Monday, February 27, 2017

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 27th February, 2017

Professor Dr Norlidah should be immediately suspended pending the outcome of the University’s investigation into the racist remarks allegation made against her

Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan has revealed that Universiti Malaya has formed a five-member panel to investigate Prof. Dr. Norlidah for allegedly making racist and demeaning remarks against two Indian students.

Kamalanathan said he has contacted the vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin, for clarification and was informed that as an immediate action, the university has formed a 5 member panel to investigate the allegation. Dr Mohd Amin also said that upon completion of the investigation the university will issue a public statement on its findings and decisions made.

I welcome the University’s swift and necessary response to the complaint.

There must be zero tolerance for racist insult especially in a university and if the allegation is found to be true, severe disciplinary actions must be taken against her.

However, to show that the University views the complaint with utmost seriousness and that any racist insult is not acceptable, the Education Faculty Masters programme Professor, Prof Dr Norlidah should be immediately suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

The following is the viral face book message, which contains the students’ complaint against Dr Norlidah.
Without being racist many people cannot live in Malaysia
17th February 2017 at 3.05 PM
Research in Curriculum Development by Prof Dr Norlidah at Faculty of Education
I would like to lodge a complain upon your lecturer, Prof. Dr. Norlidah.
My friend Rinishah and I rushed to class taking time off from work, as we step into the class we greeted Prof Norlidah and proceeded walking towards our seats. As we were about to sit, she abruptly said ‘India, saya tak suka India duduk bersama-sama.
Jangan bawa budaya UNITAR kesini. India duduk sama-sama lepas itu akan tiru assignment dan plagiarise. Saya kenal India.’ she then continued saying to me, ‘You, baju merah, duduk depan sekarang.’ subsequently said to my friend ‘you duduk sana’. Prof Norlidah further said, ‘Saya akan pastikan awak dan kawan awak tak akan dapat kumpulan sama untuk buat assignment. Saya tahu India macam mana.’
At this time, I was infuriated by her racist remarks towards me and my friend; I did NOT expect this from a well-educated person especially a person whose title is ’Professor’. She did not stop, she was merciless as she proceeded to insult other indian students. How would the wawasan 2020 be fulfilled if we have educators like this in ’Malaysia’s Top Public University’?
She went on defending her atrocious behaviour by confessing that this is her style and proceeded to encourage student to not promote UM to anyone else as she prefers her class to be smaller in number.
This wasn’t first time we had experienced this lowly behaviour of hers;on our orientation day, we met Prof Norlidah along with other two possible lecturers for a session with the faculty. Her first words were indeed hurtful and demotivating ‘Do you think you can do Masters with just 2 years experience? You and your friends can never graduate together, I challenge you. You do your business and I will do my business.’ her words crushed our eager selves who thirsted for knowledge.
I’ve never been more insulted in my life before until recently by your lecturer. Never did I came across someone with a PhD who could act despicably rude. It is a shame that such lecturer/former student hail from “Malaysia’s Top Public University”. It is important to remember that respect does not come with papers and titles but attitude. She lost the respect before gaining one. Such arrogance and racism from someone who should be an inspiration.
Let me remind you that we are paying to be here, she has no rights to insult us as such. Actions could be taken. She had hurt me and my friend emotionally.
I demand for an apology from her for the damage she had done to my reputation. If no action is taken from your side, I will not hesitate to bring this matter to the media.

Professor's like this are misfits academicians who endangers peace and tranquility in our multi racial society. The question is, is she the only Professor /lecturer of this character? She should be suspended and even removed permanently from teaching!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kula says Lena Hendry conviction makes no sense

FMT Reporters

| February 25, 2017

The DAP MP says government must respect the rights of its citizens to be in "solidarity with oppressed communities" around the world.

PETALING JAYA: M Kula Segaran of the DAP says the conviction of activist Lena Hendry does not make sense especially at a time when information is easily accessible.

Hendry, the programme manager for Pusat Komas was found guilty by the Magistrate’s Court earlier this week for screening a documentary on the atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan civil war, without the approval of the Censorship Board.

In a statement today, the DAP’s national vice-chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat said, “The conviction of Lena Hendry does not make sense in a world of information where atrocities in any part of the world can be instantly accessed through various media outlets or mobile phone.”

He added, “Citizens around the world have access to all kinds of media that would make censorship of reality and truth, foolish and incomprehensible.

“The pertinent fact is, Hendry does not own the documentary. Therefore the charges do not hold under Section 6 of the Film Censorship Act, unless the Government is going act against all citizens who have documentaries that show atrocities around the world, in their mobile phones, that can be easily disseminated.

Hendry was accused of screening the documentary titled “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” which had not been vetted or approved by the Censorship Board, at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce Hall on July 3, 2013.

Section 6 of the Act makes it an offence to, amongst others, produce, manufacture, have in one’s possession, circulate, distribute and display such film or film-publicity material which has not been approved by the Board.

Kula said the documentary was screened only to “selective audiences”, and as such the government should respect the rights of its citizens to be in “solidarity with oppressed communities”.

“I believe Lena Hendry would not have been charged by an archaic law such as the Film Censorship Act if she had screened the atrocities committed by the Israelis in Palestine.”

The documentary in question featured the carnage that took place in the last months of the Sri Lankan civil war that was drawn out over 26 years.

Noting this, Kula questioned the alleged “double standards” when it comes to the wellbeing of the oppressed Tamil community in Sri Lanka.

“Malaysia, which has condemned the atrocities in places like Palestine, Bosnia and against the Rohingyas in Myammar, should not be selective in its comprehension of justice, by charging a human rights advocate who merely attempted to expose a crime against humanity.

He added that the documentary had been credited for playing a key role in convincing the United Nations to launch an investigation into the alleged war crimes that took place in Sri Lanka.

Hendry will be sentenced on March 22. She faces up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000.

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 24th February, 2017
It is time that the Malaysian government should speed up the efforts to abolish death penalty
Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM) has called on  the Government to stop the execution of Brothers Rames and Suthar Batumalai today in view of a pending application for a royal pardon.
The two brothers were convicted for murder in April 2010. AIM executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu revealed that the clemency application was submitted to the Negri Sembilan Pardons Board on Thursday by Haresh Mahadevan & Co.

Shamini said that the Pardons Board must be given time to review the application.
It is most unfair and unjust if the brothers are denied of the right to have their appeal studied by the Pardons Board. It is also totally unacceptable if the Pardons Board is not given the time to review the application.
The most puzzling question here is why the rush? Here is a case where two lives are involved and they do have right to exhaust all avenues of appeal as provided by the laws.
In fact, it is time that the Malaysian government should speed up the efforts to abolish death penalty.
While speaking on “Abolition of Death Penalty” organized by Amnesty International of Ipoh on 21st August 2016, I had said the following:-

“In Malaysia the number of individual currently under death sentence is at least 1,043. 
In a reply to Parliament on 12th November 2014, the Minister of Home Affairs informed Members of the House of Representatives that there were 975 persons under sentence of death. Among these, 347 had filed for appeals (310 to the Federal Court, and 37 to the Court of Appeal), and 255 to the Pardons Board. Prison Department Director Abdul Basir told the press in May 2015 that there were 1,043 death row inmates nationwide.”
1043 is no small number.

I also touched on the research done overseas. I said the following:-
“A report released by death penalty information centre on April 18 by the prestigious National Research Council of the National Academies based on a review of more than three decades of research concluded that studies claiming a deterrent effect on murder rates from the death penalty are fundamentally flawed. The report concluded: “The committee concludes that research to date on the effect of capital punishment on homicide is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates.”
Being a member of parliament and the secretary of the Parliamentarians for Global Action, I have highlighted the injustice related death penalty in parliament. It is significant that Attorney General Apandi has stated that the government plans to review the death penalty on certain crimes. Former minister in the Prime Ministers department Nancy Syukri has also assured me in parliament that there is a comprehensive review on the death penalty. 

It is hoped that efforts towards the abolition of death penalty in Malaysia will be doubled and sped up.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 18thFebruary, 2017

Police custodial deaths – Cabinet should immediately set up the much delayed IPCMC

On January15, a detainee named Soh Kai Chiok died at the lock-up of the Bera district police headquarters 
Bera district police chief DSP Mansor Samsudin said that the victim was taken to the Triang Health Clinic and was referred to the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital (HOSHAS) in Temerloh. He also said that all lock-up procedures were adhered to in giving the victim his medication, food and drinks as well as seeing that he slept on time.

However, the questions which have arisen are why then Soh had become unconscious and died in the lock up? If he had fallen seriously ill, surely he should have been admitted at a hospital.

Last month High Court judge Justice S. Nantha Balan, in his 86 page judgment, said that lorry driver P Chandran died in custody in 2012 simply because the police did not observe the Lock Up rules 1953.
The judge said under the rules, it was clear that the police must attend to the sick and in particular, when a detainee suffered from any form of mental illness.

The judge pointed out that police were aware Chandran was ill and needed to take medication.
It is so shocking that a life was lost because of the failure of the most irresponsible investigating officer to follow the rules.
Balamurugan, 44, was arrested on Feb 6 this year and brought to court for a remand order the following day. The magistrate rejected the remand order but the police did not release Balamurugan. Police personnel found him dead in the early hours of Feb 8 at North Klang Police headquarters
The Malaysian Human Rights Commission has said there are concerns that the police had breached the standard operating procedure by, among other things, keeping Balamurugan in the lock-up instead of providing him medical treatment when he was visibly ill.

According to my colleague, MP for Klang Charles Santiago, since 2000, 242 people walked into police lock-ups alive but left in body bags. This is according to Malaysia's National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).S Balamurugan is number 243.

This is most shocking and totally unacceptable. Yet today it is most disappointing that the Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and the Cabinet have maintained their “elegant silence” when they should have expressed their utmost immediate outrage and concern.
A responsible Cabinet cannot and must not treat the police custodial deaths as trivial matters. Every human life is important and is not a mere statistic when a life is lost.
The Cabinet should come up with urgent response to end criminal custodial deaths.
We will continue to raise for the urgent setting up of IPCMC when Parliament reconvenes on 6th march 2017
It must exercise the political will to set up the much delayed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).