31 August, 2010

CIJ: Independent country, but media remains shackled

Releases & Announcements
Tuesday, 31 August 2010

As we celebrate anew the liberation of Malaya from colonialisation, the Centre for Independent Journalism is compelled to remind all that the mass media, a pivotal democratic institution, is still shackled at great cost to the development of the nation as a mature and modern society.

There are many factors impinging on media freedom, but arguably the biggest obstacle is the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984.

The draconian provisions of the law have been most effective in ensuring that the press bows to the demands of the state until the idea of media freedom has become anathema to some media practitioners themselves.

It is a sad irony that the institution whose function is to give voice to the voiceless is itself rendered voiceless when it comes to the cause that enables this very function.

Rather, some allow and encourage strident voices that seek to further restrict freedom of expression. There is an unabated, dangerous trend of intolerance of opinion that is now leaning to violence as a means to silence others, especially on issues related to ethnicity and religion. This is partly caused by the media’s failure to provide a forum for rational and reasoned public debate and discussion, and partly because the media is being used instead to champion narrow, racist agendas.

Hence, the price of a shackled media is not only growing irrelevance as audiences seek alternative sources of information and expression that are unimpeded by ownership and control issues, but worse – social unrest, one of the concerns that the PPPA is supposed to prevent.

CIJ urges all media outlets to seize the opportunity provided by Malaya’s Independence Day to reflect the lack of their own independence and how this has engendered a general lack of respect for the profession. For its own survival, the media must reclaim its freedom.

Earlier this year, The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) called for a review of the PPPA in conjunction World Press Freedom Day. Yet a decade ago, 951 print journalists signed a petition calling for the repeal of the same law.

It’s long past due for both media and the people to sound the clarion call for “Media Merdeka!”

After 53 years of independence in the peninsula and 47 in Sabah and Sarawak, isn’t it time for the media to be independent, too?

The Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia (CIJ) is a non-profit organisation that aspires for a society that is democratic, just and free, where all peoples will enjoy free media and the freedom to express, seek and impart information.

30 August, 2010

Nazri Aziz blames his Barisan Nasional comrades for driving away support with their chauvinistic ways !

Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz blamed his Barisan Nasional comrades today for driving away support with their chauvinistic ways, warning them that they could not ride on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s popularity to win the general election.

He blamed the “communal leadership” of certain BN politicians for the public’s declining confidence in the ruling coalition.

“I blame the leaders. Some have become ministers but still look at themselves as communal leaders instead of national leaders.

“But this makes little sense for once you are a minister, you represent all... not just your party or your race,” he said.

Nazri was responding to the results of a Merdeka Center survey that showed 45 per cent of Malays were dissatisfied with Umno while only 44 per cent were satisfied.

Umno performed even worse with the Chinese community, with only 12 per cent saying they were satisfied while 55 per cent were dissatisfied. A total of 34 per cent had evaded response, suggesting the possibility that a larger number than the 55 per cent could be dissatisfied with Umno.

The poll results, which involved a sample size of more than 1,000 registered voters in the peninsula, contrasted significantly with Najib’s approval rating of 72 per cent in a separate poll conducted in May.

Nazri however, claimed that Najib’s popularity alone would not be enough to help the BN win the next general election.

“The prime minister being popular on his own is not enough. The BN should be popular. A popular PM cannot carry the BN through to a victory and this was proven in the Sibu by-election.

“If this 72 per cent indeed says something, then we should have won in Sibu but we lost, so what good is a popular prime minister if he cannot carry the BN?” he said.

Nazri bleakly pointed out that if the BN leadership failed to buck up, the coalition would only go further downhill and eventually lose in the coming general election.

“BN really has to do a lot of image building... otherwise, we will face trouble in the 13th general election. I can see that Umno members, MCA members.... none have learnt their lessons,” he said.

Nazri claimed that BN leaders, in their attempt to regain lost support from the people, had resorted to making harsh statements.

“They make harsh statements to win support from their own communities. Meaning, they would rather win in the newspapers than in the hearts of the people.

“The MCA, by showing they are chauvinistic Chinese, think they can get the support of the Chinese community. But then, the Chinese already have the DAP, so what is MCA trying to do?” he said.

He noted that by practicing chauvinism and extremism, the MCA had only caused itself to lose the support of the moderate Chinese community and that of the Malay community.

“The MCA has their own niche in the BN structure.. they consist of the moderate Chinese-thinking people so when they put forward extremist views, they lose support from the Chinese and the Malays,” he said.

Nazri claimed that similarly, Umno politicians were attempting to match up to their foes in Islamist party PAS.

“Umno leaders are trying to show they are more Islamic than PAS. However, PAS supporters are PAS supporters and they will support PAS whatever comes their way.

“So, in doing that, Umno will not get all the support of the Malays... they will lose support and at the same time, they will lose the support of the non-Malays, because of their extremist stand,” he said.

Nazri noted that the same notion could be applied to the Indian community and the MIC.

“This is the scenario and it shows that we have never learned our lessons. How is it that Umno only speaks for the Malays and the MCA for the Chinese and yet we want to sell ourselves to the people by saying we are multiracial?

“This is not the rakyat of the 1960s or the 1970s,” he said.

Nazri said that the people “see a glimmer of hope in the PR because they have tried the BN for so many years. So, even though PR parties do not share similar ideologies... they have the support.

“A drowning man will hold on to a straw,” he said.

Nazri however reminded the public that the PR structure was no better than the BN’s, claiming that it was “racial consideration” that had caused the parties to choose Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as their de facto leader.

“They chose him because he is a Malay. They would have truly achieved their multiracialism if they had chosen someone else to be leader... like Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng or Karpal Singh,” he said.

Nazri also said that the best medicine for the BN at this point was to allow direct membership.

“We will be discussing this during our BN convention at year end. I am in full support of this because sometimes, a person may be supportive of the BN but not of the Umno, MCA, MIC or the other parties,” he said.

He claimed that this would promote true multiracialism in the BN and was a step forward towards creating a true Malaysian party.

“Eventually, we can move towards abolishing this racial party system. It is never easy but at least a process must be in place,” he said.

(From The Malaysian Insider)


28 August, 2010

Malaysia continues to be insulted ?

Image taken from Malaysiakini

The government-linked Malay daily Utusan Malaysia yesterday front-paged a report titled 'Malaysia continues to be insulted' (Malaysia terus dihina) showing Teo at the venue without a headscarf - commonly required when entering an Islamic place of worship - and commenting that she had worn a form-fitting kebaya pendek (traditional Malay dress).

It also alleged that Teo had given tazkirah (religious advice) at the surau.

Utusan crap as usual, trying to stir-up racial/religious hatred and animosity against our Muslim Communities in Malaysia.

The crime of causing religious disharmony carries a prison term of up to five years in Malaysia, what say you, Attorney General?

Meanwhile, Teo Nie Ching, the Serdang MP whose visit to a surau last Sunday drew verbal attacks, says she will be submitting an apology and an explanation to the Sultan of Selangor.

In a statement released this afternoon, the first-term MP also expressed regret that there were efforts to manipulate the issue to instigate unrest.

“I regret that this matter has caused unrest among Muslims in our country, and that the issue has been fired up by certain parties for political reasons,” said Teo.

Teo said in a statement that she had gone to the surau with the intention of handing over a Selangor government donation for repair of the fencing and to join in the breaking of fast with the surau committee and congregation.

"As I was invited to say a few words, I sincerely explained an education programme of the state government for the benefit of the people of Selangor.

"I regret that this matter has caused anxiety among Muslims and that the issue has been played up by certain quarters for political reasons," she said.

Teo stressed that her visit to the surau was not politically motivated and she had no intention to cause the sanctity of mosques and surau to be questioned.

She welcomed the advice and suggestions from all quarters on the matter and vowed to exercise greater caution so as not to create discomfort and misunderstanding among Muslims in the future.

Teo's presence at the surau led the sultan to direct the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (MAIS) to take immediate action against the surau committee which, according to a report, has been suspended.

Selangor Umno Youth today sent a memorandum to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim on the matter.

Its information chief, Safarizul Mustafa, said what Teo did should not be taken lightly because it went against the sultan's stated desire to uphold the sanctity of mosques and surau.

"We take seriously the matter of non-Muslim politicians and other individuals giving speeches at mosques and surau in Selangor as it is tantamount to ignoring the sensitivities of Muslims and can undermine public order and security," he told reporters.

Safarizul said the memorandum, among other things, called on the Selangor government to expel Datuk Dr Hasan Mohamed Ali as the chairman of the State Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs Committee for having allegedly failed to advise a non-Muslim elected representative of the DAP accordingly.

It also called for the chairman and members of the surau committee and the imam who had invited Teo and allowed her to give a talk to be expelled immediately.

In YAN (Kedah), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom advised mosque and surau committees to refer to the respective state Islamic affairs councils on the matter of permitting non-Muslims into Muslim houses of worship.

He said every state had its guidelines in the matter and the mosque or surau committee or management should adhere to these regulations and not act arbitrarily.

Other houses of worship also had guidelines on allowing people of other religions into the premises, he told reporters after presenting tithes to poor people.

"We have no problem allowing people of other religions into mosques or surau. Some of our mosques allow non-Muslim tourists to enter their premises but have guidelines, such as women having to wear a headscarf and so on," he said.

In KEPALA BATAS, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said all elected representatives should be more sensitive in matters concerning religion to avert tension among the races.

They should have an understanding of religious and racial harmony so as not to cause ill-feelings which could undermine it, said Abdullah.

In BESUT, the Religious Advisor to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Abdullah Md Zin, asked Muslim leaders in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat to advise their colleagues from the DAP to observe the rules on the use of Muslim houses of worship such as mosques and surau.

He said Islam required that women entering houses of worship should use a headscarf.

He also said that people of other religions should not enter the prayer area but could present donations or give speeches outside of it.

In IPOH, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said houses of worship should not be used to spread political influence in the personal or party interest.

Last year, two Muslims pretended to be Catholic, took Communion, consumed it only to spit it out later, have it photographed and have its image published in the Al-Islam magazine.

Acting on false information that the Catholic Church was converting Muslims into Christians had recently entered a Catholic Church service for the purpose of gathering information as to whether this was occurring.

They were also investigating whether the word 'Allah' was being used in church services. These men participated in the church service and even took part in the rituals that are strictly for Catholics and in doing so violated the sanctity of what Catholics hold very sacred. These men later wrote about their experience in an article entitled "Tinjaun Al Islam Dalam Gereja:Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Murtad" which was published in the May 2009 issue or the Al Islam magazine.

The men had consumed the 'communion' which is a white wafer which is blessed by the Priest in a Catholic ritual that dates back 2000 years. Via this ritual the 'white wafer' is supernaturally transformed into what Catholics believe to be Jesus Christ and when consumed allows Catholics to experience life after death. The 'communion' is held with great reverence and cannot in any way be mishandled or with a lack of respect. Even Catholics are not allowed to take home the 'communion' but are instructed to consume it immediately during the service. Catholics go through an elaborate process of preparing themselves to receive this 'communion' worthily and those who have not done so are advised to refrain from receiving it.

Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail said in a statement then that he decided not to prosecute the two men because "they did not intend to offend anyone. It was an act of sheer ignorance."

Is going to a surau to dispense aid for repairs to the surau in all innocence more reprehensible than for a Muslim to purposely go into a church and partake of communion and after that boast about it?

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27 August, 2010

Najib declared that a "zero-tolerance" policy will be adopted towards racism.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has come out strongly to denounce racism, saying that the federal government should adopt the policy of zero tolerance on the issue, with special focus on those who try to incite racial hatred.

Najib pledged that anyone found to be racist, would face immediate action against them.

"Sometimes what is interpreted by others may not also be the truth," he said.

Asked if civil servants found to make racist remarks would be sacked, the premier also remained non-committal.

"We need to have an educational process. It is still quite nascent (for the civil servants). But rest assured, those who make racist remarks, action will be taken," said Najib

Meanwhile, Najib dropped hints that the door is still open for discussions on the hot topic of student participation in politics.

"I know that the cabinet recently announced that they are maintaining the status quo, but I am still thinking about the idea of letting students participate in politics.

"I still have an open mind on it so we can still debate the pros and cons, so that we can in the end make an accurate decision," he said.

"My desire is to see university students focus on academic excellence and not be engrossed with the politicking process. I am in favour of healthy politics but not if the process is abused," he added.

On the Barisan Nasional Youth Lab call to amend the Internal Security Act (ISA) to ensure it was not abused, Najib said the days of "scare politics" or using the ISA to wield power and show that one was in full control were gone.

"Misusing the ISA is counter-productive and will only cause people to be more angry and have more hatred towards the ISA," he added.

He said the era of "Government knows best" was over, adding that the 21st century called for the contestation of ideas from the people.

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26 August, 2010

Malaysia - many popular news sites are still struggling to stay in the black..

The Straits Times
Singapore, Friday 26 August 2010

Online journalism may be booming in Malaysia, drawing many readers from traditional print media, but staying profitable is another story altogether.

With intense competition and business models that are still being worked out, many popular news sites are still struggling to stay in the black.

Recently, one of Malaysia's top news websites became the first major casualty.

The Nut Graph, which was launched with much fanfare in 2008, has said it is scaling down operations at the end of this month and retrenching staff. Making an announcement last month, editor Jacqueline Ann Surin cited financial difficulties to explain its move.

Starting next month, The Nut Graph will publish only once a week instead of five times, and focus mostly on columns and commentaries from contributors, rather than news or features.

The Nut Graph's financial struggles have been no secret. Launched with a start-up cost of RM2 million, the website has not turned in a profit, and with funds running low, even had to seek public donations to keep going.

"The expectation of online journalism is that it needs to be super-fast with a high turnover of stories. In order to do that, you need a fairly large team which costs more money," said Surin, a former journalist with local dailies The Star and The Sun.

The Nut Graph business model, she said, was simply not sustainable.

A similar story can be heard at some of the other news websites.

Top news website Malaysiakini, for instance, is the oldest and only website that charges subscription. Even then, the 10-year-old site is making only a small profit, said its editor Steven Gan.

Similarly, the chief executive of The Malaysian Insider, another well-read site, said earlier this week that it was still in the red. Internet advertising, he said, covers only half its costs.

Still, such financial challenges have not stopped newcomers like Malaysian Mirror, Free Malaysia Today and Malaysian Digest from joining the fray in the past year.

News websites have surged in popularity here in the past two years, in the wake of the 2008 general election, as Malaysians flocked online for what they felt was more independent news, at the same time shunning mainstream newspapers which many felt were overly pro-government.

But analysts say that in an increasingly crowded cyberspace, packed with stories of varying quality, more has not proven to be better.

Political analyst Farish Noor noted that there has been a tendency for news websites to overlap and cover the same news, resulting in a 'somewhat shallow consensus of opinion'.

There is also frequent speculation that some websites have hidden political backers, which would explain the ability to absorb financial losses in exchange for online influence.

"After the last general election, people realized that the Internet is a powerful medium. It is possible that politicians and business tycoons will pay for a stake in online media," Gan said.

While some of these news websites have sometimes been criticized for running stories with clear slants, he felt it was up to readers 'to decide how much weight they can put on them and what to believe in'.

Both Gan and Farish see the scaling down of The Nut Graph, which has built up a credible reputation, as a blow to online journalism in Malaysia.

More websites are likely to come up to take its place, but Farish believes that those with agendas will not be able to hoodwink readers for long.

"The public can see through any slant, and that only robs these organizations, and the journalists who work for them, of their credibility," he said.


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23 August, 2010

Malaysia ranked 37th on Newsweek's "The World's Best Countries" list

Malaysia is ranked 37th in the world on Newsweek magazine's "The World's Best Countries" list, which ranks top globe nations by economy, politics, education, health and quality of life.

Among neighbours, Singapore is ranked 20th, Thailand (58th), Philippines (63rd) and Indonesia (73rd). In the rating, which involves 100 countries, Finland is ranked as number one, followed by Switzerland and Sweden.

In Newsweek's first-ever Best Countries special issue, they set out to answer a question that is at once simple and incredibly complex — if you were born today, which country would provide you the very best opportunity to live a healthy, safe, reasonably prosperous, and upwardly mobile life?

For this special survey, Newsweek chose five categories of national well-being — education, health, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and political environment — and compiled metrics within these categories across 100 nations.

The magazine also listed Malaysia as the eighth best in education category among the upper middle-income countries. Top three of the category are Kazakhstan, Poland and Cuba.


21 August, 2010

Malaysia: Prospering on the sweat and blood of foreign workers

They earn only a monthly income of 420 ringgit (US$130) each, but have to pay the foreign worker levies, and are allowed to claim a maximum of two-hour overtime pay even though they actually worked 12 hours. Two workers — one on morning shift and the other on night shifts — take turn to share a bed, and 70 workers are squeezed into a unit that is meant to accommodate 30 people.

If all these claims are true, these workers are certainly miserably treated. It is surely hard to believe that there are still such inhumane practices in today’s modern society that promotes respect for human dignity and human rights.

We would never know that there is one of the world’s largest computer hard drive manufacturers in Johor Bahru if a Nepalese factory worker did not die of high fever and triggered a massive riot. We would never know either that the factory has actually recruited 5,000 of foreign workers.

Nepal is a poor country. Nepalese have no choice but to leave homes to earn a livelihood abroad. How well we can understand their suffering and grief? Could we hear them when they are crying somewhere in a dark corner? How many other grievances and injustice of the millions of foreign workers have not been revealed yet?

According to Johor state unity, human resources, science, technology and innovation committee chairman M. Asojan, the death of a Nepalese factory worker was what triggered off the riot, but the cause was the explosion of their frustration, anger and misery over the harsh environment they were forced to live in for a very long time.

It surely is not unreasonable for the Nepalese workers to demand for a more decent living condition. The issue is not simply about a riot by foreign workers, but a fight for reasonable treatment and basic human rights. The factory should openly explain to the public about the allegations made by the foreign workers and respond to their demands.

Obviously it is not easy to manage 5,000 foreign workers with different cultures, languages and religions. We also understand that low wages and costs are competitive advantages. However, there should be a balance between the pursuit of profit, and the pursuit of fairness and humanity.

Not only the factory should have a reflection, but the government should also make an in-depth review on our foreign worker policy. Factories keep saying that as there is a shortage of local manpower, they are forced to hire huge numbers of foreign workers.

However, if the factories are paying only 420 ringgit per month for each worker, how are they going to attract local workers?

While chasing our dream of becoming an advanced country, trying to enter the era of high-income and create economic miracles, should we forget about social fairness and justice? And how can we step on the vulnerable group of workers from foreign countries and leave a page of bloody and tearful history of oppressing foreign workers?


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20 August, 2010

Two top execs at 98.8 FM suspended, popular talk show in limbo

Radio station 98.8 FM saw two of its top executives suspended after its popular DJ Jamaludin Ibrahim was asked to take leave upon receiving Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) complaint letter.

CEO Wong Lai Ngo and senior program manager Chen Jia Rong were reportedly suspended after MCMC complained that the programme "Say Hi to Malaysia" contained "inappropriate language."

The Chinese-speaking Malay DJ, known by his fans as Jamal, received notification on Wednesday evening while the two executives were suspended on Thursday.

Linda Ngiam, chairman of Star RFM Sdn Bhd, did not announced in her statement on Wednesday that actions were taken against Wong and Chen.

She said that there would be an investigation on this serious matter where appropriate action wiould be taken.

According to The Star, the complaint letter pointed out that announcers and panelists had used "inappropriate language that the listeners found to be offensive."

MCMC claimed that the morning programme, aired Monday to Friday, had threatened national security and compromised race relations.

The programme is well known for its phone-in sessions which mainly discusses current affairs issues and is popular with the Chinese community.

The radio station's DJs and invited guests have expressed outrage over the MCMC allegations and claimed that their efforts on air, and that of Jamaluddin's, were to diffuse ethnic tensions.

Jamaluddin's suspension was announced by two DJs on the show yesterday morning. The two also wept on air over the removal.

Meanwhile, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party will not intervene in the case involving Jamaluddin Ibrahim, a 988 FM Mandarin radio station talk show host, who has been suspended from work since Aug 19.

Chua said in a statement today that MCA has never interfered in the operations of The Star Publications (M) Bhd and its subsidiary — Star RFM Sdn Bhd which owns the 988 FM Mandarin radio station.

"I am given to understand that the 988 radio station has received a warning letter from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). I am informed that Jamaluddin was asked to go on leave.

"The MCA is not responsible for the decision on Jamaluddin. I reiterate that the MCA will not intervene in the case and that the matter will be fully handled by the management," added Chua.

Chua reiterated that the new MCA leadership would not interfere in the operations and management of The Star and the 988 radio station as Star Publications, as a listed company, has an independent management and the professional team should be left to make their operations decisions.

"I also believe that the media group should not be used or abused for any individual agenda," said Chua.

Meanwhile, the MCMC has also issued a statement today, stating that Star RFM's 988 FM radio station was being investigated by the MCMC for breach of licence conditions following several complaints it received on the morning programme.

The commission said it had received a complaint against the content that was broadcast on Aug 13, 2010 by 988 FM which may upset the sensibilities and sentiments of races in this country.

"SKMM has also informed the station regarding the complaints received. Star RFM Sdn Bhd holds the Content Applications Service Provider-Individual (CASP-I) that requires compliance to licence conditions as stipulated in the licence; which includes prohibition on providing content which may upset the sensibilities and sentiments of any race or religion in this country," said MCMC.

MCMC said it started an investigation after evaluating the complaint and upon the completion of the investigation, the case would be referred to the attorney-general for further action.


19 August, 2010

Gratify the Greens or Protect the Poor?

Greenpeace and other radical green groups are big on "corporate social responsibility" (CSR). What constitutes CSR, you ask? Among other things, the willingness to let the "green" agenda trump sound business practices.

Of late, the greens have taken to pressuring Western multinational companies to forswear buying paper and palm-based products from the Asian tropics. The campaign thrills Greenpeace donors, but threatens lasting harm to millions of men and women in poor nations.

Timber, paper and palm oil produced in the tropical belt are valued for their high quality and low cost. But radical greens oppose any commercial development in the tropics, which they want to preserve as pristine wilderness. And so they harass the multinationals, accusing them of razing the rain forest and destroying habitat for orangutans, tigers, and other endangered species.

The gambit works. Global food giant Nestlé recently suspended imports of palm oil from Asia. So have Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

Now retailers Wal-Mart and Carrefour are under fire for buying paper goods from the Asian region. And mega-bank HSBC is being pressured to halt economic development projects in Indonesia, Malaysia and other developing countries.

But in pressing its cause, Greenpeace willfully ignores some inconvenient, yet vitally important facts. For starters, palm oil is environmentally friendly. On a per-liter basis, palm oil production requires less energy and land-and fewer fertilizers or pesticides-than other vegetable oils.

What's more, Indonesia and Malaysia--both major palm oil and paper producers--have put 25 percent and 50 percent of their forest cover, respectively, off limits to development and established extensive wildlife protection efforts. In other words, both nations are being socially responsible.

So what's the real driver behind the anti-development campaigns led by European green groups? First, let's consider Europe's vegetable oil producers, timber producers and paper manufacturers. They don't much like competition from the Asian market.

European policymakers know protectionism is illegal, so they are trying to block imports on environmental and public relations grounds. EU member states support radical green groups which then demonize trade in foreign goods. What European policymakers and companies can't do legally in global trade courts they are trying to accomplish instead via the court of public opinion.

Western multinationals shouldn't go along with what amounts to illegal protectionism that threatens to undo the decades-long drive to open markets led by Western nations.

....read more here.

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18 August, 2010

Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand is “sure” that the death of Teoh Beng Hock was not a suicide !

Thai Central Institute of Forensic Science’s director Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand is “sure” that the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock was not a suicide.

However, she declined to put a percentage on how much she believed his death was due to homicide.

When she initially testified last year, Dr Pornthip said she believed there was an 80% possibility that Teoh's death was homicide.

When asked why she declined to quote a percentage, Dr Pornthip said: "That time, I had to convince the judge (coroner) to do a second post-mortem, so I had to give a percentage."

She also revealed that the pathologists who carried out the first post-mortem had failed to open the skin at the sacrum (the bone at the base of the spine) area and posterior part of the thigh to identify the nature of injuries there.

Dr Pornthip had initially testified that the marks on the thigh may have been due to a beating and the tear to Teoh's anus was a penetrative wound.

However, she said after having the skin from both the regions opened up at the second post mortem in November last year, she was able to say that both the injuries were due to Teoh's fall.

Dr Pornthip also told coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas that she still maintained her opinion that Teoh had sustained pre-fall injuries.

Pornthip, who has more than 25 years' experience in forensic crime scene investigation, said the injuries found on Teoh (right) were inconsistent with other cases of suicide from jumping that she had investigated.

She said the lack of fractures on Teoh's wrists, as well as a cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) indicate that he was unconscious when he landed, confirming that he did not commit suicide.

If he was conscious, she said, he would have broken his fall with his hands and sustained injuries to his wrists.

She said only one ankle was fractured, unlike most suicide by jumping cases, adding that the fracture had a wound around it, suggesting that it was due to the impact of the fall.

Pornthip also testified the skull injury was not a ring fracture, often found in cases of suicide by jumping.

Instead the fracture was caused by either a fall or beating using blunt objects.

The second autopsy, she said, revealed that the bruise on Teoh's neck was likely caused by blunt force and not by the fall, as suggested by Dr Prashant Naresh Samberkar of the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre.

"My staff and I have examined 34 to 35 cases of falls from height and none showed a serious wound like the one on (Teoh's) neck," she said.

But the injury was at a "protected area of the neck" eliminating the possibility that it was hit by an object before or during the fall.

Rather, she said, it indicates a sort of neck hold, but not from manual strangulation, as the force administered was greater than that of a human grip.

She said the bruise was unlike that caused by injury to the spine or chin. The chin area does not have blood vessels which could cause such excessive bleeding and a wound that large.

Pornthip also refuted the findings of Teoh 2nd autopsy, pathologist Dr Peter Vaneziz who had said there was no compression to the neck which occurred for a significant period of time, as the injury indicates that he Teoh's neck was pressed down to an object.

The swelling of the brain also indicates that he was deprived of oxygen for "at least five minutes", either through blockage of a vein, artery or trachea, consistent with the hypothesis of a neck hold.

Pornthip testified that Teoh did not land on its feet as Vaneziz suggested, and that the evidence indicates there was sliding.

However, she found that the anal tear previously believed to suggest possible penetration was in fact caused by injuries to the buttock region due to the fall.

MACC prosecution head Abdul Razak Musa suggests that her testimony is based on her imagination. Pornthip refutes this, saying it is based on her work.

Razak notes that she is not qualified as a forensic expert in Malaysia as the university from which she graduated is not recognised in Malaysia. Pornthip replies that the university is one of the top five in Asia - some in the public gallery applaud.

Razak puts it to Pornthip that Teoh strangled himself. He says that the other four doctors had found no such evidence of strangulation.

Gobind stands up and asks Razak to demonstrate how one can strangle himself. Razak makes an attempt, to laughter from the gallery.

Razak asks her how Teoh could be dead on the 14th floor (where the Selangor MACC office is located in Plaza Masalm, Shah Alam) but alive on the ground.

Razak sounds muddled, causing coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas to chuckle. Azmil explains to Razak that what Pornthip meant was that Teoh was likely unconscious during the fall and not dead.

Razak also asks if she has experience jumping off a building as she has testified that the body was found further from the building than in the usual case of suicide by jumping.

Malik stands up to say that Razak is trying to put words into Pornthip's mouth. "The way he is asking questions makes us want to jump off ourselves!"

Razak puts it to Pornthip that her opinion is different from that of the other four doctors who were present during the second autopsy.

Razak: One against four...

Pornthip: You have to respect the judge (coroner) who will make the decision.

Razak: We work on majority.

There were loud groans from the gallery.

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17 August, 2010

Opposition political camp in predicament ?

Pakatan Rakyat (PR), is dragged into another predicament when its leader, Anwar Ibrahim, failed in his bid to strike out the sodomy trial against him.

Anwar, the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and current opposition leader in the Malaysian Parliament, is deemed the most appropriate prime minister candidate should the alliance win the next general election.

Failing in his attempt to get the Kuala Lumpur High Court to dismiss the case means that Anwar has to inevitably face the tedious legal proceedings that will divert his focus and energy from managing the PR, or the People's Alliance.

The PR is formed by three parties, namely the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the People's Justice Party (PKR) where Anwar is the adviser, and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) after the last general election in 2008.

The March general election has resulted in the Barisan Nasional (BN), the current ruling coalition of the Malaysian government, losing two-thirds majority in the Malaysian Parliament.

Four other states also fell into the hands of the PR during the election, besides the Kelantan State that has been run by an opposition party since 1990.

In fact, this is the first time the BN suffers from massive defeat after the country gained independence in 1957.

However, the PR, lacking experience of running a government, is perceived as a fragmented and lose alliance where its component parties share no common ideologies.

Even in a single party, there are different camps targeting the seat of the state government chief.

While Anwar is still able to bring all party members together and suppress those who have tried to sabotage, his absence in the party will definitely create turbulence.

The DAP, dominated by Chinese Malaysian, never agrees with the PAS' ultimate goal of creating an Islamic State.

The PKR, whose adviser is Anwar, is then the most suitable party to coordinate the progress and struggle of the PR, given the fact that it has a better mixture of three main races in the country.

As Anwar once served as the "number two" person in the Malaysian government, no other leader in the PR is as convincing as Anwar in terms of leadership.

Obviously, without Anwar, the PR will only turn looser, and toppling the BN government will mean much more difficult to the opposition alliance.

Meanwhile, high ranking leaders including Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have accused Anwar of garnering much support from abroad, particularly the United States.

As a result, Anwar is even dubbed the agent of a strong western power suspected to have provided financial aid to him.

However, no matter how much support he receives from overseas, Anwar will still fail to change the country's political landscape as the Malaysian government has openly remarked that it would not bow to external pressures.

The Malaysian government's stand has clearly shown that any external forces will not help free Anwar, and the later will still have to undergo the legal process in the country.

To date, political leaders from the United States and Australia have voiced their concerns over the trials against Anwar.

But their statements have sparked anger among the Malaysian public as the later see this as interference in Malaysia's internal affairs.

From Anwar's view point, winning the case is not merely about clearing his name, but also has close link with the political scenario of Malaysia.

While many politics observers have predicted that an early general election may be called by the end of 2011, it is doubted if Anwar can initiate feasible measures in the next year to reverse the underdog situation confronting the PR.

- Xinhua News Agency

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16 August, 2010

Mosque near Ground Zero? Have a little sensitivity

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is some sort of bigot. In a speech about the ground zero mosque and religious freedom, Bloomberg stipulated that "it is fair to ask the organizers of the mosque to show some special sensitivity to the situation."

Why do they, of all the sects represented in New York, have to show "special sensitivity"? Does the mayor demand "special sensitivity" of St. Paul's Church, the Episcopal parish a few blocks from ground zero? And who appointed him arbiter of "special sensitivity"? Where in the First Amendment does it give mayors the power to enjoin builders of churches, synagogues or mosques to show sensitivity, special or otherwise?

It must be that the mayor harbors a subtle animus toward Muslims that impels him to impinge on their constitutional rights in violation of all that this country holds dear. Or so one would conclude if Mayor Bloomberg's obtuse hostility to opponents of the ground zero mosque were turned against him.

The mayor unloosed a self-righteous oration about how critics of the project are disgracing the memory of firefighters who died in 9/11, among other offenses against truth, justice and the American way. But even he had to admit that there's something different about building a mosque so close to the site of a horrific, history-changing act of Islamic terrorism. What Bloomberg refuses to see is that those who want to block the mosque are demanding a truly meaningful gesture in "special sensitivity."

Namely, moving it elsewhere. If the founders of the project are as serious about interfaith bridge-building as they say, they'd be delighted to find a less controversial location. Rubbing hurt feelings raw is not an act of understanding. Stoking a religiously charged debate at ground zero is not a blow for tolerance. They are provocations, by people who are either witless or understand exactly what they are doing.

It is true that Islam as such is not responsible for 9/11, but symbolism and the sensibilities of New Yorkers and victims of 9/11 can't be discounted. When the Anti-Defamation League bravely bucked elite opinion to oppose the project, its national director, Abe Foxman, made an illuminating comparison with a Carmelite convent established outside Auschwitz in the 1980s.

Carmelites were not a cog in Adolf Hitler's death machine. Survivors of the Holocaust and Jewish groups nonetheless found the Catholic outpost offensive, which was enough for Pope John Paul II to ask the nuns to move. True interfaith bridge-building is made of such forbearance.

The organizers of the mosque, in contrast, relish their hot-button address. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the project's imam, wrote a book called "What's Right With Islam Is What's Right With America." But as former prosecutor Andy McCarthy points out, it was published in Malaysia under the more pungent title "A Call to Prayer From the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11" (dawa is Islamic proselytism). A noncommercial edition was published by two organizations that have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and promote Hamas.

Rauf himself won't condemn the Palestinian terror group. Asked about Hamas in a recent radio interview, he said, "Terrorism is a very complex question," the stock answer of anyone excusing terrorism. "I am a peace builder," he explained — so long as peace-building doesn't require saying a discouraging word about the Palestinian murderers of innocent Jews.

Even if Rauf has the best of intentions, a $100 million mosque is an open invitation to Saudi funding. Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute has documented how Saudi materials at American mosques exhort Muslims to spill the blood of infidels and Jews, in interfaith bridge-building Wahhabi-style. If the ground zero project relies on Saudi money, the desert monarchy will have pulled a perverse twofer — funding the radical version of Islam that created ground zero, then funding the mosque that outraged the families of the victims.

No thanks. Good taste and common sense should prevail, or what Mayor Bloomberg, in his surpassing wisdom, calls "special sensitivity."

- By Rich Lowry, Sun Journal.

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15 August, 2010

WikiLeaks says it won't be threatened by Pentagon and will publish its remaining 15,000 Afghan war documents within a month.

WikiLeaks will publish its remaining 15,000 Afghan war documents within a month, despite warnings from the U.S. government, the organization's founder said Saturday.

The Pentagon has said that secret information will be even more damaging to security and risk more lives than WikiLeaks' initial release of some 76,000 war documents.

"This organization will not be threatened by the Pentagon or any other group," Assange told reporters in Stockholm. "We proceed cautiously and safely with this material."

In an interview with The Associated Press, he said that if U.S. defense officials want to be seen as promoting democracy then they "must protect what the United States' founders considered to be their central value, which is freedom of the press."

"For the Pentagon to be making threatening demands for censorship of a press organization is a cause for concern, not just for the press but for the Pentagon itself," the Australian added.

He said WikiLeaks was about halfway though a "line-by-line review" of the 15,000 documents and that "innocent parties who are under reasonable threat" would be redacted from the material....more here.


14 August, 2010

Obama backs NY mosque and Muslim cultural centre project,

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama backed construction of a proposed mosque and Muslim cultural centre near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York -- a project opposed by U.S. conservatives and many New Yorkers.

"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," Obama said at an event on Friday attended by diplomats from Islamic countries and members of the U.S. Muslim community.

"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said.

Earlier this month a New York city agency cleared the way for construction of the center, which will include a prayer room, two blocks from the site of the Sept 11 attacks, popularly known as "Ground Zero."

"This is America and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable," said Obama, who has made improving ties between the United States and the Muslim world a cornerstone of his foreign policy.

About 2,750 people were killed on Sept. 11 when hijackers from the Muslim militant group al Qaeda crashed two passenger planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, an event that traumatised Americans and sparked the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the Bush Administration's "war on terror."

Families of those killed in the attacks have mounted an emotional campaign to block the mosque, saying it would be a betrayal of the memory of the victims.

Conservative politicians such as former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, a Republican former Speaker of the House of Representatives, have also called for the project to be scrapped.
Mark Williams, a spokesman for the conservative Tea Party political movement, said the center would be used for "terrorists to worship their monkey god."

With the rhetoric growing more heated, Obama decided on Friday to make his voice heard.

Obama was speaking during an Iftar dinner he hosted at the White House. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

He said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution had established the freedom of religion "and that right has been upheld ever since."

Al Qaeda also was not synonymous with Islam, Obama said.

"Al Qaeda's cause is not Islam -- it is a gross distortion of Islam," he said. "These are not religious leaders -- these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has firmly supported the community center project as have many religious organizations in the city. However, 53 percent of New Yorkers oppose it, according to a Marist Poll this week.

At least one additional legal challenge looms but the city agency's Aug. 3 ruling will clear the way for construction of Cordoba House, which will include a 500-seat auditorium as part of a 13-storey Muslim cultural complex.

Since coming into office, Obama, a Democrat, has worked to reach out to Muslims, many of whom felt targeted by the "war on terror" and by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a speech in Cairo in June 2009, Obama called for a "new beginning" in ties between the United States and Muslims, saying that extremists had exploited tensions between Muslims and the West and that Islam was not part of the problem.



11 August, 2010

Indonesia: Fatwa and public reasoning

It may not be surprising anymore, but every time the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) releases a new fatwa (edict), it raises wide public reaction, becoming big news in the media across the country.

Additionally, fatwas issued by clerics of neighboring countries like Malaysia are also paid wider public attention. Although it is not so clear, there seems to be a growing fatwa-phobia in our Islamized society.

The responses against fatwas have varied from time to time. Some look to expect the council to be more responsive in issuing fatwas to any socio-cultural events, changes as well as effects derived from the rapid developments in sciences, medicines or innovative technological products.

The others, conversely, also expect the same but only in order to be able to mock, ridicule and criticize the content and rationales and finally have a chance to undermine the role and position of Muslim clerics in society. While the rest take no any position whether pro or contra and simply do not care so much with what the council have discussed.

It raises a primary question on what is actually happening in this Muslim society as a whole in terms of its religious social life.

According to Jocelyn Cesari (2004), the meeting between Islam and democracy, on the one hand, engenders issues on equality and responsibility among members of the religious community, and on the other hand, faces the need to negotiate with the increasing secularization and individualization in the society as a whole.

Equality means that every individual inherits the same right to have a faith and express their religious beliefs without any restrictions from others as long as they do not violate the public interest. While responsibility is closely linked to the particular role of individuals played in the society, it has to be divided and distributed under an open agreement, a kind of a new social contract.

In this context, religiously communal institutions, for example the MUI, seem to face a big problem with two former societal issues above. The MUI council is an exclusive organization that only Muslims with specific criteria can join and give her opinions.

Its authority to issue religiously legal opinions regulating or restricting particular social behavior intersected with the basic principle of the freedom of expression in religious practices in a democratic-secular society.

The fact that Indonesia is not an Islamic state, the role of the ulema is always limited in intervening with society. Fatwas not only have have no legal power to coerce people to obey; self-appointing religious leaders is continuously challenged.

The massive availability of Islamic material knowledge particularly through the Internet provides every ordinary Muslim a wide variety of information as well as choices such as which sects or schools of thoughts or fatwa they’re likely to follow.

Fatwas, as legal religious opinions, loses their authority and are thoroughly questioned and openly contested in public.

As a result, why does society still need clerics to issue fatwas if every single answer to every question related to religion can be found using search engines.

The question is related to the increasing secularization and individualization in the society. I will not explain the term secularization as an ideology to make a sharp division between the religions versus the state, public versus private, or as the state policy in governing the religious life of its people.

Secularization is highly related to the individualization process experienced by the society or simply its synonym generated in the modern era. The spread of mass education, the growing number of middle-class people and the opened opportunity to access any information has made everybody become independent and free to articulate their opinions and to remove themselves from communal constraints.

In the religious life, the secularization qua individualization is manifested in the tendency among individuals to follow an opinion or a practice chosen from many available choices, or to seek an alternative after not having been satisfied.....more

(From The Jakarta Post)


10 August, 2010

Longhouses of 500 Penans razed, two timber giants donate RM900 !!!

MIRI - Some 500 Penans lost everything when fire razed their two longhouses last week and two timber giants operating in the area came forward to give the fire victims a donation – the total amount: RM900 !!!

Long Kajang longhouses are located deep in Kapit Division in central Sarawak in a logging concession zone near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border, some 11 hours by timber road from Bintulu.

Many of the victims lost personal documents like birth certificates and MyKads recently issued by the National Registration Department’s mobile units.

Some 200 Penans there are now living in makeshift huts.

In Long Luar, not far from the Murum dam site, some 300 Penans are also living in dire straits after their longhouse was razed by fire last week.

Hulu Rejang MP Billy Abit Joo, who is trying to get welfare help for the affected folks, was shocked by the paltry sum offered by the timber companies.

''I am very sad to find out that two big timber companies operating in the areas had only offered RM700 and RM200 respectively to help the fire victims.

''What can the fire victims do with that tiny sum? At the very least, these timber companies should help to provide material for the Penan fire victims to rebuild their homes.

''After all, these giant companies have tonnes of resources from their timber and oil palm projects. Have a heart for these Penans,'' he said.

Abit said he asked for the state government’s help to rebuild the Long Kajang longhouse using government funds for rural poverty eradication.

He is trying to secure RM40,000 for each of the affected families.

''Right now, the fire victims urgently need food supplies and other material aid such as clothes, cooking utensils and mattresses and blankets,'' he said.

Abit said he had channeled RM6,000 as immediate food aid.

Belaga Catholic priest Father Sylvester Ding said he is trying to help the victims using public donations that people from throughout Malaysia had contributed to hungry Penans in Belaga last year.

''I will visit the fire victims soon. They need clothes and food supplies and other necessities fast,'' he said.

All the victims are still at the site of their burnt settlements in makeshift protection from the sun and rain.

(Taken from Malaysian Mirror)


09 August, 2010

Raja Petra Kamarudin continues attacks from his UK base

Malaysian blogger continues attacks from his UK base
Ben Bland
The Guardian, Monday 9 August 2010

When Raja Petra Kamarudin, one of Malaysia's best-known bloggers, heard he was to be detained without trial for the third time last February, he decided to flee the country. He was already facing sedition and criminal defamation charges after publishing a string of stories that linked the prime minister Najib Razak and his wife to the gruesome murder of a beautiful Mongolian translator, Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa, in 2006.

While Raja Petra says he was prepared to fight those charges in court, he was not willing to face detention without trial again under the country's draconian Internal Security Act. "Under the ISA, they bypass the court process entirely," says the blogger, whose Malaysia Today website regularly exposes the abuses of power that blight the south-east Asian nation. "If I'd let them get me a third time, I would have been a glutton for punishment."

By virtue of the fact that he was born in Kingston-upon-Thames before Malaysia gained independence, Raja Petra has a right of abode in the UK, so he laid low for over a year in Manchester before revealing his whereabouts in May.

Senior members of the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, which has held power since independence in 1957, have dismissed Raja Petra's allegations as lies and called him a "traitor" who should have his citizenship revoked. The Malaysian government says it wants to bring Raja Petra to justice but it seems unlikely that the British government would agree to extradite him in such circumstances.

And, as Raja Petra notes, the UK government abolished the offences of criminal libel and sedition in January, so any extradition request would be unlikely to pass the legal test of "dual criminality" – that the offences in question must be criminal acts in both countries.

Maintaining his website, which he says gets 500,000-1,000,000 hits a day, is a full-time occupation. His latest scalp came last month when a member of the prosecution team in the ongoing sodomy trial of the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was dropped after Raja Petra alleged that she had had an affair with the key prosecution witness.

So long as he continues posting stories like this, it is unlikely that Raja Petra will return to Malaysia any time soon. In the meantime, he says, "I'm having fun watching them run round in circles trying to get me," he says.


Interviewing fugitive Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin
Ben Bland, Guardian UK

I met Raja Petra Kamarudin, one of Malaysia's best known bloggers, at a recent press conference in London, after spotting his trademark beret in the crowd. I subsequently interviewed him for a piece that's been published in The Guardian today.

RPK, as he's usually known, fled Malaysia after hearing that he was about to be detained without trial for a third time under the Internal Security Act, which was bequeathed by the British colonial regime.

But the same colonial legacy that threatened his freedom also proved to be his salvation. As he was born in the UK before Malaysia obtained independence, he has right of abode here.

Many senior members of the ruling United Malays National Organisation have called on RPK to come back to Malaysia and clear his name if he really believes he is innocent of the sedition and criminal defamation charges that have been levelled against him.

But, RPK says, he is less concerned about those charges than the fact that the government seems determined to detain him without trial again - the home ministry is still trying to overturn RPK's successful appeal against his ISA detention in 2008.

In any case, he says that it is for the prosecution to prove his guilt, not for him to prove his innocence.

"If the Malaysian government wants to prove my guilt, they will have to apply to extradite me and for them to be able to, they will have to satisfy a British court that I am guilty. Does the Malaysian government have the guts to try to convince a British court that I'm guilty? Because the standards set by a British court are very different."

Now that his Malaysian passport has expired. RPK is effectively stuck in the UK. Although he is free to remain in the UK, he has no official travel document so cannot leave the country.

But the chirpy trouble-maker doesn't seem too perturbed, saying he may even opt to stay in the UK if the charges against him are dropped by a future Malaysian government.

In the globalised era, distance is no bar to speaking truth to power and RPK has continued to be a thorn in the side of the Malaysian establishment from his Manchester base.

The success of his Malaysia Today website, which he says gets up to 1 million hits a day, is partly due to his high-level contacts within the establishment. RPK told me that he's twice been visited in the UK by a senior UMNO figure "of ministerial level".

Like all high-profile bloggers, he's also extremely prolific and spends "10-14 hours a day, seven days a week" working on his website, assisted by a team of Malaysian volunteers spread around the world.


03 August, 2010

Immigration officers in trouble over Afghan breakout

A manhunt has been launched in Malaysia for 20 Afghan migrants who fled a detention centre and may be planning to travel illicitly to Australia, police say.

The Afghans escaped on Sunday from a high security holding centre at Kuala Lumpur International Airport near the capital, in the second such embarrassing episode in five months.

Police believe the group entered Malaysia planning to escape to Australia via Indonesia, said Khalid Abu Bakar, police chief in the central Selangor state.

"We have not been able to arrest any of them. We are still searching for them," he said.

Khalid said the 20 men had been held for over a month at the centre and may have escaped with inside help.

"We believe they are still in the country. We have plugged all our exit points. They will possibly try to leave the country by sea," he said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak last year said his country was being used as a transit point for illegal immigrants.

Anti-human trafficking activists say Malaysia is used as a staging post for gangs moving people from Afghanistan and Myanmar to Indonesia and Australia. Over 100 migrants have reportedly been caught this year on the route.

The Star reports said 20 immigration officers who were on duty during the incident have been suspended pending investigation.

Twelve Afghan and four Myanmar nationals escaped from the same centre in March.


02 August, 2010

Dumb Courtroom Exchanges

Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.

Q: Were you acquainted with the deceased?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Before or after he died?

Q: What happened then?
A: He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me."
Q: Did he kill you?
A: No.

Q: And lastly, Linken, all your responses must be oral. O.K.? What school do you go to?
A: Oral.
Q: How old are you?
A: Oral.

Q: What is your relationship with the plaintiff?
A: She is my daughter.
Q: Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979?

Q: What is the meaning of sperm being present?
A: It indicates intercourse.
Q: Male sperm?
A: That is the only kind I know.

Q: (Showing man picture.) That's you?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And you were present when the picture was taken, right?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Was that the same nose you broke as a child?

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.
Q: So, it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A: No.
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.

Q: Was it you or your brother that was killed in the war?

Q: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?

Q: Were you alone or by yourself.

Q: I show you exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture.
A: That's me.
Q: Were you present when that picture was taken?

Q: Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?

Q: So you were gone until you returned?

Q: She had three children, right?
A: Yes.
Q: How many were boys?
A: None.
Q: Were there girls?

Q: You say that the stairs went down to the basement?
A: Yes.
Q: And these stairs, did they go up also?

Q: Have you lived in this town all your life?
A: Not yet.