Archive for category Law & Order
NEWS ANALYSIS BY JAHABAR SADIQ, EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
August 23, 2013
Seven years on, no one has paid the price for the death of Altantuya Shaariibuuu. And no one knows why the pretty Mongolian was killed one night in October 2006.
But today’s Court of Appeal decision does not close the file on her mysterious murder.
Instead, the ruling to acquit former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and former corporal Sirul Azhar Umar raises more questions than ever.
Who killed her? Why? Read the rest of this entry »
— P Ramakrishnan
The Malay Mail Online
August 13, 2013
AUG 13 — The accepted legal norm is that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. That is the basic law. That is the golden thread of the law. That is the basis of justice.
It appears that Ranjit Singh Dhillon, the Penang Bar Committee’s criminal law chairman, has totally ignored this time-honoured principle by demanding that Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Karpal Singh declare their assets to prove their innocence. This is ridiculous!
If this was Ranjit Singh’s personal view, that would be of no consequence. But this view was stated in his capacity as an official of the Penang Bar – that makes it preposterous!
Malaysians would like to know if the Penang Bar shares Ranjit’s absurd view or does it disassociate itself from this view? This must be stated immediately and clearly. Malaysians should not be left wondering what has happened to the Penang Bar. Isn’t justice and fairness the paramount concern of the Bar? This must rightly be so.
Ranjit’s sober position should have been to ask the accuser to make a police report and provide the MACC with the so-called evidence in his possession that suggests that there was corruption in the conduct of these two Pakatan leaders. In this manner, he would have facilitated the commencement of criminal investigation by both the police and the MACC. Unfortunately, Ranjit did not do this. He did not promote the cause of justice.
What are the facts? Read the rest of this entry »
— Ravinder Singh
The Malay Mail Online
August 11, 2013
AUG 11 — Speaking at the 30th anniversary dinner of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) Joseph Kurup, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of National Unity, said “We can’t allow issues that might just be a storm in a teacup take a turn for the worse, abruptly turning it into a perfect storm, destroying what took us years and years to build.” Beautiful words!
He also said the government has “taken a zero-tolerance approach and sometimes contentious position on religious bigotry”. Empty words, at least until now!
Racial and religious provocations by the likes of Ibrahim Ali (burn the Bibles), Ridhuan Tee (about Thaipusam), Zulkifli Nordin (Hindu deities), and some other Muslims have been going on not for days, but for years. Yet, not a murmur from the minister of national unity until the chest beating at the dinner.
The minister should state openly his stand on racial / religious bigotry — what does it mean to him? Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
23 July 2013
Alvin Tan Jye Yee and Vivian Lee May Ling, collectively known as Alvivi, are now in prison, awaiting trial. The judge denied them bail after they pleaded not guilty to three charges related to alleged sedition, causing enmity between people of different religions, and displaying pornographic pictures on their blog.
The charges – under the Sedition Act, the Film Censorship Act and the Penal Code – are pretty serious. If found guilty, they could go to jail for some years. Not a bright prospect for two supposedly smart people in their mid-20s.
But why were they not granted bail? What further harm could they inflict? Whom could they harm? How severe, really, is their offence? Even people charged with committing far worse offences, like rape, have been given bail.
Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail says Alvivi were denied bail because of their tendency to post content on their blog that could potentially anger the public.
I think that’s being presumptuous. It is not backed up with any evidence. Besides, potentially angering the public is a poor excuse. And since we are engaging in making assumptions, I would hazard that it’s very unlikely that the duo would still opt to arouse public anger after having faced those serious charges. In fact, even before they were arrested, they had already apologised. Read the rest of this entry »
by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
Friday, 19 July 2013
The decision of the AG to charge Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee marks the half-way point in the public lynching of these two young people.
What were they guilty of?
A moment of unthinking madness; an act of stupidity and idiocy; a prank in bad taste; racial and religious insensitivity; youthful arrogance – yes, these criticisms and much more in the way of scorn and public shame and odium can be heaped on their foolish and misguided attempt to draw attention to themselves.
But to charge them for sedition and for a criminal act under the penal code! And then to deny them bail as if they are a major threat to public peace and order. Please!
Let us not forget that prominent politicians guilty of even more in your face racial and religious taunting have got away scot free, with the last notable racist political figure even put up as a candidate during the recent election. And what about even earlier incidents such as kris brandishing? Read the rest of this entry »
– Josie Fernandez
The Malaysian Insider
July 18, 2013
Corruption with impunity is undermining democracy, socio-economic advancement and the independence of Parliament, state and legislature in Malaysia.
Corruption with impunity is a major challenge stifling efforts to reform institutions such as the Elections Commission, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, the Police and Political Parties. Election fraud is another indicator that impunity has been institutionalized.
Reforms proposed by civil society groups such as Transparency International Malaysia to restructure the Elections Commission, for a more independent MACC and for removal of laws that curtail the independence of the media have been ignored by the government.
Recent surveys such as the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) 2013 results have shown that approximately 70 percent of the Malaysian Public does not have faith in the government. Results from the GCB 2013 reveal that the public perceive the police to be the most corrupt, followed closely by political parties, civil servants and the Parliament/Legislature.
Bad behavior in Parliament is yet another strong indicator that impunity is the driver of such behavior. Often the prosecution of political and public officials is hindered by collusion, interference of government bureaus, personal influence and institutional pressures. Read the rest of this entry »
― Fahri Azzat (Loyarburok.com)
The Malay Mail Online
July 14, 2013
JULY 14 ― You lost your case. The judge decided against you because he found the other side’s witnesses more credible compared to yours and so preferred their testimony to your witnesses’. You complain loudly to any who care to listen, ‘How the hell can the judge prefer their witnesses over mine?’ You angrily tell your lawyer to appeal.
But if your lawyer was honest with you, he will tell you not to bother. Don’t waste your time, money and effort, he should tell you. If you ask why, he will tell you that the appellate court almost always trusts the trial judge’s assessment of a witness’ credibility. They will only depart from it in exceptional cases when the trial judge got it so perversely wrong.
The reason for this was alluded to in the recent Federal Court decision of Isidro Leonardo Quito Cruz v PP  2 CLJ 1025. It arose when Abdull Hamid Embong FCJ explained why appellate courts did not make finding of facts. He referred to the Privy Council decision of Antonio Dias Caldeira v Frederick Augustus Gray  MLJ 137 (decided on 14 February 1934) which held as follows:
“Now, it settled law that it is no part of the function of an appellate court in a criminal case or indeed any case to make its own findings of fact. That is a function exclusively reserved by the law to the trial court. The reason is obvious. An appellate court is necessarily fettered because it lacks the audio-visual advantage enjoyed by the trial court.” So the appellate court’s reason for not reviewing the credibility of the witnesses during the trial and accepting the trial judge’s opinion on them is because it lacks the audio-visual advantage of the trial court.
Although that may be an acceptable reason in 1936, it is seems incongruous, if not perverse in 2013. After all, audio-visual equipment is now cheap, mobile and ubiquitous. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 12, 2013
What happens when an elected representative does something in office that is against the wishes of his electorate?
To be more specific, what if he does something without consulting his constituency and is mainly for his own personal benefit?
Well, in most cases around the world, this would be unethical and the elected representative would come under heated pressure and probably lose in the next election.
But in Malaysia, it happens to be quite all right. Because, you see, in this country, elected leaders are one step higher than normal people.
What they say is like gospel for everybody. Don’t believe me? Then check out our newspapers. It is filled with elected leaders saying this and that as advise for the people.
Take for example, the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Ahmad Hamidi, who recently said that the Sedition Act should not be abolished.
He says this with full aplomb as if his judgement is the right one and should be the decision best for the country.
In truth, the Sedition Act is as archaic as the ISA and a sack of fosillised mammoth bones that is about to turn into petroleum and then processed by Petronas.
At the moment, the Sedition Act cover is just too wide and vague that it allows the authorities a lot of leeway for manipulation. So, it deserves at least an update.
Even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, announced much earlier (many times, even) that the act would be abolished. Read the rest of this entry »
— Lim Sue Goan
The Malay Mail Online
July 08, 2013
JULY 8 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made a legal reform pledge on the eve of the Malaysia Day in 2011, which was indeed a sign of democratic progress. However, the legal reforms have been questioned. Would the government backtrack?
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi refuses to support the abolition of the 1969 Sedition Act. At the same time, Home Ministry and the police blame the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) for causing the deterioration of public security and thus, the government is developing a special preventive law similar to the EO.
It was a right move for Najib to announce the abolition and amendments for some draconian laws, as these undemocratic laws had violated human rights and fundamental freedom. They were also accused to have been used against dissidents.
For example, student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim; Tamrin Ghafar, son of late former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Ghafar Baba; Anything But Umno (ABU) leader Haris Ibrahim and three others were charged with sedition in May. Also, six Socialist Party leaders were detained under the EO.
In fact, as early as in 2005, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) Report had proposed the abolition of the EO as the Act was “outdated and might become a tool to infringe fundamental freedom”. The EO allowed for 60 days’ detention without warrant or trial, depriving detainee’s right to seek legal defence. Therefore, the announcement to abolish the Sedition Act and the EC was in line with public opinion. The authorities should not resurrect the laws, regardless of whatever excuses. Read the rest of this entry »
Husam’s two-day remand must be condemned by all right-thinking Malaysians as it constitutes a gross abuse of power
The two-day remand of PAS Vice President Husam Musa by the police on grounds of investigations under Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948 must be condemned by all right-thinking Malaysians as its constitutes a gross abuse of power and proof that nothing has changed as far as “transformation” to restore the independence, impartiality and professionalism of national institutions is concerned.
Malaysians are asking why the police have not even questioned, let alone remanded, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who had been guilty of making a series of seditious statements before, during and after the 13th General Elections, utterly reckless of the damage he was doing to inter-racial harmony with his racist lies and falsehoods.
Similarly, Malaysians also want to know why the former Court of Appeal judge, Mohd Noor Abdullah had not been questioned, let alone remanded in a police lock-up, for making the most racist and seditious speech in the country in the past four decades when he warned that the Chinese Malaysians must be prepared for a backlash from the Malay community for their “betrayal” in the recently concluded 13th general election.
With Husam’s two-day remand, Malaysians are being told that the days of selective prosecution, discriminatory treatment and abuses of power by those in authority continues to be the order of the day. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Malaysian Insider
Jun 09, 2013
JUNE 9 — Compromised. Insulting. Dangerous.
These three words describe aptly members of the Malaysian Cabinet formed following GE13.
Tengku Adnan Mansor is the least qualified to speak about the rule of law and following the law. This politician was found guilty by the Royal Commission of Inquiry of subverting the course of justice by trying to fix the appointment of judges.
The RCI recommended action against Tengku Adnan and five others for offences under the Sedition Act, Official Secrets Acts, Penal Code and the Legal Profession Act. The government disregarded the findings of the RCI, allowing Tengku Adnan to continue his political career. So today, he is a minister, giving him the platform to preach and lecture Malaysians, as he did when he chastised the Opposition for continuing its mass rallies.
“I would like to advise that we live in a place with law and order…we do not follow the laws of the jungle, “ he said, explaining why the police refused to grant a permit for the Opposition rally in Padang Merbok.
Can someone found guilty of subverting the rule of law talk about law and order? Can a compromised individual take the moral high ground? Read the rest of this entry »
Aerie Rahman (Loyarburok)
The Malaysian Insider
May 23, 2013
MAY 23 — Despite it being Spring, London is chilly. Malaysia, so I hear, is extremely hot right now, with friends and family members telling me that the current heat wave is unparalleled to any we’ve had before.
Nevertheless, a chilling effect is haunting Malaysia. This kind of chilly feeling is unable to be insulated by thick clothing, a warm fire or a kiss from a mistress. It seeps into your cold black bones and relentlessly gnaws at them. This is the chill of sedition laws.
Adam Adli is not the victim of the chilling effect. He can continue to say what he wants to say because he’s got nothing to lose. He’s already charged of the act; he might even be a martyr. On the other hand, we, the unfortunate citizens of Malaysia are the victims of this effect, every single one of us.
Of course, by every single one of us, I must qualify that with the fact that not everyone who makes a ‘seditious’ statement is charged with sedition. Some people are exempted from being punished. Selective prosecution or cherry picking is something familiar to Malaysians. In fact, a certain daddy of the “gomo” persuasion would gladly attest to this. This is hypocrisy at its finest.
When a person is publicly muzzled from speaking, we shudder at the thought of us being in his position. What if I’m the one in prison for my anti-establishment rhetoric? What’ll happen to my family? My parents would be so disappointed, and so on. Read the rest of this entry »
by P Ramakrishnan
Decent thinking Malaysians were justifiably shocked that a former judge of the Court of Appeals, Mohd Noor Abdullah, could have expressed views that are so abhorrently out of character for a judge.
There was no sobriety or sanity in his statement.
One would expect such incoherent utterings from the likes of extremists from Umno – not from a judge. But then, he reportedly has some connection with Umno and therefore it should not come as a surprise. Apparently, he is a member of Umno’s disciplinary committee. Read the rest of this entry »
– May Chee
The Malaysian Insider
May 22, 2013
MAY 22 – More than a hundred thousand have thronged a single rally and there was no untoward incident. Thirty at a candlelight vigil showing solidarity with a young and courageous Malaysian and it turned chaotic. So, when someone says we go to the streets to foment chaos, he hasn’t a clue or he’s plain lying through his teeth. I would say he had ill-intent. We all know very well that things only turn ugly when people with ill-intent send in their thugs to rough others up.
I have never been prouder of our fellow Malaysians, especially our youth than now, when we are going through some really trying times. There was a time when I was so afraid that our young would be so obsessed with the ills of consumerism that they would not learn how to love their fellowmen. I was so afraid that all they cared for was to deck themselves with branded stuff from top to toe, bling-a-ling away like a Christmas tree.
Now, I know better. I know there’s hope for Malaysia because our youth care. They do care for their fellow Malaysians, irrespective of creed and colour. They care so much that they have spent time and money, braved the scorching sun and pouring rain, teargas and chemical-laced water, too, to be in solidarity with fellow Malaysians. They care so much that they are asking now for a more active participation in the building of the future of their motherland, only because others have failed. Read the rest of this entry »
by Aerie Rahman
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 20, 2013
Move aside Khairy Jamaluddin and Saifuddin Abdullah — we have a new poster boy for change within the Barisan National power structure. Not used to flamboyance and only recently baring the fangs of radicalism, Zahid Hamidi has sparked a debate on a new form of politics: migratory politics.
With his decree demanding that those who are unhappy with the current political system migrate to republican states, this man is a maverick. He is braving the tide by countering Najib Razak’s efforts to stem the pernicious brain drain beleaguering this nation. We need more mavericks within BN! Not mere “yes men” whose servitude are repulsive, but men with independent minds. Zahid fits the bill. This is a man to watch, Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »
21-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day – Attorney-General Gani Patail given opportunity to arrest and charge Mahathir for sedition and criminal defamation before I instruct my lawyers to institute legal proceedings against Mahathir for defamation in connection with his blog on “Gelang Patah”
As the former DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng has lodged a police report this morning in Kuala Lumpur against the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for sedition and criminal defamation, I will give the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail the opportunity to arrest and charge Mahathir for sedition and criminal defamation before I instruct my lawyers to institute legal proceedings against Mahathir for defamation in connection with his blog, “Gelang Patah” last Thursday, 11th April 2013.
I had given Mahathir two opportunities to withdraw and apologise for his chauvinistic and seditious blog which made irresponsible and baseless attacks on my reputation and character or face legal action for defamation for his lies and falsehoods, but the former Prime Minister had been totally unmoved and unrepentant.
Mahathir had disgraced and dishonoured the office of the former Prime Minister, which is provided by Parliament every year with a princely allocation from the annual Federal Government budget for its upkeep, by spewing downright lies and falsehoods to make the 13th General Elections the dirtiest in the the nation’s history which is most unworthy and unfitting for a former Prime Minister whose living and maintenance expenses is billed to the public purse.
Two days ago, the latest “black operation” in the 13GE surfaced with the appearance of a sex video purportedly involving the PAS Secretry-General Mustapha Ali, which has been categorically denied by Mustafa who said that UMNO was desperate enough to lie in order to drop him from the country’s arena.
Read the rest of this entry »
by Dr Mustafa K Anuar
Honorary Secretary, Aliran | 10 April 2013
Aliran roundly condemns Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim’s recent indefensible justification for the Barisan Nasional’s blatant use of government machinery for its election campaigning in the run-up to the general election.
What was done had nothing to do with the functions of the caretaker government. The three Information Department vans were there to assist the BN coalition to prepare for the opening of the BN’s election command centre for the Batu parliamentary constituency on Sunday. Government machinery was definitely used for party purposes.
It is crucial that all parties concerned must acknowledge and respect the demarcation line between party and government use to prevent abuse of power and to ensure a level playing field between the incumbent coalition and its contenders.
Surely, it doesn’t take a legally trained person to realise that it is immoral for a caretaker government to take undue advantage of its incumbency in this callous manner.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Thomas Fann
Walking towards a Pakatan rally at Kampung Melayu Dato Sulaiman Menteri in Johor Bahru, I could hear loud music coming from the open area where the ceramah was suppose to be. Initially I thought it was the pre-rally entertainment to amuse those who came earlier but as I got closer I could see UMNO and BN flags waving from where the mega sound system was, just 40 metres from the Pakatan truck which acted as the mobile stage.
Around 30 of these flag waving UMNO supporters were hurling verbal abuses and taunting the crowd of several thousands that night who came to hear what Anwar, Kit Siang, Guan Eng and other Pakatan leaders have to say.
Scores of police personnel had to act as human barricades to separate this small group of hostile supporters from the larger crowd who to their credit was peaceful and not provoked. Rock music and UMNO songs blasted non-stop for more than 4 hours for the whole duration of the ceramah.
Read the rest of this entry »
2 April 2013
The Sun Daily
THE images on television were horrific. Smoke billowing from the embers in a village in Myanmar and a mob burning down a branch of the iconic Fashion Bug chain in Sri Lanka. These are the results of religious bigotry. Groups calling themselves “religious” have succeeded in manipulating and contradicting the tenets in every religion – moderation and non-violence.
Common sense should remind us that fanatical organisations and individuals have no place in society and religion, when used as a tool for political expedience, the results could be persuasive. In Sri Lanka, Buddhist monks are leading right-wing groups against the Muslims while in Myanmar, a group called 969 is leading the onslaught against the Rohingyas.
Islamophobia and any other forms of religious chauvinism and extremism have no place in modern society. Fortunately for right-thinking Malaysians, we can confidently affirm that acceptance and understanding of each other’s religion has been a major factor in bringing about a strife-free country.
But occasionally, a handful break that confidence by making utterances that are totally deplorable, unacceptable and above all nauseating. Read the rest of this entry »
by P Gunasegaram
3:05PM Mar 22, 2013
QUESTION TIME It is a common thing in Malaysia for many politicians to live way beyond their means. And although there are ways and means to check anyone’s wealth simply by tracking down their assets, these people live in relative peace being troubled neither by the police nor by their conscience.
The anecdotal evidence has been there that corruption is a great problem, especially grand corruption of which virtually nothing has been done. And this has been greatest in Sabah and Sarawak where those in power live with fabulous riches and are associated with other rich, but often infamous people.
Even for someone who expects that all these corruptions routinely take place, the recent graphic revelations about Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family members and the ease with which NGO Global Witness was able to obtain video recordings damning them was shocking to me.
If you have not seen the video yet, go here to look at it. It is a case of such blatant complacency, arrogance and cockiness showing that the perpetrators were super confident that they could get away with such things. Read the rest of this entry »