Thursday, June 18, 2009


For the benefit of those of you who don't subscribe to Malaysiakini, I'm reproducing an excellent article by featured columnist Helen Ang whose lucid and no-nonsense analysis of Umno/BN's doublethink and double standards hits the nail soundly on the head. I particularly liked how Ms Ang chooses to call the home minister "the Umno minister in charge of police" - because that perfectly describes what's going on with all these counterproductive arrests of patriotic political dissidents for wearing black and lighting candles - while demented sadists in uniform (who apparently get high on torturing and beating to death helpless prisoners in their custody) continue getting paid their salaries out of the public purse. Bravo, Helen!

No room for double standards
Helen Ang | Jun 18, 09 11:35am

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was surprisingly low key in his first days on the job. Then on June 5, Hishammuddin finally obliged fans with his inimitable doublespeak.

On the Manohara Odelia Pinot case, the Umno minister in charge of police said: “Saya rasa tidak perlu ada cover-up langsung tetapi dalam kita membuat siasatan jangan ada penganiayaan, jangan ada perbezaan oleh kerana seseorang itu berada dalam kedudukan yang tertentu mendapat layanan, bukan layanan secara positif, layanan yang negatif, dan itu tidak adil.”

Hishammuddin assures us that police would not treat someone who is in a certain [high] position any differently. However he then proceeds to insinuate that he fears Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra's status as Kelantan royalty would prejudice rather than advantage the prince in police investigation.

It is Orwellian reverse psychology to imply that Fakhry, due to his family's powerful and protected position, could possibly be victimised and treated less fairly than the average Joe. Since when has any major royal who's had a brush with Malaysian law come off the worse for it?

What we've had over the last month is only Polis Di-Raja Malaysia dancing poco-poco around the prince's runaway wife and her accusations of statutory rape, marital rape, kidnap and torture.

16-year-old bride Manohara Odelia Pinot and her Kelantanese prince Tengku Fakhry Petra

Recalling in chilling detail how the estranged husband supposedly inflicted the wounds on her chest, Manohara claims in Jakarta Globe – “[Fakhry] just took his time, slowly. He looked as calm as ever. It's like if you gave someone a paintbrush and told him to draw a flower”.

I'm inclined to believe Manohara's story as there is a ring of truth to her description, such as how she didn't tell her ambitious mother about the alleged rape (behaviour congruent with confused and conflicted teen), and how she was more frightened by the helpless condition due to the temporary drug-induced paralysis than by the sight of a razor slicing her (a rather astute psychological insight for a young person to be credited with).

Nonetheless, there are sceptics who fault Manohara for making too many public appearances since her escape and posing too prettily for the cameras.

But I for one can understand why she felt the need to recount her ordeal in numerous meetings with the press. It's the battle to win public opinion when one is a foreigner in Malaysia up against a privileged institution the local populace is well-trained not to criticise.

Kelantan deputy police chief Amir Hamzah Ibrahim had warned that blogs considered to have defamed the Kelantan monarchy are being investigated under the Penal Code. It would be hard to blame Malaysians if they see the police as protecting particular persons while at the same time intimidating the ordinary citizen.

Hence it's lucky for her that Manohara is Indonesian and has an American biological father as well as a French stepfather, and commands sympathetic international media attention. Abuse victims in Malaysia who are less glamorous do not attract the same interest, especially if they're poor Indian males.

Police lock-up a dangerous place

Indians are the ethnic group in absolute numbers most numerously held under police remand. For them, contact with police is more deadly than swine flu contagion. Men die in police custody and show signs of abuse on their bodies. After death, they are abused some more by the authorities and mainstream media with unproven aspersions cast on their character.

This is how The Star on Tuesday reported the death of 53-year-old A Gnanapragasam. Its headline blared: 'Suspected thief died in lock-up due to infection.' Does the deceased being portrayed as a suspected criminal mitigate the human loss occasioned by his death? Gnanapragasam leaves behind a widow and eight children.

Another individual who died in police custody, A. Kugan was labelled 'suspected car thief.' Neither man had even been brought to court to face charges. Other Indians shot dead by police or who died in the lock-up were 'suspected armed robbers,' 'suspected rapists,' 'suspected gangsters,' etc. Not to forget, the Hindraf 5 lawyers, say Polis Di-Raja Malaysia, were suspected to have links with terrorists.

But rest assured we would never hear police top brass speculating that Tengku Fakhry is a 'suspected wife abuser.'

Contrary to Hishammuddin's disingenuous assertion on the fairness of police conduct, it's evident that the police do not apply the same standards to the under-privileged as compared to the privileged. Nothing has come out of the investigation into the death of Uthaya Chandran who turned 23 in Sungai Buloh prison last April and who was found dead on his birthday.

If they belong to the lower socio-economic order, then Indians be they young or old have a greater chance than the average person of suffering police abuse. Last August, police picked up N. Logeswaran, 10, from his school for suspected theft. Parti Sosialis Malaysia deputy chairman M. Sarasvathy, who took up his case, said police slapped Logeswaran on his face and tried to choke him.

“They even tried to melt some plastic on the boy’s private parts and it got his leg,” said Sarasvathy in Perak.

How can we trust police?

Recently in Taman Tennamaram, Selangor, 58-year-old grandma P. Thanggama was hauled from her home by a police raiding party at one o'clock in the morning. She was detained overnight at the police station to have her statement recorded for police investigation into gangsterism.

On June 9, The Malay Mail carried an article with the headline 'You can still trust the police, says Selangor top cop' which quoted state police chief Khalid Abu Bakar (right) saying, “The people should understand that my men have a job to do and they do it fairly. They must understand there was also a police report lodged against the grandmother for rioting and that was why she was picked up.”

A 'suspected rioter' granny now, eh? Selangor CPO Khalid, like Malaysian politicians, says the darndest things.

In the Gnanapragasam case, national news agency Bernama and the Malay papers Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian reported deputy inspector-general of police Ismail Omar relating how the deceased was a hardcore drug addict.

The police are trigger-happy in firing their slurs at Indians but otherwise show commendable restraint in refraining from adverse comments on the Kelantan prince.

Assurances from Hishammuddin, Khalid and other bigwigs about police acting fairly will not allay public distrust of the police.

The police station is the last place members of the public would want to be kept, however briefly. Kugan spent five days with police and was taken out in a body bag. Gnanapragasam was with police four days and died under their watch.

Gnanapragasam's wife saw that her husband had bruised eyes when he was brought before the magistrate two days before his death. He had also complained to the magistrate on beating and torture by police. But Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohammed said the autopsy did not trace any bruises or injuries on the body, and appealed to the public not to believe rumours.

Deputy IGP Ismail, commenting on Gnanapragasam's sudden death, said according to police procedure, a magistrate and a doctor would be brought over to look at or examine the body before it was removed.

That's a bit too late, don't you think?

HELEN ANG is a Malaysiakini columnist. She was arrested for dressing in black on 7 May 2009 near the Perak state assembly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Tune in on a luminously intelligent and liberating conversation with an entirely brilliant (and indestructible) messenger of freedom!

David Icke is one of the most visible, outspoken and controversial speakers and writers about the Illuminati and the New World Order control agenda.

We've been in touch with David since November 2006, when Project Camelot was relatively young. We had an interview arranged then, but David had to cancel due to an emergency; and several later attempts to reschedule it all met with logistical problems. Finally - over two years later! - we caught up with him in Sedona, and were able to sit down for a long conversation with him about his life and his work.

This is not an interview specifically about the information he's researched and presents so lucidly in his famous long presentations, and in his many books - all of which are packed with references, anecdotes and encyclopedic detail. It's more about the man behind his mission; what makes him tick, and what keeps him going; the source of his inner resolve; and, notably - anyone who mistakes David for a doomsayer, take note - his vision for Planet Earth: "The idea that this might not all have a successful outcome", he told us, "Never occurs to me."

David's unflinching and remarkable commitment to his cause has made life far easier for many who have come after him - including ourselves. We owe him our own vote of thanks, and in this two hour FutureTalk we pay tribute to his life's work, and to the man who is still standing after all these years, still marching on that road less traveled, determined to present what he suspects is the truth, whatever it is.

Bill Ryan & Kerry Cassidy

[Kindly brought to my attention by Heiko Niedermeyer]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009





*Technically, today is Najis Toon Rosak's 74th day as Crime Minister.
77 days if he started work on April 1st - which makes his ascent to power the
most tasteless April Fool's Joke ever played on Malaysia.


This is approximately how the situation appeared
right up till 8 March 2008...


Since 3 April 2009 the situation has most certainly deteriorated.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Worst-Run Telco in the Known Universe!

Every time there's a problem with my phone line or Streamyx connection, I find myself sucked into the Twilight Zone. That's what dealing with Telekom Malaysia feels like.

Kafkaesque is the word that immediately springs to mind whenever I have had any dealings with this dinosaur-like organization which is undoubtedly a top contender for Worst-Run Telephone Company in the Known Universe. On Thursday afternoon my Streamyx connection went down and now, more than 72 hours later and half-a-dozen time-wasting, blood-pressure-raising calls to the human robots at TM Customer Support, it mysteriously remains down. I've been forced to post this using my Jaring dial-up account.

Why should this be so? In the first place telecommunications is no longer a luxury - it's an essential part of our everyday lives - and therefore ought to be ranked together with public utilities like water and power supply as basic infrastructure necessary to the normal functioning of a nation. None of these vital services should ever be placed in the hands of uncrupulous profit-driven businessmen.

Instead the government would do well to declare water, power, telecommunications, education, housing, medical care and food production as essential community services that are every citizen's birthright. In effect, they must be managed as bona fide public services, not as opportunities for Umno cronies to make a huge killing. As things stand, the mounting anger and frustration the public feels towards Umno/BN is being projected against damnable monopolies like TM and TNB - and rightly so, as these monolithic (and embarrassingly monoethnic) organizations wouldn't survive 6 months without Umno protection.

Tenders for the operation and maintenance of these essential services can be opened up to private enterprise at a stipulated management fee paid for out of the public purse. The contract must be renewed every year and if the company is found to be underperforming and there are too many complaints, it will lose the contract. Quality control has to be absolutely stringent.

Management objectives have to be focused on delivering optimal service at minimal operational cost, without incurring financial loss. Profitability will not be a motivating factor as it is counterproductive and myopic to turn essential services into profit-driven enterprises.

Instead, those who wish to be in profit-driven businesses ought to become producers of wealth in the form of intellectual property and creative assets. In other words, the production of original artefacts - whether in the form of music, movies, artwork, software, or new inventions - will be the only legitimate means of earning unlimited profits and general applause.

Extracting unlimited profit from essential services invariably leads to massive inefficiency and results in our being forced to suffer substandard services, generation after generation. These are the unmistakable hallmarks of retarded economies - notwithstanding the grandiloquent architectural display of the purely superficial trappings of "success."

This is something I would like the new Pakatan Rakyat government to study in depth even before it takes over the reins of power from Umno/BN. Gigantic monopolies which began during the Mahathir era (like TNB, TM and Syabas) created through crony capitalism and unwholesome privatization must be dismantled and the field opened to new players with the wherewithal to deliver on promises.