Archive for April, 2014


“That which is fundamentally lawful cannot be criminalised”

Appeals Court rules it’s unconstitutional to criminalise peaceful assemblies

by Tarani Palani

PUTRAJAYA (April 25): In a landmark judgement today, the Court of Appeal ruled that it is unconstitutional to criminalise organisers of peaceful assemblies for failing to give notice of the event to the police.

The court ruled that that a provision of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA), which imposes a fine of up to RM 10,000 for breach of the 10-day notice required to hold a peaceful assembly, was against the Federal Constitution and should be removed from the Act.

The three-member bench, comprising Justices Datuk Mohamad Arif Md Yusof, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, said this in their decision on the appeal by Selangor deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad over a charge against him under the PAA.

Nik Nazmi was appealing the decision by the High Court on Nov 1 last year to dismiss his application to strike out the PAA charge against him at the Session’s Court.

He was charged for not providing the 10-day notice to the Petaling Jaya police district chief to hold the Black505 rally on May 8 last year.

Nik Nazmi’s appeal was based on the constitutionality of sections 9(1) and 9(5) of the PAA. Section 9(1) requires an organiser to provide a 10-day notification to the authorities before a rally takes place and section 9(5) provides that a maximum RM10,000 fine ne given if the organisers fail to adhere to section 9(1).

The second ground for appeal was that it was selective prosecution against an opposition elected representative as Nik Nazmi is the Seri Setia state assembly member and a staunch PKR member.

Justice Arif ruled that more evidence must be adduced to back this claim. However it will be redundant following the bench’s decision on the first ground of appeal.

Considering the severity of the matter as it concerned the Federal Constitution, the judges decided to deliver three separate judgments.

They differed somewhat in their justifications as to why it was wrong to criminalise those involved in peaceful assembly.

However, they unanimously agreed that the holding of a peaceful assembly cannot be criminalised despite non-compliance of the notice period.

“That which is fundamentally lawful cannot be criminalised,” Justice Arif said referring to his judgment.

Justice Mah in his judgment said that section 9(5) is “ultra vires” in regard to criminal breach and is unconstitutional.

In the same vein, Justice Hamid Sultan ruled that “if the assembly itself was peaceful, there was no point in penalising the organisers”.

Appeals Court rules it’s unconstitutional to criminalise peaceful assemblies
Apr 25, 2014 –


PM resigns over disaster – in S. Korea

South Korean PM resigns

Seoul: South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won announced his resignation on Sunday over the government’s poor response to the April 16 ferry disaster, in which it was first announced that everyone had been rescued.

The Sewol ferry sank on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the traditional holiday island of Jeju.

More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers on a field trip from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul, have died or are missing and presumed dead.

The children were told to stay put in their cabins, where they waited for further orders. The confirmed death toll on Sunday was 187.

The resignation has to be approved by President Park Geun-hye.

“Keeping my post too great a burden on the administration,” a sombre Chung said in a brief announcement. “…On behalf of the government, I apologise for many problems from the prevention of the accident to the early handling of the disaster.”

“There are too many irregularities and malpractices in parts of society that have been with us too long and I hope those are corrected so that accidents like this will not happen again.”

South Korean PM resigns
April 27, 2014 – FMT


Farewell, Tiger of Jelutong (in pictures)

(Photos courtesy of Malaysiakini)














Eulogy for Karpal Singh

State eulogy for Karpal Singh – Lim Guan Eng

We mourn the untimely and unexpected passing of DAP national chairman and Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor, Saudara Karpal Singh.

Sdr Karpal is a 8-term MP of Bukit Gelugor and Jelutong, as well as a 3 term state assemblyman in Penang, first elected in 1978.

For 40 years, Sdr Karpal dedicated his life to the legal profession, fighting for justice, upholding our constitutional rights of freedom and human rights. His landmark cases are textbook references for lawyers.

A devoted father and husband to his wife Gurmit, both of them brought up 5 children who are all successful practising lawyers except for the youngest who is an accountant. The eldest Jagdeep is presently a Penang state Exco member while the second, Gobind, is the MP for Puchong.

With his life suddenly cut short at 74 years following a tragic accident on 17 April 2014, Penang has lost an upstanding and outstanding leader and lawyer.

The rakyat lost a fearless “tiger” with an indomitable spirit who stood up for the poor, weak, defenceless and dispossesed.

But it is his fighting spirit that stands out. You can detain Karpal physically but you can never detain his spirit. I saw this myself while we were both detained without trial under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1988 in Kamunting Detention Camp. He suffered from severe spinal back pains but refused to yield.

This refusal to yield was evident after Karpal suffered an unfortunate accident in 2005 which paralysed him waist-down. Not only did he overcome this paralysis but he continued his brilliant legal and political career.

Sdr Karpal became the first disabled person in Malaysia to be elected twice to Parliament, both times with huge majorities.

In seeking both rule of law and a better Malaysia, Sdr Karpal practised what he preached – refusing to charge for cases of gross injustices whether they involved famous VIPs like opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Sdr Lim Kit Siang, or the poor Malay, Indian or Chinese.

His departure will leave an immense void not only in his family’s lives, but also in all Malaysians whose lives have been inspired by his principled cause.

To Sdr Karpal’s family, we share your grief in this time of bereavement with deepest sympathies and condolences. Thomas Jefferson said that when the government fears the people, there is liberty; when the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Throughout his life, Karpal showed us how not to fear the government.

Let us therefore mourn Karpal Singh, but at the same time honour him by celebrating his accomplishments and realising his aspirations of justice, integrity and freedom. Thank you Karpal, Rest In Peace. – April 20, 2014.

* Eulogy delivered by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at the public funeral for Karpal Singh by the Penang state government at Dewan Sri Pinang, April 20, 2014.

State eulogy for Karpal Singh – Lim Guan Eng
April 20, 2014 – TMI


Karpal Singh, Tiger of Jelutong

Karpal Singh

Karpal Singh, always in the pursuit of justice

Karpal Singh – the prominent lawyer, lawmaker and DAP leader – died early this morning in a road accident while on the way to Penang, doing what he does best: going to court for a client. He was 73.

His reputation as a lawyer and politician had earned him the nickname the “Tiger of Jelutong” from the time he started legal practice in 1970 – which was also the year he joined the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

When he died early today, Karpal had just let go of the DAP chairmanship as he battled a sedition conviction that risked his four decades of legal and political career.

But the controversial decision was nothing to Karpal. He had been thrown out of parliament, put in detention during Ops Lalang in 1987 and had faced previous sedition charges.

“Eliminating me from the political terrain will not be the end of Karpal Singh. It will in fact lead to the rise of many Karpal Singhs!” said Karpal, who was Amnesty International’s “prisoner of conscience” for his detention without trial.

His legal and political colleagues remember him as a fearless and smart lawyer and politician, but to the countless ordinary people in his Penang constituency and legal office in Jalan Pudu Lama, Kuala Lumpur – he was a friend.

This was the other side of Karpal Singh apart from his legendary roles as a DAP politician and remarkable lawyer – he was a gentle-mannered man who was always ready to help the ordinary folk he came across in his daily life.

They knew Karpal as a humble man with a ready smile, who was always ready to stop and listen, no matter how small you were. No question was too trivial or repetitive for him to answer, no hello was too unimportant to stop for.

His tragic death in a road accident today meant that he “died in his saddle”, a term he had used upon turning 70 when he said: “I’ve always said that a lawyer should die in a saddle. I think it equally applies to being a politician.”

An earlier road accident in 2005 put him in a wheelchair while this morning’s road accident occurred near Gua Tempurung when the veteran lawyer was on his way up north to Penang in his white Alphard for a court case.

Anyone who knew Karpal would easily attest to how he was probably the busiest 73-year-old around, often shuttling between parliament and court during the week, and on weekends, travelling up north, mostly to visit his constituency or for a court case.

Nothing would stop him in court or politics. Not even the latest sedition conviction where he was alleged to have said that the removal of Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as menteri besar of Perak by Perak ruler, Sultan Azlan Shah, could be questioned in a court of law.

Karpal’s defence was that he had offered a legal opinion and not a threat to the ruler, who was once the Lord President of the Supreme Court. Charged for the offence in 2009, Karpal was acquitted by the High Court without his defence called in the first round.

However, the prosecution appealed against the decision and succeeded at the Court of Appeal, and even pressed for a deterrent sentence against the wheelchair-bound politician.

He was handed down a RM4,000 fine, which would have disqualified him as an MP if he did not succeed in an appeal which has not been heard.

Karpal Singh, always in the pursuit of justice
April 17, 2014 – TMI


Ridiculous estimate of RM400 billion to buy back highways

RM400 billion to buy back highways? Ridiculous, says DAP MP

How did Putrajaya come up with the incredulous amount of RM400 billion as the cost of buying back the highway concessions in Malaysia, a DAP lawmaker asked today.

Party national publicity chief Tony Pua said the construction costs of the 26 tolled highways in Malaysia amounted to a mere RM28.5 billion.

“The most expensive highway in Malaysia is the North-South Expressway which cost RM5.95 billion to build,” he said in a statement.

Pua questioned how Putrajaya could have come up with a figure which is more than 14 times the amount it cost to construct the 26 highways in the country.

“Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof must be out of his mind to claim that it will cost RM400 billion to re-acquire all the tolled highways in Malaysia,” he said.

“Is Putrajaya attempting to compensate the highway concessionaires for the loss of future profits?” he asked.

Pua said that the highway concession agreements clearly stated that Putrajaya did not need to make such compensation payments.

He said if the RM400 billion was to compensate concessionaires for the loss of future profits, it defeated the purpose of such an exercise in the first place.

“The government might as well let the concessionaires earn the profit over the next 20 years or so instead of laughing all to the bank in one trip.”

Pua said with the exception of the North-South Expressway and the Penang Bridge, all the concession agreements had clauses which allowed Putrajaya to buy back the concessions based on the cost of construction with the guarantee that the concessionaires had received an annual return of 12% for each prior year of operation.

“So if we assume that all the highways in Malaysia did not make a single sen of profit since they began operating, then the buyback cost will merely be a maximum of RM50 billion.

“This is one eighth of Fadillah’s estimate of RM400 billion,” he said.

Moreover, Pua said, most of the highway concessionaires had made fantastic profits in excess of 12% per annum since they began operating.

“This means that Putrajaya does not need to compensate for insufficient profit during the operating years.

“Instead of discussing buybacks, perhaps the government should focus on highways which are making unreasonable profits, such as the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong.”

Pua said the LDP had a net profit margin in excess of 40%, which was at the rakyat’s expense.

RM400 billion to buy back highways? Ridiculous, says DAP MP
April 03, 2014 – TMI


Petronas has been bailing out Putrajaya financially since 1985, says Ku Li

The founding chairman and chief executive of Petronas yesterday lamented that Putrajaya has been treating the leading oil and gas company as a cash cow, especially in bailing out government-linked outfits of financial trouble.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, or Ku Li, said since its inception in 1974 and until 2011, Petronas paid the government RM529 billion in dividends, taxes, petroleum proceeds and export duties.

He said the reliance of Petronas to help government-linked outfits out of financial trouble had been going on since 1985.

Ku Li, a finance minister from 1976 to 1984, said that year Petronas rescued the then Bank Bumiputra with a RM2.5 billion bailout, and again in 1991 when it coughed up another RM1 billion.

In 1997, he said Petronas had to rescue the financially ailing Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad for RM2 billion.

He added that Petronas was made to underwrite the construction of the Twin Towers, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, for RM6 billion and the building of the extravagant Putrajaya, the administrative capital of the Federal Government, for RM22 billion.

“This amount could have been used more productively to fund a national pension programme for Malaysians, as has been done by a certain Scandinavian country,” he said in his speech at the launch of the book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kuala Lumpur last night.

The book, authored by Anas Alam Faizli, is a collection of essays reflecting his thoughts on energy, economy and education in Malaysia.

The bailout and construction of mega projects was done during the premiership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who initiated a series of major infrastructure ventures in the 1990s.

Ku Li said the exorbitant amount of the bailout and construction of these projects that was forced onto Petronas had also deprived the company from the much needed cash build-up for reinvestment, which would ensure its business sustainability.

He said it was important for Petronas to look further afield at business investments outside the oil and gas sector, and it was critical for the corporation to have a strong cash reserve for reinvestment purposes.

Petronas has been bailing out Putrajaya financially since 1985, says Ku Li
April 04, 2014 – TMI

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah


Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah


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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?