Ex-IGP Khalid suggests pastor’s captors learnt from ‘movies’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The well-executed abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh may have been inspired by “movies”, said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar today.

Testifying before the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) about Koh and other missing activists, the former inspector-general of police was asked about the video of the incident.

“Can see in the movies every day. Can learn from the movies,” he was quoted as saying by The Star Online.

When asked if the incident appeared to be a professional operation, Khalid said it was possible.

Koh was abducted in broad daylight on a public road in Petaling Jaya on February 13 by a group of masked people, with his kidnapping captured by surveillance cameras. Read more

Washing dirty linen – an unqualified right?– Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

(Deputy President, HAKAM)

AS has become vogue of late in Malaysia, a simple event can become ugly and hotly contested. As in the case of a lone “Muslim-only” launderette in my home town of Muar.

Former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad (and my former university mate) wrote in the official PAS publication that Muslim-only launderettes should be permitted. He knew of no law in Malaysia that says it is illegal to operate them. He fortified his contention thus:

“A launderette owner is an individual and not a government entity, and Article 8 of the Federal Constitution on equality cannot apply to an individual. It only applies to the government … as a private businessman, a launderette owner had the freedom to choose who he wanted to do business with.

“All businesses want to earn profits. If the owner thinks that his business would do better by targeting Muslims, he should be free to do so … “

Well and good. But, with respect, this is way off the point. The sting lies in the justification for the move. It is not really about equality under the constitution. The sign at the launderette said it was closed off to non-Muslims on the ground of “kesucian” – meaning purity. So, first, it is based on religion. Second, it implies that non-Muslims are impure. Read more

Former Ops Lalang child activist says nothing has changed

Source: FMT News

Pic from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty years ago, while other children were learning nursery rhymes in kindergartens, Tania Fernandez was becoming familiar with phrases like “detention without trial”.

The daughter of late human rights activist Irene Fernandez, recalled how she was only six years old when she became part of a group that supported families of those detained in Operasi Lalang, launched on Oct 27, 1987.

She said she remembered a warm atmosphere among the people who considered each other as family when she went along with her mother to the gatherings.

“One song that stuck with me and still means a lot to me today is ‘We Shall Overcome’,” she said at an event organised by Suaram to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Operasi Lalang at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here today.

Tania said she found it unfortunate that the state of human rights and civil liberties in Malaysia is as dire today as it was back then. Read more

77 NGOs demand apology from Dr M over Ops Lalang

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: A group of 77 NGOs are demanding an apology from former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the arrests of 106 people and the closure of three newspapers during Operasi Lalang 30 years ago.

“We demand a public apology and a sincere expression of remorse from Dr Mahathir for depriving so many innocent Malaysians of their freedom and the torture they went through during Operasi Lalang,” it said in a statement on Saturday.

The group added that Dr Mahathir must apologise for the “assault” on the Malaysian judiciary in 1988, which saw the removal of former lord president Tun Salleh Abas and other Supreme Court judges.

“Dr Mahathir owes an apology not only to all the victims of Operasi Lalang, but also to the former Lord President and the Supreme Court judges that he sacked in 1988,” it said.
Read more

Ops Lalang: Absolving Dr M is like absolving Hitler, says Kua

Source: FMT News

Pic from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong has condemned the actions of some Pakatan Harapan politicians in absolving former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad from any blame for Operasi Lalang, which took place in 1987.

He said their willingness to forget who was behind the arrests of more than 100 Malaysians under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) in October 27 that year, was akin to absolving Adolph Hitler for being the reason why World War 2 started.

“It’s like saying Hitler had nothing to do with it and that it was because of fascism and therefore, Hitler does not need to apologise,” he said in a speech at the start of an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of Ops Lalang, held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here today.

Mahathir, who is now Pakatan Harapan chairman, has been insistent Ops Lalang was a police decision and that although he was home minister at the time, he had no say in the matter. Read more

Spirit of ISA still alive in Malaysia, says DAP MP

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Thirty years after Operasi Lalang, the spirit of the Internal Security Act (ISA) is still alive in the country through the passing and enforcement of preventive laws, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto said today.

She said despite Prime Minister Najib Razak’s move to abolish the ISA, many laws had been amended and introduced under his administration which restricted freedoms enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

She also slammed Najib’s recent comments that certain quarters were creating false impressions that Malaysia was in danger of sliding into a dictatorship.

“The prime minister lacks enlightenment as legislations that are dictatorial in nature are a reflection of a dictatorial government led by dictatorial leadership. Nothing more and nothing less,” she said in a statement commemorating the 30th anniversary of Operasi Lalang. Read more

Tian Chua released from jail

Source: FMT News

Pic from FMT News

KAJANG: Batu MP Tian Chua was released from jail today after serving a month in the Kajang prison.

Tian Chua said he was awoken by the wardens at 5am and let out of prison by 7am.

Speaking to a crowd of about 150 who were awaiting his release, he said he was happy to be out after a month of “resting”.

“They probably saw the crowd here and rushed to                                                                                               let me out,” he added. Read more

The day the Malaysian press was muzzled

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The Star’s front page on October 28, 1987, the second day of Ops Lalang. – The Malaysian Insight pic

ON October 28, 1987, on the second day of Operasi Lalang, three media organisations – The Star, Sin Chew Chit Poh and Watan – were muzzled.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, then chairman of The Star, said the country was “on the road to dictatorship”.

The mass arrest of politicians and activists the previous day was not unexpected, but when the newspapers, one of them Watan, minuscule in its circulation, were shut down, everyone was shocked.

“Nobody had the slightest idea,” said K. Nada, managing editor of The Star at the time, when recalling the day he received a letter stating that the paper was shut down. Read more

How passion against injustice led a Catholic brother to Kamunting

Source: The Malaysian Insight


Anthony Rogers is now brother director at St Xavier’s Institution in George Town, Penang. He read the Bible cover to cover during his eight months in Kamunting in the late 1980s. – The Malaysian Insight pic

October 27 marks the 30th anniversary of  Operasi Lalang, where 106 people were detained without trial and the publishing licences of three newspapers were revoked. The episode remains a grim reminder of what can happen in the absence of check and balances, a deep scar in the Malaysian psyche. To mark this day, The Malaysian Insight speaks to those involved in the dragnet – the victims and their families, detention centre wardens and police.

WHAT does not break you, only makes you stronger.

He was not a prominent politician. He was not a champion of vernacular education. He did not make a living driving the wedge between Malaysians with fire-and-brimstone speeches yet this La Salle Brother was among the 106 individuals detained under Operasi Lalang.

What were Brother Anthony Rogers’ offences? Developing social programmes, providing aid to the poor and raising awareness on social and economic injustices.

The passage of time does not make his detention for being a threat to national security any less ridiculous but Rogers ‎is not a bitter nor defeated man.

He said that his detention gave him the opportunity to strike friendships with people of different faith. He also found solace in the Bible, which he read from cover to cover many times.  Read more

The Constitution and the private sector — Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online


Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

The view that the protection of the Constitution is restricted to the public sector is based on a bygone political ideology.

SOMETIMES trivial issues ignite tremendous debates.

If a laundromat owner running a public utility business that is licensed by a local authority excludes non-Muslim clients, is his discriminatory conduct counter to the uplifting message of our Constitution that “all persons are equal before the law”?

Is his conduct a violation of the provision that “except as expressly authorised … there shall be no discrimination … on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender…”?

Opinions are deeply divided.

Read more