Apology? Not Accepted

At the Shah Alam Convention Centre today, the Pakatan Rakyat announced its manifesto for the upcoming General Elections that covers the socio-economic as well as political plans should it succeed in wrestling power from the Barisan Nasional. Among the points included inside this manifesto is that “the Federal Government to release and apologize to all ISA (Internal Security Act) detainees from the past to the present.”

This seems to be the thing Lim Guan Eng has been pushing for all this while. First, we need to understand that the ISA was an Act that served its purpose for the time it was appropriate for. It gave the authorities the time needed, or to curb clear and present dangers that threatened the public morale, security and the economy of the country. In short, the ISA was without which would not have allowed us to prosper the way we do now, draconian or not.

Among those detained under the ISA included communist terrorists and their agents, potential terrorists who are only potential terrorists by virtue that they had not managed to blow something up yet when they were nabbed; foreign agents, counterfeiters who would have sabotaged our economy. And most importantly, it was used during the “Ops Lalang” of 1987 in order to diffuse a potentially explosive racial riot where a fair share of people from both the Barisan Nasional and the Opposition got held under that Act, and the nation was once more saved from disaster.

Apologising to former detainees is a form of exoneration from all wrong-doings for the former detainees. Maybe this fits the agenda of allowing communists abroad home, like what the elements in DAP and their stooges inside PKR and PAS have been championing. There must be more than meets the eye here as Chin Peng’s origin is Setiawan, Perak. Anyhow, this is probably the reason some quarters from the Opposition have ben seen frequenting the Peace Villages of Yala. Freeing potential terrorists with known connections would also be detrimental not only to our security, but also to our neighbours’ security. Perhaps, there is a camaraderie between them that terrorist acts will only be conducted abroad. Hey, I’m on a roll here, but I know I am warmer than warm! But face the fact, releasing these people would do more harm than good.

The irony is, the Prime Minister, whoever that would be, will also have to apologise to Tun Dr Mahathir, arch-nemesis of the Prime Minister-designate, or so the latter thinks he would be. Tun Dr Mahathir was once held in detention under the same Act for criticising the government of Tunku Abdul Rahman in his book. Mind you, the Tun was the last person to be held under that Act for political conflict with the government. Lest we forget that the same Prime Minister-designate also had both Ummi Hafilda Ali and Azizan Abu Bakar nabbed under that Act to try get them change their statement concerning an act of sodomy by the Prime Minister-designate. Would the latter apologise to them as well having abused the ISA to serve his political interest?

To sum it all up, this latest manifesto by the Pakatan Rakyat is not a feasible one. In its point on releasing and apologising to ISA detainees and former detainees will do more harm to everyone than good. Having a manifesto is good, but I see a lot of missing points in this new manifesto. For example, the 15 percent oil royalty for Kelantan and Terengganu have not been included, so we know how important the welfare of these two states is to the Pakatan Rakyat, taken or a ride. Or whatever happened to the RM500 assistance to teachers as promised in the infamous Buku Jingga?

In the end, a Pakatan Rakyat manifesto, in my opinion, will remain just another unrealistic and unachievable manifesto like the one issued before the previous general election. Of course, the Pakatan Rakyat already has a script ready for that in case anyone asks…

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Xenophonbia Justified

Within the hour of writing this posting, the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, will be issuing a statement on the denial of entry of Independent Senator Nicholas Xenophon into Malaysia.  According to some friends in Australia, “they have made it into such a big thing over here.”

Perhaps, news agencies in Australia, in particular Sky News Australia, should stop being superficial as their superficial reporting shows their inability to engage in journalistic rigor, comprehend complexity or maintain impartiality.  Else their journos could come and join me write for this blog pro bono perhaps in the classifieds section.  Well, I have no classifieds section.

Now, please understand the following:

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Xenophon is being denied entry for being a “security threat” to Malaysia.  Let us not forget that Xenophon, as an Australian diplomat, broke local law for being directly involved in the BERSIH 3.0 demonstration.  The Malaysian Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 specifically mentions in Section 4(2)(a) that a person commits an offence if being a non-citizen, he organizes or participates in an assembly and should be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand Ringgit.  Of course, being Malaysian and hospitable even to foreign lawbreakers, he was allowed to go home without receiving much hassle, let alone a 10 sen fine.

Isn’t Xenophon then a diplomat, and are diplomats not immune from prosecution?

Firstly, Article 41 para 1 of the Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 clearly states that it is the duty of all persons enjoying the privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State and have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.  Xenophon went against that by getting involved in the BERSIH 3.0 rally.

Xenophon has always maintained that his interest in free and fair elections in Malaysia started with the prosecution and subsequent acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim of the sodomy charge in Sodomy 2.0 (yes, we Malaysians have a release number for everything).  It does not mean that he did not do it.  As in Sodomy 1.0, Anwar was acquitted due to technical reasons and not because he did not participate in acts of sodomy.  Read the last four paragraphs of this report.

Perhaps, Sky News Australia should ask itself if there is no thriving democracy in Malaysia, how is it that demonstrations are allowed, and if elections aren’t free and fair, how was it possible that Anwar’s loose coalition won five of Malaysia’s states including two of Malaysia’s cash cow states (Penang and Selangor)?

Judging from Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s statement on the issue as well as reports by other Australian news agencies, Australia values its good relation with Malaysia, but it is the minority and people who get little backing from the Australian government such as Nick Xenophon, and Foxtel-owned Sky News Australia that continue to believe in the lies dished out by Anwar Ibrahim.  I hope they make time to interview all the founding members of Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat where even Anwar’s membership is a suspect.  All his comrades who joined him in 1998 have left save for his wife, daughter and his trusted lieutenant whose wife is reported to have had an affair with Anwar when the latter was still a Federal Minister.  And Xenophon’s constant meddling in the affairs of another State not only contravenes the Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, but also displays his standard of being a diplomat against that of seasoned diplomats who would shy away from giving comments about their host State knowing the line that has been drawn by Article 41 of that Convention.

As such, Malaysia has the right to declare Nick Xenophon a persona non grata under Article 9 of the same Convention, and list him as an undesired person.  Australia as the sending State has no choice but to recall the person.  We, including Australian journalists, must remember that Article 9 of the Convention allows Malaysia to even declare Xenophon a non grata without explanation, and even before he arrives in Malaysian territory.

You have your laws, we have ours.  if you want others to respect your laws, learn to respect the laws of others.  You did not respect ours, Xenophon, now off you go.