Haris has posted a page on his blog HERE on FAQs on the ISA. Many thanks to Jaya for compiling the FAQ, and thanks to Haris for putting it up.
This article was in the StarOnline today:
KUCHING: Police will be professional in their investigation of the alleged sexual abuse of Penan women to ensure that any perpetrator will be brought to justice, CID director Commissioner Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin said.
“We want to complete our investigation soon and make sure that the victims are protected,” he told reporters after meeting the state’s CID district chiefs here yesterday.
He said Penan representatives had indicated their willingness to assist the police in their investigation.
However, he said, the probe had to be handled carefully to prevent any miscommunication between investigators and the Penans.
Comm Bakri also said police had “no hidden interest” in the matter and were sincere in wanting to help the Penans.
“Our interest is just to help the Penans. If there are reports that some of them have been abused, we will investigate,” he said, adding that police had solved five cases involving the Penan community since 1994.
The article indicates that police investigations are still ongoing, and incomplete, even as I am typing this.
Perhaps you will remember that earlier this month, I sent an email to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development pertaining this issue. I asked of the outcome of the investigations that the Ministry carried out, and of the report that was supposed to come out in December.
To my surprise, I actually received a response from them, though it did not tell me much. They replied that the report has been handed to the Ministry, and that they will deliberate it before bringing it up in Cabinet (presumably some time in February), and will then decide whether to make a press statement after that.
Maybe the police are conducting separate investigations to that which were carried out by the ministry. But surely this case has been going on for too long. Far too long for the investigations to still be ongoing.
It’s good that there is still some news about this issue. At the very least, I know that it hasn’t been completely forgotten. But at the very slow rate that this is going, I can’t help but be reminded of a quote, one that we hear too often: “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
I have this habit of asking too many questions. That’s what I’ve been told. I look at it as being more of a good habit, than a bad one.
At this point in time, I’ve got a few questions running through my mind, though targetted at no one in particular. Simply because, I’m not sure who has the answers.
I read HERE that the Malaysiakini photographer was questioned by the police yesterday following a report that he made about his tape of the Abolish ISA vigil being tampered while under police custody.
Questions that follow my reading of this piece of news: (1) Why did the police arrest the photographer, who was clearly on an assignment? (2) Why did they need to take the camera, when just taking the tape would have sufficed? (3) What exactly happened to the tape? (4) Who tampered with it?
I asked the same questions when I first read and wrote about it HERE. The same questions that remain unanswered till this day.
And then of course, in the same Malaysiakini article from above, it states that the 23 people who were arrested during the night of 9 November 2008 while attending the vigil, and who were released later that night without charges, are going to be charged this Friday.
Again, questions are floating through my head. (1) Why the mass arrest? 23 people?! (2) Why arrest them during this vigil on the 9th of Nov, when previous vigils went on without a glitch? (3) Why are they being charged now, after more than 2 months? (4) Why such short notice?
And since we’re on the topic of these Abolish ISA vigils, I’ve got some other questions as well. (1) Why are the police only arresting those who attend the Abolish ISA vigils, and not the Pro-ISA protesters? (2) If the arrests and charges are for “illegal assembly”, then are we to assume that all Pro-ISA protests are “legal”? (3) Why are Pro-ISA protesters allowed to wear their T-shirts (“Yes to ISA” and the sort), while Abolish ISA T-shirts are not?
These are but a few of the questions that come to mind. I have plenty more where those came from. But, most importantly, will I – will WE – ever get an answer?
Somehow I’m reminded of a quote from Alfred Tennyson:
Someone had blundered:
Theirs not to make reply
Theirs not to reason why
Theirs but to do and die.
I wonder how much of that rings true.
Honestly, what brings them back, week after week?
This question, it seems, can be asked to both the public, and the police.
Every week, people still seem to be going back to attend the vigil demanding that the ISA be abolished. What goes on, perhaps those who attend such vigils can tell these stories. And there are plenty out there who do.
But every week, the police come to ask these people to disperse. Every week, that is, since November 10th last year.
With the police coming to ask that they disperse before they can even do anything, I wonder what it is that brings these people back to these vigils week after week. Perhaps those who do would like to share your reasons with the rest of us who don’t (or are unable to).
And I also wonder, what is it that brings the police back to “disperse the crowd” who attend these vigils, week after week? Perhaps those who see this happening would also care to share their views. 😉
What is it about these vigils that seems to bring people together, no matter what, and yet at the same time, brings the police to come and try keep them away?
A. Asohan writes on what he thinks about the “war” in Gaza. He starts off with:
OKAY, time for a rant. Don’t expect a well-reasoned argument or a nuanced stance. Don’t even expect coherence or professional wordcraft here. Forget about journalistic objectivity or a professional code of ethics, seeing both sides of the story or walking in another man’s moccasins. I don’t care about the supposed political complexities, cultural sensitivities or historical subtleties.
Not when you start killing innocent people. Especially not when you start killing children.
And he ends with:
This is not an issue about religion, despite how some are painting it. No, neither are these atrocities against the Muslim world, despite what some politicians say. Such beliefs have led to a mess of misconceived statements and intentions, such as boycotting American products or sending in the troops to fight for a regime that doesn’t have an exactly spotless conscience either.
No, this is a humanitarian issue. It’s as simple as this: There is a bunch of people killing children. What is the world community – what are we – going to do about it?
Read the full article HERE, if you will. If you won’t, still read it anyway.
A couple of days ago, I suddenly remembered that a report on the investigations on the Penan rape cases was supposed to be due in December. Till this date, I have yet to read any update about the investigations.
Following that, I decided to send them an email. My email was as follows:
Pertama sekali, izinkan saya mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru 2009 kepada semua di Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat. Semoga semua sihat walafiat.
E-mel saya pada hari ini berkenaan dengan isu kes rogol kanak-kanak dan wanita orang Penan di Sarawak. Setahu saya, pihak kementerian telah menjalankan siasatan yang sewajarnya pada bulan November yang lepas. Menerusi suratkhabar, saya juga mendapat tahu bahawa pihak kementerian sepatutnya mendapat laporan lengkap tentang siasatan tersebut pada bulan Disember yang lepas.
Masuknya tahun yang baru ini, ingin saya tanyakan adakah laporan itu telah sampai ke pihak kementerian? Dan apakah kesimpulan yang didapati dari laporan tersebut? Adakah terdapat apa-apa langkah yang akan diambil oleh pihak kementerian?
Jika mungkin, saya berharap pihak kementerian akan membuat penyataan akhbar tentang kesimpulan kes ini supaya rakyat tidak dibiarkan dalam keadaan kegelapan.
Isu kes rogol orang Penan bukan isu yang kecil, dan saya berharap pihak kementerian akan memberi perhatian yang sepenuhnya untuk menyelesaikan isu ini.
Terima kasih saya ucapkan kepada pihak kementerian kerana telah mengambil masa untuk membaca e-mel saya ini.
I wouldn’t expect them to send me a reply. Nor do I know if anything will come out of this ONE email that is probably hidden in the many(?) they receive. But I’m keeping an eye out for a report of any sort pertaining to this issue, which I take to heart. And if any of the readers out there do come across anything, please do leave me a comment to let me know. Thank you.