Archive for May 19th, 2012

I feel terrible, says Ambiga

Stephanie Sta Maria
May 19, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

The horror endured by 19 victims of police brutality during the Bersih 3.0 rally has shocked the electoral watchdog’s chairperson.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga has heard countless accounts of police brutality taking place during the April 28 rally but she was still “deeply shocked” by those of 19 victims who shared their stories with the media this morning.

“I feel terrible,” Ambiga told FMT after the media conference at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).

“Every time I hear a single one of these stories it gives me a deep shock. I’ve heard that one may even go blind and that is very shocking,” she said.

The narratives of the 19 victims were similar in that they were confronted by groups of unidentified policemen who beat them for either being a rally participant, recording the on-goings or attempting to help another victim. Read the rest of this entry »


In Bersih We Believe

by Allan CF Goh

Let us continue the good fight,
Till the day dawns when right is might.
Let righteousness reign so supreme,
In spite of vile threats so extreme.
Let’s not be derailed by wild curs,
Barking endlessly, growling curse.
Let democracy shine so bright,
As to destroy any plight.
Let’s clean up the stained voting list,
Remove its sick malignant cyst. Read the rest of this entry »


Statement by Concerned Scholars on Coming Elections

Saturday, 19 May 2012
Press Statement

The 13th Malaysian general elections will be held sometime between now and April 2013.

These elections have the potential to be the most free and fair elections held in the country for several decades.

For the coming elections to live up to this potential, we call on the government and other major players and stakeholders to scrupulously observe the following priority concerns which we see as key to ensuring an outcome that can have greater legitimacy among Malaysians and outside observers:

1. Implementation of recommendations of the Parliamentary select committee to clean up the electoral process
2. Free and fair access to mass media for all parties
3. Public service staff at local, state and federal levels to observe strict neutrality
4. Prohibition on misuse of Government and associated public facilities and apparatus for electioneering purposes
5 All parties to be transparent and accountable in the use of money during the elections. Both coalitions need to disclose their sources of funding and provide a detailed account of their campaign expenditure

To enable a more level playing field for the coming elections, it is necessary that these concerns be addressed immediately and not just before the elections. Read the rest of this entry »


Time is on Pakatan Rakyat’s side – any delay in 13GE will provide more opportunity to debunk UMNO/BN lies and expose the “greatest lie” in 3-year Najib premiership that “Bersih 3.0 itu Kotor”

Until the Bersih 3.0 rally of April 28, 2012, it was fairly certain that the 13th General Election will take place in June this year.

This certainty has now disappeared because the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has suffered another attack of hesitation and indecisiveness, as a result of the unprecedented support by Malaysians for fair, free and clean elections not only in various parts of the country and by the Malaysian Diaspora throughout the world but also by the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, class, region, gender and age who gathered peacefully in Kuala Lumpur for the Bersih 3.0 “sit-in” at Dataran Merdeka on Aprl 28.

All the “tough talk” by Najib at the UMNO anniversary at Bukit Jalil Stadium on May 11 and the specious claim that the sea of red that night was bigger than the Bersih 3.0 sea of yellow on April 28 could not hide the fact that Najib’s confidence that June would be the best timing for him to call general elections had been greatly shaken.

With Najib again agonising on when to dissolve Parliament to go for national polls, the country is now back to the guessing game, whether the 13th general election is still in June, or pushed back to July, September or even later.

This reflects Najib’s realisation that although he may have secured high personal polls, his personal popularity could not be translated into high voting support for UMNO and Barisan Nasional and the next general elections is a veritable “do or die” battle for him, UMNO and Barisan Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »


Ambiga: Tear gas aftermath, police responsibility

Hafiz Yatim | May 18, 2012

The April 28 violence erupted when police began firing tear gas at the historic Bersih 3.0 rally participants, said Besih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.

In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini on the Bersih 3.0 rally, she said that she was glad the organisers did not accept the stadium Merdeka offer, as things may have turned differently if that type of incident had occurred there, people would have been trapped.

The lawyer and former Bar Council president said four hours earlier between 10am and prior to the firing of the tear gas in the afternoon, the 250,000-strong crowd had been well behaved.

“In any such public assembly it is the joint responsibility of the government and the organisers. Look we do not have batons and we do not have the means (weapons) to go to the extent the police can.

“As far as we are concerned, we did our best as things were under control until the tear gas.

“Even if the barricades were breached they (police and our volunteers) could have stopped it. However, when the tear gas was fired you cannot hold us responsible.

“What happens after police take action is their responsibility. I am not condoning violence but everything happened after that it is their responsibility. Everything went berserk after that,” she said.

She added that police started shooting tear-gas canister after canister all over and continuously as the people were retreating. No warning given, she claimed. Read the rest of this entry »


Tunku Aziz’s exit from DAP

By Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2012

MAY 19 — It offends UMNO that Malays choose to join DAP. Why does the action of Malays joining another legitimate political party which is not UMNO, induce that feeling? It springs from arrogance and political xenophobia. UMNO is the chauvinist party that sees people who reject it ( for whatever reasons they choose) as a betrayal to UMNO. That is what offends UMNO actually. They can’t understand why people can be `disloyal’ to UMNO. UMNO expects Malays to be loyal to it- but what principles and values does it offer that can sustain the much desired loyalty?

UMNO arrogantly believes that an UMNO Malay is the only Malay. So it offends UMNO to see Malays abandon UMNO as though, the Malay has converted into another race. UMNO is fast adopting the Hassan Aqidah Ali mentality.

Next it offends UMNO not being able to see an exodus of other Malays from DAP. Suddenly UMNO has credited Tunku Aziz with some extraordinary attributes that must without fail, encourage other Malays to leave DAP. Alas, Tunku Abdul Aziz is alone. UMNO’s hope that Tunku Aziz’s action can serve as the catalyst prompting other Malays in DAP to do likewise crumbles. Indeed, Tunku Aziz’s action reinforces the determination of Malays who joined DAP to stay put despite his U-turn. Read the rest of this entry »


Is the Bar Council playing politics?

— Rueban Balasubramaniam
The Malaysian Insider
May 18, 2012

MAY 18 — The Malaysian government has recently criticized the Malaysian Bar Council for playing politics in reaction to the Bar’s resolution that the police had used excessive force against demonstrators at the recent Bersih rally.

The government argues that the Bar is not being “impartial” in its assessment of governmental action. It alleges that the Bar is now operating effectively operating as a political opposition party.

The objection that the Bar is playing politics is not new. Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has in the past recorded this critique of the Bar. Indeed, he has joined in the government’s response to the Bar’s recent resolution about police conduct during the Bersih rally.

This line of criticism of the Bar displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the Bar as articulate defenders of the ideal of the rule of law and democracy.

To start with the rule of law, it is an ideal that is widely contrasted with arbitrary power. A commitment to the rule of law requires that before a government can claim that its actions are legally and politically legitimate, it must show that its actions accord with a sound interpretation of relevant laws. Read the rest of this entry »


Why the PM should scuttle the coming FGVH IPO

— Lim Teck Ghee
The Malaysian Insider
May 18, 2012

MAY 18 — Prime Minister Najib Razak last week announced a “windfall” of RM15,000 to each Felda settler family.

The planned payout is to come from the initial public offering of the Felda Global Ventures Holding (FGVH). As part of the IPO of FGVH, Felda will be disposing 1.21 billion of its current FGVH shares at RM4.65 each, and from which Felda stands to make RM5.62 billion if these are fully taken up.

Among the targeted anchor investors are Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) and other national and Bumiputera funds.

Ahead of the share sale to be held by June, Felda settlers have been given an assurance by Najib that the listing would yield profits. He had also lashed out at those opposed to the scheme, saying that they are merely trying “to confuse” the people.

At this stage it is not clear yet who is trying to confuse the settlers or other Malaysians since the planned IPO is a highly complicated transaction whose full details have not been thoroughly unravelled and evaluated by professional market analysts. This is because many analysts are fearful that they may antagonize the government and end up on the wrong side of the authorities.

Felda accounts for around 18 per cent of the country’s total palm oil output. The idea behind FGVH is to turn this newly created corporate entity into a “global conglomerate”. Read the rest of this entry »