Share |

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Officials: Thousands flee tribal violence in northeast India

A security official inspects a house burned during an upsurge of violence between rival ethnic groups in northeast India.

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- Thousands of tribespeople have fled ethnic unrest in India's remote northeastern states of Meghalaya and Assam since the New Year, officials said Friday.

At least eight tribespeople have been killed in the violence so far, said Meghalaya's deputy chief minister B.M. Lanong.

A curfew has been ordered along the tense borders of the two states after clashes between Garo and Rabha tribes uprooted up to 3,000 people, he said.

Army and paramilitary forces are on standby.

India's far-off northeast has for decades been hit by insurgencies and tribal conflicts.

Last year, a road blockade by ethnic communities crippled Manipur, another state in the region, for months. The crisis badly hit supplies of food, fuel and life-saving drugs to the state.

The latest round of trouble in Meghalaya and Assam erupted in what Lanong explained was retaliation to a longstanding demand n for an autonomous council by one of the groups.

He said rumors also escalated tensions.

"The situation is fast improving now. We are also in touch with the government of Assam and are sending in relief materials and blankets (to the restive areas)," Lanong insisted.

Teoh's family wants police probe into pre-fall injuries

Selangor flays Utusan for using palace

SHAH ALAM, Jan 8 — The Selangor government has accused Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia of trying to drive a wedge between Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s administration and the sultan.

The mentri besar’s political secretary Faekah Husin condemned today the Malay newspaper for “hiding their ill intentions behind the name of the palace”, while strenously denying that there is any issue of treason involved in the state secretary impasse, it

She said last Sunday’s column by Awang Selamat, a pseudonym for the newspaper’s editors, was purposely trying to stir up controversy and incite Malay anger towards the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.

Faekah also called on the Home Ministry to “stop pretending it is unaware of Awang’s lies and sedition

“It is sowing seeds of hate and suspicion, similar to what happened in 1992 and early 1993. Only then, the palace was the target and now it is the Pakatan government,” said Faekah in a statement today.

Insisting that it was only an administrative matter between the state government and the chief secretary to the Malaysian government, she said that the issue was being used by Utusan Malaysia to accuse the PR government of disrespecting the ruler.

In 1993, constitutional amendments were introduced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to limit the powers of the monarchy.

Faekah warned Utusan Malaysia that the Sultan knew how it was the Umno-led coalition that eroded the powers of the monarchy and would not be fooled by its about turn.

She said that in light of this, Awang Selamat’s attempt to turn the tables and accuse PR of treason was “incredible” and “rotten” and the people could see that it was a political manoeuvre.

In her statement, she claimed that in 1993, an Umno MP had warned the royalty that if it did not respect the wishes of the people, “their throne would end up in the museum.”

She added that Umno Youth had also insisted that the federal government be firm on removing royal immunities while government officials were not to deal with the palace without the prime minister’s permission and could decline invitations by the royalty.

The ongoing row began when the chief secretary to the Malaysian government named Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new state secretary for Selangor late last month.

However, the state insisted that it could make its own choice and rejected the former Selangor Islamic Religious Department director who has been at odds with the administration.

The impasse has escalated over recent weeks and PR is planning to call an emergency sitting of the state assembly to amend the constitution to remove powers of appointment from the federal government.

Police promise to open up on Glenmarie killings probe

Lawyer N. Surendran (right) listening as Chief Inspector Saipul Anuar Razali explains he was only tasked to receive the memorandum. — Picture by Yow Hong Chieh
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — The families of three youths — whose lives ended in a Glenmarie shooting — will get a police status update in two days time, after two months of silence.  The police promised today they will inform the lawyers representing the families by Monday.

Lawyers for Liberty, together with the families of the three killed, extracted the guarantee after handing in a memorandum at Bukit Aman police headquarters here demanding “effective investigation” into the fatal shootings.


Chief Inspector Saipul Anuar Razali, who received the memorandum on behalf of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), said the lawyers could contact public relations assistant director ACP Razdi Ramli on Monday for an update.

Saipul also promised to forward the lawyer’s demands to IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar today.

Lawyer N. Surendran of Lawyers for Liberty said he was “disappointed” with the police’s stonewalling today.

Saipul had earlier said he could not check on the status of the case as it was a Saturday and he was only tasked to receive the memorandum.

“They should be able to tell us now (what the status of the probe is). We are disappointed that no action has been taken for two months,” Surendran said.

“We will continue to press this issue until we get justice for these three Malaysians.”

Muhammad Hanafi Omar, 22, Muhammad Shamil Hafiz Shapiei, 15, and Hairul Nizam Tuah, 20, were gunned down by the police after a reported high-speed car chase in the early morning of November 13 in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

The families of all three lodged police reports in November last year alleging the police had performed what Surendran characterised as a “gangland-style execution”.

The police claimed they had shot the suspects in self-defence when they charged at the officers with machetes at the end of a pre-dawn car chase.

However, Surendran has claimed that the three youths were shot in the chest and head from close range, with bullets exiting lower, suggesting the shooter fired from a higher position.

Selangor acting police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan had reportedly defended his officers’ actions by describing the three dead as “seasoned criminals” who were allegedly involved in at least three armed robberies in Selangor the week prior to their shooting.

The latest youth shootings have roused Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers to demand for newly-installed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar to end indiscriminate fatal police shootings.

According to human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), 88 people were killed in police shootings last year.

The non-governmental organisation also claimed not one police officer has been held accountable in the shootings and that the high number of deaths in 2009 was “alarming”, considering that there were only 13 such cases in the previous two years.

Why no royal commission on illegal immigrants in Sabah?

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has repeated its call for a royal commission of inquiry on illegal immigrants in the state and the issuance of MyKads to some of them.

SAPP president Yong Teck Lee made the call in response to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s announcement on the setting up of a royal commission to investigate the Teoh Beng Hock case in view of the inconclusive verdict of the coroner after the inquest.

“Everyone in Sabah is asking, how about a royal commission of inquiry on illegal immigration and the issuance of MyKads to illegals in Sabah and the threat to national security?

“Surely, the illegal immigrant crisis, dubbed the ‘Mother of all threats’, is equally, if not more, deserving of a royal commission of inquiry?” Yong asked in a statement here yesterday.

He said that in the last few years, there have been the a royal commissions of inquiry on the police (2004), on the nude squat video clip of a woman (2005) and even a video clip of lawyer VK Lingam (2007).

“SAPP and some other political parties have repeatedly sought for a royal commission of inquiry (on illegal immigrants).

“SAPP’s MPs similarly have voiced the same in Parliament.

“SAPP calls on the federal Cabinet, which consists of four full ministers from Sabah, to immediately push for a royal commission on illegal immigration in Sabah,” he added.

He noted that PBS, a BN component party, had last year given a deadline of 2012 to finally resolve the illegal immigration crisis in Sabah.

Yong, a former chief minister, said that PBS MPs and its leaders in the Sabah Cabinet must similarly take a clear and unequivocal stand calling for a royal commission to resolve the issue without further delay.

“In spite of repeated assurances by both state and federal ministers to tackle the illegal immigration crisis in Sabah, the situation in the state has gone from bad to worse.

“What are our government leaders waiting for?” he asked.

Brickfields hawkers face eviction threat

KUALA LUMPUR: Brickfields hawkers have been threatened with eviction by KL City Hall (DBKL) if they do not make way for urban development.
With 16 stalls on the sidewalks of Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3 and Jalan Padang Belia, some of them have been there for more than 20 years. All of them also have valid licences.
Hawker representative Arivom Namashivaya told FMT that DBKL had surprised the hawkers on the night of Dec 9 last year, with a letter informing them of a meeting the very next day.
At the meeting, they met with DBKL officials and Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) contractors, who told them that their stalls were in the way of a sidewalk renewal project.
The renewal plan was part of the Little India project, initiated by MRCB in mid-2010. DBKL told the hawkers that they were to move their businesses elsewhere, and suggested a few places for relocation.
Arivom said that one of these areas was along Jalan Tebing, near the Tun Sambanthan Monorail station.
Right next to the Klang River and hidden behind condominiums, Jalan Tebing would also put the hawkers more than 100 metres away from their original locations.
Arivom also said that DBKL had already made up its mind, and was adamant in getting the hawkers to move out.
He added that DBKL justified the action as a means to improve traffic flow. In response, Arivom asked if the Jalan Tun Sambanthan traffic reversal system had actually helped.
Once a two-way street, Jalan Tun Sambanthan is now a one-way road. The change annoyed local traders, causing many to complain of a massive drop in business.
“I then asked them (DBKL): Why did you call us now when you have already made the decision?” Arivom said.
Unfortunately, his queries did not sit well with DBKL Small Hawkers Management Department director Ibrahim Yusof.
According to Arivom, Yusof allegedly told the hawkers: “The minister (of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing, Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin) will pull back your licences if you do not leave.”
Angered but unfazed by the threat, Arivom replied: “If you do that, then we will choose another minister during the next general election.”
In a trip to the area, FMT noticed that many of the sidewalks unoccupied by stalls had already been earmarked for the sidewalk renewal project.
Convenience stall owner Omar Firdaus Kumar Abdullah told FMT that MRCB’s work stopped short of the stalls operating on the sidewalks.
“MRCB can’t renew the sidewalks because of the stalls around here,” he said at his stall along Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3.
Omar said that if DBKL wanted them to move, it needed to provide proper hawker infrastructure for them.
He told FMT that he had to build his current stall of 14 years without DBKL help, and had relied on relatives as well as other hawkers for assistance.
If the hawkers were moved to Jalan Tebing, Omar said he would need to start over from scratch. “We would have to find our own water, electricity and location,” he added.
“They have to build a nice shop for us. If they do that, then we don’t mind. Just don’t build like the one at Jalan Chan Ah Tong,” he added.
In mid-2010, many hawkers who plied their trade near the Jalan Travers-Jalan Tun Sambanthan junction were forced to move to a temporary centre along Jalan Chan Ah Tong.
They then were promised by the government that they would only reside there for about three months. In the meantime, MRCB would transform that corner of Brickfields into Little India.
Although the area has been sufficiently developed, none of the hawkers have been allowed to return to their original locations yet. Many of them have suffered heavy losses as a result.
Another hawker who only wanted to be known as Eddy told FMT that he had no problems with the sidewalk renewal plan, but opposed relocation.
“I don’t have a problem with beautifying the pavements. They want us to move, but to where? Where can we go? There isn’t anywhere else to go,” Eddy said
He added that there were no places left in Brickfields for the hawkers to go to, and that any shift would take them away from their regular customers.
“This is not a logical decision. We will lose our regular customers if we move to a new place. If they smash our shops, we want compensation,” he said.
Echoing Eddy’s wishes, Arivom told FMT that the hawkers preferred not to move.
He also added that DBKL may have regarded the stalls as an eyesore to the area, and did not see the locals flocking to the stalls daily.
“They think that they should do away with all these stalls. They don’t see the positive side to them,” Arivom said.
In a letter to Raja Nong Chik, Arivom agreed to letting MRCB beautify the sidewalks, as long as the stalls were kept safe.
In doing so, the hawkers would agree to close their stalls for a week, while MRCB did its job. “It’s a win-win suggestion. If they accept it, that will be a very big relief,” he said.
Arivom also said that it was very unlikely for DBKL to smash the stalls along Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3 and Jalan Padang Belia.
“They won’t be that harsh. They won’t do that. If they did that, it would be a fatal move,” he said.
Arivom also raised the matter with Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Deputy Minister M Saravanan, who informed the representative that he would bring it up with DBKL.
Although he said that DBKL had not harrassed the hawkers over relocation, Arivom added that subsequent meetings with City Hall were not friendly.
FMT also learnt that none of the hawkers had been served with written eviction notices yet. Even so, the hawkers here have admitted that the fight for their livelihood was not on their side.
Said Omar: “Nothing has been finalised yet, but they will go through with this.”
“Nothing can be worked out with them. They already have the plan for this place,” he said, pointing to the multi-billion ringgit KL Sentral development undertaken by MRCB.
“Personally I don’t want to move. Everybody doesn’t want to move. But, they are indirectly forcing us out, so now we don’t have an excuse.”

Perkasa: A royal waste of money


KUALA LUMPUR: Swimming against prevailing sentiments, Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali has dismissed the royal commission of inquiry concerning Teoh Beng Hock as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Chiding Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak over the matter, the independent Pasir Mas MP said the opposition had been exploiting the former political aide’s death to fish for votes in the coming election.
“A royal commission costs money, the inquest already cost money. And this is the rakyat’s money, my money, as I am a taxpayer as well,” he said, adding that the government should not have caved in to political pressure.
“It’s not that we don’t sympathise with Teoh’s death but I feel it should not be politicised. If they can catch someone then good, if not, then we can’t do anything,” he said.
Ibrahim urged the police to probe Teoh’s cause of death and suggested that his family take civil action instead of a “redundant and unnecessary” royal commission.
“I was shocked when the PM announced the commission today. It’s shameful, as it does not respect the inquest’s decision, as if the court ruling has been outrightly rejected,” he told a press conference here.
“Wasn’t the inquest held based on the request of the family? The inquest process was transparent and based on the Criminal Procedure Code.
“A coroner was appointed and he ruled that it was neither suicide nor homicide, so it’s an open verdict… I’ve checked with lawyers and this means it’s up to the police to see if there’s anyone that can be accused,” he added.
On Wednesday, Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas issued an open verdict after 18 months of proceedings, drawing flak from various quarters.
Teoh was found dead, presumably from a fall, after being questioned overnight by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in July 2009.
Rejecting the possibility of suicide, his family suspected foul play and this led to Najib ordering an inquest into the cause of death.
This morning, Najib announced the setting up of the commission, which would look into whether MACC’s investigative procedures violated human rights.
As for Teoh’s cause of death, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, whom Najib said was dissatisfied with the open verdict, had filed for a review of the decision with the High Court this afternoon.

Inquest better than commission

Meanwhile, Ibrahim said Teoh’s family had a fixed mindset that the inquest must discover who were Teoh’s murderers, if any.
“I found out that an inquest is more open and better than a royal commission as it is in the open court. If the commission returns a similar decision, then what next?” he asked.
The Perkasa boss also questioned why there were no calls for a royal commission into the murder of cosmetics tycoon Sosilawati Lawiya and the fatal shooting of teenager Aminulrasyid Amza by the police.
On another matter, Ibrahim “congratulated” Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, with whom he had often crossed swords, for deciding not to defend his Rembau parliamentary seat in the next general election.
“If he thinks it’s good for him, its up to him,” he said, “But I think he doesn’t need to tell it to the public, keep it to yourself for now. It’s as if he wants the people to coax him to stay.”
Meanwhile, Ibrahim said that Perkasa would be focusing on more economic issues that affected the Malay community in 2011, including having a Malay rights-based economic unit that would work alongside the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).
He also revealed that a Perkasa gathering to promote Malay unity would be held on Feb 26 in Perak where former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad had agreed to attend.
“Perkasa will be more vocal, more aggressive, this year, fighting for Malay and Bumiputera rights,” he added.

Taib Strikes Back! – Exclusive Photos

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay
Confiscated leaflets - are these troubling for Taib?
BN and Sarawak’s Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, have exhibited their concern about the growing tide of criticism engulfing their government by launching a series of lash-backs in the past 24 hours.
On Thursday night they utilised the police to arrest two groups of high-profile NGOs within a few hours of each other.  Both groups were threatened with charges of possessing seditious material, but were eventually released.
The material concerned included discs containing recordings of the popular Radio Free Sarawak programme, which operates as an independent political voice in Malaysia without a Government licence, as well as clips from the alternative Sarawak TV, Bebas.
Nervous of legitimate criticism?
Sarawak Report can offer exclusive pictures of the police raid on the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), which took place in Kota Sentosa, Kuching, in the early hours of the morning on Thursday.  Plain clothes police, accompanied by

Ransacking the SADIA office - exclusive
Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs (Kementerian Dalam Negeri – KDN) officials, ransacked the office and removed the discs and copying machines, along with some leaflets and posters.  The offensive leaflets bore a compelling visual message – illustrating Sarawak as a milk cow and Taib Mahmud and Najib sitting beneath its udders and squeezing it dry!
The organisation’s Secretary General, Nicholas Mujah, and two associates were taken to the police station for questioning until after 3am before being released.  Police also removed legitimate equipment from the office, yet it is believed that the group was eventually released without charges.
Loot is shipped off in police vehicles
Parallel arrest in Miri
This raid in Kuching followed an earlier arrest at Miri airport of the respected NGO lawyer Abun Sui Anyit, who has fought a number of successful cases against the government’s seizure of Native Customary Rights Land on behalf of a number of local communities.  He had just arrived from Kuching and is believed to have also been in possession of
Removal of "seditious" materials - exclusive
CDs containing episodes of Radio Free Sarawak.  Clearly the fact that the radio station is building a faithful and growing audience in the state has worried the incumbent Chief Minister.  The station, which is broadcast on SW and is available also on the internet, is regularly highly critical of corruption and human rights abuses.  It also frequently draws attention to land grab issues affecting native communities, who have had their lands ‘alienated’ under Taib’s amended land laws.
‘Yes it’s political’!
Abun Sui was informed by the arresting officers that he was being detained for “political reasons” and that he was likely to be charged under the Sedition Act of Malaysia (1948) for possessing ‘seditious’ material!  But eventually the lawyer was released without charges, showing that the authorities’ jittery behaviour may not be as focussed and organised as their political masters might like.
Taken to the police station in the middle of the night - lawyer Chee See How accompanies the SADIA team and an associate
Meanwhile, Chee See How, a lawyer working with the PKR leader Baru Bian, who is also a leading human rights lawyer in Sarawak, accompanied the SADIA personnel to the police station and they also were eventually released on police bail without charges.
This form of response to the recent criticism shows a level of intolerance towards freedom of speech (which  the Government Minister James Masing himself recently defended in an interview with Radio Free Sarawak) that is troubling for the growing opposition movement in Sarawak.  But such defensiveness also reveals deep worries within BN about the volume of dissent in the run up to the upcoming State Elections.
The government knows that to use such brute force in its attempts to curb criticism is in danger of back-firing, not least because of the large number of prominent lawyers who are prepared to defend those politicians and NGOs who are
Exclusive pictures - Bailed without charges. Will such harrassment of NGO supporters of human rights cases turn out to be counter-productive for Taib?
supporting human rights cases against the hundreds of land grabs sponsored by Taib Mahmud and the BN administration.   There is also the danger of attracting the  international attention of the large number of NGOs, who are concerned by the escalation of environmental and human rights issues in Sarawak.
Will arrests back-fire?
So, Taib has flashed his claws.  But, he will have to decide carefully what to do next and whether to continue this strategy of harrassment and arrests or to adopt a lower-key approach for fear of provoking even more bad publicity than he has been receiving already.
Radio Free Sarawak can be accessed at 1800-1900 on 15420 kHz (SW) and at 2000-2100 on 6205 kHz (SW) or via its podcast on www.radiofreesarawak.org.

Cabinet next week must ensure Teoh Beng Hock’s death does not end up as “a heinous crime without criminals”

By Lim Kit Siang,

More than 25 years ago, the term “heinous crime without criminals” referred to the first biggest financial scandal in the country, the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal – when no one was held criminally responsible in the country for the financial malpractices, abuses of power and gross breach of criminal trust even though it claimed one innocent life, the cold-blooded murder of the young BMF Asst General Manager in Hong Kong, Jalil Ibrahim.

The Cabinet next week must ensure that Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Hqrs in Shah Alam 18 months ago on July 16, 2009 does not end up as a “heinous crime without criminals” following Wednesday’s Open Verdict of the inquest into Teoh’s death.

MCA President Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek has expressed full support for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement on the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, saying that the move showed that the Government was transparent and sensitive to the case.

This statement is testimony that the MCA President is completely insensitive to the sense of despair, outrage and consternation, felt not only by the bereaved and aggrieved members of the Teoh Beng Hock family that their 18-month agonizing wait for justice and closure had been in vain with the “Open Verdict” of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest, but that of the ordinary Malaysians as well.

Can Chua explain how the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry specifically excluded from investigating the cause of Teoh’s death but only confined to the investigation procedures of MACC could help in uncovering the cause of Teoh’s death – taking a further step in pursuing the inquest finding excluding suicide as the cause of Teoh’s death and the important finding of Teoh’s prefall neck injury?

The MCA and all other Ministers next Wednesday must ensure that the Royal Commission of Inquiry is not a farce, not only in terms of reference and scope of investigations but also in membership – a RCI that Malaysians want and not one which started off without credibility or public support whatsoever.

Will MCA Ministers agree if the Attorney-General’s objective is to seek a revision of the “Open Verdict” of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest to revise it to one of “death by suicide”?

Sex-change man 'cannot be a woman'

The New Straits Times
by Jaspal Singh

TAIPING: The High Court yesterday dismissed with costs the application of a 35-year-old man, who underwent a sex-change operation more than four years ago, to change the gender status on his MyKad.

The court ruled that it was not ready to declare the applicant a woman because his new sexual organ resembling a female's, was not endowed on him naturally.

Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim, who heard the matter, made the ruling in his chambers.

Speaking after the ruling, the applicant's counsel, Wong Kah Woh, said Ridwan ruled that the law did not empower the court to decide such matters.

The applicant's name was withheld for his security.

Two Sarawakian activists detained by police

The Star
by STEPHEN THEN

MIRI: Two Sarawakian indigenous rights activists were arrested by the police Thursday night for alleged involvement in seditious activities.

Abun Sui Anyit, a lawyer involved mainly with human rights and land rights issues, was arrested at Miri Airport at 11pm.

Nicholas Mujah, the secretary of the Sarawak Dayak Association, and also a vocal land rights activist, was arrested in Kuching, around the same time.

Miri police chief Asst Comm Jamaluddin Ibrahim confirmed the arrest of Abun Sui in Miri.

IGP: Police To Further Raise Integrity, Professionalism & Image To Fight Crime

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 (Bernama) -- The Royal Malaysian Police will step up efforts to fight crime by further improving the integrity, professionalism and image of its officers as well as modernising its equipment and infrastructure, says Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haji Ismail Omar.

"One of the key elements for success here will be to increase the integrity of my officers to an even higher level," he told a briefing of senior news editors at the federal police headquarters at Bukit Aman here earlier this week.

Among the senior officers present included the Deputy IGP Datuk Seri Hussin Ismail, CID Director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin, Director of Narcotics Investigations Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim, Director of Commercial Crime Investigations Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan, Director of Logistics Datuk Mashuri Zainal.

Ismail admitted that there were a "few bad apples" who had tarnished the image of the force but said he would go all out to increase the level of professionalism of his officers through human capital development and training.

For a start, all front-liners must look smart in their uniforms and be professional in their conduct and duties like stopping a car, issuing summons or taking down a report, he said.

"They must be first-class in their appearance, conduct and speech," said Ismail, who became the IGP on Sept 13 last year after having joined the police force as an inspector in 1971.

Ismail also said that since he took over at the helm, police officers had also been directed to forge closer relations with people in their communities, including religious bodies.

To portray an even more positive image of the force, police officers had been advised that they should attend prayers in their uniforms in mosques, temples or churches and be pro-actively engaged in the activities of these houses of worship.

"We want to take a new approach here. I have been told that police officers in Penang, Johor and Perak had travelled together in police buses to pray and I hope that officers in the other states will follow suit," said Ismail.

By forging closer relationships with the community, he said that this would help the police to win the people's confidence and co-operation, which would go a long way to help them in their crime prevention and crime-solving work.

"It's about instilling greater respect and love for my officers in blue," he said.

On modernising the police force's infrastructure and equipment, he said it was not only about asset acquisition but also training his officers to be able to use the latest technology to combat crime.

Getting the police force to be better equipped with the latest surveillance technology would enable its officers to enhance their overall capability, he said.

"We want to make Malaysia a safe place to live�for Malaysians, investors and tourists�we want them to feel really safe," he said, adding that the police, as custodians of the law, would adopt a firm and forceful but prudent approach when dealing with those who flout the country's laws.

The police force has successfully surpassed the targets set by PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit in the Prime Minister's Department) to reduce street crime by 20 per cent and overall crime by 5.0 per cent in 2010 under the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) for Crime.

In actual fact, Malaysia's street crime index dropped by 35 per cent in 2010 when compared with 2009 while overall crime fell by 15 per cent against 2009.

Sweden to close embassy in KL

Sweden is closing five embassies worldwide in 2011: Buenos Aires, Brussels, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur and Luanda.


The official reason is budget cuts. “This painful decision is a consequence of the recent decision of the Riksdag to cut funding to the Government Offices by SEK 300 million,” said Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.

Elsewhere within Asean, Sweden has embassies in Singapore, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Hanoi. Unlike certain Asean countries, Malaysia actually has an embassy in Sweden.

The closure is all the more puzzling as Malaysia is one of Sweden’s largest trade partners in Southeast Asia, according to the Swedish Embassy’s website.

Last March, some 200 Perkasa members gathered at the Swedish Embassy in KL and submitted a memo to protest at Swedish cartoonist Lars Volk’s  caricatures published in the Swedish media that denigrated the Prophet. (See photos on the Perkasa blog-site.)

The controversy over whether Kartika should be caned for drinking beer – which undermined Malaysia’s ‘moderate Islam’ image abroad – was prominently featured in the Swedish media. See, for instance, an outspoken reaction here over the Kartika case, published on the website of one of the top-selling Swedish newspapers, Aftonbladet. Would the Swedish authorities be expected to cane its media editors for publishing Volk’s caricatures, the news portal mused.

Perkasa says no to Teoh royal commission

Malay rights pressure group Perkasa has urged the federal government not to proceed with its plan to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into political aide Teoh Beng Hock's death.

NONEAt a press conference today, Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali (right) said there was no need for the commission because the inquest had already declared an open verdict on his cause of death.

"We should all just leave it to the police to handle the matter and take action against the guilty party," said Ibrahim.

Given that the courts had already decided on the matter, having the commission to probe the matter was tantamount to disrespecting the courts and a waste of public funds.

"(What) if this commission does work? What else will we establish next?" Ibrahim asked.
Ibrahim salutes PM
He explained that the inquest will serve no purpose because the matter had already been presented in an open court.

“Of course we are saddened about his passing but this should not be the way,” he said.

Ibrahim adds that the establishment of the commission would also serve as fodder for the opposition.

Despite his criticisms on the commission, Ibrahim commended Najib for attempting to show that his administration was transparent.

“For that I salute him,” said Ibrahim.
On Wednesday, Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas declared an open verdict on Teoh's cause of death after an 18-month inquest.
Following this, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today announced that a Royal Commission of Inquiry would be established to determine if Teoh's human rights were violated during the investigation process at the hands of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Dr M to officiate second Perkasa rally
Meanwhile, Ibrahim announced that Perkasa's second national gathering will take place on Feb 26 at Pasir Salak, Perak which is the site of JWW Birch's slaying by Maharajalela and his assistant Sepuntum in 1874.

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad will officiate the event that is themed 'Bersatu teguh, becerai roboh (together we stand, divided we fall)'.

Ibrahim expects about 15,000 people at the event several speakers would be talking about the Malay and bumiputera economic agenda.

“This will bring awareness for the Malays and the bumiputera. It is about Malay rights. It is not racist but (an attempt) to bring the nation together and (ensure) everyone gets a fair share,” he said.
The event will be the second major Perkasa rally organised since September last year.

Israeli troops shot on Gaza border

At least two armed men breached the buffer zone near Khan Younis, opening fire and injuring four Israeli soldiers.


At least four Israeli soldiers have been wounded after two armed men breached the buffer zone between the Gaza Strip and and opened fire

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Gaza City, said there was no confirmation of how seriously the four Israeli soldiers in Kibbutz Nirim, east of Khan Younis, were injured or who carried out the attack.

"But certainly, it's not very common that the buffer zone is breached," Dekker said. "It is a very tightly, security-controlled area, so we're surprised that the militants have been able to cross it."

She reported that after the incident, more Israeli soldiers appeared at the scene and opened fire, but what happened to the armed men remains unclear at the moment.

The buffer zone is made up of 300 metres of Palestinian land - within the Gaza border - which Palestinians are not supposed to enter, even though the area contain farmland.


Source:
Al Jazeera                 

Polis Raja Di Malay-sia beat up Chinese. Hundreds of Indian poor beaten up every day.

(see UM 31/12/10 at page 15)

polis

Indonesian maid denies Rais raped her

KUALA LUMPUR: The Indonesian maid who once worked for the Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim has denied that she has ever been raped by him.
A newsportal, www.detik.com, reported that the woman, Robengah , 46, denied the allegations when met by reporters at her home in Banjarnegara, Indonesia.
She reportedly issued the denial in a statement given to four officials from the Indonesian Workers Protection and Placement Centre (BNP2TKI) in Semarang, central Java. Her husband was also present.
“I worked for eight years in datuk’s house. I was treated well all the while; there were no problems and definitely no rough or undesirable treatment towards me,” she reportedly said in the statement.
BNP2TKI head Jumhur Hidayat stressed that the allegations against the minister were baseless.
“We have a statement from Robengah’s mother and a written statement from herself saying that she had never been raped or mistreated while employed by the family of Rais,” he said.
Robengah started work in Rais’ home in 1999 and returned to Indonesia in 2007.
She has two children – Monika Umami, 26, and Agustina Umami, 21.
Her husband is an electrician.
Jumhur urged all parties to be careful when handling the case as it would tarnish Robengah’s family name.

Commission to probe MACC, not Teoh’s death

PUTRAJAYA: Coming hot on the heels of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest verdict, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak today announced that a royal commission of inquiry would be formed.

However, the commission would not be determining how the former DAP political aide died after being questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The commission, said Najib, would focus on MACC’s investigative procedures and probe if Teoh’s rights had been violated during the interrogation.

“The commission’s terms of reference will be specific, which is to investigate MACC’s investigation procedure and whether it violates human rights,” he told a press conference here.

The commission, comprising respective public figures, would be given three months to complete its task and produce a report.

Najib also revealed that Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail was dissatisfied with the coroner returning an “open verdict” in Teoh’s inquest and was expected to file for a review of the decision.

In view of this, Teoh’s cause of death would not be included in the commission’s terms of reference.

Teoh was found dead, presumably after a fall, in front of the MACC’s Shah Alam office on July 16, 2009, after a marathon questioning session.

His family suspected that the former journalist could have been the victim of foul play and this prompted Najib to order an inquest.

After 18-months of proceedings and Teoh’s remains being exhumed for a second post-mortem, on Wednesday, Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas ruled out both suicide and homicide, drawing flak from various quarters.

Meanwhile, Najib said the royal commission would be formed under Section 2 of the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950.

“We will announce the head and panel members of the commission next week after getting feedback from the Cabinet next Wednesday,” he added.

On the three month period given to the commission, the prime minister said the duration could be extended if necessary.

AG files for review

Najib also denied that the establishment of the commission was due to political pressure, saying that the decision to form the commission was made in July 2009.

He said although the commission could not guarantee in finding the reason behind Teoh’s death, it would however offer respite to his family that the government was serious in getting to the root cause of the issue.

“We all have to be mindful the laws of the country. We should not be carried away with our emotions. What is important is for us to know the truth. The government wants to know the truth. We will do our utmost to find out the truth…what really happened,” he said.

“I hope the family concerned… we sympathised with their position. We understand what they have gone through. We hope they will allow this process to take place and hopefully we will be able to establish what really happened,” he said.

The prime minister also said that he was willing to meet Teoh’s family.

“My personal view is not important. What is important is that the process of the review will take place (and) if there is a process of review it means that generally the government wants the decision to be reviewed,” he said when asked on his stand on the “open verdict”.

Bernama later reported that the AG filed an application to the Shah Alam High Court today for a revision of the open verdict.

“Having studied the verdict and in the light of concerns expressed at the verdict, a decision was made to apply to the High Court for revision of the same,” Gani said in a statement.

He added that the prime minister had been informed of the decision.

The Selangor SUK confusion


What is the confusion behind the appointment of the Selangor State Secretary or SUK? Many experts and politicians are making statements on the issue but it creates more confusion rather than clears the matter up. Now the SUK has been sworn in 'under protest' and this 'boycott' by the Menteri Besar has attracted the displeasure of the Selangor Sultan.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin

LISTEN TO THE RECORDING HERE

Will 'third force' make an impact in elections?

The third force has become the talk of the town but its identity, character and convictions - hence likely impact - have been rather vague. SHUHADA ELIS and ELVINA FERNANDEZ report

New Straits Times

THE "third force" has been in the news, mainly online. It is commonly thought to relate to individuals or groupings of individuals not affiliated to any political organisation.

It seems their presence has unnerved political parties ahead of the next general election.

The emergence of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), for instance, apparently has reinforced the belief that the choices are not confined to two dominant political players any more.

Now, the electorate has a third choice.

But what is the "third force?"

Some see them as universalists.

And, according to a former Umno minister, they represent a segment of people who are least-satisfied with the government.

Enough watchers look at them with some degree of cynicism, describing them as "a loose association of mutually-admiring individuals".

Others, such as Pas unity chairman Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, believed the group has surfaced as a result of protests by those who are not in favour of Pakatan Rakyat policies.

In essence Mujahid is hinting that the "third force" is made up of Pakartan supporters.

And, disgruntled Pakatan supporters? Everybody seems to have their own idea on the third force but it gets really vague when it comes to naming or identifying them.

Already, political observers and analysts believe that MCLM is a third force, but the movement viewed itself differently.

MCLM chairman Raja Petra Kamarudin had written in his blog that it aimed to complement political parties in addressing important issues concerning Malaysian politics.

People within the "third force" community tend to disagree about their identity.

"The third force carries an ugly connotation," president of MCLM Haris Ibrahim recently said.

MCLM has set up the Barisan Rakyat Independent Initiative which identifies and supports candidates to contest against Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

It has named two candidates -- both lawyers -- to contest in the 13th general election, and offered to assist Pakatan Rakyat in the Tenang by-election on Jan 30.

Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian did not rule out the possibility that the third force impact could split the votes, if there was a three-cornered fight.

MCLM second candidate Sreekanth Pillai, who regards himself as an independent candidate, said he was not bound to by anyone's instructions.

"It is up to me whether I want to contest on a Pakatan ticket or go as an independent," Sreekanth said.

His target segment?

"Urban seats," he said, adding that he would use the social network and one-on-one approach to reach out to voters.

Constituencies such as Bangsar, for instance, may very well be a likely "third force" contesting ground.

But local leaders feel it would be hard for newcomers to penetrate into the area's political scene.

Although, generally, Bangsar residents are from the private sector middle-income group, there are government servants in the lower-income group as well.

The lack of clarity on their identity, presence and directions makes it easier for one to say that the rightful place of this third force is on the periphery.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Law and Policy Studies lecturer Dr Kartini Aboo Talib therefore said the impact of the third force would exist but would be weak.

Malaysian political culture was still obliged to patron-client or master-servant terms, she said.

There are questions whether the birth of another political party, such as Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita), led by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, can be regarded as the "third force".

Analysts recently said that the party would find it hard to cope unless it managed to pull an influx of members.

Zaid, who left Parti Keadilan Rakyat last November, pinned much hope on this "brand new politics".

"They can say whatever they want but we believe we will be the party of the future," he said when contacted.

As whether the third force would carry an impact in the next general election, DAP Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament Tony Pua seemed to echo his Pas comrade on the worry of dealing with split votes.

"I'm sure the outcome will be more positive if the third force works with Pakatan," he said.

Failing which, the future may likely be ugly for Pakatan.

Suaram gesa siasat tahanan mati dalam lokap

(Harakah Daily) - Suaram Pulau Pinang menggesa kabinet menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja untuk menyiasat kematian suspek dalam tahanan polis.

Penyelarasnya, Ong Jing Cheng Suaram Pulau Pinang kesal apabila kes kematian suspek bawah tahanan polis terjadi lagi semasa kes kematian Teoh Beng Hock baru sahaja diputuskan sebagai kes “Penghakiman Terbuka”.

Katanya, walaupun pihak polis mengadakan persidangan akhbar dengan serta merta untuk menjelaskan ketiadaan pertalian antara pihak polis dengan kes kematian itu.

“Namun, kami berpendapat bahawa kes ini bukan kes sembarangan yang boleh dipercayai oleh kata seseorang,” ujarnya dalam kenyataan kepada Harakahdaily.

Beliau mengulas kematian Ooh Joo Kia, 44, yang berasal dari Sungai Bakap, Nibong Tebal yang diberkas oleh polis dalam serbuan di kedai perjudian dalam talian.

Menurut laporan, dia telah ditahan untuk membantu siasatan pada Selasa lalu. Ooh kemudiannya pengsan dan mati di dalam lokap pada pagi Rabu, selepas tujuh jam berada bawah tahanan polis.

Menurut Ong, kes itu melibatkan nyawa manusia dan dengan penubuhan Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja yang telus dan bersih untuk menyiasatnya secara menyeluruh termasuk sebab kematian dan keadaan lokap, untuk memberikan jawapan yang jelas kepada keluarga mangsa, dan juga masyarakat.

Tambahnya, Malaysia merupakan sebuah negara yang mengamalkan pengasingan kuasa antara badan kehakiman, badan eksekutif, dan badan perundangan.

Polis yang merupakan sebuah badan dalam unit eksekutif, ujarnya wajib memainkan peranan dalam pembinaan masyarakat yang harmoni serta susunan masyarakat.

“Namun, jika kita meninjau dari kes Teoh Beng Hock, Amirulrasyid, Kugan dan sebagainya, kita boleh mendapati bahawa pihak berkuasa tidak melaksanakan tugas mereka mengikut undang-undang malahan menyalahi undang-undang dan menyalahgunakan kuasa,” katanya lagi.

Oleh itu, ujarnya Suaram Pulau Pinang menggesa kerajaan agar memandang serius terhadap penyalahangunaan kuasa pihak berkuasa.

Katanya, kerajaan harus menubuhkan Suruhanjara Siasatan Diraja dengan serta merta, di samping berusaha menubuhkan IPCMC sebagai sistem yang dapat memantau badan polis, mengelakkan penyalahgunaan kuasa polis, dan lebih penting lagi, memastikan keselamatan rakyat.

“Akhir sekali, Suaram Pulau Pinang menyeru orang awam untuk memaklumkan kami dengan segera sekiranya terdapat sebarang kes kematian dalam tahanan, tembak mati, ditahan oleh Ordinan Kecemasan atau Akta Dadah Berbahaya,” ujarnya yang boleh dihubungi melalui 012-7583779.

NUR alert for missing kids

KUALA LUMPUR: Three years after it was first proposed, Malaysia looks set to have its own early alert system for missing children.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said details of the system had been finalised and were ready to be presented at next week's cabinet meeting.

The system is named NUR (National Urgent Response) Alert. Previously, it was dubbed NURIN (Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network) Alert.

The proposal for the system was brought to the attention of the ministry by Jasni Abdul Jalil, uncle to child murder victim, Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. Jasni, together with some friends, had drafted a proposal and submitted it to Shahrizat's ministry in 2008.

The Nurin Alert was modelled after the United States' Amber alert -- an emergency response system that galvanised the authorities and the community via a comprehensive network to locate missing children.

1Malaysia Cure & Care Clinics Receive International Recognition

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 7 (Bernama) -- The 1Malaysia Cure and Care Clinics for drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation which use a new approach, have received recognition from various international organisations.

National Anti-Drug Agency director-general Datuk Zuraidah Mohamed said the organisations included the World Health Organisation (WHO), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"They regard the open concept used by the clinics as the best approach and have urged other countries to follow Malaysia's method. Besides, we often receive foreign visitors who come to look at our operations at the clinics," she told reporters, here, Friday.

The 1Malaysia Cure and Care Clinics replace the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centres (PUSPEN). While practising the open concept, the clinics function as treatment hubs and referrence centres.

Unlike PUSPEN, addicts and their family members can come to the clinics any time to get treatment and counselling from medical specialists and psychiatrists without having to go through the legal procedure.

Zuraidah said currently, there were six such clinics in the country, with 1,897 people benefiting from the service up to Dec 30, last year.

She said four more clinics would open in Pahang and Terengganu.

Zuraidah said this year too, the agency would conduct courses and training for 101,062 volunteers registered with the agency in a more systematic manner to ensure they could carry out their tasks more effectively.

From January to June last year, 12,079 drug addicts were recorded nationwide, with Kedah having the biggest number at 1,342.

RCI to investigate if human rights violated? Ya think? He's DEAD!

By Nathaniel Tan,

w
t
f

So, Najib makes a grand announcement that there will be a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) regarding Teoh Beng Hock.

wah. good right?

EXCEPT IT’S NOT TO INVESTIGATE HOW HE DIED!

It’s to investigate whether TBH’s human rights were violated during the MACC investigation.

Were they? Well. I don’t know really. I mean. He is….

DEAD!!!!!

HE’S DEAD NAJIB, WHILE UNDER MACC CUSTODY!

HOW MUCH MORE VIOLATION OF ONE’S HUMAN RIGHTS CAN THERE BE?

>:(

Geram betul.

He didn’t commit suicide, so somebody is responsible for his death.

Only our govt would form a RCI to answer such a stupid question.

Why is it murders in Malaysia never get solved. People C4 other people, and the courts can’t find a single plausible motive. People fall out of buildings while under custody of the government, and nobody can find out why.

Lawyers bribe the top judges in the land, and RCI’s come back with?

Nothing.

Sigh.

ps- what is AG up to? review at Shah Alam High Court = dissatisfied that his suicide note didn’t hold up? :P