Monday, October 27, 2014

Let me tell Najib that his failure to keep his pledge to repeal the Sedition Act and with the political prosecution of oppositionists, he will definitely go down in history as a pseudo reformist.

Press Statement by M Kula, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 27th October, 2014

Let me tell Najib that his failure to keep his pledge to repeal the Sedition Act and with the political prosecution of oppositionists, he will definitely go down in history as a pseudo reformist.

Today is the 27th anniversary of the infamous Operasi Lalang. On October 27, 1987, more than 100 persons comprising politicians, educationists, activists, intellectuals were detained under the draconian Internal Security Act. 

It was a day of darkness in Malaysian history. 

It was also the worst abuse of the Act and the crackdown also saw the  he revoking of the publishing licenses of two dailies, The Star and Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and the Watan.

Today, Tun Mahathir who was responsible for the crackdown has long retired but the government still owes those detained an apology.

Datuk Seri Najib has started his premiership six years ago with talk of 1 Malaysia and moderation concepts as well as promises of political reforms, but what we see today is not what he has promised.

Despite his talk about 1 Malaysia concept and the value of moderation, he is not able to walk his talk and has remained silent when extremists continue to play with racial and religious fires.

Although the draconian Internal Security Act has been repealed, a new political crack down in the form of sedition blitz against government critics has taken place. 

Najib has promised to repeal the 1948 Sedition Act in 2012 but till today, he has yet to fulfil his pledge. Worse, the Act has become the new weapon to stifle political dissent and silence government critics. 

Many opposition lawmakers have faced court prosecution, yet Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali who has threatened to burn the Bibles has not been charged. 

De facto Minister Nancy Sukri’s explanation that Ibrahim was merely defending Islam met with strong and massive criticism, yet the Prime Minister has remained silent. .

Let me tell Najib that his failure to keep his pledge to repeal the Sedition Act and with the political prosecution  of oppositionists, he will definitely go down in history as a pseudo reformist.

I wish to remind Najib that the public do not have short memories and still remember his 2012 challenge to the opposition. 

In 2012, when commenting on the Bersih 3.0 sit in protest which attracted 200, 000 participants, Najib had said:-

“To these people, I challenge them to fight' at the ballot box. If you are anak jantan (man), let us fight there."

So I wish to challenge the Prime Minister to stop the political persecution of opposition lawmakers and fight the opposition fair and square at the next general election.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Call on IGP Tan Sri Khalid to support the immediate setting up of IPCMC

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 25th October, 2014

Call on IGP Tan Sri Khalid to support the immediate setting up of IPCMC

Despite the continued occurrences of custodial deaths, the federal government’scontinued refusal to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, is most disappointing and even irresponsible.

The main excuse given by the government is that the setting up of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) is sufficient.

But time has proven that EAIC has failed to stop more custodial deaths from happening since it was set up in 2011.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its “ No Answers, No Apology: Police Abuses and Accountability“ report released  in April this year in Kuala Lumpur revealed that just 7% of complaints against the police force between 2005 and 2012 reached a courtroom while more than half the cases has yet to be fully investigated.

From extrajudicial killings of teenagers to custodial deaths, threats to lawyers and assaults on journalists covering demonstrations, the report gives chilling and bloody first-person accounts of police abuse and misconduct.

The report without a doubt further showed the urgency of setting up an external oversight body like IPCMC.

But the government is still adamant in refusing to set up the IPCMC when such oversight body has been set up in many other countries.

It is no secret that the Police leadership has always been opposing the setting up of the IPCMC.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that the police were not in favour of the setting up of IPCMC last year because the terms in the proposal treated the force like second-class citizens.  

He said the proposal gave members of the force no avenue for justice.
“For instance, in the proposal, a policeman picked up for corruption does not have the right to defend himself,” he was quoted as saying.

Was Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar saying that the police will support IPCMC formation if the required changes are made?

On June 29 last year, former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan called on the government to set up IPCMC after the Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was ruled responsible for A Kugan’s death under custody.

In a landmark civil suit, the High Court had ruled that Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, at that time the Selangor police chief, was liable to misfeasance in A. Kugan’s death behind bars in 2009. 

“You need monitoring, of course, on the police,” Musa told The Malay Mail Online. He also proposed that changes be made to allow appeal against IPCMC decisions.

What Tan Sri Kahlid Bakar said yesterday was no different from what Tan Sri Musa said more than a year.

I wonder why it took Khalid Bakar more than a year to state his position.

Nevertheless, since Tan Sri Khalid Bakar has stated his position, I call on him to propose the necessary changes to the government and to express his full support for the immediate setting up of the long delayed IPCMC.

There need to be independent investigative body to look into complaints of wrong doings by the police. By establishing this like IPCMC it will enhance the confidence on the police and their investigations.

The bottom line is the police cannot and should not be given the exclusive monopoly of investigating their own wrongs. The police should not be judge, jury and prosecutor of complaints and wrong doings against its own personnel.

Monday, October 20, 2014

DAP laments puny Indian share of Budget 2015

8:24AM Oct 19, 2014 Malaysiakini

By Terence Netto

DAP laments puny Indian share of Budget 2015

Budget 2015’s meagre allocation for the upliftment of the lot of Indian community has been criticised by DAP national vice chairperson M Kulasegaran.

Speaking in Parliament last Friday, the MP for Ipoh Barat compared the RM110 million allocated for specific Indian causes to the RM337 million to be streamed to 63,478 fishermen to improve the latter’s housing, equipment and other needs.

“This works out to RM5,300 for every fishermen whereas eight million Indians have to scrounge for a meagre share of a third of the overall allocation for fishermen,” said Kulasegaran (left).

“Indians would not begrudge the allocation made to fishermen but after five decades of neglect by the government of what was once a reliable vote bank for the BN,  surely they deserve of bigger share of the budgetary cake,” said the DAP leader.

Kulasegaran also said for the alleviation of the lot of Indian have-nots, it was imperative that the government keep its promise of allocation 1,500 seats in matriculation for the community.

“Education is the key to the economic advancement of any community and so this allocation of matriculation seats must be kept as there is no other recourse for the poor Indians.

“They have to obtain tertiary education or else they will languish in poverty,” said the lawyer legislator.

Word good only for elections

He said there was no hope of attainting the goal of 3 percent equity for the community, set in 2000 for achievement in 2010 and later deferred for another 10 years because of failure to achieve it.

“The equity goal, like the setting up of an Indian advancement task force, is something that is talked about in the lead-up to a general election and then conveniently forgotten afterwards,” he commented.

“Never mind, there is no need for goals that are inherently unrealisable. But promises on seats for Indian students in the education sector are attainable targets with high impact consequences.

“These targets must be met because their results are quickly obtained and their impact on livelihoods readily seen,” said Kulasegaran.

He said the government must not view Indians as a community to be lulled with promises before a general election and with neglect after the polls.

“This is a callous attitude towards a community that has contributed to the national development in areas where it took strenuous labour at low wages to build things up,” said Kulasegaran.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Repeal of Sedition Act: Khairy Jamaluddin is a big disappointment

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 17th October, 2014

Repeal of Sedition Act:  Khairy Jamaluddin is a big disappointment

Yesterday, I had participated in the lawyers walk from Padang Merbok to the Malaysian Parliament to protest against the Sedition Act and demand that the Prime Minister fulil his pledge to repeal the draconian Act.

I must commend the Bar Council Chairman Christopher Leong for his great speech at Padang Merbok. Christoper subsequently met MP’s and Minister Mah Siew Keong in Parliament House. He handed over a memorandum for the abolishment of the Sedition Act to Mah to be handed over to the PM.

Former Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has commented to the media that she was encouraged by the international support the initiative had received.
She has said:-

“With the event today being observed by foreign bar councils, including from Australia and Japan, the activist said that when the rule of law was being infringed, lawyers from all over the world came together.

Above everything else, Ambiga said, when lawyers walked against injustice, it meant something was really wrong.”

Indeed, there is something very wrong now when not only the government has not fulfilled its promise to repeal the Sedition Act, there is also a blitz targeted at government critics.

Yet, the Oxford trained Minister of Sports and Youth Datuk Khairy Jamaluddin has failed to see or has chosen not to see that there is indeed something very wrong.

Yesterday, he had belittled the walk, saying that Malaysians want the draconian Act to stay.
It was reported that he described the Bar Council's walk as having “not made an impact".

“The larger subtext is, the abolish Sedition Act movement has failed to catch on because it does not offer Malaysians safeguards against offensive speech,” he said in his tweets.

It is obvious that Khairy does not know or pretends he does not know that we have enough laws to deal with offensive and hate speeches.  If he does not know about laws, he should ask from lawyers and not talk so much as if he is an expert on laws.

Sedition Act has outlived its usefulness. It’s a colonial “cancer” gift to Malaya then.. Its continuous usage and reliance by the Government shows how desperate the powers that be who wants to silence the people.

Sedition Act must go because it is a useful political weapon for the government to use to stifle freedom of speech and target government critics.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MP Kula sighs over what-might-have-been

8:22AM Oct 16, 2014 Malaysiakini

By Terence Netto

MP Kula sighs over what-might-have-been 

PARLIAMENT Had Malaysia proceeded from initial interest to actual accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the prosecution of the guilty over the shooting down of MH17 would have been less difficult than it is now, Parliament was told.

Having campaigned for Malaysia’s accession to the ICC, DAP national vice-chairperson M Kulasegaran said the federal cabinet had agreed to the accession in 2011, but that the reservations of the attorney-general (AG) had held up matters.

“Now, Malaysia is paying a high price for the delay in converting interest in the ICC to actual membership of it,” the MP for Ipoh Barat told Parliament yesterday.

“It was reported by the New York-based Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) that had Malaysia and the Ukraine been State Parties to the ICC at the time of the shooting down of MH17, the Rome Statute would have been applied.

The statute would apply as the incident was committed in both the territories - the sky under Ukrainian jurisdiction and the aircraft, which is the extended national territory of Malaysia, under our jurisdiction,” argued Kulasegaran

He noted that the AG has said Malaysia will bring back the suspect who allegedly shot down the MH17 and charge him in our courts.

“Does this statement of the AG bear up to even the most cosmetic scrutiny?” queried the federal legislator.

Kulasegaran said the 2nd Asian Pacific Parliamentary Consultation on the universality of the Rome Statute of the ICC was organised by the PGA and was held in the Malaysian Parliament from March 9 to 10, 2011.

Cabinet approved accession...

He said following the conference, it was announced that the cabinet had approved the country’s accession to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

He said this announcement generated enormous goodwill for the country, at home and abroad, including among our important trading partners and economic and regional blocs.

“Our campaign to secure a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council received an enormous boost from the disclosure of our willingness to accede to the Rome Statue of the ICC,” he said.

Unfortunately, he said, two-and-a-half years later, the government has yet to honour this international commitment. He said that 122 nations have acceded to the Rome Statue but Malaysia is not one of them.

“We must ask ourselves, individually and collectively, what sort of signal does this sends to our friends around the world,” Kulasegaran added.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kg. Tai Lee residents call on the government to declare their place as national heritage land

Press Statement by M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 12th October 2014
Kg. Tai Lee residents call on the government to declare their place as national heritage land 

Kg.Tai Lee was one of the earliest settlements of the Indian community in Ipoh. It is within the area known as Buntong which has the highest concentration of Indians in Malaysia. 

The poorest of the poor live here. They have no shelter except these wooden houses erected by them.

Today at a meeting with the residents of Kg. Tai Lee, DAP Ipoh Barat team had a detailed discussion with the residents on the ongoing saga of the residents’ plight.

Kg. Tai Lee has been around since it was first alienated on 23rd October 1914. The majority who had settled at this place were labourers and workers who were employed in and around the Ipoh town (now a City).  Although the majority who settled here were Indians, there were a few Chinese and Malays. The Chinese and Malays moved out over the time and the place presently consist of approximately 55 poor Indian families.

For over three decades, the residents of Kg. Tai Lee have been promised relocation by the Perak state government.  A four acre land next to the kampong belonging to the state government has been promised to be developed into low cost flats for these residents. Even the present MB visited this area on Jan 3, 2010, when a gotong-royong event was organized by the state government with the Kg Tai Lee residents.

The Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir had ordered the local council of Ipoh (MBI) to find a solution to settle the issue faced by the residents.

However, nothing has happened so far.

In around 1997, the land owners of Kg. Tai Lee started sending out notice to quit the land to most of the residents. Thereafter, the land owners filed proceedings against over 53 residents whom the land owners claimed were squatters residing on the land.

After a protracted legal battle, the Court had on 12th December 2013 ordered the land owners to pay Rm10, 000 per resident but the residents have to move out on or before this April 2014.

During the trial, evidence was disclosed that RM964, 388.88 only being Agency Fee was paid to evict the squatters/tenants to Siva Shankar a/l Sindambaram, the attorney appointed by the land owners.

Upon instruction, we had filed appeal to the Court of Appeal for a higher compensation and at the same time asserting that the residents have a right to stay on the land.

As information has been flowing of the uniqueness of the residents place, the possibility of preserving this place as heritage land is being investigated and ventilated on. 

At today’s meeting, the residents decided to call on the relevant Ministry of Culture and Tourism to assist to acquire this land and preserve it as national heritage land.

It is not going to be easy as the federal and state government may disagree with this proposal since a lot of monies would be required to acquire this land and to maintain it. Be that as it may, we will go all out to assist the residents.  if the need be,  we are ready to take this matter to be adjudicated in court

The residents request requires in depth study and  historical records .Thus,  we are going to invite the Heritage Society of Malaysia to assist us.

We will also write to other NGOs and political parties to request them to assist us to procure the status of Heritage for this land.