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theSun

| THURSDAY JUNE 11 2009

news without borders
Anwar applies to be given documents
KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim applied to the High Court yesterday for an order to compel the prosecution to provide him with all relevant documents in his trial for sodomy as soon as possible. In his notice of motion filed in the Criminal High Court, Anwar asked the prosecution to provide him with the documents before the hearing of the case on July 1. Among the documents were original closed-circuit TV recordings taken at several locations at the scene of the alleged offence at the Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setia Kasih, Bukit Damansara from June 25 to 27 last year, DNA samples, statements of witnesses including the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan and police statements. Anwar, who also submitted supporting affidavits, filed the application through Messrs S.N. Nair and Partners. He named the public prosecutor as respondent. – Bernama

PKR to directly elect leaders
by Giam Say Khoon

Two caught packing heroin, 226g seized
KUALA LUMPUR: A couple who were allegedly packing heroin, were caught in a raid at an apartment on Jalan Utama, off Jalan Sri Gombak here on Tuesday. Gombak deputy police chief Supt Rosly Hassan said yesterday the 27-year-old man and his 24year-old wife were believed to have been tasked with packing and distributing the drug in Langkap, Perak three times a month, having done so for three months. “They were paid RM800 for each distribution,” he said. Rosly said police seized 226g of heroin worth about RM8,000 packed in 300 transparent plastic packets. Seven mobile phones were also confiscated. – Bernama

branches as seen in some political parties in the PETALING JAYA: Parti Keadilan country, he said. Rakyat will create history when it “If the amendSivarasa announce s proposed amen amends its constitution to become the ments are apdments to the pa rty’s constitution yesterday. first party in the country to introduce proved, PKR will the direct election of its top leader- be the first large political misship and limit the term of president party in Malaysia to allow its members sion (EC). i n to three terms or nine years. to decide the national leadership.” Sivarasa said the party would cluded limiting the term of party Its vice-president and chairman Sivarasa disclosed that the idea have a national balloting day at the president to three terms, creating of its constitution amendment com- was mooted by the central leader- divisions where members could cast an independent election supervising mittee, R. Sivarasa, said the amend- ship and a committee had been their votes, and indelible ink may be structure down to division level, and ments would be discussed and ap- studying the amendments since used in the polling to show the EC institutionalising secret balloting. proved at the Extraordinary National September last year. how to run a free and fair election. He said an amendment to reduce Congress in Kajang on Saturday. Asked about challenges the PKR “Even Umno, because of the the age limit of youth wing mem“Among the proposed amend- might face in a direct election, he disease of money politics which has bers to 35 years from the current 40, ments are to said the party riddled its structure like cancer, is will be proposed and if approved, transfer the right leadership had now picking up the idea from us, will be implemented on a staggered This move is to to elect national understood from we started immediate effect for strengthen the practice members that whichhe said. talking about last basis withpositions at all levels. all leaders including year,” appointed Youth and Wanita of democracy within the they would welAsked if party delegates would still An amendment would also wings from del- party and to move in line come the change. be relevant after the amendments, ensure that at least 30% of leadership egates at the Nat“If all of us as Sivarasa said that as the annual nat- positions at all levels are occupied ional Congress with practices in mature citizens are given ional congress could not afford the by women. to ordinary party democracies.” the right to decide attendance of all party members, the “We are also taking the oppormembers who who our MP 2,000 delegates would still need to tunity to rebrand terms used in the now number about 300,000. will be, why can’t party members attend the congress to debate resolu- party structure to reflect terms that “This move is to strengthen the decide who the party president, tions and decide party policies. are progressive and more egalitarpractice of democracy within the deputy president and the leadership On state elections for the party, he ian and to move away from those party and to move in line with prac- will be? We do not foresee chal- said PKR would maintain its appoint- associated with traditional party tices in mature democracies,” he said lenges as party members will now ment system for now, but which will structures and feudal connotations. at the party headquarters yesterday. have a role to play.” be subject to a better consultative “So bahagian will be known as Sivarasa said the amendments also PKR communications chief John- process with division leaders. cabang (division), cawangan as reaffirmed and underscored PKR’s son Chong said the main challenges “In consultations with grassroots ranting (branch), majlis pimpinan commitment to democratic reform would be in the logistics as it would leaders, there was a request to bring tertinggi as majlis pimpinan pusat and change in national-level politics. be a huge exercise and the party in state elections, so I believe there (central leadership committee) and They would also help reduce and would need to expand its election will be discussion on this and at majlis perhubungan negeri as majlis eliminate any unhealthy tendencies committee to play a role in the party some point we will introduce it.” pimpinan negeri (state leadership towards money politics and phantom similar to that of the Election ComSiva-rasa said the amendments committee).”
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Maids hotline
Militants attack Pakistan hotel, 18 dead pg 8
PUTRAJAYA: Abused maids can call the Manpower Department’s hotline at 03-8888 9111 in an emergency or get immediate assistance from the department’s nearest office, its director-general Datuk Ismail Abdul Rahim said yesterday. He was commenting on a report of an Indonesian maid, Siti Hajar, having taken refuge at the Indonesian embassy after she was abused by her employer. Ismail said the department’s officers had interviewed Siti Hajar and would assist her in obtaining any arrears in salary from her employer. The employer is under police remand. Ismail said that contrary to what trade unions maintained, maids were protected under the law. “The contract which maids have with their employers is enforceable and can be used to obtain lost pay, leave or other benefits to which they are entitled under the contract.” The Malaysian Trades Union Congress, meanwhile, called on the government to blacklist employers and their family members who abuse or mistreat maids. Its vice-president A. Balasubramaniam said maid abuse was a cause of great concern as it not only meant the denial of human rights, but also painted a negative image of the country. He said that once a family had been found guilty of abusing a maid, all of its members should be barred from employing one. Balasubramaniam said the department’s hotline should be widely publicised and given to maids by their agents when they arrive in the country. Tenaganita, a non-governmental organisation specialising in providing assistance to foreign workers, has so far this year rescued 148 maids, some as young as 14 years old. Its director Irene Fernandez said the organisation’s work with domestic workers had shown that “the key cause of continued abuse, violence and exploitation is both employer and state regarding a maid’s work environment – the home – as being a private domain”. “Thus, an outsider cannot interfere in this private domain and so the abuse continues,” she said. Fernandez said the exclusion of maids from the Employment Act 1955 denies them the right to days off, medical and social security benefits, overtime pay and annual leave. She also took enforcement agencies to task for their slow investigations. “The maid is a human being with dignity, rights and needs, so it is essential for the state and community to ensure she is adequately protected.” – Bernama

Police seek cabby’s help in maid abuse probe
KUALA LUMPUR: Police are looking for a taxi driver to assist in the investigation into the case of an injured Indonesian maid who escaped from the home of her employer at the Lanai Kiara Condominium in Mount Kiara on Monday night. Brickfields police chief ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said police required a statement from the taxi driver who was believed to have taken the maid to the Indonesian embassy. “The maid who is still traumatised is unable to identify the taxi driver or give the taxi number, so we need a statement from the driver to facilitate our investigation,” he told Bermana yesterday. Wan Abdul Bari said so far, the police had taken down statements from the victim, her employer and an Indonesian embassy official. The abused maid, Siti Hajar, 33, from West Java, was sent to the University Malaya Medical Centre where she is being treated for her injuries, including wounds from alleged scalding with hot water.