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Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
By Syed Akbar Ali
Well the Federal Court has ruled against yet another delay causing appeal by Anwar Ibrahim.
According to Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who by the way also has rights under the laws (this is for those ‘anti ISA’ people who will not be organising any “anti ISA” rallies to support the ten ‘Muslim’, ‘Al Qaeda’ or whatever terror suspects who have been detained) this case has now been delayed about 25 times.
But Saiful’s legal fees will not run into millions of Ringgit to enrich his lawyers. Neither will he be draining the resources of any political party to pay his lawyers so at least in that regard he does not suffer too much injustice. But justice delayed is justice denied.
There is some boredom setting in with the general public to read about these delays and postponements. To make it less boring here is the news (very truncated) :
Sodomy II: Anwar fails to get Federal Court to review its decision
In a unanimous decision: “That panel of the Federal Court did not agree with the applicant on these issues and their interpretation of the law. “Hence, we find that this is not a suitable case for review by another panel of the Federal Court.”
“There must be finality. To re-litigate a case which has been heard and finally disposed of is not one of the circumstances as envisaged by Rule 137 of the Federal Court.”
Speaking to reporters later, Karpal said the judgment was not an obstacle for Anwar as he could apply for the documents or other material when necessary, as the trial proper had commenced.
Now Karpal asked the judge to ‘recuse’ himself over some newspaper report. Judge said no. So Karpal is appealing to the Court of Appeal. That has delayed the case till March 25th. If the Court of Appeal says no, maybe Karpal will appeal to Federal Court to recuse the Judge. If that happens that may take what another month?
But read the last line in red extra carefully : Karpal said the judgment was not an obstacle for Anwar as he could apply for the documents or other material when necessary.
I see more and yet more delays. So in the course of the case Karpal could again ask the Court to see the documents and other material? OK but the DNA sample bottles have already been presented in Court. Next will be the actual DNA report. Will Karpal ask for the DNA sample again?
If the High Court Judge says no, will Karpal ask him to recuse himself again? (If Karpal can do it once, why not twice?) If the Judge refuses to recuse himself, it may go to the Court of Appeal again. Another month? Then if another no from the Court of Appeal, again to the Federal Court? Another month?
These are all just scenarios but I am merely basing it on what has transpired in Court already. These are procedural matters only, I am NOT discussing the merits of the facts, the merits of the testimony or the merits of the witnesses ok. Procedure only. The case has not really even started. We have only heard testimony from the first witness Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Even the long awaited cross examination by the “famed” Karpal Singh has not begun. But looking at the way Anwar and Karpal are carrying on, the public may have to await quite some time before we can hear Karpal cross examine Saiful. And they said he was just a ‘coffee boy’.
Karpal may have another option. Instead of asking the Judge to recuse himself, he may appeal to the Court of Appeal again to allow access to the documents or samples. It could be under any clever legal loophole. Then another month? If Court of Appeal says no, he could go to the Federal Court. Another month? And so on.
Here is my advice to Anwar Ibrahim and Karpal Singh. Obviously this trial is very high profile and being very politicised by Anwar and his buddies. Anwar is talking about the trial quite freely at his ceramahs. (Whatever happened to subjudice?) Folks say at one most recent ceramah Anwar spoke about his trial for close to 17 minutes. But the crowds are getting thin.
Here is the danger. This is a political game. Public perception is crucial. That is what Anwar is trying to influence. His handlers may have advised Anwar to appear in public without his eye glasses to start looking “old”. Well, that can work both ways. Some observers say that Anwar wears a heavy guilty expression on his face now. So be careful with the advisors.
But the real opinion leaders and those who influence public opinion now are the Blogs. The jokes, the cartoons and the caricatures are striking home. It is not in Anwar’s favour. And when there are long delays and gaps in the trial, with no new testimony to discuss, the Blogs have no choice but to magnify, amplify and replay the few pieces of information that have been presented in Court thus far.
‘Mokhtar’ is now a recurring password for Internet jokes. ‘Are you ok ke’ and ‘KY Jelly’ are being repeated endlessly too. Pending anything new to talk about, the Blogs are creating a storm with these few words. This works against Anwar. Anwar’s handlers should know this better. And dont be prejudiced against the Blogs because there are Blogs on both sides of the fence.
The pro Anwar Blogs are rather silent on the testimony presented so far. And they cannot rebut the jokes. When people start making endless fun, the aura of sanctity is lost. That will cost votes. Who wants to vote for someone who is the butt of jokes (no pun intended). So think carefully. Read Sun Tzu.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
By Syed Akbar Ali
Someone asked this question if the Pakatan would organise an anti ISA protest this Friday in support of ten human beings who have been detained under the ISA most recently? The answer is no. There is no such thing planned by the Pakatan at all. And the DAP may not even have thought about it.
First here is the news in brief :
The authorities in Malaysia say 10 people, including nine foreigners, have been arrested on terror charges. Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the group, thought to be linked to international terror organisations, posed "a very serious threat". International intelligence services had co-operated over the arrests, he added.
What does this mean ? It means the Minister of Home Affairs Dato Hishamuddin Hussein should not be too hasty in submitting the ISA for review. It can be reviewed but lets think things through very carefully.
Do not abuse the ISA like Slumberjack did but we also still need it. In the USA (the bastion of freedom, justice and human rights for themselves only) they have the medieval Patriot Act. In the UK they call it the Terrorism Act.
Our ISA pales in comparison with the Patriot Act.
Under the Patriot Act, they have locked up people in Guanatanmo Bay for eight years now who have not seen the sunlight. In Malaysia, under the regime of Slumberjack they locked up one BSA Tahir under the ISA for over five years. BSA Tahir was the one time business partner of folks closely related to Slumberjack. If BSA Tahir was walking around freely the potential embarrasment to Slumberjack would have been substantial. Of course, logically speaking, with BSA Tahir locked up, the risk of embarrasment was minimised.
With the advent of Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak, BSA Tahir has now been released. Whereabouts unknown.
The Pakatan is just playing politics over the ISA because dia tak ada modal. They have few other things to harp on. The ISA is an easy target.
So to the Minister of Home Affairs, please do not react in too knee jerk a fashion and fall victim to their childish tantrums.
This case illustrates clearly that the DAP and Pakatan does not hoot too much when nine foreigners mostly Muslims (arabs, africans, pakistanis or whoever) and also one Malaysian were arrested under the ISA for being involved with international terrorism, Al Qaeda or whatever. The Bar Council offered employment for its members to represent the ten detainees. Suaram or someone made the Suaram sounds, thank you.
But otherwise no one really gave a hoot. I think the vast majority of Malaysians - no matter what their politics are - will agree that trouble causers and trouble causing issues be handled expeditiously. Surely the safety and harmony of the vast majority is more important than the crooky shenanigans of a small tiny tot minority of troublemakers.
The same goes for the recent 'Allah' issue. Why disrupt the peace and harmony of the vast majority. Some folks fear they will have less money in the donation box but other than that there are absolutely no life and death issues involved. And the vast majority have a right to our peace and harmony.
The trouble causers can still have their teh tarik, nasi kandar, drive their Mercedes, dress funny, live in their condos, travel wherever and whenever they want and whatever.
By Syed Akbar Ali
To me to have children is a great blessing and a greater challenge. It is a 24/7 lifelong commitment without any hesitation, doubts or thinking twice. Our children did not fill up forms to ask to be born to us. (Imagine if children could choose their parents - would we have any kids? Lets ponder that for a moment ok).
There is no such thing as 'grown up' children either. Children grow in age and mature into adults but they remain 'children'. Other responsibilities arise when children grow in age.
For me, with my sons the logistics needed when we go camping and trekking in the jungle is easier too. I took my foster daughter camping once - just once. She does not want to step into the jungle again. Digging a hole by the river for early morning rituals amongst the bushes, tree roots and creepy crawlies was just too harrowing an experience for the child. As I grow older (passed the half century mark already) my sons now help drag me up the steeper hills. Just recently my son helped me out of a panicky (later embarrasing) situation in about 30 feet of water in the Sulu Sea.
Many years ago, while debating some philosophy with Dr Kassim Ahmad - when I rely entirely on my own two feet since I only read some philosophy in college and on my own - we pondered 'why should we love our children'? Dr Kassim argued that "logically it was a logical question". Here is something to ponder : if there is logic, there must also be illogic. If there can be 'logical' there must also be 'illogical'. Why do we love our pets? Dogs, cats, turtles etc? Sometimes as much as we love our children. Apa lojiknya? There must be. So can we extend the same logic to why we love our children?
Here is a story from Argentina about a father and his quest. It is quite heart wrenching. I think the conclusion is : Never gain.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The search is finally over for Abel Madariaga, whose pregnant wife was kidnapped by Argentine security forces 33 years ago.
After decades of doubt and loneliness, of searching faces in the street in hopes they might be related, Madariaga has found his son.
"I never stopped thinking I would find him," the 59-year-old father said, squeezing his son's arm during a packed news conference Tuesday.
"For the first time, I know who I was. Who I am," the young man said, still marveling at his new identity: Francisco Madariaga Quintela, a name he only learned last week.
The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo rights group believes about 400 children were stolen at birth from women who were kidnapped and killed as part of the 1976-1983 dictatorship's "dirty war" against political dissidents, which killed as many as 30,000 people.
Madariaga and his wife, death squads. He last saw his wife — a 28-year-old surgeon who treated the poor in a Buenos Aires suburb — being pushed into a Ford Falcon by army officers dressed as civilians as she walked to a train on Jan. 17, 1977., were members of the Montoneros, a leftist group targeted for elimination by government
Madariaga managed to flee into exile to avoid the same fate. Ever since, he has made finding the children of those who disappeared his life's cause.
Returning to a democratic Argentina in 1983, he became the grandmothers group's secretary and first male member. He lobbied the government to create a DNA database and dedicate judicial resources to the effort, and developed strategies for persuading young people with doubts about their identities to come forward and get DNA tests.
All the while, his own son's fate remained a mystery.
As it turned out, Quintela gave birth to the son the couple had planned to name Francisco in July 1977 while imprisoned in one of Argentina's largest and most notorious clandestine torture centers, the Campo de Mayo in suburban Buenos Aires. Surviving prisoners later reported that the newborn was taken from her the next day, and she disappeared shortly thereafter.
A military intelligence officer, Victor Alejandro Gallo, brought the baby, his umbilical cord still attached, home to his wife, Ines Susana Colombo. They named him Alejandro Ramiro Gallo and never told him he was adopted. The marriage didn't last — Gallo was a violent man, Francisco Madariaga said — and he never felt like he belonged, looking nothing like his brother and sister.
While the Gallo family fell apart, the younger Madariaga escaped in his own way, twice touring Europe as a professional juggler.
Meanwhile, Gallo was convicted of murdering a couple and their child during a robbery in 1994 and served a 10-year prison term.
Francisco Madariaga's doubts increased, until finally he confronted his adoptive mother. "She broke down and was able to tell me the truth," he recalled, adding that he can't say he blames her. "There was so much violence — physical and mental — and she suffered. She also was a victim."
On Feb. 3, encouraged by his friends, the young man and Colombo approached the grandmothers group to tell their story. Fearful of Gallo, they rushed to take a blood test the next day, and DNA results arrived last week. Father and son finally met on Friday — the same day Gallo was arrested on suspicion of illegal adoption.
Colombo also has been detained and questioned, according to an attorney for the grandmothers group, Alan Iud. Colombo and Gallo are represented by public defenders who didn't respond to calls after hours Tuesday.
Trembling before the cameras, Abel Madariaga recalled his reunion with his son.
"When he came through the door that night, we recognized each other totally, and the hug that brought us together was spectacular," he said.
Over the years, the grandmothers group has succeeded in identifying 100 children of the disappeared. Madariaga has organized many news conferences announcing such victories. This time, his chest heaved as he presented his own son to the world.
"At times I wondered what the hell I was living for. I had to find a way to continue, thinking about everyday things, hoping for this moment of happiness," the elder Madariaga said. "Hugging him that first time, it was as if I filled a hole in my soul."
Francisco Madariaga stopped smiling only at the mention of the name he was given by the Gallos.
"Never again" will I use this name, he said. "To have your identity is the most beautiful thing there is.
And never again would Abel Madariaga want to lose his son. It is in his DNA.
Monday, February 22, 2010
By Syed Akbar Ali
While the world went about its business, the Israeli security service Mossad was also busy. They assassinated yet one more Arab. There is some diplomatic flap about this assasination because fake passports involving European countries were used by the 11 members of the Israeli assasination team, including
You can see the video of the hit but first some background and some news.
The target they took out was Mahmoud al Mabhouh a Hamas militant leader who was high on the Israeli wanted list.
Back in 1989 al Mabhouh had personally assasinated two Israeli soldiers who had been captured by Hamas. Since the
The video clips show how the assassination operation was put into practise. The assassination was done perfectly. By the time they found the body of al Mabhouh in his hotel room, all 11 hit team members had left
Quite astonishingly, within 24 hours of the discovery of al Mabhouh’s body, Dubai Police had put together a complete video history (from CCTV recordings at the airport, hotels, shopping complexes, car parks etc) of the entire assassination sequence from the time the victim and the 11 Mossad agents (including a katsa) arrived at Dubai Airport until they left the country.
A katsa is a field intelligence officer of Mossad. He or she collects information and runs agents. There are about 30-40 katsas at a time in the entire Mossad, operating mainly in Europe and in the
First some news:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met members of a hit squad at Mossad headquarters shortly before they went to
Netanyahu was welcomed to Mossad by its chief Meir Dagan and briefed on plans to kill Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a top commander of the Islamist movement that rules Gaza, the paper said, quoting unnamed sources with knowledge of Mossad.
The prime minister reportedly authorised the mission, which was not seen as complicated or risky.
“Typically on such occasions, the prime minister intones: ‘The people of
The Sunday Times also quoted a source saying burns from a stungun were found on the body of Mabhouh, a founder of Hamas’ armed wing, and that there were traces of a nose bleed, possibly from being smothered at a five-star hotel in Dubai where he was murdered.
The high-profile killing has caused diplomatic tensions between
This is a picture of Briton Paul Keeley from Nachsholim, Israel, whose identity was allegedly stolen by the hit squad suspected of assassinating Hamas militant, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, is seen in this February 17, 2010 video grab.
Men with the same names as seven of the 11 suspects whose European passport photos were distributed by
Circa 2000, I met the Israeli Ambassador in
Now here are the video clips
Sunday, February 21, 2010
By Syed Akbar Ali
Anwar Ibrahim is trying to take Saiful to the
Basically what this means is that Saiful will need to bring forward FOUR adult male witnesses of good character (for example they must not have missed three Friday prayers in succession) who have actually witnessed the act of sodomy. Since this is definitely an impossibility, Saiful will most certainly be found ‘wrong’ by the
Of course DNA, CCTV and other evidence is not applicable here under Syariah. Certainly non existent medical reports or faked medical reports would also not be admissible.
But from a point of legal import, the
But then in the case of the same Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court (actually the Mahkamah Syariah Wilayah Persekutuan) sentencing the three women to be caned for zina or fornication (they have been caned already) PAS says that the whole caning issue is an UMNO trap. So PAS does not want to support the caning of the three women by the same
Obviously the PAS is a political party. Before this, the PAS was strongly in support of the religious authority who arrested the Malay girls who took part in the beauty pageant. Can we all still recall that?
In that episode too, just like this one, the Government (no matter how distasteful the matter is) has correctly stuck to the provisions of the law. Even if you dislike the law, the law is the law. So the DPM Ustaz Muhyuddin has taken the religious lead on this matter and said that the caning of the three women for zina was legal. He is technically correct. But I dont think the brother need have commented on this topic in public. Leave it to the ustaz. Apa pasal ustaz semua diam saja? Depa seronok tengok Kerajaan kena cabai ke?
When the three girls were arrested (under Dr Mahathir’s tenure) for taking part in the beauty pageant, Dr Mahathir disagreed publicly that the girls should not have been arrested but the Jabatan Agama who arrested them had the legal right. The law is the law. Dr Mahathir had no choice but let the religious law run its course.
The question is why pass laws which we are not proud of? Most people are downright embarrased at some of the Religious Laws - but only when it is too late. When it comes to actual implementation, people start having second thoughts. Now even the PAS says that the caning of the three women for zina is an UMNO trap? Come again?
But not too long ago, the PAS was gung ho about the Hudud Law. Has everyone forgottten that? At that time they were promising Hudud Law as the cure for all our problems. This included cutting the hands of the thieves. Recall Nik Aziz’s famous ‘gedebeh’ solution? When asked who would undertake the job of cutting the hands of thieves, Nik Aziz replied that there were many ‘gedebeh’ or unemployed samseng in Kelantan who could be hired to do the job.
But lets look at the case of the three women. Not much is known about them because the case was disposed without any press discovery. They have also been caned. There were also jail terms imposed on them. What happened to the men? Surely zina requires men to be involved too. If the women got caned, what happened to the men?
Since the PAS and Anwar would require that Saiful bring forward four witnesses for the qazaf case, were there also four witnesses who witnessed these women committing zina? Or was it by default – they got pregnant without a husband?
And under Hudud, the punishment for zina would be stoning to death. Here is a news story from
So are Somalis better Muslims than us? They stone 13 year old girls to death even for being raped whereas we cane the women and jail them. But there can only be one God and one set of God’s Laws. How can Somalis prescribe one set of God’s Laws (stoning to death) but we prescribe caning and jail for the same offense?
Where would PAS place the Somali version of God’s Law?
I hear that some folks want to make a Police Report over a Press article about this caning of the three women. I will not say which newspaper and who the people are. But my advise is dont take ownership of anything that is confusing and will only cause more confusion. Just leave it to the ‘confusionists’.