Archive for November, 2011

30
Nov
11

Assembly bill – Dangerous to give BN majority in Parliament

NOV 29 — In a democracy it comes down to numbers. Barisan Nasional has more numbers in Parliament and is able to push through legislation, even when it is self-serving and meant for regime preservation.

This afternoon the Peaceful Assembly Bill was passed in Parliament by BN members and the frogs (calling them independent would be a disservice to independents the world over). Pakatan Rakyat MPs walked out because they wanted the Bill to be withdrawn and redrawn.

But that was never going to happen. As it is the Najib government was forced to eat humble pie and amend the Bill after it was pointed out that the legislation was even more regressive than Myanmar’s new laws on protests.

There is no use wailing or crying foul. BN has the numbers and we gave them the numbers in 2008. So it is perfectly legitimate for them to rubber stamp any legislation they want, except any change in law which requires two-thirds of Parliament’s support.

It is not the end of the world. We can always take back the numbers we gave them in 2008 and make sure that the next government repeals the Peaceful Assembly Act.

But if there is one lesson which we should take from today, it is this: it will be a dangerous gambit for us to give BN enough seats for them to have two-thirds majority in Parliament. Very, very dangerous.

Because then they will be able to change the Federal Constitution, put restrictions on the freedom of religion, assembly, revocation of citizenship and the like.

…source
Limit the parliamentary majority — Lucius Goon
November 29, 2011 – MI

30
Nov
11

Assembly Bill violates many international treaty obligations – Amnesty International

The Malaysian government has introduced a law which would further tighten the country’s excessive restrictions on peaceful protest ahead of next year’s expected general elections, Amnesty International said today.

If enacted, the Peaceful Assembly Bill would effectively prohibit street protests and fine demonstrators who fail to comply up to 20,000 Malaysian ringgit (US$6,000). The Malaysian Parliament is to consider the bill on Tuesday.

“This bill is a legislative attack on Malaysians’ right to peaceful protest,” said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director at Amnesty International. “The Malaysian parliament should firmly reject this legislation.”

Last July, the authorities launched a brutal crackdown on freedom of peaceful assembly when the Coalition for Clean Elections, known as Bersih, held a march for electoral reforms in Kuala Lumpur. Police beat peaceful protesters, fired tear gas canisters into the crowd, and arrested at least 1,667 demonstrators.

In the bill street protest is broadly defined as “open-air assembly which begins with a meeting at a specified place and consists of walking in a mass march or rally for the purpose of objecting to or advancing a particular cause or causes.”

This goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which endorses the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (article 20).

The bill restricts demonstrations to enclosed locations, such as stadiums, and requires protest organizers to obtain police permission in advance. Under public pressure, the Cabinet on Friday reduced from 30 days to 10 days the advance requirement for organizers of a public assembly to notify the police.

Nonetheless, police are given wide discretionary powers to impose restrictions on public assembly. Organizers of the July march known as Bersih 2.0 were denied permits for assembly, both in the street and at a stadium.

This bill would put Malaysia in violation of many of its international treaty obligations. For example, it restricts children below the age of 15 from participating in peaceful public assembly. Under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, to which Malaysia is a party, children have “the freedom to have their say, and the right to form associations and assemble peacefully” (article 15).

“If the Malaysian government is serious about holding free and fair elections, it needs to end this assault on the right to peaceful protest,” said Sam Zarifi.

...source
Malaysia urged to reject bill clamping down on peaceful protest
28 November 2011 – Amnesty International

29
Nov
11

The Walk for Freedom (Video)

(by KOMAS)

29
Nov
11

Pakatan MPs walkout to protest Assembly Bill

Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament staged a walkout after Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to heed their protests and those of civil society groups including the Bar Council, ramming through a controversial new law that will severely restrict Malaysians’ freedom to peaceful assembly and subjugating their rights to the police.

“This Bill does not protect national security, only the security of BN leaders,” PAS president Hadi Awang had told Parliament during debate of the Peaceful Assembly Bill.

“What excuse does the BN government have to bar peaceful assembly until Malaysia becomes worse off than Zimbabwe and Myanmar, whose ‘democracies’ are now better than ours. Only leaders who are cruel and afraid of the people will do such a thing,” Opposition Leader Anwar had also said the debate.

“Najib’s ‘clarification’ is proof that Peaceful Assembly Bill is the worst and most slipshod bill in 54-year parliamentary history raising questions about the Prime Minister’s bona fides in political reforms,” said Kit Siang.

The Pakatan will not vote on the Bill.

Only mini low-impact concessions

The walkout signifies the Pakatan’s objection to the Bill, while a slew of NGOs and activists including the Bar Council have also urged lawmakers to vote against it. However, while Najib has made several small concessions, he has refused to budge on the key issues.

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Anwar, Hadi, Kit Siang lead Pakatan walkout to protest Assembly Bill
29 November 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle

29
Nov
11

Peaceful Assembly Bill Unconstitutional

29
Nov
11

Walk for freedom to protest Assembly Bill


UPDATED Malaysian lawyers gathered at the Lake Gardens near to the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur to protest a Bill they believe will destroy all rights of the citizens to congregate to express their views on any issue.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has refused to acknowledge the criticism of the Bar Council and other civil society leaders including the Bersih movement for free and fair election.

To Najib, the Bill is even “revolutionary” and a “giant leap”. But to the protesters, who include opposition politicians, the Bill is oppressive, subjugates the citizens natural rights to the police and regresses Malaysia to below Myanmar, which is known for its black record on human rights.

Vow to keep up the pressure

More than 2,000 lawyers from the 14,000-strong Bar Council turned up for the much-anticipated protest despite the short notice given. They began begin their 2.5km ‘Walk for Freedom’ to Parliament at around 12.30pm.

On reaching the august House, president of the Bar Lim Chee Wee and 9 others were allowed into the lobby. They handed over a copy of the Bar’s alternative Bill to Deputy Minister Liew Vui Kong, plus a letter reiterating their call to MPs to vote wisely on the Bill.

“We are not anti-government or pro-opposition. We are anti-injustice and anti-unconstitutionality. We are pro-justice and pro-rule of law. We have always worked closely with the government,” Lim said.

“The Bar will continue knocking on the doors of Parliament if the Bill makes it to the statute books in its current form.”

Kill the Bill

Earlier, the peaceful greenery of the Lake Gardens was temporarily disrupted by cheerful lawyers in good spirits and eager to chip in their cents worth for greater justice and democracy in Malaysia.

“As the placards here say, ‘I cannot believe I’m protesting for my right to protest’. The Bill must be withdraw. There is just no excuse to push it through and extensive changes must be made,” prominent human rights lawyer and PKR vice president N Surendran told Malaysia Chronicle.

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More than 2,000 lawyers gather to protest Assembly Bill
29 November 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle

29
Nov
11

They are despots who want to oppress Malaysians in this day and age

The public anger against the Peaceful Assembly Bill, first proposed two months ago during Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Malaysia Day speech where he promised a repeal of oppressive laws, is founded.That’s right, Malaysians should be upset at the government’s duplicity in pulling such a fast one over them.

Let make it clear right at the start. It is the fundamental and constitutional right of all Malaysians to walk freely on this fair land and to have their voices heard. Yet, it is clear by now that the current establishment is out to stifle the voices of the people through legislative means ahead of a general election that has been touted to be the Mother of All Elections.

Indeed, the signs are clear that BN will not do well in the coming GE 13; something their own top leaders are very aware of. Najib is a popular leader but only according to the mainstream media and to his exorbitantly-paid public relations people.

Ask the ordinary folk, and they will giggle. Of course, they won’t come to see him if ‘sponsors’ weren’t there to hand out freebies and goodies. Also ask them, is Najib a capable leader? This time, instead of giggles, you are likely to hear thunderous laughter and snorts of scorn. The answer is fairly easy to deduce.

Two square meals a day are no longer enough

Worse still, it now appears Najib may also be a leader who has lost touch with the situation on the ground.

The introduction of the Peaceful Assembly Bill follows hot on the heels of the arrest of 13 men in Sabah under the Internal Security Act. Yes, the ISA is still in affect since the motion to have it repealed has been delayed till next year. Technically, from now until the date of its motion to be repealed, the ISA is still very much alive.

Both the Peaceful Assembly Act and the ISA have something in common, and this peculiarity showcases what may be the shallowness of Najib’s understanding of what sort of life and lifestyle that Malaysians aspire to these days.

Two square meals are no longer enough. A good job, car, house, money in the bank is good if it is possible. However, this is out of reach of the majority of Malaysians. And even if all have access to such, it won’t be enough. You see, Malaysians also want ‘quality of life’. They want to participate in life. This means having a say in issues that affect the lifestyles and future.

Both the Assembly Bill and the ISA give the Home Minister the final say on who or what can be banned and placed under detention without trial.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is the hidden hand or play-master behind introduction and the use of these two most repressive of acts in Malaysia. And if many are wondering who came up with the contents of the Assembly Bill, the finger should be pointed to Hishammuddin Hussein. Interestingly, the Home Minister did not read out the Assembly Bill in Parliament, but left the job to the Prime Minister, citing voice problems – the Home Minister lost his voice! Was his own Assembly Bill so horrible that it robbed him of his voice?

It seems a case of the chef cooking up a complex dinner menu and leaving it to the host of the house to explain to his guest, why the food tasted so bad!

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They are despots who want to oppress Malaysians in this day and age
26 November 2011 – Malaysia Chronicle




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?

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