Thursday, May 31, 2012

ABDUCTED!

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND

31st May 2012

Radio Free Sarawak anchorman, Peter John Jaban, abducted by Malaysian security forces – Police deny knowledge on the whereabouts of the popular indigenous radio presenter

(MIRI, MALAYSIA) Peter John Jaban, a presenter of Radio Free Sarawak, an independent radio station broadasting news for Sarawak’s indigenous communities, has today been abducted by unidentified Malaysian security forces who are believed to be members of the Special Branch, Malaysia’s secret political police.

According to a statement by Radio Free Sarawak, the radio presenter was on his way home to spend the Gawai harvest festival with his family when he was detained and photographed prior to boarding a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Miri in Sarawak, Malaysia. Malaysian police officers told him that he would be arrested upon arrival in Sarawak. But when he reached Miri, despite heavy police presence, a lawyer and a local politician awaiting Peter John Jaban managed to bring him out of the airport as the police did not have immediate arrest orders.

Several minutes after leaving the airport, Peter John Jaban’s car was stopped and the radio presenter was forced out of the car by plainclothes security forces who refused to identify themselves.

"To say we are worried is an understatement" Clare Rewcastle Brown, Founder of Radio Free Sarawak, has said today. We are desperately trying to find where Peter is and why he was pulled from a car without any proper reason by unidentified people."

London-based Radio Free Sarawak broadcasts a daily two-hour-show on local news in Malay and Iban, a native language spoken by longhouse communities in Sarawak’s interior. The radio station aims at breaking the information monopoly held by the authoritarian Sarawak government under Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. Recently, politicians from Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition had called on the government to clamp down on the rebel radio.

The Bruno Manser strongly condemns the Malaysian authorities' attack on press freedom and calls on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to immediately order Peter John Jaban’s release.

For updated information on this case, please check the Radio Free Sarawak website under: www.radiofreesarawak.org

Please call the police in Sarawak to protest against Peter John Jaban's abduction and ask about his whereabouts:

Sarawak Police Commissioner: +60 82 247204

Sarawak Police Headquarters Hotline: +60 82 240 800

Miri Police Station: +60 85 432 222

For more information, please contact us:

Bruno Manser Fund

Socinstrasse 37

4051 Basel, Switzerland

Tel. +41 61 261 94 74

www.bmf.ch

www.twitter.com/bmfonds

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bruno-Manser-Fonds/171047506268040

*****

ALSO READ MALAYSIAKINI STORY

Sunday, May 27, 2012

FAREWELL DEAR VIC.

THIS BLOG WILL REMAIN SILENT UNTIL I CAN COMPOSE MYSELF AFTER THIS GREAT PERSONAL LOSS.

AL FATIHAH TENGKU VIC.

UPDATE: 10:33pm 30 May

2,864 pageviews. VIC will be happy for their visits.

Friday, May 25, 2012

MY FRIDAY GUEST: FRANKIE D’CRUZ

A planned meeting with Malaysiakini’s Content Editor Lynn D’Cruz took place mid afternoon whereas an unplanned meet with Malay Mail’s Editor at Large Frankie D’Cruz and Errold D’Cruz took place an hour before the close of the day. Earlier I had posted on my Facebook, Frankie’s piece on Poor, Rich Petty Trader. Blogger Penny Chan (Gobloking….who used to blog from Madagascar) sent in a terse, telling comment: Editor will be canned tomorrow. It's incredible to read msm being objective.

That’s why MM is my preferred read and more reason why I am putting Frankie’s piece as my Guest:

Read POOR, RICH PETTY TRADER

Multiple award-winning journalist Frankie D’Cruz is Editor-At-Large of The Malay Mail. He can be reached at frankie@mmail.com.my

*****

ON BEING PETTY

The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles.-Anton Chekhov

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. - George Carlin

The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him. - Xun Zi

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DID YOU LOSE YOUR MARBLES?

They charged the PKR trio and now they aim their pee shooter at Ambiga.

The GOM cannot be suffering from insanity…..they are enjoying every minute of it….they are seriously dysfunctional.

At the mention of Bersih 3.0 they are freaking out.

It is mind over matter…... if you ain't got no mind - it don't matter!

Paranoid Schizophrenic : Are you staring at us the Bersih rakyat?

My imaginary friend thinks you the Government have serious problems up there.

People like you in the Government are the reason people like me need medication. However, looks like you are dangerously under-medicated, the BN rambutans, that is.

The PM tried being normal once, but he didn't seem to like it!

Insanity runs in the BN family……. it practically gallops.

We the Rakyat can be crazy like walking in the streets, but that has kept us from going insane.

Let’s all be ready when the government of the day will sue our shadow next.

428 has taught us that it's all your fault. We wanted to sit on the padang but you gave us the streets. We wanted the green patch but you forced us to go yellow.

Whatever, 250,000 of us can kow tim the damages! We have the ghost of Altantuya, Kugan and Beng Hock on our side of the barrier.

*****

Above are insightful nuggets compiled at the brainstorming session of the shadow committee of BERSIH 4.0

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

BE COMFY ROGER....

Roger Tan writes for Sunday Star and has a blog called Voice of Reason! Anyway if you were comfortable at home on 428, and missed all the action,

do continue to feel comfy and enjoy these reasonable scenes, and possible plot for you next posting in your Voice of Reason…..although I noticed very few readers comment on your postings. Perhaps a change to Voice of TReason might help….just a mild suggestion. Enjoy the vids….Dang, I have been called to the bar….roger Bala I am on my way and I do deserve a stiff one!

His learned colleagues reply HERE

Monday, May 21, 2012

SOMEBODY IS CONSPICUOUSLY INCONSPICUOUS IN THIS LIST.

Statement by Concerned Scholars on Coming Elections

The 13th Malaysian general elections will be held sometime between now and April 2013.

These elections have the potential to be the most free and fair elections held in the country for several decades.

For the coming elections to live up to this potential, we call on the government and other major players and stakeholders to scrupulously observe the following priority concerns which we see as key to ensuring an outcome that can have greater legitimacy among Malaysians and outside observers:

1. Implementation of recommendations of the Parliamentary select committee to clean up the electoral process

2. Free and fair access to mass media for all parties

3. Public service staff at local, state and federal levels to observe strict neutrality

4. Prohibition on misuse of Government and associated public facilities and apparatus for electioneering purposes

5 All parties to be transparent and accountable in the use of money during the elections. Both coalitions need to disclose their sources of funding and provide a detailed account of their campaign expenditure

To enable a more level playing field for the coming elections, it is necessary that these concerns be addressed immediately and not just before the elections.

We are especially concerned that urgent measures be undertaken to ensure that the civil service and media strictly observe strict neutrality in the run up to the coming elections. Necessary measures could be proposed by civil society organizations engaged in monitoring the elections.

Further, to forestall any attempt at disruption of the election outcome, we propose that all political leaders and political parties agree to a short statement promising that they will respect the will of the people exercised at the polling booth as well as honour a peaceful transition of power.

This declaration – to be jointly crafted by the ruling and opposition parties - should be widely disseminated as a public service to discourage any individuals or groups that may be intent on creating mischief aimed at overturning the outcome of the elections.

Signatories:

Dr. Abdul Rahman Embong

Dr. Azmi Sharom

Azmil Tayeb (Ph. D. candidate)

Dr. James Chin

Dr Faisal S. Hazis

Dr. Farish A. Noor

Dr. Terence Gomez

Dr. Khoo Gaik Cheng

Dr. K. J. John

Lim Chee Han (Ph. D candidate)

Dr. Lim Teck Ghee

Dr. Francis K. W. Loh

Gregore Pio Lopez (PhD candidate}

Dr Mavis Puthucheary

Dr. Mustafa. K. Anuar

Dr. Ruslan bin Zainuddin

Dr. Subramaniam Pillay

Tan Beng Hui (Ph. D candidate)

Dr. Wong Chin Huat

Assoc Prof. Zaharom Nain

YES, CHANDRA MUZAFFAR IS NOT ON THIS LIST AND PROBABLY BECAUSE HE MAY BE INDUSTRIOUS IN THE CAUSE OF HIS MASTERS BUT NOT ILLUSTRIOUS TO BE INCLUDED AMONGST THIS AUGUST BAND OF SCHOLARS.

This fact has become so obvious in his recent pronouncements on Bersih 3.0:

Just in case some of us are unaware, Chandra started Aliran, left it and took some Chair in UM courtesy of Anwar, then Deputy Prime Minister, joined PKR when Anwar was imprisoned, failed in an election bid in Bandar Tun Razak, left PKR in a huff and installed himself as president of the International Movement for a Just World, which seeks to raise public consciousness on the moral and intellectual basis of global justice.

In the internet and mainstream media, the issue of police brutality has become the main focus and memory of demonstrators and the Malaysian public. That could have been a topic that Dr Chandra – in defending the status quo – could have brought fresh insights from a human rights perspective.

However, he chose not to do so. Instead he churned out a propagandistic piece praising the political reforms undertaken as well as aimed at demonizing the Bersih leaders and its supporters from the opposition.

His reminder about the “degree of integrity in the electoral process” and the fact that there is no electoral process in the world that is totally free of blemish is quite a turn-around. Somebody wrote: The Chandra of old that I remember was lucid, scathing and critical of the lopsided electoral playing field in favour of the Barisan Nasional and the formidable array of dirty tricks, including mal-apportionment and gerrymandering, it used to win elections.

Chandra, you sure need to change to a new mouth wash.

A friend opined: My final problem with Dr Chandra’s article is its unprecedented attack on some of the Bersih and opposition activists as “frauds and hypocrites without any sincere commitment to freedom and democracy.” According to him, “through their politics of deceit and duplicity, they continue to manipulate mass sentiments for their own diabolical agenda.” These are strong accusations, going beyond even what the BN leaders have said.

He even said: It is also important to find out if foreigners were involved in the rally which degenerated into a riot.

Was there a riot….if there was who manufactured the riot? JUST what are you chamnpion of?

Columnist Muaz Omar asked:

Who are you to call others ‘frauds’ and ‘hypocrites’

Who are these people that he describes as frauds and hypocrites? It is unethical to hide under the cover of generalization in making these allegations.

Besides the requirement of naming them, Dr Chandra should realize that as a JUST social scientist he must provide evidence to prove his argument that they are frauds and hypocrites. What actions have they engaged in to deserve such demonizing from a senior social scientist holding the esteemed position of the Noordin Sopiee Professor of Global Studies?

Has he conducted any interviews with the Bersih leaders to get them to explain their positions? Or has he found them guilty without bothering to speak to them?

Chandra, in God we trust….the others show facts! Surely not another mutant ninja in the UMNO stable? Or you have mutated, invariably and inevitably….it is really the company you keep Chandy. But if you are comfortable, carry on for whatever time is left freewheeling with them!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

HAVE A GOOD LAUGH BEFORE MONDAY COMES.

WASHINGTON -- Malaysian students should look at the world as a stage and take advantage of the enormous opportunities abroad, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said here following a luncheon and a Friday prayer session with students and embassy staff.

"You can maintain your roots but also have a global perspective by acquiring job experience and proficiency in several languages," Najib, who is on a private visit here, said.

He said students should take advantage of internship programmes such as the one initiated by the Malaysia-US Chamber of Commerce based here, in collaboration with Education Malaysia in Washington DC, which opens the door for Malaysian students in the U.S. to intern with Malaysian or American-owned companies in either Malaysia or in the United States over the summer to enhance their learning experience.

"Even if you work in the U.S., we won't lose you forever, " he said Friday at the luncheon hosted by Ambassador Datuk Othman Hashim.

Najib was accompanied by the Malaysian Special Envoy to the U.S., Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.

"My job is to create as many opportunities - beyond that, it is up to you," the prime minister told about 30 Malaysian undergraduate and graduate students currently pursuing engineering, biotech and actuarial science at Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey; Rutgers University, New Jersey; Temple University, Pennsylvania; and Purdue University, Indiana.

Najib and his Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are on a private visit to attend the graduation of their son Nor Ashman Saturday.

The proud dad, in a lighter moment, recalled his rare visit to his son's dorm room in Washington DC, where he was "horrified" when he did not see any books.

Noting his father's concern, Nor Ashman calmed him by reminding him that he did not need many books because he can read them digitally, and that the proof would be in the results.

As many proud parents would do, Najib happily reported that his 21-year-old son surpassed his expectations by completing his Bachelor's degree in International Affairs with Magna cum Laude honours and an above average CGPA of 3.71 from Georgetown University.

The prime minister also touched on the 1Malaysia concept, and emphasised that it was not merely a slogan but an initiative to make Malaysia inclusive - that Malaysia was not only for a particular ethnic group or religion, but for all Malaysians.

He updated Malaysian students on several development projects in Malaysia, including the Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex launched by Petronas in Pengerang, Johor, in addition to a petrochemical complex undertaken by a Taiwanese company, which is expected to create some 5,000 jobs on a permanent basis and an additional 5,000 jobs on a contractual basis.

Najib also spoke of the River of Life (RoL) beautification project aimed at transforming the Klang and Gombak rivers into vibrant and liveable waterfronts and to increase the economic viability of the area.

"We have to make the cake bigger and redistribute it to all Malaysians," he pointed out, adding that the Malaysian economy was improving and the government last year collected RM26 billion in tax revenue following assertive measures to collect taxes.

The improving economy has permitted the government to provide financial assistance of RM500 to some four million households earning less than RM3,000 per month.

On politics, Najib expressed his disappointment over the Bersih 3.0 rally, describing it as "not so bersih" (peaceful) after having been hijacked by parties with their own agenda to create the perception of instability in the country.

He said the unruly protesters had refused the government's offer of a suitable venue and then broke the law, which resulted in the situation escalating into violence and chaos where even police officers were assaulted.

Najib compared this with the massive Umno rally held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium where more than 100,000 people gathered peacefully and without any untoward incident.

-- Bernama

The real truth HERE

Saturday, May 19, 2012

VOICES FROM THE HEART: (6)

It is now 3 weeks to the hour that I made my last entry in “Coming to you LIVE from the Dataran Merdeka “bunker”. Three weeks on and a mother still asks:

Did we hear some leader saying that the Bersih was kotor? Let us ask you Mr Cabinet Minister, what about the dirty game of phantom voters, of foreigners with ICs, of gerrymandering, isn’t that more dirty? To the TV and other news media, stop the crap of showing only the things that went wrong, in fact many are asking if the provocation was planned? Show the people the huge turnout, show Malaysians from all walks who walked and sat for a cause and be proud for your children too, will enjoy a better Malaysia.

Why would a mother attend the Bersih’s Duduk Bantah on 28.4? Simple, if Rosa Parks did not sit and Martin Luther King did not walk, Obama could never have run for Presidency. I knew that even one more person would make a difference and so I attended Bersih 3.0 and sat down for a better Malaysia. A better Malaysia for my children and yours so that the voice of our next generation would be heard, that their vote would count.

It all starts with us and we can make that difference, yes my friend, you, me and all other Malaysians hand in hand, we can do it! For beneath our differently coloured skin and despite our ethnicity, the diversity in our ways, in our religions, we all share one thing in common, the Spirit, Heart and Soul of Malaysia, it lives within each Malaysian.

I walked at Berish 1, because one man (RPK) said, don’t talk if you don’t walk!! I was afraid that if I did not walk, I could not do what I loved so much.. talk! It was an eye opener for me, from far away Kelantan, I met many silver haired makciks and pakciks, who came at their own expense as they heeded the call of their Tok Guru. And I, a KLite would have missed an important lesson of standing up and voicing out for what is right. It was also a lesson on how the news media turned around an event and made it look unsavoury.

When Bersih 2.0 came around, I was overcome by the fear that was created, however better sense prevailed. Not known to be one to succumb to cowardice, I made my way, though somewhat late into KL. There I met some young college students who came all the way from Perlis, they admonished me, Auntie you are from KL and you are late! I queried this group of young college going Malay students, how much they were paid to attend the rally?

Angrily they said even the drinks in their hands was paid by their own money. I continued to query them that they got a good education more easily than our kids and told me, they had no problems and would love to study with Malaysians of all races. They said they dreamed of a clean Malaysia, free from corruption, a Malaysia where their vote would count and their voice heard, so they came to support the cause of a free and fair election. A lesson well learned from my young friends.

Come Bersih 3.0, I started checking with friends, as I did not want to walk alone this time and wanted more people to feel the true Spirit of Malaysia. So a few friends decided to meet up in KL.. Voila.. we must have made for some pretty odd company!! One staid Human Resource Professional, another very conformist office goer, yours truly, a mom of two, before long, were joined by two soon to be priests from East Malaysia.

My two other friends who I was originally to meet, one a lecturer and the other a fitness trainer, joined the rally at Brickfields, however we did not manage to meet up, as the mobile phone service seemed to be jammed. Did we care that we were, Indian, Chinese, Eurasian or East Malaysian? Wow we are just a great fruit salad of Malaysian friendship!

With our cars parked in the vicinity of Taman Jaya LRT station, we took the LRT to Central Market, the train was bustling with excitement and people updating and getting news of the rally, it was a festive atmosphere. On the LRT, I met two young college girls who said that their parents were bringing them to the rally. Bravo to such parents! I told these girls, that one day they could proudly tell their kids that they made a stand for a better electoral system and for a better Malaysia. Though we were apprehensive if the doors of the train would open at Central Market, they did and all the Bersihers eagerly made a beeline for the exit.

At Central Market, we just could not believe what we were seeing, thousands upon thousands of Yellow and Green attired Bersihers. It looked like a huge carnival of happy Malaysians. Despite the heat and the blazing sun, we joined the long and winding queue of cheerful and happy people. These were Malaysians with a Mission, who were out there to be counted and make a difference for the country. As we all walked in an orderly fashion, the crowds surged from Menara MayBank on Tun Perak until Dataran Merdeka, even the side lanes had huge spillovers, Lebuh Ampang, Hang Leiku, Tun HS Lee, were just teaming with happy Malaysians..

1 Malaysia in practice?

We met with Malaysians, from Pahang, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and as far as East Malaysia, the previous night we saw a huge convoy of motor bikes making way to Kuala Lumpur at the Seremban exit. These Malaysians were Malay, Indian, Chinese and others. These Malaysians were young and old, male and female or any other.

These Malaysians were college students, lecturers, working professionals, businessmen, lawyers, housewives, NGOs, retirees, truly everyone who was anyone was represented here. Mr Prime Minister, really it was through Bersih 3.0 we truly experienced, and saw your 1 Malaysia in practice. Not just lip service mind you.

There was huge 5-feet Yellow Moon Ball, being tossed in the air and passed down the street over our heads, it sure was fun and bears the prints of thousands of Malaysians…the police helicopter overhead provided with some distraction as it kept flying past us. Soon we heard an ambulance and quietly the people parted and made way to allow it to pass by, only later we read that it had taken one of the injured policemen to the hospital and we wished him a speedy recovery.

We moved with the crowd, from Central Market, towards Petaling Street, from Tun HS Lee to Tun Perak. We walked, we stood, we sat and fraternised with other Malaysians on what used to be high traffic areas of Kuala Lumpur. Those who attended most certainly enjoyed a lovely afternoon of camaraderie with strangers. What bound us together as one, was our Mission for a clean and fair election and a clean environment. To the Green Rallyers from Kuantan, Syabas!

Actually we saw many a savvy entrepreneur doing roaring business; as we were downing bottles and bottles of water and drinks. Food was greedily purchased and helped to quell our hunger pangs. Though LRT/Monorail and KTM, must have had their best day of sales ever, they have not yet said Thank You to Bersih 3.0. Most of us, used the public transport, and perhaps this was the biggest congregation of Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur ever! If those who screamed that they lost business had been smart enough to keep their shops open, for sure with all the out station Malaysians, they would have had a good profitable day too.

Sometime close to 3.30pm we decided to move away, as we thought our huge presence would have made the Government realise that Malaysians won’t put up with mere words of electoral reforms, they want to see concrete action and proper implementation.

How wrong we were, just as we were moving away, we heard tear gas being shot, still the people did not run, the message passed down the lines was, don’t panic, please move behind slowly. Such an orderly group, we were present for almost four hours and did not see even one of the thousands of Bersihers’ mis-behave, even as the tear gas was being fired, we just thought it was a signal for us to disperse as the committee had taken permission for 2pm to 4pm. Yes, the acidic gas of the tear gas had a chocking effect on us, our skin flared up, our eyes teared, and we were a long way from home.

Proud to be with so many Malaysians

Were you there my friends to witness the PAS Unit Amal and the young Malay men, form a human chain and walk to the front lines, to protect us, it bought tears to my eyes and my heart warmed. To my children, I say, there is still hope for you; for I know there still people of another race who will sacrifice for you.

We walked to Dang Wangi LRT only to find it closed and then made it to the Bukit Nanas Monorail and as we bought our tickets we exchanged notes on the rally. Our Malay brethren were simply shocked and could not believe that their ‘brothers’ had shot teargas directly at them.

The trains were just full of Malaysians, all of whom would have stories to tell, the out of towners were tired but still needed to take trains to their homes. It took us more than three hours to reach our homes, though we live in the suburbs of Subang Jaya, how much more difficult it would be for those who traveled from other states?

Back home, to our horror, we heard that some skirmishes between the police and the people had started and was continuing. As for us, we just saw thousands of Malaysians walking and sitting peacefully, organising themselves with decorum, there were no leaders to guide us, yet some took the responsibility to direct the people, to pass the word to sit or to move and none questioned them, thousands just followed. It was a day I was truly proud to be with so many Malaysians. Youth with plastic bags, were seen clearing the garbage, a young lad came and asked me “Miss are you alone, do you want us to accompany you to the train station?”

Did we hear some leader saying that the Bersih was kotor? Let us ask you Mr Cabinet Minister, what about the dirty game of phantom voters, of foreigners with ICs, of gerrymandering, isn’t that more dirty? To the TV and other news media, stop the crap of showing only the things that went wrong, in fact many are asking if the provocation was planned? Show the people the huge turnout, show Malaysians from all walks who walked and sat for a cause and be proud for your children too, will enjoy a better Malaysia.

April 28, 2012, Bersih 3.0, was the day that Malaysians across the Globe and all across Malaysia were sending a strong message to their government “we want clean and fair elections.” It was a day, when Malaysians irrespective of age, race or sex, from across the globe and across Malaysia, held hands to say, we are the Spirit, Heart and Soul of Malaysia and we matured Malaysians now say.. “Bring on Reforms please”…

My salute to the thousands, who at personal cost came from out of town, to my Chinese brothers, cheers, you came out in huge numbers in full support… to my Indian brothers…Anne, Thamby, where were you? We missed you lah at Bersih 3.0.

Finally, never underestimate the power of ONE, and it starts with you. You too, can surely make a difference!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

VOICES FROM THE HEART: (5)

Pepper is the father of two adorable children named Paprika Lim and Saffron Lim. "Dear Paprika" is a series of letters written for posterity. When Paprika is 20 years old, he will be 61. He prefers to use logic and evidence when presented with seemingly miraculous events. He supports LGBT rights and believes a person’s sexuality is no concern of others. In his spare time, he authored "The Troublesome Prince Lucky Mole"; a best-seller children’s story book. His family lives in beautiful Malaysia, a country rich in natural resources and unlimited potential. He has plans to make his family proud.

Dear Paprika,

I was not allowed to attend Bersih 2.0. Your grandparents and mummy told me, “Think of your children, what will we tell them if you arrested? Think of your family, we will be so worried if anything happened to you.” So, I stayed at home and watched 30,000 protesters march to pressure the Elections Commission for clean and fair elections.

Come Bersih 3.0 on 28 April 2012, I made up my mind to go. To my surprise, Ah Kong (my father) who had advised me not to attend Bersih 2.0 had also made plans to attend this rally. I had expected this rally to be peaceful. After all, there was much backlash for the government for the use of excessive force in Bersih 1.0 and Bersih 2.0. This time, the T-shirts and the rally were not declared illegal although Dataran Merdeka had been declared off limits and the police had set up barbwire and fences around the area. The night before Bersih 3.0, many people went to Dataran to take photos. It looked festive.

On Saturday morning, after promising the family not to get in trouble, I took the LRT down to Central Market at 10am. It felt like the beginning of a fun-filled day. When I got off the train, I saw people in yellow chatting and laughing away.

I made my way to Central Market’s car park hoping to bump into friends. I saw two makciks wear a face mask with the numbers 3.0 and asked them where they were from. They had traveled from Perak with their family. One of them told me it was too much to see “temporary ICs” given out so close to the elections. To her, this smelled of fraud.

Then I decided to take a walk to Petaling Street and make the most of my time in the city. I wandered along this street and that, meeting people carrying flowers and balloons. Just like me, they were enjoying their Saturday in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

At one end of Petaling Street, a line of policemen blocked all traffic and people from crossing it. They did not look threatening. The crowd took photos with them and chanted, “Bersih-Bersih!”. It was a peaceful scene; no one chanted derogatory remarks at the policemen.

I continued my wandering and ended up at the old UO Store. There was a big crowd there and I was stuck in the middle of them. It was noon and it was hot. Marshals in red shirts told us to sit down on the road as the large crowd could not move forward nor backwards (someone told us the roads had been closed). Up ahead, there was a small lorry with carrying people waving a large SAMM flag. I sat and chatted with strangers. We passed sweets around and talked about how hot it was. We even waved to the police helicopter flying above us. A few minutes later, Wong Chin Huat climbed the lorry to make an announcement. I could not hear him even with his loudhailer. Still, I knew I was all right if I stayed with the large crowd.

I SMSed mummy the following, “Everything is okay. Many people. Very fun!”

We walked down this street and that as a large group. Marshals ensured we walked towards the corrected direction. It seemed to me that the crowd was trying to make its way towards Dataran Merdeka. By 3pm, I was tired from all the walking and waiting under the hot sun. I found myself a step to sit on and chatted with a retired pakcik from Penang who came with his ustaz. We talked about politics and the elections.

Someone told us tear gas had been fired at Masjid Jamek but we were too far away to see it or smell it. Later, I read uncle Marcus van Geyzel‘s tweet that he was caught in that tear gas.

Around 3.40pm, I saw a group of friends who told me they were going to have a drink at Central Market and to get out of the heat. I did not know it at that time but hell was about to break loose on the crowd.

We walked past the Bar Council and saw more friends. The crowd was blocked by a line of police vehicles at the Loke Yew building. Some chanted, “Bersih-Bersih!” but most were just chatting and posing for photos in front of the police vehicles. Then I heard a bell sound, “Tongggg!” It made my heart skip a beat. The crowd who knew what that bell meant, booed and jeered.

One police vehicle reversed away and the crowd cheered. Could it be? Has the police been told to stand down?

No. A red FRU truck took its place. And before my unbelieving eyes, it started to spray chemical water at the people! I ran for it. My assumptions of a peaceful afternoon were shattered. I scrambled to insert my phone and wallet into a plastic bag. I ran back to the steps where I was chatting with the pakcik and watched as the FRU truck sprayed the crowd. It reminded me of a scene from Godzilla. The crowd jeered at this awful scene. Those closest to the water ran helter skelter.

The next moment, I heard people shouting behind me. I turned and saw thick white smoke. Tear gas! I ran, following the crowd. There was no time to check the wind direction!

“Run, you fool!” I told myself. In the next instant, my eyes could not open. It felt as if there was chilli in my eyes, nose and mouth. I scrambled to take out my towel from my bag, fumbling to wet it with water to wipe my eyes. They stung badly.

I poured the rest of the water on my face while running. The screams from the crowd around me were chilling. I heard men and women screaming in pain; running in fear.

I reached behind Kota Raya and, for someone who rarely cusses, found myself calling out, “F*ckers! They are f*ckers! Such f*ckers!”

My eyes could barely open from the effects of the tear gas.

Nearby, a drinks vendor let the victims use his supply of water to wash their faces. Overhead, the police helicopter flew past a few times; possibly directing the police to the whereabouts of the fleeing protesters.

More shouts were heard. We ran again. Should I run to Tung Shin Hospital where tear gas was fired into at Bersih 2.0 or run towards Masjid Jamek where FRU trucks sprayed chemical water during Bersih 1.0? I was scared and did not know what to do.

I ended up at Ancasa Hotel. I saw some people there recovering from the effects of the tear gas. They too complained bitterly at the police for firing tear gas.

“Why did they fire the tear gas?” one lady victim asked.

“We were about to go home already!” another said.

“We were peaceful,” a Malay man said. “If we were rioters, we would have broken the shops to get water!”

Over at the Petaling Street entrance, more tear gas were fired. The wind blew it into our direction and people ran towards Puduraya. I thought I was safe behind the hotel but a whiff of the tear gas made me scramble for my wet towel. With my eyes tightly shut in pain, I heard people shouting, no doubt shouting from the tear gas.

There was a pakcik and his wife who looked like they had arrived in the city on a bus. They both caught the tear gas blowing in the wind. I ran to help them. Someone else brought salt and a mint for them to eat.

“Well, what do you think of our government? Wonderful, aren’t they?” I asked the pakcik sarcastically.

“They should not have done this to the rakyat,” he replied as he tried to console his wife.

Dear Paprika, if I had any respect left for the government, I lost it all while I stood watching people running and suffering the effects of tear gas. What kind of government would use such excessive force on peaceful protesters?

I turned to a group of people next to me and said, “This is what they call rakyat didahulukan? Podah!”

People ran back and forth past me. They are shooting tear gas there, a fleeing man said. They are shooting tear gas there too, another said, pointing to the opposite direction. I felt scared and angry at the same time. It seemed as though the police wanted to trap the fleeing people.

I saw auntie Padma and auntie Tini and they brought me into Ancasa Hotel. I was most relieved to be inside the hotel’s coffee house. We had a drink and talked about the events of day. Outside, I could hear people running and shouting. Someone with Internet access told us the police were still firing tear gas and spraying chemical water.

I waited till 6.45pm before I left the area to go home. As I walked to the LRT station, I remembered Prime Minister Najib mockingly describe the effects of tear gas after Bersih 2.0 last year. I wish he could try it for himself.

This morning, I found this Facebook page: 1,000,000 Mahu Najib Cuba Tear Gas Sendiri. I clicked “like”.

Do not worry, I shall continue do my best to make this country better for you.

Your loving father,

Daddy

http://www.loyarburok.com/2012/04/30/dear-paprika-bersih3-0-day-lost-respect-government/

NO BRUTALITY WITHOUT EVIDENCE.

The 428 Police Brutality Documentation Team calls on all victims of police brutality to help us document cases of violence during Duduk Bantah.

Please contact us via our hotline at 012-3496013, SUARAM at 03 77843525 or info@bersih.org.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

IF YOUR COUNTRY REJECT YOU, COME HERE.

Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co proposed a huge petrochemical investment project in Taiwan in 2005 to build petrochemical plants in Yunlin. However the location changed to the coast of central Zhanghua county in 2008 after failing the environment assessment. On April 22 2011 President Ma Ying-jeou announced his withdrawal of support for the project. However KPTC has won red-carpet approval to start business in Pengerang with a 10year tax holiday.


TAIWAN PRESIDENT MA YING-JEOU ACTS ON STATE-OWNED KUOKUANG PETROCHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY COMPANY

HERE

BACKGROUND READING ON KPTC

HERE

************

The Whistler returned my call with a mild rebuke: "Do you know it is 3:00am in Ohio?" I called him for info on KPTC’s 10 year tax break. His reply: "What tax holiday….the "tax" is paid in advance to fast track processing approval. The money is already in the pocket(s) lah."

"OK go back to sleep," I consoled him….but I hear CNN in the background…..maybe like me he has to have the TV on to induce sleep.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DEFENDING NATIONAL SECURITY?

IS

THIS

HOW

THEY

(?)

WOULD

DEFEND

THE

COUNTRY

AGAINST

THE

ENEMY?

BUT

THEY

ENDED

UP


BRINGING

DISREPUTE

AND

SHAME

TO

THE

ARMED

SERVICES!

AND

IT IS

NO

WONDER

THEY

PREFER

LUKEWARM

WATER!

VOICES FROM THE HEART: (4)

DANIEL TAN’S OPEN LETTER TO THE UMNO PRIME MINISTER

I am your average Joe guy in my late 40’s, living a comfortable life in a quiet suburban of KL. I call myself a political agnostic with no particular inclination to any political party. You can call me the fence sitter or the middle ground voter. In the last 20 years of my voting life, I have always voted based on issues, swinging my votes between BN and the opposition depending on the hot issues of the day.

I voted BN in 2004, giving your coalition a massive mandate post-Mahathir and the reverberating message of Change espoused by your predecessor. And when the message Change remained a message, 4 years on, I voted for the opposition, and what follows is history.

I understand you are trying very hard to court people like me and I supposed all this alphabet in the soup moniker- ETP, GTP, NEM, etc. are part of your big strategy to win urban voters like me Honestly, I am not sure I am thoroughly convinced. I will let you know why. Deep down in my guts, I am not sure whether your message of Transformation is real or not.

Not so easily swayed or fooled

And even if you are sincere, I am not sure whether your party UMNO is behind you or not. You see, Dato Seri, we bunch of urbanites are a whole lot of skeptic people. I am aware you are trying to change, modify or remove old archaic laws like OSA, Printing Press & Publication law, Assembly law, etc, in time for GE 13.


All that seems good only on paper. Yes, some part of the draconian laws are repealed but it’s a half measure efforts at best. Worse, the new revised laws are more harsh with many punitive clauses opening the possibility for abuse.

You see Dato Seri, many of us are educated overseas or have worked outside the country – in short, we are fairly connected to what’s happening around the world. Through internet and our network of friends around the world, we know what is the free press, freedom of assembly, rule of law, etc. – so giving the old furniture a veneer shine without removing the termite infested part is not going to excite us very much.

So on Apr 28, I decided to walk for the first time for Bersih. I was never part of Bersih 1.0 and 2.0 as I was not clear what is the message of Bersih in the first place. The last thing I wanted is to be used as pawn by any political parties.

But Bersih 3.0 message was very clear to me. After Bersih 2.0 , I followed closely the development on the demands of Bersih to EC, the formation of PSC, etc. I was stumped over and over again at how your EC brushes off the allegation of dubious voters list, the non-committal response to clean up the voting process – I made my conclusion that EC and your coalition BN are never serious about electoral reform in the first place.

A very big step for Malaysia

To be in Bersih 3.0, is a very big step for me as a political agnostic. I just want to be there, to feel the environment and be part of something good for the country.

Who doesn’t want a clean and fair election, let alone you the Prime Minister who has been quoted more than once that you too want a clean election and not want to win by fraud – so how bad can Bersih 3.0 be - although I have friends warning me that violence may happen. How wrong I was. ( or na├»ve ? ).

The violence I witnessed from 3.00 pm onwards on that day, completely put me off. Never in my mind, I imagine our PDRM can be so cruel and inhuman to attack the rakyat who are there just to be part of the nation’s aspiration for a clean election. To witness the beating with my own eyes, makes it even more painful.

I am spared from bodily harm but my heart is hurt. Hurt for thinking we had a caring government and a responsive Prime Minister. All completely vanished under the smoke emitted from the tear gas.

I walked away home with only one resolution – that I will give my vote to the federal opposition and this is one middle ground vote that BN have lost on that fateful day.