Sunday, 15 January 2012

Forum: Institutionalized Racism in Malaysia

Public Forum on Institutionalized Racism in Malaysia by HINDRAF and KL Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Rights Committee

Date: 17 January 2012
Time: 7.30 pm
Venue: KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

The speakers are:
1) Mr.N.Ganesan - National Advisor to Hindraf
2) Dr. Kua Kia Soong - Director Suaram
3) Assoc. Prof. Dr. Azmi Sharom - Law Lecturer and Activist

Chaired by: Dr Lim Teck Ghee - Director, Centre for Policy Initiatives

Racism in Malaysia is developing into a subtle, pervasive and increasingly aggressive form of racism.

What started as a defensive affirmative action program is now fast degenerating into an aggressive form of institutionalized racism. This is sapping the potential of Malaysian society. The future on this trajectory is disastrous for all Malaysians. It will bring ruin to all of us.

The political, legal and administrative structures of our country – the anchors and sources of this institutionalization need to be fundamentally revamped. For this to happen, the public view of what is truly happening must become sharper. This is not an easy task - given the resources at hand for the beneficiaries of this racist system.

Public opinion must first be aligned with this developing reality, before any change can happen. With the kaleidoscope with which we all view Malaysia the perceived reality now, is not disturbing enough to galvanize people to action. This needs to be addressed.

HINDRAF and the Civil Rights Committee (CRC) of the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall are taking upon themselves to educate the public to address the needed paradigm shift . Together we embark on the first of a series of fora to highlight and educate about the structures and processes that entrench racism into our system, the impact to the nation and to the future of the nation if this is all left unchecked. And also to inform of some early stage activities in this respect.

This is the first time this topic is being broached in a public forum. We wish to push this topic into the foreground of political discourse in our country. – in its barest from. This is part of the campaign of HINDRAF and CRC to bring an end to racism in the country. We have been browbeaten to accept the status quo of this racist regime – but it only continues to reduce us as a people and as a nation. It is time we stood up and said no to institutional racism and begin the process of change.

We have an interesting evening planned at the forum. We invite all concerned Malaysians to attend this forum. At the forum besides what the panel of speakers plan to share, we also look forward to tapping the wisdom of the participants in the form of thoughts about attaining a racism free Malaysia.

18 Months

It's a long time.

9 months is the period of gestation for the average human baby. 18 months is double that.

18 months is the age at which a child, from birth, has learned to roll, sit, crawl, walk, run, eat solids and maybe even talk.

A lot of learning can happen in that span of time, be it for a baby or a university student.

Adam Adli is having 18 months of his formal education put on a hold by the authorities for disapproving of the Prime Minister.

For purely political reasons, a young man is being punished.

Because at the end of the day, the university authorities are at the behest of UMNO and are at its beck and call.

Politics and democracy gone very wrong in Malaysia.

Related: Opinion: Let them sing their songs of change

Friday, 13 January 2012

John Mallot On Acquittals and Reforms

By John R. Mallot – The Wall Street Journal 11th January 2012

If electoral reforms don’t happen soon, the post-acquittal joy may quickly sour.

The not guilty verdict handed down last Monday in the sodomy trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim made both sides, Prime Minister Najib Razak and the opposition, happy. Mr. Najib gets an immediate political boost by claiming a victory for the rule of law and an independent judiciary, while Mr. Anwar can focus on the election ahead. This good feeling, however, is likely to be short-lived. Serious challenges lie ahead.

The first test of the post-verdict era will be whether the government chooses to appeal the acquittal. Defense experts successfully demolished the government’s DNA evidence, but the judge said during the trial that Mr. Anwar’s accuser was credible and reliable. With parliamentary elections looming, the government might conclude that forcing Mr. Anwar back into the courtroom will distract and pull him away from the campaign trail. On the other hand, an appeal would be polarizing and cost the government the support of centrists and independents.

The second test will be whether the government implements key electoral reforms before elections are held. Mr. Najib’s government cracked down in July on Bersih 2.0, a coalition of organizations calling for free and fair elections. This demonstrated the ruling party’s fear that genuinely fair elections could cause them to lose power for the first time since 1957. However, after strong domestic and international criticism of its heavy-handed treatment of the marchers, the government backtracked and created a select parliamentary committee to propose election reforms. Among the proposals are using indelible ink to prevent voter fraud and allowing the opposition to have access to government-owned television and radio, which now act as propaganda outlets for the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

The trouble is that so far, none of the proposals have been carried out. The only thing worthy of note is a court decision earlier this month ruling that the one million Malaysians who reside overseas have no right to vote. Expatriate Malaysians, it should be noted, are generally believed to lean toward the opposition.

If UMNO fumbles electoral reform and squanders its newly earned goodwill, the opposition will get stronger. The growing pains and ideological differences that plagued the opposition coalition in years past have largely been overcome, and Mr. Anwar and his political associates express confidence that they could take power in a fair contest.

In contrast, Mr. Najib faces a constant uphill battle. Many of the economic and political reforms that he proposed were not implemented because of right-wing opposition from inside his party. He is regularly undercut in public by criticism from Malaysia’s very vocal former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and in private by some of his most senior cabinet officers.

The public sees corruption on the rise and feels that UMNO supporters increasingly believe making money from government contracts is business as usual. Many Malaysians now use the word “kleptocracy” to describe their ruling class. This perception further undermines Mr. Najib’s calls for reform, making it seem as if no UMNO leader wants to crack down on this abuse, given its importance to maintaining the support of their political base. This perception is compounded by the fact that Mr. Najib has remained largely silent on the latest scandal, in which one cabinet minister’s family allegedly used public funds, targeted to increase cattle production, to buy luxury condominiums in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

These weaknesses compound UMNO’s fear of losing power and increase the risk of over-reaction. The party will not go down without a fight, and neither will its supporters in the bureaucracy, media, and business worlds, who fear losing access to the financial gravy train. Because of the high stakes, those who benefit from corruption will make an all-out effort to keep the opposition from coming to power. A return to Mahathir-style strong-arm tactics should not be ruled out.

All this will make the coming election the most important in Malaysia’s history—and also its dirtiest. The international community needs to pay attention and hold Mr. Najib to his promise of political and electoral reform. Mr. Anwar’s acquittal is only the beginning of the country’s fight against political abuse and corruption.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Washington Post On Anwar And Democracy In Malaysia

An editorial opinion by the Washington Post on Anwar Ibrahim's ludicrous case.

ON MONDAY a struggle over human rights and democracy will come to a head in an important Muslim country.

The site is not Egypt or Turkey but Malaysia, a country of 28 million that, as it has prospered economically, has grown an opposition movement that is pressing an authoritarian regime to share power.

The opposition’s leader is Anwar Ibrahim, whose multiethnic alliance shocked the ruling party in several state elections in 2008 and who has a chance to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak in national elections expected in the next few months, if the vote is free and fair.

All that explains why on Monday Mr. Anwar will find himself not on the campaign trail but in a courtroom, where he is likely to be given a lengthy prison sentence. The charge is homosexual sodomy, which Malaysia shamefully still treats as a crime.

Read the rest online: A ‘test’ of democracy Malaysia might fail

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Withdraw Disciplinary Charges Against Adam Adli

Naib Canselor UPSI
Pejabat Naib Canselor
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris
35900 Tanjong Malim, Perak

Tel : +605-4506777 / +605-450 6380
Faks : +605-4582773
Email :

Withdraw Disciplinary Charges Against Adam Adli Abdul Halim Immediately

Malaysians oppose the action of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris authority on Adam Adli Abdul Halim as he was merely practising his right to freedom of expression by lowering Najib’s flag on 23rd December 2011.

2. We strongly feel that the disciplinary charge should be withdrawn because:

a) Adam Adli Abdul Halim was exercising his right to freedom of expression which is guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
b) He has not endangered public order as alleged by UPSI’s disciplinary body -- if so, Royal Police Malaysia is the body to take action -- but he has not broken any law in the country.
c) The disciplinary action against university autonomy and democracy which was allowed by Section 4, 15 and 16 of University and University College Act. UPSI has utterly disgraced itself, by toeing the government line and choosing to persecute Adam.

3. We urge UPSI authorities to:

a) Withdraw all pending disciplinary charges against Adam Adli Abdul Halim.
b) Preserve freedom of expression and academics of students as universities play a central role in the development of humanity and modern society.

Yours faithfully,

Crankshaft and like-minded readers

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

5000 Perverts Ready To Be Deployed

Be afraid, Malaysia. Be very afraid.

History often repeats itself.

Check out another youth squad a few years ago.

Monday, 2 January 2012

The Gall Of UMNO

Click on image to enlarge

The irony of those who try to portray themselves as being Islamic -- in fact more Islamic than PAS!

UMNO has shown its true colours by seeking the help of astrologers to know if this would be their good year in going for elections.

The verdict? The political elite will be favoured, say the astrologers.

Certainly something the politicians want to hear.

As for me, I have no intention of making any predictions. Time will tell.

Read the whole story here.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

UPSI Students Beaten Up By Police

I blogged some time back about Adam Adli, a student activist from UPSI who had lowered a flag bearing the likeness of Najib Razak at the UMNO headquarters.

That did not go down too well with the powers that be, especially after emotional blackmail and calls for apology yielded no results.

There was an interesting excerpt from The Malaysian Insider, just a few days ago:

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said the authorities are keeping a close watch on Adam and advised him to exercise caution when going about his activities.

This prompted the feisty student to respond confidently that he does not feel threatened by such statements.

“I’m not going to give up. How can they restrict me? I don’t see why must they do so,” Adam Adli said.

“I believe, and I know, I’m not doing anything wrong … I’m just voicing out my rights to protest over government policies and actions,” he added.

Adam Adli is quite right -- he has fully exercised his lawful rights to protest.

It's just that the Malaysian government does not very much like any form of dissent from its people.

In fact, Adam Adli was warned, in no subtle terms, that the authorities would be likely to take action.

And take action they did, in the wee hours of the morning when the undergraduates had held a sit-down demonstration in the UPSI campus to protest the University and University Colleges Act (UUCA).

A lot of them were beaten up.

It was a completely peaceful protest. There was absolutely no reason for violence.

Certainly no reason for violence that led to Muhammad Safwan Anang, the president of undergraduate movement Gerakan Menuntut Kebebasan Akademic (Bebas), being sent to a hospital in Slim River after he lost consciousness.

He was beaten up so badly that he even lost some teeth.

The police are so brazen to beat up this young man for a peaceful protest, without caring about what the rest of the nation thought about this incident.

Were they relying on the mainstream media to keep mum? Or for the politicians to whitewash their actions so it seems reasonable to beat up a young student for his political views?

UPDATE: Apparently, they have asked Muhammad Safwan Anang to sign a document saying that he had sustained his injuries during a fall. There were witnesses who saw the beating -- did they think they could cover it up??!!