Posts Tagged ‘Law Enforcement


Whitewashed mural is worth a thousand words


(Credit: Thomas Fann)

Mural mural on the wall – Thomas Fann

In the same week that Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, a different kind of storm came upon the southern city of Johor Baru.

It was a most innocuous beginning, a series of wall murals by an internationally-recognised Lithuanian-born street artist known as Ernest Zacharevic or simply Zachas. When it was first unveiled in early November it created a buzz among the local community.

Many have long admired Zachas’ works for Penang and was delighted that he has finally brought it to JB, a city not known for its appreciation of the arts.

With news spreading of the existence of four murals around Taman Molek and the Johor Jaya area, people began seeking out these works of art and to have their photos taken with them.

My family and I joined in the search and snap trail. It was most amusing to find people snapping away at these murals in dirty back lanes of non-descript shophouses and treating them like treasures. Perhaps to a city that is like an art desert, it was a breath of arty fresh air that has finally blown in.

Tarnished image

But not everyone was amused, least of all the city’s mayor, Ismail Karim and the State Exco in charge of tourism, Tee Siew Keong.

They found these murals offensive, in particular, one that shows a Lego figure as an armed robber lying in wait to rob another Lego figure of a woman carrying a Chanel handbag. They claimed that it tarnishes the image of our good city and proceeded to paint over it. They are threatening to white-wash the remaining three as well.

The controversial mural of the Lego-styled figurines struck a chord with the locals and is easily the most popular of the four because it brought together two things that Johor is known for – Legoland and its crime rate.

To many, it captures perfectly the disconnect between the fantasy theme park which is Legoland and the reality of life in this city. Johoreans are proud to have a world-class theme park in our midst but wish that our daily lives can be a little more safe and that the authorities would put as much effort into combating crimes as they do promoting the Iskandar region as some kind of playground for the rich or wannabe rich of the world.

Local official crime statistics are hard to come by and when one is given, they are often disbelieved as it does not bear up to the experience of local residents, many of whom are directly or indirectly, victims of crime.

Gated and secured communities flourish as residents take measures to secure themselves. We have to give thought to where is safe to go to and always looking over our shoulders for snatch thieves on motorbikes.

Even in our cars we have to make sure that our valuables are kept out of sight in case robbers smash our windows and grab valuables. We live in constant fear of criminals.

Seizing the opportunity

The mural in question by Zachas should have been celebrated, not just for its artistic value but also for the social message it so accurately articulated, as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and this one spoke volumes.

The authorities could have seized this opportunity to engage the community to fight crime and promote the art scene at the same time.

But perhaps predictably, they went into denial mode, blaming the messenger instead of heeding the message.

Can art as the medium of the message ever tarnish the image of a city?

If the message is false, it would have been discredited by the public itself without the need for the mayor or politicians to opine. But if the message is true, then we should all accept it and deal with the issue at hand – crime.

Truth cannot tarnish the image of our city. Crime and lack of cleanliness do. Our reputation has already been tarnished by these long before Zachas arrived on the scene.

You just need to ask any Singaporean or people from outside JB and they would have told you so.

In fact, according to Numbeo, the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide, Johor Baru ranked No. 4 for its Crime Index globally, just below Johannesburg. A truly world-class ranking!

Mural mural on the wall – Thomas Fann
November 15, 2013 – TMI


Zahid’s offer to tweak PCA shows law is faulty

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The government’s offer to adopt suggestions to modify the amended Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) only after it was passed shows that it knew the “draconian” changes were flawed to begin with, DAP lawmaker Gobind Singh Deo said.

The Puchong MP further said that soliciting suggestions to alter the law after pushing it through both the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara made a travesty of the august Parliament.

“This is most alarming. It appears that the Dewan Rakyat has been misled into passing a law which is most draconian although the bill still needed discussion and was therefore yet to be finalised.

“It is obvious that the [Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi] knows full well that what he pushed through in the Dewan was not only unconstitutional but also seriously flawed in many aspects. Yet, he went ahead and rushed the bill through,” Gobind said in a statement today.

Given the grave nature of the amendments to reintroduce detention without law, Gobind said the home minister should have informed Parliament that the then-proposed amendments were not yet finalised and subject to further amendments pending discussions.

Passing the law first and seeking feedback later meant the government was in a “dangerous and unfortunate” situation of unleashing a law with dire consequences despite knowing it was not ready for application, the parliamentarian said.

“So what will Zahid do now in the meanwhile? Is he going to put everything on hold pending finalization? Then why push it through in the first place? Was it a really all a drama to enhance his popularity for the Umno VP contest?”

Yesterday, Ahmad Zahid was reported as saying the Home Ministry will reach out to organisations unhappy with changes to the PCA.

Zahid’s offer to tweak PCA shows law is faulty, says DAP MP
October 18, 2013 – Malay Mail Online


On the edge of a police state

The whole country is worried sick about the “shoot–first” policy, and understandably there has been barrage of criticism leveled against Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

True to character, he has remained defiant and totally unconcerned about the issues raised by his critics. In his latest tweet, he expresses bewilderment at how “these defenders of human rights” are only concerned about the rights of criminals and not the victims. He then explains that justice must be served, so when “we have evidence, we shoot them” because the victims (the majority of whom are apparently Malays) also deserve justice.

This is not the first time that we have been given a briefing on the theory of justice and human rights by an Umno leader. Nonetheless, it deserves a response if only to remind the people how bad our education system must be if a senior Minister is apparently unable to grasp simple concepts like justice, human rights and the rule of law.

In a democracy and in a modern country, justice requires due and transparent processes exercised by and through an independent arm of the government—that is, the judiciary, where the accused has the right to be heard and to argue his or her innocence. If “justice” is to be determined solely by the police and the minister, who will shoot first and ask no questions later, then we do not need the courts and the Rule of Law.

The minister says his critics see justice and human rights only for criminals. “What about the victims?” he asks. Human rights, for the benefit of the minister, are basic rights recognised by the world community. All human beings are entitled to these rights, regardless of who they are.

People must be treated in accordance with the law of the land. We do not distinguish “what kind of human” they are before they are entitled to these rights. So, we are not in favor of any particular group, nor do we call them criminals and shoot them. We do not punish anyone unless they are arrested, charged and convicted in a court of law.

The minister says that when the police have “evidence”, they shoot. What happens if the evidence is false or concocted? What happens if someone plants false evidence on the minister? Shall we shoot him too?

I have come to the conclusion that leaders such as the home minister do not understand the basic concepts of justice, rights and due process in the administration of law. Such leaders are denied this understanding because our education system has been terrible for a long time.

On the edge of a police state – Zaid Ibrahim
October 11, 2013 – TMI


Zahid gets more brickbats after defending ‘shoot first’ policy

PETALING JAYA (Oct 10): More criticism has been levelled against Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after the minister defended his position on the police’s “shoot first” policy.

Suhakam chairperson Tan Sri Hasmy Agam today said the human rights commission is “dismayed” at Zahid’s statement that the police will not hesitate to shoot suspected criminals without warning if the police had obtained evidence.

“The approach that is being advocated by the minister is entirely contrary to fundamental human rights principles, particularly the right to life and the rights to a fair trial and equal protection of the law as guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Federal Constitution,” said Hasmy in a statement.

“This approach which allows the authority to exercise laws and justice in their hands, also undermines the principle of the rule of law and criminal justice system that the government is obliged to uphold in good faith in a democracy,” he added.

Hasmy said Zahid’s remarks are also very “unfortunate” as Malaysia’s human rights record will be scrutinised at the Universal Periodic Review later this month at the UN Human Rights Council.

“It will likely come under severe criticism from the international community, along with the government’s recent amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (PCA), allowing for the detention of individuals without trial,” he said.

Hasmy stressed the government should uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights in all actions aimed at safeguarding public security and safety.

Arrest Zahid for ‘instigating murder’

Human rights and law reform NGO Lawyers for Liberty was more ardent, calling for Zahid’s immediate arrest and prosecution for instigating murder as well as urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to take stern action against ministers who apparently disregard human lives and civil liberties.

“By encouraging law enforcers to ‘shoot first’, the home minister has effectively ordered policemen and officials to disregard the criminal justice system, due process and has legitimised the cold-blooded murder of ‘suspects’ without ever being brought before a court of law,” said LFL campaign coordinator Michelle Yesudas.

“It is evident that the home minister is unaware of the basic concepts of the rule of law that underpins our justice system and has chosen to trample on the Federal Constitution and human rights.

“Fundamental principles of the right to life, liberty, a fair trial, due process and innocence until guilt is proven are concepts that appear to be alien to the home minister, which is a cause for alarm for all Malaysians,” she added.

Zahid gets more brickbats after defending ‘shoot first’ policy
Oct 10, 2013 –
by Meena Lakshana


You should be in a home, minister

When I was a reporter in the late 70s, the home minister known to lecture journalists at press conferences on what to write was ‘King Ghaz’. But Muhammad Ghazali Shafie had our respect. He had style and substance.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has none.

The home minister’s verbal abuse of a Malaysiakini reporter however, had a plus. It provided a teaching aid to show students that the irrational antics of political morons during press conferences is fodder for great stories.

I commend the reporter for his tenacity despite the minister’s mindless heckling,and maligning of Malaysiakini for ‘spinning’ his words. ‘Spinning’ actually means to twist a report to one’s advantage, which readers know applies well to the mainstream media’s slanted coverageof the 13th general election while demonising the opposition.

Which reminded me of a media ethics workshop I conducted where a Malaysian journalist related how she was sent to cover a pre-matriculation preparatory workshop in an opposition-governed state.

“My editor said the government had been in a pretty bad light lately,” she said. “The ‘bigger’ boss was making noise. We had to report the ‘good things’ the government was doing for the community.”

Now, that’s spinning. What the alternative news sites do – and doing rather well – is contrary to ‘spinning’. They’re reporting what the mainstream media are not.

Ministers who act like feudal lords, manhandle reporters and evade questions by acting stupid should be condemned in the harshest words. The maturity of our parliamentary democracy is reflected in the conduct and intelligence of our MPs. The professionalism of our media is reflected in the manner that journalists represent the people, hone in to the issues, clarify the contexts and persist in getting a truthful answer from politicians, the people’s servants.

Missing police firearms and assets unaccounted for begs so many questions raised by readers in social media sites, which Zahid had blatantly brushed off. Sadly, the other journalists, in muted giggles, failed to join ranks with the Malaysiakini reporter. They failed to stand up for their rights to ask the hard questions, and defend their profession. They should be ashamed of themselves.

The fact that Zahid was completely oblivious that his antics were being recorded, that it would find its way to YouTube, confirms his vile imbecility, total incompetence and scant regard for journalists.

You should be in a home, minister
Eric Loo
Oct 9, 2013 – Malaysiakini


The foot is in the mouth … again

WHEN mobile telephones and their related technology landed on our shores more than two decades ago, they were deemed as “telecommunications equipment” which enabled the people to stay in touch with each other without the need for telephone exchanges, wires and the other trappings of a land line.

Some of them at that time appeared to be weapons of destruction, one of which was the size and weight of a brick! Over the years, with the advent of modern technology, they have become smaller and have a host of applications.

The technological advancement has not stopped. What could be classified as an innovation today could become obsolete the next day. Instead of just being used to make calls, the mobile telephone can be used as a camera, a voice recorder and even a video player. And images and voices can be sent out at the press of a button to hundreds of people instantaneously.

It is because of this that certain countries chose to ban certain brands and applications because of the threat of abuse and for security reasons.

Many holding positions and those in high office take cognizance of these existing and innocent-looking gadgets and choose to be guarded when speaking in private knowing very well that the mobile telephone has other uses.

That was perhaps what Home Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not take into account or deliberately chose to ignore when he made the threat of closing down newspapers in a speech last Saturday.

Unknown to him, someone in the audience had made a complete recording of his nonsensical tirade and his innocuous links to a secret society which had been banned by none other than his own ministry.

That audio recording has now gone viral and no one is paying any heed to his threat and the Chinese Newspaper Editors Association has urged Zahid to retract his threat.

The threat aside, what was more shocking was his endorsement of the Tiga Line underworld group, calling them his friends and urging them to do what they needed to do.

Tiga Line, he thundered, weren’t thugs and were in fact some form of benevolent gangsters that only turned up at festivals.

“I tell our Tiga Line friends, do what should be done,” he can be heard in the recording, which has now been made available in several internet sites.

His remarks drew loud cheers from the room, and he took it further by taking a racist line when he declared that Malays were the usual victims.

“The largest drug dealers are Chinese, the smaller ones are Indians and the users are Malays. In internet gambling, the bosses are Chinese, operators are Indians and patrons are Malays.

Therefore the victims are Malays,” Zahid is heard saying, adding that he is home minister due to Malay support that made him Umno vice-president.

It is understandable the minister is in the race for a senior party post but to take a racial stance on victims of crime is certainly the bottom of the pits.

Using crime to pit one race against the other is not acceptable. Crime has no race barrier. Using imagination and not foresight, the minister has chosen to conjure his own reasons without any facts or figures, just to win a few brownie points for the sake of his career and political expediency.

It is obvious that he has little respect for the law; pays no heed to common sense; lacks good judgment and has no self-esteem by resorting to such levels of disgusting popularity-gaining efforts.

The foot is in the mouth … again
R. Nadeswaran
8 October 2013 – the Sun Daily


The resemblance to views of Nazi ideologue

OCT 9 — Until now, it has seemed remote to draw parallels between Umno’s ethnocratic and semi-authoritarian politics and Nazi Germany. But that changed with Home Minister Zahid Hamidi’s recent remarks endorsing a “shoot to kill” policy by the police as needed to protect, in his words, “our people” (ethnic Malays) from the threat of violence at the hands of organised gangs (as he duly noted largely comprises non-Malays). These remarks reflect a pattern of thought that bears a striking resemblance to the views of the Nazi ideologue, Carl Schmitt and makes the drawing of the parallel now far more plausible.

Schmitt was a legal thinker who sought to develop an intellectual basis to the Nazi political project of constructing an ethically pure state rid of outsiders who were ineligible for membership within the German race. That project ended in the genocide of millions of Jews and others and is widely seen as a paradigm case of evil on earth.

A known anti-Semite, Schmitt argued that any authentic political existence hinges upon a “friend-enemy” distinction. The role of the state is to constitute and defend the physical and existential identity of an insider “friend” group against the threat posed by an outsider “enemy” group. The role of the state is to defend the physical and ethical identity of the friend group by destroying or killing the enemy.

To resolve this threat, Schmitt advocates an authoritarian solution: the government should exercise a legally uncontrolled and absolute power or violence. But because Schmitt had to work within the confines of the democratic Weimar Constitution, which did not generally permit a legally uncontrolled power, he fastened upon its emergency provisions.

These provisions allowed for extra-legal action by government in the face of an imminent threat to the safety and security of the state. For Schmitt, this provision expresses the descriptive truth that in a state of emergency no government is limited by the rule of law.

But he also believed that it reveals a deeper prescriptive truth that the rule of law should not limit state power. Working with these truths, he was able to drive a wedge into the German constitutional framework thus allowing the pursuit of a racist and authoritarian political project unshackled by the limits of the rule of law.

Hamidi’s recent remarks are reminiscent of Schmitt’s thinking. First, he utilises the friend-enemy distinction when he says that it is acceptable for the police to adopt a shoot to kill policy against suspected gangsters who are largely non-Malays.

Then, using that distinction, he expresses scepticism about the rule of law. He refuses to listen to objections about the Constitution and the rule of law as an obstacle to “his” law, the recent amendments to the PCA that allow for detention without trial.

He is proud to have pushed these immoral and legally doubtful amendments through Parliament without engaging objections about the legality of these amendments. In his view, it is not worth listening to these objections for anyone who makes them is simply siding with the gangsters.

Viewed in light of his earlier remark that these gangsters are mainly non-Malays who pose a threat to ethnic Malays, it is plausible to infer that he thinks anyone who talks about the rule of law is the “enemy” also to be vanquished by absolute state power.

A horrible lesson of history: Is Zahid Hamidi Malaysia’s Carl Schmitt? — Rueban Balasubramaniam
October 9, 2013 – Malay Mail Online

THE Al Jazeera interview

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

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?