Rosmah & Najib: Antara Cinta dan Jasa

PAU 2013: Antara Cinta dan Jasa

A Kadir Jasin

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (dua dari kanan) turut hadir di Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2013 di PWTC. Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Nazir Sufari, 7 Disember, 2013.

DALAM banyak-banyak tajuk berita media arus perdana dan media baru mengenai Perhimpunan Agung Umno (PAU) yang berakhir semalam, satu yang menjadi bahan perbualan adalah puji-pujian yang Presiden Umno merangkap Perdana Menteri, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak curahkan kepada isterinya, Rosmah Mansor.

Berucap menggulung perbahasan pada 7 Disember, Mohd Najib memuji Rosmah kerana jasanya kepada negara (baca di sini).

Dia menyebut dua peristiwa di mana Rosmah membantu negara. Pertama, menolong membebaskan seorang pelajar Malaysia yang ditahan pihak berkuasa Mesir kerana disyaki pengintip.

Kedua, menggunakan hubungan baiknya dengan keluarga Diraja Arab Saudi bagi membenarkan pelajar Malaysia yang lari daripada pemberontakan Mesir untuk masuk ke negara itu tanpa visa.

Berpandukan maklumat Mohd Najib itu, eloklah beliau menimbang semula kedudukan Menteri Luar Negeri, Anifah Aman kerana ternyata beliau tidak seberkesan Rosmah dalam menyelesaikan krisis antarabangsa.

Begitu juga Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Perindustrian, Mustapa Mohamed, Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat, Rohani Abdul Karim dan Menteri Pelajaran, Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin kerana Rosmah juga terlibat di sana-sini dalam tugas-tugas yang sepatutnya dilaksanakan oleh menteri-menteri berkenaan.

Dengan cara ini kita boleh menggugurkan menteri-menteri yang tidak “perform” dan sekali gus menjimatkan perbelanjaan negara dengan mengurangkan bilangan kementerian.

Saya dah berbuih mulut macam lembu kena penyakit kuku dan mulut mencadangkan agar Rosmah masuk politik, dilantik jadi menteri. Malah menjadi Perdana Menteri jika mendapat kepercayaan rakyat jelata.

Walaupun PRU telah berlalu, PM dan penyokong-penyokong Rosmah masih boleh melakukannya dengan melantik beliau Senator dan seterusnya menteri.

Apabila ini dilakukan, tidak ada siapa boleh membantah campur tangan beliau atau menuduh suami beliau dan Kabinet menyalahgunakan kuasa dengan membenarkan beliau menggunakan kemudahan kerajaan. Jawatan yang sesuai bagi beliau ialah Menteri Tugas-tugas Khas.

Tetapi saya sangat kecil hati dengan salah seorang penyokong PM yang menuduh semua lelaki, kecuali Mohd Najib tidak sayangkan bini. Saya bantah sekeras-kerasnya tuduhan beliau itu.

Media massa melaporkan wakil Wilayah Persekutuan, Affandi Zahari sebagai berkata bahawa isteri Perdana Menteri elok dibenar menggunakan jet eksekutif kerajaan demi memberi ketenangan kepada suaminya.

“Bolehkah anda bayangkan tekanan emosi yang Perdana Menteri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak akan tanggung sekiranya sesuatu yang buruk berlaku kepada isterinya ketika terbang dengan pesawat komersial?” kata beliau.

Menurut laporan, Affandi berhujah sedemikian bagi mempertahankan Rosmah yang dikritik kerana menggunakan jet eksekutif kerajaan untuk perjalanannya.

Kata Affandi, kalau Rosmah berada dalam jet eksekutif, Mohd Najib tidak perlu bimbang keselamatannya dan menambah, yang orang bodoh pun tahu terbang dengan jet eksekutif lebih mahal daripada terbang dengan jet komersial, tetapi kita kena lihat aspek keselamatan.

“Bayangkan tekanan emosi ke atas PM jika sesuatu (yang buruk) berlaku kepada isterinya.

“Dia sayangkan isterinya, tidak seperti lelaki-lelaki lain.” (Baca di sini).

Tidak mengapalah kalau Affandi hendak pertahankan Mohd Najib dan Rosmah. Itulah pun tugas pembahas PAU. Tetapi kalau benar dia mengatakan lelaki-lelaki lain tidak sayang (love) isteri, saya rasa itu satu cemuhan dan penghinaan yang sangat dahsyat.

Takkanlah Osman Koping (tu bulan tu bintang, atas pokok kayu ara, tu dia sudah datang, orang korporat kampung kita – seloka Johan Jaaffar) tak “love” bini?

Cuma sebagai penggali kubur (yang mengaku ahli korporat) tentulah Osman Koping tidak mampu membayar isterinya terbang dengan jet eksekutif tidak kira sehebat mana “love” dia kepada isterinya.

Nenek moyang kita yang bijaksana dan budiman mengingatkan kita tentang sokong yang membawa rebah. Wallahuaklam.

http://kadirjasin.blogspot.com/

Dah Tahu, Tapi Tak Bertindak?

Pencerobohan Lahad Datu: Jika sudah tahu, mengapa tidak bertindak?

OLEH JAHABAR SADIQ,
PENGARANG

July 17, 2013

ANALISIS BERITA – Pendedahan seorang pegawai daerah mengenai polis sebenarnya sudah tahu mengenai rancangan pencerobohan Sulu di Sabah, dua minggu sebelum kejadian pada Februari lalu amat menggemparkan negara.

Ia menimbulkan banyak persoalan, terutama apabila memikirkan mengenai anggota keselamatan Malaysia terkorban dalam kejadian yang sepatutnya mungkin dapat dielakkan. Berapa lama pula agaknya keselamatan negara kita berada dalam keadaan bahaya berikutan kegagalan perisikan dan komunikasi antara Kuala Lumpur dengan Sabah.

Perkara ini terdedah apabila Pegawai Daerah Lahad Datu, Zulkifli Nasir yang memberitahu Suruhanjaya Diraja dan Inkuiri (RCI) berhubung pendatang tanpa izin di Sabah, semalam, bahawa beliau ada bertemu dengan Ketua Polis Daerah, Superintendan Shamsudin Mat pada Februari lalu dan memberitahunya mengenai rancangan pencerobohan darat oleh penceroboh bersenjata.

“Saya diberitahu bahawa Lahad Datu adalah sasaran utama penceroboh bersenjata itu dan isu itu adalah rahsia besar. Saya diberi amaran supaya tidak membocorkan berita mengenai isu itu,” katanya di hadapan lima panel RCI yang diketuai bekas Ketua Hakim Sabah dan Sarawak, Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong.

Bagaimanapun, saksi ke-177 itu berkata:”Tindakan pantas polis mengepung pengganas Sulu yang bersenjata di Kampung Tanduo menghalang mereka daripada menyerang Lahad Datu.”

Sumber lain mengesahkan kepada The Malaysian Insider bahawa polis sudah tahu mengenai kemungkinan pencerobohan berlaku selepas pedagang maritim yang berulang-alik di perairan antara Sabah dan Filipina tidak kelihatan beberapa hari sebelum serangan pertama.

Bagaimanapun, tiada siapa yang memberi amaran di luar Lahad Datu.

Selama ini, rakyat Malaysia percaya bahawa pencerobohan itu adalah secara mengejut dan tidak ada pasukan keselamatan yang mencukupi untuk melindungi sempadan kita, terutama di kawasan sempadan yang terlalu dekat antara Sabah dan Filipina.

Malah, Menteri Dalam Negeri pada ketika itu, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, berkata penceroboh adalah orang tua tanpa senjata dan rundingan itu adalah tindakan terbaik untuk hari itu berbanding meletakkan risiko berlakunya pertempuran kecil dan insiden diplomatik antarabangsa dengan pengikut Sultan Sulu Filipina.

Tetapi, seseorang sudah tahu yang penceroboh akan tiba sebelum sambutan Tahun Baru Cina dan memastikan tidak ada orang lain tahu mengenainya. Kenapa?

Memandangkan polis mempunyai maklumat risikan mengenai kemungkinan pencerobohan, mereka tidak sepatutnya tidak bersedia apabila kononnya Tentera Raja Sulu muncul di Lahad Datu pada Februari 2013 dan tidak mungkin dua anggota polis VAT 69 di Ulu Kinta Perak – Sarjan Sabarudin Daud, 46; dan Asisten Superintendan Zulkifli Mamat, 29, maut atau enam lagi terbunuh dalam kejadian di Semporna.

Anggota polis dan barisan tentera berhak untuk marah atas kehilangan rakan seperjuangan mereka. Begitu juga rakyat Malaysia kini apabila mereka tahu polis sudah tahu mengenai pencerobohan itu lebih awal.

Selepas apa yang didengar di RCI semalam, adalah sangat penting untuk kerajaan mengadakan RCI kejadian Lahad Datu. Bagi mengetahui apa sebenarnya yang berlaku dan mengapa tidak ada seorang pun yang menjangkakan bahawa adalah lebih baik untuk mencegah pencerobohan itu daripada membiarkannya menjadi penutup yang berdarah.

Dijangkakan kira-kira 235 militan Filipina melakukan pencerobohan itu untuk menghancurkan kehidupan rakyat Sabah serta keluarga anggota polis dan tentera yang terbunuh, tetapi, tidak ada sesiapa menghentikannya sebelum mereka boleh melakukannya. Kenapa?

Kejadian itu menyebabkan pergeseran antara dua negara berjiran dan mengingatkan semula Filipina tuntutannya terhadap Sabah. Mengapa ada orang yang membenarkan perkara itu berlaku?

Terlalu banyak persoalan dibangkitkan mengenai berita yang menggemparkan beberapa bulan selepas pencerobohan itu. Rakyat Malaysia perlu tahu kisah sebenar perkara ini kerana ia membabitkan kepercayaan kepada polis dan keselamatan nasional. – 17 Julai, 2013.

— Malaysian Insider

5 Soalan Untuk Mahathir


Oleh Aqil Fithri

27 Jun 2012

Lima Soalan Untuk Mahathir

Demokrasi, selalu diberi ragam makna. Bergantung kepada fahamnya.

Faham demokrasi Mahathir selalu mudah: demokrasi harus ada batasannya, harus diiringi dengan tanggungjawab, dan berfungsi untuk tujuan pembangunan. Inilah “acuan demokrasi yang ideal” yang Mahathir sampaikan sewaktu sharahan utama di University of Santo Tomas (UST) di Manila seperti yang dilaporkan oleh Malaysiakini pada 11 Jun 2012.

Lebih lanjut di Filipina tersebut, Mahathir turut menegaskan bahawa sekiranya mahu mengubah pemerintahan, cukuplah dengan kotak undi. Ini dapat dilakukan lima tahun sekali. Selain itu, nilai pemimpin, bagi Mahathir, ialah idea dan strategi yang dimilikinya. Sesuai dengan faham ini, maka Mahathir sama sekali tidak melihat Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara demokrasi liberal. Anehnya, Mahathir tidak pula memaklumkan jenis apakah demokrasi di Malaysia ini.

Walau bagaimanapun, –terlepas dari semua ini– kita harus menelaah-kembali apakah sebenarnya tujuan dari hidup bernegara ini. Sebab, tampaknya Mahathir cuba menyelewengkan makna demokrasi kepada sebuah faham kenegaraan yang kabur. Justeru, untuk memahami persoalan ini, maka adalah lebih baik kita mengungkapkan lima persoalan kepadanya.

Pertama, Mahathir berkata bahawa demokrasi mestilah difahami bersama batasannya. Persoalannya: sejak bilakah demokrasi tidak pernah dikaitkan dengan batasannya? Hanya Mahathir saja yang tidak pernah lelah mengulanginya.

Sebelumnya, Mahathir selalu bimbang dengan kebebasan mutlak. Padahal, tidak ada siapa pun yang mempertikaikan. Memang, kita semua tahu bahawa takkan ada kebebasan mutlak. Dalam sebuah negara hukum, perlembagaan (undang-undang) adalah pembatasnya. Masalahnya ialah, bagaimana perlembagaan itu digubal: Lewat deliberatif atau lewat autokratik? Persoalan inilah yang lebih berfaedah untuk Mahathir risaukan, berbanding dengan tidak habis-habis meratibkan batasan demokrasi.

Kedua, mengapa Mahahtir lagi-lagi bercakap soal tanggungjawab? Kenapa tidak bercakap soal hak? Walhal, dalam konsep hak yang sifatnya sangat universal, itu sebenarnya sudah tertanam konsep tanggungjawab. Mithalnya, dalam konsep hak, itu terdapat konsep tanggungjawab untuk dalam menghurmati hak-hak warga lain, yang harus dipatuhi secara bersama. Konsep hak ini yang lebih kuat premisnya berbanding dengan konsep tanggungjawab.

Tapi, dengan beria-ia berbicara soal tanggungjawab, maka apakah niat terselindung Mahathir ini? Jangan-jangan, laungan tanggungjawab (yang garisnya ditentukan pemerintah secara sepihak) tersebut berniat untuk mengawasi dan mengawal segala tingkah-laku (malah, fikiran!) rakyatnya. Tidak demikian, Mahathir?

Ketiga, Mahathir meletakkan makna kehidupan bernegara adalah pembangunan semata. Bukan demokrasi. Benarkah demikian? Persoalannya, apakah makna pembangunan menurut Mahathir ini? Dan, persoalan berikutnya, adakah dengan melakukan pembangunan, maka sempurnalah makna negara? Apakah sebegini dangkal makna negara menurut Mahathir?

Padahal, kata negara itu adalah terbitan dari pemaknaan kepada sebuah “komuniti hukum”. Dalam komuniti ini, yang menjadi tujuannya bukannya pembangunan (yang telah disempitkan oleh Mahathir). Sebaleknya, bagaimana melibatkan warganegara dalam setiap keputusan-dasar negara. Inilah ruh hidup bernegara. Malangnya, yang terlintas dalam fikiran Mahathir tatkala berfikir mengenai negara ialah pembangunan. Betapa dangkalnya.

Keempat, Mahathir menekankan bahawa yang terpenting dari kualiti pemimpin adalah kemampuannya dalam merangka strategi dan idea untuk kemakmuran negara. Lagi-lagi, benarkah yang terpenting ialah kualiti pemimpin, bukannya kualiti sistem (demokrasi)? Jadi, individu lebih penting dari sistem, begitu Mahathir? Ini logik bernegara apa yang dipakai Mahathir? Lagi pula, kualiti pemimpin bukanlah diukur dari kecerdasan dan kebernasannya. Tapi, diukur dari kemampuannya untuk memastikan tatacara demokrasi terus mengalir dengan baik. Inilah tugas hakiki pemimpin.

Di samping itu, Mahathir selalu berfikir bahawa kemakmuran –yang sering disempitkan secara instrumental– adalah segala-galanya. Padahal, negara itu bukanlah sebuah sharikat perusahaan. Malah, kedudukan perdana menteri juga bukanlah seperti kedudukan seorang CEO.

Kelima, Mahathir, beranggapan bahawa cukuplah untuk mengubah pemerintah saat pilihanraya umum. Bermakna, menurut Mahathir, proses mengubah pemerintah hanya boleh dilakukan setiap lima tahun, lewat kotak undi. Lalu, pertanyaannya: apakah yang warga harus lakukan di antara dua pilihanraya, atau dalam tempoh lima tahun tersebut? Hanya patuh saja semua titah pemimpin!?

Maka, ke mana perginya konsep “masharakat warga” (civil society), ketakpatuhan warga (civil disobedient), kewarganegaraan aktif (active citizenship), ruang awam (public sphere), dll, yang menjadi sendi demokrasi. Mahathir, percaya atau tidak, tidak pernah menyebutnya. Sekalipun tidak pernah. Padanya, demokrasi ialah pilihanraya umum. Selain dari hari mengundi, rakyat mestilah pasif.

Justeru, berdasarkan kepada lima persoalan ini, cukuplah untuk kita melukiskan bagaimana faham demokrasi Mahathir ini. Demokrasi, menurut Mahathir, selalu dimomokkan sebagai sebuah “kebebasan mutlak”, “tidak-bertanggungjawab”, “anti-pembangunan”, “menghambat idea pemimpin” dan “hanya pilihanraya.” Setohor ini saja makna demokrasi Mahathir. Tentunya, makna tumpul seperti ini dengan mudah dapat kita temukan dalam negara totalitarian.

Sebab itu, usah hairan, ciri-ciri totalitarianisme ini turut terlekat sepanjang 22 tahun Mahathir sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia. Demokrasi di Malaysia, pada waktu Mahathir, berada pada titik terendah dalam sejarah. Seluruh trias politica (eksekutif, judikatif dan legislatif) telah dimuatkan ke dalam satu individu: bernama Mahathir. Inilah Mahathirisme, nama lain kepada Machiavellianisme. Sementara, rakyat di mata Mahathir tidak lain adalah sebuah objek, yang sekadar berfungsi lima tahun sekali. Padahal, Niccolò Machiavelli sendiri bukan begitu.

Andai kata Machiavelli maseh hidup sekalipun, tentunya takkan bersependapat dengan Mahathir ini. Kerana, Machiavelli bukanlah seorang Machiavellian, seperti Mahathir. Sebaleknya, Machiavelli adalah seorang republikan, yang menghargai aspirasi rakyat.

Manakala, Mahathir pula dalam diam-diam adalah seorang diktator, yang selalu mencipta pemujanya yang fanatik.

*Aqil Fithri boleh dihubungi menerusi aqilfithri@gmail.com.


— Jalan Telawi (jalantelawi.com)

Forbes: Malaysia, Kronisme, dan Seni ‘Perletakan Jawatan’


Dari Forbes

14 Mac 2012

Malaysia, Cronyism, And The Art Of The ‘Good Resignation’

If politics is the art of the possible, graceful exits are the art of the impossible. It’s very hard to resign from public office under a cloud of suspicion and come up smelling of roses. But timing does matter. In the foul-mouthed BBC comedy ‘The Thick Of It’, a satire on New Labour, a bullying spin doctor called Malcolm Tucker urges a minister to step down to quell the uproar over his transgressions. “It is possible to have a good resignation,” Tucker tells the incredulous minister. Oh yes? comes the reply. So Tucker lets rip (minus my censorial ***s):

Look, people really like it when you go just a bit early! You know; steely jawed, faraway look in your eyes! Before you get to the point when they’re sitting round in the pub saying “Oh, that f***er’s got to go!”, you surprise them! “Blimey, he’s gone! I didn’t expect that! Resigned? You don’t see that much anymore! Old school! Respect! I rather liked the guy! He was hounded out by the f***ing press!” How about that, eh? What a way to go!

And so to Malaysia, where two federal officials have announced their departure in recent days, long past the point where the proverbial man-in-the-pub (or teashop) might have praised their decisiveness. Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, has agreed to step down as her husband faces prosecution for allegedly bilking a program for cattle farmers. The scandal has been brewing for several months and has been dubbed, inevitably, Cowgate by Malaysia’s feisty online media. Shahrizat’s family is accused of diverting millions of dollars earmarked for Malaysian farmers to buy luxury condos in Kuala Lumpur and pay for foreign vacations. She isn’t yet out of national politics, though, as she remains the head of the women’s wing of UMNO, the influential Malay party that has led Malaysia’s ruling coalitions since independence in 1957. Its present leader, Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been trying to rebuild the party’s image after a surge in support for the opposition, in part because of frustration over cronyism and mismanagement. He may have succeeded on a personal level, according to recent polling. This has added to speculation that he may call a general election in the coming months.

The second case, which has attracted less attention, contains curious parallels with Cowgate. Zarinah Anwar, the chairwoman of the Securities Commission (SC), has said that she won’t seek a second term after her six-year posting ends on Apr 1. A respected managing director of the commission will replace her. On the face of it, this is a routine federal appointment. But Zarinah’s term has been dogged lately by controversy over her husband’s business affairs and the conflict of interests that these have posed for her. The most recent arose from last year’s acquisition by state-owned conglomerate Sime Darby of 30% of Eastern & Oriental (E&O), a hotel group. The deal was announced on Aug 28. By then, the chairman of E&O had bought nearly half a million shares, as had other directors of the firm, over a period of four months. The stock had already climbed sharply by the time that Sime Darby said it would pay a 60% premium for its stake. Naturally questions were soon raised in online forums and news websites about possible insider trading in E&O stock. And who was that foresighted share-trading E&O chairman? Zarinah’s husband, Azizan Abdul Rahman. Not an easy case for the SC, which later concluded that no rules had been broken. Zarinah’s recused herself from the investigation. For his part, Azizan argued that the E&O board wasn’t aware of the Sime Darby acquisition as it was a private sale by shareholders.

This wasn’t Azizan’s first brush with notoriety, as Asia Sentinel reports. His construction company was delisted after it ran into trouble with a hospital project. He also straddled the ownership of two oil and gas services companies prior to a takeover offer. Sure, Azizan was just doing what other investors do in Malaysia and other markets, which is to take advantage of opportunities. But as the husband of the SC chairwoman, and the director of several public companies, he isn’t an ordinary investor. That’s why his trades have drawn more scrutiny. In other jurisdictions, he would be hiring a lawyer. Zarinah’s successor as chief regulator will need to take a much tougher line in order to convince investors that Malaysia’s rules aren’t rigged in favour of the powerful and connected. Maybe he should hire a good spin doctor.


—Forbes.com

Siapa Sebenarnya Membantu Zionis?


Dari Malaysian Insider

03 Februari 2012

The truth about Malaysia and Israel

Oleh: Hafidz Baharom

FEB 3 — It comes as no surprise that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim got into trouble with the federal government and Umno when he came out stating that he would support a final resolution to begin lifting sanctions against Israel.

After all, there are already Malaysians booing Israeli footballers. And Malaysia was not the first nation to start discriminating against Jews, Zionists and Israel, all three of which I look upon separately. Heck, don’t look at Germany alone. If one were to head to MPH, you can find a collection of anti-Semitic articles written by Henry Ford, the person who started the Ford Motor Group ages ago called “The International Jew”, which is available in four volumes.

Personally, I have no agenda against the Jews. After all, from a Muslim perspective all you have to remind yourself is the knowledge that the last prophet was granted to the descendants of Ismail and not that of Ishak. However, be reminded fellow Muslims that both sons, who gave birth to the Arabs and the Jews, did come together to bury their father Abraham regardless of whatever disputes they had.

That being said, let’s talk a bit about Israel and the truth about Malaysia’s relationship with the country. Israel has been lobbying for Malaysia to recognise them and begin relations through diplomacy and trade. In fact, from an online document from the Centre of Jewish Affairs forwarded to me by a friend, it seems clear that it is not the Malaysian head of the opposition who is wrong, but our federal government which would rather continue this policy of bedevilling the Zionists than tell the Malaysian people the truth.

It is easy to blame the Zionists and state that the Jews “owned everything”, a trademark of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s constant speeches to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), especially during the economic crisis when George Soros was blamed for everything. Funnily enough, nobody stood up to blame Soros a decade later during the current economic downturn.

After all, if one were to watch a documentary called “Inside Job” you will see Soros denying any involvement by stating that he is an “old school” person who did not believe in the US system. It is even more disturbing when you see a picture of Mahathir being friendly with Soros, as posted by Jeff Ooi on his blog years after.

We have been trading with Israel for some time already. We have been sending Malaysians — royals, business leaders and students — at one point to Israel for some time now. In fact, until the period of Mahathir’s 23 years in office as prime minister, our bilateral ties were honestly quite diplomatic but not done within our own borders. Only during the period of Mahathir did it become a nationwide condemnation of the Israelis.

And now, people within Umno are stating that should Anwar win, Israel could open a consul in Kuala Lumpur. In fact, some are already hooting that due to this so-called gaffe of his, Umno can now win back Kedah and Kelantan. Really?

Allow me to dampen your glee, fellow Umno people. Let’s take a look at the European Commission’s trade website which details Israel’s trade with the world. According to their charts, Malaysia imports €63.9 million (RM255 million) from Israel, exports €603.7 million to Israel and Malaysia was in fact the 15th largest trade partner of Israel in 2010.

Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government took office when, exactly?

In fact, if we were to go back further, were we doing business with Israel even when Mahathir was prime minister?

According to a paper available online at the Institute of Jewish Affairs website which was published in October 2006, there was the notion of trade with Israel from Malaysia’s side during the Mahathir administration in 1993, and only in mid-January 1996 there began the insinuation of Malaysian trade with Israel, of which it was noted to have “no political significance.”

But what is worth noting is this paragraph from the article:

“In mid-February 1996, however, a Malaysian businessman visited Israel to discuss co-operation between Israeli and Malaysian companies. In late March, a delegation of Malaysian businessmen came to Israel and held talks with heads of chambers of commerce. Although Malaysia’s official boycott of Israeli products still stood, the head of the Malaysian delegation said he had been authorised by the minister of industry and trade. In early May the Israeli Port Authority sponsored an international conference, and a 16-member Malaysian delegation attended with government approval.”

As such, I raise the question again. Who exactly is helping the Zionists? It is not Anwar Ibrahim, but instead our own federal government, which continues to bask in its constant hypocrisy of using the words of the opposition leader against him while they claim brownie points.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.
* Hafidz Baharom is a social observer who has ruffled more than a few feathers. He has written for a number of publications, and is always looking to stir up discussions on things which need to be said.


—Malaysian Insider

Tidak Risau Rayuan, Fokus Pilihanraya – DSAI

Dari: Wall Street Journal

27 Januari 2012

Malaysia’s Anwar Presses On Despite Appeal

By SHIBANI MAHTANI

KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he isn’t worried about state prosecutors’ move to appeal a court decision acquitting him of sodomy earlier this month, and said he remains confident it won’t derail his campaign to lead a new government to power in elections expected later this year.

“The judgment [in the sodomy case] was very strong” and “difficult to appeal,” Mr. Anwar said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal at his political party’s headquarters here Thursday. He said the appeal process, which began Jan. 20, would likely take at least six months, meaning it could loom over and outlast the election campaign.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has to call an election by March 2013, but under Malaysia’s parliamentary system of government, many analysts predict it will be called much sooner, triggering one of the most fiercely fought electoral contests this resource-rich nation has ever seen. Mr. Anwar said he believes the election is unlikely to take place later than June.

Since the Jan. 9 verdict by a High Court judge—who acquitted Mr. Anwar of violating Malaysia’s strict sodomy laws citing a lack of witnesses and flawed DNA evidence—the 64-year-old opposition leader has begun mobilizing support in this multiracial country, promising reforms to dismantle a decades-old affirmative-action program designed to give a leg up to the majority ethnic-Malay population while also targeting what he describes as widespread cronyism in Mr. Najib’s government. If elected, Mr. Anwar said he will accelerate privatizations and do more to enable free markets to operate more efficiently, such as improving transparency in the bidding for government contracts.

Mr. Najib, 58 years old, is also keen to brand himself a reformer in part to win back ethnic-Chinese and Indian voters who in recent years largely have thrown their support behind Mr. Anwar’s opposition alliance. Mr. Najib has also embarked on a series of sales of government assets to spur growth. Earlier this month, a government state investment fund sold its stake in car marker Proton Holdings Bhd. to conglomerate DRB-Hicom Bhd., and last year government-linked funds swapped shares in state-run Malaysian Airline System Bhd. with budget airline AirAsia Bhd.

“The overall principle is that we want the government-linked companies to sell off their noncore and noncompetitive assets,” Mr. Najib said in an interview two weeks ago. “We are always looking out for how to add value to the country.”

Mr. Anwar, though, criticized the way Mr. Najib’s government pursued these privatizations, saying that without open, public tenders, key companies remain controlled by a well-connected few.

Privatization “looks good, but look again at the procedures,” said Mr. Anwar. “The issue is not about privatization, it is blatant corruption.”

Following the Proton deal, state investment fund Khazanah Nasional said in a statement that it chose the best suitor for the job and the country.

A Malaysian government spokesperson said Thursday the government is “fully committed to openness and transparency in all privatizations and divestments of state-owned assets and to tackling corruption wherever and whenever it is found.” The spokesperson noted that Malaysia has introduced a new online database of government contracts so that anybody can alert authorities to any potentially improper actions.

“We are determined to ensure that all government contracts are awarded through a process that is fair and open to scrutiny,” the spokesperson said.

After being embroiled in the sodomy trial—which he claims was politically motivated—Mr. Anwar is now shifting gears from defending his reputation to fighting to win an election.

Once a high-ranking member of the United Malays National Organization that has run Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957, he was sacked from the party and lost his post as deputy prime minister after challenging former leader Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s. He was subsequently charged for sodomizing his driver and his speechwriter, and spent six years in prison before his conviction was overturned.

After leading the opposition to one of its strongest-ever showings in 2008′s national elections, Mr. Anwar was accused by former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan of sodomizing him, setting in train another marathon, headline-stealing trial which Mr. Anwar again said was designed to end his political career. Mr. Najib and his government have repeatedly denied having anything to do with the case.

Now, after Judge Zabidin Diah acquitted Mr. Anwar, ruling that the forensic evidence presented against the opposition leader was flawed, Mr. Anwar argues that he isn’t just “anti-UMNO” but has his own set of policies geared toward restoring Malaysia’s competitiveness in a global economy where countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia are emerging as alternative magnets for investment.

“We must always compare Malaysia to Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan,” said Mr. Anwar. “That’s what we were.”

If elected, Mr. Anwar said he would speed up the removal of racial quotas for university places and focus on helping lower-income groups regardless of race instead of solely aiding ethnic Malays.

In the interview, Mr. Anwar also clarified his position on homosexual rights and Malaysia’s sodomy laws, and also the Muslim-majority nation’s relationship with Israel.

“I support all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel,” said Mr. Anwar, although he stopped short of saying he would open diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, a step which he said remains contingent on Israel respecting the aspirations of Palestinians. Malaysia has consistently refrained from establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, although limited commercial ties exist between private companies in the two countries.

In response to recent local reports that he supported gay marriage, Mr. Anwar said they were wrong and that he “believes in and supports the sanctity of marriage between men and women.” The opposition leader is suing government-linked newspaper Utusan Malaysia for defamation, alleging that it implied he supports and wants to legalize homosexuality.

Still, Mr. Anwar said that Malaysia’s sodomy laws are “archaic” and could be amended.

“It is not my business to attack people or arrest people based on their sexual orientation,” he said.


—Wall Street Journal

Pasca #901: Landskap Politik Berubah

Oleh: Kim Quek

11 Januari 2012

Anwar’s not-guilty verdict has altered Malaysian political landscape

The judge walked into the court room, read the judgment in one minute, and disappeared into his chamber.

By the time the flabbergasted people in the court room recovered from their shock and realized what it all meant, they jumped in uncontrollable jubilation with shouts of joy, burst of tears, hugging, back-slapping, utterances of congratulations and thanks. Within minutes, the same ecstatic outburst also came over the thousands of supporters gathered outside the court building. In fact, the sense of joy and emotional relief has quickly reverberated right across the nation, transcending race and religion.

Such was the high drama that greeted the totally unexpected acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim from the sodomy charge by Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah at the Kuala Lumpur high court on Jan 9.

And such was the impact of this sensational Anwar story that it travels instantly around the globe with international TV channels like Aljazeera and BBC stopping their programs to break the news, which no doubt has also brought relief and satisfaction to overseas pro-democracy and human rights bodies and well-wishers who had been anxiously awaiting the outcome of this sodomy trial.

No doubt the heightened sensation derived partly from the shock element of the verdict as no one had expected an acquittal. This is due to the fact that the trial had been so outrageously unjust and vindictive right from the start that everyone recognized it as political persecution and had anticipated a conviction and possibly instant jail on D-day, Jan 9th. And so, imagine the joy of learning the opposite in such a dramatic fashion at the end of this long drawn ordeal.

It is common human experience that it is only when one is on the verge of losing a dear person that he discovers how much he loves that person.

And so it is with Anwar Ibrahim. The nation-wide anxieties (expecting the worst scenario) that were steadily building up in the run up to judgment day, and the irrepressible smiling faces that appeared everywhere upon learning Anwar’s acquittal is the best testimony of the hitherto not so obvious truth that the nation has in fact all along treasured his leadership.

Such spontaneous response is also indication that Anwar’s indefatigable struggle to bring an end to the long antiquated and corrupt autocracy in this country, against unparalleled cruelty inflicted on him, has not gone unnoticed and unappreciated by the people, despite the regime’s high-handed media black-out on him all this time.

This wholly unanticipated finale to the three and a half year long Anwar sodomy II saga has far- reaching ramifications, and in fact transformed the political landscape and altered the balance of power between the challenger and the incumbent. Anwar’s vindication of his innocence and his return to full political life from the precipice of a potentially lengthy prison term has brought the following consequences:

· It has spared Pakatan Rakyat the potential crisis of a leadership vacuum.

· On a personal level, it has revitalized Anwar and strengthened his position as the undisputed leader of the opposition group.

· It has enhanced his public image as prime minister-in-waiting who will lead Pakatan Rakyat to rid the country from the current quagmire of racial and religious dissension and economic malaise perpetrated by Barisan Nasional (BN).

· Having averted near catastrophe, Anwar’s new lease of political life will re-energise the Pakatan alliance and bring the component parties closer together as a compact fighting force.

· It has caused BN a disastrous set-back, for not only bringing a political plot that it has labored for three and a half years to naught, but also for damaging BN’s public image and credibility.

· It has demoralized BN and increased the risk of its fringe component parties deserting the mother ship.

· For whatever reason that precipitated this unexpected verdict – whether the last stage reversal was decided by the judge himself or by the political masters to avoid greater net loss of electoral support – such a disastrous finale has apparently deepened the conflict between the hardliners and reform-inclined faction within Umno.

The last point is important as it has the potential to cause an implosion in Umno – a thoroughly corrupted political party, void of political idealism, and characterized by its world famous brand of “money politics” and perennial in-fighting.

That there has been a last moment reversal is suggested by the following occurrences:

First, more than a week before D-day (Jan 9), blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK), long time Anwar loyalist, launched a vicious attack on Anwar, branding him a sodomite who was guilty as charged. These attacks, which were widely publicised in Umno-control newspapers and TV channels, were recognised as a signal that Umno was still on-course to convict Anwar, and the RPK’s attack was a tactical move to pre-empt the potential backlash of an Anwar conviction.

Second, a few days before Jan 9, home minister Hishamuddin Hussein hinted a softening of stance against the proposed ‘free Anwar’ mass rally on Jan 9, when he suggested to Anwar’s party PKR to seek permission for the rally from the police, which had up to that point vowed to crack down harshly on it. And to the surprise of everyone, the police promptly gave their consent upon its first meeting with PKR, despite having vehemently opposed it previously. In hind sight, that could be the point in time when the decision to convict Anwar was reversed, as it makes sense not to clash with Anwar’s supporters when Anwar was already destined to be acquitted.

Third, it is odd that the judge should give only a one-minute verdict at the final judgment, while it took him one hour and fifty minutes to deliver his lengthy judgment at the interim stage to establish the prima facie case. A palpable explanation is that the one-minute verdict was a last moment decision. Alternatively, it could be the honest but sketchy script of a judge who finally could not bring himself to pass a judgment that would condemn him and his descendents to eternal infamy.

That Umno’s hardline faction has been rattled by the Anwar acquittal is seen in the uncharacteristically belated response of faction leaders deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and former premier Mahathir Mohamad. As expected, both hypocritically claimed that the Anwar verdict was proof that the Executive had never interfered with the judiciary. Such manifestly untrue claims only re-confirm that these hardliners are still living in the past, grossly out of tune with the tempo of the Internet age.

These political dinosaurs belong to history. They don’t deserve to rule Malaysia.


Kim Quek

Sistem Kehakiman Bebas…Benarkah?

Dari: Malaysian Insider

Oleh: Dr Kamal Amzan

11 Januari 2012

An independent judiciary… really?

JAN 11 — We are a funny lot.

Just because of one acquittal, we claim to have an “independent” judiciary. Forget about Eric Chia, forget about the first sodomy trial, forget about what happened to Teoh Beng Hock and let us all just focus on this one and only trial.

From the mainstream media to the online news portals, the response from the government and the opposition leaders to the verdict was akin to striking the lottery.

Today’s headlines in the Star and NST, “Government says it shows freedom of judiciary”, “Slow reassertion of Malaysia’s public institutions”, “Court ruling clears government of baseless accusations.”.

Really? I may be wrong but to claim the judiciary’s independence from one trial verdict seems a bit premature, no?

Why is this verdict such a landmark one… that the entire judiciary’s independence is based on it? Or is it because the verdict went against the establishment that we feel it is independent and free?

In case you haven’t realised, going against the establishment seems to be the “in” thing nowadays. It has been demonstrated by students from UPSI whose tuition fees are borne by us, the taxpayers. They became overnight heroes to some for their so-called “courage”, no matter how misplaced that was.

In as much as I wonder what their grades are like, and whether we should have such individuals teaching our children, I also wonder whether the rakyat will still claim judicial independence when and IF the appellate court overturns the verdict later? Less we forget, the AG has the power to appeal.

Or will we cry conspiracy then?

I ask because I think it is too early to celebrate. Mind you, this is not a perfect science, because only science expects predictable, reproducible results time and again. This is the judiciary.

Malaysian judiciary at that.

Just like winning the SEA Games does not make our Harimau Malaya Olympic champions, one unexpected verdict means nothing in the long run, nor should we start exclaiming judicial independence based on it.

We should be cautiously optimistic, and not lose sight of the real goal. Guilty or innocent, the future of this country does not lie with one man and our progress should not be hindered by the verdict.

It is time we move on. Let the politicians politicise. Malaysians should do what we do best all this while; work hard for our family and by extension the nation. We must keep level heads, be logical and not let our emotions run high. Nothing, and no one should distract us from building and developing this nation of 28 million.

Failing which is detrimental to our own future.


—Malaysian Insider

Dr Kamal Amzan is concerned about where the country is heading, and whether the correct diagnoses and treatment will be able to save us all. He believes that politics is both an art and a weapon, which can be deadly in the wrong hands.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

Tamatnya Fitnah 2.0 – The Economist

Dari: The Economist

9 Januari 2012

The end of Sodomy 2.0

AFTER more than two years of sordid revelations in the media, legal wrangling and political point-scoring, on January 9th the High Court in Malaysia’s capital finally handed down a verdict in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case: not guilty. Homosexuality is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia, and if found guilty the former deputy prime minister and current leader of the opposition could have been jailed for up to 20 years and whipped. The case began in 2008 when a male aide reported to the police that Mr Anwar had sodomised him. But Mr Anwar and his supporters have always argued that the charge was a lie and that the whole trial was a put-up job by a nervous government, desperate to discredit him after he came close to winning a general election earlier in that year.

Indeed, to many Malaysians the whole case seemed an unlikely re-run of earlier charges brought against Mr Anwar when he was ousted from his post as deputy prime minister in 1998—hence the moniker of Sodomy 2.0 for this case. The first time round he went to prison for six years on corruption and sodomy charges, only to be cleared of the latter by the supreme court in 2004. This time the judge ruled that the prosecution case against Mr Anwar was too flimsy for a conviction; the DNA evidence, in particular, was unreliable.

Indeed, Mr Anwar claims that all the accusations and legal suits over the past 14 years amount to nothing more than a sustained political vendetta against him by the country’s ruling party, which started after he fell out with the autocratic and long-serving prime minister Mahathir Mohammed. Once the golden boy of the United Malays National Organisation, which has ruled the country continuously since independence from the British, Mr Anwar has been demonised by his former colleagues ever since.

Malaysian politics is an unusually dirty business. But the trials of Anwar, together with the explicit sexual revelations in the press that have necessarily accompanied them in the guise of court reporting, have taxed the patience and fortitude of most Malaysians. Whatever they think of Mr Anwar personally, most Malaysians will be glad that the whole thing is finally over and hope that the trial is not followed by Sodomy III.

If the two sodomy charges really were invented by elements within the government bent on wrecking Mr Anwar’s political career, then these attempts have backfired. The first case rallied huge public sympathy for him. In Sodomy 2.0 he has been publicly vindicated, despite a widespread belief that he was going to be convicted. The government swiftly tried to spin the verdict to its advantage, claiming it shows that Malaysia has an “independent” judiciary after all, and that “the government does not hold sway over judges’ decision”. But, such is degree of public cynicism in Malaysia, few will take these statements at face value.

How will the verdict affect Malaysia’s politics? It was delivered against the background of an impending general election, and in the short term Mr Anwar’s victory will doubtless give his party and the opposition in general a much-needed boost. It might even persuade the prime minister, Najib Razak, to postpone going to the polls for a bit longer, to allow time for the political spotlight to swivel back onto his own agenda.

In the longer term, however, the verdict might not serve the opposition so well. Although Mr Anwar remains a charismatic figure and a forceful speaker, he is at 64, he is too familiar and his ideas and rhetoric have not really shifted since the mid-1990s. He has failed to groom a successor or to nurture a new generation of opposition leaders. Rather than becoming a vibrant, modernising force in politics his party has become something of a family-run affair, riven by discord and infighting. In prison, so the hard-nosed political operators say, he would have served as a useful martyr to rally the opposition. Now they are stuck with him indefinitely; a man still strong and popular enough to worry the government, but too weakened to win an election or recruit the cohorts of younger voters that they need. As a result, the more savvy, younger politicians will now be eyeing up the following election for their opportunity, not this coming one. And that’s not good for democracy in Malaysia, which is rarely in rude good health at the best of times.


—The Economist

ETP Gagal?

Oleh: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

26 Disember 2011

K’jaan elak isu ETP yang dibangkitkan

Saya meneliti jawapan kerajaan Datuk Seri Najib Razak terhadap kritikan saya yang terkandung dalam satu ucapan di ibu kota bertarikh 15 Disember 2011.

Ucapan tersebut yang berjudul “Debunking ETP: Widening Income Gap” menegaskan kaedah yang sedang dilaksanakan kerajaan, Program Transformasi Ekonomi (ETP) merupakan suatu kebijakan ekonomi lapuk dan gagal membawa sebarang perubahan.

Jawapan tersebut tidak menjawab persoalan utama yang saya lontarkan, iaitu menjelang tahun 2020, sekitar 7 hingga 8.3 juta rakyat Malaysia akan berpendapatan di bawah RM1,500 sebulan dan bakal digolongkan sebagai miskin bandar.

Jumlah ini merangkumi sehingga 51 peratus tenaga kerja negara ini dalam tahun 2020, berbanding 56 peratus bagi tahun 2009. Angka itu menunjukkan selepas berbilion ringgit dibelanjakan, hanya penambahbaikan yang tidak seberapa.

Makanya, sebuah program ekonomi yang tidak berjaya meningkatkan pendapatan rakyat terbanyak, malah menambah bilangan rakyat termiskin adalah perancangan ekonomi yang tempang dan membelakangkan kebajikan rakyat.

Persoalan utama ini wajar dijawab dengan berkesan oleh perdana menteri sendiri. Apatah lagi apabila hujah saya dikemukakan dengan mengambil kira unjuran-unjuran ETP meragukan.

Misalnya unjuran pertumbuhan upah 3.6 peratus setiap tahun, dari tahun 2010 sehingga tahun 2020 – yang bertentangan dengan pertumbuhan upah pekerja tahun 2000 hingga 2009 yang hanya menokok sekitar 2.6 peratus setiap tahun.

Inflasi

Manakala kos sara hidup meningkat mengatasi pertumbuhan upah.

Kenyataan ini diperkukuhkan oleh Kajian Pasaran Buruh 2009 yang melibatkan 24,000 majikan dan 1.3 juta pekerja. Laporan tersebut menyatakan 33.8 peratus dari jumlah pekerja tersebut mendapat upah kurang dari RM700 sebulan.

Angka ini sekiranya diunjurkan kepada keseluruhan tenaga kerja negara menyimpulkan 34 peratus dari jumlah keseluruhan tenaga kerja negara berada di bawah paras kemiskinan.

Justeru berdasarkan fakta-fakta ini, unjuran pertumbuhan upah pada paras 3.6 peratus adalah tidak tepat.

Manakala itu unjuran kerajaan bahawa inflasi akan berada pada paras 2.8 peratus setiap tahun sehingga tahun 2020 juga tidak realistik apabila kadar inflasi sejak 12 bulan lalu sentiasa melangkaui paras 3 peratus.

Sasaran untuk mencapai pendapatan kasar kebangsaan per kapita sebanyak RM48,000 setahun pada tahun 2020 tidak akan dicapai sekiranya inflasi melebihi dari 2.8 peratus untuk tahun mendatang.

Jika inflasi purata sehingga tahun 2020 mencecah 4 peratus setiap tahun, dianggarkan seramai 7.6 juta rakyat Malaysia akan berpendapatan kurang dari RM1,500 sebulan dalam tahun 2020, meningkat sebanyak 1 juta berbanding jumlah 6.6 juta dalam tahun 2009.

Jurang miskin-kaya

Keadaan ini lebih parah sekiranya inflasi purata mencecah 6 peratus setiap tahun bila mana jumlah rakyat Malaysia yang berpendapatan kurang dari RM 1,500 sebulan adalah 8.3 juta orang.

Persoalan paling utama yang langsung tidak dijawab adalah kesimpulan saya bahawa kekayaan negara akan semakin dibolot golongan kaya di bawah ETP sementara rakyat terbanyak dipinggirkan.

Perdana menteri langsung tidak menafikan analisa saya bahawa nisbah upah pekerja kepada pendapatan kasar negara akan berkurangan dari 40 peratus (tahun 2009) kepada 33 peratus sahaja (tahun 2020).

Walhal, ini merupakan permasalahan utama di negara kita, manakala golongan kecil, keluarga dan kroni mengaut kekayaan, sementara majoriti rakyat dibebankan dengan kos sara hidup yang melonjak sedangkan pendapatan tidak meningkat.

Persoalan-persoalan ini adalah isu besar ekonomi negara apabila pentadbiran sedia ada menyalurkan seluruh kekayaan negara untuk membiayai projek-projek besar di bawah ETP.

Malang sekali apabila kesannya kepada rakyat adalah menambah golongan miskin dan melebarkan jurang di antara yang miskin dan kaya menjelang tahun 2020 nanti.


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Ketua Pembangkang Malaysia, Ketua Umum Parti KeADILan Rakyat(PKR), Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh

Keadilan Untuk Anwar! Ayuh turun 9 Januari 2012!