Jun 052012
 

It seems I start most posts with an apology for silence, sorry! :P

Here’s an old article (original drafts) on Bersih for archival purposes. First published:

http://malaysiakini.com/news/196807
http://malaysiakini.com/news/196921

Objective Bersih

Objectivity and objective oriented thinking are among the first things we should hope to instill in any child, scholar or citizen.

In that spirit, this article will in two parts attempt to examine the following: what matters most about this rally (versus what does not), an analysis of both the police car that ran into protestors as well as the barricade breach incident, and what Saturday tells us about the government, leaders, and people of Malaysia.

What matters most

While I cannot resist commenting on the two incidents analysed below, I would like to agree with commentators who observe that harping on these issues are a distraction from what really matters.

What is a distraction is spending hours trying to interpret hand signals. What really matters is electoral reform.

The fundamental principle of democracy is that people should have the full power to decide how their lives are run. When all is said and done, this and only this is the objective of Bersih.

With an electoral system that is dirty and getting dirtier with amendments passed a few weeks ago that actually makes it easier for the ruling party to cheat in an election, citizens are being deprived of the very essence of liberty and freedom.

In short, you no longer control who controls you.

Without a clean and fair electoral system, the powers that be have obtained ways to remain the powers that be forever.

After the rally last Saturday, I made my way to KLCC for dinner with my loved one.

Business was going on as usual, nothing seemed particularly out of place, despite the mayhem on the streets a few hours earlier.

Should the government continue to cheat its way into power, I think that on the surface, most of Malaysia would look more or less the same, just like it did in KLCC.

The insidiousness of the authorities are such that they find ways to cheat, plunder and abuse the powerless while continuing to feed their opiate to the masses, hoping they won’t notice.

Bersih is about not letting this happen – and that’s what matters.

Violent Bersih supporters?

That said, we are already experiencing no end of spin about how violent these Bersih people are, how the opposition wants to plunge the nation into violent chaos just to gain power, and so on.

In the face of overwhelming video and eyewitness evidence however, lies are exposed, and the truth is laid bare.

In the aftermath, the truth behind two incidents in particular seemed unclear. Again, while mindful that we shall not fall into the government’s trap of getting caught up in red herrings and missing the bigger picture mentioned above, let us just for a moment attempt to objectively examine what happened.

An important note: where people cannot or have not been identified, I maintain an open view as to who any one individual may be – a genuine Bersih supporter, a party member, a hooligan along for the ‘fun’, an undercover policeman, and so on. Without concrete evidence, one cannot as of yet say for sure – thus they shall be referred to merely as individuals.

I came across three videos documenting the incident where a police car smashed into some protestors and ran into a wall.

At first, some of us were suspicious about the confusion that reigned in the immediate aftermath. Some even asked if it was a staged event of some sort, designed to make the protestors look bad.

Only one video shows an aerial view of the moments before the crash. Here, individuals can be seen jumping up and down on the car, and things are thrown continuously at the police vehicle.

It appears that this is in angry response to heavy handed police action the crowd had been experiencing just prior. In my view, attacking the police car as seen just before the crash is still a reprehensible act, whoever the perpetrator.

The police car then swerves off the road to the right, running down what appears to be two or three individuals, and slamming into the wall. The individuals hit fly into the air like bowling pins, one of which can later be seen unconscious lying on the ground to the right of the vehicle, in an area where blood can be seen on the floor.

The crowd rushes to the car, including an individual in a grey t-shirt, shorts, motorcycle helmet and video camera. I am fairly certain this is cameraman Azri Salleh, who works for Al-Hijrah.

Azri is often mistaken as the driver of the car, but careful examination of the video footage clearly shows him running towards the car after the crash.

Piecing together the different video angles, it appears Azri approaches the driver’s window, at which point another individual dressed in yellow approaches from his left to do the same.

It is extremely unclear whether this second individual has good or bad intentions. What we can see however is that Azri is for whatever reason extremely agitated and reacts violently, shoving the man in yellow aside angrily.

This seems to set off the surrounding crowd who then proceed to assault Azri briefly, during which he falls to the floor and is beaten and kicked for a few seconds, after which the individuals doing so seem to stop. Azri is then seen walking away slowly completely unaccosted.

The video then shows two more individuals (one of which was later interviewed in a video by Free Malaysia Today), approach the car, open the door, and then carefully escort the single policeman driver inside away to safety. The policeman is identified as Mohamad Kamil Paimin.

Throughout this incident, there is someone off screen who is screaming repeatedly that there is someone trapped under the car. The nearby individuals then decide to turn over the car, which shows that there was in fact no one underneath.

A number of things surrounding this incident appeared odd at first viewing. Some of us poured over it trying to understand what was going on, and whether there were hidden hands at play.

Having watched the videos multiple times and reading the accounts that later appeared from those involved, I am personally satisfied that there is no conspiracy behind what happened here.

My view is that Mohamad Kamil most likely lost control of his car after it was attacked. For reasons manifestly unclear, Azri Salleh got into a fight with and was beaten by individuals around him. The car was overturned because people thought there was someone underneath.

Chaos always leads to confusion, and in times of tension and high strung emotion, things play out in unpredictable ways. I feel there is little more to be said about this incident, an incident that is regrettable all around.

The Barricade

The incidents moments prior to the breach of the Dataran Merdeka barricade seem equally unclear.

The question on most people’s minds seems to be: who was it that was directly responsible for the first few people breaching the barricade?

The theories range from: the police themselves who surreptitiously opened the barricades in an effort to entrap the protestors, Azmin Ali and or Anwar Ibrahim, and random people in the crowd.

I have watched videos, I have read testimonies, and my conclusion is, well, inconclusive.

Political circles now fervently debate the meaning of hand gestures, conspiracy theorists insist the cops planned this all along, and people less than fond of Pakatan Rakyat insist this was hijacking and/or instigation to unruly behaviour.

While it’s certainly possible, I am not optimistic we will get to the bottom of this. Proving it was a police trap will be difficult, and Azmin and Anwar have both explained that they made no instigation for the crowd to breach the barricade.

In Anwar’s case, there appears to be clear documentation of him asking the crowd to disperse. As for the rest – there are things I perhaps might not put past certain people, but this is really not the same as saying we know for sure that X did Y.

Not having been made in some established sign language, we cannot interpret hand signals for sure. Not having clear evidence of who it was exactly that opened the barricades, whether police or Bersih supporters, we cannot say for sure one way or the other.

At the end of the day, it basically comes down to who you believe is telling the truth, and who you believe is lying. I myself tend to find that whether we believe someone is truthful or not probably tells us more about how we feel about that person than it does about whether that person is telling the truth.

People do love to speculate, I’ve certainly been guilty of that myself. After the dust settles however, and when most of the evidence that is likely to emerge has emerged, we must try to take an objective view of things. Thereafter, we conclude for ourselves whatever is fair to conclude, and admit uncertainty where the evidence is contradictory or insufficient.

Having taken a microscopic view, the second part of the article will return to the bigger picture – What are the implications of violence, whoever the perpetrator, for future rallies? How does it reflect on civil society and/or Pakatan Rakyat? And my personal favourite, what the hell was Najib Razak doing all this time?

*

Bersih & Najib, Our Francesco Schettino

Videos of the police car being overturned during the Bersih 3.0 rally must have been a wet dream come true for BN spinmeisters the likes of Tan Keng Liang.

What can we say objectively about the violence at the rally?

Some posit that all the “violent protestors” were in fact agent provocateurs planted by the powers that be.

This is of course entirely possible, but it cannot be confirmed or denied entirely at this point, based on available evidence. I deem it probably unlikely that every single person who exhibited violence at the rally did so at the secret behest of the authorities.

If there were indeed supporters of Bersih who turned violent at the rally, what does that tell us about Bersih?

I posit: very little indeed.

The people who turned up at the rally are not Bersih “members”. There is no such thing.

A rally like this attracts all sorts. I would estimate 99% in attendance (not counting policemen or saboteurs) are fervently committed to a culture of non-violence. Then there is the 1% who, as Batman’s butler tells us, “just want to watch the world burn”.

In terms of proportions, saying rallies should be banned because violence sometimes occurs would very much be like saying we should ban motorcycles because snatch thieves use motorcycles (although, sometimes the behaviour of some motorcyclists on the road get me thinking this may not be such a bad idea).

Room for improvement?

Could there have been better crowd control on the part of the organisers?

I think the simple answer is yes. I take this view partly because I always believe there is room for improvement. There are very few exceptions indeed to this.

I understand and appreciate the severe constraints and challenges the organisers faced.

I would nonetheless humbly recommend expanding considerable effort in vastly improving the lines of communication from organiser to participant. When hundreds of thousands of people gather, they are looking for firm decisions to be communicated firmly to everyone.

Chaos and confusion are after all always attendant to the absence of clear lines of communication, command and control.

What about the other end of the spectrum?

While we cannot yet say for sure who is responsible for the violence that appears to have been perpetrated by people in yellow shirts and such, there is no doubt regarding extensive video footage of police brutalising unarmed, often helpless citizens.

In many instances, a pack of policeman descend upon an individual who had been separated from the crowd, and beat him mercilessly, without any reason at all. The sight of it curls the stomach, and shows the very worst excesses of people abusing their power and their uniform.

If and when a more systematic collection of this visual evidence is compiled, I believe what we find will be extremely damning.

A measure of last resort

In conclusion to this part of the discussion, two fundamental things:

Firstly, there appear to be no recorded incidents of violence prior to the police firing tear gas and water cannons upon the crowd. A popular theory posits simply: If they had just let us in, none of this would have happened. I generally believe this to be true.

(Of course, if you believe the conspiracy theory about the barricade, then we were “let in” precisely for this to eventually happen).

Secondly, we must examine the hyphothesis: had there been no rally, there would have been no violence.

Indeed, empirically speaking this may seem irrefutable.

At the same time, I think there is no doubt that had there been no rally, there would be even less hope for electoral reform – paving the way for the nightmare of a democracy stolen from the rakyat.

Without resistance, the unjust will always reign unchallenged and supreme.

I have always said no one likes going out in the dead of the afternoon to face tear gas and water cannons (ok, almost no one); but Malaysians will not sit by and watch their fundamental right to chose their own government fairly heinously usurped. That is the simple truth of it.

Seeing how all other measures have so clearly failed to result in meaningful action or reform, hundreds of thousands of Malaysians saw no available alternatives left to ensure the government took notice.

In the end, ordinary Malaysians went out there and risked their all because they believed a line has to be drawn somewhere – and together as one people, we drew that line at Dataran Merdeka.

What was Najib doing?

The government handled Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0 very differently.

In the former, every minister and his/her mother came out to condemn Bersih. This time, the evidence suggests a complete gag order.

Only Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was sent to do the dirty work, and he didn’t seem to have a clue what he was really saying – a feat he seems to have successfully extended post-Bersih.

The other peon sent to the lonely and dangerous front was KL Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail. While last year the Prime Minister was at the forefront of discussions about Bersih, this time he sent someone not at the federal level, not at the state level, but at the municipal level.

Who then is responsible for the police violence?

In cases where dogs attack humans, we hold their owners legally responsible.

Equally, I am of the school of thought which believes that when something goes wrong in a ship, there is no point in going after the sailors – ultimately, the captain must always bear final responsibility.

In this respect, Najib’s captaincy in this situation most resembles that of Captain Francesco Schettino of the Costa Concordia – the man who refused to return to his sinking ship after he abandoned it, despite being ordered by the Coast Guard to do so to help with the rescue efforts.

This spectacle gave rise to the meme, Vada a bordo, cazzo!, which translates roughly to “Get back on board, you !#$@!”

Imagine the scene.

On the same day that hundreds of thousands of Malaysians went down to the streets and faced tear gas and water cannons to demand clean and fair elections as their fundamental democratic right, the Prime Ministers sits and thinks about an appropriate course of action.

He ponders.

He wonders.

He decides: “I know, I should go to Bukit Tunku and get a hair cut.”

Has our Prime Minister gone mad? Does he fancy himself a Nero amidst a burning Rome? Vada a bordo, cazzo!

Having learnt from Bersih 2.0 that the more they tried to suppress Bersih, the worse they looked (a classic case of being trolled), the government – and especially Najib himself – chose to remain utterly quiet this time.

Of course, someone had to be fed to the lions. Hishammuddin, Ahmad Fuad, and the Inspector General of the Police all probably found themselves facing the firing squad with dead silence from the top. I can’t imagine how much they must resent the Prime Minister’s cowardice.

The trickle down effect of cowardice

This absence of leadership goes a long way in understanding how things happened on the 28th of April.

It seems the only clear instruction to the police from the IGP was: don’t do anything unless they breach Dataran.

A number of things: Firstly, this could be why the protesters were “allowed” to breach the barricades, if that was what indeed happened. Secondly, there does not seem to have been clear instruction as to what to do after action began to be taken.

Reviewing the videos and eyewitness accounts of violence, I find myself thinking of a popular song by the Baha Men.

On Saturday evening, I spoke to someone on the train to KLCC who told of how the police were breaking the peace and forcing their way into restaurants, roughing up anyone in a yellow t-shirt (video evidence has since emerged of such instances). They were chasing Malaysians around town late into the evening, for no apparent reasons whatsoever.

As seen by the way they fired tear gas after people were already dispersing, their motivation seemed to be one of vengeance – vengeance devoid of any real purpose or leadership.

Too long have we endured a culture of police brutality, and too long have we abided those who are truly responsible.

Najib’s cowardice in failing to deal with the entire Bersih matter maturely is nothing short of disgusting.

The wise thing to do would have been to let the people gather peacefully at Dataran Merdeka, listen to what they have to say, and then let them disperse peacefully.

If he thought he could happily let some other fall guys take the rap while he shut up for weeks, and then crawl out of the woodwork to whine and spin after the fact (after, of course, his ‘urgently needed’ haircut), he has another thing coming.

Courage in our final lap

Ultimately, all this is about nothing more and nothing less than the right to choose our leaders fairly.

It was on the last day of parliament that the government – in a move that can only signal truly malicious intent – enacted amendments to electoral laws that actually make it easier for the government to cheat and steal an election.

Some ten days before Bersih (either arrogance or pure desperation), and literally in the dead of night, amidst stopped clocks – they eroded yet another fundamental liberty that is the human right of every Malaysian.

Not until that moment did I realise how serious the ruling party is about cheating, how close they are to the edge, and how desperate they are not to fall off.

One way or another, I feel we are in for some truly challenging months ahead. It may not be long before we can be compared to the worst tyrannies and dictatorships in the world.

Nevertheless, I refuse to let my fear restrain me from taking a stand against injustice.

On the 28th of April, the 9th of July, and the 10th of November before it, Malaysians came together and said Ya basta! Enough is enough.

No more power through corruption, no more apathy through ignorance, no more oppression through tyranny.

The powerful will use every last measure at their considerable disposal to corrupt the democratic process, and we, the rakyat, will have to use every last measure of our considerable strength to resist it.

If ever you despair, you remember that commitment and resolve that was written on the face of every one of your brothers and sisters that came out to walk with you that scorching Saturday afternoon. You remember and you take heart.

Remember, and know this – it may take days, it may take a lifetime; but armed with nothing but our integrity and our conscience, believe me, we shall overcom

Apr 202012
 

The government is getting “smarter”. Having completely failed to suppress Bersih 2.0 by force, they are now trying to make Bersih 3.0 go away by ignoring it.

Indeed, a dependence on stealth and public apathy seems to becoming an increasingly standard modus operandi.

Last night, Parliament sat until some ungodly hour to rush through bills that the government didn’t one anyone to know about.

WTF kinda democracy is this??

Luckily, some people were paying attention. A good activist I know put together a list of alarming facts about amendments to the Election Offences Bill.

In summary, instead of moving towards Electoral Reform, the government has in fact enacted laws MAKING IT EASIER FOR THEM TO CHEAT!

People sometimes ask if we still need to rally for Electoral Reform. Well, I say to all Malaysians of conscience – read this, and see you at Dataran on the 28th.

*

The full impact of today’s amendment to the Election Offences Act:

1. Anyone can now put up anonymous posters without identifying person or printer. Poison posters will now become standard fare. This is exactly the opposite of the demand to end dirty politics.

2. A candidate can only use a party office for the purpose of holding meetings, discussions, ceramahs etc. Candidates are not allowed to use homes, hire halls or set up temporary structures. Nothing is said about ministers and other privileged persons using public facilities.

3. The time when an Agent of a candidate is allowed into the Polling Station is no longer fixed and is now left to the discretion of the EC to decide when a Polling or Counting Agent will be allowed to enter. They are free to chase Agents out of the Polling Station while the results are being fixed.

4. The 50m exclusion zone outside the Polling Centre is now extended to 100m or more, depending on the EC to decide. This makes it impossible for election monitors such as Mafrel to see anything illegal going on. If some major irregularity is being planned, the EC can even set a limit of 2 Km or more.

5. There will be no more Barung Observers who were previously the only non-EC people able to look at the IC of the voter and catch discrepancies. This is a major blow to the plans to weed out phantom voters. They can now walk in freely and the Polling Agent (if he is even allowed into the Polling Station) will have no opportunity to look at the IC of the voter.

These amendments, that were introduced late and shafted through Parliament without any meaningful vote, make a mockery of our electoral process. To work with this kind of flawed process makes idiots out of all of us. A solution must be found.

Apr 192012
 

Watching this video and reading my friend Temme’s account below of what happened last night at Dataran, the pattern is clearly emerging.

The first incidents we saw of – like when Nurul Izzah was attacked, ceramahs being disrupted violently – I thought were isolated. However, there’s almost no doubt left in my mind.

In 2008, BN was caught with their pants down. They likely did not expect any major electoral upset, and saw no need for ‘contingency’ preparations.

In GE13, it seems that the hardliners are clearly not going to give up power just like that.

I see these emerging acts of thuggery and violence as warm up exercises and attempts to instil fear into the population. Before too long, someone or other will start blabbering about May 13 again.

Will this scare us into voting for BN?

Only if we want to forever live in fear of thugs.

I say we draw the line here. This far, and no further.

If Khairy and his fellow ‘progressives’ want to retain any semblence of decency, they must condemn in the strongest terms any and all acts of these reprehensible acts. He should also demonstrate his control over the entirety of Umno Youth, and their ‘associates’.

Sick and tired of gangsters trying to run our country >:(

*

19 April 2012 Day 6 #OccupyDataran and Students’ Encampment: Ambush by gangster

By Temme Lee

At 2:36am, the student and Occupy Dataran encampment was violently ambushed by a big group of men.After the ambush, everyone sat down and victims of violence started to tell stories of what happened. Here is a brief summary of the stories.

———-

Everything started at 2:36am.

A group of people on motorbikes rode in and parked. They walked towards the field and started shouting. From the fountain, another group of people came and started pulling and breaking tents with people were sleeping in it. There wer altogether 60 people from the group. There were around 40-50 people part of the encampment, both students and non-students.

One tent with a woman: They kicked her head when she was still in the tent. They shouted and hit the tent.

They kicked a few tents and shouted at people to get out. Dragged a few people (non-students) from the edge of the camp to the field and belasah them.

One guy was held in a chokehold and made to surrender his camera. He was dragged off.

One woman was holding a camera and they pulled her bag, took her camera, smashed it on the ground, pulled her around, pulled her bag.

One woman went to relief herself and was walking back to the camp from the direction of the fountain, she took out her camera and started filming when around 15 people surrounded her and one man snatched her camera and they shouted and pushed her to the ground until she let go of her camera. After she got up, another man pulled her bag and pushed her around.

One guy followed behind the police and started filming, his camera was snatched and stamped.

One guy was in a tent, opened it, heard ppl shouting managed to get out of the tent before they pulled the tent. He sat at the mats with a few ppl and they started provoking them to get reaction, dragged another guy off the mat and beat him.

The people threw food around, destroyed all tent and donation box taken.

One guy was dragged to the street and 5 ppl beat him because he had a camera in his bag.

One woman was picked on and called lesbian.

About 5 Police cars came but they did nothing.

One man wearing kopiah was slapped twice, he asked what was happening, he was beaten, called pukimak and said he won’t ever get into heaven.

A guy tried to take photo with ipad and they hit him and tried to take his ipad. A few people saw a man in plainclothes carrying a revolver. We can’t identify if he is a Special Branch policemen.

A man identified one of the person in the attacking group as a member of UMNO Youth. After the ambush, campers cleaned up the place. We collectively decided that we would not be intimidated by the violence and we will sit peacefully to defend Dataran Merdeka as the people’s square and our right to occupy peacefully.

JOIN US IN PEACEFULLY DEFENDING OUR RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND RECLAIMING OUR RIGHTS TO DATARAN MERDEKA AS OUR DEMOCRATIC SPACE. BRING YOU CAMERAS AND SLEEPING BAGS AND #OCCUPYDATARAN WITH US UNTIL 28 APRIL 2012.

Copy, paste, share, post, blog and tweet this.

Mar 052012
 

Good lord! >:(

Is it just me or do numerous cops in Malaysia always seem to think they can do whatever they please… >:(

Public uproar over cop who ‘kicked’ motorcyclist

In less than two days, more than 10,000 netizens have shared photographs of a police personnel who had allegedly kicked a motorcyclist at a roadblock, causing severe injuries to the 14-year-old.

The photographs showing the cop, wearing a fluorescent green reflective vest and sunglasses, have sparked a public outcry in cyberspace, inviting thousands of comments condemning the alleged violence.

The incident last Saturday in Taman Tangkak Jaya, Ledang, Johor, was reported in today’s Chinese dailies, with some placing the story on their front page.

NONEAccording to Kwong Wah Jit Poh, motorcyclist Lim Hup Hwang was riding without a helmet about 5.50pm when he arrived at the roadblock.

Attempting to stop Lim, the police personnel kicked the motorcycle, causing the teenager to fall and hit the road divider.

Lim was taken to the Tangkak Hospital and later transferred to a private hospital in Malacca due to the severe injuries on the head, right ear, neck, right leg and other parts of his body.

“This is the policeman! Just because my brother did not wear a helmet, he kicked the motorcycle. Why he did this to my 14-year-old brother when he can just issue a summon?” said Lim’s elder sister in a Facebook posting, to which the cop’s photograph was attached.

“My brother went into coma with blood clots in his neck, neck sprain, head and ear bleeding. He received stitches for the injuries all over his body!”

The posting was shared by 7,881 Facebook users, ‘liked’ by 9,994 and received 1,177 comments as at 1pm today.

Other photographs showing Lim lying in hospital wearing a cervical collar with bruises on his face also went viral on the social media website.

“This policeman argued that my brother intended to hit him with the motorcycle hence the kick. Fortunately, three good Samaritans are our eyewitnesses (to rebut the policeman). Thank you so much,” said the sister in the same posting, urging other users to share the photograph.

Yesterday, Lim’s father told Sin Chew Daily that his son was still under observation in the Intensive Care Unit and that the medical report would only be available today.

The daily quoted an eyewitness as claiming that Lim’s motorcycle was kicked because he did not immediately stop after being instructed by the police to do so.

The witness then saw a People’s Volunteer Corps member riding a motorcycle. He ran into Lim who was lying on the ground and left the scene hastily.

NONEThe witness claimed that the  police personnel had stood and watched the whole incident without offering any help to Lim.

A heated argument broke out when bystanders scolded the cop, who argued that Lim had tried to hit him, added the eyewitness.

Lim was sent to hospital in an ambulance which was called by some members of the public.

Lim’s father has lodged a police report and is preparing to take legal action against the police personnel concerned, with the help of a local MCA Youth leader.

Ledang OCPD Harun Idris has called on the public to stay calm but has refused to comment on the incident. He said the police will carry out an investigation soon.

In an immediate response, Johor DAP secretary Tan Chen Choon urged the police to probe whether the cop had breached the standard operating procedures in stopping the motorcyclist.

“We know that the people’s trust in the police is low. Hence, we again call on the government to establish an independent police complaints and misconduct commission to ensure such investigations are done more transparently,” he told Malaysiakinitoday.

Feb 232012
 

It may be repetitive, but I’m going to try and highlight as many of these cases that I can. Apologies to MK et al for the simple copy pasting.

This trend is long ongoing, and continues to be deeply troubling.

In addition to the police, who have suffered from this problem for a long time, we now see more cases involving Rela.

There are serious concerns – to my mind far from unfounded – that Rela is being turned into nothing but a gang of thugs. I’m sure there are some sincere, good individuals in their ranks, but the general trend looks bad.

What is Najib up to when he keeps cosying up to Rela?

Are these going to be Umno-led thugs to create chaos in case of a BN loss in GE 13?

Are they practicing by bullying unarmed Malaysians?

I doubt Mr. Mogan is guilty, and even if he were, only a lawless state would treat criminals this way.

Our system is in very bad need of cleaning >:(

Mechanic: Gun pointed at my head to force confession

A 42-year-old mechanic has claimed that he was stopped and assaulted by eight Rela personnel after filling petrol in his car in Kajang four days ago.

On top of that, when the Rela officers turned him in to the Taming Jaya police station, he was assaulted by four police personnel who allegedly wanted him to admit to car and lorry theft.

NONES Mogan (left), of Balakong, said his ordeal began about 5am before he was to meet a friend who had sought his help at his workshop and house.

“I decided to fill up my car with petrol as I wanted to send my children to school soon after. As soon as I filled up, I was stopped by the Rela personnel who accused me of car theft,” he said at a press conference today.

“They searched my Nissan Sunny car and saw that I had many spare parts. I told them that I am a mechanic but this was met with one of them using a metal rod to hit my left leg. Then the other Rela personnel assaulted me, punching and kicking me on the body and in the back.”

Mogan said he was then taken to the Taming Jaya police station by the Rela personnel where they told the police that he was a drug addict.

There, the police personnel allegedly assaulted him with a water hose and hit him on the feet, to get him to confess to stealing cars and lorries.

“At one point, one of them pointed a gun at my head, threatening to kill me if I did not confess. The police officers showed me vehicles (outside the police station that they said) had been stolen. (They said the cases) remained unsolved and (that they) would put the blame on me to have the cases closed.

“They continued to beat me on the feet and shouted verbal abuse. I was in severe pain as I suspected that my left leg had been fractured by the use of the iron rod.

When they pointed the gun at my head, I told them to shoot me as I could not stand the pain. They wanted me to sign a blank letter but I refused.”

Mogan, who said he was held at Taming Jaya from 6am to 9am, was taken to the Kajang district police station where a police officer put him through a urine test.

Mogan, who is married and has three children, said the officer also checked his background and noticed that he does not have a criminal record.

“As the urine test proved to be negative and as I do not possess any criminal record, the officer decided to release me. He told me to seek medical treatment and to come back to lodge a police report afterwards.”

Losses of RM5,000

That afternoon, after seeking medical treatment, he went to retrieve his car from the Taming Jaya police station and noticed that the spare parts, spare battery, alternator, and tools were missing.

I had RM1,300 in my wallet, which was given to the police, but the money is missing. My Nokia handphone and other spare parts like spark plugs are also missing. I estimate my loss to be in the range of RM5,000,” he said.

“I have lodged a police report soon as I wanted the police to investigate the matter. There are receipts for all the items at my workshop. If the items are from stolen vehicles, come and prove it to me.”

He claimed that his injuries have caused bruises all over his body, a fracture to his left leg, and slight difficulty in hearing.

Mogan said a police officer had taken photos of his injuries yesterday.

I am scared as one of the police officers in Taming Jaya warned me that they will watch me closely. I fear for my life,” he said.

police tortured victim 110107 lawyer P UthayakumarHindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uthayakumar (right), who was present, said there has been a concerted effort by the authorities to pick up Indian Malaysians and to try to force confessions out of them to resolve crime.

“Hindraf does not condone crime but we are concerned if the Rela and police are going about this in such a way as to force a confession. This is illegal and worrying and we want the inspector-general of police (IGP) and the attorney-general (AG) to investigate the matter,” he said.

“For this reason, I have written to the AG and IGP today to investigate this allegation. Mogan does not have a criminal record as verified by the Kajang police but why subject him to such treatment?”

Uthayakumar said Hindraf wants to see the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission as proposed by former Chief Justice Mohd Dzaiddin Abdullah.

Jan 082012
 

I was quite amused to wake up this morning to the article below by Dtk Zaid Ibrahim.

Let me be the very first to say that this correspondance isn’t really worth your time (I just had a spare minute and couldn’t help myself). There are a lot more important things going on. So I won’t be offended in the least if you’re not bothered to read. I too should be shifting my focus to things of bigger consequence for the nation.

Not having the best English in the world, I had to look up the meaning of ‘effete’. All I can say is that it’s a step up from ‘bangsat‘ I guess :)

(He’s right about the snob part though, as my close friends can attest to).

Anyway, my article seem to have rubbed him the wrong way, and must apologise for the slight. I don’t think much response is warranted, but what little may be I insert below:

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About effete snobs

There are many columnists who write about politics and politicians. The worst of the lot is Nathaniel Tan. Last week he wrote a lengthy article in Malaysiakini about politicians and political activists who, according to him, have no integrity and credibility.

He named Dato’ Ibrahim Ali, Datuk S. Nallakaruppan and me as the undesirable ones. His yardstick or measure is simple: if a politician has changed political party more than once, then he is unprincipled and unreliable.

nat: :) As I wrote earlier on Twitter Dtk, you certainly usually have more refined, progressive and admirable views than either gentlemen quoted above. I cannot really say you have more staying power though, in all honesty. Many of the people I was referring to (I suppose others like Wee Choo Keong and Zulkifli Nordin also fit the bill), had a big fight with the current elected leaders of their party, and decided to say forget them, I’m going to go my own way. Was it because of principle, or was it because of ego? I guess every rakyat has to decide that for themselves.

So this professor of integrity has now introduced a new prescription for political integrity: if a politician stays loyal to his party despite having to accommodate and accept many things that are against his beliefs and principles, then he is good and has integrity. Such a person has a larger picture, according to Nathaniel, and is therefore desirable.

In Nathaniel’s simple world, if a politician changes party once, he is still acceptable; but more than once and he is a frog. Why does it depend on the number of times he changes party?

nat: I suppose it matters less how many times, but just from recent observation in Malaysia, it happens that those who move more than once tend to do so for…. less admirable reasons, usually? Just my personal observation, maybe I’m wrong.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad left UMNO because of his hatred of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He then rejoined the party after Pak Lah retired. This is good principle for Nathaniel, whereas in my case my actions were unprincipled – but he forgets that UMNO sacked me. Does this count as one “jump”?

nat: It is very rare indeed that I consider anything Tun Mahathir does to be based on ‘good principle’. This case is definitely no different. Quitting Umno in protest of Tun Abdullah is really more in the vein of a drama queen than it is a statesman. 

In Nathaniel’s view it was my fault regardless. I did not have a bigger picture. Perhaps I was too critical. Leaving PKR (two moves now) was also undesirable because I should have stayed on even if it meant that I had to condone electoral cheating and power manipulation.

In Nathaniel’s calculus, one has to be blindly loyal at the cost of one’s own principles to qualify as having integrity. There must be many Nazis that Nathaniel is proud of, seeing as they stood by Hitler to the bitter end. On the other hand, Sir Winston S. Churchill must be a spineless party-hopper since he crossed from the Conservatives to the Liberals then back again. Churchill had many qualities – some good, others bad – but lacking principle or integrity is not one of them.

nat: Yeah, I just love the Nazis. Come on, who doesn’t? (Don’t worry, we won’t apply Godwin’s law :) Had Dtk Zaid read my article from beginning to end, I stated clearly that should a party truly abandon its principles, then it is time to abandon said party. Has it? I look at some of the people still within the party, and measure their decisions against their credibility, the tests of integrity they have endured, and what I know of them personally. If PKR is good enough for them, it’s probably good enough for me. A fair number of people were dissatisfied with the last PKR elections (I certainly voted for a *lot* of people that didn’t win). If Dtk Zaid has proof of “electoral cheating and power manipulation”, I humbly beg him to step forward with and make the appropriate reports to the Registrar of Societies, PDRM, etc, so that we can save the party from people who usurp elections, as well as . If however he does not have proof that would withstand public scrutiny, how does he know for sure himself that there was electoral fraud?

Who is this pompous writer to go around with his own constructed “integrity-barometer” castigating others for lack of principle? If he wants to test his mettle and is willing to let others measure the level of integrity in his system, then I bid him welcome to the world of politics.

Giving one’s opinion about other people is the easiest thing to do. Unless you are also in a political party, you will never understand the travails and difficulties one faces. Politics is a difficult discipline and the choices one has to make are never easy.

It would be better if effete snobs like Nathaniel were less judgmental and harsh about politicians unless they would like to join the Club too. Taking cheap shots from the gallery does little more than display the lack of backbone he would like to accuse others of.

nat: thank you for your kind welcome, Dtk. You joined Umno in 2000, definitely making you my senior in politics. I might not be able however to defer to your seniority within PKR alas, given that unless I’m mistaken, my membership which began in 2007 predates yours (it’s not often I can talk about my membership with vague pride rather than vague embarrassment, thanks for the opportunity :). Your stint in the party though, was longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage, so it’s all good.

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We all worked hard for Dtk Zaid in Hulu Selangor. I have no regrets. The coalition chose a candidate, we supported him. I also know some of Dtk Zaid’s family, cool people. So if there’s any personal animosity, it certainly won’t come from this pompous, effete snob :)

Just today, Dtk Zaid and DS Anwar seemed to have a little make up on Twitter, which is all well and good. It’s a little hard to tell where Dtk Zaid and Kita stands at any given time, but I guess that’s not really a major concern. Regardless, I do wish him all the best.

Should I ever come across compelling reasons to change any of my positions, I hope I shall always have the humility to do so. In this case, I alas cannot say I have, so with humble apologies, I will stick to what I wrote in my original article. In summary, I still believe consistency and knowing when to subdue one’s ego still counts for something in this world.