Saturday, July 13, 2024

Exhaustion sets in for activist on third day of hunger strike

Exhaustion sets in for activist on third day of hunger strike

Published: Jul 12, 2024 11:51 PM

A pro-Palestine activist on a hunger strike to protest the sale Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) shares to a Blackrock-linked company has received medical treatment.

M Mythreyar, 46, who is on the third day of his hunger strike, received glucose via intravenous drip after his body became increasingly exhausted.

“A doctor came in the evening. She examined me and found that my body was weaker so she gave me glucose through a drip.

“It’s the third day today and my body is weaker, but my spirit remains strong.

“I will continue the hunger strike until the government gives its final word on MAHB and Blackrock,” he told Malaysiakini.

On July 10, Mythreyar, who is from Tanjung Malim, Perak, began his hunger strike, which he said would continue until the government called off the MAHB deal.

He began his strike in front of the Parliament building on Wednesday morning before moving to Dataran Merdeka due to bad weather.

Before this, he also joined silent protests in front of KLCC and Mandarin Hotel and slept for seven days near the US embassy.

Lack of sleep causing weakness

Mythreyar revealed that he was in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building in Dataran Merdeka today.

He said he experienced dehydration yesterday.

“I have not eaten for three days. I only drink water once every four hours after experiencing dehydration on the second day,” he said.

He believes the weakness felt in his body is caused by a lack of sleep.

“I sleep here at night. It rained heavily last night. I couldn’t sleep.

“Worse, there are loud motorcycle noises at night. There are many mat rempit (illegal speed racing) here.

“Maybe that is why my body feels weak,” he added.

His friends had offered to sponsor him a hotel room to sleep in at night, but he rejected it.

‘No govt reps have come to meet me’

Mythreyar, whose friends call him “Mike”, said he has received strong public support.

“Many whom I know and do not know have come to meet me. Tangga Batu MP (Bakri Jamaluddin) met me yesterday to say that all Perikatan Nasional leaders support my demand,” he said.

Others who have shown him support include Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM); Sekretariat Solidariti Palestin (SSP); Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions for Malaysia (BDS Malaysia); Gegar Amerika; Friend of Palestine, and several social media influencers.

“There were those who came in the morning and were with me until two or three in the morning (the next day).

“But no government representatives have come to meet me though there were text messages wishing me luck in my struggle,” he said.

He went on to express gratitude to supporters, including police officers who frequently check up on him.

“I think this is the spirit of unity showed by all parties in opposing Zionism,” he said.

He also rejected claims that his hunger strike was aimed at launching him into fame.

It is meant to represent the majority of Malaysians who do not support the MAHB deal, he explained.

“What is the role of a government? To carry out the requests of its people. What is the problem in cancelling the agreement with Blackrock or GIP?

“This hunger strike is not an insistence but the request of Malaysians to a street activist who came into being in Dataran Merdeka in 1998,” he said, referring to the 1998 Reformasi protest.

Mythreyar also joked that he had learnt to save money since the start of his hunger strike.

“In these three days, I have spent only 60 sen to go to the toilet. Looks like I’m learning how children save money,” he said, smiling.

Last week, Deputy Finance Minister II Amir Hamzah Azizan said Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) had expressed readiness to become a minority shareholder in MAHB and is prepared to relinquish its stake within a short period.

He also said that GIP was chosen based on strict criteria, including its willingness to appoint Malaysian citizens to be the chairperson and managing director of MAHB.

GIP is in the process of being acquired by Blackrock as its fully owned subsidiary. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

GIP has said its existing leadership team will retain full control of the company and companies it has invested in after the acquisition by Blackrock is complete.

Blackrock is the world’s largest asset management company and has come under criticism for investing in companies that supply weapons to Israel.

Religious group killed an eight-year-old girl by withholding her medication



Elizabeth Struhs’ father seemed ‘calm and collected’ after allegedly withholding diabetes drugs, murder trial told

Queensland supreme court also told trial is ‘religious persecution’ by leader of group accused of killing eight-year-old

The leader of a religious group accused of killing an eight-year-old girl by withholding her medication has claimed the trial was “religious persecution” and they acted reasonably under their faith.

Brendan Luke Stevens, 62, was the leader of a Christian group that called itself the Saints and is on trial for murder along with the girl’s father, Jason Richard Struhs, 52, in the Brisbane supreme court.

They are among 14 people on trial over the death of Elizabeth Struhs, who died on 7 January 2022 at her family home in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, after her parents and 12 others allegedly withheld her insulin diabetes medication for six days. Elizabeth’s mother, Kerrie Elizabeth Struhs, 49, and the other 11 members of the congregation are charged with manslaughter.

All 14 defendants are representing themselves at the judge-only trial and Stevens told Justice Martin Burns on Friday that he wanted to make a defence opening statement to give the group’s “perspective”.

“We believe in God. We see that there is a hypocrisy in the land generally, and we have chosen to walk with God. It is reasonable to believe in God. The prosecution has suggested it is not reasonable,” Stevens said.

“This isn’t really a trial about murder of a child as it is religious persecution,” Stevens said.

Stevens said the group had “no intention of fighting” the case by using law, which was why they had refused legal representation and had not applied for bail.

“We don’t have any particular care amongst ourselves what the judgment is, we don’t come to fight the charge,” he said.

The court also heard from witnesses on Friday, including paramedic Michelle King, who was one of the first team of ambulance officers to arrive at the scene. She told the court she had arrived to find about 20 people gathered at the house, and once she got there she heard singing from inside the building.

She found Elizabeth dead on a mattress in the house and decided to call for the police.

A man who identified himself as Jason Struhs asked her to do so outside.

“He seemed very calm and collected throughout. Yeah, didn’t really show any outward displays of grief or emotional distress,” she said on Friday.

Rachel Doljanin, a former Queensland Police crime scenes officer testified on Friday that she was tasked with taking photos at the Struhs family’s home in the Toowoomba suburb of Rangeville.

“I observed a group of people gathered in the front yard … some of those people were singing and I could hear a guitar playing,” Doljanin said.

Doljanin explained to Justice Burns what was depicted in dozens of her photos. Her photos included pictures of Elizabeth’s body as she lay on her back on a mattress on the floor with hands placed together on her chest.

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Other photos showed handwritten posters in the home stating “she is only sleeping” and “God will heal Elizabeth no matter what”.

The crown prosecutor, Caroline Marco, earlier told the court the group did not believe in medicine and said Elizabeth had been “suffering for days” due to insulin withdrawal.

She alleged the religious group had aided or encouraged Elizabeth’s parents to lower and then stop her doses of insulin as the treatment came from doctors and was created by man.

Elizabeth was taken off insulin entirely on 3 January 2022. The court heard she spent days in pain, initially started vomiting after meals, before falling into a state of altered consciousness and finally unconsciousness and then death by 7 January on a mattress on the tiled floor of a downstairs room in the family’s Rangeville home. She was never taken to hospital.

Burns previously heard Jason Struhs was woken about 5am on 8 January by loud prayers and rushed downstairs thinking Elizabeth might have been healed by God in line with the group’s religious beliefs.

Struhs found instead that Elizabeth had stopped breathing and died during the night after suffering escalating symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis over the course of six days after he allegedly stopped giving her insulin.

Kerrie Struhs had weeks before been released from a five-month prison sentence for failing to seek medical help for Elizabeth’s diabetes symptoms in 2019, which almost resulted in the girl’s death.

Members of the group had exchanged messages after Elizabeth died in 2022 and told one another that God would raise her from the dead.

The trial is due to run for another 11 weeks.

After 15 years, how many Gen Z know about Teoh Beng Hock?

After 15 years, how many Gen Z know about Teoh Beng Hock?

Cha Zhi Ting
Updated: Jul 13, 2024 3:06 AM

Teoh Beng Hock’s case was once the focus of public and media attention in the late 2000s, but a newer generation of youth - the Gen Z - might have been too young to understand.

However, even after 15 years, the DAP political aide’s death has inspired members of Gen Z, now that they are no longer children, to join the Teoh family’s fight for justice.

One such Gen Z-er is 24-year-old Universiti Malaya law graduate Liau Pin Chun, who was only nine when Beng Hock died while under MACC custody on July 16, 2009.

The aide to then-DAP assemblyperson for Seri Kembangan, Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth-floor service corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after being questioned overnight on the 14th floor of the then Selangor MACC headquarters.

In 2011, a Royal Commission of Inquiry determined that Beng Hock was driven to suicide following aggressive MACC questioning.

However, in 2014, the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that the death was “a result of, or which was accelerated by, an unlawful act or acts of persons unknown, inclusive of the MACC officers who were involved in the arrest and investigations of the deceased.”

Liau recalled that she learned about the case over the morning news when she was on the way to school.

She then heard about it again from her school headmaster who usually explained significant local events to students during a moral education class each week.

“I remember the headmaster specifically dedicating a class to talk about this incident.

“But at that time, I was too young to understand why a murder case would cause such a huge uproar,” she said on Malaysiakini’s Chinese podcast.

Law graduate Liau Pin Chun (second left) speaking to Malaysiakini’s Chinese podcast host Wong Zhi Zhen along with other guests

It was only later that Liau realised the case was shrouded in mystery.

“It was also then that I understood that no one should die so inexplicably in a detention centre,” she added.

She said the case had a profound impact on her, being one of the reasons why she chose this path of study.

“The case was one of the reasons that made me want to study law.

“Following that, there were other events, such as Bersih and the anti-Lynas movement. These series of civic movements motivated me to use law to change society,” Liau said.

‘Make a change’

Another Gen Z-er, law student Lim Jing Jet, shared that he discovered the Beng Hock case through his involvement in debate competitions.

“In the past, I didn’t dive into the details (of the case). Now that I understand its context and why the whole thing happened, I feel it’s a very tragic matter,” he said on the podcast.

Law student Lim Jing Jet

The 20-year-old said it was only after entering the Law Faculty at Universiti Malaya, joining student movements, and participating in the Teoh Beng Hock Association for Democratic Advancement (TBH-ADA) that he truly understood the injustices hidden behind the Beng Hock case.

“I feel that the Beng Hock case inspired my determination to use my knowledge and abilities to make a change.

“Even if it’s just a little, I want to continue on this path,” added Lim, who was only five years old when Beng Hock died.

Teoh family’s unwavering fight

While a decade and a half has gone by, Beng Hock’s family has not stopped in their tireless pursuit of justice.

Activist Teoh Lee Lan is no stranger to courtrooms, having spent all this time attending numerous trials, lawsuits, and appeals related to her brother’s controversial death.

Originally from Malacca, Lee Lan has been living in the Klang Valley for 24 years, with nearly two-thirds of that time spent advocating for Beng Hock’s case.

Lee Lan was 29 years old when her older brother of two years died, and despite the physical and emotional toll over the years, her determination to seek justice has never wavered.

Teoh Beng Hock’s sister and activist Teoh Lee Lan

Now 44, she shared that becoming a mother made her better understand her own mother’s struggles.

“Becoming a mother has made me more empathetic towards my mother’s hardships.

“She worked hard to raise her children and sent them to university. Just when he (Beng Hock) was about to get married, he was gone.

“To this day, there has been no reason or answer, and no one has been held accountable for his death,” Lee Lan said on the podcast.

She revealed that, in the years since, her parents’ health has deteriorated, especially her father Teoh Leong Hwee, who has mobility issues and is mainly cared for by her mother Teng Shuw Hor.

“They (my parents) have aged. My father is immobile now and relies on my mother to take care of him.

“My mother’s health is relatively good. She does have some ailments, but she can mostly take care of herself, which is good.”

Beng Hock’s family holding a portrait of him circa 2014

Beng Hock’s son, Teoh Er Jia, who was born after his death, has also grown up and is now in Form 2 studying in Johor.

“Er Jia’s personality is quite similar to his father’s, and he is also quite talkative.

“He is a cheerful boy. He usually comes back during school holidays, long breaks, Chinese New Year, or when my father is unwell, to visit,” Lee Lan shared.

Mystery remains

Throughout the years, countless individuals have stood up for justice for Beng Hock.

In 2009, then DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke submitted a memorandum to then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak just six days after the death, demanding a thorough investigation into the case.

Then opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim also visited the scene of the crime to show support for Beng Hock and criticised the government at the time.

However, 15 years on, and with Anwar now at the helm as prime minister, the truth behind the case remains a mystery.

TBH-ADA in their efforts to meet PM Anwar Ibrahim

The Teoh family had sought meetings with Anwar multiple times after the Pakatan Harapan coalition took power for the second time in 2022, but they were unsuccessful.

On Feb 24, TBH-ADA visited the DAP headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. They planned to pay Transport Minister Anthony Loke a New Year call on the last day of the Chinese New Year, but he wasn’t available. Instead, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh met them on Loke’s behalf.

TBH-ADA will be conducting a “Walk for Justice” from July 13 to 15 to demand the truth from the government over unresolved matters surrounding the political aide’s death.

The 41.5km walk will start at Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, which used to house the Selangor MACC office and was where Beng Hock was found dead. They will then walk towards Parliament.

Lee Lan said while they are seeking the truth and justice for Beng Hock, they are also pressing forward with this to prevent others from “dying in vain to law enforcement agencies”.

“It is not just for Beng Hock, but for the justice and truth gained behind this case to benefit the entire nation in the end.

“Because after achieving justice, there will be significant changes in our system.

“Beng Hock has passed away and is no longer with us. He cannot enjoy the fruits of the reforms,” she said on the podcast.

Hosted by Malaysiakini's social media senior executive Wong Zhi Zhen, the podcast episode will be available on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

I get cyberbullied too, claims Zamri Vinoth after being accused of bullying influencer Esha

Over TikTok yesterday, while defending himself, preacher Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu said he was a victim of online trolls and that Rajeswary Appahu had harassed other users on social media. – Facebook pic, July 12, 2024

I get cyberbullied too, claims Zamri Vinoth after being accused of bullying influencer Esha

The controversial preacher refutes allegations he was part of a cyberbullying campaign against Rajeswary Appahu

KUALA LUMPUR – Controversial preacher Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu has blamed influencer Rajeswary Appahu for the circumstances behind her death, after being accused of launching a social media campaign against her.

In several TikTok live sessions yesterday, he accused Rajeswary, better known as Esha, of committing suicide and labelled it a “criminal offence.”

“People who are logical and rational will know suicide is wrong. Remember, suicide is a crime according to Malaysian laws.

“So when there is a crime and a person committed the offence, how can you blame someone else?”

For the record, Section 309 of the Penal Code was abolished in May last year, which decriminalised suicide attempts in Malaysia.

It would appear that Zamri is trying to refute allegations that he was part of the cyberbullying campaign against Esha, adding that she was cyberbullied by trolls and not him.

A month ago, he hosted a TikTok live urging the public to lodge police reports against Rajeswary over comments made by other participants in a separate TikTok live session that she hosted.

Last night, Zamri said he was a victim of online trolls and that Rajeswary also harassed other users on social media.

He then played a clip of her supposedly making insulting remarks against a TikTok user known as Black Cheetah after his death earlier this month.

Even though Zamri claimed he had no intention of insulting others or fueling more controversies over the matter, his later comments seemed to be racially-driven.

“They build temples on illegal land and when it is destroyed to make the roads larger, they play victim and blame others. They apply for identity cards the wrong way and when they don’t get it, they blame others.”

He also accused several journalists, who contacted him for comments on Rajeswary’s death, of having “niat jahat” (ill intentions) in their questions.

On Wednesday, Scoop contacted Zamri to seek clarification on his supposed cyberbullying of Rajeswary.

Instead of answering, he labelled the questions as biased and requested the journalist to reframe them.

“You are asking me questions that are supporting what you have in your mind. I hope you reframe the questions without any bias, then I will consider answering the questions.”

Zamri, however, did not respond after the questions were sent again.

The first set of questions to sent to Zamri:

1.⁠ ⁠Around one month ago, you mentioned online that Esha hosted a TikTok live where participants made insulting remarks against Islam and urged the public to lodge reports against Esha specifically. Given her alleged suicide recently, do you feel it is fair that some members of the public are pointing fingers at you for the alleged cyberbullying she experienced?

2.⁠ ⁠As a result of these reports, Esha was arrested, detained and released on June 28 a week before her death. Now that she has passed away, would you have approached the matter differently?

3.⁠ ⁠What is your relationship to the TikTok accounts Dulal Brothers, Tamil Fighter and @alphaquinnsha who are implicated in the cyberbullying against Esha?

4.⁠ ⁠Have you been contacted by authorities over their investigations into the cyberbullying case?

5.⁠ ⁠How do you feel about this whole incident?

On July 5, Rajeswary was found dead at her home. A day before, she lodged a police report where she complained of a TikTok account which not only threatened her safety but allegedly made defamatory statements against her.

Prior to that on June 2, Zamri, posted excerpts of a TikTok live hosted by Rajeswary, where a man – who is now allegedly living in exile in Germany – entered the stream to make disparaging remarks against Islam.

Zamri later began a campaign on social media calling upon the public to lodge police reports against Rajeswary, which eventually led to her three-day remand before being released on June 28.

Currently, authorities have begun investigations into Rajeswary’s death and the alleged cyberbullying behind it.

So far, the police have arrested and remanded a 35-year-old woman and 44-year-old lorry driver. – July 12, 2024

Footage Shows Russian Iskander-M Missiles Take Out More of Ukraine’s Patriot Air Defences


Military Watch:

Footage Shows Russian Iskander-M Missiles Take Out More of Ukraine’s Patriot Air Defences

Eastern Europe and Central Asia , Missile and Space , Battlefield

New footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry has confirmed successful strikes using Iskander-M ballistic missile systems to destroy two batteries from a Patriot surface to air missile systems - a scarce U.S.-built asset donated by Washington and many of its European allies. “The Iskander-M operational and tactical missile complex struck the position of Ukraine’s battery of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile complex near the settlement Yuzhnoye in the Odessa region. The strike destroyed two Patriot launchers and a Giraffe radar station,” the Defence Ministry specified regarding the strikes. Although Iskander systems are not specialised air defence suppression assets, footage has repeatedly shown their use with considerable effect to neutralise Ukraine’s top air defence systems the Patriot and S-300, with precision guidance capabilities allowing them to destroy road mobile assets by correcting course during flight.

Explosion After Strike on Patriot Battery
Explosion After Strike on Patriot Battery

Previously on March 9 footage showed Ukrainian Patriot systems operating near the Sergeevka locality in the disputed Donetsk region destroyed in Iskander-M strikes. Soviet built S-300 systems, which are significantly more mobile than Patriots, were also destroyed in the attack. This left already much diminished air defences in the area further seriously stretched, with Ukrainian and Western sources raising growing concerns regarding the strategic implications. Ukraine has received its first Patriot systems from three countries in May 2023, with a first system supplied by Germany and the Netherlands jointly, and a second by the United States. Western countries have since widely pledged to deliver further units, although the U.S. arsenal has been increasingly thinly stretched between Eastern Europe, the Pacific and the Middle East. Washington has sought to replenish Ukrainian Patriot supplies by placing pressure on its strategic partner Israel to donate the systems to the Eastern European country, with Tel Aviv’s heavy reliance on American aid and supplies increasingly limiting its options to resist. Israel acquired a significant Patriot arsenal in the 1990s, but has been highly reluctant to support Western efforts to arm Ukraine in order to avoid a deterioration in its ties with Moscow. 

Ukrainian Patriot System Milliseconds Before March Iskander Strike

Ukrainian Patriot System Milliseconds Before March Iskander Strike