In the midst of a packed courtroom of members and supporters of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) many of whom wore red T-shirts, the Kuala Lumpur High Court of Justice Su Geok Yiam turned “yellow” today.
Justice was compromised, as a cowed Court caved in and allowed the application by the Government, Police and Home Minister to adjourn hearing the habeas corpus applications of six PSM leaders who have been held under the Emergency Ordinance since 2 July.
The detainees are Dr Michael Jeyakumar, PSM deputy chairman M. Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M. Sukumaran, Sungai Siput branch secretary A. Letchumanan and national Youth chief R. Sarat Babu.
With the continued “unlawful” detention for a further two weeks, justice was further delayed again today. The urgency of determining on the detention (and freedom) of the six, did not seem to matter much to the judge during today’s hearing.
Justice was further denied to those unjustly detained. It was public perception that what seemed to be of greater importance to the judge was that the government was not denied the opportunity to extend the injustice!
The flimsy and frivolous excuse given Senior Federal Counsel (SFC), Othman Yusof, who represented the Inspector General of Police, the Government and the Minister of Home Affairs (the Respondents) for the application for an adjournment was that they needed to respond to 15 additional affidavits filed by the six detainees.
Lead counsel, Haji Sulaiman Abdullah objected to the request for the adjournment. He said that the six could not file the additional affidavits earlier because the respondents had delayed in providing the lawyers access to the detainees.
“It was a situation of their very own making…The respondents would not be in a predicament to request for an adjournment, had they allowed the detainees access to their lawyers earlier.”
Haji Sulaiman also argued that the sole ground advanced by the respondents for the continued detention of the applicants in their earlier affidavits was that the six were detained because the police were investigating them for their role in the Bersih rally of 9 July.
Since the rally is over, there are no further grounds for their continued detention. He raised the ridiculousness of the issue: “How do you justify the detention after July 9? None of the (respondents’) affidavits addressed that point!”
He told the court: “The respondents should not be rewarded by asking for an adjournment to put in further affidavits.”
Alas, the Attorney-General’s Chambers has been so predictable and even pathetic in the case. A few days before the hearing, one of lawyers of the PSM 6, Edmund Bon, was even able to predict (very accurately) that the lawyers for the respondents would seek for an adjournment.
“They will probably try to drag it past the 30 days so that they have more time to get the minister’s order. Once the minister’s order is filed we have to get a new habeas corpus application,” he said, adding that this was how many EO cases were handled but go unreported because the detainees were not as prominent as the PSM 6.
(An order by the Home Minister would enable a person to be detained for two years, and the order can be renewed indefinitely.)
Justice Su’s decision to grant an adjournment to the habeas corpus applications was met with shock, sighs of disgust that it was a “kangaroo court”, exasperation, and comments about Su being so supine, and some which are not so suitable to mention here!
Several lawyers who were also in the gallery and who were standing in front of me asked aloud: “How can they do it…how can they face themselves at the end of the day….how can the judiciary come up with something as ridiculous as this?”
After the decision by Su to adjourn the hearing, Hj Sulaiman referred to an earlier question posed by the judge on whether they would agree to abandon the 15 additional affidavits, with a view of proceeding with the habeas corpus application.
The senior counsel said that in the interest of his clients he was prepared to forego the 15 additional affidavits so that the Court could get on with hearing the habeas corpus applications for the liberty of his clients were at stake!
SFC Othman objected, as a ruling has been made. A lively exchanged ensued. Justice Su proceeded to give directions on the filing of the affidavits and outline submissions. She eventually postponed the hearing of the PSM 6’s habeas corpus application to 5 August.
“Su-preme” injustice was done by Justice Su today! She gave in to the superficial arguments of the lawyers for the government, Inspector-General of Police and Home Minister.
To postpone the hearing of the habeas corpus applications by the PSM six who have been detained under the Emergency Ordinance 1969 was the most inordinate thing to do.
The countless who came to show their solidarity for their six brave comrades and patriots were no doubt disappointed but they did not despair. They were more determined. Their chant of “BEBAS-BEBAS! BEBAS PSM-6” rang loud and clear in the corridors and halls of the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Rupert Murdoch’s specialty has been the practice of journalism in cynical mockery of our thirst for knowledge.
Suddenly it’s clear to everyone.
Hacking a missing teenager’s cell phone? Deleting calls, interfering with the desperate search for her whereabouts? Tapping the phones of terrorist victims, dead soldiers? What kind of newsroom culture could possibly value the intimate tidbits of unbearable worry and sorrow thus obtained? What kind of organization would call it “news”?
Even those of us long, long, long disgusted with the Murdoch brand had our moment of shock at this new low in cynicism and pandering. Something felt torn open and exposed as the details rushed out: not just a lack of ethics but an ethical void, absolute in its contempt for our lives. And this contempt is the foundation of a media empire.
Murdoch isn’t just a sleaze peddler. He’s one of the wealthiest and most powerful people on the planet — and he has a political agenda that matters more to him, I imagine, than a random billion in cash here or there. The silent virulence of his influence on public events, more than the sensational headlines and lurid scandal-mongering he inflicts on us, is my real concern.
Big as Murdoch is in the U.S., with his 24-7 rightwing propaganda network called Fox News, in Great Britain he’s bigger than the royal family. “He’s often referred to as the country’s permanent Cabinet member,” Beth Fouhy wrote recently for Associated Press. Since the days of Margaret Thatcher, he’s been the godfather of British prime ministers, able to make them offers they can’t refuse.
Since the hacking scandal hit the fan, David Cameron, the current prime minister, has been struggling to disentangle himself from his ties to Murdoch. But there’s no escaping the fact that Cameron’s former communications director, Andy Coulson, had been the editor ofNews of the World before joining the prime minister’s team and is one of 10 people arrested in the mess.
I don’t know if the Murdoch empire, News Corp., will emerge from the scandal intact and virulent as ever or have to be renamed News Corpse (one can only hope). But the blowing open of its operations is a stunningly teachable moment, a chance to rethink the role of journalists and the meaning of news.
As a starting place, I place side by side the two extremes of Murdoch’s exaggerated influence on our lives, our politics and our self-awareness. The spark that ignited the scandal was the revelation, by Guardian reporter Nick Davies, that News of the Worldstaffers hacked the phone of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old girl who was abducted near London on her way home from school in 2002. Months later, her body was discovered; she’d been murdered. Before this discovery, when there was nothing but unbearable dread and wild hope on the part of Milly’s loved ones, Murdoch minions were mining the tragedy for its titillation value, ferreting for bits of “human interest” to parade in their newspaper.
This is journalism utterly devoid of human sympathy — journalism, I would say, on the wrong side of the human race. It has zero interest in contributing to an informed society or creating social cohesion. It’s toxic junk food, a creepy sort of “reality” entertainment purveyed to bored and isolated readers for no purpose except to keep them consuming the product. It has made Murdoch rich beyond measure.
Here’s the other extreme, from Fouhy’s AP story describing Murdoch’s influence on British politics: “Murdoch eventually switched his allegiance to Tony Blair, the Labour prime minister from 1997 to 2007. Blair telephoned Murdoch repeatedly before committing British troops to the Iraq war in 2003, which was strongly endorsed by Murdoch’s newspapers across the world.”
To my mind, this magnifies the scandal a millionfold. Here’s a democratically elected head of state conferring with his secret benefactor for the purpose of bringing war to the planet. This is military-industrial journalism, colluding in war for profit, bending politicians to its interest on the strength of its financial success at peddling sleaze. Murdoch’s ethical void isn’t limited to his trashy media empire. He’s a player in war and peace.
This is journalism run amok — the precise opposite of the ideal of my profession. Rather than standing in adversarial relationship to power and representing the interests of those on the outside, it stands in adversarial relationship to common humanity. In Murdoch World, we are all abstractions, whether we have a name (Milly Dowler) or merely a mass identification label (the Iraqis).
Journalism can drift upward toward power, become its lapdog and even, as the News Corpse revelations have demonstrated, become power itself, a behind-the-scenes dictator of events, manipulating the world for its own interests.
But real journalists scatter power by telling the truth, as Davies and the Guardian have led the way in doing in the News of the World revelations. This scandal, finally, is not about Murdoch but about everyone who practices the craft of journalism. The time has come to ask ourselves: Where does our allegiance lie?
– – – Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, contributor to One World, Many Peaces and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press) is now available. Contact him at email@example.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.
If you are not takut, why then deport William Bourdon? The information will be revealed one way or another. The cyberspace is a free media. All will be revealed You can stop his presentation by physical means but not in cyberspace. You are an idiot.
I do not know how a dumb arsehole like you could be a Minister of Defense? Nobody is doing any smearing campaign on the no-dive RM half billion kickback “commission” submarine other than your corrupt PeeM. Nobody instruct the deletion of Altantuya immigration record, nobody ordered her to be murdered, nobody ordered Bala to do a 2nd SD and bribed him to flee and nobody deported the French Lawyer other than your own PeeM. . ., yes your own thieving UMNO’s numero uno!
Go ask your corrupt “commission” seeking cover-up PeeM why he smeared the country’s name and most of all his own name?
Stop being stupid. . ., or are you really stupid?
This gangster behaved minister has attempted to kill someone before by calling a few of his guards to bash his daughter’s ex-BF. How can we trust this mafia? China 1st submarine yesterday has managed to set a new record by diving into deeper into the sea yet our own Zahid’s submarine knows only how to float but not dive. Probably b’cos of all the money pocketed intotheir own pocket, the submarine’s boday was replace by aluminium foils instead of fibre and steel. Explains well that it can only float like this Zahid’s shit brain.
Zahid Hamidi, once a man with self principled but TURNED assistant to SATAN once appointed as Defence Minister.Why did I said that? Cause first of all why UMNO Govt was so scared of Lawyer Bourdon who spoke about wrongdoings by Top Rank VIP in the purchase of submarines which I suspect cannot dive!Next you happenned to rate Bousted Naval Shipyard as one of the best shipyard in the world,but I can assure you it is NOT! However it is the best SHITYARD though ,the company which involved to build 6 Patrol Vessels at initial price of RM5.35Billions BUT FAILED TO COMPLETE,then certain SATAN took a further RM1800 Millions of rakyats money and gave to the socalled company to complete the project. Latest ,I heard that the same company will be given another contract to build another 6 PVs for RM10 000 Millions. Why this shit company after they FAILED MISERABLY in the first project!!!This same shit company which you rated the best in the world CANNOT EVEN WIN A TENDER to build ship from Myanmar NOT to mention competing with Singapore!Their daily income solely DEPEND ON Govt SPOONFEED giving contract.To prove whether I am right just STOP GIVING CONTRACT for 6 month then the SHITYARD WILL GO BANKRUPT.The maintenance of the submarine were given to the SHITYARD group of companies. I know being a Defence Minister, you knew alot about the wrongdoings done but YOU HAVE TO COVER UP. Anyway after 13th GE we Rakyat will want to see whether you still can do that further.UMNO Govt cannot think that those money belongs to their Grandfather!! so as freely giving out in Billions to the SHITYARD which their crony.
highly respected veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, popularly known as Ku Li, has already launched his new outfit Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) towards nurturing unity as espoused by the country’s founding fathers.
In the midst of our sharp racial divisions at the moment, Amanah said in a statement recently that the group wants “to reaffirm, inculcate and re-ignite the sense of togetherness and true family spirit that prevailed among all Malaysians during the time of our common struggle for national independence”. It also said it wants to rekindle the legacy, promise and ideals of Bapa Malaysia and the founding fathers so that all Malaysians may live together as members of a truly just, fair, progressive, united and happy nation community. Its other objectives are:
(1) To earnestly acknowledge, affirm and respect the sovereignty of the constituent states of the Malaysian Federation, consistent with the principles of federalism, democratic principles and in the true spirit of the Federal Constitution;
(2) To ensure that our national institutions respect and uphold the rule of law, democratic principles, rights and universal values;
(3) To support a government and administration that is transparent and accountable, truly competent, efficient, free of corruption and cronyism, clean and honest, fair and trustworthy, and that will be fully able to serve its functions and meet its responsibilities, freely and fairly; an administration that will always be mindful of the rights and interests of the people in whose name and cause it is appointed to serve;
(4) To promote the socio-economic well-being of the people, so that all Malaysians may enjoy truly advanced, progressive, fair and equitable lives – individually upholding filial piety and other noble values and collectively joined together in sincere family kinship as members of our national community and as stakeholders in our common national destiny;
(5) To support an economic policy that will help achieve and sustain a high standard of living for the people, based on the principle of justice, fairness and balance, consistent with the constitution and under a stable monetary condition.
In two several papers presented locally and abroad (Shattered hopes and broken dreams andDisenfranchisement of bona-fide Sabahans) I had touched on the sweet promises made by no less than the Father of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who assured us that no colonialisation of any sort will be imposed on Sabah. At the outset of the formation of this federation, we had dreams of a new age of progress in which we Sabahans and Sarawakians will be enjoying a kind of development that will propel us strongly into the 20th and the 21st centuries, under a government which would be just, with no prejudice against any Malaysian regardless of skin colour and belief. Sabah and Sarawak would be part of a federation, not a nation, hence retaining their respective nationalities on equal status with Malaya. We were assured of many rights in perpetuity. But they were not to be. Successive governments and leaders were sweet-talked into surrendering those rights until we are just tools and stooges to federal powers. Through political manipulations and stratagems in the politics of federalism we fell into the traps and ended being what we are today – just one of the 13 states in Malaysia, and the poorest of the lot at that!
In the second paper mentioned above I had listed our disenfranchisements due to so many losses and victimisations:
(1) Loss of right as a national entity,
(2) Loss of rights guaranteed in the 20 Points,
(3) We have been victims of demographic re-engineering,
(4) We have been victims of Kuala Lumpur’s divide-and-rule manipulation,
(5) We have lost the true democratic system,
(6) We have been victims of gerrymandering and the manipulation of the electoral rolls,
(7) We have been re-colonised,
(8) Our security has been substantially compromised,
(9) We are losing our land rights,
(10) We are the poorest state!
(11) We are victims of Malay supremacy,
(12) Loss of harmonious and peaceful co-existence. I then followed up with a list of demands of things that are should have been rightly ours.
What Ku Li’s Amanah can do are many, but what comes immediately to mind is the re-institution of real justice (in all matters including the fair redistribution of wealth and opportunities), liberty, transparency, true democracy, meritocracy, and freedom of the press. But amanah itself had made an excellent summary of all that need to be done by stating them in its comprehensive list of objectives. If we were to analyse everything mentioned in those objectives it would take a whole thick book. I have high hopes when reading objective No. 3, which aims for “a government and administration that is transparent and accountable, truly competent, efficient, free of corruption and cronyism, clean and honest, fair and trustworthy, and that will be fully able to serve its functions and meet its responsibilities, freely and fairly”. We know that because of half a century of abuses, manipulation and instituionalising of corrupt practices into becoming a culture, the very attempt at repairing these damages through such reforms will be a gargantuan task, but we must make the first few steps towards repairing the damages and putting the nation on a path of revival.
The biggest damage has been in the area of race relations. We are now living in an era of interracial and interreligious suspicions and paranoia. We are so far into interracial distrust that we are actually nearing the point when another interracial riot may take place and bring the whole nation down to its knees – no thanks to many bigots and hate mongers like Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa. The second biggest damage, I believe, is in the area of economic confidence of the people as a result of rampant and unbridled corruption. With these two combined, the effect on the economy has been devastating, resulting in increased poverty and the frightening brain drain. And all these are dragging us deeper and deeper into the abyss. Without any drastic change, even with the so-called transformasi of the Prime Minister, the nation will continue to sink deeper and deeper into trouble.
We need more NGOs like Amanah, UBF, MCLM, CigMa, Bersih and others with similar aims to operate against the BN-sponsored tranformasi and 1Malaysia movements which have the single agenda of keeping BN in power and perpetuating the abuses. With enough pressure, the BN will be brought to heel. The only acceptable change is to beat BN and change the government. And with a giant like Ku Li making the move even while he is still in Umno, the BN is suffering a double injury. One injury is the stab in the back of BN by Ku Li, and the other is the great damage on the BN when Ku Li reveal all the dirty inside stories.
It is very exciting to read of his speech at the launching of Amanah last Friday during which he said, “I believe at the end of the road that we are taking in these early steps, we will be called upon to make several important decisions for the future of our nation – choices that we must take regardless of the problems, challenges and obstacle that we face. This morning could be another normal social event or it could be the beginning of a journey towards something that has never taken place before, that may change the current of our country’s future.” Agreed, totally. And truth will prevail. Ku Li will be a major force, with a strong potential to become the leader of the Third Force, and to become the key to the great change we have been dreaming of. Can we dare to foresee him becoming our next PM? After all, politics is the art of the possible, isn’t it?