Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Archive for the ‘Freedom of Speech’ Category

The Ban on Christians Reading Allah

When I was growing up I had a number of bad experiences with Christian friends trying to convert me. I’ll leave the details for another article but most of the time they would use deception by tricking me into joining their social outings that included prayers, chanting, singing hymns etc. Once the religious nature of the activity was revealed there would be an awkward situation as I excused myself. They did not respect my right to refuse, insisting that my faith was ‘wrong’ and I ‘needed to be saved’. Sometimes we would be friends for years and suddenly they would pressure me to join their faith. I have even seen Christians enter relationships with non-believers for the purpose of converting the other. I’m not making this up.

I don’t care what religion you come from but if the person you are trying to convert is not interested in listening to your preaching then you should just leave him be. Don’t force them to listen or use deception. You can’t expect people to respect your faith if you don’t respect theirs.

I initially found myself conflicted when the Roman Catholic Archbishop as publisher of The Herald went to court to get the right to use Allah to refer to God in the publication. I haven’t met a religious Christian in this country who accepts that we both worship the same God but in different ways. I have also met religious Christians who find the idea of using Allah in that context to be insulting. Obviously Christians themselves are divided on this issue.

What is the issue really? What problems could it cause? I think back to my own bad experiences. If I did not have a strong grounding in my faith, and a group of friends came up to me asking for me to join them in prayer to Allah – I would say yes. If everyone spoke in Malay and someone preached teachings from God I would listen and take it to heart. I would be happily learning about Christianity, all the while thinking it was Islam. At some point my friends would lift the veil and reveal that all that the activities that had been giving me comfort and joy were Christian activities, and Islam isn’t providing me with any of this so I should become a Christian.

So I will admit that I felt a bit uneasy because I wasn’t sure why The Herald publisher wanted to use Allah instead of Tuhan (a generic Malay word for God, used in a monotheistic context).

I soon learned that this use of Allah issue is mainly for the benefit of Sabah and Sarawak where Malaysians have been practicing Christianity in Malay for a long time, where they do use Allah instead of Tuhan. It should be a non-issue then as there is a pre-existing use of the word Allah by the church.

So why is the BN-led Federal Government playing up this issue? Why file a stay of execution on the court ruling? The Home Ministry banned the use of the word by the publisher; the publisher went to court; court ruled in favour of the publisher – it should have ended there. Dragging it out further just continues to reinforce the message that the current government suppresses the rights of Christians, Sabahans and Sarawakians.

I know that Allah is merely Arabic for God. I do support the right of Christians to print Malay bibles and related publications for their followers. Religion should not be constrained by language because it’s easier to understand if it is written in your native language. I myself have an English Al-Quran because I understand English better than any other language, and a trusted fellow Muslim recommended the translation that I have. It should be alright to use Allah in a Malay-medium Christian publication whether in Peninsular or East Malaysia.

But I can’t completely shake off the fear that young Muslims will undergo more subversive conversion tactics such as the one I described. I don’t know if you, the reader, have experienced what I have but I’m glad I did because it helps me understand why many Malay Muslims are riled up about the court ruling and plan to protest today. Without my bad experiences I too would join the many bloggers out there condemning these protestors.

If I had not been exposed to foreign culture, not learned about other religions, and stayed in one town for most of my life then I would be quite narrow minded. It is easy to criticise the mentality of the poorly educated. What I feel the government should do is accept the ruling and allow The Herald to use Allah, and focus on improving religious education at school. Better yet have a Proposition for people to vote on so each state can have its own ruling on this issue. If that is not possible then let the State Assemblies vote on it for their respective states.

Remember, there are many Muslims in this country that don’t use Internet and have a poor command of English which limits their access to television shows and newspapers. Mention of Christians using Allah in their publications is very offensive to them – even PAS is internally divided on this issue.

I have more to say, but I have not been watching this issue very closely and I’m still playing catch-up. I’ll write further on this issue soon.

Written by ak57

January 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

Bersih’s Memorandum Delivery

Police today stopped polls reform group Bersih from holding a press conference in front of Istana Negara and in the process arrested PKR’s Information Chief Tian Chua. Also arrested was a PAS member identified as Jalaluddin Abdul Manap.The police had maintained a close watch on the group and moved in as soon as Bersih called for a press conference after submitting their memorandum at about 3pm.Tian Chua was arrested when he tried to prevent the police from confiscating a Bersih banner while Jalaluddin was arrested after he ignored a police warning to stop distributing leaflets calling the EC chairperson ‘a liar’.

– quoted from an article published in Malaysiakini on 15th February 2008 (link)

Three members from the poll reform group Coalition For Free and Fair Elections (Bersih) were released unconditionally today.

When contacted, their lawyer Amer Hamzah said no reasons were given for their unconditional release.

– quoted from an article published in Malaysiakini on 18th February 2008 (link)

Bersih went to the palace on 16th February 2008 to hand over a memorandum/protest note (link) to the King, and as expected some token arrests were made. What bothers me is how well everything seemed to progress at first.

  1. First group arrives, police and press present
  2. Second group arrives (including Tian Chua and Irene Fernandez) but police refused to allow them to proceed to the gate where the others were
  3. Police limited 4 Bersih members to p2roceed to the gate to hand over their memorandum
  4. Some Bersih members held up a Bersih banner
  5. Immediately after the memorandum was handed over, Bersih decides to hold a press conference despite warnings by the police not to
  6. Police arrest Tian Chua after he tried to prevent police from confiscating a Bersih banner
  7. Police arrest Jalaluddin Abdul Manap after he refused to stop distributing leaflets

The moment Bersih held up a protest banner, it stopped being a ‘hand over of memorandum’ and became a protest/demonstration. The moment they called for a press conference outside the Istana gate, the message heard by the police was, “Lets have an illegal gathering to answer questions”. It makes me wonder whether Bersih members purposely give the police an excuse to arrest them solely to generate more publicity. They must realise that the police are watching their every move, waiting to find a legal basis for arrest.

Since you can’t hold press conferences wherever you feel like it, what is wrong with walking back to your car/bus stop/LRT and answering questions asked by the reporters hounding you? That’s not an illegal gathering. In fact after being foiled by the police, Bersih held a press conference at PAS headquarters in town, which went perfectly well. I take that as proof that a press conference outside the palace gates was wholly unnecessary.

Why was the banner needed if all that was planned was merely a memorandum handover? Sigh.

It got worse at the Brickfields police station that night. Ginie Lim (part of PKR’s Information Bureau) was arrested for taking photos of the arresting officer. I have heard that it is illegal to take photos inside a police station, for obvious security reasons(sorry I don’t know the relevant Act offhand), so its not unexpected.

However it goes to show the mindset of our people now, where the police are viewed as criminals whose name, badge number and photograph need to be taken and kept on record. So that in the event that something happens to Tian Chua, at least Ginie would have that information. I’m pointing this out because its easy to just label Ginie a ‘crazy rebel’ instead of taking the time to understand.

The problem that I see here is that persons like Tian Chua and Ginie Lim are too important to the inner workings of their party to take part in such events especially when elections are literally 3 weeks away. This is when the Information Bureau should be busiest (unless PKR has a different group of people handling information distribution *shrugs*).

So I sincerely hope they do not participate in such events and leave themselves open to arrest in future. I do not agree with the actions police took, but getting arrested so close to elections really does no good.

The three of them were held in remand until 18th February, whereupon they were released unconditionally. A clear case of abuse of power by the police, that (unsurprisingly) merely got a footnote in the papers. I wonder whether the police will start arresting more Opposition people in the weeks to come 

Written by ak57

February 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm

ISA Sooner Than Expected

DepressedI can’t believe its Thursday night already – been sleeping more than usual due to feeling depressed. Why? Because there’s just too much news to follow and digest, none of which is pleasant to read. Why did the police repeatedly detain and free Uthayakumar? To collect more bail from the poor fellow? Now he and the others have been put under ISA (not Waythamoorthy though, not sure where he is – overseas perhaps?). Sixty days of isolation followed by at least two years of prison. It is a shame I never bothered to go and meet the man and offer help, I am uncertain now who will take over HINDRAF’s struggle or maintain their website, www.policewatchmalaysia.com.

Written by ak57

December 13, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Depressing chain of events

Very SadI am so sad and tired – events this past one and a half months has left little time for me to juggle work and keeping up to date on the ongoing demonisation of the Opposition, NGOs – anyone that questions the status quo basically. It has been quite a while since my last post and comic, but here are the things I plan on writing on hopefully by Christmas:

  1. The November Bersih Rally
  2. The Hindraf Rally
  3. The mockery of Human Right’s Day by the government
  4. The crackdown after that

Written by ak57

December 12, 2007 at 11:25 am

Incoming Horde Not A Challenge

Bersih gathering an act of defiance: PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 9, 2007): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today condemned the Coalition for Free and Fair Election (Bersih) for its defiance of authority in deciding to carry on with its illegal assembly tomorrow.

“I’ve heard from the police that they will not be given a permit (for the assembly) but I’ve seen from reports and I’ve heard from sources that the organisation wants to continue.

“This shows their stubbornness. I’m very disappointed with this act as this will cause a lot of problems,” he said in his winding-up speech at the Umno General Assembly which ended on schedule.

“Are they challenging the government and the leadership? They are challenging and ignoring the law. That’s what they’re challenging, not me. But I will not be challenged!” he said, to cheers from the congregation.

Abdullah said Malaysia enjoyed peace and stability because she upholds the rule of law.

He said the demonstration was not the way to bring change.

“This is not our way; this is not the way of Malaysia. Ours is democracy and this (the gathering) is not acceptable.

“The police have asked them to stop and when untoward incidents happen, they blame the police, when in fact, it is their doing,” he said.

In addressing Bersih’s concern for change, he said: “What changes do they want? Wait for the election!”

The Election Commission – often the target of the Coalition’s criticism – is putting up transparent boxes, and had approved the use of indelible ink, Abdullah said, adding that the country’s practice of democracy had allowed opposition wins in every election.

“I hope the people will understand that this wayside democracy is not the way to effect change and will not accept this move. People are willing change in a peaceful way. Not this way.

“How can they be leaders (when they ignore the law)? The law must be upheld and respected,” he said.

– quoted from an article published in The Sun on 9th November 2007 (link)

Looking back at this earlier article I can say that i agree with the PM on one point – when bad things happen the organisers would (and did) blame the police. The fact is that the police denied the permit and warned against the march, anyone going should have expected to be arrested, tear gassed and sprayed by the FRU.

A vast majority of the people who did go were very, very lucky indeed, as only the unfortunate ones at Masjid Jamek bore the brunt of the standard FRU dispersal tactics. Anyone from the Reformasi 1999 days can tell you far worse stories.

Will talk about this more in a later post, still going thru a stack of articles sigh 😦

Ignoring BERSIH’s demands and saying to ‘wait for the election’ doesn’t make a lick of sense sir, all the changes they are demanding need to be made before elections. Oh no, I hope the PM doesn’t make more statements like this in the future, maybe Nazri Logic is contagious 😉

The part where the PM said he will not be challenged, or ‘saya pantang dicabar!’ was sad and funny at the same time – don’t talk like a dictator sir!

Dictator Talk #1

Written by ak57

November 15, 2007 at 10:04 pm

A Pleasant Surprise

I felt a bit lost today, desparately trying to find live news coverage of the protest. After searching the Internet high and low my main sources of news ended up being :

  1. www.harakahdaily.net
  2. www.suarakeadilan.com
  3. www.malaysiakini.com (especially this map)
  4. ntbn.wordpress.com

No bloggers blogging from their mobile phone? Updates on the sites I mentioned were sporadic and the network was awfully slow. Bersih.org seemed to be back up but I’m not sure about that since it was password protected so no luck there.

It rained heavily today, no doubt to the government’s advantage. The LRT station at Masjid Jamek was shutdown by 2 pm, even Central Market was closed. The pleasant surprise to me was that there was no violence. Yes there was tear gassing and water cannon spraying but nothing beyond that thank goodness. Despite Harakah Daily reporting that the police sent out swarms of men to arrest people at random after the memorandum was delivered, no such thing occurred according to my friends who attended the event.

Unfortunately there were some arrests, at least 20 people though at this moment the exact figure is still unknown. Also the police roadblocks all over town and on the Federal Highway created massive traffic jams having effect all the way to Petaling Jaya. I hope the people arrested today get out soon.

I was a bit disappointed that no Opposition leaders were reported marching with the crowd, especially Anwar Ibrahim despite saying this morning that he would. He did show up at the Istana just in time on a motorcycle though, very cool and very brave 🙂

50,000 people gathered today. No violence by police. Memorandum delivered to the King. So overall I would say it was an historic, awesome day 🙂

Written by ak57

November 10, 2007 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Freedom of Speech, Human Rights

Tagged with ,

Prelude to Bersih March

A rally is going to take place at Dataran Merdeka less than 12 hours from now. A rally that has been reported by the government as an illegal gathering, and as such you are 100% guilty of committing a crime if you attend. Should you go?

If you are physically able to and have no commitments tying you down in case you are arrested for an extended period then go, show your support for a non-corrupt election process, protest the evils of our present government. I have not attended such a large gathering since the Reformasi days, even then it was not organised on a scale as great as this one.

Even though the police have publicly announced they will detain those who attend, I imagine that it will be a difficult journey. The path from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara is not easy and it is impossible for a mob to travel it without disturbing traffic flow. Would a gathering alone not have sufficed?

Sigh..it is hard..I have been thinking about this problem of opposing the government for many years, and it is just too easy for the government to take advantage of lack of foresight on opposition entities’ part.

Despite the organisers stating that it is a peaceful protest, it has been well established that our government does not support the people’s right to assembly and protest. It is impossible for the organisers to maintain peace, there are bound to be agent provocateurs to incite violence 😦 Any gathering that is open to all people is also open to trouble makers, it is just an unfortunate reality to accept.

How do you react when some hothead starts spewing racial slurs and throwing things at police? Hit the hothead? Then police will arrest you for violent behaviour, your supporters will get angry, shoving starts – BAM! Riot starts!

Perhaps the organisers have a plan to form a chain of people locking hands, establishing a zone of peaceful protestors – any potential rioters can then be peacefully pushed out of the zone. That’s one idea of the top of my head. I just hope that there is no communications blackout to prevent people from posting news as it happens.

Don’t misunderstand, I do support peaceful protests. It is just that given the laws in place, government agent provocateurs and police brutality, that makes it nigh impossible to have one. This rally is a last resort, to show the government the massive support of the people for a just honourable government and election system.

More than 5,000 people from across the country..sigh, I wish I could go but disabilities prevent me. I truly hope this is not going to be a day of public tragedy. If you are going, be prepared for a hasty escape if the situation turns extremely violent – better to live to vote on election day and help foster opposition in the hearts of those who blindly support the government 🙂

Good luck supporters of justice!

BERSIH Solidarity

Written by ak57

November 10, 2007 at 4:19 am

Nazri, In totidem verbis

It has taken some time but I finally sat down and read thru NST’s interview with Nazri Aziz on 28th October 2007 (link).

So lets go thru some of the Q&A’s, building up a list of Nazri logic statements (oh what a goldmine of comic material!). I will use the term ATN (According To Nazri) to refer to Nazri Logic (in italics) and Sidenotes for anything extra.

Q: Is there a crisis in the judiciary? Why is there a perception of there being one?

A: There isn’t a crisis. It’s a false allegation.

The perception has been created by some people. When I go back to my constituency, nobody talks about it.

When people do not go to the courts to settle their disputes, that’s when there’s a crisis. But I don’t see that.

The few people who are unhappy, make a lot of noise. It is reported, people read, and think there is a crisis.

Crisis means it involves the whole country but nobody talks about it. I even asked my fellow members of parliament (MP) but nobody talks about it. So, what crisis are we talking about?

The crisis is in the minds of those who created it.

ATN #1 Crisis is defined as ‘a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.’

According to Nazri though, a crisis exists if:

  1. People do not go to courts to settle disputes
  2. People in his constituency talk about it when he is around
  3. It is reported in the media
  4. Members of Parliament talk about it

So following those conditions, lets see – there was a march, so item 1 is in. This video scandal has received significant coverage from the local media, so item 3 is in. Lim Kit Siang and Wan Azizah have brought up this judicial crisis, so item 4 is in. Therefore just because Nazri’s constituents do not talk about when he is around, there is no crisis?

Q: Some 1,000-2,000 lawyers were involved in the Bar Council walk. Are you saying that that many lawyers have been misled?

A: Only 1,000 went to the ground. There are 13,000 registered members of the Bar.

Q: You don’t think 1,000 is enough?

A: 1,000 of 13,000 — is that a majority? What’s the big deal?

In a democracy, the minority cannot control the majority. The minority does not speak for the majority.

Q: Aren’t the views of the minority also important?

A: But (they are) not (the) majority. If there are any decisions to be made, it has got to be the majority.

Q: So, if you wanted to be convinced (that there is a crisis), you would need 7,000 lawyers to walk?

A: Even then, it’s still not important to us, because the lawyers are not the only people who use the courts. The ordinary people use the court in their disputes.

It must be a majority of the population who feel that there is a crisis. Otherwise, there is nothing.

Q: Do you really want that many people marching in the streets?

A: No. You don’t have to have millions of people marching in the streets. Let the people decide, whether there is a crisis or not, through the legal means of sharing your dissent or anger — through the ballot box.

ATN #2 Any protest by a minority cannot be allowed to bring about change that also affects the majority. For that to happen the majority must also protest. According to Nazri in the matter of the judicial system, because everyone in the nation makes use of it the majority of the nation must protest.

Even if every single lawyer in the nation showed up at Nazri’s doorstep, it would mean nothing. The majority of the nation’s people must show up.

ATN #3 If any crisis occurs, citizens must wait for elections to occur – no form of protest will be acknowledged.

Q: You’re the de-facto Law Minister. And they are not asking for a sacking — they are asking for a more transparent appointment system.

A: We’re talking about the independence of the judiciary. I don’t speak for the judges. You want to clean up the judiciary, go and speak to the judge.

Sidenote #1 Nazri does indeed speak for at least one judge – Tun Ahmad Fairuz. Liar.

Q: But if we had a transparent system, perhaps all judicial appointees would be acceptable to the people.

A: But if you have a royal commission for the appointment and promotion of judges, you might not agree with the decision, too, because members of the royal commission are also human beings.

Tell me, who appoints the commission? The system is the same. The appointment of the commission will be made by the king, on the advice of the prime minister.

The commission would be there, but the Bar Council will not be happy, and then you’ll have another system (change).

Q: Can the commission be appointed by consensus or stakeholders?

A: Why stakeholders? Stakeholders are people too. Do you want to have an election?

You know what will happen — people will campaign to become members of the commission and then they’ll be compromised, because they want to be chosen by the people.

And then the judges will have to kow tim (settle) with them again — it’s the same thing.

Are we to change just because 1,000 lawyers are unhappy? The Constitution must be amended by two-thirds of MPs; and the two-thirds represent the majority of the people.

If we MPs are not convinced, how can we amend the Constitution? We can’t listen to the views of just 1,000 lawyers. Since when was the view of 1,000 lawyers more important than that of the 11 million who voted for us?

Lawyers are not the only stakeholders. It is also the people in the streets — they are the ones who go to court.

ATN #4 Human beings are fallible. According to Nazri, any body of individuals appointed by one person or persons(s) is therefore flawed and unreliable. Anyone who campaigns for an election is compromised (corrupt). The lack of transparency in the appointment of judges is therefore a non-issue.

You just can’t trust humans after all, including the de facto Law Minister – after all, he was elected wasn’t he?

ATN #5 Because members of a Royal Commission might make decisions that the people might not like, it doesn’t make sense to create one.

Indirectly Nazri is saying that the government would only want Commissions that make decisions that they know about before hand, good or bad. I’ll admit that is a good tactic for people in power to use, but just blurting it out in an interview is damnably foolish.

ATN #6 Since members of a Royal Commission are corrupt, judges (who are all corrupt apparently, ATN) will have to kow tim (settle) with them.

Settle? Sounds like bribery – is Nazri saying that he knows for a fact that all judges will bribe their way up the ladder? And that is ok? Read the next quote.

Q: You have said the government was happy with the current system of appointments. Why?

A: We found that the system works for us. We inherited this system (from the British), and for 50 years it has served us well. Something which has not brought us any problem, why should we change?

If we need to change this system, we would need a clear indication from the judiciary.

Even then, before you change you have to go and see the Malay rulers. Out of courtesy, you have to tell them.

Any slight change, we have to see the Malay rulers first. Once they agree, then you’ve got to get the agreement of the judges also, because this involves them.

I am only interested in no interference by the Executive. When I became minister in charge of the judiciary, I wanted to make sure that what happened 20 years ago should not happen now. So, please do not ask us to interfere with the judiciary.

ATN #7 The current corrupt system of judicial appointments is OK because it has been working for BN for the past 50 years.

Sidenote #2 The minister in charge of the judiciary cannot look into allegations of corruption? That that is considered interference? He did state that if people have a problem with the judiciary then they should go see the judges. So what is this minister in charge of? Sigh..time to get another Akta book for my collection 😉

Q: Is the tenure of the chief justice going to be extended?

A: I don’t know. I don’t know anything.

Sidenote #3 I know I’m being catty for saying this, but how nice of Nazri to say he does not know anything! At least he is aware at some level of his lack of knowledge.

Q: If you just take into account what is printed in the media and what comes out in the blogs, it would appear that there is a crisis in the judiciary.

A: To me, if there were no newspapers, if there were no blogs, then it’s just mere chit-chat in the coffeeshop. That’s all.

Q: Coffeeshop chit-chat is not important?

No. The people are important. This is a government elected by the people, for the people. So, people means the majority.

If we didn’t have blogs, if we didn’t have newspapers, who in this world would know about it? But because of technological developments, you are able to chit-chat (about it). It’s just chit-chat.

ATN #8 What is printed in the media is not important, because where the media not to exist then it is just coffeeshop chit-chat. Coffeeshop chit-chat is not important. Media content = chit-chat = not important.

This is amusing because ATN #1 states that people in Nazri’s constituency must talk about an issue to consider it a crisis – is he talking about dinner table conversation instead?

Q: But the fear that is felt is genuine.

A: So what do you want me to do? Ban all these bloggers? Shut down all the newspapers? I don’t think so.

We must live with the fact that this is now a modern world. Technology has enabled us to get to know each other so news gets moved faster.

ATN #9 If something is causing fear in the nation, the expected government action would be to remove the medium of communication (ban newspapers and blogs), not deal with the source of fear.

Q: Maybe walking just says that they are partisan towards justice?

A: I wasn’t complaining about their memorandum. It was the way they did it — demonstrating on the street. The opposition was there.

When you go on the street, how are you going to stop the opposition from coming in?

In a meeting with the PM, those who are the opposition — who are not genuine lawyers — cannot go in.

You should be apolitical. You are an NGO, you are not an opposition party. You have stature, you’ve got a position in public, people look at you with respect.

But the moment you take to the street, who is going to respect you? They’ll laugh at you. There are people who are laughing at you — but they don’t write in the papers Bodoh punya kerja! (fool’s errand).

ATN #10 Demonstrating in the streets is the equivalent of running around naked – nobody is going to respect you but will laugh at you instead.

Huh? I cannot recall a single demonstration by a group of 1000+ people where others watching them pointed and laughed. Maybe that’s what Nazri does in his Ivory Wisma – playback a collection of political demonstration videos and point and laugh at the television.

Q: Is there anything wrong in walking for your beliefs?

A: No. But that is the way of the opposition. If you are a political party, we can understand. But if you are a respectable society, that’s not an honourable way to do it — not when the government accords you respect.

How can you bring yourself so low? The moment you do that, we don’t respect you.

If I say to you, “M****r*****r you!”, can you say, “Eh, let us sit down, we’ll talk about it.” No!

ATN #11 Insulting someone removes any chance of forgiveness. Humans in Nazri’s world do not forgive.

Poor man, he must have faced a lot of cold shoulders growing up. Look at him now, using foul language in an interview knowing full well it will be published.

Q: The Bar Council claims that they have never been able to get an appointment with the CJ.

A: He’s retiring anyway.

I told them, “Fairuz is also a human being. Kalau you criticise, criticise, criticise dia — dia mana mau layan you.” (If you keep criticising him, he won’t entertain you).

I can get a lot of things out of you if I talk to you nicely, but if I start shouting at you, do you think you will accommodate me? No way!

Q: But you are more than an ordinary person. You are also the de facto law minister.

A: But you cannot divorce me from the fact that I am also a human being.

Q: That’s very irresponsible.

A: Human beings, there are ways, how you do it. You want something, you talk. You don’t shout, and then expect to get something, no way.

ATN #12 Shouting at people will never get what you want. Human beings must be treated with politeness and respect.

This is great considering Nazri is such a foul mouthed disrespectful minister in Parliament.

Q: Why didn’t the government empower the panel to compel witnesses?

A: Because we have to first determine the authenticity of the video clip, to make it into a formal and genuine complaint.

Sidenote #4 This is quite revealing – apparently Nazri does not consider the report lodged by Sim and Sivarasa to be a genuine complaint. You know what that means? The complaint and resulting investigation is not bound by the secrecy requirements laid out in the Anti Corruption Act.

Q: What if the video clip is genuine, but the person doesn’t want to come forward?

A: That’s not our problem. We have already set up the panel, it’s for them.

As I’ve said, if I was the one who made the complaint, I would be very happy, I’d come (forward) and co-operate. There’s nothing to fear.

(Opposition MP Lim) Kit Siang said to me this morning (Wednesday) the problem is not that they are afraid of the public taking action against them; but they are afraid of the government.

I think that’s no excuse.

Sidenote #5 Nazri admits that Lim Kit Siang spoke to him about Whistle Blower. But didn’t Nazri state in ATN #1 that fellow MPs do not talk about the matter? Apparently Lim Kit Siang is not an MP in Nazri’s eyes.

Q: If people come forward and give their statements to the panel, and the authenticity of the video clip is verified, what would the next step be?

A: If it was verified to be true, the next step would be to investigate the judiciary, the person there.

Q: Using what?

A: Maybe a royal commission.

Sidenote #6 Well at least Nazri is being consistent – even if Whistle Blower came forward a Royal Commission may not be formed. Why? Because ATN #4 and ATN #5 say so.

Q: There is less than two weeks for people to come forward with what they have. Are you hoping that they will?

A: I hope so. We set up the panel to investigate the authenticity of the tape.

Come forward, lah. Apa nak takut? Takkan kita nak bantai orang kita! (What’s there to be afraid of? We won’t beat up our own people!)

Every five years, we put ourselves up as candidates for election. If we do something wrong, do you think that people will let you go just like that? No way!

ATN #13 The Government does not beat up its own people.

Yes it does. This year alone the incidents in Batu Buruk and Kampung .. are shocking, truely shocking cases of government brutality.

Q: Maybe the informants’ concern is not so much the government, but that the parties in the video clip might take action against them.

A: But that is something beyond us. Even for us, if we do something, the lawyer can also take action against us.

It is not only the informant who will be left unprotected, the government can also be sued by the lawyer.

But that’s how it is. We can only do certain things. Beyond what we can do, we can’t promise. Even the panel can be sued.

Sidenote #7 The Panel can be sued? To the Panel members : How’s it feel guys, to read that you are potential scape goats if the Government ever gets in trouble over this matter, for coming to the wrong findings.

I really like how ballsy NST is – it looks like BN has lost their total control 🙂 FYI, ‘In totidem verbis’ means ‘In so many words’.

Written by ak57

November 9, 2007 at 12:27 am

Needless Persecution

ACA goes after PKR whistleblowers

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 4, 2007)

The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has compelled Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah and party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s political coordinator Sim Tze Tzin to reveal the source of the eight-minute video clip, or face action under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997.

Sivarasa and Sim were served with a notice to provide information under Section 22(1)(c) of the Act in the ACA office, here today. It was signed by ACA headquarters Special Action Branch enforcer Chua Lay Choo.

“We understand from the attachment to the notice that they want to know the identity and full details of the source,” Sivarasa said.

Both Sim and Sivarasa have one week to comply or face two years jail, a fine of RM10,000 or both.

He said they had not responded yet but will discuss with their lawyers and the party leadership before deciding on their next move.

“They are using the law to reveal the source and ACA justifies it to their need to compile evidence to determine the authenticity of the clip,” he said, adding that this will further reduce the public’s confidence in the government agency.

(cut)…

PKR, he said, was disappointed over the directions of the investigations and questioned ACA’s technical investigations to determine the authenticity of the clip.

Investigations in the technical sense can be done if the tape is handed over to its video experts or they could even call the people in the video but they are asking for the details of the source, he said.

Sivarasa said investigations had taken a wrong direction – similar to the nude ear-squat recording in 2005.

Investigations in that incident, he said, were centred on the person who captured the video and not the offence of misconduct where the woman was made to strip and carry out the act.

– quoted from an article published in The Sun on 4th October 2007 (link)

This is terrible and downright despotic. There are a few ways to disprove the video and let the matter die down over time. They already appointed a panel with (most likely) ‘sympathetic’ members (as mentioned in step 2 of my plan).  The only reason the government would resort to such heavy handed tactics is that someone high up is afraid (Chief Justice?) and wants to know who not to trust. Obviously the Whistle Blower is a friend of VK Lingam, so VK Lingam is out of the ‘Trusted Friends of Fairuz’ circle. But what other secrets does Whistle Blower have? Is he working somewhere close to Fairuz, gathering more information?

Both these men are important to KeADILan and having them give up their freedom would deal a severe blow to the party. They really are in a tough spot – if they give up Whistle Blower people will curse them for being dishonourable, the Opposition’s face suffers and the government will know who the disloyal Bunnie is. If they keep quiet and go to jail, Bunnies around the country will rejoice and the Opposition will lose two good people. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t – perhaps that is another motive involved here. In any case we will know the fate of these two men by next Friday. This reminds me of the American reporter who got jailed for not naming her source in the Valerie Plame Affair.

This incident lets me see the Panel members’ statements in a different light – they said they are independant and work with whatever material is available to them. So that means ACA can do what they like and the Panel is not to blame, they are just watching events unfold.

Hasn’t Anwar met with the royalty? The Agong should at least comment on this series of events no? Since the Chief Justice is right at the top of the Judiciary branch just like the PM is at the top of the Executive branch, it really is up to the Agong to look into this matter. Maybe he can’t because the video on its own is weak proof.

The only positive thing I can say is that instead of over-reacting like the government did in 2005 – where Malaysia expressed sadness (is that an apology?) to China via its ambassador  (because by some magic that partial footage was enough to identify her race and origin) – the government is making a show of investigating the video. For a refresher please read these news archives – China Daily, AsiaMedia, Centre for Independant Journalism. By positive I mean good for Bunnies, bad for the country.

Written by ak57

October 5, 2007 at 4:55 am

Posted in Freedom of Speech, Local News

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Protest at the First Meeting

Probe panel: Come forward for the sake of M’sia 

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 3, 2007)

(cut)…Earlier, 20 PKR members and concerned citizens gathered at the Suhakam office to present a memorandum on their lack of confidence in the panel and its limited terms of reference, and to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry. However, they could not do so as Haidar did not want to interrupt the meeting to meet the group.

 – quoted from an article published in The Sun on 3rd October 2007 (link)

Group turns up to submit memo

KUALA LUMPUR: About 20 members of the Steering Committee on Free the Judiciary comprising various organisations – including Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Tenaganita and Suaram – turned up to submit a memorandum to the three-man panel at the 30th floor of Menara Tun Razak in Jalan Raja Laut yesterday.

Several of them had masking tape on their foreheads with the words “No Meeting” written on it.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 4th October 2007 (link

(cut)…Roughly 30 people led by lawyers Latheefa Koya and Amer Hamzah Arshad from a group calling themselves ‘The Steering Committee on Free the Judiciary’ arrived at the Suhakam office to deliver a memorandum asking for the panel to stop its meeting, because of its limited power and the disatisfaction of the group with the capabilities of its members.

The group had a discussion with Suhakam officer(s) and asked Haidar to come out of the meeting to receive the memorandum. After an hour, Haidar agreed to allow a representative of the group to come into the meeting room to deliver the memorandum.

However, the group did not agree and instead asked for permission for more of their members to be let inside.

– quoted translation of a post on SuaraKeADILan.com on 3rd October 2007 (link)

– A video recording of the protest followed by comments by Latheefa Koya (link)

Its curious that these protestors were allowed inside Suhakam all the way up to the meeting room’s doors. Is the government having a laugh at voices of opposition? It is not clear from the text so let me explain why the memorandum could not be passed to Tan Sri Haidar via a middleman (nameless or named does not matter) or a lone member of the group. There needs to be a witness to the handing over of the memorandum to the receipient (perhaps a signature might have sufficed though?). Good thing the group leaders were not taken in by these simple ploys.

Written by ak57

October 4, 2007 at 11:50 pm

Posted in Freedom of Speech, Local News

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