Archive for May 28th, 2008

Bandar Makhota Cheras violence and police connivance – public inquiry warranted

The use of thugs to assault residents of Bandar Makhota Cheras protesting against the barricade put up by the toll concessionaire, Grand Saga and the connivance of the police not only in its “hands-off” policy during the rampage by the thugs, but in going on a rampage of its own when some 20 police personnel armed assaulted an innocent bystander, Chang Jiun Haur, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

An independent public inquiry into the spate of physical violence against the protesting public by thugs and police personnel is fully warranted.

DAP MP for Serdang, Teo Nie Ching will be raising the issue in Parliament tomorrow.


RCI for Sabah illegal immigrants crisis – Sabahan support

New Sabah Times
28th May, 2008

KOTA KINABALU: A Parliamentary Select Committee on illegal immigrants is no substitute for the Royal Commission of Inquiry, said UPKO secretary-general, Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau.

“Our call for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants is actually to address a very specific issue and that is, to determine the truth behind the Project IC, which is also the mother of all illegal immigrants-related problems in Sabah.

“There is no compromise in this matter. A Royal Commission of Inquiry is no longer an option but a necessity. That is if the government is serious in putting things right on the award of citizenship in this country,” he stressed.

He said this in a statement issued here yesterday, in support of the statement by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, who called for a concerted effort to act on illegal immigrants.

He argued that just like the setting up of a Royal Commission on the Lingam video clip, which was to address the concern on the independence of the judiciary in the country, the call for the setting up of RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah is equally, if not more important as it involves the security and sovereignty of this country.

To better illustrate his concern on the illegal immigrants issue, he cited the recent news report where the Prime Minister’s Department disclosed in Parliament through a written reply to a question from the Sepangar MP, Datuk Eric Majimbun, that during the period 2002 to 2008, there was a 12% increase in the Sabah population, that is an increase of 333,500 from 2,730,100 to 3,063,600. Read the rest of this entry »


Extension of Suu Kyi’s detention – Malaysia should lead ASEAN condemnation

During the committee stage debate of the Foreign Ministry in Parliament this morning, I called on the Malaysian government to lead the ASEAN condemnation of the Myanmar military junta for the extension of detention of Burmese Opposition Leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi has been incarcerated for more than 13 years in the past 18 years, with the present five-year detention going back to the Depayin Massacre in May 2003.

At the time, the Malaysian Foreign Minister was in the forefront in publicly calling for her immediate release and the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had even warned that Myanmar might be suspended or expelled from ASEAN if the military junta continued to defy regional and international opinion.

The Myanmese military junta now appeared to have the upper hand, with no condemnation or protest from Malaysia or ASEAN for the extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention, making a complete mockery of the ASEAN Charter and ASEAN’s “constructive engagement” policy with Myanmar to initiate democratization and national reconciliation in Burma, the reason given by Malaysia for spearheading Myanmar’s entry into ASEAN in 1997.

Together with the sham referendum on May 10 and May 24, held when the country was hard hit by the cyclone Nargis disaster, claiming over 100,000 dead, some 250,000 missing and over two million victims, just to legitimize the undemocratic regime of the Myanmar military junta, Malaysia and ASEAN should lead instead of straggling behind international pressure to demand greater democratic change in Burma.


All Malaysians have special rights

by Dr. Azly Rahman

“Therefore, the rakyat must unite and never raise issues regarding Malay rights and special privileges because it is quid pro quo in gratitude for the giving in of citizenship (beri-paksa kerakyatan) to 2.7 million non-Malays into the Tanah Melayu federation….Thus, it is not appropriate for these other ethnic groups to have citizenship, only (later) to seek equality and privileges,” said Tengku Faris, who read from a 11-page prepared text.

As a Malaysian who believes in a social contract based on the notion that ‘all Malaysians are created equal’, I do not understand the ‘royal statement’. I have a view on this.

If it comes from the Biro Tatanegara (BTN), I can understand the confusion. But this is from a royal house.

This statement was valid 50 years ago, before Independence. This is an outdated statement that is not appreciated by the children of those who have laboured for this nation.

I believe we should look forward to institutionalising ‘special rights for all Malaysians’. The word ‘special’ is in itself special. Culturally it can either denote an enabling condition or a disabling one.

In the study of religion, one is bestowed a special place for living life well or for doing good deeds. In educational studies, ‘special education’ caters for the needs of those with a disabling physical, emotional or cognitive condition.

In all these, ‘special rights’ are accorded based on merit. One works hard to get special offers and into special places.

In the doctrine of the ‘divine rights of kings’, one’s special right is the birthright. Louis XVI of revolutionary France, Shah Jehan of Taj Mahal fame, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Shah Reza Pahlavi of Revolutionary Iran, King Bumiphol Adulyadev, and the sultans of Melaka were ‘special people’ who designed institutions that installed individuals based on rights sanctioned through a ‘mandate of heaven’.

Such people use specialised language to differentiate who is special and who is not. Court language is archaic, terse, meant to instill fear and to institutionalise special-ness.

The language of the street or market is fluid, accommodating, meant to instill open-ness and institutionalise creativity at its best and further development of the ‘underclass’ at its worst.

This continuum of language, power, and ideology is characteristic of histories of nations. In Malay history, istana language is enshrined in the hikayat and in Tun Seri Lanang’s Sejarah Melayu. Street language used in Malay folklore and in bawdy poems, pantun and stories of Sang Kancil.

Class consciousness, many a sociologist would say, dictates the special-ness of people across time and space. Historical-materialism necessitates the development of the specialised use and abuse of language. One can do a lot of things with words. Words can be deployed to create a sustainable and profitable master-slave relationship. Read the rest of this entry »


On “egg-shell” reputation and Parliament as “kangaroo court”

Seven years ago in December 2001, when Fong Po Kuan, as first-termer DAP MP for Batu Gajah, was suspended for six months without pay for publicly criticising the Speaker, I was in Europe.

I issued an immediate statement in London on Dec. 11, 2001 before the motion to penalise Po Kuan was debated and another statement on my return to Malaysia.

These two statements of December 2001 are reproduced below after the Malaysiakini report “Speaker warns Kit Siang over blog posting”: Read the rest of this entry »