26 December 2013

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad  said today that Putrajaya can increase its revenue by cutting costs instead of raising prices of necessities, despite needing a bigger amount annually to manage growing expenses.
Weighing in on the current debate over rising prices, which according to some pundits could cost the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) votes in the next polls, Dr Mahathir said  that while the Government needed a bigger amount annually to manage its growing expenses, by applying the business concept of “cost down”, Putrajaya could minimise wastage and improve efficiency.
“We must accept that the government needs more money with the passage of time. But should the increase be as big as it says?”
By paying attention to the yearly Auditor General’s Report on government waste, Dr Mahathir said:
“The Government often wastes money because it is not too concerned about the returns on its expenditure in whatever form… If the Government is interested in reducing the cost of governance, it can do so and perhaps quite substantially.”
For example, the Government could save substantially, more than 50%,  if it opted for light-emitting diode bulbs, he added.
“The subsequent reduction in the amount of electricity to be generated will reduce subsidy on fuel for power. But this has not been done by the Government.”
He said while people understood that higher tax rates are necessary to cover the cost of development, the rise in living costs has to move in parallel with incomes earned.
“But the taxpayers cannot suddenly come up with the money to pay the new taxes and charges,” he said, adding that the cycles corresponds with the rising costs of doing business when wages, taxes and tariff are increased.
The effect on raising taxes must be carefully studied first, said Dr Mahathir. He proposed for a gradual increase in taxes, saying that it was a more viable option.
“Can the increase not be in stages, for example, 6% per year for three years or longer? The losses in current contracts will be minimised. Future contracts will take into consideration the increases.”
He said that by taking a friendlier approach of increasing price hikes in stages, Malaysians would respond better to the change and be more receptive to the Barisan Nasional government.
“It will not hurt the Government too much but it will gain a lot of goodwill from people.
“They might even remember in the next election,” he said.
“Otherwise far from collecting more taxes, the Government may lose much when other businesses and business people emigrate”. 
University of Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMCEDEL) on Tuesday unveiled findings of a survey, saying that the increase in the cost of necessities, electricity tariff and petrol had had an impact on the lives of Malaysians. And if nothing was done, BN would suffer in the 14th general election. – December 26, 2013.

04 December 2013

Damning SD dismissed as 'rubbish'

Former senior policeman Mat Zain Ibrahim's damning statutory declaration (SD) on the Batu Puteh legal misadventure has been dismissed as a "load of rubbish".

Noor Farida Ariffin, who acted as co-agent in the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the 2008 case, added that the contents of the SD comes from someone "who obviously has not read the judgment or understood it."

Mat Zain, the former Kuala Lumpur CID chief, made an SD accusing Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail of accepting money to ensure the Malaysian legal team lost in the island dispute.

However, Noor Farida told The Star that it was a "win-win situation" for both Malaysia and Singapore because the ICJ awarded Batu Puteh to Singapore and Middle Rocks to Malaysia.

She explained that the court found that the Sultanate of Johor had the original title over Batu Puteh but decided that through Malaysia's conduct, it lost the title between 1851, when the Horsburgh lighthouse was built by Singapore, and 1980 when the dispute arose.

The former Malaysian ambassador to the Netherlands also commented on Mat Zain's allegation that the case was lost because Abdul Gani had submitted a "doctored" photograph of the island's location during the proceedings.

"The photograph was inconsequential. The decision did not revolve around the photograph," Noor Farida was quoted saying.

"I am puzzled by the allegations of bribery, which are nonsensical and totally without foundation.

"It was not possible for anyone to be bribed because all the decisions pertaining to the preparation and conduct of the case were collective decisions," she added.

Noor Farida also clarified that Wisma Putra headed the team and not Abdul Gani, with former Wisma Putra secretary-general Abdul Kadir Mohamad acting as Malaysia's agent for the case.

"All relevant government agencies were represented on the team, including the AG's Chambers, and we also had a legal team of four international lawyers who were some of the best in the business," she said.

01 December 2013

Actor Paul Walker Dead At 40 After Car Crash

paul walker

Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

Paul Walker has died at the age of 40 after he was involved in a single-car accident and explosion in Santa Clarita, Calif., Saturday afternoon, the actor's rep confirmed to TMZ.

The actor, best known for his leading role in "The Fast and the Furious" and its sequels, was reportedly in a Porsche with another person when the unidentified driver lost control and slammed the vehicle into a tree. The car burst into flames at the scene. Both were killed at the time.

"Sources close to Paul tell us he was in Santa Clarita for a car show to support the Philippines typhoon relief effort, and had been taking friends out for rides in his new Porsche GT," reports TMZ. "The accident happened during one of those test spins."

“At the conclusion of the accident the vehicle struck a light standard and the whole car was burned,” a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal was also reporting on the incident:

Spectators gathered at the scene, and several said the driver was the star of “The Fast and the Furious” series of films. One witness at the scene said he tried to put the fire out and recognized Walker inside the vehicle.

Walker is said to have business ties to Always Evolving Performance Motors, located down Constellation from the scene of the crash. Always Evolving hosted an open house and car meet on Saturday.

Walker's official Twitter account has since confirmed the news:

It's with a heavy heart that we must confirm Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident...MORE: - #TeamPW

— Paul Walker (@RealPaulWalker)December 1, 2013

From the full Facebook post:

It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. - #TeamPW

Universal Studios soon after released the following statement.

“All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the FAST AND FURIOUS films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.”

Walker and the cast of "The Fast and Furious" were in the middle of filming the seventh movie of the series.

Filming began in late September and was scheduled for a July 2014 release.

fast and furious 7 set

Vin Diesel / Facebook

While promoting his latest film, "Hours," earlier this month, Walker revealed that his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, moved to live with him last year after living with her mother in Hawaii.

Paul Walker car crash scene tmz pic

19 October 2013

Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today brought the curtain down on his long and illustrious career in Umno when he opted not to defend his Kepala Batas division chief post, after 35 years helming the division.

The vacancy left by Abdullah, 73, is expected to be filled by either Kepala Batas MP Datuk Seri Reezal Merican or division deputy chief Datuk Hilmi Rashid, who are vying for the top post.

In his farewell message, Abdullah called on everyone to remain loyal to Umno and continue to serve the party diligently.

He said winners should help party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak to strengthen the party, as part of its political transformation process.

“Do not sulk. Do not stop or go against the party. It does not matter whether you win or lose but all of us must unite and continue to work for the party.

“This is the task ahead for all of us,” he said.

The country’s fifth prime minister, Badawi also served as Umno president from 2003 and 2009.

He took over from long-serving prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when the latter decided to step down in October 2003.

The soft-spoken Abdullah earned the biggest mandate from the electorate in 2004 but squandered the historic opportunity to reform the country and carry through many of his election pledges. As a result, in 2008 he led Barisan Nasional to a poor showing, losing its customary two-thirds control of Parliament.

He stepped down in 2009 and handed the reins of both the party and the premiership to his successor Najib.

Abdullah who was also the Kepala Batas MP since 1978, opted not to stand in the 13th general election and gave way to Reezal, who was his political secretary.

18 October 2013

Mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mengakui politik wang masih berleluasa dalam Umno dan mengakui perwakilan yang mengundi pada pemilihan kali ini didalangi dengan kerenah politik wang.

Beliau berkata rakyat tidak perlu berharap kerajaan untuk membetulkan sistem sedia ada kerana mereka masih tidak mampu memperbaiki kelemahan dalam Umno.

"Saya dapati budaya rasuah masih berleluasa dan mereka yang mengundi dalam pemilihan hanya didorong oleh kerenah politik wang.

"Saya sendiri semasa bertanding di peringkat bahagian Umno terpaksa menyalurkan RM200 seorang. Jadi anda boleh bayangan berapa banyak yang telah dihabiskan sehingga saya menjadi Perdana Menteri," katanya dalam Majlis Sambutan Aidiladha di Kuala Lumpur hari ini.

Dr Mahathir turut menyifatkan perpaduan yang lemah di kalangan orang Melayu menyebabkan suara mereka kurang didengari akibat suara orang Melayu yang terpecah kepada parti Umno, PKR dan PAS.

Katanya,? kritikan kaum bukan Melayu yang melabel kualiti kerja orang Melayu berada pada tahap rendah perlu segera disangkal kerana kejayaan Malaysia pada hari ini adalah hasil air tangan 95% orang Melayu.

"Kejayaan Malaysia dapat dibanding dengan negara yang sama-sama mencapai kejayaan. Lihat betapa kita lebih jauh ke hadapan berbanding negara di Afrika dan Asia lain yang mendapat kemerdekaan.

Sehinggakan sekarang kita sudah tidak lagi boleh mengungkapkan perkataan Melayu kerana akan dianggap rasis. Tetapi jika kita menyebut Cina atau India tak salah. Tak dituduh rasis. Saya dibenar guna perkataan Melayu kerana saya memang rasis," katanya.

Ketika ditanya, adakah beliau akan mengemukakan aduan kepada jawatankuasa disiplin tentang politik wang dalam Umno, katanya beliau tidak mempunyai bukti kukuh untuk melaporkan individu tersebut.

Dr Mahathir berkata beliau enggan mengemukakan lap?oran disebabkan tidak akan ada orang yang akan mengaku memberi dan menerima wang dalam pemilihan parti.

Pada masa saya menjadi presiden dulu pun, saya tahu seorang calon yang menggunakan banyak wang untuk menang jawatan timbalan presiden tetapi bila ditanya ternyata mereka tidak mahu mengaku.

Saya dapat maklumat politik wang ini masih berlaku. Biarpun 150,000 perwakilan yang akan keluar mengundi, masih ada yang mampu. Ini masalah yang serius, mencemar maruah parti dan mengakibatkan pemimpin yang salah dipilih," katanya. ?

Hari ini Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) mendakwa tiga penyandang Naib Presiden mengamalkan politik wang menjelang pemilihan parti itu esok dan menggesa Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) untuk campur tangan.

Presiden badan pemantau rasuah itu, Datuk Akhbar Satar berkata pihaknya membuat dakwaan berkenaan selepas menerima beberapa maklum balas terhadap ketiga-tiga penyandang yang memegang jawatan menteri dalam Kabinet Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"TI-M menerima banyak maklum balas mengenai terdapat sejumlah besar wang diedarkan tahun ini untuk membeli undi menjelang pemilihan Umno.

"Kami difahamkan penglibatan wang yang besar dan diedarkan pada program khas diadakan oleh penyandang Naib Presiden, yang juga memegang jawatan menteri kanan," katanya.

TI-M juga mempersoalkan peranan SPRM dalam menangani isu politik wang yang berlaku dalam Umno serta bukan hanya sekadar alasan masalah tersebut adalah masalah dalaman sesebuah parti.

Tiga penyandang naib presiden yang mempertahankan jawatan tersebut adalah Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi; Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal dan Menteri Pertahanan, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Mereka dicabar oleh Pengerusi Felda, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad, bekas Ketua Menteri Melaka, Senator Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam dan Menteri Besar Kedah, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.

Akhbar berkata, isu politik wang tidak boleh lagi disembunyikan kerana ia melibatkan skandal wang yang besar dan penyalahgunaan jentera kerajaan untuk tujuan kelangsungan politiknya.

Selain itu, katanya, penggunaan politik wang dan salah guna jentera juga adalah sesuatu yang tidak adil kepada calon lain yang bertanding tetapi tidak mempunyai kemampuan dan aset sama seperti calon berkenaan.

A newspaper in Muslim-majority Pakistan has joined in the chorus of criticism against Putrajaya over  the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims.

The English-language Daily Times, in its editorial piece in conjunction with the Eid-al-Adha celebrations, was critical of the controversial ruling by the Court of Appeal which reversed a previous High Court ruling, allowing Catholic weekly Herald to use Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

 It lamented that the problem with Muslims is that they looked at their religion like it was an "insecure entity" that needed to be protected with special care and attention lest it gets smeared and nullified.

"The recent example of this attitude is displayed in Malaysia where the government has gone so far as proscribing Christians from using Allah as their God’s name."

"Who has given Muslims the liberty to copyright the name of Allah? It is His name, and He is the God of the universe, as He has said in the scriptures," the editorial stressed.

On Monday, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, in its judgment, ruled that "the word was not an integral part of the Christian faith and practice and that such usage if allowed, will inevitably cause confusion within the community".

The editorial questioned why Malaysia would deny people of other faiths to "own God in all His attributes", pointing out that every religion believed in the existence of God.

"Is this how piety in Islam is preserved or managed? In fact, being Muslim is no guarantee that we have reached that threshold.

"Is this what the glory of Islam had been all about, something that we want to revert to and long for?" it questioned.

The spirit of tolerance, sacrifice, patience, devotion and simplicity, Daily Times noted, was where Islam's glory lay, adding that these were the attributes that the prophets of the Quran had left for the Muslims to "cherish and follow".

"With retrogressive steps such as prohibiting Christians from using the name of Allah or destroying churches and killing Shias or Ahmedis, we cannot attain that goal," it said.

On Monday, The National - a United Arab Emirates daily - called the Malaysian court ruling "wrong", pointing out that the word Allah was never exclusive to Islam but both Christians and Jews used the word to refer to God even before the coming of Islam.

"The Malaysian decision overlooks not merely the theology, but also the etymology of the word. The word 'Allah' is derived from the Arabic 'al-ilah', the God. It has found its way across the world and entered Malay from Arabic," the editorial added. - October 18, 2013.

Cops acquitted on assault of businessman Chia

A magistrate's court in Petaling Jaya today acquitted four police personnel accused of assaulting businessman Chia Buang Hing on the grounds that Chia's injuries occurred during his arrest.

In delivering his judgment, magistrate Nik Mohamed Fadli Nik Azlan said he made the decision based on three issues, namely whether Chia's arrest was legal, whether he was assaulted, or if evidence had been planted.

He said the police made a lawful arrest as Chia had driven a car without road tax and insurance, and he had resisted arrest.

If Chia hadn't committed an illegal act, why was there a need for him to struggle during the arrest, he questioned.

"The arrest was legal," Nik Mohamed said.

The magistrate also acquitted L/Cpl Norzali Rosle on two counts of making false reports on parang and drugs found in Chia's possession.

The four acquited are Norzali, Mohd Azwan Hassan, Ahmad Saifullah Osman and Alizulhafiz Abdul Ghafar.

He also said the complainant's testimony in court, police reports and injury reports didn't corroborate each other, and concludes that Chia is not a reliable witness.

The magistrate also found there was no evidence to support the allegation of planting evidence, saying such things didn't exist.

He explained the orange substance found in Chia's vehicle, which was claimed to be "material for prayers" by Chia himself and "pesticide" by Chia's wife, had turned out to be drugs, so it wasn't something planted on Chia.

Accused not camera-shy

Ahmad Saifullah Osman is a constable while the trio hold the position of lance corporal.

The four were acquitted on a total of eight charges, of which six involve assault under Section 323 of the Penal Code while two counts of making false reports fall under Section 211 of the Penal Code.

The four were jointly charged with causing hurt to Chia at the Kota Damansara police station between 12.30am to 3am on Dec 19, 2010.

Mohd Azwan and Norzali were also charged with causing hurt to Chia between 11.30pm on Dec 18 and 1230am the next day at Persiaran Tropicana, Kota Damansara.

Norzali also faced another two counts of attempting to plant evidence on Chia by putting a machete and 0.01g of heroin on the victim at 2.01am on Dec 19, 2010.

DPP Amirah Mohamed Yusof and Izazi Muhamedin represented the prosecution while lawyer R Vijayan represented Norzali. The other accused were represented by Ahmad Zaharil Muhayar.

DAP Segambut parliamentarian Lim Lip Eng, who held a watching brief, said the prosecutor will seek advice from the Attorney-General's Chamber to decide whether they will appeal.

The four accused, who are usually camera-shy, have allowed media to take group photos of them outside the courtroom. However, they didn't speak to the media.

Chia, 37, the owner of an art gallery in Kuala Lumpur, expressed his disappointment over the judgment and appealed for the prosecutor to appeal his case, to ease his fear of continuing living in Malaysia.

"I have waited for three years, I hope every day that the country will grant me justice," he said.

"I hope the prosecutor will appeal the case, if not I will not feel safe living in Malaysia," he said.

Related stories

Police report against me false, says Chia

Chia: Cop threatened to plant parang, drugs on me

Four cops go on trial over beating of businessman

14 September 2013

Ties with PKR a festering wound in PAS

Calls to review ties with PKR is not new in PAS but the call by influential ulama wing chief Datuk Harun Taib yesterday has revealed the depth of the festering issue within the Islamist party.

PKR's multiracial and secular approach to politics has always been a simmering issue with the conservative Islamic scholars in PAS but support from Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and late party president Datuk Fadzil Noor for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim always ensured it was kept under wraps, even before the May 5 general election.

But Harun's proposal at the Ulama Multaqa SeMalaysia in Alor Star yesterday revealed that it has always been the focus of the factional fighting within PAS.

For a long time, a group of Islamic scholars in PAS have criticised some of the party leaders for their close ties with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, especially those from PKR.

Monikers such as Anwarinas, parasites and viruses were liberally thrown at such leaders by the disgruntled scholars such as Datuk Hassan Ali, who shortly after he had been fired from PAS, declared them as parasites within the party.

Former deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, prior to being ejected from the PAS Syura Council, repeatedly urged the party to study its position within PR.

The Umno-controlled Berita Harian newspaper had quoted Nasharudin urging PAS to exit from PR with the excuse PKR and DAP had broken the conditions of their political consensus.

A clipping of a story published in Berita Harian recently on Nasharudin's call for PAS to leave the opposition coalition. - September 15, 2013.Now it is clear that what Nasharudin has been preaching for a long time is being done officially by the ulama wing chief Harun.

On Friday, central executive council member Khalid Samad described such ideas as coming from the party's enemies, such as Umno.

But this is no longer the case as the signs clearly indicate a difference of opinion within PAS without even Umno meddling in its 1951 offshoot.  Party insiders say this is because both sides have a large number of supporters.

Now that it is out in the open, they say it is certain that the 59th PAS Muktamar to be held from November 22 to 24 in Shah Alam will be the main battleground for the two sides of the issue.

If it is not handled in a delicate manner, the events which occurred in Turkey will repeat itself within PAS, say party insiders.

In Turkey, an Islamic party split into two groups when a dissenting group led by Recip Tayyip Erdogan formed AKP and left the supporters of Necmetin Erbakan in Saadet. Erdogan is now the Turkish prime minister.

A similar scenario here would be the progressive PAS leaders known as the Erdogan group wanting to continue with PR and Harun's group wanting to reevaluate the party’s position.

Will the Erdogan group split from PAS after the muktamar?

Party insiders say "God forbid" but say if it was for the best, then one of the differing sides should leave the party, just as they did with Umno in 1951. 


26 August 2013

The failure of the prosection to call Deputy Superintendent Musa Safri and the failure of the trial judge to consider the notice of alibi were among the main reasons for the acquittal of two former policemen in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

In the 47-page written judgment released this morning, the three-man Court of Appeal bench ruled the failure to call Musa proved fatal to the prosecution's case as he could have unravelled the narrative of the prosection's case.

The two former police commandos, chief inspector Azilah Hadri and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, were acquitted on Friday for the murder of Altantuya on October 19, 2006.

The judgment written by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat also pointed to discrepancies in the affidavit by political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and Sirul's testimony in court pertaining to Musa's involvement in the case.

"It must not be overlooked that this ugly and horrendous episode started with the request by Razak to Musa before Azilah and Sirul came into the picture.

"The evidence established that Azilah and Sirul's task was to patrol the vicinity of Razak's house and their presence there that night was upon the request of Razak to Azilah," Tengku Maimun said in the judgment.

Only Musa could have unravelled this, she added.

At the time, Musa was the aide-de-camp of the then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

On Azilah's acquittal, the Court of Appeal ruled that trial judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin had failed to consider the notice of alibi which revealed that Azilah could not have been at two places at the same time on the night of Altantuya's murder.

The Court of Appeal said the call logs of telecommunication companies which were tendered by the prosecution were aimed to track Azilah’s movement on the day Altantuya was murdered.

According to the exhibits, Azilah was at Pekan Subang at 10.15pm and at Kampung Melayu Subang at 10.19pm.

However, the police station diary at Bukit Aman indicated that Azilah was there collecting his weapon, a Glock EAH 387, and two bullet magazines at 10.18pm.

He had then headed to Putrajaya for escort duty with Najib.

The investigating officer in  Altantuya's murder case, ASP Tonny Lunggan, had testified in the trial that the station diary was true and accurate.

This, the Court of Appeal held, had cast doubts on the accuracy of the call logs.

“The trial judge should have directed his mind to the two contradicting sets of evidence and in failing to do so had misdirected himself.

"We do not find it anywhere in the judgment that the trial judge had considered whether the station diary and the evidence that Azilah was at Wangsa Maju and at Bukit Aman at the material time, shows that by reason he cannot be or unlikely to be at Puncak Alam.

“In the circumstances, the judge had misdirected himself by way of non-direction in failing to consider the evidence,” she said, referring to the trial judge’s failure to consider the defence of alibi.

She said the call logs and coverage prediction were important evidence to establish Azilah’s presence at the crime scene.

“It is essential for the learned judge to address his mind to the challenge raised by the defence on the exhibits and to make a finding whether there was in fact an alteration or tampering of the data and whether the authenticity of the data was questionable or otherwise,” she said.

“Regrettably, the judge failed to do this, which amounts to serious misdirection rendering the said exhibits unsafe to be relied upon.”

The court had also said the trial judge should have made a finding on the connection between the explosives and the two policemen and his failure to address this missing link resulted in yet another misdirection.

Tengku Maimun added that the three-man Court of Appeal bench could not say if a reasonable tribunal, properly directed, would have convicted the appellants on available evidence.

"The court below had ignored and overlooked salient facts and evidence favourable to the appellants which resulted in serious and substantial miscarriage of justice,” she said.

“The cummulative effects of these non-directions rendered the conviction unsafe. We are conscious that a heinous crime has been committed but where the guilt of the appellants had not been satisfactorily proved, we are constrained to give the benefit of doubt to them.

“We unanimously allow both appeals. Conviction and sentence by the High Court is set aside, the appellants are accordingly acquitted and discharged.

23 August 2013

Despite the Court of Appeal ruling that the failure of the prosecution to call Deputy Superintendent Musa Safri to the stand had weakened its case, the Attorney-General’s stand is still that Musa was of no relevance to it.

Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, in disagreeing with the ruling, said there was no need to call Musa, who was the aide-de-camp of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to unfold the narrative of the prosecution’s case.

"While respecting the Court of Appeal, the Attorney-General's Chambers is dissatisfied with the decision. Non-direction or misdirection by the trial court is not the fault of the prosecution,” Gani said in a statement today.

"As far as DSP Musa Safri is concerned, we maintain that his testimony had no relevance at all as the whole narrative of the prosecution's case had been unfolded in the trial below. Hence, an appeal to the Federal Court will be filed."

The Court of Appeal this morning allowed the appeal of the two former policemen, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, who were convicted of murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

In their judgment, the three-man panel said the failure to call Musa hurt the prosecution's case.

Lawyer Karpal Singh, who was holding a watching brief for Altantuya’s family, has said he intends to  subpoena Musa and Najib as witnesses in a RM100 million civil suit filed by Altantuya's father, Setev Shaariibuu, against Abdul Razak Baginda, Azilah, Sirul and the government over his daughter’s death. 

Abdul Razak was also charged with the murder but was acquitted in 2008 without his defence being called.

The civil suit was put on hold pending today’s appeal and is likely to be further delayed because of the AG’s intention to appeal today’s decision. 

20 August 2013

Student activists are planning to hold a demonstration to protest the announcement by Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to link PTPTN loan defaulters to Bank Negara's credit bureau database.

Adam Adli Abdul Halim, a well-known student-rights activist, said university students did not take the issue lightly, adding that they will not let it go without doing anything.

"We are discussing it. We will definitely protest," Adam told The Malaysian Insider today.

Idris had announced yesterday, PTPTN's move to link its list of defaulters to the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS), a computerised database system under Bank Negara used by banks to assess prospective borrowers' financial profile.

The announcement was met with a huge outcry from the Opposition, non-governmental organisations and students, which prompted the minister to insist that the move will not "victimise" students.

"We will make sure that nobody would be at a loss. PTPTN, students and the country would be happy," he told The Malaysian Insider today.

Adam, however, pointed out that the ministry's move showed that the PTPTN was never set up for the students' welfare nor help anyone, but it was a trap to profit from the students' suffering.

"After the announcement, many student groups and other bodies like political parties have met to discuss and make a decision on how to respond to this."

"It is not right to list down the individuals who owe money to PTPTN in the CCRIS as in a declining economy and difficulty in getting jobs, students should be given the opportunity to take loans to start a business. Blacklisting them will simply mean they will be denied access to funds,” he said.

He argued that the CCRIS listing will not solve any problems, but instead showed how short-sighted the minister was.

Meanwhile, Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) chairman Safwan Anang said his group will try and meet Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to discuss the issue.

"We plan to meet Khairy  and bring this matter to him. If that does not work, we will protest again," he added.

"We object to the CCRIS listing as it is more burdensome. While Khairy wants to solve the issue of bankruptcy among the young people, this other minister wants to blacklist us."

Adam, in sharing Safwan's sentiments, said: "This latest development shows that Idris Jusoh is not the right person to look after the education portfolio, especially higher education. He does not understand student affairs and their welfare."

In April last year, Adam, Safwan along with 300 students held a demonstration at Dataran Merdeka, calling for the abolishment of the PTPTN.

They marched, carrying pictures of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the-then Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin with wreaths around it as a show of protest.

The group then set up tents at the historic Dataran Merdeka and stayed on until the Bersih 3.0 gathering on July 28.

Umno Youth reached across the political aisle today to back Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) call to stop Putrajaya’s move to list National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) defaulters on Bank Negara’s Credit Bureau database.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the wing disagreed with the public-shaming exercise, and urged the federal government to try other credit collection mechanisms to collect from the defaulters.

“The government could use other existing measures to take action against defaulters who had stubbornly refused to pay up despite notices being issued to them,” he said in a statement.

He added that priority should be given to an integrated approach that includes introducing incentives for those who pay up and a flexible payment system that takes into consideration the borrowers’ financial situation.

“This is because PTPTN loan is different from other credit facilities such as credit card or hire purchase which are loans taken out of personal choice while PTPTN is a necessity for students,” he said.

The youth and sports minister said the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan has become a necessity for students because the government does not provide free education at institutes of higher learning.

A diploma or a degree has become a must for the intellectual development of the youths of today, he said.

“Meanwhile, the group of borrowers who had refused to pay up their loans is small and this action to blacklist all defaulters will create a negative impression of PTPTN,” he said.

Khairy was responding to a recent statement by Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh that beginning this month; PTPTN has started collaborating with Bank Negara to list defaulters on the CCRIS.

Idris was reported as saying yesterday that beginning this month, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has been collaborating with Bank Negara to list defaulters on the CCRIS.

PR leaders have cried foul over this announcement and demanded that the government stop this plan and threatened a nationwide campaign to protest the move it is not shelved.

The government will evacuate Malaysian students in Egypt starting from tonight, following reports of growing security risks in the area, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

He said a team from Malaysia’s national security council in Cairo found that the situation is becoming more uncertain, and advised for evacuation to begin immediately.

“From tonight, we will be booking tickets on commercial flights via Oman and Istanbul, among other destinations, to bring our students home,” Najib said at a press conference at the Hari Raya open house of chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa today.

The prime minister said the government is finalising logistics to transfer the students who had volunteered to be sent home, and expects it to take several days to evacuate them should all 3,300 Malaysian students choose to return to Malaysia.

He noted that the government chose to use only commercial flights as it would be too expensive to use the military’s fleet of Hercules C130 transport planes as they are only designed for short haul flights and would require additional clearance from other countries to refuel.

Najib said he has also instructed his deputy and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to get in touch with the Al-Azhar University in Cairo to work out a new schedule for Malaysian students to sit for their exams.

He added that Malaysia may consider the possibility of working with the university to open a campus here, considering this is the second time in as many years that students have been flown back due to civil unrest.

“We are still thinking about it. Al-Azhar University is a renowned university in terms of Islamic studies, so maybe we can look at opening a Malaysia campus, among other alternatives,” he said.

17 August 2013

Putrajaya has revoked the permanent resident (PR) status of a resort operator in Johor who had allowed a group of Buddhist to meditate in the resort's surau, saying  he was being "insensitive to Muslims and Islam".

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today the revocation was done in accordance with provisions in the Federal Constitution, adding the resort operator was told this while under detention.

"He is a Singaporean and the PR status is a privilege given to him and the government can withdraw it. He can still come and go into the country but he is now subjected to the requirements under the Immigration Act for expatriate workers in the country,"  Zahid told reporters in Putrajaya today.

The resort owner was arrested last week after a 63-second video - "Chinese Buddhists pray in surau: surau becomes temple" - depicting a Buddhist group using the surau at the resort for meditation was uploaded on YouTube on August 10.

The owner had earlier defended his action, saying that he did not think allowing believers of other religions to use the surau was wrong.

Ahmad Zahid hoped the episode would serve as a lesson to others not to treat lightly issues of religious sensitivities.

"No one one should take our hospitality for granted. It is not a light matter especially when his action has belittled Islam the official religion of the Federation," he told reporters after attending a Hari Raya open house organised by Pengasih, a non-governmental organisation set up to assist drug dependents.

He said his ministry had no powers over Islamic religious matters as that came under the jurisdiction of rulers of the states.

"We are more concerned about safety and public order," he said, adding his ministry would work together with agencies including Jakim to curb posting of senstive videos in the social media.

Ahmad Zahid also assured the ministry would have reacted in the same manner if the sanctity of other religions were not respected.

The resort owner's decision to allow the Buddhist to use the surau had reportedly caused a furore among the fishing community in Sedili Besar, Kota Tinggi, after it was discovered by a resort visitor who wanted to perform his Asar prayers at the surau last Saturday.

Following the incident, the 45-year-old resort owner was arrested for four days to assist in the investigation.

He was released on police bail yesterday.

The police said the investigation papers of the case was being finalised before submitting it to the public prosecutor for action.

"We are also waiting for further directive from the public prosecutor while at the same time, monitoring all activities and public reaction pertaining to the case," said Johor deputy police chief Datuk Ismail Yatim yesterday.

The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim, has ordered the surau demolished once investigations were completed.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin yesterday urged all parties to stop the polemics over the issue of demolishing a resort's surau.

He said there was no need to argue over the issue anymore as the state government would abide by the Sultan’s order.

"The decision has been made. It is the order made by Sultan Ibrahim, as the head of the Islamic religion in the state. In making the decision, the Sultan had sought the views and advise of various parties,” he said today. - August 17, 2013.

15 August 2013

Someone wondered the other day: who was Malaysia's best Home Minister?

The question was in response to the increasingly irrational behaviour of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who has only one move in his playbook: use the sledgehammer to pummel and bully his way to hero status in Umno.

Justice, fairness, moderation are words that have no place in Zahid's small world, crowded out by grandstanding.

The question was also in response to a growing sense that the country is in a tailspin, buffeted from every side by worsening race relations, intolerance, a crime epidemic and in serious need of a firm but fair hand.

So who was the best Home Minister? Was it Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie? Was it Musa Hitam? Was it Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad? Was it Tun Abdullah Badawi? Was it Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar? Surely you remember Syed Hamid - he detained a journalist under the Internal Security Act to protect her, he said! What about Hishammuddin Hussein? He who was taking a serious view of this or that while crime was unravelling on the streets.

But seriously, on stature, standard and principle, none of the above comes even close to Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman. This Home Minister was called into action following the May 13 riots, when feelings among the different races were raw and legitimate questions were being raised whether the nascent democracy of Malaysia had gone up in smoke. This was a dangerous time: lives were lost, property destroyed and talk of a land of milk and honey almost foolish to entertain.

Dr Ismail could have played the race and religious card and become the most popular politician in Umno. He didn't.

Instead he went on television and delivered a stark message, edited by his friend Robert Kuok, on the death of democracy. It was his way of telling Malaysians that this would be the outcome for the country if people didn't put away their prejudices and work with the government towards reconciliation.

With the carrot came the stick. He ordered the arrest of troublemakers with no regard to their race, Malay, Indian or Chinese. And warned Malay ultras to expect no mercy if they agitated. Once he remarked that he would arrest his own mother if she did anything illegal.

Former deputy prime minister Musa Hitam watched the television broadcast and recalled "a sense of relief came over us, the sheer force of the man's reputation for fairness was magic".

Chet Singh of Penang Development Board remembered feeling comforted on hearing news that Tun Dr Ismail was returning as Home Minister.

This is how Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah described the Home Minister's performance during the darkest period in Malaysian history: "Ismail was a principled man - and was seen that way by the different races... once he decided on something you could be sure that he had gone through the relevant details and studied them. What is confidence unless it is based on the people's belief in the leader?"

Kuok said: "He was a lovely man with the strength of character, high principles and a great sense of fairness. In my opinion, he was probably the most non-racial, non-racist Malay I have ever met. Doc was a stickler for total fair play, for correctness."

Going through the excellent book, "The Reluctant Politician" by Ooi Kee Beng and culling information from various other articles on Tun Dr Ismail, these words crop up: firm, fair, principled, moderate.

Till today, older Malaysians across the racial and political divide remember Dr Ismail with rare affection. And then fall into a valley of despair when they compare him with the likes of Hishammuddin and Zahid.

He may have ticked off the dog trainer of the video clip fame but no way would he have agreed to have her remanded like a common criminal. Similarly he would have frowned on the Singaporean resort owner who allowed a Buddhist group to use the surau for meditation but you can't see him stoking the fires by talking about stripping the Singaporean of his permanent residence.

Why? Because those who knew him intimately said he never seemed interested in cultivating a loyal group of followers. Or, as Ooi Kee Beng wrote: "His style of politics, infused with the reluctance he had felt about going into politics, did not involve populist tactics."

In short, he did not grandstand at the expense of fair play or audition for a higher position in Umno as Zahid Hamidi seems to be doing on a daily basis.

These days there is little care that the take-no-prisoners approach of Zahid Hamidi and other Umno leaders is creating a them-versus-us undercurrent in Malaysian society. There is little sense of fairness or proportion to how Government reacts to a prickly situation.

Umno politicians have the slogans but few of them understand that fairness and justice are critical building blocks of nationhood.

The end result: a lack of respect among the public for the moral standing or competence of government leaders. And a growing sense of desperation for that one leader who can halt the country from sliding further into the abyss of despair with that combination of firmness, fairness and moderation.

This is what Abdullah Ali said about Tun Dr Ismail in the book, The Reluctant Politician: "He believed fully in the oneness of Malaysia, and worked on that belief. He did not care whom he had to fight. He was absolutely neutral. When you had to deal with him, you knew you would get fair treatment."

14 August 2013

Pemuda Umno Malaysia membuat laporan polis ke atas Pengerusi DAP Sarawak, Chong Chieng Jen kerana mendakwa insiden kes tembak-menembak serta jenayah yang berleluasa di negara ini merupakan sebahagian daripada sandiwara Barisan Nasional (BN) bagi mengembalikan beberapa akta yang telah dimansuhkan.

Menurut  Ketua Pemuda Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (gambar) laporan tersebut di buat hari ini di Balai Polis Indera Mahkota, Pahang.

Kata Khairy lagi, kenyataan Chong sebagai pemimpin kanan DAP  itu jelas menampakkan tahap pemikirannya yang cetek dan keanak-anakan bagi memperjuangkan politik kebencian yang diamalkan pembangkang terutama DAP selama ini.

"Tohmahan serta tuduhan itu jelas merupakan satu bentuk hasutan yang serius, keterlaluan dan bertujuan mempengaruhi rakyat bagi membenci BN selaku kerajaan yang dipilih secara sah pada pilihan raya umum lalu,"katanya dalam satu kenyataan media hari ini.

Ekoran itu, Pemuda Umno yang menyifatkan kenyataan itu sebagai "politik kotor" Chong berharap  ia dapat  membuka mata rakyat tentang kualiti pemikiran dan perjuangan politik para pemimpin pembangkang.

"Atas rasa tanggungjawab serta cintakan keamanan negara, kesejahteraan rakyat dan prinsip memperjuangkan amalan politik matang dan laporan ini sebagai bukti bahawa  satu tindakan undang-undang yang tegas dan adil dapat dilaksanakan ke atasnya," kata Khairy.

Semalam, portal The Borneo Post memetik kenyataan Chong yang  juga merupakan Ahli Parlimen Bandar Kuching berkata kejadian jenayah yang meningkat di negara ini  adalah sebahagian dari rancangan kerajaan Barisan Nasional bagi menggantikan undang-undang baru menyerupai Akta Ordinan (EO).

Chong berkata demikian semasa sidang media yang berlansung di Ibu Pejabat DAP bagi mengulas mengenai isu jenayah yang tidak terkawal.

"Ia merupakan satu tindakan terancang apabila pemimpin BN termasuk Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi menggunakan kesempatan peningkatan keganasan jenayah membabitkan senjata api untuk menperkenalkan undang-undang baru," dakwa beliau yang dipetik dari The Borneo Post.

Beliau juga berkata dengan berbuat demikian rakyat menjadi mangsa bagi agenda politik BN.

Chong memberitahu undang-undang seperti EO yang bakal diperkenal BN hanya membenarkan penyalahgunaan kuasa kerana sesiapa saja termasuk pemimpin pembangkang boleh ditahan tanpa dibicara di mahkamah. 

There’s no two ways about it  the road to Putrajaya is not a urban highway but rather one than wends its way through the kampungs and plantations of Malaysia, reveals a study of the way votes went in the past general election.

Just 30%, a little under one-third of Malaysians, live in the rural and semi-rural parts of Malaysia, but they sent 71% of the politicians into Parliament last May 5.

Yes, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) snared 51% of the popular vote. Yes, it snagged more than three-quarters of the Chinese vote. It even scored 54.9% of the Indian vote and stole about 40% of the Malay vote. But that only made PR the undisputed champion of urban Malaysia.

Barisan Nasional-friendly (BN) gerrymandering and unequal constituency sizes means that 158 or 71% of the 222 parliamentary seats are non-urban, so even if the pact of PKR, DAP and PAS performs better in all the above categories in the next general election, it will likely be occupying opposition benches in Parliament.

These facts were culled from a survey by Merdeka Center on voting patterns in 222 parliament seats. The data from voting streams from first-time voters to senior citizens was analysed by the independent researchers.

PR politicians and election watchdog groups have long complained that the carving out of constituencies is aimed at keeping BN in power and makes a rural vote worth an average of six urban voters.

But nothing is likely to change in the composition of seats and the redrawing of boundaries between now and GE14, making it necessary for Pakatan Rakyat to think up new approaches to win more friends in the rural heartland.

Ibrahim Suffian, head of Merdeka Centre, said that PR will have to come up with policies which address concerns of Malays, the largest segment of voters in rural and semi-rural seats. Or it has to make a much better effort in getting across its message of a new Malaysia to the back of beyond.

"If Pakatan Rakyat wants to win more support in rural areas, it has to first address some of the concerns about Islam and Malay rights.

“Barisan Nasional has done an effective job of creating some fear among rural folk, even planting in their minds the concern of whether Pakatan Rakyat has a plan for their economic wellbeing,” he told The Malaysian Insider, noting that even the decrease of Chinese support for BN was less pronounced in rural constituencies.

It is just not good enough to talk about corruption or the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu in areas where the Umno/BN network is strong, and where government handouts are welcomed by grateful hands.

The task of winning the rural vote was left largely to PAS in GE13 and the party had a patchy record in fighting off BN propaganda that PR rule would diminish the position of the Malays and Islam.

In a recent interview with The Malaysian Insider, PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said that the Opposition pact had to focus more attention on the fears and concerns of rural Malay voters.

"It has to do with the fears of Malays on security and confidence in a multi-racial country and their livelihood in the rural areas. These are the issues that BN has been able to capitalise on successfully, to create a fear of Pakatan Rakyat, " he said.

He added, "We can't keep riding on urban dissatisfaction to make the numbers. We are working on strategies to get the message across to rural areas.

13 August 2013

Despite his active lobbying for fresh preventive laws now, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had been part of the same Cabinet that agreed to repeal such legislation not long ago, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin reminded today.

The former New Straits Times(NST) group editor-in-chief noted Zahid's bellyaching over the loss of these laws but said neither the minister nor his Cabinet colleagues could claim they had not been partially responsible for it.

"The question here, where was Ahmad Zahid and other Cabinet members when the suggestion to abolish the ISA, EO and Banishment Act was discussed?" Kadir asked in his blog here.

"Don't wipe your hands off by saying that the Cabinet did not discuss and debate the matter ... What are the tasks and roles of the Cabinet then?"

"Were they all yes men? It makes no sense," he added.

According to Kadir, the absence of the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), Emergency Ordinance (EO), and Banishment Act 1959, which he said were "happily scrapped" by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was likely the cause of the recent crime wave.

His remark follows what he described as frank admissions by some, including Zahid, that the repeal has been a "folly" and had instead brought harm towards Malaysia and its people.

Zahid and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had previously stirred controversy when they indicated that the return of preventive detention laws would help the police carry out their crime-fighting duties more effectively.

On Sunday, Zahid had repeated his assertion that the police force had lost its bite in the repeal of laws that once allowed them to detain suspected criminals without trial.

With violent crimes on the rise and suspicions linking the sudden spate of shootings to gangland turf wars and firearms smuggling, the Home Minister appeared insistent on the need for preventive detention as a vital aid to assist crime busters.

In the interview published byUtusan Malaysia’s weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia, Zahid said the overall crime rate had dropped but index crimes were increasing, attributing the rise of the latter to four factors.

He said the four factors include the release of the 2,600 EO detainees from the Simpang Renggam detention centre, and their hardcore followers and subordinates whom the police said hit a figure of 266,000 people.

Meanwhile, Kadir has called on Najib and other lawmakers to fix the problem by introducing replacements to preventive laws.

"If Najib, Cabinet members and MP  — whether from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat — have stumbled, please admit your mistakes and turn back," said Kadir. 

"If they still care for 99 per cent of the citizens who love peace and need protection, they must quickly draft new and stricter laws to replace the acts that they have abolished."

Putrajaya had abolished the EO laws and the ISA, both of which allowed for preventive detention without trial, a feature that has been criticised by its detractors for allegedly infringing on human rights.

On July 26, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak gave his assurance that his administration would be “mindful” of human rights when drafting new laws to combat crime.

However, Najib had earlier this month pledged Putrajaya’s commitment to consider “anything” the police needs to fight serious crime, noting the sudden rise in gun-related incidents lately.

11 August 2013

In the face of rising concern over the crime rate, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi repeated his assertion today that the police force had lost its bite in the repeal of laws that once allowed them to detain suspected criminals without trial.

With violent crimes on the rise and suspicions linking the sudden spate of shootings to gangland turf wars and firearms smuggling, the Home Minister appeared insistent on the need for preventive detention as a vital aid to assist crime busters.

”I think the ‘teeth’ of the police are less sharp now because their powers used to be strengthened with laws,” Zahid said in an interview published by Utusan Malaysia’s weekend editionMingguan Malaysia today.

Zahid said that the public now enjoy more freedom than before as the authorities now have to go through the courts when taking preventive measures to fight crime.

”This is what the opposition wants where the society feels that basic human rights and liberties are more important than the issue of public safety and peace,” he said.

Putrajaya had abolished the Emergency Ordinance laws and the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960, both of which allowed for preventive detention without trial, a feature that has been criticised by its detractors for allegedly infringing on human rights.

Zahid and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had previously stirred controversy when they indicated that the return of preventive detention laws would help the police carry out their crime-fighting duties more effectively.

But on July 26, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak gave his assurance that his administration would be “mindful” of human rights when drafting new laws to combat crime.

In the interview, Zahid said the overall crime rate had dropped but index crimes were increasing, attributing the rise of the latter to four factors.

He said the four factors include the release of the 2,600 EO detainees from the Simpang Renggam detention centre, and their hardcore followers and subordinates which the police said hit a figure of 266,000 people.

”The second factor, those that were released from detention have hardcore supporters. According to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), from the 2,600 released, they have at least 10 right-hand men, meaning there are 26,000 with the society.

”These right-hand men also have at least 10 of their own right-hand men, meaning there’s 266,000 people,” Zahid said, roping in these followers as allegedly having contributed to the rise of index crime.

The police force have yet to increase their manpower and upgrade their resources in line with the loss of the EO and Restricted Residence Act, Zahid said.

He also said there needs to be more awareness programmes on crime prevention.

To date, the police have not provided statistics of crime cases that are said to be committed by former EO detainees.

While acknowledging that the opposition’s suggestions for legal reforms were “positive”, Zahid hinted that their approach would leave the government bearing the brunt of criticism despite being stripped of some of their powers to prevent crimes.

”Meaning, how far is our preparations in terms of preventive steps including how to handle the detainees that were released from Simpang Renggam.

“They are now in the ‘market’, the question is what is the opposition’s contribution?” he asked, referring to the former EO detainees.

”They don’t feel responsible when crime happens but instead returns the fault to the government or the authorities.

“They don’t feel guilty if there are murders because the released criminal wants to take revenge on witnesses, the opposition also doesn’t feel the slightest terusik (feeling) if there’s any weaknesses in the implementation of laws because (they) think it is the government’s responsibility,” he said of the opposition when interview by Mingguan Malaysia.

”In this situation, don’t be trapped by the opposition’s tactics, the proposals look good but in the end, the proposal will trap the government,” Zahid said.

When asked to comment on the severe criticism faced by the police force in cases of custodial deaths, Zahid urged the public to be “fair” to the police.

”Those who are arrested are gangsters and criminals but those who are blamed are the police. Be fair to the police.

”Police can carry out investigations with close circuit cameras (CCTV). Police can carry out action according to SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that is set and police can carry out investigations according to office hours, but is that effective enough?

He said the police’s actions would be based on their past experiences and the situation at hand, urging the public not to always blame the police.

”If the society feels that a certain action by the police is quite slow, they blame the team, but when the criminals acts on the police, the police is also blamed, so I think justice should also be given to the police,” he said.

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