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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mobile phones in schools?

Khairy: Court decision doesn't absolve Bersih

Assam violence: Riots reach Bengal border, death toll 32


AP

Kokrajhar: Ethnic violence today escalated in more areas of western Assam with 11 fresh casualties in clashes and police firing, forcing the Centre to rush 1,500 more paramilitary personnel to control the unrest that has claimed 32 lives so far.

The violence has spread in and around the Kokrajhar district all the way to the Bengal border, reported CNN IBN.
A concerned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and asked him to do “everything possible” to control the violence while promising Centre’s full cooperation.
“Four persons were killed in police firing this morning when they were indulging in violence in Rampur and Chaparkata areas of Kokrajhar,” IGP, (BTAD), S N Singh told PTI.

Seven more bodies were recovered in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.

As new areas came under the grip of the ongoing clashes that began last week between Muslim immigrants and Bodos, the state government sounded alert in Sonitpur, Baska, Kamrup (rural) and Darrang districts, official sources said.

The Prime Minister spoke to Gogoi and took stock of the situation. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram also called up the chief minister.

“The Prime Minister has directed him to do everything possible to control the situation and for relief and rehabilitation of the affected,” a PMO spokesperson said.

Union Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters in Delhi that another 1,500 personnel of paramilitary forces were rushed yesterday.

According to Chirang SP Kumar Sanjiv Krishna, sporadic incidents of violence were reported from remote areas.

Nearly one lakh people have been rendered homeless in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Udalguri and Sonitpur and most them are sheltered in relief camps.

Gogoi held a late night meeting of cabinet and alleged that the incident was a “part of political conspiracy” to malign his government.

During the day, DGP J N Choudhury reviewed the situation.

Nineteen people have lost their lives in worst-hit Kokrajhar district and nine in Chirang in the clashes while four have been killed in police firing in Rampur and Chaparkata areas of Kokrajhar.

One body was recovered from Odlaguri, the home village of Meghalaya Governor Rajendra Prasad Mooshahary, under Gossaigaon sub division of Kokrajhar district while another was found from neighbouring Chirang.

At least 26 trains were cancelled and 31 stopped at different stations, prompting Railway Minister Mukul Roy to seek enhanced security from Chidambaram for safety of over 30,000 passengers stranded midway.
Yesterday, shoot-at-sight orders were issued in Kokrajhar district and indefinite curfew clamped while night curfew was in force in Chirang district.

Miscreants pelted stones and attacked the Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar damaging four coaches but none was injured. The train was turned back and was halted at Kamakhyaguri station bordering West Bengal with the authorities considering to take it to Coochbehar.

Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Chief Hagrama Mohilary demanded sealing of international and inter-state borders near the affected districts.

The fresh batch of 1,500 paramilitary personnel were sent just a day after the Home Ministry dispatched 1,400 security personnel.

Jordanian kills divorced sister over ‘suspicions’

Murder is punishable by death in Jordan, but in so-called “honor killings,” courts can commute or reduce sentences, particularly if the victim's family asks for leniency. (AP)
Murder is punishable by death in Jordan, but in so-called “honor killings,” courts can commute or reduce sentences, particularly if the victim's family asks for leniency. (AP)

By AFP
AMMAN

A Jordanian man was charged on Wednesday with killing his divorced sister after stabbing her and driving his truck over her body several times because of her alleged “suspicious behavior,” police said.

“The suspect, in his forties, was charged with premeditated murder after confessing to the crime, claiming his divorced sister had indulged in suspicious behavior,” a police spokesman told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The crime took place early on Wednesday in the northern Greco-Roman city of Jerash.

“The man stabbed the woman and then took her to a deserted area where he repeatedly ran over her body to make sure she was dead,” the spokesman said.

Murder is punishable by death in Jordan, but in so-called “honor killings,” courts can commute or reduce sentences, particularly if the victim's family asks for leniency.

Earlier this month, a 65-year-old man was charged with stabbing to death his 25-year-old daughter after she gave birth outside wedlock.

Between 15 and 20 women die in “honor” murders each year in the Arab kingdom, despite government efforts to curb such crimes.

GIRL, 14, VICTIM OF VILE SEX RING

TEN grooming suspects have been arrested over claims that they used a 14-year-old girl in a vile sex ring.

Armed officers swooped on the men, all of Asian origin, after the teenager told detectives she had been sexually assaulted.

Police raided homes in Bradford and nearby Keighley, West Yorks. The men have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

An investigation has now been launched into possible links with the depraved gang caged in May for a total of 76 years for raping and abusing up to 47 girls.

Nine men, including the ring-leader from nearby Rochdale, were jailed but detectives are hunting more than 40 other suspected gang members.

A senior police source said last night: “At this stage it is unclear if the latest arrests have any connection with the last high-profile convictions.

“But detectives certainly cannot rule it out as there are more suspects still believed to be at large.”

The victims are plied with alcohol and lured to takeaways before being passed around for sex.

It is not the first time police have had complaints from young girls in Keighley, now seen as a dangerous child sex grooming hotspot.

Community leaders in Keighley, including the town’s MP and councillors, were briefed by police about the operation on Wednesday.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire police said: “There were ten arrests made across the Bradford district on suspicion of serious sexual offences. All ten have been bailed. Because it is an ongoing investig-ation the force cannot disclose further information at this time.”

Eight of those arrested are understood to be from Keighley and two from Bradford.

Keighley Central Labour councillor Abid Hussain said: “The police have done what they should be doing in arresting these people. It is disappointing but I fully support the police and will work with them.”

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “I was made aware that it was a serious operation and I was grateful for that information. I want the police to be able to carry out their investigation fully and to make sure that a fair process is put in place to let justice prevail.”

Last month, West Yorkshire’s chief constable Sir Norman Bettison warned that grooming children for sex was a growing problem that cut across all communities.

He met Muslim community leaders at a summit to tackle the problem.

Mr Bettison said: “I believe there is a problem that is very widespread, not just in Yorkshire, not just within the Muslim or Asian community, but there are girls who are vulnerable and those vulner-abilities are more and more often these days exploited.

“What these cases have done is they have shone a light on this type of exploitation.


“West Yorkshire Police is determined to ruthlessly pursue anyone who is committing criminal exploitation and bring them before the courts. It’s very important we have the support of the community.”

Deaths in custody: Police shouldn't probe police

 High Court judge Kamardin Hashim made the statement that all future death in custody cases should be investigated by police from other districts.

He said this on July 19 at the revision on Gunasegaran a/l Rajasundram inquest at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Guna died in police custody on July 16, 2009, on the same day Teoh Beng Hock's body was found at the compound of the MACC building at Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam.

Subsequently, an inquest into the cause of Guna's death was held.
Magistrate Siti Shakirah Mohtarudin delivered an open verdict at the end of the inquest.

Guna's sister, Ganga Gowri, then made an application to the High Court for a judicial review on the findings of the coroner's court.
Unfortunately, Justice Kamardin Hashim affirmed the findings of the inquest.
The deceased's family intends to file an appeal against the High Court decision.

The High Court judge concurred with the coroner's court findings that the cause of Guna's death was due to beatings by the police and a drug overdose.

However, the judge added that investigations conducted by the same district police lacked independence and transparency.
The judge also suggested that investigations should be conducted by police from a different district to ensure an independent and unbiased investigation.

Suaram supports the statement made by the judge on the need for independence and transparency in regard to investigations.

However, our concern is the concept of "police investigating the police".

Will this win the trust of the public that the investigations will not be biased?
An independent body is needed to investigate the police to ensure the credibility of the outcome.

Again, we reiterate the urgent need for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as it provides an independent external mechanism to investigate misconduct of the police and bring justice to the victims' families.

R THEVARAJAN is the Right to Justice coordinator for Suaram.

Pakatan has mixed views on May 13 probe

PAS backs Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong's proposal for a truth commission, but PKR and DAP say Malaysians must move on.

PETALING JAYA: Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong’s call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the May 13 incident has drawn mixed reactions from Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

While PAS backs the call for a public inquiry, PKR and DAP say Malaysians must move on from one of the darkest episodes of Malaysian history.

PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub said he was in support of Kua’s call, saying that a public inquiry would stop irresponsible quarters from raising the spectre of May 13 for selfish political agenda.

“The young generation needs to know what happened on that day,” said Salahuddin.

However, the PAS leader said it was more important for Barisan Nasional, particularly Umno, to stop playing the May 13 card in an attempt to scare voters into voting BN back to power.

PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar said she was not keen on the formation of the commission saying it was time for Malaysians to let go of the 1969 tragedy.

“Members of my generation don’t recall anything of the incident,” she said.

She said it was more important for the government to draw up policies to promote national integration and back these up with concrete action.

She also expressed fear that some quarters might use the issue to further the agenda of racial politics.

DAP youth chief Anthony Loke said much due diligence would be required in the setting up of the proposed commission and the public must have confidence that it would serve its purpose well.

He agreed with Nurul Izzah that young Malaysians had moved forward from the 1969 tragedy.

On Monday, Kua had urged the government to set up the commission in order to bring justice to those who had lost their loved ones in the riots.

His call came after Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin urged the young generation to unite in order avoid a repeat of the May 13 incident.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/25/pakatan-has-mixed-views-on-may-13-probe/#ixzz21f1QLzpf

Sex video to rock MIC

To make matters worse, the alleged sex video of a prominent MIC leader in Perak is apparently in the hands of the opposition.
UPDATED

PETALING JAYA: A prominent Perak-based MIC leader has been apparently caught on video having sex with a sex worker.

A Perak Youth leader contacted by FMT admitted that he was aware of the video clip, where the prominent MIC leader engaged in sex acts with the sex worker in Thailand “some time ago”.

“At present, the video clip is stuck in the hands of the opposition,” he said, not wanting to be named.

“I spoke to the opposition party member who is in possession of the clip and he said that he would expose the video during the upcoming general election. This is because the MIC leader is keen to contest in a state seat in Perak,” he added.

He, however, admitted that he had yet to watch the video.

MIC is expected to contest in two parliamentary and four states seats in Perak.

“The leader embroiled in this controversy has held many positions at the state level. He is an old timer but insists that he wants to contest at the coming general election,” said the source.

The Youth leader also said that the particular leader was nearly caught red-handed a few years ago after allegations that he had an affair with his driver’s wife.

“However, he managed to escape from that scandal. It would be a major problem for the MIC if the video is released before the election. I hope the party top leadership looks into this matter seriously. Otherwise, the party would suffer an image crisis,” he added.

Internal rivalry

Contacted later, MIC secretary-general S Murugesan said he was in the dark about this matter.

“This is news to me. I will have to reserve my comments until we can obtain further information and more details regarding this so-called video,” he said.

Meanwhile, MIC communication and public relations chief S Vell Paari said the matter could be linked to internal rivalry.

“Accusations of sex scandals by both sides of the political divide has become the norm of Malaysian politics,” he said in a statement.

“Today FMT published a report that there exist a sex video involving a senior MIC official from Perak.

“Reading the story it clearly indicates that this current claim is nothing more than an internal rivalry within MIC to rid of competition in jostling for a seat for the coming general election,” he added.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/25/sex-video-to-rock-mic/#ixzz21f0xe5Eg

Is Minnal FM serving the community?

Senator S. Ramakrishnan, 24/7/2012

I was discussing about the public image of Indians in Malaysia with a friend who is a Member of Parliament. I was saying that Indians in Malaysia have an image problem here. My friend was telling me that a Chinese air condition contractor friend of his hesitates to hire Indian workers. The reason being that rich customers who want air conditions installed in their houses are very particular as to who is the worker to fix it in their houses. They don’t want Indian workers. I straight way jumped in and said that this confirms Indians in Malaysia have public image problem.

Crimes and violence committed by one section affects all of the Indian community. When an Indian guy seen lying on pathway, the general remark is “india mabuk” Indian drunk. There is a lot of stereo typing when we pass remarks. But capable and educated Indians too get labeled and carry the stigma when applying for jobs, businesses etc. Negative news of Indians gets the limelight in newspapers. But we don’t have the economical and political muscle to change this bad branding. Where do we go from here? No concerted effort made by the community groups either. Everybody mind their own business. Indian Middle class apathy towards this issue and MIC leadership betrayal could be the main reasons for this debacle.

Uplifting the poorer section of the community is no easy task. This group is getting increasingly cut off from the mainstream society and economy. This section indulges in violence and the weak become easy victim of criminals. These people stay in low cost flats and the youth there are targets of gangsters and criminals. To cut short the vicious circle is huge work which only government can do. But the BN government does not have the will and wish to eradicate this problem. Corruption and racial discrimination in enforcement agencies like police in fact compound the problem.

One department I think that can lend a hand to bring more awareness and empowerment to these people is Minnal FM. They can highlight the various issues affecting the community unfortunately Minnal FM doesn’t do that. Minnal FM has become an entertainment, cinema promotion and government propaganda channel. These are detrimental and keep the community backward. BN government is using Minnal FM to keep the listeners ignorant, grateful and subservient. Those who follow Minnal FM only for news cannot think critically and analytically. It’s time the community demand Minal FM to become informative and provide real information that is helpful to listeners. The English channel BFM is thousands of mile ahead of Minnal FM in terms of quality of informative productions.

Minnal FM must reduce the cinema news and promotion and provide information that brings clarity on many issues. Government must increase budget allocation for Minnal FM so that they produce more informative program and reduce the cheap cinema news. Many successful people and professionals are not featured in the Minnal FM. Principles and great values from our epics and ancient Tamil literatures can be transformed to suit the younger generations. Indian Community must call for remove of MIC influence from Minnal FM so that the broadcasters are bold and daring to speak up. Our well being and future are our hand. We must take ownership our problem. It’s now or never.

Stop playing race game


Brave New World (The Star)
The country has changed so much since 1969 that to keep using the argument that we are on the verge of race war is rather obsolete.

I WAS wondering when it was going to happen; when certain quarters were going to dust off that old chestnut of May 13, 1969, and use it as a political tool.

It all seems terribly coincidental that as the general election draws nearer, suddenly race riots get inserted into political speech, and a movie about May 13 is apparently waiting to be released.

The country has changed so much since 1969 that to keep using the argument that we are on the verge of race war is rather obsolete.

Let’s look at some facts. Firstly, the vast majority of the Malaysian population were not even born in 1969.

This means that first-hand knowledge of that terrible time is simply not part of most of us. Without that emotional connection, I believe that younger Malaysians are willing to question the feasibility of such a thing happening again.

And really, could it? In 1969, the politics of the nation was so very clearly divided along racial lines. The Opposition was not united as it is today. PAS won 12 seats, DAP 13 and Gerakan 8.

They were not part of a coalition and each stood on its own, therefore it was possible to play the race game because, in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor in particular, the Opposition had the face of “the other”.

Today, with the Pakatan coalition in existence, the Opposition is a much more complex animal. If the Opposition wins, how can the race card be played when two of the component parties are so predominantly Malay?

Let’s take a look at recent events that has got some powerful people’s knickers in a twist.

In particular the Bersih demonstrations of 2007, 2011 and 2012. The demographics of these events were multi-ethnic and became even more multi-ethnic with each progressive one.

By the time of this year’s Bersih demonstration, the make-up of the people who took part was much closer to the make-up of the country as a whole. However, the predominant ethnic group was still Malay.

This goes to show that the political divide, not of political parties but of ordinary citizens, can no longer be conveniently divided along ethnic lines.

Significant numbers of Malaysians, regardless of their background, can be united when they have a common political goal, in this case clean and fair elections.

Furthermore, ethnic Malays can be vocally unhappy with the status quo. In the present-day scenario, it is ridiculous to say that the politics in Malaysia is simply a matter of Malays versus Non-Malays.

And let us look at the 2008 elections. The results were unprecedented and surprised most people. I remember that night very well, as the results became clear that Barisan had lost their two-thirds majority and five state governments.

I decided to drive around Kuala Lumpur, just to see what would happen. And what happened? Nothing.

The streets were quiet. No celebratory parties, no processions, no fireworks; nothing.

The Opposition and their supporters on the streets were as muted as the Barisan and their supporters.

No gloating, no taunting, no excuses at all to provoke a reaction from the supporters of the powers-that-be.

I am certain that if a similar result is achieved in the next elections, the same would happen. There will be no provocation from the opposition and their supporters.

That is not to say there will not be any trouble. Recent events in this country have proven that there are gangs of thugs who are willing to be violent for political purposes.

The thing is though, I believe that the Malaysian public are not going to rise to the bait.

I fervently hope we will show them that we are better than them, we are nobler than them and they are nothing but hooligans with delusions of grandeur.

No, the danger that faces this country will not come from race riots.

If we have trouble in Malaysia, it will be if there is a prolonged disrespect for true democratic principles.

If the election process is not transparent and fair, if the result of a clean election is not respected, then and only then should we start to worry.

Najib ‘ditelanjangkan’ akhbar antarabangsa: Juara ‘double-talk’ kepada 'DEMOKRAT PALSU'

Najib ‘ditelanjangkan’ akhbar antarabangsa: Juara ‘double-talk’ kepada 'DEMOKRAT PALSU'Jika Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak berpendapat dia telah berjaya ,meyakinkan rakyat Malaysia dan masyarakat antarabangsa bahawa pembaharuan yang telah didakwa para pengkritik sebagai "penipuan", "tidak ikhlas" dan "jahat", dia memang sudah tersilap.
Dan seperti dongeng Maharaja yang telanjang, pemimpin Malaysia yang berusia 58 tahun kini telah didedahkan tentang kepura-puraan yang didakwa melindungi maksud jahat untuk kekal berkuasa dengan menggunakan kekerasan seperti kebanyakkan pemerintah-pemerintah hina yang jahat di dunia ini.
Hanya beberapa bulan lalu, Najib telah dinobatkan sebagai juara "Double-talk" oleh Washington Post, akhbar berpengaruh yang dibaca oleh orang-orang seperti Presiden Obama dan pemimpin lain di AS. Washington Post membidas dalam editorial berbisanya selepas Najib dihantar pulang wartawan kontroversi Saudi Hamza Kashgari untuk menghadapi hukuman dan mungkin juga kematian. Bahasa kasar yang digunakan oleh akhabr AS menjadikan ramai yang mengangkat kening dan menyebabkan perasaan cemas di Putrajaya, pusat pentadbiran Malaysia.
Tetapi tidak, Najib dan penasihatnya tidak menghiraukan dan cuba sekalipun untuk membersihkan nama mereka. Dengan degilnya, mereka berpegang kepada kepercayaan bahawa mereka menguasai media arus perdana tempatan, mereka mempunyai kelebihan. Jika mereka berdusta dengan lebih kerap, rakyat Malaysia, malah di serata dunia akan percaya kepada mereka!
Walau bagaimanapun, ia tidak berkesan. Bukan sahaja Najib cuba menggunakan undang-undang zalim untuk mengukuhkan cengkaman kuasanya bertopengkan ‘transformasi’ malah dia telah diselar rakyat tempatan dan akhbar bereputasi tinggi di Kanada kini mengkategorikannya sebagai " demokrat palsu".
"Demokrasi palsu memberi gambaran bahawa sesebuah negara itu bebas tetapi sebenarnya mereka jarang menghadapi tekanan antarabangsa seperti rejim jahat yang lain," kata artikel yang disiarkan dalam The Globe and Mail pada 8 Jun.
Seperti Mubarak & Co, Najib akan buat apa sahaja cara untuk berkuasa

Bertajuk 'Satu senarai semak abad ke-21 para autokrat baru', artikel itu juga meletakkan Najib setaraf dengan autokrat yang paling teruk di dunia. Pengarang Mark MacKinnon telah mengkategorikan autokrat kepada empat kumpulan - demokrat palsu, egotists gila, populis ganas dan kapitalis kapalan.
Najib telah dimasukkan ke dalam kategori yang pertama, bersama-sama dengan Presiden Rusia Vladimir Putin, Presiden Palestin, Mahmoud Abbas, Presiden Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Perdana Menteri Ethiopia Meles Zenawi dan Perdana Menteri Kemboja Hun Sen 'bekas ahli' kelab adalah bekas Yugoslavia PresidenSlobodan Milosevic dan bekas presiden Mesir Hosni Mubarak.
MacKinnon berkata pemimpin itu "mengadakan pilihan raya tetapi tidak mempunyai niat untuk memberi kuasa" dan "pesaing kuat politik mereka dipenjarakan dan parti mereka diharamkan melalui undang-undang".
Menurut ikon pembangkang Lim Kit Siang, Najib jelas kecewa dengan artikel itu. Tetapi penafian tidak akan mengubahnya melainkan jika Najib berikrar di hadapan semua bahawa dia dan parti Umno akan melakukan peralihan kuasa secara aman jika mereka kalah pada pilihanraya, Lim berkata sebagai reaksi kepada berita bahawa Kementerian Hal Ehwal Luar Malaysia telah mencabar artikel Kanada itu.
"Seminggu yang lalu, saya telah meminta Najib untuk mengisytiharkan secara terbuka sama ada dia bersedia untuk menerima keputusan pengundi bagi memastikan peralihan kuasa yang aman untuk kerajaan persekutuan jika Pakatan Rakyat memenangi pilihan raya umum yang akan datang," kata Kit Siang, yang juga Ahli Parlimen bagi Ipoh Timur.
"Ia adalah penting bahawa selepas persidangan media Majlis Tertinggi UMNO pada Jumaat lepas, Najib dengan teliticuba mengelak utnuk menjawab soalan ini apabila telah dikemukakan oleh para wartawan. Oleh itu, soalan yang mahu ditanya rakyat Malaysia dan dunia adalah sama ada Najib benar-benar merupakan seorang demokrat palsu yang mengadakan pilihan raya tetapi tidak mempunyai niat untuk menyerahkan kuasa. "
Najib dalam galeri penyangak antarabangsa: PRU ke-13 akan jadi "menarik"

Untuk MacKinnon, ada harapan bagi negara-negara yang ditadbir oleh pemimpin mengamalkan "demokrasi palsu" kerana ia boleh juga mewujudkan kemungkinan perubahan.
" Milosevic dan Mubarak telah digulingkan kerana rakyat menggunakan ruang politik yang dibenarkan dalam negara demokrasi palsu ... pilihan raya di Malaysia yang akan datang bakal menjadi menarik," kata MacKinnon.
Walau bagaimanapun, dalam bangkangan yang disiarkan pada hari ini, Kementerian Luar Malaysia telah memberi senarai terperinci tentang pembaharuan yang diadakan oleh Najib dalam tempoh tiga tahun yang lalu, menggambarkan ini sebagai "rekod kerja yang hebat mengikut piawaian bagi sesiapa sahaja".
Pembaharuan termasuk pemansuhan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA), yang berakhir setelah 60 tahun digunkan, langkah-langkah untuk meningkatkan kebebasan media, pindaan kepada Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti, enakmen Akta Perhimpunan Aman, pengumuman untuk mengkaji semula Akta Hasutan,pemansuhan Akta Buang Negeri dan Akta Kediaman Terhad, serta pelaksanaan reformasi pilihanraya.
"Pandangan ini tidak sama dengan hakikat bahawa pembangkang telah berjaya meraih jumlah kerusi yang banyak dalam pilihan raya yang lalu. Tidak lama lagi rakyat Malaysia akan bebas untuk memilih siapa yang mereka mahu untuk memimpin negara dan apabila Perdana Menteri tidak bersikap leka, dia berharap akan diberi mandat untuk sekali lagi meneruskan agenda transformasi Malaysia, " selar Kementerian Luar di bawah setiausahanya Ahmad Rozian.
Malaysia Chronicle

Court quashes minister’s order

The Star
by M. MAGESWARI


KUALA LUMPUR: The Bersih 2.0 steering committee has succeeded in its bid to get the court to quash an order by the Home Minister that the movement is an unlawful society.

The ruling by High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Rohana Yusuf, however, has given rise to different takes of what the decision means to each party.

The applicants’ lawyer K. Shanmuga said the court ruling implies that Bersih 2.0 is now a legal entity while Senior Federal Counsel Azizan Md Arshad said the decision shows that it remains an unregistered society.

The minister’s decision was tainted with irrationality, said Justice Rohana, leading to applause and cheers among the Bersih supporters.

The judge said the facts of the case were built upon ongoing episodes after the minister made the order on July 1 last year, adding it was all so intertwined that it would be ridiculous to ignore the developments without looking at the facts in their entirety.

She said after Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin called for all parties to resolve the situation, the following took place:

> There were negotiations between the applicants and the minister on the location of the Bersih rally;

> Bersih 2.0 steering committee co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga had an audience with Tuanku Mizan on July 5; and

> Bersih 2.0 rally took place without censure as scheduled on July 9.

Justice Rohana held that since Bersih was not considered a society detrimental to security on July 1, it would be unreasonable to find it so a week after that.

She said the decision to outlaw Bersih impinged on the rights guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and should not have been taken in a lackadaisical manner.

“If it is found to be a threat to the security of the nation, the conduct of the respondents in treating Bersih certainly showed the opposite,” she said in her 30-page judgment yesterday.

Justice Rohana said there could only be one of the following things that could happen – either Bersih was unlawful for being a threat to security; or the decision to declare Bersih unlawful was made without taking into account some relevant facts or by taking into account some irrelevant facts.

Justice Rohana also noted that no action had been taken against the applicants under the Societies Act which apply to an unlawful society.

Ambiga and 13 others had applied to quash the July 1 order made under Section 5 of the Societies Act declaring that the coalition was an unlawful society.

The Home Minister, Inspector-General of Police and the Government were named as respondents in the application.

The judge did not make any order as to costs.

Bersih 2.0 co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said told reporters later that they were glad that the judge had seen the contradiction in the action of the authorities.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the ministry would seek the Attorney-General Chamber’s views on whether an appeal should be made against the High Court decision.

“I respect the High Court’s decision,” he said.

Bonus For Civil Servants Proof Of Government's Sincerity - Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 (Bernama) -- The provision of bonus for civil servants is proof of the government's sincerity in championing the interests of the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said it was in line with the 1Malaysia concept which emphasised "people first, performance now".

"It also reflects the ability of the goverment to manage the economy well," he said at a breaking of the fast function at the Surau Taman Sri Angsana Hilir, Pandan here Wednesday night.

The Prime Minister earlier in a statement had announced a half-month bonus, with a minimum payment of RM500, for civil servants and a special payment of RM500 for government pensioners.

The payments will be made on Aug 9.

The bonus and special payment will benefit 1.27 million civil servants and 657,000 government pensioners, respectively.

At the function, Najib also announced a contribution of 8,946 pieces of cloth to be sewn as "jubah" for imams and mosque and surau committee members (for suraus authorised to hold Friday prayers) throughout the country.

Besides this, he said each mosque in Selangor would also receive 10 litres of zam-zam water and 10kg of dates.

"This contributions are made possible by Kelab Putera 1Malaysia," he said.

Najib also announced a RM400,000 allocation to upgrade Surau Taman Sri Angsana Hilir.