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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Courageous Thai women takes on the Malaysian Immigration Department

Single foreign women traveling alone, dressing glamorously, found in a "shop lot", a pub, karaoke lounge, bar, massage parlour, spa,.... must have violated their social visit pass -- and must be "sex workers" or "prostitutes" --- this the prejudice that many people have. This is very wrong.

Many a time, we even read reports about "foreign prostitutes" -- and we wonder whether they were really caught selling sex. Did they offer sex for money? -- In Islam, the rules of evidence is so high that you cannot even make such allegations of "khalwat" or "zina" unless there is credible witnesses. But in Malaysia, it is different with them enforcement authorities and some media -- not even the word "alleged" is used. Forget we the principle that all is innocent until proven guilty..

These 5 were arrested and allegedly detained for 34 days -- and when they did challenge their unlawful detention, quickly they were deported.

IT IS GOOD THAT THESE 5 THAI WOMEN are not just allowing their rights to be trampled on BUT are seeking justice in our Malaysian courts -- but will they get it? I wonder.... for after all the case can end being postponed and postponed for years and years..... BUT then the government could step in and expedite the whole trial.

Oh yes, the other thing that the government may do is to raise some TECHNICAL OBJECTION and get the case struck off -- and again, there will be no justice for this case.

But then, the GOVERNMENT can also do the right thing ----and expedite the case. They can immediately conduct an independent investigation, and if true, then do the necessary to ensure that it never repeats itself. Some officers may also have to be reprimanded -- and punished.

Were they detained so long because they refused to PAY .....? Is there such things happening there in the Immigration Department -- I say....INVESTIGATE.

5 Thai women could have come to Malaysia as tourist, wanting to see the sights, do some shopping and have fun -- and they get arrested, detained for 34 days and then deported.....and it is so wrong.





2008/05/29

Five Thai women sue Immigration
By : Sheridan Mahavera

JOHOR BARU: Five Thai women are suing the Immigration Department and the government for detaining them unlawfully for 34 days between February and April.

The women, who are seeking RM1 million each in damages, were picked up during a raid by the Immigration Department on a shop lot in Taman Desa Tebrau.

They are claiming that they were deported on April 2 when they had filed a habeas corpus application against their detention.

The five are Phanbunma Prakobkaew, Chanfen Moonsin, Sirikan Chatchinda, Chuthamas Burce and Nitaya Chantapho - all aged between 30 and 36 years old - from Maung Khonkaen, Thailand.

They were arrested on Feb 29 on suspicion of violating their social visit passes.
The suit named Immigration Department investigations officer Hashim Japar, the department's enforcement chief Salleh Bahari, the Pekan Nenas Immigration detention centre warden, the department's Johor director and the government as defendants.

In their writ of summons, filed at the High Court yesterday, the five claimed that their detention violated the Immigration Act and Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution.

According to the regulations, the Immigration Department should only have held them for a period of 14 days, after which it must either obtain a court order to extend their detention, charge them in court or set them free.

From the time they were arrested to the date they were deported on April 2, the women claimed that the Immigration Department and its officers failed to get the appropriate court order to hold them for more than 14 days.

They said that throughout their detention, they were not taken before a magistrate to get any court order and therefore their detention was unlawful.

When the five filed their habeas corpus application on April 2 the hearing was postponed to the next day.

However, on the evening of April 2, the department ordered that they be deported to Thailand.

Using Public Funds to subsidize ONE out of many is very wrong..

It is very WRONG for the government to have been giving subsidies to one bus company and NOT to the others. "It is DEFINITELY not fair to use tax-payers' money to subsidise RapidKL.

Was the money of KL Selangor people only that was used to subsidize RapidKL --- oh was the money of the RAKYAT of Malaysia that was being used. In many places, our bus services are really bad -- and it would have really helped if this money was used to prop up and develop public transport.

REPORT please how much money has been paid to RapidKL to date.... Report please on who else is receiving "special subsidies" from the government in whatever sector.....

Monies of the Malaysians should be used to improve PUBLIC TRANSPORT facilities - more railway lines/routes, more LRT, etc...Better toll-free roads. Should we not be having a train travelling from Johor Baru along the East Coast to Kuantan...to Kuala Trengganu...to Kota Baru to Thailand. Should we not be having train lines criss-crossing the Peninsular in the North and the South? Then, in Sabah and Sarawak, should there be some railway line from Sabah to Kuching Sarawak..

This is where PUBLIC FUNDS should be utilized - not to subsidize one selected bus company...


2
008/05/29


RapidKL fares likely to go up as subsidy is scrapped
By : Eileen Ng
Datuk Seri Najib Razak addressing the media after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Transport. With him is Datuk Ong Tee Keat.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak addressing the media after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Transport. With him is Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

KUALA LUMPUR: RapidKL bus fares are expected to go up as the government pulls the plug on the subsidy for the company.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak gave an assurance that the interest of the people, especially those in the low-income group, would not be affected.

He said the subsidies were withdrawn with immediate effect to enable RapidKL to compete on a level playing field with other private bus companies.

"This move will see RapidKL complementing the operations by other bus compa-nies. It is not fair to use tax-payers' money to subsidise RapidKL.

"There will be some adjustments (to fares) but at the end of the day, it will save taxpayers money," he said after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Transport.
Those present at the meeting included Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop and Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

Najib said an announcement on the new fares would be made later as more time was needed to study the implications.

"Our principles are that if the transport system is used by the high-income group, we will liberalise the fares by setting a minimal fare, but for the low-income group, we will control (the fares) in stages."

He said the discontinuation of the subsidy is part and parcel of the government's efforts to streamline its policy towards subsidies.

"But more so, we don't want them to kill off the local companies. Many are either dying or going bankrupt."

He said the government was thinking of setting up a public transport commission which would act as a single authority for licensing, enforcement and monitoring.

"The current situation is so fragmented as it involved 13 ministries and agencies. The cabinet committe decided that it was better to have a single authority to ensure an efficient and smooth public transport system."

He said the matter would be deliberated at the next cabinet committee meeting.

Malaysia should abide by UN Resolution on death penalty - another 2 Thai nationals sentenced to DEATH

On 18/12/2007 (Tuesday), The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.The resolution, which calls for "a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty," was passed by a 104 to 54 vote, with 29 abstentions. MALAYSIA SADLY VOTED AGAINST.

Irrespective of this, Malaysia must abide by the said United Nations Resolution - and declare an immediate moratorium on executions at the very least.

The next step would be the abolition of the death penalty. DEATH PENALTY judges, who decide and pronounce that a person is to be murdered by the state should become a matter of the past in Malaysia.

There is also that question of DISCLOSURE - Malaysia has still not revealed how many persons were HANGED TO DEATH in the past years, and how many are in death row waiting to have their lives extinguished by the Malaysian people.

What really is the stand of the Pakatan Rakyat (the PAS, the DAP, the PKR ....) on Death Penalty - noting of course that the Malaysian Bar, a body of 12,000 over lawyers, has called for the abolition of the Death Penalty since 2006.

************
Death Penalty: Malaysia Sentences Two to Hang for Marijuana Trafficking, Iran Executes Nine Drug Sellers- from Drug War Chronicle, Issue #536, 16/5/08

Countries around the world, but particularly in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, continue to resort to the death penalty for drug offenses. This week, we report on more executions in Iran and death sentences for marijuana in Malaysia.

On Tuesday, a Malaysian court sentenced two Thai citizens to death for marijuana trafficking. The two men, Masoh Daloh, 35, and Romuelee Yakoh, 46, were convicted in the Kuala Lumpur High Court of trafficking 75 pounds of pot. They had been arrested in 2002 with 34 kilogram-sized slabs of marijuana in their vehicle. Both men have appealed their sentences.

Malaysia has hanged more than 200 people, mostly its own citizens, for drug trafficking offenses since it imposed the death penalty for them in 1975. It has come under recent criticism from Amnesty International over secrecy surrounding its resort to the death penalty, but the government denies any cover-up and insists the ultimate sanction is a necessary deterrent to criminality.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities announced May 5 that they had hanged 12 convicted criminals, including nine people convicted of drug offenses, according to the anti-death penalty organization . The nine drug offenders were hanged in the northeastern city of Bojnourd, not far from the Afghan border. One of them was hanged in public, the first reported public hanging since Iranian judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Sharoudi ordered an end to the macabre displays without his prior approval in January.

Five foreign workers were burnt to death in "workers hostel"....

When was the last Occupational Health and Safety inspection? What about this HOSTEL - was there adequate fire escapes? Do they not need to get the Fire Department's approval for these hostels? Were there fire extinguishers in that "Hostel"?

Really there is a need to look into these "workers hostels" and accommodation - there must be minimum standards set.

Was the workers hostel situated above the furniture factory - is this safe? A lot of questions ----- but will they be answered? After all, we do have more than 2 million migrant workers - so the "burning to death" of 5 migrant workers is not a BIG DEAL -- hopefully that is not the attitude that will be taken.

They may not have the choice of choosing their place of residents - in some safe place - and now they are dead. Will they be covered by SOCSO or Workmen's Compensation? Or not --- because they were not at work --- but were sleeping (presumably it was not during working hours).

We have many migrant workers in Malaysia living in such bad --- and dangerous environment - and it is time for the GOVERNMENT to look into this.

This happened in SELANGOR -- and the Pakatan Rakyat government has the opportunity to do something about it.

INVESTIGATION please.....



Wednesday May 28, 2008 MYT 3:59:35 PM

Five foreign workers killed in factory blaze

By KULDEEP S. JESSY

PETALING JAYA: Five foreign workers were burnt to death after being trapped in a furniture factory during a pre-dawn fire in Subang Permai here.

The four Bangladeshis and a Myanmar were believed to have been fast asleep on the first floor of the three-storey building when the fire broke out at about 2am Wednesday.

Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said the foreigners, aged between 20 and 30, were unable to escape as the fire spread quickly.

Their charred remains were sent to the University Malaya Medical Centre for post-mortem.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department (operations division) Supt Ramli Yusoff said 43 firemen and two officers in five engines from the Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and Port Klang stations went to the scene at about 2.18am.

He said the firemen took about an hour to put out the blaze. The first body was recovered at about 4.30am.

Supt Ramli said initial investigations showed that the fire started from the first floor, which was the workers’ hostel.

He said 17 foreign workers stayed at the hotel, adding that 12 others managed to escape without any injuries.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

MEDICAL SCREENING is very wrong & should be STOPPED immediately

Can a worker be compelled to undergo medical tests to prove that he/she does not HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Sexually related diseases, etc... before he/she be allowed to be employed? I do not think so -- and surely it is very very WRONG to do so..

So, why is it being done to MIGRANT WORKERS?

What diseases I do have or do not have, and definitely my medical records is PERSONAL and private - and nobody should have access to it - certainly not my employer.

The only thing that an employer need know, is whether I do have the necessary skills and capabilities to carry out my job function/s. That is all. If my employer terminates me because I have been tested positive for some sexually transmitted disease OR even HIV aids, it is totally unacceptable and unjust.


This practice of "medical screening" of migrant workers is HIGHLY DISCRIMINATORY - and the returning of worker to his home country (or the refusing to renew one's permit) because he has been tested positive for some disease is also totally unacceptable. This practice need to be put to an END.

Some argue that it is necessary to prevent diseases from entering the country through these foreigners - Not rationalle and definitely unacceptable.

For then, I must ask why are we also not doing the same medical screening for the millions of tourist that come through our borders every year?, to those corporate personalities that come to Malaysia?, or even them foreign diplomats that comes through our borders, some from where the incidences of TB,etc is very high?. Were those who came to Malaysia to participate in international events screened first for HIV, sexually transmitted disease, Hepatitis B, etc before entry is given? Are local workers being subjected to medical screening?

The answer is "NO" for all of the above, save for MIGRANT WORKERS, and that makes it very very WRONG.


I am sure the Malaysian AIDS Council, PT Foundation and many other civil rights groups would also not accept this unnecessary "medical screening" of migrant workers -- and definitely not the "sending back" and/or the "non-renewal of work permits" because the tests came back showing that the worker is now POSITIVE for some disease.

I believe these compulsory medical tests/screening are just means and ways to make PROFITs from migrant workers, and/or their employers.

NOW, they are screening migrant workers - but are they also screening the employers as well. After all, diseases can be "transmitted" both ways.

Maybe, all potential employers and their families who wish to employ a domestic worker should also be similarly screen to ensure that they too have a "clean bill of health" -- for after all diseases can be transmitted both ways....

Come to think about it, maybe even all public servants, Members of Parliament, State Legislative Members, Datuk Michael Chong, people who sell things in the marlet and shops, and...maybe everybody could also be sent for compulsory medical screenings --- and then all those with HIV/AIDs, TB , hepatitis B, syphilis. psychiatric problems.... could all be isolated to some "island" so that the rest of us HEALTHY Malaysia could be save....

This suggestion is ABSURD -- and as such, then all medical screening of workers should also be STOPPED.

Wonder how many workers were terminated prematurely because some medical test showed that they had HIV/AIDs, TB , hepatitis B, syphilis, some psychiatric problems, etc.... and how many also did not get their permits renewed by reason of some subsequent medical test showed that they had HIV/AIDs, TB , hepatitis B, syphilis. psychiatric problems.... SURELY they would have a right to claim adequate compensation for the injustice that has be-fallen them...Further, in their cases, it can also be argued that they were infected here in Malaysia..

*** This was the main story in the NST. The main article and several other related articles are attached here below.

2
008/05/25

MAID FOR TROUBLE
Families should send their maids for a second medical check-up.
Families should send their maids for a second medical check-up.

They are here to take care of our children and elderly parents, to cook and to clean. But some of these foreign domestic help may be doing us more harm than good, write P. SELVARANI and AUDREY VIJAINDREN.


Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat says Fomema is stringent in its medical examination.
Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat says Fomema is stringent in its medical examination.
YOU may think your maid's doing a great job caring for your children or aged parents.

But have you had a good look at her? Perhaps you should. In fact, it may be to your benefit to take her for a medical check-up.

This is because thousands of domestic maids are among the 42,000 foreign workers who entered the country last year with a host of diseases.

Ministry of Health statistics show that the workers had TB (16,697), hepatitis B (10,953) and syphilis (2,824).
Those who had HIV/AIDS numbered 683 while 147 were found to be suffering from psychiatric problems.

In addition, 2,329 workers were found to be pregnant.

Some 1.36 million legal foreign workers sought employment in Malaysia last year.

Dr Ramlee said the cases were detected through the Fomema medical screening, which all foreign workers have to undergo within a month of their arrival in Malaysia.

The screening was introduced three years ago after health officials here discovered that many foreign workers had infectious diseases although they had been declared medically fit by health authorities in their country.

But a number of these workers, especially maids, were also certified as disease-free by the Mal-aysian authorities.

The actual figure cannot be determined as no one is keeping track but complaints from employers are on the rise.

In fact, there is an increasing trend of employers sending maids for second-opinion medical tests because they do not trust the screening done in the country of origin and by Malaysian authorities.

Industry sources say that despite "stringent screening" by Fomema, the independent agency appointed by the government to monitor and supervise the mandatory health-screening programme, many unfit foreign workers continue to work here.

A doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity said some Fomema panel doctors were "certifying" foreign workers as fit without even physically examining them.

"Many employers, especially those in the manufacturing sector, do not want to suffer losses.

"If they bring in 60 workers and 20 of them are found to be medically unfit, they are not going to send the 20 back.

"They will work their way around the situation to obtain the medical clearance.

"I have seen foreign workers who were declared medically unfit working in some of these places."

He said some clinics approved medical reports for a fee.

"This is why we have so many cases of infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, which had been eradicated or reduced decades ago."

He said some Fomema-appointed labs were not doing the tests properly.

Another source said some employment agencies were making matters worse by "recycling" unfit workers instead of sending them back to their home country.

Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat said action would be taken against any doctor found to have falsified medical results.

He said 39 of the 3,432 Fomema panel clinics were suspended last year for various reasons, including the failure of doctors to examine foreign workers in their clinics and to verify the identity of foreign workers.

"We are not as worried about the legal foreign workers in the country as we are over the thousands of illegal workers here who may be carrying these highly-infectious diseases."

Dr Ramlee said there was little chance of medically-unfit legal workers gaining legal entry into the country now because of Fomema's strict entry requirements.

"Even if they present falsified documents from their host country, our medical tests here will detect them."

However, he said, Fomema tests did not include screening for diseases such as herpes and hepatitis A and C.

"If it's a case of non-sexually transmitted herpes or hepatitis which is not contagious, we do not include them in the compulsory medical check.

"We don't look for these because they are not infectious.

"Our concern is more for the population at large and not just an individual employer or worker," he said in response to the plight of employers who were saddled with medically-unfit maids.

The Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies said that although there were many rules in place, the qualification of panel doctors overseas was suspect.

Association vice-president Jeffrey Foo said: "There may be a lot of (deception) going on overseas."

Dr Ramlee said before 2005, the ministry and its counterparts in Indonesia would accredit designated clinics in the republic to conduct medical tests for those applying to work in Malaysia.

"We randomly tested the workers at the point of entry and found that up to four per cent of the 10 per cent whom we tested did not pass our medical screening.

"But we could not act against their clinics for giving them the go-ahead."

As a result, the ministry introduced a new system where every foreign worker had to undergo a second medical test within one month of entering the country. This test is repeated at the end of their first and second years of service.

"This has helped to weed out the problem of forged medical documents."

Under this screening system, which is done at Fomema-appointed clinics, the worker is tested for infectious diseases such as HIV, TB and hepatitis. They are also screened for hypertension, heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

Dr Ramlee said Fomema was stringent in its medical examination and would not accept any foreign worker who had even the slightest hint of carrying a highly-infectious disease.

"Even someone whose X-ray screenings reveal old TB scars and who does not appear to have the disease will be rejected. We cannot take chances as the disease can flare up again."

________

2008/05/25
Fomema silent on grouses
SO what does Fomema have to say about the complaints?
A spokesman said it could only talk if it got the green light from the Health Ministry.

The following information taken from Fomema's website answers some questions from employers.

One reply is about inconsistent medical reports.

Fomema said doctors who were not on their panel for the foreign workers' health-screening programme may not have the criteria for certification for suitability for employment in this country.
It said a doctor may have the opinion that the worker was fit to work despite having detected the likelihood of a communicable disease.

In such cases, the benefit of the doubt is given to the country and not the worker.

On the possibility of tests performed on one patient by different doctors yielding conflicting results, Fomema said this could happen when X-ray findings or lab test results showed abnormalities.

In such cases, the worker's status will be amended to "unsuitable" upon investigation.

_________
2008/05/25
MCA wants more tests for diseases
MCA public service and complaints department head Datuk Michael Chong never fails to give this advice to maid employers: "Send your maid for an independent medical check-up as soon as you bring her home, even though she has been given a clean bill of health by the authorities."
Chong's department has received three complaints of medically-unfit maids this year.

Last year, the department received four complaints, one of which was about a maid who was found to have lupus eight months after she had started work here.

(Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE is a chronic auto-immune disease that can be fatal.

It attacks the body's cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.)
In most of the other cases, the maids were reported to have herpes or hepatitis.

"I don't understand why this happens.

"The medical report from the source country says the maids are medically fit and then they are also cleared by Fomema.

"But when their employers send them for an independent test, they are found to be carrying diseases which should have been detected during these tests.

"So, how do these cases escape their attention?

"Granted, herpes may flare up now and then so it may not be that easy to detect. But what about hepatitis, TB or venereal diseases?

"That (the reports not indicating these infections) is difficult for me to accept.

"This is worrying, more so when you have maids with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, herpes or hepatitis, caring for children or elderly folk.

"So, who do you blame? The Indonesian authorities or us?"

But Chong was generally pleased with the stringent requirements of Fomema which, he said, would not compromise on the health of the foreign workers despite appeals.

He said he had had a few run-ins with the agency over this.

"We had cases where the family was willing to retain a maid who had a previous infection or illness but Fomema was adamant about rejecting the application on the grounds that the disease could flare up."

However, he said, the fact that there were many legal foreign workers walking around with infectious diseases showed that the medical tests were not entirely fool-proof.

"To overcome this, I think the Ministry of Health should consider including tests for more diseases and ailments in the foreign workers' medical examination."

Meanwhile, the Human Resources Ministry advised employers who had problems with their maids or maid agencies to file complaints with its manpower department.

The department's deputy director-general, Sheikh Yahya Sheikh Mohamed, said in many cases, unfit maids were supplied by unlicensed agencies.
____________

2008/05/25
Losing your mind over their mental health
insidepix1

WITH more than 12 years of experience as the managing director of a maid employment agency in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Teresa Tong has learnt that mental illness can be more dangerous than physical diseases.

"Most employers ask about the physical health of a foreign domestic help, but they fail to think about the mental health of the maid they are going to get.

"There have been many cases where I have had to send back four out of five maids because they were mentally unstable. This type of illness is difficult to detect," said Tong.

Some of these maids, she said, also viewed their two-year contract in Malaysia as a jail sentence and could crack under pressure.

But in the last two years, she has seen more stringent testing by Fomema.
"Lately, Fomema has been strict with its health-screening tests. It includes psychiatric illness in its list. But a lot of times most illnesses don't flare up until much later."

Hepatitis A and C, she said, were two common diseases that employers were concerned about.

She said most foreign domestic help failed the chest X-ray examination during the Fomema screening examination.

Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies vice-president Jeffrey Foo said: "There is no full-proof system. If you ask a doctor to perform a test, you expect him to be ethical. What more can you do?"

Asked about herpes being a cause for worry among employers, Foo said: "The herpes issue has been brought up many times by the association. It is not new to us.

"We have received many complaints about this disease. But it is still not included in the health screening list. Why?

"If it is a contagious disease, it should be included in the list, unless the Ministry of Health can assure the public that herpes is not a contagious disease.

"The ministry should be protecting Malaysians."

__________


2008/05/25
Families paid through the nose, and now pay dearly for it
AFTER having two maids with medical problems within two months, Jason thought he would be third-time lucky.

Instead, the help turned out to be a nuisance. Her unreasonable attitude and actions led him to suspect that she was mentally unstable.

"It was the last straw for me, especially so soon after having one maid who had hepatitis C and another who had a lung infection," said the 32-year-old businessman from Puchong, Kuala Lumpur

Jason's problems began when, in anticipation of the arrival of their third child, he and his wife applied for a new domestic maid early this year to replace the one who was leaving.

"When the first maid arrived on March 4, we were happy with her until we received a call from the agency five days later saying that she had failed her medical test because she had hepatitis C."
The agency offered to replace the maid with another and Jason picked up the second maid on March 10.

"We had her for about three weeks when we noticed that she tired easily. She would turn pale after doing heavy chores and even her breathing was laboured."

He took the maid for a second medical test, although she had been given a clean bill of health by the authorities.

The X-ray revealed that she had a lung infection and half her lungs were badly scarred.

"The doctor told me that there was an old and new infection. How could this have gone undetected, considering the maid had supposedly had an X-ray taken in Indonesia and another one here?"

Jason's woes got worse when the third maid began to act up, causing much distress to his wife who was eight months pregnant.

"We are now without a maid and I feel so cheated because we have been given one problematic maid after another despite paying so much for these maids."

Ong, also of Puchong, was just as unlucky. His two maids tested positive for herpes.

The first maid arrived in October, after being certified medically fit by the Indonesian authorities and Fomema.

To be doubly sure, Ong sent her for an independent blood test and X-ray. The results showed she had herpes types 1 and 2.

"I informed the maid agency and wrote to Fomema in November highlighting the discrepancy in the medical report.

"Fomema said she was medically unfit and the agency agreed to give me a replacement maid."

When the second maid arrived in February, Ong sent her for a medical test.

She also tested positive for herpes type 1. Ong sent her for a second test, this time at a private hospital. This time, the result for herpes type 1 was negative.

Ong sent the maid for a third test at a private lab and the result was again positive.

"But what was frustrating was that the maid agency initially said it could not replace the maid or ensure that any future maid I got would be free of herpes."

The Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies could not give Ong an assurance about the medical condition of foreign maids who come to Malaysia.

"I do not understand why the authorities cannot include all classification of herpes and other medical problems in the health screening."

Ong has now opted to hire a baby sitter for his children.



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Abolish RELA, No to Whipping and Corporal Punishment, Treat all persons humanely and with kindness..

While the Malaysian Bar, ALIRAN, SUARAM and others have been calling for the total abolition of RELA, the MWG, in their recent statements to MPs seem to have back-tracked --- now wanting only that RELA... "respect UNHCR documents and refrain from arresting holders of these documents". I do hope that this was a call until RELA is abolished -- and surely we cannot recognize this RELA as an "enforcement agency" -- it a voluntary corp...a group of "bounty hunters"

On whipping and corporal punishment, the Malaysian Bar position, which, I believe, would also be the position of civil society groups, is for the total removal of whipping and corporal punishments from all laws.

Talking about work permits for refugees, it should be provided for all refugees not just the Rohingya --- for if that is the case, why the DISCRIMINATION. Our call must be for all refugees to be accorded the right to work, while they await re-location in a 3rd country.

While refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons (about 100-200 thousand) should be a CONCERN, we must not also forget the other millions of undocumented migrants in the country - which also should be treated rightly. Maybe, these other persons would be the focus of the Migration Working Group in their next action.

We must also address the question of the right of education to all --- including children of documented and/or undocumented migrants (refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, etc...) - maybe the Pakatan Rakyat can for a start including at least in State Constitutions the right to food, shelter, health care, clean water, healthy environment and education, etc... in their State Constitutions. Maybe, even these States could be the model states providing for adequate shelter and board for refugees, whilst they await their departure to 3rd countries....







Migration Working Group Appeal:

Protect Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Stateless Persons from Burma (Myanmar)

22 May 2008

Distinguished Members of Parliament,

Twenty days ago, on 2nd May 2008, Cyclone Nargis ravaged the land of Burma. An estimated 78,000 people are dead, while 56,000 remain missing. Around 2.5 million survivors are at threat of disease, exposure and starvation.

What continues to cause international outrage is not the extent of the destruction left by the cyclone, but the stubborn response of the junta military government who continue to restrict vital international assistance and to neglect their populations in desperate circumstances. They remain lackadaisical to calls by the United Nations and the international community to assume their responsibilities.

These events have had a direct impact on the peoples of Burma presently seeking refuge in Malaysia. They comprise between 80-90 percent of an estimated 100,000 asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons. They have either fled persecution on account of their political beliefs, ethnicity, and/or religion, or to escape torture, rape, violence, mistreatment and insecurity in their homeland.

The Migration Working Group appeals to all Members of Parliament (MPs) to recognize the appalling realities faced by asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons in our country. In view of Malaysia’s international obligations to protect and assist these populations, we ask all MPs to support our recommendations to the Malaysian Government, as stated below.

Realities faced by Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Stateless Persons

As Malaysia has not yet enacted domestic laws that recognize, protect and assist asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons, they are treated as non-documented migrants, and are subjected to arrest, prolonged detention under difficult conditions, whipping, imprisonment, and deportation to the Malaysia-Thai border.

We have heard numerous horrifying accounts where asylum seekers and refugees from Burma are handed over to human smugglers/traffickers at the Malaysia-Thai border, who demand payment for their release. Those who are unable to pay the monies required (typically ranging from RM1,400 to RM2,500) are sold – to fishing boats, brothels or ‘private owners’ – for sex or as bonded laborers.

Even those issued with identity documents by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are vulnerable to arrest, as Ikatan Relawan Rakyat (RELA) volunteers and Immigration officers often do not recognise the validity of these documents.

An average of 700-800 UNHCR-recognised refugees remain under detention every month. About 100 of these are children. The UNHCR is not allowed to visit asylum seekers in detention centres and prisons, which directly jeopardizes their right to seek asylum, a universal right in international customary law. They are detained indefinitely – sometimes for more than 2 years – suffering violence, poor access to health care, and poor conditions of detention.

The unnecessary arrest, detention, whipping and deportation of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons do not only perpetuate violence and vulnerability, it constitutes the abuse of human rights and wastes limited law enforcement resources which are desperately needed for the prevention of real crime.

Malaysia’s International Obligations

Malaysia’s international obligations include the following:

1. Upholding the rights of every person as set out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is international customary law and therefore binding on Malaysia. These include the right to life, liberty and security of person, the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as the right to seek asylum.

2. Taking measures necessary to fully respect the international customary law of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return of people to places where they may face persecution or threat to their life or freedom.

3. Acting on the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Malaysia as stated in their Concluding Comments of May 2006, which include adopting laws and regulations concerning the status of asylum seekers and refugees, in line with international standards, to ensure their protection.

4. Acting on the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to Malaysia as stated in their Concluding Comments of February 2007, which include abolishing caning and other forms of corporal punishment for those under 18 years of age, taking urgent measures not to detain children for immigration proceedings, establishing a screening process to identify asylum-seeking and refugee children, developing legislation for the protection of asylum-seeking and refugee children, and strengthening collaboration with the UNHCR and other agencies, including providing access to persons of concern in detention.

Immediate Recommendations to Members of Parliament

In line with the above, we seek the commitment of MPs to ensure that:

1. All law enforcement agencies (in particular RELA and Immigration) respect UNHCR documents and refrain from arresting holders of these documents

2. The UNHCR is given free and full access to asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons in all Immigration Detention Depots and Prisons so that they can verify if asylum claims are genuine and take measures to assist refugees. Recognized refugees should be released into the official care of the UNHCR while durable solutions are found.

3. Lawyers are given full access to refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons to ensure that their right to representation is upheld for any form of court proceedings.

4. Asylum seekers, refugees, and stateless persons are exempted from punishment under the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155), using Section 55 of the Act. This is in line with recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In the longer term:

5. The Malaysian Government must institute refugee status determination procedures, as recommended by the CRC and CEDAW Committees, and provide protection and assistance to these vulnerable groups. The Malaysian Government should also ratify the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol.

We also urge the Malaysian Government to fulfill its promises made in October 2004 to issue IMM13 work permits to the Rohingya population. We are concerned that this process has stalled, leaving the Rohingya community in great vulnerability to unjust arrest and detention.

We, the undersigned members of the Migration Working Group,

  1. Aliran Kesedaran Negara (ALIRAN)
  2. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  3. Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM)
  4. Building & Wood Workers International, Asia-Pacific Region
  5. Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility, Asia (CARAM Asia)
  6. Council of Churches, Malaysia
  7. Health Equity Initiatives (HEI)
  8. Kumpulan ACTS
  9. Labour Resource Centre (LRC)
  10. Legal Aid Centre, Kuala Lumpur
  11. Migrant Care
  12. Malaysian Care
  13. Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI)
  14. Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC)
  15. Migrant Desk, Melaka-Johor Catholic Diocese
  16. Penang Office for Human Development (POHD)
  17. Persatuan Kebangsaan Hak Asasi Manusia (HAKAM)
  18. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
  19. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  20. Tenaganita
  21. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

The Secretariat for the MWG is Women’s Aid Organisation

To contact the MWG c/o WAO:

P.O. Box 493, Jalan Sultan, 46760 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Tel: +603 7957 5635, Fax: +603 7956 3237

Email: wao@po.jaring.my



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another coalition of NGOs another campaign for Domestic Workers

On 1/5/2007, one coalition of NGOs launched “One Paid Day off A week and Recognise Domestic Work as Work”.

On 1/5/2008, another coalition of NGOs launched another campaign for Domestic Workers known as “Regional Campaign on the Recognition & Protection of Domestic Work as Work” (The ADWA Statement can be found below..)

It would have been GOOD if all relevant NGOs can cooperate and work together for good of all workers, and in this in particular the Domestic Workers - irrespective of whether they are Migrant or local. To just be interested in Migrant Domestic Workers would be discriminatory and unjust..


ASIAN MIGRANT DOMESTIC WORKERS ALLIANCE (ADWA)

Statement on International Labour Day 2008 and the Launching of the

“Regional Campaign on the Recognition & Protection of Domestic Work as Work”

1 May 2008

DOMESTIC WORK IS WORK!

RESPECT THE RIGHTS, STATUS AND DIGNITY OF DOMESTIC WORKERS!

Text Box:  Today we celebrate the 118th International Labour Day. We honour the more than 100 years of struggle and victories of the working class all over the world, which advanced the rights, status and dignity of workers. “Workers’ rights are human rights” is now a well-established, universal principle embodied in the core instruments of the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation, and in national laws.

But we also affirm that our gains are not enough, nor are they secure. The forces of global capital, neoliberalism and exploitation are on the offensive to further take advantage, restrict, or roll back workers’ rights. These forces want to reduce workers – including women and migrants – into unorganised, flexible, cheap and vulnerable labour commodities.

There are still major gaps in terms of protection of the rights and dignity of workers. There are also specific sectors of the working population that still are not properly recognised and protected as workers. The migrant domestic workers (MDWs) is one such sector. There are currently an estimated 2 million MDWs in Asia, working mostly in the Gulf States, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. Over 90% of these are women, and a significant number (at least 40%) are undocumented. [AMC estimate, 2006]

There is no specific international instrument establishing MDW rights; there are no common, minimum standards on fair and decent treatment of MDWs. In Asia, governments arbitrarily choose whether to include MDWs in their existing policies/laws, to what extent, and what restrictions or exclusions they want to impose.

Asian governments categorise MDWs as ‘unskilled”, and usually send them abroad without work contracts. Not surprisingly, the ‘deployment’ of MDWs is premised on the denial of basic labour rights, and the maintenance of migration regimes that discriminate against MDWs. Many host countries do not cover MDWs in their labour laws; if MDWs are mentioned, it is to subject them to restrictive ‘conditions of stay’ or to disqualify them from protection or standards that are enjoyed by local or other foreign (“skilled”) workers.

The recognition and protection of MDWs as workers is crucial because we need to challenge the gender stereotypes (that domestic work is women’s work) and patriarchal perspectives (that domestic workers are servants) that are reinforced through the systematic and global ‘deployment’ of MDWs.

The convergence of class, gender and racial factors puts MDWs in a position of particular and systemic vulnerability, thus making MDWs among the worst-end indicators of the situation, status, treatment and vulnerability of workers and women in society. Their health and visa status further worsen their situation. MDWs encounter numerous human rights violations in the workplace and in society, ranging from excessively long working hours with little pay, no regular rest days, to sexual harassment and physical violence. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to physical/verbal and sexual abuses because they work in isolation in private households. Recruitment-related fees and deceptive recruitment practices further jeopardize MDWs’ right to just and decent working conditions. Many MDWs do not have access to redress channels, or fear of being fired and deported if they do so. These abuses have been widely reported by MDW organisations, advocates and international agencies.

The measures necessary to protect MDW rights are no secret. These include extending equal protection under labour laws, adopting and enforcing standard employment contracts for MDWs, removing restrictive and discriminatory immigration and labour laws, monitoring the fees and practices of recruitment agencies, and creating local employment opportunities so that domestic workers migrate out of choice and not desperation. But much of these assume that governments recognise and value domestic work as work.

Therefore, there is a need to advance the MDW advocacy so that the recognition and protection of ‘domestic work as work’ becomes a universally-accepted principle; and that this principle is reflected in the national, regional and international laws, policies and practices.

In the past 30 years, MDWs and advocates in Asia have shown their power to act on the problems and effect major changes. They have organised, unionised, lobbied, and campaigned to advance MDW rights and improve policies and practices affecting MDWs.

Since 1991, the Migrant Forum in Asia, MDW trade unions and partners have pioneered the campaign for the recognition and advancement of the rights, status and dignity of migrant domestic workers in Asia – including the unionisation of DWs. In 2003, the Coalition for Migrants Rights (grassroots MDW unions and organisations in HK), launched the campaign for the protection of migrant domestic workers against forced labour. In 2006, these groups together with Migrants’ Rights International (MRI), NGOs and MDW partners from all over the world agreed to spearhead an international campaign on the recognition of domestic work as work. In June 2007, the Asian Migrant Domestic Workers Alliance (ADWA) was formed in order to serve as the broad alliance of MDWs, trade unions and civil society groups to spearhead the joint regional advocacy in Asia.

Today, ADWA and its partners are jointly launching the “Regional Campaign on the Recognition and Protection of Domestic Work as Work.” The central aim of this campaign is to advocate for the “recognition of domestic work as work”, and the “respect and advancement of the rights, status and dignity of migrant domestic workers”. The key areas of advocacy are: (1) the adoption of valid, fair and standard employment contract for MDWs (based on decent work principles including wages, rest days, working hours, and living and working conditions); (2) the recognition and protection of MDWs under national policies/laws, and the removal of policies that discriminate or marginalise MDWs; (3) the adoption of migration regimes that recognise MDWs as legal workers and provide safe and transparent migration channels for them; and (4) the adoption of international instruments that universally recognise and define minimum standards on the rights and status of MDWs.

WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!

DOMESTIC WORK IS WORK!

RESPECT AND ADVANCE THE RIGHTS, STATUS AND DIGNITY OF

MIGRANT DOMESTIC WORKERS!

Asian Migrant Domestic Workers Alliance (ADWA)

1 May 2008, Jakarta, Indonesia


While ADWA launches their “Regional Campaign on the Recognition and Protection of Domestic Work as Work.” on 1/5/2008, it is best to note that another coalition of NGOs known as United For Domestic Workers' Rights also do have an on-going campaign known as the “One Paid Day off A week and Recognise Domestic Work as Work” on the International Migrants’ Day (IMD), 2007.


*** United for Foreign Domestic Workers’ Rights comprises of six regional/ international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from the Asia Pacific region. The members of Ufdwrs are Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD), Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM),CARAM Asia, Mekong Migration Network (MMN), and Global Alliance Against Trafficking Women (GAATW), Asian Migrant Coordinating Body (AMCB), ENGENDER, Solidaritas Perempuan, H.O.M.E., TWC2, Solidarity Migrante (Philippines), Solidarity Migrant Sclabrini (Indonesia).

Objectives:

Works to recognise domestic work as work by having domestic work included under national labour laws and employment acts;
Strives to involve FDWs and their associations in the planning, implementing, and evaluating phases of the campaign; and
Seeks strategies and approaches to counter the obstacles that are constraining FDWs from their active involvement in the "Recognise Domestic Work as Work" campaign.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My passport was revoked: Hindraf leader



My passport was revoked: Hindraf leader
19 May 2008, 1839 hrs

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Indian leader P Waytha Murthy claims that the government has revoked his passport despite it being valid till 2010.

The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader insisted on Sunday that his Malaysian passport was revoked though the government stated otherwise.

Moorthy's travels to many countries including India to propagate the Hindraf's case has annoyed the government that says the organisation's activities 'destabilise' the ethnic balance.

"I am holding a Malaysian passport which is valid until 2010. But the fact remains that the Malaysian government has revoked my passport," the New Straits Times quoted Moorthy as saying.

Amnesty International's Washington-based Asia-Pacific advocacy director T Kumar has reportedly said that Moorthy had to put off talks with leaders of the US Congress and Amnesty in Washington because his passport had been cancelled.

Moorthy learnt about it when he returned to London from Geneva recently after talks with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"The British immigration authorities at Gatwick Airport (on April 21) told me my passport was cancelled," said Moorthy, who has been living in Britain since December.

He said he was given leave to enter and remain in Britain for six months on April 2 upon his return from India.

"It is a known fact that no country would admit a person into its territory without a six-month validity period on the passport. For that matter, Switzerland would not have admitted me into their country on April 17. Nor would any airline allow me to board the flight without the six-month validity period," he said.

Hindraf claims to speak for Malaysia's Tamil Hindus who came here during the British era. The body has alleged discrimination against the community in jobs and education and the demolition of many Hindu shrines in Malaysia.

Hindraf organised a protest rally last November that was forcibly dispersed. Five of its top organisers are since serving two year jail terms under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).

Lingam tape report out today - minus thunder

Shall we review all decisions of Ahmad Fairuz, Eusoff Chin....etc or just all the decisions of court since 1988 - since we do not yet know HOW many of them judges were "bought" and decided because they were "paid to" or "ordered to" or "told to" decide in a particular manner. Smart judges can, of course, write judgments justifying their decisions one way or the other -- so this will be a most difficult exercise. Shall we just purge the lot -- and get in NEW judges?

Who will NOW compensate the victims of these "corrupt judges"? Were some sent to their death by these "corrupt judges"?

Mahathir, as Prime Minister, can choose anyone as a Judge. He can get advice, suggestions, recommendations from anyone --- and at the day appoint any person as judge and/or elevate any judge.. There may have been no Judicial Appointment Commission before ---- or maybe there was such a "Judicial Appointment Commission", whose members could have been Datuk V.K. Lingam, (businessman) Tan Sri Vincent Tan, (Umno secretary-general) Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and others...whose duty was to forward names of proposed Judges, proposals as to who should be elevated to a higher position, etc..

So, we must really be asking whether having
a Judicial Appointment Commission, who will be giving "advice" or "recommendations" to the Prime Minister, who is at liberty to follow the advice or otherwise is sufficient.

Maybe, the Prime Minister should be deprived of that discretion and be bound to the decisions of the Judicial Appointment Commission?

Or maybe, we should just let the people elect them Judges..., and the law should set down just qualifications and the election process.


WHAT WRONG WAS COMMITTED? AND BY WHOM?

It would be WRONG for a Judge to rule in a particular manner because he was paid to do so, or asked to do so....

It would be WRONG for persons who 'bribed" or did something outside the court processes to get a Judge to deliver judgment in a particular manner..

It would be WRONG for a Judge to ask for an appointment, elevation or transfer for a consideration (an agreement to do certain things that he has the power to do...and this may not be just delivering judgments, but also appointing other judges, etc...)

The ACA chief should have been looking to eliminate corruption within the Malaysian Judiciary since 1988, at least, and if he had not been doing this - he has done WRONG. Why was it not the ACA that brought out the "corruption" of the Malaysian judiciary - Did the ACA, like the Election Commission, also get directives from the Prime Minister and/or the Cabinet?

The current Prime Minister, who by the way, despite knowing that
Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was implicated, did proceed to choose him as an UMNO-BN MP candidate in GE2008, and also did just recently make him the Secretary General of UMNO. Will UMNO now remove Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as the UMNO Secretary pending investigations? Possibly not..

Also hope that there is something in that report about the Father-Son team who took that video tape.The said Lingam trusted so much so to be able to talk over the phone as he did in their presence. --- Since then, the VDO takers have been "rewarded" with seats by PKR in GE2008, and now sits in Parliament.

Were they there trying to get some case settled? ... I hope the report dealt with this matter as well --- for we are thankful for their role in getting this VDO tape out --- but then we should not forget the question as to what their role was in the whole matter?






Lingam tape report out today - minus thunder

KUALA LUMPUR (May 19, 2008): The four-volume report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Lingam video clip goes on sale tomorrow afternoon - with the thunder of its content stolen by an information leak.

The report by the Commission of Enquiry on the "Video Clip Recording of the Images of a Person Purported to be an Advocate and Solicitor Speaking on the Telephone on Matters Regarding the Appointment of Judges", is made up of the main report (RM161.40), the notes of proceeding (RM123), statutory declaration (RM120) and exhibits (RM136.90).

The public may buy the report from the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya, from 2pm.

Last Friday (May 16), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim announced the cabinet decision to go public with the report, days after three newspapers had published the gist of its findings, quoting excerpts of the comments and recommendations.

The report, in a nutshell, found that the video clip recording of lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam talking on his handphone with a "Datuk" on appointment of judges is authentic and recommended appropriate action against individuals identified and said to have committed certain offences.

Zaid said the cabinet agreed that the Attorney-General (A-G)'s Chambers immediately investigate all allegations levelled against individuals identified in the report.

To a question, he named the individuals as (lawyer) Datuk V.K. Lingam, (businessman) Tan Sri Vincent Tan, (Umno secretary-general) Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, (former Chief Justice) Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin, (former Chief Justice) Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and (former premier) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

When asked whether these people were implicated, he had said: "No. No. I don’t want to say implicated. I said these are the findings of the report."

He said the various offences mentioned in the report included the Official Secret Act, Sedition Act, Penal Code and obstruction of justice.

"But I have to remind you, this report or recommendations are advisory in nature. So, you have to have another investigation."

He said the Cabinet urged the public, including the media, to allow investigation to proceed uninterrupted without undue pressure or any prejudice against any individuals.

Reactions to the report so far:
> Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not want any public prosecution or persecution by the media, as it would be unfair to make assumptions or hurl accusations against them. “That sort of things should not happen.”
He said the people and the media should not carry out their own investigations. "Just wait for the A-G's report."
He agreed with a number of recommendations in the report, such as action be taken to improve the state of the judiciary.

> A-G Abdul Gani said he would have to go through the report in detail before deciding whether to order a probe.

> Former premier Mahathir said he was prepared to be investigated and charged in court with regard to the commission's findings, so that he would have an opportunity to explain many things that the judges did, including lobbying.

"I want to tell about the judges who had come to me to lobby. If lobbying is wrong, then these judges should be probed," he said when asked by reporters on the cabinet's directive to the A-G to initiate immediate investigations into allegations on individuals named in the inquiry report.
Mahathir said he did not expect the judges who were lobbying had committed any wrongdoing as throughout his tenure as prime minister, many people had approached him to lobby for positions whether for a minister's post, deputy minister and other government positions.

He said the decisions he made on the appointments, including that of judges, were based on his own assessment.

"My decision is based on my assessment. I don't care who lobbied or who spoke to me. If I decide that the individual concerned should be appointed, then I will appoint. If a person should not be appointed, even though he was recommended by the judge, I will not appoint.

"I am not a postman, when the chief judge recommends, I straight away approve and see the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the King endorses. If that is the case, it can be said the appointment of the chief judge is decided by the outgoing chief judge.

"Then, I don't have any role at all. I don't want to be a postman," he said in a Bernama report datelined Johor Baru.

Asked on the recommendation by the commission that Vincent Tan and Tengku Adnan be investigated, Mahathir said he did not know about their roles as they had never lobbied with him.
"Anybody can give their views on the appointment of anyone, the prime minister or future deputy prime minister," he said, adding that the present system of appointing judges was good. What makes the system to be flawed is the human element."

> Salehuddin Saidin, counsel for Tun Ahmad Fairuz: He and his client could not comment because they had yet to receive a copy of the report. "I have not received any instructions from Tun Ahmad Fairuz at this point of time."

> DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng: A review of cases decided by Eusoff Chin and Ahmad Fairuz would be the most appropriate way of restoring the integrity of the judiciary. He said if a probe is ordered, it should focus mainly on Eusoff Chin and Ahmad Fairuz because as judges they carried a higher responsibility.

He claimed he was a victim of what happened, and so did lawyer Wee Choo Keong (MP for Wangsa Maju).

> Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer S.N Nair: His client is seeking to review all of his criminal and civil cases presided over by the two former judges.

"The standard of the commission’s findings is lower than the outcome of the investigations, which should unearth evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

The burden of proof will be higher with the A-G. This is why the investigating agency must be able to build up a strong case for prosecution. A lot of credibility is at stake for investigators, so that there will not be a reason for the A-G to dismiss the case for lack of evidence.

> Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail: There's a need to re-examine cases which Tun Ahmad Fairuz and Eusoff Chin had presided over as this blot on their names created doubts as to whether they had dispensed justice fairly.

She welcomed the decision to investigate the six individuals although she questioned whether A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail would do so fairly.

> DAP chairman Karpal Singh: The personalities cited in the commission’s report are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

"It will be premature for anyone at this point of time to suggest that any criminal offence has been committed by any one of them. It is my view that they are entitled to a fair police investigation and a fair trial before criminal culpability is proven.”

> Bar council secretary Lim Chee Wee said the council was studying whether to lodge a second complaint against lawyer Lingam for breaches of the Legal Profession Act. He said these charges would arise out of the evidence adducted at the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the commission’s findings.