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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Muslim NGO echoes police warning for Kugan’s funeral

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — Pewaris, a non-governmental Muslim advocacy group, today appealed to MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu to urge the Indian community not to get involved in any protest demonstrations during tomorrow's funeral procession for A Kugan, a suspect in a car theft case who died while in police custody.

Pewaris deputy chairman II Rahimuddin Md Harun told a press conference here that any protest during the procession was inadvisable as it might offend the sensitivities of others.

Yesterday, Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar issued a warning that police would take stern action if the procession was used to stage illegal protest demonstrations.

Kugan's remains will be brought from the University Malaya Medical Centre near here to the Batu 14 Puchong crematorium for final rites before being cremated.

Kugan, 22, was arrested on Jan 15 on suspicion of being involved in the theft of luxury cars.

He died on Jan 20 while detained at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya. The case has been classified as murder. — Bernama

Let his death not be in vain. Lay him to rest with dignity.

By:- Haris Ibrahim

eaglewings asked if a meeting point could be designated for those who want to attend the funeral and pay their last respects to Kugan tomorrow.

Meeting point : Outside Binary College ( opposite IOI Mall / TESCO. See map below )

Time : Between 3pm - 3.15pm. Please be on time.

puchong-map11

___________________________________________

I did not know Kugan or the many others who have died whilst in police custody.

Speculation abounds as to their actual number.

Yet, even one death in custody is one too many.

And there may well have been far too many because we, you and I, did not react as we should have with the very first death in custody.

In that sense, however remote it may seem, we are, to some extent, collectively culpable by our past indifference for the death of Kugan and the others.

There have been some unkind comments in this blog that insinuate that we should not ignore the possibility that his involvement in criminal activity got Kugan into the circumstance leading to his death in the first place.

If indeed he was involved in the activity that led to his initial remand, we should reflect on why, in a nation blessed with richness of natural resources that ought to have been equitably applied to its people, one of our sons had to resort to such activity to make it through each passing day?

For me, the answer points once again to our past indifference at the abject neglect of our own people.

And you and I can do nothing to atone for our wrong to Kugan and the others who have suffered the cruel fate, first at the hands of belligerant police, and then a hitherto apathetic society.

What you and I can do is to resolve, and to work to that end, that there will not be another death in custody, after Kugan, and that those responsible for any other deaths in custody hereafter must be held to account.

Let Kugan’s passing be our clarion call to press for the IPCMC to be established without any further delay.

Do this, so that his passing would not have been completely in vain.

Tomorrow, his family will lay Kugan’s remains to rest.

kraznyoctbyar sent in the following comment to the ‘Second post mortem underway’ post

Dear Peace Loving Malaysians,

The MSM (NTV7) is reporting that police have info that the late Kugan’s funeral will be a front to a massive protest rally against police brutality.I appeal to all to remain calm and exercise restraint from all who are planning to attend the funeral.Kindly be patient and let the law take it’s course in an open court of law.Please accord the Late Kugan a peaceful and uneventful farewell.

I fully endorse these sentiments.

An sms is making its rounds calling on people to converge at the UH mortuary and to join in procession therefrom to the burial grounds.

I would urge against this.

Malaysianinsider reports today, based on undisclosed sources, that the second autopsy reveals that Kugan suffered external injuries caused by blunt force trauma and that he died of cardiac arrest following the injuries.

Let us not speculate anymore.

Let’s await the disclosure of the second autopsy report in full.

And then, collectively, we will persevere to ensure that the law takes its course.

Malaysiakini reports to day that the Selangor CPO has asked that Kugan’s funeral tomorrow not be turned into a political rally.

I agree.

Without pointing fingers at anyone, please, do not look to make political mileage from this young man’s death.

Kugan plainly suffered much indignity just before his death.

Let us accord him some dignity as we lay him to rest.

The cortege is expected to arrive at the burial ground between 3.45 - 4.00pm tomorrow.

My friends and I will make our way to the cemetary at the 14th Mile, Puchong to pay our last respects to Kugan and to extend our condolences to his family.

Autopsy No. 2 finds external injuries

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 – A second autopsy on suspected car thief Kugan Ananthan has found external injuries caused by blunt force trauma, sources told The Malaysian Insider.

The 22-year-old, who died while in police custody on Jan 20, was said to have died of cardiac arrest following the injuries, the sources said.

Initial findings also revealed Kugan was asthmatic, and his condition had caused phlegm to accumulate in his lungs.

The full report is expected to be issued within days after Universiti Malaya Medical Centre pathologists carried out the autopsy that lasted nearly 10 hours on Sunday following a dispute over earlier findings that he had died of "water in the lungs".

The Attorney-General’s Chambers have classified the case as murder and 11 policemen from the Subang USJ Taipan police station have been reassigned to desk duty pending investigations.

It is understood that closed-circuit-television-cameras (CCTV) were not placed in the police station’s lock-up despite a directive years ago that was intended to prevent claims of police abuse.

Kugan was said to be part of a syndicate involved in stealing luxury cars but his family said he has no criminal record and worked as an insurance claims executive.

Kugan will be cremated at the Puchong Batu 14 crematorium on Wednesday.

Fearing trouble, police have warned his family and friends not to turn the funeral into a protest following unconfirmed reports that a procession with banners and placards are being planned.

The police are now questioning some 21 people, including two deputy ministers, for allegedly barging into a hospital mortuary to view Kugan’s body last week. The family and the two politicians dispute the police and hospital version of events, saying they had a right to see the body.

His death is the latest over the years of suspects, mainly Indians, who had died suddenly in police custody.

Political parties across the divide have asked for an independent probe into his death and others in the past.

His family has also criticised the police for hiding behind a wall of silence over the death.

“The police never informed us that he was arrested and we only heard about it from an anonymous caller,” Kugan’s uncle V. Raviroy told The Malaysian Insider.

The 42-year-old businessman said no matter what Kugan was accused of doing; he did not deserve to die.

“Kugan was only 22, he had his whole life ahead of him, why did he end up dead in the lockup?” he lamented.

Deoband intervenes: Muslims can do yoga

DEOBAND, India, Jan 27 - When clerics in Malaysia banned Muslims from practising yoga, they started a heated debate in the Islamic world. But Islamic scholars in India, including those at the Darul Uloom Deoband, say they do not find anything objectionable in Muslims practising yoga.

Chanting mantras like "Om" that have religious connotation, they add, is not necessary for yoga and Muslims can replace them with verses from the Quran or references to Allah.

"Yoga is a good form of exercise. If some words, which are supposed to be chanted while performing it, have religious connotations, then Muslims need not utter those. They can instead recite verses from the Quran or praise Allah or remain silent," Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, deputy vice-chancellor of the Darul Uloom, told The Indian Express.

He said he discussed the issue with yoga experts and they told him that reciting "Om" or any other mantra was not compulsory for practising yoga.

Yoga guru Swami Ramdev had earlier said that one could do yoga without pronouncing "Om" and in fact could substitute it with Allah or God or any other word.

Ramdev's Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogapeeth has already asked its Christian and Muslim followers to begin yoga with a prolonged utterance of Allah or God.

Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind spokesman Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani said "exercises similar to yoga are found in Sufi practices" and there was nothing wrong in practising it.

Incidentally, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind had last year opposed the Madhya Pradesh government's plan to introduce yoga in schools and sought a ban, arguing that children would have to recite religious verses.

The National Fatwa Council in Malaysia told Muslims not to practise yoga, the ulema in Indonesia asked Muslims to stop yoga while it "studies" this issue. Clerics in Egypt and Singapore too issued similar rulings. - Indian Expres

Defection prompts Tajol to quit as Perak Umno boss soon

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 – Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali will quit as Perak Umno chief soon while three Barisan Nasional state reps have hinted at following Datuk Nasarudin Hashim into Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) as discontent grows over Umno’s recent divisional polls, The Malaysian Insider learnt today.

The state Umno is in turmoil now after the Bota state assemblyman repudiated the party to join his Universiti Malaya campus mate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday and revelations by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin that he is negotiating with the trio to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat.

Among the trio are state representatives within the Larut and Bruas parliamentary constituencies, sources told The Malaysian Insider.

“Tajol Rosli has indicated to the party leadership that he will relinquish his post soon,” a source said today.

Tajol Rosli, who was Perak Menteri Besar before BN lost the state to Pakatan Rakyat in the March 2008 polls, had met with Umno deputy president and deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak yesterday to discuss Nasarudin’s defection.

He alluded to problems within the Parit Umno division that led to the former Parit MP’s decision to quit.

It is learnt that the other state assemblymen mulling their future in Umno voiced out concerns about similar problems within their divisions.

They are also unhappy that the national leadership have ignored their problems and felt that several national leaders are behind moves to oust them from party politics. Politicking and jockeying for key posts have increased since Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s exit plan was brought forward to this March.

Najib has been elected unopposed as Umno’s new president and will have to face a party rife with factional interests and ambitious warlords conspiring for their own interests rather than that of the dominant Malay party that has led the nation since Merdeka.

“Its a zero-sum game. When some lose party positions, they lose everything. The only way up could be through another party,” an Umno leader said, alluding to Nasarudin’s loss in party division elections a few months ago.

The veteran Perak leader has seen his influence diminish when he was moved from the Parit parliament seat constituency to the Bota state seat in the last elections. While he won the state seat, he lost his Felcra chairmanship, a position normally given to an MP.

The Parit Umno deputy chief’s failed challenge for the divisional top post was the last straw, sources added.

Several other divisions are facing similar problems, with the most prominent being Larut Umno’s imbroglio between current chief Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar and challenger Larut MP Datuk Hamzah Zainudin.

Raja Ahmad has charged that Hamzah, who is Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister, is ineligible to contest for the division post due to procedural issues but Tajol Rosli has referred the matter to the party supreme council for a decision. No decision has been made and the division has yet to hold its elections.

Anwar, who is Parliamentary Opposition leader, yesterday also hinted of more cross-overs but Najib has denied it, calling it “rumours”.

Nasarudin’s defection is seen by many as a blow to Najib just weeks before he assumes the party presidency as it reflects a lack of faith in his leadership.

“It’s a blow to Najib as some don’t think he can handle the party well. Nobody will attribute this to Pak Lah as he is already on the way out,” a Umno veteran said.

While Perak Umno is in turmoil, Tajol Rosli maintained yesterday that the party was confident of wresting back the state from the Pakatan Rakyat electoral pact in the next elections.

“We have three years to do it and the BN has put in motion all measures especially to get the votes of the youth,” he said.

Tajol Rosli also said he has yet to meet Nasarudin, who has been avoiding his calls.

SYED HAMID - UMNO WILL FACE 'DEATH SENTENCE' IF IT DOES NOT CHANGE

[za.s1]
Home Minister and UMNO Supreme Council member, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar in an unprecedented move informed that UMNO must change before the people pass a "death sentence" on it (Bernama).

Datuk Seri Syed Hamid claimed that change was timely as the party's image had been badly tarnished by cases involving UMNOputras detained for alleged corruption by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"Embracing change and cleaning up the party must be discussed by the party's top leaders with members.

"Everyone, including the President and supreme council members must take responsibility so that our party is not given the death sentence," he prophetically cautioned.

It seems very clear that UMNOputras especially their uncaring, arrogant and corrupted leaders have become fearful that their time is up and feel that by saying these words, the rakyat, more so the UMNO members would 'buy' their story and let them continue to rule our rich country in the pretext that they are the only party that can perform this duty since they have ruled for the past 52 years.

The best solution - DISSOLVE UMNO now and we have got rid of the menace.

Can we see it happen?

2 caveats on MACC’s independence, credibility and professionalism

(Lim Kit Siang)The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must live down its very bad start which has seriously undermined its claim to independence, credibility and professionalism as compared to its predecessor, Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

The MACC had swung into action in the past week and although it seemed to be in an “all-out war” mode against Umno “ikan bilis”, it has to convince Malaysians that it is becoming another ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption of Hong Kong) which brooks no nonsense in its fight against corruption on two important grounds:

• Firstly, when will it move from Umno “ikan bilis” to Umno “ikan yu” to eradicate corruption in the most corrupt institution in the country; and

• Secondly, its “stop work” in its first 17 days of establishment for fear of jeopardizing UMNO’s victory in the Kuala Terengganu by-election on January 17, although Malaysians were promised that the MACC would hit the ground attacking corruption from January 1, 2009.

In fact, on January 14, three days before the Kuala Terengganu by-election, the MACC was forced to delay charging a former Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblyman in Selangor for corruption so as not to affect UMNO’s result in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Former BN Selangor State Assemblyman (Semenyih), Datuk Ahmad Kuris Mohd Nor, also former head of the Hulu Langat Umno division, was only charged on four separate counts of corruption involving RM200,000 in the Ampang Sessions Court a week later – after the Kuala Terengganu by-election result.

In the event, whether a former Umno state assemblyman was charged for corruption before or after the polling would have made no difference to the outcome of the Kuala Terenggany by-election result.

But would the MACC be so “considerate” as to hold back corruption charges if the accused involved had been a PAS or Pakatan Rakyat leader?

Can we hear an explanation from the Chief Commissioner of MACC, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan, to these two clear caveats about the independence, credibility and professionalism of MACC in the very first month of MACC existence?

Little Darshini and the how of marginalisation

What I am writing here is happening now in the 21st century Wi-Max city of Penang. There is one little Tamil school sitting up on a ledge at the edge of this city with about 100 pupils – with nothing more than a few classrooms, a small canteen and an office.

There is this little girl, Darshini who has been given a week by her new school headmaster to produce her birth certificate or to leave school. She is 11 and is in Standard 5 and does not have a birth certificate.

Her parents’ marriage was not registered for they were married in a temple in 1996 or so and she is the second child. She has seven other sisters and brothers. All her siblings have their birth documents in order except for her – because when she was born when her father was working away from Penang for an extended period.

Finally, when they did get around to applying for a delayed birth certificate, the system just overwhelmed them and as the mother put it, she just stopped trying. The procedures are many and they involve knowing exactly how the system works.

There was no assistance available to them, especially for the mother, because her husband just could not take time off from his work plus I suspect, he was equally vulnerable on this count. Their financial resources were extremely limited. .

Because of the inability to raise this large a family, three of her brothers and sisters have been given away for adoption. Her father is a crane operator earning about RM900. The flat that they live in, again, is at the very edge of a top of a hill near Paya Terubong.

To get to the main road from where they live, where they can take a bus, is a couple of kilometers away. Again, with so many little children to take care of and no other support from anyone else, they just could not stay on at a government department long enough to fulfill all the requirements for a delayed birth certificate.

Each time, a visit to the National Registration Department was a major chore for the mother. Several hours of waiting only to be told of more things to do, or things that were not done to the satisfaction of the officers concerned.

At the hospital, they were told that the doctor who signed the original birth notification document was not there anymore and therefore they could not get the doctors attestation, one of the many requirements for the issue of a delayed birth certificate. That really stopped them – until this incident at Darshini’s school when it brought this whole thing up again in an uglier form.

As I was thinking about all of this, a thought keeps cropping up - just how does all of this happen, now and here? The answer I can come up with is just this - our social , economic and political system works in such a way that marginalisation of the poor and the weak (as in Darshini’s parents case) at the periphery of the system is a natural outcome, it is unavoidable.

It is so self-reinforcing. Poor means ignorance, ignorance means poor and both mean abandonment. Everything above is about the poor and the weakest at the periphery experiencing total abandonment and dispossession. The system seems to operate to do this.

As the headmaster of the school said, he is frustrated as the problem keeps on happening. What he was saying is explained best by the following – you can stop one or two old men from dying. But the young keep on becoming old. Stopping one or two from dying does nothing to the problem, the young just keep getting old.

What we need to do to have an effect is to ‘stop’ the young from becoming old. And unless we approach the problem in that way, we are effectively doing nothing. We need a totally different approach to the way this system operates.

We have to change the way this system operates if we are to make an impact on this state of affairs. No more political bull - we need action with true knowledge and appropriate intent.

We need a system which seeks to realise the full potential of each and every citizen and we need true leadership if we are going to root out this endemic problem of marginalisation.

Yoga ban for Muslims in Indonesia - (Rocky´s Bru)

The Ulema Council of Indonesia has issued an edict to say that yoga that contains Hindu rituals like chanting is haram. Read the AP story:
[Bernama has the story too, h e r e, but the news agency seems to think that the edict on smoking should take precedence as a news item]

Indonesian Muslims banned from practicing yoga

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Muslims in Indonesia are now banned from practicing yoga that contains Hindu rituals like chanting, but will continue to be allowed to perform it for purely health reasons, the chairman of the country's top Islamic body said Monday.

Cleric Ma'ruf Amin said the Ulema Council issued the non-binding ruling following weekend talks attended by hundreds of theological experts in Padang Panjang, a village in West Sumatra province. Although the ruling is not legally binding, most devout Muslims are likely to adhere to it — as they consider it sinful to ignore a fatwa.

The Ulema Council decided on the ban, which follows a similar edict in neighboring Malaysia, over concerns that the faith of Muslim yoga practitioners would be weakened if they take part in Hindu rituals like chanting mantras, Amin said.

"Those who perform yoga purely for health reasons or sport will not be affected," Amin said. "We only prohibit activities that can corrupt Islamic values."

Indonesia is a secular nation of 235 million people, 90 percent of whom are Muslim. Most practice a moderate form of the faith, but a vocal extremist fringe has gained strength in recent years.


Last November, when Malaysia's Fatwa Council issued exactly the same fatwa on yoga, some quarters (here for example) expressed their displeasure. A lot of Malaysian Muslims were unhappy, too.

Now that the Ulema Council has spoken, does it make our Fatwa Council's edict on yoga more acceptable?

p.s. We now have another contentious issue related to Islam and Malaysia, and that is in regards to Using the word "Allah". I'm told the Indonesians are watching with great interest ...

Malaysia's Anwar ready for struggles ahead

Where's Malaysia's Anwar going after turbulent year?

Most Malaysians, polls suggest, do not believe the allegations of sodomy Mr Anwar is facing. But there are those among the majority Muslim Malays who are suspicious.

By Robin Brant, BBC News

Malaysia's opposition leader should find out in a few weeks' time whether he will face a trial for sodomy.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim
Mr Anwar claims the government is in no rush to see him in court

Anwar Ibrahim was accused of assaulting a male former party worker. But he has told the BBC that he doubts his day in court will come any time soon because his accusers want the case to drag on well into 2009.

"I don't honestly worry about this," Mr Anwar says of the impending court hearing, when he will find out the date of his trial for sodomy.

The official charge is that he had "carnal intercourse against the course of nature". Sex between men is illegal in Malaysia. Mr Anwar could face 20 years in jail and a whipping if he is found guilty.

The allegations were made by a 21-year-old former male party worker. After Mr Anwar faced a dramatic arrest by armed police in balaclavas and a night of questioning in a cell, the case is now making its way through the courts.

'Mud-throwing'

Mr Anwar flatly denies the charges, claiming he has an alibi for every minute of the day in question.

But he doubts he will have his day in the dock any time soon.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in December
Prime Minister Badawi was damaged by Mr Anwar's political comeback
"I think they will allow this to drag on and... cast more mud and throw serious allegations which could just cause embarrassment," he told the BBC - referring to the police, the government, and the prime minister.

"They will have something to hold [on to] in case they are really desperate" to discredit Mr Anwar, he said.

The allegations were made just after Mr Anwar steered his new opposition coalition to historic gains in a general election, raising the spectre of a possible end to 50 years of one-party dominance.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi was forced to accept an early handover to his deputy.

The government is still recovering from its near collapse.

Big gamble

Nevertheless, while 2008 was a great year for Mr Anwar - one of Asia's best-known politicians - his hopes did not match the reality.

Mr Anwar had promised to be in power by last September. Having shaken the foundations with the election success he gambled on bringing the house down.

Relying on government defections, he even set a date for the downfall of the government of 16 September.

But it didn't happen.

"I think his credibility was damaged among his younger supporters," Professor James Chin from Malaysia’s Monash University said, "especially among the youth, because they were really expecting a sea change in Malaysia."

But where some saw a strategy of hope, others saw a game of brinkmanship.

"I think among the political group, those who are involved in politics, everyone knew all along that it was a game," he said.

Disappointed

K Krishna is a working woman, one of the people who helped propel Mr Anwar back to the forefront of Asian politics, and whom I first met just before the election in February 2008.

She switched sides after years of allegiance to the government. On estates across Malaysia's cities there are millions like her.

But when I went back to see her at her grocer's shop in a dingy housing estate on the western outskirts of Kuala Lumpur she was upset at Anwar's unfulfilled promise.

"He shouldn't have promised. He shouldn't have said that this is the date I am going to take over the government."

She wasn't disillusioned but she was disappointed - disappointed that after all the talk, all the apparent momentum, it did not happen.

Rollercoaster ride

Most Malaysians, polls suggest, do not believe the allegations of sodomy Mr Anwar is facing. But there are those among the majority Muslim Malays who are suspicious.

Malaysians celebrate new year in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, on 1 January 2009
Mr Anwar may be wondering whether 2009 will be as tumultuous as 2008
Krishna told me she wants to see a trial. "It's better, so he can prove that he didn't do it," she said, "then people can know who is behind everything."

Prof Chin thinks a trial will take place. But he thinks it is unlikely the court will return a guilty verdict which would risk enraging the watching population.

For Mr Anwar, despite the disappointments, 2008 has been nothing short of a resurrection. But this rollercoaster is nothing new.

He was convicted of sodomy a decade ago, but cleared after six years in jail. Back then, as now, he said he was set up in order to ruin his political career.

Mr Anwar is a charismatic leader, and it is difficult to see his new opposition coalition surviving without him at the helm.

But a supporter I met at the party congress had more faith.

"It has already begun," he told me. "It cannot stop. With or without Anwar it won't stop."

Kugan case: Charges next week, cops rapped

(The Star) - The controversy surrounding the death of suspected car thief A. Kugan while in police custody continued to heat up, with promise of swift action by one government leader while the police were criticised for making threatening statements.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator T. Murugiah said those involved in the death would likely be charged in court as early as next week.

Kugan, 22, who was remanded to assist investigations into several luxury car thefts, died at the Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya last Tuesday.

The post-mortem revealed that he had died due to fluid in his lungs, but Kugan’s family entered the Serdang Hospital mortuary that same day and took photographs of his body, which showed severe bruising.

They demanded a second post-mortem which was concluded on Sunday, although the report is not out yet.

While initially saying no foul play was involved, police have now reclassified the case as murder for the purpose of investigation, at the urging of the Attorney-General.

“I was told the doctor will send the post-mortem report to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail. I was told by the A-G that it will be sometime next week,” Murugiah said.

“The investigation is still ongoing and we have to be patient.

“Most probably whoever is involved in the incident will be charged in court sometime next week,” he told reporters at the MCA’s Chinese New Year open house in Wisma MCA Monday.

Murugiah also said he went to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s home at 5pm Saturday to hand over the pictures of Kugan’s body and to explain what actually happened at the mortuary.

“I received the pictures from an unidentified person who sent it to my house. I also thanked him for helping the family who were given permission to do a second post-mortem.”

Najib, he said, also gave a monetary contribution which the family was grateful for.

“The family thanks Datuk Seri Najib and believes confidently that the Government will help correct the situation and that they will see justice done for their son,” he added.

In GEORGE TOWN, a Barisan component party leader said the police should not issue “threatening’’ statements against the two deputy ministers who were at the Serdang Hospital mortuary last Tuesday.

State People’s Progressive Party (PPP) chief Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan said Monday that the two ministers -- one of whom was Murugiah, while the other was Datuk K. Devamany, also a deputy minister in the PM’s Dept -- had gone to the mortuary in their capacity as the people’s representatives.

“They had gone there after being asked to be there by the relatives of the deceased. They were merely carrying out their duties as the people’s chosen representatives.

“The police should not be issuing threatening statements against them for that unless they had done something to break the law,’’ he told reporters at the state PPP Chinese New Year Open house held at the YMCA building.

He was commenting on Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar’s statement that police would record both the deputy ministers’ statements for being present at the mortuary.

Dr Loga also said the police should instead concentrate on carrying out a thorough investigation into Kugan’s death as both the ministers would not have come to the mortuary without any complaints.

Anwar claims more BN reps to defect

(The Star) - Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claims his plans are still on track and more Barisan Nasional elected representatives would cross over to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Saying it would occur on a “bi-weekly basis from next month” onwards, the PKR adviser said people have made up their minds and “it’s only a matter of time.”

Anwar told a crowd at the a Chinese New Year celebration held at the Hokkien Association Hall here that “change was imminent and we will surprise you from time to time.”

“Now the ox has come in, just be patient ... we are working hard just like the ox,” he said at the event that was organised by Selangor information chief Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew, in reference to it being the Lunar Year of the Ox.

After the Opposition’s strong showing in the general election last march, Anwar had promised that he had more than 30 Barisan MPs ready to cross over to the Pakatan Rakyat alliance by Sept 16.

None did and since failing to meet his own deadline, the former deputy prime minister’s voice had been relatively muted on the crossover issue until the defection of Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim on Sunday, who quit Umno to join PKR.

Sexism very much alive in Malaysian Parliament

(The Straits Times) - If there is one thing that Malaysia’s Parliament cannot be accused of, it is of being boring. But of late, its MPs have become a bit too colourful for many.

Take this exchange from the last sitting in November. Barisan Nasional (BN) MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was trying to get another MP – Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa of opposition Pas – to give way for him to speak.

“Tak masuk lagi? (Not in yet?)” Tajuddin asked.

Dr Mujahid refused to give way.

Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee told Tajuddin that the MP did not wish to give way.

Tajuddin did not give up. He tried again: “Dia tak masuk lagi? Dah lama tak masuk-masuk. Main tepi saja. (Still not in after so long? Just playing by the side.)”

Dr Mujahid told Tajuddin to be patient.

Tajuddin then asked: “Bila nak keluar lagi air dia? (When are you going to get wet?)”

The double entendres were obvious, and sparked an uproar among the other lawmakers.

Although they complained about the language, sexual innuendos and sexist remarks have often been part and parcel of Malaysian parliamentary debate.

Unlike the exchange between the two men, however, the targets have usually been women MPs, in particular, those who are young and unmarried.

Now, the women’s wing of BN’s Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) has decided that enough is enough.

On Jan 15, it submitted a memorandum of protest to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs.

The document demanded a written Code of Ethics and an amendment to the Parliament Standing Order to ban rude remarks and behaviour.

It also wants offenders punished by suspending them for two to six months without pay or allowances, and slapping heavier penalties on repeat offenders.

The group also called for compulsory gender sensitivity courses for all elected representatives in Parliament and state assemblies.

The memorandum was supported by 53 Chinese organisations.

Wanita MCA chief Chew Mei Fun, a former MP, believes these measures are crucial because no MP or state assemblyman has ever been punished for being sexist.

This may be construed as condoning such lowly behaviour, she said.

Datuk Seri Nazri’s response was encouraging. While he did not promise to agree to Wanita MCA’s requests, he did say that BN lawmakers risked not being selected as candidates for the next general election should they continue behaving inappropriately.

“This is a strong reminder for them. If they persist, their future as MPs is at stake,” he said. “Better to sacrifice them than to lose (elections).”

In reality, however, parliamentary behaviour or ability has rarely, if ever, factored in the BN’s selection of candidates.

Party positions and loyalty tend to play a bigger role. This explains why repeat offenders are returned to the House term after term.

That is why episodes of masuk sedikit – which means “to give way”, but carries a crude sexual innuendo – continue despite the uproar.

In fact, in an infamous episode in 2007, two BN lawmakers were pressured into apologising after a public furore erupted when they made crude remarks about a female opposition MP’s menstrual cycle.

Thus, it is not certain that the MCA Women’s wing memorandum will be taken seriously. Indeed, many are sceptical.

Nazri said he would ask Deputy Prime Minister and BN deputy chief Najib Razak to remind BN MPs about the matter.

Opposition MP Chong Eng of the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party notes that sexist MPs have been getting off scot-free for too long.

She said that even after the menstrual cycle remarks, a similar memorandum was submitted but no action was taken.

“We, especially women MPs, have been protesting against these kinds of comments for many years,” she told The Straits Times.

“They just want to shut you up and silence you, especially if you are arguing with them.”

In many cases, some offer a simple apology after public outrage and claim they have been misquoted or that they do not mean it.

Political analyst James Chin, a professor at the Monash University of Malaysia, said any attempt to fight parliamentary sexism would prove futile.

“Sexism and racism are alive and well in Malaysia. The population here is not that well educated on gender,” he said. ‘Our Eastern culture is still very predominant here, and it is not like Western culture, which promotes gender equality.”

The main political parties are male-dominated, he notes, with women representatives comprising only seven per cent of the total.

Describing the government’s response as simply “lip service”, he said: “I do not see any major changes to the influence of gender issues on Malaysian politics. Not for another 10 to 20 years.”

Indeed, he may have a point.

Nazri defended the two MPs over the menstrual cycle remarks. Just after the incident, he was quoted by The Star daily as saying: “This is part of parliamentary debates. Both MPs uttered the words during the heat of their debate, and you cannot control people’s emotions.”

Only time will tell. The next parliamentary session begins on Feb 16.

TRUTH:Follow Kugan’s Death Body- SELANGOR WILL FUND BURIAL

Possible Conspiracy Involving Police Officers and Car Theft Syndicate may be cause of Kugan death in custody. The Act of covering up and diverting Public attention further reinforce our believe on possible consipracy involving influential people.

The silence of Inspector General of Police on call to form up Independent Investigation Team too add doubt. Today Selangor Police chief says Kugan’s death due to Fluid in Lung however he didn’t explain wound , cut and blood stain found on Kugan’s death body.

In order to further find truth his father made a daring decision to defer his son’s cremation. Follow us for the last happening :

1. Kugan’s Death Body Now at UMMC . Doctor says the autopsy report to be ready within next 7 hours. ( autopsy defered as Hospital Authority demand Police approval)

2. Submission of Memorandum Calling Selangor Police Chief to Resign with Hundreds of Concern Public Members and NGO’s expected around 3 pm Friday 23rd January 2009.

3. YB S Manikavasagam reported on his way to BukitAman. Details Below provided by Police Watch Malaysia:

” A Memorandum of Protest to Inspector General Of Police was hand over regarding the death of Kugan Ananthan in police custody. In the memo stated that there is photograph of the body of police brutality victim Kugan Ananthan has shock Malaysia. There is clear evidence from the horrific marks on the body that the victim was severely and mercilessly beaten while in police custody. Instead of taking immediate action on those police officers involved, the police have commenced a ridiculous investigation on whether family members and relatives had tampered with the body. This dishonest and transparent attempt by police to divert attention from real issue. The real issue is how Kugan receive those serious injuries his body while in police custody.

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Now the police have also refused a request by the family for a second post motem examination. If the police have nothing to hide, why refuse a second post mortem?

We demand that those police officers involved be sacked and charged for murder. That the Selangor CPO Datuk Khalid Bakar be sacked from his position for trying to deceive the public that the victim died of breathing difficulties. The the IGP immediately agree to the request of the family of the victim for a second post mortem examination and that there be immediate and comprehensive REFORM of the Malaysian Police force in order to prevent such incidents from recurring.”

4. Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has asked police to classify the death of suspected car thief A. Kugan as murder for investigation purposes. Details at A-G asks police to classify case as murder

5. Police called YB S Manikavasagam to record his statement on report issued over Possible Evidence Tempering at Serdang Hospital . Details at Police Called Manikavasagam for Statement

6. Kugan Murder: 11 police personnel assigned to desk duty. Police have, with immediate effect, removed 11 constables and lance corporals from the Subang Taipan police station where the case of A. Kugan, a detainee, who died in their custody, was reclassified as murder yesterday.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the policemen were currently at the contingent headquarters here doing desk duties.

“They are here to speed up the investigation. We expect to complete the investigations within three days.

7. After few merry go round, police final grant permission for second autopsy. The police have finally relented to appeals from the family of Kugan Ananthan to have a second post-mortem to determine his cause of death.

The family of the 22-year-old suspected car thief is disputing the initial official findings which indicate he died due to water in his lungs after five days in police custody.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is assisting the family, said the second post-mortem will be done tomorrow at 9am at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

“The procedure is expected to take between eight and nine hours because the family has requested for a detailed examination of the body.”

However, he said getting police authorisation for the second post-mortem was an uphill battle despite assurance from Bukit Aman yesterday that the police would authorise it.

Details available at Kugan’s family wins battle for second post-mortem

8. Hindraf slam AG and IGP for Double standard practice. Why Not Arresting all Suspected Police Officers over Kugan Murder. Check out it’s chairman statement Why No Arrest Yet

9. Police record Statement from Manikavasagam and Kugan’s family Lawyer N Surendran. Manikavasagam claimed there isn’t any trespass and he will release video recording showing Hospital Authority allowed those present to see body of Kugan.

It’s purely a desperate act of Police to divert public attention from real problem on MURDER by POLICE PERSONNEL.

10. Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim Parliamentary Opposition Leader today called Government to establish Royal Commission of Inquiry on Continue Police Brutality against Detainees. He also says Opposition will pressure Ministry of Home Affairs to assure such brutality will not repeat.

10. Malaysian’s eagerly awaiting second autopsy result which expected to be released any time soon.

11. Malaysia’s Parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim visited parents of late Kugan Ananthan today. With him was MP’s - S Manikavasagam(Kapar), Sivarasa (Subang), Wee (Wangsa Maju), Dr Mariah (Kotaraja) and Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Khalid says Selangor will absorb cost of Kugan’s Burial and details will be released after weekly Exco Meeting.

12. As second autopsy report may takes up few more days, family member of Kugan planned to commence his burial on Wednesday 28/1/2009.

13. Selangor Police chief today warned Public not to turn Kugan’s funeral into political protest. A desperate act to protect police themselves rather then public interest. The issue shouldn’t be politics agenda if Police at First Place had done their JOB properly. Why no arrest suspected police personnel YET? Read further at Selangor police chief: Don’t turn Kugan funeral into a political protest

14. Deputy Minister T Murugiah reported that those involved in the death would likely be charged in court as early as next week. He also claimed that DPM Najib , also gave a monetary contribution which the family was grateful for. If the monetary benefit it true then it’s could be an act of protecting Police personnel. Kugan case: Charges next week, cops rapped

Anwar and PR Leaders Visit Kugan’s Family

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