Archive for January, 2009

JIM on Kugan

An Islamic NGO, Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM), has expressed in a media statement its regret over the death of A. Kugan who was held in police custody, and also called for a thorough, independent and transparent investigation of his death.

Equally important is that JIM emphasises that it doesn’t view this issue as something ethnic (or racial) as it involves the vital principle of justice that should transcend the borders of ethnicity and religion.

Below is JIM’s full statement.

 

KENYATAAN MEDIA

Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia

 

29 Januari 2009

 

 

Kes Kematian A. Kugan Dalam Tahanan Polis Mesti Disiasat Tanpa Selindung

 

Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) melahirkan rasa kesal dengan insiden seorang suspek bernama A. Kugan yang telah meninggal dunia semasa berada dalam tahanan polis pada 20 Januari 2009. Peguam Negara telah mengklasifikasikannya sebagai kes bunuh di bawah Seksyen 302 Kanun Keseksaan mungkin setelah mengambilkira kesan luka yang serius kepada badan mayat A Kugan yang didedahkan oleh keluarga mangsa.

 

JIM memandang serius insiden tersebut kerana ini bukanlah kali pertama tahanan yang ditahan dalam lokap polis didapati mati ketika dalam tahanan. Sekiranya benar apa yang didakwa, iaitu pihak polis sendiri telah bertindak menyeksa tahanan sehingga menyebabkan kematian tahanan, maka JIM melihat ini sebagai satu pelanggaran besar terhadap kepercayaan rakyat kepada institusi keselamatan negara, Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM). Ia juga merupakan satu tindakan kejam dan tidak berperikemanusiaan walaupun terhadap individu yang disyaki sebagai penjenayah.

 

JIM menyanjung tinggi usaha dan peranan pihak polis dalam membanteras jenayah namun pelaksanaan penguatkuasaan undang-undang mestilah berpandukan kepada prinsip kedaulatan undang-undang atau rule of law dan keadilan. Selain daripada itu, pihak polis mestilah akur dengan prinsip hak asasi manusia sejagat mahupun apa yang digariskan dalam prinsip hak asasi manusia dalam Islam yang mengiktiraf bahawa seseorang itu tidak bersalah sehingga dibuktikan bersalah (innocent until proven guilty).

 

JIM mengetahui bahawa kes seksaan secara fizikal dan mental serta kes kematian ketika dalam jagaan polis telah banyak dilaporkan sebelum ini samada ketika direman atau ketika ditahan di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA). Namun kes-kes tersebut samada tiada tindakan lanjutan, siasatan masih berterusan atau masih dalam sesi perbicaraan mahkamah. Dewan Rakyat pada tahun 2008 telah dimaklumkan seramai 1,535 orang mati semasa dalam tahanan polis dalam tempoh antara 2003 hingga 2007. Pada masa yang sama, dua Suruhanjaya Diraja berhubung perkara ini telah ditubuhkan sebelum ini dengan pelbagai saranan namun keberkesanan saranannya masih dipersoalkan ramai khususnya berkenaan dengan kegagalan penubuhan Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salahlaku Polis (Independent Polis Complaints and Misconduct Commission – IPCMC).

 

JIM menegaskan bahawa dalam konteks masyarakat berbilang bangsa dan agama seperti Malaysia, insiden seperti ini tidak seharusnya berlaku ke atas mana-mana individu, bangsa atau agama sekalipun. Oleh yang demikian, JIM tidak melihat ini sebagai isu perkauman dan menyarankan semua pihak untuk berpendirian sama kerana prinsip keadilan merentasi sempadan bangsa, kaum dan agama.

 

Sehubungan itu, JIM sebagai sebuah badan bukan kerajaan Islam yang amat prihatin dalam isu keadilan dan urustadbir yang baik menyarankan kepada Kerajaan untuk:-

 

1.      Mengambil langkah serius mengarahkan dan memastikan siasatan yang menyeluruh, adil dan telus dilakukan berikutan kematian A. Kugan dalam tahanan polis dengan kadar segera tanpa melindungi atau menyembunyikan mana-mana fakta dan pihak, demi menegakkan keadilan. Adalah sewajarnya siasatan tersebut dilakukan oleh sebuah Suruhanjaya Bebas DiRaja yang ditubuhkan oleh Kerajaan.

 

2.      Menyemak dan meneliti saranan yang telah dibuat oleh dua Suruhanjaya Diraja sebelum ini serta melaksanakan saranan-saranan mereka.

 

JIM bersimpati dengan keluarga A Kugan dan seterusnya  menyeru semua pihak untuk bertenang dan bertindak mengikut lunas undang-undang. Keadilan bukan sahaja terlaksana tetapi mesti dilihat dilaksanakan.

 

 

Hj Zaid Kamaruddin

Presiden

Kugan’s final journey

(Video credit: Malaysiakini)

Kugan Ananthan, the Malaysian youth who died tragically in police custody, was eventually laid to rest yesterday. His gruesome death has predictably attracted the attention, interest and concern of many people, including politicians and foreign journalists.

Paula goes to the police station

Paula Khoo, who was detained after an anti-ISA vigil in Penang last November, is scheduled to go to the police station at Jalan Patani, George Town tomorrow at 8.00 am to find out whether she’d be charged.

Friends and supporters are expected to be there at the police station to lend Paula their moral support.

Second autopsy for Kugan today

Malaysiakini yesterday and New Sunday Times today report that a second post-mortem is expected to be conducted on the 22-year-old A. Kugan who died in police custody.

The world waits with bated breath.

Kugan, justice and IPCMC

(Video credit: Malaysiakini)

The cruel death of police detainee Kugan Ananthan, which has been classified as murder by the Attorney General, predictably not only had caused extreme pain and distress to Kugan’s immediate family but also raised alarm from concerned Malaysians who want to see justice done.

This gory incident and other recent cases of police custody only lend credence to the demand of many Malaysians that an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) be set up as soon as possible.

Are Malaysians healthier?

Trust in the media contributes to better health, suggests a recent study of people in Asia.

The Hong Kong people, according to the study, were the most cynical about their mass media.

One wonders if this is the same as asking whether you can stomach the (mainstream) media in your country. Presumably the inability to warmly accept your own media could result in ideological diarrhoea, which in turn could trigger off other bodily complications.

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union reports:

People in Asia who trust the media tend to enjoy better health, a new study suggests.

Using data from a survey of 39,000 people from 29 Asian countries, it found that individuals with high levels of trust in the mass media tended to be healthier, ScienceDaily reports.

The study was conducted by researchers led by Yasuharu Tokuda from St Luke’s International Hospital and Takashi Inoguchi from Chuo University, both in Tokyo.

“This study is the first to analyse this relationship,” Mr Tokuda said. “Our findings suggest that mass media programmes can contribute towards better health, especially among those people who have trust in mass media.

“The media need to recognise the importance of their social role in terms of public health.”

Slightly over 50 percent of participants reported that they “trust a lot” or “trust to a degree” in mass media. The group that reported being healthiest were young, married, high-income, and highly-educated women with a high trust in interpersonal relations as well as in the healthcare system and mass media.

People in Brunei reported the highest levels of health, while those in Turkmenistan had the lowest opinion of their own wellbeing. People in the Maldives reported the highest level of trust in mass media while Hong Kong residents were the most cynical.

Gong Xi Fa Cai

 

(Photo credit: www.cardmaster.com/…/Animated/cn89.gif)

Gong Xi Fa Cai to my Chinese friends and visitors to this blog.

 

Probing journalism-for-sale

‘Envelope journalism,’ or ‘jurnalisme amplop’ in Indonesian term, is obviously not about the kind of journalism that tries to push the envelope.

On the contrary, such a practice has the effect of constraining freedom of the press because this form of bribery is aimed at gaining favourable reporting for the bribing party concerned to the extent that a journalist is discouraged or restricted from reporting the whole truth about a particular issue or incident.

Furthermore, ‘envelope journalism’ compromises journalistic ethics, and also it goes a long way towards smearing the profession.

Seen in this light, it is good news that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is reportedly still investigating the distribution of RM300 to several journalists on the eve of the recent Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Additionally, it would also be interesting to know whether this incident is a remote case, or whether such an unethical practice had also emerged elsewhere in recent past.

Malaysiakini has the story:

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today clarified that the probe on the distribution of RM300 to several journalists on the eve of the Kuala Terengganu by-election was still ongoing.

Contacted today, the commission’s director of investigation Mohd Shukri Abdul said that the matter was being investigated by Terengganu MACC.Mohd Shukri said this when asked to comment a report in the New Straits Times today which quoted an anonymous MACC official stating that the probe was concluded.

According to the report, the anonymous MACC official said that no investigation paper would be opened as the journalists who allegedly received the money could not identify the giver and the motive for giving the money could not be ascertained.

On Jan 16, two Merdekareview.com journalists covering the Kuala Terengganu by-election lodged a police report with the Terengganu police headquarters after they had received RM300 in white envelopes at the information department media centre.

The media centre staff who allegedly distributed the money was clearly named in one of the police report which was made available to Malaysiakini.”I don’t know the purpose of the money being given to me, but I suspect that it has elements of corruption. I’m making this police report for the police to investigation,” said the one of the journalists in her report.
Continue reading ‘Probing journalism-for-sale’

Paying the price for professing free speech

Professor Norman Finkelstein, who resigned from DePaul University, Chicago in 2007 because of his outspoken criticism of Israel, was interviewed by Riz Khan of Al Jazeera in June 2007 on his critical views of the Israel-Palestine conflict, ‘anti-Semitism’, the American academia, and also the American media.

This advocate of justice was denied entry into Israel and subsequently deported in May 2008 due to his critical academic view of Israeli policy, particularly on Palestine. See also here.

Although this video clip is dated, the content of this Al Jazeera interview is nonetheless still relevant and thought-provoking.

Congratulations

British singer Cliff Richard’s in the mood to congratulate.


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