Archive for April 23rd, 2009

Parliamentary Roundtable on Indira Ghandi and forced conversion of her 3 children – if Tsu Koon cannot deliver “Performance Now”

The exasperation of the President of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, Datuk A. Vaithilingam at the lack of action of the “Performance Now” Cabinet, and in particular the KPI Monitor Minister In the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon over the injustices in the latest case of controversial and oppressive conversion is understandable.

As Vaithilingam lamented: :”Everyone is very sympathetic. There is no use being sympathetic if it is mere sympathy without action.”

We are giving Tsu Koon another week to deliver the “Performance Now” motto of the Najib government to end the injustices suffered by kindergarten teacher from Ipoh, M. Indira Ghandi, 35, and her three children, Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinish 11 and year-old baby Prasana Diksa or a Parliamentary Roundtable will be convened to demand justice for such victims of controversial and oppressive conversions.

In the past week, the three-man “Performance Now” Cabinet Committee, headed by Koh, to resolve the Indira Ghandi issue, has expanded to five Ministers – with the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Law and Parliament, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil joining the original three Ministers – Koh, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department on Islamic Affairs, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and the Human Resources Minister, Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam. Read the rest of this entry »


Election Commission – explain strange/extraordinary behaviour, reinforcing public suspicions about its independence, professionalism and integrity

At its meeting with political parties today, the Election Commission should explain its recent strange and extraordinary behaviour which only reinforce public suspicions about its independence, professionalism and integrity.

The Election Commission is acting more and more as a mouthpiece and appendage of the Barisan Nasional government instead of being a non-partisan, professional and independent Election Commission as mandated by the Constitution to conduct free, fair and clean elections to give meaning to the system of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

For instance, the Election Commission should explain its strange and unprecedented behaviour in not announcing the nomination and polling dates for the Penanti by-election although the Election Commission met on the matter yesterday.

In my 43 years of political and electoral experience, I have not come across another instance where the Election Commission failed to announce the dates for general election or by-election on the very same day after it had held a special meeting on it. Read the rest of this entry »


Public Forum: Can Najib Deliver His Reform Promises?

Date: 23 April 2009 (Thursday)
Time: 8pm

Venue: Level 1, KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur.

Panellists: Ooi Kee Beng, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, Tunku Abdul Aziz

Enquiry: Faisal Mustaffa 03-79806571 / [email protected]

(The forum is organised in conjunction with the launch of Research for Social Advancement (REFSA) [an independent non-profit organisation aimed at encouraging open discussion and input into public policy issues] latest publication, Arrested Reform: The Undoing of Abdullah Badawi by Ooi Kee Beng.)


Rulers must not lord over us

22 April 2009

UNEASY LIES THE HEAD THAT WEARS A CROWN – William Shakespeare’s Henry the Fourth.

“The role of the constitutional monarchy goes beyond what is stipulated in the constitution. The rulers have a far wider responsibility in ensuring that the spirit of the constitution, the philosophy behind the written law, and the interest of the country and the people are safeguarded at all times.” – Sultan Azlan Shah.

I am sad to note that there are among us those who have chosen to interpret Sultan Azlan Shah’s rendering of the role of the constitutional monarchy as an example of our rulers seeking to act outside the remit of their constitutional authority. A ruler naturally cannot act arbitrarily, for example, by ignoring any of the provisions of the constitution without inviting formal strictures.

The Sultan of Perak was making a distinction between the formal functions of a Malay ruler as set out in the constitution of his state and his traditional duties as a hereditary ruler. A ruler of a Malay state is, therefore, more than a constitutional creation; he is the embodiment of all that is noble, virtuous, fair and just. Many rulers naturally have not lived up to these ideals, but, on balance, it can be fairly argued that they are conscious of their duty to their people. They have a duty that goes beyond the constitutional framework which has neither spirit nor soul and which only a wise and caring ruler can give. Read the rest of this entry »


The truth about Malaysia

The truth about Malaysia
The efforts of civil society and alternative media have strived to show Malaysia in its true, anti-democratic light

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar,
Wednesday 22 April 2009

Architects of autocracies would benefit tremendously from studying the Malaysian model. It stands as a shining example of how, given the right combination of greed, ambition, maladministration and contempt for the rule of law, any democracy can be recast into an autocracy while preserving the veneer of democratic process.

At the time of its independence in 1957, Malaysia’s written constitution embedded the separation of powers and the freedoms so crucial to its checks and balances. But the vested interests of a hegemonic political elite has, over time, caused the system to mutate into one of rule by law that threatens the continued sustainability of the nation.

This is easy enough for anyone to see. The statute books contain a plethora of anti-democratic laws that are designed for, and applied to, one end: the regulation of information and opinion. This has allowed the suborning of a voter base much weakened by a divisive system of race politics; voters already made to feel that they should be voting one way rather than the other are not given the means to make an informed choice.

This has allowed a semblance of democracy, even though the democratic process has been subverted. Read the rest of this entry »