A FORMAL CHALLENGE TO JCM TO SUBSTANTIATE ITS CLAIMS

A FORMAL CHALLENGE TO JCM TO SUBSTANTIATE ITS CLAIMS

 

SUARAM refers to the statements made by President of Jaringan Cina Malaysia which were reported in SIASAH[1], a newsletter circulated between 15th to 21st March 2013. JCM had claimed that SUARAM had funded the Suluks in the amount of USD 2 million in Lahad Datu. SUARAM hereby challenges JCM and SIASAH to substantiate their claims/report in the following:-

 

“Pertubuhan itu dikatakan membelanjakan kira-kira USD2 juta bagi membeli peralatan senjata dan mengupah pengganas Islam Filipina untuk membuat huru hara di Sabah”

 “Akibat daripada perbuatan jahat pertubuhan itu, seramai lapan pasukan keselamatan negara gugur di medan tempur manakala 52 pengganas mati dalam insiden berdarah paling trajis”

 

“Saya terima email dari rakan saya yang berada di Manila hari ini, isi kandungan email itu memberi tahu bahawa kejadian di Lahad Datu itu dibiayai oleh sebuah NGO dari Malaysia dan telah menyalurkan USD 2 juta untuk tujuan pencerobohan itu”

 

“Dana asing ini datangnya daripada sembilan yayasan yang dipegang oleh orang Yahudi, matlamat dana ini adalah untuk menjatuhkan Malaysia dan kerajaan Barisan Nasional kerana khususnya Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak enggan bersetuju memberikan satu Pangkalan Tentera (di) Lumut kepada Amerika Syarikat”

 

Following the report, Executive Director of SUARAM, Nalini Elumalai today had received threats by phone calls from an unidentified caller threatened to splash acid on her face.  SUARAM volunteer Peter Chong also received a called from an unknown person warned Peter Chong to watch his back and accused SUARAM as traitor. Both callers refused to identify themselves. (Nalini’s police report attached)

 

SUARAM strongly denies the nonsensical allegations and hereby challenges JCM and SIASAH to substantiate its claims/report within 48 hours from the date of this statement and issue a public apology to SUARAM. SUARAM reserves the right to actions against JCM and SIASAH.

 

 

Released by,

Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director

Kenyataan Media: 18hb Mac 2013

Kenyataan Media: 18hb Mac 2013
 
PEKERJA DITANGKAP POLIS MANAKALA MAJIKAN DIBERI PENANGGUHAN PELAKSANAAN GAJI MINIMA
SUARAM merujuk kepada berita bertajuk “Pelaksanaan Gaji Minimum: Lebih 100 Warga Nepal Terlibat Tunjuk Perasaan Ditahan” [Sumber: MStar Online(mstar.com.my)] yang diterbitkan pada 17hb  Mac 2013 dan juga beberapa media lain.
Berita itu dengan bangganya menyatakan pihak polis telah berjaya menggagalkan cubaan lebih 5,000 pekerja Nepal mengadakan tunjuk perasaan di tengah bandar tengah hari Ahad setelah mereka mendapat maklumat awal berhubungan perkara itu. Ketua Polis Daerah Muar ACP Mohd Nasir Ramli turut memuji kecekapan pihak polis dalam menghalang protes itu.
SUARAM menegaskan bahawa tiada apa yang patut dibanggakan dengan tindakan polis malah sebenarnya ini menunjukkan pihak polis gagal memahami isu sebenar protes tersebut malah pihak polis telah mencabuli hak asasi pekerja-pekerja ini untuk bebas berhimpun secara aman. Isu pokok ialah majikan gagal laksanakan gaji minima. Golongan pekerja yang terdiri daripada warga Nepal ini, tiada pilihan lain selain daripada menunjukkan ketidakpuasan mereka melalui menganjurkan himpunan aman. Peliknya, semua ditahan sebelum protes berlaku. Apakah kesalahan dan pertuduhan ke atas mereka?
Bukankah tindakan majikan yang tidak mematuhi akta yang telah digubal satu kesalahan? Kenapa patut pekerja luar negara  ini ditahan? Kenapa pula majikan yang tidak mematuhi undang-undang tersebut tidak dibawa ke muka pengadilan? Apakah Kementerian Sumber Manusia tiada komen ke atas penangkapan pekerja-pekerja  Nepal ini? Tidak memadai hanya menyatakan bahawa pelaksanaan gaji minima ditangguhkan ke satu tempoh lain kerana majikan tidak berupaya membayar gaji pekerja luar negara.
SUARAM menggesa pihak polis untuk menghormati Perkara 10 dalam Perlembagaan Malaysia iaitu kebebasan berhimpun, bercakap dan berpersatuan. Setiap individu harus diberi kebebasan dan hak mereka untuk berprotes secara aman bagi menyuarakan pendapat untuk kepentingan bersama. SUARAM menggesa pihak polis supaya segera melepaskan pekerja-pekerja  luar negara yang ditangkap secara ‘random’ yang kononnya tidak mempunyai dokumen sah semasa operasi polis Ahad lepas.
PDRM harus memahami isu periuk nasi kaum pekerja tidak kira tempatan mahupun luar negara. Pekerja Nepal datang ke Malaysia untuk tujuan sara hidup tetapi dieksploitasi oleh golongan majikan bagi tujuan keuntungan kerana mereka umpama buruh murah untuk majikan. Sekiranya polis tidak memahami fakta ini, maka negara hanya akan mempunyai pihak berkuasa yang pandai ikut arahan atasan tanpa sebarang sifat kemanusiaan dalam diri mereka.
SUARAM memahami tanggungjawab pihak polis dalam melaksanakan sebarang arahan yang diberikan. Tetapi pengetahuan asas hak asasi patut difahami dahulu sebelum melaksanakan tugas atas arahan secara membuta tuli.
Diterbitkan oleh,
Thevarajan R
Police Accountability and Reform Desk

RoS withdrew notices, SUARAM withdrew Judicial Review

Press Statement: 18 March 2013

 

RoS withdrew notices, SUARAM withdrew Judicial Review

 

 

The RoS  (Registrar of Society) by a letter dated 6/3/2013, had withdrawn all pending notices against SUARAM. On 11/3/2013, as requested by the RoS, SUARAM withdrew its application for Judicial Review against the RoS and 4 others with no order as to costs. The CCM however, had not withdrawn any pending notices against SUARAM.

 

 

The exercise of freedoms in Malaysia comes with a caveat. Because of SUARAM’s resolute stance on defending human rights and civil liberties, the organisation was subjected to continuous harassment by a six-member taskforce orchestrated by the government since July 2012. Throughout the period, SUARAM was investigated under at least three legislations, namely the Companies Act 1965, the Societies Act 1966 and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

 

GONGOs flocked to the orchestra and blew whistles by the side. Apart from being accused of being agents and furthering Jewish interests in Malaysia, SUARAM was also accused by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia of alleged bribery to government top officials, including officials from the CCM in the midst of CCM investigation. Of late, Jaringan Cina Malaysia accused SUARAM of providing USD 2million to the Suluks in Lahad Datu. SUARAM had issued a challenge to them to substantiate their claims; however the whistles are now alarmingly silent.

 

Now that the RoS had withdrawn all pending notices and the AG had classified the case as No Further Action, SUARAM is still waiting for CCM’s withdrawal of its pending notices. The seven-month harassment had not only wasted SUARAM’s time and resources but also of the taxpayers’ monies. Now, who is going to compensate for the peoples’ losses just because of the government’s vindictive persecution?

 

Perhaps, it is apt to remind the government of the recommendations made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai, in his report, A/HRC/20/27 dated 21st May 2012.

 

1)                  Any associations should be allowed to function freely, and their members operate in an enabling and safe environment;

 

2)                  Associations should be free to determine their statutes, structure and activities and to make decisions without State interference;

 

3)                  Associations should enjoy the right to privacy; and

 

4)                  Associations should be able to access domestic and foreign funding and resources without prior authorization.

 

 

 

Despite the clear harassment of SUARAM, to date, no enforcement agencies have taken up the responsibility to publicly acknowledge that SUARAM had not committed any offences, let alone reveal the results of the investigations. SUARAM expresses its deepest gratitude and appreciation to all who had stood by SUARAM and will still do for many years to come. STAND UP 4 SUARAM!

 

 

 

Released by,

 

Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director

NGO ACTIVISTS & POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM

NGO ACTIVISTS & POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM

By Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 14 March 2013

 

Wong Tack’s decision to enter the political arena under the DAP banner should be respected. I did the same in 1990 with 25 other civil rights activists. There is however, one important difference. Our then leader Mr Lim Fong Seng was the Chairman of Dong Zong. He was also the de facto leader of the civil rights movement. When we decided to enter the political arena, he resigned his post in Dong Zong forthwith and so did the rest of us from our posts in the civil rights movement.

 

The point we were making was clear. We would be taking civil rights issues into the political arena but the civil rights movement must go on as before as a non-partisan movement, ready to defend civil rights whichever political coalition is in power. This was our declaration at the “818 Democratic Uprising” on 18 August 1990:

“…While we have taken this political road, we would like to reaffirm the important role that pressure groups and NGOs have to play in a democratic society for ultimately, the particular pressure group knows best and will be prepared to fight for the issue at hand. Thus, the women’s movement is spearheading the struggle for women’s rights, the civil rights movement does the same for our civil rights, the unions champion workers’ rights, etc….We hope the community will continue to press for the democratic demands and promote inter-cultural understanding based on mutual respect and common values.” (Kua Kia Soong, ‘The Malaysian Civil Rights Movement’, SIRD 2005: 98)

 

Any Movement or NGO has to be Non-Partisan

Political parties and politicians can twist and turn, come and go but movements such as the workers’ movement, women’s movement, civil rights movement and the green movement must go on forever. Politicians like to spout the platitude that “politics is the art of the possible” but movements must bear pressure on them to make their demands possible.

 

Now, before Wong Tack has even started his career as a politician, he is already faced with his first dilemma. The Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim has demonstrated the “art of the possible” by declaring that if PR comes into power, Lynas will be given a chance to prove the plant’s safety. This is a far cry from PR’s previous declaration that they would close the plant down if they come into power and Wong Tack himself vowing to burn the damned plant down himself!

 

Wong Tack has since backtracked but we have not heard the stand by the Himpunan Hijau committee. Is it because they are so caught up with the political hoopla they have also stepped down a notch from their previous uncompromising stand? It’s time they found their own voice now that their erstwhile chairperson has gone on to pursue his political career.

 

More Turbulence Ahead for Green Movement

The wave of activism and awareness about green issues in recent months has been unprecedented and that is a tribute to Himpunan Hijau’s efforts in opposing the noxious Lynas plant at Kuantan. It has linked up to the struggles at Bukit Koman, Pengerang and even the uplands of Sarawak. However, the need for a non-partisan movement is underscored by the political values of both BN and PR to suck up to multi-national corporations and the big developers in their race to see which administration can attract more investors. This is fatal to the green movement. Thus, we see the readiness to compromise with Lynas. Then there will the decision about the other toxic industries to be seduced to take up the excess energy from the mega dams in Sarawak. Will the “art of the possible” also result in PR accommodating these other mega dams?

 

PR has so far not only failed to tell us their defence policy, they have also not elaborated on a sustainable energy policy apart from withdrawing subsidies to the IPPs. These have grave consequences for the green movement.

 

Then, instead of waiting for a PR takeover of the federal government before implementing people-centred public transport system in Penang, the state government there has gone ahead and signed the contract for the tunnel project and more highways for the island. They have tried to justify this by saying that they do not want to be a “do nothing” administration. If that is the case, their role model must surely be Dr Mahathir they have ravaged all these years.

 

Furthermore, the green movement has to take up the issue of gross deforestation by the Kelantan and Kedah state governments besides the abuse of our forest lands by the BN government. The movement can only do its work if it is non-partisan.

 

And talking about land, the green movement has to bear in mind that the recognition and protection of Orang Asli customary land rights is part of their concern if they are truly committed to a green agenda. While the BN government has been tardy in protecting Orang Asli land rights, PR’s Buku Jingga and election manifesto are also silent on the Orang Asli land rights. Meanwhile, the Orang Asli are fighting a court battle against the Kelantan state government over their land rights.

 

 

 

Watch out! The Rich are bankrolling both Coalitions!

The root of the problem is, the rich and super-rich are smarter than you think. Ever since the political tsunami of 2008, they have been backing both horses, the BN and PR. Thus, apart from getting their mega projects approved in BN-run states, they are also feted in the PR-run states for both coalitions are committed to neo-liberal policies and bending over backwards to attract investments so that they can boast that they are more “investors-friendly”! The rich are laughing all the way to the bank…

 

Thus, notice that both coalitions do not have any progressive fiscal policy to finance people-friendly public projects such as housing, health, transport and other social policies. Just look at elections in the developed countries – there contending political parties’ fiscal policies are the bone of contention. Parties have to tell us where the revenue is coming from and not fling goodies and freebies at us without justifying where the revenue is coming from. Furthermore, can PR tell us if they are going to buy those Typhoons from BAE costing more than 5 billion ringgit if they come into power? Are we purchasing any more submarines? Can these be cut so that we have more money to spend on education, transport and other public expenditure? How much defence expenditure are they going to cut?

 

It’s amazing – in the most capitalist country in the world, viz. the US, Obama is prepared to tax the rich. Even Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the US, feels the rich should be taxed at a higher marginal rate than the rest of us. But in our country, the rich carry on as usual, whichever coalition is in power!

 

SOP for NGO Activists

Wong Tack is certainly not the first NGO activist to go into the political arena. Ever since the political tsunami in 2008, many NGO activists have been seduced into the glamorous career in government while other lean and hungry YB wannabes are hopefully biding their time.

 

I say good luck to them. The only standard operating procedure they should bear in mind is that, when they venture into the political arena, they should resign from their posts in the movement or NGO as a matter of course.

Stakeholder Report on Malaysia For the 17th Session 2nd Cycle of UPR

The following is the Stakeholder Report on Malaysia For the 17th Session 2nd Cycle of Universaal Periodic Review in 2013. This report has been prepared by The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process.

To download: CLICK HERE (RIGHT CLICK –> SAVE AS) (PDF FORMAT)

This report is endorsed by the following 54 organisations:

Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Education and Research Association for Consumers, Malaysia (ERA Consumer), All Petaling Jaya, Selangor Residents’ Asscociation (APAC), All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Amnesty International, Malaysia, ASEAN Institute for Early Childhood Development, Association of Women’s Lawyers (AWL), Association of Women with Disabilities Malaysia, Coalition to Abolish Modern Day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Childline Malaysia, Christian Federation Malaysia, Community Action Network (CAN), Centre for Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak (CRIPS), Dignity International, Foreign Spouses Support Group, Good Shepherd Welfare Centre, Health Equity Initiatives, Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM), Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Justice For Sisters, Pusat Komunikasi Selangor (KOMAS), Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS), KLSCAH Civil Rights Committee, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET), Malaysian Child Resource Institute (MCRI), Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility, Malaysia Youth & Student Democratic Movement (DEMA), Migration Working Group (MWG), PANGGAU, Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur (PERMAS), PS The Children, PT Foundation, People’s Service Organisation (PSO), Seksualiti Merdeka, Perak Women for Women Society, Persatuan Guru-Guru Tadika Semenanjung Malaysia (PGGT), Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur, Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor, Rainbow Genders Society, Sabah Women’s Action-Resource Group (SAWO), Southeast Asian Centre for e-Media (SEACem), Sinui Pai Nanek Sengik (SPNS), SIS Forum (Malaysia) Bhd (SIS), Tenaganita, Voice of the Children (VOC), Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Women’s Centre for Change, Penang (WCC), Yayasan Chow Kit, Young Buddhist Association, Youth Section, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Youth Section