Wednesday, 31 October 2012


If you've forgotten who Kugan Ananthan was, this should refresh your memory.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The mother of A. Kugan, the detainee who died in police custody, will take the stand at the High Court here on Friday in her RM100 million suit against Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and four others for alleged negligence and breach of statutory duty.

Justice Datuk V. T. Singham was informed today that other than N. Indra, 44, lawyer N. Surendran would also be called as a key witness during the trial.

Plaintiff's counsel, L. Bani Prakash also informed the court that the plaintiff faced difficulty in serving a subpoena on forensic pathologist Dr Prashad Samberkar of University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) who carried out the second autopsy on Kugan's body.

He said Dr Prashad's contract had expired and he had returned to his country of origin, India, in early October.

However, the subpoena had been served on UMMC's head of forensic department, Assoc Prof Dr Nazarina Abdul Rahman, he added.

Justice Singham told Bani Prakash that he should have been more proactive in recording Dr Prashad's statement while he was in the country or sought the court's assistance on the matter, since the pathologist's testimony was crucial to the plaintiff's case.

Will this be justice served?

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Murder of Altantuya

Written by John Berthelsen

Six years on, troubling questions remain about the Mongolian beauty's death, and who ordered it

It will be six years tomorrow since bodyguards for now-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak dragged the Mongolian translator and party girl Altantuya Shaariibuu out of a car in a patch of jungle near the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Shah Alam.

As she begged for her life and apparently that of her unborn child, they knocked her unconscious, then shot her twice in the head.

That was Oct. 19, 2006. According to court testimony, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, members of the elite Unit Tindakan Khas, both assigned to Najib’s office, then wrapped Altantuya’s body in C4 plastic explosives and blew her up, possibly to mangle her remains so badly that the fetus would be destroyed.

Sirul Azhar was interrogated by police shortly after the murder was discovered. He was informed that anything he said could be held against him, in accordance with the law. In his cautioned statement, as his confession was called in Malaysia, he told authorities he and Azilah had been offered RM100,000 to kill the woman and her two companions, who were causing highly public embarrassment for Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib’s best friend. The 28-year-old Mongolian woman, in a letter found after her death, wrote that she was sorry she had been blackmailing Razak Baginda.

If French police records are to be believed, Razak Baginda was allegedly central to a massive bribery case in which a total of nearly €150 million in payments were steered to two Razak Baginda companies, Perimekar Sdn Bhd and Terasasi Hong Kong Ltd.

As Asia Sentinel reported earlier this year, records seized by the French police show that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe were aware of the transactions. Memos obtained by Asia Sentinel show the French expected at least part of the money to be steered to the United Malays National Organization, Malaysia’s biggest ethnic political party.

Read the rest here:The Murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Should The International Community Care?

By Ambiga Sreenevasan

Those in the international community may be forgiven for saying, “Is there a problem with the democratic process in Malaysia?”

In the international arena, our leaders portray Malaysia as a moderate Islamic nation that is built on the democratic principles that are enshrined in our Federal Constitution. The fundamental rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, the right to life and a fair electoral process, are indeed guaranteed under our Federal Constitution.

The reality is, however, far less idyllic. There are serious questions whether these rights are respected and upheld by those in power.

Since before the 1990’s, Malaysians have been pushing for a reform of the system of governance. There has been growing discontent over issues like rampant corruption, abuse of power, deaths in custody and selective prosecution (or persecution), to name but a few of the grouses.

We are increasingly alarmed by the use of race and religion by politicians to divide the people for political gain, with no regard whatsoever for the possible long term consequences of this conduct.

We note with disgust our mainstream media descending to the lowest depths of junk journalism. We are appalled at the growing instances of political violence.

Read the rest here: Malaysia’s elections: Should the international community care? — Ambiga Sreenevasan

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The After-Effects Of Project Mahathir

By Niluksi Koswanage
4:48 p.m. CDT, October 7, 2012

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia (Reuters) - Housewife Fawziah Abdul wants to thank former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad for making her a citizen 10 years after she illegally slipped into Borneo from the southern Philippines in search of a better life.

The 50-year-old lives on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia's Sabah state, where her tin-roofed shack jostles for space with more than 1,000 others in a slum where children play beside heaps of rubbish.

She is hopeful that her three children will get a new home and identity cards if she votes for the government again.

Read the rest here: Migrants, church may end Malaysia government's Borneo vote bank