Dec 13, 2007

Conspiracy theory : Lingam and Segamat Flood

What's up with the photo of Lingam posted on TheStar online featuring Segamat Flood?.


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Dec 11, 2007

VIDEO : Bersih memorandum to Parliament

Eight top opposition leaders were among 24 arrested this morning for trying to deliver a Bersih memorandum to Parliament on the extension of the Election Commission chief's retirement age.

source : Malaysiakini

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Malaysian police arrest more Bersih memo protesters: officials

This is what will happen when PM Abdullah Badawi is challenged?

(AFP) KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police Tuesday arrested at least 12 protesters including several opposition leaders as they defied a ban and attempted to hand a petition to parliament.

The arrests are the latest in a series of government crackdowns on recent protests and street demonstrations that have rocked the capital.

They also come one day after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he would sacrifice public freedom to maintain security in the wake of the mass rallies that have prompted legal action against the organisers.

Sentul district police chief Sofian Yasin said 12 people have been arrested so far while officials from opposition party Keadilan said 21 have been detained, including a 13-year-old boy.

More than 400 police surrounded the parliament to block the electoral reform campaigners who were forced to march there on foot after all roads leading to the building were closed off.

Trees lining the streets were posted with copies of a court order obtained by police that banned the campaigners from parliament.

"The authorities should not have done this. They should have been given the right to hand over a memorandum. After all, that's all they just wanted to do,"
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Keadilan president and opposition MP, told AFP.

Among opposition leaders arrested were the secretary-general of Keadilan and its information officer and a head of the hardline Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party.

The petition was eventually given to opposition members of parliament to be passed to the speaker.

The memorandum urges lawmakers to reject a proposed amendment to the constitution to extend the retirement age from 65 to 66 years for Election Commission officers.

The protesters claim this would allow the extension of tenure of election commission chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman for another one and a half years.

"Abdul Rashid, whose service is continuously marred with recurring electoral frauds and manipulations, is not fit for the job and must go immediately," the petition stated.

Cabinet minister Nazri Aziz defended the police action.

"They want to come and demonstrate today's amendment to the constitution. So they want to come in big numbers. We will not allow that," he told reporters at parliament.

"We have taken action against them and we are using the court system to prosecute these people," Nazri said.

Last month, nearly 30,000 demonstrators calling for free and fair elections massed in the capital in a protest led by an alliance of opposition parties and civil society groups.

In a separate rally, thousands of ethnic Indians protested alleged discrimination by Muslim Malays who dominate the population.

Police dispersed the crowds with tear gas and water cannons and arrested scores of demonstrators.

Dozens of government critics have since been rounded up and now face trial on charges including attempted murder and sedition, and the premier has threatened to invoke draconian internal security laws that allow detention without trial.

While report on Malaysiakini :
Eight top opposition leaders were among 24 arrested this morning for trying to deliver a Bersih memorandum to Parliament on the extension of the Election Commission chief's retirement age.

Among those arrested were PKR information chief Tian Chua, party secretary-general Khalid Ibrahim, PAS treasurer Dr Hatta Ramli and party Women's chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh and central committee member Dr Lo'Lo' Ghazali, and Parti Socialist Malaysia pro-tem chairperson Dr Nasir Hashim, secretary-general S Arutchelvan and party central committee member S Sivarajan.

According to eyewitnesses, the police surrounded Tian Chua’s vehicle and forcibly removed him before arresting him at about 10.40am. Another person in the car was also detained.

Chua had failed to stop at the roadblock and had insisted on moving forward before nine police officers swooped in on him and hauled him away.

About 10 minutes later, Arutchelvan and another identified person were arrested for trying to break the police cordon. The PAS leaders were arrested shortly after.

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US asks Malaysia to allow freedom of expression

Will Malaysia listen to the voice of the people and US?

(AFP) WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday called on Malaysia to allow freedom of expression and assembly as the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi widened its crackdown on dissent.

"We have repeatedly raised with Malaysian authorities our belief that citizens of any country should be allowed to peacefully assemble and express their views," department spokeswoman Nancy Beck told AFP.

"We also stated in our annual human rights report our belief that the Malaysian government places significant restrictions on the right to assemble peacefully," she said.

Police permits are required under Malaysia law for public assemblies, defined as a gathering of five or more persons, but the State Department's rights report says senior police officials and political leaders influenced decisions on granting or denying some permits.

It said "a more restrictive policy" was applied with government critics, opposition parties, and human rights activists.

Beck's remarks on Monday came after Kuala Lumpur widened a crackdown on dissent following two mass rallies last month, with three legal actions taken Monday that rights groups and opposition leaders condemned as anti-democratic.

Ahead of elections, dozens of Malaysian government critics have been rounded up and now face trial on counts including attempted murder and sedition.

Abdullah has threatened to invoke draconian internal security laws that allow detention without trial, citing past racial violence in the multicultural nation dominated by Muslim Malays as reason for restricting street protests.

"If the choice is between public safety and public freedom, I do not hesitate to say here that public safety will always win," he said in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

The United States often hails Malaysia as a moderate Muslim democracy but the image took a knock when a series of indiscriminate destruction of Hindu temples were highlighted by some groups recently.

A US Congress-appointed commission expressed concern last week at the destruction of the temples and other alleged discrimination faced by religious minorities in Malaysia, one of Southeast Asia's more developed economies.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom also urged the administration of President George W. Bush to raise the matter with Kuala Lumpur and "insist that immediate measures be taken to protect sacred sites and prevent further destruction."

The government, which cracked down on two mass rallies last month, took three separate legal actions Monday that rights groups and opposition leaders condemned as anti-democratic.

Among them was a revival of sedition charges against three leaders of ethnic Indian rights group Hindraf, which organised a November anti-discrimination protest that drew 8,000 people. The court had earlier allowed them to walk free on the charges, which carry a penalty of three years in jail.

Lawyers and their supporters were also charged in connection with a human rights march that they mounted in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday which was broken up by police.

Another prominent lawyer, Edmund Bon, was also charged with obstructing a city official who tried to remove protest banners from Malaysia's Bar Council building.

Twelve opposition figures were rounded up over the weekend in connection with an electoral reform rally last month which drew nearly 30,000 people who police dispersed with tear gas and water cannons.

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