Thursday, July 31, 2014

Genocide trial... there are more!

Two former Khmer Rouge leaders began their second trial at a UN-backed court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Wednesday on charges including genocide of Vietnamese people and ethnic Muslims, forced marriages and rape.

The complex case of the regime's two most senior surviving leaders has been split into a series of smaller trials, initially focusing on the forced evacuation of people into rural labour camps and related crimes against humanity.

                               Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary (died early this year) and Khieu Samphan

The first trial against 'Brother Number Two' Nuon Chea, 88, and former head of state Khieu Samphan, 83, was completed late last year, with the verdict -- and possible sentences -- set to be delivered on August 7.

At the opening hearing of the second trial, judge Nil Nonn read out the charges against both suspects, including genocide and other crimes against humanity, as more than 300 people watched the proceedings from the public gallery.

Nuon Chea did not attend for health reasons, while Khieu Samphan sat in court alongside his defence team. Both men deny all charges.

The mass killings of an estimated 100,000 to 500,000 ethnic Cham Muslims and 20,000 Vietnamese form the basis of the genocide charges against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

Two other leaders, 'king' Pol Pot died in 1998 while co-founder Ieng Sary died early this year.

NOTE: More should stand trial, including former US president George Bush Sr and British former prime minister Tony Blair for their genocide in Iraq, Benjamin Netanyahu and few other Israeli leaders for their atrocity in Palestine, the Myanmar junta for mass murder of the Rohingya people. Who else? There are others, hate to name them!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

America's Flight 17

When the US shot down 'by mistake' Iran Air flight 655 over the Persian Gulf in 1988, only Iran and a few countries condemned and protested. Even the United Nations did nothing, and no international sanction was slapped on the US.

But when Russia was accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine on July 17, Washington and its western allies were fast to formulate additional sanction on Moscow amid the former Soviet Union's intervention in Ukraine.

Anything the US did will be 'forgotten and forgiven' but others must be punished!
Well-known US author and journalist Fred Kaplan in his artiсle "America's Flight 17" for Slate Magazine calls readers not to jump to conclusions on the Malaysian Boeing tragedy. Before accusing self-defence forces in Ukraine’s South-east of the Malaysia Flight MH17 downing, the international community has to recall one of the Pentagon's most inexcusable disgraces - shooting down the passenger aircraft Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes, he writes. Whoever brought down the Malaysian airliner should be held accountable, stresses the journalist, just as the White House and the crew of the Vincennes should have been.
While the western mass media hastened to link the MH17 tragedy to the notorious Korean Airlines Flight 007, shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor in 1983, the infamous Vincennes case remained unspoken.
"A quarter-century later, the Vincennes is almost completely forgotten, but it still ranks as the world’s seventh deadliest air disaster (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is the sixth) and one of the Pentagon’s most inexcusable disgraces," writes Fred Kaplan in his article "America's Flight 17."
Mistakenly identified as an attacking fighter jet F-14 the Iranian Flight 655 was shot down over the Persian Gulf in 1988 by the SM-2 surface-to-air missile launched from the USS Vincennes. As a result of the Iranian Flight 655 catastrophe 290 passengers were killed including 60 children. The author emphasizes that after the incident American top officials not only dismissed all the accusations but blamed the Iranian pilot. However, nearly seven weeks after the tragedy the Pentagon had to recognize that all the "facts" the American top officials were referring to in order to shift the burden of responsibility on the Iranians were wrong. Strangely enough, the Pentagon's 53-page report on the incident "still concluded that the captain and all the other Vincennes officers acted properly."
Although Fred Kaplan, the defense correspondent of the Boston Globe at that time, pointed repeatedly to the numerous embarrassing discrepancies in the Pentagon's narrative, the US senior officers qualified them as inessential.

The most shocking fact, revealed in 1992 was that the USS Vincennes was in the Iranian waters when it shot down the Iranian Flight 655, not in international as the Pentagon reported in 1988.

"Vice President George H.W. Bush, who was running to succeed Ronald Reagan as president, said on the campaign trail, "I will never apologize for the United States - I don’t care what the facts are," cites Fred Kaplan and adds bitterly, "Not until eight years later did the US government compensate the victims' families, and even then expressed "deep regret," not an apology."

Those who are responsible for the MH17 catastrophe should be held accountable, still "that doesn’t mean tagging them as terrorists or war criminals," stresses the journalist.

"There’s a distinction between ghastly mistakes of war and monstrous acts of terrorism." Thorough investigation of the event should be carried out "but that requires realism on all sides, not indulgent theatrics or the forgetting of history," concludes Fred Kaplan.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What is PAS waiting for? Just leave Pakatan!

PKR wants its Pakatan Rakyat partner, PAS, to take disciplinary action against a member of its central committee for discussing leaving the coalition in a leaked WhatsApp message that has gone viral online.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli also hit out at the PAS member, Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki (pic), for the racial and religious tone in the leaked message.

But why was Rafizi worried? This guy has been a 'pain in the ass' not only for the coalition but PKR itself. If PAS wants to leave Pakatan Rakyat, why must he bother?

In a sign of escalating tension between both parties as a result of the current Selangor menteri besar crisis, Rafizi also demanded that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang  state the number of PAS leaders who held such views.
"What is the disciplinary action to be taken against Zuhdi, who had suggested a treacherous proposal, going against the agreement inked between PAS and Pakatan and the people who had voted for PAS and Pakatan?
"We want to know how many from the PAS central leadership hold such racist and anti-democractic views like Zuhdi," he said in a statement today.
PAS central committee members had been discussing the possibility of leaving Pakatan as the current Selangor MB crisis revealed cracks between the party and PKR.
Online news portal Malaysiakini reported that the screenshot of the leaked conversation revealed that Zuhdi was discussing the possibility of teaming up with rival Umno to form a simple majority government and at the same time to retain embattled Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as MB.
More distressingly, the tone of the conversation was blatantly racist, reported the portal, with Zuhdi saying that his scenario would return political dominance to the Malays and allow them to check "DAP and non-Muslims".
"After this, if DAP and non-Muslims make noise about the Allah issue or raids, we can just swat them away.

Rafizi said that while differences of opinion are allowed in any organisation, Zuhdi had gone too far with his racist statement which was tantamount to a betrayal of Pakatan.

No lah! I didn't detect any element of 'racism' in Zuhdi's words. He was saying the truth - that Anwar is like a 'dictator' while DAP has been showing 'anti-Islam' pigments of late.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A grim Syawal

Many Malaysians are still without income, no destitute. Many Muslims can't even fulfill their duty to pay tithe and yet the tithes collection seldom reached them.

I know some families who couldn't afford to buy new shoes and clothes for their family, let alone make ends meet.

And there are still many Malaysians living in 'pondok'-type houses; they are so poor and neglected because the 'zakat' money is not spent wisely (they spend only RM10 from each RM100 collected) while the agencies that are supposed to help alleviate poverty and look after the welfare of the unfortunate are so picky, media-crazy (no coverage, no delivery) and being used as political platform.

Not to mention the cheapest car on the road and a low-cost house are still not affordable to the low income bracket... the disparity gap is widening!

My heart is with them, also with the families of passengers and crew of MH370 and MH17. My thoughts remain with the people in the conflict areas, notably the Middle East and Myanmar. Where is the United Nations?

Where is Umno, by the way? Quite a number of pro-Umno bloggers and social media players whom Umno and BN squeezed their brain during GE13 are celebrating Hari Raya with 'nothing'. They only exist when we need them.

Come 3 or 4 years from now, they will be called up again for help.

But this is Malaysia, this is BN, this is Pakatan and this is our 'way of life'. Have we seen the light?


Why drive Singapore-registered car?

Lawmakers have urged Putrajaya to reconsider its proposal to introduce the vehicle entry permit (VEP) for foreign vehicles entering Johor, saying Malaysians who drive Singapore-registered cars will suffer most.

Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the fee, when implemented, would dent the pockets of Malaysians who worked in Singapore but lived in Johor.

Malaysians who are Singaporean permanent residents (PR) were not allowed to drive foreign-registered vehicles in the island.
"The government should set up a system to exempt Malaysians with Singapore PR from the VEP fee. Either have their car registration numbers keyed in or use their passports to enable exemption," Nur Jazlan told The Malaysian Insider.
He said some may argue that Malaysians who worked in Singapore would be earning enough to pay the fee, but added that it would still be a heavy burden for them.
DAP Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong said almost 300,000 vehicles cross the Johor-Singapore Causeway daily, most of which are Malaysian-owned.

He said the government should conduct an in-depth study on the effects of implementing the VEP fee, especially on Malaysians and on the tourism and retail business in Johor.
"We are not objecting to it, but our main concern is the sizeable number of Malaysians who drive Singapore-registered cars,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
"We want to see more research and more data. Will it have an adverse effect on tourism and the retail sector in Johor? The government has to do a study to understand the implications and impact of the VEP fee," he said.
Liew also said implementing the fee could be seen as retaliation against Singapore for increasing its own VEP fees.
Singapore recently announced that effective August 1, the vehicle entry permit (VEP) fee for foreign-registered cars entering Singapore will be raised from S$20 (RM52) to S$35 (RM90) a day.

The goods vehicle permit (GVP) fee for foreign-registered goods vehicles will be raised from S$10 (RM26) to S$40 (RM103) a month.

Retaliation is not the right terminology, YB. Its reciprocating. If they can charge us, why not we also charge them?

Another thing, I don't understand why some Malaysians like driving foreign-registered cars, especially from Singapore and Thailand. What are they so proud of?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Reporter 'jolok'!

A journalist from online portal Malaysia Gazette has come under fire for poking at a piece of skin he had come across at the site where Malaysia Airline flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, as shown in a video recently uploaded to its website.

The video was removed following outrage from social media users and fellow journalists who flayed the Gazette reporter for his unprofessional behaviour.

The journalist, identified as Khairuddin Mohd Amin, was shot on video using a stick to poke at an object at the crash site in Donetsk, Ukraine – which looked like a body part of one of the victims of the disaster.

"There seem to be remains and body parts lying around the crash scene. We have found a piece of skin," a website reported Khairuddin as saying on air.

The body part, which was charred, was also shown for several seconds when cameraman Noorasrekuzairy Salim zoomed in.

Twitter user @klubbkiddkl posted on the social networking and microblogging service, tagging the news portal: "Dear @MalaysiaGazette – is this indeed your chief reporter? – MEMALUKAN!!!!
"@MalaysiaGazette that was just wrong in so many ways. Have some damn respect for victims of MH17!"

@shameonyoumy said: "Wartawan Malaysia Gazette tidak hormat Jenazah MH17, jolok dengan kayu!" (Malaysian journalist is not respectful of of MH17 bodies, poking it with a stick)
Malaysia Gazette is a year-old news portal whose mission and vision is "to listen to the voices of Malaysians and to present that in writing to be shared by public and channelled to the rightful parties for action".

At least three other journalists, including Sky News' Colin Brazier, have been criticised for tampering with victims' belongings at the crash site.

NOTE: Is he really a reporter... or just a porter?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Judicial plagiarism?

Many people like plagiarism because its the easiest way to tell how good and lousy your IQ is but those who got plagiarised will never like it... or will never forgive!

Earlier this month, an Indonesian daily accused Bernama of plagiarism of its election reports, that our national news agency published two of its recent articles 'word for word' and removed the names of the reporters.

I guess in journalism, its so common. You just take a few paragraphs of others' and add a few of yours and it becomes a new story. Well, they say almost all news are recycled.

However, plagiarism in judiciary is not so common. I don't remember reading any but what AG Gani Patail was doing really shocked me. Why? Because I didn't expect plagiarism to take its toll on judges and lawyers!
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has filed an application to prosecute lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam and 24 others for alleging that a Federal Court bench had plagiarised its judgment.
This sudden about-turn by the A-G has caught lawyers for Lingam and the 24 respondents by surprise as in the last hearing on June 18, the A-G's Chambers supported an application by two liquidators to discontinue their contempt proceedings.
Federal Court judge Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, who is chairing a five-man bench, then lamented that the court seemed to have been scandalised and no one had stood up for them.
“We (the judges) have been the target (in this matter). I don’t think anybody can deny that. Go back and think about it. Come back with something more meaningful and with sufficient ground,” he had said.
Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck, the liquidators of Kian Joo Can Sdn Bhd (KJC) made an application to the court to abandon their action against the respondents but the court had asked them to reconsider.
Lawyer S. Suhendran, who represented Ooi and Ng, had informed the court that it was no longer a necessity to proceed with the contempt proceedings as the liquidators had distributed the Kian Joo assets, the subject matter of the long drawn legal battle spanning 19 years.
Lingam and another lawyer A. S. Thisinayagam, 12 majority and 11 minority contributories of Kian Joo, also supported the withdrawal application.
Yes, there are many copycats around. Latest, this news from the US:
The United States Army War College determined in a preliminary review on Thursday that Senator John Walsh of Montana appeared to have plagiarized his final paper to earn a master’s degree from the institution, and it sent a letter to the senator instructing him that an investigative panel will meet next month to conclusively assess any culpability.
“It’s clear there is indeed strong reason to believe this is plagiarism,” said the War College’s provost, Lance Betros, a retired brigadier general. “We are initiating academic review procedures.”
Dr. Betros said he made the decision after he and another member of the War College’s staff read Mr. Walsh’s 14-page paper and used an online plagiarism detection program to review the document.
I don't know how bad plagiarism in the courtroom is but plagiarism is getting out of control. Even copyrights does not guarantee anything now.

NOTE: I used to copy my dad's signature in my school report card... and got whacked when he discovered about it.