you truly non partisan when you said that you are the PM for all Malaysians? Or is the 'all Malaysians' only meant for those that praises you including the gangsters and hooligans that go on rampage against those that criticised the government?

Studying The Art of War can help you win the war or to stay in power but any wrong move can also backfire or bring destruction and chaos. 

Peace is what people wanted in their shot span of life on this earth and if you can fight a political war through peaceful means you can be the winner anytime.

Utusan Malaysia just produced latest proof that UMNO/BN totally against clean, free and fair elections, especially Bersih 2.0’s Demand to “Stop Dirty Politics”

By Lim Kit Siang

The UMNO daily, Utusan Malaysia, has just produced the latest proof that UMNO/BN is totally against clean, free and fair elections, especially Bersih 2.0’s Demand to “Stop Dirty Politics”.

As I tweeted earlier this morning: “When DAP appears on Utusan Malaysia front-page, it is bad news/political trouble because distortion n unethical/dishonest journalism at play”.

DAP appeared on the Utusan Malaysia front-page today, with the headline “Karpal perjuangkan PM bukan Melayu”, quoting DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh as saying:

“Selagi saya hidup, saya akan berjuang untuk melihat seorang bukan Melayu menjadi Perdana Menteri”.

This “life-time” quote was a total distortion of what Karpal told the Utusan Malaysia reporter as he had only referred to the Malaysian Constitution which provides that the office of Prime Minister is open to all Malaysian citizens.

It is most irresponsible and unethical for Utusan Malaysia to try to concoct a non-existing issue and extract political mileage by falsely claiming that the agenda of Karpal and DAP is to appoint a non-Malay Prime Minister, which will fit into the scare-mongering campaigning conducted by irresponsible and unprincipled leaders – like the canard by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir last week that if UMNO is defeated in the next general elections, the Malays will lose political power in Malaysia.

The Constitution is very clear that the office of Prime Minister is open to any Malaysian citizen, regardless of race, religion or region, but we accept the political realities that during Karpal and my lifetime, it will be a Malay and not a non-Malay who will be the country’s Prime Minister.

Is the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak prepared to co-operate with Pakatan Rakyat to ensure that Malaysians will not see the dirtiest campaign in the nation’s history – both in the run-up as well as during the campaign proper for the 13th general elections?

Is he prepared to call off the “dirtiest” campaign of lies and falsehoods against Pakatan Rakyat leaders to restore a minimum of decency and civility in Malaysian politics and public life?

Stop personal attacks on Ambiga, invasion of her privacy and show decency and mutual respect

Joint Press Statement by Bersih 3.0 Perak and Coalition of 51 NGOs

Stop personal attacks on Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan. Stop Invasion of Privacy. Show Decency and Mutual Respect

Malaysians and in particular Perakians have followed with increasing disgust the persistent attacks on Bersih 3.0 Steering Committee Co-Chairperson Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan to intimidate and “break” her resolve.

The perpetrators have stooped so low as to have absolutely no qualms in belittling her religious sensitivities and have further undertaken acts of vulgarity and indecency unheard of in our society! And there seems to be no stopping them, not even by the powers that be. More such dirty, disgraceful and simply unacceptable activities by any standards of a civil society are being planned outside Ambiga’s home.

It is time we made our STAND known in no uncertain terms!

That is why Bersih 3.0 Perak and the coalition of more than 51 NGOs, after receiving so many calls from the public, including from people who are usually placid but now find that their patience is running out, have decided that we, the people, need to take a STAND on this matter and send a clear message to the perpetrators that this is not the Malaysia we want and hope for, for our children and future generations.

Firstly, we want justice for Ambiga. No citizen of our country should be subjected to such incessant tormenting just for speaking up for the rights of the people.

Secondly, these are not just attacks on Ambiga. These are attacks which threaten all our fundamental rights and liberties that are enshrined in our Federal Constitution.

Article 5 of the Federal Constitution states that “No person shall be deprived of his/her life or personal liberties save in accordance with the law.” The Federal Court in the case of Sivarasa Rasiah vs Badan Peguam Malaysia & Anor (2010) 3 CLJ 507 had the occasion to state that right to personal liberty includes the right to privacy.

The perpetrators are bent on using dirty intimidating tactics which are alien to our Malaysian culture for the sole purpose of silencing the majority and imposing their unsolicited will on us.

Malaysia is a beautiful country and it is so not by chance. This nation is built not only on the back of its sheer hardworking people but also by the faith and belief system brought by our fore fathers from around the world.

We are a multiethnic and multi religious society proud of our rich and diverse culture. We have lived together with mutual respect, understanding and tolerance by adhering to the moral and spiritual values in all our religions, which values underpin the very harmonious society that we enjoy till today..

So, Bersih 3.0 Perak, in collaboration with all its supporting NGOs denounce the shameful attacks on Ambiga and also denounce the dirty, intimidating and bullying culture we Malaysians have jointly fought against for so long that is now rapidly rearing its ugly head in our society again.

We, the coalition of NGOs in denouncing these dirty, intimidating and bullying tactics will adopt a moral and spiritual approach that we value and hold dear and as such we call upon all Malaysians to congregate, conduct and offer prayers in their respective religious homes and sanctuaries for Decency, Mutual Respect and Protection of Fundamental Rights of Human Beings.

Now is the right time for all Malaysians and in particular Perakians, to stand up , stand together and be counted in bringing back all these moral and spiritual values we hold dear in our society. As long as we are guided by such values, we will be a harmonious and progressive society.

Lim Guan Eng was only eight years old in 1969 but he has been accused in the “dirtiest” pre-election campaign in country’s history of being responsible for May 13 riots in Kuala Lumpur as DAPSY leader at the time

 By Lim Kit Siang

Two days ago, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad warned in Kedah that Malays would lose political power in the country if UMNO is defeated in the next general elections.

This is a lie, for if UMNO is defeated in the next general elections, UMNO would be replaced in Putrajaya not by DAP but by the Pakatan Rakyat coalition comprising PKR, PAS and DAP which is committed to a common policy framework to uphold the cardinal features of the Malaysian Constitution, including defending the role and responsibility of the institution of Constitutional Monarchy; Islam as the religion of the Federation while other religions can be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the country; the position of the Malay language as the National Language while protecting and strengthening the use of mother tongue languages for all races; and the special position of the Malays and the indigenous peoples including Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other races.

Mahathir knows that his warning that if UMNO is defeated, the Malays would lose political power was totally untrue and baseless – which was why Mahathir had campaigned actively for the defeat of UMNO led by former Prime Minister and UMNO President, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the 2008 general elections.

In fact, if it was true as alleged by some UMNO leaders that 47 out of 191 UMNO divisions were sabotaged during the last general election, a lot of thanks must go to Mahathir.

But what should interest all Malaysians is what made Mahathir to issue such a catastrophic and irresponsible prognosis about the next general election to arouse fear among the Malays?

There can only be one answer – Mahathir’s increasing sense of desperation because of a growing feeling and conviction that the defeat of UMNO and the end of UMNO rule in Putrajaya in the next general election are eminently on the cards.

It is in fact this realization that despite all the “freebies” politics of money involving tens of billions of ringgit of public funds and the media/publicity blitzkrieg campaign polishing the image of the Prime Minister with high-sounding slogans and policy proposals, the possibility that UMNO/Barisan Nasional can lose national power in the next general election is haunting the corridors of Putrajaya and has caused Najib sleepless nights in his agony over when to dissolve Parliament and return the mandate to the voters for the 13th general election in the country.

This is also why one of the Eight Demands of Bersih 2.0 for clean, free and fair elections – to “Stop Dirty Politics” – will never be agreed or met by UMNO/BN.

In fact, we are already shaping up to have the dirtiest general election in the 54 year history of the country.

All sorts of lies and falsehoods are being hurled against Pakatan Rakyat parties and leaders. And this is only the beginning.

For instance, among the terrible and atrocious lies told about the DAP on the Internet and social media when there is no ounce of truth whatsoever include:

• DAP wants to create a Christian Malaysia and make Christianity the official religion;

• Appoint a Christian Prime Minister; and

• Abolish the Sultanate system and establish a republic.

Through the Internet, UMNO/BN cybertroopers spread the vicious lie that I was responsible for the May 13 riots in 1969 and that I had roamed the streets of Kuala Lumpur after the 1969 general elections results, hurling anti-Malay abuses resulting in the May 13 riots.

In actual fact, I was never in Kuala Lumpur on May 10, 11, 12 and 13, 1969, something which could be easily verified in the media at the time and by the police records.

I was standing for parliamentary election in Bandar Melaka in 1969 and on the morning of May 13, 1969, I had taken the morning flight to Kota Kinabalu to help in the election campaign of Sabah Independent candidates as polling for Sabah/Sarawak in the 1969 general elections was scheduled a week after that in Peninsular Malaysia.

But what is even more monstrous is the accusation by these UMNO/BN cybertroopers that Lim Guan Eng was also responsible for the May 13 riots of 1969 on the ground that Guan Eng was the DAP Youth leader at the time and was in the forefront of anti-Malay attacks.

This is a triple lie.

Firstly, the DAP was never anti-Malay but was fully committed since our formation in 1966 to be a Malaysian party representing the legitimate rights and interests of all races in the country.

In fact, in 1969 DAP fielded several Malay candidates for parliamentary and state assembly elections and two Malay State Assemblymen were elected on DAP tickets, one in Perak and the other in Negri Sembilan.

Secondly, there was no DAP Youth in l969 as DAPSY (DAP Socialist Youth) was only formed in 1973, and the late P.Patto was the first DAPSY leader.

Thirdly, Guan Eng was only eight years old in May 1969 – and it illustrates how dirty and unprincipled politics has degenerated in Malaysia in the run up to the next general elections that such a despicable and contemptible accusation could be leveled against an eight-year-old child!

Is it any wonder why Bersih’s Demands for clean, free and fair elections, in particular in its Bersih 2.0 Eight Demands to “Stop dirty politics”, “Stop corruption”, “Strengthen public institutions” and “Free and fair access to media” find so little traction with UMNO/BN leaders?

(Speech at the DAP Triang Thousand-People Dinner on the occasion of the official opening of Triang DAP Branch Building on Tuesday, 22nd May 2012)

It’s time to police the police force

 Jeswan Kaur | Free Malaysia Today

The cry for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission is long overdue and yet the Home Ministry feigns ignorance each time police brutality makes the news.
This country desperately needs to get rid of cops who in fact are thugs at work, abusing the rakyat at their whims and fancies. The episode where a Bersih 3.0 participant was whacked for voluntarily confessing that he had participated in the April 28 protest has brought irrevocable shame and damage to the force .

Mohd Safuan Mamat, 24, a Bersih supporter turned up at the Dangi Wangi police station on May 14 to give a statement concerning his involvement in Bersih 3.0. Instead, he ended up fearing for dear life when the cops there turned violent when Mohd Safuan refused to “colloborate” with the cops that he had smashed a police car during the riot.

The manner in which Mohd Safuan was treated by the police is worrying. After giving his statement, he was taken to the lock-up behind the station, handcuffed and detained for the night.

When he refused to be party to a lie, he was allegedly beaten up, first by the cops, and then by the prisoners.

It seems that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) has no intention of serving and protecting the rakyat in the right sense of the word. This is contrary to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s comments that the police would only turn aggressive if provoked.

And what does the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar has to say about the “we can whack anyone we want” modus operandi adopted by the police?

On May 14, Ismail said the resolution passed by the Bar Council in an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on May 11 was prejudiced and had punished the police force.

He said the Bar Council had to be more transparent in making conclusion on the Bersih 3.0 rally held in Kuala Lumpur on April 28.

But then looking at the far from impressive track record of the PDRM and the beating meted out to a Bersih 3.0 participant, what prejudice is Ismail talking about?

The cry for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is long overdue and yet the Home Ministry feigns ignorance each time police brutality makes the news.

For how long will Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein delude himself that the country’s police force is one to be reckoned with?

Despite the police having the rakyat’s blood on their hands, the federal government is not perturbed and seems to be “supporting” the PDRM in not “sparing the rod”. Is this the hallmark of a democratic nation, where its people have no recourse to their fundamental rights?

Cannot bully rakyat
It is becoming a fashion with the PDRM to bully those who dare challenge authority in the pursuit of truth.
Take, for instance, the May 10 nuisance created by an NGO called Malaysia Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas) when it set up a stall outside Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga’s house to protest the April 28 Bersih rally.

Ikhlas claimed the rally affected their livelihood, making a rather far-fetched allegation that burger stall owners had suffered losses amounting to RM200,000 due to the rally, concentrated in certain parts of the federal capital.

To Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, that is hardly any reason for Ambiga to get upset. His defence has added to the shame the PDRM has earned for itself.

Khalid had said it was not wrong to sit in front of anyone’s house provided they did not disturb the occupants of the dwelling. He added that there was nothing wrong with protesting outside a person’s house as long as the occupants are not disturbed.

“What offence? If you want to sit in front of her [Ambiga’s] house without disrupting other people, there is no offence.

“As long as they don’t commit any offence such as trespassing on private property, we will not take action,” Khalid had said.

Then came a bunch of 15 ill-mannered and rowdy men, believed to be retired army veterans, who staged vulgar aerobics by showing their bottoms – protesting the April 28 rally – in front of Ambiga’s house.
They also chanted “Hidup Polis dan Hidup BN” and dared her to sue them, or else they would return in bigger numbers.

The group of veterans then resorted to performing a strange form of aerobics by showing their bottoms.
While the police were present near Ambiga’s house, they decided to play by-standers, displaying their illiterateness over laws that being were flouted.

PDRM needs ‘cleansing’

Looks like it is not only the electoral system that needs a shake-up. The PDRM, too, badly requires a “cleansing”, inside out. The high-handedness of the police has to end and should the Home Ministry refute or show no interest in doing so, it would be in the best interest of the rakyat to decide the next best move.

As the situation stands, there is little hope the people can place in the Home Ministry in doing what is right. The May 9 announcement by Hishammuddin that a six-man panel headed by former Inspector-General of Police Hanif Omar will investigate allegations of police violence during the Bersih 3.0 rally is far from assuring.

To electoral reform activist Bersih, the panel is powerless and lacks regulations that will allow it to serve its purpose.

Over and above that, putting Hanif in charge has confirmed suspicions that the panel is a gimmick by the ruling Barisan Nasional government to win the people’s confidence in view of the looming 13th general electiom.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee has a very valid reason to “question” Hanif’s appointment. Hanif had previously issued statements that were biased against Bersih rally protesters.

“He has claimed that communist sympathisers who were active demonstrators in the 1970s were involved in the Bersih 3.0 assembly and utilised tactics learnt from past pro-communist demonstrations.

“He has also agreed with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s allegation that Bersih 3.0 was an attempt to topple the government.

“By so doing he has shown that he is biased and has already pre-judged the outcome of the investigation,” the steering committee had said.

Still, does the Najib-administration care? Obviously not. Having fooled the rakyat for over five decades, the BN thinks it can once again pull a fast one and appear a “hero” in the eyes of the people.

Hopefully, post-2008, the rakyat is more discerning in separating the wheat from the chaff.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Malaysia General Election: Will there be a 13 GE?

I had posted an article in 2010 that He will win solidly if GE 13 is called any month within that year and I still hold my believe till the eve of Bersih 3.0. Even with His statement of 'crushed bodies & lost lives' and rumors that His special team reporting to Him that He may lose the 13 GE, I still believe He will win solidly.

But everything seems to fall into place post Bersih 3.0 indicating that He is indeed fearful of losing the 13 GE.

Surveys after surveys giving the same results that His popularity is gaining traction and many voters are returning to His stable. This is true but what we understand is that most surveys were carried out via telephone. I still accept the results and reading from political expert opinion I believe He will win solidly and that is up till the eve of Bersih 3.0

A Fluid Situation

I stop wasting my time on twitter after seeing how those cybertroopers armchair critics can spin, distort and lie to get into His good book and strongly supported by the MSM, even crowning them as 'sensational twitterer'.

When and where do you go to get the most accurate political survey? Let me tell you where I went. Pasar malam (night markets) and early morning wet markets, these are the people who are seldom interested in politics but still are aware whats happening around them.

Talking to them face to face can somehow tell you what were inside their minds even if they lied. Of course not all those you approached are willing to share their political views but you still get a decent 6 out of 10 people willing.

It is true that He is gaining popularity and the various surveys confirmed that. It is also true that those who voted the opposition in 308 are now considering voting Him. But, there are also those who voted the ruling government in 308 that will not be voting them again.

Generally, most were taken in by His disbursement of CASH but many do not believe or understand His never-ending alphabet soup – GTP, ETP, PTP, NEM, NKEA, NKRA, NEAC, EPP,....Sadly for Him He can't contest in every seats in the country and majority of the voters are waiting to see who their candidates will be in their respective constituency before deciding which party to vote.

So, by being popular individually with a high of 69% may reap in a few extra votes and this conclude that He is a few points ahead but the overall situation is fluid. I believe that this fluidness is the cause of concern for Him and interpreted by His special team as 'may lose'.

Creating And Finding Excuses To Avoid GE 13?

The only way to call off GE 13 is when the country is in turmoil!

Is He planning to avoid GE 13 in as early as 2010 when calling for 'crushed bodies and lost lives'? Initially my thought was that He was just instilling fear but subsequent happenings that followed indicated that not only fear but a message to carry it out when necessary.

Later on, His speech with racial tone at Pekida to rile up more Malay support and His silence over Perkasa and MSM, especially Utusan irresponsible racist and religious reports and statements.

While He kept silence, on the ground, gangsterism & hooliganism provocations were at work with the latest report of riot at Merlimau. All these are to create tension among the rakyat and they are just waiting for the rakyat to get impatient and retaliate back when all hell will break loose. Luckily the rakyat are not responding back physically but waiting patiently to vent their anger at the ballot box, is He willing to let this happen?

One salvo after another to get the rakyat to response to their gangsterism & hooliganism provocations but  to their dismay the rakyat are smart enough.

The best opportunity came when Bersih 3.0 was held. There is no reason to stop Bersih from holding the rally at Dataran Merdeka but they went ahead to get the court order banning anyone from entering. WHY?

The chaos that ensued after 3pm that day is now under investigation. The statement from various authorities were that 'rioters' breached the barricade and they are doing a great job to contain the 'rioters'. But if you were there on that day or reading from other reliable news reports and those who wrote their experiences facing the tear gas and water cannon, journalists attacked and the way they rampaged through the city trying to catch as many as possible, you will realised that the authorities claim were incomplete.

The way they handled the supposedly called rioters who breached the barricade was indeed trying to create more chaos. I could not leave after the rally when the LRT stations were closed, no buses and taxis. I call it an 'entrapment'. You can read my Bersih 3.0 story here.

The best opportunity they had was Bersih 3.0 but failed again because the rakyat do not have any intention at all to start a riot nor overthrowing the government.

Seeing that failure they changed their script with ex IGPs claiming of communist presence and mimicking His statement that Bersih 3.0 rally was trying to overthrow the government. The bombarding and demonisation campaign against Bersih 3.0 continue till today while His people are hard at work trying to link all sorts of bad things that Bersih 3.0 were, in order to find it guilty and getting the rakyat to hate and reject it.

Next, He tried using His party anniversary to show He can gather a bigger crowd but failed yet again. Now He has no choice but to target individuals. Ambiga is now being harassed, opposition leader Anwar charged together with Azmin and Badrul hoping that their supporters will rise in anger. We can expect more gangsterism & hooliganism provocations and He will continue to remain silent.

Lastly, do you see what He meant when He compared the coca cola secret recipe in not revealing the polling date? Coca cola recipe has been kept secret for over a century and will never be revealed. Is He trying to hint that GE 13 will never happened?

Whatever He may try to do, the rakyat must remain calm and not retaliate to whatever provocation physically. Be patient, just leave the scene of any provocation, nobody is calling you a coward. We only have less than a year when the 5 years term is up and if we remain tolerant and ride through their gangsterism & hooliganism provocations He will have no choice but to dissolve parliament and call for GE 13.

Fallacies spun by critics of the Bar

The Bar Council and the Malaysian Bar (“the Bar”) have been criticised recently as being pro-opposition. This is because of the Bar’s press statements and its extraordinary general meeting resolution regarding the police brutality shown at the Bersih 3.0 sit-down rally. The common theme adopted by critics of the Bar is that the Bar was not fair, or even-handed, as the Bar were more critical of the police than it was of the other parties involved.

Some of the more popular criticisms were summarised in Roger Tan’s article “Unswayed by fear or favour” which was also published in the Sunday Star on May 20, 2012. In summary, he says the following:

1. The Bar in condemning the police brutality must be equally aggressive in its condemnation against the protestors who “behaved like rioters and anarchists”.

2. The Bar had prejudged the issues by passing the resolution because by doing so “the Bar had already come to a conclusion that all those acts listed therein had been committed by the police”.

3. The Bar should have demanded an apology from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim because “it was his men who were reportedly the ones who removed the barrier” which was “the trigger point”.

This statement is written immediately in response to Roger Tan’s article, but also addresses others who have been critical of the Bar on this issue. We intend to address the second criticism first, then the third and first criticisms. Our reason for this will become apparent as our reply develops.

The Bar did not prejudge the issues

In his second criticism, Roger says that the Bar should only pass the resolution condemning police brutality after a finding has been made by an independent body such as Suhakam. However, Suhakam relies on the evidence of witnesses, and often conducts a hearing several months after the event. The Bar based its stance and resolution on the observations of 80 lawyers who formed a team of observers of events during Bersih 3.0. The purpose of assembling and mobilising this monitoring team was precisely so that the Bar would be able to rely on their eyewitness accounts, and not those of friends, media, the police, or post-event photos or videos. The observations of the monitoring team were recorded and compiled within hours on the day itself, and thereafter fine-tuned and completed. We have no reason to doubt the credibility and observations of the team, and neither have we heard of substantiated allegations about them.

Aside from the Bar monitoring team and its report, since that day many other eyewitness accounts have emerged, including photos and videos that speak for themselves. Significantly, on this occasion, even media members were not spared. We even had the embarrassing incident where Al-Jazeera’s reporter Harry Fawcett had to report via Skype from his iPad as his team’s video camera was smashed by police while they were recording police brutality against protestors.

Most importantly, many previous Suhakam inquiries — the November 5, 2001 Kesas Highway Incident, the June 17, 2003 Kundasang Incident, the May 28, 2006 KLCC Incident, the May 27, 2008 Persiaran Bandar Mahkota Cheras 1 Incident, the July 9, 2011 Bersih 2.0 Incident — found that there was excessive use of force by the police, and evidence of police brutality. Numerous complaints by victims led to the said inquiries, the findings of which thereafter vindicated the complaints leading to damning conclusions about police conduct. These many reports do not just show isolated instances of police brutality: Bersih 3.0 was not a one-off. There is a pattern of regular use of excessive force and brutality in violation of human rights by the Royal Malaysian Police Force. Despite these many reports by Suhakam, and despite the findings of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police, the police have not made any serious attempts to school themselves in the prevention of human rights violations.

Regrettably, Roger is sceptical of the 80 monitors appointed by the Bar Council because they are not named, as he “would certainly like to know their political inclinations” to satisfy himself that they “were independent-minded in their conclusions”. Firstly, five widely-respected senior members of the Bar, who were a part of a “roving” team of monitors, were named and had their observations separately documented: Christopher Leong (vice-president of the Malaysian Bar), Steven Thiru (treasurer of the Bar Council), Datuk Ramachelvam Manimuthu, Ramdas Tikamdas, and Roger Chan Weng Keng. Apparently it is not enough that lawyers of this calibre verify and endorse the report.

More importantly, what does one’s political inclination have to do with stating a fact about whether Malaysian citizens were assaulted and battered by the police, and whether there was excessive use of force in accordance with international human rights standards?

Whilst Roger Tan has left the Bar Council, it is unfair to assume that the Bar Council would not have trained these monitors properly bearing in mind this is not the first assembly monitoring mission dispatched by the council. His flippant remarks greatly disparage those members of the Bar who volunteered to serve on the monitoring team, implying as it does that they would allow their personal prejudice to influence their professional duties. It is part of our job as lawyers to put aside our personal prejudice in order to advance the cause of justice.

Rather conveniently, whilst casting these aspersions on others, Roger himself does not reveal his strong affiliations to a particular political party. Employing Roger’s logic, one wonders, perhaps, whether commentators in The Star, for example, should also be required to divulge their political affiliations and leanings before their opinion pieces are published. But we will not venture into the realm of the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem to discredit the views of others, as Roger disappointingly has.

Roger’s comments suggest that we should not immediately make conclusions even if we see a group of uniformed policemen beating up an unarmed citizen who lies helpless on the ground because there were extenuating circumstances. And even if numerous members of the Bar, members of the public and journalists documented such incidents of brutality. The fact is, the police are supposed to treat each person they arrest as if they are innocent until proven guilty. The police should only use reasonable force in arresting someone. If they have to resort to force, they should only use force that is proportionate to the threat faced, and only enough to ensure the person’s arrest.

Roger cites the example of the Bar postponing its EGM with regards to the VK Lingam video clip scandal while it waited for the Royal Commission of Inquiry to complete its task. Roger however seems to overlook the fact that the video clip sparked the groundbreaking Walk for Justice in September 2007 which saw about 2,000 lawyers marching to the PM’s office. The other difference with that example is that with Bersih 3.0, the Bar monitoring team saw police brutality with their own eyes, and not through a video clip. It is obvious that this is not a comparable precedent.

What is this obsession with Anwar Ibrahim?
In his third criticism, Roger insists that the Bar should similarly demand an apology from Anwar because he was reported to have instigated the removal of the barrier. But Roger must understand that one must distinguish between credible first-hand reports by Bar monitors, and accusations by obviously partisan members of Barisan Nasional and its media.

This is where Roger shows an obvious inconsistency — whilst saying that the eyewitness accounts of the Bar’s monitoring team are insufficient to be relied upon, he says that the Bar should demand an apology from Anwar for an incident that no one on the Bar’s monitoring team witnessed. Despite the many eyewitness blog entries, photos and videos, there has been no compelling evidence either way to show who removed the barriers, or whether their removal was facilitated by the police, public or opposition members. On what basis is Roger suggesting that the Bar demand an apology from Anwar?

Let us for one moment set aside the question whether the court order prohibiting entry into Dataran Merdeka was unnecessary, wrong in law and unconstitutional. Let us also assume the barriers in question were covered by the court order. Even assuming that the order was validly executed by the police, did it necessitate the extreme use of non-lethal force to arrest and disperse the small group of people who breached the barrier? Bearing in mind that the Bar’s resolution was on police misconduct, and not about who removed the barrier, it is even more disconcerting that Roger implies that the police may excessively and disproportionally tear-gas and beat the innocent just to get at those who did breach the barrier.

The Bar need not have condemned the protestors
Finally, Roger develops the basis of the criticism that the Bar is not “independent” by stating the Bar failed to condemn with equal vigour lay members of the public who he says acted “like rioters and anarchists”. Many labour under the misapprehension that to be “independent” an organisation must always be even handed and restrained in one’s remarks. But that is a fallacy. And it is an even greater fallacy when it concerns injustice.

Police brutality is a violation of a human right. A violation of any human right is manifest injustice. Police brutality per se is an injustice. The presence of police brutality has tainted the Royal Malaysian Police as surely as a drop of blood stains a uniform. An injustice perpetrated by even one from an institution set up to serve the cause of justice deserves the harshest condemnation. There cannot be any restraint in condemning abuse of power. As a police force meant to be independent and professional, the Royal Malaysian Police are kept to higher standards than lay members of the public. So the Bar cannot be swayed by fear or favour; it cannot be hesitant or even handed in condemning an injustice that is police brutality. Here is an Executive institution that is well-funded and well-staffed with wide powers taking action against unarmed people. It is state against the individual person, and the Bar stands — must stand — for the latter.

What Roger and many who adopt this line of criticism fail to explain is how the condemnation of police brutality amounts to an endorsement of the opposition. This criticism reveals more of their own political prejudice than that of the Bar. Their criticism strongly suggests a belief that criticism of the police is the equivalent of criticism against the political party in government. Their criticism also reveals that they are the sort who think that perception is reality.

It is only those who are so immersed and drenched in politics that adopt such a worldview. The Bar’s criticism and the facts it relies on are an inconvenience to their perception. Ultimately these popular criticisms against the Bar are not borne of logic or facts, but a need to feel good.

There is one further reason why we would not have voted for a resolution that condemned those members of the public who turned violent. The fact is that most thinking Malaysians who have access to the alternative media — and therefore do not rely solely on the bare-faced propaganda of our mainstream print and broadcast media — are not convinced that these so-called “rioters” are as blameworthy as the police.

The police put razor wire across our city roads, turning Kuala Lumpur into a war zone before any violence had ensued. The police obtained a totally unnecessary court order prohibiting entry for four days into Dataran Merdeka, without any notice or opportunity to the organisers of Bersih 3.0 to present their case despite ample time for them to do this. Then, when the disturbance started, it was the police who shot tear gas behind and in front of retreating protestors so that they were boxed in rather than allowed to disperse. Who ordered the closure of the nearby LRT stations so as to prevent people from dispersing? Who ordered the destruction of cameras belonging to journalists, and the reported censorship of Al Jazeera and the BBC? What justified the four hours of continued attacks on people who were already dispersing or having dinner? All this done against fellow Malaysians, who until the very end had taken part in an almost perfect rally.

As pointed out by Roger, the Bar’s resolution did expressly state that the Bar is concerned with and does not countenance acts of violence by rally participants, and are concerned by reports that police barriers were breached. In our view, that says enough. We did not hear any suggestions made at the EGM to amend the resolution. All the dissenters at the EGM agreed in principle that they were against police brutality. What more needs to be said really, seeing as the police were already actively identifying and hunting down those whom they say committed offences during the rally? The police had even stated that they would conduct a house-to-house search for these individuals. Compare this with the lack of action in identifying, let alone condemning and punishing, the police officers who committed violations of duty and human rights.

The Bar’s resolution was proper
The Bar was entitled and correct to issue the statements it did, and to pass the resolution it did. The resolution is fair in all the circumstances and was carefully worded throughout. The facts that it had gathered itself through the Bar’s own members were set forth frankly and properly, and the urgent action that was needed due to the unprecedented police brutality seen on that day was set out in an appropriate and immediate manner.

We are proud to have supported the Bar’s resolution and have no qualms about the Bar’s continued independence. We believe the vast majority of the Bar are totally in support of the resolution, and the comments against the resolution are the isolated voices of a few in the wilderness given undue prominence by propaganda organisations posing as the mass media.

It is telling that Roger states that “removing the barrier was the trigger point” and adds that it is “common sense” that “whoever first raises his hand against the other is the most blameworthy”. Words do not suffice to describe the disingenuous nature of the suggestion that the removal of the barrier is even remotely comparable to the brutal actions of the police. In any case, there have been no reports of barriers being “breached” in front of the Bar Council, on Leboh Pasar Besar — yet even then, water cannons and tear gas were fired there. Roger fails to acknowledge the clear reality that police reaction was not localised to Dataran Merdeka or to the participants there, and that other than at the Jalan Raja/Tun Perak junction, it was the police who struck first.

The actions of some members of the police force on that day were incidences of injustice that were so blatant that it should be impossible for anyone who purports to stand up for justice to remain silent. We have already seen concerted efforts — by the ruling coalition, the police, and those who are too politically partisan to distinguish clear acts of injustice from their political posturing — to distract from the injustice highlighted by the Bar’s resolution by attacking the Bar and casting aspersions on those who are doing no more than reporting what they saw with their own eyes.

The Bar must continue to fight for those who cannot speak up for themselves, and whose rights are oppressed by the might of the state. That is our duty, and one that we hope members of the Bar will continue to discharge without fear or favour. –

* This response is jointly endorsed by Edmund Bon, Fahri Azzat, Janet Chai, K Shanmuga, Mahaletchumy Balakrishnan, Marcus van Geyzel, Seira Sacha Abu Bakar, and Sharmila Sekaran.

Public space and privacy

 By R. Nadeswaran |TheSunDaily

AT the rate issues are expanding, one thing is certain. No Malaysian will go hungry any more. At the rate free meals have been dished out or planned to be dished out, there won't be a hungry soul at least in some areas in the Klang Valley. Last week, there were free burgers in Damansara. Yesterday, there was supposed be free thosai in Ampang and over the next few days, a few other instances of these antics were planned but subsequently aborted.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's unbelievable reaction to the protest by a group that set up stalls outside Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan's home has opened the floodgates to some uncouth Malaysians planning uncanny frolics of their own.

Instead of offering a plausible understanding of the law, he was quoted as saying: "What offence? If you want to sit in front of her house without disrupting other people, there is no offence ... privacy? They didn't enter her house; they were in public space."

So, are we to assume that we can do whatever we want in public space which causes annoyance to fellow citizens? And does this also mean dozens of people can pitch tents outside someone's house? Can citizens now put up a table and place four chairs and play a game of bridge inside a roundabout? Going by Khalid's logic, they are in a public place; they are not disrupting other people and did not invade anyone's privacy.

Khalid's choice of words and understanding of the law has now created a situation where anyone can do anything in what he termed as public space. As the No. 2 in the police force, we should not be reading the law to him as we are certain that Khalid is familiar with the Penal Code and other legislation used to enforce law and order. Perhaps, it is timely to remind readers of such a law.

Section 268 of the Penal Code states: A person is guilty of a public nuisance, who does any act, or is guilty of an illegal omission, which causes any common injury, danger, or annoyance to the public, or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger, or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right.

Since when did police stop bothering people in public space? Four years ago, my friends and I who were outside a house in Petaling Jaya were accosted by four policemen on motorcycles. They wanted to know the reasons we were sitting on the culvert outside. When the occupant of the house identified himself and said we were his guests and had stepped out for a smoke, the policemen left.

Every citizen of this country is entitled to peace and safety where he or she resides. As such, he or she cannot be threatened or harassed with impunity by anyone. The "uncivilised" mode of protest which borders on absurdity and illegality has no place in our society. We have often talked about being a developed nation but this is not measured just by the highways, the buildings, the cars we drive or the money in our banks. More importantly, our ability to express ourselves in a manner befitting ourselves reflects the maturity of our society.

While we express our disgust at the deplorable conduct of the protesters which is totally unacceptable, we must also hold those responsible for enforcing the law for their lackadaisical attitude in combating unacceptable practices.

We have always perceived policemen as friends whose primary responsibilities are to enforce law and order and look after the interests of the citizen. In the many opportunities to interact with them on and off duty, we found them to be people who sometimes have to be cruel to be kind. We have enjoyed the friendship and support of many as we share common goals and concerns.

The events of the past have shown that such views have changed, judging by comments in the blogosphere. The police have often called for public co-operation in fighting crime. Now with this uncalled for remarks, how would the police expect such co-operation?

Let us not run away from the fact that most of our policemen are doing yeoman service. They are there directing traffic under the blazing sun and in the rain. We believe all Malaysians appreciate their services, but when their acts of omission and commission transcend common sense, the people are entitled to re-think their positions.

R. Nadeswaran remains a friend of the police and the occasional errors of judgment. He will continue to campaign for better salaries and working conditions for our men in blue. He is editor (special and investigative reporting) at theSun and can be reached at:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Najib becomes ‘The Hunted’

 By Mariam Mokhtar | FMT

On May 14, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had a taste of his own medicine when supporters of Bersih interrupted his speech and chanted “Bersih, Bersih” while others demanded that overseas Malaysians be allowed to vote.

If Najib wanted support, what he received instead was a sobering “Padan muka!”

The irony of it is that the prime minister suffered extreme humiliation in a country in which he is desperate to redeem his image, both among Malaysians and the international community.

On one side of the English Channel, it is Bersih which haunts Najib. On the other side of the water, it is the French and the opening salvos of the Scorpene trial.

Najib should realise that in Britain, the British prime minister and his ministers occasionally get booed and heckled. Freedom of expression frightens the person who thinks he is above the law or who abuses his power.

For years, social activists, human rights defenders, the opposition and ordinary people have been harassed by people who are allegedly linked to Umno. The police, mainstream media, judiciary and other public institutions have acted as agents of the state and never in the interests of the people. The government fails to censure those who commit acts of aggression.

Najib now knows what it feels like to be hounded. Not all crowds behave like the Umno rent-a-mob who clap at his every word and kiss his hand.

The prime minister allowed things to slide under his rule, and his lack of leadership has undermined the rule of law.

Did he condemn the people who threatened Bersih’s S Ambiga at her home? Was there any censure, when last August, Umno senator Ezam Mohd Nor threatened to burn down the offices of Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider? They were silent when in January, the organisers and participants of the Anything But Umno (ABU) and Hindraf ceramah in Shah Alam, were attacked.

There was no criticism when last February, Umno Youth and Perkasa members attacked anti-Lynas protesters at the Speakers’ Corner in Penang.

In all these acts of thuggery the police merely looked on as observers instead of protecting the public and their property.

Proham, the human rights watchdog, expressed “deep regret” over the people who disrupted Najib’s speech. What has Proham to say about the above acts of disturbance?

The Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain, Zakaria Sulong, hired the O2 Arena, or “The Dome”, as it is commonly known, for “An Evening with the PM” session. Coaches transported students from all over Britain for the event involving cultural performances, free food and drink.

One person who went said, “If not for the promise of a fat ang pow, very few people would have turned up.”

Another complained, “I came for the makan, all I got was a dry sandwich.”

‘Can you stop it?’

Minutes after Najib opened his speech, the chants of “Bersih, Bersih” distracted Najib and he was forced to acknowledge the Bersih supporters.

Despite his cries of “Can you stop it?” the chants increased in tempo and frequency: “Bersih. Bersih” were followed by “We want to vote.”

“Can you please stop it?” the prime minister pleaded, his voice getting shriller. When faced with a public show of opposition, Najib was clearly shaken.

The whole arena was watching the spectacle, and enjoying it. Finally Najib managed a desperate: “You can talk with me later.”

In any press conference, Najib does not like to be asked sensitive questions. He mumbles, “No comment” before terminating the interview abruptly and walking out. In this seemingly hostile crowd in London, the prime minister cannot deploy tear gas or water cannon.

A Malaysian at the O2 event said, “When Najib and the High Commissioner went onto the stage, the only clapping came from where the High Commission staff were seated.

“When Rosmah [Mansor] joined them on the stage, hardly anyone clapped. Not many students clapped when Najib stood on the podium.”

Despite Najib’s promise to a Bersih supporter that he would meet him after the event, that meeting did not take place. This is like many of Najib’s other promises which have failed to materialise.

So great was Najib’s fear of being embarrassed for a second time that night, a member of his entourage lied and said that the prime minister had cancelled going to the launch of a new Malaysian restaurant in Paddington.

The red herring was presumably to deter Bersih protesters from turning up at the restaurant, where 50 Malaysian businessmen and bankers, were waiting to enjoy a sumptuous dinner with him, in more relaxed surroundings.

Clearly, ordinary Malaysians waiting at the O2 were rebuffed by Najib.

Najib’s plan to “get close” to Malaysians in London backfired. Instead of being warmly received, he was hounded by Bersih supporters. Instead of the promised evening, mingling with the prime minister, only a handful of Malaysians managed to be photographed with him as he scurried to the exit, prior to being whisked away.

Despite his talk of engaging with Malaysians, Najib, who does not tolerate dissent, has set the machinery of government against the student body in the United Kingdom. Students were photographed at the event by Special Branch officers and each government scholar identified and matched to his sponsor. Now, many fear that their scholarships will be revoked.

Hopefully, this culture of fear is something which many young Malaysians will take into consideration when they vote in future elections.

If Malaysians want further food for thought, they should question how much this and other frivolous events in London have cost the Malaysian taxpayer.

The government is morally bankrupt and lacks conviction when tackling corruption and cronyism. Before long, the nation will be bankrupt if it continues to be mismanaged by an Umno government.

Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bar EGM denounces police brutality at Bersih 3.0

 By Clara Chooi | The Malaysian Insider

The Malaysian Bar has approved a resolution condemning the police for using “excessive” and “indiscriminate” force to disperse Bersih 3.0 protesters on April 28, despite objections raised by a minority group of lawyers at today’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

The resolution, passed by way of voting this evening, also demands apologies from the home minister and Inspector-General of Police to the public and members of the media over the conduct of the police during the rally.

According to Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee, only 16 of the 1,270 Malaysian Bar members in attendance today had opposed the resolution, which contained findings of alleged police brutality against protesters and members of the media.

A total of 939 votes were recorded in support of the resolution. There are some 14,000 members in the Malaysian Bar.

Commending today’s high turnout at the EGM, which exceeded the turnout of some 800 members during the Bar’s annual general meeting (AGM) in March, Lim said it was clear that members viewed the events surrounding Bersih 3.0 seriously.

“The fact is, there was widespread reports of police brutality and excessive, disproportionate use of tear gas and water cannons in KL, which only started after the alleged reported breach of the barricades at Dataran Merdeka after 3pm… prior to which, there was a carnival-like atmosphere,” he told a press conference after the three-hour EGM.

Lim, referring to a report by the Bar Council’s team of 78 monitors for the rally, said unlike the chaos during Bersih 3.0 in Kuala Lumpur, other concurrent rallies held in Kuantan, Johor Bahru, Malacca and Ipoh had seen the police acting with restraint.

In KL, he said, the police had failed to offer sufficient warning to protesters before moving to disperse them. The police are also said to have boxed in protesters by sealing off escape routes, instead of offering them sufficient time to disperse.

He said the estimated 100,000-strong crowd that thronged numerous streets in the heart of Kuala Lumpur on April 28 had not been allowed enough room to disperse as volleys of tear gas canisters and chemical-laced water rained down on them even as they attempted to run.

“Which begs the simple question: Why has the police not read or implemented the findings and recommendations of Suhakam (Malaysian Human Rights Commission)?” he asked, referring to four past investigations conducted by the panel on different rallies.

Lim also insisted that the jeering or insults allegedly hurled by protesters at policemen on duty during Bersih 3.0 did not justify the force with which the latter group retaliated.

He pointed out that protesters were unarmed and that the burden of ensuring crowd control lies in the hands of those who are armed, namely the police. Restraint, he said, must be maintained at all costs.

“Does calling the police ‘sampah’ (rubbish) or ‘anjing’ (dog) justify the firing of tear gas or water cannons? Let us not forget this — the police have the responsibility, the powers and the weapons. Malaysians do not,” he said.

Lim noted that debates during today’s EGM had been robust as a number of lawyers in attendance had stood to express opposing views.

But, he stressed, the resolution was later supported by “an overwhelming majority”, indicating that the Bar was unified in its stand on Bersih 3.0.

Among others, the resolution condemns the “excessive, indiscriminate and wrongful” use of tear gas and water cannons against protesters, failure of the police to allow rally participants time to disperse and widespread reports of police brutality against protesters and media professionals.

“Bar members also asked the president (Lim) to highlight to the media that the arrest, assault and confiscation of the equipment of the media are condemned by the Bar. This must never happen
 “Secondly, it is most unfortunate the mainstream media, had not given balanced reporting,” Lim said.

Today’s EGM was called to discuss the slew of issues surrounding the rally for free and fair elections, which saw chaos on the streets of the capital when police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water to disperse protesters.

According to a notice issued on the Malaysian Bar’s official website on May 4, the EGM was called to discuss a motion “in relation to the events of and surrounding the public rally on 28 April 2012 organised by Bersih 3.0, and matters in connection therewith”.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently labelled the demonstration as an attempt by certain quarters to overthrow the elected Barisan Nasional (BN) government, as he hardened his administration’s position towards the electoral reform movement.

Lim previously said that the Bar’s monitoring team had found more instances of police brutality compared to last year’s July 9 Bersih event.

He also said the authorities failed to take heed of criticism and recommendations outlined by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) with regards to police conduct during Bersih’s first two rallies, and lamented on how “little has changed.”


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