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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Merdeka Day or BN Day?

By Moaz Nair | Malaysia Chronicle

It seems like Merdeka Day this year is being hijacked by UMNO and Barisan Nasional. Instead of celebrating the day on behalf of all Malaysians, desperate Barisan has made it an occasion to promote itself much to the abhorrence of the people.

Apparently, Merdeka Day is no more a celebration for Malaysians minus politics and emotions like how it was before.

Blame Barisan for this entire glitch, not the Opposition. Politics is getting worse for the country as the desperate regime is trying hard to cling to power, seemingly at all costs. And now they are even willing to exploit the propitious Merdeka Day event to sate their selfish ends.

Is for all Malaysians

The Merdeka theme Barisan has chosen ‘’Janji Ditepati’’ (Promises Fulfilled) – taken from its election campaign theme – has certainly disaffected a large portion of the public from the Merdeka Day celebration this year.

The theme has invited a lot of disparagements and arguments from the ordinary folk. “The Merdeka celebration is for all Malaysians regardless of party affiliation, so why make this opportune occasion their own celebration?” asked a senior bank executive in Kuala Lumpur.

Barisan seems to have a stand that patriotism means supporting the sitting government. To the ordinary people out there patriotism means seeing the country to be a better place for all and sundry, irrespective of which party comes to power.

Despite all the thrashing the government has received for its choice of the “Janji Ditepati” theme, Barisan has defended it much to the distaste of the ordinary people, those apolitical and the Opposition.

They seem to be stuck with their political theme and withdrawing it will put the careworn Barisan in a much awkward position – placing another flip flop patent to their cap.

Frantic UMNO and Barisan are desperately banking on the Merdeka occasion to score some brownie points for the next general election, not realising that the majority of the people out there want the occasion to be apolitical.

An unconcerned attitude

The people are obviously exhibiting an unconcerned attitude for the Merdeka celebrations now all because of UMNO and Barisan. This is conspicuous on the streets, homes and the business sector. The people are without a doubt putting up a silent protest.

Mini Malaysian flags put up for sale in shopping centres are not selling at all. “We stocked these flags about a month ago anticipating the people to buy. Not even one percent has been sold,” complained a sales supervisor at a local supermarket.

The people are protesting by not bothering to parade the flag on their vehicles. Shops and business premises are putting on view the Malaysian flag with much dissent as they are forced to do so.

A sundry shop owner in Kuala Lumpur said, “We love the country, Merdeka is meaningful to us but the way the government is hijacking the event makes us unhappy.” “This has made the days leading to the occasion flavourless,” she added.

Are still at odds

The people in Sabah and Sarawak feel that Merdeka Day celebration is not their special event to cherish. They only became part of Malaysia in 1963 when Malaysia was officially formed on September 16.

“Forcing them to celebrate Merdeka Day is akin to forcing water into the throat of a stubborn horse,” said a 43-year-old Sabahan working in Kuala Lumpur.

Beyond that, the people in these two states are still at odds when it comes to their “loyalty” to the Malaysian concept. Many feel that they have been taken for a ride by political “bullies” from the Peninsula. The majority in these states are still living in poverty when those in power are filthy rich.

In fact the two states are among the poorest in the country and they are not happy with the way they have been treated by their Peninsula “bullies”.

The days leading to the Merdeka day – 31st August 2012 – see no excitement at all throughout the nation. This is a clear sign that the people are not happy with the way Barisan has hijacked the occasion for their political benefits.

Najib is floundering

Barisan leaders realise that their popularity has dwindled and Najib is floundering in his economic policies for the nation. Costs of living have spiralled out of control; over 80 percent of the working class are heavily in debt with banks and financial institutions to survive when education fees, prices of cars and houses are exorbitant.

Their buying power has shrunk despite some having more money in the hand and price increase and inflation have affected the majority poor in the country.

Nigh on the majority of the people are not happy with the sitting government and they are protesting silently. The unexciting days leading to the Merdeka Day celebration are symptom that the people have lost trust in the incumbent government.

People cannot be easily swayed

Government-controlled media complicit with the propaganda arm of Barisan will see to it that the highlights of the Merdeka Day event portray the occasion as Barisan’s fort and splendour. But the people cannot be easily swayed by this warped motive.

“Merdeka is for all Malaysians and should not be hijacked by any political party,” said a 76-year-old pensioner in Kuala Lumpur. “It should not be used to promote any political party,” he added.

“I see the rich getting richer and the poor like me are getting poorer,” quipped a retired teacher. “There is no point in getting excited for the Merdeka when I live poor,” he added.

His mournful dirge is shared by many others. “Merdeka to us means to be able to live an affordable life, but this is not the case now,” said an unemployed man in his 50’s living in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

When asked why the people are generally not that thrilled to welcome this year’s Merdeka Day, the response from another senior citizen was: “We are more concerned about the costs of living more than anything else. Prices of almost every food item have gone up. We just cannot get by.”

Not happy about this

Barisan is conspicuously making use of this year’s Merdeka celebration to promote their political agenda when the 13th general election is just around the corner and the people are obviously not too happy about this.

They are blaming UMNO and Barisan for this gaffe. “It is not that we are not patriotic. We love the country but we hate the way the sitting government is adamantly possessive of the event,” quipped a university student in a local university.

The people are now cagey that desperate UMNO and Barisan have decided to use this propitious occasion to sell their “political stock’” more than instil the spirit of patriotism among all Malaysians.

The people are wide-awake that despite all the various transformation initiatives which have been trolled and styled with pompous terms and acronyms by the prime minister – Najib Razak – there is still a clear absence of fundamental organisational reforms that are necessary to stimulate and generate the economy.

The country is in heavy debts and the economic productivity is low.

The educated urbanites see the lack of prudence, accountability, transparency and fairness in the government’s awarding of huge projects to associates – almost all which are allegedly given out based on negotiated tenders to cronies and those closely allied to those in power.

Some feedback from citizens

Even the ordinary citizens are in the know that the government has not been judicious in managing the nation’s resources. Money and resources have allegedly been wasted on lavish and unproductive projects given to cronies only to be subsequently bailed out.

It’s all money and money given on the platter to those who are devoid of know-how or expertise in handling major projects. It’s worth contemplating some feedback from concerned citizens on what they understand about the present situation in the country on the days leading to this year’s Merdeka celebration:

“Undependable is the apt word to use for the sitting government. The NFCorp (National Feedlot Corporation) scandal involving RM250 million is one of many testimonies to this. Money lost is seldom recovered and bailouts are usually the mode used to save incompetent crony companies,” observed an economic lecturer in a local university.

“They see injudicious and foggy deals being done to enrich the rich and the cronies and this has caused a wider gulf between the rich and poor,” said another colleague of his.

“The media is toying with religious and racial issues to create ethnic rifts and raise feelings of hatred among people to woo support from the majority race for the ruling coalition – the usual political subterfuge used by UMNO to divide and rule,” said a senior lecturer in a local university, alluding to the government-controlled newspapers and the television.

“Religion is impiously used to divide the people. When we talk about Merdeka the spirit of racial and religious harmony is of utmost importance. Religion is too sensitive a matter to be used by irresponsible politicians to cause social clefts in the society,” jibed a senior former UMNO lawmaker.

“UMNO politics has damaged race relations in the country. This wasn’t the vision of our late Father of Independence. When the nation achieved independence it was based on a harmonious and tolerant indulgence involving all the races,” snapped a local university student majoring in history.

A political “ceasefire”

The Merdeka month this year coincides with the Muslim Hari Raya that fell on August 17. Hence most politicians are taking this opportunity to fete the people. Some politicians, however, have erroneously taken the open-house slap-up meal – common in the country during major festivals – to be the touchstone in gauging their popularity.

This is an illusory way to perceive the people’s true stand on party adherence.

Malaysians by nature love food and when free food is served it will draw people in droves, especially when prices of food these days have soared beyond control. What is more, the open-house fête will see guests amassing irrespective of their political affiliation.

This is when politicians and supporters from both the divide observe a political “ceasefire”.

But looking at the bigger picture, the streets see no excitement this time around. Rarely do they see the Malaysian flag affixed on cars to welcome the Merdeka Day like what it used to be before 1981.

Houses, shop lots and business entities do not seem to be interested in putting up the Malaysian flags voluntarily. In some states they are forced to hang the Malaysian flag by the town council.

School children, teachers and government servants are not showing much fervour to welcome the auspicious day. All the excitement seems to have vaporised into thin air.

A subtle tone of gripe

Nevertheless, this year’s Merdeka Day countdown on the eve of August 31 will see thousands thronging the Dataran Merdeka. They are patriotic citizens of the country.

The Square will also see a wave of people clad in orange T-shirts showing their loyalty and undivided love for the country.

The event will not be specked with political tinges but there will be a subtle tone of gripe at the sitting government that Merdeka Day cannot be the monopoly of any political party. And also a subtle hint to the government that it’s the people’s desire to see a “clean” and democratic government.

They will turn up to marshal the theme “Janji Demokrasi” (Promise Democracy) as opposed to Barisan’s “Janji Ditepati”.

“Janji Ditepati” is a party slogan so is 1Malaysia. For this reason the Opposition has decided to come up with a much more accepted theme – “Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa” (One Nationality, One Country, One Soul). As expected, and to the disappointed of Barisan, Pakatan’s theme has become more popular than that of Barisan’s.

The four enlightened states under Pakatan will celebrate Merdeka Day using their theme.

Down-to-earth hopes for the country

Be that as it may, the ordinary people do have some down-to-earth hopes that are close to their hearts for the country after 55 years of Independence. They long for a government that is free from corruption.

They generally feel that money drained out through corruption, abuses and leakages have put the country in a bad state since 1981 – the year Mahathir Mohamad took over as prime minister.

They sense that money allegedly squandered by dodgy politicians and their accomplices under Barisan rule should stop. They expect a more prudent and responsible government that can ensure a better life for the people.

They yearn for the country to be governed democratically with free and fair elections.

They envisage a country that is governed by the rule of law where there is no selective and politically motivated prosecution of the people just because they happen to be on wrong side of the political divide.

They seek electoral reform, a functional education policy and fair economic policies that will make all Malaysians feel proud to be called Malaysians.

We wish Malaysia a meaningful 55th Merdeka Day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Public appeal for funds: BERSIH 2.0 needs your support

Public appeal for funds: BERSIH 2.0 needs your support

When BERSIH 2.0 was launched in April 2010 as a fully non-partisan movement asking for urgent electoral reforms, no one anticipated just how strongly the Malaysian public would respond. The swift and courageous support from all walks of life, many of whom also braved the streets of Kuala Lumpur (and in many other places around the world) on 9 July 2011 and again on 28 April have made it clear that the call for free and fair elections is a sentiment which echoes strongly in our nation.

BERSIH 2.0 has seen an outpouring of support from the public in the last two years and it has enabled the push for reforms to be made, to the point where the government has finally begun to respond. However, their response has not always been positive. In fact, the government often appears more interested in “shooting the messenger” rather than focusing on the message of hand: cleaning up the electoral system.

RM1 campaign for clean and fair elections

As the next general elections looms closer, BERSIH 2.0 seeks your support. The work still needs to continue and we need to work together for all of us to carry on. Therefore, BERSIH 2.0 is now launching a fund raising campaign to ask every Malaysians to support us by donating to the BERSIH 2.0 “Make a difference with RM1” campaign for Clean and Fair Elections. We aim to raise RM250,000 to reflect the 250,000 brave Malaysians who turned up for BERSIH 3.0 : Duduk Bantah on 28 April 2012.

Specifically, the funds will go to:

Medical and Legal Expenses of Victims of Police Brutality

1 Supporting the victims of police brutality during and after 28 April who have courageously come forward to seek justice. BERSIH 2.0 wishes to support them if they choose to file lawsuits against the authorities as well as to cover their medical expenses.

2 The authorities have decided to launch a civil suit against 10 members of the BERSIH 2.0 steering committee for alleged damages amounting to RM122,000 that were incurred during the Bersih 3.0 “duduk bantah” assembly. The government also wants general damages, interest and a declaration that Bersih breached Section 6(2)(g) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), despite the fact that the government also declared the PAA as a revolutionary law which would facilitate peaceful assemblies.

3 Meanwhile, DBKL has also has sent a notice of demand to co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and committee member Maria Chin Abdullah, demanding compensation of RM351,203.45 for “losses” incurred during the same event. This includes damage to “landscaping and trees, the cost of setting up metal barricades, cost of transport and support staff, damage to signboards and barriers, as well as overtime allowances, food, drink and transport costs for law enforcers”.

The two wholly unfair charges by the government are seen as targeted attacks against BERSIH 2.0 aimed at derailing the call for free and fair elections. Thus, BERSIH 2.0 urgently appeals to all Malaysians to maintain its focus on this crucial issue and support the effort in whatever ways that they can.

Many lawyers have come forward to volunteer their legal services to BERSIH 2.0 victims as well as to the Steering Committee members who had been sued by the government. While their services are free, there are still expenses to be paid out especially filing fees, transportation and other administrative costs.

Funds raised will cover bail money (where applicable), legal administrative expenses and medical costs. [RM150,000]

BERSIH Awareness Campaign – Keluar Mengundi Lawan Penipuan

Funds are also required for the continued awareness of the various issues surrounding the 8 demands of BERSIH 2.0 to be spread to greater numbers of Malaysians. The awareness campaign activities will cover Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. We will be printing leaflets, producing short cartoon video clips for easy dissemination, conduct workshops and ceramahs to highlight the eight demands of BERSIH 2.0, activities to encourage young voters to vote and be involved, and lastly for BERSIH 2.0 to develop our own BERSIH.TV so that we can have our voices heard.

We are embarking on campaigns throughout the country to bring the message to as many people as possible. With your backing, the core message of “Keluar Mengundi Lawan Penipuan” will reach far and wide, thus putting pressure on the authorities to implement the necessary changes and for you as a voter to decide wisely.

Funds raised will cover BERSIH 2.0 awareness campaign and communications [RM100,000]

The funds collected will be regularly updated on our website with audited accounts made available.


Account No: 12380000661-10-0

Account Name: Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor

Bank: CIMB

Thank you.


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 Kamaruddin

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crime Statistics – Let the truth be told!

By Sumun Osram | Blog Lim Kit Siang

A policeman who wish to remain anonymous

Is the crime rate down? Yes, relying on the statistics provided by the Police and Pemandu. Is that a true reflection of the crime situation? The answer is certainly a big ‘NO’.

Crime is basically divided into two categories. One is ‘Index Crime’ and the other is ‘Non-Index Crime’. The statistics made available by the police are only those cases which come under the ‘index crime’ category. ‘Index crime’ is defined as crime which is reported with sufficient regularity and with sufficient significance to be meaningful as an index to the crime situation. Essentially, it means the index is the yardstick to gauge the crime situation of a given place, the District, State or the whole country. The index crime statistics will show whether the crime has increased, decreased or moving constantly.

‘Non-index crime’ on the other hand is considered as cases minor in nature and does not occur with such rampancy to warrant its inclusion into the crime statistics or as a benchmark to determine the crime situation.

‘Index crime’ consists of two categories. One is ‘Violent Crime’ and the other is ‘Property Crime’. ‘Violent Crime’ comprises of murder; rape; armed robbery with accomplice; robbery with accomplice; armed robbery; robbery; and causing hurt. Meanwhile ‘property crime’ comprises of theft; car theft; motorcycle theft; heavy vehicle theft; snatch theft; and burglary. These are the crimes used as statistics to portray the crime situation.

In 2009, the Government came up with the ‘Government Transformation Program’ (GTP) and ‘crime’ was amongst the ‘National Key Result Area’ (NKRA). The Key Performance Index (KPI) set for the police on the 27 July 2009 under the NKRA was to reduce crime by 20%.

That tall order to reduce crime by 20% was a dilemma for the police. The police knew that the demand is idealistic but not feasible to be achieved. Any criminologist will tell that crime is the product of socio-economic factors and the police being a part of the criminal justice system cannot alone tackle this issue.

However, in upholding the dignity and image, the police succumbed to the political pressure in agreeing to achieve the targeted KPI set under the NKRA. With the prevailing policing standard and practice the police may be able to contain the crime situation to a certain extent, but to reduce it by 20% is absolutely a feat impossible. So, in desperate times, desperate measures are taken.

The police then came up with an ingenious way of achieving the target. The principal behind the plan is, well, if this is what the political masters’ want, then we shall give it to them the way they want.

As said earlier, the crime statistics consist of only the index crime. Hence, they gradually lowered the crime statistics by shifting the index crime to the non-index crime. The shifting is done at the time the police report is lodged. The classification of the crime from index to non-index will be captured in the police reporting system as ‘non-index’ and thus not registering it as an index crime for the purposes of statistics. Lowering the index crime will show that the particular crime is on the decline.

There are several types of crime where the classification can be manipulated from index to non-index. The maneuvering begins at the police district level which receives the report and subsequently transmitted to the State Police Headquarters and Federal Police Headquarters. The crimes which were manipulated are:

(a) Robbery cases under the Penal Code are classified as index crime. This offence will be classified as non-index under section 382 of the Penal Code. Since, section 382 of the Penal Code is a non-index crime, therefore will not be reflected in the crime statistics.

(b) Burglary under section 457 of the Penal Code is an index crime. This offence will be classified as non-index under sections 452 or 453 of the Penal Code. Since, sections 452 and 453 of the Penal Code are non-index crime therefore will not be reflected in the crime statistics.

(c) Causing hurt under sections 324 and 326 are index crimes. These offences will be classified under section 148 of the Penal Code. Since, section 148 of the Penal Code is a non-index crime therefore will not be reflected in the crime statistics.

The under classification of the index crime to non-index crime runs into several thousand cases. Of course, by removing these cases from the crime statistics will reflect that the crime has gone down.

A simple way of ascertaining the extent of cases taken off from the index crime category for the purpose of reducing the crime statistics is by asking the police to provide the statistics of cases classified under sections 148, 382, 452 and 453 of the Penal Code since the implementation of the NKRA to date. Then a comparison should be made with the statistics of cases under the said sections in the last three years preceding the NKRA. You will discover a sudden hike in the number of cases under those sections after the introduction of the KPI. This figure should then be compared with the figure of the same sections for the three years preceding the NKRA. The result will confirm that for the period of three years prior to NKRA, cases classified under sections 382, 452 and 453 are almost nil and under section 148 may have only few reported cases. The number of cases recorded under the four sections for the 3 years after the NKRA minus the number of cases recorded for the 3 years before the NKRA will be the figure that has been manipulated.

Other factors that suppress the crime statistics during the NKRA period are:

(a) There are many cases under the index crime category that are not opened for investigation and were closed with no further action (NFA). These cases involve robberies, snatch thefts and burglaries. Police take no further action for the reason there is no sufficient ground for proceeding with the matter if the suspect cannot be identified, the loss is minimal or there is no lead to proceed further. There are thousands of cases of this nature and since these cases are not opened for investigation, therefore, will not be reflected in the crime statistics. No profiling is done on these cases, but merely swept under the carpet. Without profiling then the trend, pattern, target areas and possible suspects could not be studied to address the recurrence of these incidents.

(b) There are also cases short-changed in order to achieve the KPI. Say, for example, in a particular day there are 10 cases of burglaries reported in a certain housing area. Only one case will be opened for investigation and the other nine cases will be cross-referred to the one case that was opened. For the 10 cases of burglaries, the statistics should be 10 cases of index crime. Since, there is only one case that was opened for investigation therefore the other nine cases will not be reflected in the index crime statistics.

(c) Dark figures (crimes not reported) are not factored into the crime statistics. There is a theory that for every 10 cases reported there will be one case not reported. People do not report crime when they have lost faith in the police. Lack of faith may arise when the people have the impression that the police will not treat the report seriously; ineffective investigation due to incompetence; practicing double standards; no confidence the police can solve the case or bring justice to the victim or can recover the lost items; discriminative investigation based on the person’s background, influence, or status in society; minor trauma or losses treated with scorn; cases can be compromised by suspects getting away through bribery, influence be it political or social standing; exhaustive in going to the police station and lodging report; and last but not least is distrust and suspicion about the police.

Overall, the crime has indeed gone up. There are many flaws in the statistics dished out to the public. The statistics was tailored to justify the KPI and appease the powers that be. It is better for the police to tell the truth and shame the devil. In response to Dr. Lim Teck Ghee, the police said, “Crime statistics released by the PDRM are the actual figures of criminal cases reported to and investigated by the police department. These figures are auto-generated by the department’s computer system i.e. the Police Reporting System (PRS). In this way, no alteration or adjustment to the figures can be done, in order to portray a rosy picture of the crime situation as claimed by certain quarters.”

The rationalization of the computer system (PRS) to validate the crime figures is a flawed excuse. The system picks up only what has been fed into it. PRS system does not control classification of cases. To demonstrate that the GTP, NKRA and KPI are a success, classification of cases was doctored and entered into the system which will surely produce the result that was desired.

The police made another assertion, “All crime data and statistics generated within the PDRM system have been audited and verified by Pricewaterhouse Coopers Malaysia.” Do you expect accountants to audit and verify classification of cases? Are they going through all the police reports to ensure the nature of crime committed, categorizing the correct section of the offence under the law, and classification of the case as index or non-index? Be truthful on their role that is only limited to calculating the figures given by the police. In fact, it is a waste of public funds hiring accountants to just vet the figures if only the police are honest in the first place.

End the charade on public relations (PR) exercises to erase the fear of crime. Stop fooling the public with PR programs, like ‘high profile policing’, ‘high visibility patrol’ ‘walkabout’ ‘stop and talk, ‘meet and greet’, and ‘singing in shopping malls’, that won’t work when criminals are still milling around. Spending huge money hiring consultants with no background or expertise in criminal field to advise the police was the biggest blunder. It is a shame on the police organization of 205 years, having police officers of more than 30 years in service and experience with educational background from degree to PHD, unable to tackle the crime situation.

Police are not looking at the proper perspective in tackling crime. Victims of crime go to the police for what? To seek redress! Investigation is the area where most people are frustrated of, suspicious and lacks confidence in the ability of the police to apprehend the suspect and solve the case. This is the primary cause of dissatisfaction and the negative perception of the police. Poor investigation and inaction lead to more criminals on the streets and crime more prevalent and widespread. One of the ways to reduce crime is by removing as many criminals as possible from the society and sending them behind bars. Crack the whip on the investigators. Increase the staffing of investigators in all departments involved in investigations and the right officers to helm these departments at District, State and Federal levels. As a reminder, terminate at once the current distortion of the KPI on solving rate and charging rate before it develops into another controversy.

Another bone of contention is crime prevention. Instead of wasting manpower and time on PR exercises, the proven tried and tested methods must be invigorated. The mobile and beat patrols and roadblocks must be strengthened and energized. Poor planning, lackadaisical attitude of staffs, lack in knowledge and skills are the main problems afflicting this area. Ad hoc measures of crime prevention are ineffective and should be a thing of the past. Crime prevention through mobile and beat patrols should be constant and extensive with sufficient police presence, effective enforcement and result orientated.

It takes a thief to catch a thief. There was a time when detectives were very resourceful in intelligence gathering and have the ability to pin-point the culprit just by analyzing the modus operandi. They were all-rounded and like cats can smell the rats miles away. Good, capable and mind probing detectives have been displaced with insignificant desk jobs. The investigation departments are now filled with personnel who are expected to display noble attributes and source for information and intelligence on crime from temples and churches. This segment of the organization needs to be given importance and improvised. More personnel should be inducted with the necessary skills and agility to gather intelligence on criminal activities, detect and apprehend criminals.

Immediate and drastic move to improve on those three areas (investigation, crime prevention and detectives) will produce significant progress in alleviating the crime menace the people are experiencing now.

Criminals come from various ethnic backgrounds. The police organization should similarly be staffed with sufficient policemen from multi-ethnic backgrounds. The police organization is now filled with more than ninety percent consisting only of one ethnic group. Crime has no boundary or race barriers. The composition of the police should reflect the society they are dealing with. The police are unlike an organization that don’t deal or interact with the public. How do you expect policemen from one ethnicity to effectually communicate, source for information, deal with criminals, and address communal issues, with a person of different culture, customs, language and background in an effective and practical manner? This is not a racial issue, but voiced with a noble intention in the best interests of all Malaysians.

Policemen are hired to instill peace and security to the people. Police should not waste too much time, energy and manpower to preach religion and involve in religious activities. There is too much of religious activities in the police force now. All policemen subscribe to a religion at the time of employment and there is no reason for them to go wayward with the discipline of the Force in place. There is a unit called ‘Bahagian Agama dan Kaunselling’ (BAKA) established in all Districts, States and Federal level to organize religious functions, activities and sermons. This should be left to the experts in religion and counseling. They can be roped in or hired to provide religious and counseling services instead of using so much of police manpower trained in fighting crime.

Police are responsible for the maintenance of law and order. They are answerable to the law and the law alone. The Home Minister has no business in occupying two floors of office building at Bukit Aman. His appropriate place is at the Home Ministry, Putrajaya. His role should be confined to policy making only and not getting involved in, directing, or supervising the day to day operations of the police. There is no guarantee that he won’t be under investigation if he transgresses the law. The IGP should not be put in a comprising position should a conflict of issue arises involving the Home Minister. One very senior police officer with the ranking of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) is dedicated to chaperon the Home Minister. Many more senior officers and men are assigned to him in the name of NKRA. This is a sheer waste of manpower, tax payers money and abuse of power, whence these men should be on the ground maintaining law and order.

To fight crime, you have to take the bull by its horns. The police should not be parading in public, smiling; giggling; shaking hands; stop and talk; and meet and greet, to overcome the fear of crime or the negative perception. That is only a cosmetic appearance when the real grievance is unresolved and unattended. The police are a leading crime enforcement body and are not in the tourism industry or tasked with public relation functions. The police must appear serious and stern whilst executing their duties. Their sacrosanct oath of protecting the people and property must be honored.

There must be a climate of fear and respect towards the police. The fear must come from the wrongdoers and those who intend to contravene the law. Respect is from those who feel secured when seeing the men in blue. Are the police doing the right thing to earn that respect? People are feeling unsecured with the crime situation and the fear of being a victim keep increasing. Ironically, even the policemen are having the same sentiment. Camouflaging crime figures will only aggravate the situation further. Be honest and tell the truth.

Saturday, August 18, 2012





Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why then am I featured and defamed in Tanda Putera’s official Facebook page as having urinated at flagpole bearing Selangor flag at residence of the then Selangor Mentri Besar provoking May 13, 1969 riots?

By Lim Kit Siang

I am supposed to be assured by the clarification of the director of the May 13 film, Tanda Putera, Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba that I am not even featured in the footage of the film, but I am not.

This is because Shuhaimi has failed to give a satisfactory explanation why I had been featured and defamed in Tanda Putera’s original official Facebook page as having urinated at the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the residence of the then Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Harun Idris and provoking the May 13, 1969 riots.

The caption of a photo portraying me being manhandled, which were later taken down, read: “Lim Kit Siang telah kencing di bawah tiang bendera Selangor yang terpacak di rumah menteri besar Selangor ketika itu, Harun Idris”. The photo and caption was posted in the album in the “Tanda Putera” Facebook titled “Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini” (Events depicted in this movie).

Shuhaimi’s explanation that the creators of the film had received many photographs from netizens which were shared on the Facebook page, including the offending picture, and that it was removed from the Facebook page after complaints were received about the photo, is neither credible nor acceptable.

This is because the defamatory and baseless allegation that I had urinated at the flagpole at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence, and provoked the May 13, 1969 riots, was made by Tanda Putera official Facebook page itself, and not a “shared information” from netizens – conveying the very clear impression that it was abstracted from the film proper itself.

Unless there is a satisfactory and adequate explanation or accounting for the defamatory reference featuring me in the Tanda Putera official Facebook page, I reserve the right to take legal action against such defamation.

It is most deplorable and reprehensible that Shuhaimi had taken almost four long weeks since the first publication by Malaysiakini of its report “New May 13 movie courts controversy” on 20th July 2012, to state that I am not even featured in the footage of the film – allowing the legion of UMNO/BN cybertroopers to escalate their campaign of downright lies and dangerous falsehoods based on the movie’s alleged “urination” episode to accuse me of provoking the May 13, 1969 riots although I had repeatedly explained that I was not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969.

I was in Sabah on July 20 on a three-day visit with DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng when Malaysiakini first carried the report on the May 13 film.

On the very same night at the DAP Inaman Sepanggar ceramah, I referred to the Malaysiakini report on the May 13 film and denied in the strongest possible terms:

* That I had “urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB’s Harun Idris’ house” as claimed by the movie’s earlier Facebook page;

* That I had provoked the May 13 riots as I was simply not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13 of 1969!

* Even the photograph that was used in the movie’s earlier Facebook page was not a photograph taken in 1969 but was from a different incident in Sabah 15 years later in 1984!

Yesterday, Shuhaimi said much research had gone into ensuring her film was historically accurate, such as studying documented materials and photographs to make sure the scenes were backed by historical facts. She referred to the NOC report and interviews with former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar.

Did the White Paper issued by the National Operations Council (NOC) on 9th October 1969 or the book by Tunku Abdul Rahman “May 13 – Before and After” or interviews with Hanif, who was the Special Branch officer attached to the NOC, or Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was then the secretary of NOC, produce any information on my urination at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s house or any such urination incident by anyone for that matter?

I have not seen the film “Tanda Putera” but from the trailer, legitimate questions are raised as to whether the film can lay claim to being “historically accurate” with reference to the May 13 riots.

For instance, there was a scene of a procession of participants carrying posters bearing Mao Tse Tung’s picture. Is this historically accurate when in 1969 it was an offence even possessing Mao’s books, let alone carrying Mao’s photograph poster?

Shuhaimi said that the controversial May 13 riot scene only lasts about 10 minutes of the 115-minute film, but she should know that any unfair and tendentious portrayal of the May 13 riots in these 10 minutes is not only capable of overshadowing the rest of the 105 minutes of the film, but have the disastrous effect of dividing instead of uniting Malaysians.

Do we want to continue to allow the May 13 past to haunt and divide Malaysians or do we want to move forward as one united people building a better and brighter future for all Malaysians, learning from the lessons of May 13?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Section 114A and Legal Presumptions–are they fair?

By art harun | ARTiculations

Many may not realise this but the law does make many presumptions about the subject matter of its governance, namely, us.

The most famous (infamous?) and perhaps harshest presumption that our law makes is in respect of drug trafficking. Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 stipulates that whoever is found guilty of drug trafficking shall be punished by death. Making things a lot easy for the prosecution is a legal presumption imposed by section 37 of that Act that any person who is found in possession of, among others, 15 grammes or more of heroin or morphine or 200 grammes or more of cannabis will be presumed to be a drug trafficker unless proven otherwise.

Without that legal presumption, the prosecution would, regardless of the quantity of the drug being in possession of the accused person, have to prove that he or she is a trafficker. That means, the prosecution would have to prove that the accused person has been doing any of the following acts, namely, “manufacturing, importing, exporting, keeping, concealing, buying, selling, giving, receiving, storing, administering, transporting, carrying, sending, delivering, procuring, supplying or distributing any dangerous drug otherwise than under the authority of the Act.” Only after those facts are proven by the prosecution beyond any reasonable doubt can the accused be said to be a trafficker and convicted accordingly.

In any prosecution, the general rule is that the prosecution has to prove the charge beyond reasonable doubt. That is premised upon the maxim that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Apart from that it is thought that the prosecution represents the State and the State has all the powers, investigative authorities and resources to prove a charge and thus it is only fair that the burden of proof be discharged by the State prosecutors.

However, taking the drug trafficking offence as an example, it is thought that securing a conviction would really be a difficult task if we were to follow the said general rule. Hence the presumption.

How does the presumption work, you may ask. In Court, in a drug trafficking case, the prosecution just needs to prove that the accused was caught having in his or her possession say, 18 grammes of heroin. That’s it. No further fact needs to be proven by the prosecution. Upon those facts being proven, the law presumes that the accused person is a trafficker. The burden of proof than shifts to the accused person to prove his innocence, namely that he is not a trafficker.

How does he do that? Well he could say he wasn’t in possession. Or he could say that the drug was not heroin. Or that the heroin found was less than 15 grammes. Or he could attempt to show that he is a hopeless drug addict who consumes 18 grammes of heroin in a week and he was just stockpiling! IT may work. It may not work. Either way, it is his duty to prove that he is not a trafficker. In other words, he is presumed guilty until he proves otherwise.

That is how it works.

There are many other instances where the laws make presumptions, rightly or wrongly. Fairly or unfairly. The most interesting legal presumption is contained in section 113 of the Evidence Act 1950. Hold on to your seat ladies. That section presumes that a boy of under 13 years of age is unable to commit rape. Unlike the drug trafficking presumption above, this presumption of inability to commit rape is irrebuttable. Meaning, that presumption cannot in any circumstances be denied.

So we go to Court. A slender 42 kg lady of say 18 years old, all of 5 ft 1 inch, describes to the Judge how this boy, of 12 years 10 months of age, 5 ft 5 inches, weighing 58 kgs pounced on her one night, with a knife in hand and started to molest her. She was powerless to defend herself. He just pinned her and slashed her hand in the process. Then he penetrated her. She fought. She has got all the bruises and swollen eyes to show. Medical reports show that she was indeed raped. There were scars and lacerations all over. Trace of the boy’s semen could be found in her vagina. DNA testing proves that the boy was the person who raped her. In fact there was a video recording of the whole act because unknown to the boy, the girl had managed to leave her iPhone camera switched on for the duration of the attack.

Guess what? That boy cannot be convicted. Period!

Now, if we talk about the mother of all draconian laws in Malaysia, the erstwhile Internal Security Act, things would even get murkier. All it needs for you to languish in Kamuntingville for at least 2 years (which may be extended for a further period of two years over and over again till Kingdom Come) is a certificate signed by the Home Minister saying that you are a threat to national security. That’s it. And BOOM, you are in Kamunting doing the squats. And Dr Mahathir has ensured that you will not be able to challenge that certificate no matter how unreasonable, unfair, untrue and un-halal that Minister’s certificate is by restricting the Court’s power to review that certificate. The law prescribed that the Court can only review procedural non-compliance. That’s all. Meaning the Court can only see whether your name is wrongly spelt and things like that.

Thank God Prime Minister Najib had opted to repeal the ISA. Of course Dr Mahathir now said that we need a strong government so that we can revive the ISA. Well, whatever it is, we shall presume that Dr Mahathir knows what he is talking about.

Apart from the above, there are many instances where the law presumes an intention to commit an offence.

Basically, in any crime, there are two elements, namely, the intention (in latin, the “mens rea”) and the act (in latin, the “actus reus”). Both elements must be proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. With either one, the charge is not proven and the accused cannot be found guilty.

However, there is a body of offences called “strict liability” offences. Here, the intention does not have to be proven.

For instance, when one is accused of being in possession of pornographic materials, the prosecution does not have to prove that he or she has the intention to possess pornographic material. All that is needed to be done is for the prosecution to show that the accused is in possession of the material in question and that would suffice. Why is it like that? Because if intention needs to be proven, the accused (in fact all accused persons) would just say they never knew the material was pornographic and therefore they never intended to commit that offence.

Beating the traffic light is another instance. The prosecution just needs to show that the accused had beaten the light. Then the laws presume that he or she had intended to do so. Without that presumption, no case would end in a conviction because all accused persons would just say that they never intended to beat the traffic light. They would say they accidentally step on the accelerator for example. Or that their brakes were not working. Things like that.

All these presumptions may sound unfair. However, in passing such laws, the Parliament has to balance the interest of the society as a whole, taking into account the mischiefs which the law seeks to prevent and its impact on the society if is effectively prevented against the interests and rights of the accused person. It is not an easy thing to do, achieving this balance. And sometimes, any decision which is made in this respect reeks of a certain level of arbitrariness, which is inevitable.

That brings us to the latest legal presumption which saw netizens being up in arms over the last few days culminating in an internet black-out day yesterday, namely, the presumptions raised by section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950.

This section was passed by the Parliament, quite in haste if I may say so, some weeks ago. No other than heavyweights from the ruling party itself, in the form of the UMNO Youth Chief, YB Khairy Jamaluddin and Supreme Council member, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Abdullah had asked for this piece of law be reviewed and reconsidered. The reaction for cyber-space was almost inevitable and it would be entirely superfluous for me to state it here.

After the black-out day yesterday, or rather during it, the Prime Minister apparently tweeted from London saying that he had asked the Cabinet to review the said section.

Section 114A provides:

“(1) A person whose name, photograph or pseudonym appears on any publication depicting himself as the owner, host, administrator, editor or sub-editor, or who in any manner facilitates to publish or re-publish the publication is presumed to have published or re-published the contents of the publication unless the contrary is proved.

(2) A person who is registered with a network service provider as a subscriber of a network service on which any publication originates from is presumed to be the person who published or re-published the publication unless the contrary is proved.

(3) Any person who has in his custody or control any computer on which any publication originates from is presumed to have published or re-published the content of the publication unless the contrary is proved.

(4) For the purpose of this section—

(a) “network service” and “network service provider” have the meaning assigned to them in section 6 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998[Act 588]; and

(b) “publication” means a statement or a representation, whether in written, printed, pictorial, film, graphical, acoustic or other form displayed on the screen of a computer.”

While admittedly, offences involving publications and re-publications of offensive materials on the internet are difficult to prove and that may necessitate a certain level of legal presumption of guilt in order to achieve the balance which I’d written about above, it is the width and breadth of this section as it is presently worded that makes the presumptions rather disconcerting, if not offensive and repugnant to freedom of speech and freedom and liberty.

Under sub-section (1), anybody could be presumed to have published or republished offensive materials just because his or her name or even pseudonym appears in any publication on the internet! Even more, if his or her photograph appears with the publication, which could also invite a charge and a presumption that he or she is guilty. So, imagine this. I decide to be naughty. I then publish an article which is seditious. I use your name and put your picture. That’s it. You are presumed guilty. And it is your duty to prove your innocence!

Sub-section 2 is even more worrying for those places with a shared network. I run an office for example. I have a network registered under my name. My staff uses the network to post some derogatory remark on a blog. I am presumed guilty. The same with those outlets which provide free wi-fi service.

The ridiculousness of sub-section 3 needs not be stated. I think everybody could see that sub-section 3 is so wide in its application that even internet café owners would now have to close down for fear of prosecution.

As I had stated earlier, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution and the State because the State is the one with the all the powers and investigative authorities and machineries. For the State to promulgate this kind of legal presumption gives new meaning to the word inefficiency and investigative disability.

By reversing the legal burden and shifting the burden of proving one’s innocence to him or herself, rather than discharging the burden of proof which should rightly rest with the State, the State is showing a wild disregard to its own function as a body with all the investigative authorities and powers.

If the State, with all its powers is unable to prove a charge without relying on a crutch in the form of a legal presumption, what makes the State think that the accused person, an individual, would be able to prove his or her innocence?

I have stated that in certain specific cases, legal presumptions may be a prudent way of prosecuting a criminal case in order to strike a balance between the interest of the society as a whole and the rights and interests of the accused person. However, section 114A is hardly a showcase for such balance.

The call by the Honourable Prime Minister for his colleagues to review section 114A could not thus come at more opportune a moment.

Monday, August 13, 2012

14/08/12 Internet Blackout Day

14/08/12 Internet Blackout Day

WHY? Learn more about Evidence Amendment Act Section 114A at stop114a

Join Us and Support Internet Blackout Day

Calling all netizens of Malaysia and the world.

Join Us and Support Internet Blackout Day

Learn more about Evidence Amendment Act Section 114A at stop114a

Take action and black out from the Internet - Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

We are the descendants and the inheritors, Nazri!

Today we may not be members of Umno, MCA or MIC but all of us are the legitimate descendants of that generation who played a significant role in the struggle for Independence, writes P Ramakrishnan.

It is a ridiculous to claim that only Umno. MCA and MIC have the right to decide the Merdeka Day theme because the founding members of these parties fought for and won Independence for the country.

This was stated by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz. It is well known that his forte is in making statements that have very little merit!

Every Malay, every Chinese and every Indian was not a member of these communal parties then. Is he trying to assert that without the support of the vast majority of these communities who were not members of these parties, Umno, MCA and MIC successfully negotiated with the British for our Independence?

Common sense will dictate that there was no need for them to be members of any political party to support a just cause. Just because they were not members of any political party at that time that did not invalidate their support and influence in the quest for our freedom. Without the tacit support of the majority of people who were not members of these political parties, we could not have attained our freedom.

These people may not have been members of political parties, but many of them were not just ordinary people. They too were involved in societies and welfare organizations and wanted Independence for our country. There were civil society groups and the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action (AMCJA), the Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) and the Persatuan Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya or PKMM – all involved in the fight for Independence. It was the sum total support of everyone that secured our freedom from colonial rule.

Today we may not be members of Umno, MCA or MIC but all of us are the legitimate descendants of that generation who played a significant role in the struggle for Independence. What was achieved then is also our heritage. This heritage is not the sole monopoly of Umno, MCA or MIC. All of us are inheritors of that heritage. Let this be not forgotten!

As citizens of Malaysia, we also have a right to be consulted and have the right to propose a theme for the Merdeka celebrations. To deny this responsibility – as the BN government is trying to do – is to display sheer arrogance of power and nothing else!

Thousands of Malaysians have rejected the theme and logo chosen by the BN government on the grounds that it smacks of Barisan Nasional’s political propaganda and it is absolutely unbecoming on this occasion. The Merdeka celebration must be above politics and must remain as a celebration that brings all the citizens together to rejoice in the memory of 31 August 1957.

But the BN government is being obstinate in wanting to go ahead with its decision for petty political reasons.

This is totally unnecessary. The BN’s stubbornness is alienating a sizeable number of Malaysians from jointly celebrating this auspicious occasion in the true spirit of Merdeka. That is a pity!

P Ramakrishnan, the immediate past president of Aliran, continues to serve on the Aliran executive committee.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lessons from the demonization of DAP ― Islamic Renaissance Front

What is more worrying is the attempt to promote the assumption that any wrongdoing by a Muslim is to be better than the righteousness of a non-Muslim. As Muslims, we have the duty to command good and forbid evil regardless of who does it.

The Malaysian Insider

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” ~ Malcolm X.

The Islamic Renaissance Front views the recent claims that voting for DAP is “haram”, with great concern and unease.

We believe that those claims are contrary to the spirit of Islam, which holds that a leader is not to be valued in terms his or her race or religion per se, but fundamentally by his or her character and commitment to upholding justice. A just non-Muslim is more worthy of being a leader than an unjust Muslim.

This notion is based on the one of most important principles in the religion of Islam that supporting a corrupt and despotic leader although he is of the same race and religion is tantamount to support injustice, when injustice is the main enemy of Islamic law.

The great Muslim reformer from Syria, Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi (1854–1902), held the opinion that since oppression and despotism are contrary to Islam, a just non-Muslim ruler is preferred to a tyrannical Muslim leader.

In particular, we find DAP’s vision of “Middle Malaysia”, wherein dignity, opportunity and prosperity is promised to all Malaysians regardless of ethnicity, gender and religion, wherein the welfare of the poor and oppressed are secured, as in no way in contradiction with Islam’s own aspirations for a just society in a modern globalized age.

On this matter, we echo the position of Tariq Ramadan who has insisted time and time again that the hudud penal code is not the be all end all measure of a Muslim’s faithfulness. Nor is the Islamic state the principle criteria to ensure the well-being of any society. Instead, the real challenge for Muslims today is pluralism: That is, how to live peacefully in a culturally complex and dynamic world that is ever-changing.

As Tariq Ramadan states it, Muslims must end their preoccupation with models and rules and focus on objectives and values of justice.

Lack of intellectual depth and originality

It is indeed a reflection of the sorry state of the contemporary Muslim mind that he must think of empowerment primarily in terms of punishment and state control. In the case of Malaysia, non-Muslims and non-Malays are often imagined to be at the receiving end of that fantasy.

What is more worrying is the attempt to promote the assumption that any wrongdoing by a Muslim is to be better than the righteousness of a non-Muslim. As Muslims, we have the duty to command good and forbid evil regardless of who does it.

What is tragically ironic about this campaign against DAP is that it is being spewed by members of a party whose own leader is busy talking about the importance of Wasatiyah or a moderate approach to religion. This also explains his ambivalence with regards to the hudud penal code or an Islamic state that has somehow been left unquestioned in these polemics.

The Prime Minister has gone on record to express his commitment to moderation, but while this has been done ostentatiously in front of the international press, it is deeply disappointing to see him utterly silent with regards to the extremism happening in his own country, propagated by sympathizers and members of his own party.

The sad example of iLMU

The so called religious scholars of iLMU, Umno’s official organisation of Islamic scholars, are one case in point. Fathul Bari Mat Jahaya has, unsurprisingly, stood in defence and further justification of Abdul Sa’amah’s initial position, claiming that DAP, because their position on Hudud, are unlike MCA.

The fact that MCA has on numerous occasions came out in opposition to the Hudud had somehow escaped Fahul Bari’s memory or attention. At best, he is ignorant of recent events in Malaysian current affairs. At worst, he is ignorant of BN’s electoral coalition strategy altogether, whereby because of Malaysia’s diverse demographics, Malays have no choice but to co-operate with non-Malays which has meant voting for Chinese candidates from an anti-hudud party like MCA.

The latter is perhaps more likely to be the case since several figures in iLMU have expressed their disdain for democracy altogether. In an op-ed in Utusan Malaysia earlier this year, Fathul Bari even tried, desperately and unsuccessfully one might add, to argue that the Prophet Muhammad himself was racist.

The hegemony of race and religion

The challenge of upholding democracy and justice in Malaysia begins with the fact that Malaysian society easily lends itself to the politicization of race and religion. We at the Islamic Renaissance Front believe that Malaysians will not see the true face of Islam flourish in their country if it will always be an ingredient to exploit racial sentiments.

Indeed, the undertones to the demonization of DAP that we are witnessing reflects just that: The use of religion to demonize a party whose majority of members are non-Malays. It is an old strategy in the fascist book of tricks: to dehumanize the other, to relegate and reduce their individuality into racial labels and to render their hopes, fears and vulnerabilities invisible; in other words, to oppress. What is worse, passages from the holy Quran are evoked in the process for justification.

The Islamic Renaissance Front once again calls for a civil political discourse, whereby issues of pressing importance are discussed in a calm, rational and dialogical manner, where compassion and empathy ― rather than the desire for power and competition ― reigns.

The conversation should proceed with an eye to ending oppression and finding a just solution for the happiness and prosperity of all.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

DAP stand that Malaysia is secular state with Islam as official religion is no different from that of first three Prime Ministers — Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein

By Lim Kit Siang

The DAP stand is clear and unequivocal from the very beginning, that we fully accept and respect the fundamental constitutional provision of Islam as the official religion while other religions can be practiced peacefully anywhere in the country.

I am really astounded to see the UMNO newspaper, Utusan Malaysia, continuing with its inflammatory, incendiary and seditious front-page headline campaign for the second consecutive day on “Haram Sokong DAP” for it is proof that there are UMNO leaders who have thrown caution and discretion to the winds as they are really desperate about UMNO’s ability to win the next general election by free and fair means.

Although Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak proclaimed 1Malaysia as his signature policy to create a nation where every Malaysian would regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, region and class second, UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders have tried their worst to divide Malaysians along race and religious lines.

MCA for instance had pulled out all stops to panic Malaysian Chinese to reject the DAP on the ground that the DAP is only a pawn of PAS, while UMNO had gone all out to urge Malay voters to reject PAS and PKR because both are stooges of DAP.

It is clear that these UMNO/BN lies, falsehoods and hypocrisies are not working, and Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, class, age or gender are rallying to the Pakatan Rakyat call for change to create an united, democratic, just, incorrupt, competitive, prosperous and progressive Malaysia that UMNO leaders have decided to plunge for the most divisive, incendiary and seditious racist and religious card with screaming front-page headlines for the second consecutive day in its “Haram Sokong DAP” campaign.

Yesterday, the front-page headline was “Haram Sokong DAP”. Today, it is “Lagi Seruan Tolak DAP”, even bringing out a state mufti to allegedly support its campaign in alleging that DAP is “kafir harbi”.

The DAP stand is clear and unequivocal from the very beginning, that we fully accept and respect the fundamental constitutional provision of Islam as the official religion while other religions can be practiced peacefully anywhere in the country.

The stand that has been taken by the DAP, that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion, is the same and consistent with the public positions taken by the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein.

Is Utusan Malaysia, the UMNO newspaper, now suggesting that the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia were enemies of Islam to the extent that the term “kafir harbi” could be used in its seditious campaign to falsely paint DAP as anti-Islam?

Here let me remind the UMNO leaders and Utusan editors what the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Cairo last year: “To Egyptians who view secularism as removing religion from the state, or as an infidel state, I say you are mistaken…It means respect to all religions.”

The Utusan Malaysia campaign against the DAP is not only inflammatory and incendiary, but an anti-national and criminal act of sedition, as it falsely accused the DAP as an enemy of Islam and opposing Article 3 of the Malaysian Constitution on Islam as the official religion of the country.

Police reports have been lodged in Penang, Perak and Negri Sembilan today against the Utusan Malaysia for its inflammatory, incendiary and seditious campaign which are calculated to foment racial ill-will, religious hatred as well as undermine national unity.

If this incendiary, inflammatory and seditious Utusan Malaysia campaign is allowed to continue unchecked, then the first casualties will be Najib’s 1Malaysia policy slogan and the 55th National Day/49th Malaysia Day celebrations, which will be rendered a completely hollow and meaningless national occasion.

Janji Bersih at Dataran Merdeka

By K Pragalath | FMT

Election watch dog Bersih 2.0 has joined this year’s 55th Merdeka celebrations with a Merdeka countdown gathering themed, “Bersih’s Promise”.

“We have heard ‘many promises’ for the celebrations, but we do know that Malaysians want free and fair elections,” National Laureate A Samad Said told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here today on behalf of 26 civil society organisations.

The term “many promises” refers to Barisan Nasional’s Merdeka theme, “Promises Fulfilled”.

“To celebrate our theme, Bersih’s Promise, we invite all Malaysians to gather at the Dataran Merdeka fountain on Aug 30 at 10pm in yellow,” said Samad.

He added that the event was being held to tell the public Bersih’s eight demands for electoral reform.

“Bersih is now in an unclear position as it is disturbed by the government. We need to grow and inform the public,” said Samad.

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) chief Badrulamin Shaharin, otherwise known as Chegu Bard, said the celebration is vital because it was time to counter the government’s “Promises Fulfilled” theme.

“They claim promises fulfilled but they never fulfilled promises for free and fair elections,” said Chegu Bard.

He also dismissed the necessity to apply for a permit for a gathering.

‘It’s not a demonstration’

Elaborating further, Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah reminded all that the gathering is a celebration.

“It is just a celebration with fellow Malaysians, not a demonstrations.” said Maria in hwe capacity as Empower Malaysia executive director.

She was also asked to comment on Election Commission’s statement last month that the eight demands have been met.

Among Bersih’s eight demands are electoral roll clean-up, equal media access, air time for all political parties and usage of indelible ink.

“We don’t know whether advanced voters who would be marked and who would vote three days ahead would be able to vote again.

“We need air time to allow candidates to say what they can do for the nation, not read out manifestos.”

Meanwhile, social activist Hishammuddin Rais described the gathering as an opportunity for the people to reclaim the right to celebrate Merdeka.

“We are reclaiming the people’s right to celebrate with the theme [Bersih's Promise] and yellow colour.”

A total of 26 organisations has endorsed this countdown event.

Among them are SAMM and National Ex- Army Veterans Welfare Network (Kerabat).

The whistleblower law is just hot air

By Eric Paulsen | FMT

The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) is a lot of hot air simply because it is one of those false progressive laws (like the Peaceful Assembly Act and the Security Offences [Special Measures] Act) that the Najib administration is good at doing but does not bear out upon closer scrutiny – a false democratic rebranding exercise devoid of substance and merit.

The WPA is rendered virtually ineffective and meaningless by at least three highly questionable provisions that are incompatible with the purpose of enacting such a law in the first place (i.e. to combat corruption and wrongdoings by facilitating disclosures and to protect whistleblowers) and the standard provisions in other countries with proper whistleblower protection framework.

First, according to the proviso in Section 6 (1) of the WPA, the disclosure will not fall under its protection if the disclosure is prohibited by any written law, in Rafizi Ramli, PKR strategic director and Johari Osman, former Public Bank clerk case, the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) that prohibits unauthorised disclosures, and in many other cases, the bête noire of whistleblowers – the Officials Secrets Act that confers absolute discretion to the relevant authorities to classify any official document as “official secret” that cannot be questioned in court even though it may not be a secret or security risk and its exposure is in the public interest.

Second, Section 11 (1) (d) of the WPA states that the whistleblower protection conferred can be revoked if the “disclosure of improper conduct principally involves questioning the merits of government policy, including policy of a public body” – surely a preposterous and an “unclear of the concept” provision, as in most cases of serious or systemic wrongdoings of public bodies, this will involve questioning the merits of government and public body policy.

Third, Section 8 of the WPA further criminalises the whistleblower if he were to divulge the wrongdoing to another party (including to the press or members of Parliament) once he has invoked the “protection” of the Act – an offence punishable with a fine up to RM50,000 and/or imprisonment up to ten years.

Applying these oppressive provisions to Rafizi and Johari, do we for a moment think that the NFC scandal would have been exposed leading its chairman Mohd Salleh Ismail, husband of Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, former minister of women, family and community development to be charged for criminal breach of trust?

If both of them had gone to the MACC and invoke the WPA procedure, do we really think the MACC and AG’s Chambers would all of a sudden become independent and competent and swoop down on the NFC? Would the culture of secrecy, lack of transparency and accountability, let’s protect the rich, powerful and well-connected suddenly disappear?

Absolutely not.

Whistleblowers in dilemma

Rafizi and Johari would still have been shot like all messengers bearing bad news, just like many others before them who had exposed government-linked corruption and wrongdoings.

How else would corruption, criminal breach of trust, money laundering and tax evasion be exposed if not through banking details? Their prosecution is absolute proof the AG’s Chambers remains highly politicised and bias as their disclosure had exposed a serious criminal offence which should override any confidentiality provisions, including the BAFIA.

Let us be clear, without any media and public pressure, the whole NFC scandal would simply have been hushed up.

The investigating and prosecuting authorities would have blocked the NFC scandal and may well say the disclosure breaches BAFIA and therefore could not properly be considered whistleblowing under the WPA.

If both of them persisted, the authorities may even threaten them with criminal prosecution, and in the end, nothing would have been exposed and no one brought to account.

Or even if the disclosure amounted to whistleblowing under the WPA, the authorities may decide to revoke the protection conferred as the disclosure had involved questioning the merits of government policy and both can then be subjected to reprisal including civil and criminal actions.

And finally, they would be trapped as once the WPA was invoked, they could not now speak to the press or members of Parliament even in good faith as they may then be jailed or fined for breaching the protection of “confidential information” that they have disclosed in the first place.

The WPA is clearly not a proper whistleblower protection law enacted to serve the public interest or to combat corruption. It is designed to place potential whistleblowers in a dilemma, to pressure them to go through a false whistleblower protection procedure where very little will be done, and more importantly, to stop them from going to the press and opposition politicians.

Eric Paulsen is co-founder and adviser to Lawyers for Liberty, a human rights and law reform organisation.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Poll: Do you agree it is Haram to support UMNO

Do you agree it is Haram to support UMNO
Nothing to do with political parties
Create your own poll
Utusan Malaysia front-page headline “Haram sokong DAP”. My take in this poll is not to argue over religion but whether UMNO can be categorized in the same way

Haraam (Arabic: حَرَام‎ ḥarām) is an Arabic term meaning "sinful". In Islam it is used to refer to any act that displeases or angers Allah (God) Wikipedia

You can read Utusan reasoning in English here

Is Umno practicing what it preaches all the way with regards to haram or halal in their messages, duty as a government and in treating all the various races and religions in the country?

I will just quote one thing that for sure is haram not only to Islam but all other religions.

Haram also applies to ill-gotten wealth obtained through sin. Examples include money earned through cheating, stealing, corruption, murder and Interest or any means that involves harm to another human being. It is prohibited in Islam for a Muslim to profit from such Haraam actions. Any believer who benefits from or lives off wealth obtained through Haram is a sinner.

Before taking the poll, think over carefully what umno has been doing, the rights and wrongs to justify whether it is haram to support umno.

Poll: Do you agree it is Haram to support UMNO :



Nothing to do with political parties

Umno is indeed ROTTEN to the core: Demonising the Chinese to the Malays

By Mohd Ariff Sabri | Malaysia Chronicle

When the Umno member cannot answer in a civilised manner, he will react in the most ill-mannered way. He will react like how the least educated and ill-bred folks do. Lashing out vulgarities and letting out the most contemptible of remarks feeling hapless when the lies and shams of his leaders are exposed.

Or they will use reverse psychology. Would I be willing to allow DAP to dominate the federal government? Doesn’t that amount to treachery against the Malays?

We won’t dignify such remark by having to explain ourselves. Suffice to say, that could only be if Malay members of parliament within the PR are chopped liver and are of half-past-six quality like Umno MPs. The Umno MP who will lose will be replaced by more capable Malay.

So many capable Malays who won't even think of joining Umno

There are so many capable Malays who are not Umno. The paranoia Umno has is to imagine Umno is Malay and Malay is Umno. It’s no longer that way and this is case of Umno not able to accept rejection. Umno is rejected all around.

Umno MPs have been cavorting with rich Chinese towkays all the time. Now, while they romp around with Chinese towkays selling out the Malays, Umno is asking the ordinary Malays to fight with non-Malays. What does that make Umno? It makes an Umno that has become an expert in running with the hare while hunting with the dogs.

Umno’s longevity and credibility sadly rests on the support of exactly this kind of unfortunate creatures. As long as they are kept that way Umno is safe. It’s in Umno interest to have as many Malays ignorant and feeling insecure. Umno’s principal interest is to ensure Malays remain stupid and dependent on them. Najib Razak’s transformation programmes depend on such kind of people.

The only logical way Umno can sustain itself then is cultivate as long as possible, the Umno ethos. And what is the Umno ethos? It’s the culture more in line with the beasts in the jungle — where might is right and the herd instinct. Power in the hand of Umno becomes a dangerous tool and so Umno becomes a menace to everyone, especially the Malays.

Even to the extent of the Merdeka theme

Because of that ethos, you find Ahmad Maslan, the Umno information chief, declaring that the theme of OUR Merdeka is for Umno to define. You also get to hear Rais Yatim condescendingly talk to everyone not to dismiss our Merdeka despite difference of opinions. Our Merdeka is not for Umno to own and who is Rais to make light of others unlike him who are equally patriotic when it comes to Merdeka?

As to Ahmad Maslan, we will let him be minister in Sungai Buloh soon where the majority of Umno members will hold their AGM in the very near future.

We like it that Umno remains unchanging while the rest of society moves forward. It will become extinct because the Umno ethos prevents it from adapting.

Umno must be ready to accept that not all Malays subscribe to its struggle and agenda. Umno has simply gone rogue and doesn’t deserve allegiance and loyalty by the majority of Malays. It’s the mark of the highest self-righteousness for any Umno leader and its supporters to describe Umno’s struggle as sacred while that of others, profane. That’s the Umno arrogance.

No leaders of substance

Once defeated, Umno will take a long time to recover because it simply does not have leadership of substance. Its members seem to be united more because of their herd instincts of needing to be just together in order to have safety in numbers.

They are not in Umno as a result of the strength of their convictions. As long as Umno can maintain a near monopoly on defining what being a Malay means, then it can sustain itself.

Once its grip on the monopoly of defining being Malay is loosened or the myth that Umno represents Malay is debunked, Umno itself is broken. The end is inevitable because Umno has failed to adapt to new expectations.

Whatever the Umno struggle is, it’s inconsequential to those who refuse to accept Umno’s hegemony. The Malay, who objects to Umno ways, is aware that he is no less Malay, nor a lesser Muslim than the Umno member. Umno can’t expect people to take it lying down its lies and deceptions.

In response to the video clip below, we shall expose the fallacies and lies that Umno is trying to perpetrate. Why is Umno resurrecting the ghosts of racial clashes past? Because it proves that Umno can only sustain itself if it can continuously feed on the natural mistrust between people of different religion, culture and history. It survives by playing up the primal fears of the entrapped Malay with his unleavened prejudices and all that.

As long as Umno can put a wedge in between the races in Malaysia, it can live on. Deny and reject Umno’s racist solution, it dies a premature death. The best way to handle Umno’s racist solution is for all the anti Umno/BN forces to stand united and ignore Umno’s provocations.

BM version click here Benarlah UMNO itu sudah rotten to the Core

Monday, August 6, 2012

The tyranny of the Umno media

By Sakmongkol AK47 | TMI

I haven’t watched TV3 for a very long time. During the weekend I found myself without my laptop and I don’t own any iPad either. So with nothing to do, I found myself having to watch the propaganda mouthpiece of the Umno/BN government.

What I saw confirmed what I have been saying for a long time. It’s a one-sided communication means whereby the government of the day, because it can, by virtue of controlling the federal government, spread lies and deliberate disinformation and cuckold the minds of the public.

Immediately you are bombarded with what Umno and BN is doing. It is clear Umno/BN does not want an enlightened and informed public. What it wants is to glorify what little achievements the PM accomplished —distributing zakat from the bank the government owns (meaning if PR wins, it can do the same), frying murtabak here and distributing the delicacy to seemingly starving people. Are we not ashamed to see so many people are poor in the PM’s backyard and then we are subjected to his hypocritical speech about what Allah likes and doesn’t like. It is just an elaborate PR exercise extolling the form rather than substance.

Saturday night’s news carried the plan by the Umno government to form a commission for the payment of royalty to the east coast states. Terengganu has already received its royalty payments on the quiet side. It’s vested in the hands of the local kingpin Mat Said. So the inclusion of Terengganu is just window dressing.

When Idris Jusoh was MB, the federal government insulted the Terengganu people, imputing they don’t know how to manage the oil money by allowing Patrick Lim to decide where the money should be applied. So the federal government conspired with crony capitalists in building the facilities for the Monsoon Cup which do not benefit the Terengganu people. They built mosques in nowhere places and constructed whatever structures that can absorb the oil money which ended up in the hands of business cronies.

It’s the same wine in a new bottle. Mat Said now controls the petroleum ringgit and he determines how it is applied. So he builds the near RM100 million zoo somewhere in Kemaman.

Truly, Terengganu typifies what has been described as the curse of oil money. Oil was discovered in the 1970s in Terengganu but the state has one of the highest incidence of poverty.

Umno politicians are truly two-faced shameless liars. It has always been a legal issue and the issue of what rightly belongs to people. It has always been a legal issue concerning the right of a signatory to the PDA. The one who has been politicising the issue has been Umno and BN.

Umno is lying to the Malays of Kelantan. It claims it fights for Malays; so my question is why is Umno discriminating against the Kelantan Malays who form probably 98 per cent of the population in Kelantan? The distribution of BR1M of RM500 is an insult to the Kelantanese, when in the same breath they are denied the receipt of oil royalty. It’s a straightforward case of a legal entitlement. Kelantan is entitled to the receipt of 5 per cent royalty simpliciter without having to bear any other qualifications.

What is strange is the inclusion of my home state in the equation. How does Pahang find itself as a potential recipient of oil royalty? If the state has oil, why has it been concealed from the rakyat? Is Pahang entitled to oil royalties but because of the rapacious greed of some quarters, Tun Razak decided to withhold the bounty from Pahang because he feared the state will be robbed?

If it qualifies as a recipient, the money is better committed to a Pahang sovereign fund to prevent irresponsible and profligate applications of the oil money. I am not confident to vest the money into the hands of legislators who year after year justify Pahang’s deficit spending as a result of the state government spending on poor people. My former colleagues in Umno especially were quick to use this kind of banal reasoning when justifying the perpetual budget deficits of the state. During my stint as BN legislator I have always decried the budget deficits, fearing that they could be concealing wastage and financial indiscipline. About the need to help the needy, the aged and the infirm, no one in his or her right mind has any objections.

So Umno doesn’t have to be a farce about giving the oil royalty which is a legal entitlement. How come the government, instead of spending public money on a RCI or whatever, NOT ask the person who signed the agreement — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah — to state whether Kelantan or any other signatory to the agreement is indeed entitled? Please spare the Malaysian public the ignominy of having to put up with your hypocrisy.

The other piece of unworthy news was the small demonstration by a group of just about 20 people, lamenting the Penang government’s decision to develop a 0.5-hectare plot of land into a private hospital and other facilities instead of housing for the poor.

How come TV3 gave extensive coverage to Gerakan and pro-BN spokespersons? Why was the government scared of providing a balanced view by inviting spokespersons from the Penang government to answer the allegations thrown at it? You are attacking a person without giving him a chance to defend himself.

The truth of the matter is perhaps the Penang government, in its pro-rakyat stand, has set aside a far larger piece of land to build public housing for the people. On a one-acre-plus plot, how many houses can be built? Not more than 20 units?

The Umno government is subjecting the people to daily lies and grossly one-sided views. Free the people from this tyranny by giving them a right to fair reporting. We must not put up with the mind-enslaving tyranny any longer. —

Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).


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