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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Counsel Malik Imtiaz on RPK's Habeas Corpus Appeal.

THANK YOU Judges for a Fair RPK Hearing

Wednesday, 25 February 2009 10:39 | By Pat Lu, Co-Founder, Pahlawan Volunteers

There is a little light in the pitch dark tunnel after all. On behalf of Pahlawan Volunteers and all Anak Bangsa Malaysia, I thank the Registry of the Federal Court for their assistance in fixing the RPK application on an urgent basis.

Counsel Malik Imtiaz and team filed their application last Friday afternoon and were immediately given a date for the hearing i.e. Monday morning.

We are also grateful to the bench for a fair hearing and for giving ample time and latitude for both parties to make their arguments.

Watch Video: Counsel Malik Imtiaz on RPK's Court Review Hearing

To the members of the bench, please take your time to make the judgment. We will continue to pray that God gives you the wisdom and the clarity to make the right judgment for the sake of our homeland and generations to come.

Frankly, we pray you acquit RPK of all charges hurled at him as soon as possible so that we can all focus and work together to build a better Malaysia at a much faster pace (instead of wasting time attending court hearings). We really have no time to lose.

Deep down in all our hearts we know Raja Petra is no “threat to national security” as perceived by the Home Ministry. We pray that our political leaders, wannabes and authorities emulate RPK instead.

Here is a song, dedicated to the judges, lawyers and Anak Bangsa Malaysia:
Be Strong and Take Courage.

And to our beloved mentor Raja Petra Kamarudin, this picture says it all. View more photos here.


Continue to pray for Divine Intervention. It Aint Over ‘Til It’s Over.

More Stories and Photos Here:
– Shanghai Fish: Pete's habeas corpus hearing-(23-2-2009)
– DelCapo: RPK ISA Trial Putrajaya - Positives
– Art Harun: A Question of Etiquette
– Malik Imtiaz: Serving Justice, Straight Up

PAT LU, Co-Founder, Pahlawan Volunteers, a Malaysian Voluntary and Advocacy Group.
Join Pahlawan Volunteers Group at Facebook.
Anti-ISA PJ Vigils Video Archive

Monday, February 23, 2009

RPK’s habeas corpus : Reporting live from Putrajaya on 23/2/2009

11.18am : Still at the Bar Room.

Malik Imtiaz has just been informed by the Registrar of the Federal court that the three judges have indicated that they will be reserving their judgment, to be delivered on another date to be fixed later. They have said that they will write up their judgments.

That means no decision today on the motions to review the dismissal of RPK’s 4 motions last week, including the dismissal of the motion to recuse Augustine Paul.

Have also been informed that the hearing of the appeal proper in court room 2 will also not proceed.

RPK will continue to remain free.

10.57am : Reporting from the Bar Room on the ground floor.

At 10.45am, the three judges retired to the ante room to consider submissions. We were told that the court would resume in about half an hour.

Earlier, at about 10.30am, Tun Majid commenced his submissions to oppose the review applications. He relied heavily on an earlier decision of the Court of Appeal, the case of Wan Khairani, in which Richard Malanjum, Tengku Baharuddin and Augustine Paul had sat. That case, too , involved the question as to whether two judges could have sat to hear an application for injunctive relief. Richard and Tengku, who formed the majority in that case, answered in the affirmative. Augustine dissented.

Malik, in his reply, distinguished Wan Khairani with the present case. There, he pointed out, the relevant statutory provision would have allowed one judge to sit and hear the application in question. Two judges sitting therefore, would not have impacted on the constitutionality of the proceedings. However, that was not the case here.

10.26am : Imtiaz still submitting on the matter of whether the two judges could have heard and disposed of the recusal application last week.

10.21am : Powerpoints at the bar table are all not functioning. Battery running low. May have to continue later as delayed reporting. Sorry.

10.12am : Malik submits that the dismissal of the recusal application last week was flawed owing to what Malik refers to as ‘corum failure’, when two judges unconstitutionally heard and dismissed the recusal application. Having dismissed the recusal application a dn then inviting Augustine to resume his seat on the corum, the court then was contaminated with the apparent bias of Augustine, which contamination then infected the dismissal of the remaining three motions filed by RPK and which were heard and dismissed last week.

10.00am : Court in session.

Malik informs the court that the decision to dismiss the recusal application last week is the critical review application fixed for hearing this morning. The contention however, is that as Augustine Paul had sat to dismiss all the other three motions last week, those decisions, too, are tainted by the participation of Augustine Paul and are therefore also the subject cof review applications this morning.

Tun Majid, for the Home Minister, presents his preliminary objection, which, in substance, is that these review applications are an abuse of process, bordering on contempt, as it amounts to an attempt to ‘judge-shop’.

The court does not seem to be with Tun Majid and Malik is invited to begin hus submissions.

9.35am : Gallery in court 1 is filled to the brim. Outside, RPK supporters wait for a chance to get in. Inside, we all wait.

9.20am : The legal team is assembled in Federal Court 1 where the motions for orders to review the four motions filed by RPK and heard and dismissed last week, are due to be heard.

Of particular interest is the motion to review the decision last week to dismiss the motion to recuse Augustine Paul.

The corum hearing this morning’s review motions : Richard Malanjum, Ariffin Zakaria and Hashim Yusoff Alauddin Sheriff.

Meanwhile, the corum to hear the appeal proper waits in Federal Court 2. Whether the main appeal will proceed today depends on what happens here in court 1.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oi, vigilers! Howzabout Monday at the Palace in solidarity with RPK, then?

Last Sunday, vigilers who converged at the Lotus restaurant opposite the MBPJ hq where we’ve been ‘Anti-ISA vigiling’ for as long as I can remember, took a decision to put future vigils there on hold until we get a chance to get some clarification from both the Selangor state government as well as from the PJ city councillors.

You see, many of us feel that even as we have come out to show support for the Selangor state government’s declared anti-ISA policy, we have not received the kind of support from the state and PJ authorities that we thought ought to have been forthcoming.

We’ve decided to seek a meeting with both the Selangor state government and the MBPJ and depending on the clarification, if any, that we get, we’ll then decide where we go from there.

So, no vigil at the MBPJ tarmac this week and until further notice. For those who must, however, have the weekend fellowship that we have grown accustomed to, some of us will continue to meet at Lotus from 8pm to ‘keep the fire burning’.

Minister's appeal against RPK may not be heard on Monday

Raja Petra yesterday filed an application to review four rulings of the Federal Court made earlier against him on grounds he was not given a fair hearing.

The blogger, who filed the application under rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995, named the minister as respondent.

Raja Petra wants four previous applications to be reheard by judges other than Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri S. Augstine Paul and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.

He also wants the hearing of his appeal to be stayed pending the disposal of his review application.

On Tuesday, a two-man bench unanimously dismissed Raja Petra's application to disqualify Paul from hearing the appeal on grounds the blogger had made several remarks about the judge on his website since 2000.

Raja Petra said Paul had formed an opinion that he was a threat to national security in a judgment in 2001. At the outset of hearing the application, Paul disqualified himself.

Raja Petra's counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar asked for Paul to be replaced with another judge as the law prescribed that an uneven number and a minimum of three judges must be on the bench.

However, Nik Hashim and Zulkefli dismissed the recusal application as it was without merit.

Paul, who returned to the bench, together with Nik Hashim and Zulkefli, later unanimously dismissed three other applications sought by Raja Petra:

- For the existing three-man bench to be increased to five or seven on grounds that complex and constitutional issues which have far-reaching consequences would be argued;

- For fresh evidence to be adduced in the Federal Court to show he was not a threat to national security after the High Court in Shah Alam allowed his habeas corpus application on Feb 17; and

- To introduce the notes of evidence in his ongoing sedition trial at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court.

Courtesy © NSTonline 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Raja Petra Seeks Review Of Decision On Judge's Recusal

Friday, 20 February 2009 20:07 | Bernama

-- Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin has sought a review of Tuesday's Federal Court decision in refusing to recuse Justice Datuk Augustine Paul from hearing the Home Minister's appeal against his release from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

He filed the motion under Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules 1995 through Messrs Mathews Hun Kandiah at the Federal Court Registry here at 4pm today.

On Tuesday, a panel of two judges -- Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin -- ruled that Raja Petra's application to recuse justice Paul was without any merit.

Lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar who acted for Raja Petra had argued in court then that the application for recusal could not be heard by two judges since Section 74 of the Courts of Judicature Act requires the sitting of three Federal Court judges.

In his new motion, Raja Petra also sought another panel of judges -- excluding justices Nik Hashim, Paul and Zulkefli -- to hear the review application and his appeal which was scheduled to be heard on Monday be adjourned pending the determination of the motion.

Raja Petra, 58, was arrested under the ISA on Sept 12, 2008 and later sent to the Kamunting detention camp in Taiping, Perak. On Nov 7, High Court Judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad granted him a writ of habeas corpus after holding that the detention under Section 8 of the Act did not come within the scope of that section.

Perbicaraan pelik, Altantuya dibunuh kejam tanpa motif?

Herman Samsudeen | Thu | Feb 19, 09 | 6:06:12 pm MYT

Mengikuti perbicaraan kes Altantuya Shaariibuu, akhir-akhir ini, terasa seperti ada sesuatu yang tertinggal, iaitu motif pembunuhan.

Cif Inspektor Azilah Hadri, 33, dan Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, telah dipanggil membela diri pada 31 Oktober tahun lalu manakala tertuduh ketiga Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda dibebaskan.

Timbalan Pendakwaraya Manoj Kurup dalam hujah terakhirnya semalam menyatakan bahawa,"kedua-dua tertuduh kini saling bersaing untuk meraih hadiah bagi fiksyen terbaik yang diberitahu di Mahkamah dan kedua-dua versi patut ditolak kerana tidak berjaya mewujudkan keraguan munasabah berhubung kerumitan dan kesalahan dalam pembunuhan Altantuya."

Walau bagaimanapun, sepanjang sesi pengulungan itu beliau tidak menyatakan motif pembunuhan Altantuya. Beliau hanya menekankan bahawa kedua-dua tertuduh memang terlibat dengan niat dalam kes pembunuhan ini.

Walaupun disangkal dalam hujah pembelaan bahawa kedua-dua tertuduh menjadi kambing hitam atas tindakan orang-orang tertentu, namun pihak pendakwaan tidak mengajukan apa-apa soalan untuk mendedahkan siapakah dalang sebenar kes itu.

Pendakwaan jelas seolah-olah ingin menghalakan kesalahan ini kepada Azilah dan Sirul sahaja tanpa ada usaha membongkar penglibatan pihak lain dalam kes ini. Dalam sesi pembelaan pendakwaan hanya tertumpu pada soal kedudukan dan alibi Azilah dan Sirul pada malam kejadian.

Kesilapan yang sama dibuat oleh peguambela mereka di mana tiada seorang pun yang ditanya atau diminta untuk mendedahkan nama pihak ketiga yang menjadi dalam.

Kes ini seolah-olah tergantung pada leher Azilah dan Sirul dalam keadaan mereka kini tersepit.

Apakah kemungkinan mereka masih ditekan dan diugut untuk tidak membongkar kes ini keseluruhannya?

Jika beberapa Ahli Parlimen dan Adun yang duduk di luar ini ada mengadu bahawa mereka dan keluarga mereka diugut serta diganggu sepanjang waktu oleh pihak tertentu yang mahukan mereka lompat parti. Apakah perkara yang sama tidak boleh berlaku pada Azilah dan Sirul yang kini berada di dalam.

Bagaimana nasib keluarga mereka. Mungkinkah mereka dibisikkan nada-nada ugutan agar tidak mendedahkan nama-nama mereka yang terlibat sebenarnya.

Secara peribadi, saya bersetuju dengan permohonan peguambela Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin yang mewakili koperal Sirul Azhar Umar, dalam hujahnya, meminta agar ketiga-tiga tertuduh asal kes itu - termasuk penganalisis politik itu yang dibebaskan tanpa diminta membela diri - dibicarakan semula.

Beliau juga berhujah bahawa kes itu patut dibicarakan semula kerana saksi utama, DSP Musa Mohd Safri, yang merupakan pengiring Timbalan Perdana Menteri, tidak dipanggil memberi keterangan dalam perbicaraan tersebut.

Kamarul Hisham turut berhujah bahawa pelanggannya telah dipersalahkan atas jenayah yang dilakukan oleh orang lain.

Menurutnya, pihak pendakwaraya gagal mengemukakan bukti lengkap mengenai pembunuhan Altantuya tetapi hanya mahu orang mempercayai bahawa Sirul terbabit dalam pembunuhan wanita Mongolia itu dan membuang semua bukti fizikal kemudiannya.

Secara keseluruhannya, penghujung perbicaraan kes Altantuya ini tidak memberikan sebarang jawapan yang dikehendaki oleh keluarga mangsa atau pun pihak mahkamah dan pemerhati yang ada.

Motif pembunuhan tidak jelas dan tidak logik seseorang itu boleh membunuh tanpa motif atau sebab. Malah pengakuan Sirul bahawa beliau adalah kambing hitam wajar diberi perhatian yang serius. Sama ada ianya fiksyen atau tidak, pendakwaraya perlu menyiasatnya bagi mengetahui sejauhmana kebenaran itu.

Kini terpulanglah pada mahkamah untuk menentukannya. Saya tidak berniat untuk mempengaruhi keputusan mahkamah, apatah lagi ianya sekadar pandangan dari sisi ketiga seorang pemerhati bebas.

Hakikatnya kes ini tidak boleh ditutup begitu sahaja selagi motif pembunuhan tidak diperjelaskan. Ini penting bagi mencerminkan imej keadilan dalam sistem perundangan negara di mata dunia.

Kita tidak boleh menghukum sebahagian orang yang bersalah dan membiarkan sebahagianya dalam keadaan yang amat meragukan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Verdict on Altantuya case on Apr 9, but will it end there …

By Wong Choon Mei | suarakeAdilan | 17 Feb 2009

Who really killed Altantuya Shaariibuu?According to the Shah Alam High Court, we will know on April 9.

On that day, it will deliver its verdict on whether two elite cops Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar are guilty of shooting her and then bombing her body to pieces to prevent identification.

But will the long-running case end there? Unlikely, for the story of the hauntingly beautiful 28-year old Mongolian translator - alleged to have been Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak’s mistress - is likely to live on in folklore in both the physical and cyber worlds.
And it is easy to understand why. Regardless of how the court decides - even if it metes out its worst sentence of death to the pair - justice will still not be seen to have been served.

Obviously, there are still too many unanswered questions.

That they remain unanswered until even now, more than two years after the murder, is already a huge blot on the country’s ruling Umno-BN party and the institutions it has failed to uphold.

Regrettably, the diabolical intertwining between the country’s legal, judiciary and political systems is not only countenanced but actively fostered.

Even RPK may be silenced

In wrapping up the government’s case today, deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup shot down the defence statements of both Azilah and Sirul as being “littered with inconsistencies, discrepancies and improbabilities”.

“Not only have the two sets of defences not raised any reasonable doubts on the prosecution’s case with respect to the guilt of each accused, it is clear that each accused is trying to blame the other for the murder.

“The several strands of circumstantial evidence that the prosecution has painstakingly proved have remained unrebutted, unexplained and unanswered by both accused persons in this case. The combined strength of those strands of evidence, when twisted together, has formed two ropes, strong enough to hang each accused person for the murder of Altantuya.”

Yet the government has been content to acquit political analyst Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib’s, who was charged for abetting the two cops in the murder.

Neither has the government’s prosecutors seen fit to call on Musa Safri, Najib’s aide-de-camp to testify or to reveal his statement made to the police. Musa’s importance in the case can be gauged by the revelation that he was the one who introduced Razak to Azilah.

Meanwhile, an emotional Sirul has asked for a mistrial. His lawyers argued that the prosecution failed in producing a “material witness” - Musa.

Azilah, Sirul’s colleague from the Special Action Unit tasked to look after Najib’s security, is sticking to his claim that he was never at the scene of the murder and had an alibi.

Will the real story ever unfold, and more importantly, will all guilty parties - including those who indirectly participated in her gruesome killing, even if they did not slay her with their own hands - ever be brought to justice?

If anyone has more details to offer, it would be Raja Petra Kamaruddin. But even RPK - the straight-talking controversial blogger - may finally be silenced.

Come next Monday, the nation’s most beloved blogger may have to go back to the Kamunting Detention Centre, where he can expect to be locked up for at least two years under the country’s infamous Internal Security Act.

Monday, February 16, 2009

RPK’s habeas corpus appeal : reporting live from Putrajaya

By SuaraKeAdilan English Team

The Federal Court has postponed to next Monday a decision on whether to overturn last year’s High Court ruling that freed Raja Petra Kamaruddin from detention under the Internal Security Act.

The government had appealed against the ruling and the Federal Court was expected to deliver its verdict this morning.

In a posting on his blog last night, Raja Petra Kamaruddin or RPK said it was Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak who ordered his detention under ISA last year and that he was also offered money to shut up but he refused.

“Chances are, I have but 24 hours left as a free man and, if I do not write this article today, I never will,” Raja Petra or RPK wrote in his latest blog posting.

“I know for a fact that it was not Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who ordered my detention. He was not even aware I had been detained. The order came from Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and since I am bent on making sure he never becomes Prime Minister on 1 April 2009, I really do not blame him for wanting to get me out of the way.”

Malaysia’s Umno-Barisan Nasional-led federal government wields enormous influence over the judiciary and former premier Mahathir Mohamad has been publicly accused of judge-rigging.

The rot in the country’s judiciary system was among the chief factors that led to voters denying the Umno-BN its long-held two-thirds majority in Parliament during the watershed March 2008 general election.

Said RPK: “I was given an option. Take the money and become rich or go to jail. I refused the money and instead chose jail. This is my choice and no one can convince me to do otherwise.” [read more]

February 17, 2009 | The People’s Parliament

Latest:1:38pm : Application to recuse Justice Augustine Paul rejected. Panel back to 3 judges. Case postponed till Monday, 23 Feb 2009.

12.33pm : Imtiaz closes submissions. Nik Hashim adjourns proceedings until 1.30pm to deliver the decision on the recusal application.

12.29pm : Imtiaz refers to an authority in the bundle of the Senior Federal Counsel where a judge chose to not hear because he had previously formed a view adverse of a litigant.

Whether what RPK has written of Augustine is contemptous of court is a separate issue. The question is whether those writings may occasion a bias on the part of Augustine?

Would the public think that the Augustine suffered the taint of bias arising from those writings? How would the public, thinking Augustine to be biased, view his continuing to hear this appeal. How would this impact on public confidence in the administration of justice.

12.24pm : Imtiaz undertaking his reply.

12.22pm : Sorry, back from washroom and nicotine fix call. Senior Federal Counsel closing his arguments.

12.06pm : Imtiaz closes his submissions and Senior Federal Counsel commences his submissions.

12.04pm : Imtiaz points out that Augustine having previously formed the view that RPK is a threat to naitonal security, and in this present appeal, the Hoem Minister has states as his grounds for the detention as being that RPK is a threat to national security, the re is a risk of Augustine bringing to the hearing of this appeal a pre-disposition to the view that RPK is indeed a threat to national security.

12.01pm : Draws the attention of the two judges to the statement that was issued by the IGP in 2001 and was the basis of RPK’s ISA detention in 2001.

Augustine Paul, Imtiaz explains, then, dismissed RPK’s habeas corpus when the former was a High Court judge. That decision of Augustine was subsequently set a side by the Federal Court.

11.56am : Imtiaz emphasises that RPK’s complaint is the risk of bias, and not actual bias.

11.54am : Justice Nik Hashim appears to be agitating for Imtiaz ‘to move on’.

11.49am : Justice Zulkifli raises the question of what if a person before the court now writes nasties of the presiding judge. Does this mean that the judge must recuse himself?

Imtiaz responds to clarify that all the written material by RPK were well before these proceedings commenced.

There is no way these writings could have been contrived with a view to build a foundation for these recusal proceedings.

11.37am : Imtiaz now starts to make reference to the facts giving rise to RPK’s concerns of bias on the part of Augustine.

Imtiaz informs the judges that for a long time, RPK has been long critical of Augustine. This goes back to when Augustine was hearing Anwar’s corruption trial in 1999 when RPK was the editor of the online Free Anwar Campaign.

Imtiaz starts to detail what RPK had previously written in criticising Augustine.

Nik Hashim interrupts, inquiring how RPK’s writings might bring about bias by Augustine.

Imtiaz points out that a reasonable person could well see that the subject matter of RPK’s criticism would be angry with RPK.

Imtiaz draws attention to RPK’s reference to Augustine as part of a ‘gang of slimeballs’.

Imtiaz draws attention to a recent criticism by RPK of Augustine, where in reference to the impending charges of sodomy against Anwar, that the prosecution could do an ‘Augustine Paul’.

Imtiaz categorically states that RPK has written to categorise Augustine as a judge lacking in integrity.

Nik Hashim comments that the articles that Imtiaz has referred to were not written in contemplation of the appeal under consideration.

Imtiaz alludes to the possible perception of a third party observer that Augustine might, in the might of all that RPK has written of him and all of which Augustine may well be aware of, that Augustine may well want to see RPK sent back to Kamunting.

11.35am : Imtiaz alludes to what appears to be a lower standard set in the Judges Code of Ethics and initmates that there is a need to harmonise the various competing principles enunciated by the various decisions.

11.32am : Test of bias, Imtiaz submits, is an objective one. Does not matter if the judge says I will not biased, how will the risk of bias be viewed, objectively. Imtiaz confirms that the applicable test in our jusrisdiction is the ‘real danger of bias’.

11.27am : Imtiaz is still taking the judges through the authorities from England. He emphasises on the concerns of possible bias arising from relationships and interest that may impinge on the ability to remain impartial.

11.22am : Imtiaz commences his submissions on the recusal application.

Makes reference to the Judges Code of Ethics that was put into place for our judges in 1994.

Submits that it is trite law thta a judge is automatically disqualified where a judge has an interest in the out come of a proceeding. This must not be limitied to a pecuniary interest.

Refers to the decision of the House of Lords in the famous Pinochet case.

11.18am : Nik Hashim announces the unanimous decision of two judges. The two judges are of the view that they have the jurisdiction to hear the recusal application with a quorum of two judges and order the hearing of the same to proceed.

11.07am : Justice Augustine removes himself from the proceedings.

Imtiaz inquires if the remaining two judges may proceed. Reference is being made to the relevant legal provisions.

Imtiaz submits that the legal provision relied upon by the remaining to two judges to continue to hear does not apply.

Senior Federal Counsel called upon to respond.

Senior Federal Counsel takes the view that the provision in question applies and the remaining two judges may continue to hear the recusal application.

Imtiaz responds to Senior Federal Counsel’s submission. Takes the court to the central question whether Augustine’s removal of himself took place before the recusal application was formally called up for hearing. Imtiaz reiterates that the hearing cannot proceed with just two judges and that a sitting of just two judges would be unconstitutional.

11.03am : RPK’s called. Senior Federal Counsel introduces all counsel involved. Justice Augustine Paul from the outset says he will recuse himself from hearing and deciding the recusal application

11.00am : Proceedings resume with the judges posing queries to the Senior Federal Counsel for details of an earlier second application that was dismissed. Justice Nik Hashim delivers a unanimous decision of the court. They are of the view that the grounds raised in this appeal ought to have been raised in an earlier that was dismissed and that for that reason the bringing of the third application was an abuse of process. Appeal dismissed.

10.30am : Mano’s counsel closes his submissions. Court adjourns for a while to consider submissions.

10.27am : Senior Federal Counsel has concluded his submissions and Mano’s counsel commences his reply and summing up

10.15am : Mano’s counsel has concluded his submissions and Senior Federal Counsel representing the Home Minister has commenced his submissions.

9.45am : The three Federal Court judges come out to a packed gallery. Hindraf 5 Manoharan’s appeal is called up. This is the only other case, besides the RPK appeal, that is to be heard this morning.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Probably my last message to Malaysians

This country needs major political, economic and social reforms. The next two years are going to be most trying years indeed. And expect a snap general election within 18 months of Najib taking over if he does take over on 1 April 2009.


Raja Petra Kamarudin
Tomorrow, I will probably be detained under the Internal Security Act. Anyhow, before we talk about that, let me start by giving you my prediction for the two by-elections scheduled for early April.

In 2004, BN won the Bukit Selambau state seat with a majority of 7,695 votes and in 2008 they lost it with a majority of 2,362 votes. (See the chart below). In the coming by-election, I forecast a voter turnout of around 26,000 and a majority of 3,500-4,500 for the opposition.

For the Bukit Gantang parliament seat, in 2004 Barisan Nasional won with a majority of 8,888 and in 2008 it lost with a majority of 1,566. (See chart below). This time around, the voter turnout will be roughly 42,000 and the opposition will win that seat with a majority of 5,000-8,000 votes.

Okay, I am forecasting this even before I know who the candidates are. Well, I have no choice. On Tuesday, 17 February 2009, the Federal Court is due to hear the appeal against my release from Internal Security Act detention and I really do not know what the outcome is going to be. Chances are, I have but 24 hours left as a free man and if I do not write this article today I never will.

On 7 November 2008, the Shah Alam High Court ordered my release from detention. The government has appealed this decision although it did not see the need to appeal the decision of the Shah Alam High Court acquitting Abdul Razak Baginda of the charge of murder without his defence being called.

I was in court last week to witness the performance of the three judges and what I saw did not give me much confidence. First of all, we asked for a quorum of seven judges, or at least five. But the court turned us down and fixed a quorum of only three judges. And two of the three judges appear to be hostile towards us from the word ‘go’. It looks like my fate has been sealed even before the case goes to court.

Anyway, I know for a fact that it was not Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who ordered my detention. He was not even aware I had been detained. The order came from Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and since I am bent on making sure he never becomes Prime Minister on 1 April 2009 I really do not blame him for wanting to get me out of the way.

My friends and family want me to leave the country and to seek political asylum in another country. They feel I can still continue with the struggle in a foreign land. But I am against that as much as my wife pleads that I consider this. I am no quitter and I do not run. I shall stay and fight till the very end even if that is the last thing I do.

If I have to lose my freedom so be it. That is the price we pay for opposing the powers-that-be. But I shall not go quietly or make any deals to secure my release with those who walk in the corridors of power.

I was given an option. Take the money and become rich or go to jail. I refused the money and instead chose jail. This is my choice and no one can convince me to do otherwise. No doubt I will have to pay for this and it will be a heavy price that I shall have to pay. But this is the price of the struggle and the price does not come cheap.

I shall not submit. I shall resist till the end. I stand on right and I oppose what is wrong. Amar makruf, nahi munkar, as Islam would say. We must uphold right and oppose wrong. That is not only the Islamic way but also the way of all religions. And even atheists believe in this, so you need not believe in God to subscribe to the concept of amar makruf, nahi munkar.

Over thousands of years countless people have met their deaths just because they stood on the side of right. What I have chosen to do has been done by so many who are now nameless and faceless. So it is nothing so special that I do which has not been done before.

My resistance will continue. But I will have to continue my resistance behind the barbwire fences of the Kamunting Detention Centre. It will now be up to you, those who are free, to continue where I left off.

My resistance, however, will have to take on a new form. I will no longer be able to write or speak at ceramahs. My voice has now been silenced. But I can still speak the words of silence, which will be my new form of resistance.

I shall no longer open my mouth or utter one word during my detention. I shall maintain the silence of a mute person. I shall not sign any documents of the so many documents that they make you sign when under detention. My signature is not going to be placed on a single shred of paper.

By doing so would mean none of my family members or lawyers would have access to me. Yes, that is the price I shall pay for ‘not cooperating’. I know this and I am prepared for it.

I shall refuse all medical treatment and visits to the hospital. I shall refuse to accept any food and water supplied by the Kamunting authorities. I shall refuse to leave my cell or to meet any of the prison authorities. In short, I shall shut myself out from the world and keep to my own world of my eight feet square cell.

This action will mean I shall survive at the most seven to eight days. By the end of that period I shall be dead. I am prepared for that. They plan to imprison my body for the rest of my life. But I shall release my spirit from my body and will again be free. They can keep my body and they can do whatever they want with it. But they will never be able to keep my spirit. I shall separate my spirit from my body and deny them the pleasure of incarcerating me.

This is a decision I have taken and no one can make me change my mind. And this is probably the last article of mine that you shall read if they send me to Kamunting tomorrow. Keep the struggle going. I shall no longer be able to join you in that struggle. The work is far from finished. This country needs major political, economic and social reforms. The next two years are going to be most trying years indeed. And expect a snap general election within 18 months of Najib taking over if he does take over on 1 April 2009.

I lay down my life for this nation of ours called Malaysia. I will sacrifice myself for the sake of the struggle. There is very little left I can give at this point of time other than my life. For those who stood by me all these years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I go with a heavy heart. But my heart is heavy only because I have but one life to give.

Death is not the end. Death is but the beginning. It is the beginning of a new journey that none of us can escape and will one day embark upon. It is not something to be sad about. It is something to rejoice.

Please continue your struggle to make Malaysia a better place for our future generation. This country belongs to them and it is for them that we struggle. For some of us, our time is already almost up. We do not have many years left. Many have gone before us. Many friends who started out with us in 1998 are no longer around. But they left this world in the hope that one day Malaysia will be the country that we dream it would be. And that, too, must be our dream.

I pray and hope that the Putrajaya Federal Court will uphold the decision of the Shah Alam High Court to free me from ISA detention. But if it reverses that decision then we must be prepared for that as well. And if the Federal Court does what I fear it will do, goodbye Malaysians, my comrade-in-arms. We shall meet again, one day, although not in this world but the next.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

RPK defamation case to be heard in Sessions Court, rules High Court

By Debra Chong   |   malaysianinsider
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin will be tried for criminal defamation in the Sessions Court, the High Court ruled today.
High Court judge Justice Zainal Azman Ab Aziz dismissed Raja Petra's application made last November for the case against him to be moved back to the magistrate's court where the monetary penalty, should he be convicted, is limited to a maximum fine of RM10,000.
He also ordered the case be moved back to the Sessions Court for the trial dates to be set.
"We shall file an appeal," Raja Petra's lawyer J. Chandra told reporters outside the courtroom later.
Chandra said it was a matter of importance that needed the "authoritative decision of the Federal Court" as it touched on constitutional issues.
He noted that Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution expressly provides that all persons are equal before the law and deserve its equal protection.
The editor of the online news site Malaysia Today was charged in the magistrate's court on July 17 last year with defaming Datin Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Deputy Prime Minister, acting Kol Abdul Aziz Buyong and his wife Kol Norhayati Hassan in a statutory declaration he made at the civil High Court here a month earlier.
Raja Petra was to have been tried in the same court. But the Attorney-General applied to transfer the case to the Sessions Court for the sake of "public interest".
The blogger, often at odds with the establishment, objected to this move.
Subsequently, he filed a request with the High Court to move it back to the original courtroom on the grounds that the magistrate's court order to transfer the case to the Sessions Court contravened Section 177 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
If Raja Petra is found guilty of defamation, under Section 500 of the Penal Code, he can be punished with jail up to two years and a fine or both for each count of the offence.
However, the law does not state the limit of the fine.
In the magistrate's court, the highest he can be fined is RM10,000. In the Sessions Court, there is no ceiling to the fine.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Inspector Clouseau and the Pink Panther

Friday, 13 February 2009 14:38

That is the dilemma we face. They accuse me of posting an article where certain parts of it are alleged to have been fabricated. But they refuse to tell us what the truth is so that we can establish whether there are indeed certain parts in that article that are fabricated.


Raja Petra Kamarudin a.k.a. Pink Panther

What do you do when you chase a prey for two years and it is so fast on its feet and so elusive that you can’t get within ten feet of it? Well, you make it chase you instead. I mean, you can’t keep chasing your prey for the rest of your life in a never-ending story or else you will end up like the Coyote in that cartoon programme which has been chasing the Road Runner since I was a toddler and has still not caught it 50 years on.

But you have to be careful, though. While you want the tables turned so that the hunted now becomes the hunter, and vice versa, you have to make sure that your prey starts chasing you but does not actually catch you. And there must be an endgame to this whole thing. You do not want the chase to be just for chase-sake. There must be a trap that you lead your prey into -- who is now the hunter -- so that the chase ends with your prey-turned-hunter snared well and good.

And that is exactly what my trials are all about -- both the Sedition Act and Criminal Defamation trials. They are about making my prey transform into the hunter while I, who used to be the hunter, now becomes its ‘prey’. Then I run, with them chasing me instead. Whether they can catch me in the end is immaterial and a risk I have to take. But the fact that they are chasing me means they will have to leave no stone unturned in their attempt to catch me. And that is really what I want them to do so that we can take a peep under that stone and see the udang sebalik batu, as the Malays would say.

Thus far, the Sedition Act trial has been most enlightening. My Criminal Defamation trial has not started yet as we are still arguing as to which court is empowered to hear the case. And with the many appeals on this one issue still on the cards, that means it will be some time before we even come to the actual trial date.

Yesterday was the closing of this week’s session and the next session has been scheduled for the 23rd and 24th April 2009. The two days of hearing this week was just the cross-examination of Superintendent Gan Tack Guan. We are far from finished with Gan so we expect the April session to still focus on him. Even then we are not sure whether those two days in April will be enough to complete his cross-examination because Gan is so slow and evasive that it takes two hours just to get him to reply to one question, as Gobind Singh Deo said yesterday.

Gan was the Investigating Officer in the Altantuya murder investigation. And, since he made the police report against me, that means he is also the complainant in my Sedition Act trial. That was a stroke of luck for us, and the first booboo they made. He should not have been given the task of making that police report against me since he was also the Investigating Officer in the Altantuya murder investigation. But I suppose they thought he was the best person to make the police report against me since he was the Investigation Officer in the Altantuya murder investigation and therefore would be the one with the locus standi.

This, however, exposes them to another problem. Granted, he has locus standi, since he was the Investigating Officer in the Altantuya murder investigation. But this also means he has first-hand knowledge of the investigation and would therefore be able to answer in great detail what transpired during the investigation. And this was when they realised their mistake.

Gan, however, refused to answer all the questions posed by Gobind. In the beginning, he proudly claimed he was the Investigating Officer in the murder investigation. When he realised this means he must now tell the court in detail everything about the investigation, he changed his story and said that he was just the supervisor of the investigating team and that other officers had done the actual investigation. He is now trying to give the impression he is not that knowledgeable about the investigation after all since he did not do the actual investigation. He just supervised a team of other investigators and, therefore, he does not know so much.

Gan is a Superintendant of Police with 30 years experience in the force and now attached to Interpol. But he wants the court to believe he is not too clear about the details of the Altantuya murder investigation -- an investigation that he led. And he kept repeating, “I can’t remember”, “I am not able to reply”, “I don’t know how to reply”, and so on, to every question, even when directed to do so by the Judge.

At one point, the Prosecution tried to stop the cross-examination by telling the court that the truth of the matter is not material to the charge. In other words, it does not matter whether I told the truth or I lied in that article I am alleged to have published -- ‘Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell’. Whether I lied or not is not important. Even if I told the truth that would still tantamount to sedition and I would still be guilty.

Then the Prosecution tried to argue we should not look at the article paragraph by paragraph. This was when they discovered that certain paragraphs that had been marked as false were instead true. The court should look at the article in its entirety, argued the Prosecution. Never mind if some paragraphs are seditious while others are not. The article should be looked at in totality and we should not look at just parts of it.

This, again, got them into a corner. The police report that Gan made against me said I had fabricated parts of that article. He then marked four paragraphs where, according to Gan, had been fabricated. In the charge, it said I had fabricated nine paragraphs. Gan said four. The Prosecution said nine. This is already an inconsistency. Now the Prosecution wants the court to ignore the four or nine paragraphs and instead look at the article in totality.

But the police report and charge said that parts of the article had been fabricated. Why do they now want the court to look at the article in totality? Is this an attempt to move the goalposts halfway through the game? It would be contempt of court for me to comment on this matter so I will certainly not make any positive allegation at this stage lest I face yet another charge on top of the many I already face. But their inconsistency and constant ‘shifting’ can’t help but give this impression and I would be shirking my duty if I do not point this out to the readers, contempt or no contempt.

They can’t seem to make up their minds as to what ‘crime’ I have committed. First it is four paragraphs of the article that I was alleged to have posted are seditious. Then it is nine paragraphs. Now it is the whole article that is seditious. Every time they come up against a dead-end they shift the goalposts. If I did not know better, I would suspect they are bent on getting me by hook or by crook and by using fair or foul means. But I will not accuse them of such things, as I am sure the Malaysian justice system would never resort to such underhanded tactics just to put a dissident and critic of the government behind bars.

Since my so-called crime of sedition is the result of certain paragraphs in the article, which I was alleged to have posted, are said to be fabricated, we would then need to get to the truth. Once the truth has been established, we can then compare it with the article I was alleged to have posted and determine whether it is indeed true that certain parts of it had been fabricated. And this is where the testimony of Gan is most crucial.

But Gan would not answer all the questions which Gobind posed to him. He forgets, he is not able to reply, he does not know how to reply, and so on. He just refuses to reply to anything that he is asked. How, then, do we establish the truth? And if we can’t establish the truth, how, then, do we determine whether there are any lies in the article, as they allege?

That is the dilemma we face. They accuse me of posting an article where certain parts of it are alleged to have been fabricated. But they refuse to tell us what the truth is so that we can establish whether there are indeed certain parts in that article that are fabricated.

When asked whether he conducted any investigation to establish if some parts of the article have indeed been fabricated, Gan replied that no investigation had been carried out. How, then, does he know for sure that certain parts of the article have been fabricated if no investigation had been carried out? To this, Gan replied that he based it on assumption. And why does he assume so? Because, Gan replied, he never came across any of these facts during the Altantuya murder trial and no one came forward to volunteer any information to prove the article correct.

In others words, since no one confirmed certain parts of the article as true and since he did not accidentally stumble on such information, then he assumes them to be false. And it is not his job to investigate if indeed certain parts of the article had been fabricated. Since he is not aware of these facts then he assumes them to be false. Simple! What he is not aware of has to be false. There is no other way of looking at it.

And that is how Gan, a police officer with the rank of Superintendant and 30 years experience in the force and now attached to Interpol, comes to conclusions. He looks at what he knows. And what he does not know must be assumed to be false. And based on this assumption I must be sent to jail. I must be sent to jail not because I committed a crime. I must be sent to jail not because I am alleged to have posted an article with some part of it considered seditious. I must be sent to jail because I am alleged to have posted an article where some parts of it are not of the knowledge of Gan and therefore must be assumed to be false.

Welcome to Malaysia, the land of boleh.

P.S. ‘Pink Panther’ used to be my nickname back in the 1970s and was my e-mail ID in the mid-1990s. Tengku Ismail Tengku Ibrahim of Kuala Terengganu can testify to this. And, of course, Superintendant Gan is no Inspector Clouseau but more like the Keystone Cops.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

RPK wants judge to recuse himself

By Debra Chong  | malaysianinsider
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 11 – Anti-government blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin remains a free man for at least one more week.
The Federal Court was to hear today the appeal from the Home Minister to overturn the Shah Alam High Court decision last November to free Raja Petra from a two-year detention at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The hearing has been postponed to Feb 17 after Raja Petra sought to remove Justice Datuk S. Augustine Paul from being one of the three-member panellists overseeing this case.
He claimed that past encounters with the senior judge may result in a biased decision against him.
The prominent editor of Malaysia Today had in the past written commentaries critical of Justice Augustine while working on the Free Anwar Campaign.
Justice Augustine was the High Court judge who presided over the corruption trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim following his sacking as the Deputy Prime Minister.
Raja Petra’s lawyer, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, argued that Justice Augustine had also ruled that the government critic was a “threat to national security” in 2001 when he dismissed a previous habeas corpus application filed after he was arrested under the ISA.
Malik noted that the ruling still stands. An appeal against the dismissal failed to materialise because Raja Petra had been released from ISA detention by the time the court had set the date for the hearing.
The Federal Court accepted the oral arguments despite the objection by the Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah.
Abdul Majid argued that Justice Augustine need not excuse himself from the hearing because there was no strong proof of bias.
Justice Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, who led the three-member panel today, told Raja Petra to submit the documents supporting his claims against Justice Augustine by tomorrow 11 am.
Raja Petra was arrested on September 12 last year in an ISA sweep ordered by the Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, which included outspoken DAP lawmaker Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng for allegedly posing a threat to national security.
Tan was freed within 24 hours after the police clarified she had been put behind bars “for her own safety” following death threats.
Kok was released after a week and Raja Petra close to two months after his arrest.
Raja Petra who attended the Federal Court hearing today accompanied by his retinue of anti-ISA supporters will return to the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court tomorrow where he is undergoing trial for sedition.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Updates from Raja Petra Court Hearing Today.

 Tuesday, 10 February 2009 14:05   |   MalaysiaToday.

Updates from Raja Petra's Court Hearing Today on his Sedition Charge - MT Administration

Superintendant Gan was the only witness of the morning. Gobind started with questioning him with regards to the comments made by the prior judge and whether he knew the new judge was junior to the old. Gan's replies were either he could not remember or he did not know.
He was further questioned on paragraphs in the Altantuya article which he again stated he did not investigate or he did not know if they were true. He admitted that Najib is important to the investigation. He was asked if he had questioned Najib on the truth of the matter and he answered no. He was later asked if he had questioned Musa and Rosmah and he also admitted that he did not. His reason for not questioning Najib was because Najib was not involved. How he came to the conclusion that Najib was not involved was because he relied on facts supplied by ASP Tony.
Gobind asked him how many years had he been with the force and whether he understood what 'hearsay' means. The court did not find that necessary to be answered.
Gan's reply to most questions was that he led a team of investigators and he relied on them for answers. He did not have personal knowledge of the investigation.
Gobind stated that Gan made a false police report as he did not investigate whether what Raja Petra wrote was true.
"I put it to you that no statement was taken from Najib because the police knew he was involved and that you have no guts! And therefore you are in no position to substantiate  RPK's article". The decision to lodge the police report and initiate the police investigation was politically motivated, was Gobind's last statement before the hearing was adjourned for lunch.
After lunch, Gan became confused and when asked if he thought what he wrote in his affidavit was unfounded, he replied yes.

Defence argues Najib at the heart of RPK sedition trial.

Raja Petra Kamarudin in good spirits outside the 
Sessions Court just before the trial. 
— Pic by Edward Cheah
By Debra Chong
PETALING JAYA, Feb 10 — The sedition trial of prominent anti-establishment blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin continued today at the Sessions Court here amid much drama — with the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s name often cropping up.
In his cross-examination of a key prosecution witness, defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, tried to establish that the sedition charge against the Malaysia Today editor was “politically motivated”, as he told reporters outside the courtroom later.
The cross-examination of Superintendant Gan Tack Guan lasted over three hours.
During that time, Gobind shot question after question over Gan’s failure, as the police officer who lodged the report against Raja Petra, to record the DPM’s statements despite being named in Raja Petra’s allegedly seditious article published in his website on April 25 last year.
Raja Petra — popularly known by his initials RPK — was charged with sedition last May for allegedly implying Najib was involved in the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman in an online article titled “Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers To Hell”.
If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison or a fine not more than RM5,000 or both.
“Did you, at any point of time during the investigation of the Altantuya case, question Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak?” Gobind questioned while referencing Raja Petra’s article.
“No,” Gan replied.
“If you did not investigate Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, how do you know the content of the paragraph is untrue?” Gobind pressed.
“I got to know the facts from the investigating officer ASP Tonny Lunggan,” Gan answered, looking uncomfortable.
Assistant Superintendent Tonny Lunggan was the investigating police officer who headed the probe into the gruesome death of Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaaribuu, whose blown-up remains were discovered in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam near here close to three years ago.
Raja Petra, who is out on bail, attended today’s trial with his wife Marina Lee Abdullah and several supporters dressed in black “I Am With RPK” t-shirts.
He appeared amused at the interrogation tactics employed by Gobind and the resulting agitation showed by Gan, frequently turning around to smile at the public from his seat in the dock.
The trial will resume with Gan’s cross-examination on Thursday.

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