Saturday, September 19, 2009


Uploaded 13 July 2009

Baxter mixes live virus with vaccine

Journalist Files Charges against WHO and UN for Bioterrorism and Intent to Commit Mass Murder


Political one-upmanship is mentally & environmentally ruinous!

Update on the Road to Nowhere in Pertak Village (from


By Mary Maguire

Even though district councilor Chua Yee Ling and some Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor enforcement officers ordered the road project stopped two days ago, Mr. Tan's workers were still going flat out today. I’m glad they didn’t just walk off the site. At least they’ve put down several layers of stone chips, otherwise the whole place would be awash with mud as it’s been raining a lot this week.

Some people may think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill about the illegal road in Kg. Pertak, but the reason I am making a fuss about it is because the road is being constructed with no regard for the environment. I’m not opposed to the road per se, in fact as far as I’m concerned, it’s Orang Asli land so it’s their decision and if someone wants to build them a road I say, why not? so long as you do it properly.

The problem of course is that it’s turned into a game of political one-upmanship with the Selangor state government left in the unenviable position of having to put a halt to the project (because strictly speaking it’s illegal) and at the same time alienate the Orang Asli big time. After all, who do you think they’ll vote for at the next election, the ones who offered them the road or the ones who stopped it?


Friday, September 18, 2009

A Heartfelt Tribute to Teoh Beng Hock

Beng Hock looked serious at times but was a cheerful, optimistic young man.

18 Sep 09 : 8.00AM | The Nut Graph

Text & Photos by Teo Nie Ching

THERE are some people whom we have known for a long time yet it feels like we only met them yesterday. And then there are some people that we only just met, yet it feels like we have known them for a long time. My friendship with Teoh Beng Hock fell into the second category.

I got to know Beng Hock during the March 2008 general election. To be honest, the first impression he gave me was that he was rather cool and unfriendly. But that impression was soon overtaken by his support and convictions.

I was still a newbie in politics then despite being a DAP candidate for the Serdang parliamentary seat. At that time, I was unfamiliar with the problems Kajang and Serdang residents faced. Beng Hock, who was an experienced reporter, immediately recognised my problem. He pulled me aside during one ceramah and gave me a run down on every problem in my constituency, as quickly as he could during the time we had. It was then that I realised that the tall and thin reporter may have looked unfriendly, but the flame for justice burned bright and deep in him.

A lighthearted moment with his DAP colleagues.

Hard work, low salary

When I met Beng Hock again after the general election, he had already become political secretary to Ean Yong Hian Wah, the Seri Kembangan assemblyperson from the DAP. We would meet up often after that.

We always discussed political and constituency-related issues. Sometimes, we could quickly think up of solutions for these issues but at other times, we were unable to because of various limitations. Then Beng Hock would tell me, "Nie Ching, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) must take over the federal government. State government's power is too limited. Only with the federal government power in hand can we come up with radical changes."

A political assistant's work is normally tiring. These assistants usually have long working hours, including during the weekends. When we were organising an event or activity, Beng Hock regularly had to work overtime until 3am or 4am at the service centre.

But despite these long hours, an assistant's salary is not high. We used to ask him all the time when he would marry his girlfriend. His joking rejoinder would always be: "First, you tell my boss to raise my salary. The salary working for the state government is so low, how to get married?"

Teoh Beng Hock and Teo Nie Ching: one for the album


Despite the low salary, and his family's protest and their advice to him to change profession, he remained steadfast and chose to stay on with the DAP. Part of this, I know, was because as a journalist, he witnessed many injustices and unreasonable incidents which caused him much anger.

In fact, he chose to join the DAP and to become Hian Wah's assistant because of the frustrations he faced as a journalist such as the limitations on the freedom of information. He used to tell me that his biggest ambition as a political aide was to cleanse Serdang of the Barisan Nasional's influence and make it a safe seat for the DAP, placed under the PR's governance. It was that vision that made him willing to endure the long hours to continue serving the people.

This was who Beng Hock was — a responsible young man full of ambitions.

[Read the whole story here.]

Teo Nie Ching is the DAP Member of Parliament for Serdang. A part of this essay, which has been translated into English, first appeared in China Press online.

Words of Wisdom for the Festive Season

"Civilizations, like the penis, rise and fall, and when the towers and the battlements crumble into the earth, they return to the embrace of the Great Mother." ~ William Irwin Thompson

"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." - Will Rogers

"I remain one thing and one thing only - and that is a CLOWN. It places me on a far higher plane than any POLITICIAN." ~ Charles Chaplin


IN A HELL OF A FRIGHT." ~ Joyce Cary

I don't agree, Joyce. I believe the only acceptable government is SELF-GOVERNMENT. But for that to happen, the entire population must first derobotize itself. That will take a bit of time. As a stopgap measure, a less arrogant, more approachable and democratic Pakatan Rakyat government led by Anwar Ibrahim or Wan Azizah will serve us nicely! :-) ~ Antares

[From The Things They Say About Politicians, compiled by K. Das; illustrated by Antares, 1987]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

RPK SPEAKS HIS MIND (Part 2): "Insulting Islam? Please!"

The nation owes this heroic man a huge debt of gratitude for always speaking his mind, regardless of the political consequences. RPK has gone into self-exile to escape the slimy clutches of an evil regime hellbent on maintaining its deathgrip on the soul of a nation via "Rule By Law" instead of "Rule Of Law." He can only return when Umno/BN have been deposed. May that day come swiftly. So be it.

ZAIDGEIST: A New Malaysian Politics

Zaid, thanks for making a wise decision!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


16 September 2009

As Malaysia commemorates its 46th anniversary, 15 indigenous Sarawakians have been detained by Kuching police at 2:45pm today for trying to send a memorandum of protest to the Sarawak Chief Minister. Among those arrested are Mark Bujang (BRIMAS), Raymond Abin (BRIMAS) and Hellan Empaing (WADESA), all leaders of the Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (Indigenous People's Network of Malaysia) as well as representatives from the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan communities of Sarawak.

The contingent, consisting of 6 Penan, 4 Iban, 2 Kayan and 3 Kenyah are all representatives of communities who will be affected by two major dams which are being built in their areas. They had prepared a memorandum on the issue and were delivering it to Wisma Bapa Malaysia, the office of the Chief Minister. While waiting for endorsement of the document, they were arrested by local police. They are currently being held in the Kampung Gita Police Station in Petra Jaya, Kuching, Sarawak. It is uncertain whether they are being charged, or what reasons are being given for their detention.

Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia strongly condemns the detention of its members who were attempting to deliver a memorandum on behalf of the indigenous peoples of the Baram and Murum areas of Sarawak. The memorandum protested the State Government’s actions to build hydro-electric dams in these areas without the free, prior and informed consent of the communities affected and without due regards to the status of the native lands involved. The actions of the State Government are in clear contradiction to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Malaysia strongly supports.

We also condemn the use of arrest to intimidate and silence the voices of the communities who are questioning the construction of large dams on the area. This demonstrates the unwillingness of the State Government to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in projects that affect them.

We call upon the Sarawak State Government to immediately release all fifteen Sarawakians and engage in a proper consultative process with the affected communities. We also call for the respect of the constitutional native land rights of these communities. It is also in violation of the right to peaceful assembly, guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

Take action!

1. URGENT: Please phone the Gita police station and ask after the well-being of the activists, ask what they are being charged with and demand their unconditional release in line with Constitutional guarantees of freedom of assembly (Article 10). Tel: ++6 082-254417

2. Write to the following:
Chief Minister of Sarawak
YAB Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud
Chief Minister of Sarawak
22nd Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia,
Petra Jaya, 93502 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
FAX: +6082-444566

2. YB Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot
State Secretary of Sarawak
20th Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia
Petra Jaya, 93502 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia
FAX: +6082-441677

3. Datu Haji Abdul Razak Tready
Sarawak Attorney-General
State AG’s Chambers
Level 16, Wisma Bapa Malaysia,
Petra Jaya
93502 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia
FAX: +6082-440525

4. Tan Sri Musa bin Dato’ Hj Hassan
Ketua Polis Negara
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia
Bukit Aman,50560 Kuala Lumpur
FAX: +603-22731326

5. Datuk Mohmed Salleh
Ketua Polis Negeri
Ibupejabat Polis Kontinjen Sarawak
Polis Diraja Malaysia
Jalan Badruddin,93560 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia
FAX: +6082-257664

Yours truly,

Adrian Lasimbang
Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)

For more information, please also contact:

Jennifer Rubis
LATEST UPDATE: Just received notice that all 15 indigenous leaders arrested earlier today for trying to send a memorandum to Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud have been released on bail (RM3000 each). They have been summoned to appear in court on 29 September 2009. The Bruno Manser Fund, along with a great number of NGOs in Malaysia and worldwide, is asking the Sarawak authorities to drop all charges against the arrested indigenous leaders and to apologize to them for such rude treatment.
Indigenous activists rounded up in M-Day swoop

Andrew Ong
Sept 16, 2009 6:40pm

There was no Malaysia Day cheer for a group of 15 individuals who were arrested in Kuching while attempting to hand a petition to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud over the displacement of indigenous people.

They were picked up in front of the Wisma Bapa Malaysia building by a group of police personnel and whisked away to the Gita police station.

Sarawak Conservation Action Network (Scane) spokesperson Phillip Jaw, who was among those arrested, expressed disappointment with the police actions.

He said among those arrested were indigenous people residing in the remote areas of Murum and Baram - where hydroelectric dams will be constructed and thus displacing tens of thousands of people.

"Some of us traveled for two days just to be here and hand the petition stating our concerns over the dams. We are disappointed, sad and unhappy that our voices are not heard," said Jaw.

According to Pandungan state rep Dominique Ng (right), who was also arrested, the group started gathering at about 11am but no one from the Chief Minister's Office entertained their request for an official acknowledgment of receipt for the petition.

Police moved in at about 2.45pm after the group haggled in vain with government officials.

"For Sarawakians, Sept 16 is the day we celebrate our independence. But today, it seems the people's voices are being stifled while we seem to be descending into a police state," Ng told Malaysiakini.

Masing: They refused police order to disperse

Ng said those arrested did not breach the law but were merely exercising their democratic rights in voicing their grievances to the government.

"The government is refusing to even listen despite Prime Minister Najib's 1Malaysia rakyat diutamakan (people first) campaign and all. In our case, it is rakyat diabaikan dan diseksa (ignored and suffering)," he said.

"They were arrested for illegal assembly after they refused a police order to disperse," said Sarawak Rural Development Minister James Masing (left).

"That's the law of the land. I believe they will be released soon," he told AFP.

Another detainee Raymond Abin, an activist with Borneo Resources Institute Sarawak (Brimas), said the arrest was regrettable, especially on a day as significant as Malaysia Day.

“People came from afar to have their voices heard. There is no other way for them to express themselves other than through a petition,” lamented Raymond.

According to lawyer Harrison Ngau, the 15 individuals must face charges in court for illegal assembly under Section 27 (5) of the Police Act on Sept 29.

Repeated telephone calls to Kuching district police chief ACP Wong Wai Loong for comments went unanswered.

Petition falling on deaf ears

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Orang Asal Network (Joas) has condemned the arrest of the 15 individuals and for failing to listen to the grievances of the affected groups.

“We also condemn the use of arrest to intimidate and silence the voices of the communities who are questioning the construction of large dams on the area.

“This demonstrates the unwillingness of the state government to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in projects that affect them,” said Joas president Adrian Lasimbang.

According to Lasimbang, petition had states that the state government decided to build hydro electric dams in the two areas without consulting the affected communities and without any regard to the status of the native lands involved.

“The actions of the state government are in clear contradiction to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Malaysia strongly supports,” said Lasimbang.

Investigate the Whistleblower, of course!

This is how I ended my post of 5 September:

I'm half expecting a visit from the Special Twig any moment now. Indeed, they might even assign an entire Branch to this case.

Prophetic words! Tuesday afternoon, 15 September, three Special Branch officers paid me a surprise visit. Somebody had lodged a police report against me, alleging that I was conspiring with environmental activists to block Umno's illegal roadworks project in Kg Pertak. Foreign interference, no less - since the police report stated that three "Mat Sallehs" had been harassing the excavator and tractor operators, demanding to see their permit.

Déjà vu. When loggers encroached in 1996 the same sort of shit had happened. The loggers, working through the Orang Asli Affairs Department (JHEOA) had persuaded the batin (headman) to put his signature to a petition for my eviction from Kg Pertak as I was deemed "a security threat." As a result the matter was raised at the Selangor state exco level and the Special Branch were instructed to investigate.

Fortunately, the SB in KKB appear to be fairly exemplary in that they dealt courteously and very reasonably with the situation. After interviewing me for about 20 minutes, the SB chief decided I was perfectly in my right to continue living in Kg Pertak. I remember him as an urbane, intelligent man who didn't resemble a cop at all.

Well, the three officers who dropped in on me were pleasant and attentive as I explained why those who love this area do not favor "the road to nowhere" (as ecowarrior Mary Maguire calls it). The most positive outcome of this incident was that I felt a certain rapport with these SB officers - they were entirely human and likeable. In fact, one of them had recently been transferred to KKB and he revealed that he occasionally plays guitar in a band.

If only the rest of the PDRM was as polite and professional as these three...

That was the good news. The bad news is that work started in earnest again early Monday morning. When I heard the heavy equipment going down the road I had assumed it was a JKR crew assigned to clear the fallen tree and reinforce the collapsed slope. It wasn't till the afternoon that I found out it was Mr Tan Mok Seng's workers again, eager to finish what they started and collect the balance of payment from YB Wong Koon Mun. As I suspected, some Umno members were behind the whole scheme to gain access to the goodies while justifying the environmentally ruinous project as "bringing development to the Orang Asli."

The Selangor state government, in effect, had been completely bypassed in the initiation of this ad hoc project, which threatens to seriously mar the peace and tranquility of this recovering forest - once regarded as sacred (hutan keramat) to the Temuan tribe since it lies within easy reach of Gunung Raja, the Temuan's pusat negri (spiritual umbilicus).

I guess old habits die hard. Read all about it here!

This morning (16 Sept) district councillor Chua Yee Ling showed up with Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor enforcement officers and instructed the workers to stop work until they obtain a KM (Kebenaran Merancangan or Project Approval). Obviously, the federal government is channeling unknown amounts of money through its agents on the ground, facilitating all sorts of spurious "development projects" to maintain the corrupt status quo and show their utter contempt for the Pakatan Rakyat state government. After so many years under Mahathir and Khir Toyo, unaccountability and squandering of public funds to enrich cronies is the only modus operandi they understand.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Stop MCMC harassment of Malaysiakini over cowhead saga!

There will be a gathering at 10am Monday 14 September in front of the Malaysiakini office to protest against MCMC’s continued harassment of the online paper for featuring the video of the shameful cow head incident of August 28th, and also the video of the press conference of the idiotic Kerismuddin (Hishammuddin Hussein) defending the indefensible.

48 Jalan Kemuja
off Jalan Bangsar
Bangsar Utama, KUALA LUMPUR 59000

Location map of Malaysiakini office, Bangsar

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Last week I blogged about the sudden intrusion of earthmoving equipment into Kampong Pertak and how our swift response was able to stop the rampage within a day. Well, the digging and scraping started on Friday. The excavator and tractor pulled out on Saturday afternoon. And late Sunday night a heavy downpour resulted in a major treefall - right across the access trail. The forest had decided to form its own barricade against vehicular traffic.

This slope has always been extremely sensitive to vibration, especially in wet weather. Since 1994 when I moved to Kg Pertak, there have been at least a dozen collapses, usually triggered by attempts to widen the trail, military exercises, or large convoys of 4X4s. Conditions here are similar to the catastrophic alternative road to Fraser's Hill. From an initial cost of RM6 million the roadworks ballooned to more than RM30 million, because of constant landslips. The road has now been abandoned.

A good chunk of the hill accompanied the tree...

These large boulders with tree roots wrapped around them are what holds up the embankment. Once a few big ones come tumbling down, the entire slope becomes permanently unstable. Slapping a layer of cement over the collapsed slope is only a band-aid solution that won't last more than two years. Proper reinforcement works don't come cheap - and will transform a charming trail into another soulless highway. Will some UMNO crony think of setting up a toll booth?

Muddy runoff... straight down the embankment and into a previously crystalline river...

The contractor wanted to finish the job as quickly as possible. No time to worry about where to dump the raw, scraped earth. So it gets piled up along the edge of a steep embankment, waiting for the next heavy downpour...

It's a vibrant new reality with Pakatan Rakyat in charge of Selangor. A few SMSes and phonecalls - and district councillor Chua Yee Ling is sent to investigate. She confirms that there has been no application for a permit to commence roadworks in Kg Pertak, the Forestry Department was not notified, and the District Office is completely in the dark. The fact that this illegal project was ostensibly funded by the MCA at the instigation of some UMNO members makes the whole deal even shadier. Some folks find it convenient to forget that this entire area is classified Hutan Simpanan Kekal - Protected Forest Reserve.

District councillor Yee Ling and her friend Ken took lots of photos and will be reporting to Elizabeth Wong, Selangor state exco in charge of tourism, consumer affairs and the environment. I suggested that the state government help the Orang Asli acquire a secondhand truck which can easily access the trail and bring out bamboo and durians harvested by the villagers. A much cheaper, simpler solution which will not bring about the further contamination of the area by greedy developers and those insensitive to the magical and mysterious nature of the forest.