Thursday, May 20, 2010


Perkasa claims to champion bumiputras. Help these people.

Peace !

Monday, May 17, 2010

BookReview11: "THE QURAN AND I" by Anas Zubedy

Title The Quran and I
Author: Anas Zubedy
Description 216 pages full color
Retail price RM36.40
Publisher: Zubedy Ideahouse

When I got hold of this book, I thought it will be a heavy reading book that will delve deeply into the Quran. I was wrong. It is an easy reading book into the journey of Anas Zubedy, the author. He recollects his childhood, the people and the things that have influenced him, including the Quran as he grew up.

He writes in such a way that you end up feeling that you are with him as he recounts those moments. It is like a live broadcast. It is a very personal book and a good insight into the life a Malaysian Muslim. Reading the book, you can feel Anas’s honesty in the relating his past events. Some of his experiences are touching and the more sensitive reader may shed a tear or two when reading one of his chapters. The book is also a reminder that youths can be sensitive though adults may take them for granted.

I was impressed with the quality of the paper and the effort made to make the book “light and easy” spiced with expressive photographs.

This book was launched last week and I believe it is available in all major bookshops.

Happy reading.

Peace !

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You are at the Mercy of the System – do you not want to make sure it is does not oppress you?

The majority of us are ordinary citizens. Ordinary in the sense that we go about our own lives without much influence on the system that surrounds us. However, with every turn, our lives are affected by the system we live in. Let me make myself clear by giving an example.

It can be a very simple thing like: - you want to start a small business because you want to support your family and earn an income. Having registered your business, you now may want to apply for the relevant permits or licences. This application process should be a simple and routine process. The relevant authorizing officer should simply ascertain whether your application complies with the law. If all requirements under the law are complied, then, the application should be expeditiously approved. If there are any shortcomings, he should advise you to rectify the same. After all, civil servants are supposed to be civil and “servants” of the Rakyat.

However, do things always go according to what I have described above?

You may meet an officer who wants to be taken “care of” before he can “speed up” or even approve your application.  You are in a dilemma. You are starting a business because you need income to live but you have to pay toll first. You also know that the request is immoral and illegal because it is corruption. You get frustrated, maybe angry but you realize you need the licence. 

You have bills to pay. You have a family to support. You have to find money to live because God has given you a life. So, you need the licence or permit. All you want is to do a business and earn honestly. But the system seems to oppress you and prevent you from doing so.

So, you weigh your options. You can report the officer to his superiors. But will the superior protect his officer and put you into trouble instead, your mind worries. All you want is just the licence or permit. Maybe you should report the officer to the MACC, you wonder. But all you want is just the licence, your mind insists. Further, you are concerned about “how to prove”. It is just your word. You are also concerned that your application for the licence may be further jeopardized. In this country, we still do not have an Act to protect whistle blowers adequately.

You may also consider the last option of doing your business without the licence – illegally and run the risk of “greasing” enforcement officers instead. Or finally, you may decide to forget about the licence application and tell your family that they just have to starve.

Someone comes along and suggests that you get a letter of recommendation from some MP or Adun or better still from a political secretary to a Minister. They tell you that the “surat sokongan” will help. You do it and go back to the officer. Two things may happen: 1) he asks you how much you paid the political secretary for the letter (you didn’t pay but he does not believe you anyway!) and/or 2) he still insists on his toll payment which you refuse and/or 3) Your application is “considered” and rejected though you comply with all the requirements of the law.

You go back home and tell your kids that papa cannot afford to support them since the government does not give him the licence to start a business. They and your relatives begin to hate the government whom you now see as wanting your family to suffer. Your kids ask what wrong have they done. You have no answer. It is the system that YOU have allowed to evolve.

I am not exaggerating here. Over the years, I have heard these complaints so many times from low and lower middle income people who want to start a small business honestly. I have offered to pursue the matter but most of them are afraid. It also does not help that some of the complainants are Malays because the oppressive officer is also a Malay.

It is such stories that have convinced me that corrupt and evil people come in all skin colors and labels. They eat the flesh of the weaker ones from any tribe including their own to satisfy their evil and selfish desires. This is why I have always maintained that tribalistic mentality is not good for the majority weaker ones in the tribe. Racism is a cover to exploit one’s own race and spread hatred.

You can apply the above story to every aspect of your life – every single government department, agency, the so called Courts of justice, etc, etc. There are rotten people everywhere. However, not all become unjust due to money. There are other motivations or reasons – friendships, pure laziness, indifference, arrogance, etc, etc. The effect is: you are inflicted with injustice and you feel powerless to do anything about it. You feel alone in the fight.

The system should work. It should work for the People. We have to study the system and rectify its weakness so that ordinary people are not being pushed around, bullied and oppressed. People must insist that they too have a dignity that must be respected and recognized.

If you have a high sense of dignity and refuse to be cowed by people in seeming power lording over you unjustly, what do you do? You know there will be risks in opposing these people because even other citizens may not support you. Citizens tend to be selfish. “Not my problem”, may be their mindset.

I am sure many times, you may have wanted to take the law into your own hands and “get justice”. Inflict a pain on the oppressors. Make them suffer as they make you and your family suffer. However, such an approach will not solve the problem in the long run. It may also get you into problems with the law.

So, if you are a Rapera – what would you do??? What would you do????

What I know is that a single voice is never loud enough to be heard.

Peace !

Friday, May 14, 2010

Give me your comments on issues dear to you.

Rapera readers,

Please give me your comments on issues dear to you. I will be publishing a book soon and will like to include your ideas, comments and thoughts in them. In this case, it will be difficult to include comments posted under "anonymous" as I want to credit you.

Sorry for not blogging for some time...been extremely busy!

Thank you.

Peace !

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Give me Life, Lord.

Santim recalls the evening whence he was not sure if he had been sleeping or awake and heard these voices :

Give me Life, Lord.

[and what will you do if you are given one?]

I want to breathe, experience humanity. I want to taste its joys, sorrows, pain, happiness and all that temporal experiences that is called “life on earth”.

Read more here.

Peace !

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Prosecution or Persecution? – AG’s chamber must buck up !

I recall the good old days where you can sit down with the DPP (deputy public prosecutor) and discuss with him the case he is handling. As a lawyer, you can open up the evidence that you have with him and then write a letter of representation to him. A letter of representation is where you advance you client’s case and put forward proposals like – to withdraw the charge against your client on various cogent reasons, or to plead to a lesser offence, etc. Such a representation saves everybody’s time and tax payers’ money. Justice is also done. Those days, the DPP who handles the matter decides. Today, it appears the situation is different.

Today it appears that some DPPs are merely prosecuting officers in Court. They do not seem to have the powers to decide how to conduct the case with which they are entrusted. Or maybe they fear writing a report or recommendation to the Public Prosecutor that the charge should be withdrawn.

For example, in those days, if in the middle of a trial, the evidence clearly shows that the case is completely unsustainable, it not uncommon for the charge to be withdrawn. This is a power clearly given to the Public Prosecutor pursuant to section 254 of the CPC (see also section 354 CPC and Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

It is very simple. If the evidence for the prosecution is weak or cannot support the charge, then withdraw the case. These provisions are in the law books for the purpose of ensuring justice and not there for mere decoration.

However, I have personally known some of my clients to experience injustice because the DPP does not seem to understand the purpose of these provisions. Today too, you have too many new, inexperienced and young DPPs who actually say: “My boss wants me to continue”!

It really troubles me when I have an innocent client being charged in court for offences that he did not commit. It makes me wonder whether the DPPs concerned have actually verified the evidence given to them by the police before they recommend for the person to be charged. I wonder if the same lackadaisical attitude will prevail if their own family member is the one being charged.

I have a particular case where my client went through 5 years of hell, broken home and devastated business because he had to undergo a trial in which he was clearly innocent. Of course, he was finally acquitted and discharged – meaning he was found innocent by the Court. Though found innocent, can the courts or the police or the prosecution give my client back parts of his life that they took away? To them, it is just another file closed. In fact in this case, the Court found that the prosecution had indeed suppressed evidence that was favorable to the defence! This case should never have gone to court at all.

This, to my mind is clearly persecution and not prosecution.

I cannot understand the mentality of some of these new DPPs who think of prosecution as a job that must be done under the direction of their seniors. It is more than a job – it is a duty and responsibility to ensure justice. You are dealing with real lives. You only prosecute on behalf of the People to ensure justice. If it is the seniors that are directing, then the senior should come to court. Be transparent. Make it official so that there is a face to the instructions being given. AT least the defence lawyer will know which senior to hold accountable for the decisions being made.

I can understand that inexperienced DPPs need to learn. However, this learning should not be at the expense of the innocent public or the tax payer’s money. I even tell my own staff that whatever “learning” they want to do, do it on their own time and expense!

To me it is important that the quality of the prosecution be raised. Prosecution often results in the deprivation of someone’s liberty and thus it must be done carefully and judiciously. It is also important that the prosecution maintains an open communication line with the relevant practicing lawyers.

Prosecution is an important part of the justice system and hence Raperas must be sensitive to their level of standards.

[Note: This article is intended to highlight specific problems addressed in the article and not a scathing criticism of ALL DPPs. I personally know some exemplary ones.]

Peace !