Archive for December 1st, 2007

Crime – increase by leaps and bounds and mutate to new criminality

In the past 30 months since the Royal Police Commission Report and its 125 recommendations in May 2005 to create an incorruptible, efficient, professional world-class police service to reduce crime, eradicate corruption and protect human rights, the scene on the crime front has taken a turn for the worse.

There has not only been a big jump in the crime index, new forms of criminality have been created striking fear among law-abiding citizens, tourists and would-be investors making Malaysia even more unsafe for people and property compared to four years ago.

The Royal Police Commission in its May 2005 Report had referred to the “alarming” and “dramatic increase” in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, an increase of 29 per cent in eight years, and recommended a reduction by 20% in the crime index in the first 12 months.

In actual fact, the reverse has taken place with the crime index set to create a new record in crossing the 200,000 mark this year — a hefty increase of some 30% of the crime incidence in three years from 2004!

Yesterday, Datuk Dr. Maximus Ongkili, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Chairman of the Crime Prevention Foundation, admitted the worsening of the crime index this year with nine reported cases of rape a day in the first nine months of this year as compared to four cases a day in 2003 and 6.7 cases a day in 2006!

A recent public opinion survey found that crime and public safety was rated as the second biggest concern of Malaysians — coming after price hikes and economic concerns.

What must be a matter of grave concern is the creation of new forms of criminality compounding the fear and trauma of Malaysians that they have lost the fundamental and precious freedom from crime and the fear of crime. Read the rest of this entry »


Hindraf demo – Pak Lah’s “Big Ears” hearing problem

The Star’s front-page headline “PM: I hear you” is symptomatic of the grave hearing problem of the Abdullah premiership which is entering into its fifth year.

Abdullah should ask why despite his pledge from the first days of becoming the fifth Prime Minister that he wanted to “hear the truth however unpleasant” and his claim that he has “big ears”, Malaysians are convinced that he is not hearing anything?

Is this because his gatekeepers have erected an unprecedentedly high wall as compared to the four previous Prime Ministers cutting him off from ordinary Malaysians — I have for instance given up attempts to ask for a meeting with the Prime Minister because it is just impossible to get through his handlers — or is it because he could not hear anything even with his “big ears” if what he is told just enters one “big ear” only to exit the other “big ear” without leaving any impressions?

The very fact that Abdullah must start his fifth year as Prime Minister to shout “I hear you”, “I have big ears”, are the most eloquent proofs that Abdullah is having a grave hearing problem and had not been listening to the people despite having “big ears”!

The letter to Malaysiakini by Penang State Exco Dr. Toh Kin Woon breaking ranks with the top Barisan Nasional leadership dissociating himself from its condemnation of marches, rallies and pickets which were “centred on their illegality, potential threat to peace, the possible destabilization of the economy including frightening away foreign investors” is further proof of Abdullah’s “Big Ear” hearing problem.

When will Abdullah “walk the talk” of his pledge to “hear the truth” and listen to Dr. Toh Kin Woon instead of to the sycophantic top Barisan Nasional leaders whether Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting of MCA, Tan Sr. Dr. Koh Tsu Koon of Gerakan or Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu of MIC that Barisan Nasional leaders “should have been more concerned over the grievances, frustrations and disappointments that have brought so many thousands to the streets in the first place and to seek fair and just solutions to them”? Read the rest of this entry »


Indians on the march, ignore at own peril

by P Ramasamy

Last Sunday, more than 10,000 Indian Malaysians converged in the heart of Kuala Lumpur to raise concerns about their religious, ethnic and democratic rights.

The gathering organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) was meant to draw the attention of the government to their socio-economic plight.

There have been demonstrations by Indians in the past. Workers in plantations and urban areas have periodically demonstrated against employers over living and working conditions.

However, demonstrations against the government were hardly seen until last Sunday – and it was the biggest every organised by Indians.

The fact that Hindraf, a coalition of more than 30 Indian groupings, could mobilise so many Indians from all over the country is testimony to the general unhappiness and frustration among the community.

They demanded an end to ethnic discrimination, for better employment prospects and for respect of their religious institutions.

Since political independence in 1957, Indians whose forefathers came from south India as labourers in plantations and urban centres have felt that they have been marginalised by the policies and programmes of the Umno-controlled government. Indian marginalisation and discrimination became a big issue after the New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced in the 1970s to address Malay socio-economic grievances in the aftermath of the 1969 racial riots.

Over the last two decades or so, the government’s vigorous implementation of the NEP has invariably resulted in Indians not getting decent employment in the public sector. It has resulted in a lack of opportunities in the private sector and, with growing emphasis on Islam, has affected the religious and cultural practices of Indians, the majority of whom are Hindus. Read the rest of this entry »


Review NEP before its too late

by Richard Teo

This govt would be foolish to ignore the pleas of the silent miniority. Any ill-conceived policies that benefit only one segment of the population cannot prevail over a length of time.

First and foremost the govt must realise that every right-minded Malaysians would still want the NEP to continue but not in its present form.

The NEP must adhere to its stated goals of eradicating poverty irrespective of race. It must be need-based and not race-based.There are still many pockets of poverty that exist across every racial divide.

I have seen poor Malays, poor Indians, poor Chinese families living only on two scanty meals a day. I have also seen poor Indian children, poor Chinese children and poor Malay children struggling to have money to attend school. This only serves to reinforce the perception that poverty does not respect race or
creed. It is a common thread among many of our fellow Malaysians irrespective of race who sadly still live on this poverty line. Read the rest of this entry »


Boycott the newspapers!

(Turned off by the mainstream media treatment of the Hindraf demonstration on Sunday, 25th November 2007, Malaysiakini columnist Helen Ang has made the following call for boycott of the newspapers.)

by Helen Ang
MalaysiakiniNov 29, 07

I feel like I’ve just been slapped, kicked and punched. And I’m neither Indian nor Hindu.

The way mainstream media (MSM) have painted our fellow Malaysians black makes me thoroughly sick. MSM have assaulted Indians through their derogatory portrayal of the community and it stings me. Aliran Media Monitor’s Diary has effectively dissected MSM spin on the Hindraf rally to show up how unconscionable their coverage has been.

When a community with its back to the wall takes to the street, I sympathise. I do not mock the melodramatic form of their lawsuit and petition. I understand that the massive turnout on Nov 25 was a cry of distress. Nathaniel Tan’s ‘Why I will walk this Sunday’ is an eloquent peroration on why all Malaysians must wake up, now.

I wish I had read Nat’s piece earlier but it was only uploaded on his blog Saturday — a mere day before the gathering was to take place. His exposition is something to turn over in our heads and help us in our soul-searching because Nat spoke straight from the heart. Mighty MSM, I’m afraid, speak from the pay pocket.

There was a dearth of information in the public domain running up to the Hindraf rally, and later contradicting accounts of what really happened. Which only indicates MSM have long since lost any right to call themselves ‘newspapers’. A fortnight earlier, the Star had quoted police on a crowd segment of 4,000 at the Bersih march. This small number is deliberately misleading.

And again with Hindraf, MSM deliberately omitted an accurate depiction of the massive turnout. They failed to credit why Indians streamed into KL from all over the country. All they did was spin for their political masters. Read the rest of this entry »