Archive for May 3rd, 2012

A case of the empire strikes back

— Daisy Lee
The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2012

MAY 3 — Since most readers wrote in describing their experience during Bersih 3.0. I wanted to have my say about this event as well. It was my first Bersih rally after hearing all the happenings at Bersih 2.0 last year, I regretted not going for the second rally. I vowed that I would go this time and I did. Most of the people whom wrote in described almost all of the happenings, the mass turnout, the atmosphere and from the cheerful first half to the horrific second half.

After looking through all the aftermath videos and pictures both from the mainstream media and alternative online media and social media, I questioned myself if it was a trap set purportedly by the authorities to contain and gang-bang the rally-goers!

I personally saw the sudden retreat of the entire police force, which were guarding the area, away from the barricades not long after the arrival of Ambiga and Anwar. I thought why the police are running away like rabbits when they are the ones with guns and batons (not to mention tear gas and water cannon)! Rounds of tear gas with water cannon trucks surged on, way off into Jalan TAR, Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Tun Perak. Gas and toxic water was also spewing from Menara Maybank toward Jalan Tun Perak and from Bank Negara roundabout toward Jalan Parlimen. It was a no way out situation further with the closure of LRT operations at Masjid Jamek and Dang Wangi stations. I guess the entire blockade was planned out with the scrutiny of the hovering helicopters and para-gliders, mapping out where the yellow dots converge most below ground. How come during the commencement of the havoc, nearby LRT stations (as I know at least two – Dang Wangi & Masjid Jamek stations) were closed. Is it to entrap people so that all could be gassed and whacked? Read the rest of this entry »

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We are a confused nation, aren’t we?

— Abdul Haleem Abdul Rahiman
The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2012

MAY 3 — While the dust yet to settle on Bersih 3.0 the nation seems so drunk. So lost and so confused.

The best news today surely about Nayati Shamelin Moodliar who was released after been kidnapped for almost a week.

This young boy was released after an undisclosed amount of cash ransom was paid to the abductors. During the press conference Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh have said the following; “The family decided to pay the ransom. The demand was made immediately after the kidnapping. Police are still investigating the case under the Kidnapping Act, and if found guilty, the suspects will receive the death sentence,”

Why is he talking about if found guilty the suspects will be hanged. Have you found the suspects? Arrest them and charge them and then tell us what punishment they will face. After all on many cases before this the only thing you guys found was dead bodies or innocents children.

More on our famous police force. The KL city police released photo shots of 49 suspects who were responsible for the mayhem and violence on Bersih 3.0. Good. Arrest them investigate them and charge them.

Based on the report in TMI Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh told a press conference today the 49 persons were being investigated for various crimes under the Penal Code related to unlawful assembly and disobeying police orders.

When asked if any policemen have been listed as suspects he said there were no numbers yet but said it was not an issue as there are “no problems tracing” members of the force.

“Where is the proof? Show us. These are only allegations which must have proof,” he said when asked repeatedly about various allegations of police brutality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Police violence – a damper?

2 May 2012 | Let’s Get Together | Posted by Ong Kar Jin
Loyar Burok

This is one of the definitions given by Urban Dictionary (yes I know, what a load of nonsense, but bear with me):

Police [ puh-less], noun The guys you run away from.


Usually Urban Dictionary doesn’t quite give the most accurate of definitions, but this one seemed pretty damn accurate on Saturday. Well, most of you would have had your own experiences, but I needed to vent my frustration ( since I don’t have anybody to beat up), so here I am writing an article which probably only three people will read (one of them a cyber police officer, perhaps).

I’d just like to clarify some things before I move on. Firstly, I am in no way against the police themselves as a force, but rather am opposed to their conduct. In fact, I owe a lot to them, and have friends who have policemen as dads. Secondly, this article is based on my experiences, so please don’t tell me I’m spewing nonsense (I’m talking to YOU, cyber police officer lurking in a dark room).

Okay, moving on.

Police organisation

It was about 1.30 p.m. at Masjid Negara. The solat had begun, and people were starting to pour into the mosque. There was a huge crowd of police (most of whom looked very young) on my side of the road – about five hundred of them – and you could that some wanted to follow the crowd into the mosque (for prayer or for the shade, I don’t know). They had been standing there for about half an hour by now, and some began to sit down. A Bersih supporter joked they were staging their own Duduk Bantah, haha! Read the rest of this entry »

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428 Bersih 3.0: We allow peaceful assembly but won’t tolerate when it gets too peaceful with 200K crowd

by Richard Loh

We came in peace and will leave in peace but alas many were not allowed to do so. You can make your own conclusion whether my blog title “We allow peaceful assembly but won’t tolerate when it gets too peaceful with 200K crowd” is true or otherwise after reading my article!

We have heard many asking, including a senior journalist why Bersih not taking up the offer of Merdeka Stadium. These people must be naive to believe what the government said after having experienced the flip flop offer on Bersih 2.0.

The main objective of the government is to prevent any Bersih rally from happening and should it happened some sort of provocations need to be initiated to cause chaos. You can bet that if Bersih 3.0 initially was to plan the rally at Stadium Merdeka, this venue will be rejected. Any initial venue proposal by Bersih 3.0 will be rejected to create confusion and frustration, hence Bersih 3.0 is smart this time round not to play their game.

Knowing that they cannot stop the rally, their next modus operandi is to create and cause as much inconvenience not only to those who are attending but other visitors coming in to Kuala Lumpur as well, to make them angry and hate any rally that is going on.I attended two anti ISA and two Bersih rallies and all the time they were very peaceful until the FRU started firing tear gas and water canon onto the peaceful crowd. Bersih3.0 is no different from where I was walking around, PEACEFUL. Read the rest of this entry »

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NST admits and regrets ‘anti-Islam’ report against Oz Senator

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — The New Straits Times (NST) has admitted to falsely reporting that Australian Senator Nicholas Xenophon had criticised Islam in 2009, saying today it regrets the mistake and will take steps to make amends.

In a three-paragraph statement to The Malaysian Insider, the Umno-owned daily said that Xenophon, a known associate of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, had not called Islam a “criminal organisation” as reported in its article yesterday but had instead used the label to criticise “Scientology”.

The remarks issued by Xenophon were purportedly made during the latter’s adjournment speech in Australia’s Parliament in 2009.

NST also pledged to publish an “appropriate statement” on the issue in both its print and online editions, adding its regret to any distress the incident may have caused the independent Australian Senator.

The NST’s response, in verbatim, is as follows:

“We refer to the news regarding Mr Nicholas Xenophon’s complaint in respect of the article entitled ‘Observer Under Scrutiny’ with a sub-title ‘Impartiality Questioned: Anti-Islam Australian Lawmaker Comes Under Fire’, which appeared in the May 2, 2012 edition of the New Straits Times published by us.

“We regret that the article attributes certain statements to Xenophon, particularly the use of the word ‘Islam’ which he did not make in a parliamentary speech in November 2009. We are taking steps to make amends including publishing an appropriate statement in our newspaper and its online version to address the issue.

“We truly and sincerely regret that Xenophon has suffered any distress and embarrassment arising from the article and we honestly believe that that steps we are taking to make amends will resolve the matter.” Read the rest of this entry »


Adventure of a lifetime

By Jean Yeoh
The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Participating in the 428 Bersih Duduk Bantah is considered an adventure of a life time for me and LKG, she 68 and I 67, because we had to be prepared to dodge, run, and might get injured if tear gas and water cannons were used. However, as four years went by, being awaken by the 2008 tsunami, both of us were very well informed by the alternative media of the excessive blundering of our country’s wealth, we decided to participate in Bersih 3.0 to demand for clean and fair elections so that those who are really working for the welfare of our country will be elected into government.

I am luckier than LKG, because I had the blessing of my sons and daughters-in-law to attend the event as senior citizen. I told them since they could not participate, let me represent the family. I was very confident that I could come home safe and sound. LKG, being physically less fit thus fearing objection, did not have the courage to tell her family that she was attending Berish 3, had to lie that she was going out for lunch with some friends.

On the eve of our great adventure, I prepared a poster to state precisely my reason for participating in Bersih 3.0 — A Better Malaysia For Our Next Generation, Khas Untuk Cucu Jay Fu, Jojo Fu and Kylie Fu.

My daughter-in-law Ailene, being unable to participate herself, though very much eager to do so, excitingly prepared me well to go to WAR — trying to get a Bersih 3.0 T shirt for me, but in vain (out of stock), ear plugs (rumoured that police might use anti riot sound devices), towels, mask, salt water, yellow raincoat, sun block, list of legal advisers’ contact numbers in case of arrest, etc. Read the rest of this entry »


Free press rank will drop after police assault on reporters, says DAP

By Ida Lim
The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today suggested that Malaysia will have a lower ranking in the World Press Freedom Index as a result of violence against reporters in Penang’s anti-Lynas protest and the Bersih rally for electoral reforms.

“There is no doubt that press freedom in our country is deteriorating and getting more restricted,” said Lim, referring to last Saturday’s Bersih sit-in protest where the police allegedly beat up reporters and destroyed their equipment.

“The fact that the police did indeed beat up members of the media is irrefutable,” he said.

“Worse, BBC and Al-Jazeera’s news coverage was censored by Astro for breaching local content regulations. To date, neither the Home Ministry nor Astro has clarified what the local content regulations were,” said the Bagan MP.

The two international news providers had complained that Astro had edited their coverage of the Bersih rally. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih from Down Under

— George Lee
The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2012

MAY 3 — Ever since the inception of the online alternative media where overseas Malaysians are given opportunities to articulate their views, we have never come close to any break to put words into action until the Bersih movement was launched. We have been called “turncoats” many times over because we choose to live outside Malaysia. However, many of us took these unwarranted comments in our stride. In our hearts, we know that we can still contribute to the betterment of Malaysia in many channels as we never cut ties with our homeland completely. Most importantly, our love for Malaysia grows ever strongly as living apart makes our hearts grow fonder. Hence, when the Bersih movement came to town, we did not hesitate to be part of the flock as we knew this was a time for us to contribute to this cause in a non-partisan manner.

Standing amongst your countrymen at Federation Square singing “Negaraku” was so poignant and gratifying but the feelings were soon eclipsed by enormous worry for those assembled in another “Square” back home. It is so ironic to think that both “Squares” have similar historical milieu but have contrasting destinies when it comes to peaceful assembly. When the Global Bersih co-ordinator asked us to pray in silence for those attending a similar assembly at the forbidden “Square” back home, our hearts sunk to an unprecedented low when we think about our love ones who would come face to face with the Federal Reserve Unit and its free firing weapons. Read the rest of this entry »

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US report: Press in M’sia ‘not free’

By Patrick Lee | May 3, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been found to be one of the worst countries in Asia when it comes to press freedom.

According to the US-based human rights think-tank Freedom House’s “Freedom of the Press 2012” report, Malaysia’s was ranked 31st out of 40 countries in the Asia-Pacific region where media freedom was concerned.

With a score of 63, this put it just above countries like Singapore (32nd), Brunei (35th) and Vietnam (36th), marking it with the “Not Free” status.

Countries with higher scores are less free, and considered authoritarian, while countries with lower scores are seen as more free.

Malaysia was even ranked lower than its troubled neighbours in Asean, such as Indonesia (22nd), the Philippines (21st) and Thailand (28th).

From a worldwide perspective, Malaysia was ranked at 144th out of a list of 196 countries, sharing its position with Cambodia, Jordan, Madagascar and Pakistan.
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“A Day of Shame” for Media Freedom, Police Professionalism and Najib’s Political Transformation

Malaysia marks World Press Freedom Day today under the shadow of “A Day of Shame” last Saturday (Bersih 3.0 on April 28, 2012) for media freedom, police professionalism and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s political transformation.

Never before in Malaysian history have so many media reporters and photographers been the target of such ruthless, brutal and systematic police attacks while covering the Bersih 3.0 “sit-in” for free, fair and clean elections, making a total mockery of the recent amendment to the Printing Presses and Publications Act allegedly to allow for greater media freedom in the country.

It is an indictment of all the “transformation” programmes and promises of the past three years that media freedom in Malaysia had never felt more endangered to the extent that media representatives and their supporters are marking the World Press Freedom Day by donning black with a yellow ribbon!

This is why I am wearing black with a yellow ribbon today.

When apologizing yesterday to the Malay Mail photographer Arif Kartono, who was attacked by seven to eight policemen who kicked him in the face, legs and stomped on his back and his camera damaged during the assault despite clearly identifying himself with his media tag, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said:
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Worth every moment

By Ravindran Paramsothy
The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — I had such an eventful day on April 28! My day started at 9am when my group of friends arrived at my house. The Bersih group comprised four women and I (which begs the question, what happened to all the guys). We decided to drive to Kampung Attap and park at Geeta’s office but there was a roadblock on Jalan Bangsar/Travers. We had no choice but to drive towards Jalan Tun Razak. We decided since my friend Jayanthi was a member of the Royal Selangor Club that we just try our luck and proceed to it. Ahhh! There was another roadblock leading to Jalan Parlimen. The girls although in bright yellow T-shirt convinced the policeman to let us thru and we decided not to push our luck and parked our car at the Lake Club. It took us about 20 minutes to walk to the Royal Selangor Club which had a very strong police presence. Since we were hungry we thought we could have nasi lemak at the club but were politely turned away by the police because of the colour of our attire, apparently yellow is no longer in fashion.

There was already a huge crowd in front of Dataran Merdeka which sadly had a ring of barbed wire around it! Made our way slowly to Central Market and waited for Ambiga to come. The crowd was made up of my fellow Malaysians — huge crowds of Malays, Chinese and Indians and you realise Barisan’s 1 Malaysia was only a slogan and here in Bersih was the true Malaysia that I have forgotten! Our ethnic differences did not matter, but the cause did. How we were tricked by Umno, the MCA and MIC who basically kept dividing us to retain their voting base. According to Malaysiakini we were more than 100,000-strong and Bersih said it was 150,000, it felt like it! We were jammed like sardines as we made our walk, the crowd was so thick that the people in front would inform you of a platform in front because you could not see it! To next day the usual Barisan-controlled media would state 5,000 had turned up! Read the rest of this entry »

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Viva Malaysia!

By JE Niuh | May 02, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — Where do I start? How about when I saw the protesters surge towards me as the tear gas canisters fell! It was a sight to see: a sea of humanity coming towards you as you’re pinned against a lamp post and a drinks van in front of CIMB Bank about 50m from the barricade. I did not join in the mêlée and was able to usher the masses past me and remind them to stay calm and move away from the area in an orderly fashion.

Exactly when the s*** hit the fan, I do not know. But what riled me up was how a supposed peaceful mass gathering with a noble cause quickly turned ugly and violent. I guess it was wishful thinking of me thinking that this act of civil disobedience would end up uneventfully! I should have known that some anarchists amongst us would not let this pass without a physical fight with the authorities. After all that was and always will be their raison d’etre —to create chaos when there is none! But there I still was. In the sweltering midday heat with thousands others because we wanted to be there, to send out a clear and unambiguous signal to the powers that be that we will no longer be cowed and controlled and play by “their” rules.

And that is the fundamentality of what we as citizens of this country and perhaps humanity crave for. Our freedom to be where we want to be, when we want it to be, without restrictions being placed on us. This self awareness, self awakening is what we need to encourage ourselves and others who are perhaps still “slumbering” amidst the mismanagement of this great country of ours by the government of the day. We must realise that we are the ones who put the government in power and we have the right and ability to remove them through a clean and fair electoral process, if they misbehave. Unfortunately this process is currently in disrepute, hence the purpose of this latest round of mass protest.
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Claiming back our freedom

By Muaz Omar | May 03, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

May 3 — American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

How apt the quote is. We have just experienced how the people have spoken to regain their freedom, demanding a return of their right to free and fair elections.

We live in interesting times. Malaysia is in transition, with most hoping that decades of injustice will be undone.

The oppressed is not simply of one particular race. It is a vast segment of ordinary Malaysians from all walks of life.

Many blame this on the almost undisrupted domination of Umno for the past 55 years. They say this has resulted in regression of the nation’s social and political facade.
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Bersih 3.0: Here they come, the beautiful ones

By Praba Ganesan | May 03, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MAY 3 — The biggest protest in living memory for Malaysians.

An impressive chunk of Malaysia rallied all over the country and in foreign cities to express their political convictions. No analysis from one person is going to change the new national reality: The people are here, and they’ve got something to say.

Except for one deputy minister, also an Umno supreme council member, the government of the day is not listening to the underlying message. They’ve opted to highlight all the weaknesses in the chain and ignore the rest.

This is why the crowd will swell in the next edition.

Those who rule can’t just say the time of government knows best is over, they have to start acting like the time of government knows best is over.
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When people fill the streets

By StanCH Lee

When a cause is righteous, there is no need to pay for people to show up.
You do not have to bring entertainment. You do not need a million dollar stage.
You don’t need the glitz nor the glamour.
No need for shock and awe publicity that costs tens of millions.
No need for “you help me I help you”.
Heck, you do not even need to put food in front of them.

Just stand on the right side of history and everyone will want to be there.
They will weather the storm. They will brave the water cannons.They will walk through the gauntlet of police and FRU brutality.
They will stare into the face of state intimidation. Beat them, they will come right up again. Kick them and they will hunker down even more. Gas them and they will be even more fired up. They will come. In the hundreds. In the thousands.
From near and from far.The young. And the old. They will bring their friends. They will bring their children.
They will even bring their pets.
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Should we still believe in peaceful protests?

— Ksatriya
The Malaysian Insider
May 02, 2012

MAY 2 — It is so tempting, isn’t it?

To throw up our hands and declare that this will never work. To say that’s it and throw in the towel. To lose faith completely in our fellow Malaysians and retreat into a corner, declaring that ideals can never trump human flaws.

The myth of the peaceful protest, busted?

I spent the last two days being in and out of depression. It descended on me the minute I heard of violence perpetrated by protestors at Bersih 3.0. Suddenly, my belief in the cause and the Malaysian people seemed to crumble. After all our noble intentions, are we nothing more than a mob? Yesterday, some first-hand accounts began to appear. Some of the political leaders had incited the crowd to breach the cordon, they said. The crowd surged forth. The police had no choice but to defend themselves with wave after wave of tear gas. They had to mop up the streets of violent and unruly protestors. Things were broken, cars were overturned. The myth of the peaceful protest was finally busted.

Or was it?

I hardly slept last night. I was in front of the computer until the early hours of the morning, poring over news reports, videos, pictures. Trying to make sense of the events that had dealt such a powerful blow to my faith. Then it dawned on me. Read the rest of this entry »