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Monday, June 30, 2008

Anwar's alleged victim Saiful also have rights that need protection..

Let us all be calm and not get too emotional about that alleged new police report filed by one Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan aleging that Anwar Ibrahim had allegedly committed the offence of sodomy.

Let us not forget:-

a) Presumption of Innocence until proven guilty.....for now all that has happened has been that a police report has been filed. That is all.

b) We must also not forget the right of the VICTIM of a criminal act - in this case it is that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and his right to make a police report must be recognized and respected. It is wrong that some parties have been coming out and making all kinds of allegations about the character of this complainant - and this is not right at all.
(It may be Anwar Ibrahim who may be the VICTIM of a false police report, and it is his right to make a police report against the said Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, or respond otherwise. Anwar's response is that it is NOT TRUE.

c) What some are doing to the said Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan reminds me of just what the PM and the BN personalities (and/or their agents) did to that Yong fellow, the president of SAPP -- demonize him...discredit him...and that is very wrong.

d) No one is above the law - not even the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib Tun Razak or Anwar bin Ibrahim --- we really should not advocate the use of tactics that would put fear into the small person victim when it involves allegations against some big and powerful personality.

e) Looking at what is now happening to Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan ...what happened to that Yong fellow (president of some small BN party) - persons in Malaysia would, in the future, be afraid of the consequences that will follow if you complain against or about some big powerful person... we certainly do not want that in Malaysia. All victims should fearlessly come forward and demand justice.

f) The defamation suit allegedly being filed with regard a complaint to the police is a SHAMEFUL act ....and THAT again is something that should never be done when someone makes a complaint to the police. So what now, will "Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan"now have to do - rush find some lawyer, and expend more money defending a defamation suit. This is VERY wrong and I am shocked if Anwar did indeed file a defamation suit JUST with regard that police report. If that Saiful came out and made some public statement about it, then you can file a defamation action.[ When it comes to a police report - no one can use the report as a basis for a defamation suit - I believe that is the law. If not, everytime someone files a police report against another, there will be a defamation suit against the complainant -- and surely after that no poor person who is victim of a crime is even going to dare to make any police report....].

I hope that if Anwar did, on bad advise, react too fast and file a defamation suit based on the allegations so contained in that report, he MUST now withdraw that suit..for such an action goes against the values and principles so far being advocated by the Pakatan Rakyat.
(see Malaoysiakini, Änwar files defamation suit against aide", http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/85288)

MOST of us do not believe the allegations of sodomy made against Anwar - but let us allow time for the complaint to be investigated.

Pakatan Rakyat, or Parti Kedailan Rakyat, will not and should not fall just because Anwar has been found guilty of a crime - there are so many leaders in the Pakatan Rakyat. Anwar, may be described as the "defacto leader"but really he is only the adviser. The party and the opposition coalition has so many more good leaders there - and even the "political assasination"or even ässasination"of one should not at all affect Pakatan Rakyat too much.

All this has really become a great DISTRACTION from the so many real issues that is facing Malaysia, and let us not be too distracted.

For one, there is that Local Council Elections issue - and sadly there has has been almost no response about the fact that Selangor is going to appoint local councillors for 4 years - 1 year probation and 3 years contract thereafter - which means possibly no local council elections anytime before the next General Elections...

It is also time for Human Rights bodies, and civil society bodies to be careful with the statements that they make -- let us not allow our bias, our affliations, our nearly achived dream of a non-BN government for Malaysia cloud the real issues of rights and justice.


*****
Just a case that shows that not just police reports, but also other statements and communications made to the police with regard a criminal investigation cannot be the basis for a Defamation suit.

June 7, 2007 (Times Online)
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/reports/article1895802.ece

Complaints to police are privileged

Queen’s Bench Division

Published June 7, 2007

Buckley v Dalziel and Another

Absolute privilege and immunity from suit were available to a person who provided information to the police to set in motion the process of an inquiry into possible illegality.

Mr Justice Eady so held in the Queen’s Bench Division on May 3, 2007, when granting an application for summary judgment under Part 24 of the Civil Procedure Rules by James Stewart Dalziel against the claimant, Mrs Barbara Buckley, in her claim for defamation against Mr Dalziel and his wife, Mrs Melanie Dalziel. Mr Dalziel had made a witness statement and Mrs Dalziel had held three telephone conversations with Greater Manchester Police in which they had complained that Mrs Buckley, who was their neighbour, had arranged for boundary trees to be pruned in their absence.

Mrs Buckley claimed that Mr Dalziel was responsible for libel and that Mrs Dalziel was responsible for slander. Mr Dalziel argued that he was entitled to absolute privilege and immunity from suit.

HIS LORDSHIP said that following the guidance in Taylor v Director of the Serious Fraud Office ([1999] 2 AC 177) it was necessary to protect those who provided evidence to the police in the course of an inquiry.

It was not unreasonable, in weighing the competing considerations, to give priority to the protection of those who provided such information.

The public policy considerations applied with equal validity to those who were witnesses and to those who were initial complainants.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Will HR activist still call for Local Council elections with the same intensity..??

The struggle for Local Council Elections may have been strategically killed off by the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State government by its recent appointment of Human Rights advocates, activists and personalities as Local Council members in Selangor.

I must say, that it is a one very effective means of silencing your critics - just 'rope' them in and get them into the Local Government.

Were the activist aware of the "one year probation" and the "3-year contract" that will follow, before these HR advocates accepted their appointment. For, if they did, it is shocking. They may be seen as having betrayed that struggle for Local Council Elections.

I must say that I was already very critical when the deadline for the holding of local council elections given by civil society groups in their 28/3/2008 Memorandum was before or by 2010 - it was just too long away.

"all State Governments, especially those of Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan, which have committed to local government elections through their manifestos or the People's Declaration, should declare their road maps for local elections with clear timelines and milestones. Holding local government elections should be prioritized, and carried out by or before 2010. " - extract from the 28/3/2008 Memo

But now, what will these persons, some of whom are from the very same organisations that signed the 28/3/2008 Memo, do with regard their appointment to the various Selangor Local Councils.

Would they accept it (including that 1 year probation ...followed by 3 year contract), for if they do, would it not mean a 'back-tracking' on that time limit set for Local Council Elections ---- by or before 2010. This 1+3 year term would mean no Local Council elections until 2012 (which is also when the next General Elections would be held..)

Will these Human Rights personalities accept their appointment and still be seen calling 'whole-heartedly' and with the same intensity for Local Council Elections...I wonder.

I say, they must NOW demand that this appointment should be limited to 1 1/2 years maximum - after which there must be local council elections by the end 2009 - before the start of 2010.

I must also say this "Probation Period" of 1 year should be rejected. It is a means to keep them local councilors in line ..... that means "do not do anything to get into the bad books of the MB and the State Exco", for if not, you may not get "confirmed" -- and get that 3 year contract. (see "
S'gor local councillors list finally ready", Malaysiakini, 19/6/2008).

Would those Human Rights Advocates, who still speak up on the failings of the Pakatan Rakyat, Selangor MB and government get 'confirmed' as Local Council members?

Will there be SILENCE about Local Council Elections, and Local Council failings..from some activist and their groups now that some member or Director has been appointed Local Councilor?

We want Local Council Elections ...we want elections at the Kampung, Taman, Housing Estate, Town levels --- we do not want appointments by 'political parties' or the government of the day - we, the Rakyat, will elect who we want...








Friday June 20, 2008

Disabled rep among 24 new city councillors in MBPJ

By DEBBIE CHAN and TAN KARR WEI


Anthony

THE Petaling Jaya City Council will have, for the first time, representation from the disabled community on its board of councillors.

Animal Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association president Anthony Thanasayan is one of the 24 newly chosen councillors for the MBPJ.

Anthony has been fighting for the rights of the disabled community for years and his selection as a city councillor will definitely enhance the cause of the disabled in PJ.

“If it is true that I made it to the list, it's fantastic. We have always asked to be included in the decision-making process,” he said.

Fernandez

“We strongly believe in the motto 'Nothing about us without us'. We must be there to make the decisions,” the wheelchair-bound Anthony said.

Among the changes the plucky crusader would like to see are designated car parks for the disabled.

The list of new councillors includes some prominent names from the non-governmental organisations.

Two such persons are Suara Rakyat Malaysia executive director Cynthia Gabriel and Transparency International executive director Richard Yeoh.

Environment activist and lawyer Derek Fernandez, who has been making newspaper headlines for being vocal on various community issues, is also on the list.

Mak

The representation from community and NGOs is part of the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government’s move to include members of the public in the decision-making process and to tap their views and expertise for the benefit of the community.

The rest of the names on the list are members of the three Pakatan Rakyat coalition partners – PKR, DAP and PAS.

However, none of the coalition’s elected representatives, whether MPs or state assemblymen, had been appointed as councillors.

This is a change from the previous Barisan Nasional state government where most of the elected representatives are appointed as councillors.

Among the people named on the list is former StarMetro reporter Mak Khuin Weng.

“There are some issues I would like to look into, like condominiums and privatisation of contracts. These are the things that I've been following up as a reporter,” Mak said.

He looks forward to working with the other councillors to help resolve issues affecting PJ while striving for transparency and accountability.

As a reporter, Mak has met many PJ residents and worked with former MBPJ councillors.

“I would be able to draw from their experience. I look forward to working with the other councillors,” he said.

NEW COUNCILLORS FOR PETALING JAYA

1. Mohd Halil Haji Harun – Petaling Jaya Utara PKR deputy chief

2. Syed Abdul Malik Syed A Hamid Al Jafree – Subang PKR deputy chief

3. Thiruvenggadam Aamuthu – Petaling Jaya Selatan PKR deputy chief

4. Halimey Abu Bakar – Kelana Jaya PKR Youth chief

5. Mahharul Ismail – Petaling Jaya Selatan PKR Secretary

6. Latheefa Koya – Petaling Jaya Selatan PKR treasurer

7. Tang Fuie Koh – Petaling Jaya Utara PKR treasurer

8. Dr Melasutra Md Dali – Urban planner

9. Michael Soon Kwai Choy – DAP

10. Mak Khuin Weng – DAP

11. Robert Tan Siang Chok – DAP

12. Tiew Way Keng – DAP

13. Francis Chang – DAP

14. Ahmad Yusof Ludis – PAS

15. Ghazali Shaari – PAS

16. Kamarudin Suhaimi – PAS

17. Muzammil Hafiz – PAS

18. Chan Chee Keong – Social activist

19. Richard Yeoh – Transparency International executive director

20. Anthony Thanasayan – Representative of the disabled community

21. Cynthia Gabriel – Suaram executive director

22. Derek Fernandez – Environment activist and lawyer

*23. Ramakrishnan Suppiah

*24. Paneer Sivam

* The last two names are yet to be confirmed.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Bandar Mahkota Cheras leader among nominees for Kajang

By GEETHA KRISHNAN and STUART MICHAEL


Tan Boon Wah

BANDAR Mahkota Cheras Open Access Road Committee chairman Tan Boon Wah and Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general S. Arutchelvan are among those nominated for a councillor's post for the Kajang Municipal Council.

Another nominee for MPKj councillor is S.T. Chandramohan from DAP.

Tan, who is an IT executive, was detained and hospitalised while championing the cause for the barricade leading from Bandar Mahkota Cheras to the Grand Saga highway to be removed.

S. Arutchelvan

Arutchelvan had championed the plight of squatters and estate workers for many years in the Klang Valley.

Meanwhile, for the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS), four politicians have been nominated to become councillors.

They are Mohd Abdul Rahman (Selayang PAS chairman), Samsudin A. Rahman (Selayang PAS treasurer), Rahim Abdul Wahab (Selayang PKR chief) and Chee Chu Sang (Selayang Parliament service centre director II).

A source said the four had made into the final list as councillors for MPS.

Besides being politicians, the four are also professionals and have full-time jobs in companies.

Mohd Abdul Rahman, an architect by profession for 20 years, is attached to GDP Architect Sdn Bhd, and have been Selayang PAS chairman for two years.

Samsudin is a manager at a tuition centre and previously worked as a teacher and bank officer.

Chee, 34, who is an accountant and running his own management firm, has been running the service centre for the last six months.

****
S'gor local councillors list finally ready
Syed Jaymal Zahiid | Jun 19, 08 2:22pm(Malaysiakini)

The Selangor state government has finally completed the task of appointing 288 local councillors for all 12 local councils in the state, the majority of whom are new faces.

MCPX

However the public would have to wait a little longer to find out the identities of those appointed by Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

selangor announcement of local counciller list 190608 02Khalid revealed in a press conference today that the list of councillors was ready but passed the buck to the respective councils to reveal the names of people appointed to sit in the councils.

He said that the names of the chosen individuals will only be disclosed by the respective local authorities once they are done with assessing the list.

Khalid had said yesterday that he would be revealing the names today. The Selangor councillors' list has been a long-drawn affair, purportedly due to behind-the-scene moves by various parties on the composition and make-up of the councillors.

And the final list as revealed by Khalid today showed that 25 percent of those named are made up of NGOs, professionals, activists and academics.

selangor local councils 190608The remaining 75 percent are members of parties from the Pakatan Rakyat with PKR dominating the composition. Neither Khalid nor state exco member Ronnie Liu revealed the exact numbers granted to each parties.

Khalid said that some of those in the list came from the disabled community. The list also included 49 women councillors while about 87 percent of them possessed at least a diploma.

"The councillors will all undergo a one-year probation period and if they prove that they are good with what they do, we will extend their contract to three years," said Khalid.

Khalid also said that there were many talented applicants who had vied for the council posts - numbering slightly more than 1,000 people.

He added that it would be a waste not to give them the opportunity if those chosen are found to be performing below expectations.

Khalid also explained that Selangor will be divided into zones and that some of the councillors will lead each of their respective zones whereas some will lead numerous zones.

Councillors will be given a salary of between RM500 and RM1,000 and a meeting allowance of RM100 per meeting.

Khalid has retained city mayors, municipal council presidents and district chiefs.

No MPs or Adun named

Khalid also said that unlike under the Barisan Nasional administration, the present list of councillors had no members of parliament or state assemblypersons.

The rationale for doing so, he explained, was to allow residents and ratepayers the ability to participate in a matter that would affect them the most.

When asked if the list contained any BN members, Khalid said that none were as they would not be allowed to accept any position in the Pakatan government by their party leadership.

selangor announcement of local counciller list 190608 01The race-based quota for selecting local councillors has also been rid off, Liu added.

The BN-led Selangor state government had in the past practiced the race quota system where representatives from each of the BN's race-based component parties would be allocated slots for representations based on the number of state seats controlled by that particular party.

Liu, a DAP leader, however said that the Pakatan government want the tradition to be eliminated.

"We cannot function like that anymore. We have to understand that Indian people can also serve the Chinese community and vice versa," he stressed.

The issue of implementing local council elections, one of the key features of Pakatan's elections promises, was also raised by reporters.

Both Khalid and Liu said that the Pakatan Selangor government was currently working towards studying the possibility of re-implementing it.

"We know that local representation is important and we are working on it," added Khalid.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

MADPET : TORTURE IN POLICE LOCK-UPS MUST END

MEDIA STATEMENT – 21/6/2008

TORTURE IN POLICE LOCK-UPS MUST END

- Install CCTV with recording capabilities

to ensure rights be respected and abuses end -

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is shocked at the allegation that persons arrested by the police were beaten up and sexually abused, including being forced to perform oral sex on one another at the Kajang police station. (Malaysiakini, 20/6/2008 “Detainees claim forced oral sex in lock-up”). One of the victims was a juvenile.

What was even more shocking was that the same officer allegedly, after a complaint was made to the Magistrate, did again torture the detainee-victims because “…they informed the magistrate about it…” It was reported that the victims’ lawyer did say that the alleged perpetrator/s“…then made them lick his boots, sprayed Ridsect (insect repellent) on their face and they were beaten up with pipes…"

MADPET also wonders whether the Magistrate, after receiving the complaint, did cause immediate investigation to be commenced about the alleged torture, for any failure on the part of the Magistrate to act speedily should also be investigated.

In many of the police stations in Malaysia, especially in the lock-up areas and interrogation rooms, apparently there are close-circuit television (CCTV) installed but unfortunately it does not have any recording capacity. If there was recording capacity, then investigation would have proceeded speedily, and the perpetrator/s would have been easily identified.

There has just been too many deaths in custody, and allegations about police torture in Malaysia, and that makes it imperative that all police stations, including lock-ups and interrogation rooms, be immediately equipped with CCTV, with recording capabilities. This would definitely ensure that rights of those arrested and detained are respected and protected. It would also definitely deter incidents of torture and even killing.

In Hong Kong, lawyers of accused persons have access to these recordings. It can then be determined whether rights provided for in law have been accorded to a particular person, and also to confirm that has been no torture, threat, promise or other non-permissible actions.

MADPET is also disappointed that Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)’s response to this complaint, as reported, was to just send letters to get details of the arrests and the remand.

SUHAKAM should have immediately gone down to the venue of the alleged torture, and started gathering evidence. Being a police station, many potential witnesses may not be accessible later, and there is definitely the real possibility of witness tampering by the perpetrators, more so when they are police officers.

MADPET reiterates the call that the government immediately set up The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), as was intended and proposed by 2 Royal Commissions. We do not need any other kind of “IPCMC”.

MADPET calls for an urgent investigation into this allegation of torture, and that the perpetrator/s be thereafter charged and tried in open court. Any other internal form of discipline is not acceptable.

Charles Hector

N. Surendran

for Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

21st June 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

NO Local Council Elections in Selangor under PR...

That is the end of the call for "Local Council Elections" as far as Pakatan Rakyat's Selangor is concerned. Local Councilors are going to be appointed - yes appointed.

And, they all will have to undergo probation -- and if they pass muster, according to the Selangor government's standards, then they will be given 3-year contract.

"..."The councillors will all undergo a one-year probation period and if they prove that they are good with what they do, we will extend their contract to three years," said Khalid...." (Malaysiakini, 19/6/2008, S'gor local councillors list finally ready [http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/84717])

June 2008 - Appointed
June 2009 - End of Probation - Confirmed
June 2012 - End of 3-year contract..

So, when are we going to have our Local Council Elections...

General Elections - 2008
Next General Elections - 2012 - but definitely before mid-March 2013.

So, when are we going to have our Local Council Elections...

PROBATION - What nonsence? So, does that mean that those who do not "kow-tow" will not be 'confirmed'.

The Malaysiakini report interestingly do not say anything about any Local Council Elections...

I would have expected at the very worse, a short-term 6 months - 1 year appointment, just to give time to get ready for Local Council Elections

Sad, it is that some of those who were strong advocates for local council elections are now silent when in government...

It has been rumored that many from the Human Rights, Women Rights, Environment, Disabled Groups, ...civil society would be appointed ---- hence we may not hear that demand from civil society (at least not in the same LOUDNESS) about Local Council Elections...Alas, they may be compromised...and the call for local council elections dies away...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shoot messenger ignore the message..The BN Way??

It was interesting how the BN and its cronies (including the 'government-linked-media[GLM] reacted to the position taken by SAPP. The message was ignored - and mud was slung at the messenger...
One NST report headline read 'He does not have support of own party'. - is he not the President...
Another headline read "Act of 'uncouth, irresponsible man', "A maverick politician" , blah...blah.
It was an attempt to be-little the impact of the thunderous slap given by SAPP to the current PM and his government.
Yong's past crimes were also highlighted -- oh yes, he was charged for illegal assembly, and after he pleaded guilty...he became Chief Minister.
He was allegedly charged of possession of dangerous weapons.
He lost his seat because the "....Election Court ruled that the electoral roll in the March 1999 elections was tainted with illegal voters.... also ruled that Yong's agents contravened the Election Offences Act by using billboards to smear a rival candidate...."
Come on...come on - we are here not to pass moral judgment on the this Yong character - and the PM and the BN must really look at the good reasons as to why they did what they did .

I was amused that "Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said described Yong and his party's two MPs as ingrates. ..."( see NST,"Act of 'uncouth, irresponsible man' , 19/6/2008). After all, was this not the same man who stood so clearly against the Prime Minister, the head of Barisan Nasional, the head of UMNO. Did he not stand firm against all the other BN ADUNs....
(
ingrate - a person who shows no gratitude thankless wretch, ungrateful person unwelcome person, persona non grata - a person who for some reason is not wanted or welcome - definition found in an online Dictionary)
Maverick means '...being independent in thought and action or exhibiting such independence: maverick politicians; a maverick decision...' That is good, is it not - after all surely we do not want our MPs, ADUNs, and party leaders to be mere 'followers' of the PM and/or the powerful UMNO or the mighty BN.
Ah yes..but being a maverick is not permitted within the BN - remember Shahrir Abdul Samad, SK Devamany, mmm they were really blasted and taken to task for for their maverick-ness.

I believe there really is a serious need for a campaign for freedom of expression within the BN and its component parties.

BN has a meeting, and a member is not called for that meeting. It was SAPP .... now surely, it will not be right. Wonder whether it will be OK if the BN had a meeting and UMNO was not called to that meeting.... Wonder whether any decision made in such a meeting would even be valid... It could not have been a BN meeting -- but was only a meeting of some of the component parties.

Heard that more likely than not, there have been similar BN meeting -- where some of the component parties could have met...

Anyway, does the BN have some sort of constitution, membership approval removal mechanisms procedures.... (Could we all get it from the Registrar of Societies...?)

I believe that small SAPP has had the guts to come out and make a clear pronouncement of its position..., and rather than trying to throw mud on the President - it may be best if the PM and the BN government take heed to what they feel and said. In a land like Malaysia, we can say what one said is indicative of maybe what a 100 or 100,000 more feel, who may lack the guts to come out and openly say it....

In fact, a secret ballot amongst all the members of BN component party members as to whether they still have confidence in the PM and this government may sting reveal results similar to what SAPP has openly stated...

We all know how the rest of Malaysia feels...

All members of Parliament...and wakil rakyats must learn from the courage demonstrated by SAPP -- Oh yes, this also goes for all you Pakatan Rakyat MPs and ADUNs.

At the end of the day, remember that you serve the PEOPLE first...not the Party or the Coalition...

It is no use staying silent in the face of injustice ....and then many years later come out saying that "I did protest...I did protest"... it is no use.

All you MPs of the BN today, your silence indicate that you are OK with the price hikes, you are OK with the use of water cannons, tear gas, arrest, detention of persons who just want to express themselves, etc.. The only way that we will know different is when you do come out and express that difference.

There will be attempts to force SAPP to withdraw their expressed position --- maybe also there may be attempts to support some anti-Yong factions within SAPP to try get rid of this President and all its supporters so that SAPP will once again be led by pro- Abdullah pro-BN kind of personalities....mmm. We shall see..we shall see...

Newspapers too must really learn to be independent -- There should have been at least some detailed reports looking into the reasons why SAPP did what they did...These was all clearly stated in the statement they issued, part of which I quote again..

"...
us to recover our autonomy, get 20% oil royalties and return of Labuan would be lost.

Unfair federal laws, excessive taxes and structural imbalances in the economy will remain entrenched.

Sabah will remain the poorest state subservient to the central leadership.

Labuan bridge, poverty eradication and rural development will remain elusive.

Racial politics and wasteful monopolies will continue as usual.

The illegal immigrant problems will reach boiling point.

Grown up street kids, illicit drugs and crimes will continue to strike fear among the people.

Police and law enforcement will remain understaffed and under-resourced.

In other words, Sabah will lose out badly again. We will not get this window of opportunity for another 50 years, if ever again. In fact, we have now become suspicious of their delaying tactics.....

The people are also suffering from high inflation resulting from the recent astronomical and unexpected fuel price hikes which was contrary to a BN election promise. Fuel prices have brought about stagnation in the business sector.

Unemployment and social problems will rise.

But the government's responses seem ad-hoc, flip-flop and lacking in foresight with a fire fighting style.


This is why we have to START INSULATING ourselves from the external shocks such as oil prices and food crisis. The food and energy crises will last a few years. The effects will be around for many more years. This is worse than the financial crisis of 1997-98 from which Malaysia took five years to sufficiently recover....

With our political move today, SAPP hereby initiates the political process to claim 20% in oil royalties which is after all the natural resource of Sabah. With that extra billions, we can invest in agriculture, education, capacity-building and achieve self-sufficiency in many things. We can therefore insulate ourselves from the external shocks or economic tsunami...."

Save for Malaysiakini (and maybe some other alternative media), I did not come across any mainstream media talking about the reasons why SAPP did what it did...

Also interesting in Malaysiakini, is that report entitled "Sapp's expulsion will 'invite serious repercussion', where an UMNO member, interestingly is reported as saying that "...the stand taken by Sapp is “consistent with the concerns of Sabahans - oil royalty, illegal immigrants and the high inflation rate which can potentially increase the poverty level in Sabah”.

So, is SAPP really alone....or is it really a spokesperson for majority of the wakil rakyat of Sabah...

Was that a factor that resulted in the BN not taking steps towards the expulsion of SAPP from the BN...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"No confidence vote" NOW may be dangerous...

It is interesting to note that SABAH People Progressive Party (SAPP) has taken this stand now "..before the window of opportunity closes...". They have expressed that they have no confidence in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister. They go further stating that they have no confidence in the government - and that is this Barisan Nasional government.

They, however, put on hold the question of whether they would be pulling out from the National Front (the Barisan Nasional), stating that this they will say at another press conference on 20/6/2008(Friday).

Reading some of the newspaper reports, gave me the perception that they would be making that announcement about pulling out of BN the Friday following the 23/6/2008 when the "no confidence motion" is said to be tabled BUT no...they will most likely tell us whether they remain in BN or not on 20/6/2008, that is in 2 days.


We could get news from the various newspaper reports about what SAPP said BUT better still if we get it from the horse's mouth itself, and so off I went to the SAPP Official website, cut and pasted below the statement posted there entitled "Why SAPP is making this stand now?" (http://www.sapp.org.my/)

Now, the question as to who will be moving the said No-Confidence Motion is not answered - SAPP said that they needed such a motion but fell short of stating that one of their 2 MPs will move it.

In any event, it is already a very BIG slap in the face for Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that a component party has come out and openly declared to the whole world that it has NO CONFIDENCE in the current PM and the government. In fact, whether there will be a 'no-confidence motion' or not in the Dewan Rakyat on 23/6/2008 matters not anymore...

The consequence of having a "No Confidence Motion" NOW

If the majority of the MPs in Parliament supports it- it means that the PM will have to resign, and the King appoints another PM( a new Cabinet) OR what will happen is that Parliament will be dissolved and we will have the 2nd General Election of 2008 (or maybe, worse case scenario, some proclamation of Emergency, eh??).

If the motion is defeated, then we have Abdullah Ahmad Badawi walking tall and looking strong. There will be no more the question of whether he enjoys the confidence of the majority or NOT.

After all, till this day, there is no positive indication that he does indeed enjoy "the confidence of the majority" in Parliament. Statements that he does do not count - we need to see hands raised, or signatures of the individual MPs on paper.

In fact there is also no indication that he has the support of the majority in UMNO today since he has never been voted in as President (let alone Deputy President) of UMNO. He just filled the empty-seat that Anwar left in 1998. And also by reason at that odd-undemocratic quota requirement, there has been no elections that he had to face that will prove that he has the support of the majority in UMNO.

Moving on, we wonder now how the BN MPs will vote?

I believe that many, who may have no confidence in the PM and/or the current government, may vote against the 'no-confidence' motion.

Why?
- Because, for them the consequence of the motion being carried is not acceptable, OR
- Because, it is just too sudden - and they do not have time to consult with party members and get feedback from their constituents, OR
- really maybe because it is just too soon and they have yet not reached any decision with regards their own personal political future

and as such more likely than not, the "maintain the status quo and play safe.." kind of attitude may prevail and the 'no-confidence' motion.


For some a "no confidence vote" may be seen too being too drastic -- like shooting with a gun aimed at the heart - when all that may be ready to do at the moment is a "rap on the knuckles" or a "slap on the face" or a "quite whisper asking to resign".

For some, they will say that it is not in our culture - better to allow Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to himself tender his resignation rather than to force him out vide a "no confidence vote"

There are just too many things happening at the moment - not just the possible change in Government from BN to Pakatan Rakyat --- BUT there is also that expressed desire and action within UMNO to remove Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as President (and some also want Najib out as well). There are also others who definitely do not want Najib to become the PM or the President of UMNO - and they may be willing to keep Abdullah on until they are sure that the successor will be someone other than Najib.

MCA and some of the other component parties are also having problems in their own house.

All these wrong reasons may at the end of the day see any 'no-confidence-vote' defeated - and will send the wrong message to the RAKYAT, and which may be capitalized by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to justify his continued Premiership.

So, at the end of the day it may be good if there is maybe NO 'no-confidence-vote' at this moment in time in the Dewan Rakyat. As a alternative, it maybe better for more MPs and wakil Rakyats to come out and declare that they have 'no-confidence' in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the government, and when about 20 or so have done so, the message is clear and we hopefully will see :-
(a) Badawi's resignation, OR
(b)Resignation and Dissolution of the Cabinet, OR
(c) Dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat paving the way for another General Elections OR ...(d) maybe some Proclamation of Emergency (Parliament Dissolved, People arrested and detained under ISA, etc...). We certainly hope that Option (d) will never be resorted to ever.


What about the Pakatan Rakyat - are they ready for a "no-confidence vote"? Are they ready to take over NOW -- so much earlier than their proclaimed date of September 16?

Oh yes - there is that SPEAKER person as well to consider who may just disallow such a motion - and we have seen him prevent debate and vote on many an important motions..

Oh maybe, SAPP may backtrack....

No confidence vote" NOW may be dangerous...

We shall see....we shall see...


Below from the SAPP website:-

"Why SAPP is making this stand now?


KOTA KINABALU, June 18, 2008: We must make a stand before the window of opportunity closes. This window of opportunity closes by August after which Sabah would be forgotten again. The nation's attention would switch to MCA and UMNO elections, people will be pre-occupied with the fasting month, Hari Raya, school exams and year end events. Political fatigue in the national mainstream over "Sabah-Sabah-Sabah¨ issues would set in.

The momentum for us to recover our autonomy, get 20% oil royalties and return of Labuan would be lost. Unfair federal laws, excessive taxes and structural imbalances in the economy will remain entrenched. Sabah will remain the poorest state subservient to the central leadership. Labuan bridge, poverty eradication and rural development will remain elusive. Racial politics and wasteful monopolies will continue as usual. The illegal immigrant problems will reach boiling point. Grown up street kids, illicit drugs and crimes will continue to strike fear among the people. Police and law enforcement will remain understaffed and under-resourced. In other words, Sabah will lose out badly again. We will not get this window of opportunity for another 50 years, if ever again. In fact, we have now become suspicious of their delaying tactics.

This is why we need an immediate declaration of no confidence in the PM and the government to tell the Barisan Nasional Federal Government that we can no longer tolerate their insensitive attitude towards the Sabah issues that are real and serious.

The people are also suffering from high inflation resulting from the recent astronomical and unexpected fuel price hikes which was contrary to a BN election promise. Fuel prices have brought about stagnation in the business sector. Unemployment and social problems will rise. But the government's responses seem ad-hoc, flip-flop and lacking in foresight with a fire fighting style.

This is why we have to START INSULATING ourselves from the external shocks such as oil prices and food crisis. The food and energy crises will last a few years. The effects will be around for many more years. This is worse than the financial crisis of 1997-98 from which Malaysia took five years to sufficiently recover.

In Parliament on May 13, a BN Federal Minster killed off any hopes of a review of the petroleum royalty for the oil producing states of Sabah, Sarawak and Trengganu by declaring that the oil royalty shall remain at 5%. With our political move today, SAPP hereby initiates the political process to claim 20% in oil royalties which is after all the natural resource of Sabah. With that extra billions, we can invest in agriculture, education, capacity-building and achieve self-sufficiency in many things. We can therefore insulate ourselves from the external shocks or economic tsunami.

Is SAPP pulling out of the BN?

We will have a press conference o Friday June 20 to announce this matter of SAPP membership in BN after our Supreme Council meeting. This is the most popular question of the week. Actually, the BN has already left Sabah. The spirit of BN is no longer there. It is not that Sabah does not want BN; it is BN that does not want Sabah. The BN does not recognize the contribution of Sabah to the national mainstream. Ask any Sabah UMNO leader privately, they will pour out their frustrations. Remember the speeches of MPs Datuk Anifah Aman on "terrace houses¨, Datuk Ghapur Salleh, Datuk Wilfred bumburing and Datuk Eric and Datuk Dr. Chua Soon Bui? Many BN component leaders also share our feelings...."

RM81 million for Pos Malaysia to hand out rebates?..Wasted public funds.

I just received an e-mail containing some matters of concern:-

a) Why did Pos Malaysia Berhad (a private company that allegedly will earn 10 sen for every RM10 given out) given the Business of handing back the fuel-rebates to car and motor-cycle owners, and not JPJ or some other government department? From the whole exercise, PMB will allegedly make about RM81 million if all vehicle owners go and take their money.

b) ECM Libra, who just declared a net profit of RM84-4 million compared to RM20.2 million the year before, allegedly directly or indirectly owns a significant stake in PMB. Hence, out of that RM81 million, how much would ECM LIbra get.... (We all remember how our Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, through his one and only son-in-law, was associated to ECM Libra some time back).

c) I do not understand the logic of wasting that RM81million - which is public money, which could have been saved if the JPJ (or some other government department) was used to pay out the rebate.

*** I have attached the said e-mail below, but wish to state that I cannot yet the verify the truth of the said allegations. Hope that the said allegation may lead to some person/s starting out and investigating the matter (or alternatively be something that one of our Wakil Rakyat may want to ask the government...)


"ECM Libra's revenue for the financial year ended January 31 2008 rose to RM205.1 million from RM144.5 million in the same period last year.

Net profit rose to RM84.4 million from RM20.2 million previously.

Executive chairman/chief executive officer Datuk Seri Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan said the group would try to better the fourfold increase in net profit in the coming years. He said although 2008 would be a challenging year given the increasing price of oil and inflation, there would still be opportunities for the group." - Business Times Online 18/6/2008

The said E-mail (truth unverified - could contain untruths or could be all true...)

"...(PMB) through it's acquisition of Avenue Capital Resources in 2006.
That deal left a bitter taste in the mouths of those knowledgeable in
the financial world as it was a clear case of insider's trading. Note
that Khairy Jamaluddin was a Director of Investment in ECM Libra in
2004 before he tendered his resignation after this infamous debacle.
However, Pak Lah's closest crony, Dato' Seri Kalimullah is currently
the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ECM Libra.

Recently, PMB was given the job of giving out the cash rebates to
replace of fuel subsidy. It is quite odd on why JPJ was not given this
role but instead it was given to a postal service company. Instead of
the more efficient and more relevant job function of the JPJ, these
cash handouts responsibility were thrusted into the already
mountainous variety of services PMB had to handle. The only defence
that Pak Lah might see the appropriateness of this move is the many
branches of post offices nationwide which the public can easily have
access.

But now, let's see how Pak Lah and his cronies get extra money out of
this purportedly 'for the rakyat' act of selflessness.

For every transaction, PMB will get 10 sen commission on every RM10 of
that RM625 and RM150 (for cars and motorcycles respectively). That
means, for every transaction, PMB will get RM6.25 for cars and RM1.50
for motorcycles in the form of transaction fees.

There is about 11 million cars and 8 million motorcycles in this
country at the moment. Let's do the math :

RM6.25 x 11 millions = RM68.8 million (for cars)

RM1.50 x 8 millions = RM12 million (for motorcycles)

A cool total of RM81 million for the whole exercise per year. Even if
we use pareto principle and apply the 80/20 ratio, RM65 million (80%
out of RM82 million) would still fall in their hands. And this does
not include the commission from RM200 subsidy to be given to each
fishermen in the country!

With RM117 million already paid out during the first day, I wonder how
much PMB will collect by March 2009. This role was given to PMB and
not JPJ because PMB is a public listed company (read: profit oriented)
while JPJ is government owned entity (read : no cost to public). It's
even funnier that those who own cars 2,000cc and above were told to
claim their RM200 rebate from the JPJ, not PMB. Why is this? Well,
there are not many people with cars above 2,000cc in Malaysia anyway.
And JPJ do not impose any fees.

This cunning way of trying to 'help' the poor while at the same time
enriching one self is very much prevalent in Pak Lah's administration.
What's worse, they are emptying the nation's coffers (from the
Treasury) in the form of cash rebates and transfer a percentage of it
into their own pockets (through fees paid into PMB and ultimately into
ECM's bank accounts).

And that my friends is how the poor get screwed to help the rich get
even richer! (Orang kaya menjadi bertambah kaya kerana orang miskin).

These poor people did not realize that they had helped finance Pak
Lah's cronies indirectly

ECM Libra FInancial Group Berhad has a stake in Pos Malaysia Berhad...."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pakatan Rakyat SCARED of holding Local Council Elections now...because BN may win.

Pakatan Rakyat, where is that LOCAL COUNCIL Elections. You are no better that the Barisan Nasional , because all you do now is just appoint those from your coalition partners, and some others.

3 Persons choosing is really not we should be having . We want the PEOPLE to elect in their own Local Councillors, Village Heads, Taman Heads, Penghulus, etc...


Even if there is any legal hurdles to overcome before Local Council Elections(which is doubtful, as many have opined that there is nothing stopping the holding of elections) could be held, at the very least, the PR Governments should have got the people to indicate their choice. A referendum could have been held - if an election could not. The persons indicated by the people vide a referendum could then be appointed. There are always ways and means of doing this -- and I say, that what the Pakatan Rakyat is scared of is that if there is elections, then maybe the BN members and their supporters may win at the local government level. After all, it is a trend that the people always wants some kind of balance, i.e. if the State Government is Barisan, then maybe the local council should be Opposition.


It is FEAR that has cause the Pakatan Rakoyat to back-track from their promises of holding local council elections. Admit it.

Anyway, if you appoint them councilors now in 2008 - and given that terms of office is reasonably 3 years, does this mean that we will be having local council elections in 2011 now....BULL SHIT, by then we will be having our next elections and there will be no local council elections -- and even if they did have such local council elections, it will not give enough time for them elected local council to complete their term and show that 'Elected Local Councils' can also work -- maybe even work much better. After all, to be elected again the elected local councillors have to keep the concerns needs and welfare of the people first. (If there is no elections, then all potential and current local council members need to do is to make sure that they are in the good books of the leaders of the PKR, DAP and PAS, also the Menteri Besar and the State Government.)

Let us have LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS NOW - in fact let us have elections at all levels - the Taman, the Kampung, the Housing Courts, etc. We have to do it NOW, with a plan to try and have the next elections before the next General Elections. And if we manage to do that, we have given the RAKYAT a taste of Democracy, and even if the BN government comes back in power - dismantling the democratic structures and practices in place would be most difficult.




200
8/06/17

300 in final lap to be councillors
By : Brenda Lim
Rehda secretary-general Datuk Francis Lee (right) being interviewed by A. Sivanesan (left foreground), Nga Kor Ming and Mohd Zainuddin Mohd Yusof for a local councillor's post.
Rehda secretary-general Datuk Francis Lee (right) being interviewed by A. Sivanesan (left foreground), Nga Kor Ming and Mohd Zainuddin Mohd Yusof for a local councillor's post.

IPOH: Some 300 men and women, declared as the "cream of the cream" of over 2,600 applicants, will have 10 minutes each to convince a panel of three state executive councillors that they are the most suitable candidate as councillors in Perak's 15 local councils.


Ng Wah Seng is the oldest short-listed candidate.
Ng Wah Seng is the oldest short-listed candidate.
With only 94 of the 333 posts open to the public, the competition was stiff, and many candidates were well-known public figures with illustrious careers, said state Local Government Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming.

They include the owner of Perak's largest architect firm, a former Public Works Department engineer, a former health director of the Ipoh city council and the secretary-general of Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) Malaysia.

Although Nga, state Health, Environment, Human Resources Committee chairman A. Sivanesan and state Religion, Religious Education, Women and Culture Committee chairman Mohd Zainuddin Mohd Yusof would conduct the interviews and make the final decision, the short-listing was done by an independent advisory panel.

For the first time, all local councillors would make statutory declarations that they had a clean record and were not bankrupt, and would also sign a document agreeing to adhere to a code of ethics, said Nga.
Meanwhile, on his application to be part of the Ipoh city council, Rehda secretary-general Datuk Francis Lee said he was in a position to contribute as he was well-versed on the needs of the general and business community.

Retired Ipoh city council chief clerk M. Kana, 60, stressed that local councillors and council department heads should make monthly visits to various parts of the city to address city woes, while lecturer Dr Cheah Phaik Kin, 33, said she supported the move to seek public feedback so that there would be a balance between top-down and bottom-up administration.

The oldest shortlisted candidate, 74-year-old petrol kiosk operator Ng Wah Seng said he was glad that the present administration was open to non-governmental organisation participating to help improve the city.

Former chief inspector of schools Mohd Zabidi Abdul Latiff, 67, said he would strive to make Ipoh a cleaner and safer city, while housewife Chan Foong Leng, 47, who applied to be a councillor for the Kinta Barat district, said she wanted to help more people, especially single mothers and poor families.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What is the real agenda of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi?

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is really dishonest, or is he?. One day, he says that he will be leaving and handing over the reigns. Next, he is saying that he will be defending his UMNO presidency in the party elections in December. (Maybe, he is not dishonest and the agreement was that he will be handing over power in 3 or 10 years time..)

It is not just the PM, but the BN government. At one time, they tell us that they may have to raise fuel prices in August - and then suddenly raise it.

Many are rushing to the Post Office to collect their money fast - because knowing the BN government, tomorrow there may be change of mind - and no more money will be given out to vehicle owners.

Let us consider Abdullah's latest statement that he will be defending his Presidency.

If he is still Presidency of UMNO after December, would we not all have to wait for the next time that UMNO has its elections for any abdication and transfer of power to Najib? If it done before that, Najib will only be the "ACTING" UMNO President, possibly also be seen as the "ACTING" BN leader but he can be PRIME MINISTER if the King do choose to appoint him, and that is if he does enjoys the confidence of majority in Parliament.


But then if the Pakatan Rakyat takes over soon, then all this will not matter anymore - save for UMNO.

But then, if there is sufficient nominations (and that is if the UMNO Divisions have the guts to nominate some other than the incumbent), then we may have a challenge and members can vote in the next UMNO President - and that vague 'Badawi-Najib Agreement' will be immaterial.

Reading the Star Report entitled "UMNO heads hail handover pact" ( I have attached this report below), it confirmed my earlier posting that the Supreme Council was also not aware of the fact and/or the contents of the Badawi-Najib agreement. They also seem to be non-committal in their responses - it is for sure NOT an all out support for the agreement, the transition plan, etc... Interestingly, I also did not see the BN Component parties "hailing" that announcement.

The way things are moving, we may be looking at a whole lot of changes in Malaysia - we may also be seeing a 'reformasi' in UMNO and the Barisan Nasional - where demands for consultations, accountability, transparency and democracy are getting louder and louder. This practice of current leader handing over power to next leader seems to be no longer preferred. Members of UMNO seem to want to choose their own leaders..not just at the National level....but also at the State level.

Sometimes, I do wonder whether Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is as foolish as he seems. If he is not, I wonder what his real agenda is. After all, some do say that this Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the one who created the rift between Mahathir and Anwar - and got himself to be Prime Minister. Some also do say, that this Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the one who got out-witted Mahathir into giving up his premiership. So, maybe we should be asking as to what this Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is really up to? What is his REAL AGENDA?


Sunday June 15, 2008 MYT 10:19:15 PM




PM: I'll defend my post!

By YAP LENG KUEN

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has reiterated that he will defend his Umno presidency in the party elections in December.

Even though he has announced his plans for his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take over, he has not decided precisely on the date of handover.

“Anytime doesn’t mean two or three months,” he said at a briefing on Sunday to media leaders attending the World Economic Forum on East Asia here.

Abdullah denied that political uncertainty had negatively impacted foreign investments and he had, in fact, received many enquiries from the Middle East.

On the economy, he said a growth of 5.5% was achievable and that some mega projects could be adjusted while those people-centric projects with immediate impact would be implemented under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

“This will be after the midterm review when we will also introduce new areas of 'soft development',” he said, referring to the corridor developments especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

On the criticism that some of the reform measures were still weak steps, he said: “Reform has to be gradual. I will continue my work and it is not my attitude that just because you do not support me, I say forget it.”

His priorities would be to strengthen the Anti Corruption Agency, judiciary and police force while ensuring quality opportunities in the development corridors to address the issue of equitable income distribution.

On the proposal to repeal the Internal Security Act, he said there could be some aspects to be reviewed and amendments. He would not be “completely doing away with preventive detention” although ensuring justice was equally important.

In the case of the Hindu Rights Action Force leaders under detention, he said he knew how the people felt, but he had studied the reports and viewed that it was not an issue of politics.

Rather, it was a case of people resorting to activities that undermined national security, he said.

Abdullah said he was aware of Opposition-led protests against high prices.

“They can continue but I will do what is best for the people.

“They are furious (at the high prices including fuel prices) but they have been getting things cheap. The rate of increase and size (of subsidy payments) has become untenable and unsustainable in view of the amount we have to set aside for the annual development budget.”

____

Sunday June 15, 2008

Umno heads hail handover pact


KUALA LUMPUR: Umno leaders hailed the transition agreement between the Prime Minister and his deputy as “a good move” but one said that that was a forgone conclusion and wanted the specifics instead.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said details like when it would happen would quell uncertainty, especially with the party election so close.

“The handing over of the leadership is a good move. But everybody knows that (Umno president) Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will pass the baton to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (deputy president); there's no need to talk about that.

“It is more important to reveal when it will happen. If it happens at the end of this year, why, and if it materialises next year, what are the reasons for making that deadline,” said Dr Khir when interviewed yesterday.

Without the details, Umno supreme council members would not be able to give proper answers when questioned by the grassroots and this would not help reduce the uncertainty, added Dr Khir.

The former Selangor mentri besar added that the details should not be privy to Abdullah and Najib alone because “they belong to the country, and the people have the right to know the leadership direction of the country.”

In Petaling Jaya, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it should be left to the Prime Minister/Umno president to work out the transition plan.

“But any plan that is put forward must also take into concern the feelings and sentiments of the people and Umno grassroots,” he told the press after handing out prizes to TSM Golf Challenge winners.

Asked whether he thought leaders should not contest the Umno top posts, as a transition agreement had been announced, he replied: “We will have to wait and see what the plan is all about”.

“For now, it’s just a statement mentioned by the Prime Minister,” he said, adding that they would have to see what Najib had to say.

When asked if he had any idea when the transition might be, he replied: “No idea”.

In Alor Gajah, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam hailed the handover pact as a positive move for stability in the party and country.

Mohd Ali, who is also Malacca Chief Minister, urged the people to be patient and allow the transition to take place accordingly.

On the possibility that there may be some quarters within Umno who may want to see the transition disrupted, he expressed confidence that this would not happen.

“I hope party members will pay heed to the agreement reached between the two,” he told reporters this after visiting the Kelemak Industrial Zone yesterday.

In Kuala Lumpur, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said it was good if both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister could work hand-in-hand.

Asked when he thought was the right time for a leadership change, the Negeri Sembilan state liasion committe deputy chief said that that was for the Prime Minister and his deputy to decide.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rakyat came to appeal to the King ...Did the King ask the police to arrest them?

Rakyat gathered to appeal to the King ...and the police arrested them...Did the King asked the police to arrest them? I think NOT. So why are the police arresting people who want to see the King - why are the denying RAKYAT access to the King? Was the police acting on their own...or on the orders of the Barisan Nasional government?

If the King told the police to STOP them, ARREST them, DISPERSE them, it is OK -- but if not, would this kind of behaviour be disrespectful of the King.

Mr Policeman, remember the Rukunnegara - Kesetiaan kepada RAJA dan Negera (Loyalty to the King and Country).

Some have asked as to why they are protesting here ...and protesting there - risking to get arrested. Once or twice, would have been OK but this is really going overboard.


Well, when it comes to the ISA and Detention Without Trial - then REPEATEDLY we must raise the issue until at last the Prime Minister decides to release them who are being detained.

In a criminal case after trial, where the court finds you guilty and sentences you - there is some certainty as to how long you will be imprisoned. How good behaviour will reduce the length of your incarceration -- BUT with the ISA and other Detention Without Trial, there is NO certainty as to how long you will be locked-up. At one time, the Minister can make a 2-year Detention Order, and he can continue making it over and over.

With regard to the HINDRAF 5, it is sad that our Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is not releasing them even after MCA, GERAKAN and MIC, major partners in the BN have asked him to do so. Talk about showing respect to the views of your MAJOR partners in BN.

So on we go - repeatedly calling for the release of the many who are being detained under the ISA and other laws that allow for Detention Without Trial.

Sunday June 15, 2008




Three MPs, three PKR members held at Istana rally


By TEH ENG HOCK

KUALA LUMPUR: Three Members of Parliament were among six people arrested yesterday for participating in a rally in front of Istana Negara.

Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Subang MP R. Sivarasa and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin were arrested at 10.30am for protesting against the detention of Hindu Rights Action Force leaders under the Internal Security Act.

Three other PKR members were also arrested.

Special gifts: Children walking to Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur with gifts for Tuanku Mizan yesterday.

Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said all of them were released on bail by 12.45pm.

He said police arrived at about 10am and asked members of the public, including tourists, to vacate the area around Istana Negara’s main gate.

“Everybody left except for a group who refused to leave. We gave them three warnings to disperse. Deputy OCPD (Supt Azri Abd Rahman) spoke to them, and at 10.20am, I gave them five minutes to disperse.

“At 10.25am, they still refused to leave so we arrested them. No force was used, and they also did not resist arrest,” he said.

At 10.35am, ACP Wan Bari said a group of 70 people, including children, alighted buses parked some distance away and walked to Istana Negara, the official residence of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

“Each child was carrying a basket with flowers and a teddy bear and lined with yellow cloth. They left the baskets in front of the palace gate,” he said, adding that they left after they were asked to.

ACP Wan Bari said he could not comment further on investigations as “counter-reports have been made” against him for ordering the arrest of the six, and his comments would prejudice investigations.

The seventy children represented the 70 men currently detained under the ISA at the Kamunting detention centre in Taiping.

They were accompanied by their mothers as well as other family members.

The event was organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and joined by members of the Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA.

According to Hindraf national event coordinator Kannan Ramasamy, they gathered to appeal to the King to advise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to release all the ISA detainees.

Pakatan Rakyat states can provide safe haven to Burmese..Acehnese refugees, etc.

No human being is illegal - and our MEDIA and everyone must get this right. As such there can be no "Village of illegals".

To enter a country the law provides a legal means of entry -- and those that sneak-in through some other means have illegally entered the country.

A better term to use, is DOCUMENTED and UNDOCUMENTED... those who have illegally entered the country are the UNDOCUMENTED.

Now before you are allowed to leave a county through the legal doors, you would need a Passport or some other travel documents. To enter another country, like Malaysia, legally, you also need a passport.

Now, some people do not have "passports" - and they would not have been given passports by their home country even if they applied. Such will be the situation of those from Burma. Many from Burma are running away from possible arrest, detention, torture and death... they are refugees....and without this documentation, they also have to sneak into a country like Malaysia.

Let me just share with you something about what happened and is happening in Burma...

On 4 January 1948, the nation got its independence from the British and became an independent republic, named the Union of Burma.

A military coup de tat led by General Ne Win ended Democratic rule in 1962.

In 1988, General Saw Maung staged another coup d'état against the Ne Win government and formed the State Law and Order Restoration Council(SLORC). In 1989, SLORC declared martial law.The military government finalized plans for People's Assembly elections on 31 May1989. SLORC changed the country's official name from the "Union of Burma" to the "Union of Myanmar" in 1989.

In May 1990, the SLORC military-government held free elections for the first time in almost 30 years.

The National League for Democracy(NLD), the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, won 392 out of a total 489 seats, but the election results were annulled by SLORC, which refused to step down.

In 1997, the State Law and Order Restoration Council was renamed the State Peace and Development Council(SPDC). Since 1992, General Than Shwe has led the SLORC and now the SPDC.

Now many of them Burmese who are here "illegally" are those that are trying to escape persecution and even death. They may be members of the Opposition parties, student groups, and others who have been 'blacklisted ' by the current Burmese 'government'. There are also the tribals - the Shan, the Chin, the Rohingya, the Kachins, etc that are also targets and some of these communities are also in a struggle for independence. Of course, the government of Burma is not going to issue passports to these people - who are also not fool enough to go and apply for one passport.

As part of that repression, the government of Burma also do not recognize some of these peoples as their citizens. With regard to some of the tribes, they too would not like to be identified as being Burmese citizens - as they are in a struggle for independence. Now, these would be them stateless persons.

Of course in Malaysia, we also have a lot of documented Burmese migrant workers as well - and for them, their problems are the same as the other migrant workers.

The number of Burmese undocumented persons in the country is said to be about 150,000. According to a report on April 2008, the United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR) has only managed to register 39,000 Refugees, out of which 25,000 are Burmese.[Reuters, 21/4/2008:- Myanmar detainees riot, set fire at Malaysian Camp"]

Until the UNHCR can get to them, many will have to just hide and hope that they will not be picked up by the Malaysian authorities and classified as just "undocumented migrants" - when they should actually be accorded refugee status.

It is very EVIL to raid their homes, arrest-detain them like these. Our authorities knows the situation of these Burmese. From the surveilance had been done for the past 2 years...., was it not obvious that these were not just "undocumented migrants"?

We have seen the BN government's position and behaviour about these Burmese migrants - and today, there are 5 States under the Pakatan Rakyat government. Maybe there should be a clear policy about this --

* Provide a safe haven for all Burmese undocumented migrants in the Pakatan Rakyat States (that means these migrants will not be subjected to any form of harassment, arrest, detention, deportation, etc by the Police, the Immigration, the RELA, etc whilst they are in the said States.) The State would also assist the UNHCR and/or other relevant bodies process and recognize these persons as Refugees.

* The Pakatan Rakyat states can also create the right of access to education to all persons in their State. Steps could also be made to ensure that children of undocumented migrants (not just the Burmese) have the opportunity to have access to pre-school, school education..

* The Pakatan Rakyat states can also create access to health care - without documentation, it is very difficult to get access to healthcare even in the government hospitals and clinics. In fact, that "high fee" that is being charged currently at all government healthcare facilities should be done away with..

Well, maybe not the Pakatan Rakyat states but also the BN states and the Federal Government can all be more HUMAN in our response to these LEGAL HUMAN BEINGS..

Sunday June 15, 2008 (Star Online)

Village of illegals exposed

By STEVEN DANIEL

KUALA LUMPUR: A community of illegal immigrants living in a forest near Taman Desa, Kepong, was uncovered by Immigration officers who arrested 48 people, mostly from Myanmar.

There were eight women among them aged between 20 and 37 years. City Immigration Department director Mohd Khamdee Khuzaini Tukiman said they were detained yesterday morning after two years of surveillance.

He said 66 people from four departments, including the Immigration Department, Rela, Civil Defence Force (JPA3) and National Registration Department took part in the operations.

In the 11.30am raid, the enforcement officers posed as construction engineers who trekked 15 minutes into the jungle before reaching the village.

Some of the immigrants were cooking and did not realise the impending raid.

But once they realised what was happening, most of them gave up without a struggle, though a few dashed into the nearby forests to avoid capture.

“They built make-shift shacks to live in, two kitchens to cook their meals and even a place of worship. A large water tank was also found nearby,” Mohd Khamdee said.

He said the village, believed to have been set up a year ago, housed immigrants who worked in nearby factories.

“We also received information from the public that on Saturdays up to 150 Myanmar nationals from nearby areas who would meet in the village to party,” Mohd Khamdee added.

Several objects, which could have been used as weapons, were also seized in the raid.

He said all of them had no documentation and would be sent to the Semenyih detention depot while waiting to be charged with violating Section 6 (3) of the Immigration Act.

He advised locals not to employ and protect illegal immigrants and urged them to call the respective state immigration departments if they had any information on illegal immigrants in their areas.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We should stop letting US dictate our LIFE...

The United States of America calls the shots and "all" the nations of the world jumps up and pathetically follows suit. After that 9-11 (or should it be 11-9, as it happened on 11th of September) incident concerning them Twin-Towers, the US started a war on terror. And out they went drawing up lists of countries that supported terrorism. Malaysia, I believe, was at one time on this lists. Countries, not to be subjected from pressure, jumped up and down doing everything that the US said needed to be done. For us in Malaysia, we had the famous Al-Maunah case as that indicator that we in Malaysia will take serious action against "terrorists". 3 of them were sentenced to death, and have allegedly already been executed. Some still wonder whether there was really that whole "Al-Maunah" incident or was it just a "sandiwara"(a play-acting). Malaysians did not believe that incident, and very few even bothered to follow the proceedings of that case. But when the decision was made at the end - it seemed that there was a 30 minute program on it in Al-Jazeera (I did not see it BUT I heard it from friends - not sure).

Then there was the whole issue of Intellectual Property and Copy Rights -- and again because of the US pressure (or rather to please the US), Malaysian government started cracking-down on pirated VCD /CD/DVD - they even had a couple of dogs brought in to smell out pirated stuff.

Of late, the new pet project of the US is Trafficking of Human Persons. And again, countries like Malaysia are yet again jumping up and down -- worried about which list they are being put on by the US. It seems that reading the recent Malay Mail report tells us that the US has found us doing better and have put us in a new "Tier" - why do we even bother about what the US does or think...

In Malaysia, there are about 2.2 million migrant workers, and about 2-5 million undocumented migrant workers.

These undocumented migrants usually sneak into the country by themselves, or are assisted by some persons for a fee - and the later are them "smugglers". They are NOT traffickers.

The slave traders of good oled USA were human traffickers - whereby the took people without their consent and forced them into slavery. Is this pre-occupation with trafficking now a sign of repentance for a people who were the biggest 'human traffickers' at one time.

SEX WORKERS - yes, this do exist. Women (and even men) use their bodies and their mind as sex workers by choice. Sometimes, they are self-employed, sometimes they work for some other. Unfortunately, in Malaysia, we have not yet recognized "sex work" as work - and this is something that we must seriously consider.

In any event, sometime it is sad how the media and "we" do condemn persons to be 'prostitute', "sex workers", etc... and the only recent is because they are well dressed pleasant women, usually not from Malaysia, who were arrested in some pub or karaoke -- WHY? Is it wrong for such women to patronize such places - I do not think so. Did you catch them having sex? Did you catch them asking for money for sexual favours? Did you catch them receiving money for sex? But then, why...why do you brand them "prostitute" -- and why do the Immigration Department charge them for violation of their social visit pass. Many a time, these foreign tourist or migrants just want to get back to their own country and away from this "bad treatment" accorded to them in Malaysia - and so we do not see any defamation suits yet.

If I was one such women, and the media potrayed and called me "prostitute" or gave the impression that I was such, I would sue the Newspaper, and the relevant authorities. Violation of social visit pass - prove it. But then sadly, many lawyers and judges are also similarly prejudiced...

Not to say that there is no trafficking happening -- there is but the numbers is not as significant as the US wants us to believe.

But why should we bother what the US thinks - their track record in human rights is pathetic.








Malaysia a centre for sex and labour traders

Sheila Rahman
MALAYSIA is still a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for women and children trafficked as sex slaves.

If it is not sex, then it is forced labour and even slavery too of men, women and children.

In the just released global assessment Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 of the US Department of State, Malaysia is among 40 countries that have been placed on a Tier 2 Special Watch List of countries.

These countries are under scrutiny for sex trafficking — by force, fraud and coercion — and the treatment of migrant labour subjected to “involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery”.

The bit of good news is that Malaysia’s record has improved slightly, as in the 2007 report Malaysia was in the worst category, Tier 3.

“Concrete steps still need to be taken to address both sex trafficking and labour trafficking,” said National Human Rights Society (Hakam) executive committee member Alice Nah, who is also co-coordinator of the Migration Working Group, a network of civil society groups lobbying for the protection of migrants, refugees and stateless persons.

Nah said the reason for Malaysia moving up a notch to the second tier was most likely because of the recently enacted Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007.

“While this is definitely a positive step forward, realities on the ground have not changed significantly. In fact, some Malaysian government policies and practices still contribute directly to human trafficking,” she alleged.

“For example, the Malaysian government continues to arrest, detain and deport asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons from Myanmar. Deportees tell us that the authorities hand them over to smugglers or traffickers at the Malaysia-Thai border, who force them to pay between RM1,400 and RM2,500 for their release and return to Malaysia.” Apparently, the men who are unable to pay are sold to work on deep sea fishing boats while the women are sold to brothels.

Nah said there was also a high incidence of migrant workers caught in work situations that are very different from what they were promised in their home countries.

“They are cheated and exploited, but then find it almost impossible to seek redress. They are often forced to work in order to pay off debts incurred because of exorbitant recruitment fees. This constitutes bonded labour,” she explained.

In the introduction to the report, the first mention of Malaysia is in a boxed story that reads: “’It’s like I’m out of hell,’ proclaimed Indonesian worker Arum after his experience in Malaysia. He spent seven months on a rubber plantation working 13 hours a day, seven days a week without pay, until he escaped — only to be arrested, imprisoned, flogged, and deported.” While stating that the Malaysian government is making significant efforts, the global assessment Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 states that it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

“Malaysia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts from the previous year to tackle its large and multi-dimensional trafficking problem, including its forced labour problem.” While the migrant workers come willingly into the country, some are subsequently subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude by Malaysian employers in the domestic, agricultural, construction, plantation, and industrial sectors, the report stated.

“Some migrant workers are victimised by their employers, employment agents, or traffickers that supply migrant labourers and victims of sex trafficking. Victims suffer conditions including physical and sexual abuse, debt bondage, non-payment of wages, threats, confinement, and withholding of travel documents to restrict their freedom of movement.

“In addition, some female domestics from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, Mongolia, and China are forced into commercial sexual exploitation after being deceived with promises of jobs or after running away from abusive employers.” Individual employment agents apparently sold women and girls into brothels, karaoke bars, or passed them to sex traffickers.

Some Myanmar nationals registered with the United Nations as refugees, a status not recognised by the Malaysian government, are vulnerable to being trafficked for forced labour.

To a lesser extent, some Malaysian women, primarily of Chinese ethnicity, are trafficked abroad for prostitution.

While the government had commendably enacted comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation in July 2007, it completed development of implementing guidelines, training of key law enforcement and social service officers, and issued legislative supplements to bring the law fully into force in late February 2008.

However, the report stated that no action had yet been taken against exploitative employers or labour traffickers during the reporting period and neither had the government widely implemented mechanisms to screen victims of trafficking from vulnerable groups.

An interagency National Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons, that includes representatives from civil society, had drafted a national action plan, and in March this year, Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry opened two trafficking victims’ shelters and began assisting foreign victims of sex trafficking.

However, Nah said, requests to visit these shelters had yet to materialise.