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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Special Prayers by P.Uthaya at Bt Caves

RE: UTHAYAKUMAR TO PERFORM SPECIAL PRAYERS FOR ALL THOSE WHO SACRIFICED FOR THE SAKE OF MALAYSIAN INDIAN CAUSE

Human Rights Defender and Ex ISA Detainee P.Uthayakumar would be performing a special prayer for all HINDRAF supporters who had sacrificed for the cause of Makkal Sakthi Movement and for divine blessings on our struggle to achieve the 18 Point Demands- details are as follows :

Date : 17th May 2009-05
Time : 10.00am
Venue: Batu Caves Temple .

All supporters and well wishers are kindly requested to bring Orange color “Pattu” cloth (small size) to be offered to Lord Murugan on the day. We invite all HINDRAF supporters to attend and join in our prayers. This day would also be a day Mr.Uthaya had agreed to have his hair cut and beard shaved after being unlawfully detained for 514 days by the Malaysian Government. Many supporters had also indicated their sincere wishes to have their head shaved bald as fulfilling their vow should HINDRAF Lawyers be released.

Should there be sponsors for Food/Drinks and volunteers of URUMI MELAM Groups, please contact Mr.Ravi 012-567 5274. Mr.Thiagu 014-3382595 and Mrs Latha 016-6019703.

For any other information please contact Mr.Jayathas 012 6362287 or Mr.Selvam 016-6626579.

P.Waytha Moorthy
Chairman
HINDRAF

Najib improperly intefering with Court of Appeal hearing on Nizar vs Zambry case

By Lim Kit Siang

It is most improper and irresponsible for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to try to influence the Court of Appeal hearing on Thursday on the Nizar-Zambry case, undermining judicial independence and integrity.

This is the first time in my memory in the past 43 years that a Prime Minister had made a public pronouncement on a matter which is the very subject of litigation before an appellate court, as if the Executive is sending out a clear, unmistakable and even threatening message to the Judiciary of the executive interests in a case pending before the Appellate court.

And if such impropriety had not happened in the past 43 years, it would not have happened in the first nine years of the nation’s independence, as Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister, Tengku Abdul Rahman would have been very careful and meticulous in ensuring that there could not be any speck of suspicion that the Executive was interfering with the judiciary.

Hasn’t Najib heard the doctrine of the separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary and the principle of the independence of the judiciary and the need for the Executive not only to respect, but also to be seen to respect, the integrity of the judiciary?

None of the previous five Prime Ministers had gone so far as to openly dictate to the judiciary how to it should adjudicate cases involving the Executive – despite the judicial darkness of the past two decades.

Why is Najib prepared to commit such a flagrant and blatant act of Executive disrespect and contempt for the Judiciary in such public and international manner?

In his statement yesterday to reporters at the Coral Triangle Initiative Summit in Manado, Indonesia, Najib defended the power grab in Perak in early February, declaring that the Sultan of Perak had acted lawfully in appointing Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as the Perak Mentri Besar.

How could Najib as Prime Minister acted so improperly and irresponsibly when he should know that this is precisely the constitutional issue which is before the Court of Appeal on Thursday, as Kuala Lumpur High Court Justice Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim had handed down a landmark constitutional judgment that the Sultan of Perak has the prerogative to appoint the Mentri Besar and but no constitutional power to dismiss the Mentri Besar?

The Kuala Lumpur High Court declared that Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin is the lawful and legal Perak Mentri Besar as he could only be removed by a no confidence motion in the Perak State Assembly, which was never done.

Why did Najib act in so improper and ill-advised a manner as his statement, though made outside the country, would be seen as an undisguised arm-twisting of the judiciary, when public confidence in the judiciary is already at such a low ebb?

Najib seems to be very desperate in having to act in such a manner, which is clearly improper, ill-advised and downright wrong.

Are the Court of Appeal judges who are going to hear Zambry’s appeal against the Abdul Aziz judgment in favour of Nizar prepared to publicly declare that they would not be influenced even one iota by Najib’s Manado statement – not only just professing it but to judge without any regard to the Prime Minister’s wishes and intentions?

AR Rahman: Scoring 'Slumdog'

Sri Lanka army 'controls coast'

Sri Lanka claims last rebel area taken

(CNN) -- Sri Lankan government soldiers seized the last remaining coastal stretch under the control of Tamil Tiger rebels, the Ministry of Defense said Saturday, marking a possible end to a quarter-century-long fight in the island nation.

A Sri Lankan soldier guards a military checkpoint in the capital Colombo.A photo supplied by a humanitarian group on Sunday shows civilians allegedly injured in government shelling.

A photo supplied by a humanitarian group on Sunday shows civilians allegedly injured in government shelling.

The seizure marks the total capture of coastline territory previously controlled by the rebels, the government said, after army divisions advanced from the north and south to link up.

No formal declaration of victory is expected at least until the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns to the country from Amman, Jordan, where he is attending the World Economic Forum.

On Friday, the Navy arrested the wife of Soosai, a leader of Sea Tigers -- the ocean-going arm of the rebel group. His daughter and son-in-law were also arrested.

Navy officials, quoting those who were arrested, said Tamil Tigers leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is believed to be inside the area of the latest fighting. Other sources have said he has escaped.

The rebels -- formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) -- have fought for an independent state for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka since 1983.

As many as 70,000 people have been killed since the civil war began.

In a rapid military push, Sri Lankan forces had squeezed Tamil Tiger fighters into approximately 1.5 square miles (four square kilometers) of coastal land. The United Nations estimates that more than 50,000 civilians are trapped there.

An Army source told CNN that about two square kilometers in the region remain to be captured and that military officials expect that to take a couple of days.

"The government is moving forward in extremely difficult circumstances. After all, the ... Tamil Tigers are seeded amidst the middle of all these civilians. It's very difficult to weed out and identify who is a fighter and who is not," said Gordon Weiss, a U.N. spokesman.

"It makes it very very dangerous for civilians, and it explains the very large toll on civilian life that we've seen at this point."

Weiss called the fighting a "bloodbath" at the beginning of the week.

Humanitarian aid groups have reported mass civilian casualties in the fighting.

The situation had worsened by Friday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. It suspended evacuation and medical rescue operations in the no-fire zone. Aid agencies had been stuck offshore, unable to deliver badly needed relief supplies and evacuate civilians.

"Our staff are witnessing an unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe," said Pierre Krahenbuhl, the ICRC's director of operations. "No humanitarian organization can help them in the current circumstances. People are left to their own devices."

The U.N. Security Council and U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for both sides to protect civilians and allow humanitarian aid into the conflict zone.

In a statement at the White House, Obama urged Sri Lankan government troops to halt the "indiscriminate" shelling of civilians trapped with the remnants of the country's Tamil Tigers. He also prodded the rebels to stop using civilians as human shields.

Security Council members issued a statement demanding "that all parties respect their obligations under international humanitarian law."

A Red Cross worker was killed Wednesday during shelling in the conflict zone in Sri Lanka -- the third aid worker killed in six weeks -- the Red Cross said.

Husam to meet Ku Li today over Perak crisis

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa will meet Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today to discuss the possibility of forming a political front to push for dissolution of the Perak assembly.

Husam said today he will also meet other parties that have expressed support for a state elections in Perak to end the crisis which started when Barisan Nasional (BN) took over the state in February after three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers defected.

“We will set up a front specifically for this purpose,” said Husam, adding that he would also meet the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) and MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek who are in favour of state elections.

Husam hoped that the meetings would pressure other BN leaders into agreeing to the dissolution of the Perak assembly.

He explained that the party’s central leadership had agreed to such meetings in order to resolve the Perak crisis.

Husam also said that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had misunderstood the real issue behind the Perak political crisis.

“The Sultan of Perak is not to be blamed by the public. It is Umno and specifically Datuk Seri Najib that must be blamed for suggesting the appointment of Zambry Abdul Kadir as the mentri besar when the rightful mentri besar has not lost his position,” said Husam.

“Zambry is also guilty for agreeing to be sworn in when the mentri besar post is not vacant,” he added.

Husam said that the BN should have tabled a motion of no confidence against Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin in the assembly in order to take over the government.

Mengapa Mahkamah Pinda Tarikh? : Misbahul

(Suara Keadilan) - Rakyat mempersoalkan mengapa Mahkamah Rayuan yang sepatutnya bersidang pada 18hb ini dipinda pula ke 21hb. Mengapa?

“Rakyat menjadi keliru dengan pindaan tarikh ini. Perbicaraannya sama pula dengan perbicaraan rayuan Zambry,” kata setiausaha politik Menteri Besar Mohammed Nizar Jamaluddin, Misbahul Munir Masjuki.

“Dengan pindaan ini, rakyat semakin prasangka berlaku ketidakadilan dan penganiyaan terhadap Nizar,” jelas beliau dlam blognya hari ini.

“Selang dua tiga hari sementara menunggu perbicaraan, Zambry masih berkuasa dan dengan kuasa haramnya itu, beliau boleh melakukan apa sahaja termasuk mengadakan sidang haram bagi mengusulkan undi tidak percaya kepada Nizar sebagaimana yang disaran oleh Dr. Mahathir dan beberapa pemimpin Umno yang lain, ” kata Misbahul.

“Sebab itulah usaha dibuat bagi membolehkan sidang diadakan secepat mungkin. Bagi membolehkan sidang haram itu diadakan tarikh perbicaraan rayuan Nizar dipinda ke 21hb,” tambah beliau.

Sementara itu, saman Sivakumar terhadap Ganesan masih belum ditentukan tarikh perbicaraannya. Semua proses ini dilambatkan bertujuan Zambry terus berkuasa dengan cara yang haram, dan mereka bebas melakukan apa sahaja mengikut kemahuan mereka.

Ini semua mengundang ketidakyakinan rakyat terhadap institusi kehakiman di negara ini. Rakyat sebenarnya sudah lama mempertikaikan institusi kehakiman sejak lama dahulu, lebih-lebih lagi selepas isu peguam Linggam yang gempar suatu ketika dulu.

Apabila unsur ini berlaku pula kepada kes Nizar, rakyat semakin tidak percaya kepada mahkamah di Malaysia.

Kita bimbang rakyat akan bertindak di luar batasan undang-undang setelah ketidak percayaan kepada mahkamah sampai kemuncaknya. Adakah ini yang pemimpin Barisan Nasional mahu?,” tegas beliau lagi.

In God’s name, do the honourable thing, Najib

by Tunku Abdul Aziz
Malaysian Insider

The last three months have seen a flurry of activity on the Perak political front. All of this was without any doubt occasioned by Najib’s blatantly cynical, barefaced manipulation of human greed. Najib is no novice when it comes to money matters. He succeeded spectacularly in seducing the three most unremarkable and positively unpleasant Pakatan Rakyat characters to declare themselves independent supporters of the Barisan Nasional.

They have, as to be expected, denied most vehemently that they had succumbed to any such unworthy and degrading temptation as money. Conventional wisdom, on the other hand, says that Malaysian politicians will only transfer their party allegiance for cash, and not principle. I leave you to draw your own conclusion in this particular case.

Najib’s single act of subterfuge has been remarkable for the damage, and repercussions, to the Malaysian body politic, quite apart from damaging further his own already seriously bruised reputation. If he thought what he had done was an example of cutting edge political sophistication, I suggest he should think again. He has by his reckless adventure only succeeded in portraying himself as nothing more than a common garden variety, and not the statesman that we thought he would become given his father’s honoured place in our history and his family credentials.

In the event, he seems to me to be no better than Mahathir, the rough neck street fighter. What a bad start for someone who begins his premiership on a discordant note, encumbered with enormous baggage to boot: any chance of redeeming himself has gone down the Sungai Perak, baggage and all. However, all is not lost. If he has any sense of self-worth, justice and integrity, he should take immediate steps to untangle the political mess he created. My father’s injunction to me as a very playful boy was, “Don’t start something you can’t finish.”

It is still relevant and appropriate advice, in my view, to give particularly to Najib who desires so devoutly to be loved and embraced as a people’s prime minister. He should practise what he is preaching so fervently about the importance of “feeling the pulse” of the people. If his close advisers are not telling him what really is going on in the towns and cities, big and small, as well as in the poor and neglected villages and hamlets up and down the country, then let me tell him some inconvenient truths about Perak that he might not particularly want to hear.

The people of Perak and, by extension, the overwhelming majority of the people of this country, want to see an immediate end to the unseemly and totally disgraceful and disgusting display of political opportunism by the UMNO-BN axis that has dragged the much loved Sultan of Perak into political controversy that could have been avoided in the first place. His Royal Highness could have been spared the indignity of being reviled and ridiculed if Najib had thought more carefully about the fallout from his politically immature act.

As a responsible “people’s prime minister”, he has a duty to the people and the Sultan of Perak to return some semblance of order to their State which has since become the butt of some very unkind jokes. Najib does, of course, recognise that what the people want is for the State Assembly to be dissolved so that fresh elections may be held. He is on record as admitting this as a way out of the current impasse, but claims that it is really up to the Sultan to decide.

We naturally respect his concern not to be seen to interfere with royal prerogatives. However, we wish he would stop playing poker and drop the hypocrisy because the reality is that he exercises considerable influence in matters of state, and he jolly well knows it.

The Perak crisis is pregnant with potential for mischief making, and you do not have to be the director of the special branch to know that unless something was put right quickly, the seething public anger could be exploited by enemies of state to the detriment of our nascent democracy, peace and security. Najib must finish the dirty job he started by going back to the people. His Royal Highness the Sultan will not stand in the way of a just and popular solution. This is the only way to stop the rot that has already paralysed the government of Perak. Another day’s delay to dissolve the State Assembly is another opportunity lost to return Perak to political sanity. Najib cannot just sit tight and look the other way hoping the crisis he fomented would just blow away.

The choice for the prime minister is a simple one: either elect to conduct himself like a common, opportunistic politician and face the dire consequences of his perfidious behaviour or a statesman who is concerned more with nation building on a lasting basis than opting for short term political gains that may well turn out to be illusory. His 1 Malaysia, already riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies, will not amount to anything if the Perak crisis remains stuck in limbo. The ball is in his court.

Who was that gagged man? - Anil Netto

perakprotest

It’s a lone ranger: A silent, solo protest yesterday by an unidentified man outside the Perak state government complex - Photo courtesy of Kula’s blog, which has the full story here.

It was a day of solo protests yesterday - in Ipoh and Penang. A single-person protest cannot be deemed to be an ‘illegal assembly’, right?

In Ipoh:

In short notes to (Kula’s) Political Sec in a piece of paper, he wrote “People 1st, Performance Later” and also “I don’t support any party. Just as Perak Citizen, all I want is 4 my state to be at peace. Just make the people who can do something, do it now.”

And in Penang, a similar ‘lone ranger’ protest was undertaken by a Penang Pas member who spent eight hours up a tree opposite the Penang State Assembly.

“What BN did in Perak was a rape of democracy that we all cherish. It was blatant disrespect to doctrine of separation of powers,” he shouted from the tree.

“I am here atop a tree as a Malaysian and a Penangite,” he told Malaysiakini.

Hentikan Serangan Di Sri Lanka!

—PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —

15 MAY 2009, PETALING JAYA – We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka’s northeastern region and appeal to the Sri Lankan military to halt its offensive activities. The fighting has reached a point where humanitarian concerns for the civilian population must be weighed against the military advantages gained by either side in the continuation of this conflict.

Thousands of innocent people have already perished in the combat zone including many women and children. An estimated 50,000 are still caught in the crossfire. Ensuring the safety and well being of the trapped population should be the primary concern of the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE and the international community.

UN agencies and the ICRC should be allowed access to the conflict zone to assess needs and bring in relief supplies, food and medical care to needy and injured populations. International monitors should be granted access to the area to ensure the protection of civilian populations and facilitate confidence building in efforts to establish a lasting peace.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
Opposition Leader and
De-facto leader, Justice Party of Malaysia

Purge in PPP: Murugiah, six others to be sacked - Malaysiakini

PPP’s rising star T Murugiah and six others would be scrutinised by the party disciplinary committee this afternoon and are likely to be sacked from the party.
MCPX

The six are close allies of Murugiah, who is also a supreme council member, and gained prominence after assuming the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department post last June.

Three of those being sacked are Murugiah’s aides in the Prime Minister’s Department. Two of which were suspended earlier this month for indiscipline until May 29.

kayveas ppp pc 120308 straightThe seven would be required to face the 45-member party supreme council, which is acting as the disciplinary committee, at about 2pm today at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

In an interview with Malaysiakini yesterday, party president M Kayveas said that the seven have been accused of a litany of complaints including abuse of government machinery and attempting to undermine the party.

Kayveas said that topping the list of violations was a press conference called by former supreme council member NA Shanmuganathan on Thursday, claiming that the party was on the brink of deregistration.

Party won’t be deregistered

Shamuganathan claimed that Kayveas was chiefly responsible for the party’s predicament by failing to submit office-bearer lists and financial records since 2002 to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) as required by the law.

“What broke the camel’s back was the press conference by (Murugiah’s) private secretary (Shamuganathan), to say that ROS is going to deregister the party is inexcusable.

“He (Murugiah) is destroying the very temple he comes from. Will half a million PPP members or the public excuse him for doing so?” said Kayveas, adding that his party was in good stead with the ROS as all documents are in order.

He said even if the documents were not in order, it was “not fatal” and can be easily rectified. Moreover, he adds that no notices has been issued by the ROS informing the party of any irregularities.

Kayveas said that other complaints against the seven, includes the abuse of government machinery to hold business seminars in several states that were primarily attended by party members.

He notes that the press conference on Thursday, organised by Murugiah’s aides in the Prime Minister’s Department, was another example of abuse of power.

“Their intentions is bad. They are destroying their home,” said Kayveas.

Death threat concocted


Kayveas said that his ongoing tiff with Murugiah was the result of the latter’s “greed and power craziness of a so-called popular leader”.

jerit parliament ride for change final leg 181208 t murugiahSpeculation is rife that Murugiah (right in photo) is trying to capitalise on his newfound fame to topple Kayveas in the June 7 party polls. However, Murugiah is barred from contesting as his Silibin branch had been deregistered in 2006.

On the incident where Murugiah allegedly received death threats and bullet casings at his Putrajaya office, Kayveas said that it was likely that Murugiah had concocted the story to make him look like a victim.

“When he sends bullets to himself, it is an indication of how stupid he can be. The Prime Minister’s Department is a high security area. There is a camera in every corner. All movements are recorded by closed-circuit cameras.

“If there is a thorough investigation, he is going to answer for this. He has made a false report,” he said, adding that the incident had tarnished the party president.

On Murugiah’s recent pledge of allegiance to the party president, Kayveas said it was insincere because the former had used proxies to attack him and the party.

“He is playing mind games. He is saying he supports me, yet he sends his henchmen to destroy the party,” he said.

Such incidents includes Shanmuganathan’s press conference and another press conference scheduled for 2pm today in Kuala Lumpur, in which several Selangor PPP division chiefs are expected to call for Kayveas to resign.

Quit now, lawyers tell IGP, home minister

'Coffin' rammed into FRU at Sri Lanka protest

Zambry bukan menteri besar sah-Lim Kit Siang

Pictures - Memo submission to Sri Lanka High Commission

p5150022


Najib defends himself and the Sultan over Perak debacle

By The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — After more than four months, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak attempted today to put together a cogent case on why the power grab in Perak was justified.

He also moved to absolve the Sultan of Perak and himself from any blame for the defections from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and the installation of a Barisan Nasional (BN) mentri besar.

The Umno president was quoted by Bernama as saying the Sultan of Perak had adopted the principles and spirit of democracy when appointing the mentri besar from PR last year and also BN this year, and should not be blamed for the political crisis in Perak currently.

The prime minister said he too should not be blamed for purportedly causing the crisis which had dragged on for more than four months.

“In practicing our democracy, the people will choose their elected representatives and the Sultan will appoint the candidate from the party that has gained the majority as the mentri besar,” he said at a media conference with Malaysian journalists at the end of his two-day working visit to Manado, North Sulawesi in Indonesia to attend the Summit Meeting of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI).

Najib’s comments come as public sentiments seem to be against BN as the Perak crisis drags on.

This week, the Kuala Lumpur high court declared PR’s Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful MB, but the ruling was stayed following an appeal by BN’s Datuk Zambry Abd Kadir.

In recent days, Najib has been distancing himself from the problem in Perak. His ally Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also pointed out this week that he thinks it is a foregone conclusion that PR will win the state if fresh polls are called.

The coverage of the Perak crisis in local newspapers, especially those with close links to Umno, had also suggested BN was now distancing itself from the Perak palace.

Speaking today in Indonesia, Najib said the Sultan of Perak had adopted the same procedure when appointing Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir from the BN as the mentri besar just like he did when appointing Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS after the 2008 general election, Bernama reported.

According to the report, Najib said Sultan Azlan Shah had appointed Mohammad Nizar after obtaining the agreement of the majority of the State Assemblymen who had nominated him as mentri besar.

Najib said that after the opposition parties had lost the majority, the Sultan of Perak then appointed the candidate nominated by the BN after three opposition assemblymen had declared themselves as Independents and gave their support to Zambry as mentri besar.

“Don’t forget... don’t blame Tuanku. In the 2008 general election, the BN was the only party that had the majority in the State Assembly with 28 seats... the opposition pact is not registered and remains as three separate parties.

“At that time, if Tuanku had wanted to appoint Tan Sri Tajol Rosli Ghazali (the former mentri besar), he would have had the right because the BN was the only party that had the biggest majority.

“The Tuanku, in the spirit of democracy based on the resolution made by the elected representatives from the three opposition parties... (After) the Tuanku had received their written pledges, the Tuanku then appointed Nizar as the mentri besar,” Najib explained.

But now, the opposition had lost the majority in the state assembly and Sultan Azlan Shah had appointed Dr Zambry who was nominated by the BN using the same approach and based on legitimate principles without breaching the democratic system and constitution.

“This transpired according to procedures in line with the Perak State Constitution and parliamentary democracy.

“This must be explained and that’s why I say that the election is an option and discretion... not a must. The problem is that they (the opposition) do not accept this and hinder this (democratic) process as was done in the state assembly.

“Who asked for the suspension of the MB and BN Executive Councillors. This is against the spirit of parliamentary democracy. If that’s the case, we (BN) have the majority in Parliament...we can suspend 20 Opposition members of parliament if we want to. Using the same principles (as in the Perak State Assembly), we have the power...discretion, we can do what we like,” said the prime minister.

“(But) the Opposition disputed the appointment of Dr Zambry and challenged it in court. We too challenged in court when they suspended the state assemblymen. Is it reasonable that in a democratic system, when there is a majority, the Speaker suspends six assemblymen? If that’s the case, we too can suspend six assemblymen,” he said.

Commenting on party-hopping, Najib said this was allowed by law and had happened in other countries such as a former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill who had switched parties several times, and the latest was a senator in the United States who defected.

Najib pointed out that the BN did not seize power in Perak because the change in government was made according to regulations and the law, which, if accepted by everyone, would clearly show that the present BN government could administer Perak as it had received a sufficient majority.

“Don’t forget that on Sept 16 last year, who had wanted to steal 21 of our members of parliament. But when he failed, and we succeeded in Perak, we were then said to be undemocratic. We have been accused of seizing power.

“It was the opposition who first tried to seize power but without success... we (the BN) did not start it,” Najib stressed.

Bar wants minister, IGP to quit over arrest of lawyers

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

Ragunath Kesavan with VP Lim Chee Wee and secretary George Varughese at the Bar Council EGM at MBPJ Hall that attracted more than 1,400 lawyers. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, May 15 — The Malaysian Bar today demanded the immediate resignation of the Home Affairs Minister, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and two other high-ranking police officers over the “unlawful” arrests of five lawyers from its Legal Aid Centre last May 7.

Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan condemned Hishammuddin Hussein, IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan and OCPD Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid for their publicly castigating the lawyers without first checking the facts on what took place that night.

He pointed to their public statements in response to the incident that lawyers were not above the law.

“The lawyers were accused of asking for preferential treatment, implying they had broken the law by being in front of the police station,” an upset Ragunath told reporters after chairing an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) here today.

“This is public humiliation, completely unnecessary and an abuse of the laws,” he said and added: “That’s why we are angry, upset and disgusted.”

Ragunath also promised legal action against the three for the unlawful arrests and to amend the law providing for the legal rights of an arrested person under Section 28A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

He said the police had abused the provisions of the law to prevent the five lawyers from carrying out their duties.

Ragunath said the society of some 12,500 lawyers would be sending a memorandum soon to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak asking for a public apology and a meeting with him over the “shameful” affair.

More than 1,400 lawyers had turned up for the EGM, tripling the numbers needed to pass a motion.

They had unanimously voted in support of the motions denouncing the “blatant transgression of the rule of law” against their colleagues and the police’s abuse of powers as an independent enforcement agency.

Among other things, they also repeated its earlier calls on the government to set up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in its original form to monitor any oversight by the police.

On May 7, five young lawyers were arrested by the police at the Brickfields police station in Kuala Lumpur.

The five: Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Murni Hidayah, Puspawati Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Shuhaini Safwan are part of a group of lawyers in the Bar Council which provides free legal aid.

They were blocked at the gates by the police from meeting their clients.

They had rushed to the police station after being alerted of the arrests of several people earlier that night allegedly for taking part in an illegal assembly while holding a candlelight vigil for social activist Wong Chin Huat who had also been arrested by police two nights earlier.

The investigating officer on duty, Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Jude Pereira had supposedly informed the lawyers the individuals arrested had signed away their constitutional rights to legal representation.

Their insistence on speaking with their clients caused them to be arrested by the Officer in-Charge of the Police District (OCPD) Assistant Commissioner Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid for taking part in an assembly without a permit.

“The arrests of five of us indeed made history in the legal profession where lawyers, being officers of the Court were subjected to arrests by the police in the course of discharging their statutory duties,”

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri wrote in her Facebook entry describing the incident.

Kugan’s death: Questions unanswered

By Neville Spykerman (The Malaysian Insider)

SHAH ALAM, May 15 — The police have already wrapped up their investigations into the death A. Kugan who died in their custody almost five months ago.

The suspected car thief was arrested on Jan 15 but died at the USJ 8 police lock-up five days later.

Datuk Seri Bakri Mohd Zinin said: “It’s up to the Attorney-General's Chambers to charge.”

The visibly-annoyed Criminal Investigations Department director said the police were only tasked with investigating the case.

“Which press are you from? Why are you asking me?” he retorted when asked for an update on the murder case this morning.

Earlier, 11 policemen were transferred to desk duty at the Selangor police headquarters after the death but questions on who is responsible for the death of the 22-year-old suspect remain unanswered.

When contacted, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail did not want to comment. “I am not going to say anything, I am at a meeting,” he said.

Yes, let’s move on

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But burying the spectre of May 13 can’t be done just like that, even if we stop talking about it. 40 years is a long time. People can forgive. People can even forget. But to forgive and forget there must first be remorse.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I know ‘Dollah Kok Lanas’, as he is fondly known back in his home state of Kelantan, pretty well. You can read his piece on ‘May 13’ below.

Dollah was once detained under the Internal Security Act during the time of Hussein Onn. He was also sacked as the Editor-in-Chief of the New Straits Times in 2003 at the request of Umno for the ‘crime’ of criticising Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia had earlier retaliated against this criticism by reducing Malaysia’s Haj quota. So the only way to pacify the Saudi government was to remove Dollah as head of the Umno-owned newspaper. (Who says Umno can’t be pressured?).

Dollah, for all intents and purposes, is a classic example of a loose cannon. I heard this is what Dr Wan Azizah also calls me. Other loose cannons -- or close to loose cannons even if they are not quite fully-fledged loose cannons -- would probably be Shahrir Samad (no need to say much about him), Mokhtar Hashim (the Minister indicted for murder), Anwar Ibrahim (yes, Wan Azizah has one in her own bed even though she may not realise it), Sallehuddin Hashim (if you don’t know him then I can’t help you), Haniff Omar (ex-IGP and Genting Chairman who said he did not find anywhere in the Quran a verse that forbids Muslims from being Chairmen of gambling companies), Yassin Malek (deceased but a ‘live wire’ till the very end), Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (late Agong who married a girl younger than his granddaughter), Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang (phew, what can I say about him that no one already knows?), Tun Razak (Najib’s father, architect of May 13, and engineer of the NEP) Razali Ismail (diplomat and Malaysian Ambassador to the UN who the Burmese opposition party wants nothing to do with), Hani Mohsin (actor and deceased at a very young age), Effendi Norwawi (the Sarawakian tycoon who founded NTV7 and stole Hani’s wife), Justice Azmi Kamaruddin (deceased and one of the judges sacked by Mahathir), Hishamuddin Hussein (President of the Gay Club), Nazri Aziz (the man Mahathir can’t stand hearing his name mentioned), Dr. Hatta Ramli and Kamaruddin Jaafar (both of PAS), Rehman Rashid (either you hate him or you love him: nothing in between), Halim Saad (the man behind the PLUS Highway), Yahaya Ahmad (the ‘Car Czar’ of Malaysia who died in a helicopter explosion), Hishamuddin Rais (Malaysia’s first NGI: Non-Governmental Individual), Onn Jaafar (the man who left Umno in a huff because the party would not open its doors to non-Malays), the Semangat 46 crowd (Tengku Razaleigh, Manan Othman, Salleh ‘Speaker’, Tengku Paduka, and all those other ‘colourful’ characters), etc.

And what do all those loose cannons mentioned above have in common? Okay, they are all Malays and they are all men. But the one thing that ‘binds’ them, and the thing that probably turned them into loose cannons in the first place, is that they are all ‘Old Boys’ of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK).

The names of all the 5,000 or so Old Boys -- dead, still living, or are better off dead than alive -- would be just impossible to list here. Take it from me, though, that most, if not all, are loose cannons in one way or another. In short, anyone who can be considered ‘a problem’ would most likely be an Old Boy of MCKK.

At one time, during the time of Tun Razak, half the Cabinet were Old Boys. Cabinet meetings, until today, are held on Wednesdays. And Wednesday is also the day that the Old Boys wear their old school ties -- by coincidence rather than by design.

During the first Cabinet meeting that Hussein Onn chaired, after he took over as Prime Minister on the death of Tun Razak, he commented about this, disapprovingly of course. And in the next Cabinet meeting all the ties disappeared. You see, Hussein went to the English College in Johor Bahru, so he was not about to sit there staring at those red-striped College ties which must have been an eyesore as far as he was concerned.

Many of the founding members of Umno were Old Boys. At the time of Merdeka, most of the Rulers were also Old Boys. You would not find many who walked in the corridors of power who was not an Old Boy. Malay Nationalism would have never happened if not for the Old Boys. Maybe even Merdeka would have been delayed like what happened to Hong Kong.

Old Boys consider themselves unique. Non-Old Boys, however, would, consider Old Boys as weird. I mean, which group of Malays would go to the mosque on Thursday night, play poker on Friday night, and consume crates and crates of beer on Saturday night?

They say the term ‘Ipoh lai’ was invented by Old Boys. As you may be aware, Kuala Kangsar is not far from Ipoh. And when Old Boys disappear for the day, you can certainly assume they have sneaked off to Ipoh to taste the delights of that once upon a time thriving mining town.

The word around Ipoh is that if you throw a stone into the air, chances are it would land on a massage parlour. There were certainly more massage parlours than mosques back in the days when I went to MCKK. I heard that, nowadays, there are not that many massage parlours in Ipoh any longer. Is it because of the collapse of Perak’s tin mining industry or because the Old Boys have, unfortunately, become more religious and spend more time in the mosque than in massage parlours?

Anyway, Ipoh is no longer what it used to be. Today, you can get arrested just for minding your own business while eating in a coffee shop wearing a black shirt. And it is very hard to find prostitutes in the massage parlours. Most of them are gainfully employed and can only be found in the Perak State Assembly.

I prefer the old days when RM30 could buy you a good time with a sweet young thing from Bidor, Tapah, Sungai Siput, or wherever they happened to have come from. I never remembered meeting anyone from Jelapang though. I was told they did have girls from Jelapang but that they are so ugly you would never pay them to sleep with you. They would have to pay you instead.

Anyway, the going price for these Perak girls would never exceed a few hundred Ringgit -- even if you made promises your body can’t keep and booked a girl for the entire night. It would be best, however, you try the ‘one-shot’ package first and see how it goes. After all, in sex, just like in the banking business, you lose interest after you make the withdrawal.

Okay, let’s get to the serious business now. Yes, we must put May 13 behind us and move on. It is time we buried the spectre of May 13. But that can only happen if we do not constantly resurrect it time and time again. Umno, however, keeps reminding us of what happened in May 1969 when the non-Malays kurang ajar. Is it a reminder or a threat? Whatever it may be, picking on the scab will not only never allow the wound to heal, but even if it does it will leave a permanent scar that will remain till the end of our life.

But burying the spectre of May 13 can’t be done just like that, even if we stop talking about it. 40 years is a long time. People can forgive. People can even forget. But to forgive and forget there must first be remorse.

We need a national reconciliation program. Those who aggressed need to apologise to those who were oppressed. You can’t just say let’s forgive and forget. You also need to say sorry.

Is sorry really the hardest word as Elton John said? Would saying sorry give an impression that you are weak? Only the strong can say sorry. The weak will try to justify the wrong with all sorts of excuses and arguments.

The world over, governments are admitting the error of their ways. Sometimes it came three hundred years too late. But better late than never, they always say. Malaysia can demonstrate sincerity. And the mark of sincerity is first to admit your mistake, and then apologise for it. And only after that can we ask all Malaysians to bury the past and move on to build a better Malaysia, a One Malaysia, as Najib Tun Razak said.

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May 13 tragedy, we should move on
By Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad

While we remember the 40th anniversary of the May 13 tragedy, we should move on. It’s time for closure of the sad, very sad incident.

The tragic and vicious incident need not have happened had Tun Razak’s message to Dato’ Harun Idris, the menteri besar of Selangor, reached him 30-minutes earlier or had Tan Sri David Tan Chee Khoon and Tun Lim Chong Eu spoken to Tun Razak 30 minutes earlier relaying their decision not to cooperate with DAP to form the state government of Selangor nor worked together in Perak and elsewhere. I was beside Tun Razak when he took the calls from them late past tea time on the fateful evening of 13 May. I recall clearly what Tun Razak told Harun “…the good news is you will continue to run Selangor. Chee Khoon and Chong Eu had just spoken to me that they want status quo preserved. So tell the people gathering at your house to disperse.” Harun thanked Tun and asked him to convey his gratitude to the two statesmen. Between five-to-ten minutes after that Harun rang Tun Razak to say that it was too late. As he was persuading them to disperse news reached the crowd that clashes had begun in Chow Kit Road and surroundings and beyond.

Tun Razak asked Harun to calm the gathering and urged him, in strong terms, to attempt his best to stop the clashes from escalating. The rest, as they say, is history. Though Harun and I were not on good political terms I must be fair. I think he did try, but by then, to no avail.

I left for home about maghrib. Informed Musa Hitam what happened and he asked his family to rush to my house. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Musa and his family spent the night at my house in Jalan Bukit Bintang, a very Chinese area, and there was no trouble. I assured my Chinese neighbours and they, in turn, assured me we would together maintain peace and confront whoever the outside troublemakers would be. Thank God, the troubles were localised.

This is just speculation: Had communications then were as good and advanced as today, I think two things could have occurred: race riots would not have started or they could have become more brutal and widespread.

When the Pakatan Rakyat coalition unseated the BN governments in Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah last March (08) there were no tensions, perhaps because every one was in a state of shock but plausibly, too, the incoming governments of PKR, DAP and PAS like the defeated ones, were also interracial. The PKR, DAP and PAS alliance should be preserved. The PKR is about the nearest thing to being a genuine multi-racial party. There shall not be another May 13 like-incident if the ruling party coalition and the Pakatan share power or perceived to be sharing power fairly and the government, whether Federal or State, observes the constitution scrupulously, government policy implemented justly without fear or favour where talent is not only recognized but rewarded irrespective of race or religion. The public as well as the private sector must display and reflect that of the society we live in, not what we want it to be. The Bumiputra must accept unequivocally the others are co-owners of this country as much as the others must also accept, recognise and acknowledge unequivocally the Bumiputra is the biggest demographic group and growing, therefore deserves some entitlements, though not at the expense of fairplay.

I am not a soothsayer nor a prophet of doom. I strive to tell what I perceive to be the truth. It does seem the future of democracy in our nation is bright. A genuine two-party system is at last evolving after five decades of Merdeka. If the Pakatan Rakyat state governments deliver what they promised and the alliance stay cohesive and the rakyat see the bond or linkage is sustained the alliance can be potentially potent. However, having said that, please make no mistake of misjudging Najib. He is no Badawi; different educational and social background. Najib is Tun Razak’s son, he is more familiar with the wiles of Malaysian voters; he is positively more Machiavellian, positively more able and aware than his predecessor who was badly advised by his family, cronies and toadies in government and the media.

If Najib performs well and the economy recovers he is a tough nut to crack. His 1Malaysia is good and if he is not distracted, and properly advised, you all will face a tough time. You must at least be well-prepared and ready. Najib may falter, which I think is not impossible, for he is not infallible. I am also very conscious how fallible I can be.

In politics, a week is a long time and logic doesn’t always work. Always work hard and one must always do what one feels is right. The correct and sensible thing to do is to ensure that all Malaysians are treated justly in the public as well as in the private sector. Our democracy can only flourish if we have a strong, free and independent media.

Our future is very bright if Najib can deliver what he promises and the Pakatan its pledges. We aren’t going to achieve what we desire. Worse if a nation is perceived to be untransparent, unjust and draconian. I repeat a strong, free and independent media is critical for the future of Malaysian democracy.

The future of 1Malaysia looks well if the PM can deliver what he promises and if the economy thrives. This can be done if we can reconcile the past which none should forget with the present we must face, and the future we cannot avoid.

Whatever, the electoral test will be in the next general election.

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The makings of an Umno politician

An old kampung imam had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession.

Like many young men his age, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it.

One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects.

1. The Holy Quran.
2. A fifty ringgit note.
3. A bottle of whiskey.
4. And a Playboy magazine.

'I'll just hide behind the door," the old imam said to himself. "When he comes home from school today, I'll see which object he picks up."

"If it's the holy book, he's going to be an imam like me, and what a blessing that would be!"

"If he picks up the fifty ringgit note, he's going to be a businessman, and that would be okay, too."

"But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunken bum, and God, what a shame that would be."

"And worst of all if he picks up that magazine he's going to be a skirt-chasing womaniser."

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's footsteps as he entered the house whistling and heading for his room.

The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table. With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them. Finally, he picked up the Holy Book and placed it under his arm. He picked up the fifty ringgit note and dropped into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink, while he admired the magazine's centerfold.

"God have mercy," the old imam disgustedly whispered. "He's going to be an Umno politician!"

Author unknown

Bar Council to sue govt over lawyer detentions

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 15 May 2009: The Bar Council plans to file a civil suit against the government for the unlawful detention of five lawyers on 7 May and for denying them access to detainees.

Other defendants in the suit will be Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, and Brickfields OCPD ACP Wan Abdul Bahari Wan Abdul Khalid, Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said today.


Ragunath
The civil suit was one of the action plans decided at the Bar's emergency general meeting today, called specifically to pass a motion condemning the government and police for the lawyers' arrests.

The meeting was attended by 1,428 lawyers, far exceeding the required 500 for a quorum. The motion was unanimously adopted.

The lawyers from the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre — Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Anuar, Puspawati Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalilwal and Syuhaini Safwan — were arrested after they had gone to the Brickfields police station to meet those who had been detained for holding a candlelight vigil outside the police station. The vigil was held over the arrest of political scientist Wong Chin Huat.

The lawyers were arrested after they had asked to meet the detainees and were denied access to them by the police. They were released on police bail the next day at around 3pm.

On 8 May, some 150 lawyers had gathered at the Jalan Duta court complex to protest the arrest of their five colleagues.

Ragunath said video recordings of the arrests clearly showed that the lawyers did not participate in the vigil.

"Denying them access to detainees is a travesty of justice. There is a need for lawyers to see the accused when arrested or interrogated so that there is public accountability," he said in a press conference after the EGM.

There was a greater need for public accountability in the police as they used more physical force than any other enforcement agency, Ragunath added, noting that the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) had clear provisions on a detainee's right to see his or her lawyers.

Hishammuddin should resign


Hishammuddin Hussein (Pic courtesy
of theSun)
The Bar Council also called for Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, as well as IGP Musa, to resign over the incident.

Ragunath took Hishammuddin to task for his remarks that lawyers should not think they were above the law. Ragunath said that police were also not above the law.

"For Hishammuddin to say that lawyers are not above the law is not a reply, is not a solution, is not what we want to hear. We (the Bar Council) had asked for an apology over the arrests, and he gave that response without even investigating what happened," Ragunath said.

He said while Section 28 of the CPC detailed the circumstances whereby police were allowed to prevent lawyers from meeting detainees, none of those conditions could be logically applied to the lawyers who had gone to the Brickfields police station.

The conditions are if police suspect an accomplice is involved, or if concealment, destruction or fabrication of evidence could result, or if there is intimidation of witnesses.

"I cannot see what or how these reasons apply for denying access to lawyers," Ragunath said.

Going all out

In addition to the civil suit, the Bar Council also intends to seek a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the matter, lodge a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to request an inquiry, and seek the intervention of the Chief Justice.

In the EGM motion condemning the government and police for the lawyers' arrest, the Bar Council noted that the lawyers were made to wear lock-up uniforms and were unnecessarily handcuffed.

The motion also denounced the police for deliberately refusing to give family members and the lawyers of those arrested any information about their arrest and the police's next course of action.

Calling the incident a "gross abuse of police powers", the Bar is demanding an unconditional apology from the government to the lawyers.

Lawyers should be allowed to discharge their responsibilities to their clients without threat or intimidation, it added.

The Bar also reiterated its call for the government to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

Hearing on Nizar’s application postponed

By N Shashi Kala
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 15 May 2009: The Court of Appeal hearing on Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's application to set aside the stay order granted to Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has been postponed to 21 May.


Nizar
The court registrar had originally set 18 May to hear Nizar's application, but a lawyer for the embattled Perak menteri besar (MB) from the Pakatan Rakyat said today that the hearing has been pushed back.

Nizar's lawyer in Ipoh, Leong Cheok Keng, said the case would now be heard together with Zambry's appeal against the High Court's decision on 11 May declaring Nizar the rightful MB.

The court of appeal had set the date for Zambry's appeal on 21 May and lawyers were informed of it today. Nizar's lawyers were also only informed today that their client's application would be heard on the same day.

Leong said the legal team plans to write to the court to state that Nizar's application should be heard first, before Zambry's appeal.

The decision to postpone the application to set aside the stay is a blow to Nizar, who had hoped for an early hearing.

In comparison, Zambry managed to get a quick Court of Appeal hearing for his application to stay the High Court decision. After being declared the rightful MB, Nizar found himself out in the cold less than 24 hours later after Zambry succeeded in getting the stay.

Nizar was appointed menteri besar on 17 March last year after the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance won 31 seats in the 12th general election.

He was ousted after Barisan Nasional (BN)'s Zambry was sworn in as Perak menteri besar on 6 Feb following the BN takeover of the state government. The takeover was caused by the desertion of three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblypersons who opted to become BN-friendly independents, leading to PR losing its majority in the state assembly.

Nizar's request to the sultan of Perak on 5 Feb to dissolve the state assembly to make way for snap polls was turned down. Other attempts since then to seek the sultan's consent to dissolve the state assembly have also failed.

On 13 Feb, Nizar, 52, filed a judicial review and sought a declaration from the courts that he was at all material times the menteri besar of Perak. He also sought a declaration that Zambry had no right to hold the office of menteri besar.

On 11 May, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim ruled that there was no provision in the state constitution for the menteri besar to be fired or for the post to be vacant in the event that the menteri besar refused to resign.

But with the stay order on 12 May, Zambry reassumed the position of Perak menteri besar.

For a full picture of all the court cases related to the Perak constitutional crisis, go here

ntv7 poll: An amazing 99% want fresh Perak elections

ntv7smspoll

The results of the SMS poll over the 8.00pm news on ntv7 yesterday

pkr

This evening, the women’s wing of PKR launched a signature campaign to lobby for the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly. They aim to collect a million signatures within a week - Kinta Kid has the story here.

An SMS poll conducted by ntv7 on its 7 Edition (English news) bulletin at 8.00pm yesterday revealed that an astounding 99 per cent of viewers want fresh elections to resolve the political impasse in Perak.

This clearly gives the lie to those who claim that Malaysians are “weary” of elections. If anything, what Malaysians are probably weary of are all those political stunts to avoid holding fresh elections.

If you doubt the accuracy of the ntv7 poll, consider this:

The ntv7 poll results are identical to the separate poll findings on this blog, which also reveal that 99 per cent (of some 2,500 respondents) want fresh polls in Perak (90 per cent of you want state-wide elections while 9 per cent want by-elections for only those seats where defections occurred).

What is the best solution to the impasse in Perak?

  • Hold fresh state-wide elections (91.0%, 2,830 Votes)
  • Hold by-elections for seats where defections occurred (8.0%, 257 Votes)
  • Go through the courts (0.0%, 14 Votes)
  • Not sure (0.0%, 4 Votes)

Bar's EGM: Multitude of lawyers unanimously condemn arrest of lawyers Friday, 15 May 2009

Contributed by Chin Oy Sim, Executive Officer, Bar Council Secretariat, with photos by T.Shan

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A heartening multitude of 1,429 lawyers and 81 chambering students unanimously and unequivocally called for the resignation of the Minister for Home Affairs, the Inspector-General of Police and the OCPD of the Brickfields police station at the Malaysian Bar’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) this afternoon.

The EGM was called following the arrest of five Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre (KL LAC) lawyers at Brickfields police station last Thursday evening. The five lawyers – Fadiah Nadwa binti Fikri (Secretary), Murnie Hidayah binti Anuar, Puspawati binti Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal (Chairperson) and Syuhaini binti Safwan – were arrested when they tried to gain access to their clients who had themselves been arrested earlier that evening, for participating in a candlelight vigil in support of arrested political scientist Wong Chin Huat.

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The quorum of 500 was reached even before 3 p.m., clear testament to the intensity of the legal community’s condemnation of the incident.

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A Malaysiakini video that captured the vigil and the arrest of the lawyers was screened at the outset, thus setting the tone for the EGM. The lawyers booed loudly as they viewed the OCPD’s handling of the situation and the manner in which the lawyers were treated. A second Malaysiakini video showing the solidarity gathering at the Jalan Duta courts last Friday morning was also screened.

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Each of the five lawyers took to the stage and gave a brief personal account of their ordeal and highlighted various aspects of their detention.

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Several lawyers spoke from the floor and vigorously denounced the incident. Most of them called for the motion, which had been proposed by Ragunath Kesavan, the President of the Malaysian Bar, to be stronger in language. The EGM attendees listened in rapt attention and were generous with their applause and vocal expressions of support for the statements made and suggestions put forward.

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No vote was needed as the motion, as amended, was carried unanimously. The EGM was adjourned at 5.15 p.m.


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Motion

Whereas on the night of 7 May 2009, five members of the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre, Fadiah Nadwa binti Fikri (Secretary), Murnie Hidayah binti Anuar, Puspawati binti Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal (Chairperson) and Syuhaini binti Safwan (collectively known as the “LAC Lawyers”), in their capacity as Advocates & Solicitors, had requested the police at the Brickfields Police Station for access to the detained persons who were arrested that same night whilst holding a candlelight vigil at the same Police Station over the recent arrest of political scientist Wong Chin Huat.

Whereas Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution entrenches the fundamental right of a person to consult and be defended by the legal practitioner of his/her choice. Further, sub-sections 28A(2) to (7) of the Criminal Procedure Code (“CPC”) set out in detail the rights of arrested persons including their right to communicate and consult with a legal practitioner of their choice.

Whereas the Police denied the LAC Lawyers access to the detained persons, the Police, without any reasonable grounds, proceeded to arrest the LAC Lawyers and only released them on police bail the following day at around 3 p.m., notwithstanding the repeated requests by other lawyers for their immediate release.

NOW IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED THAT THE MALAYSIAN BAR:

1. Strongly condemns and denounces the wrongful arrest, detention and interrogation of the LAC Lawyers.

2. Strongly condemns and denounces the blatant transgression of the rule of law and the constitutional right of every person to counsel and access to justice.

3. Strongly condemns the unnecessary arrest and detention of those exercising their constitutional right to assemble peaceably.

4. Strongly condemns the arbitrary, improper and frequent resort by the Police to section 28A(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code, thus denying an arrested person access to counsel and making the right provided under section 28A(3) meaningless.

5. Strongly condemns and denounces the appalling treatment of the LAC lawyers and all those held in custody, including compelling them to wear lock up uniforms and unnecessarily handcuffing them.

6. Strongly condemns and denounces the Police for deliberately refusing to disclose to their family or their lawyers any information in relation to the LAC lawyers after their arrest, including their location and their next course of action.

7. Demands the resignation of the Minister for Home Affairs, the Inspector-General of Police, OCPD ACP Wan Abdul Bari bin Wan Abdul Khalid and DSP Jude Pereira of the Brickfields police station over this shameful incident.

8. Condemns the gross abuse of police powers and demands that the Government offer an unconditional apology to the LAC Lawyers.

9. Demands that the Government commit to and uphold the Rule of Law as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

10. Reiterates its previous calls on the Government to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in its original form to serve as an independent external oversight mechanism.

11. Demands that the Government uphold and defend the fundamental rights of advocates and solicitors to discharge their responsibilities to their clients in an environment free from threats and intimidation and unhindered by law enforcement agencies.


Proposed by: Ragunath Kesavan
Dated: 8 May 2009

The motion, as amended, was unanimously carried.

10 reasons for Najib for wanting a discussion with PR

By Kula's Blog
In the last few days invariably the head lines of all news is nothing other then the on going Perak political crisis.

Prime Minister DS Najib has now agreed to discuss the impasse with the Pakatan Rakyat(PR) leaders.

Why Najib wants to talk now? At least 10 reasons for him to do so.
1) Najib may be willing to discuss because the support for BN is so weak that that a discussion of this nature may enhance Barisan National(BN) status.

2) Najib masterminded the take over of BN in Perak when he was the DPM. Little did he realize this coup d’etat could boomerang to such intensity that it is hurting his public image now? He may never recover and this may soon politically seal his future.


3) In just about 10months the PR government of Perak was able to win the heart and minds of its people. The polices on freehold, the openness on awarding of contacts, the transparent manner of running the state government, appointing NGO’s as councilors, giving lands to schools, Exco members and the MB who are easily approachable nd many more.


4) Rumors are that there are some BN elected assemblyman who may jump ship and this is one way to contain them


5) The present situation is untenable. Perak has 2 Mentri Besar’s (MB), 2 Speakers and 2 secretaries to the House (clerk) The situation is unsettling the BN as much as the PR thus the necessity for discussion.


6) Investors are filling jittery and may continue to refuse to invest in Perak. This will hurt all. But in this drawback, BN elected representatives will suffer most as dishing out contracts by them will dry up. In the process BN will fail to get the continuous support from the people.


7) Who is the legal MB or the ex-MB? Both the MB’s are in that situation. People are confused and the continuous indecision will damage all but the BN will still suffer more. Reading the blog’s and articles one see’s a bashing of the BN. Some how the BN cannot and seems not able to get public opinion on their side


8) Ejecting Speaker V.Sivakumar and the video footage clearly show the ruthless ness of BN. To make matters worse the unprecedented entrance of policeman into the meeting hall has aroused a feeling that the BN had planned this event. In fact we hear over 100 policemen from all over the country was asked to report to Ipoh police who were used to implement this eviction of V.Sivakumar. Local police was apparently not encouraged as they may be familiar to many elected representatives and they may be reluctant to implement BN’s modus operandi


9) When BN took over Perak government immorally they failed to see the importance of the Speakers post, the Committee of Privileges and the Public Accounts Committee. The majority of the members of these committees are from the PR. All these were overlooked. Thus the jig saw puzzle is not complete unless all these posts revert back to BN.


10) The courts decisions are of little help. One day Nizar wins the next day the ex-BN MB is back in power. It all looks like the circus is in town for all to have fun. But it is the Perikians who eventually suffer.

The PR leaders must be cautious on the invitation for discussion with Najib. Najib must win at what ever the cost in this proposed meet. But how will the PR fair?

Remember the fatal mistake Chin Peng made when he agreed to meet Tuanku at Baling in 1956?

Goalposts shifted at Court of Appeal

By Jeff Ooi,

Sorry Nizar. The Registrar changed his mind.

It's not 3 hours vs. 5 Days in the Zambry vs. Nizar case.

Hearing for Nizar's appeal to set aside Judge Ramly Mohd Ali's stay order in favour of Zambry has now been pushed back to May 21, instead of May 18.

The 8-day wait is to coincide with the hearing of Zambry's appeal against the May 11 High Court order that declared Nizar as the lawful Perak menteri besar, is and was.