Archive for September 30th, 2007

Yee Yang Yang – Tawau’s pride in standing up for the freedom and rights of university students

I am happy to be back in Tawau, particularly as it has produced a youth who had stood up for the freedom and rights of all university students in the country.

I refer to Tawau youth, Yee Yang Yang, 19, first year student at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) who became the cause celebre of campus rights of university students as he was thrown into the limelight when he was victimized by UPM security personnel two weeks ago trying to cow students from asserting their human rights to independent student activism.

On Sept. 15, UPM security officials raided Yee’s hostel room and confiscated his laptop computer, high-end mobile phone, portable music player and several other items.

Being interrogated by the security officials was the least of his problems when the UPM Vice Chancellor Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah publicly defended the action of the security officials and justified the confiscation on the ground that Yee’s laptop contained pornographic materials.

This was a downright lie, which had virtually been admitted by the UPM authorities who have returned all the confiscated items to Yee.

Any lesser soul would have wilted under such unprecedented pressures from the university authorities. But Yee stoutly stood his ground. Read the rest of this entry »


Burma bloody crackdown – ASEAN high-level delegation to find out actual death toll

ASEAN should send a high-level delegation to Myanmar to ascertain the actual death toll from the bloody military crackdown of the monks-led peaceful protests as it is not only Myanmar but all ASEAN member nations which are directly affected by the savage suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar.

The Myanmese military junta has officially admitted to 10 dead three days ago which has no credibility whatsoever.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that the loss of life in Burma is far greater than is being reported while the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer claimed that the death toll is “substantially higher” than the official Myanmese figure and could be in multiples of ten higher, i.e. over 100 dead.

Dissident groups estimate close to 200 people have been killed by government forces.

Malaysia and all the other ASEAN nations cannot be impervious to the actual death toll in the carnage in Burma in the past four days.

As the Myanmar military junta had promised to usher in national reconciliation and democratization on its admission into ASEAN ten years ago in 1997, ASEAN and its member nations must be concerned about the actual death toll in Burma as equally at stake are the international reputation, credibility and even legitimacy of ASEAN and its member nations.

As Myanmar had been admitted into ASEAN in the teeth of regional and international opposition, ASEAN member nations cannot sit by the sidelines to wait for the outcome of the visit to Myanmar by the United Nations special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari but must undertake its own initiatives.

The least ASEAN can do is to send a high-level delegation to ascertain the actual death toll from the bloody military crackdown of the monks-led peaceful protests, seek release of all detained monks and protestors (including Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners) and broker a peaceful dialogue with all stakeholders in Burma. Read the rest of this entry »


No Malaysian Chinese as Federal Court judge – first time in 50 years

The 50th Merdeka anniversary should be a celebration of the success of Malaysian nation-building after 50 years. Unfortunately, Malaysians are being given proof of of many things that have gone wrong with the nation — whether national unity, civil service efficiency, independence of the judiciary, the police, crime, anti-corruption, education, economic development and quality of education.

I will just give one instance of Malaysian nation-building which has gone wrong highlighted on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary.

In the 2008 Budget presentation, the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that as part of the effort to inculcate corporate social responsibility (CSR), all public-listed companies will be required from the financial year 2008 to disclose their employment composition by race and gender.

But has the government set a good example of responsibility with regard to ensuring a civil service which reflects the multi-racial composition of the country? Read the rest of this entry »