Share |

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kuning setiap Sabtu

Mail-order hymens available to Canadians

Women who cannot afford to get their hymens surgically re-attached in Canada prior to marriages in their cultural country of origin have a less expensive option: they can order one in the mail.

Starting at just $29.95, women can order a false hymen online, shipped from China.
The imports are officially banned in many Middle Eastern and North African countries, but women in North America and Great Britain are a fertile market.

"We have many urgent requests from women, begging us for urgent delivery before their wedding night," says Mike Munro, with the The online store opened in March 2010, and sells a couple thousand per month.

"There are some cultural notions out there that the ordinary person cannot just challenge and try and change them without paying a very dear price and in some case with their own lives."

In Canada, some young women from predominantly Muslim backgrounds are desperate to appear as virgins, fearing they could be killed by their families if they do not have an intact hymen on their marriage beds after arranged marriages in their cultural home countries.

Some are getting plastic surgery in Canadian private clinics to re-attach their hymens.
The mail-order version is a thin film containing a packet of red fluid. The website advises to insert the film 20 minutes prior to sex in order to mimic the breaking of the hymen and showing the required "blood."

The parcels come with alternate markings from generic sounding companies, evading interception.
"Woman belonging to these sorts of cultures will have to work around these notions if they wish to have a safe and 'normal' family lives and we provide them with this opportunity." says Munro.

You made it happen, Ambiga tells Putrajaya

The Bersih leadership, Ambiga (waving) flanked by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, making their way in KL Sentral before being attacked with tear gas and duly arrested in Kuala Lumpur July 9 2011.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Najib administration has only itself to blame for the overwhelming public response to Saturday’s Bersih rally.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on its website yesterday, the chairman of the electoral reforms group also played down similarities to popular revolts in the Middle East, stating that there was never any intention to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

“A government that comes across as such a great bully repulsed a lot of people. And I think that is why we had the numbers and the momentum that we did.

“Honestly, if they had allowed us to proceed and played it down, we would not have gotten those numbers,” the former Bar Council president said, admitting that she at first doubted that the movement would gain such support.

Along with leading regional dailies such as the Jakarta Post and Singapore Straits Times, the WSJ has been critical of the government’s handling of Bersih, which saw over a hundred arrests in a police dragnet that began over a week before the July 9 march.

The influential international business newspaper said that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration was creating an atmosphere of “fear and repression” which may result in the so far “silent majority” eventually voicing out against the prime minister.

Local politicians, including a deputy minister, have acknowledged the damage to Malaysia’s international standing but Umno-controlled media such as Utusan Malaysia and some BN leaders continue to blame the opposition and biased news reports, especially from the foreign media for painting the government in a bad light.

Ambiga also said that Bersih was asking for electoral reforms, not a change of government unlike the uprisings in the Middle East known as the Arab Spring which has brought down governments in Egypt and Tunisia and plunged Libya into civil war.

“All we are doing is asking for a free and fair election. It is the government’s disproportionate response that created a momentum. But we are still a peace-loving nation. We still want the government to be fair.
“To me it was never our intention and it is still not our intention to bring down this government. We want to work with this government, to improve our electoral system,” she told the WSJ.

She also criticised the government’s response to Saturday’s rally, which saw chaos reign in the capital as police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse tens of thousands of demonstrators, stating that Putrajaya was not reading the situation correctly.

“They come back on Monday and attack Bersih again. Those are the people you are attacking. Those are the voters you are attacking,” she said.

Bersih had gone ahead with Saturday’s rally despite being denied police permission, resulting in nearly 1,700 arrests, scores injured and the death of a PKR division leader’s husband.

The coalition of 62 NGOs had earlier agreed to an offer by Najib to move its street gathering to a stadium but was then told by authorities not to gather in the capital, ruling out its choice of the historical Stadium Merdeka.

The breakdown in negotiations came despite the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s intervention six days before the rally, who sought to diffuse tension by asking Putrajaya and Bersih to discuss the issue of free and fair elections.

A MP’s notes from the rally

M Manogaran talks about his experience at the Bersih 2.0 rally and warns BN-Umno that the writing is on the wall.
By M Manogaran
I was at Brickfields Little India at about 11.30am. Yes I wanted to participate in the Bersih 2.0 rally as I was convinced that the rally is completely legal. A group of about 150 of us (mostly Indians) started to walk from Seetharam Restaurant to the Kuala Lumpur railway station as the police started gathering in front of Seetharam Restaurant.

As we walked along, many more people joined us and by the time we reached the railway station, we numbered a couple of thousand. At the railway station we joined thousands of others and started marching towards Jalan Sultan where we were blocked by the police and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU). As we marched along, many elderly Chinese shopkeepers cheered for us. From Jalan Sultan we marched to Maybank headquarters where we were greeted by thousands of other protesters.

I was surprised to see that the people who gathered and marched came from all directions. While waiting at Maybank, police fired tear gas and we had to run to Pudu Raya. Some ran to the back road opposite Pudu Raya. We decided to walk along Pudu Road to Stadium Merdeka but were again blocked by the police. Then we realised that the police and FRU had surrounded us on both sides from Maybank headquarters to the traffic lights at Jalan Pudu/Jalan Bukit Bintang.

The FRU from Maybank began closing in on us firing tear gas until we had to take shelter at the Tung Shin Hospital.

I was among the hundreds who ran into Tung Shin Hospital as the police fired tear gas initially outside on the road in front of the hospital. To our shock the police also fired into the compound of the hospital later.

We had to close the front doors of the hospital to stop the gas from going in but we could feel the lobby was already hit with gas as well. Police barged into the compound of the hospital and arrested some protesters in a very rough manner. Many of us retreated and some walked towards Bukit Bintang.

Police brutality

I condemn the Inspector-General of Police (Ismail Omar) for not telling the truth about the tear gas fired into the hospital compound. The home minister and health minister are also being misled by the IGP. The Tung Shin Hospital administrator and other employees’ initial statements that police fired tear gas into the compound of the hospital were correct.

I also confirm that the large group who gathered in front of the hospital compound and inside the lobby were very well behaved and civil in their actions, much to my surprise. They were very quiet in the lobby. I felt the people were very disciplined thinking only of a higher cause with no mischief on their minds.
I saw how the police manhandled timid protesters. There was no reason to be rough as those arrested did not resist. I also noticed that the police were targeting Malay protesters and not so much the Chinese and Indians. Many of the protesters complained why the police were so brutal especially when we did not resist, fight back or attack them.

It is also not true that the protesters threw things at the police thereby provoking them. I am very sure that the people did not throw anything at the police. The police are blatantly lying saying the protesters threw things at them so as to justify their attack on the people. I am ashamed that the police actually misbehaved and their conduct was unprofessional. To compound matters, they are now lying.

More than 1,600 people were arrested and all were released on the same day by midnight. This is not due to the police being kind but they had a reason to release all on the same day. Under other circumstances, they will release some, detain some overnight and will obtain a remand order for the rest. This time around for Bersih 2.0, the only reason why all were released is that the police could not keep (Umno Youth chief) Khairy Jamaluddin in the lock-up overnight.

Bersih’s message

Therefore, the police had to release all to make it not so obvious as to their biased handling. Considering the fact that Bersih 2.0 created so much of panic in the government and police, if Khairy and his “Patriotic” fellows were not detained, it is unthinkable that the police will release all on the same night.
There are two very important developments I observed on July 9 regarding Bersih 2.0.

Firstly, there was a significant young Chinese representation among the protesters. I have not seen these many Chinese in the many street rallies before.

Secondly, the majority of those who participated in the rally were young Malaysians of all races. This augurs well for Malaysia as I noted that the young protesters were very organised, well behaved and mixed freely with each other. I think Bersih 2.0 has brought all Malaysians together for a common cause where they have shown that young Malaysians are ready to move on and have a stake in the country’s future.

We the Malaysian public from Bersih 2.0 and Pakatan Rakyat had a reason to march on July 9. We took part in the rally for a cause. What was the cause for Umno Youth to march on that day? Umno Youth members do not miss anything in their lives, they have everything at their disposal, so what did they march for? Are Pakatan members and Bersih 2.0 supporters less patriotic because they took part in the rally? Are Egyptians and Tunisians who went to the streets any less patriotic to their country? I think Khairy and Umno Youth have either misled themselves or cannot see the difference between subversion and ordinary citizens seeking rights.

Bersih 2.0 is a hugh success. I hope Bersih 2.0 will continue the demand for electoral reforms. With all the clampdown, adverse media reports and demonising of Bersih leaders by the government, the people rose up to tell the government a different version, that is, the people’s version. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak says the silent majority must speak up against Bersih 2.0. The prime minister, the government and Barisan Nasional can remain in denial mode. The people have spoken. The writing is on the wall for Umno-BN. You ignore it at your own peril.

M Manogaran is the DAP Member of Parliament for Teluk Intan.

Karpal: DAP’s presence was felt

The veteran politician dismisses allegations that his party members did not turn out in big numbers for the Bersih 2.0 rally.
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh said his party was committed to the Bersih 2.0 rally from the start.

Responding to allegations that DAP members did not turn up in droves for last Saturday’s rally, he said many party leaders and members were confined at the Jalan Pudu Area (near his office), Menara Maybank and Pudu Plaza.

“From day one we were committed to the rally and we never intended in taking a backseat. In fact, I was on the ground to observe and was stopped very rudely by policemen on duty near a road junction in front of the Puduraya bus station,” he told FMT.

However, Karpal conceded that in term of numbers, there were more PAS and PKR members and supporters on the streets that day, but stressed that DAP also made a visible presence.

As for the allegations, the veteran politician, who is wheel-chair bound, said it was an attempt to discredit DAP in the eyes of its Pakatan Rakyat component parties.

“I was constantly in touch with (Lim) Kit Siang who was with other Pakatan leaders and my attempt to join them were prevented mainly by roadblocks around my office at Jalan Pudu,” he added.

Karpal also said that he witnessed Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel firing tear gas indiscriminately at the demonstrators.

He said police not only used excessive force at certain locations against but he as a MP was also subjected to “harsh treatment”.

“They (police) threatened to arrest me if I didn’t retreat to my office. I can understand they were dealing with demonstrators but in my case probably they should have acted in a more professional manner,” he said.

The senior politician also estimated that about 30,000 people turned up on Saturday.
Karpal urged those demonstrators to come forward with visual evidence to assit the organisers in proving that the police used excessive force.

Standup for Ambiga, Indians urged

An Indian opposition leader has called for the community to rise and defend Bersih 2.0 chairman S Ambiga against Umno's slander and abuse.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Indian community in Malaysia have been urged to defend Bersih 2.0 chairperson S Ambiga, who is being vilified by the Barisan Nasional government.

Making this call today PKR Malacca vice president, G Rajendran said BN leaders, who are angry and rattled by the success of the July 9 Bersih rally, were trying to ‘provoke and challenge’ Ambiga.

He said Ambiga was an international success before she become a Malaysian icon through her principled stand.

He said given a chance Ambiga could lead the community and nation to do greater things.
“What I can see now is that the Malay and Chinese community have already given strong support to Ambiga, so it is now our community’s priority to defend Ambiga after being challenged by the BN government.

“The Indian community must come forward to defend Ambiga against Umno and its allies’ violent denunciation of her leadership of Bersih 2.0,” he told FMT.

Rajendran said over the past few weeks there have been calls by BN leaders to revoke Ambiga’s citizenship and strip her of her Datukship for refusing to call off the Bersih rally.

“This is a serious matter and I ask the Indians to support the Bersih chairperson and in the process teach these racist leaders a lesson.

“What we have to do now is send a strong message to the BN leaders, by following Ambiga’s instruction,” he said.

Kimma warned

Rajendran also warned BN-aligned Kimma president Senator Syed Ibrahim Kadir who has been vilifying Ambiga.

“I am saddened by the Kimma president’s stand. He has betrayed the Indian community for his own political ambition.

“As a Indian, I cannot hope that he will support Ambiga’s stand but at the same time I don’t believe it is right to defame her,” Rajendran said.

He said if Ibrahim Kadir continued to urge the government to revoke Ambiga’s citizenship, then Pakatan Indian’s will not hesitate to boycott  Indian Muslim restaurants.

The next course of action

Someone has been injured in a peaceful rally, wounded by officers under your command. Even if he is exaggerating, he is indeed hurt! Instead of voicing concern, you laughed at him, you ridiculed him! That is NOT a character of a leader, what more a Prime Minister?

By ViewAct
After reaching home with a headache, and resting for a day, I questioned myself if I would like to witness the event on 9th July again. My answer is – Yes and No. “Yes” as I feel elated seeing Malaysians from all walks of life, of all races and all religious backgrounds stood together for the same cause. And this is truly the 1Malaysia unity we wish to see. Even though the government created the slogan, they are in every way trying to ensure it doesn't happen. All these can be seen by the replies they gave on the organization of this event, the carrying out of brutality on peaceful marchers, and the comments afterwards, especially when people got hurt, and even died.

My answer of “NO” is for the fact that, I do not wish to see our people suffering from brutal treatment by the very institution that claims to protect us. And the excuse that they give – “shouting during the rally”. Countless tear gas canisters were shot, followed with water cannons. The police can claim that it was “just very few shots” while the newspaper contradict their own statement by saying that even police officers suffered the effects of tear gas. Two sets of answers, an obvious lie. Why can’t a peaceful procession be left at peace?

Still suffering from the effects of the treatment, I now lie on my bed, with blurry vision, and a trobbing head; yet my conscience is clear, and I decide to slowly pen down this article. For I managed to watch a few video clips and immediately my tears flowed. “I was glad I was there” I said to myself. For I would surely regret if I hadn’t.

I watched in horror when our PM made his remarks on DSAI’s injury, saying that he is such a good actor for displaying his painful expression for a small injury then followed by a photo of him lying on a hospital bed. I watched in disgust how he made fun of DSAI, with his disgusting facial expression (Do excuse me for this) while elaborating further on his remarks. How can a Prime Minister say such a thing? Someone has been injured in a peaceful rally, wounded by officers under your command. Even if he is exaggerating, he is indeed hurt! Instead of voicing concern, you laughed at him, you ridiculed him! That is NOT a character of a leader, what more a Prime Minister!

And those that cheered when he ridiculed DSAI. Haven’t you any conscience? Or you lost them in your bid to shine your boss’ shoe?

Not to mention also some ministers who came to the front, claiming that the police had indeed NOT shot (tear gas canisters and water) into the compound of a hospital, and had NOT charged into the said hospital to arrest people. The internet has already shown so much proof and yet, they deny it. This will only convince the rakyat more that the government intends to lie to the rakyat shamelessly. There is no intention to make good what is wrong. And making two wrongs will never make a right, datuk-datuk semua.
Alright, I believe many have made similar remarks on the Bersih rally, during and after; and one more comment doesn’t make much difference to the facts already known to all, even though our PM, and the IGP denied it wide-eyed.

What I think is more important now is what is the next course of action that may be taken by the government, after being hit hard on the face? What else can they do to prevent falling further than what is already near the bottom of the gallows?

From the remarks of the police, and our PM, it is very clear that they are trying to minimize the damage done to their reputation, with lies and fairy tales that is too obvious to miss. Just compare the photos available online with their remarks; well, I believe that is worth more than a thousand words, isn’t it?
With the poor reputation, the idiotic remarks of a minister towards a foreign reporter, and mistakes over mistakes by our IGP and PM over the issue, they are now desperate in making sure that they would not lose in GE13. I am expecting the following to take place.

1) The election commission CANNOT reform, at least not yet. For they need all the phantom voters, postal voters and whatnot to ensure they don’t fail. At the least, not miserably. They are right that the Bersih Rally failed. For no matter what we do, even with the petition sent to the King, they will delay and postpone to reformation of EC. Until when they need it to be reformed – i.e – when they are the opposition.

2) Increase in prices of goods. The government is famous for punishing its rakyat. When they were shamed by their own action, they will blame it on the rakyat and the opposition for revealing their shame. And for revenge, they would make life hard for people, increasing the price of goods, petrol etc. On one hand, they can vent their anger over the shame revealed by the rakyat; on the other hand, they can get more money to help them “finance” vote buying and frog buying during the coming GE. We have seen numerous examples of our government punishing its people, I don’t think I need to elaborate further here. 

3) Hidden projects shall be awarded. This shall be a desperate attempt to dig as much money for themselves, as well as money for the coming G.E. It appears to be a win win situation for them. If they win in the next GE, they can continue with whatever dirt they have done. If they lose, they already have their money, and PR will be left with an empty safe-box, and lots of bills to pay off. With money channeled out of the country, what fear do they have should anyone really start investigating them? They are already in a place far far away, with all relevant documents destroyed. Just look at what happened to Selangor after the last G.E. How the documents were destroyed, shredded and burnt, and how the ex-MB went missing, only to return as the leader at the state opposition aisle. 

4) Returns to the people. For damage control, they would probably come up with a few “goodies” as returns to the people to mend their tarnished image. Those “returns” could be in any form, just to “show” that they “care”. They may even reduce prices of goods (just to upset what I’ve mentioned above) in their attempt to counter all negative remarks made previously. And they would keep the media focused on these instead, and emphasize on the JASA they perform for the people. 

5) Delay in G.E 13. With the bad image projected now, calling for an election would be a suicide attempt. Unless damage control is done to a certain extent – i.e more media lies, and state tours to tell fairy tales to people who have no access to the internet. 

6) Last resort – ISA. Like how Ops Lalang were deployed, they could make up another trumped up story and start a nationwide crackdown on opposition leaders, while instilling fear in its people should they oppose the government. Bersih 3.0 would be a good excuse for the deployment. So the story they make up now to blame Bersih and opposition leaders would be crucial if they plan for Ops Lalang 2. By the way, a photo surfaced online allegedly posted in Utusan; it is a desperate attempt to find excuses for the brutality displayed by the police.

All in all, the federal government is in a very bad shape now. And our dear TDM’s boy is eyeing that seat as he’s not made any remarks after the rally; and thus he saved himself from looking silly. Our PM now faces the risk of losing his premiership, not only from the opposition and the rakyat; he is facing threats from within his own party, who are so eager to be on that seat they are willing to do anything to get there. Enemies that fight you openly may be a threat, but a “musuh dibawah selimut” is even more dangerous. You won’t know when you will be stabbed from behind.

Malaysia: Police use brutal tactics against peaceful protestors

Amnesty International Logo The UK government must press Malaysia’s Prime Minister on freedom of assembly during his visit this week, Amnesty International said today, after peaceful protesters in Kuala Lumpur were met with police violence and 1,667 arrests at the weekend.

Police arrested peaceful demonstrators, fired tear gas canisters directly at protesters, and tear gassed a hospital compound on 9 July, in attempts to stop the electoral reform rally known as Bersih 2.0 from gathering in a stadium.

One protester, 56-year-old Baharuddin Ahmad, collapsed near the landmark Petronas Towers while fleeing teargas and was pronounced dead later in hospital.

Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Asia Pacific Donna Guest said:

“Prime Minister Najib’s government rode roughshod over thousands of Malaysians exercising their right to peaceful protest. 

“This violent repression by the Royal Malaysian Police flies in the face of international human rights standards, and cannot be allowed to continue. Any future peaceful demonstrations should be permitted and respected by the authorities.”

Amnesty International is calling on the Malaysian authorities to investigate claims that police failed to provide prompt assistance to Baharuddin Ahmad before his death, including reports that an ambulance arrived only an hour and a half after he collapsed.

Many protesters were beaten by police and officers of the Federal Reserve Unit, a special force used to suppress mass public assembly.  One of the numerous Youtube videos of police violence shows plainclothes officers kicking a protester lying on the ground, while uniformed police stand by.

Police also fired tear gas canisters directly at protesters, including members of the parliamentary opposition. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was injured after a canister was fired in his direction, and Khalid Samad, a Pan-Islamic Islamic Party (PAS) member of parliament, was injured after being hit in the neck by a canister.

Tear gas was also fired at a hospital where protesters had retreated, putting the health of patients at risk, although this was denied by the Malaysian police.

Donna Guest added:
“The British government shouldn’t reward this brutality by rolling out a red carpet for Malaysia’s prime minister,” said Donna Guest.
“David Cameron should tell Prime Minister Najib that these human rights violations against peaceful reform protesters are unacceptable.”

Amnesty International is also calling on the Vatican to press Najib to respect human rights when the Malaysian leader visits Rome later this week.  

All protesters arrested during the rally have now been released without charge. According to local sources, many of those released bore injuries sustained during arrest.
“The use of force by police at this rally was excessive, unnecessary and designed to instil fear,” said Donna Guest.

Around 40 people arrested in the run-up to the rally still face prosecution. Most have been charged under Section 49 of the Societies Act for possession of illegal materials, including Bersih T-shirts.

Six members of the Socialist Party (PSM) have been indefinitely detained without charge under an Emergency Ordinance since 2 July. One of them, Member of Parliament Dr Jeyakumar Kumar, was hospitalised 10 July for a heart condition following days of prolonged interrogations.

Motion to discuss police brutality rejected

The Sun
by Hemananthani Sivanandam

KUALA LUMPUR (July 12, 2011): A motion to discuss alleged police brutality during last Saturday’s Bersih rally was rejected in the Dewan Negara.

The motion, filed by Opposition Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali was rejected by Senate President Tan Sri Abu Zahar Nika Ujang in chambers today.

Syed Husin said the matter should be discussed in the House as it had public importance.

“This matter is specific because it refers to the authorities, the police who acted brutally towards the public who only wanted to have a peaceful assembly in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday who demanded reformation for a better electoral system,” he said.

Syed Husin said the authorities also fired teargas into Tung Shin Hospital but the management has denied the allegation that the police fired teargas canisters and water cannons in the direction of the hospital during the rally.

He also said that the teargas fired had caused the death of the rally supporter Baharuddin Ahmad, 59.

Police have refuted the claims that they were responsible for the death as Baharuddin’s post-mortem results showed that he died of a heart ailment.

Syed Husin said that there were also other Pakatan Rakyat leaders such as PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu; PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s bodyguard Fayad Al-Bakri who suffered injuries due to the police action.

“These are not allegations, I witnessed it myself during the rally the brutality of the police,” he said, adding that the police did not warn the public before firing the shots.

Syed Husin said the matter should be debated in the House because it concerns the misuse of Section 27 of the Police Act and Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which gives citizens the right to peaceful assembly.

Explosion at Islamic school in Indonesia kills 1

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A man reportedly trying to show students how to make explosives was killed by a homemade bomb inside an Islamic boarding school in Indonesia, police said Tuesday.

School officials and students have prevented police from entering the building since Monday's explosion, local police spokesman Lt. Col. Sukarman Husen said.

But they discovered the body of the suspected bomb maker, a 30-year-old man identified only as Firdaus, on a bus Tuesday as it tried to leave the school compound, he said.

Eleven people have been taken in for questioning, Husen said, adding that police also confiscated a number of arrows and machetes.

Husen said the bombing victim was a treasurer at the school, but media reports alleged he was a former bomb trainee in the Philippine region of Mindanao. According to TVOne, he was killed in an unintentional explosion while training students about bomb-making.

Police are still persuading the school officials to let them enter the compound, Husen said.
National Police Spokesman Maj. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam said the explosion was suspected to be from a homemade bomb being prepared to attack the police.

"Therefore they don't allow police to enter the boarding school," Alam told reporters in the capital, Jakarta. He added that two platoons, including soldiers, were around the complex.

The school on Sumbawa Island in central Indonesia came to police attention late last month, when a 16-year-old student was arrested for allegedly stabbing to death an officer. Police believe he belonged to an Islamic militant group, and they said he told his interrogators that police deserved to die for hunting down jihadists.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has been battling terrorists since 2002 when al-Qaida-linked militants attacked two nightclubs on Bali island, killing 202 people, mostly foreigners.

In recent months, security forces have become the main target of extremists in Indonesia. Militants say they want to punish soldiers and police for taking part in the so-called war against terrorism.
Hundreds of Islamic militants have been arrested, tried and jailed.

Bar Council: Tung Shin Hospital was hit

PSM demands release of PSM 6

Bersih calls for 'Yellow Saturdays'

Bar Council: Cops used excessive force on Bersih protesters

A police line steadies to fire tear gas at protesters during the Bersih rally July 9 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — The police had “arbitrarily, indiscriminately and excessively” fired from water cannons and launched tear gas canisters at close range and at eye-level at Bersih 2.0 protesters last Saturday, the Bar Council said in its monitoring report released today.

The report noted that the manner in which the tear gas canisters were fired suggested the police had wanted to inflict injury.

The Bar Council had placed its members as special monitors of last Saturday’s rally after an arrangement made with the police.

It revealed today details of its investigation on Bersih 2.0’s Saturday rally, concluding that the event had been peaceful and did not warrant the bombardment of chemicals that the police had unleashed on protestors.

Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee told reporters that the council will present its findings, which was based on first-hand accounts from its monitoring team, to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar when it meets with him sometime this week.

The team, he said, had reported only a few isolated cases of protestors displaying unruly behaviour when “one or more” were seen lobbing mineral water bottles at a televison station reporter.

Police grab one of the protesters from the main group next to Puduraya during the Bersih rally July 9 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
They were otherwise peaceful, said Lim, and had marched along chanting “Hidup Rakyat”, “Bersih” and “Reformasi” and sang “Negaraku” towards Stadium Merdeka before they stopped by police barricades.

The police, on the other hand, said Lim, had used non-lethal weapons like tear gas and water cannons “arbitrarily, indiscriminately and excessively” to disperse protestors despite the lack of provocation from the thousands who had gathered for the march.

“Some monitors noted that the police did give warnings prior to utilising tear gas and water cannons. However, it was difficult for the huge crowd to hear what the police commanders said via their loud hailers, exccept for participants who were situated near the police,” the council said in a summary of its report handed out to reporters here today.

Lim said that in one incident, protestors found themselves crammed into a tight knot behind Kompleks Dayabumi with no escape route as tear gas canisters were fired at them from both ends.

“This happened in Puduraya area as well. You launch at both ends, without any exit point. You are supposed to launch to disperse... all these tactics were wholly unnecessary,” he said.

Lim said that based on at least two inquiry reports prepared by Suhakam, the police had made all the wrong moves on Saturday in terms of crowd control.

“You do not engage by using tear gas and water cannons... you use a collaborative approach with the crowd. The police should have minimised any show of non-lethal weapons and of course, firearms.

“Police officers should be assigned to engage the crowd, find the leader and find their intention. If they intend to move forward and moving forward would disrupt public order, then tell them to stay where they are, ask them how much time they need for speeches and such and once they are done, they will disperse,” he said.

Lim said only one police officer by the name of “Suhaimi” had displayed such tolerance while the most others had been confrontational, displaying “us against you” attitudes.
Protesters being showered with chemically laced water by police water cannon during the Bersih rally July 9 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
“There was a kind of mood among some of them. Like — I am going to fight you because you want to fight me.... I am going to catch you and hold you down and punch you and arrest you. This mindset must change. The police are there to protect us, to enable us to exercise our freedom of assembly, not oppress our right,” he said.

Lim also noted the manner with which the riot police had launched the tear gas canisters — at close range and at eye-level — saying this appeared as if they had wanted to use them to inflict injury instead of to disperse the crowd.

“When used in a certain manner, they can become lethal weapons. We also have eyewitness accounds of police attacking protestors,” he said, but added later that the council’s monitoring team had not been able to record on camera any clear evidence of police brutality.

Lim, who had earlier announced that the IGP had already agreed to meet with the council, said that among others, the council will urge the police to conduct a comprehensive internal investigation on Saturday’s rally and participate in any inquiry by Suhakam. - TMI

RM73 mil diamond ring for Rosmah?

A blog claims that the self-styled First Lady received a 'Natural Fancy Blue Gray Cushion Cut Diamond Ring' in April.

PETALING JAYA: As Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak still reels from the Bersih 2.0 rally’s political aftershocks, a glittering new allegation has surfaced about his wife, Rosmah Mansor.

The self-styled First Lady had allegedly come into possession of a diamond ring, worth a whopping US$24 million (RM73.48 million) sometime in April this year.

A pro-Pakatan Rakyat blog called “Milo Suam” claimed that the ring was sent to Rosmah by the New York-based fine jewellers, Jacob & Co.

The blog claimed that the ring, identified as a “Natural Fancy Blue Gray Cushion Cut Diamond Ring” passed through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport customs and was cleared by a customs operations manager known as A Krishnan.

Screenshots of the alleged customs computer displays also revealed that the ring did not have import duties imposed on it.

The ring
The Ring
The same display also indicated the value of the ring to be US$24.4 million.

The story of the ring had also spread to many other pro-Pakatan blogs.
According to a Forbes website, the ring is a “VVS2 clarity diamond mounted on a platinum ring surrounded by 414 diamonds in a micro-pave setting (3.48 cts.).”

Meanwhile, “Milo Suam” questioned Najib’s rationale in allegedly purchasing such an expensive item for his wife.

“While you were screaming in pain from being beaten by a police baton… there was someone who was enjoying wealth that she did not earn,” read the blog.

The blog also asked if Najib had misused his powers in allocating RM111 million to Rosmah for her woman-and-children-oriented programme, Permata, in the 2011 Budget.

Jacob & Co has an outlet in Malaysia through a local branch known as Yafriro Celebrer Le Temps Sdn Bhd, located at the Starhill Gallery luxury shopping mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang.

When contacted, Yafriro refused to comment on the alleged ring puchase by Rosmah.

Deny it Rosmah, says Chegu Bard

Meanwhile in another development, PKR leader and SAMM (Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia) president Badrul Hisham Shaharin challenged Rosmah to deny the claims made about the expensive ring.

“US$24 million is a lot of money! Its a lot! Where did she get that much of money? I don’t want any of the mosquito Umno leaders to answer the allegation but Rosmah herself must do so”, he demanded.

The screenshots allegedly taken from the Customs Department computer was also put up in Badrul Hisham’s blog. Known popularly as Chegu Bard, he is the Rembau PKR division chief.

He also asked if the prime minister had any ulterior motive in announcing tax exemptions for imported jewellery.

“ When the prime minister announced the tax exemption during last year’s budget (last October) on certain luxury goods including handbags, clothing and jewelleries, it maybe be done in the interest of his wife,” he charged.

“I suspect this is the case based on the forms in the customs’ computer system. The forms show that the transaction was done without any taxes being imposed,” he added.

He also said that the Penang chapter of SAMM would be lodging a report at the Penang Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the diamond ring scandal.

We witnessed police abuse, says lawyer

Some 100 Sarawakians who took part in the Bersih 2.0 'Walk for Democracy' returned home with shocking stories of police abuse.

KUCHING: Umno-led Barisan Nasional can continue to deny what actually happened at the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9, but those who walked the talk will bear witness to the truth, Sarawak lawyer Voon Shiak Ni said.

Voon and some 100 Sarawakians had flown into Kuala Lumpur to join the rally which called for electoral reforms, and witnessed the police abuse.

“The government cannot deny it as we were there. About 100 PKR and NGOs from Sarawak were there.
“Baru Bian (Sarawak PKR chief) and myself were there witnessing the whole episode,” said Voon, who is also state PKR woman leader.

Recounting her experience, she said one of the most wonderful things that she experienced in the Bersih march was the “feeling of unity, strength and human sentiments”.

“The struggle for justice had brought Malaysians together and I truly felt the bond with the people… everyone marching beside us is a friend.

“We came together and helped each other despite the tear gas, fear, and intimidation… This is something I can never properly define in common words,” she said.

Voon said the BN regime can deny all it wants about Bersih’s success, but the fact remained that tens of thousands of Malaysians came out voluntarily to support the coalition’s call for clean and fair elections.

‘Investigate hospital incident’

On Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai’s denial that police had shot tear gas canisters into the vicinity of the Tung Shin Maternity Hospital in Jalan Pudu, she said:

“I was at Chinatown since 9am. Together with me were people of all races, professions and ages. I was at the scene and I witnessed the merciless firing of tear gas and spraying of chemical-laced water at the crowd.

“The police armed with batons chased the protesters who fled and jumped over the railings.
“If the government had not been so heavy-handed and harsh in handling the crowd, the rally would have been peaceful,” she said.

Voon is among a host of witnesses who have claimed they saw police pursued the protesters into the hospital compound, and fired tear gas at them.

Police have since denied the allegations and the government has also said the eye-witness accounts were untrue.

Voon urged the authorities to carry out investigations into the hospital incident, saying the government should be held responsible for any negligence committed.

She reminded the police that their job was to keep the peace and ensure security and not cause harm to the public. - FMT

'Wear something yellow every Saturday'

Bersih thanks the people for their support on July 9 and urges them to continue keeping the momentum alive.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 has urged the people to continue their support for electoral reforms by wearing a yellow item every Saturday.

Thousands of ordinary citizens poured onto the streets of Kuala Lumpur last Satuday to express their dissatisfaction with the current electoral system and push for reforms.

“We want to thank the rakyat for their courage, and for their peaceful and overwhelming support for free and fair elections,” Bersih 2.0 chairperson, S Ambiga, told a press conference today. “And we express profound regret for the tragic and needless death of Baharuddin Ahmad who will remain in our hearts as the ultimate hero.”

Baharuddin, the late husband of the Setiawangsa PKR Wanita chief, died after collapsing during the rally while fleeing the bombardment of tear gas and water cannons.

“I ask the rakyat to show continuing support by wearing something yellow every Saturday,” she said. “I also call on them to do their bit by ensuring that their family and friends are registered voters. If one person gets five others to register this will definitely bump up voter numbers.”

Ambiga added that the coalition was still attempting to submit its memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin after being turned away from the palace last Saturday.

“We don’t know when this will happen,” she said. “But we will continue trying to get our memorandam across.”

Ambiga also laid to rest speculation of any future rally and firmly said that there were no immediate plans for one.

“You don’t hold rallies at the drop of a hat,” she said. “Such events are done for very good reasons. But we should carry on doing whatever we can to support the cause. I think we can work it through if the government stops demonising Bersih 2.0 and start listening to the people.”

“The people do want change. Bersih 2.0′s original agenda was for electoral reforms but it has since become much more than that. It is now also about democracy, fighting abuse of power and overcoming intimidation.”

Eight demands first

Ambiga pointed out that the original ban from the home ministry was in fact not for Bersih 2.0 but for Bersih. The coalition will be filing a petition in court to challenge the ministry’s orders. The court date has yet to be set but she said that they would be fully pursuing this matter.

She also said that the best way to move forward would be to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) consisting of experts who are “acceptable to the public”.

“The RCI’s task would be to look into the overhauling of the current electoral system,” she said. “But it should initially look at Bersih 2.0′s eight demands prior to the 13th general election. Otherwise, there is no point setting up a RCI after that.”

Bersih steering committee member, Andrew Khoo, said that a RCI was needed to organise talks nationwide and listen to the people’s experiences with the electoral system.

The coalition also condemned reports of police brutality during the rally and called on the Human Rights Commission off Malaysia (Suhakam) to conduct an investigation into the matter.

Bersih steering committee member, Haris Ibrahim, branded the incidents captured on video and camera as the “worst brutalities that the rakyat received from what was meant to be peace-keeping forces”.

“I have also heard of instances where the police exercised restraints and I thank them for that,” he acknowledged. “But I want to tell the security forces that free and fair elections are also for them and their children. They are the rakyat too.”

Another steering committee member, Maria Chin Abdullah, slammed the police for continuing to harass those who have already filed police reports of brutality.

“This morning I received a call from a man who had filed a report on Sunday over the shooting of water cannons and tear gas into Tung Shin Hospital,” she said. “The police called him today demanding that he tone down his statement. This has to stop.”

Both Ambiga and Maria urged eye-witnesses to lodge police reports and send a copy to Bersih for documentation and further action.

Ambiga also confirmed a statement by former prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, today that he had urged her to heed the King’s advice where the rally was concerned. However, she clarified that Abdullah had not asked her himself to call off the rally.

When pressed for further details of the meeting, she apologetically said, “It’s confidential and I don’t want to breach that privacy.” - FMT

Don’t roll out red carpet for Najib, Britain urged

Police action against citizens during Saturday's rally has jeopardized the country's reputation as a moderate democratic state, says international human rights community.

PETALING JAYA: The consensus from international organisations is that the red carpet should not be rolled out for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak when he begins his official visit to Britain today.

Najib begins his four-day official visit to the UK today, after which he is expected to be in Rome to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.

Najib has said that street protests are not the Malaysian way but the International Human Rights community are angry with him and the police force for denying Malaysians their basic rights during Saturday’s Bersih rally.

Amnesty International (AI) had even gone a step further and called for heads of states to censor Najib .
“Prime Minister Najib’s government rode roughshod over thousands of Malaysians exercising their right to peaceful protest,” said Donna Guest, deputy Asia-Pacific director at Amnesty International in a statement.

“This violent repression by the Malaysian police flies in the face of international human rights standards and cannot be allowed to continue,” she  added.

“The British government shouldn’t reward this brutality by rolling out a red carpet for Malaysia’s prime minister… (British Prime Minister) David Cameron should tell prime minister Najib that these human rights violations against peaceful reform protests are unacceptable,” she said.

Amenesty International also called on the Vatican to press Najib to respect human rights when he visits the pope later this week.

AI also highlighted the many complaints of police hard-handedness during the rally. It said that the use of force by the police was “excessive, unnecessary and designed to instill fear”.

The Malaysian government however has denied this and said that it has video footages of its own to show otherwise.

The international human right watchdog also asked the Malaysian authorities to investigate claims that police failed to provide immediate assistance to Baharuddin Ahmad, the husband of PKR Setia Wangsa chief, who passed away in the vicinity of KLCC due to heart complications during the rally.

Undermining progress

The United Nations (UN) had also took Najib and the police to task for the handling of Saturday’s rally and events leading up to it.

Frank La Rue, UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said that the Malaysian government “risks undermining democratic progress to the country” with the pre-emptive measures taken to derail the rally.

“Declaring Bersih illegal based on claims that it is trying to topple the government or it is a risk to national security and public order – in the absence of any credible evidence to substantiate such claims – is also an unnecessary restriction of civil and political rights,” La Rue added.

The UN also reminded Malaysia that as a member of the Human Rights Council, Malaysia has pledged to uphold the “highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights”.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch highlighted that the estimation by the authorities over the number of protesters “lacked any credibility”.

“The claims that the number of protesters only numbered 6,000 lacks any credibility, it defies logic that the police were so efficient that they arrested almost one of every three protesters,” said  Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of the organization’s Asia Division.

Bersih organisers have said that about 50 000 supporters have turned up for Saturday’s rally. Police, however, have put the number at only 6,000. Press reports estimate that there were 10,000 to 15,000 people who participated in the rally.

“This is a maelstrom of the Malaysian authorities’ own making.  The failure of the top levels of the Malaysian government to engage in good faith dialogue with citizens demanding basic electoral reforms is the heart of the matter,” he said.

“The biggest victim is the country’s reputation as a moderate democratic state,” he added. - FMT

Suhakam jamin siasat dakwaan ‘pesta pukul rakyat’

"Kami akan ambil perhatian dan akan mengkaji bukti (aduan) sebelum mengumumkan tindakan susulan," kata Naib Presiden Prof Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee.
KUALA LUMPUR: Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) memberi jaminan akan menyiasat aduan dakwaan mengenai tindakan polis menggunakan kekerasan terhadap peserta perhimpunan Bersih 2.0 di sini Sabtu lalu.

Naib Presidennya, Prof Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee berkata pihaknya mengambil serius terhadap isu ini dan akan mengkaji aduan yang dikemukakan Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat sebelum memutuskan tindakan selanjutnya.

“Kami akan ambil perhatian dan akan mengkaji bukti (aduan) sebelum mengumumkan tindakan susulan yang akan kami ambil selepas berbincang dengan pesuruhjaya Suhakam yang lain,” katanya dalam sesi dialog di pejabat Suhakam di sini petang tadi.

Pemuda PAS sebelum ini mengemukakan aduan mengenai empat perkara mengenai penggunaan kekerasan tidak munasabah dan penafian akses orang awam kepada peguam semasa Bersih.

Aduan setebal tujuh muka surat itu membangkitkan mengenai tindakan polis dan pasukan simpanan persekutuan (FRU) mengasari orang awam yang berhimpun secara aman tanpa senjata yang jelas melanggar Perkara 10 (1)(b) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang membenarkan hak untuk berhimpun.

Menurut aduan itu, orang awam ditahan, ditendang dan dipukul dengan belantan sebelum digari, selain tindakan polis yang menggunakan meriam air dan gas pemedih mata sehingga mendatangkan kecederaan terhadap orang awam.

Selain itu, aduan itu juga membangkitkan mengenai hak penafian peguam oleh peserta yang ditahan polis, hak kebebasan beragama mengikut

Perkara 11 Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang dinafikan polis apabila Masjid Negara dan Masjid Jamek ditutup sehingga orang awam terpaksa bersembahyang dikaki lima jalan.

“Kami mahu Suhakam menubuhkan panel penyiasat seperti yang diperuntukkan dalam Seksyen 12(1) Akta Suhakam 1999 bagi menyiasat

penggunaan kekerasan Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM), layanan buruk terhadap tahanan dan penafian akses kepada peguam semasa dalam tahanan.

“Kami juga mahu Suhakam mengisytiharkan tindakan PDRM itu adalah menyalahi undang-undang dan bertentangan dengan Perlembagaan dan mahu polis memohon maaf secara terbuka kepada tahanan yang dikasari,” kata ketika mengemukakan aduan itu.

Polis tidak bertanggungjawab

Sementara itu, Pesuruhjaya Suhakan Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah berkata tindakan polis yang menahan orang awam tanpa tujuan dan dakwaan yang khusus dilihat sebagai tidak bertanggungjawab.

Sehubungan itu, beliau mahu seramai mungkin saksi tampil mengemukakan aduan bagi menguatkan lagi penubuhan inkuiri itu.

“Kalau pihak lain soal pun kami ada bukti yang tidak boleh dinafikan,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Ketua Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi berkata pihaknya mengecam tindakan polis yang dianggapnya sebagai ‘pesta’ apabila memukul dan menahan rakyat yang berhimpun tanpa belas kasihan seperti melayan penjenayah yang telah melakukan kesalahan berat.

“Kami akan berbincang untuk mengemukakan saman terhadap PDRM, Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan kerajaan,” katanya.

Sementara dalam sesi dialog kira-kira sejam antara Pemuda dengan Suhakan turut mendengar keluhan beberapa peserta Bersih yang mempunyai pengalaman sendiri dikasari polis semasa menyertai perhimpunan itu.

Why don’t the politicians shut the fuck up?

Ambiga has to put her foot down and tell the politicians to go take a hike. She has to show the politicians who the boss is. She must not be afraid to reveal the truth. I do not want her to resign. And if she has to tell the politicians to shut the fuck up then so be it. I will stand by her and support her if she needs to kick out the politicians and keep BERSIH free from political interference.

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Demo not organised by political parties: Hadi Awang
(Bernama) - PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had on Monday, July 11 denied that the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections' (Bersih) illegal rally in the federal capital was organised by political parties.
He said the illegal rally, which he also participated in, was joined by Malaysians of all walks of life.
He said this when speaking to his supporters who had gathered at the Sultan Mahmud Airport here to welcome him on his return to Terengganu. Hadi also said that he was treated well by the police while being detained for participating in the illegal rally on Saturday. 
Bersih 3.0 if no electoral reforms before GE, says PAS
PAS has called on the Najib administration to bow to Bersih’s eight-point reforms to the electoral system or face a repeat of the rally that plunged the capital into chaos on Saturday.
Party deputy president Mohamad Sabu said today it would hold another rally before the next general election if the Election Commission (EC) failed to implement the reforms demanded by the coalition of 62 NGOs.
“The EC should act. If there is no action by the next election, we will suggest that Bersih holds another demonstration,” he said at a press conference.
Despite Bersih claiming that 50,000 had poured into the city last weekend, Mohamad threatened a larger rally, stating that “PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has already said this is only the beginning.”
He also said the Islamist party would ask Bersih to declare Saturdays “Bersih Day” where members of the public should wear yellow to show their support for free and fair elections.
Asked if he was calling for the public to disobey the law, Mohamad said “the yellow shirts are only illegal to Umno but no court has declared them unlawful.”
We appear to be getting mixed signals from BERSIH and the political parties. On the one hand we are told that BERSIH is a non-political party, rakyat’s initiative. On the other hand the politicians are making all sorts of statements regarding BERSIH. I just pity Ambiga who must be having sleepless nights trying to do damage control on the statements the politicians are making.
Can the politicians just please shut the fuck up and leave BERSIH alone?
Okay, some politicians or political leaders may be in BERSIH, even in the committee proper. But they should be in BERSIH in their individual capacities and not as their party representatives.
The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) President, Haris Ibrahim, is also in the committee. But he is there in his personal capacity as Haris Ibrahim and not as the President of MCLM. So whatever statements he makes is a statement from Haris Ibrahim and not a statement from MCLM.
Sure, Mat Sabu can make statements regarding BERSIH if he so wishes. Whether these statements are made with the approval or request of the BERSIH committee or on his own initiative I do not know. But whatever it may be he should speak as a BERSIH committee member and not as a PAS leader.
I have noticed that others such as Anwar Ibrahim and the PAS president are also making statements. Anwar even said he is prepared to call off the 9th July 2001 BERSIH rally if the government can commit itself to electoral reforms.
Are Anwar Ibrahim, the PAS president, etc., in the BERSIH committee? If not then why are they making statements on behalf of BERSIH? If they are in the committee then did BERSIH request them to make these statements on behalf of BERSIH? If BERSIH did request them to make these statements should they not be making the statements in the name of BERSIH instead of in the name of their political parties? 
When I write articles such as these in Malaysia Today they ignore what I say. When anyone asks them about what I write they just brush it off and say that I am out of touch and no longer know what is happening on the ground and that I should just be ignored. Some even say that I am being paid by Najib Tun Razak to whack the opposition so no need to take heed with what I say. Then when I appear on TV3 and repeat all that I have said they get angry.
But do they give me any choice? We try to talk to them ‘behind closed doors’ but get nowhere. I write article after article and they just brush them off as laments from someone out of touch with the ground. How else do we get their attention? Maybe it is time I did a second interview with TV3 to say what I want to say on national television.
BERSIH is a good thing. Even some people in Barisan Nasional think so. But once the politicians hijack BERSIH and give the impression that the political parties are the hidden hands behind BERSIH that screws things up big time.
I really won’t be surprised if Ambiga throws in the towel and gives up. And that would be a crying shame. Then who takes over BERSIH? Anwar Ibrahim? Abdullah Ahmad Badawi? Khairy Jamaluddin, maybe?
We need Ambiga to stay on and to continue to head BERSIH. But it is becoming harder and harder for her to do that if BERSIH is going to be seen as a tool of the politicians or a vehicle for Anwar Ibrahim. That is the bottom line. The politicians are slaying the goose that lays the golden egg. BERSIH is all we have to achieve electoral reforms. Even then we are not sure if we can see electoral reforms.
There are some events that happened on 9th July 2011 that have raised quite a lot of concern. I do not want to talk about them yet but will if it becomes necessary. Luckily some people in BERSIH smelled trouble and quickly took decisions to save the day. If not we may have seen disaster on that day.
I am concerned that the effort by the politicians to hijack BERSIH may only be part of the issue. My bigger concern is that there may be a hidden agenda or udang sebalik batu. But then, as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad always says: I have a suspicious mind. And I am a strong believer in conspiracy theories.
Ambiga has to put her foot down and tell the politicians to go take a hike. She has to show the politicians who the boss is. She must not be afraid to reveal the truth. I do not want her to resign. And if she has to tell the politicians to shut the fuck up then so be it. I will stand by her and support her if she needs to kick out the politicians and keep BERSIH free from political interference.
BERSIH’s future depends on how she exerts her authority and not allow herself to be usurped by politicians who have their own hidden agenda and are trying to use BERSIH in achieving this. If not then BERSIH 2.0 will be the last we see of the effort to see electoral reforms in Malaysia. And if we do not see electoral reforms then Barisan Nasional is going to be in power till the end of time.
That is the crux to the whole matter.

Bersih rally important, but not a game changer - Malaysiakini

COMMENT It is far from easy to objectively evaluate the political and electoral impact of the Bersih 2.0 rally in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, especially when one was in the middle of the said rally, receiving 'presents' in the form of tear gas canisters from our beloved police force.
But given the huge amount of press attention and public spotlight in the lead-up to and during the rally, it would be remiss not to consider the possible political and electoral repercussions, especially since the first Bersih rally was seen as being instrumental in sparking off the March 2008 electoral tsunami.
bersih rally petaling street 090711It is useful to differentiate between the political impact of the rally - the overall negative backlash against the authorities, the increased level of political awareness among first-time marchers, the effect of social media on overall sentiment - with the electoral impact of the rally - how this backlash is distributed among the different regions and individual parliament and state seats.
My assessment is that the political impact of the rally outweighs the electoral impact of the rally because of the relative lack of violence on the part of the police and the Klang-Valley-focused nature of this campaign.
There was a real possibility that Bersih 2.0 would be a 'game changer' in Malaysia's political history. The over-reaction of the police coupled with the refusal on the part of the prime minister and his home minister to find an agreeable compromise with the organisers of the rally set the scene for a potentially violent showdown.
bersih rally july 9 crowd face-off with police 1The potential of as many as 100,000 participants gathering on the streets of KL could have overwhelmed the police and resulted in many acts of unplanned violence and possibly even fatalities among the marchers.
In the end, while the reaction of the police were excessive, especially in light of the peaceful nature of the rallies taking place in different parts of the city, they followed a well-rehearsed playbook of using non-lethal means of dispersing the crowd including teargas, water cannons and selective arrests.
The one unfortunate death which did occur, that of Baharuddin Ahmad, was as a result of a heart condition rather than the direct consequence of a police assault.
There wasn't a 'Mohammed Bouzizi' moment (the Tunisian fruit seller who set himself alight) or the 'occupation' of a symbolic location (like Tahrir Square). The police were far more restrained compared to their counterparts in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria.

Lack of violence limits electoral backlash
It is because of this relative lack of violence that limits the electoral backlash against the BN. Please do not misunderstand me here. I am not advocating for acts of self-immolation and provocation that will result in lethal police force being applied as a means of swinging voter sentiment against the ruling coalition.
NONEI am merely pointing to the political reality that the voter backlash is somewhat commensurate with the level of violence displayed by the authorities.
If the authorities had reacted by shooting at the unarmed protesters which would most definitely have resulted in fatalities, the condemnation which would have been heaped on the government would have been much more severe and widespread.
This is not to say that there was no electoral impact as a result of the manner in which the government mismanaged and over-reacted to the demands of the Bersih coalition.
One can be certain that the voters in the Klang Valley who were unnecessarily inconvenienced by the arbitrary roadblocks set up days before the July 9 rally would blame the government and the police rather than Bersih or the opposition parties which were mobilising support for the Bersih rally.
NONERoadblocks set up in places as far as Dengkil would surely be seen as excessive and not commensurate to the supposed 'threat' posed by the Bersih rally.
Klang Valley voters are also much more likely to consume news through alternative media sources and would discount much of the 'spin' that was being issued by the mainstream press.
In addition, these voters are also more likely to have friends and family who participated in the rally and can give a first-hand account to contrast the peaceful approach of the marchers with the uncompromising and unreasonable actions taken by the police.
Others outside the Klang Valley who would also have been incensed and taken aback by the police reaction are likely to be urban dwellers with some political interest and knowledge as well as access to online sources of information.
But these are voters who had already voted for the opposition in 2008 and would likely, especially after Bersih 2.0, vote for the opposition in the next general election.
Sure, there may have been some fence-sitters in the urban areas who may have been disillusioned with Pakatan Rakyat after March 2008 who would now not vote for the BN because of Bersih 2.0, but the outcome in these urban seats would be the same as it was in 2008.
Impact likely to be more limited in marginal seats
This negative electoral backlash against the BN will be helpful to the opposition in retaining marginal seats like Hulu Langat, Wangsa Maju and Kuala Langat in Selangor/KL but its impact is likely to be much more limited in marginal Pakatan seats like Padang Serai and Kulim Bandar Baharu in Kedah and in the less urbanised seats of Indera Mahkota in Pahang and Bagan Serai in Perak, just to name a few.
NONEThis assessment does not downplay the political awakening experienced by many of the first-time marchers at this rally, including the many middle class participants who experienced their first whiff of tear gas (such as myself).
I have yet to find someone who said they regretted attending this rally. Many experienced acts of kindness by fellow marchers, many were impressed by the peaceful orientation of the rallies and many felt a Malaysian bonding experience that was more genuine than any concocted by empty sloganeering.
This is where Bersih has been the most successful - in maximising the political impact among those who either participated or supported the right to participate in this rally. The challenge now is to translate these experiences into continued advocacy and activism in the lead up to the next general election, whether it is through NGOs or political parties.
NONEThis leads to the question of 'what's next' for Bersih?
The movement has proved its point by showing that a large number of Malaysians can gather, despite the many roadblocks set up by the police, and march peacefully, despite the heavy handed reactions of the police. But a Bersih 3.0 rally is not likely in the near future, at least not before the next general election.
The committee will try to find a more low-key manner to submit the memorandum to the king after which a time of regrouping and reevaluation is needed. It makes sense to leverage on the current momentum by expanding Bersih to areas beyond the Klang Valley.
One of the factors which lessened the political impact of Bersih 2.0 was its inability to mobilise groups to rally for the cause in cities all over Malaysia.
If voters in Johor Baru, Kuantan, Malacca, Kuala Terengganu, Sibu and Sandakan could have seen or experienced the over-reaction of the police with their own eyes (or the eyes of their friends and relatives), the negative electoral backlash against the authorities would have been much more significant.
Key 'what next' questions
Whether or not Bersih has the resources and capacity (or even if it wants) to expand its reach is unclear and will be one of the key 'what next' questions.
NONEFinally, the leaders of the opposition cannot afford to assume that Bersih 2.0 will be a game changer in the same way as the first Bersih march.
They cannot assume that the negative publicity generated against the authorities will be sufficient to carry them to Putrajaya in the next election.
Focusing on the actions of the authorities during this rally detracts from the other more important objectives of finding suitable candidates and doing the necessary groundwork especially in the vulnerable Pakatan and BN areas.
This rally was an important political event, especially among those who participated and the many more who supported the spirit of this movement, but it is not a game-changer. Real change and reform requires greater sacrifices than just a Saturday afternoon rally.

ONG KIAN MENG is pioneering a Master in Public Policy (MPP) at UCSI University. He will not quickly forget the feeling of being tear-gassed. He can be reached at

In Memoriam: Yang Mulia Raja Aziz Addruse

Our distinguished Past President, Yang Mulia Raja Aziz Addruse, passed away peacefully earlier today at the age of 75.
Allahyarham was called to the Malaysian Bar on 8 Jan 1966.  From Lincoln’s Inn, Allahyarham was the first President of the Malaysian Bar to serve three terms — 1976-1978, 1988-1989 and 1992-1993.  A leading advocate, Allahyarham continued to be active in Bar Council work, and appeared regularly in the Appellate Courts as a senior counsel.  He had led and argued many of the difficult and controversial cases for the Malaysian Bar.
Those wishing to pay respects can do so at his residence at No 29 Jalan Nusa, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, before 9:00 am tomorrow (Wednesday, 13 July 2011).  The funeral will be at noon tomorrow.

Bar Council and the Malaysian Bar convey our deepest condolences and sincere sympathies to his family members on their loss.
Citation for Raja Aziz Addruse: Recipient of the Lifetime Professional Integrity Award at the Third Professional Integrity Awards Night (11 April 2010)

Presented by Ragunath Kesavan, President, Malaysian Bar
Honourable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is an honour and a privilege for me to read the citation for Yang Mulia Raja Aziz Addruse.  Ungku, as he is fondly known within the profession, is first and foremost a gentleman, well respected by everyone on the Bench and the Bar.  There are many distinguished members and leaders of the Bar, present and past, and Ungku is definitely a “first amongst equals” and the conscience of the Malaysian Bar!
Born in Chemor, Perak, Ungku received his early education in Perak.  In 1954 Ungku was awarded a scholarship by the Perak State Government to study law in England.  He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Bristol in 1958 and was called to the English Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 1960. 

He returned to Malaysia (then Malaya) in 1960 to join the Federal Judicial and Legal Service as a deputy public prosecutor.  He was appointed Assistant Parliamentary Draftsman in 1961, and held the post of Deputy Parliamentary Draftsman from 1963 until he resigned from the Judicial and Legal Services in June 1965.

In January 1966 he was admitted and enrolled as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the then-Federation of Malaya, and commenced his practice at the Malaysian Bar.  Initially practising as both an advocate and solicitor, he has, since about 1988, practised only as counsel.

He was elected as President of the Malaysian Bar and Chairman of the Bar Council of Malaysia for 1976-1977 and was re-elected to serve a second term for 1977-1978.  During those periods he represented the Malaysian Bar at meetings of LAWASIA, the Asean Law Association and other regional law bodies.

In March 1988 he was again elected as President of the Malaysian Bar and Chairman of the Bar Council.  In that year the Malaysian Bar came out strongly against the move of the Malaysian Government to remove Tun Salleh Abas, the then-Lord President of the Supreme Court, for what was considered to be political reasons.  The events of that year resulted in the dismissal of the Lord President and two senior judges of the Supreme Court, as well as the suspension of three others.

In 1992 he again served as President of the Malaysian Bar and Chairman of the Bar Council.  He did not stand for re-election at the end of his terms of office in 1989 and 1993.

He was a member of the Bar Council for the following periods: 1968-1983; 1988-1990;  1992-1994 and 1999-2001.

As the President of the Malaysian Bar in 1988 and in 1992, he led the Bar in times of serious assaults on the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary.  He answered the call to serve, as the Malaysian Bar felt that we needed Ungku to lead and steer the Bar through those difficult times. 

Though greatly interested, and acknowledged as an expert, in constitutional law and administrative law, he has been quite varied in the fields of law in which he has practised.  Some of the matters he has been engaged in have involved issues of law relating to construction of statutes, general elections, election petitions, contempt of court, land, building contracts, companies (oppression of minority interests), contracts, arbitration, governmental abuse of power, and fundamental rights under the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

He has appeared as lead counsel for, among others, Tun Salleh Abas who, as the Lord President of the Supreme Court in 1988, was alleged to have committed acts of misconduct; Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia who was charged in the High Court with committing four offences of corrupt practice; Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy who, as the Secretary of the Bar Council in 1985, was charged in the High Court with sedition; for Manjeet Singh Dhillon,  then-Secretary of the Bar Council, who was cited in the Supreme Court for contempt of that court for statements he had made in the performance of the duties of his office;  for the Bar Council in an application (in the High Court and in the subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court), to challenge the constitutionality of a legislation which provided that advocates and solicitors of less than seven years’ standing at the Malaysian Bar could not be members of the Malaysian Bar or of the Bar Committee of any of the States of Malaysia.

He was a member of the Mission to Hong Kong, appointed by the International Commission of Jurists in April 1991, to gather information and obtain views over the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997.  The Mission’s report entitled Countdown to 1997 was published in March 1992.

Since 1991, he has been an Executive Committee member of the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM).  From 1992 to 1997, and from 2000 to 2001, he was the President of that Society.
He was elected as a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists  in May 2006.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is indeed an honour and privilege to read this citation for Ungku.

THE Malaysian Professional Centre (Balai Ikhtisas Malaysia (BIM)) together with Rotary International District 3300 and Integrity International Malaysia (IIM) organised the third Professional Integrity Awards Night on 11 April 2010 at the Royal Selangor Club Kuala Lumpur.

Dewan Negara Adjourned, 17 Bills Passed

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 (Bernama) -- The Dewan Negara was adjourned sine die after sitting for six days from July 4, during which 17 Bills were passed.

During the six-day session, the senate passed 17 Bills, including the National Wages Consultative Council Bill 2011, was debated.

Among other Bills passed were the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Bill 2010; Kootu Funds (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill 2011; Co-operative College (Incorporation)(Amendment) Bill 2010; Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Incorporation) (Amendment) Bill 2011).

Promotion of Investments (Amendment) Bill 2011; Supplementary Supply (2011) Bill 2011; National Sports Institute Bill 2011; Judges Remuneration (Amendment) Bill 2011; Trade Descriptions Bill 2011; Petroleum (Income Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2011).

Securities Commission (Amendment) Bill 2011; Capital Markets and Services (Amendment) Bill 2011; Money Services Business Bill 2011; International Organizations (Privileges and Immunities) (Amendment) Bill 2011; Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (Amendment) Bill 2010) and the Construction Industry Development Board, Malaysia (Amendment) Bill 2011.