Friday, May 31, 2013

‘Lying’ ROS has political agenda, says DAP

‘Lying’ ROS has political agenda, says DAP

Anisah Shukry | May 31, 2013
DAP defends itself against a front-paged article in Utusan Malaysia that claims the opposition party denied its members the right to vote in internal polls.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Registrar of Society’s (ROS) “baseless” accusations in Utusan Malaysia today that DAP denied members the right to vote in party polls is proof the government agency is merely a Barisan Nasional stooge, the opposition party said today.
Party national organising secretary Anthony Loke said it was unethical for ROS director Abdul Rahman Othman to have informed the Umno-owned daily of an ongoing probe into DAP’s alleged failure to provide notice to its members of the National Congress last year.

This was because DAP had only been alerted yesterday by the ROS that the party must produce evidence they had sent out notices to all party delegates of the congress, said Loke.

Loke also stressed that all statements made in the paper were “wild allegations” and that he had proof that members were given due notice of the congress – proof which he would supply to the ROS immediately.
“Not only is the [ROS director Abdul Rahman Othman] a liar, and unethical and unprofessional, but he is a tool for Umno-BN because clearly there are political motives behind his statements.

“We suspect he wants to use this excuse to deregister DAP,” Loke told a press conference at the party headquarters today.

Loke was referring to the front paged article in Umno-owned newspaper Utusan today headlined: “DAP members denied voting rights”.

The daily, quoting Abdul Rahman, said that the ROS had discovered many DAP members were not issued notices of the party’s 16th National Congress.

As a result, qualified DAP members failed to show up and were not able to vote in the party’s central executive committee last year, Abdul Rahman said.

But Loke today denied this, pointing out that delegates from three of the four branches claiming not to have received notices had actually attended the polls.

Those delegates – A David Dass, K Mahendran, FS Richard and S Kogilavani – had all registered their attendance at the congress and cast their votes, according to documents Loke showed to the media.
Action against traitors
He also said that even if DAP had failed to issue notices to the party’s branches regarding the congress, members could have easily kept themselves up to date through attending press conferences and party meetings.

“All this points to ROS shifting the goalpost [in targeting DAP]. Initially, the investigations were supposed to be about us changing the election results due to a technical glitch two weeks later.

“Now that they couldn’t prove anything against us, they have shifted the goalposts to claim that we denied delegates their right to vote,” he said.

Loke added that the party’s disciplinary committee would take action against those “traitors” who had lodged reports to the ROS.

ROS slammed for jumping the gun on DAP

ROS slammed for jumping the gun on DAP

DAP has branded Registrar of Societies (ROS) director Abdul Rahman Othman as a "liar" for making "wild allegations" against the party in relations to investigations into last December's party election.

Its national organising secretary Anthony Loke said that Abdul Rahman was “behaving unprofessionally” by releasing conclusive statements that some DAP members were supposedly denied their right to vote during the congress, even before the investigations had been concluded.
NONELoke (left) said it was only yesterday that the party received a letter from ROS, demanding that DAP produce the relevant documents and evidence that they had sent out notices to all party delegates, naming especially four branches who had reportedly complained of not having received the notices.

"He (Abdul Rahman) is not fit to be ROS director. Not only is he a liar, he is a tool for Umno and BN," he stressed, and alleged that the ROS is also beginning to "shift the goalposts" in their probe against DAP.

"Initially, the investigations were supposed to be about us changing the election results due to a technical glitch two weeks later.
"Now that they couldn't prove anything against us, they have shifted the goalposts to claim that we denied delegates their right to vote," he said.

Over 700 DAP members have allegedly complained of not having received notices from the party, but Loke insisted that the party can't guarantee that all branches would receive them.

Loke also furnished proof that representatives from three out of the four branches - that had been mentioned by ROS in its letter to DAP - did actually attend the congress, thus there was no question of them being denied their right to vote.

The four branches were the ones in Taman Sri Sungai Pelek in Selangor, Taman Nesa in Skudai, Johor, Desa Dahlia in Seremban and Ladang Paroi, also in Negri Sembilan.

Documents show the proof

Loke said that the Skudai, Desa Dahlia, and Ladang Paroi branches did send delegates to the congress which took place on Dec 15 and 16 last year, and that the representatives' signatures were on the party's official documents relating to the congress.

NONEDocuments show that S Kogilavani represented the Taman Nesa branch, Richard Francis Soosay represented the Desa Dahlia branch, and three delegates had actually attended the congress under the Ladang Paroi branch.

All the individuals who made complaints to the ROS about not receiving notices and being denied the right to vote despite having attended the congress will be referred to the disciplinary committee of the party.

Loke said that the party did send out notices of the congress date to every branch, but it was out of their hands to guarantee that it reaches every intended recipient.

"We even had press conferences in the media to inform about the date of the congress," said Loke.

Meanwhile, it is noted that the Sungai Pelek branch chairperson had quit the party on Aug 16 last year, and thus was not entitled to receive any notice in relation to the congress, Loke stressed.

"ROS believes these members who made this complaints, but are refusing to believe us?" he said.

The PM's post-mortem-Dean Johns

The PM's post-mortem

After years of squandering public money on trying to buy popularity for himself, and paying allegedly adoring crowds to wave ‘I love PM' placards at his every orchestrated appearance, Najib Abdul Razak finds himself not so much a prime minister, as a fit subject for a political post-mortem.

He's clearly mentally, morally and reputationally dead, but still kept - at least apparently - alive by the BN support system of electoral manipulators, professional liars and scurrilous spin doctors.

Najib's losing of the popular vote despite ‘owning' the overwhelming support of the police, judiciary, civil services, the Election Commission (EC) and the nation's entire array of print and air media, was an absolute death-blow to him and his entire illegitimate, corrupt and criminal regime.

NONEAnd about time too, as BN has for decades clung to power by killing democracy, justice, civil liberties and human rights, and thus metaphorically ruling over Malaysians' dead bodies.

Literally, too, over the dead bodies of the hundreds who have died at the hands and in the custody of BN's perennial partners-in-crime, the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The latest of these killings, that of N Dharmendran (left), a ‘suspect' who was clearly the victim of beatings and other tortures - including, bizarrely, the stapling of his ears - came less than a fortnight after BN's near-fatal performance in the general election.

Yet Najib and his regime have been so busy scrambling to reincarnate themselves that they have treated this crime with their customary deathly silence.

Voting in cold blood?

A response that always leaves me wondering what motivates millions of Malaysians - albeit a minority as of this recent and comprehensively rigged election - to actually go out and vote in cold blood for murderers and accessories to murder.

Surely every Malaysian citizen knows by now that there have been countless killings by BN's forces of so-called ‘law and order' and that most have gone outrageously uninvestigated or utterly unreported.

azlanOr that in other cases have involved clear perversions of justice, as in such high-profile homicides as that of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was involved in the Scorpene submarines deal while Najib was defence minister, and of Teoh Beng Hock (left) who notoriously ‘fell' from a high window at MACC headquarters.

And who can forget the atrocious case of A Kugananthan, pictures of whose mutilated corpse on the Internet shocked the nation if not the world, but resulted in the charging of just one police suspect - and an Indian at that - with "causing hurt"?

Certainly, the MIC and other misleaders of the Indian Malaysian community don't appear to care too much about what a toll the BN regime has been taking of their fellows.

So it was heartening to see recently that DAP's Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran has condemned Hindraf chairperson and now deputy minister in the new BN cabinet, P Waythamoorthy, for his "deafening silence" over this latest death in police custody.

Calling Waythamoorthy "bad-intentioned" for dropping demands for cessation of custodial deaths from its demands in making his pre-election pact with BN, Kulasegaran flayed him for selling out the interests of the Indian community "in return for the material rewards of ministerial office".

But of course this criticism applies to BN ministers and members of all races - they're in it for the power to steal from Malaysians of any or all races, and those who don't like it can go drop dead.

NONEOr, as newly-minted Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi alternatively put it in an article he wrote for the gutter BN daily Utusan Malaysia in criticism of the public rallies protesting fraudulent conduct of the recent general election: If they don't like it, they can "migrate elsewhere".

This, quickly seconded by Selangor BN deputy chief Noh Omar's (right) message to malcontents that they should "go live in the forest", was the first shot in a campaign - the duo have since been joined by Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan, Umno Youth chief and new Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, along with PM Najib himself - to deny any impropriety in the conduct of the general election.

The 'con' in 'constitution'

The agreed story goes, apparently, that the polls was conducted according to the provisions of the constitution. Najib - who has proven himself such a persistent, indeed pathological liar that he might as well have put the "con" in "constitution" - declared that "the claim that we stole victory from the opposition is a falsehood because we did not cheat in the recent GE13".

According to Bernama, the news agency that plays the dummy to him and other BN ventriloquists, Najib said that "the supremacy and loftiness of the constitution is the main pillar of the nation, but the people have avenues to voice their opinions in line with parliamentary democracy".

What Najib and his collaborators in this evidently well-rehearsed fairytale ‘forgot' to mention, of course, was that during all the years in which BN enjoyed the two-thirds parliamentary majority required for any amendment of the constitution, the regime then turned its dead hand to robbing this formerly supreme and lofty document of most of its democratic provisions.

For example, there is their move to pass the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for the specific purpose of denying the people their constitutional right to free news media. In addition, BN's retaining of the Internal Security Act (ISA) - and more recently replaced with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) - to override the constitutional right of peaceful assembly.

As for constitutional provisions designed to ensure free and fair elections - like the specification that no electorate should contain 20 percent more or less voters than any other, or that the EC be independent - they seem to have been simply ignored by BN in its obscene enthusiasm for gerrymandering, roll-stacking and other such undemocratic stunts.

NONEStunts like the latest one of declaring peaceful public rallies and candlelight vigils illegal, and charging speakers at these events such as student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim, Anything But Umno (ABU) chief Haris Ibrahim (left) and other opposition figures with sedition while giving free rein to purveyors of poisonous BN propaganda.

In short, far from convincing anybody but themselves and their craven cronies that democracy is alive and well in Malaysia, and that the 13th general was a model example of the Westminster system in action, all Najib and his accomplices have achieved thus far is to demonstrate that their credibility, like their reputation, is dead.

And that for the next five years, or however long it takes for the people to wrest power back from this gang of cheating crooks, the premiership of Najib - or any other stooge that the lying, dying BN manages to find to replace him - will be nothing but one endless post-mortem.

DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia', ‘Even Madder about Malaysia', ‘Missing Malaysia', ‘1Malaysia.con' and ‘Malaysia Mania'.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bishop denounces selective prosecutions

Bishop denounces selective prosecutions

Catholic bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing aired his anxiety that the country was edging closer to being "a police state" because the courts could free an arrested individual, only for the police to re-arrest the same persons and charge them under obsolete laws.

"It appears the police are making all the valuations based on a self-defined goal of national security," said the head of the Catholic Church in the Johor-Melaka diocese.

NONE"Things are beginning to seem frozen at a certain level, no higher than the imaginations of the governing mediocrities of the police force and the Attorney-General's Chambers," asserted the Jesuit-trained prelate.

He was commenting on the re-arrest on May 27 of former ISA detainee Yazid Sufaat, this time under Section 130KA of the Penal Code, after he had been freed by the High Court on May 21 on a charge under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Other re-arrests the bishop was referring to were those affecting MP Tian Chua of PKR, politician Tamrin Ghafar of PAS, and NGO activist Haris Ibrahim who were charged yesterday under the Sedition Act 1948.

A magistrate's court had on Monday denied a police request for a remand order on all three following their initial arrest on suspicion of sedition.

Bishop Paul Tan said the police and the AG's Chambers could be accused of selective prosecution because they had done nothing in recent years to prosecute individuals who had inflamed the feelings of minorities and other groups through rabble-rousing and incitement.

"Politicians and other firebrands have called for the burning of holy books and had accused, without offering proof, minority religious groups of proselytising Muslims, and nothing has been done to them," charged the bishop.

"Now you have individuals whose apparent offence is the expression of robust dissent, and that too on a matter which is being queried by many quarters - the suspicion that the polls on May 5 was riddled with irregularities," he said.

"These dissidents are being hauled up for sedition whereas rabble-rousers are allowed to go free.
Custodial deaths

Bishop Paul Tan also said the public has been periodically jarred by news over the last several years of the deaths while under police custody of people who have been arrested as criminal suspects.

"Hardly any police personnel have been indicted for these deaths which disturb the public conscience because of their regularity and apparent brutality," said the bishop.

He said the steady rate of deaths of suspects while in police custody has been a national scandal but the police appear "well-nigh incorrigible."

"It is any wonder then that by their derelictions and by their selective actions, the police have given cause for people to think that our country is edging closer to being a police state?" asked the bishop.

He said Christian social teaching holds dear the inviolability of human life, the right of individuals to peaceful expression of dissent, and the duty of citizens to oppose corruption and abuse of power.

"A state that is willing to usurp the faculties of those it rules by refusing to let them think and express themselves peacefully has already proved itself barbarous, even if it doesn't go on to resort to concentration camps and mass executions."
The bishop said that he was opposed to injustice and immorality, selective prosecutions and the deliberate targeting of dissidents, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, which allows its clerics to denounce violations of human rights while forbidding them to take partisan political stances on the issues of the day. 

DAP: Special police panel on custodial deaths a waste of time

DAP: Special police panel on custodial deaths a waste of time

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
May 30, 2013
Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Putrajaya’s refusal to heed calls for the setting up of a police oversight in the wake of more custodial deaths while proposing a special police panel to address the issue shows the government is not taking the matter seriously, a DAP leader said today.
The party’s Puchong lawmaker Gobind Singh Deo (picture) said the mere suggestion for a “committee” came despite a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) having strongly recommended the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to address the alarming rise in deaths in detention.

“The suggestion to set up a special police panel on custodial deaths is clear proof of the fact that the police and the Ministry of Home Affairs have not taken deaths in police custody in the past seriously.
“This is strange. There has been a RCI which resulted in the proposal of the IPCMC,” said Gobind in a statement.

The DAP leader also cited how the inquiry into the death of former DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock, who died under mysterious circumstances while being questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), had made criticisms and specific recommendations to prevent more custodial deaths.

But Gobind said despite the reprimand, Putrajaya has yet to show any sign that it is serious about tackling the problem as people continue to die in detention, with the most recent case being the death of N. Dharmendran who was beaten to death while he was being detained in the city police headquarters earlier this month.

“This matter has been raised in Parliament many times and in the last session, the Ministry of Home Affairs assured the House that steps were being taken to solve the problems.

“But now we see how it is that this cannot be true. The police are suggesting a committee only now. This must be a joke because whilst people are dying, the police seem to be dragging their feet, saying they will look into it, when in actual fact they have yet to even set up a committee for this purpose,” he said.
The Najib administration is now facing a strong renewed demand for the IPCMC to be established after Dharmendran’s death sparked a nationwide uproar.

A pathologist report issued eight days ago showed the 31-year-old had been murdered but the police have yet to charge anyone, drawing accusations that there is an attempt to cover up the case.

Following public pressure, newly-appointed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has pledged to set up a panel to look into the custodial deaths issue but Gobind said the announcement was least convincing as the force has yet to outline any concrete solution to tackle the problem to this day.
“For example, he should tell us why in the case of Dharmendran, no one has been charged as yet despite the medical evidence clearly pointing towards homicide.

“Until he can convince us that there have been genuine efforts to change, he cannot be taken seriously in his call for a special committee, especially one which is to be headed by he himself,” he said.

Dharmendran’s death joins a list of other alleged police killings like the custodial deaths of Chang Chin Te earlier this year as well as A. Kugan and R. Gunasegaran in 2009; the deadly police shooting of 14-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah in 2010; and various other fatal police shootings in the past two years.

According to rights group Suaram, there were 218 cases of alleged deaths in custody in Malaysia from 2000 to this month, with its records showing that nine of those cases occurred in 2012, while five cases took place this year.

A United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention 2010 visit to Malaysian prisons and detention centres reported in 2011 that between 2003 and 2007, “over 1,500 people died while being held by authorities.”

The Bar Council, civil society groups and several politicians from both sides of the divide have called for an IPCMC to reform the police force since 2006

Change or be changed, US think-tank advises BN

Change or be changed, US think-tank advises BN

May 30, 2013
Malaysian Insider 
BN retain power by a simple majority in the recent general election although it lost the popular vote to a resurgent opposition. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) must change the way it does business or risk attack from a stronger opposition with the backing of fed-up Malaysians who have become more politically aware and adept at using social media, a US policy think-tank has said in an opinion piece published in the Houston Chronicle, the superpower’s sixth-largest newspaper.

In an analysis of the May 5 polls on Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in its Baker Institute Blog column said that the direction of Malaysia’s anti-graft agenda will be determined by how the ruling coalition responds to its newly felt electoral vulnerability.

“Will it understand that pandering to special interests, money politics and crony capitalism are no longer a viable strategy?
“Change is not easy in old hierarchical institutions like BN, and it has relied on corruption to raise funds and satisfy supporters for several generations.

“But if BN returns to business as usual, it will risk attack from an opposition that appears resurgent, backed by a more mobilized and fed up public,” said the institute, which ranks 13th among university-affiliated think-tanks worldwide, according to a 2012 study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Programme.

The think-tank noted that Malaysia has so far managed to dodge the harmful effects of corruption on the investment climate to remain one of Asia’s most vibrant economies.
But it said that Malaysians had shown they were more politically aware, judging from the increased social media coverage of the polls, and were no longer willing to tolerate corruption.

The results of the recently-concluded general election saw the BN retain power by a simple majority although it lost the popular vote to a resurgent opposition.

BN won 133 seats in the 222-member Parliament against the opposition Pakatan Rakyat’s 89 seats, drawing a weaker score than in Election 2008 and which the think-tank noted has put the 13-party ruling coalition in a precarious position unless it moves to reform the way it has conducted business by tackling corruption seriously.

The Baker Institute suggested that Malaysia’s anti-corruption agenda may be better served if BN could focus on reaping the results of a successful economy.

“To motivate itself to implement a major change towards clean behaviour, BN should focus on reaping the rewards of a successful economy.

“In order to facilitate long-term inclusive growth, the government should promote policies that will be applied fairly and transparently to all,” it said in its analysis headlined “Malaysia: Looking forward” carried yesterday.
The think-tank noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has made the first step by pulling back some affirmative action policies favouring Bumiputeras who form over half the population and which other analysts believe to be at the root of Malaysian corruption.

“Removing race-based policies is the first step in bringing the country together. However, it is unlikely that Najib will completely abolish these policies, as he still needs to appeal to his Malay supporters, which make up the base of BN,” the Rice University said.

It added that the PM needs to follow through on his electoral promises by detailing the steps for his administration to move forward and to enforce them, suggesting the government install “a more transparent, meritocratic system for selecting project managers... to avoid appointment based on family or political ties.”
It also suggested that the government consider dismantle the current practice of political party ownership of selective media enterprises as a move in the direction of greater transparency, noting the imbalance in news coverage as parties attempt to exert their influence.

The Baker Institute also suggested that public institutions, namely the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Public Complaints Bureau, also need to buck up reform, highlighting that “proper treatment of high profile cases could maximize the impact anti-corruption organizations have on the government.”

“While it remains to be seen whether the government will respond as hoped, its people are pushing for radical change.

“Malaysia needs leaders who are willing to take drastic measures to tackle corruption,” it said.

Three questions for the Home Minister on the spate of deaths in police lock ups.

Speech by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat at DAP Cameron Highlands Thanksgiving Dinner held on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Three questions for the Home Minister on the spate of deaths in police lock ups.

Leaders present at the Dinner

There have been far too many deaths in police custody.

Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong in a statement released today said  that  156 persons died in police custody between 2000 and February 2011, and it has been reported that there were at least six such deaths in 2012.

He said the data is alarming, as it points to an average of at least one death in police custody per month since 2000.

In a mature democracy where the principle of  accountability is of utmost importance and priority, such endless spate would have involved the resignations of the nation’s top cop and home minister, either voluntary or forced.

But such culture of accountability is obviously not the BN government’s political value and practice.
Hence, when two more deaths have happened in the police lock up recently, it will be a miracle to expect the Home Minister or the top cop to hand in their resignations.

But what is most sad and unacceptable is the fact that the government has not taken effective steps in the past to end such spate of deaths.

Yesterday’s announcement by Bukit Aman management director Mortadza Nazarene again shows the government unwillingness to do what the public expect.

In response to the two recent deaths in police lock up, Mortadza Nazarene said yesterday that the police would be setting up a special committee headed by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to curb incidents involving deaths in police lock-ups.

Upon hearing the announcement, my immediate thought is why is the government so unwilling to implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as recommended by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry eight years ago in 2005?
Submission of 2 new branch formation forms to Sdr Leong Ngah Ngah

Does the government seriously believe that the special committee can end the spate of deaths in police lock up?

Does the government seriously think that the public will have confidence in the Special Committee?
What puzzles most Malaysians is why is the government so unwilling to implement the IPCMC when this is what Malaysians want?

Why is the government so unwilling to listen to the people and do what is right?

Why is it still behaving as if the government knows best? “This data is alarming, as it points to an average of at least one death in police custody per month since 2000,” the Malaysian Bar’s president Christopher Leong said in a statement today.

In the coming Parliament, I will ask the Home Minister three questions relating to deaths in police lock ups:
1.     What steps have been taken in the past to end deaths in police lock ups and why have the steps failed?
2.     Why is the government so unwilling to implement the IPCMC?
3.     Will he take political responsibility if the Committee is not able to stop the spate of deaths in police lock ups?

Explain why ex-judge and retired D-G still walking free, Kit Siang asks IGP

Explain why ex-judge and retired D-G still walking free, Kit Siang asks IGP

May 29, 2013
Malaysian Insider 
KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — The DAP’s Lim Kit Siang called the national police chief’s bluff today, saying retired senior judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah and former education director-general Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad would have been arrested, questioned and charged with sedition if Bukit Aman were fully independent.

Highlighting the speedy arrest and prosecution of three opposition politicians and two other anti-government activists today, the Gelang Patah MP demanded Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar explain his men’s delay in acting against Mohamad Noor and Abdul Rahman who have been widely-panned for allegedly making racist and seditious remarks recently against the Chinese and Indian communities.

“Can IGP explain police double-standards in not enforcing the law against former Appeal Court judge and former Education Director-General despite their offences of sedition?” Lim (picture) asked in a statement.
“If we have a police force which is ‘fair and unbiased’ and which enforces the law without fear or favour, both Mohd Noor and Abdul Rahman would have been questioned by the police, arrested and charged in court for under the Sedition Act,” he added.

Mohd Noor, a former Court of Appeal judge, was accused by the opposition of racism following his May 12 remarks at a university forum where he reportedly warned the Chinese to prepare for a backlash from the Malays for their alleged “betrayal” against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in Election 2013.

Abdul Rahman, who is now the pro-Chancellor Of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), had allegedly blamed vernacular schools as being the barrier towards racial unity in the country, and causing increasing racial polarisation that led to BN losing the popular vote to PR.

The 13-party BN scored just under 47 per cent of the popular vote compared to PR’s 51 per cent, but swept 133 seats in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat that enabled it to form the federal government by a simple majority.

The DAP-PKR-PAS alliance has accused the Election Commission of electoral fraud to aid the BN keep its power and has held a series of mammoth rallies around the country to protest their loss at the ballot box since, leading to the arrest of a number of opposition politicians and civil activists in an apparent crackdown against dissent.

PKR’s MP for Batu, Chua Tian Chang, PAS politician Tamrin Ghafar and Anything But Umno (ABU) chief Haris Ibrahim were rearrested by the police last night and charged today with sedition alongside student activist Safwan Anang and activist Hishamuddin Rais.

Chua, Tamrin and Haris, who were arrested last week over their remarks during a May 13 forum, had been released after the police failed to secure a remand order.

“Was the police ever given directives, directly or indirectly, by the top government and political leadership not to ‘touch’ the former Court of Appeal judge and the former Education Director-General despite their blatant and flagrant crimes of sedition?” Lim asked.

He said that Malaysians wanted a police force that is efficient, professional, impartial, incorruptible and world-class whose first duty is to keep down the incidence of crime to make citizens, tourists and investors safe from crime and not one whose top priority was to the Umno-BN leadership.

Faced with criticism, Khalid who took over Tan Sri Ismail Omar as IGP on May 18, has denied the police is a pro-government agency.

“PDRM has never favoured or been pro-anyone. The police is a body that only enforces laws that are issued and take action on those trying to create tension.

“If we don’t act, our country may face a public peace crisis and place Malaysia as a country that is unsafe to reside in. No matter who and which individual that breaks the rules, we will arrest,” he told Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia in an interview published on May 26.

Malaysia slips in competitiveness ranking

Malaysia slips in competitiveness ranking

By Zurairi AR
May 30, 2013
File photo of a container yard at North Port in Port Klang. Malaysia’s economic competitiveness ranking, according to an international rankings group. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Malaysia fell one slot from 14th to 15th in a closely-watched international ranking of economic competitiveness, continuing a three-year steady trend since its fall from 10th to 16th in 2011.

This comes as Putrajaya touted Malaysia’s rise from 16th to 14th in 2012’s ranking earlier this year, including during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s presentation of the Economic Transformation Programme’s (ETP) report card just before Election 2013.

In the 25th anniversary World Competitive Rankings report released by the Institute of Management Development (IMD) today, the US topped the list followed by Switzerland and Hong Kong. All three countries were also in top three positions last year.

“The golden rules of competitiveness are simple: manufacture, diversify, export, invest in infrastructure, educate, support small-medium enterprises (SMEs), enforce fiscal discipline, and above all maintain social cohesion,” said Prof Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, in the report.
The Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) outlined in the report several challenges that the country is facing this year, including reducing the budget deficit and achieving fiscal balance for economic sustainability.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz had also expressed the same concern this month, urging the government to carry out its pre-election pledges within the budget.
“It is important to rationalise the budget deficit because the government has also made a commitment to do so over the next few years and to manage its level of indebtedness,” said Zeti after presenting Malaysia’s sluggish 4.1 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in this year’s first quarter.

Barisan Nasional (BN) had promised election pledges of cheaper cars, fuel price cuts, building cheaper homes and more cash in the people’s pockets — which were estimated to cost around RM20 billion.

Meanwhile, Putrajaya is expecting to narrow Malaysia’s fiscal deficit to 4 per cent of GDP by this year, and 3 per cent by 2015.
In IMD’s ranking, Malaysia’s close neighbour Singapore also fell one slot from 4th to 5th, while the UAE leapfrogged other top 10 countries to rise from 16th place to 8th.

Other countries in the top 10 ranking included Sweden, Norway, Canada, Germany and Qatar. Taiwan, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were the other countries which ranked above Malaysia.
When the ranking was started in 1989, it was split into two groups, and Malaysia together with Singapore and Hong Kong led the emerging markets list.

The two lists were merged in 1997, which saw Malaysia ranked 14th. Malaysia was ranked 18th in 2009 before rising to 10th place in 2010, its best ranking in the last five years.

Among its peers in the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia was placed 4th in 2013, the same as last year.
In March this year, the 2012 ETP annual report highlighted recognition from global organisations, where Malaysia increased its ranking from 18 last year to 12 this year in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, ahead of Sweden, Taiwan, Germany, Japan and Switzerland.

AT Kearney’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) confidence index also showed that Malaysia has improved from 21st place in 2010 to 10th in 2012.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why the delay in appointing new Suhakam Commissioners?

Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why the delay in appointing new Suhakam Commissioners? 

The country has been without any Suhakam Commissioners when the tenure of the previous Commissioners ended on April 25th, 2013. 

   The nation’s 13 the general election is already over on May 5 and a new Cabinet has       been formed, why is the government still dragging its feet on the new appointments? 

This more than a month limbo without any Suhakam Commissioner in the nation is unacceptable and inexcusable. 

The limbo shows the BN’s government’s lack of appreciation and respect for Suhakam’s role and responsibilities to protect and promote human rights. 

It also shows that the new Cabinet is not an efficient and competent government despite all the talk about transformation .

In 2010, the nation was without Suhakam Commissioners for 45 days, is the government going to make this time a longer limbo? 

Suhakam is one important avenue of complaints which must function at all times.

As there have been human rights violations since May 5 , there can be no reason for any further delay in appointing new Commissioners.

Any further delay will give rise to suspicion that it is a deliberate government move to avoid Suhakam intervention and action on the human righst violations. . 

Recent political crackdown is a clear indication that there will be more human rights violations.

The Prime Minister must tell Malaysians when new Suhakam Commissioners will be appointed.

I will also ask the government to explain to Parliament when it convenes in June why it has again allowed the nation to be without Suhakam Commissioners this year after the shameful 45 day limbo in 2010.