High-rise living in below par, need professionalism in managing the property


Only 74 out of 7,325 high-rise residential properties in Peninsular Malaysia earned the top five-star ranking in an evaluation of their property management standards. And more than half are below par, earning only one and two stars.

IT is one thing to be a developed state by 2020. But it is another thing entirely to have a developed state of mind – and Malaysians have a long way to go to achieve that.

Take, for instance, condominium- and apartment-living.

Some of these properties may come with top notch facilities but when it comes to managing their upkeep, there is much to be desired.

Or so says the latest findings on the quality of managing stratified properties from a survey by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry.

Every year, the ministry conducts its Strata Scheme Management Quality Evaluation, or “Star Rating”, which ranks the standards of joint management bodies (JMBs) or management corporations (MCs) of apartments and condominiums.

These bodies are ranked based on how they do in seven areas (see graphic below for details); five stars is the highest rank.

But, as it turns out, more than half – or 69% – of condominiums and apartments nationwide ranked “below par”, scoring only one and two stars in 2015. In 2014, a slightly smaller percentage, 65%, were ranked below par.

Only 1% – or 74 – out of 7,325 strata development schemes surveyed earned five stars in the 2015 ratings, made available to Sunday Star.

If such a trend continues, future residents will inherit poor standards of living amidst modern facilities.

Currently, almost six million Malaysians out of 20 million city folk are living in stratified buildings like apartments and condominiums.

“But this number is expected to rise in future as the country progresses and becomes more urbanised,” says Mohammad Ridzwan Abidin, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry urban service division under-secretary.

He says one of the major problems that condo dwellers continue to face is the refusal of other residents to pay maintenance fees. Other problems are building defects and matters involving enforcement.

“For now, about 70% of residents are at a level where they are merely aware of what needs to be done in managing their property. They are not yet at a level to appreciate the benefits of cooperating with each other and creating a better living culture,” he says.

Mohamad Ridzwan says there is a need to change the mindset of people to foster more civic-minded communities in high-rise buildings.

“Future generations will likely live in stratified buildings, so people should try to set a proper precedent for them,” he says.

He points out that there are also more people moving out of landed properties and into high-rise buildings.

“This group of people will have to learn to adapt to the culture of living in stratified buildings as it is different from living in houses.

“They will need to be more inclusive of and cooperative with their neighbours,” he says, adding that they would also have to learn to be more considerate when it comes to using shared facilities.

Stressing that it all boils down to the mindset of residents, Mohamad Ridzwan highlights the case of Rumah Pangsa Orkid, a low-cost flats property in Ulu Tiram, Johor, which made it into the Malaysia Book Of Records in 2014 for obtaining the ISO 9001:2008 standard for exemplary management.

“Until today, they remain the only low cost flat development to have achieved this,” he says, adding that there are yet to be any high-end condominiums accorded the same standard.

Mohamad Ridzwan says the ministry will continue to actively educate dwellers on proper management of their properties.

“We will embark on more education programmes to promote better practices through advertisements in the mass media,” he says.

On the Strata Management Tribunals to hear disputes, Mohamad Ridzwan says four such tribunals have been successfully set up to cover different zones in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Since their formation the tribunals have heard about 200 cases per month,” he says.

In March, Sunday Star reported that residents who do not pay maintenance fees and other charges were set to face the music, with the Government forming a team to strengthen the enforcement of the Strata Management Act.

The Act also enables residents to take their disputes to a Strata Management Tribunal to settle matters.

Building Managers Association of Malaysia committee member Richard Chan agrees that the “biggest and most critical” problem is the collection of fees, saying that it is rare that JMBs or MCs are able to collect payment from 80% of residents.

“It is more common for the collection rate to be at 40% or 50%,” he says.

Chan laments that petty excuses are often given by residents to defend their refusal to pay up.

“Some refuse because they don’t use the facilities.

“When people ask why they don’t want to pay, they simply say they don’t swim or play tennis,” he shares.

Chan adds that many unit owners live elsewhere or are based overseas and so are reluctant to pay.

“Some are not satisfied with services like garbage collection and defy orders to settle the fees,” he says.

He urges future condo owners to refrain from buying properties that come with all sorts of facilities if they are unwilling to pay up.

“Sometimes, it isn’t about whether they can afford the fees or service charges. It is about their attitude and mentality.

“Some don’t pay simply because their neighbours are not paying and are getting away with it,” Chan says, adding that such attitudes have resulted in some apartments owing up to RM200,000 in water and electricity bills.

The lack of money in the sinking fund also hinders JMBs and MCs from paying for major works like repairing lifts.

“It becomes a vicious cycle. Because people are not satisfied with the upkeep of the place, they do not pay the fees.

“But when they do not pay, there isn’t enough funds for upkeep,” he says.

Also, developers must do their part by informing all potential property buyers of the exact amount of all service charges, says Chan.

“Developers will try to promote their projects for more sales but they should also inform buyers of the fees they are expected to pay.

“Owners should also consider that, after a year, the fees may go up as warranty periods for equipment expire,” he says.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj says many complaints against MCs have been made to the federation.

“High-end condominiums are generally better managed. We received a lot of complaints from people in medium cost apartments,” he says.

He says that consumers and the building management should both be more responsible.

“Consumers need to settle payments that they have agreed to. But they should also be receiving good service in return, like efficient rubbish collection,” he says.

Selvaraj highlights that the only way forward is for management bodies and residents to have a good working relationship.

“People should understand that managing their building is a collective responsibility.

“More dialogues should be held on how to improve the community to ensure good quality of life wherever we live,” he adds.

by Yuen Meikeng The Star/Asia News Network

More professionalism needed in managing high-rises

WITH more high-rises mushrooming, a Building Managers Board is urgently needed, according to Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok, deputy president of the Building Managers Association of Malaysia (BMAM).

BMAM is an umbrella body comprising stakeholder organisations representing management corporations (MCs), joint management bodies (JMBs), chambers of commerce, developers, engineers, architects, shopping and high-rise complex managers, and managing agents.

Appealing to the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to set up the board urgently, Teo says such a body is long overdue.

“Millions of stratified properties are coming up. Building management is becoming a very big industry. We have to start regulating. All building managers must be registered and regulated,” he says.

To date, some 600 building managers have voluntarily registered with the association, he shares, estimating that there are probably tens of thousands more.

Meanwhile, the BMAM is focused on educating its members and interested parties on good management via collaborations with institutions of higher learning.

Describing building management as a multitasking, multi­discipline function that attracts people from various backgrounds and with a variety of skills, Teo says that basic criteria for the role is needed. A Building Managers Board, once set up, will have guidelines and regulations to bring professionalism to the role.

Persons deregistered by the board cannot be hired as property managers, he suggests. This, he feels, will make hiring building managers cheaper while ensuring that they are monitored.

“So long as they fulfil the board’s requirements, anyone can be a building manager. The board will monitor and weed out the errant ones. JMBs and MCs can hire cheaper, smaller companies, even individuals, to manage their buildings if they don’t have the budget.”

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry urban service division undersecretary Mohammad Ridzwan Abidin acknowledges the proposal to set up a Building Managers Board.

“However, no decision can be made by the ministry yet as this matter is still being discussed,” he says.

He says the ministry issued a directive to Commissioners of Buildings nationwide last month to register all managing agents to protect residents from unscrupulous parties.

The BMAM would also like to see the country’s 150-plus Commissioners of Buildings (COB) given proper funding and staff. The role of the commissioner is mostly undertaken by local council heads or mayors, which isn’t right because they already have so much on their plate, he says.

The Commissioner of Buildings must be a dedicated, full-time position supported by an adequately funded department. Now, it’s mainly a one-man show, he observes.

“The Act is a good tool,” he says, referring to the Strata Management Act 2013, “But it’s for the COB to implement it efficiently. An effective COB can nip many things in the bud – the COB can call a unit owner, find out the grouses and give directives. If the COB can offer easy resolution, a lot of problems will be solved.”

Apart from supporting the position of COB, JMBs and MCs must familiarise themselves with the Strata Management Act, says Richard Chan, a committee member of the Building Managers Association of Malaysia and a past president of the Malaysian Association for Shopping and High-Rise Complex Management.

“For instance, many aren’t aware that money collected should go to JMBs and MCs – not the companies or individuals hired to manage the property. What if these companies don’t pay the service contractors?”

On Tuesday, a full-day strata management seminar will be held at Wisma Rehda in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, to explain the Act, he says, urging stakeholders to attend the event.

Teo feels that the Act is too harsh on JMB volunteers. Calling it a thankless job, he says it’s difficult getting residents to even attend AGMs, what more serve on the JMB.

“Despite not being paid, JMB members risk personal liability actions. It’s too onerous. It’s overkill because there are already laws like the Penal Code which imposes fines and jail terms.”

And he feels that the Act places too many obstacles in front of willing volunteers.

“The JMB chairman and members can only serve for two and three years respectively. Such restrictions will make things worse because as it is, no one wants the job. Our solution is to extend the chairman’s term to three years; but if at the AGM there’s no one else who wants the post, he or she should be allowed to stay on. And members should be permitted to stay on for as long as they want.” –  The Star

Related articles:

 

Defeating the defaulters

It’s a crime not to pay 

Why some people don’t comply 

The Star OnlineSep 24, 2016
Record-breaking: Rumah Pangsa Orkid is the first low-cost property to achieve the top standard for quality management.

Room for improvement

 THERE are mixed views, but apartment and condominium residents generally agree that there is room for improvement in managing their .

 

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Vital to know your rights when get arrested; comments on social media not be a serious crime


Know the law: Citizens need to know how to react if approached or arrested by police.

YOU wake up, read the latest news updates on your mobile phone, retweet some interesting comments, and post your own reactions. Just another ordinary day, right?

Wrong. If you are not careful, that retweet or comment might land you in legal hot water.

Former journalist Sidek Kamiso found himself in that predicament early last week when a band of plain-clothed policemen banged on his door at 4.40am to arrest him for an alleged Twitter insult. They had not only come for him at an ungodly hour but also reportedly jumped over the fence to forcefully nab him.

After checking their identification, Sidek had let them in, although they did not produce an arrest warrant. The police officers then searched the house, confiscating his phone and laptop before dragging him away in handcuffs to the police station.

The conduct of the police and the nature of that alleged offence notwithstanding, how many of us would have just opened the door when the intruders commanded, “We are the Police! Open the door!” and let them in?

Confirming the police officers’ identity first is extremely important, stresses Sevan Doraisamy, executive director of human rights advocate group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

Many Malaysians are too quick to obey whatever the police tell them to do without first confirming the officers’ identity, says Sevan.

“We always advise the public to ask the police to identify themselves and show their identity card when they are stopped on the street by someone who claims to be the police or when the police go to their house,” he adds, highlighting the public workshops on human rights and the police that Suaram has been holding for more than a decade.

It is normal for policemen on duty on the ground to be in plain clothes, which is why it is crucial to establish their identity.

Eric Paulsen (C) arriving at the lobby of Kuala Lumpur court to have his sedition charge read to him.AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star 06 Feb 2015

Eric Paulsen (C) arriving at the lobby of Kuala Lumpur court to have his sedition charge read to him.AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star 06 Feb 2015 The laws like the CPC and IGP’s Standing Order clearly protects a person’s fundamental liberties, but they are also general. – Eric Paulsen

Senior level police officers, from the rank of Inspector and above, carry blue IDs, while constables and below carry yellow cards. Reserve police carry white IDs while red is for suspended policemen.

According to Suaram, when making arrests, conducting raids, roadblocks or body searches, a police officer of at least the rank of Inspector (with a blue ID) must be present.

“You can also ask them which police station they are from and call it to verify the officers’ identity,” says Sevan.

Another safeguard against unlawful arrests or violations of a person’s civil rights is the police warrant.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has asserted that an arrest warrant was not necessary when the police arrested Sidek at his home in Petaling Jaya, as the alleged offence, over a tweet on the death of PAS spiritual leader Datuk Dr Haron Din, fell under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998.

“For this offence, a warrant is not needed. For offences under the (CMA) Act, there is no need for warrants. There is no need for a warrant to detain and no need for a warrant to search homes,” he reportedly said.

The local legal fraternity was quick to refute him.

According to lawyer Siti Kasim, who represented Sidek’s family, a warrant was necessary in his case as arrests made under the CMA generally requires a warrant.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Research Team on Crime and Policing head Assoc Prof Dr P. Sundramoorthy. (CHARLES MARIASOOSAY/ The Star/06/ March 2016).

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Research Team on Crime and Policing head Assoc Prof Dr P. Sundramoorthy. (CHARLES MARIASOOSAY/ The Star/06/ March 2016). ‘Police personnel who violate criminal laws and other regulations will have to face the consequences’.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan concurred, explaining that although the police have general powers to make arrests without warrants, they can only do so for offences that are listed as seizable offences under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), namely those carrying the maximum jail sentence of three years and above.

But for offences under the CMA which carry a maximum jail term of one year, the police would need a warrant when making arrests, he reportedly said.

Conceding that the details of the law might be beyond a layman’s grasp, Sevan advises members of the public to always demand for a warrant when they are being arrested.

What is important, he adds, is that any arrest can only be made after adequate investigation has been conducted on a case.

“You cannot be arrested if you are a witness or just to assist the police in an investigation.

“Always ask if you are being arrested, and for what charge or under what Act. There is no harm in also asking for the warrant,” he notes, adding that in any CMA case, the investigation should first be conducted by the country’s Internet regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), before any police arrest.

And just like in the American cop movies and television series, when we are arrested in Malaysia, our fundamental rights are guaranteed, as stipulated under the Federal Constitution, the amended CPC and the IGP’s Standing Order on Arrest, says Sevan.

Just don’t expect to be read the Miranda Rights, those words many of us have grown up hearing on the telly: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”

Still, as stated on the Malaysian Bar website, our right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions when arrested is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

Under the Constitution, a person also has a fundamental right to be informed of the grounds of his arrest as soon as possible, as well as a right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.

These rights are clearly spelt out and reiterated under Section 28A of the CPC which came into force in September 2007: An arrested person has the right to be informed as soon as may be the grounds for this arrest; to contact a legal practitioner of his choice within 24 hours from the time of his arrest; to communicate with a relative or friend of his with regards to his whereabouts within 24 hours from the time of his arrest; and the right to consult with his lawyer and the lawyer is allowed to be present and to meet the arrested person at the place of detention before the police commences any form of questioning or recording of any statement from the person arrested.

SEVAN DORAISAMY TAMAN SRI CHERAS HOUSING PROJECT ABANDONED COORDINATOR

SEVAN DORAISAMY TAMAN SRI CHERAS HOUSING PROJECT ABANDONED COORDINATOR ‘Ask if you are being arrested, and for what charge or under what Act. There is no harm in also asking for the warrant’. – Sevan Doraisamy

“We always advise those arrested to remain silent in order not to unknowingly incriminate themselves or be forced to make a confession. You can also say, ‘Saya jawab di mahkamah.’ (I’ll answer or say it in court),” Sevan notes.

As for family members, he advises them to get the name of the police station that the arresting police officers are from and are taking their loved one to.

At the police station, he adds, they need to get the name of the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case and his or her contact details.

“The good thing now is that the police’ public communications have greatly improved, and the IO will usually give out their handphone numbers to the family members,” he says, commending Sidek and his wife, Norlin Wan Musa, who is also a former journalist, for knowing and exercising their rights when the police took Sidek to the Johor Baru police station without informing her, and when they allegedly intimidated her and tried to harass their children.

Unfortunately, says Sevan, many Malaysians don’t know their rights when they get arrested, making it easy for errant police officers to intimidate them or abuse their rights.

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen concurs, stressing that the police also need to act responsibly and reasonably, in accordance to their Standard Operating Procedure when conducting an arrest.

“The laws like the CPC and IGP’s Standing Order clearly protects a person’s fundamental liberties, but they are also general, especially in their wording.

“They were drafted with the expectation that the police would act reasonably and without bias in accordance to their SOP,” he says, describing the police conduct in the arrest of Sidek and two others in relation to the “Twitter insult” as excessive and an abuse of police powers.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail urges the police to defend civil liberties in Malaysia rather than repress the exercise of human rights.

“In essence, the police should be the face of human rights, and not a face of intimidation, even as the police needs to be the bulwark of the country’s security. Regulations are being promulgated in a sweeping fashion that will have the effect of threatening democratic practice and undermine the fundamental liberties enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he had reiterated in his speech at the Malaysian Bar’s International Law Conference in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Khalid has given assurances that the police are subject to the laws and regulations enshrined in the Constitution.

“If we flout the laws, action will be taken against us. We are also subjected to the laws and regulations under the Constitution. So are the Members of Parliament,” he told a press conference after a dialogue with Universiti Utara Malaysia students in Sintok, Kedah, on the role of undergraduates in overcoming national security threats.

Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist, Assoc Prof Dr P. Sundramoorthy agrees that nobody should be above the law, especially the police.

“Police personnel who violate criminal laws and other regulations will have to face the consequences. Everyone who gets arrested has equal rights under the Federal Constitution and the CPC, irrespective of the nature of the case, so the police and the prosecution need to adhere to the law without bias. If they did not follow the SOP that is clearly spelt out then they should have to face the legal consequences, ”he says.

Critically, he adds, it is important for the general public to be aware of the laws of the land and their rights.

“Especially now that social media is an integral and pervasive part of our day-to-day lives. People need to be aware of the law – you make choices in life and you need to face their consequences.

“Similarly, you make your choice of tweeting and retweeting something or posting anything and making comments on social media, so you will have to bear the consequences.”

And as Dr Sundramoorthy puts it bluntly, “If you are so good at using social media, you should also be able to source the relevant information on the law and your civil rights online.

“If you are an expert on social media, you should be able to Google the dos and don’ts of when you are arrested, from the Malaysia Bar website and other civil society groups.”

By Hariati Azizan The Star/Asia News Network

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

When Police stop you on the street

■ If cop not in uniform, ask to see his/her Police authority card. Note cop’s name and Police authority card number.

■ If cop in uniform, note cop’s name and ID on uniform, and number plate of vehicle.

When Police question you on the street

■ Only give your name, ID card number and address.

■ Politely ask, “Am I under arrest?”. You can walk away if you are not under arrest.

When Police call you for questioning to help in investigation

■ If the place and time is convenient for you, cooperate. Important: Police cannot arrest you if you are a witness.

■ If not, you can negotiate for a more convenient time and place with Police.


When Police arrest you

■ Ask why you are under arrest.

■ Ask which Police Station they are taking you to.

■ You have the right to telephone:* i) Your relative or friend ii) A lawyer or a nearby Legal Aid Centre (LAC)

► Inform them: – you have been arrested; – the time, place and reason of the arrest; – the Police Station you will be taken to.
 

In police raids and searches

■ Demand for a warrant – raids without warrant are usually done when Police believe their suspect is in the building, stolen goods are hidden in the premises or some criminal activity is going on there.

After arrest and during detention

You may be detained up to 24 hours at the Police Station, or in a lock-up to “assist” police investigation.

YOUR BASIC RIGHTS WHEN UNDER ARREST

Right to remain silent

The Federal Constitution gives you the right to remain silent when questioned.

Right to counsel

– Under Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution, an arrested person also has the right “to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice”.

– Section 28A of Criminal Procedure Code, which came into force in 2007, also gives an arrested person the right to consult a lawyer.

– The Police must accord you reasonable facilities and a reasonable time period to meet and consult your lawyer. This right can be denied if the delay in questioning you may cause the occurrence of another crime or cause danger to others.

Right to clothing

You are allowed to have one set of clothing with you in the lock-up.

Right to personal belongings
The Police must record and put all your personal belongings in safe custody. Your personal belongings must be returned to you upon your release.

Right to welfare

– You are allowed to take a bath two times a day. If you are sick, you have the right to receive immediate medical attention. – You are to be given proper and adequate food and water during detention.

The Police may only detain you for up to 24 hours for investigation.

It is the Police’s duty to complete their investigations within 24 hours and release you as soon as possible. Failing that, the Police must bring you before a Magistrate for a remand order to extend your detention beyond 24 hours (Remand Order).
For more information, check out the Malaysian Bar’s Redbook pamphlet at http://bit.ly/KBZhlw

Source: The Malaysian Bar, Suaram

Making comments on social media should not be a serious crime, says don

TWO years ago, a 17-year-old boy was investigated for sedition when he “liked” a pro-Israel Facebook post. When questioned by the police, the student had explained that he had accidentally clicked “like” for the post that read “I love Israel” and featured a picture of the Jewish state’s flag.

We will see more and more “insensitive” and “ill-advised” online postings like this – either done intentionally or not – with the Internet and social media growing as an integral and pervasive part of our daily life, says Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist, Assoc Prof Dr P. Sundramoorthy.

“We have seen this trend of ‘slanderous’, ‘defamatory’ and ‘insensitive’ remarks constantly being made by all segments of society. It is not limited to people in leadership positions or prominence, ordinary people are also making these comments, including the young.”

As he sees it, stopping people from expressing themselves when they have access to these channels will be impossible.

“We can’t stop people from using the Internet and social media, and many will use them without thinking of the consequences. The question is where do you draw the line for freedom of expression?” he poses.

“For the proponents of absolute freedom of expression, they will say it’s the right of the people to express themselves.

“People who are against absolute freedom of expression will say that this freedom will create chaos, disharmony and trouble in general, and they will prefer some sort of censorship.”

The issue was thrust under the spotlight again recently with the arrest of three people under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 for their Twitter comments over the death of PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Dr Haron Din.

This time around, the glare was on the police conduct during the arrests – the police had allegedly trespassed into the compound of former journalist Sidek Kamiso’s house in the wee hours of the night to arrest him for his tweet, traumatising his wife and children. The police had also allegedly searched his house without a warrant while denying him his right to contact his family and lawyer after his arrest.

While he believes that it depends on the laws of the land, Dr Sundramoorthy feels that social media boo-boos should not be treated as a crime per se.

“Granted, there are limitations on the subject matters that we can comment on as they can create racial or religious disharmony and other types of conflict among citizens here, but we need to take a reasonable approach towards it.”

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director Sevan Doraisamy frankly describes the police action towards Sidek as “excessive and a waste of resources”.

He says many of the CMA cases undertaken by the police do not meet the criteria of hate speech and dangerous speech to justify arrests or prosecution. In fact, he stresses, the cases are a “severe threat” to freedom of expression.

“If you ask me, ‘insensitive comments’ should not be an arrestable crime. It is also unacceptable that just because of one or two incidences of inadvisable comments, the Government should curb the freedom of expression of everyone.”

He points out that CMA cases can be investigated without physical detention. “If the police receive reports on alleged insensitive comments, they should not waste their resources to arrest the people, they can just call them in to give their statement.

“And the top officers do not need to get involved, especially when there are more serious crimes and security issues in the country – for instance, we have hundreds of people still missing from unsolved abduction and kidnapping cases,” he says. “Crucially, there is no need for those detained in Petaling Jaya to be taken to Johor Baru for investigations, for example, as it is a waste of public resources.”

Sevan, however, concedes that Malaysians need to be more responsible when using social media.

“It should not be a crime – people have a right to express themselves – but they need to be responsible about what they post or comment on.

“While they continue to assert their freedom of expression, people should also realise that they don’t need to comment on everything and anything, especially if they know that it might lead to slander or instigate something. We are still living in a sensitive society entrenched in racial and communal politics. You don’t want to get caught in the middle of it,” he says.

Denying that they are making light of hate speech, Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen contends that the Government and Malaysian authorities need to come to terms with social media.

“Nobody is saying that the Internet and social media should be free for all – if someone promotes hate or threatens someone with murder or rape online, or if they are cyber terrorists, then police should take action against them. But they need to be fair, and the legal action should be proportionate.

“We should not prosecute someone for a mere comment – no matter how unsavoury or insulting we think it is. Without any serious element of hate speech or real element of incitement to violence or harm it should not be a crime.”

Paulsen also believes that the police conduct in the arrest of Sidek was excessive, calling it “overkill”.

Declining to comment on whether there is a need to review the CMA or enforce a hate speech law, Paulsen says what is needed is a review of police policies.

“What are their priorities in crime fighting? What constitutes serious crime for the police? Anywhere in the world, corruption, criminal breach of trust, robbery and murder are traditionally considered the serious crimes and resources are channelled towards fighting them. Unfortunately in Malaysia, a lot of our resources are wasted on frivolous cases like this.” – The Star

Canny Ong murder case remember? Killer Ahmad Najib finally hanged at Kajang prison


 

Ahmad Najib Aris (center). – Filepic

PETALING JAYA: After spending 11 years on death row and having exhausted all his appeals, Ahmad Najib Aris (pic) was finally executed for the 2003 murder of Canny Ong.

The former aircraft cabin cleaning supervisor, who killed Ong after abducting her from a shopping complex in Bangsar, was hanged early yesterday.

A Kajang prison spokesman said Ahmad Najib, 40, was executed at about 6am and his body was later buried at the Sungai Kantan Muslim cemetery in Kajang.

He said Ahmad Najib was allowed to meet his family members for the last time on Thursday.

Ahmad Najib’s former lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla described him as a “good Muslim” while in jail.

He said prison officials had told him that Ahmad Najib became a good Muslim, and often led prayers in jail and also taught other inmates about religion.

“To me, at least the time he was in prison, he was a better person than many outside,” he told The Star.

Ahmad Najib was sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court on Feb 23, 2005, for murdering Ong, then 28, at the 11th kilometre of Jalan Klang Lama between 1am and 5am on June 14, 2003.

He was also given the maximum jail term of 20 years and ordered to be given 10 strokes of the rotan for raping Ong.

In March 2009, the Federal Court upheld his death sentence for the crimes committed against Ong, whose charred remains were found in a manhole near a highway construction site.

Ong, an IT-analyst living in the United States with her husband Brandon Ong, was back in Malaysia to visit her ailing father.

On June 13, 2003, a day before she was due to return to the United States, Ong went out for dinner with some family members and close friends at the Bangsar Shopping Complex.

After the meal, she went to the basement car park to retrieve the parking ticket from her car. She asked her mother and sister to wait for her by the autopay machine.

Ong never returned.

After waiting for 20 minutes, Ong’s mother Pearly Visvanathan Ong and her sister decided to look for her in the car park.

When they went down they found the car, a purple Proton Tiara, missing.

Sensing something bad had happened to her daughter, Pearly ran to the mall’s security office to view the CCTV tapes.

The tapes confirmed their worst fears. They saw Ong being abducted by a man who drove off with her in her car, crashing past the exit barrier of the car park.

Days later, Ong’s charred remains were found in a manhole along Old Klang Road in Kuala Lumpur.

Forensic and criminal investigators found evidence that led to the arrest of Ahmad Najib.

The news of Ong’s murder was covered widely by the media and followed intently by the public.

The randomness of the crime – Ahmad Najib had no apparent motive – made it all the more horrific and prompted many unsolicited and baseless conspiracy theories much to the dismay of Ong’s loved ones.

by Jastin Ahmad Tarmizi The Star/Asia News Network

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Jul 13, 2012 … of probably the most-publicised case of car park abduction and assault in the country. … Canny Ong, after being abducted in Bangsar, was raped, murdered ….. Moneylender gunned down in broad daylight in Kuala Lumpur.

People’s Daily criticizes USA as ” source of turnmoi in the world “


霸气!党报狠批美国为世界“动荡之源”

导读:尽管和平与发展是当今世界的主题,但是局部冲突依旧不断,而这背后,或多或少都有美国在插手。

党报狠批美国_英语新闻网

The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, has criticized the United States as the “source of turmoil in the world.”

北京9月18日电 中国共产党官方报纸《人民日报》批评美国为“世界动荡之源”。

The newspaper on Sunday published three articles by Chinese scholars to analyze the causes of expansive and hegemonic moves by the United States from systemic, ideological and strategic perspectives.

《人民日报》于周日发表了三篇由中国学者撰写的文章,从内在体制、意识形态、国家战略方面分析美国的扩张和霸权主义运动。

An editor’s note on the page said that U.S. interventions are behind unrest and disputes in many places, including the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the South China Sea.

报纸上一位编者的卷首语写道,多地的动荡和纷争背后都有美国的插手,包括中东、东欧和南海。

“The United States is keen to make messes in the world, cast shadows on order and stability in multiple regions and jeopardize peace and development in relevant countries,” the note said.

“美国热衷于在世界制造混乱,给多个地区的秩序与稳定投下阴影,对相关国家的和平与发展构成威胁。”卷首语写道。

An article by Yang Guangbin, a professor of politics at Renmin University, pointed out that the “military-industrial complex,” which former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against, is “kidnapping U.S. domestic and diplomatic policy.”

杨光斌,人民大学政治学教授在文中指出,美国前总统艾森豪威尔曾警告说,“军事工业复合体”正“绑架着美国的国内和外交政策”。

The “military-industrial complex” naturally demands war and military expansion, resulting in the Iraq war, “Arab Spring” uprisings and growing tensions with Russia and China, Yang said.

“军事工业复合体”自然是要求战争和军事扩张,这就导致了伊拉克战争、“阿拉伯之春”起义以及与俄罗斯和中国关系的不断紧张。

Yang also criticized the United States for selling its ideology, which has brainwashed the elite in some non-Western countries.

杨光斌还批评了美国推广其意识形态,这洗脑了一些非西方国家的精英分子。

“Countries that have followed American-style ’liberty and democracy’ are not turning into American-style states. Instead, their lives remain the same, or even become worse,” the article said.

文章写道,“信奉美国‘自由民主’的国家并没有因此而变成美国式国家,依然过着自己固有的日子,甚至境况更差。”

Another article by Li Wen, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted that the United States’ eagerness to make trouble around the world is due to its “hegemonic anxiety.”

另外一篇由中国社科院的一位研究人员撰写的文章写道,由于“霸权焦虑症”,美国急切地想要煽风点火。

It is “to a large degree, a reflection of a twisted mentality of an empire moving downhill,” according to the article.

文章写道,这“很大程度上是一个衰落中的帝国特有的心理扭曲在行为上的反映。”

The scholar also denounced the United States’ measures to contain China by causing trouble in East Asia.

这位学者还谴责了美国通过在东亚制造事端包围中国的措施。

A third article by Lin Hongyu, a professor at Huaqiao University, said U.S. maneuvers in the Asia-Pacific region are just part of its overseas expansion and interventionist diplomacy to maintain its leading international role.

第三篇文章由华侨大学教授林宏宇写道,他表示,美国在亚太地区的军事演习只是其海洋扩张和干预外交的一部分,目的是为了维持主导的国际地位。

The article called on Chinese authorities to manage disputes between China and the United States in a constructive way and to build a new type of major-country relationship together.

这篇文章呼吁中国政府以建设性的方式处理中美之间的争端,共同建立一种新型的大国关系。

Source: 编辑:David Yang (人民网) 双语

http://news.iyuba.com/m/essay/2016/09/19/49492.html

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US media wanted ‘special priveleges’


President Barack Obama disembarked from Air Force One in Hangzhou, China, on Saturday. Photo: JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/f6AmvKBrJaQ

The United States’ “obsession with special privileges” lies behind several US media organization’s accusation that China treated US reporters rudely during the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, sources said.

The sources, who are close to the matter, responded on condition of anonymity to news reports and opinion pieces in some US newspapers that accused China of failing to meet the US media demands.

They faulted China first with not allowing some US reporters to be close to President Barack Obama as he got off Air Force One in Hangzhou on Saturday.

Obama said on Sunday, however, that his talks on Saturday with President Xi Jinping had been “extremely productive” and that he “wouldn’t overcrank the significance” of arguments that took place at the airport upon his arrival.

The Wall Street Journal complained that on Saturday “the Chinese barred Mr Obama from including his traveling press contingent in his motorcade”.

US media wanted 'special privileges'The New York Times said on Tuesday that “The White House press corps, which normally has access to the president’s public events wherever he travels, has been sequestered in buses 200 yards from the site of the Group of 20, without access to food or toilets.”

In response, a Chinese source told China Daily that the US, brushing aside common journalistic practice in multilateral meetings, insisted on having a bus carrying about 20 US reporters follow Obama’s motorcade directly to summit hall where closed-door meetings were held.

Normally, however, host countries of major multilateral meetings have journalists gather as a pool in the news center and have them go through routine security checks before they are led to the meeting hall.

Another source at the scene told China Daily that “the bus was of course not allowed to join the motorcade, according to press rules, and we arranged for the reporters to go to the news center. But some of them chose to stay on the bus, while some went to the bathrooms or the press center at the summit.”

The New York Times reported that when Xi and Obama took a leisurely stroll after dinner on Saturday, “Chinese security cut the number of US journalists allowed to witness it to three from the original six, then ultimately to a single reporter”.

But a second Chinese source said China “had never promised to allow six reporters”.

“Because the lakeside path was too narrow for that many reporters, we proposed one on one – one reporter from the US and the other from China. Later, the US agreed it was a good arrangement,” the source said.

When asked about the meeting between Xi and Obama and the so-called incidents, Mark Toner, deputy US State Department spokesman said at a news briefing on Tuesday that the “small incidents that took place on the periphery” do not take away from “the strong cooperation that we’ve had with China on a number of fronts over the past several years of this administration”.

A Chinese source said: “It is common to make some demands, but the demands should not cross the line. The US should not be an exception.”

The sources added that no other country demanded the privileges that the US sought, and “China had every reason to provide convenient arrangements to foreign reporters” because it wished to successfully host the summit.

By Zhang Yunbi and Wu Jiao(China Daily)

Contact the writer at zhangyunbi@chinadaily.com.cn

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Philippine President calls Obama the “son of a bitch”, reveals cracks in ties as he refuses to be lectured on human rights


https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/HQXEYJlcdYI

Duterte: Who is Obama to ask me about human rights?

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called Barack Obama a “son of a w****”/”son of a bitch” on Monday as he vowed not to be lectured by the US leader on human rights when they meet in Laos.

The acid-tongued Duterte bristled at warnings he would face questioning by the US president over a crime war in the Philippines that has claimed more than 2,400 lives in just over two months.

“You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum,” Duterte told a news conference shortly before flying to Laos to attend the summit.

“We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me.”

Duterte was due to hold a bilateral meeting with Obama on Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of a summit of global leaders hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vientiane, the Lao capital.

In response to Duterte’s tirade, Obama said he had asked his staff to assess whether it would be productive for him to meet with Duterte.

Duterte was elected in May after a promise to wage an unprecedented war on illegal drugs that would see tens of thousands of suspects killed.

Official figures released Sunday show that, since Duterte took office on June 30, over 2,400 people have been killed in police anti-drug operations and by suspected vigilantes.

Duterte has angrily rejected criticism from the Catholic Church, human rights groups, legislators and the United Nations.

Duterte vowed Monday the bloodbath would continue as he pursued his goal of eradicating illegal drugs in the Philippines.

“More people will be killed, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed, we will continue and I will continue,” he said.

Duterte insisted he would not take orders from the United States, a former colonial ruler of the Philippines, and did not care about how he was perceived.

“I don’t give a shit about anybody observing my behaviour,” he said.

Duterte also used vulgar language to accuse his domestic critics of wanting to please the United States.

“There are others who have the mental capacity of dogs who lap at the a** of the Americans,” he said in reference to his critics.

Duterte is notorious for using offensive language.

During the election campaign Duterte described the US ambassador to Manila as a “son of a w****” and being homosexual.

This was in response to the ambassador’s criticism of Duterte for making a joke about wanting to rape a “beautiful” Australian missionary who was killed in a Filipino jail.


IN QUOTES | Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines’ president 

IN QUOTES | Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines’ president

“A leader must be a terror to the few who are evil in order to protect the lives and well-being of the many who are good.”

“If I become president, I advise you people to put up several funeral parlour businesses. They will be packed. I’ll supply the dead bodies.”

“Pardon given to Rodrigo Duterte for the crime of multiple murder, signed Rodrigo Duterte.”

“You son of a whore Pope Francis. Why don’t you just go home?”

“Many are asking what my credentials are and what I can do for the Philippines. They are telling me that they heard I am a womaniser. That is true. That is very true.”

“I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first, what a waste.” – The Telegraph UK

Insult reveals cracks in US-Philippine ties

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/zDBYczvXAlM

“Son of a bitch.” This is how Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte referred to US President Barack Obama on Monday. This has set a dilemma for Washington. When Obama was asked to respond to the remarks, he said the Philippine president was a “colorful” person, showing a generous response. However, the White House still expressed its anger through diplomatic means by canceling Obama’s meeting with Duterte that had been scheduled during the ASEAN summit in Laos.

Although Duterte’s spokesperson said he regretted his sharp words, they have spread all over the world. He meant it when he said the Philippines has long ceased to be a colony and that “I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody.” The hostility between the US and the Philippines can hardly be settled easily.

During his election campaign, Duterte was dubbed the Philippines’ Donald Trump. Still, his big mouth as president has shocked the world, especially the West. The Western media listed the figures he has referred to as “sons of bitches,” which included Pope Francis and the US ambassador to the Philippines. Duterte cursed these people when they pointed their fingers at the domestic politics of Manila. After he assumed power, he dealt a heavy blow to drug dealers, while the West accused him of violating human rights.

But Duterte’s actions have been welcomed in his country. Although his dirty words have tarnished his international image to some extent, he apparently attaches more importance to domestic support. He is clear which side matters more to him. The latest friction between Washington and Manila seems accidental, but conflicts between Western values and developing countries are common. Duterte, on behalf of developing countries, only showed that he had had enough.

Many people believe it is time for Manila to seek support from the US as the maritime disputes between Manila and Beijing highlighted the importance of the US-Philippines alliance to the latter. But why did Duterte slap Obama in the face? The reason is that the Philippines does not feel insecure even faced with China’s “threat.” Beijing and Manila do have territorial disputes. But despite US support and a favorable arbitration award to the Philippines, the Philippines gained no real benefits. The alliance with the US is not the only consideration for Manila. The Philippines has shifted the focus back to internal governance. The US needs the Philippines more as it sees this Southeast Asian country as a pawn to counter China.

Chinese netizens applauded Duterte’s words about Obama. But the US-Philippine alliance will remain solid. China should not hold too many illusions. From a long-term perspective, it will not necessarily be easy to deal with the Philippines under his rule.

The human rights issue has brought enmity between the US and its two allies of Turkey and the Philippines. We can judge the role of human rights in US diplomacy. The dispute between China and the US over the issue is worth our observation. – Global Times

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China cracks down on P2P lending to curb illegal activities


biznews005 CHINA’S P2P INDUSTRY OPERATION

BEIJING: China’s banking regulator issued tough new rules on Wednesday to tighten regulation of the country’s $60 billion peer-to-peer lending sector, which has been dogged by scandals and fraud.

The measures mark the latest attempt by China to reduce risks to the world’s second-largest economy by cleaning up the its rapidly growing but loosely regulated online financial sector.

Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms will not be able to take deposits, nor provide any forms of guarantee for lenders, according to a joint document issued by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), Ministry of Public Security, Cyberspace Administration of China, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The regulator said some P2P firms were running Ponzi schemes and raising funds illegally, and said it would bar firms from 13 “forbidden” activities.

Under the new rules, P2P firms would not be permitted to sell wealth management products which are popular with many Chinese investors, nor issue asset-backed securities, and must use third party banks as custodians of investor funds, the regulator said.

It added that P2P firms cannot guarantee investment returns nor investment principal, and they would be subjected to higher disclosure requirements.

The regulations follow the April passage of a plan by the State Council, or cabinet, to clean up the non-bank financial sector after rare demonstrations by angry investors stoked fears of social unrest.

The banking regulator is responsible for tightening regulations over P2P, online trust businesses and online consumer finance firms

China’s online P2P lending platforms, which match small business and individual borrowers with retail investors with spare funds, has seen rapid growth in the past two years largely due to the lack of regulatory oversight.

The industry raised more than 400 billion yuan ($60 billion)by November last year, CBRC data showed.

But among the more than 3,600 P2P platforms, more than 1,000 were problematic, the CBRC had said.

The rise of P2P lending was originally seen by the government as a type of financial innovation that could make funds accessible to credit-hungry consumers and small businesses, which continue to struggle to get loans from traditional financial institutions.

Beijing’s hands-off approach to promote the rapid development of the sector, however, led to a large number of high-profile P2P failures, scandals and frauds.

The consequences have devastated many retail investors, who dumped their life-savings into P2P platforms in hopes of receiving double-digit returns, threatening China’s social and financial stability.

Ezubao, once China’s biggest P2P lending platform, turned out to be a Ponzi scheme that solicited 50 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) in less than two years from more than 900,000 retail investors through savvy marketing.

Investor funds were squandered by Ezubao executives on lavish lifestyles. Retail investors are still unable to get back their hard-earned money, and many have blamed Beijing for its lack of regulation and scrutiny. – Reuters

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  • China tightens rules for troubled P2P lending sector

  • China tightens rules for troubled P2P lending sector. China released new rules on Wednesday to tighten regulations covering the country’s scandal-tainted peer-to-peer lending sector. Government officials say reducing risks and illegal activities in the US$60 billion sector has become a key
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