Students injured as cops break up new year sit-in

Police arrested about 20 student activists after violently breaking up an academic freedom sit-in outside Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim in the early hours of the new year.

The students along with 60 other fellow activists had refused to disperse after repeated warnings were issued by Tanjung Malim OCPD Othman Nayan.

The group instead moved to the locked university gate and rattled it, demanding it be opened for them to enter the campus.

Subsequently, the police, numbering at about 30, moved in and forcibly grabbed the protest leaders, many of whom resisted.

Among them was Kumpulan Aktivis Independen Mahasiswa (Kami) president Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz, who was cornered by three police officers but with his muscular build, he managed to throw them off.

Five other police officers joined the fracas and they finally pinned the student leader down to the ground.

Haziq Abdullah later lost consciousness as the police were about to carry him away, but journalists at the scene were suddenly distracted by a loud bang.

The noise came from a nearby clinic where the students had broken the door in the attempt to seek medical attention for another student leader, Gerakan Menuntut Kebebasan Akademik (Bebas) president Muhammad Safwan Anang, who had went into a fit.

smm protest in sultan idris university 010112 safwan anangHowever, Muhammad Safwan (right) was unable to get treatment there and the students soon left the clinic. Muhammad Safwan was immediately put into a vehicle and driven away, presumably to a hospital.

It was unclear if a doctor was present at the 24-hour clinic but a medical staff told Malaysiakini that they were unable to treat such condition.

A witness who helped carry Muhammad Safwan into the vehicle said the student leader had grabbed his chest and he saw that the student leader's mouth was bleeding.

"Everyone were distracted by the arrest (of the other students). When I looked behind me, I saw three police officers trying to subdue Safwan. Then he went limp and started to shake. There was blood on his mouth," he said.

Arrests made at 2.40am
The students had initially gathered at the university's east gate at around 12.30am to welcome the new year and demand for academic freedom.

When police confronted them, they dispersed and regrouped at the main gate of the university at 2am, chanting "Bebas, bebas! Bebas Mahasiswa" (Freedom! Freedom! Free the Students).

The students activists were there to show solidarity to Legasi Mahasiswa Progresif (LMP) Adam Adli Abdul Halim, who was also present at the demonstration.

NONEAdam Adli (left), also a UPSI student, faces disciplinary action from the university authorities for lowering a flag of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur during a march last month.

When police arrived at UPSI's main gate, the students lied down on the road and refused to budge.

They later stood nose-to-nose with the Light Strike Force officers, chanting slogans and unfurling a 30-metre long banner reading, "Bebaskan Mahasiswa!".

The clash occurred minutes later - at about 2.40am - when the group moved closer to the UPSI gate.

By 3pm, most of the male students were either arrested or had accompanied Muhammad Safwan to the hospital, leaving behind female student protesters whom the police did not act against.

The remnants of the student group subsequently left the area as police cordoned off the area.

PSM member also nabbed outside police station

The university sit-in today was jointly organised by two student groups - the Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) and Bebas.

SMM in a Twitter posting confirmed that Muhammad Safwan had been sent to Tanjung Malim hospital. He was later transferred to Slim River Hospital.

smm protest in sultan idris university 010112 broken glass doorAt least two protesters had suffered injury at the scene, but more photographs of injuries have surfaced on Twitter.

Another arrest was made at about 4am when Mandeep Singh, a Parti Sosialis member, chanted "Bebaskan Mahasiswa" outside the Tanjung Malim police station where the arrested activists were held.

According to PSM, Mandeep reported from inside the police station through short text message that a total of 17 students had their statement recorded there.

PKR Youth deputy information chief Rozan Asen Mat Rasip along with pro-opposition groups - Jingga 13 and Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) - were at the police station to offer assistance to the detained students.

Rozan said he was informed that Muhammad Safwan had suffered a broken rib and he was believed to be in a serious condition.

Police refusing to give information on status of ARREST and those INJURED UNIVERSITY STUDENTS !!!!

Police State. RT @nsurendrann: Police are refusing 2 give me any info on status of arrested students- even refuse info on condition of injured students.

Student leader Safwan in critical condition after ‘assault by UMNO police’

An unconscious Safwan Alang being taken to Slim River hospital in critical condition. Twitter photo by Solidariti Mahasiswa
Student leader Mohd Safwan Alang was critically injured after being attacked and assaulted in a police lockup after being arrested at a New Year’s Eve student rally for academic freedom, held at University Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Tanjung Malim last night.
Details of the attack were not immediately available. On-the-scene reports sent via Twitter messages said Safwan had lost consciousness after the attack and had initially been taken to Tanjung Malim hospital. Parti Socialis Malaysia said Safwan had been seriously assaulted by police while at the police lockup, and was in critical condition. He had been transferred to Slim River hospital.
Parti Socialis also said another person had received stitches in Tanjung Malim hospital for his injuries
From inside Tanjung Malim police station, student activist Adam Adli posted a message on Twitter that Safwan was punched twice in the face and was being assaulted in the police station.
@SafwanAnang teruk dibelasah sdg nazak! Ya Allah! Kau laknat anjing umno! Kami di rmh pasung tg malim! Turun skrg!
A blog posting at Malaysia Flip Flop said:
UMNO thugs beat up student Safwan at UPSI over a protest on AUKU. First we have the pig incident (rumour that it was placed there by UMNO members) in Johore mosque to end the year 2011. Then the start of 2012, UMNO members beat up a Malay student. UMNO is so desperate to create trouble so that there will not be an election this year.
These photos, taken on a cameraphone, were posted by Solidariti Mahasiswa, an umbrella organisation of student bodies campaigning for academic freedom, university autonomy and the repeal of the Universities and University Colleges Act.
Police were assaulting those students in the lockup while other students waiting outside Tanjung Malim police station were being intimidated by the police, according to a message on the party’s official Twitter account.
Safwan dipindah dari hospital tg malim ke hospital slim river dlm keadaan kritikal
Safwan was one of the organisers of a large protest march of about 500 university students through Kuala Lumpur on Dec 17 in which they delivered a memorandum to the Human Rights Commission and to deputy education minister Saifuddin Abdullah demanding the repeal of the UUCA.
It was during this march that Adam Adli became the centre of public attention and the subject of threats afte he briefly lowered an Umno banner bearing the image of party leader Najib Tun Razak, and hoisting in its place a banner in support of academic freedom. He was to have been a main speaker at the rally, which was also meant to be a show of support for his action. Adam has been issued a disciplinary letter by the university and asked to show cause why he should not be expelled.
He had also attacked outside federal police headquarters apparently by a policeman and had also received death threats. Subsequently a group of Umno Youth members in Petaling Jaya Utara made a video in which they made threats against university students.
Saifuddin is secretary of Jingga 13, an anti-corruption pressure group under Parti Keadilan Rakyat, which has been leading the campaign of exposures on alleged corruption in the National Feedlot Corporation, involving the family of cabinet minister Sharizat Jalil. The group has also piled up pressure against Islamic affairs minister Jamil Khir Baharom, over an Auditor-General’s report that zakat funds were used to pay his legal expenses in a court case.

Wish-list of Malaysians for 2012

'The times they are a changing', Bob Dylan's classic song of the 60s aptly prophesies the social and political upheavals experienced in Malaysia in 2011.


KUALA LUMPUR: To the average Malaysian, it did not matter that in a year when Asia was home to the fastest-growing economies, Malaysia-made financial sector watchers stood up and took notice on several occasions.

It’s perhaps also of little consequence that with many sectors of the economy having done relatively well over the past year, inflation seems to be well contained, foreign direct investments have increased and the financial sector somewhat stoic – for now that is.

It would not be how well the country might be doing economically that jolts the interests of the average Malaysian but what they remember most about the year that was “Bersih 2.0”.

This is of course in reference to the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9, which drew about 50,000 demonstrators on to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to push for electoral reforms, despite police threats prior to the event and violence during it.

The rally stunned Malaysia and hurt Najib, whose rating slipped to 59% in September, compared to his high of 79% in May, as reported by the Merdeka Center.

Ever the sinewy politician, Najib took on the role of a magnanimous Prime Minister when in August, he gave the green light for the establishment of a parliamentary select committee (PSC) to assess the current electoral laws.

In September, he abolished the 50-year-old Internal Security Act (ISA) and the 40-year-old Emergency Ordinance, which allowed for the indefinite detention of suspects and two years detention without trial, respectively.

It is little secret that both have been used and abused by the state to silence the opposition during the past decades. Najib has also promised to do away with the yearly permit that media companies must obtain, which is seen as one of the reasons for their subservience to the ruling government.

Other laws such as the Sedition Act, the Official Secrets Act and the Criminal Defamation are still in place and are misused to silence dissent and political opposition. On Sept 21, a senior member of an opposition party, Mohamad Sabu, was charged for an allegedly defamatory comment he made about the police that fought against communist rebels in the 1950s. He risks two years in prison.

But the year that was has to make way for the year that will be. And from the opinions of a cross-section of Malaysians, the average Malaysian has a voice that is both loud and clear. Whether it is heard will be something of a milestone in itself what with the next general election expected to take place within the first quarter. But the times, as the song goes, they are a-changing and it looks like 2012 will be quite an adventure.

Below is the wish-list of Malaysians for 2012

Siva Ahnanthan, 55 (software consultant): A transparent government. A fair society where everyone is treated equally, there should not be any concept of race, sex, age at all. We are all, regardless of religion, God’s children, and no one should be treated differently. Zero corruption in the country. Not 0.1% or 0.2%. Right now, we are close to becoming a ‘banana republic’ where everything is all about money. There is no law and order. Its really sad that nobody respects the law.

Pang Khee Teik, LGBT (activist): That we stop making businessmen/women take charge of policy-making. When making money is priority, all we get is inequality.

Anita Menon, 38 (writer): New governance from a new government. The choice of making my own decisions and not be told that 54 years of rule by the same government is the right thing for me and my children.

Ratha Suppiah, 40 (homemaker): Malaysian-born citizens regardless of race and religion be given Bumiputera status. We are an unequal society. We should be treated equally.

Hasril Abu Hassan, 33 (marketing & corporate communications, Universiti Selangor (Unisel): PTPTN dimansuhkan dan ditukar kepada biasiswa untuk rakyat Malaysia.

Rohana Nasrah, 25, (penolong penerbit): Cegah rasuah dan segala program, usaha ataupun pendidikan berkaitan pencegahannya perlu dilaksanakan dengan konsisten agar indeks persepsi rasuah pada tahun seterusnya mampu berada di tahap yang memberangsangkan.

Rachel Desiree Felix, 26 (web content manager): More racial unity, love knows no colour, creed or race.

Wong Pui Yi, 25 (masters student): A change in government, and the new government to be transparent, accountable and uphold justice and fair play.

P Sivakumar (Malaysian Indian Business Association president):
Looking forward to a honest and holistic economic programme for the current generation of Indian in business.

Lam Ghooi Ket, 53 (playwright/drama coach): A deeper understanding among ourselves on the important aspects of our lives: cultural, social, political and spiritual.

Wong Pui May, 25 (communications director): Corrupt people be made to pay for all they have stolen from Malaysia, be it money, wildlife, resources or anything else.

Claire Shum, 22 (psychology student): Better education. The poor getting scholarships and not the rich. Less arguments between politicians, and less talk about race.

Lean Arul, 22 (law student): Freedom of speech.The government should be ready to discuss issues of concern and not shun the people like S Ambiga. If people want to protest, they should be allowed to. I would also like to see a fair electoral system and a better education system.

Ee Ying Jie, 22 (graphic designer): That Malaysia won’t go bust. Retain BN but with stronger Pakatan voice in Parliament. Be rid of corruption.

Ang Woei Han, 35 (executive): Be rid of corruption.

Geethashankaran Lam, 42 (professional dancer): For Malaysia to be an example to the world on harmony in diversity, as it was once before.

U Malar, 27 (computer specialist): Malaysia to be more industrious compared to Singapore.

C Siva, 21 (student): Prices of goods and taxation reduced so as not to burden the poor. Students get 40% discount on all items purchased. Monthly allowance for student from government.

R Mallika, 30 (studio operator): Equal rights for all Malaysians.

Norasikhin Ariff, 25 (planner):
Tol dimansuhkan. Supaya kerajaan memberikan lebih banyak subsidi kepada minyak petrol. Kurangkan pengambilan pekerja asing kerana memberi lebih banyak kesan negatif.

Khairul Anwar Abu Mansor, 25 (pelajar tahun akhir UiTM): Ekonomi bertambah baik. Perpaduan antara kaum semakin erat, isu perkauman dalam berita dikurangkan. Perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam dapat diperbaiki terutamanya dari segi pengurusan masa supaya orang awam dapat menguruskan waktu seharian dengan lebih baik.

Tang Chun Cheah, 28 (copywriter): I’d like to see more places where indie bands, singer-songwriters can showcase their work. I like to see the local art scene progress.

Dia Wardiah, 26, (network scheduler): Saya mahukan golongan orang kurang upaya (OKU) mendapat peluang bekerja dan dibimbing agar berjaya dalam kerjaya. Juga diberi peluang untuk hidup lebih senang seperti insan sempurna yang lain.

Kahar Saidun, 36 (automotive industry): I’d like to see all my friends and family having a greater year than this.

Lu Jian Lien, 28 (graduate student): I want to see more equality in universities where the quota system is scraped and admittance is based on meritocracy.

Chelliah Nathan, 50 (business owner): I would like to see the MACC grow a backbone and stop being so afraid of the government.

Hj Awang Abdal Jeh, 61 (retiree): To see the mainstream media stand on their own feet and begin demonstrating some bona fide journalism without having to hide behind Barisan Nasional.

Laura Lee Lan, 32 (designer): To see a more compassionate, fair, efficient and honest police force.

Kokila Vaani Vadiveloo, 27 (lawyer): For Malaysia to remain beautiful in her splendour, to continue to be rich in her culture and most of all to stay diverse and yet united as one.

Maryam Mokhtar, 41 (volunteer social worker): Malaysia earning the kind of respect that comes with achieving greatness and not about making news because of the Obedient Wives Club. And also an end to police brutality.

Johan Salleh, 54 (business owner): More rights for animals, and people showing compassion and tolerance for cats, dogs especially, and that the Malay community will see that all are God’s creatures.

Shabina Seekhar-Liew, 40s (entrepreneur): The same kind of racial unity at we had in the era of Tunku Abdul Rahman. I want to see a leader like him lead my country.

Norasikhin Ariff, 25 (perancang): Tol dimansuhkan. Supaya kerajaan memberikan lebih banyak subsidi kepada minyak petrol. Kurangkan pengambilan pekerja asing kerana memberi lebih banyak kesan negatif.

Fikri Az-Zahabi, 23 (pelajar): Media lebih adil dan lebih telus. Setiap gambaran mengenai sesuatu isu perlu disiarkan secara adil oleh media tanpa berat sebelah.

Hashim Harun, 61 (retiree): Next year hopefully the economy becomes more stable, with the transformation in place. The country is prosperous as of now. We are living very peacefully now. I hope they, the politicians, would settle their political problems. But aside from that, we got not much problems actually. We don’t suffer as much as the other major countries. Compared to other third world countries, we are very much better, compared to Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand, we don’t have any massive disasters, no havoc, there is a bit of unhappiness here and there. But overall I think we’re okay.”

Abdul Muez Sabri, 22 (penuntut IPTS): Saya rakyat Kelantan yang inginkan kemakmuran serta keadilan. Kalau boleh duit royalti dikembalikan kepada rakyat Kelantan yang selama ini menuntut hak daripada kerajaan persekutuan.

Norseha Ishak, 25 (kerani am): Semoga Malaysia mampu tersenarai carta top10 Sukan Olimpik 2012 terutamanya pasukan bola sepak. Tarif elektrik dikurangkan. Telus dalam pemberian bajet 2012 kerana masih ada sekolah yang masih mengenakan yuran tambahan walaupun Najib kata yuran sekolah dihapuskan. Harga barangan runcit terlalu mahal

Hijrah Ahmad, 25 (jurutera elektrik): Mengharapkan kerajaan lebih adil. Kebebasan rakyat untuk berhimpun. Peluang pekerjaan yang lebih banyak dan sama rata untuk rakyat tempatan. Segera laksanakan akta gaji minima.

Farid Afzal Abdul Mutalib, 20 (pelajar Politeknik Sultan Idris Shah): Mengharapkan satu sistem politik yang berlandaskan hukum-hukum Islam yang mengharamkan rasuah dan lebih mengutamakan rakyat daripada kepentingan diri dan kroni.

UPSI rally: 17 students arrested, one seriously hurt

FMT Staff | January 1, 2012

The police are accused of using brutality in dispersing students who had gathered to demand academic freedom.

PETALING JAYA: Student activists saw an ominous start to the new year when about 100 of them were violently dispersed by the police for staging a peaceful assembly in front of the Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim early this morning.

The students had started gathering since 12.30am to demand for academic freedom and to protest against the Universities and University Colleges Act. They had also wanted the UPSI to drop charges against student leader Adam Adli.

Adam, an UPSI student, has been charged with disciplinary action by the university for replacing a flag depicting the Prime Minister’s face with a banner proclaiming academic freedom two weeks ago.

The police, with the participation of the Federal Reserve Units, made their move to disperse the students at about 2.30am, in the process arresting at least 17 students, including Adam Adli.

The students had earlier lied down on the road when the police made their move to disperse the protesting crowd.

Two of the students were arrested while making a police report, and one for shouting at the police to release the arrested students. The arrested students are all being held at the Tanjung Malim police station.

Students also claimed that the police acted in a brutal manner in dispersing them, as a result causing injuries to some students.

Some eye-witnesses said that one student, Muhammad Safwan Anang, was allegedly assaulted by at least eight police personnel.

Muhammad Safwan, a student leader, had been admitted to the Slim River Hospital in a serious condition, including suffering from a broken cheekbone.

Calls for release

The police came under severe condemnation for the heavy tactics against the students.

Lawyers For Liberty’s Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said the police had unlawfully used excessive force against peaceful and unarmed students.

She urged the authorities to immediately release the arrested students and take action against the police officers who had been involved in using excessive force against the students.

Meanwhile PKR’s communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad also criticised the police over their actions.

“This violence makes a mockery of the Prime Minister’s Malaysia Day speech and so-called Transformation Agenda,” he said, referrring to Najib Tun Razak’s promise of political reforms.


The sodomy charge against Anwar was not trumped up and he will be found guilty on Jan 9, says popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

PETALING JAYA: Reform activist and influential blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin believes that Anwar Ibrahim was a victim of a honey-trap, but quickly added that the opposition leader was given a fair trial.

He is also certain that Anwar will be found guilty on Jan 9. However, he predicts a low-key reaction from the people on the guilty verdict. Interestingly, he says both PAS and DAP would be less than keen to make Anwar’s conviction a Pakatan Rakyat agenda.

“I think it is a foregone conclusion: Anwar is going to be found guilty. PKR will certainly go to town on the issue, but PAS and DAP will not be too excited about turning the Pakatan agenda into a ‘free Anwar campaign’.

“Ultimately, there is a bigger fish to fry and that would be to focus on the coming general election,” he told FMT in an exclusive interview.

He said that the second sodomy trial “came and went as a non-event”, unlike the 1999 trial.

“In 1999, there was the ‘black eye’ issue and the high exposure of the trial: hence the public awareness regarding the flaws in the trial. This time around, not many people followed the trial or were even concerned about the trial,” he said.

He said that the jailing of Anwar this time around would not garner extra votes for the opposition.

Anwaristas and the PKR leadership will definitely take umbrage at Raja Petra’s frank opinion on the matter, but the popular blogger said even the reaction of the PKR supporters against the verdict would settle down quietly.

“For a while, PKR will rant and rave. Then the excitement will tone down and people will get on with their lives.

“Umno, meanwhile, will just sit back and watch. If the Anwaristas get out of hand and try to turn the event into a ‘Malaysian Spring’, the government will just round them up and silence them.

“The government is ready for the attempt to turn Jan 9 into a Malaysian Spring and they know how to handle it. It will be doomed from the start. This is not going to be Sept 20, 1998,” he said.

Why didn’t he take the stand?

Raja Petra, who is based in London, also said that while the Barisan Nasional-Umno leadership is definitely “out to get Anwar because he is a political threat”, the PKR leader was nevertheless allowed a fair trial.

“I know for a fact that the prosecutor agreed to handle the prosecution only if he was allowed to conduct a fair trial and without any political interference.”

“Therefore, I would say that Anwar was allowed a fair trial,” he said.

Raja Petra added that Anwar was also allowed more than 60 postponements throughout the trial.

“He was supposed to subpoena more than 50 witnesses to testify on his behalf, which in the end he did not and which we are not told why.

“It appears like Anwar was allowed a lot of leeway to defend himself. Why did he not take the stand to testify under oath?

“Saiful took the stand and he was vigorously cross-examined by the defence. Why did Anwar avoid doing the same?” asked Raja Petra.

“I do not think that the charges were trumped up. But I do believe that Anwar is a victim of a honey-trap. In a way it was entrapment, which in a country like the US is illegal,” he added.

New leadership needed

Raja Petra added that Anwar’s conviction could be good for PKR and Pakatan Rakyat.

“If they put Anwar in jail, then the opposition will be forced to look beyond Anwar.

“What we need is a new leadership but as long as Anwar is still around, they will be reluctant to do so,” he said.

He added that with Anwar in prison, PKR will be forced to come to terms with the need to rejuvenate the party leadership.

“There is life after Anwar, as much as many do not think so,” he added.

Anwar, who was once heir-apparent to former strongman prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has been fighting charges that he sodomised a former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in June 2008.

The accusations emerged shortly after Anwar led the opposition to unprecedented gains in parliamentary polls against BN that has governed the country for five decades.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court is set to make a ruling on the sodomy charge on Jan 9.

Anwar pleaded not guilty to the offence, allegedly committed at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008. The PKR de facto leader is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison and whipping, if found guilty under Section 377B of the Penal Code.

This is the second time he was accused of sodomy.

In 1998, Anwar lost his deputy prime minister’s post after he was charged with corruption and sodomising his family driver.

He was freed in 2004 after six years of imprisonment when the Federal Court overturned the sodomy conviction.