Archive for July, 2011

31
Jul
11

EC is not telling the truth

16 days after Bersih 2.0 and finally the Election Commission meets Ambiga Sreenevasen on a public stage to discuss election reforms. Yet, all is not well with the Election Commission as more questions have been raise in the aftermath of its lacklustre answers.

EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar absolved himself and his colleagues of any responsibility towards electoral reforms amid boos and jeers during a public dialogue with Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreevenasan, stressing that there was “nothing wrong” with the EC.

“The EC is not an enforcement agency; it is only a management body for elections. The best we can do is to propose relevant laws to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“But ultimately it is the government of the day, which obtained majority votes, which has the final say. If the government decides that voting age is 21 years old, whatever proposal we send to the A-G’s Chambers can never go to Parliament,” he said at a public forum titled What next after July 9.

A lie of a statement

This is a rather funny statement from the EC deputy chairman, as the manager for elections in Malaysia, the EC is provisioned to make rules as stated in Article 113 (5) of the Federal Constitution. This provision within the Federal Constitution was pointed out by the Bersih chairperson to the EC deputy chairman.

Rules of conduct for elections are well within the boundaries of the EC since these are the rules that go into effect during an election. There is no need for such rules to pass through the AG chambers as long as these rules uphold and stay within the context of federal law.

Thus among other things, the use of indelible ink, a period of 21 days for campaigning and equal access to main-stream media are all measures that the EC can decide on, without having to refer to the AG chambers.

The only time such rules should be referred to the AG chambers is if there is a possibility a rule can contradict a federal law. Even then, if it does contradict a federal law, the EC does have the responsibility to stand by its decision or decide on an alternative.

It is the responsibility of the EC to uphold its role in ensuring that elections are conducted fairly and properly in Malaysia. Appointments are by the Agong and members to the EC must not have any other affiliation whether to political parties or to business entities.

This means they have to ensure that they are neutral and unbiased. If they are unable to be neutral or believe that they cannot play an impartial role as Wan Ahmad himself suggested, then they should immediately resign or be in gross disobedience to the King.

…more
EC is not telling the truth: It can make changes without BN approval
by Maclean Patrick
30 July 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle

Advertisements
31
Jul
11

No interest in police’s video on Bersih

A short video documentary produced by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to tell its version of Bersih’s massive rally on July 9 has been ridiculed by both PAS and PKR, saying no one had shown interest to the clip.

“The video made and aired by the police is definitely not capturing the interest of the public, and Information minister (Rais Yatim) was forced to promote the video.

“If the video is interesting and shows the truth, the public will surely watch it without having to be told to do so,” said PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar.

Earlier, it was reported that only the government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) had aired the clip following Rais’s instruction, a move for which the police expressed its gratitude.

“We thank RTM for screening the video to show what actually happened during the July 9 illegal rally. By screening the video, we hope the public will get truthful and accurate information on the rally,” said deputy inspector general of police Khalid Abu Bakar, who has been at the forefront of police action against Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat activities.

The video clip by the police comes amidst accusations of police brutality on July 9, an allegation the police had refused to accept.

Rais , who is the Information, Communication and Culture minister, had urged Malaysians to watch the video to get the “truth”.

“I urge all Malaysians to tune in to RTM and watch the true and accurate accounts of what happened and judge for themselves.

“We will air the actual scenes of the parties which carried out the illegal street demonstrations that day and they will have to answer as to who is lying,” said Rais.

Waste of funds

According to Mahfuz, public funds had been wasted in something that the public had no interest in.

He added that other TV stations’ refusal to broadcast the clip showed that they were aware of the public’s lack of interest in government propaganda.

“If the police video is shown, the public will further distrust the TV stations. That’s why private TV stations have refused to air the video,” he said.

..more
PAS, PKR ridicule police’s video stunt
29 July 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle

30
Jul
11

RCI + inquest = ‘big, big mess’

PETALING JAYA: The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Teoh Beng Hock’s death, which released its findings in a report last Thursday, has created a “big legal mess” by generating more questions than answers, said prominent human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

Malik, who represented the Selangor government during the inquest and RCI, said rather than serving its original function to bring a closure to the issue, there are now different conclusions by the RCI and inquest.

“What has resulted is a big, big, mess. We have now a coroner’s decision and a RCI’s, which are saying different things. In law, the coroner’s findings is the determinative one,” the National Human Rights Society president told FMT.

Malik said the three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers – Negri Sembilan MACC director (then Selangor MACC deputy director) Hishamuddin Hashim and two enforcement officers Mohd Anuar Ismail (then the investigating officer) and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus, who are being internally investigated for allegedly driving Teoh to suicide – would most probably make the same argument (that the RCI finding is inferior to a court finding) if they were brought to court.

“Both findings (RCI and inquest) are inconsistent. The inquest ruled out a suicide and said there were insufficient evidence to come to a finding of homicide. It also accepted that there were pre-fall injuries on Teoh, but the RCI totally ignored all that,” said Malik.

Malik said before the Selangor government and lawyers of Teoh’s family decided to pull out of the RCI, they suggested and raised concerns over the “dual” findings that would eventually emerge but their arguments fell on deaf ears.

“The RCI then should have stood down until the outcome of the revision (on the inquest) had been done away with. Or, the Attorney-General should have withdrawn his application to revise the inquest decision to push for a suicide finding and all parties to start off on a clean slate. But that was never decided on,” he said.

“At the end of the day, the A-G, who recommended for both a revision and most probably also advised the government to hold the RCI, was asking for two different sides,” he said.

“Also, the RCI decided to ignore all the evidence in the inquest and reboot the whole case… and it seems that somehow everyone got a second chance to restate their case. They (the commissioners) should not have done that; (RCI chairman) James ( Foong) could have found a way to include the coroner’s findings,” he added.

‘There’s no certainty’

Malik expressed his disappointment that the RCI now gave rise to more uncertainty than definitive answers.

“Where do things stand right now? There’s no certainty. What we have now is a whole mess of uncertainty,” he said.

“Has the RCI served its function? From the very beginning, the decision not to hold a RCI before an inquest was ill-conceived, and having a RCI as a knee-jerk reaction to public anger was also not well-thought out,” he said, adding that the original intention of having a RCI was because of public anger and lack of confidence in the inquest’s findings.

“The RCI was more of a political resolution rather than a legal one,” he said.

…more
RCI + inquest = ‘big, big mess’
Teoh El Sen
July 28, 2011 – FMT

30
Jul
11

BN distorts human rights in Malaysia

In 2005 the Human Rights Watch interviewed S Arutchelvan from Suaram, and he best described the difference between Internal Security Act and Emergency Ordinance as, “The ISA is top down – a government minister orders detention of someone seen as a threat to the government – whereas the EO is bottom up. The police, having failed to collect evidence to prosecute a criminal suspect, request an EO detention order from the minister.”

The Emergency Ordinance violates international law in many ways. It violates the fundamental right to liberty, right to due process, and a fair trial. Even in states of emergency, human rights standards still prohibit indefinite detention without charge or trial.

But despite the obvious depravity of such laws, Prime Minister Najib Razak and his BN coalition – after ruling the country for 5 decades – can only chime “these laws are still necessary” to protect the country. Who then is to protect the country from him and the BN?

Only banana republics and those who are running scared do it

A government-appointed Royal Commission back in 2005 recommended the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance. It expressed concern about preventive detention laws, calling them: “undesirable because they deny the individual his personal liberty without a right to trial in an open court as approved for in Article 5 of the Constitution and in the International Bill of Rights. This right is among the most precious that the individual has and it must be protected.”

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which has been ratified or acceded to by 156 states as of 2006, include guarantees such as the obligation to treat detainees with humanity, and certain elements of the right to fair trial, such as the prohibition on arbitrary detention of liberty and the presumption of innocence.

Although Malaysia is not a signatory to the treaty, these provisions are considered customary international law and, as such, applicable in all states. Malaysian government-appointed bodies such as the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police have cited the ICCPR in setting forth the standards they believe should govern the conduct of Malaysian authorities.

The detainment of the 6 PSM supporters under the EO is a mockery of the principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty; it unjustly denies Malaysians of civil liberties; it allows for detention without trial denying us our natural justice and creates conditions for torture and other degrading forms of treatment while under detention.

The prolonged detention only enforces the idea that the police have little to go by if the 6 were to face trial in open court. Yet, even if the 6 go to trial in court and are released; they still can be detained under the EO.

…more
This is how the BN distorts human rights in Malaysia
by Maclean Patrick
29 July 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle

29
Jul
11

Jeyakumar and 5 other PSM leaders freed

The EO-6 have finally been released after 28 days of detention following strenuous efforts by Parti Sosialis Malaysia members, NGOs and friends including Pakatan Rakyat supporters to pressure the police and Home Ministry to free them.

No reasons were given and the Star reported the Inspector General of Police as saying it is up to the Attorney-General to decide on the next course of action.

“Yes, it is confirmed. We need to get rid of all the oppressive laws, EO, ISA, OSA and PPPA because this case has highlighted how they can be abused. But before that, the BN government and the police must apologise to the EO-6 and their families,” PKR legal affairs director Latheefa Koya told Malaysia Chronicle.

“This shows that the police have been lying to the people about Dr Jeyakumar and PSM members being communists, the masterminds behind Bersih and waging war against the King. Where is the proof?” PAS MP for Bukit Gantang Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.

…more
Jeyakumar and 5 other PSM leaders freed: Police must apologize
by Melissa Lee
29 July 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle

29
Jul
11

PSM6 Vigil

PSM6 Vigil, Ambiga: We will only celebrate when they are released

29
Jul
11

Malaysians are angry for good reasons

24 JULY — Wong Chun Wai says, “Can we stop being angry people and try to make sense of the issues affecting the nation instead? Or better still, laugh at them?”; in his Sunday column, Of Angry Birds and Angry Malaysians: Sunday Star 24 July 2011.

A young man, about to become a father and a husband, saw his life tragically ended after being subjected to near inhumane interrogation by a government institution. Teoh Beng Hock was under such duress that, according to the RCI, it drove him to commit suicide. And this is someone who is apparently innocent of any wrongdoings.

An elderly lady, drenched as a result of the water cannons, walks away from a brigade of riot police, eyes stinging from tear gas. All she did was to take part in a peaceful march for electoral reforms with thousand others who suffered the same fate.

A mainstream newspaper and a so-called NGO with its bellicose leader is allowed to spew out racist rants; fan religious tensions; and spread fantastic conspiracy theories (Jewish/Communist/Christian domination, take your pick) to divert attention away from the failings of the government, with barely a murmur of disapproval from those whom we look to for protection of our shared values.

Blatant corruption are not investigated or treated with the customary “tak cukup bukti”; a government that ask its people to tighten our belts but barely able to contain its own bloated spending; and public institutions such as the police and MACC that spend more time defending its obvious masters rather than the public.

Last but not least, our mainstream media that appeals to the lowest journalistic denominator — substituting real, unbiased reporting for a shameless, one-sided politicized news and opinions that stretches the truth or manufacture controversies to hide the real issues.

And we are wondering why Malaysians are angry? What is anger, if not a mix of frustration and passion for the subject matter? When we are angry with someone, it is usually with the people we love or care about.

When we are angry with certain events, it is because the events affect us personally, directly or indirectly. Yes, we are angry. We are absolutely livid with the current leadership that have virtually stripped our public institutions of their independence, dignity and best traditions. We are enraged by so-called leaders that preaches 1Malaysia on the one hand and turns around to defend those that rubbish it.

We are furious with politicians who think that we, voters, are smart enough to vote them into office but clueless to think of ourselves that they see fit to contaminate our minds with half-truths, spins and censorship. We are furious when we see this country of plenty being plundered by those who were supposed to protect it.

Being angry shows we care. Being angry shows we still love Malaysia. Being angry shows we are hopeful. Hopeful that Malaysia may yet be redeemed by leaders who possessed the real conviction to steer this country to its full potential, for the betterment of our children and not their own well-being; leaders who serve the people with humility and not with arrogance and sense of entitlement.

Anger is good. Anger is fuel for change. WCW shouldn’t worry about angry Malaysians. He should instead worry the day Malaysians stop being angry. When that day comes, it won’t be replaced by laughter, as he suggest, but in most likelihood, by tears and resignation. I pray that the day won’t come.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

…source
Angry Malaysians — CL Tang
July 24, 2011 – Malaysian Insider




Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

Archives