Cops haul up electoral reform activist for questioning (Malaysiakini)


Cops haul up electoral reform activist for questioning

VIDEO | 2.54 min

Electoral reform activist PY Wong was questioned by police today for an alleged offence related to his group Tindak Malaysia’s activities to train party workers to be polling, counting and barong agents (Pacaba) during the general election.

The NGO founder was questioned for over two hours at federal police HQ Bukit Aman from 9am.

He is being probed under Section 124(c) of the Penal Code for involvement in activities that disrupt parliamentary democracy or preparations for such.

He was accompanied by lawyers Farhana Halim and New Sin Yew.

NONEIt was reported in the media today that the probe is related to Tindak Malaysia’s workshops educating the voters on how to ensure secrecy of their ballot.

According to the NGO, voters at polling stations should demand a random ballot slip instead of the serialised one normally handed to them by the officer in charge.

Wong was quoted as expressing surprise that educating voters on their legal rights was an offence.

When met after Wong’s questioning was over at 11.30am, New said that he found police investigations into his client’s Pacaba training as “baffling”.

“It is as if (they are) saying that voter education is detrimental to parliamentary democracy.”

He believes that it fits a pattern of harassment by authorities as some of the questions asked to his client are similar to the ones that human rights NGO Suaram had been subjected to – including several questions into their funding.

He related that the investigations on Wong under Section 124 was based on a police report lodged in Changkat Jering on April 3, although they were not given details on who had lodged it, nor given any specifics on the matter.

Wong himself expressed disappointment with the way that the authorities are dealing with Tindak Malaysia.

‘Disagree through discussions’

He said that they have engaged with the EC and the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms about the Pacaba trainings.

He added that if they wanted to disagree with him, they could have done so through discussions and not by harassing Tindak Malaysia in this way.

NONEA small group of supporters from Suaram and Tindak Malaysia had also turned up to show their support of Wong, mounting an impromptu protest outside Bukit Aman.

The police were watchful during the protest, but did not interfere.

Meanwhile, Suaram has condemned the investigations being done by the police, and are questioning the government’s motive in doing so.

They reminded that the police had asserted last week that the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) would not be abused in the 13th general election.

The human rights group also quoted New as saying that more individuals have apparently been probed in relation to the coming election, although their identities cannot be verified.

“This is seen as police intimidation towards electoral reform activists,” said the NGO in a statement today.

NONESuaram added that using Sosma against activists did not make sense, especially considering that PY Wong is just an activist who organises activities to educate the public on the upcoming general election.

“If the police fail to explain the motive behind their probe, then it confirms the public’s fears that Sosma will be abused during the general election,” it said.

According to Suaram, Section 124(c) has been amended to be read in conjunction with Sosma. Therefore, this changes the definition in the Penal Code to say that anyone who carries out activities that threaten parliamentary democracy or makes any preparations to such an end, is liable for punishment.

Meanwhile at a separate press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan has decried Wong’s questioning as a plot to undermine civil society groups – such as Tindak Malaysia and Bersih – ahead of the upcoming election.

‘Wong’s probe is a plot’

“The whole basis (of Wong’s questioning) is on the issue of randomising (ballot papers). Why did I say it is a plot? It all started with (former DAP national vice-chairperson) Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahimraising it, TV3 giving it extensive coverage, and everyone going on and on about how this is going to cause chaos at the elections.

NONE“This is a build-up, in my view, for a final attack on Tindak Malaysia and Bersih,” she said.

Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah (left in photo) added that an email has also been fraudulently circulated in her name, advocating for the randomisation of ballots, and that she will be lodging a police report over the matter.

Ambiga clarified that Bersih had never urged voters to randomise their votes.

Previously, she said, Tindak Malaysia had trained voters to ask clerks at polling centres to tear off a handful of ballots and allow the voters to pick one, hence ensuring that the ballot paper’s serial number could not be traced to individual voters.

However, Bersih raised objections against this as it would leave “loose ballots hanging around”, Tindak Malaysia has agreed to stop providing training on randomisation since October last year.

NONE“Yet they are using this (issue) and they are bluffing. In this email (in Maria Chin’s name), you can see how far this plot goes.

“They are bluffing, they are making up stories, they are creating a situation of confusion so that action can be taken against Bersih as well as Tindak Malaysia,” she stressed.

Ambiga and Bersih steering committee member Andrew Khoo (right), both lawyers, also pointed out that it is not illegal to advocate for randomisation.

“The charge under Section 124(c) is for undermining parliamentary democracy by violent or unconstitutional means. Nobody is talking about violence or suggesting anything about violence.

“Even if we were to agree to randomisation – and I want to make it clear that we are not – is that unconstitutional? The answer is, ‘No’,” Khoo said.

Youth detained by police rushed to hospital next day (Malaysiakini)

Youth detained by police rushed to hospital next day

A 24 year-old youth sustained serious head injuries while he was held in custody at the Kulim district police headquarters on the night of March 29, his brother claimed today.

NONEBadaruddin Mohd Tajuddin (left) said Kulim police failed to ensure the safety of his brother – Muhammad Kusyairi – when he was in their custody that night, before he was rushed to the hospital the next day.

Kusyairi was detained in Taman Selasih, Kulim, about 9.30pm on March 29 for suspected motorcycle theft and is currently being treated at the Penang Hospital.

According to the Kedah police, Kusyairi was beaten up by members of the public when caught trying to steal a motorcycle.

“Is is unfortunate that after he was arrested by police and was taken into their custody, the next day (March 30), he was rushed to the Penang Hospital from Kulim,” Badaruddin said after lodging a police report at the Northeast District police headquarters on Jalan Pattani in Penang.

“He sustained injuries on his head and is now in a state of coma.

“As his family, we want to know how Kusyairi suffered such grave injuries to his head and become unconscious only after he was put in the police lock-up,” he said.

Badaruddin urged the police to investigate the matter thoroughly, adding that the family demands to know his brother’s condition during the arrest and when he was in police custody.

Suaram coordinator Sean Ho, who was present, said it is the responsibility of the police to protect suspects they take into custody.

“If Kusyairi was beaten up as claimed, the police should have sent him to the hospital immediately,” Ho said.

Kusyairi’s family plans to hold another press conference on Thursday, at which they intend to release more information on the matter, upon confirming certain details.

Police deny allegations

Kedah police have strongly denied allegations that its officers had beaten Kusyairi while he was in custody.

State deputy police chief Abdul Ghafar Rajab said Kusyairi was in a “weak condition” and the force was not able to interrogate or question him.

He confirmed that the suspect – from Kupang, Kedah – was nabbed for alleged theft of a motorcycle “belonging to a 23 year old”.

The owner was shocked to see the suspect on his motorcycle and approached him with 30 others members of the public,” Bernamaquoted Abdul Ghafar as saying.

“They managed to nab him and then hit him until two policemen came to stop the scuffle.”

Abdul Ghafar said that since Kusyairi was very weak, he was sent to the Kulim Hospital about 11.20pm for treatment.

Since Kusyairi was in critical condition, he had to be rushed to the Penang Hospital where he is in a coma.

“The suspect will be charged under Section 379A Penal Code with motorcycle theft and investigation papers are being prepared to probe those who allegedly beat him up, under Section 324 for causing injuries to the suspect,” he said.

He reminded the public that it is not wrong to help nab a suspect but that they must not go beyond the limit, as it could lead to their own arrest.

However, Abdul Ghafar said none of those involved have been arrested or asked to give a statement.

SUARAM and WAO denounce acts of violence against migrant workers

10 May 2013

For Immediate Release

SUARAM and WAO denounce acts of violence against migrant workers

On the day of the 13th general election, evidence emerged, including videos circulated on social media, depicting violent acts committed by some members of the public towards individuals thought to be migrants in an attempt to stop them from voting.

While the efforts undertaken by the public to contribute towards clean and fair elections are commendable, SUARAM and WAO condemn all acts of intimidation and violence targeted at any community, including migrants.

There was a high sense of anxiety prior to the 13th general election, touted by many as Malaysia’s most highly contested election ever. Legitimate concerns arouse over allegations of vote buying in exchange for the issuance of MyKads. Vote buying is unacceptable and illegal, and actions should be taken against the individuals and institutions who have abused their power in doing so.

The groundswell of support shown by the public to push for clean and fair elections has been unprecedented. Many reports have surfaced of fraud taking place during the 13th general election. But in our fight to achieve clean and fair elections for the betterment of our country, we must not resort to violence and intimidation as a means.

Additionally, as we combat racism in our country, let us not commit acts and rhetoric that contribute towards xenophobia.

Towards this end, we urge all Malaysians to respect the rights of other human beings, including migrants, to security of person and to be free from discrimination.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:

Ivy Josiah

Executive Director

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

Phone: 03 7957 5636

Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director


Phone: 03 7784 3525


Press Statement: 10th May, 2013


The racist article published by UTUSAN MALAYSIA and Najib’s shocking “Chinese Tsunami” statement had gained momentum amongst the racists in Bayan Baru, Penang.

On 9/5/2013,  a group consisting of multiracial students from Bayan Baru’s Universiti Sains Malaysia became victims to violence perpetrated by an unknown racist group. The students were entering into the compound of USM to present an anti-racism petition when they were stopped and violently assaulted by a group of about 100 men.

The aggressors were witnessed to have attempted to disperse the multiracial group of students with pepper spray, some even resorted to physical assaults against the students and had called the Chinese students among the group as “Cina Babi”.

The fracas took place in the presence of the police and campus’ security personnel but no actions were taken to disperse and ensure the safety of the students. Instead, the students were chased out of the campus by the security to face the wrath of the violent racist group.

Desperate and feared for their lives, the students sought refuge in SUARAM’s office across the campus but instead of dispersing the violent group, the police saw it fit to knock on SUARAM’s office together with members of the group to search for the students for questioning.

SUARAM strongly condemns the complicity of the police and the incomprehensible actions and/or inactions by the police in defusing a potentially life threatening situation faced by the students. More shocking, several students were questioned by the police but none of the thugs were reprimanded.

It is saddening to see how responsible adults could easily be incited by racial sentiments and resorted to violence against a harmless group of students. The students were merely playing their part in fighting racism, which should be admired and encouraged as a noble cause. It should even be participated by all peace loving Malaysians across the country.

SUARAM demands the police to immediately reprimand the aggressors and provide an explanation on the police’s ridiculous and incomprehensible actions taken against the students. SUARAM also urge for an explanation from USM on their failure to protect the students from the dangerous group.

On this note, SUARAM reminds the mainstream media and the Barisan Nasional to stop playing into racial sentiments and take concrete steps to eradicate racial violence.

Released by,

Nalini Elumalai
On behalf of SUARAM






SUARAM urges the Malaysian government to respect the fundamental right to peaceful assembly by allowing the opposition rally today at the Kelana Jaya Stadium. The rally is being held in response to allegations of election irregularities and fraud that happened on Election Day.

SUARAM also condemns the statement by the IGP Ismail Omar who stated that the rally is illegal (7 May 2013, an article in news portal Malaysiakini titled “Rally illegal, participants face arrest, warns IGP”). SUARAM‘s position is that there is no need for an application of a permit by the organizers which is in line with provisions in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA), .  As far as SUARAM is concerned, the organisers only need to notify to the police of the assembly.

The right to freedom of peaceful assembly is guaranteed in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Further, the right of every Malaysian to assemble peacefully without arms is also enshrined in the country’s highest law, the Federal Constitution.

SUARAM continues to call for abolishment of the Peaceful Assembly Act as many of the provisions in the Act contravenes international human rights standards and provides the police with excessive powers to restrict peaceful assemblies

As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Malaysia has made commitments on numerous occasions, in various international fora to protect human rights. If the government does not intend to make a mockery of its own international commitments, it must allow the rally to proceed without any disruption, and ensure that the police manage the rally in compliance with international human rights standards.

Released by,


Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director