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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Monoharan's release

5.40pm 30 persons on the scene
5.46pm Ronnie Liue came to the Balai Klang
5.59pm Ronnie called OCPD status of manoharan
6.00pm Manoharan's wife and Xavier came to Klang balai
6.11pm OCPD was in the scene
Currently 50 people in the balai
Police is trying to disperse the crowd. Manoharan was released unconditionally because
he is an ADUN. Monoharan was released and straight back to home.

In Seremban
They Hindraf Supporters are arranging a big festival like Thaipusam. Meet you all there.
Photos and video will be updated soon

'I was thrown out of Kamunting'

P Uthayakumar, the key leader of outlawed Hindraf movement, claimed that he was thrown out of the Kamunting Detention Camp after he rejected the conditions of his release.
MCPX

Recollecting the events that transpired inside the Kamunting prison before he was freed this afternoon, Uthayakumar claimed that prison officials had dragged him out of the camp and thrown him into the prison van following his repeated refusal to sign the conditional papers.

uthayakumar hindraf taiping hospital 170209 02“I stressed that there must be no conditional release. Otherwise, I would continue to stay here,” he told reporters and about 100 Hindraf supporters at the gate of the Kamunting Detention Camp, Perak, after spending 18 months under ISA detention.

Uthayakumar also claimed that he was tricked into seeing a prison director who said the he could sign a release order instead of the conditional papers.

“However, when I got into his office, the director gave me the conditional release papers (to sign). Again, I refused. After that, a guy took me away forcefully and threw me into a prison van,” said Uthayakumar.

In the melee, Uthayakumar said he had hurt his right leg, near the area of his damaged toe for which he had earlier sought treatment while in detention.

It is learnt that the release of the three Hindraf leaders today are subject to a number of conditions, including being barred from speaking at public functions.

‘I’m wearing the same blue pants’

However, Uthayakumar feared that he could be forced to sign the conditional release papers before he even reaches home.

“I was told that the Special Branch are all waiting for me and wanted me to go to Brickfields police station to sign the papers. But I will not bow to this,” he said.

“If they force me, I will not do it as I prefer going back to Kamunting prison,” he vowed.

Uthayakumar also refused to express his gratitude to the government for freeing him after spending “514 days behind bars”.

“I won’t thank the government because I should have been brought to court in the first place and given a fair trial. But this procedure was not followed,” said Uthayakumar, who appeared haggard with a full-grown beard.

The lawyer, who has not shaved his beard since the day of his arrest on Dec 13, 2007, however admitted that he may “look like a mad man”.

“Since Day One, I have grown this beard and hair, and I vowed never to shave it off (until his release). And these are the same blue pants that I have been wearing ever since.

“I may look like a mad man, but the confinement has made me wiser and I have all these ideas coming through (in my head) for the benefits of the Indian community,” he said.

Uthayakumar and his family later went to Sri Maha Mariamal Temple near Kamunting for prayers before leaving for his mother's house in Seremban.

My 500th day under ISA

Uthaya rejects conditional release - Malaysiakini

At 2.55pm, Uthayakumar appeared and held a press conference at the gate of the detention camp.

According to Uthayakumar, he had refused to agreed to the conditions of his release, which included being barred from speaking at public functions.

"From 9am, the prison authorities tried to force to sign the conditional release, but I refused.

"I have not done anything wrong, why should I sign? I want to be released without any conditions."

Eventually, the authorities allowed him to leave the camp without signing the agreement.

At 3.20pm, Uthayakumar led a group of supporters to a temple near the Kamunting camp for prayers.

He is now on his way back to Kuala Lumpur.

hindraf isa detainee r kenghadharan and v ganabatirau released 060409The Hindraf 5 were detained in December 2007 after mounting a massive street protest which saw tens of thousands of Indian Malaysians taking to the streets.

The release of the trio will remove a thorn in the side of new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is trying to promote his reform credentials.

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

Last week, one of the three detainee Manoharan, who state assemblyperson for Kota Alam Shah in Selangor, has threatened to quit from his seat.

Manoharan had won the state seat in the last year's general election while being detained in Kamunting.

Manoharan, in his statement last week, expressed his frustration for not being able to serve his constituents physically and personally ever since he was elected as a state representative last general election.

"I am sure he will reconsider his decision ... (but), let it come from him," said his wife, Pushpaneela.

Meanwhile, police chief Musa Hassan said the five Filipinos and two Indonesians, who were also released today, will be sent back to their home countries.

"We will pass the foreign detainees to the immigration to be deported to their home country," Musa said.

Uthaya may form new party

Former Hindu Rights Action Force national coordinator RS Thanenthiran beams with delight on hearing the release of remaining three Hindraf leaders from detention without trial under the Internal Security Act.
MCPX

hindraf penang utusan pc 061008 thanenthiranPointing out that Hindraf’s prayers and campaign have finally been answered, Thanenthiran however, suggested that Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein would have gone one better if he had released all ISA detainees.

The three Hindraf men are the movement most famous face, P Uthayakumar - who is the outlawed movement legal adviser - DAP’s Kota Alam Shah state elected representative M Manoharan and T Vasanthakumar.

“God has finally heeded our call to free our leaders. I wish to thank the minister for freeing them,” Thanenthiran told Malaysiakini.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had earlier ordered the release of two other Hindraf leaders - V Ganabatirau and R Kengadharan - hours after taking office as the country’s new leader last month.

The Hindraf Five were detained in December 2007 after they had allegedly organised a mammoth anti-government rally in Kuala Lumpur.

Although he is no more a Hindraf leader, Thanenthiran nonetheless said he would continue to campaign for the release of all ISA detainees, as well as the abolition of the draconian law and the closure of Kamunting Detention Centre.

“Hishammuddin should work towards that. Indeed, he should have done it by now. He would have made history if he had released all those detained,” he said.

'The brothers started it all'

Among the Hindraf trio, Uthayakumar’s release is set to trigger a grand celebration by the Hindraf supporters across the country.

Aside from his younger brother, Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy, whose is living in self-exile in London, Uthayakumar is the most revered leader of the banned movement.

Many Hindraf supporters argue that the political tsunami which punished the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in last year’s general election would not had happened if not for the movement’s persistent campaigns led by Waythamoorthy and Uthayakumar.

“The brothers started it all. Pakatan Rakyat capitalised and benefited from it,” claimed a Hindraf leader.

p uthayakumar sedition trial 030209 01Uthayakumar’s release signals the inevitable establishment of a new Indian-based multiracial political party.

While Waythamoorthy will continue to spearhead the banned movement’s campaigns, Uthayakumar is likely to lead a Hindraf-inspired political party.

The new strategy is the main reason behind Waythamoorthy’s recent reshuffling of Hindraf local leadership, which included the resignation of Thanenthiran as the movement’s national coordinator.

Although the brothers’ attempts would naturally invite initial opposition from within, the duo are set to fill up the ‘Indian leadership vacuum’ in the opposition Pakatan political block.

Hindraf trio freed!!!!!!!!!!!! - Malaysiakini

The three remaining Hindraf leaders - P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan and T Vasanthakumar - have been released from the Kamunting Detention Camp this afternoon.
MCPX

Vasanthakumar, who is organising secretary of the outlawed movement, was first to emerge from the camp.

hindraf kamunting prayer 161207 entranceHe was seen being transferred from a prison van which came out from the camp at 2.05pm into an unmarked Proton Waja. The car then headed for Kuala Lumpur - a three-hour journey.

About half an hour later, Manoharan was also seen leaving the camp in another unmarked Proton Waja.

He was greeted with boisterous shouts of "Makkal Sakthi" (people's power) from a small group of Hindraf supporters outside the camp.

At 2.55pm, Uthayakumar appeared and is currently holding a press conference at the gate of the detention camp.

He is expected to leave for Kuala Lumpur in a third unmarked Proton Waja, which is waiting outside the camp.

It is learnt that the release of the trio are subject to five conditions, including not being allowed to speak at public functions.

hindraf isa detainee r kenghadharan and v ganabatirau released 060409About 30 people were outside the camp to welcome the detainees, who were released from their Internal Security Act detention after 18 months behind bars.

The Hindraf 5 were detained in December 2007 after mounting a massive street protest which saw tens of thousands of Indian Malaysians taking to the streets.

The release of the trio will remove a thorn in the side of new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is trying to promote his reform credentials.

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

Last week, one of the three detainee Manoharan, who state assemblyperson for Kota Alam Shah in Selangor, has threatened to quit from his seat.

Manoharan had won the state seat in the last year's general election while being detained in Kamunting.

Manoharan, in his statement last week, expressed his frustration for not being able to serve his constituents physically and personally ever since he was elected as a state representative last general election.

"I am sure he will reconsider his decision ... (but), let it come from him," said his wife, Pushpaneela.

Perak DUN

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part4


Part5


Part6

Hindraf is Not Thankful for the Release of our Lawyers

By P.Waytha Moorthy

I was woken up by a senior journalist today at 5am who conveyed the good news about the release of the remaining HINDRAF Lawyers. It was unbelievable and the first thing that crossed my mind was to inform my mother who had all along suffered in silence and in a very peculiar way.

Thereafter I rang my closest friend and then within minutes as expected calls from Malaysia started pouring in.

Let us all be very clear about this announcement. Firstly it is definitely a manoeuvre to divert the attention of the Malaysian public from the ugly episode in Perak’s State assembly. What happened in Ipoh on May 7, 2009 was a disgrace to the purported guise of democratic practice in Malaysia under the UMNO-led government.

The whole system and its institutions in Malaysia are corrupt. from right at the top to the bottom. When I say this, I mean exactly what all of you are aware of.

Let me not repeat what RPK said yesterday but to continue, from the Judiciary, Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Civil servants. The whole machinery of the country is corrupted with the goodies often offered by the UMNO Government to suppress the public.

Our country is not ruled by a coalition of Barisan Nasional which has 14 component parties but dictated and ruled with an iron fist by none other than the racist and facist UMNO. They have immersed into such power in their illusion and arrogance that whatever they do, they would expect the peace loving rakyat to accept with an open heart. “For them all these people could be bribed with goodies and in time they would forget their misdeeds”.

The release of the earlier batch of the HINDRAF lawyers along with the others upon Najib’s appointment was a sweetener and they keep the others for an anticipated Perak fiasco.

HINDRAF is a society’s struggle for just and truth against an oppressive government and not some piecemeal affair to appease as and when it warrants to survive politically.

Do they expect the release of another batch of 13, including the remaining HINDRAF Lawyers, are meant to create an “euphoria” of gratitude and thankfulness among the community after the public witnessed the manhandling of the speaker in the Perak state assembly???? Yes, the community would be glad that the messengers of truth and conscience have finally been released but nonetheless the Indians, and the rakyat at large can’t be taken for granted that their support would revert to the Government or its coalition partners as the public has wised up on the atrocities by the ruling government.

Indians and the Malaysian Rakyat still have a long way to go. The war to uphold justice and truth in Malaysia is not over yet. What about the marginalisation of the Indians over the last 52 years. What about the demands that were submitted in 2007?

Well, the Government can live in the illusion that the Indian community would forgive them for what they did to us on November 25th 2007. What about the hundreds who were gassed, had chemical water sprayed on them, stepped upon, beaten, arrested, humiliated, their clothing torn, jailed etc for seeking the truth?

The Malaysian Indians are not so ignorant or stupid to forget all these easily as stark reality faces them as well as the Malaysian society at large for the future with the UMNO-led government’s joyride with their power and arrogance with the public.

Well UMNO, you are erroneous in your thinking that we will yield to your ploy in fear that we would work with Pakatan for a unified, fair and just Malaysia and as for Mini Mandore - MIC can dream on that this will drum up the Indian support.

We have simply entered a second phase of our struggle. And what is the second phase all about??? Well UMNO, wait and see. We have been a community that have been oppressed and suppressed for far too long on our blind loyalty on your mandate to rule fairly and justly for every segment of the Malaysian society but you have failed us miserably.

Oh yes, lets wait and see what Uthaya would say about his release. He is committed to his struggle. Over the last 16 months, he had never cooperated with the Police Special Branch and other “mind rehabilitation courses” conducted to bring the detainees to the “UMNO’s path of truth”.

Everyone knows he insulted the Ex-Home Minister Syed Botak by refusing to meet him and insisted he does not wish to see him even though the Minister had made a personal request. So he is never going to agree to any conditions imposed for his release. It’s a do or die battle for him as it is for the Malaysian Indians and the conscience of Malaysian society as a whole.

LET US WAIT FOR WHAT UTHAYA HAS TO SAY TOMORROW. I now attach below my brief statement that was issued this morning on the news of the release order by the Home Minister.

BRIEF STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF REMAINING HINDRAF LAWYERS

8th May 2009.

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.

7) 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

Hishammuddin more incompetent than Hamid Albar as Home Minister, requring longer time to release 13 ISA detainees?

Is the current Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein more incompetent than Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar that the former must take a longer time than his predecessor to release 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees?

When Datuk Seri Najib Razak was sworn in as the sixth Prime Minister on Friday, 3rd April 2009, he announced in his maiden address to the nation telecast live at 8 pm the same night the release “with immediate effect” of 13 ISA detainees, including two Hindraf leaders Ganapathi Rao and R. Kenghadharan.

I had at the time expected the 13 ISA detainees to be released from Kamunting Detention Centre latest by the next day, Saturday, 4th April 2009.

This was not to be and Ganabatirau and Kenghadharan’s families were made victims of a cruel police game of “cat and mouse” lasting some 46 hours, as both of them were only released to their homes in Selangor at about 6 p.m. on Sunday 5th April 2009 – despite Najib’s “immediate release” announcement on Friday night and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s undertaking on Saturday midday that the 13 ISA detainees would be allowed to leave Kamunting Detention Centre on Sunday morning.

Now, is Hishammuddin going to take longer than 46 hours to release another 13 ISA detainees, including the remaining three Hindraf leaders under the ISA, P. Uthayakumar, DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah, M. Manoharan and K. Vasantha Kumar?

Hishammuddin made the decision to release the second batch of ISA detainees yesterday also on a Friday but in the morning – easily some 10 hours earlier than Najib’s 8 pm telecast.

Will Hishammuddin take longer than the 46 hours needed to free the first batch of 13 ISA detainees on April 5 when Syed Hamid was the Home Minister?

I still await an answer from Hishammuddin why the police can effect an arrest immediately when such a decision is taken but it is impossible to effect releases immediately following such a decision.

When will Uthayakumar, Manoharan and Vasantha be released from ISA detention? If they have to wait until Monday before they could be released, it would mean that they have to wait some 72 hours after such a decision is taken, as compared to some 46 hours in the case of Ganabatirau and Kenghadharan.

Can Hishammuddin explain why he is more incompetent and inefficient as Home Minister in this regard as compared to Syed Haid Albar?

(Speech at the Sri Tanjung Bungah DAP Branch dinner at Tanjong Bungah Community Hall, Penang on Friday, 8th May 2009:)

The candlelight vigil in Penang


This was the peaceful candlelight vigil in Penang on 7 May.

Black Thursday: Being terrorised by mad dogs all day

What a horrible 48 hours it has been for Malaysia.

Today, I’d like to write mostly about experiences with the police.

I know how Chin Huat must have felt, when almost ten policemen descended on one him on Tuesday, starting this whole mess.

That night, those same policemen who once held me rudely denied even the President of the Bar Council from something as simple as allowing him access to see a detainee.

The next day, a group of young men trying to commemorate the birthday of the slain Altantuya, in parallel with her father’s wishes that Najib not let this incident merely fade away.

They and the cake they were carrying were deemed threats to national security and hauled away by the Putrajaya police.

This of course was followed by another violent police arrest - Mat Sabu in a scuffle outside a restaurant.

Then that night, the police took in 14 people at Brickfields, who had gathered in solidarity with Chin Huat.

*

After this point, my experiences with the cops got even more personal.

“Democracy by barbed wire,” was one of my first thoughts on arriving at the Perak State Assembly. This is what we had come to, the People’s House had to resort to barbed wire to keep those same People out.

We were allowed the tiniest bit of leeway for a little while, before the police decided to show ’strength’ and come down hard on us.

This was the first of many times that single Thursday I felt as if I was being set upon by mad dogs.

I can’t stress this enough, I think it’s an extremely apt description of my experience.

I know there are good cops, and there are bad cops. The ones burnt into my memory are the bad ones. The ones I swear you couldn’t differentiate from a common thug (or Umno Youth sponsored ruffian perhaps?)

Every time the paranoid and idiotic guy in charge ordered an advance on us peaceful, defenceless citizens, a few of these guys would get this glint in their eyes.

Thinking about it reminds me of the soldiers that committed the very worst atrocities imaginable across Africa in the cases I used to study.

These cops looked to me…. well, eager to beat the shit out of us.

In Perak, instead of regular FRU, they had a large contingent of the police Field Force. If I recall, these guys were established to fight the communists in the jungle, machine guns and all.

That’s who we had become to the cops and authorities - communists in the jungle.

They growled and rushed into us with all their implements of violence, we fell back. We waited. The growled and rushed into us, we fell back.

I think my first full on experience of this was at Hindraf. I’ll never forget the feelings I had, being bullied by rabid cops over the course of a whole morning.

It was the same bloodthirstiness I felt directed at me on Thursday.

As if facing that was not enough in the morning, we had to see it again that very night at Brickfields (for a more detailed accounting of the evening, see Hafiz).

The biggest similarity is the feeling I got that I was facing mad dog paranoia.

I say paranoia too because what difference does it make where we stood on Thursday morning? (except to BN politicians who may not want pictures of crowds)

In Brickfields, had they released Chin Huat as they should have after his statement was taken, there would have been no vigil. If they had let the simple low key vigil continue, there would have been no fracas. Instead, the cops at every stage escalated the conflict, step after step, until 20 were arrested, and 200 lawyers protested this morning in Jalan Duta.

Ego crazy, paranoid, cari pasal, are the only words that come to mind.

The way the cops in charge barked at us both in the morning and at the night, you felt as if they had encountered not peace-loving citizens, but the most scariest alien species imaginable (perhaps to them they are one and the same), and failing to understand them, fell in fear to the last resort of inferior intellect: brute force.

Imagine a teacher who is surrounded by little kids who he feels suddenly wants to him harm (regardless of what the actual intentions of the kids are), and in a state of uncontrollable panic, all that teacher can resort to is yelling at the top of his voice, saliva practically flying left right and center as he tries desperately to scare the little kids with his cane or whatever.

First thing Thursday morning, and last thing Thursday night, we were that little kid. The only difference is they were waving batons, handcuffs and machine guns, not just a cane.

So we fell back. And fell back again.

One day though, one day…………………

*

Quite frankly, I don’t know what the cops or the authorities are up to. I will continue to reflect and try and gain some understanding of what is behind all of this.

I greatly welcome the release of the 13 ISA detainees, and will do my best to be part of the crowd that will welcome them.

But clearly, the government must think us morons if they think we fail to see the disconnect between what its left and right hands are doing.

13 releases, but almost 100 detained in just 2 days. Not just in Perak or KL either. The dragnet extended to Penang, Putrajaya and faraway Kuching.

Friends remarked last night as well on the possibility of targeted profiling in the manner of arrests.

Something fishy may be afoot, and it falls upon us to be vigilant.

Soon, I hope to expand on thoughts and fears regarding civic participation, effective mobilisation strategies, and how in general we are going to win this war over the long run. Your thoughts are always welcome.

In the meantime, please at least show up tonight!

I Have No Intention To Challenge Kayveas - Murugiah

SEREMBAN, May 8 (Bernama) -- Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk T. Murugiah has expressed regret over what he described as attempts to pit him against PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas.

The former PPP Youth chief said he had no intention to challenge Kayveas for the post.

"He is a good leader. Why should we replace a good leader? At 45, I'm still young and my political career is still long. I still need to learn a lot of things," he told reporters after visiting the Tafe College here today.

He urged those making allegations against him to stop doing so or report to the authorities if they had proofs that he had misused his power.

He said that as a sole PPP member in the country's administration, he was also responsible in restoring the people's confidence in the Barisan Nasional.

"I'm am extremely busy carrying out my duties, not campaigning to contest against the president," he said, adding that he had no problems with Kayveas.

The nomination for party posts will be held on May 30 while elections will be on June 7.

Media and communication strategy that Najib hasn't had

Najib's cousin appears neuro-deficient.

The Review Board for ISA detainees is supposed to sit from May 18-19. For the Home Minister to ejaculate prematurely by announcing the release of 13 ISA detainees including Hindraf leaders before the Board sitting indicates that there is no due process when it comes to deciding a person's freedom. The Board is a rubber-stamp.

When too much power is vested in the hands of one person, then absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In the case of ISA, need we say freedom is basic human rights? Hence the standing of Malaysia and Suhakam in the eyes of UNHCHR and the ICC. Najib doesn't learn fast enough.

Integrated media strategy?

I have been watching Najib's media and communication strategies since April 3, and can't help relating to a few senior editors that Najib has to beef up his operatives in this squadron. He has none.

The signs are in Malaysian Insider:
- Najib denies ISA release meant to calm anger over Perak fiasco
- Najib says no to Ahmad Talib in NSTP
- ‘Rocky’ returns as Malay Mail CEO (Morale is a bit low as the staff are shocked)

Najib should take heed of Malaysian Insider. Some of the key operatives in there are a bunch of "been there, done that" boys. The created Abdullah's imagery out of media wrappings, over-sold him until he tanked in five short years despite all the powers that a top post in Umno can deliver.

What's ain't mine ain't yours. Or so it seems to sour-grape.

Democracy and rule of law in jeopardy in Perak — Param Cumaraswamy

MAY 8 — On March 4, I appealed to His Royal Highness the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly to avoid the crisis there leading to anarchy. Indeed what happened in the State Legislative Assembly yesterday was anarchy. I have never seen or heard of such chaos in any legislature in the world.

That such commotion could occur in a state where the Ruler was once the Lord President of the Supreme Court is beyond belief. As I said previously he could have averted all these if he had dissolved the Legislative Assembly on Feb. 5, and left it to the rakyat to elect a new government in accordance with the fundamentals of democracy.

Rulers must not only be above politics but must be seen to be so.

Lawyers will continue debating the validity of appointments and removals of the mentri besar and the Speaker and the crude manner in which V. Sivakumar was removed. They will continue to debate on the validity of motions adopted yesterday and at the previous meeting under the tree.

Each will have an interpretation of the applicable provisions of the constitution and by-laws. As I said on March 4, this is not the time to look into the technicalities and strict interpretation of the law, constitution and by-laws.

That one disputed Speaker could call in the police to assist the sergeant-at-arms to remove the other Speaker who was indeed removed forcibly did not speak well of the calibre of these state representatives. Procedural fairness was thrown overboard in the assembly yesterday.

The Perak Regent Raja Nazrin Shah’s presence there and his delivery of the royal address may not be seen as the Ruler being above politics.

What is most disconcerting is all these happened when there was pending before the High Court an application to determine who is the rightful mentri besar! Why the unholy haste to summon the Legislative Assembly?

The state constitution does not expressly provide that if the assembly is not convened within six months since the last session the assembly is automatically dissolved. What happens if on Monday the High Court declares that the rightful mentri besar is Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin?

On the other hand if the court finds that Datuk Mohd Zambry Abd Kadir’s appointment was valid the public perception would be that the events of yesterday pre-empted the decision of the court. The independence and impartiality of the court would be called into question.

The ugly events of yesterday clearly show that there can never be an orderly and stable government in Perak unless the Legislative Assembly is dissolved and fresh elections held. I therefore urge Sultan Azlan Shah to exercise his discretionary power under Article 36(2) of the state constitution and dissolve the Legislative Assembly.

More than anybody else he should know better the finer principles of democracy and its values for a state under a just rule of law.

Datuk Param Cumaraswamy is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

Bersih's Wong released

Rights groups submit memo on mass detaintion

L...au! L...au! L...au!

MIC leaders laud ISA release, praise PM - Malaysiakini

MIC has commended the government for showing concern and humility by releasing the 13 Internal Security Act detainees, including the three Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders.
MCPX

samy vellu exclusive on tamil schools 080708 06MIC president S Samy Vellu in thanking Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, said the release would do good for the image of the country, locally and internationally.

He said their release, especially the three Hindraf leaders, would also bring an end to an episode that had created dissatisfaction among the Indian community.

"We can now move on and concentrate on more pressing matters to bring progress and development to the people," he said in a statement.

He said the prime minister and the home minister had shown concern to the sufferings of the families of the ISA detainees by releasing them so that they could be reunited with their families.

"Our prime minister had kept his promise to be a fair leader and a leader of all Malaysians. He had fulfilled his promise which he made when he took over the leadership of the country.

"The MIC is proud and pledges to give him our full and undivided support. We know he would do more to win back the support and confidence of the people of all races," he said.

'People-centered leadership'


MIC secretary-general and Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam in echoing his president’s sentiments, said he was grateful to the prime minister, home minister and the government for releasing the 13 detainees.

dr s subramaniam interview 210308 05"It shows that the government under the leadership of Najib is people-centered and understood the feelings of the people," he said, adding that the release would further improve the image of the new government.

On the release of the three Hindraf leaders, he said it would reduce whatever ill-feelings prevalent within the Indian community.

"This would assist in the government's effort to reach out to the Indians," he added.

saravanan kl draft plan 220808 03MIC information chief and Deputy Federal Territories Minister M Saravanan also expressed gratitude to the government over its decision to release the detainees, especially the Hindraf three.

"This move shows that the government is receptive to the sentiments and views of the Indian community in this country," he said.

On the same note, he also advised the Hindraf leaders to "sit down and discuss" their problems and grouses with the government.

"The government under the new leadership is more open and sensitive, there are now avenues to discuss issues that crop up from time to time," he said.

vell paari vellpaariMIC Youth wing advisor S Vell Paari meanwhile said the release of the three Hindraf leaders must now be followed up by the government by allowing Hindraf's chairperson P Waythamoorthy to return to Malaysia from his exile in London.

"The government must allow him to return without any conditions. No threats of arrest or any forms of pressure must be given," he said.

"With his return, it will bring about a complete closure to the whole issue which has affected the Indian community.

"And we can all get together to work in unison for the community," he said.

MIC Youth coordinator T Mohan 01052009MIC Youth chief T Mohan hoped that Indians would now return en masse to support MIC, the sole Indian representative in the Barisan Nasional coalition.

"The MIC president had several times urged the then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to release the five from detention," he said.

MIC Youth would go to the ground to publicise the efforts of the Najib government which had been proactive to the needs of the Indian community, he added.

Why not immediately?

hishammuddin and uthayakumar manoharan vasantha kumarAfter assuming the reins in April, Najib ordered the release of the first batch of 13 ISA detainees, which included two Hindraf leaders V Ganabatirau and R Kenghadharan

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

The five were detained in December 2007 shortly after staging a massive street protest which saw tens of thousands of Indian Malaysians taking to the streets to vent their frustration against the government.

anwar ibrahim sodomy allegation saiful bukhari azlan first day in court 070808 lim kit siang 01While welcoming the release, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang however asked Hishammuddin why he could not release the detainees immediately instead of the 'next two or three days'.

"If the police could effect arrests with immediate effect, why can't they effect releases when such a decision is taken?

"Is Hishammuddin aware that one of the three mottos of the new prime minister is 'Performance Now'?" he said.

'Diversion tactic'

In a related development, Hindraf's exiled leader P Waythamoorthy said he was glad that the incarceration of the movement’s lawyers had finally come to an end.

p waythamoorthyBut on the same note, he added: "It is blatantly obvious that the release is to divert the attention of the Malaysian public of the ugly episode in the Perak state legislative assembly yesterday.”

Waythamoorthy, who is currently in London, said there were other issues that the government must address.

These, he added, included fulfilling the 18-point demands that were submitted to the government by Hindraf in 2007.

"The government must also acknowledge the neglect and positive marginalisation of Indian Malaysians over the last 52 years and apologise for its wrongdoing to the Indian community.

"All ISA detainees have to be released unconditionally (immediately) and the government must order the closure of Kamunting detention camp and the repeal of ISA," he said.

He also urged the new administration to take positive steps to uphold the Rule of Law and the Federal Constitution.

"All persons unjustly arrested and charged for illegal assembly/sedition and other politically motivated charges be released and charges against them be withdrawn," he said.

Waythamoorty also called on the government to pave the way for a fresh state elections in Perak.

Samy says ISA release shows it is time to move on but Waytha says no

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 – While MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu says the impending release of Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees would allow Malaysians to move on, self-exiled Hindraf leader P. Waythamoorthy says it is a “blatantly obvious move to divert the attention of the public” from the Perak fiasco.

Waythamoorthy, who is the brother of one of the soon to be released P. Uthayakumar, said there was nothing Hindraf should be thankful for.

“We are not thankful for the release of our lawyers under the ISA unless the government fulfills the 18 point demands that were submitted to the government in 2007,” he said in a statement from London.

He also wants the government to acknowledge the alleged poor treatment received by the Indian community in this country and release not just the Hindraf trio, but all ISA detainees and abolish the law.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein today said that three Hindraf leaders along with 10 other detainees would be released in a few days, amid speculation that the move was politically motivated.

The three Hindraf leaders are P. Uthayakumar, T. Vasanthakumar and Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan. Two others were among 13 ISA detainees freed when Datuk Seri Najib Razak became prime minister on April 3.

Apart from the three Hindraf leaders freed, the others are three Malaysians, two Indonesians and five Filipinos.

In a separate statement, Samy Vellu commended the government for showing concern and great humility by releasing the 13 ISA detainees, including three Hindraf leaders.

He said their release from ISA detention, especially the three Hindraf leaders, would also bring an end to an episode that has created dissatisfaction among the Indian community.

“We can now move on and concentrate on more pressing matters to bring progress and development to the people,” he said.

Hindraf trio, 10 others freed from ISA

PUTRAJAYA, May 8 — The remaining three Hindraf leaders and 10 others are to be freed from detention under the Internal Security Act in the next few days but Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein declined to give reasons for the release.

The three Hindraf leaders are P. Uthayakumar, T. Vasanthakumar and Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan. Two others were among 13 freed when Datuk Seri Najib Razak became prime minister on April 3.

"I will be signing the papers now," Hishammuddin told a specially-arranged press conference, adding they "no longer needed to be held".

Apart from the three Hindraf leaders freed, the others are three Malaysians, two Indonesians and five Filipinos.

Manoharan last week threatened to quit his seat which he won in the last election despite being held in the Kamunting Detention Centre.

The five Hindraf leaders were detained in December 2007 after mounting a massive street protest on Nov 25 which saw tens of thousands of Indians taking to the streets in Kuala Lumpur.

In an immediate reaction to the announcement, PKR’s Kapar MP S. Manickavasagam said he is happy with the decision.

“I feel that what had happened in Perak has placed the BN government in bad light so this is the right time for them to make the announcement. However I hope that the release of the Hindraf leaders would be an unconditional one,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

However, he believed the home minister would not release them with political conditions as Uthayakumar would not agree to it and would prefer to stay in Kamunting than cave in to demands made by the BN government.

When asked if he thought that the release would shift the support of the Indian community back to MIC, Manickavasagam said that is most unlikely to happen as the spirit to fight for justice is still strong within the community.

MIC Youth, in a statement today, said it welcomed the home minister's announcement and thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

It said the release would help the party, which has lost the support of the majority of the Indian community, to regain their trust.

"We sincerely hope that the Indians would return en masse to support MIC, the sole Indian representative in the Barisan Nasional coalition," it said, adding that MIC Youth would now go the ground to promote the efforts of the Najib administration which, it claims, has been proactive to the needs of the Indian community.

Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, a vocal critic of the ISA, said he was very pleased with the government's decision and congratulated Hishammuddin.

"And I hope that there will be more releases and, of course, I also hope that there will be no more arrests in the future," he said.

Although the timing of the decision, in the heat of the political upheaval in Perak, would appear to many as being politicially motivated, Zaid says he does not care.

"It may be but I don't really care. I am pleased by this decision," he said.

Full list of soon-to-be-released ISA detainees

1. Zulkepli Marzuki

2. Jeknal Adil

3. Azmi Pindatun

4. P. Uthayakumar

5. M. Manoharan

6. T. Vasanthakumar

7. Zainun Rasyhid

8. Aboud Ghafar Ismail

9. Sufian Salih

10. Hasim Talib

11. Abdul Jamal Azahari

12. Yusof Mohd Salam

13. Husin Alih

Najib denies ISA release meant to calm anger over Perak fiasco

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak brushed off suggestions today that his administration had been forced to free Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees today to counter the negative perception towards yesterday’s chaotic Perak state assembly proceedings.

The prime minister also denied that he had a hand in directing the recent police crackdown on dissent brought on by unhappiness over the manner in which Barisan Nasional (BN) had seized power in Perak.

Najib said it was not his style to micro-manage the police whom he said were responsible for maintaining law and order.

Yesterday’s state assembly sitting saw police enter a legislative house for the first time in the history of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia to physically remove Speaker V. Sivakumar.

BN leaders claim that MIC’s Datuk R. Ganesan had been elected the new speaker and that the police came inside the assembly on his instruction, but question marks remain over the validity of his appointment because of the shambolic proceedings.

The sitting saw BN and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers wrestling with each other amid shouting matches with only a semblance of order restored after five hours.

Speaking to reporters today, Najib, who is also Umno president, brushed aside PR claims that the takeover in Perak was unconstitutional.

He cited Winston Churchill, the former British prime minister, as an example of a politician who had changed parties.

“So which part was unconstitutional?” he asked reporters while referring to BN’s takeover of the Perak state government.

He said the crossover of the three former PR lawmakers was not illegal, adding further that the opposition had threatened to do the same at federal level by September 16 last year.

The prime minister also described as tragic and shameful yesterday’s events in the Perak state assembly.

What RM25 million can buy, something that goes hee-haw (UPDATED)

Image

Do I hear a nationwide boycott in the making? Or are the Chinese still going to continue giving money to Vincent Tan and then blame the Malays for what happened in Perak?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Hee: I didn't use pepper spray

Hee described the sitting as a "nightmare" and claimed that her former DAP colleagues were out to harass her.

She also complained that she was negatively portrayed by press reports.

She said that the note thrown at her was a RM1 note, not a RM50 note as reported in the media.

To set the record straight, she said her former party colleague Thomas Su (DAP-Pasir Pinji) waved a RM50 in front of her but did not hand her the note.

"If I was given RM50, I will keep it and give it to someone in need. But he is a ‘kedekut' (cheapskate). He held on to it and waved it. I know he is 'kedekut'." she said.

hee yit foong holding device at yew tian hoe in perak state assembly dewan 070509 zoom inOn whether she had used the pepper spray against Yew Tian Hoe (DAP-Aulong), Hee said that she pointed her hotel key-chain, not a pepper spray canister.

"It is just a key-chain. 'Hati mereka ada hantu' (They have a guilty conscience)," she said, adding that she is suffering body aches from the scuffles.

However, a clip taken during the assembly yesterday did show Hee pointing what appeared to be a pepper spray canister at Yew (photo above).

An extract from Malaysiakini, 8 May 2009

*************************************************

The Deputy Speaker of the Perak State Assembly, Hee Yit Fong, was not only the key person in allowing Barisan Nasional to grab power in Perak -- and she has been going around boasting about it; that she was the key person -- but was also the key person in getting V Sivakumar removed from the hall like a sack of potatoes. And she was paid RM25 million to cross over to Barisan Nasional.

Actually, it was DAP’s fault. For some time now she had been grumbling that she is not being properly treated and was not being given due recognition but the party leadership did not do anything about her grouses.

Some say it was an internal struggle within DAP, which is not uncommon for any political party, as many, if not most, of those in politics are in it for personal gain and not to serve the rakyat. DAP is not alien to internal squabbles. No political party is, whether it is Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. In fact, these internal squabbles are ongoing even as you read this.

The straw that broke the camel’s back, or donkey’s back as many now call Hee, was when everyone was given a Camry except her. They argued that she is not able to drive anyway. So why does she need a car? Her reckoning is that she is a Deputy Speaker. So why can’t they also provide her a driver together with the car if she is not able to drive?

Whatever it may be, the thing that prompted her to abandon the party that no longer appreciated her services was the RM25 million that Vincent Tan of Berjaya paid her. Yes, she was paid a cool RM25 million in cash, more money than any Malaysia Today reader will see it many lifetimes.

Okay, so what are we going to do about it? We lament about her being a traitor. We label her a prostitute. We call her all sorts of names. But have we forgotten that there can only be prostitutes as long as there are clients who pay for the services of prostitutes. And in the case of Hee the client is Vincent Tan.

So punish Hee by all means. Call her all sorts of names if that makes you happy. But don’t forget to also punish the man who turned her into a prostitute, Vincent Tan.

How many of you still eat or shop or gamble at establishments owned by Vincent Tan? Is it not time we organised a nationwide boycott of anything and everything that Vincent Tan has an interest in. You know which establishments I am talking about. And aren’t Chinese the biggest gamblers and is not Vincent Tan getting rich with your hard-earned money which you are willingly and gladly handing over to him?

Stop grumbling. Start doing something. As Lee Iacocca said, “Don’t get mad, get even!” And it is time to stop getting mad and to start getting even.

Boycott, boycott, boycott! This must be the new name of the game. Vincent Tan gave RM25 million of YOUR hard-earned money to Hee. Stop giving him more money, which he will use to buy off more Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament and State Assemblypersons.

Perak is only the first. It is not going to be the last. Vincent Tan is talking to more Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers and enticing them with RM10 million to RM25 million each to cross over. By the time the next general election is upon us, maybe only Kelantan will remain a Pakatan Rakyat state. Kedah, Penang and Selangor would probably go the way of Perak in time to come.

That is Najib’s grand design. And Vincent Tan is bankrolling the entire operation. Stop cursing the Malays, in particular the Umno Malays. The Malays would not achieve much without Chinese money. And only the Chinese can punish Chinese such as Vincent Tan because the Chinese are bigger gamblers than the Malays and the Malays do not have that kind of money to burn like the Chinese do.

Do I hear a nationwide boycott in the making? Or are the Chinese still going to continue giving money to Vincent Tan and then blame the Malays for what happened in Perak?

**********************************

Gaming & Lottery Management
*BERJAYA LAND BERHAD
BERJAYA SPORTS TOTO BERHAD
Sports Toto Malaysia Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Sports Toto (Cayman) Limited
Berjaya Lottery Mgt (HK) Limited
International Lottery & Totalizator Sys Inc, USA
*PRIME GAMING PHILIPPINES, INC
Philippines Gaming Mgmt.Corporation
Berjaya Intl Casino Mgt (Seychelles) Limited

Financial Services
BERJAYA CAPITAL BERHAD
Prime Credit Leasing Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Sompo Insurance Berhad (f.k.a Berjaya General Insurance Berhad)
Inter-Pacific Capital Sdn Bhd
Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd
Inter-Pacific Asset Management Sdn Bhd

Consumer Marketing, Direct Selliing & Retailing
COSWAY CORPORATION BERHAD
Singer (M) Sdn Bhd
Berjaya HVN Sdn Bhd (Selling children and educational DVD & CD)
Berjaya HVN (S) Pte Ltd
Direct Vision Sdn Bhd
Cosway (M) Sdn Bhd
Cosway (Thailand) Co. Ltd
eCosway.com Sdn Bhd
Cosway Value Club (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country Farms Sdn Bhd (Organic products)
Countryfarm Organics Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd

Vacation Time-share, travel, hotel, resorts
BERJAYA GROUP BERHAD
BERJAYA HILLS BERHAD (f.k.a Bukit Tinggi Resort Berhad)
*BERJAYA LAND BERHAD
Avetani Sdn Bhd
INFORMATICS EDUCATION LTD, SINGAPORE
Berjaya Vacation Club Berhad
Berjaya Vacation Club (Cayman) Limited
Berjaya Eden Park Hotel, London, United Kingdom
Berjaya Vacation Club (UK) Limited
Berjaya Vacation Club (S) Pte Ltd
Berjaya Hotel Singapore
Berjaya International Casino Management (HK) Limited
Berjaya Redang Beach Resort Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Redang Golf & Spa Resort, Terengganu
Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, Terengganu
Berjaya Langkawi Beach Resort Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Langkawi Beach & Spa Resort, Kedah
Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort Ltd
Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort & Casino, Seychelles
Anse Volbert Hotel Ltd
Berjaya Praslin Beach Resort, Seychelles
Berjaya Georgetown Hotel (Penang)Sdn Bhd - Berjaya Georgetown Hotel, Penang
Dian Kristal Sdn Bhd- Berjaya Times Square Hotel and Convention Center, KL

Recreation Development & Management
BERJAYA LAND BERHAD
Amat Muhibah Sdn Bhd
Desa WaterPark, Kuala Lumpur
Berjaya Vacation Club Berhad 99.25
Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd
KDE Recreation Berhad
Kelab Darul Ehsan
Indah Corporation Berhad
Bukit Banang Golf & Country Club, Batu Pahat
Staffield Country Resort Berhad
Staffield Country Resort, Negeri Sembilan
Bukit Kiara Resort Berhad
Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort, Kuala Lumpur
Berjaya Golf Resort Berhad
Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Resort, KL

Property Investment & Development
COSWAY CORPORATION BERHAD
Cosway (M) Sdn Bhd
Stephens Properties Sdn Bhd
Wisma Cosway, Kuala Lumpur
Berjaya City Sdn Bhd
Wangsa Tegap Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Central Park, KL
Bukit Pinang Leisure Sdn Bhd
*BERJAYA LAND BERHAD
Kota Raya Development Sdn Bhd
Kota Raya Complex, K.L.
Nural Enterprise Sdn Bhd
Plaza Berjaya, K.L.
Noble Circle (M) Sdn Bhd
KL Plaza, K.L.
Menara Berjaya, KL
Berjaya Land Development Sdn Bhd
Taman UPC, Ayer Hitam, Johor
Bandar Banang Jaya, Batu Pahat, Johor
Selat Makmur Sdn Bhd
Seputeh Heights, K.L.
Subang Heights, Subang Jaya, Selangor
Indra Ehsan Sdn Bhd
Taman Cemerlang, Gombak, Selangor
Sri Panglima Sdn Bhd
Taman Kinrara IV, Puchong, K.L.
Securiservices Sdn Bhd
Petaling Indah, Condominiums, K.L.
Klasik Mewah Sdn Bhd
Sri Indah Court, Johor Bahru, Johor
Cempaka Properties Sdn Bhd
Kuantan Perdana, Kuantan, Pahang
Berjaya Megamall, Kuantan, Pahang
Tiram Jaya Sdn Bhd
Sri Pelangi Apartments / Condominiums, K.L.
Pakar Angsana Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Park, Shah Alam, Selangor
Berjaya Property Management Sdn Bhd 100
Taman Tar Development Sdn Bhd
The Peak, Taman TAR, Ampang, Selangor
B.T. Properties Sdn Bhd
Kim's Park Business Centre, Batu Pahat, Johor
Berjaya Golf Resort Berhad
Arena Green Apartments, KL
Greenfields Apartments, KL
Green Avenue Condominiums, KL
Savanna Condominiums, KL

Food & Beverages
Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company (M) Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Roasters (M) Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Pizza Company Sdn Bhd

Industrial
Finewood Forest Products Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Bandartex Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Knitex Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Soutex Sdn Bhd
COSWAY CORPORATION BERHAD
Cosway (M) Sdn Bhd
Kimia Suchi Sdn Bhd
Kimia Suchi Marketing Sdn Bhd

Education
informaticsgroup

Investment Holding & Others
Berjaya Engineering & Construction (HK) Limited
Berjaya Registration Services Sdn Bhd
Berjaya Group (Cayman) Limited 100
Roasters Asia Pacific (HK) Limited
Inter-Pacific Trading Sdn Bhd
TAIGA BUILDING PRODUCTS LTD, CANADA
KUB-Berjaya Enviro Sdn Bhd
Successline (M) Sdn Bhd
SecureXpress Services Sdn Bhd
BERJAYA HOLDINGS (HK) LIMITED

Release of ISA 13, including Hindraf 3 - why not today?

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s announcement of the release of 13 Internal Security Act detainees, including the three Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders, P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, T Vasanthakumar, is most welcome.

However, why is Hishammuddin unable to release them immediately today instead of the “next two or three days”.

If the police can effect arrests with immediate effect, why can’t they effect releases when such a decision is taken?

Is Hishammuddin aware that one of the three mottos of the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is “Performance Now”?

It does not speak well for the competence and efficiency either of the Home Minister or the Special Branch if they cannot release all the 13 by today, instead of having to wait the “next two or three days”.

If there is no way to effect the immediate release of the 13 today, then the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of KPIs for Ministers, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should take note, as the KPI of Hishammuddin should be downgraded for disregard of Najib’s “Performance Now” motto.

Civil society groups condemn Perak assembly chaos

By Gan Pei Ling
ganpeiling@thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 8 May 2009: Civil society groups have have cried foul over the legality of the Perak assembly sitting yesterday and the conduct of the police in the matter.

Both human rights movement Aliran and the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) also condemned the manner in which the sitting was conducted.

"There was no need to have pushed for this sitting of the assembly when the status and legitimacy of (Datuk) Zambry (Abdul Kadir) as Perak menteri besar is still in question.

"This very crucial issue had not been legally settled, and yet the Umno assembly[persons] could not wait for the resolution," said Aliran president P Ramakrishnan in a statement yesterday.

He said it was not even clear that the assembly had been convened legally and legitimately for the Barisan Nasional motions (to remove speaker V Sivakumar, elect Datuk R Ganesan as the new speaker, and change the membership of three committees) to be tabled and adopted.


Ramon Navaratnam
Meanwhile, CPPS chairperson Tan Sri Ramon V Navaratnam said CPPS was "deeply troubled by the manner in which proceedings were held in the Perak state assembly."

"The shouting matches and ensuing scuffles as well as the removal by force of the speaker were most regrettable," said Navaratnam in a statement today.

He added that it painted a very poor image of Malaysia at home and on the international stage.

Ramakrishnan slammed BN politicians for reducing the much respected state assembly to the "law of the jungle".

He said prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be held responsible for "this pandemonium" by orchestrating the BN's takeover of the Perak government in February 2009, which he described as "a shameful way of acquiring power through brute force."

He also accused the police of siding with the BN assemblypersons to help them take control of the assembly, and blasted them for acting in a high-handed manner by arresting people who did not pose any real threats to national security.

"On what basis did the sergeant-at-arms and the police forcefully and physically act to evict the lawful speaker of the assembly in this outrageous manner? Isn't the assembly out of bounds for the police to walk in and act in this atrocious way?" questioned Ramakrishnan.

Similarly, Navaratnam took the police to task for their intervention in the Perak assembly sitting, saying it was "unacceptable and illegal".

"Furthermore, the harassment and mass arrest of protesters is a violation of human rights, specifically the freedom of expression, which is guaranteed in our constitution," added Navaratnam.

He urged the police to exercise greater restraint when facing dissent and to respect the principles of human rights, the Federal Constitution as well as the rule of law.

The CPPS also called for fresh elections to end the current political stalemate in Perak.

"[We] believe that it is time to go back to the polls and allow the rakyat, who governments ultimately serve, to elect their leadership in a free and fair election. Only through fresh elections can we hope to move forward..."

"This is important not only for Perakians but all Malaysians as the future of our democracy is at stake," said Ramon.

The Perak State Assembly’s mysterious “officers”

dewan-pics-166

A roll call of “officers” in the Dewan car-park at the end of the day

Who were all those mysterious personnel wearing “pegawai” (officer) tags at the Perak State Assembly on that infamous 7 May?

Several photos made available to me show them during a roll-call in the Dewan’s car park at the end of the day, just before 5.00pm.

A couple of hours earlier, men in black suits and songkoks, sporting the same blue-and-yellow “pegawai” tags, were seen alongside a couple of uniformed police personnel, inside the Dewan proper.

The State Assembly member for Pokok Assam, Yee Seu Kai, who is a lawyer, says he overheard some of them being called out during the roll-call. “I heard someone being referred to as ’sergeant’ and there was even a colonel”.

dewan-pics-169

Nizar dropped by and greeted some of the officers in the car park

“Lawyer arrested? Unbelievable!”

Contributed by Seira Sacha Binti Abu Bakar, with photos by the author and Khaizan Sharizad Ab. Razak

That was my reaction late last night when told that Puspawati Rosman had been arrested. I had just spoken to her on the phone less than five minutes earlier!

Image

For the second consecutive night, a vigil was held in front of the Brickfields police station last night for BERSIH activist Wong Chin Huat, who had been arrested on Tuesday night under the Sedition Act 1948. Like the previous night, 14 people were arrested by the police for participating in the peaceful vigil.

Upon hearing this news, the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre (KLLAC) sent a team of lawyers to the police station to provide legal representation and assistance to the detainees. However, not only was their request to see the detainees denied, but the crowd gathered outside the police station was ordered to disperse. Most individuals obliged, but the KLLAC team refused to budge, hoping that they would eventually gain access to their clients. As a result, they too were arrested.
The five Legal Aid lawyers arrested were Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Puspawati Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal (KL Bar Committee LAC Chairperson), Murnie Hidayah Bt Annuar and Syuhaini Safuan.

When other members of the Bar requested to see the five Legal Aid lawyers, access was again denied. This prompted some senior members of the Bar to file a police report against DSP Jude Pereira for the denial of legal access.

Image

Amongst those spotted in the crowd of supporters waiting outside the Brickfields police station were Ragunath Kesavan (President of the Malaysian Bar), Anand Ponnudurai (Chair of the KL Bar Committee), and several MPs including Tian Chua (who had been released from the Sg Senam police station in Ipoh earlier the same evening) and Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan ADUN).
As at 3:45 a.m., there is still no news that the five lawyers will be released anytime soon. We commend them for their diligence and determination in the conduct of their professional duties, and wish them a speedy release.

Postscript:
About 150 lawyers gathered at the Jalan Duta Court Complex at 10 a.m. this morning in support of the five detained KLLAC lawyers. At the gathering, Ragunath Kesavan, President of the Malaysian Bar, announced that an EGM will be called very soon to discuss the issue of lawyers being arrested in the course of carrying out their professional duties.

At a press conference held at the Bar Council auditorium at 230 p.m, the President announced that the five lawyers were in the process of being released.

Court Asks For Detail of Malaysia Rescue Deal

From Financial Times
By Jonathan Guthrie in Birmingham and John Burton in,Singapore

LDV, the troubled Birmingham vanmaker, asked a local court yesterday to suspend administration proceedings as hopes grew that it could be rescued by Weststar, a little-known company with ties to the Malaysian government and military.

The judge requested further information on the takeover deal, which the UK government is supporting with a £5m four-week bridging loan. The move to put the company into administration is expected to be cancelled in a couple of days, giving Weststar time to complete due diligence on LDV.

The government loan is conditional on manufacturing staying in the West Midlands. But the rescue attempt was greeted circumspectly by LDV’s 850 workers, who are inured to false dawns. One told the Financial Times: “It looks like good news on the face of it but we need to see what the concrete details of this takeover will be.”

Jerry Blackett, of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, also struck a note of caution. He said: “Suppliers who may be nursing unpaid debts will be cautious about retooling and supplying again.” He welcomed the emergence of Weststar as a rescuer for LDV but added: “It is surprising that a last-minute buyer would not prefer to purchase the firm out of administration, given the potential to wipe out past corporate debts.”

Senior executives from Weststar arrived in London yesterday for talks with the government, LDV and GAZ, the Russian automotive group owned by oligarch Oleg Deripaska that is selling the vanmaker.

Weststar is almost as low profile in Malaysia as it is in the UK. When Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Weststar’s main shareholder and managing director, suddenly emerged at the centre of controversy over lucrative car import licences in 2005, several leading Malaysian newspapers mistakenly published the picture of another man.

Mr Syed Azman has been used to living in the shadows, having served as a high-ranking military intelligence officer for 13 years before starting Weststar as an importer of foreign cars in 1994.

He acquired highly sought licences for importing Honda and Chevrolet cars that allowed Weststar to avoid paying punishing tariffs protecting Malaysia’s car industry. Weststar also operates helicopter and private jet charter services.

When it was revealed in 2005 that Mr Syed Azman held among the largest number of import licences, it provoked criticism that those who had close links to the government appeared to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the licence system.

One of those involved in Weststar at the time was Azzuddin Ahmad, the former head of military intelligence. Mohamad Haniff Abdul Aziz, a former official of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the agency that issued the car import licences, is also a Weststar minority shareholder.

Vanmaker’s rocky road

1993 LDV’s parent, Leyland Daf collapses; managers buy LDV for £8m with backing from 3i

2000 Daewoo, LDV’s South Korean partner, collapses, delaying the launch of a new range of vans

2005 Sun Capital Partners, a US investor, buys LDV out of administration for an estimated £75m

2006 GAZ, the Russian automotive group, buys LDV from Sun Capital Partners

2008 December LDV suspends production after van sales slump

2009 February Buy-out team requests £20m-£30m loan from government to restart production March Buy-out team cuts its loan request to £4m-£5m

April 30 LDV announces it will enter administration on May 6 May 5 GAZ agrees to takeover of LDV by Weststar of Malaysia Government offers a ‘one-off’ four-week £5m bridging loan

PM Regrets The Chaos At Perak Assembly Sitting

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he was utterly disappointed at the ruckus at the Perak State Assembly sitting on Thuesday due to the action of the opposition Assemblymen who did not respect the law.

"I regret that there were chaos and tension at the Perak Assembly sitting which should not have occurred because we should show to the world that the democracy practiced in Malaysia is based on ethics and principles according to the regulations and laws, whether the law of the country or House procedures.

"Even if we don't like certain things, we cannot emphasise our stand to the extent of denying the rights of the others. Everyone has his or her own right, the government has rights, the opposition has rights.

"Our objective in creating the regulations and laws was to ensure that the democratic system in Malaysia runs smoothly and in an orderly manner," the Prime Minister said.

He said if there was no respect for the law and regulations then 'a situation will arise where we will have the law of the jungle in our country'.

"This will certainly lead to a most tragic development which will be most shameful, and tarnish Malaysia's image as a nation that knows how to practice a democracy that is mature."

He said this when launching the exhibition of the 10-year achievements of the Malaysian Islamic Arts Museum, here Friday. The launch was also attended by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

Asked whether the action by the three State Assemblymen who left the opposition coalition to become Independent Assemblymen was in accordance with the law, he said: "What is not constitutional about it."

He said that changing parties was normal in a parliamentary democracy and it had been done by Winston Churchill (a former British prime minister), and the latest in the United States by a Republican senator who became a Democrat.

"It is not wrong and not unconstitutional, and not invalid or illegal. Don't forget there was an attempt to form a government on Sept 16 last year using the same principle and method, by trying to persuade 30 of our Members of Parliament to cross over.

"Isn't that an act that can cause dispute? So, if we consider that such a thing can be done, why not the three Assemblymen who support the Barisan Nasional," Najib said.

Asked on the refusal of former Perak Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar to vacate the Speaker's chair after being removed from the post Thursday, he said Sivakumar should have vacated the chair as he was no longer the Speaker.

To another question, Najib said the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly could only be made at the discretion of the Sultan of Perak.

The need to call for an election was determined by the Sultan who had the absolute power to decide.

"We cannot hold the election as we like. If the Tuanku says there is no need to dissolve (the State Assembly) because the existing government can administer the state, then, there is no need for an election.

"Don't forget that the PAS government in Kelantan previously could survive with a majority of merely one seat. We have three seats and they enable us to administer Perak," said Najib.

The Prime Minister also said the arrest of scores of people in the run-up to the state assembly sitting was police action and the government had nothing to do with it.

"The police have the responsibility to maintain law and order and I cannot micro-manage the police. The police must decide on their own on what action to take and I am sure the police know what action to take," he added.