Archive for May 1st, 2010

Not a single Human Rights Commissioner for more than a week an indictment of the cavalier and contemptuous attitude of Najib administration to democracy and human rights

The country has been without a Human Rights Commissioner for more than a week – which is an indictment of the cavalier and contemptuous attitude of the Najib administration to democracy and human rights.

The appointment of all the Suhakam Commissioners expired last Friday and the vacuum or even void in Suhakam for more than a week is not only a terrible reflection of inefficiency and incompetence of the Najib administration but it could not have come at a worse time as there were serious violations of human rights in this one-week period.

The most heinous human rights violation is undoubtedly the national furore over the trigger-happy police killing of 14-year-old Form III student Aminulrasyid Hamzah in the early hours of Monday some 100 metres from his Shah Alam Section 11 house and the shameful episode where the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan tried to hold the nation to ransom threatening to call off police off the streets and not to enforce the law in retaliation against widespread public criticisms over the Aminulrasyid killing.

The police is facing the worst crisis of public confidence its history – all because of police refusal to accept the key recommendation of the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commissionn in 2005 to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service.
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Latest tweets on killing of Aminulrasyid

Tq 4support proposal Hanif RCI #Aminulrasyid n police shooting deaths since 2005 Can 4MCA Ministers n MCA Youth support RT @weekasiongmp
04/30/2010 02:14 PM

AG not satisfied with probe #Aminulrasyid killing n sent back police papers This is just unacceptable Set up Hanif RCI into Aminul’s death!
04/30/2010 08:18 PM

Hisham’s useless toothless #Aminulrasyid “special panel” chaired by dep home minister AbuSeman cannot inquire or recommend Utter waste time!
04/30/2010 09:46 PM

#Aminulrasyid SpecialPanel Chairmn AbuSemen: Don’t want politicians-they have special interest. DeputyHomeMinister points finger at himself!
05/01/2010 05:47 AM

#Aminulrasyid Special Panel most useless body ever set up by govt in nation’s history-cannot investigate cannot make recommendations 2police
05/01/2010 05:51 AM
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Democratic values under threat

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

MAY 1 — I congratulate Barisan Nasional (BN) on winning the Hulu Selangor by-election last week. They mounted the greatest by-election campaign that money could possibly buy, and it appears that money for them did grow on trees. It was no object.

There is no disputing the fact that my favourite candidate, Zaid Ibrahim, lost the contest by 1725 votes.

The people exercised their right to choose the man to represent them in the Dewan Rakyat. That was what they wanted, and good luck to them. They deserve each other. But a question that simply refused to go away, as I watched the campaign unfolding before my eyes, was how much of the Barisan Nasional victory reflected a genuine return of confidence in the BN government, and how much of it had to do with the financial inducements and promises of more goodies where they came from.

Money was scattered with manic abandon like so much confetti at a society wedding? I must confess in all seriousness and fairness that BN had superb organisation where it mattered — on the ground. Their election machinery also enjoyed the great advantage of being lubricated with the best engine oil that money could buy — money itself.
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Lost in Hulu: Lessons for Pakatan (3)

By Bridget Welsh

Nationally people are wondering why a widely-respected candidate such as Zaid Ibrahim lost the Hulu Selangor by-election to a MIC unknown.

Yesterday, I described part of the story – the factors shaping the BN. Below I lay out the issues that undermined Pakatan Rakyat, drawing again from the campaign messaging, logistics and political dynamics.

Due to the size of the constituency and national political firepower they faced, this election tested Pakatan like never before. It showcases some deep weaknesses within the opposition that have to be addressed in order for Pakatan to win national power.

Ultimately, the real test will be whether Pakatan learns the lessons of strengthening cooperation and adapting to the new political environment. The fact of the matter is that they held their own, but underperformed. Underperformance is something that the opposition cannot afford to do if it seeks to take over Putrajaya.

On the back foot
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Najib not quite the Hulu conqueror (2)

By Bridget Welsh

Najib Razak and the BN won bragging rights in Hulu Selangor. A win is a win. The BN had the advantage up-front with its machinery and resources for this large semi-rural constituency and it used these effectively.

To date, the focus has been on BN’s use of financial incentives to woo voters. This has been a long honed practice, especially in the rural areas. It is nothing new, and part of any by-election. To understand the dynamics on the ground, one has to look further.

To attribute Najib’s victory on money politics obscures important transformations taking place within the BN. The use of ethnic politics and new messaging underscored the BN’s campaign.

The BN’s efforts may have helped secure a win, but the long term points worryingly to further political challenges.

Comparatively, this election mattered more for the BN, especially Najib. Najib has staked his political future on a victory. Since he assumed office in April 2009, Najib has lacked his own political mandate. Hulu Selangor, with the slim 2008 majority of only 198 votes, gave him an opportunity to show both the public and, even more important, his own party that he could win.
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