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Lim Guan Eng

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Lim Guan Eng


Protecting our children to prepare them for the future

Posted: 01 Jun 2013 11:46 PM PDT

Speech By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng During The Penang Institute Forum "Protecting Our Children: Evaluating Statutory Rape" On 2 June 2013 (Sunday) At Wawasan Open University, Penang.

First of all I would like to congratulate the Penang Institute for yet again hosting a forum on a crucial issue facing us as a society. Today, we will discuss the issue of statutory rape. But more importantly, we want to discuss and take urgent action to protect our little ones and create a safe nest for our children so that they will grow up in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment.

For those of us who are parents, we put our lives into our children, aspiring them to grow up to fulfil their destined potentials. It therefore pains us to see the atrocities committed on children from child abuse to sexual crimes. Thus, while the issue of statutory rape is a national issue, Penang wants to take the lead in both the discussion as well as to explore critical and urgent action plans to tackle the problem.

Contrary to popular belief, statutory rape cases are not isolated cases. According to a recent media report quoting Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz, there were 6,000 statutory rape cases reported in the last five years.

In recent times, there have been a few high profile cases of statutory rape which have caught the attention of the nation. Last year in August, two offenders escaped jail terms because the courts, amongst others, cited them as being "young and having a bright future". More recently in Sabah, charges were dropped when the perpetrator decided to marry the child victim.

And of course, more than a decade ago, I myself was involved in upholding the rights of a statutory rape victim and her family in the case of Noryati binti Mohd Yusop in Melaka. Instead of detaining the rapists, the rape victim was detained. The rest, as they say, is history. I ended up in jail while the many perpetrators roams free till today. That is Malaysian justice.

When I became the first and only person to be imprisoned in Malaysia for defending a rape victim and upholding women's right, I had had thought that public outrage would put an end to any such future cases of miscarriage of justice.

The public outrage against the decisions of the courts is understandable. Judges appear to give more weight to the background and future of the perpetrators more than to the severity of their offenses as well as the damage done to their victims. This clearly exposes the weaknesses of our institutions in dealing with and understanding of the dynamics of gender and sex-related crimes.

We see the same lack of understanding in the Federal government's proposed solution to introduce mandatory jail sentences for statutory rape. The fact is, no two cases are alike, and therefore should not be treated as such. This is even more important in cases of sexual offenses because of the sensitivities involved.

In my opinion, what we need urgently now are two things. First, a thorough reform of our government institutions involving gender sensitisation to enable officers to handle gender-related cases with greater care and consideration. This includes social workers, the police, medical staff and even the Attorney-General's office and the judiciary.

The recent amendments to the law to impose mandatory jail sentence clearly does not take into account the peculiarity of each case. What is truly needed are proper guidelines and education to ensure our institutions understand the dynamics of such acts, differentiating for example, adolescent relationships from paedophilic relationships or rape. Each case should be treated differently but always with the ultimate goal of protecting the wellbeing of our children.

Secondly, we need to see this issue from a larger scheme of things, beyond reform in the legislation. The problem of sexual crime is not merely a legal one, rather, it is a social problem. We need to have a rethinking in the way we treat women and girls, the way sexual relationships are perceived in our society and the stigma against rape victims.

In our patriarchal society, women and girls are often viewed as having lesser rights to speak up or decide their own fate. As such, there still exists chauvinistic thinking which treats women as properties to be used rather than equal partners in the society to be respected.

In the context of child rape, there is an overt pressure on the part of the family, especially the poorer ones, to give the child victim in marriage to her perpetrator. It is high time we confront these complicated issues to ensure that we address discriminatory social norms which may even be the underlying causes of sexual violence.

In other words, some of these norms we take for granted may be perpetuating a culture of sexual violence especially against women and girls. This is why it is important for us to have this discussion today. Discrimination whether against race or religion or gender is wrong and should be discarded.

The government must play an active role in abolishing discrimination at all levels. Only in a society where people are treated as equals, will there be respect for one another, for women and for girls.

Within the boundaries of our jurisdiction, Penang has taken the lead to ensure that children are respected and nurtured to their fullest potential. Every baby born in Penang is treated as our "golden child" with the government giving their parents RM200 to assist in providing for them. And housewives who do not work but look after their families are now given RM100 yearly from next year.

Financial support is also given by the state government to children attending primary 1 and 4 and secondary 1 and 4, as well as those who are accepted into public universities. Parents, especially those from lower income families, also have the choice to send their children to state-funded child care centres which provide quality child care service at a very low price. All these efforts show our commitment to create a healthy and nurturing environment for our children.

However, more has to be done. We are prepared to work with the federal government to take the necessary steps in addressing the issue of statutory rape. I hope with the conclusion of this forum, it will mark the first important step forward towards resolving the current legal deadlock as well as social taboo surrounding the issue.

In preparing our young for the future, we must first be able to protect them.

Lastly, thank you very much for your participation today. I wish you a fruitful discussion ahead.

LIM GUAN ENG

The Battered Public Credibility And Integrity Of EC Can Only Be Restored By Appointing The Chairman of The Parliamentary Select Committee’s on EC(PSC) From The Opposition, Replacing The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of EC as Well As Respecting The Principle Of “One-Person, One-Vote, One-Value”.(en/cn)

Posted: 01 Jun 2013 11:45 PM PDT

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 2.6.2013.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak's attempts to restore the battered public credibility and integrity of the EC by placing it under parliamentary oversight will not work unless it is accompanied by 3 critical success factors:-
• Appoint an opposition member to head the bipartisan Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on EC;
• Replace the EC's chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusuf and his deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar with fresh faces that must be approved by Parliament; and
• Respect the principle of "One-Person, One-Vote, One-Value".

No real change can be effected unless these 3 critical success factors are fulfilled. Otherwise it would be just like the previous PSC on Elections before 2013 general elections, which was intended to whitewash the impartiality and biasedness of the EC in running the dirtiest elections in Malaysian history. Not only did the EC ignored the recommendations of the previous PSC, the EC Chair and Deputy Chair spent most of their time attacking PR during and after the general elections.

Both also disgraced the entire democratic process by using an indelible ink that did not last for 3 days but could be easily washed off almost immediately. As the EC had always reported to the Prime Minister's Department, no one was surprised that the EC Chairman and Deputy Chairman openly sided with BN.

EC has refused to heed public anger who wanted answers as to how PR can lose the 2013 general elections and won only 40% of parliamentary seats despite winning 51% of the popular votes. That is the reason the new appointments to EC must be approved by Parliament to ensure that this proposed migration of powers from the Prime Minister to Parliamentary oversight is not a cosmetic change but an effective and transformative change.

LIM GUAN ENG

—–

—–Mandarin Version —-
民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2013年6月2日在吉隆坡发表声明:

唯有委任反对党成为选委会国会遴选委员会的主席、撤换现任选委会主正副主席、尊重"一人、一票、一价"原则,选委会才有可能挽回已毁损的公信力及廉正声誉。

拿督斯里纳吉企图成立国会遴选委员会监督选委会,挽救其公信力及廉正声誉, 这是于事无补的做法,除非他也同时采取三项措施:
• 委任在野党议员为选委会国会遴选委员会的主席,
• 撤换选委会主席丹斯里阿都阿兹及他的副主席拿督旺阿末,选出的新人选并交由国会批准。
• 尊重"一人、一票、一价"原则

除非他能够做到上述三项措施,否则无论他做什么都不会有任何真正的改变。要不然,这也好像2013年的选举改革国会遴选委员会,企图"漂白"选委会的不公正及偏见,让他们进行我国历史上最肮脏的选举。不只是选委会不理会上一次国会遴选委员会的建议,选委会主席和副主席在大选前后也花费了很多时间来攻击民联。

他们两人因不褪色墨水不到三天便褪色、并且几乎能马上被洗掉的丑闻,让整个民主过程蒙羞。选委会向来只向首相署报告,所以正副主席公开偏袒国阵,没有人会感到意外。

选委会已经拒绝听取公众愤怒的声音,公众只想知道,为何民联尽管赢得51%的多数票,却只赢得40%的国会议席、输了选举?因此,选委会的新任正副主席人选必须获得国会批准,以确保这次将监督选委会的权力从首相转移到国会遴选委员会,不是粉饰橱窗的改变,而是有效力及有变革力的改变。

林冠英

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi Should Show That He Is Fit To Be Home Minister And Heed The Angry Cries of The Wife Of N Dharmendran By Arresting And Putting Into The Lock-up The Policemen Involved In The Tragic Murder(en/bm/cn)

Posted: 01 Jun 2013 07:22 PM PDT

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Gaun Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 2.6.2013.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar should heed the tragic, angry and plaintive cries of the wife of death in custody victim N Dharmendran that policemen linked to his death should be arrested and in the lock-up for murder instead of been given desk jobs. Why is Tan Sri Khalid suddenly so quiet and passive about this criminal act that led to another custodial death when he had threatened all sorts of action against PR leaders and law-abiding Malaysians who attended peaceful rallies seeking clean, free and fair polls reforms?

DAP is shocked by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's inhumane and irresponsible attitude towards this tragic custodial death that the policemen involved should not be suspended from duty lest the police force be demoralised. Such callous remarks shows that Ahmad Zahid is not fit to be Home Minister as he is not protecting public safety regardless who commits crimes whether it is from lawless criminals or policemen or duty.

Both the Home Minister and Inspector-General of Police had remained silent, indifferent and even uncaring instead of expressing outrage, regret and sorrow for the family of N Dharmendran for the death sustained from 52 injuries relating to canings and being stapled repeatedly whilst handcuffed. Failure to do so has led to negative public perception at the BN Federal government that it has devalued the death of N Dharmendran as less worthy of one Malaysian citizen.

DAP demands that the policemen involved in the latest custodial deaths be arrested and put in the lock-up on charges for murder. Malaysians had hoped that after the untimely death of those under the responsibility of security authorities from Teoh Beng Hock, K. Kugan and Customs officer Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed, that there will be no more custodial deaths.

Unfortunately the BN Federal government does not appear to have the political will to come down hard to punish and take preventive measures. Establishing the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission(IPCMC) would go a long way to assure the Malaysian public of the BN Federal government's commitment to prevent custodial death.

LIM GUAN ENG

==========BM version================
Kenyataan Akhbar oleh Setiausaha Agung DAP dan Ahli Parlimen Bagan Lim Guan Eng di Kuala Lumpur pada 2.6.2013

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi Harus Buktikan Beliau Layak Menjadi Menteri Dalam Negeri Dan Memberi Perhatian Kepada Tangisan Marah Isteri N Dharmendran Dengan Menangkap Dan Mengurung Dalam Lokap Pegawai-Pegawai Polis Yang Terlibat Dalam Pembunuhan Tragis Mangsa Tersebut.

Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dan Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar harus memberi perhatian kepada tangisan tragis, marah dan mendayu-dayu isteri mangsa kematian dalam tahanan N Dharmendran dengan menangkap dan mengurung dalam lokap pegawai-pegawai polis yang terlibat dalam pembunuhan tersebut, daripada hanya memberi mereka tugas pejabat. Kenapa Tan Sri Khalid boleh secara tiba-tiba menjadi diam dan pasif mengenai tindakan jenayah yang telah mengakibatkan satu lagi kematian dalam tahanan ini apabila beliau telah mengugut pelbagai tindakan terhadap pemimpin-pemimpin PR dan rakyat Malaysia yang mematuhi undang-undang hanya kerana mereka telah menghadiri perhimpunan-perhimpunan aman yang menuntut reformasi pilihan raya yang bersih, bebas dan adil?

DAP terkejut dengan sikap Menteri Dalam Negeri Zahid Hamidi yang tidak berperikemanusiaan dan tidak bertanggungjawab terhadap kematian dalam tahanan yang tragis ini, di mana beliau menyatakan pegawai-pegawai polis yang terlibat tidak patut digantung tugas agar semangat pasukan polis tidak dipatah. Kenyataan yang begitu tidak berhati perut ini menunjukkan bahawa Ahmad Zahid tidak layak menjadi Menteri Dalam Negeri kerana beliau tidak melindungi keselamatan awam tanpa mengira siapa yang melakukan jenayah sama ada ia merupakan penjenayah atau pegawai polis yang bertugas.

Kedua-dua Menteri Dalam Negeri dan Ketua Polis Negara telah berdiam dan bersikap tidak ambil peduli, dan tidak menunjukkan kemarahan, rasa kesal atau dukacita terhadap keluarga N Dharmendran yang telah dibunuh dengan 52 kecederaan yang membabitkan rotan dan dikokot semasa digari. Kegagalan untuk membuat demikian telah membawa kepada persepsi umum yang negatif terhadap kerajaan Persekutuan BN yang dianggap telah menurunkan nilai N Dharmendran sebagai seorang rakyat Malaysia.

DAP menuntut agar pegawai-pegawai polis yang terlibat dalam kematian dalam tahanan ditangkap dan dikurung dalam lokap atas tuduhan membunuh. Rakyat Malaysia telah mengharapkan bahawa kematian dalam tahanan tidak akan berlaku lagi selepas kematian di bawah tanggungjawab pihak berkuasa seperti Teoh Beng Hock, K Kugan dan pegawai kastam Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed.

Malangnya, kerajaan Persekutuan BN tidak sanggup untuk mengambil tindakan keras serta langkah-langkah pencegahan. Penubuhan Suruhanjaya Aduan dan Tingkah Laku Polis (IPCMC) akan memberi kepastian kepada rakyat Malaysia bahawa kerajaan Persekutuan BN komited untuk mengelakkan kematian dalam tahanan.

LIM GUAN ENG
========Mandarin Version ==================
民主行动党秘书长及峇眼国会议员林冠英于2013年6月2日在吉隆坡发表的文告。

阿末扎希应该关注达门登妻子的悲愤,在这起谋命的悲剧中逮捕及扣留涉案警员,以显示他可以胜任内政部长这个职位。

内政部长拿督斯里阿末扎希及全国总警长丹斯里卡立应该要关注死者达门登太太对失去丈夫的悲愤及哀嚎,必须要以谋杀案角度逮捕及扣留达门登命案的涉案警员,并不只是调职文书工作而已。为何总警长丹斯里卡立忽然对于这项在扣留期间的谋杀案显得被动又静若寒蝉了,完全不像较早前恫言不惜以任何手段对付参与寻求干净、自由及公平选举集会的民联领袖及马来西亚公民?

行动党对于内政部长在这起扣留死亡事件中不人道及不负责任的态度感到震惊,他竟然认为牵涉的警员不必被停职以免造成警察部队士气低落。这种麻木不仁的言论显示阿末扎希并不胜任内政部长,因为不管是目无法纪的罪犯或执勤的警员犯罪,他都必须要保护公众的安全为先。

内政部长及总警长丹斯里卡立,双双对于达门登家庭因为达门登死亡的愤怒、遗憾和悲伤仍旧不闻不问、不揪不采。达门登是因为双手被铐,被鞭打及被钉书机重复猛钉的情况下丧命。这事件已经造成公众负面的观感,认为国阵联邦政府罔顾马来西亚公民的性命,只想要草草平息达门登死亡事件。

行动党要求在这起扣留死亡事件必须以谋杀案看待,涉案警员必须遭逮捕及扣留。大马人原本希望在赵明福、古甘及关税官员沙巴尼皆在治安单位内不寻常丧命之后,不该再有人于扣留期间丧命。

很不幸的,国阵联邦政府根本没有政治意愿严惩及拟定防范措施。看来要国阵联邦政府履行承诺成立独立警察投诉与行为不检委员会(IPCMC) 以避免大马人在扣留期间丧命,还有很长一段路要走。

林冠英

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