New Premier, Old Pledges, Pervasive Culture of Impunity:

In conjunction with the International Human Rights Day 2009, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) releases its Overview of Malaysia’s Human Rights Report for the year.

Detention without Trial Continues

SUARAM notes that despite the new Prime Minister Najib Razak’s pledges of reform and for greater adherence to human rights, no substantive legislative and institutional reforms have been introduced so far.

Despite the crescendo of calls for the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) by civil society, the much-publicised review of the ISA announced by the Prime Minister has not materialised. The government has also made no mention of two other detention-without-detention laws, namely the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance (EO) and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act (DDA), despite their similarities with the ISA. With no mention of a review of the EO and the DDA, and by only amending the ISA instead of repealing it, it is clear that the government does not intend to do away with the practice of detaining individuals without trial.

Questionable Role of State Institutions

SUARAM also questions the independence and impartiality of several state institutions, particularly the police, the judiciary and the monarchy, and their controversial involvement in the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s attempts to regain its losses suffered in the last General Election held in the previous year. The report notes that these institutions played questionable roles in the BN’s takeover of the state of Perak from Pakatan Rakyat in 2009.

Pervasive Culture of Impunity

The pervasive culture of impunity by the police and other enforcement agencies in the country all these years has continued with the expose of more cases of death in custody and those caused by police shootings in 2009. SUARAM notes that inquests into deaths in police custody generally take a long time to resolve, with many long overdue cases still pending in the courts.

Of the seven deaths in custody recorded by SUARAM in 2009, only one policeman has been held accountable. Even in this case, the policeman concerned was not charged for murder, but for causing grievous hurt to A. Kugan. Kugan had died in January 2009 and evidence produced in a second and independent post-mortem revealed that Kugan had been beaten to death.

SUARAM also highlights the worrying trend of deaths by police shooting, citing several widely-publicised cases which surfaced in 2009, revealing the weak procedures and lack of accountability of the police in discharging firearms.

Further exacerbating the culture of impunity in the country was the government’s decision not prosecute senior lawyer V.K. Lingam despite the findings of a Commission of Enquiry, confirming the authenticity of a videotape which showed Lingam’s involvement in the attempt to influence the appointment of judges.

Human Rights in Malaysia, 2009: Facts and Figures

SUARAM’s report includes several important facts and figures which illustrate the dire situation of human rights in the country.

In 2009, the government made seven arrests under the ISA, while 39 individuals were released. As of 1 December 2009, nine detainees are still being detained without trial under the ISA. This number includes Shamsuddin Sulaiman, an alleged Jemaah Islamiah member who has been detained under the ISA since 2002.

While there are no available official statistics on deaths in police custody in 2009, SUARAM has recorded at least seven such cases through media monitoring throughout the year. There was also one case of death in the custody of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2009, that of Teoh Beng Hock.

Freedoms of speech, expression and assembly were most seriously undermined with the massive crackdown of individuals taking part in various forms of protest against the BN government and its policies. SUARAM notes that 167 individuals were arrested in May alone, in relation to peaceful protests against the unconstitutional regime change in Perak. Their actions included dressing in black, fasting and holding candlelight vigils. On 1 August, 589 individuals were arrested for participating in the mammoth rally against the ISA. The massive number of those arrested in 2009 demonstrates an increased level of intolerance of dissent by the new changeover of BN leadership under Najib Razak compared to that of his predecessor.

In 2009, Malaysia was once again ranked in the bottom rung of the Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF)’s Press Freedom Index, sitting at the 131st position. The media continues to be curbed by the government with various repressive laws and policies despite Najib announcing the lifting of the ban on two news publications on the very first day of his premiership.

SUARAM also deplores the government for its continued refusal to recognise refugees in the country which has resulted in Malaysia being named by an international watchdog as one of the worst places in the world for refugees.

Demands to the Government

Based on its observations made on the current state of human rights in Malaysia, SUARAM calls upon the government to:

1. Release all individuals detained without trial under the ISA, EO and the DDA; and immediately repeal all three detention-without-trial laws.
2. Immediately hold inquests into all cases of death in the custody as well as cases of death by shooting by law enforcement agencies. The government must also set up a Coroner’s Court to investigate all cases of deaths in custody as recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.
3. Release a comprehensive status report and review of the implementation and non-implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Police.
4. Repeal the Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act and all other legislations which curb the fundamental right to freedom of expression and enact a Freedom of Information Act.
5. Repeal Section 27 of the Police Act to allow peaceful assemblies.
6. Recognise the status of refugees and ratify the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees.
7. Enact a Race Relations Act and a permanent Race Relations Commission to outlaw racism and incitement of racial hatred.
8. Restore the independence of the judiciary, by implementing all recommendations made by the Commission of Enquiry into the “Lingam Tape”. The Judicial Appointments Commission must also be strengthened by giving it more independence and ensuring broader representation in the Commission.
9. Extend standing invitations to all Special Procedures Mandate Holders of the United Nations. The government must immediately respond with urgency in particular the pending requests for visits by nine Special Procedures Mandate Holders, including the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.
10. Ratify all remaining core international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD); and remove all reservations on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

SUARAM’s 20th Anniversary and Human Rights Award for 2009

SUARAM, in celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has presented its 11th Annual Human Rights Award to Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) during its fundraising dinner on 6 December 2009. GMI was nominated for the annual award together with four other groups, namely the AJK Bertindak Kampung Lebor, Serian Sarawak; the Bukit Koman Anti-Cyanide Committee; Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP); and Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)’s ‘Ride for Change’ Cyclists.

The winner was picked by a panel of judges comprising Colin Nicholas from the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Syamsuriatina Ishak from the Human Rights Committee of the Malaysian Bar Council; and Masjaliza Hamzah, secretariat member of SUARAM. The judging was based on three main criteria – persistence, fearlessness and empowerment in the defence of human rights.



47 responses »

  1. wits0 says:

    Local Umno warlord Ahmad Ismail said Gerakan’s top leaders must apologise to him if they want to work together with the Bukit Bendera Umno division again.

  2. monsterball says:

    I read all these over and over again to the government….and human rights getting from bad to worst under Najib.
    UMNO corrupted lot…needs protections.,from police and lawyers…all bought up by UMNO.
    Mahathir encouraged UMNO ministers.. to use money to buy up people and the country..for 22 years……and under Najib..classic example is Perak.
    UMNO can never support human rights.
    From the horse mouth….from MACC chief…he said the death of Teoh Beng Hock,….small matter…sums up UMNO is a racist party and racists cannot support human rights. Worst that that..these are such corrupted and greedy people. Impossible for UMNO to support SUARAM sincerely.

  3. wits0 says:

    UMNO supports human rights as much as foxes will lay off the chickens.

  4. Antares says:

    How can you expect subhumans to grasp the meaning of HUMAN RIGHTS?

  5. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho that subhumans ahbeng0.000kia is full of SHIT Ho Ho Ho 😉 😀 🙂

  6. kittykat46 says:

    “Local Umno warlord Ahmad Ismail said Gerakan’s top leaders must apologise to him if they want to work together with the Bukit Bendera Umno division again.”

    Whatever may happen at the national level, BUMNO in Penang is likely dead in the water for a long, long time to come.
    I saw this Chaptokam dude in person a couple of weeks ago (hehehe), looking rather dejected…things aren’t going well with MCA Penang

    Wait, they’ll have to find a way to hang a sodomy charge on LGE !
    Why sodomy ? These BUMNO guys have zero creativity….

  7. ahcene71 says:

    Why does Gerakan need to work with Ahmad Said? He is satay.

  8. zztop says:

    That arsehole dickhead AI open his big foul smelling mouth again. Even i live far away from this dickhead i can still smell his foul mouth. Mind you folks, it really stink to the core. This bum is not only racist but a big fat ugly clown to the whole world, planets, moon, stars etc….
    Those ballless chicken hearted politicians in MCA/GERAKAN/MIC would be scared stiff to death by now from this dickhead Umnoputra. This time this dickhead is gonna to squeezed their balls so tight that they will all die standing.
    God save them.

  9. wits0 says:

    “…I saw this Chaptokam dude in person a couple of weeks ago (hehehe), looking rather dejected….. – KK46.

    Told him long ago it was pyrite(fool’s gold) that he picked up and not real “kam”. Hahahahahahaa!

  10. jubal says:

    Coerced 1998 Testimony a Lesson for Today’s Case Against Malaysia’s Anwar

    “Finally, he wrote, “Lying there curled up in that fetal position [in the cell] I could only replay in my mind what my captors had repeatedly drummed into me: the s*x acts they asked me to act out, the vulnerable position that I was in, that my wife and children were in. I thought repeatedly about the US agents I had been told were already here working with my captors and wondered what lies were being told to them.”

  11. wits0 says:

    Surviving on censorship and obfuscations:

    “..Those who back Dr Mahathir believe that the only way to maintain some order for Umno is to ensure the mainstream press blacks out certain news items, such as Nazri’s original remark that Dr Mahathir was a “bloody racist”.

    Umno-owned newspapers did not initially report the spat, but The Star, the country’s biggest newspaper owned by Umno’s partner MCA, did.

    And for reporting on Nazri’s original remarks, The Star has now come under attack from pro-Dr Mahathir blogs.”

  12. wits0 says:

    “Dr Lim should walk his talk. He should ask his party to leave the coalition if UMNO cannot accept equality for all. The art of making some noise but condoning this ‘foul word’ and behaviour (NEP + racial discrimination) will not make his party look any better than the Dirty Dozen (other BN component parties) who are still being led by the nose by the almighty UMNO.”

  13. davis says:

    When confronted as to why no action is taken to protect the interest of others, MCA, MIC and Gerekan gave the usual answer that they are working with UMNO behind closed doors to serve the interest of others. MCA, MIC and Gerekan have been doing that for the last 30 over years. In reality, they did nothing. They feared UMNO and dared not oppose any action by UMNO. The leaders of MCA, MIC and Gerekan were and still are interested in enriching themselves. only. Have anyone of the leaders left office poorer? MCA, MIC and Gerekan have proven that they are unable to protect the interest of the people.

  14. Menyalak-er says:

    Yep, davis that’s why they were call ‘backdoor’ deals.
    What they do behind those doors requires plenty of saliva!

  15. wits0 says:

    “MCA, MIC and Gerekan have proven that they are unable to protect the interest of the people.”

    I’m afraid the situation has always been much worse than that. They serve solely to reduce their own people to be under umno bondage – if possible, for perpetuity. And they. e.g., don’t deserve the best of the fowl words? The cattle cars type of umno functionaries.

  16. wits0 says:

    BM supreme, rules court.

    Anything goes. AI must (still)be destroyed at all costs.

  17. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho 😡 everywhere this naji$ SHIT go now will be full of problems pop up 😡 Ho Ho Ho
    8) the ghost is following this killer on the loose everywhere 8)

    Ho Ho Ho 😡 9 Bomb blast in Southern Thailand and 3 killed 8) 😡

  18. wits0 says:

    Tariff hike: ‘Every time we switch on, we’re robbed’
    Dec 12, 09 7:37am

    /q “A reasonable question to ask is what is wrong with modifying the IPP agreements especially when there is so much evidence of abuse of power and corruption, and the public is being robbed blind.’

    Review IPP deals first, not power tariffs

    Kris: It is on public record that the former TNB chief Ani Arope objected to the one-sided deal favouring the IPPs. But Dr Mahathir Mohamad removed him and pushed the deal through, which everyone knew would burden every single consumer.” u/q

  19. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho 😛 1Malaysia should be changed to 1Melayu 😡 Ho Ho Ho
    This naji$tode should name 1Scorpene to 1Altantuya
    Then this Makatiu ‘tiu tiu’ should nsame 1Umno to 1RacistUmno

  20. ferdyvisas says:

    “Ho Ho Ho 😛 1Malaysia should be changed to 1Melayu 😡 Ho Ho Ho”

    Malaysia moots cross-cultural circumcision
    By Jonathan Kent
    BBC, Kuala Lumpur

    Malaysia is to consider using mass circumcision ceremonies to promote racial harmony.

    Circumcision is a rite of passage for young Muslim boys, and in Malaysia it is common for the ceremony to become an event with dozens, or even hundreds of boys being circumcised together.

    Now the prime minister’s religious affairs adviser has suggested that circumcision can bring Malaysians of all races and religions together.

    Dr Abdul Hamid Othman said that with the growing popularity of circumcision among the country’s non-Muslim minorities – who see it as good hygienic practice – they too could be invited to join in the celebrations with their Muslim friends.

    He believes the idea could promote better race relations and he wants to see a nationwide circumcision ceremony organised.

    Just over half of Malaysia’s population is Muslim, mainly members of the ethnic Malay community, while the country’s Chinese, Tamil and tribal peoples follow a variety of other faiths.

    The government has been exploring ways of stopping the different groups from drifting apart, including the introduction of a national service scheme which begins in February.

  21. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho 😉 ‘ferdyvisas’ regarding this circumcision for hygienic purpose is no big deal but the main point and problem is that this Najib’s Razak talking ‘FRIVOLOUS’ and this is very wrong in our Malaysian society as a leader! He should face his sin and wrongdoings instead of findings faults with all his Malaysians citizens with all his bullshit this 1 Malaysia,1 Toilet,1 Circumcision or 1 this and 1 that. Ho Ho Ho he is the worst of all PM and the very wrong one for Malaysians majority and for human right as well under his administration that c4 had being use on murdering of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Sharibbu 😡 Ho Ho Ho

  22. enjoy says:

    Murderer has only just begun.
    If he wins the next GE, it will definitely be
    “1 Malaysia,1 Toilet,1 Circumcision” and MCA, MIC, Gerakan will support.

  23. wits0 says:

    So now, poor excessive prepuce is the straw man!? As if every male has that kind of lousy formation! Yuck!

  24. enjoy says:

    Murderer metamorphosing into “Toilet C*ck Cutter”

  25. wits0 says:

    All the platitudes that can be mouth but cannot be seen for a single day!

    Excerpts from NIAMAH!!! :


    “Today’s Star carries a couple of funnies which I thought I’d point out to you.

    The first one is really quite hilarious. It’s got Najib Razak, the PM talking through his…….errrr…….(okay la you add your own word here ya?)! The fler is telling bloggers to adopt a code of ethics which some US-based society has issued. Suddenly what those American flers say are soooo important issit? But remember ah. He’s telling BLOGGERS to do this ya?

    What are these rules?

    Tell the truth! Be responsible! Be honest! Be fair when reporting and interpreting information! Never publish inaccurate information! Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information! Admit mistakes and correct them promptly! Never plagiarise! Identify links and sources wherever possible! Do not pander to lurid curiousity! Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas! Abide by the same high standards to which they held others!

    He’s telling all that load of crock to BLOGGERS???!!! I feel like leaving him a less-than-polite message on his 1Malaysia blog. Hello, Mr. Prime Minister I think you should first make that speech to all the flers at the NST, Star, Utusan, RTM, TV3/7/8/9, Bernama and whatever else ‘media’ you and Umno and the cronies own. Come on la. Tell us to behave ourselves issit? How come you never say anything about this to your own flers? Or did you?” u/q

  26. wits0 says:

    Meant, “All the platitudes that can be mouthED..”

  27. wits0 says:

    Awaiting his “wise” decision(yet again):

  28. kittykat46 says:

    “Tell the truth! Be responsible! Be honest! Be fair when reporting and interpreting information! Never publish inaccurate information! Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information! Admit mistakes and correct them promptly! Never plagiarise! Identify links and sources wherever possible! Do not pander to lurid curiousity! Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas! Abide by the same high standards to which they held others!”

    Ya, wits0, all the MSM media under his thumb violate every such article in the code of ethics, every day, after day, after day.

    Utusan Meloya, Berita Hangus, TV3, New Shi*t Times, Bintang Tiga…. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha…….

  29. ancko_yanengganak says:

    English only in courts, two Malaysian states insist

    Kuala Lumpur, Dec 11 (IANS) A Malaysian court’s decision to reject opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal on the ground that it was not filed in Bahasa Malaysia has been contested by two states which insist that they will receive court documents only in English.
    Sabah and Sarawak states Friday said they were not affected by the Court of Appeals decision to strike out Ibrahim’s appeal case because it was not drafted in BahasaMalaysia, The Star said Friday.

    “The position is the opposite in Sabah and Sarawak where any document filed in the courts shall be written in the English language (and may be accompanied by a translation in the national language) as required by the Rules of the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court,” Sabah Justices of Peace Council secretary Lawrence Thien said.

    Read more:

  30. wits0 says:

    BTN Debate Can’t Be Stopped
    /q …”Najib should take cognisance that the dawn has set on race based politics. No race should lord over another. It is time for this country to embrace all its citizens and other talents too who want to be part of our initiative to make Malaysia a successful nation.

    Any attempt to delay, prolong or defend the BTN will not be taken lightly by Malaysians who just want to throw racism out of the window….” u/q

  31. WWE says:

    There is nothing wrong to kick some ass here

  32. wits0 says:

    “Pak Lah and his ridiculous defence of the BTN” – jeff.

    Behind his seemingly humble facade. he has always been a true blue BTN ketuanan practitioner, even b4 joining politics from his previous position as head of the PSD. You ppl have always been mostly hoodwinked.

  33. wits0 says:

    “In reality, they did nothing. They feared UMNO and dared not oppose any action by UMNO.” – davis.

    As true as the sky is blue. After ’69, they can’t even make that pretense of looking after community look even a bit real.

    In fact the “community” thing wrt the nons has never been very real. There were/are many inherent causes for lack of unity. It was umno that started the myth/fetish thing on unity and these crummy and irrelevant wholely owned subsidiaries swallowed it lock, stock and barrel.

    No lies live forever.

  34. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho 😀 well said Sir Wits0 ‘No lies live forever’ and this SHIT man ahbeng0.000kia is damm wrong and he cannot lies forever too 😀 😛 🙂 Ho Ho Ho

  35. wits0 says:

    Mr. Ho Ho Ho, what’s said about community “unity” here:
    Pagar Makan Padi

    also applies to Indians. I’m sure Davis would agree that Indians cover a rather diverse group and, like everyone else, there is also the social economic class divide. Yet the BN component parties of abject sycophants pretend otherwise and chose to make believe that they can just blindly ape the umno ways wrt “unity”, per se, is not an automatic virtue but has been instead used by umno in pursuant of fascistic bullying of others.

  36. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho 😀 Good Morning Sir Wits0 and to all 😀 Ho Ho Ho
    😉 Money Factor: Most Malaysians are united in the sense of harmony and unity if we walk and talk about anywhere in Malaysia and only this BNed Umno who is the evil one use $$$$money to buy up this and that to do all their evils things and to cover up all their evils things 😡 and with BTN they used it as a long term basis to install hatred in a racist way that may threatened national unity in a long run and a waste of all our tax $$$money.This BTN is like a evil agency that BNed Umno will get more fresh younger generation voters in coming future and all this come to ‘Money Factor’ again and PR must see this ‘Money Factor’ treat as how this evil reincarnation ‘Mahatiu tiu tiu’ enrich their own peoples to be prepare if they lose the coming 13th GE.So,this BNed must be voted out to have a true ‘unity’ for all Malaysians. Ho Ho Ho 🙂 😀 😛 😉 8)

  37. kplee says:

    Suddenly, our ex flip flop sleepy lame duck guy open his mouth in his sleep. He must be sleep talking about BTN in his slumberland of late. I doubt he ever knew BTN existed when he was sleeping as a PM, let alone what it meant. Just ignore him and treat his comments like from the cartoon “Bugs Bunny” character.
    Mumble.mmmmmmmmm…zzzzzzzz….and there he goes again.

  38. 1234 says:

    Tun PaktidorLah defends BTN
    The Sleepy Head is plainly ridiculous on his defence of Biro Tata Negara

    “And even now he is scared of upsetting the party, even though he knows the Biro Tata Negara veered off course a long time ago. His ministers had told him that the BTN was playing a divisive role but he did not do anything.”

  39. wits0 says:

    1234, Lah Lah was already practising the ketuanan way back in the late sixties(way b4 the NEP) when he was the head of the PSD. I knew of 3 guys who were appointed as gomen servants although they didn’t meet the minimum qualifications because strings were pulled for them via this Lah Lah fella. One didn’t even pass Form 5.

  40. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho 😀 nothing wrong with human but something damm wrong about this najistode ‘Frivolous’ 😡 8) Ho Ho Ho

  41. JEFFRY BONG says:

    This is not frivolous :
    ” Respondsive to majority public opinions and don’t bulldozed public dissenting views.Open up windows into all these shady dealings like the P………Do not gang up to cover or protect for pecurniary advantage and obstruct truth and justice and get yourself tainted for eternity………until death comes to you.
    Clear up your conscience and forsake evils .Wealth & Power is just temporarily in this virtual reality world .

  42. wits0 says:

    COP15: Climate-Change Conference
    “…local governments could make huge differences in carbon emissions on their own.”
    By not farting through the wrong orifice, e.g.

  43. Ho Ho Ho says:

    Ho Ho Ho 😀 this najistode SHIT goment system change to PR fair system then climate will change for better la 😀 Ho Ho Ho

  44. wits0 says:

    WRT : Pakatan affirms sweeping reforms

    For a more complete change for the better, I do agree with jokersland @ (1st comment there):

    q/ “Pakatan, please lah don’t use the word ” KETUANAN ” again. It’s sounds very funny like we are still living in the slavery’s world. Just a plain simple word that we can be proud of to be call a MALAYSIANS.” u/q.

    Among the harms that Utusan and the likes have committed over the decades is also the association of BM as the language of racism and fascism. This has to be attended to eventually, no matter if it takes much time.

  45. wits0 says:

    Way 2 go! Let there be accountability.

    Apcet II: Gov’t ordered to pay

    The Kuala Lumpur High Court today ordered the government to pay RM30,000 each to 32 human rights activists and journalists wrongfully detained following the disruption by Umno Youth of the Apcet II civil society gathering in Kuala Lumpur more than a decade ago.

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