Archive for August 19th, 2013

Can religious leaders still talk through issues anymore?

by Jennifer Gomez and Hasbullah Awang Chik
The Malaysian Insider
August 19, 2013

To the world, before these past few weeks, Malaysia has been a country that always at least claimed to be a model for moderate faith and prided itself on cherishing interfaith dialogue and shared space.

No one is making that claim anymore, at least no one from the top. No one there can.

Not when in the space of bare weeks, Malaysians have seen two high religious figures – one Buddhist, the other Catholic – have to issue apologies to mollify a madding crowd. Read the rest of this entry »


The role of public interest litigation

– Dr. R. Rueban Balasubramaniam
The Malaysian Insider
August 19, 2013

After the recent general election, Malaysian democrats have again been frustrated. Once more, the United Malay National Organization (“UMNO”) emerged victorious, though many believe this was the most fraudulent election in Malaysia’s political history. Now, democrats are redoubling their efforts to reveal such fraud and to seek electoral reform at least with an eye to winning the next election.

Democrats take solace in the fact that UMNO is on very vulnerable political terrain; it cannot compete fairly within upon a democratic playing field, but they should not just exert political pressure on UMNO. They can use another strategy: public interest litigation designed to embarrass UMNO’s ethnocratic political program, a program rooted in an authoritarian and discriminatory principle of Malay political dominance. Through such litigation, democrats can cast further doubt on UMNO’s claim to exercise legitimate political rule.

At present, Malaysia has no tradition of public interest litigation. This, despite the existence of a supreme written Constitution that contains a bill of rights and provisions that protect important group interests within a rubric of legal equality and provisions that express the principles of the separation of powers and federalism, which guard against the excessive concentration of power in any single organ of government. It is plain that the constitutional framework imposes legal discipline upon political power in a way that is hostile to authoritarian rule that is readily amenable to public interest litigation. Read the rest of this entry »


Lawyers instructed to institute legal proceedings against Utusan Malaysia for recycling the lies of booklet “The Equity Report (CEC Election Fraud)” of fictitious “Father Augustus Chen”

I have instructed my lawyers to institute legal proceedings against Utusan Malaysia for recycling the defamatory lies of the booklet “The Equity Report (CEC Election Fraud)” of fictitious “Father Augustus Chen”.

In a statement on August 5, 2013, I said:

  • “Father Augustus Chen” who authored the booklet alleging irregularities in the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections last December was “a total figment of imagination of the Umno/BN ‘war-room psy-war’ campaign against the DAP before and after the 13th General Elections”;

  • The allegations of DAP election irregularities by the fictitious “Father Augustus Chan” in his booklet is a regurgitation of the many lies and baseless allegations which had been published in some 400 anti-DAP reports and write-ups in UMNO/BN controlled media since January, particularly in Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times;

  • The appearance of the booklet of lies by the fictitious “Father Augustus Chen” in July was to provide a semblance of justification for UMNO/BN and the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to act against the DAP, enabling Umno/BN leaders and Cabinet Ministers to quote the fictitious “Father Augustus Chen” as authority why action, such as invalidation of DAP CEC elections and even deregistration, should be taken against the DAP.

Read the rest of this entry »