Scorpenes: French lawyers to come to KL ahead of open court hearing

French lawyers acting for SUARAM are due to come to Kuala Lumpur in late June or July to brief their client on the latest development in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s high-cost purchase of three submarines from European arms-maker DCNS.

SUARAM had on behalf of Malaysian taxpayers filed a suit against DCNS in December 2009 at the courts in Paris for “active and passive corruption, trading of favours and abuse of corporate assets”.

The civil rights group had been concerned there was ‘hanky-panky’ in the deal, the cost of which would ultimately have to be borne by Malaysian taxpayers. SUARAM suspected kickbacks worth hundreds of millions of ringgit had been hidden in the transaction and called on the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission to investigate, but to no avail.

Also, despite constant grilling, Najib has kept the details of the transaction top secret while other members of his administration have provided only fuzzy details, even to Parliament.

“The lawyers are due to arrive and brief their client on the latest ahead of the hearing which will take place in open court. Once that happens, you can imagine what is next. Everyone will be very busy and the international media will be all over the place,” the source told Malaysia Chronicle.

A Parisian court is due to hear the case and a hearing date was initially slated for May-June, but that may now have to be slightly delayed as SUARAM is applying for an investigative judge to preside.

Briefings at various venues

It is not clear if the lawyers coming to KL will include Joseph Breham who came last year. But according to the source, the French team will also give several briefings to concerned citizens at various venues throughout the nation.

There is enormous public interest in the case, not only because intertwined into the submarines acquisition was a murder most foul, but because the purchase was deemed to be extremely overpriced. There is also concern that the 2 Scorpenes do not work properly as in the weeks after arrival last year, they failed to dive. The third submarine is a second-hand Agosta.

Apart from that, when Najib first mooted the purchase in the early 2000s, Malaysians had protested, arguing that the submarines were not suitable for guarding the nation’s shallow coastline and the cost was also unjustifiable.

But the BN government hammered the deal through, and so far, it has cost Malaysia at least RM6.7 billion ringgit, excluding add-on service fees which could push the total acquisition package to above RM10 billion in the next few years.

The deal had been sanctioned by Najib – who was then Defense minister. He was accused of benefiting his close friend Razak Baginda with a 114 million euros commission.


The Malaysian prime minister and his wife Rosmah Mansor were also accused of being involved in the murder of a Mongolian translator, who had helped in the communications with DCNS. The 28-year old Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered in KL by two former bodguards of the Malaysian first couple.

Both men, who were members of an elite police squad, have been sentenced to hang but the nation is unconvinced as they had no motive to kill her. The question still raging in Malaysia is, who ordered the killing?

The Parisian hearing will not dwell on the Altantuya murder but DCNS is likely to be grilled on her role in the deal.

Altantuya, who was shot in head and exploded with military C4 explosives, has become an international icon symbolising the ruthlessness and desperation in the murky world of international arms wheeling-and-dealing. She is also a reflection of the level of debauchery amongst the Umno elite. Umno is Najib’s party and has ruled Malaysia for 5 decades.

Under the 2000 OECD convention of which France is a party, anyone French individual or company found to be involved in corrupt deals with foreign governments can be punished with 10 years imprisonment and a Euro 150,000 fine. This ruling provided the impetus for the SUARAM move to try and recover taxpayers’ money lost through improper transactions. – Malaysia Chronicle


Statement of Civil Society Organisations in ASEAN to the ASEAN Senior Labour Officials Meeting and Labour Ministers Meeting in Penang 23-26 June 2011

Statement of Civil Society Organisations in ASEAN to the ASEAN Senior Labour Officials Meeting and Labour Ministers Meeting in Penang 23-26 June 2011

The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Malaysia reaffirming and echoing more than 1,300 Civil Society Organisation delegates who had gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia between 3-5 May 2011 at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF), urge the Senior Labour Officials Meeting and Labour Ministers to adopt and implement the recommendations at the ACSC/APF which was communicated and received by all ASEAN Heads of State. In relation to labour and migration;

ASEAN member states must eliminate the contract and labour outsourcing system and stop discrimination by giving all workers permanent employment status.

We urge ASEAN to adopt welfare state systems to ensure social security for all peoples in the region

ASEAN member states must allow all workers including migrants to establish independent and autonomous trade unions for the protection of labour rights. ASEAN member states must ensure that all migrant workers receive the full protection of labour laws in the countries, which they are working.

ASEAN must act against attempts by employers to disguise or evade employment relationships to the detriment of labour or worker’s rights.

ASEAN members must recognize domestic work as work and provide domestic workers full labour rights and legal protection. All ASEAN members should support and commit to the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers.

As ASEAN countries are members of the ILO, we urge ASEAN to respect ILO Core Convention 87 and 98.

As elaborated in Article 22 of the Declaration, we call on all state parties to make efforts to comply with the provision of the declaration; the Secretary General is to submit annual report cards in regard to the compliance of the state parties to the Declaration.

All ASEAN member states should work together to fast-track the process of adopting a legally-binding instrument that protects and promotes the rights of ALL migrant workers and members of their families. This process must be transparent and actively involve migrant associations, trade unions and other representatives of civil society. This is even more necessary and urgent in light of the failure of the ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers in its deliberations over 3 years to arrive at any agreement on the scope of coverage of the ASEAN Framework Instrument for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of migrant workers. As long as migrant workers had worked, they, irrespective of documentation status should have access to labour rights such as claiming for unpaid wages. Therefore, the scope of coverage should include undocumented migrant workers.

Recognising the increasing numbers of women migrant workers in the region who are working in precarious conditions, states parties should remove reservations to the CEDAW and the CRC. At the same time, it should also recognize CEDAW General Recommendation 26, adopted in November 2008. The instrument should reflect this commitment to address the specific working and living conditions of all women migrants.

All ASEAN member states must repeal policies of contractual termination and deportation on the ground s of pregnancy and communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS.

States must provide social protection that includes provisions for health care and medical insurance, and that promote safe working environments for all migrant workers and their families.

12. Given the movement of migrants in the ASEAN region, ASEAN must support a residence-based (as opposed to a citizenship-based) health care system. This requires universality and a single, high standard of health services.

In addition, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the Malaysian Trade Union Congress over 2 years ago have recommended the following;

13. The Government should implement a National Retrenchment Scheme to aid retrenched workers. Similar to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), this would require financial contributions from both employers and employees.

14. The Government should establish a minimum wage policy to ensure that all workers enjoy a decent standard of living.

15. The Government should conduct a study to assess the actual need for foreign labour

16. The Government should ensure employers issue a clear contract of employment and breach of the contract would hold the parties liable before the law.

17. The Government should immediately revoke the licenses of errant outsourcing companies.

18. The Government should monitor labour disputes and ensure that both workers and employers have access to a resolution mechanism.

Endorsed by:
1. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) ( A regional network in Asia Pacific)
2. CARAM Asia ( A regional network on migration across Asia and Middle East)
3. CARAM Cambodia
4. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia
5. Dignity International (DI- A Global NGO on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
6. Peoples Service Organization , Selangor
7. Pusat KOMAS
8. Singapore Working Group on ASEAN Migrant Workers
9. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
10. Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers (TFAMW)
11. Tenaganita
12. Think Centre (Singapore)


26 May 2011

Saudara-saudari Editor, Wartawan, Jurugambar dan Blogger,
Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa satu sidang media mengenai perkara di atas akan diadakan seperti berikut:
Tarikh : 30 May 2011
Masa : 11:00 Pagi
Tempat : Auditorium Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL, Selangor. (KLSCAH)

Sila maklum bahawa pendaftaran bagi media bermula pada 10:30 pagi.
Sekiranya saudara/saudari mempunyai sebarang pertanyaan, sila hubungi Saudara Izmil, di: 0173133609.
Kami berharap saudara/saudari atau wakil saudara/saudari dapat hadir untuk meliputi sidang media kami.
Sekian, terima kasih.

– – – – – – – –

26 April 2011

Dear Editors, Reporters/Journalists, Photographers/Cameramen and Bloggers,

Press Conference by SUARAM: Launching of ‘Ops Scorpene’.

This is to inform you that the above press conference will take place as follows:
Date : 30th May 2011
Time : 11:00 AM
Venue : Auditorium, KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)

Please note that media registration for the above event will start at 10:30am.
If you have any queries, please feel free to contact Izmil, at: 0173133609.

We look forward to seeing you and/or your representatives at our press conference.
Thank you.

MEMORANDUM to the Australian High Commission in Malaysia on the Australia-Malaysia Agreement on the Transfer of Asylum Seekers

MEMORANDUM to the Australian High Commission in Malaysia on the
Australia-Malaysia Agreement on the Transfer of Asylum Seekers

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, wish to express our opposition to the proposed Australia-Malaysia bilateral agreement, in principle, to transfer the next 800 asylum seekers seeking asylum in Australia to Malaysia.

Although the terms of the joint agreement remain vague, we are of the view that the Australian Government is making a mistake in arranging this joint agreement with the Malaysian Government which is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“Refugee Convention”). This proposed exchange is a misguided approach in dealing with a complex issue that will cause serious ramifications as Malaysia has a long record of abuse and mistreatment of people seeking protection.

This arrangement, if implemented, may lead to the violation of the rights of transferred individuals to Malaysia.

Australia has ratified the Refugee Convention and is obliged to promote and protect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. Under the convention, Australia may not transfer any refugee who is lawfully present in its territories. Australia may also not transfer refugees who are not lawfully present its country where the transfer may result in violation of the rights of those transferred refugees. Australia may only transfer refugees and asylum seekers to states where there are procedures for the recognition of their status and rights.

Malaysia has no domestic act to protect the rights and security of refugees and asylum seekers as well as no legal recognition of their status. This creates significant barriers in their livelihood options in accessing their right to work, education and health. Furthermore, asylum seekers and refugees live in constant fear of the authorities, in particular, the police, Immigration authorities and the People’s Volunteer Corps (Ikatan Relawan
Rakyat, RELA). as they are treated as undocumented migrants and subjected to
harsh immigration laws and policies. We question the Australian government’s silence towards Malaysia’s mistreatment of undocumented migrants and refugees while outsourcing its responsibility without seriously taking into consideration the rights, well being and safety of the refugees.

Even though the agreement will see the resettlement of 4,000 refugees from Malaysia to Australia, the agreement falls far from “burden sharing”, as mentioned by the Australian government. Instead, this move is more of a “burden transition” from Australia to Malaysia. The Australian Government should not show a bad example of treatment of asylum seekers and refugees to Malaysia and other states in the region that have not ratified the Refugee Convention.

We emphasise that the Australian Government must first urge the Malaysian
Government to ratify the Refugee Convention before making any agreements with
regards to refugees and asylum seekers.

We, the undersigned organizations, call upon the Australian government to;

Immediately withdraw the asylum agreement. Urge the Malaysian Government to establish domestic legislation to promote and protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers who are already in Malaysia and to ratify the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol.

Respect its international obligations in relation to asylum seekers that enter its
country. These obligations include Australia’s commitments under the Refugee
Convention and a few other international instruments, including International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Increase its humanitarian programme, in particular, to resettle more refugees from Malaysia and the Southeast Asia region to Australia.

Endorsed by:

Health Equity Initiatives (HEI)
Lawyers for Liberty (LFL)
Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI)
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

“Keterlanjuran” pegawai penyiasat SPRM: SUARAM tuntut siasatan polis

“Keterlanjuran” pegawai penyiasat SPRM: SUARAM tuntut siasatan polis

| May 24, 2011 06:55:11 pm

SUARAM menggesa pihak polis mengambil tindakan dan penyiasatan segera dengan kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh salah seorang pegawai penyiasat Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) bernama Ghani yang berbunyi “Bukan saya…Orang saya” dalam satu perjumpaan dengan keluarga Allayarham Ahmad Sarbani pada 28 April 2011 lalu.

Dimaklumkan bahawa pegawai tersebut telah terlepas cakap tentang penglibatan orang lain dari kalangan SPRM (orang saya) dalam kes melibatkan kematian Allayarham Ahmad Sarbani.
Hal ini menimbulkan keraguan mengenai punca sebenar kematian Ahmad Sabrani di Bangunan SPRM di Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur pada 6 April 2011, lalu. Sebagai sebuah badan hak asasi manusia, SUARAM memandang serius terhadap kes kematian tersebut yang berlaku di bangunan pihak SPRM. Sehubungan itu, kami juga ingin menekankan di sini tentang perkembangan siasatan kes tersebut.
Pihak polis telah bertindak tegas dalam siasatan kes video seks membabitkan pemimpin politik dan kes kematian Sosilawati. Justeru, kami juga menuntut pihak polis untuk bertindak tegas dan menyiasat kes kematian Allayarham Ahmad Sarbani. Ini penting bagi keluarga Allayarham yang sehinga hari ini mencari-cari punca sebenar kematian Allayarham dan keadilan untuk keluarga.

Kami menuntut kerajaan menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Diraja untuk menjalankan siasatan kes kematian Allayarham Ahmad Sabrani dan separuh daripada jumlah ahli suruhanjaya perlu dipilih oleh masyarakat sivil. Penubuhan Suruhanjaya Bebas Salahlaku dan Aduan Polis (IPCMC) perlu disegerakan untuk menghentikan segala kes penyalahgunaan kuasa dalam anggota polis dan juga badan-badan penguatkuasa.
Baca: Kematian Ahmad Sarbani: “Keterlanjuran” pegawai penyiasat cungkil keraguan
*Kenyataan media oleh Yap Heng Lung (gambar kanan) selaku penyelaras SUARAM.

Selamatkan MerdekaReview!


作者/本刊记者 May 24, 2011 06:46:35 pm
【本刊记者撰述】昨天《独立新闻在线》揭露,反贪污委员会官员干尼(Ghani)曾向死在反贪委大楼范围的雪州关税局助理总监阿末沙巴尼(Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed)之妻玛芝雅说“不是我……我的人”,马来西亚人民之声促警方即刻调查此言是否另有内情。
【点击:反贪官员:”不是我,我的人” 坠死关税局官员妻子报警促查 】
她在报案书中指出,她在4月杪会见调查其夫命案的反贪委官员干尼(Ghani)时,申诉自己的悲痛心情,未料干尼却脱口说:“不是我……是我的人。(Bukan saya…Orang saya)”。

他说,警方积极调查涉及在野党领袖的情色短片案,以及富商苏茜拉瓦蒂(Sosilawati Lawiya)的命案,为此,他们亦要求警方积极调查沙比尼命案。

4月6日10时15分,现年56岁,疑涉嫌逃税舞弊的雪州关税局助理总监阿末沙巴尼被发现陈尸于吉隆坡反贪委办公楼一楼的羽球场。警方发现死者头部受损,并列为意外死亡案处理。【点击:涉及未缴税款舞弊案 关税主管陈尸反贪委】
4月21日,吉隆坡总警长祖基菲阿都拉(Zulkifli Abdullah)表示,陈尸吉隆坡反贪污委员会总部的雪州关税局助理总监阿末沙巴尼(Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed),是因高处坠下导致头部重创而死。警方的调查专注在突然死亡(Sudden Death Report)角度,没有纳入其他法律条例。【点击:证实沙巴尼头部重创身亡 反贪陈尸案报告呈总检署