Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Uthayakumar's defamation suit dismissed

The Court of Appeal has struck out Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar's defamation suit against the former inspector-general of police (IGP) and attorney-general over their claims that he has links with terrorist organisations.

NONEIn a 2-1 decision, the three-member bench ruled that the statements by the two respondents were directed at Hindraf, and not at Uthayakumar (left in photo).

In addition, the court ruled that Hindraf has been declared an illegal organisation and it has no locus standi to pursue legal action.

Justice KN Segara pointed to two news reports published on Dec 7, 2007 before Uthayakumar's arrest under the Internal Security Act (ISA) six days later.

"It is blatantly clear that the alleged defamatory statements were not directed at him (plaintiff)," said Segara.

Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim agreed with his view.

Dissenting judge Justice Hishamudin Mohd Yunus said a subsequent statement published by Star on Dec 15 had quoted then IGP Musa Hassan as referring to Uthayakumar as having links to terrorist organisations.

"The IGP was referring to the plaintiff and four others detained under the ISA," he noted.

Hishamudin added that he was not satisfied that the plaintiff's statement of claim was not sustainable, as ruled by the majority decision.

"The plaintiff ought to be given his day in the High Court to give evidence," he said.

Uthayakumar's counsel M Manoharan praised Hishamudin for his dissenting judgment.

"In view of this, we will appeal to the Federal Court," he told reporters outside the court.

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The police turned my brother into a criminal

I read with great interest the article in your portal entitled 'Cops, not protesters, are real threat to nation' and must say that I am in complete agreement.

I say this because of the ordeal my family and I went through recently which I dare say was mostly due to some unscrupulous police officers.

Our ordeal started on Feb 9 after I was involved in a quarrel with a neighbour who happens to be friends with two plainclothes detectives from the South Klang police headquarters.

Although my quarrel was with the women in that family, one of the women's husband entered my house and assaulted me. A youth from that family also came charging with a parang which he swung towards me.

Luckily, the parang missed me but hit the pillar of my gate and subsequently left a deep mark.

I went and made a police report, and so did the neighbouring family in addition to consulting their detective friends.

That night my younger brother, who is an assistant manager with a fast food outlet, came home at about midnight and learnt what had happened. Because of this, he then stood in our compound and shouted that hitting a woman was sheer cowardice and challenged them to take him on if they had the guts.

At about 5.00am that morning one of the neighbour's detective friends came to our house with two other policemen, and said my brother was under arrest for smashing our neighbour's cars' windscreens.

They would not listen to him when he said that he had nothing to do with the alleged crime. He also asked to be allowed to go to work and open-up the restaurant before reporting to the police. They refused, and obtained a remand order the same morning for my 24-year-old brother who has never been hauled-up for anything in his entire life.

He was kept there for four days and severely beaten-up by an inspector before he was released.

My brother was punched, slapped, kicked, hit with a rubber hose and a pair handcuffs and told that he would be killed if he complained about being beaten-up. He was also called names are subjected to racial insults by the inspector.

We are also furious that one of the neighbour's detective friends had seated my brother in a room with an alleged extortionist and asked the latter to convince my brother to 'admit his guilt'.

How dare this policeman ask this person, whom apparently had a mile-long police record, to attempt to force my brother into admitting to something he did not do.

My brother was released on Feb 13 and charged on Feb 16 for something the he did not do. We posted bail of RM3, 320 and my brother is required to go to the police station once a week to sign in.

Ironically no action has been taken against the man who assaulted me as well as the youth who swung a parang at me simply because they are friends with the detectives.

When we queried the police, they say there is no evidence. When we tell them that neighbours who had seen him coming with the parang were willing to give evidence, the police officer in charge of the case said he had no time to talk to them.

My brother lodged a report at the Selangor police headquarters on Feb 14 against the police inspector who had assaulted him. However, we have yet to hear from the police. Someone please tell the police that justice delayed is justice denied.

Our family is also hoping that the police top brass will take note of this letter and put right what has gone so wrong in the Klang South police station.

We also welcome offers of legal representation to look into this case as we are not able to afford a lawyer.

Bkt Jalil residents warn DBKL of legal action

The Bukit Jalil estate residents have given City Hall 48-hours to explain the eviction notices, failing which an application for an injunction will be filed.

(Free Malaysia Today) KUALA LUMPUR: Ladang Bukit Jalil residents are planning to file an injunction to stop the City Hall (DBKL) from evicting them on March 15.

At a press conference here, their legal adviser Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said a letter has been despatched to DBKL demanding an explanation over the eviction notice sent on March 1.

“We have given them 48 hours to respond. If there is no reply by tomorrow, we will go to court to get an injunction against them,” added the Lawyers for Liberty coordinator.

On March 3, the 41 families of the estate lodged a police report against Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail after receiving the eviction notice.

They claimed that the notice was illegal as it did not indicate under which regulation the eviction would take place.

The latest eviction notice came after Nong Chik met the residents on Feb 23 and announced that DBKL would only offer RM23,000 each to those who had worked in the rubber estate for more than 15 years and RM11,000 for the rest as compensation.

The minister then told them that the offer was final and eviction would take place whether they accept it or not.

Dismissing the new eviction notice, Fadiah said the the order had no legal standing as it did not comply with any known regulation.

“The notice did not indicate under which provision of the law they are being evicted. It seems to be an attempt to intimidate and threaten the residents to leave the land,” she said.

She said that the notice was misleading as it implied that the eviction was taking place based on what had been agreed upon in a meeting last month.

“The minister merely made an announcement that day and he has yet to give any written guarantee on his offer,” she added.

83 police reports lodged

Sharing his views, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan criticised Nong Chik’s deputy M Saravanan for saying that the residents were only served with eviction notices, and not booted out of their homes under the Emergency Ordinance.

“It is illegal for them (DBKL) to just ask the residents to vacate the land. Only the court can give an eviction order.

“And the estate was originally 1,800 acres. They built highways, condominiums and a golf club but they can’t give four acres of land to the original inhabitants,” he said.

Estate resident, K Balakrishnan complained that the police had not taken any action against Nong Chik and DBKL despite the numerous reports filed against them for abusing their authority.

“To date, we have filed 83 police reports but none of the reports have been investigated. We want the police to take action immediately. We also want the police to provide protection for us if they come to evict us on March 15,” he said.

He added that the residents were now living in fear as there were strangers coming to the estate area and taking pictures of their homes.

“Even last night, three unknown cars entered our estate. We are fearful that they might just burn our houses,” he said.

Also present at the press conference was a representative from Kampung Berembang, which was torn down in 2006 after a stand off between the residents and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

Norazlin Ali, who came to lend his support to the Bukit Jalil estate residents, reminded the authorities that the city was first inhabitated by squatters and estate workers before skyscrapers were built.

“These workers (Bukit Jalil residents) are our assets that helped build our country,” he said.

The NGOs present at the press conference were the Oppressed People Network (Jerit), Suaram, Selangor and Federal Territories Residents Association (Permas) and Lim Len Geok (LLG) Development Centre.