Racial harmony in Malaysia will remain elusive so long as ethnicity remains the basis of politics and of political mobilisation

Race still driver of politics – Johan Saravanamuttu

Ethnic relations in Malaysia may have hit a new low as a result of the mysterious death of opposition political aide Teoh Beng Hock after he was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Though the moral outrage the incident has generated has cut across ethnic lines, there is little doubt that Teoh’s death has been fanning the flames of resentment among non-Malays in particular.

Alarmingly, because of how politics is structured in Malaysia, even institutions of government have taken on or been given an ethnic complexion. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, for instance, has been defended by Malay newspapers as a “Malay” institution.

Race relations in Malaysia, already on a downslide since the 1980s, have deteriorated further in the 2000s.

The root of the problem is ethnic mobilisation through political parties. The melding of ethno-religious parties into political coalitions such as the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat may have contained ethnic tensions in the short term but it is not a formula for enduring racial harmony.

There have been several eruptions of ethnic strife since the disastrous May 13, 1969 Sino-Malay riots, which resulted in the deaths of at least 196 people. The most serious of the later conflicts were the 1998 Kampong Rawa clashes in Penang and the 2001 Kampong Medan incident in Selangor.

The Kampong Rawa clash was a conflict between Muslims and Hindus. The two communities clashed after Muslim Friday prayers were said to have been disrupted by Hindu rites that involved the ringing of bells.

Hindu shrines and mosques in Penang were said to have been attacked and it was reported that some 5,000 Malays from outside the area came to support their Muslim brethren. The incident was defused only through the mediation of then-deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Six people were killed and scores were injured in the Kampong Medan incident, which is still under a veil of secrecy despite an official investigation. Judging from the casualties and the demography of the area, one can safely surmise that it was a conflict that involved Indians and Muslims.

The escalation of ethnic tensions in Malaysia has been evident in a more generalised manner across Malaysian society.

In 2007, the 55-member National Unity Panel revealed sobering evidence of the frequency of ethnic conflict. It was disclosed that there had been a 15 per cent spike in the number of ethnic “fights” from the previous year.

Chairman Maximus Ongkili alluded to the fact that “70 per cent of the cases started with fights between groups or individuals from different races”.

The panel proposed that an Institute of Ethnic Relations be established, a proposal that was later taken up by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Ethnic riots broke out in Xinjiang province in China this year, resulting in about 150 deaths. This incident ought to give Malaysians pause for thought. Typically, a majority community – Han Chinese in this case – takes umbrage when a minority – Uighurs in this case – insists on its rights.

The same scenario can be observed in ethnically divided societies across the globe.

In Malaysia, a tenuous ethnic peace has been maintained by a well-meaning political leadership that has chosen to forge ethnic alliances politically and has created neutral, secular institutions of governance.

At the apex of this system is a coalition of political parties, most of which are mobilised along ethnic lines. The ruling coalition consisted of just three ethnic-based parties in 1960s, when it was known as the Alliance, but has now morphed into the 14-party Barisan Nasional.

But the BN’s political legitimacy is slipping away. The coalition suffered a major blow in the March 8 general election last year, when it was defeated in five states and lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament. This setback has contributed to the highly tenuous state of ethnic relations in the country today.

The BN’s nemesis, Pakatan Rakyat, is also an alliance of political parties organised largely along ethnic lines. As a result, it suffers from the same underlying flaw as the BN. Some commentators predict that if Pakatan gains power, it will flounder as its predecessor, Barisan Alternatif, did after the 1999 general election.

Racial harmony in Malaysia will remain elusive so long as ethnicity remains the basis of politics and of political mobilisation.

Malaysian public institutions such as universities often bear the mark of ethnicity or religion. If this trend continues, ethnic relations in the country will deteriorate further.

The situation can be turned around only if enlightened Malaysians forge a non-ethnic or multicultural discourse as the basis of political mobilisation and civil life.


KL locked down ahead of ISA-related rallies

Police began setting up roadblocks around Kuala Lumpur a day ahead of the planned rallies.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police mounted overnight roadblocks and helicopter overflights in Kuala Lumpur as they locked down the capital city while residents braced for conflicting rallies over the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) that organisers say will culminate with memorandums being handed to the King on the 49th anniversary of the security law.

The one-million-strong Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) is ordering all its members to take part in a planned rally today to protest against the use of ISA, despite police warnings that the gathering would be illegal.

Another rally is being called by maverick politician Ibrahim Ali to support the law that allows detention without trial, which ironically kept him twice in detention.

Police said all rallies are illegal, vowing to ensure they will keep the protesters off the streets.

“We are making it compulsory and commanding all our members to take part in the rally,” PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub told reporters yesterday

Despite the order for all PAS members to show up, only 50,000 are expected at the rally which will also be attended by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, along with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang.

The Abolish ISA Movement, the organiser of the rally, is hoping for a massive turnout to call for the end of a law that allows for indefinite detention without trial while Salahuddin said PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Abdul Hadi have decreed that the rally was not forbidden in Islam.

“It is not forbidden in Islam as the objective is to abolish the ISA. It is a noble intention,” said Salahuddin.

Protesters will gather at the Sogo shopping mall in the heart of the old city centre here before marching to the palace to hand over a memorandum to Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, urging him to repeal the Act.

While Salahuddin vowed that it would be a peaceful gathering, the authorities remained concerned about possible tensions arising between the anti-ISA demonstrators and a second group which will also march today in support of the ISA.

Pewaris, an umbrella body of Malay and Muslim non-governmental organisations, will stage its own gathering in Kuala Lumpur to fight for the retention of the security law. It is also planning to march towards the palace.

The Home Ministry has warned that it would not hesitate to take stern action against the participants of the illegal rallies.

“If they violate the law, stern action will be taken against them, no matter if they are pro-ISA or contra-ISA,” Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein warned.

“I will not compromise on this until the security and interests of the country are assured.”

Yesterday, police started setting up roadblocks at key entry points into the city as part of efforts to prevent supporters from entering and causing massive traffic jams around Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring areas.

“All those planning to attend the illegal gatherings must be prepared to face stern action from us, regardless if they are for or against the use of the ISA. We will not compromise as far as security is concerned,” said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

KL police chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman has also warned that police will stop and detain buses suspected of ferrying protesters.

Critics have said that the ISA is being used by the government against political opponents. The government has argued that it is a crucial tool in fighting terrorism and ensuring national security.

Human rights groups estimate at least 17 people remain in detention under ISA, mainly for alleged links to Islamic militants and forgery.


Malaysians blame Umno for the racial twist which focused strongly on ethnic (Malay) solidarity.

Racial twist to Teoh’s death

KUALA LUMPUR: This week, when the opposition called for the service contract of Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan not to be extended, it took pains to stress that it was not a racial issue.

“This is not about challenging Malay leadership. This is about justice and human rights ... Defending a Malay leader with questionable records is an insult to the Malays,” opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said on Tuesday.

The opposition did not want Tan Sri Musa’s contract to be extended for a variety of reasons – from the rising crime rate to claims that he was biased. Race did not enter the picture.

And yet it made a pre-emptive statement on race. The move made no sense – unless one took into account the recent death of an opposition worker, which had been turned into a racially charged controversy.

Teoh Beng Hock, 30, was found dead after he was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on July 16. His body was found on the rooftop of an adjacent building, having fallen from the 14th floor of the MACC building. The cause of death is now the subject of a coroner’s inquest.

The death triggered an outcry, led by the opposition but shared by many of all races, and it did not look remotely like a racial issue – until, that is, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian suggested that the controversy over the death was an attack on the Malay leadership of government institutions.

Zainul Arifin, the chief editor of the New Straits Times group which publishes Berita Harian, wrote a commentary asserting: “It’s not only the political parties who want justice. Everyone does. But don’t destroy all our institutions. Don’t be taken in by the words of people whose agenda is sometimes to question the competence of the Malays.”

The Utusan Malaysia carried a column a week later by Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee, a senior lecturer at the National Defence University, saying that the incident had been blown out of proportion because it involved a Chinese death.

“There are Malays who had become victims like Beng Hock. The question is how many among us will defend that victim. Why is it when a Chinese dies ... Malaysia reacts as if it’s a tsunami.”

Such views outraged some Malays. Malay lawyer Art Harun, for instance, expressed anger in his blog that Teoh’s death had been turned into an issue about Malay leadership. There were scores of similar comments in Internet forums.

Some blame Umno for the racial twist. The ruling party has focused strongly on ethnic solidarity over the past one year, as it seeks to claw back the Malay supporters it lost in last year’s general election.

But the harder question to answer is this: Which of the two opposing sentiments will find greater resonance among the Malay ground? Each side of the debate is as loud as the other, but the Malay ground has become hard to read.

There is indeed a feeling among some Malays that the government and Umno have given in too much to pressure from non-Malays. Former New Straits Times chief editor A. Kadir Jasin has said that Malays feel non-Malays are using the Teoh case to hit out at the Malay-led civil service as incompetent.

“It’s a widespread sentiment,” he said.

Former premier Mahathir Mohamad expressed a similar take after a recent forum on Malay rights that he had chaired. The forum was “actually a reaction to the situation now, where Malays are accused of being obstacles to the growth of the national economy, obstacles to national unity, obstacles to everything,” he was quoted as saying.

On the other hand, many, even within Umno, saw the Malay newspapers’ remarks on Teoh’s death as stretching things too far.

“I don’t think many Malays see the Teoh Beng Hock case as a racial issue, but there is a level of indifference to the case,” said the independent pollster Merdeka Centre director Ibrahim Suffian.
Besides, there is a perception among the Malay masses that the race debate is hollow as they have not benefited from the pro-Malay policies of the government. Among young Malays especially, racial sentiments compete with their disgruntlement over issues of governance and justice. There is a strong Malay sense of what constitutes fair play that cannot be underestimated.

Still, the Malay ground is hard to read in part because there have been many subtle shifts of late.
After the 2008 general election, it seemed for a while as if race politics was on the way out. Demonstrations in Penang against plans to dismantle pro-Malay policies in the state fizzled out with nary a whimper.

But over the last year, racial emotions have been ratcheted up again, as issues such as Malay supremacy and Malay rights have surfaced. At the moment, Malay sentiment appears to be tilting in Umno’s way again, but that could change.

What is clear is that the controversy over Teoh’s death has shattered the claim that race politics in Malaysia is on the way out.

A Merdeka Centre survey conducted at the end of last year found that youths tended to identify themselves more along ethnic and religious lines than as Malaysians. Most of the survey’s respondents were under 25.

About 51 per cent of the Chinese chose “Malaysian” as their identity, but only 42 per cent of Indians did so, and just 29 per cent of Malays. Religious and racial identification came first.

When asked if a non-Malay would be acceptable as prime minister, 36 per cent of Malays said it would, but only 7 per cent said they would accept a non-Muslim premier.

The Teoh Beng Hock case is a melancholic reminder that race and religion have not ceased to be the primary drivers of Malaysian politics. – ST


The great Maika betrayal by MIC to Malaysian Indians

Maika Holdings was touted as an economic vehicle and a miracle to lift the Indian poor from the shackles of poverty, Maika was launched with much hype and hope. The poor Indians - traditional MIC supporters, the lower middle-class and the working class Indians as well as a vast majority of plantation workers - were mesmerized into responding enthusiastically. The poor plantation workers put their life savings into the venture, some scraping the barrel, others mortgaging their property and pawning the last of their jewellery. A vast majority also took loans at exorbitant rates to invest in a venture that promised dreams of hopes and tantalizing prospects.

It’s not only the poor Indians who responded to this call to rally behind the MIC's efforts to secure seven per cent of corporate ownership for the Indian community - which at that time had been stagnating at under one per cent since 1960.

Although the original plan by the MIC was to ensure that at least RM30 million worth of Maika shares were subscribed, so successful was the promotion campaign that by 1984, a phenomenal RM106 million was raised from almost 66,400 shareholders. A large majority of the shareholders are poor plantation workers. The largest individual shareholder with almost 2.8 million shares was MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu. The amount invested in Maika was even larger than that obtained by the MCA’s Multi-Purpose Holdings when the company commenced business.

When it started operations, Maika had one of the biggest cash reserves among Malaysian companies. At a time when business conglomerates like YTL, Berjaya, Malaysian Mining Corps, etc were practically unknown entities, Maika was already well known and if properly managed, would have been a billion dollar company now.

However, in its twenty-five years of tortured history, Maika investors have known nothing but pain and sorrow. The new dawn of a golden opportunity that was promised to the Indian poor never arrived. Instead, each passing year only witnessed dashed hopes and broken promises that littered the chequered history of Maika. Many of the investors had since passed away, their spirits broken by the betrayal of the leader they trusted.

What went wrong? It is a case of bad management, poor investment, sheer arrogance and pure greed. In spite of a number of major acquisitions made into some important companies - like the United Asian Bank (UAB), United Oriental Assurance (UOA), Malaysian Airlines System (MAS), Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC), TV3 and Edaran Otomobil Malaysia Bhd (EON) - Maika’s performance has been mediocre.

There wasn’t any fanfare when Maika was allotted 10 million shares of Syarikat Telekom Malaysia Bhd (STMB). It was assumed in 1990 that Maika had been allotted all the shares it had subscribed to. No details were made known at that time.

Sometime in the middle of February 1992, the shroud of secrecy surrounding the Telekom shares allocation was ripped apart. Then, all hell broke loose. A journalist from Watan disclosed that ‘there could have been some hanky-panky in the allocation of Telekom’s shares to Maika Holdings’.

This was then followed by another report in a Tamil magazine, Thoothan, on April 1, 1992, which disclosed that there could have been some discrepancy in the distribution of the 10 million Telekom shares allocated to Maika by the Finance Ministry. Malaysians learned for the first time (two years after the share issuance), that Maika acquired only one million and not the entire 10 million shares that were allotted to Maika Holdings.

Samy Vellu, through the Tamil Nesan and at MIC meetings, tried to explain by insisting that the cash flow problem faced by Maika did not allow Maika to take up all 10 million shares. But, one of the directors, a one-time ally of Samy Vellu, Vijendran, issued a statement insinuating that the truth may not have been told.

When this matter was raised in parliament, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim disclosed that since Maika had stated that it could take up only one million shares, the remaining nine million shares were allocated to three companies proposed by Maika because to his ‘ministry's knowledge, the three companies represented the interests of the Indian community’. (The Star, April 30, 1992).

Note: At the time of share allocation in 1990, Tun Daim Zainuddin was the Finance Minister.

The mystery deepened and bewildered the shareholders when another Maika director, Pasamanikam, contradicted the statements made by Anwar and Samy Vellu. According to Pasamanikam, Maika did not reject the Finance Ministry’s offer and did not propose that the nine million shares be allocated to any other company. He further revealed that Maika had indeed raised a RM50 million loan to facilitate the acquisition of the entire 10 million shares even before the Finance Ministry had withdrawn its offer. A tidal wave of questions engulfed the share holders:

Why did the Finance Ministry cancel the initial offer of the 10 million shares and subsequently allot only one million shares to Maika?

Who was responsible for the retraction of the original offer?

Who lied to the Finance Ministry?

Who informed them that Maika had recommended that the nine million shares be given to three companies?

Who supplied the names of these three companies?

Who coerced the Finance Ministry to change their mind?

Who aborted this offer?
(There was no earthly reason for the Finance Ministry to change its mind on its own after having allocated 10 million shares).

According to Tan Sri GK Rama Iyer, the managing director of Maika Holdings Bhd - as revealed in his press release dated May 16 1992 :

‘Samy Vellu was informed at 6.10 am on Oct 5, 1990, that Maika had been offered 10 million STMB shares and of the probability of obtaining full loan financing and that Maika intended to take up the entire allocation of 10 million shares. Indeed, a letter dated October 5th 1990, from Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bankers Bhd. (AMMBB) - offering RM50 million to finance the purchase of the 10 million shares was received on October 6th 1990.

He further clarified that Samy Vellu replied that: ‘There must have been a mistake. The offer to Maika should be for one million and not 10 million’. According to Samy Vellu, the remaining nine million shares were for allocation to ‘other MIC bodies’.

‘Further, Dato Seri Samy Vellu stated that he would contact the Ministry to clarify the position’.

It was then, after Samy Vellu had contacted the Finance Ministry; that the letter of offer was retracted and Maika’s allocation reduced to only one million shares. Why did Samy Vellu prevent Maika from acquiring the 10 million shares?

Wasn’t Maika his brainchild to raise the corporate wealth of the Indian community so that their economic welfare would be secured? Wasn’t he the leader of MIC which launched Maika as a business venture to enrich the community which had long been associated with deprivation and poverty?

This was God-sent wealth. Why did he prevent this wealth from reaching Maika? Imagine how much Maika would have made from these shares for which it only paid RM5 per share. When Telekom shares were first traded, it fetched a price of RM6.15 per share and that too during a bearish market. By mid-1992 the Telecoms share price was hovering around RM11-RM13.

According to Ram, in an article in the Aliran Monthly - 1993:13(10): Samy Vellu had taken away from Maika RM120 million in profits (which it would have attained had it just held on to the 10 million shares until 1993).

Samy Vellu made it extremely clear that he personally decided to allocate only one million shares to Maika. According to Samy Vellu, ‘I could have given all the shares to Maika Holdings if not for their past business record. They don’t deserve 10 million shares because of the dismal performance of the Maika management. They have to learn to do business on their own and not depend on shares and make money out of it". (New Straits Times, May 16, 1992)

His autocratic style and arrogance comes through so forcefully: "I could have given all the shares to Maika Holdings…,’ he boasts. ‘They don’t deserve 10 million shares…,’ he berates.

It is very apparent that he keeps a very tight hold on Maika. That being the case, how could Maika undertake any business venture without his knowledge and blessing? Shouldn’t he be part of the debacle that is haunting Maika today? Shouldn’t he also shoulder the blame for ‘the dismal performance of the Maika management’?

And why should he give nine million shares to three obscure companies? Management Services Sdn Bhd. and Advanced Personal Computers were in fact shell companies with paid-up capital of RM2 each. The third company is Clearway Sdn Bhd. Samy Vellu decided on the shares allocation - not the Finance MInistry!

On what criteria did Samy Vellu decide that the three companies deserve to get the Telekom shares instead of Maika? What business experience and success could these companies boast about to warrant their being chosen from among all the other Indian businesses in the country?

There was a serious case of conflict of interest involved in this scandal. A director of Maika was also a shareholder and director of one of the three companies, all of which divided the nine million Telekom shares equally. Lim Kit Siang named this person as R Selvendra on May 7, 1992.
Two of the three companies - Advance Personal Computers Sdn Bhd. and SB Management Services Sdn Bhd - shared the same business address: Level 2, Block F-North, Damansara Town Centre, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.

These two companies had the same company scecretary, S Balasubramaniam s/o MS Servai.

Significantly, Balasubramaniam and Sothinathan s/o Sinna Gounder were both directors and shareholders of these two companies.

Note: Sothinathan Sinna Gounder is none other than S. Sothinathan, the present MIC member of Parliament for Teluk Kemang, Negeri Sembilan. In addition to this, he is also Natural Resources and Environment deputy minister.

Samy Vellu rewarded a person who helped him hijack the Telekom shares by making him a deputy minister and could also probably groom him for future leadership of MIC.

If the 10 million STMB shares were allocated for the MIC, who would be the natural inheritors of these shares on behalf of the Indian community - Maika with its 66,400 shareholders or three insignificant private companies with six shareholders? Does this information in any way suggest that these three companies represented the interests of the Indian community?

Who lied to the Finance Ministry that these ‘three companies represented the interests of the Indian community’? What was the motive for diverting nine million shares to three private companies?

Those who sought to find the answers were threatened or beaten up. One brave soul who went on a crusade to expose this scandal was stabbed in Penang. Whenever questions regarding Maika were raised at MIC meetings presided by Samy Vellu, it was alleged that thugs would suddenly appear beside the person asking the question and that would be the end of the affair to seek answers.

On May 13, 1992, the then Selangor Assemblyman for Seri Cahaya, Datuk S. Sivalingam (now deceased), had also acted as a thug when he led an assault of Maika shareholders who were peacefully picketing against the Maika Telekom shares hijacking scandal outside Maika headquarters.

In October 2006, the MIC Johor Assemblyman for Tenggaroh, Datuk S Krishnasamy (shot dead last month) assaulted M. Kulasegaran, the DAP MP for Ipoh Barat at the Maika annual general meeting (AGM) at Legend Hotel. Even though Kulasegaran lodged a police report, no action was taken against S Krishnasamy.

Some years ago, it was claimed that at one particular MIC meeting at the Dewan Sri Pinang in Penang, chaired by Samy Vellu, a Maika shareholder wanted to know the position of Maika. It was alleged that Samy Vellu told this shareholder that he would provide the answer after the adjournment for refreshments.

In the meantime two thugs confronted this shareholder and told him that if he wanted to return home in one piece it was the right time to go home. When the meeting resumed, Samy Vellu reportedly called for the shareholder to repeat his query. But since he wasn’t there, Samy Vellu continued with his meeting without touching on the subject of Maika.

What is puzzling is the fact that in spite of so much overwhelming evidence, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) after 17 months of investigation, cleared Samy Vellu of any wrongdoing but unfortunately without clearing the doubts in the minds of the Malaysians.

In 1994, the then chairman of MIC Public Claims Committee, V Subramaniam – also known as ‘Barat’ Maniam – made a startling accusation publicly. He charged that the accounts were fabricated to make it appear as if all the profits from the sale of the Telekom shares were channelled to the MIC-owned Maju Institute of Education Development (Mied). In challenging Samy to take him to court, he declared, ‘I have come out with this statement to prove that Samy Vellu is a thief. He has stolen (Telekom) shares from the Indian community’.

In spite of 25 years of history, the Maika scandal refuses to be buried. It keeps on surfacing, haunting and hounding the perpetrators of a crime that robbed the poor of their fair share of their due. The controversy surrounding the Maika-Telekom shares scandal appears to be far from over.

Promises were made; time and again, that Maika shareholders will get their hard earned money back. But not a penny was paid. At each Maika annual general meeting, the shareholders continue to press for answers. Often the meeting degenerates into violence as 'thugs' linked to MIC president, rough up those who dare ask questions.

Not content with siphoning off the shares, Samy Vellu appointed his son, Vell Paari as CEO of Maika Holdings in 1999, and he remains so to date. He is now in the process of selling off the few remaining assets of Maika Holdings.

Samy Vellu is very much in control of MIC, and he runs the party as a feudal organisation where he makes all the decisions. He has systematically hounded many capable leaders out of MIC to maintain his iron grip in the party. His deputies and committee members are loyal minions who will not hesitate to do anything and everything he says. After years in power, MIC is now a rotting mass, particularly in the head. Instead of serving the Indian community, MIC has become a party that serves only its leaders while millions of Indians face untold misery. The poor Indians have remained poor while those close to Samy Velu became rich beyond their own expectations.

MIC exists for the benefit of its leaders, not the poor Indian community. Now Mr. Prime Minister, can you just ignore these contentious issues that have destroyed the lives of thousands of your citizens? If Hindraf’s P Uthayakumar can be arrested under the ISA and chained to his bed like an animal for merely trying to help those raped by S Samy Vellu, kindly take action on Samy Vellu that is commensurate with his crime on humanity.

The entire Indian community awaits your response and our votes hang on your actions over the next few weeks.

Lawyer says it aloud - Malaysian cops killed Kugan

The High Court will next Tuesday announce its decision on the preliminary objection from the prosecution over the return of Kugan Ananthan's post-mortem samples which were confiscated from the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) by the police.

The items that were seized include bodily fluids and tissue samples, photographs, documents and other materials relating to the post-mortem done on Kugan by a UMMC pathologist.

Kugan's family has earlier filed a court application to reclaim the seized items.

Kugan, 22, who was detained in January for alleged involvement in car theft, died after five days in police custody.

His family had rejected the initial post-mortem conducted by Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin of Serdang Hospital, which stated that the Kugan had died from “fluid accumulation” in his lungs.

A second autopsy was done at UMMC at the request of the family, where pathologist Dr Prashant N Sambekar Prashant concluded that Kugan was severely beaten up resulting in kidney failure and death.

High Court Judge Ghazali Cha today heard written submissions from both the prosecution and lawyers representing Kugan's mother N Indra (left), who had filed the suit.

Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin contended that the search warrant which was granted by the Petaling Jaya Magistrate Court on April 4 to allow the police to raid Prashant's office was not a “proceeding”.

Noorin added that the family's application to reclaim the seized items was not lawful as the seizure was done to facilitate police investigations.

Furthermore, Noorin said Indra did not have locus standi in law to apply for her son's confiscated samples.

“Even if there is an application made or any action to question the search conducted, it can only be done by UMMC as it took place in their premise,” said Noorin.

The suit named four police officers, including inspector-general of police Musa Hassan and criminal investigation department director Mohd Bakri Zinin, as respondents.

The other two are Petaling Jaya district police chief Arjunaidi Mohammed and the officer who raided the pathologist's office, ACP Mohd Marzukhi Mohd Mokhtar.

The case was classified as murder and 11 police officers were subsequently re-assigned to desk duties. Investigations have since been wrapped up, but no one has been charged.

'Why are the murderers walking free?'

Lawyer N Surendran, speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, lambasted attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail for not taking speedy action to identify and prosecute Kugan's murderers.

“We say it openly - the police killed Kugan. We have no doubt about it. If it is not true, they can charge us for criminal defamation...

“The death occurred because of murder and torture which happened in January but now it is now July, and we ask why are the murderers and torturers in uniform allowed to walk free in this country,” expressed Surendran (centre in photo).

“We are running out of patience. If Kugan's murderers are not charged by the AG, we will carry out mass peaceful demonstrations calling for justice for Kugan,” he warned.

“We have tried all other means. Nothing has worked. We will demonstrate, we will take to the streets, we will never stop until Kugan's murderers are brought to justice.

“We are fed-up waiting and looking at this poor mother and seeing what this unjust state is doing to her... one would think that when the culprits have been identified, within one or two weeks, they would be charged,” said Surendran.

The lawyer also likened Kugan's death to that of political aide Teoh Beng Hock and added that his death could have been avoided if “a royal commission was formed to review the interrogations process by both the police and other authorities”.

“They allowed Kugan's case to remain unresolved and Teoh is now dead... all this at the doors of (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak). His hands are stained in blood because he didn't institute the necessary reforms,” said Surendran.


Kg Buah Pala: Land title prohibits owner from commercial dealings without state consent

GEORGE TOWN : Even as a Sunday eviction deadline looms for Kampung Buah Pala residents, the issue took a strange twist when it was pointed out that the land’s title prohibits the current owner from engaging in commercial dealings on the land without the state’s written consent.

The village committee’s assistant secretary C. Tharmaraj said today the condition gave the state grounds to acquire the land from Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang, which had entered into a commercial venture for the land with a private developer.

The condition on the title was spotted by Derrick Fernandez, the legal adviser to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and a Petaling Jaya Municipal Councillor.

News of this clause has caused a stir among the village community and NGO activists who have been supporting their cause.

What makes the issue significant is that the land title was issued on March 27, 2008, after the Pakatan Rakyat took power, following the final instalment payment made by the Koperasi to the state.

Tharmaraj said since the state government has called the transaction fraudulent, it could now save the ancestral land through acquisition with a nominal sum.

Section 76 of the National Land Code specifies that the state authority is empowered to alienate state land where it is "satisfied that there are special circumstances which render it appropriate to do so”.

“The state government can save the village immediately by using the Land Acquisition Act, and would need to repay or compensate a nominal sum to the koperasi in view of the fact that the land does not have commercial value,” he said.

The koperasi bought the land at a discounted premium of RM3.2 million (or RM10 per sqft). The MIC has offered to contribute RM3.2 million for the land.

Tharmaraj also asked why the state has not enforced its powers under section 116 of the National Land Code to protect villagers from impending demolition.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced on July 8 that the state was looking into enforcing the clause, which stipulates that a building on alienated land cannot be demolished, altered or extended without prior consent in writing of the appropriate authority.

He said although a writ of possession had been served on the villagers, the developer still needed local government approval to demolish the houses.

Meanwhile, village representative N Ganesan questioned the state government for citing the cost of acquiring the land as being “hundreds of millions”.

Ganesan said the assessment of damages and its procedures are spelt out in the Land Acquisition Act, and the sum should be reasonable and assessed by the Land Administrator.

“Guan Eng acknowledges that the village folk have been cheated of their land by the previous government, and yet they (current PR government) remained silent on this until Hindraf raised the matter,” said Ganesan, who is also Hindraf adviser.

Lim had on July 24 announced that the state was revoking its approval for the project based on powers accorded to it under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.

Penang Gerakan Youth vice-chairman H'ng Khoon Leng also questioned Lim over his failure to freeze the application for the land transfer and conduct an investigation into it before the state approved it.

He asked why DAP leaders had promised the villagers that they would not be evicted when the state had already accepted the instalment payment of RM2.24 million on March 14, 2008 and had the land title issued on March 27 the same year.

“Why was the condition regarding compensation and welfare set by the previous government not fulfilled before completing the land transfer?” he added.

He asked if Lim had a hidden agenda in declassifying segments of minutes from the previous executive council meetings and not from the current executive council.

The Sun

Nusmetro has no rights on the Kampung Buah Pala Land

The Penang government only has to read the fine print on a document issued by the state land office to bring the Kampung Buah Pala saga not just to a close, but to happy ending for affected residents.

Lawyer and Petaling Jaya city councillor Derek Fernandez said the state government can take back the land, based on a caveat in the 99-year lease document issued by the land registrar.

The document states that the plot is to be specifically used for housing and that the deed "cannot be transferred, mortgaged, pawned, sub-let or used as a business instrument".

"These means that the developer cannot operate via a joint venture," said Fernandez.

"If the Penang government re-acquires the land, they only need to pay back land premium as to what is actually paid by the cooperatives," he said.

The lease, registered on March 27, 2008 and effective up to March 26, 2107, was issued to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang Bhd.

The Penang government changed on March 8 after the general election, with the defeat of Barisan Nasional in the state. The Pakatan Rakyat coalition then assumed office under the stewardship of Lim Guan Eng of DAP.

Developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd entered the picture on April 14, 2008, based on transaction details on the document.

"I have discovered a serious weakness in the landowner Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang Bhd and Nusmetro's claim on the land.

"It is issued with restriction 'tanah yang diberi milik ini tidak boleh dipindah milik, cagar, pajak, pajakan kecil atau sebarang bentuk urusniaga (the land cannot be transferred, mortgaged, pawned, sub-let or used as a business instrument.)

"This restriction reduces the cooperatives to an end-user as it can build houses for members only. It cannot enter into a joint venture to develop the land or sell units to third party," he added.

He said that his assumption was based on the fact that the Penang government did not approve any transaction or development in relation to the land after the title was issued.

Fernandez said if the Penang government had not given any approval for the project, then Kampung Buah Pala is saved.

Developer has no claim over loss

The lawyer also said the developer cannot claim loss of market value or gross development loss as the land cannot be developed in the first place.

"It (the land) has no commercial value without the state consent to develop it. Hence, with this it can be easily acquired back by the Penang government," the Petaling Jaya councillor said.

He argued that in fact, the cooperatives should give back the land to the Penang government as it is duty bound to comply with state government policy as it is made up of officers of the state.

"The state could give them some other asset to replace this property. The developer in this case has no rights as there cannot be joint venture enforced without the state government's approval because of the restrictions," he said.

Fernandez also said the co-operatives should not have been involved in any business dealings in the first place due to restrictions imposed.

The restriction on the title, Fernandez said, makes the cooperatives the end-user only, as there should not be any purchaser or buyer.

He also debunked the caveat obtained by Nusmetro as according to him it only showed that the developer was laying claim over the land.

He added that the caveat itself was illegal based on a judgment delivered by Justice Mahadev Shankar in the case of Goo Hee Sing vs Will Raja and Anor.

Chief Minister Lim had previously stated that the state government has yet to give approval on the project.

"If that is the case, the land cannot be developed without the new government's approval so they (developer Nusmetro) cannot claim loss of market value or gross development value," added Fernandez.

Project is unlawful in law

He said that to acquire the land, the state government only needed to pay back the premium or what was actually paid by the cooperative society to the government.

"Therefore the state government can stop the demolition by issuing an acquisition notice under the Land Acquisition Act.

"It is my opinion that in the event the Pakatan government did not approve any development as they claimed, the project is unlawful in law because of these restrictions in the document.

Former Petaling Jaya councillor A Thiruvenggedam (photo: right) meanwhile has challenged Penang Chief Minister Lim to set the record straight on whether his government had approved any development projects with the land when it took over the reigns.

"Lim has been putting the blame on BN and also declassifying confidential documents to prove the point that it was BN's fault.

"He (Lim) should stop in this blame game and set the record straight," he added.


At least 50,000 expected at anti-ISA rally, police unhappy

The Abolish ISA Movement or Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA expects more than 50,000 supporters to take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur this Saturday in a rally to mark the 49th anniversary of the dreaded law.

The movement, consisting of the cream of Malaysian civil society, hopes to send an unmistakable message to Prime Minister Najib Razak that the time has come to end the oppressive law used frequently by his Umno-BN government to detain political foes without trial for indefinite periods of time.

“Based on the feedback we have received, at least 50,000 people will attend,” GMI committee member Norlaila Othman was reported as saying.

But despite the GMI’s determination to stage the rally, Norlaila expressed concern that the authorities may still throw a last-minute spanner into the works.

Already, Omardin Mauju the head of the Association of Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia – which is pro-ISA – has asked members not to take part.

Said PKR strategic affairs director Tian Chua: “This is bound to be used as yet another excuse for the police to clamp down on protesters.”

Anti-ISA versus Pro-ISA

Police have already warned against the rally but both GMI and its rival non-governmental organization Pewaris – which supports the Internal Security Act – have vowed to carry on, setting the stage for a possible clash.

“Although the organisers have said the gatherings and marches would be peaceful, they may still threaten public order,” Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

GMI represents more than 83 NGOs, political parties, student bodies, women’s rights groups and human rights organisations. Pewaris represents 12 Malay NGOs.

Supporters of GMI will be wearing either black or red while Pewaris members plan to wear white.

GMI will begin its procession at 2pm from three locations – Sogo shopping complex, Masjid Jamek and Masjid Negara.

Pewaris will start at Pasar Seni, Masjid Negara and Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur before walking to Dataran Merdeka at 2pm.

Both groups are due to march to the Istana Negara, where they plan to hand their respective memorandums to the King. It is during this last part of the march that they may overlap and clash.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat and DAP adviser are expected to join the GMI rally.


Demonstrasi mansuh ISA adalah lontaran suara hati rakyat

KOTA BHARU: Tindakan polis tidak membenarkan demonstrasi pro dan anti ? ISA yang akan diadakan di ibu negara pada 1 Ogos (esok) sebagai tidak menghormati aspirasi rakyat dalam menuntut haknya.

Mursyidul Am PAS, Dato' Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat mempertikaikan perkara tersebut yang dianggap sebagai bertentangan dengan hak asasi rakyat selaras dengan amalan prinsip demokrasi negara berparlimen.

Nik Aziz tidak menyalahkan pihak polis secara total dalam perkara tersebut yang disifatnya terpaksa menjalankan tugas mengikut arahan pihak atasan (menteri). Sebaliknya persoalannya menjurus kepada kementerian berkenaan.

Difahamkan Nik Aziz akan turut serta bersama penasihat PKR, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Presiden PAS, Dato' Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, dan lebih 83 NGO dalam demonstrasi anjuran Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI).

Melalui perhimpunan itu GMI akan menyerahkan satu deklarasi rakyat kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong menuntut ISA dimansuhkan kerana mencabuli hak-hak asasi sesuai dengan syor Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam).

Bagaimanapun, polis memberi amaran tegas kepada pihak terbabit supaya membatalkan rancangan tersebut dan menurut laporan Dato' Seri Hishamudin Tun Hussien, selaku Menteri Dalam Negeri sudah memaklumkan kepada Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan supaya mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap mereka yang terlibat dalam demonstrasi berkenaan.

Sementara itu menurut sumber yang menghubungi wakil Harakah pagi tadi memberitahu pihak polis telah mula mengadakan sekatan jalan raya di beberapa lokasi utama sejak pagi tadi bagi menghalang tujuan tersebut.

Dalam pada itu Nik Aziz menegaskan tidak ada sebab kerajaan menghalang hak kebebasan suara rakyat bagi menyampaikan hasratnya sama ada dalam bentuk protes melalui perhimpunan aman tanpa niat untuk mencetuskan huru-hara.

?Demonstrasi diadakan kerana rakyat ingin menyampaikan hasratnya. Bukan untuk mencetuskan sebarang huru-hara. Dan ia akan dilakukan dengan aman. Jadi kenapa tidak boleh?

?Sudah lama rakyat melontarkan suara hatinya dengan cara cukup berhemah supaya ISA dimansuhkan. Sama juga dengan pemansuhan PPSMI, tapi ia seolah-olah tidak ada sebarang tindak balas positif.

?Maka inilah pilihan lain terpaksa diambil mereka,? ujarnya pada majlis kuliah mingguan di dataran ilmu dekat sini pagi tadi.

Nik Aziz berhujah kerajaan yang dilantik oleh rakyat melalui proses pengundian menerusi pilihan raya yang memerintah lebih daripada 50 tahun sepatutnya lebih matang dalam memahami aspirasi rakyat dalam pelbagai aspek.

?Seseorang menteri ataupun kerajaan dilantik oleh rakyat. Kalau rakyat tidak undi dia tak boleh jadi kerajaan ataupun menteri. Jadi kenapa dinafikan hak rakyat yang inginkan hak mereka,? ujarnya.

Sehubungan itu beliau memberitahu undang-undang negara menggambarkan seolah-olah ingin meletakkan sesuatu kesalahan di atas bahu rakyat sambil menegaskan demikianlah yang dinamakan undang-undang sekular.


Zaid says Pakatan members are ready to serve the public in the name of Pakatan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is working towards registering the alliance officially to underline its commitment towards being a viable alternative coalition to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), says Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

The former BN minister, who joined PKR less than two months ago, wrote in his blog yesterday that he was aware of the criticisms levelled at PR parties for not formalising a common platform.

“All the members of Pakatan are ready to serve the public in the name of Pakatan.

“In fact in all our daily activities we are already acting as members of Pakatan and not just members of PKR, PAS or DAP,” he wrote.

Since joining the federal opposition, Zaid has been given the task of coordinating the activities of the joint PR secretariat.

The Malaysian Insider understands the act of formalising the alliance as an official coalition like BN has one major hurdle.

Under the rules of the Registrar of Societies, a political coalition must consist of at least seven parties. This means PR will have to attract more political parties to join its fold before it can be registered.

But Zaid appeared confident that this could be achieved.

“The people will be given a real choice in the next elections; there will be one-to-one contests,” he said.

PR leaders are understood to be in talks with several political parties to join the alliance.

But there are also ongoing talks between PKR, DAP and PAS to come out with common policies.

“I am aware of many critics who say Pakatan does not have concrete policies or even common policies. People say that because of our different ideologies Pakatan cannot be united like BN.”

He said PR leaders and members were already tired of being in opposition and have proven their abilities to withstand pressure from what he referred to as “dictatorial BN government.”

“They have been tested time and again. They have been jailed, detained under the ISA and their supporters are brave and strong.”

He claimed that BN’s strategy now was to create fissures among PR parties “because they are afraid of one-to-one contests.”

While Zaid acknowledged there were weaknesses in the PR alliance, he said the leaders remained committed towards formalising their current arrangement and offering a viable alternative to BN.


Utusan Malaysia should stop irresponsible and anti-national journalism

Utusan Malaysia, the notorious Malay daily, also one of the most prostituted newspaper ever, designed and created to mislead the people and disseminate UMNO's fallacy laden propaganda. Never before a newspaper has been reduced to such a pariah state quality, just for the purpose of safeguarding a corrupted ruling UMNO elite.

Such a lie by a muslim owned newspaper, is not only an insult to the sacred religion Islam, but also reflects the degenerate morality of the UMNO leaders who will forsake all religious virtues to mislead the people with their evil machinations in order to remain in power. It is a pity that muslims in UMNO have deserted their religion and joined hands with satan to stifle any challenge to their glamorous political positions where peoples money can be ripped off with unbelievable ease. Utusan Malaysia is a product of UMNO devils workshop, a factory conceived and constructed by the avaracious UMNO corrupt elite to deflect the minds of ordinary people from focussing on the plundering of the wealth of the nation.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, Uusan Malaysia's single job is to create political illusions, which effectively mesmerises and bewitch a bewildered race of Malays, forcing them to look away from the corruption of the UMNO/BN government leaders. This political debauchery, commited by the most corrupt UMNO leaders has benumbed the mental faculties of the people to a point that they have become oblivious of the havoc of the UMNO leaders.

The simple Malay gets "pukaued" and falls prey to the media information manipulation, thereby giving UMNO time to restrategise for the next deflection exercise. It is a pity the Malays lack the wisdom to outsmart these evil tactics perpetrated by leaders who refuse to confess their crimes and give up their positions.

Malays must learn fast to be able to sense UMNO's political trickery, otherwise a corrupted regime will forever exploit them and keep them weak and primitive. Malay leaders who have realised UMNO's dangerous politics must endeavour to wake the quiet Malays to arise and overthrow a worthless corrupt regime that has oppressed the race subtly and has accumulated through ill gotten means the wealth of the nation.

Utusan Malaysia must be dumped, and ignored by each and every Malay, so that the race can be protected from utter ruin. Let all the Malays realise this great truth and forge ahead to destroy UMNO and its corrupted regime.

Melayu @ via email

Samy Vellu, Cut the Bull, you have been cheating Indians for 30 years

What has Samy Vellu done about it all these years? No dividends were given, the shares have no value, and they cannot be sold. He can say CM Lim Guan Eng can settle the Kg Buah Pala issue with the stroke of a pen but as MIC president, he could not settle the Maika shares issue all these years.

On Teoh Beng Hock's sudden death while under MACC’s custody, even MCA is asking for a RCI but what has Samy Vellu done for A Kugan's case? No wonder that matter has gone into oblivion.
When Hindraf marched to give their petition to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, Samy Vellu called them "terrorists". Is this how he looks at Indian Malaysians?

He lost in his own constituency of Sungai Siput, yet he stays on as MIC president. Ling Leong Sik has left, Tun Mahathir has left, but Samy Vellu still wants to hold on to his position so as to pass the baton to his son as though it is his family's birthright.

The question that should be asked is what were MIC leaders doing during the last Gerakan administration when the land upon which the village now stands was alienated and sold to the civil servants cooperative, which in turn made a quick profit buy selling the same to Nusmetro, the developer.

If the MIC had stood its ground from the day its founding fathers help this nation achieve independence and demand what should rightfully be given to the Indians, the Indians of today will not be a suppressed minority.

A lot of land belonged to the Chettiars and the Indians were the dominant workforce of the Malayan Railways, Telecoms, National Electricity Board, Public Works and Utilities, Postals and Waterworks. If the MIC had been an equal and respected partner of the coalition and stood up for its rights, the situation would be very different today.

The Indians have lost almost everything because of improper leadership, the only way forward is to march as Malaysians and by making sure that race and religion are transcended for all to be equal in this country.


mi1: in short, MIC is a party for bastards!!!

High Chaparral: Evening in Paris gives some hope

The Unesco's Paris Desk will write to the federal government within the next few days seeking clarification on the Kampung Buah Pala village crisis in Penang.

Unesco's Asia Pacific heritage specialist, Junhi Han (extreme left) said the world heritage centre would express its concerns over the demolition of the nearly 200-year-old Kampung Buah Pala after hearing an appeal from village resident K Murugan who went to Paris.

Unesco's intervention was hailed by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Waythamoorthy as a boost to the villagers' cause in efforts to stop next week's demolition by the developer.

K Murugan made an official representation to the world heritage body based in the French capital city of Paris yesterday at 3pm (French time).

He was accompanied by London-based Waythamoorthy, who had arranged the meeting with Unesco.

Waythamoorthy had explained the the Kampung Buah Pala predicament to the heritage official of the Unesco Paris Desk.

Waythamoorthy alleged that the village land was originally held on a housing trust but was later taken over by the federal government and transferred to the Penang government under dubious circumstances.

He further alleged that the previous Penang state government had unlawfully alienated and sold the land held on trust to a cooperative society - Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

Junhi Han was also told that the cooperative subsequently engaged a private developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd to build a lucrative condominium project called Oasis on the trust land.

Waythamoorthy told her that the current DAP government was responsible for the actual transfer of the trust land to the cooperative within 19 days after coming to power.

Waythamoorthy told her that during last year's general election campaign, the DAP leaders had promised the residents to secure and preserve the trust land as a heritage village.

However, he alleged, that after coming to power, the DAP state government had failed to fulfil its promise and betrayed the people's trust.

Unesco appeals to gov't

Junhi Han told Waythamoorthy and Murugan that she would immediately inform the Malaysian officials at Unesco to look into the controversy urgently.

Earlier Murugan, the 46-year-old cowherd from Kampung Buah Pala, arrived in France on Wednesday morning via London to hand over a memo.

The memo urged Unesco to urgently make a representation to the Malaysian government to stop the village demolition.

It also urged Unesco to send a fact finding team to Kampung Buah Pala to gather first hand information independently to justify the residents' heritage claim over the village.

At the end of the 40-minute meeting, Junhi Han said the matter would be presented to the world heritage committee after receiving a response from the Malaysian government.

The committee, she assured, would then seriously consider the need to commission a Unesco fact finding mission to the village.

Murugan's representation to take his village fight for survival to Unesco is seen as a move to exert international pressure on relevant authorities in Penang, especially Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to preserve the traditional Indian village.

Murugan's representation would deal a severe blow to the DAP government as it could compromise the status of George Town as living human heritage city, an accolade it shares with Malacca.

Waythamoorthy informed Junhi Han that Kampung Buah Pala sits exactly on the city limit of George Town, which received its international heritage recognition in July 2008.

Kampung Buah Pala faces the possibility of total destruction on Aug 3, after an eviction order was issued on July 2.

Lim's government has already revoked the development plan a few days ago apparently to stop the eviction and compel the developer to agree with its plan to settle the issue amicably.

Kampung Buah Pala is referred to by locals as Tamil High Chaparral because of its hilly location, greenery, population of cowherds, cattle, goats, other livestock, and lively Tamil cultural features and festivities


Pakatan panel finds BN's Ganesan guilty of contempt

IPOH: The Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) Rights and Privileges Committee today found Perak Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan guilty of contempt for his role in the May 7 state assembly fracas and is recommending a six-month jail term.

Ousted PR Speaker V Sivakumar announced this today after PR members of the committee convened a meeting at a hotel here to consider a complaint by Pokok Assam assemblyman Yee Seu Kai.

The decision to punish Ganesan is not likely to be enforced as the PR panel has not been recognised either by the Barisan Nasional (BN) controlled legislature or the state government.

The committee plans to serve a notice to Ganesan soon to vacate the Speaker’s office and stop “impersonating” the Speaker, in what is seen as an attempt to continue stepping up PR's claims that the BN government was illegitimate.

“The committee has heard testimony from three witnesses and has concluded that Ganesan committed contempt of the assembly," said Sivakumar.

He said that the committee would propose to the Assembly that Ganesan be jailed for six-months, and fined RM500,000 in default of six months’ jail.

Earlier PR members, in their unrelenting determination to hold the Rights and Privileges Committee hearing inside the State Secretariat, made their second attempt in a week to enter the building today but were denied entry again.

This time however, the committee stepped up its aggressive stance and refused, for almost two hours, to accept the explanations offered to them by lower-ranking secretariat officials and the police, who were manning the BN government’s fort.

Led by Sivakumar, who is chairman of the committee, the group marched towards the back entrance of the building at about 10am and demanded to see State Secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim.

Like Monday however, the only people who were present to diffuse the situation were Ipoh CID chief Deputy Supt S. Glenn Anthony and his army of officers and principal assistant to Abdul Rahman, Shamshuzaman Sulaiman.

Shamshuzaman, in his usual faltering tone, told Sivakumar that under orders from Abdul Rahman, the committee was not allowed to convene its meeting since it was not “recognised” as the legal select committee under the State Assembly.

Enraged, Sivakumar told Shamshuzaman that the “state’s top civil servant” was a coward and was obviously getting involved in politics.

“He is supposed to remain neutral. Who is he to determine whether or not our committee is recognised? Who does not recognise it? Him? Or the BN government?

“Bring him down here now. I want him to tell us, face to face, that he is prohibiting us from entering the building,” he said.

Sivakumar also argued that he was not forcing Abdul Rahman or the BN government to “recognise” the committee. He said he only wanted to meet inside the building.

“And am I not an elected representative? We were all elected by the people to become lawmakers and to enter this building and conduct our businesses.

“By stopping us, you are infringing Section 124 of the Penal Code. We will have to lodge reports against you people again,” he said.

As the minutes went by and the arguments only succeeded in getting louder, it was clear that the PR members would not get to set foot into the building compound.

Shamshuzaman looked more and more agitated, as his repeated calls to Abdul Rahman could not convince the latter to make an appearance.

Sivakumar on the other hand, and his PR comrades, including the notoriously aggressive Simpang Pulai assemblyman Chan Ming Kai, were insisting on staying until Abdul Rahman showed up.

At about 10.50am, after Shamshuzaman left to fetch Abdul Rahman for the second time but returned alone again and said that the latter was busy in a function, a highly-frazzled Chan uttered an expletive under his breath before stealthily unlocking the gates and pushing his way partially through.

Upon seeing this, Shamshuzaman quickly left the scene while the police moved to physically stop Chan from entering the compound.

The two parties shoved and pushed at each other roughly, resulting in Chan being left with his left arm and leg wedged between the gates.

Still, they were not allowed to enter.

A few minutes later, the usually mild-mannered Sivakumar shouted that he wanted to see Abdul Rahman and then he too tried to barge his way in.

“Ok, forget the committee meeting. This time, can you let us in as state assemblymen, so we can meet with Abdul Rahman and have a drink in the canteen?” he said.

DSP Glenn however was adamant in enforcing Abdul Rahman’s orders and did not allow the group in.

When Bercham assemblyman Sum Cheok Leng from DAP said he wanted to use the toilet inside the building, DSP Glenn retorted: “The toilet is spoiled.”

At this point, both Chan and Sivakumar were wedged between the gates.

At 11.40am, the committee finally decided to move away but did not back down without first issuing a threat.

“Tell Abdul Rahman that we will be issuing him a notice today for tomorrow’s (Friday) committee hearing.

“When we come tomorrow, we want him to face us and tell us personally that he is stopping us from entering this building.

“If he does not appear, we will push our way in,” said Sivakumar.

The group then adjourned their committee hearing to the Syuen Hotel.


Police move in to break up the fracas at the MIC headquarters. — Picture by Jack Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Hundreds of anti-MIC protesters are facing off with party loyalists in front of the party’s headquarters here, causing the police to close roads and call in reinforcements to break up the demonstration.

The protest is believed to have been organised by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders galvanising opposition against the MIC over the Maika shares scandal.

The opposing groups have taken over the major Jalan Tun Razak flyover and are hurling insults at each other.


Makluman pergerakan Himpunan Mansuhkan ISA 1 Ogos

KUALA LUMPUR: Bagi melancarkan Himpunan Aman Mansuhkan ISA pada 01 Ogos 2009, Sekretariat Himpunan Aman Mansuhkan ISA mengumumkan tempat berhimpun dan pergerakan himpunan seperti berikut: Iklan

1. Tempat berhimpun dan negeri-negeri berkaitan:

a. Sogo:

Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang dan Perak

b. Masjid Jamek: Kuala Lumpur:

Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang dan Wilayah Persekutuan

c. Masjid Negara:

Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan dan Selangor.

(Peserta-peserta himpunan aman dikehendaki berkumpul mengikut negeri masing-masing)

2. Perarakan ke Istana Negara akan dimulakan tepat jam 2 petang untuk menyerahkan Deklarasi Rakyat membantah ISA

3. Semua peserta dikehendaki mengikut arahan pihak keselamatan (Jabatan Amal) yang berpakaian merah

4. Peserta digalakkan masuk awal ke Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur dengan meggunakan kenderaan awam untuk mengelakkan kesesakan


Kamaruzaman Mohamad
Timbalan Pengarah Himpunan Mansuh ISA,
Setiausaha Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat.

Another Indian Dead in Police Custody, Is there an end to this problem?

A woman has disputed the official account of her brother's death, who died in police custody at the Sentul police station on July 16.

According to the police, R Gunasegaran, 31, had died from a drug abuse.

His sister, R Ganga Gowri, 32, disagreed with this version in her police report today in which she alleged that he may have died after being assaulted.

This was claimed by three witnesses who were said to be detained in the same lockup with Gunasegaran, she stated in her police report.

In view of this, Ganga Gowri is urging the authorities to perform a thorough and transparent investigation into the allegations.

She is also demanding that hospital authorities release the autopsy report if there is one, and for the police to initiate an inquest.

She was speaking at a press conference, organised by lawyer Harris Ibrahim and attended by six other lawyers.

"These (witnesses) are very afraid. They do not wish the authorities breathing down on them and shall remain anonymous.

"Should there be a transparent inquest, I have been given assurances that these people will surface," said Ganga Gowri's counsel M Visvanathan.

Visvanathan, said the witnesses alleged that Gunasegaran died within two to three hours of his arrest at about 7.30pm.

He added that the witnesses said that Gunasegaran was kicked in the chest, hit with a hose and a piece of wood.

However, Ganga Gowri had not examined the body for wounds, which is still at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital mortuary.

Body still not claimed

She will not claim the body until a post-mortem and toxicology report is released.

Visvanathan said that although the standard practice by the authorities is to release the reports after two months, this had to be changed.

"It is insane to have the family claim the body and perform funeral rites and then wait for the post-mortem report, say for instance if the body had evidence of an assault whilst in detention," added Harris.

Harris said the police should be fair and kind to the family of the deceased and allow them access to the reports in order for them to request for a second independent autopsy if necessary.

Bar Council Human Rights Committee chairperson Edmund Bon said there appears to be inconsistencies in the way the government deals with custodial deaths.

He said it was only with sufficient public pressure, where full blown investigations will be carried out, such as in the case of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock, who incidentally was found dead on the same day as Gunasegaran.

He urged the government to heed repeated request by NGOs and civil societies for the establishment of a Coroners Court as magistrates conducting inquest, were not sufficiently trained in this area.
Police chief promises action

Meanwhile, KL police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman said that the police will investigate the matter thoroughly to find the truth.

"We cannot let this matter just like that. We will investigate thoroughly," he told reporters.

He added the police will have a look at the report lodged by the family.

"We will take action against any person found to have been involved in the detainee's death, even if it involves my personnel," he added.


Malaysian Police must protect the people, not the regime in power

Centre for Policy Initiatives, as well as various other NGO, human rights and civil society groups, was invited to the Parliamentary roundtable for members of Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara convened by Pakatan Rakyat on Tuesday.

The meeting adopted four resolutions:

Resolution 1
Calling on the Inspector-General of Police, Musa Hassan, not to extend his tenure of service

Resolution 2
Calling for appointment of a new IGP to combat rising crime

Resolution 3
Calling on the PM to include in his KPI for crime prevention all the categories of crime as proposed by the RCI

Resolution 4
Reaffirming public demand for the IPCMC

(The resolutions in full, here.)

Malaysia may soon reach a point where we are no longer be able to recognize and distinguish wrongdoing, and if the police is not urgently reformed, then this institution — which is a pivotal force in our country’s security and political balance — may well take us all down a very steep and slippery slope.

For this reason, CPI endorses all four resolutions.

CPI holds that the call for Musa Hassan to make way for a new IGP marks an important symbolic start to the revamp that is imperative for the de-politicization of the police and for it to regain public trust.



Dear HINDRAF UK Supporters,

Many of you may by now be aware of the plight of our sisters and brothers in the Kg. Buah Pala saga which face the danger of demolition by the capitalist developers supported by the Penang State Government led by the DAP.

The Brown Family as a trust land handed this heritage village of 200 years to the villagers’ descendents. Somehow the land was mysteriously under dubious circumstances sold to a Government Co-operative Society by the previous BN Government. However the actual land transfer took place after the DAP Government came into power. The DAP Government proceeded to transfer the said land to the new owners despite the objection of the villagers and a senior lawyer and is now working hand in glove with the developers to evict the lawful villagers. Prior to the last elections the DAP had promised the villagers they would hand the land back to them should they come into power. More than 300 villagers face demolition come 3rd August 2009.




TIME : 10.30 AM


A resident of the village will be present to represent the villagers.

Please pass this message to your friends.
For enquiries contact Iswaran 07946107872


HINDRAF will join hands with GMI for the Abolish ISA protest on 1.8.09

HINDRAF has been campaigning for the abolishment of ISA since the incarceration of the HINDRAF 5 – prisoners of conscience for 514 days.

Since the day one we are against this arbitrary Draconian Act that gives the Minister unfettered power under disguise against basic humanity that is protected by our constitution. HINDRAF had initiated countless demonstration and had faced unfair and unjust treatment from the police and government in pursuing the truth. We had carried out prayers, candle vigils, car convoy, hunger strike, handing over of memorandums and endless street demonstration urging the government to abolish ISA. Many of HINDRAF supporters also got arrested in the past for this good cause for all Malaysians.

HINDRAF will once again go to the field to support GMI, NGO’s and Pakatan Rakyat who will join hand in submitting an Abolish ISA memorandum to the palace on 1st Aug 2009 at 1.00pm.

Although the HINDRAF 5 had been released we are very much committed to this cause as a NGO who fights for the human rights issue. HINDRAF urge all its supporters to join in this peaceful protest to mark their dissatisfaction on this Draconian Law which disregard human rights.
We also urge that the government not to play a lip service for political purpose to the awakened public on repeated media releases that they will amend or abolish the ISA. If PM Dato Seri Najib is serious in looking into the welfare of Malaysians and enhance the One Malaysian concept inconsideration of the people’s plight, then he should just do it.

Abolishment of ISA is not a racial issue, but one that serves all Malaysians for the betterment of the nation with a just and fair cause without jeopardizing the human value and rights that is entrenched in the Federal constitution.
HINDRAF is fully in support of the initiative taken by GMI and its partners and shall mobilize its supporters on August 1, 2009 for the abolishment of ISA once and for all.

HINDRAF National Coordinators


Family adamant RCI probe Teoh's death

Despite the Prime Minister's assurances to Teoh Beng Hock's family that he would leave "no stone unturned", the family is insisting that an inquest is not sufficient to investigate the cause of death.
Instead, the family is saying that they would not be satisfied unless Beng Hock's cause of death is determined by an independent and comprehensive Royal Commission of Inquiry.

This was conveyed to Najib yesterday, who invited Beng Hock's family and his fiancee Soh Cher Wei to his office in Putrajaya for a half-hour meeting.

"We thank the prime minister for taking time to meet us and hear us out. We stated our position that we want a transparent and independent royal commission to investigate the cause of death on my brother," said Beng Hock's younger sister See Lan.

Beng Hock's family members were repeatedly asked by reporters today about their meeting with Najib, after the inquest proceedings at the Shah Alam court complex.

Elder brother Beng Kee, 33, said the family welcomed the premier's initiative to hold a meeting with his family, but he also told the premier that they were adamant about the royal commission's scope.

Below is an excerpt from the interview with Teoh's family members.

Reporter: Did the prime minister promise your family anything?

See Lan: On fiancee (Soh) naming the child after our surname, the prime minister said he will try to help.

Reporter: What else was discussed?

See Lan: We told him about (including Teoh's cause of death) in the Royal Commission. He did try to explain (why this was not done), but we were adamant about our position.

Reporter: How did he reply to this? Did he say he will consider it?

See Lan: He said that if we are unsatisfied with the inquest, we can then (appeal) for the Royal Commission (to probe the cause of death). He did say he would 'make due consideration'...

Beng Kee: ... if the inquest cannot find the truth.

See Lan: But we still maintained that we need the Royal Commission to investigate the cause of death (instead of an inquest).

Father did not speak

Beng Hock's father, Leong Hwee, 62, did not speak to the media. The Malacca-based family and Soh, were among the 77 witnesses that will be called to testify at the inquest.

Beng Hock's mother Teng Shuw Hor, 56, was not present at the inquest, but attended the meeting with Najib yesterday.

Meanwhile, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang urged Najib and the Attorney-General's Chambers to respect the wishes of the family and conduct a full scale royal commission to determine Beng Hock's cause of death.

He said that at the moment, though Najib had promised to leave no stone unturned, "the prime minister has turned no stone whatsoever" by denying the family's request.

He adds that Najib and the Attorney-general's explanation that the inquest was the proper procedure was an unacceptable and untenable explanation,

He said there as there were examples in commonwealth countries where public inquiries and was prioritised over an inquest, as in the case of British weapons expert Dr David Kelly, who's death was investigated by the Hutton Inquiry in 2003.

"When he died under mysterious circumstances, the British government established the Hutton Inquiry, and the Coroner's inquest deferred the proceedings until the inquiry was completed," said Lim.

Teoh's inquest adjourned to Aug 5

The inquest into the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock started at 9.20am before coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas at the Shah Alam Magistrate's Court today.

However it was adjourned for a week to Aug 5 following a request from lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh's family.

A total of 77 witnesses, including Teoh's fiancée Soh Cher Wei, are expected to be called to testify at the inquest.

Lawyers Karpal Singh and Sankara Nair are also holding a watching brief for Teoh's family.

Ram Karpal Singh and Lim Lip Eng are the counsel for the family. The family members arrived for the inquest at about 8.20am.

Bar Council chairperson Ragunath Kesavan said 12 lawyers have been assigned to hold a watching brief for the Bar.

Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 outside Plaza Masalam, following interrogation for 10 hours by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which has its Selangor office on the 14th floor of the building.

Teoh, who was political secretary to Selangor exco member Ean Yong Hian Wah, was a witness in the investigation into the alleged abuse of constituency development funds by several Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state assemblypersons.

Request to widen the RC's scope

At about 9.40 this morning, Gobind (right) asked the court for a stay of proceedings until the cabinet makes a decision on widening the scope of the royal commission of inquiry that is to be set up.

"If the government agrees, this inquest will become unnecessary," he said.

His application for the adjournment was made under Practice Direction No 1 of 2007 Guidelines of Inquest - Section C on the Notice of Inquest.

It states that the magistrate should arrange to notify the family members and next-of-kin about the date, hour and place of the inquest, giving minimum notice of two weeks.

As for the first mention date, a maximum of three weeks will be given for parties to appear before the coroner, calculated from the date of the receipt of the report from the government medical officer. (Gobind was referring to the post-mortem report).

Gobind also said the attorney-general (AG) should study the investigation report and only call for an inquest when the cause of death cannot be determined.

"We are not concerned if the delay of the inquest is the last thing the government wants. More importantly, we are interested in justice," said Gobind.

He added that the autopsy report was only completed last night and was told that two witnesses were asked for their DNA samples.

"DNA samples are of immense importance, (and) of course it may implicate the witnesses in this trial... So they need to know if they should be given time to appoint lawyers," said Gobind, also adding that the parties need more time to intelligently conduct the inquest.

Lawyer Malik Imtiaz, representing the Selangor government, supported Gobind's application, as did Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, representing the Bar Council.

Lawyer Tan Hock Chuan (left), who was appointed by the AG to assist the inquest, said he had no objections for a short adjournment but stressed that, according to practice, the inquest should start promptly.

Tan, a former DPP, is now in private practice.

Although Tan agreed to Gobind's request for an adjournment and agreed to provide all documents including reports and photographs, except the statement of witnesses, to counsel, he said that:

"I was also hired only two days ago... An inquest should be done at the very earliest, with minimal postponement," said Tan.

However, Gobind rebutted that if the inquiry is rushed it will work against the "interest of justice".

"We don't want that, while we want to hurry, we should not compromise on the law and most importantly the interest of justice," he said.

Application for documents

Gobind asked for the forensic and DNA reports, and the statements of the two MACC officers who interrogated Teoh because they were the last people to see him alive.

Tan replied that a full set of documents has been prepared for the proceedings, counsel for the family, the Bar Council and the Selangor government.

But he refused to provide the witness statements as Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code does not stipulate the need to do so.

Azmil agreed that all reports should be provided, except witness statements, for the time being.

Tan then provided the autopsy, toxicology, photographs, forensic, CCTV and DNA reports to counsel.

Gobind said he would need 10 days to look at the documents in detail.

The adjournment was granted after the court had stood down for 30 minutes to decide on the 'stay' application.

Unknown DNA found on Teoh's clothing

After the inquest resumed, Tan responded to Gobind's inquiry about DNA samples taken from witnesses.

Tan told the coroner that according to the first report, the DNA profile derived from the swab taken off the back outer side of the blazer worn by the deceased Teoh Beng Hock consisted of mixture of male DNA types from another individual.

"One concordant with blood stain specimens of the deceased and one unknown male individual," said Tan.

"Another DNA profile derived from a swab, also taken off the tear region of the waist belt worn by the deceased (which) consisted of a mixture of male DNA types and indicated concordances with the blood stain specimen of the deceased and at least one other male contributor," said Tan.

He said that specimens have been taken from 102 people to determine whether any one of them was the "unknown male person".

"I have been told that by the chemist that results of 90 specimens are ready and only 12 more are to be completed," said Tan.

The DNA report on the 90 persons has been supplied to the interested parties.

He also confirmed that two individuals had refused to provide their DNA and that was the reason for the delay on the second DNA report.

Gobind then interjected and asked if any of the specimens collected matched the unknown male individual.

However, Tan evaded answering and simply stated that he was just explaining the scenario and it is for the experts to provide the evidence.

Tan told the coroner that there are 89 witnesses in total and 80 were subpoenaed today.

The coroner then asked Tan to provide the list of witnesses for the upcoming inquest, and he would then decide who to call rather than having all the witnesses congregate at the court.


Pakatan Rakyat desak Ketua Polis Negara dipecat!

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat semalam sebulat suara mendesak agar Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan tidak dilanjutkan lagi khidmatnya dan perlu digantikan dengan KPN yang lebih berwibawa.

Menurut Ketua Umum KeADILan, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, desakan itu dibuat selepas dalam mesyuarat Pakatan Rakyat yang dihadiri seluruh kepimpinan parti DAP, PAS dan KeADILan menyetujui bahawa Musa Hassan tidak berjaya mengurangkan kadar jenayah di negara ini.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam sidang medianya bersama wartawan di Bilik Jawatankuasa 1, Bangunan Parlimen pada petang semalam.

Turut hadir ialah, Presiden PAS, Dato' Seri Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang, Presiden KeADIlan, Dato' Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail; Penasihat DAP, Lim Kit Siang; Naib-naib Presiden PAS, Dato' Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Salahuddin Ayob dan Dato' Mahfuz Omar; Naib Presiden KeADILan, Azmin Ali, Dr Lee Boon Chye dan Sivarasa Rasiah; Setiausaha Agung PAS, Dato' Kamarudin Jaffar; Ketua Muslimat PAS, Ustazah Nuridah Salleh; Ketua Wanita KeADILan, Zuraida Kamaruddin; Ketua Pemuda PAS, Ustaz Nasrudin Hassan dan ketua AMK, Shamsul Iskandar Mat Akin selain beberapa pimpinan PR lagi.

Menurut Anwar, masalah jenayah dan rasuah masih terus membelenggu negara hingga persepsi negara lain buruk terhadap Malaysia.

Tambahnya, Pakatan Rakyat akan meminta satu pertemuan diadakan dengan Perdana Menteri, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak berhubung hal tersebut, dan meminta Perdana Menteri mempertimbangkan tuntutan itu.

Musa juga dakwa Anwar, terbabit dengan beberapa skandal yang hingga kini masih disangsikan beberapa siasatan yang tiada keputusan ke atasnya.

Pakatan Rakyat juga melihat, kegagalan Musa mengatasi kemelut jenayah yang berpanjangan dan semakin parah adalah satu kegagalan besar membuatkan rakyat kini semakin bimbang dengan masalah jenayah, katanya.

Sementara itu, Pakatan Rakyat turut memutuskan beberapa resolusi antaranya; Musa tidak sepatutnya memohon perkhidmatannya sebagai Ketua Polis Negara disambung dua tahun lagi; pelantikan ketua polis negara yang baru; Perdana Menteri patut memasukkan Indeks Prestasi (KPI) bagi pencegahan jenayah pelbagai kategori yang dicadangkan dalam Laporan Suruhanjaya Diraja Polis Dzaiddin dan Menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salah Laku Polis (IPCMC).