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Friday, March 6, 2009

Slumdog 'breaches $200m barrier'

Scene from Slumdog Millionaire
The film mixes romance with gritty scenes of the Mumbai slums

Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire has crossed the $200m (£140m) mark in box office takings around the world, according to figures in Variety.

The film industry daily says the Mumbai-based movie, which cost $15m to make, has now taken $217m at cinemas.

Slumdog is enjoying a further bounce at the box office after picking up eight Oscars at February's Academy Awards.

Fox Searchlight, which released the rags-to-riches tale, said it expects the box office total to exceed $250m.

The company's Steve Gilula told the paper: "It's extraordinary. Very, very few films get past $200 million worldwide."

Slumdog Millionaire returned to the top slot at the UK box office over the first weekend of March.

The move back up from third place came a week after the Oscar ceremony, where the film took best picture and earned Danny Boyle the best director award. -BBC News

Keluarga Kugan seret Hospital Serdang ke polis - Malaysiakini

Keluarga A Kugan, yang mati dalam tahanan polis, hari ini membuat laporan polis berhubung lapan perbezaan terang-terangan antara keputusan bedah siasat pertama dengan kedua.

a kugan police assaulted indian youth pj ipd report 060309 07Ditemani peguam N Surendran, kira-kira 10 ahli keluarga mendiang membuat aduan di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Petaling Jaya pukul 11 pagi terhadap pengarah dan doktor patologi Hospital Serdang yang mengeluarkan keputusan bedah siasat awal.

Turut hadir ahli parlimen PKR Kapar, S Manikavasagam dan dan ahli parlimen DAP Teluk Intan, M Manogaran.

Laporan bedah siasat kedua di Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM) mendapati mendiang mati akibat kecederaan dalaman setelah dibelasah dengan teruk sewaktu ditahan di balai polis Taipan, Subang Jaya.

a kugan police assaulted indian youth pj ipd report 060309 m indraKugan direman sejak 15 Januari lalu bagi membantu siasatan kes kecurian kereta mewah.

Bedah siasat ulangan dibuat susulan rasa tidak puas hati keluarga Kugan terhadap hasil bedah siasat Hospital Serdang pada 21 Januari lalu yang mendapati punca kematiannya akibat paru-paru berair.

Bedah siasat itu juga mendapati pakar patologi pertama hanya membedah siasat bahagian jantung ke atas dan tidak menyiasat bahagian-bahagian mayat yang lain.

Ia berjaya mengesan tiga kesan kecederaan pada badan mangsa.

Bedah siasat kedua oleh PPUM bagaimanapun mendapati 42 lagi kecederaan, kesan bakar dan calar.

Ia memutuskan, kematian pemuda 22 tahun itu akibat kegagalan buah pinggang selepas aliran darah tersekat.

Perak PR to sue Perak State Legal Adviser

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — Perak Pakatan Rakyat will be filing a suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Jalan Duta today at 3pm to stop Perak State Legal Adviser Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid from representing Perak Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar in the Ipoh High Court.

It is believed that prominent lawyer Tommy Thomas will be filing the suit on behalf of Perak PR.

MORE TO COME

Selangor, don't back down on water

Nizar’s case referred to Federal Court

Nizar and Ngeh Koo Ham, a former PKR Perak Exco member, waiting outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court today. - Picture by Choo Choy May

By Debra Chong and Edward Cheah- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's legal challenge that he is the lawful menteri besar of Perak has been postponed.

The High Court today ruled that the Federal Court must first settle a constitutional question at the heart of Nizar’s judicial review before a judgment can be made on whether Nizar is the lawful MB or not.

High Court judge Justice Lau Bee Lan, of the Appellate and Special Powers Division, made the decision to refer the matter directly to the Federal Court based on advice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

She noted that the matter has been referred to the Federal Court as it involves a constitutional interpretation of the Perak State Constitution.

Lau ordered a one-hour break in today’s proceedings to enable the parties involved in the case to help the High Court formulate the question that will be referred to the Federal Court.

Senior Federal Counsel from the A-G’s Chambers Datuk Kamaluddin Md Said told reporters one of the questions concerned the powers of the Perak Sultan.

“For example, whether the Sultan’s powers can be questioned,” he said, referring to Sultan Azlan Shah’s decision to appoint Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as the menteri besar to replace Nizar.

“If it can be questioned, can his power be challenged?” Kamaluddin added.

Nizar, who was present for the court hearing today, appeared collected — even cheerful — after the judge made the ruling.

He stressed to reporters that the judge had not made a judgment yet on his judicial review.

“The law is supreme. We expect positive decisions. We will now have to formulate a strategy and questions,” he added before leaving with his team of lawyers to form the questions to be referred to the apex court.

Perak State Legal Advisor Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, who is currently at the centre of controversy for being compelled to represent State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar in a legal dispute in the Ipoh High Court, was not present today.

Ahmad Kamal had previously appeared as counsel for Zambry. He was replaced by his deputy Zulqarnain Hassan.

Murugiah refutes claim Kugan's body was tampered

(New Straits Times) - Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator T. Murugiah rubbished claims that A. Kugan's body was tampered with by his family members before the post-mortem.

"The family members were distraught, yes, but I did not see anyone mishandling the body when I was there," he told reporters after meeting residents from Kota Damansara who were unhappy over the construction of a hypermarket in their neighbourhood.

Murugiah said he did not see any pool of blood on the floor as claimed by the Serdang Hospital medical officers.

He also said that he was not aware that the medical officers had been hiding in an adjoining room of the mortuary from the mob of about 50 people as he had been speaking to a doctor whom he declined to name.

Murugiah went on to say that the entire incident had been recorded on video and that the evidence had already been sent for investigation.

"Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has assured me that he would be looking into the case. We will just leave it to him to reach a decision," he said.

"The truth will eventually prevail," he added.

Murugiah was commenting on the statement by Serdang Hospital director Dr Mohd Norzi Ghazali who alleged that Kugan's body was tampered with by a mob of about 50 relatives and friends at the mortuary before pathologists had conducted the post-mortem. Dr Norzi also alleged that Kugan's fully-clothed body was in a body bag, which had been torn open by the mob.

In their police report later, the medical officers, who said they were hiding in an adjoining room, said they were shocked to see a pool of Kugan's blood on the mortuary floor.

This, the report said, indicated that wounds on Kugan's body could have been inflicted after his death.

The New Straits Times learnt that police had completed their investigation into the incident at the Serdang Hospital mortuary which they had classified as fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of a capital offence.

The charge carries a jail term of up to 20 years and fine.

Pakatan reps and all involved in gathering under tree to be questioned

The Star) - All those involved in the illegal gathering in front of the State Secretariat on Tuesday, including the 28 Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen who held an “emergency sitting” of the state assembly under a tree, will be called by the police to give statements.

State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said that so far two assemblymen had been called to give their statements. He did not name the two.

He said police were also looking for six men to assist in the investigations under Section 27 (5) of the Police Act for illegal assembly.

“More photographs will be released as and when they are available,” he said after witnessing the handing over of duties of the state CID chief from Asst Comm Zulkifli Hassan to Senior Asst Comm (II) Mohd Dzuraidi Ibrahim.


Sought: A combo picture of the six men police are looking for in connection with the illegal assembly.

The Pakatan assemblymen led by Speaker V. Sivakumar had gathered at the State Secretariat to convene the “sitting.”

When they were not allowed into the building, the group proceeded to a vacant lot nearby and conducted the meeting under a tree.

On plans by Pakatan to file a case in court against the police for stopping the assembly sitting, DCP Zulkifli said: “We are a democratic country. If they want to file, go ahead.”

He stressed that police were merely carrying out their duties to ensure peace and harmony.

On another matter, DCP Zulkifli said 13 people had been charged over the ruckus during the swearing-in of new Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir in Kuala Kangsar on Feb 6.

Four more – three men and a woman – were charged at the Kuala Kangsar magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

The Sedition Act for Dummies

Image

Actually, my case is very complicating indeed. The police report against me was that I was seditious because I had lied (di ada adakan). Therefore, should not the focus of my trial be on whether I did or did not lie? The government realises that this was a mistake so it is trying to amend the charge without officially amending it.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin


I am currently on trial for the crime of sedition. It seems, according to Malaysia’s Sedition Act, I have committed a crime. The novel thing about the Sedition Act is that it does not matter whether I had lied or had told the truth. Even if I had not lied and had told the truth it would still tantamount to sedition. Therefore, I can go to jail for telling the truth if the government can prove that the truth I told is seditious. That is the fate that awaits me.

This means the court can block the truth from surfacing. I can’t use the truth as my defence. Therefore, I would not be allowed to adduce any evidence to support what I wrote or said. Never mind if I have evidence that so-and-so were the people behind the Altantuya murder or so-and-so were also present during the murder. This is not crucial to my defence and the court is not interested in seeing this evidence. The question would be: did I write or say what they allege I have written or said? If I did, then I am guilty. Whether I lied or not is not crucial to the charge and the court is not in the least interested in looking at whatever evidence I may have.

Now can you see why they chose to charge me under the Sedition Act as well as for criminal defamation for the second trial? This is so that the truth or falsity of what I wrote and said need not be argued. They only need to focus on whether I did it. This would mean the truth can forever remain suppressed and need never surface during the trial.

If they had instead charged me for making a false declaration or for signing a false Statutory Declaration, then I would need to prove I did not make a false declaration or had signed a false SD. So the truth of what I said and wrote would be very crucial. We would need to get to the bottom of things so that I can defend myself. The truth must be established so that we can prove I had not lied. Alas, this will not be the case because what I have been charged with does not require the truth to be established.

Actually, when they initially brought me in for interrogation, it was for the crime of making a false declaration. They probably realised that this would be suicide in the event I have the evidence to prove I did not make a false declaration. So they changed their mind and instead charged me under the Sedition Act as well as for criminal defamation. This would be safer as the truth of the matter need not be argued and can in fact be blocked from ever surfacing.

Let us look at what the Sedition Act is all about. This is actually a law from the time when the King was appointed by God and could do no wrong. To question the King is tantamount to questioning God and would therefore be an act of sedition. But those were in the days when the King could send you to your death. Today, the King is purely a Constitutional Monarch who does not possess the executive powers of the Kings of days gone by.

In Public Prosecutor vs. Param Cumaraswamy, the sedition charge against Param was:

That you on 24 July 1985 at about 11:00 a.m. at the office of the Selangor and Federal Territory Bar Committee in the old High Court Building, in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, uttered seditious words to wit, that part of your press statement as underlined, (the full text of which is attached as Sch. ‘A’ to this charge) and that you have thereby committed an offence under s 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act, 1948 (Revised 1969) and punishable under s 4(1) of the said Act.

The judge in this case was Justice NH Chan, who has now become famous because of his opinion on the Perak Constitutional Crisis where he said that Pakatan Rakyat is on solid legal grounds.

Another case involved Marina Yusof who was alleged to have made a seditious statement during a DAP ceramah in Penang. Marina successfully proved she had not lied but they still found her guilty. This, as I said, is because the truth of the matter is not crucial to the charge. Even if she had told the truth, which was proven she did, she is still guilty.

Because of her age, the court decided to just fine her instead of sending her to jail. She paid the fine and went home. If she had not been over 60 and a grandmother to boot, they would have sent her to jail. And she was found guilty not because she had lied but because she told the truth. But the truth she told was considered seditious.

My defence in my sedition trial, therefore, becomes very dicey indeed. I can’t adduce whatever evidence I have. If I do, I will go to jail. Instead, I will have to allow them to prove that I committed the act. And if they can’t prove that then I will be home free. To admit that I committed the act by attempting to prove that I had not lied and by adducing the evidence I possess means I am confessing to a crime and would therefore lose my case.

Many are hoping that the evidence I have will surface during my trial. The government, however, is clever enough to make sure that it never will. And even if I am prepared to lose my case and risk going to jail by taking the line of defence that I may have done it but I did not lie, the court can still block this evidence as ‘not relevant’ to the case. They can bar me from adducing any evidence unless it involves proving I did not commit the act. If it is about whether I had told the truth or not, then the court does not want to see it.

Sir James Stephen’s definition of sedition found its way into the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast. Section 326 sub-s 8 of the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast, 1936 Revision, c 9, states as follows:

A ‘seditious intention’ is an intention:

(1) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of His Majesty, His heirs or successors or the Government of the Gold Coast as by law established; or

(2) to bring about a change in the sovereignty of the Gold Coast; or

(3) to excite His Majesty’s subjects or inhabitants of the Gold Coast to attempt to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any other matter in the Gold Coast as by law established; or

(4) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in the Gold Coast; or

(5) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst His Majesty’s subjects or inhabitants of the Gold Coast; or

(6) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of the population of the Gold Coast:

It is not a seditious intention if:

(a) to show that His Majesty has been misled or mistaken in any of his measures; or

(b) to point out errors or defects in the government or constitution of the Gold Coast as by law established or in legislation or in the administration of justice with a view to the reformation of such errors or defects; or

(c) to persuade His Majesty’s subjects or inhabitants of the Gold Coast to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in the Gold Coast as by law established other than that referred to in para (2) of this sub-section; or

(d) to point out with a view to their removal any matters which are producing or have a tendency to produce feelings of ill-will and enmity between different classes of the population of the Gold Coast.

Provided that none of the acts or things mentioned in provisos (a), (b), (c) and (d) shall be deemed to be lawful if they are done in such manner as to effect or be likely to effect any of the purposes (1) to (6) which are declared in this section to be a seditious intention.

‘Seditious words’ are words expressive of a seditious ‘intention’.

And what, you may ask, is ‘seditious intent’?

In both the Stephen and the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast definitions, an intention to achieve one or more of the objects specified in the definition is an essential ingredient of the crime of sedition. The important question is whether the “intention” must be proved. In article 94 of the Digest (4th Ed) Stephen put it thus:

In determining whether the intention with which any words were spoken, any document was published, or any agreement was made, was or was not seditious, every person must be deemed to intend the consequences, which would naturally follow from his conduct at the time and under the circumstances in which he so conducted himself.

In Wallace-Johnson v The King, counsel for the appellant contended (a) that both in English common law and in the Criminal Code in question there must be some evidence of intention outside the mere words of the instrument before a seditious intention can be said to exist; and (b) that in the present case, when the document is read, there cannot be found in it any seditious intention at all; and therefore before the appellant can be convicted there must be some evidence of seditious intention extrinsically, and, there being none, this conviction cannot stand on any ground.

3. (1) A ‘seditious tendency’ is a tendency:

(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government;

(b) to excite the subjects of any Ruler or the inhabitants of any territory governed by any Government to attempt to procure in the territory of the Ruler or governed by the Government, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;

(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Malaysia or in any State;

(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State; or

(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia; or

(f) to question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Pt III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in sub-sect. (1) an act, speech, words, publication or other thing shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency:

(a) to show that any Ruler has been misled or mistaken in any of his measures;

(b) to point out errors or defects in any Government or constitution as by law established (except in respect of any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative referred to in para (f) of sub-s (1) otherwise than in relation to the implementation of any provision relating thereto) or in legislation or in the administration of justice with a view to the remedying of the errors or defects;

(c) except in respect of any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative referred to in para (f) of sub-sect, (1):

(i) to persuade the subjects of any Rulers or the inhabitants of any territory governed by any Government to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in the territory of such Government as by law established; or

(ii) to point out, with a view to their removal, any matters producing or having a tendency to produce feelings of ill-will and enmity between different races or classes of the population of the Federation if the act, speech, words, publication or other thing has not otherwise in fact a seditious tendency.

(3) For the purpose of proving the commission of any offence against this Act the intention of the person charged at the time he did or attempted to do or made any preparation to do or conspired with any person to do any act or uttered any seditious words or printed, published, sold, offered for sale, distributed, reproduced or imported any publication or did any other thing shall be deemed to be irrelevant if in fact the act had, or would, if done, have had, or the words, publication or thing had a seditious tendency.

Actually, my case is very complicating indeed. The police report against me was that I was seditious because I had lied (di ada adakan). Therefore, should not the focus of my trial be on whether I did or did not lie? The government realises that this was a mistake so it is trying to amend the charge without officially amending it. In other words, they want the court to focus on the seditious act itself (whether I wrote the article) and not on whether the article is true of false (di ada adakan).

But what about the seditious tendency of the act I was alleged to have committed? And what if my intention, assuming I want to take the risk of admitting I wrote the article, was: to point out errors or defects in any Government or constitution as by law established or in legislation or in the administration of justice with a view to the remedying of the errors or defects? Well, then it will not be seditious in nature and I, therefore, have not committed any crime. But I will have to first admit I wrote that article to explain why I wrote it and this would mean they would be able to nail my balls to the wall.

Sigh…..damned if you admit it and damned if you don’t.

I think I will be a lawyer when I grow up.

Good Luck Mr ‘Going-To-Be’ PM

By Sheih Kickdefella

“The impact of the “Altantuya case” in France, Malaysia and Mongolia has yet to reach its climax. The murder of the 28 year old Mongolian was the result of a “commission” at the price of 114 million Euros by Armaris to its Malaysian counterpart. This “commission,” which was acknowledged by the Malaysian government in front of the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, has triggered a chain of events that has led to the assassination of Altantuya and the disappearance of several key witnesses in the case.”

“A report from the Malaysian police, written on 19th november 2006 and which has been kept secret until now, reveals dry and precise descriptions as to how this young woman, a member of Asian high society, has been killed. In this document, one of the killers, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx named xxxxx, replied to the questions of an officer at a police station close to the murder scene. “When the Chinese woman saw that I was taking a gun, she begged me to spare her, saying she was pregnant. xxxxx (the commanding officer of xxxxx) grabbed her and [threw] her on the ground. I immediately shot the left side of her face. Then xxxxx took off her clothes and put them in a black plastic bag. xxxxx noticed that her hand was still moving. He ordered me to shoot again, which I did”, said xxxx. This is the first confirmation of Altantuya’s assassins’ identity. “Then we carried her body into the woods. xxxxx wrapped the explosives around her legs, her abdomen and her head, and we exploded her.”

“In March 2005, Altantuya and Baginda departed for Europe, touring France, Germany, Italy and Portugal in the red Ferrari of Baginda, staying in posh hotels and dining in the finest restaurants of the old Continent. This trip, however, was not only for tourism: the contract for the sale of the submarines had been signed in 2002, but important details had yet to be settled. “We knew that Baginda was used by Deputy Prime minister Najib Razak as an intermediary for weapons systems deals, especially the high level ones,” says a regional security affairs expert.”

“At the end of March 2005 the couple was in Paris, where they met with Najib Razak. A picture shows the threesome in a Parisian private club. “Tuya showed me the pix. She said that one of the men was her boyfriend, Abdul Razak Baginda, and the other the “big boss”, Najib Razak. I asked her if they were brothers because of the names, but she said no, and that Najib Razak was the ‘prime minister’”, said Amy, Altantuya’s best friend (Najib Razak has sworn on the Koran that he has never met Altantuya). According to a private detective, now in hiding in India, the beautiful Tuya was also the occasional mistress of the deputy Prime minister, who was introduced to her by Baginda at the end of 2004.”

liberation

Above are the English translation of some extract from the article published in a French Newspaper, 5 May 2009.

Read the full translation here.

Read he original cautioned statement that Sirul Azhar Omar here.

Razaleigh calls for fresh polls in Perak

Business Times, Singapore
06 Mar 2009

Razaleigh calls for fresh polls in Perak
He says this may be an elegant way out of the political impasse

By S JAYASANKARAN
IN KUALA LUMPUR

BARISAN Nasional lawmaker and former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has added his voice to a growing chorus of Malaysians demanding fresh elections in Perak state to resolve its month-long political impasse.

‘I think that constitutional rule in Perak has collapsed and the only way to rectify the situation is to go back to the people,’ Tengku Razaleigh told BT in an exclusive interview yesterday. ‘That would be the appropriate thing for the ruler to do.’

The reference is to Sultan Azlan Shah, the state’s monarch who, on Feb 2, rejected a request by Perak’s then chief minister Nizar Jamaluddin - of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition alliance - to dissolve the state’s assembly and pave the way for fresh polls.
Mr Nizar made the request after his government was toppled when three of his representatives defected to become independents supportive of the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Sultan Azlan decided that, to his mind, the BN held the majority in the assembly (31-28) and so appointed Zambry Kadir from the dominant United Malays National Organisation (Umno) as the state’s new chief minister.

Things have got worse since. On Tuesday, Mr Sivakumar called for an emergency sitting of the assembly but was barred by the civil service and the police. Undeterred, he convened the meeting under a tree.

The House’s meeting which was boycotted by all BN representatives decided - unanimously - that Mr Nizar commanded the confidence of the House and that he should request the Sultan for the assembly’s dissolution - again!

Meanwhile, BN reps had rushed to court which gave them an injunction prohibiting Mr Sivakumar from holding further meetings. But it isn’t clear if the meeting under the tree was invalid - if it was, the order would have had to be retrospective which is unheard of. That implied that Dr Zambry was, indeed, suspended and that the state had drifted into a constitutional black hole.

Both the BN and the opposition have vowed fresh court cases but the problem may not be easily resolved. Most of the calls for fresh polls - except for anonymous commentators on Internet websites - generally tip-toe around the episode’s background for fear of offending either the Sultan or the BN

Tengku Razaleigh didn’t have any such compunction. To be sure, he has the gravitas to carry off such a statement - some quarters might consider it lese- majeste - because he is a royal himself, being the uncle of the Sultan of Kelantan. In addition, he is an elder statesman of Umno, having narrowly lost its presidency in 1987 to former premier Mahathir Mohamad by a scant 44 votes.

Why did he think elections weren’t called? ‘The chances are that we (the BN) will lose badly in Perak,’ said the Kelantan prince. ‘That seems to be why they are reluctant to have the Sultan dissolve the assembly.’

‘This is not good and I fear for the future,’ continued Tengku Razaleigh. ‘I have no claim for the throne anywhere so I can be frank but I would like to see the monarchy strong. It’s unfortunate that it happened the way it did in Perak. But still it depends on what he (the Sultan) will do next.’

For Tengku Razaleigh, the solution is simple. ‘The rakyat (people) of Perak are his subjects,’ he said, referring to Perak’s monarch. ‘So in the end, he has to side with his people.’

In fact, Tengku Razaleigh thinks that Umno should take the lead in the matter. ‘Umno should be magnanimous and be the first to call for elections,’ he noted. ‘It would be an elegant solution and it would certainly save the Ruler further embarrassment.’

‘It may not be good for Barisan but we have no choice,’ he said. ‘We can’t go on with this impasse.’

People’s hope in the judiciary has been misplaced

by P Ramakrishnan
President
Aliran

Confronted by crisis in Perak, the people had reason to believe that the judiciary would be our last hope for justice to prevail. That hope is apparently misplaced. What a disappointment that proved to be!

It is difficult to believe or accept the decision of the Judicial Commissioner, Ridwan Ibrahim. To say the least, Malaysians are shocked into disbelief by his verdict. Technicalities were used to prevent a fair trial and counter arguments to help the judge to arrive at a sound decision. In this instance we are reminded of Aeschylus who said, “Wrong must not win by technicalities.” But that was what happened in the Ipoh High Court on 3 March 2009. It is a matter of grave disappointment to all of us.

To begin with, his decision to hear the case in chambers – not withstanding his discretionary powers - came as a complete surprise to the nation. Knowing that the entire country is very concerned with what is happening in Perak, the appropriate thing would have been to hear the case in open court as requested by senior lawyer, Tommy Thomas, representing the Speaker of the Perak Assembly. This fair request was denied.

What is at issue in this instance concerns every Malaysian and they have a right to know what persuasive arguments have been presented to support this case that has been brought to the Ipoh High Court by Zambry and others. We have a right to know what prevailed upon the Judicial Commissioner for his decision. Now, we will never know what transpired in the chambers.

Secondly, the decision to deny representation by lawyers of the Speaker’s choice on mere technical grounds is perplexing. The argument that the five lawyers chosen by the Speaker to represent them have no locus standi is difficult to accept as justifiable grounds to deny the Speaker his defence. That goes against natural justice.

To insist that the Speaker should be represented by the office of the state legal advisor is indeed baffling. It is incredulous that the court failed to see the obvious inherent conflict of interest. The legal advisor is currently representing ‘the other MB’ Zambry Abd Kadir in a case brought to court by the legitimate MB Nizar Jamaluddin. How could the legal advisor now seriously and consciously defend the position of the Speaker? Is it even possible? This is stretching absurdity to the extreme limits!

If it is true as is claimed that the “officer” of the government – in this case the Speaker - must be represented by the legal advisor, does it mean that the court recognises that the Speaker and his Executive Council is the legitimate government in Perak?

Or put another way, since the legal advisor is representing “the other MB” on behalf of the government in the High Court case in Kuala Lumpur, does it not imply that Zambry and his Council members are accepted and recognised as the “legitimate” representatives of the Perak government? That being the case, how can Zambry and the others then be represented by private lawyers and not by the legal advisor? Shouldn’t the same argument prevail that this so-called government must be represented by the state legal advisor? Why this double standard?

Thirdly, we are appalled that the request by Tommy Thomas to hold a watching brief with speaking rights was denied by the court, which ruled that he could hold the watching brief but could not submit or participate in its proceedings. This decision is clearly absurd and incredible!

How could the court in the name of justice choose to pass judgment without hearing the other side? How could the court arrive at a just decision without the benefit of the counter argument? How could the court not allow representation before passing judgment? “Fairness is what justice really is,” said Potter Stewart. Where is that fairness in this case?

Fourthly, the court has issued an indefinite restraining order - to stop the Speaker from summoning the sitting of the State Assembly - after a one-sided 90 minutes of submissions and 10 minutes of deliberation. Does this decision take into consideration the consequence of that ruling? It has been stated by legal experts that if the Assembly does not sit at least once within a span of six months then the Assembly is automatically dissolved.

The much anticipated reformation in the judiciary is illusory. It will not take place with the present set up of the judiciary. It would take a complete overhaul of the judiciary with new appointments of competent people of absolute integrity.

The crisis in Perak cannot be solved by the judiciary. The proceedings in the Ipoh High Court brought to mind what Thomas Fuller rightly observed, “Rigid justice is the greatest injustice.”

Ultimately, it is the will of the people of Perak that must solve their dilemma - not someone else or some other institution. Aliran hopes and pleads that common sense will prevail in the larger interest of the nation.

As we see it the only solution lies in the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly and holding fresh elections. Let the sovereignty of the people decide once and for all who should form the government in Perak.

Are we Malaysia or are we Zimbabwe ?

This seemingly ridiculous question has to be asked because of what is happening in Perak. The BN has failed to display the political maturity as the ruling coalition of a nation that has experienced 52 years of Parliamentary Democracy.

What is taking place in Perak brings us disgrace and disrepute. Malaysia comes across as no better than Zimbabwe or even Myanmar where the rule of law has been cast aside. It is no better than these despotic states that do not recognise the principles of democracy or the sanctity of the due process of the law.

We have, unfortunately, descended to this gutter level because of the corrupting influence of power and position. This greed for power has totally corrupted politics in Malaysia that we no longer pay homage to truth and justice; we no longer honour the will of the people.

In the maneuvering and manipulation that is taking place in Perak to topple a legitimate government by foul means, the BN politicians seem to have forgotten that sovereignty remains at all times with the people and they do not forfeit it even though the might of the ruling party has been brought into play to sabotage the democratic will of the people.

Equal rights for all Malaysians, says Perlis ruler

KANGAR: The Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Syed Jamalullail, yesterday took to task those propounding the "ketuanan Melayu" (Malay supremacy) policy, accusing them of using "narrow-minded ways to achieve personal objectives". He said every Malaysian, irrespective of age, gender, social status or religion, enjoyed equal rights.

The ruler said some Malaysians were making a big issue of the "ketuanan Melayu" issue and asking that supremacy or rights be given only to a particular race.

"It is very unfortunate to see these self-interested parties raising sensitive issues which could dampen the spirits and hopes of millions of people. In Malaysia, every race is tuan," he said in his speech at the launching of a seminar on the Federal Constitution here. The seminar was jointly organised by the state government and the Biro Tatanegara.

The Raja of Perlis reminded everyone that no individual should be deprived of his rights and that sensitive issues should not be raised in a multi-racial country like Malaysia.

"Sensitive issues and disharmony in society will only bring harm to the country," he added.

He said after 51 years, there was an understanding between the royal houses, leaders of all races and political parties in the country on the multi-racial character of the nation.

"This understanding is referred to as a social contract. It is to ensure that every race lives in harmony. The rights of every individual and race cannot not be taken away and at the same time Islam will remain the official religion of the country."

The Raja of Perlis said the role of the Malay royalty should be upheld as they had played the most significant role in defending the rights of the people. He said it was the responsibility of the royalty to ensure that everyone lived in harmony.

"Today, many individuals redefine the social contract in the Federal Constitution in their own narrow-minded way for personal objectives.

"I believe that if everyone understands that every individual of any race, should not be deprived of their rights, then the efforts of certain parties who think that the supremacy or rights should only be given to a particular race can be stopped," he said.

The ruler hoped that the contents of the Federal Constitution will be clearly understood by all, including the leaders of political parties.

Pidato Kebangsaan ‘Ketuanan Rakyat’

Pada 8 Mac 2009, Anwar Ibrahim akan menyampaikan Pidato Kebangsaan sempena meraikan sambutan setahun kejayaan Pakatan Rakyat dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-12 tahun lalu.

Pidato beliau akan menumpu pada isu-isu ke arah membina penyatuan rakyat Malaysia. Beliau juga dijangka akan mengumumkan pendekatan yang perlu diambil oleh pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dalam menghadapi cabaran kemelesetan ekonomi serta perancangan mewujudkan lebih banyak peluang pekerjaan dan usaha meningkatkan mutu pendidikan negara.

Butiran program:

Hari: Ahad 8hb Mac 2009
Masa: Jam 3.30 petang
Tempat: Wisma MBSA, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan

Anda juga boleh menonton siaran langsung acara tersebut di laman http://www.justin.tv/tvantara

PEJABAT DATUK SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM

The Spread of Injustice - Perak, Sodomy, Rosmah/Najib and the rule of law

Evil marches on.

Anwar’s sodomy case: transfered to High Court.

Perak Pakatan Reps: investigated for “illegal assembly”

Fauzi Muda, whistleblower: investigated by police

Sivakumar: denied legal representation

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I see the hands of Najib (ie, Rosmah) permeating law enforcement and the judiciary.

Any conviction against Anwar at this point would be perfect for Rosmah/Najib. They don’t even need to put him in jail, a conviction and a fine is enough to achieve their mischief. Transfering the case from someone that can’t be bought to someone who can sounds like their perfectly standard modus operandi.

While Malaysians take hope that democracy needs not opulent halls but can flourish even under a simple tree, the scoundrels seek to oppress and oppress some more - desperate to cling on to illegitimate power.

Remember when Najib issued threats against all those who dare to speak out against corruption? Looks like he’s made good on that threat.

Once again, we find Pakatan people screaming at the top of their lungs that they have proof that millions were offered in bribes, but the MACC seems just too damned tied up in that dastardly cow shit.

According to K Shan, Judicial Commissioner Ridzuan Ibrahim appears, with respect, to have committed a considerable error in legal judgment. Here’s what the lawyer of the three ex-Pakatan reps argued:

Speaking to reporters later, lawyer Mohd Hafarizam said justice Ridwan made his order today based on three facts:

1. The speaker’s salary was paid through a consolidated fund from the state,
2. The legislative branch is part of the state government, according to the state constitution, and,
3. The speaker is a public officer according to the relevant laws and is part of the state government.

K Shan wrote:

The term “public officer” is not defined in the Government Proceedings Act 1956. The Interpretation Act has the following definitions:-

“public office” means an office in any of the public services;

“public officer” means a person lawfully holding, acting in or exercising the functions of a public office;

“public services” means the public services mentioned in Article 132(1) of the Federal Constitution;

Article 132(1) of the Federal Constitution lists out several public services such as the armed forces, the judicial and legal services, the police service and the general public service. In a nutshell, the public services are what is commonly called government service or civil service.

But Article 132(3)(b) is instructive. It categorically states that “the public service shall not be taken to comprise” the Speakers of Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies of the State.

I invite you to read his legal arguments and convincing article in full.

Of course, what BN wants is for Sivakumar to be represented by the state legal advisor, who surprise surprise is also (apparently happy to be) representing Zambry.

No conflict of interest there right? Of course not.

Sigh, before you know it, Guan Sin’s funny prediction will come true next.

It is the type of landscape that could be described as a ujian kesabaran, and a test of our perseverance and strength against increasingly overwhelming odds.

It calls to mind the challenges faced before March 8th. As the anniversary approaches, I’m reminded that we prevailed then; then as now, hope springs eternal, and our resolve will not fail.

Kepala Batas PKR Youth Chief Forced To Use Media To Expose Corruption

BUKIT MERTAJAM, March 5 (Bernama) -- Kepala Batas Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief Amizudin Ahmat admitted that he was forced to use the media to expose corruption involving certain state party leaders.

He said the revelation through the media was also to pressure the party leadership at take action. However, he declined to reveal the individuals alleged to have received bribes from three quarries in the state.

"Wait for March 7. I will hand over the evidence and I hope the committee concerned will be thorough and fair in its investigation," he said at a press conference, here, Thursday.

Amizudin said this Saturday (March 7), he would be called by the party's Special Investigation Committee to be questioned on the matter.

The bribery case was exposed on Feb 26 at a press conference held at the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) office.

At today's press conference, Amizudin was adamant that he had the evidence like documents including bank slips showing money from a quarry operator being put into one of the alleged individuals' personal account.

However, he declined to show the said proof when asked to do so by reporters but beat around the bush about the allegation.

"I did not say that two state PKR leaders were involved in corruption, but I have the proof of the transaction," he said.

Amizudin also expressed disappointment of being accused of receiving a bribe of RM5,000 monthly from a quarry and owning four cars, and of exposing Penang PKR's internal affairs because his term as MPSP councillor was not extended.

He said he was also upset that no action was taken against the two leaders believed to have accepted bribes although he had handed over the relevant documents as proof to the party president on Jan 8.

Ngeh Koo Ham on SUK fiasco

French daily reveals grisly details of Altantuya's death- Malaysiakini

The final moments of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu before she was brutally killed in 2006 has been revealed in vivid details in a French newspaper today.
MCPX

Arnaud DubusJournalist Arnaud Dubus, who traveled halfway across the world - from Kuala Lumpur to Ulan Bator, Mongolia and finally to Paris - for his investigation, unearthed a piece of documentary evidence exposing how Altantuya was allegedly killed.

The document - said to be obtained from a source in the Malaysian police - has not been revealed during the two-year-long murder trial of Altantuya.

According to a lawyer who was involved in the case, the document which is a caution statement made by an accused in the grisly murder, was not admitted in court.

This was following an Attorney-General's Chambers directive in 2005 for the prosecution not use caution statements since they are often challenged by the defence arguing that they are obtained through questionable methods, and thus delaying the court process.

altantuya murder case publish on french newspaper la liberation 050309In his report which appeared in left-wing Liberation newspaper, Dubus wrote that the document revealed "dry and precise descriptions" on how Altantuya was killed.

Malaysiakini is unable to reproduce all the details of the document due to possible legal complications that could arise as a result of the on-going murder trial.

Last month, Shah Alam High Court judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin set April 9 to deliver his decision on the fate Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri - the two special action force police personnel accused of murdering Altantuya.

The police document obtained by Dubus detailed on how Altantuya, who was referred to as ‘the Chinese woman' in the document, had begged for her life, and stated that she had children, before she was shot.

It also mentioned that Altantuya was shot on the left side of her face, after which her clothes were removed from her body and put in a black plastic bag.

According to the document, Altantuya was shot another time when her hand was seen to be still moving.

Altantuya was subsequently carried into the woods where explosives were wrapped around her legs, her abdomen and her head before she was blown to pieces.

The document clearly identified Altantuya's killers and the respective roles they played.

Three months of investigation

Dubus told Malaysiakini that he spent three months investigating the case.

"I spent two weeks in Kuala Lumpur, then went to Ulan Bator where I stayed one week. Then, in Paris in January where I spent 10 days," he said in an email interview.

In his Liberation report, which was written in French, Dubus wrote about Altantuya's relationship with political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and the role she played in the purchase of French submarines by the Malaysian government.

"In March 2005, Altantuya and (Abdul Razak) Baginda departed for Europe, touring France, Germany, Italy and Portugal in the red Ferrari of Baginda, staying in posh hotels and dining in the finest restaurants of the old Continent.

"This trip, however, was not only for tourism: the contract for the sale of the submarines had been signed in 2002, but important details had yet to be settled," wrote Dubus.

abdul razak baginda pc 201108 06"We knew that Baginda was used by Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak as an intermediary for weapons systems deals, especially the high level ones," a regional security affairs expert had told Dubus.

Dubus also quoted Altantuya's cousin as saying that Altantuya and Abdul Razak were in Paris in March 2005, where they met with Najib.

"A picture taken at the end of March 2005 shows the three in a Parisian private club," he wrote, disputing a denial by Najib that he had ever met Altantuya.

He said that the story "turned dramatic" when in October 2006 Altantuya was informed that the commission paid by the French-Spanish company Armaris - which sold three submarines to the Malaysian government for one billion euros (RM4.7 billion) - had arrived at a Kuala Lumpur bank account.

It was revealed that 115 million euro (RM541 million) commission had been paid to Perimekar, a company owned by Abdul Razak.

military malaysia navy french built submarine scorpene class"Altantuya rushed to Kuala Lumpur, in order to claim her share of the commission from Baginda; she said she was entitled to US$500,000.

"Baginda and Altantuya broke up prior to this. A jealous Rosmah Mansor, the feared businesswoman and wife of Najib, objected any payment to Altantuya.

"Altantuya arrived in Kuala Lumpur with two other Mongolian women, one of them was a shaman responsible for putting a spell on Baginda if he refused to pay.

"For several days, Altantuya harassed her ex-lover. On Oct 18, Baginda could no longer tolerate the daily scenes made by Altantuya in front of his house," wrote Dubus.

Subsequently, two police officers from the special unit tasked to provide protection to VIPs including Najib, were asked to "neutralise the Chinese woman."

It wasn't a perfect crime

The case was not a perfect crime, said Dubus. Altantuya was kidnapped by the two police officers in front Abdul Razak's house.

"The taxi driver hired by Altantuya for the day did not appreciate that his passenger was kidnapped under his eyes without payment for the fare. He took note of the registration plate of the kidnapper's car and filed a complaint at the local police station.

The police were able to quickly identify the car.

najib on kuala terengganu by election 060109 02"Events unfolded that even the Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak could not impede. He tried to cover the case. A few hours before the arrest of Baginda, he sent him a SMS: ‘I will see the inspector general of police at 11am today... The problem will be solved. Be cool'.

"A few hours after, Baginda was arrested as well as the two police officers, Azilah and Sirul."

Abdul Razak was initially charged with conspiring in the killing of Altantuya but he was acquitted without being called to enter his defence.

Dubus said that the case is not only embarrassing to Najib, who is linked to the case, but also DCNS - the French military shipbuilding company which bought over Armaris in 2007.

The 45-year-old French journalist, who is based in Bangkok, has written several books on Southeast Asian history and politics, including a book on the military in Indonesia and Thailand.

According to him, his next book could be on the Altantuya case.

Kugan's death: Investigate police 'cover-up'

Rights groups have demanded action against rogue police after a fresh autopsy revealed a man had died in police custody because of severe beating.

MCPX

A second post mortem examination on 22-year-old suspected car thief A Kugan, released on Tuesday, showed he died while being interrogated on Jan 20 from injuries consistent with being beaten. There were also a number of burn marks on his body.

The second autopsy contradicted the first, which found that Kugan died from fluid in his lungs

The Bar Council said that the new autopsy raised several serious questions including “the integrity of the police force and the independence of the pathologist who conducted the initial autopsy”.

judiciary forum lingam tape 171107 ragunath“The fact that the results of the second autopsy differ so extensively from that of the first smacks of an apparent attempt to cover up and protect members of the police force who were in charge of A Kugan during the period of detention,” said council’s vice-president K Ragunath (right).

The Bar Council, which represents the country’s 13,000 lawyers, also urged its professional counterpart, the Malaysian Medical Council to launch an investigation in the possible misconduct by Dr Abdul Karim, who had carried out the flawed first autopsy.

kugan khalid abu bakar cpo 240109Ragunath slammed Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar (left in photo) for releasing “unconfirmed and potentially malicious information” on Kugan’s alleged wrongdoing.

“This information, which was released to the public, only serves to cloud and divert attention away from the brutal manner of Kugan’s death in the hands of police officers who are suppose to uphold the rule of law,” he said.

“Although Kugan had been arrested on suspicion of having committed a crime, he was nonetheless entitled to the full protection of the police force pending a proper investigation and any consequential court proceedings.

“The police force must protect the rights of suspects, and not use the fact that they are apparently guilty as an excuse for any mistreatment.”

Ragunath said that the alleged cover-up by the police would not have been exposed without the “dogged determination” of Kugan’s family and activists.

MCA 'outraged and horrified'

MCA, the second largest party within the ruling coalition, said it was "outraged and horrified" by the incident.

highway contracts 050109 wong nai chee.jpg"It is not up to the police to act as prosecutor, judge and executioner," MCA spokesman Wong Nai Chee (left) said in a statement.

"The police force should reveal the results of their internal investigations and take the necessary action against their personnel," he added.

Eleven police officers allegedly involved in the case have been transferred to desk duties.

Rights group Voice of the Malaysian People (Suaram) condemned the incident, saying Kugan's case was not isolated. It said there were 85 deaths in police custody between 2003 and 2007.

"(It) severely undermines the credibility of the police and other enforcement officers in detention centres," Suaram coordinator Tan Moon Hui said in a statement.

But Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, who oversees the police, hit out at critics who he said were taking political advantage of the situation, state news agency Bernama reported.

"This case has criminal implications and... has nothing to do with politics," Syed Hamid said yesterday.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers will make a decision by the end of this month on whether there is sufficient evidence to charge the police officers over the Kugan's death after having examined the two autopsy reports.

Kugan's death sparked an uproar among the Indian community, with more than 1,000 people attending his funeral.

Ethnic Indians, the majority of whom are descendants of labourers, were brought to Malaysia by British colonial rulers in the 1800s. They have complained they are marginalised in terms of education, wealth and opportunities.

Kugan's post mortem

Do you think the police and our highly respected judiciary will not turn back A. Kugan's case?


kugan ananthan funeral 230109I am going write a very short article so that we Malaysians can think about the future of the case. Yesterday 5th March 2009, There was an article in Malaysiakini titled Umno "Youth leader: Probe doctor who did first post-mortem".

After this article some question arise in myself. How sure that the police going to be honest in this case? In many cases in Malaysia we havent got any answers or trials. For example Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim did many reports against the IGP and AG, what happen to that? Is there any updates or following up? The answer is certainly some cover ups are there.

In the article which i read Umno Youth exco Ahmad Ikmal Ismail asked "What circumstances led to the beatings? Where was it done? Why was it so easy for the interrogators to beat the deceased over the several days he was in the lock-up?" .

I feel it is like a clue that the place , circumstances and why everything will take a turn over in this case. Ahmad Ikmal also said "While we appreciate the serious nature, heavy duties and responsibilities of the police, these few errant policemen must not be allowed to continue in their wrong ways".

In many Malaysians view police are not any more appreciated but he mentioned only some are wrong doer. If you ask all Malaysian they know how corrupted is that instituition. Everyone of us knows that in the road block or anywhere they always try to get some pocket money.
If the ground officers are so, what will be the highest rank officers?

dr mohd norzi ghazaliIn the other hand, the Serdang Hospital director said Mohd Norzi Ghazali "A mob of about 50 people had barged into the mortuary and tampered with Kugan's body before any post-mortem was carried out".

Even after MP Manickavasagam gave a video clip about what happened in mortuary, the second post mortem and our own view can say that he was beaten terribly and killed in the custody. For our own idea we knew that Serdang pathologist did cover up. Do you think that they will not do this again???? Don't you think that they will cheat us all the time??

Rakyat Malaysia have to wake up. This is not only for Kugan's family, It can also happen to your family if you dont speak up now.-Admin NEM

Altantuya allegations flare up again for Najib

By Leslie Lau- The Malaysian Insider
Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — For Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his alleged links with the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial just will not go away.

Today, influential blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin put up on his website a police cautioned statement from Sirul Azhar Umar, who is a co-accused in the murder trial of the Mongolian woman, detailing how he and co-accused Azilah Hadri were expecting to be paid between RM50,000 and RM100,000 to “settle” the matter.

On the same day, French newspaper Liberation also published a story detailing grisly details of how Altantuya was allegedly killed.

According to the “cautioned statement” published by Raja Petra, Sirul claims Azilah told him of a payment of between RM50,000 and RM100,000.

But it is the article in the French newspaper which is particularly damaging to Najib’s image, and which will not be welcome as he prepares to take over the leadership of Umno and become Malaysia’s sixth prime minister at the end of the month.

The article in the Liberation details how Altantuya allegedly begged for her life before she was shot.

According to Liberation, Altantuya was allegedly shot on the left side of her face, and a second time when her assailants noticed her hand was still moving.

The newspaper says it obtained the information from a “cautioned statement” which had been leaked to its writer.

Altantuya was eventually stripped of her clothes, and explosives were placed on different parts of her body. Her assailants then allegedly set off the explosives.

But these were not the parts of the article which were particularly damaging to Najib.

The newspaper claims that Najib had indeed met with Altantuya, who was the mistress of Abdul Razak Baginda, his close aide and associate, in Paris in 2005.

A photograph was allegedly taken showing the three in a Paris nightclub, the Liberation said without providing any evidence.

The Liberation also suggested that Abdul Razak had been Najib’s intermediary for arms purchases.

In October 2006, the newspaper claims that Altantuya was informed that the commission paid by Armaris, a Spanish company involved in Malaysia’s acquisition of three submarines for one billion euros (RM4.7 billion), had been deposited in a bank account in Malaysia.

The commission of 114 million euros was allegedly paid into the account of Perimekar, a company Razak controlled.

Altantuya then allegedly flew to Kuala Lumpur to demand her share of the commission, which was to have been US$500,000.

The Liberation provided no documentary evidence of the sensational details.

But the resurfacing of these links with the Altantuya murder appears designed to embarrass Najib.

Najib has consistently denied any involvement in the murder and has also said he had never met the woman.

But the issue just will not go away, and has been used by rivals to damage his credibility and has proven to be a significant liability for the ruling Barisan Nasional government.

The Shah Alam High Court is set to deliver its verdict on Azilah and Sirul on April 9.

A sick Hindraf chief wants to come home

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The already fractured Hindraf movement has been hit by an expected development with Chairman P Waythamoorthy — who has undergone a heart operation in London — wanting to return home to recuperate.

Waythamoorthy, the brother of founder P Uthayakumar who is now under ISA detention, is in self imposed exile overseas and wants a guarantee from the government that he will not be arrested, or in any way persecuted if he returns.

“He wants to be with his family and recuperate and recover from the operation,” a family member said when contacted today.

“He needs constant care, the type only his family can give.”

The operation for an irregular heartbeat and enlarged heart was successful but post operative care and family support is necessary, the doctors have told family members.

He is currently warded at a heart institute in central London and has also undergone angioplasty surgery three days ago. Waythamoorthy’s wife K Nageswary left for London two days ago to care for him.

In a statement to Malaysian Insider from New York, Hindraf coordinator R Shan said Waythamoorthy was suffering from a rare heart condition.

“He has an enlarged heart on the right and abnormal heartbeat which in most cases could lead to ventricular fibrillation or sudden death,” he said.

Shan said the right part of Waythamoorthy's heart has swollen and doctors were unsure of the cause.

Waythamoorthy is expected to undergo a second heart implant operation, Shan said.

“He wants to return to Malaysia for post operation care and be with his family,” Shan said urging the government to offer him immunity from arrest, harassment and prosecution.

Shan wants the government to issue Waythamoorthy a new Malaysian passport through the Malaysian High Commission in London.

The government had revoked his passport last year but he had travelled using a limited travel document issued by the British government.

In January Waythamoorthy attended a gathering of Diaspora Indians in India where he slammed Umno and the BN government of numerous atrocities against Malaysian Indians, most of which were rejected as “outright lies” by the MIC whose leaders also attended the conference.

Waythamoorthy has been in London since November 2007 after fleeing Malaysia ahead of the ISA crackdown on Hindraf leaders.

People’s hope in the judiciary has been misplaced — P Ramakrishnan

MARCH 5 — Confronted by crisis in Perak, the people had reason to believe that the judiciary would be our last hope for justice to prevail. That hope is apparently misplaced. What a disappointment that proved to be!

It is difficult to believe or accept the decision of the Judicial Commissioner, Ridwan Ibrahim. To say the least, Malaysians are shocked into disbelief by his verdict. Technicalities were used to prevent a fair trial and counter arguments to help the judge to arrive at a sound decision.

In this instance we are reminded of Aeschylus who said, “Wrong must not win by technicalities.” But that was what happened in the Ipoh High Court on 3 March 2009. It is a matter of grave disappointment to all of us.

To begin with, his decision to hear the case in chambers — not withstanding his discretionary powers — came as a complete surprise to the nation. Knowing that the entire country is very concerned with what is happening in Perak, the appropriate thing would have been to hear the case in open court as requested by senior lawyer, Tommy Thomas, representing the Speaker of the Perak Assembly. This fair request was denied.

What is at issue in this instance concerns every Malaysian and they have a right to know what persuasive arguments have been presented to support this case that has been brought to the Ipoh High Court by Zambry and others. We have a right to know what prevailed upon the Judicial Commissioner for his decision. Now, we will never know what transpired in the chambers.

Secondly, the decision to deny representation by lawyers of the Speaker’s choice on mere technical grounds is perplexing. The argument that the five lawyers chosen by the Speaker to represent them have no locus standi is difficult to accept as justifiable grounds to deny the Speaker his defence. That goes against natural justice.

To insist that the Speaker should be represented by the office of the state legal advisor is indeed baffling. It is incredulous that the court failed to see the obvious inherent conflict of interest. The legal advisor is currently representing ‘the other MB’ Zambry Abd Kadir in a case brought to court by the legitimate MB Nizar Jamaluddin. How could the legal advisor now seriously and consciously defend the position of the Speaker? Is it even possible? This is stretching absurdity to the extreme limits!

If it is true as is claimed that the “officer” of the government – in this case the Speaker - must be represented by the legal advisor, does it mean that the court recognises that the Speaker and his Executive Council is the legitimate government in Perak?

Or put another way, since the legal advisor is representing “the other MB” on behalf of the government in the High Court case in Kuala Lumpur, does it not imply that Zambry and his Council members are accepted and recognised as the “legitimate” representatives of the Perak government?

That being the case, how can Zambry and the others then be represented by private lawyers and not by the legal advisor? Shouldn’t the same argument prevail that this so-called government must be represented by the state legal advisor? Why this double standard?

Thirdly, we are appalled that the request by Tommy Thomas to hold a watching brief with speaking rights was denied by the court, which ruled that he could hold the watching brief but could not submit or participate in its proceedings. This decision is clearly absurd and incredible!

How could the court in the name of justice choose to pass judgment without hearing the other side? How could the court arrive at a just decision without the benefit of the counter argument? How could the court not allow representation before passing judgment? “Fairness is what justice really is,” said Potter Stewart. Where is that fairness in this case?

Fourthly, the court has issued an indefinite restraining order — to stop the Speaker from summoning the sitting of the State Assembly — after a one-sided 90 minutes of submissions and 10 minutes of deliberation. Does this decision take into consideration the consequence of that ruling? It has been stated by legal experts that if the Assembly does not sit at least once within a span of six months then the Assembly is automatically dissolved.

The much anticipated reformation in the judiciary is illusory. It will not take place with the present set up of the judiciary. It would take a complete overhaul of the judiciary with new appointments of competent people of absolute integrity.

The crisis in Perak cannot be solved by the judiciary. The proceedings in the Ipoh High Court brought to mind what Thomas Fuller rightly observed, “Rigid justice is the greatest injustice.”

Ultimately, it is the will of the people of Perak that must solve their dilemma — not someone else or some other institution. Aliran hopes and pleads that common sense will prevail in the larger interest of the nation.

As we see it the only solution lies in the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly and holding fresh elections. Let the sovereignty of the people decide once and for all who should form the government in Perak.

Are we Malaysia or are we Zimbabwe ?

This seemingly ridiculous question has to be asked because of what is happening in Perak. The BN has failed to display the political maturity as the ruling coalition of a nation that has experienced 52 years of

Parliamentary Democracy.

What is taking place in Perak brings us disgrace and disrepute. Malaysia comes across as no better than Zimbabwe or even Myanmar where the rule of law has been cast aside. It is no better than these despotic states that do not recognise the principles of democracy or the sanctity of the due process of the law.

We have, unfortunately, descended to this gutter level because of the corrupting influence of power and position. This greed for power has totally corrupted politics in Malaysia that we no longer pay homage to truth and justice; we no longer honour the will of the people.

In the maneuvering and manipulation that is taking place in Perak to topple a legitimate government by foul means, the BN politicians seem to have forgotten that sovereignty remains at all times with the people and they do not forfeit it even though the might of the ruling party has been brought into play to sabotage the democratic will of the people.

Aliran

Syed Hamid: Hindraf leader in ISA refused medical treatment

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar today refuted allegations that the government has neglected the treatment and health of Internal Security Act detainee P Uthayakumar.

Instead, the 47-year-old lawyer and leader of the banned Hindu Rights Action Force has refused scheduled treatment based on records at Kamunting Detention Centre, Taiping.

He even refused to receive treatment and medicines 18 times including treatment arranged for him at the National Heart Institute, said the minister in a statement.

He said Uthayakumar had undergone health checks performed by government panel doctors and Taiping Hospital 42 times besides being regularly supplied with medicines.

To ensure his health is under control, the detention centre authority has taken proper measures including providing and supplying him the appropriate diet, comprising fruits, vegetables and so on.

Syed Hamid also denied allegations that Uthayakumar's swollen leg was due improper treatment, and said that actually, following examination by panel doctors, it was found out that his small toe got swollen after he inadvertently kicked a stone.

Uthayakumar has been in detention since Dec 13, 2007. — Bernama

Carpenter fights wife over baby’s conversion to Islam

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — An ethnic Chinese man is challenging the conversion of his baby daughter to Islam by his estranged wife, a lawyer said today the latest interreligious dispute to rock mainly Muslim Malaysia.

Hoo Ying Soon, a 28-year-old carpenter, was shocked when he received a notice two days ago from the Islamic Shariah court granting temporary custody of their 15-month-old daughter to his wife, said his lawyer Tang Jay Son.

He was told that his wife, Chew Yin Yin, 23, embraced Islam on 28 Jan while his daughter was converted on 3 Feb, Tang said.

The couple, both Buddhists, wedded Feb 2007 in southern Negeri Sembilan state but their marriage broke down in Sept, he said.

“Hoo will challenge the conversion of his daughter in the High Court because it was done unilaterally by the mother without the consent of the father. They are not divorced yet,” Tang told The Associated Press.

Religious issues are extremely sensitive in Malaysia, where about 60 per cent of the 27 million people are Muslims. Buddhist, Christian and Hindu minorities have accepted Islam’s dominance but in recent years voiced fears that courts are unfairly asserting the supremacy of Islam, which is Malaysia’s official religion.

Malaysia has a dual court system. Muslims are governed by the Islamic Shariah courts and non-Muslims, civil courts. But interreligious disputes almost always end up in Shariah courts, and end in favour of Muslims.

Tang said Hoo’s wife, who has adopted the name Siti Zubaidah Chew Abdullah, has filed for divorce in the Islamic court with a hearing due later today.

Hoo will seek an injunction in the Shariah court to prevent his wife from taking custody of their child, he said.

He has filed a suit in the High Court to question his daughter’s conversion and to seek guardianship over their child, and wants the Islamic court to wait for the civil court’s decision, he said. The high court has set 10 March for hearing.

“He has no problems with his wife converting to Islam but he feels it is unfair to convert their daughter,” Tang said.

Hoo also is concerned that their child, Hoo Joey, has been renamed Nurul Syuhada Chew Abdullah, which doesn’t carry his surname, he added.

In a high profile case in 2007, an ethnic Hindu woman failed to persuade the civil court to ban her husband, who had embraced Islam, from converting their sons. — AP

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Nazri, who is the “small boy” in the PM’s Department?

by Martin Jalleh

Who is small the boy in the Prime Minister’s Department who treats and turns parliament into his personal playground where he proudly leaves a trail of his political pooh behind?

Who is the small boy who tries to act tough, talks big and throws his weight around and wants everybody to think that he is the PM and that he knows everything?

Who is the small boy who childishly threatens and taunts those who stand up to him, and refuse to tolerate his temper, tantrums and theatrics?

Who is the small boy who cannot take criticisms and goes into a fit or a foul frolic or flaunts his foolishness according to his whim and fancy?

Who is the small boy who said he would advise the Cabinet to replace the then ACA Investigations Director with whom he had a war of words with!

Who is the small boy who told Parliament that former Lord President Salleh Abas and other senior judges involved in the judicial crisis 20 years ago were not “sacked”?

Who is the small boy who shouted in parliament like some street bully “racist and “bloody racist” at DAP MP M Kula Segaran – 41 times in a space of five to 10 minutes?

Who is the small boy, who, without any sense and sensitivity, told wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh in parliament: “You are just jealous because I am standing!”?

Who is the small boy whom a then member to the ruling coalition in Sabah told to “shut up” because of his “ignorance” of the social, security and economic problems in the state?

Who is the small boy whose colleague Bernard Dompok said was taking a “cheap shot” when he responded to Dompok’s resignation as chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee?

Who is the small boy who said that two MPs who had made sexist remarks following MP Fong Po Kuan’s observations of leaks in the Parliament building should not apologise to Fong?

Who is that small boy who said “Singapore is not a real country” (and whose inference of larger countries being more prone to corruption was absolutely wrong)?

Who is that small boy who called Lim Kit Siang (LKS) “Stupid, stupid, stupid…!” countless of times during a debate and got off scot free with his “stupid” salvoes grinning like a school bully?

Who is the small boy who looked so “stupid” when LKS produced a taped transcript of the then CJ advocating the abolition of Common Law, and on whose behalf the small boy had denied?

Who is the small boy who was speechless when Karpal Singh revealed the name of a Federal Court judge who had not written judgments in as many as 35 cases?

Who is the small boy who when explaining why he had issued a denial on behalf of the then CJ in connection with the Lingam video scandal, had very proudly declared: “I am his Minister”?

Who is the small boy who said that whistleblowers in the Lingam Tape scandal could be protected under a tabled Witness Protection Bill and later admitted there was no such bill?

Minister in the PM’s Department Nazri Abd Aziz has labelled Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar a “boy speaker”. He says the Speaker “does not know what he is doing. He is not fit to be given such a heavy responsibility.”

Alas, who has been acting like a boy? Of course, the small boy in the PM’s department! A glance at Nazri’s track record (out of which a few examples have been give above) shows a trail of evidence that Nazri is nothing but a loudmouth, loose cannon and a lowdown Umnoputra in Parliament! He is laughable!

As a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and the de facto law minister Nazri Abd Aziz is blind to the truth, biased, beholden to the Umno-dominated Government and begs and bends backwards to do its bidding. The boy Minister bulls, boasts, barks and brays, brazenly blunders, goes berserk and bullies…

In sharp contrast is Speaker V. Sivakumar – a man who has displayed such exemplary boldness and bravery. He has refused to be bribed, bought over or bullied and is ready to face the possible consequences in standing up to the powers-that-be.

Nazri has said that “the whole episode in Perak is a comedy”. It is the people of Perak who will have the last laugh!

Nazri has also called the fiasco in Perak a “mockery”. Was he referring to the jaundiced judgments delivered by the judicial commissioner who has chosen to remain cloistered enough in his chambers so as not to notice a clear “conflict of interest” in the matter?

(5 March 2009)

Kugan: Terrible images of Kugan

By HARIS HUSSAIN and NEVASH NAIR March 05, 2009 Malay Mail

ALMOST two months after A. Kugan died in the Subang Taipan police lock-up, his mother, N. Indra, still cries herself to sleep every night.


Now, sleep is even more elusive after she came to know about the pain and suffering he endured before he died, five days after he was arrested on Jan 15 in connection with police investigations into a series of luxury car thefts.

Every time she closes her eyes, she sees her son’s bruised, battered and burnt body.

In an interview with Malay Mail, Indra said she is still unable to accept the fact that her son is gone, so much so her husband, R. Ananthan,

refused to show her the second post-mortem report prepared y the independent pathologist hired by the family. The report was released on Monday.

Ananthan relented only after Indra insisted. What she saw shocked her.

“I have never laid a finger on my son but these heartless policemen beat him to death. Only a mother knows how I feel. The pain is so unbearable that I wish I were dead,” she alleged of the case that the Attorney-General has reclassified as murder.

My life has changed forever.

He is my first-born. The manner in which I lost him makes it even more difficult for me to deal with. I did not carry him for nine months in my womb just so that someone can torture him this way.

“There were signs that he was starving before he died. He was never hungry when he was with me. I would cook him his favourite dish, fried chicken and nuggets, whenever he was hungry.”

Indra said her three other children miss Kugan too but that the one hardest hit is her husband.

“As a father, he always thought that Kugan would be around to provide for the family if anything were to happen to him. He loved Kugan more than anything in this world. Now, he worries
about who will take care of the family if he dies.”

Yesterday, Kugan’s family members and relatives, accompanied by their lawyer N. Surendran, Teluk Intan MP M. Manoharan, Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam and Police Watch coordinator S. Jayathas submitted the second post-mortem report to the Attorney-General’s office at Putrajaya.
A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, however, is in Mecca, performing the umrah. The head of the chamber’s prosecution division, Tun Majid Tun Hamzah, received the report on his behalf.

Tun Majid declined to comment.

Surendran hoped that the attorney-general would take immediate action.

“It is up to the A-G now. He has classified the case as murder and we have submitted the relevant evidence.

POLITICS-MALAYSIA: Democracy Under a Tree

By Anil Netto
(www.ipsnews.net)
PENANG, Mar 5 (IPS) - It has already been dubbed "Pokok Demokrasi" or Democracy Tree and is set to enter the annals of folklore in Ipoh, capital city of Perak state.

In an open space beneath this 60-foot high rainforest tree and another lush mango tree nearby, the state legislative assembly of peninsular Malaysia's second largest state held an emergency session Tuesday as a crowd of several hundred looked on.

In a morning of high drama, Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar, attired in his full ceremonial regalia, solemnly put forward three motions to the 27 elected assembly members from the People's Alliance.

The first was a vote of confidence in Mohd. Nizar Jamaluddin as the legitimate Menteri Besar (equivalent to chief minister). The second was a motion to seek permission from the Sultan of Perak for the dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for fresh elections - a prospect that remains unlikely given the impasse.

The final motion was to adopt the privileges committee's report which had earlier resulted in the Speaker suspending rival Menteri Besar, Zambry Abd Kadir and the six members of his governing team.

A moment of humour occurred when the Speaker asked the elected representatives, "Setuju (Agreed)?"

Instead, of only the elected representatives responding, the whole crowd cheered and acclaimed, "Setuju!"

Elected representatives then had to urge the onlookers to maintain the solemn decorum of the proceedings. The crowd was told that the "Setuju" response was only for the elected representatives.

One onlooker was heard muttering, "We are also part of this assembly. We have a right to express our confidence in the chief minister (Nizar)."

Nizar's rival, Zambry, on the hand, was appointed chief minister by the Sultan after three assembly representatives defected from the Alliance to the Barisan Nasional (BN or National Front), the same coalition that rules at the federal level.

The defections sparked a constitutional crisis that has raised debate and discussion on various issues including the precise role of a constitutional monarch, the scope of powers of the State Assembly Speaker, and the doctrine of the separation of powers between the legislature, the judiciary and the executive.

The defections led to a hung state assembly 28-28 between the BN and the Alliance, apart from the three defectors whose status was disputed. The Speaker, V Sivakumar, who is an Alliance assembly member though unable to vote, had also suspended the three defectors on the basis of undated resignation letters, which were also challenged by the defectors.

It was not just the defections but the circumstances surrounding the defections that resulted in public disquiet. Two of the defectors were already facing corruption charges in court.

None of the BN assembly members nor the defectors were present during the extraordinary 15-minute open-air assembly session.

Riot police had earlier blocked the entrance to the state government building complex, the usual venue for Perak State Assembly meetings. Nizar and the Alliance representatives were prevented from entering the premises and, together with the Speaker, they moved to their alternative location under the raintree across the road.

While the assembly was in progress, BN lawyers were in the High Court, challenging the Speaker's power to convene a state assembly sitting, without the consent of the Sultan.

The judicial commissioner ruled that private PR lawyers, however, were disallowed from representing the Speaker, who had to be represented by the official state legal adviser.

But PR politicians pointed out that the state legal advisor had already acted for Zambry in a case last week.

In any event, the High Court issued a ruling restraining the Speaker from holding any "unlawful meetings" purporting to be state assembly sessions.

The crisis in Perak is part of a larger struggle between a resurgent Alliance, led by Anwar Ibrahim, and the BN, which has ruled for 51 years. The BN leader, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, is due to hand over the premiership to his deputy Najib Razak at the end of this month under an agreed transition, though some remain sceptical if the handover will actually take place, despite Abdullah saying it is on course.

The dominant party in the BN, the United Malays National Organisation, is slated to hold its assembly and party elections on March 24. But two Umno members are now calling on the party to postpone the assembly so that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can complete its probe into the allegations of money politics in the party.

In the meantime, three key by-elections are scheduled to be held simultaneously on April 7: one for a parliamentary seat in Perak and two for state assembly seats in Sarawak and Kedah respectively.

The first two are likely to be intensely watched as barometers for the states of Perak and Sarawak. While the BN is likely to continue resisting calls for fresh state-wide elections in Perak which it would probably lose, state elections in must be held by 2011 in resource-rich Sarawak, a traditional BN stronghold.

In the meantime, the country stands on the brink of a recession, hit by a slump in commodity prices and a fall in global demand for its export-oriented manufacturing firms, especially those in the electronics sector.

But it is politics that continues to preoccupy most people, who are already feeling the effects of a recession. '''The institutions of democratic governance have suffered in this crisis,'' says Penang-based writer and lawyer Tan Ban Cheng. ''Serious questions about the independence and impartiality of certain elements of the judiciary, the civil service and the police are being raised.''

It is therefore not surprising that many saw the open-air sitting of the state assembly as a refreshing return to the basics of public participation in a democracy - a return of democracy to the people.

Some are already saying that the area where the Pokok Demokrasi stands should be declared a heritage site by a future government and the raintree made a symbol of democracy in Malaysia.

Others are saying that the story of the Democracy Tree, beneath which the Perak State Assembly solemnly met one morning, will be the stuff of folklore that will be passed down from generation to generation. One visitor to a political blog commented: ''I'll teach my kids to sing this (rhyme) to commemorate this day: in full robes and pageantry, he held the state assembly in a car park, under a tree.''