April 28th, 2014

Hari ini catu air, esok catu elektrik, lusa dua-dua dicatu

WARGA Lembah Klang amat berharap catuan bekalan air berakhir minggu ini. Air empang­an khabarnya sudah menunjukkan peningkatan. Hujan pula semakin kerap. Biarlah hari ini atau esok tiada lagi catuan. Cukuplah ‘ke­­sengsaraan’ yang dialami. Bukannya tidak bersyukur dengan apa yang ada tetapi sekadar menyelak kembali bagaimana jika manusia mampu merancang untuk mengelak ‘kesengsaraan’ ini dan tidak menunjukkan ‘keangkuhan’. Janganlah mendengar guruh di langit air di tempayan dicurahkan. Masing-masing ada kepakaran. Gunakanlah kepakaran itu sebaik mungkin bagi kepentingan ramai. Contohnya penggunaan air lombong. Tidak dinafikan, air najis pun kalau diproses akhirnya boleh diminum, tetapi biarlah semua itu menjadi pilihan terakhir.

Kalau ada pihak menyatakan tanpa Loji Rawatan Air Langat 2 (Langat 2) air mencukupi untuk tempoh beberapa tahun akan datang, maka tidak timbullah idea mengepam air lombong. Kalau pakar kata air bekas lombong boleh menimbulkan masalah maka janganlah kebimbangan itu ditolak mentah-mentah. Jangan timbulkan keresahan rakyat. Buatlah kajian kesesuaiannya. Sekarang, air bekas lombong terpaksa dipam dan bukannya percuma. Ada kos di situ. Adakah lebih murah jika dibandingkan dengan Langat 2? Menjelang titisan pertama air Langat 2 dalam tempoh tiga tahun lagi, eloklah kerajaan negeri atau pihak yang bertanggungjawab mencari jalan supaya apa yang dialami tidak berulang. Minggu ini, selepas catuan berakhir, tong, baldi, botol untuk simpanan air yang menjadi rebutan akan terbiar, disimpan di dalam stor atau tidak dipedulikan.

Bagi yang mempunyai tangki air mencukupi, mungkin mereka tidak terasa dengan catuan lebih-lebih lagi jumlah penggunaan atau isi rumah teramat kecil sehingga tidak perlu bayar bil. Seorang sahabat memberitahu, semasa catuan, air tangki masih ada. Dia bersyukur tinggal di Selangor. Itu katanya yang hanya berdua. Bayangkan bagi isi rumah yang ramai. Ahli Parlimen Jelutong dari DAP, Jeff Oii yang sekali sekala pulang ke Selangor dan terpaksa ‘mandi kerbau’ pun marah kepada Menteri Besar yang didakwa gagal menangani isu air. Disebabkan isu ini, beliau juga meminta Khalid Ibrahim meletak jawatan.

Seperkara lagi, sejauh mana catuan air mampu mendidik masyarakat untuk menghargai air? Apa pula langkah yang diambil oleh mereka yang tidak mengalami catuan? Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn. Bhd. (Syabas) baru-baru ini menjelaskan pemilihan kawasan catuan air bukan berdasarkan status sosioekonomi pengguna. Pemilihan berdasarkan pertimbangan teknikal sistem agihan. Pengecualian hanya pada kawasan secara khusus dikecualikan Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN), iaitu pusat pentadbiran kerajaan Persekutuan Putrajaya dan kerajaan Selangor serta pusat bandar raya Kuala Lumpur. Ia turut meliputi Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) dan Subang, Pelabuhan Klang, Zon Perdagangan Bebas, hospital kerajaan dan swasta, pusat dialisis serta Stesen Janakuasa Salahudin Abdul Aziz di Kapar. Adakah mereka yang tinggal di kawasan pengecualian ini mengambil iktibar masalah yang dihadapi kebanyakan penduduk di Lembah Klang? Adakah selepas ini, bekalan air percuma atau subsidi yang diberi akan ditarik balik untuk mendidik pengguna menjimatkan air? Adakah Kerajaan Selangor akan membuat pusingan U?

Baru-baru ini, Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP) dilaporkan akan mengemukakan cadangan kepada SPAN untuk menaikkan tarif air pada kadar purata 20 peratus. Cadangan itu diluluskan anggota Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang. Berdasarkan cadangan itu, tarif air bagi 546,749 pengguna air berdaftar di Pulau Pinang akan disemak untuk mempromosikan langkah penjimatan dan mengelakkan catuan air. Kenaikan itu diharap dapat mengurangkan penggunaan air. Dalam cadangan itu, tiada kenaikan bagi penggunaan kadar pertama seba­nyak 20 meter padu air sebulan (bersamaan 1,000 liter). Adakah kita bersetuju kenaikan tarif elek­trik mampu mendidik pengguna? Adakah pengguna bersedia menjimatkan elektrik? Adakah mereka bersedia menghadapi catuan bekalan elek­trik?

Persoalan ini timbul kerana ketika catuan bekalan air, ada pelbagai pendapat. Ada yang berkata, biar tidak ada elektrik asal ada air dan ada pula yang berkata, lebih rela tidak ada air asal ada elektrik. Kata orang, belum cuba belum tahu. Belum rasa belum tahu. Tentunya kita tidak mahu berada dalam situasi kedua-duanya tidak ada - elektrik dan air. Selak kembali situasi yang berlaku apabila bekalan elektrik terputus untuk satu atau dua jam sahaja. Kecoh dibuatnya. Di jalan raya, pergerakan kenderaan kelam kabut; di rumah, restoran dan gerai makan, banyak kerja masak memasak tidak dapat dilakukan; kilang terpaksa menghentikan operasinya dan pelbagai lagi. Begitulah ‘kesengsaraan’ tanpa elektrik.

Jika air masih boleh disimpan di dalam tangki, tong, baldi, botol dan sebagainya, apa pula yang boleh dilakukan untuk mengatasi catuan elektrik? Adakah generator serta alternatif lain semurah baldi atau tong menyimpan air? Berapa ramai yang ketika ini tanpa krisis elektrik sanggup belajar berjimat? Menyelak kebanyakan sikap orang kita, budaya berjimat hanya seketika. Hangat-hangat tahi ayam. Tengok sahaja bagaimana mereka memilih tempat makan minum. Biar papa asal bergaya. Mereka hanya pandai mengkritik mengenai harga yang melambung. Sebagai pengguna, mereka boleh memilih untuk mencari tempat yang lebih murah. Begitu juga apabila harga rokok dan gula dinaikkan. Adakah penggunaannya semakin berkurangan?

Begitu juga dengan air dan elektrik. Dunia semakin pesat membangun. Manusia semakin bertambah. Keperluan semakin meningkat. Berbalik kepada elektrik, adakah kita bersedia untuk menghadapi sebarang kemungkinan? Dalam hal ini, ke­perluan Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) perlu dipenuhi. Sebagai pihak yang bertanggungjawab menyediakan bekalan elek­trik, sudah sewajarnya keperluan TNB untuk menyediakan infrastruktur berkaitan bekalan elektrik dipenuhi oleh semua pihak. Mungkin kita boleh menyelak kembali projek sebelum ini yang melibatkan kelulusan kerajaan Negeri Selangor. Tidak pasti apakah kedudukan projek kabel elektrik di Kampung Sungai Terentang. Begitu juga dengan projek Pengukuhan Kawasan Tengah (CAR) yang melibatkan pembinaan menara pencawang elektrik untuk pemasangan kabel bervoltan tinggi. Difahamkan, projek ini bagi memperkukuhkan sistem bekalan elektrik untuk menjamin tahap daya harap pembekalan elektrik bagi Sistem Grid Nasional di Semenanjung khususnya Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan. Bekalan elektrik ini juga bagi membantu operasi Langat 2.

Maaflah jika saya tertinggal berhubung perkembangan pembangunan isu ini. Jika semuanya berjalan lancar baguslah tetapi bagaimana jika ia masih terbengkalai atau berlaku ‘tarik tali?’. Tentunya kita tidak mahu disebabkan kegagalan melaksanakan projek seumpama ini, kita akan bergelap pada masa depan dan menghadapi catuan elektrik. Langat 2 tidak bermakna jika tidak ada bekalan elektrik. Begitu juga keupayaan loji lain tanpa elektrik. Bayangkan ketika itu, hari ini tidak ada elektrik, esok tidak ada air atau lebih teruk pada hari yang sama, air tidak ada, elektrik pun tidak ada. Bagaimana agaknya kehidupan kita ketika itu.

Hassan Mohd. Noor

Anwar: I feel sorry for ‘bitter’ Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad “is clearly a bitter man” who still wants to dictate to Malaysia despite his waning influence in the country and within Umno, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said.

Anwar alleged that Dr Mahathir still wields a “small influence” which could be sustained with money pumped in by allies such as Tun Daim Zainuddin, but claimed the retired politician’s influence was not substantial.

“He has [a] small influence. Combined with former finance minister Tun Daim and others who are billionaires, they can fund a lot of civil society operations and can get a lot of people to attend activities.

But I don’t believe they wield a lot of influence, even within the ruling party,” the leader of the federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) told Thailand’s newspaper The Nation in an interview published today.

As proof, Anwar cited the former prime minister’s failure to get votes to become a party delegate, adding that his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir had lost in last year’s race to become a party vice-president.

A former protege of Dr Mahathir who fell out of favour in 1998 over allegations of sodomy, Anwar admitted to being “bitter” while in jail for eight years until his acquittal later, but insisted that he is a “forward-looking person” who has to “move on”.

Anwar claimed, however, that Dr Mahathir was still full of bitterness and hatred against him.

“Unfortunately, he still has this mindset of the past. His bitterness is clear. I don’t think I want to be like that. You have to overcome not only fear but also anger. If your intention is to be in power like Mahathir, full of hatred and venom, I don’t think you would have time to lead the country,” he said, commenting on The Nation’s observation that Dr Mahathir still harbours grudges against Anwar.

Anwar likened the 88-year-old leader to a retired dictator who cannot withstand opposing views.

“Things like these are still eating into him. I feel sorry for him. He should have peace and tranquility and move [on], be a statesman,” he added.

Reflecting on Dr Mahathir’s rule of over two decades, Anwar said the former Umno president’s legacy was mixed, but also praised his predecessor for his strengths including “hard work” and “vision”.

“Mahathir has done something positive for the country too but has destroyed institutions in the process — the media, the judiciary, the corruption,” the former finance minister said.

Anwar, now 67, also indicated that he was not indispensable to the future of his party and the federal opposition pact.

“Political leaders tend to think they are invincible and irreplaceable. But you can be successful only when you are able to give exposure and train new leaders,” he said.

Ida Lim The Malay Mail OnlineApril 28, 2014

Appeals Court voids provision in Peaceful Assembly Act

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal yesterday struck down Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012, which imposes a maximum fine of RM10,000 if a 10-day notice is not given before a peaceful assembly is held

Ruling that it was unconstitutional and went against the right to freedom of assembly as enshrined under the Federal Constitution, the court held that the provision was deemed “an unreasonable restriction”.

A three-man bench led by Datuk Mohamad Arif Md Yusof acquitted Selangor Deputy Speaker and PKR’s former communications director, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who challenged his charge over a rally held last year.

Arif said since constitutional jurisprudence was of significant importance, the bench would read three separate judgments.

In delivering his judgment, Arif said Section 9(1) of the act, which states that an assembly organiser must notify the police 10 days ahead of a scheduled assembly, was constitutional.

“It is not the domain of the court to substitute its own views on the notice period.”

However, he said   Section 9(5) of the act, which imposes the criminal sanction of fine had "some conceptual difficulty".

"The 10-day notice is still required but no criminal penalty should be enforced," he said, adding that there was no provision in the act that considered an assembly unlawful if there was no requisite notice of the assembly.

Judge Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, on the other hand, said the provision which imposed the 10-day notice requirement was disproportionate.

"The impugned assembly was peaceful and did not bring harm. The appellant (Nik Nazmi) was not just an organiser but also a member of the public. Therefore, it was inconsistent to hold the organiser liable under Section 9(5) of the act."

He also said it was not a street procession and did not affect daily activities nor did it to contribute to traffic congestion.

Mah added that the interests of the assemblers should override the interests of motorists.

Also on the panel was judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, who said the right to assemble was prescribed in the Federal Constitution and could not be imposed with a criminal prosecution if the assembly was peaceful.

"The court is empowered to declare any law null and void. When the Constitution is impinged, the court is duty bound to protect its legitimate aims," he said.

Hamid Sultan concurred with Arif and said there were no penal sanctions stated in the act if the assembly was peaceful.

He said the country's laws must be consistent with international laws to which Malaysia was a signatory.

He added that the country's standards of justice and fundamental freedom should be on a par with international constitutional development and among Commonwealth countries.

Summing up the judgments, Arif unanimously ruled that Nik Nazmi's appeal was allowed and set aside the Shah Alam High Court's decision that dismissed his application to strike out the charge.

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Nik Nazmi's lead counsel, N. Surendran, said this was a landmark judgment that had given Malaysians the right to freedom of assembly as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

Nik Nazmi was also represented by Latheefa Koya, Eric Paulsen and Syahredzan Johan, while the Attorney-General's Chambers was represented by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin.

On Nov 1 last year, the Shah Alam High Court dismissed an application by Nik Nazmi to strike out the charge against him under the PAA for failing to give the Petaling Jaya police chief 10 days' notice on the "Blackout 505" rally, which was to protest against alleged electoral fraud during the 13th General Election on May 5 last year.

The assembly was held in the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium in Kelana Jaya about 8.30pm on May 8 last year.

Nik Nazmi applied to the High Court to declare that sections 9(1) and 9(5) of the PAA were unconstitutional on the grounds that the 10-day notice requirement would prohibit anyone from holding spontaneous assemblies when the need arose.

The Seri Setia assemblyman also sought an order to quash the charge against him at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court.



Punitha Kumar   NST Top-news 26 April 2014|/

Nik Nazmi dibebas daripada tuduhan anjur perhimpunan di Kelana Jaya

PUTRAJAYA 25 April - Mahkamah Rayuan hari ini melepas dan membebaskan Pengarah Komunikasi Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad daripada tuduhan menganjurkan satu perhimpunan di Stadium Kelana Jaya, Mei tahun lalu.

Panel tiga hakim diketuai oleh Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md. Yusof yang bersidang bersama Datuk Mah Weng Kwai dan Datuk Dr. Hamid Sultan Abu Backer memutuskan demikian selepas membenarkan rayuannya secara sebulat suara.

Mahkamah turut mengisytiharkan Seksyen 9 (5) Akta Perhimpunan Aman 2012 sebagai melanggar Perlembagaan.

Nik Nazmi dituduh menganjurkan perhimpunan itu tanpa memberikan notis 10 hari lebih awal kepada pihak polis seperti yang diperlukan di bawah akta berkenaan.

Nik Nazmi didakwa mengikut Seksyen 9(1) Akta Perhimpunan Aman 2012 kerana gagal memberikan notis, yang boleh dihukum di bawah Seksyen 9(5) akta sama yang memperuntuk hukuman denda tidak melebihi RM10,000 jika sabit kesalahan.   Utusan Mahkamah 20140425

Appeals Court declares organiser can't be punished

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here has declared that an organiser of a public gathering cannot be punished for not giving a 10-day notice before the event.

Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof ruled in a landmark judgment that Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 – which calls for a fine of up to RM10,000 for those who fail to give notice – was unconstitutional.

“That which is fundamentally lawful cannot be criminalised,” he said, referring to the right to assemble peacefully enshrined within Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

The panel unanimously allowed the appeal by former PKR strategic director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad to have Sections 9(5) of the PAA to be declared unconstitutional and quashed the charge against him. “Thus the charge and prosecution is invalid and set aside. The applicant (Nik Nazmi) is also acquitted and discharged,” ordered Justice Ariff.


The other two judges on the panel – Justices Mah Weng Kwai and Hamid Sultan Abu Backer – also read out their own judgments, which spanned almost two hours.

Justice Mah noted that the restriction placed by Section 9(1) – which required a 10-day notice be given – was a disproportionate restriction.

He said there were existing provisions under the Penal Code to charge those attending the assemblies, should they become unruly.

Justice Hamid Sultan found that the 10-day notice requirement was not ultra viresArticle 10(2) of the Federal Constitution, saying it was the organiser’s social responsibility to inform the police to ensure the assembly participants’ safety.

The written judgments are expected to be made available on Monday, said Justice Ariff.

Nik Nazmi, who is Seri Setia assemblyman, was charged under Section 9 (1) of the PAA on May 17, 2013 for his failure to notify the police 10 days prior to the Black 505 rally at the Kelana Jaya Stadium on May 8.


However, Shah Alam High Court had on Nov 1, dismissed his application to strike out the charge stating that the 10-day notice period under PAA was not unconstitutional. The STAR News Nation 26/10/2014 QISHIN TARIQ

10-day notice requirement for peaceful gathering ‘unreasonable’, court explains

PUTRAJAYA: The right to peaceful assembly, ought to include the right to organise a peaceful assembly and can only be restricted reasonably, and not prohibited, said the Court of Appeal on Monday.

Judge Justice Mah Weng Kwai, said this in the landmark judgment which held that Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) that criminalises the failure to give a 10-day notice to the police before a gathering to be unconstitutional.

Justice Mah, in his 29-page written judgment, said that this position was clearly spelt out in Article 10(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution, which speaks of "restrictions" and not "prohibitions".

"I am of the considered view that the restriction imposed by Section 9(1) and Section 9(5) of PAA is not reasonable as it amounts to an effective prohibition against urgent and spontaneous assemblies.

"However, Section 9(1) on its own, without the offence and penalty in Section 9(5), does not have the effect of prohibiting urgent and spontaneous assemblies.

"Accordingly, I hold that Section 9(5) ought to be severed from the notice requirement in Section 9(1) and struck down for being unconstitutional," he said.

Justice Mah said for the PAA to require an organiser to give a 10-day notice, not be a reasonable connection between the right to assemble peacefully, whether spontaneously or within a short period of time, and the requirement for a 10-day notice for purposes of security and good public order.

He said that the requirement for the 10-day notice far outweighs the relative "inconvenience" caused by the occasion of the assembly and should thus be deemed "disproportionate".

"Should there be any traffic violations or dislocation to business activities which is unlawful or breaches of public safety and security, they can be adequately dealt with under existing laws such as the Road Transport Act 1987, the Penal Code and other relevant laws by the police and other law enforcement agencies efficiently as they are already trained personnel to deal with any exigencies," he said.

He said that it would be impossible for an organiser to organise a spontaneous assembly without facing the threat of prosecution and there was no provision in the PAA for any exemption even if the need for the assembly was extremely urgent.

He said that the restriction must have an objective that is sufficiently important to justify limiting the right in question.

"Significantly, it was a static assembly and not a street procession or demonstration.”

He said further that the 10-day notice requirement had rendered the freedom to hold spontaneous and urgent assemblies illusory.

He said it would be impossible for the organiser to have given the 10-day notice to the police.

"As things stand, no organiser can ever organise an assembly to be held within 10 days even if he gives notice, as in the case of the appellant, without running foul of the law," he said.

He pointed out there was inconsistent and incongruous position of the law over the matter.

"However, the irony is that whilst citizens can lawfully take part in a spontaneous or urgent assembly, an organiser cannot be seen to organise one without breaching the law.

"A participant in a peaceful assembly held without the 10-day notice, commits no wrong whereas the organiser will be held criminally liable under Section 9(5) for not having given the 10-day notice, notwithstanding that the impugned assembly was held peacefully and without arms," he said.

Judge Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who chaired a three-man panel, had on Friday allowed an appeal by Parti Keadilan Rakyat's former communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and acquitted him.

He was charged in his capacity as an organiser of an assembly held at a stadium in Kelana Jaya on May 8 last year.

Nik Nazmi, who is the Seri Setia assemblyman, had failed to notify the Petaling Jaya OCPD of the gathering within the time required under the PAA.

The Shah Alam High Court had on Nov 1 last year dismissed his application to set aside his charge.

Justice Mohamad Ariff, in his 26-page written judgment, found that Section 9(1) of the PAA to be constitutional, saying that the length of notice is a matter ultimately of legislative policy.

Justice Mohamad Ariff, however, said that there was no provision in the PAA, which stipulates that an assembly held without the requisite prior notice is per se unlawful.

"Thus, that which is fundamentally lawful cannot in the same breath result in an unlawful act on the part of the organiser by reason of an administrative failure or omission.

"To my mind, such a dichotomy is irrational in the legal sense, and even if it were to be regarded as somehow rational, or does not offend the legal test of conventional unreasonableness, the legislative response is wholly disproportionate to the legislative objectives," he added.

Justice Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, in his 42-page judgment, said that restrictions imposed could be arbitrary or excessive.

"In my considered view, if the assembly itself was peaceful, then a penal sanction against the organisers will not qualify for any intended protection having direct nexus or proximity to Article 10(2) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

M. MAGESWARI The STAR Home News Nation 28/04/2014