Archive for April 12th, 2012

Lynas issue: Not learning from bitter experience

— Richard Pendragon
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 12, 2012

APRIL 12 — Every Malaysian should know that Australia has a land mass 58 times bigger than peninsular Malaysia. But the Australian government and people have not permitted rare earth processing to take place on Australian soil.

With a population that is vigilant and a government that answers to the people, Australia dares not permit a rare earth plant because the health and environmental risks are too high. Why does Malaysia – a country with less scientific and engineering expertise – think it is all right to go ahead with the plant?

The USA has closed most of its mines, and so has China. In inner Mongolia, vast tracts of lands and thousands of square kilometres have been rendered hazardous, with toxic runoffs destroying everything in their path, and with high radioactivity, tainting and polluting precious water supplies.

This chain reaction will continue for thousands of years.

It is a scene that Chinese officials do not want the world to see. Several villages close to rare earth plants have already been relocated because of pollution.

Malaysia is now planning to build the world’s largest rare earth plant. This is truly madness of the highest order. We must remember the Chernobyl meltdown which was not supposed to have happened and similarly too the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown in Japan.

Peninsular Malaysia would be dead meat if any unexpected catastrophe happens. Read the rest of this entry »


So, what happened to separation of powers?

— Justice Seeker
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 12, 2012

APRIL 12 — In reaching her decision on the Lynas matter, High Court judge Rohana Yusof obviously was not interested in the separation of powers or the raison d’etre of a court system which is the attainment of justice.

I just read her reasons for not giving the residents leave to challenge the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s decision to give Lynas a temporary operating licence to run its controversial plant in Gebeng.

She said that as a parliamentary select committee and the minister of science and innovation were handling two separate hearings, it would not be proper for the courts to give the 10 residents their opportunity for judicial review.

Rohana then went on to say that it would not be proper to circumvent Parliament and the minister. Really? Read the rest of this entry »


ISA removed but sword of Damocles remains

— Kim Quek
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 12, 2012

APRIL 12 — Many Malaysians may be pleased with the removal of the much-condemned Internal Security Act (ISA), but the sword of Damocles that hangs over the heads of opponents of ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) stays intact.

This is due to the embedment of two key elements in the newly-introduced Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill that will in reality allow arbitrary detention for many years.

These elements are the broad and vague definition of offences that fall under this Bill, and the loophole that will allow prolong and lengthy detention through exploitation of the judicial process. Read the rest of this entry »


Why I’ll be at the Bersih 3.0 sit-in

KJ John | Apr 10, 2012


Prime ministers make promises. Prime ministers sell to the nation the future into which they want to lead the country. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has in fact promised and set us on a different route, with an improved trajectory through his leadership.

Usually, if such change is begun at the centre, even if the change is just one degree, it is enough to facilitate a large change down the line. Therefore, when he made his first promise, and when I believed he was serious, I wrote, ‘Right direction, slow speed!’ in Micah Mandate of April 20, 2009.

Therefore, as part and parcel of ordinary citizens who are seeking improved governance of this democracy we call Malaysia, which my friend AB Shamsul still calls “a state but not yet a nation,” I will be at the sit-in so that the PM will fulfil the promises he made about many things, but most importantly for this general election (GE); the promise of clean and fair elections.

I did march with Bersih 2.0, but clean elections cannot be done without a valid and above-board voter list. Bersih’s primary objection is now about a corrupted voter list; and, it is not even yet about the weighted size of different constituencies.

Furthermore, as a public servant who has worked closely with those issuing the new identity card (MyKad) and working with the research group behind the original design, but fully aware of the technical capabilities and weaknesses of the 64k chip embedded in the new MyKad, I find their so-called inability to clean up the list absolutely unacceptable. Read the rest of this entry »


Repeal of pernicious and draconian ISA long overdue but new replacement of security laws raise grave concerns about human rights abuses

The tabling of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 to repeal the 52-year Internal Security Act which vests pernicious, draconian and undemocratic detention-without-trial powers on the Executive which could be extended every two years is welcome as it is long overdue.

This is the victory of the decades-long struggle for democracy and human rights which have been waged by patriotic Malaysians cutting across race and religion, many paying a heavy price in terms of personal liberties – culminating in the pledge by the Pakatan Rakyat for the repeal of the ISA.

However, the replacement of the slew of new security laws in the four bills presented to Parliament, namely the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012, the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2012, the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012 and the Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012 raise grave concerns about new human rights abuses which must be met and addressed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak if Malaysia hopes to approximate to be “the best democracy in the world” – practising “a functional and inclusive democracy where public peace and prosperity is preserved in accordance with the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law and respect for basic human rights and individual rights”.

The Internal Security Act has stunted the growth of democracy in Malaysia. What is there to guarantee that although the ISA powers of indefinite detention-without-trial is repealed, the new provision limiting detention without charge to 28 days “for purposes of investigation” without judicial review will not be the new bane for democracy and human rights in Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »