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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Urgent call for PM


Paleisstraat 82 B9

2018 Antwerpen

Belgium 23rd November 2009


Dato Seri Najib Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Block Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62502 Putrajaya.
Fax : 03-8888 3444
E-Mail :

Re: Challenge for open debate about Islam conversion

Dear Mr. Prime Minister ,

As an ordinary citizen of Malaysia, I am dismayed and disappointed with you and your Islam authority’s behaviour in this conversion matters.

I am challenging you for an open debate on this matter which can be widely published on television and other medias. Do not cover up anything. You and your UMNO goons brought Malaysia into deep disaster and disrepute. I will not ill-treat your religion but it is time for me to protect my faith.

You and your UMNO people are using article 121(a) to protect Muslim rights. I would say well done for that. What will happen to non- Muslim rights? You will keep on converting people to Islam illegally but when they want to renounce the Religion, then you will force and coerce under compelling circumstances. I believe you and your islamic authorities have a hidden agenda to convert all non-muslims to Islam and making this country an Islamic state.

The Parliament debate in Malaysia will not be enough, because the majority members are Muslim . You and your fanatical Islamic authorities have gone too much to take away the rights of non-muslims. I will not speak anything bad about your religion, but I am calling for an open debate between your Islam authorities and me only to debate in a civilised manner.

Please take up this challenge. I would like to do this daringly not cowardly. If I loose this debate, you can strip my nationality. If you loose, you have to amend article 121 (1)(a). You have all the power with you, would you like to take this challenge????

At the same time don’t try to use your Home minister, AG, IGP and court as a weapon. Be a gentleman and come forward. I am here waiting to hear your response.

Yours faithfully,


Is a Malaysian Indian’s life so cheap and worthless in Malaysia?

I believe so. After all, this segment of the society, the current underclass contributes to practically all the majority negative vices or worsening social ills in the country ie – murder, robbery, suicide rate, illiteracy and of course minus the white collar crime committed.

Now look at the history, when plantation was one of the pillars of the nation this was not the case until probably the late 80’s when the magnanimous Mahathir Mohamed came into the picture for the benefit of the Malaysian Indians. (I am actually being sarcastic here).

Despite the economic significant of their contribution in yesterdayear, these plantation workers were receiving scanty attention, yet they never turned to negative vices that is prevailent today.

Sure we talk of development, fine and I accept, but then what happened to the hundred of thousands of Malaysian Indians who were shortchanged in the process and left stranded without the right infrastructure or government planning to address their issues in their social development along with the other Malaysians.

The Malaysian Indian being as much as the son of the soil needs to survive and the plight of the Indian community, especially the plantation workers in Malaysia, their condition has largely remained unchanged since independence in 1957. Then at least they had their plantation work to ensure their survival no matter how poorly they were paid, but in today’s scenario with their displacement for their livelihood without proper planning and equal opportunity, they resort to negative vices as a matter of survival.

For argument sake, one would of course say why resort to such things. Frankly I don’t have any answer to this but we are all not made equal similar to our five fingers or our siblings. What is perplexing is nobody want’s to neither understand nor comprehend why they have become this within two decades in this community other than passing their two cent comments.

A simple example, Seetha, the latest suicide casualty of this engineered social displacement of this society.

Seetha, had the audacity to take her live and of her children and many of us sitting as an armchair critic can critize such action. Now, I and you may have lived in abject poverty, but we battled it and do what we can do, then again we are not in Seetha’s shoes nor are we able to judge her decision in our own arm’s length position.

Maybe Seetha just given up in life so easily, but then again it is her prerogative not for us to judge her position. Even jilted lovers, debtors and many other kind of human specimens commit sucide for their own notions.

Looking back at Seetha’s decision, all I can think of is she could have thought for herself, in indulged in poisoning her children, because as much as she did not have a chance to survive within our time frame, what chance will her children have without burdening another ? Am I or you going to run to the aid of the children to safeguard their interest or the government is there to lend a hand with their manipulated system?

I don’t know whether Seetha comes from a plantation background but it is so obvious that she is a remnant of the society that had been created due to their marginalized state within the community for our own individual obeisance that we all are will put up with all kind of excuses because it serves us without actually pondering over the root cause for this segment of the society.

If we talk about an Indian issue, automatically it is classified as a racial issue. How far and how well we know our history begs an answer. Everytime an Indian issue is brought forward, it is like a stigma. Now let me ask you this, why is it a stigma, when the reality faces them and provides you with the challenge to correct the unfairness and inequality faced by this community within this so called multi- ethnic society.

We must understand, for the last twenty ought years, the sole faculty of the nation along with its people have been development and making money without a uniting factor to effect a due respect for our rights and the humanity that flows within us.

The latter part can only happen if we can participate, unite and act in uplifting those segments in our society that had been neglected for the society that we live in as oppose to our own needs.

Only we Malaysians in unity can ensure that a Malaysian Indian’s life is not so cheap and worthless for our community and our common cause.

May Seetha rest in peace as she had made her own peace with her maker for the marginalized, discrimnative life she had led in Malaysia as I remorsely feel I had indirectly contributed to the neglect of this society for my own need.

R. Shan (Human Being)


HRP Chaah, Johor dialogue most interactive, Indian masses speak up.

Having completed the Tiram state constituency forum on 22/11/2009 at 7.00 p.m, a meeting was held with the HRP Johor committee. Thereafter our Secretary General, Information Chief and loyalist P.Karuna shot off for the Chaah, Johor dialogue with about 50 members at their rented premises off the Chaah Main Road.

This Chaah dialogue has been the most interactive with the local supporters asking the most relevant, protruding and at one point even a question amounting to a Cross Examination.

We are proud of these mostly ordinary palm oil harvesters, lorry drivers and odd job workers who after the 25th November 2007 Hindraf rally have awakened and are again

waiting to rise the occasion. We arrived K.L at 2.00 a.m on 23/10/2009.


HRP Information Chief


Peaceful coexistence - a pipe dream?

A short pictorial essay on how we could emulate others in peaceful co-existence. Since the source is anonymous, we do not know where these photos were taken, but wouldn't it be great if they were taken in Malaysia?

Buddhist monks invited for prayers

Peaceful co-existence in prayers

Exchanging of ideas

Guests-of-honour at the main table, sharing a simple meal. Can this happen in Malaysia?

Rest in peace now, Beng Hock

KUALA LUMPUR - The late Teoh Beng Hock was laid to rest for a second time after religious rituals were performed at his reburial.

Present at the graveside were his brother and sister and his parents stood a little further.teoh-laid-final-time.jpg

This is in keeping with Chinese custom that parents do not attend the burial of their children.

DAP top brass present

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang was present at the Nirvana Memorial Park as well as Teoh's former boss Selangor exco Ean Yong Hian Wah, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and former DAP secretary-general Kerk Kim Hock.

Teoh's casket arrived from the Sungei Buloh hospital at about 9.50am.

Dozens of reporters and photographers were at the scene as well as several uniformed and plainclothes policemen.

White carnations adorned the top of his grave after the burial and his gravestone was put back into place.

Malaysia’s next export: Maids?

By Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — The nation’s mismanagement of talent could have serious repercussions not only on its ambitions to become a high income economy on par with that of developed nations but could also lead it to fall further behind even its counterparts in the region.

Head of research at Corston-Smith Asset Management, Lim Tze Cheng, recently did a tour of South East Asian countries and came away sufficiently impressed that he feels Malaysia may soon be found lagging behind its neighbours that it was once ahead of.

He cited a recent visit to the Philippines, a current major supplier of maids, where he visited a company, International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) and he drew comparisons to local port champions Westport and Port of Tanjung Pelepas.

He said that ICTS now draws 50 per cent of its revenue from eight profitable ports outside the Philippines, and noted that no Malaysian port company can boast of similar achievements.

“I give it a 70 per cent chance that Malaysia will be exporting maids in 20 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens unless we get our act together,” he said.

Lim says that the issues plaguing Malaysia includes its “problematic” education system and distressingly low ability to retain talent.

“Whoever manages to excel in our education system will be courted by Singapore,” he points out.

Lim is not the only one who is worried about Malaysia’s talent issues and there has been warnings from other parties as well including the World Bank and the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

MEF executive director Haji Shamsuddin Bardan says that Malaysia is currently a net exporter of talent with outflows exceeding inflows.

According to Haji Shamsuddin, Malaysia has only about 38,000 expatriates as compared with seventy to eighty thousand in the 1990s even while some 785,000 Malaysians are working abroad, two out of three of which are professionals.

“Our ability to attract expatriates is quite challenged,” he said.

If Malaysia falls further behind our neighbours in the next twenty years, it wil be a case of history repeating itself.

Lim points out that Malaysia in the 1970’s was once economically on par with Korea.

“Electronics will be dominated by Thailand and Philippines, plantations by Indonesia, financial services by Singapore and our oil could be depleted in 20 years,” Lim predicts.

“The (Malaysian) economy seems to be caught in a middle-income trap - unable to remain competitive as a high-volume, low-cost producer, yet unable to move up the value chain and achieve rapid growth by breaking into fast growing markets for knowledge and innovation-based products and services,” the World Bank said recently.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak appears aware of the problem and has been stressing the need for the country to embrace innovation to escape the “middle-income trap” as well as attract overseas talent, Malaysian or otherwise.

He noted recently as an anecdote that half of the medical specialists working at the Mt Elizabeth hospital in Singapore were Malaysians and two weeks ago hosted a dinner for about 100 Malaysians in Singapore and told them that the government would make Malaysia a better place to live and work in, to bring back its citizens who are residing overseas and also attract global talent to the country.

“We will create more opportunities, more excitement and more buzz in Malaysia to attract the Malaysian diaspora and expatriates to the country,” said Najib.

Lim says that revamping the education system could take years and one fast way to lure talent was to open the Malaysia My Second Home programme to talented individuals such as scientists and researchers instead of limiting it to just retirees.

Haji Shamsuddin says that the government needs to put in place the right policies and structures to retain local talent.

“Otherwise, we become a training ground for others,” he said.

Court to hear Kota Siputeh appeal at 2.30pm

Bon (left) says the same legal tactics as the Perak incident are being used again. — file pic

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Ousted Kota Siputeh assemblyman Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif has filed for a stay of the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision declaring his seat vacant.

The Court of Appeal will hear the case this afternoon, at 2.30pm.

At the same time, senior Federal counsel from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Datuk Kamaludin Md. Said, acting for the Election Commission, confirmed that the Court of Appeal will hear their appeal against the ruling calling for a by-election.

Meanwhile, the legal team for the Kedah Speaker was caught unawares when contacted. Lawyer Edmund Bon told The Malaysian Insider that this echoes the Perak constitutional wrangle earlier this year.

“Same team, same nature of case,” said Bon, who added that he had to cancel his appointments for the rest of the day and rush to Putrajaya straight away.

Kedah by-election exposes state Umno’s problems

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — While Umno is expected to retain the Kota Siputeh seat should a by-election be called, the party still needs to overcome a bigger problem — the lack of strong leadership in Kedah Umno.

The state party is currently led by party vice-president Datuk Shafie Apdal, but the Kedah Umno warlords believe a stronger local leader should be appointed to the position in order to win back the state from Opposition-held Kedah.

“The problem now is we do not have a mentri besar candidate. Who are we proposing to the people? In case of an election, whose picture are we going to put up next to Datuk Najib’s,” said a Kedah Umno division chief.

He told The Malaysian Insider none of the 15 division chiefs in the state is capable of leading Kedah Umno due to intense infighting.

“Even if the leadership wants to retain Shafie at least his deputy must be replaced with someone stronger like Datuk Mukhriz or Jamil Khir as the current line-up does not look convincing,” he added.

Shafie was picked by Datuk Seri Najib Razak to lead Kedah Umno last April, but the Sabahan leader has yet to show his ability to unite the state party leaders.

“If they want to promote Mukhriz as the next MB then they must start now and not wait until one year before general elections,” he said.

Both Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom are in the federal Cabinet but are also serving in the Kedah Umno liaison committee.

Yesterday Mukhriz said that he was willing to be fielded as the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Kota Siputeh.

The seat was declared vacant after its representative, Umno’s Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif, failed to attend two consecutive sittings of the Kedah assembly without applying for leave from the Speaker.

The Election Commission (EC), who was ordered by the High Court to hold the by-election yesterday, will appeal to overturn the decision at the Court of Appeal today.

Umno desperately needs to win the state seat to show that it has succeeded in winning over the support it lost in Election 2008.

Last year Pakatan Rakyat (PR) led by PAS, won control of the state after winning 22 of the 36 state seats.

In August, PR’s share of the seats was reduced when Lunas assemblyman and state executive councillor Mohd Radzi Salleh quit PKR and declared his support for BN.

More answers from Minister in PM Department on Corruption

By Lim Kit Siang,

Jawapan Bertulis YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri semasa menggulung perbahasan Bajet 2010 peringkat dasar pada 9 November 2009

Tuan Yang di-Pertua

Berhubung kenyataan YB Ipoh Timur bahawa tiada political will (dengan izin) yang diperlihatkan oleh YAB Perdana Menteri dalam memerangi rasuah dan pembentukan SPRM serta pembaharuan lain bagi memerangi rasuah adalah tidak efektif, sebenarnya kenyataan YB mengenai perkara ini adalah tidak berasas sama sekali. Hakikatnya the record speaks for itself (dengan izin) telah membuktikan bahawa Kerajaan dan SPRM komited dan bersungguh-sungguh dalam menangani isu rasuah. Ini terbukti melalui perangkaan tangkapan dan pertuduhan terhadap ahli-ahli parti politik dan juga pegawai kanan Kerajaan yang telah saya bentangkan sebentar tadi.

Bukankah kesediaan Kerajaan pimpinan YAB Perdana Menteri untuk memperkenalkan Whistle Blower Protection Act (dengan izin) bagi menggalakkan pemberi maklumat untuk tampil membuat pendedahan jenayah rasuah merupakan satu contoh political will (dengan izin). Bukan setakat itu sahaja, Kerajaan juga akan menambah 14 buah Mahkamah Sesyen dan 4 buah Mahkamah Tinggi bagi mempercepatkan process perbicaraan sesuatu kes berbanding 4 buah Mahkamah Sesyen sedia ada.

Di samping itu, ketika negara menghadapi suasana ekonomi di mana hampir semua perjawatan tambahan di pelbagai agensi dibekukan, Kerajaan telah memperuntukkan lebih RM22 juta bagi membolehkan SPRM menambah seramai hampir 600 pegawai pada tahun 2010. Tambahan ini merupakan lebih 32% daripada keanggotaan pegawai suruhanjaya sedia ada. Langkah ini membuktikan komitmen Kerajaan dalam usaha memerangi jenayah rasuah dengan lebih agresif lagi. Saya tidak faham apakah lagi political will yang diinginkan oleh YB Ipoh Timur.

Inisiatif-inisiatif lain dalam memerangi rasuah khususnya yang dibentuk melalui NKRA akan diumumkan oleh YAB Perdana Menteri tidak lama lagi. Oleh itu, kenyataan YB Ipoh Timur yang mengatakan bahawa usaha memerangi rasuah tidak efektif adalah tidak tepat memandanfkan inisiatif-inisiatif tersebut masih belum dilaksanakan lagi. Harap YB Ipoh Timur dapat bersabar dan buatlah komen membina selepas inisiatif-inisiatif tersebut dilaksanakan.

Jawapan Bertulis YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri semasa menggulung perbahasan bajet 2010 peringkat dasar pada 9 Novembner 2009

Tuan Yang di-Pertua,

YB Ipoh TImur ingin tahu bilangan laporan yang dibuat terhadap pegawai SPRM atas dakwaan menggunakan kekerasan semasa proses soal siasat. Untuk makluman YB, berdasarkan rekod dari tahun 2005 hingga 30 September 2009 sejumlah 58 laporan telah dibuat kepada pihak polis di seluruh negara berhubung dakwaan penggunaan kekerasan oleh pegawai-pegawai BPR/SPRM ke atas orang yang disiasat. Namun begitu, setakat ini tiada rekod menumjukkan pegawai BPR/SPRM pernah didakwa di mahkamah atau dikenakan sebarang tindakan tatatertib berikutan siasatan yang dijalankan.

Untuk makluman YB, terdapat kecenderungan apabila seseorang yang ditangkap atau disiasat oleh SPRM membuat laporan polis menyatakan mereka didera dan dipaksa membuat pengakuan kepada SPRM selepas dibebaskan dengan jaminan SPRM. Tindakan mereka ini bertujuan untuk mengelakkan pengakuan mereka dijadikan keterangan di mahkamah nanti. Ia juga mungkin bertujuan untuk meraih simpati serta memberi gambaran bahawa SPRM adalah agensi penguatkuasaan yang kejam. Saya menyeru agar SPRM dan pihak polis mengambil tindakan tegas termasuk mendakwa mereka yang dengan sengaja mebuat laporan palsu berhubung penggunaan kekerasan oleh SPRM kerana perbuatan mereka ini sebenarnya berniat jahat semata-mata untuk mencemarkan kredibiliti dan imej SPRM sebagai sebuah suruhanjaya yang bertanggungjawab dan professional.

Keeping domestic helpers safe

By Koh Lay Chin

(© Otnaydur / Dreamstime)

OVER the past few years, things have not looked good for Indonesian domestic helpers in this country. Horrific cases of abuse such as those involving Nirmala Bonat in 2004, Ceriyati Dapin in 2007, and then Siti Hajar in 2009 didn't just make the local headlines. They also raised Malaysia's profile internationally, albeit for the wrong reasons.

Despite media attention and public outrage, the abuse has not stopped. In October 2009, Indonesian maid Mautik Hani was rescued by police from her employer's home after being abused and locked up in the toilet. She did not survive her injuries.

Are Malaysian employers just cruel monsters? If so, then why just Indonesian maids? Why have we not heard cases of ill-treatment of and cruelty towards domestic workers of other nationalities, such as the Filipinos?

Why Filipinos fare better

Currently, there are some 280,000 foreign maids working in Malaysia. Indonesians make up more than 90%, although the numbers are thought to be higher due to undocumented workers. The remaining numbers comprise around 15,000 foreign maids from the Philippines, and between 1,000 and 2,000 from Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.

It is said that on average, 50 cases of maid abuse involving Indonesians are reported each year. Indonesia, however, says 1,000 maids suffer from violence here annually.

Is it just a case of proportion? Do we hear more cases of abused Indonesian maids because of their whopping numbers in this country compared with other nationalities?

Francisco (Courtesy of Amalialisa
Amalialisa Francisco, who works for the Filipina Services Committee in Selangor, says she does think it has to do with numbers. But, she adds, it's more to do with the age of maids who are sent here to work. "The thing is, employers think maids should know how to do everything. But some maids do not have experience, and therefore frustrations arise," she says.

Indonesian maids are comparably much younger than Filipino ones. Hence, they are less knowledgeable and have less confidence. "Sometimes the Indonesian maids can be as young as 15 or 16, while the average age for those from the Philippines is 24," Francisco tells The Nut Graph.

Enrico Martin, who heads the Segambut Filipino Association, says Filipino domestic workers are better able to please their employer because they are better educated and trained. He says the Filipino Welfare Resource Centre, established under the embassy's Labour Office here, provides training in courses such as computer classes, cooking, baking and others.

"I think it is the language factor; employers do not understand what [Indonesian domestic workers] say sometimes, and vice versa. This may lead to frustrations," Josephine Garcia, a Filipino domestic worker, notes.

Not just Malaysia

How do Indonesian maids fare elsewhere? It seems that in Singapore, cases of abuse usually involve Indonesian maids as well. One of the most infamous cases involved Muawanatul Chasanah, a 19-year-old who died after being severely beaten by her employer.

Garcia, who has worked in Dubai and Taiwan, notes that she has heard of abuse and ill-treatment of Indonesian maids even in those countries. Does this mean, then, that Indonesian workers are more vulnerable to abuse because of other factors, such as whether their government is doing enough to ensure their protection?

It was reported in January 2009 that Filipino maids in Middle Eastern countries like Jordan were reporting cases of abuse. Manila imposed a ban on sending more workers to Jordan unless the Middle Eastern nation enacted regulations to protect Filipino citizens.

It is apparent that once the Philippines government finds out about such abuses, their protective instincts fire up. This is similar to what the Indonesian government seems to be attempting now with regard to sending their nationals to Malaysia.

Elsa Watson, who now counsels fellow Filipino maids who face problems in Malaysia, says the support system for Filipino maids here and all over the world is unmatched. Indeed, there are no less than 25 different types of Filipino associations listed in Malaysia alone. These include support groups, Christian congregations, and sports associations.

"We are also taught about culture in orientation and re-training programmes, and we make an effort to understand our employers, such as learning what Muslim families expect and require," says Watson, who has lived here for 23 years and is now married to a Malaysian.

"But the main thing is that the Philippine government really protects their maids everywhere, all around the world. And for the workers themselves, they know their rights and the law. And they will fight for themselves," Watson said.

Employment agencies here must sign and stamp contracts with the embassy for every Filipino domestic worker brought in, with the contract stating that the maid is entitled to an off day every Sunday. This is a far cry from what Indonesian workers are entitled to. Indeed, there is no legal requirement as yet for Indonesians to be given off days.

"[Employers] must allow [the helpers] at least two days off in a month so they can also have time for themselves. After six days of hard work from 5am to 11pm, I think the Sunday off for them is crucial. They relax, make time for their friends, and even come for extra courses," Martin, from the Segambut Filipino Association, says of Filipino domestic helpers working in Malaysia.

"Super maids"

Filipino helpers also get paid more because of their government's lobbying. In October 2006, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration set a standardised minimum salary for all Filipino maids deployed overseas. FIlipino helpers now get paid US$400 (RM1,355) a month, up from US$200 (RM677), an increase that surprised even the Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia, Victariano M Lecaros. Conversely, Indonesian helpers only get between RM500 and RM600, or less.

After the announcement, Lecaros even urged Filipino maids to do more than just simple chores to justify the raise in their salaries and live up to their billing as "super maids".

While both Indonesians and Filipinos work as domestic helpers in Malaysia and elsewhere, Indonesians are clearly more vulnerable to abuse than Filipinos are. Filipinos are better protected from potentially abusive employers because of a range of factors, from age and education to maturity.

But what seems equally critical is government muscle and community support. With the Filipinos, there is a clear system that ensures they are less likely to be bullied or abused. With the Indonesians, the lack of community organisation and a government that is less caring about its citizens abroad means that the abuse will continue — no less because the host country is unlikely to ensure that foreign nationals from the lower-income group are treated humanely and justly as human beings.

Right to claim

The Star
By Bhag Singh

Every individual who is involved in an accident is entitled to compensation if the accident is caused by the negligence of another.

A READER wants to know whether a pedestrian can cause or contribute to an accident. And does it make a difference if the person injured is a foreigner?

When an item is damaged, the cost of repairs or replacement can easily be worked out. However, for personal injuries suffered, decided cases try to quantify in money terms what would be acceptable compensation, for the pain and suffering, and loss of amenities.

It is the party at fault which will have to pay and this will be on the basis of negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise due care when the circumstances so demand. When there is no duty to exercise care, negligence it is said, has no role to play.

Under the existing framework of law, if a person cannot identify whose negligence caused him to suffer damage or injury, there will be no recourse to anyone. He will have to bear his own loss unless there is a scheme for ex-gratia payments.

Important facts

In determining whether there is negligence, the facts in each case have to be carefully examined. Lord Dunedin aptly said in Fardon vs Harcourt: “What is negligence depends on the facts with which you have to deal. If the possibility of the danger emerging is reasonably apparent, then to take no precaution is negligence, but if the possibility of danger emerging is only a mere possibility which would never occur to the mind of a reasonable man, then there is no negligence in not having taken extraordinary precautions.”

In the light of the question posed earlier, can there be negligence on the part of a pedestrian who is merely walking on the road but at the side? One is inclined to think in terms of an accident caused by a vehicle. But can a pedestrian cause or contribute to an accident?

It is not beyond the individual who is a pedestrian, to cause an accident or at least contribute to it. One such case is that of Sukatno vs Lee Seng Kee where the plaintiff was an Indonesian worker. A van driven by the defendant collided into him. He was immediately knocked unconscious and became paralysed from the waist downwards.

The driver of the van was held liable for negligence but the individual did not get compensated in full. He was equally to be blamed for the accident. The court accepted the contention by the defendant that there was contributory negligence on the part of the injured individual.

The reason for this was that the plaintiff was, prior to the collision, walking on the side of the road and not off the road. As a result, the court held that there was contributory negligence and as such awarded him only 50% of what he would otherwise have obtained.

Contributory negligence

If a person is walking on the kerb or off the road or on the side table as it were, it could be said that such a person would generally be free of blame. However, where he were walking on the road even though not in the middle, he could end up being blamed to a certain extent as happened in this case.

Such a situation was explained in Caswell vs Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd where Lord Porter went on to say that “the injured party did not in his own interest take reasonable care of himself and contributed, by this want of care, to his own injury.”

This is because when contributory negligence is used as a shield against the obligation to satisfy the whole of a plaintiff’s claim, the principle involved is that, where a man is part author of his own injury, he cannot call on the other party to compensate him in full.

Generally when two parties are moving in relation to one another as to involve risk of collision, each owes to the other a duty to move with due care, and this is true whether they are both in control of their vehicles, or both proceeding on foot, or whether one is on foot and the other controlling a moving vehicle.

If it were not so, the individual on foot could never be sued by the owner of the vehicle for damage caused by his want of care in crossing a road, for he would owe to a plaintiff no duty to take care.

Thus, some judges have disagreed with Lord Denning’s statement in Davie’s case where he said “when a man steps onto the road, he owes a duty to himself to take care of his own safety, but he does not owe any duty to a motorist who is going at an excessive speed to avoid being run down”.

Effect on compensation

In the Sukatno case, it was contended that the injured person should not be entitled to an award for loss of earnings because he was a foreigner living in Malaysia illegally. The allegations were no doubt made without adequate and sufficient supporting evidence and so deserved little consideration.

However, even if it be otherwise, the question that arises is what “working illegally” means. Does it refer to a person being an illegal immigrant or a person who has come to the country legitimately but breaches a condition on which he is allowed in?

In this case, the court decided on the basis of there being no wrongdoing in that regard. It may not in all instances be enough to deny liability. This would be a more potent argument in a situation where rights under contract are being pursued and illegality is relied upon as a defence.

In the Singapore case of Ooi Han Sun & Anor vs Bee Hua May, the court took the view that despite evidence that the plaintiff had no work permit to come to Singapore, the maxim ex turpi causa non oritur actio (no cause of action arises out of a base cause) “had a limited application in tort and the fact that the plaintiff was involved in some wrongdoing did not of itself provide the defendant with a good defence in tort”.

However, the fact that the person has attributed some wrongdoing and the fact that the award he gets will have a substantially different value in his own country, may well be a consideration in deciding on the quantum.

Laporan Siasatan Tanah Runtuh Bukit Antarabangsa

23 NOVEMBER 2009

Kerajaan Negeri Selangor menghormati hak penduduk Bukit Antarabangsa untuk mengetahui kandungan laporan yang mengakibatkan terjadinya tragedi tanah runtuh pada 6 Disember 2008 yang mengorbankan lima nyawa penghuni di situ. Bagi menjamin kepentingan terhadap keselamatan penduduk berkenaan, Kerajaan Negeri menerusi kuasa Menteri Besar pada Seksyen 2C Akta Rahsia Rasmi, mengambil keputusan untuk mengubah semula status laporan tersebut yang diklasifikasikan sebagai “rahsia” oleh Kementerian Kerja Raya.

Kerajaan Negeri sekarang berazam supaya salinan-salinan laporan tersebut diedarkan kepada orang awam dan mengarahkan Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ) membuat beberapa salinan dan menjual kepada penduduk terlibat dengan harga berpatutan bermula hari ini. Bagaimanapun, ekoran pengumuman Kerajaan Negeri pada mingggu lepas, Kerajaan Persekutuan lantas mencabar keputusan tersebut dan memberi amaran supaya Kerajaan Negeri jangan mengubah status laporan berkenaan.

Sebelum ini Kerajaan Negeri ada menulis kepada Kementerian Kerja Raya mengenai keputusannya itu dan meminta Kementerian berkenaan melakukan perkara yang serupa demi kepentingan orang awam. Bagaimanapun, Kementerian hari ini mengatakan ia tidak boleh membuat keputusan mengenai perkara tersebut kerana yang klasifikasi rahsia telah dibuat oleh Jemaah Kabinet. [ Oleh yang demikian, Kerajaan Negeri tidak boleh meneruskan keputusan untuk mengumumkan perincian laporan tersebut.]

Dengan yang demikian, kami menyeru kepada Kerajaan Persekutuan supaya membenarkan penyiaran laporan tersebut oleh sebab kandungannya sangat penting diketahui oleh orang ramai bagi perbincangan dalam usaha mempercepatkan proses mengeluarkan peraturan bagi pembangunan di kawasan cerun Bukit Antarabangsa dan kawasan tanah tinggi lainnya di Selangor.

Setelah membaca laporan tersebut, Kerajaan negeri percaya ianya tidak bersifat prejudis kepada kepentingan dan keselamatan negara. Sebaliknya, pendedahan kandungan laporan boleh menjaga kepentingan dan keselamatan orang ramai.

Sesungguhnya, kejadian tanah runtuh pada 6 Disember 2008 itu merupakan suatu tragedi. Namun, ia boleh menjadi tragedi yang lebih besar sekiranya Kerajaan Persekutuan gagal menunjukkan sikap kebertanggungjawaban dan melakukan tindakan yang sewajarnya bagi melindungi keselamatan orang awam.

Kerajaan negeri Selangor, sebaliknya, sangat komited dalam usaha menjamin kepentingan rakyat Selangor dan sedia melakukan apa sahaja bagi memastikan keselamatan mereka terpelihara.


Fire Victims want homes back

Human Rights Party (HRP) has written a letter to the Penang Chief Minister requesting the state government to rebuild the houses of two fire victims in Kampung Manis, Prai.

In the letter dated Nov 23, HRP national advisor N.Ganesan has explained to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that the wooden houses belonging to A Muniandy, 57, and M Varatharaju, 44, were completely razed by the fire at 4pm on last Wednesday.

Another neighbouring house belonging to M Gunalan, 42, was partly destroyed by the fire, which was allegedly caused by a power trip.

‘The Pakatan Rakyat state government has often stated that it was a pro-poor government and its basic policy was to allot public funds and resources to meet people’s basic needs.

“Here is a case clear of need,” he told newsmen at Komtar after handing over the letter to a representative sent by Lim’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik.

Last Thursday, Muniandy and Varatharaju have received immediate cash aid of RM2,000 per family from Deputy Chief Minister 2 P Ramasamy, who is also Prai assemblyperson.

Thanking Ramasamy for the contribution, Muniandy and Varatharaju said that they were keen to stay put in their village home and wanted the state government to allocate sufficient funds to them to rebuild their homes.

“We don’t want to move elsewhere. This village has been our home for years.

“We just need some funds to rebuild our homes.

“Hope the state government would grant our humble pleas,” the duo told newsmen.

The duo’s families are currently sheltering in a nearby community hall.

The victims estimated that their loss of properties was RM30,000 each in the fire.

Muniandy has a wife and five children while Varatharaju has a wife and three children.

‘We hope the state government would look into our request favourably,” said the fire victims, who accompanied Ganesan.

In his letter, Ganesan argued that both Muniandy and Varathraju were odd-job workers earning between RM600 to RM1,000 per month.

‘Their incomes are barely enough to support their families under normal circumstances.

“We have two Penang families from lowest rung of our society.

“They were already operating under poverty and found their lives further devastated by this fire.

“We would like to request the Penang government to allocate financial aid to them to rebuild their homes in their hours of need.

“Such assistance is not unprecedented as this had been done before for fire and tsunami victims,” said Ganesan.

When contacted, Ramasamy said he would like look into the HRP request and assist the villagers in whatever possible way.

“The state government will not shirk its responsibility.

“We will try to help the victims according to our financial resources,” he told Malaysiakini.

State Assistance needed to rebuild the homes of the victims of a fire incident on the 18th of November in Kampung Manis, Perai. Pulau Pinang


NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar,

59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245


Date : 23/11/2009

YAB Lim Guan Eng

Chief Minister

State Government of Penang

Dear YAB,

Sub: State Assistance needed to rebuild the homes of the victims of a fire incident on the 18th of November in Kampung Manis, Perai. Pulau Pinang

As you are aware there was a fire incident on the 18th of November at Kampung Manis, Perai where two homes were completely destroyed and a third home partially damaged, resulting in two impoverished families afterwards being left with nothing. We write this letter to seek appropriate State Government assistance for these families. The families badly affected are those of Mr. Varatharaju and Mr.Muniandy.

On the 19th of November, Dr.Ramasamy, the Deputy Chief Minister, visited the families at Kampung Manis, viewed the situation and then handed the two families RM2,000 each. They are grateful to the State Government for this short term help. This helps them tide over this difficult period.

The houses of both these families were totally destroyed, leaving the families only with what they were wearing that day. Both Mr. Varathraju and Mr. Muniandy are contract workers and they earn between RM 600 to RM1,000 per month, barely enough to support their families under normal circumstances. Because they have no other recourse, they are now housed temporarily in a nearby community hall. We have a case here, where two Penang families in the lowest rung of our society, who are operating at the very brink of poverty already, now find their lives further devastated by this fire accident. This is agrave situation.

We would like to request the State Government of Penang to give these families the financial assistance they need to rebuild their homes. They have very little alternative other than to make this request to the Penang Government. The Pakatan Rakyat Coalition has often stated that their basic policy is to allocate Public funds and resources on the basis of need . Here is a case of clear need. These 2 families need to rebuild their homes where their old homes stood so they can at least go back to their already impoverished lives. They are not asking for more. They cannot do this on their own and they must have assistance from the State Government to help them in this hour of their need. This has been done before for other fire victims and for victims of the recent Tsunami.

It is with this kind of hope that the people of Prai voted for the PR government. The PR government should view the gravity of and the opportunity in this situation to consider saving these two families.

It is our opinion that the State Government must respond positively to their request and provide these families with funds they need to rebuild their homes in Kampung Manis. Actions such as these make a real difference to the Rakyat.

We can only see which tree is evergreen when the weather turns to bitter winter.

Thank You,

Your Faithfully,



National Advisor

Human Rights Party

'Father converted Banggarma to Islam'

Housewife S Banggarma was converted to Islam by her father and not by state religious authorities as alleged, said welfare department director-general Meme Zainal Rashid today.

Previously, the 27-year-old mother of two claimed that she had been unwittingly converted at the age of seven when residing at the Taman Bakti welfare home in Kepala Batas, Penang.

NONEIn a statement, Meme (right) said the Penang state welfare department had investigated the case after it was highlighted in the media.

According to records, she said Banggarma was converted to Islam by her natural father along with her other siblings on Nov 30, 1983.

This was stated on the conversion acknowledgment letter by both her mother and father filed with Islamic authorities in Rompin, Pahang.

"She was only placed in a welfare home from March 1990 by court order under the Juvenile Courts Act of 1947 for her own protection, after she was found wandering aimlessly in Sungai Petani, Kedah," said Meme.

NONE"The accusation that she was converted to Islam while under the care of the welfare department has been proven to be false.

"The documentary evidence proves she was already a Muslim before she was placed in the welfare home," she added.

Banggarma (left), whose Muslim name is Siti Hasnah Vangarama Abdullah, said she discovered her Muslim status when seeking to register her marriage in 2000.

As to the current religious status of Banggarma, Meme said: "It is now in the hands of the Penang Islamic authorities."

'Free to turn apostate'

The Penang Islamic Council (MAIPP) president Shabudin Yahaya confirmed that they are also investigating the case.

"As far as we are concerned, she is a Muslim. Whether she is practising or not, is not the question. What matters is that she has taken the Shahadah or the ritual testament of faith.

NONE"But Hasnah (Banggarma) is free to turn apostate and leave the Islamic faith, though she will have to undergo the standard procedure," he said.

Shabudin said that the procedure may involve counselors from the Penang Islamic department who will provide counseling and ascertain her claims.

However, the MAIPP president cautioned that this process is not to encourage those who want to leave the Muslim faith, but the procedure exist for cases such as this.

He likened Banggarma's case to the Fatimah Tan case earlier this year, where Muslim convert Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah was allowed to renounce Islam and revert to her original religion of Buddhism.

On the status of her current marriage, Shabudin said this has to be decided by the Syariah courts, as legally Banggarma is considered a Muslim.

HRP Chaah, Johor dialogue most interactive, Indian masses speak up.

Having completed the Tiram state constituency forum on 22/11/2009 at 7.00 p.m, a meeting was held with the HRP Johor committee. Thereafter our Secretary General, Information Chief and loyalist P.Karuna shot off for the Chaah, Johor dialogue with about 50 members at their rented premises off the Chaah Main Road.

This Chaah dialogue has been the most interactive with the local supporters asking the most relevant, protruding and at one point even a question amounting to a Cross Examination.

We are proud of these mostly ordinary palm oil harvesters, lorry drivers and odd job workers who after the 25th November 2007 Hindraf rally have awakened and are again

waiting to rise the occasion. We arrived K.L at 2.00 a.m on 23/10/2009.


HRP Information Chief


25th November HINDRAF’s Official 3 Events, P.Waythamoorthy.

HINDRAF – 3 events on November 25th 2009 to commemorate HINDRAF’s

Neo Democratic Revolution.

It has been two years since the Neo Democratic Revolution and uprising of the Malaysian Indians against the marginalized and systematic discrimination against them by the UMNO led Government.

HINDRAF would be organizing three events to commemorate the people’s Neo Democratic Revolution initiated by HINDRAF against the totalitarian government led by the UMNO.

Event No 1 -

A gathering of 18 HINDRAF supporters in front of KLCC between 9.00am- 4.00pm to observe a hunger strike representing the 18 point demands that was submitted to the UMNO led government in uplifting the Malaysian Indian community that has been systematically marginalized and discriminated by the government for the last 52 years.

Event No 2 –

HINDRAF chairman’s daughter, W. Vaishnavi will be attending the Prime Minister’s Department in Putra Jaya to hand over a letter from HINDRAF Chairman detailing the current and immediate problems of the Malaysian Indians in regards to the discrimination that they face in socio development backwardness of the Malaysian Indian society within the sphere of Malaysian community in regards to education, economics, business, police abuses, freedom of religious practice and other continued suppression on Article 5, 8, 10 & 13 of the constitution against the public more particularly against the Malaysian Indians.


Event No 3 :

Nationwide prayers at more than 100 locations to light 18 ghee lamps to signify the 18 Point Demands submitted by Hindraf to the then Prime Minister that is yet to be fulfilled. A complete list of temples holding such prayers would be available for viewing on our website on the 25th November 2009.

A separate mega Ruthra yagam/fire ritual would be held on 29th November 2009 at Agora Veerabathrar Sanggili Karuppar Temple 17 ½ Mile Kg.Benggali Rawang Selangor.

It is a common cause for all Malaysian if fairness and equality is what we pursue to enhance our community’s agenda against the repressive government led by UMNO and its voiceless and spineless coalition for the betterment of the society.

Hindraf warns the Royal Malaysian Police not to interfere, disrupt and/or sabotage these peaceful gatherings which are organised in accordance to our basic rights enshrined under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and which is very meaningful and significant to Malaysian Indians.

Thank you


International Relations Coordinator


New York

+1 646 6378600






HRP : Indian political empowerment strategy book launch and Tiram constituency, Johor forum on 22/11/2009

This forum began at about 3.15 p.m. A group of ten children came upstage at the T.S. Hotel, Taman Sintex Pasir Gudang Johor and presented the book “ Indian political empowerment strategy” which was duly launched by P.Uthayakumar. P.Uthayakumar’s slide show presentation on the discrimination of the Indians in Malaysia by UMNO was shown. Among other things he said UMNOs’ Malay-sia as it stands is the most racist and religious extremist country in the world. Even apartied ended in South Africa in 1989. This was followed by an interactive question and answer which ended at about 7.00p.m. The police special branch did a full recording of the event. One policeman even came upstage and brought this book and even got an autograph but maybe to fix us up.


HRP Information Chief