Archive for the ‘Forums’ Category

BERSIH: Missing votes unacceptable

November 21, 2007

BERSIH Ceramah at Alor Star tonight: I will be speaking together with Mohd Sabu and other BERSIH leaders. Call Nasir at 0124215955 for details.

Missing Ijok ballots: EC’s explanation weak

Nov 20, 07 5:13pm Malaysiakini
Polls reform group Bersih today rejected the Election Commission’s (EC) explanation that the 142 missing ballots in one area during the Ijok by-election in April was due to ‘human errors’.

“If 142 missing ballots can be explained away, how about the missing ballots in Lumut?” asked Bersih, which stands for the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, in a media statement today.

The Lumut parliamentary seat, where a navy base is located, has recorded as high as 2,763 unreturned ballot papers in the 1990 general election, 3,487 (in 1995), 8,176 (in 1999) and 5,486 in the last elections in 2004. 

“Can the people trust the electoral process when thousands of ballots are mismanaged in every election? Is (EC chief) Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman not concerned about his commission’s integrity and credibility,” asked the group.

The EC’s attribution of the 142 missing ballots to ‘human errors’ was conveyed to election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) in a meeting yesterday.

Mafrel, which monitored the conduct of the Ijok by-election, had urged in August for a special inquiry to be conducted to probe the missing ballots. It has since accepted the EC’s explanation.

Barisan Nasional’s K Parthiban defeated PKR candidate Khalid Ibrahim by a 1,850 vote majority amid allegations of election irregularities and phantom voters in the by-election.

Unanswered questions

Apart from the missing ballots, Bersih said there were many outstanding electoral issues in the by-election which have yet to be explained by the EC.

The bigger scandals, according to Bersih, include 50 dead voters, votes ‘stolen’ by impostors and 23 voters without national identity cards which were allowed to vote in Ijok.

“Bersih stresses that such irregularities are not isolated cases, but rather, they reflect systematic patterns,” added the coalition, which is made up of five political parties and 67 NGOs.

For example, Bersih said, the EC should explain why was there a sudden increase of 8,463 voters in the Ipoh Timur parliamentary seat held by parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.

Out of the number, 3,208 of them are postal voters. The seat was won by Lim in the last general election with 9,774-vote majority.

In view of that, Bersih reiterated that the domestic postal voting – for police and army personnel working locally – must be abolished.

“Monitoring of the voting process is insufficient because postal voters are also assigned en masse to any marginal constituency to counter opposition support as and when deemed necessary by BN,” claimed Bersih.

The EC has recently said the postal voting system will not be repealed but it would allow polling agents representing the candidates to observe the casting of postal votes.

Related report
Missing ballots: Ijok not an isolated case

And this must be seen as a move to reward Rashid for his ‘special and excellent service’ to the Barisan Nasional coalition all these years.

With Rashid around, BN has no problem of winning big in general elections and by-elections.

BERSIH will do our best to stop Rashid at all cost. The longer he stays, the bigger the damage to the Malaysian democracy.

Amendment gives lifeline to EC chief
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 20, 07 3:59pm
The Constitution Amendment Bill, which was tabled for first reading in Dewan Rakyat today, may allow Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s tenure to be extended for another year.Abdul Rashid, who is due to retire on Dec 31 on reaching the mandatory age of 65, may serve an extra year after the Bill comes into implementation.Clause two of the Bill seeks to amend Article 114 of the Federal Constitution to increase the age of retirement of a member of the EC from 65 to 66 years of age.Whereas, Clause three of the Bill provides that the new age of retirement applies to a member of the EC appointed after the coming into operation of the proposed Act.

However, a serving member will be given an option to retire at the age of 65 years or the new age of retirement.

Prepare to lead EC

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, who tabled the bill, told reporters that the Bill will also apply to members of Public Service Commission.

Explaining that the Bill would be tabled for second and third reading on Dec 11, Nazri said: “We need a two-third majority to pass this bill in the Dewan Rakyat as it involves amendment to the Federal Constitution.”

The Star today quoted Abdul Rashid as saying that he has not received any notice from the Prime Minister on the possible extension of his tenure.

“I have received no notice and I don’t care. But if I am asked to, I am prepared to lead the commission into another election, even upon retirement,” Abdul Rashid said.

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APCET II: Dr Nasir and I were stormed by the BN thugs

June 21, 2007
On the “day of trouble”, Dr Nasir and Selvam of PSM and I (then National Secretary of DAPSY) were given the task to look after security. The other DAPSY representative, Lim Ching How, has gone back to his office to attend to an emergency. We were shocked to see so many thugs suddenly appeared outside (they climbed up from the stairways instead of taking the lifts) the conference hall when we were performing our duty.We immediately informed the participants inside about the mob and three of us were trying our best to stop the thugs from braking into the hall. At that point of time, we did not know that these thugs were actually members and supporters of Umno, MIC, MCA (not sure whether there were any Gerakan members). I would not be surprised if some of them were SB officers.The mob (more than 300 of them) managed to bring down the doors after some 10 to 15 minutes. DAPSY chairman Lim Guan Eng and the participants were inside the hall.We were threatened to leave the hall at once but we refused to leave and decided to put our arms together in a circle. That’s when the mob lead by Azman Atar bacame unruly. They broke our ring and brought down Tian Chua (then NGO activist) to the floor.

Dr Nasir managed to call in the police (led by Dang Wangi OCPD Zainal Abidin Ali) only about one hour after the physical tussle. At our insistance, Zainal Abidin ordered the mob to leave the hall. We decided to stay and continue with our meeting despite of repeated warnings issued by the mob. The OCPD also ordered us to leave but he too gave up after failing to persuade us to leave.

When everything was calmed down, Guan Eng needed to leave for Melaka to attend to a demolition exercise and I too left the hall to attend to my recording session at a studio in Petaling Jaya.

When I was on my way back to the hotel, I was informed by Teresa Kok (then DAPSY vice chairperson) that she and several others were arrested. But she was “let go’ together with another participant from Japan at the car park while others were sent to the police station.

A young DAP supporter (son of KL Wong, a lawyer) who was tasked to take care of the computers was taken to the teenager lock-up at the Sungei Besi police station. Cheras MP tan Kok Wai and I visited him in the evening. He was released the next morning. The ladies were all taken to a police station in Wangsa Maju and were locked up for a night. They were transferred to the police station near the Merdeka Stadium for several days together with othe men. Foreign participants were all deported to their respective countries the next day or two.

I remembered both Umno Youth chief and his deputy (Zahid Hamidi and Hishamuddin Hussein) claimed responsibility with “pride” for the incident after they have returned from overseas and Anwar Ibrahim, the then deputy Prime Minister, expressed regrets over the ugly incident. 

DAPSY was later ridiculed by some local participants for “not being arrested with the rest “:-). But that’s truly not our fault. Guan Eng and I left at the time when everything was cooled down. Little did we know that the police would return to the scene and arrest the participants. On the other hand, Teresa Kok could not understand why she and the Japanese participant were ‘let go’ soon after the arrest. 

A few years later, we were delighted to learn that the people of east timor succeeded in their struggle for independence. Timor Leste (total population slighjtly less than 1 million) is now a free and independent nation.

Apcet II: Megat ordered the mob attack

Beh Lih Yi
Jun 21, 07 6:52pm
Malaysiakini
Ex-deputy home minister Megat Junid Megat Ayob had ordered for an Umno Youth-led mob to stop an international conference on East Timor 11 years ago, a key witness in the ‘Apcet II’ suit told the court today.Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who was then Umno Youth secretary and had led the mob, also had the court in stitches when he revealed he was given a ‘nasi kandar’ treat by the police after the incident.He was the seventh plaintiffs’ witness in the RM83 million civil suit filed by 36 local activists and journalists against the Malaysian government and several police officers for wrongful detention and police negligence.The 43-year-old – who had tendered a public apology over his role in the mob in 2001 – has since joined the Opposition after he was sacked by Umno in 1998. He was also the ex-Lunas state assemblyperson where he contested on the PKR ticket.Megat Junid’s instructionIn his testimony at the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning, he recalled that the instruction to disrupt the conference was given to him by Megat Junid in a meeting held at the latter’s office.

Also present were Youth leaders from other BN component parties – MCA, MIC and PPP, as well as Umno’s Batu division head Azman Atar and several others whom he could not identify.

“Megat Junid started the meeting by telling us that a group of NGO activists will organise a seminar on East Timor in Kuala Lumpur. He said Malaysia’s stand is that the seminar is not permitted, fearing that we will be seen as interfering into problems in Indonesia,” he told the court.

“Megat Junid asked BN Youth to undertake the responsibility to stop the seminar as he said the government’s stand must be respected. I was asked to lead this task in my capacity as the Umno Youth secretary since the Umno Youth chief and vice-chief were abroad then,” he said.

“Megat Junid said Azman will head another group who will also be there. He said matters related to the police have been arranged and the police will arrive at the seminar hall in 30 minutes, where everything will be settled then.

“He added that a few of us might be arrested in this task,” Saifuddin told the court.

At this juncture, plaintiffs’ counsel Ranjit Singh asked Saifuddin to elaborate on Megat Junid’s instruction.

Ranjit: Did Megat Junid tell you how to stop the conference?

Saifuddin: Megat Junid asked me to mobilise BN Youth members. Secondly, he told me – as the head of the Barisan Bertindak Rakyat Malaysia (BBRM, the mob) – to meet with the Apcet II organisers at the hotel and tell them to stop the conference. Megat Junid said if the organisers refuse, I am to switch off their PA system.

Ranjit: You said “matters related to the police have been arranged”, what does that mean?

Saifuddin: Megat Junid said in carrying out this task, few (BN Youth) members and I will be arrested but he told us not to worry because everything will be over if I can successfully perform the duty.

Judge Wan Adnan Muhamad interjected: So Megat Junid only ordered you to switch off the PA system?

Saifuddin: Yes.

Asked to elaborate on Azman’s role, the witness said the former was known to be “an aggressive person and have a wide networking including those linked to the kaki-kaki pukul (gangsters)”.

Participants unhappy

Continuing his testimony, Saifuddin said on the day of the incident, he and about 300 BN Youth members had gathered at a stadium close to the conference venue at 8am and after he briefed the members, they marched towards the hotel.

He said many other BN Youth members were already present outside the hotel when they arrived and the Federal Reserve Unit personnel were stationed at the hotel entrance.

“As the number of those gathered grew, some of them had already broke through the FRU barrier and went up to the conference venue,” he said, adding that he also followed suit.

“As we arrived in the conference room, the door was closed and some of us tried to open the door. After it was opened, we went inside the room. The dining tables were scattered,” he added.

According to Saifuddin, he and Tajuddin Rahman – who is now Pasir Salak Umno division head – took turns to ask the conference participants to disperse while the police led by Dang Wangi OCPD Zainal Abidin Ali only arrived about an hour later.

“I overheard there were participants who were unhappy with our presence and asked the police to instruct us to leave the conference so that they could proceed with the conference. I objected and told Zainal that we will only leave after the conference is halted and the participants had left.

“Zainal then told me that I was arrested,” he told the court. Apart from him, several other Umno Youth leaders were also arrested.

Asked what happened at the police station, Saifuddin said the police recorded a statement from him but the process was not completed.

“They asked for my name, position and address. As I was telling them what I was doing at the conference venue, another police officer invited me to another room where nasi kandar was served,” he said to the amusement of those present in court.

He was released after the nasi kandar treat. Saifuddin was charged in court later for disrupting the conference. He pleaded guilty and was fined RM1,500.

The hearing was adjourned to Aug 15-16 as the team of federal counsel had requested for another date to cross-examine Saifuddin. The court will also continue with the cross-examination on the sixth witness, R Sivarasa.

Irrelevant questions

Earlier, Senior Federal Counsel Iznan Ishak objected to three questions in Saifuddin’s witness statement explaining why the latter was sacked from Umno in 1998 and his current political involvement.

Justice Wan Adnan upheld Iznan’s arguments that the questions were irrelevant to the case.

On Nov 9, 1996, over 100 people – including 10 journalists – were arrested on the opening day of the Second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (Apcet II), held to discuss human rights abuses in East Timor and its struggle for independence from Indonesia.

As the conference was about to begin, 400 members from the Umno Youth-led BBRM, or Malaysia’s People’s Action Front, broke down the doors of the conference halls, threw chairs and verbally and physically abused the participants.

Police then moved in to arrest the participants who were detained between one and six days, while 40 foreign participants were deported.

Online daily malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran and editor-in-chief Steven Gan, both then journalists at The Sun, are also among the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs have named the government, then Inspector General of Police Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor and two senior police officers – then Kuala Lumpur chief police officer Ismail Che Rose and then Dang Wangi OCPD Zainal Abidin Ali – as respondents.

Dialogue: Malaysia after Lina Joy

June 5, 2007

Please bring your friends for the religious dialogue.

“MALAYSIA after LINA JOY”

Date: Thursday, 7 June 2007

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Armada Hotel, PJ

Speakers: Ambiga ( Bar Council) , Yusri Mohamad (ABIM), Khalid Ibrahim (PKR), Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng (DAP)

Admision free. All are welcome!

The problem with us …
Jun 6, 07 9:18am Malaysiakini

… is that we mix religion with politics. This is a true and fast recipe for chaos. Leave religion and politics alone. Besides, the religious authorities do not run this country. Our leaders do.

On Dialogue on Lina Joy judgment

Nirmala Naidu: I agree with Lina Joy. You can’t force someone to believe in something that they don’t believe in. The moment Lina Joy renounced Islam, she is no longer a Muslim.

I believe one must be free to choose which religion to profess.

And what’s this about BN losing Malay votes? That’s nonsense. BN is a component party.

The problem with us is that we mix religion with politics. This is a true and fast recipe for chaos and anarchy. Leave religion and politics alone.

Besides, the religious authorities do not run this country. Our leaders do. Time to think who were are voting for.

Our leaders need a wake up call.

Amita Chong: The Syariah courts have jurisdiction over Muslims and those who profess Islam as their religion.

Lina Joy has embraced another religion other than Islam as her own and does not call herself a Muslim anymore.

So why do the Syariah courts still apply to a non-Muslim?

What verse in the Koran gives the Syariah courts the right to determine someone’s beliefs?

Indhran: I am writing this letter to voice my dissatisfaction over the Lina Joy decision. Basically I’m stunned by the 2-1 decision. Why did one judge rule in favour of Joy? How is it the other two judges voted a ‘No’?

Article 11 of the Federal Constitution says there is freedom of religion so why does Syariah law come into Lina Joy’s case? It’s unreal that Syariah law can bypass the Federal Constitution. So which is which?

Is the Malaysian government following the Federal Constitution or Syariah law? The Joy decision clearly shows that Syariah laws can supercede the Constitution anytime if there’s a need for it. No wonder the government refuses to talk or let any one talk about Article 11.

I believe it’s high time Malaysians change their mentality and how they look at things. Last but not least, the government won’t exist if we – the people – are not there. We are the government and we decide on the government. Until Malaysians understand this concept no one can save Malaysia..

Untuk Mu Malaysia: The Federal Court has directed Lina Joy to refer her case to the Syariah courts. How sure are they that Lina Joy won`t be sentenced to death for apostasy? This may well turn out to be the case as the Syariah courts may see it fit to set a precedent.

On another matter, ask the Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans, Orang Asli, Bajaus, Thais, Japanese, Koreans, French, Germans, British, Javanese, etc whether they must profess a certain religion in order to belong to their own race For example, must a Korean profess a certain religion so that he is a Korean?

Many races in the world are not defined by religion. Race is race, religion is religion. For example, we have Muslim Chinese, Christian Chinese, Buddhist Chinese, Taoist Chinese, atheist Chinese and so on.

Balanced: Lina Joy is at a crossroads where there seems to be a huge chasm into which all of us are peering down into. The most important thing then is to keep one’s balance. The civil courts could not possibly have come to any other conclusion in the interest of this nation.

Dr Mazeni Alwi’s analysis would be taken with a pinch of salt in places like Turkey, Egypt and even Indonesia and Joy had a firm advocate in Judge Richard Malanjum. That was the balance in the decision if read between the lines.

It would be extremely unwise for any party to take either a triumphant view or an imperialist view of the decision. Therein lies Mazeni’s sense of balance. There is enough hatred in this world to last us till the Second Coming. We need not add to this devil’s cauldron.

There are many, many of our Muslim brethren who may or may not agree with the decision but nonetheless feel deeply for Joy. I fully trust the wisdom of the prime minister; he knows what it is like to be in the wilderness and yet be able to come came back and put this country right.

Concerned Non-Economist: I cannot understand the fuss over this Lina Joy. A Hindu cannot renounce his religion in public in India and a Catholic cannot renounce his faith in Italy.

Freedom of religion does not mean that you can renounce your faith in public. It means that you can practice your faith freely.

In the Malaysian context, it is important to keep emotions in check with the emphasis that we are free to practice our religion but we cannot preach it to others.

Tu Vong: I am concerned as a Malaysian citizen. As a result of the verdict on the Lina Joy case, I believe the world is watching or keeping an eye on Malaysia. I have read many articles regarding the Lina Joy case and I came to realise that people are watching.

After reading the various articles, I came to this conclusion on what they think about our beloved country Malaysia. Firstly, the decision makes the Malaysian constitution a laughing stock among all nations on the face of this earth.

Secondly, the Islam Hadhari which our prime minister introduced is now showing its ugly face after all.

My sincere hope and appeal to all Malaysians regardless of our religious beliefs is to come to your senses and wake up and think of the implications as a result of the decision. Voice out your concern via e-mails to our prime minister.

Previous Vox Populi

Lina Joy: What is freedom of religion?

June 1, 2007
I find Nathaniel Tan’s letter to editor (Malaysiakini) useful in understanding the issue of Lina Joy. I am reproducing it here for further discussion.I have, in my hands, a few cases of Muslim converts who wish to return to their previous religion. In that sense, their cases are slightly different from Lina who has renounced Islam ( a Malay who’s born as a Muslim). In my mind, I think they should be allowed to go back to their original religion.Even for Lina Joy, I really do not see the logic and reason to force her to stay as a Muslim. It’s pointless to keep a Muslim who has changed to other faith in his or her heart. I hold the the view that Lina should proceed to Syariah Courts to seek the permission to leave Islam. But to resolve cases similar to Lina in future, the Government must reform the Islam institutions in the country so that these institutions could handle such cases professionally. We do not need the courts to decide on conversion of religion, whether it’s Islam or other religions.But I do understand the strong feelings of some of my Muslim brothers and sisters. I know exactly where they were coming from.To them, they cannot accept a Muslim to leave Islam more of the fear factor (but you may argue that their fear was unfounded)rather than holding the view that Islam is a more superior religion. Yes, I do know that there were some who hold an extreme view that certain religion is more superior than other religion. But we do not have to agree with them.

I wish to tell all my Muslim brothers and sisters that there ‘s really no point to keep a Muslim if he or she has decided to embrace another religion.

My reasons are simply these:

1. All religions share the same root. We are all children of Abraham. All religions is ONE.

2. There’s no such thing as a superior religion.

3.Other Muslims would not leave Islam just because Lina Joy was allowed to leave Islam.

4. Freedom of religion should include freedom to join and freedom to leave a particular religion.

5.Many have left Islam in the past but more have embraced Islam at the same time.

6.Like other religions, Islam is a good religion.

7. People who have left Islam without condemning it should not be seen as apostles.

8. Only people who condemn the religion (Muslim or Non-Muslim) could be considered as apostles (of Islam) and this must not be allowed in this country. No one should condemn or belittle other’s religion.

9. Malaysia, as a multi-religious society, needs freedom of religion for real harmony and peace among the peoples of different faith.

The Prime Minister’s response on the Lina Joy’s case is pathetic. He just want to wash his hands and pretend that he has got nothing to do with it. He has once again failed to carry out his duty and responsibility as the prime minister of this country.

I hope bloggers could also give their views on this important issue. Please leave your comments with Colour-blind.

BTW, DAP will be holding a forum to discuss the case on 7 June 2007 in Petaling Jaya. Watch this blog closely for further details.

Lina Joy: Let’s not leap to polemics

Nathaniel Tan
May 31, 07 2:58pm
Malaysiakini
I refer to the malaysiakini report No joy for Lina.We can expect a lot of emotional responses to the recent ruling involving Lina Joy. In navigating the understandable amount of passion surrounding this issue, it is perhaps worth ensuring that the details of this judgement are properly understood for what they are.Many are likely to say that this is the death of freedom in religion in Malaysia, because Lina Joy was denied of her right to convert. A closer look reveals a slightly more textured landscape. By way of brief chronology:

  • Lina was a Muslim who renounced Islam.
  • She went to the National Registration Department (NRD) to have the religion on her MyKad and on record changed.
  • The NRD said: ‘For us to change the religion on your MyKad, we need a certificate from the Syariah Court stating that you have indeed renounced Islam’.
  • Yesterday, the Federal Court upheld the ruling of the NRD.

It is important to realise that technically and theoretically (if nothing else), the road is still open for Lina to go to the Syariah courts, apply for recognition of her decision to renounce Islam, obtain it and live happily ever after.

Some make the argument, clearly not entirely without merit, that since Lina has renounced Islam, she should not in any way, shape or form have to submit herself to the jurisdiction of the Syariah under any circumstances as this would be subjecting a non-Muslim to Muslim laws.

Others yet (again, perhaps understandably) are extremely cynical about the chances of the Syariah courts actually granting such a controversial recognition of apostasy. The hardcore religious, after all, are likely to fear the ripple effect this may cause – a wave of mass apostasy being the biggest fear (founded or unfounded) of all.

Some might even see a political angle to this – where the ruling powers refuse to take any steps that would cost them Malay votes in a time where the non-Malay votes are swinging strongly against the government.

A ‘miracle’ decision by the Syariah court – should Lina decide to apply there – to allow her renunciation might be a relatively successful compromise. It would appease some of the more religious parties who hold the Syariah in such high esteem, and espouse its ability to dispense justice fairly to non-Muslims (as in their much touted case of Nyonya Tahir), while essentially granting Lina the fundamental right to convert.

In any case, it would be extremely mature of us to see the judgement for what it is and not be too quick to condemn it for what it is not (or what it isn’t yet). If we are to criticise it, which is our inherent right, let us be clear on what we are debating, rather than leap to polemics.

PM: Don’t be emotional over Joy decision
May 31, 07 11:31pm Malaysiakini
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today urged for an open mind and rational thinking from everyone over the recent decision in Lina Joy’s case.“If we allow ourselves to be overcome by emotion, we will begin to have all kinds of thoughts; we will have suspicions about this and that,” he was quoted as saying in Bernama.

He also said that his government had played no role or brought any influence on the decision of the Federal Court.

“That is the decision of the court; I don’t question them,” he said after chairing an Umno Supreme Council meeting today.

Yesterday, the highest court in the country ruled on a 2-1 majority to dismiss Lina’s appeal to to have the word “Islam” removed from her identity card.

Lina, 43, had claimed to have renounced Islam to embrace Christianity 17 years ago.

The court however ruled that Lina had to obtain a certificate of apostasy from the Syariah Court before the National Registration Department could drop the word “Islam” from her identity card.

Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Federal Court Judge Alauddin Mohd Sherif dismissed her appeal while Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum dissented.

No religious divide

Asked if the Federal Court decision would cause a religious divide in the country, Abdullah said: “I don’t think there is a divide although the discussion on religion becomes more widespread.”

Bernama also reported that at the press conference, Abdullah also dismissed a suggestion from a foreign journalist that Islamic law was now above the Federal Constitution in the country.

“There is no such thing (of Islamic law being above the Federal Constitution). The Federal Constitution is the Federal Constitution.

“There is a set of laws we have to follow. It is something that we have to follow, that’s all,” he said.

Sexist MPs ‘not man enough’ to say sorry

May 16, 2007
Sorry seems to be the hardest word for the sexist duo. The sexist MPs withdrew their apology three hours after they have told the reporter of The Star that they wished to apologise today. What a pair of real cowards! Bung Mohktar and Mohd Said, shame on you! To the minister and DPM who defended the sexist duo, a friend of of mine asked me to register her anger in my blog. She wanted me to say this to Najib and the minister, ” Tak Tahu Malu! Tak ada standard!” 

Yes, please remember to attend the forum on the issue tomorrow (Thursday 17 May) at the YMCA Hall in Bricksfields Kuala Lumpur at 7.30pm. Admission is free. Speakers include Ambiga Screenevasan – Bar Council President 

Maria Chin Bte Abdullah – Executive Director of Women Development    Collective (WDC)  

Zainah Anwar – Executive Director of Sisters in Islam 

Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – President of Parti KeADILan Rakyat * (To be conformed)  

Lim Guan Eng – Secretary-General of DAP  YB Lim Kit Siang – Parliamentary Opposition Leader

 YB Teresa Kok Suh Sim – MP for Seputeh

YB Fong Po Kuan – MP for Batu Gajah

Moderator: Tony Pua.

Sexist MPs ‘apologise’ over remarks

May 16, 07 1:53pm Malaysiakini
updated version Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Mohd Said Yusof were said to have apologised today over their sexist remarks made in Parliament last week.Their apology was directed to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and all Malaysian women, according to a report in The Star Online.However when malaysiakini contacted Mohd Said for comment, he denied making any apology.”Why should I apologise? This was a matter raised during debate in Parliament. This is usual,” he said.He also said he would meet Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil on Friday to explain his remarks.Bung Mokhtar did not pick up his telephone when contacted but was quoted in Sin Chew Daily denying issuing any apology.

“No such thing,” he was quoted as saying.

In a statement, Shahrizat confirmed the meeting with the duo. She said the matter had been discussed at the weekly cabinet meeting this morning and that she had been “given the mandate to follow up on the issue”.

The two was supposed to call separate press conferences early this afternoon but they were hastily cancelled a few hours later.

It is not clear why there appeared to have been a change of position on the issue of apology by both parliamentarians.

The parliamentarians, during debate last week on the lack of maintenance resulting in leaks in the Parliament building after heavy downpours, had attacked Fong who raised the issue. 

“Where’s the leak? The Batu Gajah MP leaks every month too,” Bung said referring to DAP representative of the constituency, Fong Po Kuan on Wednesday [video clip].

A motion by Fong to censure the duo was rejected by Speaker Ramli Ngah Talib the next day on the grounds that the issue was not raised at the time of the incident.

Since then the two BN MPs have come under intense fire.

Protest at ministry

Yesterday, the Joint-Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) organised a protest at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry over the issue. 

About 60 people, carrying placards and banners, participated in the hour-long protest.

Shahrizat had said on Monday that it would be an honourable thing for the MPs to apologise.

Today’s print edition of The Star reported that Mohd Said had denied making such statements, saying that the media had blown it out of proportion.

According to the report, when asked if he would apologise, Mohd Said said: “Let it be. The press exaggerated it. I didn’t say it. I don’t want to comment anymore.”

Forum: Teach the 2 sexist BN MPs a lesson

May 15, 2007

“Respect Women’s Dignity, Towards A 1st World Parliament”


The Parliament has failed in its duty to the nation and people, in
particular Malaysian women.  It has shirked its responsibility to
redeem itself and punish the two sexist BN MPs who have brought shame
and dishonour to Parliament by the use of derogatory, crude, vulgar,
sexist and gender-offensive attack on Sdri Fong Po Kuan and all
Malaysian women on Wednesday, 9th May.

Since Parliament is not prepared to do what it should do to redeem its
honour and those of Malaysian women and the nation, it is now up to
the ordinary Malaysian public to do what Members of Parliament and
Ministers have failed to do – by making their condemnation of the
sexist conduct of the two BN MPs loud and clear to the Prime
Minister, the Cabinet and the country!

In conjunction with the above incident, DAP is organising the following
forum entitled “Respect Women’s Dignity, Towards A 1st World
Parliament!”

Date:
17 May 2007 (Thursday)

Time:
7.30pm

Venue:
YMCA Hall,
Kuala Lumpur.

No.95,
Jalan Padang Belia, Off Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 50470 Kuala Lumpur

(Opposite of the KL SENTRAL Station)

Speakers:

Ambiga Screenevasan – Bar Council President

 Maria Chin Bte Abdullah – Executive Director of Women Development    Collective (WDC)

 Zainah Anwar – Executive Director of Sisters in Islam

 Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – President of Parti KeADILan Rakyat * (To be conformed)

 Lim Guan Eng – Secretary-General of DAP

 YB Lim Kit Siang – Parliamentary Opposition Leader

 YB Teresa Kok Suh Sim – MP for Seputeh

YB Fong Po Kuan – MP for Batu Gajah

Moderator: Tony Pua.

All are welcome, admission is free!

May 13: A coup to oust Tunku

May 13, 2007
I bought some copies at the book launch this morning. The declassified documents were sufficient to help readers to understand what has taken place in 1969. But I was a little disappointed that there was no solid and concrete records on the actual number of casualties (total deaths and injuries).

The publisher of the book, Suaram, has suggested to establish a commission of truth to get to the bottom of the May 13 Incident.

Both panelists (Dr Syed Husin Ali and Dr S Nagarajan) agreed with the findings and conclusion made by Dr Kua Kia Soong, that May 13 was not a spontaneous racial outburst but a coup staged by the Malay ultras at that time.

The biggest beneficiary of May 13 was Razak. He practically controlled the country through the National Operation Council (NOC), the new powerhouse of politics in Malaysia. 

Who were those involved besides Razak? Tunku himself has alleged : ” You know Harun was one of those-Harun, Mahathir, Ghazali Shafie-who were all working with Razak to oust me, to take over my place…”

I foresee that this book will inevitably kick up a storm in the national political arena. Umno is now under pressure to explain its role during the darkest hours of our nation. Umno leaders who were being mentioned in the book would most likely be the first to rebut vehemently (or at least give their sides of the story). 

The 134-page book was sold at only RM20 per copy. Grab a copy before it was banned by the Umno-led BN goverment.

 513事件是推翻东姑政变
学者促政府还原历史真相

■日期/May 13, 2007   ■时间/03:28:24 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/MerdekaReview.com 陈慧思
           
【本刊陈慧思撰述】在“513事件”遭“神话”了整整38年的今日,学者兼民权工作者柯嘉逊试图还原“513事件”的真相,为这个困扰我国各族人民38年的历史事迹去神话。发生在1969年5月13日的“513事件”38年来被官方定论为“种族冲突事件”,柯嘉逊(右图)根据史料挑战这项说法。他根据英国解密史料分析出,这宗困扰改变我国政治生态的历史大事件并非一起种族冲突事件,而是一起巫统精英策谋的政变!鉴于官方说法已经站不住脚,马来西亚人民之声(Suara Malaysia,简称“SUARAM”)和柯嘉逊呼吁我国政府成立独立的“还原513事件真相”委员会,展开公开听证会收集目击者的口供和看法,还原这个历史事迹的真相。柯嘉逊从伦敦西郊国立植物公园(Kew Gardens)的公共档案舘发掘了一批解密文件;这批解密文件显示,“513事件”并非突发事件,反之是一次有计划的行动,目的是推翻第一任首相东姑阿都拉曼(Tunku Abdul Rahman)的政权。

柯嘉逊断然指出:“马来西亚1969年5月13日的种族暴乱,绝非多元族群社会中自发的种族暴乱。有关的撤銷保密的文件清楚表明,发动这场种族暴乱是有计划的行动。”

配合“513事件”的周年日,马来西亚人民之声(Suara Malaysia,简称“SUARAM”)今日上午在隆雪中华大会堂,为柯逊博士新著《513 – 1969年暴动之解密文件》举办推介礼暨举办“回顾513事件:独立后的种族关系与国家团结”讲座会,邀请柯嘉逊、学者兼人民公正党署理主席赛胡先阿里(Syed Husin Ali)和学者那卡拉贞主讲,吸引约120人与会。

赛胡先阿里符合柯说法

柯嘉逊指出,“513事件”是新兴马來官僚资产阶级推翻马來贵族阶层的政变;依照东姑阿都拉曼的说法,政变的主事人很可能就是当时的副首相阿都拉萨(Abdul Razak)和雪兰莪州州务大臣哈伦依特里斯(Harun Idris),其同谋尚包括了在位22年的前首相马哈迪。

马来亚大学前社会学教授的赛胡先(Syed Husin Ali)和甘榜美丹事件研究学者纳嘉拉贞(S. Nagarajan)皆认同,“513事件”乃一起由巫统内部斗争所策划的事件,甚于一起民间种族情绪高涨所引发的暴动。

1969年大选,联盟遭到自独立以來的一次最慘重的失败,它还甚至可能失去一些州立法议会的控制权。官方历史把在野党的游行庆祝视为“513事件”的燃火线,可是,柯嘉逊指出,许多观察家认为,在野党喜悅欢腾和大事庆祝,并不可能成为暴徒们行凶的借口。反之,制造暴动的很可能是图谋推翻东姑夺权的巫统领导人。

柯嘉逊引用1977年一名新闻工作者苏吉拉迪夫的话:“‘513事件’并不是自发的。它是经过快速精心计划的。这事件计划者的身份,还无法准确地说出來。不论它如何发生,“513事件”是針对东姑阿都拉曼的一项政变。虽然他继续担任首相兼巫统主席,但是他仅仅是一个有名无实的傀儡。其实,东姑从此大权旁落。”

柯嘉逊在书中指出,到了1969年,后殖民主义的发展引起工人和农民以及一部分中产阶级的不滿。在求职与受教育,獲取奖學金和执照方面,国家所采取的歧视性政策,令他们感到不滿。

原本在马来西亚政治前景中占优势的联盟,他们在1969年大选中显得黯然失色。巫统至高无上的权力被认为已受到威胁。这一切等于给官僚资产阶级发出讯号,应以“马來人具主导地位”的名义,进行夺取政权的计划。

柯嘉逊是在其新书《513 – 1969年暴动之解密文件》(左图)中作出上述披露。他在书中把“513事件”喻为“关鍵性的政治起义”。他指出:“它改变了马来西亚政治史,确保新兴马來资产阶级的崛起,并通过‘新经济政策’,鞏固他们的政治势力。”

鉴于“513事件”的官方说法已经为英国解密文件动摇,且在“513事件”发生以来政府从未正式对这段历史展开深入的研究,人民之声执行主任叶瑞生、柯嘉逊和赛胡先皆呼吁政府成立“还原真相委员会”,趁当时的目击者尚健在,就这起冰封的历史展开深入的研究。赛胡先也呼吁政府公开官方文件,助人民辨明真相。

柯嘉逊是人民之声的理事,他曾于1987年“茅草行动”期间在《内安法令》下被扣留445天。获释后协助成立人民之声,随后参政并于1995年获选为八打灵再也区国会议员。柯嘉逊是英国曼彻斯特大学经济学士,后在同一所大学考获博士学位,他目前是新纪元学院院长。

“513事件”影响深远

官方数据显示,1969年5月13日国內骚乱期间,有196人丧失生命,180人被枪伤,259人被武噐所致伤。根据“国家行动理事会”的报告,9,143人被逮捕,其中有5,561人被控上法庭。在暴乱过程中,6千人无家可归,至少有211只车辆被毁坏或损坏,而753所建築物被大火烧毁或损坏。

柯嘉逊的书显示,当时国际通讯记者所计算的死伤人数遠遠超过上述数据。他也说:“当局刻意把受害者属于哪一种族的事实掩盖起來。但是,众所周知,大部分的受害人是华人。”

 “513事件”长期以来因涉及种族冲突,被编为社会议论的禁忌,我国官方历史书仅简单交待该起事件为“种族冲突事件”,没有多加阐述,以致“513事件”38年来皆作为“种族冲突”的符号存在着。柯嘉逊的新著,进一步验证了民间传送的另一个版本的历史:“513事件”实则是巫统内部斗争所引发的政变。

新经济政策是1969年5月13日种族冲突惨剧的产物,政府在“513事件”后制订为期20年的新经济政策(1971-1990),其两大目标为重组社会与消除贫穷。新经济政策结束后,国阵政府在1991年6月公布“国家发展政策”(1991-2000),以取代新经济政策,强调经济平衡发展,基础工业多元化,重视人力资源开发。
 
虽然新经济政策的20年期限结束了,它仍是一个塑造今日马来西亚的政策,甚至可说是塑造马来西亚人生活、经济、政治的最重要因素。新经济政策向来被视为“土著至上”的经济政策,让马来人土著享有巨大优惠,扶持马来资产阶级。

近年来,土著特权以“土著仍旧落后他族”之名扩大至所有与政府有密切关联的领域,银行业以土著股权为准绳挑选指定律师楼便是一例。此外,自从“513事件”发生后,每当大选来临而我国的政权的现状遭受威胁时(如1990年大选、1999年大选),“513事件”就被亮出,恐吓人民一旦国阵政权或马来人地位被动摇,“513事件”便会重演。

这起骚动,俨然国阵稳住政权的秘密武器。还原“513事件”的真相,有助于破解“必须维持现状,才能维持国家稳定”的迷思。

Interfaith dialogue was postponed?

May 13, 2007
I personally think that AAB was trying to  ‘bullshit’ when he said that the International interfaith dailogue to be held from May 7 to May 11 in Kuala Lumpur was not canceled but postponed because the date clashed with his schedule. What schedule are you talking about, my ‘sleeping beauty’? How can he postponed the dialogue which was taken more than six months to prepare? And to claim that he was working towards Vision 2020 is another ‘bullshit’. Look at the list of 9 challenges and you would know what I mean. 

9 Challenges in the vision

  • Challenge 1: To form a nation that stands as one.
  • Challenge 2: To produce a Malaysian community that has freedom, strength, and full of self confidence.
  • Challenge 3: To develop a mature democratic community.
  • Challenge 4: To form a community that has high morale, ethics and religious strength.
  • Challenge 5: To cultivate a community that is matured and tolerant.
  • Challenge 6: To form a progressive science community.
  • Challenge 7: To cultivate a community rich in values and loving culture.
  • Challenge 8: To ensure the formation of a community with a fair economy.
  • Challenge 9: To cultivate a prosperous community.

Pak Lah: I’m working towards Dr M’s 2020

RK Anand
May 12, 07 3:42pm
Malaysiakini 
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today said he is working towards achieving his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020 goal.Abdullah said this when asked to respond to Mahathir’s scathing criticism of the prime minister in a recent interview with malaysiakini.“We are on track of achieving the important objective of 2020 left by Tun (Mahathir). And that’s what I am doing now,” he told a press conference after officiating the 61st MIC general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.However, Abdullah did not elaborate on the matter.

Mahathir had accused his handpicked successor of “going in the opposite direction” on matters that the two had agreed upon would be carried out.

“There may be changes in approaches, or even in policies, but the general policies of the party have to be carried out.

“What he has done is to go completely in the opposite direction. That was not something I expected,” said the former premier, who stepped down in 2003.

Mahathir’s remarks were the latest in a year-long running battle with Abdullah over allegations of corruption and the running of the country.

From the sluggish state of the economy to charges that Abdullah’s family members were cashing in on his position, Mahathir has taken repeated jabs at his successor.

Interfaith meet not cancelled

In another development, the prime minister clarified that the Muslim-Christian interfaith conference scheduled to take place this week had not been cancelled but postponed.

The premier said he wanted to attend the conference but the dates were clashing with his schedule.

“I have an important role to play in the conference, I don’t want it to be held here when I am not around. I had to postpone it to attend something immediate. We have to find another suitable date,” he added.

The Building Bridges Global Interfaith Seminar was scheduled for May 7-11.

Thirty world-renowned Islamic and Christian scholars and theologians were to deliberate under the theme ‘Humanity in Context: Christian and Muslim perspectives on being human’.

Yesterday, the Council of Churches of Malaysia is confused over the government’s sudden cancellation of a Muslim-Christian interfaith conference scheduled to take place this week.

The conference was to coincide with the first visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams to the Anglican Church of Malaysia. He was also slotted to chair the three-day conference.

Book launch and Forum on May 13

May 12, 2007

Book Launch and Public Forum: “May 13 – Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969”  

Sunday May 13 2007 @ 10am-12pm @ Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese  Assembly Hall

Organised by Suaram

柯嘉逊引用英国政府解密文件
印证513暴动乃推翻东姑政变
07年5月11日 晚上9:41 Malaysiakini

1969年的513种族暴动事件的导因,至今仍是一个迷。根据官方说法,这场大马历史上最严重的骚乱事件导致196人丧命,惟其余的详情仍是笼罩在重重黑幕之中。

官方指出,这场暴动主要是由于以华裔为主的反对党支持者,为庆祝在1969年大选胜利而举行游行,挑衅失利的马来人及巫统所引发。

不过社会学者兼社运活跃份子――柯嘉逊博士(左图),却依据最近刚解密的英国驻马最高专员署人员的观察报告、外国通讯记者所撰写的新闻报告,以及外交圈子内流传的机密文件,得出有关513暴动实际上是一场有策划性的政变,以达至推翻当时的首相东故阿都拉曼的结论。

他重申,513事件是一项由当时刚崛起的马来资本家所策划的政变行动,并获得军方及警方的支持,以便从旧贵族的手中夺取权力,以推行新的马来人议程。

他已经将其研究结集成书――《513-1969年暴动之解密文件》,并将会在星期日于隆雪华堂正式推介。

暴徒受操纵,军警袖手旁观

也是新纪元学院院长的柯嘉逊,是在去年特地申请三个月的假期赴英,前往伦敦的公共档案局,研究这批摆脱30年保密条款,终见天日的官方档案。

柯嘉逊的结论与官方说法截然不同。他发现整起513事件并非是一项突然爆发的种族暴乱事件,反之却认为官方说法完全是一派胡言,根本没透露任何可靠的讯息,尤其是指责反对党是导致暴动发生的解释根本站不住脚。

“我的新著显示,该负责任的一方是巫统内部新崛起的国家资产阶级,是这股力量策划了这场政变。当时那些聚集在雪州大臣哈伦住家的人士,其实是拥有一个计划的。”

他指出,外交及情报档案已经显示这点,而官方历史应该揭露真相,而并非把罪名推给那些不应负上罪名的人士。

柯嘉逊揭露说,513事件是由政治人物所操纵的“马来暴徒”所引发的暴动。

他举例说,一批又一批的暴徒突然聚集在哈伦的住家,而当时警方及军人只是采取袖手旁观的态度,置之不理。

暴动之后,敦拉萨大权在握

此外,档案也显示,在暴动发生不到一个星期后,当时担任全国行动理事会主席一职的副首相敦拉萨已经大权在握,显示政变阴谋的确存在。

而在80年代才被突出的国家文化政策(在1971年正式宣布)已经在513的一个星期后被构思出来。这项具争议性的政策强调惟有回教及土著的文化元素,才属于国家文化政策,并一举掀开单元语文、教育及文化的论争。

柯氏也质疑军警人员在513事件中所扮演的角色。

“当时外交圈子议论说,为何在当日暴动发生时,敦拉萨曾经与军警总长会面,不过却没有采取任何行动。”

相反的,他指出大马的安全部队在围剿马来亚共产党的更艰难任务中,尤其是在紧急状态期间(1948-1960年)却以高效率见称。

因此柯嘉逊得出结论,即513暴动只是一场政变的烟幕。他并非是第一个指出513暴动实际上是一场政变的人士,不过却拥有官方的档案来印证这点。

这也是大马公众,首次可以接触到这批有关513事件的全面记录。一直以来,许多外国媒体有关的报道,皆被禁止进入国内,至于有关513事件的国内文件则少之又少。

真正的死亡人数仍是一个迷

不过,仍有一个513的谜团,就连柯氏的新著也无法揭开,即513事件的真正的死亡人数。根据官方数据,513暴动导致196人死亡、180被军火所伤,以及259人蒙受其他武器的攻击。至于,还有9143人则被逮捕,其中5561人被提控上法庭,6000人流离失所,至少有211辆交通工具以及753座建筑物被摧毁或破坏。

解密官方档案及当时的国际媒体报道认为,实际的死亡人数应该更高,不过他们也无法确定准确的数字,不过大家普遍认为多数的受害者是华裔。

希望破解513暴动事件2迷思

柯嘉逊希望随着他的新著的出版,能够有助破解以下的两个谜思:

(一)当马来人感到不满时,种族暴动将会发生,因此新经济政策以及维护土著地位的政策必须存在,不然马来人将会感到生气及发生暴动。

相反的,文件显示有些人是在利用警方及军队的协助之下,才策划513暴动。

(二)破解某些学者及多元主义理论家的看法,认为一个多元种族的国家必然会发生暴动及冲突。柯氏的看法却是,其实国家机关在关键的历史进程中,扮演非常重要的角色,而马来人、华人及印度人并不会突而其然爆发冲突。

不过,被询及是否担忧有关当局将会采取类似宣布描述甘榜美丹(Kampung Medan)械斗事件一书《3月8日》为禁书的手段来禁止其新著的流传时,柯嘉逊丝毫不畏惧地表示,“在网络时代,禁书还有什么意思?我们可以把它放在网上流传,你根本无法做什么。”

A meeting of minds

April 14, 2007

Siva, Ponniah, Kohila, Hatta, Nasir and Nizar at the forum organised by Jerit (Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas). They spoke against the unjust neo-liberalism.

Several representatives of various coalitions ( water, health care, toll and fuel hikes, FTAs, human rights and environment activists) gathered at the S&KLCAH to discuss about how NGOs and political parties in the country could work together more cohesively and effectively  for the common good of the Malaysian people.

We have decided to meet more regularly to exchange views and to strengthen our coordination and cooperation.

I have suggested that all political parties and NGOs should bring their issues to Ijok. We should take the opportunity provided by the by-election to highlight various important and burning issues facing the rakyat and convince the Ijok people to vote against the Umno-led BN government.

On the other hand, the 6th toll hike demo which was scheduled on 22 April has been postponed in view of the impending Ijok by-election.

I aslo stressed on the need to adopt  “agree to disagree” as a guiding principle for greater cooperation among the different organisations in order to challenge the hegemony of Umno. Only a cohesive alternative movement could challenge the mighty, arrogant and powerful Umno-led government.

The time has come for real changes but time is not on our side. We must unite to fight the common enemy instead of messing up among ourselves. And we must not allow Umno the chance and space to consolidate after the next general elections.