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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hindraf and indigenous parties in East Malaysia to join forces?

By Neville Spykerman
The Malaysian Insider

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 1 – The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) may soon team up with indigenous parties in Sabah and Sarawak to form a third force, one neither aligned to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) nor Barisan National (BN), ahead of the 13th General Elections.

Exiled Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy, who has been abroad since the movement was banned following street protests in 2007, and former PKR vice-president Datuk Jeffrey Kittingan met in Singapore earlier last month, while another meeting is planned in Britain next month.

“An initial understanding was reached that a third force is needed to take on both PKR and BN in the next general elections,” said Waythamoorty in a phone interview with The Malaysian Insider.

Hindraf’s influence has been on the wane after successfully uniting the marginalised Indian community against the BN government in the run-up to last year’s general elections.

Several splinter parties led by former leaders have emerged from its shadow.

Any coalition will include Hindraf’s political wing, the Human Right’s Party (HRP) led by Waythamoorty’s brother, former Internal Security (ISA) detainee Uthayakumar, with parties from Sabah and Sarawak.

“We are leaving it to Jeffrey to mobilise the parties in East Malaysia,” Waythamoorty said.

Jeffrey, who heads the Common Interest Group (CIG) in Sabah and Sarawak, described the talks with Waythamoorty as “exploratory.”

“Discussions are still at a preliminary stage but in politics anything is possible,” said Jeffrey, when asked if the “tie-up” would pave the way for him leaving PKR to form a third political force in Malaysia, similar to the Liberal party in the United Kingdom.

The idea of the third force is to protect the rights of marginalised and indigenous groups while providing an alternative choice to the people, said Jeffrey.

He did not discount the possibility that the non-partisan CIG, which he described as a civil society movement, could evolve into a third force with Hindraf.

“It depends on what the people want,” he said.



Migration as Protest: Why Malaysians Are Leaving

By Farish A. Noor ~ December 1st, 2009

According to Malaysia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kohilan Pillay, the number of Malaysians who have decided to up their roots and emigrate abroad has almost doubled this year to about 340,000. 3,800 Malaysians have given up their citizenship and simply opted to leave the country of their birth. Furthermore it has been noted that almost half of those who have left are professionals who have chosen to seek greener pastures abroad, citing better pay and working opportunities as well as marriage as the most common reasons given. Malaysia is the loser in this sorry equation, and though the right-wing communitarians among us used to quip ‘if you dont like it, leave it’, this sorry reply will sooner or later be exposed for the vain boast that it is.

For Malaysians are indeed leaving, and many of them happen to be among the most precious human resource that the country cannot afford to lose.
For what is a nation, and what is Malaysia?
Malaysia, it has to be remembered is not a patch of land where the mountains and trees realise that they happen to be part of a nation they are not even members of. Neither do the roads, bridges, buildings and flagpoles that litter our urban landscape make up the essence of what is Malaysia.

Malaysia is made up of Malaysians, and if and when there are no more Malaysian-minded Malaysians left then we might as well turn the lights off and call it quits. Malaysia exists as an idea, an ideal and a value only when there are enough people who regard themselves as Malaysians first, and who place citizenship and national belonging above all other concerns of ethnicity and communitarian politics. And right now, many of those Malaysians are heading for the exit.
What is interesting for the historian here is that this pattern of migration mirrors the modes of passive mass protest of old, dating back to the pre-modern and pre-colonial era when Kings were Gods (Dewarajas) and where there was no such thing as a nationalism and national identity. Loyalties were bound to kingship, and rule was affected through force and violence. In the pre-modern polities of Southeast Asia, democracy was an alien and distant concept and politics was likewise absent as there was no independent public domain and no public participation in governance. In short, power was absolute and absolutely monopolised by the ruler and the ruling elite.
Our poor ancestors realised that theirs was a sorry lot. Under the best of circumstances they might have been lucky enough to live under a benevolent ruler who was wise enough to share the riches of the land, or at least not tax and plunder his helpless subjects into total subjection and poverty. At worse, some rulers were despotic and almost homicidally so, slaughtering their own subjects, forcing them into forms of debt bondage and slavery, taxing their meagre earnings and grinding down the few bright sparks and independent-minded individuals among them.

The Hikayats of old are replete with such stories of wanton oppression at the hands of tyrants and egomaniacs, and the poor people of the Indonesian-Malay archipelago were left with little in the form of effective resistance.
After all, what could one do if one happened to be one of the unfortunate subjects of a vainglorious God-King/Dewaraja? Vote the king out? There was no such thing as voting with one’s hands, and so the only form of resistance was to vote with one’s feet, and to leave.
This explains in part the fluid character of the pre-modern polities of Southeast Asia in the past, where kingdoms would rise and fall according to the performance of the rulers themselves. Wise and benevolent rulers would attract more and more migrants to his realm, for the word would spread that a wise and benevolent king rules there.
But tyrants would soon find themselves deserted, and their kingdoms would falter and decline thanks to the modes of passive resistance that included reduction of work and production, and eventually migration and depopulation. Ironically, despite the vast repertoire of the symbols of sacred power that the God-kings had at their disposal, even they could not stop their people from leaving in the dead of night to better climes and safer lands. In an age where polities depended on human resources and where there were rarely any substantial standing armies, migration was one of the most powerful forms of passive resistance that was available to the ordinary people of Southeast Asia.
So from that historical perspective we may want to look at what is happening in Malaysia today. The outflow of human resource - the most precious possession that any country can claim - is perhaps one of the few political acts that the ordinary citizen can perform today. The country loses, and we all lose too in the process. But the ruling elite in Malaysia today has to ask itself this simple question: If and when so many Malaysians chose to leave the country of their birth, what were the factors that prompted them to do so, and what could the elite have done to win and retain their confidence in the Malaysian project. Set against this context, all talk of a ‘United Malaysia’, ‘One Malaysia’, ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ seems stale and ineffectual.
Malaysia is most in danger not when it is invaded, but when Malaysians themselves have lost faith in it. And for that loss of faith in the national project, we have no-one else to blame save the politicians of the country themselves.


Works Minister: Cabinet to decide on Bukit Antarabangsa report

Shaziman attacked reporters today for questioning him on the Bukit Antarabangsa report. — File pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — An agitated Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor today could barely maintain his composure as he attacked reporters for asking him questions regarding the blanket ban on the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide report.

"It's very simple, I hope you can actually understand what I'm saying. For example, you ask an architect (let's use JKR) to design your house. When the design is complete, JKR will give it back to you.

"When it is ready, does the architect need to tell the whole world the details of your house?" said a red-faced Shaziman.

In response to a report of Bukit Antarabangsa residents pleading to the Works Ministry to declassify the report, Shaziman maintained that the Cabinet will decide on the matter.

"When I wanted to classify the report, I informed the Cabinet. Now if I were to declassify it, why should I jump procedures? I must also inform the Cabinet and let them decide."

He, however, ignored a question from a reporter who asked him his next course of action, as legally he has the right to declassify documents under the OSA (Official Secrets Act).

Section 2 c of the 1972 OSA Act stipulates that the minister responsible for classifying the Act has the power to declassify it without going through the Cabinet.

The works minister also attempted to shift the responsibility of ensuring the safety of Bukit Antarabangsa residents to the MPAJ (Ampang Jaya Municipal Council), stating that the onus was on the council to prevent these "mishaps" from recurring.

"MPAJ has to ensure that this does not recur. They have to follow the suggestions of the report," said the minister.

He blamed MPAJ, which is under the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state government, for not doing a proper job of ensuring the people's safety.

"The state government is jobless. The jobs that they are tasked with have yet to be completed, and all they can do is point fingers.

"Tell me, what has the Selangor state government actually done?" asked Shaziman.

He asserted that the landslide report was provided to the MPAJ so that it could "take action", not blurt out the details to the public.

The report, according to him, was to be presented to the MPAJ upon completion so that it could act on the findings, but without divulging its content to the public, as it was against the law.

"Why are they (state government) melompat-lompat tak tentu pasal? They have written a letter to me requesting for a declassification of the report. I will have to relay the matter to the Cabinet for them to decide. End of story."

When asked whether the Cabinet has actually been formally notified of the request for declassification, he failed to give a straight answer, instead noting that the legal process would take some time.

Shaziman also seized the opportunity to lash out at Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for wanting to declassify another confidential government report, the Hazardous Map report.

This report provides a study of risk in residential areas including hill slopes executed by specialists appointed by the federal government.

"If he (Khalid) declassifies something which cannot be classified, it is illegal."

Shaziman also confirmed that a police report will be lodged on the leak of the landslide report, even if the Cabinet decides to release details to the public.

Sarawakian’s suit for ‘Allah’ CDs seizure set for January

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The High Court here will hear on Jan 12 the application by a Melanau woman to challenge the Home Ministry’s decision confiscating eight compact discs (CDs) of Christian religious teachings containing the word “Allah”.

Justice Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman fixed the date in chambers today.

Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, 27, was granted leave on May 4 to initiate the judicial review proceedings against the ministry and the government, as respondents, to seek three reliefs from the court.

She wants an order of certiorari to quash the ministry’s decision to confiscate the CDs, an order of mandamus to direct the ministry to return the CDs to her and a declaration that she has the legitimate expectation to exercise her right to possess, use and import publications containing the word “Allah”.

On May 11 last year, the ministry seized the CDs under Section 9 (1) of the Printing Presses And Publications Act 1984 when Ireland, a clerk, disembarked at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang.

The CDs containing titles including “Cara Menggunakan Kunci Kerajaan Allah, Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah and Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah” were brought in from Indonesia.

Ireland, a Sarawakian native of the Christian faith, claimed that she used the word “Allah” in her prayers, worship and religious education.

She claimed that she received a letter dated July 7 last year from the ministry outlining the reasons for the confiscation, including that it was a threat to security, that it used prohibited words and that it was a breach of Jakim guidelines.

She was represented by counsel Annou Xavier while senior federal counsel Suzana Atan appeared for the respondents. — Bernama

Our failed migrant labour policy

By Tunku Aziz

Corruption and gross inefficiency make for a lethal concoction. In Malaysia everything that goes wrong is traceable to either one or both of these factors, and we Malaysians do not have far to cast our eye to see examples of enforcement that have gone awry.

Everywhere we go in Malaysia, in urban centres as well as remote rural hamlets, we see foreigners in our midst toiling away day and night at jobs that Malaysians won’t touch with a long barge pole.

It is clear that these people, the overwhelming majority are illegal, are performing a useful economic function, and it is equally obvious that we cannot do without them, such is their penetration into virtually every aspect of Malaysian life. Why, then, don’t we look the problem in the face and do something right by both the country and these illegals who are here for the long haul?

My greatest concern is the ever present threat posed by many of them to security and public order. The large concentrations of illegal Indonesians are a matter of real concern given their known propensity for criminal activities, including armed robberies. The police are doing the best they can, but the rising crime rates are signs pointing to their failure to keep serious crimes under control, in spite of protestations to the contrary by the IGP.

It is not that they do not know the cause of the problem, but they are reduced to merely treating the symptoms because of conflicting ministerial policies. With millions of people from all over Asia who have overstayed their welcome, we persist with the utterly mindless facility of granting visas on arrival to all and sundry.

I once saw a gaggle of bedraggled South Asian “tourists” swarming over an immigration counter for their right of entry under our tourism promotion campaign. Anyone who was not blind could see that Malaysia Truly Asia was a million miles from their minds.

I know that tourism is important to our economy, but what we are implementing is tantamount to an open door policy, particularly in light of a very real terrorist threat to internal, and by extension, global peace and security. Our VOA policy has earned us the kind of notoriety that we need like a hole in the head.

We are seen by human traffickers, drug smugglers, and assorted terrorists in transit as corrupt and flexible in our official transactions. “Malaysia Boleh” of the Mahathir era was not the Freudian slip that we thought. It was a true reflection of “anything goes” in our country. This is what has dragged Malaysia to its current position in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.

We are perceived as a country where corruption in the public service has intruded into every level of officialdom. We may not agree with the verdict of the international community on our moral rectitude or as far as our corrupt behaviour is concerned, because it is argued by the practitioners of corruption among us that these are nothing more than perceptions.

What they forget is that while perceptions may not have any basis in fact, they are real and do influence and cloud the thinking of overseas decision makers.

Tinkering around the edges of our failed immigration policy on foreign labour is not the answer. We have to make a conscious political decision to legalise those who are already here by registering them and giving them a two year stay, renewable subject to conditions. At least in this way we know who they are. Those who are not registered will be regarded as illegal and appropriate action will then be taken.

There must be a more orderly way of dealing with this very important national issue because by leaving matters as they are, they are not going to go away. If we have a proper system of foreign worker registration, we will reduce police harassment and extortion, common complaints by these illegal workers.

We have had instances of illegal workers under detention fighting the police and other enforcement officers because they are fed up with the continual acts of extortion. The police should set up a special undercover unit to monitor police operations against these illegals to make sure that human rights abuses do not take place.

An all party parliamentary committee should be established to study the issues involved and make appropriate recommendations for implementation.

Some 630 Malaysians leave the country every day

A total of 304,358 Malaysians left the country between March last year and August this year for better education, career and business prospects, Deputy Foreign Minister A Kohilan Pillay told Parliament yesterday. This is a big leap from 139,696 Malaysians who migrated to other countries in 2007.

This works out to some 630 Malaysians leaving the country every day.

Can Malaysia afford such a continuing brain drain?

This is a big vote of no confidence not only in the Abdullah premiership but also in the present Najib administration.

In Singapore last month, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Malaysian Government is reaching out to Malaysians abroad to help promote the country.

It is a most extraordinary way of reaching out to Malaysians abroad by persisting with political, economic, educational and nation-building policies which strengthen the push-factors and expedite the brain drain from Malaysia.

Tak ada kesan 'tebuk' macam mana boleh kes liwat

Seperti yang dijangka Mahkamah pada 1 Disember lepas telah mengarahkan perbicaraan kes Liwat DSAI dimulakan dengan tidak mengendahkan bukti laporan perubatan dari PUSRAWI dan Hospital Besar Kuala Lumpur yang menyakatan dengan jelas tidak ada luka atau kesan liwat di dubur Saiful.
Institusi Kehakiman kita sejak lebih 20 tahun yang lalu, hancur dan berterabur. Ini semua adalah gara-gara tangan durjana pemerintah UMNO/BN sejak Mahadhir mula menerajuinya. In fact, ia menjadi seperti badut yang ditertawakan oleh dunia.

Individu-individu yang terlibat secara langsung dalam sistem kehakiman kita, yang dipertanggungjawabkan untuk memberi keadilan kepada semua, telah terpalit dengan skandal-skandal yang memalukan. Baik para hakimnya…. Peguam Negara serta teamnya…. para peguam yang BN-friendlynya…. semuanya sudah tidak boleh dipercayai. Hancur lebur kredibiliti dan integriti mereka.

Pengendalian dan perjalanan perbicaraan….. pendakwaan serta pertuduhan, malah cara penyiasatan dijalankan sangat pincang dan begitu selective dan berat sebelah. Ia kelihatan memihak kepada kepentingan pihak pemerintah dan suku sakat mereka. Obvious sangat…

Lihat saja kes Mata Lebam Anwar… kes liwat Anwar… kes salah guna kuasa Anwar… kes rasuah Anwar… kes pembunuhan Norita Shamsudin… kes pembunuhan Altantunya… kes korek-korek pita Lingam… kes rampasan kuasa kerajaan Perak, semuanya menimbulkan tanda tanya yang amat besar, menimbulkan keraguan serta dipertikaikan.

Why??? Sebab… Mahkamah Malaysia sudah jadi mahkamah rimba!! Mahkamah kangaroo!!! Ia menjadi pentas, tempat badut-badut beraksi. Lakonan mereka sungguh lucu dan menggelikan hati sesiapa saja yang menontonnya. Dan… aksi-aksi mereka, kekadang melambau dan keji sekali. Ya… lawak dengan aksi-aksi yang terover, membuatkan orang rasa muak, meluat dan benci!!

Yang terkini adalah… penolakan mahkamah terhadap satu lagi kes liwat Anwar, yang melibatkan seorang lagi pelakon baru ciptaan Satu Malaysia…. si Sayfool The Coffee Boy!!

Siasatan berserta bukti sahih, menunjukkan no entry pada ‘belakang’ si Sayfool. Bukan hearsay tapi medical proof… medical findings… from dua reliable sumber, credible doctors from Hospital PUSRAWI dan HKL. Kedua-dua sumber menyatakan dengan jelas dan tegas, tidak ada tanda-tanda whatsoever, yang menunjukkan ada penetration pada dubur si Sayfool. Maknya…. si Sayfool tidak diliwat. Tapi… apa mahkamah Malaysia kata??

Apa ke giler nya budak sekor ni??? Mengaku diri diliwat tapi doktor sahkan tidak ada apa-apa yang masyuukkk!!! Mengadu sana… mengadu sini. Last-last, Pejabat Peguam Negara kesian dekat dia… dan kata ada kes.

Polis pun siasat itu… siasat ini, siasat orang tu… siasat orang ni, ambil itu…ambil ini, doktor pun ambil itu…. ambil ini, periksa orang tu… periksa orang nidan akhirnya keluarkan laporan yang menidakkan apa yang didakwa oleh si Sayfool. Tapi… apa kata mahkamah Malaysia??

Itu yang pelik bin ajaibnya…. Jabatan Peguam Negara dan mahkamah masih berkeras dan berdegil hendak meneruskan kes ini. Tak ke lawak namanya???

Satu lagi lawak maut ialah…. keengganan Mahkamah memberikan bahan bukti pertuduhan yang secukupnya kepada barisan peguam Anwar untuk membuat persediaan bagi membela diri. Apakah Anwar akan diperlakukan macam tahun 1998 dahulu, dalam kes mata lebamnya?? Tangan diikat… mata ditutup dan dibelasah separuh mati. Nampak gayanya… dalam kes ini, ‘tangan’ Anwar masih diikat di belakang dan ‘mata’nya masih ditutup. Siapa pulak punya angkara kali ini?? Pejabat Peguam Negara dan Mahkamah Satu Malaysia!!!
Adilkah tindakan mereka ini??

Ha ha ha ha…. What do you expect?? Itulah dia sistem kehakiman yang kita ada hari ini. Sistem kehakiman yang dikendalikan oleh kebanyakannya lembu-lembu serta kuda-kuda yang telah dicucuk hidung dan dikenyangkan dengan pangkat dan kedudukan. Yang mereka tahu ialah mooo… mooo dan yeee haaah!!
So, pada 25 Januari depan kes Anwar akan mula dibicarakan. Kita tengok sajalah bagaimana lembu-lembu badut ini memainkan peranan mereka.

Bagi kita…. LAWAN TETAP LAWAN!!!

Where are we? (Rani Lakshmibai)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rani Lakshmi bai

Portrait of Lakshmi Bai
Born Manikarnika
19 November 1828(1828-11-19)
Dist. Satara, India
Died 17 June 1858 (aged 29)
Gwalior, India
Other names Manu , chhabili
Title Rani of Jhansi

Lakshmibai, The Rani (Queen) of Jhansi (c.19 November 1828 – 17 June 1858) (Hindi- झाँसी की रानी Marathi- झाशीची राणी), known as Jhansi Ki Rani, was the queen of the Maratha-ruled princely state of Jhansi, was one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and a symbol of resistance to British rule in India. She has gone down in Indian history as a legendary figure, as India's "Joan of Arc."[1]

Early life

Originally named Manikarnika at birth, she was born to a Maharashtrian Karhade Brahmin family on 19 November 1828 at Dwadashi, District Satara. She lost her mother at the age of four. She was educated at home. Her father Moropant Tambey worked at the court of Peshwa Baji Rao II at Bithur and then travelled to the court of Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, the Maharaja of Jhansi, when Manu was thirteen years old.[ambiguous] She married Gangadhar Rao, the Raja of Jhansi, at the age of 14.[2]


After her marriage, she was given the name Lakshmi Bai. Because of her father's influence at court, Rani Lakshmi Bai had more independence than most women, who were normally restricted to the zenana: she studied self defense, horsemanship, archery, and even formed her own army out of her female friends at court.

Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a son in 1851, however this child died when he was about four months old. After the death of their son, the Raja and Rani of Jhansi adopted Damodar Rao. However, it is said that her husband the Raja never recovered from his son's death, and he died on 21 November 1853 of a broken heart.

Because Damodar Rao was adopted and not biologically related to the Raja, the East India Company, under Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, was able to install the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Rao's rightful claim to the throne. Dalhousie then annexed Jhansi, saying that the throne had become "lapsed" and thus put Jhansi under his "protection". In March 1854, the Rani was given a pension of 60,000 rupees and ordered to leave the palace at the Jhansi fort.

The Great Rebellion

Rani Jhansi was determined not to give up Jhansi. She strengthened its defences and assembled a volunteer army. Women were also given military training. Rani's forces were joined by warriors including Gulam Gaus Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Sunder-Mundar, Kashi Bai, Deewan Raghunath Singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh.

[edit] The Great Rebellion of 1857

The Rani donned in war gear

While this was happening in Jhansi, on May 10, 1857 the Sepoy (soldier) Mutiny of India started in Meerut. This would become the starting point for the unpresedented rebellion against the British. It began after rumours were put about that the new bullet casings for their Enfield rifles were coated with pork/beef fat, pigs being taboo to Muslims and cows sacred to Hindus and thus forbidden to eat. British commanders insisted on their use and started to discipline anyone who disobeyed. During this rebellion many British civilians, including women, and children were killed by the sepoys. The British wanted to end the rebellion quickly.

Meanwhile, unrest began to spread throughout India and in May of 1857, the First War of Indian Independence erupted in numerous pockets across the northern subcontinent. During this chaotic time, the British were forced to focus their attentions elsewhere, and Lakshmi Bai was essentially left to rule Jhansi alone. During this time, her qualities were repeatedly demonstrated as she was able swiftly and efficiently to lead her troops against skirmishes breaking out in Jhansi. Through this leadership Lakshmi Bai was able to keep Jhansi relatively calm and peaceful in the midst of the Empire’s unrest.[3]

Up to this point, she had been hesitant to rebel against the British, and there is still some controversy over her role in the massacre of the British HEIC officials and their wives and children on the 8th June 1857 at Jokhan Bagh[4]. Her hesitation finally ended when British troops arrived under Sir Hugh Rose and laid siege to Jhansi on 23rd March 1858. Rani Jhansi with her faithful warriors decided not to surrender. The fighting continued for about two weeks. Shelling on Jhansi was very fierce. In the Jhansi army women were also carrying ammunition and were supplying food to the soldiers. Rani Lakshmi Bai was very active. She herself was inspecting the defense of the city. She rallied her troops around her and fought fiercely against the British. An army of 20,000, headed by the rebel leader Tatya Tope, was sent to relieve Jhansi and to take Lakshmi Bai to freedom. However, the British, though numbering only 1,540 in the field so as not to break the siege, were better trained and disciplined than the “raw recruits,” and these inexperienced soldiers turned and fled shortly after the British began to attack on the 31st March. Lakshmi Bai’s forces could not hold out and three days later the British were able to breach the city walls and capture the city. Yet Lakshmi Bai escaped over the wall at night and fled from her city, surrounded by her guards, many of whom were from her women’s military.[5]

Along with the young Damodar Rao, the Rani decamped to Kalpi along with her forces where she joined other rebel forces, including those of Tatya Tope. The Rani and Tatya Tope moved on to Gwalior, where the combined rebel forces defeated the army of the Maharaja of Gwalior after his armies deserted to the rebel forces. They then occupied the strategic fort at Gwalior. However on the second day of fighting, on 18 June 1858, the Rani died.


Statue of Maharani Laxmibai, Agra

She died on 18 June, 1858 during the battle for Gwalior with 8th Hussars that took place in Kotah-Ki-Serai near Phool Bagh area of Gwalior. She donned warrior's clothes and rode into battle to save Gwalior Fort, about 120 miles west of Lucknow in what is now the state of Uttar Pradesh. The British captured Gwalior three days later. In the report of the battle for Gwalior, General Sir Hugh Rose commented that the rani "remarkable for her beauty, cleverness and perseverance" had been "the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders"[6].

However, the lack of a corpse to be convincingly identified as the Rani convinced Captain Rheese of the so called "bravest" regiment that she had not actually perished in the battle for Gwalior, stating publicly that:"[the] Queen of Jhansi is alive!" [7]. It is believed her funeral was arranged on same day near the spot where she was wounded. One of the her maidservants helped with the arrangement of quick funeral.

Because of her bravery, courage, and wisdom, and her progressive views on women's empowerment in 19th century India, and due to her sacrifices, she became an icon of Indian independence movement. The Rani was memorialized in bronze statues at both Jhansi and Gwalior, both of which portray her on horseback.

Her father, Moropant Tambey, was captured and hanged a few days after the fall of Jhansi. Her adopted son, Damodar Rao, was given a pension by the British Raj and cared for, although he never received his inheritance.


Rani Lakshmi Bai became a national heroine and was seen as the epitome of female bravery in India. When the Indian National Army created its first female unit, it was named after her.

Indian poetess Subhadra Kumari Chauhan wrote a poem in the Veer Ras style about her, which is still recited by children in schools of contemporary India.

In a prophetic statement in the 1878 book The History of the Indian Mutiny, Colonel Malleson said "...her countrymen will always believe that she was driven by ill-treatment into rebellion; that her cause was a righteous cause; ..... To them she will always be a heroine.

UK court makes ‘historic’ terrorism evidence ruling

LONDON, Dec 1 — London’s High Court ruled against the British government today over the use of secret evidence to deny terrorism suspects bail in what campaigners called an “historic” judgment.

The government expressed disappointment at the “unhelpful” verdict, handed down over the case brought by two men suspected of terrorism-related activities, saying it would make it harder to keep the country safe.

The court ruled that a person could not be denied bail solely on the basis of secret evidence.

The judges concluded such applications should be treated the same as “control order” cases, where terrorism suspects must be given an “irreducible minimum” of information about the case against them, the Press Association reported.

The decision is another judicial defeat for ministers over security measures, beefed up after the Sept 11 attacks amid much criticism from human rights campaigners.

“I am surprised and disappointed that the court has made this ruling. My sole objective is protecting the public and this judgment will make that job harder,” said Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

He said the two suspects, a Pakistani student known as XC and an Algerian referred to as U who face deportation on the grounds they pose a risk to national security, would remain in custody while he sought permission to appeal the verdict.

XC was one of 12 men arrested amid great publicity by counter-terrorism police in April this year but later released without charge as there was insufficient evidence. The men were then told they would be deported instead.

“We will do everything possible to keep this country safe and are taking steps accordingly in the light of this unhelpful judgment,” he said.

Today’s verdict follows a judgment by Britain’s highest court in June that the government had to disclose secret evidence from its spies which it used against suspects to justify stringent home curfews known as control orders.

The orders, introduced just before the 2005 London bombings that killed 52 people, allow terrorism suspects not charged with any crime to be kept under curfew for up to 16 hours a day, with tight restrictions on who they can communicate with or meet.

Human rights and justice organisations argued they violated fundamental rights, with suspects placed under tight surveillance without knowing what they have done wrong, and Johnson said in September the system would now be reviewed.

“Thanks to this historic judgment, the shadowy secret court system that has mushroomed under the War on Terror will now be exposed to the light of day,” said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the campaign group Liberty.

“The hard lesson of recent years is that diluting Britain’s core values and abandoning justice makes us both less safe and free.” — Reuters


Through these columns I intend to present a picture of the marginalization of the Indian poor in Malaysia and also try and put forth a coherent explanation of how it happened. I am going to do this in several parts. I am doing this to break the myth that what has happened to the Indian poor in the country is inevitable. That it all happened because they lack values, they lack religion, they watch too much Astro, they are basicaly violent and such other myths as our current day theoreticians both within the community as outside the community will have us believe.

Here is the first part.

First some basic information that will help us understand the story that will be presented a little better.

Basic data of Malaysia

Population by ethnic group Malaysia, 2010



Other Bumiputera
















As can be seen from this data Indians form 7.4% of the total population of Malaysia in a census projection from the Department of Statistics, Government of Malaysia. The Indians are a minority group, a distinct minority group.

During the period since the Independence the per capita Gross Domestic Product ( GDP), an indicator of the economic progress and status of a country – just like your salary, rose from about RM 2500 per year in 1960 to RM15,000 in 2008. Quite a performance. The economy changed from being primarily a commodity producing & agricultural economy (like production of rubber and palm oil) to a manufacturing orientated economy. See table below:

% of GDP









The Indians were largely involved in the rubber plantations as tappers in a relatively modern form of agricultural production at the inception of the nation. Though it is not food, that was produced, it was a cash crop and it was grown – so we call it agriculture. Since then there has been a tremendous shift in the structure of the economy. The plantation economy slowly gave way to an industrial economy. Factories started to replace the rubber estates as the main feature of the economy.

While this was happening Malaysian politics also went through significant change. The 4 key phases in the development of the politics are the period 1957 – 1969, 1969 – 1981. 1981 -2004, 2004 - 2008. Each of these phases is characterized by key historical phenomena that both chronicles what has happened in Malysian politics as well as explain how it all happened.

While these were occurring, the Indian population, a minority to start with, coupled with the fact that they were in the lowest rung of Malaysian society experienced significant outward push from the mainstream of all these developments –economic, political and social.

The Indians have not benefited in equal measures as the other communities in spite of the rapid economic development that the country experienced in this period. In these columns I will try to set out the various forms of the push out or marginalization that the Indian poor faced in these various phases and why this has happened. Essentailly we all know what has happened - but we know them as sporadic and separate events. What I will attempt to do is to connect all these events, join the dots so to speak, and draw a big picture for you all to see - hopefully making the truth clearer.

But first let me start with what marginalization means:

In sociology, marginalisation is the social process of becoming or being made marginal - to be sent to the fringes, out of the mainstream; or to confine to a lower social standing. make seem unimportant “the marginalization of the underclass” is a clear example. In its most extreme form, marginalization can exterminate groups.

Many communities experience marginalization. As a result of marginalization, communities have lost their land, were forced into destitute areas, lost their traditional sources of income, and were excluded from the labour market. Additionally, communities have lost their culture and values and lost their rights in society .

Today the Malaysian Indian community is marginalized from Malaysian society as a result of the development of practices, policies and programs that only meet the needs of the power elite but not the needs of the marginalized Indian poor. This marginalization is also significantly connected to the power elite maintaining and enforcing ways by which we think and talk about things. The way we have been conditioned by the information trickling to us, or by way people talk around us, we may even have difficulty acknowledging that marginalization has occurred to the Indian community in Malaysia.

This is my task, to make it very clear, what has happened and why it has happened.

The marginalization experienced by the Indians in Malaysia is multifaceted. Specifically they can be categorized into:

1) Economic marginalization

To be denied opportunities for participating productively in the economic development of the

nation. To have been pushed out of the mainstream of economic development.

2) Political marginalization

To be denied equal opportunity to participate in the decision making processes relating to

allocation of the national resource or the social and economic development of the

community. Political clout taken away by virtue of the political processes of the country. In

the process losing political rights as a citizen and as a minority community.

3) Social marginalization

To be cast aside socially as the dreg with the social stereotypes as labourers, drunks,

untrustworthy individuals, black and smelly fellows, dependent and always complaining to

name a few of the stereotypes usually associated with being Indian poor in Malaysia. The

result of all this is the blocking of the Indian poor from developing pride as worthy individuals,

and as a community of poor being denied the opportunities for practicing and developing the

salient culture of the Indians.

I will discuss each of these aspects of marginalization in the subsequent parts. I will also

discuss the sociological basis of all of this. I will try to break the stereotyped explanations

offered for the state of the Indian community and show how through the progress of the

development of Malaysian society, this outcome has occcurred. It has nothing to do with the

Indianness in all of us – as current discourse will have us believe. It has only to do with the

political economy of the country.

Keep reading.


'Welfare home conversion': Lawyer wants proof - Malaysiakini

The lawyer of S Banggarma, who is caught in a conversion crisis, has sent a legal letter to the Welfare Department demanding that it furnish proof to substantiate its claim that the housewife was converted on Nov 30, 1983 in Rompin, Pahang.

NONEIn the letter dated Nov 25, counsel Gooi Hsiao Leung urged department director-general Meme Zainal Rashid to submit to his client the alleged letter of consent given by Banggarma's parents for the alleged conversion when she was a year old.

He also demanded that his client be furnished with the court order obtained under the 1947 Juveline Courts Act to place Banggarma in Rumah Kanak Kanak Taman Bakti in Kepala Batas.

"We have also demanded all other relevant documents to substantiate the director-general's claim that Banggarma was converted by her parents, and not by the welfare home," he told Malaysiakini today.

Banggarma has claimed that she was converted unwittingly on Dec 28, 1989 by the Penang Welfare Department when she was seven and living in the welfare home.

The mother of two, whose Muslim name is Siti Hasnah Vangarama Abdullah, refuted Meme's claim that she was converted in 1983 by her natural Hindu parents, plantation worker B Subramaniam and Latchumy Ramadu.

DG's claim contains discrepancies

Meanwhile, Gooi said Meme's claim had discrepancies and contradicted the contents of the conversion certificate issued to Banggarma.

He is now preparing to file the case at the Malaysian civil courts seeking a judgment to nullify Banggarma's conversion as illegal.

He said under Article 12.4 of the Federal Constitution, a minor could only be converted to another religion with consent of the person's parents or guardian.

"This is a civil court case because it involved unconstitutional and unlawful conversion of a minor.

"This is not the case of a voluntary Muslim convert seeking to renounce Islam," he added when asked if he had to seek justice at the Syariah Court instead.

NONEGooi, who is also PKR Kedah Youth deputy chief, said he has also penned a letter to the welfare home seeking a meeting to discuss and explore an amicable solution to the controversy.

However, he said the welfare home had been tightlipped over the issue.

"An officer from the home told me that the case was being handled by the KL welfare office."

Gooi said he hoped the Welfare Department would save everybody's time, money and energy by observing the constitutional law and allow his client to be a Hindu rightfully and legally.

"Otherwise we will have no choice but to challenge the conversion in court," he said.

Anwar fails to strike out sodomy charge - Malaysiakini

The High Court today dismissed an application by Anwar Ibrahim to strike out the sodomy charge he is facing and set Jan 25 to Feb 25 next year for hearings.

NONEThis morning, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah ruled that only a full trial could determine if there was actual penetration as charged by the prosecution.

Anwar's defence team had argued that the sodomy charge could not stand as medical reports showed no penetration on the victim.

"While the medical reports may 'state no conclusive clinical findings to suggest penetration of the anus/rectum', this court however cannot cancel the charge," said Mohd Zabidin, before a packed court room, which included former MCA vice-president Chua Jui Meng, who recently joined PKR and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

"Witnesses have to be called in to testify to attest to the matter. The matter has to go through full trial to also consider the forensic evidence to determine the case," he added.

Zabidin said this evidence and report would be useful to the defence team in creating doubts over the testimony of the witnesess on the incidence of penetration.

But the judge's earlier decision for the evidence to be handed over to Anwar had been overturned by the appellate court and the opposition leader has since made his final appeal to the Federal Court.

Anwar had also previously failed in his attempt to remove the prosecution team from the case.

Allegations against the AG

Anwar, 62, was charged with allegedly sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, last year.

He had claimed trial on March 10, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against this charge. He was initially charged with the offence at the Sessions Court, before the case was transferred to the High Court.

Justice Zabidin, in his 14-page judgment also touched on Anwar's defence team's submission that the prosecution had acted 'mala fide' in preferring the charge. He said the allegation is mainly against attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.

"They argued that the prosecutors in this present case had realised the role the AG had played then in 1998. They listed the role played by Abdul Gani in twisting and fabricating evidence against Anwar in 1998.

abdul gani patail"Despite this, there is no evidence to suggest that the same scenario is happening in this present case. Just showing Abdul Gani's (left) role in 1998 is insufficient. That the present batch of prosecutors may have knowledge of this does not mean they (prosecutors) would be biased.

"It is also insufficient for the court on the balance of probabilities at this level, to decide that the charge faced by the accused is a result of mala fide," he said.

Thus, Zabidin said Anwar's application to set aside or quash the charge under Section 377B of the Penal Code is dismissed.

Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh indicated to Zabidin that they will appeal today's decision. Lawyer Sankara Nair told reporters later he would file the notice of appeal tomorrow.

Anwar unhappy with trial dates

Meanwhile, Anwar said he was disappointmented with the manner the High Court judge fixed the trial dates without considering the fact that an appeal is pending at the Federal Court on a related matter.

Anwar said that he was waiting for the Federal Court to hear his appeal to obtain further documents and evidence from the prosecution.

"The judge has decided to fix hearing dates in total disregard to our appeal on the matter. This is a first - there is 'no need to wait for the Federal Court, let us proceed with the hearing'.

"Previously he had decided for us in gaining evidence from the prosecution and now he has decided against us by fixing the trial date.

"The very least is for him to respect his own previous decision that allowed us access to the documents and give time for the Federal Court to hear and decide on the matter," he said.

Anwar also said while the court had verifed the medical reports from four specialists who said there was no penetration, this is the first case in the world where prosecution has been allowed to go on despite the reports stating there was no penetration.

He said today's decision was also perplexing in that while the judge seems to have agreed on the role played by Abdul Gani in fabricating evidence, he decided that the present batch of prosecutors would not be influenced by bias.

anwar release 020904 sukma dermawan close up"However, we have evidence that solicitor-general 2 Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden was involved in the Sukma Darmawan (right) case, where evidence was also fabricated and in the end Sukma was cleared.

"I'm worried that this prosecution, led by Umno, is withholding vital evidence directed to hurt my case. If such evidence is provided to the defence, I'm prepared to have the case proceed tomorrow," said the opposition leader.

Describing today's judgment as disturbing, Anwar said the medical evidence was conclusive and the judge seemed to have acknowledged that but he had hinted there maybe some other evidence to be adduced.

pertuduhan terhadap anwar ibrahim 070808"This is the first case in the history of modern times that you prefer a charge of sexual abuse ignoring medical evidence that conclusively states there was no tear or penetration.

"I think we are in for a tough battle. We will fight them because we have compelling evidence and facts to support us. But the manner the prosecutors and court want to proceed with the case seems a bit worrying to me and my team of lawyers," he said.

The defence earnestly asked justice Zabidin to set mention dates instead of trial dates during proceedings, because of pending cases at the Federal Court. However the judge refused and fixed the hearing next month.

Sankara said his team would be studying on whether to apply for a stay of the hearing pending the appeal of related cases.

Will Queen Elizabeth II of England pay for the 150-year suffering of Indian Malaysians?

Plea for Malaysian Indians
Azly Rahman

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labour - not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. - Albert Einstein in ‘Why Socialism?’ (1949)
What do I think of Western civilisation? I think it would be a very good idea. - Mohandas K Gandhi

Will Queen Elizabeth II of England pay for the 150-year suffering of Indian Malaysians? How would reparations be addressed in an age in which we are still mystified by newer forms of colonialism - the English Premier League, Malaysian Eton-clones, Oxbridge education, and British rock musicians such as the guitarist-astrophysicist Dr Brian May of the better-than-the-Beatles rock group Queen (and recently appointed chancellor of a Liverpool university)?

Who in British Malaya collaborated with the British East India company in facilitating the globalised system of indentured slavery? Will the current government now pay attention to the 50-year problems of Indian Malaysians?

We need to untangle this ideological mess and listen to the pulse of the nation. We are hyperventilating from the ills of a 50-year indentured self-designed pathological system of discriminatory servitude of the mind and body, fashioned after the style of colonialism.

We need a crash course in the history of reparation, slavery, and the declaration universal human rights. We need to understand the style of British colonialism as it collaborated with the local power elites of any colony it buried its tentacles in and sucked dry the blood, sweat and tears of the natives it dehumanised and sub-humanised.

We need to calculate how much the imperialists and the local chieftains gained from the trafficking of human labour - across time and space and throughout history.

In short, we need to educate ourselves on the anatomy, chemistry, anthropology and post-structurality of old and newer forms of imperialism. British imperialism has successfully structured a profitable system of the servitude of the body, mind and soul and has transferred this ideology onto the natives wishing to be “more British than their brown skins can handle”.

We need to encourage our children to read about the system of indentured slavery - of the kangchuand kangani and how the Malays were also relegated to becoming ‘reluctant’ producers of the colonial economy. The Malays’ reluctance led to the British designation “lazy native”.

We need to also learn from the Orang Asli and the natives of each state and how their philosophy of developmentalism is more advanced that the programmes prescribed under the successive five-year Malaysia Plans. A philosophy of development that respects and is symbiotic with Nature is certainly more appropriate for cultural dignity that the one to which we have been subjected; one that exploits human beings and destroys the environment under the guise of ‘progress’.

Caged construction

Our history lessons mask the larger issue of traditional, modern and corporate control of the means of production of Malaya. We see the issue of race being played up from time immemorial; issue of convenience and necessity to the sustenance of the status quo and the proliferation of modern local oligopoly and plutocracy.

Our history classes have failed our generation that is in need of the bigger picture; ones that will allow us to see what is outside of our caged construction of historicising. Our historians, from the court propagandist Tun Sri Lanang to our modern historians written under the mental surveillance of the ruling parties, have not been true to the demand of the production of knowledge based on social and humanistic dimensions of factualising historical accounts.

We need to study the political-economy of the rubber and canning industry and the relationship between the British and the American empire as industrialisation began to take off.
The Indians in Malaysia have all the right to ask for reparation and even most importantly they have the rights as rightful citizens of Malaysia to demand for equality and equal opportunity as such accorded to the ‘bumiputera’. Every Malaysian must be given such rights.

Failure to do so we will all be guilty of practising neo-colonialism and we will one day be faced with similar issue of reparation; this time marginalised Malaysians against the independent government of Malaysia. How are we going to peacefully correct the imbalances if we do not learn from the history of international slavery, labour migration and human labour trafficking that, in the case of Hindraf, involved millions of Tamils from Tamil Nadu province?
I once wrote a piece calling for all of us to help the least privileged of our fellow Malaysians - the Indians. The piece called for the leaders to stop fighting and to help each other as well.

I wrote a passage on the need to help each other in the spirit of selflessness and collaboration: “It is time for the other races to engage in serious and sincere gotong-royong to help the poorest of the poor among the Indians. It is time that we become possessed with a new spirit of multi-cultural marhaenism. The great Indonesian leader Ahmed Soekarno popularised the concept of marhaenism as an antidote to the ideological battle against materialism, colonialism, dependency and imperialism. The thought that the top 10 percent of the richest Malaysians are earning more than 20 times compared to the 90 percent of the population is terrifying. What has become of this nation that promised a just distribution of wealth at the onset of Independence?”

Not a Hindu problem

Now we have a better scenario - we have the rights group that is beginning to pull together,-close ranks and demand for their basic human rights that have been denied. Not only their rights to be accorded places of worship and economic justice, but also the rights to look at history and ourselves and interrogate what actually happened and who actually was responsible for the misery, desolation and sustained abject poverty to which they have been subjected.

It is not a Hindu problem - it is universal problem that cuts across race and religion. If we believe in what religion has taught us about human dignity and the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity, we will all be speaking in one voice rallying for those who demand for their rights to live with dignity.

In Hindraf, I believe there are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Catholics, atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs, Bahais, Jains, etc rallying for the cause. In other words there are human beings speaking up for peace and social justice. It is the right of every Malaysian to lend support to their demands.

We have let the Indians in Malaysia suffer for too long. We ought to have a programme of affirmative action in place. We ought to have a sound programme for alleviation of poverty for the Indians and radically improve their conditions through political action, education and cultural preservation. We ought to extract the enabling aspects of culture though and perhaps reconstruct the our understanding of the relationship between culture and human progress.

But can the current political paradigm engineer a solution to the problems of the Malaysian Indians, as long as politics - after 50 years - is still British colonialist-imperialist-oppressive in nature? We have evolved into a sophisticated politically racist nation, hiding our discriminatory policies with the use of language that rationalises what the British imperialists brutally did in the open.

But our arguments cannot hold water any loner. Things are falling apart - deconstructed. The waves of demands, the frequency of rallies and the excavating of issues drawn from the archaeology of our fossilised arrogant knowledge - all these are symptoms of deconstructionism in our body politics. It is like the violent vomit of a rehabilitating cocaine addict undergoing treatment in a Buddhist monastery somewhere in northern Thailand.

We cannot continue to alienate each other through arguments on a ‘social contract’ that is alien from perhaps what Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote about some 300 years ago - a philosophy that inspired the founding of America, a nation of immigrants constantly struggling (albeit imperfectly) to meet the standards requirements of equality, equity and equal opportunity especially in education.

How do we come together, as Malaysians, as neo-bumiputeras free from false political-economic and ideological dichotomies of Malays versus non-Malays, bumi versus non-bumi and craft a better way of looking at our political, economic, social, cultural, psychological and spiritual destiny - so that we may continue to survive as a species for the next 50 years?

As a privileged Malaysian whose mother tongue is the Malay language and as one designated as a bumiputera, I want to see the false dichotomies destroyed and a new sense of social order emerging, based on a more just form of linguistic play designed as a new Merdeka game plan.

Think Malaysian - we do not have anything to lose except our mental chains. We have a lot to gain in seeing the oppressed be freed from the burden of history; one that is based on the march of materialism. We are essentially social beings, as Einstein would emphasise. Our economic design must address the socialism of existence.

Let us restructure of policies to help the Indian Malaysians - they are our lawful citizens speaking up for their fundamental rights. Let us help restructure the lives of the poor before they restructure the lives of the rich.

When the shoe is on the other foot

Rais did not say this when an Iraqi reporter in Baghdad threw his shoe at President Bush in December last year. In fact, if I remember right, he was full of glee. Rais did not say this when Iran used the American flag as doormats so that people walking into buildings could wipe their feet on the Star Spangled Banner. This shows the hypocrisy of most Muslims.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Stepping on photos an uncultured act: Rais

(Bernama) -- Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim today described as uncultured and disrespectful of individual rights and democracy the action of DAP leaders stepping on a poster bearing the facial images of three former Pakatan opposition assemblymen now friendly to the Barisan Nasional (BN).

He said their action was not at all synonymous with Malaysian society or the principles of the Rukunegara (National Ideology) or the Federal Constitution.

The action of those in the DAP who stepped on the photographs of their former colleagues was totally uncultured and demeaning, he told reporters after launching a book, "Kebudayaan Malaysia: Sebuah Pengenalan" (Malaysian Culture: An Introduction), at the Craft Complex, here.

The poster bearing the facial images of Hee Yit Fong (Jelapang), Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) was placed at the entrance to the convention hall where the Perak DAP held its annual convention yesterday, and delegates had to step on the poster to get to the meeting.

"This goes to show that politics is above everything else (for the DAP leaders and delegates) and they do not have any humanitarian feelings or respect for individuals and their democratic rights," Dr Rais said.

He said that if the DAP appreciated democratic values, it should accept the fact that the three assemblymen left their parties on the principles of their struggle.

"Why step on their photographs when entering the hall? The three of them can respond, if they want to, by placing the photographs of (DAP parliamentary leader) Lim Kit Siang along with his colleagues in the Pakatan opposition and stepping on them. How would that feel?" he said.

Dr Rais said acts depicting shallow thinking and ill-mannered politics such as this were unacceptable.

DAY 2 – 25 MARCH 2003 (Part 3)

Fernando then told the court that Anwar was placed in a most unusual situation where the defence had to prove his innocence instead of the prosecution having to prove his guilt.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The burden of proof is on the prosecution but was shifted to the defence instead

An accused person is not required to prove his innocence. Instead, his accusers have to prove his guilt. In Anwar Ibrahim’s case, however, he was placed in an unenviable position of having to prove his innocence.

Anwar was charged for ‘committing sodomy one night, at 7.45pm, between 1 January 1993 and 31 March 1993’. Even with such a wide and vague charge, Anwar still managed to provide alibis for all those 90 days except one.

Yet, the judge still insisted that Anwar had not established his alibi. But the judge was not able to say which one of those 90 days Anwar’s alibi had not been established.

“All an accused person has to do is to create reasonable doubt,” said Christopher Fernando. “He does not have to prove anything or establish his defence beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“He is not required to prove anything conclusively with respect to his defence of alibi. But the judge held he had to and the he had not proved it 'conclusively'.”

“Conclusive proof is a standard even higher than beyond reasonable doubt.”

Fernando then told the court that Anwar was placed in a most unusual situation where the defence had to prove his innocence instead of the prosecution having to prove his guilt.

“This is most unusual; alien to the law,” argued Fernando

“All Dato’ Seri Anwar had to do was to raise reasonable doubt.”

“Between 4 February and 31 March 1993, Dato’ Seri Anwar managed to establish his alibi, except for 19 February 1993, said the judge.”

“There was no rebuttal at all by the prosecution to counter Dato’ Seri Anwar’s alibi.”

“The prosecution failed to observe this very basic principle of law.”

“Dato’ Seri Anwar had to prove he was not in the Tivoli Villa in the 90 days between 1 January and 31 March 1993.”

“Instead, it should have been the prosecution’s task to prove that he was there.”

The burden of proof was on the prosecution, argued Fernando. But in Anwar’s case it was the other way around.

“In spite of the monumental task to prove Dato’ Seri Anwar was not there (Tivoli Villa) the defence still managed to do so.”

“Yet the judge still insisted the defence did not establish his alibi.”

“But the judge did not say which one day over the 90 days the alibi was not established.”

“From 1 January 1993 to 3 February 1993 the apartment was under renovation.”

“So, from 4 February 1993 onwards, the alibi needs to be proven, and it was proven.”

“Witnesses were brought to testify and documents submitted to support the alibi.”

“The judge’s mind was cluttered. He was very confused and could not see the wood for the trees.”

“Tivoli Villa was not occupied. It had no furniture and was under renovation and the prosecution never rebutted this alibi.”

“The prosecution said Sukma had free access to the apartment but this was never proven.”

Azizan Abu Bakar had testified that he had been sodomised in the Tivoli Villa and that the act had taken place on a bed in a fully-furnished apartment, complete with carpets and all. He further testified that the act had taken place prior to 1993.

The defence, in turn, managed to prove that the apartment was under renovation from 1 January 1993 to 3 February 1993, and that from 4 February 1993 to 31 March 1993 Anwar was never in the apartment.

“The judge tried to buttress the evidence. He was trying to prop up a case that was so weak and unconvincing.”

“He said Azizan’s evidence is as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar.”

“Preposterous is too mild a word to use.”

“No judge in the history of this nation has gone this far to build up the credibility of a witness such as this – a witness who has no credibility whatsoever.”

Fernando explained that if there is any benefit of the doubt, it should have been given to the accused, not the prosecution. Instead, it was the opposite in Dato’ Seri Anwar’s case.

“This is a basic fundamental principle of law.”

“Azizan should have been impeached. This is not difficult as clearly he lied.”

“If Azizan had been impeached, the hearing would have ended then and there as the entire trial hinged on Azizan’s testimony.”