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Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

They don’t really care about us!!

Posted by ella-mae on August 8, 2009

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Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Bangsa Malaysia, BN, Crime, Current Affairs, Dandelions, ella-mae, government, Human Rights, Ideology, Mainstream Media, Malaysia, malaysiakini, malaysian, MIC, Music, Najib Tun Razak, News, Observation, Observations, PAS, People, PKR, Politicians, politics, Racism, Raja Petra Kamarudin, Samyvellu, the dandelions, UMNO | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

An Account of 1st August, 2009 – ISA Demonstration

Posted by Cherubim on August 2, 2009

Cherubim was there. This is a witness account.

Like any other sane protester, Pewaris and GMI alike, all of us took the LRT. It’s kind of amusing to watch a bunch of middle-aged to elderly men wearing ketayaps and white T-shirts proclaiming their affiliations and riding the same train with black and red-clad folk to pretty much the same destinations, when we were supposed to oppose each other.  Along the way, I saw at least 50 blue-clad policemen and their tents, chilling at Masjid Jamek. Even around KL Sentral, I saw more policemen under a brige.

Okay, I thought. Paranoid, much?

At around 1:30pm Cherubim and her fellow protester walked to Istana Negara, but since it was too early we were blocked by a significant number of police and too small number of us. So we walked to SOGO instead. That was around 2:30pm (yes, we walked a lot) when we arrived at Pasar Minggu Jalan TAR. The usual crowd; kids, families, keropoks, air nenas, and oh, the odd FRU truck and police vehicles or two.

Make that a fully loaded water cannon vehicle, several trucks filled with FRU troops fully equipped with gear from SWAT (we girls thought it cool) and they were shooting not merely at us, but at innocent bystanders, patrons of pasar minggu and hawkerstalls alike!

I was lucky, when I was about to go onto Jalan TAR, in a bizarre Cloverfield like feel, I saw the water that was shot at the people in the main road, then I saw everyone running my way. Stunned, I stood aside and just stood beside an equally clueless tourist where we witnessed the police vehicles and policemen in a crowd of 20 or so coming in and grabbing any poor fellow wearing black, red and having anti-ISA emblems on their Ts. Mostly young Malay men tho.

After they were gone, we continued our chant and went on the main road, and heard a few shots of tear gas. I got my very first taste of the day.  My eyes burned, my face burned, my nose burned, my throat burned. Some children were crying. Some families were in fear. A friend handed me some salt, which I gratefully ate to remove the sting of the gas, and washed my face thoroughly. Like many others, we covered our noses and our mouths, but those things are stubborn, and made in Arizona USA. During the last BERSIH demonstrations, I heard tell the pellets were from Israel.

When that cooled down, we peeked outside and hung out in front of SOGO, watching the police watching us there. Me & my friends amused ourselves checking out whether any of the younger policemen are cute. Heck, we wanted to take pictures, but was declined the request. Anyways, we got hungry, a little pissed that Secret Recipe (and their delicious frosty ice lemon tea) was closed, and went to this nice little cafe across the street.

We ate happily, some PKR dude apparently belanja all us citizen journalists there, we chatted with the people from Malaysiakini and others.

That’s when it really happened. I don’t recall exactly how many times the FRU cannon truck went back and forth, but I do recall that during one of the lulls we saw several people carrying effigies and picket signs “Mansuhkan ISA”. Also, they were joined slowly by people who were taking refuge, though when we heard the siren and the sight of FRU troops going in we had good sense to return inside the cafe. There were children and families inside the cafe, some of the kids were hit with the tear gasses that was repeatedly shot by the FRU. People escaped through the back door.

Around what, 4pm or 5pm or so, the FRU decided to spray the corners of the ends at Jln TAR, pretty much near the old cinema (ground zero of 13th May, according to my dad, who was a young man then), and I thought it had some ironic implications. Violence seems to like Jalan TAR. I heard the voices of many, I couldn’t determine where, but there were first screams, then outraged outcry, probably Mansuhkan ISA again. Then I heard more tear gas pellet shots.

So, anyway, I was chilling nearby the police, thinking, this was highly excessive. The policemen was nice to me and my friends, we’re technically media, but I thought to myself, I know they are following orders not necessarily in line with their personal opinion, I saw some of them hesitate before aiming and shooting. During the whole event, Pertahanan Awam knocked on shopgrills asking whether anyone was hurt, evacuating the injured, watching out for civillians with a seriously worried and slightly angered look on their faces. What I cannot and will not remove out of the equation is this excessive force and collateral damage.

Look, we all know that on Saturdays, SOGO is a family oriented go to place, as I have all my life with my own parents, we know that most likely there’d be families, not demonstraters there. Plus, in my long involvement with this kinda thing, when the police doesn’t come, after chanting for an hour we all get tired and go to the mamak stalls to chill before going home after 2 hours max. Thanks to the police and especially FRU, we have sufficient warped entertainment for 5 hours to 6 hours. Wow, talk about efficient crowd control.

Again, Cherubim argue that the authorities (we all know who runs the cops) should have let the protesters be. Make sure they don’t hurt anyone, and bonk a few belligerant heads, and things would have been fine. What’s happening now is that even shopkeepers, hawkerstall owners, etc etc are getting pissed off at the gomen.  We each protect each other, blind for once to the idea of race and religion, but conscious of the idea of humanity. Otherwise apathic and apolitical folk are now getting more and more involved.

Well, more fodder for the 14th GE.

P.S = Waaaaah, so many police, meh? How come crime rate still so high?

Posted in Bangsa Malaysia, Famous for Wrong Reason, Human Rights | Tagged: , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Malaysian Schools…….The Playground of Suppression…….????

Posted by ErnieJean on March 4, 2009

We all know that our Malaysian school system practises a suppressive approach to educating our children….they’re taught to never ask questions and not encouraged to think for themselves, but to just receive whatever’s been fed to them, even though it may be crap……but what I didn’t expect was that this “suppression” was not confined only to the books………..

My 8-year old : Mum, I’m not allowed to bring the sharpener to school.

Me : Why? What if all your pencils (6 of them, by the way) broke?

My 8-year old : My teacher said that we will dirty our classroom if we used the sharpeners in class.

Me : *jaw dropped*

On the surface, this may seem like a petty issue…..but if you examine closely, on a larger scale, this is the sort of mentality  that has created the sort of governance Malaysians are stuck with at the moment…….where the higher authorities simply decide to ban whatever just because they can’t be bothered to deal with the intricacies involved in explaining or following up on certain issues.

Doesn’t this sound just soooo like the typical UMNO-style of doing things?

By disallowing the children to use the sharpener in school, how are these kids expected to learn to keep their classrooms clean while sharpening their pencils?

Instead of taking the trouble to teach and guide these school kids to do things correctly, the teachers basically chose the easy way out……by pretending that the cause of the action doesn’t exist, hence less matters to think over…..

No sharpeners, so no pencil shavings on the floor……EASY-BEASY.

Is that why our youngsters these days generally lack social maturity and responsibilities? Is that why littering and vandalism are still very much part of our society?

Yes, ultimately parents play the important role of moulding their children to be responsible citizens….but weren’t schools and institutions established in the first place to create/churn out good decent human beings too?

Isn’t it important that whatever has been taught at home be allowed to be put into practise when in school and for that matter, in public places? 

My main bane is that, from the very bottom of the food chain aka the schools, right up to the top of the pyramid aka political masters of this country, this form of “suppression” has conveniently been made a tool to keep the rest of us in our place, hasn’t it?

School kids wanting to question the rationale behind a certain theory……………..SUPPRESS

Sex and sexuality……………….SUPPRESS

Citizens’ rights to peaceful expression of discontent…………….SUPPRESS

Usage of “Allah” by religions other than Islam, since it’s accepted internationally, even in the Middle East…………….SUPPRESS

Debate on jurisdiction of our royalty…………………SUPPRESS

True Democracy………….SUPPRESS

And now you know why all our Prime Ministers must have a stint at the Education Ministry first, as part of their training………to learn how to effectively “Suppress”…….

IT ALL STARTS FROM OUR SCHOOLS, FOLKS………

suppress

Posted in Education, erniejean, government, Human Rights, Malaysia, Observations, Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

RIP Kugan Anandan: Scenes from the funeral.

Posted by ella-mae on January 28, 2009

MalaysiaKini reports 500 people accompanied Kugan Anandan on his final journey. There were more people waiting for him at the Hindu cemetary at Batu 14, Puchong.

As expected, the police were there but not in their usual numbers. Perhaps most of them were away looking for the culprit who had the gall to take off with three pairs of shoes from the home of former finance minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin.

RPK at Kugan's funeral procession while a police helicopter hovers above.

RPK at Kugan's funeral procession while a police helicopter hovers above.

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Scenes from the funeral procession at Batu 14, Puchong

Scenes from the funeral procession at Batu 14, Puchong

Our constant companion throughout the whole event.

Our constant companion throughout the whole event.

One of the many children at the funeral.

One of the many children at the funeral.

Dark clouds loom ahead as the casket is taken out of the hearse for Kugan's final journey.

Dark clouds loom ahead as the casket is taken out of the hearse for Kugan's final journey.

The heavy downpour that came with the dark clouds did not deter the crowd from giving Kugan a dignified send off.

The heavy downpour that came with the dark clouds did not deter the crowd from giving Kugan a dignified send off.

Prayers before the burial.

Prayers before the burial.

Standing on whatever they could find for a better view.

Standing on whatever they could find for a better view.

The crowd around the Hindu cemetary.

The crowd around the Hindu cemetary.

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Many of the hardworking people from Pakatan Rakyat were at the funeral. We only managed to capture photos of Nik Nazmi, Gobind Singh and Teresa Kok.

Many of the hardworking people from Pakatan Rakyat were at the funeral. We only managed to capture photos of Nik Nazmi, Gobind Singh and Teresa Kok.

In his final resting place.

Young life, forever gone: In his final resting place.

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Nothing hurts like the death of a child, say those who have struggled to go on.

A family's anguish and pain: Nothing hurts like the death of a child, say those who have struggled to go on.

kugan-motherThe towel wet from Kugan's mother's tears fell accidentally onto the coffin bearing his remains. For her Kugan's death contradicts all reasonable human expectations that our children will bury us, not vice versa.

Towel wet from Kugan's mother's tears accidentally fell onto the coffin bearing his remains. For her Kugan's death contradicts all reasonable human expectations that our children will bury us, not vice versa.

Posted in Crime, Current Affairs, Dandelions, ella-mae, Human Rights, Malaysia, malaysiakini, Observation, Observations, Pakan Rakyat, People, Raja Petra Kamarudin | Tagged: , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Choose The Right Banner And Ye May Speak……

Posted by ErnieJean on January 7, 2009

Talking about demonstrations in Malaysia, I’m suddenly in the mood for a walk down memory lane….so please bear with me 😛

Remember this?

 “We don’t take sides. Even if an NGO, or even government parties were to organise such a gathering without permit, we would have acted in the same way,” – Selangor Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar, Nov ’08

“…..since the group had not applied for a permit, the gathering was illegal and police had taken action according to the provisions of the law,” – IGP Musa Hassan

“……the fact that they were at an illegal gathering showed the PR leaders did not respect the law. This is an example of bad leadership, allowing activities which are against the law in the state. They have to understand that the law was created to educate the people and preserve harmony and security, especially as they are leaders.” – Botoxed former Selangor MB, Khir Toyo.

So, can someone from the Home Ministry or the PDRM please explain how these group of crazy folks under the banner of UMNO Malacca in Masjid Tanah on December 2008 managed to get away with it!!??

And how this is “absolutely” not causing disharmony or threatening to create unrest amongs Malaysians but cycling and holding candles are!!??

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I really hope the voters in the coming by-election in Kuala Terengganu will think deep and hard before casting their votes……for no matter what crap assurances MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the rest of them parties in the BN coalition have given, it’s evident that they’re just mere consorts in UMNO’s harlem.

 

Posted in erniejean, government, Human Rights, hypocrite, Malaysia, Observations, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Debate: Human rights and religion

Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on October 8, 2008

ok the debate started of like this

Anand Says:


Jingo, apologies for this belated reply (been rather occupied with work). Much like a mosquito in a nudist colony, I don’t know where to begin…….Brief snippets like these cannot begin to scratch the surface of these complex issues, and we ought really to talk more when we meet next time.

When is an embryo defined as human? Well, very simply when it is conceived. Within the zygote is an already fully programmed individuality, like eye colour etc. After all, to grow a human brain, one must be a human.

Your next statement(“If it is free unprotected sex a result of pregnancy even with sex education, then I believe it is wrong to terminate pregnancy.”) is rather curious. Why is it wrong to terminate a pregnancy in that situation and not others? What makes that act wrong? Murder, by definition is the willful termination of a human life. Period. (of course, in the case of pregnancy, the woman wouldn’t have her period). Maybe we shouldn’t call it “termination of pregnancy”, but rather “Final Solution to pregnancy”

If morality is relative, I gather that you don’t have any right to attack the Christian right. After all, by what common standard can you judge their actions? What’s wrong with discrimination? You may not like it……but are we to base our morality on your feelings?

Human rights a luxury? In that case, I guess abortion is fine, since we can arbitrarily decide who to extend rights to(pregnant women, yes, unborn fetuses, no). But who makes that decision? And why not get rid of rights for some other classes of citizens too, like homosexuals? If it’s all based on consensus, then its fine for a majority to eradicate the minority. I suppose Hitler’s only crime was losing the war.

Philosophically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with the beliefs of the Christian right. That was the point of my earlier comment. The problem is the Right has not formulated a public philosophy. As one rabbi said, Christians speak of “Justice” but they really mean “Just-us”. One of the hallmarks of true biblical faith is the fact that one has the free-will to follow one’s conscience, whether that leads you to God or away from him. Therefore, the Christian ought to agree with Voltaire when he said “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to death your right to say it”.

I could ramble on, but I think this will suffice for now. The issue of moral relativism will crop up I’m sure, and I’ll be happy to refute it then.

Let the slug-fest begin….

jingoisticbuthornydesperado says:

Anand, at which stage of the embryo or foetus do you think the being starts to have consciousness or a sense of self?


When a pregnant mother has health problems whereby it might lead to the death of either the mother, the child or both, what is the mother suppose to choose? By choosing to abort, by your definition, the mother is committing a murder. If the mother chooses to have the baby but the casualty happens to be the mum instead, the mum has now committed a ‘sin’, which is a suicide. In the worst case scenario it could end up leading to death of both, hence it will now be a combination of suicide and murder! Doesn’t a dogmatic absolutist moralist find himself in a self-perpetuating paradoxical cycle of moral dilemma? Mind you, the mum has prior knowledge of what are the HIGHLY possible consequences.

I am not attacking Christian right. Read carefully, what I have to say and what I have said before. I am merely using a ‘constructive approach’ in critisizing religious fanatism and dogmatism. D I am not against progressive practitioners. Christianity has undergone great transformation since it was founded two millenia ago. In the days of old, Galileo and Darwin had been regarded as heretic for going against the common misconceptions (as encouraged by fanatic dogmatism) that the universe DOES NOT revolve around the earth, and that the earth has much more history to it than mere 5 millenia. So if you think dogmatic absolutistism is absolutely correct, think again….. ;) In fact, capitalism which YOU ARE PART OF now has its roots to reformed chrisianity or to be more specific Calvinism. It is about accumulating and creating wealth through hardwork (while not using the wealth for own selfish purposed) to seek reassurance with God to go to heaven. You would have been a heretic yourself in the dogmatism of the middle ages. Really,  has Christianity itself been absolutist throughout its 2000 years histroy?

Just another example what harm can absolutism do: Zealots here I mean religious fanatics who are ever so bombastic with their strict aspects of interpretation of the holy script be it Bible or the Quran or anything else. In Islamic world in the past, the various interpretation of the Quran by Muslims scholars had served to limit the absolute power of Muslim monarchs or dictators, bringing to a balance and prosperous society. It is only in recent years where people start adhering to the strict form of (Wahhabism) intepretation (becoming a coded law) of the Quran where the balance is tipped in favour of Muslim dictators hence its current political conflict.

In fact it is to my believe than human rights and survival of the community is greatly interlinked and dependent on each other. Neither is completely right or completely wrong. Homosexuals deserve equal rights because they do no harm to the long term survival and welfare of the collective community. Human rights are pyramidical arrangement of (generally) self-interests for a long term survivability. The base of the pyramid is shelter and food, our fundamental instinct to survive. That is the most important of all. Yes, relatively speaking, human rights further up the pyramid is a luxury (for example freedom of speech or one’s right to what path of spiritaulity) IF AND ONLY IF we have shelter and food in our stomach. Would you think of freedom of speech when you are close to starvation? Also if you can turn back time, would you eliminate Hitler before the horrors of world war 2, for the sake of collective welfare? By doing so, aren’t you violating Hitler’s human rights?

One problem that I tend to frown upon is the individualistic nature of some religions. The relationship with the community is usually at the top of the pecking order relative to the individual relationship between the practioner and God. That is detrimental to the survivability of a community at the cost of an individual. But the problem is that usually many of these individualists fail to see is that if the community fails, there wouldn’t be any individuals at all. Can you honestly be where you are without an electrical engineer running the power station to power-up your electrical appliances or a farmer farming the food that you need for your own sustenance?

Like you, I thrive in controversy and i get adrenaline rush from the thrill.;) Be careful of what you wish for D

Feel free to contribute. Ciao

Posted in Debate, Human Rights, Opinions, religion | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Raja Petra to be sent to Kamunting

Posted by ella-mae on September 23, 2008

This piece news must have made many out there breathe a sigh of relief. But only a short breath: don’t forget RPK left behind a legacy and that can never be shut away in Kamunting.

Raja Petra to be sent to Kamunting
Sep 23, 08 9:34am

Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin will be sent to Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak today to begin his two-year detention under the Internal Security Act, said his lawyer.

The home minister has signed his detention order last night to be held without trial under section 8 of the tough security law. Under the Act, the government can renew his detention indefinitely.

raja petra and internal security actLawyers said that the police had informed them this morning that they would be taking Raja Petra to the detention centre.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court is to hear a habeas corpus bid by Raja Petra’s lawyers to overturn the detention of the controversial blogger today.

Habeas corpus is a writ ordering prisoners to be brought before a judge to ascertain if there are any procedural defects which could render their detention unlawful.

Hope to see some of you at the Abolish ISA forum tonight.

Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

Date: 23 Sep 2008 (Tues)
Time: 8:00 pm

Speakers:

*Teresa Kok, Selangor State Exco

*Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bar Council President

*Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Chairman of Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)

*Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister

*Khalid Samad, MP Shah Alam

*Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP Lembah Pantai

*A. Sivanesan, ADUN Sungkai

Posted in Badawi, blogosphere, Current Affairs, ella-mae, Human Rights, malaysiakini, Politicians, politics, Raja Petra Kamarudin | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Race Relations Act, anyone?

Posted by Cherubim on September 19, 2008

I have some misgivings about the so-called Race Relations Act that’s being approved for reading in the Parliament by the Cabinet. Some believe that it could be a better, more humane alternative to the ISA. Some believe that it is necessary to preserve the unity, harmony and relations between the races and to basically protect the society from racial conflicts.

I, however, smell a rat.

I cannot do much analysis when there is pretty much nothing on the slate for the RRA as of yet, but it would be nice to have several things in it;

1. An open forum where all grivances (including issues pertaining to Islamic law) is aired without restraint, but all that is said there ends there.

– Minutes are recorded and kept for future references in regards to any policy and laws made in the Parliament.

– Bigots and liberals alike should send in their well-written proposals and objections beforehand.

2. An interfaith council as was proposed by Prof Shad Faruqi.

– To allow for more effective facilitation of above open forum.

3. Specific details on what is ‘religiously and racially offensive

– To prevent any more seemingly politically manipulated ISA arrests.

By the way, my dear MPs, how on earth does one define ‘race relations’? Does it mean that we eat, sleep, go to the toilet together? Does it mean that we cannot visit each others’ homes when the non-Muslims serve booze and perhaps a stripper or two for bachelorette parties? Does it mean that we have to eat yee sang together every year or suffer the consequences? Does it mean that I cannot date Chinese boys anymore?

Pray tell my dear Ministers and MPs, what is the proper way to ‘relate racially’.

Weird lah, this.

Race Relations Act gets Cabinet nod
By V.P. SUJATA

PUTRAJAYA: The proposed Race Relations Act to strengthen ties among the different races in the country has been approved by the Cabinet, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

He said various issues had to be discussed and proposals on race relations needed to be studied before the Act could be drafted and tabled in Parliament.

He added that the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry and the Home Ministry would gather information and data to draft the Act.

Speaking to reporters after addressing ministry staff at a monthly gathering yesterday, Syed Hamid said both ministries would also have to collect input from non-Governmental organisations and individuals on the contents and scope of the Act.

The Act would include provisions on punitive action while using the Federal Constitution as the guideline, he said.

He added that the Act would also touch on race relations through the economic, education and distribution systems.

“There is a great need to work on the mindset of Malaysians and ways to strengthen the relations among all races in the country,” said Syed Hamid.

“We need to give priority on our diverse cultures and on the sensitivity of each race in order to create an ideal environment to live in,” he said, adding that similar Acts in other countries would be used as reference in drafting it.

He said Britain had the Act for many years while some other European countries were working on similar laws too as they were also becoming more multiracial.

When asked to comment on a suggestion by MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai that the Act could replace the Internal Security Act (ISA), Syed Hamid said Liow could submit his proposal during discussions on the Act in the Cabinet.

On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s statement that the ISA was good but its enforcement must be seen to be rational and fair, Syed Hamid said it was wrong to interpret his statement to mean the enforcement was improper.

He said enforcement of any law should be fair and just, adding that no one including the police and ministers enforce the law without being fair.

“The law is meant to do justice to the people,” he said.

Posted in government, Human Rights, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, religion | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

A Year Ago on 916…

Posted by ella-mae on September 17, 2008

With all the excitement surrounding DSAI’s 916: How could I have forgotten what happened on September 16th last year? On 916 a year ago, Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s lifeless body was found stuffed in a bag left in front of a shop. While her parents and loved ones mourn her lost, her killer is still out there: free to torture and kill more children.

How many more children do we have to lose before you begin doing your job, PDRM? How many more Sharlinies and Asmawis have to go missing before you start doing something? How many more Lai Ying Xins have to die before you stop serving your political masters and perform your duty as you have pledged to the people the people of Malaysia?

Children of the Shadows

(For All the Lost Children)

What sentinels watch over us, the lost,
who fly as shadows
What vengeful archangels take wing,
keeping account of everything,
While we are bound to life
between two earthly planes?
While only tragedy and emptiness remains?

What empty rhetoric has drowned the cost
in vapid shallows,
Simplistic terms for everything,
leaving the poison in the sting,
While our remembered life
still bears the bloody stains?
For sometimes justice lies, when love has severed veins.

Where were the ones who always cared for us-
when we were screaming?
The ones who kissed away our pain,
kept us amused through weeks of rain,
Taught us about the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?
Where did the grownups go, when we needed them most?

Where were the strong ones, who were there for us
when we were dreaming;
Who saved us when nightmares lashed the rein,
banished the monsters once again,
Who told us of guardian angels;
all the Heavenly Host?
And where is justice, when the world needs it the most?

Away with your rhetoric, and legends born to save.
No-one can help those crying out beyond the grave.

Posted in Crime, Current Affairs, ella-mae, Human Rights, Malaysia, malaysiakini, malaysian, murder, News | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Preventive Detention in Malaysia

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on September 13, 2008

The detention of RPK, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng yesterday has shocked the nation. My heart and prayers are with them. There will be a lot of emotional postings and comments put on print in respect of the appalling conduct undertaken by the government. However, I am in agreement with the guidance advice issued by the Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA – namely, that we, Malaysians, remain calm and collected. That is the only way to go.

Emotions cannot be brutishly retaliated by blind passion and sentiment. Fight we must; but in composed manner, we have to.

With this in mind, I find it appropriate, and somewhat essential, that we, as Malaysians, equipped ourselves with background knowledge on that piece of legislation that has yet again gripped the nation in fear, the Internal Security Act 1960, or more commonly referred to as the ISA.

The ISA is only one of the laws that constitute the preventive detention laws in Malaysia; the other two being the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985. These laws were passed in accordance with Article 149 of the Federal Constitution, which allows Parliament to pass laws to take action against persons who :-

a) Cause fear or organized violence against a substantial number of citizens;

b) Excite disaffection against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Government;

c) Promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population likely to cause violence;

d) Prejudicial to the public order or security of the Federation;

The Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 was introduced to quell the spread of violence and destruction in the 1969 riots but over the years, it has been used to detain and restrict suspected gangster and violent criminals who cannot be charged for any offences due to lack of proof. In the case of the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985, in was passed to combat the drug menace by enabling the detention without trial of any person suspected of involvement in drug-trafficking.

The ISA, on the other hand, bestow on the police and the Minister the power of preventive detention under sections 73 and 8, set out below :-

Section 73 ISA – Police Power of Arrest and Detention

(1) Any police officer may, without warrant, arrest and detain pending enquiries any person in respect of whom he has reason to believe –

(a) that there are grounds which would justify his detention under section 8; and

(b) that he has acted or is about to act or is likely to act in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof.

(3) Any person arrested under this section may be detained for a period not exceeding sixty days without any order of detention having been made in respect of him under section 8.

Section 8 ISA – Ministerial Order of Detention

(1) If the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or the economic life thereof, he may make an order (hereinafter referred to as “a detention order”) directing that that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years.

(7) The Minister may direct that the duration of any detention order or restriction order be extended for such period, not exceeding two years, as he may specify, and thereafter for such periods, not exceeding two years at a time, as he may specify, either –

(a) on the same grounds as those on which the order was originally made;

(b) on grounds different from those on which the order was originally made; or

(c) partly on the same grounds and partly on different grounds;

Section 8b ISA – Ouster Clause

(1) There shall be no judicial review in any court of, and no court shall have or exercise any jurisdiction in respect of, any act done or decision made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Minister in the exercise of their discretionary power in accordance with this Act, save in regard to any question on compliance with any procedural requirement governing such act or decision.

As you can see, the ISA is fairly described as draconian in nature. The police or the minister can detain any person as long as they are satisfied that that person is a threat to security. Basically, a person can be detained up to 2 years, without having been brought to court for a fair trial, and bearing in mind that the 2 years detention can always be extended. The court’s intervention, as a neutral pillar of justice, is somewhat limited. The only remedy that comes to mind is the right to Habeas Corpus.

Article 5 (2) of the Federal Constitution incorporates the ancient common law remedy of habeas corpus :-

5 (2) Where a complaint is made to a High Court or any judge thereof that a person is being unlawfully detained the court shall inquire into the complaint and, unless satisfied that the detention is unlawful, shall order him to be produced before the court and release him.

Over the years, there have been a number of cases of detainees applying for the remedy of habeas corpus in detention under the ISA. In Inspector-General of Police v Tan Sri Raja Khalid bin Raja Harun (1988) 1 MLJ 182, the detainee, a director of the Perwira Habib Bank, was arrested and detained under section 73 (1) because the police had reasons to believe that the substantial losses suffered by the bank allegedly evoked anger among the armed forces and that it is likely that such feelings may lead to violence threatening the security of the country. The detainee filed for a writ of habeas corpus which was granted by the court as there was no evidence that the acts of the detainee were prejudicial to the country’s security.

In Mohamad Ezam bin Mohd Noor v Ketua Polis Negara (2002) 4 MLJ 449, Ezam argued that his detention was to gather intelligence and was not prejudicial to the national security. Although the High Court initially disallowed his application, on appeal, the Federal Court allowed the habeas corpus on the basis that the detention was mala fide as it was made with an ulterior or collateral purpose unconnected with the issue of national security.

Although there are cases which habeas corpus has been disallowed, these two cases gives us a glimmer of hope to the oppressive acts of the executive. The court should continue to hear such cases and inquire into the legitimacy of the detaining authorities’ belief as to whether the detainees had acted in a manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia.

As for us Malaysians, you be the judge to decide whether RPK, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng has acted, or were about or likely to act in a manner prejudicial to national security.

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