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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Natural Justice or Natural Law: Does it apply in Malaysia?

From Wikipedia: "Natural justice is a legal philosophy used in some jurisdictions in the determination of just, or fair, processes in legal proceedings. The concept is very closely related to the principle of natural law (latin: jus naturale) which has been applied as a philosophical and practical principle in the law in several common law jurisdictions, particularly the UK and Australia.

According to Roman law certain basic legal principles are required by nature, or so obvious that they should be applied universally without needing to be enacted into law by a legislator."

It was reported in theSun that "The court also paved the way for Saravanan to carry on with his other aims, including to seek custody of the two children and conversion of the second child to Islam, when the court set aside the Erinford injunctions obtained by Subashini previously against Saravanan."

What exactly is natural justice or natural law? I am no lawyer, but a mere layman, and to a layman, it is natural that a child be subject to the authorities of both the father and the mother. In other words, a mother, to me, according to Natural Justice or Natural Law, a mother should have a say over the religious upbringing of her child or children until they grew to adulthood able to make decisions on their own.

Thus it would appear to me that it is very unfair that the mother have no say whatsoever over the religious upbringing of her child or children until they are old enough to make decisions on their own behalf. To me, it is also very unfair that children of such tender age should be converted to a religion from which they can have no escape when they reach adulthood. To me, it goes against Natural Justice or Natural Law. But who am I to say such thing. I am a mere layman, not a trained lawyer.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Newsmakers of 2007, Malaysia, plus a confession

Hey, there is good news and there is bad. First the bad. I got a confession to make which may make the Circulation Manager of theStar newspaper a teeny weeny little bit happy. I broke my self-imposed boycott of the newspaper today. I did that because I had to go to the UMMC (University Malaya Medical Center. As a pensioner with still one son to put through college, I can't afford to go to Subang Medical Center or Pantai Medical Center where the queues are shorter. That means a long wait. What to do? Sheepishly sneak to the what do you call it - shop? and pray no one will see me buy a copy of theStar.

Now with the bad news over, here is the good news. The Malaysia Bar made it to theStar "StarSpecial YearEnder" in the "Newsmakers of 2007"!!!! Surprised? Of course I was. They put a big photo of the Malaysia Bar members holding 2 banners leading the March for Justice - one that says "NO TO CORRUPTION" and the other one alongside "STOP THE ROT. STOP THE PATRONAGE". Even though it is hidden in the middle of the papers and not on the front page, it is still something. Maybe someone send a copy of a campaign to boycott the papers to theStar Circulation Manager or the editors.

Obviously I cannot copy and put their photo here, so here is my version from the post Long March for Justice (click BACK button to get back to this page).

banner bearers leading the Long March for Justice

Unfortunately mine had only one banner - "BERSIHKAN BADAN KEHAKIMAN" which in plain English is "Clean up the Judiciary". Well, can't beat the professional photographers from theStar. The above was a photo of the Malaysia Bar members holding up one banner leading the troop from the police road block on the way to Putrajaya. By the time I reached the boulevard leading from the Palace of Justice to the Prime Minister Department, my digital camera had ran out of juice. So got nothing to equal or beat the photo by theStar. Still, I had something similar, without the aid of their financial clout.

Good enough, don't you think? And just in case the editors of theStar says I scrapped the photo from some people's website, I have the original, uncropped, large format version of the photo stored.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Who are the extremists?

Malaysia's Prime Minister was reported in the New Straits Times as saying: "Moderates must lead the fight against fanatics or extremism will prevail".

Our Prime Minister is correct, correct, correct. Allow extremists to take over the country, and we are in trouble. Only question is, who are the extremists?

Are they the brave Malaysians who risk the ire of the authorities by disagreeing with some of the decisions, policies or actions made by them, and tried to make things right by going through the normal channels. And when going through such channels produced little, no, or worst, opposite results, make speeches voicing their unhappiness, turned to other means like blogs, peaceful assembly or peaceful march?

Or are they people like the UMNO delegate who responded with "when are you going to use it?" when Hishammuddin brandishes his keris at the opening of the UMNO Youth meeting or current Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who in 1987, as UMNO Youth Chief, vowed to bathe the keris with Chinese blood?

Incitement to violence is a crime. What has been done? Who are the extremists?

Isn’t a peaceful assembly within the law?

This is a response to a speech by Perak Raja Muda Raja Nazrin Shah’s speech urging Malaysians to respect law and order. It was in regards to the provision in the Malaysian Constitution for free speech, free expression and free assembly, and a further clause that says any law or regulation that goes against the spirit of the Constitution is invalid. So is the requirement to get a police permit to hold a peace assembly valid or not valid? The response was an attempt to get an answer. Here is the response to Perak Raja Muda Raja Nazrin Shah’s speech in theSun:

Isn’t a peaceful assembly within the law?

I refer to your report on Perak Raja Muda Raja Nazrin Shah’s speech (front page, Dec 30) urging Malaysians to respect law and order. However, I would like to ask this question which has troubled me for a long time, and I fervently hope that Raja Nazrin and his father Sultan Azlan read this.

Both Raja Nazrin and Sultan Azlan are highly qualified lawyers and are highly respected (Sultan Azlan was a former Lord President), so would be eminently qualified to clarify the issues I hope to raise.

The Constitution provides for free speech, free expression, free assembly and any law or act which goes against the spirit of the Constitution is invalid. I had the opportunity to ask former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas if the requirement for a police permit for any assembly of five or more is valid.

His response was "it is dicey". He cited some amendments and some clause in the amended Constitution. Asked for Tun’s opinion: "The police have the right to regulate, but not to prevent."

Now, when Malaysians participate in a peaceful assembly, are they respecting or not respecting the law?

I hope to get some answers through your now highly respected newspaper. If not from the royalty, then hopefully from the Malaysian Bar or its members or any lawyer.

Malaysians have to resort to peaceful assemblies and protests because numerous attempts to change things and right wrongs have not met with the desired action.

by
Loyal but concerned Malaysian, PJ

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Love and Compassion - that is what we Malaysian must practice

Our Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, gave a very good speech which every Malaysians should pay heed to. He was quoted by Farrah Naz Karim in the New Straits Times, 24th December, 2007, as saying: ""None is more evident than our central belief in the power of love and compassion."

How have our Malaysian government shown this love and compassion by the forced separation of by the Islamic authorities of Revathi Masoosai (click BACK button to get back to this page) from her 15 month old baby plus her husband and gave custody to Revathi's Muslim mother and broke up the family? Mother from baby and husband, husband from baby and wife and baby from mother and father.

Revathi was born to Indian parents who had converted to Islam before her
birth so according to Malaysian law, she is a Muslim. But she says she was raised by her grandmother as a Hindu and had lived as a Hindu. She and her husband, Suresh were married according to Hindu rites in March 2004. Revathi applied to the Malacca Islamic Religious Department to confirm her status as a Hindu when advised by the Malacca Islamic Religious Department to do so.

That resulted in her being detained forcibly for rehabilitation for a long period of time. If I remembered correctly, when she was released from detention, she said she was forced to eat beef which is taboo for Hindus and she said that as the result of the "rehabilitation", she has grown to hate Islam more.

The family is now torn apart - with the mother in detention, the child with
the grandparents and the father in limbo without his family. Where is the love and compassion?."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

BERSIH: Was an alternative site for Bersih November 10 rally offered?

Now it looks like there are 2 versions of what happened when BERSIH, a coalition of a huge list of NGOs and a few political parties, applied for a police to hold a
Rally for a clean and fair Election on November 10, 2007 (now fondly referred to as our version of the series of elevens. USA have their Seven-Eleven, 10/11 (the attack on the Twin Towers), and now Malaysia have our 10/11 too (11 November 2007), a significant event where a huge turn out of marchers turned out to participate in a march from 4 alternative gathering sites (the original assemble point, Dataran Merdeka, was expected to be inaccessible as the police had already issued stern warnings that anyone found within the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka on that day will be arrested. Despite many serious warnings by many people in authorities, including the Prime Minister of Malaysia himself (don't challenge me), and despite many road blocks set up days before the planned rally, the rally still ended successfully with a very satisfactory turn up.

According to a newspaper report I read some time ago, someone, either the IGP (Inspector General of Police) or the PM (Prime Minister) of Malaysia himself, was reported to have said that they offered Merdeka Stadium as an alternative place for the rally, but BERSIH, but BERSIH rejected it. I immediately emailed my contact at BERSIH to verify, but was told they are in the process of preparing a press statement regarding this so called offer. I now read in AWSJ (Asian Wall Street Journal) what seemed to be the press statement released by Sivarasa Rasiah of the Steering Committee Member of Bersih, Kuala Lumpur.

Sivarasa was reported to have said: "The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) would like to respond to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's recent op-ed ("Malaysia's Democracy is Strong," Dec. 7), in which the Prime Minister alleges that police
had offered us an alternative venue for our rally in Kuala Lumpur on November 10, 2007. I am unaware of any such offer. Upon the advice of the police, Bersih representatives met with the Chief Police Officer of Kuala Lumpur and 14 other senior officers on Nov. 1. No options for an alternative venue were discussed. We submitted an application for a permit on November 3. On Nov. 5, we met again with the police to discuss our program -- and again, no change of venue was offered. The next day, our
application to protest was denied. We filed a written appeal, as provided for under the law. On Nov. 9, a day before the rally, the appeal was turned down by letter."

Now we have two versions. One said an alternative site was offered. The other said no alternative site was offered. Both cannot be telling the truth. One must be lying. Who to believe? Well, I dare not offer a public opinion as I am do not have access to facts to venture a public opinon and have no wish to be sued for voicing an opinion which in the end proved to be wrong. Of course I have my own private opinion based on how the main stream media report events, but those are my own private thoughts not to be shared with others. You will have to judge for yourself. One must be lying. Who? It is your call.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Peaceful assembly and memorandum handing event will take place in the SUHAKAM office

Important note: The information below was obtained from an email message and I do not vouch for its accuracy. You are adviced to do your own research to verify its authenticity or accuracy.

There will be a Peaceful assembly at the SUHAKAM office and also a memorandum will be handed over to SUHAKAM to highlight and protect the following:

  • The Right to peaceful assembly as provided for in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution

  • To support SUHAKAM in its role of protecting the right to peaceful assembly of Malaysians and its position on the granting of police permits for peaceful assemblies

  • To oppose and protest the action of the Government and other parties in undermining the Right of Malaysian citizens to assemble peacefully

This Peaceful Assembly as well as the memorandum handing ceremony will take place in SUHAKAM office as follows:

Date: 19 December 2007 (Wednesday)
Time: 11 am
Place: SUHAKAM Office
Jalan Raja Laut,
Kuala Lumpur
(opposite DBKL office)

You ar encouraged to wear a yellow T-shirt.

Spokesperson: S.Arutchelvan
Handphone: 019-2537791
eMail: (arul.psm [at] gmail [dot] com)
Office: 03-22747791

Moon Hui
Handphone: 012-7209981
eMail: suaram [at] suaram [dot] net

Emergency Public Consultation on the SCC Bill

Urgent: Emergency Public Consultation on the SCC Bill

Sorry for this last minute announcement, but only got the details recently:


Emergency Public Consultation on the SCC (Special Complaints Commission) Bill
Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Monday, 17th December
7.30 pm


You can get more details from DAP Members of Parliament of Federal Territory, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (Kepong), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang), Tan Kok Wai (Cheras), Teresa Kok (Seputeh) or with Lau Weng San - 016 3231563 or DAP officials in Federal
Territory/Selangor.

Important note: This summary was done in a hurry due to very short notification and I do not vouch for its accuracy. You are adviced to do your own research to verify the authenticity of anything published in the summary below or hear it directly from Tunku Aziz, Param, Malik and Ragunath whom I was told had confirmed their attendance for tomorrow's Emergency Public Consultation on Special Complaints Commission or what some had been reported to be a "fake IPCMC Bill":


Update 17 December 2007: A report had been published in theSun, "News without border", page 6. according to the report, the first reading of the Special Compliants Bill 2007 (nicknamed "False IPCMC Bill" I think by Yang Berhormat Lim Kit Siang) was tabled in the Parliament on Thursday (I assume last week, 13 December 2007, looks like an unlucky date for Malaysia) which caught many NGOs by surprised and also aghast by what they considered a very significant deviation (my own words, I think they were reported as veered away) from the original recommendations of the Royal Commission. Further, it put into further doubt regarding a response from an Member of Parliament of my Constituency that before any bill or proposal is tabled in the Parliament, they have to go through a long process of consultations with Cabinet members, NGOs, stakeholders, etc. This process of long consultations also apparently did not take placed when the proposed amendment to the Constitution (a very sacred document which should not be tampered with unless it is critical and absolutely necessary) to extend the retirement age of the Chairperson of the Election Commission of Malaysia from 65 to 66 (some say so that the current Chairperson, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, will still be Chairperson of the Malaysia Election Commission for the impending election).

When I heard of the proposed amendment (already passed I supposed with all Barisan MPs voting for it as otherwise, they would no longer be Barisan MPs), I immediately requested an urgent appointment with the Member of Parliament who have kindly granted me that appointment. When I asked how long the process of consultations was and who or what NGOs were consulted, the Member of Parliament said that the Member of Parliament was only referring to the MP's own Ministry. This issue of long consultations before any proposals of bill in the Parliament cropped up when I asked how can any Barisan Member of Parliament are under the whip at all time to vote for any proposals that came from the Executive and against any proposals from the Oppositions, irrespective of merits and irrespective of the interest of the voters of the Barisan MP's Constituency.


The SCC (Special Complaints Commission) body proposed to replace the suggested
Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in 2005 (a long 2 years ago) has been described as "watered down" and 3 members of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission has come out in public complaining that the crucial recommendation made by the royal commission on the police force two years ago had been considered "redundant". They are the Royal Police Commission Chairman, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah and members Tunku Aziz and Lee Lam Thye.

Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin I was told said he was "very disappointed" as the SSB (Special Complaints Commission) was not what the Royal Police Commission had asked for, and I was told had further added: "The government, in its wisdom, did not accept the core recommendation of an independent oversight body."

I was also told that Tunku Aziz said: "The whole purpose was to ensure that not only were the police protected against unfair criticism and allegations but also that there would be a return of public confidence in an organization that had lost it. If the new bill is watered down, obviously we are not going to achieve this purpose."

I was also told that Lee Lam Thye said: "The IPCMC was meant to be an independent body to deal with police misconduct, abuse of power and corruption. I did not expect it to be watered down. At this point, it would be best to leave it to parliament, with the hope that proper debate and discussion will be carried out. MPs need to be aware of the original objective. My fear is that the new bill may not serve its purpose."

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Map to YB Datin Chew Mei Fun's Service Center

Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is the Parlimentary Secretary to Ministry of Women, Family And Community Development and also the Member of Parliament of PJ Utara (North Petaling Jaya) constituency. Yang Berhormat Datin Chew Mei Fun's Service Center address and phone number are as follows:

No.17A, Jln SS25/41,
Mayang Industrial Park
Kelana Jaya
Petaling Jaya
Malaysia.
(the industrail park beside Football Assocation Selangor, Kelana Jaya)

Telephone: 03-78055282

Rough map (not to scale and position of landmarks a bit inaccurate. Click to enlarge):

map to Mayang Industrial Park, Yang Berhormat Chew Mei Fun, Member of Parliament for PJ Utara's Service Center

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Isn’t a peaceful assembly within the law?

From Letters: theSun, Tuesday 4 December 2007, "Speak Up", page 18:

I refer to your report on Perak Raja Muda Raja Nazrin Shah’s speech (front page, Dec 30) urging Malaysians to respect law and order. However, I would like to ask this question which has troubled me for a long time, and I fervently hope that Raja Nazrin and his father Sultan Azlan read this.

Both Raja Nazrin and Sultan Azlan are highly qualified lawyers and are highly respected (Sultan Azlan was a former Lord President), so would be eminently qualified to clarify the issues I hope to raise.

The Constitution provides for free speech, free expression, free assembly and any law or act which goes against the spirit of the Constitution is invalid. I had the opportunity to ask former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas if the requirement for a police permit for any assembly of five or more is valid.

His response was "it is dicey". He cited some amendments and some clause in the amended Constitution. Asked for Tun’s opinion: "The police have the right to regulate, but not to prevent."

Now, when Malaysians participate in a peaceful assembly, are they respecting or not respecting the law?

I hope to get some answers through your now highly respected newspaper. If not from the royalty, then hopefully from the Malaysian Bar or its members or any lawyer.

Malaysians have to resort to peaceful assemblies and protests because numerous attempts to change things and right wrongs have not met with the desired action.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saffron Sunday, Light a Candle. Show that You Care

This post is in response to "Saffron Sunday: Light A Candle, Show You Care", a Facebook Event. It is an expression of love. It is an action of a loyal but concerned Malaysian. If you wish and is willing, you can also do your part from anywhere in the world.

More details:

Event Information

Name: Saffron Sunday
Tagline: Light A Candle, Show You Care
Host: Malaysia
Type: Other - Ceremony

Time and Place

Start Time: Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 8:30pm
End Time: Monday, December 3, 2007 at 12:00am
Location: Malaysia, or anywhere in the world.
City/Town: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

You can join the event by going to Facebook event: Saffron Sunday.

Purpose and objectives

A lighted candle represents the light of love, hope and solidarity of a people to stand together as ONE to express our solidarity to ALL underprivileged Malaysians by lighting candles, wherever we are.

Wherever you and your friends meet to light candles, or you alone, please take pictures and upload it to your own blog, then send the URL to to thepeoplesparliament@gmail.com. If you are not familiar with URL, perhaps What is URL and how you can get it can help throw some light on it. Haris has requested that you do not remain anonymous but identify yourself.

Starting a blog, if you want to do it, is very easy. If you know how to do email, you can start a blog. Dummies Guide to Google Blogger can help you get started very quickly. Use the CONTENT at the top of every page of the blog to find relevant post. You can get further help from Blogger Tips and Tricks and Blogger for Dummies.

The organizers are also appealing to anyone willing to help to tell 20 others about this initiative an urge them to tell 20 others. If your friends and family do not have access to the Internet or do not know how to upload photos to the web, tell them about Saffron Sunday, why the organizers are doing it and ask them to join in and to tell others.

Ask them to take photos and to send it to thepeoplesparliament@gmail.com and Haris can upload the photo for you or your contacts. Haris has undertaken to dedicate a post to put up all the pictures and write-ins from anyone who cares to send them to thepeoplesparliament@gmail.com. Please note that Haris have requested that you do not remain anonymous, but identify yourself.

You can get more information from The Peoples' Parliament Saffron Sunday.

Here is a contribution from an avid blogger Peter Chen, with a yellow T-shirt to show his loyalty to Malaysia and its Monarchy, a "March for Justice" baseball cap to express his hope for a Judiciary that can command the respect of the rest or the world. This made him a pretty comical figure, but that is the price one pay to contribute to a just cause:

Saffron Sunday. Light a Candle. Show that You Care

And here is a big, big contribution from Mick Rogers of the Gold Coast, Australia, the happy country, with his
big, big lighted candle to shows how much he cares for others less fortunate:

candlelight vigil with a big, big lighted candle

Wear yellow every Saturday to show support and loyalty to Malaysia's Monarchy

Please wear something yellow every Saturday.

This is to show our loyalty to the Malaysia's Monarchy and also our patriotism. It is legal, does not cost money if you already have some yellow clothing, or a little bit of money if you do not have one.

You can see me wearing yellow at Saffron Sunday: Light a candle: Show that you care (click BACK button to get back to this page).

The blue baseball cap you see in the photo was given to participants by the Malaysia Bar of the Long March for Justice (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Semextra of a comment in this post:

"Wear a yellow T-shirt every Saturday
Till our nation is back on its feet.

Time to Walk The Talk,
time to stop the blame,
time to stop the rot,
time to heal,
time to rebuild the nation.

For our future and our children's future
for We are all ONE.
When One is harmed, all are harmed.
When One is helped, all are healed

.........
........"

You can read the rest ot the meaningful poem in the comment. Author Pat Lu. Pat Lu is also requestong your suport for various causes in the comment by Pat Lu.

Help Tibet which was invaded in 1949

This post shows that Malaysians are not that inward looking and only care about what is happening in Malaysia and also to show that this blog is not only blogging for positive changes in Malaysia, but also for the world. Hopefully we Malaysians live up to the lyrics of the song Lyrics of "We are the world"

There are other blogs helping to bring positive changes and the links are in the Link List in left sidebar with the heading "Other blogs blogging for positive changes". One of them is SF Team Tibet. SF I believe is short for San Francisco.

Below is a portion scrapped from SF Team Tibet FAQ. Of course, the owner of the website, a fellow blogger and fellow Blog*Star will be informed about this post, and if there is any objection, this will be edited or deleted.


Tibet is an occupied country. Prior to 1949, Tibet was an independent nation with its own government, religion, language, laws and customs. China's People's Liberation Army took Tibet by force. When Chairman Mao came to power in 1949, one of the first things he did was send his troops to annex Tibet.

Tibet was traditionally comprised of three main areas: Amdo (northeastern Tibet), Kham (eastern Tibet) and U-Tsang (central and western Tibet). The Tibetan Autonomous Region was set up by the Chinese government in 1965, covers the area of Tibet west of the Yangtse River, including part of Kham, and includes the Tibetan Capital, Lhasa. The rest of Amdo and Kham have been incorporated into Chinese provinces, and where Tibetan communities were said to have "compact inhabitancy" in these provinces they were designated Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties. As a result most of Qinghai and parts of Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces are acknowledged by the Chinese authorities to be "Tibetan". Tibetans uses the term "Tibet" to refer to all these Tibetan areas currently under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China.