Archive for July, 2013

31
Jul
13

Cock-up, cover-up and conspiracy

Are homicidal maniacs on the loose masquerading as policemen? Until there’s political will by all BN MPs to form the IPCMC, deaths in custody will continue to be part of police SOP

COMMENT

Do you remember N Dhamendran, the 32-year-old man who died on May 21, whilst in police custody, at the Tun HS Lee lockup, in Kuala Lumpur? His case is mired in controversy, just like all the other deaths in police custody.

First, the cock-up, involving alleged brutality and torture. Then, comes the cover-up, to disguise what actually happened. When the victims’ families probe deeper and demand answers, denials swiftly follow and scapegoats are eventually found.

Two months after Dhamendran’s brutal murder, the final piece in the jigsaw has been revealed. A few days ago, the identity and photo of the remaining policeman who was allegedly responsible for Dhamendran’s murder was released. This thug remains at large. Is he armed and dangerous? Was there really a fourth person involved in Dhamendran’s murder?

On May 11, Dhamendran was arrested, along with three other suspects, after he lodged a police report about a fight.

His family only knew of his arrest on May 19 and after visiting him at the police lock-up, they were told that he would be released on police-bail four days later. Instead of welcoming him home on May 22, they received a telephone call from an unidentified policeman, telling them to collect his body from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH).

May 22 was also the day when the CID chief Ku Chin Wah released a statement claiming that the detainee, after complaining of being unwell with chest pains and breathing difficulties, had succumbed to his illness. Ku said that Dhamendran was rushed to the KLH but was pronounced dead on arrival. The death was attributed to a suspected asthma attack.

It is the same old story, with the usual plot – chest pains, breathing difficulties, asthma attack, sudden death. The only difference being the players, healthy, young adults, some of whom never had asthma or any other chronic illness, appear to drop dead whilst in detention.

Horror, disgust, condemnation and outpourings of grief are often followed by denials and declarations by senior policemen that an investigation will be conducted “by an officer from Bukit Aman”.

One would have thought that with every death in police custody, lessons would have been learnt, the guilty punished, the bad policemen weeded out, violent men and violent tactics stopped, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for questioning suspects would be reviewed and there would be an end to this type of tragedy.

Despite these assurances custodial deaths continue, with increasing savagery, as Dhamendran’s murder has shown.

Many questions remain unanswered: Why did Ku pre-empt the post-mortem results? Does he have any medical qualifications? Was Ku’s statement an ill-advised premature act, a panic induced reaction or a genuine error of judgement? Did he have something to hide?

…more
Cock-up, cover-up and conspiracy
Mariam Mokhtar
July 19, 2013 – FMT

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31
Jul
13

Terengganu MB defends practice of cronyism

KUALA BESUT Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Said has defended the practice of giving projects to cronies, saying that it is a matter of political survival.

“We must put our people first, and it’s not about cronyism. It can’t be that Umno people give (projects) to PAS; they get the money and come to finish us off.

“If I want a project done, need a contractor and give it to a PAS contractor, then I’m stupid. This is politics. (It is) about getting power and staying in power,” Ahmad said at a press conference close to midnight last night.

He was responding to Paka assemblyperson Saiful Bahri Mamat’s claim yesterday that the Kuala Besut International Tourism Gateway project would sideline villagers and the fishing community because only cronies would benefit from the project.

It is part of a RM250 million project to deepen the Sungai Besut estuary, build new breakwaters, reclaim coastal land and set up a new marina, among others.

However Ahmad denied that cronies alone would benefit from this project.

“When tourists come in large numbers, they want accommodation. They want food. They want to try Terengganu’s keropok (fish crackers).

“It is the rakyat who will benefit when tourists come to stay and eat Terengganu keropok,” Ahmad said, referring to the popular local delicacy.

…more
Terengganu MB defends practice of cronyism
Koh Jun Lin
Jul 23, 2013 – Malaysiakini

30
Jul
13

Malaysia among world’s most unequal voter dispersal systems

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — The distribution of voters in Malaysia is one of the most unequal among countries that practise the first-past-the-post electoral system, falling behind even some African democracies, the DAP’s chief strategist said today.

Ong Kian Ming pointed out that based on his own calculations, Malaysia ranked 21 out of 25 countries on the level of malapportionment, or the measure of inequality in the distribution of voters among seats in a country, noting that Botswana, Sierra Leone and Uganda scored higher at the 10th, 13th and 20th spots respectively.

He said that the UK sets a five per cent limit for constituency sizes above or below the national quota, while Australia sets a 3.5 per cent limit above or below a state’s electoral quota. Canada sets a limit of 25 per cent above or below a province’s electoral quota, while in the US, various Supreme Court decisions require the population in each congressional district to be roughly equal in order to respect the “one-man-one-vote” principle.

The opposition lawmaker urged Putrajaya to follow the example of such advanced democracies by ensuring that the disparity among constituencies should not be more than 15 per cent from the average constituency size, as recommended by the Reid Commission before Independence in 1957.In 1962, however, the Alliance government — the predecessor to the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition — amended the Federal Constitution to retrospectively annul the 1960 delineation and to mandate the Election Commission (EC) to submit new delineations to the prime minister for parliamentary approval.

Rural weightage was also changed in the same year so that urban constituencies could be double the size of rural constituencies.

The Federal Constitution was later amended again in 1973 to remove the limit entirely.

“To ensure that malapportionment in Malaysia is decreased to a level which is consistent with being the ‘world’s best democracy’, Prime Minister Najib should also establish a Parliamentary Select Committee to specifically oversee the next delimitation (or delineation) exercise which the Election Commission has announced will commence at the end of the year,” said Ong, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“The fact that almost all of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform have not been implemented is a strong reminder of the lack of commitment on the part of the prime minister to introduce serious electoral reform in the country,” he added.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan reportedly said last May that the existing delineation of constituencies was illogical in terms of the number of voters and size.

The analyst had pointed out that the Putrajaya federal constituency only has 15,791 voters, compared to Kapar that has a whopping 144,159 voters.

…more
Malaysia among world’s most unequal voter dispersal systems, says DAP MP
By Boo Su-Lyn
July 19, 2013 – Malay Mail Online

29
Jul
13

Abolish 9A campaign goes online

Petition to Repeal Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958

Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958 stipulates that:

“After an electoral roll has been certified or (and) re-certified, as the case may be, and notice of the certification or (and) re-certification has been published in the Gazette as prescribed by regulations made under this Act, the electoral roll shall be deemed to be final and binding and shall not be questioned or appealed against in, or reviewed, quashed or set aside by, any court.”

This in substance means that once an electoral roll is gazetted, it cannot be challenged in court. The Election Commission has absolute power in controlling the electoral roll and cannot be challenged, even in the presence of elements of fraud legally proven or admission of irregularity by the Election Commission itself.

Section 9A is an ouster clause, i.e. it prevents members of the public the right to have decisions reviewed by the courts. Citizens must be allowed to assert their right and challenge the electoral roll if it is suspected to have discrepancies.

Section 9A was controversially introduced by the Barisan Nasional-led government after the landmark Likas by-election case. In 2001, the Kota Kinabalu High Court had found the Likas constituency electoral roll to be flawed, as it contains phantom voters, and hence declared the 1999 constituency polls to be null and void, or tainted with fraud.

We call on the government to repeal Section 9A as it is unconstitutional. It is hindrance towards a free and fair election, undemocratic, and prevents the judiciary from discharging its independent role under the doctrine of the Separation of Powers as arbiters of rights and duties.

…source
Petition to Repeal Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958
http://www.mansuhkan9a.com/

 

‘Abolish 9A campaign’ launched in adamant EC’s face

A petition to abolish Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958 has been launched as the Election Commission (EC) appears bent on defending the law that disallows judicial review of the electoral roll.

The petition, started by Klang MP Charles Santiago and his Pakatan colleagues, has garnered over 800 signatures since it was first started on Thursday.

“Yesterday, the Election Commission’s (EC) deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (right) was quoted as saying that Section 9A is needed to prevent people from stalling the electoral process by challenging the electoral roll.

“Wan Ahmad’s justification is a charade. Clearly, Wan Ahmad prefers Section 9A to be maintained as it gives the EC absolute powers in controlling the electoral roll,” said Charles in a statement today.

Section 9A was introduced under the tenure of then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the High Court in 2001 declared the Likas state seat results null and void due to the pressence of non-citizens on the electoral roll.

The law effective bars the judiciary from making similar decisions as it can no longer review the electoral roll.

The law, Charles (left) said, would allow the EC to conduct elections even with the presence of fraudulent names on the electoral roll as the commission is the sole authority on the matter.

…more
‘Abolish 9A campaign’ launched in adamant EC’s face
Jul 21, 2013 – Malaysiakini

 

Electoral rolls clean-up campaign goes online

The electoral rolls cannot be challenged in a court of law and, as such, three opposition MPs are calling for a section of the Elections Act 1958 to be abolished with their ‘Mansuhkan 9A’ online petition launched today at Parliament.

Section 9A stipulates that the rolls cannot be challenged in court once it is gazetted and that, opposition MPs say, is an obstacle to free and fair elections.

DAP Klang MP Charles Santiago said it was clear that the section was introduced to enable Barisan Nasional to protect its phantom voters syndicate, saying that he found no other logical reason for the “unconstitutional and undemocratic provision”.

“We call on the government to repeal Section 9A immediately and return the power to the judiciary. Anything short of this will further degrade the legitimacy of the BN government,” he said.

The two other MPs responsible for the online petition are Sepang MP Mohamed Hanipa Maidin and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah.

The petition is accessible at http://www.mansuhkan9A.com

…more
Electoral rolls clean-up campaign goes online
By Jennifer Gomez
July 18, 2013 – TMI

28
Jul
13

This is indelible ink?

COMMENT Finally, the formula is out! Ladies and gentlemen, the ‘indelible’ ink is made of: Silver nitrate 1%, organic colour 60%, moisturiser 29% and solvent 10%.

This, as declared by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim (left), makes a perfect 100% indelible ink fiasco that rocked the nation and mocked our country’s electoral process.

It has made me wonder why the Election Commission (EC) as a constitutional panel set up to safeguard the electoral process from being manipulated by either party, has not been that forthcoming with the truth or willing to use the right tool correctly to tighten the loopholes within the system.

Now, with the ink formula being told in parliament, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Firstly, the minister should be censured for misleading the Dewan Rakyat by earlier stating that the ink did not have chemicals and only contained food colouring.

Minister Shahidan, please do not also make a mockery out of our august House by stating what is apparently untrue. Even a young teenager will be able to tell you that silver nitrate and moisturisers are chemicals; or else, would you also categorise them as food “colouring” that can be consumed?

But at least you score a point by telling the world the composition of the “indelible” ink. So, to be fair, now we know that in the indelible NONEink, there is one percent silver nitrate after all! I give the Election Commission chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof (left in photo) a one-point score for stating the ink should not be more than 1% silver nitrate, but excuse me, I have to minus two points from his deputy, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, for insisting that the ink had at least 4% silver nitrate.

Do not think that the rakyat are all stupid. We are in fact very disgusted with the way that ministers and the EC duo contradict each other, hoping that the public would buy their stories. There are no reasons why they should be playing the hide-and-seek, especially since the EC no longer enjoys public confidence after the indelible ink fiasco. If they have any sense of dignity left, they should immediately resign.

After over a thousand police reports being lodged after GE13, the issue is still being taken lightly? Why?

Silver nitrate!

According to public knowledge, industry standard for electoral inks contain anything between 10 to 18% silver nitrate solution, depending on the length of time the mark is required to be visible.

A one percent silver nitrate is as good as the 2% aqueous silver nitrate solution used for the treatment of Ophthalmia neonatorum (ON), or neonatal conjunctivitis. In other words, if a 2% silver nitrate solution cannot cause a stain on the eyes of newly-born babies, do not expect a 1% silver nitrate to do the magic that we all know about in the genuine indelible ink.

Hardly anything carcinogenic

There is, in fact, no basis for the ink manufacturer to reduce the silver nitrate to 1 percent, especially since there is hardly anything carcinogenic about silver nitrate.

…more
Bingo! This is indelible ink
Stephen Ng
Jul 18, 2013 – Malaysiakini

28
Jul
13

Suhakam wants Najib to clarify status of Sedition Act

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has to clarify the conflicting statements made by ministers on the Sedition Act 1948, says Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) vice-chairperson Khaw Lake Tee.

“We have always welcomed the promise to abolish the Sedition Act and replace it with a National Harmony act,” Khaw said in reply to a reporter during the question-and-answer session after the release of Suhakam’s annual report yesterday.

“I’m not sure exactly what the actual position (of the Act) now is, in view of the conflicting statements from the various ministers.

“So, we will wait to see what exactly is the position, especially when the prime minister returns,” Khaw (right) said, stressing that Najib should clear the air.

Suhakam’s 2012 annual report also calls for transparency in the drafting of the proposed National Harmony Act, to ensure it is in line with human rights principles.

“(Suhakam) suggests that the Act be drafted in a transparent manner, in consultation with all stakeholders, including the commission, to ensure compliance with human rights principles,” the report says.

In July last year Najib announced that the Sedition Act would be replaced with a National Harmony Act.

When questioned in an interview with the British broadcast network BBC last Tuesday on why the Sedition Act was yet to be abolished, Najib gave his assurance that “it’s coming”.

…more
Suhakam wants Najib to clarify status of Sedition Act
Jarni Blakkarly
Jul 10, 2013 – Malaysiakini

27
Jul
13

No dilemma, Dr M, just the need for a better Malaysia

Maybe a decade ago, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad could have counted on having the last word on everything; where the adoring millions would have devoured all his half-truths and fibs and allowed him the luxury of shoveling his porous theories of life in Malaysia on the masses.

Maybe a decade ago he could have got away with the self-serving opinion piece published in the Umno-controlled New Straits Times today, where he talked about a so-called Chinese dilemma, accusing the DAP of trying to set up Singapore in Malaysia, with the Chinese wielding economic and political power instead of sharing power.

“The dilemma for the Chinese is whether to make a grab for political power while dominating economic power or to adhere to the principle of sharing which has made this country what it is today…That is the Chinese dilemma,” he wrote.

Memo to Dr Mahathir: The Chinese do not have any dilemma. For that matter, the more than 51 per cent who voted for Pakatan Rakyat in GE13 do not have a dilemma: they just wanted to oust a coalition which over a period of time had become corrupt and atrophied and allowed this country to be riven with racial and religious polarisation.

So strong was the antipathy against Barisan Nasional (BN) and all it represents that Chinese and other non-Malays were willing to vote for turbaned candidates from Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), something which Chinese voters were unwilling to do in large numbers as recently as the 1999 GE, when the Chinese vote saved Dr Mahathir from being scalped.

Dr Mahathir knows this but accepting this reality would force him to accept a harsher reality: that he as prime minister of Malaysia for 22 years contributed much to the decaying of the BN brand name and is culpable for the disillusionment many Malaysians feel towards Umno and the soulless component parties.

…more
No dilemma, Dr Mahathir, just the need for a better Malaysia
NEWS ANALYSIS BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
July 27, 2013 – TMI




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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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