THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Friday, November 30, 2007

29. Review of Restriction Order

KUALA LUMPUR: The chairman of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and four legal advisors have applied to the High Court here to have a restriction order issued by a magistrate against them last week reviewed and set aside.

The five – P. Waythamoorthy and lawyers M. Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar, V.S. Ganapathy Rao and R. Kengadhedharan – are asking the court to declare the Nov 22 order which barred them from holding the Sunday rally as void under the law.

The application filed at the High Court yesterday by the group's lawyer Gobind Singh Deo is supported by Manoharan's affidavit. More...

28. US Defends Protests

The United States underscored on Wednesday the rights of Malaysians to hold peaceful protests, after Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's government swiftly suppressed mass rallies and threatened to use a draconian law to detain protesters indefinitely without trial.

"We believe citizens of any country should be allowed to peacefully assemble and express their views," a US State Department official said when commenting on the crackdown of unprecedented street protests in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur this month.

One called for electoral reform which drew some 30,000 people, and another by at least 8,000 ethnic Indians last Sunday was aimed at highlighting racial discrimination.

The rallies were the biggest in a decade and took place despite bans ordered by police, who broke up the gatherings with tear gas, water cannons and baton charges.

The US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not go beyond his succinct statement, which was the first reaction by Washington on the rare outpouring of anti-government dissent in Malaysia.

The protests led to a veiled threat by Abdullah on Tuesday to use the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) that allows for detention without trial to stem the dissent.

Rights groups, who have campaigned to have the ISA abolished, cautioned the prime minister against using such laws.

"It is a huge mistake for Prime Minister Abdullah to even consider using this unjust law to crack down on peaceful demonstrators," said T Kumar, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific advocacy director in Washington.

"We strongly urge him not to use it." Amnesty has also called on the US authorities to check whether excessive force was used in quelling the recent demonstrations and to oppose any use of the ISA against peaceful protests, he said.

Abdullah argued that the ISA was "a preventive measure to spare the nation from untoward incidents that can harm the prevailing peace and harmony and create all sorts of adverse things."

"So, I don't know (when to invoke the ISA), but ISA will be there. When it is appropriate to use it, it will be used," he said.

Malaysia is holding more than 100 people under the ISA, about 80 of them alleged Islamic militants. Rights groups have long campaigned for them to be freed or brought to trial.

The legislation allows for two-year detention periods that can be renewed indefinitely. The government maintains that detention without trial is needed as a first line of defence against terrorism.

US intelligence consultancy Stratfor, in a bulletin to clients this week, said the Malaysian demonstrations signaled "instability" ahead of national elections expected early next year.

"The recent demonstrations signal chaos and unpredictability to come before elections are announced, but Badawi's grip on internal security is not going to loosen any time soon," it said - AFP.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

27. Implement IPCMC

HINDRAF Public Assembly: Respect and implement the Royal Commissions recommendations on policing immediately

Amnesty International Malaysia is gravely concerned over recent events regarding the conduct and response by the Royal Malaysian Police towards freedom of assembly in Malaysia. It is our view that the police have resorted to unnecessary use of force on peaceful demonstrators and arbitrary arrests of hundreds of people for exercising their constitutional rights. Amnesty International is also seriously concerned over the act of intimidation and harassment based on racial profiling in the setting up of roadblocks before the November 25 rally. We are also alarmed at the unprecedented act of obtaining a blanket unilateral restraining order without the other party being given a right to be heard, hence imposing an unfounded opinion that public assembly is an act of nuisance and a threat to public safety.

In view of all this, we regret that the police continue to undermine the constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and personal liberties even after the matter had been strongly addressed by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in 2005.

The right to assembly is a fundamental inherent right of all persons as provided in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Federal Constitution. In 2005, the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police, in recognition of this right, proposed an amendment to section 27 of the Police Act 1967 that imposes the requirement of a permit and the absolute discretion on the police to grant approval to public assemblies. This important recommendation was also echoed by the Report of the SUHAKAM Public Inquiry into the Incident at KLCC on 28 May 2006.

We regret that this recommendation has yet to be implemented by the government and public assemblies continue to be clamped down with excessive force as witnessed in the public rallies held on November 10 and 25 respectively. Amnesty International views that the police have the responsibility to abide by international standards for law enforcement officials, set out in the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, which stipulate that law enforcement officials must maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons in the performance of their duties.

Amnesty International Malaysia also emphasizes that the authorities must respect the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, and not to arrest or detain anyone for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Amnesty International reiterates its call on the Malaysian Government to respect the findings and recommendations made the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police and to amend Section 27 of the Police Act and to immediately implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as well as all the recommendations made in Chapter 10 of the commission's report. Amnesty International Malaysia also strongly urges the Royal Malaysian Police to respect and protect the rights of the people to peaceful assembly and their personal liberties.

Campaigns Coordinator
Amnesty International Malaysia

26 November 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

26. A Brave Judge

In 1996, Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid wrote a 33-page unsigned letter alleging corruption, abuse of power and misconduct against 12 fellow judges. The allegations were dismissed as baseless and he resigned as High Court judge shortly after that.

At yesterday’s talk, he said the selection of judges was very different from that of a CEO because the former had to hold and nurture the good name of his office, his nation and must possess certain characteristics and qualities that only a few could claim to have.

He added that physical and mental health, temperament, aptitude and financial background were all factors to look into during the selection process.

Read more here.

Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid is a one in a million. Certainly the qualities required of a judge are far different from a CEO. The Honourable Judge has mentioned them above. Justice means judges have to be totally independent and impartial and judge on merits and truthfulness. They have to earn that respect from the public by their considered judgements. They have to be thoroughly learned in their professional capacity and be respected by their colleagues in the judiciary and by the Bar members who appear before them. The learned and reading public can see through judgements made. Once they lose that 'honourable' capacity, it is time for them to go. But in the case of Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid he resigned because his word, which is his bond, was not taken seriously. An example of a fine, fearless judge, we often find the good ones leaving and the others staying.This does not mean we have all bad judges now. We have fine judges who do a decent job and bring much respect and honour to themselves, their profession and the country.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


MY JOURNAL was originally intended as my recording for a personal use. It was subsequently been made available to all so that the authorities and the relevant parties 'see' the problems. But of now every piece that I write is about the wrongs of the authorities. When it comes to such a situation, I take it that something is wrong with me and not the people/issues I write about. I need a break. Will see you on an irregular basis from now. There is sufficient reading material in the ARCHIVES of this blog.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

24. LCCT Bursting

(updated version)

The LCCT in Sepang is already overcrowded and is taking a toll on facilities and services.

It is now the holiday season with passenger traffic even higher.

Is there no head or a department at the airport to look and report on such problems before it comes to a crisis?

This is the case in many Government Departments not just LCCT. And the problem is never reported or action taken.

It infuriates the public. The consumer suffers.

After the problem is highlighted in the press (NST), Datuk Tony Fernandes acknowledges and suggests remedies.

If he can close his eyes and buy 200 aeroplanes, why cannot MAHB provide him enough space to turn around those planes and people? Shame on you MAHB. Utterly disgusting!

A spokesman for MAHB, which runs the airport said there are plans to expand the terminal while a new LCCT is being built. But it is all too late!

Don't complain about Tony's planes coming in late for operational reasons beyond his control, when you cannot even build an airport or provide facilities on time.

Let not people stop flying because of a bad airport. It should only be for a bad airline!

Can't the authorities be more proactive and solve a problem before it comes to a head.

Read here.

23. Royal Commission of Enquiry

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday announced that a Royal Commission of Enquiry, into the video tape scandal that rocked the nation, will be established.

He said the terms of reference and scope will be discussed at the next weekly cabinet meeting and then the members of the commission will be appointed.

"It is a good step and this is what we have been asking for" Bar Council Vice-President Ragunath Kesavan told AFP.

Bravo, Prime Minister for the setting up of the Royal Commission of Enquiry. It should be truly independent with sufficient scope and terms of reference to get to the bottom of the scandal and come up with recommendations as to its resolution and measures to strengthen the judiciary. Opposition Leader, Lim Kit Siang has given a list of do's and dont's on the appointment of members of the commission in Malaysiakini.

Friday, November 16, 2007

22. Apply for Land Titles

Perak MIC chief and state executive councillor Datuk G. Rajoo has urged the committees of the 1,500 'illegal' temples in the state to submit their application for land titles, Malaysian Nanban reported.

The state government had yet to reject any such land application, he told reporters at his Deepavali open house in Ipoh recently.

He said since 2000, about 38 temples had been given land titles.

Some of the temples were allowed to operate at the existing places while some were relocated and given 0.404 ha to build new premises.

He said that some temple committees refused to move their temples to other places and were operating 'illegally'.

If these temples did not apply for land titles, then they would be asked to move - The Star, 15.11.2007.

Fantastic, Datuk Rajoo, for the work you are doing for the Indian Community. This is the first such report I have read in an English Language daily of MIC doing service to the Indian rakyat. Thank you to the Perak State Government for the land approvals. I only hope all other state governments will follow the example of Perak and do the same to the hindu temples in their respective states. Please take proactive measures and resolve the issue before it leads to a demolishment of temples.

21. Bar EGM

Motion proposed by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and seconded by Haris Bin Mohamed Ibrahim for debate at the November 22 EGM.

A. The Royal Commission Of Enquiry

1. The Malaysian Bar calls upon the Judiciary to:

1.1 formally request, through the Acting Chief Justice, the establishment of a Royal Commission of Enquiry comprehensively mandated to enquire not only into the authenticity of the Video but also into its implications and ramifications;

1.2 take measures in the event that the Government fails to take any action on the said request within 30 days of the submission of the said request including the suspension of the judicial system, for an appropriate period or until determination of the issues at hand;

2. In the event the Judiciary suspends the judicial system, the Bar will endorse such action on the part of the Judiciary; and

3. In the event the Judiciary fails to make such a request within fourteen (14) days of this resolution, the Malaysian Bar will initiate processes in aid of a declining by the Malaysian Bar of appearances before the Superior and Subordinate Courts.

B. Independent Judicial Appointments and Promotions Commission

4. The Malaysian Bar further calls upon the Judiciary to, through the Acting Chief Justice, formally recommend the establishment of an independent judicial appointments and promotions commission to the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Yang Dipertuan Agong and the Government of Malaysia;

C. Institutional Reforms

5. The Malaysian Bar further calls upon the Judiciary to establish a joint committee with the Malaysian Bar to urgently consider the need for institutional reforms, if any, and the manner in which such reforms can be effected.

Read More.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

20. Batu Buruk Shooting

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has initiated a public inquiry into the discharge of firearms by the police which injured two people during a demonstration in Batu Buruk, Terengganu, on Sept 8.

The inquiry will look into whether there was justification for the police to fire several gunshots at the assembly, given the circumstances at that time.

Suhakam has appointed three commissioners to conduct the inquiry, headed by Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who will be assisted by Prof Datuk Khoo Kay Kim and Tan Sri Asiah Abu Samah. More...

Bravo, Suhakam to initiate a probe of public importance. The public has a right to know why live shots were fired at an assembly by BERSIH. It is very often the police presence that leads to violence. The assembly members if left to themselves cannot initiate violence. Elementary... Dr Watson! It takes two to tango. The right to assembly is a basic human right and enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution. Any law made in defiance of this basic human right should be made a nullity by the law courts. A police permit should be given as a matter of right for any peaceful assembly ... the necessity to obtain one being for the police to be informed of the details of the assembly i.e. where, when, why, etc. We are now in the new millennium, perched for a complete overhaul of our laws to ensure BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

19. Prices Rise !!!

Kee's Cartoon in The Star.

"..... I am no expert in economics but for what is worth, I feel the leadership of this country is doing a lot of harm through their words, especially in issues related to economic expansion. If we want to introduce a two- or three-tier pricing system, we might as well look at how to introduce similar systems for basic necessities like flour, sugar and wheat.

You see, Khairy, the pakcik in the kampung also eats the same bread that we eat. How about a two-tier system between government servants and non-government servants?

Rather than talking about the rising prices of oil worldwide, which in actual fact should not bother us because we are exporters, we should be positive about how Malaysia is able to withstand the pressure. For every one dollar increase in world oil prices, Petronas’ income also increases. If Petronas is smart, they can make tonnes of money and bring it back home....." - excerpt from a letter to Malaysiakini by Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan Abdul Rahman, 12th November.

Where is Shafie Apdal? Is he aware that the prices of all consumer items have gone up in the markets, shops, supermarkets and hypermarkets and they are on the rise! What is the government doing about this? Or have they given up trying to control prices or anything for that matter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

18. Bar Council-PS12/11/07

The Bar Council sent a team of 40 lawyers to monitor the BERSIH gathering on 10 November 2007.

The gathering despite being attended by tens of thousands, was disciplined and peaceful contrary to recent statements by Ministers and the Inspector-General of Police. It proves once again that Malaysian citizens are rational and responsible people capable of exercising their rights of expression and assembly with mature restraint.

There were nevertheless several worrying features in the conduct of the police:

1. The large number of police personnel deployed to man blockades, to inspect and detain vehicles and persons, and further to prevent persons from entering the city to join the gathering was unreasonable. It was also a disproportionate use of resources which could have been channeled to other initiatives of crime-fighting.

2. The barricades around Dataran Merdeka with heavy police and FRU personnel aimed at prohibiting persons from entering the square forced large groups of people to be concentrated in the immediate vicinity of the square such as Central Market and Masjid Jamek. This caused more inconvenience to those who did not wish to be at the gathering, and strengthened the spirit of those who did.

3. The use of force around the areas of Masjid Jamek, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut to disperse unarmed and non-provocative crowds without prior warning was unnecessary. Deploying physical aggression and violence, and spraying chemically-laced water and tear gas are measures of last resort, not of first instance. As a result, it was unfortunate that several people were injured and many others including bystanders hurt by the chemicals in the water and gas. It is noteworthy that the authorities initiated physical force on the crowds, and caused blockades and ‘stand-offs’ on the roads to prevent anyone from walking to Dataran Merdeka on to Istana Negara. Unsurprisingly however, and due to the sheer numbers of participants, the majority if not all of them found their way by different routes to the Istana Negara road.

4. The deployment of several police helicopters flying very low to the ground was extremely dangerous in addition to being provocative and a form of intimidation. Further, the noise the helicopters created interrupted essential communications for those who were at the gathering and the authorities on the ground.

5. Despite the recent introduction of section 28A of the Criminal Procedure Code, the police refused to give the Bar’s Urgent Arrest Lawyers Team access to those who were arrested and detained. No accurate and adequate information on the detainees and their grounds of arrest was forthcoming. Our lawyers had to force their way into the police station to seek further information. A police report has been lodged, and the Bar Council trusts the police will investigate the complaint immediately.

At about 11.00pm on 10 November 2007, 34 persons were arrested and released in separate batches. There were several who needed medical treatment and were sent to the hospital by our lawyers.

The Bar Council reiterates its position that citizens must be allowed the right to peacefully assemble in exercising their democratic and fundamental human right. We urge the authorities to facilitate this fundamental right of freedom of expression and assembly.

The BERSIH gathering is clear evidence

(a) that attempts to block assemblies would create greater unintended chaos than had the same be facilitated to proceed expeditiously and

(b) that large yet peaceful gatherings may be organised in our country without the necessity of obtaining permits from the police.

This requirement in section 27 of the Police Act 1967 that permits must be given before an assembly may be held must be repealed immediately.

Ambiga Sreenevasan
Malaysian Bar

This requirement in section 27 of the Police Act 1967 that permits must be given before an assembly may be held must be repealed immediately.This requirement violates Federal Constitution, Article 10(b) - "all citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms."

The police force goes into full action only when there a mass public protest on a matter of public importance. I think mass protests are a necessity to swing the police into action.

Monday, November 12, 2007

17. The Memo to King

Memorandum kepada DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Dipertuan Agung

Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil
Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (BERSIH)
c/o Institute of Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)

Tarikh: 10 November 2007

1. BERSIH adalah sebuah jawatankuasa gabungan yang terdiri daripada organisasi-organisasi masyarakat sivil dan parti-parti politik dengan matlamat utama untuk memperjuangkan pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil di Malaysia.

2. Hanya menerusi pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil sahajalah, rakyat Malaysia mampu untuk menentukan nasib mereka sendiri Malaysia dan mengharapkan mereka yang menjawat jawatan-jawatan awam untuk bertindak dengan pertanggungjawaban dan berkesan. Selagimana, rakyat tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk menyingkir golongan jahat dalam pemerintahan negara, maka selagi itulah harapan untuk mendaulatkan undang-undang, melindungi hak asasi manusia, mengadakan urus-tadbir kerajaan yang baik dan menggalakkan pembangunan rakyat yang berterusan/lestari akan terus tertakluk kepada budibicara ahli politik yang mempunyai kepentingan peribadi. Matlamat utama untuk menukar kerajaan hari ini adalah merupakan kunci 'semak dan imbang' dalam menentang penyalahgunaan kuasa pemerintah.

3. Adalah amat malang bagi Malaysia kerana walaupun sudah 50 tahun merdeka, ternyata Malaysia masih gagal untuk mengendalikan proses pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil. Kesimpulan ini bukan sahaja dipersetujui oleh masyarakat sivil, parti-parti politik dan pemerhati antarabangsa, malah ia juga diakui sendiri oleh Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya. Selepas pilihanraya umum pada bulan Mac 2004 yang dihantui oleh pelbagai penyelewengan dan kontroversi yang jauh lebih serius daripada pilihanraya-pilihanraya sebelumnya, maka, beliau merasakan perlu dan setuju dengan tuntutan awam untuk menjalankan penyiasatan bebas. Namun, amat mengecewakan penyiasatan bebas tersebut akhirnya tidak dijalankan.

4. Proses pengendalian pilihanraya yang tidak telus ini menimbulkan pelbagai persoalan khususnya persoalan terhadap kuasa mutlak badan pemerintah negara ini. Keadaan sebegini jika dibiarkan berterusan akan membawa petanda yang buruk untuk masa depan masyarakat dan boleh memusnahkan keutuhan sistem politik negara kita. Ini dapat dilihat pada negara-negara yang telah mengalaminya iaitu Thailand, Filipina dan Taiwan. Oleh yang demikian, BERSIH merasakan adalah perlu bagi semua rakyat Malaysia berganding bahu dan menggembleng tenaga untuk membawa perubahan yang menyeluruh dalam proses pilihanraya yang mendatang. Justeru, kami mencadangkan agenda perubahan jangka-panjang dan tiga sasaran kerja dengan segera.

5. Dalam masa jangka-panjang yang akan membatasi batas pilihanraya akan datang, BERSIH yakin dan percaya bahawa aspek-aspek ini perlu dikaji dan diperbaharui secara keseluruhannya:

a. Sistem pilihanraya:

i. Adalah perlu untuk memperbetulkan ketidakseimbangan yang tinggi antara undian rakyat dan kerusi yang dipertandingkan dalam pilihanraya, dimana undi sebanyak 64% boleh diterjemahlkan kepada 91% kerusi bagi parti pemerintah. Ini adalah kerana berteraskan kepada prinsip asas 'First-Past-The-Post' atau 'Yang-Pertama-Melepasi-Tiang' dan juga manipulasi menerusi pembahagian kawasan pilihanraya yang bericirikan 'agihan-timpang' dan 'curang' atau 'tipu-belit'.

ii. Adalah perlu untuk memperkenalkan satu sistem yang menyenaraikan semua perwakilan parti, supaya jumlah minima 30% perwakilan wanita di parlimen terjamin.

iii. Adalah perlu untuk memperkenalkan semula pilihanraya tempatan dengan sistem pilihanraya yang lebih adil, termasuk memberikan ruang yang lebih kepada penglibatan wanita dan kelompok terpinggir dalam masyarakat.

b. Pentadbiran pilihanraya:

i. Adalah perlu untuk merubah Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya sekarang yang ternyata gagal untuk bertindak sebagai sebuah institusi yang bebas dengan bergerak ke arah struktur perwakilan pelbagai parti sebagaimana yang dipraktikkan di negara-negara yang mengamalkan demokrasi

ii. Memperuntukkan undang-undang yang berkaitan dengan hak pemerhati-pemerhati antarabangsa dan tempatan

c. Penamaan calon dan parti:

i. Kuasa berasaskan budibicara yang diberikan kepada Pendaftar Pertubuhan menyebabkan keputusan berkaitan pendaftaran dibuat secara sewenang-wenagnya. Ini dapat dilihat dalam kes Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) dan Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC);

ii. Keputusan berat sebelah dan sewenang-wenang oleh Pegawai Pengurus Pilihanraya yang akhirnya menggugurkan kelayakan calon-calon pembangkang adalah tidak adil;

iii. Klausa kontroversi yang membenarkan calon menarik diri selepas penamaan yang akhirnya membawa kepada pertuduhan rasuah dan kemenangan tanpa bertanding yang menyangsikan.

iv. Wang deposit pilihanraya yang tertinggi di dunia yang secara langsung menghalang penyertaan warga Malaysia yang kurang sumber kewangannya, termasuk golongan wanita dan beberapa kumpulan terpinggir dalam masyarakat.

d. Kempen pilihanraya:

i. Menetapkan satu tempoh berkempen wajib yang jauh lebih panjang daripada tempoh 8 hari berkempen dalam pilihanraya lepas yang nyata tidak bermakna langsung;

ii. Memberikan hak kebebasan bersuara dan berkumpul yang sebenar-benarnya sebagaimana yang telah diperuntukkan dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia;

iii. Pengawalan secara berkesan dan menyeluruh dalam proses pembiayaan kos untuk berkempen untuk membendung amalan rasuah

iv. Pertimbangan untuk mengadakan pembiayaan awam bagi kos berkempen kepada parti-parti politik khususnya bagi calon wanita, kumpulan-kumpulan terpinggir dalam masyarakat dan latihan yang mesra gender.

e. Media:

i. Merombak undang-undang yang sedia ada yang telah membolehkan media cetak dan penyiaran dimonopoli oleh para proksi Barisan Nasionalii.

ii Peruntukan undang-undang bagi membolehkan semua parti politik mendapat akses atau capaian percuma kepada TV dan radio awam serta akses secara adil (percuma atau berbayar) kepada media swasta

iii. Peruntukan undang-undang bagi menjamin hak semua parti politik dan calon untuk menjawab segala bentuk tuduhan dan kritikan ke atas mereka menerusi media.

f. Kerajaan Sementara atau Caretaker:

i. Bahawa kerajaan lama adalah dilarang sama sekali untuk membuat sebarang polisi atau keputusan berkaitan dengan pembangunan bilamana Parlimen atau Dewan Undangan Negeri dibubarkan.

ii. Bahawa menyalahgunakan semua sumber dan instrumen negara bagi tujuan memenangi pilihanraya atau untuk kepentingan parti adalah merupakan kesalahan jenayah

iii. Bahawa penyediaan dan penyemakan daftar pemilih perlu dibuat secara telus dan tertakluk kepada semakan kehakiman

g. Daftar Pemilih:

i. Bahawa daftar pemilih perlu dikemaskinikan dan tepat, untuk mengelakkan

(i) penyingkiran dan pemindahan secara tidak sukarela para pengundi yang sah dan
(ii) penyamaran dan pengundian berganda oleh 'pengundi hantu'.

ii. Bahawa semua rakyat yang layak mengundi perlu secara automatik didaftarkan sebagai pengundi.

h. Undi:

i. Melaksanakan penggunaan dakwat kekal (indelible ink) untuk menghalang pengundian berganda;

ii. Memansuhkan sistem pengundian pos kecuali untuk para diplomat dan pengundi yang berada di luar negara memandangkan pertanggungjawaban dan kerahsiaan amat terancam dalam amalan semasa

iii. Untuk jangka terdekat, BERSIH menyeru kepada Pengerusi dan Setiausaha Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya, Tan Sri Abd. Rashid bin Abd. Rahman dan Datuk Kamaruzaman bin Mohd Noor untuk melaksanakan tiga pembaharuan khusus yang berkaitan dengan daftar pemilih dan pengundian sebagai langkah pertama untuk menuju ke arah pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil iaitu penggunaan dakwat kekal untuk menghalang pengundian berganda; pemansuhan sistem pengundian pos kecuali untuk para diplomat dan pengundi lain di luar negara; penyemakan semula daftar pemilih yang lengkap demi memastikan segala kesalahan dan ketimpangan yang sedia ada dapat dihapuskan dan menyediakan satu daftar pemilih yang sebenar-benarnya telus dan meyakinkan dan akses media yang adil kepada semua pihak

6. Dalam menjalankan kempen kesedaran ke seluruh Negara, BERSIH telah berhadapan dengan satu tragedi sehingga pihak berkuasa menggunakan senjata dan menembak orang awam dengan peluru hidup. Peristiwa ini berlaku di Pantai Batu Burok, Kuala Terengganu pada 9hb September lalu. Bahkan, BERSIH dilontarkan tohmahan sebagai memulakan satu rusuhan. Penyiasatan bebas juga tidak dijalankan oleh badan-badan yang dipertanggungjawabkan.

Malangnya, setakat ini, pihak SPR cuma bersetuju dengan satu permintaan iaitu penggunaan dakwat kekal.

7. Dalam menjalankan kempen kesedaran di seluruh Negara, BERSIH telah berhadapan dengan satu tragedi sehingga pihak berkuasa menggunakan senjata dan menembak orang awam dengan peluru hidup. Peristiwa ini berlaku di Pantai Batu Burok, Kuala Terengganu pada 9hb September lalu. Bahkan, BERSIH dilontarkan tohmahan sebagai memulakan satu rusuhan. Penyiasatan bebas juga tidak dijalankan oleh badan-badan yang dipertanggungjawabkan.

8. Kami memohon Ke Bawah Duli Tuanku agar Tuanku akan

1. Menyuarakan kehendak rakyat menuntut pembaharuan pilihanraya termasuk mengutarakan cadangan untuk sebuah Suruhanjaya diRaja untuk mengkaji pembaharuan sistem and proses pilihanraya.

2. Menggunakan kuasa Tuanku di bawah Perkara 40(2), Perlembagaan Persekutuan, untuk menolak apa jua permintaan untuk membubar Parlimen selagi empat pembaharuan serta-merta di atas tidak dilaksanakan.

Ditandatangani oleh organisasi-organisasi berikut:

Parti Politik:

1. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) (KeADILan)
2. Democratic Action Party (DAP)
3. Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Malaysian Islamic Party) (PAS)
4. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Malaysian Socialist Party) (PSM)
5. Sarawak Nation Party (SNAP)

Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan:

1. Save Ourselves (SOS Penang)
2. Tamil Foundation
3. Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC)
4. Citizens’ Health Initiative (CHI)
5. Aliran (reform movement for justice, freedom and solidarity)
6. Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
7. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Oppressed People’s Network) (JERIT)
8. Pusat Janadaya (EMPOWER)
9. Community Action Network (CAN)
10. Persatuan Kebangsaan Hak Asasi Malaysia (Malaysian National Society for Human Rights ) (HAKAM)
11. Malaysian Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
12. Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)
13. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Voice of the Malaysian People) (SUARAM)
14. Labour Resource Centre (LRC)
15. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Social Communications Centre) (KOMAS)
16. Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
17. Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (Malaysian Ulama Association) (PUM)
18. Women’s Development Collective (WDC)
19. ERA Consumer
20. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
21. Unit Pemikiran Politik, Institut Kajian Dasar (Political Thought Unit, Policy Research Institute) (UPP-IKD)
22. Malaysian Voters’ Union (MALVU)
23. All-Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
24. Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam SeMalaysia (Malaysian Islamic Students’ Coalition) (GAMIS)25. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
26. Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (Malaysian Students’ Solidarity) (SMM)
27. Gerakan Anti Korupsi (GERAK)
28. Citizen Think Tank
29. Police Watch Committee

Sunday, November 11, 2007

16. 'Time for Healing'

Aung San Suu Kyi, Friday met an official of the junta and members of her own National League for Democracy.

Suu Kyi said she hopes the authorities this time have the will for reconciliation.

The spokesperson of the junta, Nyan Win said that the events of September and October in Myanmar were sorrowful to both parties.

Nyan Win said this time " the meeting was more optimistic and workable."

This meeting follows Ibrahim Gambari's six-day visit to persuade national reconciliation.

Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of independence hero, General Aung San. She spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest.

London based human rights organisation, Amnesty International, said Friday, Myanmar's military rulers were keeping 700 political prisoners in detention, 91 detained in September.

Read here for more.

Surely but steadily the process of reconciliation has begun. Go for it, Myanmar!

15. BERSIH's Campaign

Police have fired tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse hundreds of activists at an opposition-backed rally in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The rally on Saturday was organised by activists demanding changes to the electoral system ahead of general elections expected early next year.

Thousands of demonstrators in the city centre were stopped by a police cordon as they tried to march to the Merdeka [Independence] Square, the planned location of the rally.

Many activists barricaded themselves in a nearby mosque for protection.

Activists then made their way to the king's palace to deliver a list of demands, which was handed to a representative of the country's head of state.

Police said there were 10,000 protesters, but organisers said about 30,000 people were present. At least a dozen were reportedly arrested.

Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister who was jailed for participating in protests in 1998 and is now a key opposition figure, attended the rally.

He later told Al Jazeera that the protests would continue "until and unless we receive a clear and categorical assurance by the prime minister and the cabinet to stop the vote-rigging and cheating."

"They have not come out with a clear statement [that they] will not cheat during the elections," he added.

Roadblocks and barricades were placed around the city on Saturday.

A permit for the rally was refused by police.

"We will not hesitate to take action against those who defied our orders," Zul Hasnan Najib, Kuala Lumpur's police chief, said.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Prime Minister, said on Friday that the government would not tolerate street demonstrations.

"They are challenging the patience of the people who want the country to be peaceful and stable. That is what they are challenging, not me," he said at a ruling party meeting.

The rally has been organised by Bersih (Clean), a loose coalition of 26 opposition parties and non-governmental organisations. The protesters say the electoral process disproportionately favours Abdullah's ruling coalition - Al Jazeera.

See below Hamish Macdonald's ( Al Jazeera ) video report.

Well-done BERSIH in organising this massive protest march to show the Government's indifference to the people's request for reforms and true democracy after 50 years of independence.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

14. Hey, You Mush!

Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan on 3rd November 2007 and imposed a Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) that has suspended the Constitution and the fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens.

This move is a declaration of Martial Law. Since the enforcement of the PCO, Pakistan has witnessed gross violations of human rights as over 3,000 civil society activists have been arrested over the past four days.

The General has clamped down on freedom of media/expression by arbitrarily imposing a media embargo: shutting down all private TV channels. Journalists trying to cover the crisis continue to face a severe security threat.

Suspension of fundamental rights has meant the suspension of freedom of association which has allowed law enforcement agencies to act with impunity in their crackdown on peaceful protests by lawyers, students and civil society groups in the cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta, and in the city of Multan in southern Punjab by using baton charges, tear gas and other forms of brute force.

The vast majority of these 3,000 people arrested nationwide are lawyers. Almost two-thirds of Pakistan’s senior judges remain under house arrest ... more here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

13. More Footage

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto Leader of the PKR released a further 10 seconds of the second half of the video clip which confirms the identities of the parties.

In the 10-second clip, the lawyer finishes his telephone conversation and turns to speak to another person in the room.

X: Who is that ?
Lawyer: Chief Judge of Malaya
X: Who is that ?
Lawyer: _ _ _

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak when met at the UMNO Assembly said he would leave it to the Panel to probe the additional clip and recommend to the Government on their next course of action.

The Panel will be dissolved by today on the expiry of their 30-working-day deadline. More...

12. Fair and Clean Elections!

Here are details on the Polls Clean-Up Campaign.

A very commendable campaign and a memorandum to be submitted to the Agung. In fact the Government should share BERSIH's desire for a fair, free and clean elections.

It is hoped that the Police and the Powers that be view this as a peaceful rally and refrain from unnecessary and high-handed approach in dealing with people who come in PEACE to correct a WRONG.


Here's a police warning.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Deepavali Greetings

..... to all my Blogger Friends and Blog Readers.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever does" –Margaret Meade.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

11. Suu Kyi not well

Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained Burmese Opposition Leader,was to have met Ibrahim Gambari, the special UN envoy, yesterday.

According to her party, doctors have been visiting her home.

" We do not know she is still suffering from a serious illness or not" said a spokesman, Nyan Win.

The acting director of Burma Campaign UK, Mark Farmaner said "She did not look good in the picture, looked unusually thin and not so vibrant."

He said this should put fresh impetus to resolve the crisis and Gambari should get negotiations going this time.

The Leading General, Than Shwe has refused to talk to Gambari since his arrival on Saturday.

Last Friday the junta announced it would expel UN official in their country, Charles Petrie.

It accused the official of going beyond his duties by issuing statements hostile to the junta.

Read more, click here.

10. Reports Handed Over

The three man "Panel" yesterday handed over its 3 reports to the secretariat after a two hour meeting at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur this evening.

The report will then be handed over to the Chief Secretary before being given to the Prime Minister.

No witnesses have come forward to give evidence before the panel, apart from two digital forensic experts at a government-linked agency which the panel had engaged to obtain advice.

The panel has been widely criticised for its lack of powers to enquire into the controversy since it was restricted to looking into the authenticity of the clip and not the alleged ‘judicial appointment fixing’ that has caused public outrage.

Meanwhile in a related development, Opposition Leader, Lim Kit Siang said he had seen the part 2 of the video clip of six minute length and it depicted a lawyer who in a post call conversation said the person he was talking to was former Chief Justice.

The second part of the video was held back to protect the whistleblower.

The former Chief Justice has since denied his involvement while the lawyer has chosen to remain silent.

Read Malaysiakini reports here and here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

9. Individual Reports

The 'Panel' set up to enquire into the video clip scandal will submit individual reports today at 3.30 pm at a hotel.

The secretariat will then arrange to whom to send the report - the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister.

The decision to send in separate reports is an indication of no consensus on the release of a single unified report.

The Panel will not release its report today but will leave it to the Prime Minister or his Deputy to do so.

Among the people who communicated with the panel are the Bar Council President, Ambiga Sreenevasan, who wrote a memo dated 12th October, 2007. See here the memo. And a group of Protestors, see picture right.

Also giving advice were two digital forensic experts linked to a government agency.

Read full Malaysiakini report.

Monday, November 5, 2007

8. Justice denied

Just fancy that. A judge not writing judgements.

According to Court of Appeal Judge, Datuk Gopal Sri Ram this delays justice.

This honourable judge says he cannot do better than to quote from a judgement of former Lord President of the Supreme Court, Tun Salleh Abbas:

" We hope that judges should endeavour to write their grounds of decision and take delight in this aspect of judicial work as a matter of personal pride and satisfaction and not as a burdensome task. If the practice of not writing written grounds of judgment is widespread, the system of administration of justice will tumble down."

Read the full story here.

I say don't we have a disciplinary teacher in the judiciary! This is worse than students not doing their homework. What has the de facto Law Minister got to say for this?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

7. Crisis of Confidence

Read today's "The Aniza Damis Interview" with Ambiga Sreenevasan, President of the Malaysian Bar in the New Straits Times, here.


Q: Is there a crisis in the judiciary?

A: There is. It's a crisis of confidence. It's been present for a while.

Q: If the government doesn't do anything, what is the Bar going to do?

A: I think the Bar will be wanting to have an emergency general meeting. This cannot just go away without a full and thorough investigation. That is something we hope to persuade the government that has to be done.

Q: What options are open to you?

A: Our meeting with the prime minister -- that's a big option. And also by hearing from the members of the Bar at an EGM (on Nov 22), where we hope to communicate our views to the government. Those are the options we are looking at. We are still going to use persuasion.

Q: There was a suggestion at the recent Malaysian Law Conference for lawyers to go on strike from the courts for one day. Is that feasible?

A: We have discussed it. We have to be very careful in any steps we take. We have to be responsible -- first to our clients; secondly, we have to be careful not to pre-judge any issues. It's not something that we would easily do.

Q: The old chief justice is out. There is currently an acting-CJ, and there will be a new CJ. Have you thought of taking the minister's suggestion by going to the judiciary and asking them to reform?

A: We hope to write in and have a meaningful discussion, between the Bar and the Bench. We are hoping to see this new era, where there will be a lot of discussion. But even before this video-clip incident, the judiciary was already beginning to engage with the Bar. We were invited by the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak (Tan Sri Richard Malanjum) to see the system in Sarawak. They are doing things to try to improve, and we want to help in that process. So, we do know that there are judges there who will engage with us. And we hope to continue with that process, and that we start this new era where we work together, in the interest of the administration of justice.

Q: The government says it's not going to reform the judiciary unless the judges want the reform.

A: Well, let's see. It may be something everybody can be united on. Hopefully soon.

6. Acting Chief Justice

Acting Chief Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamed has delivered many judgments of public interest, the biggest of which was the majority judgment setting aside the corruption conviction against former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 2004.

In the 2-1 decision, Justice Abdul Hamid said the evidence of Azizan Abu Bakar (Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s former driver) “was doubtful and had no corroborative evidence of a convincing, cogent and irresistible character”.

“Such evidence does not corroborate Azizan’s story that he was sodomised by both of them at the place, time and date specified in the charge.”

Abdul Hamid, 65, is minding the fort following the retirement of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim who turned 66 on Thursday.

Abdul Hamid, who was appointed President of the Court of Appeal on Sept 5, has six more months to go, as he is due for retirement on April 18.

Born in Permatang Tinggi Bakar Bata, Kepala Batas, Penang, in 1942, he studied at St Xavier’s Institution before graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (Hon) from Singapore University in 1969.

He went straight into the Legal and Judicial Services and served in various capacities for 21 years before his appointment as a judicial commissioner in 1990 and Acting Chief Justice on 1st November, 2007.

In another high profile case – the Highland Towers appeal on Feb 17, 2006 – the Federal Court held the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council was neither responsible for the pre-collapse nor post-collapse period.

“In my view, the provisions of basic necessities for the general public has priority over compensation for pure economic loss of some individuals, who are clearly better off than the majority of the residents in the local council area.”

In the appeal in 2006 by three schoolboys who had been expelled after they refused to remove their turban, Justice Abdul Hamid ruled that Islam was not about serban and beard.

“I accept that the Prophet wore a turban. But he also rode a camel, built his house and mosque with clay walls and roof of leaves of date palms and brushed his teeth with the twig of a plant.
Does that make riding a camel a more pious deed than travelling in an aeroplane?”

He had added that the pupils were only restricted from wearing the serban as part of the school uniform but not at other times.

In a landmark decision as election judge in 1995, Justice Abdul Hamid ruled that the validity of the electoral roll could not be challenged in an election petition after they had been duly displayed and gazetted.

Justice Abdul Hamid ruled that a petition should challenge the manner in which an election was conducted and was not to dispute the names of the rolls after they had been gazetted - Shaila Koshy, The Star.

Read more in The Star.

Welcome aboard, Sir, Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamed. At this crucial period of strife and resentment of the Judiciary, your wisdom and leadership is most awaited at that office. During your short tenure, we are sure you will devote your service to better the cause of justice and fairplay and bring it about speedily.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

5. Monks March Again

In Myanmar about 100 monks marched in a peaceful demonstration in the town of Pakokku on Wednesday.

It showed "the sense of frustration and resentment has not disappeared" following last month's crackdown, which saw thousands of monks and pro-democracy activists detained, a Western diplomat in Yangon told AFP.

Hundreds remain in jail, according to diplomats, although the junta on Wednesday released seven people, including members of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

Ibrahim Gambari, the UN special envoy to Myanmar, will arrive today for weekend talks with the ruling generals after his tour of Asia.

Gambari would press for more democratic measures by the government, including the release of all detained students and demonstrators and open up the society as soon as possible.

"We have to give some sense of permanence to this mission. I say this with caution, and it will be possible only with the support of the ASEAN countries and also, of course, China and India," he said.

Read AFP report here.

4. ICJ Hearings

Dispute over the ownership of Pulau Batu Puteh or Pedra Branca and two other outcrops in the Singapore Straits will come up for hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague next week.

The court said that Singapore will have four days from November 6-9 to present its case while Malaysia does so from November 13-16.

ICJ President Judge Rosalyn Higgins decided not to decide on the case as she had earlier represented Singapore prior to her appointment as the Court's President.

The hearings will be heard by Vice-President Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh and 15 international judges including two adhoc judges from Malaysia and Singapore.

Read here in theSun.

Friday, November 2, 2007

3. Temple Demolition-2

Malaysian Hindu Sangam took a positive stance on the demolition of Hindu Temples yesterday.

Please read my post here in a letter to the Prime Minister.

MHS President, A.Vythilingam said MBSA mayor Za'ba Che Rus had no control over his enforcement officers who were throwing stones into the temple when a special religious ceremony was taking place.

Read about it in Malaysiakini. ( Photo courtesy of Malaysiakini ).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

2. Bar Council - PS31/10/07

The Bar Council is concerned that 4 lawyers namely, P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, P. Waythamoorthy and Ganapati Rao were arrested late last night, in the course of carrying out their legal professional duties. We understand that they are presently held under arrest at the section 11 Shah Alam police station. We were notified that they were at the police station to represent their clients who were themselves earlier arrested. These lawyers were denied access to their clients and were subsequently arrested.

The recently amended section 28A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) allows a detained person the right to communicate with the legal practitioner of his choice upon arrest. We are concerned that these arrested persons including the 4 lawyers were denied this right, which is a flagrant breach of the new provision of the CPC.

The Bar Council calls for the immediate release of these 4 lawyers and we expect the police to fully comply with the provisions of the CPC involving the rights of arrested persons.

Dated: 31st October 2007.

Ragunath Kesavan
Malaysian Bar

1. Boycott Judiciary?

This is what the LAWYERS intend to do if the upcoming meeting between the President of the Malaysian Bar, Ambiga Sreenevasan and the PM bears no fruit. Lawyer Haris Ibrahim (pic right) told the confab gathering this is what they should next do.

"I think at its extraordinary general meeting on November 22, the Bar must be prepared to take the necessary resolution to put a stop to this nonsense."

Read this and more in Malaysiakini here.