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Kugan: Let Kugan not die in vain - entire Cabinet should resign if no RCI and IPCMC

Contributed by Anonymous on Thursday, January 29 @ 00:38:14 CST

Social
Lim Kit Siang, Jan 29 2009

A. Kugan would not have died in police custody if the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) had been operational since May 2006 as recommended by the Police Royal Commission headed by former Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin and former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar.


If the IPCMC, the key proposal of the 125 recommendations of the Police Royal Commission to transform the Malaysian police force into an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service to discharge its three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption in the police force and uphold human rights had been set up in accordance with the timeline as proposed, a new mindset and culture of responsibility, accountability and professionalism would have been disseminated and developed in the police force in the past 30 months and saved the life of Kugan. As it is, even the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar does not have this requisite mindset that he could come out with his latest howler, when he said that “the people should not regard criminals as heroes and the police who enforce the law as demons”. This statement, as outrageous as his previous howler when he said last September that the Sin Chew senior reporter Tan Hoon Cheng had been detained under the infamous Internal Security Act for her personal safety, is strong testimony that Hamid is not capable of being a reformist Home Minister to undertake long-needed and far-reaching police reforms. Malaysians, like people all over the world, do not regard criminals as heroes and the police as demons but when a Minister responsible for police makes a shocking statement of this nature, it reflects that something has gone very wrong both with the police force and the Home Minister with regard to the most basic of government duties – to keep the people safe and to uphold law and order. As a lawyer and Home Minister, Hamid cannot presume that Kugan is a criminal as it must be left to the courts to decide whether Kugan was guilty of the crimes alleged against him. Even if Kugan was guilty of the crimes alleged, the police cannot take the law into its own hands and continue to pile up the shocking statistics of deaths in police custody. Although the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has reclassified Kugan’s death as murder, sent back police investigations and ordered a more thorough probe, as well as demanding to see the second post-mortem conducted by the University of Malaya Medical Centre, the police conduct and the Home Minister’s attitude had gravely undermined public confidence in the independence and professionalism of police investigations into Kugan’s death. There can be no alternative to a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Kugan’s death in police custody, as well as the police and the Home Minister’s responses to the events after Kugan’s death. Kugan’s death in police custody also marks the abysmal and final failure of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s reform programme, standing out as a tragic symbol of the pathetic end of his pledge for police reforms in particular and his reform agenda for the larger picture. The Cabinet must rise to the occasion to take two decisions:
• Set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Kugan’s death in police custody and the immediate events after; and • Belated acceptance of the Police Royal Commission’s key recommendation for the establishment of the IPCMC by ensuring that an IPCMC Bill is presented to next month’s Parliament.
************Raja Petra Kamarudin, Jan 29 2009
............ Saying that Malaysia’s race relations has improved is not enough, especially when it is Barisan Nasional politicians who are talking. This is mere rhetoric and even those making the statements know this is true. We need to do more than just talk. We need to act as well.

How can we explain why an estimated 90% of those who die in custody are Indians when Indians are not 90% of those behind bars? I have been behind bars many times myself and I can tell you that those who share the prisons or detention centres with me are not 90% Indians. In fact, 90% of the ISA detainees are Malays while the majority of those under EO are Chinese (with quite a number of Indians as well of course). In the lockups, more than half are Malays. In some lockups, depending on where it is, it is an almost all-Malay population.

This means the high number of Indians killed behind bars does not reflect the proper ‘racial quota’. Is it any wonder that the Indians are upset? And if the Indians demonstrate their unhappiness, who are those ‘others’ who are going to become ‘sensitive’ about it? Certainly not the Indians, and the Chinese could not care a damn.

The Malays and Barisan Nasional politicians must guard what they say. What comes out of their mouths reflect what’s in their minds. And what’s in their minds is that Malay ‘sensitivities’ come first and the sensitivities of all others are not important. How can we shout about how much improved Malaysia’s race relations are when what you say does not give this impression?

Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKN) once threw a dinner party back in 1999 (before it became PKR) and the food had beef in everything, even in the vegetables. I asked the organiser why he did not provide for a vegetarian alternative for the Hindus and vegetarians. Even the vegetables were ‘not halal’ to Hindus and vegetarians.

The reply the organiser gave me was that Malaysia is a Muslim country so they have prepared a ‘halal’ menu according to the Muslim tradition. The non-Muslims will have to learn to live with this, the organiser added. They can always not touch the food, the organiser said.

Why would anyone want to come to a dinner party and not eat the food? Would they rather not come? The late MGG Pillai pointed this out to me and said that keADILan should be more sensitive to the feelings of those who are Hindus or vegetarians. At least one vegetarian table should have been prepared, he said.

I apologised to Mr Pillai and promised to take him to dinner later to make up for it. “Oh, it’s not about me,” he replied. “I am just pointing it out to you.” And he went and whacked the chicken and fish. Mr Pillai was not grumbling because he could not eat what had been prepared. He was more concerned about the party’s image and what people might say about a ‘multi-racial’ party that caters only to the Muslim diet and tells those guests who can’t eat the food to “jangan makanlah kalau tak boleh makan.”

Malays are always concerned about their ‘sensitivities’. But when others also get ‘sensitive’, the Malays get upset and get the impression that the non-Malays are becoming too much and too demanding. This is a Malay country. Why are the non-Malays complaining so much? If they don’t like it then why not they go back to India or China or wherever they came from?

But that’s just the point. They came from Malaysia, just like everyone else. They can’t go back to China or India. They did not come from China or India. They came from a town somewhere in Malaysia, the place where they were born. And they are as Malaysian as everyone else. How to make the Malays understand this?

There is no way we can reinstall the program in their heads. We can’t even reformat the hard disk. The old program is so corrupted and the hard disk practically destroyed. We need to buy a totally new hard disk. This is what Malaysia and its race relations have been reduced to.

Indonesia is not safe for the Chinese, many Malays will tell you. They kill Chinese in Indonesia. And that is why many Chinese have left Indonesia and have migrated to another country. The Chinese are more fortunate in Malaysia. In no other country are the Chinese as lucky as the Chinese in Malaysia. This is the belief of most Malays.

Well, in November 2008, Indonesia passed the Non-discrimination Act (UU No. 62/58) that makes it a crime to discriminate against any ethnic group. Indonesia’s aim is to unite all the races. Sure, there may have been problems in Indonesia in the past. Malaysia too has been having problems on and off since even before Merdeka. But Indonesia is trying to change all that. Malaysia is not only perpetuating racial problems but we even have institutionalised racial discrimination.

Indonesia is no longer the ‘cowboy’ country that it once was. It has taken a giant leap into the new Millennium. They even give the opposition parties equal airtime on the government-owned television networks. Malaysia, unfortunately, is now far behind Indonesia. I know many Malaysian Chinese who have shifted their business interests to Indonesia. If we are not careful all our money is going to exodus to our neighbour and one day, soon, we are going to be poorer than that largest Muslim country in the world.

Then what will come next? Indonesian maids will stop coming here to work? Instead, Malays will go to Indonesia to work as maids? Don’t laugh! It not only is not funny, it can even happen, though maybe not in the immediate future.

In the 1960s, the Pakistanis used to go to England to work as labourers. 50 years on and many Pakistanis are now the towkays while the ‘whites’ work for them. Stand on Oxford Street and see for yourself. Look at all the Rolls Royces passing by. The ‘white skins’ are driving the cars while the ‘brown skins’ sit in the back seats. Okay, some Pakistanis still work as the kuli. Not all are towkays. But the streets are no longer being swept by the ‘brown skins’. The ‘white skins’ do that dirty job. And the ‘white skins’ rent apartments owned by the ‘brown skins’.

Muhyiddin Yassin talks about Umno going downhill and what they should do about it. The problem is, he is totally clueless about the reason. The doctor can’t cure the disease until he can diagnose what is wrong with you. My late father was suffering from heartburn, said his doctor, and he recommended anti-acid tablets. After he suffered a heart attack and died at a young age of 40 plus, the doctor said maybe it was not heartburn after all. Maybe it was a mild heart attack that became worse because it was not treated.

A friend of mine, DJ Tate, went to the Tawakal hospital because he was not feeling well. Just fatigue, said the doctor, go home and rest. Tate phoned me to tell me he would not be joining me at Anwar Ibrahim’s house for tea that day. He was not feeling well, he said. He hung up, slumped into the chair, and died within seconds. Five minutes later the wife phoned to say that Tate had died. I was shocked. I spoke to him barely a few minutes before that.

Yes, unless the doctor knows what is wrong with you he might recommend an afternoon nap or some anti-acid tablets. You then lie down and die. Umno needs a better doctor than all those quacks. It is dying, not just tired. And unless they treat it with the right medication Umno is going to soon be buried like how I buried my father and Mr. Tate.

 
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