06 August 2011
Bersih 2.0 supporters have accused the police of “clear intent” to cause injury or even death during its July 9 rally given the “lethal” levels of tear gas and chemicals in the water cannons used to disperse tens of thousands who poured into the capital last month.
They told the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) today that the inquiry into claims of police brutality must “investigate why the police is using such dangerous products that have a track record of causing death.”
“These canisters state clearly that they can cause serious injury and death. The US-based Federal Laboratories supplies the tear gas to the Israeli army and have been sued by Palestinians who lost family members,” Fadiah Nadwa Fikri from Lawyers for Liberty said today.
She also told The Malaysian Insider that tear gas produced by Federal Laboratories has been banned in several countries and this “raised questions over why the police are using such weaponry.”
Tenaganita chief Irene Fernandez also told the commission that “police knew exactly what they were doing as they already had the tear gas and chemicals ready. There was clear intent to cause harm; that is what is worrying.”
Opposition leaders and human rights activists have repeatedly claimed that police used excessive and brutal force in dealing with the July 9 rally for free and fair elections, arresting nearly 1,700 on the day, leaving scores injured and one ex-soldier dead.
PKR also previously claimed that police had fired tear gas canisters directly at Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, an act they want classified as attempted murder.
But police have formed six committees of their own to investigate whether the force had acted improperly after locking down the capital from the night before the rally.
The police recently released videos that appeared to absolve the force of blame and show that riot police were provoked by the demonstrators.
Suhakam was receiving testimonies today from the coalition of 62 non-governmental organisations ahead of a public inquiry that commissioner James Nayagam said would likely be held after Ramadan.
The police are the same level of citizens on the street as well as the protesters who was protesting. Why such a harmful tear gas has been used towards our own fellow Malaysians. I am putting this question to the home minister IGP and the six committees who appointed by the self. The police version video is edited otherwise it should has been shown then and then. Provocation was an excuse for the police to acting violently towards the demonstrators clearly shows the mine set of the PDRM. With this kind of police personnel’s the public is not protected from abuse of power and force. Looks like the police are only protecting certain groups of people who are very powerful by acting violently towards protesters people police has demonstrated their true colors.
Lim Kit Siang today accused Selangor executive councillor Datuk Hasan Ali of breaking ranks with the state government, after the latter issued a statement conflicting with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s over Wednesday’s church raid.
The DAP party advisor said Hasan’s open defence of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) should be viewed seriously, as it came immediately after Khalid expressed regret over the incident.
“What is a matter of concern and must be viewed seriously is the public defence of the Jais action by Hasan, issued shortly after Khalid’s statement expressing regret for the raid and asking Jais to submit a full report on the incident — as it is an act of breaking ranks in the Selangor state government,” he pointed out in a statement here.
Lim added that Khalid’s response had been “timely and appropriate” as the raid was “deplorable” and detrimental to efforts to build a more open, tolerant and harmonious plural Malaysia.
Jais enforcement officers swooped in on a dinner function at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) late Wednesday night after receiving an unspecified complaint, bringing with them a team of policemen.
Hasan claimed there was proof Christians were proselytising to Muslims at DUMC. — file pic
In an immediate response, Khalid called on Jais to furnish the state government with a full report on the purpose of the raid, and gave his assurance that the state government fully respects freedom of religion and rights of religious groups.
But Hasan, a Selangor state executive councillor, then spoke up in defence of Jais, alleging that the words “Quran” and “pray” were used in the presence of the 12 Muslims at the dinner function.
He claimed this was evidence that Christians were proselytising Muslims.
Hasan’s party colleague, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, immediately sought to distance PAS’s state leadership from its former chief by saying it was “not Selangor PAS’s stance”, revealing a deep and continuing rift between the Islamist party’s liberal and more hardline factions in the state.
PAS’s national leadership also stepped in today, telling all parties to refrain from issuing “provocative” statements over raid despite the conflicting views expressed by leaders within its own ranks.
The party’s National Unity Committee chairman Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa issued a statement here expressing fear that the sensitive issue may be exploited to further endanger interreligious harmony in the country.
“I call upon all to restrain from making provocative statements regarding the issue and respect the month of Ramadan in observing sincerity and abstain from spreading falsehood,” he said.
Mujahid, who is also PAS central working committee member and Parit Buntar MP, added that interpretation of the raid on the DUMC has so far been “gray” as details of the incident have yet to be revealed.
Among others, he said it was important to ascertain the basis of the raid; its legality; if a warrant had been issued prior to the raid; and the exact events that transpired on Wednesday.
“Jais must explain to the public what actually happened and do not let the gray area be interpreted by ill-minded racist and religious fanatics. Worse is when the media sensationalises the whole issue to the whims and wants of racist political parties,” he said
Hasan Ali has been singing a different tune with the PR leadership in Selangor since 2008. His actions has been so far uncompromising and bad for interfaith relationship in Selangor.
In my opinion, he interprets his religion in a selfish way that makes it virtually impossible to live together in harmony. He just don;t give a hoot about the rights and welfare of people of other religions, I was wondering about his intentions.
Selangor PAS wants former chief Datuk Hasan Ali and the state Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to explain Wednesday’s controversial raid on a multi-racial dinner at a Petaling Jaya church, including a claim that Christians were attempting to convert Muslims.
The Islamist party is part of the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government where Hasan is state executive councillor in charge of Islamic affairs.
“We reserve final comment until we are able to get Jais’ report and meet with Hasan Ali to seek further clarification. We want to see what evidence Hasan has,” Selangor PAS deputy commissioner Khalid Samad told a press conference here.
Selangor has gagged all its exco members from talking about the raid after Hasan claimed there were efforts to convert Muslims when Jais and police raided the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC). The raiding party entered building without a warrant on the basis of preventing the conversion of Muslims.
The multiracial dinner was attended by about 100 people, including a dozen Muslims.
Khalid said only Hasan has associated the dinner — organised by charity association Harapan Komuniti — with the aim to convert Muslims.
“Previously, Jais gave grounds that there is evidence of (Christians) proselytising to Muslims. So far, only one party (claims this),” said the Shah Alam MP.
He also agreed with the state government in asking the religious department explain the reasons for the raid.
“Jais has to give an explanation; they have to present a report on how and why they decided to raid the church.
“Places of worship — regardless of religion — must be respected; this comes from the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Going into a place without a warrant or permission is something that must be avoided entirely, more so in a place of worship,” he said.
He pointed out that while the country’s official religion is Islam, non-Muslims must also feel safe and added: “For PAS, we want (Jais) to let them feel safe by showing utmost respect.”
On Hasan’s claim that the late-night enforcement raid was to prevent an attempt to convert Muslims, Khalid said, “It is not wise to make conclusions that Christians were proselytising to Muslims just because they were having dinner in a church. There must be more substantial evidence, more intelligence.”
“If it’s only dinner, then there is no reason (for the raid). There are lots of programmes with people of different faiths. Look at Ramadan, people of all races gather together to break fast. In fact, this is encouraged in Islam,” he added.
Khalid said in any operation, there are rules to be followed.
“It is very surprising for this to have occurred. It should not have (taken place). We will wait for the report to understand why it happened,” he said.
Khalid also said he hoped the allegation of Muslim conversions were not true.
“These are serious accusations. If true, it will have heavy implications... Proselytisation of a Muslim is against the constitution. However, I am confident that those involved are aware of this,” he said.
When asked if he was concerned PAS would lose non-Muslims votes during the upcoming general election, Khalid said PAS Selangor is not involved with Jais.
“We think raiding a place of worship is hard to accept. Even in an Islamic state, it does not mean (a religious department) can act out as (it) pleases. We want to know why Jais carried out the raid,” Khalid said.
Damansara Utama Methodist Church senior pastor Daniel Ho has called for action to be taken against religious enforcement officers, saying they had denied over 100 dinner guests their constitutional right to freedom of assembly in the raid.
The pastor said the enforcement officers swooped in on the dinner based on an unspecified complaint, bringing along a police team but without any warrant for the operation.
If the allegation is unsubstantiated with solid evidence, it means, Hasan Ali is the trouble maker who disrespect the non muslim and a trouble maker. IOt would be interesting how PR and PAS will handle this guy.
02 August 2011
Zahid brushes aside Umno dry run, insists BN will win big....right ... UMNO will win big with the support of other nations, especially illegal immigrants ....
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dismissed the findings of a recent polls dry run conducted by his own party which showed Barisan Nasional (BN) could lose the Negri Sembilan and Perak state governments to the opposition.
He said BN would in fact win a bigger majority due to stronger support, not only from the Malays but from the other races as well.
“This will be proven at the next general election,” he told reporters at his office here today.
Ahmad Zahid (picture), who is also the defence minister, was responding to a report yesterday that said the ruling coalition will lose the two states unless component parties put popular faces and ensure the grassroots machinery garners support from voters.
The Umno election dry run also showed that the BN fortress of Johor could see up to 15 out of the 56 state seats go to its political opponents Pakatan Rakyat (PR), something unheard before Election 2008 when the ruling coalition lost six seats.
It is also learnt that Perlis, where BN holds 14 of the 15 state seats, could see several state and one of the three federal seats going to PR due to anger over Putrajaya putting Wahhabi preachers including state mufti Dr Juanda Jaya on a terror watch list.
An upcoming Umno leader revealed that the dry run showed Umno could only win 27 seats in the 59-seat Perak state assembly despite BN ruling the state since February 2009 after a series of defections toppled the state PR government.
In June, the state Umno was confident of getting 33 seats, with Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir dismissing The Malaysian Insider’s report that victory is only assured if right candidates are picked.
It was learnt that several Perak Umno divisional leaders were loath to campaign or register new voters unless they were certain about the likely candidates for the next general election.
Umno contested 34 seats in the 59-seat state assembly in Election 2008, winning 27 with one seat won by the MCA, giving the Silver State to PR, which took 31 seats.
In Negri Sembilan, BN won 21 of the 36 state seats, with the remainder 15 going to PR, which has expressed confidence of taking the state.
The parties that make up PR — DAP, PKR and PAS — won four more states and 82 parliament seats in Election 2008 but later lost Perak to BN. However, they are gunning to win more states and hope to whittle BN’s federal majority in the next general election.
Many analysts and opposition politicians expect elections within a year, with some saying it could be held as early as November, after the budget is tabled and before the Umno general assembly.
But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will have to first overcome criticisms against his government’s crackdown on the Bersih electoral reforms rally last month, where nearly 1,700 were held briefly, others injured and one died of a heart attack.
Ahmad Zahid was confident Umno would perform better than it did at the 2008 general election “because voters have seen that Pakatan Rakyat is not a viable alternative”.
“Voters who voted for the opposition at the 12th general election thought they will have a better government.
“Now they realise it’s actually not true,” he said.
Hamidi has the brains to buy submarines.... he has the capacity then to predict a big win for BN.... and history will prove he's an idiot.
Malaysians will be facing the dirtiest ever election our land will ever see.
BN will do everything despicable under the sun to secure the electorate.
Please encourage and ensure that all your friends are registered as voters.
We all have to play an active hand towards our own future.
umno will win BIG by CHEATING BIG!!!
That,s why We need BERSIH !
The Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia’s (PKMM) Penang branch has defended the state’s open tender system as fair and warned Penang MCA to stop politicising contracts awarded to Bumiputeras there.
Acting Penang PKMM chief Datuk Izham Merican today condemned what he said was Penang MCA’s “ignorance” for failing to understand that open tenders allowed the state government to select the best and most competitively priced contractors, regardless of race.
“By only questioning contracts awarded to Malays, is MCA being racist towards the abilities of Malay contractors whom they regard as less competent than other contractors?” Izham said in a statement today.
“The Penang Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia strongly rejects MCA’s racist sentiment which insults Malay contractors ... MCA should remember that there are good and not-so-good groups in all races, including the Chinese.”
He pointed out that non-Bumiputeras were not sidelined even when contracts were given to Bumiputera companies as many suppliers and construction workers were non-Bumiputeras.
“Therefore, for every project offered by the (state) government to Bumiputera contractors in its own way also provides opportunities for other races,” he said.
Izham also heaped praise on Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for his professionalism and willingness to help Penangites of all races, including Umno-dominated PKMM, despite criticism from “those who do not understand the state government’s policies”.
He added that the federal government should give greater assistance to contractors, many of whom were facing closure as the construction industry no longer provided as many opportunities for work as before.
In the past two weeks, Penang MCA has repeatedly accused the DAP-led state government of being anti-Chinese for awarding only two contracts in the past three years to Chinese contractors.
In its latest salvo today, the state MCA said the Penang government’s decision to award only 0.2 per cent of the 968 projects tendered since the opposition party took power in 2008 suggested that Lim thought the Chinese community “incompetent”.
Before this latest attack, the Penang administration under Lim has regularly been accused by Umno, MCA’s senior partner in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) pact, of being racist for allegedly discriminating against the Malay community.
MCA only knows how to kowtow to UMNO, nothing else.
Stupid comment by this MCA. if the malay contractor can give same level of product/services at lower price, I also will consider using malay contractor rather than chinese contractor.
All the while the thieves are actually hiding behind the " malay special previleges" veil to rent seek and pocket all the money for themselves. The malay should wake up that they can be competitive and successful without the tongkat and at the same time be proud of themselves.
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