Bukapuasa and Fundraising Dinner 19 July 2013, Dewan Sivik MBPJ

 

 

 

19 JUNE 2013

THE SCORPENE STING:

DIVING CLOSER TO THE TRUTH!

 

BUKAPUASA AND FUNDRAISING DINNER

19 JULY 2013, DEWAN SIVIK , MBPJ

 

Despite the return of the Barisan Nasional (BN) into power following the 13th GE, more than 50% of the Malaysian electorate opted for a clean and transparent government. Only a fraudulent system could stop this unstoppable desire for change! With the help of a mal-apportioned system and a biased election commission, a minority BN government was formed without the backing of more than half of its populace.
Interestingly, in the lead up to the election campaigns across the nation, corruption issues took centre stage, dominated many election campaign speeches and shouts for an end to corruption were heard almost everywhere. The SCORPENE SCANDAL was singled out as the mother of all corruption scandals, in a sea of other high profile scandals. SUARAM campaigners toured the nation from North to South, East to West, speaking to thousands of Malaysians on the urgent need to fight corruption that has plundered our nation and shattered the lives of ordinary Malaysians.

 

The international nature of the SCORPENE scandal, the millions of ringgit siphoned off through kickbacks and bribes, the procurement of faulty and second grade battleships, the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman and the direct and purported involvement of Najib Razak, the Defence Minister at that time and the incumbent Prime Minister, had captured the imagination and hearts of Malaysians everywhere. This was a case of sheer abuse of power, and it become more evident with each passing day that the scourge of corruption, could no longer be tolerated.

 

Many dug deep into their pockets to sustain the agenda for change and support wholeheartedly the need to usher in a two party system that would ensure greater checks and balance, transparency and accountability. As such the outcome of the GE, have left many Malaysians disenchanted and let down, leaving us with little choice but to ensure those guilty of corruption crimes cannot escape unpunished!

 

SUARAM PUNISHED FOR BLOWING THE WHISTLE

Following our last fundraising efforts, exactly a year ago last June 2012, where we garnered a generous RM 240,000 from Malaysians, to announce and sustain the legal inquiry in the French judicial courts (Tribunal de Grande Instance), SUARAM had very soon after come under intense scrutiny and attacks by the Malaysian government agencies and the mainstream media.

 

So afraid were the Malaysian government leaders in the expose of the truth, as the inquiry was progressing in France, that 6 government agencies came together to intimidate, question and harass SUARAM officials and leaders, in a bid to discredit our good reputation, and blacken our name in the eyes of all Malaysians. However, until today, these agencies have failed to bring any charges against SUARAM as everything they accused us of, were utter fabrications.
THE FRENCH INQUIRY MUST CONTINUE

SUARAM is proud that today we continue to stand tall as a leading voice for human rights and good governance, and are here to announce our next and continued attempts to keep the inquiry in France alive! Let us be clear that the ongoing inquiry is not and cannot be a SUARAM commitment alone. We are now close to finding the truth as the developments and evidence in the ongoing inquiry are compelling; we now must fight this together and push for closure in this scandal that has dogged Malaysia for more than a decade now.

 

This is a cause in which is ultimately in the hands of the Malaysian people as without your continued monetary and moral support SUARAM would not have the means to proceed in the quest for Justice and truth. Let us face these hurdles together, to free Malaysia from the clutches of corruption, once and for all.

 

Individual tickets are priced at RM 150 and RM500 and Tables are priced RM 1500 and RM 5000 each. Online payments and pledges can be made out to SUARA INISIATIF SDN BHD  MBB a/c no: 5122 9582 0324.

 

For further enquiries, contact  tickets@suaram.net or contact SUARAM at 03 77843525/ Sarah +013-3470860

For further info and details you may visit

Website: www.suaram.net

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/suararakyatmalaysia

Twitter: suaramtweets

 

 

 

QUOTE : “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended” – Nelson Mandela

 

 

GMI Konsisten Bela Mangsa ISA: Anjur Lawatan Untuk Bawa Isteri Tahanan ISA Ke Kem Tahanan Kamunting

 

 

GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA

KENYATAAN MEDIA : 11 JUN 2013

GMI KONSISTEN BELA MANGSA ISA : ANJUR LAWATAN UNTUK BAWA ISTERI TAHANAN ISA KE KEM TAHANAN KAMUNTING

 

 

 

22 Jun ni, genap setahun ISA dimansuhkan secara rasminya. Pemansuhan ISA itu berlaku serentak dengan pewartaan Akta Kesalahan Kesalamatan (Langkah-langkah Khas 2012) atau dikenali juga dengan ringkasan SOSMA.

 

SOSMA dikuatkuasakan dalam keadaan Kerajaan masih belum memperbetulkan segala kesilapan sepanjang ISA digunakan. 15 orang tahanan ISA masih mendekam di Kem Tahanan Kamunting, Daripada jumlah itu, 8 orang merupakan warga tempatan, 3 Sri Lanka, 3 Filipina dan seorang Indonesia. Di Tawau Sabah, ada 6 orang isteri masih terpisah daripada suami  dan 20 orang anak kecil masih terpisah daripada ayah mereka. Lebih perit, Sehingga ke hari ini masih tidak ada alasan jelas mengapa tahanan ISA terus dikurung sedangkan akta  yang digunakan untuk menahan mereka telahpun dimansuhkan.

 

Tahanan ISA yang paling akhir akan dibebaskan ialah tahanan dari Tawau Sabah. Mengikut perintah tahanan, mereka hanya akan dibebaskan pada Januari tahun depan setelah genap 2 tahun tempoh tahanan. Biarpun masa penahanan tinggal  kurang lebih 7 bulan, SUARAM dan GMI tetap konsisten mendesak pembebasan awal kesemua tahanan ISA.

 

SUARAM dan GMI ingin mendesak Menteri KDN yang baru, Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi agar segera membebaskan kesemua tahanan ISA. Menteri KDN yang baru tidak wajar meneruskan kegagalan yang lama kerana tidak wujud istilah terlambat untuk membetulkan segala kesalahan yang berlaku.  Bekas Menteri KDN Dato’ Seri Seri Hishammuddin Hussein semasa mengetuai Kementerian Dalam Negeri tidak langsung menunjukkan kesungguhan untuk memperbetulkan kezaliman ISA walaupun banyak kali menerima tuntutan dan protes dari rakyat.

 

Oleh itu, sebagai usaha untuk membela keluarga mangsa ISA, GMI akan mengadakan lawatan ke Kem Tahanan Kamunting bersama 5 orang isteri tahanan ISA dari Tawau Sabah. Lawatan akan berlangsung pada 15 dan 16 Jun ini. Turut hadir dalam rombongan lawatan tersebut ialah dua orang anak kecil yang belum pernah bertemu dengan ayah mereka kerana semasa ayah mereka ditahan, mereka masih di dalam kandungan.

 

Lawatan ini juga bertujuan ingin mendedahkan kepada masyarakat umum mengenai sandiwara pemansuhan ISA yang masih menzalimi rakyat walaupun setelah setahun dimansuhkan. GMI konsisten dengan tuntutan agar kesemua tahanan ISA dibebaskan segera dan Kerajaan perlu mewujudkan Suruhanjaya Rekonsiliasi bagi menyiasat semua salah laku di bawah ISA dan mengheret individu terlibat ke muka pengadilan serta memberi pampasan yang setimpal kepada mangsa ISA dan keluarga mangsa.

 

Sekian.

 

Stop More Deaths! Stop State Violence! Nothing Less Than the IPCMC!

Press Statement: 11 June 2013

STOP MORE DEATHS! STOP STATE VIOLENCE! NOTHING LESS THAN THE IPCMC!

Death List of 2013

The latest list of deaths under police custody for year 2013:

Date Name Age Location
14-Jan-13 Chang Chin Te 30 USJ 8
23-Jan-13 Sugumaran 39 Batu 14 Cheras
01-Feb-13 Mohd.Ropi 43 Temerloh, Died at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Hospital
10-Mar-13 M.Ragu 47 Kampar
17-Mar-13 UNKNOWN 55 Seri Alam Johor
21-May-13 Darmaindren 32 IPK KL
27-May-13 Jamesh Ramesh 40 Penang
01-Jun-13 Karunanithi 42 IPD Tampin
08-Jun-13 Nobuhiro Matsushita 33 USJ 8

9 cases of custodial death within 6 months of 2013. Comparing the total 9 deaths for the full year of 2012. Will the figures escalate for 2013 with the government and specifically the police force resisting any form of reform through an independent commission? Has the government and in particular the police believe that they are above accountability and thus continue to act with impunity? The rakyat says otherwise.

Revamping EAIC is the wrong road map for reform and accountability.

The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) clearly has proven by its commissions and performance that of issuing warnings is a toothless tiger without any power of enforcement of decisions taken.. Its CEO Nor Afizah Hanum Mokhtar acknowledged that only one investigating officer was assigned to probe 19 agencies (4 June 2013). She also suggested the need to increase the annual budget to at least RM25 million in order to perform well. However, the Stop State Violence movement believes that it is not just a question of more money or personnel for investigations, but the powers given to them to conduct effective investigations as well as to enforce their decisions. The EAIC can only give recommendations and then it is up to the police force to act on it. In spite of calls by the rakyat and civil society for the last ten years, the police force has not made any changes. It will continue to do so as it believes that it has wide powers in itself to act with impunity and the government of the day – BN government needs it to maintain power.

PKR in a press statement yesterday 11-06-13, stated that a member of the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC), Salehuddin Saidin is representing one of the 3 police officers charged as a lawyer for the murder of death in custody victim N Dhamendran. This is indeed a conflict of interest. How can he be expected to be independent and objective in his EAIC duties while defending his client.

With the revelation and the failure of the EAIC, it is indeed ridiculous for Datuk Paul Low, particularly as a former President of Transparency International Malaysia to continue to harp that it is better to revamp the EAIC than make all efforts to establish the IPCMC.

We would like to remind Datuk Paul Low to get his facts and analysis right. The Royal Commission on the Police force took a lot of effort, study and investigations to come up with a solid proposal for the oversight called Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission that can, and will bring about a reformed, disciplined and corrupt free police force that will be the pride of our nation.

SSV would also like to remind the new Minister in the Prime Ministers Department that it is not the issue of staff shortage or annual budget problem. The root issue of the EAIC is, the absence of power namely the prosecution power. The EAIC only has the power to investigate complaints and the finding of its investigation will be referred back to the police force.

Comparatively, the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) has more power as an oversight mechanism as it can initiate legal action against any officers for abuse of power. IPCMC was one of the 125 recommendations made by the Royal Commission of Police back in 2004.

Another power that IPCMC has, is to initiate its own investigation into any police power abuse cases without the need for a complaint to be made. EAIC on the other hand, waits for a complaint to be made before starting the investigations. If the EAIC was indeed an oversight mechanism for the agencies, it would have immediately launched an independent inquiry to get to the truth of the complaints of police power abuses that occurred.

We would like to provide a brief on the IPCMC as below:

1. Appointment of commissioners are done by Agong
2. IPCMC must be an independent body formed under the Parliament Act.
3. Commissioners durations are limited for 3 years only
4. Commissioners should not be from the police force- current of former.
5. IPCMC needs to submit its report to Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong
6. IPCMC needs to present its report in the Parliament.

We would also like to list some of the powers of IPCMC that was recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry back in 2005:

1. Power to initiate its own investigations without any complaints
2. Power to order PDRM or other agencies to provide any documents related to investigations.
3. Not subject to any secrecy law including the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
4. Power to initiate legal action on its own via its legal counsel.
5. Power to call up witness to hear their testimonies.
6. Power to enter premises including government offices for investigations purpose.

However, the police force needs a comprehensive and total reform. The Royal Commission did address it in totality and thus made various recommendations. We cannot just address death in custody but also how do we prevent torture while a person in custody. There is a dire need for better ways of investigations and accompanying procedures. There is a need for special courts as well. The SSV movement sees that there is a need to make the reforms collectively for a genuine change to be realized.
At the minimum, the following seven demands need to be taken up immediately and acted upon:

1. Without fear or favor, bring all offenders among the police, MACC and other enforcement agencies, to justice.
2. Immediately establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)
3. Institute an Ombudsmen system that enforces human rights practice in all enforcement agencies and their places of detention such as prisons, immigration detention centers and lockups;
4. Review and make public the law enforcement agencies’ standard operating procedures including the Inspector General Standing Order on police guidelines on discharge of firearms and detention and interrogation;
5. Support the setting up of an independent and competent Coroner’s Court system to replace the current Magistrate’s Inquest which is extremely problematic and ineffective;
6. Ratify the Convention against Torture and the Optional protocol” followed by necessary laws to eliminate torture.
7. Support human rights education and training programs, with a view to changing the attitudes, perceptions and methods of law enforcement personnel.

The SSV Coalition will begin an intensive campaign to end state violence against people with a initial series of actions:

1. On 13 June 2013, Thursday, a Public Forum “Stop State Violence” IPCMC Now. Will be organized at the Bar Council auditorium, KL
2. We will come up with a pledge for a commitment from MP’s to support the implementation of IPCMC
3. Online petition to support the implementation of IPCMC
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/minister-of-home-affairs-igp-and-chief-commissioner-stop-state-violence
4. Putting up banners on implementing the IPCMC.

This Coalition is supported by the following 30 organizations signed below.

Stop State Violence Movement

1. SUARAM

2. Tenaganita

3. Lawyers For Liberty
4. Malaysians for Beng Hock
5. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas)
6. Amnesty International Malaysia
7. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Masyarakat (Empower)
8. Malaysia Youth And Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
9. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
10. Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH
11. EMPOWER
12. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre
13. KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth
14. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
15. Community Development Centre (CDC)
16. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
17. Persatuan masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
18. Community Action Network (CAN)
19. Serdang Bahru School Alumni Youth Section
20. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor & KL (Prihatin)
21. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
22. MALAYSIAN INDIANS PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION (MIPAS)
23. PEOPLE’S WELFARE AND RIGHTS COALITION (POWER)
24. MALAYSIAN INDIANS TRANSFORMATION ACTION TEAM (MITRA)
25. ANGKATAN NASIONAL INDIA MALAYSIA (AGNI)
26. Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (SEED)
27. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia
28. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita
29. Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)\
30. Kelab Bangsar Utama

Tanda Putera, Truth & Reconciliation

 

TANDA PUTERA, TRUTH & RECONCILIATION

By Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 6 June 2013

 

Tanda Putera, the film that was not considered fit for general release (in case there was a backlash from Chinese voters?) before the recent general election is soon to be shown in a cinema near you. Obviously, as the official reasoning probably goes, after the “Chinese tsunami” BN couldn’t go any lower in terms of Chinese votes!

 

The government would be wise to ask: Is it a step forward for Malaysians to gain access to the truth about the May 13 bloodshed and take us on the road to reconciliation as the prime minister had vowed soon after the recent general election? I think not. Does the film call for forgiveness, for generosity of spirit or does it allow old wounds to fester?

 

Of course it is a film maker’s right to make a film. It is her right to freedom of expression. But this film happens to be financed by the official FINAS, ie. with tax payers’ money! It is amazing the gall and presumptuousness of UMNO to use public resources to finance projects such as this and even institutions such as UiTM that are blatantly racially discriminatory.

 

Not surprisingly, the director of TP has fallen in with the “official” version that the May 13 Incident was a “spontaneous outbreak” of violence between “the Malays” and “the Chinese” after “the Malays” were supposedly provoked by “the Chinese”. This conclusion is based on interviews with the director of TP in the online media. In this official rendition, the victory parade by the Opposition parties in 1969 is often portrayed as having been conflated with an earlier demonstration by the Labour Party calling for a boycott of the 1969 general election because of the pre-election incarceration of practically all their leaders under the ISA.

 

The underlying justification for the pogrom is that the Chinese victims got what was coming to them through their “insensitivity” to “Malay feelings”. And since then, this fascist threat has been raised every time the non-Malays demand civil rights or openly support the opposition coalition. The recent warning about a “Malay backlash” to the so-called “Chinese tsunami” by a former Appeal Court judge is symptomatic of this fascist mode of thinking.

 

TRUTH # 1: Were these parades so provocative that they were the trigger for the pogrom? 

From the declassified documents at the British Archives that I researched, they were not. The British were more likely to be pro-Alliance rather than pro-Opposition since after all, the Alliance leaders were the local custodians of British interests in the post-Independent Malaysia. But perhaps the director of TP or UMNO has other more credible evidence from our local sources to prove my evidence wrong. Let a Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) investigate.

 

TRUTH # 2: Was May 13 in fact orchestrated by those elements within UMNO to overthrow the Tunku and to serve their own agenda as the new ruling class of Malaysia?

This theory is by no means exclusive to me and recently more disaffected UMNO leaders have come out to support this account. Again, a TRC can subpoena many of the actors, such as Dr Mahathir, who are still alive today. Unfortunately, others such as the former Mentri Besar of Selangor, Dato Harun Idris and the former Home Minister, Ghazali Shafie are no longer around but their families and other contemporaries may know the true story.

 

TRUTH # 3: How many and who were the victims of the May 13 pogrom?

We owe it to those who perished during the pogrom to at least register their unfortunate demise and grant some reparation to their loved ones. Is there any truth to the stories about mass graves in Sungai Buluh? There are other stories about corpses being tarred to conceal their ethnic identities. If these stories are true, their bodies should be exhumed and identified and the cause of death determined. These are facts that a Truth & Reconciliation Commission can uncover about events at that time through listening to testimonies from victims’ families and friends; doctors and nurses on duty in the hospitals; Red Cross staff who played an important role then; policemen and soldiers on duty; politicians and journalists who covered the event, and of course our ubiquitous Special Branch. Public institutions such as hospitals, the police and special branch should be made to open their files to the TRC.

 

May 13 Truth & Reconciliation Commission

If the prime minister is truly interested in reconciliation after the GE13 as he has pledged, releasing TP is unlikely to produce the desired effect. I will proffer an unreserved apology if I am proven wrong…

 

Compared to South Africa’s acrimonious and long saga of apartheid rule, Malaysia’s “May 13 Incident” will not incur the time and efforts that South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission went through.

 

South Africa’s TRC was established by the new South African government in 1995 to help bring about a reconciliation of its people by uncovering the truth about human rights violations that had occurred during the period of apartheid. Its emphasis was on getting to the truth and not on prosecuting individuals for past crimes. The commission was open to the public and allowed victims or their loved ones to tell their story. These documented accounts then became public record, which helps deter the possibility of any denial of the history.

 

The South African TRC was set up through the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No. 34 of 1995 and hearings started in 1996. The mandate of the commission was to bear witness to, record and in some cases grant amnesty to the perpetrators of crimes relating to human rights violations, as well as reparation and rehabilitation. The TRC had a number of high profile members with moral authority; its chairperson was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The South African TRC heard cases of some twenty thousand people who had suffered gross human rights violations in the period between 1960 and their first democratic election.

 

Isn’t it time for a “May 13 TRC” to finally put to rest the ghost of May 13, to record our real history and to bring about meaningful reconciliation of our peoples once and for all?

 

The spontaneous response from ex-special branch and other retired personnel as well as victims’ family members at the launch of my book in 2007 demonstrates amply that there are many people from all angles, yearning to have their stories told and heard. Can we deny these now aging participants in the actual May 13th tragedy an opportunity to do so?

 

It is time Malaysians face up to our real history and to understand that:

“If we do not confront the past, we will not be able to move into the future…”

Scrap EAIC, Form IPCMC

Press Statement: 6th June 2013

SCRAP EAIC, FORM IPCMC

SUARAM refers to the The Malaysian Insider news article titled “Enforcement Oversight body has just one officer to investigate 19 agencies, says CEO” on 4 June 2013. The title itself says it all.

The reality and condition of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) are  being seen now, straight from the mouth of its CEO, Nor Afizah Hanum Mokhtar.

In a public consultation done by EAIC in Petaling Jaya on the 20 December 2012, which was chaired by its CEO, chairman and deputy chair, Datuk Heliliah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, the main issue highlighted was that the EAIC probes 19 enforcement agencies including the Royal Police of Malaysia (PDRM). The quantity of agencies probed was the proud issue for  EAIC, the quality wasn’t an issue and it was acknowledged today by the CEO that only one investigating officer was assigend to probe19 agencies.

Budget and manpower were  the issues highlighted by Nor Afizah Hanum which contribute to the latest criticism towards the EAIC. She said that the EAIC needs an annual budget of at least RM25 million, 10 investigating officers and 10 research officers. SUARAM avers  that until  all these suggestions are implemented, the EAIC will not be able to build the public confidence in  the agency.

SUARAM would like to highlight the root issue of  the EAIC which is the absence of prosecution power. The EAIC only has the power to  investigate complaints and the finding of its investigation will be referred back to the police force.

 

Comparatively, the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) has more power  as an oversight mechanism asit can initiate legal action against any officers for abuse of power. IPCMC was one of the 125 recommendations made by the Royal Commission of Police back in 2004. This recommendation was supposed to be implemented in 2006. The watered down version of the IPCMC, which is the EAIC came into picture in 2011.

SUARAM would like to also highlight the point made by the Home Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that the EAIC will be conducting investigation on Dharmendran’s death. SUARAM avers that the Home Minister’s statement does not hold water as the EAIC will not investigate Dharmendran’s death in the absence of a formal complaint. This was SUARAM’s concern which was pointed out at the   the consultation with the EAIC  where SUARAM emphasized the need for the EAIC to be proactive in  investigating abuse of power by the men in blue, not waiting for a complaint to be lodged first.

SUARAM together  civil society groups reiterate the call for the implementation of the IPCMC and urge the Government to immediately scrap the EAIC.

Released by,
Thevarajan R
SUARAM Coordinator