Archive for category Law & Order

Congratulations Najib for the Democracy Setback of the Decade and making moderation sedition and his brainchild the Global Movement of Moderates virtually a seditious organisation

The Cabinet meeting yesterday has come and gone and there are no signs that it has achieved any historic distinction when Cabinet Ministers drew the line in the sand to declare their repudiation of the sedition dragnet in the past month and their commitment to move forward to be among the world’s best democracies and not going backwards to be among the world’s worst democracies.

There are no inklings that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dato Sri Idris Jala had raised serious objection, led alone led the charge of conscientious and conviction Ministers in their opposition to the obnoxious dragnet of the draconian sedition law to stifle dissent and criticism to crate a climate of fear in the country reminiscent of the Internal Security Act (ISA) days especially during the th 22-year Mahathir premirrship.

On the contrary, congratulations are in order to the Primer Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on three grounds: Read the rest of this entry »

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Saying one thing but doing another

Terence Fernandez
The Malaysian Insider
17 September 2014

“Sedition and seditious and defamatory libel are arcane offences – from a bygone era when freedom of expression wasn’t seen as the right it is today.

“Freedom of speech is now seen as the touchstone of democracy, and the ability of individuals to criticise the state is crucial to maintaining freedom.

“The existence of these obsolete offences in this country had been used by other countries as justification for the retention of similar laws which have been actively used to suppress political dissent and restrict press freedom.”

The above statement is the words of UK justice minister Claire Ward in 2009 when she announced that the government was doing away with sedition offences. Read the rest of this entry »

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All Cabinet Ministers on Wednesday must decide whether they want a new Attorney-General who is committed to the goal of making Malaysia the “best democracy in the world” or they support the current sedition dragnet and “white terror” to turn Malaysia into the world’s worst democracy

The time has come for every Cabinet Minister to take a stand whether he or she supports the goal as promised by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to make Malaysia the world’s best democracy or the reverse – supporting instead the sedition dragnet and “white terror” unleashed in the past month to turn Malaysia into the world’s worst democracy.

The country should be spared the farce of the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail announcing last Tuesday that his Chambers will review the cases of several individuals who were recently charged with sedition, including academician Dr. Azmi Sharom, followed by the outrageous response by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi that the police will not cease and desist from sedition investigations aimed at suppressing criticism and dissent.

In the first place, was Gani sincere and truthful when he said that his Chambers would review the blitz of sedition charges? Let the Attorney-General announce details of such review, who are the officers in his Chambers who are conducting the review, when the review started and the terms of reference including time-frame of such review.

In fact, Gani owes the Malaysian people a full explanation why he gave the green light for such a spree of sedition charges as well as full accountability as to why those responsible in openly inciting racial and religious hatred, ill-will and conflict have been spared from any prosecution, despite the lodging of many police reports against the culprits? Read the rest of this entry »

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How many more will be charged with sedition?

– Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
15 September 2014

Most thinking Malaysians are getting increasingly concerned with the rapid pace of sedition charges levelled at well-known and well-meaning Malaysian personalities and intellectuals.

At the same time, there is considerable anxiety over the relative indifference and excessive tolerance shown to some obvious violators of the very open and loosely worded Sedition Act, which deeds urgent revision or replacement.

We therefore hope that the Attorney-General and the police will exercise more care to ensure that the growing public perception of practising double standards and selective justice will be addressed as a matter of high priority.

If honest opinions expressed in the interests of public debate and intellectual discussion on national policies and their proper implementation can be discouraged and even curtailed so harshly, then where and how is democracy to grow and mature in Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for immediate halt to the sedition dragnet against dissent and criticism and withdrawal of all sedition charges as Mahathir and many UMNO Ministers and leaders should be the first to be hauled to court for sedition if the current sedition blitz not afflicted by sins of discriminatory bias and malicious/selective prosecution

On the way to Mersing, I have learnt of two latest victims in the crackdown of the sedition dragnet against dissent and criticism, which have put Malaysia back on the radar of unfavourable international media attention, this time for high-handed, undemocratic and discriminatory use of repressive colonial laws against freedom of speech and expression.

The two latest victims are a lawyer and an Opposition political leader.

The first is Edmund Bon, currently overseas but who is being called up by the police for sedition for comments he made in a news article in The Malaysian Insider in January on whether non-Muslims should adhere to a fatwa and the second is another lawyer but who is also the Johor PKR vice chairman Hassan Karim, whose laptop and mobile phone were seized by the police in his Pontian home this afternoon in an ongoing sedition probe against him.

They join a lengthening list of Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen like Teresa Kok (DAP – Seputeh), Khalid Samad (PAS – Shah Alam), N. Surendran (PKR – Padang Serai), Tian Chua (PKR – Batu), RSN Rayer (DAP – Seri Delima, Penang), academician Azmi Sharom, journalist Susan Loone, activists Safwan Anang and Ali Abdul Jalil, preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussein and religious teacher Abu Bakar Baikalani Abu Hassan who have been hauled to court under the repressive colonial law of Sedition Act. Read the rest of this entry »

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How far back do we go before being seditious becomes ridiculous?

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
10 September 2014

Today, a Malaysian preacher was charged with sedition for something he wrote in his Facebook account in November 2012. That is about 22 months ago.

How far will the authorities go back to decide what is seditious and what is not?

Would what Tunku Abdul Rahman say about seeking independence or what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in the constitutional crisis of 1983 and 1993 be considered seditious under the Sedition Act 1948? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib premiership has not gone bonkers – there is logic in the madness as ISA is not the only route to authoritarianism

Many Malaysians are asking whether the Najib administration has gone bonkers with the political dysfunction of his five-year premiership most conspicuous on the occasion of the 57th Merdeka Day celebrations, viz:

• Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s break with the tradition of pre-recording and broadcast of Merdeka Day message to have “eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart” connection with all Malaysians in a “live” speech with the triple theme and thrust of unity, confidence and prosperity totally ignored by Umno Ministers and leaders who before and after Merdeka Day on August 31 continued to fan the flames of national disunity and racial discord by propagating the reckless and baseless myth that the Malay race and Islam are under attack.

• Najib’s pledge to repeal the Sedition Act and to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world” torn into shreds with him presiding over the most number of sedition prosecutions against Opposition leaders and dissent under any Malaysian Prime Minister, while UMNO Ministers, leaders, UMNO cybertroopers and their front organisations allowed unchecked to spout incendiary and seditious utterances with immunity and impunity. Read the rest of this entry »

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After ‘attack’ on academic freedom, UM students to rally forth

The Malay Mail Online
By Ida Lim
September 3, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — Angered by the sedition prosecution of their vocal law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom, a group of University of Malaya (UM) scholars will lead a rally here next Wednesday to reclaim fully their academic freedom.

Student leader Vince Tan said the charge against Azmi over the latter’s comments on the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis, is an “attack” on institutions of higher learning, and voiced concern at the growing repression of intellectual thinking.

“We feel there is an attack on academic freedom. We have come to a level that is beyond acceptable, because academic freedom in UM and Malaysia has gone so low. (An) academic can be charged for just stating an opinion in the field of his study.

“So we are coming out with a protest together with academics in UM, September 10, 1pm to 2pm,” the secretary-general of student rights group Progressive University of Malaya told Malay Mail Online when met at the court complex here yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet meeting tomorrow must let Malaysians know whether the Barisan Nasional Malaysian government has gone bonkers

The top agenda for the Cabinet meeting tomorrow should be to answer the question right-thinking Malaysians have been asking the past week whether the Malaysian government has gone bonkers.

The week leading to the 57th Merdeka Anniversary gives new cause for concern as to the direction and future of Malaysia under the premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Of special concern are the speeches delivered at UMNO divisional meetings. I need refer only to three of them.

The first was the reckless and irresponsible speech by the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan at the Rembau UMNO division meeting, concocting the lie that “three days after the opposition (Pakatan Rakyat) forms the Federal Government, it will have its first cabinet meeting, where the main agenda will be the reunion of Singapore with Malaysia” coupled with the preposterous and utterly baseless allegation that this could be done (allegedly involving an increase of 89 non-Malay parliamentary seats) without having to amend the Federal Constitution in Parliament.

This was followed by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob whose speech to the Gopeng UMNO delegates meeting on Merdeka eve indulged in fear-mongering alleging that the Malays were “under attack” in Malaysia.

Ismail lamented that the Malay race is divided into ‘Umno Malays’, ‘PAS Malays’, ‘PKR Malays’ and ‘DAP Malays’ when it is imperative that the Malay race should stand united as they were when the country achieved independence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya’s sledgehammer strategy might blow up in its face

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
1 September 2014

Somewhere in there, lurks a strategy to the Najib government’s decision to use the Sedition Act as a dragnet against citizens of this country.

Critics argue that it is to cower Malaysians into silence, to discourage dissent of any kind, to send a chilling message that thinking is not allowed.

Others say Putrajaya is borrowing out of the playbook of the PAP government in Singapore, a government famous for its sledgehammer approach. In fact, just recently, Umno’s main mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia even suggested that Malaysia look south. Read the rest of this entry »

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AG should resign or be replaced if he cannot discharge his duty of public accountability to explain whether he has been guilty of selective and malicious prosecution in recent slew of charges against PR MPs and Assemblymen

Although the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail is vested with the sole discretion under Article 145 of the Malaysian Constitution “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence” , he owes the Malaysian people a duty of public accountability to explain whether he has been guilty of selective and malicious prosecution in the recent slew of arrests and charges against Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen.

The new-fangled charge against the PKR Vice President Rafizi Ramli yesterday, for example, was just incredulous and most extraordinary.

Rafizi is charged under Section 504 of the Penal Code on “Intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace” which states: “Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both”.

Rafizi was accused of issuing “defamatory and provocative statements” against Umno members through a statement he made in February, linking Umno with an incident where a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a church.

There have been legion cases of DAP, PKR and PAS members being “defamed” and “provoked” by UMNO/BN leaders and spokespersons, particularly since the 12th General Elections in 2008, but have anyone been arrested and prosecuted in the past six years under Section 504 of the Penal Code, which could lead to the disqualification of a sitting Member of Parliament or State Assemblyperson, resulting in by-elections?

Absolutely none. Why then has this new-fangled charge been trotted out against Rafizi which could lead to his disqualification as MP for Pandan followed by a parliamentary by-election? Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP lawmaker accuses A-G of selective prosecution in sedition charge

BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
29 August 2014

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok wants to transfer her sedition charge from the Sessions Court to the High Court in a bid to expose what she says is selective prosecution by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

The DAP national vice-chairman said in an application to transfer her case that Gani refused to frame charges against racists and extremists who threatened public order, ridiculed other races and those from minority religions to create disharmony and riots.

She said the High Court was the appropriate forum to investigate that the charge against her amounted to selective prosecution.

She also said the matter could only be brought to the Federal Court if her trial started in the High Court.

“There are many delicate legal questions that will be raised because the A-G’s discretionary powers superseded a citizen’s right to equal protection under the law,” said Kok in the affidavit sighted by The Malaysian Insider.

Sessions judge Norsharidah Awang will hear the application to transfer the case on September 18. Read the rest of this entry »

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Time for A-G to explain his decisions on charges against opposition leaders, say lawyers

BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
May 15, 2014

Lawyers today demanded Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (pic) come out of his cocoon and explain several questionable decisions made by his office relating to charges against opposition leaders which were later thrown out of court.

They are particularly aghast that Gani had decided to go ahead and re-charge opposition leader Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad for his failure to give a 10-day notice to the police under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) to organise a rally.

This was despite the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of Nik Nazmi on April 25 after striking down a punishment provided under the PAA as unconstitutional because it breached the basic rights of citizens to assemble peacefully.

Yesterday, activists Mohd Bukhairy Sofian, Edy Noor Ridzuan and Badrul Hisham Shaharin, or better known as Chegubard, were also granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the lower courts as the judges said they were bound by the Court of Appeal ruling.

The lawyers said that Gani must realise that society’s expectations of him have increased, and he now owes them an explanation.

Gani must defend the integrity of the office he had been holding since 2001, they said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib must take a clear stand – whether he is with the moderates or the extremists, whether he is for 1Malaysia or the very antithesis of 1Malaysia

On 5th May 2014, the first anniversary of the 13th General Elections, Malaysians were torn by grave disillusionment with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for a year of failed policies and the dire prospect of a break-up of Pakatan Rakyat over hudud law.

The next day, the beginning of the second year of Najib’s second administration as Prime Minister could not have started on a more ominous note, heralding that Malaysia is heading for a new dark age where all the grandiloquent pledges and slogans of 1Malaysia, World’s Best Democracy and Government Transformation Programme would be consigned to the dustbins of history and replaced by undemocratic, repressive, unjust and draconian rule.

In the morning, the PR/DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok was charged in Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with sedition over her Chinese New Year “Onederful Malaysia” video, a 11-minute clip lampooning and criticising various failures of government policies.

It is supreme irony that one of the five criticisms in her video alleged to be seditious was about the security situation in East Sabah especially after the abduction of the Taiwan tourist in an island resort off Semporna in November last year – as on the morning that Teresa was charged, news were received of another abduction of a Chinese national in a nearby island off Lahad Datu at about 2.45 a.m. the same day!

Teresa was telling the truth, but telling the truth has become sedition in Najib’s Malaysia as the Prime Minister has forgotten his promises to repeal the draconian and colonial Sedition Act. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stopping those who spew hate in the name of religion

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
May 07, 2014

If there are any police officials still interested in being honest brokers and if the rule of law means anything anymore in Malaysia, a whole clutch of speakers at yesterday’s seminar on the Allah word and Christianity should be arrested and charged with sedition.

In some other countries, they would be charged with hate crimes because hate is what they were trying to make Malaysians do. Hate Christians and hate Malaysians of the Christian faith. Read the rest of this entry »

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Assemble peacefully without fear, Malaysians told

BY V. ANBALAGAN AND EILEEN NG
The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

The public can now assemble without fear following a Court of Appeal ruling yesterday that a breach of a provision in the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) does not amount to an offence, human rights lawyers and lawmakers said.

They said the unanimous decision of the three-man bench led by judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof upheld a fundamental right under the Federal Constitution, which is the right to assemble peacefully.

This means the upcoming May Day anti-GST (goods and services tax) rally will no longer be deemed “illegal” and the public need not worry about the any action being taken against them unless they destroyed properties or committed criminal offences.

The lawyers also saluted the judges who were prepared to uphold the supreme law of the land instead of allowing a basic right that should be enjoyed by citizens to be a mere illusion.

The judgment also said those who went against public order could only be charged under the Penal Code, the Road Transport Act or local government by-laws.

In declaring the punishment provided under the PAA as unconstitutional because it violated the right to assemble peacefully, the appellate court also struck out the charge against Selangor legislative assembly deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad for failing to give 10 days notice under the Act before organising the May 5 Blackout Rally last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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We ask no favours, and will ‘fight till the end’ to clear Karpal’s name, says Gobind

by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
April 25, 2014

Karpal Singh’s family does not expect any “favours” from Putrajaya in their appeal against the late lawyer and politician’s conviction and sentence for sedition, his son Gobind Singh Deo told a crowd of more than 3,000 last night.

The Puchong MP said he was aware of growing calls for Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to drop the cross-appeal to enhance Karpal’s sentence of a RM4,000 fine, but indicated that the family will continue with the appeal to remove the smudge from his illustrious career.

Karpal was fined RM4,000 after the High Court had in February 21 found the former DAP chairman guilty of uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak at the height of the constitutional crisis in 2009.

Karpal had filed his notice of appeal against the conviction and sentence and was awaiting the trial judge to provide the grounds of judgment before taking the matter to the Court of Appeal.

The 73-year-old Karpal, known as the Tiger of Jelutong, died in a road accident on the North-South Expressway near Kampar, Perak last week, alongside his aide Michael Cornelius.

“We don’t need any favours from the A-G. We don’t need his sympathies. We won’t back down, we will fight until the end because he would have fought it to the end,” Gobind said to a thunderous applause from thousands present at a memorial service held in honour of Karpal at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night. Read the rest of this entry »

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No sedition in heaven: A tribute to the Tiger of Jelutong

– Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
The Malaysian Insider
April 24, 2014

I refer to Raja Shahrir’s “Thank you for showing us what courage is”, in Free Malaysia Today, April 19, with regard to his moving tribute to the late great Karpal Singh.

I beg the kind indulgence of the reader to allow me to say a few words honouring the intrepid Karpal.

It is my firm belief – and there is no shadow of doubt about it – that besides Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang, Karpal belongs to that triumvirate of the opposition leaders in Malaysia which has been consistently maligned and slandered by the powers that be since day one.

However, I would also like to state unhesitatingly that Karpal was the most personally abused among the three, and hounded politically in a persistent and nefarious manner by the establishment.

Yet, Karpal never backed down nor did he ever cease being faithful to the cause. He remained committed until the very end for the reform agenda and for the general movement of the collective struggle of the Malaysian people.

Consider the Tiger’s records of courage: Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal’s dead body still no walkover

Abdar Rahman Koya
The Malaysian Insider
April 19, 2014

The Malay adage “Harimau mati tinggalkan belang, manusia mati tinggalkan nama” (A tiger leaves behind its stripes, a man leaves behind his deeds) can’t be more apt in describing the passing away of the Tiger of Jelutong.

Karpal Singh was both a tiger whose stripes patterned the Malaysian political landscape for so long, and a man whose name dominated contemporary Malaysian legal history. The courts and the Parliament will have a hard time shedding away his stripes for a long time.

In court, Karpal’s presence is a signal that a case is to be treated as important, deserving the widest coverage. He can choose to represent a food stall owner, or a former deputy prime minister, and both cases would be keenly observed by the legal fraternity. For when Karpal is the lawyer, it is not how a case would end, it is how it was argued in court.

Karpal proved that a good lawyer is not someone who never loses a case, but someone who takes the most difficult one and stands not a chance to either acquit or get a huge sum rewarded to his client. Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya seeks stiffer penalty against Karpal for sedition

by V Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
April 04, 2014

Veteran lawyer Karpal Singh, who was fined RM4,000 for sedition last month, could now be jailed after prosecution filed a cross appeal, urging the court to impose a stiffer penalty.

Karpal was found guilty of sedition and fined by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on March 11.

However, he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that he received a copy of the notice of appeal filed by the prosecution, urging the Court of Appeal to enhance the sentence.

“They want me in jail,” said Karpal, who stepped down as DAP chairman following the conviction and sentence last month.

“Well, they are entitled to file a cross appeal.” Read the rest of this entry »

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