A vigil will be organised in front of the Sin Chew Jit Poh office in Macalister Road, Penang from 2.00pm to 6.00pm today. The vigil is to express solidarity with the Sin Chew reporter, Tan Hoon Cheng, who was detained last night. Hopes are rising that she may be released soon.
The attempt by the Umno-dominated BN government to rush the DNA Bill begs many questions, observes Tota. Despite opposition by the Opposition, whose ranks boast first-class legal brains compared to the lawyers in the government ranks, the Bar Council and legal and medical experts outside, the government exposes itself as a irrational and foolhardy one. No right-thinking Malaysian will buy the government’s claim that the timing of the Bill had nothing to do with Anwar’s Sodomy II trial.
It is blatantly obvious that the state is now resorting to the use of dictatorial and draconian measures to intimidate all those who wish to tell and reveal the truths, observes Aliran member Toh Kin Woon. Even those who merely do their job honestly as journalists and the newspapers that they work for are not spared. It is increasingly obvious, too, that the present Federal Government is not prepared to allow the space for freedom of speech, including the freedom of the press.
It is ironic that Ahmad Ismail’s racist remarks came just as the fasting month of Ramadhan was beginning. This, being a holy month where patience and forebearance are lauded above all, made the timing of his press conference and abusive remarks all the more pointed and bitter, observes Aliran member Farish A Noor.
The hastily-organised trip to Taiwan of 50 BN MPs on a so-called study tour is mind-boggling. Malaysians could only exclaim, “Not again, not at this time!” One can only conclude that it is a very desperate attempt by the BN Umno-dominated government to ensure their political survival by sabotaging the much-speculated crossover of BN politicians to the Pakatan Rakyat on 16 September. Obviously, the earlier much-touted pledge signing was an utter failure, observes Tota.
DNA testing is a powerful tool – too powerful to be placed in the hands of a police force that has shown that it can be swayed by the executive to go after political opponents, warns Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj.
A bill is before Parliament to amend the Education Act 1996. Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj expresses regret that the Education Minister has not taken the opportunity to make the Act more open and democratic. Instead, its provisions have been tightened.
AMMAN, Jordan, 26 August 2008: Migrants rights representatives from 15 countries today called for greater cooperation between the Jordanian authorities, international agencies and civil society for the protection of foreign domestic workers.
During a high-level roundtable forum on the situation of foreign domestic workers, the representatives welcomed Jordan’s recent move to amend the labour law to include the protection of all domestic workers but emphasised the need for implementation to begin as soon as possible. They were speaking on behalf of domestic worker associations and rights groups from origin and destination countries in Asia and the Middle East.
We were born as an independent sovereign nation, a secular democratic state on 31 August 1957. In a week’s time we celebrate our 51st Hari Merdeka. Actually, there is very little to celebrate. After 51 years of Alliance/BN rule we have sunk low on all fronts as a nation. It is time to take stock and evaluate intelligently why as a nation we are going downhill in all fields of national endeavour, says our special correspondent, in this message to the voters of Permatang Pauh.
To unilaterally demand that a perfectly sensible, responsible and objective public forum be stopped on account of the perceived injury to one community – real or imagined – smacks of bias and prejudice, and the failure to even understand the anxiety of other communities, observes Farish A Noor. One is compelled to ask if these ‘defenders of Islam’ have even thought of the pain and anguish caused to those families who have seen and lived through broken marriages, divorces and grave-robbings? Or do the feelings of other communities not count, and do other communities have no sensitivities?