Archive for the 'Malaysia news' Category

06
Sep
09

Hindu temple & religious co-existence in 99.99% PAS ruled Kelantan

Since a two month old baby right up to my Form five, I was brought up in Tumpat, Kelantan. As teenagers, we prayed and played at the Sri Maha Mariaman Hindu Temple in Tumpat, Kelantan which was built by the then colonial days Railway working class Indians.

This Hindu temple is in a 99.99% Malay Muslim dominated population and ruled by PAS. During my last visit to this temple two years ago I was told that there are only two Indian families left in Tumpat. But our Hinldu temple stands right up to this day on the very main road leading into Tumpat town. I nostalgically showed my wife and children the Hindu temple which I grew up with. It is still the history and heritage of Kelantan right up to this date. This our Hindu temple could now be demolished or asked to be relocated as it is in a 99.99% Malay Muslim area or to be moved out of the state of Kelantan as it is in a “Serambi Mekah” State. I believe it would not even have crossed PAS’ Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz’s mind. This is religious co-existence in practice in 99% Malay Muslim PAS ruled Kelantan. The biggest sleeping Buddha in the world is not in Thailand, Cambodia Sri Lanka or India where Buddhism originated from but it is in Kg. Neting, Tumpat Kelantan.

In multi racial and multi religious Malaysia it should be religious coexistence as opposed to  religious tolerance. Then we wont get the case of the UMNO majority and dominant area like in Section 19 and 22 of Shah Alam objecting to hindu temple because it is a Malay Muslim dominated area and the cow head protest by the religious extremist who were never arrested on sight and who would never be seriously prosecuted by the Attorney General in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malaysia. And so the racism and religious extremism continues in Malaysia. In fact they had the support of even UMNO’s Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein who had justified their actions. To both the UMNO controlled Federal government and the PKR controlled Selangor state government and the other P.R ruled West Coast states you both have something to learn from PAS ruled Kelantan.

By the stroke of the pen vide a circular by Prime Minister Najib Razak, the PKR Selangor Menteri Besar the other P.R ruled Menteri Besars and Chief Minister, all existing Hindu temples could be issued with land titles and gazetted as Hindu temple reserves as is the case even in the 99% Malay reserve land State of Kelantan. This would put a stop and a finality to this new, unprecedented and unnecessary racial and religious division and tension in Malaysian.

Similarly this should also be done for all Hindu crematoriums Tamil Schools and Indian settlements like Kg. Buah Pala. This would actually solve half the Indian working class problems once and for all.

But in both the aforesaid UMNO, PKR in Selangor and the other West coast P.R ruled states, they are merely playing puppet shadow play (wayang kulit) politics using their Indian “mandores” via the print and electronic media by empty (kosong) announcements of the odd land for Hindu Temples, Tamil Schools and Crematoriums here and there and amplifying them as in the Malay proverb “Ayam telur sebiji rioh sekampong”. These State governments who wield almost absolute powers where it concerns their State land also do not issue a State government letter on the aforesaid odd land that they announce, issue land titles or gazette these Hindu temples, Tamil schools and Hindu crematoriums accordingly. Thus the current predicament of the working class Indians, the latest being in Kg. Buah Pala and Section 19 and 22, Shah Alam which is merely the tip of the iceberg of the Malaysian Indian working class critical problems.

Only in Malaysia and especially in the name of development, the first targets are Hindu temples, Hindu crematoriums Tamil schools and the poor Indian land settlers. We have recorded thousands of such cases. These problems hardly happens in the Malay, Chinese, Orang Asli, Iban or Kadazan communities in Malaysia. It happens almost only to the working class Indians. Why? But BN, PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs’ and the Malaysian civil society all proclaim to be “multi-racial and multi-religious”.

All because the working class Indians have neither the political power or the economic clout and what follows is there are no takers for these critical Indian problems by almost all UMNO, PKR, DAP and PAS (except in Kelantan) NGOs’ and the Malaysian civil society.

Thank you.

Your faithfully,

________________________

P.Uthayakumar

Secretary General (pro-tem)

Human Rights Party (HRP)

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04
Sep
09

Surat Terbuka Untuk Penduduk Seksyen 23

Kehadapan penduduk Seksyen 23 yang dihormati,

Semoga surat ini menemui tuan-tuan dalam keadaan sihat wal afiat serta keimanan yang teguh dan jitu berkat bulan Ramadhan ini.

Saya mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengingatkan diri saya serta tuan-tuan akan Firman Allah, Surah Al Maaidah ayat 8 yang bermaksud;

“Bertindak adil! Ianya lebih rapat dengan keTaqwaan.”

Semoga dalam usaha kita membina keTaqwaan dalam bulan Ramadhan ini, kita mengingati hakikat bahawa ‘keTaqwaan’ yang diusahakan itu mempunyai hubungan rapat dengan keadilan. Keadilan ini pula perlu dilaksanakan terhadap semua, walaupun terhadap yang tidak disenangi. Ini ditegaskan di dalam ayat yang sama yang bermaksud,

“dan jangan oleh kerana kebencian kamu terhadap sesuatu kaum menyebabkan kamu tidak berlaku adil…”

Kalau terhadap kaum yang dibenci sekalipun dituntut keadilan, apatah lagi terhadap jiran sekampung dan warga sekota? Walaupun mereka tidak sebangsa dan seagama, hakikatnya mereka tidak memusuhi kita atau memusuhi Islam. Maka, mereka layak mendapat layanan yang adil. Adakah adil sekiranya kita menafikan mereka hak tempat beribadat yang berhampiran dan sebaliknya memaksa mereka ke seksyen 22, di tengah-tengah kawasan Industri berat, jauh dari kawasan kediaman? Tiada apa di sana kecuali kilang-kilang.

Saya hanyalah seorang wakil rakyat yang dipilih oleh tuan-tuan melalui pilihan raya yang diadakan pada masa-masa tertentu. Saya tidak berhak memaksa apa-apa pandangan atau keputusan ke atas tuan-tuan semua. Saya hanya mengharapkan keputusan yang tuan-tuan rumuskan sendiri berhubung cadangan pemindahan kuil ke Seksyen 23 mengambil kira persoalan keTaqwaan dan keAdilan seperti di atas.

Islam adalah agama yang adil. Keadilannya mampu menawan hati semua manusia. Yang paling saya takuti adalah tindakan yang memberikan gambaran bahawa Islam adalah sebaliknya. Allah murka terhadap mereka yang bertindak dengan cara yang merosakkan imej Islam sehingga menyebabkan manusia terhalang untuk mengenali keadilannya. Allah berfirman ayat 94 Surah An-Nahl yang bermaksud:-

“Dan kamu ditimpa kehinaan kerana menjadi penghalang kepada jalan Allah (disebabkan tindakan buruk kamu) dan untuk kamu azab yang amat dahsyat (pada hari akhirat kelak)”

Ada yang bertanya kepada saya, tidakkah saya khuatir saya kalah dalam Pilihan Raya yang bakal tiba oleh kerana isu ini. Bagi saya sekiranya itulah kehendak pengundi, apakan daya? Yang penting sejarah akan menjadi saksi bahawa ada Ahli Parlimen dari parti Islam yang memperjuangkan keadilan untuk semua walaupun orang Hindu. Seperti kisah seorang raja Islam di Mysore, Bangalore, India pada abad ke 18 yang bernama Sultan Fateh Ali Khan Tippu (Tippu Sultan). Rakyatnya terdiri daripada orang Islam, Hindu dan Sikh. Hingga ke hari ini rakyat India masih menceritakan mengenai pemerintahan beliau yang berasaskan Islam sebagai sebuah pemerintahan yang adil.

Semoga Allah memberkati kita semua dan memimpin kita ke jalan yang diRedhaiNya.

وسلام عليكم و السلام على من التبع الهدى
YB KHALID BIN ABDUL SAMAD
Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam

10
Aug
09

LGE sanctions fraud against the Kg Buah Pala residents

By P. Waytha Moorthy, HINDRAF Chairman

HINDRAF is appalled by LGE’s continued political drama to see thru injustice for the residents in Kg Buah Pala. Although, he claims and acknowledges that there was fraudulent transaction, yet he blackmails the residents by producing a building plan with unreasonable conditions on August 6, 2009 to comply with it within one day for families that has lived on or about 200 years in the same land.

Why are you sanctioning a fraud when you should have acquired the land and returned what is rightfully belonging to the residents of Kg Buah Pala instead of making a deal and short changing them?

If you look at his press conference read out by his mandore Prof Ramasamy, it is nothing but gloating about the achievement of DAP and condemnation of the fraudulent transaction started by the UMNO led BN and gladly completed by the current government.

If LGE can talk so much about the fraudulent transaction, what did he do about it? He sat by and watched it be completed. When did he appoint an investigation committee to address the transaction when he was well aware of this fraudulent transaction even before he came into the power? Yes, it did not happen until the 1st week of July 2009 and what was the result of the  investigation committee as nothing has been revealed so far.

Was he really serious in assisting those residents with the investigating committee or it just another political game?

Many legal avenues were available for him to pursue the fraudulent transfer of the land starting from March 8, 2008, yet he sat on it hoping that it will pass by for poor and defenceless Kg Buah Pala residents who are insignificant for him as opposed to the Developers and the rich and mighty.

Section 340(2) of the NLC clearly spells out:
The title or interest of any such person or body shall not be indefeasible
(a) in any case of fraud or misrepresentation to which the person or body, or any agent of the person or body, was a party or privy; or
(b) where registration was obtained by forgery, or by means of an insufficient or void instrument; or
(c) where the title or interest was unlawfully acquired by the person or body in the purported exercise of any power or authority conferred by any written law.

Now show us the public what efforts had you undertaken to challenge the fraudulent land transfer other than clamouring that it was KSK’s fraudulent act and you can’t do anything about it. Doesn’t the law provide for such acts? Well you are the CM, you have the power and authority to challenge the transaction yet you positioned yourself with developers against those poor and defenceless Kg Buah Pala residents.

Nowhere does it exist in law that fraud is acceptable, when you yourself claim it is a fraudulent transaction. Is this the example you are setting for the rakyat?

In total you have just sanctioned fraud and acted just like another corrupted UMNO led BN government that is only interested in their own individual welfare as opposed to the public benefit.

Don’t even talk about the so-called $150 million compensation. Let HINDRAF enlighten you, the land was sold for RM3.2 Million and now you claim it is worth RM150 million. That means the price has rocketed to 2,343.75%. That even beats the property hike price of some high-end properties in New York and London before even construction had began. This can only happen in the BOLEHLAND.

Where is the logic that a RM10 per square feet increases by 2,343.75% in 15 months since the project was launched? Mind you if all the land was utilized notwithstanding the basic amenities such as community hall, tennis court, tadika, administration office, clinic, landscape and so forth. Then I guess the price is even higher per square foot.

LGE is definitely sounding like a broken record because we all know the malfeasances and that is why the rakyat elected you to power.

Unfortunately it is very clear that you play the same game that BN plays by blaming everything on BN without addressing the real issue being your inaction and your inability to initiate an action for the fraudulent land transfer against public benefit.

You admit fraud was committed, and then what did you do about it other than playing politics with the residents of Kg Buah Pala at the 11th hour when you have been in power for the last 17 months to initiate proceedings for the fraudulent land transfer.

The latest proposal that you put forward to the residents on behalf of the Developer is so ludicrous.

You think that you have negotiated the best deal for the residents with a gun onto their head. HINDRAF is totally disappointed with your continues drama that only appears to be that you are actually the mouthpiece for the Developer rather than the plight of the Kg Buah Pala residents. Is it reasonable, just and fair that, within one day 41 families needs to make a decision, uproot and move on the unreasonable conditions of the Developer? People at least have choice to make, but what happens to all the innocent animals, sent to the slaughterhouse?

HINDRAF feels LGE is a CM for the Developer and their mouthpiece and not one who has been transparent at least in his dealings with the Kg Buah Pala issue for reasons known best to himself.

HINDRAF feels this is clear hypocrisy on the part of the DAP led Pakatan government in Penang for their lack of political will to safeguard the interest of their citizenry in Kg Buah Pala.

HINDRAF cries with those Kg Buah Pala residents who have been deceived and blackmailed to be deprived from their ancestral homes for a simple reason that with the change and the promises given to them, they had faith in you and your government blindly on the basis of trust that you would be just and fair for the truth in this matter.

10
Aug
09

Kg Buah Pala: Koperasi and Nusmetro must be more accommodating and reasonable

By P. Ramakrishnan (President, Aliran)

Aliran is glad that there is some kind of offer and an attempt to reach a compromise with the beleaguered residents of Kampung Buah Pala. It is good that the Koperasi and Nusmetro have finally come out with an offer in trying to reach a settlement with the residents. While it is commendable, unfortunately the offer does not go far enough to be acceptable to the residents.

A two-storey house promised in exchange for the roof that they would be losing would seem to be  a reasonable proposal but this proposal is very vague and uncertain because it lacks crucial details, e.g.:

  • There is no guarantee when these houses would be ready for occupation.
  • There is no indication on which part of the land these houses would be located.
  • There is no indication of the cost of these houses.
  • There is no mention whether these houses would be built first to allow the residents to move in at the shortest possible time before the commercial project takes off.
  • There is nothing mentioned regarding the rental that would be incurred when the residents are forced to look for alternative accommodation upon the demolition of their houses.
  • To add to these uncertainties, there is also a condition that states if the amended layout plan to accommodate these houses is rejected by the approving authority, the deal would be off and the residents would not have any hold on the Koperasi and Numestro for any compensation. If this were to happen, the residents would have lost their homes and would be entitled to nothing whatsoever – not even a sen. In that eventuality, they would have been exploited and deprived of everything that they have had on this land: their lives, their homes, their history, their heritage.

In all fairness, these areas of grave concern are legitimate and it is only just that they must be addressed seriously so that the residents’ fears can be laid to rest.

Considering the fact that the Kopersai had obtained the land below market price, it has benefited tremendously and stands to reap huge profits from the land that has been home to these unfortunate residents and their ancestors for nearly 200 years. It would, therefore, be reasonable to expect the Koperasi to be forthcoming and generous in its offer.

Being a Koperasi, it should understand what social justice is, it should be aware that exploitation is wrong and unjust.

It is because of this that Aliran expects the Koperasi to understand fully the dire situation of the residents of Kampung Buah Pala. It is because of this that Aliran expects the Koperasi to act in a humane manner befitting its status and responsibility.

Aliran earnestly hopes that there will be no forced eviction, that there will be no violence tomorrow. There is no need to resort to sledgehammers and bulldozers to evict these helpless residents.

Aliran would like to appeal to the Koperasi to defer the demolition and hope that it would sincerely engage in dialogue with the residents so that a just settlement can be arrived at as soon as possible to the mutual satisfaction of both the parties.

10
Aug
09

Memorandum to SUHAKAM on Himpunan Mansuh ISA

 
By Suaram

The Abolish ISA Movement, or more popularly known in Malay as Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) announced on 22 June 2009 that they will be having a mass rally, Himpunan Mansuh ISA, on 1 August 2009 at 2.00pm to call for the abolition of the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA). GMI has been planning this rally since the beginning of this year.

Prior to the event, GMI informed the police about the public assembly. GMI had requested for the Bar Council Human Rights Committee (BCHRC) and SUHAKAM to send teams to conduct human rights monitoring during the assembly. GMI had also requested for the Legal Aid Centre (LAC) to assist with providing legal representation in the event of arrests of participants. While the BCHRC and LAC agreed to the requests, SUHAKAM denied GMI’s request.

In a letter dated 30 July 2009, SUHAKAM commissioner Dato’ Haji Khalid bin Haji Ibrahim informed GMI that SUHAKAM will not be sending a monitoring team for the assembly on the grounds that the public assembly did not have a permit from the police. The letter ended by reiterating that SUHAKAM supports the principle that the ISA, which allows for detention without trial, violates human rights and should be repealed.

Days leading up to the rally saw the Home Ministry repeatedly warning people against participating in the rally. The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, stated that he told the police to take action against those planning to participate in the rally[1]. Consequently, the Home Minister told the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to take stern action against participants of the rally[2]. The Kuala Lumpur Chief Police Officer (CPO) Datuk Mohammad Sabtu stated that roadblocks within the city and at roads leading towards the city will be made two days before the event[3]. These warnings that were made are direct violation of peoples’ right to assemble peacefully as guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

On 1 August, hours before the time of the assembly, police conducted roadblocks on major roads leading into Kuala Lumpur city. Public transportation such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT) were closed at certain stations such as Masjid Jamek, Pasar Seni and Bandaraya[4]. At 2.00pm, more than 20,000 participants of the Himpunan Mansuh ISA gathered at three different locations in Kuala Lumpur – Sogo, Masjid Jamek and Masjid Negara. The Masjid Jamek and Masjid Negara groups then proceeded to march peacefully to Sogo.

The police were heavy-handed in attempting to disperse the protestors. The Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) tried to disperse the crowd with excessive use of tear gas and water cannons. Unlike previous use of water cannon to disperse protestors, the chemical-laced water that was used in the water cannon during the rally contained chemicals that severely stung the eyes and skin of the protestors, an indication of possible high dosage of chemicals. It was reported that at least 75 rounds of tear gas were fired at Sogo[5].

In addition, tear gas and water cannons were used even when the crowd was dispersing. For instance, the crowd that marched to PAS Headquarters from Sogo started to disperse at around 4.30pm. However, the FRU fired tear gas and used water cannons against groups of protestors when they were leaving the location. Shots of tear gas and water cannons also continued at Sogo, Masjid Jamek and Pasar Seni after the crowd had dispersed. Muslim participants in the assembly who wanted to perform prayers at Masjid Jamek after the assembly were prevented from entering the mosque and attacked with more tear gas and water cannon. These sporadic attacks at various locations continued until around 6.00pm.

Other forms of police abuse that occurred during the assembly include tear gas canisters shot directly at participants and at areas crowded with street vendors, shoppers and bystanders. FRU personnel fired tear gas into a weekend street market near Jalan Tunku Abdul. Water cannon were also aimed at onlookers at the 6th floor of Sogo shopping centre. SUARAM has photographic evidence of a tear gas canister that was shot into a car where the canister broke through the windscreen and landed inside the car. Besides that, some individuals were treated roughly or beaten by police personnel during arrests. SUARAM was also informed that members of the press were also abused by police personnel during the assembly.

On the day of the anti-ISA rally, 1 August 2009, as early as 3.40am, 14 members of the Parti Islam Malaysia (PAS) security team, Unit Amal, were arrested. Even a few hours before the time of the assembly, police searched and started arresting individuals who were wearing or carrying anti-ISA shirts at Central Market, Sogo, Masjid Jamek and Masjid Negara. In total, 589 people were arrested on the day of the rally, including 44 children and 40 women[6]. 498 people were released on the same day and 91 were held at Bukit Jalil Police Station.

On 1 August, 13 people including a 16-year-old boy were brought before a magistrate judge for remand hearing. They were all denied legal representation and were remanded for 4 days. Some of the arrested women demanded to see lawyers but were told by a police officer that there were no lawyers present outside the police station. This is a deliberate act of preventing access to legal representation, a clear breach of Section 28 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution.

 

The child who was remanded had implicitly been denied legal representation when an order for remand was granted while he was asleep[7]. He was not given the opportunity to seek legal representation. He was detained overnight together with adults at Petaling Police Station, which is a violation of Section 85 of the Child Act 2001 (CA) that requires children to be separated from adults during police custody. The police did not inform his father of the arrest immediately[8], as required under Section 87(a) of the Act.

Another two children, a 16-year-old and 13-year-old, were detained overnight at Petaling Police Station. They were arrested on the afternoon of 1 August, before the assembly began. The children were not given food until lawyers from the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre (KL LAC) brought food to the police station for them at around 10.00pm. In addition, the 13-year-old child was having a fever but his medical needs were not attended to until 2 August. This deprivation of food and denial of access to medical healthcare is inhuman and violates the principles of fundamental human rights.

In addition, the police have violated Section 19(5) of the CA by failing to notify the Welfare Department of the arrest and subsequent custody of the three children in order to appoint a Welfare Officer to attend to this matter. Subsequently, the Welfare Officers being “Protectors” under Section 18 of the CA, upon being notified by the KL LAC lawyers had refused to be present at the police station to safeguard the interest of the children. This is despicable and amounts to a breach of their administrative duty.

Besides the 14 individuals who were remanded on 1 August, another 77 persons, including 3 children, were detained overnight. On 2 August, remand hearings were conducted for the 77 individuals out of whom 59 people including 8 women and 2 children were released, 17 individuals including 5 women were remanded for 2 days, and 2 individuals were remanded for 3 days.

Many of those arrested were also denied the right to perform their prayers while in custody. This is a blatant transgression of the right to practice religion as guaranteed under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

On 3 August, 16 individuals were charged for illegal assembly, including one child, and another 13 individuals were charged under the Societies Act for distributing shirts for an unregistered society, Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA[9]. The child was charged in court together with adults, despite objections from lawyers.

The police force have once again misused their power and reacted violently against participants of a peaceful assembly. The Government has failed to see the importance of peaceful public assembly as an integral instrument in strengthening a democratic nation. It is the right of the people as enshrined under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution to freely assemble without restrictions as long as it is peaceful. The use of force, including tear gas and water cannons, to disperse the peaceful assembly was highly unnecessary. The police force has committed many serious human rights violations in the name of maintaining order and security. Amongst the violations committed include denial of the right to peaceful assembly, right to legal representation, child rights, freedom of expression and freedom from torture.

 

Areas of Concern

SUARAM welcomes SUHAKAM’s statement dated 3 August 2009[10], in reaction to the 1 August 2009 events, emphasising on the right to peaceful assembly and reiterating the SUHAKAM position on repealing the ISA in support of the cause of the anti-ISA rally.

However, SUARAM notes with disappointment that SUHAKAM’s call to the police and Government to respect the right to peaceful assembly is belated and contradictory. This is in view of the denial of GMI’s request to SUHAKAM to conduct human rights monitoring during the assembly. SUHAKAM denied the request on the grounds that the assembly was not granted a permit from the police. We recall SUHAKAM’s unequivocal position taken in its public inquiries on the cases of the Kesas Highway incident (2001), the Bloody Sunday incident in KLCC ((2006), as well as the Bandar Mahkota Cheras incident (2008). It is in this vein that SUARAM finds SUHAKAM’s refusal to send an official monitoring team unacceptable. Clearly, the reason provided is in contradiction with SUHAKAM’s past position on public assemblies.

One of the recommendations made in the SUHAKAM Public Inquiry into the Incident at KLCC on 28 May 2006 was that organisers of peaceful assemblies only need to notify the police of the details of the assembly[11]. This recommendation disregards the need for a police permit for peaceful assemblies, a view that is in conformation to the right to peaceful assembly as enshrined in the (UDHR).

Considering the past track records of human rights violations committed by the police during public assemblies, SUHAKAM should have committed to conducting human rights monitoring as requested by the organisers of the rally. The Home Minister and police’s warnings on taking action against participants of the rally in the days leading up to the rally also served as an indication of possible occurrence of human rights violations during the public assembly. SUHAKAM must not only make statements when human rights violations occur during public assemblies but take up a larger role in conducting human rights monitoring.

With regards to the public assembly on 1 August 2009, the following issues and allegations need urgent attention from SUHAKAM:

1.      Misuse of power and violence committed by the police to disperse participants of peaceful assembly, such as,

a.       Excessive use of tear gas and water cannon with chemically-laced water

b.      Inappropriate use of tear gas guns to fire directly at participants of the assembly and bystanders

c.       Arrests were made in a violent manner

d.      Members of the press were beaten by police

e.       Selective arrests were made on those who were wearing or carrying Anti-ISA clothing

f.       All the arrests made were unreasonable and mala fide

 

2.      Violation of the right to freedom to peaceful assembly

a.       Police set up roadblocks in the city and at roads leading into Kuala Lumpur to prevent participants from attending the public assembly

b.      LRT stations near to the gathering points were closed on the day of the rally

c.       Warnings from the Government and police for anyone intending to attend the rally

d.      Search and arrests of individuals before the start of the assembly

e.       Arrests of participants during the rally

 

3.      Violation of the right to legal representation

a.       13 individuals, including a 16-year-old boy was brought before a judge for remand hearing without access to lawyers

b.      A group of women who demanded to see lawyers were deliberately lied to by a police officer who said that there were no lawyers present at the police station. The lawyers were outside the police station at the time.

 

4.      Violation of the rights of children

a.       44 children were arrested on the day of the event, some even before the event began

b.      One child was given a 4 day remand order without legal representation and the police failed to inform his parents or guardian about the arrest. He was detained overnight at Balai Polis Petaling together with adult detainees. He was handcuffed.

c.       Two boys were detained overnight at Balai Polis Petaling and were not given food for at least 8 hours. They were also both handcuffed.

d.      As required in the Child Act 2001, the police did not inform the Welfare Department of the arrests of the children. When informed, the Welfare Officer refused to visit the children.

e.       Malaysia has adequate laws in the Child Act 2001 that provides proper procedures of handing arrests and detention of children. Malaysia has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and is obligated to protect and uphold the rights of the child. However, these incidences indicate a blatant violation of child’s rights.

 

 

Demands

SUARAM is of the view that the misuse of power and the violence committed by the police during this event are very serious and warrant immediate and effective actions to bring those responsible to justice.

Therefore, we urge SUHAKAM to:

1.      Conduct an independent and open inquiry into the abuse of power by the police and the violence committed in the event

2.      Upon conclusion of the inquiry, consider and where applicable, pursue with the Government of Malaysia, justice and disciplinary actions against police and FRU personnel who have committed misuse of power and violence in this event

3.      Presssure the Government to review the Penal Code and Police Act 1967 with the purpose to remove all restrictions on the constitutional and human right to peaceful assembly

4.      SUHAKAM must fulfill its human rights protection mandate by including preemptive actions in situations where human rights violations are expected to occur. We urge SUHAKAM to formulate an early warning mechanism to ensure that concerns of possible human rights violations are addressed adequately and effectively. In particular reference to public assemblies, we urge SUHAKAM to pressure the government to allow peaceful assemblies, facilitate meetings between organisers and the police prior to a public assembly, and monitor these assemblies

5.      In view of the ongoing attacks of human rights defenders as clearly demonstrated by the arrests of hundreds of individuals in this rally, we call on SUHAKAM to clarify the functions and mandates of the human rights defenders desk, which was reported to have been established, and intensify its activities to ensure better protection of human rights defenders in the country.

06
Aug
09

H1N1: Fatalistic Attitude of Government Disappointing ….

By NGS

I refer to the recent press statement by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin who stated that “Even if I am Health Minister, I cannot guarantee your safety” regarding the novel influenza, H1N1. The flu has thus far claimed 13 lives. Although it has a predilection for the infirm, immuno-compromised, in the pregnant and those with underlying diseases, the patients who have died thus far in Malaysia does not reflect this scenario.

The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu which include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue including diarrhea and vomiting. In seasonal flu, risk factors are similar except that in novel influenza H1N1, patients aged 65 and above appear to be protected. But as evidenced in Malaysia, H1N1 has killed patients in the age range of 6 to 51 years with the majority being less then 30 years old. This “common cold” kills. And it kills the young – meaning healthy young adults who generally take flu less seriously.

The DPM and the Health Ministry has taken this entire disease lightly, just like what they did with dengue. H1N1 had been festering in Mexico for probably months if not years as a result of poor hygienic standards and surveillance before it blew out in the open in April this year causing the country to shut down. By June it had killed 80 people with almost 80% of deaths being in the range of 20 to 50 years with most of the deaths being between ages 20-29 years. By July the death toll stood at 125.

The Mexicans at that point in time could not differentiate how many of these deaths were actually attributed to seasonal flu as compared to the novel H1N1. They really didn’t know what hit them in the beginning. But since then the WHO and CDC (Center for Disease Control, US) have stepped in and issued various guidelines to stop this virus in its tracks. Malaysia has the benefit of hindsight and must use it effectively.

In its latest bulletin, the CDC has clearly outlined the role of early diagnosis clinically and also with the help of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests (RIDT) which have varying degrees of sensitivities but a high degree of specificity. These tests only tell you whether you have Influenza A or B. Period. It has it’s limitations but it helps the frontline doctor, the General Practitioner (GP), thus far largely ignored by the Ministry of Health, to come to a diagnosis as results are available within 30 minutes.

The CDC has issued a very common sense approach to treating the disease. If the test is positive and the patient’s symptoms don’t improve with usual anti-flu measures and there has been a history of contact and/or is at high risk, antivirals such as Tamiflu and Relenza which kill the bug are prescribed. If there is a need for additional testing then the far more accurate but expensive real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test for the virus is carried out.

But what we witness in Malaysia is an MOH policy where victims are to be sent to Government General Hospitals, specifically Sungai Buloh Hospital, based only on clinical suspicion. We would be no better than the Mexicans in April when they too didn’t have a clue as to whether it was seasonal or novel H1N1. Logistically, our government health infrastructure will not be able to handle the thousands of young, worried, flu patients who flock to emergency departments throughout the country wanting to know whether they have H1N1 when clearly testing by the Ministry’s IMR is limited to only 200 cases a day.

There are a lot of patients who are going to have their diagnoses missed who may develop the virus’s dreaded respiratory complications if this is allowed to carry on. The Ministry’s hospitals should be reserved for serious cases. Tan Sri Muhyiddin must re-look the Ministry’s policies and rein in the help of the thousands of GPs or Government Health Clinics to whom many of these patients first flock to. He has to quickly move now to make available at least the RIDTs and antiviral medication to these frontline doctors. Failure to respond effectively is going to cost this nation more deaths than it necessarily should.

29
Jul
09

Was Teoh Beng Hock killed upstairs rather than downstairs?

Was Teoh Beng Hock killed upstairs and then his body placed downstairs to make it appear like he jumped out of the window? Look at the two pictures below and see the difference. Judging by the photo of Tan Kian Chong, it appears like Teoh did not really fall but his body was placed there after he died.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Student Tan Kian Chong was found dead at the bottom of Apartmen Vista Angkasa in Kampung Kerinchi yesterday, suspected of falling down 16 floors. See the ‘mess’. And eyewitnesses said they heard an ‘explosion’ when his body hit the ground while his blood was splattered right up to the second floor of the building.

See how ‘clean’ Teoh’s death is.




Flickr Photos

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