Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interlok - no more an 'indian' concern, as Chinese Malaysians voice out

It does not affect me, so I am not bothered. This is not right, and all good Malaysians and persons must be concern about all wrongs, injustices and human rights violations irrespective of whether it affects me, my community, my religion or my nation.

With the coming out with these statement by 45 prominent Malaysian groups, of Chinese ethnicity, the issue becomes less seen as only an ethnic Indian issue - but a Malaysian issue.

I sincerely hope that Anwar Ibrahim also reform his and PKR's position on this book (see below, the Malay Mail, 11/1/2011, No racist element in 'Interlok': Anwar). Anwar may have been mis-reported or changed his (and PKR's) position, and I hope if this is so, people will post information about this in the comments below this post

A number of prominent Chinese groups are among 45 organisations which inked a joint statement criticising the government's decision to retain the controversial novel 'Interlok' as a compulsory textbook for secondary schools.

In a strongly-worded statement, the civil society groups ticked off the novel for attempting to indoctrinate Form Five students with the 'Malay supremacy' ideology.

NONEDescribing 'Interlok' as an “insidious poison”, the civil society groups accused the novel of propagating the ideology of “Ketuanan Melayu”.

“In fact, Interlok is barely a step away from the Biro Tatanegara brainwashing that promotes racism and disunity. 'Interlok' conveys the central message that Chinese, Indian and other minorities are second-class citizens in addition to perpetuating the divisive notion of a host community (the Malays) versus foreigners ('bangsa asing' Cina dan India).

“Not so subtly, 'Interlok' intends to put the Chinese and Indians in their place as 'pendatang', and validating a social hierarchy according to ethnic origin.”

Organisations which signed the statement included KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall, Johor Federation of Chinese Associations and Penang Chinese Town Hall.

It is however not the first time that Chinese groups have issued statements on the matter.
“Not only offensive to Indians, Interlok portrays the Chinese in the most derogatory manner too,” said the hard-hitting statement.

“Kim Lock (in 'Interlok') is depicted as a miserly opium addict and callous adulterer while his son Chin Huat is painted as cunning, greedy, unscrupulous and someone who would happily sell his daughters.

“A major thread of the plot has the Chinese character cheating and oppressing the Malay character. Other Chinese characters such as the communist guerrillas are nasty and immoral, and the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army comprising Chinese recruits is demonised by the author.”

The civil society groups said that 'Interlok' has failed to comply with the guidelines set by the Education Ministry.

“The National Interlok Action Team (Niat) has pointed out that its contents violate five out of six criteria outlined by the KBSM (Malaysian National Syllabus for Secondary Schools) textbook guidelines.

“Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin recently announced that the government has agreed to amend 19 words/passages found to be sensitive. Nonetheless, the fact that the 'Interlok' review panel has had to suggest a total of 106 changes only goes to show how problematic the novel is.

“Furthermore, the withdrawal in protest of the three Indian panelists serves to discredit the ministry's proposed resolution to the issue.”

Solution is to replace 'Interlok'

The groups said that the way out of the impasse is to replace 'Interlok' with other text more suitable for use in the classroom.

“Some defenders of 'Interlok' have claimed that the main characters in the book are mere individuals who cannot be extrapolated as representatives of their race.

“This is a mistaken line of argument as the Interlok lesson guide produced by the Education Ministry's curriculum development department has clearly stated: 'The theme of Interlok is the integration of three main races – Malay, Chinese and Indian – in Malaysia and the challenges they face in order to live together in an independent and sovereign country'.

“Because it is the ministry itself which has dictated that the characters in the novel are allegorical, therefore it will be wrong for us to now view them as atypical. Rather the Pak Musa, Chin Huat and Maniam personas (in 'Interlok') are indeed symbolic of their races.”

The joint statement stressed that the protest against 'Interlok' was in no way a disrespect to author Abdullah Hussain's freedom of expression.

“We do not object to his novel being sold in the bookshops. We do not ask either for the unabridged original version to be edited or censored although we welcome its critical appraisal by discerning adults. But the upshot is Interlok should not be a textbook in schools.” - Malaysiakini, 30/1/2011, Chinese groups weigh in on Interlok

Appendix : Controversial passages in Interlok

Jual Anak

  1. Kita makan apa yang dapat. Akar-akar kayu kalau ada. Kita minta sedekah. Kita curi. Kita tak punya anak perempuan. Kalau ada anak perempuan kita boleh jual. (Kim Lock, MS 119-120)
  2. "Dia sudah bagus kerja sini, itu tauke bilang Cing Huat banyak rajin dan kalau lu mau jual dia mau beli"...... dia (Kim Lock) belum pernah teringat mahu jual anaknya yang tunggal itu. Entahlah kalau anak itu perempuan. Tetapi sekarang apa sebab dia mahu jual? Dia mencari-cari sebab itu dalam hatinya pada waktu itu (MS 151)
  3. Tetapi kalau Kim Lock mahu menjual anaknya itu dia boleh dapat untung lebih banyak lagi (MS 155)
  4. Kok Leng mendesaknya supaya menjual Cing Huat. Untung dia tidak banyak cakap, kalau tidak Cing Huat bukan anaknya lagi. Kalau anak perempuan tentu dia sudah jual (MS 160)

Gila Perempuan / Menghisap Candu

  1. Malam ini dia mesti tidur dengan perempuan loki Gweek Cin, yang kurus langsing dan berdada rata serta berkaki kecil itu (Kim Lock, MS 155)
  2. Muka Surat 200-203, Kim Lock membawa Mei Hwa untuk menghisap candu dan mengadakan hubungan seks dengan dia setiap kali bertemu begitu. Kim Lock mahu membawa Mei Hwa tingga bersama-sama mereka, Cing Huat tidak bersetuju dan meminta panggil ibunya dari Tung San ke sini, Kim Lock menolaknya dengan alasan "Itu akan memakan masa terlalu lama. Wang Kita juga tidak cukup"
  3. MS 457-458, orang tua pasukan komunis Teck Hock cuba merogol Poh Eng tetapi diselamatkan

Gelojoh / Wang ialah Tuhan

  1. Walaupun benar ada pepatah bangsanya mengatakan "Kalau ada wang, kamu menjadi seorang anak Han yang berani, kalau tidak wang susah nak jadi anak Han pun"(MS 482)
  2. Soal duit tak ada musuh, musuh ialah orang-orang yang mau menghalang kita cari makan (MS 141)
  3. Dalam kota besar dan asing serupa ini orang tidak boleh kasihan, kalau kasihan kita tidak boleh kaya. Di sini wang yang menjadi ukuran. Dalam dunia ini wang itu Tuhan nombor dua (MS 155-156)
  4. Dia sudah mulai sedar bahawa di rantau selatan ini , bukan semangat nenek moyang yang dapat menolong, melainkan wang ringgit. Wangnya ada dan keinginan pada tubuh perempuan pun makin mendesak. Kalau Kim Sui boleh kahwin dan menyimpan perempuan di bandar, maka mengapa pula dia tidak boleh menyimpan perempuan. Apa salahnya? (MS 198)

Diskriminasi / Menipu / Mengeksploitasi Orang Melayu

  1. Cing Huat pun sudah boleh sedikit-sedikit bercakap dengan Huan na, dia sudah tahu orang-orang itu orang Melayu, tetapi dia lebih senang memanggil mereka Huan na atau Malai Kuai sahaja, seperti yang biasa dipanggil oleh bangsanya (MS 179)
  2. "Cina Panjang kata tanah-tanah itu semuanya haknya belaka. Lembu yang kami bela itu pun hartanya juga. Bapa saya telah gadai kepadanya" (MS 88)
  3. Kata Seman tanah itu semua sudah digadai pada Cina Panjang tu, dan orang Cina tu pun dah suruh Seman ini keluar dari kampong tersebut (MS 92)
  4. ...... tanah-tanah kita yang dilindungi oleh undang-undang tu tergadai kepada bangsa asing. Kita tak upaya nak buat apa-apa¡­¡­kecut perut sayaa mendengar cerita ni. Lama-lam habis harta benda kita tergadai. Tak bolehkah kita menolongnya? "Cuma satu jalan saja. Itu pun kalau orang-orang kita mau sedar, mau insaf. Jangan ada orang yang ikut jejak pak musa tu" (MS 95-96) -
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 17:41:00

PETALING JAYA: The novel "Interlok" does not contain any racist element as claimed by certain quarters, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

"I read this novel a long time ago; I did not see any racist element in there," he told a news conference here.

Anwar, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader, said a calm discussion should be held between those who questioned the content of the novel and the Education Ministry, which introduced the novel as a literature textbook for Form Five starting this year.

Anwar was asked to comment on the call by certain quarters who wanted the novel by national laureate Abdullah Hussain to be withdrawn from school, claiming that it contain elements deemed offensive to the Indian community.

On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's criticism of the Opposition pact's 100-day reform plan, Anwar said he was prepared to engage the premier in a debate on the matter.

Najib said yesterday that the plan, which the opposition intends to implement within 100 days if they win the 13th general election, was unrealistic and contained only populist measures.

Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has spoken against any move to ban the book, saying doing so was not in line with the current development in the information age.

What should be done instead was to hold discussions involving those who were against the book, and the Education Ministry, he said.

"I feel that there should not be a barrier to the free flow of information," he told reporters after attending a dialogue with the Selangor Business Council in Shah Alam.

Abdul Khalid said, however, that the country's education system should be sensitive to the needs of the people of various cultures and ethnicities. - Malay Mail, 11/1/2011, No racist element in 'Interlok': Anwar

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Minister must not be messing in judiciary's affairs. Abolish RELA. Increase IOs.

It is sad that the Malaysian government is still increasing the numbers in RELA, when RELA should really be banned.

Why should RELA be banned? Good to have a look at the Malaysian Bar Resolution on this.

What should be done if we need more personnel to patrol the streets of Malaysia and reduce crime, is the increase in the number of police officers and other enforcement officers. Full time, professionally trained personnel, not a volunteer vigilante squad, which seems to be more for political gain of the BN government. I see it as an effort of BN to reach out to especially the youth and middle-aged population in Malaysia, and we see that the appointed leaders are also these politicians.

If there was an increase in the volunteer police force, the 'bosses' would be the current leaders of the police. If it were volunteers in the armed forces, then again, the leaders would be from the armed forces. If it were volunteer fire fighters, then the leadership would be from the fire department. If it were volunteer civil defence, again the leadership comes from the Civil Defence - but when it comes to RELA, we see politicians being made leaders, this certainly is not right. 

Who monitors this RELA? Note that RELA now has maybe more protection from civil and criminal liability than the police. Their powers also may exceed the police. And, they can carry guns...

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, gets it right when he talks about increasing the number of investigating officers in the police force, and decreasing their workload so that there can be efficient investigations carried out. 

Every time a police report is made, the complainant is referred to an investigating officer who will then record a more detailed statement and get more information from the complainant. Every day there are many reports lodged, so the question was when will the investigation officer have the time to the further investigation needed. Now, he still has to investigate 20 cases, over and above the normal work...and, it is good that the government is planning to reduce this to 5. Maybe, no hard and fast rule can be placed - for it really depends on the nature of the cases being investigated, a more serious crime and/or complicated case may require much more time spend on it. We really need much much more trained and competent investigation officers in our police stations, and the government should be recruiting more - not just resorting to bring in retirees.
'specialist teams of high performing judges' - this does not make any sense. Will there be classes of judges now? High-performing and non-high performing? Specialist and non-specialist? Further, in the doctrine of separation of powers in a democracy, judges come under the independent judiciary, and as such the executive has no business interfering in the judiciary. All judges must be good, competent, efficient and most importantly independent, if not they should never be appointed by the King and if they are incompetent, then they must be removed. 

"High Performing" - this is not what we want, if it is based on the number of cases they dispose off in a month or a fixed period. What we need is competent and efficient judges, and it is not 'speed' or 'quotas' that should be the measure, but whether they are acting justly and giving decisions that are just. Pressuring judges otherwise would not only be wrong, but justice would suffer. What Malaysia needs has always been an increase of the number of judges and courts, and in a country of 28 million, we need 280 High Court judges to make it 10 judges for every million, and this will also not meet the Indian quota (about 6 years ago) where it was 10.5, or that in other developing nations where it is about 50 to a million. Just like the IOs, what the government must do is to increase the number of judges and courts, and decrease their existing workload so that they can be more efficiently focusing and disposing the cases before them.

According to Federal Court chief registrar Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, the number of judges in the country was low compared with other Commonwealth nations. 

The Malaysian ratio is 2.4 judges to a million people — a far cry from the ratio in India (10.5 judges), Australia (57.1), Britain (50.1) and Canada (75).- 2.4 judges to a million people


POLICE last year cleared 2,001 backlogged violent crime cases and brought 5,222 suspects to court. 

Clearing backlogged and current cases is one of the most challenging National Key Performance Indicators (NKPI) set in the Government Transformation Programme (GTP)'s Reducing Crime National Key Result Areas (NKRA).

The GTP reported that the toughest area to address was cases involving multiple stakeholders.

Backlogged cases are also generally much more difficult to address with some files stretching back to five years. Clearing the backlog of violent crime cases requires close cooperation between the courts, the Attorney-General's Chambers and police.

The collaboration between the police and the A-G's Chambers during investigations have been enhanced. The aim is for the officers to get guidance in evidence gathering from the deputy public prosecutor (DPP). Supervision from DPPs and senior investigating officers will ensure quality investigations.

The criminal prosecution system has been strengthened through collaborative efforts between the Home Ministry and 30 other enforcement and relevant agencies.

They are looking into deterring the postponement of cases and to ensure that those out on bail do not commit more crimes.

Measures to facilitate the clearance of backlogged cases include:

- Increasing the number and efficiency of investigating officers (IO);

- Identifying high performing officers, hiring retired experienced officers and setting up flying squads;

- Setting up specialist teams of high performing judges; and,

- Accelerating the bill on amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), implementing plea bargaining and tendering witness statements.

The Reducing Crime NKRA, led by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, is also looking into reducing the workload of IOs to five investigation papers a month.

Currently, IOs handle up to 20 investigation papers a month besides having to look into daily non-core tasks that could distract them from quality investigations.

Increasing the number of IOs in all police departments -- such as narcotics, traffic, forensics and criminal investigation -- by hiring retirees with good performance records will reduce the workload.

A bigger pool will also enable officers to become experts in certain types of cases and crimes.

Part of the NKRA is to train IOs to adhere to standard operating procedures when investigating violent crimes. This is to ensure that IOs gather the necessary evidence for a successful prosecution.

Other initiatives include setting up special courts for street crimes. Such cases will be subject to a new special code (J Code) by the police, the A-G's Chambers and the courts, to speeding up hearings.

Similarly, the workload of DPPs has been reduced to ensure quality prosecutions. They perform two tasks -- to clear investigation papers and conduct prosecutions.

The Reducing Crime NKRA seeks to develop a pool of specialist DPPs for effective prosecution.

Other measures include expanding the court recording and transcribing system to enhance efficiency.

Proceedings are recorded by typists and transcribers, making it easier for judges to approve their trial notes before distribution to lawyers.

Several improvements have been introduced to witness management to ensure their security.

These include separate entrances to prevent intimidation by the accused, as well as police handling to ensure the presence of witnesses in court.

To deter minor and first time offenders from repeating their offences, they are now subjected to tough community sentences designed to rehabilitate them. _ New Straits Times, 28/3/2011, Joint efforts see speedier disposal of court cases



1. On 31st August 2007, it will be 50 years since Malaysia achieved its independence and has been for over 30 years been a peaceful democratic nation.

2. It is sad that Malaysia is still in a state of Emergency as there exist today 4 Proclamation of Emergencies issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that is yet to be revoked.

3. Since independence, five states of emergency have been declared under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution. The first was the only one to have been revoked. The remaining four are still in operation. The second state of emergency was proclaimed in September 1964 when the country was faced with a campaign of violence from Indonesia. Although the threat ceased within less than two years, the state of emergency was never revoked.

4. The next state of emergency was declared on 14 September 1966 following the dismissal of the Chief Minister of the state of Sarawak. No violence - or threat of violence - resulted from the crisis. The government nevertheless proclaimed an emergency, confined to Sarawak. And although the crisis was soon resolved, the state of emergency has not been revoked.

5. The fourth proclamation came on 15 May 1969 following large-scale rioting and racial violence in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, during a general election. The violence led to several hundred casualties. As a result, further elections were postponed and parts of the Constitution suspended. Normalcy was restored soon - the legislature was reconvened and normal constitutional government restored in February 1971. However, the state of emergency has yet to be revoked.

6. On 8 November 1977, the fifth Emergency, limited to the state of Kelantan, was declared following a political crisis.

7. By reason of the proclamation of emergency, numerous legislations were enacted and are still in force, including also :-
a) Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64), today known as the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979;
b) Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969;
c) Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975

8. For example, Section 6 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979, states that “"For so long as the Proclamation of Emergency referred to in the preamble to this Act remains in force, the regulations made under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64) (except those regulations which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may by notification in the Gazette declare not to be in force) shall be in force and shall have effect as if they have been made under this Act; and the regulations may be amended, modified or repealed as if they have been made under this Act.". [The proclamation of emergency referred to in this Act was the proclamation issued on 15 May 1969.]

9. The Ikatan Relawan Rakyat or better known as RELA (a People's Volunteer Corps) came into being by virtue of Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) Regulations 1966 [P.U. 33/1966], under Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64), and continue to be in force by virtue of Section 6 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979.

10. By virtue of the Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, which came into operation on 1 February 2005, the powers of the Rela, have been dangerously over-extended giving RELA personnel the right to bear and use firearms, stop, search and demand documents, arrest without a warrant, and enter premises without a warrant. and all these powers can be exercised the RELA personnel has reasonable belief that any person is a terrorist, undesirable person, illegal immigrant or an occupier. Illegal immigrant and occupier (which would be Malaysians usually) was added on by this 2005 amendment.

11. These not-professionally trained volunteers has also now been accorded protection by the new amendments whereby it is stated that "…The Public Authorities Protection Act 1948 shall apply to any action, suit, prosecution or proceedings against the Ketua Pengarah Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat, Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat or any member of the Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat in respect of any act, neglect or default done or committed by him in good faith or any omission omitted by him in good faith, in such capacity."

12. Noting also that there has been numerous complaints that have surfaced in the media about the RELA not just from migrants but also Malaysians ranging from torture, gangster-like behavior, damage to property, wrongful arrest and detention and even the causing of deaths.

13. Its was reported that RELA arrested a total of 17,700 people believed
to be illegal immigrants and screened 94,010 people up to September
2006, and that means 94,010 people (or 76,310) with proper documentations were subjected to unnecessary harassment and their right to a remedy in law is difficult. Of the people arrested, recent reports in the media indicate that many may even not be “illegal” or “undocumented” migrants at all.
* “…six foreign workers, all with legal travel and work documents, were whisked out of their quarters in a resort in Cherating in the wee hours of the morning on Dec 28 last year when RELA members "literally broke into their chalet and ordered them out." (The Star, January 12, 2007).”
* “…a team of 30 to 40 RELA members (half not in uniforms) turned up to look for foreign workers, assaulted some and allegedly stole cash and valuables during the raid. The companies, who lodged police reports, said that all the workers had legal work permits…..”(The Star, December 4, 2006) ·
* “22 workers of an IT company were beaten and made to do a 50m "duck-walk" at Section 30 in Shah Alam…” (The Star, February 16, 2006)
* Residents of about 10 households in Taman Anggerik, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, complained that RELA personnel crashed into their homes after breaking door locks and smashing gates, and told them that they [RELA] were looking for illegal workers. The residents said the RELA personnel acted like gangsters and showed them no respect. When they asked the RELA personnel to explain why they crashed into their homes, they were told "we are the law." Cash totaling RM3,756 in a drawer was subsequently found missing. (The Star, October 17, 2006)

14. There have also been report of beatings and even deaths caused by RELA volunteers. As an example, in early 2006 it was reported that Ahmad Apik, 35, and Edy Sathurrohman, 26, both Indonesians, lost their lives, and they each left behind a wife and 2 young children. (Star, January 23, 2006).

15. The policy and practice of paying members of the People's Volunteer Corps (RELA) RM80-00 for each undocumented migrant must be stopped (The Star, January 23, 2006). Even MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong claimed that the reward offered had made RELA volunteers desperate to nab as many illegals as possible. (The Star January 23, 2006)

15. Malaysia is a developed country and professionally trained enforcement personnel should be used for law enforcement, and the use of volunteers like the RELA must end.

16. Some migrants may be undocumented, but they are still human beings and deserved to be treated humanely and should be accorded equal protection under the law.

17. Malaysia, a party to the April 1999 BANGKOK DECLARATION ON IRREGULAR MIGRATION, which clearly states “Irregular [undocumented] migrants should be granted humanitarian treatment, including appropriate health and other services, while the cases of irregular migration are being handled, according to law. Any unfair treatment toward them should be avoided” must adhere to its commitments.

18. New laws can always be enacted by a parliament in times of peace if needed.

a) That we, the Malaysian Bar, call upon the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung to revoke all existing Proclamations of Emergency in Malaysia;

b) That we, the Malaysian Bar call for the repeal all legislations and Acts that were enacted and continue to be in force by reason of the now existing unrevoked Proclamations of Emergency;

c) That we, the Malaysian Bar reiterate our call for the repeal of Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975;

d) That we, the Malaysian Bar specifically call for the repeal of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979 and all Regulations and Rules made thereunder, in particular Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) Regulations 1966 [P.U. 33/1966], as amended by the Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) (Amendment) Regulations 2005;

e) That we, the Malaysian Bar call for the employment and usage of only properly trained professional law enforcement personnel in Malaysia;

f) That we, the Malaysian Bar urge that inquests be conducted for Ahmad Apik, Edy Sathurrohman and for the other persons who have died as result of alleged RELA actions;

g) That we, the Malaysian Bar urge that all persons including undocumented migrants and/or refugees be treated humanely and accorded equal protection of the law;

h) That we, the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;
i) That we, the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Proposers: Charles Hector & Francis Pereira, Motion dated 18th February 2007.The motion was unanimously carried at the 61st Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar held at the Grand Ballroom, Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - 17 March 2007

Monday, March 28, 2011

ASEAN SG asks Malaysia,... to review its Nuclear Power Plant Policies

There are so many natural environmental friendly resources that is available to Malaysia that Malaysia can exploit to fulfill its power needs. One is solar energy, and we are blessed with sunshine all year around. One concern before was the question of storage, but with our National Grid in place, there may be no need for storage and power generated in the day could immediately be sent to the national grid for immediate utilization, and when there is no sun then we can rely on other sources. Solar power could also be utilized for homes - but maybe the reason that they do not want this is because this will affect TNB's profits, and the profits of other IPPs. Think about the long-term good of all in Malaysia, not just the profits of some.
Another available resource that we do have is wind power, and it is especially worth considering especially in the coastal areas especially in the east coast, which is blessed with wind almost all year round.

But alas, Malaysia seems not developing these alternative resources - but seem to be more interested in that dangerous nuclear power plants.

Asean Sec-Gen Expects Member States To Review Nuclear Power Plant Policies

BANGKOK, March 25 (Bernama) -- Dr Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), said he expected Asean member states to review their nuclear power plant policies following the nuclear plant crisis in Japan.

Surin was speaking to reporters about nuclear power plant policies in Southeast Asia in the wake of the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan.

Thai News Agency (TNA) reported him as saying that Asean member states that had nuclear power plant projects might review their policies.

He added that Asean members might have to review their policies carefully.

Although nuclear power is sustainable and clean, an unanticipated incident may cause serious problems like what is happening in Japan.

At the moment, European countries are reviewing their nuclear power plant policies.

Surin also said that Asean has planned initial assistance for quake-torn Japan and that the earthquake might result in some industries being relocated from Japan to other countries.

In this case, Asean member states must cooperatively work out measures to attract investors from Japan.

-- BERNAMA, 25/3/2011, Asean Sec-Gen Expects Member States To Review Nuclear Power Plant Policies

Time for Malaysia abolish the Death Penalty has come...

1 - Death sentences can so easily be replaced with life sentences until end of natural life.

2 - In Malaysia, many laws provide for mandatory death, and thus judges are deprived of the right to choose appropriate sentences depending of the circumstances of each case. To put a person to death is onerous responsibility placed on judges. Even, if death penalty is to remain in our laws, it should be left to the judges as an option to be used in the most extreme cases. In Malaysia, time and time again, we have been proven that our criminal justice system, and police investigation quality are with flaws, and it is great wrong if by reason of this we send some 'innocent' person to his death. When a State kills, it kills on behalf of its citizens and all Malaysians are responsible for the death.

3 - What is most disturbing, is that some of these laws that impose the death penalty, are laws that rely on presumptions in law - not the usual requirements that prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of the particular crime. Example, found in possession of a certain amount of drugs raises the presumption that one is a 'drug trafficker', and then the accused have to prove that he/she is not, and that is very difficult to do. Someone puts 5 kilos of heroin in your house, and calls the police who come search and find the heroin - how can you(a lay person) prove that it was not your drugs, and that you were not the trafficker. And when you cannot prove this, you are found guilty and sentenced to death.

Press Release

EMBARGO: 28 March 2011 00:01 GMT

Death Penalty in 2010: Executing countries left isolated after decade of progress

Countries which continue to use the death penalty are being left increasingly isolated following a decade of progress towards abolition, Amnesty International has said today in its new report Death Sentences and Executions in 2010.

A total of 31 countries abolished the death penalty in law or in practice during the last 10 years but China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Yemen remain amongst the most frequent executioners,  some in direct contradiction of international human rights law.

The total number of executions officially recorded by Amnesty International in 2010 went down from at least 714 people in 2009 to at least 527 in 2010. China is believed to have executed thousands in 2010 but continues to maintain its secrecy over its use of the death penalty.

“The minority of states that continue to systematically use the death penalty were responsible for thousands of executions in 2010, defying the global anti-death penalty trend,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

While executions may be on the decline, a number of countries continue to pass death sentences for drug-related offences, economic crimes, sexual relations between consenting adults and blasphemy, violating international human rights law forbidding the use of the death penalty except for the most serious crimes,” said Salil Shetty. 

Two regions are responsible for most executions worldwide: Asia and the Middle East.

China used the death penalty in 2010 against thousands of people for a wide range of crimes that include non-violent offences and after proceedings that did not meet international fair trial standards.

A significant proportion of the executions or death sentences recorded in 2010 in China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Libya, Malaysia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen were for drug-related offences.

Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates ignored international prohibitions in 2010 and imposed death sentences on individuals that were below 18 years of age when the crimes were committed.

Amnesty International’s report highlights a number of set backs during 2010 when six other countries and territories carried out executions after a hiatus and one country expanded the scope of the death penalty.

“In spite of some set backs, developments in 2010 brought us closer to global abolition. The President of Mongolia announced a moratorium on the death penalty, an important first step as capital punishment is still classified as state secret. For the third time and with more support than ever before, the UN General Assembly called for a global moratorium on executions” said Salil Shetty.

Since 2003, less than half of retentionist countries have carried out executions. Less than a third were known to have executed prisoners every year over the last four years.
“Any country that continues to execute is flying in the face of the fact that both human rights law and UN human rights bodies consistently hold that abolition should be the objective.”

“A world free of the death penalty is not only possible, it is inevitable,” said Salil Shetty.  “The question is how long will it take?”
§  In the USA, the only country in the Americas to carry out executions, at least 110 death sentences were imposed during 2010 but this represents only about a third of the number handed down in the mid-1990s. And in March 2011, Illinois became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty.

§  In 2010 Amnesty International was not able to confirm comprehensive figures on the use of the death penalty for China, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam although executions were known to have been carried out in all these countries. Available information from five other countries in the region confirmed at least 82 executions were carried out in Asia.
§  Eleven countries imposed death sentences but continued not to carry out executions in 2010: Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
§  The Pacific Islands remained free from death sentences and executions.
§  In January 2010 the President of Mongolia announced a moratorium on executions with a view to abolition of the death penalty.

Europe and Central Asia
§  After a year’s hiatus in 2009 when for the first time no executions were recorded in Europe and the former Soviet Union, in March 2010 the Belarusian authorities carried out two executions. Three new death sentences were imposed in Belarus in 2010.

Middle East and North Africa
§  Fewer death sentences and executions were recorded in total in the Middle East and North Africa in 2010 than in 2009. However, where the death penalty was imposed it was frequently used after unfair trials and for offences, such as drug-trafficking or adultery, which are not recognized as the “most serious crimes” and therefore in violation of international law.
§  The authorities of Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco/Western Sahara, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates imposed death sentences but continued to refrain from carrying out executions.
§  The Iranian authorities acknowledged the execution of 252 people, including five women and one juvenile offender in 2010. Amnesty International received credible reports of more than 300 other executions which were not officially acknowledged, mostly in Vakilabad Prison, Mashhad. Most were of people convicted of alleged drugs offences. Fourteen people were publicly executed. Death sentences continued to be imposed in large numbers.

Sub-Saharan Africa
§  In 2010 one more African country, Gabon, abolished the death penalty, bringing the number of abolitionist countries among African Union members to 16.
§  Four countries were known to have executed in sub-Saharan Africa in 2010: Botswana (1), Equatorial Guinea (4), Somalia (at least 8) and Sudan (at least 6).

Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email:
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

22/12/2010 :- The 2010 , the United Nations General Assembly resolution in favour of a universal moratorium on the death penalty : 108 countries voted in favour, with 41 against and 36 abstentions.

2008 resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty was adopted,on December 18, 2008,  by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to46 against, with 34 abstentions

2007 resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/62/439/Add.2) was adopted, on adopted, on December 18, 2007, ;by a recorded vote of 104 in favour to 54 against, with 29 abstentions

The Malaysian Bar also has called for the abolition of the death penalty.

(which was adopted at the 60th AGM of the Malaysian Bar on 18/3/2006)

WHEREAS every human being has the inherent right to life;

WHEREAS Malaysia has hanged at least 358 persons between 1981 and 2005;

WHEREAS about 173 persons are on death row as at December 2005;

a) studies conducted throughout the world over the past seventy years have failed to find convincing evidence that capital punishment is a more effective deterrent of crime than long-term imprisonment;

b) studies conducted in Australia show that abolition of the death penalty had no effect on the homicide rate and in Canada there in fact was a sharp decline in the homicide rate after abolition;

c) in the United States over the past twenty years, states with the death penalty in general have had a higher homicide rate than states without the death penalty;
WHEREAS on the other hand the execution of human beings by the State gives an ‘example of barbarity’ to society and legitimizes the taking of human life;
WHEREAS Malaysia lacks safeguards that would ensure a fair trial such as the right to immediate access to a lawyer upon arrest, right to full disclosure of evidence in the possession of the police and prosecution, and has to the extreme prejudice of accused persons loaded a capital crime statute such as the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 ( which generates the largest number of death sentences annually ) with presumptions of trafficking that compromise the presumption of innocence which is integral to any fair and just criminal justice system;

a) it is not possible in any system of human justice to prevent the horrifying possibility of the execution of innocent persons; and

b) the infliction of the death penalty makes wrongful convictions irreversible;

a) 122 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice as opposed to 74 countries which retain the death penalty;

b) An average of three countries have abolished the death penalty each year over the last decade;

c) the trend worldwide has been for the abolition of the death penalty;

WHEREAS the UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2005/59 passed in 2005 calls upon all states to abolish the death penalty and states that the abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of the right to life of every human being;

WHEREAS Article 1 of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that ‘ No one within the jurisdiction of a State party to the present Optional Protocol shall be executed ’.

WHEREAS the death penalty has no place in any society which values human rights, justice and mercy;

NOW IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the Malaysian Bar calls for the:
1) Abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia;
2) An immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition;
3) Commutation of the sentences of all persons currently on death row;
4) Ratification by Malaysia of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). 

Proposers: N.Surendran , Charles Hector , Amer Hamzah Arshad, Sreekant Pillai

* the facts and statistics relied on here are from Professor Roger Hood’s The Death Penalty( A Worldwide Perspective) OUP 2002, Amnesty International and statistics released by the Government of Malaysia.
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty) has repeatedly called for the abolition of the death penalty..
One of the reasons used often by governments, including the Malaysian government, to justify the mandatory death penalty is that deters serious crimes. This was what Datuk M. Kayveas, a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department told Parliament. (Bernama, 28/6/2006) This is baseless and cannot be justified by any facts or statistical proof. 

On the other hand, there are studies conducted throughout the world over the past seventy years using various different methodological approaches that have failed to find convincing evidence that capital punishment is a more effective deterrent of crime than long-term imprisonment. 

Studies conducted in Australia show that abolition of the death penalty had no effect on the homicide rate and in Canada there in fact was a sharp decline in the homicide rate after abolition;

In the United States over the past twenty years, states with the death penalty in general have had a higher homicide rate than states without the death penalty;

The United Nations itself noted in 1988, 1996, and 2002, "research has failed to provide scientific proof that executions have a greater deterrent effect than life imprisonment. Such proof is unlikely to be forthcoming. The evidence as a whole gives no positive support to the deterrent hypothesis."

Noting also that on 18 December 2007, the UN General Assembly endorsed a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty" by an overwhelming majority (Resolution 62/149), and on 18 December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with a bigger majority a second similar resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

MADPET calls for the repeal of all provisions in law that provide for the mandatory death penalty.

MADPET reiterates its call for an immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition, and for the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia . - MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY PROVISIONS IN LAW SHOULD BE REPEALED
Besides, civil societies and NGOs, Malaysians generally is for the abolition of the death penalty 

It must also be pointed out that a television poll done by RTM 2 during the Hello on Two programme on 7/5/2006 showed that 64% of Malaysians are for the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia. This program has an estimated audience of 80,000. It is thus important that members of Parliament, the representatives of the people respond to the aspirations of Malaysians and remove the death penalty from the laws of Malaysia. - MADPET: REMOVE DEATH PENALTY FROM ALL MALAYSIAN LAWS
See earlier posts:-

Malaysian Bar: Abolish the death penalty

Nazri reiterates call for abolition of death penalty...