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4 theSun | THURSDAY MAY 21 2009

news without borders

State government
silencing critics: Khir
SHAH ALAM: The Pakatan Rakyat state and special allowances. He also faces
Effort to prevent sale
of alcohol to minors
government does not practise what it a six-month suspension for each of
preaches when it comes to freedom of three statements he made insulting
information and open discussion, says the Selcat in his blog and the media.
former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Assemblymen Datuk Warno Dogol
Dr Mohd Khir Toyo. (Sabak), Mohd Isa Abu Kasim (Batang Kali),
The decision by Selangor assembly’s Datuk Marsum Paing (Dengkil) and Datuk
rights and privileges committee to sus- Mohd Idris Abdu Bakar (Hulu Bernam)
pend him and four other Barisan Nasional each face a six-month suspension and by Maria J. Dass prosecution, Khalid said: “He He said the state executive
assemblymen showed the administration loss of allowances and perks for making newsdesk@thesundaily.com must be able to relate to the council had also set up a com-
was bent on silencing its critics, he said. statements defaming the assembly. experience of the speaker (Teng mittee to investigate any misap-
The Sungai Panjang assemblyman also The Selcat hearing was held to SHAH ALAM: A meeting between Chang Khim). propriation or fraud involving
said the move reeked of revenge. scrutinise excesses of the now defunct owners of outlets selling alcohol, “Both of them can meet and the award of land to Bukit Botak
“We regret the speaker (Teng Chang welfare organisation of the wives of state executive councillors and non- discuss their experiences and see residents in Selayang.
Khim) has resorted to this cruel act of Selangor BN MPs and assemblymen governmental organisations has been if the relevant laws are adequate or “We want to ensure that
muzzling assemblymen who give con- (Balkis) which was headed by Khir’s called today to address the problem if their suspension is the same.” those who got the land were
structive criticism,” Khir told newsmen wife Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik. of the sale of liquor to minors. Teng was suspended from qualified to get it, and that those
at his office in Glenmarie. “If Selcat is serious about uphold- “The social argument is that the state assembly for 30 months who were supposed to get land
“I can take it if they want to suspend ing transparency and accountability, it without the proper controls in place, in 2005 for throwing a copy of but were sidelined will receive
me for one year for not attending a should check on several matters in the liquor is being sold to and abused the Standing Orders in a rub- what is due to them.”
select committee on competency, state government,” Khir said. by young buyers,” Selangor Mentri bish bin. He was the opposition The committee will comprise
accountability and transparency (Selcat) Meanwhile, Puchong MP Gobind Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim leader at the time. officers from the Gombak Land
hearing, but suspending the four other Singh Deo said Khir should not have his said after a state executive council Responding to questions on the Office, the housing executive
assemblymen for suggesting the hearing allowances and privileges as assembly- meeting yesterday. This was cause progress of negotiations between councillor’s office, lawyers and
be held behind closed doors and not be man suspended. for concern, he said. the state and federal governments public representatives.
made a political game is not right. In statement yesterday, Gobind said “Through open discussion with on the restructuring of the state’s “We expect a report on the
“What they have done goes against an assemblyman remains one even stakeholders, we want to reach an water industry, Khalid said: matter to be ready by Aug 20,”
all they have been proclaiming about when he is suspended and is duty bound equitable balance that will allow “Tomorrow, a team from Selan- Khalid said.
freedom of information,” he said, adding to attend to serve his constituents. the right people to purchase liquor, gor will meet with a committee The Malaysian Anti-Corrup-
that the move would, however, not stop As such, he said, Khir should be ac- while imposing restrictions on those set up by the Energy, Green tion Commission has also started
BN assemblymen from speaking up. corded the privileges he is entitled to not allowed to do so.” Technology and Water Ministry. an investigation into the land scam
Khir faces up to a year’s suspension and paid his salary and allowances. Asked about former mentri “The committee is headed by that goes back 20 years. Among
and stands to lose his allowance of more Gobind said many assemblymen, besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir the ministry’s director-general the recipients of 1,634 plots of land
than RM4,000 a month and other perks faced with the prospect of suspension Toyo’s allegation that his suspen- and discussions will focus on were non-residents of the area,
including claims for calls made on an of allowances and privileges, will not feel sion from the state legislative the modus operandi and steps underaged people and grassroots
office phone, a driver, entertainment free to speak their mind. assembly was a form of political to finalise restructuring.” politicians.

Hold inquiry into lawyers’


arrests, Suhakam urged
PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council The arrest and detention of the
yesterday submitted a memoran- lawyers was unnecessary as the
dum to the Human Rights Commis- police had merely recorded state-
sion of Malaysia (Suhakam), urging ments from them, he said.
a public inquiry into the arrests of Kesavan also said the police had
five lawyers during a candlelight wanted only to “punish and humili-
vigil on May 7. ate” the lawyers and to discourage
Bar Council president Ragunath lawyers in general from being
Kesavan said Suhakam should hold present at police stations to assist
an immediate public inquiry to detained persons.
investigate several police officers The five lawyers were arrested
who were involved in the arrest, for “illegal assembly” after attempt-
detention and interrogation of the ing to provide legal aid to a group
lawyers. of individuals who were detained
The memorandum was received during a candlelight vigil in support
by Suhakam commissioner Chiam of Bersih activist Wong Chin Huat,
Heng Keng. who himself was detained under
Kesavan also singled out the Sedition Act. All those detained
Brickfields police chief Assistant were released the next day.
Commissioner Wan Abdul Bari Chiam said the commission
and Deputy Superintendent Jude would investigate the incident
Pereira as among those who should from all angles before deciding on
be investigated. a public inquiry.

Another candlelight vigil


but no arrests
by Charles Ramendran and left the place.
newsdesk@thesundaily.com “We wish to thank the Subang
Jaya police for giving us the few
KUALA LUMPUR: Another protest minutes to exercise our democratic
to mark the “death of democracy” right to stage a peaceful assembly,
in the Perak state assembly was unlike the Brickfields police who
held last night, at the service centre were rash in detaining us on Tues-
of Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching in Seri day,” said Teo.
Kembangan. She said Malaysians were ma-
This time it went on smoothly as ture enough to not create a ruckus
opposed to the first on Tuesday. when assembling in such manner
Teo, who was detained at and the police should not waste
Tuesday’s protest at Seputeh MP their resources focusing on the
Teresa Kok’s service centre in Kuala gathering but carry out their crime
Lumpur, Seri Kembangan assem- prevention work.
blyman Ean Yong Hian Wah and Subang Jaya police chief ACP
Teratai assemblyman Jenice Lee Zainal Rashid said the group fol-
were joined by about to people at lowed orders to disperse and there
last night’s protest. were no untoward incidents.
Wearing black as a mark of their At the candlelight vigil on Tues-
protest, they held a candlelight vigil day, Teo, Lee and nine supporters
under the watchful eyes of at least were detained after they allegedly
50 policemen including the Light defied orders by police to disperse
Strike Force from the Subang Jaya at about 8.30pm.
district police headquarters. They were released on bail by
With about 150 curious on- 4.30am yesterday after they had
lookers, Teo, Yong and Lee spoke their statements taken at the
for several minutes before being Brickfields district police head-
ordered to disperse. They complied quarters.