Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something else to think about

Have neglected to update my blog for some time (I believe it's close to two weeks already). One reason is due to lack of initiative. The other is due to feeling of utter "confusion" - anger, exasperated, perplexed, shocked, etc. - at the goings on of the nation. One particular case is the sheer stupidity and arrogance of a creature who deemed himself the de facto law minister (heck, he even consider himself the minister of the Chief Justice). If this interview of his in the New Straits Times is not convincing enough for you of the kind of sub-human we Malaysians put into Parliament and the government, then I think you seriously need to examine your whole self - in mind, spirit, and body. Anyway, the 3-men investigative panel into the Shock-A-Lingam tape has "done" their job. In the words of chairperson Haidar himself: "We (can) wash our hands off, then no more criticism". What job they have done, and what report they will write, I'm not the least bothered because they shouldn't even be formed in the first place.

Oh yeah, the 14th Malaysian Law Conference is underway now, and already tongues are wagging regarding the 11th hour no-show of the PM at the opening. HRH The Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah was there to officiate the conference. Have a read of his speech, contrast it with the PM's and Nazri's lampooning of the Bar Council and you might understand why the talk is that the PM purposely wanted to avoid meeting the Sultan at the event opening due to differences of views, causing a potential crisis in us having no Chief Justice by this November 1st. Maybe Pak Lah wants to one-up Dr M by having his own judicial crisis.

If you have been reading Malaysia Today, you would have read a series of articles written by RPK himself regarding the turf war in our very own PDRM involving the IGP on one side, the Commercial Crime Investigation Division on the other side, and into this mix the triads. There was also a lot of hoohaa about this RM27mil policeman, and how RPK pointed out this was all in retaliation for the policeman's temerity in going after the triad bosses. Well, the said policeman is none other than the chief of the Commercial Crime Investigation Division, and today in a sudden press conference he is making public his side of the story. Guess RPK wasn't writing "rumours", or rather once again, rumours in Malaysia has the uncanny ability to become facts in due time.

Yet, in the midst of all these sorry happenings, I was forced to once in a while put them aside, and reflect on certain things which are more personal to me. Things which I think would surely not be related in any way to how this country is being run. Recently my mum was diagnosed with leukemia and it certainly opened my eyes to the reality of the medical cost involved, especially if you are seeking treatment in a private hospital. It also forced me to think through the options (private vs public) and the implications. My family have personal experience with public hospitals as well, and naturally that figures in our decision making. Fortunately, the choice was made perhaps slightly easier due to availability of insurance. But that definitely is not a bottomless pit.

Amidst all the required decision making, as well as feelings of frustration and doubt, I can't ignore or deny the fact that if more resources and focus have been put into improving our public hospitals, as well as resolve the low morale of medical professionals and staff through more commensurate remuneration, me and my family would definitely have less headache and worries in deciding my mum's choices of medical treatment. The difference in options would have narrowed greatly, coupled with the fact that, even now, the public hospitals are still much better equipped in terms of facilities, equipment, and drugs. If we are having such problems even with insurance coverage, what of the countless of Malaysians who for all sorts of reasons do not have the means to have one? Even in such a personal issue for us, we can't seem to divorce it from the tentacles of policies, dictated by the government of the day.

The point I am trying to make is this - for too long and for too many times I have heard plenty of people telling me that they want nothing to do with politics, or that politics have nothing to do with them. Yet, if you really sit down and think deeply, is that really true? Is that a valid observation? Or is that just you trying to live in denial? Just to have this realization is already an important step. Acting on the realization would be an even more important one. I leave it to you to ponder upon.

By the way, anyone of you taking part in the upcoming Singapore Marathon?

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Petition to Agong for a Royal Commission of Inquiry


This post will stay up until the People's petition to the Agong regarding the dire need of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the deplorable state of our judiciary reaches its target of at least 5,000 signatories. As this is a serious piece of document, please, for the sake of our country and for our children and grandchildren, we must for once be brave enough to use our own names and our own IC numbers. This is the least you could do. All of us have complain enough in the pubs, kopitiams, mamak restaurants, in our homes. The time to act on our complains is NOW!

ORIGINAL: Haris Ibrahim of The People's Parliament has initiated a petition to the DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong to plead to his Royal Highness to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the rot that has seeped into and destroying our judiciary. As it is a document of utmost seriousness and sincerity, and it belongs to Malaysians, please use your real name and IC number when you sign the petition by sending an email to savethejudiciary@gmail.com

Below is the draft petition which I have signed:


The People’s Appeal To His Majesty The Yang DiPertuan Agung

On 19/9/2007, the nation was rocked by another scandal, this time in the form of a video clip which exposed what appears to be a telephone conversation between senior lawyer VK Lingam and another person, allegedly fixing the appointment of ‘friendly’ senior judges.

A careful study of the monologue presented in the video clip leaves a very clear impression that the telephone conversation is indeed between VK Lingam and the present CJ, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and relates to the appointment and promotion of judges. Other judges are also named in the course of the conversation.

That Tun Ahmad Fairuz had, subsequent to the release of the video clip, first responded that he would need to first view the video clip before saying anything, then issuing a ‘no comment’ response and only lately and that too through a third party making a bare denial of being a party to the conversation leaves us, the rakyat with a sense that Tun Ahmad Fairuz has not responded with complete candour on this matter.

This scandal now casts serious doubts on the suitability of Tun Ahmad Fairuz to head the judiciary as well as on the propriety of the appointments and promotions, made on the recommendation of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, of several judges of the High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

We, the rakyat, no longer have any confidence whatsoever in the judiciary.

We, the rakyat have noted for some time that some very senior judges have been constantly overlooked in the numerous promotion exercises that have proceeded during the tenure of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, with junior judges being preferred.

We the rakyat have also noted that it was recently reported that Their Royal Highnesses acting through the Conference of Rulers rejected two nominations by Tun Fairuz for the position of President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judge of Malaya although these positions had been vacant for a long time. It is rumoured that those nominated by Tun Fairuz were junior in comparison with many other more senior serving judges.

We, the rakyat, have further noted that there is at least one judge promoted to the Federal Court who, it is reported, has failed to deliver written judgments in up to as many as 35 cases, with the result that appeals by many who have been convicted of offences and are in prison are unable to have their appeals heard.

This most recent scandal also raises again real concerns about the sudden change of the trial judge in an ongoing murder trial in Shah Alam.

We, the rakyat, are also gravely concerned about the recent decisions in several high-profile cases and whether these were ‘fixed’ by Tun Ahmad Fairuz and, if so, the implications it has in relation to the other judges of our superior courts.

The reaction of the Prime Minister, other members of his cabinet and the Attorney-General to the matter of this video clip give us, the rakyat, no reason at all to believe that this scandal will be honestly investigated so that the truth of the matter will never be known.

We, the rakyat, do not believe that the Prime Minister and his present government are committed to getting to the bottom of this scandal and, if ascertained to be the truth, to take all necessary steps to restore the judiciary as a constitutional institution emplaced to independently defend the constitution, the rights of the rakyat, and to uphold the rule of law.

In this regard, the announcement on 25/9/2007 by the Deputy Prime Minister of a 3-man panel to be headed by one who was implicated in the sacking of Tun Salleh Abas in 1988 to now investigate this scandal fortifies our belief that the present government is determined that the truth in relation to this scandal never becomes known.

We, the rakyat, are gravely concerned that if this scandal is left to be investigated by the administration of the Prime Minister, the police or the Anti-Corruption Agency, the rakyat will only witness another cover-up, leaving us, the rakyat without any recourse to justice, ever suspicious whether the judiciary is to protect the rakyat or the interests of a chosen few.

This most recent scandal raises concerns whether the corruption that has become so prevalent in the management of this country has now also made its way into the judiciary.

For these many reasons, we, the rakyat, now pray that Your Majesty may be so moved and in the exercise of the full powers conferred on Your Majesty to :-

1. direct the establishment of a Royal Commission to inquire into, consider and/or determine whether in fact the conversation reflected in the said video clip did occur between VK Lingam and Tun Ahmad Fairuz and the veracity of the assertions made by VK Lingam in the said video clip and, if found to be so, that the Commission be further mandated to enquire into, consider and/or determine:-

1.1 the involvement of all those named in the said video clip in connection with the appointment and promotion of judges;

1.2 cases in which VK Lingam was involved and which were heard and / or decided by Tun Ahmad Fairuz and / or any of the other judges named in the said video clip;

1.3 all acts carried out by Tun Ahmad Fairuz during his tenure as Chief Judge of Malaya, President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice, more particularly:-

* the basis of the appointment and / or promotion of judges by Tun Ahmad Fairuz with particular emphasis on the other judges named in the said video clip;

* the manner in which the members of the panels of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court were selected by Tun Ahmad Fairuz during his tenure as President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice; and

* the manner in which files were allocated to the panels of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court by Tun Ahmad Fairuz during his tenure as President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice.

2. the Royal Commission having ascertained that the conversation reflected in the said video did occur between VK Lingam and Tun Ahmad Fairuz and assertions made by VK Lingam in the said video clip to be true, to :-

* direct the Prime Minister to take all necessary steps to appoint a tribunal under Article 125 of the Federal Constitution to remove Tun Ahmad Fairuz and/or any and all judges found by the Commission to have been implicated, directly or otherwise by the acts of misconduct of Tun Ahmad Fairuz; and

* direct the Prime Minister to take all necessary steps to suspend Tun Ahmad Fairuz and/or any and all judges found by the Commission to have been implicated, directly or otherwise by the acts of misconduct of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, pending the reference to and/or report of the tribunal.

3. direct the immediate establishment of an independent Commission for the appointment and promotion of judges to the High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In celebratory mood?

Considering Hari Raya Aidil Fitri is just 3 days away (Saturday 13 Oct), and I am taking leave as well, I don't quite feel the festive mood (not saying I am celebrating Hari Raya). There has been too many nonsense happening throughout last week and this week that most right-thinking Malaysians would just be appalled to find our nation has degraded to such an extent.

The three member investigation panel set up by Najib to only determine the authenticity of the Shock-A-Lingam tape is fast becoming a joke. With no powers to summon witnesses (in fact, Najib said they're not allowed to call any) and with a term of reference stating they can only rely on the investigative reports compiled by the police and the ACA, they are nothing more than high profile document clerks. Such a half-hearted, or worse, act by they government on a matter of such grave concern reflects the attitude of an administration which couldn't care less about Malaysians, as long as they are able to stay in power and control every possible arms of the state to ensure that.

As usual, instead of investigating the merits of a case as well as the alleged perpetrators, the authorities seem intent on going after the whistleblower. Attack and question the messenger, not the message. This is nothing new, just like when Ezam Nor was thrown into jail for releasing ACA papers convicting Rafidah Aziz of corruption on the pretext that those papers are protected under the Official Secrets Act. Or how the police officers who dare go after the triad bosses are now being harassed by their fellow police, albeit from a different camp.

All that talk about "truth" being the best protection, and how the ACA is able to protect the identity of informers comes to nought considering the fate that have befallen whistleblowers and informers of "lesser" cases. We are talking about very powerful and well connected men, as well as men placed in the highest echelon of power in the nation. Nothing short of a Royal Commission of Inquiry which has the full power vested by law to protect and ensure the safety of witnesses and whistleblowers will do. Unless that person (or persons) is totally reckless and have no families to worry about, nobody would be that brave to trust that "truth" will ensure the safety of himself and his family.

What did you say? That "Bodoh! Bodoh! Bodoh!" Minister Nazri says under the Witness Protection Act the whistleblower can have his identity changed, and even get a plastic surgery to change his looks? Well, the "Act" doesn't even exist! This time he was really talking through his arse. But, trust him to behave like all the other "goblok" ministers who made outrageous and stupid statements to the press, only to then blame the press (in this case we're not sure if he's blaming his Press Secretary) for "misquoting" or "misunderstanding" their original statements.

Speaking of "goblok", our rag-tag band of RELA boys have done it again! This time they have the temerity (of course, they have powers under the Emergency Ordinance which even the PDRM would envy!) to detain a wife of a member of the Indonesian diplomatic staff. Muslianah Nurdin, wife of an Indonesian diplomat was detained together with other "illegal" immigrants even after she showed her identification card. Maklumlah, maybe the RELA boys cannot read Bahasa Indonesian or English, thus unable to recognize any such things. This is actually confessed by Zaidon, the head honcho of the nearly-lawless RELA band-of-brothers in his "damage-control attempt. After a series of such mistreatment of Indonesians (remember the karate official who was assaulted by our very own PDRM?), we still have the cheek to call Indonesia our kin? Ask the Indonesians what they think about this "kinship".

While the police and ACA are busy trying to hunt for the Batu Buruk "rioters", the Lingam tape whistleblower, as well as going on a witch-hunt of their fellow policemen who dare touch the triads, the latest is that the PDRM wants to question the four Bar Council officials who were instrumental in organizing the 2,000 strong "Walk for Justice" march in Putrajaya recently. Very efficient indeed of the PDRM. Let's hope against all hope as well that the PDRM will be equally, if not more, efficient in hunting down the murderer(s) of Nurin Jazlin (which by the way, some very sick demons disguised as humans actually violate her again by distributing her post-mortem photos through emails), the demons who left a woman to die in Subang Ria park, as well as making sure an ex-colleague who have assaulted a woman and her children for the last couple of years will be kept under locks and not let loose again.

So much crap, so much insanity, so much nonsense. What can you do? For starters, reading about it and understanding the gravity of situation is already a very important step. Do not be like the proverbial monkeys which see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Do not be like those who have ears but do not hear, have eyes but do not see. Next, act on what you understand by voting with your conscience and your heart and your head. If you're not registered to vote, please do so now. It is a very simple thing to do. In addition, tell your families and friends why you choose to make such a stand, and explain the importance of them taking an active stake in this country of ours. Point them to the same information sources so that they will also open their eyes and ears and hearts. Sign petitions initiated by civil society. Cast away the fear that the authorities will come after you. Do not think yourself as so important in their eyes.

Lastly, stop being cynical of things political. Politics affect each and every one of us, directly as well as indirectly. Stop living in denial of this fact of life. Instead of being taken for a ride all the time by these plunderers, why not make a change this time (and next) to tell the current arrogant, inept, and incompetent Umno government that enough is enough. The time for a more representative and balanced Parliament is now. There is no other better time. Failure to make it happen this time will very likely create a point of no return for this country. Our collective failure will cause this country of ours to go down the path of the basket case, a failed state, and the misery of our children and grandchildren will be on us.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to my Muslim friends and fellow Malaysians. May our prayers touch God and the hearts of Malaysians to act before it's too late. Just a parting shot, good news among the bad. Hui Yi seems to be on the way to recovery from her 2nd heart transplant. Wish her all the best!

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Free Burma!

Free Burma!

Show your support and solidarity by posting the above (click on the picture to bring you to the Free Burma! website) in your blogs and websites.

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DAP PJ Fund Raising Dinner

DAP Petaling Jaya will be holding a fund raising dinner on 1 Nov, Thursday at 7pm for its regular operations as well as for the forthcoming general elections. The dinner will have a host of speakers by DAP leaders, and it will be primarily in English and Bahasa Malaysia to start changing the perception of "chinese-ness" of the DAP. This will also include Halal food for our Muslims friends and supporters. Please check out Tony Pua's blog for more details. Once I have more details I will update the post. Block your calendars!

Petaling Jaya to Lead Malaysia Forward

Date: 1 Nov, 2007 (Thursday)
Time: 7pm
Venue: Damansara Palace Restaurant, Kota Damansara (Halal food will be made available for Muslims guests and supporters)

Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General
YB Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh
Tony Pua, Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General
Lau Weng San, Political Secretary to DAP Secretary-General
Dr Cheah Wing Yin, Former President, KL-Selangor Private Medical Practitioners Association

*Other potential speakers to be confirmed.

Special: Latin and Modern ballroom dance performance by the Malaysian dance champion and our representative at the Asian Games (to be confirmed).

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