Saturday, April 5, 2014

MAY DAY FOR JUSTICE (revisited yet again)

Dr "Octopus" Mahathir Mohammad, Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981-2003)

WHAT TDM (THAT DESTRUCTIVE MAMAK) DID TO MALAYSIA: Some historical background to Tun Salleh Abas's book The Removal of Tun Salleh Abas

By K. Das, co-author of May Day For Justice

MAHATHIR was continually upset with the Judiciary because the verdicts in a number of cases went against the Government. According to then Deputy PM, Datuk Musa Hitam, one of his favorite slogans was "Hang the Lawyers! Hang the Judges!"

From 1987, he intensified his verbal attacks against the Judiciary in the news media, making damaging statements which clearly demonstrated that he did not understand the role of the Judiciary as being independent from the Executive and Legislative arms of Government. That the Judiciary exists as a check-and-balance against the excesses of the Executive appeared to have been a concept he never fully grasped. Instead, he accused judges of the sort of political interference that would result in confusion and loss of public confidence in the Government. Hence, to curtail the powers of the Judiciary and subsume it beneath the Executive became one of his cherished dreams.

In April 1987, after an UMNO leadership contest in which Mahathir very nearly lost to Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, there were allegations that several delegates who had voted were drawn from branches not properly registered under the Societies Act 1966. An appeal was filed by eleven UMNO delegates to have the elections declared null and void. This was a very serious matter for Mahathir because if the appeal succeeded, fresh elections would have to be held and he might lose. The matter finally came before Justice Harun Hashim of the KL High Court who ruled that under the existing law, he had no choice but to declare not just the elections invalid, but the whole of UMNO an unlawful society as well. The country and, more particularly, UMNO, went into a state of shock.

In most modern democracies, a political catastrophe of this magnitude would have resulted in the immediate resignation of the party's President and Prime Minister. But Mahathir did not resign. He informed the country that the Government would continue running the country. Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang and Tunku Abdul Rahman called for a vote in Parliament to establish Mahathir's legitimacy but those calls were ignored. Mahathir then set in motion the machinery to form a new surrogate party called UMNO Baru. His opponents, however, wanted the old party revived. The eleven UMNO delegates then launched an appeal in the Supreme Court to have the 1987 elections alone declared illegal and the party not an unlawful society.

Mahathir fully understood the danger to him of this pending appeal. He had to act quickly. In October 1987, he launched the notorious Operation Lalang in which at least 106 people were arrested and detained without trial under the ISA, including three very articulate critics, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, political scientist Dr. Chandra Muzaffar and leading lawyer Karpal Singh. The official reason for the arrests was that a highly dangerous security situation had arisen but this has been strongly disputed as nothing more than a shameless fabrication. The broad sweep included even environmentalists and Consumer Association spokesmen. Four of the most outspoken newspapers - The Star, The Sunday Star, Watan and Sin Chew Jit Poh - had their publishing licences suspended. When, after five months, the papers were free to publish again, they were no longer the same.

Mahathir's next move was to push through Parliament far-reaching amendments to the Constitution so that the Executive gained in power enormously at the expense of the Judiciary. There was general indignation at this rude behavior which shocked a good many people. The indecent haste and the fact that the amendments were made at a time when the Government's main critics were in detention - including the Opposition Leader and six vocal MPs - and outspoken newspapers were demoralized, added further to the appalling injustice of the situation. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's beloved first Prime Minister, put it succinctly: "It was legal, but was it just?"

Others noted angrily that the Constitution had been raped once again. In a speech, the outgoing President of the Bar Council, Param Cumaraswamy (right), said:
"The Prime Minister's vile and contemptuous allegations, and the accusations leveled at the Judiciary and our judges left many shocked beyond belief. His speech which was full of venom, hate and spite with no substance whatsoever, illustrated his complete and total ignorance of the role of the Judiciary and the judicial process itself. He has indeed defiled and defaced the Constitution. It is surprising that those 142 MPs who voted in favor, after taking the oath that they would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, had no compunction about destroying one of its basic structures."
One visiting parliamentarian was astonished at the lack of public debate. In his own country, he said, such amendments would have taken years.

Next, after having curbed the independence of the Judiciary, Mahathir set about destroying its integrity. This was the removal of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President in 1988, a move which Tunku Abdul Rahman described as "the most shocking story in modern legal and judicial history."

TUN SALLEH ABAS (left) was a man of humble origins - his father was a sailor and small village trader - who rose to become Lord President, the highest judge in the land and head of the Judiciary while remaining a deeply religious man.

By March 1988, Mahathir's scandalous and violent public attacks on the Judiciary had so provoked the judges that Tun Salleh was obliged to call a conference. Twenty judges met in the Supreme Court one week after the debilitating and shameful Constitutional amendments were made. By unanimous agreement, a letter was drafted to the King (also the Sultan of Johore) and copied to all Sultans, expressing disquiet over various comments made by the Prime Minister. The letter was delivered on 25 March and Tun Salleh left soon after for medical treatment in the United States followed by a pilgrimage to Mecca . He had a most important duty to perform upon his return: He fixed the hearing of the crucial UMNO Eleven appeal for June and, because of its overwhelming significance, decided that a full quorum of nine Supreme Court judges should hear this. Three days later, Tun Salleh was suspended from his official capacity by the King on recommendation of the Prime Minister. In the same hour that he received the suspension letter, the Acting Lord President, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid took the UMNO Eleven case out of the calendar so that the link between the two was difficult to deny.

Tun Salleh's suspension came after he refused to bow to Mahathir's pressure to either resign or retire, even though financial inducements were offered, including mention of a lucrative job in the International Development Bank in Jeddah. The initial reason given for the suspension was that the King had taken great displeasure over the letter Tun Salleh had written on behalf of all judges. According to official records prepared by the Attorney General, the King had requested Tun Salleh's removal in an audience with the Prime Minister on the "Wednesday morning of 1st May, 1988" after the weekly Cabinet Meeting.

There are serious doubts as to whether this audience actually took place. The first of May, 1988, fell on a Sunday, not Wednesday as the Attorney-General recorded. Even if the day of week were corrected, there can be no Cabinet meeting on a Sunday. That the King expressed great displeasure only on 1st May, when he had in fact received the letter on 25 March cast further doubt over this assertion. It is difficult to believe that the King wanted Tun Salleh removed purely because he had protested about the public insults directed against the entire Judiciary by the head of the Executive. In any event, royal displeasure would not be a constitutionally valid ground for dismissal. Indeed, Mahathir advised the King as much in a letter written four days after this probably fictitious audience; however, the Prime Minister went further in the same letter to say that he would investigate Tun Salleh for any evidence of misbehavior. In any event, the King did not clear up the mystery and, in an audience with Tun Salleh, actually asked the latter to step down without giving reasons although the Conference of Rulers had already asked for his reinstatement. Amazingly, Tun Salleh was suspended and a Tribunal set up to determine his fate before any formal charges were laid.

The Constitution does not provide for the removal of a Lord President. While the Tribunal need not be an inappropriate means, its composition was to say the least, disgraceful. It was composed of six acting and retired judges, although the Constitution required an odd number to prevent deadlock. Of these - four from Malaysia, one from Sri Lanka and one from Singapore - only the Sri Lankan enjoyed a rank comparable to Tun Salleh's. This was contrary to the very reasonable dictum that one should be tried by one's peers rather than one's juniors. The fact that two retired Lord Presidents of Malaysia were available but not invited was glaring. There were grave conflicts of interest with three of the Malaysian judges that should have disqualified them from sitting: Tan Sri Abdul Hamid who was next in line to succeed as Lord President and who had also participated in the conference of 20 judges which resulted in the letter to the King; Tan Sri Zahir who, being also the Speaker of the Lower House, was beholden to Mahathir, the principal complainant in the matter at hand; and Tan Sri Abdul Aziz who, although a former judge, was then a practising lawyer and, more incredibly, had two suits pending against him at that time. But Tun Salleh's objections were ignored and when the Bar Council issued a statement calling for the Tribunal to be re-constituted, both the New Straits Times and The Star refused to publish it. Further, it was decided that the Tribunal would sit in closed sessions although Tun Salleh had requested a public hearing.

The charges, when finally published, were manifestly absurd. Running over 12 sheets of paper, it was clear that quantity had been substituted where quality was lacking, and some of them actually related to Tun Salleh's behavior after suspension. Many of them related to his speeches and press interviews, whereby sinister meanings were imputed to various innocuous comments that he had made. To cite an instance, in a speech at the University of Malaya, he had said: 'The role of the courts is very important to bring about public order. If there is no public order there will be chaos in this country and if there is chaos, no one can feel safe.' On this basis, Tun Salleh was charged with making statements criticizing the Government which displayed prejudice and bias against the latter. Another statement of his, 'In a democratic system, the courts play a prominent role as agent of stability but they can perform this function only if judges are trusted,' resulted in the charge that he had ridiculed the Government by imputing that it did not trust the judges. These charges were doubly ludicrous in the light of Mahathir's many poisonous attacks against the Judiciary.

It is not surprising that Tun Salleh, after reading this catalogue of fantasy crimes, refused to appear before what was so evidently a kangaroo court. The Tribunal, after refusing representations made by Raja Aziz, Tun Salleh's leading counsel, that it had no constitutional validity to sit, chose instead to proceed so hastily that it wound up deliberations, including the examination of witnesses with just four hours work. As it prepared to issue its Report, Tun Salleh's lawyers sought an urgent stay of proceedings in the High Court. This would normally be granted immediately at the least possibility that an injustice may be about to be done but, here, events turned into utter farce.

Instead of immediately reaching a decision as expected, the presiding judge, Datuk Ajaib Singh, after the court had been in languorous session the whole day that Friday, adjourned hearings for 9.30 am the next day. On Saturday however, the judge emerged in court only at 11.50 am and, even then, postponed hearings again for the Monday! In desperation, Tun Salleh's lawyers, knowing that the Tribunal could easily release its Report before then, sought the assistance of Supreme Court judge, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman, in his Chambers. The latter agreed to hear them in open court in half an hour's time and called a quorum of all remaining Supreme Court, one of whom, Tan Sri Hashim Yeop, refused to sit. The soap opera reached an apogee of ridiculousness when Tan Sri Abdul Hamid, head of the Tribunal and Acting Lord President, gave orders for the doors of Supreme Court to be locked and for the seal of the Supreme Court to be secreted away!

Undeterred, the five Supreme Court judges ordered the policeman on duty to open the door forthwith. After less than half an hour, the Court ordered the Tribunal not to submit any recommendation, report or advice to the King. Tun Salleh's lawyers were typing the Order to serve personally to the Tribunal at Parliament House when news arrived that the gates of Parliament House had been locked! At this point, Justice Wan Suleiman rose to the occasion and, calling the office of the Inspector General of Police, told a senior officer that any impediment to serving the Order would constitute contempt of court. The gates of Parliament swung open and, at 4pm, Raja Aziz and his team served the Order to the Tribunal members who were found to be still hard at work on a word-processor that Saturday afternoon. All six members accepted service without complaint.

It would appear that justice had at last prevailed but, four days later; all five Supreme Court judges were suspended. Almost every rule that was broken to suspend Tun Salleh was broken again to suspend them. The prohibition order they had made was revoked within days. A second Tribunal eventually reinstated three of the judge: Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoff Abdoolcader and Tan Sri Wan Hamzah but Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Edward Seah were removed from office.

The UMNO Eleven case was quickly dismissed. The removal of Tun Salleh also saw the resignation of Deputy PM Datuk Musa Hitam who, according to popular wisdom, could no longer stomach Mahathir's ways.

NOTE: These ignominious events took place 26 years ago, when many of the present generation may have been too young to understand the ruinous long-term consequences of Mahathir's brazen attacks on Judicial independence and integrity. I've blogged this excerpt from May Day For Justice to refresh memories and to provide some insight to the younger generation. Now they can see for themselves what a manipulative creature we had as Prime Minister between 1981 and 2003.

Some say Mahathir did a lot of good for Malaysia by putting the nation on the world map with his ambitious industrialization program called Wawasan 2020. In truth what Mahathir actually did was destroy the country singlehandedly with his shallow and ill-conceived Cyclopean vision.

The Malays sold their souls to the Mamak for a meagre handout or two with which to buy cheesy chandeliers for their plastic palaces. Now many have awakened! Only the selfish or brainless remain supportive of Mahathir. The cruel, deceitful and destructive "UMNO Baru" culture Mahathir spawned has to go before Malaysia is totally doomed to pathological self-delusion. Unfortunately, although Mahathir rants and raves against his hand-picked successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the present-day leadership of UMNO Baru continues to uphold Mahathir's legacy of lies and unprincipled power play.

[Original illustration by Antares © 1999. First posted 17 June 2008]

Friday, April 4, 2014

A life-changing soul-activating three-and-a-half hour lecture by Len Horowitz

Published on 1 September 2013

Dr. Len Horowitz's books have tackled some complex, controversial subjects, including shadow elite conspiratorial agendas, natural health, hidden information in Biblical texts, and vibrational medicine. His present book delves into all these matters.

The information on physics, consciousness, quantum-holographic reality, vibrational sound, sacred geometry, water crystals, DNA, and holistic medicine in this book is fantastic and very current. Horowitz's religious ideas seem a bit confused to me as he has put himself on a messianic mission to promote global health and overcome the global elite dark agendas that he has been uncovering. He has seemingly become aligned with light polarity mystery school traditions connected to the Essene sects of the Biblical times.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

An uplifting message from my ancient & modern druid friend Michael Dean...

A dream, Sunday, 19 January 2014:

Six of us, three women, three men, are standing in a circular enclosure. In the way that some very special places can, it is speaking to us – or rather, conveying its thoughts to us without sound. Gradually it reveals itself, and its purpose. It is a small spacecraft, forty feet in diameter, with a transparent shell, which means that wherever we go, we’ll be able to see in any and every direction.

And that’s not all: quite obviously this craft doesn’t have to be flown – it will go wherever we want it to, whenever we want it to. It is not just low-maintenance, it is no-maintenance. And as if that weren’t enough, I get the distinct impression that it also has a character and personality of its own, and a sense of humor.

Finally it says: “Welcome aboard Flightship One. Use me and enjoy me.”

The man next to me, a tall Indian or Tibetan, smiles and nods. “This is the ship that is used by envoys of God the Father and God the Mother whenever they take human form and explore this Universe,” he says. “And now it is being offered to us.”

I wake, and reach for pen and paper. . .

I have already confessed that with me, it sometimes takes a while for the penny to drop. In this case, several weeks pass before I realize what the above dream means. What it isn’t about is six people being offered a special privilege - it is about all of us, and what we have at our disposal:

Flightship One turns out to be nothing more and nothing less than our non-physical selves - the craft in which each and every one of us can explore time and space. In other words, our dream bodies.

Merlin used to say to us: “We need you to dream.” By which I presume he meant, “We need you to travel beyond your own limited ideas about the world and the Universe, so that you can see things as they really are. Which isn’t easy, as the Earth is surrounded by a dense cloud of gunk, known by some as “the astral planes.”

“The astral planes are the thought and emotion factories of the human race,” was my first teacher’s way of describing them. “You often complain that nothing is coming through from ‘HQ,’ as you call it. It isn’t for want of trying, believe me - but nothing can get through this miasma containing all of human thought, desire, prejudice, fear, anger, ignorance and despair.”

Our belated apologies, then, to Supreme HQ:

We never stop moaning about 'radio silence' from you, when all the time it’s the racket coming from us down here that is stopping your messages coming through loud and clear.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

AN OBSCENE TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE (reposted in loving memory of Irene Fernandez)

From Malaysiakini: 
Court documents 'incomprehensible', 
appeal put off
Oct 28, 2008 12:58pm

The 13-year court battle of migrant worker activist Irene Fernandez has again run into problems as parts of the 9,000 court documents on the case are said to be ‘incomprehensible.’

Fernandez’s lawyer M Puravalen said that portions of the notes written by the trial judge were unclear.

The judge decided to postpone the appeal hearing to November 24 when the defence is expected to submit its objections to the court documents.

Fernandez, 62, was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment in 2003 after being found guilty by the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court of maliciously publishing false news. She was allowed bail pending appeal.

In 1995, Fernandez exposed the poor conditions at immigration detention centres in a memorandum entitled ‘Abuse, Torture and Dehumanised Conditions of Migrant Workers in Detention Centres.'

She was arrested and charged under Section 8A (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 a year later.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is three years' imprisonment or a fine not exceeding RM20,000, or both.

The appeal mention date has been postponed four times due to several technical glitches since April, when papers containing her appeal went missing.

Her case has become the longest-running trial in Malaysian history.


14 October 2003

Day for judgement brought forward

The day for the Judgement on the trial of Irene Fernandez, the longest running trial in Malaysian legal history was abruptly brought forward to 14th October 2003.

When the defence wound up its case in March this year, the Magistrate asked the prosecution and defence counsels to make written submissions and set March 17, 2004, as the day when the verdict would be delivered.

However, on Friday, 10th October 2003, the defence lawyers were informed that judgement would be delivered on Tuesday 14th October 2003 and asked that the written submission be handed in by Saturday, 11th Oct 2003.

The sudden change of date has placed Irene and Tenaganita in a difficult situation; The leading counsel for Irene is abroad on a fact finding mission and her other lawyer is engaged in another matter in the high court. Therefore it has not been possible for the defence to make its written submission and furthermore Irene's lawyers will not be able to be present in court on 14th October when the verdict is delivered. The abrupt decision to conclude the trial in this manner appears to constitute a miscarriage of justice.


* Irene Fernandez was arrested by the police at her home on 18th March 1996. She was charged under Section 8A(1) of the Printing and Publications Act 1984 for "maliciously publishing false news" through the issue of a memorandum entitled, "Abuse, Torture and Dehumanised Treatment of Migrant Workers at the Detention Camps". The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding RM20,000 or both.

* Bail was posted at RM3,000 and her passport was impounded as part of the bail condition. Each time she wants to leave the country for any reason she has to make an application to the court for the release of her passport.

* The Memorandum, "Abuse, Torture and Dehumanised Treatment of Migrant Workers at the Detention Camps" was released by Tenaganita in August 1995. The findings in the Memorandum comprises information that Tenaganita received from interviews with more than 300 ex-detainees during the course of its research on "Migration, Health and HIV/AIDS."

* The interviews with the ex-detainees showed consistent abuse, torture, denial of access to lawyers, denial of proper medical care, widespread diseases, lack of food and water and even deaths in the detention camps due to negligence on the part of the authorities. The Memorandum describes treatment of detainees in a manner which violates Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which prohibits torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The facts contained in the memorandum gave rise to expressions of concern by individuals and organisations locally and internationally. The Malaysian authorities, instead of investigating the allegations, promptly denied that anything was amiss and instituted criminal proceedings against Irene.

"On the first day of my trial, I had stated to the press that since the government had refused to conduct its own independent inquiry, this trial will then become the public inquiry I asked for. We hope that through the trial, the truth will be revealed. As far as we are concerned, we raised, in a legitimate way, with authorities, issues of public concern, e.g.:- problems faced by migrant workers, inside and outside detention centres." (Irene Fernandez, June 1997)

* On May 30th, 1996, on the advice of her lawyers, Irene made an application to transfer the case from Magistrate Court to High Court. One of the reasons for the application for transfer is that the case will be best adjudicated in the High Court. This is because Section 8A of the Printing and Presses and Publications Act, 1984, under which Irene is charged, seems to negate Article 10 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression. And the key issue of the treatment of migrant workers at the detention centres has become a national and international concern. However, on 05 June 1996, judge Hashim Yusof, dismissed the application for transfer to High Court.

To date, the trial of Irene Fernandez is the longest running trial in Malaysian legal history. During this period, Irene has been in court for over 310 days of full hearing and she has made over 30 applications for the release of her passport to travel to foreign countries to represent the organisation and for medical treatment.

The trial of Irene Fernandez was postponed for about two years as the court would not provide a Bengali interpreter. It reconvened on 14th January 2003.

On 17th March 2003 the defence lawyers for Irene wound up the defence case. The decision by the defence to conclude its case was made after it had made several unsuccessful attempts to get women witnesses who had been detainees more than seven years earlier. On the same day the Magistrate set March 17th, 2004 as the day the judgement would be given after receiving the submissions from the defence and prosecution.

However the day of judgement was suddenly brought forward to 14 October 2003.


During the trial, Tenaganita brought five former detainees from Bangladesh to testify on her behalf. They testified on conditions in four different detention camps: Semenyih, Kemayan, Tanah Merah and Langkap. The testimonies of the five former detainees were much more graphic and painted a picture of the conditions in the detention centres that were far worse than what was described in the Memorandum. Almost all the former detainees were in tears describing the torture and sexual abuse that they had experienced. Although these witnesses were rigorously cross-examined by the prosecution their testimony was unshaken. On the other hand, the prosecution claimed that the police had interviewed 36 former detainees during the course of its investigations but not a single detainee was produced in court to testify on behalf of the prosecution.

Golam (former detainee): Golam says he will never forget the repeated beatings they suffered in the camp. "The police always beat us with a police stick. They beat us on our heads, bodies and legs for no reason. Sometimes they just came and beat up everybody - it was an everyday routine. They would beat us if they found us talking, not sleeping at night or for any reason at all."

The detainees lived in constant fear, their hearts always tense. "We became unconscious after the beatings. There was no bleeding but we were in serious pain all the time. No police came to help us, but we helped each other. I never found a doctor in the camp." [Source: March 11, 2000 Malaysian 'death camps': A survivor recounts, Ajinder Kaur, Malaysiakini]

Mozumder (former detainee): Mozumder told the court that 120 Burmese inmates were forced to perform oral sex on one another.

"Police were watching how was their penis size, how they (the inmates) were performing, whether they were sucking the penis or just putting it in their mouth," he said, in reply to a question by the defence counsel.

He added that the inmates who were forced to suck the penis immediately rushed to the toilet after the act was over.

"Most of them closed their mouth with their hand and ran towards the toilet to vomit. Those who had oral sex performed on them stayed standing in the field. Their faces were pale, shamed. Most of them started crying. Some of them covered their eyes with their hand and some of them looked down to the ground," he recalled. He testified that he could not eat his meals after witnessing the incident. [Source: Friday, May 12, 2000, Sick inmate died after being kicked by police, Ajinder Kaur, Malaysiakini]

Zakir Hossain (former detainee):
"His whole body was swollen - his arms, legs, knees, face and stomach," said Zakir Hossain, 37, who was detained in Kajang's Semenyih camp for illegal immigrants six years ago.

"When I told the police, the reply was, "If the doctor comes, you can explain to him." The policeman knew how sick he was because he had seen him. The sick inmate told the police, "I'm very sick, I can't move my hands and legs. Please call a doctor..."

Zakir told magistrate Juliana Mohamad that he asked the police to get a doctor about a week before the sick inmate passed away.

"He was in pain and he sometimes screamed, "My whole body is painful, please help me". He cried. I couldn't do much, but gave some consoling words that he would get well one day. I didn't think he would die because I thought the doctor would visit him," he added.

"Seven to eight days before he died, he could move his body slightly but with a lot of effort. He could eat with other's help. Someone had to carry him to the toilet," he recalled.

Zakir said that the sick inmate's condition got worse, and he was told of his death five to seven minutes after he passed away.

"He died in Block C, late in the evening. I saw his body. It was lying on the floor. His face was not covered. [Source: - June 28, 2000, Inmate died without medical help, says witness, Ajinder Kaur, Malaysiakini]

Penthouse, Wisma MLS
31 Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
50100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 6 03 26913681 Fax: 6 03 26913681

Posted on 2004-01-09


Mahathir Mohamad, Minister of Home Affairs (1986-1999) and Megat Junid Megat Ayub, Deputy Home Minister (1986-1997).

I recall that in 1995, when Irene Fernandez submitted the Memorandum from Tenaganita on the unbelievably cruel treatment suffered by migrant workers detained by the Immigration Department, it caused the Mahathir administration acute embarrassment.

There was talk in the streets that then deputy home minister Megat Junid (right) was personally implicated in the whole ugly affair as his brother (or brother-in-law) owned an employment agency responsible for importing Bangladeshi and Burmese workers and cruelly mistreating them. Which explains why the police were ordered to launch a vicious attack against Irene Fernandez - "wicked messenger" and bearer of bad tidings - rather than investigate the serious allegations documented in the Tenaganita memorandum and prosecute those responsible for these inhuman acts.

In those days there was no Malaysiakini or Malaysia Today - and no bloggers too - and so the shameful matter was easily ignored or played down by the BN-controlled mainstream media. Only Aliran and the international press kept the Irene Fernandez case in the news. Megat Junid died of prostate cancer on 24 January 2008, leaving a long wake of scandals; but his boss Mahathir Mohamad is still alive and stirring up a whole load of shit.

After 13 years, it's high time the Malaysian government apologized to Irene Fernandez by dropping all charges against her and awarding Tenaganita RM13 million in long overdue compensation - one million for each year the stupid trial has dragged on.

But first we shall have to boot out that pea-brained poison-toad Umno politician in the Home Ministry who goes by the name Syed Hamid Albar - son of Syed Jaafar Albar, the infamous "Malay Ultra" from Yemen who, in 1965, suggested arresting Lee Kuan Yew under the ISA and imposing martial law on Singapore for the PAP's opposition to "Ketuanan Melayu." Bapa borek anak rintik (like father, like son).

[First posted 28 October 2008. Irene Fernandez was recalled to Heaven on 31 March 2014]