Court acquits 31 ‘extremist militants’ after PM being seen going ‘Flip-Flopping’, again

The Shah Alam court this morning acquitted the 31 Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) supporters initially charged for attempting murder to a Policeman at the demonstrations which turned violent on the night of 24 November 2007 in Batu Caves.

Bernama.com has the report:

December 17, 2007 13:50 PM

Court Acquits 31 People Charged With Murder

SHAH ALAM, Dec 17 (Bernama) — The Sessions Court here today acquitted and discharged 31 people charged with attempting to murder a police officer during an illegal assembly organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) in front of the Sri Subramaniar temple in Batu Caves, near here, on Nov 25.Judge Nursinah Adzmi made the decision after allowing the application by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to withdraw the charges against them.

Prior to this, all the 31 claimed trial to a number of charges, including attempted murder under Section 149/307 of the Penal Code.

However, out of the 31, only six including five college students were acquitted and discharged of all charges while the rest are still facing other charges.

The six are L. Thiyagarajan, 31, K. Thinagaranpillay, 23, A. Vasantarao, 19, S. Ramesh Kumar, 22, S. Mugilan Dever, 20, and G. Suman, 20.

Of the remaining 25, 16 changed their plea to guilty to the charge of causing damage to seven cars and two gates of the temple under Section 149/440 of the Penal Code.

Eight of the 25 also changed their plea to being in an illegal assembly under Section 27 (5) (a) of the Police Act 1967 while another accused, to an alternative charge of displaying criminal force to put fear into the police officers during the illegal assembly.

During the court proceeding which ended at 1pm, the judge fixed Dec 27 to hear the facts of the cases and for sentencing.

Nursinah also allowed them to be freed on bail of RM500 each in one surety.

The decision brought relief to their families who filled the courtroom since morning.

Lawyer, K. Ragunath on behalf of the defence, thanked the court and Attorney-General for dropping the attempted murder charges on all the accused and to acquit and free the five students of all charges.

— BERNAMA

This news shall be received adversely by many quarters as they see the ‘Flip-Flop’ Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi turned soft and ‘conveniently forgiving’, despite so many parties, including within UMNO leaders and NGOs representing a wide spectrum of the rakyat, vehemently made calls for stern and decisive actions be taken against people deemed ‘extremist militants’ and ‘guilty of high treason’.

The principle of the ‘Rule of Law’ must be observed and practiced, to give confidence to everyone that they are protected under the Constitution and no one shall have any veil or exception of this rule, even when their representatives go pleading to the Prime Minister.

*An update as of 10.05pm, Monday 17 December 2007

The party that represent the ethnic Indian communities in the 14 party coalition Barisan Nasional Government, the MIC today responded positively and with deep gratitude that the Attorney General withdrew the charges on the “HINDRAF 31” and they can be acquitted from ‘attempting to murder a Policeman on duty’, on the night of 24 Novemebr 2007 at the Sri Subramaniam temple in Batu Caves, Selangor.

‘Flip-Flop’ Prime Minister Abdullah has been described by MIC President Dato’ Seri S. Samy Vellu as “showing compassion” for the plight of the families of the “HINDRAF 31”.

Bernama.com has the story tonight:

December 17, 2007 20:05 PM

MIC Thanks Govt Over Acquittal Of 31 Of Attempted Murder E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news

 

 

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 17 (Bernama) — MIC today thanked the government over the acquittal and discharge of 31 people charged with attempting to murder a police officer during an illegal assembly in front of the Sri Subramaniar temple in Batu Caves, near here, on Nov 25.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had shown compassion towards the families of those detained by asking Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to consider their appeals.

“MIC appreciates efforts by the government to lighten the burden of the families by showing its concern and being accountable to all races,” he said in a statement here today.

The MIC president said he was also happy because the court had acquitted and discharged many of them of all charges while the rest were released on bail.

“The Barisan Nasional government has shown compassion towards the sufferings and anguish of the families and parents of those detained. Those involved should return to society and live as responsible and law-abiding citizens.

“MIC will continue to safeguard the interests of the Indian community to ensure a better future for them,” said Samy Vellu who is also the Works Minister.

— BERNAMA

 

The question now is how does the Malaysian public and the rest of the world take the Attorney General and his/her illustrious and esteemed office seriously after this episode? Would people continue to doubt what ever charges presented by them “on behalf of the people”, especially in high-powered criminal and murder cases?

God help us, all!

 

 


 

 

 

 

Published in: on December 17, 2007 at 14:19  Comments (6)  

Majority of Malaysians are for the Right Wingers

Recently, a lot of Gallup Polls being commissioned by so many parties, to understand the run up of much talked about 12th General Election lurking round the corner, although the full term of the Dewan Rakyat is not due till March 2009.

The NST recently published the results of the poll, which claimed to be reflective of the general sentiment of Malaysians:

DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Malaysia scores big in Gallup International poll

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Survey shows Malaysians have full faith in free, fair elections
* 74% of Malaysians feel that elections in the country are free and fair
* 69% feel that the people are well-represented by the government
That’s the highest in the region, where an average 53% of the people believe that elections in their country are neither free nor fair, and nearly 61% do not feel that their government follows the will of the people.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are the most confident in Asia of their country’s free and fair elections, and outrank most of the region in their faith in democracy, according to an international poll.

A new global survey, Voice of the People, conducted by TNS and Gallup International, found three-quarters of Malaysians answered yes to whether “elections in your country are free and fair”, the highest among 10 nations in Asia, and exceeding by far the 47 per cent world average.

TNS is a global market insight and information group with offices in more than 70 countries. Gallup International is the renowned polling outfit based in Zurich.

The survey, which included a study on democracy in Asia, was done between June and August this year and involved more than 60,000 people in 57 countries excluding China. The results were released yesterday.
With a sample size of 1,250 Malaysians, 74 per cent felt that elections in this country were legitimate and 69 per cent believed that government was by the will of the people.

The sample was selected from urban areas in the peninsula and respondents were interviewed face-to-face.

“This belief in the transparency of elections is in contrast to the sentiment expressed by more than half of respondents across the region who do not consider their country’s election process to be so impartial,” TNS and Gallup said in a statement.

At the other end of the scale, only 16 per cent in Pakistan believed their elections were free and fair. The others were: India (55 per cent), Hong Kong (51 per cent), Indonesia (58 per cent), Japan (50 per cent), Korea (55 per cent), the Philippines (22 per cent) and Singapore (68 per cent).

The survey also showed that an average of 53 per cent in the region believed elections in their countries were neither free nor fair and 61 per cent did not feel their government followed the will of the people when it came to making decisions.

Around the region nearly eight out of 10 people surveyed (78 per cent) agreed with the idea that democracy might have problems but it is still the best system of government.

In Malaysia, 85 per cent believed democracy was best, more than any other country except Indonesia (89 per cent) and Vietnam (86 per cent). The rest all scored above 75 per cent.

Satisfaction in democracy overall was also prevalent in the region. An average of seven in 10 interviewees (73 per cent) declared themselves to be content.

About 88 per cent in Malaysia were satisfied with democracy, a higher proportion than the bedrock of Asian democracy, India, with 79 per cent. The others were: Hong Kong (71 per cent), Indonesia (69 per cent), Japan (79 per cent), Korea (75 per cent), Pakistan (66 per cent), the Philippines (63 per cent), Singapore (81 per cent) and Vietnam (89 per cent).

Globally, 79 per cent of the people surveyed believed democracy was the best system and 69 per cent were satisfied with democracy.

The Merdeka Centre, an independent professional polling body, which received their training by the Americans during the height of the ‘Reformasi’ days concurred with this result. Separately, they found that 70% of Malaysians approve of the decisions and management of the country by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. This is easily explained as the Malays, who are 65% of the populi, dwell and live as part of the 70% Malaysians in the rural areas. In general, these segment of voters are not ICT and internet savvy and oblivion to the issues raised and debated online.

Since June 2006, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad started to criticize his predecessor openly. The popularity of Prime Minister Abdullah sometime fell to slightly below 50% as compared to near negligible effect when former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who was sacked from office on 2 September 1998, made his attacks since being released from jail upon the over turning of his 9 years conviction back in 2004.

In short, the Anwar Ibrahim politics and fashion of trying to make a comeback in the mainstream politics wholesomely is not acceptable and the voters no longer find him ‘appealing’.

It is clearly shown that the issues former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir continuously and consistently raised and vehemently criticise, which are the nineteen points raised in the four eyed meeting on 22 October 2006, were very much relevant and tangible in the eyes of Malaysians.

The former UMNO President also made consistent calls for UMNO members not to fear and worry pre-mature leadership roll-over, since February 2007 and wanted the necessary changes been done through UMNO, which is the mainstay of the 14 party coalition Government that currently control 90% of the 219 seat Dewan Rakyat. He once said the Chinese use their voting rights strategically as compared to the Malays.

Published in: on December 17, 2007 at 07:17  Comments (2)