Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is Bersih 3.0 A Success?

A Bersih supporter, Lydia Osman, gives her take. She felt cheated because PKR leaders had provoked the police into taking action:..

"For once, I have to disagree with my mentor, Datuk S. Ambiga. She says Bersih 3.0 was a success because many people attended. The Malaysian Insider puts the crowd at 30,000 while Malaysiakini puts it at 100,000. For me, for my friends who were marching, there is one reason and one reason only to proclaim Bersih 3.0 a ‘success’ and that is because a handful of protestors led by rowdy members of the opposition managed to provoke the police to react. The image above clearly shows the red-shirted Unit Amal of PAS charging and daring the Police to stop them. Because the police reacted with water and gas, the quantum of news minutes that Bersih 3.0 will get online and around the world will multiply by more than ten times.

To be fair to Datuk S. Ambiga, she did clearly urge the crowd to disperse before the water gas and water cannons were fired because she felt that objectives of the rally were achieved. But one group who were there for other reasons clearly did not listen.

The troublemaker segment of the crowd instead listened to Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali who pushed them hard to break down the barriers the police had constructed. For the police, despite not having roadblocks into KL the night before like they did during Bersih 2.0, despite allowing us to walk through KL in the right spirit which was almost carnival like, Azmin breaking down barriers that a Court Judge had effectively ordered the police to erect were just too much for them to let go. Anwar knew this, which is why he ordered Azmin to ensure that adequate provocation was carried out.

If there was any further proof that any rational Malaysian needed to know that the Opposition had unfairly hijacked Bersih 3.0, this provocative action was it. It was in effect the final nail in the coffin for the independence and civil-society orientation of Bersih 3.0. I feel cheated to have marched for Bersih and for Ambiga. Instead, my small part that I wanted to play for my country’s future, my sacrifice to face any bodily harm was instead cheaply purchased for the propagation of the Opposition.

I will never march again if Anwar and his troublemakers are allowed to take over what belonged to civil society. We created the awareness of this, we sweated and struggled for this, we were arrested and inconvenienced for this yet it is Anwar and his henchmen who will gain the most from Bersih 3.0. It is Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat not democracy that gains from this. The irony is that all that Bersih and Datuk Ambiga were fighting for are the same practices that Anwar openly practiced as UMNO leader, Barisan MP and most recently as Keadilan Supremo when he rigged the entire Parti Keadilan Rakyat elections and good leaders like Zaid Ibrahim were forced to exit the party.

Without Anwar and Opposition politicians, the situation was much better, especially in the morning. The image below of my friend engaging the police is proof of this. When actual independent supporters of Bersih were the ones marching, we approached the police in peace, we did not desire a confrontation with the police but just wanted the make our point heard loud and clear. If the rally had continued in this spirit, Bersih 3.0 would have a been a real and true success for the people and Government of Malaysia. Instead it is real ‘success’ for Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat as BN will be skewered and vilified by the global media, with CNN etc. smiling with glee at the amount of entertaining footage that Azmin Ali and his band of Hoodies has freely provided."

(Taken from Kamalanathan's blog - tanpa izin, maaf.)
I was following twitter all day long just to see what's going on with the Bersih crowd. Not everyone who took part are Pakatan Rakyat supporters although the rally is a Pakatan agenda. Many took part because they support the call for free and clean elections. Well, they were soon to find out that it was an anti-BN rally.

A twitter exchange between 2 people caught my attention. It was between (Indian NGO People's Welfare and Rights Coalition (POWER) chairman) S Gobi Krishnan and @zarakahan.

Zarakahan attended the rally as a citizen of the country who believed that, yes, there is a need for electoral reforms, not as a supporter of Pakatan Rakyat.or because she supported PR.
She was at the rally as a rakyat.

At one point in the twitter exchange, Gobikrishan called her a moron and accused her of "making fun of the rakyat"  because of her tweets. She had asked him when she had made fun of the rakyat.
 I reckon it's because she alluded to the PR hijacking the rally.

She tweeted: "You assume I support BN because I criticize PR. This demonstrates your narrow-minded ideal of dialogue in Msian politics.

-"You tell me to "Stay Away" from Bersih if I don't support PR. Which demonstrates that you support your party over rakyat.

Her tweet that probably infuriated Gobikrishnan: "Your political hijacking dilegitimizes the real concerns of the people. BN can just call it a political rally. For shame Pakatan. For shame"

Another to Gobikrishnan: "if you believe your party iis beyond reproach then you have no understanding of what it is you are fighting for".

Another response: :if it slipped your mind, I am part of the rakyat and attended Bersih. Sir".

She asked: "So if I want  clean elections I have to de facto support your party? So you have a monopoly on civl society movements?"

A cheeky one: "Also wasn't your leader someone important in Barisan Nasional?'

That was probably prompted by the Gobikrishan's tweet: "rakyat's suffering will end soon when we kick out BN".

She  was pissed off because the PR rep at the rally points led anti-BN cheers including on Rosmah. That was not what she had expected.

Zarakahan had been happily tweeting about her movements etc. At one of the rally points, a PR leader addressed the crowd and shouted anti-BN slogan,

Here's where she got the drift as she tweeted:"These Pakatan reps are using Bersih to forward their agenda. From mansuh to "Tumbangkan BN". Freaking shameful".

-"Getting out of the crowd to avoid the feeling of being used. seriously Pakatan. Bersih isn't supposed to be about you".

-"Ketua sorak Pakatan kata hancurkan BN. Banyak makcik cuma nak cekak pinggang".

- "Dah tiga checkpoint semua ada ucapan dari Pakatan dan suruh tumbangkan BN. I'm leaving the crowd. I refuse to be used."

- "I will testify that the Pakatan reps in CM called upon the people to "redah apa sahaja yg menghalang kita. That is not advocating peace."

 Bersih rallies had always been about promoting the PR agenda to topple the BN government. How? Portraying the government in bad light.

 Bersih was not overall  a peaceful assembly. How could it be?  When thousands gather at various points and start making their way to one focal point i.e. Dataran Merdeka, how can that be peaceful?

There are genuine supporters of the cause. But you and I know that something  was bound to happen in such a situation.

Sure, like I said, protest and shout. That's within your right(s). But that does not give you the freedom to break the law.

I don't think it's anyone's right to break the law.

And then you push the police into taking action.....

.. and as Russell Peters would say : "somebody's gonna get hurt, real bad"...

Have You Seen Nayati?

I don't know if a NUR Alert has been activated for 12 year-old Nayati Shamelin Moodliar. He was reported to have been abducted by two men in a black car while on his way to school in Mont Kiara near Sri Hartamas.
He is a student of the Mont Kiara International School.

His distraught parents just want their only child back and has appealed to his abductors to return him safely.

We all pray for his safety and wellbeing and that he will be found -- safe and sound.

Prime Minister Najib Razak joined the chorus of Malaysian on social media to help search for Nayati. He tweeted last night that he has "spoken directly to IGP (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar) to investigate the matter.

That's great. Let's hope he'll do the same for the next missing child.

Those with information, please contact police at 999; the school at 03-2093-8604 or 013-681-6085.

And to crank callers -- I hope you break your leg....

Dataran Merdeka Is Out Of Bounds


and for four days.

This is a court order that the police obtained on Thursday night.
Dataran Merdeka is supposed to be the venue for the Bersih 3.0 rally. For the past few days from two weeks ago, it was also the spot for protesters of "Hapuskan PTPTN" and supporters of OccupyDatatan.

But the culmination was, of course, the Bersih rally scheduled today...

The court order may keep the square that has already been barricaded from "invaders" but not the surrounding areas.

I say, let them protest.  They know what they're doing -- whether or not they are breaking the law. If they are not, let them be...if they are, then they should know.
 Let them, let them...this is a free and democratic country.  But this is not a lawless one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why Missing Children May Never Be Found....

....unless they're teen runaways because the police have proven to be effective in "rescuing" them,
or they're found by good samaritans which has always been the case...

For as long as top police officers or/and deputy ministers themselves keep saying the same things without showing any real understanding or progress on the issue i.e. NUR (National Urgent response) Alert, we might as well bury this early warning system, for good.

Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin:

"We know there are flaws. But what is important is that the system exists and is ready to be used. It is a matter of execution.

We have teething problems, but we are working on them to minimize errors.

Many do not understand this. It is not as easy as that (to activate the alert). We do not just use NUR Alert in every case as there are many factors to be considered, among them, legal implications and the risks involved if information is published without a proper investigation."

I totally agree that we have a system in place and a good one, adopted from AMBER Alert which was launched in 1996. We've adapted it to our needs and tweak it to suit our purposes. And remember this is the age of technology, so we should consider ourselves lucky...

Teething problems...what can they possibly be? The police took charge of it in January 2011. Whatever they are, do sort them out quickly.

Anyway, as for not using NUR Alert in every case -- we know that. WE DO UNDERSTAND. A missing child has got to satisfy some criteria, among which are that he or she is below 12, not a subject of domestic dispute, not a subject of a custody battle and not a victim of kidnap for ransom.

As for legal implications? I don't understand this. I don't get this.
And the risks involved if information is published without proper investigation? What kind of risks?

When your child goes missing, what do you do? You would go to the police, right? To make a report. The usual process would be that the duty officer would take down details of your child and so on. That is the standard operating procedure or SOP.

And then what? Wait for police to start investigations? Launch a search? Desperate parents have been known to make posters and flyers of their missing kids. In many cases, this had helped, especially in getting perpetrators -- because of the heat from the community and public eye and ears - to release the child.

Meanwhile, you wait and try to keep in touch with the police for progress in your child's case. Then, of course, the story would get to the media but not all the time. Newspapers have reporters going on crime rounds and they get their stories from the reports made to at the various police stations. Some cases, for various reasons, are off the radar and don't get publicised.

Take Nurin Jazilin Jazimin's case in 2007. Her father made a police report but the police did not act on it until more than a week later, and only after he went to the Press, out of desperation. And we all know that by then, it was all too late.

And that was why a group of bloggers pushed for NURIN (Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network) Alert initiative. After some four years, it was accepted and renamed NUR (National Urgent Response) Alert.

Now, NUR Alert is supposed to make it all swift after the SOP has been carried out and the child meets the criteria for the alert to be activated.

Key in this is that the media is alerted so that people are made aware. The community is made aware and can help in locating the child.

Back to Bakri's remarks -- the police should be satisfied that the child had been abducted by persons unknown. We should expect the investigations to be proper.

The question is how long do the police need to investigate and then disseminate the info to the media, MCMC and other "committee members" of NUR Alert?

A day? two days? A week? or like Nurin's case .....?

Like AMBER Alert, NUR Alert is all about locating a missing child in the shortest possible time because if a child was abducted, for sure the perpetrator has evil motive and intention.

This has been proven in many missing children cases. Even in this country.

So, let's not go around in circles.

As for remarks by Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Datuk Heng Seai Kie, I am so disappointed. She needs to do some homework.

When asked by reporters in Ipoh on Sunday about NUR Alert, she repeated this tired line that it cannot be immediately activated when a child is reported missing but added that this was "to ensure a child's safety."

She is right, as they all are, in saying that NUR Alert cannot be activated immediately when a child is reported missing. YES YES YES...we know. We have to be sure that the child was really abducted etc etc..

But to ensure the child's safety? When you have determined that the child has been abducted, the child is NOT SAFE! If the child was abducted by a good person, which is highly unlikely, then you don't have to worry, do you? So, let's just agree that in an abduction case, a child is NEVER safe.

When a child is reported missing, the system cannot be immediately activated as police need to investigate if the child had been kidnapped.

If the system is triggered for a kidnapped child, it may end up endangering the child's life instead."

Which part of NUR Alert do these people not understand?

"Kidnapped child"? For ransom - we don't activate NUR Alert because that's a different case as the kidnappers would be in touch with the police and family. Even the media are cautioned not to report in case the victim is harmed or killed.

OR, or abducted by strangers like Nurin, Sharlinie (Nini), Nisha Chandramohan or Lee Xin Ru. Nurin, of course, was found dead. Nini, Nisha and Xin Ru have never been found.

So, thank you, y'all. Keep to you mindset and you"ll see no progress.

NUR Alert had been activated five times, according to official sources. Really? Four days later? And through mmses?

Of the five, two - Dass Robert, 7, and Santiran Damaraj, 8 -were recovered in Penang last year, one - Nurul Nadirah - was found charred in Johor early this year and two, Nisha and Xin Ru, were never found.

Dass and Santiran were released by the person who held them.

When a child has been confirmed to have been abducted, you can be sure, he is not in safe hands. So, you have to start disseminating info about him or her.

That is what NUR Alert is about. So that everyone knows about the missing child and can help the police locate him or her quickly BEFORE he is harmed further, or killed.

For as long as the police and politicians beat around the bush over why NUR Alert is not effective, you will never be able to save a missing child.

And please stop talking about "fine-tuning" the system. The system is there. It is the process that you have to put into effect.

Meanwhile, tell me -- how many missing children have you saved/rescued?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

We have them among our people who employ maids.
(Cambodian maid may have been starved to death....)

And we have more of them among the maids.
(Businesswoman's two maids allegedly fled with her jewels and cash....."I was kind to them and treated them well..."

The thing is when an employer is done in by her maids, there is little or no recourse even when a police report has been made.

In Malaysia, say what you like, the law will get the perpetrators who mistreat, ill treat or/and torture their maids. They will be punished!

The Fab Four

No prejudice: I like this shot of the three leaders.

Retreating from a photo session during the forum in Phnom Penh are (from left) Sultan Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah, Boediono, Najib and Philippine president Benigno S Aquino. — Bernama (Wednesday April 4, 2012)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Chinese Educationist Sham Doctorates

Folks - please excuse my re-"publishing" items from the newspapers of late. I'll post my own writing soonest.


From blognews portal The Mole:

Resign if it's true, man!

Original posting:

From The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: A high-profile Chinese educationist is in the spotlight again.

His doctorate degrees are in question, as the American university where he obtained the degree from has been shut down by the American authorities.

His resume was uploaded on a non-governmental organisation website that he is attached to, stating that he had two doctorates from the Kensington University.

He is said to have a PhD in education from Kensington University in 1993 and another PhD from the same university in 1991. The California court ordered the university to be shut down in 1996. It then shifted its operations to Hawaii but was subsequently shut down by the High Court there in 2003.

The controversy over his two doctorates has been circulating on Twitter and blogs, including the blog, over the past weeks.

The status of his doctorates was first brought up by another Chinese educationist.

The educationist implicated declined to comment when asked about the status of his Kensington University doctorate.

He asked The Star to text him the question saying he had lost his voice and could not speak to the reporter.

However, the SMS to him was not replied.

One of the NGO's officials has refuted the allegations saying they had printed a booklet on the matter in 2009 to clear the air.

“We have studied the matter and find that the allegations about the status of the degrees are baseless.

“We had published a booklet on it in 2009,” he said.

According to the website, the educationist also obtained a doctorate from Southern Cross University in Australia in 1999.

It stated that he has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of East Asia, Macau, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of London.

The Los Angeles Times on April 23, 1996, questioned the status of Kensington University, saying it had no classrooms, laboratories or dormitories with the entire campus housed in a small office building.

It said the school ran a programme, in which students studying at home could earn anything from a bachelor's degree to a doctorate; all without ever attending a single class or even meeting their instructors face-to-face.

It also reported that Kensington handed out advanced degrees, which have little, if any academic value and had allegedly perpetrated fraud in the public.

The Council for Private Post-Secondary and Vocational Education, which enforced rules in California, investigated the university.

The report said that in 1994, a review of the university found routine acceptance of below-par students, awarding inflated credit for so-called life experience and not having enough faculty.

In one case, reviewers found that the school awarded a doctoral candidate in psychology credit for reading magazine articles and doing about a dozen short reaction stories, the newspaper reported.

It also reported that the school also awarded doctorate degrees based on “as little as four months' work”.

The Kensington University also saw a prominent American politician Jennifer Caroll caught in a controversy after she was exposed by CBS Television for claiming to have a degree from the same university.

The Florida politician, who claimed she had a MBA from the university, was forced to quit from the National Commission on Presidential Scholars in disgrace.