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Top Political Dissidents In Malaysia Attacked And Harrassed

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Well, it happened. Some of you don't believe me when I talked about Malaysia. But a few weeks ago, my family friend, a PhD from Duke now back in Malaysia was harassed and his front gate was smashed down, and they were beating down his front door.

Remember this is not some random "gangbangers", but thugs hired by the political oligopoly to shakedown anyone opposing oppression in Malaysia.

I grew up with this guy as a kid, our parents still are very close. We're not related but the story (as my mother tells me) was that my mother and his mother met at a kindergarten we were going to.

He and I studied in Singapore as well, and I went on to other things but being quite the braniac he went into serious political science stuff, and is now part of the major dissidents in Malaysia and the "Bersih" (Clean Elections) movement.

Keep in mind that in Kuala Lumpur, generally, wealthy or middle-class neighbourhoods do not usually have violent crime like assaults or something like this where the front gate was smashed down by a group of assailants, who also violently tried to get in through the front door, in most cases it is robberies and petty crime. This is considered quite violent in general particularly as it is not drug/gang-related.

Malaysia - Minimal rule of law. Corruption. NO freedom of religion for Malays. Minimal freedom of speech.

To see my birth country spiraling the toilet like this is chilling. Maybe in the 80s this would have been OK, 90s was pretty quiet. But the past 10 years, shit is hitting the fan.


Recalling the incident, Ong pointed out that his house was an unassuming double-storey terrace house.

"It is not a flashy house. I drive a Toyota Vios. There are other houses along the same row with Mercedes-Benz and other nicer cars. Some of my neighbours were not at home. It would have been much easier to break into their homes instead of mine (not that I am recommending that they do this). Or a house that is more secluded. Or a house which seems to have more stuff to steal," he added.

Ong said the men, instead of being discreet, noisily broke the automatic gates before trying to kick open his front door despite knowing he was at home.

"They then left even though they could have kicked the door down. On the way out, one of them pointed his finger at me as if to give me a warning. He then used a screwdriver or some metal instrument to make a puncture in the bonnet of my car. If they had really wanted to break in even knowing that there was someone at home, they could have kicked the door down and easily overpowered me," said Ong, who also contributes to Research for Social Advancement (Refsa), a think-tank which has been strongly critical of Barisan Nasional's economic policies.


A group of thugs attacked the house of political analyst Ong Kian Ming earlier this afternoon, though they failed to break into it despite breaking the front gate.

“Three thugs just tried to break into my house, broke my gate, used intimidation tactics, then left,” read his tweet at about 4:50pm.

Ong suspects that the attack was “politically motivated” and not a common robbery attempt.

“This is the kind of country we live in, when u r attacked for criticizing certain political parties & the govt. But I will not be cowed,” read another tweet from him.

As at press time, Ong was lodging a police report about the matter.

In his tweet, he also praised the police for their swift response to his call for help.


His research has exposed crucial problems underpinning the electoral system. In addition, Dr. Ong has been a vocal critic against injustice and poorly planned or implemented government policies. The possibility of the attack on Dr. Ong being connected with his criticisms of the government policies and practices cannot be discounted.

BERSIH 2.0 views this attack as part of the increasing trend of harassment of human rights defenders by non-state actors. Examples of recent attacks on human rights defenders include the gangster attack on student activists at Dataran Merdeka during the Abolish PTPTN protest camp on 19 April 2012 and the harassment and intimidation against BERSIH 2.0 Co-Chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan by various groups and individuals after the BERSIH 3.0 rally.

Ong, director of the research-based Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (Merap) whose work has been credited in exposing problems with the electoral system, said that he was "quite sure" that the attack on his house in Petaling Jaya by three men in their twenties was politically motivated.

Also, on crime in general:

The best part is that before I got to the comments section I know the police themselves are corrupt and if not, don't care much. I got pulled over once for an illegal right turn and the standard bribe is ~$20 USD. I didn't even get to that, I did not intend to bribe him so after a few minutes he lost interest and just went over to the next car. I had to ask, "can I go?" before he casually waved me off because he knew he wasn't going to get his money.

There is also a cultural joke which is taken lightly, but is actually really disturbing now that I think of it. Coming up to Ramadhan, or the end of Ramadhan, sometime around this period police will tend to pull over more cars because they are looking for a bit of "festival" money to celebrate. How fucked up is that, it's a festival like Lent celebrating piety, caring for the poor, and other such stuff.
Edited by sr2012 - 7/30/12 at 8:37am
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
For Australians please check http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Malaysia before going to Malaysia. I'm not saying don't go etc, because there are still good things about it. But even myself going back to visit my parents in a year's time, I will have to be extra careful, more so than before because I have enjoyed almost a good year being in Australia so my "guard" may be down a bit.

Some highlights from the travel advisory:

Civil unrest/political tension

Police permission is required for public gatherings and demonstrations. You should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent and involve arrests.

sr2012's comments: This is serious, as the "Bersih" (Clean Elections) movement continues to organise rallies and so on, which are generally all disallowed due to suppression of freedom of speech and suppression of freedom of the press. If you see large gatherings, especially police and protestors wearing yellow shirts, don't be a smartass and try to win a Pulitzer. GTFO.

Information of May 2012 indicates that terrorists continue to plan kidnapping operations in Sabah.

Western Sabah: We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in coastal resorts on the western coast of Sabah due to the threat of kidnapping.

Eastern Sabah: We strongly advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the islands, dive sites and coastal areas of eastern Sabah because of the high threat of kidnapping by terrorists and criminals. This includes, but is not limited to, the islands of Mataking, Sipadan, Kapalai, Pandanan and Mabul.

In the past, the Abu Sayyaf Group, based in the Philippines, has kidnapped foreigners from the east coast of mainland Sabah, the islands (Sipadan, Mataking and Pandanan islands) and surrounding waters. Malaysian authorities have increased security in the region in response to these incidents

sr2012's comments: Sabah for locals is generally okay. But if you're a pasty-skinned foreigner, do be cautious.


Petty crime is common. 'Snatch and grab' attacks against pedestrians from passing vehicles, such as motorcycles, occur frequently and often result in injury to the victim.

Although uncommon, violent crime against foreigners does occur.

Drink spiking occurs. Victims lose consciousness and have been assaulted and robbed.

Credit card fraud and scams involving gambling are common.

sr2012's comments: If you're blinged up and flashing the latest iPhone in heavy tourist areas, well, don't be too obvious about it. If you're looking for some red light action, you might get more than you bargained for. Credit Cards ~ credit cards are generally not trusted much in Malaysia still because of very high levels of fraud.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

sr2012's comments: If you've got a USA, UK, Canada or Australia passport, it's definitely in hot demand.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
This family friend just came back a few years ago from Duke after finishing his PhD. I knew he would get into trouble because of how vocal he has been against the government even while still doing his PhD.

This is not cool. We used to go by ourselves when we were kids to the nearby basketball courts to shoot hoops. Now he's not even bloody safe in his own house.

He and my older brother used to tease me tons when we were kids. We never actually got on much but our parents were and still are close. Strange indeed how adulthood puts things in perspective. All our childish shortcomings seem to fade in the face of some really messed up stuff happening out there in the world. I've never subscribed to "there are evil" people out there. Crazy, probably, but most are just... desperate...

And here I am typing this on the latest iPad on 15mbit/sec DSL while my fresh salmon and organic cheese is in the oven.

Survivors guilt big time. I won't sleep for a few hours yet tonight. Damn.
Edited by sr2012 - 7/30/12 at 9:15am
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