Thursday, April 29, 2010

The problem(s) with PKR

Blame game has started in PKR
Regina Lee
Apr 29, 10
With nearly all bases covered in the post-mortem of the Hulu Selangor by-election, new allegations of internal dissent and discord have surfaced in defeated PKR.

While Pas and DAP could boast of well-oiled machinery, often borrowing experiences of party stalwarts who have seen more elections up close and personal even before many of the party workers were born, PKR is still considered a baby in politics.

And despite Opposition leader and ketua umum Anwar Ibrahim's (left) iron grip on the party, and Pakatan Rakyat for that matter, there was dissent and disharmony visible.

In the run-up to the Hulu Selangor by-election, there were complaints that the PKR machinery was split into three camps: the party machinery under MB Khalid Ibrahim, the party workers mainly aligned to vice-president Azmin Ali and the candidate himself Zaid Ibrahim.

And in wake of the defeat, supporters from each sides are pointing fingers, accusing each other of being weak links.

Malaysiakini understands that many have been unhappy with Khalid's leadership even though he was handpicked by Anwar himself to head the entire machinery for the by-election.

"He was inexperienced and inefficient. He was good at logistics, but he did not know much about anything else. Elections are not just about getting people to set up ceramah tents," said a party source.

The source also complained that Khalid was tight with the purse strings and that he would give unrealistically low sums to run the whole eight days of campaigning.

A top PKR leader also said for the next election in Selangor, Khalid (right) would no longer be heading the team.

"He is just too busy as MB. A lot of people could get away with telling him that they had done something when they had not," said the PKR leader.

Klang MP from DAP Charles Santiago, who was tasked with canvassing the Indian votes, also said that there was just too much responsibility to be an MB and manage the party election machinery.

"There must be a separation of operations. Usually, the nerve centre of any by-election has to come from outside the circle," he said.

The election machinery head on BN's side was, incidentally, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Member of PKR's political bureau S Manikavasagam, also widely known be a vocal critic of the MB, said that while he did not want to blame anyone, it was clear that he was unhappy with Khalid.

"The machinery did not start work until the by-election was announced. It should have been done the moment (late MP Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad) became very ill.

"Khalid said that he was willing to work 24 hours a day, but what exactly was he doing?"

Zaid headed out on his own

A news portal recently reported that Zaid, fed up with the inefficiency of the PKR machinery, headed out on his own and formed his own team to oversee the campaigning operations.

Party observers have noted that Zaid (left) went off and decided his own schedules and generally did not stick to the plan that the machinery has put in place for him.

"It looks like he doesn't trust the party workers. His people didn't even attend the coordination meetings."

And at the same time, the party workers aligned to Azmin, who incidentally have had famous spats with Zaid in the past, said that Zaid did not know how to campaign.

"When Zaid visited certain areas, he didn't even get down from the car. It even took a lot of effort just to get him to smile and shake hands with the locals," said one of them.

It is also fairly obvious that Zaid had his own agenda on his mind and there were times when the party machinery would not know his schedule or his whereabouts.

Indeed reporters covering the by-election had to check with the party machinery and Khalid's team for an 'official' itinerary, and also for Zaid's own schedule.

Azmin MIA

It was also curious that Azmin, who had been previously speculated to be miffed that he did not get the job to helm the campaign, was noticeably missing.

But it is understandable that as chief whip, he had to hold fort at parliamentary sittings which coincided with the campaigning dates. And so the skilled orator hardly took to the stage at the ceramah.

While Azmin (right) has repeatedly stressed that there is no rift between himself and Zaid, as well as Khalid, there was not much sign of him between nomination day until the final leg of campaigning.

"In previous elections, Azmin gave 100 percent, but in this election, he didn't. Frankly I don't know why, maybe he was afraid Zaid might take over," said Manikavasagam while refusing to elaborate further.

However, many of the parties, including PKR elections director Fuziah Salleh were quick to quell rumours of disunity in the ranks.

"The allegations are baseless. I don't deny that we have our own weaknesses, but all the leaders worked very hard," she said.

Arrogance in the office

While the PKR machinery may need to take a step back and take a further look at the machinery to improve it, much will still have to be done to keep the party in touch with the people.

Santiago also said that apart from the lack of cohesion in the machinery especially at the grassroots level, many of the MPs and assemblymen from the various folds of Pakatan Rakyat had "airs".

"Some of the YBs think that they need an invitation to go help out with the campaigning. They would rather not go from house-to-house but prefer the ceramah circuit instead.

"At every night, there are five to six speakers when time is better used to meet the voters on a personal basis," he said.

Manikavasagam also quipped: "If all the Excos think that they are federal ministers, we are finished".

1 - 1 of 1 comments

by swaysiao - an hour ago

YB Manikavasagam I think you are perfectly right in saying that if the excos behave like Federal Ministers their days are doomed. The rakyat have chosen them and they should be humble enough and go to the ground without being invited. Do not go to voters only you need their votes during election. This apply to all Pakatan MPs and state assembly persons. In Jelutong, we hardly see our MP Jeff Ooi and state assemblyman Koid going round to meet their voters in all their areas. YB Koid could come around on foot with his louder speaker during last election.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tony Blair Stands Accused - By Prof Shad Saleem Faruqi (22/4/10)

Prof Shad Saleem Faruqi
Thursday, 22 April 2010 08:16

Malaysia must not allow this mass murderer to be immune from justice.

IT IS distressing to note that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been invited to Malaysia as an honoured guest of an NGO when he stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity by many learned and independent scholars of international law.

The case against him looks rock solid, especially after his confession to the BBC and the Chilcot Inquiry that he would have gone to war to topple Saddam Hussein regardless of the issue of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Indictments around the world:

> The international criminal court to which Britain is a signatory has received a record number of petitions against Blair.

> The World Tribunal on Iraq held in Istanbul in 2005 heard evidence from 54 witnesses and published rigorous indictments against Blair, former US president George W Bush and others.

> The Brussels War Crimes Tribunal, the Blair War Crimes Foundation and the American international law jurist Richard Falk have amassed impressive evidence of Blair’s complicity in international war crimes.

Spain’s celebrated judge Baltasar Garzon (who indicted former Chilean dictator and president Augusto Pinochet) has called for Bush, Blair and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to be prosecuted for the illegal invasion of Iraq, which Garzon has condemned as “one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history”.

Many UK jurists have described the invasion as a devastating attack on the rule of law that left the United Nations in tatters.

Here at home, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, after two years of meticulous investigation, received first-hand evidence from Iraqi victims of war that there have been grave violations of the international law of war in Iraq.

Last year, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, consisting of several international jurists – including Richard Falk from the US, Alfred Webre from Canada, and Niloufer Bhagat from India – unanimously adjudicated that Bush and Blair do not enjoy any immunity in international humanitarian law.

The main charges against Blair relate to his collusion with Bush in an illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003.

Crimes against peace: Blair repeatedly and deliberately deceived the UN, his allies and his own people that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that could be rained on anyone within 45 minutes. In deceit and conspiracy, he incited passions for an illegal war.

The resulting amassing of an American, British and Australian invasion force outside Iraq and the invasion of March 20, 2003, were flagrant acts of lawlessness and an international crime.

The Charter of the UN contains a general prohibition against force as a means of resolving disputes. The unleashing of the horrors of war on innocent populations is permitted in only two circumstances by the Charter. First, legitimate self defence, under Article 51 in the event of an actual armed attack. Iraq had not attacked the US, the UK, Spain or Australia, and the argument about self-defence had no credibility.

Second, specific Security Council authorisation of force as a last resort to maintain peace and security under Articles 39 to 42 of the Charter. There never was such a resolution. The US and UK had tried to bulldoze one through but the Security Council was divided and the attempt failed, rendering the subsequent invasion a crime against peace.

Genocide and crimes against humanity: The Anglo-American alliance is also guilty of the heinous crimes of war, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The misadventure in Iraq has up to now caused 1.4 million deaths, four million refugees and countless maimings and traumas. Two to three million Iraqis are mentally and physically disabled. Iraq today is a land of five million orphans and one to two million widows.

There is near-total devastation of basic infrastructure, health, cultural and educational systems. Water systems have been contaminated. Iraq’s assets have been looted by the Allies.

In the prosecution of the illegal and racist war, indiscriminate rocket attacks were, and still are, being rained on civilian centres, killing thousands of innocent women and children.

In 2004, the entire population of Fallujah was expelled, save for young men of military age. Banned radioactive ammunition like depleted uranium, white phosphorous and cluster bombs have been used. Torturing of prisoners of war has been practised on a large scale.

These crimes of complicity by Blair are punishable under the United Nations Charter, the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Nuremberg Principles, Article 146 of the 1949 Geneva Convention and Article 3 of the 1907 Hague Convention.

What is also notable is that Blair has expressed no remorse whatsoever. Instead, he struts around the world as an apologist for the US in the Middle East and Israel. He recently received an Israeli “peace prize” worth US$1mil (RM3.2mil).

Malaysia must stand up and be counted among the community of civilised nations. It must not allow this perpetrator of epic crimes, who fakes faith in democracy and in “God’s work and God’s will”, to touch our soil ever again.

(Blair, who gave a talk at a local university in 2008, has been invited to head a line-up of speakers at the 2010 National Achiever Congress in Subang Jaya this weekend.)

If he does enter this country again we should arrest him. Regrettably, Malaysia has not yet ratified the Rome Charter, but we do have a Penal Code. Murder is a crime.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission has countless reports from Iraqi survivors against Blair for complicity in mass slaughters, tortures, looting and other war crimes. The police must act on these reports and arrest this mass murderer.

In addition, citizens’ groups must file complaints against Blair with the United Nations General Assembly and with the Attorney-Generals of countries like Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK which have “universal jurisdiction” statutes to pursue and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A tribunal like the one that tried Nazis at Nuremberg and several Yugoslav and African warlords since then needs to be constituted.

The world needs to be reassured that international humanitarian law is not applied and enforced in a racist and selective way against Asian and African tyrants only. Imperial politicians from the West who destroy millions of lives should not, any more, be immune from justice.

> Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM and Visiting Professor at USM.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Free Matthias now! Sack corrupt judge(s)!

Open letter to:

1. the Right Honourable Malaysian Prime Minister
2. the Honourable President of the Bar Council of Malaysia
3. the Honourable Chief Justice, Federal Court of Malaysia
4. the Honourable Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya
5. the Malaysian public
6. the international community

Re: The incarceration of senior barrister Matthias Chang

Dear sir(s),

Thank you for your time and indulgence in reading this letter. I seek your wisdom and kind consideration in the case of lawyer Matthias Chang, being sentenced to jail for a so-called contempt of court charge. This is most regretful coming at a time when our judiciary is at a crossroads of heading towards integrity and rule-of-law or denigrating into the realms of shame and public disgust.

I consider Matthias a fighter of the ultimate truth and although I may appear to be biased, I welcome a full inquiry or investigation into the actual events that led to his conviction and subsequent incarceration. For your information, Matthias is on a hunger strike and his health may be in jeopardy should he continue to persist as such in prison.

Matthias has always stood up and fight for what he believes, in a true sense of word and justice. His determined stance in the Palestinian conflict and his unwavering support for the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission and Tribunal deserves the deepest respect and highest accolades.

Please note that with all due respect to his credentials, no man is perfect, hence the arguments that Matthias could be wrong in this case. I am convinced there is something more than what is beyond public scrutiny in this case as it involves a possible conflict of interest. Hence, I join the solidarity support in asking for a review and if necessary repeal of certain orders which may lead to the abuse of power by certain parties.

My stand is consistent with those taken by:

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Founder and Chairman of the KL Foundation to Criminalize War

Niloufer Bhagwat, the Vice President of the Indian Association of Lawyers

Cynthia McKinney, former US Congresswoman and former US Presidential Candidate from the Green Party

Denis J Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary-General

Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa and Director for Centre for Research on Globalization

Michael Carmichael of Planetary Movement

Dr Edward Spencer from California, US

Rene Chang, sister to Matthias Chang, now residing in the UK

Admiral Vishnu from India

Steve Savignol from Paris, France

Curtis Doebbler, International Human Rights Lawyer

Thomas Doleman Jr, Chairman/CEO of CoachAir Group, Hong Kong

Leuren Moret, international scientist against nuclear proliferation

Huwaida Arraf, the Free Gaza Movement

Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Member, Executive Committee, Brussels Tribunal

Evelyn Durmayer, Austrian Advocate and Representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers

Dirk Adriaensens, Member, Executive Committee, Brussels Tribunal and Coordinator of SOS Iraq

And many others from the local and international community who share their disgust in Matthias’ incarceration.

Yours sincerely,

Chin Wee Loon
Citizen of Malaysia

The actual events leading to Matthias' so-called Contempt of Court conviction

Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010, 3:28 PM

To My Dearest Friends and Colleagues,

I have fought against injustice throughout my life and as a practising lawyer, upholding justice when there are abuses by the judiciary and the state machinery calls for sacrifices and I have never shirk from that call to duty.

On Thursday, I became a victim of injustice inflicted by an errant Judge in the High Court of Malaya.

In this case, I was the litigant, the plaintiff suing the defendant, American Express for defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of contract and misrepresentation. It relates to a charge I had incurred for and on behalf of the Malaysian Government some years back for which the Government has not paid.

Most of you are aware of my opposition to the previous regime headed by the 5th Prime Minister. In the course of that political fight, I had to defend Tun Mahathir for which I was sued for RM 50 million allegedly for defaming one of the cronies of the regime. I counter-claimed against that crony likewise for defamation against me and exposed his corruption in conjunction with the son-in-law of the then Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi. My defence against the RM 50 million claim was justification, the crony was corrupt to the rotten core. The case has been in limbo ever since.

Therefore, this case that came up for hearing is not as simple as it looks. There were forces ready to pounce and humiliate me at every turn.


From the word go, my three Counsels were treated without due respect.

1) My Counsel was denied the right to make an Opening Statement, a right which every litigant has.

2) I was called to testify immediately.

3) Bearing in mind that my claim was in defamation and malicious falsehood, it was incumbent on my Counsels to lead evidence on my background as a barrister and an advocate for over 30 years and my service in government as political secretary to the 4th Prime Minister. Immediately the judge pounced on me and declared everyone before her court will be treated equally and I had no need to declare my past and or the need to "impress" her. She further said that "so what if I was previously the political secretary to the Prime Minister and a senior lawyer of over 30 years experience."

4) My Counsel objected and told her that reputation is needed to be established for the purposes of a claim for damages etc. He was told to proceed and go on to the next issue.

5) In giving evidence, whenever I had to refer to an exhibit and or an admission made by the defendant in support of my answers, I was accused of "submitting to her" and she abused me as trying to conduct my evidence as a lawyer and not as a witness. Again, objections by my three Counsels were overruled and when so overruling my Counsels, banged the table with her right hand.

6) The Judge repeatedly accused my Counsels of not "doing their work" and such remark seemed to be always on cue when Defendant Counsel makes any objections. This lawyer is also the lawyer acting for the crony of Abdullah Badawi in the defamation suit for RM 50 million against me.

7) This hostile exchange went on till lunch break. I had not by that time finished with my testimony. During the lunch break and unknown to me, the judge summoned the defendant's counsel and my lead counsel to her chambers and declared that I had no case and she will dismiss my claim.

8) My Counsel informed me of this development while I was having my lunch.

9) When Court resumed, I requested an audience with the judge in her chambers with all parties present to make a formal complaint to spare her the embarrassment of a public complaint. The Judge refused my request.

10) The Judge resumed the hearing in Open Court, whereupon I addressed the Court and said:

"I have no wish to continue with the proceedings as I have no confidence in the impartiality of the Court. My three counsels have been repeatedly abused by you. You have also abused me and cast unwarranted aspersions on my character without basis. In my over 30 years of practice, no judge has ever abused me and or was rude to me. I intend to make a complaint to the Chief Justice and would now take leave and retire."

I said this in a very firm and deliberate manner.


11) The judge remarked and warned me that my conduct has been recorded. To that I replied that likewise her abusive behaviour was also recorded.

12) Whereupon, the Counsel for the defendant stood up and shouted, "This is contempt! Arrest him! Arrest him!" and cited Order 51 of the Rules (which by the way does not provide such measures).

13) The Judge incited by that lawyer, directed the police officer in attendance to arrest me and place me in custody in the Lock-up at the basement of the Court Complex.

14) The professionalism of the police officer was such that he did not handcuff me, but merely invited me to follow him. In the course of our short walk to the lock-up, he said that he was stunned and was disappointed with the behaviour of the judge towards a senior lawyer.


15) When we reached the basement, I was invited to sit on a sofa and was not placed in a cell. He enquired whether I would like to have lunch and or refreshments and was most concerned about my well-being. I asked for permission to use my cell phone to contact another Counsel to defend me in this matter. The officer readily gave his consent.

16) I immediately called my friend and fellow colleague, Mr. Zainur Zakaria who is also the Acting Chairman of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission.

17) When I narrated the events on the phone to him, he was utterly shocked and asked me, "Was there any charge for contempt? Was a charge prepared and read out to you? Was any plea taken?"

I replied, "None whatsoever ... I am wrongfully arrested."

18) Zainur rushed to my cell from his office which was five minutes away from the Court Complex.

19) Zainur went to the Court and told the judge that I cannot be arrested for contempt when there has been no charge and no plea taken, and most importantly no conviction. Zainur knew the law as he had faced a similar experience some years ago.

20) The Judge went to her chambers, prepared the charges and resumed sitting in Open Court.

21) She read the charge to me and if my memory serves me right, this is what she read out, "You lost your cool and left the court premises. This is contempt (The video would verify the exact words). How do you plead?"

I responded, "Not Guilty."

22) Zainur requested an adjournment till the next day ? Friday to prepare my defence. The Judge refused and demanded that I defend myself.

23) I told the judge that she had abused the lawyers and me and as such I am not in contempt.

24) She proceeded to convict me and asked for my mitigation. I said there is nothing to mitigate and that I intend to appeal against her decision. She then proceeded to impose sentence: RM20,000 to be paid within a week, failing which one month's jail.

The Judge also directed that the trial of my claim would continue the next day and if I am not present, she will proceed to dismiss my claim.

25) On Friday, my Counsel made an application for the Judge to recuse herself on the grounds of her behaviour on the previous day as well as having convicted me of contempt. She refused and disposed the case in my absence. My Counsel was asked to discharge themselves.


The judicial system is rotten, but I had in the past tried to reform by working within the system and held back my open criticisms.

I never expected to be a victim of the system. If this can happen to me, what more the poor and or unrepresented litigant.

It seems that there have been many cases of abuse by this Judge but the Chief Justice did not take any action.


I have no intention to pay the fine. I am also considering not even appealing as I have no confidence in the Appellate Courts. Should there be an appeal, they could do a white wash and uphold the conviction to protect one of their members. The public would be confused and may even think that I was indeed wrong in opposing the abuse. They may also be cowed in the future in any opposition to similar abuse.

I am therefore preparing myself to go to jail and hopefully, my incarceration would arouse the conscience of the people to stand up and fight against an injustice. An action that has been DELAYED FOR TOO LONG.

I appeal to all of you for your understanding and support and I seek your assistance that my plight be given the widest publicity as possible.

You can do so by writing to: -

1) The Prime Minister, Dato? Seri Najib bin Tun Razak

Fax: +603-88880142 or +603-88887711

Political Secretary's Fax: +603-88883971

2) President Bar Council, Malaysia

Fax: +603-20261313

3) Chief Justice, The Rt Hon. Tun Dato Seri Zaki Bin Tun Azmi
Chief Justice Chambers
Federal Court of Malaysia
Istana Kehakiman
Precinct 3, 62506 Putrajaya

4) Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya
The Rt Hon. Tan Sri Arrifin Bin Zakaria
Chief Judge Chambers
Federal Court of Malaysia
Istana Kehakiman
Precinct 3, 62506 Putrajaya

The week for payment of the fine ends on Wednesday - 31st March 2010

I intend to surrender myself at the Court premises. produce the RM20,000 to establish evidence that I have the means to pay, but will not pay and rather be sent to jail in defiance of the injustice inflicted on me by this errant and abusive Judge.

I thank you all for your support.

As ever,