May 212010
 

Re: Najib’s comments on Utusan, I’m all for greater media freedoms, but maybe he should check up on his wife before spouting things like:

“This is to ensure that we have a public that is intellectual, critical and capable of being objective,”

“The Westerners say conflict sells stories. But that does not necessarily mean we must do the same because our goal is to bring the country success, not just through physical development, but through the development of the intellect and values.

or

“But you must also be a medium to build an intellectual culture, a critical society,” the Umno president added.

Yes? Well maybe you should ask Joshua Wong or Chou Z Lam about what they think of your media freedoms.

The former had some harrowing experiences at the hand of your own wife:

Tan (Joshua’s boss) added further, “On Monday, the First Lady complained about your Penang roadshow – all the way from Washington… I hope you will change the topic.”

I later found that the First Lady had received complaints from other people, and she re-directed the complaint to the top management. Tan said the content of the complaint is more or less the same as the complaint received after the airing of the roadshow in Kuala Lumpur.

So, I’m not sure whether Najib quite has the moral standing to be preaching to Utusan like that.

Nonetheless, we shall also be watching Utusan closely to see whether they have any respect for their premier’s words – or whether their kiblat points more to the power behind his throne.

Feb 122010
 

Thanks to MK and MKTV for carrying the press conference we had today on the seizues of Where is Justice and 1FunnyMalaysia. Here’s the video:

Some other facts: I was told that in Johor, authorities have been going round to some book vendors – not even seizing books but just giving the vendors a hard time and intimidating them. This is clear undue harassment and abuse of power! >:(

A summary of the points I/we made:

- The books were seized on the pretext of being a threat to public order. I think public order is indeed threatened. How else can we interpret detainees falling out of buildings, being blown up or being beaten, tortured and killed?

- If the government doesn’t want its dirty laundry aired in public, start cleaning their clothes, rather than shooting the messenger.

- Even after the book was published, even more cases were revealed like P. Babu and Norizan Salleh. The reason we compiled these books is to help bring these cases to light, and prevent any further cases. One day it may involve you, me, our familes or loved ones. We must stop this culture of impunity.

Two other pieces of related news today. The family of P. Babu, who I mentioned today, was apparently threatened with detention without trial under the Emergency Ordinance if they were to further their pursuit for justice for Babu, who died in custody >:(

When contacted, Malaysia Alternative Action Team president Kalaivanar, said:

“The police threatened to book his friends and family members under the emergency ordinance if they continued their efforts to publish the case in the media and go for a second post mortem.”

He also said that this is among the reasons why the family claimed the sawmill worker’s body.

After the family suffered such a loss, can you imagine this further trauma? >:( >:( Where is justice indeed if those who seek it are threatened with such abuses of power!?

Another disturbing precedent was also set in court today:

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today rejected an author’s application to quash the government’s decision to ban his book on the Kampung Medan riots, almost nine years ago.

In his decision, Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof ruled that the then-deputy home minister’s decision to ban the Tamil language book, titled ‘March 8′, was valid as he (deputy minister) considered that the circulation of the book would be prejudicial to internal security and public order.

He said, the deputy minister in this case, had absolute discretion to exercise the powers of the minister in prohibiting the publication and the printing of the book, after considering views from the police and the ministry that the book would be prejudicial to internal security, and “poison the minds of the readers, especially the Indian community”.

I haven’t read Mr. Arumugam’s book, but suffice to say this is not something we’re thrilled about.

The following is the Malaysiakini article from today in full, preceeded by our obligatory how-can-you-get-a-copy of Where is Justice blurb:

1. Get one from your local major bookstore (I’ve previously seen them available in Popular, MPH, Borders, etc)

2. Order one online from Kinibooks.

3. (If you live within the Klang Valley) Place an order with [email protected], and we will do our best to get a copy to you at RM 30 (incl delivery costs), on a COD basis.
Continue reading »

Jan 282010
 

Malaysiakini:

The authorities have confiscated two books published by Kinibooks, a subsidiary of Malaysiakini, in separate operations conducted in Malacca and Penang.

The books – ’1FunnyMalaysia’ and ‘Where is Justice?’ – were seized from Popular Book in Melaka Shopping Centre, Malacca today, while an earlier operation was conducted at another branch of the bookstore in Gurney Plaza, Penang on Jan 7.

According to the authorities, the books could pose a threat to “public order, morality, security”. A total of 64 copies of the books were seized in both operations.

A team of officers from the Malacca police headquarters visit the Malacca branch of Popular Book today and removed 33 copies of the books from the shelves.

According to them, the raid was carried out under section 18 of Printing Presses and Publications Act.

Section 18 of PPPA states that the authorities are empowered to “seize and detain” any publication which they have reason to believe to be evidence of an offence under the Act.

Meanwhile, 34 copies of the both books were seized by officers from the Home Ministry in Penang three weeks ago.

Well, we had some serious doubts any book with a picture of Altantuya and Teoh Beng Hock would last long, and here we have it.

All I can say is that if they are gonna come after us, they better have a better case than they did the last time.

We took considerable pains to ensure that everything in Where is Justice was carefully written to be factual, and all opinion therein had been previously published online.

If the cops and the government don’t want bad publicity, perhaps they shouldn’t let people fall of buildings, ‘drown’ from a glass of water, or explode in the jungle. Don’t shoot the messenger.

All news here is preliminary, but we’ll be following the case closely and will provide updates when we can.

Support us by buying the books while they’re still on the shelves :P Available in most major bookstores, or get it delivered to your doorstep :P

Jan 272010
 

Our friends at The Star seem to be having quite a field day with Zul Nordin – yesterday it was “PKR tensions” or something, and today “Defiant Zul.”

Notwithstanding that a gag order has already been imposed on the Kulim MP pending a decision by PKR’s disciplinary board, it seems The Star is flailing desperately at a headline that will avoid the many problems Malaysia is in.

Oh, but did they think we would forget? The Star is owned by a party that… oh, what’s that?… COULDN’T ELECT IT’S OWN DAMN PRESIDENT?!

Having an MCA mouthpiece go on about one fellow in an opposing party, while it itself was plunged in the most mind boggling, ridiculous and downright embarrassing leadership struggle at the highest of levels so recently, is simply too much for this blogger to bear.

Hey, I’m the first to admit, PKR is rife with problems, and yes, I’d be glad to see the back of our Bandar Baru friend. The fact that PKR is far from unique in this regard is worth noting – although that is not an excuse for poor leadership or failing to make every effort to improve.

But this goes too far.

The Zul matter isn’t even the most odious thing in today’s Star. The venom in the article on the WSJ is really out of this world.

There isn’t enough space to counter that here, but stay tuned.

Jan 182010
 

Seeing it is a relatively slow news day, here’s something a good friend e-mailed to me. Somewhat amusing I guess :)

Joceline Tan wrote in The Sunday Star (17/1/2010) that “The morning after the attacks, [Najib] arrived at the burnt-out Metro Tabernacle Church in the Kuala Lumpur suburbs.” It was accompanied by a big photo of Najib, with a caption that said the same thing.

Treading a critical path: Najib is determined that this issue will not derail his national agenda of pluralism and diversity. The Prime Minister visited the burnt-out Metro Tabernacle church the morning after the attack. On his left is the Rev Ong Sek Leang, senior pastor of the church.

Considering the attack happened on midnight Friday, Joceline makes it sound as if Najib visited the church on Friday morning itself. But he didn’t. Anyone who paid any attention would have remembered that Najib was one of the last few politicians to visit the church, on Saturday evening at 5pm, which is closer to two days after the attack than “the morning after.”

It was The Star’s own report that said Najib arrived at 5pm on Saturday: ‘“It is a sign of the Government’s sincerity in offering our support,” Najib told reporters after visiting the church in Desa Melawati yesterday at 5pm.’

In any case, 5pm can hardly be confused as morning, can it?

Apr 092009
 

Updated: see Malik Imtiaz’s insightful comment re: motive and prosecution oddities. Thanks bro!

I agree with the majority who still raise the two most burning questions:

1. What was their motive?
2. Could they possibly have acted without instructions?

That two relatively low ranking policemen could decide not only to murder but to blow up a woman of their own accord, with absolutely nothing to gain (no money, no vengeance, no nothing; isn’t establishing a motive vital to proving a murder? I stand corrected by Jinn), still remains beyond the realm of belief to me.

The highly suspicious circumstances surrounding the process of this trial continue to stick out like a sore thumb. Having never seen their faces, and not knowing how the appeal process will go, we will also cannot know for sure if these two men will actually hang.

If they are going to, it really would be a good time for them to sing – to tell the truth in some hope of finding ablution before the real judgment day, and let the world know what really happened that night.

In all honesty, I’m not sure what kind of penalty befits these two men, who in all likelihood pulled the trigger (and administered that hard-to-procure C4). But I do feel that somebody, somewhere, is escaping unpunished.

Sadly, I do believe that without evidence, we cannot prosecute whoever these people may be. But God help whoever might be hiding or withholding any such evidence, should it exist.

A few decent things have happened in the first week of Najib’s premiership. This is not one of them.

Justice did not prevail today. Let us never cease to pursue it.

Altantuya and family – we’re sorry Malaysia has failed you thus far :(

*

We also seem to be failing Kugan. While we were again distracted by the by-elections, some ridiculous findings by the Ministry of Health were made, and the police have raided the office of the doctor who did the second post-mortem.

The Empire strikes back.

More on this to come soon, I hope.

Updated: See a great, diplomatic article by David Quek on this matter, current president of the Malaysian Medical Association.

Updated again: See some sad comments from Kugan’s dad:

The father of A. Kugan says he does not accept the findings of the independent committee which investigated the two conflicting post-mortem reports on his son’s death.

G. Ananthan said he was willing to exhume Kugan’s body, if need be.

“If you want a third post-mortem, I will dig up his body,” he said, adding that he and his wife N. Indra were at their wit’s end and just wanted justice.

So sad that a man has to bury his son (or like Dr. Shaarriibuu, his daughter), how unbearably sadder that he would have to dig him up again and bury him once more.

Meanwhile:

MIC Youth will send the two post mortem reports on suspected car thief A. Kugan to seek advice from specialists in Australia, its adviser S. Vell Paari said here.

Yeah, Vell Paari isn’t exactly the guy I’d trust concerning post-mortems and shit like that >:(

Mar 162009
 

Updated 2:

Pandikar Amin:

Earlier, Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) argued that although the motion was allowed to be debated based on its “urgency”, a seven-day notice should have been issued before it is debated.

Pandikar rebutted this, saying that it should be debated now since ‘Parliament is no longer like a first-world Parliament anymore’.

I dunno whether to laugh or to choke blood.

But he must be rightla. I mean, don’t you miss our first world parliament days? Bocorla, perkaumanla, assaulting men in wheelchairla – all hallmarks of our first world parliament :|

Updated 1:

Well. What else is there to say, it’s f*cked up.

Here’s my question: has there been a single precedent anywhere in the world where similar punishment was meted out under similar circumstances?

One day, one week even, I can understand. But one year? I also don’t like this bullshit about a voice-vote: very suspicious!

I’m so tired of Malaysia being pioneer only in stupid things like this.

On the upside, we can expect some much deserved attention again on the yet unsolved Altantuya murder case as a fallout.

Grrr. I think there’s not much else to say. The speculations below remain live.

Original:

I might not call Najib a murderer to his face, to give him just the slightest benefit of the doubt, but a year-long suspension of Gobind would be just ridiculous.

Does it just need a simple majority to pass? If so, easylah, to just suspend the whole opposition bit by bit, how very convenient.

I’m sure people are (rightfully, I reckon) drawing analogies between Parliament and the Perak state assembly. The height of double standards here are mind boggling.

I wonder what it all reflects? A paranoia about the Altantuya case? A kiss ass show of loyalty? (I remember Nazri, who is tabling the bill, featured strongly in the cat vs. dog style loyalty back in the days of the Abdullah-Mahathir spat. I believe Nazri played the cat, who is loyal to whoever leads the house, vs. the dog, who is loyal to the master, regardless of the house).

How unhappy would it be, for Gobind to be suspended, while the likes of Bung Mokhtar go free, while a wheelchair bound man can be assaulted without repercussions in the lobby of the august house.

Well, if the suspension goes through, I think it will be time for all of us to scream bloody murder.