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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Urgent Appeal for release of RPK, HINDRAF 5 and others detained under DWT laws - Let us ACT

Well, here is an Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal - to procure the immediate and unconditional release of Raja Petra, the Hindraf 5 and all others detained under the ISA.. and also to call for the repeal of the ISA

(If you go to the AHRC website - it makes it very easy to send the Urgent Appeals, as they have an Online Response System, whereby all you need to input is your name, your e-mail and your country, and then just send the appeal letter out..... go to http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/support.php)

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-217-2008

30 September 2008
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MALAYSIA: Blogger is detained without trial

ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; freedom of opinion and expression; rule of law; criminal justice system
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a Malaysian blogger, arrested by the police on September 12, 2008 under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was given a two-year detention order on September 23. Two others, a journalist and a Member of Parliament who were also arrested on September 12 under the ISA were released after 18 hours and 1 week respectively. Meantime, it is reported that more than 66 persons are currently detained under the ISA which allows the Home Minister to renew the period of detention without limitation.

CASE DETAILS:

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a political blogger and editor of Malaysia Today, an online alternative media, was arrested on September 12, 2008 under Section 73(1) of the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order. He is alleged to have published hatred-inciting articles on his blog. He allegedly also posted articles that insulted Islam.

According to Marina Abdullah, Raja Petra's wife who was allowed to see her husband with their two children at the Bukit Aman Police Headquarters on September 16, Raja Petra spoke very softly and looked weak, pale and had lost much weight. He complained to her that he was suffering from lack of sleep because the night before, he was harassed on an hourly basis by officers who recorded statements from him. He further said that while he has not been physically abused he had suffered mentally. Marina said that his blood sugar level had dropped. She also added that her husband suffers from heart artery blockages and is on medication. Raja Petra's lawyers filed a habeas corpus application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on September 16, seeking his immediate release.

Meanwhile, he received a two-year detention order under Section 8(1) of the ISA on September 23. He has been sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak where he will be detained for two years or more, depending on the discretion of the Home Minister.

On September 12, 2008, besides Raja Petra, 2 others were also arrested under the ISA but they have since been released.

Ms. Tan Hoon Cheng, a reporter of Sin Chew Daily News was arrested at her home in Taman Permai in Bukit Mertajam at 8:40pm on September 12 and taken to the Bandar Perda Police Station in Seberang Jaya where she was detained under Section 73(1) of the ISA. She was released on September 2008.

Ms. Teresa Kok, an opposition member of Parliament was arrested at 11:18pm on her way back from a Mooncake Festival reception held at her constituency office in Kuala Lumpur. It is reported that three police cars with over 10 officers stopped Kok at the entrance of her condominium and took her away. She was also arrested under Section 73(1) of the ISA. She was later released on September 19.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) is one of 3 Detention Without Trial laws. The other 2 laws are Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 and the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969.

Under the ISA, "If the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof, he may make an order (hereinafter referred to as a detention order) directing that that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years." (s. 8(1) Internal Security Act 1960)

Those arrested under these preventive detention laws have no right to defend themselves. They have no right to fair and open trial.

Since the amendments to the ISA in 1989, judicial review has been limited to questions of compliance with any procedural requirement in this Act. The Minister also has no obligation to justify or prove the allegations levied against the persons detained under these laws.

It is reported that at least 66 individuals are currently detained under the ISA at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak. M Manoharan, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal advisers P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar were arrested and issued with a two year Detention Order on 13 December 2007. (Please also see AHRC-FUA-001-2008)

Even though the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in his report on the mission to Malaysia on December 1998 at the then Commission on Human Rights, made the recommendation that "The Government is strongly encouraged to consider taking further steps to fully guarantee the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. These steps should include the repeal of the Internal Security Act ...",(E/CN.4/1999/64/Add.1) the ISA is still being used.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the government authorities listed below and urge them to immediately release Raja Petra Kamaruddin without condition.

Please be informed that the AHRC has also written to the UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression calling for an intervention in this case.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _________,

MALAYSIA: Detention without trial of a blogger

Details of victim: Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a political blogger and editor of Malaysia Today, an online alternative media, arrested on September 12; and now being detained under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), a Detention Without Trial law, at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak. He was served with a 2-year detention order on September 23.

I am shocked to learn about the arrest and detention of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the ISA.

I have learned that those arrested under these preventive detention laws have no right to defend themselves. They have no right to fair and open trial.

Under the ISA, "If the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof, he may make an order (hereinafter referred to as a detention order) directing that that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years." (s. 8(1) Internal Security Act 1960)

Since the amendments to the ISA in 1989, judicial review has been limited to questions of compliance with any procedural requirement in this Act. The Minister also has no obligation to justify or prove the allegations levied against the persons detained under these laws.

It is reported that at least 66 individuals are currently detained under the ISA at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak. M Manoharan, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal advisers P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar were arrested and issued with a two year Detention Order on 13 December 2007.

I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release of Raja Petra Kamaruddin and all others who are currently detained under the ISA and all other laws that allow for detention without trial.

I also call on the government of Malaysia to immediately repeal the Internal Security Act and other laws that allow for detention without trial to comply with the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in his report on the mission to Malaysia on December 1998 at the then Commission on Human Rights.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:


1. Dato' Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar
Home Minister
Blok D 2, Parcel D
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62546 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA
Fax: +60 3 8889 3854
Tel: +60 3 8886 3299

2. Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister
Prime Minister's Office Malaysia
Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA
Tel: +603 8888 6000
Fax: +603 8888 3444
E-mail: ppm@pmo.gov.my

PLEASE ALSO COPY YOUR LETTERS TO:

Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman
Chairperson,
National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM)
Tingkat 29, Menara Tun Razak,
Jalan Raja Laut,
50350 Kuala Lumpur
MALAYSIA
Fax: +60 3 2612 5620
Tel: +60 3 2612 5600

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)

Is Malaysia heading for another "New Face Same Body" scenario?

Transition of power from the present Prime Minister to his Deputy Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Razak is the current talk of the town...But maybe, there will be no transition of power announcement - and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will announce that he will be running for Presidency of the party. Maybe even, he may shock everyone by suddenly indicating that his preference for the successor is some other...not Najib.

But if the named successor is Mohd Najib Razak, then, really what difference would that make ... would he do anything differently from what has been done by the present Prime Minister - I do not think so. There has been no instance of any indication that he is different...or that he would have done something different from the PM.

In fact, Mohd Najib Razak would really not be the best choice at all for the weakened UMNO and Barisan Nasional. His alleged links with the Altantuya case, alleged corruption, and also alleged role in the recent new sodomy allegation against Anwar does not augur well for him, or for UMNO or for the BN. We will not forget so quickly how he attempted to deceive the Malaysian public, consciously or otherwise, by first giving the impression that he never before met this Saiful person (the alleged victim of Anwar), and later coming out and admitting that he did indeed meet up with this Saiful after the alleged 'rape' or 'consensual sodomy' and before the police report was even made.

On the Altantuya case, we still remember what PI Bala said in his 1st SD - about how the police allegedly 'omited' parts of his statement that refered to Najib, and how the Deputy Public Prosecutors apparently chose not to raise any questions that would result in the name of Najib coming out.

The recent removal of Najib as the Defence Minister may also be an indication that the PM may have lost his patience and confidence with his Deputy - what with all that allegation of corruptions about arm-deals and all. And maybe also because of the unorthodox outburst by the head of the Armed Forces - which could also indicate a possible abuse of power by the Defence Minister then, or an indication that the armed forces were no longer happy with the then Defence Minister.

Some see the appointment of Najib as the Finance Minister as an elevation within the Cabinet - as a demonstration of the confidence that the PM has with regards his apparent successor - but I do not see it that way. Remember, that in Malaysia, there is another Finance Minister - i.e. the 2nd Finance Minister, who, I believe, has been the person really doing and is continuing to do the job of the Finance Minister. So, is it a promotion - or just an indication that Mohd Najib Razak is on the way out... (Remember Anwar was also made the Finance Minister before he was pushed out in a dramatic fashion by the previous PM)

The elevation, so sudden, was also when many expected that Malaysia may be heading into an era of economic crisis as a result of what has happened in the US. And, if so then Najib may be made the scapegoat for the financial problems of the nation....mmmm (Recall that Anwar too was made Finance Minister when there was talk that Malaysia may be heading into an economic crisis)

Remember also that Najib was, I believe, really not the 1st choice for the post of Deputy Prime Minister - Abdullah procrastinated quite a bit before finally appointing Najib as his Deputy. Some say that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was really looking at making Muhyiddin Yassin his Deputy.

In any event, there will be the possibility of real change only if the next Prime Minister is not from this Cabinet. (i.e. assuming that Pakatan Rakyat does not oust the BN from power at the Federal level)

When Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister
- People said let's give this 'new guy' a chance

If Najib replaces Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and becomes Prime Minister (i.e. assuming that Pakatan Rakyat does not oust the BN from power at the Federal level), then many Malaysians will say "let's give him a chance..." and that should not be...

People can be strange sometimes choosing someone to be the leader for all kinds of reasons - but not based on whether he has real capacity or on what really is his plan/s when he becomes the leader...

I was not at all happy when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became the PM, and I did write about it then, and I would like to share with you that article that was also published in ALIRAN


New face, same body

Abdullah Badawi is PM, and Mahathir is no more BUT …

by Charles Hector
Aliran Monthly 2003:11

Abdullah Badawi is now the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the head of the Barisan Nasional and the leader of UMNO, and Mahathir has stepped down after 22 years in these positions. BUT we must not forget that we are still under the Barisan Nasional government. This is something that many of us are forgetting.

Many Malaysians are celebrating as though there has been a change in the ruling party – as though Abdullah is from some other party, who has just come into power. Memorandums containing expectations of change are being sent. Forums and public discussions are being held. Many are hoping for great changes in the policies and practice of the Barisan Nasional government.

We are kidding ourselves because the same persons and political parties are still in power, and the Barisan nasional still controls more than a two thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat – thus having the capacity to amend our Federal Constitution as and when it chooses.

Mahathir Was Just One Man

Mahathir cannot and should not be held solely responsible for all the actions and omissions of the Barisan Nasional government. Mahathir cannot be held solely accountable for all those detentions without trials and for all those repressive laws that curtail freedoms and deprives the fullest expression of our rights.

He was just one man, and Abdullah was in the Cabinet as the Deputy Prime Minister together with many others. To say that because Mahathir was at the helm, all the others were shackled, their tongues were tied and they were deprived of the ability to dissent is a joke. Abdullah was also then the second man in the UMNO.

The Barisan Nasional still rules. There is no real reason to celebrate the departure of Mahathir, who, by the way, was not ousted but left on his own accord, handing over the premiership to his deputy, Abdullah.

The responsibility for all the actions and omissions under the premiership of Mahathir should and must be borne by all the members of the Cabinet, all the members of UMNO, all the members of the Barisan Nasional component parties and, of course, all you Malaysians out there who continued to vote in the Barisan Nasional into power over the years.

It is wrong and a gross injustice to solely blame our good doctor Mahathir for all the failings and wrongdoings of the Barisan Nasional government.

Some say that “Mahathir was a dictator”; so, all those in the Executive, the Cabinet, the UMNO Supreme Council and the Barisan Nasional component parties had no choice but to be silent and to follow whatever he said and endorse whatever he did or failed to do – even though they personally did not agree with it. This is ludicrous and totally unacceptable.

We do not live in a feudal state, whereby all subjects have no choice but to follow what the King says. We are a democracy – and I believe that when decisions are made in the Cabinet, the Supreme Council of UMNO and the Barisan Nasional, each and every member has the right to dissent and ultimately, the right to vote on any matter of concern. The PM, I believe, did not have the power to veto decisions of the majority.

Culpable And Guilty

Therefore whatever was done or not done is the collective responsibility of Cabinet members, UMNO Supreme Council members and Barisan Nasional supreme body/council members, amongst others. For all good deeds of the Barisan Nasional government, a pat on the back should be given and for all bad deeds all these persons in positions of leadership should be blamed.

Remember the Nuremberg trials, which found the persons in government and other positions of authority, under the leadership of Hitler guilty of crimes against humanity? Hitler was the leader, but that did not absolve others in position of leadership and decision-making from culpability for the crimes against humanity committed during World War II – it did not matter much whether they were following orders or not.

Likewise in the Malaysian context, each and every person, the first being Badawi himself, is guilty for all the fumbles, wrongdoings, failings, inadequacies, injustices and violations against human rights perpetrated during the time that Mahathir was the prime minister. And as far as the ‘public’ record is concerned, I believe that Abdullah never once did oppose what was done during the period when Mahathir was prime minister.

Gerakan, a major component party of the Barisan Nasional, did at one time - if memory does not fail me - adopt a position that the Internal Security Act (ISA) was unjust and that the ISA should be repealed even though that position was contrary to the position of the Barisan Nasional government. Now, today, I am not sure what their position is with regard to the ISA and other preventive detention laws.

Rais Yatim, when he was out of the the Cabinet and working as a practising lawyer, took the position that the ISA should be repealed. But when he later joined the cabinet, he changed his position with regard to the ISA. Why did he change his mind? If he had changed his personal position after serious re-thinking and reflection, then it is all right. But if the change in position was merely because he was now part of the cabinet, then it is wrong. Later on, when he is no more in the Cabinet or in the government, will he again have a change of mind with regard to the ISA? Do not be like the ‘lallang’ bending according to where the wind blows; stick to your principles and positions.

No Reason To Celebrate

Our ‘leaders’, ministers and members of Parliament, amongst others, from the Barisan Nasional must realize that we are all human beings – each with a brain, a mind, a conscience and a tongue, and it is all right to have a different viewpoint about matters and issues. If one is part of the Cabinet, and ther Cabinet has made a decision about a particular matter, then that decision must be upheld and followed. But at the same time, one can also still have a personal position about matters.

The stand taken by Gerakan once with regard to the ISA - it is not certain if they still hold that view - is praiseworthy. In a democracy, the majority decision is carried out and implemented. But the minority dissenting view is never silenced. The minority have the right to continue lobbying for their views to be adopted if they believe them to be right. Who knows, one day, it may be this ‘minority view’ that prevails,

It is sad that in Malaysia we do not often enough read about MPs from the Barisan National or the different component parties of the Barisan Nasional taking a view different from that of the government and/or even the Prime Minister.

The Barisan Nasional still rules. There is no real reason to celebrate the departure of Mahathir, who, by the way, was not ousted but left on his own accord, handing over the premiership to his deputy, Abdullah. If a new political party or a coalition of parties comes into power, then maybe there is a reason to send memorandums and recommendations to the new government and to the new Prime Minister – but not in this case.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The journalist respond to Anwar Ibrahim's Blog posting about him...

To be fair, I shall post Baradan Kuppusamy's respond to a recent posting by Anwar Ibrahim in his blog entitled " Who is Baradan Kuppusamy?" . What disturbed me was the calling of this journalist a “shameful paid whore.” in that post. [See my earlier post on this matter entitled 'Anwar's behaviour towards journalist in his Blog is unacceptable' [http://charleshector.blogspot.com/2008/09/anwars-behaviour-towards-journalist-in.html]

A comment posted on Anwar Ibrahim's blog claims I am a whore in the pay of the government.
MCPX

Let me assure Malaysiakini and its readers that I am not a whore and never have been in the pay of anybody since I started work as a reporter in 1983. It is true I am paid for what I write and that's because I earn a living as a writer just like all you out there who earn a living doing whatever you do.

I have worked very hard at being an independent journalist all my life and in an increasingly difficult environment. Such posting shows how reactionary people can get went they are at the opposite ends of the political divide.

Anwar is not the blazing white knight in armour who is going to build a paradise. Neither is the other side all course and evil.

I am saddened that Anwar, who fought just filth all his life and is still fighting, sees it fit to let such filth appear on his blog.

Being a public figure, he is subject to criticism like everybody else. His ardent supporters should also be able to accept constructive criticism.

Finally I wish to state that I am firm believer in change and fervently hope a new Malaysia is born. I support Anwar's Reform Agenda to built a new and just Malaysia without race and discrimination.

If he deviates from that agenda, he is subject to criticism.

It is my job to criticise to enlighten readers and the general public and not run with the crowd and surrender to the flavour of the day.

So please people, don't call me a whore in the pay of anybody. - Malaysiakini (Letters section), 29/9/2008, I welcome criticism but...

Baradan Kuppusamy took the trouble to respond - But, if was I, I would not even bother to waste time responding to such allegations. It will be a waste of time especially when it is not true - when there is so much left to do...

In one of the comments posted in my earlier posts, someone also alleged that PKR do ban some media from their press conferences. The name of the paper given was 'Utusan Malaysia'.

There should ne no media banned from any press/media conference. We were certainly not happy when Malaysiakini was 'banned' in its earlier days from some of the BN government press conferences... and it saddens me if PKR, even before it comes into power as part of the Pakatan Rakyat Federal government is already doing this.... I hope that this allegation that journalist from certain media agencies are banned from PKR press conferences is not true...

PAS President should focus on change first - not the question of number of Muslim Malay MPs in PR

In the latest edition of the Harakah (29/9/2008), the PAS President has allegedly stated that if the number of Muslim Malay representative is not the majority in Pakatan Rakyat, then PAS will pull out of the Pakatan Rakyat..

I tried to find this report online - but alas, I could not find it in the online version of the Harakah but did manage to find 2 sources, the 1st is as follows:-
Dipetik Harakah menerusi edisi terbaru bertarikh 29 September (hari ini), Abdul Hadi berkata, apabila jumlah wakil rakyat bukan Islam melebihi kerusi anggota Dewan Rakyat beragama Islam, maka PAS akan membuat keputusan - sedia menarik diri daripada kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat.

Kata beliau, PAS telah meletakkan syarat agar kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat itu dikuasai oleh wakil-wakil Islam Melayu.

Jika Islam tidak majoriti, bekas Ketua Pembangkang di Parlimen itu berkata, pembentukan kerajaan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat tidak akan disertai oleh PAS.
"PAS akan tarik diri terang-terang jika tidak mendapat majoriti Islam. Itu syarat pertama," kata beliau - from Depa Kata Blog, Amaran PAS: Tolak kerajaan pusat Pakatan Rakyat jika majoriti bukan Islam [http://depa-kata.blogspot.com/2008/09/amaran-pas-tolak-kerajaan-pusat-pakatan.html]
The 2nd source is :-
Selepas tarikh 16 September berlalu tanpa kejutan, PAS pula mengulangi pendiriannya tidak akan menyertai kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat jika kerajaan baru persekutuan yang dicita-citakan, majoritinya dikuasai oleh wakil rakyat bukan Islam kelak.

Pendirian itu dinyatakan oleh Presidennya, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang pada Ceramah Isu-isu Semasa di Dungun, Terengganu minggu lalu.

Abdul Hadi yang juga Ahli Parlimen Marang lebih mengharapkan wakil rakyat Umno menyertai PAS jika mahu membina kekuatan orang Melayu dan Islam di negara ini.

Dipetik Harakah menerusi edisi terbaru bertarikh 29 September (hari ini), Abdul Hadi berkata, apabila jumlah wakil rakyat bukan Islam melebihi kerusi anggota Dewan Rakyat beragama Islam, maka PAS akan membuat keputusan - sedia menarik diri daripada kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat.

Kata beliau, PAS telah meletakkan syarat agar kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat itu dikuasai oleh wakil-wakil Islam Melayu.

Jika Islam tidak majoriti, bekas Ketua Pembangkang di Parlimen itu berkata, pembentukan kerajaan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat tidak akan disertai oleh PAS.

"PAS akan tarik diri terang-terang jika tidak mendapat majoriti Islam. Itu syarat pertama," kata beliau.- mStar, 29/9/2008, Amaran PAS: Tolak kerajaan pusat Pakatan jika majoriti bukan Islam [http://www1.mstar.com.my/cerita.asp?file=/2008/9/29/mstar_mutakhir/20080929125641&sec=mstar_mutakhir]
While Hadi goes into question of numbers of MPs, Nasharuddin takes what seems to be a more reasonable view...

Timbalan Presiden PAS, Ustaz Nasharudin Mat Isa bagaimanapun berkata, sokongan PAS itu dengan syarat Islam menjadi dominan dalam struktur pembentukan kerajaan baru.

"Sebaliknya kita tidak akan teragak-agak untuk tidak menyertai mana-mana pihak dalam usaha menubuh kerajaan baru sekiranya ia tidak menguntungkan Islam," katanya ketika ditemui pada majlis berbuka puasa dan penyampaian sumbangan kepada penduduk miskin di sini semalam.

Beliau yang juga anggota parlimen Bachok berkata, PAS boleh berkawan dengan sesiapa sahaja, namun dalam hal-hal berkaitan Islam dan umatnya, parti itu tidak akan berkompromi.- Harakah Daily. net, 29/9/2008 PAS sokong pembentukan kerajaan baru - Timbalan Presiden

The question that will always be a concern with PAS, which is a religious based political party, is the position of Islam.

I am of the opinion that position of Islam is solidly recognized by the Article 3 of Federal Constitution - and Malaysians are not interested in changing this at all..

3. Religion of the Federation.

(1) Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.


I thought that PAS was always about Muslims - irrespective of their ethnicity, and as such it is disturbing to see that Harakah report that talks about Malay Muslims - because many from Sabah and Sarawak, who may be Muslims are not really "Malay Muslims" per se.. There are also the Indian Muslims, the Chinese Muslims, ...maybe the PAS report was inaccurate..

Now, I believe that PAS should not be making such threats about the number of Muslim Malay MPs - and their concern should be only that the current position of Islam as provided in the Federal Constitution be respected...

If 51% or 60% or 80% of the MPs in Pakatan Rakyat are non-Muslims, PAS should not be worried...so long as position of Islam in Malaysia is not threathened...

We have to really move away from this pre-occupation with ethnicity and religion, that was a characteristic of the BN component parties, that is being slowly rejected by progressive Malaysians in search of a ONE Malaysian identity...

For a long time, there were strong prejudices against the PAS amongst the non-Muslims and also Muslims in the country - but today it is going away - BUT when its leader makes such statements like what it did now, it may awaken old prejudices and doubts... Many of these prejudices have been propagated and kept alive by the BN and its controlled media - and it has been a long road for us to be able to 2008, when we now have 5 Pakatan Rakyat states, and what we hope is a 'truly' united Pakatan Rakyat opposition made up of PAS, DAP....and the PKR...(maybe in the future also PSM, GERAKAN, SAPP, PRM, MIC....)

Change came suddenly - and we understand that time is needed to build confidence, trust and relationship between political parties who, before this, only cooperated for and during General Elections...but today have to work together 24 hours 7 days a week governing 5 States...and possibly maybe even the whole Federal Government...

Today, apparently Hadi Awang of PAS placed a condition as to the number of Malay Muslims...

Tommorrow, PKR may place a condition that unless Anwar Ibrahim is accepted as Prime Minister, then they are out of Pakatan Rakyat,

Then, DAP may also have some other conditions...

All these are petty - we have to focus here and now and determine whether the ousting of the BN government is the priority for the good of Malaysia and Malaysians. Other concerns could be resolved later...

Let's not get into the issue of ethnicity and religion of MPs, or the question of quotas...let us just all work for what has always been common, i.e. JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, FREEDOM, PEACE...

Anwar's behaviour towards journalist in his Blog is unacceptable

I was very disturbed by a recent posting by Anwar Ibrahim in his blog entitled " Who is Baradan Kuppusamy?" .

What disturbed me was the calling of this journalist a “shameful paid whore.” and making of other comments about his person, not just his opinions and views.

What was disturbing was a call(or a suggestion) by someone in the Anwar Ibrahim post itself (not a 3rd party comment) for banning of this reported from Press Conferences...
“Let us ban Baradan Kuppusamy from our PCs, if there is truth in this private e-mail to me. Salams.”
What has happened to freedom of expression and opinion. What is happening to Anwar Ibrahim here, for the behaviour and the stance in this posting was something which we would have expected from the current BN government - not the future Pakatan Rakyat goverment, certainly not from Anwar himself...

Is this just a blog called Anwar Ibrahim maintained by someone else without the consent or knowledge of Anwar Ibrahim personally - and if so, Anwar must not allow it. Malaysiakini list it as a 'Top Blog" and it does so possibly in the belief that it is Anwar's personal blog.

The post appears to be a letter/e-mail to some other which had been copied and pasted in the Anwar Ibrahim blog. But, as there is NO comment from Anwar Ibrahim about this post, one may assume that he fully endorses the said post and its content....The post starts with these words:-

Dear Abang Din,

Ramadhan Karim and I hope you are well and doing fine.

It is the Anwar Ibrahim Blog - and as such Anwar Ibrahim must also be very careful about what gets posted in his Blog - because all of us will assume that it is you who are posting it there, or that something is posted here on your behalf with your full knowledge and consent.

If it was an Anwar Ibrahim Fan Club Blog, or Anwar Ibrahim Supporters Blog - then Anwar cannot be said to be personally responsible.

When we go to Lim Kit Siang's Blog or Mahathir's Blog or Tian Chua's Blog or Husam Musa's blog - we rightfully expect that it is them that are posting in their own blog (or if not, it is some other posting it with their full consent and approval..).

So, if it is not Anwar Ibrahim's doing or something done with his knowledge, he better come out and clarify this soonest - and possibly re-affirm his commitment to freedom of expression and opinion...maybe even apologoze to the affected journalist, who does write about many matters that other journalist may shy away by reason of fear..

I may not agree with what Baradan Kuppusamy thinks and writes in his column/article/report - but I would respect his right to his opinion and expression.

Name calling and allegations about the person is not the way to respond - we respond by the stating of our disagreements and presenting our own opinion and perspective on things. Calling someone a “shameful paid whore.” is certainly not the way to go...

So, will the soon-to-be Pakatan Government also be censoring those that criticize it, banning them from the Press Conferences (BN was doing this to Malaysiakini reporters before), be maybe also revoking licences of the pro-Opposition newspapers, mmmm I seriously hope not ....

I look with great eagerness to a new era of freedom under the Pakatan Rakyat, as and when they do form the new government.

I see the flourishing of new independent radio and television stations, new newspapers and magazines, more peaceful assemblies of protest/expression without any permit requirements, etc..

In any event, I also had a look a the 2 so-called writings of Baradan in the "the Star commentary yesterday and today’s The Malaysian-Insider (both BN leaflets) which are simply hateful concoctions full of bigotry, biased reporting and hatred.", which I have copied and pasted below for your reading... You make up your mind whether it is "simply hateful concoctions full of bigotry, biased reporting and hatred.",

Two takeover deadlines have come and gone, and while Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s staunch supporters believe he still has the numbers to topple the BN government, the average Malaysian is asking whether it’s all empty talk.

THE people must be confounded by recent events. One day, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim challenges Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmd Badawi to hand over the government to him and the next, he is in the dock defending himself against a sodomy charge.

Anwar had used media power to ready the people to expect a march to the palace to claim the prime ministership of Malaysia but instead they saw him coming out of a court complex on Wednesday.

Although Abdullah has called Anwar’s bluff on the power grab game, and the whole issue now seems surreal, hardcore supporters of Anwar are still hoping he has the numbers and that the march to the palace will take place.

For many Malaysians, the two deadlines of Sept 16 and 23 have come and gone without the anticipated fall of the Barisan Nasional Government.

After crying wolf once too often, Anwar now says the dates were “symbolic” and not meant to be taken at face value.

He says the plan to topple the government is on but in accordance with rules, laws and constitutional processes so as not to endanger the people or the economy.

More rhetoric, and more promises.

Middle Malaysia, that section of the population that cherishes stability, status quo and likes to believe, is slipping from his grasp.

“Does he have the numbers?” they once asked. Now the same people are asking: “Why did he take us for a ride? Is he not concerned about his credibility?”

If Anwar wants to win back “Middle Malaysia” he has to answer their questions.

After having raised public anticipation to feverish levels, people need proper closure.

The thing that sticks in my mind is his constant claim that the “numbers are increasing by the hour”, meaning more and more Barisan MPs are crossing over. Was that a mere claim or was it for real?

The optimists among Malaysians now hope that when Parliament reconvenes on Oct 13, Anwar will show his “ever-increasing numbers” by asking them to cross over to the Opposition bench.

He need not produce any list, challenge anybody, call for a special parliament session or write letters to the palace. A short walk across the parliament floor will suffice.

If that walk fails to materialise, Anwar has to give up the role of PM-in-waiting and get cracking on what the people had voted him to do — to be an effective opposition leader, to act as a check and balance to the BN government.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia has asked Anwar to go back to the people and let them decide whether they want him to be prime minister. He should not just entice some Barisan MPs to jump ship and then claim to have the people’s mandate.

“Only the people can decide, not some jumping MPs,” said party president Dr Nasir Hashim.

In the meantime, Anwar should work hard to turn the Pakatan Rakyat coalition into a formidable force instead of the loose grouping it is now.

Except for Penang and probably Kedah, other Pakatan-ruled states are weak and not cohesive.

A letter by a reader in The Star on Wednesday summed it up succinctly: “His ardent desire to head the country leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. In his rush to Putrajaya, he betrayed the trust of fence-sitters and some of his supporters as the widely-criticised Barisan Nasional remained in power on Sept 16. He now has a tiny window of opportunity; he either walks the talk or shut up.” - Star, 27/9/2008,Puzzling over Anwar’s claims, Comments by BARADAN KUPPUSAMY


ANALYSIS

By Baradan Kuppusamy

SEPT 28 — With Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi eclipsed, his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the rise and the Umno succession dispute all but settled, it is tough times ahead for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the erstwhile prime minister-in-waiting.

While meeting fund managers In Hong Kong on Thursday Anwar put up a brave front to questions on whether it is troubling him with Najib set to get the job he craves and whether the leadership transition in Umno means a strong and united Umno training its guns on him.

"No," Anwar told them. "In fact the changes makes it easier for me…nothing really has changed because the corrupt system remains, the cronyism remains and race and discrimination remains."

He went on to thrash Najib, attempting to link him to unexplained and unanswered questions over the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian woman who was blown up into pieces in late 2006 with C4 explosives.

Anwar also linked Najib with alleged "shady deals" involving multi-billion defence contracts and his inability to reform the corrupt system or give Malaysians a new hope of the future.

However after a string of successes, the political landscape is changing and turning hostile for Anwar.

His plans to seize power have been killed in its infancy and his allies DAP and PAS have got over the mesmerising effect of the Anwar-charm offensive and are now openly dragging their feet.

Worst is a potentially debilitating sodomy trial that will sap his energy, create distance between him and PAS and DAP and raising fresh questions about his ability and suitability to lead a nation from the docks.

On the deadline to seize power, Anwar has also changed course disappointing his legions of supporters and alienating fence sitters. "It is not an issue of deadlines any more…I urge Malaysians who believe in change to be patient."

Whether he has the numbers or not however will be tested when Parliament reconvenes on Oct 13 to debate and approve the 2009 budget.

If he has the numbers as he claims to have he can easily kill the budget and demonstrate to the world that he really has majority support in the 222-seat parliament.

The budget of 24 ministries have to be debated and approved and if he can kill any one of the ministries' budgets, that would be a successful vote of no-confidence against Abdullah and the BN government.

"He has 24 chances to do it," said Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in Kuching on Saturday virtually throwing the gauntlet to Anwar.

However on Oct 7 Session Court judge Komathy Suppiah will rule whether to hear the Sodomy II case or transfer it to the High Court as the prosecutors want.

There is no real issue here because a transfer is an established procedure and even if she refuses, which is really going against established norm, the government can always appeal her decision and probably have it reversed.

A higher court can reverse her decision on appeal, if necessary, even on the same day.

Anwar's lawyers have argued that the transfer was signed by Attorney-General Ghani Patail whom Anwar is suing for fabricating evidence in the 1999 sodomy case which saw him imprisoned for six years for corruption.

In 2000 Anwar was jailed an additional nine years for sodomy but the conviction was quashed in 2004 and he was freed after serving six years altogether.

Meanwhile, the political ground is slipping under Anwar with the changes in Umno's leadership and by extension that of the country.

Abdullah had been kindest to Anwar among the top Umno leaders.

Abdullah, who had also tried to use him to scare Umno into submission, is leaving for good having to make an announcement before Oct 9 whether he is offering himself to contest as Umno president.

It was also Abdullah who Anwar had hoped to confound and stampede into handing over the government to him by triggering a mass exodus, a harebrained scheme that has since died under the weight of its own implausibility.

That small window for Anwar - Abdullah's willingness to play by the rules, an inherent sense of justice and fair play - has closed with the Prime Minister's impending departure leaving Anwar without a "friend."

Anwar could have inadvertently hastened Abdullah's departure after his Information chief Tian Chua claimed Anwar and Abdullah were meeting behind the scenes to discuss a transfer of power, something that Umno veterans feared the most.

Anwar had to rubbish Chua's statement immediately but it did not help when the Umno supreme council met a day later to decide on the transition.

Abdullah's departure leaves Anwar facing the brute force of power and real politics exposed without his breastplate as the old forces that ousted him in 1998 and benefited from the political vacuum he left behind, now gather once again to stop his march to power.

While Anwar's troubles are set to mount in the power game, public perception and support for him remains strong. He is continued to be seen as the best future leader for a new Malaysia.

However the most recent poll by the Merdeka Center also shows that the racial divide between Malays and non-Malays is wider and widening with more Malays backing Umno and Najib on one side and more Chinese and Indians backing Anwar and the Pakatan coalition on the other.

A very dangerous sign in a multi-ethnic society already widely divided over race, religion and discriminatory policies.

The poll based on 1,002 people showed that 39.3 per cent supported Anwar and 33.8 per cent backed Najib.

While about 40% of those polled supported Anwar but the remaining 60% were either not in favour, undecided or marked as "don't know" - a rather high percentage compared to the 70% or more support from non-Malays he had received on March 8.

If these figures are to be accepted it means the non-Malay support for Anwar is sliding.

His constant attempts at grabbing power are causing instability, uncertainties and people, especially the middle class, tend to worry.

For now Anwar has eased off on his "take over" games and for the future he should reaslise that the March 8 vote was for change and not a personal vote for Anwar or an endorsement of his frolics.

He leads a coalition that rules five big states and he should work at change there to win public confidence and not be carried away by his own rhetoric. - Malaysian Insider, 29/8/2008, Pak Lah's Departure May Spell Trouble for Anwar


Some of us may be ardent fans of Anwar Ibrahim and the Pakatan Rakyat - but surely we can behave better than some of the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi 0r UMNO or BN supporters. We should stop all these name callings, and express ourselves with decorum and honour.

We should also behave consistent with our values and principles - one of which is that we support and want freedom of expression and opinion...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Confused HINDRAF spouses plea does not dampen struggle to repeal ISA

Now, if you are the spouse of an ISA detainee - then your concern generally is for the immediate and unconditional release of your spouse.

After the release, of your spouse you may not even be bothered to campaign further for the release of the others detained under the ISA or other Detention Without Trial laws... let alone continuing to campaign for the repeal of such laws...

We have to ask ourselves the question whether we were even bothered about those under detention without trial laws before this - before our spouse, friend, acquaintance, our 'leader', our fellow fighter for rights, our church member, our ... was arrested and detained under these laws.

In fact for many, after our 'people' are released - the ISA just is no more a priority. For some, it will be worse - they just become indifferent to it.

Now the police or their agents may be telling family and friends of the detainees - stop the campaigning, stop the protest...etc and then your loved one will be released. They will also say that the continuous campaigns, protest... is actually the cause of your 'loved one' continued detention. STOP it all and they will be released...

This tactic of the police is not unique to the ISA arrests - it is also used commonly by the police whenever they arrest persons. They would say that there is no need for a lawyer - just be patient and the arrested will be released soon after investigations.

If you protest...get a lawyer, etc - then it will be long....it will become complicated...difficult.

If not, it will be settled soon --- and that is the reason WHY many persons, when arrested, do not engage a lawyer as soon as the arrest happens... they(and their families) wait believing the police and hoping for a quick release --- and sometime it does not happen.

And within 24 hours after arrest, when the police take the detainee to the Magistrate to get a remand order, the detainee is most of the time not represented -- and in fact, without contest, the police usually get their way most of the time when it comes to remand applications...

I say, it is very important to engage a lawyer when you get arrested - and choose a lawyer, who is not afraid of the police and who will really fight for the rights of the arrested person. Sadly, there are many lawyers who are afraid of the police or are not interested in challenging the police because they are worried that their 'rice bowl' will be affected..

In Malaysia, sadly most people only start looking for a lawyer after they get charged in court - and that delay is sometimes bad for the person charged.

Not knowing the law, he/she may have done things after their arrest and during detention, which they would not have done if they had early legal advice and representation, may in fact be the very things that will ultimately be the things that will cause them to be found guilty...

Why do they do this? Why do they risk it? Why do they prejudice themselves by their ignorance or by reason of not having a lawyer? To save money - for after all, if I am not charged - then the money spend on a lawyer could have been better spent for other important matters...

I read with interest a recent report in Malaysiakini entitled "ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed"
The struggle of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is different now compared to when it started some 10 months ago under the leadership of the five who are currently under Internal Security Act (ISA) detention, said the wives of two leaders today.
MCPX

Dr M Kalaivani and B Buvaneswary, the wives of K Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, respectively, said they were not comfortable with the direction in which the movement has taken.

Speaking at a press conference in Kelana Jaya, Kalaivani said aside from the goal of obtaining the release of the Hindraf leaders, what is of utmost importance is that the Indian community's problems are alleviated.

Both these goals can be affected without rallies planned by those now coordinating Hindraf activities.

hindraff isa detainees 141207On the contrary, they said the rallies may actually serve to harm the chances of the five's release. - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed




They want it all to stop - the rallies, the protest --- and the authorities seem to have convinced them if this happens, then, their spouses will be free..., and so 2 spouses call a press conference (which is not that easy to do) and say things that can be very damaging for the HINDRAF movement and struggle...

Commenting on the anti-ISA vigil planned for tomorrow night, she said as long as the organisers have obtained the required permits to ensure the gathering is legal, she appreciates the effort of all quarters to highlight the plight of her husband and other Hindraf leaders.

"If they are going to do it legally, if they've got a permit, I really appreciate the efforts taken by these individuals. The vigil will be peaceful, so I don't think there is anything wrong with it - as long as they do it legally," she said.

Echoing her statements, Buvaneswary said she too disagreed with the planned gathering at Abdullah's Hari Raya open house as it may be detrimental to her husband’s chances of being released.

Contending that the rallies organised after the detention of the Hindraf five had deviated into becoming 'anti-government' rallies, Buvaneswary said they were defeating the purpose of highlighting the problems of the Indian community.

She said her husband had also told her to call for an end to such rallies.

"Who are these people to call for rallies? If our husbands wanted these rallies, their wish would be conveyed through us because we are their wives. What are the Hindraf coordinators trying to do now?"

"If you want the Hindraf five to be released, there are other methods of seeking this," she added.- Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed
When it comes to the ISA and the Malaysian police - we really have to re-evaluate our perception of the Malaysian police - many think that they are sub-standard and not very good...but this may be far from the truth..

What have the police (and the authorities) achieved to date? They have got the 5 HINDRAF detainees to already go against each other. Recently, we also heard that one of them may even be a police plant - or agent...How good are they...they are 'breaking' the unity of the struggle...doubts about some 'leaders'..

By arresting the 5, they made them 5 HINDRAF leaders - but are they all really the leaders of HINDRAF?? Or is it what the police (and others) managed to get into our minds - i.e. that these are the 5 main leaders of HINDRAF... [Try to remember the HINDRAF movement before the ISA arrests - and ask yourself who were the 'leaders'. then. Were there even any 'leaders'?]

Remember HINDRAF is not a society - not an association - it is a movement of people...a movement of a long-oppressed people..who finally finds the courage to stand up and say "enough is enough".

HINDRAF rose up from the people because those who were supposed to be looking after the interest/needs/rights of the Indian community were not doing their job - the main culprit being the MIC. Temples demolished - and MIC was silent ( silent also was PPP, IPF, ....). When the so-called leaders and self-proclaimed reps failed, the people arised - The cry was "Makkal Sakti" - "People Power".

The numbers that came forth into the streets - and stood there withstanding the water cannons and tear gas...When this happened, other Malaysians, irrespective of ethnicity/religion again gained courage to fight for rights - for a better Malaysia - for change - and hence the results of the 2008 General Elections...

I go back to the news report about the 2 detainees wives - and note that in their eagerness to get their loved ones released, they even go so far to praise and thank the MIC and Samy Velu...

During the press conference, the wives also recorded their appreciation for MIC president S Samy Vellu and other quarters who are pushing for the five's release.

samy vellu exclusive on tamil schools 080708 05Commenting on the statements by certain quarters who questioned the "integrity and sincerity" of Samy Vellu in declaring he had met with Abdullah and sought the release of the Hindraf leaders, Kalaivani said her family’s only wish was to see her husband's return.

"I'm sure it’s the same for the other detainees as well and we sincerely hope that no individuals would continue questioning the integrity of any leaders or individuals from any party or question why they are asking for the release of our husbands.

"We appreciate the efforts taken by anybody to secure the release of our husbands, ...." - - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed

Now, Zaid Ibrahim has set the standard - will the MIC Cabinet members be resigning now - or did they even threathen to resign?

It is sad that the 2 wives (noting that it was not the family members of all 5 detainees) also goes further to state...that all is well and their husbands are being treated well...

Kalaivani said her husband was being treated well and was provided with the necessary medical attention at the Kamunting Detention Centre.

"We would like to thank the government for having looked after my husband well. He has not had any problems with medication so far, and I’m thankful for that," she added. - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed
What she did was very wrong - because she has unconsciously painted a picture that all is great in detention in Kamunting. She has also raised doubts about the assertion by ISA detainees about the bad conditions and even 'torture' that they undergo during detention.

Interestingly, during arrest and detention under the ISA - they treat different people differently. I believe Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh and Chandra Muzaffar, the Ops Lallang detainees, were not at all tortured and were treated 'well'. On the other hand, others were tortured...

During the first two weeks of my detention, I was interrogated very vigorously by Special Branch officers about my personal faith and my religious activities. I was not allowed sleep for days at a stretch and was warned that I would not get my food if I did not cooperate. One Inspector threatened to disturb my girlfriend ... On one occasion, I was knocked down to the ground and I injured my back. Since then, I have been passing blood in my urine and have suffered pain in my lower back constantly ... On one occasion, Inspector (name withheld) forced me to strip naked and enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. [He] also forced me to crawl on the floor in a naked state ...’.

‘The cell was windowless, the only ventilation being some holes in the upper portion of a wall. It was lit by a single light which was kept on all night ... For a full month ... my entire bedding was a thin plywood sheet on a cement slab. I was beaten with a stick about 1cm x 4cm x 120cm on my legs and the soles of my feet several times ... and was also slapped on the face with the back of my hand …’.

‘A police officer put fear in me ... by saying, ‘If I squeeze your balls, how long can you last?’ ... I was also subjected to the cold treatment during interrogations with very cold air directed through louvers onto my head causing me to shiver ... [i] experienced hallucinations and woke up in cold sweat. For two or three nights, I hallucinated that a big cobra was crawling beside me ... It was under such harsh and oppressive circumstances that I was requested to make statements...’.

‘I was forced to stand on a leg with arms outstretched and head bent backwards for long periods until I collapsed onto the floor ... Immediately I was kicked by the police officer to stand up again on one leg, and this was repeated many times ... I was forced to walk blindfolded towards the wall resulting in knocking myself against the wall and this was repeated many times. The police officers stamped on my toes and fingers causing excruciating and prolonged pains. I was subjected to the ‘cold treatment’ which consisted standing in front of a very cold air conditioner either naked or half naked several times ... and on one occasion the police officer had thrown cold water all over me ... I was forced to strip naked. A police officer ... rolled a bundle of newspapers, lit one end and threatened to burn my genitals [by] bringing the lighted end close to my genitals ... A police officer stated that he would ... make sexual advances to my wife ...’. - Charles Hector, Preventive Detention in Malaysia - A Brief Overview, also Malaysia: ‘Operation Lallang’: Detention Without Trial Under the Internal Security Act – Amnesty International (December 1988), Preventive Detention (Restrictions) Laws In Malaysia – an article that was published in ALIRAN on or about December 1994.

YES - this is what they do. Treat persons differently. They may have treated Dr M Kalaivani's husband well - but we all know that Uthayakumar has alleged that he was not treated well at all.

We may get angry at these 2 women - but remember they are spouses - family members - and they really may not know what they have done - how they may have affected the strugle. But remember, they are also the victims of the police and the authorities..

It was great to see that their 'press conference' has not affected the struggle for the repeal of the ISA and for the immidiate and unconditional release of the HINDRAF 5 and the others detained under the ISA..

About 2,000 people staged a peaceful march through the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur tonight calling for the abolishment of Internal Security Act and freeing detainees under the Act

MCPX

anti isa dataran merdeka 270908 01Initially, two separate groups - Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and coalition of NGOs led by the Writer Alliance For Media Independence (Wami) - had initially planned to hold a candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka at about 7.30pm.

When they came across a police cordon at Dataran Merdeka, the Hindraf-led group numbering about 500 decided to march to the temple opposite the Puduraya bus terminal about 1km away.

The crowd marched unhindered towards their destinations and gradually the crowd swelled to about 2,000 people from all walks of life, with many carrying candles.

anti isa dataran merdeka 270908 raja petra fansThe other group, which was in a procession holding Chinese lanterns, eventually joined up with the Hindraf group.

The police were caught off-guard by the huge turnout. Many media personnel had also remarked that the large crowd was unanticipated as past vigils had been small in number. - Malaysiakini, 27/9/2008 - Anti-ISA vigil turns into peace march



Let us continue to call for the repeal of the ISA... Let us continue the call for the release of not Raja Petra and the HINDRAF 5 ...but for the release of ALL who are being detained under the ISA and other Detention Without Trial Laws..

Come on -- go get Hari Raya cards and send it to each and every person that you know are being detained under the ISA and other Detention Without Trial laws (My earlier posting/s give the address of the Kamunting Detention Centre and also a list of who were know are being detained under the ISA in Kamunting)

Follow what Sabah did by 'legalising' undocumented migrant workers.

How they dealt with the undocumented migrant worker situation in Sabah is interesting ..
A total of 55,030 illegal migrant workers in Sabah have been legalised as the comprehensive Ops Bersepadu crackdown entered its eighth week.

State Secretary Datuk Sukarti Wakiman said the workers registered themselves with the Immigration Department to process their work permits after obtaining the relevant travel documents from their country.

He said 41,899 were Indonesians while the rest were Filipinos.

Under the amnesty programme, Filipino and Indonesian workers can obtain their passports from their consulate office and get their employers to sponsor their work permit without having to return to their country. - Star, 28/9/2008, Over 55,000 illegal workers get their papers

In Semenanjung Malaysia, what we seem to be doing is to arrest, detain at Detention Centres, charge in court, whip them and deport.... and today most of the arresting is being done by the dreaded RELA - volunteers.

Migrant workers are here because there are employers who need them -- they come over through "illegal means" sometimes because they cannot afford to come here legally. Why is that? Because, before they come in there is a lot of money that they need to spend first - paying the recruitment agents, this fees...and that fees. This is an hurdle for the POOR worker who is coming over out of desperation, most of the times, or with the hope that he will be able to earn more and improve the well-being of himself and/or his family.

We need to get rid of all these monetary and other hurdles that results in many migrants coming over to Malaysia to work not in the proper way... not with the proper documentations..

Maybe, we should just allow migrants to come in to the country as 'tourists' with that 30 day(or less) social visit pass, and if they manage to find employment, then their local employer can register them as workers and get the necessary 'work permit'. If they cannot find employment, then either they will have to renew their social visit pass - or just go back..

But then, it would not solve the problem when it comes to the refugees who are running over to Malaysia seeking 'political asylum' - like the Acehnese, Thais, Filipinos and the Burmese. Of course, they left their country not the legal way - and in Malaysia, they do not have the option of even going to their embassy to get their passports, etc..

Talking about SABAH - the issue really is not the presence of current undocumented migrants - but the concern that many have been given citizenship and/or PR status wrongly in the past since the 70's and 80's that has resulted prejudice to the local native Sabahans...Today, it is said that these persons who received NRICs in this questionable manner and their children now make up maybe more that half the Sabah population. The whole ethnic/religious composition in Sabah was changed as a result of what happened.

That is the issue in Sabah - not the undocumented migrant problem today that we also have in Semenanjung Malaysia.

The call for the setting up of a Royal Commission to investigate the extend of this problem, who is guilty of committing this wrong and the solution to this problem today has fallen on deaf ears...

The BN government thinks that we are fools - and pretend that they are doing something about this (when in reality they are not). The do a crackdown on undocumented migrants - just like they do here in Semenanjung Malaysia almost annually...

Friday, September 26, 2008

More questions than answers after UMNO Supreme Council meeting...

Nothing really happened following the recent UMNO Supreme Council meeting on 26/9/2008 - except the postponement of UMNO general meeting - and there is no more transition of power from PM to Mohd Najib Razak in 2010 agreement...
The UMNO general assembly has been postponed to March next year. However, the divisional meetings will continue as scheduled. - New Straits Times, 26/9/2008 ,LATEST! UMNO general assembly postponed; transition plan is off
The reason given for the postponement is to facilitate the 'transition of power'...
The postponement to March is to facilitate the transition of power. With this announcement, the 2010 transition plan ceases to exist. - New Straits Times, 26/9/2008 ,LATEST! UMNO general assembly postponed; transition plan is off
But then, nothing is certain because he still..."will be discussing it with Najib.."...
“Whatever I want to do, I will be discussing it with Najib (deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak). I do not feel pressured to making any decision or announcement,” he said after chairing an hour-long meeting of the special Umno Supreme Council meeting today. - New Straits Times, 26/9/2008 ,LATEST! UMNO general assembly postponed; transition plan is off
And
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will announce his decision whether to contest the presidency before October 9. - New Straits Times, 26/9/2008 ,LATEST! UMNO general assembly postponed; transition plan is off
So...we all have to wait until before October 9...

and noting that all UMNO Division general meetings will be held from October 9 until November 9 - and then is when the Divisions will be making their nominations with regard as to who will be President, Deputy, Vice, etc..

The hour-long emergency supreme council meeting held this morning at Umno headquarters in the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, also resolved to go ahead with the divisional meetings, which are scheduled from Oct 9 to Nov 9.

The meetings of the 191 party divisions, in addition to electing divisional-level leaders, will also pick the 2,500 delegates to the AGM and nominate candidates for top leadership posts. - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 - AGM postponed, PM may quit in March

Is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi going to be contesting for President? .....WE DO NOT KNOW...

It really puts a lot of people in UMNO - especially those who may be looking to contest for the Presidency and the Deputy Presidency in limbo..., and who will these be -- Mohd Najib, Muhyiddin Yassin, ... I believe Ku Li will not be de-railed in his quest for UMNO Presidency.

We know now that "something" -- but what will the question in the minds of a lot of people...Even those in that Supreme Council meeting seems to at a loss as to what is that something...
Leading critic of the transition plan, vice-president Muhyiddin Yassin said although there is a postponement, he hopes that members will be patient as Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has promised to announce "something" before the party divisions begin their meetings next month. - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 - 'Abdullah has set a new deadline'
The fact that the Division meetings are proceeding as scheduled also indicates that all may not have gone the way that Abdullah may have wanted - postponements..
"That the divisional meetings will go on (from Oct 9 to Nov 9) as planned and the division leaders can proceed with the nominations and other matters as planned."

This, he added, is the correct decision as the divisions want to go on with their own elections.

"Whatever is decided by the supreme council (today) will not interrupt the divisions' plans," said Muhyddin.- Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 - 'Abdullah has set a new deadline'
At the end of the day - nothing really may have come out from that meeting safe the postponement of the UMNO general assembly to March next year - BUT by November 9 this year, we will know who has got what nominations. We will know whether there will be contest for the Presidents and the Deputy Presidents post...

Possibly the delaying of the general assembly to March - is to give the time to resolve matters if more that one candidate qualifies to contest for the position of President and Deputy President...

So maybe it will be back to the members to decide - or rather at least nominate ...

After that they may be discussions and maybe some may withdraw - and there may be no elections for the top 2 posts...

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wanted to be PM until mid-2010 -- and would pride allow him to abdicate the Premiership so much sooner? There is no way of telling what will happen at the Division levels? Maybe, he will contest for Presidency and then see what happens when the nominations all come in?

Why did he suddenly take Defence Ministry from Mohd Najib Razak?
Why did he suddently hand over 1st Finance Minisiter to Mohd Najib Razak ---- remembering always there is that 2nd Finance Minister as well, who is more well-versed with matters of Finance?
Was it a promotion or a demotion?
Was it an indication that Mohd Najib Razak was moving up OR was it an indication that he was on the way out?

Remember also the Pahang UMNO was not there reiterating support for PM, DPM..transition plans, etc...

We will all wait and see what happens in UMNO - and this may no more be importantto Malaysians if BN is no more the government, and Pakatan Rakyat forms the new government.

Anyway possible UMNO President-in-waiting, Tengku Razaleigh had this to say about all that happened:-

In a press statement this afternoon, party veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is vying for the president post, slammed both Abdullah and Najib over the power transfer plan.

ku li tengku razaleigh interview 241106 assurance"I think I speak for the country when I say we are embarrassed at the sight of two grown men playing this endless children's game of 'yours and mine' with the most important responsibility in the land, oblivious of the law, oblivious to the damage they are doing to the nation.

"Instead of a national economic plan or any kind of reform all the Umno leadership has given us since March 8 is a transition plan designed to save two individuals from the inconvenience of facing elections. Their personal careers appear to be more important than the future of the nation." - Malaysiakini, 26/9/2008 - 'Abdullah has set a new deadline'






Send RPK and all ISA detainees an Hari Raya Card...let us campaign on to get them all free and ISA repealed

Well, one thing that was done during the campaign to release those arrested under the ISA in Operasi Lallang in 1987 was the sending of Hari Raya Cards...

So, maybe we can all now start and send thousands and thousands (maybe even millions) of Hari Raya cards to Raja Petra Kamarudin and to all those currently being detained under the ISA at the Kamunting Detention Centre...

Name of Detainee,
Kamunting Detention Centre
34600 Taiping
Perak,
MALAYSIA

In fact, send Hari Raya cards to all those detained irrespective of whether they are Muslims or not for we are Malaysians and we celebrate the festivals of all Malaysians..

The cards will definitely raise the spirits of those detained when they receive these cards..

The number of cards that is going to Kamuntuing would also give a clear indication that Malaysians are not in support of the ISA...

From the ALIRAN's ISA Watch webpage..., I have obtained the names of all those currently detained in Kamunting ..

Send them all Hari Raya cards...and after that Deepavali cards...other festive cards...and postcards -- would be good if you could send a card a week to each detainee

List of known detainees as at 24 September 2008


Name of Detainee

Position/ Organisation

Date
of arrest

Current Status

Yazid Sufaat

Businessman, Kedah; alleged JI member

9 Dec 2001

Sent to KDC on 30 Jan 2002. Detention order extended in Jan 2004

Suhaimi Mokhtar

Businessman, Kuala Lumpur; alleged JI

29 Dec 2001

Sent to KDC on 22 Feb 2002. Detention order extended by two years in Feb 2004.

Dr Abdullah Daud

Geo-info Lecturer, UTM Johor; alleged JI member

3 Jan 2002

Sent to KDC on 28 Feb 2002. Detention order extended by another two years in Feb 2006.

Shamsuddin Sulaiman

Asst. Accountant, Health Ministry; former ITM student; alleged JI member

17 April 2002

Sent to KDC on 13 June 2002; Habeas corpus rejected on 17 Feb 2004; transferred to an undisclosed police remand centre in KL on 11 June 2004; detention order renewed on 12 June 2004

Mat Shah Mohd Satray

Technician, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, originally alleged to be KMM member, later alleged to be JI member

18 April 2002

Sent to KDC on 13 June 2002; transferred to an undisclosed police remand centre in KL on 11 June 2004; detention order renewed on 12 June 2004; Federal Court rejects habeas corpus appeal on 2 Feb 2005: files habeas corpus application in Aug 2006. Detention order extended again in June 2006 and yet again in June 2008.

Abdul Murad Sudin

Trader (rental of agricultural equipment), Teluk Intan, Perak; alleged JI member

16 Oct 2002

Sent to KDC on 2 Dec 2002; Federal Court rejects habeas corpus appeal on 2 Feb 2005; files habeas corpus application in Aug 2006.

Zaini Zakaria

Electrical engineer, ex-TNB and Malaysia Airports; helped set up Luqmanul Hakim religious school in Tanah Merah, Kelantan; alleged JI member

8 Dec 2002

Sent to Kamunting on 6 Feb 2003 - Detention no. 2580/03

Zainun Rashid

Foreign national; Alleged JI member

mid Dec 2002

Sent to Kamunting on 6 Feb 2003

Wan Amin Wan Hamat

Alleged JI member

2003

Sent to KDC effective 20 Mar 2003

Sulaiman Suramin

Businessman, Sandakan; Alleged JI member

5 June 2003

Alleged that he was stripped naked and mocked; Sent to KDC on 1 August 2003

Sufian Salih

Filipino national; alleged JI involvement

2003-2004

Sent to KDC on 28 Feb 2004; Filed habeas corpus application in Aug 2006

Mohd Khaider Kadran

Businessman, 38, allegedly "a leader of JI"

11 Jan 2004

Sent to KDC on 28 Feb 2004

Hasim Talib

Filipino; alleged JI involvement

Dec 2003 - Jan 2004

Sent to KDC on 28 Feb 2004

Zakaria bin Samad

Alleged JI member; Indonesian national

2004

Sent to KDC on 30 Jan 2004

Ahmad Zakaria

Alleged JI member; Indonesian national

2004

Sent to KDC on 30 Jan 2004

Terhamid bin Dahalan

Alleged JI member; Indonesian national

2004

Sent to KDC on 30 Jan 2004

Abdul Rahman Ahmad @ Deraman Koteh

Alleged militant separatist of Thailand

5 Jan 2005

Sent to KDC on 4 Feb 2005

Mahfudi Saifuddin

Alleged JI member; Indonesian national

2005

Sent to KDC on 2 Aug 2005

Mulyadi

Alleged JI member; Indonesian national

2005

Sent to KDC on 2 Aug 2005

Arifin

Alleged JI member; Indonesian national

2005

Sent to KDC on 2 Aug 2005

Mat Tarmizi Zakaria

Foreign national; Alleged Thai separatist

2005

Sent to KDC on 9 Sept 2005

Lai Kin Choy

Alleged counterfeiter

2005

Sent to KDC

Lai Kee Yew

Alleged counterfeiter

2005

Sent to KDC

A Artas A Burhanuddin

Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah" from Tawau

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 16 May 2006

Francis Indanan

Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah" from Tawau

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 16 May 2006

Mohd Nazri Dollah

Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah" from Tawau

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 11 May 2006

Mohd Arasad Patangari

Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah" from Tawau

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 16 May 2006

Adzmi Pindatun

Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah" from Tawau

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 16 May 2006

Idris Lanama

Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah" from Klang

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 16 May 2006

Aboud Ghafar Shahril

Indonesian; Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah"

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 16 May 2006

Jeknal Adil

stateless; Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah"

16 Mar - 3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 11 May 2006

Binsali Omar

Filipino (Malaysian PR); Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah"

16 Mar -3 Apr 2006

Sent to KDC on 11 May 2006

Husin Alih

Filipino national; Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah"

2006

Sent to KDC on 28 July 2006

Yussof Mohd Salam

Filipino national; Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah"

2006

Sent to KDC on 23 Aug 2006

Abd Jamal Azahari

Filipino national; Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah"

2006

Sent to KDC on 23 Aug 2006

Pakana Selama

PR status; Alleged member of "Darul Islam Sabah"

2006

Sent to KDC on 28 Sept 2006

Kasem Dayama

Foreign national; Alleged foreign agent

2006

Sent to KDC on 19 Oct 2006

Shaykinar Guat

Stateless; Alleged member of Darul Islam

2006

Sent to KDC on 19 Oct 2006

Argadi Andoyok

Stateless; Alleged member of Darul Islam

2006

Sent to KDC on 19 Oct 2006

Ng How Chuang

Alleged document falsification

2006

Sent to KDC on 30 Nov 2006

Ng Keat Seng

Alleged document falsification

2006

Sent to KDC on 30 Nov 2006

Mohd Azuan b Aniffa

Alleged foreign agent

2006

Sent to KDC on 18 Dec 2006

Mohd Faizol Shamsudin

Alleged foreign agent

2007

Sent to KDC on 20 March 2007

Zulfikli Abu Bakar

Alleged foreign agent

2007

Sent to KDC on 20 March 2007

Zulfikli Marzuki

Alleged JI involvement

2007

Sent to KDC on 20 March 2007

Amir Hussain

Foreign national; Alleged document falsification

2007

Sent to KDC on 28 April 2007

Mohd Nasir Ismail

Alleged JI involvement

2007

Sent to KDC on 30 May 2007

Ahmad Kamil Hanafiah

Alleged JI involvement

2007

Sent to KDC on 30 May 2007

Muh Amir Hanafiah

Alleged JI involvement

2007

Sent to KDC on 30 May 2007

Tan Choon Chin

Alleged document falsification

2007

Sent to KDC on 12 Sept 2007

Mavalavan

Alleged foreign agent

2007

Sent to KDC on 22 Sept 2007

Lian Kok Heng

Alleged foreign agent

2007

Sent to KDC on 22 Sept 2007

Sundaraj Vijay

Foreign national; Alleged document falsification

2007

Sent to KDC on 18 Oct 2007

San Khaing

Foreign national; Alleged document falsification

2007

Sent to KDC on 18 Oct 2007

P Uthayakumar

Hindraf legal advisor; lawyer

13 Dec 2007

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre on 13 Dec under two-year detention order

M Manoharan

Hindraf leader; lawyer

13 Dec 2007

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre on 13 Dec under two-year detention order

R Kenghadharan

Hindraf leader; lawyer

13 Dec 2007

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre on 13 Dec under two-year detention order

V Ganabatirau

Hindraf leader; lawyer

13 Dec 2007

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre on 13 Dec under two-year detention order

T Vasanthakumar

Hindraf organising secretary; lawyer

13 Dec 2007

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre on 13 Dec under two-year detention order

Shadul Islam

Not known

July 2008

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre (ATP 2698/2008)

Abdul Sathar Mohammad Sarjoon

Not known

July 2008

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre (ATP 2699/2008)

Faycal Mamdouh

Not known

July 2008

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre (ATP 2700/2008)

Mahamad Nakhrakhel

Not known

July 2008

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre (ATP 2701/2008)

Muhammad Shuaib Hazrat Bilal

Not known

July 2008

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre (ATP 2702/2008)

Muhammad Zahid Haji Zahir Shah

Not known

July 2008

Sent to Kamunting Detention Centre (ATP 2703/2008)

Raja Petra Kamaruddin

Blogger; allegedly insulted Islam

12 September 2008

Sent to KDC on 23 September 2008

Disclaimer: We believe the above information reflects the current status of ISA detainees to the best of our knowledge in the absence of latest official confirmation.