Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kota Siputeh seat still vacant but no by-election for now .Another hearing in 2 weeks time.

The Kota Siputeh seat was declared vacant by the Kuala Lumpur High Court last Monday, on the ground that assemblyperson Abu Hassan Sarif (above) had been absent from two state assembly meetings this year.

After the High Court's decision today, the attorney-general's chambers filed an appeal on behalf of the EC at the Court of Appeal.

UMNO information chief Ahmad Maslan ... ‘I am saying we are prepared for a by-election’

Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (pic) refused to confirm or deny that he will be contesting as Umno’s candidate in the possible by-election in Kota Siputeh.“I am willing to accept any decision made by the top leadership and also the sentiments on the ground are taken full consideration.“At the same time, I have to assure that even though I am not chosen as a candidate, I will put in a 110 per cent to make sure that our candidate wins,” he told reporters in the parliament lobby here.

Deputy PM said No to Mukhriz as candidate in Siputeh.

The Election Commission (EC) scored a minor victory today in blocking a High Court order forcing it to issue a notice that would effectively set the ball rolling for a by-election in Kota Siputeh.

A three-man panel of judges at the Court of Appeal here unanimously ruled in favour of the election body and granted it a stay pending its main appeal to reverse the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision on Nov 16 declaring the Kedah state seat vacant.

The High Court judge had on that day declared the Kota Siputeh seat vacant after its assemblyman, Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif, skipped out on two legislative assembly meetings in a row.

Under Article 51 of the Kedah Constitution, a member of the legislative assembly automatically loses his seat if he misses two consecutive meetings without first getting the speaker’s permission.

But with today’s decision, the EC is no longer duty-bound to issue the writ of election tomorrow, which sets in motion the election process.

Section 3 of the Election Act states that the EC must issue a writ between four and 10 days after a seat is declared vacant.

But there are no laws that would have allowed the EC to stop the by-election once the order goes out.

The three-man Bench led by Datuk Sulong Mat Jeraie explained that had the power to grant a stay order “to preserve the status quo” and “prevent an unnecessary by-election and save public funds”.

The judges said it was crucial to avoid a situation where the elected representative would be deprived of his lawfully won office and that a temporary stay would not cause any of the parties to suffer any prejudice until the main appeal is disposed.

They also noted that the “correctness” of the High Court’s decision will be “tested at the next level” when the main appeal is heard.

The Bench added that the appeal shall be heard as soon as possible.

Lawyer from the Attorney General’s Chambers acting for the EC, Datuk Kamaludin Md Said, later commented that it would be unlikely to be held within the month.

It would be more realistic to expect a hearing in two to three weeks, Kamaludin said.

This is because the parties needed to get several documents, notably the High Court’s grounds of judgment of the Nov 16 decision, before the appeal can move to the next level, said Umno’s legal adviser, Datuk Hafarizam Harun, who is representing the ousted Kota Siputeh assemblyman, Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif.

Hafarizam echoed Kamaludin’s view that the appeal would be more likely to be heard in mid-December.

“We may have to work over Christmas,” he quipped.

The 37-year-old lawyer added that the main issue behind both Abu Hasan and the EC’s dispute concerned the meaning of the phrase “two consecutive meetings” stated in Article 51 of the Kedah Constitution.

In Hafarizam’s view, it made a difference if the meetings ran consecutively in different sessions.

Hafarizam had this morning filed for a stay against the High Court’s order with the Court of Appeal, but had his case struck out by the Bench when it was pointed out that he had skipped a basic step and failed to file the stay first at the High Court.

The Court of Appeal’s ruling came as a surprise as two of the three judges had earlier appeared to have been swayed by the arguments put forward by the lawyers for the Kedah speaker.

The two wingmen flanking judge Sulong, Datuk Kang Hwee Gee and Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim - the judge who had earlier this year ruled that Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin was the lawful Perak mentri besar - had repeatedly quizzed Kamaludin to show how a stay would affect the EC’s main job in carrying out an election.

The Kedah speaker, Datuk Dr Abd Isa Ismail, had launched legal action against Abu Hasan and the EC after both ignored his letters to them informing the seat was vacant and needed to be filled up again through a by-election.

Veteran lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah, for Abd Isa, supplied that the EC’s only duty was to carry out elections and was not affected by who wins it.

Sulaiman added that the EC’s arguments that carrying out a by-election involved a huge sum of money and that the imagined wrath by voters at being deprived of their elected representative cannot be counted as “special circumstances” to avoid doing that duty.

Judge Kang had acknowledged as much when Kamaludin first raised that point.

“The duty of the court is to prevent a waste of election and funds. We don’t want to have unnecessary by-elections,” Kamaludin said.

“Funds are not the criteria. I don’t see how the cost of elections can influence a stay order. Cost is not the issue here,” Judge Kang retorted.

No Mukhriz for Kota Siputeh, says Muhyiddin

The Barisan Nasional (BN) will not be fielding Jerlun Member of Parliament Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir as the candidate for the Kota Siputeh seat in the event a by-election is held for it, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin (picture), who is also Barisan Nasional deputy chairman, said this did not mean Mukhriz was not suitable but it was because the BN wanted give a local the chance to be the candidate.

He said Mukhriz could help in campaigning as he was well received by voters in Kota Siputeh, which is a state seat under the Jerlun parliamentary constituency.

Muhyiddin told this to reporters after chairing a meeting of the National Minerals Council here today.

He had been asked about talk that Mukhriz, who is also Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, would be the BN’s candidate for the seat if a by-election was held for it.

On the appeals filed by the Umno assemblyman for Kota Siputeh and the Election Commission (EC) seeking a stay of the order issued by the High Court for the EC to call a by-election for the seat, Muhyiddin said : “We will have to wait for the decision, we cannot pre-empt anything.”

However, Muhyiddin said the BN was prepared for any eventuality and that the coalition was confident of defending the seat.

The applications by the EC and Kota Siputeh assemblyman Datuk Abu Hassan Sharif for a stay of the High Court ruling declaring the Kota Siputeh state seat vacant will be heard by the Court of Appeal here this afternoon.

On Nov 16, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin delivered a landmark decision declaring the seat vacant after ruling that Abu Hassan was no longer holding the seat following his failure to attend two consecutive meetings of the state assembly without leave.

UMNO ready for full battle in Kota Siputeh if High Court decide by election is must regardless of EC stay of execution appeal

Umno can still go to the Appellate Court to try and reverse the High Court ruling that a by-election be held in Kota Siputeh but the party said today they are already bracing for battle.

The Election Commission (EC) failed today to get the High Court here to stay its Nov 16 decision that a by-election in the Kedah state seat of Kota Siputeh must be held within 60 days.

This means that the EC will have until Wednesday to announce the date for the by-election which leaves Umno with only a day to apply for leave to appeal against the High Court’s decision.

Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan today said the party’s head legal advisor, Datuk Hafa Rizam Harun, will still try and appeal tomorrow, despite the time constraint.

“But whether or not the court can grant the stay of execution tomorrow is unknown. The bottom line is the EC will have to decide on Wednesday and I am saying we are prepared for a by-election,” he told a press conference at Parliament lobby here.

The Kota Siputeh was declared vacant by the Kedah State Assembly Speaker after its incumbent, Umno’s Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif failed to attend two consecutive assemblies.

Under the state constitution, the Speaker can declare the seat vacant if the representative fail to give concrete reason or to inform the House of the reason behind his or her absence.

The EC rejected the Speaker’s decision to declare the seat vacant and this led to a court battle.

Kedah is governed by Pakatan Rakyat with PAS lawmakers dominating the assembly.

The Kota Siputeh state seat, which falls under the Jerlun parliamentary constituency helmed by Umno’s Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, is traditionally a Barisan Nasional-Umno stronghold. Abu Hasan won the seat with a slim majority of 495 in Election 2008.

Ahmad said this factor will be an advantage to the ruling party and he hopes to repeat in Kota Siputeh the success it had in the Bagan Pinang vote.

“We will use the experience to try and increase the majority there,” he said, referring to the whopping threefold increase in majority votes the party received in the Bagan Pinang state vote.

Umno will likely face PAS in the likelihood that the Appellate Court refuses to grant them a stay of execution tomorrow.





Hindraf members now in Makkal Sakthi t shirt new party , stage a hunger strike in KLCC peacefull , mark the anniversary of 2007 huge protest.

Vasantha is the least known of the five detained Hindraf leaders. Alleged Will join PKR on Nov25.

Hindraf members now wearing the orange Makkal Sakthi T shirt staging a sit in hunger strike peacefully outside KLCC. Watch by 10 policeman.

About 18 members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) who started an 18-hour hunger strike since 10pm last night gathered peacefully outside Suria KLCC at 9am Wednesday.

The group led by Hindraf coordinator S. Jeyathas were clad in their orange t-shirts bearing the words Makkal Sakti sat in a few rows on the ground outside the entrance of the shopping complex.

Police personnel, about 10 of them, were also seen keeping watch over the group who are going on hunger strike to get their 18 demand to uplift the Indian community fulfilled by the government.

The event is also to mark the second anniversary of the mass gathering on Nov 25, 2007.

The same group, together with former ISA detainee P. Uthayakumar and his brother Waythamoorthy’s daughter Vwaishhnnavi, is expected to deliver a memorandum on the demands to the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya at 3pm.

Two years ago on this day in 2007 Hindraf organised a protest that saw thousands of working-class Indians take to the streets here, but little remains of its influence today.

The way the rival Hindraf factions are marking the 2nd anniversary of the protest today is indicative of the bleak future of the movement founded by brothers P. Waythamoorthy and Uthayakumar, both lawyers.

While several of the original six Hindraf leaders, including the five who were held under the ISA, are apathetic, many of its members have moved on by joining political parties like the DAP or PKR.

Leaders like Uthayakumar and the former national co-ordinator R.S. Thanenthiran have set up their own political parties and others like former Hindraf treasurer Vasantha Kumar have set up their own NGOs.

All are one way or the other using the Hindraf or Makkal Sakthi name to keep the Indian protest fire alive and hope to ride the wave to political victory in the next general election.

Vasantha Kumar is organising a large-scale Hindraf 2nd anniversary gathering in Klang tonight where he is also expected to formally join the PKR.

A VVIP, believed to be PKR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is expected to attend, a key organiser of the function told The Malaysian Insider.

He said however that Anwar’s attendance would depend on the size of the crowd and whether the police permit is cancelled at the last minute.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed,” said the organiser who declined to be named.

“Police had shut down a gathering in Johor last week just before Anwar spoke… the same can happen here.”

“We expect at least 5,000 people,” he said.

Text messages are also circulating claiming that Uthayakumar would attend Vasantha Kumar's rally but Uthayakumar when contacted denied he would attend.

"We are marking the Hindraf anniversary in a grand way with protests, fast, prayers and other events," he said.

Uthayakumar and Vasantha Kumar were once close but have since fallen out, accusing each other of pilfering money or working for the police.

A rival Hindraf gathering is also being organised in Klang and probably targeted to draw the crowd away from Vasantha Kumar’s event.

Hindraf insiders say the rival event is organised by supporters of Uthayakumar, who is pro-tem president of the Human Rights Party Malaysia.

Uthayakumar's aides say it is all right for Hindraf supporters to organise functions to mark Hindraf’s 2nd anniversary anywhere in the country.

"We have a strong support base in Klang," the aide said, declining to comment on Vasantha Kumar's rally. "He has betrayed the Hindraf aims and mission."

Vasantha Kumar could not be reached for comment.

To mark the day Uthayakumar is organising several events under the title of “neo-democratic revolution” against the “totalitarian government led by Umno.”

The event involves a protest fast by 18 supporters outside KLCC, a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and prayers at “more than 100 locations” in the country followed by a Ruthra Yagam or fire ritual prayers at the Agora Veerabathrar Sanggili Karuppar temple at 17½ mile Kampung. Benggali, Rawang, on Nov 29.

Unlike 2007, Hindraf is increasingly giving up on direct political action and relying more on religion through fasting and prayers as tools to organise and win over the Indian working class.

At the other end of the spectrum is the newly-formed pro-Barisan Nasional Makkal Sakthi party which is well funded. It is using a direct house-to-house approach to meet and persuade Indians to join up and support BN.

Its weapon of persuasion is the measures taken by the government under Najib to resolve longstanding woes like getting citizenship and identity cards.

"We are finally recognised and our demands are gradually met... this is the time for us to reap the benefits for our community," said a state leader of the Makkal Sakthi Party. "Pakatan promised but failed to deliver, Barisan is delivering without even promising."

Makkal Sakthi party is particularly active in Perak where the balance of power between Pakatan Rakyat and BN is almost even and Indian voters can make or break either coalition.

The MIC too is rebuilding itself from defeat and with long-time president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu expected to exit by May 2010; the party will have a new leader and probably a new mission — to reunite Indians under its wings.

With its ranks woefully split and challenged from outside by new players and a re-energised MIC, Hindraf is fast losing its influence.

It also lacks a creative and imaginative leadership to pull it out of the rut and turn it into a united and national political force.





Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nik Aziz is not quitting but said possible successor is avaiable.Meanwhile son in law resign,but MACC continue to investigate

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) investigation on Abdul Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman, the son-in-law of Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is 90% completed.

MACC head of investigation division Datuk Shukri Abdull said investigations on Ariffahmi will carry on irrespective of his decision to resign as chief executive officer of the Kelantan Mentri Besar Incorporated.

Investigation was on issues of financial misappropriation and on a sponsored haj trip.

“It doesn’t matter if he had resigned or not going on the haj. Investigations have started and we are duty bound to complete it,” said Shukri.

He added the investigation papers would be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers once completed.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will investigate Kelantan Menteri Besar Incorporated (PMBK) chief executive officer Abdul Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman for alleged misappropriation and abuse of power although he quit the post yesterday.

According to a source in the MACC, the investigation was a normal procedure following several allegations against PMBK.

"At this stage, the MACC is compiling information and the documents obtained from PMBK early this month while the investigation into this case is half-way through," said the source.

"After the investigation is completed, the papers will be submitted to the public prosecutor''s office to determine whether a charge should be made out."

Yesterday, Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat ordered his son-in-law Abdul Ariffahmi to resign from his CEO post in PMBK to avoid further allegations through the blogsites and poison-pen letters, and to safeguard PAS' good name.

Problems in PMBK began when six MACC officers were reported to have raided the PMBK office in Jalan Kuala Krai here on Nov 9 and took away several documents.

At the same time, Nik Aziz also admitted receiving sponsorship of Haj package worth RM65,000 for him and his family members including Abdul Ariffahmi, from an individual but later declined the offer after various quarters questioned it.

The crisis in PMBK deepened when Abdul Ariffahmi last week ended the work contract of PMBK corporate liaison officer Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz, better known as blogger Kickdefella, seen as the righthand man of state exco member Datuk Husam Musa, who is also a PAS central committee member.

Two days ago, Husam was reported to have offered to resign from all party and state government posts following the upheaval in PMBK and allegations by certain quarters that he was behind it.
Nik Aziz not quiting becoz of PAS current problems but said they are potential successor to him

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat tonight did not discount the possibility there were people in the party in Kelantan who could succeed him as the menteri besar when he stepped down.

However, he declined to indicate who the potential successors were, saying it was subject to the hierarchy in the party in the state where there was a commissioner and three deputy commissioners.

Nik Aziz also stressed that he would not resign over the problems faced by PAS now or on the urging of anyone, especially the opposition.

"I will not step down except due to ill health or old age, but the time has not come yet," he told Bernama when contacted at his home here.

Nik Aziz was asked to comment on a statement by Kelantan PAS Commissioner III Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah on the Malaysian Insider website that Nik Aziz should announce his successor to avert a power struggle and conflict in Kelantan PAS later.

Ahmad Yaakob tops list as Nik Aziz’s successor

Speculation is rife that the ageing Kelantan mentri besar is already preparing a succession plan and his current deputy, Datuk Ahmad Yaakob, has been named by party leaders and analysts as the one likely to replace him.

Last night, Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat stated that the party has already "envisioned" a list of leaders he felt was ready to take over.

Though he did not mention names, the mentri besar, who has helmed the state for 19 years, did hint that the succession will be done according to party tradition.

Based on this tradition, observers have named three most senior leaders within the Kelantan PAS government as those likely to succeed Nik Aziz — state exco and Nik Aziz "protege" Datuk Husam Musa, fellow exco Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah and Ahmad Yaakob.

PAS central committee member Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, speaking to The Malaysian Insider, said out of the three, there are several reasons why Ahmad Yaakob is seen as the front-runner.

"When you talk about a succession plan in PAS, there are three important criteria that you must consider. First is seniority. Second is experience in governance and third is of course political perception.

"Out of the three, Ahmad Yaakob is the most senior and as deputy MB, he has vast experience in governance but the most important point is that he fulfils the third requirement," he said.

The third prerequisite, said Mujahid, requires the candidate to have a formal Islamic education background which Ahmad Yaakob has.

Ahmad Yaakob, who was appointed deputy MB in 2004, also enjoys the support of the various factions within PAS Kelantan, added Mujahid further.

This requirement is a setback for Husam who has no formal Islamic education though he did graduate with a degree in economics.

Despite being a close ally of Nik Aziz, the state exco also has many enemies in Kelantan particularly from the pro-Umno-PAS co-operation conservative camp within the party.

"So Ahmad Yaakob can be seen as the balance between the factions in Kelantan PAS and a candidate likely to be able to stabilise the party there," Mujahid said.

A political analyst with the International Islamic University, Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, an expert on PAS politics, agrees with the views expressed by Mujahid.

In an interview with The Malaysian Insider, Abdul Aziz said the ascension of Ahmad Yaakob as the new MB is a Kelantan government matter and being such, it is normal for the deputy MB to be next in line for the post.

He believes Husam's character — introverted and lack of communication skills — is a factor and his vocal attack against the conservatives within the party has created many enemies and his appointment would only worsen the rivalries in the state.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thailand’s justice crusader -Dr Porthip

Collecting evidences at a rubber estate.

A discarded glove.

A small hut within the rubber estate where bombers were suspected to have visited.

Thanks to the information and evidences provided by Pornthip and her team, the identity of the much wanted suspect has finally come to light.

Obvious bruises showing up in the arms of the female victim unlikely dying of suicide.

Pornthip is well aware of the danger around her. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily

Attracted by the Guang Ming headline report that Teoh Beng Hock's family has agreed to exhumation of his body.

Enforcers moving on to the next target for more clues.

Saliva sample being collected for smear tests from a woman believed to have come from Indonesia

Carrying out investigations in a bush.

Checking on an unidentified child.

Talking to a suspicious man and obtaining DNA and mouth swap.

Pornthip's family photo.

On the convocation day with family offering their congratulations

Pornthip and husband taking care of her cancer-stricken mother. On the right is Pornthip's father.

All the chains and rings she is wearing have something to do with Buddha.

Doing her chores in the kitchen.Dr Pornthip like to cook for her family also.

Guang Ming correspondents trying out her cooking with staffs.

Talking to Guang Ming Daily correspondent in Pattani in her first ever interview with a Chinese language media.

Boarding the military helicopter to Pattani. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily

Closely escorted by the military police. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily

Being escorted by the military police when visiting a village in Narathiwat province. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily

Pornthip is a highly respected pathologist in Thailand. This, coupled with the commotion in southern part of the country and her job nature, has put her under constant danger. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily

Teoh Beng Hock, the 30-year-old political aide to a Selangor executive councillor who died and was buried in July, will be exhumed this morning for another autopsy in Hospital Sungai Buloh tomorrow.

The new team’s role is to confirm if he really did die because he jumped off a high building unaided or was pushed out a window after being beaten up to the point of passing out.

Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand engaged by Teoh’s employer, the Selangor state government — had testified in an inquest last month that there was a 80 per cent probability that his death was a homicide rather than a suicide, which was the finding of the first autopsy by two local pathologists.

The coroner’s court has agreed to let Dr Pornthip and one other British forensic expert — hired by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) — observe the second autopsy, which under Malaysian laws, must be performed by local doctors.

It is only Dr Pornthip’s second time advising a case outside of her native country.

But the 53-year-old stern-faced doctor remained fully composed when met by The Malaysian Insider here recently, when she flew in to join the third Asian Forensic Sciences Network Conference

Her first consultation outside Thailand was three years ago, in Muslim-majority Aceh, she related.

Like Malaysia, Indonesia’s laws limit a foreign forensic expert’s role in an autopsy.

She had been called in to assist a second and independent post-mortem on an opposition member who was thought to have been killed by the country’s powerful military.

“It was more than six months after his death. He was also Muslim. The body was not in good shape,” Dr Pornthip said.

Unlike a Christian burial where the body is encased in a coffin, a Muslim body is wrapped up in a shroud and laid directly into the earth.

Dr Pornthip had previously testified that a post-mortem is best done within the first six months of burial as the natural decaying process holds a higher risk of eating up evidence in suspicious deaths.

Even so, in Aceh, the second autopsy confirmed the public sentiment that foul play was involved in the victim’s death.

What happened next to the case?

Dr Pornthip shrugged her thin shoulders, sending her multi-coloured lion’s mane fluffing sideways.

She does not know. She was specifically engaged for her scientific knowledge only.

In Thailand though, things are slightly different for her.

As the director-general of the Bangkok-based Central Institute of Forensic Science Institute (CIFS), she reports directly to the chief secretary in the Ministry of Justice, and is granted greater clout in the investigation process.

She explained that there was an attempt in Thailand a few years, to bring the various investigative and prosecution divisions under the same roof, namely the Ministry of Justice, to better co-ordinate the entire justice system.

But it failed. She blamed it on politics, noting that then Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra — who she says once worked as a police constable — refused to push the Bill in Parliament.

The police itself, said Dr Pornthip, reports directly to the prime minister, again unlike Malaysia where its powers are curbed by the home minister.

Then, as now, the police force decides what cases go to court for prosecution, unlike Malaysia where it is the Attorney-General who decides.

Earlier, she spoke enthusiastically about the Asian Forensic Sciences Network Conference, which she had been invited to and regarded it as a brilliant idea to “build a network among Asian countries to share knowledge”.

She added that some eight countries participated this year, which included newcomers South Korea, Laos and Vietnam.

All but Thailand had sent representatives from both the scientific side as well as the police side.

No police official came to speak for her country, she said disappointedly.

“The system of investigation in Thailand is under police authority. We are still very far behind other countries… even Malaysia,” Dr Pornthip lamented.

Apart from these outward divisions of power, the two countries are bound by a common public perception that the authorities — the police especially — frequently abuse their power and have a deeply entrenched practice of selective prosecution.

These two points were critically highlighted in the Corruptions Perceptions Index launched worldwide earlier this week by global corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Dr Pornthip is often at odds with the chief of police in public over her institute’s findings, which more often than not, contradict the findings of the police investigation teams, and this has put her personal and professional life at risk.

Strident critics in Thailand have labelled her an “egomaniac”, a fact she is well aware of, but was surprised to learn that those hateful comments have also started springing up in Malaysia in the wake of the Teoh Beng Hock case.

She turned her head away sharply in a dismissive gesture.

“A lot of Asian people like that, just like Thai,” said Dr Pornthip. “Maybe because of my appearance.”

“I don’t want to be something like a hero, heroine. When they want to find the truth, I don’t want my name to be first,” she added, and explained that it was because of high-profile cases that received a lot of media attention that she became famous.

Dr Pornthip remarked that it had started when a member of the Thai Parliament was involved in a case.

The MP’s brother was found dead. Police investigators claimed he had shot himself but she carried out an independent investigation and found that it was impossible for him to have shot himself and backed it up with her scientific findings.

“For me, I don’t care about politics or sensitive issues. I just try to help the victims find the truth,” she said.

The forensic science institute she now leads was established seven years ago, she said, to give “a choice for the people to come in and ask for help in investigation” when the main door for justice through the police had slammed in their faces.

She related that anyone can walk in to CIFS from the street and request their help for a second opinion.

Dr Pornthip explained that CIFS aimed to boost the standard of investigation practices in Thailand, to make it more accountable and transparent.

The work they do is a combination of forensic science, which deals with death investigations, and forensic medicine, which deals with living patients, she added.

“We are trying to train crime scene investigators to be specialists,” she summarised.

Currently, the CIFS is manned by 300 people, with 85 per cent made out of scientists who hold great knowledge but little field work experience.

It gets five cases a week involving unnatural death where foul play is suspected. Thirty per cent of their investigations confirm those suspicions.

But mainly CIFS is kept busy with work in rural areas to help identify anonymous bodies. This amounts to 1,000 missing people reported a year.

Those jobs, though, she delegates to the rest of the staff. For now, she has thrown herself into investigating a series of “organised crime” in southern Thailand, which has been put under martial law.

Leading her 15-man team — few of her colleagues want to head south to work and she doesn’t want to force them — Dr Pornthip collaborates with the local military force to collect evidence and trains the soldiers on how to conserve, collect, secure and handle crime scene investigations.

That consumes most of her time and energy. She related that the serial killings are highly organised hate crimes and take many forms, from beheadings, which are the most difficult to piece together — because the heads are often missing from the crime scene — to bombs.

Dr Pornthip noted with concern that the use of explosives was on the rise and foresees a trend for them in strife-torn regions across Asia.

Smiling brightly, she added that Malaysia was lucky to be spared such forms of terrorism.








Teoh body exhumed for 2nd autopsy witness by Forensic expert from Britain and Thailand.Court resume at Dec 9.

Summary of events so far in Teoh case.Click to enlarge.

Cemetery workers preparing to open up Teoh Beng Hock's casket after it was exhumed at the Nirvana Memorial Garden in Semenyih.

Truth at all cost: Meng Kee (front) and Lee Lan leaving the Shah Alam Coroner’s court yesterday after filing an application for Teoh’s remains to be exhumed.

Pathologist Pornthip Rojanasunand suspects Mr Teoh was murdered

The body of a Malaysian opposition activist who died in police custody has been exhumed after a pathologist said there was an 80% chance he was killed.

Teoh Beng Hock fell nine stories to his death from the offices of the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in July.

He was said to have committed suicide after being questioned over allegations that his boss had misused public funds.

The authorities will be conducting a second autopsy on the body, following suspicions of foul play.

Last month Thai pathologist Pornthip Rojanasunand said marks on the body suggested Mr Teoh had been tortured and strangled.

Her testimony had been sought by the opposition-led authorities in Selangor state - where Mr Teoh was an aide to a member of the state cabinet.

Abuse of power?

The BBC's Jennifer Pak in Kuala Lumpur says her story gave credence to a widely held belief that Mr Teoh's interrogation was part of a government drive to discredit opposition politicians after their success in 2008 elections.

The ruling coalition's confidence was shaken after it lost its two-thirds majority for the first time in four decades.

The country's anti-corruption commission has called on a British pathologist to observe the second post-mortem on Mr Teoh's body.

The Malaysian government has accused the opposition of politicising his death.

In July, a member of the governing coalition quit to join the opposition Pakatan Alliance.

Chua Jui Meng said he was concerned about alleged abuse of power and Mr Teoh's unexplained death.

Teoh body finally exhumed for 2nd Autopsy will be witness by Britain and Thai forensic expert.

The exhumation had been ordered by the inquest into the political aide’s recent death, after Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand testified that his likely cause of death was homicide and not suicide.

The body, reportedly in good condition, was sent to the Sungai Buloh Hospital where it was subjected to X-ray and CT scans.

Teoh was found dead on the fifth floor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Shah Alam on July 16 and an inquest into his death is ongoing at the Shah Alam Coroner’s Court.

Members of the media started gathering at the Nirvana Memorial Garden in Semenyih early in the morning and there were almost 40 pressmen by the time the prayer rituals started at 9am.

The grave had been cordoned off with about three metres high of white canvas, thus obscuring the view of the pressmen and passers-by.

By 10.40am, 10 cemetery workers had disinterred the casket and Teoh’s body was identified by his siblings Teoh Lee Lan and Teoh Beng Kee.

The casket was then wrapped up in plastic sheets before it was placed in a hearse and headed for Sungai Buloh Hospital, where Teoh’s parents were waiting.

It is learnt that Soh Cher Wei, who went through a marriage ceremony with Teoh after his death, stayed home as she is six months pregnant with his child.

Dr Pornthip was present to observe the exhumation, together with Sungai Buloh Hospital chief pathologist Dr Shahidan Md Noor.

Lee Lan had earlier told the press that she felt heavy hearted over the exhumation but hoped the second autopsy would reveal her brother’s cause of death.

“We are prepared to find out the truth,” she said. Gobind Singh Deo, counsel for the Teoh family, said the body appeared to be in good condition.

“As far as I can tell, it looked like it was in good condition. But I am a lawyer, not a doctor, so we’ll see what the experts say,” he said, adding that there were six pathologists present including Dr Pornthip.

“Dr Pornthip was here to observe the exhumation. We don’t want any complaints later on (about the procedures). The post-mortem will be done tomorrow at 9.30am, and I was told they hope to get it done by early afternoon,” he said.

Gobind added that he did no see anyone from MACC, saying they “should have sent a representative”.

Also present were Teoh’s former boss Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and another Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu.


Teoh Beng Hock's body was exhumed Saturday for a second autopsy at the Sungai Buloh Hospital. The exhumation had been ordered by the inquest into the political aide's death, after a Thai pathologist testified that his likely cause of death was homicide and not suicide.


Six new faces in MCA council-Shocking Wanita Chief and MCA Youth Chief got the sack from CC.-2nd EGM rejected by new CC

Datuk Paduka Chew was dropped along with Wee.2 highest post being dropped from CC.The MCA youth chief and Wanite Chief both were embrassed and dropped from CC by Ong.Later Chew was invited by as invited guest for the CC.But the power is different.

In agreement: Ong (seated, third from left) speaking to reporters at a press conference after chairing the central committee meeting at Wisma MCA in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. With him are (seated, from left) MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, Dr Chua, MCA secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng and other central committee members.

The MCA presidential council has been reshuffled with the appointment of six new members to replace six existing ones.

Party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, who also chairs the council, said the reshuffle was done in accordance with the party constitution Article 46.

The new appointees are Datuk Seri Tan Chai Ho, Tan Cheng Liang, Datuk Lee Chee Leong, Datuk Ti Lian Ker, Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon and Heng Seai Kie.

Ong said three leaders — Datuk Loke Yuen Yow, Gan Ping Sieu and Wong Hock Aun — were once again appointed as council members.

Previously, the Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Datuk Chor Chee Heung, Dr Hou Kok Chung, Datuk Wee Jeck Seng, Yoo Wei How, Gan Hong Su, Lee Wei Kiat and Wong Nai Chee were members in the presidential council.

Chor, Yoo and Hong Su were not re-appointed as central committee members on Nov 3.

Asked why the leaders were removed, Ong said: “When I said reshuffle or replacement, somehow or other, certain quarters like to use the word ‘axed’.

“I do not think it is fair because when it is necessary, we have to do it (reshuffle).”

Ong said central committee member Ti would be leading the party’s think-tank Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap).

He also announced the setting up of a few new committees.

Party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek will head a committee looking into direct elections in the party.

Treasurer-general Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng will head a new committee looking into mechanisms to distribute funds to divi-sions.

Another committee, called 1Malaysia Community Care Mobile Service, will be led by Wanita national organising secretary Tan Cheng Liang. Vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen is the adviser.

“The mobile service will go around the country and serve all people. It will not be restricted only to MCA members or constituencies,” said Ong.

2nd EGM rejected

The MCA central committee (CC) has, in a majority decision, rejected the second extraordinary general meeting (EGM) planned for Nov 28.

The decision was made during its meeting chaired by party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday.

Twenty-three of the 35 central committee members present voted against the EGM, while 10 agreed to it. Two members abstained.

“We will inform the central delegates of the central committee decision,” Ong told reporters after the meeting.

He added that the central committee rejected the second EGM because the motions were against the party constitution.

Also in dispute was the notice of the meeting.

On Nov 6, three central committee — Wong Nai Chee, Datuk Wee Jeck Seng and Datuk Liew Yuen Keong — requisitioned for a second EGM to pave the way for fresh party elections.

The group wanting the second EGM is said to be aligned to vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had on Monday advised all the 2,380 central delegates not to attend the Nov 28 EGM.

He added that the party headquarters would write to the delegates and explain to them why the resolutions — to call for fresh election for the CC and to nullify any appointments or dismissals made by the party president after Oct 10 — were against the party constitution.

Dr Chua added that the three requisitionists had been asked to amend the resolutions but they did not do so.





MCA Women's wing chief Chew Mei Fun and Youth wing chief Wee Ka Siong made tearful appeals for delegates to turn up at the Nov 28 extraordinary general meeting to press for fresh party polls.

Liow said EGM 2 no need if fresh party election is held before CNY but no later than 6mths as By Chua

MCA vice president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said fresh election before CNY is better and no need EGM 2. However must be before 6mts as mentioned by Chua.

A tearful Chew yesterday on learning she had been dropped.

MCA vice president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai says that a date for fresh party elections is being discussed with his rivals but that plans for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) next Saturday will proceed if no agreement is reached.

This comes after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak met the leaders of the warring factions in MCA, including the president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Liow.

Najib is understood to be supportive of fresh elections in MCA to end the protracted power struggle.

The question is now one of timing as Dr Chua, who has been authorised by Ong to negotiate a date because he is now in London, prefers to have elections next year, preferably after the election model is revamped to one of direct election of the top party officials by MCA members instead of by 2,377 central delegates.

According to Dr Chua, this would require a constitutional amendment which will take another six to eight months.

Liow says, however, that it would be too late for MCA and that he cannot wait for direct elections to be put in place.

“We can’t waste so much time,” Liow told The Malaysian Insider. “We would like fresh elections if possible by the end of this year. And putting in place direct elections will take some time. We are currently discussing the date but no agreement has been reached. If we can reach a date that all parties can agree upon, then the EGM this coming Saturday will be called off.”

Liow declined to say when an agreement is expected but says that he hopes it would be “as soon as possible.”

However, Dr Chua told The Malaysian Insider that March would be the earliest possible date as the months of December to February were packed with holidays, including the school break, Christmas and Chinese New Year.

The deputy president also said that he supported fresh elections in principle but not the EGM called by Liow because the resolutions were “defective” and not enforceable.

He pointed out that, under the party constitution, fresh elections can only be triggered if two thirds of the central committee resigns but that condition was not part of any of the upcoming EGM resolutions.

Chew embarrassed to loss seat in Presidential Council.

Wanita MCA Chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun hopes the second Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) proposed on Nov 28, would open the prospect of a fresh election for the party leadership.

She said leaders who won in the fresh election can then hold their respective posts with pride and dignity, she said.

“The EGM can decide whether a fresh election is needed and whoever wins posts, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai or (Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, can hold it with dignity,” she told Bernama here today.

Chew who is also deputy minister of Women, Family and Community Development said she was disappointed with the action of MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat for dropping her from the Presidential Council on Wednesday.

She added that although she was invited to be on the Presidential Council again, it would only mean that she would be an invited member without any power to voice out her views.

Chew said it was an embarrassment to her because she was the Wanita Chief in the party and represented 38 per cent of members in MCA but the situation does not give her any opportunity to voice out her views or the views of the ministry.

According to her Senator Heng Seai Kie (Wanita MCA Secretary-general) and Tan Cheng Liang (Central Working Committee) member were appointed to the council while she would only be attending meetings upon invitation.

“They (Heng and Tan) were appointed by me but now they are in the Presidential Council while I, as the Wanita Chief and elected by members, cannot play a role as expected of a Wanita Chief,” she said.

She said it was very important to hold fresh elections in MCA so that the situation can be rectified and the process of helping Barisan Nasional to regain support from the people.






victims' fathers file RM105 mln suit-Bridge collapse report to be tabled in Dewan Rakyat on Dec 7

The ruined remains of the suspension bridge after it collapsed, leaving three schoolchildren dead.

Muhyiddin admits Kampar bridge construction flawed

The fathers of the three pupils who drowned in the Kuala Dipang bridge tragedy on Oct 26 have filed a RM105 million suit alleging negligence on the part of 10 parties.

K.Mageswaran, K.Vasudevan and T. Nathan named as defendants the headmasters of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Mambang Diawan and SJKT Gopeng; the head of the Kinta Selatan district education office; the Perak State Education Department director; Kampar District Council president; Perak Public Works Department director and the commandant of the 1Malaysia Camp in Kuala Dipang.

Others are the donor of the suspension bridge that collapsed in the tragedy GS Synergy Sdn Bhd, CWL Enterprise which is the contractor responsible for the construction of the bridge, the Education Minister and the Government of Malaysia.

The suit was filed through the law firm of Messrs A.Sivanesan & Co. at 10.22am today the High Court registrar's office here.

Besides seeking RM35 million in general damages for each of the victim, the plaintiffs respectively also want RM19,120 in special damages, RM100,000 in exemplary damages, interest at eight per cent from the date of the children's drowning till the realisation of payments, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Among others, the plaintiffs cited lack of lighting in the area, lack of supervision by the persons responsible for the safety of the pupils attending the 1Malaysia camp in Kuala Dipang organised by the Kinta Selatan district education office , non-provision of life jackets and not ensuring that the bridge was safe for use as contributing to the deaths of their children.

Their children, M. Devatharshini, 11, V. Divyashree, 12, and N. Dinadevi, 11, drowned in the Kampar River after they fell into it when the suspension bridge collapsed as they were crossing it together with scores of other pupils attending the camp.

In an immediate reaction, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said the parents had the right to file the suit.

"We (government) cannot stop them from pursuing this action as they lost their loved ones in the tragedy," he told reporters here today.

However, he cautioned against the tragedy being used for political mileage and some people trying to be "champions" in the matter.

On another matter, Zambry said the state government was in the process of working out a mechanisn to channel education aid of RM200 for each child born in Perak next year and that it would most likely be in the form of a savings account.

Education Ministry to defend from lawsuits

The Education Ministry will defend itself against a suit filed by the fathers of the three pupils who drowned in the suspension bridge collapse tragedy in Kuala Dipang on Oct 26.

Deputy Education Minister, Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, said during the camping programme regulations and safety steps determined by the ministry were followed.

"Just that on the bridge collapse, we leave it to the Public Works Department (PWD) to investigate and take action as the bridge was not built by the state education department," he told reporters after officiating the 55th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Peninsular Malaysia Malay Students (GPMS) here on Saturday.

Yesterday, the fathers of the three pupils filed a RM105 million suit alleging negligence on the part of 10 parties.

Among defendants named are the the Government of Malaysia, the Education Minister, the Perak State Education Department director, the head of the Kinta Selatan district education office, headmasters of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Mambang Diawan and SJKT Gopeng.

The suit was filed through the law firm of Messrs A.Sivanesan & Co. at 10.22am today at the High Court registrar's office here. Sivanesan is the state assemblyman for Sungkai from the DAP.

In the incident, the three pupils were part of a group of 298 Year Four, Five and Six from the Kinta Selatan district for a 1Malaysia Camp for four days at the Kinta Selatan District Education Office's Co-Curriculum Centre.

Dr Mohd Puad said the ministry will ensure from time to time that safety characteristcs for the camping programmes organised by the private sector were adhered to.







Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kit Siang asks whether Najib or Tun Razak lying over oil royalty -where is the 5% oil royality promised by Tun Razak

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang , member of parliement of Ipoh Timur.Accused Najib or Tun Razak as laying about the oil Loyality.

Najib ... ‘no oil production in the waters of Kelantan’

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang (pic, left) today challenged Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over the raging issue of oil royalty for Kelantan, asking whether the prime minister or his father, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, had lied over a state’s entitlement to oil royalties.

“I asked in Parliament today – ‘Who is lying, father (second Prime Minister Tun Razak) or son (sixth Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak?’,” the Ipoh Timur MP said in a statement.

Lim is the latest politician to push the federal government to pay Kelantan oil royalty from oil and gas found in a Thai-Malaysian joint development area off the state’s waters.

Najib had told Parliament on Nov 3 that Kelantan was not entitled to the oil royalties because it was produced off-shore, more than three nautical miles from its coastline but the government would provide “compassionate payment” through the Federal Department as was being done previously in Terengganu when it was ruled by PAS.

“The offshore oil operations in their waters are defined as an area not more than three nautical miles, which is measured starting from the low watermark or the shoreline of the state.

“Currently, there is no oil production in the waters of Kelantan or Terengganu. Because of that, from the legal standpoint, Kelantan does not have a right to demand oil royalties, the same as Terengganu,” Najib was quoted as saying by the parliament Hansard.

“We have decided to give goodwill payment to Kelantan. This decision is made considering the need to develop Kelantan in line with the federal development programme,” Najib told the Dewan Rakyat, adding that the state will be receiving the allocation beginning next year.

The prime minister’s statement contradicts the Statistics Department’s State/District Data Bank, which lists Kelantan as one of the nation’s four oil- and gas-producing states. The other three are Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu.

Najib’s statement on the goodwill payment was immediately disputed by PAS lawmakers who said it is akin to receiving alms instead of the state’s rightful oil royalty.

Lim said this clearly contradicted the answer given 24 years ago by Najib’s father, Tun Razak when he replied to the opposition leader’s question as the second Prime Minister in Parliament on the same issue in 1975.

According to the Parliament Hansard of Nov 12, 1975, Lim had asked the prime minister then whether all states in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah had signed agreements with Petronas for oil exploration along the coastline and what were the joint profits for the states.

Tun Razak had said then: “All states in Malaysia, except Sabah and Selangor, have signed the agreement with Petronas under the Petroleum Development Act 1974. I have been informed that Selangor have agreed to sign the agreement.

“Under the agreement, each state will receive 5 per cent of the value of petroleum found and extracted from each of the states, whether onshore or offshore, that is sold by Petronas or agencies or contractors.”

“I called on the son and the sixth Prime Minister to keep to the commitment by the father and the second Prime Minister that Kelantan and Trengganu are entitled to 5 per cent oil royalty for petroleum ‘whether onshore or offshore’ as stipulated in the Petroleum Development Act 1974,” Lim said.

He noted that one of the Act’s architects is Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who had spoken up on the legal rights of Kelantan and Terengganu to 5 per cent oil royalty for petroleum produced offshore and not as “wang ehsan” or compassionate payment.

“Otherwise, Najib’s 1Malaysia would be sheer mockery if the legal rights and status of states to oil royalty is politicised to depend on whether Umno/Barisan Nasional controls the state government, as happened to Terengganu and Kelantan,” he added.

The federal government has argued that oil and gas extraction activities are located about 150km off Kelantan’s shores and is jointly developed with Thailand, and thus beyond the legal limit of state/national boundaries. Also, the territory is being disputed by Thailand and Malaysia.

Kelantan, ruled by PAS since 1990, began seeking the oil royalty recently although the Cakerawala gas field began production in January 2005.

The entire 7,250-sq-km area in the Gulf of Thailand, in the oil-rich South China Sea, is called the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area (JDA).

The JDA was created as an interim measure to exploit the natural resources in the seabed or continental shelf claimed by the two countries, with the proceeds shared equally.

The arrangement does not extinguish the legal right to claims by both countries over the area. This is one of the first applications of the joint development principle in territorial disputes in the world.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on Feb 21, 1979 in Chiang Mai for joint development and later on May 30, 1990 in Kuala Lumpur to constitute the joint development authority.

As at the end of 2007, approximately 8.5 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves (proved and probable) from 22 fields in the area have been discovered.



PAS MPs from Kelantan saw red, with Salahuddin asking why Kelantan was slated for charity when the Barisan-Nasional-ruled state of Terengganu received royalty

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