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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mahfuz - Kenapa Najib takut dengan Suruhanjaya Diraja?

High Chaparral: Evening in Paris gives some hope

The Unesco's Paris Desk will write to the federal government within the next few days seeking clarification on the Kampung Buah Pala village crisis in Penang.

Unesco's Asia Pacific heritage specialist, Junhi Han (extreme left) said the world heritage centre would express its concerns over the demolition of the nearly 200-year-old Kampung Buah Pala after hearing an appeal from village resident K Murugan who went to Paris.

Unesco's intervention was hailed by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Waythamoorthy as a boost to the villagers' cause in efforts to stop next week's demolition by the developer.

K Murugan made an official representation to the world heritage body based in the French capital city of Paris yesterday at 3pm (French time).

He was accompanied by London-based Waythamoorthy, who had arranged the meeting with Unesco.

Waythamoorthy had explained the the Kampung Buah Pala predicament to the heritage official of the Unesco Paris Desk.

Waythamoorthy alleged that the village land was originally held on a housing trust but was later taken over by the federal government and transferred to the Penang government under dubious circumstances.

He further alleged that the previous Penang state government had unlawfully alienated and sold the land held on trust to a cooperative society - Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

Junhi Han was also told that the cooperative subsequently engaged a private developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd to build a lucrative condominium project called Oasis on the trust land.

Waythamoorthy (left) told her that the current DAP government was responsible for the actual transfer of the trust land to the cooperative within 19 days after coming to power.

Waythamoorthy told her that during last year's general election campaign, the DAP leaders had promised the residents to secure and preserve the trust land as a heritage village.

However, he alleged, that after coming to power, the DAP state government had failed to fulfil its promise and betrayed the people's trust.

Unesco appeals to gov't


Junhi Han told Waythamoorthy and Murugan that she would immediately inform the Malaysian officials at Unesco to look into the controversy urgently.

Earlier Murugan (left), the 46-year-old cowherd from Kampung Buah Pala, arrived in France on Wednesday morning via London to hand over a memo.

The memo urged Unesco to urgently make a representation to the Malaysian government to stop the village demolition.

It also urged Unesco to send a fact finding team to Kampung Buah Pala to gather first hand information independently to justify the residents' heritage claim over the village.

At the end of the 40-minute meeting, Junhi Han said the matter would be presented to the world heritage committee after receiving a response from the Malaysian government.

The committee, she assured, would then seriously consider the need to commission a Unesco fact finding mission to the village.

Murugan's representation to take his village fight for survival to Unesco is seen as a move to exert international pressure on relevant authorities in Penang, especially Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to preserve the traditional Indian village.

Murugan's representation would deal a severe blow to the DAP government as it could compromise the status of George Town as living human heritage city, an accolade it shares with Malacca.

Waythamoorthy informed Junhi Han that Kampung Buah Pala sits exactly on the city limit of George Town, which received its international heritage recognition in July 2008.

Kampung Buah Pala faces the possibility of total destruction on Aug 3, after an eviction order was issued on July 2.

Lim's government has already revoked the development plan a few days ago apparently to stop the eviction and compel the developer to agree with its plan to settle the issue amicably.

Kampung Buah Pala is referred to by locals as Tamil High Chaparral because of its hilly location, greenery, population of cowherds, cattle, goats, other livestock, and lively Tamil cultural features and festivities

High noon clash at MIC HQ- Malaysiakini

The MIC headquarters in Jalan Rahmah, Kuala Lumpur today became the focal point for two groups of people with different agenda involving the party's investment arm Maika Holdings.

The first group of about 150 people was led by Penang Deputy Chief Minister 2 Prof P Ramasamy and several other Pakatan Rakyat leaders. Also with them were several disgruntled Maika Holdings shareholders.

These people had marched towards the MIC HQ at 12 noon, demanding to know the financial status of Maika and the return of their investments.

The second group was led by Maika CEO S Vell Paari along with shareholders who were happy with the way the company was being run.

This group has started gathering at Maika's headquarters which is located within the MIC building since 9am.

Upon arriving at the MIC headquarters, Ramasamy's group was not allowed to enter the party building to meet Vell Paari to submit a memorandum on the financial status of Maika.

Vell Paari's supporters were meanwhile kept within the party building.

Both sets of supporters were monitored by police personnel as well as members of the Light Strike Force Unit. The police have also closed the roads leading to the party building.

At about 12.30pm Vell Paari came out of the MIC building to meet with Ramasamy's group. He was jostled by the hostile crowd and had to be mobbed by the police to protect him.

Watching him being hassled by the people from the Ramasamy group, Vell Paari's supporters ran out of the party building to 'protect' the Maika CEO.

This resulted in open squaring between the two sets of the supporters. Several people were seen to have been injured.

The police immediately brought in back up in the form of Federal Reserve Unit personnel to contain the situation.

While the situation outside the party building was getting unruly, MIC president S Samy Vellu was inside the building chairing a central committee meeting.

Blaming Nesa cooperatives

The gathering organised by Pakatan today was a result of unhappiness among many shareholders with the performance of the company and are seeking the return of their investments.

Vell Paari, who is party president S Samy Vellu's son, however has stated that he was ready to repay the shareholders but was unable to do so due to an injunction obtained against the sale of an insurance company by Nesa Cooperatives, which is headed by former deputy president S Subramaniam.

Vell Paari had originally intended to sell off Maika's cash cow Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd (OCAB) but the deal was objected by Nesa, which is a Maika shareholder, on the grounds that the sale would not fully benefit the shareholders.

Earlier this week Vell Paari told Malaysiakini that he welcomed Ramasamy's group so that he can explain the status of Maika to them.

However he added that in return Ramasamy must also explain on the steps he had taken to solve the problems facing Kampung Buah Pala villagers in Penang.

Vell Paari also said that he would invite Ramasamy's group to join him to march to Nesa's office in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur to protest against their injunction which has halted the sale of the insurance company, thus delaying the pay off for the shareholders.

Face-off at MIC headquarters over Maika scandal

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Hundreds of anti-MIC protesters are facing off with party loyalists in front of the party’s headquarters here, causing the police to close roads and call in reinforcements to break up the demonstration.

The protest is believed to have been organised by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders galvanising opposition against the MIC over the Maika shares scandal.

The opposing groups have taken over the major Jalan Tun Razak flyover and are hurling insults at each other.

Once again Jui Meng plays role in Tee Keat-Soi Lek fight

Chua appears to be the man in the middle despite quitting the MCA. — File pic

Analysis by Leslie Lau - The Malaysian Insider
Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Despite defecting to PKR, Datuk Chua Jui Meng is turning out to be MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat’s best weapon in his battle with arch rival and deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Since leaving the party for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR, Chua has singled out Dr Chua for attacks, and has repeatedly urged the government to prosecute his former colleague for having unnatural sex.

“One has to wonder if Chua Jui Meng is working for Tee Keat to attack Dr Chua,” a supporter of the deputy president remarked recently to The Malaysian Insider.

The attacks are in relation to Dr Chua’s sex video scandal, which has resurfaced more than 1½ years since it broke in late 2007, forcing the then health minister to quit all government and party posts.

But last year, Dr Chua made a remarkable comeback, clinching the party’s deputy presidency against all the odds. But in a bitter campaign, Ong and Dr Chua’s ties were damaged beyond repair.

Recently, it was revealed that Dr Chua was being hauled up by the party disciplinary committee over the sex video scandal. He is expected to face the board hearing next week.

Incredibly, the party president has claimed ignorance over the matter, and most party members believe this was another move by Ong to silence his biggest critic and rival.

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had hit the roof when he found out about the plan to discipline Dr Chua.

The last thing the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman wanted was for the man he had just appointed pointman for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) controlled states to be disciplined by his own party over something which happened so long ago.

Ong is said to be unhappy with Dr Chua’s closer ties with Umno, and The Malaysian Insider understands from sources within the president’s camp that he wants to “finish off” his deputy.

The feeling from the Dr Chua camp, it appears, is now mutual.

Persistent attacks from Chua, now in PKR, against Dr Chua, are now raising eyebrows in MCA circles.

Last year, Dr Chua was all set to take on Ong for the party presidency, but Chua’s decision to contest put paid to those hopes.

Dr Chua’s camp felt that the votes among party delegates would be split in such a way that there would be no way he could win the presidency. Eventually, he decided to contest the No. 2 post and won, while Ong defeated Chua for the top post.

Nearly a year later, Chua is once again proving to be a headache for Dr Chua even though he has already left the party.

Chua has also been singing the praises of Ong, and publicly backing the leadership of the MCA president, sparking amazement among many party members who are now openly wondering why he left the party if he was so happy with Ong.

Time to abolish the ISA for good

Not one person should be held in detention without trial as it violates basic human rights, asserts Norlaila Othman, whose husband has been detained without trial for seven years.

Aliran

My name is Norlaila Othman. I am a Malaysian. I speak on behalf of my husband, Mat Sah bin Mohd Satray, who has been detained by the Malaysian government under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for more than seven years. Under the ISA, the government can detain people without even the most basic of due process rights. The ISA is extremely broadly worded and allows for indefinite detention without trial. My husband was detained in April 2002 and is now occupying a cell at Kamunting Detention Camp, deprived of his liberty. He has never been charged and has not had the possibility of a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Under the ISA, the Malaysian judiciary has been systematically excluded from playing any meaningful role in ensuring that those detained are treated in accordance with international human rights norms. There is no effective judicial review. Habeas corpus is only available on narrow and technical grounds. Judges cannot review grounds of detention and are not shown the purported evidence against detainees.

The ISA allows for review of detentions by an executive-appointed Advisory Board. The Advisory Board has no power to free detainees. It can only make non-binding recommendations to the government. Appearances before the Advisory Board are a farce because the authorities never disclose evidence or documents to the detainee.

My husband was first accused of being a member of one terrorist organisation, then later another. However during the seven plus years that he has already spent in detention, no evidence has been produced to substantiate the accusation. Instead, he is required to attend counselling programmes and encouraged to admit the allegations against him. The authorities have yet to prove he actually engaged in any illegal activity. Others arrested at the same time as him have long been released. He has been told the only reason he is still detained is due to my activism.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has stated that the detention of my husband is arbitrary and contravenes Articles 9 and 10 of the UDHR. I strongly urge the Human Rights Council to visit Kamunting Detention Camp and meet my husband personally. I call on the Malaysian government to facilitate this visit.

I hope the visit will lead to the release of my husband and others who are enduring the same experience. In my case, the most affected victim is my only son, Suhaib, aged 16. The ISA separated Suhaib from his father when he was nine. For seven years, he has been waiting every day for his father’s release. It is very sorrowful to see him grow up with this uncertainty for such a long time and being deprived of the love, care and guidance of his father. Not one person should be held in detention without trial as it violates basic human rights. I am appearing here today not just for the sake of my husband but also for all who continue to be detained without trial under the ISA and their family members.

I call on the Malaysian government to accept and implement the recommendations of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention requesting the Malaysian government to take necessary steps to remedy my husband’s situation to conform with provisions and principles enshrined in the UDHR.

Norlaila Othman is involved in the Family Support Group of the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI).

The mark of proud and principled Malays

Image

The bottom line is, Malays are the ones disgracing their race. This makes a mockery of the so-called dignity and pride of Malays. How can Malays continue talking about dignity and pride when those of their own kind are acting disgracefully?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Malays know the word amok, said Umno during its annual general assembly. Don’t push the Malays too far, warned Umno. Push the Malays too far and watch the keris come out of its sheath, screamed Umno. “Now that the keris has been unsheathed when are you going to use it?” Umno challenged its Youth Leader.

No, this is not mere rhetoric. These are not idle threats. They meant what they said. But why do they talk like that? Why are the Malays giving an impression that they are so confrontational and constantly on ‘war alert’?

It all has to do with maruah (dignity) and Malay pride. They do not like to be criticised. Criticism is seen as a challenge. Pantang Melayu di cabar, Malays would say. This could probably be translated to mean: It is taboo to challenge the Malays. Pantang could also mean prohibited or something to be avoided.

So, if you say anything not nice about the Malays, this would be perceived as a challenge or an invitation to a fight. That is why Malays go berserk when criticised. And they would not hesitate to run amok and take out their keris in defence of their dignity and pride.

I have no problems with that. After all, I too am what the Chinese would call a fighter-cock. And if anyone were to mock me I too would retaliate. Many readers have commented that I too am not open to criticism, just like any ‘normal’ Malay. Actually I can take criticism. It is mocking that I detest. And if you mock me then I hit back hard. You mock me at your own peril. And there has been many an occasion when he who mocked me suffered my fist on his face.

Okay, call me violent if you wish. Even label me uncivilised if that pleases you. But no one mocks me and gets away with it. Criticism is acceptable. But when you mock me be prepared for a violent and physical reaction. And my response is exactly how any Malay would respond when mocked.

As I said, Malays place dignity and pride about all else, sometimes even above religion. Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat. Better the child dies than tradition dies. Malays would rather see the death of an offspring than the death of their traditions. This is the Malay psyche and there is very little you can do to change this. Malays are born this way. And they will die this way if necessary.

I am not making excuses for the conduct of Malays. And I even accept the fact that this is what it means to be Malay. Take it or leave it. You don’t have to love Malays. Just stay clear of them if you do not, that is all. Avoid Malays if you feel that they are irrational creatures. But never mock them to their face. They will never walk away from such an episode. And they will never allow you to walk away either.

Okay, after saying all that, what I can’t understand about Malays is how they can tolerate their own kind disgracing their race. How come they do not demonstrate outrage that their race is being disgraced by their own kind? Why is it when you mock them to their face they go ballistic but when their own kind bring shame to their race they keep their silence?

I mean, when we hear about a detainee being killed in custody it would most likely be Malays who are behind the act. When we hear about a government officer being arrested and charged for corruption it is most times Malays who are the culprits. When someone upholds racism and asks that it be institutionalised chances are this someone would be a Malay. And the list goes one.

The bottom line is, Malays are the ones disgracing their race. This makes a mockery of the so-called dignity and pride of Malays. How can Malays continue talking about dignity and pride when those of their own kind are acting disgracefully? Why do Malays not retaliate against fellow Malays who are disgracing their race? Should not Malays rise in anger and lynch fellow Malays who are giving their race a bad name?

It appears like Malays only become outraged when non-Malays criticise them. And they will take this criticism as a challenge to their dignity and pride. And don’t even begin to mock them. Mocking will be met with bloodshed. But when their own kind bring shame to the Malay race they remain tight-lipped.

I have been labelled as a Chinese ass-kisser because I criticise the Malays. If, on the other hand, I criticise the non-Malays then I would be called a patriot and a Malay nationalist. That is how they think. But they would never say that Malays who disgrace their race are traitors to their race. I mean, just see who wins the Umno party elections. Most are corrupt to the core. But the Malays love these people. The Malays choose these people as their leaders. But people like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who refuses to bribe the delegates or buy their votes can’t even get one nomination other than from his own division.

The sad thing about the Tengku Razaleigh episode is that it proves corruption calls the shots and those who refuse to indulge in corruption can’t even get near the starting line of the race. Is this what Malay dignity and pride is all about? You mean to tell me that Malay dignity and pride is only important when it comes to the non-Malays but when it comes to their own race they can put aside dignity and pride in exchange for money?

And we are talking about so-called proud and principled Malays.

Could the PKFZ project become a RM12.5 billion “mother of all scandals” if the three Transport Ministers and four PKA Chairmen – all from MCA – had no

By Lim Kit Siang

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman blamed the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal on “a group of incompetent people” from day one. (NST)

The ad hoc committee on corporate governance probing the PKFZ fiasco, headed by Transparency International chairman Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, denounced the PKA Board members for “gross negligence” in failing to discharge their fiduciary duties diligently, resulting in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.

Both Azmi and Low are only half right. Could the PKFZ project become a RM12.5 billion “mother of all scandals” if the three Transport Ministers (Ling Liong Sik, Chan Kong Choy, Ong Tee Keat) and four PKA Chairmen (Ting Chew Peh, Yap Pian Hon, Chor Chee Heung and Lee Hwa Beng) – all from MCA – had not been equally incompetent and negligent as the PKA managers “from day one”?

Yesterday, the second Transport Minister mired in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy appeared before the PAC in its inquiry into the PKFZ scandal, ensconced by a lawyer and two aides as well as lugging a box of relevant documents, giving the impression as if he is appeared as an accused in a public inquiry.

Chan created PAC history in 52 years in being the first to appear with counsel before a PAC hearing. Why was this necessary and why did the PAC Chairman allow Chan to appear with counsel? This is indeed most extraordinary and even self-incriminating.

Even more extraordinary was that Chan produced an opinion from a Queen’s Counsel in the UK that the three Letters of Support which he had signed in support of PKFZ were not letters of guarantee.

How much did it cost Chan to get the opinion of a Queen’s Counsel for him to go to the PAC with it to back up his argument? Easily over 10,000 sterling pounds i.e. RM60,000 to RM100,000.

Why didn’t Chan get a Queen’s Counsel opinion when he was the Transport Minister in 2007 to convince the Cabinet that his three Letters of Support were not government “Letters of Guarantee” for the RM4 billion bonds raised by the PKFZ turnkey developer, Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd. (KDSB) as Malaysian taxpayers would have been spared being victims of the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?

In 2007, the Cabinet was advised by the Attorney-General and Treasury that the four Letters of Support to KDSB to raise RM4 billion bonds were implicit government guarantees to the bond market..

As a result, the Cabinet gave retrospective approval for the four unlawful and unauthorized Letters of Support, one issued by Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik in May 2003 and three by Chan, creating the RM4.6 billion liability for the government in the bailout of PKFZ which is now set to become a RM12.5 billion scandal.

What is most shocking is that Chan did not formally table the opinion of the Queen’s Counsel to the PAC but only referred to it orally. This is most improper and irregular and Chan should be recalled to formally table the opinion of the Queen’s Counsel, so that it becomes part of the documentation of the PAC report in its inquiry into the PKFZ when submitted to Parliament.

As reported in the New Straits Times, Azmi said the PAC is expected to table its findings on the PKFZ scandal in the Dewan Rakyat by October when the House resumed its sitting. It will also prepare a report for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to revisit the project and look into certain areas which were not touched by the commission in its earlier investigation.

Azmi has got his parliamentary responsibilities as PAC Chairman all wrong. His duty as PAC Chairman is to report to Parliament and not to MACC or even the government. His job is to ensure that the PAC report and recommendations on the PKFZ scandal is first tabled in Parliament and not to submit any report to the MACC or elsewhere.

It is then for Parliament to decide whether to accept the PAC findings and recommendations, including whether the PAC report should be forwarded to MACC for necessary action, or whether to reject the PAC report because it is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.

In the latter circumstances, Parliament should invoke its full powers to hold an inquiry of the full House into the PKFZ scandal, should it arrive at the conclusion that the PAC report falls far short of parliamentary standards and expectations.

In which case, all the witnesses who had appeared before the PAC, including the current and previous Transport Ministers, Tee Keat, Kong Choy and Liong Sik can be recalled.

Azmi should not forget that PAC is delegated by Parliament to inquire into the PKFZ scandal and Parliament must decide whether to accept its findings and recommendations before further follow-up action is taken on the PAC report.

This point must be emphasized especially in a case of such great public interest and controversy like the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.

As Parliament is reconvening on Oct. 19, and two weeks notice is required for a motion to accept or reject the PAC report on the PKFZ inquiry, Azmi should ensure that the PAC report on the PKFZ is circulated to MPs by end of September to allow MPs time to study it and decide whether a special motion on the PAC report on the PKFZ scandal should be moved – although formally, the PAC report would only be tabled in Parliament on Oct. 19 itself.

Fighting crime

By Zedeck Siew
thenutgraph.com

Snatch theft warning sign, vandalised so both victim and robber say hello to each other
Vandalised sign in Kuala Lumpur warning readers against becoming the next snatch theft victim
(© Kubhaer Jethwani / Flickr)

ONE night in April 2009, Hazwan Haili was out for drinks with friends in the Masjid India area of downtown Kuala Lumpur.

"As I was walking back to my car I was rushed by two guys with tinted helmets," Hazwan, a stage performer in his early 20s, tells The Nut Graph. "One of them was holding a knife, and they asked for my wallet and handphone." The motorcyclists took Hazwan's money and cell phone, discarded his wallet, then fled. According to Hazwan, the entire episode lasted less than two minutes.


"Before, you'd only hear of women being victims of snatch theft and mugging. But now KL is not safe for anybody," Hazwan says.

Crime rates soaring

It isn't just men these days who are being targeted in the alarming rise in crime rate. In an interview with weekly internet programme The Fairly Current Show, Taman Tun Dr Ismail community organiser Hatim Abdullah revealed that his neighbourhood was considering setting up guard posts to blockade entrances to the middle-class suburb.

Indeed, National House Buyers Association (HBA) honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong announced that communities were becoming increasingly gated and guarded. They would continue to be that way, he said, until the government "assures us that it is safe to walk the streets".

Chang was speaking at a roundtable discussion, convened by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and chaired by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament on 28 July 2009. The discussion was titled "A new inspector-general of police (IGP) for a safe Malaysia". It hosted views from opposition political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the need for reform and better leadership within the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).

In a statement announcing the roundtable discussion, Lim revealed that the PDRM — under IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan's leadership — had failed to meet all three of its core functions, as identified by the 2005 Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police.

Photoshopped image -- Musa Hassan's picture on a dartboard, three darts made of DAP arrows
Lim Kit Siang states the PDRM has failed in its three core functions
(Musa Hassan pic © Ridzuan Aziz / Wiki Commons)

"To keep crime low, eradicate corruption, and uphold human rights — Musa failed in every one of them!" Lim exclaimed.

According to the 2005 Royal Commission report, there was a total of 156,455 reported incidents of crime in 2004 — a steep increase from the 1997 figure of 121,176 cases. A 575-person survey then conducted by the Royal Commission demonstrated "widespread concern among all ethnic groups and foreign residents".

"Between 82.2% and 90% of the respondents, or eight to nine persons in every ten, were concerned with the occurrence of crime," the report said.

This figure is strikingly similar to the findings of a recent survey, conducted on the Home Ministry website. As of 6pm on 26 July 2009, 97% of 6,678 respondents felt that they were not safe, due to the high rate of crime.

In fact, the total reported cases of crime in 2008 was a whopping 211,648 — a 35.5% increase from 2004's total.

Govt action or inaction?

People sitting on the ground, Rela officers standing around them
Rela enforcement personel checking work permits in Paya
Terubong area, Penang (© Eric Woo / Flickr)

Recognising this unfortunate surge, on 27 July 2009, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the government wanted to reduce street crime by 20% before the end of 2010. Planned measures include the strengthening of auxiliary bodies such as the People's Volunteer Corps (Rela), and the installation of additional closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs).

But what would these measures result in? Rather than keeping us safe, they could very well end up endangering Malaysians more. Rela, after all, has acquired a reputation in recent decades for human rights abuses, especially towards immigrant populations.

Speaking at the 28 July roundtable, Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) director Dr Lim Teik Ghee cautioned that he was sure that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein would work hard towards fulfilling the government's new targets — at any cost. "I'm worried that there will be major violations of human rights to bring about better security," Lim said.

Instead of debating the government's stop-gap crime-fighting measures, all roundtable speakers agreed that wider reforms of the police force were needed.

The public's growing deep distrust of law enforcement may be due to the perception that the police are not impartial tools of the Barisan Nasional government. Indeed, the police force does appear partial to serving the interest of the BN — from its role in the Perak takeover to the arbitrary arrest of Malaysians peacefully protesting against the BN.

Most recently, on 27 July evening, police officers even prevented a screening of the film Gadoh at Kg Buah Pala, Penang. They did this on the grounds that the local residents association had organised an "illegal gathering", and because the movie was "controversial".

Misplaced priorities

Suaram coordinator Tah Moon Hui, addressing the roundtable, zeroed in on the amount of officers working in the police Special Branch "to spy on Malaysian citizens".

"Their allocation of [personnel] is wrong," Tah stressed. "If (these Special Branch officers) were reallocated to fight crime, I'm sure crime rates would fall."

Potential victim glaring at now-frightened robber
Japanese poster seems to suggest hostility
to frighten potential snatch thieves
(© Andrew Scott / Flickr)

"After 52 years as a sovereign parliamentary democracy, the time has come for the Malaysian police to ... embrace democratic policing, to protect the people and not the regime in power," DAP's Lim said.

Also in the equation is the perception that police officers themselves are connected to the criminal underworld. Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim reminded the roundtable of Deputy Internal Security Minister Mohd Johari Baharum's allegation that Musa had taken bribes from gangsters.

"If Johari's accusations (in 2007) were irresponsible, sack him," Zaid said. "But Johari is still deputy minister. And there has been no investigation into Musa."

Acting with impunity

Whatever the truth in those allegations, it is obvious that the police acts with impunity, without vital instruments of oversight such as the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in place. The setting-up of the IPCMC was one of the resolutions the parliamentary roundtable unanimously agreed upon.

However, the political will to improve the state of Malaysian law enforcement is sorely lacking. The IPCMC, a recommendation of the 2005 Royal Commission, was discarded by the BN-lead government in favour of the relatively toothless Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission. And, even though they were invited, no BN parliamentarians appeared at the parliamentary roundtable.

Dr Hatta Ramli, speaking on behalf of PAS at the roundtable, suggested that Najib's announcement on crime prevention was tantamount to "a vote of no confidence to the IGP", since it was an indirect admission of the police's incompetence.

If that is true, however, why hasn't the government publicly censured Musa for the force's abject failure under his leadership? In fact, signs indicate the exact opposite: while the police chief's tenure ends in September this year, the Police Force Commission is rumoured to have recommended Musa for reappointment.

"Why are we seeking the extension of someone who should have resigned long ago?" asked lawyer Haris Ibrahim at the roundtable. "It almost seems that the government is being held to ransom by Musa."

people waving placards saying 'kita mahu IPCMC ditubuhkan'
Protestors demanding for IPCMC on the day of A Kugan's funeral

G Manivannan, president of the Concerned Youth Movement, tells The Nut Graph that young Malaysians were inclined to believe that — beyond the fact that they could not curb crime — the police are active agents of wrongdoing.

"For example, look at the deaths in police custody," Manivannan, who also spoke at the roundtable, says. He cites tragedies such as that which befell A Kugan earlier this year.

"It is happening in their own place, but they don't want to be accountable," Manivannan adds. "Nowadays we wouldn't feel safe standing next to a police officer."

Kg Buah Pala land title prohibits development: Lawyer

Bingo! Could this be it?

Lawyer Derek Fernandez has come up with a surprising finding that should strengthen the Penang state government and the residents’ hand in negotiations with the developer.

This report from the NST:

Law prohibits land from being developed

KUALA LUMPUR: Land law in Penang categorically prohibits the re-development of Kampung Lorong Buah Pala, a lawyer here specialising in issues involving local authorities said yesterday.

Derek Fernandez said the temporary land ownership (Borang 11AK) document for the village issued by the Timor Laut Land Office stated that the 26,683.96 sq metre plot could not be transferred or mortgaged.

Neither could the land be leased or entered into any form of business transaction, he added.

Fernandez said the state government should issue a notice to the developer, Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, to stop the demolition of structures on Penang’s High Chaparral.

“The land title actually prohibits any development unless expressly approved by the state government. The developer also cannot enter into any agreement with the Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang,” he told a press conference held jointly with former Petaling Jaya councillor A.Thiruvenggadam.

Fernandez said the state government could buy the land on which the century-old settlement was located by just paying the original premium with interest.

“They do not have to pay the RM150 million cost of the housing project promoted by the developer.”

He was commenting on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement that the state could not acquire the land as it would need to pay RM150 million in compensation.

Call off ISA rallies, Hisham tells groups

ImageThe Sun
Husna Yusop

PUTRAJAYA (July 29, 2009) : The two feuding parties involved in the mammoth Internal Security Act (ISA) rallies in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday have been told not to continue with their plan as they would probably create a chaotic situation.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said there is no point of having the rally for or against the ISA because the government has already said the Act will be reviewed.

"I agree with the police, they should not continue the demonstrations. They did not request a permit, so they are illegal assemblies. Are they really fighting for a cause or simply wanting to create chaos?" he said after the ministry's post-cabinet meeting today.

"I am disappointed with this. We have already said we are going to review the ISA but while we are doing this, there are people out to exploit, sensationalise and politicise the ISA issue."

Hishammuddin was commenting onreports that two rallies -- one against ISA planned the Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), and another for ISA organised by the Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) -- were being planned.

Kuala Lumpur police chief DCP Datuk Mohd Sabtu Osman has said he was willing to meet GMI and Perkasa representatives to convince them to call off the rallies.

He said police would take action against those planning or joining the ISA campaigns.

Hishammuddin said the police will monitor the situation closely and take action in case of any violation of laws.

On a report linking people’s representatives with underworld activities (kongsi gelap), he said he has already asked the police to look into the matter.

"This must be investigated as it does not only tarnish the image of people’s representatives but also the good name of the legislative assemblies," he said.

On unhappy voices over a report by a Malay tabloid about the background of the late movie and advertising director Yasmin Ahmad, Hishammuddin said he has yet to receive any memorandum or written complaint on it.

However, should there be any complaint or memorandum, he will ask the relevant divisions in the ministry to look at it from the legal angle.

He said that personally, the report, published on Monday, a day after she died, "was not proper, against our values and has no mercy for the deceased’s family members."

"Even if they want to sensationalise things, it should not be to the extent of forgetting our roots and culture, our religious and racial values," he said.

On another matter, Hishammuddin said in line with the National Key Result Area placed under him to fight crimes, the ministry is recruiting more Rela and Civil Defence members to become voluntary police.

Effective Aug16, after going through a two-week training, 254 selected members will start their duties in 157 hot spots which the police have identified.

Gunasegaran: One more who went down Teoh Beng Hock’s road? Funds needed for post-mortem

by Nathaniel Tan

This death happened at almost exactly the same time as Teoh’s.

At the time, details were scant, but now:

According to the police, R Gunasegaran, 31, had died from a drug abuse.

His sister, R Ganga Gowri, 32, disagreed with this version in her police report today in which she alleged that he may have died after being assaulted.

This was claimed by three witnesses who were said to be detained in the same lockup with Gunasegaran, she stated in her police report.

“These (witnesses) are very afraid. They do not wish the authorities breathing down on them and shall remain anonymous.

He added that the witnesses said that Gunasegaran was kicked in the chest, hit with a hose and a piece of wood.

Once again, the autopsy is the key.

However, Ganga Gowri had not examined the body for wounds, which is still at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital mortuary.

She will not claim the body until a post-mortem and toxicology report is released.

Visvanathan said that although the standard practice by the authorities is to release the reports after two months, this had to be changed.

It is insane to have the family claim the body and perform funeral rites and then wait for the post-mortem report, say for instance if the body had evidence of an assault whilst in detention,” added Harris.

Harris said the police should be fair and kind to the family of the deceased and allow them access to the reports in order for them to request for a second independent autopsy if necessary.

Harris’ blog has how you can help out too:

Tomorrow, or in the days to come, a decision may have to be made to remove Gunasegaran’s body from the mortuary at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital to be take to another hospital facility for post-mortem.

We are given to understand that this procedure would cost around RM3,000.00

The family of Gunasegaran are not people of means.

Will you help to bear the cost of the post-mortem?

If you care to, send me an e-mail at thepeoplesparliament@gmail.com for details.

Himpunan 1 Ogos diteruskan.

Ramai yang membuat andaian sendiri apabila perbagai berita tersebar di media arus perdana termasuk amaran polis dan tindakan nakal 'berbayar' geng pro ISA. Namun dengan ini diumumkan penganjur Himpunan 100,000 rakyat desak mansuh ISA tetap akan meneruskan himpunan seperti di rancang.

MAKLUMAN PERGERAKAN HIMPUNAN AMAN MANSUHKAN ISA PADA 01 OGOS 2009

1. Bagi melancarkan Himpunan Aman Mansuhkan ISA pada 01 Ogos 2009, Sekretariat Himpunan Aman Mansuhkan ISA mengumumkan tempat berhimpun dan pergerakan himpunan seperti berikut:

Ø Tempat berhimpun dan negeri-negeri berkaitan:

a. Sogo:
Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang dan Perak

b. Masjid Jame’ Kuala Lumpur:
Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang dan Wilayah Persekutuan

c. Masjid Negara:
Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan dan Selangor.

Ø Peserta-peserta himpunan aman dikehendaki berkumpul mengikut negeri masing-masing

2. Perarakan ke Istana Negara akan dimulakan tepat jam 2 petang untuk menyerahkan Deklarasi Rakyat membantah undang-undang zalim ISA

3. Semua peserta dikehendaki mengikut arahan pihak keselamatan khususnya pihak keselamatan yang ditetapkan oleh penganjur yang berpakaian merah

4. Peserta digalakkan masuk awal ke Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur dengan menggunakan kenderaan awam untuk mengelakkan kesesakan