Posts Tagged ‘Democracy


Ordered to enter defence for dropping yellow balloons at PM’s function!

Bilqis to answer charge for releasing balloons at PM’s function

Lawyer Eric Paulsen says his client will give evidence under oath to contest the charge, following the High Court’s decision that a magistrate had erred in acquitting Bilqis Hijjas.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dance producer Bilqis Hijjas has been ordered to enter defence for dropping yellow balloons at an event attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife at a shopping mall two years ago.

High Court judge Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak. in allowing the government’s appeal. said it had established a prima facie case.

“The magistrate had erred in acquitting the respondent (Bilqis) without defence called,” he said in his oral judgment.

On July 1 last year, magistrate Muhamad Faizal Ismail said evidence by prosecution witnesses could not prove that Bilqis intended to provoke and stir anger.

Bilqis, the daughter of prominent architect Hijjas Kasturi, was accused of dropping the balloons from the fifth floor of the Pavilion shopping mall in Bukit Bintang on Aug 31 while Najib and Rosmah Mansor were attending the Diverse­City 2015 Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival on the ground floor.

The balloons contained the words “democracy”, “free media” and “justice”, following the Bersih 4 rally which had taken place a day earlier.

She was charged under the Minor Offences Act 1955 for behaving in an insulting manner with the purpose of stirring anger which would likely cause a disturbance.

The offence carries a fine of not more than RM100 upon conviction.

Lawyer Eric Paulsen said his client would give evidence under oath when trial resumes.

“We are disappointed with the outcome but nevertheless will put our defence to contest the charge,” he said.

Sofian said the balloons fell behind a giant screen where the prime minister, Rosmah, foreign diplomats and shoppers were present when in the midst of witnessing a dance performance.

“It is not in doubt that the words connote contrary to what the present administration has been doing,” he said.

Bilqis to answer charge for releasing balloons at PM’s function
October 3, 2017 – FMT


Dr M calls Najib a ‘saboteur of democracy’

Dr M calls Najib a ‘saboteur of democracy’

While Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had rebuked his opponents of trying to oust his democratically-elected government, his archnemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was Najib who is against democracy.

“Najib claims his government is democratic and any attempts to remove it is against democracy. This is a baseless claim and laughable.

“A practice accepted in democracy is the removal of leaders who have failed, unsatisfactory or done wrong against the country,” said Mahathir in a blog posting yesterday.

The former prime minister said this is seen in Australia, United States, Britain and Brazil where their leaders quit or were removed before their term was up.

“What has happened now is Najib has rejected democracy. The evidence is overwhelming,” said Mahathir.

He said among the example was the absence of the separation of powers as Najib now controlled the legislative, executive and judiciary, while MPs are forced to comply with the prime minister’s will.

This resulted in the inability to bring a no-confidence vote against Najib in Parliament.

He added that civil servants, police, the military, businesspersons as well as the media were also being made to submit to Najib or face retribution.

Mahathir also noted that the newly introduced National Security Act 2016 disallows an inquest in the event a citizen or a member of the security forces is killed.

“All this is clear evidence that Najib has destroyed democracy in this country.

“The one who should be arrested and charged in court is Najib for sabotaging democracy in Malaysia.

“As long as Najib is the prime minister, Malaysia will not be democratic. Far from it, Malaysia will have an iron fist government that does not adhere to the rule of law,” he said.

Dr M calls Najib a ‘saboteur of democracy’
30 Sept 2016 – malaysiakini


A very funny minister

Even Martians won’t believe M’sia is democratic: Zunar goes E.T. on Salleh

Below is Zunar’s rebuttal of the minister’s lambast against him:

SALLEH: Malaysia is a democratic country which does not stop anyone from voicing their opinions, but this has to be done in the proper manner.

ZUNAR: Who do you think you want to fool? Even aliens from Mars will not believe your words. If Malaysia was a democratic country, why is it that there are more than 100 individuals who have been investigated, arrested, detained, charged and convicted under the Sedition Act since 2014, just for expressing their views?

Voicing opinions should be done in the proper manner? I have been arrested, harassed, my office raided, and I face various types of harassment from the authorities just because I was expressing my views through creative means! Are drawing cartoons and publishing books not proper?

SALLEH: It is not wrong to have differences in opinion, or to disagree with the government, but why involve other countries?

ZUNAR As one of the recipients of ‘2016 Cartooning for Peace’ award, I was invited by the ‘Cartooning for Peace Foundation’ and the mayor of Geneva to exhibit 10 of my artworks in Switzerland starting from May 3.

The giant-size artworks are now on display at the lake Lac Leman until early June. Among the visitors were ex-UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, famous French cartoonist Jean Plantureux Plantu and the mayor Guillaume Barazzone.

As minister of communications, Salleh (photo) should know that we are now living in a borderless world. Issues have become universal. For your knowledge, I was also invited to speak at the UN about freedom of expression during the trip because for them, it is a global issue.

The world has become smaller now. That is why the media, like The Wall Street Journal can report on what is happening in Malaysia. That is why, the prime minister can sue them from Malaysia too, except that he is still waiting for Tuesday to arrive.

A very funny minister

Have you seen my exhibition in Geneva, Salleh? If you haven’t then let me tell you that the issues presented are about corruption, freedom of expression, conspiracy against (jailed former opposition leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) and the National Security Council.

Which one of the cartoons is not right? If you are still not clear about my cartoons, you can come to my new book launch ‘Wasabi’ (Wa Sapu Billion) this Saturday, May 14 and buy one. No, you cannot buy it at bookstores, because your “democratic” government has banned it.

SALLEH (Zunar’s exhibition) is an insult to a leader whom the people voted for.

ZUNAR When I was in Geneva, people were already aware about corruption in Malaysia because it was widely published in the major international media. The most popular question was: “How come they said RM 2.6 billion is a donation?”

The PM and the whole of the Malaysian cabinet are the ones who keep insulting themselves and are an embarrassment to the country. Not me. I would like to reiterate it is the duty of a cartoonist to expose corruption and I will keep drawing until the last drop of my ink!

SALLEH: Besides giving a negative image of Malaysia to other countries, such actions (Zunar’s exhibition) were seen as sabotaging the national economy and affecting the confidence of investors in Malaysia.

ZUNAR More than RM42 billion of people’s money had been lost in the 1MDB scandal, yet you blame cartoonist for the economic problem? You are a very funny minister, Salleh!

Even Martians won’t believe M’sia is democratic: Zunar goes E.T. on Salleh
13 May 2016 – malaysiakini


Malaysian democracy a most abnormal one

Kit Siang: Malaysian democracy a most abnormal one

Malaysia has held 13 General Elections in 56 years but there has not been a single change of Federal Government in Putrajaya from the Umno-led coalition, which makes Malaysian democracy a most abnormal one.

KUALA LUMPUR: In 63 years in sixteen General Elections in India, pointed out suspended Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang, there have been five changes of government between the Indian Congress and Opposition coalitions. “The last change of government through the ballot box was in the 16th Indian General Election in 2014 with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.”

“Modi is the fifth Prime Minister of India resulting from a change of government through the ballot box in a general election.”

The first time India had a change of government through the ballot box was in the sixth Indian general election in 1977 when the Indian Congress which had ruled India for 30 years was voted out of office, replaced by an Opposition coalition headed by Morarji Desai of the Indian Congress under Indira Gandhi won back federal power in the seventh Indian general election in 1980 but BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leading an Opposition coalition captured New Delhi in the 11th to 13th Indian General Elections from 1996 – 1999.

Indian Congress leading a coalition of parties won back the Indian Federal Government in the 14th and 15th General Elections in 2004 and 2008 under Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister.

In comparison, he added, Malaysia has held 13 General Elections in 56 years but there has not been a single change of Federal Government in Putrajaya from the Umno-led coalition, which makes Malaysian democracy a most abnormal one. “Malaysia cannot claim to be a normal democracy unless it is possible to achieve a change of power through the ballot box.”

In fact, argued Lim, a well-known scholar has advanced the “two turnover test” for a functioning democracy, i.e. to pass this test, political power must peacefully change hands to the Opposition, and back again, as such a test establishes that the political elites are willing to abide by the “rules of the game”.

Are Najib and Umno prepared to abide by the “rules of the game” and accept their place in the Opposition if the voters in the 14th General Election decide that Pakatan should form the Federal Government in Putrajaya? asked Lim. “Up to now, Umno leaders have been quite ambivalent on this question, as they had been breathing fire and brimstone and warning of apocalypse if Umno loses power.

Kit Siang: Malaysian democracy a most abnormal one
November 30, 2015 – FMT


Why restoring the basics of democracy is urgently needed

All levers of power, government institutions, and check and balance mechanisms must be restored as comprehensive solutions are needed to fix this country.

By TK Chua

Looking at the events unfolding each day in our country, I think we have serious issues on our hands. It does not matter who our next prime minister will be or which political coalition will be leading the country, I think the lessons learned and the reforms needed must be contemplated by all Malaysians starting from now.

Why do we think government leaders can commit grave wrongs with impunity? Why do we think they can cover-up and sweep every wrong under the carpet? Why do we think they can manipulate all levers of power in the government and galvanise certain people to support them blindly? Why do we think we need foreign governments to probe into the wrongdoings allegedly committed by our own leaders?

Some may think this is solely the fault of our PM. But I think the problems we face are bigger than that. No doubt, the PM does play a part but the nation and its governing system cannot simply assign the fault to one person, neither can they depend on the “goodness” of one man. We need a revamp of our constitution and governing system to bury dictatorial tendencies once and for all.

What are the causes of our problems today? If I may venture – it is total consolidation of power in the hands of one person; his unbounded control over our national coffers, his sole discretion in key civil service appointments and dismissals, his pervasive control over other branches of government and his final say over investigations and prosecutions. There is no resemblance of any form of democracy left except in name only.

If we think another leader or another political coalition is going to rescue Malaysia from this crisis or lead us into a vibrant, progressive and forward-looking nation, I suggest we think again. We need to restore the basics of our democracy and any leader or political coalition taking over must do this first and foremost. All levers of power, government institutions and check and balance mechanisms must be restored, with no exception.

We, the people must demand and jealously guard these basics. There shall be no grace period for any leader or political coalition to dilly-dally on this. We, the people must always remember that dictatorial tendencies are natural and inevitable; power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Do not just talk religion and morality because that alone cannot stop abuses of power and corruption, unless the people take an active interest in the business of government.

Why restoring the basics of democracy is urgently needed
September 25, 2015 – FMT


Who is afraid of the yellow balloons?


Balloon girl’ probed for handing out Bersih balloons

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — Police have launched an investigation on a woman who was detained earlier today for distributing Bersih 4 balloons at an upscale shopping mall, according to the suspect’s lawyer.

It is understood that Bilqis Hijjas, the daughter of prominent architect Hijjas Kasturi, is being probed under Section 504 of the Penal Code for “provoking a breach of peace” by distributing the balloons at the Pavilion shopping mall in Bukit Bintang during the DiverseCity International Art Festival which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had attended.

“Bilqis has been released on police bail… balloon girl ordered pizza. All is well,” her lawyer Michelle Yesudas said on microblogging site Twitter, adding that her client was released at about 9.40pm.

It is understood that Bilqis had dropped the balloons from the top floor of the mall which later fell behind the stage where Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah were seated.

The seven balloons were decorated with the words “Free media”, “Democracy” and “Justice”, among others.

Najib and Rosmah were said to have ignored the balloons.
Balloon girl’ probed for handing out Bersih balloons
August 31, 2015 – MMO

Art stumped why PM likely insulted by democracy, justice

Lawyer Art Harun asks police why it is deemed insulting to the PM if a woman releases balloons bearing the words “democracy”, “justice” and “free media”.

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer and social activist Art Harun is stumped as to why a woman who released balloons bearing the words “democracy”, “justice” and “free media” would be arrested, then investigated by police for intentionally insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor.

Commenting on a news report of the incident that took place yesterday when both were attending the DiverseCity International Arts festival at a shopping mall, Art dissected the issue from a legal perspective, painstakingly pointing out that instead of being seen to uphold justice and the laws of the land, the police, by investigating the woman under Section 504 of the Penal Code, were “actually insulting the PM”.

In a Facebook posting, Art explained that Section 504 concerned “Intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace” and asked innocently enough, “How could the act of dropping yellow balloons with the word “democracy”, “free media” and “justice” be insulting to our Prime Minister and/or his lovely wife?”

He argued that insults were normally statements that were “adverse” to a person or “untrue” about a person and which could be seen as a “derogatory remark”.

“Is the police saying that those words or concepts represented by those words are not reflective of the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister is adverse to the same and therefore he may be insulted by them?

“If so, then I say we are indeed in trouble.”

He also said that to “make a case” under Section 504, the police would have to prove that the woman’s act of dropping the balloons would provoke the PM and/or his wife “to break the public peace or to commit any offence”.

He gave possible scenarios of breaking public peace such as going “beserk” and running amok at the mall, even beating or maiming the woman or worst yet, killing her.

“Aiyoh! I think the police are underestimating the power of self-restraint that our moderate and wassatiyah Prime Minister has lah.

“By investigating under this section, the police are actually insulting the PM.”

Art stumped why PM likely insulted by democracy, justice
September 1, 2015 – FMT


Street protests are not undemocratic

A democracy thrives on people’s participation, whether it is via voting or via street protests


By Simitha T.Singam

We all tend to think of Malaysia as a democratic state. We smugly parrot our government in announcing that Malaysia is a multi-ethnic democratic nation with moderate Muslim views.

Yet, the fact that so many Malaysians view street protests aimed at pressuring the government into making necessary reforms, as undemocratic makes me wonder if we truly understand what democracy is. Even our Inspector General of Police, seems like he must have flunked out of Politics 101 and Democracy 101.

How is it that so many of us hold such inaccurate views of democracy? Could it be something in our water, or in our hazy air or is it simply just a strange genetic mutation that has plagued Malaysians?

Democracy, simply put, is the rule of the people. In a representative democracy, the people grant elected representatives the power to represent them and make decisions with the people’s opinions and interests in mind. It must be understood that representatives do not rule the people but merely make decisions pertaining to state-governance on behalf of the people.

This is necessary if for nothing else than functionality. Can you imagine 30 million people sitting in Parliament to govern a state? I imagine it to be something like a chaotic Chinese Whisper game; the message starting out with “we must fight corruption” and ending in, “we’re out of nasi lemak!” and we Malaysians know how much chaos the latter can cause.

But coming back to representative democracy, representatives do not rule the people. They rule the state on behalf of the people.

Given that, in a functional democratic state, the people and elected representatives enter into an agreement. In exchange for representational power, elected representatives are required to provide information to the voters and carry their opinions and interests to Parliament, where decisions regarding the state and people’s wellbeing are made.

If or when elected representatives behave in a manner that opposes or breaks the abovementioned agreement, the people are conferred the right to demand justice. This right is granted in Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution.

This is precisely where street protests come in. Bersih 4 and its participants are merely exercising their constitutional right.

On the flip side, preventing people from exercising their constitutional right to assemble peacefully in order to demand reforms or a change in leadership, is absolutely undemocratic.

In a nutshell, a democracy thrives on people’s participation, whether it is via voting or via street protests. Without a bottom-up participation, there is no democracy, only an authoritarian system, where a dictator and his flock oppressively rule the people rather than govern the state on behalf of the people.

Street protests are not undemocratic
August 1, 2015 – FMT

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


Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah


What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
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?