May 19, 2013
Prime Minister Najib: Listen to Voices of Student Dissent
The Voice of Student Dissent
COMMENT: Elections are over but young citizen activists who are unhappy with the results are back to show their dissatisfaction with the outcome by attending rallies organized by the Opposition in large numbers. They are defying orders from the Police not to attend these gatherings which have been declared illegal by the Police.
They see injustice and want to change so that they are free to choose a government through free and fair elections. This movement for change cannot be suppressed because people like Adam Ali and his friends and associates in various universities and other educational institutions are driven by democratic ideals, not by money or fear tactics. Like their counterparts in Indonesia at the close of the Suharto era, they choose democracy and freedom.
Their demands are simple; they want a legitimate government, not one that retains power by massive electoral fraud. They want the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of our Election Commission to step down; like BERSIH, they seek electoral reforms, and they want the EC itself to be revamped and made independent. not an appendage of the Prime Minister’s Department.
Will the Najib administration engage them civilly? Obviously not, since the symbol of student protest, Adam Ali, is under detention and faces the prospect of imprisonment of up to 20 years under the penal code.
Here is the opportunity for the government to crack down on Malaysian dissidents. We have a new Minister of Home Affairs and Inspector-General of Police and his Deputy (above). They are keen to show that they are tough and intolerant of dissent. They will not hesitate to use whatever means available to them to deal with student protests and political dissent led by the Opposition.
In truth, high handed methods will only acerbate, not alleviate tensions since these student activists are intelligent and reasonable people.
What the Home Affairs Minister and his Inspector-General of Police need to do is to have dialogue with them. It is very much in the power of the Minister of Home Affairs and the Inspector-General to defuse the mounting tension by releasing Adam Ali from detention and by allowing peaceful protests to go on.
At the same time, the Najib administration should address the issue of electoral reform and the demands of BERSIH for free and fair elections. It should also ask for the resignation of the Election Commission Chairman and his Deputy to facilitate change. –Din Merican
Cops widen probe on Adam
by Ram Anand@http://www.malaysiakini.com
His lawyer Eric Paulsen said that the police had told a magistrate this morning that Adam is also being investigated for participating in an act “detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, which is now a crime based on a newly amended provision under the Penal Code which came into effect late last year.
Paulsen said that this provision under the Penal Code was “too general”. Adam is investigated for the remarks he made during a public forum at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) on May 13, where he, alongside several other activists, urged the people to stage a massive street protest against electoral fraud.
Investigations are also based on a report by Free Malaysia Today, quoting rally organisers telling the forum that they will use the rally to “topple the government”. This means Adam could face up to 20 years in jail if he is found guilty under the Penal Code.
After a day, no statements taken
Magistrate Muzlinda Mohd had ordered for Adam to be remanded for five days due to the nature of the alleged offence, Paulsen told Malaysiakini.
The 24-year-old Adam, best known for being suspended for three semesters by University Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) for lowering a flag bearing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s image in front of the UMNO headquarters two years ago, was arrested in Bangsar Utama at 3pm yesterday.
At the time of writing, the Police have yet to record his statement, which according to Paulsen, suggests that the arrest was an act of punishment.
“It has been more than 24 hours, and he has yet to have his statement taken,” Paulsen said, saying that Adam is still in a lock-up at the Jinjang Police station.
Paulsen, who is representing Adam along with Latheefa Koya, said that they are unhappy with the remand period and will file an objection tomorrow. He also said that Adam’s arrest and subsequent investigation signals lack of tolerance for dissent by the Najib administration.