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Friday, April 29, 2011

Negara polis dan kebangkitan rakyat

Rakyat perlu bangkit untuk mengakhiri budaya keganasan polis, kata peguam Fadiah Nadwa Fikri dari NGO Lawyers for Liberty.

COMMENT

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri

“Dalam masa sehari semalam, Malaysia telah bertukar kepada sebuah negara polis”, itulah kata-kata yang diungkapkan Tunku Abdul Rahman berikutan Operasi Lalang yang berlaku pada tahun 1987 yang yang menyaksikan penangkapan pemimpin-pemmpin barisan pembangkang dan aktivis-aktivis yang lantang bersuara dalam mengkritik dasar pemerintahan Barisan Nasional.

Operasi Lalang 1987 yang didalangi Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ketika itu dengan menggunakan kuasa polis di bawah undang-undang tahan tanpa bicara, Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) menyaksikan sebuah kematian demokrasi, pencabulan hak asasi dan prinsip kebebasan, dan penghinaan terhadap Perlembagaan Persekutuan, yang merupakan undang-undang tertinggi di Malaysia.

Negara polis adalah didefinasikan sebagai “sebuah negara yang dikawal oleh sebuah kerajaan yang bersifat menekan dan menindas secara politik, ekonomi dan sosial masyarakat melalui kuasa polis yang digunakan sewenang-wenangnya tanpa mengikut nas undang-undang”.

Negara polis jelas menekan dan menindas kebebasan dan hak asasi rakyat walaupun ia telah dijamin dan termaktub dalam perlembagaan demi mengekalkan kuasa pemerintahan yang bersifat kuku besi.

Kebangkitan rakyat yang ditekan di bawah sebuah negara polis dalam mengekalkan pemerintahan bersifat kuku besi ini dapat dilihat melalui kebangkitan kuasa rakyat di Timur Tengah yang dimulai di Tunisia, diikuti Mesir dan Syria.

Angin kebangkitan rakyat menentang pemerintahan kuku besi ini masih bertiup kencang merentas benua, menyampaikan pesan keramat kuasa rakyat untuk terus bangkit menuntut hak dan kebebasan dari cengkaman dan penindasan pemerintahan yang tidak adil dan zalim.

Mesir, sebuah negara yang diperintah diktator Hosni Mubarak telah menyalahgunakan institusi polis sewenang-wenangnya di mana pada bila-bila masa sahaja polis-polis akan menangkap, menculik, menyeksa dan membunuh rakyat yang lantang bersuara menentang ketidakadilan pemerintahan Mubarak.

Rakyat Mesir, di bawah pemerintahan Mubarak sentiasa diselubungi ketakutan di mana polis pada bila-bila masa sahaja bebas untuk melalukan tangkapan yang tidak sah dan ugutan tanpa dikenakan sebarang tindakan meskipun tindakan polis itu sendiri jelas melanggar peruntukan undang-undang yang sedia ada.

Sebelum tercetusnya revolusi di Mesir pada tanggal 25 Januari 2011, satu kejadian yang segar di ingatan setiap rakyat Mesir tentang keganasan polis terhadap seorang pemuda bernama Khaled Said telah menjadi satu titik penting kebangkitan rakyat yang tidak lagi sanggup ditekan di bawah budaya keganasan polis.

Mangsa keganasan polis

Khaled Said, 28 tahun, telah ditangkap oleh beberapa orang polis di sebuah kafe internet di Alexandria di mana beberapa orang saksi telah menyaksikan Khaled Said dipukul, badannya ditendang, kepalanya dihentak ke dinding, rambutnya ditarik dan kepalanya dihentak bertubi-tubi di tangga.

Saksi-saksi selanjutnya menyatakan bahawa walaupun Khaled Said berhenti bergerak tetapi polis-polis tersebut masih lagi mencekik lehernya dan terus menendangnya tanpa belas kasihan sehingga Khaled Said menghembuskan nafas terakhirnya.

Kes keganasan polis seperti yang terjadi kepada Khaled Said di Mesir, dan di negara-negara polis di bawah pemerintahan kuku besi tidak asing jika hendak dibandingkan dengan kes keganasan polis di tanah air kita sendiri, Malaysia.

Bekas Pesuruhjaya Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia, Malaysia (Suhakam) Dato’ N Siva Subramaniam pernah menyatakan bahawa 70% kes yang dirujuk kepada kepada Suhakam adalah berkaitan dengan kegansan polis yang secara terang melanggar peruntukan undang-undang, norma-norma kebebasan dan hak asasi yang jelas dijamin di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Kes Khalid Said di Mesir telah menjadi salah satu pencetus kebangkitan rakyat Mesir di mana satu gerakan yang menggesa keadilan ditegakkan untuk Khaled Said di internet telah mencabar rakyat Mesir yang cintakan keadilan dan ingin menamatkan budaya keganasan polis untuk keluar berhimpun dan mendesak agar pemerintahan kuku besi Hosni Mubarak dijatuhkan.

Washington News dan ABC News telah melaporkan bahawa Khaled Said adalah “Wajah Pencetus Revolusi” yang mencetuskan perhimpunan kebangkitan rakyat Mesir mendesak agar pemerintahan kuku besi Hosni Mubarak yang memperalatkan institusi polis dijatuhkan.

Rakyat perlu bangkit

Malaysia, sebuah negara polis yang diterajui kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang terus-terusan memperalatkan institutsi polis hari demi hari, menyaksikan seorang demi seorang rakyat Malaysia menjadi mangsa keganasan polis.

Kematian dalam tahanan, tembakan tidak mengikut peruntukan undang-undang, penyeksaan dan layanan tidak berperikemanusiaan sudah menjadi budaya yang berakar umbi di mana polis-polis yang terlibat terlepas dari dihukum kerana undang-undang yang sedia ada hanyalah sekadar hiasan di atas kertas.

Keadilan untuk mangsa-mangsa keganasan polis terus-terus dinafikan, suara keramat rakyat yang dahagakan perubahan terus-terusan ditekan, hak dan kebebasan rakyat terus-terusan dicabul sewenang-wenangnya.

Sudah tiba masanya, kita rakyat Malasyia yang bebas merdeka bangkit untuk mengakhiri budaya keganasan polis yang hanya memanfaatkan kuasa pemerintahan kuku besi kerajaan yang sekian lama menghinjak dan menekan kita, rakyat Malaysia yang cintakan kebebasan dan keadilan.

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri adalah seorang peguam dan anggota kanan NGO Lawyers for Liberty.

The untold story of a forgotten people

This group is commonly dubbed the ‘underclass’. Their story does not sell newspapers. They have no public appeal. They are not newsworthy.

COMMENT - FMT

No one in Malaysia wants to know about this particular minority group. Not BN. Not Pakatan. Not even the editors of a few papers who refused to tell their story. Shame on them!

Theirs is a story of a forgotten group, whose lives mean nothing to others. This neglected lot isn’t detected under anybody’s radar. They have been abandoned, even by their own kind.

This group is commonly dubbed the ‘underclass’. Their story does not sell newspapers. They have no public appeal. They are not newsworthy.

Who are they? ‘They’ are Malaysian Indians.

On April 26, MIC deputy president, Dr S Subramaniam, claimed that Indians were ashamed of their community and were looked down by the other races. According to him, 45% of the country’s crimes involved Indians.

This is a serious charge: The Indian population of 2 million (out of 29 million people), is responsible for almost half of Malaysia’s crime.

When Subramaniam suggested immediate remedial action to combat the increasing criminal involvement of the Indian youth, he claimed that MIC had worked tirelessly with various government agencies.

The MIC was formed in 1946 and its original aim was for Indians to fight for the independence of the motherland, India. Of lesser importance, the MIC was to check social problems, promote racial harmony and co-operation as well as obtain a fair share of the economic pie for the Indian community.

It has been 54 years since independence, and many Indians will claim that BN/MIC leaders have done more than enough to help themselves only.

The leadership of S Samy Vellu, the MIC’s longest serving leader since Oct 12, 1979 was not without controversy as his tenure was marked by allegations of corruption and a decline in Malaysian Indian welfare.

It is not just the high crime rate involving Indians that must be resolved. Many Indians have no birth certificates or identity cards. They are stateless.

‘Hey, who cares?’

Many Tamil schools are in a deplorable state, lack funding and are situated on illegal land. Several Hindu temples lack proper land titles or are built on illegal land. Many centuries old Hindu temples, with significant historical attachment and cultural identity have been demolished.

Nearly 90 percent of Malaysian Indians are of South Indian origin, principally Tamilians, Malayalis and Telugus.

If Chinese or Malay communities were treated as badly, there would have been a severe backlash. “But hey, who cares? They are only Indians,” is the common reply.

The Indians record the highest percentage of deaths whilst under police custody, so why is the bar council relatively silent?

Today, the Indian community has progressed from mainly plantation workers to one consisting of entrepreneurs, intellectuals and professionals.

Despite this, the general perception toward Indians has remained intact. Malaysia’s survey of race relations still paints an unflattering, stereotypical image of Indians in Malaysia, in much the same way people generalise with comments like “Malays are lazy, or Chinese are greedy”.

Malaysia’s Indian professionals are highly successful and form the bulk of the country’s top lawyers and doctors. Conversely, the other end of the social spectrum, comprises Indians who lack confidence and are failures.

The poorest labourers in Malaysia are Indians who survive on a ‘hand to mouth’ existence.

In 2000, TimeAsia reported that Indians had the lowest share of the nation’s corporate wealth: 1.5%, compared to 19.4% for the Malays and 38.5% for the Chinese.

The Indians record the highest rate of suicide of any Malaysian community. Gangsterism and violent crime was largely associated with Indians. In 1994, 128 of the 377 murders committed in Malaysia were by Indians. Some 15% of the Indians in the capital are squatters.

The Economist reported that in 2003, Malaysian Indians comprised “14 percent of juvenile delinquents, 20 percent of wife and child and 14 percent of its beggars. Less than 5 percent of successful university applicants were Indian.”

Many people assume that the marginalisation of the Indians happened during former Prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s era. It did not. It happened much earlier, possibly around the time of Independence.

The Indians were a source of cheap labour in plantations and construction sites at the expense of their political and social mobility. Malays benefited from state patronage and the Chinese, stronger in numbers than Indians, exploited their business and social networks.

The Indian middle class excelled but the Indian “problem” is exacerbated because of the lack of interaction between the well-to-do Indian middle class and the Indian working underclass.

It is a Malaysian problem

The low self-esteem amongst the Indians, their lack of interaction and the marginalisation of working-class Indians is reflected in their poor performance in business, equity ownership and employment in professional sectors and the civil service.

A Malaysian Indian entrepreneur who runs an IT firm in Cyberjaya, said: “There are two main reasons behind the backwardness of Indians. One is that we are a minority here, and two, the politicians who represent us do not promote our cause.”

Bumiputra politics place Indians at a disadvantage both in education and work opportunities.

Local university seats and scholarships are all awarded under a racial quota system. Even after getting a degree, many say that discrimination is commonplace. Indian doctors are reportedly excluded from lists of approved doctors for civil servants or company employees.

When rubber plantations were converted into housing estates and golf courses, many displaced estate workers drifted to urban areas to form Indian ghettos which are a hot-bed of crime.

Indian Malaysians are in a bind. Most have resigned themselves to their plight while discontent simmers within the community. Malaysia cannot afford to alienate its Indians.

For 54 years, the MIC acknowledges yearly, that the Indian community needs help.

But Malaysians must realise that issues affecting the Indian community are not just an Indian problem. It is a Malaysian problem. What happens to our fellow Indians, affect both the Malays and Chinese.

Tamil Nesan quoted Subramaniam as saying that 45% of the country’s crimes involved Indians. But he forgot to highlight two things; The first is the race responsible for much of the white-collar crime. Second is the race which robs the rakyat blind by raiding the treasury.

Mariam Mokhtar is a political observer and an FMT columnist

Explicit sex clips finally surface


More clips of the sex video allegedly depicting opposition leader and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim have surfaced on YouTube.

The four clips, lasting between four minutes to 4:24 minutes, resemble the 22-minute video shown to journalists on March 21 at the Carcosa Seri Negara hotel.

alleged four full sex videos on youtube 290411 15This is the third time portions of the sex video have been leaked online, but unlike the first two times - which showed only the beginning and ending of the complete video - the four new clips contain explicit sex acts.

However, the video posted by user "rabiaab11" had been taken down late last night due to the website's policy on "nudity or sexual content".

Based on the information on YouTube, the user posted the four videos between 2pm to 6pm yesterday.

The video featured several sex acts lasting about seven minutes, beginning with the woman performing oral sex on the man, followed by the woman straddling the man and ending with the man in the missionary position.

Unlike the clips that appeared on April 4 and on Wednesday, which were about 1:45 seconds long, the four clips posted by 'rabiaab11' were much longer.
White strip in Thai on clips
However, the four clips released today had the same white strip across the footage with the words "Phaholyothin Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10400, Copyright 2011" in Thai script.

NONEThe second uploaded on the Internet yesterday, did not have the white strip and instead had a time stamp dated Feb 21, 2011 with the time 22:43 instead.
This was similar to the one that was screened for journalist at Carcosa Seri Negara by businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah.
Shazryl later admitted that he, together with former Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik and former Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim were responsible for screening the video.

The three of them have been under police investigation for possession and distribution of pornographic material.

Meanwhile, Anwar has firmly denied that he was the man in the video and lodged a police report.

Hindraf moves to get charge against 54 dropped

Named as defendants in the civil suit to be filed next month include PM Najib, AG Gani Patail and IGP Ismail Omar.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti will file a suit at the KL Hight Court next month to strike off a charge against 54 of its activists of ‘being members of an illegal society’.

It is seeking to obtain a declaration that the charge is ultra vires of Article 10(1)(c) of the Federal Constitution, which allows freedom of association.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and IGP Ismail Omar are to be named as defendants in the civil suit.

Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar said the suit would also cite other constitutional grounds such as equality before the law to declare the charge as “null and void.”

“The charge against so many of us is obviously a government attempt to foil our cause to champion minority rights in the country.

“But we won’t be cowed by such criminal intimidation. We will fight on,” said Uthayakumar.

Hindraf national secretary P Ramesh and Human Rights Party (HRP) pro-tem information chief S Jayathas, were among those charged after a crackdown in March.

The charge was under the Societies Act 1966. Hindraf has thus far spent about RM111,000 to bail out all the activists pending hearing.

Nationwide fundraisers

The movement was declared an illegal organisation by the home ministry in late 2008. However, the government has no court declaration to this effect.

Dublin-based human rights movement, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders or Frontline, stated that Malaysia had created a world record in being the first and only democracy to charge 54 human rights activists from a single organisation for the same allegation within the same period.

Apart from the absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia, Frontline said that Malaysia is the only country in the world to have charged so many citizens for being members of a NGO.

The activists were charged following an aborted anti-racism march on Feb 20.

Meanwhile, Hindraf / HRP will organise a nationwide roadshow starting tomorrow in Parit Buntar to raise funds for the movements and finance the legal costs of the charged activists.

Tomorrow’s fundraiser in Parit Buntar will be followed in Ipoh, Kluang, Cameron Highlands, Sitiawan and Hutan Melintang.

“More fund raising dinners will be arranged soon to finance our rising costs,” said Uthayakumar, who is also HRP protem secretary-general.

A marriage of inconvenience

The Umno-MCA relationship is on the rocks and the question now is when will they split.
COMMENT

Even rock solid marriages tend to flounder sometimes. But when it comes to marriages of convenience, what can one expect? The key word here is convenience.

The Chinese-based political party MCA is not convenient to Umno anymore. Even though Umno has made some politically correct statements about MCA, it would not hestitate to cut the links with MCA.

Umno would rather shore up its own race-based ideology rather than save the MCA sinking ship.

When MCA and Umno formalised their political marriage in 1953, it was an attempt to help each other before independence.

Marriage councillors are likely to agree that when two political parties gets “married” the inevitable will happen.

English novelist Henry Fielding who wrote “Tom Jones” once said: “There is one fool at least in every married couple.”

Right now the question is, how foolish the MCA must be feeling. In the early days of the Alliance, Umno, MCA and MIC promised to work together. The MCA agreed to accept Malay political dominance but in return sought assurances from Umno over the position and role of the Chinese community.

When Onn Jaafar’s proposal to open up Umno’s membership to non-Malays was rejected by party’s members and he left the party in 1951 to form a multiracial party, the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP), the role of MCA was cast in stone.

Instead of joining forces with IMP and embarking on a multiracial destiny, Tan Cheng Lock, who had initially agreed to join IMP, suddenly decided to place the fate of the Chinese with Umno led by Tunku Abdul Rahman.

In 1955, the Alliance captured 51 of the 52 Federal Legislative Council seats contested.

Anwar’s warning

The May 13 riots rocked their political alliance but the nation continued to see MCA supporting and upholding the Barisan Nasional (BN) concept.

In 1986, MCA had an acriminous relationship with Umno besides facing an internal leadership crisis.

On Nov 5 of the same year, Umno Youth issued a warning to MCA to leave BN over a resolution on the status of the various races in the country, which was passed by Selangor MCA.

Umno Youth leader Anwar Ibrahim said his Youth movement would respond to every statement made by MCA as refraining from doing so would be viewed as a sign of weakness.

“I regret to say that the MCA has stooped so low as to debate on issues that will only call for reactions from the Malays,” he said.

“If they (MCA) want to oppose, they should get out of the Barisan and oppose from outside,” Umno Youth exco member Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz told a press conference.

Umno Members of Parliament also called for the sacking of Lee Kim Sai from the Cabinet.

Lim was MCA deputy president then, holding the labour Cabinet portfolio and was also the Selangor MCA state chairman .

When the Umno-MCA row over the resolution was finally resolved at the Cabinet level, MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik, who held the transport portfolio, said, “Husbands and wives also have their fair share of quarrels from time to time. Very often, the relationship gets closer after peaceful resolutions of such conflicts. Of course, such conflicts lead to divorce.”

One-sided marriage

Following the 1986 general election, Ling said: “Let us remind ourselves that the brilliant victory of the BN is the result of the collective efforts and the pooling of resources of all component parties.

“We have pulled our weight together. Our analysis showed that in about 42 of the 83 parliamentary seats won by Umno, the votes of the non-Malays were decisive. I believe, therefore, that the MCA also indirectly contributed to this great victory.”

But the Umno-MCA political marriage has always been one-sided. The MCA was forced to support many repressive laws which were passed by Parliament.

Now the Malaysian Chinese are thinking more clearly – both within and outside the MCA.

Can MCA deliver the Chinese votes to BN at the next general election? Recently messages have been making the rounds that MCA is intending to leave BN following Perkasa’s demand that MCA apologise for calling a public boycott of the Umno-controlled Utusan Malaysia newspaper.

Over the decades, a succession of MCA leaders have said the concept of power sharing is the most effective vehicle to safeguard the legitimate interests of all ethnic communities.

Is this concept relevant now? There is a sense of betrayal within MCA against Umno, and the Chinese community’s distrust of MCA is deepening.

The older Chinese generation is aware of the rapid erosion of the Chinese share in the economy and their effectiveness in mainstream national policy-making despite having MCA representatives in the Cabinet.

Dr Chua Soi Lek in a press interview in 2008 said: “The new president must be able to articulate the frustrations of the Chinese community, its needs and the three core issues that I listed – politics, economics and education.”

“The Chinese know that we (MCA) are not the know-all: we do not have a magical wand that can solve all problems. But if you keep quiet in the name of sensitivity, then people cannot accept MCA anymore,” Chua said when asked whether the new MCA president must be seen to be able to stand up to Umno.

Blaming Abdullah


Shortly after the 2008 general election, a confidential MCA post-mortem report squarely blamed Umno leadership under former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the poor electoral performance of the party.

MCA managed to garner only 819,924 popular votes in the 40 parliamentary seats it contested or capturing only 15 or 37.5% of the seats. This was even worse off than in 1969 when it won 13 out of 33 seats or 39.4% of the parliamentary seats.

MCA said the Malaysian public, particularly the Chinese community, was angered by Abdullah’s weak leadership, corruption, cronyism, abuses and excesses of the BN administration, rising crimes and safety issues, curbs on religious freedom and a host of other economic issues.

The report acknowledged the 12th general election was a victory for the opposition.

“The victory was not won on multiracialism but on a common platform of social justice, a common thread in socialist ideology (DAP) and Islamism/political Islam (PAS),” it said.

There is a growing consensus that MCA has lost its hold on the Chinese community. It has virtually lost all electoral seats with predominantly Chinese voters.

Now is the era of change. There is a awakening against race-based parties and this is likely to see a divorce in the Umno-MCA relationship.

Stanley Koh is an FMT columnist. He was also the former head of MCA’s research unit.

New evidence leads to war crime committed on LTTE's Col Ramesh

The wife of slain Batticaloa Commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), on Thursday verified that the dead body shown in the photo released on Wednesday was that of her husband, Col. Ramesh. On Wednesday, a former member of the LTTE identified a photo leaked in recent days by the soldiers of the SLA as that of showing the dead body of Col. Ramesh, who had come to SLA controlled territory with civilians during the final hours of Vanni war in May 2009.


A UK based freelance journalist, Para Prabha, told TamilNet Thursday that the wife of Col. Ramesh, Vathsala Thurairasasingham, who has fled the island, was prepared to give evidence verifying the identity of her husband in any international investigation.

According to an earlier leaked video footage, filmed while Sri Lanka Army soldiers were interrogating the former Tiger commander on 22 May 2009, Col. Ramesh confirmed his identity as Thurairasasingham Thambirajah, born on 18 August, 1964, in Arasadith-theevu, Kokkaddichchoalai of Batticaloa district.

The earlier leaked video footage also documented that Mr. Thurairasasingham in civil clothes was captured by the SLA and was instructed to change into military uniform while he was being interrogated on 22 May 2009.

Ramesh, a father of three children, was a special commander of the Tigers and had been in the LTTE since 1986.

The video evidence also showed identifiable faces of the SL military personnel involved in the interrogation of Col. Ramesh.

In the meantime, the fate of another Ramesh alias Mr. Ilango, the chief of Tamil Eelam Police, who surrendered to the SLA along with the LTTE Political Head B. Nadesan, is not known.

According to earlier information, Mr. Palitha Kohona had confirmed that the SLA had received Mr. Ramesh of Tamil Eelam Police, carrying a white flag, as the first person in the group that surrendered along with Mr. B. Nadesan and Mr. S. Puleedevan in the early hours of 18 May, 2009.

Now it is learnt that the surrender was facilitated by the UN Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar. The episode later turned into a serious war crime of killing of those who surrendered.

EX LTTE sources say the dead body in the picture belongs to Col. Ramesh, the former Batticaloa comma
EX LTTE sources say the dead body in the photo belongs to Col. Ramesh, the former Batticaloa commander of the Tigers.


Video clips leaked earlier, follow:



Explicit sex clips finally surface

More clips of the sex video allegedly depicting opposition leader and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim have surfaced on YouTube.

The four clips, lasting between four minutes to 4:24 minutes, resembles the 22-minute video shown to journalists on March 21 at the Carcosa Seri Negara hotel.

alleged four full sex videos on youtube 290411This is the third time portions of the sex video have been leaked online, but unlike the first two times - which shows only the beginning and ending of the complete video - the four new clips contains explicit sex acts.

However, the video posted by user "rabiaab11" has been taken down late last night due to the website's policy on "nudity or sexual content".

Based on the information on YouTube, the user posted the four videos between 2pm to 6pm yesterday.

The video featured several sex acts lasting about seven minutes, beginning with the woman performed oral sex on the man, followed by the woman straddling the man and ending with the man in missionary position.

Unlike the clips that appeared on April 4 and on Wednesday, which were about 1:45 seconds long, the four clips posted by 'rabiaab11' were much longer.
White strip in Thai on clips
However, the four clips released today had the same white strip across the footage with the words "Phaholyothin Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10400, Copyright 2011" in Thai script.

The second video, which uploaded on the Internet yesterday, did not have the white strip and instead had a time stamp dated Feb 21, 2011 with the time 22:43 instead. This was similar to the one that was shown to journalist at Carcosa Seri Negara by businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah.
Shazryl later admitted that he, together with former Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik and former Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim are responsible for screening the video.

The three of them have been under police investigation for possession and distribution of pornographic material.

Meanwhile, Anwar has firmly denied that he was the man in the video, lodging a police report in the process.

Anwar: Umno stoking ‘culture of fear’ to win over Malays

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Utusan Malaysia’s fervent push for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement is a telling sign that Umno is willing to pit the Malays against the Chinese just to secure the dominant community’s votes in rural areas, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said.

Anwar accused Umno of creating a “culture of fear” by falsely painting the Chinese as eager to take over political control from the country’s Malay leadership, in order for them to secure maximum Malay votes before the upcoming general election.

He also accused Datuk Seri Najib Razak of endorsing and having approved of Umno’s increasingly ultra-Malay stance, even as the prime minister dismissed the “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement as the personal opinion of an Utusan editor.

“Umno is using a culture of fear in creating this illusion of an enemy in the form of the Chinese... so that the Malays have to hang on to Umno. If this happens, I see the Malays as being hanged by Umno,” Anwar told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

He said Umno through Utusan had misrepresented an “assertive” Chinese community as being political opportunists, and that this aggressive position was due to the Malay party’s eroding support base as well as failure to address national issues.

“Umno always has to create an enemy, either foreign or within the country... this shows the hypocrisy of Najib and his administration in trying to portray a liberal, moderate voice,” Anwar said.

“I have never accepted the assumption that Utusan or Umno is really serious or genuine in their effort to defend Malays; it is a desperate attempt to garner support.

“They have been given half a century to protect Malay interests but they have only protected family members, cronies,” he added.

The PKR de facto leader, once an Umno deputy president, charged that Najib was being a hypocrite for washing his hands off Utusan’s ultra-Malay push.

According to Anwar, Najib as Umno president would have a direct say as to the editorial approach of the Umno-owned daily.

“Utusan is under the direct control of the Umno president... I know this for a fact because the media is co-ordinated indirectly through the PM’s office and the Umno president has direct control

“To suggest that this is Utusan ploy and that he is committed to 1 Malaysia its hypocrisy because throughout history, the Umno president has a say in Utusan’s stories,” said the 63-year old politician.

Utusan Malaysia has been attacking the DAP since the April 16 Sarawak election, accusing the party of using racial sentiments to secure the Chinese community’s backing.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) swept to victory in nearly all Chinese-majority seats, increasing its representation in the state assembly from seven to 15.

The Malay daily has urged Umno to spearhead a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement to protect Malay unity.

It claimed that DAP was intent on unseating the country’s Malay political leadership.

Malay rights group Perkasa said it will fly the banner for the movement and launch a 1 Bumiputera campaign this weekend.

Analysts have said the Umno paper’s increasingly strident, pro-Malay tone is a sign the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) senior party has written off support from the Chinese community and is banking on Malay votes to win in the coming 13th general election.

On Wednesday, Anwar said there was no harm in a Malay movement aimed at improving economic conditions for the community, but cautioned that such a movement must look at helping the majority of Malay Bumiputeras who are poor and be “needs-based.”

“There is nothing wrong with wanting to help your own race, community... affirmative action to help vast majority of Malay Bumiputeras who are poor and marginalised, I am all for that.

“We must recognise the fact that the vast majority of Malaysians who are poor are Malays and Bumiputeras. And we cannot ignore this, much more needs to be done... but at the same time we must be very pronounced in our policies to push for affirmative action programmes based on needs,” said the PR leader.

According to Anwar, Umno and the ruling coalition could not be trusted to lead any movement to help marginalised Malays as they were mired in corruption.

He cited Putrajaya’s questionable financial management which resulted in a staggering RM52 billion loss last year through its special Bumiputera equity scheme.

“The question is we did allocate 52 billion... what happened to the money? And is giving land to crony company solution to Malay problem? That’s where we differ.

“But if it means additional training, micro credit, massive forms of assistance to encourage new Malay Bumi entrepreneurship, I’m all for that ... we need to make sure it’s all trickling down,” said Anwar.

He also said that legitimate demands or requests of financial assistance from the Chinese, Indian, as well as other communities must be “fairly considered” as well.

“At the end of the day, it’s about needs... the poor who need help should get help,” Anwar told The Malaysian Insider.

When even Chinese Prime Minister could give full praise to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, when will DPM Muhyiddin give unreserved support to the Prime Minister’s signature policy, declare that he is “Malaysian first, Malay second” and repudiate Utusan Malayu’s “1Melayu” call?

By Lim Kit siang,
One of the headlines in today’s New Straits Times coverage of the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to Malaysia reads: “Chinese prime minister all praise for Najib’s 1Malaysia”, reporting that Wen Jiabao was “full of praise for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for coming up with the 1Malaysia concept” when meeting Malaysian Chinese businessmen in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

This report immediately triggers the question:

When even the Chinese Prime Minister could give full praise to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, when will Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin give unreserved support to the Prime Minister’s signature policy, declare that he is “Malaysian first, Malay second” and repudiate Utusan Malaysia’s “1Melayu” call?

The declared objectives of 1Malaysia concept are indeed most laudable and praiseworthy – to create a more vibrant, more productive and more competitive Malaysian nation “where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society”.

Going by this official definition, given by the official document “1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme”, I am the first MP to demonstrate support for Najib’s 1Malaysia concept by declaring in Parliament on March 18, 2009 that I am Malaysian first and Chinese second – when I also invited all the Barisan Nasional Ministers to make the same declaration that they are Malaysian first, race second to demonstrate their support and fealty to the Prime Minister’s 1Malaysia concept.

But no Barisan Nasional Minister dared to take the floor of Parliament to respond to my challenge to declare their allegiance to the 1Malaysia concept – and when I continued to pursue the matter, the Deputy Prime Minister retorted outside Parliament that he is Malay first and Malaysian second!

What is worse, Muhyiddin has now given his blessings to the communal and racist “1Melayu, 1Bumi” call by Utusan Malaysia, the official organ of Umno, which makes a complete mockery of Najib’s inclusive 1Malaysia concept.

Let me ask Muhyiddin when he is going to follow my example and declare that he is Malaysian first and race second to eradicate all doubts not only about his loyalty to Najib’s 1Malaysia policy but to Najib’s Prime Ministership?

If a visiting foreign dignitary like the Chinese Prime Minister can be full of praise for Najib’s 1Malaysia policy, it is real shame when the Deputy Prime Minister and the entire Najib Cabinet are not prepared to declare that they are “Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second” in line with the 1Malaysia concept.

It is more than two years since Najib became the sixth Prime Minister with his signature 1Malaysia policy.

Isn’t it time he demand the full support and commitment of his Cabinet to the 1Malaysia policy by asking Ministers – even the DPM – to leave his government if any Cabinet Minister is not prepared to publicly declare that he or she is “Malaysian first and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second”?

Is Najib prepared make this item the main subject of the next Cabinet meeting to show that he is really committed to the 1Malaysia concept and policy?

Solution sought to resolve high price for maids

The Star

NUSAJAYA: The Human Resources Ministry will try and find a solution to high agency fees for Indonesian maids, said Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said reducing the agency fees would be among the topics to be discussed before the country signs an MoU with Indonesia next month.

“We are still discussing the matter (agency fees),” he said, adding that monthly wages for maids would still be dependent on the market rate.

Dr Subramaniam was speaking to reporters after opening the National World Safety and Health Day at the Work Place event at the Malborough College site here yesterday.
 

He said the Government was flexible about hiring maids from regional countries.

“Malaysians can hire maids from Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Cambodia or the Philippines but the main problem is to get them to come here,” he said.

He noted that the country had many Indonesian and Cambodian maids but there were only a small number from other countries.

“Phillipines maids demand high salaries which most Malaysians are not willing to pay.

“Women from other countries such as Sri Lanka and India, however, prefer not to leave their countries to work and therefore there are only a few of them here,” he said, adding that it was a matter of demand and supply.

Soi Lek says will vote PKR if it drops Malay privileges

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has said that he would be the first to vote for PKR if it dared to abolish Malay privileges.

“If PKR dares to amend the constitution and cancel Malay privileges, I will be the first to raise my hands to vote for PKR,” the MCA president said in a video posted by his party on video-sharing site Youtube.

He did not say if he personally supported abolishing Malay privileges.

“Why not? No other political party has talked about this. If yes, Malay votes will be gone. No other race will cancel their rights and privileges,” the MCA president said in the video.

In the video titled “hope should be based on political realities in the country,” the former health minister appeared to suggest that the Chinese community should accept the current political scenario dominated by Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).

He admitted, however, that Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) promises gave the public hope but labelled these as lies.

“I admit that the opposition’s words reflect the wishes of the younger generation because they create a sense of hope. But over time people will see that it is a lie,” he said.

Dr Chua said hope must be based on political realities, suggesting that it can only be fulfilled by supporting MCA within the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

“So you can have your hope but the hope should be based on the political realities in the country,” he said.

In the 84-second video, he also reminded the public that PAS’s main political agenda was to promote Islam.

Dr Chua’s call follows the April 16 Sarawak election where BN lost nearly all Chinese-majority seats to PR.

The result echoed the loss of Chinese votes in the March 2008 general election, where MCA won just 15 seats in Parliament — fewer than half the 31 MPs it had before.

In the aftermath, he and Utusan Malaysia both called for the Chinese-dominated Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) to be dropped from the state Cabinet for its dismal performance.

However, MCA and the Umno-owned newspaper have clashed over the latter’s call for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite Malays against the growing threat of Chinese political power.

Deadly blast devastates Marrakesh cafe

An explosion in a busy cafe in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh has killed at least 15 people and wounded several others, according to local officials.

Moroccan officials said on Thursday that they suspect the attack at Argana cafe in the city's main Jamaa el-Fna square was the work of a suicide bomber.

"According to the information I have, it could have been perpetrated by a suicide bomber," an official in the regional governor's office told the AFP news agency.

"We found nails in one of the bodies," added the official, who was in a hospital where some of the bodies were taken.

Moroccan television, quoting interior ministry officials, said 20 people were also injured and said foreigners were among the victims. The state-run 2M channel reported that the dead comprised six French nationals, five Moroccans and four foreigners whose nationality it did not give, .

Rescuers were dispatched to the scene and an investigation was opened to provide details on the blast.

An official from the ministry said the blast appeared to be a terror attack, though the ministry had said earlier in the day, in a statement carried by the official MAP news agency, that "early evidence collected at the site (of the explosion) indicates that it was a criminal act".

France condemned the blast as being "cruel and cowardly" and confirmed there were French casualties.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, learnt "with consternation of the terrorist attack," his office said in a statement.

"He condemns with the greatest firmness this odious, cruel and cowardly act that has caused many casualties, including French citizens," it said.

Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, slammed "this barbaric terrorist attack that nothing can justify", calling in a statement for "all light to be shed on this revolting crime, for those responsible to be found, tried and punished".

Asked whether there was any current threat against French citizens in its former North African protectorate, Henri Guaino, Sarkozy's advisor, said France "had nothing in particular to fear in Morocco at the moment".

"Terrorism is something that we always fear... that reminds us to be extremely vigilant against this terrifying phenomenon," Guaino told RTL radio.

The Argana cafe is a popular spot with tourists and ranks 21 on the Lonely Planet’s online list of 'things to do in Marrakesh'.

"One of the few cafes where you'll compete with locals for elbow room and a spectacular view of the [Jamaa el-Fna] at sunset, when the restaurant stalls set up shop and the belly dancers begin to wriggle," the travel guide writes.

If confirmed as a terror attack, Thursday's blast in Morocco would be the fourth such attack since 2003 when suicide bombers set off at least five explosions in Casablanca, killing 45 people, including 13 bombers.

In 2007, a series of suicide attacks took place in Casablanca between March and April, including an attack on the US diplomatic offices on April 14.

Malaysian Media Row Casts Race Policy in Stark Light

The Wall Street Journal, 

By JAMES HOOKWAY A row over the role of Malaysia's state-controlled newspapers and television networks is throwing back the curtain on how racial scare-mongering is becoming an increasingly common political tool in a country that presents itself as a beacon for tolerance and diversity.

Last September, shortly after being elected president of Malaysia's journalists' union, veteran reporter Hata Wahari issued a statement urging the country's newspapers to steer clear of publishing racially inflammatory articles.

Now Mr. Hata is on the brink of losing his job at one of Malaysia's most influential newspapers, embarrassing Prime Minister Najib Razak and potentially setting back his efforts to modernize Malaysia's resource-rich economy and unwind its race-based affirmative action policies.

Mr. Hata, 41 years old, says he thought his statement echoed Mr. Najib's "1 Malaysia" campaign to create a level playing field for all Malaysians, whether they are from the country's majority ethnic-Malay population or from its Chinese and Indian minorities.

"I asked the media to be less biased and be fair in its reporting to all parties," Mr. Hata said. "A few months earlier, the prime minister said the media should be free."

Mr. Hata's employers at Utusan Melayu Bhd., publisher of the Utusan Malaysia daily and owned by the main government party, the United Malays National Organization, took exception to Mr. Hata's remarks and suspended him from duty. On April 14 a disciplinary panel found Mr. Hata guilty of, among other things, revealing company secrets. He will find out whether he will be dismissed in the next few days.

Executives at the publishing company didn't respond to requests for comment.

At the same time, the newspaper is stepping up its "1 Malay" campaign to unite ethnic Malays against ethnic Chinese political groups that they accuse of plotting to win political power. A prominent Malay rights group called Perkasa has joined Utusan's "1 Malay" campaign and some influential ethnic Malay politicians have given their support, despite widespread consternation elsewhere in Malaysia. The controversy is becoming a significant political headache for the British-educated Mr. Najib. He has tried to distance himself from the ethnic Malay nationalists and, since taking over as premier in 2009, he has tried to woo the support of Malaysia's ethnic minorities by gradually rolling back a decades-old system of race-based preferences designed to help ethnic Malays catch up with their more prosperous compatriots. Malaysia's affirmative action program was introduced in the early 1970s and is one of the most extensive such programs in the world, providing ethnic Malays with discounts on homes, stakes in initial public offerings and better access to universities. In many ways, the policies have helped provide a degree of stability in this racially diverse nation of 28 million people.

But Mr. Najib argues that economic reforms will help lure more investment and propel Malaysia out of the ranks of the developing world's middle income countries and onto a higher growth path. He has already begun leveling the racial playing field in many key areas and has said he hopes his message will resonate with voters.

By law, Mr. Najib must call a national election by spring 2013, but many analysts say the polls could come earlier, and Mr. Najib has said he is considering the best time to call a vote.

Now, some analysts say the "1 Malay" campaign threatens to alienate the voters Mr. Najib has been trying to win back after many of them voted for opposition parties in the last national elections in 2008. Their shifting allegiance enabled opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to prevent the ruling National Front from taking a two-thirds majority in Malaysia's Parliament for the first time in years.

"The biggest problem for the government is that this campaign could backfire," says Bridget Welsh, an expert on Malaysian politics at the Singapore Management University. "It could bring the opposition closer together, especially in urban areas where race-based politics holds less sway."

Some analysts say the continuing trial of Mr. Anwar for allegedly breaking Malaysia's sodomy laws could also tighten opposition ranks, although there is also a risk that the alliance of Islamist and left-leaning groups could crack without the charismatic Mr. Anwar to hold it together. One of Mr. Anwar's former aides accused the opposition leader of sodomizing him in 2008—an allegation Mr. Anwar denies and describes as part of a political conspiracy to end his political career. The 63-year-old father of six was arrested on a similar charge in 1998, which he also denied, and his subsequent conviction was later overturned in 2004.

In the meantime, the snowballing pro-Malay campaign also indicates that some ethnic Malay hard-liners are giving up on the ruling coalition winning back ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indian voters, some analysts say. Instead, ethnic Malay activists appear to be focusing their efforts on creating a solid voting bloc to ensure the primacy of the National Front, which has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.

And that, economists say, could jeopardize Mr. Najib's efforts to transform Malaysia's economy. "It seems he could end up being boxed in by this racialist push," says Tim Condon, Asia economist with ING in Singapore.

Malaysia’s brain drain getting worse, says World Bank

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — World Bank senior economist Philip Schellekens painted a gloomy picture of the Malaysian brain drain situation today saying that it not only grew rapidly but is likely to intensify, further eroding the country’s already narrow skills base.

Schellekens said that the number of skilled Malaysians living abroad has tripled in the last two decades with two out of every 10 Malaysians with tertiary education opting to leave for either OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries or Singapore.

“Brain drain from Malaysia is likely to intensify in the absence of mitigating actions,” he said at the launch of the World Bank report titled “Malaysia Economic Monitor: Brain Drain”.

The report defined brain drain as the outflow of those with tertiary-level education.

The economist said Malaysian migration was increasingly becoming a skills migration with one-third of the one million-strong Malaysian diaspora now consisting of the tertiary educated.

“Expect the trend to continue,” he said.

He added that the outflow of talent was not being replaced with inflows, thus damaging the quality of Malaysia’s “narrow” skills base, noting that 60 per cent of immigration into Malaysia had only primary education or less, even as the number of skilled expatriates declined by 25 per cent since 2004.

The report also noted that there was a geographic and ethnic component to the brain drain, with about 88 per cent of the Malaysian diaspora in Singapore being of ethnic Chinese origin.

“The numbers for US and Australia are similar,” said Schellekens.

Report figures also show that 54 per cent of the Malaysian brain drain went to Singapore while 15 per cent went to Australia, 10 per cent to the US and 5 per cent to the UK.

The top three drivers for brain drain identified by the report were career prospects, compensation and social justice.

“(Lack of) Meritocracy and unequal access to scholarships are significant push factors and a deterrent to coming back,” said Schellekens. “Non-Bumiputeras are over-represented in the brain drain.”

He suggested that Malaysia implement important structural reforms in tandem with introducing targeted measures such as income tax incentives to reverse the brain drain.

“Once the highway is built, you must compete for traffic,” he said. “One suggestion is to hold a competition among members of the diaspora to get ideas on what can be done to attract them home.”

He added that while this report estimated the Malaysian diaspora at one million compared with about 1.4 million in a previous World Bank report, it was due to the lack of Singapore government information on the breakdown of its non-resident population.

“This is a conservative estimate and the diaspora could well be larger,” he said.

NEP, brain drain holding back Malaysia, says World Bank

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — More than one million Malaysians live abroad, the World Bank said today, adding that policies favouring Malays are holding back the economy, causing a brain drain and limiting foreign investment.

In a Bloomberg news service report today, World Bank senior economist Philip Schellekens was also quoted as saying that foreign investment could be five times the current levels if the country had Singapore’s talent base.

“Migration is very much an ethnic phenomenon in Malaysia, mostly Chinese but also Indian,” Schellekens (picture) told Bloomberg in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday ahead of the report’s release today.

Governance issues and lack of meritocracy are “fundamental constraints” to Malaysia’s expansion because “competition is what drives innovation,” he said.

Malaysia’s growth fell to an average 4.6 per cent a year in the past decade, from 7.2 per cent the previous period.

Singapore, which quit Malaysia in 1965, expanded 5.7 per cent in the past decade and has attracted more than half of its neighbour’s overseas citizens, according to the World Bank.

Malaysia has in recent years unveiled plans to improve skills and attract higher value-added industries.

The World Bank conducted an online survey in February of 200 Malaysians living abroad in conjunction with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

They cited better career prospects, social injustice and higher wages as their main reasons for leaving, the Washington-based lender said in the Bloomberg report.

Singapore has absorbed 57 per cent of Malaysia’s overseas citizens, with almost 90 per cent of those crossing the border ethnic Chinese, the World Bank said.

“If Malaysia has the investment environment of Singapore and also had the innovation and skills environment of Singapore, then foreign direct investment inflows into Malaysia could be about five times larger,” Schellekens said in the Bloomberg report.

“They need to boost productivity and strengthen inclusiveness.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has pledged to roll back the country’s NEP-style policies but he also told the Umno assembly last year that the government’s social contract of providing benefits to Bumiputeras cannot be repealed.

According to the Bloomberg report, Najib has eased some rules to woo funds, including scrapping a requirement that foreign companies investing in Malaysia and locally listed businesses set aside 30 per cent of their Malaysian equity for indigenous investors. Last year, he unveiled an economic transformation programme under which the government identified US$444 billion (RM1.3 trillion) of projects from mass rail transit to nuclear power that it would promote in the current decade.

“If everything is implemented as they say, Malaysia is going to be a star economy,” Schellekens told Bloomberg. “The problem is implementation.”

MIC ‘amnesty’ dispute: Next stop-ROS

Unhappy with the decision to readmit several sacked members, a MIC member is planning to take the matter to the ROS.

PETALING JAYA: The controversy surrounding the readmission of sacked MIC members is expected to take another twist tomorrow.

According to a party source, a complaint would be lodged with the Registrar of Societies (ROS), seeking the statutory body’s intervention into the matter.

However, the source refused to divulge the name of the complainant.

The source told FMT that the decision by the all-powerful central working committee ran foul of the party’s constitution.

“Is the CWC above the constitution and empowered to make decisions according to its whims and fancies?”

“The CWC also postponed the party’s presidential election. This too is against the constitution. So what would stop the CWC from ruling out elections altogether in the future?” he asked.

The source, who holds a senior position in MIC, pointed out that while similar situations transpired in other parties, the difference was that such decisions were made in accordance with their respective constitutions.

“In Umno, sacked leaders were also brought back, but they returned as ordinary members and were not reinstated to their old positions. In MIC, it’s a different story,” he said.

Last week, the CWC, after a heated debate, resolved to offer “amnesty” to nine former members.

Among them were former deputy Youth leader V Mugilan, ex-CWC members KP Samy and G Kumar Amman, and former Petaling Jaya Selatan division chief V Subramaniam.

The four, sacked by former president S Samy Vellu last year, were the main force behind the now-defunct Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu or GAS.

While some leaders opposed their readmission, Samy Vellu’s son and CWC member S Vell Paari, defended it, saying that both he and his father had buried the hatchet for the sake of party unity.

Under pressure from Najib?

The source claimed that MIC president G Palanivel was under pressure from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to re-unite the different factions.

“Najib wants a united MIC to face the next general election and so the party decided to offer an olive branch to the nine,” he said.

Commenting on this, a senior MIC leader, who declined to be named, said it was not right for the party to bow to external pressure.

“Najib is not the president of MIC,” he stressed.

He also accused a veteran party leader, who once held the position of vice-president, of calling the shots in MIC now and having a grip over the president.

Meanwhile, the source said the nine’s readmission and reinstatement to previous positions contravened Articles 15.4 and 16.5 of the party constitution.

“Article 15.4 clearly states that a sacked member could only be readmitted if he appealed to the CWC and if his appeal is accepted.

“Whereas Article 16.5 states that a sacked member could only file an appeal to be readmitted two years from the date of his sacking,” he said. “So it’s clear-cut. What happened is unconstitutional.”

Commenting on the issue, a political observer said if a stand-off ensued between the ROS and MIC over this issue, the Barisan Nasional component party could, in the worst case scenario, risk being de-registered.

“It would be interesting to see how this issue pans out,” he told FMT.

‘Datuk T’ bakal didakwa di mahkamah minggu depan

Ekoran pendedahan klip video seks yang kononnya melibatkan pemimpin kanan pembangkang.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pendedahan mengenai video seks yang didakwa pelakunya adalah pemimpin kanan pembangkang oleh kumpulan yang dikenali sebagai trio ‘Datuk T’ itu dijangka membawa mereka ke muka pengadilan kelak.

Menurut ahli perniagaan, Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, salah seorang daripada Datuk ‘T’, mereka akan didakwa minggu depan.

Dua lagi tokoh dalam kumpulan ‘Datuk T’ ialah bekas Ketua Menteri Melaka, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik dan bekas Bendahari Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) Datuk Shuib Lazim.

“Ada beberapa lagi siri sidang media selepas ini. Kami mungkin didakwa minggu depan,” katanya dalam sidang media awal petang tadi.

Semalam Eskay secara sukarela menyerahkan sampel ujian asid deoksiribonukleik (DNA) dirinya ke Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman bagi membantu siasatan rakaman video seks yang dikaitkan dengan seorang pemimpin pembangkang.

Malah rakaman video seks bahagian kedua yang diberi judul ‘Papa Nurul Izzah Part II’ itu dimuat turun ke laman sosial- Youtube semalam.

Rakaman bahagian kedua berdurasi selama satu minit 47 saat dipercayai dimuat naik oleh individu yang menggunakan nama ‘wakparjosudorno’ serta laman blog seperti Pisau. Net di http://www.pisau. net/ dan Papa Gomo di http://www. papagomo.com/. Ia dipercayai babak-babak akhir rakaman video asal selama 20 minit yang didedahkan kepada sekumpulan wartawan di Seri Carcosa baru-baru ini.

Pada 21 Februari lalu, dunia politik tanah air digemparkan apabila sekumpulan wartawan dipertontonkan rakaman video seks di hotel Seri Carcosa di sini oleh kumpulan tiga lelaki yang menggelarkan diri mereka Datuk T.

Rakaman video yang didakwa melibatkan seorang pemimpin kanan pembangkang itu didedahkan sebagai amaran supaya pemimpin tersebut serta isterinya berundur dari dunia politik.

Two Malaysians to face trial in Guantanamo

It is unlikely that the duo will be repatriated to Malaysia to stand trial, according to the US envoy.

KOTA BARU: Two Malaysians, who have been held in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre since 2006, will be prosecuted soon for their suspected involvement with terrorist groups.

US ambassador to Malaysia, Paul Wayne Jones, said Washington had yet to decide whether to prosecute the duo through the traditional court or military tribunal, which was often used in war-time situations.

Jones, who is here on a two-day visit to Kelantan, however, said there was no possibility of them being repatriated to Malaysia to face charges, adding that the prosecution process would start within the next few months.

“The two Malaysians who are there are still in the category of, we believe, a case for prosecution against them. There have been a lot of debate in Washington on how to move forward with the prosecution and the different ways of prosecuting,” he said.

Mohamad Nazir Lep, who went by the aliases, “Bashir Lap” and “Lilie”, and Mohd Farik Amin, also known as “Yazid Zubair”, have been linked to al-Qaeda, and also Southeast Asia’s militant organisation, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Both were detained on suspicion of terrorism in 2003, where Mohamad Nazir was picked up in Thailand and Mohd Farik, in Cambodia. They were transferred to Guantanamo on Sept 4, 2006.

US intelligence believed that they were part of a suicide plot involving the hijack of a commercial passenger plane in a second-wave attack after Sept 11, in Los Angeles.

Initially, the two Malaysians were detained as suspected terrorists but since 2006, they had been classified as “high-value detainees” with 16 others at Guantanamo Bay.

- Bernama

PKR suspends division chief

S Murali's party membership has been suspended with immediate effect after he was found guilty of four charges.

PETALING JAYA: Puchong PKR division chief S Murali has been suspended from the party after being found guilty of several misdemeanors.

The suspension of Murali’s membership would take place immediately, said PKR disciplinary committee chairman Dr Tan Kee Kwong.

Tan said the committee had received complaints from four PKR members earlier this year and had heard all cases and an explanation from Murali.

The complaints against Murali included:

* Criticising the Selangor state government in the media in relation to allocations given to Tamil schools

* Rioting/ disturbing a dialogue chaired by Selangor state exco Dr Halimah Ali at the Selangor state secretariat and leading a group of men to attack a Mr S Kumareval there.

* Acting harshly towards Seputeh MP Teresa Kok when she was visiting a Tamil school in Puchong

“Unanimously, the committee found that he was guilty of those accusations,” said Tan, adding that the political bureau had been notified of the decision yesterday.

Last Sunday, Murali was in the news after he was arrested by the Subang Jaya police for allegedly threatening a school teacher in USJ.

It was learnt that there were numerous reports of criminal intimidation lodged against Murali.

Mugilan eyes top MIC Youth post

He promises no internal fracas in the contest.

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC deputy Youth leader, V Mugilan, intends to contest for the top post in the party’s youth wing and pledged that there will be no internal bickering with his move.

“I have intentions of taking over the Youth leader’s post after the general election,” he said at a press conference here today.

The post is currently held by T Mohan.

Mugilan said he will guarantee his contest for the top Youth spot will not create any internal rift.

Mugilan and MIC central working committee (CWC) member G Kumar Amaan will be meeting Mohan tomorrow to discuss about Mugilan’s intention.

Meanwhile, another CWC member, KP Samy, said that the decision to readmit into the party all those who were sacked was based on the spirit of amnesty.

“We are officially back in the party as of today after handing over our letter to MIC disciplinary committee chairman, KS Nijhar,” KP Samy said.

“We would like to reiterate here that we accepted this offer (for reinstatement)… without pressure or directive from any parties for the sake of party unity,” the trio said in a press statement.

“We are not being apologetic for our previous actions as we had done this for the love of our party and we believe this is part of the democratic process to voice our opinions and stand freely without fear or favour,” they said.

On April 23, MIC party chief G Palanivel decided to reinstate Mugilan, Kumar Amaan and KP Samy.

The three leaders were sacked last year after criticising then MIC supremo S Samy Vellu. The trio, soon after their sacking, formed Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu better known as GAS.

GAS was disbanded after Palanivel took over MIC in January.

Apart from the three leaders, the CWC also admitted M Gunaseelan and T Ganesan who were Youth division leaders in Kedah. The two are aligned to former MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran.

Najib, Rosmah Makin Terdesak- Anwar


Dari Keadilan Daily

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dan isterinya Datin Seri Rosmah Mansur disifatkan begitu terdesak, sehingga sanggup menjadikan video fitnah sebagai strategi untuk mempertahankan kuasa, kata Ketua Umum KEADILAN, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Mereka tak boleh lawan kita (Pakatan Rakyat) dengan isu dasar dan pentadbiran. Jadi mereka gunakan cara ini, iaitu mencemarkan karektor orang lain.

“Strategi Najib ialah dengan memperalatkan TV3 dan Utusan Malaysia. Tetapi sehingga hari ini, mereka tidak jawab dakwaan (bekas pegawai kanan polis) Datuk Mat Zain.

Menurutnya, Mat Zain Ibrahim, yang juga bekas Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Kuala Lumpur, telah menulis surat kepada Ketua Polis Negara berhubung beberapa isu termasuk penyebaran video fitnah, yang melibatkan sumber polis sendiri.

“Dia (Mat Zain) menuntut untuk memulihkan tahap profesionalisme polis yang telah terjejas teruk akibat rasuah, penipuan dan penyalahgunaan kuasa. Perkara ini ditujukan kepada Peguam Negara Gani Patail dan Musa Hasan.

“Jadi, media diminta bersikap adil dan tolong tanyakan kepada mereka, dakwaan bekas pegawai senior polis ini,” tegas Anwar.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas memberikan keterangan lebih sejam berhubung laporannya terhadap Trio Datuk T, di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Dang Wangi, petang tadi.

Anwar, yang berpakaian kemeja biru tiba bersama isterinya yang juga Presiden KEADILAN, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah kira-kira jam 2.50 petang.

Keterangan itu susulan daripada laporan polis yang dibuat di balai yang sama pada 22 Mac lalu.
Soalan Tak Berkaitan

Sementara itu, peguam Anwar, Sivarasa Rasiah berkata, soalan yang ditanyakan pegawai polis tidak ada kaitan dengan laporan anak guamya.

“Sebahagian besar soalan tidak tertumpu kepada laporan. Apa yang dituntut ialah siasatan terhadap ketiga mereka kerana jelas mereka melakukan kesalahan.

“Pertama memiliki dan menayangkan video lucah di khalayak ramai. Kedua, mengugut Datuk Seri Anwar dan Presiden KEADILAN, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah untuk meletakkan jawatan mereka dalam politik.

“Mereka bertiga secara terbuka telah mengaku dan sepatutnya didakwa,” ujar Sivarasa.

Menurut beliau, pegawai yang mengambil keterangan kali ini telah ditukar, iaitu pegawai penyiasat DSP Shanmugam Moorthy dan pegawai perakam keterangan, ASP Asrul.

“Mereka memberitahu kita secara terbuka bahawa tindakan kali adalah atas arahan Peguam Negara, Gani Patail.

“Jelas, kedua institusi polis dan perundangan negara telah diperalatkan untuk kepentingan pihak tertentu. Politik negara ini seolah-olah telah dibawa ke longkang,” sinis Siva.

Turut hadir di IPD Dang Wangi petang itu ialah, Naib Presiden Keadilan, Tian Chua, Nurul Izzah Anwar, pengarah biro komunikasi, Nik Nazmi Nik Mahmud, dan Timbalan Ketua Angkatan Muda KEADILAN, Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin.

Parents relate nightmare of children held under EO

Horrific Brutality in Kashmir

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Kashmiris protest Indian armed forces brutality
(Asia Sentinel) Youth and children as young as 10 are tortured and sometimes disappear completely


"I will never be the same," says Sameer Khan (name changed), a student in his early twenties. Khan at his age has endured plenty. Behind his soft-spoken exterior lies a resilient interior that surfaces with time and trust. In his late teens, Khan was put through physical and psychological torture by the Indian security agencies in the disturbed region of Kashmir.

"I was thrown into a dark room and tortured. They used gun butts to break my back. While I was still in pain, a stream of blood ran through my nose and head… and when it clotted in my left eye, I went blind. An hour later, some policemen came and began to torture my private parts. This was and will be most shameful experience for me for the rest of my life. When electric shocks were given to my private parts, I felt this is the end of world and it was perhaps,” Khan revealed details after a few months.

The United Nation's Convention Against Torture states that torture cannot be "justified under any exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency”.

Last summer, non-government organizations said several youth and underage boys were picked up by the authorities for participating in street demonstrations against the killings of street protesters in the Kashmir Valley.

Regardless of their age or their role in the freedom struggle in Kashmir, detainees are isolated for days in dark dingy, unhygienic and cramped spaces. Often, under draconian and unconstitutional laws, youth and children as young as 10 are hunted down, held and then not produced in court. Human rights lawyers in Kashmir complain that the details of the detention of these cases are not recorded, giving the forces involved impunity from prosecution.

"Torture is a routine practice that has been going on in interrogation centers, police stations, and army camps throughout Kashmir since the beginning of the conflict in the early 1990s, said Shafat N Ahmad, an advocate and human rights researcher. "However, a different pattern of torture was inflicted on people especially in villages and hills."

Ahmad found during his course of research that the forces would allege that families were supporting the militancy, providing food and shelter and bedding etc, especially targeting the families whose sons had joined.

"Mothers and wives of militants were also targeted and interrogated during search operations. In many cases, parents or other relatives of militants were called to camps, tortured and pressured them to surrender their sons,” he said. "But things are better since the nineties."

kashmir-protest1Survivors report methods such as choking in water, electric shocks, leg stretching, rolling heavy objects over the body, burning by red hot irons, suspension by cord, and beating on the soles of the feet, Ahmad said. No First Information Report was lodged against the torturer and also special laws like J&K Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Section 4) authorize the arrest without warrant adds to this menace, he added.

US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed about the systematic abuse of detainees in Kashmir, according to leaked diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks released last December. The dispatches revealed that US diplomats in Delhi were briefed in 2005 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of electrocution, beatings, sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees. Other cables show that as recently as 2007 American diplomats were concerned about widespread human rights abuses by Indian security forces, who they said relied on torture for confessions.

SM Sahai, Inspector General of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, when asked how booking juveniles and putting them in jail with adults contributes to radicalizing them, he replied, "Sending a impressionable boy to Central Jail can only bring out a more hardened criminal. But we are also stuck in a situation where we have to make a difficult choice. We tell the government what are the kinds of problems we are facing. This is definitely being taken into consideration."

On the other hand, Sahai added, "It’s unfortunate that the parents have allowed their children to step out. Kashmir has a very severe parenting problem. You can’t blame the system for everything. This is the basis of fascism. They always use impressionable youth to drive the society in a particular direction, using the fear factor, to their own disaster. It’s a conscious choice that people have to make. It’s not about juvenile homes. The best home for a child is a parents’ home. If they cannot control their children, then what can the state do?"

While the government mulls over finding better ways to deal with the situation, families of most of the 123 killed in this summer's protests reject state compensation.

Khan, who just completed his post-graduation, recalls what he underwent when the authorities finally decided to let him go. "After a month of being released, I recovered from my injuries but everything changed for me. My smile had disappeared. I lost sleep. When I was alone, strange thoughts came to my mind. It was horrible. Then people from the security agencies began to bother me. They made my life hell. I had to give minute details about myself to them every time. This, again, made me depressed.”

For Khan, things got so out of hand that he had to seek help from his cousin, a psychiatrist. In Kashmir, where sexual torture is never discussed due to social stigma, Khan was left with no choice but to confide in his family. "I had to tell my brother how they had tortured my private parts with cigarette butts, electric shocks, copper wire and how much pain I felt while urinating. He took me to a doctor and finally, I was put on medication."

"On one hand, I had to take psychiatric drugs and on other hand, I had to take antibiotics, healers, etc. I recovered after almost a year... but still I get nightmares about it almost every week,” Khan murmured. He feels that his close relationships have been affected because of the torture, "I hate pity. I just hate it when people do that," he says, as he looks away.

In the Valley, even in the 1990s, at the height of the insurgency, stories of torture were passed on from generation to generation, along with accounts of intimidation and humiliation faced by other family members who frequent police stations, military and paramilitary camps and well-known places of interrogation.



kashmir-protest2There’s no telling when the search for their loved ones would end or if it would end. Without any proof and based on tips from other released detainees, the families cave into demands of bribes from officials, only to be disappointed later on several occasions. Even after their release, detainees are continuously harassed.

Researcher Ahmad feels that in Kashmir judiciary and human rights commissions take no notice of torture. The families of those who survived torture were more interested in seeing the victim back to the family irrespective of his condition, he explained. Torture was the element of every case of human rights abuse, be it enforced disappearance, custodial killing or detention under the draconian Public Safety Act, he added.

Torture in police custody remains a widespread and systematic practice in India, especially in states like disturbed regions such as Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Manipur. In a report, Suhas Chakma, Director of the Asian Center for Human Rights, which has Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, states, "The National Human Rights Commission has recorded 16,836 custodial deaths, or an average of 1,203 per year during the period 1994 to 2008; these included 2,207 deaths in police custody and 14,629 deaths in judicial custody.”

"Given well-established practices and consistent documentation of persons being tortured to death in police and prison custody, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a large number of those who died in custody were subjected to torture. The cases of torture not resulting in death are not recorded by the NHRC. Further, the Central paramilitary forces and the Indian army remain outside the purview of the NHRC under Section 19 of the Human Rights Protection Act, 1993. The actual cases of torture are in reality run into thousands," the Asian Human Rights Commission study says.

"Most of the torture cases came to my knowledge by way of petitions for the release of the persons arrested under various acts like the Public Safety Act, said Fasiha Qadri, a lawyer and human rights activist who has fought cases in Kashmir. "Even random arrests for short periods involved excessive use of torture."

During her documentation of cases for an international non-government organization, Qadri recalls, "The plight of the detainees would itself speak of the third degree torture perpetrated on them. Sometimes they would also tell us about the treatment meted out to them to their family members and lawyers."

Qadri often experienced difficulty in her documentation work as it was difficult to engage in a conversation about the experiences of torture with the victim and/or his family member.

"In my field experience, the aftershocks of torture haunted the victims even years later,” she said. "To narrate the shocking experiences made their trauma more vivid and intense."

She added that almost all the torture survivors were men, and at times were very reserved with her about narrating the full details of the torture, especially about the torture to their private parts, that has left many men incapacitated for life.

Qadri feels a majority of cases do not make it to court. "Most of the victims were unable to carry on the normal work or vocations, seriously cutting down their livelihood prospects. On the top of that, the medical bills and the treatment expenses drain the victims and their families economically. Most of the torture victims suffer from severe anxiety and depression and their life is never normal again. With such destitution and other survival priorities, victims are too pre-occupied to think of fighting a legal battle."

kashmir-protest3At times, torture victims are continuously harassed after being exonerated by courts. Danish Malik (name changed), a 23-year-old torture survivor recounts what happened after the court granted him bail. "After three months and 10 days of detention, I was produced in court and charged with helping militants with food and shelter. I secured bail and confessed like the police had asked me to because I wanted to be released and not be entangled in some other case. But they didn’t let me go for the next few days."

Malik said he was picked up by the security agencies for talking to armed insurgents in his village, "We make mistakes, we are human after all.” Softly, he added, "I told them, I only spoke to militants as they were in the vicinity. I had no connections with them. They were new people in the village, so I spoke to them. It’s only natural."

On the second day of his detention, Malik said, "They had rollers, and other implements to administer electric shocks. They hung me upside down with my hands tied at the back, naked. This main torture was done once in ten days… otherwise you can die. I was sweating. I had passed out. They told me to put my clothes back on, but I couldn’t even lift my hand."

Malik was then shifted to the lockup.

"There was a small window, which they kept shut. There was no light… only through cracks. I was only let out to wash my face every morning. Had to piss there and sleep with the rats." Malik spent three months and 14 days like this. Then he was produced in court.

Malik's troubles were far from over. The following day, the army picked him up. "They made me lie on ice naked and made me drink cold water and beat me up with sticks for two hours. I went to the doctor. I can’t sit for long or walk for long. These problems start in winter."

Malik, a student of the University of Kashmir who resides in the hostel, still suffers the social implications of his arrest and the torture.

"My friends in the village don’t want to associate with me anymore. They avoid me as I have a record. Their parents also look at me with suspicion. It’s like if a person gets scared of a snake, then even a rope will scare him. I miss my social life... my friends. Everyone has changed. Even my family doesn’t let me step out of the house, fearing I will be picked up. These days, I can’t go home. They still pick me up.”

According to the WikiLeaks cables, the ICRC staff told the US diplomats they had made 177 visits to detention centers in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India between 2002 and 2004, and had met 1,491 detainees. They had been able to interview 1,296 privately.

In 852 cases, the detainees reported ill-treatment, the ICRC said. A total of 171 described being beaten and 681 said they had been subjected to one or more of six forms of torture. These included 498 on which electricity had been used, 381 who had been suspended from the ceiling, 294 who had muscles crushed in their legs by prison personnel sitting on a bar placed across their thighs, 181 whose legs had been stretched by being "split 180 degrees", 234 tortured with water and 302 "sexual" cases, the ICRC were reported to have told the Americans.




kashmir-protest4"Numbers add up to more than 681, as many detainees were subjected to more than one form of IT [ill-treatment]," the cable said. The ICRC said all branches of the Indian security forces used these forms of ill-treatment and torture, adding: "The abuse always takes place in the presence of officers and ... detainees were rarely militants (they are routinely killed), but persons connected to or believed to have information about the insurgency".

The cable said the situation in Kashmir was "much better" as security forces no longer roused entire villages in the middle of the night and detained inhabitants indiscriminately, and there was "more openness from medical doctors and the police." Ten years ago, the ICRC said there were some 300 detention centers, but there are now "a lot fewer". The organization had never however gained access to the "Cargo Building", the most notorious detention centre, in Srinagar. The abuse continued, they said, because "security forces need promotions," while for militants, "the insurgency has become a business".

In the same cable, American diplomats approvingly quoted media reports that India's army chief, Lieutenant-General Joginder Jaswant Singh, had "put human rights issues at the centre of an [recent] conference of army commanders."

In India, since 2000, according to the statistics submitted to the Indian Parliament by the Ministry of Home Affairs, prison custody deaths increased by 54.02 percent by 2008, while police custody deaths during the same period have increased by 19.88 percent. In fact, from 2004-2005 to 2007-2008, prison custody deaths have increased by 70.72 percent while police custody deaths during the same period have increased by 12.60 percent.

Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) also reveals the sorry state of affairs – 1,424 prisoners died in 2006, 1,387 prisoners in 2005, 1,169 prisoners in 2004, and 1,060 prisoners in 2003, in India. Of the 1,423 prisoners who died in 2006, 80 died as a result of "unnatural” causes.

Prevention of Torture Bill
Recently, India's Prevention of Torture Bill , 2010 was introduced and passed without a debate and consultation with the stakeholders. Considering that the bill fails to comply even with the existing Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, necessary interventions have been recommended by human rights groups to the Indian government to ensure that the PTB complies with national and international laws.

Chakma argues that the bill blatantly violates the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment that India sought to ratify through enactment of the PTB, 2010.

The armed forces enjoy impunity under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which makes it mandatory to seek prior permission of the Central government to initiate any legal proceeding. Even the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) does not have the power to investigate the armed forces under Section 19 of the Human Rights Protection Act 1993 (as amended in 2006).

The current definition does not comply with the UN Convention Against Torture and the amended/recommended text reproduces the text of the UN Convention Against Torture.

kashmir-protest5By restricting the definition of torture to "(i) grievous hurt to any person; or (ii) danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of any Person”, the PTB excludes a number of offences recognized under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The IPC also provides sentences for voluntarily causing hurt (Section 323), voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means (Section 325), voluntarily causing hurt to extort property, or to constrain to an illegal act (Section 327), causing hurt by means of poison etc with an intent to commit an offence (328). However, by restricting definition of torture strictly to "grievous hurt”, the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 has excluded other forms of hurt recognized under Indian Penal Code.

By lessening the punishment to 10 years under the PTB, 2010 the Government of India has effectively kept the menace of custodial death out of the purview of the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 and grievous hurt with dangerous weapons. Under Section 5 of the PTB, 2010 "no court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act unless the complaint is made within six months from the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed”.

Section 6 of the PTB, 2010 states that "no court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act, alleged to have been committed by a public servant during the course of his employment, except with the previous sanction” of the government.

As thousands of youngsters are still being picked up as "preventive arrests”, to prevent unrest next summer, authorities continue to use brutal methods, flouting laws and cultivating a culture of impunity in the world’s largest democracy.