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Friday, May 8, 2009

200 lawyers protest against arrests

Vigil: Another 20 arrested, including 5 lawyers

Sivakumar dragged out

VoxPop: Perak assembly fracas

BRIEF STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF REMAINING HINDRAF LAWYERS

Whilst HINDRAF is glad the unjust incarceration of its lawyers has finally come to an end, it is blatantly obvious that the release ordered is to divert the attention of the Malaysian public of the ugly episode in Perak State Legislative Assembly yesterday. There are other issues that the Government of Malaysia under the leadership of PM Najib has to resolve and we wish to state the following :

1) We are not thankful for the release of our lawyers under ISA unless and until the Government fulfils the 18 point demands that was submitted to the Government in 2007.

2) The Government acknowledges the neglect and positive marginalisation of particularly the Malaysian Indians over the last 52 years and apologizes for its wrongdoing to the Malaysian Indians.

3) All ISA detainees have to be released unconditionally (immediately) and the Government orders the closure of Kamunting detention camp and the repeal of ISA.

4) The Government takes positive steps to uphold Rule of Law and the Federal Constitution.

5) The Government with immediate effect sacks the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General who have played a major role in suppressing democracy , fairness and truth revamp the whole Judiciary system which is flooded with its cronies.

6) The Government immediately orders the Perak State “Government” to seek an immediate audience with the Perak Ruler to dissolve the state Legislative Assembly and allow the People of Perak choose the next State Government.

All persons unjustly arrested and charged under various illegal assembly/sedition and other politically motivated criminal charges be released and charges levelled against them be immediately withdrawn.

P.Waytha Moorthy

CHAIRMAN

HINDRAF

Gov't to free Hindraf trio and 10 others - Malaysiakini

The government will release another 13 Internal Security Act detainees, including three of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders.
MCPX

hindraf isa detainee r kenghadharan and v ganabatirau released 060409This was announced by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at a press conference in Putrajaya.

Hishammuddin said that they would be released in the next "two or three days".

"I will be signing the (release) papers now," he said.

He did not give the reasons for the release of the 13 but added that they "no longer needed to be held".

Of the 13 to be released, six are Malaysians, two Indonesians and the remaining five are Filipinos.

They are Zulkepli Marzuki, Jeknal Adil, Azmi Pindatun, P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, T Vasanthakumar, Zainun Rasyhid, Aboud Ghafar Ismail, Sufian Salih, Hasim Talib, Abdul Jamal Azahari Yusof Mohd Salam and Husin Alih.

Hours after taking the reins in April, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak ordered the release of 13 ISA detainees, including Hindraf leaders V Ganabatirau and R Kengadharan.

'Mas Selamat detained under ISA'

The three Hindraf leaders still in detention are P Uthayakumar, T Vasanthakumar and M Manoharan.

Manoharan is also the state representative for Kota Alam Shah in Selangor. He won the seat from behind bars in the last general election.

The five were detained in December 2007 after mounting a massive street protest which saw tens of thousands of Indian Malaysians taking to the streets.

mas selamat alleged jemaah islamiyah terrorist leader 080509On another matter, Hishammuddin today confirmed that alleged Islamic militant leader Mas Selamat Kastari has been captured and is being held under ISA.

"Mas Selamat is under our detention and is being investigated right now. He was planning something which allows us to arrest him," Hishammuddin said.

"He is under ISA," he said.

Is it a diversion tactic?

In an immediate reaction, Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy welcomed the release of the three Hindraf leaders but urged the government to release all remaining detainees and close down the detention centre.

"I also hope this is not an eyewash to divert the people's attention from the ugly episode in Perak yesterday," he said when contacted.

Waythamoorthy, who is Uthayakumar's younger brother, is presently in exile in London following the government crackdown on Hindraf. The movement was banned last October.

manoharan wife hindraf deepavali message 281008 s pushpaneelaMeanwhile, Manoharan's wife S Pushpaneela (right) was elated with the news of her husband's impending release.

"I can't believe it. My children and I can't wait to see him free again. Now he can serve the people who voted him in as the state representative of Kota Alam Shah," she told Malaysiakini.

Manoharan won the seat while in detention but in recent days he is said to have grown frustrated of being unable to serve the constituency.

He has also expressed his intentions to quit the seat but this is now irrelevant with his release.

As of early April there were 27 people in detention under the ISA, mainly suspected Islamic militants.

Hishammuddin confirmed today that alleged militant leader Mas Selamat bin Kastari was also being held.

mas selamat alleged jemaah islamiyah terrorist leader 080509According to the minister, the alleged Islamic militant leader was captured and is being held under ISA.

"Mas Selamat is under our detention and is being investigated right now. He was planning something which allows us to arrest him," Hishammuddin said.

"He is under ISA," he said.

Lawyers gather to protest arrest of colleagues

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Hundreds of lawyers have formed a sea of black and white at the Jalan Duta courts to protest the detention of five of their colleagues.

The five lawyers were arrested last night at the Brickfields police station, where they had gone to represent their clients who were detained for allegedly participating in an illegal candlelight vigil for activist Wong Chin Huat.

Wong was arrested for sedition earlier this week after he called on Malaysians to wear black yesterday to protest the power grab in Perak.

His arrest was among a clutch made by the authorities in a sign of growing unease over the level of dissent sparked by Barisan Nasional’s (BN) controversial takeover of the Perak state government from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Yesterday’s Perak state assembly sitting descended into chaos with scuffles and wrestling matches between lawmakers from both sides and resulted in the police entering a legislative assembly for the first time in the country’s history of parliamentary democracy.

The Bar Council has already described yesterday’s events as a black day for democracy and heavily criticised the police for interference.

This morning its president Ragunath Kesavan again condemned the police over the arrests of his colleagues.

“We are shocked and disgusted by this blatant transgression of the rule of law. By their action, the police personnel in question have demonstrated utter disrespect and blatant disregard for the criminal justice system that they are duty-bound to uphold and protect.

“They have violated the specific provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code guaranteeing access to lawyers. Although there is an exception to this provision, it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be turned into a right to arrest lawyers who are waiting to render legal representation to their clients,” he said in a statement issued this morning.”

He said the police action made an absolute mockery of the constitutional right to legal representation and was a travesty of justice.

“We call on the Inspector-General of Police to immediately explain this gross abuse of police power.

“This unprecedented conduct by the police has far-reaching consequences. It means arrested persons can be denied access to their lawyers without challenge. And when their lawyers are denied access and are forced to wait outside the police station, the lawyers themselves are at risk of arrest. “

The five lawyers arrested yesterday were from the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre.

They are Fadiah Nadwa Binti Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Binti Anuar, Puspawati Binti Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Binti Safwan.

Sivakumar says he is still the Speaker

Sivakumar gestures that he is still the Speaker at today’s press conference at the Perak DAP office in Ipoh. With him are DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and other party leaders. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, May 8 — Ousted Perak Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar, the man at the heart of yesterday's chaotic state legislative sitting here, maintained today the controversial session of the state assembly was never convened, and that he still holds office.

"From 9.45 in the morning until I was dragged out, I hold on to one fact that as long as the 10 assemblymen do not leave the House, the proceedings will not begin," said Sivakumar.

He was referring to his refusal yesterday to convene the sitting unless Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and six Barisan Nasional state executive councillors left the chambers on the basis that had been suspended by the state rights and privileges committee.

Sivakumar had also asked three BN friendly independent lawmakers to leave the chambers.

"When a decision has been made by the rights and privileges committee I am also legally bound to it," he told reporters at a press conference here.

Sivakumar added that the refusal of senior civil servants to take their seats showed that there were plans to defy the Speaker.

"Clearly they had made plans to ignore the Speaker as they wanted a new Speaker," he added.

The assembly, which was consented by the palace, saw the removal of Sivakumar and the election of MIC's Datuk R. Ganesan as the Speaker by BN representatives who convened a separate session within the assembly before Raja Nazrin Shah officially declared open the sitting.

Sivakumar was also detained inside a room for one hour after he was dragged out of the chambers by policemen at the instruction of Ganesan.

Meanwhile, DAP state secretary Nga Kor Ming vowed to bring the matter to international forums including the Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association (CPA).

"The House Speaker was strangled and forcibly dragged out of the assembly, and this has not only saddened Malaysians who love democracy but also shows that the legislature is in danger," said Nga, reiterating his stand that the state assembly should be dissolved.

Zambry Derhaka Kepada Nazrin Dengan Lawak Boria DUN Perak

Krisis di Perak yang bermula dengan keengganan KDYMM Sultan Perak memperkenankan hak memilih kerajaan dikembalikan kepada rakyat hari ini bertambah buruk dan memalukan. Ia hanya akan menambah pelbagai intrepretasi terdapat urusan perundangan dan kesahihan jalan yang dilaluinya.

Ia juga menyaksikan bagaimana pihak Polis DiRaja Malaysia lebih berminat mengawal ketenteraman awam dengan menangkap wakil-wakil rakyat daripada menangkap penjenayah yang semakin diakui oleh Musa Hassan dalam Buletin Utama TV3 6 Meil 2009 diluar kemampuan polis.

Tetapi apa yang paling memalukan ialah lawak ngeri oleh Menteri Besar Haram Dr. Zambry. Saya tidak tahu dia mendapat ijazah kedoktoran didalam bidang apa tetapi kalau dilihat dari gaya, tuturkata dan aksinya, sah dia layak dapat ijazah kedoktoran di dalam bidang lawak boria.

Malas nak diulas apa yang dilakukan oleh Zambry di dalam Dewan kerana yang pasti, berdozen kes mahkamah baru akan berlaku dalam masa terdekat bagi mempertikaikan lawak boria Zambry itu.

Zambry tidak sepatutnya masuk ke Dewan Negeri hari ini tetapi elok masuk ke ujibakat Raja Lawak.

Bagaimanapun setidak-tidaknya, hari ini kita boleh bertambah bangga dengan YB Sivakumar. Walaupun bukan Melayu tetapi dia mengangkat tinggi institusi Raja Melayu dan merayu berkali-kali supaya Zambry bersabar supaya YTM Raja Nazrin dibenarkan menyampaikan titahnya dan merasmikan Penggal baru Dewan Negeri Perak sebelum Zambry memulakan lawak borianya.

Bagaimanapun, Zambry terus engkar dan derhaka. Membelakangkan Raja Nazrin dan memaksa Raja Nazrin menanti 5 jam semata-mata kerana dia mahu teruskan lawak borianya sebelum Raja Nazrin dibenarkan bertitah.

Kesian.

Najib must clear his own mess

By Tunku Aziz

MAY 7 – I never for a moment thought I should live to see the day when a traditional hereditary ruler of a Malay State has taken such a rapid slide in his people’s estimation, approbation and adulation as has the Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. It took one unfortunate, ill-conceived and ill-considered decision over a petition by the Pakatan Rakyat Mentri Besar Datuk Nizar Jamaluddin, to dissolve the Perak State Assembly that has turned Perak into a politically difficult and dangerous situation.

His Highness Sultan Azlan Shah is no ordinary ruler. As a former Lord President and head of the Malaysian judiciary, he ascended the throne of Perak as someone well-qualified by education and training for what, for all practical purposes, is a largely ceremonial sinecure. Be that as it may, the position carries a heavy constitutional responsibility.

It has become quite apparent that while his legal knowledge may be assumed to be extensive, his training more than adequate, his wisdom in dealing with a delicate and important political matter of public concern, on reflection, has in my humble opinion, turned out to be questionable. A great deficiency in a ruler who showed so much early promise of being a wise, liberal minded and benevolent leader.

When the final chapter of the Perak constitutional fiasco comes to be written, the country, and the world, will be able revisit and understand better the magnitude of the debilitating effects of the royal decision on the Malaysian body politic. Malaysians, in particular, will view with horror the ugly scars left on their nation’s nascent democracy, and they will be constantly reminded how one hasty error of judgement was enough to trigger a political tragedy of the worst imaginable kind. A Greek tragedy pales by comparison.

The saddest part of all is that the resultant unseemly legal wrangling could have been avoided. The fact that the flawed decision was not reversed, within a day or two when it became abundantly clear that the decision not to dissolve the Assembly and call for fresh elections was manifestly unfair and unethical, was nothing if not sheer carelessness, in all the circumstances. I maintain that even now it is not too late to reverse that politically fatal decision and bring to an end this disgraceful episode in the history of participatory representative government in our country.

There is no disgrace or humiliation in coming to terms with one’s honest mistake. No one, even the wisest among us, is infallible. If the Sultan believes, as we know he does passionately, that his royal duty is to serve the public interest, then NOW is the time to give that commitment practical effect.

The Perak fiasco is not about to run out of steam. We must accept that the situation will get worse before it gets better. I saw the images from the State Assembly “sitting” on national television at lunch time today (7 May 2009) with a sense of unbounded revulsion. The scene of warring politicians shouting invective was not a joy to behold.

To use a medical analogy, the Perak affair will be a running sore. Only the Sultan of Perak can provide an effective cure. To ignore what is obviously an untenable constitutional position is an act of grave irresponsibility, and while the Prime Minister thinks it is a great idea for him to give the impression that he is above it all, I should like to remind him that he is not blameless, far from it. It was his active act of muddying the Perak political waters that brought about this current crisis in the first place.

He now has a chance to show that he is not a partisan prime minister, but a national statesman who is prepared to intervene decisively to put matters right in fairness and equity.

Looking back, it was not such a clever personal coup after all. His machination was so abysmally repugnant even judged by the consistently low ethical and moral political standards of UMNO/BN that I find myself wondering whether I could trust him enough to buy my next second-hand car from him; this is the same man trying to persuade us to buy his 1 Malaysia. What a man! (With apologies to G.B.Shaw)

How not to remove a State Assembly Speaker…

dscn3794b

sivathehero

Sometimes words are just superfluous. This is one of those occasions.

Vigils: 14 arrests in KL, 10 in Kuching, one in Penang

suaram6

Police moved in on the vigil in Penang - Photo by Romerz

Fourteen people were arrested in Brickfields tonight at a vigil to express solidarity with activist Wong Chin Huat.

Of the 14, seven of them were from the students’ movement Dema and two from the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall youth section. They are now at a car-park at the Brickfields police stations, though their statements have not yet been recorded. The arrests today come on the heels of 14 arrests last night (though that batch were later released).

Over in Penang, USM masters student Ng Eng Kiat was detained after a “Democracy First” vigil in Penang attended by between 50 and a hundred people outside the Dewan Sri Pinang tonight. He was the emcee of the event.

The Penang vigil, organised by human rights group Suaram, was to express dissatisfaction over the state of democracy in the country. It is not clear what charge he has been arrested under. Eng Kiat, who is also a Suaram member, is now believed to be at the Patani Road police station. About a dozen police also moved in to remove banners.

Meanwhile, Lina Soo reports that 10 PKR members were arrested in Kuching during a similar vigil but were later released on police bail. They were Dominique Ng, Wong Liong Hin, Yong Sen Chan, Mark Murau, Mrs Dominique Ng, S H Hung, Bob, Zaidi, Sharifah and Aidil.

Press Release: Arrests of lawyers a blatant transgression of the rule of law

Friday, 08 May 2009 08:53am
ImageThe Malaysian Bar strongly condemns the arrest last night of five lawyers at the Brickfields Police Station who were there to represent their clients.

We are shocked and disgusted by this blatant transgression of the rule of law. By their action, the police personnel in question have demonstrated utter disrespect and blatant disregard for the criminal justice system that they are duty-bound to uphold and protect. They have violated the specific provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code guaranteeing access to lawyers. Although there is an exception to this provision, it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be turned into a right to arrest lawyers who are waiting to render legal representation to their clients.

The police action makes an absolute mockery of the constitutional right to legal representation and is a travesty of justice. We call on the Inspector-General of Police to immediately explain this gross abuse of police power.

This unprecedented conduct by the police has far-reaching consequences. It means arrested persons can be denied access to their lawyers without challenge. And when their lawyers are denied access and are forced to wait outside the police station, the lawyers themselves are at risk of arrest.

We acknowledge all our colleagues who have come to the aid and defence of those arrested by the police simply because they have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to assemble peaceably. We salute our colleagues from the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre – Fadiah Nadwa Binti Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Binti Anuar, Puspawati Binti Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Binti Safwan – who, without regard for their own safety and well-being, voluntarily went to the aid of those arrested, only to be arrested themselves. They have exhibited great courage and by their actions have demonstrated the highest standards of the Malaysian Bar. Their exemplary sense of duty and professionalism stands in stark contrast to the despicable conduct of the police.


Ragunath Kesavan
President
Malaysian Bar

8 May 2009

Power Grab in Perak: A return to authoritarian ways in Malaysia?

From Wall Street Journal

Malaysia’s latest political crisis is unfolding in the northern state of Perak, where more than 60 people, including five opposition members of the national Parliament and five state assembly representatives, were detained by police yesterday during peaceful protests. It’s a test for the country’s new Prime Minister, Najib Razak, who took office last month after campaigning on a pledge of more political openness.

The arrests in Perak are the most recent episode in the political struggle between the opposition coalition led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the National Front coalition, led by Mr. Najib. Perak became a political battleground last year when Mr. Anwar’s alliance won control of it and four other state legislatures. Since then several Perak legislators have switched allegiance, putting the legislature back in the control of Mr. Najib’s coalition.

Yesterday’s demonstration outside the state assembly in Ipoh was to protest the local Sultan’s appointment of a new state chief minister — a move the opposition says was unconstitutional. Meanwhile, inside the assembly building, the legislature voted to replace the opposition-party speaker with a new speaker. After hours of shouting and tussling, the old speaker was forcibly removed.

The government says the arrests in Perak were necessary to maintain public order, and the International Trade Minister is quoted by the Associated Press as saying “If any country is seen to be unstable, that would not be so good.” As we went to press, many of the protestors had already been released. On Monday, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur is expected to rule on whether the appointment of the chief minister is constitutional.

Mr. Najib has been in office for barely a month, and yesterday’s arrests are not the only sign that his government may be cracking down on dissent. Also this week, Wong Chin Huat, the spokesman for a civil society group, was arrested and charged with sedition after he called for Malaysians to wear black yesterday to protest the change in government in Perak. His campaign, “1BlackMalaysia,” was a riff on Mr. Najib’s slogan “1Malaysia.” In March, Mr. Wong described the situation in Perak to us as, “a host of unelected institutions attacking an elected government.”

Mr. Najib took office promising to do better by the Malaysian public. He talked about reviewing the country’s harsh Internal Security Act and released 13 prisoners who had been detained under the draconian law. He has taken steps to loosen Malaysia’s pro-Malay affirmative action policies and attract more foreign investment.

But all of this will be for naught if he moves the country back to an era in which political dissenters can’t speak freely and peaceful protests are squelched.

THE INDICES


(This is the conclusion to the series on the trends that led to the present financial crisis)

1. I have listed and explained a little on five schemes for making money out of non-business. The amounts of money involved in these money make money schemes are huge. The hedge funds alone handle 620 trillion dollars. The trade in currency involves 20 times the value of total world trade.

2. These money make money schemes are huge and the earnings of those who manage and invest in these schemes are equally huge.

3. They are not business because they produce nothing and they supply no services. They also create hardly any employment, nor spin off other productive business.

4. Yet the money they generate is real because they can be used to buy goods and services from the real business world.

5. The earners of this money i.e. the fund managers, the bankers and the investors are truly rich and they live the life of the wealthy.

6. Quite naturally the players, i.e. the fund managers, the investors and the banks and bankers make large sums of money. And their earnings must contribute to the national wealth.

7. Since we have developed indices for the wealth of countries, the Per Capita Income and GDP of the countries where these money make money games are played must be high.

8. But if we deduct the wealth from these schemes from the computation of the Per Capita and GDP, obviously the figures would not be as big as claimed.

9. The bubble has now burst and the true Per Capita and GDP can now be seen. And they must be much lower.

10. So the real Per Capita Income and GDP of the rich countries are really not so high compared to the poor countries whose Per Capita and GDP are based on real business.

11. The people in the rich countries who are furiously trying to regain their statistical wealth should not be in denial. You will never be able to recover to your pre-crisis self no matter how many trillions you spend on bailouts.

12. If you accept this fact than you may be able to end the slide to national bankruptcy.

OCPD Putrajaya Menipu !!

berikut ialah kenyataan OCPD Putrajaya yang disiarkan dalam mStar Online

PETALING JAYA: Tiga lelaki ditahan polis dipercayai kerana cuba menghantar kek ke pejabat Perdana Menteri sempena ulang tahun hari kelahiran wanita Mongolia di Putrajaya pagi tadi walaupun telah dilarang berbuat demikian.

Ketua Polis Putrajaya, Supt Abdul Razak Abd Majid berkata, tiga lelaki tersebut iaitu Md Sani Md Shah, 32; Saufi Mihad, 28, dan Yasser Sheikh Abdul Rahman, 26 daripada kumpulan Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) ditahan kira-kira pukul 11.15 pagi tadi.

Setakat malam ini mereka masih ditahan polis bagi memberi keterangan lanjut.

"Mereka bertiga telah pun memberi keterangan tadi tapi kita masih menahan mereka untuk melengkapkan siasatan," katanya ketika dihubungi mStar Online, lewat petang tadi.

Kira-kira 20 ahli SAMM berkumpul di kawasan letak kereta bangunan Perdana Putra dipercayai cuba menghantar sebiji kek sempena hari lahir wanita Mongolia yang mati dibunuh, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Katanya, dua lagi lelaki daripada kumpulan itu iaitu Badrul Hisham Shaharin iaitu ahli Majlis Tertinggi PKR dan Nor Azizi A Aziz yang turut berada di tempat kejadian hanya diminta memberi keterangan.

"Kita hanya tahan tiga orang itu kerana kumpulan itu yang membawa kek.

"Sementara itu, yang dua lagi tidak ditangkap kerana mereka hanya mahu menyerahkan memorandum," katanya.

Singapore's most-wanted militant arrested in Malaysia


Commuters walk past a poster of suspected Islamic militant Mas Selamat bin Kastari at an MRT train station in Singapore in this April 21, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The suspected leader of a radical Islamist group linked to the 2002 Bali bombings has been arrested in Malaysia, more than a year after his escape from a high-security prison in Singapore, media reports said on Friday.

Mas Selamat Kastari was the alleged mastermind of a plot to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore's Changi Airport.

Singapore authorities have also accused him of planning truck bomb attacks at several sites across the island state, including the American Club and U.S. Embassy.

A Singapore government spokeswoman confirmed the arrest but gave no other details on where or when.

The Straits Times newspaper, quoting intelligence sources, said Mas Selamat was captured on April 1 and is being held in Malaysia for interrogation.

Officials said Mas Selamat was a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a pan-Asian radical Islamic group linked to al-Qaeda and responsible for several attacks across Southeast Asia, including the Bali bombings.

His escape from the Whitley Road Detention Center on Feb 27, 2008 through an unlocked toilet window prompted a huge manhunt in Singapore and a global security alert from Interpol. Singapore subsequently sacked or disciplined nine officials.

More than 200 people, many of them foreign tourists from Australia, died in 2002 when militants exploded bombs at several nightclubs in Bali. The Indonesian resort island also suffered bomb attacks in 2005 that killed 20 people.

Mas Selamat was originally arrested by Indonesian police in January 2006 who then handed him over to Singapore authorities.

He had been held under Singapore's Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial, and has not been formally charged with any crimes.

© REUTERS 2009

The Great DUN Perak fiasco

Arrests galore at SUK

Sivakumar cries interference led to him being booted out

IPOH, May 7 — Ousted Pakatan Rakyat speaker V. Sivakumar has blamed interference from outsiders led to him being dragged out and held for an hour by police during a chaotic assembly sitting, adding he does not recognise Datuk R. Ganesan’s election as the new Perak speaker.

“How come there was a directive and outsiders entered the hall, all with name tags when my request to allow seven MPs to enter was denied. It is clear there is interference in the Speaker’s powers,” he told reporters before leaving the Perak state secretariat.

The Tronoh assemblyman had sat on the speaker’s chair from morning until nearly 3pm when he was physically lifted off the chair and dragged out of the chamber by unidentified men in suits and with nametags that just said official.

He had earlier twice rejected Barisan Nasional Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir’s motion to remove him, pointing out the assembly had not started as the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, had not given the royal address.

“I don’t recognise Ganesan as the speaker as I have rejected the motion to appoint a speaker,” Sivakumar said emphatically.

He claimed that he was brought to a room by police and he had fallen twice along the way, adding that eight people have been roughed up with some suffering torn clothes during the melee to drag him out of the chamber.

“I was held in a room for about an hour. It is clear that all directives from the Speaker was ignored. From early on, the Speaker has been blocked including preventing the press from covering the sitting,” Sivakumar said.

Was Siva merely collateral damage?

Image

I believe Pakatan Rakyat knew it could not have won a military campaign in Ipoh yesterday. It has problems even winning the legal battles in court. The only way, therefore, is to allow Barisan Nasional to do what it did and which in turn would antagonise the people.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

After I wrote my last article in No Holds Barred (It’s all about race, stupid!), I went to sleep -- after staying awake for almost 24 hours. I admit that my No Holds Barred article was very fiery, practically calling for blood. I make no apologies for that but I suppose sleep depravation does that to you; it makes you lash out. Nevertheless, I maintain my stand that what they did to Siva -- dragging him out of the State Assembly like a sack of potatoes and unceremoniously evicting him -- was downright uncivilised and utterly inexcusable.

After five hours of a good sleep, and with a clearer mind because of it, I have had time to reflect on what happened in Ipoh yesterday. As I said, I make no apologies for what I wrote earlier and have not changed my views. But what I have since been able to do is to analyse what the thinking of the Pakatan Rakyat leaders could have been and why they ‘abandoned’ Siva to his fate.

Could not Pakatan Rakyat have demonstrated a show of force and defend Siva to the last man standing? Are the Pakatan Rakyat leaders that gutless that they did not stand up for what is right? After all, they are constantly screaming that Siva’s eviction is unlawful and his physical removal unconstitutional. Why then not defend the law and the constitution by force if necessary?

Well, I am looking at things from the perspective of a political activist. Pakatan Rakyat could probably be looking at things from the political angle. Not being a politician I do not see things the political way but the political activist way. And this is maybe why I do not make a good politician. I just can’t see how sometimes in politics you have to allow the other side to show its true colours. In other words, you give your enemy enough rope for it to hang itself.

I have to go read Sun Tzu again and see what he said about strategy. And strategy involves many things. As Mao said, when the enemy chases, you run. When the enemy rests, you counter-attack. Mao must have read Sun Tzu as well and I am sure that was his ‘bible’ in the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Chinese people.

Something else Sun Tzu said was to not engage an enemy more powerful than you. And if it is unavoidable and you do have to engage, then make sure you engage it on your terms, not on your enemy’s terms. Choose your battlefield. Make sure it is a battlefield that you know. Never fight on a battlefield where your enemy will be stronger and better equipped than you.

The Taliban never read Sun Tzu -- or maybe they did, I don’t know. But they applied this strategy to the maximum and sent the powerful Russian military machine running back to Moscow with its tail between its legs. How to fight the Russian tanks, rockets and helicopter gun-ships when you are only armed with rifles? In an open battlefield the Russians would make mincemeat out of you.

Well, don’t engage the Russians in an open battlefield. The Russians would excel in an open battlefield. They are well equipped to fight in an open battlefield. So avoid the open battlefield and draw the Russians into the mountains. The Russian army is not trained to fight in the mountains plus their tanks would be useless in the mountains and the helicopter gun-ships would find the mountains most precarious.

So that is what the Taliban did. They knew the mountains like the back of their hands. They could move up and down those mountains blindfolded. And when the Russians came into those mountains the Taliban kicked the shit out of them. Eventually, the Russians called it a day and went home, but not after having to send home so many of their soldiers in body-bags.

So, what happened in Ipoh yesterday? There was hardly any resistance. PAS alone could have easily mobilised 50,000 supporters. Sure, there were roadblocks and thousands of police, hundreds in the State Assembly itself. But Pakatan Rakyat could have outdone this easily. Yet it did not. Why?

Anwar was not in Ipoh. Neither was Hadi Awang. Lim Kit Siang was but was not allowed in. And when they refused to allow him in he went off. There was no attempt to force their way into the State Assembly. No storming of the Bastille as had been hoped and as many had wished for. Why?

Was it complacency? Did they think Pakatan Rakyat would win the day without putting up a fight? Are they that naïve? Did they sell us out? Yes, those were the first questions running through my mind and lack of sleep allowed me to think only of the questions but the answers were not forthcoming.

I don’t believe it is any of the above. And I don’t think it is because of lack of caring or lack of interest as well. I think Pakatan Rakyat planned every move to the last detail and knew exactly what it was doing. And I think Barisan Nasional played right into Pakatan Rakyat’s hand.

But then I have a suspicious mind, as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is fond of saying. I am always looking for conspiracy theories. I am always thinking that there is more than meets the eye. I believe that politicians are good magicians. They distract you with their right hand while the trick is being performed with the left hand.

Is that what happened in Ipoh yesterday? Was that why it appeared like Pakatan rakyat offered only token resistance to make it look like they tried? Maybe, maybe not!

Let’s face it. Pakatan Rakyat had already lost the state. It lost the state when the Sultan sacked Nizar and replaced him with Zambry. Pakatan Rakyat now has lesser seats than Barisan Nasional in the State Assembly. What happened in Ipoh yesterday was merely to confirm what was already fact -- that Pakatan Rakyat is no longer the government in Perak.

Pakatan Rakyat could have resorted to force, bloodshed even. But would that have helped them get back the state? What it may have done is to give the police an excuse to detain everyone under the Internal Security Act and declare martial law in Perak like what they did in Kelantan more than 30 years ago -- and which I have written about before. That means democracy would be suspended and they can run Perak without the ‘burden’ of a State Assembly. Umno would be doing things without any opposition since there is no longer any State Assembly and therefore no longer any opposition in the State Assembly.

I believe Pakatan Rakyat knew it could not have won a military campaign in Ipoh yesterday. It has problems even winning the legal battles in court. The only way, therefore, is to allow Barisan Nasional to do what it did and which in turn would antagonise the people.

If blood had been spilled, the people might blame Pakatan Rakyat rather than Barisan Nasional for it. Sure, Barisan Nasional is violent. But then Pakatan Rakyat knows that Barisan Nasional is violent. Why then allow them to use violence whereby the people are exposed to risk and danger? Pakatan Rakyat should look after the people’s interest and guard their safety. Knowing that Barisan Nasional is violent and yet exposing the people to danger is downright irresponsible of Pakatan Rakyat.

This would be the reaction of the people if anything adverse happens to them. So Pakatan Rakyat very cleverly avoided violence and allowed Barisan Nasional to do what it did in Ipoh yesterday. And, today, more people have become disgusted with Barisan Nasional and will vote for Pakatan Rakyat in the next election, or by-election, just to demonstrate this disgust. They may not vote for Pakatan rakyat because they love Pakatan Rakyat. But they will certainly vote for Pakatan Rakyat because they now hate Barisan Nasional even more than before yesterday’s fiasco in Ipoh.

Was, therefore, Siva merely collateral damage? Were they expecting this and did Barisan Nasional do exactly as expected? After all, the state had been lost months ago. Winning the battle of the State Assembly, yesterday, would not have got the state back. Instead, it would have invited other problems, the people’s safety being one of them.

This is of course only my wishful thinking. I could be wrong, I don’t know. I would like to believe that what happened was part of Pakatan Rakyat’s plan and that it worked as planned. I hope and pray that Pakatan Rakyat laid a trap and that Barisan Nasional walked right into it and got snared.

As I said, I am not a politician. So I think differently from the way politicians do. But I do hope that what I am currently thinking is what they had also been thinking all along and that what happened in Ipoh may appear to have been a defeat but was actually a political victory that, in time, will reveal itself.

They say: he who has the last laugh has the best laugh. Was yesterday, in Ipoh, the last laugh? Or is the last laugh yet to be laughed? And who is going to have that last laugh? Politicians are so devious.

And am I being too idealistic here?

It’s all about race, stupid!

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Raja Nazrin has just launched the debate on whether it is time that Malaysia abolishes the Monarchy and turns this country into a Republic. Yes, the Republic of Malaysia. I like the sound of that. I think I shall go along with that.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Oh, no! Not another ‘stupid’ article from RPK. Sheesh…….it’s getting to be very boring. If it’s not about Altantuya, it’s about stupid this or stupid that.

Yes, I pre-empted what you are going to say and said it first. So there!

But that is just the thing. It is about race. And if you thought it is about anything else then you are plain dumb and deserve to be called stupid.

Oh, I forgot, I am talking about what happened in Ipoh today. And what happened in Ipoh is about race. It is about ensuring that the Malays do not lose political power. And, as far as Perak is concerned, as far as Umno is concerned, Perak has fallen into the hands of the Chinese.

Did DAP not win the most number of seats in Perak? And is not DAP a Cina-Kominis party that wishes to see the end of Ketuanan Melayu and the New Economic Policy and wishes to replace it with Meritocracy and a Malaysian-Malaysia? And is this not what Lee Kuan Yew also propagates for Singapore? And is not Singapore persecuting and discriminating against Malays? Are not Malays serving in the Singapore Armed Forces not allowed to even carry guns because the Chinese do not trust them? And is not Singapore the enemy of Malaysia who is illegally occupying Malay land that the British robbed from the Johor Sultanate?

Did PKR not win the second highest number of seats in Perak? And is not PKR a non-race-based party that wishes to see the end of Ketuanan Melayu and the New Economic Policy and wishes to replace it with Meritocracy and Ketuanan Malaysia? Are not only half the PKR Wakil Rakyat Malays while the other half are Chinese and Indians?

Did PAS not win the least number of seats in Perak? And is not PAS an Islamic party that classifies Ketuanan Melayu and the New Economic Policy as nationalism and discrimination and therefore haram (forbidden) -- and does it not support DAP and PKR in opposing Ketuanan Melayu and the New Economic Policy? Is not PAS the boneka (puppet) of DAP, and although the Menteri Besar is from PAS, DAP actually pulls the strings from behind the scenes?

Yes, that is what it is all about. That is why Pakatan Rakyat must be kicked out of Perak at all costs. That is why fairness, legality and the Constitution are no longer crucial. In the fight to uphold Malay Supremacy, fairness, legality and the Constitution must take a back seat. The ends justify the means. It is not how you play the game. It is winning, by hook or by crook, by fair means or foul, that counts.

If it were in Kelantan, Umno would not have dared do what it did in Perak today. If Umno tried to do the same thing in Kelantan as what it did in Perak today, blood would have flowed on the streets of Kota Bharu. By now, Kota Bharu would be under curfew. Widows would be claiming bodies at the mortuary and new orphans would be created. The plainclothes police officers in songkok would not have been able to drag the Speaker out of the State Assembly like a drunken cowboy in a Hollywood Western movie.

Did you see how the police officers dragged Siva out of the State Assembly? I did. And they were able to drag him out in such an undignified manner because he is an Indian-Hindu from Perak. If he had been a Malay-Muslim from Kelantan, they would never have done that in a million years. They do and parangs would fly. Heads of the Umno dogs would be scattered all over the roads of Kota Bharu.

Do I sound racial? Do I sound violent? Well, I hope so. Because that is exactly what it is all about. I do not mince my words. I do not hold my punches. This column is called No Holds Barred. And my article is therefore no holds barred.

I am disappointed about today. I am disappointed not because of what Umno did. I expected that from Umno. I knew that Umno would do that. What I am disappointed about is that Pakatan Rakyat did not hold their ground. Siva was dragged out of the State Assembly like a sack of potatoes. Yet no one did anything. No one jumped in and gave those goons a hard bash on the head.

I am also disappointed because the crowd was not a crowd. The people on the ground were mostly from out of Perak. Many were Bloggers and civil society movement activists. But they were not locals. They were not Perakians. Where were the local Perakians? They were not around. If they want to argue they could not get through because of the police roadblocks, then how could all those out-of-towners get through, in spite of the roadblocks?

There should have been blood spilled, today, in the Perak State Assembly. Violence must be met with violence. There is no other way. If they want to talk, then we talk. But if they want to use violence, then we match them with violence. And they violently dragged Siva out of the Perak State Assembly.

Siva should have been allowed to exit on his feet. Instead, he was dragged and thrown out like a drunken wino. Is that how a Speaker should be treated? Well, if he were Malay that would never have happened. If it were in Kelantan that would never have happened. But because he is an Indian from Perak then it can happen. And it did happen.

And you know what the icing on the cake is? Raja Nazrin graced the whole fiasco. He gave legitimacy to the entire circus in Ipoh today. His presence gave legality to what should have been illegal. Raja Nazrin’s decision to play along with Umno has hurt the Monarchy badly. It will take a long time for the Monarchy to recover from what happened in Perak today. In fact, it may never recover.

Raja Nazrin has just launched the debate on whether it is time that Malaysia abolishes the Monarchy and turns this country into a Republic. Yes, the Republic of Malaysia. I like the sound of that. I think I shall go along with that.

That is what Perak was all about, today. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Repeat after me: It’s all about race, stupid!

Perak State Assembly 07/05/2009: The Arrests & The Chaos

507 Perak Assembly: Dozens were arrested including MPs & Aduns

SPEAKER SIVAKUMAR DRAGGED OUT


A very insulting event when Perak State Speaker V. Sivakumar was dragged out by BN goons just to prove a point that UMNO and Barisan Nasional can do anything and nothing will happen.

The Perakians will have to be UNITED and challenge this unscrupulous Barisan Nasional if they want FREEDOM restored.

The Palace had also not played a fair game, rather than DISSOLVING THE STATE ASSEMBLY, the had played along with the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional dirty tricks.

As usual, the Police and the State Secretariat have collaborated with the Barisan Nasional to orchestra this SHAMEFUL incident.

Just imagine if elected Opposition lawmakers are treated like dirt, how will the ordinary rakyat be treated?

TIME for CHANGE has just begun!!!!
pictures courtesy of Malaysiakini n Anilnetto

Najib’s 1Malaysia shredded into smithereens - disgraceful police lockdown of Ipoh and scandalous spectacle of 2 Speakers, 2 Assemblies

Flash - So far 64 people (including 4 MPs and 5 SAs from Pakatan Rakyat) arrested by police in the Ipoh lock-down!

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia has been shredded into smithereens by the disgraceful police lockdown of Ipoh and the scandalous spectacle of two Speakers and two Assemblies – as if the constitutional scandal of two Mentris Besar is not bad enough for Perak and Malaysia!

It is unlikely that Najib will be able to live down the political baggage of having orchestrated the three-month Perak constitutional and political crisis and stalemate spawning two Mentris Besar, two Speakers, two Assemblies together with three renegade State Assembly members and a renegade State Assembly clerk unless he is prepared to act boldly to admit his colossal error and misjudgement and agree to the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly for the holding of Perak state-wide general election to return the mandate to Perakians.

For the sake of an unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab, Najib has brought important institutions of the country into greater disrepute, whether the police, the MACC, the judiciary and seriously impaired the vital doctrine of separation of powers.

Perakians, Malaysians and the world today witness another unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab – the office and powers of the Speaker when the Perak State Assembly has not officially met.

The mass arrests including Pakatan Rakyat MPs and State Assembly representatives in the police lockdown of Ipoh, turning the Perak capital into a war-zone, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms illustrating the ludicrous lengths of such a baseless police crackdown.

Sujatha Suicide: Police Asked For Post-mortem, Inquest Told

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 (Bernama) -- The forensics counsultant of the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) in Klang today told the inquest into actress K. Sujatha's death that police had made a request for a post-mortem to be done in her case.

Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim told the Coroner's Court that it was compulsory for a post-mortem to be done when police made an official request for it.

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Sujatha's brother Yugindran received Aus $28,000 for his studies in Australia



"In Sujatha's case, police issued the necessary documents and the medical officer on duty at the hospital's mortuary on the day in question (June 25 2007), Dr K. Saravanan, should have made sure it was done," Dr Khairul explained.

Asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent if the procedure should be followed even if the family of the deceased did not wish for it (post-mortem), he replied in the affirmative.

Dr Khairul, 51, said that as the head of department (HOD), he had asked Dr Saravanan why the post-mortem was not carried out and was told by the doctor that it was unnecessary because the cause of death was stated in the burial permit.

To another question, Dr Khairul agreed to a suggestion by Geethan that if the post-mortem had been carried out, the hospital would have been able to arrive at conclusive findings as to the cause of death.

Dr Khairul was testifying in the inquest into the death of Sujatha, 28, on June 25 2007, four days after being admitted to HTAR as a result of accidental ingestion of paraquat.

Questioned by counsel Datuk K. Kumaraendran, who is holding a watching brief for Maika Holdings Berhad chief executive officer S. Vell Paari, whether under Section 330 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) if an investigating officer (IO) was satisfied with the cause of death, he or she could could instruct for a post-mortem not to be done, Dr Khairul agreed that the IO could do this.

Dr Khairul also agreed that in criminal cases, the final decision as to whether a post-mortem should be conducted lay with the police.

To another question from Coroner Mohd Faizi Che Abu, whether he knew if the police had retracted the post-mortem request, Dr Khairul said he did not know anything about this.

Meanwhile, another witness, Mahaletchumy Kaveri, 42, a medical assistant at HTAR's emergency ward, said Dr S. P. Sakthiveloo (the first doctor to treat Sujata when she was admitted to HTAR emergency ward) had asked her assistance to change Sujatha's clothes when the actress was being administered emergency treatment on June 19 2007.

She said she did not see any signs of injuries or bruises on Sujatha's body when she was changing Sujatha's clothes.

To another question from Geethan, Mahaletchumy said she had also helped to bathe Sujatha's body and also did not notice any injuries then.

The inquest continues tomorrow.

-- BERNAMA

*****
'Specialist told doctor' what to state
By : Sushma Veera
NST, May 07 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: A specialist at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang instructed a doctor in attendance to list K. Sujatha's cause of death as paraquat ingestion.

Dr Choor Chee Ken, a medical officer at Ward 8C, where Sujatha was admitted, told the inquest yesterday that he had asked Dr S.P. Sakthiveloo what should be listed as the cause of Sujatha's death.

"I asked him because he was the specialist in charge of Sujatha" said Dr Choor, in reply to deputy public prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent.

Geethan: Why was it necessary to ask Dr Sakthiveloo on the cause of death when you could have made your own conclusion?

Dr Choor: He was my superior and he was there with me. So I asked him.
Geethan: Why didn't Dr Sakthiveloo pronounce Sujatha dead?

Dr Choor: Because I did the resuscitation.

He also agreed with Gee-than that it was Dr Sakthi-veloo's diagnosis and not his.

Dr Choor was the 13th witness in the inquest into the death of actress Sujatha, 28, who died at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang on June 25, 2007, several days after she was admitted for allegedly consuming weedkiller.

Earlier, Dr Choor told the court that about 10am on June 25, 2007, he was informed by nurses that Sujatha had collapsed.

"I performed CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) for about 30 minutes but she could not be revived. I pronounced her dead at 10.40am."

He added that he had contacted Dr Sakthiveloo on his mobile phone while performing the CPR.

Geethan: Why did you call Dr Sakthiveloo when he was not the ward specialist?

Dr Choor: He was the specialist who saw the patient and it was only fair to call him as he would be able to understand the patient's condition better.

Dr Choor, however, added that at no time did he doubt the cause of death, adding he would have made the same conclusion even if Dr Sakthiveloo was not present.

He said based on the clinical notes and the progression of Sujatha's condition, it was conclusive she had died of paraquat poisoning.

Sujatha's brother, K. Ugenthiran, who also took the stand yesterday surprised many when his statements contradicted that of his brother, Surenthiran, who testified on Tuesday.

Surenthiran, 26, had on Tuesday told the inquest that S. Vell Paari (the chief executive officer of Maika Holdings Bhd) had financed his education.

During his testimony last month, Vell Paari had said that he financed both Surenthiran and Ugenthiran.

Ugenthiran, 28, denied this, saying as far as he was concerned, it was Sujatha who financed him while he was studying in Perth, Australia.

Ugenthiran, who was unable to control his tears while testifying, agreed that his sister had committed suicide but he did not know the reason. Surenthiran, however, disagreed.

The inquest before coroner Mohd Faizi Che Abu continues today with hospital attendant, K. Mahaletchumy, and forensic pathologist, Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim, expected to testify.


*****

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The Star

Sujatha inquest: She killed herself, says brother

By NURBAITI HAMDAN


KUALA LUMPUR: Actress K. Sujatha had killed herself -- that’s the testimony of her brother at an inquest held to determine the cause of her death.

“Yes, my sister committed suicide,” said K. Yugenthiran, 28, to a question on whether he agreed that 29-year-old Sujatha, who allegedly died of paraquat poisoning, had taken her own life.

However, asked if he knew why she had done so, Yugenthiran said he did not know what drove his sister to commit the act.

He was responding to questions by Deputy Public Prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent who was assisting coroner Mohd Faizi Che Abu in the inquest, held to determine the cause of Sujatha’s death.

To another question, Yugenthiran admitted to cleaning up Sujatha’s house with detergent and throwing away the bottle, believed to contain the paraquat.

“I went to her house and saw the mess. The smell of vomit and chemical was strong, so I cleaned up the place,” he said.

Yugenthiran said it did not occur to him to keep the bottle that still had some greenish liquid left in it, adding that he did not read the label on the bottle.

DPP Geethan proceeded to show Yugenthiran a bottle containing some greenish liquid and asked if it was the same bottle.

“The bottle at the house was bigger although it appears to be the same,” he said.

DPP Geethan asked Yugenthiran whether Sujatha had personal problems, to which he answered, “No.”

Geethan: “Any family or work problems?”

Yugenthiran: “Family problems... yes, we have.”

Geethan: “I assume it is about your parents?”

Yugenthiran: “Yes.”

Geethan: “Any work-related problems?”

Yugenthiran: “No.”

To another question, Yugenthiran said he was not aware that his sister was pregnant.

Wearing a dark blue shirt and black slacks, Yugenthiran was seen wiping tears from his eyes while recalling the frantic moment after she downed the poison.

He told the court Wednesday that he asked Sujatha a few times as to why she drank the poison while she was still warded in the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital but she became irritated with the questions.

Another witness, ASP Azizan Hashim said that he went to the house 39 days after Sujatha was found at her house and found the house clean.

The inquest before coroner Mohd Faizi Che Abu continues Thursday.

Sujatha, who had acted in several Tamil dramas, movies and commercials, died at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang three days after she was admitted on June 25, 2007.

*******




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Political Struggle in Malaysia Heats Up

New York Times,By THOMAS FULLER,
May 7, 2009
BANGKOK — In an extraordinary day that was part wrestling match, part democratic process, Malaysia’s governing party appeared to retake control of a major state legislature on Thursday when a group of unidentified men dragged the assembly speaker out of the hall and escorted the governing party’s choice to the empty seat.
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Police arrested Malaysian opposition lawmaker Tian Chua as he arrived at the Perak state legislature in the northwestern city of Ipoh on Thursday.


The bare-knuckled proceedings, in the state of Perak, underlined the continued deep and bitter divisions between the country’s embattled governing party and a resurgent opposition. But they also showed the limits imposed by technology on the mildly authoritarian ways of Malaysia’s government.

Reports from the assembly hall streamed out over mobile phones, the Internet and Twitter.

Khalil Idham Lim, an opposition assembly member, blogged throughout the heated exchanges and posted pictures, including one of the speaker in hauled away .

Malaysia’s independent news Web sites offered minute-by-minute updates. “If this event had taken place 10 years ago, people might never have known what really transpired inside the assembly,” said Ibrahim Suffian, director of the Merdeka Center, an independent polling agency.

The country’s newspapers and television stations are closely monitored by the government and generally toe the line of the governing party, the United Malays National Organization. But high-tech gadgetry is widespread in Malaysia, which is home to many factories that make components for mobile phones and computers.

“This is really going to strain the legitimacy of the state government,” Mr. Ibrahim said. “Fair-minded people will find it very difficult to accept the way in which they took over.”

Malaysiakini.com reported that at 12:41 p.m. “plainclothes personnel” dragged out the speaker, V. Sivakumar. “It cannot be ascertained if these were police personnel,” the Web site said. “Sivakumar resists and shouts, ‘I am the legal speaker. Why am I being treated like this?”’ the site reported.

At least eight opposition members of Parliament who had come to support Mr. Sivakumar were arrested by the police as well as about 60 other opposition supporters, according to the reports by news Web sites and news services. Many Web sites showed photos taken by mobile phone of the members of Parliament being led away in handcuffs.

The police banned protests within 500 meters of the legislature in Ipoh. They also confiscated boxes of black shirts that protesters were urged to wear.

The deadlock over the Perak state legislature began in February, when the governing party orchestrated the defection of three members of the assembly and claimed control over Perak, one of the country’s largest states. The opposition called for fresh elections and is contesting the takeover in the courts.

The defections were masterminded by Najib Razak, a member of the governing party who became the country’s prime minister last month. Soon after assuming office, Mr. Najib said his government would be “more transparent, responsible and focused on prioritizing the people.” He also vowed to promote “a vibrant, free and informed media” and lifted a ban on two opposition-run publications.

But opposition leaders say they see no sign that Mr. Najib will rescind laws that allow, among other things, the government to jail critics indefinitely without trial.

On Tuesday the spokesman of a group that advocates cleaner election practices, Wong Chin Huat, was arrested and charged with sedition. The next day, the police arrested eight people who took part in a candlelight vigil for him.

“The police, particularly the present inspector general of police,” are clearly biased, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the opposition, said in a telephone interview Thursday. Mr. Anwar called the takeover in Perak “a complete disregard for the democratic process” and reiterated his call for elections in the state.

“We still believe the correct decision is to let the people decide,” he said. Mr. Anwar has been charged with sodomy in a highly politicized case and is due to appear in court in July.


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Q+A-What does the Malaysian standoff in Perak mean?
07 May 2009 03:49:34 GMT
Source: Reuters
(For the main accompanying story, click on [ID:nKLR431444]) By David Chance KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 (Reuters) - Malaysian police arrested at least a dozen anti-government protesters in Ipoh, the capital of the northwestern state of Perak on Thursday at a rally to coincide with the first sitting of the state assembly since the state government was ousted in February. Perak was one of five of Malaysia's 13 states ruled by the opposition until a putsch organised by Najib Razak, who became prime minister a month ago. Here are some of the questions and answers about what the protest could signal: WHY PERAK? The ousting of the state government appeared to be an attempt by Najib, who was then deputy prime minister, to show he would be a strong leader and came just a few months before he took power, replacing Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. It came after a series of by-election losses for the coalition that has ruled Malaysia for 51 years. The Perak takeover has a powerful mix of race, religion and Malaysia's royals. The Islamist opposition has even accused the new chief minister of using black magic, which he denies, and the takeover is subject to court action. A PERFECT STORM BREWING? Malaysia's politics are becoming increasingly bitter and the opposition questions Najib's character and his ability to deliver reforms on racial equality and the economy. Tensions look set to remain high with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim due to appear in court in July on what he says are trumped up sodomy charges. Anwar was deputy prime minister until he was imprisoned in the late 1990s for sodomy and corruption. His jailing caused tens of thousands of people to protest and united the reformist opposition that is challenging the National Front's hegemony. IS MALAYSIA THE NEXT THAILAND No. Street protests are not widespread and the National Front has a firm grip on all state institutions as well as a wide range of laws to punish dissenters, including detention without trial. For all that, simmering discontent between the majority Malays and smaller ethnic Chinese and Indian communities has broken out into street protests in the past and the recent series of arrests for sedition has ended any hopes that Najib could undertake serious political reforms to unite the country. WHY SHOULD IT MATTER TO INVESTORS? Reforming Malaysia's race-based political system is one of the keys to unlocking economic reforms. A system of economic and social privileges for Malays has been blamed by many for hurting the country's competitiveness and fostering corruption. With rising political tensions, Najib may not be able to reform without risking a backlash from Malays, the core voter base of his party, the United Malays National Organisation. Malaysian bonds yield more than those in Thailand, largely reflecting the country's rising budget deficit and bond issuance. Malaysian five year paper yields 3.813 percent against 2.55 percent for 5-year Thai debt despite the country's A-credit rating compared with Thailand's BBB-rating. Malaysia wants to attract more foreign investment, especially in the services sector so as to reduce its reliance on exports. The country is the third most export-dependent economy in Asia and has been hit hard by the global economic downturn. There has been some relaxation in rules that stipulate ethnic Malays must own 30 percent of certain businesses. Moves so far have been to avoid antagonising Malays at a time when the country is entering its worst downturn since the 1998 Asian crisis. (Editing by David Fox)

Ganesan takes the speaker's chair (Updated 7pm)

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph

Updated 7pm on 7 May 2009
Corrected at 4.05pm, 7 May 2009


Sivakumar being dragged out of the House (Pic courtesy of Sinar Harian)

IPOH, 7 May 2009: A historic state assembly sitting in Perak today fell into pandemonium in an ongoing tussle for power between the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Security is tight around the state secretariat building where the state assembly is housed, and roads had been cordoned off since last night.

4.05pm The sitting was then "adjourned" sine dine (indefinitely).

4pm Once Raja Nazrin leaves the House after officiating the assembly, the heckling resumes. PR Aduns heckle Ganesan. Earlier, Raja Nazrin shook hands will all the elected reps after the House was adjourned for 15 minutes to allow him to leave.

3.20pm Raja Nazrin starts speaking. He talks about the economic crisis and the government's economic stimulus package and the mini budget and how these are meant to help the economy. He also talks about how swine flu presents new challenges. Raja Nazrin is talking about the projects that have been implemented in Perak that have benefited the people.

3.15pm Raja Nazrin whispers something to Ngeh Koo Ham and Nizar Jamaluddin after they kiss his hand to greet him. PR Aduns take their seats on the right side of the speaker's chair, while special branch officers leave the chamber.

3.12pm Raja Nazrin enters the House.

3.10pm While waiting for Raja Nazrin to enter, about 20 special branch officers have lined up at the front of the chamber to form a barrier between where Raja Nazrin will sit and the floor of the House.

3.05pm Another adjournment announced to wait for the entry of Raja Nazrin Shah.

3.03pm Ganesan orders Teja and SImpang Pulai Aduns out of the House. Requests the Bentara to remove them. The doa is recited.

3.00pm Zambry moves a motion that the next order of the House is to start with prayers and allow the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin to give his royal address. All the while PR Aduns are thumping their tables. The 28 BN Aduns and three independents vote to approve Zambry's motion while PR Aduns shout "Bubar, bubar!"

2.57pm Ganesan speaks from speaker's chair. He asks police to prevent the Hutan Melintang Adun to stop heckling Zambry.

2.52pm Ganesan takes place at the speaker's chair amidst shouting by PR Aduns. They are shouting that this is a police state.

2.43pm The shouting betwen BN and PR Aduns continues as reps face off with each other around Speaker Sivakumar's chair, now empty.

2.39pm Speaker Sivakumar has been physically removed by the police from his chair. He has been taken out the door.

Earlier, PR Aduns tried to block police from laying their hands on him. Ngeh Koo Ham shouted at the police to get out. The Simpang Pulai Adun has been ordered to leave the House.

2.35pm A PR Adun was pushed to the floor near the speaker's chair. Special Branch officers are also in the chamber. Everyone has crowded around Speaker Sivakumar's chair.

2.30pm PR Aduns line up in front of Speaker Sivakumar's chair, as if to block him from attempts to remove him physically.

Earlier, the Aulong Adun Yew Tian Hoe claimed that Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong pepper-sprayed him in one of the earlier shouting matching. Reporters were not able to get a clear view of it as the Aduns had all gathered together and were shouting at one another. Yew said he had to go wash his eyes out.


Hee Yit Foong (right) relaxing during an adjournment

1.15pm Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn says outside the chambers that Sivakumar's contention that the sitting had not been properly convened is illogical because Sivakumar himself tried to eject Zambry, the six executive councillors and the three independents before convening the assembly.

12.56pm Ganesan announces that he "adjourns" the House for another hour even though the sitting was not opened and his appointment as the new speaker is questionable. An assembly officer says that Raja Nazrin is still in the building waiting to deliver his royal address.

12.49pm PR Aduns saying to Ganesan, "Let's go, let's go. Come on." The ruckus now is about getting Ganesan to leave the House.

12.35pm Some PR elected reps have crossed over to BN side (on the left of the speaker's chair) heckling Ganesan to get out of the House Sivakumar from the speaker's chair also asks Ganesan to leave. Among the things said by PR Aduns to Ganesan are, "Please lah, leave. Salvage MIC."

(Corrected) 12.25pm Five PR elected reps heckling Ganesan, making issue of the fact that he is wearing a tag which states "Pegawai". Shouts of "Out! Out!" There is pushing and shoving on the floor between the assemblypersons.

12.24pm Ganesan tries to take his "seat" as speaker at the state secretary's table in the middle of the floor. A few PR elected reps surround him and appear to be persuading him against doing so. Sivakumar is still in the speaker's chair.

12.20pm Sivakumar saying something, but his microphone is still off so he cannot be heard. The BN state assemblypersons are shouting "Out! Out!" Ten more minutes and House is supposed to reconvene.


Speaker Sivakumar while his mic is still switched on

12.15pm Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun seen conferring with Zambry away from the floor of the chamber.

11.50am Zambry's lawyers in the ongoing MB vs MB court case arrive in the chamber. Among them are Datuk Shafee Abdullah.

11.25am The paper Sivakumar held up earlier was a letter by him dated yesterday, 6 May, stating his rejection of all the motions submitted to him, which are the motions to remove him, to elect a new speaker, and to change the membership of the three committees.

11.15am Sivakumar makes an announcement holding up a paper, but it is unclear what the document is. PR elected reps are re-energised. BN side proposes to adjourn the "sitting" for one hour. The House is "adjourned". BN reps go back to their seats and sit down. PR reps also take their seats and shout at BN to leave the House since they've adjourned it.

There is peace in the House finally, but both sides refuse to budge from their seats. Sivakumar still in speaker's chair.

Ipoh, 7th May 2009

"...No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream..."
Martin Luther King


The image of the Speaker, Y B Sivakumar, being forcibly removed from the chamber of the Assembly has seared itself into the Malaysian consciousness. That force had to be resorted to it is indication enough that the Barisan Nasional did not have a political or legal solution to the difficulty it found itself in.

I wonder whether anyone is actually celebrating.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

(My column for the Malaysian Insider runs on Monday. It will deal with Perak)

Press Release: Bleak day for democracy

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The Malaysian Bar condemns the unwarranted police action in connection with the sitting of the Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak in Ipoh today, as reported in the media.

Members of the police force arrested people for being in the vicinity of the Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak. The police reportedly also prevented invited guests from entering the building to attend the official opening ceremony of the Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak sitting. The police acted in an unjustifiable and unacceptable manner when they reportedly physically and forcibly removed YB Sivakumar from the Speaker’s seat.

It is obvious that the conflicts that are currently being played out arise from the lack of clarity and certainty about which political coalition commands the majority in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak. Issues as to whether certain assemblymen should be permitted to attend the sitting, who the Speaker should be, the seating arrangements within the Dewan itself, all these and more are mere side-issues. Even when all is said and done, and the court decisions have been made, they may not reflect the will of the people.

As such, the only solution must be to go back to the people.


Ragunath Kesavan
President
Malaysian Bar
7 May 2009

Kerakusan kerajaan BN di Perak terbukti!

Penahanan 64 orang termasuk 4 ahli parlimen dan 5 ahli dewan undangan negeri di Ipoh akan selama-lamanya dirakamkan dalam lipatan sejarah negara ini sebagai lambang kepada perjuangan rakyat menegakkan demokrasi dan menjaga keluhuran Perlembagaan di negara ini. Kepada Tuan Speaker Sivakumar dan semua Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Perak, riwayat perjuangan anda semua akan selamanya tercatat dalam episod perjuangan menuntut Perubahan. Keberanian tuan-tuan semua berdepan dengan kekuasaan sesungguhnya menyempurnakan makna sebenar seorang wakil rakyat.

Saya nukilkan bait sajak ini sebagai tanda kagum kepada saudara seperjuangan semua:

“…Dan bara kagum menjadi api
Di depan sekali tuan menanti
Tak gentar. Lawan banyaknya seratus kali.
Pedang di kanan, keris di kiri
Berselempang semangat yang tak bisa mati.”

Hari ini rakyat menjadi saksi betapa rakusnya kerajaan barisan nasional-umno untuk terus kekal berkuasa, sehingga sanggup mencemar kemuliaan sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri serta mencabuli sistem Raja Berperlembagaan. Maka terbuktilah, bukan sahaja kepada rakyat Perak, malah kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia, dendangan perubahan perdana menteri yang baru tidak lebih dari sandiwara lapuk. Justeru mereka bergantung kepada kekerasan sehingga sanggup mengheret keluar Speaker Sivakumar keluar dari dewan. Apabila terdesak dan mengetahui rakyat tidak bersama mereka, Demokrasi dan keluhuran Perlembagaan diinjak-injak sedemikian rupa.

ANWAR IBRAHIM