Another incident of police brutality before one can be resolved.
This time is not an Indian for a change but HINDRAF without fear and
favour will fight for all races in Malaysia against human right violation.
HINDRAF – NAJIB’S 100 days performance benchmark
HINDRAF welcomes Dato Seri Najib Razak and new incoming team of cabinet ministers for the remaining term of the current administration.
The previous administration had acted unilateral, with arrogance in a form of fascism against HINDRAF although, our cause was a genuine grievance that is faced by the Malaysian Indians.
HINDRAF sincerely hopes in contrast that the new administration will reach out and engage with us to address and solve the perpetual systematic marginalization and discrimination of the Malaysian Indians in the Malaysian society.
As a gesture of goodwill and in anticipation of positive and actual reformation in addressing the plight of the Malaysian Indians, HINDRAF shall for the first 100 days of the current administration restrain from activities such as street protest, or memorandums.
HINDRAF wishes that the new administration will govern every segment of its people fairly and justly for a better Malaysia.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK)
Reading is a form of escapism. When you are reading, and if you are engrossed enough in the book you are reading — the Malays call it kushuk — you can transport yourself to somewhere you are not. And that was how I spent my time while in solitary confinement in the Kamunting Detention Centre. I read and read and read.
My wife arranged to send me loads of books when she visited me every week. If the book were about 200 pages or so I would finish it in a day. The thickest book I read was 1,400-pages and it took me about a week to finish. That was how I escaped from Kamunting. I transported myself into another world by shutting myself out from the miserable world that I was stuck in, the world of solitary confinement.
It was during one of these ‘escapes’ that I noticed a minor brouhaha had erupted outside my cell. One of the guards was on the phone and was summoning ‘reinforcements’. He wanted someone to relief him so that he could go to the next block.
My curiosity got the better of me and I put my book down to step outside and investigate what the commotion was all about. Three Internal Security Act detainees were in the midst of being released that morning, I was told. Who are they? The guards mentioned their names but I did not know them from Adam. After all, you do not quite have a social life when under solitary confinement and I had yet to make many friends from amongst the 60 or so detainees.
Hari Raya was around the corner and these were three of the lucky ones who would be going home to join their families for Hari Raya. Maybe ten more or so will also be released around Hari Raya, the guards told me. I sighed. These people who are due for release had been under detention for up to eight years. I was barely two months in custody. I never dreamt I would be one of those lucky ones who would be going home for Hari Raya.
But the ten or so never got released for Hari Raya. Even the guards were puzzled. These people had already been slotted for release. Why were they not released? It did not occur to everyone, then, that they would be released, but they would only be released after Najib Tun Razak takes over as Prime Minister. This was so that Najib would be seen as spearheading reforms and the first ‘reform’ would be to release a few Internal Security Act detainees who had spent many years under detention.
“Would the HINDRAF 5 also be released?” I inquisitively asked the guards. Maybe two, they told me, but certainly not all five. Hmmm….why is that? Well, the guards told me, the HINDRAF 5 is no longer five. They are split into three. There are two in one group, another two in another, and the head honcho is all by himself and does not talk to the others. In fact, he has requested to be shifted to another block and no longer shares the same block with the other four.
What happened? I am one inquisitive creature. They have quarrelled, the guards told me. Two are in one gang, the other two in another, and the gang leader is separated from the rest. The head honcho is very ‘difficult’. He does not get along with anyone. Two more are also quite stubborn and continue to resist. But two are quite alright. They are very cooperative and regret getting involved with HINDRAF. In fact, they blame the head honcho for their predicament and this is one of the reasons they have split up.
So these two have a good chance of being released, I said to the guards. Yes, these two are actually no problem. In fact, we have recommended they be released. It is also good we release two of them and retain the other three under detention. This would cause HINDRAF to break up because some of the leaders would be seen as having sold out. Mereka akan berpecah kalau separuh bebas dan separuh lagi masih ditahan.
So, the 13 Internal Security Act detainees being released recently was no surprise. This was discussed as far back as October last year. In fact, they were supposed to have been released around September or October last year. For that matter, their release is already quite overdue and the delay was so that Najib, and not Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, could release them. And throwing the two HINDRAF leaders in for good measure was also a brilliant strategy. After all, they had already reformed and regretted their actions. And, as a bonus, this will create further friction amongst the HINDRAF leadership if two got released while the other three continue their detention.
The release of the two HINDRAF leaders did not, however, help swing the Indians back to Barisan Nasional in yesterday’s by-elections. The Indians are not that gullible and naïve. Why release the two ‘harmless’ ones who had repented anyway? Why not release the other three ‘hardcore’ HINDRAF leaders — in particular the extremely stubborn and most uncooperative head honcho? If the government is serious about reforms, and if Najib is really that agent of change, release all five HINDRAF leaders. Don’t just release the two, who no longer have teeth, as a token gesture.
Well, that is as far as the story of the release of the 13 Internal Security Act detainees is concerned. I am sure you want to hear more, especially about Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s plans for Umno and Najib. That story will have to wait for another time. But we shall certainly continue this series of storytelling — so stay tuned for more.
Till later, take care.
Reform Laws Used against Free Speech and Peaceful Assembly
(New York, April 6, 2009) – Malaysia’s new prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak, should follow up on his surprise release of 13 detainees by promptly acting to rescind the internal security law, Human Rights Watch said today.
On April 3, 2009, his first day in office, Prime Minister Najib ordered the release of 13 detainees and promised that the government would review the Internal Security Act (ISA) under which they were held. The ISA permits indefinite detention without charge or trial. By April 5, all 13 had been freed, including eight terrorism suspects, three alleged forgers, and two leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). Three foreigners among them have been deported, while the 10 Malaysians remain under police supervision.
“The release of 13 detainees is a welcome surprise from Prime Minister Najib, who had long supported the Internal Security Act,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “We hope that his promise to review the law is genuine and that he realizes that it is a blight on the Malaysian justice system and the country’s reputation.”
The detention of the Hindraf members exemplifies the government’s long misuse of the ISA. The release of the two Hindraf leaders, V. Ganabatirau and R. Kengadharan, leaves three Hindraf members in ISA detention for more than 15 months for their part in organizing a massive demonstration on November 25, 2007, to protest educational and economic discrimination against Malaysian Indians.
Hindraf had held the rally even though the police had refused to issue a permit. All five have been accused of threatening national security by “upsetting harmony” among Malaysia’s Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan publicly stated, without providing any supporting evidence, that the five “clearly have links with international terrorist organizations and they are involved in activities that amount to inciting racial hatred.”
“The government imposed the ISA instead of charging the Hindraf activists with credible criminal offenses,” said Adams. “If it can’t promptly charge them and others still held and give them a fair trial, it should release them.”
Also on his first day in office, Prime Minister Najib lifted the ban on two opposition party newspapers, Suara Keadilan, published by Parti Keadilan Rakyats (PKR), and Harakah, published by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). The ban had been imposed on March 23, 2009, and was widely seen as an attempt to limit opposition parties from getting their messages to voters before by-elections on April 7. Under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, annual license renewal is mandatory for all newspapers. The Home Affairs Ministry can restrict or ban a publication outright on several vaguely defined grounds and no legal remedy is available, as the minister’s discretion to grant, revoke, or suspend licenses is “absolute” and not subject to judicial review.
Human Rights Watch said that lifting the ban was an important step and called for a revision of the printing and publications law to ensure it was consistent with the right to freedom of expression.
The government also continues to use criminal defamation and other laws to undermine opposition politicians and critics of the government. Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of Malaysia’s most popular website, MalaysiaToday, was originally detained under ISA for demeaning Islam. He was freed on procedural grounds on October 7, 2008. The government is appealing the ruling. He also has been criminally charged with sedition under the Sedition Act 1948 and criminal defamation under the Penal Code on what Human Rights Watch considers to be a politically motivated charge of defaming a government leader.
Opposition parliamentarian and Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairperson Karpal Singh had been charged under the Sedition Act for remarks he made in relation to political changes in Perak, one of Malaysia’s 13 states. And opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is currently facing trial on politically motivated sodomy charges.
“If Prime Minister Najib wants to back up his claim as a reformer, he will repeal laws empowering the government to censor the media or to engage in dirty tricks used previously against political opponents,” Adams said.
Also crucial for improving freedom of expression in Malaysia is repeal of the Police Act 1967, which mandates the need for a police permit for public assemblies of three or more people. In 2008 alone, the law was used to shut down peaceful vigils supporting the repeal of the ISA and to limit election rallies by opposition parties.
“Free expression and peaceful assembly are bedrocks of a rights-respecting society,” said Adams. “Until Malaysia’s government stops carving out legal rules to attack its political opponents, it cannot claim to be a modern democratic state.”
For more information on human rights in Malaysia, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
In New York, Mickey Spiegel (English): +1-212-216-1229; or +1-917-968-9937 (mobile)
In Washington, DC, Sophie Richardson (English, Mandarin): +1-202-612-4341; or +1-917-721-7473 (mobile)
In London, Brad Adams (English): +44-20-7713-2767; or +44-790-872-8333 (mobile)
Yes, do not trust them.
Remember the party IPF?
The rot started when MIC President went to see Pandithan in Hospital KL.
He was featured as a hero and Pandithan even took time to compaign for
MIC in Ijok.
The only reward was a Tan Sri title for Pandithan.
What did the IPF members get? Nothing!!!!
After that this MIC leader started to show his true colours.
He continues to say that IPF will not be accepted in BN.
And on top of that he began to encourage splits in IPF.
One faction, through his family paper Tamil Nesan, he gave prominence
at the expense of the other. Puan Sri Jayasree believed this
‘prominence’ and went ahead with sidelining the pioneer IPF members.
Later the Registrar of Societies made a declaration that was not in
That was the final nail in the coffin for IPF.
Do you see IPF members helping out MIC in Bukit Selambau now?
So HINDRAF guys, do not be taken in by the sly moves of the MIC.
They are actually out to finsh you off, and the start was the visit by
the MIC leader to see the HINDRAF co-ordinator in hospital.
Do you see the same move, as what was done when the IPF leader was in hospital?
Careful guys – MIC President is dangerous.
If he can get rid of Govindarajoo and many MIC leaders , as well as
‘kill off’ IPF, he can do that to HINDRAF as well.
Now that HINDRAF has declared its support for Pakatan, go all out for Pakatan.
Tell the Indian voters about what happened to IPF and tell the
struggling Indians to align themselves with the New Era – not the
BRIEF STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF 2 HINDRAF LAWYERS
9PM MSIAN TIME 030409
The release of 13 ISA detainees is nothing but a ploy to win the hearts of the people in the 3 by elections.
Dato Najib should display his seriousness in addressing lack of Democracy in Malaysia and not short change the people of their democratic needs. He should immediately release all ISA detainees unconditionally and order the immediate closure of Malaysia’s own Gautanamo Bay – Kamunting detention camp. Without this act the Malaysians could not be fooled by Dato Najib’s antics of “ democratic reform”.
Uthayakumar had always said that he doesn’t mind being detained until the Government closes down kamunting camp and previously conveyed through family members to me that “ I should be the last man walking out of kamunting”.
OBAMA WHO HAILS FROM A COUNTRY THAT FACES THE LARGEST THREAT OF NATIONAL SECURITY IN THE WORLD COULD RELEASE ALL PRISONERS AND CLOSE DOWN GAUTANAMO BAY WHAT IS IN THE WAY FOR NAJIB TO DO THE SAME.
TEMPLE DEMOLITION ISSUES IN MALAYSIA.
A temple in the Bukit Selambau constituency is in limbo. Malaysiakini – ICFJ Citizen Journalism trainee, Leow Beng Hock has the story By Leow Boon Hock & Maran Perianen