MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Sunday, June 30, 2019

MBPP queried if school, hotel at Tg Bungah are illegal structures

An NGO today questioned if approval plans were submitted to the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) for rebuilding works on a school and hotel in Tanjung Bungah, the site of a June 25 landslide that killed four.
In a statement today, Citizen Chant Awareness (Chant) adviser Yan Lee asked whether these plans were submitted to MBPP before works to convert the Lost Paradise Resort property to a school and hotel commenced.
"Submission was done only for sanitary works," he said, citing a submission to MBPP with the reference number MBPP/OSC/PP4979/18 LB/102439-2.
"We wish to put this to MBPP, does this mean that Lost Paradise has no occupancy certificate?
"Does this mean the Lost Paradise hotel and school are illegal structures? There is no license or Fire and Rescue Department approval?"
Malaysiakini has contacted MBPP to respond to the allegation. Mayor Yew Tung Seang said his office will issue a statement about the matter.
Meanwhile, Penang exco for public works Zairil Khir Johari said yesterday that most of the work to stabilise the road affected by the landslide had been completed by 10.30pm Saturday.
MBPP Engineering Department director A Rajendran, meanwhile, said further steps will be taken to ensure better safety of the road after the council carries out studies on the matter.
He said the council had issued a stop-work order notice to the landowner under Section 70A of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 for illegal earthworks.
Section 70A provides for a maximum five-year' jail term and an RM50,000 fine upon conviction.
"We have also engaged consultants and experts to advise us and the landowner on the next course of action to upgrade the safety of the area," Rajendran said. - Mkini

DPM: Employment of refugees not at expense of Malaysians

PARLIAMENT | Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today gave assurance that any approval for refugees to work in the country will not be made at the expense of Malaysians.
The deputy prime minister said the government wants refugees to be employed to sustain their lives, but that should not undermine the interests of locals.
"We want them to work, but there are ways in which they can work in Malaysia without jeopardising the employment opportunities of Malaysians.
"It will also be determined whether they are really refugees (holders of UN High Commissioner for Refugeescards), and not economic refugees,” she said in reply to an oral question in the Dewan Rakyat.
Wan Azizah was answering a supplementary question from Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman (PAS-Sik) who had wanted to know whether the government is prepared to allow refugees to work in the country.
She said that based on UNHCR statistics, Malaysia has 124,753 refugees and 48,978 asylum seekers as of May this year. Of the total number of refugees and asylum seekers, 93,138 or 53.6 percent are Rohingya.
She said that a pilot project is currently ongoing to allow Rohingya UNHCR card-holders to work and the government is studying whether to maintain or amend it.
"We have a pilot project on employment in the plantation sector, at Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, but there is a problem because the Rohingya are not suitable for this type of job. 
"In the manufacturing sector, at Gardenia Bakeries, less than 100 are employed,” she said.
Wan Azizah acknowledged that there have been cases of the UNHCR card being abused, citing it as an excuse when detained by the enforcement authorities for working illegally.
"When arrested, they show the card and claim immunity,” she said.
She also said that the government is in negotiation with the UNHCR to offer the services of the police and Immigration Department to help refine the registration of refugees now undertaken unilaterally by the UN agency.

Defiant opposition lawmakers vow not to declare assets

PARLIAMENT | The government has legal no basis to impose a ruling to compel all lawmakers to declare their assets including the assets of their family members, says opposition lawmakers.
During the debate on the motion on asset declaration, opposition lawmakers openly pledged that they will not follow such ruling if it is enforced.
This came after Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bharu) (photo, above) pledged that he would not declare his asset even if the motion on asset declaration is successfully passed by the government and comes into effect.
He cited a report which quoted Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said members of the opposition must also declare their assets as they have the power to criticise the government, and they have a free voice.
"When this motion comes into force, I pledge that I will be the first (lawmaker) not to declare my asset," said Takiyuddin who is also PAS secretary-general.
Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) also stood up and pledged: "I am the second person (to follow suit)."
This led to many other lawmakers who stood up to show that they will not declare their asset.
Takiyuddin also cited a news report which quoted Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof (above) stating that he has no right to punish lawmakers who decline to declare their assets.
Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (GPS-Santubong) pointed out the government has no legal basis to bring the motion.
He also argued that the Parliamentary Standing Orders which guide the sitting and operation of the House were also silent on the matter.
Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) concurred with Wan Junaidi and urged the government to retract the motion. 
[More to follow] - Mkini

Street protests no longer an offence under PAA amendments

PARLIAMENT | Amendments to the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012, which were tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today, will see the decriminalisation of street protests as part of the government's promised legal reforms.
Up until now, the PAA has only allowed stationary rallies.
Among its proposals, the PAA (Amendment) Bill 2019 moves to delete the term "street protest" as defined under Section 3 of the main Act and its subsequent mentions.
The term "street protest" is defined under Section 3 as an assembly involving marching to protest against or advance a cause. 
With the amendments, a lawful public assembly would include a march from one location to another.
The Bill is expected to be debated during the current Parliament session, which began today and ends on July 18.
Among the key changes the Bill makes are as follows:
1. Street marches no longer an offence
Currently, Section 4(1)(c) of the PAA 2012 states that the rights to organise or participate in a peaceful assembly does not extend to a "street protest" as defined.
Furthermore, Section 4(2)(c) makes it an offence for any individual to participate in a "street protest" as defined by Section 3.
With the amendment to remove the term “street protest”, participation in a march from one destination to another is no longer punishable by an RM10,000 fine under Section 4(3)(c).
2. Shorter notice, objection, and appeals period
Currently, organisers of an assembly are required to provide a minimum of 10 days’ notice to the office in charge of the police district where the assembly is to be held. The notice should also be accompanied by a copy of permission received from the venue's owner, if applicable.
With proposed amendments to Section 9(1) of the Act, the minimum time required for organisers to submit their notice has been reduced to within seven days of the assembly instead.
Upon receiving the notice, the local police are allowed to impose certain conditions for purposes of public security and order, as well as to protect rights and freedoms of other persons.
The current Act states that any organiser aggrieved by the imposition of restrictions and conditions under Section 15 may submit an appeal to the Home Minister within 48 hours.
Under proposed amendments to Section 16(1), the appeal period has been reduced to 24 hours.
Similarly, the local police must now be notified of any objections to an assembly within 24 hours of receiving the organiser's notice, down from 48 hours, through a proposed amendment to Section 12(2).
3. Offences under the Act now compoundable
The PAA (Amendment) Bill 2019 also moved to insert a new Section 21A in regard to police powers to take action against organisers or participants of an assembly.
The new provision provides police, upon obtaining written permission from the deputy public prosecutor (DPP), with the power to fine organisers or participants a maximum of RM5,000 for any offences under Section 9 or Section 15 of the Act.
According to the Bill, police are now empowered to offer a written compound at any time after the suspected offence is committed.
However, the offer must be made prior to a formal charge for the suspected offence. Failure to settle the compound as per the amount offered could result in charges being brought against the organiser or participant.
The PAA 2012 was first enacted to replace Section 27 of the Police Act 1967, and removed the need to apply for police permits for mass assemblies. - Mkini

After Kit Siang's latest remarks, Najib 'invites' him to join Umno

The tiff between Najib Abdul Razak and Lim Kit Siang has resumed, with the former premier inviting the DAP veteran to join Umno.
He even filled up Lim's name in an Umno membership form and named himself as the proposer.
However, the former Umno president did not mention if he would push for the party to amend its constitution to admit non-bumiputera members.
“I cannot guarantee if Umno would approve his membership...
“(I am) concerned it might be rejected on the grounds of lacking integrity and sanity,” he added in a Facebook post this afternoon.
Najib was responding to Lim's statement earlier regarding Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi returning to lead the party after a protracted leave.
The DAP veteran had asked if Zahid would serve as a proxy for Najib.
"Is his return merely to ensure that Umno is nothing but a 'Bossku' outfit, with him playing the role of 'Bossku' proxy as Najib senses he might lose control of Umno?" he questioned.
Meanwhile, Najib recalled how Lim, whom he described as 'MenHEN' (the Malay abbreviation for 'Minister of Najib Affairs'), backed down from debating him after accepting to do so.
“After disappearing for a period of time, MenHEN re-emerged today and accused Zahid of coming back to save me.
“(He claims) my influence in Umno has waned and Zahid's return is part of my conspiracy to revive my influence in Umno. This is Zahid's decision. It has nothing to do with me,” he added.
Najib claimed that less than two months ago, Lim accused him of being the “grand mastermind” in Umno, but is now claiming otherwise.
“Kit Siang is peculiar. He sees conspiracies everywhere. (Previously) he said I am influential, (now) he says I have lost my influence. (He) doesn't stop except when he bolted from debating.
“But it cannot be denied that affairs related to Umno and I are close to his heart. So why trouble yourself from the outside, MenHEN can join Umno,” he added.
Previously, Lim pulled out of the debate, citing how numerous quarters expressed concern that it would be used to stir up racial and religious sentiments. - Mkini

Hong Kong protesters smash legislature windows ahead of handover rally

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Protesters tried to storm Hong Kong's legislature on the anniversary of the city's return to Chinese rule on Monday, using a metal trolley and poles to smash windows amid anger over planned legislation that would allow extraditions to China.
More than 100 riot police raced towards protesters, beating some with batons as they fell to the ground, and used pepper spray to try to disperse crowds gathered near where officials were preparing a ceremony to mark the 1997 handover.
More than a million people have taken to the streets at times over the past three weeks to vent their anger and frustration at Hong Kong's Beijing-backed leader Carrie Lam, posing the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
Opponents of the now-suspended extradition bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, fear it is a threat to Hong Kong's much-cherished rule of law and are demanding it be scrapped and Lam step down.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule under a "one country, two systems" formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom of protest and a much-cherished independent judiciary.

Beijing denies interfering but, for many Hong Kong residents, the extradition bill is the latest step in a relentless march towards mainland control.
Police fired pepper spray to disperse some demonstrators, mostly black-clad students wearing hard hats and face masks, with authorities bracing for an annual rally due to start at 0630 GMT.
The protesters once again paralysed parts of the financial hub as they occupied roads after blocking them off with metal barriers and wooden planks.
A tired-looking Lam appeared in public for the first time in nearly two weeks to attend the anniversary ceremony, flanked by her husband and former Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa.
Weeks of unrest forced nervous authorities to deploy a massive security blanket around the waterfront Convention and Exhibition Centre, the venue for the flag-raising ceremony.
Lam said the government needed to change its style of governance and pledged to do more for young people.
"The incident that happened in recent months has led to controversies and disputes between the public and the government. This has made me fully realise that I, as a politician, have to remind myself all the time of the need to grasp public sentiments accurately," Lam said.
Tensions spiralled on June 12 when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at anti-extradition protesters near the heart of the city, sending plumes of smoke billowing among some of the world's tallest skyscrapers.
The uproar over the bill has reignited a protest movement that had lost steam after pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014 failed to force concessions from Beijing and led to the arrests of hundreds of activists.
Activists raised a black bauhinia flag to half mast outside the Legislative Council building before the rally and turned Hong Kong's official flag, featuring a white bauhinia flower on a red background, upside down.
The demonstrations have brought havoc, forcing the closure of government offices on several occasions and triggering chaos as protesters blocked roads and besieged police headquarters.
The turmoil comes at a delicate time for Beijing, which is grappling with a trade dispute with the United States, a faltering economy and tensions in the South China Sea.
Lam said after suspending the bill she had heard the people "loud and clear". However, she stopped short of activists' demands to scrap it altogether.
Activists are also demanding the government drop charges against those arrested during the protests, charge police with what they describe as excessive use of force and stop referring to the demonstrations as a riot, a term that can bring a heavier jail sentence.
Opponents of the extradition bill fear it would put them at the mercy of China's justice system, where human rights are not guaranteed.
Beyond the public outcry, the extradition bill has spooked some of Hong Kong's tycoons into starting to move their personal wealth offshore, according to financial advisers, bankers and lawyers familiar with the details.- Star

Health Ministry pulls two bottled water brands off shelves

PETALING JAYA: Two brands of bottled water have been pulled from the shelves after several samples were found contaminated with bacteria commonly found in faeces, soil and sewage.
The Health Ministry said that the Starfresh and Waterfuns brands were found to contain pseudomonas aeruginosa, which contravenes the Food Act 1983 and the Food Act Regulations 1985.
The products recalled were the 500ml and 1500ml bottles with expiry dates of May 11,2021 and May 13, 2021.
The Ministry also told the company to recall its products and the company's license was suspended on Friday (June 28).

The company also said it would voluntarily recall other brands it produced, namely Iceberg, Sukahati, Rofina, Dixy Green and Dixy Blue.

"The Ministry would like to advise those who have purchased the bottled water with the brands and expiry dates not to consume them," said its director general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement on Monday (July 1).
On Saturday (June 29), the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) noted that the import of all bottled drinking and mineral water from the manufacturer was not permitted with immediate effect, following the detection of the pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria for the second time.- Star

Baby abandoned at villager’s doorstep, with poignant note

KOTA KINABALU: A mother, apparently desperate to see her newborn son have a better life, left him at a villager’s doorstep in Kota Belud some 70km from here early Sunday (June 30).
The mother left a note asking for a woman of the house, a “Sumarti”, to care for her child whom she had named Yusof (pic, above).
The mother’s note said that the baby was born a day earlier and he had not drunk a drop of milk since his birth, as she was unable to lactate.
The mother also wrote that she was unable to bring the child for vaccination, buy milk formula, diapers or anything for her baby, and that she was not capable of raising the child.

The woman did not leave her name on the letter, but she seems to know the family as she wrote that she was sure “Sumarti” would be able to provide for the child and give him the love that he deserves.

The last part of her letter read, “I want someone to love Yusof. I, as a mother, have failed to care for Yusof. Yusof has been very thirsty and hungry since early morning”.
Kota Belud police chief Supt Mohd Zaidi Abdullah said in the 5.30am incident, the woman Sumarti was woken up by her mother who had heard a baby crying outside their house.
“Sumarti read the note and checked for injuries on the baby,” he said when contacted Monday (July 1).
Sumarti brought the baby to the police station and lodged a report at about 8.57am.
Supt Mohd Zaidi said Sumarti does not know of anyone in the village who had just given birth, and said she is unsure who left the child at her doorstep.
He said policemen took the baby for a medical examination and welfare officials were alerted.
He said the baby was found to be healthy and has been handed over to welfare officials for further action.
It is unclear at this moment whether Sumarti will adopt the baby.
The matter was posted on Facebook page Irranun Peace, which saw hundreds of users expressing their best wishes for the child and praising the mother who did not dump her baby and leave him to die.
There were also quite a number of people who asked if they could adopt the child.- Star

Hisham hopes Zahid's return to helm Umno will not cause internal split

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) hopes that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's return to helm Umno will not cause a split in the party.
He said Ahmad Zahid had decided to return and it was important for the party to focus on unity.
The Sembrong Umno division chief added that Dr Ahmad Zahid had the right to return based on the party constitution.
"Don't let current developments lead us to bicker amongst ourselves.

"We are in a good position now compared to last year… I'm not holding a high party post and am merely a division chief and a member who loves the party," he said to reporters when met at Parliament lobby on Monday (July 1).

Hishammuddin also refused to comment if party stalwarts would back Dr Ahmad Zahid's return as Umno president.
"You have to ask the other party leaders. It's not for me to say."
He also said it was up to Umno's top leadership if Ahmad Zahid would take over as the Opposition leader from Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri.
On Sunday (June 30), Ahmad Zahid said he was back as Umno president after having taken leave from the post since last December.
He temporarily handed over his duties as president to his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan in the interests of the leadership and party.
Ahmad Zahid is currently facing a total of 87 corruption charges.- Star

Forced disappearances task force: Time for the MACC to step in?

“JUSTICE should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”
The oft-quoted words of Lord Hewart CJ in his 1924 judgment in R v Sussex Justices may seem frayed around the edges after much use over the last century, but it is still relevant today, especially with reference to the need to scrupulously avoid any appearance of conflict of interest in matters of law and order.
This dictum is also my immediate reply to the Malaysian government’s defence of the task force it set up to address the findings of the Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) inquiry into the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis activist Amri Che Mat.
Going by the reactions from the victims’ families, civil society, and legal commentators since the June 26 announcement, it is obvious that this task force’s ability to deliver justice does not meet even the appearance standard.

For the families, it has been a long wait for justice to be done … or to be seen to be done.

It has been 31 months since Amri Che Mat’s disappearance and 28 months since Koh’s.
Also, it is coming up to three months since Suhakam declared that both were “abducted by State agents, namely the Special Branch, Bukit Aman”.
The Suhakam decision also referred to breaches in police investigations for both cases, stating that the “apparent lack of cooperation, suppression and concealment of evidence by the police was evident during the course of the hearing of the public inquiry” (Para 201, Suhakam decision: Amri Che Mat; April 3 2019).
Suhakam recommended that the Malaysian government should set up “a special task force … to reopen and re-investigate” both cases. This is in line with the inquiry panel’s belief that “those who have been put in charge so far are withholding the answers to these questions, or are refusing to undertake a diligent exercise to discover them” (Para 212 of the above).
The Home Minister’s downplaying of the presence of (former chief of the police’s legal unit) Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Noor in the six-man task force is as dangerous as it is disingenuous. It does not matter if it is one or three or all six members – conflict of interest does not operate on a sliding scale.
Such a cavalier dismissal of a valid complaint of conflict assaults the principle of natural justice and the rule of law.
For the record, it is not just his physical appearance at the Suhakam inquiry defending the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) that disqualifies Mokhtar. It is his position as head of Bukit Aman’s legal division from January 2017 until April 2019 that is the more serious conflict.
Besides heading the team that defended PDRM in both cases throughout the public inquiry over the last three years, Mokhtar also helmed a department named and implicated during the inquiry.
The Amri Che Mat case investigating officer (IO) Inspector Khor from PDRM Perlis testified that at least on two occasions, “Bahagian Perundangan Bukit Aman” inserted itself in the case. The first was in February 2017 when the IO testified that he was instructed to hand over Amri’s case file to this department (Amri Che Mat Inquiry Day 7 Transcript: April 2, 2018; p. 36).
The second time mentioned by the IO was related to the fallout in May 2018 after Amri’s wife lodged a police report following a visit by a Special Branch (SB) sergeant when he allegedly informed her and her daughter that it was Special Branch Bukit Aman that had abducted Amri.
At the Inquiry, Inspector Khor testified that a named senior officer from Bukit Aman’s legal division had a session with the alleged SB whistleblower one day before the latter lodged a police report to deny he told Amri’s wife that the SB had abducted her husband (Amri Che Mat Inquiry Day 16 Transcript: July 2, 2018; p. 34).
At the inquiry, this sergeant later admitted under oath that he had lodged his police report after being told to do so by senior officers (Amri Che Mat Inquiry Day 21 Transcript: July 24, 2018; p. 121).
This is not speculation. This is not hearsay. This is all recorded in the official transcripts of the inquiry.
Whether or not the involvement of Bukit Aman’s legal division in the investigation was harmless is not the issue here. What is crucial is to recognise that all aspects of the original investigation are on the block for scrutiny, as the inquiry panel put it – for the “apparent lack of cooperation, suppression and concealment of evidence”.
As such, no one from Bukit Aman’s legal division can be accepted as an honest broker in any credible endeavour to investigate the investigators. As for the Home Minister’s claim that one person cannot have that much influence, I would remind him of the Malay proverb about a drop of blue dye in milk.
The Home Minister has had many opportunities to step up to do the right thing in these cases. His was the first ministry approached by Amri’s wife a year ago immediately after that shocking visit by the Special Branch sergeant. Nothing was done.
The families and their representatives also communicated their concerns and requests in person when they met him at his Putrajaya office in April this year.
Yet the Malaysian government does not seem to understand what is urgently needed. What we need is a task force to get cracking on a new investigation that is impartial, independent and fully empowered under the authority of law to act quickly and decisively. We need to see people being called in for questioning, we need to see arrests and prosecutions.
In other words, we need to see a task force similar to the 1MDB Special Task Force that was formed in May last year.
To expect the three current and former PDRM officers in the task force to act this decisively against their own is patently unrealistic. The “Blue wall of silence” is a well-documented informal code among police all over the world to protect and acquiesce to misconduct of their fellow officers in order to preserve the “morale” of the unit.
While I am not alleging that these three task force members follow this code, I can just imagine the tremendous conflict they would feel about investigating or taking action against one of their own. It is unfair to expect them to carry out their task force duties impartially when the very subjects of the investigation are their fellow officers.
If not PDRM, then who can step in with the full authority of statutory law and take charge of this task force?
I think it should be the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). This is not based on my personal admiration for its new chief. Rather, I base this recommendation on what the law allows and on precedent from recent history.
Section 7 of the MACC Act 2009 (PDF) deals with the functions of the Commission’s officers to receive, consider, detect, and investigate a long list of offences, most of which refer to the Penal Code and are linked to corruption and abuse of power.
This section also allows MACC officers “to examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies in order to facilitate the discovery of offences under this Act” and to reform such practices and procedures.
MACC’s jurisdiction covers sections 213-214 of the Penal Code under Chapter 11: “False Evidence and Offences Against Public Justice”. These sections deal with offences related to the taking and offering of gratification in consideration for, among others, “concealing an offence”, “screening any person from legal punishment” or “not proceeding against any person for the purpose of bringing him to legal punishment”.
The MACC Act’s extensive definition of “gratification” is not limited to material benefit and includes:
“any other service or favour of any description, including protection from any penalty or disability incurred or apprehended or from any action or proceedings of a disciplinary, civil or criminal nature, whether or not already instituted, and including the exercise or the forbearance from the exercise of any right or any official power or duty” (MACC Act 2009, Section 3: Interpretation).
In the Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh cases, the allegations against the police (a public body under MACC’s jurisdiction) fall within the purview of these offences against public justice.
Further, Sections 161-163 of the Penal Code that deal with offences related to public servants taking gratification in the conduct of their official duties are also relevant in the scrutiny of possible attempts to influence the conduct of PDRM officers involved in the investigations into these disappearances.
It is not that novel an idea that MACC should step in when there is a serious conflict of interest problem with the police. In 2008, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (who was Opposition leader then) lodged a police report alleging that then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail were involved in fabricating evidence in Anwar’s 1998 black-eye incident. To mitigate the conflict, the investigation was handled by the MACC, which was called the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) then.
It is reasonable for the government to consider this option in order to allay the misgivings the public has about not just the composition of the current task force but also its legal standing.
There is a lack of clarity about this task force’s statutory power because the Home Minister did not reveal any terms of reference. We already have had an extensive inquiry, thanks to Suhakam, which established a credible line of enquiry beyond the reasonable suspicion threshold necessary for investigators to start arresting people, for instance. We do not need another “inquiry” or “committee” to replicate the solid work of the Suhakam inquiry.
It would be an act of good faith to the victims’ families if the government takes this route voluntarily. It would also meet the rule of law’s minimum requirement to constrain the exercise of arbitrary power.
Quoting Lord Hewart again: “Nothing is to be done which creates even a suspicion that there has been an improper interference with the course of justice.”
If this does not happen, then perhaps it is time for reports to be lodged with MACC in order to ensure that justice is not interfered with.
Sheryll Stothard is a member of the informal group of activists and advocates who have worked with the families of Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh since 2017 in their quest for truth and justice, including assisting them during the Suhakam public inquiry. She is currently reading law at the University of London. The views expressed here are entirely the writer's own. - Star


KUCHING – The recent vandalism committed towards a mural portrait of deceased firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, was an irrational act, said Fire and Rescue director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid.
Commenting on the incident in Shah Alam which began circulating on social media on Friday, Mohamad Hamdan said as citizens of a developing nation, Malaysians should act rationally.
Speaking to the media at a celebration at the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department headquarters here today, he said if there was dissatisfaction with certain quarters, “this is not the correct way to express it”.
A member of the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) unit at the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station, Muhammad Adib died a few weeks after sustaining injuries during a riot on the grounds of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in USJ 25, in November last year.

The inquest into the cause of his death is still underway.
–  Bernama


‘When will Malaysia accept playing the racial card will be a disaster?’
Odysseus: This problem is designed by BN since the delineation of electoral boundary gave more weight to a particular race than others.
To win more seats and gain power, Umno and PAS kept harping on race and religion in order to build support for themselves with the view of winning the next general election.
In response, Pakatan Harapan had to play to this race and religion tune.
My proposal to solve this issue is to redraw the electoral boundaries to make it balanced in terms of racial mix and the number of voters per constituency.
With this, all parties will have to tone down their racial and religious politics to be a party for all.
Kepala Tak Centre: Umno and PAS are purposely harping on racial issues to create instability in Malaysia. Once there is instability, they hope to use it to capture Putrajaya.
Secondly, the growing influence of Islamist, muftis and preachers – if they are let to talk and do what they want, the government will not able to control the country in future.
Mission Accomplished: The Harapan government played into the hands of the Umno/PAS combination and are trapped by these racists and bigots.
Instead of building a forward-looking nation confidently and removing the evil of racism, Harapan engaged them by defending themselves and are afraid of offending the 3Rs of race, royalty, and religion.
When will Malaysia accept playing the racial card will be a disaster? It is backwards-looking and stymies the growth of this nation.
United we prosper, divided we falter.
Alunan Ombak: Since our first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia has never had a strong, respected leader. Successive leaders after Tunku have been greedy, corrupt and destructive.
Forget about a maturing brand of politics in Malaysia. Truth be told, our country is doomed.
Justice Now!: The truth is Umno and PAS have nothing to offer the rakyat.
They have no answer to corruption, no answer to the economy except making themselves and cronies rich, no answer to food security and industrialisation except to steal more money from the allocation for agriculture developments and industrial funding.
The fact can be seen in Felda, MAS and Proton.
They have no answer to human resource development, the fact can be seen in the misuse of human resource development funds and the thousands of graduates without jobs.
They have no answer for the defence of the country and public security, the fact can be seen in the non-existence of military assets and the useless one that does exist.
They have no answer in transportation and energy resources, the fact can be seen in the ridiculous tolls that rakyat have to pay, the nonsensical East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and High-Speed Rail (HSR), and the huge hydropower in Sarawak that no one wants to buy!
What do they have an answer to? Race, religion, royalty, but even for these they don’t have answers because billions are spent each year to prop these up, and the “religion” or the “religious” are still too weak and too sensitive to face non-challenges from pictures and images and comments.
If you are strong and tough, you can brush off or laugh at everything that people throw at you, but the response of the weak is obvious.
Anon 2000: Yes, this is expected. Umno realises that they have nothing to offer the rakyat. So their only way forward is to divide the rakyat.
What better way than to bring up issues of race, religion and royalty – the 3Rs.
Ace: With due respect, such a study and analysis does not show anything. The basis is not right.
So, if someone says, “every religion teaches good”, or “the Indian race has a history dating back thousands of years”, or “the poor Malays should be given assistance”, et cetera, these will constitute bringing up “race and religion” and treated as something negative?
But there is nothing negative in the three examples brought up above. Shallow conclusions by the writer of this article.
Ian2003: The study may seem to be unrelated to anything that could be significant but it does show that the current opposition is making use and fanning race, religion, and royalty even more aggressively.
Harapan is no better as they also want to show that they are Malay champion and not Malaysian champion. That is the significance of this study.
How is that so? For one thing, in the name of freedom of speech, Umno and PAS have spewed even more venom and got away with a slap on the wrist, but some poor fellow posted something on Facebook was jail for one year.
Bosskuku Langsung Tak Malu: No. Not before or after, not us, and not Harapan.
It is actually the losers of the 14th general election that are talking more about the race and religion.
Why? Because they don’t have other topics. If you are talking about corruption, jurisdiction, or mismanagement, all these issues go to former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The Analyser: It’s time for you to get off your bike, stop blaming the opposition for everything, and to acknowledge that “the opposition” is as weak, feckless, and useless as the government. Umno-PAS have no power, no money, and no ideas. All they can do is mumble their feeble mantra about race.
If you want real racist politics in action, look no further than Mahathir’s Harapan.
Roger 5201: Umno is based on an ideology of supremacy, racism and bigotry.
The fact that Bersatu is trying so hard to match and outdo them in these areas increases rather than decreases division in this country based on race and religion.
– M’kini