Archive for February 2nd, 2010

Malaysia itself, not the opposition leader, is in the dock

Anwar’s Second Sodomy Trial | The Wall Street Journal
Malaysia itself, not the opposition leader, is in the dock.

More than a decade after he was beaten, tried and jailed, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will once again face a Kuala Lumpur court today on charges of sodomy. The accusations are highly dubious and raise a serious question: Is this moderate Muslim democracy becoming a nation with no real rule of law?

The circumstances surrounding Mr. Anwar’s prosecution are suspiciously familiar to most Malaysians. In 1998, he was arrested as he was mounting serious arguments against the increasingly erratic government of United Malays National Organization chief Mahathir Mohamed. On a nearby page, Mr. Anwar’s former aide Munawar Anees describes being tortured and forced to confess to sodomy, a criminal offense in Malaysia. Mr. Anwar was convicted of sodomy and abuse of power and served six years in jail before the sodomy ruling was overturned in 2004. He was allowed to run for political office again in 2008, which he did, in earnest.

Mr. Anwar was arrested again in July 2008, a day after participating in his first nationally televised debate in more than a decade—an event that showcased his political skills and highlighted the growing momentum behind his three-party opposition coalition. He was accused of sodomy with a 23-year-old former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Mr. Saiful was taken into protective police custody after he made his allegation and has since rarely been seen in public. The government denies any political motivation for the charges. Mr. Saiful himself has not been charged.

As in 1998, the evidence in this case is thin at best. The police made a show of arresting Mr. Anwar, put him in jail for a night, and forced him to undergo a humiliating medical “examination.” The government then passed a bill in parliament to give the police expanded powers to collect DNA in criminal cases. Mr. Anwar’s lawyers claim they have a hospital report that shows no sodomy occurred.
Read the rest of this entry »


Jamil Khir, Minister in the PM’s Dept should be suspended or even removed as Minister for Jakim’s open insubordination and insurrection against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept

Senator Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in direct charge of Jakim, should be suspended or even removed as Minister if he cannot give a full and satisfactory explanation to Cabinet and the nation for Jakim’s open insubordination and insurrection against Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and vision.

If the Cabinet tomorrow is not prepared to discuss and take strong action against Jakim and the civil servants involved in the open insubordination and insurrection against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, then the Cabinet Ministers are not fit or qualified to continue in office.

Last Thursday, on the same day that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was launching the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Thursday, JAKIM (Islamic Development Department) of the Prime Minister’s Department organized a forum for 800 civil servants which was tantamount to open insurbordination and insurrection against Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and vision.

At this Jakim forum, speakers including civil servants like Zamihan Mat Zin from the Institut Latihan Islam Malaysia, Mohd Aizam Masod from Jakim’s research department and Mahammad Nasir Disa, deputy chief of Syariah Research Department of the Attorney-General’s office made speeches which were completely inimical and detrimental to Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and spirit, turning the forum into an inflammatory and incendiary gathering going against all notions of a 1Malaysia objective and vision.
Read the rest of this entry »


MACC will not have a year to redeem itself as its public image may plunge to an even lower depth next few days

In an interview with Sin Chew Daily yesterday, the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohammed was refreshingly frank when he admitted that the mysterious death of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock at the MACC Headquarters at Shah Alam on July 16 last year had caused the MACC image and credibility to fall to the lowest point ever but he hoped to lead the commission out of the bottom and restore public confidence and acceptance.

This is a far cry from his predecessor, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan who could be so insensitive as to publicly declare: “Teoh Beng Hock’s case is nothing. It is a very small case” – a height of folly and irresponsibility which cut short his brief but ignominious tenure as the first MACC Chief Commissioner.

Abu Kassim has asked for a year to reverse the bad impression the MACC has made on the public so that he could convince Malaysians that the new anti-corruption body is “independent, transparent and professional”.

MACC will not have a year to redeem itself as its public image may plunge to an even lower depth in a matter of days if rumours on the grapevine are proven right that Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim would be arrested and charged for alleged “cow and car” corruption.
Read the rest of this entry »


Of Optimism, Opportunity & the Opposition

By Martin Jalleh

Is the Opposition coalition crumbling like a cookie? Is the door for real, relevant and radical change slowly closing in on us? Shall we just call it a day as we witness Umno’s final curtain of a failed State? Or shall we remain committed to a change in government no matter how challenging? Perhaps part of the answer begins with a review of the Opposition in 2009.

2009 saw the end of the euphoria that enveloped the whole country after the political tsunami of March 2008. It was a year during which the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat (PR), was brought down to earth and was forced to face the enormity of the challenge to deliver what they had promised during the elections.

It was also a year when the public increasingly perceived the fledging PR to be a “fragile”, “feuding”, “fraying” “faltering” coalition – one that was “not on a firm footing”. For some members of the public, trusting the PR enough to vote them in as the next Federal government was farthest from their minds!

One would have thought that PR, after having lost Perak to the BN in Feb. 2009, as a result of Umno’s subterfuge and scheming, would come to its senses and seek an inseparable synergy. But they continued on with their petty and puerile inter and intra public squabbles, spats and skirmishes, much to the surprise and scorn of the public and the satisfaction of Umno!
Read the rest of this entry »


Orang Asli call for recognition of their Ancestral Land

By Augustine Anthony & Bah Tony William Hunt

On 04.12.2009 it was reported in the New Straits Times that some 19,990 Orang Asli families will receive freehold land titles. 

It would generally be expected that the Orang Asli communities will be elated with this announcement but strangely far from being overjoyed with this news, the Orang Asli communities are unhappy and restless.

They ask whether the “receiving” of freehold land titles from the government would mean that they are seen as abandoning their struggle in calling for the government to formally recognize their ancestral lands which they had occupied for generations.

Other concerns of these communities with this government initiative includes the likely breakdown of their traditional communal lifestyle where the land hereon will be treated as individual ownership as opposed to the long entrenched communal ownership  practised by them.
Read the rest of this entry »