Charles Santiago

Posted by : Unknown | Rabu, 6 Julai 2011 | Published in

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Charles Santiago

Charles Santiago

5 global groups slam crackdown, remind Najib of UNHRC membership

Posted: 06 Jul 2011 10:15 PM PDT

Source: Written by  Malaysia Chronicle

Five international human rights organisations have reminded prime minister Najib Razak that his administration’s witch-hunt of Bersih sympathisers had violated a condition of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council of which Malaysia is a member.

“Malaysia's image and standing as a member of the UN Human Rights Council is being severely tarnished when instead of responding substantively to the detailed proposals for electoral reforms made by Bersih, you and your government have unleashed a barrage of arbitrary arrests of Bersih's leaders and supporters in violation of their fundamental rights to freedom of association, expression, and peaceful assembly,” said the letter by Amnesty International, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Human Rights Watch, International Federation of Human Rights and World Organisation Against Torture.

The groups also called for the immediate release of all those detained under various draconian acts, including the six Parti Sosialis Malaysia activists detained under the Emergency Ordinance.

The letter reminded Najib’s pledge when he assumed the prime ministerial post in April 2009, including his "intention to uphold civil liberties" and "regard for the fundamental rights of the people of Malaysia.”

“We call on you to turn these pledges into concrete action by ordering law enforcement officials to immediately cease use of all preventive detention laws, and by starting a time-bound process to repeal those laws," it added.

The government had earlier unleashed a frenzy of measures to prevent the July 9 peaceful demonstration by electoral reform group Bersih, which had since moved its gathering to a stadium.

The decision to move the rally is believed to be taken following threats of violence on participants, as well as an attempt to orchestrate a riot by UMNO’s offshoot Perkasa with a view to put the blame on Bersih. Such a suspicion was fuelled by a report yesterday of the police’s seizure of Molotov cocktails, weapons together with Bersih T-shirts, all of which the police said were “hidden” at several spots in the city centre.

Close to 200 people have been detained by the police in the run-up to the rally, mostly for the offence of wearing the yellow Bersih T-shirts.

The letter meanwhile blasted the government for declaring Bersih “illegal”.

"Your government has failed to provide any credible evidence to substantiate the Registrar of Societies' claims that Bersih is trying to topple the government, or is a risk to public order, safety, economy, and sovereignty," it stressed.

Kempen ‘Jom Shopping’ SMUE Dilancar 15 Julai

Posted: 06 Jul 2011 09:19 PM PDT

Source: Selangorkini

Thursday, 07 July 2011 | Ruangan: Berita

SHAH ALAM 7 JULAI : Kerajaan Negeri Selangor akan menganjurkan kempen 'Jom Shopping' kepada warga emas yang berusia 60 tahun dan ke atas di negeri itu.

Kempen tersebut akan dilancarkan oleh Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim pada 15 Julai ini.

Menurut Exco Kerajaan Negeri, Rodziah Ismail setiap warga emas yang layak akan diberikan kupon bernilai RM100 untuk berbelanja di pusat membeli belah terpilih di negeri itu.

"Saya menyeru kepada warga emas yang layak supaya mendaftarkan diri di mana-mana pusat khidmat Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri di Selangor.

"Mereka juga boleh mendaftar dengan mendaftar dengan menggunakan khidmat pesanan ringkas (SMS) di SMUE semak dan hantar kepada 15888.

"Kita akan memberi taklimat kepada semua pusat khidmat DUN pada 9 Julai ini. Saya berharap program ini dapat mengurangkan bebanan pihak tertentu terutamanya dengan kenaikan harga barang," katanya kepada pemberita pada sidang media selepas mesyuarat Exco Kerajaan Negeri di Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Rabu.

Beliau yang juga Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap Kebajikan, Hal Ehwal Wanita, Sains, Teknologi, Inovasi dan Kebudayaan negeri, berkata pihak berkuasa tempatan akan menyediakan bas untuk membawa warga emas tersebut ke pusat membeli belah terpilih dan mereka boleh berbelanja menggunakan kupon yang diberikan.

Untuk rujukan sistem SMS tersebut adalah untuk semak status pendaftaran ahli – Cara : Taip SMUE SEMAK <NOMBOR KAD PENGENALAN AHLI> hantar ke 15888


Clampdown, Internet and mobiles may be jammed

Posted: 06 Jul 2011 08:47 PM PDT

Source: Malaysian Chronicle


The events in the next few days would give us an idea as to how the police would treat the “yellow Malaysians” who would gather for the indoor rally.

It’s now confirmed that the Bersih 2.0 rally, which calls for free and fair elections, would be held at a stadium. But the rally organizers have their demands – to hold the rally at Stadium Merdeka, set-up a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the electoral process and release all detainees, including those arrested under the Emergency Ordinance.

But yellow t-shirts are still deemed illegal and Bersih stays an unlawful organization. How would Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak negotiate with an unlawful organization? Beats me.

Sometimes, government leaders cannot get it right. In Malaysia, we have been seeing this over the last two weeks.

Internet, mobile phones jammed

Najib and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein plus the whole Barisan Nasional government are clearly jittery.

Thanks to the inefficiency of the government, we are moving backwards as a nation. Clamping down on legitimate dissent, jailing activists, nabbing people for wearing yellow t-shirts, getting panicky over street protests – these are not the marks of a progressive nation.

All the weaknesses of Barisan Nasional’s shoddy administration which gave the opposition its historic win in 2008 are also present as I write this – discontent among the urban and rural folks, soaring prices, repression of democratic rights, arbitrary arrests….the list could go on.

But instead of looking into issues that affect Malaysians, the government is again using its police goons and manipulating the law to repress people.

I am playing a guessing game here – the other possible developments in the next days could include the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) suspending or closing down blogs; internet-based papers being jammed as what happened during the Sarawak elections and your faithful mobile phone operators doing a number on its clients.

 I am yet to exhaust my list.

One has to only read the headline news on Tuesday to play my guessing game. The whole “weapons being found ahead of rally” drama is plain stupid. i would think the police would have better brains – didn’t we all see the molotov cocktails? The bottles were so clean and the “parring” glittering.

If the police do not stop barging in on private meetings held by Bersih 2.0 organizers and eyeing everyone with suspicion, we could conclude they would flex their muscles come Saturday. So, no yellow t-shirts, shoes, ties, hair bands, plastic flowers.

Roadblocks and fleeing FDI

This morning – despite Bersih agreeing to move its rally to a stadium – the police erected roadblocks along major roads in the Klang Valley including Shah Alam and Klang, causing massive peak-hour traffic congestions. I understand three more people were arrested this morning for wearing the yellow Bersih t-shirts.

All signs point to a major clamp-down in the next few days.

We know that domestic politics have a strong impact on foreign investment. The latest report by Global Investment Trend Monitor, a publication of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, shows the 2010 FDI figure for Malaysia at USD 7billion.

In comparison, Indonesia received USD 12.8billion while Hong Kong and Singapore’s FDI stands at USD 62.6billion and USD 37.4billion respectively. Thailand, with its political upheaval, received USD 6.8billion.

Clearly someone has to tell the government that it needs to buck up for the revival of the economy. 

There must be a clear injection of accountability into the administration for investors to come. Using the police to do its dirty work, back door deals to stem healthy dissent, a complete disregard for the law and suppression of democratic rights are an overkill.

Besides this, allowing belligerent politicians to play the racial card would only see to the continued nose-diving of foreign investment in the country. The very fact that some politicians use the racial bogeyman to create chaos, knowing it would lead to people harming each other on the streets, shows the failure of the government to instill racial harmony in the real sense.

The victory clinched by the Bersih 2.0 rally organizers demonstrates peoples’ power. The government has to respect the aspirations of the people. Or it would become even more irrelevant than before.

- Charles Santiago is the MP for Klang

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