Malaysia’s Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein defended the protest, arguing that building a Hindu shrine is unsuitable because the neighborhood is Muslim, and that “the residents only wanted their voices to be heard [and] it was unfortunate that ‘the publicity they received was negative because it was linked with racial and religious sentiments.'”
In response, Hishamuddin invited the protesters to a discussion. In a press conference later, Hishammuddin defended the actions of the protesters saying that they cannot be blamed. He cited several reasons:
Although the demonstration was illegal & without a government-issued permit, the protesters had limited the size of their demonstration
The state government had made a poor decision in relocating the Hindu temple
The people should be allowed space to voice their opinions
Similar incidents have happened before (pig heads being thrown into UMNO grounds)
The press conference which was also recorded by Malaysiakini, was almost as controversial as the protest; opposition politicians came out to denounce the Minister’s actions and called for his resignation.
Embarrassingly for Hishamuddin, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the government multimedia agency, sent a letter to Malaysiakini.com appealing for it to take down both videos of the cow head protests and the press conference by the minister. This has been interpreted by some as damage control by the government due to Hishammuddin’s embarrassing press conference.
Many believe that the protests were secretly organised by the United Malays National Organisation, which is in the opposition after losing Selangor state to Pakatan Rakyat in the Malaysian general election, 2008. They wanted to stir up racial and religious unrest against the state government. Many reports have stated that Noh Omar, an UMNO federal minister, met with the protesters a few days before the protest and was the mastermind. Photographs taken from the protests also allowed many to trace back the participants to being branch leaders in Selangor UMNO.
Many criticised the response of the police who were seen to just been standing by the side and allowing the protesters to stomp and spit on the head of the cow. This can be seen from the video clip of the protest caught by the popular Malaysian news online portal Malaysiakini.
Riot police use teargas and water cannon to break up the 2007 HINDRAF rally.
This is in comparison to the 2007 HINDRAF rally where police brutality were obvious. Five thousand members riot police dispatched to the scene used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds.
Al-Jazeera’s coverage of the 2007 HINDRAF rally showed police officers using tear gas to disperse the protesters in spite of the civil nature of the rally and the participants carrying life-size portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Mahatma Gandhi, to indicate the nonviolent nature of their protest. The police arrested 240 people.
Pakatan Rakyat response
Rodziah Ismail, who is the Selangor State Assemblywoman for Batu Tiga, which includes Section 23 Shah Alam was directly criticised and insulted by the protesters for not stopping the relocation of the temple. She is also the Welfare, Women’s Affairs, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee Chairman in the Selangor State Executive Council which oversaw the relocation of the temple. Rodziah expressed her opinion that the relocation of the temple was guaranteed by freedom of religion and advised the protesters to respect other’s beliefs and religions.
The Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state government organised a townhall meeting following the incident but was forced to end it abruptly due to the meeting being hijacked by protesters believed to be from UMNO and became rowdy. Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was forced to temporarily shelve the relocation of the 150-year-old Sri Mahamriamman temple following the failed town hall meeting.
The Selangor state government has announced on October 19, 2010 to be proceeding with the relocation of the Sri Mahamariamman Temple from Section 19 Shah Alam to Section 23.
Arrest and Justice
In July 2010, 12 cow-head protesters were fined RM1,000 each for illegal assembly by the sessions court in Shah Alam. Two of the protestors were fined RM3,000 for sedition while one of the two was also ordered to serve a week in jail.
Eyzva Ezhar Ramly, 31, was charged under the Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948 for “inciting racial animosity with carrying a cow-head” along with the other accused, Mohd Azmir Mohd Zain.
Mohd Azmir was also charged under the same act for carrying and stepping on a cow-head with “the intention to create racial tension” and was fined RM3,000.
Four others who were also originally charged under the Sedition Act were given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal after they pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Inconsistencies in the behaviour of the authorities led to a High Court decision here to quash Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s order declaring Bersih 2.0 an unlawful society on the grounds that his decision was “tainted with irrationality.”
The Kuala Lumpur High Court’s Appellate and Special Powers division has quashed the Home Ministry’s decision not to grant a publishing permit to Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd which operates the Malaysiakininews portal.
Ruled the ministry’s decision as “improper and irrational”, Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim also said the home minister’s decision was misdirected as it exceeds the limit of its jurisdiction.
“It cannot be a case that a society is a threat to public security on 1.7.2011, and then no longer so soon after that… I hold the view that the decision in finding Bersih unlawful is tainted with irrationality,” High Court judge Rohana Yusuf said in her grounds of judgment made available to The Malaysian Insider today.
On July 24 she had ruled Bersih 2.0 a legal society and quashed the minister’s order made last year just a week before last year’s July rally for free and fair elections.
The loose coalition of 62 registered civil societies led tens of thousands to demand for free and fair elections in the capital city on July 9 last year, which resulted in some 1,600 arrests but ultimately resulted in the government agreeing to set up a bipartisan parliamentary polls panel.
Prominent lawyer and former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and 13 of her colleagues in Bersih’s steering committee had in July last year filed a judicial review seeking to get the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to lift its July 1, 2011 ban of the movement.
In her judgment, Rohana pointed out that after Bersih had been declared unlawful, the minister’s representatives subsequently negotiated with the movement’s leaders on how and where the planned rally should be held.
Ambiga, she said, had also been granted an audience by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Instead of being subjected to the various provisions in law in tandem with its pronouncement as an illegal society, the judge noted that the events after the ban showed the opposite happened.
“In the upshot the conduct of the respondents in dealing and handling Bersih soon after it being outlawed in fact does not reflect Bersih as an unlawful society, but it connotes something else.
“It does not at all reflect the conduct of persons who found the society to be used for the purposes prejudicial to the interest of the security of Malaysia and public order,” Rohana said.
She noted that the reason of public security for declaring Bersih illegal could not have changed in a matter of days.
“The respondent (home minister) cannot be blowing hot and cold at the same time.
“However, if the reason of public security had since ceased then the declaration should be lifted accordingly.”
Apart from Ambiga, the 13 other leaders named in the court filing are Maria Chin Abdullah, Datuk Toh Kin Woon, Zaid Kamaruddin, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Arul Prakkash Sinnappan, Haris Fathillah Mohamed Ibrahim, Andrew Khoo Chin Hock, Liau Kok Fah, Wong Chin Huat, Datuk Yeoh Yong Poh and Yeo Yong Woi.
The group has since held another rally on April 28 this year to push for electoral reforms to be enforced before the 13th general election is due.
Public perception will be the government’s new priority in its ongoing battle to reduce the controversy over Malaysia’s crime rate, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.
The home minister said the government was switching its focus to managing public perception in the second phase of its National Key Result Area (NKRA) to lower growing concern.
“The issue now is not the index. That we are quite confident.
“The issue is not from the point of targeting street crime but the goal post has changed according to current demands. This will all be discussed and announced in the second phase of our NKRA,” Hishammuddin(picture) told a news conference after closing a special meeting with the men in blue at the Royal Malaysian Police College here.
He said that despite the drop in the crime rate, there were still sections of the public who felt unsafe.
He said the new approach was to manage the perception among residents, adding that the government had given tax incentives and one-off grants to shopping centre owners as part of its new focus.
He said the government’s proposal to increase the Home Ministry’s allocation by 4.4 per cent and to the crime reduction NKRA by 68.8 per cent in Budget 2013 reflected its commitment.
Hishammuddin said the government had also included a proposal to increase its police officer intake in the Budget.
He said the time the last such increase was mentioned as a priority was after the May 13, 1969 racial riots.
In Malaysia, the police divide crime into two categories, index and non-index — the former defined as crime that is reported with sufficient regularity and significance to be a meaningful indicator of the crime situation while the latter is regarded as minor in nature.
The government has had to defend itself from public criticism after a spate of crime incidents that seemed to contradict the image painted by its crime statistics.
The police and Home Ministry continue to stand by Putrajaya’s claim that the country’s crime rate has dipped considerably since initiatives under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) were put in place two years ago.
The government’s efficiency unit PEMANDU had in July released figures to show that index crime in Malaysia dropped by 10.1 per cent from January to May this year compared to the same period last year.
So, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein cleared the Prisons Department to cane Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno for drinking beer. The same Home Minister that is known to enjoy a cold beer every now and again. The same Home Minister that was pictured drinking a few cold beers in the playboy days surrounded by a bunch of loose drunken women. The same Home Minister who’s wife was also pictured knocking a cold one down herself. Anyway, send in more pictures and/or video of Muslim politicians in Malaysia who don’t practice what they preach toGutterUncensored@yahoo.com. The corruption and phoniness of some Malaysian politicians would be funny if they didn’t have the power to torture people. How can a man who himself clearly enjoy a beer every now and again himself signed a paper clearing the way for another person who share his taste. The double standard of these people is fucking incredible, someone need to tell Hishammuddin Husseinthat he is a Muslim that has violated Syariah law. And ask him when is he going to get his six strokes from the cane. It’s only fair… It would be justice. The Starreport:
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has “cleared” the Prisons Department to cane part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno.He said department director-general Datuk Zulkifli Omar and a woman officer came to his office last week to conduct a caning demonstration for him.
“She tapped the back of a chair with the cane.
“There was little force involved and it was not going to inflict pain, not even like the caning carried out in schools in those days.
“I am now satisfied that the caning can be carried out by the department if the court decides to proceed and enforce the sentence,” he said in an interview.
Hishammuddin had recently said the ministry needed to study the proper procedures before caning the woman according to Syariah law, adding that he would not allow the department to execute the caning sentence if it did not have the knowledge and expertise to do it.
Kartika, a 32-year-old mother-of-two, was fined RM5,000 and ordered to be whipped six times for drinking beer in a hotel in Cherating last year.
Her sentence has been deferred until after Ramadan.
Several parties, such as the Bar Council, have called for the sentence to be annulled.
Hishammuddin said that although he was now satisfied that the department was able to conduct the caning, he still felt it had no experience to do so.
“This is because the woman (Kartika) will be the first to be caned (under Syariah laws applicable to Muslims). Four men who have received caning sentences by the Syariah Court are appealing their sentences,” he said.
On the merits of Kartika’s caning sentence, the minister said he had told the department not to get “embroiled in this.”
“That is not their purview. It is the judicial process which decides that. If the caning sentence is to be imposed, it is their duty to carry it out fairly.”
Kartika’s father, Shukarno Mutalib, when contacted, said the family was happy to hear that the department was able to handle the caning.
“Alhamdullillah (praise be upon Allah). Kartika wants it over and done with,” he said.
It would seem hypocrisy is an official state policy in Malaysia. Here is Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein enjoying a few cold Anchor beer with a few ladies in his younger playboy days. These pictures have been around for some time now but it is an appropriate time to share them again in light of his recent decision to have a woman suffer from six stroke from a cane. Hishammuddin Hussein was never caned for drinking beer because certain people in Malaysia can getaway with murder while people like Kartika are treated like dogs for the most minor infractions. Yup, she is going to be punished for the same crime the Home Minister himself is no stranger to. The woman officer should have demonstrated the caning on him for his past infractions of the laws he is enforcing now. Hopefully the western media with pick up on this bit of hypocrisy. Click pictures to enlarge.
This is supposedly one of his mistresses, the air stewardess that was caught having an affair with him in Johor Bahru. And she is said to be the same lady that he took to Mongolia on a trip with the then PM.