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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Messages to cops land politician's son in trouble

By V. Shankar Ganesh & Jassmine Shadiqe

The son of a murdered MIC politician is being investigated for criminal defamation after he accused police of protecting several suspects in the investigations into his father's murder.

Former Tenggaroh assemblyman Datuk S. Krishnasamy's son, Raj Kumar, had allegedly sent text messages and emails to police criticising their inability to solve the murder.

Raj Kumar's targets were Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff and Johor Baru (south) Criminal Investigation Department chief Deputy Superintendent Nor Hisham Mohammad.

So far, three police reports have been lodged by Johor police against the engineer.

The latest report against Raj Kumar was lodged by Mokhtar on Oct 15 after he accused police of protecting several people allegedly involved in the murder.

The email was sent to the Johor police portal and addressed to Mokhtar.

Johor CID chief Datuk Amer Awal said police yesterday obtained an order to investigate from the public prosecutor and began investigations for criminal defamation.

They sent a team up north to Raj Kumar's office in Bayan Lepas, Penang, where they seized his laptop and handphone.

Amer said ever since Krishnasamy's murder, the family had been in constant contact with police for updates on the investigations.

They had questioned why police had released suspects who had been detained to facilitate investigations.

Amer said Krishnasamy's murder investigations were still ongoing and police had not closed the case.

Krishnasamy, who was state deputy MIC chairman, was gunned down at the party's office in Jalan Segget here by a man on Jan 11 last year.

The 61-year-old was shot as he entered a lift.

Meanwhile, Raj Kumar said he was questioned by police two days after Deepavali.

He said the reports against him alleged that he had defamed police.

He said he sent the text messages after failing to get a proper response from police over the investigations.

"All they kept telling me was that they were still investigating the case. It has been more than a year since my father was murdered."

He many suspects were arrested and released and to date, no one had been charged with his father's murder.

"I did not mean to insult the police. I was just pouring out my frustrations. Now action is being taken against me."

Raj said the family were the victims and they had been suffering without any closure to the case.

PR-Hindraf Pact on the Cards

By Terrence Netto, Free Malaysia Today

A meeting to explore common ground between Hindraf’s chairman and Pakatan Rakyat coordinator Zaid Ibrahim issues in an understanding that could see both work together with GE13 in mind.

Following a cordial meeting in Singapore yesterday, Hindu Action Front (Hindraf) chairman P. Waythamoorthy and Pakatan Rakyat’s Zaid Ibrahim are optimistic that an understanding can be achieved between the two groups.

Pakatan Rakyat is the opposition coalition that groups PKR, DAP and PAS, the three parties that collectively denied the ruling Umno dominated BN government of its two-thirds majority in Parliament in the March 2008 general election.

The meeting between Waythamoothy and Zaid was initiated by individuals concerned to secure Hindraf’s backing for PR at the next general election (GE13) which is expected to be called much earlier than its due date in 2013.

It was held in Singapore because Waythamoorthy cannot return to Malaysia, his passport having been revoked by the Malaysian government in April 2008. He travels on a United Nations document issued by the British Government which granted him political asylum last year after the revocation of his passport.

Presently, he resides in London where he fled to after five Hindraf activists, led by its founder P. Udayakumar, who is Waythamoorthy’s elder brother, were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in December 2007. All five detainees were released shortly after Najib Razak became Prime Minister last April.

Following the two-and-a-half-hour meeting between Waythamoorthy and Zaid in a hotel off swank Orchard Road, Zaid emerged to say he saw no difficulty in PR accommodating the essence of the Hindraf programme in its Common Policy Framework.

“An enlightened affirmative action programme would accommodate the concerns of Hindraf over the condition of the Indian Malaysian poor,” said Zaid in remarks to FreeMalaysiaToday immediately after hearing out Waythamoorthy.

“I was pleasantly surprised to discover from what Moorthy had to say that Hindraf’s demands are not extreme and are worthy of incorporation into the CPF,” he said.

READ MORE HERE: http://freemalaysiatoday.com/

Siasat Ghani secara terbuka, baru Mahkamah bebas

(Harakah Daily) - Demi memulihkan semula kebebasan mahkamah, Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam Khalid Samad mencadangkan beberapa individu yang dilihat bersekongkol dengan pihak eksekutif disiasat secara terbuka.
Ianya termasuk menyiasat beberapa dakwaan yang dikaitkan dengan Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail sendiri.

"Selagi Peguam Negara tidak dibersihkan, selagi itu mahkamah turut akan dilihat tidak bebas dari pengaruh eksekutif (kerajaan)," ujarnya.

"Kalau nak bersih, tak perlu tutup-tutup (siasatan), tapi perlu terbuka kerana ia lambang integriti mahkamah."

Ujarnya, kesangsian raktar terhadap Abdul Ghani merupakan salah satu sebab Mahkamah tidak dilihat bebas.

"Sekiranya Peguam Negara sendiri menerima kesangsian sama ada di mahkamah atau di luar (mahkamah), maka beliau sendiri seharusnya dibersihkan terlebih dahulu dari kesangsian tersebut, tidak boleh dilihat kebal," jelasnya

Beliau yang juga AJK PAS Pusat berharap kerajaan tidak lagi menubuhkan suatu suruhanjaya untuk menyiasat Abdul Ghani secara tertutup, seperti sebelum ini.

"Ianya tidak boleh dilakukan dengan hanya menubuhkan suatu suruhanjaya, kemudiannya disiasat secara tertutub lalu diumumkan seseorang yang didakwa itu tidak bersalah, tidak (melakukan) jenayah dan sebagainya," jelasnya.

Beliau turut menyentuh kes VK Linggam yang dianggapnya sebagai bukti mahkamah di Malaysia tidak bebas.

"Mereka tidak boleh menganggap kesangsian pada VK Linggam atau mana-mana hakim yang terbabit adalah masalah moral yang bersifat peribadi, kerana rakyat melihat kes-kes berkaitan dan hakim-hakim tertentu itu sebahgaian dari wajah kebebasan mahkamah," Jelasnya.

"Persepsi ini bukan hanya diberikan (oleh) saya atau ahli parlimen pembangkang yang lain, ianya (kes VK Linggam) diperkata oleh banyak pihak di luar negara sendiri."

Dalam pada itu, beliau juga mengakui bahawa usaha menjadikan mahkamah benar-benar bebas adalah sesuatu yang mustahil.

Ianya kerana soal perlantikan, pengajian dan perjawatan masih menerima lagi dilakukan secara langsung dengan pihak eksekutif.

Pun begitu, Khalid berpendapat bahawa mahkamah dan pihak eksekutif seharusnya bersikap profesional, termasuk mendakwa pihak-pihak yang disangsikan terbabit.

"Yang penting, mereka sendiri mesti berusaha memperlihat kebebasan mereka dan mesti memenangi kembali kreteria ini (kebebasan Mahkamah)," jelasnya.

"Memang tiada sesiapa pun yang sempurna, tetapi mahkamah tidak boleh dilihat cacat disebabkan seorang dua (inividu) ini (termasuk Abdul Ghani)."

"Sekiranya mereka yang terbabit tidak mampu dibersihkan dari sangsi umum, mereka ini perlu dilucutkan jawatan atau mahkamah sendir perlu lantik seseorang yang lebih layak."

Tambahnya lagi, mahkamah di Malaysia tidak perlu berubah sehingga mewujudkan sesuatu yang disebut Penghakiman Majmuk – Peguam Negara mesti majmuk demi mengelakkan perlanggaran nilai integriti seperti dakwaan terpilih.

"Saya tidak rasa kita perlu sampai sebegitu (Penghakiman Majmuk), Sekurang-kurangnya Peguam Negara perlu menjawab segala kesangsian itu di Parlimen," jelasnya.

"Jawapan Menteri berwajib tidak memadai, malah dilihat lebih banyak melindungi dia (Peguam Negara) dari menyelesaikan kesangsian (mahkamah tidak bebas)."

Semalam, Khalid mendesak Kerajaan mengemukakan bukti bahawa mahkamah di Malaysia telahpun bebas dari pengaruh eksekutif pemerintah.

Menjawab soal itu, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM) Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz meminta semua pihak bersabar dengan beberapa usaha pemulihan yang dilakukan kerajaan sehingga sekarang.

"Bukan kita tidak mengambil tindakan tegas (dan) cepat, saya kata kesan (dari tindakan) itu memakan masa sikit, tindakan telahpun kita (kerajaan) ambil, berkesan itu (hasil tindakan kerajaan)," jelasnya lagi.

Liow still No 2, says former MCA legal adviser

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Former chairman of MCA’s legal bureau Datuk Leong Tang Chong today claimed that Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (picture) is still the party deputy president as the Registrar of Societies (RoS) never reinstated Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to the post.

“The RoS merely said that from the information supplied by Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, ‘we are of the view the post of deputy president is not vacant’,” Leong told a press conference showing a copy of the letter from the RoS.

The RoS’ letter was in response to Dr Chua’s request for clarification on his status after he was reinstated as MCA member at the party’s EGM last month.

Dr Chua was earlier suspended from the party by the central committee.

Leong, who now acts as legal adviser to Liow, said the health minister had written to the RoS yesterday asking it to review its decision.

Ong continues to hold on to the party presidency despite losing a confidence vote during the MCA EGM on Oct 10.

He has now aligned himself to Dr Chua — his fiercest enemy — with the two men agreeing to a “greater unity plan” which critics say is merely to carve the party out for the two and their supporters.

During the Oct 10 EGM Dr Chua had his membership reinstated but delegates did not specifically return him as deputy president.

The EGM’s outcome caused the central committee to appoint Liow as the party’s No 2.

“Earlier RoS said it has no jurisdiction, after that complete U-turn,” said Leong, who was recently sacked as MCA’s top lawyer by Ong after disagreements with the party president.

He also said that the central committee had decided after last month’s EGM not to let the RoS interfere in party matters.

On the request for another EGM by Liow’s faction, Leong said the MCA constitution allows the requisitionists to issue notices for the EGM if the secretary-general fails to do so.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng had rejected the call for an EGM by 16 central committee members aligned to Liow.

Leong also explained that the resolution for the EGM, calling for fresh party polls, is constitutionally valid.

Ong, too, had earlier planned to call for an EGM to allow fresh party polls, but abandoned the idea in favour of what he called the “Greater Unity Plan” — the actual details of which remain a secret between Ong and Dr Chua.

Pakatan presents key witness for Lingam-Eusoff NZ trip

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Pakatan Rakyat MPs today presented the alleged key witness that may support their claims that senior lawyer VK Lingam and former chief justice Tun Eusoff Chin had planned their New Zealand trip together.

They hope the alleged key witness, Lingam’s former secretary Jayanthi Naidu, will prove that the government is attempting to cover up the scandal which has raised suspicions about possible collusion.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had said there was no case to answer and that she (Jayanthi) could not be located. It had also said that Lingam had not broken any laws for fixing judicial appointments as there was no evidence he had a hand in the appointments.

Lingam had claimed he was not the person captured in a video that opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim showed in 2007, claiming it was proof that judicial appointments were fixed during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s reign as prime minister.

PM says Malaysia still lagging in industrial advancement

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 10 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that Malaysia needs a new paradigm if it wants to catch up with developed nations in terms of industrial advancement.

He was speaking at the 12th MSC International Advisory Panel Meeting (IAP) earlier this morning.

The prime minister said a system which drives high performance at all levels of society will be put in place soon. One of these is the rolling out of an advanced national communications infrastructure which promises to connect 1.2 million households with a high speed broadband network.

“We will be rolling out an advanced national communications infrastructure by wiring up 1.2 million households and business premises with fibre-optics so that Internet subscribers can get speeds of between 10MBps (megabytes per second) to 1GBps (gigabytes per second),” explained Najib.

While acknowledging the fact that Malaysia had achieved success in the past by growing an industrial base and expanding its agricultural sector, he emphasised that more measures were needed to boost the economy and that the country can “no longer rely on what had worked for us in the past.”

The premier feels that the way forward is the New Economic Model that will successfully transform the economy into a full-fledged industrial-based one.

There are no details yet on the new model as it will only be officially launched at the end of the year. However, today Najib gave hints on what this new approach would be like.

“We have already embarked on a comprehensive reform of our capital markets as well as introduced sweeping measures to liberalise our services sector.”

He also stressed on an intimate, people-centric approach through the use of ICT, citing his 1 Malaysia website as an example of how Malaysians can interact directly with him and air their opinions or grievances.

“No economy can claim to be developed without having a significant technological component... this brings us to MSC Malaysia, an initiative which was conceived as a platform for developing world-class ICT applications and also serves as a seeding ground for Silicon Valley-type entrepreneurs,” explained Najib.

“I hope we will be able to work out a set of strategies for MSC Malaysia to be incorporated in our New Economic Model, so that we can realise our desire to be a developed high income nation by 2020.”

UMNO MPs’ “ambush” for OTK foiled by Minister’s absence

The ambush by several UMNO MPs for MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat last night during his Ministry’s reply in the government winding-up of the 2010 budget debate was foiled when the Minister was absent.

The reason given by the Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Robert Lau, who stood in for the Minister, that Ong was “busy” with the official visit of the Chinese President Hu Jintao as Ong is the “Minister-in-attendance”, did not go down well with the UMNO MPs concerned as Hu’s visit would only begin the next day.

Led by Umno MP for Sri Gading, Datuk Mohamad Aziz, at least three UMNO MPs questioned Ong for the RM28 million purchase of second-hand DMUs (diesel multiple units) by Keretapi Melayu Bhd (KTMB) instead of EMUs (electrical multiple units).

Mohamad even asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the Transport Minister for the DMU decision, which is the first time a Barisan Nasional backbencher had called for anti-corruption investigation into a Barisan Nasional Minister.

With Ong’s absence, no proper answer was forthcoming from the Deputy Transport Minister.

On the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal, Lau hid behind “sub judice” as excuse to decline any explanation or accountability on the “mother of all scandals”.

Becoming a Muslim radical

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com


Maajid Nawaz (Pic courtesy of Quilliam Foundation)

BRITISH-BORN Pakistani Maajid Nawaz , 31, is director and co-founder of the London-based Quilliam Foundation, which describes itself as the world's first counter-extremism think-tank. Based in London, the foundation was founded by "former leading ideologues of UK-based extremist Islamist organisations".

Once a member himself of the international pan-Islamist radical but non-violent group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), Maajid and his foundation now challenge extremist ideology. They do this through debates, lectures and research to explain the difference between Islam as a religion and Islamism as a political ideology.

Quilliam's work involves engaging with university campuses, communities, and governments. The foundation also works in Pakistan, where Maajid once recruited for HT, to reverse the tide of extremism among youths. Though banned in many Arab nations, HT is allowed in the United Kingdom, and is said to have a wide network internationally, with a large following in Southeast Asia. It exists openly in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Nut Graph met Maajid during the Alliance of Youth Movements 2009 summit in Mexico City where he agreed to share the story of his journey into extremism and out of it. In this first of a two-part e-mail interview, Maajid talks about the factors and experiences that made him a radical.

TNG: Tell us your experience of being recruited by Hizb ut-Tahrir. How old were you? What approach and ideology did they use, and what made you join them?

Maajid Nawaz: As a third-generation British Muslim, I was raised in an integrated and well-established family; four of my mother's siblings are doctors. I had absolutely no problem making friends and was in the highest sets in school, later going on to study law at university. As a British-Asian teenager growing up in Essex, I always had a sense of being different. In fairness, this was not due to the majority of people around me, but the actions of a minority of organised racists who made life exceptionally difficult for all around me.


(Pic by sateda / sxc.hu)
By the age of 15, I found myself having to flee random and unprovoked knife attacks, and witness friends being stabbed before my eyes. There were arrests but no charges; apparently, they had "friends" in the police.

Institutional racism was something I knew existed before the phrase itself was coined. The first time I was arrested in an armed raid was on the streets of Essex. Aged 15, I had been playing pool with friends until late. As I was being driven home, we were shocked at being pursued by police helicopters shining spotlights on our car. The road had been blockaded and we found ourselves staring down the barrel of machine guns. I was arrested at gunpoint for "suspicion of armed robbery".

Unknown to me, earlier in the day my friends had been innocently playing with a plastic pellet gun. A poor old lady had decided that brown children playing with plastic pellet guns could mean only one thing: they intended to rob a bank. I still remember the look on my mother's face when she came into the police station. We were kept overnight and the following afternoon we were released without charge and with a sheepish apology.

I initially dealt with such incidents by associating with a counter-culture inspired by American rap music. In the 1990s, this was an underground scene that we felt provided a voice and identity to those who were not being seen or heard. This was the beginning of my politicisation, and by now I was already inclined to being anti-establishment.

As time passed, I became more aware of identity issues and world conflicts. The Bosnian genocide struck a chord like no other. Here were white European Muslims being identified solely as Muslims and being slaughtered for it. This genocide coincided with an emerging trend in rap music, whereby American rappers began to identify explicitly as Muslims and mixed samples of Malcolm X's speeches into their music.


Memorial to the victims of the Bosnian genocide in Srebrenica (Wiki commons)

Sadly, at this critical juncture, there was no guidance forthcoming from the mosques on such identity issues. In those days, most mosque imams — including my own — were born abroad, ill-educated in both religion and other subjects, misunderstood our culture and could not even speak English.

It was during this period of my life that a member of HT, a young medical student from my hometown who had been recruited while studying at university in London, started explaining HT ideas to me. My premature politicised mind was ripe to receive an ideology that advocated a black and white solution to the problems I had grown up with. The tactics these people used were to avoid mosques and instead look for sympathisers at youth clubs and universities. Our conversations did not revolve around religion, but rather around politics. Islam was presented to me as an ideology.

The idea that I was not a Muslim in the religious sense but rather in a larger political context appealed to me. The question "Who are you actually?" is what really got me. It continued in that way: "Are you British? Of course not, they'll never accept you. Are you Pakistani? The colonial powers created Pakistan 50 years ago and gave you a Pakistani identity. If you really want to be yourself, you have to refuse the identity they want to give you." These questions were the core of their indoctrination, which fascinated me.

What did your work with the party involve for the 14 years you were with them? Have you ever taken up arms?

As I got more involved with HT activities, from attending secret cell meetings to distributing leaflets that called for jihad in "occupied lands", I conflicted with Muslims at mosques and, most worryingly, my own parents. I recall with horror being chased out of a northern town by members of the mosque congregation and their imam for distributing HT leaflets outside the mosque. My parents detested seeing those same leaflets in their home. But I was undeterred. For me, Muslims, including my parents, had misunderstood their ideology.

This was an ideology like no other. Religion had been merged with politics in such a way that we worshipped God through our political activities. Where our minds could not grasp a certain idea, we were coaxed through scripture. Where scripture did not bolster a certain notion, we were convinced through rational argumentation.


(Pic by dcubillas / sxc.hu)
The result was a potent mix of political and philosophical stances seemingly justified by religious scripture with the aim of liberating the Muslim nation, or ummah, whose minds had been colonised. The result was producing young men and women who were prepared to give up everything for the sake of a political ideology and go to a religious paradise. I had finally discovered who I was. I was a sharp, ideological Muslim whose mission was to create a new world order.

However, it is important here to say that HT is a non-terrorist party. They do not, and we did not, take up arms against non-combatants. However, this is not to say that they are peaceful. As members of the group, we believed in the religious necessity of convincing the armies of democratic and non-democratic Muslim-majority countries to instigate military coups against their regime. Military coups are inherently a violent act, and when they occur against a democratic regime they are a violation of international law.

I took on board this ideology as my own, propagating it through campuses and across borders until it consumed my life. In 1994 we took over the Students' Union of Newham College. I was elected as president of the union and my entire committee were HT activists. We proceeded to radicalise the campus to such an extent that regrettably, one of our supporters ended up murdering a non-Muslim student on campus by plunging a machete through his heart. The man convicted for the murder acted beyond the strict guidance of HT, yet his actions demonstrate the way in which HT ideology can create an atmosphere where such violence can brew. The entire students' union committee, with me at its head, was expelled from the campus in one clean sweep.

I continued my studies and eventually ended up at the University of London to study Law and Arabic. In 1999, while still at university and at the tender age of 21, I was sent by the group's global leader to Pakistan to export HT there. Pakistan had by then acquired a nuclear bomb, and it was felt that HT's "caliphate" would vastly benefit from being a nuclear power. Once having achieved my aims in helping to set up HT Pakistan, I returned to the UK in 2000. I was then again asked to set up the Pakistani branch of HT in Denmark. From Monday to Friday I would study at university, and on the weekends I would fly out to Copenhagen to set up cells for HT in that city. My travels eventually ended in Egypt, post-9/11, where my activities finally caught up with me.


Arrested in Egypt, then a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir (Courtesy of Maajid Nawaz)

What are the factors that cause a person to be radicalised? Is poverty, as we are often told, a root cause of terrorism?

There are many factors that come together which Islamists then manipulate and construe through a meta-narrative of a struggle between Islam and the west. Grievances, as in my story, do push angry people to seek alternative solutions.

Islamists will use an individual's experiences of racism, colonialism, poverty and concerns about foreign policy, as well as any questions they may have about their own identity, to support the Islamist ideology and justify terrorism. However, without the existence of this ideology, the grievances [would be] expressed through normal channels of youth anger and sub-culture. The way in which that ideology combines with grievances is the root cause of terrorism.

Islamism is a modern ideology masquerading as an ancient religion. As such, it shares a common trait with many other constructed ideologies. This trait is its fundamental, theoretical justification for change regardless of circumstances. Ideologies do not merely provide "solutions" to perceived problems; they provide a framework within which to define problems in the first place.

By doing this, they effectively "discover" problems where there may be none, and can act as an obstacle to solving other problems when the solution doesn't fit certain dogma. Islamism is formed by superimposing certain western political paradigms onto the religion of Islam. The absence of such modern Islamist notions in Muslim political systems and society is subsequently equated to the absence of Islam itself. Whatever institutions are found in place are subsequently described as Kufr (disbelief), which must be overthrown as a religious obligation.

Herein lies the problem. Islamism is not driven by a sense of material injustice in this life. It is driven by an ideological agenda that will seek change regardless of such material injustice. For Islamists, the absence of Islamism is itself the injustice. All [human]-made legislation is considered to be oppressive, and only divine legislation is capable of liberating [humans] from such oppression. Any material problems, such as poverty, crime or conflict, are hence not primary reasons for Islamist radicalisation, they are simply convenient recruitment tools used to further destabilise those who rule by [human]-made legislation.

Contractor demolishes structures on govt land?

By Anil Netto

A cowshed located on what is believed to be government land next to the site of the flattened Kg Buah Pala was demolished by private contractors this afternoon.

The contractors are believed to be linked to the developer of the Buah Pala land, Nusmetro.

A journalist and another eye-witness contacted me and raised the question: why is a private contractor demolishing structures believed to be standing on government land (state or federal?), when government officials are nowhere to be seen?

Some 200 cows and goats are now wandering around the site.

This is your law

ImageOff the Edge
By Malaysian Bar Council (Constitutional Law Committee)

After decades of marginalisation by being selectively used for politically expedient ends, the Federal Constitution receives a proper public introduction

AS THE BAR Council embarks on the PerlembagaanKu/MyConstitution campaign to encourage greater public appreciation of the Federal Constitution, four members of the Bar’s Constitutional Law Committee share their thoughts on why they do what they do, and why the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is a really good thing to get to know. Firdaus Husni is working to spread word of the campaign online; Shamala Balasundaram is co-writing an introductory ‘Rakyat’s Guide’ booklet to the Constitution in non-legalese; Kwan Will Sen is working on the launch; and Grace Wong co-leads the campaign online.

As young professionals embedded in the Malaysian legal system, what can they tell their fellow Malaysians about the Constitution, which is perceived very differently along Malaysia’s racial, linguistic and rural-urban divides? What these young lawyers have to say about the country’s basic law may not resonate in some quarters, a fact not lost on them.

Image
Malaysian Muslims stand in line to enter the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya near Kuala Lumpur May 30, 2007

‘It is frustrating to hear people say that the Constitution is just for lawyers or politicians, or that it has no relevance in their lives,’says Shamala Balasundaram. ‘But why would they think otherwise?’ she adds pointedly. ‘I wasn’t taught much about the Constitution in school. I’ve never heard of a public consultation on proposed amendments to the

Constitution. Yet, the Constitution does affect my life – it tells me I’m a citizen, it recognises my rights, it gives me the power to vote for my leaders.’

Firdaus Husni notes the lack of a ‘sense of belonging’, that Malaysians in general do not claim the Constitution for their own. It’s ‘an intangible sort of feeling,’ adds Kwan Will Sen: ‘As cliché as it sounds, you can’t love someone if you don’t know him or her. I am proud of my Federal Constitution and I am passionate about introducing it to those who don’t. That is essentially what this campaign is all about, the get-to-know. And I am driven by my role as a “match maker”.’ Excerpts from the conversation: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, in a speech delivered on October 16, said that the Constitution may be open to subversion if we forget that the Constitution belongs to us, protects us all, underwrites our nationhood, and we fail to defend it. Do you agree with this?

SB: I think the statement is far too diplomatic. The Constitution has been subverted. In 1988, for example, Article 121 of the Constitution was amended to remove significant power from the Courts. On one interpretation, the Courts now only have power given to them under federal law (in other words by Parliament) as opposed to power given by the Constitution itself. It shows that the amendment was bulldozed through with little care for its wider implications or for the legitimate concerns of those who rose in protest.

The Article 121 amendment and many other unjustified amendments took place, because only certain segments of society – lawyers, some politicians, social commentators – actually knew what was happening, took an interest, and had the avenue to speak out in dissent. They were in the minority. It was easy to label them as ‘the opposition’, ‘lawyers’, ‘NGOs’ and be dismissive. Imagine though if housewives, teachers, engineers, businessman, labourers, farmers – every segment of society – spoke up, whether for or against a proposed amendment? Not so easy to label and dismiss them all.

WS: Ignorance and naivety is the biggest threat to our country.

Once someone thinks that it’s okay not to care or know the Constitution, a domino effect takes place ....

Within the Constitution are safeguards to protect us all. Once the rule of law undermined, all that is left of the Constitution is simply a document without its ‘spirit’. The day that happens, we should start to think about a revolution, for real.

Image
Firdaus Husni, Shamala Balasundaram, Kwan Will Sen and Grace Wong

GW: I completely agree with Tengku on this. The public at large seem to have forgotten that they are entitled to turn to our Constitution for answers whenever they feel that their rights and liberties have been violated. Most of us are aware of the existence of the Constitution but are ignorant of its contents ... [of] their rights under the Constitution, which is the supreme law of our country. The [aim of the PerlembagaanKu/MyConstitution campaign] is to ... provide an avenue for the public to turn to when they [have questions about the Constitution].

Should the Constitution be static and unchanging in its original form or should it be fluid and change according to the times?

FH: It shouldn’t be static. It should encompass a societal approach towards issues, nurturing national progress rather than hindering it, and a consensual interest of the general public rather than of a certain group of society. Hence, the description of the Constitution as a document for all.

SB: The Constitution has been amended so many times already, so the question of letting it remain in its original form doesn’t arise.

I think the possibility of change to the Constitution must always be left open. There are many potentially positive changes that can be made to our Constitution. For example, it may be significant to entrench a right to health care, education and privacy in our Constitution.

However, the power to amend has been abused time and again and that is a real concern. The amendment to Article 121, for example, eroded the system of checks and balances envisioned in the 1957 Constitution. Then there was the peculiar amendment in 2007, simply to increase the retirement age of the Election Commission chairman from 65 to 66!

The Constitution is the foundation for Malaysia. Any change to it must be undertaken only after close study, public consultation and with proper regard for its implications.

WS: Being a man-made document, it is bound to have deficiencies. Realistically, there ought to be some space for changes to be made.

It should not, however, be amended merely to accommodate the changing times, [but] out of necessity. Careful deliberation and proper planning must be given credence.

The Constitution is the charter that holds our future and must not be compromised simply by the whims and fancies of the two-thirds majority in Parliament.

People change. But that doesn’t mean the Constitution has to.

GW: The Constitution lays down the backbone of our rights and establishes the structure, procedures, power and duties of the government. I say it is the backbone because any laws made in Parliament must be made in accordance with the Constitution.

On one hand, it is important that this document should not be allowed to be amended according to the whims and fancies of the law-makers. This is to safeguard the Constitution from being used as a tool of manipulation and oppression. On the other hand, the Constitution, which is also referred to as a living document, should reflect the changes within society. So it is necessary for the Constitution to be amended in times of need, while ensuring that such amendments cannot be used to anybody’s personal advantage.

If you had the power to make one amendment to the Constitution, what would that amendment be?

FH: Adding more safeguards against amending the basic structure of the Constitution, which forms the spirit of the document ... what its framers had originally intended [it to be] for the nation. When the basic structure is eroded without justification, the people will lose respect for the supreme law of the land.

SB: I would amend the Constitution to provide that future amendments to the Constitution may be by way of referendum only – direct democracy in action. Proposed amendments would have to be justified directly to the people. There would have to be publicity, public debate and public consultation – all the things we don’t see today. We the people, whose Constitution it is, would be able to vote for or against change to this fundamental document affecting our lives.

WS: The preamble.

Including a preamble which states the purpose and direction of the FC (Federal Constitution) adds character and colour to the FC.

For instance, in the Constitution of the United States of America, its preamble states, ‘We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility.... do ordain and establish this Constitution...’

We can work on something along those lines and set a preamble which encompasses the Federal Constitution as a whole. With the preamble, we will be reminded of the core values
that makes Malaysia who she is, lest we forget.

GW: The Constitution provides for the fundamental rights of the people and it should not be amended according to the whims and fancies of the lawmakers. If I had the power,
I would not amend the Constitution itself. I’d much rather see changes in the execution of the principles of the Constitution, that is to say, amend the laws enacted so that they harmonise with the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

The PerlembagaanKu/MyConstitution campaign kicks off on November 13 at the Bar Council Auditorium at 3pm. Members of the public are invited and free to attend. Please email Ms Lim Ka Ea at kaea@malaysianbar.org.my. You can also follow the campaign online via:
www.myconstitution.com
www.malaysianbar.org/constitutional_law_committee
www.facebook.com/MyConstitution
www.twitter.com/MyConsti
www.youtube.com/user/PerlembagaanKu

Jamil Khir Tidak Faham Gender Mainstreaming

Kenyataan Media

Wanita KEADILAN
November 10, 2009

Menteri di JPM, Jamil Khir Baharom tidak tahu terminologi yang tepat dan tidak faham tentang pengarus utamaan gender (gender mainstreaming). Bagaimanakah pengarus utamaan gender boleh berlaku dalam sistem pentadbiran kerajaan, khususnya sistem Mahkamah Syariah, sekiranya Menteri sendiri tidak faham terminologi yang dianggap umum oleh dunia seluruhnya?. Ia membuktikan bahawa pengrus utamaan gender adalah jauh dari sasaran dan masih gagal. Tidak menghairankan jika kedudukan Global Gender Gap Index Malaysia merudum sejak tahun 2006 di tangga ke 72 jatuh ke tangga 101 tahun ini, 2009. Hanya dalam masa tiga tahun.

Wanita dan lelaki yang prihatin juga akan merasa bimbang dengan keadaan sedemikian kerana kejahilan Menteri hanya akan meneruskan sebahagian unsur ketidakadilan dan diskriminasi terhadap wanita (yang menjadi anak, adik, kakak, ibu, ibu saudara, nenek, ipar dan teman kepada ramai lelaki) dalam sistem pentadbiran negara, khususnya dalam sistem pentadbiran Mahkamah Syariah.

YB Zuraida Kamruddin telah mengemukakan soalan asal dalam sesi jawab lisan Dewan Rakyat9 November 2009 kepada Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat yang berbunyi:

Puan Hajah Zuraida Kamaruddin [Ampang] minta MENTERI PEMBANGUNAN WANITA, KELUARGA, DAN MASYARAKAT menyatakan apakah langkah Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga, dan Masyarakat bagi memastikan berlakunya pengarus utamaan gender dalam pentadbiran dan sistem mahkamah syariah?

Soalan di atas telah diubah kepada:

Puan Hajah Zuraida Kamaruddin [Ampang] minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan apakah langkah Kementerian bagi memastikan berlakunya pengaruh utama gender dalam pentadbiran dan sistem Mahkamah Syariah.

Soalan yang dikemukan seharusnya dijawab oleh Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat bukan Menteri di JPM kerana bukan bidang tugasan utama Menteri di JPM mengarus utamakan gender.

Jamil Khir menyatakan bahawa perlantikan hakim-hakim wanita sedang di susun proses perlantikannya. Dasar Wanita Negara yang telah wujud lebih 20 tahun juga telah menyusun perkara yang sama. Tidak ada penyelarasan di antara Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita dengan kementerian-kementerian dan Jabatan Perdana Menteri sendiri kerana sehingga kini masing-masing hanya terus menerus menyusun proses perlantikan hakim-hakim wanita berdekad-dekad lamanya tanpa sebarang tindakan yang menyerlah.

Pengarus utamaan gender (gender mainstreaming) bertujuan antaranya supaya berlaku dengan mudah dan telus, akses terhadap keadilan di Mahakmah Syariah dalam menuntut keadilan yang dibenarkan oleh undang-undang syariah agar ekonomi, keselamatan, kesihatan biologi, fizikal, mental, spiritual wanita dan anak-anak terjamin. Sudahkah ada gender focal point dalam sistem pentadbiran Mahkamah Syariah di setiap negeri? Adakah berbagai masalah yang sedang berlaku dalam sistem pentadbiran Mahkamah Syariah, ditangani serta-merta? – timbunan kes yang tertunda, unsur-unsur rasuah yang wujud, merayatkan pengetahuan mengenai proses dan prosedur mahkamah syariah kepada rakyat, khususnya wanita dalam mendapatkan hak mereka, mempermudahkan sistem dan prosedur dalam kes-kes tuntutan nafkah yang dihadapi oleh wanita dan penguatkuasaannya, dan adakah wujud suatu sistem pemantauan terhadap sejauh mana pengarus utamaan gender yang akan menghasilkan keadilan hakiki berlaku? Beratus-ratus wanita dalam sistem sokongan pentadbiran Mahkamah Syariah bukan ukuran bahawa pengarus utamaan gender telah berlaku dan berjaya, lebih-lebih lagi jika wanita miskin dan terpinggir masih merasa terbeban oleh prosedur dan kelembapan sistem Mahkamah Syariah.

Seorang Menteri seperti Jamil Khir Baharom juga amatlah perlu untuk menjalani proses pengarus utamaan gender bagi memastikan wanita Malaysia yang menjadi pelanggan atau pengguna sistem Mahkamah Syariah mendapat pembelaan dan perlindungan yang sewajarnya dalam masa sesingkat-singkatnya.

Rozaini binti Mohd Rosli

EXCO Wanita KEADILAN

Biro Penerangan

Nazri: Lingam did nothing wrong (Royal Commission can go f themselves?)

by Nathaniel Tan

Wah. Whaddya gotta do to get arrested in this country? (not moderate your comments? haha)

Nazri:

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz sparked an uproar in Parliament today when he said “judiciary fixer” VK Lingam had been let off the hook “because he had broken no law.”

Nazri also suggested that Lingam breached no laws as he might “have just acted to fix the appointment of judges as if he was brokering the appointment of senior judges to impress people”.

“I am not denying that it was Lingam in the tape. But I am also saying that there are a lot of conmen in this world. Who knows he might have just acted when he was calling the so-called judges to impress,” said Nazri in his ministerial winding-up speech on the 2010 Budget debate.

O_o

I dunno. Sounds to me like Nazri just said a big f* you (language I tend to associate with him) to the Royal Commission:

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip has found that it was former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim who was talking to prominent lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam on the telephone. Sources said the five-man panel also found that the video clip was authentic and that the conversation was true in substance.

What does that mean? One day, say, a Royal Commission will find that 2 MACC guys pushed Teoh Beng Hock out of a window.

Then will Nazri will say: Ah you know what, sometimes, these MACC ‘flers like to play. Maybe they were just acting to impress their boss. No further action.

>:|

So? This is 1Malaysia? Where we are all 1Crooks that must stick 1Together? Why on earth would Nazri and BN defend Lingam? Just too many skeletons that this tip of the iceberg will let out of the closet?

Mixed metaphors aside, I agree with Pratamad - we should have a KPK with some cajones.

Liars, Blogs and Unspinners - Rocky's Bru

Who's Lying Now? Once upon a time, only politicians like Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Syed Hamid Albar and Zainuddin Maidin would call bloggers liars. These days, bloggers are calling other bloggers liars. Unlike those politicians, though, Ibrahim Yahaya and Syed Imran aren't making sweeping statements h e r e [Bloggers should stop spreading lies, Bernama 9/11/09] and whether you agree with their views or not, it is a fact that there are liars on blogosphere and they include some prominent bloggers.

So were The Unspinners lying when they blogged about Ronnie Liu's "communist past" [Mystery: Siapakah Ronnie Liu? 4/11/09]. The Member of Parliament, who is also a blogger, denies any involvement with the CPM in his latest posting Unspinners are Cowards and here:-

General November 09, 2009 20:06 PM
Liu Denies Involvement With CPM


SHAH ALAM, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- State Local Government, Studies and Research Committee Chairman Ronnie Liu said he was never involved with the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) as alleged by the blogsite unspinners.blogspot.com.

"The allegation has a certain motive. I was never involved with CPM," he said when met outside the state assembly here on Monday.

Liu said he never helped, give food or medicine to CPM adding they were lies to tarnish his image as Pandamaran state assemblyman and denied meeting former CPM secretary-general Chin Peng at the Malaysia-Thailand border.

He was mystified to be linked with the death of Teoh Beng Hock and allegation that he had ties with secret societies.

The blogsite said Pandamaran was a new area developed by the British administration in the 1950s to relocate the Chinese from Kuala Selangor and Kuala Langat to check the influence of communists in Selangor.

Asked whether he would make a police report, Liu said he would not as the blogsite did not have informtion like the name of the writer or operator.

"I think PAS or PKR will lodge a report as adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat have also been implicated," he said.

-- BERNAMA

When Malaysia's PM was caught in a 6-9 position

By Jeff Ooi,

Six or Nine? It must have been the most awkward moment for Malaysian Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister Najib Abdul Razak yesterday. He was made to look stupid on the rudiments of economics: The GDP growth rate.

Worse, he made the blunder at a congregation of knowledge workers who assembled for the MSC Malaysia Implementation Council meeting. When all faces blushed, multimedia took over to spread the big snafu that the PM's speech-writers probably made, far and wide.

Case in hand was that, in earnest political posturing for a high-income generation that needed prime-pumping of enhanced per capita income in a short span, the PM boasted that Malaysia's annual GDP growth would be sustained at nine per cent, year-on-year until 2020.

Nine per cent? I thought that was close to impossible because Malaysia had been tracking at 6.5 per cent when neighbouring economies were advancing at close to 10 percent during boom time in the last two years.

Nonetheless, SMS-bound news alerts were swiftly disseminated by pro-government media, and I received mine through The Star.

Hours later came the turnaround. A new batch of news alerts were transmitted to SMS subscribers. The PM was forced to revise downwards his target of annual GDP growth to six percent.

By then, digital records were adequately archived by the country's major news providers like The Star and national news agency Bernama. All had quoted the PM's blunder in pronouncing a nine per cent GDP growth. It was so unrealistic a target that even senior editors at the newsroom business desks and government economic planners couldn't reconcile.

Subsequently, PM Najib saw it pertinent to call for an immediate press conference within hours of his speech earlier in the day to correct the errata. He was made to eat his words and reiterated that his government’s target was actually six per cent annual GDP growth. Quote:

“I didn't say nine per cent, I said around six per cent as nine is not realistic. We have to achieve six per cent as we have to be realistic to achieve a higher growth rate when the economy has really recovered.

“We have not fully recovered from the recession. As you know, our economy depends on the export market. I'm not talking about achieving it now, I'm talking about post-recession," Najib told reporters.

It was as recent as October 23, when the PM delivered his maiden budget speech in the Parliament, that Malaysians were told to brace for further tardiness of the economy as growth rate would still shrink three per cent this year. And that growth in 2010 would only be expected to recover to 2-3 percent, at best. While there had been no miracle-turnaround in recent months, it was believed that the impact of the global economic downturn would still be heading to uncertain waters.

Even at six percent growth, there was no denying that Najib's government had to redouble its efforts, besides identifying new growth areas from now until 2020 in order to make Malaysia a developed nation as envisioned by former prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in 1995.

In absolute terms, Malaysia needs to more than double its gross national income from US$7,000 (RM24,500) to at least US$17,000 by 2020 in order to qualify as a high-income nation according to World Bank classification.

However, the latest World Bank projections indicated that Malaysia’s near-term outlook continued to track at a slow recovery rate. The World Bank projected Malaysia's GDP growth to contract 2.3 per cent this year, and grow by 4.1 per cent in 2010.

Exhumation on Nov 21, autopsy next day

(Indian) Families living without basic facilities for 42 years.

13

23

The Nizar versus Zambry Federal Court Appeal: An analysis of the Judges involved

Surely a competent, unbiased and diligent thing to do is to assign this very important case to Judges who have not been involved in any of the ‘Perak Cases’ before -- so that the public would not view or perceive any bias on the part of the Judges, especially when the Judges who are now sitting have decided against Nizar (and in favour of Zambry) in one or two of the ‘Perak Cases’ before.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

When I was detained under Section 73(1) of the Internal Security Act in April 2001, my wife filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus. We lost the case so my wife then filed an appeal and eventually it went up to the Federal Court and was heard by a five-man bench as follows:

1) Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, CJ

2) Wan Adnan Ismail, PCA

3) Steve Shim Lip Kiong, CJ (Sabah & Sarawak)

4) Abdul Malek Ahmad, FCJ

5) Siti Norma Yaakob, FCJ

Halfway through the hearing, Wan Adnan died and I was asked whether I would like to ask for him to be replaced or go with the remaining four-man bench. If I insist that the dead Judge be replaced then the case would have to start all over again.

The Chinese say ‘four’ means ‘die’ but so much time had already been wasted and I did not want to go through the whole thing from the beginning. I agreed to take my chances and go with the four-man bench, which was actually quite dangerous if the decision turns out to be two-two with no fifth vote.

On 6 September 2002, the four-man bench ruled my detention illegal. Nevertheless, I had already been released by then so it was merely a ‘technical win’. But it was important because this meant that the court agreed that my detention was illegal and this would help in the event I get detained a second time some time in the future.

And, as suspected, I was detained a second time in September 2008. And, yet again, my wife filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus. And, yet again, the court ruled my detention illegal and freed me on 7 November 2008.

But this time there was a slight twist to the whole issue. The government decided to appeal against my release at around the same time that the government announced it would not appeal the Razak Baginda acquittal on the murder charge.

My lawyers requested a nine-man bench. We thought at best we would get a five-man bench. Seven Judges would have been good but we could live with five, like the last time in 2001-2002.

But the court turned us down. They would only give us a three-man bench. And when we asked on whose decision this was made we were told it was ‘an administrative decision’, whatever that means.

We were also not told who the three judges were going to be even though we asked. It was not until the morning of the hearing that we knew who the Judges were and one of them was certainly not acceptable because over the last 11 years I had insulted him many times and called him a slime-ball and a scumbag.

And considering what I had written about him -- and am still writing about him until today -- how can I be expected to get a fair hearing? Even I would send myself to jail based on what I had written about the Judge. And we objected to this Judge being in the Coram and asked that he be replaced.

But the Federal Court turned us down and refused to listen to our objections. The court insisted that the hearing proceed with the three Judges and I told my lawyers to walk out of court and boycott the hearing if the court refuses our request to replace that Judge who was clearly my ‘enemy’.

And that was when the court backed down.

My lawyers then filed an appeal in another court and this second court agreed that we had grounds to object to one of the members of the three-man bench. Then they suddenly ‘froze’ my case. After telling us not to waste any time and that they are going to proceed with my hearing immediately without further delay, they suddenly just went to sleep and for the last nine months we have heard nothing from the court.

It is apparent they realise they are not able to proceed with the hearing unless they agree to our request to change one of the Judges. But they do not wish to change the Judge. So this means they can’t proceed with my hearing.

So what do they do? If they do not proceed with the hearing, because they refuse to change the Judge, then they can’t get me back into Kamunting. Ah, but they can. If they can’t get me back into Kamunting by reversing the court decision to free me, they can always get me back by issuing a new detention order.

Just ignore the earlier detention order -- which is being contested and which the court has already declared null and which is being argued in court as to whether the three-man bench should be changed. It is already getting too messy anyway. Issue a fresh detention order and bypass the entire court process. After all, there are hundreds of other articles published in Malaysia Today that they can use as the justification for a fresh detention order.

And that was when I decided I have had enough of the Malaysian judicial system. I am prepared to fight them in court if they play fair. But to fuck around with the selection of Judges and then bury the hearing when they realise they are losing and then pursue me with a fresh detention order is pushing it a bit.

And that was when I decided to tell the court to go fuck itself. I am no longer going to entertain this charade and sham trial in a kangaroo court. They can’t keep moving the goalposts halfway through the game when they find they can’t win. And even after moving the goalposts and they find they still can’t win they declare game over and start a new game.

I am not as stupid as I look. And if the government thinks I am going to sit there while they play around with the judicial system and snigger behind my back then they got another think coming. Now it is I who am having the last laugh on them.

And now we see the same thing happening in the Perak Constitutional Crisis fiasco.

In the recent appeal in the Federal Court, a five-man bench sat to hear the case. The Coram was:

1) YAA Tan Sri Dato' Seri Alauddin bin Dato' Mohd. Sheriff (President of the Court of Appeal)

2) YAA Dato’ Arifin bin Zakaria (Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya)

3) YA Dato' Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinudin (Federal Court Judge) (appointed 5th September 2007)

4) YA Datuk Wira Haji Mohd Ghazali bin Mohd Yusoff (Federal Court Judge) (appointed April 2009)

5) YA Dato' Abdull Hamid bin Embong (Federal Court Judge) (appointed October 2009)

The Federal Court has nine Judges. In addition to this, the Chief Justice; President of the Court of Appeal; Chief Judge of Malaya and the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak also sit in the Federal Court. So, in total, there are 13 Judges who sit in the Federal Court. They are, in order of seniority:

1) YAA Tun Dato’ Sri Zaki bin Tun Azmi (Chief Justice) - A

2) YAA Tan Sri Dato' Seri Alauddin bin Dato' Mohd. Sheriff (President of the Court of Appeal) - B

3) YAA Dato’ Arifin bin Zakaria (Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya) - B

4) YAA Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum (Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak) - A

5) YA Dato' Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinudin (Federal Court Judge) (appointed 5th September 2007) - B

6) YA Dato’ Sri Augustine Paul - C

7) YA Dato’ Hashim bin Dato’ Haji Yusoff - A

8) YA Datuk Gopal Sri Ram - A

9) YA Datuk Wira Haji Mohd Ghazali bin Mohd Yusoff - B

10) YA Dato’ James Foong Cheng Yuen - C

11) YA Dato’ Mohd Raus bin Sharif - C

12) YA Dato' Abdull Hamid bin Embong - B

13) YA Datuk Heliliah binti Mohd Yusof - A

The ones marked ‘B’ in green are the Judges in the recent Federal Court ‘Perak Case’. These are Judges who had always been involved in the other ‘Perak Cases’. The chart below provides all the Judges who have been involved, one way or another, in the other ‘Perak Cases’ in either the Court of Appeal or the Federal Court.

The ones marked ‘A’ in red have never been involved with any of the ‘Perak Cases’.

The ones marked ‘C’ have been involved in one or two of the ‘Perak Cases’.

It is not suggested that the Judges who have been involved in any of the ‘Perak Cases’ before ought not to hear the Federal Court appeal. They involve different issues. But the bigger issue here is the perception of the public. Surely a competent, unbiased and diligent thing to do is to assign this very important case to Judges who have not been involved in any of the ‘Perak Cases’ before -- so that the public would not view or perceive any bias on the part of the Judges, especially when the Judges who are now sitting have decided against Nizar (and in favour of Zambry) in one or two of the ‘Perak Cases’ before.

The questions, which the public now asks, are:

i) Why is the appeal not fixed to be heard before Judges who have not heard any of the ‘Perak Cases’ before (the ones marked ‘A’ in red)? Of course, Tun Zaki cannot hear this case because he has said he will not be involved in any cases involving UMNO. So the other four Judges could still hear this latest case together with another Court of Appeal Judge who similarly has not been involved at all. (Under the law, Judges of the Court of Appeal may sit in the Federal Court).

ii) When Tun Zaki said he will not get involved in any ‘UMNO cases’, does that mean he can still exercise his administrative power, i.e., the power of choosing the Judges to hear a case involving UMNO? Was he not the one who selected the Judges in this latest appeal?

iii) Why, in an important case involving Constitutional issues such as this, junior Judges are selected instead of more senior Judges?

iv) Would it not be more prudent, diligent, as well as competent, had the Court been convened with a seven-, nine- or even 11-man bench (or even 13) considering the constitutional ramifications of the latest appeal? This case has to review the Ningkan; Amir Kahar and Adegbenro v Akintola case. It brings long-lasting consequences to Malaysian politics and administration. It will define the function, power and discretion of the Sultan (as well as the Agong -- because the Federal Constitution has similar provisions as the Perak Constitution) in relation to a very important matter, i.e., the dissolution of the Assembly/Parliament. This case will be the causa celebrae for the future. It will set precedents. Even in two drug cases, a seven-man bench was convened.

a) ARULPRAGASAN SANDARAJU V. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

FEDERAL COURT, KUALA LUMPUR

TAN SRI DATO' SERI EUSOFF CHIN CJ TAN SRI DATO' LAMIN MOHD YUNUS PCA TAN SRI DATO' ANUAR ZAINAL ABIDIN CJ (MALAYA) TAN SRI DATO' MOHD AZMI KAMARUDDIN FCJ TAN SRI DATO' EDGAR JOSEPH JR FCJ DATO' PADUKA MOHAMED DZAIDDIN FCJ DATO' WAN ADNAN FCJ

[CRIMINAL APPEAL NO: 05-237-92] – 27.7.1996

b) PP V. TAN TATT EEK & OTHER APPEALS FEDERAL COURT, PUTRAJAYA AHMAD FAIRUZ CJ ; ABDUL MALEK AHMAD PCA ; HAIDAR MOHD NOOR CJ (MALAYA) ; STEVE SHIM CJ (SABAH & SARAWAK) ; SITI NORMA YAAKOB FCJ ; PAJAN SINGH GILL FCJ ; AUGUSTINE PAUL JCA [CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS: 05-40-2002 (W), 05-41-2002 (W), 05-68-2002 (P) & 05-70-2002 (P)] - 3 FEBRUARY 2005

The above cases are drug related cases, which concerns the interpretation of the Criminal Procedure Code as well as the Dangerous Drugs Act. But it was deemed fit to convene a seven-man bench because of the ramifications of the case. Surely matters involving Constitutional issues should attract the same, if not more, amount of attention and concern so as to justify a full bench.

Second Teoh autopsy on Nov 22

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo informing the Teohs that the second autopsy will be carried out only on Nov 22 and not Nov 14 as they had hoped for earlier. – Picture by Jack Ooi

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Nov 9 — DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock’s body will be exhumed on Nov 21 for a second autopsy by Sungai Buloh Hospital pathology head Dr Shahidan Md Noor on Nov 22, the coroner’s court decided today.

Magistrate Azmil Munthapa Abas ordered the exhumation and second autopsy for Teoh, whose mysterious death on July 16 has brought to question interrogation methods by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The autopsy will be held at the Sungai Buloh Hospital to be witnessed by Selangor state’s forensic expert, the renowned Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanansunand, and a foreign expert engaged by the MACC.

Dr Pornthip had earlier told the inquest she believed Teoh’s death was 80 per cent homicide and only 20 per cent suicide, contrary to testimonies from the two Malaysian pathologists who conducted the first autopsy.

teoh-inquest-signpost.jpgHer testimony, based on government forensic reports, sparked the argument for a second autopsy, which Azmil agreed to last week.

The magistrate, who is sitting as coroner, also ordered former forensic doctor Dr K. Saravanan, from Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah in Klang, to assist Dr Shahidan with taking photographs during the second post-mortem.

Dr Saravanan had previously assisted his colleague Dr Khairul Aznam Ibrahim during the first autopsy and snapped a second set of photographs.

The lawyer for Teoh’s family, Gobind Singh Deo, had earlier pushed for the autopsy to be carried out on Nov 14.

“The longer the delay, the greater the risk of contamination,” he told Azmil.

Dr Pornthip had said that a second examination was viable within six months of burial.

Teoh was buried on July 20 at the Nirvana Memorial Garden in Semenyih.

The compromise was reached after lawyer Datuk Abdul Razak Musa told the court that the MACC's independent expert would only be available from Nov 26 to 30.

He asked the coroner for an order in English to compel their expert to come earlier.

Earlier, Abdul Razak had cross-examined a key witness who alleged torture at the hands of the MACC while in their custody last year.

Questioning T. Sivanesan’s credibility as a witness, he noted that the former auxiliary constable had not complained of brutality when he was hauled up to the magistrate's court twice and had also failed to name in his police report MACC officers who he claimed assaulted him in Plaza Masalam here last year.

Abdul Razak suggested the 22-year-old assistant manager, who was suspected of soliciting RM3,000 in bribes, may have “cooked up the whole story” as an after-thought to prevent his confession before MACC investigators from being used against him in trial.

The inquest will resume on Friday afternoon.

Now Nazri says VK Lingam broke no law

Nazri’s statement caused an uproar in Parliament. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz sparked an uproar in Parliament today when he said “judiciary fixer” V.K. Lingam had been let off the hook “because he had broken no law”.

Nazri also suggested that Lingam breached no laws as he might “have just acted to fix the appointment of judges as if he was brokering the appointment of senior judges to impress people”.

“I am not denying that it was Lingam in the tape. But I am also saying that there are a lot of conmen in this world. Who knows he might have just acted when he was calling the so-called judges to impress,” said Nazri in his ministerial winding-up speech on the 2010 Budget debate.

Nazri argued that from the legal perspective Lingam could have merely made a suggestion as to who should be appointed to senior posts in the judiciary.

"I am here to stress that there is nothing to stop the prime minister from receiving suggestions from any parties. Should anyone act to advise the prime minister on the appointment of judges, this act itself cannot be taken as an offence.

"Unless it's clear that the action (by Lingam) was clearly aimed at conspiring to subvert the judiciary or made to get favours... (but) the findings of the commission found none of this," said the minister.

Opposition MPs had during the debate session demanded answers as to why the Attorney-General had decided to take “no further action” towards Lingam despite the findings of a royal commission set up to probe the infamous “correct, correct, correct” video recording that allegedly saw the senior lawyer brokering the appointment of judges.

The royal commission had proposed that action be taken against Lingam and several others purportedly involved in the recording including former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, a close friend of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Nazri revealed that investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the figures named also found no conclusive evidence that there was any form of power abuse by any of them.

His remarks invited scathing criticism from the opposition benches.

Shah Alam PAS MP Khalid Samad blasted Nazri's reply as ridiculous, calling it clear proof that the government was half-hearted in its efforts to reform the judiciary.

Khalid's assault, however, was deflected cynically by Nazri who merely called the Shah Alam MP "deaf".

"I told you not to put the receiver close to your ears when you use your mobile phone, you become deaf," he said, claiming Khalid had missed his earlier statement that the government had taken action to reform the judiciary.

Vaio X - Just Right. Nothing More.

"But it will take time before results can be seen," he added.

Bukit Gelugor DAP MP Karpal Singh said what had transpired in the recording was tantamount to sedition as it had brought the country's judiciary into disrepute and Lingam, he suggested, could be charged under the Sedition Act.

The minister, in his reply, said the commission had also suggested the same and that he welcomed the proposal made by Karpal but did not state if the government planned to adopt the proposal.

Nazri's remarks today have added to the confusion surrounding the Lingam controversy.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said on Oct 29 that the case was still under investigation by MACC.

“The investigation in relation to V.K. Lingam’s video case is still under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police are no longer handling the case,” he said in a written reply to Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong.

But Nazri had, in a written reply to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng a week before Hishammuddin's statement, said that no action would be taken against Lingam.

He had said Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail had found “no case” against the senior lawyer.

Nazri had explained that he never said that the case was closed and blamed the media for misinterpreting his words.

Human beings, all born free and equal

By Haris Ibrahim,

Is it not within the grand scheme of the Divine that you and I were intended to be as free and as equal as the next two persons in New York?

Sure, the dynamics of international politics and the unequal location and distribution of natural resources favouring some over others has resulted in inequalities prevailing between individuals in different parts of Planet Earth.

Surely, though, within the boundaries of this, our nation-state that has come to be known as Malaysia, we, her inhabitants, must all be equal?

No?

Share your thoughts with us at the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Youth Workshop & Forum in Penang on Sunday, 15th November, 2009. For details, go HERE and HERE.

22 No-to-ISA vigilers go to trial tomorrow

By Haris Ibrahim

9th November, last year, a weekly anti-ISA candlelight vigil across the road from the Amcorp Mall was to also commemorate the first anniversary of the historic BERSIH rally of 10th November, 2007.

Like the vigils that had gone on for several weeks before, this was also intended to be just as peaceful.

That night, though, the police were having none of this although in previous weeks, the vigils had proceeded in their presence, albeit in plainclothes.

Those who were at the Amcorp mall that night, having first sung the Negaraku, proceeded to disperse at about 9.30pm.

Some of those who dispersed made their way to the vicinity of the Dewan Sivik where an unplanned vigil was about to take place except that, whilst those who were present were singing, once again, the Negaraku, and without any prior order to disperse, police charged in and arrested many of those who were present, even as some started to leave the vicinity.

If you’ve forgotten the incident that night, or are hearing of it for the first time now, you can read more about that night HERE.

22 of those arrested that night were charged with an offence or offences under the Police Act, 1967, either with failing to adhere to an order to disperse or with unlawful assembly. I cannot recall the precise charge.

The trial starts tomorrow at the PJ Sessions Courtand, I am informed, is scheduled to run for three consecutive days.

I have a hearing in the KL High Court tomorrow and might not be able to be there tomorrow.

If you can, I am sure it would be comforting for the 22 if you could make it to the courts over the next three days to show solidarity with these vigilers.

High Chaparral cowshed demolished


One of the last two remaining cowsheds at Kampung Buah Pala was demolished today by developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd's demolition squad. The shed was built to house cows and other livestock.

The other cowshed, a few metres away, was spared by the demolition team.

NONEAccording to the affected cowherd KT Sivananthan, 39, the demolition started at 12.15 pm and his cowshed was completely flattened by 4pm. Around 10 members of the police force were present during the demolition.

Sivananthan claimed that the demolition was illegal because his cowshed was sitting on state land.

He also said he did not receive any notice of eviction from any government authorities, especially the local Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP).

When contacted, the developer's executive director Thomas Chan claimed that the cattle ranch land belonged to the Kampung Buah Pala landowner - the Penang civil servants' cooperative society (Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang Bhd).

"If the villagers have a dispute, they can always refer to the courts," Chan said over a telephone conversation.

No answers from cooperative

The cooperative society's chairperson, Abdul Razak Mansor, when contacted told reporters to contact Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy for clarification over the land status.

"I don't know . . . I don't know. Contact Ramasamy," he said over the telephone.

He repeated the answer when asked whether he was aware that the developer was demolishing the cowshed allegedly without any authorisation.

dap sec gen lim guan eng 210709Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (right) and Ramasamy were both unavailable for comment as they are on an official trip to the Middle East.

Senior executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow, who is in charge of local government affairs, could not be reached for comment. It is learnt that he is at the current parliamentary sitting.

Similarly, Deputy Chief Minister Mansor Othman and MPPP president Tan Cheng Chui did not pick up calls from reporters at the site despite several attempts.

Kampung Buah Pala was once known as 'Tamil High Chaparral' due to its population of cowherds, cattle, goats, other livestock, its unique hilly environment and Indian cultural features and festivities.

The 200-year-old Indian traditional village was demolished in September this year to pave way for a lucrative condominium project named 'The Oasis', undertaken by the cooperative society and Nusmetro Venture.

Sivananthan said a Nusmetro executive known as Gary Ho had told him last week to dismantle one of the cowsheds because the state authorities had been given permission. Nusmetro Venture is demolishing the shed to make way for an access road for the Oasis project.

He said, however, Ho failed to produce any documents such as a notice of eviction or authorisation letter from any authorities to prove his claim.

Police report lodged

NONESivananthan (left) has lodged a police report at 2.40 pm in Jelutong police station over the demolition.

He is now unsure as to where to keep his livestock.

Until the late 1970s, each household in Kampung Buah Pala was rearing livestock on their premises.

However, the number of cowherds dwindled to only four households belonging to the same Muthu Thevar family descendants - 81-year-old Karuppiah Thevar's sons Murugan, 46, Sivananthan and Kalimuthan, 37, and the late Ramoo Thevar's son R Supramaniam, 59.

They were collectively rearing about 300 cows on two ranches.

NONEKampung Buah Pala was once the major supplier of fresh cow's milk on the island, including the Penang Hospital.

Now the Thevar family's livestock supplies some 500 litres of fresh cow and goat milk daily across the state.

Karuppiah (right), who was at the site, claimed that at least 15 goats have died since the village demolition due to lack of shelter from sun and rain.

He said that he was saddened by the demolition.

"I never thought our family ranch would one day be gone in this manner," he told reporters.

PAC proposal to investigate CKC for cbt – testimony of MACC impotence/failure

By Lim Kit Siang,

Why must Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) wait for Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recommendation for further investigation into former Transport Minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy for possible offence of criminal breach of trust in the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal when the first report was lodged with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) as far back as 2004?

Isn’t this testimony of the failure, ineffectiveness and impotence of MACC and its predecessor ACA?

These are the questions I posed to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz in the ten minutes he touched on corruption in the government winding-up on the budget before he ended his reply for lunch-break today.

I remarked that Nazri was defending the status quo of a worsening corruption problem in Malaysia instead of spearheading an attack on corruption, as is happening in Indonesia.

Nazri was in his classic mode of denial and also disagreed that there is need for a parliamentary motion to adopt the PAC report on the PKFZ scandal for all MPs to take a stand on the PAC recommendations.

Earlier in his reply, Nazri created an uproar when he said that V.K. Lingam of “correct, correct, correct” infamy had not broken any law in brokering the appointment of judges.

As Malaysian Insider reported:

Now Nazri says VK Lingam broke no law
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz sparked an uproar in Parliament today when he said “judiciary fixer” V.K. Lingam had been let off the hook “because he had broken no law”.

Nazri also suggested that Lingam breached no laws as he might “have just acted to fix the appointment of judges as if he was brokering the appointment of senior judges to impress people”.

“I am not denying that it was Lingam in the tape. But I am also saying that there are a lot of conmen in this world. Who knows he might have just acted when he was calling the so-called judges to impress,” said Nazri in his ministerial winding-up speech on the 2010 Budget debate.

Nazri argued that from the legal perspective Lingam could have merely made a suggestion as to who should be appointed to senior posts in the judiciary.

“I am here to stress that there is nothing to stop the prime minister from receiving suggestions from any parties. Should anyone act to advise the prime minister on the appointment of judges, this act itself cannot be taken as an offence.

“Unless it’s clear that the action (by Lingam) was clearly aimed at conspiring to subvert the judiciary or made to get favours… (but) the findings of the commission found none of this,” said the minister.

Opposition MPs had during the debate session demanded answers as to why the Attorney-General had decided to take “no further action” towards Lingam despite the findings of a royal commission set up to probe the infamous “correct, correct, correct” video recording that allegedly saw the senior lawyer brokering the appointment of judges.

The royal commission had proposed that action be taken against Lingam and several others purportedly involved in the recording including former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, a close friend of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Nazri revealed that investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the figures named also found no conclusive evidence that there was any form of power abuse by any of them.

His remarks invited scathing criticism from the opposition benches.