Wednesday, March 4, 2009
When two of my young Indian female office staff went to at the Hindraf rally in 2007, I felt ashamed that I did not join them. Never mind that i am a Chinese professional male or that I had clients already booked in that day.
I tried to rationalise it away by claiming pragmatism or self-interest or loss of earnings or whatever but it was something I still think I should have done. The problem with Hindraf is that it is the very anti-thesis of Umno which highlights Umno's staggering hypocrisy and deceit.
The people who support Hindraf do not make money from Hindraf nor do they expect to make money from Hindraf. The people who support Hindraf are genuinely poor, and live in an institutionalised, racist system that bluntly discriminates against the non-Malay poor.
The Malays who support Umno are told by Umno's leaders that they need a system that discriminates against non-Malays. The people who support Hindraf believe in human rights, in equal rights and in social justice regardless of skin pigmentation.
The people who lead Umno campaigns on electoral platforms promote special rights, Malay rights, unequal rights and special privileges regardless of individual need or poverty or merit.
The fact is many people who support Umno have made millions and billions from supporting Umno leadership. The people who lead and support Hindraf, however, are some of the most oppressed and under-privileged people in Malaysia.
The people who lead Umno are some of the richest and obscenely privileged people anywhere in the world, never mind just in Boleh-land. The people who lead Hindraf have been detained without trial, and have had basic medical treatment denied them, and have had their basic human rights trampled upon.
Umno leaders who are grossly over-privileged and obscenely rich and control the judiciary and police apparatus still see fit to jail Hindraf supporters instead of meeting their arguments and claims in an open court.
The problem for Umno is that Hindraf leaders cannot be bought unlike countless other Umno-BN apparatchik.
The problem for Umno is that it cannot accuse Hindraf’s leaders or supporters of controlling any segment of Malaysian business, economy, politics, government bureaucracy, parliament, military, police, judiciary or cabinet.
It is Umno that owns the entire racist, corrupt feudal Third World Malaysian cotton-picking plantation.
When Umno leaders look at Hindraf leaders, the whole world knows who is the plantation owner and who is the slave.
It is only a matter of time before even the kampung Malays will acknowledge who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed. It is the Umno elites that crush everyone - Malay, Indian, Chinese and lain-lain - who stand in the way of Umno’s big, dirty profits.
It is the NEP vision that used to win Malaysian general elections but I would suggest to Umno that it needs to change it's vision thing.
Hindraf's very existence points a damning finger at Umno's systematic oppression of the poor and oppressed. It is Hindraf that bears witness to Umno's insatiable demonic greed.
Hindraf's suffering and persecution make a mockery of Umno's supposed ‘struggle’ to assist the Malay poor or protect Malay dignity or achieve ‘social justice’ in Malaysia.
I sincerely believe that no decent Malay is going to agree to Umno oppressing the poor and oppressed in the name of special rights or special privileges or Malay supremacy.The only way Hindraf will lose this battle is if they break the law to allow Umno to demonise them effectively in the eyes of Malay voters.
I may not be Indian but I am Malaysian and I can tell the difference between right and wrong and I will take my stand at the polling booth at the next general election.- By Citizen Albert
Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) didakwa tidak berminat menyiasat aduan seorang pemimpin PKR berhubung dakwaan perucubaan Datuk Seri Najib Razak merasuah wakil rakyat Pakatan Rakyat agar melompat parti bagi menjatuhkan kerajaan Perak.
Ketua bahagian PKR Ipoh Barat, Fauzi Muda berkata, SPRM nampaknya tidak berminat untuk bertindak terhadap Najib.
Sebaliknya polis seolah-olah diarah untuk bertindak terhadapnya berhubung akuan berkanun yang mengandungi butiran dakwaan tersebut, katanya lagi.
"Saya telah dipanggil oleh pihak C Team Ipoh pada 10 Februari 2009 untuk diambil keterangan.
"Tetapi selepas itu saya berkali-kali dihubungi oleh pihak polis untuk datang memberi keterangan tambahan kepada mereka," katanya dalam satu kenyataannya hari ini.
Tambahnya, kelmarin beliau diminta ke Cawangan Jenayah Berat (D7) Ipoh untuk diambil keterangan berhubung akuan itu.
Dalam akuannya bertarikh 2 Februari lalu, Fauzi mendakwa Najib menawarkan sejumlah wang untuk memujuknya melobi dua wakil rakyat Pakatan Rakyat di Perak supaya melompat parti.
Pertemuan itu diadakan di kediaman rasmi timbalan perdana menteri di Putrajaya beberapa hari selepas pilihanraya umum 8 Mac tahun lepas.
Fauzi mendakwa, beliau ditawar RM50 juta bagi perkhidmatannya itu dan untuk membayar mereka yang berjaya dipujuk melompat parti. Bagaimanapun, katanya, beliau tidak membuat apa-apa tindakan untuk memenuhi hasrat Najib itu.
Sehubungan itu, Fauzi mempertikaikan motif dan tujuan polis menyiasatnya dalam kes tersebut sedangkan akuan berkanun yang dibuatnya itu untuk tindakan SPRM.
Katanya, beliau amat kecewa kerana polis bertindak di luar bidang siasatan kerana pihak Najib sendiri tidak membuat laporan terhadapnya.
"Sehubungan dengan ini, saya ingin menegaskan dan mendesak pihak polis yang cukup serius menyiasat akuan bersumpah saya itu, agar segera mendakwa saya di mahkamah.
"Saya bersedia untuk ke mahkamah di mana saya akan berpeluang mendedahkan semua bukti yang saya ada termasuk rakaman tentang perbualan dan perbincangan saya tentang isu membeli Adun-Adun Pakatan yang diusahakan oleh Najib," kata Fauzi lagi.
"Saya mendesak polis agar segera mendakwa saya di mahkamah adalah kerana saya tahu pihak SPRM dan polis pasti tidak akan mendakwa Datuk Seri Najib di mahkamah terhadap apa yang telah saya laporkan.
"Jadi jika mereka mendakwa saya, itulah saja jalan yang terbaik untuk saya berdepan dengan Najib di mahkamah dan mendedahkan segala bukti-bukti yang ada pada saya terhadap rasuah dan pembelian Adun yang melompat parti dan menyokong BN."
Location: Putrajaya AG office
Description: Handover of Kugan’s 2nd Autospy report to AG together with his family member
Start Time: 14:30
End Time: 16:00
ANALYSISBy Baradan Kuppusamy
KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 – The Perak crisis is far from over although – against all odds and without precedent – the ousted Pakatan Rakyat state government held an “under the tree” emergency assembly Tuesday and approved motions to dissolve the legislature.
It is a moral victory and a signal of their determination not to accept defeat or let the Barisan Nasional (BN) rule in peace in a state PR had ruled for 10 months from March 2008.
“We are not going to let it go … we are going to keep up the pressure. We are going to hamstring them until a fresh election is held,” said PR leader and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran.
A comment making the rounds in Perak says that while BN has the state government, PR has the legislature, through the office of the Speaker which is held by Tronoh assemblyman Sivakumar Varatharajoo, a lawyer, trainer and management consultant before entering politics.
The question is, what comes next now that PR has made their point?
Do they really control the legislature now that Sivakumar has been slammed with a restraining order not to act for the legislature?
Will the Perak ruler Sultan Azlan Shah recognize the “under the tree” session and the motion to dissolve the assembly for fresh election?
Very unlikely by most counts; and not just because the session was held under the tree but also because of legal and procedural issues that would potentially invalidate the session.
Political consideration will also come into play in any decision by the palace to give consent or withhold consent.
Nevertheless, the crisis is a very public issue and the burden is on the palace to act in a fair and just manner to ensure a legitimate and competent government in place and ensure peace, stability and progress.
However, with numerous suits and counter-suits and police reports by both sides, it will take months before the crisis can be resolved, lawyers on both sides said.
PR had hoped to end the stalemate they were trapped in by dissolving the assembly and holding fresh elections to let the voters decide the issue.
They had hoped to return to the state legislature with a bigger majority and end the crisis that was sparked after three PR representatives defected last month.
As Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin himself said, he will “freshen up” the wording of the documents and try to seek an audience with the Sultan to get palace consent to dissolve the assembly for fresh election.
But that is easier said then done.
The palace gates will not open for him, not only because he is only an assemblyman now, but also because he and his government had been dismissed by the same Sultan just a month ago.
The Sultan had appointed Datuk Dr Zambry Kadir as the new Menteri Besar on Feb 5 and for the ruler to grant an audience now to Nizar is to go back on his own decision.
“He would want something more legitimate like a full and open session of the assembly with both sides present and taking a vote to dissolve the assembly before he would agree to dissolve the legislature,” a lawyer said.
Therefore it is an uphill task for PR to convince the palace to dissolve the assembly for fresh elections and this means the PR strategy to strangle the BN will continue unabated to force dissolution.
One area of action again is to use the Speaker’s office to hold state secretariat officials, police and others in contempt of the house.
Another is to lodge police reports against the same for restraining elected representatives from doing their duties which is a serious criminal offence under Section 124 of the Penal Code punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years if found guilty.
With these actions and the outcome of numerous suits in the courts undecided, it is too early for any side to claim victory or to conclude that the worst is over for Perak.
BN is expected to either shrug off the “under-the-tree” assembly as a PR circus or go to the court again seeking a declaration to nullify the meeting and the motions.
“It must be appreciated that the events unfolding in Perak are unprecedented and involve complex legal issues and it is impossible to provide a conclusive opinion on them,” said Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Under these circumstances, it is unlikely the Perak crisis can be resolved any time soon.
The BN’s takeover of Perak has set off a chain-reaction of illegality which has left Perak quite possibly without a legitimate government. One of our most prosperous states has been reduced to a failed state.
One lie leads to many lies. Each bad action leads to a cascade of follies. Particularly when the lie or violation concerns something very basic. This is a principle we teach our children. It is a simple but universal truth now being demonstrated in Perak.
With each violation the sense of decency and restraint and the habits that bind us to the Constitution are loosened. The confidence in the rule of law that makes civilized life possible is diminished.
Laws are invisible things. They exist only when they are understood and observed. When the government of the day ignores foundational principles such as the separation of powers, the Constitution becomes a dead piece of paper. But the Constitution is not just any law. It is the set of laws that founds our nation, defines its basic principles, guarantees our individual rights and prescribes the structures, duties, and powers which make a national community possible. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of Malaysia.
Those who so blithely ignore the Constitution for political ends are quite literally wrecking the foundations of this country to further their own interests.
This must stop.
The constitutional situation in Perak gets murkier by the day, with egos and reputations entrenched in hopeless positions. There is a simple and graceful way to clarify the situation definitively: return to the sole source of legitimate government, the will of the people as expressed through free and fair elections. Barisan might wish to show some magnanimity and confidence in calling for this.
(Hrkh) - Setiausaha Agung PAS, Dato' Kamarudin Jaffar menegaskan Speaker Dun Perak, V Sivakumar mempunyai peruntukan kuasa besar berdasarkan kedudukan Dun dalam sistem perundangan negara.
Untuk itu katanya keputusan memanggil sidang Dun Tergempar pada 3 Mac lalu adalah sah dari segi kuasa Speaker yang diperuntukan dalam perlembagaan.
Sejak merdeka sistem demokrasi berparlimen dengan raja berperlembagaan adalah tunjang kepada pemerintahan, yang mana Dun atau Parlimen mempunyai kedudukan, sementara raja mempunyai peranannya, kata beliau.
Justeru kenyatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak bahawa sidang dun tergempar yang dipanggil Sivakumar sebagai tidak sah adalah satu penghinaan kepada kemuliaan Dun dan perlembagaan, katanya."Di sinilah kuasa yang terdapat pada Speaker Dun atau Dewan Rakyat.Sebenarnya saya telah membaca tulisan peguam kanan di negara ini kesimpulan mereka jelas speaker Dun atau Dewan Rakyat ada kuasa besar dalam tentukan keputusan dan uruskan dewan," katanya yang juga merupakan Ahli Parlimen Tumpat.
Ujar Kamarudin, secara jelas tindakan Speaker Dun Perak memanggil sidang tergempar adalah sah mengikut pandangan peguam kanan Tommy Thomas.
Sehubungan itu, tiada siapa termasuk TPM atau Setiausaha Dun Perak boleh untuk buat apa-apa kenyatan atau tindakan arahkan polis dan mengarahkan bangunan ditutup, katanya.
Bagi Kamarudin, perbuatan itu bercanggah dengan perlembagan negara, negeri dan bercanggah dengan iktiraf ketelusan institusi Dun dan speakernya,"Maka oleh sebab itu tindakan Setiausaha Dun dan TPM adalah menghina kuasa Speaker Dun dalam hal ini,"katanya.
While some watch birds, I have always preferred trees myself. The best break I ever have always involves sitting where my eyes can behold the wonders of trees, unfailingly and truly a sight for my tired eyes, mind and heart.
Coming from Taiping, my favourite tree is the raintree, tall and sprawling. At the Taiping Lake Gardens, the branches of the raintree majestically bend down towards the water forming a manificent canopy of green archways over the road. You haven’t been to Taiping without cycling or driving under those archways, a singular sublime experience to cherish for a very long time.
Raintrees do last a long time. In Taiping, they were there long before I was born and no doubt will be there long after my time on this earth.
What better symbol therefore for the status of Perak democracy than the humble raintree!
Derogatory talk, therefore, of the extraordinary session of the Perak State Assembly convened on Tuesday 3 March 2009 at 10.20am under the raintree across the road from the Perak State Secretariat Building is completely misplaced, shortsighted and shallow.
Barred from their normal home by the FRU, the State Assembly conducted its session under the raintree. As I walked towards it, I was recognised by some drivers/bodyguards and given access finding myself suddenly no more than thirteen feet from the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) and just five feet from the Speaker of the Assembly surrounded by full-suited state assemblymen. The business was conducted in an orderly, solemn manner and even the large crowd forming the outer circle quickly caught the mood and followed the proceedings in a reverent and respectful manner. For an outdoor environment, this was no small achievement.
Elsewhere this proceeding may have been much maligned and pronounced illegal but being there I saw nothing that was in any way discrediting to the august assembly.
In fact, this was very much a people’s parliament. As the rakyat, common people had access to the State Assembly proceedings. They came from all walks of life, dressed properly but without having to don formal (and expensive) clothes. As many who wanted to observe the proceedings had access to it. Despite the absence of the usual forbidding uniformed security personnel, neither myself nor the countless others sensed a security threat. The agenda was to the point and understandable to those present.
If this was not exemplary of what democracy should be, what is? It was people-friendly, accessible, pro-rakyat, responsible, responsive, orderly but welcoming. A kind of going home to the kampung or home-town feeling. Before my eyes, a grassroot state assembly session was taking place.
It was an intensely uplifting reinvigorating experience for me; a lesson in grassroot democracy. In one extraordinary moment, we see that democracy is by the people, of the people and for the people. Its symbolism is full of meaning, encouraging much imagination and dreams. YES WE CAN!
For all these weeks, the people could see only blockages, their wishes denied at every stage. By-elections for the three seats deemed to have fallen vacant with the presigned resignation letters; “No!” says the elections commission. Dissolution of the state assembly to pave the way for fresh elections; “No!” says the Ruler. Extraordinary session of the State Assembly; “No!” says the High Court. Entry into the State Assembly Hall; “No!” says the Federal Reserve Unit.
We saw only the negative, prevent-at-all cost strategy of the “new government”. Conscious or not, the message which comes out to the people is completely straightforward and unmistakable: “We just want to form the government without having to face elections by the people or having to prove our majority status by facing the state assembly; our claims to legitmacy is sufficient proof.”
Among its virtues, the humble raintree is resilient, durable, weather-hardened, withstanding years upon years of abuse of every kind. Without dedicated care or favour, it survives on its own. Left on its own, it thrives and grows. Human intervention and interference on the raintree is for human convenience not necessarily for the sake of the raintree.
After fifty-one years of independence, we Malaysians are now on a daily basis clearly seeing the strong arm of interested parties dismantling the pillars of democracy and the blatant attempts at bringing about the alchemy of the separation of powers. The signs are ominous and the times are very worrisome.
If not under the raintree, with all its comforting symbols of peace, hope, persistence, perseverance and durability, where else should I take my stand? Where else may I find shelter from the ruthless elements?
|By Asia Sentinel|
Political leaders scramble for power as the economy descends into the doldrums
Last week, the squabbling culminated in someone mailing two bullets to opposition leader Karpal Singh, the longtime national chairman of the Democratic Action Party, who on the floor of Parliament used the word celaka [damn] in referring to the unnamed figure, allegedly from the United Malays National Organisation, who he said had mailed the bullets. That kicked off a row outside the parliament building when two UMNO members either did or did not push him. Karpal Singh is confined to a wheelchair.
In the meantime, the 3.5 percent gross domestic product growth forecast earlier by the country's central bank will have to be revised downward dramatically, with the new figure to be announced on March 10. GDP grew only 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said Friday. It is difficult to see how Malaysia can escape further economic damage, with Singapore, which takes a major share of Malaysia's exports for re-export to the west, expecting a loss of GDP of at least 8 percent in 2009. Malaysia's primary exports are electronics, and commodities.
Palm oil, of which Malaysia is the world's second largest exporter, has fallen to Rp7,010 -- 40.4 percent off its cyclical high. Crude oil is down 62.9 percent from its cyclical high, tin off 56 percent. Electronics exports are down by more than 30 percent year on year.
As the economy sinks, the country's politicians seem completely preoccupied with political infighting. The country's first stimulus package amounted to just US$2 billion, or about 2 percent of GDP. A second package may be on the way, but its details are not known yet. Analysts forecast that it will be considerably larger.
More ominous, according to the economist Andrew Sheng in a presentation to Malaysian leaders and quoted in the local press, Malaysia risks being a dinosaur economy, overtaken by Indonesia in palm oil production, Malaysian companies are moving capital abroad, the country's talent is going overseas in search of better wages, its crude reserves are nearly gone, electronics are leaving for other, cheaper assembly areas, and overall the outlook is bleak.
The political paralysis spurred Anas Zubedy, the managing director of a consultancy firm, to take out an ad in local newspapers, asking "Dear Malaysian Politicians, Please stop the power chase, call for a truce and focus on the economy."
That apparently plucked a sympathetic chord with his fellow citizens, who besieged the newspapers with letters to the editor and packed his blog with appreciative comments.
The political situation is torn not only by the scramble for power between the opposition Pakatan Rakyat and the Barisan Nasional, but also within the United Malays National Organisation, the leading ethnic party in the Barisan. UMNO internal elections are to be held from March 24 to March 28. And although Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been banished from the party for the loss of the Barisan's historic two-thirds majority in parliament last May 9, his acolytes and lieutenants, particularly his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, are still vying for power with party stalwarts aligned with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his son, Mukhriz. With the contest for UMNO president settled and Naib selected as heir apparent and prime minister-in-waiting, the major contests are for lower positions.
Mukhriz and Khairy are rival candidates for the important post of UMNO Youth leader. Political operatives for the two factions have been crisscrossing the country, trying to shore up their defenses in advance of the party elections.
Najib, who had put his personal clout on the line by leading the UMNO side in the by-elections – one of which delivered Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim back to electoral politics – was considered by political analysts to be in trouble. Not only was he dogged by a series of scandals stemming from the award of lucrative military contracts during his stint as Defence Minister, he had the albatross of his alleged connection to the execution murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibu in October 2006. Two of his bodyguards and his best friend spent most of 2008 on trial for the murder.
Despite those problems, however, Najib suddenly became resurgent by enticing local lawmakers in the tin-rich and populous state of Perak to abandon the opposition and, with the help of Sultan Raja Azlan Shah, the state was delivered back into the hands of UMNO.
Karpal Singh offered to sue the Sultan, alleging he had illegally appointed a new UMNO chief minister. UMNO stalwarts leapt on Karpal Singh's statement, accusing him of insulting the sultan, which UMNO leaders, particularly Mahathir Mohamad, had been doing with impunity for years, in a strategy that could only be construed as trying to divide the electorate by race.
The situation became increasingly poisonous, with more than 100 UMNO members manufacturing a rising crisis by filing police complaints against Karpal Singh although there is no lese majeste law in Malaysia and although Mahathir, in 1993, pushed through legislation legalizing lawsuits against the sultans, who he accused of giving the country to the British, gambling away the people's money in London casinos, and various other transgressions.
Despite the fact that Karpal Singh is a member of the opposition, both factions of UMNO have sought to turn the incident to their favor. One blogger speculated that Khairy Jamaluddin apparently views himself as the beneficiary. But, he wrote ironically, "it's clear that Karpal has succeeded in touching the hearts and minds of the Malays in the kampung and not just at Dewan Rakyat."
Three by-elections are now looming across the country as opposition members have been uprooted from office – one of them a woman who has offered to resign after her estranged boyfriend made pictures available on the internet of her sleeping without underwear and a second who turned out to have two wives – something allowed to Muslim Malays but not to other ethnic groups.Those potential by-elections will determine whether the opposition, led by Anwar, will continue to be viable. In the meantime, over the next three weeks, UMNO will continue to attempt to sort itself out, and it is questionable whether the flagging economy will get any additional attention.
Remember A Kugan, who died in police custody?
Well, he died as a result of “acute renal failure due to rhabdomyolysis due to blunt trauma to skeletal muscles,” an independent second post mortem has revealed. In layperson’s language: kidney failure as a result of repeated beatings. More accurately, his death was due to his muscle cells disintegrating into his bloodstream and absorbed by the kidney, which led to kidney failure.
His body also had severe burn wounds including those caused “by the repeated application of heat with an instrument or object with a triangular surface, causing multiple V-shaped imprint burn wounds on the skin of back”.
The pathologist who conducted the independent second post mortem also detected severe hemorraging and blood clots. Check out the post mortem report here by Dr Prashant N Samberkar, Department of Pathology, University of Malaya.
Those responsible for Kugan’s horrific torture and death have a lot to answer for. The authorities must also outline the steps they are taking to ensure such incidents do not recur. Setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission would be a step in this direction.
Amazingly, the findings of the second post mortem report are so different from the first. The Serdang Hospital personnel who conducted the first examination must now explain why all this was not detected or highlighted in their post mortem report. Fluid in the lungs? How many other post mortems have there been like this?
What have you got to say, Serdang Hospital?
Majlis Peguam Malaysia mempertikaikan keputusan melarang peguam persendirian mewakili Speaker DUN Perak V Sivakumar seperti diputuskan oleh Mahkamah Tinggi Ipoh hari ini.
Presidennya S Ambiga berkata keputusan mewajibkan penasihat undang-undang negeri mewakili Sivakumar, boleh mencemarkan prosiding yang membabitkan pertelingkahan antara BN dan Pakatan Rakyat.
Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman Ridwan Ibrahim memutuskan demikian susulan permohonan peguam Menteri Besar, Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir dan enam exco kerajaan negeri, berhubung penggantungan mereka daripada menghadiri sidang DUN.
Ambiga berkata, dua perkara haruslah diambil kira dalam isu ini.
Pertama, setiap peguam bertindak mengikut arahan anak guamnya dan dalam kes ini, tambah Ambiga, Sivakumar tidak pernah meminta penasihat undang-undang negeri berbuat demikian.
Kedua, penasihat undang-undang sendiri berada dalam kedudukan konflik kerana beliau mewakili Dr Zambry dalam kes menteri besar Pakatan Rakyat, Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin mencabar kesahihan pelantikan wakil rakyat BN itu.
“Bagaimana mungkin beliau (penasihat) atau jabatannya boleh bertindak bagi pihak Speaker yang dicabar oleh Dr Zambry?” kata Ambiga dalam satu kenyataan.
“Wajar diingatkan, keadilan bukan sahaja perlu ditegakkan tetapi perlu dilihat telah ditegakkan. Mahkamah bertanggungjawab menegakkan prinsip tertinggi keadilan, kesaksamaaan dan kebebasan.”
Ambiga juga menyifatkan Speaker tidak mempunyai pilihan kecuali terus mengadakan sidang tergempar DUN di luar bangunan rasminya setelah dihalang oleh polis.
Kesahan tindakan polis ini membangkitkan persoalan yang serius, tambahnya.
Apatah lagi, tegasnya, tindakan polis itu bersandarkan arahan setiausaha DUN yang hanya seorang pegawai pentadbiran yang tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk menafsir sama ada sesuatu persidangan dewan itu sah atau sebaliknya.
“Polis dengan itu telah bertindak secara tidak wajar apabila mencanggahi kehendak Speaker dan DUN. Kesilapan ini diburukkan lagi oleh keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi,” kata Ambiga.
PETALING JAYA, March 3 — Two Members of Parliament claimed today that of the six suspected criminals shot dead by police in Kulim, Kedah recently, one was a partially-blind man while another suffered from mental problems.
The lawmakers also claimed to have evidence to show all six men had bullet holes at the top of their heads.
Kapar MP S Manikavasagam and Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran made the allegations of police misconduct at a press conference here today.
Manikavasam said of the six who were gunned downed, one had mental problems, another was partially blind while a third was a middle-aged-man who was already 51-years-old.
“These men were known to every one in the town and were not hiding out as claimed by police.”
Manogaran alleged all six had bullet holes on top of their heads.
“We have the pictures to prove this and we will disclose it to the press soon.”
Previously it was reported that the six suspected armed robbers were killed during a shoot-out at a house in Kampung Kemunting, Karangan, in Kulim.
The dead were accused of being involved in a series of armed robberies on goldsmith shops in several states.
A police team from Bukit Aman reportedly identified themselves to the six but were shot at and they retaliated.
Two pistols were found on the men and two of the dead had previous convictions.
The dead were identified as R.Elangovan, 38, and L S Santana, 34, R Pannir, 28, S Vadivelan, 29, S Gurusamy, 50, and R Dilip Kumar, 20.
Four women, aged between 21 and 28-years-old, were arrested during the incident.
PETALING JAYA, March 3 — The results of a second autopsy released by the family of A Kugan shows the suspected car thief was beaten and eventually died from acute kidney failure.
This appears to confirm widespread suspicion that the suspected criminal was beaten to death in police custody.
The second post mortem was carried out by forensic pathologist Dr Prashant N Samberkar.
It indicated Kugan died of acute renal failure as a result of a condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which is the rapid break-down of skeletal muscle tissue which will lead to kidney failure.
The condition was likely to have been caused by blunt force trauma from the beating he sustained, according to the report.
During a press conference, today, lawyer N Surendren said the findings of the second post mortem report was totally contrary to the first, which was carried out at the Serdang Hospital, on Feb 21, and indicated that Kugan died due to fluids in the lungs.
More shocking is the extent of external injuries found on Kugan body, who died on Feb 20 after five days in police custody.
The post-mortem reports indicate there were “41 external marks” on Kugan’s body including burn injuries and from beatings.
Kugan was branded, just like how cattle are marked, by the “repeated application of heat with an instrument with a triangular surface, multiple “V” shape imprint burn wounds on the skin of his back.
Some of the wounds were in their healing stage while others were infected.
Surendren said the pathologist also found that Kugan’s stomach was empty which also meant he was being starved at the time.
“I hope the police hang their heads in shame, institute reforms and stop putting obstacles in the implementation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.”
He added that the second post mortem report will be handed to the Attorney-General’s chambers tomorrow.
Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran said the post-mortem report was a damning indictment of the police.
“In my 15 years, of (law) practice I have never seen so severe injuries in a case of death.”
He added that confessions were no longer admissible in court and he failed to understand why the police went to such an extent to brutalised a suspect.
Manogaran said there was death in custody almost every month and no one knew how many suspects were being treated this way.
“I am afraid this could happened to even my own children and I am embarrassed that the police would resort to interrogation methods.”
Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said the case highlights the need for independent inquiries to be held for all death in custody cases.
He said families of victims should be allowed to have second post-mortem reports done to satisfy themselves that their loved ones were not tortured in police custody.
Meanwhile Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmood said she was shocked at the findings of the second post-mortem but advised the public not to turn the matter into a racial issue.
She said this was not a racial issue, but a question of humanity, because it can happen to anyone who is in police custody.
“What if it was our children and how would we feel if they were?” she asked.
The vicinity of the Perak state secretariat building today was gripped with high drama for about four hours as Pakatan Rakyat tried to convene an emergency state assembly sitting.
From the wee hours, police have been manning roadblocks leading to both the front and rear entrance to the building, where the state assembly is housed.
Rush hour traffic was brought to a crawl and students were seen running to a nearby school as their parents could only drop them at a roadblock.
Other than the heavy police presence, little was out of the ordinary until a group of some 30 burly men started to shout profanities at some 100 Pakatan supporters gathered near the state secretariat building.
The Pakatan supporters backed off slightly, but that didn’t stop the group of aggressive men, though vastly outnumbered, from shouting profanities.
Things took a turn for the worse when ousted Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin and his 27 state reps arrived at about 9.30am and tried to enter the state secretariat building.
The group of 30 men formed a human shield blocking the state reps. A shouting and shoving match ensued in full view of the police who did nothing to intervene.
Howls of protests were heard from the Pakatan supporters at the police inaction and apparent inability to be neutral.
Following this, several state reps manage to slip past the unruly group and attempted to negotiate with Ipoh police chief Azizman Alias but it was in vain.
Surrounded by a large group of baton-wielding riot police, the state reps relented and backed off to a nearby carpark.
As the state reps gathered around three cars to hold an impromptu meeting, Pakatan bodyguards formed a large circle before the state assembly speaker, V Sivakumar, emerge from one of the cars to loud cheers from the Pakatan supporters.
He began to put on his ceremonial robes and declared that the emergency sitting was now in session, under a large raintree, which some Pakatan supporters have dubbed “pokok demokrasi”.
The emotional crowd of Pakatan supporters could do little to hold back their applause and cheers each time a motion was passed followed by loud calls of “setuju! (aye!)”.
The world is watching!
This led to some better informed Pakatan supporters to yell out: “Dalam dewan tak boleh tepuk! (No clapping in the assembly).”
In a short span of about 15 minutes, it was all over. Pakatan’s 27 state reps (the speaker cannot vote) had passed a vote of confidence for Mohd Nizar as the legitimate menteri besar.
The second resolution was for Mohd Nizar to seek consent for the dissolution of the state assembly from the sultan.
The third resolution was on the adoption of the privilege committee’s report on the suspension of newly-appointed Menteri Besar Zamrby Abd Kadir and his six exco members from the state assembly.
Pakatan leaders were quickly rushed to the nearby DAP headquarters where a press conference was held by Mohd Nizar to explain the resolutions passed during the sitting.
Outside the building, some 300 Pakatan supporters had converged to hear a series of speeches by Pakatan MPs from other states.
“The world is watching!” declared Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo’ Lo’ Ghazali as the crowd cheered on, punctuated by cries of “Hidup Rakyat” and “Hidup Pakatan”.
“BN wants to stop the emergency sitting because they fear a snap election is looming,” declared another speaker and Kuala Krai MP Dr Hatta Ramli.
As the eager crowd listened to the speeches, little did they know that the group of unruly men who tried to block Mohd Nizar earlier had converged in a nearby coffeeshop.
Suddenly, at about 11am, one of the men at the coffeeshop pelted a projectile into the crowd, causing some members of the crowd to rush to the scene in an attempt to apprehend the assailant.
A short melee ensued. Bottles were broken, presumably to be used as weapons, while one of the unruly men tried to hit Pakatan supporters with a chair.
One of the unruly men was also heard screaming: “Ini tanah Melayu!”
Even though hundreds of police personnel were nearby, guarding the state secretariat building, none came to stop the scene from turning ugly.
Police report lodged
In the end, several Pakatan leaders arrived at the scene to order Pakatan supporters to disperse, but this did not stop some of the unruly men from shouting profanities at Pakatan supporters while displaying lewd hand gestures.
There were no reports of any injuries during the fracas but there were a bit of glass shards on the floor of the coffeeshop with some damaged signages and broken flower pots.
At 3pm, two Pakatan assemblypersons - Khalil Idham Lim (Titi Serong) and Nga Kor Ming (Pantai Remis) - made a police report over this morning's incident.
The report said that both Ipoh police chief Azisman Alias and state secretary Abdul Rahman Hashim have committed a criminal offence by barring the elected representatives from the state assembly building.
This is the first time in history that a legitimate government was forced to conduct its business under a tree. I am going to propose a ceremony to place a bronze plaque under that tree so that generations to come can get to see the spot where the people took back power from the government, minus the bloodshed as well.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Section 124 of the Penal Code reads as follows:
"Whoever, with the intention of inducing or compelling or attempting to induce or compel a member of Parliament or of any legislative assembly or of any state executive council to exercise or refrain from exercising in any manner the lawful powers of such member, assaults or wrongfully restrains, or attempts wrongfully to restrain, or overawes by means of criminal force, or the show of criminal force, or attempts so to overawe, such member shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to a fine."
The Perak CPO, Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, has breached Section 124 of the Penal Code. Technically, therefore, he can be charged for a criminal offence -- and, if found guilty, can be jailed or fined, or both. That is the law and one just can’t avoid punishment if one has broken the law.
But will he be made to face punishment? If the Speaker of the Perak State Assembly -- or any member of the public for that matter -- makes a police report against him, then the police are obligated, by law, to open a case file and investigate the report.
Over the last 11 years, thousands upon thousands of police reports have been made against those who walk in the corridors of power. But almost every single report has ended up in the NFA (No Further Action) tray. Try, however, to make a police report against someone perceived as ‘anti-establishment’. Within 24 hours an investigation will be launched and the police, with guns and Balaclavas, will swoop on the ‘dangerous criminal’.
Remember what happened to Anwar Ibrahim back in September 1998 and then, ten years later, in 2008? Both times the police came as if they were about to arrest Botak Chin, Bentong Kali, the Mamak Gang, or what have you. And, mind you, in both these incidences, Anwar’s lawyers had contacted the police to inform them that their client would voluntarily surrender himself at any police station that they want him to if asked.
Why the need to do a military-style operation as if Anwar was going to fight with guns and bombs till the last man standing? He had already said he would go in to the police station if asked. In fact, in the 2008 Hollywood-style arrest, Anwar was already on the way to the police station to make good his 2.00pm appointment when they arrested him so dramatically just outside his house as he was leaving for the police station.
Thousands upon thousands of police reports have been made over the 11 years which have all come to nought in the end. I have personally made two, one against the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Bakri Zinin, and another against JAKIM. The police not only classified them as NFA, they did not even call me in for my statement to be recorded, which is the usual procedure. In short, the police just totally ignored my two police reports.
I remember, back in 2001, when ten of us, all Reformasi activists, were detained under the Internal Security Act. The Special Branch goaded us and asked whether we really think we can take over the government. You can take to the streets, said the police. You can even win the general elections. But we own the guns and we decide who gets to form the government. Saari Sungib, in fact, wrote about this in his series of eight or ten books about his two-year experience in Kamunting and the two-month detention prior to that.
The police support the government-of-the-day, one very senior police officer told me. But we decide who gets to form the government and who becomes the Prime Minister, another officer told Saari. And if the Prime Minister tak betul jalan, they might even find his car dalam gaung the next day.
Strong and confrontational words indeed from the defenders of justice and upholders of public safety and security. Are they employed as guardians of the peace or to decide who gets to form the government and becomes the Prime Minister?
I remember what one Deputy Director of the Special Branch once told me. When the May 13 race riots broke out, Bukit Aman held a briefing for all its officers and the instructions to the officers was: you are Malays first and police officers second. You job is to defend Malay political power and dominance. Understandably, only the Malay officers were invited for that briefing.
Another non-Malay Special Branch officer who was on duty outside Datuk Harun Idris’s house moments before the May 13 riots started had this to relate. He saw the crowd surge forward after a series of rabble-rousing speeches by various UMNO leaders and they started hacking to death all the non-Malays they came across.
I was alone and had just one revolver with six bullets, he told me. What could I do against thousands of parang-wielding rioters bent on drawing blood? I tucked my revolver in my waist and just stood by helplessly and watched as they hacked to death innocent non-Malays who did not know what the hell was going on.
This officer managed to save a couple of people but was himself confronted by some soldiers who raised their rifles and took aim at his head. In desperation he took out his authority card and explained that he was a police officer. The soldiers gave him ten seconds to get out of there before they shoot him dead. Invariably, he resigned from the force in disgust soon after that. Being a Special Branch officer who was on duty at ‘Ground Zero’ when May 13 exploded means he knew more than he could endure.
Another friend whose father was an army camp commander at the time of May 13 told me how his father opted for early retirement not long after that. On retirement he became a recluse and refused to meet any of this old army mates. He totally turned his back on the army and on his old friends from his army days. He knew something that we all don’t but he refused to talk about the army or May 13 till the day he died.
The police revealed their ‘true colours’ again in Perak today. No, Barisan Nasional is not a coalition of 14 political parties. It is a coalition of 16. The other two are the police and the Elections Commission (SPR). The police and SPR are also part of Barisan Nasional and are out to serve the interests of that ruling coalition. Can we trust the police and SPR when their job is to ensure that UMNO stays in power?
This was, in fact, confirmed by SPR in a meeting we had with them back in 2000. When asked why they would not abolish the postal vote system now that the Communist insurgency has ended and the soldiers are no longer in the jungles fighting the CTs (Communist Terrorists), they replied: if we abolish the postal vote system then not a single Minister would be able to retain his or her seat.
We were shocked by that reply and, after a few minutes of deafening silence, we asked them, “Isn’t it the job of the SPR to guarantee fair and free elections?”
They replied, “No, the job of the SPR is to ensure that the Malays do not lose political power.”
The SPR may be crooks but at least they are honest about it. I suppose that makes them honest crooks just like we have virgin prostitutes. And the police are no less slimy. And if what happened today in Perak can’t convince you of this then nothing in the world will ever convince you.
Perak is supposed to be Najib’s ‘Waterloo’. And I mean, of course, Najib as Napoleon Bonaparte, the man who lost the war, not Najib as the Duke of Wellington, the man who won. Najib’s political fortunes will be determined by whether he gets to retain Perak or he loses it back to Pakatan Rakyat. Currently, it appears like Najib’s coup d’etat has failed and Pakatan Rakyat has managed to launch a successful counter-coup, albeit constitutionally. This makes Najib’s position very dicey indeed.
Najib needs to make sure he does not lose Perak. The forces opposed to him do not really mind if Perak falls back into Pakatan Rakyat’s hands. Okay, so they lose Perak. But then they will also lose Najib as well. It is a sort of ‘package deal’. If Perak goes, then Najib goes as well. Losing Perak is a small price to pay for blocking Najib from becoming Prime Minister.
I realised, when they postponed my sedition and criminal defamation trials to end-April and end-May respectively, that bringing Najib down through the evidence I was supposed to reveal during these trials would not happen as planned after all. Thus far, only the sedition trial has commenced. The criminal defamation trial has not even started yet. Even then, the sedition trial is not even halfway through.
Currently, the prosecution is still presenting its case. At the end of the prosecution’s case the court will decide whether I have a case to answer to and whether my defence needs to be called. If, just like in the Altantuya murder trial, the court feels there is no case, then I will be acquitted without my defence being called, just like what happened to Razak Baginda. This would mean nothing would be revealed, as there will be no trial.
The problem with this would be, all this may happen a year or more down the road, long after Najib takes over as Prime Minister. So there is really no reason to hold my breath until I turn blue. I will be long dead from asphyxiation by the time anything is going to happen, and even then only if it will happen. It will not be in the interest of Najib to allow the trial to go its entire length and breadth, as he knows I am waiting to reveal the evidence once my defence is called. The best would be for the court to acquit me without my defence being called. Even now, when it is still only the prosecution’s case, much of what is surfacing in court is proving very embarrassing for Najib.
Anyway, not knowing whether what I want to say will ever see the light of day, I have decided to change my strategy. Instead of depending on the trial, I have sent all the notes of the court proceedings to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Sure, they have blocked most from surfacing in the trial. Superintendent Gan Tack Guan refuses to reply to all the questions posed by my lawyer, YB Gobind Singh Deo. But what he has told us thus far is damaging enough.
For example, Supt Gan confirmed that no investigation was ever launched to confirm whether Najib was, or was not, involved in Altantuya’s murder. Okay, this is not evidence that he was. But there is also no evidence to prove he was not. And no less than Supt Gan, the Investigating Officer of the Altantuya murder, who said this. And he said this while testifying during my sedition trial.
Most lawyers would argue that just because one was not proven innocent does not mean this is evidence that one is guilty (although this was how they found Anwar guilty and sent him to jail for more than six years). Sure, if seen in isolation this may be so. But it should not be seen in isolation. It must be read together with the Affidavit that Razak Baginda signed when he applied for bail in the early days of his trial.
Now, this Affidavit can’t be ignored because this Affidavit was the basis for the court to rule that Razak is not guilty and subsequently acquitted him of the murder charge. This Affidavit is crucial. This Affidavit bought Razak his freedom. And the court believed what Razak had said in his Affidavit. So, what did this Affidavit say?
Razak said, simply, that he never knew the two police officers on trial for Altantuya’s murder until they were introduced to him by Musa Safri, Najib’s ADC. That was when he first met them. Then Razak goes into detail about what happened thereafter, which I had already written about before and, therefore, do not need to repeat here.
The question that begs answer is: who instructed Musa to assist Razak and who subsequently sent the police officer -- Chief Inspector Azilah -- to go and see him to help him out of his predicament? And did not Razak also say, in the same Affidavit, that he went to Najib’s office to meet Musa and accidentally bumped into (teserempak) Azilah there?
Razak’s conversation with Azilah, about who sent him, etc., also needs to be noted. In short, Najib’s office or someone in Najib’s office set up the whole arrangement. This is what Razak said. And the court believed Razak and freed him from jail.
Was this investigated? According to Supt Gan, no! So they have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. But the court thinks it is true and that is why it freed Razak. So the matter is not about whether Najib was proven guilty. It is about him not being proven innocent. And Najib is not a simple man-in-the-street. He is the man who is going to be the next Prime Minister. And a Prime Minister must be above suspicion, especially when it involves murder.
That was my argument. And I explained this when I sent the official court papers to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with a plea to not appoint Najib as the next Prime Minister. I tried to make it simple. I am not saying that Najib has been proven guilty of murder. I am saying that Supt Gan confirmed that Najib has not been proven innocent. The police did nothing. They never launched any investigation. And Supt Gan confirmed this during my trial.
Okay, maybe I did not win first prize. They made sure I would not with the ‘I can’t reply’, ‘I don’t know how to reply’, ‘How do I reply to that’ answers that Supt Gan gave us. But at least I won second prize, for now. We have thus far failed to prove that Najib is guilty, and that may take us another year of hearings before we can do that -- which might be too late by then. But we have succeeded in proving that the police never cleared him either.
The ball is now at Abdullah Badawi’s feet. Whether he wants to hand over to Najib at the end of this month or not is his call. But the Altantuya murder is not the only issue. Perak is one more nail in Najib’s coffin. Today, it looks like Barisan Nasional has lost Perak, which means Najib lost. Then there is the emergency meeting this afternoon where some UMNO veterans are going to apply for a court injunction to delay the UMNO Assembly scheduled for the end of this month.
More than 1,000 reports have been made alleging corruption by the many contestants in the UMNO party elections. That is more reports than number of candidates. The UMNO veterans want the party to delay the Assembly until after all the cases have been investigated. What happens if someone (or many) wins the party elections and later is found guilty of corruption (money politics)? They would have to resign and this would be embarrassing for UMNO.
Imagine the entire UMNO Supreme Council and its three Vice-Presidents who win at the end of this month are found guilty of corruption. The entire leadership would need to resign or get sacked. UMNO would be put to shame, not to mention the bother of holding the party elections all over again.
I said this before and I will say it again. 24 hours is a long time in politics. Governments can fall in a mere 24 hours. What more 24 days? Najib may yet not become Prime Minister come end of this month. Sure, he may make Deputy President of UMNO. But that does not mean he will also become Prime Minister. How he handles Perak the next 24 hours and what results from the emergency meeting by the UMNO veterans this afternoon and the injunction that may follow it would have a bearing on Najib’s chances of becoming Prime Minister.
And if Abdullah Badawi does what I hope he will do with the court papers I sent him, then Najib’s goose is cooked. And it will no longer matter what they do to me. Najib will be out and Perak will be back under Pakatan Rakyat. My job is done. What happens thereafter is not a big deal.
This is something Najib does not understand. He thought he knew the game. In reality, he does not. The game is actually very simple indeed. It is called ‘Russian Roulette’. We load the chamber with one bullet, spin the chamber, and pull the trigger. I have pulled it and it did not fire. It just ‘clicked’. It is now Najib’s turn to pull the trigger. Will it fire or will it also go ‘click’? I really don’t know. Najib will have to pull the trigger for us to see. If it ‘clicks’, then the gun comes back to me and it is my turn to, again, pull the trigger. And this game of Russian Roulette will continue until one of us gets a bullet in the head.
Yes, I live dangerously. But I do not do so for the sake of living dangerously. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No pain, no gain. This is all necessary. Perak was Najib’s doing. He created that mess. So we have to mess him up if need be to get back Perak. And it looks like that may have happened today in spite of what Najib and the police tried to do.
To the Perak CPO, Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, I have only one thing to say: you have breached Section 124 of the Penal Code. Go straight to jail, do not pass ‘go’, and do not collect RM200 on the way to jail. And to Nizar, well done. We were in Perak today and we are very honoured to have witnessed history in the making. This is the first time in history that a legitimate government was forced to conduct its business under a tree. I am going to propose a ceremony to place a bronze plaque under that tree so that generations to come can get to see the spot where the people took back power from the government, minus the bloodshed as well.
This is Peoples’ Power in the true sense of the word. Syabas. I am proud of you, Nizar. By the powers invested in me, I now proclaim you an Honorary Bugis Warrior.
(MJ reporting from the site where history was created)
I have never felt so proud of being a son of Perak than today. It was a historic and unforgettable moment. It was a moment made up of heroic courage accompanied by an unending chorus of “Hidup Perak”. It was a moment which Perakians could hold their heads high and know that there is hope.
For once “Malaysia Boleh” meant something very significant to me. What took place happened in Bolehland! In the midst of the crowd there was a placard which read: “The Whole World is Watching”. Yes, the whole world saw how the people of Perak and their leaders refused to bow, bend and buckle under Najib’s nefarious tricks and Umno’s manipulative maneuverings.
The whole world saw how a brave bunch of State Assemblypersons refused to be bribed, bought over, bullied or budge and how they are ready to face the possible consequences of their bravery in standing up to the powers-that-be who brazenly and shamelessly robbed the people of their State Government.
Today, Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin was voted and confirmed unanimously in a motion of confidence the true and legitimate Menteri Besar of Perak by the Perak State Assembly. This took place in an “emergency sitting” held under a raintree and an open sky – in the approving and affirming presence of the people.
It was an “emergency sitting” in every sense of the word. Locked out of the state secretariat and wanting to avoid any untoward incidents with some 30 thuggish men (Umno supporters?), the Pakatan Aduns made their way to a vacant lot some 200 meters from the state secretariat.
For a moment it seemed that the Pakatan leadership was unsure of what was the next course of action. A hush-hush discussion transpired after which to everyone’s surprise the Speaker announced that the emergency sitting would be held at the vacant spot under a raintree! Even the Aduns themselves seemed surprised! Nizar would later explain the sitting under the tree was done according to the “doctrine of necessity”!
As the Speaker and the Aduns took their place, there were whispers amongst the large crowd gathered, of the venue being the perfect place to hold a State Assembly sitting. A man standing next to me said that it was his first time attending a State Assembly sitting and they should have more of such assemblies which the public can easily attend!
A lady quipped: “You see how transparent PR is. We even hold a State Assembly sitting out in the open! We have nothing to hide. It is an open fact that Nizar is the legitimate MB and the PR State Government is that voted in by the majority of the people.”
The Speaker was in his full official regalia. The PR Aduns stood before him. Pakatan officials and security volunteers formed a ring around them. The sea of people surged closer encircling the two groups to witness the serious, solemn and significant event.
It was truly a touching and hilarious moment when the Speaker asked the Aduns to voice out and to provide a show of hands whether they agreed to the motion of confidence in Nizar being the legitimate MB, the crowd very spontaneously and spiritedly shouted “Setuju!” The Aduns then smilingly explained to the crowd that only the Aduns are to respond.
Some who were not familiar with the formalities of a State Assembly sitting felt strongly that they were very much part of the assembly and had the right to express their confidence in their MB! Two other motions were passed — one calling for the dissolution of the assembly to pave the way for fresh state elections, and the other, the adoption of the suspension of Perak Mentri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir and six Exco councillors he appointed.
An Adun, when supporting one of the motions, began by speaking of an “institutional crisis” in Perak and in the country. He then corrected himself and mentioned “constitutional crisis”. He was right in the first instance — the country’s institutions are breaking down!
This has been so well highlighted by Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan: “Our institutions, that is the courts, the police, etc., are being tested and we can judge for ourselves whether they are acting independently or not… It is so obvious they are not.”
She lamented that the tragic events in the state “shows a total breakdown in relation to the structures and sanctity of the legislature. It shows a violation of the role of the Speaker and an intrusion into the processes of the legislative assembly. The Speaker, much like the status of the Attorney General, should also be seen as an institution in its own right.”
The police who were supposed to be impartial ignored the instructions of the Speaker. They displayed an intimidating presence. Ipoh OCPD Azisman Alias insisted there would be no negotiations, causing State DAP chief and senior exco member under the PR government Ngeh Koo Ham to remark: “It is a very sad day. We have descended into a police state.”
Lim Kit Siang shares a similar concern: “Today, the doctrine of separation of powers has suffered another grievous blow with the powers and privileges of the legislature in Perak, attacked by the executive, both federal and state, which is also seeking to invoke unprecedented judicial interference with the legislature.”
In spite of the disturbing trends the courage displayed by the MB, Speaker and the Aduns of PR offer the people much hope. History will remember how a Perak State Assembly was forced to hold a sitting under a raintree during which the Speaker and the Assemblypersons literally stood up for the justice and the truth and against the might of those who are willing to stoop so low in their political subterfuge and scheming.
Martin Jalleh (3 March 2009)
KUALA LUMPUR: A former top MIC official and Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) cheque signatory is being investigated by police.
Police are expected to question at least three people, including two top officials of the MIED and a senior politician.
Chitrakala & Samy Velu in good times pic: nst
Police have gone through every report lodged in connection with the alleged misappropriation of MIED funds.
The source said police had recovered RM1.7million, said to be part of the misappropriated RM5.2million, from the bank account of an official.
On Feb 22, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said a top MIED official had been identified as being responsible for the missing RM5.26 million.
MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan, who is also MIED director, later lodged a police report over missing MIED files.
In December, Tan Sri M. Mahalingam, who was an MIED cheque signatory, was removed from his post as MIC treasurer-general.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime division director Datuk Koh Hong Sun, when contacted, said he could not give details as the case was still under investigation.
NST, Mar 03 2009
MIED scandal: Police freeze bank account of institute's former chiefBy : Suganthi Suparmaniam
Chitrakala dares police to freeze Samy Vellu's account as well.
She disclosed this after a 31/2-hour meeting with the Dang Wangi police who recorded her statement on the tsunami funds raised by MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and RM10 million given by the government to the MIC's Yayasan Pemulihan Sosial.
"I hope police will freeze Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's bank account as well.
"Are they daring enough?" she asked at a press conference held at the Parliament cafeteria yesterday.
She said the police had not frozen her husband's account.
"But I don't know what would happen to his accounts over the next few days," she said.
Dressed in an orange kurta and blue jeans, the 38-year-old said she went to the Dang Wangi police on her own accord.
"I told them everything I know about the case.
"Tomorrow, I am going to the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters to give my statement on the missing MIED files," she said.
"Once the police have finished their investigations with me, I will go to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission."
Chitrakala insisted that RM5.2 million was not missing from the MIED, as claimed by Samy Vellu.
She denied rumours that she was the official from whose personnel account police had recovered some "missing" money.
"As far as I know, I don't think so. You have to ask the police."
She refused to answer a question about her former aide, a man named Rama, who is also being investigated by police over the MIED issue.
"I don't know, you have to ask the police," she said of her former aide.
Chitrakala attributed political motives for the way she was removed as MIED chief executive officer.
She said MIED was worth RM1 billion.
Former CEO finds alliesKLANG: Besieged Maju Institute of Educational Development chief executive officer P. Chitrakala Vasu has found allies in former MIC Klang division chief Alex Thiagarasan and PKR member of parliament N. Gobalakrishnan.
He said Samy Vellu usually got rid of people who no longer served his purpose, adding he himself was sacked for questioning him.
Thiagarasan was sacked from MIC after he lodged police reports against Samy Vellu over the Maika-Telekom shares scandal.
Meanwhile, Gobalakrishnan, the Padang Serai MP, said the MIED was the only good thing the party had done. "I will raise this matter in Parliament and will speak to the home minister about providing security for Chitrakala."
The majestic Democracy Tree that has now entered the annals of Ipoh folklore Photos by Jong (click to expand)
The raintree stands tall providing shade as the Perak State Assembly convenes an emergency sitting in the open air amidst the people.
All around, as Penang-based lawyer-writer Tan Ban Cheng observes, the traditional institutions of governance and democracy have not exactly distinguished themselves among the public.
Tense moments outside the state government building this morning (Click to expand)
In the public domain, serious questions and concerns are being expressed of certain sections of the civil service, the judiciary and the police in the light of recent events.
But among the people, the yearning for genuine grassroots democracy and real justice is still alive in their hearts. To ensure that our democracy is not fragile, we have to ensure that its roots are healthy and deep like those of the ‘pokok demokrasi’.
And the best way of doing that is to introduce local democracy (elections) at all levels right down to the kampongs and new villages. Once people get a taste of real democracy, it won’t be easy for it to be taken away.
For practical purposes it can be said that Parliament is dissolved when a general election is called. The government of the day, formed by the majority of the member of the Dewan Rakyat, comes to an end when this occurs, at least in theory. A caretaker government is charged with the responsibility of governing the nation in the short period before a new government is formed. This occurs when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints a member of parliament to be the Prime Minister. The person His Majesty appoints is the person who in His judgment is the person commanding the confidence of the majority of the members of parliament. The appointment is a matter left entirely to the discretion of His Majesty with one condition: the appointee must be the person commanding the confidence of the majority of the members.
In the usual course, this is a matter of numbers. That person who can say that he or she commands the confidence of the majority should become the Prime Minister. This is straightforward where every member exercises his or her own judgment in coming to a choice and expresses that choice independently.
The situation is less clear where the right to choose is ceded over to a political party, or more specifically the leadership of that party or the coalition to which it exists. It may be that the party’s choice of candidate is not the choice of some or members or even a majority of them. The question then arises whether the choice of the leadership can be taken as the choice of the members of parliament from the party or coalition.
A purist perspective would lend against such a conclusion. The choice of the individual member of parliament of whom it is that he or she has confidence in is enshrined under the Constitution. A more practical approach would inevitably favour the conclusion that the party’s choice would prevail. This could however be made the basis of a plea to His Majesty. Though we have yet to see this happen on the Federal stage, we saw such a scenario unfold in Trengganu last year. There the Regent took the position that the party’s choice, predicated as it was on the majority of assemblypersons being made up of members of the party, was not decisive in view of personal preference favouring another candidate. This incident could be viewed as having some persuasive force.
The situation is not radically different where a Prime Minister resigns. As the Constitution does not cater to such a situation specifically, it stands to reason that reference must be made to the same provisions concerning the appointment of a Prime Minister.
These provisions provide for the resignation of a Prime Minister where upon his request for the dissolution of Parliament, His Majesty declines to do so. In that case, the Prime Minister must tender the resignation of the Cabinet (of which he is a member). I would think that though the Constitution is silent, the Prime Minister is permitted to resign, even where a no-confidence scenario is not in existence. To do so, he would however have to tender the resignation of his cabinet.
The more interesting aspect of this situation centres on what it is His Majesty can or should do. Save for the no-confidence scenario, the power to dissolve Parliament is one to be exercised on advice. It could be argued that without such advice, His Majesty cannot dissolve Parliament and as such is left with only the option of appointing a new Prime Minister who in turn will form his cabinet.
However, if one were to take the events of Perak as definitive, in particular the discretion of the Sultan to determine whether confidence exists, it may be open to His Majesty to take the position that by the incumbent Prime Minister resigning for reasons that have nothing to do with his incapacity, it could be said that he no longer commands the confidence of the majority. That being the case, His Majesty has the option of dissolving Parliament.
I do not think that is the correct way of looking at things. However, after Perak, it is difficult to say what is right anymore.
Leaving aside the conundrum outlined above, there remains the final dimension of this discussion: the absolute discretion of His Majesty to appoint as Prime Minister the person whom in His judgment commands the confidence of the majority. This need not necessarily be the person who replaces the Prime Minister as the President of UMNO.
That this has occurred all this while need not make it a necessity. A convention within the Barisan Nasional and the coalition’s dictates cannot bind His Majesty especially where there is reason to ask whether the proposed candidate does in fact command the requisite confidence. Imagine if personal preferences were marshaled in a way that lent to a different outcome in His Majesty’s mind. If that were to occur, there would be little room left for UMNO to maneuver, especially after the way it has carried on about the inviolability of the royal discretion. Precedent has a nasty way of biting back.
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar
Today 27 Assemblymen in Perak were prevented by the OCPD from entering the State Secretariat building, apparently upon “instructions” from the State Assembly Secretary.
The role of the State Assembly Secretary now comes under scrutiny. He is an official appointed from the public services and is only responsible for the administrative management of the State. He therefore has no authority to decide or pronounce whether a legislative assembly sitting is valid or not. The police have therefore acted improperly on his advice in defiance of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. These errors are further compounded by events that transpired in the High Court.
It was asserted before the Court by the plaintiff’s lawyers that the Speaker ought to be represented by the State Legal Advisor rather than private lawyers. There is certainly legal basis to disagree with that view but a more substantive matter of general principle must be addressed as to the position of the State Legal Advisor
Firstly, every lawyer must act on the instructions of his client and not otherwise. The Speaker has stated that he never gave instructions to the State Legal Advisor to either appear for him or to argue the case on his behalf. This is a matter that the Court must satisfy itself of before proceeding.
Secondly, the State Legal Advisor is clearly in a position of conflict. He and his department are presently acting for Dato’ Zambry in the Kuala Lumpur High Court suit where Dato’ Zambry’s appointment is being challenged. How can he or his department now act for the Speaker against Dato’ Zambry?
If the parties who file and defend proceedings in Court are confident of the strength of their case, there is little reason to taint or mar the proceedings with acts that militate against natural justice and fair play. It bears repeating that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done. The Courts have a duty to uphold the highest principles of justice, fairness and their own independence. We must respect the doctrine of separation of powers and uphold the Federal Constitution.
The Legislative Assembly was convened by the Speaker a short distance from the State Secretariat building. There are questions as to whether it was permissible to hold the Legislative Assembly outside the State Secretariat building. Of course, the State Secretariat building is where the Legislative Assembly ought to have been held. However, the Speaker and Assemblymen were prevented from holding it in the proper place by the police (and this raises serious issues as to the legality of the police action). Thus the Speaker had no choice but to act within what may be seen as wide powers to convene the meeting elsewhere. No doubt there will be contrary views but it must be understood that this situation is unprecedented and the Standing Orders may not adequately cover these eventualities, thus leaving the Speaker with the powers to act according to the circumstances of the case.
We will no doubt see another case filed in Court. And the public has to further suffer the consequences of uncertainty.
The situation is untenable and cries out for the one thing that will resolve it conclusively – fresh elections. There is now a window of opportunity for this to happen. Let the people decide.
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
3 March 2009
Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad
Tan Sri Amar Hamid Bugo
Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Kamal Hassan
Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
Tan Sri Simon Sipaun
Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas
Puan Sri Zaiton Zawiyah Puteh,
Datuk Raspal Singh
Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon
Datuk Anwar Fazal
Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim
Chelvarajah Ramasamy Reddiar
Lembaga Penasihat SPRM
Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia
Blok D6, Kompleks D
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
Peti Surat 6000
62007 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA.
Per: Penyiasatan SPRM keatas laporan Polis 22807/08 pada 1 Julai 2008 terhadap penyalahgunaan kuasa Tan Sri Gani Patail (PN) dan Tan Sri Musa Hassan(KPN).
Izinkan saya dengan segala hormatnya merujuk kepada perkara tersebut.
2. Saya telah membuat Dang Wangi Report No:22807/08 pada 1.7.2008 kandungan yang mana seperti dalam “Ekshibit-A”. Dalam laporan tersebut , saya telah mendakwa Gani, SAC I Musa Hassan (“Musa”)(sekarang Tan Sri Ketua Polis Negara), seorang Dr. Abdul Rahman Yusof (“Dr.Rahman”) dan Pegawai Penyiasatan kes mata-lebam 1998, ACP Mat Zain bin Ibrahim (“Mat Zain”)(sekarang Dato, dan telah bersara), kerana secara aktif dan bersama-sama memalsukan keterangan berkaitan dengan laporan kecederaan keatas diri saya setelah dibelasah oleh Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor(TSRN) Ketua Polis Negara ketika itu, dalam kes “mata-lebam 1998”tersebut.
a) Siasatan ke atas laporan saya ini dilaksanakan oleh SPRM (ketika itu Badan Pencegah Rasuah-BPR).
b) Beberapa banyak kenyataan media berhubung status siasatan ini telah dibuat oleh antaranya YAB Perdana Menteri (“PM”), beberapa menteri kabinet, dan termasuk oleh Gani, Musa, dan Ahmad said sendiri. Dalam bulan November/Disember 2008, Ahmad said telah membuat kenyataan media ketika di Sarawak, menyatakan yang SPRM telah selesai menjalankan siasatan kes ini, dan akan merujukkan hasil siasatan berkenaan kepada “panel” SPRM untuk kajian mereka.
c) Kenyataan berkaitan panel yang disebut oleh Ahmad said agak longgar kerana tidak merujuk kepada semua kenyataan dan dokumen berkaitan. Justeru itu, saya memohon pertimbangan Ahli Panel SPRM meneliti kes ini dengan adil dan saksama.
Hasil siasatan yang wajar/berhak diharapkan daripada SPRM
3. Rayuan ini berkaitan dengan kegagalan siasatan dan tindakan sebelumnya. maka saya berhak meletakkan harapan bahawa SPRM akan menyempurnakan tanggungjawab dengan telus dan tegas; di antaranya menjelaskan:
a) Bahawa Dr.Rahman telah diarah dan/atau dipaksa dan/atau didorong oleh Gani untuk menyediakan dan/atau mereka dua (2) atau lebih laporan kecederaan ke atas saya dalam kes “mata lebam 1998” itu, sekalipun Gani mengetahui Dr Rahman tidak pernah memeriksa saya secara fizikal.
b) Dikemukakan untuk rujukan Y.A.Bhg.Tun “Ekshibit-B” salinan rekod prosiding Suruhanjaya Di Raja menyiasat kecederaan saya, yang mengesahkan telah melibatkan sebanyak dua (2) laporan kecederaan ke atas saya yang telah disediakan oleh Dr.Rahman untuk Jabatan Peguam Negara, bertarikh 2 Oktober 1998 dan satu (1) lagi laporan tidak bertarikh seperti yang digunakan sebagai Ekshibit A9 dalam laporan Suruhanjaya Di Raja tersebut itu.
c) Dikemukakan untuk rujukan Y.A.Bhg.Tun “Ekshibit-C”, iaitu salinan laporan kecederaan yang tidak bertarikh dan digunakan dalam Suruhanjaya Di Raja tersebut. Dr. Rahman telah mengesahkan dalam laporannya yang beliau telah dilantik sendiri oleh Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah (Allahyarham) (“TSMA”), Peguam Negara itu, telah menyediakan laporan kecederaan berkenaan.
d) Dikemukakan pula untuk rujukan Y.A.Bhg.Tun “Ekshibit-D”, iaitu salinan laporan kecederaan ke atas saya, bertarikh 26 Oktober 1998, disediakan oleh Dr Rahman atas arahan Gani sendiri. Untuk makluman Y.A.Bhg.Tun, laporan kecederaan ini dipercayai disembunyikan oleh Gani atas sebab-sebab yang beliau sendiri ketahui dan tidak dikemukan dalam prosiding Suruhanjaya Di Raja. Untuk makluman juga, saya memperolehi salinan laporan kecederaan ini daripada SPRM sendiri ketika memberi keterangan saya kepada pihak mereka dalam bulan Julai 2008.
e) Tanpa rasa ragu saya tegaskan bahawa Gani telah menyembunyikan keterangan yang penting ini, untuk mengelakkan dirinya sendiri atau orang/orang-orang lain daripada dikenakan hukuman jenayah. Perbuatan Gani sedemikian ini adalah salahguna kuasa seperti yang ditakrifkan dalam Akta SPRM dan/atau salah laku jenayah seperti yang ditakrifkan dalam Kanun Keseksaan atau kedu-duanya sekali.
Tindakan susulan SPRM yang diharapkan darinya
4. Tanpa mengambil kira keterangan-keterangan lain dalam kes ini pun, keterangan berkaitan laporan-laporan kecederaan seperti yang dijelaskan di atas, sudah mencukupi untuk SPRM membentuk suatu kes “prima facie” terhadap Gani kerana memberi dan/atau mereka keterangan palsu dalam kes mata lebam 1998 tersebut. Malah tatkala memberikan keterangan kepada pegawai-pegawai BPR; saya juga telah merujuk kepada beberapa dokumen lainnya termasuk dokumen peguam Manjeet Singh Dhillon mengenai percubaan Gani memalsukan keterangan dalam kes Nallakarupan. Selanjutnya saya juga telah mengemukakan laporan polis berkaitan ACP Koh.
a) Saya menegaskan bahawa dalam siasatan ini, Ahmad said tidak ada pilihan melainkan untuk mengenakan pertuduhan mereka keterangan palsu di bawah Kanun Keseksaan terhadap Gani dan orang atau orang-orang yang bersubahat dengan Gani tanpa lengah lagi.
5. Ahli Panel dipohon memastikan tidak ada keterangan dokumen yang diketepikan oleh Ahmad said atau SPRM tatkala membuat penilaian.
6. Untuk makluman Y.A.Bhg.Tun, kini telah genap lapan (8) bulan semenjak saya membuat laporan polis di atas pada 1.7.2008. Malangnya, sehingga kini Ahmad said gagal untuk memaklumkan hasil siasatan beliau, sedangkan pihak SPRM sendiri yang telah mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa siasatan kes ini telah selesai sejak 22 Julai 2008, menerusi kenyataan akhbar oleh Timbalan Ketua Pengarah BPR ketika itu. Walhal terdapat beberapa kes lain pula, Ahmad said boleh membuat kenyataan umum berkaitan keputusan siasatan kes berkenaan selang beberapa hari sahaja selepas siasatan dimulakan. Saya ulangi gesaan agar tindakan memalsukan keterangan dan menyalahgunakan kuasa tidak dilindungi samada melibatkan Peguam Negara, Ketua Polis Negara atau Ketua Pesuruhjaya SPRM sendiri.
7. Saya akan mengemukakan keterangan dan dakwaan lanjut disertakan ekshibit berkaitan. Insyaallah keterangan lain akan menyusul kemudian. Saya hanya mampu mengharap agar Y.A.Bhg.Tun memberikan saya pendengaran yang adil. Kebimbangan tersebut adalah berasas malah kita dapati kaedah sama digunakan sebagai muslihat dalam kes-kes terhadap saya berikutnya.
Ketua Pembangkang Dewan Rakyat
Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh