Malaysian convicted murderer in “safe-keeping” in Australia

Referring to this news, “Sirul likely to be holed up in Australia for a while” (TheStar, 22 January 2015). It seemed that Australia will not allow extradition of convicted murderer if the meted sentence is death (not sure if this is true). It would seem a bad idea to keep a convicted murderer who is an expert in explosives and a well trained “soldier” in ones home country. If Australia does keep him, I guess Malaysia is still considered safer if Sirul is indefinitely kept in Australia. We will have to let the Australians worry about safety (and not to mention the fund needed to sustain Sirul during “his stay”)….

I remembered the Bali bombing that killed scores of Australians and other people in 2002. Some of the convicted murderers/terrorists were sentenced to death and what surprises me was how Australia kept mum over the execution. What didn’t surprised me was that 55% of the population agreed to it (and Australia sort of agreed to the sentence).

Now, did the death sentence meted out against terrorists served as REVENGE for Australia? Some might think of it that way, but I believe majority of Australians do not. I for one think of the death to murderers as a humane way to remove threats from society. It is much more humane than allowing the person to rot in jail. That is because a swift death is better than prolonged vengeful mental torture to the convicts. To lose one’s freedom forever is worst that quick death!

Just a thought.

Fw: Lesson from Air Asia QZ8501 and MAS Airline MH370

It’s saddening to follow the news of another air disaster this year, especially when it was approaching a new year. Previous events had prompted many to suggest that the aviation industry and especially the aviation authorities do something about monitoring flights in real-time (i.e. continuous tracking of flights). If we had incorporated the real-time tracking system earlier, would 9/11 been possible to prevent? Could the crash sites of MH370 and QZ8501 been located quicker?

In my opinion, having a real-time tracking of flights would have allowed a speedy search and rescue missions. That would have been way better than having to search painstakingly and retrieve bodies, wreckage and the “black box”. In addition to having a system to track flights in real time, I think having the correct emergency kits on-board is also crucial, as suggested in this post (“How we can improve evacuation and rescue during plane crash”, 31 Dec 2014). Several suggestions such as having access to potable water and equipped with life-jackets tagged with radio-beacon (or radio transmitter) would be useful in cases where search and rescue might take several days.

Also, if the aircraft is designed such that when it crash-landed on water (either upside-down or not), a mechanism that increases the buoyancy time of the plane will be beneficial to allow sufficient time to evacuate all the passengers.

The provision of slide-turn-raft is useful and I hope that the raft comes with basic necessities such as a flare-gun, blanket to shelter from the intense sun and cold, manual pump (in case of leak), and hopefully in the future, these rafts will be equipped with manual filtration unit to purify sea water (or at least minimize the salinity of water).

Finally, I think the most important item for each evacuees would be to have a radio-beacon attached to their life-jackets so that rescue can locate them in the open sea.

I don’t entirely blame MAS airline or Malaysia for MH370 crisis

The biggest problem that is faced by Malaysia and families of crews and travellers on the missing MH370 plane is knowing the whereabouts of the plane. The problem? The transponder might have been switched off! That is the main factor that hampered effort of several countries who chipped in to help with the search and rescue. How I felt knowing that transponders and ELTs could be manually turned off? Flabbergasted!

I blame air plane manufacturers for allowing captains/pilots to have the access to turn off transponders at their discretion (if not whims; read about manual override of transponder and ELT). If the rationale was to allow plane to go invisible for safety reason (esp. during time of war), how frequent is that an advantage in normal times? See what it has caused us in MH370 case (if indeed the plane was hijacked). That is a big negligence in the manufacturers’ part for providing a loop-hole for hijackers to steal.

Death penalty is not revenge

Society is like a living organism; when cells become malignant (and life-threatening), they should be removed. A society which keeps these cells in the system run a risk of severe morbidity (if not death). What benefit is there to society if these cells are contained (or preserved)? To me, these cells can still do harm by depleting resources (in terms of maintenance cost, human resource, among others) which could have benefited people who really need (and deserved) them. Worst, if the containment is flawed, prisons can be used as bases for organized crimes (it has been reported).

If death sentence is considered revenge, who do you think is avenged (if not families of victims)? The majority is just relieved that another threat is removed. As simple as that.

When the US went to war (probably killed thousands) because a terrorist state was perceived as malignant and life-threaten, can we assign such response as “revenge”?

If you compare senseless (or emotional or calculated) and spontaneous (or chronic torture) act of killing people as murder; revenge seems to be under the same category as “murder“. However, the judicial-cum- execution process is not. No ill intention was ever meant for the convict and the process is never easy. If you compare the rate (number per day) of people murdered in crime, “murder” by sentencing is almost nil.

If you think murder is cruel; how about confinement without parole? Isn’t that more cruel, being caged for life (like animals in zoos or birds in cages)? Sometimes, I hope the decision can be decided by the convicts, i.e. death or forever caged.

It would be akin to giving terminally ill person a decision to either continue living with the pain or have induced death (euthanasia). For some criminals, I guess death is an easier way out rather than to live regretfully (for being caught) behind bars.

Last, I still hold firm that “death penalty is not revenge killing”.

Gang rape and murder suspect freed in Malaysia

A sad case.
Under NST news “car dealer escapes the gallows
Other references: utusan news “peniaga bebas tuduhan bunuh” (in Malay) and other sources from asiaone, malaysia-chronicle etc. WA today Australia news

It’s about an abduction of a 25yo fresh grad (Chee Gaip Yap in 2006) while she went out jogging with her younger sister. This was followed by gang-rape (multiple semen found) and murder by stabbing.

The clue was from a tinted car seen speeding away from crime scene. The owner was found and detained. Bail was given and DNA sample taken. Before DNA test was out, the suspect, Shahril Jaafar, jumped bail and fled oversea (and found six years later [Jan 2013] in Australia as PR).

The DNA test matched suspect with semen found. However, there was contamination from other semen (from gang rape) and rendering the evidence inconclusive (and useless).

In order to strengthen the case, the prosecutor(s) can only use circumstantial evidence or testimony (from investigative work carried out six years ago); as the case was recently reopen after a six years lapse, there was a change of hands by prosecutors (from Lim Cheah Yit to Datuk Razali Che Ani); in other word, the original prosecutor handling the case was off the case (reason not specified) and the case needed to be established promptus (or expeditiously); This could have (speculatively) rendered the case shoddy and weak.

In the end, the prosecutor failed to bring a strong case and the court decided a lack of prima facie case against the suspect, and the suspect was acquitted. The father of the victim nearly jumped to his death after the sentencing (if not prevented by witnesses) due to immense grief. My condolence.

The above case left me wondering:

1. Why was the suspect not charged with contempt of court for jumping bail? Would an innocent person flee before the DNA test?

2. Is DNA technology still not up-to-date in Malaysia (or elsewhere) to pin-point multiple source of DNA (esp. gang rape and murder where the victim can’t testify)? Unfortunately, the answer is a YES.

3. There was no mention of DNA sample obtained in the said suspected vehicle used in abduction and rape. Not even a single strand of hair from the victim? The court decided that just because the suspect’s car was seen speeding away from the crime scene does not imply his vehicle was used for abduction (and rape). I think the prosecutor (or investigation process) made a very weak case and I can assume that they were incompetent in handling the case.

4. News report associated the suspect as the son of a “Datuk” (normally implies powerful person) in Malaysia. This fact carries a negative connotation and normally would allow speculation that the case was unfairly conducted.

5. There is a similarity in the rape-and murder case of Norrita Samsuddin (source: The Star news) in which the semen found on the victim after probable gang-rape (multiple semen) and murder was useless due to DNA “contamination”. The case relied solely on the competency of investigative and prosecution process (and evidence at hand); the suspect, Hanif Basree was acquitted.

6. I wonder how well is the performance of Malaysian prosecutors in gang-rape-cum-murder (or rape-cum-murder) cases. How about the performance of our forensic team in Malaysia?

7. What will happen to the semen sample of “contaminated” origin? Will they be destroyed (and case close forever) or is there HOPE that these samples will be stored for future reference (with advent of technology) in order to bring justice to those wrongly acquitted (as well as those wrongfully sentenced).

8. For those would-be rapist-cum-murderer; technology will catch up and allow a robust DNA profiling of single cell (or spermatozoon) and this will be bundled with efficient isolation of cellular evidence. Even if the DNA is chemically destroyed, if there is enough material to work with – next gen sequencing and powerful bioinformatic tools will allow reconstruction of these materials (with epigenome, proteome, or other biomolecules readout) to reinforce association of samples found on victim (or crime scene) and assist in prosecutors’ presentation of circumstantial evidence.

Malaysia & Singapore under “attack”, and “enemy” claim ignorant?

When the Nile river (or water resource) was at risk of disruption, due to construction of dam in Ethiopia, Egyptians were angry and saw the “domestic affair” of Ethiopians as act of war. As an outsider, I understand the Egyptians’ sentiment because the Nile is their blood and their next generation’s. This is an example of how “our domestic affair (of nation)” can sometimes bring war and destruction (when common sense and courtesy are lacking).

Taking a look at the scenario in Southeast Asia now, there is very striking resemblance to the Egypt-Ethiopia case; instead of water being the issue, air (oxygen) is at stake here. Southern Malaysia & Singapore are being choked out of clean breathable air (due to haze resultant from slash-and-burn practice at plantations resulting in forest fires) and our neighbor’s “senior official” responded callously with this statement, “it’s our domestic affair”.

Unlike the first case, Singapore did not perceive the “attack” on their “air supply” as an act of war by its neighbor. That is because both countries shared very strong bilateral ties all along; and the haze is (unfortunately) a known yearly recurrent problem in the region. This time, it is the worst haze of all with air quality breaching “hazardous”.

I wonder when will Singaporeans (and Malaysians) perceive the act (or inaction to stop and punish the responsible “arsonists”) by its neighbor as “act of war”?

I guess when people starts dropping dead from the effect of haze will Malaysia & Singapore forced to do something about it.

If I know who caused the haze, I’ll boycott their product

Haze in Malaysia, Singapore and neighbors are getting worst, psi and pm2.5 index breached unhealthy.
The assumption of slash-and-burn being conducted by poor farmers are unbelievable because no amount of accumulated land owned by poor farmers could account to such haze. So it had to be burning that comes from bigger plot of land, esp. those owned by corporations, esp. those pertaining to bigger plantations (e.g. palm oil trees).
I would speculate that the area shown in the satellite image under “hot spots” is dense with palm oil plantations.
To be fair, if indeed, fire was started by “poor farmers”, surely their homes are burnt to the ground by now (assuming that’s the reason for “forest fires”), if you consider that their homes are not far from these plots of land. They wouldn’t be that stupid, would they?
Anyway, whoever the culprit, as a person who abhor wastage and love nature, I’ll boycott the product or produce of these companies generated (by means of no-care for people and nature comprising its inhabitants). If it’s palm oil, that will be good; I won’t have to endure cravings.
FYI biggest importers of palm oil are India and China. My impact on boycott is microscopic (if not nanoscopic). Can’t sigh, too hazy….