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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teen shooting: Ex-IGP Hanif Omar part of special panel

KUALA LUMPUR: Former inspector-general of police Hanif Omar will be among the eight members of a special panel  set up following the fatal shooting of 14-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah.
The others are lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Suhakam commissioner Denison Jayasooria, UiTM deputy vice-chancellor Prof Abdul Halim Sidek, crime analyst Kamal Affendi Hashim and   Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief executive officer Dr Michael Yeoh.
The panel will be led by Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop. He will be assisted by ministry deputy secretary-general Ahmad Fuad Aziz.

The panel, which does not have the powers to investigate, will monitor police investigations to ensure that the probe is fair and transparent.

'One more defection and Kedah will dissolve assembly'

By Athi Shankar - Free Malaysia Today

ALOR STAR: Kedah PKR will back the dissolution of the state assembly in the event of a defection among Pakatan Rakyat state representatives the next time.

Kedah PKR election director Johari Abdul said the party state leadership had pledged full support to Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak to hold a snap state election in such a political scenario.

He said PKR and Pakatan would not allow Umno and Barisan Nasional to keep enticing the state ruling coalition assemblymen to defect and become independent representatives.

“We can no longer allow Umno and BN to continue to undermine the state administration and manipulate the political composition in the assembly.

“There is time. This must be stop and can be stopped,” said Johari, the Sungai Petani parliamentarian.

In wake of the latest defection by Bakar Arang assemblyman Tan Wei Shu from PKR in mid-April, Azizan had told a Pakatan meeting that he would advise the Sultan to dissolve assembly and call for a snap election if there was a sign of another defection from Pakatan.

He had particularly stressed his intention to three remaining PKR representatives, Tan Joon Long @ Tan Chow Kang (Sidam), S Manikumar (Bukit Selambau) and Lim Soo Nee (Kulim), who are all state executive councillors in his administration.

It’s learnt PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim had been notified about this.

Johari, who is PKR supreme council member, insisted that Azizan’s stand was not a mere political threat but a clear warning to Umno and BN to drop the idea to usurp the state administration via the back door.

He said BN had been persistently wooing Pakatan representatives to seize control the Kedah government.

“We are aware BN won’t stop engineering defections until it captures the state government,” he said.

But, he said BN should know by now that it would not succeed in regaining the government through defections, ala Perak style.

He said BN would be forced to go through public balloting process to earn legitimate rule in Kedah, adding that Wei Shu would be the last defection from Pakatan.

“If there were to be a clear sign of another defection, the Menteri Besar will dissolve the House and call for snap polls.

“We rather lose the government through democratic means than defections,” Johari told FMT today.

Wei Shu is second state representative to leave Kedah PKR following Lunas state assemblyman Mohammad Radzhi Salleh, who quit the party last August and became an independent.

Another Kedah PKR representative, Kulim–Bandar Baharu parliamentarian Zulkifli Nordin also became an independent after being sacked by the party last month for misconduct.

Currently the state ruling Pakatan coalition has 20 seats, comprising PAS 16, PKR three and DAP one, in the 36-seat Kedah legislative assembly.

BN has 14 state seats (all Umno) and two BN-friendly independents – Radzhi and Wei Shu.

To pull a coup, BN needs another three to four assemblymen to defect from Pakatan.

Vulnerable reps

Johari alleged that BN had specifically targeted three PKR excos and DAP’s Kota Darulaman assemblyman Lee Guan Aik because “it thought those representatives were vulnerable.”

He however confidently boasted that BN would find it ‘impossible to crack’ the four Pakatan state legislators because “they all believed in their respective party principles and struggle.”

He claimed BN, especially Umno agents, had been working overtime and putting in relentless efforts to lure the Pakatan assemblymen with monetary charms.

Johari claimed that the representatives had been offered up to RM5 million each, plus a bungalow and even corporate directorship.

A Kedah parliamentarian, who declined to be identified, told FMT that Umno agents recently offered him large sum of money and a bungalow house to defect from PKR.

Since early last year, PKR has been rocked with defections by Perak assemblymen Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (Behrang); Port Klang assemblyman Badrul Hisham Abdullah; and parliamentarians - Zahrain Mohd Hashim (Bayan Baru), Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal) and Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (Bagan Serai).

Apart from the elected representatives, former PKR secretary-general Salehuddin Hashim and former Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin have also left the party.

DAP has one defector – Jelapang assemblywoman Hee Yit Foong in Perak.

Bomb plot suspect arrested trying to catch flight to Dubai



New York (CNN) -- A U.S. citizen has been arrested in the Times Square bombing probe, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced early Tuesday.

Faisal Shahzad was arrested at JFK airport in New York as he prepared to board a flight to Dubai, Holder said.

"It is clear the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans," Holder said. "We will not rest until we bring everyone responsible to justice."

Law enforcement officials said the suspect is the person who bought the Nissan Pathfinder used in the bombing attempt.

Earlier, a law enforcement official said the buyer is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, and that investigators are looking at more than one person in connection with the unsuccessful bombing.

CNN has learned that the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigating the bombing attempt is considering the possibility that the attempt involved more than just a "lone wolf."

According to a source familiar with the investigation, investigators believe the plan was an intended terrorist attack to set off explosives in the heart of midtown Manhattan on Saturday night, but the individuals didn't have the expertise to detonate their device.

The Nissan Pathfinder had been sold three weeks ago in a cash deal with no paperwork exchanged, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN earlier Monday. The $1,800 deal was closed at a Connecticut shopping mall, where the buyer handed over the money and drove off, the source said.

The seller described the buyer as a man in his late 20s to early 30s, and investigators are checking into phone records between the two, the source said.

A bomb made up of propane tanks, fertilizer and gasoline failed to detonate inside the SUV. New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the device could have produced "a significant fireball" in the heart of Midtown Manhattan on Saturday night had it detonated properly.

Earlier, authorities said they were searching for two people they wanted to question in connection with the would-be bomb. A video obtained from a tourist in the area shows a person apparently running north on Broadway, while another video shows a balding man with dark hair removing a shirt and putting it in a bag before walking out of view of the camera, which was inside a restaurant.

"These are not suspects," Kelly said. "These are people we would like to speak to."

The question of who was behind the failed bomb attempt was the subject of intense scrutiny Monday. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said investigators have some "good leads," but he declined to elaborate. And Kelly said it was "too early to say" whether the attempt was carried out by a lone wolf, international terrorists, or any other type of network.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud appeared on a video released less than 24 hours after the attempt, claiming Taliban fighters were prepared to inflict "extremely painful blows" in major U.S. cities. But a senior U.S. military official said there was no "credible evidence" at the early stages of the investigation that the Pakistani Taliban was responsible for the Times Square bomb incident.

And one counterintelligence official told CNN there was no evidence of any communications among terrorist organizations overseas about the device after Saturday night's attempt. "People overseas were not giving high fives ... or saying anything about the bomb not working," the official said. "There is no indication that there was that kind of tie."

Another U.S. official with direct awareness of the latest U.S. understanding of the incident said the Pakistani group has never shown "trans-national capabilities" like other groups, such as al Qaeda. But such a possibility is "not something one can rule out at this early stage," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

But Pakistan's Taliban movement has been linked to a 2008 plot to blow up subway stations in the Spanish city of Barcelona, and at least two of the 11 men convicted in the plot came to Barcelona from Pakistan, Spanish prosecutors said.

And Jim Cavanaugh, a former agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the bomber could have been "internationally inspired," but the device showed little sign that a group like al Qaeda was behind it. "Their bombs would be better funded, better fused, better materials, better knowledge," he said.

The device inside the Pathfinder was made up of propane tanks, gasoline and fertilizer that turned out to be of a non-explosive grade, along with a metal pot containing wiring and firecrackers. More firecrackers were found in a can on the back seat of the vehicle, sandwiched between two full, five-gallon gasoline cans and connected by wires to clocks.

Cavanaugh called the bomb "a Rube Goldberg contraption" that would have been difficult to set off.

"That does not mean that the bomb's not deadly," he said. Someone close by could be hurt or killed. "But it's not a very reliable working system, a fusing and firing system, at all," he told CNN.

Kevin Barry, a former New York bomb squad member, said the device had "no known signature" -- a style of construction that might link it to known terrorist groups. That suggests it was the work of either an individual or a new organization, said Barry, who is now an adviser to the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators.

Barry said the detonating mechanism lacked the energy needed to properly set off the explosion.

New York police have been examining the device for clues such as fingerprints, hair and fibers since Saturday. The vehicle and bomb components were taken to the FBI's forensic laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, on Monday, FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said Monday evening.

Himpunan Haram-10 aktivis BERSIH bebas tuduhan

Ex-IGP in panel to probe teen shooting - Malaysiakini

Former Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Haniff Omar (right) has been appointed to the special panel to oversee police investigations into the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah.

Others in the eight-member panel include former Suhakam commissioner Denison Jayasooria, crime analyst Kamal Affendi Hashim, lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief executive officer Dr Michael Yeoh and UiTM deputy vice-chancellor Prof Abdul Halim Sidek.

The panel will be led by Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop and his deputy is Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Ahmad Fuad Aziz.

Abu Seman told reporters last week that the special panel cannot perform its own investigations and can only “monitor the police investigation into a case to make sure that it is fair and transparent to all parties”.

Final appeal quashed, sodomy trial continues

FMT ALERT PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has dismissed Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's bid to strike out the sodomy charge against him.
Despite the defence arguing that the medical report failed to show any signs of penetration, the three-member panel unanimously ruled that the case is given a full trial.

The bench comprised Chief Judge Malaya Justice Arifin Zakaria, Justice James Foong and Court of Appeal judge Suriyadi Halim Omar.

"It does not support the appellant's claim for the charge to be struck out," said Justice Arifin, pointing out that the medial report must be read in its entirety.

Anwar's trial will continue on Monday with the complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan being cross-examined.

The opposition leader is represented by senior lawyer Karpal Singh, while Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden is leading the prosecution team.

MCA - slapped, kicked, spat at - needs new paradigm

By Stanley Koh

COMMENT Will MCA be brainstorming towards a paradigm shift that will give its leadership a direction that is more down to earth? Is it even prepared to re-define its traditional relationship with Umno to appease the Chinese community and thus give it at least a measure of hope for political survival?
These questions come amid a growing awareness from within the party that the loss of Chinese political support is just one of the ingredients in the recipe for disaster.

We have heard calls for a cessation of the blame game so that the job of strengthening the party can proceed without distraction. Besides this, however, some veteran leaders who are still influential may be pushing for an internal leadership transformation to ensure that MCA function as a true partner of Umno instead of being its errant boy or, worse, its stooge.

But the obvious question is whether president Dr Chua Soi Lek, with his tainted past and political baggage, can pull this off.

The painful fact is that MCA is held in such low esteem that even a small fry from Umno can shout at its leaders, blaming them for the loss of Chinese votes during the recent Hulu Selangor by-election.

Ahmad Tajuddin Sulaiman of Paya Besar Umno division berated MCA for making “silly excuses” and said, “MCA should leave BN.”

This spoke volumes about MCA’s face value that even a near-nobody in Umno can spit on the party and get away with it.

It is because of this loss of dignity and integrity that the Chinese community is shunning the party. One cannot blame any Chinese Malaysian for being ashamed of being associated with a party seen as a wimp.

Former US President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), speaking of political parties in their twilight years, said:

“The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day.”

This, in essence, is the theme that on which MCA should meditate.

No longer an equal partner
The old MCA, even in its various incarnations, stood as an approximate equal to the old Umno in their fight to build a nation. Both had extraordinary individuals as leaders. But that is all history. Those extraordinary men are dead and gone. The Umno of today has scant respect for the MCA of today, and chooses to forget the triumph of reason that characterised the historical partnership of the two.

Neither is there anymore even a ring of truth to the notion that this country was founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and that its leaders would ever seek the welfare and happiness of the people.

And so MCA must wake up from its daydreams about things past and put down the sentimental romance it has been reading. The glaring truth is that it is no longer an equal partner to Umno.

History is saturated with news reports and other documents that show how the party has been shouted down, bullied and insulted.

Indeed, MCA is running out of excuses and grandfather stories as it tries to keep on justifying its attachment to BN. It is questionable whether it is capable even of defending its own constitution, which calls for the upholding of human rights and the defence of the legitimate political, economic, educational and cultural rights of the Chinese community in Malaysia.

Politically, the Chinese today are divided, with their loyalties dispersed among the many Chinese-based parties of different ideologies. Economically, they have virtually lost all strategic sectors, keeping only a basket of SMEs and traditional businesses.

In the 80s and 90s, the Chinese community even had to seek permits for lion dances and other traditional cultural performances. MCA has had to beg for licences to set up private colleges and universities and even to establish funds for the development of private Chinese schools.

The party has had no impact within the BN that would make the ruling coalition listen to calls for the repeal of draconian laws like the ISA. It has historically supported all these legislations in parliament, becoming an indirect party to all the resultant power abuses and the hardships Malaysians have had to suffer.

Yes, history is the witness and in the archives is the evidence.

“As long as MCA is willing to be in the jaws of Umno, it is an impotent party incapable of any breakthrough impacting real progress, no matter how many hundreds of brainstorming sessions it intends to hold,” said a former MCA veteran leader from Selangor who has since defected to an opposition party.

“For decades, MCA leaders have personally received benefits from powerful and influential political masters at federal and state levels. It is difficult to envisage the discontinuation of this trend.”

The myths of MCA’s purpose in BN today must be challenged by truth and its true role uncovered with honesty. Is it an equal BN partner or just an errant boy, stooge or, at times, a parasite capable of delivering the race-based votes to a regime not much different from the British of colonial days with their divide-and-rule governance?

It is undeniable that MCA’s power sharing in the BN has been on the decline for the past 30 years, particularly during the Mahathirization period, when it was virtually destroyed.

Since then, BN’s stand on any issue has actually been Umno’s, and all MCA has been able to do is nod in agreement. That, indeed, is what MCA’s so-called stand has been all about. There has been no BN secretariat to handle daily matters; it  comes alive only during election time.

The term “equal partner” is a weighty one and needs critical examination.

Advisable to feign folly

Has MCA ever been successful in stemming Umno’s arrogance as reflected in Hishammuddin Hussein’s raising of the keris and insulting remarks from the likes of Khairy Jamaluddin, Ibrahim Ali, Nazri Aziz, Badruddin Amiruldin, Bung Mukhtar, et al?

Did MCA play any effective partnership role in stemming Umno’s power abuses and other excesses? If not, what then is the meaning of “equal” partnership?

What about issues of freedom of religion, public feelings of injustice as in the Teoh Beng Hock case and many more human rights abuses—issues dear to the hearts of ordinary Malaysians?

MCA must not kid itself and the rest of Malaysia. Its diehard justification—to check and balance from within—gets more hollow by the day.

If MCA has indeed played its role effectively, how is it that our nation is in such a rotten state of affairs?

While debate within MCA about its political survival remains fierce, the majority of Chinese Malaysians feel they do not need rocket science to explain why the party leadership no longer deserves their support.

Nevertheless, the question of whether MCA should leave BN is on the prowl again.

Should any of us rejoice and perhaps thank the Paya Besar small fry for his arrogant remark?

Probably not. We have to remember the great 15th century thinker Nicolo Machiavelli, who argued that politics very often revolve around power and self-interest.

Politics, he said, is without morality.

“For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often even more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are,” Machiavelli said.

He continued: “It is advisable than at times to feign folly, as Brutus did; and this is sufficiently done by praising, speaking, seeing, and doing things contrary to your way of thinking, and merely to please the prince.”

It is a foregone conclusion that MCA under Soi Lek’s leadership will not abandon the BN coalition.

Never mind the changing political landscape. MCA’s destiny can no longer be equated to the destiny of the Chinese community. MCA is no longer synonymous with the ethnic Chinese community and the entire Chinese community is not MCA.

But the MCA certainly is a part, a very vital part, of the Chinese community because its destiny is in their hands, as far as the present political setting is concerned.

What else is left but an elusive dream?

MCA has in the past promised that it would play its role as a strong partner in BN if the Chinese community would politically unite under its banner.

Time has passed and the dream has turned out to be a nightmare. Will a two-coalition system solve the Chinese dilemma?

Time will tell, but as of now, more and more Chinese in Malaysia are realising that the pervading evil of Malaysian democracy is the tyranny of a party that succeeds by force or fraud in elections.

And MCA has, without surprising anyone, stood silently in support.

Coal-powered plant: Sabah group to take on BN

Proposed site for the coal plant
Proposed site for the coal plant
By Michael Kaung - Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) is bracing for an all out battle to stop the government from railroading a proposed coal-fired power plant on the east coast of the state. Among the options Sepa is considering is an injunction to prevent the government from pushing ahead with the 300-megawatt plant costing RM1.3 billion at a site in the now pristine Sahabat in Tunku, Lahad Datu.

"We with (the residents of) Sahabat will take their (governtment’s) consultant to court if there is any misleading information or cover-up about the effects of the power plant on the eco-system of the surrounding area," Sepa president Wong Tack warned.

In a hard-hitting interview yesterday, Wong said the government and its agencies have turned a deaf ear  to pleas to protect the ecologically sensitive area and persist on building the plant despite protests from Sabahans.

"They already classified the area as environmentally insensitive long before a study was made so what are they talking about getting an EIA (environment impact assessment) done.

"This (EIA) is just eyewash and rhetoric. It's nonsense. It's to soften people up before announcing the decision to build the plant anyway. Why conduct a study when you have already made up your mind? Why need an EIA?

"It is misleading, unprofessional and unethical since the government and its agencies have already decided to build the plant…it's all a political game," he said.

Wong was referring to recent statements by government politicians as well as senior officials from power utilities Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and its state subsidiary Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) arguing for the setting up of such a plant.

On Sunday, Project Director of Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd (LDESB) Ahmad Faraid Mohd Yahaya told the national news agency Bernama that the east coast of the state would benefit from the coal-powered plant as it would provide reliable electricity supply to the area which in turn would attract investors.

SESB went so far as to put out a full-page advertisement in a local newspaper to explain their supportive stand on the plant.

The detailed EIA study of the proposed site is currently in progress and the final report is expected to be submitted in a few weeks by the Department of Environment.

"Approval is expected by August. We are transparent even on the terms of reference (TOR) of the EIA which has been displayed for public viewing and feedback before we submit the report," Ahmad Faraid had said.

What transparency?
Sepa president Wong Tack
Sepa president Wong Tack
But Wong says nothing has changed as far as Sepa is concerned. He also disputes the claim of transparency by the government.

"The first TOR was rejected and they have already come out with a second one which uses the same language and terminology, the same arguments about environmentally insensitive area even before the study shows how this is proved.

"They are also only looking at coal and not at alternate, clean and renewable energy sources for the state.

"They can't claim we were biased as the panel who rejected it (the first TOR) was composed of government department and agency heads.

"They told us not to politicise the issue and we agree. No politicians or their officers should be involved. Let the people and the scientific experts do the study.

“But here, the experts brought in to do the study are not independent. All the decisions are political decisions.

"The government and its agencies are in partnership. The regulatory people are in the pocket of the government.

“There is inter-dependency not independency. If they are truly open, why have they not responded to our requests to meet with the cabinet?

“Our independent experts conducted a professional study and wanted to brief them (the state government) but they did not respond to our request.”

"We spent our own funds to get this professional study done on alternate and renewable energy and submitted it to them but there has been no response.

"Nevertheless we will scrutinize the government's (EIA) report. We will get independent and professional experts to advise…weed out any misleading information or cover-ups. We will sue if there is any such nonsense," said Wong.

Marine environment in danger?He added that what is puzzling is the multiple policies the government has for the area. On one hand the Sabah Development Corridor recognises the sensitivity and beauty of the area and earmarked it for tourism.

Vested interests
On the other, it is disregarding this policy in favour of industrialising it and spurring development of the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC).

"The whole area is in 'Coral Triangle'. It is internationally recognized and is supposed to be a protected marine environment. It is not suitable for any industrial activity and this is acknowledged by the state government."

The incompatibility of the two government policies poses the question as to why the government U-turned overnight after initially rejecting setting up the power plant in Silam and then in Sandakan.

Wong points to pre-determined and lucrative business links in high places. These will only pay off if the coal-powered plant is built.

"It looks like some vested interests are involved. The way they (the government) have been acting, people are speculating that perhaps deals have already been signed and maybe money has already changed hands," he says.

Mahkamah bebas 10 aktivis Bersih

Nazri Abdullah, Harakahdaily
Mahkamah Sesyen Jenayah 3 Jalan Duta di sini membebaskan 10 aktivis Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih) yang ditahan di pekarangan bangunan Parlimen pada 11 Disember 2007 lepas.
Hakim Fathiyah Idris semasa membaca penghakiman kira-kira jam 10.30 pagi tadi menyatakan, pertuduhan yang dikemukakan pihak pendakwaan adalah cacat.

Pihak pendakwa jelasnya, gagal membuktikan wujudnya perhimpunan haram pada hari tersebut yang menyalahi Seksyen 27 (5) (a) Akta Polis 1967.

Manakala pihak polis pula jelasnya lagi, hanya bertindak mengikut jangkaan bahawa akan berlakunya himpunan.

Antara mereka yang ditahan kerana dituduh menyertai perhimpunan itu ialah Bendahari PAS Pusat, Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, Ketua Pemuda dan Muslimat PAS Pusat, Nasrudin Hassan dan Ustazah Nuridah Salleh, Dr Lo’ Lo’ Mohd Ghazali dan Presiden PSM, Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim.

Manakala lima lagi adalah Badilah Muda, Hashim Awang, Azira Arifin, Mohd Sabri Syafie dan Ang Hok Gan.

"Kita menganggap keputusan mahkamah hari ini adalah paling tepat.

"Pada hari itu kami datang ke parlimen atas tanggungjawab sivik kami untuk menghantar memorandum, kita bukan nak pergi berhimpun," kata Hatta selepas ditemui di luar bilik mahkamah.

Mereka pada jam 11.30 pagi, 11 Disember 2007, telah hadir ke bangunan parlimen bagi menghantar satu memorandum, mendesak kerajaan supaya tidak melanjutkan khidmat Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman sebagai Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) pada waktu itu.

Ekoran itu mereka telah ditangkap dan dituduh mengadakan perhimpunan haram dibawah Seksyen 27(5)(a) Akta Polis 1967 (Akta 334) dan boleh dihukum di bawah Seksyen 27(8) Akta yang sama.

Bersih dalam satu kenyataan sebelum 11 Disember 2007 itu, membantah usaha kerajaan meminda perlembagaan bagi melanjutkan usia persaraan kakitangan SPR.

Kerajaan dikatakan akan meminda Perlembagaan untuk melanjutkan umur persaraan anggota-anggota SPR dari usia 65 ke 66 bagi membolehkan Rashid terus berkhidmat.

Usul tersebut buat kali pertamanya dibentang secara tergesa-gesa untuk bacaan kali pertama di Dewan Rakyat pada 20 November 2007 oleh Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohammed Nazri Abdul Aziz yang dibacakan untuk kali kedua pada 11 Disember tahun berkenaan.

BN ketika itu dikatakan amat memerlukan khidmat Rashid yang licik bagi memastikan kemenangan dalam pilihan raya umum 2008.

The short, happy life of Aminulrasyid


What is ailing our nation? Where can we seek protection henceforth? As taxpayers and citizens who have surrendered our Natural rights to the state, where do we seek help when those entrusted with the tools and machinery to protect have betrayed us?
A REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE
Azly Rahman
...The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he or she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he or she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he or she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent her or him.
- Miranda Rights, USA
NONEI write with sadness of the young man Aminulrasyid (left) shot to death in perhaps a complex situation he was caught in. His life was cut short, may his soul be blessed, but there is a larger issue of rights and responsibilities we adults are plagued with, needing reflection and resolution.
"Any mans' death diminishes me, for I am involved in Mankind" as the poet John Donne said; what more that the death of a child barely 15 and yet to explore the ways of the world?
Indeed accounts of the rude and untimely passing of Aminurasyid indicated that he was caught in a series of unfortunate circumstances, most of them beyond his control and the ability for a child his age to handle.
Sneaking out late at night, on his way to a watch a football game, and a good Samaritan he is in helping a friend with a flat tire, and the incident with another car and the fallen biker, and ultimately the round of ammunition that riddled him in the back of his head like a hard-core criminal - all these are poignantly narrated in a growing number of blogs and on facebook. His friend who supposedly pulled out of the car to surrender, I watched his mother in anguish flanked by a politician on youtube , clearing the air of any misconception of what kind of child Aminulrasyid was.
What is ailing our nation? Where can we seek protection henceforth? As taxpayers and citizens who have surrendered our Natural rights to the state, where do we seek help when those entrusted with the tools and machinery to protect have betrayed us?
In the case of Aminulrasyid, this is not just a question of human rights education lacking in the police, but also perhaps failure to adhere to standard procedures in dealing with a possible suspect.
Lack of proper patrolling 
A larger issue is the lack of proper patrolling of the neighbourhood; as a consequence of a weak or non-existent local government such that Mat Rempits run rampant. Had our local governments been strong and a deep sense of community action culture evolved, and that the police together with the citizens of the local government been more efficient in ensuring vigilance, we may never see Mat Rempits harassing the innocent and under-age children riding motorbikes and automobiles illegally. Ironically we see the highest level of efficiency and deployment of the police force displayed when there are political rallies; even when they are conducted peacefully.
mat rempit illegal motorcycle rider riding 210806Why do we not see consistency in neighbourhood watch?
Kids are kids -- they try everything for thrills but it is the system that ought to have been built that would deal with juvenile differently than how we deal with adults. Aren't the law enforcers supposed to be well-trained to look at the situation and to exercise the best form of restrain based on sound and wise rather than trigger-happy judgment? Have we not given our police officers proper training in criminal law?
I supposed we have deteriorated a long time ago in this area of enforcement. Police brutality is a trained behaviour, profiling as well. Miranda rights (rights to remain silent when arrested, etc.) such as in the United States may not be available in the case of Malaysians? Must we continue to see suspects being shot at first and asked questions later? Have we not forgotten Kugan, Teoh Beng Hock, and others who have been brutalized before their tragic death?
Solace in hope
In a country like Malaysia in which her citizens are getting weary about personal safety, in a land where crime rates are rising and one hears cases of police brutality and deaths in police custody all too often now, we often seek solace in hope - that things are going to get better perhaps with a better government that truly cares about the rakyat and upholds the rule of law.
NONEI believe schools should start teaching kids about rights and about street law - and also about not giving or taking bribes. This might be a long haul; longer than it took the apartheid regime of South Africa to imprison Nelson Mandela (left).
Aminulrasyid is no longer with us. Some may argue that he should not have sneaked out to do whatever it was he wanted to do. But kids are kids. We all were there once. We wanted the freedom and to do certain things we wanted to do so much - like joining friends to watch our favourite football team, or to test run the new X-Box or Playstation, to check out facebook pages, or to just chill, harmlessly. We all have tried that and up with through the experiences when we were fifteen or sixteen.
But for Aminulrasyid, that was it. A short and happy life of a child turning fifteen. May his soul be blessed. Let us all pray for him - and for our nation.

JHEOA involved in Orang Asli conversion

thenutgraph.com

Colin Nicholas
PETALING JAYA, 4 May 2010: The Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (JHEOA) has been involved in the Islamisation of Orang Asli for decades, said Centre for Orang Asli Concerns coordinator Dr Colin Nicholas.
"One of JHEOA's main objective is to convert Orang Asli to Islam. They don't say it openly but their budget allocations and programmes lead to that.
"Their ultimate aim is to assimilate the Orang Asli into the Malay [Malaysian] section of society, although officially they say the goal is to integrate the Orang Asli into mainstream society," Nicholas told The Nut Graph in an interview.
Nicholas added that although JHEOA categorically denies involvement in conversion activities, they provide logistical support and other encouragement to missionary organisations to gain access to the Orang Asli. These groups include university students from Islamic faculties.
In the 1990s
book cover
Book cover for Living on the Periphery
Anthropologist Nobuta Toshihiro, who conducted fieldwork in an Orang Asli village in Malaysia in the late 1990s, said there was a clear JHEOA policy to Islamise the Orang Asli.
"...former JHEOA director-general Jimin bin Idris stated in 1990 that he hoped the Orang Asli would become fully integrated into Malaysian society, preferably as an Islamised subgroup of the Malay [Malaysian]," said Toshihiro in his book Living on the Periphery: Development and Islamization of the Orang Asli.
Toshihiro added that the Religious Affairs Department and the JHEOA appointed and trained 250 Muslim missionaries known as "penggerak masyarakat" in 1991. It was also announced that a balai raya would be built in Orang Asli villages, which would include a surau.
JHEOA pressure
JHEOA's officially stated primary aim is to promote the progress, well-being and advancement of the Orang Asli community while preserving their identity and culture.
However, Nicholas told The Nut Graph that development aid was used as an incentive for Orang Asli to convert to Islam.
He said the JHEOA has been accused of showing favouritism towards Orang Asli who converted.
"There are reports of Muslim Orang Asli [getting priority in] receiving aid and houses. There was also an Orang Asli church that was deprived of basic facilities like water and electricity, to the extent that the Orang Asli had to go to court over it."
Nicholas said while there were some Orang Asli who converted because of a genuine attraction to Islam, these were few. "Some convert because of pressure and some by trickery, without knowing they've been converted," Nicholas said.

(Pic by Ijansempoi / Dreamstime)
The Nut Graph had earlier reported of Orang Asli who had been converted to Islam against their will. They claimed to have been given or promised financial incentives as a result of their conversion.
In his book, Toshihiro noted that a suspicion towards conversion activities has developed amongst Orang Asli. "Resistance to Islamisation is not, in fact, resistance to Islam itself, but to being forced to convert to Islam," he stated. "It must be unbearable to be told by others how to live, no matter how politically and economically justified it may be."
Toshihiro observed that although Orang Asli were seen as poor, and in need of development projects and Islamisation to deal with their perceived poverty, their lives had in fact, been quite comfortable.
As Ukal, an Orang Asli man quoted in Toshihiro's book stated, "Dulu susah tapi senang; sekarang senang tapi susah."
Shut down JHEOA
Nicholas said that JHEOA should have been abolished a long time ago.
"They don't have the right motivation nor the competence needed to fulfil their responsibility towards the Orang Asli," he explained.

Orang Asli in Kampung Rembai, Selangor (Pic by Adzla @ Flickr)

"They might as well be closed down and the work given to another competent agency. The positive effect of [doing this can be] seen when education and most of the health responsibilities of the Orang Asli were handed over to the respective ministries in the mid-1990s."
Nicholas said what was more damaging was how the JHEOA is used to control the Orang Asli.
For example, he said that JHEOA has purported to speak on behalf of the Orang Asli, without proper consultation with them.
"When it comes to issues like Orang Asli land being taken away, JHEOA always sides with the government. It sees itself more as a government agency, rather than one that is compelled by law to protect and advance the interests of the Orang Asli," he said.
official pictureMohd Sani
(source: jheoa.gov.my)
The Nut Graph contacted JHEOA director-general Datuk Mohd Sani Mistam's office for a response to the allegations of conversion activities by JHEOA staff.
However, The Nut Graph was informed that he was attending a Kursus Kempimpinan Pengurusan Utama from 26 April to 17 May. The Nut Graph is awaiting a response to a request for deputy director-general Nisra Nisran Asra Ramlan to respond on the director-general's behalf.

Kebebasan: Satu Renungan Peribadi



I have read somewhere that the discourse on freedom started from two short dialogues in an ancient land. One dialogue shows that freedom is a privilege granted from on high by the sovereign for his subjects to enjoy on condition that they do not ‘misbehave.’ The second dialogue tells us that freedom is a right so fundamental that no sovereign can take it away for whatever reason.
Now don’t we all wish that the second dialogue holds true for all our life experiences and that all sovereigns recognize this? If it were so, indeed we would not have to gather here to talk about it. Alas, we are told time and time again that freedom can never be absolute and that for every right there is a corresponding duty. So when your freedom is taken away there must always be some justification. I am neither an anarchist nor a libertarian if by these labels we mean a belief in absolute freedom and minimalist government whatever that really means. But I do believe that certain liberties are so fundamental that no sovereign or state or power should be allowed to take them away.
Herman Hesse tells us in Demian that to get to the bottom of a story, sometimes one needs to go back not just to our childhood days, but even many generations before that. Well, we don’t have that luxury here. So, to recount my story about freedom, I will modestly go back to just about forty years ago when I experienced my first major encounter with the powers that be. This episode would be followed by another two, one more insidious and vicious than the previous ones. In this first encounter, the main thrust was the fight for social justice. We were championing the cause of the poor, against the rich and powerful. Unemployment was high and many families in the rural areas were so destitute that there was literally no food on the table. As the famine spread, riots broke out in the North and nation-wide demonstrations erupted.
When the authorities detained me for ‘activities prejudicial to the security of the state’, I knew at once that this was not going to be a simple case of going through the judicial process of them proving my guilt and I maintaining my innocence.
This was because there was to be no trial where I could defend myself against the charges. This was the Internal Security Act – a catch-all piece of legislation that allows for indefinite detention without trial. There was no need for a defence lawyer because I wasn’t going to be given the opportunity to make my case and get myself out. With the stroke of a pen, I was to be detained for two years. Freedom was to be replaced by incarceration. The ‘crimes’ that I had committed were meeting up with leaders of NGOs, giving motivation talks to student leaders, fraternizing with leaders of the Opposition parties and of course addressing the people in public rallies and demonstrations.
Without meaning to sound overly presumptuous, I would characterize this encounter as the first in a series of battles between the forces of freedom and the forces of tyranny.
The second phase began on September 2, 1998, two weeks after I was unconstitutionally sacked as Deputy Prime Minister. On that fateful night, a balaclava-clad gang of commandos armed with assault rifles stormed into my house while I was holding a peaceful press conference witnessed by thousands of friends and supporters. I was later forced into a van, blindfolded and taken on a terror ride without a clue as to where I would be taken or what was going to happen to me. Hours later, I was shoved into a cell still blind folded and handcuffed. It wasn’t too long before I heard footsteps approaching and getting louder. The next thing I knew was that blows were raining on me from left, right and centre. I passed out, and the rest, as they say, is history, though in this case the history will repeat itself in some other form which I shall recount momentarily.
So, in one fell swoop, the law as mighty as Leviathan banished me from the halls of power into the labyrinth of solitary confinement. It would be another six years before I could walk out a free man. Reading Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy would never be the same again; or Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, or Ibn Tufail’s Hayy ibn Yaqdhan which had inspired Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. The point is, even though I had graduated much earlier with a two-year diploma in the Science of Incarceration, deprivation of freedom is not something one can readily get used to. Yet, when contemplating the larger issues that went far beyond my own world, loneliness and despondence gave way to a renewed zeal and hope for better days to come.
Questions more urgent and more compelling such as why were we still stuck with a prison’s system almost a century old. What kind of criminal justice system do we have that sanctions a fourteen-year old boy to be kept in prison awaiting trial just for stealing a few cans of sardine from a supermarket? Or on what grounds could our law makers justify whipping another human being simply because he had worked in the country without a permit?
Now, mind you, this was happening in a so-called democracy where fundamental liberties are supposed to be constitutionally guaranteed. But here I had been bashed up by someone no less than the Inspector General of Police with the blessing of the Prime Minister, who then had the audacity to tell the world that my injuries were self-inflicted.
We are dealing here with a systemic breakdown of the rule of law, of governance and of accountability, and of the insidious abuse of power.
Then came phase three which began in the wake of March 8, 2008 when the people of Malaysia finally said that enough was enough by voting into power the Opposition to head five states in the State elections and denying the ruling party their long held two third majority in the Federal Parliament.
In this third phase, the assault on freedom is launched from all angles – full frontal attacks, flank encroachment and rear ambush. The entire state apparatus is employed, tax payers’ money used to promote personal and vested party interests and all other means utilized to perpetuate power. The organs of state power are exploited to the fullest. Bribery, corruption, intimidation, harassment and persecution are part and parcel of this ignominious process to maintain power. To give the powers that be the mantle of legitimacy in the eyes of the world, international lobbyists are paid millions of the people’s money, using the modus operandi not quite different from those adopted in propping up tin pot dictatorships and authoritarian governments not too long ago.
When the Federal Court, that is, Malaysia’s highest court of the land acquitted me of the frivolous charges in 2004, there was talk that this was exoneration for the judiciary; that indeed henceforth, judges in Malaysia were now finally able to decide without fear or favour. I expressed my doubts even then in as much as an acquittal for one man is no vindication of the entire judiciary.
And history repeats itself. The judiciary continues to be emasculated. The current charges leveled against me are again politically motivated and the judicial process is again flawed from day one. When the law is subjugated to the tyranny of politics, the administration of justice becomes both farcical and perverse. The judiciary is then transformed into principals in the destruction of the very process they were entrusted to protect. The Internal Security Act still continues to be used arbitrarily against those seen as threats to the ruling elite. Decisions favourable to the people are overturned on appeal to the higher courts as integrity and moral conviction are thrown out the judicial window. This is the crux of the problem. Under these circumstances, can we expect the judges assigned to try me to act according to the dictates of justice and good conscience and not the dictates of the political masters?
So freedom is not just about overthrowing colonial powers and foreign oppressors. Today, more than half a century after independence, many societies continue to fight oppression from within, to fight the tyranny of governments which have the trappings of democracy but are corrupt and self-serving at the core.
As we all know, this battle for freedom will rage on because freedom is so central that no society is devoid of its conception. At the same time, because of its centrality, freedom will continue to be under siege and remain a target to be hunted down and destroyed by those who are threatened by it. So they will enact laws, rules and regulations, conditions and pre-conditions in order to deprive us of what is our right. Indeed, as the great humanist Henry Thoreau once said, the law will never make men free. It is men who have got to make the law free.
Thank you.

Musa Hassan – resign as IGP as the tearful eye-witness testimony of traumatized 15-year-old Azamuddin on the police killing of Form III student Aminulrasyid has completely destroyed your credibility and authority!

By Lim Kit Siang

I will like to tell Tan Sri Musa Hassan – resign as Inspector-General of Police as the tearful eye-witness testimony of traumatized 15-year-old Azamuddin Omar on the police killing of his friend, Form III student Aminulrasyid Amzah some 100 metres from the latter’s house in Shah Alam a week ago has completely destroyed your credibility and authority.

If you love the Royal Malaysian Police Force, then you have no other option but to resign immediately to protect the police from the consequences of your gross failures of police leadership as IGP.

For the love of the country and the police force, resign now as IGP!

Let a new IGP start the difficult, painful but not impossible process to restore public confidence in the police where they regard the police as friend and protector and not as threat and even killer of innocent Malaysians, including school-children.

As final amends, in your resignation letter, make two recommendations to the Home Minister and Prime Minister, viz:

1.

the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Hanif Omar to inquire not only into the fatal police shooting of Aminulrasyid but also all police shooting deaths since 2005; and
2.

endorse the proposal of the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as a key step to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional and world-class police service. If the IPCMC had been set up in 2005 and not blocked in a campaign led by you, Aminulrasyid will still be alive today for there would be a greater sense of professionalism among the police.

This is what I would like to tell Musa but I do not know whether he is amenable to this drastic remedy I have proposed to restore justice to Aminulrasyid and to redeem the good name of Aminulrasyid’s family and that of Azamuddin defamed by public police accounts describing the two schoolboys as “criminals”.

However the cost of Musa’s stubborn refusal to bow to public pressures will be a high one – causing even further estrangement of the police from the Malaysian public and a sharper loss of public confidence in the Malaysian police.

The Malaysian Insider in its report today “Anger against police over Aminul’s death building up on Facebook” said that a week after the Form III boy’s tragic death, more than 60,000 fans had signed up on a Facebook demanding justice and expressing growing anger and concerns over cases of police violence.

It is a terrible indictment on the professionalism of the IGP that he continued to defend the police version that the two students were criminals when Azamuddin had lodged a police report and even given police statement on the same day of the tragic killing at 2 am the previous Monday.

Aminulrasyid has picked up Azamuddin in his sister’s car about midnight last Monday and they had gone to watch a football match (Chelsea vs Stoke) on TV as a restaurant in Section 7, Shah Alam.

Recounting the tragic course of events, Azamuddin was the lone passenger in the car when Aminulrasyid was shot in the back of his head, trying to flee home to seek protection from his mother and family.

Azamuddin categorically denied police claim and testified that Aminulrasyid did not try to ram policemen with his sister’s car.

The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should take heed of this mounting public anger, particularly from the young generation of Malaysians.

His reputation and credibility are also on the line if he refuses to act decisively and do what is right to ensure justice for Aminulrasyid, Azamuddin and their families and end the rigmarole of a Abu Seman Special Panel which has no powers to inquire into Aminulrasyid’s death or make recommendations to the Police and forthwith to support the establishment of a Tun Haniff Royal Commission of Inquiry into Aminulrasyid’s death.

Wife must purge contempt order first, says lawyer

The Star
by M. MAGESWARI

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will determine whether a Hindu woman has a right to be heard in the apex court after she is alleged to have breached visitation rights given to her convert husband over their two sons.

The lawyer for Muslim convert Dr M. Jeyaganesh in a custody battle with his wife has argued that she has no right to be heard in the Federal Court because she is facing contempt proceedings.

S. Shamala, who is in Australia with the boys, failed to bring the children to Malaysia so that Dr Jeyaganesh could have access to them, thus breaching an interim access order dated April 17, 2003, said lawyer Muralee Menon.

The children — Saktiwaran, 10, and nine-year-old Theiviswaran — were born before Dr Jeyaganesh, also known as Muhammad Ridzwan Mogarajah, embraced Islam in 2002. Days after his own conversion, he converted the boys to Islam.

Shamala, 38, married Dr Jeyaganesh, 42, in 1998 according to Hindu rites. The marriage was registered under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act.

Muralee, in raising a prelimary objection yesterday, also submitted that a High Court had on May 6, 2004 granted leave to commence contempt proceedings against Shamala and ordered her to bring the children back to the country.

“The appellant (Shamala) left Malaysia on April 16, 2004. She fled to Thailand through Padang Besar and then to Australia.”

Thus, Muralee said, Shamala had breached the High Court order and that she should not be heard in Federal Court “until she purges the contempt order”.

Dr Jeyaganesh, who was present yesterday, had not seen his children since 2004, Muralee said.

The Federal Court was supposed to hear five questions of law, including over constitutional rights on the conversion of children.Shamala’s lead counsel Datuk Dr Cyrus Das submitted that the right to be heard in a court of law was too fundamental for a person to be shut out.

Furthermore, he said the High Court had found Dr Jeyaganesh to be in contempt over maintenance payment for his children.

He said the High Court had ordered Dr Jeyaganesh to pay RM250 for each child. Another High Court renewed the order by asking him to allocate 20% of his income for his children, he added.

“The husband is in contempt as he did not pay according to this. We have to see the conduct of both persons,” he said.

Dr Cyrus argued that it would be in the best interest of justice for the apex court to hear the wife’s part as it would have an impact on other similar pending cases.

“It is about family life. She wants the Federal Court to decide whether it is constitutional for one parent to unilaterally convert the religion of the children in a marriage. That is a very fundamental question and it is an opportunity for the apex court to make a conclusive finding on this.”

Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi, who led a five-man panel, reserved ruling after hearing submissions by both parties on the preliminary objection.

“The issues are quite complex. We would like to read through the cases and understand the issues and law properly,” he said, adding that they might need three weeks to do so.

Lawyer Azmi Mohd Rais, who acted for Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council, adopted the preliminary objection, saying that it was in line with syariah principles.

Shamala’s brother Dr S. Sharimalan and her parents told the media that they had been praying for her, adding that they had not seen her for the past six years and that she had been living in fear.

Want a senatorship? Just sell out your dignity, Anwar, or both

By Nathaniel Tan,

While not showing much reluctance to use the stick, it seems that Najib has shown particular strength in using the carrot. After the payoffs to the Perak trio and to Felda settlers in Hulu Selangor (Hmm, I bet they wish they could bribe Joseph Breham), we now have a different flavoured carrot: senatorships.
Ezam saying he is ‘layak‘ to be a senator turned my stomach just a bit.
He quotes his involvement in Gerak. I’m sorry, when was the last time Gerak exposed anything of significance? Don’t remember? Neither do I.
And I’ll be damned if he now opens his mouth on any BN-related corruption.
The other senator sworn in? Palanivel:
At a separate press conference, Palanivel dismissed rumours that his appointment was a consolation for being dropped as the Barisan Nasional’s candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election.
“No, I see this as a role for me to continue with my objectives (to serve the people),” he said.
“At first I didn’t know whether to accept the position or not and was a bit confused, thinking of many things. But the party leader asked me to accept it,” he said.
Not consolation? Of course not :|
The long story short is that under the Umno regime, if you keep your mouth shut when we tell you, whack Anwar when we tell you, you will eventually get paid off.
MIC’s total lack of relevance was proven once and for all via Palanivel’s debacle; basically, they sold their entire dignity – and the dignity of those they claim to represent – for one paltry senatorship.
Ezam – a perfect example of why one’s life should contain more than just politics – made the ultimate betrayal and is now derided equally by both sides of the divide.
His senatorship reminds me of a late Federal Court judge, our IGP and our AG. Two sure ways to rise up the ranks under BN – be the perfect bitch, or make sure you get Anwar. Maybe Chandra Muzaffar will be our next addition to the Dewan Negara :P
As always under the BN flag: power and position before principles and the people.

Teen bashed up, MP blames cops - Malaysiakini

Taiping police chief Yusuf Mohd Diah denied claims that his men were involved in the brutal assault on a 17-year-old school drop-out and alleged drug addict on April 14.

taiping youth beaten 300410The victim Mohd Shadan Abdul Latif Karim was a former Fifth Form student from SM Tengku Menteri.

His father, 57-year-old Abdul Latif Karim, lodged a police report the day after the incident, after being told of the incident by his son's friend.

Following the report, the police have picked up two suspects and is looking for the other suspected assailants.

After the incident, Mohd Shadan was taken to Taiping Court where he failed to pay the court fine of RM5,000 for a drug-related offence and is now serving a two-month sentence at Sungai Petani rehabilitation centre.

Police denies involvement

The father has since taken up the matter with Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming today in Taiping and has given Nga a copy of the video which depicts several men kicking and beating his son.

The video clip was played before the press today.

taiping youth beaten 300410Amidst the assault, one of the assailant was clad in a t-shirt with a police logo while another was clearly holding a pair of handcuffs, which is illegal.
Taiping police chief denied that the persons involved were police personnel and claimed that they were members of the public.


“It is easy now to buy handcuffs and the Taiping MP, instead of tarnishing the name of the police force, he should have first verified with us the contents of the video," he said.


However, Nga maintains that the video allegedly points to police involvement and has asked the federal police headquarters to investigate the matter.


“Let the law take its course. Even a guilty person should have been taken to court and not be beaten up like this,” he said.


Later, Pokok Assam assemblyperson Yee Seu Kai accompanied the victim's father lodged a police report over the incident and handed over a copy of the video to the Taiping district police headquarters.

Kenangan Bersama Arwah Aminulrasyid

Shamala case: Objection raised, decision postponed - Malaysiakini

A preliminary objection was raised in the Federal Court in relation to the conversion of two under-aged boys, whose father converted them to Islam without their mother's consent eight years ago.

NONELawyer Muralee Menon (left), representing Dr M Jeyaganesh, pointed out that S Shamala had left for Australia in 2004 with the couple's two sons, now aged 11 and nine.

"The High Court judge (Md Raus Shariff, now Federal Court judge) had (on April 17, 2003) had granted my client access rights to visit the children. However, when he went to visit them on April 23, 2004, he found the house to be locked and the children nowhere to be found.

“It was only after some searching that my client got to know that she and the children had left via Padang Besar for Australia on April 16, 2004.
"The court through (Justice) Faiza Tamby Chik had granted leave for contempt proceedings against (Shamala) for taking the children abroad, since my client could not see them.”

Muralee therefore argued that Shamala's counsel had no right to be heard in the proceedings today because she had attempted to commit contempt of court. He said several case laws support his argument.
Shamala, 37, had married Jeyaganesh, 41, in 1998 according to Hindu rites and their marriage was registered under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

In 2002, Jeyaganesh embraced Islam and took the name Muhammad Ridzwan Mogarajahand. He then converted Saktiwaran and Theiviswaran, then aged three and two, to Islam without Shamala's knowledge and consent.

cyrus dasSenior lawyer V Cyrus Das (right), representing Shamala, challenged the objection by submitting that she had not committed contempt, but had obtained leave to initiate proceedings.

He also brought to the court's attention that, according to the High Court ruling, Jeyagandesh was to have paid maintenance of RM250 for each of the children.

He submitted that, based on Section 51 of the Law Reform Act, a party has the right to receive maintenance even if the spouse has embraced Islam.

zaki azmi 291008Chief Justice Zaki Azmi (left), who is leading a five-member bench, questioned the lawyer as to why the matter had to be raised in court when it was more of a “social and political” issue.

Cyrus replied: “Every constitutional question is a political question and the court has to decide on the five questions which have been posed based on Article 128 of the federal constitution. Politicians can look into question but the court has to interpret the law.”

Cyrus also said Jeyagandesh had committed a deplorable act by getting around the civil court in obtaining a Syariah Court order for custody of the children.

“He told the court that he needed time to engage a lawyer but, at the same time, made an application to the Syariah Court for custody. He had already appointed his lawyer by then.”

Cyrus explained that, although there are local case laws on such issue, there are also British case laws where in the interests of justice, the court can allow the rights of the party to be heard.

Justice Zaki said the court will decide on the preliminary objection in a few weeks as this is an important issue that is also complex.

"We would like to read through the case laws. We do not want to rush things," he said.

Sitting with him was Court of Appeal president Justice Alauddin Md Sherif, Chief Judge of Malaya Arifin Zakaria, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Richard Malanjum and Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin.
Five issues
The court room was packed with lawyers and representatives of NGOs this morning, as the court was due to rule on five questions centred on constitutional matters.
The case and its rulings will set a precedent for other child conversion and custody cases.
Five questions, which were agreed by the Court of Appeal, have been posed to the Federal Court to decide:

1. Whether Section 95 (b) of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 is ultra vires (beyond the powers) of Article 12 (4) of the federal constitution (specifically concerning the right to determine the religion of the children under the age of 18 shall be determined by the parent or guardian) and Article 8 regarding equality rights;

2. Whether the same section in state law is inconsistent with federal law namely Section 5(1) of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1961, and is therefore invalid;

3. Regarding Article 121 (1A) of the federal constitution, where a custody order of children is made, which court, between the Syariah Court or the High Court is the higher authority?

4. When there is conversion of children of a civil marriage to Islam by one parent without the consent of the other, are the rights of remedy for the non-Muslim parent vested in the High Court?

5. Does the Syariah Court have jurisdiction to determine the validity of conversion of a minor into Islam, once it had been registered by the Registrar of Muallafs (Registrar for newly-converted Muslims)?
Shamala's legal team also includes S Ambiga, Ravi Nekoo and Steven Thiru.
Counsel Zulkiflee Che Yong and Azmi Mohd Rais are appearing for the Federal Territory Islamic Council.

India's farmers profit from organic boom

Bathinda, India (CNN) -- The northwest state of Punjab is popularly known as the breadbasket of India.

But many local farmers say that decades of using chemicals and pesticides, encouraged by the government, has caused health problems including cancer.

It's a point of view borne out by research.

A 2008 study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the incidence of cancer in the area was nearly double that of a similar sized town 200 kilometers away, citing "involvement in cultivation, pesticide use, alcohol consumption and smoking"

It's not clear what's causing the cancer, but the study also noted that the drinking water contained several heavy metals.

India is one of the largest producers of pesticides in the world, much of it for local consumption. But now there's a new awareness.

There's a big change sweeping across the fields of rural India. Tens of thousands of farmers are giving up on chemical farming and going back to a traditional ancient way of farming which is organic.

Environmentalists estimate that India has around 300,000 organic farms. Farmers are learning different skills and adjusting their mindset, says Upendra Dutt, who organizes training sessions in organic agriculture.

Farming isn't just about chasing profits anymore.

"Eating an organic 
apple is not only 
good for you, it's 
good for the 
environment.
--Anuj Katyal

Farmer Nirmal Singh has stopped using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on his fields in favor of organic ones made from cow dung.

"My input costs are lower. I don't have to spend money on buying chemicals," Singh says, "plus, it's healthier."

At harvest time, his yield is lower, but the selling price is higher. Organic wheat goes for three times as much money as wheat grown using chemicals.

With the growing demand both is India and abroad for organic products, it makes business sense as well.

Test your knowledge of organic food

Anuj Katyal's company exports organic basmati rice to 15 countries where customers don't mind paying a premium for the organic label.

India's organic farming sector accounts for only a sliver of the global $50 billion market for organic products but the potential is huge.

"We tell people eating an organic apple is not only good for you, it's good for the environment and will help the farmer grow another organic one," Katyal said.

Witness: Aminulrasyid didn't ram car into police

Palanivel, Ezam made senators

World Press Freedom Day- 3/5/2010 “Our” frontline alternative internet newsportal Malaysiakini.com does not report Indian problems according to it’s gravity and seriousness but like the mainstream media does race based reporting.

World Press Freedom Day- 3/5/2010 “Our” frontline alternative internet newsportal Malaysiakini.com does not report Indian problems according to it’s gravity and seriousness but like the mainstream media does race based reporting.
This does not happen in any other part of the world except in UMNO’s One Malaysia.
malaysiakini logo Even the disproportionately large members of Indian reporters and journalists in the print and electronic media and the alternative media who are supposed to be able to better relate to Indian problems hardly made and makes any difference as it is not in their “tuan” and “towkay’s” agenda to report the critical Indian problems on a needs basis and based on the gravity and severity of the violations of human rights. Almost all these Indian reporters like most of the elite Indians either are “shy” to report the state’s racism against the Indians or become very conscious so as not to in turn be labeled as racist themselves. They suffer from minority complex syndrome or inferiority complex and end up pretending that the critical level of racism against the Indians that has degenerated them into the critical Indian problems does not exist.
Somehow in the 1990’s the internet reporting developed and there were great expectations of the critical Indian problems getting coverage at least on a needs basis if not a larger coverage so as to undo the injustices done to this Indian community.
But alas even the frontline alternative internet newsportal Malaysiakini.com got carried away by the UMNO race based mainstream media based and not critical issue based reporting and ably followed by Malaysia Today, Malaysian Insider, almost all bloggers etc.
For example when Teoh Beng Hock was killed, in Malaysiakini.com there were 10 postings and continuing right up to date, 21 postings on the day a church got burnt down in P.J and a couple of postings in a day from day one right up to date on Aminulrasyid being shot dead by the police case.
But on the same day of Teoh Beng Hock’s killing, one P.Gunasegaran was also killed at the Sentul police station. But there was zero coverage for poor P.Gunasegaan by all the print and electronic media and the supposedly alternative media including Malaysiakini.com just because P.Gunasegaran’s ethnicity happens to ethnic minority Indian. This is just the tip of the iceberg of race based news reporting even by the alternative media in Malaysia.
But why does media reporting in Malaysia has to be so race biased? Why can’t it be on needs based or based on the gravity or severity of the violations of human rights? Why is it that it is only in Malaysia that when victims of injustices are the Indians, it becomes “not pressworthy” just because it does not appeal to the majoritarian Malays, Chinese or natives or draws no or very little political mileage. Why has journalism in Malaysia evolved and stooped so low to become so race based to this disgraceful levels?
A cursory read of the real and critical Indian problems in Malaysia which is focused in www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com will be telling enough. But we estimate that only between 0.1% to 1% of these are reported by both the mainstream and also in the alternative media.
Unfortunately the power of even the alternative media in Malaysia has not been used to fight 53 years of UMNOs’ racism vis a vis the alarming extent of racism meted out on the Indians.
The latest of such race based reporting is the NST and Star headlines. UMNO PM Najib tells police ‘Do not cover up. Public wants transparent inquiry into boy’s shooting.’ (NST headlines 3/5/10). But there has been zero such directive and media attention ever in the history of Malaysia when the victims are Indians.
“PM: No cover- up. Truth will be told in shooting of teen, says Najib” (The Star headlines 3/5/10). This is UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia directive to Polis Raja Di Malaysia. Similarly this is the multi-racial preaching by New Straits Times and The Star who rightly carried this news in their headlines and front page for the fourth day running.
But there is no history of this kind of attention and news headlines and front page media coverage when the victim is an Indian. Hundreds of Indians have been shot dead by the police and killed in police lockups. But this UMNO Prime Minister who claims to be “Prime Minister for all Malaysians” has never given such a directive when the victim is an Indian.
Similarly the top leaders of PKR, DAP and PAS and their 78 MPs including their 11 Indian mandore MPs would not speak up when the victims are the Indians. Yet claim they are for all races! Their actions indicate this is an oft repeated lie.
The latest example is the shooting to death, execution style, of two brothers in Taiping just last month and when there were even eye witnesses who saw plain cloths policemen murdering them in cold blood. But there was almost pin drop silence by UMNO, PKR, DAP, PAS and NGO’s, the print and electronic media including “our” Malaysiakini.com, the frontline alternative media but which excludes the Indians.
Thus the police shooting spree and killing of Indians in police lock ups and the other UMNO atrocities against the Indians continues with impunity and with no or very little check and balance by especially the alternative media. When we raise this race based injustices and cry against racism, we in turn are accused of being racist, or accused of raising Indian issues only. What a shrewd way to sidestep the real problems!
While UMNO and their police are guilty by commission, PKR, DAP, PAS, the NGOs and especially the alternative media including Malaysiakini.com are guilty by omission.
This level of racism by all sides does not happen in any other part of world except in UMNO’s One Malay-sia.
In fact in the western civil society, the majority will bend backwords to protect the minority, as the majority community will automatically be taken care of. But in Malaysia it is the other way round, ie., the majority and the Indian elite would bend backwords to champion only the majority community! What disgraceful people! This way they get to play to the majoritarian political gallery. Never mind the cold blooded murder of the Indians!
And so the state sponsored and race based atrocities against the Indians continues on a day to day basis. “Wither” freedom of the press in Malaysia!
P.Uthayakumar
NST and Star headlines NST and Star headlines 2 NST and Star headlines 3

Maika Holding buyout by GT resources is a lie.

Today is the 3rd of May. Where is the offer of a Ringgit for Ringgit to the Maika Shareholders, Gnanalingam that you promised will be made by the 1st of May. You are an accomplice to a treacherous lie against the entire Indian community.
I will be counting every day and I will be reminding  you , your benefactors and the defrauded people everyday of this lie.
UMNO/MIC and you are jointly and severally responsible for this deception .
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Zaid crying foul an exercise in ‘utter futility’

Zaid crying foul an exercise in ‘utter futility’

by Joe Fernandez @ Fernz

zaid ibrahim COMMENT The fact that Umno’s ad hoc Department of Dirty Tricks (DDT) won Hulu Selangor for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) on April 25 is beyond all debate as opposition messiah Zaid Ibrahim has rightly gathered for his impending election petition. What good is Umno anyway without its DDT?

But the DDT is not the REAL reason why Zaid lost in Hulu Selangor. But more on that later as we meanwhile give him the benefit of the doubt and go along with the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pro-tem chair as he attempts to pull the wool over our eyes.

Zaid should know as he is ex-Umno like Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. Their accusations on election offences and electoral fraud in Hulu Selangor have a credible ring despite being an exercise in utter futility.

Only the truly deaf, dumb and blind will not see that there were any number of election offences and election fraud perpetuated by Umno in Hulu Selangor on behalf of their poodle MIC. The party itself was nowhere in evidence besides P. Kamalanathan. This was as in the earlier case of Bagan Pinang. PBB (Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) in Batang Ai, on behalf of PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak), was another recent example of a party with a powerful DDT.

Even anyone on a casual walkabout in Hulu Selangor in the run-up to polling day, especially in the last three days, would have witnessed this Umno circus and the charade perpetuated by the Election Commission (EC) in tow.

Election offences and election fraud are nothing new in this country. Tell us something new. They have been going on under one pretext or another with some isolated exceptions for the last 50-odd years.

Former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in an apparent about turn, was not so gung ho about such shady practices in 2008. Perhaps he was too complacent after the biggest landslide ever in 2004 in the wake of the gerrymandering. Or it could be that the matter was really out of his hands after the gerrymandering had subsequently run out of steam.

The result in any case, coupled with Hindraf’s makkal sakthi (people power) phenomenon, was the political tsunami which was blamed on him by his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad. We all know what happened to him as a panicky Mahathir went mercilessly after him in an unprecedented show of force and literally hounded, humiliated and drove him out from office. This was not before Sodomy 2 was enacted and put in place as a fallback position.

In Sabah, it has successfully emerged in court battles – Likas is a case in point — that the electoral rolls have even been padded with illegal immigrants from the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, among other places.

The phenomenon has also been the subject of doctoral dissertations in the United States of America and the Philippines, among other countries. Witness, for example, “When States Prefer Non-Citizens Over Citizens: Conflict Over illegal Immigration into Malaysia” by Kamal Sadiq, University of California-Irvine. International Studies Quarterly (2005) 49, 101-122.

But are the illegal immigrants out of the electoral rolls in Sabah, if not elsewhere, to stamp out election offences and flush out electoral fraud in the country? They are still there as anti-illegal immigration activist Dr Chong Eng Leong and repentant ex-Umno operative Hassnar Ebrahim will swear with their army of documents and statistics.

Hassnar has even openly challenged the authorities on numerous occasions to take him to court on the matter. Even the local Muslims rallied behind him after they realised that the illegal immigrants had entered the electoral rolls at their expense. But so far there have been no takers for Hassnar’s challenge.

This is the only issue on which former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, so vocal on all and sundry, keeps a studied silence and pretends to be deaf, dumb and blind all at the same time if not suffering from one of his periodic bouts of selective amnesia. Didn’t he after all recently swear in public that “all is fair and square in love, war and politics”? Wither the price of loyalty, or disloyalty, in this case?

In Hulu Selangor, Zaid Ibrahim’s immediate concern, the entire machinery of the Federal Government including the Election Commission (EC) was marshaled against the opposition messiah.

No distinction was made between party and government machinery as if they were one and the same on the kamikaze arguments of “national security and national interest”. The na├»ve and gullible civil servants, the police, the EC and others in authority went along unmindful of their children, grandchildren, the generations unborn and their future.

Suffice it to say that there’s no need here to go into the gory details on the election offences and election fraud which have been flogged to death in the alternative media and in the more respectable blogs even if fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s exaggerated musings in Malaysia Today are discounted.

One point worth mentioning here is that “Special Branch looking operatives” were even in Singapore to “intimidate” Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chair WaythaMoorthy Ponnusamy at his hotel in the run-up to Hulu Selangor. They reportedly stalked him around the clock and monitored his every move. These are suspected to be “rogue elements” from Malaysia and Singapore in the employ of politicians

Waytha safely left for London yesterday (Wed 28, April) after being stranded in the lion city for nearly a month because of the flight disruptions caused by the Iceland volcanic ash and earlier because of heavy holiday traffic. He has photographs of some of these operatives and their vehicles but it is not known what he intends to do with these besides entering them in Hindraf’s Annual Malaysian Indian Report on Human Rights Violations.

Zaid, the opposition standard bearer, thinks that the observed manifestations of election offences and electoral fraud in Hulu Selangor are sufficient grounds on which to lodge an election petition within the next two weeks to have the results over-turned. However, he cannot be that thick. Presumably, he doesn’t expect the Election Court to order fresh elections which will somehow magically crown him as the Raja of Hulu Selangor as Umno, no doubt scared off by his polls petition, rolls over and plays dead for once.

Zaid’s barking up the wrong tree. Surely, he should know this as a former senior practicing lawyer. And yet he’s determined to blunder on like the proverbial bull in the china shop. So, his only reason is to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes on the real reasons for his loss – more on that later — why dragging the ruling coalition through the mud in an entertaining spectacle. This not to say that election offences and electoral fraud did not take place, perhaps on both sides.

As evident from the High Court verdict on Pensiangan, fresh polls is the farthest thing on any court’s mind. Even if Zaid wins in the Election Court, by some miracle as in the case of Pensiangan initially, the one-track mind higher courts are all here waiting eagerly like the Frankenstein monsters they are to do him in. We are not going to get even a hint of judicial activism at this level. The courts are more pre-occupied with their pay packets, promotions, perks of office, awards and other material considerations. Expect no mercy when you are up against the government of the day as in the recent case of Perak where the courts were able to wave a magical wand and pronounce a wrong as in fact right all along.

Likas was a first in that the Election Court ordered fresh polls after discovering that the electoral roll was riddled with illegal immigrants. The EC promptly had legislation introduced in Parliament to state that the electoral rolls cannot be challenged in a court of law once they have been gazetted. So, the illegal immigrants are not only still on the electoral rolls of Sabah but the tracks of the operatives who brought in these people have been erased by the introduction of the MyKad and the blue identity card phased out.

As Zaid mulls over his election petition, he should also consider getting a court injunction against Kamalanathan taking his oath as an MP after the EC gazettes the results for Hulu Selangor, even if it would not do any good anyway in the end.

Belum cuba, belum tahu (no pain, no gain).

At least he can claim that he tried and then go on to blame the courts, when he fails, for being compliant with the EC. That must be worth several press statements from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and reams of instant emailed press releases from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) flooding the spam folders.

However, and this is a billion ringgit question, are the election offences and electoral fraud reportedly perpetuated by Umno in Hulu Selangor the real reason why Zaid lost the battle? Is he looking for excuses in public relations, amidst his chomping on expensive cigars, to mask his monumental failure in judgment and detecting the flaws in the human characters around him? If so, he reveals fundamental and disturbing deficiencies in his own make-up that will get him nowhere in the end and disappoint the many in the opposition in whom he has raised such high expectations.

Zaid has denied being a sore loser but not everyone believes him entirely and with good reasons too. If he’s not careful, he will go from “sore loser” to born loser if he doesn’t get his act together as quickly as possible. Banking exclusively on the Malays and the Chinese is a no no in politics but he broke this cardinal rule in Hulu Selangor and has been forced to pay the heavy price of having the halo around him stripped in the court of public opinion.

When the dust settles on his election petition, perhaps Zaid will be able to get out of his state of denial and accept that he could have indeed won in Hulu Selangor, election offences and election fraud notwithstanding, if his campaign had been more inclusive.

Hindraf and the Human Rights Party Malaysia in particular were left out and that’s why he lost in the end. Hindraf alone had 300 hardcore activists ready to swing into action in Hulu Selangor on behalf of Zaid to help bring in the winning margin for him but they as stakeholders were never deployed in the end.

Also, PKR vice president Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan and his activists from the party and CigMA (Common Interest Group Malaysia) were actively discouraged by party headquarters’ from entering Orang Asli areas to campaign for Zaid. The police only came in later to fence off Orang Asli areas.

Zaid should stop listening to PKR theoreticians who sabotaged him in Hulu Selangor by preaching that “even 100 per cent of the Indian support will not win the seat but 60 per cent of Malay support will do the trick”. Sixty per cent is an impossibility as long as Umno, now bolstered by Perkasa, exists. In the end, Zaid didn’t get even the minimum 40 per cent Malay support envisaged in a worst case scenario. He had to make do with 35 per cent Malay support. It was not good enough. A miss is as good as a mile. A win is a win and a loss is a loss.

Unfortunately, people who could have made the difference were left out by the opposition in Hulu Selangor and this is the real reason why Zaid has been forced to head in the direction of the Election Court. He thinks it won’t be futile. We can only wait and see.

Assuming that the Election Court orders fresh polls in Hulu Selangor, is he saying that he can win the seat in another round? History will simply repeat itself all over again if he takes the same path that he took in the run-up to April 25.

Note: A condensed version of the above was carried in Malaysiakini on Fri 30 April, 2010