Isnin, 8 Julai 2013

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Something to think about

Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:38 PM PDT

To understand Malaysia in its entirety is to realise and accept that the majority of Malaysians are the Bumiputeras ("The Princes of the Earth"), and that the Malays make up the majority of the Bumis. Our constitution has deemed that all ethnic Malays are of Muslim. And yet these basic facts are the source of contention, even among Malay academia and intelligentsia.

Dina Zaman The Malay Mail Online

The dust has somewhat settled since the Malaysian general election came to pass. News is lively — every week, non-mainstream media picks up on the latest fiasco related to the elections. This week, the Election Commission admitted in Parliament that food colouring was used during the elections, and not indelible ink. The Blackout 505 rallies have been organised almost consistently by opposition political parties, and their supporters, in protest of the elections and how they were conducted.

One cannot deny that with all things, especially politics, there is much gossip and rumour mongering. Malaysia is famed not just for its shadow puppet play theatre; similarly, much of her politics can be attributed to "wayang kulit" performances.

What is the future of Malaysia May 2013 onwards, and how does this future impact on race and religious relations of the country? What created the DNA of our current politics that has led to a division of loyalty among Malaysians?

A brief history of Malaysia, ethnicity and religion

To understand Malaysia in its entirety is to realise and accept that the majority of Malaysians are the Bumiputeras ("The Princes of the Earth"), and that the Malays make up the majority of the Bumis. Our constitution has deemed that all ethnic Malays are of Muslim. And yet these basic facts are the source of contention, even among Malay academia and intelligentsia.

There are a few matters to consider, that has led to Malaysia questioning her identity:

1. Christopher Rodney Yeoh stated in his paper on pluralism in Malaysia that Malaysia's official religion is Islam, but it is not an Islamic state. "... despite the Muslim majority, Malaysia is not an Islamic state. Instead, Malaysia is considered to be a 'Malay-dominated plural society' and the freedom of practising other religions is granted to everyone (Shamsul 1998, p.29). This conception of Malay hegemonic rule is a result of the political bargaining between the major ethnic political groups of Malaysia, Umno (United Malays National Organisation), MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) and MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) during the formation of post-colonial Malaysia (at that time called Malaya) in 1957. As a result of the bargaining, non-Malay ethnic groups such as the Chinese and Indians were granted citizenship and their 'legitimate interests (economic rights), their rights of citizenship…and residence as well as their…freedom to preserve, practice and propagate their religion, culture and language' were recognised" (Ibrahim, p.128).

2. In return, Malays "retained their major symbols of their nation, that is, their Sultans, their special position, their language (as the official language), and their religion (Islam as their religion)" (Ibrahim, p.128). In addition, special rights were granted to protect the Malays. This is enshrined in the controversial and often quoted Article 153 in the constitution of Malaysia. According to this article, those who "profess the religion of Islam, habitually speak the Malay language, and conform to Malay customs" are entitled for special reservation of quotas in three specific areas: public services, education, and business licences, without harming the rights of other ethnic groups. Thus it is important to emphasise that Malaysia is founded "not on individual rights but on what political theorists have come to refer to as 'ethnically differentiated citizenship'" (Hefner 2001, p.29).

Zainah Anwar, founder of Sisters in Islam, feminist and columnist, in her column for The Star dated August 1, 2010, stated that political power would always remain in Malay hands. "The Malays make up the majority of the country's 28 million population and the percentage will only increase substantially over the coming decades given their higher birth rate."

"Political power remains in Malay hands. In spite of the Umno losses in 2008, Malay members of Parliament actually increased from 123 in 2004 to 130 in 2008, while Chinese representation decreased from 61 to 53. Umno still received the highest number of votes among all the parties in the 2008 elections, at 2,381,725 votes, almost 30 per cent of the total votes cast."

"Together with PAS, which obtained 1,140,676 votes, these two Malay parties garnered 44.3 per cent of the total popular votes. This is not counting PKR, a multi-racial party with a Malay base, which garnered 1.5 million votes. Compare this to DAP's 1.1 million, MCA's 840,489 and MIC's 179,422."

However at one point in time, the Malays were a minority in their own country.

Hussin Mutalib wrote in his book "Islam and Ethnicity in Malay Politics" that the religious psychology and infrastructure were decided upon by the British rule, even though the Malays had a tradition of Islamic education from before their arrival. The British were not unsympathetic towards the Malays deep-seated faith in Islam, but they were instrumental in dividing the classes via education. "One of the main outcomes of British rule in Malaya was the emergence of a 'plural society', the result of non-Malays... the Chinese and Indians, being brought into Malaya in large numbers." The immigrant groups were consciously not integrated into Malay society, as they were there for a purpose: to serve the British economic interests.

"In the twentieth century, for the first time, the Malays found themselves outnumbered by an 'open-door' immigration policy. In the 1921 census, Malays became a minority in their own country, constituting less than half of the total (Mills, 1942: 25; Sabarudin Cik, 1978)." (pg 15)

With a rising immigration population due to current labour policies and development, as well as expatriate packages that welcome permanent residences for well-heeled foreigners, outflow of Malaysian talent to foreign countries, and with an election outcome whereby the Chinese vote has shaken the current establishment, is the fear of becoming a minority (Malays) a possible materialisation?


Custodial deaths a national shame

Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:30 PM PDT

Justice served: Kugan's mother Indra Nalathamby leaving the court. Kugan's family was awarded RM751,709 in damages and another RM50,000 in costs. 

Our enforcement officers must appreciate, if not be made to appreciate, that it is the cornerstone of our criminal justice system that a person, including a suspect, is innocent until proven guilty.

Roger Tan, The Star 

ON June 28, Justice Datuk V.T. Singham indeed retired with a bang! Two days before his retirement, he awarded RM751,709 in damages and another RM50,000 in costs to the family of Kugan Ananthan who died while in police custody on Jan 20, 2009.

Singham held that the then Selangor police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, now the Inspector-General of Police, had committed misfeasance in public office.

In delivering his judgment, he also reportedly urged the government to urgently set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as recommended by the 2005 Royal Commission to enhance the operation and management of the Royal Malaysia Police (RCI).

However, at the time of writing this piece, his written judgment is still not available. In any event, the government and the IGP are expected to appeal against his decision.

This reminds me of the case of Mohd Anuar Sharip who vomited blood, collapsed and died in a police cell on Aug 19, 1999. In June, 2010, Justice Lee Swee Seng awarded about RM1.6mil in damages to his widow, Suzana Mohamad Aris. However, Lee's decision was subsequently reversed by the Court of Appeal. In October 2010, Suzana failed to obtain leave from the Federal Court to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal.

But it is worthy to reiterate Lee's words when he handed down his judgment: "Let the message go forth from this place that any more deaths in police custody would be one too many! Those with power to arrest and detain must ensure that the basic human rights (sic) of a detainee to seek medical treatment while in custody, is immediately attended to. There should be no more wanton and wasted loss of life in police custody for every life is precious … The safest place to be in should not by default be turned into the most dangerous place to be taken to."

This is in line with the oft-quoted words of Lord Bingham of Cornhill in the decision of the House of Lords in Amin, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, 2003. In this case, a young offender was murdered by his cell-mate due to the latter's racial antipathy against the victim. Lord Bingham said: "This means that a state must not unlawfully take life and must take appropriate legislative and administrative steps to protect it. But the duty does not stop there. The state owes a particular duty to those involuntarily in its custody ... Such persons must be protected against violence or abuse at the hands of state agents. They must be protected against self-harm. Reasonable care must be taken to safeguard their lives and persons against the risk of avoidable harm ... But in any case where a death has occurred in custody, it is not a minor or unimportant duty. In this country ... effect has been given to that duty for centuries by requiring such deaths to be publicly investigated before an independent judicial tribunal with an opportunity for relatives of the deceased to participate. The purposes of such an investigation are clear: to ensure so far as possible that the full facts are brought to light; that culpable and discreditable conduct is exposed and brought to public notice; that suspicion of deliberate wrongdoing (if unjustified) is allayed; that dangerous practices and procedures are rectified; and that those who have lost their relative may at least have the satisfaction of knowing that lessons learned from his death may save the lives of others."

Last month, Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed that there were 231 custodial deaths between 2000 until May 2013. Of these, Zahid said only two cases involved foul play and they are understood to be that of Kugan in 2009 and, recently, N. Dharmendran. He went on to say that the allegation that there were many custodial deaths, and that it was racially motivated, was merely a perception.

If this is the case, then indeed the government and the police are suffering from a serious perception problem. In the first place, no inquest was held for every custodial death when an inquest is mandatory for every death in police custody under section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). The RCI Report noted that out of 80 custodial deaths between January 2000 and December 2004, inquests were held for only six of these deaths.

Further, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) too is suffering from the perception problem. In fact, I respectfully disagree with Singham weighing in judicially on the ongoing debate to support the inception of IPCMC when the executive branch of the government was in favour of EAIC and the Opposition, the IPCMC. But EAIC by its own volition had also just shot at its own foot by appointing former Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Jamil Johari and former Bar Council chairman Lim Chee Wee as its consultants to a task force set up to investigate custodial deaths.

Firstly, no police personnel, whether current or former, should even be involved in any investigation into custodial deaths if EAIC is to be perceived as independent. This is particularly so when it involved Dharmendran and R. James Ramesh who died in police custody in order to counter allegations of police prevarications. Secondly, Lim may be a former president of the Malaysian Bar, but according to EAIC website, one of its Commission members, Vinayak Prabhakar Pradhan, is also his partner in their law firm, Skrine. If EAIC were a local authority, it would have expressly infringed provisions of the Local Government Act, 1976.

Be that as it may, it is sad to see that even at its infancy stage, EAIC fails when it should have zealously espoused and embraced for its own survival the fundamental values of independence, integrity, transparency and good governance required of an enforcement body such as EAIC.

Having said that, I do welcome the government's announcement to establish a permanent coroner's court to deal with custodial deaths. But it will still be a waste of time if the enabling law does not provide, for example, the following:

> A coroner should not be a junior judicial officer such as a magistrate. He should be at least either a senior Sessions Court judge or a High Court judge depending on the severity of the case.

> The process should be adversarial and not inquisitorial in nature. Relatives of the deceased should be made a party to the proceedings with a right to call and cross-examine witnesses.

> The various inhibitions to early disclosure of documents and information should be removed as currently there are just too many excuses and exceptions for important materials to be kept secret.

> Section 112 of CPC, which currently allows a witness to refuse to answer any questions which may incriminate him, should be dispensed with. In other words, all police officers and any persons who appear in the Coroner's Court are compelled to give evidence and they cannot claim this privilege against self-incrimination. However, any such self-incriminating evidence can be rendered not admissible in any subsequent criminal proceedings filed against them.

In conclusion, I cannot emphasise enough that there can be no public confidence in the system if there continues to be government inaction and a culture of impunity when it comes to dealing with custodial deaths. A Malaysian's right to life is enshrined in Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, and it is incumbent upon our law enforcement officers to uphold this. Custodial deaths are, therefore, unacceptable and inexcusable in a civilised society. Our enforcement officers must appreciate, if not be made to appreciate, that it is the cornerstone of our criminal justice system that a person, including a suspect, is innocent until proven guilty. This principle not only protects those suspects who are under their care, but also those police officers who are suspected of police brutality. But that does not mean that those who have already been convicted and are in the prison should be treated otherwise than what Lord Bingham has elucidated above.

It follows the government must urgently either overhaul EAIC or establish an independent police oversight body such as IPCMC with powers as suggested in the RCI's Report. Do not drag any more. The reason is simple. This culture of impunity must not be perpetuated. It must be immediately discarded for the sake of our future generations. Otherwise, it remains a national shame.

Hence, it is apposite to remind the government what the RCI said on page 122 of its report: "Of growing concern around the world is the 'culture of impunity' within police forces and the PDRM is not exempted ... culture of impunity feeds on itself. When officers act in contravention of laws and regulations without fear of investigation or reprimand, the culture of impunity begins to develop. Each wrongdoing that is not investigated or punished or is supported by higher ranks within the police leadership leads to the perception that such misconduct is permissible. As each new generation of officers observes and learns from their superiors, the culture becomes embedded in all the ranks of the PDRM."

The writer, a senior lawyer, is a former Malaysian Bar councillor. 


Living in fear of being the next victim

Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:23 PM PDT

Crime is happening everywhere, even at the doorsteps of victims, that one cannot help but wonder when he or she will be next on the list.

There are so many opportunities for me to get robbed – when I get out of the car to open the gate, when I'm unlocking the gate, when I get out of the car after I have parked it in the garage, when I'm locking the gate and when I'm unloading stuff from the car, even after I've locked the gate.

Philip Golingai, The Star

HOW many of you cheered when you read that a Tan Sri had gunned down a robber? I did.

Last Thursday, three armed men held up a private clinic in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, at 10pm.

"Everyone was shocked when the three men burst in.

"They were carrying knives and a parang and held it at people's necks, shouting 'kasi wang! (give money)'," said Litya Gunasegaran, a 24-year-old nurse.

"One of them just snatched my necklace and went to another person."

The robbers grabbed cash and valuables from the doctor and his staff before turning their attention on the patients.

One of them was Pahang Chinese Chamber of Commerce chairman Tan Sri Lam Kam Sang.

The 68-year-old businessman and Raub MCA division chief was in the clinic because he was unwell after dinner.

The Tan Sri was armed with an automatic pistol.

With his finger on the trigger of his Glock 9mm, Lam warned the robbers he would shoot if they did not leave.

Instead, they lunged at him.

One of the robbers slashed him with a parang and Lam sustained slight abrasions on his abdomen. The Tan Sri then fired multiple shots.

The robbers fled the clinic.

One of them was found dead about 30m away with gunshot wounds on his knee, abdomen and buttocks.

Police recovered a knife and a Nissan car outside the clinic.

"The car was stolen during another robbery at a clinic in Kajang on Wednesday," said Cheras OCPD Asst Comm Mohan Singh.

Lam has no regrets shooting the robber dead.

"He was very aggressive and threatened my life.

"I pumped three shots into him after he tried to slash me a second time.

"If I did not have my gun, it could have been me who would be dead," he said.

I salute the Tan Sri.

I hope with the death of one of their comrades, the robbers would think twice before they go on their crime spree.

If I had a Glock 9mm and my hands were not trembling with fear, I would have shot the robbers, too.

I had the same thought when I watched a video clip sent to me via Whatsapp by my Twitter friend @kcl1308.

In that clip taken from a CCTV, you can see the automatic house gate opening and a dark-coloured luxury car entering the garage.

While the car was entering, two men in a motorcycle passed by.

As the automatic gate was closing, one of the men wearing a helmet ran into the house.

He whacked the front passenger window with what looked like an iron rod while the motorcyclist waited in front of the house.

He, however, could not break the window and the driver of the luxury car reversed his or her vehicle.

As the car was reversing, the man ran to the driver's side and tried to smash the window with his iron rod. He then jumped onto the motorcycle and he and his accomplice sped off.

If he or she wanted to, the owner of the luxury car could have rammed the robbers.

But he or she didn't.

I told myself, if it was me – in the heat of the moment – I would have tried to run down the robber.

But when I thought about it, probably it would not be a good idea as what if the (injured) robber returned to seek revenge.

I was filled with fear and loathing when I watched the video clip.

It reminded of a recent robbery involving my 29-year-old sister's best friend in Kota Kinabalu.

The modus operandi was the same – robbers entering a house while the automatic gate was opening.

The robbery drives the point home that we are no longer safe – even in our house.

I have heard enough horror stories of daylight robberies happening in my neighbourhood that I am quite fearful whenever I get out of my car at my house.

There are so many opportunities for me to get robbed – when I get out of the car to open the gate, when I'm unlocking the gate, when I get out of the car after I have parked it in the garage, when I'm locking the gate and when I'm unloading stuff from the car, even after I've locked the gate.

My only game plan if I'm about to be robbed is to press my car alarm button.

But from my conversations with robbery victims, I don't think I would dare press that button.

Probably, when parang-wielding men run towards me, I would freeze.

Even if I did press my car alarm button, what could happen?

Probably, my neighbours would think it was just another car alarm going off.

Or even if they rushed out of their house, the robbers would have escaped by then.

I have a feeling that it is just a matter of time before I become a crime statistic. Or is it all in my mind?


Climate effects already upon us

Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:14 PM PDT

A report last week shows that the climate crisis is already increasing with extreme weather incurring thousands of deaths. Countries need to prepare for the worst with adaptation plans.

Martin Khor, The Star

THE world is facing weather extremes and it's time for countries to act and adapt to the changes. Two events last week sent out similar messages.

Most of the debate on climate change has been on mitigation, or how to prevent further global warming by curbing emissions.

But the spotlight should be on adaptation – how to cope with the effects of climate change. Because whatever we do to curb emissions (and not enough is being done), the impacts are already upon us.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) released its report last week, aptly titled The Global Climate 2001-2010: A Decade of Climate Extremes.

It reported that the decade was the warmest in the world for both land and ocean surface temperatures.

The report is full of information on data showing how the rate of increase in global warming between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented.

Every year of the decade except 2008 was among the 10 warmest years on record.

The average land and ocean surface temperature for 2001-2010 was estimated to be 14.47°C, or 0.47°C above the 1961–1990 global average and 0.21°C above the 1991–2000 global average.

The report also documented the recent effects that climate change have had, showing the crisis of adaptation is already with us.

First, there has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world's glaciers.

As a result, global mean sea levels rose about 3mm per year, about double the observed 20th century trend of 1.6mm per year. Global sea level averaged over the decade was about 20cm higher than that of 1880.

Second is the increase in rainfall and floods. The 2001-2010 decade was the second wettest since 1901. Globally, 2010 was the wettest year since records were kept.

Most parts of the world had above-normal precipitation during the decade.

The eastern United States, northern and eastern Canada and many parts of Europe and central Asia were particularly wet.

Floods were the most frequent extreme event of the decade. Eastern Europe was particularly affected in 2001 and 2005, India in 2005, Africa in 2008, Asia (notably Pakistan, where 2,000 people died and 20 million were affected) in 2010 and Australia, also in 2010.

Third, droughts occurred in all parts of the world.

Among the worst hit were Australia (2002 and other years), East Africa (2004 and 2005) and the Amazon Basin (2010) with negative environmental impact.

Fourth, the decade saw 511 tropical cyclone-related events which resulted in nearly 170,000 deaths, over 250 million people reportedly affected and economic damages worth US$380bil (RM1.21 trillion) was recorded.

Fifth, there was tremendous increase of over 2,000% in deaths from heatwaves, from less than 6,000 in 1991-2000 to 136,000 in 2001-2010.

This was mainly due to the heatwaves that hit Europe (2003) and Russia (2010).

Sixth, more than 370,000 people died in 2001-2010 due to extreme weather and climate conditions including heatwaves, cold spells, drought, storms and floods, according to the data by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). This was 20% higher than 1991-2000.

The average population exposed to flooding every year increased by 114% globally between 1970 and 2010, a period in which the world's population increased by 87% from 3.7 billion to 6.9 billion. The number of people exposed to severe storms almost tripled in cyclone-prone areas, increasing by 192% in the same period.

Can all extreme weather events be attributed to climate change?

Though there is no certainty and each case has to be taken on its own, many scientists conclude that the likelihood of many events was probably substantially increased by rising global temperatures.

I was also in Beijing last week for an international conference on adaptation, organised by China's National Development and Reform Commission with the British and Swiss aid agencies.

We were treated to presentations by Chinese scientists and policy makers on how climate change has been affecting local communities in several provinces in terms of rain, water supply, drought and rise in sea levels.

A four-year project run by the three agencies helped the development of scientific research, policy coordination among government agencies and the communities to adapt to climate change.

This was in the area of facing up to water shortages, flooding, development of drought-resistant and flood-resistant crops, health and infrastructure to cope with flooding and other weather events.

Policy makers and NGOs from other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin American also shared their adaptation experiences.

Some of them, including Kenya, Mauritius and China itself, have prepared national adaptation plans, covering various regions and sectors in their countries.

Formulating a national adaptation strategy is already an achievement as it requires scientific knowledge of local conditions in different regions in the country, projecting the effects of climate change under various scenarios, and mapping out solutions and costs.

Given the WMO report of more extreme weather events to come, each country should prepare itself, and try to get their plans implemented.



0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


Malaysia Today Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved