Archive for April 16th, 2008

Tamil Makkalosai suspended for a week – beginning of crackdown post-March 8?

Popular Tamil daily, Tamil Makkalosai, has been suspended for a week by none other than the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar himself for giving too much coverage of Pakatan Rakyat news.

With immediate effect, Tamil Makkalosai will not appear in the streets until next week, awaiting the fate of its appeal to the Home Minister.

Is this the first sign of repression and crackdown on human rights and the little space opening up in the printed media after the March 8 “political tsunami”?

It is clear that the decision to stop the publication of Tamil Makkalosai, which is still awaiting for its KDN this year, has got the “green-light” from the Cabinet meeting this morning.

Why did the Ministers, particularly from Umno and other Barisan Nasional component parties, particularly from the MIC, who have promised to end their subsidiary and subservient role in Cabinet , agreed to such a repressive measure as to immediately close down Tamil Makkalosai?


Send Uthayakumar to IJN – Abdullah should heed the plea of his mother

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should heed the plea of Hindraf leader P. Uthayakumar’s mother, K. Kalaivaniy, 64, to allow her son to be admitted to the National Heart Institute to deal with his deteriorating health.

Alternatively, Uthayakumar should be admitted to any private hospital of her choice as she is willing to bear the cost of the medical treatment and not burden the authorities with the medical bills.

It is not good enough for the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to dismiss widespread concerns about Uthayakumar’s health claiming that there is no truth in claims that Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees at the Kamunting detention centre were being deprived of proper medical attention.

His assurance that ISA detainees will never be denied nor deprived of their right to receive proper medical treatment, is neither satisfactory nor acceptable as it is given from his air-conditioned office and has no relationship with what is actually happening in the detention centres to the detainees.

As a ISA detainee twice, I can speak with some authority that medical treatment for ISA detainees especially in sensitive cases like that of Uthayakumar, who is a diabetic with many grave complications, were often unsatisfactory. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP welcomes signs of imminent judicial reforms

DAP welcomes developments indicating that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is finally prepared to carry out long-overdue reforms to take the first step to restore national and international confidence in the independence, impartiality, integrity and quality of the judiciary.

I have been calling for judicial reforms both in and outside Parliament in the past two decades when the country reeled from one judiciary crisis to another since the “Mother of Judicial Crisis” in 1988 with the arbitrary sacking of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President and two Supreme Court Judges, the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and Datuk George Seah as Supreme Court judges, and the victimization of independent-minded judges.

Abdullah should not take half-hearted measures but must initiate far-reaching judicial reforms to restore the Malaysian judiciary to its world-class pedestal which it had enjoyed since Independence in 1957 until two decades ago. Read the rest of this entry »