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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Malaysia is under 4 states of emergency, mind you!

According to a MalaysiaKini report, Dato’ Ambiga, the chairperson of BERSIH, YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the UMNO Youth Chief and Dato’ Ibrahim Ali, the Perkasa war general, have all been summoned to Bukit Aman by the police. So the Home Minister said.

On the same day, I read a Malaysian Insider report that three youths are suing the police for placing them under detention without trial under the Emergency Ordinance 1969 for allegedly stealing motorcycles.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Malaysia, and please do not unfasten your seatbelts.

For the uninitiated, allow me to put on record that Malaysia (including when we were Tanah Melayu) has seen 5 state of emergencies altogether. The 1st time was in 1948 when the communist insurgency resulted in 11000 people being killed.

The 2nd time was in 1964 during the Indonesian confrontation.

The 3rd time was in 1966. This was limited to Sarawak following the dismissal of the Ketua Menteri.

The 4th time was in 1969 following the 13th May incident.

Lastly, it was in 1977, which was limited to the state of Kelantan to deal with the political crisis there.

The last 4 emergencies have not been lifted till today.

What is so frightening about state of emergencies, you may ask.

This is the most frightening. Article 150, Clause 6 of the Federal Constitution allows the Parliament to pass any law and His  Majesty the King to promulgate any ordinance during state of emergencies and those laws and ordinances will be valid even if they are repugnant or inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Federal Constitution.

In other words, during an emergency, any kind of law would be valid. Which means, the Federal Constitution may be ignored, side-stepped or just plain torn, shredded and burned. Which finally mean, you and I, citizen of Malaysia, do not have any kind of recognisable right during an emergency.

Various emergency regulations have been promulgated and used since 1969. These regulations give wide and really draconian powers to the police and government. The followings are just some examples.

Firstly, a person may be detained without trial and banished to a certain area without trial.

Secondly, In the EMERGENCY (ESSENTIAL POWERS) ORDINANCE, 1969(Ordinance 1 and Ordinance 2) ESSENTIAL (DISPOSAL OF DEAD BODIES AND DISPENSATION OF INQUESTS AND DEATH INQUIRIES) REGULATIONS, 1969 for example, regulation 3 ( b ) provides as follows:

“where a Magistrate or a Coroner responsible for holding a death inquiry or inquest on the body of any person is satisfied that such person has been killed as a result of operations for the purpose of suppressing disturbances by the Police or the Malaysian Armed Forces or as a result of injuries caused by
disturbances, the Magistrate or the Coroner, as the case may be, may dispense with the holding of a death inquiry or inquest on the body of such person.”

That would of course mean no police killing could come under scrutiny during an emergency.

Thirdly, the Home Minister can ban any kind of printing material which he deems it as prejudicial to public order. He can even open all postal packages, read all telegrams, articles and printed matters and detain those material under the ESSENTIAL (NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS) REGULATIONS, 1969.

Fourthly (hold on really tight to your seats for this one), under the ESSENTIAL (PROHIBITION OF ACTIVITIES RELATING TO ELECTIONS)
REGULATIONS, 1969, elections may be suspended, during which suspension, regulation 2 provides:

“Notwithstanding any written law to the contrary. for so long as the elections are suspended all activities relating to elections are hereby prohibited.”

Fifthly, there is such a thing called the ESCAR, namely, the Emergency and Security Cases Regulations which, among others:

  1. permits the Attorney General to choose whichever Court he likes to try a security case. The Court may sit in any place or state regardless of where the alleged offence took place.
  2. if the Court is satisfied that a witness is afraid to testify, the witness can testify in a manner that he or she cannot be seen or heard by the Counsel of the accused! Now, tell me, how the hell is the accused going to defend himself against such witness?
  3. hearsay evidence may be tendered and admitted by Court.

The above are but examples of the extreme powers that the State has during emergencies. Powers such as these are open to abuse and there is no mechanism to check this abuse. These regulations are not challengeable in any Courts of Law. Actions taken by the State under those emergency regulations are also not usually challengeable in any Courts of Law.

Nobody in their sane mind would say that Malaysia, in reality, is in a state of emergency now. Chaos, maybe. In a state of dream, perhaps. State of denial, obviously. State of incorrigible stupor, maybe too. But emergency? Excuse me.

The only reason why these proclamations of emergencies have not been lifted is because the government is desirous of maintaining all these draconian laws and regulations.

These regulations provide shortcuts to the likes of the police. Why bother investigate a case thoroughly when they can detain any person without trial and banish them to a certain district?

If it was true that the 3 youths have been stealing motorcycles, the obvious right thing to do in any civilised society is to have them produced before the Court and charged.

An obvious case of abuse of emergency ordinance is the case of the Kelantan’s claim for the petroleum royalty. The case for the government rests on the definition of state’s waters as defined in Section 4 (2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 1969,  which provides that a state's waters is  only within three nautical miles from its shores. (source: this article).

That is a classic abuse of emergency laws. How can an economic claim be settled by reference to a rule which is made to cater for a state of emergency?

The continuous existence of states of emergencies in Malaysia is repugnant to the notion that Malaysia is inching towards a the status of a developed state; that we are a liberal and tolerant society;that we are a country practising democracy with a vibrant society able to engage in a public and civil discourse over whatever issues which are important for nation building.

The police force is a law unto themselves in Malaysia. This has to stop immediately. Lest Malaysia would be viewed dimly by the international community. We are not a police state, yet. But we surely are displaying obvious symptoms of one.

The latest episode involving the summoning of Dato’ Ambiga nd YB KJ* is but an example of the police force acting at their whim and fancy. These two persons have not committed any offence. Nor have they, under the law, attempted to commit any offence. What power does the police force have to summon them to Bukit Aman? Why are they being summoned? What if they did not appear in Bukit Aman? What would the police do?

*as for Ibrahim Ali, there is obviously a reason, or even several reasons, to summon him.

16 comments:

abdooss said...

Well said, Art!... the reasons I shied away from Demos.. but, come Elections, I'll show them my powers!

rob said...

Art

Your normal high standard of writing. Balanced, informative, factual and scary.

You forgot another thing. You and me and two others cannot have teh-tarik lest we are charged with illegal assembly.

cheers

Anonymous said...

Art,

Another great article of relevance to us laymen.

It is undeniable that the police together with the AG runs this country assisted by the PM and his cabinet. No wonder the police is now known as PRDM (Polis Raja Di-Malaysia).

The general public will not be wrong if they believe that Ambiga will likely be questioned/interrogated by Bukit Aman while both KJ and Ibrahim Ali will instead be treated to high tea by the PRDM. Lets just hope that Ambiga stays on the ground floor of Bukit Aman.

Zmas said...

EN ART
THE MORE REASONS ON HOW N WHY ROSMAH GOVT CAN DO ANYTHING AS THEY PLEASE.....

ONLY INTENTION TO A RALLY PUN KENA.....
NOW DEATH THREAT SOME MORE.....

WELL DONE GOVT ROSMAH .....REALLY KEEP ON DOING ILLOGICAL THINGS..... EVERYDAY JUST KEEP GOING WITH ALL T SILLY THINGS U ARE GOOD AT ....

GOVT ROSMAH THINKS WE T RAKYAT BIASA DO NOT HAVE EYES EARS N BRAINS .....

WE WILL GET PUTRAJAYA SOONER .....

Anonymous said...

interesting revelation. Now we are sure that NAJIB will enforce laws just to retain power. However, I strongly believe that if NAJIB ever enforces this law, we will have TUNISIA/EGYPT on our roads. And NAJIB WILL be embarrassed in the eyes of the world...

semuanya OK kot said...

Time to counter the crap that this is a democracy. It is fascism, of course. Facscism means capitalists and tyrants in bed together, as in 95% of other countries (ignoring the cosmetics in some). Will the zombies wake up?

forever pening said...

urgh. last sem i've got to do mooting on Consti subject and the issue given was related to Emergency and The Attorney General.
too much complications, Mr Art. i kinda pening already.

Mohd said...

We all know the true reason for having this Bersih2 demo. Don't try to kid yourself and try to bluff us.
The rakyat wants peace. Its good that PDRM still have the emergency powers. The courts cannot be relied on as most of the judges are on the side of the Opposition.
Ambiga and the leaders of the Bersih2 must be arrested under the ISA for trying to create chaos in the country. Thank God for the existemce of the ISA.

FS said...

Allow me Mr Art,

The locations are questionable, do they have enough guts to do a rally in Brickfields? Bukit Bintang?

yes?no?

GeeTha said...

Mohd,

No one is trying to create chaos. demanding for clean uncorrupted elections is every rakyat's rights. The government has no say in saying that we can't. Chaos was created a long time ago by the government and the police themselves by enforcing raelly dumb biased discriminative laws that has not served its purpose since darurat! The ISA is for the weak and cowardice! If You're so confident you're right, try them in front of the public and let's see who wins!

Roob said...

"It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it"
Sue Chee!!

F with the ISA!

Anonymous said...

Khairy and Ibrahim Ali was invited & given VIP treatment to have tea, kuih-muih and chit-chat. While Ms. Ambiga was not asked to answer questions rather is acccused of affiliation with the oppositions & communism and christian agenda....

Sea MunnKey said...

In all honesty ... a whole lot of peace loving Malaysians would rather see a harmonious and totally tolerance free nation rather than all this "self imposed" and ridiculous States of Emergency bullcrap!!

The current government has been inciting hatred, suspicions and corrupt the minds of "brainwashed" muslims much to the dismay of the non-muslims Malaysian citizens who wants nothing more than a peaceful state where religion is not the only source of Peace BUT forgiveness as well.

Inciting and spreading fear among muslim citizens that non-muslim Malaysians are about to take over your country, mind & soul, probe and then "annihilate" your ethnicity to kingdom come ... is pure absolute ludicrious!!!

Why the Hatred!!??! Doesn't anyone ever thought or understand the term ... Tolerance & Forgiveness at all? Malaysia is quickly becoming a Third (or maybe Fourth) World mentality. There is so much hatred in this country of Malaysia especially among the politicians and certain religious heads as well!

Juntaian Kesidang said...

My dear Mr Mohd...lemme put this in Malay...for from your name ..i presume u r a malay...pmbangkang sgt prlu dlm setiap pemerintahan.. a check-n-balance tool....dgn ada pmbangkang pun corruptn berleluasa...tanpa pmbangkang ...can u imagine...?? Malangnya d Msia ni....lihatlah b'mana pmbangkang dilayan....seluruh mainstream media kawalan siapa...? manipulasi siapa...? polis bawah telunjuk siapa...??? n not just d police.. d judiciary too..may b not s blatantly s d police laa... Rakyat melihat n menilai.... BTW we want BERSIH..kalau u all bijak u'd hv said...ya kamipun nk bersih ..coz oppposite of BERSIH is KOTOR...dan semmgnya bersih itu tuntutan agama...n then if u buat x bersihpun...most rakyat may not know..but for a few...but no problm.. bcos u can.. n have always been able to sekat suara of these few...tapi malangnya kalini rasanyer Allah tutup pemikiran...dan prlihatkan kpd rakyat u all nak terus-terusan KOTOR... Owh u r for ISA...?? Pisahkn anak n ayah...suami n isteri tanpa pembelaan..untuk jangka waktu yg tidak tntu....demi mnjaga kedudukan politik golongan trtntu..?? phewww...itu kezaliman yg nyata...rakyat melihat n menilai...n yg utama DIA JUGA MELIHAT...MENDENGAR...& MENILAI...PK2 kn saham apa yg bakal dibawa pulang mengadapNya nnt...!!

Anonymous said...

Any comment on today action by Najib.

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