Saturday, June 27, 2009


The public canning by the Sessions’ Cout Judge, Zainal Abidin Kamaruddin, in the court premises in the presence of the convicted Muhammad Syafiq Abdul Wahab for a simple robbery this coming July 15, 2009 would be an unprecedented move in our justice system. As far as I know, sentencing was only carried out by prison officers and if canning be imposed this could only be done in prison and out of public eye. The function of the Judge should only be to dispense justice and not to carry out sentencing himself. What purpose will it serve for such a canning of a young person in public and yet done by the Judge personally?

If the Judge is to carry out the canning himself, then, the time is near that a Malaysian Judge may hang his convict by himself! This will be something unheard of in the world and Malaysia will be the first!

We are civilized society and such canning should not be imposed for such a minor offence of robbing an identity card and a cell phone. Ten strokes of rottan will be very painful thing for a young boy.

People robbed everyday and in Malaysia, people were also convicted for drugs trafficking and sentenced to death by hanging, but, yet there were still people who went around to committing such crimes. People committed such crimes which came with it monetary benefits or gain not because they most of the time wanted to commit them, but, because society’s social system had forced them so. Had they enough to eat and had they be taught the right way of life and to treasure their lives, I believe that people who wish to commit crime will be less. Tell me who wants to commit crime just for the sake of committing it!

The effect of canning on such a young man would definitely be traumatic to him and to those who may come to watch the canning. It will definitely leave a lasting scar in the young boy and he may find it difficult to live his life and be shunned by his peers. His parents who will be required to watch the canning will also be left with deep scars in their heart. Will the parents ever love Muhammad Syafiq Abdul Wahab more and live with it just because of the canning? Will it not a form of punishment to Muhammad Syafiq Abdul Wahab’s parents? Should his parents be punished for a crime not committed by his parents? These are questions that a civilized society should answer.

There is a saying that says that justice needs to be done but at the same time, there is a saying that says that justice need be tampered with mercy. In a civilized society, we should no more impose such a harsh, violent and crude way of sentencing.

I still remember vividly sometime around 1982 or 1983 a schoolboy in Alor Gajah, committed suicide after being alleged to have commit theft in a supermarket was ordered by his school principal to make an apology before his school mates. Lim Kit Siang came to see in my police station as I was the officer investigating the case. It was a big story nationwide. The coffin of the boy was nearly been carried to the supermarket.

So, in Muhammad Syafiq Abdul Wahab’s case, I hope his lawyer or the Malaysian Bar Council will take his case to the High Court to revoke the sentencing as being too harsh and violent on a young boy for just robbing a handphone and an identity card.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lawyers Must Act Without Fear.

When my client, Hendrick Tan, was released by the court, the police immediately wanted to re-arrest him. When asked, the police officer could not give me reasons why Hendrick Tan should be re-arrested and this prompted me to advise the officer that the re-arrest of Hendrick Tan after an order of unconditional release has been made, would be unlawful and that she could be sued if she proceed to re-arrest. It was also a very embarrassing situation, but, I had to act without fear because I just had to enforce the court order. Had the officer wanted to re-arrest Hendrick Tan and where force could be used, I would definitely also stop this as an innocent person’s liberty should be protected at all cost. The officer, after being advised, just left us.

Hendrick Tan then followed me back as he had no vehicle and no money to go back.

During the remand proceedings before the magistrate, Mr. Brian Tan, the investigating officer was not present and his investigation diary was also never been transmitted to the court. Such an application definitely should fail as it was a requirement of the law that the diary of the investigating officer must be transmitted to court. What the court got during the remand proceedings was the diary of remand officer and worst still her diary did not at all disclose any offence upon which a remand application should be made. Meaning that, Hendrick Tan was arrested and produced before the court for no offence at all. Can the police do this? No court of law would allow this!

More than two years later, a team of police officers then came to my office to arrest me and charged me for harbouring Hendrick Tan. It shocked me! My wife panicked!

After being charged in court, some people approached me and told me that the charges could be dropped if I were to leave the Democratic Action Party and to join the Barisan Nasional! Immediately, I sensed politics in my arrest. Being a lawyer and politician, I knew very well that the charges against me was trumped up and initiated to curtail my political activities. After the arrest, I was warned to slow down my political activities or else face further harassments.

After losing their case in the magistrate court, the relevant authorities were still not happy and appealed to the High Court. YA David Wong in his strong worded judgment said that it would make the re-arrest of Hendrick Tan after being released unconditionally by a proper court “a farce” and that there was nothing wrong for me to enforce the order of the court. Despite that, a further appeal was made before the Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal found nothing wrong with my action.

Photo of myself taken immediately after I came out of the Court Room

It took me nine years to fight this legal battle, but, the matter is not over yet. I am now studying the matter and may take my time to file a civil suit for wrongful arrest and for malicious prosecution. This may take another few years.

In jubiliant mood with my counsels after winning the case!
From L - R: Osman Ibrahim, Chong Siew Chiang, Voon Lee Shan, RJ Noel, Roger Chin
A truly multi-racial legal team to defend me!
All of them were good learned counsels, very experience in their trade

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bumiputera Preferences, is it still necessary?

Parties like MCA, MIC, Gerakan, SUPP, PRS, and SPDP have to explain the Malaysian public their stand in supporting UMNO all these years their reasons in supporting UMNO to allow 30% equity to bumiputera under the New Economic Policy (“NEP”) to go on and on and not for a more balanced equity for all races. These Parties also have to explain their stand on the imbalance in civil service recruitment ratio of 4:1 between bumiputera and non-bumiputera, yet, bumiputera seems to favour one bumiputera race only. This imbalance in recruitment had over the past 50 years seen Malaysia Civil Service being occupied by one race only. At the same time, they also need to explain their stand on the issue of meritocracy and quota system in entry into public universities and this left only about 20% of public university places to Chinese and Indians in the country.

Although NEP which implemented into effect the bumiputera preference in business, education, licences and recruitment in the civil service has officially ended in 1990, UMNO leaders have in 2005 called the restoration of NEP and yet parties MCA, MIC, Gerakan, SUPP, PRS and SPDP never until now officially declared their stand on the matter. This shows that these parties were subservient to UMNO and PBB.

Ong Ka Ting was also a lame duck, only voiced his personal stand against it in the 55th MCA General Assembly in October, 2008 , that is, when he was about to vacate his Presidency in MCA.

In Sarawak, SUPP leaders must understand that the people of Sarawak voted for them to voice the plight of the people and to seek justice and equality, but, not to elect them to become Sarawak useless people party. At least DAP had in the past years voiced much concern over the implementation of the NEP, the equity and quota system.

MCA, Gerakan and SUPP being in the government should also point out to UMNO that preferences in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which gave rise to the implementation of NEP should not go on and on without ending. This is because the system has been subjected to abuse as not all bumiputeras benefited from the preferences. SUPP should also be told and be reminded of the Reid Commission which drafted the Federal Constitution in 1957 had stated that “in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should be ultimately ceased”. SUPP also need to understand that even Tunku Abdul Rahman had in 1980s and later Abdullah Ahmad Badawi voiced much concern of the adverse effect of the 30% equity in NEP. Even Khairy Jamalludin, who was then the UMNO Deputy Youth Chief, in a televised debate with Chua Jui Meng in 2005 had agreed that a committee be set up to review the NEP. This was because NEP had created economic set-backs in the country as many overnight millionaires had not the skill to further develop their business with their new found wealth.

The government’s move on 23 April, 2009 to liberalize the 30% bumiputera equity policy in 29 sub-sectors although a welcome move, but, will not cure the ailing Malaysian economy as the damage has already been done. Foreigners had long lost business confidence in this country by consistently questioning the bumiputera equity in their investments here. The matter will not be solved until action been taken by the present government to implement the recommendations of the Reid Commission to completely cease the preferences given to bumiputeras in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Professionals as Politicians what are the differences between them when it comes to Comradeship and political Struggle?

Professionals who joined politics see and solve issues differently and many were influenced by their professional training. Lawyers for instance, by their training were supposed to be able to see for themselves what is just, fair and equitable. They were also trained to determine what was wrong and what was right and their legal training also gave them much advantage over other professionals in handling debates about public issues. This was because lawyers were trained to argue and be sensitive to social perception of a given issue.

But one thing about lawyers in politics, that is, if an issue affect themselves, they may, based on the urgency and necessity of the situation when had to chose between two evils, many say lawyers tend to sacrifice comradeship by “killing” the other comrade off so that he could be saved. It was said, he has to decide, in between the two evils that the “killing” of his own comrade was the only way out to prevent the other evil from destroying him. He has to save himself if he sees himself as the lesser evil, but, normally it was a natural thing that he would decide, even if he was not the lesser evil that he needs to see himself saved! So, he has no choice, but, has to put his comrade on alter and “kill” the comrade so that the comrade could be, instead of himself, be offered as a sacrifice to solve the political problem affecting him and the organization. This was what people used to observe and for me, I also came to the same conclusion of my analysis of a lawyer being a politician.

Many may not agree with me, but, this was an unavoidable fact. A lawyer may take such an action based on the law of necessity. The lawyer by his training was told that necessity was a general defence and in certain circumstances, killings based on necessity to save lives was said a good defence, especially, when it involves self-defence in homicide cases.

Every lawyer knows the case of Dudley v. Stephens (1884) very well. The case for the three accused men in this case called for the defence of necessity of killing the boy in an open boat after they were drifted in the sea after the shipwreck. This differentiates law and morality. Therefore, when a politician who is a lawyer by training decides to chose the two evils, the law of morality may play no part on him anymore. He has to choose who among the evils he has to destroy and here where selfishness creeps into his head, he may then make the wrong decision and may even go to destroy the lesser evil, but, dared not himself be destroyed!

How about doctors? Doctors by their training normally are not people who were argumentative, but, they were very observant and careful in their undertakings. This is because they could not afford to make mistake as mistake may be fatal to his patient’s life. Unlike the legal profession, the lawyer can still have the opportunity to appeal to a higher court to save the life of his client if he lost the case in the lower courts, but, in medical practice, there is no such opportunity for doctors. So doctors by their training were always careful in making decisions and their judgment must always be accurate and they were not trained to argue.

When they see cancer cells in the body, they may just decide to cut or chop off that part of the body so that the cancer cells will not separate to other parts of the body.

Therefore, when it came to politics, if the doctor-politician decides that his comrade is a liability in his organization, the doctor-politician may just decide to “eliminate” him and may not wish to allow him chance to survive politically for the doctor-politician may fear that this comrade may destroy the whole organization.

So, there could be a difference between a lawyer and a doctor in deciding things. A lawyer if he takes necessity as a need and if he himself was involved, necessity may require him to be selfish in his decision and may tend to decide in favour of himself while a doctor who could not treat himself, could not decide for himself, but, only could decide for his patient.

How about engineers and accountants? We don’t find many engineers and accountants who are politicians in Malaysians politics, but, there is no reason why these professionals should shun politics.

However, there are police and army officers in politics. By their training police and army officers were trained to eat, live, do things and die together in the battlefields. They were trained to be armed and to fight a war and to win a war be focused on their enemy. If they were commanders in their units, they were trained in military strategies in a given battlefield. They were also trained to be disciplined to orders and they were trained to carry out their orders strictly to the letters irrespectively whether the order was right or wrong! They were in actual fact trained to be obedient followers and were told not to question an order from their superiors. This was pure blind obedience! Creating a sense of camaraderie and esprit de corp among themselves were of exceptional importance and they were trained to pull their ability together as a team to persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.

People say politics is a game and you must be skillful to play the game within the rules to survive and to succeed, but, police and army officers by their training when they became politicians may not see politics as a game. They may see politics, like war, as a cause to struggle and as politicians they should be diehard fighters for a cause along their comrades, not a player in politics. By their military training, they were expected to fight on and on with their comrades and the objective of their struggle must be clearly understood by the public. They were also trained to win their enemies not only by military skills, but, also by psychological warfare.

In politics, police and army officers as politicians, in order to win the public by in psychological warfare will normally adopt a strategy to tell the people that they were fighting for a worthy cause, that the “war” could be won and worth winning. To do this in politics, they had to get rid of the “bad boy” image associated with discipline in the force and the perception that they were rough people.

I was a police officer and it had been difficult for me in the past years to win people and even now I was also much understood by friends, comrades and foes in my struggle to see a just and fair society. I hope people will just give me a chance to fight on and to serve and I need the help of every pe0ple.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

SUPP Politicizing Chinese Education

On 8. 12. 2006 SUPP launched the Penguin Educare Programme which came with the Penguin Educare Scholarship. It was said on 12. 5. 2007 SUPP donated RM500,000.00 to 14 Chinese Middle Schools in Sarawak, but, being a political Party which has no business arm, I wonder how SUPP could come with that huge sums of money when there was no help at all from the government for the said huge fund. This is money politics in education and a new brand of politicizing education by SUPP and its leaders.

SUPP should disclose where the money came from. We have a right to know and find out whether this came out from the pockets of SUPP’s ministers, assemblymen and Parliamentarians as many complained that allowances of Honourable Members were hardly enough to cover political expenses.

How can SUPP being in the government for the past 39 years be said able to advance Chinese education when the Party could not get the BN government to give annual grants like what Penang PR government been doing? By right, the Party being a partner in the BN government should be able to make both the state and federal governments come out with annual grants for all Chinese schools in Sarawak through the state Legislative Assembly and also through Parliament.

In another political stunt, it appeared in the Star (January 30, 2007) that Dr. George Chan had announced in Miri that SUPP led by its Secretary-General, Datuk Sim Kheng Hui will draw up a blueprint to chart the way forward a ten-year plan for the 222 chinese schools in Sarawak. He said all communities, not only Chinese would benefit out of the blue print. How it would benefit all communities were not made known and the public has a right to know. Where is the blueprint now? Can it be made public? Is there anything secret about it? Is this another empty promise?

Dr. George Chan again made another important announcement in February 2008 (see Bernama February 6, 2008) that the Education Ministry will announce strategies in assisting Chinese education in Sarawak, but, so far there was nothing concrete about this from the federal government. BN government was always fond of giving promises, but, after the parliamentary election, everything is now quiet. In election campaigns, SUPP told the voters to support the Party for promotion of Chinese education and also for the recognition of the United Examination Certificate. Such election promises including the recent 12th General Election, were always bare promises only and after each election was over, SUPP hoped that everybody will just keep quiet and forget these promises.

For SUPP to come out with promises showed that SUPP as a Party is no more dependable for the fight of our Chinese rights and Chinese education in the state. They are a weak Party and we had given them too much time to put things right, but, they had failed to do so.

Instead Dr. George Chan during the recent DUN sitting which ended in May, 2009 challenged the DAP to build schools.

SUPP must be reminded that although DAP is not in the government, DAP Sarawak, had done its part in promoting Chinese education. SUPP need to recall that in 1978, the Sarawak United Chinese Association (“SUCA”) of which many SUPP members were also members of the association nearly turned SUCA into a political party because of the inability of SUPP to fight for the advancement of Chinese education in the state. This showed that there were many members of SUPP that had no confidence at all in SUPP in fighting for the cause of Chinese education.

Ling Sie Ming, the then President of the Sarawak Taiwan Graduates Association and later our DAP strongman in Sibu region, was actively soliciting public funds. In the campaign to set up the Merdeka University, DAP Sarawak, in 1978 collected nearly RM280,000.00 without the help of SUPP. SUPP leaders must be reminded that many members of SUPP resigned from the Party when they saw the inability of the Party, although, in the government had failed to advance the cause of Chinese education in the state and in the nation.

The public should be reminded that SUPP in order to keep afloat had no choice but to politicize Chinese education by putting the blame on the DAP, instead of blaming themselves for their own failure. The public also should be reminded that by joining the Federal Government in 1971, SUPP had caused must erosion of Chinese rights by helping UMNO many times amended the Federal Constitution in which affected Chinese rights to better education and business and SUPP helped the promotion of malay supremacy over other races. With all these things happening caused by SUPP joining the government, Sarawak people should now reject SUPP to be in the government and to put the Opposition to run this country.

It must be remembered that in 1971, the UMNO-led federal government had no two-thirds majority but SUPP parliamentarians at that time traded their positions for a ministerial post for their Party Chairman. With that, it allowed the UMNO-led federal government 2/3 majority all the time, until the 12th General Election and with 2/3 majority at all times, the Federal Constitution was amended a number of times to the detriment of the Chinese community and other races in Malaysia.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Semi-Healthy Malaysians Eat Economy!!

I raised the issue of semi-healthy Malaysians in the recent concluded Dewan Undangan Negeri sitting and by doing so, I came under much fire from ministers and YBs from the Barisan Nasional. I told the Dewan that the rise of the semi-healthy Malaysians was caused by bad policies of the BN government, which failed to ensure safer foods and drinks and a cleaner environment. The government in the past years talked so much of enforcement and control of food and environment, but, in reality had done very little. Instead, it was only promises over promises to do better but nothing concrete done so far.

I had spoken twice in the Dewan Undangan Negeri the contaminated water supplied by the authorities. In an audit report by the Audit Department, it was found out that many times the presence of bacteria and chemicals used to threat our water were above the permitted level. The water purification systems could have been out of date too and a new water treatment solution need to be found. Datuk Awang Tengah said I just wanted to create public anxiety on the matter. I was not there wanting to seek political mileage, but, I had to raise the matter because contaminated water had in the past years contributed the rise of medical bills and ate into our economy. The government and the public should be made aware of this that contaminated water and open burning each year in oil palm plantations also contributed to acute skin diseases, kidney and heart diseases, cancer and other ailments. Medical bills nowadays for their treatment are very costly and the government seemed kept mum over the matter and denied its policy over enforcement and health matter contributed to the recent increase of semi-healthy Malaysians. We could observe that too many if not most Malaysians over the age of 45-years old are semi-healthy people and they ate eat into our economy.

In the New Sunday Times ( May 31, 2009) it was said that tobacco smoking in 2004 in a research by the University Kebangsaan Medical Centre showed medical bills came to RM3 billion a year. The costs of treatment went up each year due to increasing healthcare costs. Experts said it could be higher and said, “The number of deaths and economic losses due to tobacco use exceeds that of the combined total of most infectious diseases including influenza, dengue, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS”

If treatment for sicknesses caused by smoking alone eats into medical healthcare of about RM3 billion a year then there is no reason why medical healthcare bills caused by contaminated water, food and polluted environment could not eat into RM10-15 billion a year! What a waste of public funds! With each year’s healthcare costs reduced, Malaysians would not only enjoy a much more healthy life but also better education opportunities and infrastructures because money for healthcare could be channeled to these developments.

Deaths caused by tobacco were said about 10,000 per year. What about the unnecessary deaths caused by kidney and heart failures due to poor environment, contaminated water and food? All deaths bring sufferings and pain to the families of the dead. The dead may leave with their children and family without no proper bread winners and also lonely people behind and increase in suicide cases. In the end, the school going children will be forced to leave schools and some may even be forced to prostitution, rob, cheat and to steal and peddling of drugs. It has the effect in contributing to social ills and decay in society and moral.

It has now been than 50 years as an independent nation, the Alliance and BN government had failed miserably to ensure better health and better economic environment for Malaysians. The Alliance and BN governments had committed grave political crime and comes the next general election they should be wiped out as too many lives had been innocently taken away because of their bad policies.

Dayaks split right, left and Centre, why?

The dayaks in Sarawak are a split race, being split politically right, left and centre. If dayaks could group themselves together, no where other races could be near them economically and politically. Dayaks are in fact like Chinese and Indians and they all, unlike the malays, are of many races. Politically, the Chinese and Indians as a race in Malaysia, like the dayaks are also split, but, the split among the malays are not that serious. This was because the malays was helped by being a single race. Unlike other races in Malaysia, the malays all shared the same religion.

How and who split the dayaks? During the Brookes and British time, the indigenous people of Sarawak, were collectively known as dayaks. But, these Mat Salleh people later on preferred to call ibans as sea dayaks, and they called bidayuhs as land dayaks. Was not this a way to split the dayaks politically? How about other indigenous people, like kelabits, kenyahs, bukitans, in the Baram and Miri areas? Are they not also dayaks? Why split them as orang ulus? Who did this?

To split the dayaks further and placing them as if the dayaks are without nationality or race in the many official forms as “others” or “lain-lain” has further confused the dayak people of their identity. People like Tan Sri Jabu and James Masing being dayak leaders themselves should take the courage and positive effort to correct this misconception. I had spoken at length in the Dewan about this matter because I fear dayaks will lose their identity. There was no reply from the ministers.

The term sea and land dayaks are seldom heard or used of nowadays. In the Article 161A (7) of the Federal Constitution while other indigenous people are mentioned, it gave no mention of iban and bidayuh at all. Why the Federal Constitution did not define the term “dayak” but, “natives” for the purpose of indigenous people of Sarawak? Now, some bright spark out there wanted to split the dayak further by suggesting that the term dayak no more be used. Would not this politically was split the dayaks in Sarawak further?

If Najib is serious of 1 Malaysia Concept as a front for racial unity, he should amend the Federal Constitution so that Malaysians do no be called “bumiputera”, non-“bumiputera” and “others”. As it stands now, the law and the government treat races differently. This was evident when a bidayuh was not given a financial loan to start his business because he could not qualify himself as a bumiputera which prompted Lim Kit Siang to raise the matter in Parliament. Some dayaks in West Malaysia were said not been recognized as bumiputeras when buying houses, thus, depriving them of houses allocated to bumiputeras.

Datuk Joseph Entulu has much to explain to the community for his suggestions on the use of the term dayak and he was said to have said that the term dayak bore connotations that were negative, derogatory, uncouth and low class. If Datuk Joseph Entulu had said this, I would be sorry to him because there is nothing derogatory to call all indigenous people of Sarawak dayaks. If a person says that the term dayak is derogatory, uncouth and low class, then, it was his personal perception unsupported by any findings or is contrary to public perception. To clear the air, Chinese people never called dayak, derogatory or low class and since coming here from China, the Chinese people always showed much respect to the dayaks. That was the reason why when SNAP was formed as an umbrella for the dayaks, many Chinese businessmen supported the Party.

So don’t split the dayaks further. They are human beings like any other people in this earth. No body had a choice which race they wanted to be when they came to this earth. That is, nobody may wish to be born as dayak, a Chinese or an Indian, etc if he has the right to chose which race he should be before he comes to this world. We are all God’s creation and God had created us that way, so we must accept this God’s will.

The dayak should by now know why Malaysian Dayak Congress (“MDC”) could not until now be registered as a political party. With the name “dayak” in the Party’s name, it could be feared that MDC could be the umbrella to where the dayaks, whether, ibans, bidayuhs or orang ulus could find political shelter and political strength together. So, promoters and supporters of MDC, your wait may not see any light at all!

The dayak community has to think hard and find a solution to come together so that they could be stronger politically to fight for their rights which had long been neglected by the government.