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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Civil Society Condemns Death Threats Against Bersih 2.0 Leaders

PROHAM among the 54 NGOs who have jointly endorsed this statement..

We, the undersigned organizations, are extremely appalled and strongly condemn the death threats against the chairperson of Bersih 2.0, Maria Chin and her three children, former Chair of Bersih 2.0 and current president of National Human Rights Society, Ambiga Sreenevasan and Bersih 2.0 staff, Mandeep Singh. Following these threats on October 18, the car of one of Maria’s sons was splashed with red paint and chicken blood on October 20.

These deplorable death threats were received by Maria Chin via whatsapp messages in which the faces of all those named above were superimposed next to a person holding a knife over their heads.

Since the organizers launched the nationwide convoys to mobilize support for Bersih 5 rally on November 19, threats and attacks have been escalating. These came immediately after a series of attacks by red shirted thugs led by UMNO’s Sungai Besar division chief Jamal Md Yunus after he failed to stop the Bersih convoys. The sequence of events suggests a systematic and coordinated plan to stop Bersih 2.0 through physical violence culminating in death threats to instill fear in Bersih leaders and staff and the general public.

More alarming is the feeble response from the Inspector General of Police on the declaration of “all-out war against Bersih 2.0” by Jamal Md Yunus on October 20. His description of Jamal Md Yunus's declaration as merely “war of words” is totally unprofessional in the absence of any form of investigation. The fact that Jamal Md Yunus made his war cry to stop Bersih 2.0 soon after his remand demonstrates his arrogance and little respect of the law and is enough evidence to implicate him and his red shirt thugs.

The undersigned organizations:

1.      Demand the Inspector General of Police immediately investigate these death threats and violent incidents and swiftly apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

2.      Demand the police investigate and apprehend the master mind behind the planned anti-Bersih attacks.

3.      Urge Prime Minister Najib Razak to strongly condemn these threats. His deafening silence and the IGP's inaction is encouraging the red shirted thugs to be more hostile and violent.

We and the rakyat hold the Prime Minister and IGP accountable should any untoward incident befall any Bersih 2.0 leaders and supporters.

The rakyat is closely watching.

Endorsed by:
  1. Akademi Belia
  2. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  3. Anak Malaysia Sarawak (AMS)
  4. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
  5. Baramkini
  6. Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism(C4)
  7. Community Development Center (CDC)
  9. Greenfrieds Sabah
  10. Institute for development of alternative living (IDEAL)
  11. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
  12. Japan Graduates Association, Malaysia (JAGAM)
  13. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
  14. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
  15. Jawatankuasa bertindak kuala lumpur tak nak insinerator
  16. JIHAD for JUSTICE (J4J)
  17. Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia (KESATUAN)
  18. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
  19. Kuen Cheng Alumni Association
  20. LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
  21. Malaysians Against Death Penalty & Torture (MADPET)
  22. Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)
  23. Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA)
  24. Malaysia 4 Malaysians
  25. Muslims Professionals Forum (MPF)
  26. National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
  27. Partners in Community Organising (Pacos Trust)
  28. Penang Tamil Muslim Development Association (PELITA)
  29. Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (IKRAM)
  30. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
  31. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
  32. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
  33. Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)
  34. Projek Dialog
  35. Pusat Komas
  36. ONE RACE-HUMAN RACE                       
  37. Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
  38. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
  39. Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO)
  40. Sarawak Women for Sarawak
  41. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  42. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
  43. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights, Malaysia (Proham)
  44. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  45. Tenaganita
  46. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
  47. Tindak Malaysia
  48. The Federation & Alumni Associations Taiwan University, Malaysia (FAATUM)
  49. We Are Malaysians
  50. Women’s Aid Organisations (WAO)
  51. Womens Centre for Change, Penang (WCC)
  52. Women Development of Malaysia PJ
  53. Workers Hub for Change (WH4C)
  54.  Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
24 October 2016

Thursday, 20 October 2016

In solidarity with human rights defenders - PROTECT DEMOCRACY & ENFORCE OUR FREEDOMS

The recent violent threats, obstructive actions and intimations by certain individuals and groups associated to the Red shirts are counterproductive methods. In democratic societies, all groups are free to express in peaceful ways to express their views and convictions. This does not give individuals and groups the license to carry out violent threats, obstructions and intimidating behavior.

We are increasing seeing intolerance in Malaysian society towards the expression of alternative political views and aspirations on matters affecting Malaysia society especially those pertaining to the electoral system and corrupt practices which are viewed as human rights violations by those holding public office.

PROHAM is of the opinion that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Royal Malaysia Police to ensure that Malaysian society is a safe place for exercising democratic rights. Ensuring the democratic space is a fundamental human right.

Therefore PROHAM calls on the Minister of Home Affairs & Inspector General of Police to take proactive steps to ensure Ms Maria Chin, her family and Bersih supporters are protected for exercising their freedoms. The police should provide also security to the public who are exercising their fundamental rights.

Issued on behalf of PROHAM by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman (Chairman) & Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Secretary General)

Oct 21, 2016

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Red Shirts’ Violence with Political Blessing from the Highest Order?

Add Standing from Left: Tan Kok Siang (KL Tak Nak Insinerator), Amir (SUARAM), Anis (Spokespoerson TangkapMO1), Deepa (AWAM), Faribel (KOMAS), Johan (PD), Christopher (ALIRAN)Sitting from left: Lee Chong Tek (KL Tak Nak Insinerator), Liau Kok Fah (KLSCAH), Ivy (HAKAM & Global Bersih), Zaid (GBM & IKRAM), Julie (PERMAS), S. Barathidasan (MIPAS)
We strongly condemn the violent aggression against two Bersih bikers in Sabak Bernam by red shirt protesters led by Jamal Md Yunos, head of UMNO division of Sungai Besar. In a video recorded by Malaysiakini, one of the bikers, Kusaini Kassim was kicked twice on the head by red shirt protesters from the back while being surrounded by a big group of red shirt thugs.

We thank the traffic police officer that saved Kusaini Kassim from further assaults by the thugs. We laud the police for apprehending three red shirt protesters that resorted to violence to prevent the situation getting from bad to worse. We hope justice will be done for Kusaini Kassim.

We are however concerned that there is a larger political force behind Jamal Md Yunos and the red shirts as he seems to be untouchable and is above the law. He was alleged to have punched one of the Bersih protesters in an incident in Teluk Intan. He parked his car together with others in the middle of the road between Teluk Intan and Bidor in an attempt to block the Bersih 5 convoy. He said he will vault his car on top of Bersih 5 convoy’s cars. He even threatened more aggressive response to the Bersih 5 convoy in the coming days.

More alarmingly, in a facebook post under the account of “Dato Jamal Yunos”, which Jamal Md Yunos claimed later that it was fake, threatened that the Bersih 5 rally will see a repeat of the 1969 race riots with flaying parang.    

Despite all these, to this day, there is still no action taken against Jamal Md Yunos by the police or any other authorities except that the Inspector General of Police said the facebook post under the account of “Dato Jamal Yunos” will be investigated.

Will we ever see the instigation and provocation of violence by Jamal Md Yunos with his red shirts be stopped by the authorities before situation gets out of hand?

Such violent aggressions and provocations have no place in a civilized society like ours and should be condemned in the strongest term by both sides of the political divide. We commend UMNO minister Khairy Jamaluddin for condemning the violence of the red shirts. We are however shocked that the prime minister, Najib Razak, has remained silence to this date since Jamal Md Yunos led his red shirt thugs to instigate violence from day one of the Bersih 5 convoy starting on October 1.

Is the prime minister cum the president of UMNO giving political backing and blessing to Jamal Md Yunos, the UMNO division head of Sungai Besar to continue his aggression with the red shirts thugs?

Will the prime minister publicly condemn the violence by red shirts and call for action against Jamal Md Yunos and his red shirt thugs? The prime minister must answer now.

Press conference on Denouncing Political Violence & Criminal Intimidation of the Red Shirts
12 October 2016 (Wednesday), 11am
1st Floor Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

List of Organisations and their representative in support:

1. Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia – Zaid Kamaruddin

2. IKRAM – Zaid Kamaruddin (same person as the above)

3. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran) – Christopher Chong

4. SUARAM – Amir Abd Hadi, Muhd Luqman Ismail

5. Pusat KOMAS – Faribel Maglin

6. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) – Deepa Chandra

7. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS) – Julie Wong

8National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) – Ivy Josiah

9.Global Bersih - Ivy Josiah (same person as the above)

10. Projek Dialog - Johan Zolhaidi & Victoria Cheng

11. Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS) – S. Barathidasan

12. Spokesperson of  TangkapMO1 – Anis Syafiqah

13. Jawatankuasa Bertindak Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator – Lee Chong Tek, Tan Kok Siang, Chay Jin Jin

14. Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall  - Liau Kok Fah 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Human rights group expresses concern with EC redelineation

The Election Commission’s redelineation proposals provide for some of the urban parliamentary constituencies to become extremely large in contrast with rural and semi-urban areas, the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) noted with concern today.
In a statement today, Proham said the redelineation has implications on 12 parliamentary and 34 state seats.
“There is a public outcry on this matter and expressions of distrust from different sections of the political divide,” it said in a statement.
“The size of the constituency matters, as some of the urban parliamentary constituencies are extremely large in contrast with the rural and semi-urban seats.
“This matter must be urgently reviewed so as to ensure that the democratic rights of the citizens are well protected,” said the statement issued on behalf of its chairperson Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari.
The redelineation exercise, Proham said, is a fundamental process in parliamentary democracy and this exercise must be publicly viewed as a non-partisan exercise, thereby instilling public confidence in the process and outcomes.
'It must be transparent, just and fair'
“It is of utmost importance that such a redelination exercise must be undertaken in an environment of public trust.
“The exercise must be viewed by all parties as transparent, just and fair, with no political advantage for any one political party or group, in line with the democratic principle of one citizen-one vote,” Kuthubul said.
Proham therefore called for a review of the redelineation proposals and for objections to be filed by political parties and citizen groups to initiate parliamentary and state level talks and reviews to encourage active voter participation.
This, it added, would also enhance voter education and active citizen participation in the objection and public hearing process.
Proham also called on the EC to undertake some proactive public awareness sessions with registered voters at the affected parliamentary and state levels, before the end of the objection period.
“This would reduce the level of distrust and scepticism in the public discussions on the redelination exercise,” it said, adding that it also encourages an active citizenry participation in this exercise, through in-depth review and filing of objections so as to enhance parliamentary democracy.
As part of the move, Proham is also organising a talk titled “Redelineation exercise: Enhancing parliamentary democracy or undermining it” at the BAC Petaling Jaya campus on Thursday afternoon.
Among the speakers at the session will be Kuthubul Zaman, Serdang MP Ong Kian Meng and Penang Institute's Wong Chin Huat.