Archive for Abuse of Power

The judiciary used as an unelected institution to topple elected representatives: Another 10 by-elections on the cards, warns Bersih

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on October 24, 2009 by ckchew

Up to eight Pakatan MPs and two state reps could lose their seats as a result of charges involving illegal assemblies and related offences.

In addition to PKR MP Tian Chua  - who was found guilty last week of biting a police officer when stopped on his way to the Parliament in 2007 – seven of his colleagues could face a similar fate.

They are Azmin Ali, Sivarasa Rasiah, N Gobalakrishnan (PKR), Tony Pua (DAP), Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad, Dr Hatta Ramli and Dr LoLo Mohd Ghazali (PAS).

“This would mean Pakatan Rakyat may be left with only 74 seats in Parliament,” lamented Bersih, a broad coalition political parties and NGOs which campaigns for free and fair elections. With that, the ruling Barisan Nasional will have regained its two-thirds majority.

“Two (Selangor) DAP state assemblypersons – Ronnie Liu and Lau Weng San – may also become the victim of this wave of ‘judicial crackdown’ for illegal assembly.”

Any elected representative who is fined above RM2,000 or sentenced to more than one year’s jail would automatically forfeit their seats and be banned from contesting for five years after having served the punishment.

Judicial ‘force’ used to disqualify reps

On Thursday, Chua was fined RM3,000 and jailed six months after being found guilty of biting a police officer and preventing the latter from discharging his duty.

The Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court, however, allowed a stay of execution pending Chua’s appeal. If upheld, the sentence would disqualify Chua from holding his MP’s post.

Bersih, which described the court decision as selective prosecution, warned that if the public does not protest against such “repression”, up 10 elected opposition representatives could be similarly disqualified.

“Unfortunately, like in Perak, the judiciary acts as an unelected institution, is again used to topple elected representatives,” said Bersih’s spokesperson Faisal Mustaffa.

“The magistrate has conveniently privileged the testimony of the plaintiff over that of Tian Chua, when there is no single objective evidence that points to Tian Chua’s alleged biting the policemen. And despite the police officer’s admission of beating up Tian, he is not charged or suspended.” Mkini

Bocor! RM1.9 million ringgit untuk umno bercuti (Lawatan Sambil Belajar): Sewa bilik anak toyol di Disneyland RM 171,000 & wang poket dari kerajaan negeri RM110000

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on October 22, 2009 by ckchew

AFTER a gruelling seven days, the public inquiry into possible misuse of funds by Wives of Selangor Elected Representatives Charity Organisation (BALKIS) ended yesterday, leaving those who attended reeling from the revelations.

For more than a week, details of money spent on exotic trips, overseas souvenir- shopping expeditions and gifts for guests attending glitzy functions, kept members of the Selangor State Assembly’s Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) riveted as the figures continued to rise.

The inquiry is the first to be conducted by a State Legislative Assembly in the country. Other States are widely expected to follow suit following the conclusion of the Balkis inquiry.

Yesterday, PNSB chief executive officer Datin Khairiyah Abu Hassan dropped a bombshell when she further revealed how much the State-owned conglomerate had forked out for former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo and his family’s expenses during the overseas technical visits.

She also drew hoots of laughter when she explained the reasons for the trips.

1. Jakarta and Jogjakarta , Indonesia – 20-24 April 2003
Total cost: RM201,452
Dr Khir, his wife, daughter and maid also went on the trip. The purpose was for delegates to study Indonesia ’s batik production, which was supposed to lead to the opening of a batik factory in Selangor.

Cost of airfare for Dr Khir, his wife, daughter and maid: RM37,695
Miscellaneous costs incurred by the delegates RM34,404

Spent on two-day rental of a limousine/ Mercedes Benz in Jakarta : RM5,800
Paid for two-day rental of a limousine/ Mercedes Benz in Jogjakarta : RM5,000

2. Morocco and Paris : 17-24 Dec 2004
(inclusive of four-day transit in Dubai )
Total cost: RM900,000

The trip, attended by Dr Khir, his wife, children and maid as well as PNSB delegates, was to study Islamic architecture, which could be adopted in Selangor.
The group, which had a reconnaissance trip beforehand, also visited Paris Disneyland to generate ideas for a theme park in Bagan Lalang, Sepang.

They bought tickets to enter the theme park and did not meet any Disneyland representatives.

Cost of the recce team trip: RM366,000

Cost of official trip: RM416,000
Airfare: RM366,000
Ground arrangements RM420,000
City travel: RM70,000
Other expenses RM43,000

3. Honolulu ( Hawaii ) & Orlando ( Florida ) – 23 Dec 2007 to 1 Jan 2008
Total cost: RM646,841
Additional cash taken: RM101,000
A technical study on the Bagan Lalang theme park was also the pivotal reason for the trip. The group, comprising Dr Khir, his family and PNSB delegates, bought tickets to DisneyWorld and again did not meet any Disneyland representatives.

A tour guide instead took them around. Cost of Dr Khir’s luxury suite: RM110,000

Cost of six single superior rooms for the delegates: RM171,000
Cost of one twin-sharing room RM24,800

Khairiyah claimed that on the trips, Dr Khir and his wife flew only first class.

The itinerary of the US trip also included visits to Miami Beach , island tours, dinner cruises and a Honolulu city tour. Dr Khir and his wife, supposed to have been key witnesses, failed to turn up for any of the inquiry proceedings.

Dr Khir would be referred to the Committee of Privileges while Zaharah could be prosecuted under Section 5 of the Contempt of the House Act 2008. The inquiry’s findings will be presented at the next sitting of the Selangor State Assembly in July.

The Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission is expected to investigate possible criminal breach of trust (CBT) once Selcat concludes its findings and police conclude their investigations.

11 Sept 2009 – Khir Toyo was called for questioning by MACC but he was let go after some greetings and minor questions. Why didn’t they keep him overnight like Teoh Beng Hock and then see if he jumps to his death from Plaza Masalam?

Pengarah P.Raya Permatang Pauh dilokap kerana penceramah tidak berada dalam senarai polis ketika PRK Penanti dulu. Apa punya demokrasi tuuuu……..

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on July 28, 2009 by ckchew

Che Amat bin Hashim atau lebih mesra dengan panggilan manjanya Pak Tam dilokap di balai polis Bukit Mertajam di Perda. Beliau adalah Pengarah Pilihanraya Permatang Pauh dan juga seorang Ahli Majlis MPSP. Seorang ispektor polis Bukit Mertajam telah menghubungi beliau untuk hadir ke balai polis Bukit Mertajam, Perda dengan segera.

Beliau terkejut kerana polis mendakwa beliau atas 7 pertuduhan. Beliau juga terkejut kerana 20 wartawan telah penuh berhimpun di balai polis tersebut. Wartawan memberitahu bahawa mereka telah menerima sms dari polis mengatakan 5 orang PKR akan didakwa.

Pak Tam didakwa kerana kononnya menganjurkan ceramah pada 24 Mei 2009 ketika pilihanraya kecil Penanti telah mengundang penceramah yang tidak ada dalam senarai permit.

Penceramah tersebut adalah Dr Mansor Othman (calon Penanti), Yb Saifuddin Nasution, YB Zuraidah, Ustaz Hassan Razak, YB Abdullah sani, YB Manikumar dan YB Gobalakrisnan. Pak Tam didakwa di tempat yang berbeza antaranya Mengkuang Semarak, Mengkuang Titi, depan Masjid Kubang Semang dan Guar Perahu.

Beliau didakwa dibawah akta Polis 1967. Jika disabit kesalahan beliau boleh dikenakan denda RM2,000.00 hingga RM10,000.00 atau penjara setahun untuk setiap kesalahan. Beliau tidak mengaku salah atas semua pertuduhan.

Beliau telah dilokap hampir 5 jam di balai polis Bukit Mertajam. Beliau akhirnya dijamin dengan setiap pertuduhan RM2,000.00. Bermakna beliau telah diikat jamin sebanyak RM14,000.00.

Sebutan kes pada 27 Ogos 2009 di Mahkamah Bukit Mertajam di Jalan Betik. Saudara Mazlan Ketua UKP dan Amer Ghazali Ketua AMK Permatang Pauh berkata mereka akan mobilisasi seramai mungkin penyokong PKR dan Pakatan Rakyat untuk menyatakan sokongan kepada Pak Tam pada hari perbicaraan tersebut.

Sementara itu saudara Jalil dan Johari penggerak utama PKR di Permatang Kg Rawa, Permatang Pauh berkata ini adalah kes yang pertama kita dengar dan ini berlaku dalam 100 hari dibawah Najib. Ternyata Najib dalam keadaan tertekan kerana dakwaan ini datang dari laporan polis di Putrajaya.

Pak Tam berkata beliau tidak gentar sama sekali menghadapi 7 tuduhan ini. Anwar Ibrahim telah mengarahkan peguam Praba sebagai peguam bela kes ini. Pak Tam dengan tegas berkata… “lagi ditangkap lagi lawan…Lawan Tetap Lawan”.

Sementara itu Pengasas Unit Ehsan P.Pinang saudara Zulkarnain berkata Unit Ehsan akan melancarkan kutipan dana untuk membantu kes ini.

Ayuh!…hadir beramai-ramai untuk menyatakan sokongan pada 27 Ogos 2009 di Mahkamah Bukit Mertajam Jalan Betik jam 8.30 pagi dalam bulan Ramadhan.

ehsan:

Amizudin Ahmat, http://sharpshooterblogger.blogspot.com/

Shocked, Outraged, Saddened

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on July 21, 2009 by ckchew

It appears that Malaysians are perennially bombarded by shocks and shock waves, since the epic March 8, 2008 general election.

Political shenanigans and Machiavellian trickery appear to jolt our sense of justice, equanimity and sense of belonging, of our shaky if aspired to patriotism.

It shatters the already nebulous myth of the jingoistic 1Malaysia which continues to belie the unvarnished disarray that consumes our politically-fractured citizens.

Sadly, most if not all of these inane happenstances are self-inflicted by unthinking members of an administrative branch run amok, which appear increasingly aloof and out of touch with changing times.

On many occasions too, politicians on either side have been trading body blows of razor-edge brinkmanship, which totters on mutual self-destruction.

In its wake, these cheap point-scoring exercises continue to drag some of us, the more rabble-roused citizens deeper into the morasses of futility and despair!

No, it’s not our fault per se, but it most certainly underscores the pathetic state of justice and sense of fair play in the country.

Political aide, Teoh Beng Hock’s untimely and truly unnecessary death has put yet another damper on the institution of justice and law enforcement in the country.

This time the hurriedly cobbled together MACC must bear the brunt of this senseless and tragic exercise of unfettered power play and what appears increasingly as blatant one-sided prosecution, perhaps even shameless persecution!

Sadly, the officers in charge appear nonchalantly oblivious that what they have been doing, is anything but impartial or even neutral.

Their blinkered attempts to push what must be undisguised probes into so-called complaints of misallocation of funds only of oppositionist lawmakers, surely must be from partisan directives!

Blatant misuse of the machinery of power

For fair-minded citizens, there appears not to be any modicum of decency to do the ‘right’ thing, even if only for show!

Instead, in one fell swoop, officers of the much maligned MACC have destroyed every thinking Malaysian’s dream of civility, personal human rights, justice and modern democracy.

Their arrogating of power to enforce their duties without regard to natural justice and proper rules of engagement, debases most thinking citizens.

It continues to disabuse us of our fanciful notions that perhaps some semblance of innovation and justice may indeed be the better modus operandi of the new leadership under Prime Minster Najib Razak.

If for nothing else, this blatant misuse of the machinery of power, reinforces the need for a more enlightened, a more responsible and accountable system of justice and law. I continue to believe and hope that this new administration can do better and rise above such unnecessary if arrant negative publicity.

It is sad that in the process of trying to enforce the ‘law’, a young man with so much potential has been so ruthlessly cut down, his life truncated so prematurely, that he had now left behind a bride and his orphan child to be!

This cynical loss of life, so senseless and so unnecessary, points to perhaps another growing culture of arrogance when another’s life was dehumanised and cheaply disposed of… Power of authority was all that mattered.

This is indeed not something isolated, it is now appearing to be a pattern of ingrained autocracy, unchallenged power among enforcement agencies such as the police and now the MACC, with no foreseeable oversight in place.

Custodial ‘torture’, unregulated investigation methods, custodial injuries and deaths, now appear to be commonplace, and are occurring with a regularity that showcase our enforcement agencies’ callous disregard for human lives and their imperious unconcern for human rights.

Breakdown of public trust and confidence

When will our helpless, disempowered citizens get justice? When will our Kugan Ananthan, Letchumanan Kathan, Ravindran Alagiry, S Henry, A Gnanapragasam, and now Teoh Beng Hock, get their justice? When will their true stories be told? When will their loved ones find closure and meaning in such senseless premature loss?

What about the other 1,535 custodial deaths that had occurred between 2003 and 2007? Surely these numbers are shockingly high by any standards; they are shameful and unacceptable, and point to a systemic failure of our custodial service, our law enforcement agencies.

Can there be any doubt that these should never have happened, nor must they be allowed to continue? How many more nameless and unnumbered detainees beyond 2007 were there, who have suffered, been injured and who might or might not have perished?

In the 2005 Royal Commission Report for Police Reform, three major concerns from the public were identified:

  • High incidence of crime and widespread public concern regarding personal safety.
  • Public perception of widespread corruption within the police force.
  • Extensive and consistent abuse of human rights and non-compliance with prescribed laws.

The report acknowledges that because of the above challenges, there is a growing breakdown of public trust and confidence in the police force. Increasingly the police force is “generally viewed as inefficient, uncaring, unable to prevent or check crime.”

Worse, the police is seen to condone widespread “infringements of human rights… and the PDRM is not seen as being transparent or accountable to the public.”

In the light of these weaknesses, a resounding recommendation was made that an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) be set up urgently.

This is the proposed external oversight body to be established through an Act of Parliament, and which must be vested with powers to receive and investigate complaints regarding alleged police misconduct and to impose sanctions against any found guilty of such misconduct.

That appears to be the crux of the matter. As of right now, the police force and now the MACC appears to be ‘above the law’, answerable only to the Home Minister, if that was at all, evident.

There appears to be no oversight body to determine if there have been abuse or misuse of their powers and worse, if they had engaged in criminal activities including custodial abuses of detainees, unlawful taking of lives, any life without justification!

There have been instances where, the police had acted as judge, jury and executioners as well, e.g. shooting deaths of groups of so-called armed criminals.

Has there ever been any review of such extrajudicial shootings by any independent police or watchdog Internal Affairs Department, as exist elsewhere? From 2001 to 2003, there were just six coroner’s inquests, out of 80 reported custoidal deaths – were the other 72 deserving of their untimely deaths?

Royal Commission Inquiry mandatory

Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) has on several occasions, been promoting the continuing education of human rights to the public – its purported “work to nurture, develop and advance a human rights culture within Malaysia”.

My belief is that the public does need some reminder of their human rights, every now and again. We often take this too much for granted. Sadly, most of us are now fully aware, when tragedies such as Teoh’s shocking death, happen.

It reminds us that perhaps, these can happen to us too, without rhyme or reason – too chancy, too unbelievably unjust, too unpredictably senseless and too iffy!

Of greater concern is to remind and educate the enforcement agencies such as the police, the military and now the MACC, to be not only mindful of their duties, but to demand their strict adherence to human rights dictates in each of their engagement with the public.

Detainees, witnesses, suspects, prisoners, whoever they are, must be accorded due respect and fairness, until all their legal rights have been exhausted.

There should be greater move toward painstaking gathering of evidence, rather than resorting to coercing and extracting confessions, which have been identified as a faulty barbaric mandate preferred by some of our law enforcement officers.

A recent NST editorial “Death of a Witness” makes a logical if grudging apologia for some form of closure to this debacle:

“In the face of a sceptical public which is over-receptive to any and all allegations of bias and subterfuge, and unwilling to give the MACC the benefit of the doubt, while it must be bold and resolute in investigating and prosecuting cases without fear or favour, it must also not abandon due process.

“This makes respect for human rights as critical as the selection process for investigations and the impeccable credentials it must establish for itself if the MACC is to enjoy the wholehearted confidence and close cooperation of the public.”

A Royal Commission Inquiry is now mandatory to appease the ghosts of all these custodial deaths, which must now include the MACC. In the interim, the MACC must suspend all its activities pending this full inquiry.

Its due processes and rules of engagement must be reviewed and spelt out clearly, with no ambiguity as to which investigative techniques are illegal, and these should be fully subject to oversight sanction.

Legal representation, and continuous videotaping of all suspects and witnesses should be mandatory without exemption. Selection of officers must be entrenched with human rights education and inculcation, and those with wrongful attitudes or aptitudes must be removed or redeployed to other areas which do not interact with the public, lest they resort to actionable if delinquent activities.

In other words, it must undergo a total revamp and complete overhaul, if it should ever wish to regain any semblance of credibility, at all…

Teoh’s untimely demise must not be in vain! Our shock, our outrage and our sadness must be translated into a meaningful revamp of our enforcement agencies, and hopefully reignite some new belief and help reclaim some confidence in our badly bruised civic institutions…

DR DAVID KL QUEK is president of the Malaysian Medical Association. The above is a personal view and does not necessary reflect the organisation he represents./ Mkini

Teoh ‘the first political death’ under jibby Altantuya

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on July 18, 2009 by ckchew

Seventeen civil society groups have dubbed the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock a casualty of politics and demands a royal commission of inquiry to investigate the incident.

“While many Malaysians have suffered political persecution including detention without trial and torture, no one to our knowledge has directly died at the hand of a government institution because of politics since the Kampung Memali incident in 1985.

“No blood should be shed because of politics… Unfortunately, Teoh is now the first political death under the Najib-administration and under the MACC, which has joined the police force in causing death in custody,” said the groups in a joint statement yesterday.

The groups include the Bar Council, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (SCAH), Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI), Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC), Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (Dema), Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM).

On Thursday, Teoh, 30, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam at about 1.30pm after giving his statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which was located on the 14th floor of an adjacent building.

Teoh, an aide to Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was being interrogation by MACC over alleged misappropriation of state allocations involving Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state reps.

‘Even Umno man was abused’

The 17 groups also demanded that the royal commission’s terms of reference to include an evaluation of the whether the command and power structure of the MACC had contributed to Teoh’s death.

In addition, the groups want MACC national director Ahmad Said, Selangor director Mohd Samsudin and all officers involved, to be suspended pending completion to the inquiry to avoid any possible interference.

The statement pointed out that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had failed to act on complaints by Umno Maran division committee member Halimi Kamaruzzaman that he was abused by MACC officers early this year.

“If that (an investigation) was done, Teoh may still be alive now,” lamented the statement.

Halimi was probed over allegations that his boss and former Umno supreme council member Norza Zakaria was involved in vote-buying during the March party elections.

He lodged a police report in January that three MACC officers had punched him in the head, stomach and shoulder. He also claimed that he was kicked in the ribs and knee.

Bar Council: MACC flouted the law

In a separate statement, Bar Council president K Ragunath said the MACC had flouted the law by denying Teoh legal representation during questioning and for questioning him overnight.

Ragunath said it was inexcusable and unacceptable that the MACC ignored Article 5 of the Federal Constitution and Section 28 A (4) of the Criminal Procedure Code which guarantees detainees right of counsel.

“These provisions must be jealously safeguarded,” he said.

On the long interrogation period, Ragunath said the MACC had violated Rule 20 of the Lockup Rules 1953 which stipulates that detainees must be locked up between 6.30pm and 6.30am to allow sufficient rest.

“It is indefensible that a witness in a routine investigation should have been deprived of sleep and interogated for more than eight hours,” he said, adding that Teoh could have been ask to return the following day.

“He was not a flight risk and indeed, was to have had a civil registry marriage on the following day,” he added.

Ragunath said Teoh’s interrogation “amounted to torture” according to international human rights norms and urged that the royal commission would also look into MACC’s interrogation techniques.

“We note that this incident is the latest in a deplorable string of deaths occurring in the context of investigations carried out by law enforcement agencies. This must be the last,” he said. Mkini

Nation shocked by death plunge

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on July 18, 2009 by ckchew

The food court was filling up in the late evening coolness of Cheras on Thursday. People from the tables around me were doing what I had just done, sauntering over to the newspapers vendor and picking up the evening edition of the next day’s China Daily News.

They would return to the table and glanced at the front page, inevitably letting out a cry of shock, “Ean Yong Ian Wah’s secretary died at MACC!” Everyone around the table would stare in disbelief, confusion, and anxiety. The newspaper was passed around the table. A whispered discussion then followed.

I imagined the scene repeating itself at dinner tables all around the country, with Malaysians sharing their silent explosion of outrage. Thinking about the ill-fated young man’s parents, siblings and his grieving fiancée, I suddenly felt very sad and depressed.

Early the next morning, the rage and shock were boiling over on the Internet. On the blog ‘Hornbill Unleashed’, Pak Bui was associating the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock, 30, with that of A Kugan and Adi Anwar. Comments on many blogs expressed a universal condemnation of the MACC.

The first natural reaction would be: did Teoh commit suicide because he could not handle the heat of the intense investigation?

The possibility of suicide is nil. This young man was to have his marriage with his long-time girlfriend registered the next day. He was called in for questioning as a witness, and not as a suspect.

The alleged crime is too minor for any offender to contemplate suicide, even if he were to be charged. Besides, you can fault DAP leaders and members for many things, but you cannot fault them for cowardice.

How then did he fall to his death from the 14th floor? All kinds of theories flourish on the Internet. The most imaginative one has to be from controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin. Prejudiced speculations will spread like wild fire in the days ahead throughout the country.

More questions than answers

The press conference given by the MACC investigation division director Shukri Abdull raised more questions than answers.

He said that Teoh was interrogated from 5pm to 3.45am. The deprivation of sleep during interrogation is a blatant form of torture, and should be banned by law. If long interrogation was necessary, why then did they not call him in at 9 in the morning and finish with it at around five in the afternoon?

Shukri said that Teoh was released at 3.45 in the morning, but preferred to rest on the couch in the MACC building till morning.

I had been detained for one night once, like many others. We all know that the minute we are released from detention, we wish we had wings to fly speedily to our loved ones. One more minute in the place where your personal liberty has been deprived seems like eternity in hell!

If Teoh had indeed decided to stay back and rest, surely he must have called his loved ones to assure them of his safety. Were there such calls made to his parents, his soon-to-be-wife, and his boss?

Teoh’s lawyer M Manoharan had volunteered to accompany him for the duration of the interrogation, but this was denied by MACC. Under what law has the MACC the power to deny legal representation for witnesses being interrogated? If there is such a law, the law must be amended to remove such powers in the name of human rights and rule of law.

A life in full bloom cruelly cut short

So a young man at the prime of his life brimming with promise and prospect of personal happiness walked into the MACC building for an interview and ended up as a corpse. What other story can pluck at the heart-string of the national audience of our mainstream and alternative media than this tale of a life in full bloom cruelly cut short?

The MACC has the power to summon such witnesses in the discharge of their official duties, but they have every legal and moral responsibility to ensure the personal safety of every such witness. They cannot be exonerated from their legal liabilities in such a mysterious death. Will Teoh’s parents take the MACC to court?

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah – the widely respected grand old man of Malaysian politics – has this to say on his blog:

“With all Malaysians, I am shocked and deeply dismayed at the death of Teoh… The strange circumstances of Teoh’s death put the credibility of the government and our investigative and law enforcement agencies under a microscope. The public will expect nothing less than a full investigation into how something like this could have happened.”

Indeed, the dismayed public of all races will expect nothing less than a full investigation into this mysterious death. Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has already called for the establishment of a royal commission to probe into Teoh’s death. The call is echoed by other opposition parties, civil society groups, bloggers, and even Khairy Jamaluddin, the Umno Youth chief.

There are the cynical among us who question such a call. Past royal commissions set up to investigate into police reform had been less than successful, because their findings and recommendations had not been accepted and implemented fully by the government.

That may be so. But democratic progress in any country is all about institution building. We ought to encourage the establishment of more royal commissions on controversial issues like Teoh’s death.

In fact, the parameters of the proposed royal commission should include the probe of all deaths under detention, and the procedure of interrogation conducted by all law enforcement and investigative agencies.

As Razaleigh has surmised correctly, the sight of public outrage will be trained not only on the MACC and the Royal Malaysian Police, but eventually it will concentrate on the prime minister and his BN government. The call by the deputy prime minister for everybody to calm down would be seen as an arrogant insensitive retort against a spontaneous and universal outburst of grief among Malaysians.

First martyr under Najib’s rule

Unpredictably and in one fell swoop, the death of the unfortunate young man at the MACC headquarters has turned the tide for the fracturing opposition coalition. The three component parties of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition have forgotten their public squabbles, and have stood united in seeking justice for Teoh.

This emotionally-charged tragedy has touched a raw nerve in the nation. Malaysians are not going to forget it anytime soon. The experienced political leaders in Pakatan are going to keep the memory of their first martyr under Najib’s rule alive for months to come, with public rituals of mourning, remembrance, and requiem. It will turn out to be a hotter potato for Najib than the nation’s economy and defeats at by-elections.

The momentum of BN from its near-win at the Manek Urai by-election, the rising popularity of the PM following the spin of his 100-day in office, and the announcement of his liberalisation measures will now be swept aside.

The continued repression of public gatherings in connection with Teoh’s death will ensure that the fire of discontent will continue to be stoked to no end.

Eventually, it is all about the core value that must permeate any sovereign political entity: trust. The people must have trust in the laws of the land, and the institutions of state that are entrusted in the implementation of those laws.

When that trust vanishes because of abuse of power, then those institutions will not get the voluntary supportive cooperation from the people. Information from the sea of concerned honest civic conscious citizens will cease to come in, and the institutions will lose their moral legitimacy.

If the institutions still persist on exercising its power over the people after their moral legitimacy has already been destroyed by themselves, then it is warfare between those institutions and the people whom they are supposed to guard against injustices. That is a sure formula for chaos.

That is the fate awaiting the MACC at this critical juncture of our nation’s history.

//

SIM KWANG YANG was MP for Bandar Kuching from 1982 to 1995. He can be reached at kenyalang578@hotmail.com./ Mkini

Justice For Beng Hock: Protesters Arrested 17/07/2009

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on July 17, 2009 by ckchew

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