Rabu, 5 Jun 2013

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Tanda Putera, Truth and Reconciliation

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 12:53 PM PDT


Of course it is a film maker's right to make a film. It is her right to freedom of expression. But this film happens to be financed by the official FINAS, ie. with tax payers' money! It is amazing the gall and presumptuousness of UMNO to use public resources to finance projects such as this and even institutions such as UiTM that are blatantly racially discriminatory. 

Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser

Tanda Putera, the film that was not considered fit for general release (in case there was a backlash from Chinese voters?) before the recent general election is soon to be shown in a cinema near you. Obviously, as the official reasoning probably goes, after the "Chinese tsunami" BN couldn't go any lower in terms of Chinese votes!

The government would be wise to ask: Is it a step forward for Malaysians to gain access to the truth about the May 13 bloodshed and take us on the road to reconciliation as the prime minister had vowed soon after the recent general election? I think not. Does the film call for forgiveness, for generosity of spirit or does it allow old wounds to fester?

Of course it is a film maker's right to make a film. It is her right to freedom of expression. But this film happens to be financed by the official FINAS, ie. with tax payers' money! It is amazing the gall and presumptuousness of UMNO to use public resources to finance projects such as this and even institutions such as UiTM that are blatantly racially discriminatory.

Not surprisingly, the director of TP has fallen in with the "official" version that the May 13 Incident was a "spontaneous outbreak" of violence between "the Malays" and "the Chinese" after "the Malays" were supposedly provoked by "the Chinese". This conclusion is based on interviews with the director of TP in the online media. In this official rendition, the victory parade by the Opposition parties in 1969 is often portrayed as having been conflated with an earlier demonstration by the Labour Party calling for a boycott of the 1969 general election because of the pre-election incarceration of practically all their leaders under the ISA.

The underlying justification for the pogrom is that the Chinese victims got what was coming to them through their "insensitivity" to "Malay feelings". And since then, this fascist threat has been raised every time the non-Malays demand civil rights or openly support the opposition coalition. The recent warning about a "Malay backlash" to the so-called "Chinese tsunami" by a former Appeal Court judge is symptomatic of this fascist mode of thinking.

TRUTH # 1: Were these parades so provocative that they were the trigger for the pogrom? 

From the declassified documents at the British Archives that I researched, they were not. The British were more likely to be pro-Alliance rather than pro-Opposition since after all, the Alliance leaders were the local custodians of British interests in the post-Independent Malaysia. But perhaps the director of TP or UMNO has other more credible evidence from our local sources to prove my evidence wrong. Let a Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) investigate.

TRUTH # 2: Was May 13 in fact orchestrated by those elements within UMNO to overthrow the Tunku and to serve their own agenda as the new ruling class of Malaysia?

This theory is by no means exclusive to me and recently more disaffected UMNO leaders have come out to support this account. Again, a TRC can subpoena many of the actors, such as Dr Mahathir, who are still alive today. Unfortunately, others such as the former Mentri Besar of Selangor, Dato Harun Idris and the former Home Minister, Ghazali Shafie are no longer around but their families and other contemporaries may know the true story.

TRUTH # 3: How many and who were the victims of the May 13 pogrom?

We owe it to those who perished during the pogrom to at least register their unfortunate demise and grant some reparation to their loved ones. Is there any truth to the stories about mass graves in Sungai Buluh? There are other stories about corpses being tarred to conceal their ethnic identities. If these stories are true, their bodies should be exhumed and identified and the cause of death determined. These are facts that a Truth & Reconciliation Commission can uncover about events at that time through listening to testimonies from victims' families and friends; doctors and nurses on duty in the hospitals; Red Cross staff who played an important role then; policemen and soldiers on duty; politicians and journalists who covered the event, and of course our ubiquitous Special Branch. Public institutions such as hospitals, the police and special branch should be made to open their files to the TRC.


May 13 Truth & Reconciliation Commission

If the prime minister is truly interested in reconciliation after the GE13 as he has pledged, releasing TP is unlikely to produce the desired effect. I will proffer an unreserved apology if I am proven wrong…

Compared to South Africa's acrimonious and long saga of apartheid rule, Malaysia's "May 13 Incident" will not incur the time and efforts that South Africa's Truth & Reconciliation Commission went through.

South Africa's TRC was established by the new South African government in 1995 to help bring about a reconciliation of its people by uncovering the truth about human rights violations that had occurred during the period of apartheid. Its emphasis was on getting to the truth and not on prosecuting individuals for past crimes. The commission was open to the public and allowed victims or their loved ones to tell their story. These documented accounts then became public record, which helps deter the possibility of any denial of the history.

The South African TRC was set up through the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No. 34 of 1995 and hearings started in 1996. The mandate of the commission was to bear witness to, record and in some cases grant amnesty to the perpetrators of crimes relating to human rights violations, as well as reparation and rehabilitation. The TRC had a number of high profile members with moral authority; its chairperson was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The South African TRC heard cases of some twenty thousand people who had suffered gross human rights violations in the period between 1960 and their first democratic election.

Isn't it time for a "May 13 TRC" to finally put to rest the ghost of May 13, to record our real history and to bring about meaningful reconciliation of our peoples once and for all?

The spontaneous response from ex-special branch and other retired personnel as well as victims' family members at the launch of my book in 2007 demonstrates amply that there are many people from all angles, yearning to have their stories told and heard. Can we deny these now aging participants in the actual May 13th tragedy an opportunity to do so?

It is time Malaysians face up to our real history and to understand that:

"If we do not confront the past, we will not be able to move into the future…"

Kisah Safwan Anang Dalam Penjara Sungai Buluh

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 12:09 PM PDT



Terlalu banyak cerita yang nak dikongsikan sepanjang aku di Sg Buloh. Patutlah bila ditanya kepada bekas tahanan ISA, setiap hari dalam tahanan pasti ada cerita baru..sedangkan aku hanya berada di sana selama 3 hari 2 malam. Cabaran aku sebenarnya telah bermula sebaik sahaja mengambil keputusan supaya tidak dijamin…lawyer cuba pujuk, tapi aku nekad untuk teruskan niat protes…Sudah kali keempat aku ditahan, tapi belum pernah bermalam di lokap mahupun penjara.

Setelah 4 orang diikat jamin, tinggal lah aku seorang diri di dalam lokap mahkamah Duta..kemudian dipindahkan bersama 35 banduan lain yang telah selesai perbicaraan dan akan dibawa kembali ke penjara Sg Buloh. Lokap cukup bising dan ditambah dengan bau yang meloyakan. Aku dilihat seperti orang asing, sorang-sorang datang berjumpa bertanyakan " Kau ni kes apa? Seksyen berapa? ".

Apa yang sudah menjadi kebiasaan banduan ni adalah menghafal seksyen-seksyen yang berkaitan dengan kes mereka. Sorang ni cakap aku 39 (B) (kes dadah), aku ni pulak seksyen 9 (kes senjata api), yang sorang ni pulak seksyen 302 (kes bunuh), seksyen 376 (kes rogol) dan seksyen bla bla bla. Sekali aku pun menjawab, " Aku seksyen 4 Akta Hasutan ". Hah??? Semuanya ternganga mulut bila aku sebut kes yang aku dituduh. Tak pernah dengar pun! Aku hanya mampu tersenyum, nanti lah aku cerita panjang.

Datang sorang brader ni duduk sebelah aku, kepala masih botak licin dan hanya sikit je rambut yang baru tumbuh. (seperti orang baru). Aku beranikan diri bertanyakan soalan kepadanya dulu sebelum dia mula bertanya. "Abang ni baru lagi ke duk lokap penjara? Dia jawab, baru jugak lah. Ni dah hari ke-90. Terkejut aku dibuatnya, hari ke-90 pun masih dikira baru. Tapi aku nak tanye kau satu soalan ni, " Siapa ketua polis negara sekarang ni? Aku dengar-dengar dah tukar..Ya bang, dah tukar. Dulu Ismail Omar, sekarang Khalid Abu Bakar. Brader tu seolah-olah terkejut dan mengeluh, "Alamak, susah la aku macam ni.." (Agaknya brader tu tahu macam mana perangai KPN baru kot) Soalan kedua yang ditanya, PRU13 baru ni sape menang ye? lagi terkejut aku dibuatnya. (dan baru aku tahu betapa sengsaranya banduan, berita luar langsung tak tahu).

Datang pulak sorang brader terus menunjukkan lagak sebagai orang lama, dan kononnya niat hanya membantu. " Kau ni masuk dalam penjara nanti, kau duduk la dengan kami..selamat sikit kau ni, kalau tak nanti kau kena buli..(dalam hati, boleh percaya ke mamat ni) Aku jawab, ok ok.. Kau ada duit tak? Nanti nak beli rokok ke, roti ke, air minuman ke, aku boleh tolong dapatkan..Nah, aku dah agak tu point sebenarnya. Aku hanya tersengih dan jawab, " Mana ada duit bang, dalam dompet ni ada la dua ringgit..aku dah agak diorang ni memang nak "pau" duit.

Lepas aku kena, yang lain pun turut kena "pau". Ada yang bagi dan ada yang tak bagi. Lepas diorang dapat duit tu, diorang gulung jadi kecik dan diorang bungkus ketat-ketat dalam cebisan plastik roti Gardenia supaya betul-betul mampat. Kemudian (aku terpaksa cerita realiti), salah seorang dari banduan memasukkan apa yang di istilahkan di penjara sebagai "roket" ke dalam dubur. Itulah yang dinamakan proses penyeludupan di penjara. Hanya mahkamah tempat mereka boleh seludup, kalau penjara terlalu sukar. Sebab itu ramai dari banduan ternanti-nanti sekiranya mereka akan dibawa ke mahkamah, ia boleh diibaratkan sebuah percutian setelah lama merengkok di Sg Buloh.

Dan mereka akan menggunakan duit tersebut untuk berurusan di penjara kelak. Aku dapat mengagak sebab pernah dengar cerita-cerita sebelum ni. Kali ni aku lihat dengan mata kepala sendiri! Apalah nasib aku nanti kat penjara, dalam lokap mahkamah pun dah jadi macam-macam. Hampir jam 4 petang, aku masih belum solat zohor dek kerana urusan yang terlampau birokrasi. Aku buat keputusan, biarlah aku solat dalam lokap ni sahaja walaupun berbau air kencing yang teramat sangat. Perangai banduan, faham saja lah bagaimana. Aku ambil wudhu dan terus ambil penjuru hujung lokap yang padat dengan banduan. Sejurus aku mengangkat takbir, seorang konstabel polis menjerit, " Nanti !!. ni ambik sejadah ". Mujurlah, aku ingatkan masih tak dibenarkan solat tadi.

Usai aku solat, rupanya 4 ke 5 orang sedang menantikan aku habis solat untuk bergilir-gilir menunaikan solat Zohor kerana waktu sudah hampir tamat. Dalam hati terdetik, alhamdulillah..satu dakwah aku buat mereka..aku mulakan, dan mereka terus mengikut…

Hampir jam 5 petang barulah selesai semua urusan di mahkamah..dan aku dengan 35 banduan disumbat-sumbat sehingga muat ke dalam black maria untuk dibawa ke penjara Sg Buloh. Semua terpaksa berhimpit-himpit dengan gari yang berantai. Kesian betul aku pada seorang banduan yang aku rasa sudah warga emas (kantoi kes dadah) terpaksa berhimpit dan kadang-kadang aku tengok sehingga sesak nafas. Inilah nasib banduan rupanya.

Kami diiringi dua kereta peronda polis dan aku agak hanya lebih kurang 30 minit kami sudah tiba di penjara Sg Buloh.(memandangkan aku selalu ulang-alik ke rumah isteriku di Sg Buloh) Mana tidaknya, kami semua dah macam ikan sardin disumbat dalam black maria dan di bawa pecut laju semahunya. Tak kira lubang jalan ke, selekoh ke redah saja. Nasib kami aku lah. Aku hanya mampu berzikir dalam hati "cukuplah Allah sebaik-baik pelindung".

Sesampainya kami di Penjara Sg Buloh, semua bergegas turun. Kedengaran laungan dari jauh, " Wei, cepatlah sikit ". Brader sebelah aku cakap, " Ha, cikgu sudah datang ". Baru aku tahu. Oh itulah istilah mereka untuk pegawai penjara. Mereka semua dipanggil 'Cikgu'. Dan ada yang satu lagi dipanggil U.K.P. (nanti aku cerita) Mereka ini lagi digeruni daripada cikgu-cikgu.

Kami semua diminta beratur dihadapan sebuah pintu besi yang berwarna hijau. Semua banduan baru termasuk aku hanya diam membisu menantikan apa yang ada di sebalik pintu besi ini. Kemudian kami diminta masuk dengan pantas setelah pintu dibuka. Aku agak pintu itu setebal 6 ke 7 inci tebalnya. Cukup kukuh dan menggerunkan! Bermulalah kehidupan aku di penjara Sg Buloh…

Read more at: 

Bahagian 2: http://wasiatpejuang.blogspot.com/2013/06/kisah-safwan-anang-dalam-penjara-sungai.html?m=1

Bahagian 3: http://wasiatpejuang.blogspot.com/2013/06/realiti-seorang-banduan-di-penjara-sg.html?m=1 


Should we bother trying to change our opponents’ hearts?

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 12:01 PM PDT


When activists' lives are on the line, attention to detail can make the difference between a beating and killing. Here's a sample of racist imagery: "Black men carry razors and knives" and "demonstrators are riff-raff with nothing better to do." Before confrontations the black students dressed in shirts and ties, carried their schoolbooks, and left their knives at home. 

George Lakey, Waging Non-Violence 

The track record of wins for campaigns that use nonviolent direct action continues to grow. More activists around the world at this very moment are planning and carrying out campaigns than anyone can count.

The Global Nonviolent Action Database includes accounts of over 800 campaigns; researchers rate each on a scale of 0 to 10 to estimate its degree of success in achieving its goals. Many of the campaigns score 10, some score 0 and most fall in between. Today's activists are bound to wonder: when campaigns win, how do they do it?

Mechanisms of change

When I tackled this question in graduate school in the 1960s, I noticed that movements' pathways to success are different. So I focused on these differences to identify mechanisms for achieving success.

Gandhi sometimes said that his aim was to convince the opponent that the campaigners were correct. I used Gandhi's word and called that mechanism conversion. One success happened when lower caste Hindus rebelled because they weren't allowed on a temple road used by upper caste Hindus. The dalits were said to make the road unclean simply by using it.

Gandhi encouraged them to take direct action, and they occupied the temple road even when the monsoon flooded the road and they had to stand in water up to their waists. After a year the police took down the barricade preventing the dalits from proceeding on the road. But the campaigners decided to go for conversion, and they continued their vigil for four more months until the upper caste Hindus were convinced that the dalits were right.

As I searched through other cases, however, conversion seemed very rare, and Gandhi himself eventually dropped the conversion pathway when facing the British Empire. "England will never make any real advance so as to satisfy India's aspirations till she is forced to it," he said. "British rule is no philanthropic job, it is a terribly earnest business proposition worked out from day to day with deadly precision. The coating of benevolence that is periodically given to it merely prolongs the agony."

England must be "forced," Gandhi said — the mechanism of coercion. When we coerce we force a change against the will of the opponent, who still disagrees with us about the issue but must give in anyway.

We find this mechanism in the dozens of cases in the database where dictatorships are overthrown nonviolently. The shah of Iran in 1979 remained as fascistic and bloody-minded as ever, but he got on the plane to the United States because his people had shown they would no longer be governed by him.

So far, so good — conversion and coercion, two mechanisms very different from each other. But additional campaigns I was running into didn't use either of these mechanisms. The people weren't willing to wait until the opponent finally converted to their point of view, nor could they always mount such massive noncooperation as to be able to coerce.

I then identified a third mechanism, persuasion. Gene Sharp, when he drew from my work for his foundational book The Politics of Nonviolent Action, expanded the description of that mechanism into accommodation: The opponent realizes that yielding to the demands of the campaigners is the best thing to do under the circumstances, even though not actually forced to do so. In his later work Gene addeddisintegration, to identify regimes or opponents that actually dissolve under the impact of the campaign. That brought us to four pathways to success: conversion, coercion, accommodation and disintegration.

The mechanism more available to most of us

I was especially curious about the aspect of accommodation that I called persuasion, because so many winning campaigns have achieved this, and yet it seemed to me fairly tricky. It's available to the labor movement, although labor is presently growing weaker in many countries, and to activists of many kinds. This is the pathway by which the opponent still has the means to maintain the oppressive policy and still believes in it — austerity or fossil fuels would be current examples of that situation — only to later shift once there is no longer the willingness to keep the machinery of punishment going that's needed to continue the injustice.

Read more at: http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/should-we-bother-trying-to-change-our-opponents-hearts/ 

Malaysia’s constant ‘blackouts’

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 11:55 AM PDT


"I believe that the Najib government is rather weak and vulnerable. He cannot withstand both internal and external pressure for too long. Some sort of concession will have to be given." 

Kirsten Han, Waging Non-Violence 

Less than a year after Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that he wouldrepeal the country's Sedition Act — a law that curbs free speech — the state is using it to arrest and charge members and supporters of the opposition.

Still, this is doing little to deter activists, opposition supporters and citizens who continue to turn up in droves to protest against electoral fraud. Nine rallies — part of a series known as Blackout 505 — have already been organized, the last one having gone ahead on May 25 despite a government clampdown.

Malaysia's political activists have been out in full force since the general election in early May. Amidst accusations of gerrymandering, the incumbent coalition Barisan Nasional held on to power despite having lost the popular vote. The result disappointed many who had hoped that this election would finally bring a change in government after 58 years of Barisan Nasional rule. Demonstrations erupted across the country as Malaysians protested over reports of electoral fraud and irregularities.

"It is clear that to have a clean and fair election process in the near future would be an uphill task after witnessing the amount of irregularities happening in certain states," said first-time voter Adrian Phung. "[The election] made me realize that the general public is willing to go all out to ensure that the election process is clean and fair."

This was the focus of a forum on May 13. The slogan "Selamatkan Demokrasi," or "Save Democracy" in Bahasa Malaysia, called for people to stand up for democratic processes in Malaysia, and the event featured a long list of speeches from opposition members and pro-democracy activists.

It was one in a series of events criticizing the government, but this forum led to serious consequences. Two leaders from the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat, Tian Chua and Thamrin Ghaffar, were arrested. Also arrested were activists Haris Ibrahim and Adam Adli.

"Adam Adli was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act for allegedly uttering a seditious statement at a public forum where he called for Malaysians to go to the streets to protest against the election fraud," said his lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri. If found guilty, he could find himself in jail for at least three years, and/or fined up to RM5,000 (approx. $1,648).

The use of the Sedition Act against Adam angered Malaysians, some of whom began to gather nightly outside the Jinjang Remand Center to hold candlelight vigils calling for his release. The day before Adam was due to be charged in court, the police moved in and arrested 18 people.

"We were given 10 minutes to finish our speeches and leave. However, as I recall, the police didn't seem to keep their word and came after us before the 10 minutes," said Adrian Wong, who was at the vigil that night. "The police shouted and caught people who refused to leave or were leaving slowly."

Read more at: http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/malaysias-constant-blackouts/ 

Will Malaysia's brain drain block its economic ambitions?

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 11:50 AM PDT


Successful return? 

(BBC) - Mr Dushyan is glad to be home but he worries about the quality of English-language education in the country for his children, and rising ethnic and religious tensions. There is still too much uncertainty in Malaysia, he says. He won't rule out leaving the country again just yet. 

Willson Lee is a proud Malaysian, but he left the country five years ago.

The Japanese grill in Hong Kong's crowded district of Causeway Bay is just one of a handful of restaurants he now runs in China.

Over plates of marbled beef, Mr Lee explained that he used to have businesses in Malaysia ranging from gold mining to stem cell banking.

But he left in 2008 because, he said, a policy favouring the Malay-majority over ethnic minorities was "blatantly abused" to enrich those in power.

The policy, he said, meant that his companies had fewer opportunities, something that hurt profits and left him and his partners demoralised.

Mr Lee is part of what the World Bank calls an "intense" brain drain problem that could hurt Malaysia's ambition to become a high-income economy by 2020.

Most of those who leave are ethnic Chinese, like Mr Lee, or Indian. They make up a third of Malaysia's population of 29 million people.

Many are propelled from the country by long-standing policies that give preferential treatment to ethnic Malays in areas from housing and education to government projects.

The objective is to re-distribute 30% of the country's wealth into the hands of Malays and indigenous groups, collectively known as the Bumiputras, because they lag behind the ethnic Chinese.

Although a certain percentage of listed companies has to be owned by Bumiputras, Mr Lee says this quota is applied to private businesses as well.

The government would often give licenses to a Malay company and he would have to partner with them in order to do business, he said.

"That is standard practice throughout Malaysia," he said.

'Chinese tsunami'

Mr Najib still secured a simple majority despite winning only 47% of the popular vote.Prime Minister Najib Razak wants to attract this talent back, but it will be tricky. In polls on 5 May, the disaffected Malaysian Chinese community largely abandoned his Barisan Nasional coalition.

That's because constituency sizes give greater weight to rural Malay voters, who are the core supporters of the governing coalition.

There were also allegations of electoral fraud, which the governing coalition has denied.

Mr Najib's former political secretary and senior visiting fellow with Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, Oh Ei Sun, says the results are disappointing to the Malaysian talent overseas, who are believed to be mostly opposition supporters.

Some flew to Malaysia just to cast their ballots but when the opposition won 50% of the popular vote and still didn't form the government, many went back feeling hopeless, Mr Oh said.

He believes many more professionals may leave the country.

Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22610210 


Muslims and Sikhs feel more British than Christians and Jews, university study finds

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 11:41 AM PDT


  • (Daily Mail) - Only 15% of Christians living in UK said in the 2011 Census they feel British. This is compared to 62% of Sikhs, 57% of Muslims and 54% of Hindus. White Britons are far more likely to call themselves English instead. Men and women from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India feel most British.

Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists feel more British than Christians living in the UK, it was revealed today.

Experts say that ethnic minorities are 'less likely to take their Britishness for granted' when compared to white people in 21st Century Britain.

University of Manchester academics have analysed the 2011 Census, and found that every other main religion in the UK feels more British than Christians.

Sixty two per cent of Sikhs, 57 per cent of Muslims and 54 per cent of Hindus describe their national identity as British only. The figure is only 15 per cent for Christians.



Picture of the UK: Data harvested from the 2011 UK Census shows that Christians feel less British than any other main religious group


However, 65 per cent of Christians and 54 per cent of Jews say they feel English.

'Though the 2011 Census allowed people to report multiple identities from English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, British and Other, nine in ten people reported a single national identity,' Dr Stephen Jivraj, who led the research, said.

'Indeed, the distinction between British and English identities continues to confuse not only tourists, but policy makers - but it's something we all need to understand more fully.

'If you believe what you read in the newspapers, Muslims are less likely to feel British than anyone else. In fact, the opposite is true.

'For many non white residents, including Muslims, this feeling of Britishness is probably partly a result of the citizenship process: they are surely less likely to take their Britishness for granted.

'Our findings are at odds with the present and previous Government's emphasis on encouraging ethnic minorities and new migrants to accept "British' life and "British" values.'

Read more at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2336210/Muslims-Sikhs-feel-British-Christians-Jews-university-study-finds.html




We must ask more questions

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 11:37 AM PDT


The sad thing about Malaysia today is that attempts to ask serious questions often risk being censured. As a result, accountability in public services is very low. Attempts to question public servants are often met with distrust and disdain.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan, fz.com 

WOOLWICH, a district in southeast London, is not a place well-known to most Malaysians. It is not exactly a tourist attraction. If I remember correctly, in the 18-years that I lived in the UK, I only went there twice. Once, because of work and the other time, I fell asleep on the train to London City Airport.
But Woolwich attracted international attention earlier last month when a soldier was brutally butchered with a knife and meat cleaver in broad daylight. The suspected killers were filmed saying they killed in the name of Islam. I followed the story closely and I am amazed at how British society reacted to this tragedy. Various questions were raised about how the authorities responded.
Questions were raised about the speed with which the police responded to the murder. It was reported that uniformed officers took nine minutes to arrive at the scene, despite the police station being quite close by. And the armed response team only arrived five minutes later.
To us, having the police arriving in less than 15 minutes may sound very quick. But to the British public, this is not good enough and they openly questioned the police's efficiency. More questions were soon raised, this time about the British security services. The media discovered that the MI5 – the security agency tasked with protecting Britain against terrorism – had been monitoring the two suspects for several years. Stories even emerged that the MI5 allegedly approached one of the suspects not long ago, inviting him to work for the agency.
Several parties accused the intelligence services of failing to protect Britain from terrorists. They suggested that if the security services had done their jobs properly, the brutal murder wouldn't have happened. The BBC, Britain's public-funded media, even questioned Eric Pickles, a cabinet minister, if he thought the security services had let people down.
The British prime minister was not let off the hook either. David Cameron visited MI5's headquarters the day after the tragedy, and he thanked staff there for their work in the investigation. He was immediately criticised for doing so, especially as the public was still querying the alleged failures of the MI5 to protect the country from this brutal murder. 
Nevertheless, Cameron did announce that the Intelligence and Security Committee was asked to independently investigate the allegation that the MI5 knew about the two suspects before the killing. This is a committee of nine parliamentarians that oversees the British security services, with members from both the government and opposition parties.
As I read the developments, I cannot help but to compare how the British reacted to this tragedy and how we in Malaysia reacted to problems on our own soil. Take the Lahad Datu invasion. Our brave armed forces did well to flush out the militant invaders, killing many of them over the course of Ops Daulat. The heroes deserve all the praises we can give. But the burning questions are: did our intelligence services fail in their duties and why were the invaders able to step on our soil in the first place? Unless these questions are answered, how can we be sure that our country is safe?
There are not enough questions being asked openly or debated on this matter. If this had happened in a country like the UK or Japan, I suspect several ministers would have resigned.
Perhaps some would argue that these questions cannot be asked due to national security. This is false. As the British example has shown, there are mechanisms that can be put in place to ensure every aspect of public service can be scrutinised. But more important than that is our unquestioning attitude is not limited to security matters alone. It is far more widespread than that.
Let's take the alleged irregularities during the last general election. The Election Commission (EC) has been accused of failing to perform its duty. The most obvious way to solve the problem is by appointing a bipartisan committee to investigate the allegations. But why hasn't such a body been formed? And, worse, why is it that every time someone questions the integrity of the EC, they are quickly labelled as "opposition"? It has always been the case to attempt to portray the opposition as the enemy.

Read more at: http://fz.com/content/we-must-ask-more-questions#ixzz2VOrFKylI 

Long queues at Immigration department due to new system

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 11:36 AM PDT


RARE SIGHT: To beat the long queues at the Jalan Duta Immigration office, many arrived uncharacteristically early only to find that many of their others were already patiently waiting in line 

(The Malay Mail) - MALAYSIANS hoping to renew, or apply for new passports have recently been faced with long queues and delays which last hours due to the implementation of a new system which requires among others a polycarbonate page in the passport.

During a visit to the Jalan Duta Immigration branch yesterday, The Malay Mail was informed by the public that after waiting for hours, many who were seeking to renew their passports were told to return the next day to collect them.

Worse still were those applying for new passports who had to return three days later to collect their travel documents.

The situation is a far cry from how things were up till a few weeks ago when Immigration offices were able to issue passport renewals within an hour of payment. 

Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan bukan boneka

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 05:23 AM PDT

(Utusan Malaysia) - Pemangku Sultan Perak, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah bertitah, Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Raja-raja Melayu bukan boneka yang hanya sekadar menurunkan mohor perkenan kepada setiap dokumen yang dipersembah dengan mata tertutup, mulut terkunci dan tangan terikat tanpa kuasa menyuarakan pendirian.

Sebaliknya, titah baginda, raja dan Yang di-Pertuan Agong berperanan sebagai penimbang tara yang adil dan saksama jika mendapati nasihat yang dipersembah menyimpang daripada undang-undang, tergelincir daripada landasan keadilan, berunsur penindasan atau boleh memudaratkan negara.

Baginda bertitah, raja tidak harus rasa tertekan dan tidak semestinya memberi perkenan jika nasihat yang dipersembah bertentangan syarak, bercanggah dengan Perlembagaan serta undang-undang sehingga memungkinkan berlakunya penindasan dan kezaliman.

"Raja Berperlembagaan memiliki tiga hak. Pertama hak untuk dirunding, kedua, hak untuk memberi nasihat dan terakhir hak untuk memberi peringatan.

"Apabila dirujuk, raja hendaklah memberikan pandangan secara bebas tanpa ragu dan pilih kasih dan dalam perkara berkait dengan budi bicara, baginda hendaklah menyempurnakannya dengan hikmah lagi bijaksana demi membuktikan raja bersifat arif, adil sebagai penimbang tara yang bebas dari cabang legislatif, eksekutif serta kehakiman," titah baginda.

Baginda bertitah demikian ketika menyampaikan ucaptama bertajuk Perlembagaan dan Islam: Peranan Institusi Raja sempena Seminar Institusi Raja (SIRaj), di sini hari ini.

Sementara itu, Raja Dr. Nazrin melahirkan kebimbangan terhadap landskap politik negara yang mengalami perubahan sejak Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-12.

Baginda bertitah, landskap politik itu mengalami tsunami yang memperlihat negara semakin menuju kepada senario politik dua parti.

Titah baginda, senario itu sekiranya berlangsung secara tertib, meluhurkan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, mendaulatkan undang-undang dilihat berpotensi memberi impak positif.

"Tetapi kelihatan kaedah menuju ke arah senario itu bagai mencetus gelombang perpecahan yang ombaknya semakin menghempas minda rakyat.

"Rakyat kelihatan semakin terpisah sehingga benteng perpaduan semakin retak, malah lebih membimbangkan jika keretakan itu tercetus atas nama agama dan kaum," titah baginda.

Dalam pada itu, Raja Dr. Nazrin bertitah, Islam adalah agama yang memiliki benteng perlindungan dan taraf keistimewaan mutlak dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Titah baginda, Perkara 3 (1) Perlembagaan yang diperlengkap dan diperkukuh dengan peruntukan lain telah memartabat Islam sebagai agama Persekutuan.


Mirzan Mahathir does not own shares in Petron Malaysia

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 12:32 AM PDT

(Bernama) -- Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd (Petron Malaysia) today disclosed to Bursa Malaysia that Mirzan Mahathir does not own any shares nor does he have any role in the company.

Petron Malaysia made the statement in response to a question from a stockholder at its annual general meeting pertaining to Mirzan's shareholdings in Petron Malaysia and its parent company, Petron Corporation, and the ultimate holding company, San Miguel Corporation.

The company clarified that Mirzan is a board member of its parent company, Petron Corporation of the Philippines.

He was elected as a Director of Petron Corporation on Aug 13, 2010 and holds 1,000 shares.

Under the company's by-laws, a person has to be a shareholder to qualify as a Director. Petron Corporation has 9.4 billion shares listed on the Philippines Stock Exchange.

Prior to the directorship in Petron Corporation, the company said Mirzan was a Director of San Miguel Corporation for a brief period from Sept 1, 2009 until April 15, 2010.

He currently holds 5,000 San Miguel shares. San Miguel Corporation has a total of 3.3 billion shares listed on the Philippines Stock Exchange.

"We hope these facts will put an end to all the speculations in connection with Mirzan, which are unfair to Dr Mahathir's family.

"The shares held by Mirzan in San Miguel Corporation and Petron Corporation are essentially qualifying shares for directorship," Petron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.

"San Miguel, Petron Corporation and Petron Malaysia are public-listed companies, adhering to the strictest standards on governance," Ang added.


Failed to become Prime Minister; the West is abandoning Anwar Ibrahim

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 08:03 PM PDT

Nur Eisha Fatihah, Malaysia News

After finishing his nationwide tour to protest the 13th General Election, Anwar Ibrahim now knows that he is being abandoned by his allies. Formation of the Penang and Kelantan state government after the results of the election was announced shows that the PAS and DAP leaders were against Anwar's action.

Anwar was having a nervous breakdown when he lost his last chance to become the Prime Minister. This however differs for PAS and DAP as although they failed to take over Putrajaya, all of them were quite satisfies with their members overall performance in the last general election. Now Anwar Ibrahim seems to be swirling into the political abyss while only being helped with one or two PKR leaders that is still rooting for him. The same song is sang by Anwar Ibrahim. He keeps on blaming the Barisan Nasional and the Election Commission for his failure in the last election. 

It can be clearly seen that 97% of Chinese voters were cheated by Anwar Ibrahim. They were voting for the DAP without bearing in mind that the Malay voters are seeing this as a traitorous act. Younger Chinese still attends illegal rallies organized by Anwar even though they knew that they have been cheated by the former Deputy Prime Minister himself. Ironically, even as one of the major party in Pakatan Rakyat, there are only a few PAS members and supporters   inclined to join the rally. 

Anwar Ibrahim did not only lie to his followers but also he lied to his western allies. Looking at the current situation in Malaysia, the western media and Jewish lobbyist that before this was a strong supporter of Anwar sinister agenda are gradually withdrawing their support. Indonesian former Deputy President, Jusuf Kalla exposes Anwar Ibrahim's lies by saying that Anwar himself has broken the promise that he made with the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, shows to the west that he is not an honest person, and he is definitely not the one who would help the west to obtain their agenda in Malaysia. 

Anwar's attitude of not keeping his promises made it difficult for the west to continue their support in his "struggle" to become the prime minister of Malaysia. It can be said that Jusuf Kalla's action of exposing Anwar Ibrahim in the Wall Street Journal has an implicit message to the west. 

Jusuf actually telling the American and all other western countries that it is time to leave Anwar Ibrahim with his fantasies of becoming the Prime Minister of Malaysia. 

The western agenda to ensure Anwar Ibrahim becomes a living puppet that can be exploited to their whims has come to an abrupt end. For the west, Anwar Ibrahim has now become more of a liability then a benefit to the westerners. 

Maybe the message that was conferred by Jusuf is understood by the westerners. After the interview he did with the Wall Street Journal, the Economist that is know as the mouthpiece of the western world stated that, at the age of 66 years old, time is not on Anwar's side for him to be the champion of the western world. 

The Economist even predicted that Anwar's political future is getting bleak when he failed to lead the opposition to overthrow the Barisan Nasional government. The west seems to be using Anwar's failure in the 13th General Election as evidence that the hope that they have given Anwar in the last 40 years proves to be nothing. 

Since 1998, when Anwar Ibrahim was banished by Tun Dr Mahathir, the west was seen as a very strong ally of Anwar. The west was openly stating their support in Anwar's "reformasi" movement and Anwar was even known as "the west best friend".

Maybe in that time the west was underestimating the calibre of Barisan Nasional under the helm of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad. They were confident that Anwar Ibrahim was able to overthrow the government through street demonstration. 

However the west was wrong as Anwar was directly thrown into Sungai Buloh Prison, but they were still sure of that their golden child will succeed in taking over the government. After being released from prison in 2004 and getting back in the political saddle in 2008, Anwar Ibrahim continues his promises to the west that he will become the Prime Minister eventually but in 2013 his last attempt failed. 

This is his last attempt and after this he would not have any other chance to realize his dream. Maybe the west is currently seeking the next puppet in the opposition that can be groomed to help them secure their interest in the country, but surely that person is not Anwar Ibrahim.


400 Myanmars hauled up to avoid religious clashes

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 07:49 PM PDT

(The Sun Daily) - Hundreds of Myanmar workers here were hauled up by police for questioning in a pre-emptive step to avoid violent confrontations resulting from a spillover of sentiments from the racial unrest in Myanmar.

Kuala Lumpur deputy CID chief ACP Abdul Aziz Zakaria said a joint mopping operation with the immigration department was launched on Sunday after several bloody clashes that resulted in the deaths of three Myanmar men, while several others were injured.

He said the ongoing operation was being carried out to avoid other untoward incidents involving foreigners.

Abdul Aziz said to date about 400 foreigners have been detained. However he said most of them were released after their identities and particulars were recorded.

Police sprang into action to contain the matter after more than 10 cases were reported in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor since May 31.

Three Myanmar men were killed in Jinjang, Selayang and Ampang while a dozen others suffered injury when they were set upon by their fellow countrymen.

Police said the attacks were triggered by the escalating friction between Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar.

Police have called up community leaders among Myanmar workers of both religions to discuss ways to prevent further issues of violence among them.


Three cops charged with murder of detainee Dharmendran

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 07:36 PM PDT

(The Star) - Three policemen were charged in the Magistrate's Court here Wednesday with causing the death of detainee N. Dhamendran in lock-up.

The accused - Sjn Jaffri Jaafar, 44, Kpl Mohd Nahar Abd Rahman, 45, and Kpl Mohd Haswadi Zamri Shaari, 32 - confirmed that they understood the charges, although no plea was recorded.

The three with one other still at large are accused of colluding to cause the death of Dhamendran.

The men, who were dressed in plain clothes, black jackets and jeans, were charged.

The lawyers for the were Datuk Hazman Ahmad, Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu and Geethan Ram Vincent, respectively.

Under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder, the three face the gallows if convicted.

Magistrate Nur A'minatul Mardiah Md Nor fixed July 9 for mention to hand in documents, including the chemist's and post mortem reports.

The courtroom was packed with relatives of the deceased and reporters.

Lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya held a watching brief for the family of the deceased.

City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah was also present during the proceedings.

Confusion arose when the courtroom allocated was changed twice, resulting in the crowds of people in the public gallery to have to move between different courtrooms.

Dhamendran's wife Marry Mariya Susay told reporters said she was satisfied that the suspects had been charged.

"Why did they try to cover this up, saying he suffocated, saying he had a heart attack.

"Now the coroner's report is out, only then are they taking action," she said.

Earlier Wednesday, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said in a statement that police personnel who were allegedly involved in the death of detainee Dhamendran, 31, would be charged in the afternoon with murder.

He said the dedicated task force established by the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the matter completed its investigation and submitted the relevant investigation papers to the A-G's Chambers on Monday.

"Based on the evidence gathered through the investigation, I have decided to proffer a murder charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code against the police personnel involved.

"The police personnel concerned are to be indicted in court this afternoon, June 5, 2013," he added.

He said although the events involved were regrettable, the swift police action on the matter was nonetheless commendable.

Dhamendran was found dead in his cell while in police custody at the D9 Branch Lock-Up at the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Headquarters (IPK Kuala Lumpur) on May 21.

He had been arrested on May 11 on suspicion of attempted murder involving firearms and held under remand from May 12 until his death.

Based on the post mortem examination conducted at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital on May 22, the cause of death was determined to be "diffused soft tissue injuries due to multiple blunt force trauma".


Royal Insult: FB suspect believed to be Melissa Gooi released

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 07:33 PM PDT

(Malaysian Digest) - The 32-year-old woman who was detained for allegedly insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Facebook has been released.

City deputy CID chief Asst Comm Aziz Zakaria said she was released on the same day after police recorded her statement.

"The investigation is still ongoing," he told a press conference here Wednesday.

ACP Aziz said the suspect was believed to have been in hiding after her identity was revealed on the Internet following the alleged insults.

"We are tracking down four other individuals to assist police in the investigation.

"They are Weennee Tan, Shuh Chien Loo, Hun Keat Wong and Carol Tay," he said.

The woman was picked up in Taman Nirwana, Ampang, at 9.30am on Tuesday.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in collaboration with the police, successfully tracked down the suspect, who was said to have insulted Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah on Facebook.

The woman is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948.


MB Khalid enggan layan krisis Azmin-Saifuddin

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 07:13 PM PDT

Keputusan melantik Saifuddin itu adalah muktamad selepas mandapat 'restu' daripada Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 

Jamilah Kamarudin, FMT

Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim enggan melayan isu pelantikan Setiausaha Agung PKR Datuk Saifuddin Nasution sebagai Pegawai Perhubungan Politik di Pejabat Menteri Besar yang dipersoalkan Timbalan Presiden PKR Mohamed Azmin Ali.


Sebaliknya menegaskan keputusan melantik Saifuddin itu adalah muktamad selepas mandapat 'restu' daripada Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dalam Kongres Nasional PKR pada 25 Mei lalu.

"Tak payah bincang sebab kerajaan negeri mencari individu yang mempunyai keupayaan dalam menolong negeri melaksanakan manifesto yang telah dibentangkan kepada rakyat semasa PRU13 lalu," katanya kepada pemberita selepas mempengerusikan Mesyuarat Exco di Bangunan SUK di sini hari ini.

Abdul Khalid berkata, pihaknya akan meneruskan perbincangan lanjut dengan pegawai di Unit Perancangan Ekonomi Negeri (UPEN) untuk menerangkan garis panduan tugas Saifuddin.

Tugas itu akan membantu kerajaan negeri menguruskan hal ehwal pembangunan luar bandar, selain merapatkan jurang antara pentadbiran negeri dengan parti Pakatan Rakyat di Selangor.

"Akan ada perbincangan dengan Saifuddin dan pegawai UPEN untuk menerangkan bagaimana kebajikan yang boleh dilakukan beliau untuk meningkatkan penglibatan negeri dengan pembangunan luar bandar," katanya.

Beliau turut mengesahkan jawatan Anwar sebagai Penasihat Ekonomi Negeri akan dikekalkan.

Azmin dilaporkan kurang senang dengan pelantikan Saifuddin apabila menyifatkannya seolah-olah melupakan pemimpin lain yang sudah bertungkus lumus memenangkan negeri Selangor.

Sedangkan Saifuddin semasa PRU13 kecundang di kerusi Parlimen Kulim-Bandar Baharu, malah kerusi Parlimen Machang yang disandangnya semasa PRU12 turut jatuh ke tangan Barisan Nasional (BN).

Sementara itu, Abdul Khalid berkata pihaknya mengambil serius cadangan pelantikan wakil PAS dan DAP sebagai 'political liaison' selain PKR dalam usaha pembangunan desa dan akan membicangkannya dalam masa terdekat.


Understanding the Media Trust Deficit

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 06:23 PM PDT


Mainstream-media journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were supposed to do in the first place.  

Stephen Doss

Its 2013, there is no more sense in segregating media in Malaysia as mainstream media and alternative media or new media anymore; all the previously known big traditional media such as TV3, Astro, Utusan Malaysia, The Star, The Malay Mail, etc have their own online presence.

All of them have twitter accounts, FB pages and websites. The only differences are those who do not have licenses to operate electronic/print media have only the internet to rely on. Thus as you can see it's far from a level playing field.

The traditional media is now competing with everyone else online, but those who started life online are not so lucky; they are handicapped for they do not have the means to challenge the traditional media boys.

And yet, after the last general elections a number of politicians from the ruling party claimed they were defeated by  the social media, and till today there is much concern over a yet to be proven "Red Bean Army" which Utusan Malaysia claims is an army of cybertroopers funded by the DAP.

In Malaysia, there is more than ample proof that most mainstream media are owned by political parties belonging to the Barisan Nasional either directly or indirectly. And as mentioned earlier, these media organizations now have a huge presence online too. Add to this, the many cybertroopers in the employ of UMNO like the Unit Media Baru of Pemuda UMNO and the many pro-UMNO bloggers, these added firepower should have made the BN invincible and all powerful in terms of influencing the voters.

And yet, politicians aligned to the BN are complaining that they lost the social media war - what happened?

Are media strategists of the mainstream media so inept at what they are supposed to do best?

To my mind there are probably 4 reasons why the mainstream media has lost the plot, leading to a trust deficit, the reason why readers no longer believe in what the government has to say via these media organizations.   

One, Self-Censorship by journalists

Journalists today have become adept at second guessing what their editors or company owners are comfortable with as news. Journalists are known to purposely avoid newsworthy stories, while nearly as many acknowledge they have softened the tone of their stories to benefit the interests of their news organizations. Journalists also tend to avoid newsworthy stories if the story would be embarrassing or damaging to the financial interests of a news organization's owners or parent company.

Why do journalists self-censor? As Mark Twain once said, "We write frankly and freely but then we 'modify' before we print." Why do we modify the free and frank expression of journalistic truth? We do it out of fear: Fear for our jobs. Fear that we'll catch hell for it. Fear that someone will seek to hang a sign around our neck that says, in essence, "Unpatriotic."

Mainstream-media journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were supposed to do in the first place.  

Two, Censorship by Editors

When journalists are moved enough by their conscience to want to speak out about an issue, they are subject to tremendous pressure by their editors or producers to kill the story. Investigative journalists say newsworthy stories are often or sometimes ignored because they conflict with the news organization's economic interests. There are many reasons for censorship by media higher-ups. The most important being money.

The media has a strong monetary interest to avoid controversial topics in general. It has always been true that advertisers discourage stories which challenge corporate power. Some media organizations go to great lengths to please their sponsors. Some media companies make a lot of money from the government, and so don't want to rock the boat. 

Three, Access

It is common knowledge that journalists from the mainstream media have access to those who walk the corridors of power, and they are willing to do almost anything to continue with that privileged relationship. Not only does this relationship makes for easier reporting, hassle free and unlikely to get the journalist into any real trouble, it can be also quite lucrative.   

Four, Censorship by the Government

Finally, as the media's own interest is survival, it is dependent on the government for its continued existence. The government has every opportunity to exert tremendous pressure on the media to report things a certain way.

If they criticize those in power, they may be smeared by the government and targeted for arrest.

In Part 2, I will write about what the Barisan Nasional-led government needs to do to reduce that deficit of trust, painful as it may be and possibly win the battle for the hearts and minds of Malaysians.

I leave you with two interesting quotes to ponder;

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent"
- Thomas Jefferson

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Stephen Doss is a social activist and political observer. He is currently the Advisor to the Social Media Chambers of Malaysia. He can be found on twitter @stephendoss


Chegubard charged over May 25 Padang Timur rally

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 06:09 PM PDT

(The Star) - Rembau PKR chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin, or "Chegubard", was charged in a Sessions Court Wednesday with failing to inform the police before organising a DAP thanksgiving gathering here last month.

Badrul Hisham later claimed trial before judge Yasmin Abdul Razak.

He was charged with failing to tell the Petaling Jaya District police chief 10 days before the "Appreciation Programme for Voters in Selangor".

The offence was allegedly committed at Padang Timur, Dataran Petaling Jaya in Jalan Timur here between 5pm and 12 midnight on May 25.

Badrul Hisham was accused under Section 9 (1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and punishable under Section 9 (5) of the same act.

Deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said this was a bailable offence under Section 387 of the Criminal Procedure Code and later offered bail in one surety.

Badrul Hisham, who was unrepresented, had asked for a reasonable bail, saying that he had given his cooperation to the police before he was brought to the court.

Judge Yasmin said this was only a summons case but Badrul Hisham was required to come to court each time his case was mentioned.

She did not fixed any bail but set July 9 for mention.


High court date set for Anwar's sex video defamation case

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 06:05 PM PDT

(ST) - The high court will hear on January 27 Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's 100 million ringgit Papa Gomo defamation suit.

Mr Anwar is alleging that Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, as owner of the Papa Gomo website, posted defamatory words on the website back in March and a weblink to sex video footage implied to be of Mr Anwar and another man.

Mr Wan Muhammad Azri has denied that he owns the Papa Gomo blog.

Mr Anwar is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages, interests, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court, as well as an injunction to restrain the defendant from further posting the defamatory words and images, according to Bernama news agency.

Uthaya jailed for 30 months

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 05:54 PM PDT

The de facto Hindraf leader chooses not to appeal the sentence

(FMT) - The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) de facto chief P Uthayakumar has been sentenced to 30 months jail for publishing seditious material in 2007.

The sentence was handed down by Sessions Court judge Ahmad Zamzaini Mohd Zain this afternoon.

The Hindraf leader was found guilty of publishing seditious material via a letter written between Nov 15 and Dec 8, 2007 to the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In the letter, Uthayakumar also alleged that the state sponsored social 'ethnic cleansing' of the Indian poor in Malaysia.

The letter was widely circulated and posted in several blogs and websites.

On Monday, Uthayakumar had refused to continue with his defence on grounds that the circumstances of this case did not allow him to proceed.

He also refused to make submissions this morning, choosing to remain silent in court, not even applying for a stay of sentence.

He had earlier said that he would not file for an appeal or mitigate the case.

FMT learnt that he is now being transferred to the Kajang Prison.

Earlier in delivering the verdict, Ahmad Zamzani said Uthayakumar had failed to raise a reasonable double in the prosecution's case.

When asked to make a plea in mitigation, he just said that he had already said what he wanted to twice during this morning's session.

Every time he was asked to address the court, Uthayakumar kept repeating:"Because of the circumstances of this case and in protest against institutionalised racist government policies in Malaysia victimising in particular the Indian poor, I am unable to proceed further with my defence, re-examination, calling further witnesses, submitting a close of case and mitigation."

He also asked to be handcuffed after the hearing. Soon after being secured with handcuff, he started posing to photographers despite repeated warnings from court officials that photography was prohibited in courts.

His lawyer M Manogaran told reporters later that he has not received any instructions to appeal the decision.

The sentence begins today.


Not all election petitions filed will be heard in court, says EC

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 04:23 PM PDT

(The Star) - Not every election petition filed by candidates and political parties to challenge the results of a general election will make it to the hearing stage in court.

This is because the petitions would be vetted to ensure they met the legal requirements before they could be allowed for a hearing, said Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

"I believe this is the reason why no candidate or political party has yet to file petitions even though the June 12 deadline is approaching; they want to make sure their petitions can stand up in court," he said.

Wan Ahmad said the EC had made all the necessary preparations to handle the filing of petitions, with EC's legal adviser working closely with lawyers from the Attorney-General's Chambers, who will be representing the EC in court.

"Of the 29 election petitions filed to challenge the 2008 general election results, only one was successful," he said.

Hashim Jasin, who was the PAS candidate for the Sanglang state seat in Perlis, had filed a petition to challenge the results after Barisan Nasional's Abdullah Hassan was declared the winner with a 149-vote majority.

Hashim filed his petition on grounds that the election result was contrary to the figures stated in EC's Form 14, which showed that he had won with a 47-vote majority.

Form 14 is the form that records the results for the respective streams, with signatures from the polling stations' presiding officers and counting agents. Subsequently, the Federal Court declared Hashim as the rightful winner.

In another case, the Election Court in Kota Kinabalu nullified the 2008 general election results for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat which Barisan's Tan Sri Joseph Kurup had won uncontested. However, the Federal Court in June 2010 overturned that decision.

Meanwhile, Federal Court corporate communications and international relations head Mohd Aizuddin Zolkeply said election judges, as in the past, would not be allowed to hear cases from their own states to avoid conflicts of interest.

He added that the election judges were High Court judges appointed specially to hear election petitions.

"I hope that the plaintiffs would make sure that all of their papers and evidence are in order," he said when contacted.

Chief Justice Tun Ariffin Zakaria had previously said that the election petitions must be disposed within six months of filing to ensure that the petitioners receive fair hearing of their cases.

Previously, it would take almost a year to settle these cases.

According to the law, the Election Court is only empowered to nullify or uphold the election results. It is then up to the EC to decide on whether to hold a by-election.

But the ruling of the Election Court can be challenged at the Federal Court. The Federal Court's decision will then be final.


Record number of polls petitions

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 04:18 PM PDT

(The Star) - Malaysia could see a record number of election petitions – close to 100 – being filed before the June 12 deadline.

In a last-ditch effort, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are hoping to change the outcome of the 13th general election results through the petitions.

Pakatan Rakyat is 23 seats away from forming a government while Barisan Nasional is 15 seats away from having a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Barisan secured 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats while DAP won 38 seats, PKR 30 and PAS 21.

PKR is taking up the lion's share of Pakatan's election petitions with almost 20 cases while DAP is optimistic about filing five cases.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said the party would file "four or five" election petitions for the state seats in Terengganu, where Pakatan is just two seats away from forming the state government.

The party is expected to file close to 15 throughout the country.

"We know that our track record with election petitions is not very good. In fact, we have not won any so far, but we will see this time," Mustafa said yesterday.

A total of 29 election petitions were filed after the 2008 general election but only one was successful.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (pic) was reported to have said that the party would file election petitions in more than 50 parliamentary and state seats before the deadline, but he did not disclose the seats concerned.

He also said Umno was studying whether to file petitions in another 37 seats.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said his party's election petitions are all in seats where they lost marginally, such as Bentong (379 votes), Cameron Highlands (462 votes), Labis (353 votes) and the Paloh state seat in Johor (103 votes).

He acknowledged it would be an uphill battle to win a by-election if the election results were nullified.

"Preparing the evidence and documentation is not easy, but this general election was different. The demand by voters and public pressure is so great that it's our duty to use every channel we can," Loke said.

It was reported that Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria had given the assurance that the petitions could be settled within a year if everything proceeds smoothly.

He said judges selected to preside over the cases had been advised to dispose of the cases within six months.

"Otherwise, it will not go in line with the law and the decision will be late. This is because there is still the appeal process, which would take another six months," Arifin said.


Let Umno’s grassroots decide Najib’s presidency, says ex-NSTP boss

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 03:33 PM PDT

Clara Chooi, TMI

Umno's grassroots should get to decide the fate of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as party president when internal polls are held at the year's end, former New Straits Times (NST) group editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said today.

The political commentator appeared to disagree with suggestions from state-level leaderships that the party's top two posts not be contested, saying their views must take into account that it was likely Umno's grassroots leaders and members who helped save Barisan Nasional (BN) from losing Election 2013.

Without their support, he said in a blog posting today, Umno may not have scored the 88 federal seats it won during the divisive polls ― a significant nine seats more than the 79 it won in Election 2008.

"It would only be reasonable to give them the right to decide if they want Najib's presidency challenged because Umno would not have won those precious 88 seats if its members or supporters had not resolved to vote for BN on May 5.

"They should also be given the space and opportunity to decide among themselves if they want Najib, whose achievements were lower, to be retained as president (and subsequently as prime minister) when they showed Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the exit after a greater victory in 2008," Kadir wrote.

BN survived Election 2013 with a weaker majority, scoring only 133 seats to Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) 89 ― a notable seven-seat margin smaller than the previously worst performance in Election 2008.

The polls saw the emergence of a divided Malaysia, a trend that was fuelled further when top leaders in Umno characterised the election results as a Chinese-versus-Malay contest.

Najib, in his victory speech on May 6, described the vote trend as a "Chinese tsunami", noting that an even greater percentage of the country's second-largest ethnic group had fled to the opposition's fold, leaving BN's non-Malay parties with a greatly reduced parliamentary representation.

Only Umno showed improvement when it took 88 parliamentary seats at a time when their coalition partners were nearly wiped out from the august House.

Today, Kadir highlighted that Najib had led a presidential-style campaign all through the polls, attempting to use his popularity as a reformist to woo support for BN.

The clear "essence" of the BN campaign, he said, was Najib's 1 Malaysia platform and the prime minister's portrayal of himself and his team as all-inclusive, particularly when rallying the Chinese and Indian voters.

But when the poll results saw these communities flee BN's side and Umno's popularity soar, Kadir said questions arose over why the vote had gone the direction it did.

"The question is, did Umno perform better because its top leaders placed priority on the party and the Malays, or were the Malays themselves afraid their powers would weaken if the Chinese parties in BN chalked bigger victories?" he asked.



Black 505 rally to be held at Padang Merbok

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 03:21 PM PDT

Pakatan Rakyat, the rally organisers would submit formal requests to the police and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall later today, in compliance with the Peaceful Assembly Act. 

G Vinod, FMT

Pakatan Rakyat today had set its sight to hold the Black 505 rally on June 15 at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said that the organisers would submit official applications to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Dang Wangi police headquarters later today.

"Intially we thought Dataran Merdeka would be the best place but in order to avoid lengthy exchanges with the authorities, we opted for Padang Merbok," said Rafizi at a press conference.

Also present by his side were PAS deputy secretary general Syed Azman Syed Nawawi, DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke and PKR MP Johari Abdul.

Since the general election, PKR had embarked on a series of rallies, claiming Barisan Nasional (BN) had 'stolen' the electoral victory from the opposition.

The rally organisers also demanded for the current Elections Commission (EC) officials to resign, as well as halting the redelineation process pending a new team is selected to head the electoral body.

Yesterday, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that Pakatan could hold its rally in Kuala Lumpur as long as they comply with the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA).

Rafizi said that they were still keen to hold the rally in Dataran Merdeka but would heed advise from DBKL and the police on the matter.

In a show of support, Pakatan leaders Azman and Loke announced that they would get their party members and supporters to attend the rally as well.

On related matter, Rafizi voiced his reservations on news that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would place the EC under a parliamentary select committee.

Calling it a delaying tactic, Rafizi said that the select committee may serve to sidestep the real issue at hand, which is the fraudulent electoral process and the EC commissioners' complicity in the act.

"Besides, we went through the last select committee on electoral reforms but look what happened. The committee will be dominated by BN leaders.

"What we need now is for the current crop of EC commissioners to resign and be replaced with a new team, with full power to facilitate the electoral reforms," he said.



‘No need for EC members to resign’

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 03:13 PM PDT

"I think it is ironic because last time Pakatan wanted parliament to oversee the EC. Now that PM has agreed the say the want EC head to resign before they join the committee."

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

There is no reason for current Election Commission (EC) members to resign, Barisan Nasional leaders have said today.

They were responding to PKR vice president Tian Chua's statement yesterday that Pakatan Rakyat will only be involved in the special committee to oversee the EC if the current members were to resign.

"I think it is ironic because last time Pakatan wanted parliament to oversee the EC. Now that PM has agreed the say the want EC head to resign before they join the committee," Kedah Gerakan Youth Chief Tan Keng Liang told FMT.

"What does it (asking EC members to resign) have to do with the proposal?" he asked.

Tan said Tian Chua's statement was "very unbecoming of a leader" and was "getting personal towards a person".

"They are getting personal towards the EC and blaming their loss on a person," he said.

"He (EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof) is just carrying out the task of implementing what the people want. Pakatan is just finding scapegoats for their loss," he added.

Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin shared the same sentiments and said he saw no reason why the current EC lineup should resign.

"(It's a) pity Pakatan always think they're right. I see no reason for EC members to resign," he told FMT.

Tan said Tian Chua's remarks were "not relevant at this state" and Pakatan was "preempting issues.

"If there really is a need for them to resign, then let the committee decide," he said.

"If you don't want to go into the committee, how are you going to give
your views?"



‘Impossible to win an election petition’

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 03:07 PM PDT

This is the first of a three-part article on PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli views on the election petitions,why rallies are needed and his hopes for the Pandan parliamentary consistuency 

G Vinod, FMT

It is almost impossible to win an election petition as the standard of proof is 'beyond human capacity', said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli.

Elaborating on the matter in an interview, Rafizi said that those filing an election petition could so under three categories, namely:

1) being involved in general bribery

2) conduct against electoral procedures

3) if a candidate is caught giving inducement to candidates to skew votes.

Rafizi said that as for general bribery, the party filing the petition should prove that the opposing side had given inducements or intimidate voters to influence their ballots.

"But let's say if I lost in a place with 1,700 votes, I have to get about 1,000 people to come forward to sign statutory declaration and lodge police reports to back up the allegation.

"It is almost impossible to get 1,000 voters to so do. At most, probably we can get about 10 people to come forward," he said.

Rafizi added that even if he does manage to bring 1,000 voters, it would be futile as the opposing side could argue that the voters wanted to cast their ballots for the latter anyway.

"Plus, I have to bring in significant amount of voters to prove that the election results could have turned otherwise. If not, the petition will get thrown out in the preliminary stage itself," said Rafizi.

As for going against electoral procedure, Rafizi said that blackouts during vote tallying, tampered ballot boxes, wrong counting and others could be grouped in that category.

"Again,I have to prove that sufficient number of votes were compromised due to the irregularity that could have turned the results otherwise. If not, the case will not stick," he said.

He cited an example where the contest for the Balik Pulau parliamentary seat where Pakatan Rakyat agents found an additional 126 votes coming from one stream.

"The case will not stand as the number is not substantial," said Rafizi.

As for the third category, Rafizi said that it will be impossible for a candidate to be caught giving out money to voters as such works are sub-contracted to third parties.

"In Penang, there were allegations that money was given by some NGOs and even the underworld. When we take pictures or videos, obviously they will not attach the party logo on them.
"In other words, the clause requires us to catch the candidate or his agent red-handed in giving out inducements," said Rafizi.

On that note, the Pandan MP said that the electoral laws in Malaysia are skewed  to allow and tolerate discrepancies, unless it hits a criticial level that can alter the election results.

"That is why I am not confident we can win the petitions but it is part of the process to push for electoral reforms," he said.



PKR infighting, Anwar’s heedlessness

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 12:05 PM PDT


This is the second of a three-part article giving reasons for Pakatan Rakyat's defeat from the viewpoint of grassroots activists.

(FMT) - PKR could have won more seats in the 13th general election if party boss Anwar Ibrahim had paid more attention to infighting in the various states, according to insiders.

"PKR has internal problems in every state, but these are especially serious in Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Terengganu," a source told FMT.

Furthermore, he added, these problems had existed since the conclusion of the 12th general election.

"Anwar knew about these internal squabbles, but he didn't do anything about them.

"He must have thought Pakatan could take over Putrajaya just by riding the wave of change. He apparently didn't think it was important to put his house in order."

Several sources said Anwar often told grassroots leaders not to bother him with issues that could be resolved at the local levels.

"I agree to that 100%," said a divisional leader. "Problems in the divisions should be settled at state level. But then, how do we do that when the state leaders themselves are squabbling?"

Infighting within the states, he added, resulted in inefficiency and poor planning of party activities. "The upshot was that we had no proper election training and we fielded poor candidates."

According to PKR central committee member, many of PKR's losses were due to silent protests over the fielding of parachute candidates.

He lamented that Anwar was continuing to ignore the local problems even after PKR's disappointing showing in the 13th general election.

"He seems not to have learnt from the error of his ways. He's thinking of nothing else but Putrajaya.

"We're not going to win more seats in the next election if the internal problems are not resolved and Anwar can dream on about becoming prime minister."


Another insider said the Black 505 rallies were Anwar's way of diverting attention from his blunder of fielding cronies as candidates in the recent election.

"He fielded his cronies or candidates recommended by his cronies, knowing full well that many of these choices were against the wishes of division leaders.

"The defeats in Kulim Bandar Baru, Bagan Serai, Pasir Salak, Taiping and Hulu Selangor were classic cases of candidates losing due to lack of support by division members."

According to the central committee member, Anwar failed to realise that party members were no longer as obedient to the top leadership as they were 10 years ago.

"Times have changed," he said. "There's now more political maturity even among ordinary members.

"When I told a certain division to campaign for a parachute candidate, the members shot back, saying they were not idiots. They said they did not to do the bidding of people talk of democracy every day but choose to run the party in a dictatorial manner.

"They bluntly told me that if Anwar, Azmin Ali and the state PKR chief did not know how to respect the division, then they saw no reason to respect their decisions."

Most of the members of that particular division eventually decided to campaign for PKR and PAS candidates in neighbouring constituencies.

"They didn't sabotage the party itself," said the insider. "If their intention was that, they would not have supported the PAS candidate and the other PKR candidate.

"What they did was a sign of protest against the PKR leadership. They wanted those leaders to give more respect to the wishes of the grassroots.

"The days of party members nodding to every decision of the top leaders are gone. They may not rebel openly, but they will carry out this kind of silent protest if the leadership does not practice true democracy."

Read more at: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/06/05/pkr-infighting-anwar%E2%80%99s-heedlessness/ 


Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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