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Friday, September 14, 2007


FRIDAY, 15TH SEPT 2007, 9.00 am

As most of you would be aware by now, the Majlis Perbandaran Selangor has scrapped the Dog Catching Competition. All dog lovers and animal rights defenders can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.

The Coalition of Animal Lovers Malaysia (CALM - literally formed by regular people in response to this nonsense) would like to thank each and everyone of you for your support over the past 10 days or so. The Selayang Council has scrapped the dog catching competition today, after coming under heavy fire from animal rights groups such as the SPCA, ROAR, PETPOSTITIVE, MARPO and CALM.

However, we could not have done it without the contribution from each and everyone of you. We would like to thank all animal lovers who took the time to sign the Online Petitions, attended the Peaceful Protest, attended the handover of Memorandum & Petition Signatures, and took the time to be present at today's unruly meeting with the MPS. We also thank everyone who has taken the time to blog about it and to link to Mad About Labradors to keep your readers abreast with the latest news.

We would like to thank everyone who wrote in to the press. All the letters that you have written to the press, published or unpublished, caused this issue to be given unprecedented attention in our local media. This competition could not have been stopped without all your efforts and also prayers. Thank you all for having a heart...


Now onto the juicy details...

SPCA, PETPOSITVE, ROAR and MARPO were officially invited by the MPS for a dialogue this morning at the MPS. CALM (the Coalition of Animal Lovers Malaysia) were also present to lend their support. However, we were all shocked when we arrived to find that the Council scheduled the meeting in the OLD Building, which was not friendly to disabled persons. This is especially shocking because the Council knew that Mr Anthony Thanasayan, President of PETPOSITIVE - a key person for this meeting, was wheel chair bound.

There were no ramps and no lifts, and the meeting room was on the 2nd Floor. We could not understand why the meeting was scheduled in the OLD Building when the NEW building, just a stone's throw away was designed with ramps and lifts to allow disabled persons easy access to the buildings.

Even after drawing their attention to this obvious problem, they refused to change the venue, and instead offered to carry Mr Anthony up two very steep flight of stairs. They had no consideration for the safety of Mr Anthony, although we explained that his wheel chair was a fully collapsible wheel chair which made it even more dangerous to carry him.

They claimed that this venue was the only meeting room large enough to accommodate everyone. We had no choice but to proceed upstairs and leave Mr Anthony behind, although he was one of the key persons invited for the discussion by MPS.
When the Chairman, Datuk Tang See Hang arrived, Suren of ROAR tried to bring this issue to the Chair, but several members of the council started to shout him down, stating that everyone was already at the venue and there was no need to move for one individual.

It was interesting to note that the unidentified heckler present on Tuesday was also present at today's meeting. He was allowed a free reign at the meeting. He heckled and shouted at us whenever we attempted to speak in order to get Mr Anthony back into the picture. We later discovered that he was "part of the MPS Committee" as he was a Head Villager of a Village in the district.

Datuk Tang See Hang, eventually agreed to move the meeting to the new building, but not before stating that the meeting room there was too small and we would all have to squeeze in. While moving from the old building to the new building, a number of MPS officials made snide remarks against Mr Anthony's condition. We were appalled at the lack of sensitivity that these Government Officials showed towards another individual, albeit disabled, who had as much right to attend this discussion as they did.

The NEW venue, in our opinion was more than large enough to accommodate everyone quite comfortably. So it makes us wonder what was the agenda of the Council for arranging the meeting at the OLD Building, with full knowledge that the President of PETPOSITIVE was a disabled person, as was a couple of other animal lovers that were present.

The Chairman commenced the meeting in English and was elaborating on unecessary issues.

When the meeting commenced, Suren tried several times to establish that the Dog Catching Competition must scrapped with immediate effect, before the NGOs proposed any alternative solution. We were shouted down by a number of people, in particular Heckler # 1 and Heckler # 2

After the meeting had commenced in English, another unidentified MPS member, suddenly shouted at us, querying why we weren't speaking in Malay. We were taken aback as the Chairman himself had been speaking English the entire time. We then continued in Malay, but were disrupted many times by council members stating that we were rude and not following the protocol that all meetings must be conducted in Malay.

The Chairperman, Datuk Tang See Hang,did not at any time warn the Council members to behave in an orderly fashion. The Chairman also conveniently switched to speaking Malay.

The Council refused to commit that the Dog Catching Competition would be scrapped with immediate effect, and instead insisted that their plan is well thought out by the Committe, and that they have been considering all issues relating the matter since June this year.

The NGOs present were treated with much hostility by almost all council members, with the exception of a few. Council members kept shouting at us whenever they pleased. It was at this point that we realised that we were going nowhere. All 5 parties, the SPCA, PETPOSITIVE, ROAR, MARPO & CALM had previously agreed to leave the meeting if it turned hostile and if the Council did not agree to our condition that the Dog Catching Competition be stopped with immediate effect prior to further discussion on this issue.

All NGOs including CALM left the meeting with the exception of the SPCA (much to our disappointment). Our actions shocked the Council Members significantly, and more shouts ensued from the Council Member. We were told to "Jangan Kurang Ajar!!!", "Duduk!!! Duduk!!!" etc. The main hecklers were, as identified in earlier pictures - Heckler #1 and #2.

Heckler # 1 then rushed from his seat and lunged at Suren, with no regard for Mr Anthony whom Suren was trying to wheel out. The Chairman did not bring the meeting to order, nor did he reprimand Heckler #1. Members of the press were there, and were having a field day taking photos of Heckler #1 attacking Suren. I believe they were shocked that we were really leaving the meeting. This put significant pressure on them.

The Council completely disregarded the safety of Mr Anthony during this entire fiasco. This in my opinion reflected very badly on the Council. I seriously question their morality and humanity. But I suppose only people with such low levels of morality and humanity can come up with this Barbaric Dog Cathing Competition in the first place. Security was not even called to apprehend Heckler #1 who could have seriously hurt Mr Anthony, who suffers from brittle bones as a result of being confined to a wheel chair.

This gentlemen in the picture below was the only person from the Council that came to our aid. He restrained Heckler #1 and tried to usher Suren and Mr Anthony out of the meeting room.

Heckler #1 followed us out of the meeting room and tried to pick a fight with Dr Jon of MARPO. Once again there were no security personnel ordered to restrain Heckler #1.

Subsequently Heckler #1 chased after Suren and Mr Anthony who were already headed to the lifts. Dr Jon of MARPO tried his best to restrain him. Luckily Suren, Mr Anthony and the rest of us managed to get into the lifts unharmed.

We then waited at the lobby calmly and quietly for the meeting to be over, as SPCA had decided at the last minute not to leave with the rest of the NGOs as planned, if the meeting went awry.

We learnt later, after waiting for almost 2 hours, that the MPS had scrapped the Dog Catching Competition. We were all greatly relieved and rejoiced quietly at this news. Perhaps all the pressure that we had been exerting throughout the past week had paid off somewhat? This issue had after all received unprecedented publicity from the media in the country. Animal rights issues have never been given any priority before. Perhaps the MPS were also pressured to concede after the unruly actions of their council members towards the NGOs which were captured on camera? But at the end of the day, I believe we are all just incredibly happy that the competition had been scrapped.

Members of the media then came to speak to Suren after the meeting was over.

However, a large number of security personnel were mobilised to intimidate us. The security personnel kept telling us to get out of the premises although we were in no way being a nuisance. We were merely speaking to the press. Not all security personnel could be captured on our camera though. We were reminded of the barricade of security personnel that was formed outside the lobby on Tuesday when we came to surrender our 2160 petition signatures.

We were cornered!!!

Subsequently Heckler # 1 re-appears, just as we finished talking to the media. Note, how the Security does not try to restrain Heckler #1 in anyway.

Heckler #1, known only as Rashid a Head Villager, marches up to animal lover Lim Ann Nee and hits her with his booklet.

It was interesting to note that the security personnel did nothing to stop the assault by Heckler #1. Instead we were told to take our war outside??? We were not interested in fighting with the council. If anything it would seem as if the Council was intent on provoking us???

Heckler #1 is a disgrace to the Malaysian community. He acted as a barbarian would, and is a typical example of what the nation could have come to had we allowed this dog catching competition to go on. See my previous article on Why this Dog Hunt Has to Stop. Interestingly, this very same article was also published by the Malay Mail today. The timing could not have been better.

"Once we allow ourselves to think that such cruel acts {dog catching competition} are acceptable for they are just animals, it will be a matter of time before we will allow ourselves to be as barbaric towards our own kind... i.e. towards humans." - Natasha Fernz

I hope that the Council reads this article, and realise how their human core has already begun decaying as aptly shown by Heckler #1, who had no qualms attacking those that were physically weaker than him, i.e. a disabled person and a woman. Members of the Council who did nothing to prevent this assault should be deeply ashamed of themselves for not defending the weak.

We finally left the premises, and headed straight to the Sentul Police Station, where both Suren and Mr Anthony lodged police reports against the Council and Heckler #1 for assaulting them. Also present were Human Rights Lawyer,P Uthayakumar who would be representing Suren and Mr Anthony.


Cindy said...

omg, our country is run by thugs hiring other thugs to bully law-abiding, peaceful citizens for no good reason!!! are these people insane? was heckler #1 recently released from a mental institution? your ordeal sounds like sth out of a movie! it's tat unbelievable!

marini said...

tsk, tsk, and all this happening during the holiest month in the islamic calendar. shy-lah...what will outsiders think about our government? and what is wrong with the datuk? anyways, congratulations...phew...finally it's over.

Anonymous said...

thank you for fighting for those living beings who cannot defend for themselves! it is a shameful incident and made worse by intimidation by babarians serving in the council.

indeed, what wretchedness have we become!


Cherwith said...

thank so much for updating all of us animal lovers who are not in that area. Very thankful for all your blogs posts and the efforts of everyone over there in demonstrating that doggies are just as important as anybody else and we will not keep quiet if they are mistreated! I'm appalled towards their behavior and will blog about it soon.Bureaucracy sometimes makes this people think they can twist and turn people around as they like without thinking of the consequences, hope anthony, ann yee and suren are all ok...(hope I got the names right). Thanks again....keep fighting the good fight...

Shoba said...

I would like to comment that this is not the first time government officials behaved like gangsters.

During the public uproar over the "banning" of certain dogs in Shah Alam, several NGOs were invited to a similar meeting by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. I representated the Remembering Sheena Campaign.

I had questioned why the Department of Veterinary Services is slow or even ignores animal abuse reports by the public because people have complained to RSC. The DVS official present claimed that was a lie.

Then I cited the newspaper report where Sheena the German Shepherd's neighbour had to call three times and still the DVS did not respond.

The DVS official looked furious because she now could not deny that the newspapers lied.

Then I went on to say I personally phoned the DVS to ask and a senior official told me that they are "too busy with more important things" than to bother about animal abuse. So I told him that according to the Animal Ordinance 1953, they are obligated to take action, and he repeated they could not be bothered as they have things like bird flu to worry about.

The DVS official present at the meeting was so angry she shouted that she agreed with the senior official - now changing her statment meaning that her earlier statement was a lie.

She said DVS does have time to be bothered with things like animal abuse.

I then said "are you saying that DVS has the right to ignore these reports of abuse?" and would you believe she said "Yes"?

As I drove home after the meeting I received a call on my cell phone. It was a senior official from DVS. He threatened me to keep quiet and not to bring up these issues.

I was shocked that he had my cell phone number when I didn't give it to him or anyone from DVS.

I then told him that if he had anything to say, to put it in writing and never to call me on my cell phone. I then quickly hung up and lodged a police report. I sent this police report together with a letter to the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Local Govt, the Minister, and also the Minister of Agriculture because the Department of Veterinary Services comes under that Ministry.

I never got any reply to my letters, not even an acknowledgement.

Do you know that if you write to the President of the United States of America you will get a reply? I guess our leaders think they are gods and we the public are too insignificant to be bothered about.

This is the status of Malaysia now. If you don't vote at the coming elections to change this status quo, can you imagine what sort of country your kids are going to inherit?

Natasha Fernz said...

Hi all...

Thank you for your support and encouragement. We really appreciate it.

We have also learnt alot from this experience. And Shoba thanks for sharing what you have gone through...

It is terrible that our authorities think that they can get away with anything. Which is all the more reason that we must all stand together to fight for our doggies and cats etc.

Amber-Mae said...

....No comment....

Disgusted & angry,

Adino said...

Great job. Rather unfortunate that you all had that unpleasant experience with that thug, but you all get my full respect for taking the high road despite the obvious attempt to provoke you to anger.

I wouldn't blame the security people at the MPS... after all they are just following orders from their bosses. I hope Thug #1 gets charged in court.

If he gets away with this... I'm gonna spend a lot of effort making him 'famous' throughout the blogosphere by telling everyone how he behaved. Perhaps an anonymous video of his shouting and assault posted on YouTube would do that.

Although this seems like a victory, I don't think any democracy has taken place here. In fact, we can see how superficial our 'democracy system' is.

If you read Lim Kit Siang's blog you will find out that parliament ministers behave in roughly the same fashion with constructive comments and questions being shouted down and drowned out.

Any reasoning, calm discussion and clear thinking is discarded in favour of physical intimidation and verbal abuse.

From what I read here, it doesn't seem that the MPS have changed their mindset in any way regarding animal welfare. They have only grudgingly given in to get themselves off the hot seat.

How they handled the meeting with CALM is equally as bad (if not worse) than their way of handling the problem of stray dogs.

dEvIlInE said...

THANK YOU for your love and efforts to protect the poor animals.
OUr world will be a better days with peoples whom are so loving and caring like you. Well done~!~

Malaysia was a beautiful and harmony country, i hope it will be the same in future...full of love, helping hands, no discriminations annd etc....

im still hoping that we can achieve vision 2020, exactly like Allahyarham Tunku Abdul Rahman's hopes

Lastly, im gald the competition its over. *prayed* that it is 'truly' over and they keep their words.

Anonymous said...

dear shoba,

i think its not only the DVS but the whole official malaysian vet council seem to be hibernating also!

despite many animal cruelty and abuses in country, never once i see them defending the lifes on the animal they swore to protect. i am certain that their veterinary oath involves the reduction on animal suffering!

i think this country is a free for all!


Kavilan said...

thugs in the city council... wow... i thought we were better than that.
The scrapping of the competition is a good news, thanx to the efforts of all the organizations present.
But the heckling still leaves much to be thought upon. To be acting like a barbarian towards women and a disabled man makes me think Heckler #1 is the (mentally) disabled person there, not Mr.Anthony.

Wandernut said...

Wonder what happens next?
Are they gonna sue Heckler#1's moustache off?

Shoba said...

Hi Oedipus,

A very senior vet in the country told me that the best veterinary school in the world is in South Africa.

He sent his son to study there. In this school for the first two years they learn nothing but respect for animals and how to bond with them.

Only in the third year they study medicine. He said the local veterinary training leaves much to be desired. That is why our local schools keep churning out vets who have no heart for animals, considering them "products" to be used for maximum profit.

Go to DVS website and you will see how it promotes using and exploiting animals solely for the benefit of humans with not a single thought to animal welfare.

Having said that I've met some pretty terrific vets. Dr. Vijay from Healing Rooms Subang Jaya gives greatly discounted fees for those who bring in strays and helps animal rescuers in many other ways.

Dr. Khiew who saved Joy's life and jaw does the same and is a great help to The Furry Friends Farm, The Remembering Sheena Campaign and strays.

Joy was the dog beaten up by Indonesian workers so badly, calling him "haram", that his lower jaw had to be removed.

RSC started the Dr. Dog Programme to stop this ignorance. As Natasha said, we must all do our part to end this ignorance.

disco-very said...

wow, this is preposterous on all levels! i'm lost for words, seriously. i'm so relieved that the Malay Mail gave front-page coverage on this. how can we let our country be run by children!?! just reading this rubbish is more than anyone can bear, so I must applaud you Natasha and the other pro-animal supporters who 'graced' the event and handled it so professionally. nevertheless it is, at the end of the day, a triumph. congratulations everyone!

Anonymous said...

..the one thing Tun Mahathir was not able to achieve is to change the mentality and attitude of sad. A great country run by shallow minded sad.
Lets make a series of documentary on our furry animals from the malaysian point of view. I am confident we can get help on this. It is time we show malaysians what malaysians are.

Anonymous said...

Congratulation to the council! You've degraded to a level even lower than animals.
And I thought you were bad enough by running a dog catching competition.

Anonymous said...

I recently come accross this article and the video... i do find that the story seemed to be one sided. I am animal lover as well but i think just to blame on Hecler 1 for all of this seem to be unreasonable. It is the system you need to sort out!.

In other countries there have been many celebrities who decide that they don't like the camera to be point to them and have actually hit the person responsible and i think heckler's 1 reaction is quite normal and I don't beleive he hit Miss Lee!. If you want people to behave correctly to you then you should do the same to them. It seemed that you're one sided in this story.

Your article seem to be making a case on US against them. We should all be united!. When a person is angry they will shout... it is natural but it does mean that person is bad and a disgrace to the community. What you need to do is to show how you understand their point of view.... and try to get them to undertand where you're coming from.

We are all fighting for certain cause in our life and sometime the cause which we think is right may not be right for others hence there is different political party and different of opinion in the world.

To be able to achieve this you need to change their mind not to lable anyone who disagree with us as a disgrace to the community.

I know my views seem to be different to the others but let please try and look at this whole issue from a different angel. This issue is probably all sorted by now but i am not in the country so would not know the latest news!

Many thx.