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More than 30 arrested in Kuantan over Cameron Highlands problems

KUANTAN: Once again the rights of the people to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression have been violated when police personnel arrested more than 40 people who sought an audience from Pahang Chief Minister Datuk Seri Adnan Yaacob to resolve their grievances.

Residents from Cameron Highlands have put up makeshift camps in front of the Pahang Chief Minister’s Office, at Wisma Sri Pahang since today morning. The residents have sent 17 letters to Cameron District Office, had 7 meetings with them, sent 15 letters to Pahang Chief Minister and met twice, sent 4 letters to the Prime Minister’s Office and meeting them twice. But till now their issues have not been resolved.

Among those arrested were a five year old child and the oldest being a 90 year old woman.
7 Issues affecting the people are as below:
a.       4 farmers case who have been farming for more than 40 years but not given TOL license.
b.      1 case of land grab by BN cronies although the occupant has been staying for more than 42 years.
c.       1 case of applying for land more than 30 years but no response.
d.      Application for shop rejected after applying 3 times but approved to a crony.
e.       1 case of a single mother given hope of owning a shop but was later evicted and shop demolished.
f.       4 cases of families at Green Cow facing risk of landslide
g.      2 cases of Kea Farm shops that are facing eviction for development.
SUARAM urge the police to show respect of the people’s freedom of expression and assembly and release all those arrested immediately. The special rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly of Association, Maina Kiai has warned that Malaysia as a member state of Human rights council to stop restricting and limiting on the exercise of Freedom of Assembly. But what we have seen today is a direct insult to the human rights council.
Malaysia has already an atrocious international record on democracy and human rights and it should not join the ranks of rogue countries universally regarded as most notorious and infamous for their reckless disregard for the most basic human rights - human dignity and life. 
Released by,
SUARAM Coordinator
What can you do?
We urge you to write a letter to the relevant authorities of Malaysia to voice your concerns over the intimidation and threat faced by the people and demand immediate negotiation with the people to resolve the problem.

[Letterhead of your organisation]
Tan Sri Ismail Omar,
IInspector General of Royal Malaysian Police
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia,
Bukit Aman,
50560 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 603-2266 2222
Fax: 603-2070 7500

Dear Sir,

We ________________________________________________ are writing to you, to express our outrage and our strongest condemnation over the crackdown on the people of Cameron Highlands whom are occupying the Office of Pahang Chief Minister (Menteri Besar Pahang).

More than 40 people consisting of all walks of life want Datuk Seri Adnan Yaacob to solve their issues which has been pending for more than 4 years.
 We strongly urge you, once again, to stop bringing shame to Malaysia, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. We would like to remind you that freedom of expression is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Yours sincerely,
1.      Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
Tel: 603-8888 8000
Fax: 603-8888 3444
2.      Chief Minister of Pahang,
YAB Dato Seri Haji Adnan bin Haji Yaakob,
Wisma Sri Pahang, 25503 Kuantan,
Tel : 09-5121155/09-5121682/685, 
Faks : 09-5157766
3.        Chairman,
Tan Sri Hasmy Agam,
Malaysian Human Rights Commission,
Level 11, Menara TH Perdana,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel:  03 26125600
Fax: 03 26125620

4.      OCPD Mohd Jasmani
Kuantan District Police Station
Jalan Mahkota
25000 Kuantan,
Tel:  09-5132222, 5132512
Fax: 09-5130454, 5157119
5.        Mr. Frank La Rue
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: +41 22 917 9006
6.       Ms. Margaret Sekaggya,
Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights defenders,
7.      Mr. Maina Kiai
Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
8.      Daniel Collinge
Human Rights Officer
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division
Asia-Pacific Section
Room 4.32
Tel:   +41 (0) 22 928 9173


Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
433A, Jalan 5/46, Gasing Indah,
46000, Petaling Jaya,
Tel:  +603 77843525
Fax: +603 77843526


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