MH370 families file biggest lawsuit in Malaysia


 

KUALA LUMPUR: Seventy-six next of kin of the passengers on board  Flight MH370 have launched the biggest suit in the courts here against Malaysian Airline System Bhd and four others over the plane’s disappearance.

With the deadlines to do so up by today, the group  made up of 66 Chinese nationals, eight Indians and two Americans  filed the suit last Thursday, naming MAS, Malaysia Airline Bhd (MAB), Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Government as defendants.

They are claiming for negligence, breach of contract, breach of statutory duty and breach of Montreal Convention against MAS

Lawyer N.Ganesan representing Indian, Chinese and American families said this is the biggest lawsuit against MAS in Malaysia as it involves a large number of families as plaintiffs.

In the statement of claim filed last Thursday, the families alleged that the plane’s disappearance on 8 March 2014 was caused by MAS’ negligence and the national carrier had breached the Montreal Convention by causing the injuries and death of all 239 passengers and crew..

Besides MAS, the families also named the director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), and the government.

They claimed that DCA, RMAF and the government had conspired with MAS in conducting the investigation in a “grossly negligent manner” to delay the search, causing the death of all the passengers and crew.

They also contended the government and MAS had acted fraudulently and in a dishonest manner by hiding information about MH370’s disappearance from the public, and the families of passengers and crew.

The 76 next of kin are seeking damages and losses they suffered after their loved ones went missing.

“The families opted to file the lawsuit here because they have confidence in our court,” said Ganesan when met at the High Court here.

He also pleaded with the government not to move to strike out the lawsuit.

“This lawsuit deserves a day in court, and all the families deserve a fair trial,” he said.

When asked if the families were given consent by the MAS administrator under the MAS Act to initiate the lawsuit, the lawyer said they were denied consent. “They had previously said in the media that they would act in ‘good faith’ to determine fair and equitable compensation.”

“What they said was they were inviting next of kin to initiate lawsuits against them.”

Ganesan disclosed that an American law firm, Hod Hurst Orseck, will be joining the families’ legal team.

“They are the experts in civil aviation. We will be having the firm’s partners, Steven Marks and Roy Altman with me and lawyer Tommy Thomas.”

“When necessary, we will be filing for leave to the court for them to be conducting the trial,” he said.

Last week, 12 families of passengers from Malaysia, Ukraine, Russia and China sued MAS and the government for damages, shortly before the two years deadline for initiating a civil suit under the Montreal Convention.

Sources: The Star news and Free Malaysia Today

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Developers of toppled Taiwan building detained


Executives face charges over professional negligence resulting in death

 

Questions are being asked about the building’s construction (Picture: AP)

Three Taiwanese construction company executives have been detained on charges of professional negligence resulting in death following the collapse of an apartment building in an earthquake, killing dozens.

The district prosecutor’s office in the city of Tainan said Wednesday that Lin Ming-hui and architects Chang Kui-an and Cheng Chin-kui were suspected of having overseen shoddy construction of the 17-story Weiguan Golden Dragon building, which crashed onto its side during the earthquake Saturday.

It said the three were detained to prevent collusion or other acts that could disrupt the investigation. Among the accusations was that only half as many fasteners had been used in the supporting columns as required.

The death toll in the 6.4-magnitude quake stood at 44 on Wednesday, with all but two of the deaths coming in the building collapse. About 100 people are believed to still be trapped in the debris.

The broadcaster FTV and other Taiwanese media said Lin had changed his name after a previous bankruptcy and had run multiple property development companies in Tainan in an apparent attempt to avoid creditors and bilked clients.

Although the shallow quake was potentially devastating, few buildings were damaged as a result of strict construction standards in force in Taiwan, an island frequently struck by quakes. The Weiguan Golden Dragon building, built in 1989, was the only major structure to collapse in the temblor.

Most of the 320 people who were rescued from the disaster were saved in the hours immediately after the quake, in which the building’s foundation and lower floors gave way before it toppled onto its side.

Earthquakes rattle Taiwan frequently. Most are minor and cause little or no damage, but a magnitude-7.6 quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people. More stringent building standards were introduced following that disaster and appear to have been tightly enforced.

The quake struck during the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar – the Lunar New Year. Celebrations of the holiday in Taiwan have been subdued. – AP

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‘Spin doctors’, public relations gurus in today’s political world – an uneasy with online news


Uneasy with the age of spin

The old guard feel uncomfortable with the instant availability of online news and views that might be critical of them or their allies.

UMNO is probably one of the largest political parties in the world relative to the country’s population – with three million members in a country of around 30 million, its members account for almost 10% of the population.

So it came as a surprise that the party’s secretary-general announced that media would not be invited to cover this year’s party general assembly unless they “behaved” themselves.

He has since rescinded this order, but the permanent gripe that the Umno establishment has against some online news portals is that the portals allegedly like to “spin” stories and statements made by senior party-members and ministers, much to the chagrin of the nation’s top leaders.

So what is “spin”?

Spin is a weapon generally employed on a daily basis by politicians, opinion-makers and large corporations with the help of public relations gurus (“spin doctors”) who put out the desired image or message in such a way that the client will be favourably received by the public.

Edward Bernays is called the “father of public relations” for his success at presenting smoking and drinking as acceptable social behaviour in the early part of the 20th century, and he was in fact a spin doctor par excellence who openly talked of manipulating the public mind.

Spin doctoring is readily apparent in the United States political scene where debates are held by competing presidential candidates: both sides will claim victory and their spin doctors will go full throttle to selectively present the respective candidate’s winning points.

It’s also spin if the desired result of the exercise is to paint a negative picture of one’s target; either way, spin is usually associated with deceptive or manipulative tactics, but this is not always the case.

Spin can be disingenuous but not necessarily false: selectively presenting facts and quotes that support one’s position is spin, and it is the same as putting large photographs of certain leaders on the front pages of national newspapers to project a positive image.

Everyone engages in spin – some crudely – while others do so with more finesse, but everyone is actively spinning these days.

My wife’s constant complaint is that Malaysiakini uses a picture of me showing me in an angry mood, gesticulating about something, which she feels does not truly represent my persona.

Here, Malaysiakini could either be unconcerned about how I look (and why should it be?) or it might want to portray me as an angry man without a cause. If it is the latter, then it’s spin.

That said, spin is less effective in the age of the Internet than it was in the old days when a political party had a monopoly over the media. Back then, it was an arduous task for dissenters to make themselves heard, simply because they had no platform to do so.

Now, in the era of social media, the old order feels uncomfortable with the instant availability of online news and views that might be critical of them or their allies.

The old guard do not know how to deal with this new phenomenon, which is why they complain incessantly about the Opposition’s “spin”.

The truth is that every political organisation, large or small, uses spin to maximise its impact on the voting public.

Spin is par for the course in today’s political world and it’s not something we should complain about.

If the level of news reporting and journalistic integrity has stooped too low – if fair reporting has suffered because journalists resort to unethical practices such as plagiarism or manufacturing stories – then the solution would be to set up a Press Council to guarantee that minimum standards of professional excellence are maintained.

News organisations that flout the rules of such a council could be fined, while other measures can be taken to improve news reporting – that is, positive measures – because the unending threats to sue newspapers and online portals for incorrect statements and negative reporting is a waste of the court’s time.

Also, banning newspapers and online media from attending any political assembly is not the answer.

Instead, politicians should learn to be a little thick-skinned: after all, it’s part of the business to be attacked and made fun of, and to be misquoted or selectively quoted in a deceptive way.

If we are going to sue and issue threats every time an opponent opens his or her mouth, no work of serving the people and formulating good policies will ever be done.

Our politicians will be quarrelling and threatening one another for every small mistake, deliberate or otherwise, and if this is allowed to continue, the public will be disenchanted even more by the lack of quality leadership in Malaysia.

A serious change in attitude – a paradigm shift, of sorts – is necessary on the part of our political leaders to avoid this endless bickering and name-calling.

Politicians should learn to regard their opponents as a vital and necessary part of the democratic system that they all claim to uphold, and they should learn to live in harmony with one another as far as possible so that real work can get done.

There is no point taking the hard line over trivialities unless we want to dispense with democracy altogether: running a democracy is never as easy or comfortable as ruling with an iron fist.

It’s so much easier to rule North Korea or Saudi Arabia if you are the top dog there, but if you want democracy to continue, then a little discomfort – a little spin here and there – is a necessary part of political life which really shouldn’t bother anyone too much.

By Zaid Ibrahim All kinds of everything The Star/Asia News Network

Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (carbofree@gmail.com) is now a legal consultant. The views expressed here are entirely his own

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Malaysian Deputy Public Prosecutor, Kevin, an angel was abducted, killed and cemented in drum by hired men


KEVIN Morais (pix) was a pure professional, highly ethical, very hardworking and humble. He possessed no ego of any form.In his work he was very thorough, often asking as many questions as it required to understand every permutation completely.

He took his work as a prosecutor very seriously, often missing meals, and constantly suffered from red watery eyes after reading law throughout the night. He gave his all to the cases he took on. Sometimes, when witnesses turned hostile or the case went awry for reasons beyond Kevin’s control, it affected him deeply. It hurt him to talk about those cases.

Kevin was married to his work.He took on cases others left behind as serving justice was uppermost in his mind. He endeavoured to make sense of every case so he could fight for justice. He had an excellent command of English and loved trading witty puns with the equally competent.

Every time there was a meeting, staff of all rank would line up to shake his hand not because they had to, but because they wanted to shake the hands of Tuan Kevin Morais and greet him. From the gentle bow of their bodies to the deferential nod of their head and the way they extended their hands – like an offering – you could see the tremendous respect they held for him.

Despite being extremely busy, Kevin always had time for those who sought him. He took the time to explain things slowly and made sure they understood perfectly, trying as it may be for those without legal training.

I often told him, “Kevin, these men hold a tremendous measure of respect for you. This is far more valuable than any Datuk or Tan Sri title.” In his usual deprecating manner, he would laugh it off and say, “Oh, Jess, you so flatter me.”

Kevin was a peaceful soul. He always believed in the goodness of people. It never ceased to amaze me how devastated he would be if he found out how bad or guilty they were. In his trademark hand-over-the-mouth gesture, he would keep saying, “No, no please. Not him too!” It amazes me that he was so innocent even after years of practising his profession, choosing to believe good over evil.

I hold him very dear in my heart and not a day has gone by since his disappearance that I’ve not broken down. My constant question to God is, “Why Kevin, God? Why?” My answer is that the angels in heaven wanted him where he belongs.

– By JESSICA GURMEET KAUR SIDHU Malaysia

SUBANG JAYA: It was a dead end road hemmed in on one side by a swampy area near a primary school with Sungai Klang at the end of it.

This was where, after almost 13 days since going missing, Deputy Public Prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais was found.

His decomposed body was discovered cemented in an oil drum which was dumped into the swampy area.

A 52-year-old army doctor is be­­lieved to have hired several men to kidnap and kill Kevin, who was involved in the prosecution of a RM700,000 corruption case against him.

After abducting Kevin in Bangsar, it is believed that they killed him by bludgeoning him before stuffing his body in an oil drum and pouring in cement.

They then dumped the drum in the swamp near SKJC Chee Wen here. The road next to the swamp was a dead end and hardly used by motorists.

Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh said the doctor was one of seven people detained over the abduction and murder of Kevin.

“We detained four men, two women and a child on Tuesday and one of the suspects led us to this location. We had to send divers into the swamp and they verified that an oil drum was sitting on the river bed,” he said at the scene yesterday.

Comm Mohmad said a forklift took out the drum before personnel from the forensic unit broke it open.

“The body was found in a gunny sack covered with cement,” he said, adding that the body was taken to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a post-mortem.

Investigators did not open the gunny sack at the scene but it is believed that the body is intact.

Comm Mohmad said in Penang, police had seized a Mitsubishi Triton, a Honda Accord and RM17,100 cash while in Klang Valley, authorities confiscated a Proton Persona, RM15,000 cash and a receipt for the purchase of cement, stones and sand, believed to have been used in the case.

The Mitsubishi Triton was used to ram into Kevin’s government issued Proton Perdana on Sept 4 along Jalan Duta before he was forced into another car. One of the other suspects then drove away in the Proton Perdana.

“This incident was captured on CCTV in Jalan Duta and that led us to the arrests,” he said, adding that po­­lice would be applying for a seven-day remand against the four men.

It is learnt that three more suspects are still at large. The woman and child are believed to be family members of one of the men caught.

“We expect to make more arrests soon,” he said, adding that three of those caught were being investiga­ted for links with gangsterism.

He also denied that the case had any link to the murder of AmBank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi or the 1MDB scandal.

“I would like to convey my deepest condolences to the Morais family,” he said, adding that police believed that the army doctor and the other four men were in cahoots.

“It is possible that the doctor hired these men to abduct and murder Kevin,” he said.

Kevin went missing after leaving his residence in Menara Duta here for work in Putrajaya in a grey Proton Perdana bearing the registration plate WA6264Q.

Kevin must have been killed because of his cases, says brother: We want justice

KUALA LUMPUR: The grieving youngest brother of Deputy Public Prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais has called for justice to be done against those who killed him.

When met outside the Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) mortuary, 49-year-old Datuk Richard Morais said his brother must have been killed because of the cases he was involved in.

“I don’t know what to say. This is not a normal death,” said a teary-eyed Richard after the body of his brother was wheeled into the hospital.

“Everybody knows that this was case-related,” he added.

However, Richard said he did not know what case could have caused the 55-year-old to end up dead.

Inconsolable: Relatives supporting a distraught Richard after he arrived at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur mortuary to identify his brother’s body.

“He was a secretive person. He was very professional about his work. He did not share with his family members. Work came first,” he said.

Richard described his brother as a “strict man” who lived for his job and the law.

Another brother, David Morais, said the post-mortem might take up to two days to determine it was Kevin and what killed him.

“It is unbelievable that this can happen to him. We are just waiting for the post-mortem to be over,” he said.

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The concrete is seen after it was broken out of the drum which contained the body of former ..

Cutting cost with ‘DIY law’


Many people dread going to the lawyers as it means forking out hundreds if not thousands of ringgit in legal fees for their service.

However, Malaysians wishing to prepare uncontested wills and probate, documents on tenancy agreement, purchase or transfer of property, or even divorce petitions can be spared the dreaded trip to legal firms soon with the “Do-it-yourself law” set to become a reality, Nanyang Siang Pau reported today.

The “DIY law”, which will be available free of charge online, will change the way how common legal matters can be dealt with.

According to the report, Bon Advocates, which has been pushing for “DIY law”, is coming out with template agreements, allowing consumers to prepare wills and handle property purchases, loan agreements and divorces without relying on lawyers.

For example, the standard legal fee for a sale and purchase agreement for a property valued at RM150,000 is RM1,500.

With the DIY law, a property buyer can save this amount by filling out the relevant forms made available online.

Similarly, for wills, one can save between RM300 and thousands of ringgit the DIY way.

Edmond Bon of Bon Advocates told the daily that lawyers should be fighting for justice and rights of the people and not make profits from petty legal matters.

“Making wills, tenancy agreements, property purchases and transfers, etc can be done using template documents provided online, without the help of lawyers,” said Bon, whose firm has been working with some law students on the DIY law on pro bono basis.

Bon said DIY law is a new concept in Malaysia, but it is common in the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore.

US and UK’s Rocket Lawyer and the Law Canvas of Singapore are common DIY law, the human rights lawyer pointed out. – By The Sun Daily

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Separate the Attorney-General’s powers to correct a flaw in Malaysian legal system !


T
an Sri Abdul Gani Patail

Revise Attorney-General’s powers

There is a flaw in our system, inherited since before Independence, that may prevent the public from giving their complete trust.

THE political challenges faced by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak continue to mount. He has issued several denials but his detractors are showing no sign of stopping.

Last week, internationally respected newspaper The Wall Street Journal published a story alleging that money from 1MDB somehow found its way into Najib’s personal bank accounts. Najib has denied any wrongdoing and he is said to be mulling legal action against the newspaper.

The response by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail is particularly noteworthy.

According to Gani, a multi-agency task force will probe the allegation, looking into the trail of money from 1MDB and examining if there has been any wrongdoing.

Even though Gani did not spell it out word by word, the implication is that our Prime Minister has not stopped agencies in his own Government from conducting what could become a criminal probe against him.

This is a healthy step and it is also the right decision by the Prime Minister. The whole saga has been a protracted one and I look forward to its conclusion.

According to reports that cited Gani, the multi-agency investigation team comprises the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the police and our central bank, Bank Negara.

I welcome the formation of this special team. It is imperative that all allegations are investigated thoroughly. To do so does indeed require cooperation from various agencies.

Having said that, I have a concern about how the public will react once this team concludes the investigation.

The most important element in any probe that involves public figures is public confidence. For the public to accept the outcome of the investigation, they must believe in the integrity of the agencies.

Unfortunately, there is a flaw in our system that may prevent the public from giving their complete trust. We inherited that flaw since before Independence and until today we have never tried to fix it.

The flaw centres on the dual roles of the Attorney-General. He is the principal legal adviser to the Government and he is also the one with sole discretion to decide whether or not to prosecute.

Yes, there are safeguards to ensure he makes prosecutorial decisions with independence and integrity. But that is a matter of procedures.

We are talking about a high-profile investigation where public confidence and public perception are just as important as everything else.

Imagine a situation where the investigation team finds that the allegations are false. They then submit their files to the Attorney-General.

The Attorney-General then would logically decide that there will be no prosecution. How will the public react to this?

My worry is that the public will simplistically say that we are seeing a cover-up. Of course, we will not know the detailed findings from the investigation and we can’t expect the agencies to be disclosing information in great detail either.

But we may end up with the public accusing the Attorney-General of merely protecting his boss whom he has been advising all this while. That would be most unfortunate.

However, we cannot blame the public for not fully trusting the system. Stories after stories have been told – whether concocted or true – about allegedly selective prosecution.

In our work on the MACC, we encountered many of these allegations. Critics target the MACC even when the agency has done its job to investigate, without realising that prosecution powers lie with the Attorney-General and not the MACC.

And among those who do know that prosecution is the discretion of the Attorney-General, a perception has developed that some people are always safe from prosecution, because they feel the Attorney-General has a conflict of interest. How can he be expected to prosecute the very people he is supposed to advise?

The fusion of the Attorney-General’s roles – as legal adviser to the Government and as public prosecutor – has resulted in decreased trust in the integrity of the system.

In cases that involve the Government, the public may not have full confidence in his decisions regardless of whether or not he is being independent and honest. And this time, it may result in a never-ending misery for the Prime Minister even if he is a victim of political sabotage.

I fully appreciate that the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General have thousands of other things to worry about at this moment in time. But for their own sake, this is a most urgent issue. The credibility of the Prime Minister is at stake here.

The roles of the Attorney-General must be separated. The Attorney-General should continue to advise the Government but we should create a new Public Prosecutor’s Office to decide on prosecution after the investigative agencies have done their jobs. This has to be done as soon as possible.

I appreciate that this is a major step. It requires a constitutional amendment because Article 145(3) of our Federal Constitution currently provides that the Attorney-General has absolute power to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence.

Additionally, the Criminal Procedures Code too will need to be amended because it currently says: “The Attorney-General shall be the Public Prosecutor and shall have the control and direction of all criminal prosecutions under this Code”.

The changes should be debated in this parliamentary meeting. If this is not done now, will anyone be able to save the Prime Minister’s credibility, regardless of what the investigation team finds?

Wan Saiful Wan Jan is chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs ( http://www.ideas.org.my). The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

By Wan Saiful Wan Jan thinking liberally

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Bandung Spirit: a short walk but with giant steps !


Bandung Walk 2015(From L) Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan, China’s President Xi Jinping, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, his wife Iriana Widodo, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansur, Mufidhah, wife of Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Jusuf Kalla and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen walk down the street with other Asian and African leaders during ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung on western Java island on April 24, 2015. Bandung was the site of the landmark 1955 Asian African Conference, credited with galvanising momentum towards the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement. – AFP

Bandung 2015 is a chance to build on the cooperation among developing countries launched by Bandung 1955.

LAST Friday, I took a 10-minute walk from an old hotel to ano­­ther old building, a confe­rence hall. About 300 others were on the same walk on the warm and sunny day.

It didn’t seem anything remarkable or newsworthy. But this was no ordinary walk. Sixty years ago, on this same date, a small but powerful group of men and women took the same walk and then launched a movement that snowballed into a united anti-colonial and post–colonial battle.

We had come to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of the Bandung conference of Asian and African leaders, all of whom had just won Independence or were on the verge of doing so.

The same grand Savoy Homann hotel was where the leaders had stayed, and they had taken the historic short walk on the Asia Africa Road to the Merdeka Building.

Bandung April 24, 1955, saw giants like Sukarno of Indonesia, the host, Zhou Enlai of China, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, President Gamal Ab­­del Nasser of Egypt, U Nu of Bur­ma and some leaders of Africa, coming together to discuss the need for newly independent countries to unite and fight for common interests.

They adopted the Bandung principles, that included respect for national sovereignty and self-determination, equality of all nations and abstention from use of force or exerting pressure on countries.

Bandung 1955 was the first ever meeting of the developing countries, who pledged to help other countries still under colonialism to complete their independence struggle, and to cooperate to develop their poor economies.

That Bandung spirit led to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, and indirectly also led to the Group of 77 in 1964, the two major umbrella organisations of the developing countries.

Last Friday, political leaders from over 40 countries, led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and officials from international organisations walked from Savoy Hotel to Merdeka Building and took part in a brief but meaningful commemoration ceremony.

Among the leaders present were the presidents of China, Zimbabwe and Myanmar, and the prime ministers of Malaysia, Nepal and Egypt.

We were told the Merdeka Building had not changed, and the chairs were the same as the ones used 60 years ago.

Widodo invoked the memory of the leadership and spirit of the giants of old, who had pioneered their nations’ independence and forged unity among the newly independent countries.

In a two-day Asian African summit conference in Jakarta preceding the Bandung ceremony, even more leaders were present to discuss the theme, South-South Cooperation for Peace and Prosperity.

President Widodo made a strong speech highlighting the continuing power inequalities and injustices in the world, in which developing countries were still struggling to get their rightful fair share in decision-making in world affairs.

Global injustice is obvious, when wealthy nations think they can change the world with their might, when the United Nations is powerless, when force is used without the mandate of the UN and powerful countries ignore the existence of the UN, he said.

Injustice exists when rich countries refuse to recognise the shifts in world economic power and only re­­­­­­­cognise the World Bank, In­ter­national Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank, he added.

“The fate of the global economy cannot be left to these three organisations, we need to build a new world order that is open to new countries. A new and fair global system is needed.”

Widodo also stressed that as the Bandung spirit demanded indepen­dence for countries, we are still indebted to the people of Palestine. “We have to struggle with them to give birth to an independent state of Palestine.”

The plight and struggle of Palesti­nians became a major issue at the Summit. It was obvious that the con­­tinuing occupation of Palestine lands and their unfulfilled fight for an independent state was a big piece of “unfinished business” of the Asian African Bandung conference.

A special declaration in support of Palestine was adopted by the conference. Two other documents adopted were the Bandung Message and the new Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership, which details the actions that are to be taken to promote more cooperation in economic, health, food security, education and other areas.

President Xi Jinping of China pledged to provide places for 100,000 students and officials in Asia and Africa for education and training in his country over five years.

He put forward several principles, including to seek common ground and be open to one another’s views, expand South-South cooperation, and the closing of the North-South gap. He also mentioned the new Chinese initiatives of setting up the Asian Infrastructure Investment bank as well as a new fund to finance the activities of the Economic Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road.

These initiatives by China were a reminder that with the growing wealth of China and some other emerging economies, there is now a real possibility for the developing countries to help one another in financing their own development.

A new trend in South-South ga­­therings is that criticism of the ways of the West in dominating the South is now combined with announcements of how the developing countries are organising various ways to rely more on one another, including creating new institutions.

In a speech representing the South Centre, I mentioned that we support the call by the Indonesian president to establish a new world order where the developing countries have an equal say and enjoy their fair share of the benefits.

In this new and more equitable world order, the developing countries will be able to contribute to the solutions to the multiple crises of global finance and economy, food security, unfulfilled social development, energy and climate change.

The developed countries will change their unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and assist the developing countries through financial resources and technology transfer to embark on new sustainable development pathways.

South-South cooperation, based on solidarity and mutual benefits, will play an increasingly important role. There is much to be done politically and concretely in this area.

Bandung 1955 was a landmark event that launched many good developments for the newly independent countries.

Bandung 2015 could also prove to be a landmark event that catalyses further breakthroughs in South-South cooperation which, together with our better performance in multilateral relations, will implement the building of the new world order that our first generation of leaders were dreaming of.

As the Jakarta and Bandung events came to a close, Indonesian officials indicated that they will be undertaking follow-up actions after the Summit. It is important that concrete programmes are formulated, so that the good-intentioned declarations do not remain only on paper but spark new shoots of South-South cooperation.

Global Trends by Martin Khor

Martin Khor is executive director of the South Centre, a research centre of 51 developing countries, based in Geneva. You can e-mail him at director@southcentre.org. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

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