Archive for March 19th, 2015

PAS’s hudud folly – a political putsch

By Bridget Welsh
Mar 17, 2015

COMMENT Tomorrow the Islamist party PAS is scheduled to introduce ‘minor’ amendments to the hudud legislation it introduced in Kelantan in 1993.

The bill cannot be implemented as the constitution currently prevents the legislation from having effect. Although limited in scope, the move nevertheless will have significant consequences as it brings to the fore political dynamics within the party and showcases how the PAS would govern.

At its core, the amendment introduction is a political exercise aimed at shoring up a Kelantan PAS state government that has lost its moral authority with the passing of respected leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and in the wake of devastating floods where the state government proved to be completely ineffectual.

This process of introducing the amendments and the political implications signal that the current conservative ulama leadership of PAS is apparently no longer meaningfully interested in democratic principles and holding national power.

This action of moving to strengthen hudud if fully realised will have negative electoral implications even within Kelantan itself.

To say that this a folly is perhaps an understatement, as it potentially marks a turning point for PAS as a trusted and viable party in national government. This is the first article of a three part series that looks at this issue. Read the rest of this entry »


Amendment to Motion of Thanks to direct the PAC and the Police to immediately investigate the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal without waiting for Auditor General’s Report on 1MDB

There are many other issues which explain why Malaysia is now teetering on a crisis as a result of the economic and political gridlock paralyzing the country.

As time does not permit a discussion of all these issues, I will just quickly refer to some of them:

* Malaysia’s reputation as a country safe for investors received a grievious blow when a series of judicial decisions raised national and international questions as to whether Malaysia had restored its previous high international repute for a truly independent judiciary and just rule of law because of the following cases:

i. the Federal Court’s 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal and five-year jail sentence in Sodomy II trial;

ii. the Federal Court’s decision to convict and sentence to death former police commando Azila Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, while leaving completely open the question of motive for the murder and who had ordered Azila and Sirul to murder Altantuya;

iii. the expose by retired Court of Appeal judge Justice K.C. Vohrah that former Chief Justice Eusoff Chin had caused a miscarriage of justice in the infamous Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case two decades ago;
iv.the black-listing, discrimination and continued by-passing of Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohamad Hishamudin Mohd Yunus from elevation to the Federal Court;

v. the victimization of the country’s first judicial whistleblower, former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid, who was penalized instead of being rewarded. Read the rest of this entry »

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Zahid’s skeletons in the cupboard and the “stacks of letters and agreements” to US

Fourthly, we have the tragedy that the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi cannot put the IGP on the right path, because he has his own skeletons in the cupboard.

Malaysians are still no nearer to the mystery of Zahid’s infamous letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) vouching for the character of an alleged international gambling kingpin without the knowledge or sanction of the Police, the Foreign Ministry, the Cabinet or the Prime Minister.

In fact, the whole episode has become very much murkier with the latest contortion by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim that the federal government is satisfied “in principle” with explanations provided by Zahid regarding his infamous letter to FBI on Paul Phua. Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP’s English standard incomparably low

Thirdly, On Monday, DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua, tweeted in anger when he heard that Nurul Izzah was arrested under the Sedition Act in relation to her speech in Parliament last week when she went to the Dang Wangi Police Station to keep an appointment with the police for her statement to be taken over the #KitaLawan rally in Kuala Lumpur on March 7.

This attracted a tweet directive from the IGP, namely: “@PDRMsia akan panggil YB ini menjelaskan apa maksud beliau dgn ‘Royal my foot’. Adakah ditujukan kepada Raja2 Melayu?” (@PDRMsia will call this YB and ask him to explain what he means by ‘Royal my foot’. Is this aimed at the Malay Rulers?)

Khalid was referring to Pua’s tweet “Bastards. Real bastards. Royal my foot”.

I agree that Pua’s tweet was in bad taste. But it was not a crime. Was Pua’s tweet aimed at the Malay Rulers?

Not to mention the police officers, I believe the overwhelming majority of school children with decent command of English language will give the IGP a strong unambiguous answer – No, it is not aimed at the Malay Rulers but the Royal Malaysian Police. Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP’s misguided war against PR leaders/NGO activists when he should declare war on IS

Secondly, the IGP’s misguided war against PR leaders and NGO activists when he should have declared war on Islamic State, which is misleading Malaysian Muslims to join them Iraq and Syria to commit atrocities like beheadings, public stonings and mass massacres.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal in its opinion piece titled “Malaysia’s Creeping Authoritarianism” following more police crackdown marked by the arrest of two MPs, referred to 19 Islamic State supporters who had been arrested for plotting attacks around Kuala Lumpur last year.

Up to now, Malaysians have not been told the full story of the 19 Islamic State supporters who had been arrested for plotting attacks around Kuala Lumpur last year, but the twitter trigger-happy IGP seemed to be more pre-occupied with his “war” against PR leaders and NGO activists, who only wanted to expand the democratic space for Malaysians to qualify as a fully developed nation in 2020. than the serious war waged by Islamic State in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Committee of Privileges should haul up IGP Khalid over the police breach of parliamentary privilege over false arrest of Nurul Izzah and to decide how the police could purge itself for utter contempt for institution of Parliament

I hope to highlight several issues which the veteran MP from Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh on Monday said has caused a “historic juncture” as Malaysia’s economic and political situations are in a “gridlock” and teetering on crisis.

Firstly, the police arrest of two MPs, the DAP MP for Rasah Teo Kok Seong on Saturday and the PKR MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar on Monday, and their overnight remand at the Jinjang Police Station, and in the case of Kok Seong, the police sought another four-day remand but the magistrate only allowed remand for another day.

The police knew well beforehand that Kok Seong and Nurul would be reporting at the Dang Wangi Police station but on the day in question, the police did absolutely nothing to record their statements after their formal arrest, in order to justify an overnight remand for both at the Jinjang Police Station.

This is not police efficiency and professionalism at their best, but police pettiness and vindictiveness at their worst.

Nobody blames the police personnel at Wang Dangi for such petty and vindictive abuse of police powers, showing utter contempt and disrespect not only to Kok Siong and Nurul but also the institution of Parliament!

Nobody believes that the ordinary police rank and file are capable of such pettiness and vindictiveness against MPs. I do not believe that senior police officers would want to exhibit such police pettiness and vindictiveness which do not reflect well on police efficiency and professionalism – and such police abuses of power and contempt for MPs, particularly from Pakatan Rakyat, can only come from the command of one person, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Creeping Authoritarianism

Wall Street Journal
March 16, 2015

Malaysian politics are moving down a dark path. A month after the country’s highest court upheld the conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of sodomy, police on Monday arrested Mr. Anwar’s daughter for violating the Sedition Act, a colonial-era law increasingly used to chill political debate.

Nurul Izzah Anwar’s apparent offense was to criticize the judiciary last week in Parliament, where she is opposition vice president. In addition to reading a statement from her father condemning his trial as a political conspiracy, Ms. Nurul Izzah condemned Malaysia’s Federal Court for “bowing to political masters” and being “partners in a crime that contributed to the death of a free judiciary.”

Western diplomats have also criticized her father’s prosecution. “The decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, and his trial, have raised serious concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts,” the U.S. State Department said last month. Read the rest of this entry »

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