Archive for March, 2011

Part II: Burgeoning Brutality by the Men in Blue

by Martin Jalleh

2010 was yet another year when the police were allowed to continue to operate in an environment of impunity when it came to their excessive methods in relation to arrest, detention and treatment of persons in custody.

Two tragic episodes in the year made the culture of police brutality increasingly obvious and gave further credence to the accusation that Bolehland has become a Police State.

The first was an “open verdict” delivered by a coroner’s court on 25 Oct. 2010 in an inquest to determine the cause of R Gunasegaran’s death in the Sentul police station on 16 July, 2009, a few hours after Teoh Beng Hock’s body was discovered.

In a press statement entitled: “End Police Brutality now” a “deeply concerned” Malaysian Bar commented on the “inability of the coroner to make a definitive finding in this case” in spite of “the strength of the evidence pointing to the culpability of the police”.

The second was the shocking story of K Selvach Santhiran, a key witness who implicated the police in the abovementioned inquest. His lawyer, N Surendran would describe his client’s nightmare as “the continuing descent of the police force into lawlessness”. Read the rest of this entry »


In Sarawak, a Christian groundswell

By Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 26, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — When 3,000 Christians turned up for a prayer rally in Kuching this week it sent ripples running through Petrajaya, where gleaming structures house the Sarawak state government that is facing elections next month.

In a Christian-majority state where there has been little in the way of religious tension, the prayer rally was an unusual event.

It was a protest against the establishment which Christians have associated themselves with in the state.

The unhappiness with the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is palpable among Christians all over the country. But for it to be become so apparent in Sarawak is worrying BN politicians even in Putrajaya.

Through conversations with ordinary Christians, church officials and Christian Barisan Nasional supporters, a consensus emerged that though the dispute gnawed at their hearts, it would not tilt election results.

For now.

The prayer rally on March 23 has challenged that conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »


Public confidence in Police Plummeted in 2010


by Martin Jalleh
25th March 2011

Bolehland celebrates the 204th Police Day today. We thank God for each member of the PDRM for risking and putting their lives on the line every day for us and the countless unseen and untold sacrifices they have made.
We would like to believe that the country is at peace because of the police.
Sadly though a review of the performance of the police force last year (2010) indicates the failure of the government’s professed intention of improving the level of public confidence in the country’s police force.
In a four-part series. the reader will be able to see how in 2010, the police
a) aggressively and indiscriminately denied certain citizens the constitutional right to the freedom of speech and assembly b) abused and used arbitrarily the wide powers of arrest and detention
c) acted with impunity and complete disregard for constitutional and judicial safeguards.
d) arrogantly showed their contempt for the rights of the people that resulted in gross abuse of police powers leading to brutality, torture, prolonged detention, shooting, custodial violence and death.

Part I: Police Preferred to Play Politics

In March 2010, then then IGP Musa Hassan’s insisted that “the police did not take into account the political leanings of anyone, including politicians, when conducting their investigation…”

Musa was only fooling himself. There were ample examples in 2010 of the police being blatantly and brazenly biased towards the powers that be. This can be especially seen in the double standards it displayed. Read the rest of this entry »


Who next after Christians, questions non-Muslim interfaith council

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 25, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — A fever has broken out over Putrajaya’s handling of the Alkitab row that appears to have split multicultural Malaysia into two distinct camps — Muslim and non-Muslim — as the nation readies for crucial polls in Sarawak, its biggest Christian state.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) issued a strongly worded statement today accusing the Najib administration of riding roughshod over religions other than Islam when it imposed conditions for the release of 35,000 Malay bibles seized from Port Klang and Kuching.

“This means that the Alkitab (Bahasa Malaysia version) is now considered a restricted item and ‘the Word of God’ has been made subject to the control of man,” it said, citing the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) in the latter’s previous attempt to free the bibles.

CFM is the umbrella body that represents over 90 per cent of churches here.

In a series of news statements that started earlier this month, the Christian organisation denounced the Najib administration for defacing its holy books with the home ministry’s official seal, an act it said amounted to desecration.

“Does our current prime minister wield any authority? And if he does not, who does?” the interfaith council demanded of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“We also vehemently oppose the present line of action being pursued,” it said in solidarity with the Christian community. Read the rest of this entry »


Of political desperados, dingoes and demons

By Martin Jalleh

The PM and Umno are desperate, very desperate indeed. It has dawned very hard on them that they could soon be driven out of Putrajaya and into political oblivion.

Anwar Ibrahim, the man who has been the drawing and driving force behind the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat (PR), must be destroyed at all cost. Never before has anyone posed such a danger to Umno.

They had tried very hard to do his political career in with a sham sodomy trial but he bounced back even more determined, and with his coalition, dealt them a severe blow in the last general elections.
Read the rest of this entry »


Sordid politics in Malaysia – Hitting below the belt

The Economist
Mar 24th 2011

EVER since he ascended the greasy pole, the political career of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has been mortgaged to his private life. He is currently on trial for sodomising a male aide, which he denies, in what has become a virtual rerun of a similar case in 1998, after he was sacked as deputy prime minister. Then he was sent to jail for six years, until an appeal court ruled that his conviction had been unsound.

Now a new scandal has broken out over a video clip that purports to show Mr Anwar having sex—this time with a woman. Mr Anwar has furiously denied that he is the man in the video. (The footage was screened on March 21st to a group of Malaysian reporters, all of whom were required to surrender phones, laptops and recording devices.) A man who refused to identify himself said that the video was a secret recording made at a hotel room in Kuala Lumpur. He explained that he had discovered the recording device after a “prominent politician” asked him to search the hotel room for a missing watch. He said he wanted to show that the “prominent politician”—guess who?—was immoral and “not fit to be a leader”. The man of mystery has since revealed his identity, and that of an accomplice: surprise, surprise, they’re longtime political enemies of Mr Anwar’s.
Read the rest of this entry »


Can IGP Ismail Omar give a categorical assurance that there would be no cover-up in the Carcosa sex tape investigations as happened in 1998 when results of Anwar Ibrahim black-eye police investigations were initially suppressed?

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar should give a categorical assurance that there would be no cover-up in the Carcosa sex tape investigations as happened in 1998 when results of Anwar Ibrahim black-eye police investigations were initially suppressed.

More than a decade after the event, the former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, who was the investigation officer in the Anwar “black eye” assault case, revealed that he had right from the beginning found out that it was the then Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor who had committed the offence but this information was initially suppressed and it was only finally forced out publicly in a Royal Commission of Inquiry four months later.

A special police team to investigate into Carcosa sex tape caper lodged by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not inspire much confidence unless the Inspector-General of Police can give such an assurance as well as explain why the police had been so slow in springing into action following news of the Carcosa sex tape video caper on Monday.
Read the rest of this entry »


Why are sex video trio not charged?

By Kee Thuan Chye

So, those who surmised that the sex video revealed by ‘Datuk T’ was a political ploy have been proven right. The people behind it – three of them – have confessed to it.

They were forced to reveal themselves because PKR’s MP Johari Abdul had earlier spilled the beans on them. It all unravelled like a cheap soap opera.

Former Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik, businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Shuib Lazim, treasurer-general of Perkasa, have come out to say they are ‘Datuk T’. And they have the cheek to call for a royal commission of inquiry into the sex video.

In the first place, they have transgressed Section 292 of the Penal Code for possessing and distributing pornographic material. Regardless of who the person in the video is, the trio are culpable. Exposing a politician’s sexual activity does not protect them from the law.
Read the rest of this entry »


Who’s the fool?

By Thomas Lee

Although the April Fool’s Day is still a week away, a deputy federal minister from Sarawak has already come out with a “foolish” statement.

Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum was reported as saying that the Christians in Sarawak are “foolish” to hold protest prayer vigils against the way the Barisan Nasional regime is violating the rights to freedom of religion with its detention of thousands of copies of the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible, and imposing certain conditions for their release.

Joseph, who calls himself a Christian, has said that if the Christians “come out and say that we want the Bibles, they will get it” and that “If they want to make fools of themselves, we will not respond,” whatever that means.

Joseph, the federal deputy minister for information communication and culture, was commenting critically on a series of prayer vigils that the Sarawak Christians are holding to seek divine help and intervention in facing the constitutional violation of their religious rights.
Read the rest of this entry »


Longing For A Free Mind (Part 3 of 14)

by M. Bakri Musa

The Comfort of the Coconut Shell

[In the first two parts I asserted that for Malaysia to achieve her Vision 2020 aspirations, she needs leaders and citizens with free minds. I likened those without a free mind as frogs underneath a coconut shell.]

We ignore our better sense and willingly believe the mullah despite the donkey braying in our face because our minds are captive to biology, tradition, and the environment, among others.

The North Koreans fervently believe that they live in Paradise because their “Beloved Leader” tells them so. Never mind that they wake up every morning with nothing to look forward to and go to sleep at night on an empty stomach. Malaysian leaders never tire of telling us that they are competent and not corrupt despite the mess the country is in and their luxuriating in their palatial mansions. It does not take a donkey to realize that these leaders could not possibly be “clean” to afford such obscene opulence just on their government pay.
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Why police not yet arrested “Datuk T” – Datuk Trio of Rahim Thamby Chik, Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Shuib Lazim – for the crimes of the Sri Carcosa sex tape caper

The mystery of the “Dato T” of the Sri Carcosa sex tape caper has been resolved in 48 hours with the confession by the culprits concerned – former Malacca chief minister and Umno veteran Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Cik, Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Perkasa’s Shuib Lazim.

In a hurriedly-called press conference, Rahim admitted that “Datuk T” stood for “Datuk Trio” comprising three of them.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had immediately denied that he was the man in the video and had lodged a police report the very next day.

Two questions now uppermost in the minds of all right-thinking Malaysians are:

  1. Why police have not yet arrested the trio of “Datuk T”, namely Rahim, Shazryl and Shuib for various crimes including Section 292 of the Penal Code for “publicly exhibiting any obscene or pornographic material” liable to a jail term of three years or Section 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 where a person is liable to be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed up to five years or both. Do the trio enjoy immunity and impunity for breaches of the law and actions which have brought world-wide shame to the nation? Read the rest of this entry »


Police efficiency, independence and professionalism major casualties of the Sri Carcosa sex tape caper

Police efficiency, independence and professionalism are again the major casualties of the Sri Carcosa sex tape caper targeting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim two days ago on Monday.

Would the police stayed on the sidelines, claiming ignorance of the flagrant commission of crimes and impotence to act until Anwar lodged a police report, if the target of the Sri Carcosa sex tape caper had been the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or anyone of the Cabinet Ministers?

Would the de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz in these circumstances come to the defence of the mysterious “Datuk T” and made the astounding declaration “Don’t kill the messenger” and claimed that there was nothing illegal in the Sri Carcosa sex tape caper?

And if there is nothing legally wrong in the Sri Carcosa sex taper caper as claimed by the de facto Minister, then what is the police investigating about following the report lodged by Anwar?
Read the rest of this entry »


Was it a big fat lie, Mr PM?

By P Ramakrishnan | Aliran President

Was Anwar’s bid to takeover Putrajaya on 16 September 2008 a “big fat lie” as Najib has claimed? P Ramakrishnan reminds us about a certain trip to Taiwan.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was reported by The Sunday Star (20 March 2011) as having said that PKR had gone to the extent of telling the ‘biggest political lie of the century’ when it announced it would take over the government on 16 September 2008.

“We have to keep repeating this because human memory is short and they forget, but we must remind the people that it was the biggest political lie of the century,’ he said.

He said PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had made the Barisan Nasional worried when he claimed that more than 30 of the coalition’s elected representatives would cross over, “But in the end, it was all a big fat lie’ he added.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sex Video: Who Is the More Immoral?

By Kee Thuan Chye

OH no! Not again! They’re gunning for Anwar Ibrahim over another alleged sex scandal. The video revealed by the mysterious “Datuk T” showing a man resembling an Opposition party leader having sex with a woman, said to be a prostitute, is obviously targeted at him.

But the timing of its revelation to the media on March 21 suspiciously coincides with the dissolution of the Sarawak State Assembly, paving the way for state elections. Not to mention the part in Mahathir Mohamad’s recently launched memoir, A Doctor in the House, that claims Anwar arranged to have sex with four girls when he was deputy prime minister in 1998.

What has Malaysia turned into? The sordid sex opera capital of the world? What are we showing the world? That we are a nation of sex maniacs? Or, worse, that our politics is so dirty that we turn to sex to discredit our enemies?
Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia opposition vows to support Anwar after mystery group shows alleged sex video of him

By Julia ZappeiThe Associated Press
22nd March 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s opposition pledged Tuesday to fight allegations that Anwar Ibrahim was filmed having sex with a prostitute, insisting its leader’s troubles won’t fracture his three-party alliance ahead of national elections expected within a year.

A sex video depicting a man believed to resemble Anwar was shown to several Malaysian journalists under mysterious circumstances Monday. It has not been publicly circulated, but opposition officials are scrambling to convince people that it is a plot hatched by the government.

Prime Minister Najib Razak denied authorities made the video, which marks the latest accusation of sexual misconduct confronting Anwar. He is currently on trial on charges he sodomized a 25-year-old male former aide and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Anwar’s top allies held a news conference Tuesday to voice their support for him, claiming the video was simply the latest effort to smear Anwar’s reputation.

“All Malaysians must express their outrage and condemnation that Malaysian politics have reached a new depth of character assassination,” said Lim Kit Siang, a veteran official in the Democratic Action Party. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Interlok’ and Our Tragic Reality

by Kee Thuan Chye

I HAVEN’T read Interlok by Abdullah Hussain, but some of those who have, accuse it of racial stereotyping and derogating Chinese and Indian Malaysians while others say it is a novel that calls for inter-racial unity. The interpretations appear so poles apart that one might wonder if they are talking about the same novel.

I suppose how we read it would depend to a considerable extent on our racial background and predispositions. And these have been so coloured by the politicisation of race that has been at the centre of Malaysian life for so long that they will not be easy to shake off. Our biases die hard.

I’m always on the side of literary freedom. If a writer expresses a view that I am vehemently against, I would nonetheless defend his right to say it. At the same time, I would exercise my right to critique it. I believe this is the best approach to any discourse. Even if, in the process, people get offended.
Read the rest of this entry »


The prelude to the Battle for Putrajaya

By Thomas Lee

The dissolution of the 71-seat Sarawak legislative state assembly on Monday 21 March 2001 has set the stage for the introductory phrase of the Battle for Putrajaya.

The Sarawak state election is a foreshadow of the battle royale between the Barisan Nasional and its formidable foe Pakatan Rakyat in the impending 13th general election for the control of Putrajaya.

The Sarawak Barisan Nasional is not expected to have an easy time sailing through smoothly in the current state election, unlike almost all previous state elections when it literally had the monopoly of the Sarawakian support.

The alternative Pakatan Rakyat coalition is going all out to cash in on the current revolutionary fervor in Egypt and in almost the wholes region of the Middle East to sound a clarion call to the people of Malaysia for an electoral revolution to oust what it claims to be an oppressive and corrupt regime. And Sarawak will be the acid test on whether the momentum of the March 2008 tsunamic impact is gathering force or losing steam in its march to Putrajaya.
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Why, Malaysia?

By Lisa Ng | Loyar Burok

As we bring #WhyMalaysia week to a close, Lisa Ng writes a heartfelt customer complaint letter to our tanah tumpah darah, our beloved Bolehland, Malaysia.

My dear Malaysia, it doesn’t get more melodramatic than this, does it? “This” being about whether to stick with you till “death do us part” or to walk away, even if for a little while, especially if there is evidence of ill-treatment.

You see, for Christians, marriage is an unbreakable covenant between God and the couple. Some people would call it a “contractual promise” of sorts. Others would say that, however we term it, the general principle of faithfulness applies to Man and Motherland. The only difference is, even Christians are not so cruel that they insist we stick with our hurtful spouse (or even parent in some cases) if our wellbeing is at stake.

That is why my Conscience was clear when my family decided to depart from your bosom to—not necessarily greener—but relatively safer pastures. At least for now.
Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #57

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 7: Enhancing Human Capital

Enhancing Human Capital Through Education: Revamping Schools and Universities

The Malaysian government recently published a massive plan, Educational Development – 2001-2010, aimed at revamping the entire education system. However, only a year earlier it had undertaken another massive revision of the curriculum, and that project was yet to be completed (it was not yet begun to be implemented!) when this new policy was unveiled. Despite its 250 pages, replete with the obligatory buzzwords like knowledge workers, IT revolution, and globalization, the report fails to address the glaring inadequacies of the present system. These include the atrociously low standard of English, abysmal levels of science literacy, and appalling mathematical skills of our students.

To address the increasing disadvantage that graduates of public universities face because of their low English fluency, the government proposes to have private institutions use Malay as the medium of instruction. In other words, handicap everyone to the same level of mediocrity!
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Only way to ensure Taib steps down as Sarawak Chief Minister is to deny BN 2/3 majority in Sarawak State Assembly

Within a few hours, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has demonstrated that his talk of stepping down as Sarawak Chief Minister is so vague and elastic that he and he alone is the sole decider of what it means – and not even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is prepared to cross his path.

Taib is in fact asking for a blank cheque to continue as Sarawak Chief Minister until he could groom a successor and “form a new team” to govern Sarawak – two tasks which may take him the entire term of the next government after he had dismally failed in the past 30 years to prepare for a succession.

When he announced in Serian yesterday morning that he will step down after the next Sarawak state polls, he spawned speculation whether he was talking of a timetable ranging from one to five years.

By the evening, at the Kuching International Airport, he had lengthened the timetable speculation from three to five years! Read the rest of this entry »