Friday, March 27, 2015

While Najib continues to remain silent, MCA, Gerakan and MIC should immediately and publicly declare that they will quit BN if the Prime Minister supports hudud law in Parliament



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 27th March, 2015

While Najib continues to remain silent, MCA, Gerakan and MIC should immediately and publicly declare that they will quit BN if the Prime Minister supports hudud law in Parliament

It has been a week since the Kelantan State Assembly unanimously passed the Syariah Criminal Code (II) 1993 (Amendment 2015) Bill.

Since then, MCA and Gerakan have been demanding that the DAP should sever ties with PAS. 

But these two parties, which are known to have no backbone, have not answered the most basic question which has been thrown at them, that is, why did they agree to allow the 12 Umno Assemblymen to support the Bill.

Is this a sign that they and Umno have decided to abandon the long standing BN policy that hudud law implementation is against Malaysian Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement? 

This is the most basic question that these two parties must answer before making demands on DAP.
In fact, they must also answer why they did not raise any objection when Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom had told Parliament on March 27 last year that Umno would support a private member’s Bill if it is table din Parliament. 

The hudud law is a very important and fundamental issue that MCA and Gerakan and all the component BN parties must not take lightly or think that they can divert public attention from their failure by starting a verbal political  war against the DAP .

If MCA, Gerakan and MIC are committed to the long standing BN policy that hudud law is against the Malaysian Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, then the minimum that they must immediately do is to “force “the Cabinet and the Prime Minister to state that BN will not support hudud law in Parliament.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib ought to have declared his government’s stand without any delay.
This is a fundamental issue which involves   a long standing policy where no time is needed to discuss what should be Umno and BN stand. So why is the Prime Minister keeping silent on the issue till today? 

Is Najib’s silence a sign that BN is going to deviate from its long standing policy? 

While Najib continues to remain silent, MCA, Gerakan and MIC should immediately and publicly declare that they will quit BN if the Prime Minister supports hudud law in Parliament.




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Welcome Nazri’s assurance that he will fight to have Vivekananda Ashram preserved



Press Statement by M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Parliament, Kuala Lumpur on 24th March 2015
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome Nazri’s assurance that he will fight to have Vivekananda Ashram preserved

Last week I issued a statement promising to raise the issue of the ongoing saga of Vivenkanda Ashram in Parliament.

As a follow up on this matter, a number of MPs including YAB Lim Guan Eng, YB Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang- the Ashram is located in this parliamentary constituency), me and others had a discussion with Tourism Minister Datuk Nazri on the Ashram matter.
Nazri expressed shock that the trustees are objecting to declare the Ashram as Heritage.

The issue of the necessity for Heritage status for the Ashram was raised in Parliament late last year. As promised the Heritage Department then, a written notice under section 272(2) of the National Heritage Act was issued on January 14. The notice expired last Thursday.
Just a day before that, the Ashram's Trustees had in the last minute submitted a written objection on the proposed granting of Heritage status to Vivenkanda Ashram.

The Ashram, built over 110 years ago, stands out as a historical icon building in the middle of Little India in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. The Ashram is the single most iconic attracting tourist to this area-the last bastion of a century old culture of the Indian community.

It's most sad and shocking that the Trustees are not with the local community on this issue.

The Vivenkananda Ashram has been earmarked for redevelopment that will see a 23 story residential tower with 264 units and a 8 story car park at the site. All this commercial development is contrary to the peace and tranquility teachings of Vivenkananda the icon.

Datuk Nazri is most accommodative to our suggestion to proceed to declare the Ashram grounds as Heritage. He said in view of the trustees’ open objections, a formal open Hearing of the matter will be conducted soon. He said all parties will be given an opportunity for their views, suggestion and opinions to be heard.

He further said his office is in touch with the Federal Territories Minister's office who has the sole power to hear and decide on the proposed redevelopment go the Ashram grounds. Apparently many local residents have put in objections on the proposed redevelopments plan.

The Ashram is located in one of the most expensive areas of Kuala Lumpur. The proposed condos will cost millions when sold in open market. Who among the locals can afford to purchase it?
With the Vivenkananda school next to this Ashram will the building of condos be conducive to the school going children?
The trustees must publicly state why monies and for what purposes it is so required?

Nazri said that the need to confer Heritage status to the Vivenkananda ashram is over whelming. He said he has met many from local leaders to politicians who all want the Ashram to be preserved. He promised not to let the people down.
I welcome Nazri’s assurance and once again call on the Trustees to abide by the wishes of the people who want Vivekananda Ashram preserved.




Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ashram trustees’ spurning of gov’t offer draws ire

3:28PM Mar 21, 2015

By Terence Netto

Ashram trustees’ spurning of gov’t offer draws ire

The decision of the trustees of the Vivekananda Ashram in Brickfields to reject the government’s proposal to designate the premises as a national heritage site was described by a DAP lawmaker as “painful and shocking.”

The rejection means a multi-storey condominium, slated to come up at the site once approval for the ashram’s redevelopment is obtained, will go ahead.

DAP national vice-chair M Kulaasegaran said the trustees’ rejection of the government’s proposal to preserve the site as historically resonant ignores the wishes of the Indian community long domiciled in the area.

“The community had made known its desire to preserve the ashram through public protests and a signature campaign,” said the MP for Ipoh Barat.

Kulasegaran (left) also noted that Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz visited the site in November last year and after that announced in Parliament that a notice would be issued to the trustees to agree voluntarily for the ashram to be preserved as a national heritage site.

He said the trustees’ decision to reject the government’s offer must be hugely dismaying to the Indian community resident in Brickfields area as Swami Vivekananda, who visited the country in 1904, was a renowned religious figure for his contributions to inter-religious dialogue.

The ashram was erected in 1908 in the swami’s memory.

Kulasegaran aired the speculation that mercantile motives may have factored in the decision of the trustees to reject the government’s proposal to preserve the site.

“If so, who stands to benefit from the site’s redevelopment?” he queried.

He said he will raise the issue in Parliament and will enlist the aid of minister Nazri in finding a satisfactory resolution of the issue.
 

The fight for Vivekananda Ashram to be preserved as a heritage site shall continue



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on March 21, 2015

The fight for Vivekananda Ashram to be preserved as a heritage site shall continue

It is most shocking and sad that the board of trustees of Vivekananda Ashram have rejected the government’s proposal to designate the Ashram as a heritage site under Section 27(2) of the National Heritage Act.

Yesterday’s Star has reported that without the board’s approval, the government cannot automatically gazette the old building a heritage site.

Why must the board be so adamant and fight against the wishes of the local community to have the building preserved? 

Upon learning of the proposed development of the Ashram to a multi story condominium, the local community and leaders carried out signature campaigns and the like with open demonstrations against the proposed redevelopment of the Ashram. I took the matter further and raised it in Parliament. The Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Nazri agreed to visit the site which he did with me and community leaders. The Minister showed exemplary leadership by later announcing in Parliament of the notice to be issued for the Trustees to agree voluntarily for the site to be preserved as a heritage ground.

I had said the Ashram is ideally located as it is in the little India locality where the early Indians had settled in Kuala Lumpur. The Ashram is an icon for the local vicinity and houses business and other incidentals in relation to the Indian community.

The Trustees’ decision to object the Heritage status can and should be questioned vigorously, among others:-

1) Why need to turn the whole area into a commercial area when this is very opposite of what Vivekananda would have wanted?

2)He had said " Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles" thus an icon like the Ashram built over 110 years is irreplaceable

3) why the Trustees who are custodian of public property failed to consult local community and  leaders on the proposed development?

4) Who will financially benefit from this proposed development?

5) The trustees failed to explain why they need to raise monies from the redevelopment of the Ashram area.

Let me tell the Trustees that the fight for Vivekananda Ashram to be preserved as a heritage site shall continue.

I will at the soonest possible avenues raise the issue of the proposed redevelopment in Parliament. I will continue to articulate for the Heritage status to be declared. In this respect I will work closely with Datuk Nazri and others committed to the cause.



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kula: Coroner’s findings must bring closure

9:57AM Mar 8, 2015

By Terence Netto

Kula: Coroner’s findings must bring closure

With two coroner findings of police negligence in custodial deaths, will the government move to bring closure to this gaping wound on our criminal justice system, asked a DAP lawmaker.

M Kulasegaran, MP for Ipoh Barat, said the coroner’s findings in the space of two months of police culpability in the 2013 deaths of C Sugumar and Chandran Perumal ought to “singe the conscience of the police” and prompt remedial action.

“I will not be surprised if any member of  public says that he or she  is not shocked to hear the news that the deaths of Sugumar and Chandran were due to the police’s negligence because there have been custodial deaths where the police were confirmed as culprits in causing them,” he asserted.

On Jan 16, the Coroner’s Court ruled that the death of lorry driver Chandran in a police lock-up two years ago was due to the negligence of police officers.

On March 6, Coroner Rozi Bainun found that the death of Sugumar in Kajang on Jan 23, 2013, was also due to police negligence.

Kulasegaran (left) observed that what was shocking about heart patient Chandran’s death was the deprivation of his medication by the police.

“If the details of Chandran’s and Sugumar’s deaths are not sufficient to singe the conscience of the police, I don’t know what will,” remarked the DAP national vice-chair.

Kulasegaran said the recurrent phenomena of custodial deaths was a gaping wound on the criminal justice system of the country which Malaysia, as  holder of a seat on the UN Security Council and as chair of Asean, can no longer ignore.

“It’s a wound on our psyche which will emit pus every time there is a death in police custody,” he stressed.

He said the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) which was the recommendation in 2005 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the management of the force must be drawn out of cold storage and implemented.

“I don’t see how the recommendation can be shelved when we are faced with a suppurating wound like recurrent cases of custodial deaths,” he said.

Police custodial deaths: Is the government blind or incompetent or both, Datuk Paul Low?



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 7th, March, 2015
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Police custodial deaths: Is the government blind or incompetent or both, Datuk Paul Low?  

Yesterday, Coroner Rozi Bainun in her verdict held that police were responsible for the death of C. Sugumar two years ago as he was under their custody and handcuffed.

She said there was unlawful omission by the police for their failure to send C. Sugumar to hospital.
This was another shocking death which ought not to have happened.

On January 16, the Coroner’s Court ruled that the death of lorry driver Chandran Perumal in a police lock-up two years ago was due to the negligence of police officers.

I have on January 17 in a statement said:

“ I will not be surprised if any member of  public says that he/she  is not shocked to hear the news that Chandran’s death was due to police ‘s negligence because there have been past custodial deaths where the police have been confirmed to be the culprits in causing the deaths.

However, the shocking part was how the inhumane the police officers were towards Chandran , resulting  in his death from a heart disease after being deprived of his medication. ”

It will be most tragic if  we were to come to a day  when the public are not shocked as well about how detainees have died due to inhumane behavior of the police simply because such cases have become a rule of the day.

Something is seriously wrong with the Police training when professionally trained personnel who are responsible to protect lives of people could commit such inhumane behavior.

Something is definitely wrong with the government when it has not come up with an effective solution to stop custodial deaths, despite increasing number of custodial deaths. 

In June 2013, the minister in charge of integrity and corruption Datuk Paul Low had assured that the government was determined to stop all future tragedies behind bars.

“I can assure you that the government is very concerned with the alarming statistics and something has to be done."

“Do not think they are blind to what is out there. It is just that the process of government needs to find a solution to stop this,” he said.

So what has happened after Paul’s assurance? More custodial deaths. 

Is the government blind or incompetent or both, Datuk Paul Low? 

A death is not a statistics.  Custodial deaths must not become the rule of the day.

There must be no more delay in setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) recommended by the Tun Dzainnudian led Royal Commission of Inquiry.