Archive for the ‘police brutality’ Category


The Academy Awards are most closely associated with expensive, red carpet dresses and banal acceptance speeches. There is rarely space for the edgy, politically meaningful, or foreign. This year, however, one Oscar nominee for best documentary feature, “The Act of Killing,” resurrects one of the great “forgotten” mass murders, some would say genocide, of 20th Century Asia.

The murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia is well known to have killed up to three million people. Estimating the death toll of Communist Party misadventures in China continues to produce internationally acclaimed books with figures as high as 45 million for the famine that resulted from the Great Leap Forward. And yet, while killings by communists are well publicised, the killing of communists, has received far less attention.

However, between 5,00,000 and three million communists, or people branded as communists, were slaughtered in Indonesia between 1965-67, a massacre that has been airbrushed out of Indonesian history textbooks and the world’s consciousness at large.

“The Act of Killing” — co-directed by American filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, and produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog — examines this little documented, or even acknowledged, part of Indonesian history, to deeply disturbing effect.

The facts behind the massacres remain shrouded in obfuscation, propaganda and resultant historical amnesia. What is known is that an attempted coup on the night of September 30, 1965, led to the killing of six Indonesian generals. In the days and weeks that followed, the Indonesian Army fingered the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) as the perpetrators, unleashing a killing spree in which hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of suspected communists were murdered.

The army is known to have instigated many of these murders, although large parts of the civilian population were implicated in them as well, through their mobilisation via religious and social organisations. There was also alleged U.S. involvement, with the CIA having possibly provided the Indonesian Army with lists of names and other details for thousands of communists.

Prior to the massacres, the PKI had emerged as the largest communist party in the world outside the Communist bloc, with over three million members and up to 18 million followers. It was a formidable political force, well disciplined and organised. After the 1965-66 killings, the PKI was wiped out and even the contemporary democratic Indonesian political landscape has a gaping hole for a Left.

Storyline

In the film, Oppenheimer stays clear of the complex historical details that engendered and enabled the massacres. Instead, he looks at the impunity enjoyed by some of the perpetrators, who, almost 50 years later, remain unpunished, unrepentant, and eager to recount their tales of bloodshed.

Set in a city in northern Sumatra, the movie abruptly switches from a lighthearted, almost cheery mood, with ageing gangsters joking about, and singing songs, to unvarnished horror, as they detail their brutal killings and carry out surreal re-enactments. The movie has an off-kilter feel, with the lines between fact and fiction blurring disorientingly. It is after all a documentary about a movie that the gangsters agree to make about mass killings that they undertook which are officially unacknowledged in Indonesia.

The question that looms large upon watching “The Act of Killing,” is why the massacres of 1965-66 remain buried in the rubble of history, rather than dug up and confronted. The Suharto-led military dictatorship that came to power in the midst of the murders, and that consolidated its power as a result of the elimination of its communist rivals, developed a narrative that stressed the cruelty of the communists and painted them as the aggressors rather than victims.

Schoolchildren were forced every year to watch a gory, propaganda movie, “Pengkhianatan, or Treachery,” that focused on the September 30 killings of the six generals by so-called communists and reinforced the idea that the nation was saved from communist terror.

“I saw so much stuff about communists being the bad guys that it somehow became the ‘truth.’ There was no access to any other version of reality,” explains 29-year-old Ray Hervandi, who went to school in Jakarta.

What is startling however is that even more than 15 years after the downfall of the Suharto regime, the killings of the communists remain largely unvisited. Today, Indonesia is a vibrant democracy with a general election scheduled for later in the year. And yet, there are no revisionist histories, no political party that has made a cause of the murders, and little discussion in the mainstream media about the “genocide.”

Release and reactions

That is, until “The Act of Killing” began to attract attention. The movie has not been released in theatres in Indonesia out of fear of an outright ban. It has however been available to download online for free, and also been shown in private venues across the archipelago. The Oscar nomination has predictably garnered interest, but much of the reaction within the country has been negative. If the film is to win, it will likely be discomfiting for, rather than celebrated in, Indonesia.

Teuku Faizasyah, a government spokesperson, was quoted by the Jakarta Globe newspaper claiming that the portrayal of Indonesia in the film was “as a cruel and lawless” country, and “not appropriate, not fitting.” “Much has changed since the 1960s,” he said.

However, Andreas Harsono, a journalist and human rights activist, points out that it is precisely because “not that much has changed (since the Suharto-era),” that the communist massacres remain so difficult for the political establishment to address.

He points out, for example, that the current Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is in fact the son-in-law of Sarwo Edhie Wibowo who was the military commander of the Special Forces unit that quelled the 1965 coup.

Mr. Harsono, who was born only a few months before the massacres began, says he has not been able to finish watching “The Act of Killing” in its entirety despite repeated attempts. It brings back an image that has haunted him since he was seven years old, when an employee in his father’s electronics company in East Java took him to the banks of the Jompo river and told him how the river had run red with blood. The employee recounted having seen a baby crying with hunger as it tried to suckle the breast of its slaughtered, dead mother.

There have been sporadic attempts in Indonesia at coming to terms with the massacres. During his brief presidency (October 1999-July 2001) Abdurrrahman Wahid, the leader of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), a religious organisation that played a major role in the killings, asked for forgiveness from surviving ex-communists on behalf of the NU. No other national-level politician has followed his example, despite Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission having released the results of an investigation into the slaughter, in 2012. The commission found that “crimes against humanity” had occurred and that the military was responsible. It urged further investigation by the attorney general’s office. But, state authorities largely rejected the report and the attorney general has failed to take up the case.

Mr. Harsono makes the point that “The Act of Killing’s” detractors in Indonesia, who criticise it as a “foreigner’s” fetish, are often unaware that the movie is in fact co-directed by an Indonesian. The co-director, as well as the more than 60-member strong Indonesian crew, have all chosen to remain anonymous. “There is an Indonesian who has also made this movie, and he must remain nameless, because even today he fears for his life. What does that say about Indonesia?” asks Mr. Harsono.


Ahli parlimen Sungai Siput, Dr Micheal Devaraj Jeyakumar yang ditahan di bawah Ordinan Darurat (EO), hari ini melancarkan mogok lapar ketika dalam tahanan.

Perkara itu dimaklumkan oleh isteri beliau, Mohanarani Rasiah ketika menemui suaminya itu kira-kira jam 11 pagi, semalam.

Menurut Moharani, suaminya itu sangat hampa dan kecewa dengan pendirian polis dan kerajaan terhadap enam aktivis Parti Sosialis Malaysia yang ditahan di bawah EO sejak 2 Julai lalu.

“Beliau akan teruskan mogok lapar sehingga kesemua PSM 6 dibebaskan atau dituduh di mahkamah.

“Saya cuba menasihatkan beliau untuk tidak berbuat demikian kerana risau akan kesihatan beliau tetapi beliau bertekad mahu meneruskan mogok lapar,” kata Mohanarani dalam satu kenyataan hari ini

===

KENYATAAN AKHBAR RANI – ISTERI DR. JEYAKUMAR DI IPOH, 2PM 28
Julai 2011

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj melancarkan Mogok Lapar dalam tahanan

Apabila saya jumpa suami saya Dr
Jeyakumar pada 11 pagi semalam, 27hb. Julai 2011, beliau suarakan perasaannya
yang sangat hampa dan kecewa dengan pendirian polis dan kerajaan terhadap enam
aktivis PSM yang ditahan di bawah EO sejak 2 Julai 2011.

Menurutnya, polis enggan berganjak
dari posisi asal mereka walaupun PSM 6 telah bekerjasama penuh dan menjawab
kesemua soalan yang ditanya semasa soalsiasat dijalankan. Walaupun polis tidak
dapat sebarang bukti untuk menjustifikasikan pertahanan lanjutan, namun beliau
pasti tempoh tahanan mereka akan dilanjutkan sebab polis dan kerajaan ada
agenda sendiri dan mempunyai tujuan untuk memangsakan PSM6 .

Maka Dr
Jeyakumar telah memberitahu saya bahawa beliau akan mulakan mogok lapar pada 28/7/11 untuk
mendapatkan keadilan. Beliau akan teruskan mogok lapar sehingga kesemua PSM6
dibebaskan atau dituduh dimahkamah. Saya cuba menasihatkan beliau untuk tidak
berbuat demikian kerana risau akan kesihatan beliau tetapi beliau bertekad mahu
meneruskan mogok lapar kerana berpendapat

1. Walaupun tuduhan keatas mereka
adalah hanya pengerak BERSIH dan ini dinafikan oleh 6 orang tetapi polis
sengaja mahu kaitkan mereka dengan tuduhan ini
2. Walaupun sudah berkali-kali
dikatakan PSM tidak ada kaitan dengan PKM dan PSM tiada niat untuk kembangkan
fahaman komunis dan selama ini semua aktiviti PSM adalah terbuka dan
transparen, tetapi polis cuba memaksa, mereka (frame up) tuduhan-tuduhan palsu
keatas PSM 6
3. Tuduhan menghidupkan komunisme ini
hanya berdasarkan beberapa t-shirt dan kebelakangan ini polis sedang bergiat “frame-up”
tuduhan baru dan menurutnya ini berdasarkan lawatan-lawatan pemimpim PSM ke
luar negara atas jemputan parti sosialis lain di dunia dan cuba bertokoh tambah
bahawa PSM ada hubungan rahsia dengan PKM di Thailand.
Dr. Jeyakumar
menafikan semua tuduhan palsu ini, semua soalan polis menjurus untuk
mengeluarkan satu cerita karut untuk melanjutkan tempoh tahanan

Dr Jeyakumar memberitahu polis dan
kerajaan supaya bersikap jujur dan review kerja-kerja dan aktiviti PSM dalam 13
tahun sejak ia ditubuhkan. Di mana semua aktiviti PSM adalah terbuka dan dan
jika PSM mengkritik kerajaan BN, itu adalah hak demokratiknya.

Menurut Dr Jeyakumar, beliau telah
memberi kerjasama penuh sejak direman di mana beliau telah menandatangani 3
laporan termasuk laporan 45 muka surat di Pulau Pinang. Sekarang SB telah
sediakan report dengan 80 mukasurat tetapi Dr Jeyakumar buat keputusan beliau
tidak akan tandatanganinya kerana beliau melihat kesemua siasatan sebagai
sia-sia sahaja. Polis masih ‘menembak secara liar’ (shooting wildly).

Oleh itu, Dr Jeyakumar telah hilang
kepercayaan kepada polis untuk melaksanakan isu ini secara adil. Beliau
menuntut supaya Menteri Dalam Negeri mainkan peranan untuk membebaskan atau
hadap mereka ke mahkamah. Sehingga hari itu beliau akan buat mogok lapar.


The collapse of the 23-year dictatorship, the first ever collapse of an Arab leader to a “people power” uprising is shaking the Muslim world. President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali who wanted to rule further until 2014 had to fled out of the country due to the mass uprising in every corner of Tunisia, and now, he is hiding in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia another authoritarian state, with his tail between his legs.

The spark to the riot was after, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself ablaze on December 17 out of sheer frustration. Mohamed was a young graduate who sold fruits and vegetables for a living, he was locked up and his cart with all his fruits and vegetables was confiscated by the Tunisian authorities for his failure to secure proper license. He eventually died an agonising death on January 5.

Now Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” has spread to neighbouring Egypt and is about to knock off President Hosni Mubarak from his 30 years dictatorship. Mubarak has gone into hiding now. It is spreading like wild fire across the Arab world. Like Tunisia, and now in Egypt, similar protest over unemployment and food prices have also started in Jordan, Algeria, Yemen and even Saudi Arabia in the past weeks, all these countries has a big percentage of young people, majority are well-educated but a lot unemployed.

This has been one hell of a revolution. It places the military on top and is a another step towards perpetuating the “militarized democracy”. Mubarak went because he wanted to establish a civilian oligarchy led by his son.

Anyway, the people of Egypt will be lucky if their military hands over power to a democratically elected govt in 6 months as promised !!

Comparing this with the situation that is prevailing in our country, do we see something similar happening here. I believe the situation here is not that bad yet although we have our share of widespread police abuse and death in police custody like the case of 22 year-old Kugan Ananthan who died a horrible, lonely death with his body bore the marks of several wounds from severe beatings and torture from the hands of policemen. Then we have the case of Teoh Beng Hock who died in the custody of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency and we are told that Teoh Beng Hock did not commit suicide but neither was his death a homicide. Then we are told again that the police are allowed to shoot as in the case of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the 15 year-old who died in a hail of police bullets. Then recently, there was the case of businessman Chia Buang Hing, 34 who was beaten up by the cops when he was stopped at a police road-block. So many more cases of torture and abuse from the hands of the authorities and it may take me many more pages to complete.

Don’t you think they are testing our patience? I tell you, the way our government is handling the situation really sucks, our belief in the forces of law and order have eroded badly.

Don’t you think Malaysia too is ready for this kind of an upheaval?

The conditions are here also: A dysfunctional polity, corrupt politicians, self absorbed bureaucrats, an uncaring elite, increasing disparities in income and consumption, and an all pervasive corrupt and insolent government.

So is it a matter of when or is it still a question of why?

Or when will we come out and say… CUKUP!


Selepas Tsunami (After the Tsunami) from Pusat KOMAS .

This is the original Video CD which was confiscated by our cops just before the Sibu by-election. Very interesting video…watch it in full.

This video was done by KOMAS, the documentary is titled “after tsunami”, referring to the political tsunami on March 8.

Meanwhile, cops say this VCD is seditious in nature and hence they had confiscated it, would you believe it? You be the judge guys.

The 4 uploaded version in You Tube above were all copied from “Selepas Tsunami (After the Tsunami)


keep-calm-we-re-all-mad-here-18

Are we going bonkers !? Is it just me or are we all going CRAZY !?

A friend of mine says he hear voices all the time in his head and he says GOD is talking to him. He tells me he cannot sleep. He tells me he had just gone for psychological evaluation. When he told me I was a little shocked but I chose not to ask any questions. I figure if he has something to open up about, then probably best to just let him talk. But I was also bugging a little bit because I too was curious.

He said there wasn’t anything wrong with him and he just wanted to get some answers from me regarding the voices in his head. Maybe he just wanted to hear something else from some outside entity with no personal involvement whatsoever.

Either way it struck me as little odd. I couldn’t help but to think the work place may have gotten to him a bit or even his family or it could be a love affair which turn sour.

But he has just turned 25.

I couldn’t really understand why a 25 year old is going through this.

I mean he is so young, yes life just started and he does not have many problems but for some reasons he felt he needed psychological evaluation because of the voices he keeps hearing.

Then there is this 20-something year old girl who walks up to me while I’m having coffee with my friend Alex, somewhere in Kota Kinabalu, and tells me “Abang, I wanna kiss you now and if you don’t allow I’m going to strip here, you have been smiling at me and I cannot take it anymore”. I don’t even know this cute little thing, never saw her before, but she seems to know me. I was so shocked and so was my friend Alex. Never have I encountered anything like this in my entire life. Something very new.

I asked “Are we going crazy?” This is bananas!

I meant are we all just going crazy and we don’t know it?

I meant I want some answers too (but to what?)

Where do i start?

I can’t lie that sometimes I too feel crazy, wacky and weird.

But when I look and listen to my friend and the girl who came up to me, I just cant help but to think: “what if we cant pull it together and we just snap?”

Will we be able to prevent it?

Will we be able to pinpoint it?

Will we be able to express it in a positive way?

When I look around today I cant help but to take notice to the fact that there are more and more sadistic crimes being committed as well as more desperation, depression, scandals to say the least.

I don’t know if I am watching TV3 or reading the news or a tabloid sometimes. I watch the news and they are reporting on the death of Teoh Beng Hock while being interrogated by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) in their custody…shit! I also hear in the same news a Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu @ Aminah who had a secret relationship with Prime Minister was brutally murdered and her remains destroyed with C-4 explosives in a deserted area in Shah Alam, by some cops linked to the Prime Minister himself. Then there is a story all over the internet saying young Indian boys beaten to pulp by cops, in police stations, and a number of them even killed in police custody, like the poor chap Kugan, who was foaming in his mouth before death. I guess that’s news also. Just like how Anwar Ibrahim got his famous black eye from the Inspector General of Police himself.

When I think about the day to day it worries me and I become overwhelmed. Then when I think about the countless amount of folks who continue to go on each day, we are survivors of some of the most cataclysmic occurrences in history to date. Yet we are victims and very well may be perpetrators of even more indescribable events that have shaped our very way of living.

Its hard not to feel a little crazy sometimes or to feel like you are going to snap any minute because of all these stories and these happening right in front of us.

I mean whom of us is really exempt?

It could be because of an annoying boss or crappy job, a nagging wife or husband, kids, girlfriend drama, Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, $$$, bills, health or sheer bad luck or whatever or maybe just the day to day hustle and bustle of trying to be progressive and productive and forward our career or improve our life, or maybe we are just fed up.

That’s when the pressure builds up, and at that point, or at any given moment any one of us could snap.

Its been said that many of our political leaders may have been a little nuts or ultimately driven mad. And if we look today we can see living testaments to that in some of our leaders, to say the least.

I look out my window and I see Pulau Gaya, I watch the television, listen to the radio, read the paper and I find more than enough evidence to support the theory that we’re going mad. “Man kills wife, wife kills husband, lover kills lover, man jumps down from high-rise building, drug overdose, Mongolian model C4ed, law maker breaks the law and all these sounds like “THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END” to me.

The thought alone is enough to drive me to say “What the Fucks!

I mean its all enough to drive any “sane” person over the edge. But for us who think we are the “sane” ones I ask “Are we really crazy and just don’t know it?, how do we know, do we know our breaking point, will we be able to prevent it, curtail or direct it in a positive fashion? Will it bend or snap?

So will we resort to psychopathic drugs like ECSTASY…”K”…LSD..COCAINE, which is so easily available and which is the obvious choice?

THAT’S CRAZY! WHAT MADNESS…..360 degrees of Insanity

But funny it seems that it may be this same madness that drives us to succeed and pushes us to new limits and bounds that show the continuous evolution of human in society as a whole.

As my Late DAD use to tell me ” son, you got to be a little crazy to deal with this or put up with that”.

So am I the crazy one here?



Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib the son of Chief Minister of Sarawak Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud has resigned as Deputy Minister of Tourism.

Sulaiman Abdul Rahman submitted his letter of resignation last week to the Minister of Tourism Datuk Paduka Ng Yen Yen due to misunderstanding with his Minister lady boss and this has been brewing for a while. Both are not in talking terms.

Sulaiman last week also sent Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak a copy of his resignation as the Deputy Minister and this it seems was not accepted by the PM.

Najib Tun Razak before he left for Sabah last Saturday did meet up with Sulaiman. Don’t know what transpired in this meeting.

In the March 2008 general election, Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib won a seat for parliament and became Deputy Tourism Minister. Before this, he did not have any political experience but was a high-profile corporate businessman.

Sometime last year, there was even a police report lodged by a former TV personality 22-year-old Avaa Vanja Ramli alleging that Sulaiman had beat her up blue and black in Kuala Lumpur.

There is also widespread gossip in Sarawak that Sulaiman is suffering from the disease AIDS and gets depressed and erratic most of the time and hence its difficult for him to function as a Deputy Minister.

Sulaiman’s sister Jamilah Hamidah controls the family’s business empire in Canada, America and England and it is said to be worth more than a billion dollars.

Sulaiman’s brother Mahmud Abu Bekir who is married to the elder sister of Malaysia’s Jazz Queen Shila Majid is also said to be worth more than $500 million.

Sulaiman’s other sister Roziah is one of the most powerful businesswomen in Sarawak with extensive holdings in property and timber business.

Sulaiman’s father Taib is also accused of deep corruption and nepotism with dominance of Sarawak’s political elite in the logging industry. It was even reported that nine Japanese shipping companies, which transported timber from Sarawak, had allegedly failed to report some 1.1 billion yen in income over a period of up to seven years. The report claimed the money was paid as kickbacks to Sarawak officials including a Hong Kong agent linked to Taib’s family.

Under Taib the logging industry in Sarawak has logged many of the ancestral lands of Sarawak’s indigenous communities, despite a lot of hue and cry, petitions and road blockades by the civil society. Forceful dismantling has led to several deaths and regular violent coercion by the Malaysian army, police and logging industry enforcers. There was also reports of RAPE of indigenous girls and women by loggers and enforcers of the industry and has become a hugely contentious issue in Sarawak. See here and here.


Permatang Pasir By-election UPDATES:

I think the aggression by the police was unnecessary, excessive and unwarranted.

My friends were there at Permatang Pasir nomination center and they too had witnessed many instances of overly aggressive police behaviour.

My worries regarding the aggressive stance of the police remain, and the fact that their policing strategy seemed to be based on ramping up levels of tension and violence rather than diffusing it are highlighted once again in this video.

Having said that, this is a different situation-Gobalakrishnan in my opinion should have left it alone. But did he deserve to be humilated and kicked by the cops? I’m still not sure.

The problem is that whether by accident or design, it was the police that were responsible for this state of affairs. So acting in a manner that is commensurate to the mood and tactical situation of their own making muddies the water just a bit doesn’t it?


Salute PAS for the well organised ANTI-ISA gathering today, 1st August 2009.

My contacts at the scene say more than 50000 people had turnout and the crowd was even bigger than the Bersih rally on 10th November, 2007.

See here for pictures.

Malaysians taking part in this gathering make me proud of them all for the sacrifice. I’m sorry I was not able to get myself available in KL together with all you brave guys. Still in Sabah lah.

It seems to me that by the look of it, Malaysians are ready for full civil disobedience and the cry for REFORMASI is indeed getting louder all over this country.

It is time for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and all other laws that allow for Detention Without Trial. 50 years is far too long.

It is time Najib Tun Razak immediately and unconditionally release all persons that are being currently held/detained/restricted under the ISA and other laws that allow for Detention Without Trial.


It’s time we Malaysians show our anger to such brutal injustice to a young man who happen to be on the opposite side or some would say on the wrong side of the political divide. There are too many unexplained custodial deaths in Malaysia and this is becoming a disease.

Please Sign the petition  for justice for Teoh Beng Hock.


As usual our Umno leaders and their sidekicks were quick to defend and protect the “good name” of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

There seem to be a similarity here. There is a sinister element here. There is a political conspiracy. Remember the Perak power grab? Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) was used to topple the Pakatan Rakyat Perak State Government and now in the same fashion, MACC is being used to topple the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State Governmant. It is so blatant where every government institutions are used by Umno in its political manipulations to engage in unconstitutional and unlawful activities to seize and preserve power at all costs.

It is not wrong for us to conclude that MACC is actually masterminding an operation to destabilise the Pakatan-controlled Selangor state government by prosecuting PR assemblymen and fabricating the necessary evidence through threats and coercion of potential witnesses. Teoh Beng Hock is clearly a victim of physical intimidation and mental torture under such a process. Teoh lost his life to the dangerous political game played by the institution which is a tool to Umno, the ruling elite. His death is so unfortunate, it is tragic and unnecessary.

Teoh Beng Hock, 30, was found dead on Thursday at the balcony of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission building in Shah Alam. Was Teoh manhandled and threatened by MACC investigators during a 10-hour interrogation he went through? Was Teoh dragged to a window on the 14-story building and thrown out by the MACC investigators? I don’t know but my feeling is that the MACC chaps have done something really nasty to the young man. I know MACC officers claim that Teoh was not a suspect in any crime. But I don’t know why Teoh was interrogated beginning late evening until the wee hours of next day and that his lawyers were not allowed to be present. There has to be a cause but who will ever know the real cause of his death?!!

Teoh was to get married on the day his body was found. His fiancee is expecting their first baby and has vowed to raise the child as a symbol of her love for Teoh. I really sympathise with her and her unborn child.

We must stop all these abuses and the erosion of justice.

May this young man’s life and sudden death be not in vain.

May Teoh Beng Hock rest in peace.