Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Waving the Constitution

It has been an extremely busy few weeks, but I did manage to put up a couple more blog posts recently, relative to earlier weeks. But I'll probably be easing off a bit for the next week or so as I have to help complete a big writing project for the Party. (Writing can be really tiring! ;))

But before I go into a mini-hiatus, I thought I'd highlight again, this time, our Prime Minister's reiteration that Malaysia is indeed an Islamic State.
Seperti yang telah saya nyatakan sebelum ini, Malaysia bukanlah sebuah negara sekular ataupun negara teokratik. Malaysia adalah sebuah negara Islam, yang ditadbir berlandaskan prinsip-prinsip Islam, dan pada masa yang sama, berpegang teguh kepada prinsip-prinsip demokrasi berparlimen yang berpandukan kepada undang-undang tertinggi negara, iaitu Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Prinsip Islam yang saya maksudkan di sini dapat dilihat melalui pendekatan Islam Hadhari yang telah saya perkenalkan.
I assume Pak Lah meant to say in English that "“Malaysia is an Islamic state which is administered based on the principles of Islam and at the same time adheres to the principles of parliamentary democracy guided by the highest law of the land - the Federal Constitution. The principles of Islam mentioned here is the Islam Hadhari philosophy which has been introduced by him."

The billion ringgit question then is, in the event of contradiction between Islam Hadhari as defined by the Prime Minister, and the Federal Constitution, which one comes first? If it is the former, then by definition, we are a theocratic state. If it is the latter, why is it that we are seeing clear cut evidence to the contrary? It is especially obvious when the Prime Minister states that we are "not a secular state", contrary to the spirit and objectives of the Federal Constitution. Either that, or he doesn't know what he is talking about.

Now, given that the MCA Youth leaders led by Datuk Liow Tiong Lai who had tried to defend Najib's initial proclamation that Malaysia is an Islamic State, and who so patrioticly waved the Federal Constitution during the MCA Youth Assembly, the question is will he lead the MCA leaders both in the cabinet as well as the Parliament to wave the Federal Constitution in Parliament?
The apex of Liow’s speech was in the closing when he said that it was never MCA Youth’s culture to brandish the keris.

“If we want to brandish something, why not let us wave the Federal Constitution?” he said as all of the Youth wing committee members on the stage rose in unison with copies of the constitution in their hands to loud applause from the floor.
Or was the waving of the constitution just for MCA's internal consumption and a photo taking publicity opportunity, or will he act as big as he talks?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Thankfully, I managed to get my Chinese column in Oriental Daily printed on Monday last week for I was discussing the issue of Wee Meng Chee, which as become a "political circus", while Malaysia became the butt of jokes by the international community. For on the very next day, the all powerful Internal Security Ministry headed by none other than the Prime Minister himself, issued an instruction to stop all further discussions and reports on the issue, well, except when its raised by the all-knowing Prime Minister himself, and his deputy.

Once again, I'll reiterate that I do not wholly agree with the content of Wee's songs, particularly in his use of coarse language as well as when he touches on religion. However, it becomes absolutely ridiculous when senior ministers of the Malaysian cabinet all took turns to jump on to the bandwagon to take potshots at the 24 year old student, threatening him with anything from detention under the ISA, withdrawing his citizenship and even charging him for treason!

The funniest of it all, must be Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz's highly thought provoking remark, when he wanted to take action against If only our Ministers could act against all the other ills plaguing the country with equal seriousness and gusto.

(And Wee's back, now with his debut album to be released on 2nd Sept)













Monday, August 27, 2007

Bursa Malaysia: Bull or Bear?

I'm no stock market guru, but I've been invited to speak at a Mandarin forum organised by Oriental Daily with regards to the above issue.
Date: 28th August 2007 (Tue)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
In recent weeks, the global equity and money markets can safely be regarded as undergoing a fair bit of turmoil, to a large extent caused by the subprime mortgage market crisis in the United States.

Therefore, the billion ringgit question, and I think analysts are split on this, is whether the current correction to the global stock market of between 8-10% is merely a healthy correction or is it a sign of more depressing things to come?

The stock market is without a doubt one of the hottest buttons to press, when it comes to generating public interest. Even when I travel to different parts of the country giving talks with regards to the Malaysian economy, in my position as the Economic Advisor to DAP's Secretary General, the audience tends to only wake up whenever the stock market is discussed. ;)

Even the last time I spoke at the Oriental Daily Forum on the 10th Year Anniversary of the Asian Financial Crisis, together with Dr Ho Kee Peng (who will also be there tonight), it was a "sold out" crowd.

So see you there! ;)

Malaysian Venture Capital Association Talk

I've been invited to give a talk around the topic of entrepreneurship at Malaysian Venture Capital Association's (MVCA) Networking Breakfast. ;) Hence for those who are interested in me discussing non-political issues for a change, you may join the event.

The details are as follows:
Date: Wednesday, 29 August 2007
Time: 8.30am – 10.30am
Venue: Coffee Pavilion, Securities Commission, Persiaran Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
For those interested in attending, please contact Pn. Maizatul Ain at (+603)20962094 or via email @ admin(at) to confirm your seats. The Breakfast session will cost RM30 for MVCA members, and RM50 for non-members.

The programme for the event is as follows:
0830: Registration & Buffet Breakfast
0850: Welcome Remarks by Azam Azman, Chairman MVCA
0900: Presentation by David Fong, CEO, iSpring Venture Management Sdn Bhd
0930: Presentation by Tony Pua, former CEO and founder of SESDAQ-Listed IT company
1000: Q&A & Networking Session
1030: Ends
So for those interested in business and meeting potential venture capitalists, feel free to drop by! See you there! ;)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Alor Gajah: World Biotechnology Hub?

I read with extreme interest, an article in the New Straits Times which proclaimed that Alor Gajah (in Melaka, by the way), will soon become the "next biotechnology hub of the world". Undertaking this "massive project costing RM1.36 billion" at the 113ha site is "California-based Actis Biologics Inc, a bio-pharmaceutical company which has set up a Malaysian-registered company Actis Biologics Malaysia Sdn Bhd."

Now, don't get me wrong, I welcome such investments into Malaysia, and certainly if indeed Malaysia can become a global biotechnology hub, it will be excellent news for the country. However, having experienced plenty of disastrous mega-projects in Malaysia with supposed foreign investment or participation, you will forgive me if I am a little apprehensive (understatement?) when it comes to such mega-announcements. I can't help but to suspect if there's anything fishy going on.

I'll just name a few examples here. Datuk Keramat Holdings Berhad was supposed to deliver the first phase of a US$60 million studio and entertainment complex is planned on a 480-hectare piece of land in Cyberjaya. It was to form an integral part of MSC's most prestigious project: the creation of a $790-million high-tech film studio and a Disneyesque theme park complex called the Entertainment Village. Unfortunately, the grand launch during the 2001 International Advisory Panel, complete with Jacky Chan in a shimmering white outfit, proved to be the only highlight of that initiative. Instead of sharing the blame, Multimedia Development Corporation laid the blame squarely on the developer after millions of ringgit was burnt.

And, what about another of Dr Mahathir Mohammad's favourite projects - InventQjaya?
A Dr Sadeg of Reveo Inc (USA), a Libyan-American, told CNN's TalkAsia host Lorraine Hahn in a programme aired in November 2002 that former premier Mahathir Mohamad had invited him to invest in Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor after a meeting in New York. The project is funded by a government loan of RM437 million, of which RM228 million has been paid out. Now, with practically nothing to show besides the ownership of several commercially useless patents, the Malaysian government is charging Reveo of money laundering and absconding with the loan. Disaster? You tell me.

Of course, lets not forget the latest mega-project scandal the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), a RM1.3 billion project which ballooned to RM4.6 billion, which in turn now requires government bailout with a soft loan which will probably never see the light of day.

So, back to our very own "RM1.36 billion bio-technology hub". Who is this Actis Biologics Inc, and are they sufficiently competent to manage such mega projects? With the project suffer the same fate as InventQjaya and require the same bailout like PKFZ?

I've done some very simple preliminary checks, something that you and me can all do with Google. Here are some initial and not necessarily conclusive findings, which nevertheless, raises some interesting questions for the authorities to follow up on:
  1. Based on a free summary report by Dun & Bradstreet, a premier provider of international and US business credit information and credit reports, Actis Biologics is an unlisted company which started in 2004. It has annual sales of US$530,000 and 7 employees.

    Um.. a 3 year old company with 7 employees and revenue of about half a million US Dollars, taking on a RM1.3 billion "world biotechnology hub" project?

  2. Now, if the above data is sufficiently intriguing, there's a more detailed business information report available for US$110.00, which may contain further juicy information. The report studies key performance information, including sales figures, net worth, financial condition, legal suits etc. I'm sure the relevant Malaysian government authorities in-charge of the project will find the US$110 money well spent. There are of course, other reports on the company which can be purchased.

  3. It will of course be useful to see other projects which Actis have undertaken, and in particular, one in India which was launched at the end of 2005. Despite many press statements then sounding overwhelmingly similar to the NST article, no further news is available as to the progress of the project in Mumbai. As reported in the Economic Times, India, Actis planned a US$3 million investment in a R&D lab in India. Also, check out the report in Hindu Business Line or the one at
    US-based biopharmaceutical company Actis Biologics Inc is setting up its wholly owned subsidiary in India in a move to make the country a hub for its clinical research and developmental activities.

    Having recently licensed the angiozyme technology, jointly developed by Sirna Therapeutics and Chiron, Actis expects this technology platform to power drug development in different segments. This technology helps block blood supply to cancer cells and the same method can be used for fat cells too, he said.

  4. Which brings me to this "angiozyme" technology. A 1-pager introduction on the enzyme is available here. Actis bought the rights to Angiozyme from the owners, Sirna and Chiron for worldwide distribution i.e., Actis isn't the inventor of the product. As reported here in the November 2005 edition of the Business World, India:
    Actis does not do any drug discovery. Instead, it licences promising drugs that have cleared early stages of human trials from either universities or biopharmaceutical firms in the US after a due diligence by its own scientific team. What Actis wants are partners in India that would be interested in helping it take these products through clinical trials in exchange for marketing rights in emerging markets and global manufacturing rights.

    Actis expects that the capital will be put up by the Indian partner
    while Actis brings the clinical and manufacturing expertise needed for a completely new biotech product.
The question then is, and I assume the situation is relatively similar for Alor Gajah, if Actis is not bringing in the much needed capital, then who is forking out the RM1.3 billion investment? The Malaysian Government? You and me?

Let me reiterate, I have every wish that the project announced by Actis will be wildly successful, for then it'll prove to the world that Malaysia is a worthwhile country to invest in. However, our past experiences, particularly with incompetent and guillible government officials, it certainly necessitate that stringent due diligence be conducted to ensure that we don't dig another hole for ourselves.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Record Mega-Scandal

Have you been following the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Trade Zone mega-bailout scandal? If not, it's time you look into it. Malaysiakini has extensive set of reports on this issue, and The Sun has written a fair bit about it in recent weeks as well. Jeff Ooi has also given a decent summary of the extensive details here.

I won't bother repeating the details here, except to emphasize the fact that our previous largest financial scandal which necessitated a Royal Commission of Enquiry and a White Paper was for the RM2.4 billion BMF scandal involving Bumiputra Finance. Will we see a similar transparency and integrity in the Pak Lah-led administration?

Ronnie Liu, who first discovered the scandal, filed the 4th police report on the above issue, after unsatisfactory responses provided by the authorities which failed to address many key issues relating to the scandal. In particular, the Minister in-charge, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy has taken a leaf off Pak Lah's elegant silence. Here's the short list of the many critical unanswered questions, awaiting the reply of Pak Lah's clean and efficient government:
  • Why build so many units of warehouses and leased office blocks when there were no takers?

  • Why was there no effort to find investors before we lodged police reports this year?

  • Why build a 4-star hotel with 215 rooms here? Why build a dedicated highway here?

  • Why buy 1,000 acres when you only need 500 acres?

  • Why appoint the same lawyer for the seller (Kuala Dimensi) and buyer (PKA)?

  • Why appoint Chor Chee Heong as the chairman of PKA when he is already the deputy chairman of Wijaya Baru/ Wijaya International (owner of Kuala Dimensi)?

  • Why extend O C Phang’s service as the GM for PKA for 5 times?

  • Why appoint O C Phang as the CEO of PKFZ when she is already the GM of PKA?

  • Why Chan Kong Choy, the Transport Minister, still keeping quite when the PM has already asked him to explain to the public about two weeks ago?

  • Who were responsible for changing the minutes of meetings as alleged by Jafza?

  • Was it true that there were attempts to evade tax as alleged by Ernst & Young?

  • Was it true that there was a plan to demolish all the 512 units of warehouses because they were of wrong design and not practical?

  • Was it true that the accumulated loss of PKA has exceeded RM 3 billion?

  • Was it true that PKFZ needs to pay more than RM500 million for the loan beginning from this year for 15 years?

  • Wouldn’t these will add up to more than RM7.5 billion in 15 years down the road.

  • What were the roles played by the two former PKA chairperson, Ting Chew Peh and Yap Pian Hon?

  • Was there a breach of trust both by the former and current Transport Minister?
So many questions, so many promises to fulfil and yet, so little time... but some people can still find time to doze off during meetings.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Utusan Malaysia: Breeding Extremism?

In my little verbal scuffle with Khairy Jamaluddin a few months back with regards to the civil service being overly unwieldy, there were many letters and articles published in Utusan Malaysia which essentially asked for my head to be checked (well, to put it lightly ;)).

It is however clear to me now that Utusan Malaysia serves critically as a mouthpiece to agitate racial sensitivities as well as promoting the concept of racial supremacy, instead of a "Bangsa Malaysia", or in DAP's terms, "Malaysian First".

Take for example, the recent protest note sent to the Prime Minister's office by Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF). Some of the demands by the group include calls on the government to maintain Malaysia’s status as a secular state, full revamp of National Integration Policy, preservation places of worship as well as affirmative-action plans for the Indian community.

Certainly, the demands aren't earth shattering or by no means "extreme". However, the editors of Utusan Malaysia responded angrily in their column "Bisik-Bisik Awang Selamat". Here's one on 21st August on the demolition of Hindu temples around the country:
Isu tersebut ialah tentang kuil. NGO itu mendakwa banyak kuil telah dirobohkan. Tetapi HINDRAF tidak pula menyebut bahawa kuil-kuil itu dibina secara haram.


Walaupun kaum India cuma minoriti, terdapat begitu banyak kuil di Malaysia terutama yang dibina secara haram. Membina kuil haram cukup mudah seolah-olah negara ini tiada undang-undang.

Awang harap isu ini menjadi pengajaran kepada kerajaan khususnya PBT. Inilah akibatnya jika kita berlembut dari awal lagi. Akhirnya kerajaan yang ditekan dan menjadi mangsa manipulasi.


Maka bertindaklah ke atas pihak yang sesuka hati membina dan menyelia kuil haram. Bertindaklah sebelum keadaan menjadi lebih buruk dan membawa mudarat.

Awang – Beralah ada batas.
On the previous day, "Awang" was even fiercer.
AWANG terkejut dengan tuntutan Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), sebuah NGO kaum India yang mahu hak istimewa orang Melayu dihapuskan dan mendakwa kaum India dipinggirkan oleh kerajaan BN.


Tindakan HINDRAF hanya akan mengundang gelombang kemarahan masyarakat bumiputera yang sudah begitu banyak beralah untuk kaum minoriti atas nama kontrak sosial.

Sedarkah bahawa masih ramai orang Melayu dan bumiputera yang miskin terutama di luar bandar. Mereka setia menyokong kerajaan sejak merdeka lagi. Kalau diikutkan, mereka lagi berhak membuat pelbagai tuntutan.

Ingatan Awang, jangan sampai orang Melayu hilang sabar dan akhirnya memudaratkan semua pihak.

Dakwaan HINDRAF tentang isu kuil juga, sama sekali salah.
Di negara inilah, terdapat begitu banyak kuil seolah-olah orang India merupakan kaum induk. Mahu apa lagi?

Awang – Membara dalam diam.
It is hence not surprising that UMNO possesses a stranglehold over an overwhelming majority of the Malays in Malaysia. Daily perpetuation of half-truths and untruths, presented in an inflammatory manner to the Malay public has resulted in a skewed view towards Malaysia, as a society.

Where then, is the voice of moderation, tolerance and compassion in the Malay vernacular media? Can things change?

Free Press? (II)

Overwhelming support for Wee Meng Chee

The forum "In Solidarity with Wee Meng Chee" held on Sunday evening was an absolute success. The 400-strong standing-room-only crowd was literally roaring and we had to move to a larger seminar room to accommodate the incredible turnout. The turnout is even more amazing in the light of less than 2 days' notice when we decided to hold the forum on Friday.

Needless to say, everyone was unanimous in their anger towards the Cabinet for the absurd high-handedness in dealing with the issue over a controversial song, which created a political circus. You really had to be there to feel the pulse of the audience. It was quite unbelievable.

Similarly, on Monday evening, our forum in Melaka attracted a 200-strong crowd, again, equally upset with clowns who were in-charge.

The powers that be clearly heard our voices loud and clear, for the all-powerful Publications Control and Al-Quran Texts Unit senior officer Che Din Yusof of the Ministry of Internal Security, once again flexed their muscles to ban all discussion of Wee Meng Chee in the print media. He did the exact same thing on Najib's proclamation that Malaysia is an "Islamic state... and never, never a secular state."
“Yes, the directive was issued today,” he said when contacted. “What more is there for the papers to write? Enough is enough.

However, Che Din said the media can still report on comments made by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak on the issue.
This directive also follows an internal directive within MCA-owned The Star which had blacked out news on Wee Meng Chee earlier last week.

Sdr Lim Kit Siang rightly lamented that:
The Internal Security Ministry ban on mainstream media from reporting the Wee Meng Chee Negarakuku rap controversy marks a quantum jump into the abyss of media control, censorship and blackout completely unthinkable when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister 45 months ago.
Referring to the MCA Youth executive committee's public relations act of waving the Federal Constitution during the MCA General Assembly, the Parliamentary Opposition leader rightly asked:
Where are the MCA and MCA Youth wavers of the Malaysian Constitution only a few days ago to stand up for the fundamental rights of Malaysians, including freedom of speech and expression to protest at the latest denial of the basic human rights of Malaysians?
Or is this all a plot by MCA to "silence" the damaging leaks in the Malay press which are detrimental to MCA's political fortunes? For example, it appears that the very minister who eeked an apology out of Wee Meng Chee, who at the same time gave him a public nationwide reprimand, was actually in agreement with the cabinet decision to proceed to refer the matter to the Attorney General for possible prosecution!
MCA bersetuju dengan gesaan pelbagai pihak supaya tindakan undang-undang dikenakan terhadap Wee Meng Chee kerana mencipta klip video menghina lagu Negaraku dengan menggunakan bahasa kasar dan lucah.

Naib Presiden parti itu, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek berkata, persetujuan itu selaras dengan prinsip parti berkenaan bahawa perkataan lucah dan yang menyentuh sensitiviti kaum dan agama tidak boleh digunakan semata-mata atas nama kebebasan.

"Kita berharap kerajaan mengambil tindakan tegas kepada sesiapa yang melanggar prinsip ini dan kita serahkan kepada kebijaksanaan Peguam Negara untuk menyiasat dengan lebih terperinci mengenai apa tindakan yang seharusnya dikenakan," katanya.
Why did the Minister of Health pressure Wee's family to make the apology, when he believes that Wee should be prosecuted even if he has apologised? MP for Jasin, Mohd Said "Close-One-Eye" Yusof and MP for Kinabatangan Bung "Bocor" Mokhtar were both allowed to get away from punishment scott free after a qualified and contrived apology.

Why is a 24-year old student treated like he was serial rapist cum murderer?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No Action Against UMNO Supporters' Website?

I wrote in an earlier post with regards to the police report that I made 2 weeks ago with regards to a highly inflammatory article posted on Kelab Penyokong Maya UMNO website, which was particularly offensive to Christians. This was also reported in Malaysiakini.

I've just followed up with the investigating officer for the case, and the only response I obtained was "masih dalam siasat". It has been two weeks, much more than the time taken for the police to take Raja Petra in for questioning with regards to a police report made by UMNO which alleged that the former insulted the Agung and Islam. That's double standards for you.

Also, some additional quick words to add - there as been 2 negative comments made on other websites with regards to the action which I have been taken.

Firstly, someone suggested that the remarks was purely targeted at Raja Petra, and had nothing to do with Christianity. I beg to strongly differ. To quote Raja Petra himself, its quite one thing to insult him with all the names you can think of, but it's quite another of accusing him of being a closet Christian, and hence believing in a false God.

Secondly, someone else suggested that by lodging a police report, I'm supporting the authoritarian Sedition Act. Again, I beg to differ. I don't support the sedition act, particularly not in its current overbearing and limitless form. However, I support the principle that the law applies to everybody and selective prosecution in itself, is a crime of the Government.

It is necessary to show that the Government's action in cracking down on bloggers has nothing to do with "sedition", and everything to do with illegal crackdown on dissent, and attempts to expose the relevant scandals and misdeeds of the Government.

The fact that the article has not been taken down, and no apologies have been made to date, demonstrates the clear intent of the Government to stifle the truth. It didn't matter that the article on KPMU wasn't telling outright lies, as they were told in support of the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional Government. However, if bloggers and other writers publish articles which exposes the truth which are unfavourable to UMNO and Barisan Nasional, the might of the Government machinery will fall upon the person, just as in the case of Wee Meng Chee.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Monkey's Last Stand

A picture essay by TV Smith.

Bukit Melawati, 22nd August 2007: Despite his patriotic stand, he will soon be stripped of his citizenship and banished to another country. Perhaps, our monkeys were already doomed when people in authority likened bloggers to them. The Cabinet has literally signed their death warrant by withdrawing protection for the so-called urban monkeys under the Wildlife Protection Act. How can we stand tall as a nation, when we so casually shrugged-off our responsibility to protect the weak and defenseless? Continue reading the monkey's plight here.


Given that we are not suppose to discuss our Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's declaration that "we are an Islamic state... we were never, never a secular state", I thought that Farish Noor's flat earth analogy was an excellent way to get through the "censorship" in the mainstream media.

Hence it inspired my little fairy tale on the Land of Aisyalam (check out the brief English version here), published in my column in Oriental Daily last week.













Monday, August 20, 2007

MCA: UMNO "Best Partner"

The coverage of the MCA General Assembly yesterday in today's papers in kinda nauseating. Thank goodness for The Sun for giving coverage to the RM4.6 billion scandal at the Port Klang Free Trade Zone. (Yes, you can build nearly 2 new Penang bridges with that amount of money.)

Pak Lah proudly proclaimed that "I want to be fair. I am fair and I will always be fair."

Mohd Said Yusof and Bung Mokhtar gets away with insincere apologies without further action from the Parliament for using unparliamentary language and insulting women. Wee Meng Chee gets threatened with the Sedition, the Internal Security Act, revocation of citizenship, forced extradition, public reprimand and unjust scolding by Ministers. And yet, after the 24 year old student apologised, the Cabinet decides to proceed for legal action. Where's the fairness?

Nathaniel Tan gets detained under remand for 4 days for alleged Official Secrets Act documents which never had, and "official secrets" which had already been published in mainstream newspapers. Raja Petra Kamaruddin gets call in by the police and grilled for 8 hours for allegedly insulting Agung and Islam. Even his wife wasn't spared. But when UMNO supporters websites threaten non-Malays and non-Muslims with blood and murder, when they public published articles which insults other religions, no action is taken. Where's the fairness?

The above are just some simple examples. We can all cite plenty more, and we are seeing it everyday. Just what type of fairness the Prime Minister, Pak Lah is preaching, I have absolutely no clue. The rakyat believed him the last elections. Will they believe him again this time? Is Pak Lah still credible?

Well, MCA thinks he is. In fact, the MCA president, who not too long ago was publicly reprimanded by the Prime Minister on the frontpage of the New Straits Times, asked "party members to stop criticising some statemnents made during hte UMNO general assembly last year". (The Sun)

He said they [MCA members] must accept this reality because there were no other Malay-dominated political parties the MCA could cooperate with.
"We must not lie to ourselves and think that one day UMNO may just disappear. Many Malays still believe that only through UMNO that their rights can be protected and this is the reality."
And as reported in NST:
"Umno is a true ally and our co-builder in the nation’s development, why should we end such a beautiful friendship?"
Yes, birds of the same feather certainly flocks together. A beautiful friendship indeed.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Battle Begins...

I'm at the DAP National Election Preparatory Conference this morning at Crystal Crown Hotel to kick off the DAP campaign. I'm assisting Jeff Ooi, who's heading the General Elections E-Campaign Strategy Team in our presentation this morning. Yes, work has to begin in earnest to ensure that we can come up with a good show on behalf of all Malaysians.

At the same time, as I'll also be standing for elections, I'll have to commence my own preparations as well. My own branch, DAP Damansara will be having a meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the next steps which need to be taken.

Once again, I'll like to call upon those who will like to be part of the campaign team, who will like to volunteer in helping out with our various activities, e.g., dinners, fund-raising, internet etc., please come forward to join me at the meeting, with details below:
Date: 21 August 2007
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: DAP Damansara (55M Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya)
Anyone with any queries, feel free to email me at tonypua(at) See you! ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Solidarity with Wee Meng Chee

Thanks to the hapless MCA and Barisan Nasional Government, my schedule this weekend and next week will turn upside down. We had already planned a general election pre-preparatory committee meeting in the morning tomorrow. We have the Merdeka Dialogue in the afternoon at Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya.

And yesterday (Friday), my boss who works us really really hard (for a good cause), called for a Mandarin forum "In Solidarity with Wee Meng Chee" in the same Sunday evening at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. Being part of the organising committee for the above, plus having to speak in the evening as well, will pretty much drive one nutty ;)

(And I'm supposed to finish my weekly column for Oriental Daily tonight!)

For those living in Melaka, the same forum will be held on Monday evening as well at the DAP Melaka State Headquarters.

Anyway, here are the details of the forum, for those who found time to read my blog, as well as those who can make it:

1. Klang Valley
Date: 19 August 2007 (Sunday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (No. 1, Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur)
2. Melaka
Date: 20 August 2007 (Monday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Dewan Rakyat, DAP Malacca State Headquarters (Jalan Pandan, Malacca)
The distinguished panel of speakers includes:
* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader
* Josh Hong, Political Analyst
* Yeo Yang Poh, Former Bar Council Chairman*
* Tony Pua, Economic Advisor to DAP Sec-Gen
* Jeff Ooi, DAP General Election E-Campaign Director
Hope to see you there! Below is the forum write up in Chinese.









Campaign Video for Jeff

Thanks to Malaysia's Top Blogger, Kenny Sia, we now have a Election Campaign video for Jeff Ooi ;)

Thank you Kenny! ;) And check out his post on Clampdown on Bloggers as well ;)

Free Press?

Check out the Star today, or rather don't. There is absolutely no reports on the Cabinet's treatment of Wee Meng Chee with an iron fist. No response reported from absolutely anybody. If you are English educated, check out Malaysiakini's report as well as all the letters there. If you are Chinese literate, check out any of the Chinese papers.

But no, the issue's just not important enough for the Star. Oh, I forgot that the Star's owned by Malaysia Chinese Association's investment holdings company, Huaren. Oh, it so happens that MCA screwed up big time in handling Wee's case.

It doesn't take a little bird to tell us that a directive was sent down yesterday for all reports relating to Wee gets binned in the Star. I sympathize with the Star journalists who had worked hard to cover and report on the issue. Free press, my little toes!

Oh, and as much as the owners of the Chinese press are friendly to MCA, it appears that the editors and reporters are angry at the complete fiasco. There were unconfirmed reports that the Chinese press reporters "boycotted" Wong Nai Chee, MP for Kota Melaka's press conference yesterday.

The winds of change is blowing. Malaysians are angry, and rightly so. But will it translate sufficiently into votes for DAP and the others? It's all in your hands. Preach not just to the converted, but make sure that those who voted BN the previous elections join the cause as well. You may have only 1 vote, but you can certainly influence 10s of votes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Malaysian Cabinet Bullies Young Student

In an unbelieveable circus which, for one reason or another, can only happen in Malaysia, the entire might of the Malaysian cabinet bore down upon a 24 year old helpless young man who is currently still a student at a university in Taiwan. For what? Because he shot a video of himself singing and criticising the negative aspects of the country in a crude satirical fashion.

Yes, Wee Meng Chee used swear words. Yes, he used images of feces. Yes, he sang that he got woken up by prayers at a mosque early in the morning. And yes, he made the national anthem a tad more snappy to those who are young at heart. I wouldn't do that.

But for goodness sake! Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, himself the Minister of Education, as well as the Datuk Seri Najib "Islamic State" Razak labelled Wee Meng Chee a "traitor" on national television and all mainstream press. Tan Sri Muhammad Taib, the influential former Selangor Menteri Besar asked for his citizenship to be revoked! Other ministers asked for him to be extradited to be trialled back in Malaysia, for his university sponsorship to be retracted (even if he wasn't sponsored by the Government), for him to be charged under the draconian Sedition Act (even though there was a national anthem act).

All because of a 3-minute entertaining satirical music video which must have been view more than a million times by now by viewers all over the world. Wee Meng Chee rapped on police corruption, civil service bureaucracy, discrimination against Chinese education as well as the insensitivity of the authorities.

Harian Metro led the charge to demonise Wee, leading to plenty of threats against him and his family. "Now the messages posted in Youtube say the Malays want to bomb my family, burn my house, kill my family members and others."

Under intense pressure and threats, Wee finally succumbed to apologise to "those who are offended by his work". This apology was proudly conveyed by Datuk Chua Soi Lek, representing the Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA). Wee and his parents must have suffered total ignominy when the Minister of Health went on national television to publicly and openly criticise Wee as being "naive and immature".

Wee must have swallowed his pride in order for the furore to pass, as promised by the MCA politicians in the hope that his parents will be able to find peace and anonymity in Muar once more. MCA for a day, behaved like heroes for "saving the day".

But unfortunately, it was not to be. MCA's bed partner, UMNO, decided that the apology should not be accepted, and the matter must be referred to the Attorney General for prosecution under the Malaysian laws. Clearly, it has shown Malaysians that MCA can't even protect the interest of a 24 year old student from UMNO, even after forcing an apology out of Wee, as well as bringing Wee family's reputation into disrepute with the public scolding Dr Chua meted out. (What type of useless party is that?)

I feel completely disgusted. I'm completely disgusted not only to the treatment meted out to Wee Meng Chee, but also the total double standards the Barisan Nasional government handles these type of matters.

While Wee's videos were crude and rude, the article posted by Kelab Penyokong Maya UMNO (KPMU) was incontrovertibly offensive and seditious, when the latter insinuated that the Christian God was false, and their descendents deviants.

The overwhelming might of the Cabinet and Barisan Nasional was brought to bear upon Wee, while til today, absolutely no action has been taken against KPMU despite a police report having been filed more than a week ago. The offensive article remains in its website, totally unchallenged, not even by MCA who claims to represent the Chinese community.

Or what about the case of Tung Ket Ming who was trashed and tortured by the Police after being arrested? Absolutely pin-silent from our BN, the epitome of moral uprightness.

Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. This Government has clearly lost its moral compass.

Read also Ong Kian Ming's view of the circus at our other blog here.

Monday, August 13, 2007


In my last week's column in Oriental Daily entitled "Reject Politicians Without Backbone", I wrote in part on Sdr Lim Kit Siang's call for bloggers to "dirty their hands" in politics. I used the examples of Mahatma Gandhi as well as Mandela on politics' ability to make a difference in a country's direction and future.

In addition, I welcomed the new high profile talents joining politics today, such as Jeff Ooi into DAP and Victor Gu into MCA. I noted that despite the fact that Jeff was continuously intimidated by the Government for his blogging exposures, he possessed the moral courage to persist in his fight for justice.

As for Victor, while I don't know him personally, I hope that his motive for joining politics is noble and he is sincere about bring positive change for Malaysians. Hopefully his decision to join politics has not been motivated by other percuniary reasons.












Sunday, August 12, 2007

Merdeka Dialogue: Whither Bangsa Malaysia?

50 years ago, we were promised democracy. We were promised justice. We were promised equality. We were promised to be treated with human dignity. We were promised freedom.

In 1963, we became Malaysians and the notion of a Bangsa Malaysia was born. This was given form and substance by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his Vision 2020 that set out 9 challenges for Malaysians to achieve a developed country.

No mention is made of Bangsa Malaysia by the Abdullah administraton. Is the concept of Bangsa Malaysia still important or relevant in the light of failed promises in our original social contract?

The DAP is holding a Dialogue in conjuction with the 50th Merdeka Anniversary celebrations this coming weekend.
Date: 19 August 2007 (Sunday)
Time: 2.00pm
Venue: Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya
The panel of distinguished speakers include:
  • Y Bhg Tunku Abdul Aziz, former President, Transparency International Malaysia
  • Datuk Param Cumuraswamy, former Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, United Nations
  • Mr Yeo Yang Poh, former Malaysian Bar Council Chairman
  • YB Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader
Following the session, a dialogue will be conducted with the participants hosted by another distinguished panel (subject to change):
  • M Manogaran, President, Malaysian Tamil Education & Research Foundation
  • Haris Ibrahim, Human Rights Lawyer
  • Jeff Ooi, Prominent Malaysian Blogger
  • Dr Oh Ei-Sun, East Malaysian Socio-Political Analyst
To ensure sufficient seats allocation, please register in advance with Lim Swee Kuan (03) 79578022 or via email at limsweekuan(at)

At the same time, the Party will take note of the views and opinions of the participants in formulating our vision for Malaysia, more pertinently, in preparation for the upcoming general elections. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hanoi Scenes (I)

Ah, it was in March when I had a short holiday with the family in Hanoi, but heh, heh, I've just only "processed" the pictures we took ;) So here's a selected first set of photos of the scenery in and about Hanoi. The next set will have more pics of me and the family. Enjoy ;)

Legend has it that in the mid-15th century, Heaven gave Emperor Ly Thai To
a magical sword which he used to drive the Chinese out of Vietnam

Thap Rua (Tortoise Tower) in Ho Koan Kiem (Lake of the Restored Sword)
where a tortoise restored the sword to its divine owners

Hanoi Old Quarter, or 36 Pho Puong (36 Streets), with over a thousand years of history
remains one of Vietnam's most lively and unusual places, where you can buy anything
from a gravestone to silk pyjamas

Ho Chi Minh Residence

The neo-Gothic St Joseph's Cathedral (1886)
takes you back to medieval Europe

Buddhist devotees praying at a quaint little temple sandwiched
by a little path between 2 shops along P Nha To. Blink and you'd miss it.

The busy and crowded streets of Hanoi Old Quarter

A dragon-guarded incense holder at the Temple of Literature

The renown Halong Bay was just a tad too far to travel for a short trip to Hanoi,
especially with a 2-year old, so we settled for a day trip to Tam Hoc.

While Halong Bay has huge rock formations jutting out of the sea,
Tam Coc has them jutting out of the rice paddies.

The best way to see Tam Coc is by row-boat on the Ngo Dong River.

A villager tends to the paddy fields. Tam Hoc is a.k.a.
Halong Bay on the rice paddies.

It was a great day for 3 hours of boating as well!

Tam Coc means "3 Caves". The boats actually rows
through the caves, the longest being 127m.

Village houses by the river

Children playing by the river. Tam Hoc is a village near the
town of Ninh Binh, 2 hours south-west of Hanoi.

In the Land of Aisyalam

I have a short fairy-tale to tell this morning for us to tell all our children.
Once upon a time, there was a country Aisyalam not too far away was ruled by a Government voted by the majority and for the majority. Over time, the ruling party of the land got increasing autocratic, and in that process ironically, became increasingly nervous about losing that autocracy.

The deputy dictator of the land, decided one day to shore up his popularity by appealing to the influential flat earth society. He decided to declare "the world is flat, and that it was never, never round" despite the fact that he has personally travelled around the world and never fallen off the edge of the earth.
In the face of mounting unhappiness amongs the oppressed minorities who raised their arms in incredulity for they believed that the world, was incontrovertibly round! To prevent further embarrassment to the autocracy, for the outcry by minorities was backed by indisputable scientific and documentary evidence, another decree was issued.

This time round, the Ministry of Unfree Expression declared that there can be no further discussion on the issue of whether the earth was flat or round, with the exception of the almighty dictator and his deputy, who can continue to proclaim that the earth is flat.

Despite the decree, and sensing persistent simmering discontent and restlessness amongst the commoners, the almighty and all-benevolent dictator decided to accomodate the interest of all by decreeing that "the world is neither round or flat".

The populace of the land of Aisyalam rejoiced at the wisdom of the almighty dictator, and everyone lived happily ever after in the comfort that a world they live in is neither round or flat.
The above story was inspired by renown scholar, Farish A. Noor, who spoke this morning at the Parliamentary Roundtable hosted by the Parliament Opposition leader, Sdr Lim Kit Siang.

The Roundtable was to reaffirm Merdeka social contract and Malaysia Agreement on the occasion of 50th Merdeka anniversary that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as official religion and not an Islamic state.

The speakers at the Roundtable, includes Honey Tan from AWAM, Malik Imtiaz of HAKAM, Dr Hacharan Singh of MCCBHCST, Dr Nasir of Parti Socialis Malaysia and Andrew Khoo of the Human Rights Committee of the Malaysian Bar Council.

What was disappointing was the fact that despite it being a parliamentary roundtable open to all Members of Parliament, none from Barisan Nasional, particularly, none from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other parties turned up to defend the principle of a secular state irrespective of political affiliations.

Just as the MPs from MCA, Gerakan and MIC failed to defend the rights and dignity of women when UMNO MPs insulted Malaysian women, similarly, they are now failing to defend the rights of minority and the secular state.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Merdeka Social Contract

To political parties, professional bodies, civic / religious / human rights organizations, non-governmental organisations, Members of Parliament and fellow Malaysians:

Below is a letter from Sdr Lim Kit Siang, our Parliament Opposition leader to invite you to a Parliamentary Roundtable to reaffirm Merdeka social contract and Malaysia Agreement on the occasion of 50th Merdeka anniversary that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as official religion and not an Islamic state.
Venue: Parliament (Bilik Taklimat)
Date: Friday, 10th August 2007
Time: 10 am
Many NGOs and NGIs have confirmed their attendance, so we hope to see you there as well ;).
Dear Malaysian,

When Malaya achieved independence in 1957 and Malaysia was formed six years later in 1963, a national social compact was reached that the nation shall be a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic State.

The Merdeka social contract and Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state was given expression in the Federal Constitution, articulated by the founding fathers of the nation including the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein and given full recognition by the highest court in the land.

For over four decades, there was national consensus of the secular character of Malaysian nation-building which was only disrupted in the past six years, raising questions about the national commitment to protect and sustain this fundamental cornerstone of Malaysian nation-building.

A Parliamentary Roundtable to reaffirm that the Merdeka social contract and the Malaysia Agreement that the nation is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state is being convened in Parliament on Friday, 10th August 2007 at 10 am. (Bilik Taklimat)

This is to send out a clear and unequivocal message on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary of the nation in 2007 that the Merdeka social contract and the Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state must continue to be the bedrock of the Malaysian nation-building process.

You are invited to the Parliamentary Roundtable to endorse the reaffirmation of the Merdeka social contract and Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state.

I apologise for the shortness of time. Kindly inform my office of your ability to accept this invitation or your representative to the Parliamentary Roundtable by Wednesday, 8th August 2007. (Contact person Lau Weng San 03-79578022).

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Lim Kit Siang
Opposition Leader,
Please pass the word around, we hope to see you there!

Action Against UMNO Supporters' Website?

As mentioned in my previous post, I lodged a police report on a highly seditious and incendiary article posted only by Kelab Penyokong Maya Umno (KPMU). This has also been reported in Malaysiakini today.

The whole point of the article was to insinuate and accuse the fact that Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin was not a true Muslim but instead a closet Christian, but in doing so proceeded to hurl various hurtful, unfounded and grossly insulting remarks with regards to Christianity and its believers.

Raja Petra himself have responded to the article by rightly pointing out that if KPMU, whom Raja Petra accused of being the Cyber Troopers engaged by UMNO, has a bone to pick with him, then pick the fight with him, and not go one to hurl uncalled for insults using coarse language at others, including his family members and the Christian community.
I urge the Kelab Penyokong Maya Umno boys to play fair. Call me a swindler, someone who runs away to Thailand to secretly marry the Sultan’s daughter, gay, sex pervert who shags animals, male prostitute, gambler, mother-fxxxer, or anything at all you so wish. I can take it.

I appeal to the Kelab Penyokong Maya Umno boys to be a bit more sensitive to the feelings of Christians. By all means engage Malaysia Today. But please spare the Christians.
While the "insulting Agung and Islam" case against Raja Petra lodged by UMNO has been incredulously based on comments left on his blog, in this case, the owners and editors of the site have published KPMU's article which is really a direct insult to a multi-racial and multi-religion Malaysians.

Hence we can only hope that the police will be equally efficient in calling up the Editor of KPMU, a Dato' Siddiq Akmal Ismail for interrogation within 2 days of the report being filed. So far, after a day, I've just been asked to make my statement at the Mutiara Damansara police post earlier this evening. (no

Like the cases of Malaysiakini in 2004 and Nathaniel Tan a month ago, their computers were confiscated, will the Police do likewise to KPMU since the hosting company is based in Kuching and the data centre is located in Telekom Malaysia?

For the police report, I've specifically taken the liberty of using the summary extracts compiled by 5xMom
Repot Polis Bertarikh 7hb Ogos 2007

Saya, Pua Kiam Wee, yang beralamat 55-M Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, ingin membuat report mengenai laman web Kelab Penyokong Maya UMNO (KPMU) yang beralamat web

Dalam satu rencana bertajuk 'Riwayat Raja Petra II' tanpa tarikh yang baru diterbitkan di laman web -, KPMU telah membuat tuduhan yang teramat menghina terhadap kaum beragama Kristian. Penulis, penyunting, penerbit dan pemilik laman web KPMU perlu ditahan polis dan disiasat atas undang-undang hasutan (Sedition Act).

Penyunting laman web KPMU adalah Dato' Siddiq Akmal Ismail.

Rencana tersebut menuduh bahawa Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin, pemilik blog “Malaysia-Today” bukannya beragama Islam. Sebaliknya dia beragama Kristian. Antara seksyen-seksyen rencana tersebut yang jelas tidak bertimbang-rasa terhadap penganut agama Kristian in Malaysia, dan akan membawa keadaan cemas dalam hubungan antara rakyat berbagai kaum, adat dan agama di negara kita, termasuklah:
  1. Tuduhan bahawa Tuhan agama Kristian palsu dan tidak wujud:

    “Ada jugak yang I dengar pernah nampak dia singgah ke gereja bersama dengan isterinya. Buat apa lagi? Dah tentu lah itu cara dia mengingati tuhan nya yang palsu tu.”

  2. Tuduhan bahawa penganut Kristian adalah pemabuk:

    “Biasalah kalau dah kafir tu, mestilah dia dengan arak tak dapat dipisahkan. Umpama orang mabuk yang mengantuk tidur dengan botol arak-araknya. Confirm la bangun pagi wain dah tentulah dalam gengamannya.”

  3. Tuduhan bahawa penganut Kristian di Malaysia berniat menghapuskan kaum Melayu:

    “Orang macam ni memang tak boleh di percayai. Manusia yang bertopengkan Islam sedangkan pada dasarnya jiwanya masih kristian dan cuba untuk menjatuhkan bangsa melayu.”

  4. Tuduhan bahawa penganut Kristian adalah orang liar dan "deviant":

    “Keturunan yang mengalirkan darah kristian dalam tubuh anak-anak,cucu-cucu serta semua generasi petra yang akan datang akan terus menjadi songsang.”
Tuduhan-tuduhan di atas langsung tidak berasas dan diterbitkan bertujuan menghina penganut Kristian dan menghasut perasaan sakit hati, marah, kecemasan dan menimbulkan ketidak-tenteraman antara rakyat Malaysia.

Pihak polis mesti memberikan perhatian dan tumpuan terpenting dalam urusan kes ini supaya kesemua pihak yang bertanggungjawab akan dibawa ke mahkamah secepat mungkin.

Siasatan terhadap Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin dapat dilaksanakan dalam masa yang singkat sekali, dua hari selepas satu repot polis yang diserahkan oleh pihak UMNO di mana Raja Petra dituduh menghina Agung dan agama Islam. Kami berharap supaya pihak polis akan bertindak dengan kecekapan dan kepantasan yang sama.

Salinan rencana KPMU ada dilampirkan bersama report ini.

Halaman web tersebut dikendalikan oleh Hive Hosting Sdn. Bhd., yang beralamat 9A Lot 539 Section 10 KTLD Rubber Road Commercials, Kuching, 93400. Syarikat tersebut bertelefon +60.82234588 dan berfaks: +60.82234588. Manakala, server laman KPMU berada di pusat data, Telekom Malaysia. Matlumat di atas boleh diperolehi dari laman, seperti yang juga dilampirkan dalam repot ini.
We look forward to the fair and just Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who has preached responsibility in blogging, who is also the Internal Security Minister, to act without fear or favour.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Here's my last week's column in Oriental Daily entitled "Repressing the Voices of the People". It focused on the arrest of Nathaniel Tan for alleged ownership of OSA documents, as well as the interrogation conducted on Raja Petra for allegedly insulting the Agung and Islam.

The sheer idiocy of the allegations raises the questions as to whether the Police are completely incompetent? Or are there more sinister motives behind these moves? On top of that, don't the police force have more urgent matters to attend to such as the accelerating crime rates in the country?

Well, the Police as been "efficient" in handling the cases of Nathaniel and Raja Petra. I have now lodged a police report on a literally seditious web article from an UMNO supporters' website. We'll see if the police acts differently. More tomorrow. ;)










Friday, August 03, 2007

Moral Courage

It is of great relief that there are at least ministers with moral courage left in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration. As reported by Malaysiakini, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Bernard Dompok has received rare support from the opposition for breaking ranks on the Islamic state issue.
He argued that the nation’s founders did not have in mind an Islamic state when the Federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963.

“I think my colleagues in the government will forgive me for saying that I will not agree that we are an Islamic state,” added Dompok, who is leader of Sabah’s United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation.

Dompok is the first minister to speak out on the controversial issue after a gag order was issued in wake of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘Malaysia is an Islamic state’ remark two weeks ago.
I must certainly voice my support to Bernard whose demonstration of tremendous moral courage suffered the ignominy of being unreported in any of the muzzled mainstream newspapers.

Malaysia is a "secular state with Islam, the official religion of the country" and not, as otherwise proclaimed as an "Islamic State". And it must remain so until the day our Federal Constitution is amended, if at all.

It is of great regret that the leaders of other major component parties of Barisan Nasional, in particular Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon have had absolutely nothing to say against Datuk Seri Najib's declaration.

It is clear to me that despite the oft-repeated rhetoric that MCA and Gerakan are parties who will present the conscious of the people to their UMNO counterparts from within BN, they have failed to do so. And if they did indeed make "whispers" to the UMNO leaders, they had shown no moral courage to stand up for the rakyat when their "whispers" are brushed aside with absolute ease. In fact, for even attempting to make "whispers", the 2nd tier leaders in UMNO will reward MCA and Gerakan's effort (if any at all) with stern threats and warnings.

The lack of response to the issue of such importance from Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, reflects either their agreement with UMNO, or a total lack of moral courage and conviction to stand up for the very rakyat they claim to represent. They are a disgrace to their party, and definitely a disgrace to the people.

It is hence no wonder the anybody, particularly the younger generation, with an independent and critical mind, barring those seeking connections to wealth and power, will steer well clear of these parties. It will also explain with little surprise, Jeff Ooi's decision to dump Gerakan for DAP.

I'd strongly recommend that the leaders of the BN component parties, or any of the country's youth leaders contemplating a political party, to read the above book on "Moral Courage: Taking Action When Your Values Are Put to the Test". Or you can buy it cheaper here @

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Police Brutality

Does this image look familiar? Well, the last time I saw anything like it, it marked the birth of a new political party, Keadilan. However, it appears that police brutality has not been eliminated off the force much less their ability to respect our basic rights.

Mr Tung Ket Ming, through a relative, took his case to the DAP to complain about police mistreatment. On 18th July, I accompanied Tung to Sentul Police Station to lodge his police report on what happened to him. I spent some 7 hours to assist him to draft his report with my rusty Bahasa Malaysia as well as meeting various officers, where Tung was further questioned by investigating officers. His case was reported in the Chinese dailies, as well as Malaysiakini.

As explained in my Chinese column in Oriental Daily, Tung did not have the support of outspoken political parties and non-governmental organisations behind him to ensure that he remained fairly well-treated while in remand. In contrast, without belittling the intimidating experience Nathaniel Tan underwent, Tung suffered serious abuse by his police handlers.

I displayed Tung's photo to the audience during the forum "No Police State in Blogosphere, In Solidarity with Nathaniel Tan" not to make light of Nat's experience, but to emphasis the fact that for everyone like Nat, there are probably tens of others who have been subjected to serious injustice like Tung.

Tung, who allegedly committed an armed robbery in a mobile phone shop, was arrested at his house, taken to 3-4 different locations and beaten senselessly in each of those locations to extract a confession. He was punched and elbowed in the face, he was whipped with a rubber hose on his soles, his legs, his head and his neck. The police handlers even presented him with flying kungfu kicks. See the full police report below.

And twice when he was presented to the magistrate for remand, he was granted his wish to see a doctor, which was denied by the police in clear contempt of court upon his return to the lock up. Instead on his final evening in the cell, he was taken to a room of 6-7 police officers, including and particularly his investigation officer who was apparently in his 20s, assaulted him again for reporting that he was mistreated by the police to the magistrate.

Photo taken the day after he was released on bail

Tung and his wife was frightened out of their wits about making the police report for they feared further retributions. We had to convince them that the best course of action is to ensure that the report is made and the press alerted to ensure that their case will be taken up by the higher authorities and they will be protected from further uncalled for harrassment. For a few nights after he was released on bail, the couple dared not return to their own house for fear of retribution!

I have since accompanied Tung for 2 sets of identification parade at Sentul Police Station and at the KL Police Headquarters (last Friday and this Monday). He has since identified 5 of the perpetrators. We now await for the Police to take further actions.

This brings me to the question of the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). Informal chats with the officers in-charge of this case have demonstrated clear difficulties they have in carrying out their tasks for the simple reason that they are stuck between a rock and a very hard place. By acting scrupulously against his fellow police officers, it'll only bring about feelings of discomfort while attempting to make light of the offence will bring injustice to the victim.

If not for the fact that a major political party is pursuing the case, backed by reports in the media (particularly the Chinese media), it will not surprise many if the case is just swept under the carpet.

Where is the IPCMC which was strongly recommended by the Royal Police Commission and what has happened to Pak Lah's repeated promise that it will be set up to ensure a disciplined and efficient police force? Nathaniel's some-kind-of-screwed-up-joke arrest and detention, Tung's inhumane beatings while under remand proves beyond doubt that an IPCMC is absolutely vital to ensure that the very people we have entrusted to preserve law and order in this country, our Royal Police Force are themselves competent, law abiding officers.

Or certainly, a police state, both in blogosphere as well as our physical world will be an inevitable outcome.

The Police Report is as follows:
Repot Polis Bertarikh 18/7/07

Saya, bernama Tong Ket Ming (I/C) beralamat () ingin menyatakan yang berikut:

  1. Pada 9/7/2007 lebih kurang pukul 8 malam, 3 orang yang tidak dikenali tanpa uniform telah menggari saya dari alamat di atas dengan secara ganas. Mereka juga kata adalah anggota polis dan menuduh saya terlibat dalam satu kes rompak dengan senjata api pada 28/6/2007.

  2. Mereka paksa saya mengaku kes rompak tersebut tetapi saya enggan.

  3. Seterusnya, mereka membawa saya ke Balai Polis Rawang untuk sekejap masa dengan kereta Pajero berwarna putih bernombor WKN 8234.

  4. Selepas itu, saya dibawa ke Balai Polis yang tidak dikenali di mana saya dipersoalkan di dalam bilik. Pada masa itu, saya diminta mengakui kesalahan, muka dan kepala saya ditumbuk secara keras dengan tangan dan siku oleh ketiga-tiga polis. Perut saya juga ditumbuk secara kuat dengan tangan dan disepak dengan kaki. Apabila saya cuba menghentikan seksaan tersebut, saya dipukul sekali lagi. Muka saya bengkak dan cedera parah. Mulut dan hidung saya juga berdarah.

  5. Selepas itu, saya dibawa ke Balai Polis Selayang, di mana saya dipersoalkan sekali lagi dan diminta mengakui kesalahan. Apabila saya enggan mengakui, saya diseksa sekali lagi. Kali ini, selain daripada ditumbuk, ketiga-tiga polis yang sama memukul kepala, leher, kaki dan tapak kaki saya dengan saluran paip getah berpuluh-puluh kali.

  6. Selepas itu, saya dipindah ke Balai Polis sentul dengan kereta yang sama. Di Balai Polis Sentul, saya diserah kepada pegawai siasatan (“IO”) dan seorang lagi anggota polis. Saya dipersoalkan sekali lagi, diseksa dan dipukul secara keras seluruh badan dengan tangan, siku, saluran paip getah dan kaki terutamanya oleh IO. Saya juga ditendang dengan cara “kungfu” - “flying kick”. Kesemua ini dijalankan di dalam bilik tertutup.

  7. Selepas itu, saya dibawa ke bilik membuat laporan awam dan diminta duduk di atas lantai di hadapan orang ramai. Satu pegawai polis menaip satu laporan (statement) dan selepas itu menyuruh saya menandatangi laporan tersebut. Saya enggan menandatangani laporan tersebut kerana saya langsung tidak boleh membaca dan tidak faham kandungan laporan tersebut. Pegawai tersebut naik darah dan menendang saya secara kuat di hadapan orang ramai. Oleh kerana saya dalam keadaan kesakitan teruk, saya menandatangani laporan tersebut.

  8. Pada pukul lebih kurang 3 pagi, saya dibenarkan menelefon bini saya oleh pihak polis.

  9. Pada malam itu, saya tidur di atas lantai dalam lock up.

  10. Pada pagi 10/7/07 saya dibawa ke mahkamah majistret Jalan Duta dan di remand polis selama 7 hari. Di hadapan hakim, saya meminta saya dapat menjumpai doktor kerana saya kesakitan teruk. Muka saya pun bengkak blue-black dengan teruk sekali. Hakim berkata bahawa dia akan memerintah pihak polis supaya membawa saya ke hospital untuk rawatan. Akan tetapi, saya tidak dapat menjumpai seorang doktor pun.

  11. Pada 16/7/07, sekali lagi saya dibawa ke mahkamah yang sama di mana saya di remand sehari lagi. Apabila hakim menanya kenapa muka saya bengkak dan cedera, saya kata saya dipukul CID. Saya meminta supaya saya dapat menjumpai doktor dan sekali lagi pihak hakim setuju meminta polisberbuat sedemikian. Akan tetapi, sekali lagi, permintaan saya tidak ditunaikan.

  12. Sebaliknya, pada petang 16/7/07, IO membawa saya dari bilik lock up ke sebuah bilik yang lain di mana ada lebih kurang 7 orang lagi anggota polis sedia menunggu. Dalam bilik tersebut, saya dipukul, ditumbuk dan ditendang sekali lagi dengan keras oleh pihak polis dalam bilik tersebut, terutamanya IO dan seorang lagi anggota polis yang tidak dikenali nama. Mereka kata bahawa saya dipukul kerana mengadu ke atas pihak hakim tentang kelakuan polis. Selepas saya dipukul, IO membagi amaran kepada saya bahawa dia akan menyuruh orang luar (bukan polis) mengancam saya bila saya keluar balai polis.

  13. Pada malam tersebut, isteri dan brother-in-law saya tidak dibernarkan berjumpa dengan saya.

  14. Pada petang 17/7/07 lebih kurang pukul 4, saya dijamin oleh isteri saya, ().

  15. Saya meminta supaya pihak polis dapat menjalankan kawat cam (identification parade) dengan segera.
Sometimes I wonder, if he had gone to any of the BN component parties to ask for assistance, what would have been the response they would have received. As I highlighted during my little speech at the forum, it is doing "little" things, helping those suffering from injustices such as this that makes my total switch to a political role a most fruitful and rewarding one. No amount of cash can buy that sort of sense of fulfilment.