Thursday, February 19, 2009
Late last night, a group of us met up and, very quickly, the conversation turned to RPK’s ‘Probably my last message’ post.
The discussion became very heated.
At the heart of all that was said was an earnest concern for a man who has come to mean so much to so many of us.
A man who has thus far displayed such tenacity in pushing for change, in pressing for greater transparency and accountability in governance, and tirelessly working to free so many from the mental bondage inflicted by a media so long subservient to their corrupt, political masters.
Yet, we feared that it was this same tenacity that would leave our friend dead in less than two weeks.
A suggestion was made to mobilise a huge turnout for the hearing in the Federal Court next Monday of the Home Minister’s appeal against the order of the Shah Alam High Court that set RPK free last November.
Even as the merits of this suggestion was being deliberated, the task of speaking to and persuading RPK that that which he now contemplated and had made known through his last post could not serve the best interests of the people that he had surely come to love, was thrust upon me.
Back at my hotel room and alone, I revisited RPK’s post. As I read each of the almost 300 comments, I could not help recall my thoughts that I had shared with you last September in my ‘Have we misrepresented ourselves to RPK?’ post.
I had breakfast with RPK this morning.
For a change, I did most of the talking whilst RPK did most of the listening.
I presented to him what I thought were viable options to that which he vowed to do.
He said that he would give due consideration to all that I had said.
Frankly, I felt that this concession that he offered was with a view only to bring the discussion to a close, and I told him so.
I told him that I had one more thing to say before we parted. In his post, he asked that we all continue the struggle to make this country a better place. I told him that the many who worked with him to this end, myself included, were not as yet prepared to continue the struggle without his leadership. I said that if indeed he lost the case next Monday and was packed off again to Kamunting, and it became obvious to us on the outside that he was carrying through with that which he said he would do, I wanted him to know that, with a view to persuading the authorities to end his detention or him to end his vow to ‘fast to the end’, a number of us would join him on the outside in a ‘fast to the end’.
RPK eyeballed me, for almost a half minute, as if trying to suss out if I were bluffing, then asked, “How many?”.
“For now, just a handful”, I replied.
“You?”, he asked.
It was my turn to smile.
We embraced and parted.
For the unfamiliar, the title of this post was taken from the Gospel according to John, Chapter 15 verse 13.
ZULKIFLI BIN NOORDIN
AHLI PARLIMEN KULIM BANDAR BHARU
Pejabat Wakil Rakyat, Ahli Parlimen Kulim Bandar Bharu, Tingkat 7, Wisma Yakin, Jalan Masjid India, 50100 K.Lumpur
Rakyat Kulim khususnya merasa terkejut apabila Enam (6) orang pemuda India telah terbunuh akibat tembakan pihak keselamatan polis malam semalam dalam satu kejadia di pekan Karangan dibawah Parlimen Kulim Bandar Bharu. Pihak polis mendakwa mereka adalah disyaki penjenayah dan telah menembak kearah pasukan polis apabila diminta menyerah diri. Dua (2) pucuk pistol dikatakan dijumpai bersama mereka.
Mereka yang ditembak mati tersebut adalah Elanggo a/l Rajoo, Santhana, Dhilip Kumar, Pannirselvam, Vadivelu dan Chandran. Masyarakat Karangan mengenali Elanggo sebagai peniaga barangan komputer disebuah premis di pekan kecil tersebut. Yang lain-lain adalah pekerja beliau, rakan-rakan serta kenalan beliau.
Mengenali mangsa-mangsa tersebut, kini sudah timbul keresahan dikalangan rakyat Kulim tentang mengapa dan bagaimana penama-penama tersebut ditembak mati. Mereka bertanya samada ujud unsur-unsur kelalaian atau penganiayaan terhadap mereka.
Demi keadilan bagi rakyat, dan untuk merungkai sebarang salah faham dan fitnah, saya sebagai Ahli Parlimen Kulim Bandar Bharu mendesak agar suatu siasatan bebas dijalankan untuk memperjelaskan kedudukan sebenar kejadian tersebut. Saya berpendapat adalah wajar suatu inquiry dilaksanakan untuk mencari kebenaran dan keadilan bagi semua pihak.
Rabu: 21 Safar 1430 / 18 Februari 2009
Zulkifli Bin Noordin
Kenyataan Media oleh
Negara dikejutkan dengan satu lagi kes pembunuhan 6 suspek lelaki india secara kejam oleh pihak polis di sebuah premis perniagaan yang terletak di Karangan, Kulim, Kedah.
By Lee Wei Lian
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says he will expose how threats and inducements are used against Pakatan Rakyat state assemblymen and members of parliament in his speech in parliament tomorrow.
“I am going to show proof of blackmail in my parliament speech tomorrow,” the federal representative for Permatang Pauh told reporters today.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders have been under ferocious pressure with talk of defections rife ever since three Perak state representatives switched their support from the fledging coalition earlier this month giving BN a lead in the state assembly and causing the ouster of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaludin.
It is speculated that the proof that Anwar plans to present tomorrow will be related to the resignation of PKR’s Bukit Selambau state assemblyman V Arumugam on February 8. The resignation was allegedly due to pressure exerted by BN on Arumugam to defect.
Arumugam had lodged a police report on various threats he received but claims no police action was taken.
Apart from Kedah, BN is also rumoured to be on the prowl in Selangor where a PKR led Pakatan government holds an eight seat advantage over BN.
Last week, PKR’s Port Klang assemblyman Badrul Hashim Abdullah had to deny allegations that khalwat charges are being used against him in order to force a defection to BN.
Most recently, naked photographs of PKR’s Bukit Lanjan state representative Elizabeth Wong have been leaked to the media and Pakatan Rakyat has been quick to label the photos as BN’s attempt at gutter politics aimed at discrediting the Selangor state government with which Wong was a state executive councillor.
In a possibly related incident, a man named Ramlan Haji Abu Bakar who claims to be president of Gerakan Reformasi Rakyat Malaysia (Reformis) met with reporters in Parliament today and told them that he was issuing PKR vice president Azmin Ali with an ultimatum to meet him within five days or he would expose what he claims would be damaging secrets of the Selangor government.
In response, Azmin told reporters that he had been away performing his umrah in Mecca and then preoccupied with the political crisis in Perak which was the reason why he was not able to get in touch with the president of Reformis.
Azmin also told reporters that he installed a CCTV system in his house two days ago due to security concerns as his house was broken into four times within a year and both brake hoses in his car were recently cut. “When my house was broken into, it was not an ordinary burglary,” he says. “They wanted to put something into the house.”
On a separate topic, Azmin said that PKR would continue to defend embattled state representative Wong, and that all PKR members of parliament and state representatives would be meeting tonight to discuss the issue.
By Debra Chong-The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — The Perak Speaker acted within his powers when he barred Menteri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir and six executive councillors from the next sitting of the state legislature, in the latest move arising from the constitutional crisis in Perak, said a law expert today.
Abdul Aziz Bari, a law professor at the International Islamic University here, told The Malaysian Insider that the Speaker’s authority covers a very wide area in matters involving the assembly’s regulations.
“That includes the finality on the interpretation of provisions in the Standing Orders, the rules which govern the House,” he said.
Veteran lawyer, Karpal Singh, concurred.
Karpal, who is also the DAP chairman, said that while V Sivakumar is a first-term Speaker, he is absolutely within his rights to act as he did today.
Earlier today, Sivakumar announced that Zambry would not be allowed to take part in the state assembly’s proceedings for the next 18 months, following a probe by the state assembly’s Special Privileges Committee.
Sivakumar added that six other BN state lawmakers would also not be allowed in for the next 12 months.
The committee had acted following complaints that the seven state assemblymen were appointed unconstitutionally.
Abdul Aziz observed that at the federal level, the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat has previously made some “absurd and illogical decisions — rejecting motions and suspending members, among others”.
“Now it is the turn of the BN to taste that,” he noted.
Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin maintains he is still the lawful menteri besar of Perak as he has neither resigned from his post nor has he been voted out by the majority of assemblymen in the state legislative assembly.
His civil suit against Zambry, filed last Friday challenging the Pangkor assemblyman for usurping his authority, was heard this morning at the High Court here.
Abdul Aziz said that Nizar has a right to stake his claim in court as it is based on the “dubious position of Zambry’s government”.
He added that the state government “owes its position” to the majority in the legislative assembly.
“This is the problem as we are not sure whether Zambry’s got that,” the professor said.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — Perak state legislative assembly Speaker V Sivakumar did not follow procedures in suspending Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and six state executive councillors (excos) from the assembly’s sittings, said former Dewan Rakyat secretary Datuk Abdullah Abdul Wahab.
He said the decision to suspend them by the assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee, which is part of the legislative process, must get the approval of the members of the assembly.
“The committee can only make recommendations. It is up to the assembly members to approve or reject the recommendations,” he told Bernama here today.
He said only if the assemblymen approved the recommendations, such suspensions could be meted out.
Abdullah said this in commenting on a statement by V Sivakumar today announcing the suspension of Zambry from attending Perak State Assembly sittings for 18 months.
The six excos — Datuk Ramly Zahari (Manong), Datuk Saarani Mohamad (Kota Tampan), Hamidah Osman (Sungai Rapat), Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin (Sungai Manik), Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid (Kamunting) and Dr Mah Hang Soon (Chenderiang) — were suspended for 12 months.
The suspensions were with immediate effect.
The committee took the action after receiving a complaints from Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh of the DAP, who alleged that their swearing-in as Menteri Besar and excos was in contravention of the state Constitution as Perak’s 10th Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, had yet to officially resign, Sivakumar had said in a four-paragraph press statement released in Ipoh earlier today.
According to Abdullah, the Dewan Rakyat once took a similar action in suspending Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) as a Member of Parliament, and it was done as per the Standing Orders.
On Dec 11 2001, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who was then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had moved a motion to have her suspended for six months for issuing a press statement that insulted Parliament and the Speaker Tun Dr Mohamed Zahir Ismail.
The decision to suspend Fong was put to a vote where 83 members supported it while 28 were against, and it was not done outside the assembly without the approval of its members, he said.
A senior legal practitioner in Ipoh, who did not want to be named, said the action taken by Sivakumar was “a clear violation of the Standing Orders of the State Legislative Assembly of Perak”.
He said under Rule 71 (2) of the orders, when the assembly is not in session, a member can inform the Speaker if there had been violations of the rights and privileges.
The Speaker, if he is satisfied with the complaint, can refer it to the Rights and Privileges Committee and the committee must report it to the assembly, he said.
He said the action was also “against the principles of natural justice” since the seven are the people’s elected representatives, and thus the decision would prevent them from carrying their responsibilities.
“More serious, Zambry and the six Excos are appointed by the Sultan of Perak and this action violates Article 12 of the Laws of the Constitution of Perak on the appointment of Menteri Besar and Article 16 on the appointment of Excos,” he said.
It also prevented the seven who have been appointed legally by the Sultan of Perak from carrying out their task in managing and developing the state, which is badly needed in facing the current economic uncertainties.
“Furthermore, were the seven issued summonses which detailed their wrong doings and allowed to defend themselves?” he asked.
Meanwhile, constitutional law lecturer Prof Dr Aziz Bari said that Sivakumar being the Speaker had the power to do so (mete out the suspensions).
“The Speaker is the master of the house...basically,” he said.
He said in the past, there had been cases of suspensions of state assembly persons by state assembly Speakers and Members of Parliament (MPs) by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.
“The power of the Speaker is same,” he said, adding that throughout the Commonwealth, when it came to the power of the Speaker, it was the same.
“So, I don’t see how this problem (Perak) can be solved without having an election,” he added. — Bernama
IPOH, Feb 18 — Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said he and the six executive council members will take “follow-up” actions following their suspensions by the state legislative assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee.
He declined to say what the actions would be but said that the suspensions were made “in total disregard to the power of the Sultan of Perak to appoint the Menteri Besar and the executive council.”
The committee also barred Zambry and his executive council from attending the state legislative assembly for 18 months and 12 months respectively, effective today.
All of them were summoned to appear before the Rights and Privileges Committee following complaints by DAP assemblyman for Canning, Wong Kah Woh, who claimed that their appointment to their respective posts contravened the state constitution, and in contempt of the assembly because the 10th Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had not officially resigned.
Speaker V. Sivakumar who announced the suspension, said Zambry and his executive council failed to offer any explanation pertaining to their actions.
When contacted by Bernama tonight, Zambry said, Sivakumar’s statement was “a serious lie”.
“His claim that we have failed to offer any explanation is a lie of the most serious nature ever committed by a speaker,” he said, adding that the speaker should have raised the matter during a state legislative assembly sitting and not acted “according to his whims and fancies”.
Zambry added that he and the executive councillors had stated their positions and raised preliminary objections to the charges brought against them.
He also said that their suspensions would also be subjudice as there was still a suit pending in the High Court challenging his appointment as the menteri besar. — Bernama
SUNGAI PETANI, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- Police shot dead six criminals and detained four women in a shoot-out at a house in Kampung Kemunting, Karangan, in Kulim yesterday.
"When the policemen barged into the house and introduced themselves, six men between the age of 20 and 50, fired several shots at them, and in defence, the police fired back and the shots hit the six suspects," he told reporters here today.
He said four women, aged between 21 and 28, who were in the house were detained to assist police investigations.
Syed Ismail said all the suspects killed in the incident were believed to be involved in armed-robbery cases reported in Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor, adding that the group's last heist was in Sitiawan, Perak.
POLICE-SHOOT 2 (LAST) SUNGAI PETANI
The house served as a place for them to smelt the gold loot obtained from their robberies, he added.
He said the identities of the suspects would be revealed after police had notified their families.
However, he said, three of them were from Kulim, one from Selama in Perak, the other had an address in Johor, while another had no personal documents on him.
On the women who were detained, Syed Ismail said they were from Penang and Bandar Baru in Kedah, adding that police were investigating their relations with the six suspects.
He said police searched the house, which was recently built, and found two pistols -- a Smith & Wesson 9mm with seven rounds of ammunition and a .38 revolver with five rounds of ammunition.
Police also seized three luxury cars -- a BMW, a Proton Perdana and a Cherokee four-wheel-drive vehicle -- and several equipments used for gold smelting, he added.
Police Action Not Based On Race - Mohd Bakri
ALOR SETAR, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- Bukit Aman CID chief Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin said police have the right to defend itself and quashed rumours that it acted based on skin colour.
He said in crime prevention, police laways acted based on information, the law, professionally, with patience and without racial prejudice.
"Police action in Kedah last night met all the criteria needed," he said defending the killing of six criminals aged 20-50 in a shootout at Lot 157-A, Kampung Kamunting, Karangan, Kulim at 10.10pm last night.
Mohd Bakri said this at a press conference at Kedah police headquarters here on Wednesday to explain the shootings and rumours that police only targeted people from a certain race.
In the operation last night, police also detained four women aged 20-24 and seized two Smith & Wesson 9mm revolvers with seven live bullets, a .38 revolver with five live bullets, a BMW, Proton Perdana and Cherokee jeep, gold smelting and drug processsing equipments.
He warned that police would act against political party leaders and non-governmental organisations (NGO) involved in protecting criminals.
"I hope this issue will not be politicised to fan racial sentiments as it will only disrupt the community.
"Criminals are a creation of the society not the police who are hated for taking action to protect the public."
Mohd Bakri denied that police shot dead an 18 year-old student last night and said action under the Sedition Act would be taken against those found spreading such rumours.
Six armed robbers shot dead in Kulim
SUNGAI PETANI: Police shot dead six armed robbers and nabbed four women in a shootout at a house in Kampung Kemunting, Karangan, in Kulim.
They were involved in a series of armed robberies on goldsmith shops in Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor, said Kedah police chief Datuk Deputy Comm Syed Ismail Syed Azizan.
He said a Bukit Aman police team had identified themselves to the group outside a house in Kampung Kemunting but were shot at instead at about 11pm.
“We had no choice but to retaliate or else the policemen could have been shot dead. The exchange of gunfire ultimately led to the death of the six men aged between 20 and 50.
“A semi-automatic Smith & Wesson 9mm with seven rounds of ammunition and a .38 Revolver with five were recovered from the bodies.
“Neighbours were unaware of their clandestine activities as the house was covered up with zinc fencing. Equipment used to melt their gold loot were also recovered,” he told a press conference on Wednesday.
DCP Syed Ismail said two of the deceased had criminal records, adding that three vehicles, including a BMW said to have been used in the robberies, were also found at the scene.
The deceased have been identified as contract workers R.Elangovan, 38, and L. S. Santana, 34, contractor R. Pannir, 28, crane driver S. Vadivelan, 29, carpenter S. Gurusamy, 50, and lorry attendant R. Dilip Kumar, 20.
Four women, aged between 21 and 28, said to be the deceased’s girlfriends were also picked up and they have since been remanded by a magistrate’s court to assist in investigations.
Meanwhile, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy said he would table an emergency motion in Parliament to discuss the fatal shooting of six suspects.
Dr Ramasamy, who is Batu Kawan MP, said there had been too many cases where police had shot dead suspects without trial.
“What is the point of having courts when the police have a tendency to execute suspects on the spot? Why can’t the police just injure and arrest them, and let the judicial process takes its course? he told newsmen outside the Sultan Abdul Halim hospital mortuary on Wednesday.
Claiming that most of the incidents involved a specific community, Dr Ramasamy said such trend was worrying.
“There had been cases where suspects were shot at point blank or close range,” he said.
Ramasamy said the hospital authorities did not allow even the elected representatives to enter the mortuary.
Makkal Sakthi national coordinator R. S. Thanenthiran called on the police to hold an inquest to ascertain what really transpired.
Perak Speaker V Sivakumar springs a major surprise Photo by Amiruddin
Is it a stalemate now? Or checkmate…
Perak state assembly speaker V Sivakumar has reportedly suspended Zamby (18 months) and his six exco members (12 months) from the state assembly.
How can the state government function if the exco is barred from attending state assembly proceedings?
The suspensions came after an inquiry before the Special Privileges Committee, mainly comprising Pakatan assembly members, looked into complaints that the appointments of the new exco were unconstitutional.
It looks like a worrying stalemate, which won’t be resolved until fresh elections are held.
It’s time to go back to the people to resolve this once and for all.
Saya dijadual membahaskan titah diraja semalam. Tetapi saya pohon kepada Tan Sri Speaker untuk memulakan ucapan pagi tadi atas alasan urusan mendesak.
Walau bagaimanapun saya telah memberi laluan kepada Tuan Guru Ustaz Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang) untuk berucap hari ini kerana terpaksa ke Terengganu segera.
Inshaallah saya akan berucap esok dan akan mendedahkan muslihat UMNO-BN.
IPOH, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- In an unprecendented move, Perak state legislative assembly speaker V. Sivakumar today suspended Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive council members from attending the state legislative assembly for a lengthy period.
The latest twist to the Perak political saga came after Sivakumar ruled that Zambry and the six executive councillors were in contempt of the assembly.
Zambry and his executive council were barred for 18 months and 12 months respectively, effective today.
Sivakumar of DAP announced the decision after Zambry and the six executive councillors were summoned before the state legislative assembly's Rights and Privileges Committee today.
"The decision is taken after they failed to offer any explanation pertaining to their actions which are in contempt of the assembly," Sivakumar said in a statement.
The BN took over the state government on Feb 6 when three Parti Keadilan Rakyat and a DAP assemblyman left their respective parties -- one to rejoin the BN while the other three quit to become "BN friendly" Independent assemblymen.
Zambry took his oath of office on Feb 6 while the six executive councillors were sworn in four days later.
All of them were summoned to appear before the Rights and Privileges Committee following complaints by DAP assemblyman for Canning, Wong Kah Woh, that their appointment contravened the state constitution, and in contempt of the assembly as the 10th Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had not officially resigned.
Sivakumar said that after deliberating the complaint, the committee found that Zambry and his executive council were in contempt of the assembly.
Apart from Zambry, the other executive councillors are Manong assemblyman Datuk Ramly Zahari, Datuk Saarani Mohamad (Kota Tampan), Hamidah Osman (Sungai Rapat), Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin (Sungai Manik), Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid (Kamunting) and Dr Mah Hang Soon (Chenderiang).
Zambry and the executive councillors testified before the committee at the financial division's meeting room of the State Secretary Building at 3pm.
They emerged some 30 minutes later but declined to meet the press who were waiting outside.
The Rights and Privileges Committee is chaired by Sivakumar.
The committee's other members are Husin Din (PAS-Selingsing), Chan Ming Kai (PKR-Simpang Pulai), Ong Boon Piow (DAP-Tebing Tinggi), Loke Chee Yan (DAP-Kepayang) dan Sum Chok Leng (DAP-Bercham) while BN's sole representative is Datuk Hasbullah Osman (Temenggor).