Isnin, 4 Julai 2011

Anwar Ibrahim

sumber :-

Anwar Ibrahim

Book Of The Week: The Idea of Justice, By Amartya Sen

Posted: 04 Jul 2011 04:55 PM PDT

Reviewed by Ziauddin Sardar

Friday, 21 August 2009

Take three kids and a flute. Anne says the flute should be given to her because she is the only one who knows how to play it. Bob says the flute should be handed to him as he is so poor he has no toys to play with. Carla says the flute is hers because it is the fruit of her own labour. How do we decide between these three legitimate claims?

There are no institutional arrangements that can help us resolve this dispute in a universally accepted just manner. Conceptions of what constitutes a “just society”, argues the Nobel Prize-winning economist and philosopher Amartya Sen in this majestic book, will not help us decide who should have the flute. A one-dimensional notion of reason is not much help either, for it does not provide us with a feasible method of arriving at a choice.

What really enables us to resolve the dispute between the three children is the value we attach to the pursuit of human fulfilment, removal of poverty,and the entitlement to enjoy the products of one’s own labour.

Who gets the flute depends on your philosophy of justice. Bob, the poorest, will have the immediate support of the economic egalitarian. The libertarian would opt for Carla. The utilitarian hedonist will bicker a bit but will eventually settle for Anne because she will get the maximum pleasure, as she can actually play the instrument. While all three decisions are based on rational arguments and correct within their own perspective, they lead to totally different resolutions.

Thus justice is not a monolithic ideal but a pluralistic notion with many dimensions. Yet Western philosophers have seen justice largely in singular,utopian terms. Hobbes, Locke and Kant, for example, wove their notions of justice around an imaginary “social contract” between the citizens and the state. A “just society” is produced through perfectly just state institutions and social arrangements and the right behaviour of the citizens.

Sen identifies two serious problems with this “arrangement focussed” approach. First, there is no reasoned agreement on the nature of a “just society”. Second, how would we actually recognise a “just society” if we saw one? Without some framework of comparison it is not possible to identify the ideal we need to pursue.

Furthermore, this approach is of no help in resolving basic issues of injustice. How would you reason, for example, that slavery was an intolerable injustice in a framework that concerned itself with right institutions and right behaviour? How would we ensure that well-established and cheaply producible drugs were available to the poor patients of Aids in developing countries? When faced with stark injustice, the contractual approach turns out to be both redundant and unfeasible.

Much of Sen’s criticism is directed towards the liberal philosopher John Rawls, whose 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, has acquired the status of a classic. Sen’s gentle and polite deconstruction of Rawls shows him to be rather shallow and irrelevant. Rawls’s approach, based on specific institutions that firmly anchor society, demand a single, explicit resolution to the principle of justice. Stalin had similar ideas.

Rawls is not just authoritarian but also elitist and Eurocentric. Just as Mill had excluded “the backward nations”, women and children from his Essay on Liberty, Rawls openly acknowledges that the world’s poor have no place in his theory of justice. Indeed, the very “idea of global justice” is dismissed by Rawls and his cohorts as totally irrelevant. Moreover, the kind of “reasonable person” needed to produce a just society is found only in democratic, Western societies.

Given the limitations of Rawls’s theory of justice, why has he been turned into a demi-god? Sen does not tackle this question. But a viable answer is provided by the classical Muslim philosopher al-Razi, who declared that “the acquisition of knowledge and the practice of justice” go hand in hand.Justice acquires meaning and relevance, al-Razi argued, within socially conscious epistemologies. The opposite is equally true.

Theories of justice that exclude, by definition, the poor or issues of global injustices only perpetuate injustice. The main function of Rawls’s theory of justice, it seems, is to maintain the status quo, where injustice is not just simply a part of the system, but the system itself. That’s exactly why he is force-fed to students of social sciences.

Sen’s alternative is a realisation-focused approach to justice which concentrates on the real behaviour of people and its actual outcomes. Taking a cue from “social choice theory”, he wants us to focus on removing injustices on which we can all rationally agree. There is nothing we can do about people dying of starvation beyond anyone’s control. But we can choose to do something about injustices that emerge from a conscious “design of those wanting to bring about that outcome”.

I see two problems with this. The “we” who choose must include those who consciously perpetuate injustice in the first place – ruthless corporations,hedge-fund managers and the like. Moreover, design need not be conscious. It can, for example, be unconsciously intrinsic in the theory itself.

Indeed, theory does sometimes serve as an instrument of injustice. Think of free-market capitalism, along with its theoretical underpinnings, including the mathematical modelling of sub-prime derivatives, where huge profits for the few are produced from the misery of others. To do something about the injustices perpetuated by the dominant model of economy, we need to tackle the tyranny of the discipline of economics itself.

Reading The Idea of Justice is like attending a master class in practical reasoning. You can’t help noticing you are engaging with a great, deeply pluralistic, mind. There were times, however, when I felt a bit unfulfilled.For example, we are temptingly informed that classical Sanskrit has two words for justice: niti, organisational propriety and behavioural correctness; and nyaya, which stands for realised justice. In the Indian context, the role of the institutions, rules and organisations have to be assessed in the broader and more inclusive perspective of the world as it actually emerges. We are also told of Mughal Emperor Akbar’s idea that justice should be based on rational endeavour. But this is not elaborated. I also wanted to see some comparatively material on Islamic, Chinese and Latin American ideas on justice.

But these quibbles apart, this is a monumental work. “When people across the world agitate to get more global justice”, Sen writes, “they are not clamouring for some kind of ‘minimal humanitarianism”‘. They are sensible enough to know that a “perfectly just” world is a utopian dream. All they want is “the elimination of some outrageously unjust arrangement to enhance global justice”.

Ziauddin Sardar’s ‘Balti Britain’ is out in Granta paperback

PAS Menjunjung Kasih Titah Tuanku Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Dipertuan Agong

Posted: 04 Jul 2011 12:48 AM PDT

Parti Islam Se-Malaysia PAS menjunjung tinggi titah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong pada hari Ahad 3 julai 2011 mengenai isu perhimpunan aman BERSIH 2.0 yang hangat diperkatakan pada waktu ini. Seluruh kepimpinan PAS merasa amat berbesar hati dengan keprihatinan dan perhatian yang diberikan oleh Seri Paduka Baginda Tuanku sebagai pelindung keluhuran perlembagaan negara dan lambang berdaulat negara kita ini.

Titah Seri paduka Baginda Tuanku bahawa dalam setiap permasalahan yang timbul, sebagai masyarakat yang bertamadun kita hendaklah mencari jalan penyelesaian secara rundingan dan tidak mengikut perasaan. Ini adalah amat tepat sekali dalam merungkai perkara yang dibangkitkan, iaitu pembaharuan terhadap keseluruhan sistem pilihanraya bagi menyuburkan demokrasi dalam negara kita ini.

Sehubungan dengan itu, maka PAS bersedia untuk menghantar wakil bersama dengan BERSIH 2.0 dan rakan politik dalam Pakatan Rakyat serta semua pihak yang cintakan keamanan untuk berunding dan seterusnya mengadap ke bawah Duli Seri Paduka Baginda Tuanku bagi menjelaskan kekeliruan yang timbul hasil dari liputan buruk yang dimainkan terhadap bantahan aman ini. Kesan dari salah faham initelah menimbulkan provokasi pihak tertentu yang memberi gambaran seolah-olah keadaan sudah tidak terkawal sehingga undang-undang negara juga sudah tidak dihormati lagi olehpihak berkuasa.

PAS percaya bahawa asas penyebab utama bantahan ini perlulah digali-selidik dengan hati terbuka dan penuh keikhlasan, terutamanya oleh pihak kerajaan yang memegang tampuk pemerintahan dalam negara kita pada ketika ini. Ini juga selari dengan titah Seri Paduka Baginda Tuanku supaya pihak kerajaan wajar untuk melaksanakan amanah dengan secara adil dan bijaksana. Tercetusnya idea bantahan ini adalah kerana terlalu banyak kelemahan dalam amalan pilihanraya di Malaysia dengan berlakunya penipuan, rasuah dan salah guna kuasa dan media secara tidak demokratik. Keadaan ini semakin buruk walaupun kita telah mencapai kemerdekaan lebih dari 50 tahun dan sudah dua belas kali pilihanraya umum diadakan. Sejak Sekian lama ini,kerajaan Barisan Nasional telah banyak menyalahgunakan kuasa mereka di atas nama demokrasi, walaupun negara-negara di seluruh dunia sudah banyak melakukan reformasi terhadap sistem pilihan raya dan demokrasi yang membawa kebaikan kepada seluruh rakyat.

Dato’ Seri Tuan Guru Hj Abdul Hadi Awang
Presiden Parti Islam Se-Malaysia
4 Julai 2011/ 2 Syaaban 1432 H

Kerajaan Boleh Dituduh Menentang Agong Jika Gagal Laksana Perlembagaan- Aziz

Posted: 03 Jul 2011 08:36 PM PDT

Keadilan Daily

Pakar Perlembagaan, Profesor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari berkata, kerajaan boleh didakwa menentang Yang Dipertuan Agong, sekiranya gagal melaksanakan perlembagaan yang antara lain menjamin pilihan raya bebas dan kebebasan berhimpun.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas titah khas Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, berhubung perhimpunan aman Bersih, malam tadi.

"Kerajaan tidak boleh gunakan titah ini untuk kepentingan mereka. Begitu juga Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR). Kalau mereka gagal lakukan apa yang  dikehendaki perlembagaan, mereka boleh dituduh menentang Agong," Ujar Pensyarah Undang-undang Universiti Islam Antarabangsa itu.

Menurut Aziz, Titah baginda yang menyeru kedua pihak berunding untuk mencari jalan penyelesaian perlu difahami dalam konteks  yang terkandung dalam perlembagaan.

"Agong tidak menggelar himpunan Bersih haram, baginda cuma titah demo tidak semestinya cara terbaik.

"Dan saya fikir baginda juga mengingatkan kerajaan," Ujarnya dalam kenyataan khas kepada

Menurutnya, rakyat perlu akur bahawa baginda bertitah sebagai ketua negara dan dalam peranan itu, baginda tidak boleh menunjukkan sikap emosional.

"Mungkin ada bahagian titah itu yang kita tidak selesa tetapi kita harus letakkan diri kita di tempat baginda supaya faham kedudukan dan sensitiviti yang baginda perlu ambilkira.

"Perlu disedari apa yang dituntut bukan kepentingan Bersih tetapi kehendak dan semangat perlembagaan," ujarnya lagi.

Ketika ditanya kemungkinan berlakunya darurat, ekoran kenyataan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang menyerahkan hal itu kepada polis minggu lalu, Aziz yakin perkara itu tidak akan berlaku.

"Darurat diisytihar oleh Agong selalunya atas nasihat kerajaan tetapi dalam senario sekarang, saya tak fikir kerajaan berani menasihatkan Agong isytihar darurat.

"Saya fikir ini peluang untuk Bersih mendesak tahanan dibebaskan serta merta. Begitu juga rampasan yang dibuat. Jika polis enggan mereka bukan sahaja melanggar perlembagaan malah engkar titah Agong," kata merujuk enam individu yang ditahan di bawah Ordinan Darurat baru-baru ini.

Kata Aziz, tindakan polis yang sewenangnya menangkap mereka, tidak selaras dengan kehendak perlembagaan.

"Alasan yang mereka berikan tidak masuk akal. Mereka kata mereka ikut undang-undang. Soalnya apakah semangat dan tujuan asal undang-undang itu mereka pertimbangkan?

"Ramai yang terpinga-pinga dengan penggunaan ordinan darurat, tuduhan komunis dan lain lain.

"Apalagi tahun lalu Hishamuddin sendiri mengatakan yang Malaysia tidak lagi berada dalam keadaan darurat.

"Pendeknya menteri dan polis tidak konsisten dalam hujah dan tindakan mereka," katanya.

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