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Monday, May 10, 2010

MIED's Chitrakala to face charges tomorrow

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: A former top official at MIC's education arm, P Chitrakala Vasu, is expected to be charged tomorrow at the Jalan Duta courts for alleged disappearance of funds or cheating.

It is learnt that she was called up by the Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes division this afternoon to be arrested after a go ahead was given by the Attorney-General's Chambers.

She was then released on police bail and told to be present at the court tomorrow morning.

It could not be immediately ascertained how many charges and what types of charges Chitrakala will face tomorrow.

Chitrakala, a former blue-eyed girl of MIC president S Samy Vellu, had a fallout with the veteran leader following alleged misappropriation of funds from the Maju Institute of Educational Development.

She was the chief executive officer of MIED, an education arm of MIC which was involved in giving out scholarships for needy Indian students as well as the main body which oversaw the party's Aimst University.

Last year Samy Vellu said a top MIED official had been identified as being responsible for missing RM5.26 million from MIED.

The party had then lodged a police report over the missing funds as well as missing MIED files.

This was the followed by the removal of the party's long serving treasurer M Mahalingam, who was a MIED cheque signatory.

Chitrakala was subsequently investigated by the Commercial Crimes division and her bank accounts were frozen by the police pending investigations.

She had claimed that she had not taken any money from MIED and attributed political motives for the way she was removed as MIED chief executive officer.

PM accused of plotting Anwar sodomy trial - Malaysiakini

Lawyers for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today sought to implicate the country's prime minister in a conspiracy to frame Anwar on charges that he sodomised a former male aide.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has admitted meeting Anwar's accuser, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, after he said he was sodomised by Anwar but before a complaint was made to the police in March 2008.

Najib has also denied interfering in the case.

Saiful told the court that he met Najib on March 24, two days before his deposition stated that the 63-year-old opposition leader had sodomised him, a crime in this mainly Muslim country, and four days before he went to the police.

"I told him (Najib) about my problems," a nervous-looking Saiful, now 25, told the Kuala Lumpur High Court on the first day of his cross- examination by Anwar's lawyers.

He did not elaborate on what his problems were.

If convicted, Anwar could be jailed for 20 years, a sentence that would effectively end the career of the man who has succeeded in uniting Malaysia's opposition rainbow coalition of Islamists, reformers and ethnic Chinese political parties.

Anwar was convicted of sodomy in 2000, adding to an earlier sentence for corruption, following his ouster as deputy prime minister at the height of the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

The earlier sodomy conviction in a trial that was widely criticised for being unfair was overturned on appeal.

That left Anwar free to contest a parliamentary seat after polls in 2008 that saw the government that has now ruled Malaysia for 52 years fall to its worst ever results in national and state elections.

The political uncertainty combined with the global financial crisis saw foreign investors flee Malaysia and despite the promise of economic reforms and a return to strong economic growth in Asia's third-most trade-dependent economy, they have not returned.

Najib was deputy prime minister at the time of the alleged sodomy and took the top job in April last year, pledging to open up the economy and mend tensions between the majority Malay and minority ethnic Chinese and Indian populations.

"The prime minister is involved. There is a political conspiracy to eliminate Anwar from his seat," defence lawyer Karpal Singh told the court.

Karpal on Monday also challenged Saiful's claims that he had been sodomised, saying they were not backed up by a medical report.

The trial is due to last until August.

- Reuters

Zaid need not apologise to Sultan

By Rahmah Ghazali - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today jumped to Zaid Ibrahim's defence, saying the PKR supreme councillor need not apologise for stating that the Sultan of Selangor could not legally issue a decree banning political speeches in mosques.

Zaid gave his opinion in a blog posting last week, triggering outrage among some right wing Malay rights activists.

Speaking to reporters outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court after his sodomy trial was adjourned, Anwar said Zaid was speaking from the perspective of a lawyer well versed in the Federal Constitution.

Umno and Malay-based NGOs have blasted Zaid for "questioning" the Sultan's alleged decree.

In his article, Zaid said the sultan was giving his "personal view" which, he added, could be regarded as “good advice” to be heeded by everyone. He said a decree would have to be gazetted by the State Religious Council.

Outraged activists lodged numerous police reports against him and burned an effigy depicting him as a traitor and a drunkard. The Malay NGO Perkasa has demanded that he apologise.

Anwar said Zaid — who was the de facto law minister when he resigned from the federal Cabinet — was merely interpreting the constitution, which Dr Mahathir Mohamad amended in 1983, resulting in the loss of some of the powers of the Malay rulers.

“Those who insulted the palaces back then were Kelantan Umno leaders,” Anwar added. “You can check the Parliament Hansard.”

He said it would be better for Zaid’s detractors to debate openly with him as gentlemen than to “hide behind the palace”.

Zaid said on Saturday that he was prepared to meet the Sultan to clarify the contents of his blog posting.

He said he would not apologise because he was “just expressing an opinion" and the demand for the apology came from Perkasa and not the Sultan.

PM should be a witness at trial

In the same press conference, Anwar also touched on his ongoing sodomy trial which resumed today with the corss-examination of his accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar said he was grateful that the defence team has established from Mohd Saiful's testimony that the prime minister was involved "in the conspiracy".

He said it was clear that a political conspiracy was at work as Mohd Saiful had testified today that he had met a high ranking police officer after meeting the prime minister and just before lodging a police report on the alleged sodomy.

Anwar said he hoped the prime minister will not use his influence in not appearing in the court as a witness.

The opposition leader further cried foul on the "unprofessional conduct" displayed by the prosecution team by failing to provide his defence team the full list of witnesses.

"Karpal said this is the first time in 40 years that the prosecution refused to provide the witnesses list. We have not yet found one incident or a case where the list has not been given.

Aminulrasyid: Police officer charged

One police officer has been charged over the fatal shooting of 14-year old Aminulrasyid Amzah last month.
NONEPolice corporal Jenain Subi, 48, was charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court about 12pm, and has claimed trial to the charge under Section 304A of the Penal Code of causing death by negligence.
Deputy public prosecutor Abdul Majid Hamzah confirmed this today when contacted.
If found guilty, Jenain can be punished with up to 20 years' imprisonment, said Abdul Majid.
Jemain had earlier arrived the court premises at 11.35am, heavily guarded by a team of uniformed and plainclothed police officers.
Sessions Court judge M Gunalan set bail at RM10,000 with one surety and fixed June 10 for case mention.
Aminulrasyid (left) had gone out with a friend, Azamuddin Omar, 15, on the evening of April 25 to a nearby food stall to watch football.
The former was killed, however, after coming under a hail of gunfire from the police - who alleged to have found the two youths in "suspicious circumstances."
The police alleged Aminulrasyid had tried to ram the Proton Iswara he was driving into them, thus forcing them to open fire.
Azamuddin, however, has denied this and said Aminulrasyid was shot while driving until the car he was driving crashed in a residential area in Section 11, Shah Alam.


Cop claims trial to Aminuralrasyid’s death

SHAH ALAM, May 10 — Police corporal Jenain Subi today claimed trial for shooting Aminulrasyid Amzah, whose death sparked an uproar over the number of police shootings in recent years.


The 48-year-old officer was charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court under Section 304 of the Penal Code for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

Judge M. Gunalan set bail at RM10,000 and fixed June 10 for mention.

Aminulrasyid was shot dead by police after a 6km car chase on April 26 after, as police claimed, he tried to reverse and ram the vehicle he was driving into policemen in Section 11, Shah Alam.

The schoolboy’s friend, Azamuddin Omar, 15, who was with him in the car, has denied the claim.

Sodomy trial: 'No injuries due to lubricant'

UPDATED 12.41pm KUALA LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial started at 9.45am this morning with his lawyer Karpal Singh getting a chance to grill accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on his allegations against his former boss.
The cross-examination started at about 10.40am after High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah rejected Karpal's application to compel the prosecution to hand over the witness list to the defence.

The application was rejected on the grounds that the prosecution just needed to comply with a Federal Court ruling on the documents that must be handed over.

The judge made his ruling after a short break and asked Karpal to start question Mohd Saiful who looked calm in his grey suit, then took the stand.

However less than an hour after questioning Mohd Saiful, Karpal applied for the witness' caution statement to be produced, saying the witness was not telling the truth.

The senior lawyer then sought for a postponement until tomorrow morning to give him time to prepare allow him to study the matter. The prosecution did not object and the court fixed the hearing to continue tomorrow morning.

Earlier during his cross-examination on Mohd Saiful, Karpal had asked him a range of questions from the meeting with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the alleged injuries in the witness' anus.

Mohd Saiful said that he had met Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on June 24, 2008. The meeting took place at Najib's residence in Jalan Duta.
Mohd Saiful said that he had met Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on June 24, 2008. The meeting took place at Najib's residence in Jalan Duta.

He said that after that meeting, he met with  police officer SAC Rodwan Yusof at Hotel Melia.

"Rodwan called wanting to meet me... I told him that Anwar had sodomised me twice,” he said.

He also said that he had not met Najib or his wife Rosmah Mansor before June 24.
To another question, Mohd Saiful said he had not taken his bath for two days – June 24 to 26. He however disagreed with Karpal that he was not being a good Muslim by not keeping himself clean.

"I put it to you that you do not understand the Islamic religion, as you should have mandi junub (performed the ritual bath) after sexual intercourse,” said Karpal.

“It was an emergency period,” replied Mohd Saiful in admitting that he had failed to perform the ritual bath after the alleged intercourse with Anwar.

He however said that he had a light shower before going to perform Friday prayers. He said he aspires to be a good Muslim.
'Possibly the doc is lying'
Karpal then moved on to question Mohd Saiful on the medical report which said that there were no signs of scarring or recent injuries on Saiful.

“I do now know. I can't see my anus,” was the witness' response.

Karpal then referred Mohd Saiful to the report which stated that Mohd Saiful's pain was caused by introduction of a plastic object into his anus, to which the witness said the report was wrong.

“It is not true,” he said.

When Karpal said that Mohd Saiful was lying, the witness retorted by saying that he does not know and that "possibly the doctor is lying”.

He said that he was inspected by one Dr Osman Abdul Hamid at the Pusrawi hospital in Kuala Lumpur, where he complained of stomache pains and pain in the anus.

He however said he had no comments on the HKL report which had three doctors stating that there were no injuries on Mohd Saiful.

He added that there were no injuries due to lubricants being used during the act.
Conflict over witness list
Earlier this morning, Karpal had told the court that it was important for the defence to see the witness list before they can proceed with cross-examining Mohd Saiful.

Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abidin, who is heading the prosecution team, however told the court that the witness list was not important and that the defence can cross-examine their case immediately.

He also said that it was only a matter of practice that the prosecution handed over the list to the defence in the past.

Karpal however asked if the prosecution's reluctance was due to a need to protect someone from appearing as a witness.

“Why is this secrecy? Is it because the prime minister is involved and that this is a political conspiracy against Anwar?” he asked.

To this Mohd Yusof reminded Karpal that the court room was not a place to make political statements and urged him to continue with the case.

Judge Mohamad Zabidin, who earlier said that he had ordered the prosecution to hand over the list to the defence, stood down the matter at about 10.15am to decide on Karpal's application.
Grilling Saiful
Yesterday Karpal told FMT that Mohd Saiful must explain his allegation of not defecating for two days after being allegedly sodomised by Anwar.
"He really needs to answer his allegation that he did not pass motion for two days,” he said.
Karpal said Mohd Saiful will also be grilled on who were the people he came into contact with before lodging his police report.
Apart from this, the former aide to Anwar will also be questioned on the three medical reports, from Tawakal, Pusrawi and Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
"There will be no further delay in this trial, since everyone is eager to hear more from him (Mohd Saiful) who has made all kind allegations against Anwar," Karpal said, adding that the focus will be on the witness' credibility.
Karpal said the defence team might use the entire five-day trial period to zero in on Mohd Saiful because there are many issues to be covered.
Anwar, 63, is charged with sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful, 25, at Unit 11-5-1 Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
He is charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code and faces up to 20 years' in jail and whipping upon conviction.In his opening statement, Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof had told the court that the prosecution would adduce evidence to show that the semen specimen taken from Mohd Saiful's anus was confirmed by the Chemistry Department to be Anwar's.
Anwar is represented by Karpal, Param Cumaraswamy, CV Prabakharan, Ram Karpal Singh Deo, SN Nair, Mohd Radzlan Jalaludin and Marisa Regina Fernando.
Meanwhile, Mohd Yusof is assisted by seven deputy public prosecutors, Nordin Hassan, Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, Wong Chiang Kiat, Noorin Badaruddin, Farah Azlina Latiff, Mira Mirna Musa and Naidatul Athirah Azmad.
Anwar, who was jailed for a similar offence in 1999, has claimed, like before, that the current charge against him is part of a political conspiracy.

Buck up Malaysia, says Human Rights Watch

By Stephanie Sta Maria - Free Malaysia Today

FMT EXCLUSIVE KUALA LUMPUR: Human Rights Watch (HRW) is urging Malaysia to urgently adopt human rights reforms if it is serious about being elected onto the United Nations Human Rights Council on May 13.
'
Malaysia is one of four Asian countries competing for a seat on the Council. A total of 192 members of the UN General Assembly will be voting for the country that has made significant contributions to protecting and promoting human rights. Malaysia needs to win support from at least 97 countries.

However, HRW has expressed grave concern over Malaysia's apparent lack of commitment to human rights. In a recent letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, it urged the prime minister to justify Malaysia's candidacy for the council by reforming its laws, policies and procedures.

Among others, the letter also called on Malaysia to revoke the Internal Security Act (ISA) as well as pledge to accept all request for visits by UN human rights experts to the country.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Nazri Aziz however has dismissed these calls and emphasised that the ISA 'will never be revoked'.

In an exclusive interview with FMT, Phil Robertson, the deputy director of HRW's Asia division, talks about the importance of Malaysia earning a seat on the council, it's ability to meet international expectations and its reputation in the global arena.

FMT: Why is it important for Malaysia to obtain a seat on the council?

Phil Robertson: There are standards to be met to ensure that the candidates don't get a free ride to the council. These standards are outlined in the UN General Assembly resolution which states that members of the Human Rights Council shall “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” and “fully cooperate with the cCouncil.”
HRW believes that Malaysia has a long way to go in reaching these standards and this is why it is important for it to earn the seat at the Council. Otherwise, other governments whose human rights records come before the council will not take Malaysia seriously.

Malaysia’s case is important especially since the government made a number of pledges in 2006 which were not implemented. This time Malaysia’s commitments are particularly vague and bear serious scrutiny. Even Malaysian groups, such as the Human Rights Committee of the Malaysian Bar, have expressed similar concerns.
A stint on the council should help not only the cause of human rights at the UN, but also improve respect for the human rights of all Malaysians as well.

What does the council need to see as an initial indication of Malaysia's commitment towards human rights?
Permission for the UN Special Rapporteurs to visit the country. These are important people whose mandate is to work with the government to help improve human rights in various areas, yet they regularly get the brush off by the Malaysian government.
Malaysia has been criticised for good reason for its shoddy treatment of migrant workers, the violation of their rights on a systemic basis, and the horrific conditions in detention centers. Why then does the government continue denying the Special Rapporteur on Migrants the opportunity to come to Malaysia, examine the situation, and make recommendations for fixing these problems?
The government also maintains that the judiciary is independent. Then why is it so reluctant to invite the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers to visit the country?
There are now eight different UN human rights experts waiting to hear about their requests to visit Malaysia, and some of these requests date back to 2002!
This would indicate Malaysia's seriousness about addressing its record instead of another flowery briefing paper on commitment to human rights that it has no intent of implementing!
Has the prime minister responded to HRW's letter?
No, he hasn't and this is worrisome given that the election is just three days away. We're still hoping for a substantive response from him or whoever he designates to respond.
Despite promising words from Najib when he took office, very little has changed. For instance, the police still abuse both Malaysian citizens and migrants with impunity, as if they are a law unto themselves, while police reform goes nowhere.
We would be delighted if the Malaysian government surprises us, and tomorrow announces practical steps to implement some of their promises but we’re realistic enough to know that it’s not that easy.
How is Malaysia being perceived by the rest of the UN General Assembly in terms of its human rights issues?
Other members of the UN General Assembly recognize that Malaysia has many serious problems on human rights. This is especially true for some of its Southeast Asia neighbours whose nationals migrate to work in Malaysia, and who have regularly had their rights violated there.
A number of European and North American governments have expressed great concern about Malaysia’s continued use of arbitrary, preventive detention through the ISA, the Emergency Ordinance Act 1969, Dangerous Drugs Act 1985 and the Restricted Residency Act 1933.
Many of those countries have also expressed great disappointment that Malaysia has ignored many of the recommendations they made at the session of the Universal Periodic Review of Malaysia’s record at the UN Human Rights Council in 2009.
Malaysia is seen as a country with serious human rights problems but also as with potential and capacity to solve those problems if its leaders show the political commitment to do so.

PAS tackles churches to woo Sibu voters

By FMT Staff
SIBU: With 53 percent of Sibu’s voters subscribing to the Christian faith, religious freedom is an issue close to their hearts, especially since the fiery uproar in Peninsular Malaysia over the use of the term ‘Allah” by non-Muslims last December.
While the BN plays coy, side-stepping questions pertaining to the issue, the painful episode has been high on PAS’ priority list in Sibu.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud and several PAS leaders held talks with church groups to discuss matters relating to the issue and religious worship.
“We met many Christians in Sibu. They were uncomfortable talking at first. Open discussions has not been the Umno-BN way.
"Our way of open dialogue is new to them and we have been engaging in talks with various groups. We hope to dispel notions that PAS is an extremist party.
"BN has portrayed us as anti-Muslims. That is not who we are. PAS is prepared to work closely with its Pakatan partners and the non-Muslim community,” said Khalid after visiting the Sacred Heart Church over the weekend here.
Sibu is historically a Christian town. Churches can be found in every nook and cranny of the city and shrines of Mary, mother of Jesus, are as common as traffic lights in Kuala Lumpur.
The outpouring of venom by Umno-BN leaders and Muslim organisations in Peninsular Malaysia against Christians following the KL High Court ruling last December which allowed Christians to use the term “Allah” has cut deep.
To the Christians, BN is a known double-edged sword and PAS, an unknown entity in sheep's clothing.
Khalid said: “We’re introducing ourselves and telling them that we do not harbour ill intent or carry enmity against other religions.
"PAS respects the right of every citizen to embrace and practice their own religion. We are not the kind of party that BN is painting us out to be. We’re trying to heal wounds…”
Fearing for their faith
According to Khalid, the fact that worshippers at the Sacred Heart Church had welcomed PAS leaders showed their interest in knowing more about Pakatan.
At the height of the attack on churches and protests in January, Pakatan and its coalition partner, PAS, stood their ground condemning the racist outpourings of Umno-BN leaders.
"It was the Pakatan coalition, not BN who stood by the Christian community and defended the right to practice one's own faith as enshrined in the Federal Constitution," said Khalid.
"And it was PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, deputy PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and PKR de factor leader Anwar Ibrahim who initiated inter-faith dialogues and met with leaders of the Christian faith.
"If the BN has forgotten those dark days in January 2010, Sibu and Sarawak Christians have not," added Khalid.
At a closed-door meeting with church leaders on Saturday, 60 priests voiced their concerns and fears over the federal government’s interference in the practice of the Christian faith.
They were concerned that if today BN banned the use of the term ‘Allah”, tomorrow and in the future other Christian practices will be also become an issue.
“It was a dialogue between PAS members and the (Christian) community. We don’t have an issue meeting with the community. We answered their questions truthfully and dispelled their suspicions,” said Siti Mariah.
“At the end of the dialogue, the request made by the Christian community here was for justice, equality and a responsible administration. We welcome and support this demand.”
Khalid said that for Pakatan, religion is not a political tool to garner votes but a guideline to mould a mature, modern and principled society.
“Religion must be reflected in an individual’s actions. If we pray but at the same time act unjust, support corruption and cruelty to others, then we vilify and trivialise god."

Kelantan Sultan's habeas corpus application adjourned

PUTRAJAYA: The world's first habeas corpus application to free a ruler could not take place at the Special Court today due to a lack of quorum of judges.
The Special Court, catered just to hear cases involving the Malay royalty, was to have heard an application to “free” the Kelantan's Sultan Ismail Petra Sultan Yahya Petra but the lack of quoram of judges meant that a new date will have to be fixed to hear the application.
The Federal Constitution states that the Special Court must consist five judges to hear the matter but the panel only had four judges available this morning.
The panel hearing the application comprised Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, who chaired the court, Chief Judge of Malaya Ariffin Zakaria, Federal Court judge Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin and High Court Justice Linton Albert.
The application, before the adjournment, was held behind closed doors this morning as per the requirement of Section 14A of the Rules of the Special Court 1994.
The habeas corpus application was filed by lawyers for the sultan last week to secure his release from the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) in Kubang Kerian where he has been admitted since Tuesday.
He was however discharged yesterday and it is still unclear for now if the application will continue due to this development
Held against their will?
The affidavit supporting the habeas corpusl application was made by the Tengku Temenggong of Kelantan, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Sultan Ismail, the third son of the Sultan. The Sultan of Kelantan was named as the applicant.
The writ named five respondents -- the Kelantan police chief, Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Director-General of Health and the government of Malaysia.
The team of lawyers representing the sultan consists of Param Cumarasamy, Gobind Singh Deo, Mohd Haaziq Pillay, Abdul Rashid Ismail and Malik Imtiaz, and is headed by Raja Aziz Addruse.
The Special Court was set up in 1993 to hear any proceedings by or against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the ruler of a state in his personal capacity.
On Wednesday, Haaziq and Gobind were refused entry to the hospital by the police. Haaziq later claimed that the ruler and his consort were being held there against their will.
Param said this was the first habeas corpus application in the world to seek the release of a ruler of a state.
Brothers in royal squabble
The sultan's poor health has led to a squabble between his sons, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry and Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, who was named Regent of Kelantan last year when the sultan left for treatment in Singapore.
On Tuesday night, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry was reported to have been questioned by police for several hours, believed to be in connection with the shooting of a Kelantan palace guard.
Police are reported to have taken handguns from Tengku Muhammad Fakhry and his bodyguards for forensic testing.
Tengku Muhammad Fakhry has been in a tussle with the Regent since being dropped from the State Succession Council last year.
Previously, the ailing sultan was reported to have made two abortive attempts to leave the state for treatment.
Accompanied by Tengku Muhammad Fakhry, and his consort the Raja Perempuan Kelantan, Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid, the Sultan was said to have been due to board a chartered private jet for Singapore for further treatment.
The plane was reported to have been refused permission to land in Kota Baru. Another flight to take him to Kuala Lumpur was also aborted.

Shooting Children

Ironically, Beer-Man declared that the police had performed a perfect-10 in areas that “you will never see, you will never hear, you will never know” such as counter-terrorism. Sure. I am positive that Malaysia has arrested all those Thai Terrorists currently hiding in Kelantan, who decapitated thousands of Innocent Monks and people in South Thailand. And what about those Philippino Terrorists who are hiding in Pulau Gaya just in front of Kota Kinabalu? Name a single sane Policeman who dares walk onto that Island? The real reason we don't hear about anything gallant, or valiant about the Malaysian Police, is because it never happens.
 Written by John Doe
 A new habit has surfaced of late. The recent death of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah and yesterday’s shooting of 17-year-old Mohd Azizi Aziz at the hands of the police has led to public anger with the police who are already having to deal with the reality of the negative perception over crime levels, custodial deaths and corruption.

Kiddie-Target.jpg

The Home Minister, currently shopping in London, tells us otherwise... The following News Report describes the Morbid Monsters in blue uniforms whom the above beer-guzzler is asking Malaysians to wholeheartedly, and unquestioningly support:

Taken from:
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-16035377_ITM
(From AP Worldstream)
Byline: LIBBY QUAID
Eight Malaysian Police Officers have been arrested in the past two days accused of robbery and extortion, news reports said Friday. Four officers are believed to be linked to several robberies in the Klang Valley surrounding Malaysia's largest city, Kuala Lumpur. Spent bullet shells at robbery sites matched their weapons, it said....

In another case:
Malaysian Policeman caught after breaking into car, dozing off
(AP): KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A Malaysian Police Officer was arrested after he broke into a Mercedes Benz to steal its stereo but then dozed off on its luxurious seat. The police officer allegedly was high on drugs and fell asleep while trying to steal a compact disc player from the car. The officer, who was not identified, is a member of a gang linked to other break-ins and motorcycle thefts, the report said....

It gets better:
New Straits Times
by Alang Bendahara
KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Policeman was detained for forcing a 17-year-old girl to perform oral sex and raping her in a police station in Selangor on June 18. Upon questioning, the policeman, who was with a colleague, discovered that the girl's boyfriend did not possess a licence and the couple was taken to a police station. Sources said the couple was later interrogated separately in different rooms. While being interrogated, the girl was forced to undress and threatened. Fearing for her boyfriend's safety, the girl agreed to the policeman's demand and performed oral sex on him and was also raped. When contacted, Selangor Police Chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed the Rape Report...

I can go on and on, like the Police Brutality in Cheras, the one Tonne of confiscated Drugs mysteriously missing from the Johor Police Station, more than 1,800 Custodial Deaths while in remand, and so on. Simply sift through all those NFA Police Cases, and you will have a much greater understanding of how serious the crimes committed by Malaysian Police are.

The Home Minister also said that instead of constantly attacking the police, the public must support the force as it was one of the institutional pillars that formed the spine of the UMNO. I guess it must have also slipped his mind that even the Two Killers of Altantuya were Special Branch Malaysian Police Officers of high stature! While some might find it excruciatingly painful to accept that the Form 5 Educated people can form the bulk of the Malaysian Police Force, it becomes much harder to see how one is forced to accept this as the core of alleged Law Enforcement. Are Malaysians going to sit down and claim “Takdir”, Fate and/ or Destiny whenever one of your children gets shot? Look, if the Police Special Armed Forces can Strong-Arm the Sultan, what are you? Look no further.  The Judicial? Bah !!! Mr. Korek Korek Korek gets away with "Looks like me, sounds like me, but that's not me". Even though it was proven that the video evidence was filmed in his house!

Shooting-Kids.jpg

Well, to the parents of Aminulrasyid Amzah and Mohd Azizi Aziz, please accept my deepest Condolences for your great loss. There is simply no excuse for this shooting, and the only way Justice will prevail, is when the new Government takes over. How many more innocent children will have to die before any Malaysian realizes that taking this sitting-down is simply doing nothing? For those who accepted UMNO's Bribes in Hulu Selangor, this is the blood money which you have in your bank accounts.

The only three words which I agree with this Beer-Guzzler is that “Malaysia is in Transition”. Yes. Most definitely!! It is getting from bad to worse !! And from "Worse-ter to Worstest". I've run out of Superlatives to describe this absurd monstrosity.

A friend of mine traveling down to Singapore this weekend just sent me this picture.

Tembak-Remaja.jpg

I guess Singaporeans know how to protect their young. Unlike some other retarded Ketuanan Country.

Ironically, Beer-Man declared that the police had performed a perfect-10 in areas that “you will never see, you will never hear, you will never know” such as counter-terrorism. Sure. I am positive that Malaysia has arrested all those Thai Terrorists currently hiding in Kelantan, who decapitated thousands of Innocent Monks and people in South Thailand. And what about those Philippino Terrorists who are hiding in Pulau Gaya just in front of Kota Kinabalu? Name a single sane Policeman who dares walk onto that Island? The real reason we don't hear about anything gallant, or valiant about the Malaysian Police, is because it never happens.

A tale of two shootings

thenutgraph.com

(Malaysia and UK maps: Wiki commons; gun: svilen0001 @ sxc.hu)
MALAYSIA is facing yet another fatal police shooting, this time of 15-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah. The reactions and responses to Aminulrasyid's case remind me of another fatal shooting which took place in London in 2005. However, the reactions and responses to the London case were markedly different.
I have set out below the tragic tales of these two shootings. I leave readers to draw their own conclusions about our nation's leaders and their ability to acknowledge when wrongs have been committed. Admitting mistakes is often seen as a weakness. But I believe that until our leaders have the strength to do so, genuine reform will never occur, and we will see tragic cases such as this recur time and again.
United Kingdom, 2005
Jean Charles de Menezes was the son of a bricklayer from Brazil. He was a trained electrician. In 2002, when he was 24, he travelled to England, found a job and stayed on.
On 22 July 2005, he left his rented apartment in greater London to fix a broken fire alarm. He got on a bus, heading to Brixton tube station to catch a train. The station was closed due to a terrorist alert and bomb threats the day before. He then travelled by bus to Stockwell tube station, went down the escalator to the platform, boarded a train and sat down.
Multiple police officers then approached Menezes. He stood up, was forced down again onto his seat, and then was shot seven times in the head. He died instantly.
Police reaction

Menezes (Wiki commons)
Police had mistaken Menezes to be a suspected bomber, and had shot him because they thought he was about to blow up the train. The city had just faced the 7 July bomb attacks where 52 people died. A failed attempt on 21 July had been discovered and suspects had been identified.
The day after Menezes's death, then Metropolitan police chief Sir Ian Blair announced that police had shot the wrong man. He confirmed that Menezes was completely unconnected to the bomb attacks, and apologised to the Menezes family, saying it was a tragedy.
Inquiry
Several days later, it was announced that the shooting would be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Although critical of police action, the commission later decided that no disciplinary action would be taken against specific officers.
In 2007, the Metropolitan police went on trial for endangering public health and safety, and Menezes in particular. The court reviewed a host of issues: the procedure for identifying suspects; procedure on the use of firearms; and the quality of communication between the surveillance and firearms teams, to name a few. The police were found guilty, and were fined £175,000 and £385,000 in costs.
In 2008, an inquest was held into Menezes's death. The court heard evidence from over 100 witnesses, including 40 police officers. A jury dismissed police officers' claims that they were acting in self-defence and gave warnings before shooting Menezes.

Stephenson (Source: met.
police.co.uk)
The acting police commissioner at the time, Sir Paul Stephenson, said the force had made a "terrible mistake" and apologised again.
In 2009, the Metropolitan police reached a private settlement with Menezes's family of £100,000, with the commissioner making another "unreserved apology" for the tragic death.
Malaysia, 2010
Aminulrasyid Amzah was 14, going on 15. He was a Form Three student at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seksyen 9 Shah Alam. His father had died about five years ago and he lived with his mother Norsiah Mohamad.
On 26 Apr 2010, he had driven his sister's car to pick up his friend Azamuddin Omar for drinks. On his way home at about 2am, he passed a police car, which started chasing him. Gunshots were fired, and Aminulrasyid was shot in the head. His friend Azamuddin said Aminulrasyid died in his lap.
Police reaction
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the shooting occurred at 2am in an area that experienced frequent break-ins. He said that Aminulrasyid's behaviour had aroused the suspicion of the police. Media reports alluded to the fact that Aminulrasyid and his friend were possibly involved in robbery and break-ins, leading to angry protests from Aminulrasyid's mother.

Musa Hassan (Wiki commons)
Musa Hassan also said a car could be a weapon if used to plough into officers who tried to stop drivers.
He then reportedly threatened to instruct his officers to refrain from stopping cars being driven suspiciously, or illegal racers from taking over roads. "If you do not want police to enforce the law, then say so," Musa reportedly told reporters on 29 April.
Police also claimed that Aminulrasyid had been reversing his car into them to avoid a roadblock.
They also said they had found a machete in the car boot.
Government reaction
Home Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein defended the police and asked the public to be fair. He reportedly said, "People are angry when a member of the public is shot, but the same can't be said when the police are shot. They have no sympathy at all. Is there a difference between the life of the public and police [officers]?"
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil made a comment about parents needing to know where their children were at night.
No apology was forthcoming from any government authority regarding Aminulrasyid's fatal shooting. The cabinet, however, eventually issued a statement to Aminulrasyid's family on 5 May, expressing sadness and condolence.
Inquiry
An eight-member special panel, headed by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop, was set up to "monitor" the police investigations into the shooting.

Abu Seman Yusop (Wiki
commons)
On 4 May, the panel reportedly went to the shooting site late at night to begin investigations. Their Home Ministry bus was escorted by a police outrider, a convoy of police cars, and journalists.
Aminulrasyid's family has called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be set up to investigate the incident. They want the results of an independent investigation to be made available to the public.
However, after their late-night excursion and a three-hour meeting on 5 May 2010, the special panel said there was no need for a Royal Commission. The deputy home minister reportedly said, "We concluded that the police investigations into the case have been transparent and fair."

Quality, Quantity, and Equity in Malaysian Education #1

By M. Bakri Musa

[First of Three Parts]

Quality Education and Economic Development

In referring to the low quality of our labor pool, the New Economic Model Report cites statistics showing that 80 percent of our workers have only SPM level (11 years) of schooling. That surprises me, not the figure rather the fact that the SPM is now viewed as inadequate.

That observation reflects more on the quality of our education system than it does of our workers. For had our education system maintained its quality, and today’s SPM is of the same caliber as the old Cambridge School Certificate “O” Level, then I would argue that our workers are among the most highly educated.

Members of the National Economic Action Council (they wrote the NEM Report) are old enough to appreciate that when they obtained their O-level certificate, they were in command of sufficient intellectual and other skills to prepare them well for life. The same cannot be said of today’s SPM, as the Report clearly implies.

In suggesting that Malaysian workers should have more years of education, the folks at NEAC are falling into the same trap that had ensnared others, of confusing quantity with quality of education. For if our education system stinks (it certainly does!), then it does not matter whether our workers have college degrees; they still will not be well prepared for the workplace, as attested by the already thousands of unemployed graduates.

As declared in the Center for Global Development’s A Millennium Learning Goal: Measuring Real Progress in Education, we should “focus on the real target of schooling: adequately equipping the nation’s youth for full participation as adults in economic, political and social roles.” School completion alone is an inadequate indicator of this. Likewise, generous funding, low pupil/teacher ratio, and physically grandiose schools and universities do not necessarily reflect quality education.

Consider years of schooling. One can readily appreciate that a year at an Indonesian high school is not the same as at a South Korean one. Even within a country, there are significant variations, as with an inner city school in South Chicago and one in the heart of Silicon Valley, California. In California, the students are challenged with calculus; in inner city Chicago they struggle with “consumer math.”

As for pupil/teacher ratio, South Korean classrooms are more crowded than American ones, yet that does not negatively impact the learning of the Korean children.

Earlier cross-national studies attempting to relate workers’ educational levels with a country’s economic performance used such readily obtainable data as the level of funding, pupil/teacher ratio, and years of schooling. Even with such crude measurements economists were able to conclude confidently that workers’ educational levels correlate well with a nation’s economic development.

That however, could be the effect and not the cause. It could be that when a country is rich, it could afford to spend more on education rather than the investment in education making that country rich.

Such studies also exposed some glaring anomalies. Latin American countries have universal education yet their economies have been underperforming. Egypt and South Korea spend proportionately the same on education, with their young having comparable levels of schooling, yet their economies are a universe apart. What gives?

The OECD made a cross-national study of its labor force focusing specifically on cognitive (in particular reading and mathematical) abilities rather than years of schooling. As can be appreciated, this was a much more formidable undertaking than merely comparing national statistics that may or may not be actually comparable. The findings of this much more rigorous study are even more impressive, confirming not only the earlier findings but also explaining the anomalies.

OECD has since refined and expanded its studies to include developing countries. The resulting Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey is sufficiently rigorous to conclude that workers’ cognitive skills are causally (not just statistically) correlated with economic development across a broad spectrum of countries, from developing to developed ones. Meaning, a country could not develop economically if its workers are cognitively not up to par, regardless of the number of years of formal education.

The relevant cognitive skills relate to critical thinking, language abilities, mathematical competence, and science literacy. It should not surprise us that Indonesia, Bolivia and Peru remain economically backward considering that, as per PISA findings, the average reading ability of Indonesian students was equivalent to that of the lowest seven percent of French students; the average mathematics score of Brazilian students was equal to the lowest scoring Danish students; while the average science score of Peruvian students was equal to the lowest five percent of American students, despite the same number of years spent in school.

Malaysia was not included in the PISA study but it did participate in the Third (1999) International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMMS – R). We scored somewhere in the middle, way behind Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. And so is our economy.

Malaysian leaders and educators do not like to be reminded of this; instead they would prefer us to focus on the fact that we are still ahead of Indonesia, Bolivia and Peru.

The American performance in TIMMS was not impressive either, and that prompted much soul searching. By way of contrast, in Malaysia I have not heard of any official pronouncements or seen academic papers on the subject. The only analyses done on the Malaysian performance on TIMMS were conducted by Malaysian-born American scholars.

Americans realize that they need a skilled workforce to create innovative products and start new entrepreneurial ventures that would drive economic development.

The American performance at TIMMS illustrates another apparent anomaly. While American students lag behind those of Asia and many OECD countries, the American economy outperforms theirs. At first glance this would negate PISA’s conclusion.

Two factors explain the apparent American anomaly. The first relates to the American curriculum and system of teaching. Since this is more important, let me dispose quickly of the second factor, that is, American industries, often supported by public funds, devote substantial resources to training and continually upgrading their workers’ skills.

My hospital has a department devoted entirely to the continuing professional education of its nurses, doctors and other personnel. American editors for example, regularly send their reporters to writing classes and to hear from luminaries in their fields.

For contrast, query any Malaysian civil servant on when was the last time he attended a course that would contribute to his professional development, and you would draw a blank. The response would be the same if you were to ask what professional journals he subscribes or reads regularly.

Returning to the more important first factor, while it is true that American students do not do well in science and mathematics, they shine in the critical and creative thinking department. Unfortunately these skills are not tested by TIMMS or indeed any pencil-and-paper test. The American curriculum, both at school and college levels, does not emphasize rote memory and regurgitation at examination time. Instead the focus is on critical and independent thinking. Thus American students have “open book” and “take home” examinations, a concept incomprehensible to Malaysians. American test questions probe your ability to think critically, not regurgitate textbook or lecture contents.

For those who find an “open book” examination incomprehensible, let me suggest some examples. If Hikayat Hang Tuah were a text in an American course, a typical examination question would be:

The central injunction of our Quran is to “command good and forbid evil.” To what extent have the three main characters (Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, and the Sultan of Melaka) followed this creed?

For Shahnon Ahmad’s Ranjau Se Panjang Jalan, a suggested question would be:

Describe three major ranjau (obstacles) faced by Lahuma (the central character). Imagine yourself the assigned caseworker. How would you guide him to overcome them?

Come to think of it, this would also be a good intellectual exercise for my readers who have read both great works of Malay literature!

As can be seen, those questions make you think. Further, there is no right or wrong answer. Such exercises in critical and creative thinking are the norm in an American classroom. It is this that accounts for the continuing innovativeness, remarkable resilience, and entrepreneurial vigor of the American economy.

Consider this. The American University in Cairo, which has an American curriculum and teaching style, has an enrolment of about 5,000, less than one percent of the total undergraduates in that country. Yet at the Egyptian embassy in Washington, DC, a prestigious posting where only the best get chosen, 40 percent of the staff are AUC graduates. The Egyptian establishment has rendered its judgment as to the quality of that institution, and by implication, the rest of the country’s universities, including its most famous and oldest, Al Azhar.

Undergraduates at AUC are required to take a course, “The Human Quest: Exploring the Big Questions,” where they pursue such queries as, “Who am I?” and, “What does it mean to be a human?”

The Asian ‘tigers,’ their robust economies notwithstanding, appreciate the value and uniqueness of the American system of liberal education; they strive to make their own more ‘American.’

Singapore consciously does this, but is burdened by the fact that it relies on current personnel (teachers, administrators, and policymakers) and institutions to effect these changes. Unfortunately they have been brought up under the old rigid system. I never underestimate the power of inertia, systemic as well as personal. It is especially difficult for individuals to change as that would mean repudiating the very system that had brought them to where they are today.

South Korea imports wholesale American schools, complete with the teachers and texts. As these schools are expensive, only the children of the elite could afford to enroll. In a way that would be a quick and effective channel of changing the whole system as those students are destined to be influential in their country.

Japan brings in thousands of young Americans to teach English under the JET program. Although they are primarily for teaching English, nonetheless their teaching methods and styles would inevitably spill over to the ‘native’ teachers.

Thailand recognizes the limitations of its current personnel and institutions to effect changes. Consequently it attacks the problem frontally by opening up the system. Thus international schools, primarily British and American, are mushrooming there. As in South Korea, these schools are affordable only to the elite. However, because of the ensuing competition from the sheer number of new entries, the costs have come down substantially and these schools are now within the reach of the middle class. Such schools would spawn a new revolution in education in that country.

These countries realize that they have to go beyond the numbers, as with the number of school years or universities, and focus instead on quality. These excellent schools are still far from being the norm; those countries still face the major challenge of access, and thus equity.

How should Malaysia approach the dilemma of quantity versus quality, as well as the issue of equity in her education system? The rest of this essay is my attempt at answering this.

Next: The Trinity of Quality, Quantity, and Equity

Aminul shooting report for Cabinet this week

The Star by FLORENCE A. SAMY

PETALING JAYA: An interim report on the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah will be submitted to the Cabinet this week.

The eight-member special panel set up to oversee police investigations into what caused the controversial shooting will meet today to discuss the report before submitting its preliminary findings to the Cabinet meeting this Wednesday.

The panel has interviewed the key persons involved and gone through the witnesses’ statements but has not concluded its investigations.

“This is only an interim report, There are still other issues that we need to look at. It is just a preliminary finding but it is a fair one for both sides,” said a panel member.

Aminulrasyid was shot dead by police after a 6km car chase on April 26 after, as police said, he tried to reverse and ram the vehicle he was driving into policemen in Section 11, Shah Alam.

However, his friend Azamuddin Omar, 15, who was with him in the car, has denied the police claim.

The panel, which is chaired by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop, had also visited several locations in Shah Alam leading to the fatal shooting beginning from the restaurant where the two had eaten on the day in question.

It will also evaluate the Standard Operating Procedure on the discharge of firearms by policemen on duty.

Other panel members are former Inspector-General of Police Tun Mohammed Haniff Omar, Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Fuad Abdul Aziz, law lecturer Assoc Prof Datuk Abdul Halim Sidek, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute chief executive officer Datuk Dr Michael Yeoh, lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee, social scientist Datuk Dr Dennison Jayasooria and crime analyst and actor Kamal Affendi Hashim.

Live - Cross-examination of Saiful - Anil Netto

Live updates of the much-anticipated cross examination of Saiful Bukhari in the Anwar trial today.


Najib = anti-cronyism? I wonder what the French investigators think.

By Nathaniel Tan,
 
TMI:
The Najib administration has abandoned the policy of helping just one or two Bumiputera businessmen as it does not bring economic or political benefit to the grouping.
Instead, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said his government would focus on prospective entrepreneurs who genuinely qualify for assistance and have the potential to venture abroad.
“People come to see me, asking me to approve contracts. I can do so but this is not the way to help the Malays as we don’t want to help only one or two of them. We want to help them overall,” he told reporters after opening the Penang Malay Economic Convention here today.
Oh really? Then I suppose the French investigation into the RM 500 million “commissions” for the Scorpene purchases that went to Razak Baginda’s company will find nothing fishy :P nothing fishy at all :P

Obama adviser: Times Square suspect linked to Taliban



Washington (CNN) -- The suspect in the failed Times Square bombing was likely working with the Taliban movement in Pakistan, President Obama's top terrorism adviser said Sunday.

John Brennan, the assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the ongoing investigation pointed to Faisal Shahzad having links to Tehrik-e-Taliban.

"It looks like he was working on behalf of the Pakistani Taliban," Brennan said.

Shahzad has been charged in connection with the attempted bombing in Times Square on May 1.

The group, also known as the TTP, is "closely allied with al Qaeda" and has pledged to carry out attacks on other parts of the world, including the United States, Brennan said.

Attorney General Eric Holder told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the evidence in the Shahzad case shows the Pakistani Taliban was "intimately involved in this plot."

"We know that they helped facilitate it, we know they helped direct it, and I suspect we're going to come up with evidence that shows they helped to finance it," Holder said.

Shahzad was arrested while trying to fly out of New York on Monday night, two days after he allegedly attempted to set off a car bomb in Times Square. The bomb failed to detonate.

It was the second case in the last six months of a bungled terrorist attack on the United States, following the failed bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.

Brennan said U.S. counterterrorism efforts had degraded the ability of groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban to launch successful attacks.

"They're trying to find vulnerabilities in our defenses," Brennan said, noting the attempts have been "unsophisticated."

Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, had traveled to Pakistan several times in recent years, Brennan said.

"He was captured by the murderous rhetoric of al Qaeda and TTP," Brennan said of the suspect.

Preventing attacks by individuals, especially American citizens such as Shahzad, is a "very difficult challenge," Brennan said.

The case raised new questions about whether terrorism suspects should be read the Miranda warning that advises them of their rights to remain silent and obtain legal representation. Critics have accused the Obama administration of losing interrogation opportunities by giving Miranda warnings to terrorism suspects, including the alleged Christmas Day airplane bomber and Shahzad.

Brennan said Shahzad was interrogated for four hours under an exclusion to the Miranda warning involving public safety. Authorities then advised Shahzad of his rights, as required by law, Brennan told the "FOX News Sunday" program.

"It did not impede our ability to continue to acquire very important intelligence from him," Brennan said. "It was, I think, a very good example that law enforcement, operating within ... the existing system, were able to leverage the opportunities that they had to get this information."

Also on the FOX program, Republican Rep. Peter King of New York argued a change in the Miranda warning was necessary.

"If there's another 10, 15, 20 plots out there, that to me is more important to get all the intelligence we can on that," King said. "So I think we may have to work on revisions."

One idea, King said, would set up "separate system of justice dealing with American citizens who are allied with a foreign army or a foreign enemy."

Holder also said Sunday that he was considering possible changes to the Miranda warning. Asked if international terrorism made the current Miranda warnings too limited, Holder told the ABC program "This Week" that some adjustment may be necessary.

The system is working so far, Holder said, but "we also want to ... make determinations as to whether or not we have the necessary flexibility, whether we have a system that can deal with the situation that agents now confront."

"We're now dealing with international terrorism," Holder said, adding that his department would work with Congress "to come up with a proposal that is both constitutional, but that is also relevant to our time and the threat that we now face."