Thursday, May 14, 2009
Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming told the police not to practice double standards when enforcing the law on the video recording pertaining to the May 7 state assembly sitting.
“The law must apply equally to everyone whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. There should not be double standards when enforcing the law,” he said.
Nga (centre in photo) was commenting on BN Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir’s announcement on Monday that BN will be making video copies of the assembly incident to counter Pakatan’s allegations.
“We are going to make VCD copies of the incident and distribute them to the people for them to see the real picture that it was not we who started the trouble.
“We are working on the distribution of the VCDs which will have two versions - the unedited seven-hour version and the edited one-hour version. Let the people decide who started the trouble,” he had said.
Before the media conference, Zambry had also taken the media to task for reporting BN assemblypersons as the troublemakers and called for fair reporting.
Responding to this, Nga said: “The police were swift in their action to seize audiovisual equipment showing the video clip of the assembly incident during a DAP dinner event in Sitiawan on Saturday. The police also arrested a technician handling the video equipment.” (right)
“Likewise the police must also seize the audiovisual equipment of BN when they screen the assembly sitting incident to the public. There should not be double standards,” he added.
Don't forget four key portions
On the same note, he said BN must release the unedited version of the assembly sitting incident so that the people can get the true picture of the fracas.
“BN should not edit the video to their advantage which will portray Pakatan (reps) as trouble makers,” he added.
Nga insisted that four important portions must be included in the BN recording. These are:
1)The pepper spray incident involving deputy speaker Hee Yit Foong and DAP Aulong assemblyperson Yew Tian Hoe. (right)
2) The claim by DAP that a man had entered the assembly sitting allegedly carrying a firearm tucked in the back of his pants.
3) Speaker V Sivakumar being forcefully removed during the assembly sitting. [SEE VIDEO]
4) The alleged assault of eight Pakatan assemblyperson during the mayhem.
PUTRAJAYA, May 14 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today admitted the Pakatan Rakyat will sweep Perak if fresh elections are called but recommended the state assembly meets to decide on the mentri besar post.
"It’s not good for the world to see the musical chairs in Perak where the MB is changing because of the decision of the courts," Dr Mahathir said.
When asked if the current impasse in Perak would affect the ruling Barisan Nasional's chances in the next elections, he said: "I hope people will have short memories."
“The outcome is a foregone conclusion” said Dr Mahathir if fresh elections are held, adding that it was his feeling after the by-election in Bukit Gantang and from talking to people.
“So why should we have fresh elections ?“ he asked, saying that it was costly and that he did not agreed will calls by other BN leaders for fresh state elections.
He added that the people had already voted and chosen people who are willing to defect.
He said the situation should be resolved by a vote in the Perak state assembly and the assemblymen should determined who should form the government.
“If BN really has a majority they can move a motion of no confidence and set up another government.”
The former prime minister said he would hold his opinion on whether V. Sivakumar was legitimately removed as speaker in deference to the courts.
He also refused to comment if the debacle in Perak would have a lasting negative impact on Barisan Nasional and affect the outcome in the next general election.
Dr Mahathir added that he supported the move by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to hold negotiations with Pakatan to resolve the crisis.
He said anything which can resolve the problem is good.
Dr Mahathir was speaking to the Press today after a special talk on “Malaysia-Today’s Knowledge Economy”.
During the talk, he said the future can be determined by trends and no crystal ball was needed to predict the future.
However, he refused to answer when asked if he was positive about the future of BN and Umno based on current trends.
“I beg not to reply to that question. It’s just my private opinion and I’ll keep it to myself.
PUTRAJAYA, May 14 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today reiterated that Barisan Nasional is willing to talk to Pakatan Rakyat in order to resolve the political deadlock in Perak but stressed that there must be no preconditions.
"It must also be done with respect towards the rules, inside or outside the state assembly, and there must not be any preconditions," the prime minister told a press conference today.
In a bid to find a solution to the three-month-old impasse in Perak, Pakatan leaders said they are willing to let their guard down and cooperate with rivals BN in finding ways to resolve the matter.
However, BN must agree to dissolve the state assembly and hold fresh elections before Pakatan leaders would agree to sit down and talk but Najib today said it is not for him to decide if the state assembly should be dissolved or not.
"That is up to the Sultan to decide," he said.
Although Najib's statement is technically correct, the public and especially Perakians believe that BN's reluctance to agree to the dissolution of the state assembly to pave the way for fresh elections is because the ruling coalition fears that it would perform poorly just as it did in past by-elections.
Najib, however, said BN fears no one and is always willing to face the music.
"BN is not afraid. We have to face the rakyat and we will face the rakyat. We have faced the rakyat many times," he said.
Meanwhile, Najib also commented on PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s rejection towards the unity government proposal, saying that Umno had never proposed anything to the Islamic-based party as claimed by many.
"So how can you (Nik Aziz) reject what was never even proposed in the first place," he said.
Thousands of Malaysians from all races and religions are gathered here tonight on the 40th anniversary of the traumatic May 13 riots in 1969 to send out a clear and unmistakable message – that after the March 8 “political tsunami” last year, Malaysians have put the 40-year spectre of “May 13” behind them as the new haunting image is the “May 7” Day of Infamy of the Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar physically dragged out of the Assembly.
This is an image which has instilled such fear in the Barisan Nasional that it has banned television stations from playing video footages of the “May 7” Day of Infamy in the Perak State Assembly – which will be as effective as the book-burning orgies of tyrants of olden ages.
Barisan Nasional leaders do not seem to realize that while they can ban television stations and mainstream media from reproducing the horrifying images of the Perak Speaker being physically dragged out of the Assembly, in Speaker robes and Speaker chair, there is no way to wipe out the pictures from the minds of Malaysians, for the pictures and video footages can be played in every home and in fact are already viewed and disseminated worldwide through the Internet.
The spectre of May 13, recycled in every general election in the past 40 years to intimidate and blackmail voters to cast their votes for the Barisan Nasional, had been used to stunt the healthy growth of Malaysian nation building and demoracy, as it had been used to:
- Perpetuate Umno/Barisan Nasional divide-and-rule of the ethnic groups in the country;
- Consolidate Umno rule and hegemony in Barisan Nasional and the country, turning all the other Barisan Nasional component parties into subservient subordinates;
- Crack down on human rights and fundamental liberties;
- Spawn the culture of corruption and power abuse;
- Transform Malaysia from a nation of meritocracy to one of mediocrity with the emigration of two million of the best and brightest Malaysians to foreign shores;
- Frustrate Malaysia’s destiny from becoming a developed high-income state ahead of other nations, losing out to one economy after another, whether Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong and in peril of losing to others like Thailand and Vietnam.
As a result, Malaysia is taking on the contours of a failed state like Zimbabwe, Sudan and Somali in Africa, particularly after the May 6 Day of Infamy, when the police and goons violated the sanctity of the Perak State Assembly to bodily drag out the lawful and legitimate Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar from the Assembly.
Despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s new slogan of “1Malaysia”, it is the Pakatan Rakyat comprising DAP, PKR and PAS which is more Malaysian and legitimate than the Barisan Nasional, which is why the Barisan Nasional is mortally afraid to do what is right to resolve the Perak crisis – dissolution of the Perak State Assembly to return the mandate to Perakians to elect the state government of their choice.
Today is not only the 40th anniversary of the May 13 riots of 1969, it is also the 40th Day of Najib’s premiership.
What has Najib achieved in the first 40 days of his premiership? His slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” is fast degenerating into a cruel joke.
His various initiatives for reform and other promises of change have failed to enable him to overcome the crisis of credibility, integrity and legitimacy he immediately faced as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The only credit he might be able to claim in his first 40 days as Prime Minister is the discovery of the political wonder-boy, the “3-in-1 Mandela. Gandhi. King” usurper Perak Mentri Besar, Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir!
The Perak crisis had been a traumatic time for Perakians and Malaysians – particularly the unethnical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in February and the May 7 Day of Infamy at the Perak State Assembly.
After the May 7 Day of Infamy, it would have been quite impossible for anyone to produce another scenario to plunge public confidence in Umno and Barisan Nasional to a new low, but this was what happened in the past two days.
Malaysians were never so hopeful for decades about the judiciary than on Monday, 11th May, when the Kuala Lumpur High Court produced a new star in the judicial firmament with the landmark judgment by Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim to uphold the law and the constitution declaring that Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is the lawful Mentri Besar of Perak.
These hopes were cruelly crushed in less than 21 hours when Zambry’s appeal and application for a “stay of execution” was fasttracked and granted by a single-judge Court of Appeal the next morning.
However, when Nizar applied to discharge Zambry’s “stay” today, the hearing fixed is Monday, 18th May 2009.
Questions that are immediately asked are:
- Why the Court of Appeal could fast-track to hear Zambry’s application for “stay” in two hours and grant it in another hour; while it is snail-pace in needing five days to hear Nizar’s application to discharge Zambry’s “stay”; and
- Whether Malaysians can expect justice in cases involving top Umno leaders when there is an Umno Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi?
There is not only the question of the “stay” granted by the single-judge Court of Appeal, but also how Zambry could operate as Perak Mentri Besar.
This is because the “stay” granted to Zambry by the single-judge Court of Appeal “stayed” Nizar from returning to his lawful office as Mentri Besar, but did not overturn the High Court decision that Zambry is usurper Mentri Besar and could be no licence for him to re-usurp the office of Mentri Besar.
Zambry has cast Perak into a constitutional limbo where there is no Mentri Besar – as Nizar is prevented from carrying out his lawful duties by the “stay” order, while an illegal and illegitimate Zambry cannot under any stretch of imagination be allowed to usurp the MB’s office!
Let the spectre of May 13 haunting and stunting the growth of Malaysia and democracy be put firmly behind all Malaysians, so that we can unite our strength and energies to exorcise the spectre of May 7 which is preventing the birth of a New Democracy and a New Malaysia.
By Zedeck Siew
Interview with Hassan Muthalib, a witness to the events of 13 May 1969, as featured
on The Fairly Current Show. Lead pic on TNG home page is by Hassan,
depicting a Malay/Chinese Malaysian kampung the day after 13 May
IT'S been 40 years since the race riots of 13 May 1969. Every Malaysian is familiar with this date. We are told it was a bad time for Malaysia, a shameful chapter in our illustrious national history, an event we should fear recurring.
While state officials and politicians are happy to use 13 May as a cautionary shorthand, what really happened in 1969 is sketchy. Politicians rarely talk about the events surrounding 13 May. Neither do Malaysian history textbooks.
That may be the case, but some Malaysians are reclaiming 13 May. These citizens are finding ways to remember that fateful day so that the date can be a source of reconciliation and unity, rather than fear and hatred.
Couples in love
In January 2009, political historian Dr Farish Ahmad Noor began compiling stories of Malaysian inter-racial couples who were together from the 1940s onwards for a documentary project.
Farish Noor (Pic by Danny Lim)"I wanted to see what it was like to be an ethnically or religiously mixed couple on that fateful day, just to show that, even then, Malaysians were living and loving across ethnic and religious boundaries," he explains in an e-mail interview.
Farish says he is still trying to get submissions, funding and assistance to get the project going. But regardless of the project's success, Farish stresses the importance of supporting independent Malaysian projects "that wish to reclaim our history for ourselves."
"Until today, the official history of 13 May is biased and one-sided," Farish maintains. It is difficult to refute him. Dr Kua Kia Soong's May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969 was, after all, seized by Home Ministry officials soon after its release.
"But that is no reason why Malaysians have to keep quiet and accept the hegemony of the state," Farish adds. He points to the example of post-Apartheid South Africa. Through grassroots initiatives such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africans worked on the ground to reach democratic consensus, and inter-ethnic peace.
"This should teach us that the state, if it doesn't register such developments and take them into account, can and will be bypassed by society in the long run," Farish says.
Farish also believes that citizen-based efforts are empowering. According to him, Malaysians should not wait for "permission" to begin deconstructing their own history.
The day after: Curfew; the army takes over. Viewpoint from Hassan Muthalib's home;
across the road is a Chinese Malaysian vicinity. 14 May 1969 (Pic by Hassan Muthalib)
K Haridas, vice-chairperson of the non-profit Initiatives of Change (IofC) Malaysia, points out that 13 May is resurrected as a campaign issue every general election, and plays into voters' fear of tragedy. "This manipulation itself shows the need to deal with the ghosts of our past," Haridas tells The Nut Graph.
In early March, participants of the IofC-organised Tools for Change conference took up the idea of making 13 May a "National Reconciliation Day".
"The idea came from the question of promoting racial harmony, and bridging the divides we feel. 13 May is a significant, symbolic date for that. It would become a rallying point for integration," Haridas explains.
The idea for a national reconciliation day takes after the Australian "National Sorry Day", a symbolic date institutionalised by the Australian government to recognise past wrongs against the aboriginals so that healing could begin. It has been held annually since 1998.
For now, at least, a new Malaysian national holiday is a distant goal. IofC plans to start small — specifically with Creators of Peace (COP) Circles, a programme of women-driven community gatherings.
Regina Morris (Pic courtesy of
Regina Morris) "We believe in this idea of deep listening — that is, to listen without any judgment, and without interruption," explains local COP co-ordinator Regina Morris. "When someone tells their story in such an environment, they feel a great sense of empowerment, and release.
"It's all about building trust, which will take time and space," Morris, a human resources consultant by trade, adds.
There is currently a 13-person COP group in the Klang Valley. "They are a diverse group of women, so there's an opportunity to talk about racial integration and such issues," Morris says.
Haridas hopes that this initial "cell" will divide into more groups, with individual participants becoming inspired enough to start their own groups. Eventually, the peace circles may accommodate people of both genders. "COP is a women's initiative, but it doesn't say that men are excluded," Haridas says.
Morris says that the idea of a "Healing of Memories" circle — which would provide a safe space for people who lived through the 13 May violence to talk about their experiences — is on hold because it requires a separate framework from the COP Circles.
"But if we've gathered enough success with the peace circles, we can think of what's next," Morris adds.
In the aftermath of 13 May: A Chinese/Malay Malaysian kampung off Hale Road in Kuala Lumpur;
14 May 1969 (Pic by Hassan Muthalib)
Malaysian art has also sporadically dealt with the shadow of 1969. Earliest, perhaps, was artist and critic Redza Piyadasa's 1970 installation, May 13, 1969, which consisted of an upright coffin upon which the Malaysian flag was painted. More recently, in 2007, Five Arts Centre staged That Was The Year. It was a performance based on the Beth Yahp's tale of "unrequited love" — both literally and figuratively — In 1969.
Visual artist Nadiah Bamadhaj has also produced two works that explicitly deal with 13 May. One, a digital print called Maybank in 1969, imposes a Menara Maybank-dominated skyline into iconic photographs of 1969-era burnt-out shophouses. Maybank was built in the early 1980s, an era where the government called upon architects to come up with more "culturally based" designs. These frequently translated into Malay cultural symbols and architectural references, Bamadhaj explains.
"Menara Maybank was built 11 years after the race riots," she points out. "Though the keris symbolises many things, its dominating sign of violence and threat is inescapable. Keris monuments, in general, are a symbol of the government's insensitivity to the events of 1969, and their refusal to participate in a full and genuine reconciliation with all communities involved in those events."
Hassan Muthalib (left) by the wreckage of a car in the Chinese/Malay Malaysian kampung,
14 May 1969 (Pic by Hassan Muthalib)
The other work is also a digital print, part of the 147 Tahun Merdeka series that Bamadhaj produced in 2005, in collaboration with Tian Chua. The work features a piece of public sculpture, under the LRT station between Kampung Baru and Chow Kit, still under wraps. Banners flanking this effigy announce the "official unveiling" of a monument "to commemorate Malaysians of all ethnicities who died in the May 13 1969 massacre."
"147 Tahun Merdeka was envisioned as a look into Malaysia a hundred years into the future," Bamadhaj, who now lives in Indonesia, says in a phone interview.
The artist does not overstate the influence her work has on wider Malaysian society. But while attention towards political issues within the arts is still limited to the urban middle-class, Bamadhaj believes it is a good place to start.If things continue consistently, then there might actually be a chance that the spectres of our past may, finally, lose their ghoulish hold on us.
Satu hari panjang…
Saya telah mengambil emergency leave pada hari tersebut gara-gara migraine yang sangat teruk tiba-tiba menyerang dari petang Rabu membawa sehingga ke pagi Khamis… ambil ubat..lelap untuk beberapa jam sebelum tersedar dengan pesanan ringkas yang masuk dari Latheefa Koya yang minta saya, Fadiah Nadwa, Puspa dan Radzlan untuk ‘be on stand by’ kalau-kalau berlaku tangkapan lagi di Brickfields seperti yang berlaku pada malam sebelumnya susulan protes yang di buat ke atas penangkapan Wong Chin Huat. Pada 9.15 malam pesanan ringkas dari Fadiah Nadwa masuk memaklumkan bahawa seramai 12 orang telah ditangkap dan khidmat kami diperlukan di sana bagi mewakili mangsa-magsa tahanan pada malam tersebut. Tanpa banyak bicara saya heret bersama Syuhaini Safwan yang ketika itu bersama saya untuk ke balai polis Brickfields.
Apa yang berlaku selepas itu telahpun diperjelaskan oleh Fadiah Nadwa dalam penulisannya dan tidak perlulah diolah semula. Cuma apa yang ingin ditambah dan dikongsi bersama adalah keadaan lokap yang sungguh menyedihkan terutama bagi mereka yang beragama Islam untuk bersolat. Dengan keadaan tandas yang ‘mengerikan’ saya terpaksa mencucinya terlebih dahulu kerana tidak yakin dengan wudhu’ yang diambil di tempat sebegitu lebih-lebih lagi apabila perlu berkaki ayam. (tersenyum sinis apabila teringat saya mencuci tandas penjara tanpa disuruh).
Apa yang membuatkan saya terkedu dan tergamam seketika pada malam tangkapan itu adalah satu kenyataan yang perlu diterima oleh seluruh rakyat Malaysia umumnya iaitu semua orang di negara ini adalah vulnerable hinggakan peguam yang sedang menjalankan tugasnya pun boleh ditangkap dan dilayan seperti penjenayah gara-gara mempertahankan hak statutori seseorang untuk diwakili peguam dan hak peguam untuk berjumpa anak guamnya. Sudahlah hak dinafikan, peguam juga turut ditahan dan disumbat ke dalam lokap!!??! Sungguh aneh tapi inilah kenyataan yang berlaku di Malaysia!
Malam itu, saya kaget dan mula bengang apabila dimaklumkan bahawa anakguam kami telah melepaskan hak mereka untuk diwakili peguam dengan menandatangani Borang 28 ini (sebab saya tahu ini hanya satu helah pihak polis, Penipuan!!). Bertambah bengang bila pihak polis enggan menunjukkan borang tersebut (Sah tipu!!) sebaliknya mengishtiharkan dengan lantang dan dengan nada marah bahawa orang ramai yang berkumpul diluar balai polis untuk mengetahui keadaan tahanan yang berada dalam tahanan polis itu sebagai satu PERHIMPUNAN HARAM. Adakah kami juga sebahagian daripada ‘perhimpunan haram’ tersebut?? Nampaknya begitulah mengikut tafsiran polis-polis Malaysia ini. Yang kelakar, setelah pengumuman bersurai dibuat dan pintu pagar dibuka, kesemua peguam yang menjadi sasaran . . .kenapa tak kejar yang lain??
Adakah satu kesalahan apabila seseorang peguam itu bertegas untuk berjumpa anak guam mereka (yang sehingga ke hari ini gagal ditujukkan oleh pihak polis bahawa anak-anak guam kami telah menandatangani Borang 28 seperti yang didakwanya) sehingga mereka ditangkap seperti penjenayah dan mereka juga telah dinafikan hak untuk berjumpa dengan peguam-peguam mereka?? Pelik dan aneh polis Malaysia ini saya fikir. Semua terjadi dengan begitu pantas! Persetankan seketika kenyataan yang saya telah ditahan polis (tanpa sebarang sebab munasabah!), saya bertambah bengang apabila pihak polis boleh dengan sewenang-wenangnya menggunakan Seksyen 28A (8) Kanun Acara Jenayah sebagai ‘blanket’ untuk menafikan hak seseorang untuk diwakili peguam termasuklah kami para peguam itu sendiri dinafikan hak untuk berjumpa peguamnya!! (kotak pemikiran saya masih belum boleh terima fakta ini!)
Yang terlintas di fikiran saya ketika itu: bagaimana saya nak lawan Polis ni!!?? Sah-sah dia memang tak faham akan ‘spirit’ Perlembagaan Persekutuan dibawah Art 5 (3). Ini satu pencabulan saya fikir. Tapi apa yang mampu dibuat sekarang!? Jadi bengang dengan diri sendiri, mungkin sebab itu saya jadi tak berperasaan apabila kedua-dua tangan saya dipegang dan diheret masuk ke dalam balai. Saya terus berfikir ‘so, what actually amounts to a ‘reasonable belief’ yang dimaksudkan dalam Seksyen 28A (8) tersebut dan bagaimana mereka yang ditahan (termasuk para Peguam yang sedang menjalankan tanggungjawab statutori dan sosialnya) jatuh dalam mana-mana bahagian di bawah subsekyen (8) ini?? Tiada definisi atau garis panduan yang jelas yang diletakkan untuk apa yang dimaksudkan dengan frasa ‘reasonable belief’ ini. Pandangan saya secara individu, subseksyen (8) ini adalah ultra vires kepada apa yang termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan adalah sama teruk dengan ISA!! Semuanya terletak dibawah kuasa polis dan apa yang mereka fikir ‘reasonable’!! Apa yang ‘reasonable’ pada pandangan pihak polis, tiada siapa yang boleh mencabarnya. Itulah senario yang jelas berlaku di Malaysia ini. Semuanya BOLEH! MALAYSIA BOLEH!
Adalah satu fakta yang nyata bahawa subsekyen (8) ini telah menyekat hak yang termaktud dengan jelas dan nyata di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Memandangkan Perlembagaan Persekutuan tidak menyatakan apa-apa (silent) atau tiada sebarang proviso diletakkan bersama berhubung hak seseorang untuk diwakili peguam pilihannya, saya percaya bahawa apa yang dinyatakan dalam Art 5 (3) Perlembagaan Persekutuan itu perlu dibaca sebagaimana yang telah termaktub (iaitu hak untuk diwakili oleh peguam) dan bukan vice versa!
Tidak dinafikan saya terharu dengan sokongan dan keprihatinan yang ditunjukkan oleh Badan Peguam Malaysia berhubung dengan penangkapan kami, namun selain daripada isu peguam yang tidak bersalah ditahan, saya berpendapat terdapat satu perkara lagi yang sama pentingnya yang perlu diberi perhatian serius oleh rakyat Malaysia khasnya para pengamal undang-undang iaitu satu usul perlu dibawa dan diputuskan dengan segera berhubung pendefinisian Seksyen 28A (8) Kanun Acara Jenayah ini. Apa yang boleh dirumuskan dari apa yang berlaku pada 7 Mei 2009 yang lalu ialah bagaimana pihak polis boleh menggunakan akta ini sebagai satu ‘blanket’ untuk menafikan hak seseorang tahanan. Ianya satu pencabulan! Ia perlu dan harus dikaji semula!
Melihat kepada keadaan semasa di negara ini, tidak mustahil perkara yang sama akan berulang dan sekali lagi, kita hanya mampu melihat dan mengkritik. Justeru, saya yakin dan percaya bahawa Malaysian Bar EGM pada hari Jumaat ini dengan sokongan jitu para peguam akan membawa sinar perubahan kepada kegelapan hari ini.
Pencabulan dan Penghinaan ini harus dihentikan ‘without fear or favor’!!!
Program: Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim akan ke udara melalui siaran Al jazeera secara “live” hari ini jam 1 petang. Beliau akan membicarakan perihal tahanan yang dikenakan oleh junta Myanmar ke atas Aung San Suu Kyi.
Program: Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be on Al jazeera international at 1pm “live” to talk about the ongoing detention of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Statement by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim:
Malaysians were outraged to hear news that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was denied medical attention this weekend despite widely publicized reports that she is suffering from dehydration and low blood pressure. Although her captors finally acceded to pressure to allow for proper treatment the delay was unreasonable. I urge that she continue to receive all necessary medical attention without haste or prejudice.
Furthermore we urge the Myanmar authorities not to use the recent unauthorised visit to her home by an American national as a pretext to extend the period of her detention. Aung San Suu Kyi’s release should be immediate and unconditional and any further prolongation of her incarceration would be an affront to the values of justice and democracy.
I urge Asean to lead the world in condemning the intransigence shown by the military junta and demand for free and fair elections to be held as soon as possible to restore democracy the rule of law and human rights to the people of Myanmar.
Opposition Leader of Malaysia
Coward Najib misleadingly hides behind Sultan; BN, not palace, is impediment to elections in Perak / Mahathir: PR would win, so BN shouldn’t dissolve?
I’m glad DSAI finally threw the gauntlet down at Najib last night (3,000 is excellent attendance by the way, good job organisers - shows how angry people are), re: being too chicken to face elections. (Videos and pictures embedded below, thanks to Mediarakyat)
It got an instant reaction out of Najib:
The prime minister also rejected claims that BN was “afraid” to fight a snap state polls as demanded by Pakatan.
“BN is not afraid. If we have to face the rakyat and we will face the rakyat. We have faced the rakyat many times,” he said.
He was also asked to respond to calls made by BN leaders that the solution to the Perak political impasse was by holding a state election.
Najib said it would be up to the Perak sultan to do so but did not say whether BN would advise him to dissolve the assembly.
“That is one of the options but under the constitution, it is something that does not have to happen. It depends on the sultan to consider,” he said.
The first part is stupidlah of course. If they were willing to face the rakyat, they would have done so a long time ago in Perak. Once again, Najib and BN have utterly failed to provide a good reason why elections should not be held, leading to the inevitable conclusion that they are chicken.
As you can also see, Najib continues on a path of considerable stupidity by attempting to hide behind the Sultan.
The way he is idiotically talking, one would think that legislative assemblies in Malaysia are dissolved whenever a monarch gets up one morning and decides it would be a good idea.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating - observe the part in bold above: BN is refusing to petition the Sultan to have fresh elections. If they did, thus concurring with Pakatan, clearly the monarch would be hard pressed to explain why he would then refuse a request to dissolve.
Let us repeat it loud and clear for all: it is NOT the Sultan who is preventing elections in Perak, it is NAJIB himself.
Omg. Mahathir is once again talking as only Mahathir can.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that any snap state election in Perak would only see a victory for rivals Pakatan Rakyat.
“I believe Pakatan will win (if there is an election),” he told reporters after a function in Cyberjaya today.
As such he added that there was no need for Barisan Nasional to be calling for a state election to settle the ongoing political turmoil in the state.
He said that apart from the fact that the result would be a foregone conclusion, the elections would also be a waste of public money.
O_O O_O O_O !!!!
So, Pakatan would win elections in Perak, BUT Barisan should not call for them.
How typically, typically Mahathiristic to think that there is absolutely nothing wrong, not in the least, with ruling illegitimately against the will of the people.
Sigh, the only consolation is that he’s the one man on the other side who ADMITS why BN refuses to contest :P
The prime minister said it was up to the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan to decide whether a fresh election should be held for Perak.
Speaking to reporters after attending the public sector's Workers Day assembly here, Najib said Barisan Nasional was not afraid of facing any eventuality, including a fresh state election, if that was the decision.
"We are ready to face the people," he said.
Najib was asked about the possibility of another election for Perak to end the current political crisis in the state.
On Monday, the High Court ruled that Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful Menteri Besar after finding that the post could only be deemed vacant through a vote of no-confidence in the state assembly.
But Datuk Zambry Abd Kadir filed an appeal against the decision in the Court of Appeal, allowing him to remain as Menteri Besar while waiting for the decision on the appeal case.
On the Barisan Nasional Convention which was supposed to be held early this year, Najib said it would be held later after some important matters had been sorted out.
On the position of Senator Datuk T. Murugiah as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department following the crisis in the People's Progressive Party (PPP), he said a decision had not been made.
"We have to first look at the situation and developments," he said.
(Al Jazeera) At least 50 people have been killed in an attack on a hospital in Sri Lanka's northern war zone, a health official has said.
The shelling of the facility in Mullivaikal on Wednesday came less than 24 hours after at least 49 people died in an attack on the same hospital, the last remaining inside the conflict zone.
"At least 50 people have been killed and more than 60 injured in today's shelling," T Varatharajah, a doctor at the hospital, said. He did not say who carried out the attack.
A local worker for the International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC) was also killed on Wednesday in a shelling incident, an ICRC spokeswoman told Al Jazeera.
"A staff member was killed this afternoon in a shelling incident in the conflict area. His mother was also killed in the same incident ... the [staff member] was working for the ICRC as a water technician," Sarasi Wijaratne said.
The man was the third Red Cross worker killed in fighting in Sri Lanka in recent weeks.
The Sri Lankan government has denied carrying out an attack on the makeshift hospital on Tuesday, in the area where government forces are battling fighters from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Mahinda Samarasinghe, the minister for disaster management and human rights, said the army had not launched any air raids or used artillery.
"The presidential secretariat has issued a statement saying that since about two months we have not been using heavy weapons. Aerial bombardments have not been used," he told Al Jazeera from Colombo, the capital, on Wednesday.
Dr V Shanmugarajah, a district government medical officer, had said 49 people were killed and more than 50 injured when the makeshift hospital in Mullivaikal, in the so-called safe zone, was hit early on Tuesday by a mortar shell.
Civilians who had been injured in attacks over the weekend were among those killed when the admissions ward consisting of a tin roof and blue tarpaulin walls was hit.
But Samarasinghe questioned the credibility of statements attributed to Dr Shanmugarajah, saying there was "no free flow of information from the conflict zone under control of the LTTE".
"Two days ago I saw a doctor on Al Jazeera who was commenting out of this area saying that 372 civilians have been killed.
"When we looked into this, we found that this doctor had not been in contact with the ministry of health since October 2008. So how do you establish the bona fides of people who get on the telephone and say this mayhem is going on?"
Seevaratnam Puleedevan, a Tamil Tiger spokesman, said residents were fleeing in all directions inside the zone and accused the Sri Lankan military of shelling civilians.
"There's no place to seek shelter or protect themselves," he said.
The claims and counter-claims are impossible to verify as the government has banned independent reporters and aid groups from the war zone.
But satellite images released by the American Association for the Advancement of Science show craters that seem to indicate heavy weapons had been used recently.
John Holmes, the UN humanitarian chief, said the government was still using heavy weapons.
"The government have said they are not using heavy weapons, but the evidence suggests that they are continuing to do so, at least to some extent, and that's obviously contributing to the dreadful casualty figures that we've seen," he said in Geneva.
Holmes also accused the Tamil Tigers of holding the civilians in the war zone as human shields, a claim supported by testimony from those who have fled the war zone.
Rights group Human Rights Watch also disputed the government's insistence that it has stopped using heavy weapons in the war zone, but also blamed the Tamil Tigers for trapping civilians.
"Recent satellite photos and witness accounts show the brutal shelling of civilians in the conflict area goes on," said Brad Adams, Asia director at the US-based group.
"Neither the Sri Lankan army nor the Tamil Tigers appear to have any reluctance in using civilians as cannon fodder," he said.
Tens of thousands of people have fled the fighting in recent weeks to state-run refugee camps, but the UN estimates that about 50,000 civilians remain trapped in the narrow strip of land still held by the Tamil Tigers.
Amjad Saleem, the Sri Lanka director of Muslim Aid, an aid group working to help those displaced by the fighting, said the refugees were malnourished.
"A lot of these people are suffering from long-term malnutrition. Medical facilities are needed. We have outbreaks of chicken pox and hepatitis. We are ramping up our operation and trying to get more doctors in," he said from a hospital being run in the northern city of Vavuniya, outside the conflict zone.
The government has rejected international calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, saying it would allow the LTTE to regroup.
Tuesday's attack came after a weekend of heavy shelling that killed more than 300 people and injured more than 1,000 civilians in what the UN has described as a "bloodbath".
Many of the casualties from that fighting had been taken to the Mullivaikal hospital.
PETALING JAYA, May 13 – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said tonight Malaysia needed more than new slogans to solve the racial conflicts that continue to plague the country’s multiracial, multicultural society.
Anwar slammed the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government for hiding its failure to solve fundamental human rights behind new and ineffective slogans.
He said the solutions offered were ineffective as there was no change in the policies and programmes that properly address the problems of the poor and marginalised comunities.
“What is 1 Malaysia?” he asked pointedly, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s new but ambiguous campaign to bring the different races together.
Anwar was speaking at a public forum to commemorate the 40th anniversary of race riots that tore the country apart.
He mourned the lack of space for open discussions of fundamental issues even after 51 years of independence.
He observed that this was especially true of discussions that touch on the May 13, 1969 race riots.
“We do not have a lot of room in this country to debate this topic,” Anwar said, and added that any attempts to bring up the topic subjected its speakers to criminal charges such as sedition.
“But after 51 years, it’s impossible to give power to the rakyat if the rakyat cannot even debate fundamental issues,” the MP for Permatang Pauh told the thousand-strong crowd, highlighting the confusing state of affairs in Perak brought on by the dispute on who is the lawful mentri besar of the state.
“This is not a legal issue that we can hope to be resolved in a court of law. We demand fair and free elections in the state of Perak now.
“The solution is not in the palace, it’s not in the courts but in the court of the people to decide,” he said to thunderous applause.
(Hrkh) - Keputusan yang berubah hanya dalam jangkamasa sehari menunjukkan mahkamah kini umpama gelanggang 'sarkas' yang menjadi pentas untuk Umno/BN terus menyalahgunakan kuasa mereka.
Demikian telahan Pesuruhjaya PAS Perak, Ustaz Ahmad Awang dan Adun Titi Serong, Dr Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah ketika ditemui selepas mesyuarat Pakatan Rakyat Perak di Pejabat Badan Perhubungan PAS Perak.
"Taklimat tadi kita bincangkan tentang keputusan terkini yang memeranjatkan dan marah kerana dalam masa sekejap sahaja mahkamah boleh terima rayuan Zambry, sedangkan di pihak kita tidak diberitahu,"kata Ahmad Awang yang ditemui selepas mesyuarat Pakatan Rakyat di sini.
Antara yang hadir dalam mesyuarat di Badan Perhubungan PAS Perak petang ini ialah Pesuruhjaya PAS Perak, Ustaz Ahmad Awang; Menteri Besar, Dato'Seri Ir Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin; Pengerusi KeADILan Perak, Usaili Alias; Ahli Parlimen Bagan Serai, Mokhsin Fadzil; peguam Asmuni Awi, adun-adun Pakatan Rakyat dan saf kepimpinan pakatan yang lain.
Beliau memaklumkan bahawa Nizar melahirkan rasa terkejut dengan permainan BN ini yang mana kini MahkamahRayuan menggantung keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi berhubung pemngesahan MB dipihak Nizar hanya dalam masa singkat.
Ujar Ahmad Awang, adalam proses rayuan afidavit sepatutnya dalam masa 40 hari namun mereka luluskan cepat hingga peguam Pakatan Rakyat tidak tahu dan terkejut dengan keadaan ini.
Keputusan ini tak kalau sebegini menjadikan rakyat marah dan mempunyai persepsi bahawa mahkamah suka-suka boleh buat keputusan,katanya.
"Benda ini tak pernah berlaku, gantung dengan cepat.Saya tidak nafikan bahawa rayuan boleh dibuat tetapi bukan kepoutusan dalam masa yangamat singkat ini mengejutkan,"katanya.
Sementara Khalil pula yang berang dengan permainan BN ini menyatakan bahawa kini rakyat mula sangsi dan bingung akan mudahnya mahkamah diperguna BN sewenangnya.
Malah keputusan mahkamah pada 11 Mei hanya diskripkan untuk sengaja memperlihatkan Nizar dan Adun-adun Pakatan Rakyat ini 'gila kuasa' mahu masuk sesegera mungkin ke pejabat MB, katanya.
Walhal,Nizar sudahj tahu akan perkembangan ini kerana BN pastinya melakukan tindakan yang akan hanya menguntungkan politik mereka walau melanggar batas undang-undang.
Khalil juga menyatakan, rakyat hari ini sudah mula berang dengan tindakan BN yang sekali lagi memperolok hak rakyat dalam memilih kerajaan yang sah.
Sifirnya mudah kata Khalil, ia terletak di tangan Sultan Perak yang seharusnya mendengar denyut nadi suara rakyat yang mahukan pembubaran Dun untuk membolehkan pilihan raya kecil diadakan secepat mungkin.
Mengulas isu yang sama, Adun Teja, Chang Lih Kang pula menyatakan keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan membenar dan meluluskan permohonan rayuan adalah 'tidak masuk akal'.
Bagi Adun Teja, beliau memaksudkan 'tidak masul akal' keputusan itu dibuat dalam masa yang amat singkat dan hanya merumitkan keadaan dimana Nizar tidak boleh bertugas kerana halangan 'stay order'.
Sementara Zambry pula sebenarnya terikat juga dengan keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi yang tidak mengesahkan Zambry selaku MB yang sah,katanya.
Secara keseluruhannya, usaha melalui Mahkamah Rayuan ini hanyalah tindakan Umno/BN dalam menghalang Nizar bertemu Sultan Perak bagi membuka jalan membubarkan Dewan Undangan Negeri (Dun) Perak, katanya.Sambil menyifatkan keputusan ini dipengaruhi dalang yang juga memprojekkan rampasan kuasa di Perak Februari lalu, Lih Kang menambah tindakan tidak demokratik ini akan hanya menambah benci rakyat kepada BN.
Bayangkan ini, sekumpulan anggota bersenjata dari keturunan Melayu memasuki perkarangan sekolah cina dan melepaskan tembakan bertubi-tubi di dalam bilik darjah.
Bayangkan ini, sekumpulan pemuda berketurunan Cina memasuki panggung wayang dengan parang dan senjata tajam dan mencederakan mereka yang sedang menonton wayang tersebut.
Ini adalah diantara dua kisah yang tidak pernah lenyap dan diceritakan dari generasi ke generasi selepas 13 Mei 1969. Kisah sebenar dengan perincian sebenar termasuk jumlah kehilangan nyawa tidak mungkin akan kita semua ketahui kerana fail-failnya akan terus terkunci dari menjadi dokumen awam.
Siapa yang memulakan ini semua? Tak guna nak dipertikaikan kerana ia tidak akan dapat mengubah jalan cerita dalam lipatan sejarah yang telah berlaku.
Namun banyak cerita indah yang penuh romantis berlaku yang membuat kita bangga menjadi rakyat Malaysia.
Antara cerita-cerita menarik ialah bagaimana seorang anak Melayu diselamatkan oleh keluarga Cina dan keluarga India dan begitulah sebaliknya. Di dalam ketegaran amukan seringkali ada nilai kemanusian yang tinggi. Tetapi nilai kemanusian yang tinggi seringkali tidak datang dari mereka yang berada di puncak tinggi tetapi datang dari kita yang berada di jalanan.
Nilai kemanusian yang tinggi tidak juga datang dari kenderaan bersiren atau senjata api canggih. Nilai kemanusian yang tinggi disaat-saat perit memuncak dan disaat-saat kita mempertikaikan logiknya kewujudan manusia, hanya lahir dari mereka yang bukan didalam kedudukan pembuat keputusan. Ia sering lahir dari mereka yang menjadi mangsa keputusan.
Maka, 13 Mei 40 tahun kemudian, saya menyeru kepada mereka yang lantang berkata Mohamed Nizar Jamaluddin adalah balaci Cina dan berkata bahawa PAS di Perak adalah pencacai Cina, supaya berfikir sejenak tentang mereka yang dibawah sana.
Saya menyeru kepada mereka yang mempertikaikan pemberiaan hak milik kekal tanah kepada rakyat Malaysia berketurunan Cina supaya berfikir sejenak tentang anak-anak kecil yang dibunuh kejam pada 13 Mei 1969.
Pada 13 Mei 1969, darah yang mengalir tak kira dari tubuh anak kecil atau tubuh si Atuk, tak kira dari dari tubuh lelaki keturunan Cina atau pemuda keturunan India. Dan juga darah yang mengalir dari lebai Melayu, semuanya dan saya ulang, semuanya, sama saja merahnya.
Keteguhan kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum pada detik dan saat ini, tak mungkin dapat mengembalikan mereka yang telah terkorban akibat kegilaan beberapa hari di pertengahan Mei itu, tetapi akan dapat memastikan, anak-anak kita akan terus kekal bahagia sebagai rakyat Malaysia untuk beberapa generasi kemudian.
Itulah peluang kita dan peluang itu hanya bermakna jika kita memilih pemimpin yang betul untuk memimpin kita dan anak-anak kita.
Bagi mereka yang belum mendaftar sebagai pengundi, peluang itu bermula dari detik anda mendaftar sebagai pemilih.
Beberapa langkah anda ke pusat pedaftaran pemilih besar ertinya buat generasi masa hadapan.
Semoga detik hitam 13 Mei 1969 hanya akan kekal dalam lipatan sejarah.
Can Malaysians expect justice in cases involving top Umno leaders when there is an Umno Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi?
The question bugging Malaysians in the past 20 months have finally come to the very fore – whether Malaysians can expect justice in cases involving top Umno leaders when the Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi had been a long-time Umno lawyer and stalwart?
When Zaki was appointed directly as Federal Court judge in September 2007, it is open secret that he was headed for what turned out to be a quintuple jump as Chief Justice in a matter of 13 months.
Both inside and outside Parliament, the propriety of Zaki’s appointment as Chief Justice and how it could help in restoring national and international confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary was raised – with no attempt by the Prime Minister of-the-day to give proper and acceptable answers.
This question has again come to the very fore because of the super-fasttracking by the Court of Appeal of the application by the usurper Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir to “stay” the declaration of the Justice Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim in the Nizar vs Zambry case that Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is the lawful Mentri Besar of Perak.
Many questions cry out for answer as to how could a single-judge Court of Appeal in a short hearing, in a few hours after the filing of the application, grant a “stay” of the declaration by the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge made in an one-hour reasoned judgment after three days of arguments.
Yesterday, Nizar’s solicitors were informed by fax of Zambry’s appeal:
- 10.07 am – letter to Court of Appeal requesting early date;
- 10.43 am – informed that application for stay fixed on the same day, no time of hearing stated.
- 10.52 am – notice of appeal.
Nizar’s lawyers were not given proper notice of the hearing by single-judge Court of Appeal at 11.30 am on the application by Zambry’s lawyers for “stay” of declaration, although Zambry’s application was filed at 9 am and application for stay at 9.30 am.
These time-lines for the “super-fast” Court of Appeal proceedings are pertinent. Nizar’s solicitors have filed his application to discharge Zamry’s “stay” order at the Court of Appeal, Palace of Justice, Putrajaya after lunch.
Is the Court of Appeal prepared to equally fast-track today to have a three-judge bench to convene in special session for the discharge of Zambry’s “stay” order?
He said all the remarks he made on PPP's position in the Barisan Nasional (BN) were spontaneous replies to questions posed from readers of the NST (New Straits Times), which totalled 283 in all in the interview which lasted almost four hours at Balai Berita here.
"As such, I regret it when my friends in the BN make comments that are not based on the overall interview," he said in statement here today.
Kayveas was responding to a report in Utusan Malaysia today which carried the headline "Ugut BN: Kayveas perlu ukur kemampuan diri sendiri" (Threatening BN : Kayveas should gauge own capability first) which had comments from two Umno vice presidents, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and MCA Youth chief, Datuk Wee Ka Siong, all of which were critical of Kayveas.
The three of them had taken Kayveas to task for allegedly threatening the BN in the interview that he would pull PPP out of the coalition if it was not given any seats to contest in the next general election.
"In the online interview, I repeatedly stressed that the PPP would never leave the BN, more so at this critical juncture when the coalition is not as popular as it it used to be," said Kayveas.
He added that he had also reiterated PPP's support for the national leadership and the party's solid backing of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's "1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now" vision for the country.
Four Quizzed Over Threatening Note
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 (Bernama) -- Police have quizzed four people over the threatening note sent with two bullet casings to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk T. Murugiah on Monday.
City CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah, however, declined to say when the four were interviewed by police.
"We are conducting a comprehensive investigation on the matter and the findings will be made known later," he told a press conference here, Wednesday.
The note and bullet casings, which were sent to Murugiah's office in Putrajaya, were to warn him not to contest any posts at PPP's upcoming elections.
The senator is a supreme council member in PPP.
In Malaysia, the coalition government dominated by the Malay UMNO party, is grappling with whether or not to dismantle the decades-old "affirmative action policy" favouring the Malays or Bumiputras.
Forty years ago today, race riots broke out in Kuala Lumpur - imprinted in the memories of Malaysians as "May Thirteen". The riots killed at least 200 people, and the trauma haunted Malaysians for years. Four decades later, have things improved, or is racial harmony being sacrificed for political expediency?
Presenter: Sen Lam
Speakers: Mohan Sankaran, director of the NGO, ERA Consumer Malaysia; Ibrahim Suffian is programmes director at the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research
SANKARAN: Looking at public opinion and how people relate to each other, race relations are much better than they were before, largely because more Malaysians now appreciate each other. The conditions which beset the various ethnic groups have largely improved, the level of insecurity is a lot lower now than it was before, at least within the dominant Malay community, but on the whole, I am optimistic that it is better.
LAM: Okay, well that's the view point of a Bumiputra, Ibrahim Suffian. To Mohan Sankaran. Mohan, you belong to the minority Indian community in Malaysia. How would you rate race relations, do you agree with Ibrahim that it has improved?
SANKARAN: Personally, I think I have to disagree with him to a certain extent. Race relations, if anything has deteriorated over the years, particularly over the last two decades. You can see from the various incidents happening in Malaysia. For example, the uprising of Indians last year of the Hindraf movement and also a lot of issues in relation to issues of conversion and things like that, which has happened. It's happened because we are not very happy with the ways with a lot of things have been happening in the past, so this is a reflection of it, that race relations is actually deteriorated.
LAM: You don't think that people have become a little bit more sophisticated and therefore a little bit more understanding of the political situation in Malaysia?
SANKARAN: I mean I do, I mean they do understand in general the political situation we are living in. However, I mean these political situations should not also be used to also certainly depress certain groups you see.
LAM: And Ibrahim Suffian, do you think that the affirmative action, the pro-Bumiputra affirmative action policies of the past 30 years, that that in some ways have become counter-productive? There are certain quarters, including the Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who say that perhaps it's time for Malaysia to rethink its affirmative action policies. What's your opinion?
SUFFIAN : I am in agreement with the view that affirmative action policy really needs a serious revamp, if not a total overhaul. I think what really has happened over the years in continuing from where Mohan left off, and I appreciate his comments, is that I think the Malay community, the Bumiputras in the country, is not a monolithic group. There is a significant proportion of the Malays who feel that there is a need for change in the way the country is run, that race is no longer the defining characteristic; that people should be assisted on the basis of need and merit and that's a growing view, and particularly being held by the younger generation of Malays, who were born after 1969. That's one thing and I think with respect to affirmative action, more Malays now, I mean from our surveys we have seen that more Malays are open towards having this policy as for all Malaysians, not just Malays, but all Malaysians who are need. And the main bone of contention, that colours the way people perceive race relations is how policies are being implemented by the government and the ruling party and then therefore there is a distinction between the actions of the ruling party, which frequently does things in the name of the Malay community, and the Malay community itself, so..
LAM: And, of course, the main ruling party, the primary component of the Barisan Nasional government is UMNO, the Malay based party. Do you think UMNO is fearful of altering the affirmative action program for fear of losing Malay votes?
SUFFIAN: I am pretty sure that is how they feel. The polling indicates that is how they feel as well, but I think what really is happening on the ground here in Malaysia, particularly over the last decade, over the last ten years is that more and more Malay feel that the assistance purportedly in their name is not reaching them, but reaching people mostly who are politically connected within the ruling party. So that is a distinction that at least we can see from the electoral results, at least about half of the Malays think otherwise from the main ruling party.
LAM: On Radio Australia, and the World Radio Network, this is Connect Asia and this morning we are looking at race relations in Malaysia 40 years after the 1969 May 13th riots. And our guests this morning are Mohan Sankaran, Director at ERA Consumer in Kuala Lumpur, and Ibrahim Suffian, a programs director at the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research.
Mohan Sankaran, if I can move to you now. In some quarters it is felt that it's not helpful to have various language schools in Malaysia, where the medium of instruction is in Chinese and Tamil schools where the medium of instruction is in Tamil. Do you still see the need for language-based education, certainly at the primary level in Malaysia?
SANKARAN: I think there is a need to maintain this vernacular education system in a sense that it is also help these groups, to preserve their culture and identity. This has to be maintained in my view.
LAM: What about you, Ibrahim?
SUFFIAN: I agree, in a sense that vernacular education is part of the country's heritage and that the various communities, cultures in Malaysia need to have space for them to practise their language, learn their culture. But I think what really is at stake is the improvement in the quality of national schools, so that at the end of the day, Malaysians have a choice, on whether they want to send their children to vernacular schools or the national streamed schools, so I think people need to be given a choice and there is room for pluralism, not just in the politics, but also in the educational choices that families can encounter.
LAM: And of course the main medium of instruction in Malaysian schools as far as I understand is Bahasa Malaysia. Do you think it is helpful perhaps for the schools to offer more courses - courses perhaps to include the learning of Chinese or the learning of Indian, or the learning of Tamil. What do you think Mohan?
SANKARAN: Yeah, I think the national type schools should incorporate this as a mandatory subject, rather than leaving it optional, because right now what is happening is they do provide Tamil and Chinese language classes. However, these are optional. And also some schools, they offer, some schools they don't, because due to some of the students who are interested in taking up these courses. I mean the language classes. So I think if the government at one point in time, they were saying they were going to make it mandatory for all groups to learn their mother tongue.
LAM: So, but Suffian, I realise of course that you can't speak for the entire Malay community in Malaysia, but do you think there is interest there within the Bumiputra community to pick up Chinese as a second language or pick up Tamil as another language?
SUFFIAN: I think there is some space for that. As it stands right now, about 10 per cent of the enrolment in Chinese vernacular schools are actually Malays and that's a large number of people, several thousand. So there remains I think a significant proportion of the Malay community that can appreciate the value of learning another language. There is a growing sense of confidence within the Malay community that learning another language, being involved with in activities in students from another culture enriches them rather than takes them back.
LAM: Mohan, what is your anecdotal experience of the way Malaysian Indians feel? Do they feel hard done by, do they feel left behind in a way, by Malaysia's economic miracle?
SANKARAN: Yeah, because if you really look at the equity proportions, I mean I think the Indian minority groups they are the least group, which is benefiting from the equity of Malaysia. So in a way, I think the government should also look into ways to improve on the equity standing among these races, especially the Indian community, because that was one of the issues was raised at the last general election.
LAM: Mm, It has been said by some people that the Indians generally are not that interested in doing business. Do you think that's a misrepresentation?
SANKARAN: I think it is a misrepresentation, because we are working in the grounds with the community, so we actually know what is happening in the ground. And the general sentiment on the ground is that they are having a lot of difficulties in securing business loans. Banks are not coming forward to provide business loan and there is a lot of restriction in applying for loans. And the government has actually from time to time has announced that there is going to be these funds being set up to assist these groups. However, it has not been channelled down to the ground you see, so it remains as a policy, so the actual implementation is not being seen.
LAM: Gentlemen, unfortunately, I will have to wrap it up now, but when I was last in Kuala Lumpur, I was quite impressed by the fact that you go to any food court and you see Malays cooking Chinese dishes, but in a Halal way and Indians serving Malay food and then the Chinese doing food from another culture. Do you think perhaps the key might lie in the grassroots to encourage this kind of cross cultural exchange, if you like?
SUFFIAN: Well, I am of the view that I think there isn't much of a problem at the grassroots level, because the relationship between people-to-people is actually pretty good. But I think what remains in Malaysia is that there are structural impediments to improve race relations, largely resulting from state policies and the way state policies are being implemented. And I think the way forward is that if we have greater room for democratic change and reforms to take place is that the ordinary person on the street has a chance to have his or her voice heard, then I think there is more room for improvement in terms of the way all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion are being treated.
LAM: So that seems to be a fairly optimistic forecast there. But Mohan, I'll give you the last word. Are you optimistic that Malaysia would look to the future with greater racial harmony and if so, what are the ingredients you think that are needed to ensure that Malaysia faces the future with racial harmony?
SANKARAN: I think I tend to agree with Ibrahim, that at the grassroots level I think race relations is okay, but what I think we need is one national road map to replace the affirmative action which is currently being practised. It should be abolished and we need to replace it with a comprehensive and wholistic plans to help those marginalised in respect of race and religion. So in that way, I think we will be able to see more improvement in race relations in Malaysia, that will be a way forward.
KUALA LUMPUR, 13 May 2009: The Coroner's Court here today ruled that no foul play was involved in the death of a labourer who died in a police lock-up six years ago.
Instead, Prakash Moses, 40, died to injury on the head when he fell while being detained at the Jalan Hang Tuah police lock-up on 18 Feb 2003.
Coroner Nazran Mohd Sham gave the verdict after 17 witnesses, including a pathologist from the Kuala Hospital, testified in the inquest into Moses' death.
"The court rules that there are no elements of crime involved, and from medical reports from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, confirmed that the deceased died at 7am on 18 Feb 2003, and as such classified his death as an accident," he said.
Moses was detained on 14 Feb 2003, to assist police investigations into a drug-related case. He was reported to have fallen in the lock-up at 3am the following day and was taken to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital where he died three days later.
The inquest was held following a report by the deceased's son, Steven Moses, 20, who claimed that his father was fine when he last visited him at the lockup.
Deputy public prosecutor Syaiful Nazrin Mohd Rahim prosecuted while counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad held a watching brief for Moses' family.
Moses is one of a number of detainees who have died while in remand in recent years. The case of A Kugan, who died on 20 Jan while in police custody, allegedly after being beaten, sparked national outrage after two conflicting pathology reports cast doubt on his cause of death. — Bernama
The Perak drama shifts to the Court of Appeal.
Nizar’s case will be heard on 18 May. He has to wait five days.
Meanwhile, The Star carries a Bernama report saying that the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, was among those who turned up in Taman Canning, Ipoh, to pay their last respects following the passing of his elder brother this morning.
IPOH: Raja Datuk Seri Baharom Sultan Yusuff Izzuddin Shah, the eldest brother of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, died of old age at his residence in Taman Canning here Wednesday.
He died at 10.45am at the age of 83.
Sultan Azlan Shah and other members of the royal family were at the residence to pay their last respects.
Oleh Andrew Ong
Wakil rakyat DAP menggesa pihak berkuasa menyiasat dakwaan mereka bahawa senjata, termasuk sepucuk pistol, dibawa masuk ke dalam sidang DUN Perak pada 7 Mei lalu.
Setiausaha DAP Perak, Nga Kor Ming berkata, senjata itu dibiarkan dibawa masuk walaupun terdapat kawalan keselamatan yang ketat dan pengesan logam turut dipasang pada hari berkenaan.
Beliau juga menyebutkan contoh ADUN Jelapang, Hee Yit Fong memiliki satu alat penyembur pemedih mata, sebagai satu lagi contoh senjata dibawa masuk ke dalam dewan.
“Mungkin (kakitangan keselamatan) hanya berminat memeriksa Pakatan (Rakyat),” kata Nga dalam sidang akhbar di ibupejabat DAP Perak di Ipoh hari ini.
Satu klip video turut ditayangkan dalam sidang akhbar tersebut yang menunjukkan seorang lelaki berpakaian putih, dilihat seperti mencapai satu objek yang terselit di belakang seluarnya. Objek itu bagaimanapun tidak dapat dilihat dengan jelas.
person suspected to carry a weapon in perak state assembly building on 070509 130509Insiden tersebut berlaku sejurus selepas berbelas individu yang tidak dikenali menyerbu masuk ke dalam dewan untuk membawa keluar Speaker V Sivakumar.
Ditanya sama ada terdapat sebarang peraturan tetap dewan yang melarang senjatapi dibawa masuk ke dalam DUN, Sivakumar berkata, tidak ada, tetapi larangan itu merupakan amalan yang digunakan di seluruh dunia.
Katanya, terdapat sebuah bilik khas yang disediakan di bangunan SUK bagi membolehkan individu menyimpan senjata mereka sebelum masuk ke dalam DUN.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 (Bernama) -- The leaders of the opposition parties will hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss the Perak political crisis and to determine the next course of action.
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang told reporters today after a public forum here that the Perak crisis was not localised to the state but a crisis that reflected on the nation's constitution and institutions.
Kit Siang refused to say where the meeting would be held.
The DAP politician also said that he would propose a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regarding the matter because it reflected Malaysia's image at the international level.
The Barisan Nasional government must adopt an open mind and engage the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders in a dialogue to resolve the woes faced by the Indian community, said a business group.
In view of this, The Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba) called on the government to meet with the Hindraf leaders.