Archive for January, 2010

Rakaman Video Anwar Ibrahim & Malaysia’s Anwar to see “old friends” Estrada, AquinoAnwar

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on January 31, 2010 by ckchew

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will be meeting with his “old friends”, former president Joseph Estrada and senator Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, both of whom are running for president in the May elections.

“I will listen to them but I’ve not been asked (for his opinion on their candidacies). I think I will leave it at that and (besides) the formal campaign will begin in two weeks,” Anwar told reporters following a lecture on democracy at the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Without mentioning names, Anwar said he would be meeting with one of the two presidential candidates Friday and another Saturday. Estrada had a scheduled breakfast with Anwar this morning.

Among closest friends

Anwar never fails to mention Estrada and the late president Corazon Aquino, senator Aquino’s mother, as among his closest Filipino friends who stood by him when, as Malaysia’s deputy prime minister, he was charged with sodomy and placed in solitary confinement. The case was later dismissed.

Anwar, 62, has been accused anew of the same unlawful sex act. His trial will begin on February 2. He bewailed the court’s supposed partiality for depriving him and his lawyers of pertinent documents needed for his defense for the last two years.

During the forum, he said that perhaps the lawyers in the audience and UP Law Dean Marvic Leonen could give him some advice on how to defend his case, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Asian Renaissance

Anwar, known as Malaysia’s “voice of democracy,” was invited to give a lecture on Asian Renaissance and the Fourth Wave of Democratisation.

He noted how the Philippines and Indonesia, both coming from years of authoritarian rule, had been at the forefront of promoting democracy in Southeast Asia as he urged the governments to preserve their democratic institutions.

Ahead of the curve

“(The Philippines) is ahead of the curve. This great nation has had its fair share of the trials and tribulations associated with the rites of passage from martial law to freedom and democracy,” Anwar said.

However, he added, “it is not enough just to have civil liberties guaranteed in a document, even though it may represent the seal of the people’s will. Institutions of a civil society must be in place”.

Vibrant opposition

For one, “a vibrant democracy needs a vibrant opposition” but not all of the nations in the region are ready to hear voices of dissent, Anwar said.

He also urged governments to ensure credible elections as a hallmark of democracy, noting that the Philippines would have this exercise in democracy very soon.

“The practice of democracy entails far more than independent speech and the occasional election. Elections can be fraudulent in the process, too.

“We need not only the wisdom of having an independent election commission but also independent (watchdogs) of these elections, and the preparedness of our governments to allow observers to ensure elections are transparent and not fraudulent,” Anwar said.

After the forum, Anwar was asked what his advice to the Filipino opposition would be in the coming elections.

“I don’t claim to have expertise on the Philippine situation,” he said.

Too many candidates

“But I think it is always necessary for the opposition to get together and get a common platform and try to get the issues expounded in the structured manner and hopefully there’s this understanding.

“Otherwise, there can be a problem of too many candidates,” Anwar said. There are 10 presidential candidates for the May elections.

Sun, Jan 31, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

Estrada, Anwar: Old pals compare jailhouse notes

MANILA, Philippines–Their friendship has grown and survived despite the distance between Manila and Kuala Lumpur and the prison cells that kept them from each other and the rest of the world.

Deposed President Joseph Estrada and Malaysian legislator Anwar Ibrahim, who are both again leading opposition movements in their countries after serving jail time for what they claim to be politically motivated charges, recently met for brunch where they laughingly compared the length of their prison terms.

“How long did you stay in jail?” Estrada is supposed to have asked Anwar, as quoted by Estrada’s spokesperson Margaux Salcedo.

“Six years,” replied Anwar.

“I was in jail for six and half years,” claimed Estrada, adding that one other political leader had beaten them both by another six months.

“Ninoy Aquino (Benigno Aquino Jr.) was detained for seven years,” Salcedo quoted Estrada as saying.

Estrada and Anwar had a late breakfast of fried milkfish, fried eggs and fried rice at the Manila Polo Club Saturday.

The banter continued between the two friends when they met the media after the meeting.

“He knows more about Rizal than [I do],” Estrada said, explaining his admiration for the visiting Malaysian and why their friendship has lasted.

“I admire him because he’s so honest,” Anwar said with a laugh.

Anwar was the deputy prime minister when he had a falling-out with the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. He was jailed on corruption and sodomy charges in April 1999.

In 2001, Estrada was ousted in a popular uprising that followed an aborted impeachment trial.

Estrada was arrested in 2001 on plunder charges and was briefly detained in a police camp in Laguna before being granted “rest house arrest” in his lavish vacation estate in Tanay. He was convicted of plunder in 2007 but was pardoned almost immediately by President Macapagal-Arroyo.

A federal court overturned Anwar’s conviction in 2004 but a ban against a return to politics was upheld. After the prohibition lapsed, Anwar won a landslide victory and reclaimed a seat in the Malaysian parliament in 2008.

Estrada recently was given the go-ahead by the Commission on Elections to run for President in May.

Estrada expressed concern that Anwar could again be facing “politically motivated cases” because of his popularity among the masses—something that he said he could easily identify with.

The former movie star has repeatedly blamed the country’s elite for his ouster in 2001. He has styled himself as the champion of the masses and was elected in 1998 on a pro-poor platform.

No fair trial

“[Maybe] this is my final overseas trip to meet my friends,” said Anwar who will face another sodomy charge in court this week.

“I have not had a fair trial,” he said, adding that a judge who acted with fairness in his case was promptly replaced.

According to Anwar, Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III went to see him on Friday night at the New World Hotel where he is staying.

He said both Aquino and Estrada were “family friends.”

“They treat me as a family member,” he said.

Anwar said his last visit to the country in 2008 was quite memorable as Estrada hosted a dinner that Aquino’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino, attended even though she was already suffering from cancer.

Memorable dinner

“President Cory was then very ill but she was there. It was very memorable for me, [my wife] Aziza and the family,” Ibrahim said.

Anwar would not comment on who the likely winner of the 2010 election would be. He said Estrada and Aquino were both his friends.

Estrada then reminded reporters: “He’s a friend of the Aquinos. He’s a friend of Erap. Let’s not put politics in it.”

Estrada said he and Anwar talked about the prospect of the Philippines’ first nationwide automated elections.

“We’re worried that there might be a failure of election,” he said as the Comelec continues to encounter problems with the machines.

According to a press statement from Estrada’s office, Anwar cautioned that “automation can lead to a lot of mistakes. If it is less than 100 percent accurate, it can be very dangerous.”

Anwar suggested that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations be invited to observe the conduct of the elections, the statement said. He said the automated election would be a first in Southeast Asia.

In his meeting with reporters, Anwar said he also wants to learn from the Philippine election experience.

“You have relatively freer elections, a freer media. We don’t have that in Malaysia,” he said.

“No opposition leader would be given five minutes on television in our country,” he said.

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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umno bn, jaga ahli parliment hangpa dulu: Tengku Razaleigh 2010 – Berucap di atas pentas Pas, Forum Minyak Kota Bahru

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on January 31, 2010 by ckchew

When a nobody is Umno Youth chief: The “nobody” perception has emboldened several of his exco members to take pot-shots at him and discredit his leadership publicly.

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on January 31, 2010 by ckchew

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Question: What happens to an Umno Youth chief without a position in the administration and without the ability to deliver patronage to the troops on the ground?

The answer: Rumblings among his exco members about the “lack of direction” and his “leadership” skills grows louder by the day.

Question: What happens to an Umno Youth chief who suffers from the perception that he does not have a direct line to the Prime Minister?

Answer: Exco members aligned to his rivals push the view that he is incapable of furthering the interest of the movement.

Question: What happens to an Umno Youth chief who cannot match the right-wing rhetoric and posturing of more hardline Malay leaders in the party or non-governmental organisations?

Answer: He finds his fitness and ability to lead the wing being questioned by his enemies or their agents.

This is where Khairy Jamaluddin finds himself today. Several blogs and websites have reported that he is in danger of becoming a casualty of a mutiny by Umno exco members or is under seige from exco members unhappy with his leadership.

The Malaysian Insider understands that several exco members asked Khairy some tough questions over the past few days, several linked to his lukewarm ties with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and several about his inability to deliver the goods for wing members.

At this stage, there is little possibility of Khairy being forced out as youth chief. The reasons: he also has his supporters in the exco and the party does not have the appetite for another election.

But there is little doubt that this is an uncomfortable time for the son-in-law of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. His statements condemning attacks on places of worship and his more moderate stance has put him at odds with the hawks in Umno.

Perhaps more disadvantageous for Khairy has been his inability to dish out contracts or largesse to his hungry men. His supporters have always felt that without a position in the administration and the absence of a protector in the shape of Najib, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or other senior Umno officials, Khairy would be hard pressed to satisfy exco members and youth wing members who need cash payments or contracts to oil their operations.

An Umno Youth official told The Malaysian Insider: “A lot of exco members are hurting. They have spent funds on their political careers and need help financially. In such a situation, they expect their leader to be the benefactor.”

In Umno as in other political parties, only those with power are feared and revered. Unfortunately for Khairy, he is suffering from the perception that since he does have the ear of Najib or Muhyiddin, he is a leader without power. This perception has emboldened several of his exco members to take pot-shots at him and discredit his leadership publicly.

The attacks are likely to cease after Najib meets the Umno Youth exco next month. But this will only come as respite for the youth leader who does not have what his members respect: the power and the ability to dish out largesse.

Fissures fester in PKR

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on January 31, 2010 by ckchew

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

This is what is being touted about PKR in the wake of
the continued insolence of Zulkifli Nordin and the attacks on Lim Guan Eng by the party’s MP for Bayan Baru, Zahrain Mohd. Hashim.

The antics of a pyromaniac were followed by the reaction-baiting broadsides of the party’s former Penang chief.

There is the scent of mutiny in the salvoes let loose by Zahrain  in recent days at the Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary general.

He is upset with Anwar Ibrahim but apparently can’t bring himself to train his guns on the PKR supremo. It appears Guan Eng would do nicely as vicarious substitute.

A little over two weeks ago, Zahrain was nowhere to be seen when Anwar visited Permatang Pauh, to hand out free spectacles to poor residents, attend a DAP dinner in Bukit Mertajam, and then speak at ceramah in Cherok Tok Tun and Sg. Bakap.

Usually, Zahrain would be around to accompany the PKR supremo, though on this occasion he was less duty bound to. Last October, Anwar picked Mansor Othman, the present Deputy Chief Minister, to replace Zahrain as PKR chief for Penang.

Zahrain had wanted to be the PKR candidate for the Penanti by-election in late May 2009, a poll that was called because the incumbent Mohd Fairus Khairuddin resigned at Anwar’s behest following a painfully embarrassing run in the deputy chief minister’s role.

Anwar chose former his political secretary, Mansor, as the candidate for the by-election, to Zahrain’s chagrin.

For Anwar’s Jan 15 visit, Zahrain, no more the state chief, was not required to be in attendance.

But telltale signs of a rift were inferred when Anwar let on to state party insiders that he had not heard from Zahrain in some time and, having misplaced his Blackberry, was at a loss to contact his old Penang buddy.

Friends of some 30 years’ standing don’t usually have any problems getting each other’s contact numbers from mutual acquaintances.

There then followed the spectacle of the public rants of Zulkifli Nordin over supposed threats to Islam.

Zahrain must have been unimpressed with PKR’s vacillations in the face of Zulkifli’s shenanigans, considered hugely damaging to the party’s image as multi-denominational.

The barbs Zahrain aimed at Guan Eng are calculated to coerce his party to take action against him when it is already hard put to do just that to Zulkifli.

Angling for action to be taken

Meanwhile, Zulkifli has defied a PKR gag order by claiming that he knows of ulterior motives behind Christians wanting to use the word ‘Allah’.

Court approved use of the word is the subject of controversy, so it is said by some quarters, while others maintain the hubbub is contrived to serve the aims of elements conniving to forestall Umno’s prospective loss of power.

In sum, the darts now hurled by Zahrain on Guan Eng come at a time when PKR has drawn withering fire for having been woefully supine towards Zulkifli.

Today the decisions of a combined PKR Political Bureau and Leadership Council meeting in the morning followed by a Pakatan Rakyat presidential council meeting in the afternoon are not likely to impress Zulkili, neither Zahrain, if at all their outcomes impinge on PKR’s malcontents.

Ostensibly, the earlier meeting was called to discuss Zahrain’s fulminations against Guan Eng. The latter has wisely elected not to dignify them with comment.

Both Zulkifli and now Zahrain are angling for action to be taken against them, the better they can make alternative arrangements with power brokers who are intent on the next item in Malaysian political gamesmanship: the re-delineation of parliamentary boundaries.

Their redrawing, held every 10 years and which never failed to favor the powers-that-be, has to be endorsed by two-thirds majority in Parliament which the ruling Barisan Nasional were denied at the last general election and could now secure by default, with the help of some new-found friends.

Presumably, Zahrain’s prospective departure would not be unaccompanied. If he is joined by the PKR MP for Nibong Tebal, Tan Tee Beng, the charade will be complete in its turn towards farce.

For only last June, Tee Beng led nine of 13 PKR divisions in Penang in a petition to party headquarters demanding Zahrain’s removal as state chief.

Like they say, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Terence Netto/Mkini

Adorna reversal: Selective Justice by the Federal Court?

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on January 30, 2010 by ckchew

By NH Chan/loyarburok

An incisive look at the ethical dynamics behind the recent Federal Court decision of Tan Ying Hong v Tan Sian San and Ors.

The duty to do the right thing

What is the duty of a judge? It is to administer justice according to law. It is the simplest duty in the world. Anyone with integrity who is fair-minded can be a judge. This is why I have always tried to impress on my readers that it is so easy to be a judge. The hyperbole of the unjust judges who have been telling us in their unjust decisions that the words in a statute mean whatever they want them to mean, will no longer be tolerated by us common folk. The common people of this country will be able to expose the Humpty Dumpty judges for what they really are. The general public is no longer gullible. Unjust judges can no longer mask their hyperbole judgments with unintelligible garbage. This is possible today because most people now know how to judge the judges.

It is this awareness of the true meaning of justice that the common man can judge the judges. Anyone can be a judge. All that you need to be one is to be fair-minded yourself and to show by your conduct and behaviour in a court of law that you deal out impartial justice – for justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. The other attribute of a judge is to administer justice according to law.

Shortly stated, justice means that the judge’s duty is to do the right thing. The right thing to do is to deal out impartial justice. The right thing to do is also to apply the law as it stands. As the late Lord Denning once said in The Discipline of Law (page 8):

One thing you will not be able to avoid – the nervousness before the case starts. Every advocate knows it. … No longer now that I am a Judge. The tension is gone. The anxiety – to do right remains. (emphasis mine)

In the case of Tan Ying Hong v Tan Sian San and Ors, the Federal Court on Thursday, Jan 21, 2010, held that its decision in Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Boonsom Boonyanit in 2000 was wrongly decided and therefore not to be followed. By so deciding this Federal Court has done the right thing.

Chief Justice Zaki Azmi said that “he was legally obligated to restate the law since the error committed was so obvious and blatant”.

Comprising the panel of this Federal Court were Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, Alauddin Mohd Sheriff (President Court of Appeal), Arifin Zakaria (Chief Judge Malaya), Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and James Foong Cheng Yuen FCJJ. Doing the right thing is the duty of every judge. Here, these judges did the right thing; they applied the statute as it stands.

But do you recognise or remember these judges?

Three of them were among the infamous five who decided Zambry v Sivakumar in the Federal Court. In case you have forgotten who the infamous five were, they were Alauddin Mohd Sheriff PCA, Arifin Zakaria CJM, Nik Hashim Ab. Rahman, Augustine Paul and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin FCJJ. See here for my critique.

So you are now aware that the same three judges were members of the infamous five in Zambry v Sivakumar. These three blatantly refused to apply Article 72(1) of the Federal Constitution as it stands. Until they recant from what they had done ignominiously in Zambry v Sivakumar they will not be forgiven. Their names will remain in infamy until they take steps to redress the wrong that they had done. Remember this: “The evil that men do lives after them.” (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2)

And what about Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, is he to remain unscathed?

I shall refer to some excerpts from my book, How to Judge the Judges (2nd ed), so that you can judge the Chief Justice for yourself. See “An Addendum to the Asean Security Paper Mills’ Case” at page xxxix of the book:

If you will recall, see p 181 et seq. when the Federal Court overruled the decision of the Court of Appeal it resulted in the insured plaintiff Asean Security Paper Mills Sdn Bhd obtaining judgment against the insurers on their policy of fire insurance in respect of the goods destroyed in the fire. One of the insurers then applied under rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 for a review. The application for a review was turned down by the Federal Court in Asean Security Paper Mills Sdn Bhd v Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd [2008] 5 AMR 377 (Abdul Hamid Mohamad CJ, Zaki Azmi PCA and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin FCJ).

As you would probably know the judgment of PS Gill J (as he was then) in the High Court was an unjust decision. An appeal by the insurers to the Court of Appeal was allowed. But the Federal Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal – You can read all about it in the book. But what is very disturbing is the reason given by the Federal Court in rejecting the application for a review by the insurance company. This is what Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad said, page 382 of the law report:

However, I accept that, in very limited and exceptional cases, this court does have the inherent jurisdiction to review its own decision. I must stress again that this jurisdiction is very limited in its scope and must not be abused. I have no difficulty in accepting that inherent jurisdiction may be exercised in the following instances: …

I have commented in my book that to review an unjust decision is not an abuse of the inherent jurisdiction of the court to review its own decision. The Chief Justice continues:

… where there is a clear infringement of statutory law. In this respect, a clear example would be where the court has mistakenly applied a repealed law. But, where it is a matter of interpretation or application of the law, it is in my view not a suitable case for review. The judgment of this court in Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Kobchai Sosothikul [2005] 1 AMR 501 does throw some light in this respect. (I have supplied the emphasis)

At pages xlii, xliii of the book, I said:

This is a shocking thing to say. What if the statute is plain enough ? where the language is so clear that even a child could understand it ? what is there for the judge to interpret (”interpret” means “explain the meaning of”) in such a case?

For instance, there is Article 72(1) of the Federal Constitution where it says:

72(1) The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court.

Those words mean what they say. Yet we have encountered judges of the Federal Court who have refused to apply this constitutional provision as it stands under the guise of interpretation – “the court was the best place to seek interpretation of the Constitution”, said a Minister.

In What Next in the Law, Lord Denning said, p 319:

Parliament is supreme. Every law enacted by Parliament must be obeyed to the letter. No matter how unreasonable or unjust it may be, nevertheless, the judges have no option. They must apply the statute as it stands.

Lord Denning also said at p 380:

May not the judges themselves sometimes abuse or misuse their power? It is their duty to administer and apply the law of the land. If they should divert it or depart from it – and do so knowingly – they themselves would be guilty of a misuse of power.

So then how could the Chief Justice say “where it is a matter of interpretation or application of the law, it is in my view not a suitable case for a review”? What is most shocking is that the Chief Justice approved the unjust decision of PS Gill FCJ in Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Kobchai Sosothikul [2005] I AMR 501 when the words in section 340 of the National Land Code are so clear and unambiguous that even a child can understand it. Yet the judge refused to apply the law as it stands by deciding that it was not a suitable case for review. This is what PS Gill FCJ said, at page 507:

If the application of r 137 is made liberally the likely consequence would be chaos to our system of judicial hierarchy. There would then be nothing to prevent any aggrieved litigant from challenging any decision on the ground of “injustice” vide r 137.

So that we have judges in the Federal Court, even the then Chief Justice himself, who hold the view that if justice is not administered according to law, that is, if the judge did not apply the statute law as it stands, it is not a suitable case for review. Injustice is also not a ground. Zaki Tun Azmi PCA (as he then was, he is now the Chief Justice) gave a similar concurring judgment.

So there is no hope for the estate of Mrs Boonyanit, she has died. The highest court has even confirmed the perverse judgment of the unjust judges.

So there you have it, Chief Justice Zaki Azmi has confirmed the unjust decisions of two Federal Courts against poor Mrs Boonyanit. Although today Zaki Azmi, the current Chief Justice, has held that the decision of former Chief Justice Eusoff Chin in Adorna Properties v Boonsom Boonyanit was blatantly wrong, nevertheless, he has confirmed that it is still not a suitable case for review. Injustice is still not a ground for review by the Federal Court of its own judgment even though the injustice was the result of an injustice brought about by a judge in not applying the statute as it stands.

Now that Chief Justice Zaki Azmi has taken the right step to do the right thing, the task is now upon him to put right the injustice done to the late Mrs Boonyanit and to her estate. It is an onerous duty to right a wrong. He will be judged by what he would do next. Almost everyone knows how to judge a judge today. So be warned!

And lastly what about James Foong FCJ, is he entirely blameless?

He was one of the five judges who gave the unanimous decision of Jamaluddin & Ors v Sivakumar in the Federal Court. To refresh your memory, I refer to the story in the New Straits Times of Friday, April 10, 2009:

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has declared that three assemblymen who quit their parties are still members of the Perak state legislature. This follows an unanimous ruling by a five-men bench yesterday which ruled that “The Election Commission is the rightful entity to establish if there was a casual vacancy in the Perak state legislature,” said Federal Court judge Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sherff. Sitting with him were Datuk Ariffin Zakaria, Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri S Augustine Paul and Datuk James Foong.

I posted an article on the Internet where I wrote:

What do you think of the quality of these judges of the highest court in the country? You must think that after all the rigmarole and after all the effort in writing this 20 page judgment, they could have done better. But no, they still missed the point altogether. All of us ordinary folk knew the answer. But not those five judges.

Of course, the point is Article 33(5) of the Perak Constitution that says that when a question arises whether a person is disqualified from being a member of the Assembly, the decision (meaning “the vote”) of the Assembly is final. It is neither the Speaker nor the Election Commissioner who determines if a person is disqualified from being a member of the assembly.

I then went on to say:

If a person resigns his membership of the Legislative Assembly, he shall be disqualified from being a member of the Assembly for five years from the date of his resignation: see Article 31(5).

Article 35 only says that a member can resign simply by writing to the Speaker.

So that if any question arises as to the resignation of the three turncoat assemblymen – a person who resigns his membership of the assembly is disqualified for five years from being a member of the legislative assembly – the decision of the assembly by a vote being taken on their disqualification shall be final. It is only after a member of the assembly has been disqualified for membership of the legislative assembly that a vacancy of the member?s seat in the assembly arises. It is only then that a casual vacancy arises.

Must James Foong FCJ redeem himself for the wrong he did in Jamaluddin & Ors v Sivakumar? In that case he failed to do his duty as a judge by not applying the law as it stands. He had lent his name to a perverse decision by agreeing to it.

S’gor gov’t a sensation at Thaipusam

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on January 30, 2010 by ckchew

Batu Caves was a hotbed of politics as both sides of the spectrum rallied during the Thaipusam celebrations yesterday to win over the much contested Indian votes.

Despite battling on home ground, the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government took off hamstrung as police refused them their event permit at the last minute.

While Prime Minister Najib Razak, MIC president S Samy Vellu and their cohorts addressed the masses from a vantage point within the temple compounds, their counterparts had to do without a stage, which was forcefully dismantled by the police.

The underdogs, however, worked against odds to inspire hundreds into a full-throated roaring chant of ‘Hidup Rakyat’, as the state leaders spoke from a makeshift stage attached to a Selayang Municipal Council truck.

“Just like the old times,” observed a Pakatan leader.

The event, which started at 11pm, two hours later than scheduled to make way for Najib, was held under the Middle Ring Road flyover some 500 meters away from the temple.

Lukewarm welcome for first couple

This was in stark contrast to the federal government’s happening, where Najib and his waving wife could only garner a sprinkling of applause and that, only after Samy called him the ‘Father of 1Malaysia’.

While Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim guaranteed the safety of all in Selangor, Najib’s delivery was mainly the rehashed story about the handouts distributed to the Indian community by the BN last year.

Not to be outdone, Khalid  announced donations to build more temples in Selangor.

Police presence was equally strong at both events but their action had more muscle at the Pakatan end with attempts to halt Khalid’s speech after threatening to arrest the whole lot for illegal assembly.

But, according to Selangor state exco Elizabeth Wong, the men in blue were pushed away by the passionate crowd.

The crowd also booed Samy when his car passed by, with one man screaming, “Go home, Selangor is my state not yours.”

Speaking to the press later, Khalid expressed his disappointment at being “pushed aside by (their) guests (the federal government)” in their home state.

“We are now looking to see what authority we have over usage of land and public spaces as the state government, so we can avoid this (conflict) next year,” he said.

Organising exco, Xavier Jayakumar told Malaysiakini that the disruptions cost the state at least RM120,000, excluding payments to be made to pop stars from India whose appearance had to be cancelled.

Aidila Razak/Mkini

Malaysia court rejects Anwar Ibrahim evidence appeal

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on January 29, 2010 by ckchew

A Malaysian court has rejected a bid by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to be granted access to evidence against him in a pending sodomy trial.

Mr Anwar has accused the government of interfering in the case and trying to rush it through court.

The former deputy prime minister was charged with sodomy, a criminal offence in Malaysia, in 2008.

He denies the charge and says it is politically motivated, but faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

Mr Anwar spent six years in prison following a similar accusation in the late 1990s, but was freed after an appeal.

On Friday, the Federal Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that Mr Anwar could not have access to medical evidence held by prosecutors.

“The court ruled that the evidence that we were seeking did not fall within the ‘necessary and desirable’ category and turned down the appeal,” lawyer Sankara Nair told the AFP news agency.

‘Quick conviction’

Mr Anwar told AFP he was “shocked with the [government’s] impunity to go on with such a case despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary”.

He said he believed he could win the case if the court looks at the “facts and the law”.

But he said he believed Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was “quite directly involved” in the legal process, which made him “not too confident of the system”.

Mr Anwar said the court “seems they want to rush” his trial and that their “political masters want a quick conviction”.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but Mr Sankara said he would ask for it to be postponed while an appeal seeking to have the case thrown out completely went through another court .

Mr Anwar was arrested by armed police in a dramatic raid in August 2008, after a 23-year-old man who used to work in his office said he had sex with him.

Mr Anwar says his accuser is lying and the evidence has been fabricated.

He claims that the charge is part of a government conspiracy to undermine his opposition alliance, following its big gains in the March 2008 elections.

Government officials deny any plot against him. BBC