KUA KIA SOONG’S LATEST BOOK: ‘MODERATES & EXTREMISTS IN MALAYSIA’

KUA KIA SOONG’S LATEST BOOK:
‘MODERATES & EXTREMISTS IN MALAYSIA’, SUARAM 2016, 180 pages, RM28

 

“Any work by perhaps Malaysia’s most prolific public intellectual is a welcome addition to our very small corpus of contemporary scholarship… Kua Kia Soong has done a remarkable job on many diverse subjects… I have no hesitation in recommending his latest book, and hope that his prolific pen continues to write bravely and frequently.”
– Tommy Thomas, Senior lawyer in the Malaysian Bar

“For more than forty years Kua Kia Soong has been writing – with both wit and wisdom – about what ails Malaysia. His latest collection of essays takes off from the premise that the country is mired in religious and sectarian bigotry, deeply institutionalised racism, ‘national security’ as a cloak for authoritarianism and ravenous corruption. Malaysia needs audacious voices that speak without fear. In asking the right questions, his provocations open up the possibility of another kind of society, standing firmly on the side of rationality, truth, justice, democracy and human rights.”
– Gareth Richards, Gerakbudaya Bookshop, Penang

 

The rise of the far-right and the religious bigots in Malaysia has in turn given rise to a ‘Movement of Moderates’. In the body politic, espousing “moderation” becomes imprecise since it is an example of the kind of language that is also used by the powers-that-be to deal with those who uphold truth, justice and human rights. Malaysian society is fast becoming an Orwellian dystopia in which labels such as “moderates”, “extremists”, “national security”, “national harmony” and other fluffy terms have become relative and imprecise, depending on how they are defined by  the state and the judiciary.

In this collection of provocative essays, Dr Kua Kia Soong analyses the glaring issues as they have arisen in the current Malaysian political sphere. In his characteristic straight-talking and non-partisan approach, he takes to task the ruling Barisan Nasional and the alternative Pakatan Rakyat coalitions on these national and international issues. He calls for far-reaching reforms that recognize all citizens as equal and promote healthy ethnic relations, while dealing effectively with racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance in our society.

Dr Kua Kia Soong is director of the Malaysian human rights organization SUARAM. He was principal of the community-funded New Era College (2000-2008); Opposition MP for Petaling Jaya (1990-95); director of the Malaysian Chinese Research Centre (1985-90); political detainee under the ISA (1987-89); lecturer in Sociology at National University of Singapore (1978-79).

Use of Torture in Malaysia Must Be Investigated and Stopped!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemn the use of all forms of torture by any individuals, organizations and governments. The use of torture clearly contravenes all recognized international human rights principles and international law.

The appalling revelations brought forward by lawyers and SOSMA detainee is deplorable to say the least. In a world where the use of torture is internationally condemned and rejected, the possibility where that Government of Malaysia is unofficially or inadvertently complicit in the use of torture must be investigated and ascertained.

While reports that torture was systematically used against Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) detainees were prevalent, such practices were thought to be a relic of the past with the abolishment of the ISA. The reports submitted by the lawyers and SOSMA detainees makes it clear that the use of torture is not a relic of a past but a tool of the present!

Acknowledging the severe emotional and physical trauma that torture would inflict upon individuals and the implications to the integrity of the criminal justice system of Malaysia, SUARAM calls upon Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) to conduct immediate investigations into the alleged use of torture by the authorities. These revelations also suggest that the existing mechanism for accountability and compliance is insufficient and that the IPCMC is very much needed for accountability and compliance with international standards.

SUARAM demand that the Government of Malaysia establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the use of torture in Malaysia and issue a clear statement condemning the use of torture by any enforcement agencies.

Further, SUARAM believes that the use of torture can only take place in the absence of judicial oversight and transparent investigation procedures. For the use of torture to be put to an end, laws such the Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 (DDA) that gives room for torture to take place must be abolished!

Lastly, SUARAM demand that the Government of Malaysia to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).

Failure to do so would imply that the Government of Malaysia officially condones and uphold the use of torture in Malaysia contrary to its obligations under international human rights and international law!

 

In solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

SERAHAN MEMORANDUM MENUNTUT KEADILAN BAGI KEMATIAN DALAM TAHANAN SYED MOHAMED AZLAN

Setahun yang lepas, SUARAM telah mengeluarkan kenyataan media menggesa pihak polis yang terlibat dalam kematian dalam tahanan Syed Mohamed Azlan agar dibawa ke muka pengadilan.

Jika merujuk kepada artikel MalaysiaKini yang bertajuk “Polis: Kematian Tahanan Mati Mengejut” yang menyatakan bahawa Syed Mohamed Azlan mati secara mengejut adalah satu penipuan besar kepada rakyat Malaysia. Bagaimana mungkin si mati mati secara mengejut apabila pada tubuh badan si mati terdapat 61 kesan kecederaan termasuk luka, lebam dan calar pada tubuh mangsa termasuk muka, badan dan kedua-dua belah kaki.

Setahun yang lepas juga, Ketua Siasatan Jenayah Johor, Datuk Hasnan Hassan membuat penipuan apabila menyatakan bahawa terdapat pergelutan berlaku antara si mati dengan pihak polis semasa tangkapan dilakukan. Bagaimanapun di dalam laporan EAIC, hasil keterangan saksi langsung tidak dinyatakan sebarang pergelutan berlaku.

Sebaliknya, semasa penangkapan berlaku salah seorang saksi yang dikenali sebagai A29 (rujuk laporan EAIC), yang ketika itu berada serumah dengan mangsa, telah diarahkan oleh pihak polis untuk membasuh lantai bilik tempat kejadian. A29 juga telah diarahkan oleh pihak polis supaya menyembunyikan diri selepas kejadian kematian si mati.

Merujuk kepada kenyataan Datuk Hasnan Hassan juga, suspek dikatakan secara tiba-tiba mengalami sesak nafas dan dibawa ke Klinik Kesihatan Bandar Penawar. Sedangkan berdasarkan laporan yang dikemukakan oleh EAIC semasa si mati dalam perjalanan ke IPD Kota Tinggi dari Balai Polis Sungai Rengit, anggota polis yang mengiringi si mati mendapati si mati berada dalam keadaan lemah dan tidak bermaya serta tidak memberi sebarang respon apabila dipanggil.

Seterusnya, Datuk Hasnan cuba untuk mengelirukan laporan bedah siasat dengan memberi kenyataan bahawa bedah siasat dilakukan di Hospital Sultan Ismail tetapi pada yang sama menyatakan kes ini disiasat di bawah laporan mati mengejut tanpa memaklumkan keputusan laporan bedah siasat.

Si mati mati 3 November 2014, manakala kenyataan beliau pada 25 November 2014, sepatutnya dalam tempoh tersebut beliau telahpun mengetahui bahawa si mati mati kerana dipukul pihak polis dan bukannya secara mengejut tetapi beliau tidak mahu mendedahkan perkara yang sebenar.

Tindakan ini menunjukkan pihak polis cuba untuk menutup kesalahan yang telah mereka lakukan. Disebabkan mereka mempunyai kuasa untuk menahan dan membuat siasatan kes kematian dalam tahanan seperti ini, kebarangkalian untuk penipuan atau pemalsuan bukti itu adalah tinggi. Khususnya atas sebab untuk menjaga nama baik institusi polis.

SUARAM menggesa agar pihak polis membuat pembahbaikan seperti mana yang dicadangkan oleh EAIC. Antara yang paling penting adalah jika berlaku kecederaan fizikal pada suspek semasa penangkapan berlaku, maka suspek perlulah dirujuk atau dihantarkan ke Pegawai Perubatan Kerajaan bagi memastikan tahap keseriusan kecederaan serta status kesihatan suspek tersebut.

Dalam kes kematian ke-10 tahun ini iaitu seorang warga Nigeria bernama Ikechukwu Bright Ogundu yang mati pada 23 September 2015 di Balai Polis Mutiara Damansara yang dikatakan telah melakukan serangan kepada seorang wanita di salah satu lif di Apartment Flora Damansara. Dia telah ditahan dan dipukul oleh 20 hingga 30 orang awam sebelum diserahkan kepada pihak polis.

Pegawai polis yang menahan si mati terus membawanya ke balai polis tanpa mendapatkan sebarang rawatan walaupun memang diakui terdapat kecederaan di belah kanan kepala dan calar kaki dan tangan si mati kerana dipukul oleh orang awam. Tidak sampai sejam tiba di Balai Polis Mutiara Damansara si mati tiba-tiba jatuh dan mati.

SUARAM juga melihat saranan EAIC untuk memasukkan peruntukkan anggapan yang akan meletakkan beban bukti ke atas pihak yang mempunyai jagaan dan kawalan ke atas orang tahanan sebagai bertanggungan ke atas kecederaan atau kematian orang tahanan sehingga diakaskan atau dibuktikan sebaliknya sebagai satu cadangan yang praktikal. Ia akan memaksa pihak polis untuk melakukan siasatan agar pihak polis yang terbabit dibawa ke muka pengadilan.

SUARAM menggesa pihak polis untuk membawa pegawai polis yang terlibat ke mahkamah untuk diadili agar pihak yang bertanggungjawab atas kematian ini tidak dibiarkan bebas sewenang-wenangnya. SUARAM akan menghantar memorandum kepada pihak Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman pada esok hari iaitu 4 November 2015 (Rabu) jam 11.00 am.

SUARAM menyeru agar rakyat Malaysia hadir menyatakan sokongan bagi memastikan pihak polis segera mengambil tindakan dan jangan cuba untuk menyembunyikan pegawai yang melakukan kesalahan.

Malaysian Civil Societies and NGOs Joint Press Statement on SOSMA

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JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

Malaysian Civil Society Strongly Condemns the Abuse of SOSMA by PDRM

Malaysian Civil Society strongly condemns the high-handed action of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) in detaining Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan under the Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

Originally presented by the government as a national security and anti-terrorism measure, SOSMA provides for up to 28 days’ of detention without trial. There is no allegation or evidence of Khairuddin having any credible terrorist background. Instead, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has made it clear that Khairuddin was arrested for lodging reports with investigators in Hong Kong, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom over the financial scandal involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Adding to the abuse of power is the fact that Khairuddin was arrested immediately when he was released by the court after six days’ remand following arrest on Friday 18 September under section 124C of the Penal Code for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”. His re-arrest under SOSMA was under sections 124K and 124L of the Penal Code, which deal with sabotage and attempting to sabotage the state. If found guilty under 124K he faces life imprisonment.

This pattern of arrest and re-arrest following attempts in seeking justice and information on 1MDB through other jurisdictions clearly signals persecution by the state.

Detention without trial is highly repulsive to all democratic nations, the detention of political dissenters under such repressive legislation further highlights SOSMA’s unbridled scope for abuse under its draconian measures.

Clamp down on whistle-blowers

The detention of Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan under SOSMA has undermined whatever progress Malaysia has made from the dark days of Operasi Lalang. The conduct of the Royal Malaysian Police can be seen as a pathetic attempt to answer the call of its political masters in the current turmoil. The failure to obtain the court’s permission in extension of the remand and the failure to produce any legitimate charge despite the time available for the police should have been a sufficient notice for the police to cease and desist from their harassment against Khairuddin. The decision to re-arrest Khairuddin under SOSMA immediately after the court decision to deny the extension of Khairuddin’s remand shows the true colours of the Royal Malaysian Police. The deplorable course of action shows callous disregard for the rule of law and the role played by the judiciary in the Malaysian legal system.

Corruption by any governmental body is a grave threat against the economic stability of any nation state. Further, in an environment rife with corruption, rule of law that serves as the cornerstone for any democratic nation cannot be practiced. To ensure the continuity and survival of Malaysia as a democratic state, those who have committed act of corruption must not be left unscathed. Allowing those who have conducted themselves in a corrupt manner only allows them to act with impunity and emboldens them to further destabilize and damage the beautiful country that our forefathers have built.

Can PDRM be impartial?

If we account for the gravity of the allegations made in relation to the 1MDB scandal and the great sum in question (RM 2.6billon and rising), it does not take a savant to understand that transparent and impartial investigation by all agencies involved is paramount in ensuring that the truth would prevail and justice would be served. With this in mind, the Malaysian Civil Society seek to remind PDRM of their duties and suggest that they conduct themselves in an impartial and respectable manner and provide adequate assistance to facilitate the investigation. As fellow Malaysians, the PDRM owe themselves and the country a moral and legal duty to act in an impartial manner. The potential economic damage of the alleged corruption revolving around 1MDB is not something that can be brushed off with a wave of a hand and the detention of individuals. Any attempt to further subjugate investigation would only come back to haunt Malaysians today and our future generations. As fellow Malaysians, members of the PDRM would not be safe from the repercussion and fallout from a failed investigation into the 1MDB scandal.

PDRM must be acutely aware of the role that they play and the power they hold in such times. PDRM should strive to be the independent and impartial police force that Malaysia desperately need and cease to be a political tool of those who walk the corridors of power. The decision to detain Khairuddin under SOSMA as part of this ongoing 1MDB scandal shows the world the desperation by those who walk to corridors of power today. PDRM should not debase themselves and serve as tools of such despicable acts.

Political Arrest

To the Government of Malaysia, it is clear that the promises made when SOSMA was first tabled in parliament were nothing but false promises to the people of Malaysia. The Government of Malaysia have clearly reneged on their promises and turned SOSMA into the vengeful spectre of ISA. Detention without trial on its own is repulsive enough that any individual that value freedom in a democratic nation cannot in good conscience be agreeable to legislations that grants such power to enforcement agencies and the government. The application of such measures against political dissenter marks the danger of SOSMA in modern Malaysia and cannot be anything less than a first step back to the dark ages of ISA. The chilling experience and lesson from the dark days of Operasi Lalang should have been a sufficient lesson for all. Lest concrete actions are taken, Malaysia would undoubtedly sink back to the dark days of ISA.

The act of Khairuddin as a whistle-blower does not make him a threat to Parliamentary democracy of Malaysia. If anything at all, his action should be taken as a concern for the

state of affairs in Malaysia and plea for international intervention into a corrupted and failing system. The acts of intimidation through detention under SOSMA would not preserve the national sovereignty of Malaysia. Such acts would only act as a deterrent to potential whistle-blowers that seek to inform Malaysians of the wrongdoing of others. The act of penalizing the messenger and not the wrongdoer cannot be the Malaysian way of tackling wrong-doing in Malaysia. With this in mind, we call for the Government of Malaysia to enact adequate protection of whistle-blowers and cease its detention and harassments against whistle-blowers.

Legal and moral duty of the government

On this note, we, the Civil Society Organisations of Malaysia would like to remind the government of the Right to Liberty of Person guaranteed under the Article 5 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Right to Freedom of Expression provided for under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. These are rights that are paramount to the continuity of the democratic practices valued by all Malaysians. Any actions to subjugate these values and rights would by default be the true threat against Parliamentary democracy. Irrespective of the prevailing threats by various quarters, the rights paramount to the practice of democracy in Malaysia must never be subject to undue control. The Government of Malaysia would do well to remember the freedoms provided for and guaranteed by Federal Constitution of Malaysia must not be denied to Malaysians with such callousness and apathy.

May we also remind the Government of Malaysia of the obligation of Malaysia as part of the international community. As a member state of the United Nation and a representative in United Nation Security Council, the Government of Malaysia have the legal and moral duty to adhere to the human rights values espoused by international norms and the human rights conventions that they have signed. Further as a member of the United Nation Security Council, Malaysia must conduct itself in a manner that would make Malaysia an exemplary model for human rights for the rest of the world. This can only be achieved if the Government of Malaysia conduct itself in a respectable manner that would not put the nation to shame.

As a society of conscience, we Civil Society Organisations of Malaysia beseech our fellow citizens of Malaysia from all walks of life to unite against these irresponsible and reprehensible actions by governmental agencies. In these trying times, Malaysians must stand in solidarity against these actions that threaten to undo the effort of our forefathers and destroy all that we love and cherish. Malaysian Civil Society must take up the mantle of leadership in such times and show our dissent against such vile and deplorable actions by governmental agencies. Like the anti-Nazi movement at the height of the third Reich, the citizens of Malaysia have a similar duty to show the world that not all Malaysians are content with the present state of affairs and that we will not permit such acts of impunity against the rule of law and personal freedom.

Endorsed by:

Akademi Belia

ALIRAN

All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)

Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)

BERSIH 2.0

Persatuan Kesedaran Kommuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)

ENGAGE

Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (PRIMA)

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia

Gerakan Hapuskan Akta Hasutan (GHAH)

Institute Rakyat

Islamic Renaissance Front

Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)

Kajian Politik untuk Perubuhan (KPRU)

KL Tak Nak Insinerator (KTI)

Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)

Malaysians Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA)

Malaysian Physicians For Social Responsibility

Malaysian Youth Care Association (PRIHATIN)

National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)

Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)

NGO: SHIELD

Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)

Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)

Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)

PROHAM

Project Dialog

Pusat KOMAS

Sahabat Rakyat 人民之友

Saccess

SAVE Rivers

Sisters in Islam (SIS)

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy

The Malaysian Youth and Students’ Democratic Movement (DEMA)

The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Foundry & Engineering Industries Association (SFEIA)

Tindak Malaysia

University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY)

SUARAM’s Latest Publication “Race and Racial Discrimination in Malaysia: A Historical and Class Perspective” by Dr Kua Kia Soong

Racism & Discrimination in Malaysia: A Historical and Class Perspective
Price: RM40
Email us as [email protected]

 

At last! The elephant in the room is not only acknowledged but caringly examined from trunk to tail by Malaysian social scientist Kua Kia Soong.

This is the first in-depth expose of racism & racial discrimination in Malaysia, written from a historical and class perspective. It forces the nation to confront once and for all the ‘Bumiputera agenda’ which has been implemented with impunity since the New Economic Policy in 1971. These discriminatory policies fail to meet the standards of international conventions and continue to stymie Malaysia’s goal of achieving high-income status by 2020.

bookcover

This book is about the politics of race and class in Malaysia, highlighting the structural conditions that enable the crude manipulation of race to serve the economic interests of the ruling elite. The chapters on the Emergency contain declassified documents from the British Public Records Office, which were made available after the 30-year secrecy rule was lifted. The author offers alternatives that are needs based and thus race-free by doing away with such discriminatory policies, rent-seeking activities and patronage politics.

CONTENTS

Foreword by Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy, Former UN Special Rapporteur

INTRODUCTION: RACISM & RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

  • The politics of race & class
  • Legacy of British divide-and-rule strategy
  • Authoritarian populism of the Malaysian state
  • Racist threats during UMNO power struggles
  • Racism outsourced to Malay supremacist groups
  • The ‘Bumiputera/Immigrant’ conceptual trick
  • Do Malays have special “rights”?
  • The Umno elite and their statistical charade
  • Malaysia’s crony capitalism
  • Institutional obstacles to attaining high-income status
  • Affirmative action based on need not race
  • Non-discriminatory basis of the federal constitution
  • The world community outlaws racism & racial discrimination

Chapter 1: PRE-COLONIAL MALAY SOCIETY

  • Who was here first?
  • Malay feudal mode of production
  • Contradictions in traditional Malay society
  • European mercantilism

Chapter 2: BRITISH COLONIAL DIVIDE-AND-RULE

  • From mercantilism to imperialism
  • Malay resistance to British intervention
  • Colonial backing of the Malay ruling class
  • Promoting the ‘special position of the Malays’
  • Malay Reservations Enactment
  • Discrimination against rubber smallholders
  • Growth of the working class
  • Radicalization of the working class
  • Non-Malay commercial class
  • Specific communalist colonial policies

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Chapter 3: NON-RACIAL ANTI-COLONIAL MOVEMENT

  • Making of the Malayan workers’ movement
  • The radical Malay intelligentsia
  • Japanese Occupation: Brutal communalism
  • Post-war workers’ struggles
  • The Malayan Union and the politics of communalism
  • The Federation of Malaya proposals
  • The Peoples’ Constitutional Proposals
  • Prelude to the revolt: Reaction

Chapter 4: EMERGENCY & THE ‘RACIAL’ FORMULA

  • Imperialist stake in Malaya
  • The ‘Emergency’: 1948-60
  • Communalist tactics against the guerrillas
  • Crafting the ‘Alliance Formula’
  • Civil rights compromised
  • Dato Onn’s communalist politics
  • MERDEKA: The communal formula enshrined

Chapter 5: UMNO’S RURAL COMMUNALIST STRATEGY

  • The neo-colonial economy
  • The peasantry
  • Peasant differentiation
  • The state’s rural communalist strategy
  • State intervention in the rural sector

Chapter 6: MALAYSIA: LARGER COMMUNAL EQUATION

  • The neo-colonial solution in Singapore
  • Sarawak and Sabah in the racial equation
  • The bigger communalist pond
  • Struggle within the Malay ruling class
  • May 13: Coup against the Tunku

Chapter 7: NEP – INSTITUTIONAL RACISM

  • BN: Larger communal formula
  • Racial discrimination institutionalized
  • The 1974 general election
  • New Economic Policy
  • Dominance of metropolitan capital
  • From import-substitution to export-orientation
  • Workers’ struggles since Independence

Chapter 8: THE STATE & SOCIAL CLASSES IN THE SEVENTIES

  • Contradictions within the ruling coalition
  • Accommodating the non-Malay capitalists
  • Growth of the Malay middle class
  • The working class
  • Conflict with metropolitan capitalists
  • Super-exploitation of workers and women
  • State repression and communalism

Chapter 9: MAHATHIR & THE CREATION OF PRIVATE MALAY CAPITAL

  • Mahathir’s authoritarian populism
  • Sensational financial scandals
  • Privatisation and the new Malay capitalists
  • Favoured Bumiputera capitalists
  • Favoured non-Bumiputera capitalists
  • Petronas – the cash cow
  • A racist legacy
  • Restructuring of the Malaysian working class
  • Islamic populism

Chapter 10: RACISM & RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN MALAYSIA TODAY

  • Back to crony capitalism
  • UMNO outsources racism to the far-right
  • Post-GE13: Bumiputera policies with a vengeance
  • Heightened Islamic populism
  • Institutional racism
  • Racist indoctrination in state institutions
  • Racism against ethnic Indians
  • Racism against indigenous peoples
  • The state, ruling class and communalism
  • Class differentiation in Malaysia today
  • State repression and communalism

CONCLUSION: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BASED ON NEED NOT RACE

  • The struggle for greater democracy

APPENDIX: THE WAY FORWARD

  • Outlaw racism, racial discrimination & hate crimes
  • Never too late for truth & justice
  • Non-racial alternatives to national development