Bin Laden's demise has made al-Qaeda "a lot more rudderless"Photo: AP
Osama bin Laden bemoaned "disaster after disaster" inflicted by the US onslaught on al-Qaeda before his death a year ago and even mulled changing his terror group's name, a top US official said.
President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism aide John Brennan on Monday also argued that a US drone campaign had left al-Qaeda seriously weakened, and unable to replace wiped-out leaders.
Mr Brennan said in a speech in Washington that the terror group was losing "badly," was a "shadow" of its former self, and that its core leadership would soon be "no longer relevant."
He said the al-Qaeda leader's frustration at the demise of his group, which was behind the September 11 attacks in 2001, poured out in documents seized from his Pakistan compound by US Navy SEAL commandos who killed him a year ago.
"He confessed to 'disaster after disaster'" for al-Qaeda, Mr Brennan said, noting that some of the captured material would be published online this week by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point.
Mr Brennan also said that subsequent US operations to wipe out senior al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan had left the group reeling.
"Under intense pressure in the tribal regions of Pakistan, they have fewer places to train and groom the next generation of operatives, they're struggling to attract new recruits.
"Morale is low," Mr Brennan said in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, which was briefly interrupted by a Code Pink anti-war demonstrator who was hauled out of the room by a burly policeman.
News of bin Laden's death broke in Washington late on May 1, 2011, and in Pakistan on May 2, owing to the time difference.
Mr Brennan said that the documents gathered at bin Laden's lair in Abbottabad, outside Islamabad, show the late al-Qaeda leader urged subordinates to flee for places "away from aircraft photography and bombardment."
Things got so bad for the group which plotted the 9/11 attacks, the deadliest terror strike in US history, that bin Laden considered changing the group's name in a rebranding effort, he said.
Mr Brennan's speech will likely prompt new claims by Republicans that the Obama campaign is exploiting the anniversary of the bin Laden raid to boost the president's prospects of reelection in November.
Senior Obama aides are clearly using the president's decision to launch the high-risk raid as an implicit comparison to the character of his presumptive Republican rival Mitt Romney.
The president himself implicitly suggested in a news conference on Monday that Romney may not have ordered the high-stakes raid last year.
Mr Brennan also claimed that the administration's tactics against al-Qaeda had made it harder than ever for the terror network to plan and execute large-scale, potentially catastrophic attacks.
"Today, it is increasingly clear that compared to 9/11, the core al-Qaeda leadership is a shadow of its former self," Mr Brennan said.
"al-Qaeda has been left with just a handful of capable leaders and operatives, and with continued pressure is on the path to its destruction.
"And for the first time since this fight began, we can look ahead and envision a world in which the al-Qaeda core is simply no longer relevant."
Mr Brennan's speech amounted to the administration's most comprehensive public survey about the state of the struggle against al-Qaeda.
He spent considerable time defending strikes by unmanned US aerial drones in nations like Pakistan, crediting them with dismantling al-Qaeda's top leadership and causing bin Laden's distress.
Mr Brennan said the strikes were legal, ethical and proportional, and added that Obama had instructed officials to share more details about the secret war.
Despite lauding the administration's achievements in hammering top al-Qaeda leaders and the group's capacity, Mr Brennan also warned that global terror threats were still potent, particularly those emanating from Africa.
"As the al-Qaeda core falters, it continues to look to its affiliates and adherents to carry on its murderous cause," Mr Brennan said, warning that the group's merger with the Shebab group in Somalia was "worrying."
He said that Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remained a threat, despite the strike that took out radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who directed its external operations.
Christian women can face hardship in Pakistan, rights groups say.
By BosNewsLife Asia Service
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)--
There was concern Tuesday, May 1, over the situation of a young
Pakistani mother who local Christians said has been "falsely accused" of
"blaspheming" Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Shamim Bibi, 26, was detained February 28 at her home in Khichiwala
village in Pakistan's Punjab province and has since been held behind
bars, explained The Voice, a group providing legal assistance to
"persecuted Christians" in Pakistan.
Police in the provincial Bahawalnagar district charged Shamim, a mother
of a five-month-old girl, after neighbours accused her of uttering
remarks against the Prophet Muhammad, rights investigators said.
In Pakistan, such an act is punishable by life imprisonment or death under internationally cricized blasphemy legislation.
Her husband, Bashir Masih, and other family members have reportedly said
that the young woman was "trapped in the case" by relatives who opposed
her devotion to Christianity and refusal to embrace Islam.
Eventually, her neighbor and a friend complained about the Christian to
the local Imam, identified as Syed Azhar Ali Shah. The Voice said. The
imam and the two men reportedly went to local police who deteined the
woman shortly after midnight in February.
"She cries in police lockups and pray to the Lord for her freedom from
these false accusation of blasphemy so that she may breath in the open
air with her daughter," Christians said.
Lawyers involved in the case have complained that the case will take
time, despite an apparent lack of evidence against the Christian.
Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five not related to the other accussed woman, has been held since 2009 on blasphemy charges.
Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee at the briefing. — Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 — The Bar Council has blamed the police for the violence of last Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 rally, accusing the authorities of human rights violations and widespread brutality.
Lim Chee Wee, who is Bar Council president, said that its monitoring team found more instances of police brutality compared to last year’s Bersih event.
A highly critical Lim said the authorities had failed to take heed of criticisms and recommendations outlined by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) with regards to police conduct during Bersih’s first two rallies, and lamented on how “little has changed.”
“It is incomprehensible, if not a reflection of the sheer incompetence or arrogance of the police force that it has not learnt from its past mistakes in the management of assemblies of people exercising their constitutional right, so well documented and analysed by Suhakam in its two reports and the pending ongoing inquiry.
“Police brutality this time around has been magnified, there is more police brutality (compared to last year.) There was arbitrary use of tear gas, water cannons,” Lim told reporters here.
The lawyer said that last weekend’s events showed an “urgent” need for the police force to undergo a “transformation programme”, to be changed by force of statute through the establishment of an “independent and credible external mechanism.”
“This will be achieved through the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) envisaged by the Royal Commission on the Enhancement of the Management and Operations of the Police,” Lim added.
The Bar’s interim report found, among other things, the use of force by the police was far worse this time around. — file pic
He said the Bar’s interim report on the Bersih 3.0 rally had found that:
1. The rally was peaceful until around 3pm when the police unleashed water cannon and tear gas on the crowd;
2. The use of force by the police without any obvious provocation or cause, was far worse, indiscriminate, disproportionate and excessive;
3. Police brutality was more widespread;
4. There was a concerted effort by the police to prevent and stop any recording of their actions and conduct;
5. Police fired tear gas directly at the crowd and their firing pattern was to box in the participants rather than allow them to disperse quickly
6. After which pockets of retaliatory behaviour was exhibited by some participants of the rally to the wrongful use of force by the police;
7. The police were observed taunting and mocking the crowd;
8. When items were thrown by some of the participants at the police, the police stooped to return like for like; and
9. Not all police personnel were wearing and displaying their police identification number on their uniforms.
Lim also said that the authorities had disregarded provisions within the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (UNBPUFF), the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (UNCC), and Amnesty International guidelines.
“Principle 13 (of the UNBPUFF) states that in the dispersal of assemblies that are unlawful but non-violent, law enforcement officials shall avoid the use of force or, where that is not practicable, shall restrict such force to the minimum use,” he said.
Lim also pointed out that a 2006 Suhakam report had recommended that the police and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) implement a five-stage process in any utilisation of force: “verbal persuasion, unarmed physical force, force using non-lethal weapons, force using impact weapons and deadly force.”
“At which point did the police comply with the recommendations set by Suhakam?” he asked.
A legal assistant who went to the aid of a Chinese couple being assaulted by police during Bersih 3.0, ended with broken ribs and head injuries.
KUALA LUMPUR: Being a good Samaritan landed M Yuktesuaran, 25, in the hospital with swollen ribs, bruised arms, injured thigh, bruised face and a ruptured ulcer.
These injuries were sustained at the hands of the police at the Bersih 3.0 rally on the evening of April 28.
Yuktesuaran went to the aid of a young Chinese couple who were being manhandled by the police when he too was beaten up.
Yuktesuaran, a legal assistant, is still being warded at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
According to him, he arrived at Jalan Leboh Ampang at about 3pm that Saturday when the tear gas was already released.
Seeing the fracas unfolding, he thought that it would best to stay put at Leboh Ampang and help the many people who needed water and salt.
He said he was not even wearing yellow.
At around 6pm, he said that he decided to make his way to Masjid Jamek LRT station to meet his cousin. There were hordes of police there who were yelling “Keluar!” Keluar!” (get out!).
A split second later, the police began ambushing people – catching them at random, beating them with bare fists and hands and shooting some kind of pellets at the crowd.
Kicked in the face
Soon after, the crowd, chanting “Bersih! Bersih!” began to move towards Dataran Merdeka when they were suddenly surrounded by about 200 policemen.
The rally-goers were ambushed and pounced upon by the police who did not have their name tags on their uniforms.
“I saw a young Chinese coupled being roughed up by the police, near the HSBC bank. The boy was punched repeatedly and shoved up against the wall.
“The girl couldn’t move because her arm was linked with the boy’s and she was punched too. I ran up to them and yanked the girl free and she was crying. I asked her if that was her boyfriend and she said yes.
“The police were not happy with my intervention and yelled at me, ‘kau ni samseng?’ (are you a thug). I replied that I wasn’t, only that they have no right to rough up innocent citizens.
“When I said this, I felt a hard knock at the back of my head and then someone began dragging me by my collar. I told them that I will not resist arrest, but I have a right to know why I’m being arrested.
“The reply I received was, ‘Tak payah tahu’ “(you don’t need to know).”
Yuktesuaran said that he was dragged to the barracks at Dataran Merdeka where there were between 1,000 and 1,500 policemen and FRU personnel.
“Being at the rally, I was prepared for the consequence because you do reap what you sow. I was approached by a legal aid personnel who offered me help, but was told by a policeman to leave.”
Yuktesuaran was then taken to the Royal Selangor Club where there were more police barracks. While he was being led away, he was repeatedly hit and kicked by a line of policemen lining the pathway.
“One of the policemen must have recognised me from my various court room appearances when I was assisting Sankaran Nair in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case and called out to the rest, “Ini peguam! Ini anjing Anwar! (He is a lawyer. He’s Anwar’s lapdog).
“I suffered more beatings and one of the policemen tried to deliver a flying kick to my face. When I managed to avoid it, he asked his colleagues to hold me down and he kicked me in my face,” Yuktesuaran said.
After the beatings, Yuktesuaran was also verbally abused when he asked for some medical attention.
He suffers from a severe H Pylori condition (H Pylori is a bacteria inducing severe ulcers), which causes extreme discomfort and pain in the stomach.
“I was denied access to my lawyers and an elderly couple exiting from the club took pity on me and helped call Sankaran.
“After 30 minutes, I was put in an ambulance and taken to a detention camp where I saw at least 50 injured Bersih rally-goers being detained.
“I was held there for another 30 minutes before being sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital where the doctors were very good and attentive,” he said.
When asked if he regrets any of this, Yuktesuaran was quick to reply: “No. Not one bit. If there were a Bersih 4.0, I will be there again at the front lines, helping whomever needs my help.
“I have been advised by Sankaran to pursue legal action against the police and this is something we will discuss further once I am back on my feet.
“I intend to report back to work tomorrow because I cannot take this lying down and I must take action now.”
The government has much more to answer than Bersih over the outbreak of violence during Saturday's rally, says the electoral watchdog.
KUALA LUMPUR: There was possibly “more going on at the barricades than meets the eye” before it was breached during Saturday’s rally, said Bersih.
However, despite the cryptic hint, Bersih 3.0 said that it reserves further comment on the matter until “all the evidence is presented.”
“Apart from the video evidence to date, we are receiving information that there was possibly more going-on at the barricades than meets the eye which may have been misleading to the people near them as to whether they could go through,” Bersih said in a statement today, without explaining further.
Meanwhile, Bersih reiterated that it viewed the court order obtained by the police to bar the public from entering Dataran Merdeka as “illegal”.
However, it also said it “does not condone the breaching of the barricades and the parties responsible should account to the public for their actions”.
“The breach of the barricades at Dataran Merdeka came after Bersih 3.0 declared the rally a success and gave instructions to the crowd to disperse.”
Bersih said the more serious issue was “whether the breaching of the barricades was an excuse for the disproportionate and excessive use of force by the police”.
Bersih said it had many questions such as:
Who gave the order to come after the participants in that fashion?
Who were the officers in Bersih T-shirts in the crowd?
Who were those men in blue who had no identification numbers or names on their uniforms?
Is it true that busloads of people were brought in just to create havoc and if so who brought them in?
How do you do explain the vast difference in the behaviour of the police before and after the firing of tear gas?
What exactly were their (police’s) instructions?
Why is the government through the mainstream media choosing not to give the whole picture?
Bersih, which also called for an independent inquiry by Suhakam, said while Bersih had to answer questions, the government “has much more to answer for.”
“The chilling reality is that the brutality shown this year by the police far exceeded the brutality shown last year.
“The majority of the participants were already dispersing. It was only those who breached the barricades that needed to be policed. The police were therefore only justified in taking reasonable measures to push back the participants beyond the barriers,” read the Bersih statement.
Bersih said the police’s action in firing “round after round” of tear gas at participants near Dataran Merdeka, along Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Pudu and as far away as Petaling Street, was unjustified.
It added that the police also should not have beat up those they caught, while at the same time, preventing the participants from leaving the city by not letting the trains stop at the Masjid Jamek LRT station.
Bersih said both the organisers and the government had equal responsibilities to ensure peace and security.
“Yet in this case, the state imposed the entire burden on Bersih.
“Bersih 2.0 had full control until tear gas was fired. Once that happened the burden shifted to the police to handle the situation that they had created,” said Bersih.
PKR deputy division chief R Thangam was detained at about midnight
today, believed to be in relation to the Bersih 3.0 rally on Apr 28.
According to PKR vice president N Surendran, who was alerted by other party members, Thangam was nabbed at his home in Seremban.
"I spoke to him at around midnight and he said he was in a police truck on the way to the Dang Wangi police station.
"We have not had any contact with him now and are being given the usual runaround (by the police)," he said.
50, is a Seremban-based businessman and PKR veteran. He is believed to
be the first person to remove the police barriers at Dataran Merdeka
during the Bersih 3.0 rally.
Speaking to Malaysiakini at about 8pm last night, Thangam said he had heard rumours that he would be arrested soon, related to the barrier breach.
Attempt to shift blame
said PKR lawyers, including himself, were given the runaround in their
attempt to provide him with legal aid as it was believed that police
will attempt to obtain a remand order today.
"We found out after much effort that he was being detained in Jinjang," he said when contacted.
Eventually, Thangam was remanded for three days by Magistrate Azmil Muntapha Abas
Surendran told Malaysiakini
later that Thangam is being investigated under Section 440 of the Penal
Code for committing "mischief during disturbances", which he described
as a minor offence.
"This is no ordinary arrest. Twenty police
personnel stormed his house close to midnight. Questions arises as to
why this sort of methods were applied for a minor offence.
clear that the government is persecuting Thangam in order to shift the
blame on Pakatan Rakyat leaders for causing trouble at Bersih 3.0," said
He said it was disturbing to note that Thangam was
treated in such a matter when there was no evidence that he committed
any violence, as opposed to the numerous police personnel who beat up
protestors and journalists.
"It appears that there are clear political instructions to persecute Thangam coming from the very top."
(Malaysiakini) Whistleblower website Sarawak Report reported yesterday that
the BBC was looking into claims that Astro had doctored one of its news
reports on the Bersih 3.0 rally last Saturday.
It highlighted a videouploaded to YouTube comparing the original BBC broadcast and the allegedly censored version shown on Astro.
In its posting, the site details that up to 30 seconds of footage from the report had been removed when aired on Astro.
seconds appears to have been cut out of the doctored version on Astro,
after the removal of three separate sequences, one which showed a
policeman on a motorbike apparently firing at demonstrators.
two other sequences that were removed included interviews with
demonstrators, explaining why they felt they had to take to the streets
to defend the right to fair elections," it said in the article.
website reports that the BBC issued a statement after being alerted by
the website, clarifying that "urgent enquiries" were being made into the
matter in order to "establish the facts".
"During the week of
World Press Freedom Day, it would be deplorable if access to independent
and impartial news was being prevented in any way," said the statement.
Astro has apparently yet to respond to the BBC on the matter.
report was included in BBC World, one of the channels available in
Astro. BBC reporter Emily Buchanan produced the two-minute report
covering the Bersih rally, according to the website.
also claims that the quality of the editing present in the report
broadcasted on Astro indicated it was professional work, suggesting that
the cuts were a deliberate effort to cast the Malaysian authorities in
In addition, the report claims that an Al Jazeera report broadcasted on Astro was also tampered with, but did not elaborate on what edits were made.
is the only satellite channel licensed by the federal government and is
owned by tycoon Ananda Krishnan, who is said to have close links with
Umno. Sarawak Report was founded by investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown, sister-in-law to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
- Police have been asked to act against the organisers of the protest
rally which turned violent and destructive in the federal capital last
Three non-governmental organisations (NGOs), namely the Suara Anak
Muda 1Malaysia, Kelab Mahasiswa 1Malaysia and Persatuan Veteran Tentera
Melayu lodged reports at the Dang Wangi district police contingent
headquarters, here, today.
Dang Wangi police chief, ACP Mohamed Zulkarnian Abdul Rahman confirmed having received the three police reports.
three NGOs asked police to take legal action against the rally
organisers including lawyer Datuk S. Ambiga and oppposition leader Datuk
Seri Anwar Ibrahim and those who participated in the rally, which
caused chaos, and for violating the court injunction that prohibited
the gathering from being held at Dataran Merdeka.
They said the
unruly rally had also caused injuries to policemen and media personnel,
as well as damage to public property and police vehicles.
Veteran Tentera Melayu (Malay Army Veterans Association) president,
Mohd Ali Baharom said the association urged the Home Ministry to charge
all those responsible soon, especially Ambiga, as they were worried she
might organise more of such gatherings.
Kelab Mahasiswa 1Malaysia
(1Malaysia Undergraduates Club) president Muhammad Nor Kasim said it
regretted that there were university students involved in the illegal
"We are sad that the students failed to realise that they
were just being made use of by groups serving their personal interests,"
Meanwhile, Suara Anak Muda 1Malaysia (1Malaysia Young
People's Voice) president, Arman Azha Abu Hanifah said the opposition
leaders involved were not fit to be leaders as they were prepared to
divide the people.
He said the NGOs would jointly send a
memorandum to the Home Ministry urging it to carry out a thorough
investigation into the violation of the law and court injunction by the
rally organisers and others involved.
that at the press conference at the PKR HQ yesterday, Azmin Ali denied
communicating with party Anwar to order the breach of the barricade at
Dataran Merdeka during the Bersih 3,0 Duduk Bantah rally on Saturday.
I don’t understand sign language so I’m not going to try and hazard a guess as to what they were signalling each other.
But that, apparently, is not all that Azmin said.
See this excerpt from that Malaysiakini report : “Reporters then pressed Azmin on a video
released yesterday, in which Anwar is seen indicating the former to
negotiate. Azmin then points his thumb over his shoulder, while an
Indian man sporting a yellow t-shirt makes the same gesture.
Azmin, who is standing on a
platform, nods at Anwar and turns to his right where the man is seen
standing on the ground and speaking to Azmin.
When Azmin nods at him, the man pushes open the barrier, letting the crowd flow through. However, Azmin said today that he cannot remember making any such gesture to the man. “I cannot remember speaking to anyone. But if anything, it was to indicate that I had negotiated with police,” he reiterated.”
Can’t remember speaking to anyone?
See for yourself and decide.
MAY 1 —I know there have been so many personal accounts of experiences from people present at the recent BERSIH 3.0 rally on 28 April. I’ve read many of them. But this could probably be the only account you read from someone who didn’t go, but was present only vicariously through my father whom i would’ve counted as the last person to participate in such gatherings.
While the BERSIH 3.0 rally ended at 5.30pm on 28 April for most, it was then that it begun for me when my mom sent me a message – “Papa went for BERSIH”. I almost couldn’t believe it. My dad? The man who doesn’t like strangers and crowds? The man who doesn’t like waiting for anything? The man who doesn’t like travelling further than 5km from his home for no good reason? The man who really doesn’t like it when things are beyond his control?
Too many thoughts and questions buzzed through my mind in the first 60 seconds after I got the news. Who did he go with? How did he get there? What time did he go? In which part of the city or gathering was he in? Did anyone watch out for him? But one question that kept playing back over and over was ‘WHY did he go?’.
It was hard to get all the answers as my dad doesn’t communicate much. I was told by my brother who was home that quite immediately after returning home safe, he was back in his comfortable crouch with his PSP – almost like nothing had happened. There must have been images of what he had seen that afternoon playing through his mind over and over, and a sea of thoughts and emotions over his experience for the day which was all too much to process immediately, let alone express. But over the last 48 hours, I’ve probed intermittently, because I am so curious to know the answers to my questions above.
He had decided take a chance to see how far into the city he could get by car, and soon found himself parking his car in Low Yat Plaza. He had intended to meet up with the group along Jalan Sultan, so he walked there. No salt. No wet towels. No protection gear of any sort. No video camera to prove he was there. No picketing boards or banners. He’d gone completely unarmed – just one person who wanted to be counted.
I am not sure in what chronological order he’d found himself in these places, but from Jalan Sultan he walked to SOGO, Jln Tun Perak where OCBC Bank is, and then AIA Building on Jalan Ampang before finding his way back to his car in Low Yat Plaza. When he told me the crowd he was with was shot at with tear gas I was so thankful that he had not gotten hurt. As was written in many other accounts, he said strangers with him offered him salt (with which he imitated their actions and put it in his mouth) and he was even offered a wet towel. Even at the tail end of the cloud of tear gas, he said his eyes were burning and it was hard to breathe.
That was as much information as I could get out of him. The only response he had to my question of why he went was because he felt it was the right thing to do.
I have been combing through the thousands of pictures posted on Facebook and on various blogsites, and patiently watching videos of the events of the day, trying to spot my father in the tremendous crowd. If I could just see where he was standing, with who he was standing and catch a glimpse of the expression on his face, perhaps I could have more answers to the questions I have about what inspired my father to participate in the rally.
My father’s solo voyage far beyond his comfort zone to be just one in hundreds of thousands, believing that it would make a difference has brought my realisation about the desperation of our ‘rakyat’ for a better Malaysia to a whole new level. For me, it really epitomises how the corruption in the system is affecting every Malaysian, and how much this BERSIH movement has moved the average Malaysian to believe that change can happen.
My reaction to my father’s willingness to humble himself and stand up for something he believes in is a reminder of the impact of leadership by example. When someone you look up to and admire is willing to oblige himself to circumstances that are out of his comfort zone by a quantum leap, it gives you the will to do the same – and truly believe that change is possible.
in sentencing may be overcome if there are guidelines to help judges
decide on the appropriate sentence to reflect the crime committed.
AM a great believer in the independence of the judiciary but some days,
I wonder what the criminal justice system is trying to tell us from the
sentences it hands out.
April 13, a former ice-cream seller pleaded guilty in a magistrate's
court to stealing a can of tuna and a drink from UO Superstore in Jalan
Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur.
Ngatiman, 30, got three weeks' jail but no fine as he told the
magistrate he had no money to pay and no one to do so for him either.
Poverty is no excuse for committing a crime. Even the many Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia that have popped up require the use of money.
imagined Shaiful amending this adage to reflect his socio-eocnomic
status: Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach him to fish
and he will eat the rest of his life; if you get neither fish nor a
lesson in fishing, stealing a can of tuna might have to do for today.
days later, a former Kedah Football Association accounts officer
pleaded guilty to three counts of falsifying documents in 2007 so he
would receive RM76,026 in salaries meant for 14 Super League players.
Alor Setar Sessions Court judge slapped Izhan Abdullah Sani, 45, with a
total of RM19,000 in fines and a day's jail for each charge.
ordered the jail sentences to run concurrently so Izhan only got one
day that generally entails waiting in court until the fine is paid or
cooling the heels in the prison office before going home at 5pm.
I guess the saying “Don't do the crime if you can't do the time” doesn't apply to white collar crime.
This rankles. Are we telling society, if you steal, make sure it's a lot?
crime involved going into a store, bagging a can of tuna and a drink
and getting caught by the security guard as he left without paying.
He was charged in court three days later. Hardly any time or money wasted on his case.
comparison, Izhan forged salary slips and falsified a statement of
payments. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investfgated and
charged him almost five years later.
theft would have cost the superstore a loss of RM10 if he had escaped.
Izhan betrayed a position of trust and would have got RM76,000 if the
bank had not been suspicious.
In the end, he only made off with two months' salary totalling some RM12,000. Is that why he only got one day?
again, the courts had imposed one-day prison sentences on corporate
honchos in a number of two-digit million-ringgit Secu-rities Commission
cases in 2010.
2011, then Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi had to remind his colleagues:
“Just because it is a white collar crime, it does not mean one should
not be sent to prison.
“Money is nothing to a millionaire. But a small fine to a kampung man in Gua Musang may be a sufficient deterrent.”
Soon after, some courts began imposing “real” jail time.
But is the Kedah case a sign that it's back to a rap on the knuckles?
Former Bar president Ragunath Kesavan says the trend in Europe is to punish white collar crime more severely.
He notes that here, even when such offenders are whipped, a lighter cane is used.
Court of Appeal judge Datuk Shaik Daud Ismail, who used to speak on
sentencing to subordinate court judges when he was in office, said
Sessions Court judges and magistrates should keep track of what
sentences were being meted in the lower courts.
they do so, they will know how to balance the individual circumstances
of the case and the public won't have the perception that if you're
going to steal, it's better to steal large amounts.”
law practitioner Datuk V. Sithambaram calls the disparity in sentencing
between “regular” and white collar crime shocking.
He says judges should give reasons when they hand down a sentence so the public can understand it better.
who steals to pay her mother's hospital bills is clearly different from
one who steals to go off on a holiday - one is pushed by socio-economic
factors and the other by greed.
“That's why the Bar Council has advocated a Sentencing Council, which will provide guidelines for sentencing for each offence.
“We may not be able to overcome disparity completely but we can get closer to what appears to be justice.”
The United States has had a Sentencing Commission since 1984 and Britain set up a Sentencing Council in 2009.
are those who argue that guidelines issued by such bodies impinge on a
judge's discretion, that jurisprudence should be a judge's guide.
Bar president Lim Chee Wee says guidelines would help judges “decide on
the appropriate sentence to reflect the crime committed and
proportionate to the seriousness of the offence”.
replies in the affirmative when asked whether they have approached the
judiciary, adding the council has tasked Criminal Law Committee chairman
Rajpal Singh to study the proposal.
Maybe the Attorney-General's Chambers and other stakeholders should get involved as well.
The general principles of sentencing are not just for deterrence, public protection and retribution but also rehabilitation.
wonder if Shaiful and similar offenders get to learn some skill in
prison so that when they return to society they can find work and not
feel compelled to steal to eat.
The system would be failing us as a society if it didn't.
FULL INVESTIGATION: Govt to show what really happened during Saturday’s rally
LUMPUR: THE government, through the police and Home Ministry, will show
what really happened during Saturday’s Bersih rally, Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said last night.
said this was because some parties were trying to influence the public
with their versions of the event on the Internet and this could affect
the attitudes and beliefs of people.
Police, he said, would investigate those responsible for inciting the violence on Saturday.
hoped they would do it quickly, adding that police would look at
allegations that their officers had treated members of the media
after chairing an Umno supreme council meeting, he said police were
compiling recordings of the incidents, adding there was no reason for
the police to restrict public access to them, as police “have no reason
to cover up”. “The IGP (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar)
will elaborate on this at a press conference tomorrow (today).”
said the use of tear gas and water cannons, which was challenged by
some parties, was taken into account following the opinions of health
experts that they would not affect people’s health.
there had been a physical clash, the number of those injured would have
been more if we had not dispensed with them (tear gas and water
cannon). In more serious cases, lives could be lost. That is a
possibility that cannot be pushed aside.”
said street demonstrations were influenced by uncontrollable factors,
including the presence of more extreme participants and those looking to
cause trouble, and that was why the government had refused Bersih from
using Dataran Merdeka as a venue for its rally.
would not be like that but even (Bersih 3.0 co-chairman Datuk S.)
Ambiga admitted that she had failed to control the crowd that day.”
said the government had suggested four alternative venues, including
Merdeka Stadium, which would have provided organisers better control of
their intention was to gather and express themselves, the venue is
suitable and we allow freedom of expression, but only in the context of
peaceful assembly laws.”
said the demonstrators had defied a court order and this showed their
disregard for the law. It may not be all (who acted in violence) but the
result tarnished the rally and those involved, as well
as the country’s image.”
He congratulated police for taking control of the situation in accordance with the new laws.
after launching the National Education Dialogue, Deputy Prime Minister
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Ambiga and the opposition must be held
responsible for injuries and damage to properties during the rally.
said the rally organisers were not concerned about fair and clean
elections, but just wanted to paint a negative image of the government
and have a confrontation with the police to make allegations of police
KUANTAN, May 1 (Bernama) -- The private sector minimum wage must be
accepted and not politicised as it was arrived at by economic experts,
said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
"The minimum wage was not set by politicians but was based on input
from the Technical Committee of the National Wage Advisory Council
(MPGN) and the World Bank which studied the matter in depth before the
rate was accepted by the councils representing employers and workers,"
he told reporters after the 2012 National Public Sector Workers Day
celebrations here today.
He was commenting on the RM900 and RM800 minimum wage set for
Peninsular Malaysia, and Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan respectively, which
was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak in
Putrajaya yesterday in conjunction with Workers Day.
"Of course, employers want a lower rate while workers want a higher
one. There're parties who say it should be more than RM1,200 or RM1,300
but according to the study, if it's more than RM1,000 it would have an
adverse implication on our economy and other negative effects such as
higher unemployment," he remarked.
Subramaniam said the MPGN technical committee took two main factors
into consideration, which were the poverty index and median salary.
He added that the study also looked at the Consumer Price Index, productivity and unemployment rate.
The rates in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan would be streamlined with Peninsular Malaysia once their economy catches up, he said.
Meanwhile, Bernama spoke to several sources in Kuala Lumpur to obtain their comments on the new minimum wage.
Economist, Prof Dr Barjoyai Bardai of Universiti Tun Abdul Razak said
the rate could be a catalyst to increase productivity and boost business
for the private sector.
"In Korea for example, the minimum wage is seen as a method to ensure
the private sector develops faster than what has been targeted," he
"More than 30 percent of Malaysians are earning less than RM300 monthly
at the moment and with the new minimum wage their income is raised
immediately,' he added.
The Congress of Unions in Government-Linked Companies president Mohamad
Shafie Mammal wanted the government to ensure that the rate would be
complied by all employers.
"We don't want some employers to take advantage of the situation and retrench workers to 'cut costs'," he said.
The move was welcomed by the Tanjung Malim Proton Workers Union which
described it as a motivation for workers to continue increasing their
The union's president Zainudin Dollah hoped however that the rate would be increased to match the rising cost of living.
The minimum wage would ensure that the basic needs of workers and their
families is fulfilled said 1Malaysia Foundation trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam
"With the resolution of this long overdue matter, workers should be
more productive and contribute to the nation's economy," he added.
Speaking for the Malaysian Employers Federation, its executive director
Shamsuddin Bardan said the new minimum wage would be a challenge to
employers as operations cost may increase.
"It is a big difference, about 30 percent increase and even 100 percent
increase for those earning below RM800 or RM900 now," he said.