Rabu, 29 April 2015

Charles Santiago

Charles Santiago

PRESS STATEMENT: Executing Drug Mules Not the Solution for Jokowi’s Waning Popularity or Fighting Drug Menance.

Posted: 29 Apr 2015 03:37 AM PDT


Death Penalty by IndonesiaPRESS STATEMENT: Executing Drug Mules Not the Solution for Jokowi's Waning Popularity or Fighting Drug Menance.

It’s barbaric. There is no other word to describe Indonesia’s execution of eight drug mules early this morning.

Newly-minted Ind

onesian presid

ent, Joko Widodo, casually dismissed pleas for clemency and believes drugs will wreck havoc in his country.

I agree

 that lives, espe

cially those of teenagers influenced by peers, ha

ve been ruined.

But the death penalty is not a solution. It never h

as been. And it never will be.
There has to be a moratorium on the death penalty, with the aim of abolishing the capital punishment. And this goes to Malaysia as well.

In executing the eight death row inmates from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia, Jokowi has completely disregarded allegations of bribery against some of the judges and even witnesses.

Australia had appealed to stay the executions until proceedings underway in the country’s Constitutional Court and Judicial Commission have been completed.

A preliminary hearing of the Constitutional Court has been scheduled for mid-May, and is relevant to the cases of the two Australians.

Now that the executions have been carried out, what could Jokowi do
if findings in either of these proceedings turn out to be in favor of the Australians?

When he ran for the presidenc

y, Indonesians looked up to Jokowi as a progressive, moderate candidate.

Months later, he fell from grace. And I can only hope that the adamant refusal for clemency for the eight prisoners were not aimed at shoring up his dwindling support. Or to make him look decisive.

The executions by a firing squad are outrageous. And if they were motivated by Jokowi’s political survival then it’s shameless.

Jokowi’s popularity took a whack following the appointment of a man involved in an active graft case as police chief and the removal of fuel subsidies.

When almost three quarter of Indonesians registered their dissatisfaction with Jokowi, the president started focusing on nationalist issues to crank up his support.

This includes a huge crackdown on illegal fishing by foreigners and drug mules.
We can now only hope that Jokowi will do the right thing by releasing Mary Jane Veloso, who escaped the execution when the person who tricked her into becoming a drug mule surrendered to the police.

Mary Jane did not know th

at the bag she was asked to use to carry her belongings already had drugs stitched into the inner lining.

She is a victim of trafficking and should be released.

I once again reiterate that I understand Indonesia’s battle with drugs.

But Jokowi needs to look at new strategies – establish ASEAN wide operations to break- up drug cartels, trafficking and regional networks, including eliminating corruption in the police force to address the issue.

The firing squad is not an answer.

Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang,
Democratic Action Party.

Chong Chieng Jen's Blog

Chong Chieng Jen's Blog

DAP slams Sarawak for bowing to Putrajaya over highway project

Posted: 28 Apr 2015 11:40 PM PDT

Sarawak's opposition leader Chong Chieng Jen has accused the state government of "surrendering" local rights and control of the RM27 billion Pan Borneo Highway project to the federal government.

The DAP's Chong said the state minister for infrastructure development Datuk Seri Michael Manyin had allowed the federal Works Ministry to have "absolute control over the largest infrastructure project in the history of Sarawak".
Chong, the Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said the state government must take a firm stand and take over control of the peninsula-owned company awarded the road upgrade contract, Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU).
"It is even more shameful that the state minister seems to be happy that his ministry is reduced to a mere bystander in this mega project."
The state legislative assembly sitting witnessed some feisty exchanges between Chong and Manyin.
As Manyin winded up debates on his ministry, Chong interjected to ask why the state government allowed the project to be awarded to a company controlled by west Malaysians.
Manyin in reply stuck to the statement he had just made – that the move to award the project to LBU was a federal government decision as the highway was a federal-funded project.
The minister then said if Chong wanted answers to his questions, he should raise it in Parliament. Chong is also the MP for Bandar Kuching.
"If our state ministers are going to adopt such attitude of pushing their responsibilities to the federal government and let federal officers decide matters concerning Sarawak, in no time, Umno, through the federal government departments, is going to control Sarawak," Chong said.
LBU, he added, should therefore be controlled by the state government and "not by some West Malaysians who are linked to Umno".
The upgrading work, to turn the two-lane highway to a four-lane one, covers 912km from Tanjung Datu at the southern tip of the state to the Merapok (Sarawak) – Sindumin (Sabah) border crossing.
The upgrade of the entire highway is scheduled for completion in 2023.
 on Themalaysianinsider– April 29, 2015.