Share |

Friday, September 14, 2012

Will death in police custody become the norm?

(Malaysiakini) Penang Suaram has expressed concern that the absence of police action on deaths in their custody will result in more of such cases taking place in the future.

NONEThe human rights NG0's state-based coordinator Lee Hui Fei (left) said the problem may be so rampant that it becomes a "norm" in the country.

Since last year, Lee said, 10 people have died in custody while 25 others perished as a result of police shooting.

She said the existence of the 1958 Lock-up Procedures Act lays the responsibility on the police to ensure that detainees remain well and healthy.

However, Suaram has been receiving complaints about incidents of police torture and abuses, filthy lock-up conditions, midnight or early dawn interrogations, Lee told a press conference in George Town yesterday .

"Police cannot escape their responsibilities when a death in custody case occurs.

"If this situation continues, with more and more people dying in the hands of police and with no investigation or follow-up conducted, we worry that such human rights abuses will become widespread," she added.

NONEShe was speaking during a session in Komtar where the family of Cheah Chin Lee, who died in the police lock-up last month, submitted a memorandum to Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Sha'ari Abdullah.

The meeting was hosted by state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow, who is also Tanjung MP and state DAP chief.

Suhakam roped in to assist

Cheah's mother Lim Gaik Suan and aunt Leanne (above, right) complained to Muhammad Sha'ani about police inaction and the absence of information on how Cheah died after only 20 minutes in the lock-up.

He was arrested on Aug 13 for suspected motorcycle robbery and was found dead "by aphyxsia from hanging" in the Tanjong Tokong police station lock-up.

George Town OCPD Gan Kong Meng denied any police cover-up and said an inquest on Cheah's death would be pursued upon the police getting the forensic and chemist reports.

Urging Suhakam to set up a public inquest into the untimely death of the 36-year-old furniture worker, Lee said the inquest should also determine whether the police had complied with their standard operating procedures in this instance.

NONE"There is also a need to find out if there was any human rights abuse," she said. "We must find ways to ensure the security of detainees so that there will be no more mysterious deaths in the police lock-up."

Also yesterday, in Simpang Renggam, Johor, another family had lodged a report over the suspicious death of P Chandran, 47, in the lock-up of the Dang Wangi district police station in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Chandran's brother Gunalan, who lodged the report at the Simpang Renggam police station, said there were discrepancies over the time of the lorry driver's death, as well as unexplained wounds in several parts of his body.

Rise of Hinduism in USA. Is a Hindu USA upcoming?

A majority of Indian Americans identify as Hindus, concluded a Pew report released last week. Seen above are idols at a San Francisco Bay area-based Hindu temple.

Rise of Hinduism in USA

Pew Report Highlights Rise of Hinduism in U.S.

United States. One in 10 Asian Americans identify themselves as Hindus, concluded the results of a report on Asian Americans and their religious affiliations, released July 19 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Hindus and Buddhists counted together represent two percent of the overall population, the same share as Jews.

Ninety percent of Hindu Americans believe there is more than one way to interpret the tenets of their faith, and the majority celebrate both Hindu holidays like Diwali as well as Christmas, noted the report, titled: “Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths.” The report lacked much novel information, and re-stated largely-held beliefs about Indian Americans and their religious practices.

Most Asian American Buddhists and Hindus maintain traditional religious beliefs and practices. Two-thirds of Buddhists surveyed believe in ancestral spirits, while three-quarters of Hindus keep a shrine in their home, concluded the report, adding however that 30 percent of the Hindus surveyed and 20 percent of Buddhists report having attended religious services of another faith, outside of special occasions such as weddings or funerals.

U.S. Buddhists and Hindus tend to be inclusive in their understanding of faith. Most Buddhists and Hindus, for instance, reject the notion that their religion is the one true faith and say instead that many religions can lead to eternal life, or in the case of Buddhists, to enlightenment, noted the survey.

The 182-page report focused on the four major religious groups of Asian Americans: Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and the religiously unaffiliated. Muslims compromise an additional four percent of Asian Americans, but their numbers in the survey were too small to include in the analysis, said an introduction to the report.

Libya makes arrests over Benghazi attack

Officials say "four men are in custody" suspected of having links to killing of US ambassador and three embassy staff.

Libyan authorities have made four arrests in the investigation into the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which the US ambassador and three embassy staff were killed, the deputy interior minister said.

"Four men are in custody and we are interrogating them because they are suspected of helping instigate the events at the US consulate," Wanis Sharif told the Reuters news agency on Thursday.

He gave no further details.

US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died after the gunmen attacked the US consulate and a safe house refuge in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday night.

The attackers were part of a mob blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

Demonstrators attacked the US embassies in Yemen and Egypt on Thursday in protests against the film, and American warships were moved closer to Libya.

Barack Obama, the US president, has vowed to bring to justice those responsible for the Benghazi attack, which US officials said may have been planned in advance. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington had nothing to do with the video, which she called "disgusting and reprehensible".

'Big advance'

A "big advance" has been made in the probe into the deadly attack, Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur told the AFP news agency in an exclusive interview.

"We have made a big advance," Abu Shagur said in his first interview since his election as premier on Wednesday night.

"We have some names and some photographs. Arrests have been made and more are under way as we speak."

The new prime minister did not elaborate on how many suspects were in custody or what groups, if any, they were connected to.

"We don't want to categorise these people until we know all the facts," he said.

Sharif was similarly reticent about going into details when he spoke to AFP earlier on Thursday.

"The interior and justice ministries have begun their investigations and evidence gathering and some people have been arrested," he said.

Initial reports said Stevens and the three other Americans were killed by a mob outside the consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday as they tried to flee an angry protest against a US-produced movie deemed offensive to Islam.

But it is now believed Stevens died from smoke inhalation after becoming trapped in the compound when suspected Islamic militants fired on the building with rocket-propelled grenades and set it ablaze.

US officials are investigating the possibility that the assault was a plot by al-Qaeda affiliates or sympathisers, using the protest against the film as a cover to carry out a co-ordinated revenge attack on Tuesday's anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Libyan authorities initially pointed a finger of blame at supporters of Muammar Gaddafi, who was ousted and slain in an uprising last year that was backed by NATO air power, and at al-Qaeda.

But Abu Shagur played down the al-Qaeda line.

"We don't have any proof as yet of an al-Qaeda presence as an organisation in Libya," although "some youths have been influenced by the extremist ideology of al-Qaeda," he said.

Abu Shagur said "extremists" were a tiny minority in Libya who "do not number more than 100 or 150," whereas most of the youth in the country were moderates.

The attack on the US consulate was "a cowardly, criminal and terrorist act," he said, adding it was "isolated, not representing a phenomenon in Libyan society and it will not have negative consequences with our allies" who backed the revolution.

He did not have confirmation that the US was sending two warships off the Libyan coast. "But we will not accept anyone entering inside Libya. That would infringe on sovereignty and we will refuse," the prime minister said.

A decision to deploy a team of 50 US Marines was taken "in co-ordination with Libyan authorities," he added. They would guard the US embassy in Tripoli and two diplomatic residences.

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Mengapa 4 tahanan ISA enggan jumpa peguam?

Peguam: Isteri tahanan ISA diugut, visa bakal tamat

BBC is full of liberals afraid to mock Islam (says veteran of the BBC)

Roger Bolton said BBC bosses were out of touch with the public
Roger Bolton said BBC bosses were out of touch with the public
A respected BBC broadcaster has claimed television is dominated by ‘liberal sceptical humanists’ who laugh

at Christianity but are afraid to mock Islam.

Roger Bolton, a former editor of Panorama, said an obsession with human rights over religious beliefs had left corporation bosses out of touch with the public.

In the modern culture of broadcasting, Mr Bolton said anyone who opposed gay marriage or IVF was treated as a ‘lunatic’ if it was because of their religious beliefs.

He added: ‘The default position in broadcasting is always, it’s a question of human rights and how can they do it.’

Mr Bolton said it had got to a point where audiences thought it was ‘fun’ to mock Christianity but would not dare laugh at jokes about Islam.

He said in the last few years ‘something went wrong with the BBC’s religious programming’ and questioned whether it was ‘fit for purpose’.

Mr Bolton presented Sunday, Radio 4’s main programme for religious news and current affairs, for 12 years until 2010.

Now the presenter of Radio 4’s Feedback show, he made his comments at the BBC’s Re:Think festival in Salford, when he gave a speech and sat on a discussion panel.

He said that Christians wanted a ‘level playing field’ when being laughed at rather than being ‘singled out’. And he added that those who raised the matter of religion felt other faiths did not ‘have to put up with what Christianity does’.

‘It is perfectly alright to make any joke you like about Christianity,’ he said. ‘You try to make a joke about Muslims, or Jews, or about Sikhs.’

Issues are too often seen purely in terms of human rights, he said.

‘At least there should be an effort to people to say that just because someone opposes gay marriage, just because someone opposes IVF, doesn’t mean they are a lunatic, it is out of their beliefs.’
BBC logo
A spokesman said BBC religion and ethics airs a variety of programmes that reflect society's relation to religion today

‘Liberal sceptical humanists tend to dominate television,’ he said. ‘But they are not, I believe, representative of the country.’

He added: ‘I believe it is no coincidence that the last three BBC heads of religious broadcasting left their jobs to various degrees disillusioned with the corporation’s treatment of religion and ethics

But Mr Bolton also said: ‘What I do now think is that Muslims in particular ought to be mature enough in this country to take that humour and that Christians do have a right on their side when they say the satire applied to them ought to be applied to others.’

The BBC’s head of religion and ethics, Aaqil Ahmed, a Muslim, said it was a ‘complicated’ situation, adding that things ‘took time to evolve’ and newer communities had not had their religion ‘ridiculed’ for as long as others had been.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘This is an incorrect view of BBC religious and ethics programming.

‘As well as observing major religious festivals across TV and radio, BBC religion and ethics provide over 170 hours of programmes ranging from Songs of Praise to documentary series, such as Dead Good Job, Divine Women, The Life of Muhammad, as well as topical debate such as The Big Questions.

‘These provide the audience with a rich mix of programmes that reflect society’s relation to religion today.’

US Ambassador to Libya Was Raped Before He Was Tortured, Killed #SAVAGE

The Lebanon report on the murdered U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, in Libya remains unconfirmed by the AFP. 
The horror is unimaginable. The world "radically transformed" by Obama.
And more gruesome then Obama's lethal delusions is the diversion he is attempting to create using Mitt Romney. Obama and his media jackals are attacking Romney for his much needed and proper criticism of Obama's epic failing in handling this unfolding crisis of war. The Obama administration apologized for "religious incitement" when the Egyptian emabassy was attacked. It's all the enemedia jackals are talking about, not Obama's epic fail, but the timing of Romney's remarks.
Obama's sharia spring sacrificing soldiers, diplomats and ambassadors. Obama sanctioned the brutal sodomy of Gaddafi, something that would never have happened under Bush.
White House condemns ........ film.
Below is the rough (Google) translation.
Sources AFP that "the U.S. ambassador to Libya was raped sexually before killing by gunmen who stormed the embassy building in Benghazi last night to protest against the film is offensive to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)," The sources said that "Ambassador was killed and representation of his body in a manner similar to what happened with Gaddafi, such as murder. "
"Lebanese paper report - Murdered U.S. Ambassador to Libya reportedly raped"   Washington Times
Hat tip Big Fur Hat? Big Fur Hat September 12, 2012 /Tayyar/News/PoliticalNews/
According to the Lebanese news organization, citing AFP news sources, U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was killed by gunmen that stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday, was reportedly raped before being murdered. A google translation of the report says : 

A news report made by the Libyan Free Press is also reporting that Ambassador Stevens was sodomized before he was killed:
"Libya - USA Ambassador in Bengazi sodomized and killed by his own al-Qaeda puppets."

Putrajaya lists homosexual ‘symptoms’ to prevent spread among schoolchildren

2 KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Putrajaya has endorsed a list of identifiable gay and lesbian traits to schools and parents to prevent the spread of the phenomenon among teenagers, especially students, according to media reports.

The list published today by the Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily says that gay men have muscular bodies and like to show off by wearing V-neck and sleeveless clothes, prefer tight and light-coloured clothing, are attracted to men and like to carry big handbags similar to those used by women.

Lesbians are said to be attracted to women, like to eat, sleep and hang out in the company of other women and have no affection for men, according to the report, which quoted the guidelines published by the Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd and Putrajaya Consultative Council of Parents and Teachers Associations.

Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi (picture) said few people understood or knew the early “symptoms” of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community to prevent its spread.

"The time has come for the LGBT issue to be discussed openly and not seen as a "taboo"," Bernama quoted him as saying after launching the Parents Handling LGBT Issues seminar in Penang yesterday.

Puad said the ministry took a serious view of the LGBT issue and did not want it to start in schools as it could lead to bigger problems if not contained.

"In our country, there are signs of support among certain parties to the Seksualiti Merdeka movement whose objectives are to defend the LGBT community on human rights grounds," he said.

He reminded parents to monitor their children's activities especially those surfing the Internet, so that they are not influenced by websites and social medias run by LGBT supporters.

Homosexuality has long been considered taboo by Malaysia's dominant Malay community, which professes that it is against the teachings of Islam. Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sacked his then deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, on charges of sodomy and abuse of power in 1998, saying such behaviour is unacceptable for a Malaysian leader.

Anwar went free six years later after the sodomy conviction was overturned. He fought off a similar charge earlier this year.

But Putrajaya's latest move against homosexuality started last year when the annual human rights event, Seksualiti Merdeka, was banned by the Home Ministry.

The sexuality rights festival, which would have seen the hosting of forums, theatre, musical performances and movie screenings, was branded by the mainstream media as a "sex party for the LGBT community".>

In April, Jaringan Melayu Malaya (JMM) used Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan's invite to officiate the event as proof that she supported LGBT rights in what can be seen as a move to discredit the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (BERSIH) struggle before it's rally on April 28.

In July, both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Anwar voiced their disapproval of the LGBT community.

Najib had said during an assembly of 11,000 members of mosque committees in Serdang that LGBTs were "enemies of Islam".

Anwar had testified in court that he supports discrimination against LGBTs while saying that laws would be reviewed should a Pakatan Rakyat federal government be formed.

Yesterday, the Opposition leader withdrew his lawsuit against former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan who admitted being sodomised by Anwar in lodging his police report.

Counsel Ranjit Singh said the suit was withdrawn because Anwar's reputation had been vindicated by the acquittal of his sodomy charge.

Fernandes: AirAsia ready to take on rival

The AirAsia boss says with Lion Air moving to Kuala Lumpur, the Indonesian skies are wide open.

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes has vowed to give Indonesian rival Lion Air “a real run for their money” after it announced plans for a new low-cost carrier, a report said Thursday.

Indonesia’s PT Lion Mentari Airlines and a Malaysian partner Nadi said Tuesday their Malindo Airways would launch flights around the region from Kuala Lumpur in May, a direct assault on AirAsia’s home turf.

AirAsia has long been based near Kuala Lumpur but Fernandes recently opened a regional headquarters in Jakarta and purchased Indonesia’s Batavia Air for $80 million.

“We are thrilled that they are coming here as this means taking away capacity from Indonesia. We can give them a real run for their money in Indonesia,” he was quoted by The Edge Financial Daily as saying.

Analysts have said Malindo could threaten fast-growing AirAsia’s profit.

AirAsia’s share price dropped to an 11-month low on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange Wednesday.

Fernandes, a former record industry executive, took over insolvent AirAsia in 2001 and quickly turned it into one of the aviation sector’s biggest success stories.

It has come to dominate budget travel in Asia with a business model based on flying into secondary airports in major cities, with their lower landing costs.

But analysts have warned that it must contend with a host of upstart challengers emboldened by Fernandes’ pioneering success.

Malindo will launch with a fleet of 12 Boeing 737s flying to regional destinations but hopes to expand to 100 planes in a decade and fly to Europe by 2015.

Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest privately run airline. Malaysia’s National Aerospace and Defense Industries (NADI), which specialises in maintenance, repair and overhaul services, will own 51 percent in the joint venture.


Mengapa Rayer tutup kes kecurian wang?

Rayer yang juga ahli Lembaga Wakaf Hindu Negeri Pulau Pinang turut dituduh bertindak melulu di dalam badan tersebut.

PETALING JAYA: Pemuda MIC Pulau Pinang hari ini mempersoalkan tindakan ahli Lembaga Wakaf Hindu Negeri Pulau Pinang (PHEB) RSN Rayer yang juga Adun Seri Delima bertindak menutup kes kecurian wang di Kuil Sri Balathandayuthapani Sabtu lepas melibatkan wang sebanyak RM10,395.00.

“Kenapa RSN Rayer (gambar) mengambil kepentingan utama dalam isu kecurian ini di mana beliau telah memberikan arahan untuk menarik balik laporan polis ini.

“Adakah RNS Rayer ingin memberikan mesej bahawa kecurian duit milik tabung kuil (orang ramai) merupakan satu kesalahan yang ringan dan boleh dimaafkan secara diam-diam?

“Adakah RSN Rayer merupakan “kingmaker” dalam PHEB dengan mengambil tindakan serta berkuasa daripada pengerusi yang sedia ada?,” soal Ketua Pemuda MIC Pulau Pinang J Dhinagaran dalam satu kenyataan media hari ini.

Menurut pemimpin MIC ini dalam kes kecurian tersebut, penolong bendahari kuil tersebut telah membuat laporan di Balai Polis Pulau Tikus terhadap seorang kakitangan PHEB pada 8 September lalu tetapi terpaksa menarik balik laporan tersebut berikutan “arahan dari Rayer”.

Kes kecurian ini bukan kes yang pertama. Menurut Dhinagaran dua tahun lepas wang PHEB sebanyak RM68,000 turut dicuri.

Justeru itu, Dhinagaran (gambar) turut membidas peranan Timbalan Ketua Menteri II Dr P Ramasamy yang juga merupakan pengerusi PHEB.

“Adakah Dr P Ramasamy hanya berfungsi sebagai sebuah boneka dalam menguruskan lembaga ini? Ini kerana Rayer nampaknya lebih bertindak melulu dalam segala urusan PHEB,” kata Dhinagaran.

Ramasamy dituduh sebagai lebih menguruskan isu warga Sri Lanka berbanding rakyat Pulau Pinang.

Ketua Menteri Lim Guan Eng turut digesa oleh Pemuda MIC Pulau Pinang agar mengambil tindakan terhadap Rayer.

“Di bawah pemerintahan Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Pulau Pinang yang mengamalkan prinsip kecekapan, kebertanggungjawapan dan ketelusan, apakah tindakan susulan oleh YB Lim Guan Eng terhadap RSN Rayer yang telah campurtangan dalam masalah ini?,” soal beliau.

Sementara itu, Rayer mengakui bahawa beliau menasihatkan ahli jawatankuasa kuil tersebut berdasarkan faktor kemanusiaan dan belas kasihan.

“Tertuduh tertangkap ketika melakukan jenayah tersebut dan meletakkan jawatan serta-merta. Wang yang dicuri juga diperolehi semula,” jelas Rayer.

Beliau turut menyatakan bahawa pihaknya tidak mahu memanjangkan kes menerusi proses mahkamah.

Tackling commercial crimes: ‘Success rate average’

Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar says the Commercial Crime Department needs to be beefed up to combat such crimes.

PETALING JAYA: The success rate of tackling commercial crimes is only “average”, Inspector- General of Police Ismail Omar said today.

He admitted that his force needed to beef up its Commercial Crime Department to combat rising commercial crimes, while attention should also be given to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“If you ask me, I would say it’s average,” he said when asked what was the success rate of the police’s commercial crime fight at an event on corporate crime here.

“But my answer is, I would want to beef it [this department] up,” he said, adding that he personally felt crime in commerce is “not that bad”.

Ismail said his men have the necessary credentials in the commercial crime sector, but the challenge lies in the “accumulating” workload.

He added that more men should be placed in the Commercial Crime Department.

Opposition leaders have in the past accused the police of poor management over their resources, with most of the money and manpower slotted for political-related “national security” rather than crime fighting.

If voted into power, Pakatan Rakyat vowed to reform the police force and redistribute its resources to combating crime including commercial ones.

Perception towards the government’s anti-crime policies has been poor, with Ismail himself admitting that the majority of Malaysians found police success in bringing down criminals unconvincing.

But he maintained that crime is dropping, blaming the negative perception on the media instead.

However, Ismail also said that the police must put more effort to manage the poor public views on the state’s anti-crime efforts, but urged voters to “look at other indicators” to see their success.

‘Beaten every day for 60 days’

When you are beaten for 60 days straight, your innocence no longer matters to you, says an ex-ISA detainee.

KUALA LUMPUR: A former detainee under the Internal Security Act (ISA), Fadzullah Razak, recalls with bitterness the day the prime minister announced the repeal of the act exactly one year ago.

“When we found out the ‘amazing’ news through NST and Utusan – the only newspapers detainees are provided with – everyone was shocked and in disbelief, even the detention staff,” Fadzullah told a press conference here today.

“My fellow detainees were so happy; some were jumping with joy, others rolled around on the floor. You’d find people celebrating in all sorts of manner.

“But I told them: ‘Don’t believe it, as the government has never been sincere about it’,” said Fadzullah.

His scepticism on that day is apparently not unfounded – although exactly one year has passed since Najib Tun Razak’s much-anticipated announcement, 30 detainees remain in the Kamunting detention centre under a now-defunct act that allows for detention without trial.

After a new bill was tabled to replace the ISA this year, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had ignored calls for the detainees’ immediate release and instead said he would personally look through each case to determine their fate.

Fadzullah himself was only released last month, along with 11 other detainees, after spending two years there for allegedly having links with terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah – links that had never been proven in court.

“The situation in the centre was extremely stressful – imagine knowing the ISA had been abolished, but you’re still stuck there as political hostages,” said Fadzullah.

“We’re talking about innocent people here; people who had never been charged in court. How can we accept our fate, as we had not done anything wrong?”

He said the police would tell the ISA detainees to simply resign themselves to their fate – a task that he said was far easier said than done.

Beatings, bribery and threats

Fadzullah explained that before detainees were brought to Kamunting, they were first “tortured” for 60 days at a police remand centre (PRC) until they confess their crimes.

“Torture, sexual humiliation, 60 days of beatings… It’s impossible [in that situation] for you to say, ‘I’m innocent.’ You just want it to stop,” he said.

“So whether you’re guilty or not, you confess,” he said.

Fadzullah said he knew of a 19-year-old detainee who, unable to withstand the torture, had strangled himself with a towel.

He also said that even though the violence stops once detainees are taken to the centre, the officers resort to threats and bribery to elicit cooperation.

“The officers threaten us all the time. They say things like: we can have you released early. So the detainees will just follow orders,” he recalled.

But when inspectors from the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) visited the centre, Fadzullah said, the officers would bribe the detainees with meals from fast-food outlet McDonald’s.

“Whenever the inspectors come to see us, the officers would observe from behind to see who would dare to become a whistleblower,” he said.

“It’s all just a game to them.”

Situation worsens for remaining detainees

Meanwhile, lawyer Farida Mohammad said that she had visited several of the remaining detainees yesterday, and had found that their situation was worsening.

She said that one of the detainees, Razali Kassan, was suffering from kidney problems and was forced to purchase his own meals at the centre as the doctor had advised him to avoid oily foods.

“This doesn’t make sense at all. He is being detained there; the centre should be providing him with the right food, not forcing him to buy his own meals,” she said.

She also revealed that teacher Bakar Baba, who was ironically detained two months after the ISA’s repeal was announced, is now jobless.

“His family received a letter from the Education Ministry that he has been sacked. And since he received the letter two months late, he has passed the deadline for the appeal,” said Farida.

But she said that Bakar was not giving up and had appealed to the ministry to have his job reinstated, despite not knowing when he would ever be released from the detention centre.

Bring back the multi racial national schools of the yester years.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan, 13/9/2012

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled the country's new education blueprint aimed at revamping the education system into one that is supposed to produce global players. While the attempt to revamp is a welcomed one but the movers who are supposed to shift the current system and implement the new dynamic education system seem to be the same people whose actions and inactions deteriorated the current system. Will the hardliners both at the political and bureaucracy level allow the smooth liberalization and transformation of the new system? Will Perkasa and the like allow the decentralization of school authorities, depolarization in schools and liberalization in religious education in the current system?

All the previous attempts like the implementation of smart schools and the teaching of maths and science in English have been waste of billions of ringgit. Malaysia never lacked good laws, policies and plans but the implementation is where the flip flop, changing of goal post and the half hearted execution leading to the current quagmire in the education system.

In 2006, a national education blueprint 2006-2010 was released by the then prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi to bring about revolution in education. The Blueprint goals was to establishing a National Pre-School Curriculum, setting up 100 new classes for students with special needs, increasing the percentage of single-session schools to 90% for primary schools and 70% for secondary schools, and decreasing class sizes in primary schools and in secondary schools by the year 2010. Are they achieved? Did the 2006 blueprint address the problem of racial polarization in schools as envisaged? Taking into consideration the religious fervor in the education system, can the system be ever reformed by the same staff who allowed the religiosity to take root?

Now the 2012 national education blueprint was released by Datuk Najib Tun Razak to make 11 strategic and operational shifts to transform the country's education system. Will it face the same predicament as the earlier ones? Unless the ministry of education makes a structural overhaul, recruiting multi racial talents with wide experience from different backgrounds, transformation may not be possible.

One generation of good and effective headmasters were replaced with mediocre performers. The same mediocre headmasters and ministry officials are given the responsibility to bring about transformation in schools. The comments from teachers indicate that they don’t have confidence in their heads to give fair assessment. For transformation to take place all selection and decision making bodies in education ministry be made multi racial and multi lingual in view of the fact that we have Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, Tamil and agama schools. The imbibing of critical thinking and analytical discourse must start from teachers themselves.

Minister of education should set up a team to study the underlying reason as to why the non Malay students shun national schools and prefer vernacular schools? Despite the highest spending on education, Malaysia doesn’t have much to show in terms of achievements and results. Achievers must be rewarded and recruited into civil service regardless of race and religion to bring about genuine transformation.

By Senator S.Ramakrishnan

National leadership is all about sacrifices in the interests of the nation and it should not be driven by selfish motives to enrich the Barisan leaders and cronies.

It’s unfortunate that the current leadership is being tainted with corruption scandals to stay in power at all costs. Using Government funds to deceive the public is unforgiveable.

The Barisan Government has spent hundreds of millions using overseas PR agents and local firms to spin stories to make it look good. UMNO has engaged bloggers and cyber troopers to deceive the public.
It is evidently clear the pseudo spinning by Barisan is visible in the social media. There is plethora of fake stories, fake tweets, fake statistics, fake electoral rolls, fake ICs, fake citizenship and fake photos.

The Najib administration has spent about RM100 million in improving its image through APCO and other overseas public relations agencies.

To use Bernama or the local mainstream media in the PR campaign to boost the waning popularity of Barisan Government is a desperate attempt to gain voters in the next General Election.

A leader’s weakest point is his vanity. It is for this reason the Najib administration (PM's Office) has spent hundreds of millions on public relations and image consultants to paint a rosy picture of the Government.

The international media has exposed some of these foreign PR consultants faking as commentators, journalists and columnists. Unfortunately, some are under investigation and some fired in their own countries.

The Barisan has to learn something that is basic. When voters suspect the usage of fake, false and flimsy spin in the media, the voters are not going to believe them. As result Barisan will suffer a credibility crisis as it is experiencing now.

Recently, Bernama faked the attendance of the crowd in PM's house. The more one looks at the photo it is clear that it is doctored. For example, the depth perception of the people in the foreground (lighter shade) and the people in the background (darker shade) simply don't match. The spin doctors seem to have overlooked the fact that this doctored picture was for PMO use only as the digital print shows.

The giveaway easy to recognise the feature is the people in the background look "flatish" or two dimensional whereas the people in the foreground shows a bit of the 3rd dimension. The size correlation of the people under the flag -the two men vs the two mak chik is completely out although they stood practically side by side.

And despite hasty denials by the national news agency Bernama that the photo had been altered, critics believe the incident will boomerang and make the already upset colleagues in UMNO even more "hopping mad" at the latest attempt to pull wool over their eyes.

What Malaysians cannot understand is why Najib and his spin doctors are turning to doctored photos to mislead deceive and creatively doctor pictures to show support of Malaysians.

So, what's the truth? Is Najib a crowd puller? If so why are people being paid from taxpayer’s money for creating bigger attendance at all Najib events? In addition, they are also being ferried, given nasi bungkus, souvenirs, T-shirts, hampers, rice bags, pocket money etc.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan

BERNAMA’s rebuttal hints picture doctored
By Senator S.Ramakrishnan
Bernama’s denial is shocking because The Star staff themselves were embarrassed for the exaggeration in number of people present in the Prime Minister’s house.

I challenge Bernama to show a video of post it on Youtube showing the number of people and that particular scene because Bernama also had its TV station covering the event.

If the event had such a mammoth crowd I am certain Bernama’s TV cameraman would have captured the typical scene and broadcast it on TV. But, it was not done. Can Bernama prove it by showing the TV footage to support its denial?

The Bernama editor-in-chief admitted the photographer had used his “creativity” in capturing the picture of a crowd surging forward with cameras held ready to snap a shot of the first couple.

With all the modern state of art cameras and equipments at Bernama’s disposal doctoring the picture to depict a large crowd of well wishers with different sizes of faces from front to the background of the picture is small matter.

Now, I will state the reasons why the picture was doctored according to photographer and printing expert.

· Sri Perdana cannot hold such a large crowd (tens of thousands as indicated in The Star’s caption line) as the picture portrays a crowd of tens of thousands.

· Hari Raya open house is usually attended by the young, old and disabled on wheel chairs and this is not evident.

· In the front page picture is a sea of faces and this is not possible to be gathered in one spot on the Hari Raya day.

· Most of the youths are with cameras, there must be something more exciting than Najib.
· The pictures are doctored, primarily because some of the people in the background appear larger.

· Different pictures have been juxtaposed and superimposed in the doctoring process to create an impression of a large crowd.

· This picture does not show Najib and it is a total let down in the public relations campaign to gain supporters for the Barisan.

· A Hari Raya event would usually show Najib shaking hands and meeting the people and this is lost in this picture which The Star decided to use on the front page.

· The picture has been doctored by an amateur graphic artist who could not hide the doctoring.

· Experienced photographers too confirm that the picture is doctored. Bernama must do more than just a denial to convince Malaysians.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan



Open house concept provides many opportunities for fraud and corruption

Last week in a Press Statement, I had asked Prime Minister investigate as to whom, why and how such doctored pictures were planned to fool the masses, especially those who bought The Star and other newspapers which carried the same picture.

Until today, neither the PM nor his officials have disputed my statement on the concocted and doctored picture. Inflating the number of people coming by The Star is a serious white collar crime and the Editors must be pulled up to answer as to why they resorted to damaging the image of the PM. They have to answer to their readers who have put trust on them to deliver the news without any biased or slanted reporting.

A reader of The Star has sent me questions as the level of fraud involved in doctoring pictures. If the above is true then the objective of showing a large crowd with inflated figures could be to substantiate the inflated catering costs of the open houses. This is another form of fraud and looting of public funds which amount cannot be substantiated by any records, figures of facts that can be verified.

The open house concept has been practiced at federal, State, Ministerial, Constituency, Department, Corporate etc level. In all most all cases the costs are borne by taxpayers or shareholders/others.

Thus the present open house concept provides many opportunities for fraud and corruption and looting of public funds by those making decisions on who gets the contracts for supply of food and other infrastructure including the many entertainers.

Another undesirable effect of the open house could be the lack of interaction of rakyat on one to one basis. People have stopped going to houses of friends due to reason that the food may not be halal or beef is served.

The photos show that attendees at open houses are mainly from one race with the other races can be counted on finger tips. Thus to say that open houses show the 1M concept may be another mirage. Even at these open houses the different races do not appear to mix but stick to their own kind. Thus it may be another farce of living together and mixing but it is more like living side by side as the railway tracks.
Political leaders should stop fooling the public and themselves that the open house concept is creating 1Malaysia.

By the way another observation: It is observed that the main speeches by political leaders at the many functions appear to emphasize own political party and race related matters with little mention about the country's future. The attendees of these functions also are dressed in the dresses of their respective parties. Thus if these functions are being financed from public funds then is it not a case of using public funds for own political party campaign for the coming GE13.

It is also noticed that in independence celebration functions government leaders always stress that the independence of Malaysia was fought by a single party leaders whereas the sacrifice of communist and leftist activists will be conveniently forgotten. Truth cannot be hidden and untruth cannot survive long. Let’s build a nation that is truthful, inclusive and fair to all its citizens.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

New National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 leaves many crucial policy questions unanswered

The Preliminary Report of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 was launched with much fanfare on Tuesday. This document, written by expensive consultants at taxpayers’ expense, although seemingly comprehensive, in actual fact still leaves many crucial policy questions unanswered.

If these gaping holes are not addressed, this blueprint will suffer the same fate as all the other education blueprints that have been launched by previous Prime Ministers and Education Ministers.

Firstly, this blueprint does not contain any indication that the Ministry of Education has learnt from mistakes in the past.

Many of the initiatives announced under this new Blueprint are recycled ideas and past unfulfilled promises. For example, the Education Development Master Plan (Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan) 2006 to 2010 promised that any existing education gaps would be closed by continuing to provide necessary basic infrastructure necessities on a continuous basis.

But still, despite spending RM16 billion on physical infrastructure development from 2006 to 2010 under the 9th Malaysian Plan, there are still 1,500 (or 15%) of the 10,000 schools which do not have access to water suitable for drinking and 300 schools which still lack access to 24-hour electricity.

Today, we still hear many stories about schools promised but never built especially in the rural areas. At the same time, some poor quality schools are built at many times their cost price, to the benefit of political cronies.

In 2005, there were 2,768 schools without computer labs. In 2011, there were 2,700 schools without computer labs. In 2005, there were 1664 schools without functioning science labs. In 2011, there were 2,000 schools without functioning science labs. In other words, the number of schools without functioning science labs have actually increased by more than 300 and the number schools without computer labs decreased by only 68 despite the almost RM3 billion spent on IT and related infrastructure from 2006 to 2010 under the 9th MP.

In 2005, the SchoolNet project was supposed to have connected 9,285 schools to the internet even though only 8,900 schools had 24 hour electricity supply. Under this new blueprint, all 10,000 schools are supposed to have 4G internet access via the 1Bestarinet initiative. This project, which includes the provision of a virtual learning environment (VLE), is estimated to cost RM1.5 billion and was awarded to YTL Communications, a company with no track record for managing a project of this scale.

Without a transparent and comprehensive audit into past expenditure which failed to deliver the desired outcomes, such large scale development expenditure plans are likely to fall into the same cycle of mismanagement of resources and corruption.

Secondly, there are some serious policy omissions in this blueprint which need to be highlighted.

For example, there is scarcely any mention of any plans to strengthen the quality of teaching and infrastructure in vernacular and religious schools despite these schools having almost a quarter of total primary school enrollment.

There is no mention of any commitment on the part of the government to increase the number of vernacular and religious schools, which are in high demand in some areas, as reflected by the large class sizes, sometimes numbering more than 50 in urban areas such as Subang Jaya.

In addition, although the fact that the gender gap is widening was highlighted – including the fact that female students comprise up to 70% of incoming cohorts in some universities – there were no concrete proposals raised in order to address this very serious and growing problem. There was no mention, for example, of the incorporation of alternative teaching methods which would be more appealing to boys compared to girls, especially in areas with a higher number of boys dropping out of school.

Furthermore, despite identifying Sabah and Sarawak as having the districts with the highest number of low performing schools and pupils and also the highest number of dropouts, there were no concrete plans identified in this blueprint to tackle the unique problems faced by students in both states.

There was no mention of, for example, any strategies to target high performing Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera natives to go back to their communities as teachers and agents for change.

Thirdly, there are some policies in this blueprint which are not ambitious enough in its scope and scale.

For example, while the policy to decentralize the scope and responsibilities of the Ministry of Education at the federal level to the state and district levels is an encouraging step, especially if capacity is also increased at the local level, this policy does not go far enough.

It does not, for example, give any leeway for the establishment of English medium schools, for example, which is a popular choice among many, especially in the urban areas.

Fourthly, specific strategies need to be identified for certain policies to work effectively.

For example, the goal of recruiting from the ranks of the top 30% of a cohort into the teaching profession is a laudable one which should have been implemented many years ago.

But according to the Ministry of Education’s own statistics, top academic performers comprised only 1% of applicants into the Bachelor of Education program in 2009 and this was only recently increased to 9% of total applicants in 2011.

To raise this figure to 30% would require pro-active strategies to target these top performers. The experience of Teach for Malaysia (TfM) to target 50 high performing fellows to become teachers for two years shows that top performers can be effectively enticed to become teachers. But without the identification of these targeting strategies, the top 30% goal will be an elusive one.

In addition, the call to recruit among the top 30% was not accompanied by the acknowledgement for the need for more aggressive recruitment strategies among the non-Bumiputeras especially in the national schools.

The Ministry’s own statistics shows that the percentage of Bumiputera teachers in national schools have increased from 78% in 2001 to 81% in 2011 while the percentage of Indian teachers have remained at 5% with the percentage of Chinese teachers dropping from 17% to 14%.

Targeting the top 30% of any cohort should result in a representative distribution of recruits. Given the current aversion of high performing non-Bumiputeras, it is disappointing that this blueprint does not outline any new recruiting strategies to overcome this historical aversion among non-Bumiputeras to see teaching as a meaningful and rewarding career.

One proposal, which DAP supports unreservedly, is the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) for entry into public universities and the civil service, which would mean that more non-Malays who are in Chinese independent schools would be able to apply to be teachers for all subjects, and not just for Mandarin. Unfortunately, this has been totally omitted in the blueprint.

There were also no new strategies outlined in the blueprint on how to increase the appeal of vocational and technical education as attractive educational pathways.

Despite RM577 million of development expenditure pumped in during the 9th Malaysia Plan for technical and vocational education and training, the number of students enrolled in vocational education actually fell from 62,200 in 2008 to 51,500 in 2011, a fall from 2.7% to 2.2% of total students in secondary schools.

At the same time, the number of students enrolled in technical schools has barely budged, currently numbering 20,000 or less than 1% of total secondary school students.

Identifying new strategies to make technical and vocational education more attractive is key to increasing intake and will likely reduce the male dropout rate by ensuring that a larger number of males who are not ‘academically inclined’ will stay in secondary education.

Fifthly, while we welcome the commitment promised in the blueprint that the Ministry will publish annual reports to track the various KPIs and to conduct comprehensive five year reviews in 2015, 2020 and 2025, we also express our initial reservations about the seriousness of this commitment.

We have seen how the statistics and achievements announced under the Government Transformation Program (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) were manipulated in order to artificially boost these KPIs.

The crime figures under the GTP and the progress of selected Entry Point Projects (EPPs) are notable examples. We have seen the same propensity of grade inflation in our education system where statistics from the Examination Syndicate show that 50% of Form 5 students would have failed to achieve minimum standards in the English language Cambridge assessments compared to only 20% under the SPM examination.

If the Ministry of Education is serious in making its progress transparent, it should make detailed data publicly available including UPSR, PMR and SPM results of each primary and secondary school so that the stakeholders such as parents and academics can evaluate this progress for themselves.

There is still time for the government to address these shortcomings. If the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Education Minister, are serious about education reform, they should address these and other shortcomings during the public consultation period before the blueprint is finalized in December.

Police to review SOP on handcuff usage

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Police will review the standard operating procedures (SOP) on the use of handcuffs.

Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said this followed allegations of indiscretion on the use of handcuffs on suspects.

“We will study current guidelines on the matter,” he said at Bukit Aman yesterday.

Comm Mohd Bakri said there were instances that warranted the use of handcuffs for the safety of the suspects and the police officers.

“We will gather feedback from our officers in the field before putting the SOP in black and white,” he said.

Several parties had recently criticised the cops who handcuffed part-time model Ong Sing Yee, 19, who surrendered to the police after she was implicated in the incident where several people stepped on photographs of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during a gathering here on the eve of Merdeka day.

The teenager and her boyfriend, Lim Kian Peng, 20, surrendered to Johor police after their pictures appeared among those who had allegedly stepped on the images.

They were released on police bail but will return for further questioning on Oct 5.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Gan Ping Sieu had said recently that it was unnecessary for Ong to be handcuffed as she had willingly turned herself in.

He had stressed that the SOP should be reviewed, adding that he did not blame the police officers who were trained to respond in that manner.

Gan said he would write to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar in his capacity as deputy minister to urge him to review the current SOP.

Responding to the criticisms, city police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohmad Salleh had said handcuffing an arrested person was part of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Inter-faith group wants all religions taught in schools

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) wants the government to include a new provision in the national education policy that allows all religions to be taught in schools.

In a brief statement issued today, the inter-faith group said the call was made in a resolution proposed by the Christian Federation of Malaysia and unanimously adopted by delegates during the 30th MCCBCHST annual general meeting held on July 14.

"In its ongoing discussions with the government of Malaysia and with the Education Ministry and the education department, the MCCBCHST shall propose and put forward as part of the national education policy the provision that all religions be allowed to teach their respective scriptures in national or in government-aided schools.

“For example, the (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) SPM Bible Knowledge in the case of the Christians,” read the statement.

It also proposed that the examinations of such subjects be prepared and graded by the respective authorities of each religion and recognised by both the Education Ministry and the education department.