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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eli’s offer to resign laudable, says Pas vice-president

KOTA BAHARU, Feb 17 — Pas believes that the offer by Elizabeth Wong to resign from her post as Selangor State Executive Councillor and vacating the Bukit Lanjan State Assembly seat following the posting of her nude photograph on the internet as an act of a highly principled person.

Pas vice-president Datuk Husam Musa said it was also a moral act by Wong after her integrity was tainted by the posting of the photograph.

“Pakatan Rakyat has its own moral standard which must be adhered to and I consider the move by the Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman as a principled and moral act,” he told reporters at his office, here today.

It was reported that Wong, 37, who is the chairman of the Selangor State Committee on Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment, would discuss her resignation with Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Commenting on the issue, Husam said Pas sympathised with Wong and described the individual who had posted her photograph on the internet as someone who was immoral.

Asked whether the issue would affect Pas and the coalition between the party, DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Husam said it would have no effect at all on the coalition as what transpired was something unexpected.

He said the efforts by certain elements to discredit the coalition was also something positive as it enabled the coalition to correct whatever weaknesses they had.

Meanwhile, Husam denied that he had made a deal with the Penang police not to give a talk in Sungai Nibong, yesterday.

“I did not do anything wrong and had in fact given a ‘ceramah’ for almost an hour without raising any sensitive issue,” he said.

In this context, he was prepared to be investigated under Section 27 of the Police Act and Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act. Penang Police Chief Datuk Ayub Yaakob was reported yesterday as saying that he did not rule out the possibility of the police taking statements from Husam and the state Pas commissioner, Salleh Man, as they were believed to be involved in an illegal gathering in the state.

MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he was puzzled by Wong’s offer to step down as she had said she was not guilty and that she had been framed.

“If she is innocent and had been framed, why should she resign? Let the police investigate first,” Liow, who is also the Health Minister, told reporters after visiting the Pokok Sena Health Clinic, about 30 kilometres from Alor Setar.

He also called on the people not to speculate on the case, including linking it to a political agenda of certain parties as there were numerous possibilities on the matter. — Bernama

Nude photos: Wong offers to quit

HINDRAF - An open letter

There has been much said about the endorsement on the candidacy of Bkt Selambau.

HINDRAF has always been apolitical in its stand and shall only support a candidate who is qualified to serve the public irrespective of his background and his ethnicity as long as that candidate is able to ensure that all that is constituted in the Federal constitution is adhered to protect the society in all fairness and the reality rather that hampers the multi racial growth of the nation.

The reality and the truth is, the masses of the Malaysian Indians faced the worst backlash of a discriminated and marginalized system that had set the Malaysian Indians into a state of being identified as the under class society in Malaysia. HINDRAF took the battle to challenge these policies and system that indiscriminately segregate this society to a segment of under class when they have actually contributed immensely to the society.

HINDRAF struggle today is not a political war but a human right violation for the masses of Indian to participate to seek and prosper as any other "Anak Malaysia" for their meritocracy and efforts to enhance the nation.

Many fail to see that HINDRAF is a drive to awaken the concept of awareness amongst all Malaysians that seek fairness and justice for a segment of the Malaysian community who have been driven to such high level of suicide and crime for such a minority on the basis of survival as policies and UMNO led system continues to undermine and shackle this community to its doldrums.

To date, all the NGO's and all so called defenders of human right violations are unable to function in the police state in Malaysia until and when HINDRAF came along to create the awareness and lighten the conscience in one another for the true state of the Malaysian Indian masses along with the lost voice of other minorities who always have been subjugated and accept the unfair and unjust rule led by the UMNO led government.

HINDRAF is People's will and conscience, it needs no official standing, any affiliation, nor acknowledgement, but only what is fair and just for one to live a life without fear, intimidation, discriminated, marginalized for one's race, religion, color or creed.

HINDRAF presently represents the Malaysian Indian community domestically and internationally, but if other NGO's who seriously are interested in engaging us and pursue their interest in addressing their issues, they are more than welcome to jump aboard with us to ensure the voice of humanity in Malaysia prevails to create unity in an effort to create a United Malaysia for all.

HINDRAF again would like to reiterate that it is without fear, favor and self interest, if there is any candidate who can deliver for all Malaysians in all fairness then he would be the best candidate for the Bkt Selambau in the coming election and the public should make a choice on this.

P.Waytha Moorthy

Hindraf- Chairman

RPK suffers setbacks as court postpones hearing to Monday

By Lee Wei Lian-The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 17 -- Raja Petra Kamarudin suffered a legal setback today when all his applications, including one to disqualify one of the sitting judges in the Federal Court, were dismissed.

The hearing for the appeal from the Home Minister to overturn the Shah Alam High Court decision last November to free Raja Petra from a two-year detention at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was also postponed to Monday, Feb 23.

Raja Petra’s lawyers had applied to disqualify Justice Datuk S. Augustine Paul on the grounds of apparent bias as Raja Petra has written critical articles involving Judge Augustine since 1999 and the judge would be perceived as presiding over a man who has been consistently critical of him, potentially undermining public confidence in the court.

They further argued that Raja Petra’s consistent criticism of Justice Augustine could give rise to animosity and give him cause to silence the applicant and that informed third parties would perceive the judge to be prejudiced.

However, the application was rejected by the two other sitting judges, Justice Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman and Justice Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who said they were satisfied that the application was wholly without merit.

When the application was made earlier, Judge Augustine had excused himself from the hearing saying that his presence could be a hindrance to justice.

Upon his exit, Raja Petra’s defence team objected that the court had no power to sit with only two judges. However, the court overruled the objection.

Raja Petra’s lead counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar informed the court that sitting as two judges was possibly unconstitutional and reserved the right to challenge the constitutionality of the decision to sit as two judges.

Raja Petra also applied for a quorum of 5-7 judges due to the complexity of the legal issues and applied to adduce additional evidence.

Both applications were dismissed.

Raja Petra did not appear in court today. Malik said his presence “was not required.”

Nevertheless, his supporters filled the court room and extra benches had to be brought in. Among notable political leaders who appeared to show support were Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng and PKR vice president Azmin Ali.

Anwar wants Wong to reconsider quit decision

By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today asked embattled Selangor state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong to rethink her decision to quit following the circulation of her naked photographs.

“Elizabeth Wong has spoken at length to Azizah and me. We have discussed the issues and we understand her reasons and the decision she has taken,” said Anwar, referring to his wife Datin Seri Wan Azizah Ismail.

“We have asked Eli to go on leave, we will meet her again to discuss,” Anwar told reporters at a press conference here.

He described Wong as a very important figure in the Selangor government with an excellent track record.

“Eli is a very responsible leader, has been with the party since its inception and I appreciate the widespread support for her to stay. We will invite her again and see what is best,” said Anwar.

Anwar said that he had discussed the matter with Pakatan Rakyat leaders including Pas’s Datuk Seri Hadi Awang who had asked for the issue to be resolved by PKR.

The Permatang Pauh MP described the circulation of Wong’s private photographs as part of a bigger conspiracy to destroy PKR.

“I can only use the strongest possible terms to condemn the smear tactics used against her. One can only wonder to what depths the people behind this will stoop to achieve their aims,” he added.

“The last few days must have been trying and stressful for her and her family. We hope the mass media will give her the breathing space she deserves.”

He also took the opportunity to slam Barisan Nasional leaders saying that they have no right to talk about morality.

“Let us hear from Najib first on morality,” said Anwar, referring to the deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Earlier today Wong offered her resignation as state executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan assemblyman, but was asked by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to take leave.

Yesterday Selangor Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo asked Wong to resign immediately saying that she was morally unfit to continue as executive councillor or assemblyman.

LIVE: Federal Court convenes re RPK’s ISA release

Periodic updates from the Federal Court from my contact at the scene:


By Anilnetto.com

RPK’s habeas corpus appeal : reporting live from Putrajaya

12.33pm : Imtiaz closes submissions. Nik Hashim adjourns proceedings until 1.30pm to deliver the decision on the recusal application.

12.29pm : Imtiaz refers to an authority in the bundle of the Senior Federal Counsel where a judge chose to not hear because he had previously formed a view adverse of a litigant.

Whether what RPK has written of Augustine is contemptous of court is a separate issue. The question is whether those writings may occasion a bias on the part of Augustine?

Would the public think that the Augustine suffered the taint of bias arising from those writings? How would the public, thinking Augustine to be biased, view his continuing to hear this appeal. How would this impact on public confidence in the administration of justice.

12.24pm : Imtiaz undertaking his reply.

12.22pm : Sorry, back from washroom and nicotine fix call. Senior Federal Counsel closing his arguments.

12.06pm : Imtiaz closes his submissions and Senior Federal Counsel commences his submissions.

12.04pm : Imtiaz points out that Augustine having previously formed the view that RPK is a threat to naitonal security, and in this present appeal, the Hoem Minister has states as his grounds for the detention as being that RPK is a threat to national security, the re is a risk of Augustine bringing to the hearing of this appeal a pre-disposition to the view that RPK is indeed a threat to national security.

12.01pm : Draws the attention of the two judges to the statement that was issued by the IGP in 2001 and was the basis of RPK’s ISA detention in 2001.

Augustine Paul, Imtiaz explains, then, dismissed RPK’s habeas corpus when the former was a High Court judge. That decision of Augustine was subsequently set a side by the Federal Court.

11.56am : Imtiaz emphasises that RPK’s complaint is the risk of bias, and not actual bias.

11.54am : Justice Nik Hashim appears to be agitating for Imtiaz ‘to move on’.

11.49am : Justice Zulkifli raises the question of what if a person before the court now writes nasties of the presiding judge. Does this mean that the judge must recuse himself?

Imtiaz responds to clarify that all the written material by RPK were well before these proceedings commenced.

There is no way these writings could have been contrived with a view to build a foundation for these recusal proceedings.

11.37am : Imtiaz now starts to make reference to the facts giving rise to RPK’s concerns of bias on the part of Augustine.

Imtiaz informs the judges that for a long time, RPK has been long critical of Augustine. This goes back to when Augustine was hearing Anwar’s corruption trial in 1999 when RPK was the editor of the online Free Anwar Campaign.

Imtiaz starts to detail what RPK had previously written in criticising Augustine.

Nik Hashim interrupts, inquiring how RPK’s writings might bring about bias by Augustine.

Imtiaz points out that a reasonable person could well see that the subject matter of RPK’s criticism would be angry with RPK.

Imtiaz draws attention to RPK’s reference to Augustine as part of a ‘gang of slimeballs’.

Imtiaz draws attention to a recent criticism by RPK of Augustine, where in reference to the impending charges of sodomy against Anwar, that the prosecution could do an ‘Augustine Paul’.

Imtiaz categorically states that RPK has written to categorise Augustine as a judge lacking in integrity.

Nik Hashim comments that the articles that Imtiaz has referred to were not written in contemplation of the appeal under consideration.

Imtiaz alludes to the possible perception of a third party observer that Augustine might, in the might of all that RPK has written of him and all of which Augustine may well be aware of, that Augustine may well want to see RPK sent back to Kamunting.

11.35am : Imtiaz alludes to what appears to be a lower standard set in the Judges Code of Ethics and initmates that there is a need to harmonise the various competing principles enunciated by the various decisions.

11.32am : Test of bias, Imtiaz submits, is an objective one. Does not matter if the judge says I will not biased, how will the risk of bias be viewed, objectively. Imtiaz confirms that the applicable test in our jusrisdiction is the ‘real danger of bias’.

11.27am : Imtiaz is still taking the judges through the authorities from England. He emphasises on the concerns of possible bias arising from relationships and interest that may impinge on the ability to remain impartial.

11.22am : Imtiaz commences his submissions on the recusal application.

Makes reference to the Judges Code of Ethics that was put into place for our judges in 1994.

Submits that it is trite law thta a judge is automatically disqualified where a judge has an interest in the out come of a proceeding. This must not be limitied to a pecuniary interest.

Refers to the decision of the House of Lords in the famous Pinochet case.

11.18am : Nik Hashim announces the unanimous decision of two judges. The two judges are of the view that they have the jurisdiction to hear the recusal application with a quorum of two judges and order the hearing of the same to proceed.

11.07am : Justice Augustine removes himself from the proceedings.

Imtiaz inquires if the remaining two judges may proceed. Reference is being made to the relevant legal provisions.

Imtiaz submits that the legal provision relied upon by the remaining to two judges to continue to hear does not apply.

Senior Federal Counsel called upon to respond.

Senior Federal Counsel takes the view that the provision in question applies and the remaining two judges may continue to hear the recusal application.

Imtiaz responds to Senior Federal Counsel’s submission. Takes the court to the central question whether Augustine’s removal of himself took place before the recusal application was formally called up for hearing. Imtiaz reiterates that the hearing cannot proceed with just two judges and that a sitting of just two judges would be unconstitutional.

11.03am : RPK’s called. Senior Federal Counsel introduces all counsel involved. Justice Augustine Paul from the outset says he will recuse himself from hearing and deciding the recusal application

11.00am : Proceedings resume with the judges posing queries to the Senior Federal Counsel for details of an earlier second application that was dismissed. Justice Nik Hashim delivers a unanimous decision of the court. They are of the view that the grounds raised in this appeal ought to have been raised in an earlier that was dismissed and that for that reason the bringing of the third application was an abuse of process. Appeal dismissed.

10.30am : Mano’s counsel closes his submissions. Court adjourns for a while to consider submissions.

10.27am : Senior Federal Counsel has concluded his submissions and Mano’s counsel commences his reply and summing up

10.15am : Mano’s counsel has concluded his submissions and Senior Federal Counsel representing the Home Minister has commenced his submissions.

9.45am : The three Federal Court judges come out to a packed gallery. Hindraf 5 Manoharan’s appeal is called up. This is the only other case, besides the RPK appeal, that is to be heard this morning.

Altantuya murder trial: Declare a mistrial, lawyer urges High Court

(NST) - The Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial should be declared a mistrial because the prosecution failed to call an important witness, the High Court was told yesterday.

Counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, who is representing Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, submitted that the case should be retried because DSP Musa Safri was not called as a witness.

Musa had introduced Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri to political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, after Razak asked Musa for help in stopping Altantuya, a Mongolian national, from harassing him in October 2006.

Musa was also Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's aide de camp.

Azilah and Sirul, both Special Action Squad (UTK) members , are charged with murdering Altantuya at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 9.54pm on Oct 18 and 9.45pm on Oct 19, 2006.

(Razak, 48, was initially charged with abetting Sirul and Azilah in the murder. He was freed by the High Court on Oct 31 without his defence being called.)

Kamarul said Musa was a material witness who should have been called to the stand to prove the guilt or otherwise of the accused.

"The failure to call Musa is a miscarriage of justice.

"The prosecution may take the position that Musa is not a material witness in proving a prima facie case against Azilah and Sirul, but the defence should have had the right to cross-examine him during the prosecution's case."

Kamarul said Razak filed a bail affidavit during the early stages of the trial claiming Musa had introduced him to Azilah to help patrol his house in Bukit Damansara.

Handphone SMS records also showed there was communication between Musa and Razak.

"This would have been Razak's line of defence if he was called to enter his defence. Hence, it is important that the prosecution should have called him to testify.

"At least, we would have the right to challenge Musa's testimony, if he had said the orders came from someone else," he said, adding that it was not his duty to call Musa to repair the prosecution's case.

Kamarul also contended that direct evidence which the police had found linking Sirul to Altantuya's murder was sufficient to create a reasonable doubt to acquit Sirul.

He said a pair of white bloodstained slippers, which did not belong to Sirul, could have been planted in his jeep as the key was in the possession of a DSP Khairi for three to four days after Altantuya was murdered.

(Sirul was on escort duty in Pakistan at that time).

"Who is this DSP Khairi and why did he want the keys to Sirul's vehicle when he had nothing to do with the case?"

He also found it strange how Sirul's jacket, in which Altantuya's jewellery was found, only had the victim's DNA at the collar and armpit area inside the jacket.

Kamarul urged the court to acquit Sirul, or alternatively, declare a mistrial.

Meanwhile, Azilah's counsel Datuk Hazman Ahmad, argued that the circumstantial evidence of the prosecution was weak.

"They did not have an eye witness to show he had taken Altantuya to the crime scene. His DNA was not found there and there was no evidence to show Azilah had taken out explosives from UTK to commit the crime."

Hazman said there was insufficient evidence to prove the elements of mens rea (a guilty state of mind) or intention on the part of Azilah to kill Altantuya, and therefore he should be freed.

The prosecution will submit before High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin today.

Time To Go Lizzie

Invasion of one privacy no matter by whom is an idiotic act. Violated the rule of engagement during courting and spread the intimate moment to public is ungentlemanly behaviour.

My heart is with Elizabeth Wong, a lady I am proud to call a friend. A lady whom I would welcome to the warmness hospitality by my family anytime at all.

I have only good thing to talk of Lizzie.

If I can stand by ‘Viagra’ Chua during his forced “public demonstration”

of a healthy Health Minister, why cannot I do the same with my fellow lady friend?

Although I did not agree with Viagra Chua forced resignation but the incident have put much dignity to the whole episode. Chua Soi Lek is the man. He had took it with guts. For a moment, he had single-handed put back the much lacking dignity into our national politic.

Nevertheless, Chua’s episode is a totally different story from Lizzie.

As I haven’t seen both, Chua’s performance and Lizzie’s act, nothing much to state about my reaction to their involvement. However, both happen not while being in the company of the person they have taken their vow. While Chua is married, Lizzie is not.

Religiously I do not think their religion condone their action although culturally it may have been acceptable.

While Chua did reached the seventh heaven at some point of his performance, Lizzie meanwhile was deep in ‘Taiwan’ enjoying her sleep. Nevertheless, unless the person who captured the digital photos breaks into the room without Lizzie’s permission, she actually do play some part in taking such risk.

But again, as a wise lady, Lizzie does know the risk well. I shall not speculate about her relationship with the person, but again, having said that, the person has no right at all to violate and then distribute the moment he captures.

While maybe the country is searching high and low for a glimpse of Lizzie’s skin, the political arena is searching for an action.

My personal opinion is Lizzie should go. At least let go of the State Executive Councillor position. The question of morale cannot be let hanging at the entrance of door.

Nevertheless, the most ideal way is for Lizzie to look deep into her and ask the question whether she can continue to perform under current situation. Next will be whether her colleagues will not be affected by the current expose and third, how the situation is taken by her constituents

Lizzie cannot afford to be self-thinking. As a representative, she should base her decision on those who she represents.

As a politician, Lizzie lost her right to decide for her future, her priority now is to decide for the future of her political party, their partners and their supporters.

Yet, Lizzie should not lose herself. She should be the Eli we knew. Nothing change and for that, my family and I would welcome her anytime into our privacy.- Kickdefella

Tearful Wong quits over nude pix


Elizabeth Wong announcing her resignation as both Selangor executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman at a press conference today. – Picture by Choo Choy May

Elizabeth Wong comforting tearful supporters after announcing her resignation today.

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – Selangor executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong broke down in tears as she announced her resignation from both posts today following the circulation of her nude photographs.

“I have received overwhelming support from family and my constituents but in the interest of my party, I have decided to offer my resignation as exco member and State Assemblyman for Bukit Lanjan,” she said while trying to contained her tears.

She said the event of the last two days have shown an insidious and underhanded attempt by certain quarters to smear her reputation.

“My personal life and privacy has been violated.”

However, Wong who was speaking at the PKR Headquarters in Tropicana here said that while the smear campaign was directed towards her, she was aware that the real objective was to discredit her party.

“I wish to state that I am not ashamed of my sexuality as a woman and as a single person. I have broken no law. I stand by the fundamental principle in a democracy that everyone has a right to privacy”

She said PKR stands for “New Politics” that holds justice and human rights as core values which transcends gender, ethnicity and class.

“New politics also means we rise above gutter politics.” she said

Wong said she believed the attacks will continue with greater intensity and did not have any doubt that UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) will continue to manipulate the situation.

Wong said she will arrange a proper handover of her responsibilities to Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim whom she thanked for his unwavering support.

Dozens of her supporters who attended the press conference carried banners, cards and flowers, urging her to reconsider.

Her fellow executive council members Teresa Kok and Xavier Jeyakumar also called on her not to resign during the press conference.

Kok said each council member has had to face this sort of personal attacks and this was Wong’s turn. “This can happen to anyone of us.”

PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah said the move to discredit Wong was politically motivated and called on Malaysians to reject what he described as gutter politics.

He said he hopes the police will bring the culprits to task.

PKR Wanita chief Zuraidah Kamaruddin said the party will not let the matter rest and will pursue the culprits.

Meanwhile party sources told The Malaysian Insider that Wong fate is still being decided by the party leadership, who are considering whether to accept her resignation.

The human rights activist and environmentalist will be the third politician in recent history to quit posts due to such photographs or video. The first was then deputy speaker of parliament D.P. Vijandran in 1989 who quit after pornographic tapes featuring him surfaced. Last year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek resigned on New Year’s Day under similar circumstances.

If her resignation is accepted, it will lead to a by-election in Bukit Lanjan.

The Election Commission has already fixed April 7 for by-elections in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah. The nomination day for both is March 29.

Videos killed the political stars

Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – It all began 20 years ago when a pornographic video tape cut short the promising political career of then MIC secretary-general D.P. Vijandran’s.

The suave lawyer was party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s blue-eyed boy and also Deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker.

But a burglary in the Tapah MP’s house on Aug 8, 1988 opened a Pandora’s Box a year later when DAP strongman Karpal Singh revealed on Dec 11, 1989 that Vijandran was featured in some pornographic videos that were part of the loot.

Only one video was ever confirmed circulating in public, featuring a woman in a yellow-sari with someone who looked like Vijandran, who, amongst others, was singing a song on a sofa set.

Vijandran denied the allegations and was never charged with any offence. Police also destroyed the videos seized from four men who kept the videos. But he later resigned in disgrace.

At the end of 2007, a DVD that was said to feature Health Minister Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek was distributed in Johor, leading the MCA vice-president and Labis MP to finally own up to being the person in the sexually explicit video.

The video – shot with from hidden surveillance cameras – showed him together with a mistress in a hotel room. Chua blamed it on political rivals who wanted to destroy his political career.

The popular Johor leader later resigned from all party and government posts but technically did not resign from his parliamentary seat.

His son won the seat in Election 2008 and Chua later made a political comeback when he won the MCA deputy presidency late last year.

The results of the police investigations have never been announced.

Elizabeth Wong

Last week, e-mail messages containing nude photographs of Selangor exco and Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong were sent to several news organisations.

The PKR Wanita publicity chief complained to the police after a journalist tipped her off.

The photographs show her asleep and partially in the nude and in intimate positions.

Wong, known to her friends as Eli, said they were being distributed to embarrass and discredit her. The New Straits Times newspaper showed one of the photographs in its online edition today.

“I am a victim in this incident,” the human rights and environmental activist said in a statement yesterday, adding she would continue her work as a serving politician.

Police are investigating the case.

But today, Wong quit in tears, adamantly declaring she was not ashamed of her sexuality as a single woman.

She is the third person whose promising political career has ended prematurely due to explicit pictures, moving or otherwise.

RPK prepares for the worst

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 17 – The Federal Court will deliver its verdict today on whether Malaysia’s most well-known and controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin should be detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The court is to decide on a government appeal against the Shah Alam High Court decision last Nov 7 to free the Malaysia Today news portal editor from detention without trial.

“Chances are, I have but 24 hours left as a free man and, if I do not write this article today, I never will,” Raja Petra wrote in his news portal while speculating on the court’s decision.

The blogger popularly known as RPK said he felt his chances were sealed due to a small quorum of three judges and the government’s determination to lock him away.

“Anyway, I know for a fact that it was not Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who ordered my detention. He was not even aware I had been detained. The order came from Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and since I am bent on making sure he never becomes Prime Minister on 1 April 2009, I really do not blame him for wanting to get me out of the way,” he wrote defiantly.

He also disclosed that he had been offered money to shut up but had refused.

“I was given an option. Take the money and become rich or go to jail. I refused the money and instead chose jail. This is my choice and no one can convince me to do otherwise.”

RPK, who also faces criminal defamation charges for linking Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, said he was prepared to go to the Kamunting Detention Centre but vowed not to cooperate with authorities.

“I shall no longer open my mouth or utter one word during my detention. I shall maintain the silence of a mute person. I shall not sign any documents of the so many documents that they make you sign when under detention. My signature is not going to be placed on a single shred of paper,” he declared.

The member of Selangor royalty also vowed to refuse medical treatment, visits, food and water in the detention centre.

“This action will mean I shall survive at the most seven to eight days. By the end of that period I shall be dead. I am prepared for that. They plan to imprison my body for the rest of my life.

“But I shall release my spirit from my body and will again be free. They can keep my body and they can do whatever they want with it. But they will never be able to keep my spirit. I shall separate my spirit from my body and deny them the pleasure of incarcerating me,” Raja Petra wrote.

But, although he was prepared for the worst, he also held out hope that the Federal Court would uphold the decision to free him from ISA.

PM DATUK SERI ABDULLAH GET ROYAL PRAISE AND 'SEND-OFF'

With the opening of the new session of Parliament, our Yang DiPertuan Agong's address had focused upon outgoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is believed to be stepping down from office next month. During the Royal Address, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin took note of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s achievements during his six-year tenure as Prime Minister since November 2003.

“I would like to express my appreciation to Abdullah on his leadership and all his contributions to the country especially on its democracy, accountability, integrity, fight against corruption, the independence of judiciary and also Islam Hadhari,” said our Yang DiPertuan Agong.

It was noted that Datuk Seri Abdullah remained expressionless when the close-circuit television camera focused on him, and even when Barisan Nasional backbenchers thumped their tables loudly to show support.

Tuanku Mizan futher stated that he was confident that the country would be successfully helmed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the current deputy premier, when the transition of power takes place.

Tuanku Mizan further complimented Datuk Seri Abdullah on his success in establishing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Judicial Appointments Commission, saying this is “clear evidence that my government has kept its word to fight against corruption and abuse of power”. “I am convinced these two commissions will increase the confidence of the public and strengthen the nation’s integrity.”

news courtesy of tunku n picture courtesy of Agendadaily

SELANGOR STATE EXCO ELIZABETH WONG'S NUDE PHOTOS MADE PUBLIC

The controversial semi-nude photograph that was circulated

Selangor Executive Councillor Elizabeth Wong, whose nude photographs are being circulated in public, has made a report urging the Police to investigate the matter.

According to the Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman, she lodged the report at the Damansara Police Station in Petaling Jaya at about 11pm last night and believes that the nude photographs were taken using a camera phone without her consent most likely by her former boyfriend while she was asleep.

Wong, 37, who is unmarried, is expected to issue a public statement on the matter today.

It was reveal that copies of the nude photographs were sent to a number of newspapers last week, in what appears to be an orchestrated attempt to smear her image.

The circulation of the photographs comes as the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance is coming under intense pressure from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. After a 'successful' bid in toppling the PR Perak State government recently, the Selangor State government is also said to be under the threat of defections.

news n pictures courtesy of Malaysiakini n Might of the Pen ,while nude photo courtesy of hard-T

Elizabeth Wong Offers To Resign

PETALING JAYA, Feb 17 (Bernama) -- Elizabeth Wong, who has been thrust into controversy following the release of her nude photographs, has offered to resign as Selangor state executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan state assemblyman.

Wong told news a conference today that she would discuss with Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim arrangements for the handover of her responsibilities.

Wong, 37, is the state executive councillor in charge of tourism, consumer affairs and environment.

Polis mahu rekod kenyataan Husam

'Gross invasion of her privacy'

PPSMI: Gapena buat laporan polis

Sujatha Case: 5 Lawyer Volunteered for Mike

The inquest into the death of local actress K. Sujathaa has been fixed for three days begining 16 March.

Magistrate Mohd Fauzi Che Abu who would act as the coroner set the date after Deputy Public Prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent said he would call seven to eight witnesses.

Police initially clasified the case as suicide but requested the inquest after suspecting foul play in her death following several police reports lodged by Kapar member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam.

Some highly paid and leading lawyers appeared on behalf of Family and doctor whom treated Sujatha before her death. Strong doubt merge as whom financing the family legal cost .

Five leading law makers and lawyers such as YB Gobind Singh Deo (MP Puchong, YB M.Manogaran (MP Teluk Intan) , YB RSN Rayer ( Adun Seri Delima, Penang) , Lawyer Surendran dan Lawyer R Palaya had volunteered themselves to assist and appears on behalf of Manikavasagam.

Some common Question public poses to me :

1) Why Sujatha was taken to Klang GH?

2) If Sujatha wasn’t Vel Pari’s Secretary or local Actor what the police could had done?

3) Was Sujatha forced to Swallow Weedkiller?

4) Why No Post Mortem was Done?

5) Why Vel Pari took Sujatha’s Ash with him to India? and lot more…

Hopefully with assistance renders by fellow colleagues and law makers , we could find the truth behind Sujatha’s sudden death.- MPKAPAR

Criticizing Malaysia's Royals

(Asia Sentinel)

The government can criticize the country's sultans. The opposition can't

In a speech before Malaysia's Dewan Rakyat, or parliament, on February 14, 1993, then-Prime Minister asked that the body strip the country's sultans of their immunity to the law. In the speech, he accused them, among other things, of giving away parts of the country to the British, oppressing the people, breaking civil and criminal laws, misusing the money and property of the government and pressuring government officials.

The measure, which included a rule to allow commoners to criticize the Sultans, even the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or king without fear of the Sedition Act other than questioning the legitimacy of the monarchy itself, was passed overwhelmingly by the parliament, apparently without outcry over Dr Mahathir's rather tough treatment of the country's nine monarchs.

Asia Sentinel brings this up in light of the growing controversy in Malaysia over opposition protests against the Sultan of Perak's decision to oust the Pakatan Rakyat chief minister of his state and sanction the appointment of a member of the United Malays National Organisation as the new chief minister despite the fact that a 28-28 tie remained, and that the Pakatan Rakyat had asked for a snap election to determine which coalition should rule the state.

When Karpal Singh, national chairman of the Democratic Action Party, offered to sue Sultan Raja Azlan Shah in the courts to get his decision reversed, scores of UMNO members filed complaints and led rallies against Karpal Singh for insulting the sultan. Members of the press, including Jed Yoong of the Asia Sentinel, have also been cited.

It would appear from Dr Mahathir's 1993 speech that it is perfectly legal to sue members of the royalty. It would also appear that UMNO members, particularly prime ministers, can make allegations against the country's royalty that opposition leaders and members of the press can't. We invite readers to decide for themselves. We reprint Dr Mahathir's historic 1993 speech below in its entirety.

Mr. Speaker Sir,

I request to propose that is a Bill named “An Act to amend the Constitution” to be read for the second time. Speaker Sir, allow me to introduce and comment on the Act that I mentioned above

2. When the country demanded independence, the country's leaders, who received a huge victory and united support in the 1955 General Election, decided that our country would be administered via Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy.

3. This system was chosen because when the Malay states were administered via the feudal system with power vested in the hands of the Rajas, the Malay states were weak and its administration was in chaos. The states could not establish peace and enforce laws. As a negative result, the states were forced to put themselves under the influence of foreign powers like China, Siam and the West. Finally, all the Malay states were conquered by the British and ruled as a British colony via agreements between the Rajas that administered with the British Government.

4. After the Second World War, the Malay Rajas hoped that when the British administered again, their positions as Rajas, under the advice of the British officials, would be reinstated. The Malay states would be ruled by the British although not like Singapore, Penang and Malacca, where the British had full power.

5. For the majority of the Malay people in the Peninsular states, they were ready to accept a rule in which the Malayness of the Malay states was recognized by the British, although the administration was almost completely controlled by the British. Yet, there were opinions among some Malays that the Malay states should be completely freed from British colonial rule.

6. Malays only realized that they might be marginalized and be made beggars in their own states when the Malay Rajas bowed to MacMichael's threats and signed a new agreement with the British to return the Malay states directly to the British to be ruled as British colonies like Singapore, Penang and Malacca.

7. Because the Rajas so easily handed over Singapore, Penang and Pangkor to the colonialists and then the Malay states, the People (“rakyat”) could no longer accept a system that only gives power to the Rajas and the People are not given any role in the country's politics. Also, after World War 2, absolute monarchies decayed throughout the world. Everywhere, absolute monarchies were abolished. Where it was maintained, the powers of the Rajas were limited by the Constitution, or the country's basic law. Hence, when the Federated Malay States demanded for independence, the leaders of the People studied administrative systems while taking into account of the history of the Malay States and other administrative systems.

Read more at: http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1727&Itemid=178&limit=1&limitstart=0

Ku Li: Who has harmed Malay Rulers more than Umno?

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 – His destiny might not lie in leading Umno but Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah might just be the best person to handle and put a budding public and political disenchantment with a section of the Malay royalty in perspective, particularly Ummo’s perceived role of protecting the Malay Rulers.

Writing in his razaleigh.com weblog today, the Kelantan prince said the current Perak imbroglio is not the country’s first constitutional crisis as Umno itself confronted the Malay Rulers in 1993 when it campaigned to remove their immunity through amendments to the Federal Constitution.

“Today’s crisis in Perak is about the legitimacy of the process by which a new state government has been formed in Perak. It’s not about the status of the Rulers,” Tengku Razaleigh said in his latest post titled “1993”.

“In comparison, the constitutional crisis of 1993 arose from an ugly confrontation between Umno and the Rulers over a question that had direct and profound implications on their sovereignty and that of the Yang Dipertuan Agong. For good reason, the Head of State in most countries may not be prosecuted in an ordinary court of law. In 1993, the government campaigned to remove this immunity through amendments to the Constitution.

“I opposed these amendments,” the Gua Musang MP said emphatically.

Alluding to his political rival Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the veteran Umno leader said both the rulers and parliament were railroaded by the government of the day to pass the amendments.

“These are the very same amendments which today make it legal for a Ruler to be prosecuted. Mr Karpal Singh, though I disagree with him, was acting well within rights that an Umno-led government enacted in 1993 when he earlier proposed to sue DYMM the Sultan of Perak,” he added.

Reflecting on the irony, Tengku Razaleigh posed the question, “Umno serve the Rulers more genuinely by upholding and protecting the Constitution which guarantees their status, or by histrionic displays tuned for the coming Umno elections?”, in an apparent reference to candidates in the party elections who have taken to the streets and demanded action against the opposition.

Umno Youth leaders are also organising a rally on Feb 19 in Kuala Lumpur to reaffirm their loyalty to the Malay Rulers while party-owned newspapers have gone to town baying for the blood of those who disputed the Perak Ruler’s decision to change state government.

The former Umno vice-president, who only received one nomination to go for the Umno presidency, said this had a bearing upon the kind of leaders and party that Umno members want.

“Do we want to be led by those who can understand and address the foundational issues facing our society today, and shall we have leaders capable of forging ‘mutual consent by debate and discussion, inquiries and elections’ or shall we again be landed with those whose main talent is to strike poses that people outside a small, insecure circle in Umno, and particularly Malaysia’s internet generation, find ridiculous?

“Was greater harm done to the sovereignty of the Rulers in 1993 through Parliament or a week ago on the streets of Perak?” he asked, alluding to Umno’s umbrage over the protests that marred the swearing-in ceremony for the Barisan Nasional Menteri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir.

He expounded on his point with another question on Umno’s ability to defend the Malay Rulers.

“And is today’s Umno, with its inconsistent adherence to the rule of law, its inconstant respect for the key institutions of our country, a credible or effective defender of the Rulers and of the laws upholding this institution?

“Or do we actually harm what we claim to protect?” he said in ending his post, which also included two videos of his parliament speech in 1993 opposing the amendments when he was Semangat 46 leader after Umno was declared illegal in 1988. He rejoined Umno in 1995.

BN leaders sympathetic to Elizabeth

By Shannon Teoh-The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders today expressed sympathy towards Selangor state executive council member Elizabeth Wong who is embroiled in a nude picture scandal.

Wong had last night lodged a police report after it surfaced that nude photos of her, apparently lifted off a video taken without her knowledge, had been distributed to several news organisations.

This comes despite Pakatan Rakyat (PR) believing that a witchhunt is being perpetrated by Barisan Nasional (BN) in a bid to topple its Selangor government.

On the back of the takeover of the Perak state government, speculation is rife that BN will also make a move to get Selangor assemblymen to cross over.

De facto Parliament Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz appeared to distance BN from any involvement in the circulation of the photos, saying he hoped the Bukit Lanjan assemblyman would “find the strength to endure this and ignore it.”

“This should not happen because she is an elected representative and is doing her job as one. To bring her down through such method is not good,” he said.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai also condemned the circulation of the photos and video, saying that such “pornography” was not part of Malaysian culture.

Disclaiming any knowledge of whether it was politically motivated, he said that the leaking of the material was “not ethical and is an invasion of privacy.”

“However, if the picture is a revelation of her lifestyle, then it is not right for a leader to adopt such a lifestyle,” he added.

Puteri Umno chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad also said that while she has not seen the video, Wong’s privacy should be respected. “People should not do such a thing,” she said but added that elected representatives in the public sphere should be mindful of their conduct because they were now responsible to their constituents.

However, Selangor opposition chief Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo questioned Wong’s morality. “This is about morality, whether the pictures were taken with or without consent is another matter, I cannot accept a lawmaker whose morality is questionable,” Khir told The Malaysian Insider.

Wanita MCA condemns circulation of politician’s nude pix

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — Wanita MCA today crossed the political divide to come in defence of Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong, who has become the latest victim of a nude picture scandal.

MCA Wanita chief Datin Chew Mei Fun took to task the person or persons responsible for circulating nude pictures of her and said the act was an outright invasion of privacy of women as well as an exploitation of women for political use.

“We are outraged by such shameful acts of using women as sexual objects. It is an outright invasion of the privacy of women as well as an exploitation of women for political use,” she said in a statement here in the light Wong’s nude pictures, which are currently being circulated on Internet, allegedly by her spurned lover and some quarters trying to kill her off politically.

Chew said taking photographs of bodily parts without consent or knowledge is against the law and punishable under the Penal Code (Act 574) and publishing such pornographic materials in the public domain also constituted to a violation of the same Act.

“We would like to advise all women to be cautious. We also urge the government to strictly enforce implementation of the Act which provides for punitive measures so that it becomes a real deterrent against such detestable behaviour,” she added. — Bernama

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”

In his royal address at the annual opening of Parliament today, the Yang Pertuan Agong called on Malaysians “from all walks of life, irrespective of political affiliation, to work together for the development of our beloved country”.

The King stressed that “all parties, including political groups should demonstrate wisdom and maturity and not act in any way detrimental to the country’s stability and economic development”.

This royal call should be the national imperative as the one and only preoccupation of Malaysians is how to be more united, resolute and competitive so that Malaysia can tide over the world’s worst global economic crisis in 80 years, with many predicting a looming recession for the country.

But the King’s advice has fallen on deaf ears.

For the past fortnight, the illegal and unconstitutional grab for power in Perak orchestrated by the Prime Minister-in-waiting, Najib Razak, displaced the economic crisis as the No. 1 national concern.

And today, even the Perak political crisis has been edged off the national centre-stage – not by the Royal Address but by the scandal of the victimisation of Selangor PKR executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan State Assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong.

Shakespeare’s words, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, cannot be more apt to describe Malaysia.- Lim Kit Siang

Privacy and Our Political Culture

By Farish A. Noor

Politics, we must remember, is something that takes place in the public domain. And it is in that public domain that politicians are judged for their actions, good and bad, right and wrong. The worth of a politician and his/her standing depends entirely on his/her conduct in the execution of the responsibilities that have been entrusted upon them by the public who voted them into office. And if they fail in the execution of those duties, then we the public have every justifiable right to demand an explanation from them. In the final analysis, it is we the public who determine the fate of the politicians we elect to represent us, and never vice-versa.

Politics, however, has its limits and the frontier of the political ends where the private domain begins. Politicians are human beings and it would be the mistake of the public to assume and expect our politicians to behave in a manner that is extraordinary by public standards. For that simple reason the public also has no right to expect politicians to be and remain politicians every hour, every day and every year of their lives; for politicians too have every right to be human and to have the privacy that we expect for ourselves. In the same way that we hope and wish that our elected representatives will defend the privacy of our lives, so should we extend that very same right to them, for they too are ultimately citizens like the rest of us.

It is therefore sad, to say the least, that the level of Malaysian politics and political culture has descended to a new low with the latest revelation of yet another sex scandal that involves a democratically elected state assemblywoman serving in the state government of Selangor, Ms Elizabeth Wong. This comes not too long after another sordid scandal involving another politician – Chua Soi Lek – who was likewise scandalised by revelations of his private life being made public. In both cases one can only assume that the motivation behind this intrusion into the private domain was political in nature.

Much has already been written about the two cases and the facts remain unclear over what actually happened in the case of the unfortunate Ms Wong, so I will not dwell upon that here.

My contention however is this: When will we Malaysians come to understand and accept the fact that living in a modern plural constitutional democracy means having to respect the private space and private lives of all citizens, be they politicians or shopkeepers? Political motivations aside, the core of the matter is that another Malaysian citizen has had her private space intruded into and has been personally violated in the most abusive and despicable manner. This is something that no-one should relish, not even for the worst of our enemies. When it happens to a politician whose commitment to democracy and human rights is well known to all, then our sense of moral outrage should be all the greater.

Let us remind ourselves of the simple fact that the private lives of the victims in question have been without any taint whatsoever. Ms Wong is an adult woman who is capable of making decisions and choices of her own, and like any of us she is entitled to live her private life in the manner she sees fit. No crime has been committed, no public funds embezzled, no state secrets revealed and no Mongolian models blown to bits. The pathetic demonstration of moral outrage on the part of some conservative quarters should therefore be exposed for what it is: an instance of gross hypocrisy and double-standards at their most vile.

In the wake of the elections of March 2008, Malaysian society has demonstrated our desire for change, and for a new politics that befits and mirrors the new Malaysia we live in. This was the clearest call ever for a new political culture where feudalism, corruption, nepotism, hypocrisy and double standards are done away with once and for all. We are sick and tired of the vacuous moral claims of those who speak of morality and religion on the one hand, while robbing the state and eroding our fundamental human rights at the same time.

Defending the private lives and private spaces of our politicians is therefore part and parcel of the process to regain and defend the private domain of all Malaysians, where we may live, love, pray, hope and strive for the betterment of ourselves and the fulfilment of our destinies in peace. It is that fundamental right that entitles us to be what we are. No human being should be denied that privacy for the loss of that privacy entails the loss of something greater: the loss of the right simply to be what we are. The entire democratic process and democratic endeavour rests on that.

For now however, it is our moral obligation to rally in support for a fellow Malaysian whose right to privacy has been violated. Let us not be indecisive here, for we clearly know who has been the victim. For those whose lives have been violated thus, one can only imagine the personal anguish they must be going through.

History books tell us that when King Charles the First faced his penultimate judgement, he was robbed of all his rights and dignity. King Charles was known to be a man who stuttered and faltered whenever he spoke; but at that defining moment of his life when his very existence was at stake, he delivered what was said to be the most eloquent speeches he ever gave; which til today ranks as one of the most beautiful and elegant pieces of prose in the English language.

Each and every one of us will sooner or later face such a defining moment in our lives, when our mettle will be tested and when we will finally realise who and what we are and what resources we possess. Perhaps this is the defining moment for Ms Wong. We hope that she will meet this challenge with the dignity that she possesses, and emerge stronger. So chin up, Elizabeth; and keep a smile on your face. Don’t let the detractors get you down. The struggle for a better Malaysia has just begun, and there is still a long road ahead.

IPF youth chief seeks judicial review of ROS decisions

NST, Feb 16 2009

The head of the youth wing of the All-Malaysia Indian Progressive Front (IPF) has filed for a judicial review of the decisions of the Registrar of Societies (ROS) on the political party, which among others declared that the election of Puan Sri Jayashree Pandithan as IPF president on Dec 14 2008 was not in order.

R Suraienthiran filed the application at the Registrar’s office of the High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) here on Friday through the law firm of S.Selvam & Partners. A copy of the application was made available to the media today.


In the application, Suraienthiran, who acted as the plaintiff and named the ROS as the respondent, wanted the court to declare the decisions taken on the party made by Datuk Md Alias Kalil of the ROS as null and void on the grounds that they were ultra vires Section 18B of the Societies Act 1966.

He is also seeking a declaration for the letter conveying the ROS’ decisions to the IPF dated Jan 30 to be unlawful and violating Article 10(1)© of the Federal Constitution.

Suraienthiran is also seeking an injunction to get the ROS to suspend the decisions it took on the IPF until the case is disposed as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.
Among the contents of the letter, which was included in the supporting affidavit, was that the election of Jayashree as IPF president was not done according to the party’s constitution and violated the Societies Act 1966.

The letter also declared that the suspension of IPF deputy president V Senggutuan and vice president M Mathiyalagan and a show cause notice issued to 12 members of the party’s supreme council was not in accordance with the party’s constitution while the IPF’s general assembly held on Dec 14 2008 also was not lawfully conducted.

The letter further instructed for all those suspended to be reinstated and if not, the IPF was liable to face action under Section 13 of the Societies Act.

The section empowers the ROS to suspend or deregister the IPF as a registered society.

Suraienthiran in his supporting affidavit for the judicial review also claimed that his election as the youth chief during the assembly on Dec 14 was legitimate.

He added that the decision by the ROS in declaring the assembly as unlawful had denied his right to be the wing’s youth chief.

At the assembly, Jayashree won the president’s post uncontested while K Murugiah was elected deputy president and M. Sambanthan, S. Visvanathan and K Naducheralathan as vice presidents. The party also picked K Velayuthan as the secretary-general and M Thirumugam as the treasurer.

On Dec 26 last year, Mathiyalagan failed in his bid to prevent Jayashree from becoming the president of IPF after the High Court here determined that it had no powers to grant a temporary injunction to the effect as sought by Mathiyalagan.

Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who heard the case, said Section 18C of the Societies Act clearly spelt out that the courts had no powers to decide on suits, applications or proceedings of any kind on decisions made by political parties.

Press Release: Bar Council Task Force releases report on Bukit Antarabangsa

Image The Bar Council is deeply concerned with the recent announcement by Works Minister Dato’ Sri Ir. Mohd Zin Mohamed that there will not be a blanket ban on hillside developments. It is particularly alarming that this statement has been issued at a time when the many controversies surrounding hillside development still remain unresolved, without proper explanation by the authorities. It is also understood that the Federal Government’s Commission Investigation Report into the cause of the landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa, which has been completed, has yet to be made public.

The Bar Council released its Report of the Task Force on Bukit Antarabangsa today. The Report identifies the key likely contributory causes of landslide tragedies, including:

• The lack of competent expertise in design, construction, site supervision and maintenance and communication during the construction process; and

• The lack of strict compliance by state and local authorities, in giving approvals for hillside development, with the relevant regulations, guidelines, planning procedures and safety requirements.

The Bar Council calls for immediate and urgent measures to protect, as a matter of priority, people’s rights to sustainable development and environmental protection. These include:

1. The immediate setting-up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy;

2. The immediate discontinuation of all on-going hillside development projects that do not meet the minimum requirements of safety and/or have not complied with the applicable laws, regulations and guidelines. As a precautionary measure, all hillside development on gradients exceeding 25 degrees should be banned until proper laws are passed;

3. The immediate safety review of all existing hillside development; and

4. The immediate review of the legal framework and existing legislation on hillside development.

It is hoped that together we will learn from the bitter lessons of these tragedies and not allow them to swiftly fade into the past. The Bar Council urges the authorities to be mindful of the many lives and homes lost and the harrowing memories carried by the loved ones left behind. We must act now if we are determined to ensure that mistakes are not repeated.

I am pleased to attach here a copy of the Report of the Task Force.


Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
President
Malaysian Bar
Dated 16 February 2009

Gambar bogel Exco Kerajaan Negeri PKR...

Menggemparkan...kini tersebar luas gambar bogel Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) PKR kawasan Bukit Lanjan Elizabeth Wong. Walaupun pada awalnya, timbul tanda tanya mengenai kesahihan gambar tersebut, namun Eleizabeth hari Isnin tampil mengaku gambar bogel yang tersebar itu adalah gambarnya. Beliau yang pernah menjadi jadi pembantu khas kepada Presiden PKR Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail akan membuat laporan polis ekoran penyebaran gambar berkenaan. Elizabeth ( gambar di atas yang menunjukkan beliau sedang bersandar ke badan Menteri Besar Selangor ) kini berhadapan dengan desakan agar beliau meletak jawatan kerana moralnya dipertikaikan - Sementara itu, Naib Presiden PKR Azmin Ali berkata, pihaknya tidak akan berkompromi dalam isu gambar bogel Elizabeth Wong. "Pendirian kita dalam pakatan adalah jelas, kita tidak akan berkompromi dalam soal moral," ujar beliau. Katanya, PKR akan mendapatkan keterangan Exco itu serta laporan polis sebelum memutuskan tindakan lanjut. Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim pula berkata isu itu akn dibinca-ng dalam mesyuarat Exco Negeri, Rabu ini - 10.35 pagi

-Agendadaily

TINGKAT EMPAT



1. Terdapat kegelisahan di Tingkat Empat. Selama lima tahun lebih, Tingkat Empat kadang-kadang lebih berkuasa daripada Kabinet atau Majlis Tertinggi UMNO. Mereka dapat tentukan dasar dan tindakan Kerajaan. Menteri-menteri kerap meminta pertolongan mereka dan pegawai tinggi Kerajaan merujuk kepada mereka sebelum membuat keputusan. Kontraktor melobi dengan mereka untuk mendapat kontrak dan pelabur juga mengguna khidmat mereka untuk mendapat kelulusan.

2. Dalam semua ini terdapat banyak peluang untuk memperkayakan diri.

3. Sesungguhnya tidak ada yang lebih memuaskan nafsu daripada kuasa tanpa tanggungjawab.

4. Malangnya, jika benarlah Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi letak jawatan pada bulan Mac maka segala-gala kuasa ini akan hilang. Ini adalah satu malapetaka bagi Tingkat Empat. Apakah nasib mereka selepas Mac? Apakah mereka akan berdiam diri dan membenar malapetaka ini timpa mereka dengan begitu sahaja? Tidak adakah sesuatu yang boleh dilakukan oleh mereka untuk menangkis musibah ini?

5. Seperti biasa, terdapat banyak berita angin akan perancangan mereka. Jika boleh, mereka akan halang peralihan kuasa, sekurang-kurangnya buat sekian lama.

6. Kata berita angin mereka sedang menasihat Dato Seri Abdullah supaya tidak letak jawatan apabila sahaja Dato Seri Najib Razak jadi Presiden parti. Kata mereka tidak semestinya Presiden parti jadi Perdana Menteri. Ini bukan syarat dalam perlembagaan negara. Ia hanya amalan parti tanpa peruntukan tertulis. Yang menentu segala-galanya ialah Perdana Menteri. Jikalau Perdana Menteri tidak letak jawatan itu haknya, sepertimana memilih menteri atau timbalan perdana menteri adalah haknya. Biasa terjadi yang dipilih menjadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri bukan Timbalan Presiden UMNO.

7. Apakah Najib akan memberontak? Tidak. Jika ia ternampak akan memberontak ada cara untuk melawannya. Jika dapat dicetuskan keadaan tertentu, seperti rusuhan atau huru-hara, ini boleh dijadikan alasan untuk Dato Seri Abdullah tidak letak jawatan. Ramai ahli UMNO dan ahli Majlis Tertinggi pasti akan sokong Dato Seri Abdullah. Mereka semua terhutang bukan sahaja budi kepadanya.

8. Mungkin ada antara ahli UMNO yang menentang kuat dan bercadang untuk mengadakan undi tidak percaya dalam parti atau dalam Parlimen. UMNO boleh ditangani melalui cara biasa. Jika terpaksa hilang berjuta pun tak mengapa kerana kuasa Tingkat Empat boleh menampung dengan punca-punca yang sudah ada. Apa gunanya wang jika kuasa untuk mendapatnya sudah hilang?

9. Jika ahli Parlimen pula bercadang untuk mengadakan undi tidak percaya dalam Parlimen, ini tidak mungkin berjaya. Sebahagian daripada ahli Parlimen BN mungkin tidak akan sokong tindakan ini. Ahli parti lawan memang hendak Dato Seri Abdullah terus jadi Perdana Menteri. Mereka telah pun menyatakan sokongan mereka. Hadi Awang, Karpal Singh dan Anwar Ibrahim telah menyatakannya secara terbuka.

10. Dengan sokongan ahli parti lawan kepada Dato Seri Abdullah, sukar bagi BN mendapat cukup bilangan untuk meluluskan undi tidak percaya.

11. Jika undi tidak percaya dalam Parlimen tidak berjaya, Abdullah akan jadi PM yang amat lemah, kerana memerlukan sokongan parti lawan untuk meluluskan sebarang undang-undang yang dibawa ke dewan rakyat.

12. Kita sudah lihat bagaimana kelemahan Kerajaan pimpinan Abdullah telah memberanikan semua pihak untuk membangkitkan berbagai kontroversi yang mengugat kestabilan Negara. Keadaan Negara akan hampir kepada tahap tidak ada Kerajaan dan tidak ada undang-undang apabila Kerajaan Abdullah menjadi lebih lemah.

13. Di masa yang sama Negara akan hadapi krisis kewangan dan ekonomi yang lebih teruk dari 1997-1998. Pentadbiran yang lemah tidak mungkin tangani kemerosotan ekonomi yang jauh lebih teruk dari 1997-98. Rakyat akan menderita kerana peningkatan pengangguran dan bankrap. Jenayah akan bertambah dan keselamatan negara akan tergugat.

14. Bagi Tingkat Empat huru-hara dalam Negara tidak mengapa asalkan mereka dapat kekal sebagai kuasa dibelakang Perdana Menteri.

15. Mungkin cerita-cerita berkenaan usaha Tingkat Empat untuk mengekalkan Abdullah sebagai Perdana Menteri selepas Najib jadi Presiden UMNO hanya rekaan orang-orang tertentu, wallahuwaalam. Demikian jugalah dengan Labu. Si-Luncai pun terjun dengan segala-galanya.

Respect The Federal Constitution, Says Tuanku Mizan

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin today reminded the people to respect the federal constitution and expressed the hope that there will be no attempts to create laws that contravene it.

He said the history of the country's independence and the federal constitution must be explained to the young so that they would have a better understanding of the basis for the formation of the country.

"The young generation is the country's back-up and hope for the future. The principles of the Rukun Negara must be understood and appreciated by all strata of the society," he said when opening the Dewan Rakyat sitting here.

Tuanku Mizan expressed regret that despite the country having gained independence for 51 years, certain parties were still raising narrow racial issues for public debate.

"I want to stress that my government will not hesitate to take action against anyone who tries to disunite the people, to ensure that racial harmony and peace in the country are maintained," he said to applause from the members of Parliament.

Tuanku Mizan said that the rights of every citizen, which were enshrined in the federal constitution, would always be preserved and respected.

"As such, I appeal to all the people to jointly enhance unity for national stability and prosperity. The racial and cultural diversity should be deployed to become our national strength,"

He also reminded all parties to respect and not question the status of Islam as the federal religion as provided for in the federal constitution.

On the false news and defamation being spread through blogs to the extent of confusing the people, he wanted the people to be wise in assessing such information.

"We should learn from history where empires and civilisations have collapsed as a result of defamation, hatred and disunity among their peoples."

He also wanted media practitioners, including bloggers, to be more ethical and responsible and not to abuse the freedom given them, to preserve harmony in the society.

His Majesty welcomed the formation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) saying that it showed the government's sincerity and determination to keep its promise to fight corruption, abuse and irregularities.

"To ensure efficient and effective implementation of efforts to fight corruption the MACC must comprise professional, skilled and highly capable officers who are trained in various fields," he added.

He said that to attract such officers, the MACC would offer a better service scheme and emoluments to recognise these officers for their important role and contribution in enhancing integrity and curbing crimes of corruption in the country.

He believed that the setting up of the MACC and the Judges Appointment Commission (JAC) would further enhance the people's confidence in the institutions as well as raise the country's dignity at the international level.

Stressing the importance of early education, he urged parents, non-governmental organisations and corporate bodies to play a role in helping the educationists to produce outstanding human capital right up to the international level.

"Efforts to extend preschool education will continue to be made to ensure that education is obtained at an early age. Besides that, the preschool and primary school curricula will be trans formed to make them more relevant to current and future needs," he said.

Tuanku Mizan also praised the government for its prompt action in holding a special parliamentary session to condemn Israel's aggressions on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Jan 12.

"My government is always ready for interaction so that the small countries especially are not oppressed or pressured on the excuse of side-lining international law and basic human rights.

"I'm proud of the Malaysian government for initiating a resolution for a special sitting of the United Nations to discuss the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip," he added.

He said the sending of medical and monetary aid by Malaysians of various races and religions further highlighted that the country cared for universal peace and security in general and the plight of the Palestinians in particular.

He expressed his appreciation to members of the Dewan Negara, Dewan Rakyat, civil service and police as well as the people for jointly contributing to the development, prosperity and security of the country.

"All parties must continue to step up efforts in support for the government to tackle the challenges, especially the challenges of the global economic slowdown. This is because without the united support of the people, all these efforts will not succeed," he said.

1993 - Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

This is not the first constitutional crisis in which the rights of the Rulers has been touched upon. Today’s crisis in Perak is about the legitimacy of the process by which a new state government has been formed in Perak. It’s not about the status of the Rulers. In comparison, the constitutional crisis of 1993 arose from an ugly confrontation between Umno and the Rulers over a question that had direct and profound implications on their sovereignty and that of the Yang Dipertuan Agong. For good reason, the Head of State in most countries may not be prosecuted in an ordinary court of law. In 1993, the government campaigned to remove this immunity through amendments to the Constitution.

I opposed these amendments.

In the event, Rulers and Parliament were railroaded by the government of the day and the amendments passed. These are the very same amendments which today make it legal for a Ruler to be prosecuted. Mr Karpal Singh, though I disagree with him, was acting well within rights that an Umno-led government enacted in 1993 when he earlier proposed to sue DYMM the Sultan of Perak.

Let’s reflect on this irony. Does Umno serve the Rulers more genuinely by upholding and protecting the Constitution which guarantees their status, or by histrionic displays tuned for the coming Umno elections?

This bears upon the question of the kind of leaders, and the kind of party, we want. Do we want to be led by those who can understand and address the foundational issues facing our society today, and shall we have leaders capable of forging “mutual consent by debate and discussion, inquiries and elections” or shall we again be landed with those whose main talent is to strike poses that people outside a small, insecure circle in Umno, and particularly Malaysia’s internet generation, find ridiculous?

Was greater harm done to the sovereignty of the Rulers in 1993 through Parliament or a week ago on the streets of Perak?

And is today’s Umno, with its inconsistent adherence to the rule of law, its inconstant respect for the key institutions of our country, a credible or effective defender of the Rulers and of the laws upholding this institution?

Or do we actually harm what we claim to protect?

Below is a video recording in two parts of the speech I made in Parliament in 1993 opposing the amendments to the Constitution.

I stand by my argument.

Part 1



Part 2