Sunday, May 31, 2015

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



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 31st May, 2015

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

At the "Rogue Cops: Workable Solutions - Police Accountability in Malaysia" forum held yesterday , former chief justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah said that deaths in custody were only possible because the police has turned a blind eye towards police violence, with disregard over human rights and weak self-accountability.

He said that this police culture has been instilled even starting at their training stage, where there is little focus on respecting the rule of law or the sanctity of human life.

Mohamed Dzaiddin’s remarks are certainly right and deserve urgent government and police actions but will they fall on deaf ears again like before? 

Custodial deaths should and can be tackled with a two pronged approach – the changing of Police mindset and the implementation of the independent Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). 

But what has been most lacking is the lack of political will on the part of the government and lack of total commitment of the police force to carry out the necessary and urgent change and reform.

In 2006, when Kajang police was heavily criticized by the public for shaving bald 10 men caught for gambling during Chinese New Year, former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd  Bakri Omar had then said the following frank remarks at a human rights seminar held for the country’s  police district chiefs:

"We have been teaching you about human rights all along ... you cannot say we have not been teaching you. If this (three-day seminar) is not enough, then we can make it longer.   After that, if you still do not understand (about human rights), then you might as well look for another job. We don’t want stupid officers." 

9 years have passed since Bakri made the comments, how much has changed about the Police culture?  Has the respect for human rights by the police improved ? 

It is an undeniable fact that Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC), a watered down version of IPCMC has been a complete failure in eradicating police abuses. 

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low who has in the past assured that the government will curb custodial deaths and defended the setting up of EAIC must not give any more excuses about not supporting the setting up of IPCMC.

Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar has recently declared that if no reform is done to Parliament, he is prepared to resign his position. 

Paul should emulate Pandikar’s courage and commitment to change.
A death is not just a statistic. Custodial deaths must not become the rule of the day.

Paul should press for the immediate setting up of IPCMC at the next Cabinet meeting and be prepared to resign his Ministership if Cabinet rejects his proposal.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Finance Ministry’s clarification on RM 2.89 billion for Indians rather shocking and disappointing



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 19th May, 2015

Finance Ministry’s clarification on RM 2.89 billion for Indians rather shocking and disappointing

Secretary General of the Treasury Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah was recently quoted as saying that the government had allocated RM2.89 billion for Indians.

His announcement was questioned and obviously under pressures, the Finance Ministry has today clarified that the allocation of RM2.89 billion from 2012 to 2014 was for the provision of annual operating and development expenditures to ministries and agencies to implement various programmes and projects for the Indian community.

I find the Ministry’s clarification rather shocking and disappointing.

Firstly, Secretary General of the Treasury is not an ordinary position and Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah certainly knows the difference between operating and development expenditures.

How could he have in could he have included operating expenditures in his blowing trumpet act for the BN government?

If such justification could be accepted, then soon BN government will soon include salaries paid to Indian ministers and teachers as help to the Indian community!

So was there an earlier attempt to mislead and confuse the Indian community?

Secondly, after having been questioned, Mohd Irwan should know that it is insufficient for his Ministry to clarify with general answers.  He should give detailed breakdown as to how the money has been allocated.

Thirdly, he should also reveal if the allocation has achieved the programme objectives and has truly benefited the Indian community.

Take for example the RM50 million allocated in the 2013 budget to train 3,200 Indian youths. Why less than 1000 youths have been trained?

I did raise this question in Parliament and the government’s reply was that time was needed. How much time still needed?

The problem is not more time but real political will from the federal government to truly help the Indian community and to ensure all programmes are effective and beneficial to the Indian community.

I wish to remind government leaders and Mohd Irwan that if they want to blow their trumpets about helping the Indian community, they should always remember what former MIC president Dato Seri Samy Vellu said in 2008 and let Indian community know what the government’s report card is.

For the record, Dato Seri Samy Vellu had said in 2008 that there were seven critical issues that had caused uneasiness among the Indian community and the government must immediately take steps to address them.

The seven were:
1. an equitable participation in the share market;
2. Indian intake in public universities;
3. better employment opportunities, especially in the public sector;
4. increase the number of government scholarships;
5. greater access to entrepreneurship training and micro-credit loans;
6. an effective urban poverty eradication programme; and.
7. the establishment of a dedicated mechanism to monitor and evaluate the delivery of public sector services in a just and fair manner.
Let me also remind the government and MIC leaders that although they may choose to forget what Samy had said, the Indian community will remember what he said.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Sedition Act has become BN government’s tool of suppressing democracy, not preserving democracy as claimed by the Prime Minister



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 15th May, 2015

Sedition Act has become BN government’s tool of suppressing democracy, not preserving democracy as claimed by the Prime Minister 

When launching the Institut Wasatiyyah (Moderate) Malaysia in Putrajaya yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak defended the Sedition Act, saying that the controversial amendments to the draconian law passed in Parliament recently, will preserve democracy, despite critics claiming otherwise.

His defence of the draconian law was shocking and unacceptable.

He can explain and justify with big and beautiful words, but the truth is that the Act has been used as a weapon to suppress democracy, not to preserve democracy.  

I want to first ask Najib why he has totally forgotten about his 2012 pledge to abolish the outdated draconian law.  

If he is an honorable man, the least he must do is to make a public apology for not making good his pledge. 

If he is politically honest, he should emulate former prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi and be frank about the failure to bring about political reforms. Abdullah who failed to implement reforms had cited resistance from Umno. 

It is beyond doubt that Najib gave in to Umno’s pressures when he announced a u turn on his pledge at last year’s Umno General Assembly. 

Last year’s sedition blitz against opposition leaders shows very clearly that Sedition Act has replaced the repealed Internal Security Act to stifle political dissent and persecute the opposition.

In September last year, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail announced that the AG’s Chambers would review the cases of several individuals who were charged with sedition. What  has happened to the review? 

Najib has often talked about the concept of moderation but his failure to walk his talk has made his talk hollow.  

He can also continue to justify retention of the Sedition Act, but he will go down in history as a pseudo reformist.




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When will the person or persons responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s death be brought to book?



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 13th May 13, 2015

When will the person or persons responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s death be brought to book? 

After six years of legal battles, MACC finally admitted to negligence on their part resulting in Teoh Beng Hock’s death in 2009.

However, there must be a complete closure for this tragedy and the police must do their utmost to bring person or persons responsible for Teoh’s death to book.

On September 5 last year,  the Court of Appeal set aside the open verdict by a coroner into Teoh's death in 2009, ruling that “a person or persons were responsible” for his death.

On the following day, Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh told the media that police would relook Teoh's case to decide if it should be reclassified as murder.

He said Bukit Aman had formed a special team to reopen the investigations into Teoh’s death. 

MACC also issued a statement and said that they would leave it to the police to conduct 
investigations and the Attorney-General to decide whether anyone should be prosecuted.

On March 16 this year, IGP Tan Sri Khalid also said that to ensure that there is justice for all parties including the family of the late Teoh; police needed time to conduct the investigation from various angles.  

It has been more than 8 months since the Police reopened investigations, the Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police should tell Malaysians the progress of investigation including what actions that have been taken. 

Were the MACC officers implicated arrested for questioning, if not, why? 

How much more time will the Police need to complete the investigation? 

The Teoh family have suffered and waited for six long years for MACC to finally admit their negligence. 

There must be no further delay on the part of the Police to find the truth and the culprits who caused Teoh‘s death.