Can Najib guarantee safety of ex-RMAF sergeant Thamendran while awaiting trial of theft of two jet-fighter engines?

It is another international infamy for Malaysia that former RMAF sergeant N. Tharmendran, 42, feels comparatively safer in Sungai Buloh prison while he awaits trial for the theft of two jet-fighter engines than to be out of jail.

It was only 11 days ago he was freed when he and his family successfully waged a six-month battle to reduce his RM150,000 bail to RM50,000.

It is a terrible indictment on the system of governance in Malaysia that a person should feel safer in prison custody than to be out as a free man, for fear of being abducted and tortured again by military intelligence officers, as Tharmendran had alleged that he had been previously detained and tortured by military intelligence for three weeks and the “favourite torture” was to make him wear a crash helmet where he was repeatedly hit as hard as possible.

Thamendran’s personal safety and welfare while he awaits trial for theft of two jet-fighter engines has again put national and international focus on “institutional degradation” which the New Economic Model had identified as one of the causes of Malaysia’s economic stagnation and “declining growth trajectory”.

Thamendran’s personal safety and welfare while he awaits trial for theft of two jet-fighter engines has put to the very fore the question whether Malaysia is heading to become a failed state if “institutional degradation” in the country’s system of governance cannot be arrested and reversed.

Thamendran joins a lengthening list of cases which cast doubt on the seriousness, ability and political will of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to arrest “institutional degradation” and restore national and international confidence, a precondition for any success for Malaysia to become a developed, inclusive, sustainable high-income nation, cases like:

  • The second sodomy trial of Parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim;

  • The C-4 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu;

  • The RM500 million “commission” for the two Scorpene submaries;

  • Private Investigator Bala Subramaniam and his two statutory declarations;

  • The persecution of Raja Petra Kamaruddin; and

  • The mysterious death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock at MACC headquarters on July 16 last year.

Can Najib and his Cabinet give a iron-clad guarantee that Tharmendram need not seek refuge in Sungai Buloh prison and that he would be absolutely safe on bail while awaiting trial for theft of two jet-fighter engines?

If not, his “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” policy cannot have credibility or legitimacy.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 6:00 pm

    Yes speak till we drop dead again and again all the evils that the devil’s son did.
    This is refreshing and LKS have done his best to protect Thamendran.
    LKS cares for the people sincerely…..not Najib.

  2. #2 by isahbiazhar on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 7:10 pm

    If he works in Kedah,Selangor or Kelantan he will not make such a statement.These type of civil servants should be demoted and send back to Putrajaya for further training.Our civil servants should remember that the government of the day is in charge and not their bosses in Putra Jaya.Perhaps it is time for them to know that UMNO/BN will not be ruling in the next election and these officers should be told to quit or take early pension.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 7:38 pm

    ///Malaysia is heading to become a failed state if “institutional degradation” in the country’s system of governance cannot be arrested and reversed./// – Kit

    John R Malott has made it clear that if Anwar is judged guilty, that implies the elements of corruption and cronyism are rampant. The problem of lack of political freedom and economic decline will linger on in the country.

  4. #4 by c730427 on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 9:26 pm

    I honestly think that Thamendran life will be compromised because he is the ultimate link to the worm can.

    Blaming Najib is useless because his X-file is in the hands of PDRM.

    Why PDRM can’t step in to protect an important witness?

    The King is the chief of our Military, can he do something to protect a human life?

    For Najib, for God sake, please do something!

  5. #5 by citizenwatch on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 9:45 pm

    Can LKS and PR go all out to stop the blatant use of the armed forces by BN to achieve its evil deeds? Don’t let it spread uncontrollably as what had happened to PDRM and MACC. Once they start, they will not stop. Contain this Tharmendran episode from happening to others. We the rakyat have long been hoping that at least there are the armed forces which could balance the cruelty of the two enforcement agencies in chaotic times if it ever occur. The top brass of the armed forces should bear full responsibility of this shameful episode. They must come out with a statement distancing themselves from the thuggish acts of the military personnels. Why are they quiet? They must take action. Otherwise, like in other countries, step down. We in Malaysia have come to a helpless stupor, reason being too many scandals and transgressions by the ruling government. We have lost our bearing as to what to do after this thuggish act, not going after the top brass. The top brass must at least come out now and say they are still a credible and honourable institution not under the thumb of the executive!

  6. #6 by citizenwatch on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 9:47 pm

    It is sad that the armed forces which is ostensibly seen as the last bastion of a credible and independent institution under the Agong in Malaysia has emulated the MACC and PDRM in manhandling those under its custody and attacking those who are seen as anti-government. We must nip it in the bud. Do not let BN use the armed forces as another tool of its oppression of the tax paying rakyat. Which next as the tool? The fire brigade?

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 2:58 am

    Tharmendran was unable to come up with the RM150,000 bail amount set by the Sessions Court. The family appealed against the bail amount to the High Court.

    Meanwhile Tharmendran had to be remanded and been in detention for six months in Sungai Buloh prison until early this month when the appellate High court judge Datuk Su Geok Yiam reduced the Session’s court’s bail amount to RM50,000-00.

    It enabled the family to raise this amount – for this the mother had to pawn her jewellery to raise RM20,000 – to secure his release.

    Now why would the family go through all these troubles to help secure his release just so in order a few days later, when he failed to get the court’s protection, to retract (at his request) the bail and have him sent back to prison – unless there is really a genuine concern on his as well as his family’s part that prison appears a lesser of the two evils compared to the freedom outside when that (according to his perception) represents the freedom of Airforce personnel to abduct him, proven by their stalking him to his parents’ house and even to the court when his lawyers unsuccessfully applied for protection and at same time confronted the plainclothes Airforce personnel???

    The fear of being abducted has proven greater than the fear of returning to prison which only serve to lend credence to his allegations of torture to extract his “confession” in the eyes of public and by-standers looking at the situation objectively.

    Of course the relevant minister could and have said, “if it really happened, show the evidence to the police… if it involved mental and physical injuries, prove it”!

    Huh, thats a standard line : how would one prove physical injury when allegedly his torturers deliberately avoided tell tale signs of physical injury by using golf stick/cricket bat to hit the helmet he was made to wear on his head or made him stand on ice in freezing temperatures or gave him no rest by continuous disturbances and round the clock interrogations aimed at disorientating him?

    His electing to go back to the confines of prison as a more tolerable option than freedom outside is proof enough of the mental injury sustained by him.

    How could the public be made to believe that he and another comparatively low ranking officer (Rajendran) could mastermind the theft and removal of 2 F5-E jet engines from a secure military area to the ports to go half round the world to Venezula without higher up being implicated – and so far sheltered?

    YB Kit’s question : “Can Najib and his Cabinet give a iron-clad guarantee that Tharmendram need not seek refuge in Sungai Buloh prison and that he would be absolutely safe on bail while awaiting trial for theft of two jet-fighter engines?” is entirely reasonable under these circumstances. A refusal to give a guarantee lends greater credibility to Tharmendran’s allegations that he was scrapegoated to take the fall, a reflection of bad governance.and a citizen’s powerlessness against capricious law enforcement.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 3:25 am

    When the public closes one eye to the institutionalising third degree methods to extract a confession – in order just so to make State backed interrogators and investigators work easier – all in the name of public safety from hardened criminals out to harm society, the public will also pay the price of increasing frequency with which such inhumane methods will be used as a vent for humans sadism and for easy expedience to punish real or imagined infractions against the innocent or for the protection of the powerful and the connected.

    No point having the law that involuntary confession obtained by duress and torture is inadmissible in court when it is circumvented by human sadistic ingenuity to devise methods of how to inflict injury to the spirit and soul of a victim not apparent to the eye and that leaves no physical trace.

    Best, change the rules of evidence to make all confessions inadmissible courts except those that can be proven freely made outside the confines of interrogation rooms – before their own solicitors or commissioner for oaths.

    Such a change (which the authorities will never allow in the first instance) – even if the rule on admissibility were changed, it would only lessen but not stamp out entirely bthe deployment of torture methods, when interrogators hope that by torture the victim’s confession (though inadmissible in court against him may divulge in that process independent facts or evidence elsewhere that is admissible in court against the suspect).

    Thus when you whack a thug so badly that he confesses to stealing – although his confession cannot be admitted against him yet the facts from his confession relating to where he hid and buried his loot, if this loot were recoverable it could be used to incriminate him. So 3rd degree methods will still be used.

  9. #9 by Peace88 on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:43 am

    So Thamendran is another scapegoat? Did he actually steal the engines? how did he sneak them out of the base? If he did it, which in this case it seems he has already been found guilty without trial, he could not have done it alone! Too big a job! You cannot steal jet engines and sneak them out of the camp without the necessary paperwork, can you? So someone higher up must have signed the documents….in triplicate! This case is getting funnier by the minute.

  10. #10 by Peace88 on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:44 am

    Do the armed forces work for UNMO/BN? Or the King? Or the country?

  11. #11 by Winston on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 11:09 am

    Malaysians, you’ve created a Frankenstein government in this country.

  12. #12 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 22 July 2010 - 5:23 am

    The best way to destroy Frankenstein is to cut off his electical supply – without the juice of corruption the monster will be destroyed. If Malaysia is to have any chance of survival, we need to ensure that at least Perak, Penang and Selangor are won by PR in the general elections to show Malaysians that the Bankrupsi Negara regime must end in Putrajaya.
    The BN too cannot destroy Frankenstein and only a change of regime will bring real progress.
    Maybe let them keep Pahang and Johor states to show that PR plays fair to all principles of government.

  13. #13 by lopez on Thursday, 22 July 2010 - 8:59 pm

    let him stand trial, if he prove his innocence , let him be free.
    easy said than done…

    what two jet engines lost and get so excited…in this bolih land anything can happen in the civil servants mandaling.
    Scum and fifth of bolihland, when the bn regime shout and yell at the opposition, the CS also gave bodek bark and get immune from disciplinary actions or excuse on clemency grounds
    Like the saying goes ” frighten dogs behave like their owner” .
    Just open your eyes and stay very very predicable…like serving slave to a master

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