31 July 2011

RCI judges ‘three blind mice’,says ex-Judge

A respected former senior judge has branded the three judges on the Teoh Beng Hock royal commission of inquiry (RCI) “three blind mice” for concluding that the political aide committed suicide despite lacking expert opinion.

Former High Court and Court of Appeal judge Datuk N. H. Chan said the commission had “no business” forming such an opinion as none of the experts it called upon gave the opinion that Teoh committed suicide.

He pointed out that this went against Section 45 of the Evidence Act 1950, which states that when a court has form an opinion on a point of science, the opinions of experts are relevant facts. “Without any relevant fact, that is to say, without an opinion from an expert, a court is unable to form an opinion upon... the scientific point that Teoh Beng Hock took his own life. In this case, none of the experts gave the opinion that Teoh took his own life,” Chan said in an essay sent to The Malaysian Insider.

“The commissioners must not substitute their own opinion for that of the experts! Yet this was precisely what the RCI did! By assuming the mantle of a forensic psychiatric expert it came to the conclusion that Teoh took his own life.”

He added that the finding that Teoh was driven to suicide after relentless questioning from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers was also unfounded, and lamented the fact that the public still did not know how the political aide died.

The RCI unanimously ruled that Teoh, aide to Selangor executive councillor and Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, committed suicide as a result of pressure from aggressive and continuous questioning by anti-graft officers.

The five-man panel wrapped up its report on June 15 after having heard testimony from 70 witnesses in its bid to unravel the mysterious circumstances behind Teoh’s death.

The 30-year-old DAP political aide was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he was questioned overnight by MACC officers at their then-Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor.

The coroner’s inquest had in January returned an “open verdict” ruling out both suicide and homicide some 18 months after Teoh’s death.

The government was then forced to establish the RCI, which first met in February, with two terms of reference: to probe how Teoh plunged to his death and to look into MACC’s investigative methods.

Teoh’s family has rejected the commission’s verdict and are currently mulling a judicial review of its findings.

Read former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk NH Chan's article, "If you put the cart before the horse"

source:malaysian insider


30 July 2011

Just what Malaysia needs: Another minister...

I hate to spoil the party but the last thing this country needs is another minister.

In fact, what we need is not quantity but quality. The last couple of months has shown up the inadequacies and incompetence of a number of ministers and exposed the paucity of talent in the Cabinet.

We have a Home Minister who did not know that EU citizens do not need a tourist visa (French lawyer Michael Bourdon had to educate him); a de facto Law Minister who misinterpreted a key fact in the Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission of Inquiry and a Defence Minister who sounds shaky whenever he speaks.

And I have not even touched on the Agriculture Minister, Unity Minister, etc.

You can now understand why I greeted news of Palanivel's promotion with a shrug and a sigh. No doubt this is a reward for the MIC but it will sold as recognition for the Indian community.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will wax lyrical about the Indians (never mind that a chunk of PSM6 were Indians!). The only people happy with Palanivel’s promotion will be Palanivel, Palanivel’s family and parts of the MIC (unity is still a problem with these guys).

For the rest of us, it will just mean another name in the Cabinet; another politician with a chauffer-driven car, a bodyguard and a security guard in his house. Another minister to an already bloated Cabinet. Truth be told, he will have little impact on the welfare of the Indians.

MIC kept quiet when the PSM6 were detained and only found its voice when the mood of public opinion stirred. Not too different from how the party handled the Hindraf problem. MIC and BN moved faster this time because they need the Indian vote more this time than in 2008.

Dr Michael Jeyakumar has got more credibility than Palanivel and all his CWC members put together. And that is not only because he was detained unjustly but because the man actually serves the rakyat.- Jacob Sinnathamby

source:malaysia insider

Najib: Palanivel akan dilantik menteri penuh

PM adds Palanivel to the Cabinet

Najib patut pikiaq cara2 mengawal kenaikkan harga barang bukan upgrade status Palanivel kepada jawatan seorang Menteri penuh...


Mat Sabu kata nak gari apa, berjalan pun tak boleh....

Demokrasi kita dah terlalu jauh ke belakang. Malah kita ketinggalan di belakang Fiji. Yang hampir setaraf dengan kita mungkin Myanmar.

Di Indonesia selepas era Suharto kalau ada unjuk rasa (demonstrasi), polis sendiri akan bagi garis panduan, peserta unjuk rasa, sila berjalan ikut jalan sekian-sekian, polis akan berkawal untuk memastikan kelicinan perjalanan, berhimpun ditempat yang ditentukan kemudian apabila usai unjuk rasa, pulang melalui jalan sekian-sekian dan anggota polis akan membantu perjalanan.

Di Negara kita, siapa yang berhimpun akan ditangkap! ISA akan digunakan kalau perlu! Anggota keselamatan akan dikerahkan! Ini perhimpunan Haram! Tak cukup anggota polis, kita akan kerahkan anggota tentera!

Peserta himpunan BERSIH adalah penderhaka yang boleh dihukum pancung! Peniaga akan kerugian besar! Negara akan huru-hara! Apa semua ini....

Mat Sabu telah menyampaikan Ceramah Pasca Bersih 2.0 di Kampung Gong Nangka, DUN Jabi malam tadi.


Ambiga grills Wan Ahmad in Round 2....

Election Commission (EC) deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar reiterated that the EC is just a "management body" under the law to manage elections, rather than an enforcement agency."We are guided by the Attorney-General's Office. The laws given to us are management laws," he said.

He was speaking today at a forum 'The Election Laws, Election Commission and Electoral Reform' organised by the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham).

Conceding that electoral reforms lie heavily on the political will of the BN government, the Election Commission (EC) however refused to use en bloc resignation as a way to pressure the ruling party to accept its reform proposals.
“You are asking too much. You've got to be reasonable here. We are working within the system,” said EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar during a public forum at Petaling Jaya today.

He was responding to the challenge of the Bar Council's Human Rights Committee chairman Andrew Khoo which demanded all the commissioners to resign if their proposals were rejected by the government.

His reply was met with a loud “no” from some 300 members of public who attended the forum entitled 'The Election Laws, Election Commission and Electoral Reform' organised by the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham).

“If you put a former judge in the EC, maybe he can push for whatever reforms. But with the current system, he needs to work within the system,” Wan Ahmad said.

Like the electoral reform forum held on Tuesday, in which Wan Ahmad was booed and heckled by a hostile crowd, the role and power of the EC in ensuring clean and fair elections was again hotly debated in today's forum.

The EC number two reiterated that his commission had submitted various proposals to the government but whether they will be translated into laws will still depend on the government's policy.

“Please understand this is the system and we can have no way to go against the system.

“This is the system in Malaysia... the attorney-general will draft the bill only when they get the signal from the government,” he stressed.

'We don't have seats in Parliament'

Comparing the EC in Australia, which was given a seat in the Parliament to present its bills and views, Wan Ahmad said that it is the minister who tables the bills in Malaysia.

“We don't have seats in Parliament to debate our proposal. Definitely they (government) won't allow it because this is our system.”

His statement did not go down well with the crowd including Proham executive committee member KC Vohrah, who argued that the law amendment process should be the other way round. The former judge, who once served in the AG's Chambers, said that it should be the EC that drafts the bill and lobbies the AG's Chambers to accept it. “When I was in the (AG's) Chambers, they (government agency) came and argued, and sometimes we agreed with them,” he said.

'Untrue EC powerless'

Responding to Wan Ahmad, Ambiga as the second speaker cited section 27E of the Election Offences Act to prove that the EC has actually broader powers than it conceives. According to Ambiga, the section empowers the EC enforcement team during the campaign to "ensure that written laws relating to election are being complied with".

She argued that the EC also has the power, under the current laws, to call other authorities to assist the commission in carrying out its duties. Therefore, although the EC has no prosecution powers, it has the responsibility to lodge police reports or request other authorities to take action, when faced with cases of irregularities.

The former Bar Council president also quizzed Wan Ahmad on the issue of postal votes for Malaysians overseas, who are being denied a chance to vote.

"From the feedback we received, it is impossible for them to go to the Malaysian embassies to vote," said Ambiga.

She reminded Wan Ahmad that 50,000 to 200,000 Sarawakians in the peninsula were disenfranchised during the state election in April because they did not qualify as postal voters.

Automatic registration 'doable'

While on the subject, Ambiga also requested Wan Ahmad to explain whether the members of the territorial army (Wataniah), that the government has suggested to form in every parliamentary constituency nationwide, will be registered as postal voters.

Wan Ahmad responded that the EC is looking into replacing the current postal voting system, which has been criticised for not transparent and vulnerable to abuse, with an advance voting systen, where all police and military personnel will cast their votes before the polling day, but the voting process will be exactly the same as ordinary voters on polling day.

He also said that all full-time students and civil servant abroad, together with their spouses, are eligible to be postal voters but the current number of overseas voters only stands at 2,500. Hence, he added that the EC had appointed assistant registration officers at Malaysian missions overseas to facilitate the overseas voting process.

On the issue of automatic registration, one of the Bersih 2.0 demands, Ambiga dismissed the EC's excuse that it would force people to vote, and that it would lead to a low voter turnout rate. She argued that if the people are automatically registered as voters when they reach 21 years of age, they still have a choice whether to vote or not.

As for the problem of lower turnout, Ambiga countered that the outcome of automatic registration would result in the opposite, as it overcomes people's laziness in getting themselves registered under the current system. She added automatic registration is highly doable if the National Registration Department (NRD) database, that is linked to the EC, is clean and has high integrity.

However, Wan Ahmad insisted that “in a functioning democracy, people should be given a choice and you don't force people to register if they are not interested in politics”.

Another reason against automatic registration is that 40 percent of the population do not change their registered address in their MyKad to their current residential address, therefore they would have to travel to another constituency to vote if the automatic registration system is based on the information in their MyKad.

Wan Ahmad also disclosed that the EC had submitted the proposal to the government but the latter was not convinced. On the proposed biometric verification system, many of those present had raised their doubts including the high probability of failure in recognising finger print especially when one grows older.

Ambiga Sreenevasan further pointed out that the federal constitution allows the election commissioners to enjoy the same status as a federal court judge.

“They are in a special position... but they don't believe it themselves. That's the frustration we have,” she said.

Ambiga explained that it was the frustration and disappointment with the EC's passiveness, coupled with its inaction on the many cases of irregularities occurred during the Sarawak state election, that prompted Bersih 2.0 to march on July 9.

“We don't have the luxury of time. The 13th general election is not far off,” she added.

Even the moderator of the forum, Ramon Navaratnam, another Proham executive committee member, commented that the 'civil-servant mindset' of the election commissioners is one of the factors behind the EC's conservativeness.

“I think we must realise when you have former civil servants (appointed as election commissioners), most of them after 30 years in the civil service, tend not to displease the government of the day,” said Navaratnam, who is also a former civil servant.

Therefore he suggested that prominent individuals not from the civil service should be appointed as election commissioners.

All the seven current election commissioners appointed by the Agong under the advice of the prime minister are former senior civil servants.

These are among the other issues touched on at the forum:

Minimum 21 days campaign period


* Longer campaign period is crucial especially for postal voters residing overseas, as the ballots take a longer time to arrive at polling stations.

* We not only want to know what the party's manifesto are but we also want to know the candidate's portfolio.

* It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas and work the ground.

Wan Ahmad

* 21 days of campaigning period may be too much but seven days too little and the EC is seriously considering extending into a reasonable period.

* Police personnel on duty during elections have said that they don't have enough manpower to stand-by for 24 hours.

* longer campaign period it incurs additional cost.

* Malaysia is very advanced in information and communication technology, as there are rarely any new political parties, the manifestos of the party can be download off the Internet.

Free and fair access to media


* Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide.

* EC must exercise to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all political parties.

Wan Ahmad

* The government argues that RTM is official broadcast station and they are worried if it is opened up to all other parties it will be abused to confuse the public.

* The are no such predicament for other private stations and we have written to them and encouraged for equal coverage be given.


The EC members are appointed in such a manner that it sole purpose is to serve their 'masters' in Putrajaya.

SPR berdepan krisis kepercayaan?

PSM 6 released...

Meanwhile, The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) 6 have been released today after they were detained since July 2 for undefined charges during the Bersih 2.0 crackdown.

It is understood that they were released at 5.30pm at the Jinjang police station, following public outrage and sustained protests over their arbitrary detention.

The six PSM members - Choo Chon Kai, Sarat Babu, M Sarasvathy, M Sukumaran, A Letchumanan and Sungai Siput parliamentarian Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj - were initially detained on suspicion of planning to wage war against the King.

It was learnt that the charge was however changed several times, at one point accusing them of being ringleaders of the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.

Semua enam tahanan EO dibebaskan

Jeyakumar and 5 other PSM leaders freed: Police must apologize


29 July 2011

One ring, many questions....

The story of the million-dollar diamond ring has finally made the leap from the Internet to the mainstream press. And Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has denied it is hers.

This is the latest allegation against her since even before her husband became prime minister in April 2009. One has to wonder why she is a favourite target of unflattering gossip and innuendoes.

All said and done, the PM's wife's denial raises more questions rather than sending the rumour to oblivion

1) Why did Rosmah take so long to deny this allegation which has been floating around for nearly a month?

This is serious business. Who brings a ring costing RM24 million? Does the PM have that much to spend on a diamond ring? Or Rosmah herself? Can we have their public declaration of their wealth and businesses, if any?

2) Even if we buy this story about Jacob the jeweller using her name for money-laundering activities, why her? Isn't that too random? It's like the £3 billion golden yacht belonging to a Malaysian businessman. Random. And a hoax.

More importantly, does she know this jeweller with a less than a clean past? Do her associates or friends know Jacob?

3) Some of Umno blogs have not denied that the ring was in the country but that it was only RM24 million and not US$24 million. They also said the ring is no longer in the country and has been returned.

So, is the ring gone? Or still here. This is too important to sweep under the carpet.

4) Others say that the ring was a present to the first lady. Who gave her the ring in such a graceless way? And why?

There are just too many questions and this will weigh heavily on Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Is this why his actions are a bit irrational, pissing off the Christians one day and the Wahhabi Muslims the next.

Mr Prime Minister, you have to explain this. Your political opponents will take you to the cleaners on this one, pun intended.

The Malaysian Insider, I hope you too get to the bottom of this story. Don't rely on spin doctors in the PMO or foreign consultants like FBC Media. Their job is to keep their job while serving factions within Putrajaya.

This one ring is more than the gossip or scandals over the past years. This can bring down a government faster than any street rally can ever hope to achieve.- Atan Shaharuddin.

source:malaysian insider

Rosmah: Dakwaan beli cincin RM24 juta fitnah

Mudahnya Rosmah Jawab Isu Cincin RM24 Juta!

Bik Badak Mula Bersuara Nafikan Dirinya Dia Bernilai Lebih Murah dari Cincin 24 juta itu..


A new witness, video rebutting police claims...

A new witness came forward today with pictures of injuries to his face he said were caused by a tear gas canister that grazed him - another example that PKR claims to be police intent to cause bodily harm at the KL Sentral underpass during the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally.

The victim, PKR Klang division chief Yew Boon Lye (right), told reporters at the party headquarters in Petaling Jaya that he was grazed by a tear gas canister, causing him to suffer bruises to his left eye.

"I immediately sought treatment at a clinic after returning to Klang. The swelling took a week to go down," Yew said.

Accompanying Yeoh was PKR vice-president N Surendran, Subang MP R Sivarasa, PKR legal bureau chief Latheefa Koya and lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri. Acknowledging that the injury was not severe, Sivarasa said it still showed that police had aimed at the people's heads.

"(PKR supremo) Anwar Ibrahim's bodyguard had his cheek bones crushed, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad needed six stitches on his head, but Yew was lucky his injuries were not as severe.

"The fact that three people took hits on their heads is not a coincidence, these tear gas rifles were directly aimed at the people's heads," Sivarasa said.

The party also aired several video recordings to journalists in response to clippings released by the police, one of which shows PKR's Batu MP Tian Chua allegedly charging at the police.

In a Free Malaysia Today video which was shown, viewers could hear someone in the police line saying, “Bawah! bawah!” (down! down!) as the police were aiming their tear gas launchers, after which one of the officer is seen lowering his launcher.

This, PKR said, is further evidence that the police had deliberately aimed the canisters at protestors even though they are meant to be shot at an angle.

'Police did not fire because of Tian Chua'

The party also used the same video to counter police claims that the authorities were forced to fire tear gas on protesters because a group of them, led by Chua had charged at the police. In the same video, it was seen that a commanding officer whom the party claimed to be Brickfields police chief Wan Abdul Bakri Wan Abdul Khalid, ordered journalists to move out of the Federal Reserve Unit's (FRU) line of fire.

"Twenty four seconds before they fired (the tear gas) they had already told reporters to move, this clearly showed they intended to hit.

"For the police to say that they fired (tear gas) because a small group (including Chua) had rushed out is unfounded," said Surendran.

He also claimed that before Chua tried to rush out, he had tried to negotiate with police, to no avail.

"When we reached the front, Chua started walking to the police line, and so did I. Just before he could get close, we heard violent shouting and they were aiming at us.

"These people were not interested in talking, they were only interested in shooting, so we backed off,” he added.

PKR also aired a TV Selangor video showing Chua running towards the side of police line which they claimed is proof that there was no intention to charge the police.

"Chua had already ran out and going to the side, he didn't go any where near the FRU,” pressed Surendran.

In the same video, police were also seen repeatedly beating a protester with a baton while two other officers restrained him.

“The man was already restrained by the police but the other police officer was beating him continuosly with a baton,” said Fadia, who was in charge of the videos.

Surendran again called on the police to classify its actions during the July 9 rally at the KL Sentral underpass as attempted murder and open an investigation into the matter instead of investigating the protesters.

“Under section 300 of the Penal Code which defines murder, when you fire a loaded cannon even without premeditated intention to kill someone but someone dies, it is murder. It this case no one died, so this is attempted murder,” he said.

Last Wednesday, Surendran was questioned by police after he had made similar statements that the police action on that day amounted to attempted murder.


PKR kemuka saksi baru, video tangkis dakwaan polis

PKR shows own Bersih videos to counter police claims

Peguam PKR pula tayang video nafi dakwaan polis

Nanti IGP akan mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa mangsa Yew Boon Lye telah menumbuk dengan sendiri bahagian mata kirinya hingga lebam.

Polis mana ada buat jahat,mereka melindungi rakyat daripada pencuri dan peragut....


Perkasa(m) batal himpunan nak elak Melayu bertembung...

Presiden PERKASA Ibrahim Ali mendakwa beliau membatalkan perhimpunan 9 Julai bagi membantah perarakan BERSIH 2.0 pada minit terakhir bagi mengelakkan pertembungan di kalangan orang Melayu.

Dakwanya beliau mengeluarkan arahan berkenaan kepada penyokong PERKASA kira-kira 90 minit sebelum mereka sepatutnya berkumpul di Taman Tasik Titiwangsa pada jam 2.30 petang Sabtu itu.

Menurut Ibraham, keputusan menarik diri itu dibuat selepas kira-kira 50 ahlinya yang dihantar sebagai penyamar menyelinap di kalangan penyokong BERSIH 2.0 bagi memantau perkembangan pada hari tersebut.

"Mereka beritahu saya, peserta (BERSIH 2.0) adalah orang Melayu. Cina hanya sedikit, mungkin satu atau dua peratus, dan India lagi tidak ramai.

"Saya tanya mana (pemimpin DAP) Lim Kit Siang dan Lim Guan Eng, mereka kata tak ada. Kemudian, saya tanya siapa yang ada? Mereka kata (ketua umum PKR) Anwar (Ibrahim) dan (presiden PAS) Abdul Hadi Awang," kata Ibrahim.

"Jika kita (PERKASA) berkumpul, kita tidak boleh menahan penyokong kita daripada berarak, dan akan berlaku pertembungan di kalangan orang Melayu,” katanya dalam wawancara eksklusif dengan stesen TV internet - eTV - minggu lalu.

Baca seterusnya di sini.


Hello... ketua PERKASA(M) janganlah berdolak dalik, katakan saja aku dan PERKASA(M) kecut TELOQ......

You called off the rally because there were only 30 Perkasa(m) members there.

Hello... Froggie Ali you just need to bend down and look between your legs and see whether there are anymore balls hanging.....


28 July 2011

Why go Biometric when about 10% of Mykad issued were faulty...

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in supporting the biometric system the Election Commission plans to introduce is reported as saying: "The government has agreed to provide allocations for the Election Commission (EC) to implement the biometric voter verification system."

Najib said the system was one of the initiatives undertaken by the EC to ensure transparency in the country's elections.

"The implementation of the biometric system will be able to counter allegations about the existence of phantom voters," he said at a meet-the-people session at Dewan 2020 in Kangar. One cannot help but to wonder why the prime minister is so adamant in rejecting the "indelible ink" proposal and rush for the biometric system.

Let's talk about the cost

It is an undeniable fact that the indelible ink system is much cheaper. In 2008, the cost of using this ink was RM2.4 million for the entire voting population of Malaysia, as stated by the EC itself. Considering that election day is just one day, within a window of just nine hours, the biometric system implemented must be 100 percent reliable on that day and within that period.

This entails:

* Every single biometric machine being 100 percent operational at every polling station. Bear in mind that there are an estimated 10,000 polling stations nationwide. The Kuala Selangor parliamentary constituency alone has 48 voting stations;

* Installing, testing and commissioning the system at every polling station throughout Malaysia before election day;

* Training all the personnel involved in the system to handle the system well, long before election day;

* Ensuring uninterrupted power supply at every polling station. This will mean every polling station must have a power supply back-up;

* Providing easily reachable technical support for the biometric system, within 10 minutes of every voting station;

* Ensuring continuous communication between each polling station and the central database centre. For polling stations in remote areas, new communication infrastructure must first be installed; and

* Guaranteeing that the reliability of the database prepared by the National Registration Department and the EC, since this is totally dependent on the efficiency of their respective personnel.

Increasing the reliability of the voting system by this magnitude will easily increase the cost of the entire electoral system, 10-fold at least. I won't be surprised if the cost of biometrics for each polling constituency in Malaysia touches the RM1 billion mark.

This amount, for a nine-hour period for one day every five years, is simply too much considering that the indelible ink option is much cheaper and much simpler to administer and implement. I am sure every that level-headed Malaysians will opt for the indelible ink method. It's just sensible to do so.

The issue of MyKad

Further, every registered voter must have in his or her possession a valid and functioning "MyKad" if the biometric system is to work. Unfortunately, the problem of faulty MyKad is a problem of gigantic proportions in Malaysia.

In 2008, the then home minister, Syed Hamid Albar, admitted that 10 percent of the MyKad issued had to be replaced because they were "faulty".

As The Star reported:

KUALA LUMPUR: About 10% of the 24 million MyKad identification cards issued since 2001 had been replaced after they were found to be faulty. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said most of the cases were recorded this year, with 888,495 replacement MyKad identification cards issued until October. So serious is the problem with the quality of the MyKad in Malaysia that the Home Ministry secretary-general proposed a total replacement of all the MyKad, as Berita Harian reported:

Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN), Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam memberitahu Berita Harian, cadangan menggantikan MyKad pernah dikemukakan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan (RMK-9), namun ditangguhkan berikutan kekangan ekonomi.

"Kabinet memutuskan penukaran (MyKad) tidak dibuat ketika itu kerana belanjanya besar dan banyak projek lain yang perlu diberikan keutamaan. Ia seterusnya diserapkan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Ke-10 (RMK-10) dan diteliti sekali lagi.

(Home Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam told Berita Harian the proposal to replace MyKad has been submitted under the 9th Malaysia Plan, but it was postponed due to the economic crisis.

("The Cabinet decided the replacement of the MyKad cannot be made then because the cost is too big and there are other projects with more priority. It will be incorporated in the 10th Malaysian Plan and will be studied again.")

So, the big question is, how can biometric voting be implemented when the MyKad problem remains unresolved?

Even my own MyKad is faulty. I still have not made any effort to replace my MyKad because I am not sure whether the replacement will be in working order. We do not know how many million MyKad out there are faulty. Nobody knows the exact figure.

What will happen when a person is prevented from voting because he or she has a faulty MyKad? Wouldn't that be an infringement of one's right under the constitution?

In truth, before the EC can even consider using the biometric system, it has to ensure that the MyKad problem is fully resolved. The sudden rush to support the implementation of biometric system is highly suspect.

Especially when Najib has admitted that the MyKad problem is still lingering and it will take the 10th Malaysian Plan budget to resolve the problem. The fact that Umno prefers the biometric system instead of the indelible ink method is also a big question.

Why would Umno opt for a system that is more expensive and complicated system over the indelible ink system that works just as well, if not better, and is very much cheaper and much more simpler?

Consider also the fact that the biometric system relies on the state's database system that is 100 percent under the thumb of Umno-controlled institutions.


Tindakan Pas Tolak Sistem Biometerik Betul

If a voter possesses more than one Mykad with different addresses, all the Mykad will have his prints on them. He can vote at different voting centers as long as the biometric machine verifies it as his.

How will the various voting centers sort this out?


Putrajaya, not entirely impossible...

There are very few who can claim to be an equal to Lim Kit Siang, who has spent nearly as many years as Malaysia has existed in relentlessly pursuing his beliefs as opposition leader. Having experienced first-hand practically every pivotal moment that shaped the country into what it is today, the 45-year political veteran can be excused if he maintains a critical view of even the most promising developments.

Lim became (right) DAP's secretary-general in 1969, at a time when racial tensions blew up into the bloody rioting of May 13, was detained for more than a year on two separate occasions under the ISA - first in 1969 and again under the controversial Ops Lalang in 1987 - and even convicted for leaking official secrets related to dodgy arms deals with a Swiss company.

He also suffered his first and only electoral defeat in 1999, resulting in his quitting his powerful and long-held post of party secretary-general. But as he goes through his 70th year of life, Lim feels the opposition has finally reached a point where change is no longer a pipe dream.

"... I will say that for the first time, taking federal power is something not completely impossible, it is achievable," he said in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini, wearing a pair of dark glasses following an eye surgery.

In characteristic fashion, Lim kept a lid on his enthusiasm going into the 13th general elections, but couldn't help but admit that chances look brighter with each passing day. He highlighted the recent Bersih 2.0 rally as a strong indicator of Malaysians' desire for change, coupled with the numerous gaffes committed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his administration.

"It would appear we have a PM and incumbent government that is unable to see and empathise with the changes that the people want... (the public is) more and more alienated, (and the government is) taking actions and steps making them more and more cut off from the ground.

"Can we achieve it (change of government), I really don't know, but with the passage of time it looks more and more optimistic. Whether it is enough for us to make it is a separate question, but (we are) more and more optimistic," he said.

Don't underestimate electorate

Lim, who was with other Pakatan and Bersih 2.0 leaders at KL Sentral when police carried out one of several clampdowns on protesters on July 9, said he was "surprised" to see the large public turnout in support of the banned movement, despite what he called "threats and intimidation" issued by the authorities in the weeks preceding the rally. Recounting his personal experience at the rally, Lim said it was "utter chaos" when police fired tear gas from opposite ends of the bus tunnel at protesters, who were sandwiched between two blockades.

"... it appeared without any warning, no notice. Tear gas was fired and into an enclosed space, which I think is most criminal, wreckless and dangerous, heedless of the harm they could do. And of course that was my worst tear gas attack.

"(I) tried to run away from (the) front, then found at the back tear gas (was) also fired in both directions, and then arrests were taking place, people gasping for breath... I also fell down, so in that confusion, there was utter chaos at that time," said Lim, who eventually managed to escape with several party colleagues into Brickfields.

The alleged police brutality aside, Lim stressed that the greater significance of the Bersih 2.0 rally was that it presented a clearer representation of the true unity among the various races in Malaysia.

"Maybe the (general election) strategy will be to write off the Chinese voters, and hope on bringing back Malay and Indian votes and that is the formula... that is in a way underestimating Malaysians' yearning for change.

"... I think that as (the) Bersih rally has shown, it is an opportunity for Malaysians regardless of race, religions, class, region, gender and age (to) come (sic) together, and when they sang Negaraku, it was the first time with real meaning, everybody (was) proud, and very moved.

"It's different from when (the) PM and cabinet ministers go around and distribute (the) national flag for instance; it would evoke no feeling whatsoever. This is something which (shows), maybe we should not underestimate Malaysians," he said.

Bersih 2.0 dispelled Utusan bogey

Lim, who is also Ipoh Timur MP, said the Bersih 2.0 rally is doubly important in that it has effectively proven that the pro-government spin perpetuated by Umno-owned Malay daily Utusan Malaysia no longer holds sway among the public.

He admitted that in the past, whatever negative press published by Utusan against the opposition would have had damaging and far-reaching consequences, especially when it touched on sensitive issues such as the recent alleged Christian state issue, racial rights and the May 13 racial riots.

"Of course we are (still) very upset and unhappy (with such reports now), but we felt that the times have changed, (and) people are not going to buy it, even among Malays as a whole.

"I think what Bersih 2.0 has created, (is) to show that all these poisons of Utusan have failed. The Malays, Chinese, and Indians (have) come together as Malaysians. It (poisons) just could not work.

"... before 709, all the terrible (sic) talk about racial and religious things, you sometimes wonder (if) it had (an) effect or not, but 709 wash(ed) them away. I think Utusan's campaign is not as powerful as they think," he said.

Sabah, Sarawak , Johor, hold future

Returning to the impending general elections, Lim declared in no uncertain terms that the fight for the country's future lies in its two largest states - Sabah and Sarawak. He acknowledged that the two states, with a total of 52 parliamentary seats on offer, are "fixed deposits" for the BN ruling coalition, but this only makes them more crucial in determining whether or not Putrajaya remains standing.

Pushing the 'Save Sabah, Sarawak to Save Malaysia' slogan, Lim insisted that changing the government at state level means little without federal support, particularly in Sabah which has a history of being an opposition hotbed. "You cannot save yourself. The (illegal) immigrant (issue) for you remains, (and) you will need federal intervention. So if the people of Sabah want to save Sabah, they will need to save Malaysia. Change Malaysia in order to change Sabah.

"So for the first time in Sabah, it's a question not only about Sabah politics... (for) Sabahans standing up to shape your own destiny, they must be able to also shape Malaysians' destiny," he said. In the peninsula, Lim set his sights on Johor as the place where change would carry the most impact on the country's future, coupled with Sabah and Sarawak.

He admitted that Johor is a "most difficult state" to penetrate, but in the same breath called it a "frontline state" - the same description DAP tagged on Penang before it fell to Pakatan hands after the 12th general elections in 2008.

"It (Johor) has been regarded as a fortress not only for Umno but also MCA. And (looking at) the history of Johor, Umno has always been very strong and considered as untouchable, in fact. "But I think the 308 (March 2008 general elections) events have shown that Johor is not that invincible, and I think you can feel the type of change taking place also in Johor.

How far (change will happen) is the question," he said, adding that a shift in one-third of the seats towards the opposition is enough to signal a "major change" in the national political landscape. But while fellow opposition leader, PKR de-facto chief Anwar Ibrahim, came out declaring that the next general elections will be a sure win for Pakatan thanks to Bersih 2.0, Lim was far more cautious.

"I would say 709 gives a greater hope that Putrajaya is within reach. But I wouldn't make the definitive statement that we are there," he said with a laugh.


Lim: Bukan lagi mustahil tumbangkan k'jaan pusat


27 July 2011

MACC a house of criminals....

Responsibility for the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock lies squarely on the shoulders of the BN, which created a monster in the form of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), senior DAP leader Lim Kit Siang says.

Lim said the recently released report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh's death details a "horror" story that clearly outlines the gross abuses of the power MACC wields.

"We let Parliament pass it (the MACC Act of 2009), gave it increased powers and funding, all sorts of support (were) given. What has happened? It became a monster," he told Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview.

Lim, who donned a pair of dark glasses following an eye operation, accused the BN of using the MACC, particularly the Selangor MACC, to further its political agenda in wresting the state back from Pakatan Rakyat rule.

He said the RCI finding - the first document he has personally read since undergoing an operation on his left eye last April - pointed to "utter contempt of the law" by MACC officers and gross abuse of power in carrying out an operation against Pakatan elected representatives that had no basis.

However, Lim's biggest target was the then Selangor MACC deputy director Hishamuddin Hashim, who he accused of serving the will of the BN through the many officers he roped in to carry out the investigation and raids on Teoh's boss, Seri Kembangan state assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Lim went on to accuse Hishamuddin, who was promoted to Negeri Sembilan MACC chief after he was taken off Teoh's case, of leading a "massive operation", with MACC officers who "broke law after law, not only the SOP (standard operating procedures) but all the laws".

He added: "It is very clear. Hishamuddin (left) was the deputy director, but he acted as if he was more powerful than the director, even without referring to the headquarters.

"It cannot be only (an) anti-corruption operation. Definitely this was part of a political agenda, to topple Pakatan in Selangor (by) going for a DAP, Pakatan assemblyperson, and that must be (the) background to it.

"Otherwise, how can a person, a deputy director, have such great powers, acting and believing he can act with utter immunity and impunity? And he is not someone who is a newbie. He's got 19 years in the MACC, and suddenly, he acted so arrogantly.

"I'm sure (this is) because he was serving a political agenda, and that can only mean the BN agenda to topple (Pakatan)."

'Shut down the MACC'

Lim brushed aside claims that the DAP has been milking Teoh's death in custody for political mileage, stressing that the issue at hand was holding the MACC to account, particularly since it was formed to replace the discredited Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

As an immediate measure, he said, the MACC should suspend Hishamuddin, investigating officer Mohd Anuar Ismail and assistant superintendent Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus - the three officers said to have used "aggressive" and "inappropriate" interrogation tactics on Teoh - besides charging them with breaking several laws in the course of their investigations.

Lim added that the trio, and most of the other MACC officers called to the witness stand during the Teoh RCI, should also be charged with perjury, since the Royal Commission had found that many of them - save for two officers - had lied in their testimonies.

"It's not suicide, we don't accept that... twice the phrase was used, 'MACC officers who were responsible for the death of Teoh Beng Hock'. So it's very clear, even the (RCI) commissioners are unanimous (in) that the MACC officers are responsible for the death of Teoh Beng Hock."

Lim stressed that it was unacceptable for the MACC, which was formed with the aim of restoring public confidence in its ability to operate independently, professionally and efficiently in combating graft, had ended up doing the complete opposite.

Taking the example of the hostile takeover of the Perak state government in 2009, when the MACC investigated the then speaker V Sivakumar for alleged abuse of power, Lim said the three officers involved should likewise be investigated on the same grounds as in Teoh's case.

"The MACC, particularly the Selangor (MACC), has (become a) house of criminals who break laws left, right and centre. (It's) completely lawless.

"This is so ridiculous. If somebody lists down the crimes committed in the whole Teoh Beng Hock episode, I think you will have a very long list.

"I think we should seriously consider closing down the MACC and having another anti-corruption body, if that is possible. If that is not possible, then the only way is for a change in Putrajaya; maybe that (Teoh's case) is the last straw... it is not a question of politics, but a question of survival," Lim said.



Kematian Teoh: BN patut dipersalahan, kata Lim


Using biometric, EC concedes phantom voters exist....

Pakatan Rakyat said today the Election Commission's (EC) planned biometric system is an indirect admission that phantom voters are a norm in elections - an issue often raised by the opposition coalition.

However, the coalition opposes its implementation, citing financial and time constraints on top of a lack of checks and balances.

In a statement issued by the Pakatan secretariat, it credited the "indirect admission" by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who has backed the planned system, to the Bersih 2.0 rally held on July 9.

"The EC's move to introduce a biometric system as a way to prevent phantom voting and double voting is a sign that even BN hardliners in the government cannot ignore the strong message brought by (electoral reform group) Bersih 2.0.

"For this, we should congratulate hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who took the cause of Bersih 2.0 to their hearts and participated in one of the largest peaceful rallies in our nation's history.

"Without their perseverance and courage, the EC and BN would continue in their denial mode," it said.

Political parties rendered useless

However, Pakatan stressed that it is opposed to the planned biometric system because it would render political parties useless in keeping check on the voting process.

"The responsibility and power currently vested in each party's polling agents to vet voters and be vigilant of phantom voting and double voting, is transferred ultimately to a computer system.

"Any moves that eliminates the ability of each political party to participate in vetting the election process runs against the demands of Bersih 2.0."

Furthermore, Pakatan pointed out a biometric-based voting system will cost the country hundreds of millions of ringgit without the guarantee that it would be implemented in time.

"Such a system will face various technical hiccups and security risks (and) an effective, transparent and fool-proof system will not be ready by the next general election in 2013," it added.

The statement said that the biometric system is built around a “false premise” that a person with an identity card is automatically a valid voter.

“This will allow a huge number of foreigners issued with identity cards to vote in the next general election,” it said.

Instead, Pakatan reaffirmed Bersih 2.0's long-held demand to use indelible ink as a solution to phantom voters rather than a complicated biometric system.

"The EC should go back to the demands of Bersih 2.0, especially the use of indelible ink, as this solution is widely used, cheap, effective, and will empower political parties to play its role in ensuring that elections are free and fair," the statement read.

The statement was jointly issued by PAS election director Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, DAP international secretary Liew Chin Tong and PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli.


Pakatan kata SPR mengaku pengundi hantu wujud


Anwar: Flip-flop reasoning justifies release of PSM 6...

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today said that the inconsistent reasoning given for the detention of six PSM members under the Emergency Ordinance, is reason enough for their release.

In a statement on his blog today, Anwar said that the fact that the reason for detention was changed from "involvement with subversive activity" to "planning the Bersih 2.0 rally" shows that the arrests have no basis. "It is apparent that this is solely the government's trick to malign Bersih 2.0," he said.

The six - Sungai Siput MP Dr D Jeyakumar, M Sarasvathy, Choo Chon Kai, M Sugumaran, A Letchumanan and R Saras Babu-have been detained under the Emergency Ordinance since July 2.

They were nabbed during a PSM roadshow to campaign against what they see as BN's bad governance.

Waging war

The police had initially said that they were arrested for planning to wage war against the King, but in a recent habeas corpus application said it was because they were key movers of the Bersih 2.0 rally.

The habeaus corpus hearing was, however, adjourned to Aug 5, five days after the 30-day detention order expires; but the order can be renewed for another 30 days by the police.

Demanding the immediate release of the six, who he believes are victims of "political manipulation", Anwar said the matter has gained urgency as there is now suspicion of abuse.

He said this is especially since the detainees were denied a meeting with representatives of the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

Families of the six have also been denied access since July 15 and have been finally given allowance to meet today at 11am after several requests.

The families are currently meeting the detainees at the Dang Wangi, Selayang, Travers, Jinjang, Kepong and Petaling police stations respectively.

"Pakatan Rakyat has resolved to heighten our campaign to explain to the public nationwide the oppressive nature of detention without trial... under the Emergency Ordinance.

"This archaic and oppressive law no longer serves to protect the country but is manipulated to muzzle dissenting voices," Anwar said.


Anwar minta KDN bebas segera enam tahanan Ordinan Darurat


Sudah 54 tahun merdeka, kita masih dikongkong...

Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin menegaskan walaupun Malaysia sudah mencapai kemerdekaan lebih daripada 50 tahun, namun rakyat negara ini masih dikongkong oleh sistem pentadbiran sedia ada.

Negara akan menyambut ulang tahun kemerdekaan ke-54 akhir bulan depan.

Bercakap pada Wacana Apa Selepas 9 Julai anjuran Kumpulan Media Karangkraf di sini hari ini, penganalisis politik dari Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) ini menegaskan, rakyat negara ini masih belum mendapat kebebasan seperti mana yang sepatutnya.

“Kita sudah merdeka tapi kita tidak mendapat kebebasan sebab itu kita cuba untuk mendapatkan (kebebasan) dan keluar daripada kongkongan ini,” kata Pengarah Institut Kajian Etnik UKM ini.

“Empat tuntutan Bersih 2.0 (Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil) iaitu membersihkan daftar undi, mereformasikan undi pos, gunakan dakwat kekal dan akses media yang bebas dan adil adalah sistem sosial yang masih dikongkong dan tidak mendapat kebebasan, ini adalah isu pokok yang belum dapat diselesaikan,” kata Shamsul Amri merujuk kepada tuntutan yang dikemukakan Bersih 2.0 kepada SPR.

Ekoran keengganan SPR melaksanakan lapan tuntutan itu, Bersih 2.0 telah mengadakan perhimpunan pada 9 Julai lalu yang menyaksikan ribuan rakyat termasuk pemimpin dan aktivis Pakatan Rakyat membanjiri ibu negara. Lebih 1,600 orang telah ditahan pada perhimpunan itu.

Empat tuntutan Bersih 2.0 yang lain adalah tempoh kempen minimum 21 hari, diperkukuhkan institusi awam, hentikan rasuah dan hentikan politik kotor.

Jelas Shamsul Amri, kerajaan sepatutnya memberi ruang kebebasan kepada rakyat agar amalan demokrasi dapat ditonjolkan.

“Apa yang saya dapat simpulkan adalah kita masih cuba untuk mendapatkan kebebasan. Adakah kebebasan ini semakin sempit atau ruang-ruang ini sudah tiada? Mungkin dengan adanya media baru kebebasan ini boleh dicapai.

“Kita juga masih mencari kebebasan tak kira apa isunya, adakah isu yang kita bangkitkan ini bukan untuk kawasan bandar sahaja tapi untuk semua,” katanya di hadapan kira-kira 300 orang.

Turut menjadi panel wacana kali ini ialah Pengerusi Bersih 2.0 Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan dan Timbalan Pengerusi SPR Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

Shamsul Amri sebelum ini berkata pentadbiran Datuk Seri Najib Razak tidak lagi boleh menggunakan taktik era Perang Dingin dalam berhadapan dengan bangkangan dan menguruskan aspek sekuriti negara.

Kenyataan secara terbuka itu dilontakan Shamsul Amri dua hari selepas Himpunan Bersih 2.0 diadakan.

Beliau berkata musuh Barisan Nasional (BN) bukan lagi komunis yang bergerak dari hutan, tetapi pergerakan madani yang mempunyai kesedaran politik yang meningkat.

source:malaysian insider

Padan Muka Wan Ahmad Kena Sorak

Ambiga clear ‘winner’ in debate with EC


EC deputy chief booed in debate with Ambiga...

Election Commission (EC) deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar today faced a hostile crowd in a debate with Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.

He was booed a number of times, forcing him to plead with the audience to give him a hearing in the event organised by Kumpulan Karangkraf, a media organisation which publishes Malay language daily Sinar Harian and a score of popular magazines.

Wan Ahmad also insisted that the EC is just a “management body” which does not have the enforcement powers to tackle the abuses raised by various quarters relating to the electoral system and processes.

He then kicked the ball to the Attorney-General's Chambers regarding amendments to the election laws, stressing that it is a natural advantage for the ruling government to decide on the laws to be passed and amended, and the EC has no say in this aspect.
“Anybody who wants to push reform which touches on the fundamental policy of the government must approach the right person.”

The moderator, Wan Saiful Wan Jan from think-tank Ideas, then asked whether Wan Ahmad is suggesting that the problem lies with the government and not the EC, followed by a round of cheering and applause from the audience.

Not answering the question specifically, Wan Ahmad replied that the current government, elected by a majority of the people, certainly have a stronger say in law amendment.

“If you are elected, you will do the same thing,” he answered to another round of boos.

“To push for reform, we need to work together, don't treat the EC as an enemy.”

'Don't treat the EC as an enemy'

In response, Ambiga rebutted that it was the EC that had adopted a hostile stand against the electoral reform coalition.

“I think you treat us as an enemy... It is wrong to say that 'we won't talk to you because the opposition is with you'... You sound like the government,” she said to the applause of the crowd.

She also lambasted the EC, which she claimed has been given a certain degree of enforcement power under the federal constitution, for not taking pro-active action in changing the laws.

Annoyed by the constant interruption from the floor, Wan Ahmad criticised them for refusing to open up their mind, being irrational, ignorant about election laws and even “sitting under the coconut shell”.

The audience responded by shouting “no power” almost every time Wan Ahmad spoke.

Wan Saiful had to repeatedly call for calm, but it was in vain.

“Let's stop the heckling,” he said, adding that the situation was turning into a rowdy “primary school” classroom.

However, Ambiga, at one point, commended Wan Ahmad's courage to face the critics.

“Wan Ahmad is a brave man sitting here. The whole EC should be here to back him but they only sent him,” she said, prompting the audience to give a round of applause to the EC's number two.

When quizzed that many people do not see EC as a credible institution, Wan Ahmad argued that the view is just limited to the audience in the forum but the majority of the people still trust the commission.

Ambiga herself, however, faced questions levelled at her over the rally on July 9 which took place, with at least two members of the audience demanding whether she would continue with her "confrontational" methods.

One challenged Ambiga "from lawyer to lawyer" on her leadership role on July and whether she would organise more "illegal rallies".

A third questioned the Bersih 2.0 chief over the prominent space taken up by opposition party leaders in her civil society-led coalition.

At one point, moderator Wan Saiful, called for calm.

"Let's stop the heckling," he said, adding that the situation was turning into rowdy "primary school" classroom.

The three-hour panel discussion, 'What's next after July 9?', also saw the participation of UKM professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin.

During the forum, a commotion broke out when a Malay lawyer, while criticising Bersih 2.0's decision to call an illegal rally, made a remark that “the Malays have accepted the Chinese and Indians as citizens”. The remark angered a few Indians who stood up and shouted at the lawyer. However, the situation calmed down soon after the ushers interfered.

Forum ends early on order of 'higher authority'

The organiser ended the forum 15 minutes earlier than planned, saying that it was due to the order of a “higher authority”.

Many speculated that the order came from the police, who had been monitoring the forum, but the organiser later clarified that it was due to praying time and the “higher authority” referred to was God.

Before the commencement of the forum, police were guarding the entrance and banners that read "T-shirts with Bersih and Patriot logos are prohibited" were put up.


Wakil SPR kena 'boo' dalam debat dengan Ambiga

You yang layan kami macam musuh - Ambiga


26 July 2011

Bersih open to biometric plan, but not convinced...

Following the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally, the embattled Election Commission (EC) proposed to introduce a biometric voter verification system in order to eliminate multiple voting and 'phantom voters' - but electoral reform group chief Ambiga Sreenevasan has her reservations.

The top concern, Ambiga said at a forum with EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar in Shah Alam today, was whether the National Registration Department (NRD)'s datebase, on which the biometric system will be entirely dependent on, was of the highest integrity and tamper-proof.

"I'm very concerned that if the biometric system is linked to the NRD, because NRD can't even determine whether a person has died or not. I have a problem here," she said.

Wan Ahmad conceded while dead people were still on the electoral roll, which has been updated since 1959, it was because family members of the deceased failed to inform the NRD, and EC had no power to remove any name in the electoral roll without verification from the NRD.

'We want to know more'

"Every bit of it has to be transparent. The public will not trust it unless you do that," said Ambiga, adding that transparency was needed in every aspect of the new system, from open tender to the implementation.

"We are open minded, but we want to know more," she said.

The former Bar Council chairperson doubted that the new system could be implemented before the next general election because trial runs needed to be carried out before it was adopted nationwide.

She assumed that the biometric verification device would have to be installed in every room in every polling station, and this would involve a huge amount of technology, which could also be exposed to breakdowns and malfunction.

The two-and-half-hour forum, titled "What's next after July 9", was organised by Kumpulan Karangkraf, a media organisation that publishes the Malay language daily Sinar Harian and a score of popular magazines.

Nevertheless, Wan Ahmad defended the new system, describing it as "the best way to clean up the electoral roll" because it is impossible for more than one voter to have the same fingerprint.

He called on the people not to make assumptions before more information on the new system, which was now in its final stage of study, was announced.

"We will brief all political parties and call on them to test the new system. We will not implement if we are not confident... don't reject it before you look into it, don't make assumptions," Wan Ahmad told the roughly 600-strong audience that kept booing and heckling him throughout the forum.

To a question from the floor on whether the system needed an independent audit body to protect its credibility, he gave his assurance that the EC would do this. The EC number two also defended the NRD system, putting the blame on those who did not not inform the department about the deaths of their family members, resulting in dead people remaining on the electoral roll.

"That's why we need to trust the NRD... if the families of the deceased do not inform NRD, how is the NRD going to update (their status)?"

The EC, Wan Ahmad stressed, could only operate within the current law, which made it compulsory for it to obtain verification from the NRD before a name could be erased from the electoral roll.

On Ambiga's argument that indelible ink is the cheapest and an effective way to eliminate multiple voting, Wan Ahmad commented that the method is only used in countries with huge populations which lack a national registration system such as India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

"But we only have 12 million voters and an advanced registration system," he argued.


BERSIH cabar SPR dedah cadangan pindaan


Biometrik untuk pastikan BN menang PRU 13...

Pemuda PAS Malaysia menolak penggunaan sistem biometrik kerana masih boleh dimanipulasi untuk mempastikan kemenangan Umno BN dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 nanti.

“Jabatan Pilihan raya Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia berpendirian tegas menolak penggunaan sistem biometrik ini yang pastinya masih boleh dimanipulasi oleh pihak-pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab untuk mempastikan kemenangan Umno BN,” kata Pengarah Jabatan Pilihan raya Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia, Mohd Sany Hamzan.

Ia juga, katanya akan membabitkan kos penyelenggaraan yang tinggi yang membabitkan duit rakyat berbanding penggunaan dakwat kekal yang lebih murah, mudah dan selamat.

Justeru, Pemuda PAS menolak kenyataan Pengerusi SPR, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof yang menyatakan bahawa pihak SPR akan memperkenalkan sistem biometrik untuk memantapkan lagi tahap keselamatan dalam proses pilihan raya di negara ini.

Abdul Aziz menyebut di dalam satu sidang media di Kuching bahawa perlaksanaan sistem itu diharap dapat mengatasi isu pengundi hantu yang sering dibangkitkan pihak pembangkang setiap kali menjelang musim pilihan raya umum atau kecil.

Keputusan itu diambil apabila pihak kerajaan bersetuju untuk memberikan sejumlah peruntukan kepada SPR untuk menggunakan sistem biometrik.

Jabatan Pilihan raya Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia juga bersetuju dengan pandangan Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Ahli Parlimen Kuala Selangor yang menyebut bahawa sistem biometrik ini tidak akan dapat menyelesaikan masalah isu pertindanan pemilih di dalam daftar pemilih, pemilih yang dipindah keluar dan masuk tanpa pengetahuan mereka, isu pengundi yang melebihi usia 100 tahun, isu lebih dari seorang pengundi di alamat yang sama, isu pengundian pos, isu tentera dan polis yang telah bersara tetap mengundi sebagai pengundi pos dan lain-lain isu yang telah menyebabkan sistem pilihan raya di Malaysia ini nampak tempang.

Mohd Sany menambah, seperti mana pendedahan Badan Perhubungan PAS Negeri Selangor baru-baru ini dalam pertemuan dengan pihak SPR di Putrajaya, mereka telah menunjukkan sebahagian pembuktian pertindanan nama-nama pemilih di dalam daftar pemilih induk mengikut corak pengenalan diri (tarikh lahir/no kad pengenalan lama) dan corak nama hasil daripada gerak kerja mencari dan mengenal pasti pemilih-pemilih yang diragui yang telah dilaksanakan secara berterusan di seluruh kawasan.

Sehubungan itu, kata beliau pihaknya berharap semoga pihak SPR tidak meneruskan agenda mereka untuk menggunakan sistem biometrik ini yang belum pernah teruji keberkesanannya untuk memastikan sistem pilihan raya dapat dilaksanakan secara adil dan telus.

Beliau menambah, SPR tidak perlu berasa malu untuk menggunakan kaedah dakwat kekal seperti yang digunakan di Indonesia atau India tetapi hasilnya cukup memberangsangkan, tiada penipuan, tiada rusuhan dan sebagainya berbanding sistem biometrik yang tidak terjamin lagi ketelusannya.

Katanya lagi, Bersih 2.0 telah menunjukkan bahawa rakyat Malaysia kini telah bangkit untuk menolak sebarang penyelewengan dan penipuan, mereka juga memerhatikan dengan penuh minat bagaimana pihak SPR ingin mengendalikan pilihan raya umum ke 13 secara telus dan adil.

“Adakah SPR akan menjadi pihak yang mempunyai integriti dalam melaksanakan tanggungjawabnya secara beramanah ataupun berterusan menjadi salah satu daripada parti komponen Barisan Nasional yang akan mengusahakan pelbagai kaedah dan cara yang akan mempastikan kemenangan Umno BN di dalam pilihan raya yang akan datang?” soalnya.


Kelemahan sistem Biometrik yang SPR cadang nak guna


Anwar applies to quiz Najib, Rosmah...

Anwar Ibrahim has filed an application to interview Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor before he takes his stand in his ongoing sodomy trial on August 8.

In the application filed this morning via Messrs Karpal Singh & Co, state news agency Bernama said Anwar named Najib, Rosmah and three others. The three others are Hasanuddin Abd Hamid, the owner of the condominium unit where the incident allegedly occurred, former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan and ex-Melaka police chief Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof.

Anwar stated that under the law, the onus is on the prosecution to facilitate witness interviews by the defence and that the costs will be paid by the prosecution.

In a supporting affidavit, Anwar said that his counsel SN Nair had received a letter from the Brickfields Criminal Investigation Department, dated July 18, stating that Mohd Rodwan, Najib, Rosmah and Musa had declined to be interviewed but agreed to be defence witnesses on condition that a subpoena is issued against them.

Hasanuddin had also declined to be interviewed unless it is done with the presence of his counsel, Anwar said in the affidavit.

According to Bernama, Anwar also added that if all the witnesses failed to turn up to be interviewed by his counsels, that would mean he would be denied of his right to a fair trial.

Out of the 25 people the defence plans to interview, only five have been interviewed so far.

They are Rosmah's close associate Mumtaz Jaafar, Dr Mohd Osman Abd Hamid formerly from the Pusrawi medical centre in Kuala Lumpur, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's youngest sister Saidaiti Azlan, a doctor from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital known as Dr Daniel and Khairil Anaz Yusof, a special assistant to Najib when he was the deputy prime minister.
On July 13, trial judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah set Aug 8-26 to hear the defence case.

On May 16, Justice Mohamad Zabidin ordered Anwar to enter his defence after ruling that Anwar's former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the complainant in the case, was a truthful and credible witness.

At the close of their case, the prosecution offered 71 witnesses, of whom the defence chose to interview 25.

Anwar pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court on Aug 7, 2008, to committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature at Kondominium Desa Damansara in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26 the same year.


Liwat II: Anwar mohon temu bual Najib, Rosmah


The US And Malaysia’s Political Awakening...

The July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections is a landmark event in more ways than one. Not only has it galvanized many Malaysians into action against a system that has long been described as decaying, eaten to the bone by corruption and abuse of power, it has also made many in the influential First World wonder about the political leadership and future of the country.

In the past, especially during the time of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysians and investors put up with his ham-fisted rule because the economy was booming. But not anymore.

“As long as the economy was booming, a lot of the underlying racial and social tensions could be contained. Plus people were willing to grant Mahathir the right to wield his political iron hand in exchange for the economic benefits that the country was getting. Despite the occasional scandals and the cronyism, the Malaysian “man in the street” thought that he had benefited greatly from Malaysia’s growth, and he was right. But now for over a decade the economy has slowed, and investment is down. Many college grads are unemployed. And the Government has removed subsidies on everyday items. So I think the man in the street – the Malaysian middle class, the people who live in the cities — don’t have the same feeling they had before.

Malott was also scathing about the way Prime Minister Najib Razak handled the July 9 Bersih march, where more than 1,600 people were arrested, thousands more injured and one died from the excessive police crackdown ordered by the authorities. “The actions of the government, before and after July 9, backfired against them.

The deportation of the French lawyer is only the latest example. Now, for the first time, all the juicy details of that scandal – including the model who was murdered by the PM’s bodyguards – have appeared in the Washington Post. It just adds to the confusion among people here – what kind of a country is Malaysia, anyhow? And is Najib really the person that he has portrayed himself to be?”

In the interview with Malaysia Chronicle, Malott explained what he meant by “US leadership” and stressed that US concerns did not lie in who formed the government of Malaysia but about the continuation of and support for democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.

Chronicle: In your article, you mentioned that the Malaysian people showed they would no longer be intimidated by their government. Given the severity of the pre-rally crackdown and the police scare-mongering and yet tens of thousands defied the ban, would you say this feeling of ‘defiance’ so to speak is deep-seated, has been growing and is reaching boiling point? And why?

Malott: I think that this discontent has been growing for sometime. But the heavy hand of the government in the days leading up to the July 9 rally, and their strange statements and actions – like saying that Bersih was trying to overthrow the government and banning the color yellow – caused many more Malaysians to wake up and pay attention.

Chronicle: If you agree that the feelings of ‘discontent’ or ‘unhappiness’ so to speak are deep-seated, does this imply that the political or living conditions in Malaysia have been and are repressive and do not encourage the truth to be openly raised or discussed. And why?

Malott: I don’t know how deep-seated or widespread these feelings are in Malaysia. That’s why I wrote in my analysis that the question for the future is whether the momentum can be sustained. Will an increasing number of Malaysians wake up and understand the status of democracy and political freedom in their country, or will it go back to business as usual, where it is just activists in civil society and the opposition who are vocal. As I said, the actions of the government, before and after July 9, backfired against them. Matthias Chang wrote that they acted with sheer stupidity. The Government still has a chance to turn this around, but that would require them to give more political “space” to those who don’t agree with them, and to make sure that the people get to enjoy the rights that the constitution guarantees them. Will they? I have my doubts.

This is a government – even though they have spent millions on PR firms and management consultants – that keeps shooting itself in the foot. The deportation of the French lawyer is only the latest example. Now, for the first time, all the juicy details of that scandal – including the model who was murdered by the PM’s bodyguards – have appeared in the Washington Post. It just adds to the confusion among people here – what kind of a country is Malaysia, anyhow? And is Najib really the person that he has portrayed himself to be?

Chronicle: If you agree that the ‘defiance’ so to speak is not an overnight or sudden swell-up but has been building up through the years, does this imply the policies – both social and economic – adopted by the BN federal government have not been appropriate, in the sense that they did not treat the wants and needs of the people? And why?

Malott: When I was Ambassador, we always believed that as long as the economy was booming, a lot of the underlying racial and social tensions could be contained. Plus people were willing to grant Mahathir the right to wield his political iron hand in exchange for the economic benefits that the country was getting. Despite the occasional scandals and the cronyism, the Malaysian “man in the street” thought that he had benefited greatly from Malaysia’s growth, and he was right. But now for over a decade the economy has slowed, and investment is down. Many college grads are unemployed. And the Government has removed subsidies on everyday items.

So I think the man in the street – the Malaysian middle class, the people who live in the cities — don’t have the same feeling they had before. They don’t see the same level of economic progress for themselves. They don’t see the government delivering on all the promises it has made. Meanwhile, they read about diamond rings and fancy yachts and $27 million condos in New York. It seems like it is business as usual at the top. One of the articles in your website today (Sunday) said something like ‘Malaysia is now being run not for the benefit of the people or even the Malays. It is being run for the benefit of the UMNO elite.’

Chronicle: Do you think these feelings of resentment so to speak are anywhere near boling point, close to boiling point or have already boiled over and what are the implications for the ruling BN coalition, the opposition, long-term investors and the people? And why?
For example, is this a wake-up call for the BN, opportunity knocking at the door for the Pakatan, a stay-away call for investors? As for the people, do you foresee the start of a new trend for peaceful assemblies, protests ala Thailand? Or in your words – a political awakening – but in what shape and form will this likely take?

Malott: I don’t believe that the situation is near the boiling point. Malaysians don’t boil. They are a very patient people. That is why July 9 was such a remarkable event. The temperature went up, but it is nowhere near the boiling point. But if people don’t follow through – if the leaders of civil society, the opposition and others don’t follow through, the temperature will go down. If the government carves out more space for those who don’t agree with them, they also could lower the temperature. On foreign investment, I think that foreign businessmen are smart. They will not be scared away from Malaysia because of one demonstration.

What concerns them most is corruption, the lack of transparency in awarding government contracts, the ease and cost of doing business in Malaysia compared to other locations, whether Malaysia’s market is growing fast, its competitiveness, the independence of its courts, the availability of skilled employees, and so on. It is those kinds of practical questions that mean the most to them. As the statistics show, over the last decade or so, Malaysia’s share of all the foreign investment coming into ASEAN has been declining. From the point of view of a foreign investor, they have many choices. There are many countries they can invest in. So the question for the Malaysian government is, what do we need to do to increase our attractiveness to foreign investors, compared to our neighbors?

Chronicle: You quoted another expert who used the term “most fluid and dangerous” to describe the situation in Malaysia today. How extreme can the situation become, for example is it possible for Malaysia to regress to a non-democratic state where elections may even be discarded, military or police rule the new order, a ‘closing of doors’ so to speak? And why? In such a case, who would be the prime-movers – PM Najib Razak and his cousin Hishammuddin Hussein, other factions led by DPM Muhyiddin Yassin or ex-PMs Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Badawi or UMNO, the party as a whole?I do not mention the other parties in BN because it is clear they do not have the clout, do you agree? What would happen to the opposition in the country then? And for how long could an extreme situation last?

You also mentioned in your article, the Economist Intelligence Unit says Malaysia is a “flawed democracy”. If this is so, then if in the swing towards a ‘full democracy’, Malaysia collapses into a police regime – to many who have been following the situation closely, this would not be surprising or be an unlikly possibility at all. But for those who still see the country as per its postcards of sunny skies and ideal racial harmony, this would come as a rude shock. Do you agree and what sort of odds would you give to the worst scenario happening? And why? What other scenarios do you seen? And why?

Malott: Clive Kessler, who knows infinitely more about Malaysia than I do, wrote an analysis recently (which you had on your website) in which he raised the prospect that rather than lose an election, UMNO would declare an emergency and not hold elections. As a former State Department official, I don’t want to comment on Wikileaks. But when I read the latest leaked cable, in which our Embassy said three years ago, in effect, that UMNO would do “whatever it takes” to remain in power, including subverting the institutions of state power to its own purposes, including the police and the courts. Malaysia has seen Operasi Lalang, it has seen the Sedition Act and ISA used liberally, and more recently it has seen denial of service attacks on the alternative media to keep people from reading what the Government doesn’t want them to know. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

I am not Clive Kessler, and I don’t want to make a prediction. But I would not rule out the possibility that something like that might happen. What is the probability of it happening? I don’t know. But if it does happen, then as you said, it will come as a great shock to everyone who has been holding a very different image of Malaysia. That is why I wrote my piece. I think the American people need to wake up and understand what is happening in Malaysia today, and to express our concern.

Chronicle: From your article, it looks like the United States is still in the postcards-and-sunny-skies group? Is this view still very entrenched or have there been significant shifts of late? Given the very sizeable investments the US has in Malaysia, should not American foreign policy makers make better efforts to assess the situation? Should they not take some action or send stronger signals to help keep democracy alive in Malaysia? In other words, has not the time come to take sides? What are the things that US bodies could do?

Mallot: I think to the extent American think or know about Malaysia, most of them are still in the picture postcard stage of awareness. So that is why I sent my wake-up call. Let’s see what happens. Some of us – all friends of Malaysia — will continue to do everything we can to keep up awareness. Amnesty International said America “should not be a spectator,” and I agree. I called for US leadership. By that I mean, we need to be more visible and vocal in expressing our concerns about developments in Malaysia. We need to be more supportive – moral support and encouragement – of those members of civil society in Malaysia who want Malaysia to become a true democracy and have the same freedom that we and others have.

We should support the call for electoral reform. It is not up to America who forms the government in Malaysia. But we should be concerned whether the playing field is level, and whether all the parties have an equal chance to access the media, and so on. RTM and Bernama belong to all the people of Malaysia, not to UMNO. They are paid for by all the people of Malaysia, not just those who voted for UMNO. Bersih’s demands all seemed quite reasonable to me. When Najib arrived home from Rome the other day, he held an airport press conference and said that Malaysia’s elections already are free and fair, and that UMNO has never cheated in an election. Does he really believe that? That is not what all the independent academic studies have to say. And then he went out to meet the people, and according to an article in Malaysiakini, he proceeded to pass out white envelopes with 200 ringgit inside to the people who were there.

Chronicle: Cleaning the Malaysian electoral system and making sure it reflects accurately the wishes the majority seems to be the best way or one the best ways to ensure human rights, cvil liberties and democratic practises prevail. Do you agree and how can the US help to promote such a practise in Malaysia given that the existing BN federal government is insistent that nothing is wrong and is likely to resist efforts to revamp?

Malott: I read that the European Union office in KL is going to recommend that the EU send observer missions to the next election. That is good. That is leadership. I think that some of our organizations – the National Democratic Institute, the International Republic Institute, the Carter Center – should prepare to do the same. The Vice Chair of the Elections Commission said that foreigners would never understand Malaysia’s election laws. That was an offensive statement. And it also was strange, since his boss the EC chairman was at that very moment in Bangkok, monitoring the Thai elections. We should be very visible in our support of Bersih and its goals.

I hope that our Embassy and the academic and think tank communities in the US will help our policy makers and opinion leaders understand what the true status of democracy and elections in Malaysia is. For example, an American think tank could invite Ambiga to the US so she can explain directly to us what Bersih is all about. It would be useful to benchmark Malaysia’s electoral laws and rules against those elsewhere in the world. For example, how many countries allow their citizens living overseas to vote? What is the minimum age for voters in most countries? How do other countries handle postal ballots – who is allowed to use them?

In other countries with publicly-owned television and radio networks – Japan, Britain, America, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. – how do they ensure that political and election reporting is balanced? How do they provide access to opposition candidates? How do other countries ensure that their election commission is independent? Malaysia needs to make sure that what it does matches the prevailing international standards in other democracies.
I am sure that the Government will resist this. But we should not give in. They can resist, and we should insist.

Chronicle: Do you see any similarity between what is happening in Malaysia and the so-called Arab Spring?

Malott: Well, Malaysia is certainly not Libya or Syria or Yemen. Najib is not a Qaddafi. But still, I was surprised to see that Najib is still saying that the Bersih movement is a veiled attempt to topple his administration through street demonstrations, like those that are now claiming Middle Eastern despots.

He said, “It’s not so much about electoral reform. They want to show us as though we’re like the Arab Spring governments in the Middle East.”
Well, if that is Bersih’s goal, then why did Najib act like an Arab Spring government? It’s only a question of degree. The Malaysian police did not use lethal force, but the mentality is the same. Suppress whoever disagrees with you. Maybe you don’t use tanks, but you use water cannon. It’s not bullets, it’s tear gas. But the authoritarian mindset is exactly the same as the leaders of the Arab Spring governments. Just because you use non-lethal force doesn’t mean it’s OK.

Read the full article here.

source:malaysia chronicle