SOLIDARITY: Burma (3); Day of Action 29 Sept

29 09 2007

[ UPDATED ] 070930 . 1315

Petition has 235,000 signatures at the time of this update. Please support the petition HERE.

——————————–

[ UPDATED ] 070929 . 1400

In support of the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Burma, who even now are suffering as the Burmese military junta executes a violent crackdown on the unarmed civilians and monks: an NGO has organised a worldwide petition in solidarity with the Burmese people.

The petition is targeted at and will be submitted to the UN Security Council and especially Chinese President Hu Jin Tao (as China is the Burmese junta’s main ally and source of support) and will be circulated to international media networks.

The petition has garnered 211,000 signatures as of the time of this post and will be sent out as soon as it reaches 250,000 signatures.

Please support the Burmese people’s struggle for democracy and sign the petition here.

———————–

[ ORIGINAL POST ] Read the rest of this entry »





SOLIDARITY: Burma (2); Petronas Money Helps Buy Burmese Bullets

28 09 2007

[ UPDATED ] 070928 . 1745

Latest reports: 13 confirmed dead, hundreds injured, hundreds arrested and missing. Casualty figures likely to be higher than official accounts.

[ all photos below sourced from Reuters ]

reuters-myanmar-protest-070928-4.jpg

above : unarmed protestors flee as police and troops open fire and baton-charge them.

reuters-myanmar-protest-070928-5.jpg

above : Burmese troops firing tear gas at the demonstrators.

reuters-myanmar-protest-070928-3.jpg

above : Japanese photojournalist Kenji Nagai, 50, of APF News Tokyo continues filming even as he lies wounded after being shot by troops. Nagai died shortly after.

reuters-kl-myanmar-protest-070928.jpg

reuters-kl-myanmar-protest-070928-2.jpg

2 photos above : 2,000 Burmese protestors demonstrated outside the Burmese Embassy in Jalan Ampang, KL this morning.

[ All photos above from Reuters News Agency, article here ]

9 confirmed dead, hundreds injured, hundreds arrested and missing in the ongoing violent crackdown by the Burmese military junta. But the Burmese people are resisting.

BBC videos of the ongoing violence in Burma/Myanmar: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7017496.stm

Photos and latest reports at the Democratic Voice of Burma website: http://english.dvb.no/

———————–

[ ORIGINAL POST ]

Latest reports from Burma/Myanmar indicate that at least 9 persons have been killed, dozens injured and hundreds summarily arrested in the ongoing bloody crackdown by the Burmese military junta on unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators and Buddhist monks. Latest coverage from the BBC.

ASEAN has predictably remained (elegantly) silent over the bloody crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators and monks in Burma/Myanmar… and Malaysia has been even friendlier than most, with Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar going so far as to reassure the Burmese military junta that it was “business as usual”.

Well surprise, surprise.

But of course the UMNO-BN government sees nothing wrong with the Burmese junta shooting and beating unarmed pro-democracy protestors; we just shot two of our own a couple of weeks ago in Batu Burok! Biasalah. The people are so troublesome, always demanding their rights and marching and protesting and making us leaders look bad. Let’s shoot a few and scare them all. Show them who is boss. Tembak satu dua, yang lain tu kita tembak gas pemedih mata, belasah sikit, ha, barulah mereka faham keadaan.

Besides, there’s all that business to worry about. Industry experts estimated that in 2005, just two foreign oil-and-gas firms (France’s Total and PETRONAS) alone generated about USD 1 bil in revenues (link) for the Burmese military junta. Petronas is a major presence in the Burmese oil industry and works closely with the state run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise for exploration and extraction of oil and gas resources, providing a major source of foreign currency revenue for the cash-strapped military junta which presides over a failed state and economy. In short, Petronas is among a number of companies whose revenues are helping to prop up the regime.

I am sorely tempted to break decorum to spit on ASEAN, possibly one of the most useless and irrelevant regional groups in history. ASEAN’s ‘Non-interventionist policy’ is just a euphemism for “I’ll cover your ass, and you cover mine.” As I mentioned in an earlier reply to a comment, the problem with ASEAN is that almost every single member nation has skeletons in its own closet, and to criticise Myanmar would be to invite unwelcome scrutiny of its own questionable policies and actions.

Dare Malaysia condemn the violence in Myanmar, having just fired on our own unarmed citizens? Dare the Thai military regime — still fresh from their latest coup d’etat and now busily slapping ‘lese majeste’ charges on every dissident in sight — speak harsh words to Myanmar? Even squeaky-clean Singapore has just avoided the problem by simply regulating civil society space virtually out of existence.

The blood of the Burmese people is on ASEAN hands… and Malaysia’s.

Shame on ASEAN. Shame on Malaysia.

———————————————

Excerpt from Malaysiakini: (red highlights mine)

Read the rest of this entry »





“Crisis? What Crisis?”

27 09 2007

mob1900-070927-denial.jpg

[ excellent poster by mob1900 ]

Ah, Malaysia’s favourite Nazi and denial artiste is back in top form.

Still got faith in the ‘independent’ inquiry panel? The half-cooked PR effort by the govt to stave off the Royal Commission has been hamstrung even before it starts by its ‘terms of reference’, which is “…to investigate if the Lingam tape is authentic”. No mention on what happens if the tape is (Heaven forbid) found to be genuine.

Extracted from Lim Kit Siang’s blog: (bold highlights mine)

“…In restricting the panel to the question of the authenticity of the Lingam Tape instead of allowing full investigations into all aspects of the allegations of perversion of the course of justice and the compromising of judicial independence, impartiality and integrity raised by the video clip, the government is avoiding the imperative issue of the long-standing rot in the judiciary and the urgent need to restore national and international confidence in the system of justice with a truly independent judiciary and a just rule of law.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape would have first to address the issue of the authenticity of the video clip and there is no reason why an independent panel should be formed with the very narrow and restricted focus of deciding whether the video clip is authentic or otherwise, without the further powers of proceeding to further conduct comprehensive investigations into all the allegations of perversion of the course of justice and the compromising with judicial independence, impartiality and integrity.

In short, the government is trying to focus public attention on the technical question about the authenticity of the Lingam Tape and distract and disregard it from the urgent, imperative and substantive issue of the long-standing rot in the system of justice which must be identified and stopped…

Extracted from Malaysiakini, below: (red highlights mine)

Read the rest of this entry »





SOLIDARITY: People of Burma

27 09 2007

In solidarity with the people of Burma, who even now are braving bullets, tear gas and police batons to peacefully demand democratic change in one of the most oppressive countries in Asia.Latest reports indicate that several unarmed monks and citizens have been killed by gunfire from government troops as the Burmese military junta moves to crack down on the peaceful but growing civil protests led by the Buddhist monks in Yangon and Sittwe.

Except for the degree of violence, does any of this sound familiar?

___________________

Extracted from the BBC: (highlights added)

 

Burma protesters defy crackdown

A monk flees as security forces fire warning shots and tear gas

Enlarge Image

Up to 10,000 Burmese Buddhist monks and civilians have defied police tear gas and live bullets on the ninth day of protests against the military rulers. At least one monk was killed, hospital sources in the main city of Rangoon said. The government has confirmed one death, without giving details.

Witnesses described monks with blood on their shaved heads as police charged at the Shwedagon pagoda in Rangoon.

Meanwhile, the UN said it was sending a special adviser on Burma to the region.

The BBC’s James Robbins says Ibrahim Gambari’s mission – if he is allowed into Burma – will be to urge the regime to stop using force and to start moving towards full democracy. Read the rest of this entry »





PETITION: Return The Judiciary to The Rakyat! Call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

27 09 2007

IMPORTANT:

In a parallel effort, Haris Ibrahim of The People’s Parliament — a prominent lawyer and one of the leading lights of the civil society and human rights movement in Malaysia — has drafted a petition to the Agong to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the judicial corruption that has been rudely brought to light by the ‘Lingam tape’.

If, like me, you think that the government’s half-cooked ‘independent’ inquiry panel is just another whitewash rubberstamp panel and have absolutely no confidence that the Badawi administration intends to take any meaningful action to properly investigate and prosecute the wrongdoers behind the ‘Lingamgate’ judicial scandal and the unbroken string of scandals before this, then:

Please go to The People’s Parliament for details and support the petition by signing it. Haris will be submitting the royal petition, but we must demonstrate meaningful support for that to happen.

Do we want change for the better? Then let’s keep the pressure on, people.

____________________________

[ ORIGINAL POST ]

SOLIDARITY: MARCH OF THE LAWYERS

[ video courtesy of Malaysiakini ]

Bravo to the Bar Council, for proposing and leading this march; and

Bravo, also, to the brave civil society activists, opposition members and concerned citizens who showed up in force today at Putrajaya, and despite the inclement weather, a heavy police/FRU presence and early police interference (preventing the marchers’ buses from approaching), they cheerfully and peacefully marched on Putrajaya to submit the memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office. Read the rest of this entry »





Port Klang Brand Premium Whitewash, from PAC

26 09 2007

[ poster by GhL ]

Assalamualaikum Pak Blah! I’m back from an outstation assignment, and I brought a little present for you: premium-quality whitewash, guaranteed to to turn the blackest scandal whiter than white.

Got an image problem lately?

You and your minions just blew/embezzled billions of ringgit and don’t quite know how to explain yourselves?

Too many scandals breaking in quick succession and the pesky opposition and public just won’t leave you alone?

Don’t worry! The Public Accounts Committee is here to save your toasted arse!

While you and your minions hurriedly fly lintang-pukang overseas for a well-deserved holiday/medical leave/state visit/defence procurement contract discusssion, we at the PAC will put up an entertaining song-and-dance routine (we locals like to call it sandiwara) and we’ll make a good show of investigating the scandal, then lo-and-behold, in a couple of weeks, your record will be snow-white and your arse will smell like roses again, just in time for the sycophants to start kissing it all over again. Puteh berseri-seri!

Satisfaction guaranteed; we at the Public Accounts Committee aim to please (our UMNO-BN masters). ArrRf.

___________________________

Once again, straight from Malaysiakini: Read the rest of this entry »





[ UPDATED ] UMNO’s ‘Lingam’ Exposed. Whoa. Watch where you point that thing.

21 09 2007

[ UPDATED ] 070926 . 0430

The Bar Council is marching later this morning to demand a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Case of the Dangling Lingam, which has irreversibly damaged the judiciary even while the tainted Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz bawls for help from de facto Law Minister Nazri ‘the Nazi’ Aziz, thus setting the dishonourable precedent of the Chief of the judiciary subjugating itself to the executive.

[ Ghostline ] sincerely regrets that he cannot be there (his physical avatar is currently manifested in SG) to lend his (meagre) strength to help the Bar Council and fellow citizens lift the Great Lingam from where it has fallen on and crushed the Palace of Justice, but will be there in spirit, walking with the Bar Council and fellow citizens.

Details of the Bar Council march at Zorro’s blog.

[ free postcard by GhL. Send it to your (lawyer) friends! ]

[ UPDATED ] 070922 . 0115

It seems that the Case of the Dangling Lingam has finally stirred up enough trouble (it’s HUGE, it’s obscene, it swings around dangerously and – inconveniently – it keeps pointing at people like Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz…) that even the habitually comatose Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has noticed the indiscretion — no small feat.

The Great Slumberous One has finally broken his elegant silence over the huge judicial scandal to bestow upon the rakyat one of his stock non-answers by flippantly rejecting calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry and to assure the people instead that the government is investigating.

The person(s) charged with conducting the investigations will likely be the Dubious Duo of IGP Musa Hassan and AG Abdul Gani Patail. It is entirely possible that they will be joined by the Dastardly Duet of Johari Baharom and Nazri Aziz, who may be temporarily seconded from their ongoing crusade against the opposition and civil society advocates of transparency, accountability and free speech in order to lend their brute force assistance to stop the enormous swinging lingam from doing any more damage to the ‘establishment’.

Which, if you do the math, would give us lucky Malaysians a Questionable Quartet in charge of investigating the Mystery of the Dangling Lingam. Hurrah, we’re saved!
Pardon me, dear readers, for stretching the lingam analogy as far as I can. Sometimes you just need to pull (or squeeze) something sensitive to get the attention of a particularly insensitive beast.

(With apologies to all the innocent men named Lingam out there)

[ ORIGINAL POST ]

Ok, that was a bit of a naughty pun on my part. Still outstation but couldn’t resist posting this cheeky post title after seeing the explosive VK Lingam tape, which seems to be the ‘hottest’ topic in the Malaysian Internet community right now, and for good reason.

See, ‘Lingam‘ or ‘linga‘ is actually Sanskrit for ‘phallus’ or ‘penis’, and is usually used in a sacred metaphysical sense – usually in association with or as a symbol of the Hindu god Lord Siva — and by extension — as a symbol of masculinity and virility.

Of course, the ‘Lingam’ exposed in this case is anything but sacred. Check out the not-so-sacred Lingam below, if you haven’t seen it already.

The major civil society bloggers have this issue ‘well-covered’, particularly: Jeff Ooi and Elizabeth Wong.

Check it out, and watch once again as our jelly-spined mainstream media refuses to touch this dirty ‘lingam‘ with a ‘ten-foot pole’ (to quote EW). Fortunately or unfortunately, a dangling lingam tends to attract a lot of attention. As it should. And it’s pointing at the CJ.

Here is the transcript of the entire conversation:

Straight from Malaysiakini:

Transcript of Lingam’s conversation with Ahmad Fairuz
Sep 19, 07 5:39pm Adjust font size:

Below is a transcript of the conversation by senior lawyer VK Lingam in his telephone conversation purportedly with Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, as recorded in an eight-minute video clip.

The CJ (Chief Justice – judiciary No 1 post) said he is relative to now Agong, so he wants to stay on to 68, so… Tengku Adnan, I told Tengku Adnan, yesterday I had a meeting with him.

He said PM is already very angry with him, he said no problem he is going to make you acting err.. confirm your position as PCA (President of Court of Appeal – judiciary No 2), working very hard, then working very hard to get Tan Sri Mokhtar as CJM (Chief Judge of Malaya – judiciary No 3).

Ah, we just keep it confidential. I am working very hard on it.

Then there is a letter, according to Tengku – I am going to see him tomorrow – there is a letter sent to CJ, I mean Tan Sri Dzaiddin, that Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ramli, Datuk Ramli and Datuk Ma’roop be made judges, and he rejected Dr Andrew Chui and apa itu Zainuddin Ismail lah. Because Zainuddin Ismail condemned your appointment and Tan Sri Mokhtar’s appointment.

And then you also, you seem to write a letter for the remaining five be confirmed as judges. As per our memo I discuss with Tun Eusoff Chin, and we sent the same memo to PM.

I just want to get a copy (of the) letter that that has been done.

And then Tan Sri Dzaiddin said he is going to recommend six people for the Court of Appeal, but until today the letter hasn’t come to PM. He never discuss, but neither he has sent the letter to PM. Yes, he has not sent. I know it is under the constitution for judges all that is your job, Datuk, to send, but we don’t want to make it an issue now.

Ah. Okay. Actually I told Tengku Adnan to inform PM – PM to call you for a meeting. I organise it so that Tengku Adnan will call you directly. And then I got your number, I will tell him to call you directly for you to meet PM lah. So should be okay, then ar.. correct, correct, it is very important that the key players must be there.

Correct, correct, correct, correct, correct. You know that the same problem that Tun Eusoff Chin has. He tried to do all this and yet he has run out of soldiers. He couldn’t do it because many are from the other camp. Last time was unfortunate because Tun Daim was doing everything, sabotaging.

Otherwise, how are things with you – everything is okay? No, don’t worry.

You know sometimes Tan Sri Vincent that half the time they are talking about judiciary rather than doing the work. But if I don’t do this part, my work will be useless.

Ha, ha, ha. Ah, yes. Correct, correct, correct, correct, correct, correct. Right, right, right, correct. Ah, right, susah. You see, he has now up for six Court of Appeal judges, so that he can put his men before he retires.

Correct, correct, correct, ah, and then ah, correct. But never mind, I will do this. I will get Tengku Adnan to arrange for PM to call you and Tan Sri Vincent Tan for PM to call you. And you know why? Actually, I am very grateful with Tan Sri Vincent Tan. You know why? I brainwash you so much even I quarrel with him.

One day, I went to Vincent Tan’s house, I fired him at night in his house. I said bloody hell if you don’t do this, who will do it?

All these people Tun Eusoff Chin, Datuk Ahmad Fairuz, Tan Sri Zainon, all fought for that. Then he called Tengku Adnan. Tengku Adnan, he said saya bukan Perdana Menteri Malaysia lah, you know. If the old man doesn’t want to listen to me, go to hell.

He quarreled with me. I said never mind, never mind, you talk to PM again tomorrow morning to put Datuk Ahmad Fairuz to CJM. So next day morning, he went and he called me back 9.30 that he said PM has already agreed.

So I said never mind, we hope for the best. So I said no harm trying – the worst that it can happen is that you lose. Being the old man, he is 76 years old, he gets whispers everywhere, and then you don’t whisper, he get taken away by the other side. But, now PM is very alert because every time he gets letters from Tan Sri Dzaiddin, he called Tengku Adnan, he said discuss with Vincent – come and discuss.

Yes yes, ya. Correct, correct, ya, but you see although I know PM, I am a lawyer in practice, my views are.. I go through them, I go through them lah. Ah, ah, ah, ah.

And then Dzaiddin will call them telling that you went saw PM and you make a big issue out of it. Oh ya, I think so, I think so.

Okay, fine, fine, fine, fine. Okay, okay, okay, okay.

Ah, ah. Correct, correct. Now I heard Raja Aziz, Raja Aziz two weeks ago spoke to my lawyer Thayalan and another lawyer Ailan in the High Court – they have a case each other. So, Thayalan and Ailan asked Raja Aziz, how is Tan Sri Wan Adnan?

He said he is on his way down. But you know what is the shocking thing he said? Datuk Fairuz became CJM. He overruled everybody. In three months time, he is going be made PCA, and six months time, he is going to be CJ. He said he can’t think, he’s shocked. He told us.

Ha, it seems that they are going to organise a campaign to run you down. But you just keep quite, don’t say anything. Even the press asked, you said I leave it to God, that’s all. Don’t say. I really like your message. You said you work very hard, what can I do? I leave it to God.

That’s the best answer, Datuk, that you can ever be.

Ah… I will also get Tan Sri to remind PM to put a Tan Sri-ship this year lah. This will elevate you, you know.

Oh yes, yes, yes, yes. Ha. Steve Shim got so fast, Tan Sri Chong waited for whole year to get Tan Sri-ship.

Ah.. My God that’s why, ah. Correct, correct, correct, correct. Ya, ya, ya, ya. Right, right, right. Correct, correct.

Don’t worry, we organise this. If Tan Sri Vincent and Tengku Adnan want to meet you privately, they will, I will call you. We organise in a private arrangement, in a very neutral place.

No, don’t worry, Datuk, I know how much you suffer for Tun Eusoff Chin. And Tun said ‘Datuk Ahmad Fairuz, 110 percent loyalty’. We want to make sure our friends are there for the sake of the PM and the sake of the country.

Not for our own interest, not for our own interest. We want to make sure the country come first. Well, you suffered so well, so much you have done. For the election, Wee Choo Keong, everything. How much, nobody would have done all these.

Yes, you know. Good lah. Don’t worry. I am constantly working on this.

Ya, ya, don’t worry, don’t worry. We work hard on this. And Datuk, and then if Tan Sri Vincent and Tengku Adnan want to see you, I will organise it in such a confidential place.

Okay, Datuk, very best. God bless you and your family.

Okay. Thank you, thank you. Bye.