Monday, May 23, 2016

PAS right in condemning the execution of Motiur Rahman Nizami in Bangladesh? Unfair Trials? Targetting Opposition? Abolish Death Penalty?

Motiur Rahman Nizami on 11/5/2016  forces us to look at Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (BICT), which really is not even an International tribunal - but really a Bangladeshi Tribunal.

after the Awami League won the general election in December 2008 with a more than two-thirds majority in parliament, they started using it. The BICT is 

international fair trial standards, a fact that has been raised by the UN and many Human Rights Groups. Even the Bangladesh's

lmost all of the ICT’s verdicts since it was established have been against members of opposition parties, mainly individuals associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Well serious crimes were also committed by pro-independence forces, but no one has been investigated or brought to justice for them.

In August 2013, the Bangladesh's High Court declared the registration of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's main Islamist party, is illegal, banning it from contesting January's general election. - Aljazeera, 1/8/2013

By 2012, nine leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamist party in the nation, and two of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, had been indicted as suspects in war crimes. In February 2013, Abdul Quader Molla, Assistant Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was the first person sentenced to death by the ICT who was not convicted in absentia.

Quader Molla, former assistant secretary of  Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed on 12 December 2013.

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, former  Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami was hanged on 22 November 2015

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury,  seven-term member of parliament and member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) hanged on 22 November 2015

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, former senior assistant secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed on 11 April 2015.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed on 11/5/2016.

Others who have been convicted BICT and sentenced to death, and yet to be executed are Mir Quasem Ali (Jamaat-e-Islami) and Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin(uncertain?)

of Motiur Rahman Nizami, being one of the key leaders of Jemaat E-Islami Bangladesh. PAS sees this execution as an action by reason of political rivalry and an act of revenge against Jemaat E-Islami Bangladesh and its leaders. PAS urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed from the Awami League of Bangladesh to stop such cruel and uncivilized actions against Jemaat E-Islami Bangladesh and its leaders in an effort to retain power [Translation of what I consider the gist, the actual statement in Bahasa Malaysia - Harakah Daily, 11/5/2016]

The PAS Youth Wing (Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia) also issued a similar statement - see Harakah Daily, 12/5/2016)

PAS needs to now take the just position  calling for the abolition of the death penalty not just in Bangladesh, but also in Malaysia.

Bangladesh executes Motiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes

Jamaat-e-Islami calls for general strike after hanging of its leader who was convicted of genocide, rape and massacres.

Bangladesh has executed head of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami party Motiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence to break away from Pakistan, the country's law minister said.

Nizami was hanged at Dhaka Central jail at one minute past midnight local time on Wednesday after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide, rape and orchestrating the massacre of top intellectuals during the war.

Thousands of extra police and border guards were deployed in the capital Dhaka and other major cities to tighten security as Jamaat-e-Islami called for a nationwide strike on Thursday in protest of the execution.

Previous similar judgments and executions have triggered violence that killed around 200 people, mainly Jamaat activists and police.
Bangladesh opposition leader loses death penalty appeal
Al Jazeera's Tanvir Chowdhury, reporting from Dhaka, said the situation was still calm in the capital by Wednesday and there were no reports of violence in other cities.

"Unlike the last few years, Jamaat has not been able to materialise any kind of protest on the streets," he said, adding that this was mainly due to heavy-handed tactics used by the security forces.

"Jamaat supporters are not allowed to gather anywhere. Many of the leaders are behind the bars or on the run," he said.

"Human rights groups have criticised the government for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. So, it is hard for them to gather anywhere. We will see what will come out of Jamaat's call for a 24-hour strike tomorrow from 6am."

Jamaat-e-Islami denies that its leaders committed any atrocities. Calling Nizami a "martyr", it said he was deprived of justice and made a victim of a political vendetta. Nizami had been in prison since 2010.

'False allegations'

A senior Jamaat-e-Islami leader based abroad told Al Jazeera that Nizami was a supporter of Pakistan in 1971 but "all other allegations of killing, murder and rape are not correct. The tribunal has miserably failed to prove any of those allegations."

He said Jamaat leaders inside Bangladesh were not giving interviews because their phones were tapped and their families were harassed if they spoke to media.

"Not only leaders, thousands of middle-ranking and ordinary Jamaat workers have been forced to flee their homes due to police repression or harassment. They are refugees in their own country due the vindictive nature of this government," he said.

"Their agenda is to wipe out Islam gradually and whoever they think opposes their policies is being targeted."

Five opposition politicians, including four Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, have been executed since late 2013 after being convicted by the tribunal.

International human rights groups say the tribunal's procedures fall short of international standards - an accusation the government denies.

According to Phil Robertson, the deputy director of the Asia division at the Human Rights Watch, the trial was neither free nor fair as the court was cutting corners on fair trial standards.

“For example, Nizami was allowed to have only four defence witnesses as a man fighting for his life.

And the court did allow defence to challenge the inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses," he told Al Jazeera from Bangkok.

"Finally, we have seen a significant problem in all of these war crimes trials, where the presiding judge was having ongoing discussions about judicial strategy with external consultants and prosecutors in a way that raises concerns about the independence of the panel."

Hundreds of people, mostly university students, took out a procession from Dhaka University to celebrate the execution [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]

David Bergman, an investigative journalist in Dhaka, told Al Jazeera that there was long-standing allegations against Nizami since the end of the war.

"So the fact that there was a trial in which he was accused of these crimes is not itself political," he said, while also noting rights groups' criticism of the trials.

"There are no doubts that many members of Jamaat-e-Islami are concerned about trials and executions targeting its members, and the party itself is subject to significant repression."

The war crimes tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 has sparked violence and drawn criticism from opposition politicians, including leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, that it is victimising Hasina's political opponents.

According to the Bangladesh government, about three million people were killed and thousands of women were raped during the 1971 war in which some factions, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, opposed the break from what was then called West Pakistan.

The execution comes as the country suffers a surge in violence in which atheist bloggers, academics, religious minorities and foreign aid workers have been killed.

In April alone, five people, including a university teacher, two gay activists and a Hindu, were hacked to death. - Aljazeera, 11/5/2016

Motiur Rahman Nizami: Bangladeshi Islamist leader hanged

  • 10 May 2016
An Islamist leader has been hanged in Bangladesh for crimes during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, 73, was executed early on Wednesday (local time), Law Minister Anisul Haq confirmed.

He had been convicted of genocide, rape and torture.

Nizami had led Bangladesh's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami. Hundreds of people gathered near his prison in the capital Dhaka to celebrate the hanging.

Nizami was the fifth and highest-ranked opposition leader to be executed since December 2013 for war crimes.

Bangladesh says the prosecutions are needed to heal the wounds of conflict but human rights groups say the trials fall short of global standards and lack international oversight.

'Deprived of justice'

Last week, Nizami lost his final appeal against the sentence. He was hanged after refusing to seek mercy from President Abdul Hamid.

"Nizami has been deprived of justice," Jamaat's acting leader, Maqbul Ahmad, said. "He's a victim of political vengeance."

The party also called for a nationwide strike on Thursday.

Security was tightened across the country ahead of the execution.

Nizami is the fourth leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party to have been executed since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up a war crimes tribunal to look into abuses during the independence war.

A former government minister, Nizami was one of the most important figures to be found guilty.

He was convicted of setting up a militia which helped the Pakistani army identify and kill pro-independence activists.

Nizami will be buried in his village home in the northern part of Bangladesh.

His family met him briefly before his execution but left without speaking to the media, Bangladesh's Daily Star reports.

The hanging comes amid a spate of killings of liberal activists, secularists, foreigners and members of religious minorities that the government has blamed on Islamists.

Bangladesh independence war, 1971

  • Civil war erupts in Pakistan, pitting the West Pakistan army against East Pakistanis demanding autonomy and later independence
  • Fighting forces an estimated 10 million East Pakistani civilians to flee to India
  • In December, India invades East Pakistan in support of the East Pakistani people
  • Pakistani army surrenders at Dhaka and its army of more than 90,000 become Indian prisoners of war
  • East Pakistan becomes the independent country of Bangladesh on 16 December 1971
  • Exact number of people killed is unclear - Bangladesh says it is three million but independent researchers put the figure at up to 500,000 fatalities.

Source: BBC, 10/5/2016


Nizami executed

Staff Correspondent | Update:

Matiur Rahman NizamiBangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami chief and former minister Matiur Rahman Nizami was executed on Wednesday on charge of crimes against humanity during the liberation war in 1971.

Also a former member of parliament, Nizami was executed inside the Dhaka central jail shortly after the midnight past Tuesday following exhaustion of all legal options.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), AKM Shahidul Hoque, confirmed to the Prothom Alo that Nizami was executed at 12:10am on Wednesday.

Earlier in the evening, Nizami’s family members met him in jail for the last time at 8:00pm on Tuesday.

Some 25 family members of Nizami stayed around one and half an hours inside the jail and had their final talks with Nizami.

The ameer of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is the fifth such convict, who was hanged after awarded with death sentence by the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICT,B).

The jail authorities started taking all necessary preparations to execute the Jamaat leader shortly after the government’s execution order reached the prison on Tuesday afternoon.

The home ministry ordered the jail authorities to hang Nizami after the chief of the Islam-based political party refused to seek presidential mercy for his life, the last step of the legal process before the execution.

Security in and around the Dhaka Central Jail was beefed up with the deployment of huge contingent of law enforcement agency members in the area.

Additional police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members were seen to station around the Dhaka jail.

Besides, members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed in the capital as elsewhere in the country to fend off any untoward incident.

All the roads around the central jail were made off-limits to traffic in the evening.

Earlier, an inmate of Kashimpur Central Jail, Mohammad Raju, was brought to Dhaka Central Jail on Tuesday as he was believed to be the main hangman for Nizami.

Members of law enforcement agencies entered the jail along with hangman Mohammad Raju around 3:00pm, officials said.

On 15 March, the ICT,B issued a death warrant for Nizami on charge of crimes against humanity during the liberation war.

Earlier on 6 January this year, a four-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by the chief justice, Surendra Kumar Sinha, upheld the death sentence of the Jamaat ameer.

The apex court upheld his death penalty on three of the four counts of charges while he was acquitted on the rest one.

The SC upheld his life term imprisonment on two charges, out of four in connection with the arrest, detention, torture, and murder of three people, including headmaster Maulana Kasim Uddin of Pabna Zila School on 4 June 1971, complicity in torture, murder and rape at Mohammadpur Physical Training Institute in Dhaka, and murder of Badi, Rumi, Jewel and Azad at Old MP Hostel in Dhaka on 30 August 1971.

The ICT,B sentenced Nizami the capital punishment each on four counts of charges of war crimes.

On 29 October 2014, the ICT,B-1 sentenced Nizami to death for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war.

Nizami filed an appeal with the SC on 23 November 2014 challenging the death sentence and claimed himself innocent and sought to be cleared of the charges.

Earlier on 22 November 2015, two former ministers—BNP standing committee member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed—were executed on charge of crimes against humanity during the liberation war in 1971.

Before that, Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was executed on 11 April 2015 and another assistant secretary general Abdul Kader Molla on 12 December 2013 on the same charge.

Jamaat, however, claimed all along that the trial process was flawed and its leaders have been made victims of political vendetta. - Prothom Allo Banglades, 12/5/2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kho Jabing - Singapore's Rush to Hang Him? No time for proper clemency considerations? Why?

Kho Jabing, young Malaysian migrant worker, has been executed by Singapore...but in the aftermath, Singapore's administration of justice is being questioned. How can it be a 'fair trial' when one of the judges sat in the Court of Appeal that re-sentenced him to death sat in an earlier Court of Appeal. The expectation of an independent judge untainted by 'bias' is a pre-requisite for a fair trial. A judge who has already previously heard an Appeal by Kho Jabing will certainly no longer be unbiased - and normally a Judge in this situation would have recused himself and not heard that new Appeal..

One may not have realised this before, but after it was raised - Singapore should have acknowledged the 'mistake' and done the right thing.. see earlier post: QUESTIONABLE VALIDITY OF THE COURT OF APPEAL THAT RE-SENTENCED KHO JABING TO DEATH REASON ENOUGH FOR IMMEDIATE STAY OF EXECUTION OF KHO JABING, NOW SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY 20/5/2016

Anyway, the lawyers of Kho Jabing filed applications to Court - but the manner in which the Courts conducted themselves was disturbing. There seem to be more concern about hanging Kho Jabing on Friday(20/5/2016) - Wesak Day, over and above everything else..

The hearings were rushed through without even according enough time for the lawyers to prepare...Why?  AND guess what, the same judge whose presence may have invalidated the sentence to death sat and heard the application. See:-  MADPET CONCERNED ABOUT THE UNFAIRNESS OF THE HEARING OF APPLICATION BYKHO JABING CHALLENGING THE VALIDITY OF A COURT OF APPEAL DECISION BECAUSE JAPHANG WAS ON THAT CORAM.

What happened? Did that judge get 'personal' and let his feelings affect his judgment? At the end of the day, I would say that Kho Jabing became a victim of an unfair trial...would you not agree?

What about Clemency? Surely, afterer the amendment that came into effect, and the case was sent for re-sentencing to the High Court, which decided that Kho Jabing should not be hanged, and the appeal to the Court of Appeal thereafter that decided that he should be hanged again on a 'split decision' 3-2, Kho Jabing deserves a right to a Clemency consideration - but then the date of execution was fixed so fast, even though the notice that the application for Clemency was forthcoming shortly - and the Clemency Petition was filed - but how could that have been disposed in so few days - more so with the date of hanging being fixed. Pressure was put on the those who had to consider the Clemency application ...and this, too is not right. The Malaysian Bar, Advocates Association of Sarawak and the Sabah Law Association sent a letter to the Singapore President dated 18/5/2016 (see that letter below).

To hang a man to death, surely Singapore should have given more careful consideration and there was no need to rush the execution. Why did Singapore rush the execution of this Malaysian Kho Jabing? Was it in the hope that a speedy execution will make people disinterested in the apparent flaws in the Singapore administration of justice that has led to this execution?

Would Singapore review this case or simply say that Jabing is already dead, so there is no need? 

Would we forget and walk away? I hope not - for there are others in similar cases awaiting to be hanged in Singapore...and we should try to make sure that they do not. In any event, I believe that the family of Kho Jabing, if they so do, may have a case against Singapore - but then, if the Singapore courts are going to behave in the manner they did in the past few days - will justice be done?

Maybe Malaysia should consider acting against Singapore to ensure that justice is done - maybe even take this matter up to some international court? [But then, maybe Malaysia is not so bothered about a life of a Srawakian - maybe, if it was little island in dispute, Malaysia will be more interested. And then there is that ASEAN comaraderie ... Will justice be done ...or will it all be 'swept under the carpet' - after all Kho Jabing is just a poor Sarawakian migrant worker of little significance...

What Malaysia did for Kho Jabing also need to raise concerns? What assistance will Malaysia give to Malaysians overseas who need our assistance??

The response of Malaysia's Opposition was also pathetic -  Kho Jabing will hang on Friday - what will BN,PKR,DAP,PAS, to try and save this Sarawakian?


Joint Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Singapore | Appeal for Clemency for Kho Jabing PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 05:09pm

18 May 2016

H.E. Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam
President of the Republic of Singapore
c/o H.E. Vanu Gopala Menon
High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore to Malaysia
209 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
(Delivered by hand)

Your Excellency,

Appeal for Clemency for Kho Jabing

We are jointly writing to you in our capacities as the Presidents of the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak, Sabah Law Association and Malaysian Bar, respectively.  We represent approximately 20,000 lawyers who are practising in Malaysia.

As Your Excellency may be aware, the prison authorities at Changi Prison, Singapore had on Thursday, 12 May 2016, written to the family of Kho Jabing, a Malaysian from Sarawak, to inform them that he will be hanged on Friday, 20 May 2016.  We are concerned that the family has only been given very short notice of Kho Jabing’s impending hanging.

Kho Jabing was first sentenced to hang in 2011, pursuant to Singapore’s mandatory death penalty provisions, when he was found guilty of murder.  However, when provisions were introduced for a review of the mandatory death penalty, he was resentenced to life in prison and whipping.  On a subsequent appeal by the prosecution, his death sentence was reinstated.  This clearly shows that the prosecution was not satisfied that justice had been done and that Kho Jabing would pay for his crime by spending the rest of his life in prison, and be whipped, but actively sought the imposition of the death penalty.

More importantly, in the course of his trial, appeal and review, one judge of the High Court of Singapore and two justices of the Court of Appeal of Singapore had opined that Kho Jabing had not exhibited a “blatant disregard for human life” and should therefore not be sentenced to hang.

The question of whether Kho Jabing should live or die, we respectfully suggest and humbly submit, should not ultimately depend on the collective decisions of a majority of judges.  The fact that learned judges of Singapore have expressed doubts that Kho Jabing exhibited sufficient mens rea or intention to commit the crime of murder should, in and of itself, give rise to concerns whether Kho Jabing should be made to pay the ultimate price for his crime and be sentenced to hang.  If there is any doubt at all about his level of intention, and there genuinely is, that doubt must be resolved in Kho Jabing’s favour.
This is not, we wish to clarify, a questioning of the system of justice in Singapore.  Kho Jabing was found to have committed a crime, and we accept that.  Neither is this a questioning of the sovereignty of the nation of Singapore or the jurisdiction of the courts of Singapore.  Laws passed by Singapore’s own legislature have provided for a review of the mandatory death sentence.  The doubts that have been raised have been so raised by Singapore’s own judges.
This is an appeal for a reconsideration of the case and the grant of mercy.  We ask Your Excellency to take into account that there is genuine doubt whether a death sentence is justified in this case.  The death penalty is an irreversible punishment.  Once taken, Kho Jabing’s life cannot be returned to him or his family.  

We therefore sincerely implore Your Excellency to exercise Your Excellency’s discretion with respect to the power of pardon and to commute Kho Jabing’s sentence to that of imprisonment, and to stop his execution once and for all.

We thank Your Excellency for considering this call for clemency.   

Yours sincerely, 

Leonard Shim
Advocates’ Association of Sarawak

Brenndon Soh 
Sabah Law Association 

Steven Thiru 
Malaysian Bar

The life of Kho Jabing

Kirsten Han     Published     Updated  
COMMENT This is Jabing Kho. He was born in 1984, in a taxi on the way to hospital.

He grew up in a longhouse and was very close to his little sister Jumai, who turns 28 years old today.

He worked on a family plantation, then as a technician laying cables in Miri before moving to Singapore to earn a better wage to help his family.

He called his mother twice a day - once when he woke up in the morning, and once before going to bed at night.

He got very drunk one night - we don't know how drunk exactly, or how much the excessive levels of Ethanol he had consumed affected his mental capacity, because this was never established properly in court.

He did a very stupid, awful thing. Even a High Court judge said his choice of weapon was impulsive.
He didn't mean to kill a man, but he did.

For this one moment of violence our Singaporean criminal justice system began to exact a slow, steady vengeance.

We sentenced him to death, then life, then death again.

He sat in prison for nine years knowing he was waiting to be taken to die.

The Cabinet decided on clemency, the president signed the warrant, the prisons scheduled the execution.

His family were told to buy clothes for his pre-execution photo shoot, and to make funeral preparations for a man who was, at that time, neither critically ill nor dead.

There is no death, no murder, more premeditated than what happened today.

Last night, as Jabing's legal team scrambled and struggled to prepare for their sudden 9am appeal hearing, Jumai told me that Jabing had wanted her to celebrate her birthday.

"Don't worry about me," he'd told her. "You should celebrate your birthday and not think about me. When you blow out the candles, you have to think that I am by your side."

I write this now because we are so often detached from and ignorant of the people the state kills in our name.

We think of them as soulless monsters, as "human trash" that needs to be thrown out.

We think of them as statistics in the Singapore Prison Service's annual reports.

Very often, we don't think of them at all. (It is likely that another man was executed this morning, but we don't even know his name).

But we need to see death row inmates for who they are: people who have made mistakes, people who have made bad decisions, people who might have been cruel, but also people who have families, who have struggles, who are full of contradictions like us.

They laugh, cry, joke, dream, hate and fear like any other person.

But unlike any other person, they will one day know, down to the minute, when they will die. And all they can do is wait.

Yesterday in court Jabing gave us activists a big wave. Then he bowed and smiled.

He was executed today, hours after the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal for a stay of execution.
I'm sharing the photos his family has shared with me.

The government says it kills people like Jabing to keep us safe.

I don't know how Jabing's death has kept me safe; it's simply made me feel more hurt, more outraged and more fearful of a cold state machinery that knows no compassion, that would rush a man to his death out of procedural efficiency.

But if Jabing died in all our names, the least we could do is see these photos and know his face.
#RIP Kho Jabing. 1984 - 2016.

KIRSTEN HAN is a freelance journalist in Singapore and is a founding member of 'We Believe in Second Chances', a group campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty.

Malaysian hanged in Singapore after final appeal rejected
Execution carried out, say police, after court denies appeal by Kho Jabing, sentenced to death in 2010 for murder
Defence lawyers for Kho Jabing leave the  supreme court in Singapore after his appeal was rejected
Defence lawyers for Kho Jabing leave the supreme court in Singapore after his appeal was rejected. Photograph: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

A Malaysian murder convict has been hanged in Singapore, according to police, hours after the city-state’s highest court rejected a final appeal against his execution.

“A 32-year-old male Malaysian national, Jabing Kho, had his death sentence carried out on 20 May 2016 at Changi prison complex,” the Singapore police force said in a statement on Friday.

Kho, who was sentenced to death in 2010 for the murder of a Chinese construction worker, had been due to hang in the prison at dawn on Friday, but was granted a brief last-minute reprieve after his lawyer filed a challenge.

The court of appeal heard the latest plea on Friday morning but said it raised no new arguments about the 2008 robbery attempt, clearing the way for the execution.

“This case has been about many things but today, it’s about the abuse of the process of the court,” said the appeal court judge, Chao Hick Tin. Allowing Kho to continue with legal challenges would throw the judicial system into disrepute, he added.

Executions in Singapore are normally carried out by hanging at dawn on Fridays.

After Kho was sentenced to death in 2010, Singapore amended its mandatory death penalty for murder, giving judges the discretion to impose life imprisonment under certain circumstances.

Kho’s case was reviewed and he was re-sentenced to a life term in 2013. But state prosecutors appealed against that ruling and his death sentence was reinstated in January 2015. He was scheduled for execution on 6 November last year but another last-minute appeal saved him.

Kho’s accomplice had his conviction for murder overturned and was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison and 19 strokes of the cane.

Singapore, which has rejected rights groups’ calls to abolish the death penalty, executed four people in 2015, one for murder and three for drug offences, according to prison statistics.

Malaysia also uses capital punishment, executing murderers and drug traffickers by hanging, a system that, as in Singapore, dates back to British colonial rule. - Guardian, 20/5/2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Nazir Razak - Receives RM28 mil(USd7 mil) from Najib and cash money was disbursed to politicians? - No wrongdoings? No Investigations?

Nazir Razak - Who is investigating him? Election Commission? Police?

"with hindsight wish I didn't. In run up to GE13, I was asked by my brother/party president to urgently help pass on cash to party machinery"..."I assumed and believed, in good faith, that the funds came from legit political funding. Entire amount was distributed, not a sen retained by me," Mr Nazir said.... Mr Nazir earlier told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the money was disbursed by CIMB bank staff to ruling-party politicians according to the instructions of party leaders...He said he believed the money originated "with donations he had helped raise from Malaysian corporations and individuals for the elections", WSJ wrote. It is unclear if the "he" refers to Mr Nazir or Mr Najib... “I had no knowledge whatsoever that these funds may have originated from any other source(s),” Mr Nazir said in a statement quoted by WSJ... “The entire amount was paid out in cash to various recipients according to the instructions of the party president and the account was closed with a zero balance.”

Where did USD7 million (that is about RM28 million) come from? 

No problem maybe if it was individual donations to UMNO or Barisan Nasional. 

No problem if it was donations from private companies - but if it was donations from government-owned companies or GLCs, then we may have a problem. But, even from private company or individuals if there was 'corruption' involved - then...

Well, government owned companies and GLCs should be making money for the government and people of Malaysia - they have no business making donations to certain political parties or politicians. 

CIMB IS A GLC ...? How much really does the Malaysian government own? Problems with 1MDB - so how are things with CIMB? How much profits of CIMB have Malaysian as owners or part-owners obtained? Let us not be talking just about the amount of 'taxes' CIMB paid - but really how much of the profits did Malaysia get?

Who exactly did Nazir give the money to? Well, who received it is important because we have strict laws that set the amount of monies that can be spent by a candidate in any elections?...

Where did the money given to Nazir come from is also a question? If it came from BN or UMNO bank accounts, then not so much a problem - but if the money came from individual accounts, it is a problem?

How was the money disbursed? Cash payments? Why did BN or UMNO simply not issue cheques or do money transfers - Was it to avoid any 'money trail'? Surely, the 'legitimate' money could simply be transferred to the various UMNO Branches or Divisions' bank accounts? Or is it UMNO (or BN) practice just to hand CASH over to individual persons or their bank accounts?Why?

Many Malaysian, are a bit too preoccupied with the desire to remove Najib as Prime Minister, which the 'Citizens Declaration' is also emphasizing - blame just the current PM - not the BN government - or the BN MPs that chose Najib to be PM, and continued to keep him on  as PM...

The expose about Nazir Razak seem to have been 'forgotten' - more so, when he also with  "with hindsight wish I didn't..." - well, note that he takes this position only in April 2016 - Why? Would it all have come out either way? Interestingly, some may have even raised this brother of Najib to a 'hero' status for having the guts to speak up...But regret does not absolve him if wrongs (maybe crimes) were Nazir cooperating with the investigators ..being a 'whistle blower' - with the intention of identifying all those who did wrong - and to prosecute them?

But let us remember that this same 'Datuk Seri Nazir Tun Razak has been appointed to Khazanah Nasional Bhd Board of Directors effective September 1, 2014 ' - and surely the PM and Finance Minister had a big say on this - and Najib Razak is both, and he brought in his brother... When we think 'Khazanah' - we remember what happened in Malaysian Airlines?

So, tell us what is being done following Nazir's 'confession' or 'admission' - revelations of wrongdoings and/or crimes? Money-laundering? Election Offences? Tax Evasion? Breach of Societies Act? OR MAYBE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CAN TELL US THAT NO CRIME WAS COMMITTED...


CIMB probe: Nazir didn't misuse his position to disburse US$7m

Published     Updated    

CIMB chairperson Nazir Razak did not misuse his position with regard to the US$7 million which he had confirmed he received from his brother Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

This is the conclusion of the internal review conducted by the CIMB boards, which commenced on April 5.

Nazir had earlier announced on April 18 that he would be going on voluntary leave to allow an independent internal review on the US$7 million which he had helped disburse to politicians.

He will be resuming his position as CIMB Group chairperson and CIMB Bank director effective May 19.

"The findings from the review concluded that (Datuk Seri) Nazir Razak did not misuse his position as the group chief executive at that time nor was there any inappropriate use of the bank's resources," read a statement from the CIMB Group.

However, they admitted that they identified some "process shortcomings" and the boards have instructed the management to enact improvements and processes to prevent such an incident from recurring.

They added that they had appointed an external audit firm and had sought independent legal advice to assist with the internal review.

Meanwhile, CIMB Group senior independent director and chairperson of the audit committee, Mohd Nasir Ahmad, welcomed Nazir back as their chairperson on behalf of the boards.

“The boards welcome Nazir back to serve as chairperson of CIMB Group and director of CIMB Bank.

"The boards are committed to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance in our organisation, and this decision was taken with firm intent towards fulfilling these obligations," he said.

Previously, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had quoted Nazir as confirming that he received US$7 million from his brother.

The money was then transferred to the ruling-party politicians according to the instructions of party leaders.

However, Nazir had told WSJ that he believed the money was from donations he helped raise from Malaysian corporations and individuals for the 2013 general election, and is not sure of any other source of the funds.

The CIMB chairperson had also posted on his Instagram saying he wished he had not helped Najib on this issue.

“I understand the furore, and with hindsight, I wish I didn't.

"I assumed and believed, in good faith, that the funds came from legitimate political fund-raising," he said on his Instagram, adding that the entire sum had been disbursed.

Read more:

Brother of Malaysian PM says he regrets distributing US$7m in funds

In an Instagram post, Mr Nazir Razak says he wishes he did not help distribute nearly US$7 million from his brother ahead of the 2013 general elections, which he had assumed "came from legit political funding".  

KUALA LUMPUR: The brother of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and the chairperson of CIMB Group Holdings, Nazir Razak, said early on Friday (Apr 1) that he wishes he did not help distribute nearly US$7 million from his brother ahead of the 2013 general elections, which he had assumed "came from legit political fundraising".

In an Instagram post, Mr Nazir said he understood the furore and "with hindsight wish I didn't. In run up to GE13, I was asked by my brother/party president to urgently help pass on cash to party machinery".

"I assumed and believed, in good faith, that the funds came from legit political funding. Entire amount was distributed, not a sen retained by me," Mr Nazir said.

Mr Nazir earlier told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the money was disbursed by CIMB bank staff to ruling-party politicians according to the instructions of party leaders.

He said he believed the money originated "with donations he had helped raise from Malaysian corporations and individuals for the elections", WSJ wrote. It is unclear if the "he" refers to Mr Nazir or Mr Najib.

“I had no knowledge whatsoever that these funds may have originated from any other source(s),” Mr Nazir said in a statement quoted by WSJ.

“The entire amount was paid out in cash to various recipients according to the instructions of the party president and the account was closed with a zero balance.”

Mr Najib has been at the centre of controversy after reports came to light of nearly US$700 million in his personal bank accounts ahead of the 2013 general elections.

The sum has since been described as political donations from the Saudi royal family and Mr Najib has not been found guilty of any criminal wrongdoing.

The Prime Minister has also maintained his innocence, insisting no money was used for personal gain.

Since then, however, reports have alleged more deposits were made into five personal accounts between 2011 and 2015, totalling more than US$1 billion. 

Nazir Razak 'disbursed $9.4 million cash to BN politicians ahead of 2013 GE'

KUALA LUMPUR - Well-known Malaysian banker Nazir Razak has found himself enmeshed in the 1MDB scandal following a report that he made political disbursements of nearly US$7 million (S$9.4 million) at the behest of his brother, Prime Minister Najib Razak, ahead of a hotly contested general election in May 2013.

The funds - among more than 500 payments from Mr Najib's accounts to various people or entities, mostly political - were transferred to Mr Nazir's personal accounts, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

In a written statement to the Journal, Mr Nazir said he believed the money was from donations he had helped raise from corporations and individuals for the 13th General Election (GE), and that the funds were disbursed by bank staff to politicians of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), according to the instructions of party leaders. He said: "I had no knowledge whatsoever that these funds may have originated from any other source(s). The entire amount was paid out in cash to various recipients according to the instructions of the party president and the account was closed with a zero balance."

Mr Nazir is believed to be a member of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) - the largest party in BN - headed by Mr Najib, who is its president. BN retained power but lost the popular vote in the 2013 GE.

The banker's disbursement assistance came as a shock and disappointment to many, going by comments online. Even so, a corporate executive said he was not surprised that Mr Nazir and CIMB - which he chairs and which is controlled by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional - were used in such a manner.

1MDB has become an albatross for Mr Najib and although the state- owned development fund has sold chunks of prime assets to reduce its RM42 billion (S$14.4 billion) debt pile to more sustainable levels, it remains to be seen if he can survive the scandal which simply refuses to go away.

KHO JABING EXECUTED IN A HURRY - Right to Fair Trial Compromised?

Malaysian news

Singapore Executes Malaysian After Final Appeal Dismissed

Dennis Wong
2016-05-20 - Kuching
Lawyers for Malaysian Kho Jabing, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss (left) and Alfred Dodwell (right), leave a courtroom in Singapore after a five-judge panel dismissed their appeal, May 20, 2016. 
Singapore hanged Kho Jabing of Sarawak, Malaysia, on Friday afternoon for killing a construction worker eight years ago, after a last-minute stay of execution was lifted.

Rachel Zeng of the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign confirmed that Koh, 32, was executed at 3:30 p.m. at the Changi Prison after meeting with his family.

Kho had been granted the stay on Thursday night after his legal team filed an appeal. On Friday morning, a five-judge panel dismissed the appeal, clearing the way for the unusual afternoon execution. Singapore normally carries out capital punishment at dawn.

“This court should not be seen as a device to undermine the legal process. We cannot allow applications made at the eleventh hour, one after another,” Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin said in dismissing the appeal Friday, according to reports.

Kho’s family, who could not be reached for comment Friday, received a letter from the Singapore Prison Service last week stating the execution was scheduled for the morning of May 20.

The execution brought a sudden end to a six-year legal saga that included a period in which Kho’s sentence was changed to life in prison.

Six-year saga

Kho was sentenced to die in 2010 after the Singapore High Court found him guilty of using a tree branch to kill construction worker Cao Ruyin during a robbery attempt in 2008. Cao, who died six days after being beaten, suffered multiple skull fractures.

In August 2013, following revisions to Singapore’s mandatory death penalty laws, a court sentenced Kho to life and 24 strokes of the cane instead. The prosecution challenged the decision and the top court changed the sentence to death.

Kho’s execution was stayed in November 2015 when his lawyers challenged the verdict. On April 5, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence.

On May 13, Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem told BenarNews the state government had exhausted all efforts to persuade Singaporean authorities to grant Kho clemency.


Global rights group Amnesty International (AI) condemned the execution since it was “mere hours” after Kho’s last chance for a reprieve was dismissed.

“It is disgraceful that Kho Jabing was executed, particularly with such indecent haste, after his final appeal was denied this morning,” AI’s Deputy Director of South East Asia and Pacific Regional Office Josef Benedict said in a statement.

AI’s Malaysia chapter Executive Director Shamini Darshini said that Singapore had taken a step back toward the ranks of countries that use cruel and inhumane forms of punishment.

“He has variously [been] sentenced to death, re-sentenced to life imprisonment and caning, and sentenced to death once more. The ordeal Kho’s family had been put through for the past six years would have been puzzling and utterly cruel,” she said.

Singapore executed six people in 2014 and 2015 – five for drug offenses and one for murder. The government did not release details on their nationalities.

Malaysia has not abolished capital punishment and the government on Tuesday announced 1,041 prisoners are on death row.

In November, Nancy Shukri of the Prime Minister’s department of legal affairs, said the Malaysian government planned to submit a bill to abolish the mandatory death sentence for several crimes, particularly drug-related offenses and possession of firearms.- Benar News - 21/5/2016

20 May 2016

Justice hurried, is justice denied

The Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) strongly condemns the execution of Kho Jabing.

His notice of appeal was filed at 11pm on 19 May and at midnight, his legal team received the letter from the court informing them that the hearing would take place at 9am the next morning. This gave them insufficient time to adequately prepare legal submissions to deal with the complexities of the issues that lay before the court, i.e., the Constitutional arguments raised.

The application was heard despite repeated adjournment requests, which were turned down. The matter was heard for 3 hours, and dismissed at about 12.30pm. In our opinion, more time should have been granted so that Mr Alfred Dodwell, Jabing’s new legal counsel, could build a stronger case as to why his arguments deserve a day of hearing in court. With this, we believe that justice hurried, is justice buried.

Furthermore, Mr Alfred Dodwell, the legal counsel representing Jabing, asked for advance notification of the execution to be given so as to allow the family to spend more time for the family to be with him. Both the prosecution counsel and the judges had no objections. Therefore, we were utterly shocked to hear the news that he was executed a mere 3 hours after the hearing at 1530hrs on the afternoon of 20 May. We understand that this is unprecedented as accused persons are usually executed at dawn on Friday, by convention. We were also saddened by the fact that the family managed to spend their last moments with him only through a televisit.

We would like to reiterate that we do not condone whatever he had done and have no intentions to minimise the hurt that his actions had caused the family of his victim Cao Ruyin. However, we have always held the view that capital punishment is the most premeditated form of murder where every step towards the execution has been carefully planned and calculated with the purpose to end the life of a person. Therefore we do not think that an enlightened and progressive society should utilise an act that it holds in contempt, that is, murder, by seeking justice through state sponsored murder.


Index: ASA 36/4077/201

20 May 2016

Singapore: Amnesty International Deplores 
 Execution of Kho Jabing

Amnesty International strongly condemns the sudden execution of Kho Jabing, undertaken with shameful haste today. The rushed execution, that occurred mere hours after his final appeal was rejected, marked a cruel and inhuman end to Kho Jabing’s life after a six year legal battle in the courts.

Kho Jabing, a Malaysian national, was executed at 3.30pm on 20 May 2016. Kho Jabing and a co-defendant were convicted of murder on 30 July 2010 and both were sentenced to the mandatory death penalty. However, after the 2012 review of the mandatory death penalty laws, on 14 August 2013, the High Court found the murder to be non-intentional and resentenced Kho Jabing to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. On 14 January 2015, the Court of Appeal re-imposed the death penalty on Kho Jabing in a three-to-two split decision.

An appeal admitted on 3 November 2015, three days before his scheduled execution, was dismissed on 5 April 2016. Another last minute application by his lawyers that was granted on 19 May 2016, resulted in a temporary stay of execution. On the morning of 20 May 2016, Kho Jabing appeared in Court, hoping for a chance of reprieve. However, he was executed not long after this appeal was dismissed.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime. The taking of another’s life by execution is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment - and the risk of executing an innocent person can never be eliminated as long as the death penalty is kept on the law books. Such practices violate the right to life, a fundamental right of every human being. Furthermore, under international law and standards the use of the death penalty must be restricted to the “most serious crimes” which has been interpreted to mean intentional killing.

In this instance, Amnesty International also has strong concerns around the basis on which the death sentence of Kho Jabing was re-imposed, after a split decision in the courts. In modern day Singapore, the answer to crime does not lie within
the hangman’s noose. Moreover, there is no evidence that the death penalty is more of a deterrent to crime than life imprisonment.

The execution of Kho Jabing marks a huge step backwards for Singapore which has reduced the implementation of the death penalty in recent years. Following the official moratorium on executions established in Singapore from 2012 to 2013, at least 13 people have had their death sentences reviewed and eventually commuted and new sentencing discretion has resulted in several individuals being spared the gallows.

We urge the authorities of Singapore to immediately halt all executions and commute all death sentences, as first steps towards the full abolition of the death penalty.


Santhosh Kannan
Communications Coordinator

D-2-33A, 8 Avenue
Jalan Sungai Jernih 8/ 1
Section 8
46050 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia