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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reprieve for Kg Buah Pala

1600: The developer, Nusmetro, has held a press conference in George Town. It denies there was any legal agreement to hold back demolition, according to a reporter at the scene. Only a court order can hold it back, argues Thomas Chan of Nusmetro. The developer is giving the residents until Friday to vacate the land.

Tonight, during its meeting with the residents, the state government is expected to present a more detailed compensation proposal to the villagers, which would probably involve getting the villagers to co-exist next to the Oasis project.

This morning, about 150 residents formed a human barricade at the village when they heard that a demolition team was not far away. Eye-witnesses spotted about 30 workers with sledgehammers in the premises of police quarters. All of them wore green T-shirts with the words SRE Ventures Contractor on them; some of them appeared to be foreign workers. But no bulldozers were seen.

About 100 police personnel observed the villagers forming the barricade.

HINDRAF PICKET IN LONDON UNITE KAMPUNG BUAH PALA PENANG

Penerangan Ringkas tentang Isu Kampung Buah Pala

Kepada:

Pertubuhan-pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO)

Persatuan-persatuan Penduduk

Kesatuan-kesatuan Sekerja

Kumpulan-kumpulan Masyarakat

Latar Belakang

Kampung Buah Pala adalah antara kampung tradisi yang terakhir di Pulau Pinang. Ia juga dipanggil High Chaparral oleh rakyat Pulau Pinang kerana kampung ini terletak di atas sebuah bukit kecil di Bukit Gelugor dan penuh dengan flora.

Kira-kira 65 keluarga di Kampung Buah Pala sudah menempat di situ sepanjang 5 generasi dan hampir 200 tahun.

Kampung ini pada pada asalnya adalah penempatan untuk pekerja ladang yang bekerja dengan keluarga Brown. Apabila keluarga Brown meninggalkan Pulau Pinang, tanah Kampung Buah Pala telah dijanjikan kepada penduduk-penduduk di sini dengan menubuhkan Amanah Perumahan (Housing Trust).

Pada tahun 1999, penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala telah menyeru Kerajaan Negeri untuk mewartakan tanah mereka sebagai tanah sebuah kampung tradisi sebagai simbol budaya nasional.

Namun, Tanah Kampung Buah Pala telah diluluskan kepada pihak Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang pada 18 Ogos 2004 dan 8 Jun 2005 semasa zaman pentadbiran Barisan Nasional, tanpa pengetahuan penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala. Kelulusan pindah milik tanah juga tidak mengambil kira bahawa tanah tersebut sebelum ini adalah tanah Amanah Perumahan dan bagaimana ia boleh menjadi tanah milik kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang adalah satu persoalan yang masih belum terjawab. Jelasnya sekali pindah milik tanah Kampung Buah Pala adalah tidak sah dan mempunyai unsur-unsur penyelewengan yang cuba memperdayakan rakyat.

Tanah tersebut telah diluluskan untuk dibangunkan bersama oleh Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dan Nusmetro Venture Sdn Bhd untuk mengaut keuntungan dengan memusnahkan kampung tradisi yang berusia hampir 200 tahun ini. Amat jelas sekali apa yang dikatakan “pembangunan” di atas tanah ini telah mengadaikan hak penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala dan memihak pada syarikat kroni yang hanya mementingkan keuntungan sendiri.

Pengusiran Paksa

Walaupun penduduk-penduduk Kg Buah Pala telah menang kes di Mahkamah Tinggi Pulau Pinang dan menghalang pencerobohan oleh pihak pemaju untuk sementara, malangnya keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan pada 11 Mei 2009 dan Mahkamah Persekutuan pada 24 Jun 2009 tidak berpihak pada penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala.

Kes Kg Buah Pala ditolak di Mahkamah Rayuan adalah atas sebab teknikal dan isi kes yang membolehkan penduduk menang di Mahkamah Tinggi langsung tidak didengar dalam Mahkamah Rayuan. Mahkamah Persekutuan pula menolak permohonan para penduduk untuk kes ini dibicarakan.

Pada 2 Julai 2009, kami telah menerima perintah mahkamah untuk mengosongkan tanah kami sebelum 3 Ogos 2009.

Yang pastinya, pencerobohan dan pengusiran oleh pihak pemaju yang angkuh dan hanya mementingkan keuntungan sendiri itu akan menyebabkan lebih daripada 65 keluarga di Kampung Buah Pala kehilangan tempat kediaman, dan seterusnya menghancurkan sebuah kampung tradisional yang merupakan warisan budaya yang tidak ternilai!

Cara Pengendalian Masalah oleh Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang yang Mengecewakan

Pada 12 Mac 2008, apabila Pakatan Rakyat mengambil alih pemerintahan kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang selepas Pilihanraya Umum ke-12, 5 orang ahli jawatankuasa Pertubuhan Penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala telah berjumpa dengan YAB Lim Guan Eng, Ketua Menteri Negeri Pulau Pinang, untuk meminta supaya pihak Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang menyelesaikan masalah Kg Buah Pala. Namun, pihak Kerajaan Negeri tidak mengambil tindakan untuk memberhentikan atau membekukan proses pindah milik tanah, sehingga surat hakmilik pajakan dikeluarkan pada 27 Mac 2008.

Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang hanya bertindak menubuhkan satu jawatankuasa untuk menyiasat penyelewengan pindah milik tanah pada bulan Jun 2009, iaitu selepas 15 bulan Pakatan Rakyat memerintah Pulau Pinang, selepas kes ditolak oleh Mahkamah Rayuan.

Masalah penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala adalah berpunca daripada amalan kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang anti-rakyat dan mementingkan keuntungan segelintir kroni. Apakah rasionalnya untuk kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat yang sepatutnya membela rakyat masih berpegang pada keputusan kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang membelakangkan kepentingan rakyat biasa?

Tuntutan Penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala

Penduduk-penduduk Kg Buah Pala menuntut Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang supaya mengambil tindakan berikut dengan kadar segera:

1. Menghalang segala pengusiran paksa ke atas Kampung Buah Pala

- Pengusiran paksa adalah satu pencabulan hak asasi yang amat serius dan tidak patut berlaku sama sekali.

- Pengusiran paksa yang berlaku di Negeri Pulau Pinang pasti akan menjejaskan kepercayaan rakyat terhadap pemerintahan Pakatan Rakyat.

- Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang perlu memohon satu perintah mahkamah untuk menghalang pelaksanaan perintah mahkamah yang membenarkan pengosongan tanah Kampung Buah Pala.

- Perbincangan dan perundingan yang lebih mendalam untuk mencari penyelesaian adil untuk masalah ini hanya dapat dilakukan jika pengusiran paksa diberhentikan dahulu.

2. Mencari satu penyelesaian yang adil untuk mengekalkan Kampung Buah Pala

- Pindah milik tanah kepada pihak pemaju berlaku tanpa menunjukkan bagaimana tanah yang sebelum ini di bawah Amanah Perumahan boleh dijual oleh kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang.

- Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang boleh membatalkan pindah milik tanah kepada pihak Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang, dengan berasaskan berlakunya kepincangan dalam proses kelulusan pindah milik tanah.

- Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang patut mencari tanah alternatif untuk pihak pemaju, BUKANNYA pampasan kepada penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala, kerana penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala sepatutnya adalah pemilik yang sah untuk tanah tersebut seperti yang dijanjikan oleh Amanah Perumahan.

3. Mewartakan tanah Kampung Buah Pala sebagai tanah warisan budaya

- Kampung Buah Pala adalah satu penempatan bersejarah mengukirkan pengorbanan golongan pekerja kepada pembangunan negeri Pulau Pinang, dan sememangnya ia adalah satu warisan yang patut dilindungi.

- Ini adalah satu pengiktirafan ke atas pengorbanan golongan pekerja yang telah memberi sumbangan besar kepada pembangunan Negeri Pulau Pinang.

- Sekiranya Kampung Buah Pala diwartakan dan dikekalkan sebagai kampung warisan tradisi, tempat ini akan menjadikan satu lagi daya tarikan pelancongan yang bakal membantu pembangunan ekonomi setempat.

4. Berani untuk mempertahankan hak untuk rumah dan warisan masyarakat bawahan

- Rakyat jelata menaruh harapan tinggi ke atas kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat untuk melindungi hak asasi rakyat daripada dicabuli oleh golongon yang tamakkan keuntungan wang sahaja.

- Sekiranya kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat gagal mengambil tindakan berani untuk mempertahankan Kampung Buah Pala, sokongan dan kepercayaan rakyat terhadap Pakatan Rakyat pastinya akan terjejas dengan hebatnya.

Apa anda boleh buat?

1. Membuat lawatan ke Kampung Buah Pala dan bertemu dengan penduduk-penduduk di situ untuk mengetahui keadaan sebenarnya di Kg Buah Pala.

2. Menulis surat kepada YAB Lim Guang Eng, Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, dan meminta pihak Kerajaan Negeri mengambil tindakan yang berani untuk mengekalkan Kg Buah Pala serta mewartakan Kg Buah Pala sebagai Warisan Budaya.

3. Membuat kenyataan akhbar untuk menyuarakan sokongan ke atas hasrat penduduk-penduduk Kg Buah Pala yang ingin mengekalkan Kg Buah Pala.

Disediakan oleh,

Persatuan Penduduk-penduduk Kampung Buah Pala

Buah Pala: Human shield confronts sledgehammers - Malaysiakini

A human chain stood in the way of about 50 members of a demolition team who were there to tear down Kampung Buah Pala today.

Both sides stood down after the demolition exercise was subsequently called off following discussions between villagers and developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

At about 11am, the situation became tense after a demolition team arrived, armed with hardhats, iron rods and sledgehammers.

Upon noticing their presence, about 300 male villagers formed the human shield and began chanting slogans.

More than 100 police personnel stood watch. The police later brought representatives from the developers and villagers into a police van for discussions.

After a brief negotiation, the workers left and villagers breathed a sigh a relief.

No demolition until court hearing

The appearance of the workers was despite that Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy had earlier this morning visited the village and reassured residents that there would not be any demolition today.

According to agreement, developer Nusmetro would not proceed with the destruction of the 23 houses in the village until after a Federal Court hearing on the status of the land.

The villagers have filed an appeal against the Court of Appeal decision which ruled in favour of the developer.

In the decision, the appellate court overturned an earlier High Court decision, which favoured the villagers, and issued an eviction order effective June 11.

But the state government has since negotiated with the developer to hold off the demolition.

The Federal Court will hear the appeal on Aug 18.

Court deals blow to Kugan's mother

Kugan Anathan's mother suffered a setback today when the High Court allowed a preliminary objection by the government against returning the post-mortem samples which police had confiscated from the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

Judge Ghazali Cha allowed the preliminary objection by the police on a technicality when he ruled that the application should not have been filed via a notice of motion.

Lawyer N Surendran said they can appeal against today's decision. "The decision today will not stop us in seeking the samples."

N Indra is seeking the return of his son's post-mortem samples, including bodily fluids and tissue samples, photographs, documents and other materials relating to the post-mortem done by a UMMC pathologist.

Kugan, 22, who was detained in January for alleged involvement in car theft, died after five days in police custody.

His family had rejected the initial post-mortem conducted by Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin of Serdang Hospital, which stated that the Kugan had died from “fluid accumulation” in his lungs.

A second autopsy was done at UMMC at the request of the family, after which pathologist Dr Prashant N Sambekar Prashant concluded that Kugan was severely beaten resulting in kidney failure and death.

Miraculous reprieve for Kg Buah Pala! (updates)

1205: A clarification/correction from Himanshu: It was a legal agreement in the presence of the CPO, the court bailiff or registrar, a developer’s rep and a residents association rep not to engage in vacant posssession or demolition until the application to the Federal Court for a revision of its earlier decision has been disposed of. The letter from the Federal Court agrees to the application and has fixed 18 August for preliminary mention.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister will be holding a meeting with the villagers at 7.30pm (and not 10.30 as mentioned earlier).

1145: A miraculous turn of events: a document has been delivered to the villagers from the Federal Court that effectively holds back vacant possession of the land and demolition of the homes, pending a revision of the last Federal Court decision, which denied the land to the villagers. The application for revision, filed by lawyer Darshan Singh, will be heard on 18 August. So there will be no demolition until that legal avenue has been exhausted, it would appear.

Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi announced this startling news after meeting the CPO, a developer’s representative, and the secretary of the village committee, according to Himanshu Bhatt, northern region editor of theSun, who is at the scene.

1035: Apparently, there is not going to be any demolition – at least for today, according to another source. From what I hear, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will be holding a meeting with the residents at 10.30pm.

Meanwhile, half a dozen FRU trucks, presumably on standby, were spotted along a side road, off the coastal highway.

0951: Emotions are running high in Kg Buah Pala. Villagers have put up human barricades, according to an eye-witness there.

Earlier, villagers confronted a TNB staff and asked him what he was trying to do there. He said he was just there on standby.

Deputy CM Ramasamy is at the scene trying to calm the villagers. About 40 police personnel are also present.

The villagers want answers: what happened to the probe on alleged fraud? why can’t Section 116 be used…?

Ramasamy has told the villagers there would be a meeting with the residents this evening.

0910: Deputy Chief Minister Ramasamy arrives, quells tense atmosphere, saying the developer has agreed to hold back demolition for now, according to an eye-witness.

The other side of Kg Buah Pala - Anil Netto

When most outsiders hear of Kampung Buah Pala, they tend to think of it as just another crammed “squatter” settlement, with ramshackle houses, surrounded by rubbish and stray animals.

Let me show you the other side of Kg Buah Pala – a side not often seen by outsiders. The village is actually quite scenic, the houses nestled amidst natural greenery. The wooden houses blend in with nature, standing next to rambutan, neem and coconut trees. It is easy to see why the Koperasi and Nusmetro covet this land. But they will only flatten it with orange soil for their construction work.

“People tend to look down on wooden houses,” said one of the villagers, showing me around. “They think that brick and concrete houses are superior, but then they find it so hot inside such houses and apartments even with fans and air-cons. Do you know, when I was growing up here in the village, we had to sleep under double blankets. It was that cool.”

He told me that his father moved in here in the 1950s and bought the family home for $3,000 back then. “That was a lot of money back then.”

Talking to the villagers, I could sense their pride in the village, their passion and nostalgia obvious.

Another villager told me he was seriously thinking of leaving the corporate world and coming back to nature to rear cows and goats. “I am tired of all the unethical practices I see in the corporate world, having to market products and persuade people to buy what they don’t really need and then having to chase for collection. I would rather sell something (like milk and dairy products) that people actually need and they will then come to me for it.”

When asked if that meant he was thinking of going into hightech, large-scale cattle rearing with modern equipment, he repled, “No, I would rather do it the natural (organic) way.”

I thought I would take photos of all the houses yesterday before the demolition team can bulldoze its way in and swing their wrecker’s ball to flatten the village forever.

But they will have to contend with the villagers’ pride in their heritage and homeland.

Kg Buah Pala: Another reprieve, confrontation averted

(The Star) - A possibly violent showdown over the Kampung Buah Pala issue was averted at the last-minute Tuesday morning when the developer agreed to meet the villagers and the state government for further discussions.

Villagers had formed a human shield in the morning to prevent the demolition of their homes that was scheduled for Tuesday.

As policemen were deployed, representatives from non-governmental organisations and political parties gathered in growing numbers.

However, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy got on the horn to assure villagers that there would be no demolition today.

Instead, he said the developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd had agreed to meet with him and the villagers tonight.

Kampung Buah Pala, popularly known as Penang’s “High Chaparral” after a 1970s TV series, is considered a cultural heritage centre. However, the land was sold by the previous state administration to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd.

The cooperative sold the land to Nusmetro for a development project.

The demolition of the village was initially scheduled for Monday, but the villagers were given a 24-hour reprieve to collect their belongings and vacate their homes.

Kugan’s mum loses bid to get items back from cops

(The Star) - The High Court here has rejected a bid from N. Indra, the mother of suspected car thief A. Kugan, to compel the police to return all items and samples they had seized from a forensic pathologist.

Indra, 41, had appointed the pathologist to conduct a second post-mortem after her 22-year-old son had died in police custody on Jan 20, five days after being detained.

After police seized documents, tissue samples and bodily fluids on April 6, Indra filed an application on May 28 to compel the police to return all the items.

She had Indra had named senior investigating officer-cum-lead raiding officer ASP Mohd Marzukhi Mohd Mokhtar, Petaling Jaya district police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin and the Inspector-General of Police as respondents.

On Tuesday, High Court judge Justice Ghazali Cha ruled against her.

The Malays are cowards, says Utusan

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — The Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia appeared set to raise the temperature on the race debate when the newspaper published an opinion today calling on the Malays not to be cowards anymore and rise up to face the challenges being posed by the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia.

In an opinion piece written by journalist Noor Azam, the newspaper also continued singling out the Chinese-dominated DAP as the main party manipulating the Malay leaders in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) into achieving its own agenda.

But the article focused heavily on scare-mongering and warned the Malays that they stood to lose if the PR alliance came to power.

“Based on the number of non-Malay candidates which could win the next general elections, it can be imagined which ministries they will want.

“Who will hold the position of Chief Secretary. Secretary-generals, department director-generals. Senior officers and district officers? Who will be senior officers in the police and military?”

“Witness what has happened in Penang, Perak and Selangor. The Malay special rights and the NEP is no more.”

The article does not, however, explain how Malay rights have been eroded in the three states won by PKR and DAP in last year’s general elections.

It goes on to claim that the strategy of the opposition was to stir up racial issues to cause the public to be angry towards whatever powers the Malays have left in Malaysia.

The article claimed that Malays held power over the monarchy, the courts, the police and the military.

“Strangely there are many Malay-Muslims who are also expressing hatred for the powers held by their own race. The Malay race has become a race of stupid cowards, and people who are cowards will die before even their deaths.”

The writer points out that “what the Chinese and the Indians want now is more political and administrative power, not justice and democracy.”

He also equated Malay political power with the power held by Umno which he claimed is what the Chinese and Indians wanted to erase. The writer argues that the erosion of Malay political power by the non-Malays could only be achieved with the help of PAS and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The attacks and the hatred shown by the opposition and Chinese and Indian political activists towards the Malays has worsened. They are purposely showing their bravery and rude actions. Except they have not started marching and unzipping their trousers as they did during the May 13 tragedy.”

The writer laments, however, that the Malays have become a race of cowards by not reacting to the Chinese and Indians.

Kampung Buah Pala demolition put off another day

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 4 — The expected trouble in Kampung Buah Pala today did not materialise as the developer accepted an invitation to have a dialogue with the villagers and state government.

In the morning, residents formed a human shield to prevent the planned demolition of the old settlement.

Police were present, as were representatives from NGOs and political parties.

Penang Deputy Chief minister II P. Ramasamy however gave villagers an assurance that no demolition would happen today. He explained that the developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) had agreed to a meeting tonight.

Just before 11am, a group of contractors arrived. They were joined by a court bailiff a little later.

After discussions with the police chief, the contractors decided not to carry out the demolition.

The issue of the scheduled demolition of Kampung Buah Pala — known popularly as “High Chapparal” — has been a major headache for the Pakatan Rakyat government of Penang, as the transfer of the settlement land rights to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative occurred during the Barisan Nasional’s administration.

Dare Ministers from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and from the Sabah and Sarawak component BN parties put the rank racism, incitement and sedition in Utusan Malay

Utusan Malaysia has joined Berita Minggu to come out with an article entitled Melayu jangan jadi bacul by Noor Azam which spouts unabashed rank racism, incitement and sedition totally subversive of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan.

If any Chinese or Tamil newspaper had published an article of the same nature but replacing the rank Malay racism with rank Chinese or Tamil racism, there can be no doubt that not only the writer would have been instantly arrested by the police and charged for racist incitement and sedition but the newspaper concerned would have been banned immediately!

Is the Barisan Nasional government having one law for Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian while another law for Chinese and Tamil media publications?

Are the Ministers from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and from the Sabah and Sarawak component Barisan Nasional parties going to raise in the Cabinet tomorrow Noor Azam’s racist writing in Utusan Malaysia today – placing it as the No. 1 agenda in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow as otherwise all the talk of Najib about his administration’s new motto of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” would have lost all credibility.

In fact, the Key Performance Index (KPI) Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should ask the Cabinet to set clear indicators for Najib’s 1Malaysia concept – in taking stern action against media which incite racism and communalism regardless of what variety. Otherwise, what is the use of having KPIs?

Two Sundays ago, Zainul Arifin, the new editor-in-chief of Umno’s flagship newspaper group, the News Straits Times, in his article Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik, made the utterly irresponsible, abhorrent and baseless allegation against DAP and Pakatan Rakyat for harbouring the agenda to weaken Malay-controlled institutions like MACC in our campaign for justice for Teoh Beng Hock who died mysteriously at the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

Zainul Arifin could even be so irresponsible as to resort to blatant race-baiting as when he demanded of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: “Why does Selangor Menteri Besar, a Malay, doubt the ability of those of his own race to act fairly and sincerely?”

Not a single Umno leader condemned Zainur Arifin for spouting unadulterated communal poison demolishing Najib’s 1Malaysia concept. Equally unfortunate, not a single Minister from MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP or the Sabah and Sarawak component Barisan Nasional parties dared to raise the issue in Cabinet to admonish Zainur and Berita Minggu.

Now there is another case of rank communal poison in Utusan Malaysia in the form of Noor Azam’s article today. Will there be any Malaysian and statesmanlike voice from the Umno leadership to condemn such rank communalism which is an open defiance and challenge to Najib’s call for a 1Malaysia?

When Umno’s two newspaper groups, Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times, openly flout Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, how is the Prime Minister to convince all Malaysians that his Cabinet and administration are fully, sincerely and seriously committed to the 1Malaysia concept and that it is not just an empty slogan like his predecessor Tun Abdullah’s slogan of “Cemerlang, Gemilang and Terbilang” as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia?

Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting has therefore shaped up into a major test of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, whether it is to be proved wanting in less than 125 days of Najib’s premiership – which will be a very bad omen for the 52nd National Day celebrations on August 31 and the first National Day celebrations under Najib as Prime Minister.

ISA should be abolished, not amended

By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP Life Adviser

PM NAJIB RAZAK SHOULD ABOLISH THE ISA IF HE IS TO KEEP TO HIS PROMISE TO BUILD A 1MALAYSIA, AS THE ISA IS AN ANTIQUATED REPRESSIVE LAW, AND WILL RETARD MALAYSIA TO BECOME A MODERN PROGRESSIVE AND PROSPEROUS MALAYSIA.

The ISA was introduced in the era when the Malayan Communist Party fought to control the country, at which time Tunku Abdul Rahman was the Prime Minister.

Communism is not a threat any more. Chin Peng the chief of the Malayan Communist Party surrendered at a widely publicised surrender ceremony at Baling. Later Russia and China, the two largest communist countries in the world, also announced their rejection of communism to dominate the world.

Today there is no threat of communism in Malaysia, and the ISA has become an anomaly. However, it is being retained by Barisan not to deal against communists, but to harass and oppress the Opposition political parties. Opposition leaders who speak up for democracy, for justice and transparency are summarily arrested under the ISA and detained for years without trial.

This is a gross miscarriage of justice. The democratic Opposition wants the ISA to be abolished and not just ‘amended’ as proposed by PM Najib.

PM Najib, suggested that the Opposition could have dialogue with him, as he is prepared to amend the ISA.

For the information of the people, the Opposition, the Bar Council, NGOs have’ for years voiced their protests against the ISA. But the BN government has stubbornly refused to listen, and instead have continued using the ISA against all those who chose to exercise their fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

BECAUSE THE PM REFUSED TO LISTEN TO THE YEAR UPON YEAR OF CALLS FOR ABOLISHING THE ISA, THE PR LEADERS AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION, FELT IT FIT TO ORGANISE A PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AS A WAKE UP CALL TO THE PM.

PR leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Hadi Awang, are within their rights to call for a peaceful assembly, because according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights ‘EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION’. This is the inalienable right of a person, as guaranteed by the UN charter on human rights.

PR assembly was planned to be peaceful. It was the police who raised the tension and provoked anger from the assembly because they used tear gas and water cannons.

It was the police who created a lock up of Kuala Lumpur streets and also all roads leading into KL because of the erection of police blocks at every intersection.

If KL lost 200 millions ringgits of business, the blame should be laid fully on the police.

If there is to be a talk between PM and PR is should not be on how to amend the ISA but how to replace it with a new law to deal with the new threat of terrorism.

The problem with the MACC

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

RUSHED through Parliament in haste, it was only a matter of time before weaknesses in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act would emerge.

Tragically, it took a death to re-open the debate on an institution formed only six months ago.

Back when the MACC Bill was being debated, there appeared to be little fuss about the lack of procedures for the arrest and interrogation of persons. The prevailing concern was over the MACC's independence. Objections were raised against the commission's deference to the Attorney-General because Section 58 of the Act states that charges can only be pressed with the public prosecutor's consent.

Teoh Beng Hock's death has thrown a spotlight on a lacuna in the MACC Act with regards to how and when detainees are to be questioned. Even laws governing the police are better, some lawyers are now saying. Indeed, the MACC Act contains little in the way of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and the Police Lock-up Rules in terms of defining a detainee's or suspect's rights.

Clear abuse

Does this lack of specifics give MACC officers free reign to question a witness, or even a suspect, into the wee hours of the morning?

In such cases where an Act is silent on those rights, other laws on the subject should apply, says the Bar Council's criminal law committee head, Rajpal Singh.

"This is understood from all previous case laws. If all other laws are silent, you then refer to common law principles in England," he tells The Nut Graph in a phone interview.

The relevant laws would be Rule 20 of the Police Lock-up Rules 1953, and Section 28 of the CPC. The first stipulates that detainees should be kept behind bars from 6:30pm to 6:30am. In other words, no interrogation should be carried out during this time, and detainees are allowed to rest. In the CPC, a person arrested must be told of the grounds of arrest, be allowed to contact a relative, friend or family member, and be given access to a lawyer at the place of detention.


Baljit (Pic courtesy of Baljit Singh)
Criminal lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu says MACC has "clearly abused its power" in Teoh's case. "If these are the rules for suspects, what more for a witness? If MACC says he was a witness, why was he detained until 3:45am? That in itself is already fatal on MACC's part," Baljit, who is also Federal Territory Gerakan's legal adviser, tells The Nut Graph.

Hence, the suit filed by Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Wah against the MACC for illegal detention will be a good test case, notes Rajpal. Tan says he was held for questioning from 8:30pm to 1:35pm the following day. His suit is on the grounds that he should only be questioned during government working hours from 8:30am to 5pm, even though the MACC Act doesn't stipulate a time frame.

"How will the court decide on this lacuna? Will it consider the Police Lock-up Rules applicable? Tan's suit is crucial because what the court decides will apply to Teoh's case," Rajpal says.

Other weaknesses

While Teoh and Tan's cases involve interrogation procedures, other parts of the MACC Act are also now up for scrutiny. Lawyers feel that Section 53 on the admissibility of any statement by accused persons as evidence in a trial should also be amended.

The context for admissibility is wide under Section 53, unless the court feels that statements were made under duress. Whether or not it was meant as a confession; whether in writing or orally; whether made in the course of investigations or not; whether before or after the person is charged; whether it was said directly to, or in the hearing of a commission officer — the statement can be used by the prosecution against an accused. Statements by a witness may be used to cross-examine him or her.

Allowing statements in trial under such a broad context moves the MACC Act away from the spirit of the 2006 amendments to the CPC to stop the use of cautioned statements in criminal trials. Amendments or a repeal of Section 113 of the CPC were recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee on criminal law, and by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police before that.

There was recognition that cautioned statements and confessions could have been obtained under threat or by force. The tendency to rely on them to secure convictions was also causing the quality of investigative work to deteriorate.

Interrogation room: image of an empty chair in a dark room
(Pic by pmdash / sxc.hu)

In fact, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had, in August 2005, directed all deputy public prosecutors to stop using cautioned statements and confessions in criminal trials. Section 113 was subsequently amended the following year. Now, statements made to a police officer during investigations can only be used in defence, but not as evidence by the prosecution.

"However," Rajpal points out, "this is not applicable to the MACC Act, which has its specific provisions under Section 53. The same section also allows your silence to be used against you, as corroborative evidence against the accused."

Baljit adds that such law is not in line with parliament's intention when the CPC was amended. "Convictions should be based more on evidence instead of relying on statements."

No check and balance

Opposition parliamentarians have objected to the lack of oversight for the MACC which is not accountable to Parliament the way the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) is. Instead, MACC has five monitoring committees, apparently to demonstrate its independence from the executive.

They are the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, Special Committee on Corruption, Operations Review Panel, Corruption Prevention and Consultative Council, and the Complaints Committee.

However, the effectiveness of these committees in checking the MACC has so far been doubtful. Nothing was said when Umno member Halimi Kamaruzzaman claimed physical abuse at the hands of MACC officers in January 2009 while being questioned in connection with a money politics case.

Even Teoh's death, a public interest issue, has not yet been discussed by the committees, advisory board member Tan Sri Simon Sipaun tells The Nut Graph on 29 July.


Sipaun
"Our role as advisors is not proactive enough, and I intend to raise this in the next meeting. I get the impression that MACC officers can be rather defensive; they argue that the law allows them to do this or that. But I don't think it's the intention of the law to be used in a way that causes harm to people," he says.

Indeed, the roles of the advisory board and committees as spelt out in Section 13 of MACC Act appear rather passive in nature. The advisory board is to "receive, scrutinise and endorse proposals from the commission". The advisory role is limited to dealing with corruption as a problem per se.

Head of the Operations Review Panel Tan Sri Hadenan Abdul Jalil tells The Nut Graph: "Let's wait for the Royal Commission of Inquiry to make its recommendations, and then the advisory panel can help the MACC to implement them."

Remove immunity

In the absence of an effective check-and-balance system, lawyers like Baljit feel the ouster clause in Section 72, which provides immunity to MACC officers from legal action, should be repealed.

"They can't be sued unless they acted in bad faith, which is difficult to prove," Baljit notes. The suit filed by Kajang municipal councillor Tan will be a test case of this provision.

Both Baljit and Rajpal hope the Royal Commission of Inquiry into MACC's investigation procedures will look into the abovementioned aspects. Both also feel that the inquiry's scope should be expanded to probe Teoh's death, instead of leaving it to a separate inquest.

"There are so many unanswered questions on the procedures taken, and they are all related to the death," says Rajpal.

"We are paying the price of rushing the MACC bill through Parliament," adds Baljit.

And Sipaun says, "Common sense and respect for fellow human beings tells us that when a person is only a witness, he shouldn't be held overnight. Public perception of the MACC is very bad now. I haven't met a single lay person who has good things to say about the MACC."

Kegagalan 100 Hari Pentadbiran Najib

Bahagian 1:

Bahagian 2

Bahagian 3

Bahagian 4

(video ehsan media rakyat)

Kg.Buah Pala and the rescuers from Pakatan Rakyat!

In the Issue of Kg.Buah Pala, we feel so cheated and lost trust in all the people, group, organisation and political parties. The Reason that the government was shaken in the 2008 general election was the Hindraf Rally in Kuala Lumpur city center, this a reason that cant be denied, although some has forgotten about it.

Penang was under the Barisan Nasional government and Hindraf Rally was a tremendous opportunity for the DAP Cum Pakatan Rakyat government to take over, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and Karpal Singh knew this fact for sure.

The Pakatan Rakyat led government has dissapointed us by making the Indians in Kg.Buah Pala cry and living in fear of becoming homeless and squatters! Are they Squatters? Are they living in Tanah Haram? No they are living in a village that has great Historical Value and has been staying there for more than 150 years. We are not asking Lim Guan Eng to give the whole of Penang to the residents of Kg.Buah Pala, we are not asking for Komtar as an alternative, we are just asking, pleading and begging to him on not to destroy their homes, and the place their Grandparents and parents lived and passed the harmony and peace to the 3rd generation now.
Compare to Sg.Buloh,Lembah Pantai and many other settlements in Kuala Lumpur which is right in the middle of City Development plans are not touched and given a status of Residency, and these places are not even Historical valued places. Why No one is defending Kg.Buah Pala and its residents? Is that because they are all Indians? Pakatan Rakyat trying to prove that the Indians in this country are the third class citizens? Supported by how we were treated for the past 50years by Barisan Government? Then why do we put so much of efforts, struggles to make you sit in the state house and run the government?

I don’t understand about a simple reason here; will the developer and the State Assembly members die if they don’t build a luxury condominium in Kg.Buah Pala? Don’t you have any other land and alternatives to be given to the Developer; can't the Penang government pay for the compensation and restructure the plans of development of Penang for the happiness and peacefulness of the residents there? They are the one who ran up and down without bothering about rain or shine to work for you during last General Election!! Now when you are seated in the Government Air-conditioned car with a driver and a bodyguard, have u forgotten the past struggles and conditions you were in? Been called Traitors! Never have the chance to enter parliament and even if you enter it, you have no say there, before you can open your mouth, you will be asked to seat and teased and treated worse than a rapist!

I am very dissapointed with all of the people in the administration of the Penang State!! You are in no difference from the Barisan Nasional government who demolished the temples in Malaysia for so long, at that time the Pakatan Government came to us and stand in the Rain and hot sun, pretending to defend the rights of the people.

Now, we understand that all that are dramas and it’s just a tactic to fish for vote during election! Lim Guan Eng is comparable to Khir Toyo who has been in responsible on demolishing many temples! Prof Ramasamy is comparable to Samy Vellu who failed to look into our status and rights in this country! Prof Ramasamy had once said that he will defend all the people especially Indians from people like Samy Vellu and will do anything to protect the rights of Indians, now you cant even protect the people who voted for you from just a developer who is hungry for luxury and fame with the money earned from the crying hearts in Kg.Buah Pala. The Crying Voices Of the people will be heard for generations and will poke your heart every day throughout your life! The same with Karpal Singh! Where is your command of Makkal Sakthi? Gobind, where you went missing? Anwar? tunggu apa lagi? mana Makkal Sakthi? Mana laungan yang membuatkan kerajaan Barisan Nasional goyang di Penang, Perak dan Kedah itu?

I don’t know that money is more important than the Human Values and hearts, can you hear them crying???? Are they asking for your house and money?? Are they criminals? are they terrorists? When the Illegal Indonesian Immigrants can roam and build houses freely in Kg.Paya Jaras why cant our Own citizens should be chased out of their land? it is not even the land of the government, after all the manipulations, it has been stolen from the Brown Housing Foundation is I am not mistaken, Don’t be a robber, Hear their plights! They are your voters, your people and your state children’s! Don’t invite curse directly to you, this will be the curse of Innocent people! it is so powerful to make the Government to pack the office in Komtar to Give away to Koh Tsu Koon!..

Please, this is not a warning, this is a COMMAND!!! Think before you loose everything in the next General Election and plead for votes again! Condo can be built anywhere, even in the re-claimed area, but not the trust, you can’t build the trust in the next 3 years…
Conscious and Unconscious,
Rwindraj...
www.cryingvoices.webs.com

Kg Buah Pala...pawn in a political game

Outside Bukit Jalil police station

Subang MP Sivarasa freed on police bail

Kg Buah Pala demolition pushed to tomorrow - Malaysiakini

The two major protaganists in the Kampung Buah Pala issue adopted contradictory stands today with the developer saying it was in no rush to destroy the houses there while the landowner declaring it would be done tomorrow.

According to the Chinese language daily Guangming the developer, Nusmetro Ventures said that it could wait before destroying the 23 houses in the village.

But Bernama reported that the landowner, the Penang Government Officers Cooperative, had decided to postpone the plan to tomorrow to give the villagers more time to evacuate.

Cooperative chairperson Abdul Razak Mansor added that the decision was taken on compassionate grounds, to allow the residents some time to move out and transfer their belongings.

Moreover, he reiterated that the cooperative which met yesterday, will not share the 2.6ha plot with the villagers, as suggested by Chief Minster Lim Guan Eng.

"Why must we share the land with the villagers when the land is ours and the court has also ruled in our favour," he asked.

"The state has never discussed this issue with us before, and now all of sudden Lim suggested that we share the plot.

"They are merely their political promises, so why should the cooperative abide by them?" asked Abdul Razak.

Luxury condominium project


The villagers face eviction to pave the way for luxury condominium project, called the Oasis, to be built by Nusmetro Venture.

Nusmetro had earlier agreed to put off the demolition for a month after winning a court order, although the delay has now lapsed, there is appears to be no resolution in sight to the dispute.

Yesterday, the cooperative had remained adamant that the houses would be demolished today.

Abdul Razak said Nusmetro had been instructed to obey the Federal Court decision, which has granted ownership of the land.

"We are not cruel, but our decision to demolish the village still stands because the court has decided the land is ours," he had said.

Meanwhile, Lim warned the cooperative to not jump the gun by demolishing the houses until a amicable solution is reached by both parties.

"If the cooperative is adamant on tearing down the houses, the state government has no choice but revoke the development order," Lim told reporters this morning.

300 gather to protest against demolition
Meanwhile with the deadline to vacate the land expiring yesterday around 300 people gathered at the village at around 10am today to protest the move .

Among them were members of the banned-Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), MIC, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and non-governmental organisation Jerit.

However, despite waiting for almost two hours, there was no sign of the developers but there is no guarantee that the demolition will not take place although the Penang government had held back the revocation of development order last week.

According to journalists on the ground at that time there were no bulldozers, police or local council officers at the site.

The protesters left the village at 11.45am and proceeded to Komtar to submit a memorandum to Lim.

The residents accompanied by the NGOs and political groups then proceeded to Komtar to meet with Lim to submit another memorandum pleading the state government acquire the land.

The document was handed to Lim's political secretary Ng Wei Aik, as the former was not present.

Villagers want gov't to buy back land

In the memorandum signed by the villagers, they had stated that the Penang Government Officers Cooperative, the sole owner of the Kampung Buah Pala land, cannot transfer the land for development purposes.

It further stated that the DAP state government can buy back the land by paying the premium of RM3.2 million.

The villagers and civil societies have argued that the site is a 200-year-old Indian traditional village, which is also popularly known 'High Chaparral' due to its population of cowherds, cattle, goats, other live stocks, and lively Tamil cultural features and festivities.

The villagers had appealed to the Unesco's Paris Desk to recognise the village as a heritage site.

On July 31, they received a written assurance from the World Heritage Centre's Asia Pacific Unit chief Giovanni Boccardi, that the centre would study the appeal and consult with relevant Malaysian authorities and Icomos, an advisory body to the centre.

Uncertainty grips Kg Buah Pala (updates) - Anil Netto

High Chaparral 019

Tears well up in the eyes of Sugumaran, the residents committee chairperson – Photo by Anil

2118: “I can really see sincere tears rolling down the faces of some of the villagers,” says a Penangite. “The fear of losing their shelter; kids can’t prepare for exams. This is life. Imagine if we are in their shoes.”

2053: Talks are still ongoing between the Penang state government and the developer. The state government finds itself in an unenviable position, hemmed in by residents’ demos, the developer apparently willing to negotiate but the Cooperative playing hardball, Umno(?), and what it believes to be political opportunists making use of the villagers. Much is at stake, for all sides.

2031: The villagers held a candlelight vigil and have now ended their gathering. Guan Eng was not in.

Babi Cina, Babi Melayu

Image

Anyway, we don’t need the ISA to ensure that there are no race riots. Instead, what we need is to ban Umno, MCA and MIC. These are the people causing racial instability. They are fighting for Malay, Chinese and Indian rights. They refuse to fight for the creation of a One Nation, One People, One Voice.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Chua Soi Lek says that the Internal Security Act is not really that bad. It is just that we have to be very careful in how it is used. In the early days of the ISA, the law was actually very good because it had, then, served our purposes. Okay, maybe there are no more communist terrorists operating in the jungles. But we still have one more threat, the threat of race riots. So the ISA helps as far as ensuring that Malays, Chinese and Indians do not kill each other.

To think that this is a very senior man of the MCA, the ‘second’ partner in the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, talking. And yet he speaks like this. I shudder to think what the mentality of the other Cina kwei in MCA must be like. God help this country!

This argument can also be extended to the issue of guns. As they say in the United States: guns don’t kill; people kill. This is the argument in the defence of freedom to bear arms. Americans do not want guns outlawed. They want the freedom to own and carry guns. It is not guns that kill people. It is people that kill people. So guns are not to be blamed if people kill people using guns.

In the old days we were allowed to walk around with little curved knives called keris tucked in our waist. And if anyone dared challenge us or acted rude towards us then we would draw our keris and stick it in their gut. Actually, it is not keris that kill people. People kill people. I do not understand why, today, we can no longer walk around the streets with a keris tucked in our waist.

A bad law is a bad law. And if laws exist that allow bad people to abuse that law then it would come under the category of a bad law. There is no argument that can justify keeping bad laws and saying that the law is good, only that bad people abuse the law to make it bad. If the law were good then there would be safeguards against abuse. There would be checks and balances. And it would be very difficult for bad people to abuse such laws for their own ends.

Anyway, we don’t need the ISA to ensure that there are no race riots. Instead, what we need is to ban Umno, MCA and MIC. These are the people causing racial instability. They are fighting for Malay, Chinese and Indian rights. They refuse to fight for the creation of a One Nation, One People, One Voice. It is because of this we need the ISA, because Umno, MCA and MIC are pushing Malaysia to the brink of a bloodbath.

Anwar Ibrahim is going to sue the Deputy Prime Minister and Utusan Malaysia for calling him a traitor to the Malay race. They call him a traitor to the Malay race because Anwar refuses to uphold Ketuanan Melayu. They also call me a traitor to the Malay race. But I am not going to sue them. I am proud to be called a traitor to the Malay race. They call me a traitor to the Malay race because I oppose Ketuanan Melayu. And that is why I am proud and will not sue them.

They also call me a Chinese ass-kisser. Well, my wife is Chinese and she does have a great ass. So I suppose there is no way I can sue them for this since it is actually very true.

Bakri Zinin, the head of the CID, says that the Malaysian police do not go around beating up people. That is utter bullshit. Bakri personally beat me up in the Dang Wangi Police Station on Hari Raya Haji Day of March 2001. And he did this in front of my wife plus about 20 other people. I in fact made a police report about this incident that very same night but they ignored my police report.

Bakri also beat up Wahid, a Harakah distributor. Wahid had earlier been arrested for the ‘crime’ of selling Harakah in spite of the fact that the PAS party newspaper has a publishing licence. So it is absolutely not a crime to sell Harakah.

Wahid was in the police lockup and Bakri came into the lockup and punched him. Wahid retaliated by kicking Bakri between his legs, squashing his balls. Bakri doubled-up in pain and went limping out of the lockup. Bakri remanded Wahid for two weeks as punishment for putting his balls out of action for a couple of days.

Bakri was also the one who assaulted a few people participating in a May Day rally at the KLCC. May Day is a public holiday in Malaysia and is celebrated by organising rallies and other events. But Bakri still regarded it as an ‘illegal assembly’ and beat up a few of those participating in an event that is celebrated the world over as a Workers’ Day and a public holiday to boot.

Aiyah, all these Babi Cina and Babi Melayu. They talk as if Malaysians are lembu bodoh. Babi sungguh these types of Cina and Melayu.

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

ISA and the Massive Traffic Jam
Chua Soi Lek

The ISA have served us well in the early stages of our country’s development. It was used basically against suspected communists, terrorists and those directly involved in subversive activities. Occasionally, it was used against politicians. Operation Lalang was the most infamous where both BN and opposition leaders were detained over the issue when non-Mandarin speaking teachers were posted to Chinese schools as headmasters.

In a multiracial country like ours, racial relationship at its best can be described as fragile. We pride ourselves of having excellent racial harmony and with it political and social stability. Except for May 13, the peace and stability in the country becomes the pre-requisite for the country’s development. Under the 1 Malaysia, the Prime Minister talks not only about mutual respect, but there is also a need of mutual acceptance. We are Malaysians but we preserve our ethnic identity. The non-Malays seems to reject assimilation. In most of the Asian countries, through the process of gradual assimilation, most of the Chinese have lost their ethnic identity.

When ISA was used to detain a young reporter, it stirs a lot of emotional outburst that ISA was abused. Since then, some Malaysians seems to have strong feeling that the ISA should be abolished, that it is an outdated law where the potential of abuse is huge. Obviously, the ISA cannot remain without review. The government has promised that the ISA is now under review. There is a need to have a mechanism in place so that the right to detain under ISA cannot be vested on one person. There should be checks and balances. There is a need for greater transparency when ISA is used. The people need to be told why ISA was used and not other preventive laws which are available within the country.

The ISA demonstration serves no positive purpose. The only purpose it has is to create massive traffic jam and inconveniences around KL city. Many people were stuck in the jam for 3 hours just to move from point A to point B in KL city. I am also given to understand that the Masjid Jamek LRT station stopped its operation due to the demonstration that lasted for more than 2 hours. Apart from that, many traders and businessmen lost a lot of good opportunities because the demonstration drives away many clients. I also noticed that since the demonstration area is a tourist spot, there were many tourists who got caught in the demonstration and were mistaken as protestors. As a result, it left a very bad impression among the tourists that Malaysia is an unsafe country and further discourage them from visiting Malaysia.

Hence, PM Najib’s suggestion to allow public gatherings to be held in stadiums to voice out their dissatisfaction rather than street demonstration is a good suggestion and the opposition should pick up this idea. Since there are 4 PR controlled states, they could put their state stadiums into good use rather than letting the protestors running wild on the street to create unnecessary havoc.

When Najib became the Prime Minister in April this year, he has pledged that the ISA would be reviewed and everyone knows that the ISA is being reviewed. There is no valid reason for any ISA demonstration. I always believe that peaceful discussion is anytime better than to resort to street demonstration with the potential to become violent. With the ISA being reviewed, I hope that the rakyat remains calm and not jump into conclusions.

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

Police deny man assaulted in Police station

Police today denied that video clips posted in several blogs purportedly showing a man being assaulted by several others in a room, took place in a police station.

Federal police CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin also said that there was no indication whatsoever that the persons involved were police personnel.

"Some blogs have gone so far as to claim that the video showed the ill-treatment of a suspect while being in custody. Several people in the video were in uniform, but they were clearly not police uniform.

"As such, it is highly speculative to infer that the clips show a suspect being beaten while in police custody," he said in a statement here.

Mohd Bakri said the police were currently taking concrete steps to ensure that abuse of detainees did not occur.

He said one of the major steps was the remodelling of the interrogation rooms and installing video cameras to record interrogations.

"Apart from safeguarding the rights of the suspects, the audio and visual recordings will help protect officers from false claims of abuse or coercion.

"The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and CID do not authorise or condone rough treatment of suspects in custody," he said.

He said numerous instructions had been issued by the IGP and himself to ensure that the suspects were well-treated and their rights upheld while being in police custody.

He added that police officers and men who disobeyed these directives would be dealt with the under the law. (Bernama)

Anwar to sue Muhyiddin, Utusan for RM100m each

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, August 3 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today demanded Utusan Malaysia retract its front-page report today calling the Opposition Leader a traitor to the Malays.

He is also seeking an apology from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the remarks made yesterday at the Sri Gading Umno division meeting.

The DPM's remarks was the basis for the Utusan Malaysia story.

“My client has expressed deep revulsion to such an unwarranted proposition that he is a traitor to his race,” Anwar's lawyer Sankara Nair told reporters at his office here.

“This is wholly untrue and absolutely malicious,” he added.

Nair said that he had sent letters of demand to both parties earlier today seeking a retraction and public apology within seven days.

Anwar also demanded damages of RM100 million each from the publisher of Utusan Malaysia and Muhyiddin.

The Umno deputy president reportedly called Anwar the biggest traitor to the struggle of the Malays. He also accussed the PKR leader of spreading lies in an attempt to discredit Umno for its stand in defending the special rights of the Malays and the monarchy.

“He was a deputy prime minister and Umno deputy president like me today, but now he is trying to fool us to ruin our struggle,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by the Umno-owned daily.

He also questioned Anwar's sincerity for not raising the matter when he was in power.

“There is no problem with criticising us, because we are not perfect, but I cannot accept it if the opposition insults or shows disrespect to the Malays,” said Muhyiddin.

Umno leaders and the stable of newspapers under its control has consistently played the race card in an attempt to shore up support among the Malays.

The lynchpin of the Barisan Nasional (BN) has campaigned hard for Malay unity talks with PAS in a move to drive a wedge between PAS and its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners.

Islamic councils allowed to fight Catholic church over ‘Allah’

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 – The Catholic Church today failed to block several Muslim groups from interfering in their challenge to lift the government ban on Christians using the word “Allah” to refer to God.

The High Court here allowed 10 state Islamic councils to intervene in the church’s suit against the Home Minister on the basis that their legal rights as advisers to the rulers, who sit as heads of Islam in their respective states, would be gravely affected by any decision taken by the court.

Judge Lau Bee Lan, from the appellate and special division of the High Court, also allowed the Malaysian Chinese-Muslim Association (Macma) to take part.

The 70,000-strong association, headed by Datuk Mustapha Ma, had previously argued that it was also an interested party because allowing Christians to use the word “Allah” to refer to any God but the Muslim one, would confuse its members.

The Hight Court, however, barred the Malaysian Gurdwara Council from taking part, noting that the case at hand dealt specifically with the church’s demands for the government to allow them to freely publish the word in their newspaper The Herald.

Judge Lau, who made the decision in chambers, reportedly said the Gurdwara Council had failed to fulfill the necessary criteria to intervene as it had not showed Sikhs would be affected by the court’s decision.

Lawyer Balwant Singh Sidhu who represents the Gurdwara Council admitted the government had not placed any conditions on Sikhs to use the word “Allah” in their worship, unlike the case with the Catholic Church.

But Balwant said the Sikh body may yet file a separate suit against the government to defend their rights.

Judge Lau set Aug 25 afternoon to hear the preliminary objections from the state Islamic councils.

Lawyer for the Terengganu and Perak Islamic Councils, Abdul Rahim Sinwan, told The Malaysian Insider that the use of the word “Allah” is a “non-justiciable” issue, meaning the court has no power to hear the case.

“For example, if tomorrow is Ramadan and someone wants to challenge that and take it to court, the court cannot hear it, because it has no powers to do so,” he explained, by way of example.

But counsel for the church, S. Selvarajah, said the church would refer to the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya to appeal against the High Court decision.

“We have 30 days to file the appeal,” he said.

The church filed for a judicial review against the Home Minister in early February after receiving several letters warning it against publishing the word “Allah” outside the Muslim context in its multi-lingual newspaper, The Herald.

The Home Minister threatened to shut down The Herald by taking back their annual publishing licence if the weekly insisted on using the word “Allah”.

Its disappointed editor-priest Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew maintains that the judge’s decision today is a “challenge.”

“The judicial process in this country is complicated. It’s not straightforward,” he told The Malaysian Insider, but refused to admit defeat at this point.

Sivarasa freed

Sivarasa carries a ‘Tak Nak ISA’ sign on his release. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa, who was detained for allegedly taking part in the anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) rally in the federal capital on Saturday, was freed on bail today.

“I have just been released on police custody. I am not being charged at the moment. I am on police bail and supposed to report back on Aug 17. My main concern now is the remaining 30 arrested with me including two juveniles charged in court,” he said.

The Subang MP was among about 600 people arrested for taking part in the march against the ISA.

Sivarasa was brought to the Sessions Court this morning and released on police bail at noon. He has to report to the Dang Wangi police station on Aug 17.

Speaking to reporters on his release, Sivarasa said Saturday’s arrests illustrate the authoritarian behaviour of the Najib administration when violence was used to break up the peaceful rally.

He was shocked that juveniles were also among those arrested.

“The juveniles were not only arrested but also handcuffed contrary to lawful procedures. And also locked up with adult prisoners which is wrong,” he added.

Sivarasa questioned why the police applied to further remand the arrested when they could have been released on Saturday.

He was outraged that the police had attempted to remand the two juveniles.

“I want to ask the IGP and his political masters: what are you trying to do in trying to remand a 13- and 16-year-old? For God’s sake, what is in your mind?” he asked.

Sivarasa accused Barisan Nasional (BN) of sending a message by punishing the 30 people with court action.

He said this would not have any affect because Malaysians will continue to struggle for democracy.

“Malaysians now very clear want the right of peaceful assembly and we will continue to fight for it. We continue to fight till the day when Malaysia has the laws to guarantee the right to peaceful assembly like other democratic countries,” he said.

What will happen to Kampung Buah Pala?

By Lilian Chan

A lot of questions were being asked and many are still asking the same questions until today. So, I take the liberty of downloading the exclusive interview Maran Perianen of Malaysiakini had with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on July 15, 2009 and uploaded it to my Facebook.


(if the video doesn’t show up, it means Facebook site is down)

Tomorrow (Monday) will be the D-day. Will the landowner Koperasi and the developer Nusmetro send bulldozers to demolish the houses there? Will the supporters of Kampung Buah Pala lie in the path of the bulldozers? Will there be tear gas and water canon courtesy of FRU? Will Special Branch nabbed all those who made mischief?

My fellow citizen journalist from Ipoh who is a Hindraf supporter talked to me over the phone just now. He joked with me to make sure I video him if he has to sleep on the road to prevent the demolition. We are going to be there. I will be there because I don’t want anything bad to happen to those adorable Indian old ladies who were so sweet to me. To me, SOME of the people living there deserves our moral support. Like Uncle I-Pasu (not sure if that’s how his name is spelt) who walked with a limp. He is a newspaper delivery man. He said, “Saya sudah tua, kalau kasi saya satu rumah, pun cukup lah….” Now, the Penang State Government has tried to negotiate for a house, a corner of the land and a community hall for the villagers. Will they get that? Will they have time to move their things and stay elsewhere when demolition begins at a time when things are less chaotic?

I have attended many press conferences by CM Lim and Prof. Ramasamy. I have faith that they are nice people and will not allow any harm to come to the villagers there.

I don’t know. But I have prayed hard for a happy ending. I pray for the CM and his Excos/ADuns to have wisdom to solve this sticky situation. And this morning, during Sunday mass, our priest Father Fabian also prayed with all of us that the issue in Kampung Buah Pala will be settled.

(P/S : There is a lot of static sound in the video because of the external mike used for the CM. Nothing can be done, sorry.)

CJ Chan Lilian packing her gears :
Salt – check
Wet towel – check
Running shoes – check
Camera + memory card + battery + charger – check
Helmet
Gas mask

Citizen Journalist gear

Muahahahar…you think I play play wan meh? I really got industrial gas mask one….And salt in tiny sachets, ‘borrowed’ from McD. I’m lovin’ it!

Villagers set aside troubles for a day of fun

GEORGE TOWN: Anyone who was at Kampung Lorong Buah Pala yesterday would not have guessed that the villagers were facing an eviction order today, if he or she had not been following news.

A competitor trying to grab the bull by its horns during the Indian cultural and heritage festival at Kampung Lorong Buah Pala yesterday. — NST picture by GS Narinder Singh
A competitor trying to grab the bull by its horns during the Indian cultural and heritage festival at Kampung Lorong Buah Pala yesterday. — NST picture by GS Narinder Singh

The villagers were in a festive mood and welcomed about 500 supporters and visitors to the village in Bukit Gelugor for what may be their final cultural event there.

Even the weather was kind -- sunny all day. The events started about 11.30am with a Hindu priest blessing the various venues for the day's activities, which included bullfighting, pole-climbing and a pot-breaking challenge .

The village was full of cheer and laughter as blindfolded women tried to break clay pots filled with water.

The bullfight was a crowd-pleaser as the men tried to grab a large bull by its horns to remove a cloth containing RM100 tied around it.


When the irritated bull proved too much, a smaller one was brought out.

But it, too, refused to play along, escaping from the pen and returning to its shed, much to the amusement of the crowd.

Another highlight was the pole-climbing competition that offered a RM1,000 prize, sealed in an envelope taped to the top of a grease-covered 10m-high pole.

There was also a display of Indian folk dance.

The village's residents' association chairman M. Sugumaran said the carnival was organised to coincide with the start of a religious month for Hindus.

"This is a chance to highlight various Indian traditions and culture."

The association also took the opportunity to inform the public about the negotiations between the state government and developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

"We do not know the deadline. We can only leave it to the state and the developer now," he said.

At a meeting with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on Saturday, the residents had agreed, in principle, to relocate to an allocated area on the land pending details from the developer.

Sugumaran added Lim had promised them that they could live in the village although details remained sketchy.

Thousands of Kampung Lorong Buah Pala supporters also plan to turn up at the village today to safeguard the residents' homes.

The association's assistant secretary C. Tharmaraj said the residents were ready to be evicted but believed something positive would happen.

"I believe the developer will come any time now.

"But if the chief minister saves and preserves this village, like we are begging him to, he is the hero."

Tharmaraj disclosed that the cultural festival cost the residents RM10,000, which was raised through donations.