Archive for May 10th, 2008

Cyclone Nargis and callous Myanmar military rulers – Let ASEAN be first to condemn

Let ASEAN be the first to condemn the Myanmar military junta for its callousness in not suspending its sham referendum to legitimize its 46-year dictatorship in the face of the Cyclone Nargis devastation.

On May 3, 2008, cyclone Nargis struck the Irrawaddy delta and wiped out entire villages as it left a path of destruction across five regions. Over seven million people were affected by the storm, with estimates of dead ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 and up to a million homeless.

ASEAN governments and leaders cannot remain silent at the irresponsible and inhumane conduct of the Myanmese military rulers which seized a shipment of United Nations food aid intended for victims of the devastating cyclone, declaring that they would accept donations of food and medicine but not the foreign aid workers. Read the rest of this entry »


Lingam Video Clip RCI report – table it in Parliament on Monday

The four-volume 186-page Lingam Video Clip Royal Commission of Inquiry Report, which was submitted to the Yang di Pertuan Agong yesterday, should be tabled in Parliament on Monday, in toto without any abridgement, regardless of whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had read or approved of it or not.

In first-world developed countries where governments are held strictly to international best practices of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance, it would be completely unthinkable for the reports of Royal Commissions of Inquiry to be withheld from the public.

In fact, it is the practice of these countries for reports of Royal Commissions of Inquiry or other public investigations to be simultaneously released to the public when the reports or findings are submitted to the appointing authorities, whether the ruling monarch, the head of state or government.

Yesterday, Abdullah said he would decide whether to make the Royal Commission report public once he has read it.

He said: “I haven’t seen it yet. If it was submitted to the Prime Minister’s Department, it must have been while the cabinet was meeting.”

Does it really matter whether the Prime Minister had personally seen or read it or not, or whether it had been submitted to the Prime Minister’s Department while the cabinet was meeting? Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah putting pressure on AG to prosecute Karpal – bad and dangerous precedent

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is setting a bad and dangerous precedent in publicly pressurizing the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail to charge DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh for sedition and turn a legal issue into a political and racial one.

This is the first time in 50 years that a Prime Minister had so flagrantly and blatantly put public pressure on the Attorney-General to prosecute an Opposition leader, making a total mockery of the absolute discretion of the Attorney-General as entrenched in Article 145(3) of the Constitution “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah Court, a native court or a court-martial”.

On Thursday, Abdullah said he had instructed Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to lodge a police report against Karpal for making allegedly seditious remarks about the Sultan of Perak when Karpal had reiterated publicly that he had not questioned Sultan Azlan Shah’s prerogatives as the state’s head of religion of Islam.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister has upped the ante by publicly demanding that the Attorney-General speed up the probe against Karpal. Read the rest of this entry »