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Selasa, 10 Julai 2012

The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah

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The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah


Laman Rasmi: NEGARA DALAM KRISIS

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:32 AM PDT

Laman Rasmi: NEGARA DALAM KRISIS: Krisis Ekonomi Ekonomi negara terus kekal di takuk lama sejak krisis kewangan Asia Timur 1997/98. Selepas sedekad berdepan dengan kelesuan ...

Laman Rasmi: Khairy bersandiwara, sokong kenaikan harga barang ...

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:30 AM PDT

Laman Rasmi: Khairy bersandiwara, sokong kenaikan harga barang ...:   KENYATAAN MEDIA 23 MEI 2011 Saya merujuk ucapan Ketua Pemuda Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin seperti yang dilaporkan oleh media. Antara lain, K...

Laman Rasmi: Siapa Bertanggungjawab Terhadap Lynas?

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:29 AM PDT

Laman Rasmi: Siapa Bertanggungjawab Terhadap Lynas?:    Loji Lynas di Kuantan akan menjadi satu lagi mimpi ngeri. Lanthamide (nadir bumi) dari Australia yang akan diimport oleh Lynas ke M...

Laman Rasmi: Semak semula perjanjian IPP- TNB, tegas Anwar

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:28 AM PDT

Laman Rasmi: Semak semula perjanjian IPP- TNB, tegas Anwar: KUALA LUMPUR: Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menuntut kerajaan menyemak semula perjanjian berat sebelah antara syarikat Pengel...

Laman Rasmi: Pengurus Felda pun pinta borang menjadi peneroka.....

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:27 AM PDT

Laman Rasmi: Pengurus Felda pun pinta borang menjadi peneroka.....: Oleh:  Hj Suhaimi Said   Ramai pengurus-pengurus Felda yang sudah sedar dan insaf yang menyedari bahawa pendapatan mereka sebagai Pengurus F...

Laman Rasmi: Kes Scorpene: 153 dokumen polis Perancis didedah

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:24 AM PDT

Laman Rasmi: Kes Scorpene: 153 dokumen polis Perancis didedah: Antara bahagian daripada 153 dokumen yang didedah Asia Sentinel KUALA LUMPUR 3 Julai: Sebanyak 153 dokumen rasmi dimuat naik ke...

Kedahkini: PANAS! SIDANG DUN SELANGOR: KEMANA KETUA PEMBANGK...

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:16 AM PDT

Kedahkini: PANAS! SIDANG DUN SELANGOR: KEMANA KETUA PEMBANGK...: Suee Lim : Kenapa Ketua Pembangkang Ponteng Perbahasan? Bagaimanapun, Speaker DNS, Datuk Teng Chang Kim menjelaskan bahawa pembangkang dib...

KedahLanie.info: Saifuddin Dedah Punca Zul Nordin dan Zahrain Kelua...

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 09:13 AM PDT

KedahLanie.info: PETRONAS dah ada.. Tapi 2 Anak Mahathir wujudkan j...

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 09:12 AM PDT

KedahLanie.info: PETRONAS dah ada.. Tapi 2 Anak Mahathir wujudkan j...: POLITICS & ECONOMY MISGUIDED IN STYLO BY FOOLISH UMNGOK DIRECTION DULU, KINI & ENTAH SAMPAI BILA ;) "the WORLD will NOT be DESTROYED by...

Kedahkini: TERKINI!!! ROSMAH MANSOR DILANTIK MENTERI WANITA?

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 09:06 AM PDT

Kedahkini: TERKINI!!! ROSMAH MANSOR DILANTIK MENTERI WANITA?: Halimah : Rosmah Cuba Ambil Alih Jawatan Menteri? SHAH ALAM, 10 JULAI: Tindakan isteri Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor mengumu...

KedahLanie.info: Malu saya kalau jadi ahli MCA

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 09:04 AM PDT

KedahLanie.info: Malu saya kalau jadi ahli MCA: Oleh Izmil Amri Apabila Setiausaha Agung DAP, Lim Guan Eng, melalui cabutan undi, berjaya menjadi pemidato pertama; saya sudah boleh me...

Suara Sri Andalas

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Suara Sri Andalas


162 Projek Tidak Diluluskan, SYABAS Tidak Layak Urus Air Selangor

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 02:30 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM, 10 JULAI : Sebanyak 162 buah projek pembangunan di Selangor tidak diluluskan oleh Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) membuktikan syarikat itu tidak layak untuk mengurus air di negeri ini.

Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim berkata, penswastaan air di Selangor sepatutnya diubah kerana syarikat-syarikat yang dipilih tidak mempunyai kemampuan kewangan dan keupayaan pengurusan yang baik.

"SYABAS perlu meluluskan projek-projek ini seperti mana apa yang dijanjikan mereka ketika mengambil alih pengurusan air ini pada tahun 2004," katanya ketika menjawab soalan daripada Hannah Yeoh (DAP-Subang Jaya).

Katanya, pada tahun 2006, Kerajaan Pusat telah meluluskan akta bagi menyelesaikan isu pengurusan air di negeri-negeri di Malaysia.

"Kerajaan Negeri diminta untuk mengambil semula pengurusan air dan ini sudah mula dilakukan di Johor, Negeri Sembilan dan Melaka," katanya.

Sebelum ini, Kerajaan Negeri telah mencadangkan untuk mengambil alih pengurusan air di Selangor supaya lebih teratur dan efektif.

Abdul Khalid berkata, pengambilan pengurusan air di Selangor adalah sangat penting kerana tidak mahu membebankan rakyat.

"Jika tidak diambil alih pengurusan, kita akan membebankan rakyat dengan peningkatan harga air lebih daripada 70 peratus," katanya.

Namun begitu katanya, pemilik saham SYABAS tidak mempersetujui tawaran Kerajaan Negeri dengan mengatakan keuntungan yang diterima SYABAS masih tidak mencukupi.

"SYABAS mahu keuntungan sebanyak 1.2 billion sedangkan syarikat itu sudah mendapat keuntungan sejak 2004 lagi," katanya lagi.


Sumber: Selangorku

MB: Kes Curi Pasir di Selangor Berkurangan

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 01:30 AM PDT

Kegiatan mencuri pasir di negeri Selangor dan jumlah nilai kompaun yang dikeluarkan untuk kesalahan itu berkurangan sejak anak syarikat milik penuh kerajaan Selangor, Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB) menguruskan pasir di negeri ini sejak 2008.
   
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim berkata mengikut statistik, sejumlah 974 tangkapan berhubung kes mencuri pasir dibuat pada 2008; 159 kes (2009); 91 (2010) serta 37 tangkapan tahun lepas.
   
Katanya, jumlah nilai kompaun yang dikeluarkan bagi kesalahan pasir turut berkurangan daripada RM1.3 juta pada 2008 kepada RM425,000 pada 2009 dan RM121,000 pada 2010 kepada RM27,000 tahun lepas.
   
"Jumlah tangkapan dan kompaun ini berkurangan antara lain disebabkan keberkesanan operasi pemantauan kecurian pasir yang dibuat oleh daerah-daerah di bawah kelolaan pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri," katanya.
   
Beliau berkata demikian ketika menjawab soalan ADUN Kuala Kubu Bharu dari MCA Wong Koon Mun pada persidangan Dewan Undangan Negeri Selangor hari ini.

Sumber: Bernama

465 Sekolah Di Selangor Terima Bantuan Kerajaan Negeri

Posted: 09 Jul 2012 02:30 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM, 9 JULAI : Sebanyak 465 buah sekolah di Selangor menerima bantuan pendidikan sejak empat tahun Kerajaan Negeri di bawah Pakatan Rakyat.

Exco Pendidikan, Pendidikan Tinggi dan Pembangunan Modal Insan, Dr. Halimah Ali berkata, sebanyak 256 buah Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR), 112 buah Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) dan 97 buah Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) menerima bantuan itu.

Katanya, pengagihan peruntukan kepada sekolah-sekolah ini bertujuan memastikan proses pembelajaran dan pengajaran berada di tahap optima.

"Peruntukan yang diberikan berbeza kerana bergantung kepada keperluan yang diperlukan sekolah-sekolah ini," katanya ketika menjawab soalan daripada Amirudin Shari (Batu Caves-PKR).

Sementara itu, bantuan fizikal yang dipohon termasuk bangunan tambahan, pembelian komputer, membaiki tandas dan mengecat sekolah.

Manakala bantuan bukan fizikal adalah seperti pembayaran yuran pelajar miskin dan penambahbaikan sistem pembelajaran.

"SJKT memohon bagi Kerajaan Negeri membayar yuran bagi pelajar miskin dan SAR memerlukan guru-guru pakar bagi meningkatkan kualiti pembelajaran dan pengajaran," jelasnya.

"Setiap permohonan perlu menyertakan laporan lengkap beserta gambar dan ia akan dinilai sebelum sesuatu peruntukan diberikan," katanya lagi ketika menjawab soalan tambahan daripada Yap Ee Wah (Sungai Pelek-BN).


Sumber: Selangorku

Kerajaan Selangor Tambah Lagi Lori Kompaktor Sampah

Posted: 09 Jul 2012 02:20 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM 09 JULAI : Kerajaan Selangor akan membeli 50 lagi lori kompaktor sampah bagi menganti lori yang usang dan rosak agar sistem kutipan sampah di seluruh negeri dapat terus diperkasakan kata Exco Kerajaan Tempatan, Kajian dan Penyelidikan Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew.

"Kompaktor yang akan dibeli itu sebagai tambahan kepada 50 buah kompaktor yang sudah dibeli baru-baru ini oleh syarikat Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB)," katanya semasa menjawab soalan dari Dr Shafie Abu Bakar (Bangi-Pas).

Jelasnya, pembelian kompaktor baru itu terpaksa dibeli kerana sejak 13 tahun lalu, pentadbiran Umno-BN tak pernah mengantikan kompaktor yang lama.

Ronnie juga membidas Yap Ee Wah (Sungai Pelek-BN) kerana bertanya mengapa kerajaan negeri membeli kompaktor baru.

"Saya tidak faham kenapa sampai sekarang tidak faham. Kalau awak mahu semua kontraktor ada kompaktor, awak tahu berapa harganya?

"Kalau kita buat macam itu maksudnya hanya orang kaya saja boleh jadi kontraktor. Kenapa dulu Alam Flora pun buat sedemikian?

Ronnie menambah aduan mengenai sampah sudah berkurangan sejak pihak berkuasa tempatan mengambilalih sistem kutipan secara penuh pada Mac 2012.

Jelasnya, tindakan daripada beberapa Badan Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO) khususnya Yayasan Amal turut membantu PBT dalam memantau kutipan di kawasan setempat daripada sebarang aktiviti berunsur sabotaj.

"Masalah itu (kutipan) dapat diatasi walaupun terdapat unsur-unsur sabotaj daripada pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab dengan menghalang lori serta mengancam pekerja untuk menggagalkan kerja-kerja kutipan sampah di negeri ini.

"Selain itu, tindakan melonggokkan sampah juga dilakukan sejurus selepas kutipan rutin dilakukan oleh pihak kontraktor untuk tatapan media," katanya.

Sumber: Selangorku

Pangsapuri Kos Rendah Nikmati Cukai Pintu 25 Peratus

Posted: 09 Jul 2012 02:00 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM 9 JULAI : Kerajaan Negeri akan memberi pengurangan cukai pintu sebanyak 25 peratus kepada penghuni rumah pangsapuri kos rendah di seluruh Selangor yang akan dilancarkan selewat-lewatnya Ogos nanti.

Berita gembira itu diumumkan Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim dalam satu sidang media sejurus selesai Hari Zon Bersih Bulan Julai peringkat Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA) di sini.

"Langkah pertama, kita akan meminta Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan (PBT) seluruh Selangor untuk mengenalpasti mana-mana kawasan pangsapuri kos rendah, seterusnya memberikan semua maklumat itu kepada Kerajaan Negeri.

"Walaubagaimanapun, kita cuma akan memberi tawaran ini kepada penghuni yang menghuni rumah tersebut sahaja, jika disewakan, peluang ini tidak ada," jelas beliau.

Menurutnya, sumber kewangan bagi memberi pengurangan cukai tersebut datangnya daripada penjimatan yang Kerajaan Negeri perolehi kesan daripada pengurusan penyelenggaraan sampah sendiri tanpa menggunakan khidmat Alam Flora.

"Hasil penjimatan, kita memperolehi kira-kira RM 100 juta di seluruh Selangor, manakala untuk Shah Alam sahaja kita berjaya jimat RM 30 juta.

"Hasil inilah yang dapat kita salurkan semula kepada rakyat dengan pengurangan cukai pintu kepada penghuni pangsapuri kos rendah seluruh negeri," tambahnya lagi.


Sumber: Selangorku

Dana MIMBAR Disempurnakan Hujung Tahun Ini

Posted: 09 Jul 2012 01:45 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM, 9 JUL : Kerajaan Selangor mensasarkan dana RM 20 juta yang diperuntukkan bagi Skim Mikrokredit Miskin Bandar (Mimbar) akan digunakan sepenuhnya menjelang hujung tahun ini.

Exco Kebajikan, Hal Ehwal Wanita, Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Rodziah Ismail berkata, sehingga Jun 2012, Kerajaan Negeri telah memberikan RM 11 juta kepada 4,452 peminjam bagi pelaksanaan skim itu.

Menurutnya, dana tambahan perlu dilaksanakan pada tahun hadapan memandangkan permintaan terhadap skim itu kian bertambah.

"Bagi memastikan kelangsungan dan sasaran program ini dapat dicapai, dana yang diperolehi itu diberikan secara berperingkat. Setiap minggu, Mimbar mensasarkan kira-kira 250 peminjam di mana kutipan hutang yang dibayar semula oleh peminjam ini akan digunakan sebagai wang pusingan.

"Bagaimanapun dana tambahan perlu dilaksanakan memandangkan permintaan meningkat dan tidak mencukupi sepenuhnya," katanya.

Rodziah berkata demikian semasa menjawab pertanyaan mulut daripada Azmin Ali (Bukit Antarabangsa-PKR) dalam sidang Dewan Negeri Selangor di sini.

Tambahnya, Kerajaan Negeri turut menyediakan latihan intensif kepada peniaga kecil-kecilan bagi meningkatkan kemahiran dan kepuayaan mereka supaya perniagaan dapat dikembangkan.

Beliau berkata, program untuk ibu tunggal dan golongan kurang upaya (OKU) juga disediakan selaras dengan hasrat kerajaan negeri sebagai negeri berkebajikan.

"Kita tidak tinggalkan mereka dalam lingkungan kemiskinan. Kita bantu mereka dengan pelbagai program seperti pembersihan masjid dan pembungkusan semula produk bagi meningkatkan pendapatan mereka.

"Selain itu, peminjam Mimbar pula akan diberi latihan dan tunjuk ajar mengenai ilmu berdaya saing dalam perniagaan supaya mereka dapat meningkatkan skil di peringkat yang lebih tinggi," ujarnya.


Sumber: Selangorku

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Anwar Ibrahim’s Moment of Truth Looms

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 07:06 PM PDT

The Guardian

He is the man many Malaysians love to hate. Once considered his nation’s political tour de force, Anwar Ibrahim has spent the greater part of the past two decades in jail, wrapped up in court proceedings and enduring what he calls a long-standing smear campaign – from being labelled a chauvinist and Zionist to facing accusations that he is homosexual, guilty of sodomy and anti-Muslim.

Now Anwar is fighting his last fight: to be Malaysia’s next prime minister, a battle for which he has been preparing for a very long time. 

At speeches and rallies Anwar is vibrant, compelling, persuasive. In person he is slight, ageing and soft-spoken, sipping black tea with honey as he outlines why his opposition alliance expects to usurp the prime minister, Najib Razak, and the incumbent Barisan Nasional (National Front), which has governed Malaysia for nearly 60 years.

“The mood is there, the mood for change,” Anwar says from his office at the multi-storeyed headquarters of his People’s Justice party in central Kuala Lumpur. “I’m very optimistic that we will wrest control and make major inroads.”

Anwar has long been a contender to rule Malaysia but his political career has suffered vertiginous highs and lows. The spectacular ascent that saw him grace the cover of Newsweek as Asian of the Year and become the heir apparent of then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was met with an equally spectacular crash in 1998, when the two fell out and Anwar was imprisoned for six years on corruption and sodomy charges, claims he repeatedly dismissed as politically motivated.

Times have not been easy since his release in 2004. Despite leading an opposition coalition to a famous result in the 2008 general election, when it stole one-third of the parliamentary seats and five states from the National Front, Anwar soon found himself facing new sodomy charges, accusations that were only dismissed this January due to lack of evidence. 

But his movement is full of hope. Elections are expected to be called any time in the next nine months, and even those who do not openly back Anwar often support what he stands for: relief from an autocratic and out-of-touch government they say has ruled Malaysia for too long. In April many tens of thousands of Malaysians took to the nation’s streets to demand electoral reform at rallies organised by Bersih, an opposition-backed coalition of civil-society groups whose name means “clean” in Malay.
 
According to political columnist Art Harun, Bersih has thrown “a massive spanner in the [government] works” as increasingly informed activists point to numerous corruption scandals and police brutality as proof that government reform is necessary. But when it comes to voting they will have to contend with a determined ruling party that has been accused of playing dirty to win. ”The electoral roll is our Achilles’ heel and their way of winning,” sighs opposition MP and Anwar’s 31-year-old daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, herself a participant in April’s rally. “Before it was just small instances … Now we’ve unearthed a whole pool of data.” She claims that in her constituency alone she has 10,000 voters who suddenly ‘appeared’ on electoral lists.

Anwar’s greatest task will be proving that he can actually instigate the change Malaysians have long been calling for, says Malaysia expert Bridget Welsh of Singapore Management University. “Four months after Bersih there are two important issues: the management of the economy and who can manage the economy best, and who can offer more options in democratic governance,” she says. “The third aspect is whether this election will be free and fair … so what we have is a situation where the integrity of the [electoral] process is as important as the process itself.” 

Matters are complicated by new charges that Anwar faces of opposing a court order at the Bersih rally. If convicted he would not be able to stand for office in the next election. He denies the allegations.

If elected Anwar knows that his will be a tricky balancing act in a nation that sells itself as “Moderate Malaysia”, where even his own opposition alliance spans his People’s Justice party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic party and the ethnic Chinese Democratic Action party.
 
“We have discussed economic policies, social policies and religious positions, and we have come to agreements,” he says of his own alliance. “But there’s a big, huge internal battle” – he strikes every word with his finger on his desk – “among the [wider] Malaysian community between the fanatics and the extremists to petition broader, more liberal tolerance. We call ourselves liberals … [but] we must put in check, not through brute force, but through active and vibrant intellectual discourse, these [extremist] aberrations.”

Voters may be hoping for change at the next general election but they know they can’t expect it. “What we want to see is a multi-party democracy where, every two or three years, the [leading] party will change,” explains Bersih leader Ambiga Sreenavasan. “We’re not averse to Barisan coming back but if parties think they’re going to lose power, they behave a lot better. [This] is about power coming back to the people. It’s about us being in charge.”

If Anwar is unsuccessful in what is very likely his last bid at the prime ministership, many of those on the ground expect his daughter to one day carry the torch. Young, articulate and popular, Nurul Izzah personifies all of her father’s promise, without, perhaps, the residual baggage. “I think she’ll be the first woman prime minister of this country,” says Ambiga. “I’ve said it so many times, I hope it comes true.”

Siri Jelajah Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim Ke Lembah Pantai & Petaling Jaya Selatan

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 11:57 AM PDT

Merdeka Rakyat

12 Julai 2012 (Khamis)

1)    8.00 – 11.00 mlm – Majlis Makan Malam

      Lokasi: Dewan Persatuan Hainan Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan

                  (Thean Hou Temple), Persiaran Indah, Off Jln Syed Putra

      
Penceramah:

i.                    YB Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim

ii.                  YB Nurul Izzah Anwar

iii.                YB Gobind Singh Deo

iv.                YB Dato' Seri Nizar Jamaluddin

v.                 YBhg Rafizi Ramli

2)    9.00 – 12.00 mlm – Ceramah Perdana – Merdeka Rakyat

      Lokasi: Dataran Anak Muda MBPJ, Jln PJS 1/32, Taman Petaling Utama, PJ

      
Penceramah:

i.                    YB Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim

ii.                  YB Hee Loy Siang

iii.                YB Nurul Izzah Anwar

iv.               YB Khalid Samad

v.                 YB Manikavasagam

vi.               YB Haniza Talha  

Transkrip Wawancara Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim Bersama Julian Assange Pengasas Wikileaks

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 01:26 AM PDT

From http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/episode-12.html?nocache

Dato' Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim is the charismatic face of the Malaysian opposition. Formerly a high-ranking and popular member of the government of Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad in the 1990s, Anwar fell out of favour, and in the late 90s was expelled from political life on corruption and sodomy charges that turned out to be politically motivated. By the time he was acquitted, he had already served six years in prison. On his return to politics in 2008, amid a surge of support for his anti-corruption platform, he was hit with fresh sodomy charges. He claimed they were, again, engineered by his political opponents. Anwar fought a four year court battle against the accusations, and in January of this year he was cleared of all charges.

Malaysian politics is currently heating up in advance of the impending election. In May 2012 – after this interview was filmed – Anwar was accused of inciting demonstrators to breach an anti-protest law, because of his appearance at a pro-democracy rally in April. If convicted, he will be disqualified from politics for the near future, ruining his election chances.

Links to Networks Hosting the Show

RT – English – live
RT – Arabic – live
RT – Russian
RT – Spanish – live
L'Espresso – Italian

Transcript:

[12:10:36.21]

JA:
I just want to go into first your big dramatic story with your imprisonment because this is just easy for people to relate to emotionally.

[director chat about air conditioning]

[12:11:26.23]

JA:
So, this personal story with you and how you survived and so on, and then move into what is Malaysia like… because it's like… I think Malaysia is like all of Europe in one country because it's so diverse and so many elements and languages and religions and so on, and to give a bit of flavour of that for people who aren't Malaysians – what is this country that you are operating in? And then I want to move into Malaysia's relationship with the region and the changes that are happening in Malaysia and in Asia as a whole, and how you see Malaysia relating to Asia and the region as a whole. And the influence of China and Australia. And then, look into the… what's happening with Islam in Malaysia and these other forces and tensions that are happening in Malaysia. And then look at the ISA and abuses of the ISA, and what's happening with the rule of law in Malaysia and the Sharia courts versus non-Sharia courts and how these different systems interact with each other.

[12:12:57.03]

AI:
This line of questioning, no way Najib would accept your invitation.

[12:13:02.17]

JA:
[laughs]

Well, yeah. I suspect he is not going to accept anyway, you know. But I would love it if you and Najib and Raja Petra and we all have one big thing, I think this would be incredible, and…

[12:13:17.10]

AI:
He didn't respond, and you know our guys went crazy.

[12:13:21.04]

JA:
I know. That was incredible and when he attacked you for being a… saying that you were a coward, so now we have this, so now we can say exactly the same thing…

AI:
That's true.

JA:
He'll probably say 'Well, I really want to do it but, you know, my schedule is too full'. Damn it. Ok.

[12:13:52.16]

AI:
But how are you before that? Before we start, do you have a few minutes after the interview? I would like to hear you.

[12:13:59.12]

JA:
Absolutely, absolutely.

[12:14:03.16]

JA:
So, perhaps we will just have a brief outline of your history but not too long because I want to cut into this more dramatic period of your life, but Anwar Ibrahim you were a student activist from your early days within Malaysia and you were imprisoned as a young man. Can you tell me a little bit about what your big political progression is over this time? Because you've gone from being quite a young man involved in student politics all the way to being Deputy Prime Minister and then cast into solitary confinement and coming out and resurrecting yourself as an opposition leader.

[12:14:48.16]

JA:
Thank you, Julian. I mean, we started off as… most of us as student activists wanting to portray outside the conscience of the people against corruption, abuse of power, and for Malays and the majority Malay/Muslim in Malaysia our concern that comes clearly the issue of lagging behind economically educational standards, so these were the concerns. And those were the years when we wanted to define the rule, the majority leads at that time, issue of language, issue of education, the law of Islam in the country, but Mohamad came into the picture. I mean, I was arrested bit prior to that for supporting land farmers in the North, demanding same treatment, fairer treatment from the government… and two years in detention without trial – there was Internal Security Act – but later when Mohamad became Prime Minister he came with a mission, clearly as a reformer, and I was frankly attracted to that. We had a series of discussions and I joined on this reform platform to change… course of… in direction of the country, economic, poverty alleviation, against corruptions creeping in, and also the rule of Islam in terms of ethical values in the society, multi-racial multi-religious society, and came up very fast to become Deputy Prime Minister, only to be sent back for six years in prison.

[12:16:47.16]

JA:
So, I want to look at this imprisonment of yours. So, under Mahathir, who was a strong leader of Malaysia for many years, there are a number of people who came up to the position of being Deputy Prime Minister and were cast out one by one, and… but your fall from grace was the most dramatic. Can you tell me what happened?

[12:17:12.02]

AI:
It's interesting, you see, one Deputy Prime Minister, my predecessor, stated that had he challenged Mohamad after he was sacked, then there would be probably ten similar or worse allegations against him, so they decided therefore to just remain rather muted, and support. I, on the contrary, thought that Malaysia, it's ripe for a… to support a reform agenda. I thinkwe are… we should mature as a democracy after half a century of independence. Because of that, I was of course badly assaulted the first day I was det… sent to police custody. This was by the Chief Inspector of Police, and I was sent then to solitary confinement in prison. It was, of course, not a bed of roses, it was tough. Initially, I was not given even books to read but the international media and friends internationally did voice out and I think finally they did concede and allow books, and I thought I became slightly smarter, being able to read The Complete Works of Shakespeare four and a half times – that's rare. All the classics… and I thought it's a good… good time to reflect other than agitate and, er, read the great classics. I mean, Boris Pasternak and, you know, Tolstoy – you really read them in prison. And it's interesting – from the prism of prison walls, you understand, you appreciate better. There's no interruption, you immerse yourself in the storyline. Sometimes a bit depressing, of course. I mean, look at the walls, but look… you… you become part in a play, you… I've never internalised or appreciated King Lear or, you know, the dialogue with Cordelia, you know… until you landed in solitary confinement.

[12:19:28.18]

JA:
When I was in prison, and I read Cancer Ward, this book by Solzhenitsyn, which is a very… a wonderful, wonderful book but very, very depressing and very brutal but I felt 'Well, there's worse places I could be. I could be in a Siberian cancer ward with cancer, for instance. And this…

[12:19:53.23]

AI:
You… A rigid routine and keep yourself extremely busy… punishing schedule, you know… Five o'clock wake up and there's some… We have a group who perform morning prayers then… although it's solitary confinement and my schedule's very tight, then you start reading the classics, then contemporary works and write lots of letters, which you have to smuggle. Most of it, clearly… Some of it, clearly was missing because we had to smuggle through the files, inside files of the counsel, who come and see me once a week or once a fortnight.

[12:20:40.02]

JA:
So you used to smuggle into… books or letters or… with your counsel?

[12:20:48.04]

AI:
Books no, because books they did allow except if it is, you know, it mention about Anwar or reform [inaudible] then even economics, or sometimes with history books when they would blank over that page or tear, but otherwise they would allow books to be brought in. Initially, they said two books a week plus two magazines but I told them I could finish them in three days, so I'm pleading then they allowed more books to be brought in.

[12:21:20.16]

JA:
So if I could go back to this initial dramatic arrest of yours. So, the allegations at that time were corruption, sodomy, and they really tore you to pieces in the Malaysian media. You were in prison. How much of an understanding did you have when you first entered prison, what was happening in this maelstrom outside?

[12:21:48.23]

AI:
Things were brewing up at least six months prior to the sacking. There were differences over economic policies, bailouts, whether I should approve the two million ringgit to Mohamad's son, which I did not. With the bailout, whether the priority should be the banks and the top corporate guys, or should you deduct allocations for education and health. My priority was not to affect the medium- and the low-income groups, but the lobbying of the cronies and the family members were too strong, so I did actually anticipate something serious was going on. I hear rumours because at that time you see I still had access to the Attorney General's office or the police, you know, and you can see their movements into the Prime Minister's office – the Chief Judge, Inspector of Police, Attorney General – going back and forth to the Prime Minister's office, just adjacent to mine. But I did not believe it, I did not ever thought that they would such… in such speed arrest me and imprison me and smear me with these scurrilous attacks beyond my imagination, and then brutally attack me without even access to medical attention. For days I was just left there. Prison off… and at that time police officers, the Commandant of the camp broke down in tears the following Monday when he saw me and said he was not responsible, but didn't want to say beyond that, which means you've actually shocked the police officers too.

[12:23:36.23]

JA:
The first six months that you were in prison you could only have the Qur'an, just this one book, and after six months you were permitted access to other books, and what books did you choose to keep you going?

[12:23:56.04]

AI:
Well, to be…Shakespeare was one, the collected works of Shakespeare was one of the first that I requested, then the classics and because, you know, we come from multi-racial, multi-liberal society, I asked for Islamic classics, the Confucianist works of people like Tu Weiming, the new Confucian Harvard scholar, of Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana, the Hindu epics and, of course, the Alan Bloom … er, no, no – Harold Bloom!

[12:24:29.24]

JA:
Harold Bloom. And what did you feel…? This is of interest to me because I have a number of friends who have been imprisoned. Your view about how to handle the experience – did you have a method that you thought 'Well, this is the correct way to deal with solitary confinement, it is to create some kind of order'. How did you control the perception of the passage of time and things like this?

[12:24:59.01]

AI:
Well, it was tough. I mean, now I think it may sound easy but at that particular time it was very tough because I was… My kids were very small then, the youngest was still in kindergarten, and the day… the time I was arrested I could see, I mean, this picture – the anguish, the despair. And my mother was very ill and… So, these were the issues that you actually have – you reflect a lot, 'Why did she?', you know – kids and parents and friends… And you have no access to the media, which on hindsight was a good thing, particularly the local media because the local media was so nasty, presenting this wild view of Mohamad and the ruling party and excessive, incessant propaganda and paedophiling campaign, so you just hear all these whispers. But what gave me some strength because you know, I had some experience – I had two years' experience prior to that, I was much younger – and then you see the prison officers and guards were extremely friendly. They were very scared, there were cameras all around, but you can sense their sympathy and support – that keeps you going but then your hear some whisperings about what was happening, demonstrations outside… But otherwise, I just kept myself just very busy – 'I have to complete…', you know – and with copious notes, right?- for example, 'War and Peace by Wednesday', 'Thursday will start Bhagavad Gita', you know? Just things like that, so that you are… which you compare and you don't actually do complete that, you think 'Well, my goodness, I need to do something to discipline myself and do more, sleep less', because it can be very lethargic. You become… you become… sense of indolence in prison.

[12:27:08.00]

JA:
What about… did you have a TV in prison, or radio?

[12:27:13.06]

AI:
Nothing. No radio, no TV, no newspapers.

[12:27:14.16]

JA:
So this might have actually been good for you… you know, there's these prisoners who – and not just in prison – people sometimes out of prison become lethargic and absorbed by TV and distracted from pursuing their life, but perhaps the lack of external stimulus like that permitted you to construct this internal life through literature?

[12:27:38.21]

AI:
Yeah, that's also true because I think ifI had, for example, given TV or radio you're bound to go for some… I mean, spend some time at this radio and television, although radio will be confined to the local networks. But not all serious, Julian, I got to be very honest, I spent a long… not long hours, but certainly… in the washroom, in the bathroom, singing the Beatles, Ricky Nelson or Elvis Presley, and I'm amazed… I mean, the guards, the prison officers were surprised that you actually could memorise the lyrics of these '70s numbers. So you[inaudible] with the English, Malay, even Hindi songs.

[12:28:30.04]

JA:
And while you were inside what was happening to your family and your wife outside?

[12:28:35.17]

AI:
Azizah, I mean, you can see her, she was… I mean, she looks fragile but she's… she's totally tough and strong and, you know, held the family together and she was marvellous. That has helped us immensely. Can you imagine, I mean, in the few meetings that I had she then told the children 'Look, we are going to visit Papa, please be calm, be happy, don't ever talk about your problems and worry about this'? So, they came in and we chat and ask about their education and things like that, and then we tend to sing some songs too – you know, just… just, you know, 'It's Now or Never', Elvis Presley or… you know… and so that we end on a very, very happy note. But, as Aziazah later on told me, that the drive back home was clearly more difficult, and similarly for me – I would just, you know, I wouldn't be able to read or do anything for hours because it is… it is very depressing at that point in time, I mean. But you… then you realise that 'God, it is a battle', it's a major challenge, and if you do surrender then the whole battle will be lost.

[12:30:16.10]

JA:
And while you're inside, outside your wife is pushing forward a big campaign for your release.

AI:
Yes.

JA:
Did you have any idea how big this movement was that she had created while you were inside?

[12:30:31.17]

AI:
Not really, but from the whisperings of… and received from the guards and sometimes letters smuggled in, then I realised. And there was some of the prison officers who'd tell me 'I attended the rally ten miles out of Kuala Lumpur and then we heard, you know, your wife and speeches'. And I said 'How many attended?' He said 'At least 20,000 people', so I thought there's something… something, you know, real happening in Kuala Lumpur. And I could, of course, sense that because on the day I was arrested we have held for the first time the biggest ever rally in the history of Malaysia – 100,000 people in that roundup – although the official news said 4,000 or 5,000 and then later on even the Inspector of Police confirmed at least 70,000, but when it comes to the reports then I felt greatly encouraged, not only from the messages I hear, or I heard from Azizah, but more so in terms of news from the prison guards. They would tell me 'Yeah, we were there', and many of them on the quiet became members of the party.

[12:31:47.00]

JA:
And did you have a sense of being part of Malaysian history, of being part of something bigger than yourself when you heard about these protests outside and the movement surrounding trying to get you out?

[12:32:04.14]

AI:
Well…

[12:32:04.08]

JA:
Because my experience in prison is that… you were pushed down to consider the most trivial things, such as you must have a shower at a certain time, and you must go from this room to that room at a certain time, and you must fill out all these incredibly tedious forms. And so, if you had previously been thinking about, if you like, great matters of state and international politics, and suddenly you were drawn down into… into thinking about your socks and how cold it is and so on, but then on the outside you imagine – but you cannot see – that there are people protesting and there is some historic moment going on, but you can't see it.

[12:32:57.19]

AI:
Yeah. It's… Well, you could not ever imagine that after assuming, you know, an acting premiership for example, as you said, you deal with the…you know, the 'I need some hot water for the shower because my excruciating back pain after the assault'. You have to argue the case about how many books you can read or you can't read, and any reference to the word 'revolution' or 'Left' would be disallowed. But it… it… the reading is not even to get some press [indecipherable] , you have to argue the case out. This took quite… quite some time, it's not… not just a simple yes or no because whilst the prison officers seem to be quite supportive they're very scared because the system is very oppressive, so you… you really actually reflect on things, what's happening outside – yes, you do and I think that kept me going too, you know. They said 'Look, wait for the elections and I think we'll prove our case', and I'm… and no way can they continue with these lies. I remember in the Vaclav Havel note, it said… you know, summarising from his earlier works, it said: 'No one could ever think that you are the only guy in prison'. The leadership was also in prison – they read, they reflect, they hear only what is… what was told to them, that they were in a way more unfree than yourself. So I had this notion that 'Somehow or other, you will be vindicated and you'll be able to address', and you trust the wisdom of the masses. How is it that you can get 100,000 people without that sophistication, without media excess? But you still reflect based on the dictates on your conscience or the habits of the heart.

[12:35:13.19]

JA:
How did you get out? In the end, when… why were you released from prison? What was the finding?

[12:35:23.22]

AI:
Mohamed resigned, you know, because… although it was just a matter of his decision to quit… but certainly the elections 1999, although the ruling party won but they lost the Malay heartland and the Malay base. At that time, at that point in time, the ethnic Chinese and Indians were not too sure about this Malay change when they saw these… the Malay community particularly enraged, so they then opted to support the ruling party. But Mohamed got the signal – and the international media. And also some of his extreme statements, racist and anti-Semitic, was then seen as a [inaudible]

leader, desperate to keep himself in power so he resigned. After his resignation the new Prime Minister then came out with a series of statements to say 'We'll not interfere with the judiciary', 'There will be separation of powers', etcetera. So finally, he achieved somewhat of a compromise, which was unprecedented in law because in any criminal charge, it's got to be based purely on the facts, and the law, not intimidation by the White House, or any seemingly so. You would understand this better. I'm not suggesting only in Malaysia but sometimes in even the so-called Western, more sophisticated-seeming rule of law, you can still find some form of interference. In this case what happened was they persuaded the Federal court to suggest that 'Well, we do believe Anwar may be a bit guilty but there's no clear evidence and therefore his appeal is accepted'. So he was acquitted and was set free.

[12:37:26.23]

JA:
So you were acquitted of sodomy?

[12:37:29.07]

AI:
Yes. But the corruption charge initially… it was interesting because there was nothing, no renumerations, no money or land transactions at all – I mean, I was Minister of Finance, the only charge was that. I then spoke to the Police Chief after the scurrilous attacks against me and he came to court and said 'Well, I would lie if I'm instructed to do so', you see – and still the court accepted his version of the story. I mean, I don't think I need to convince you about the state of the judiciary in Malaysia…

JA:
Yeah. Yeah.

AI:
…but then I was acquitted, and again a new charge recently, and this was…

[12:38:11.00]

JA:
So you were… you were acquitted 2004? And…

[12:38:12.16]

AI:
Yes.

[12:38:14.08]

JA:
Yup, and then you're out and the ruling party is worried that you are going to enter into politics and there's very careful manoeuvres to try and stop you re-entering politics. So, can you speak a little bit about this period of time between 2004 and 2008 when you successfully re-entered politics?

[12:38:40.10]

AI:
So, 2004 after I was released then I went as a visiting… on short term as a visiting Fellow at St Antony's, Oxford…

[12:38:47.14]

JA:
What did you… before we get to that, what did you do the moment you were released? Did your family pick you up? What happened?

[12:38:57.10]

AI:
When I was released… I mean, of course, it was a pleasant surprise. Some tend to believe that something… some positive change is taking place, because they can see the signal in the Prime Minister's comments, which also show that the judiciary's not independent…

[audio lost]

JA:
We've just lost you for a second, Anwar. Let me… No, I can't… I can't… can't see you. It's breaking down a bit. Let's hope it comes back again. Let me just… let me call you back and maybe we'll get a faster circuit.

AI:
Ok, thank you.

[off camera chat]

[12:43:43.03]

JA:
I know you said that I have you for as long as I want but do we have you for another hour?

[12:43:53.24]

AI:
Yeah, probably 45 minutes because the lecture is about one hour [discusses with his crew]
.

[12:44:06.22]

JA:
Alright, ok, that's fine, that's fine.

[12:44:08.22]

AI:
Priority for Julian Assange, you know – not always can get you. No, no, I was really looking forward to seeing you when I… really, because there was a meeting with Al Gore in San Francisco so I thought I should stop over for two days, and the only purpose, of course, was my… to see my daughter who's doing mathematics at Kings College and also to see you, and there's no other programme. Yeah.

[12:44:33.04]

JA:
Excellent. You remember us… remember the last time I saw you in this crazy thing in Oslo? So strange all that… and when Medvedev and his two hundred and fifty goons walked into that hotel, that was… very strange. Anyway, let's speak… we were just speaking about how you left prison. So, what was the first thing you did? I mean, did your family take you back? Your first day out of custody for such a long time.

[12:45:09.11]

AI:
We wanted just to have a few hours with the family, so what Azizah's plan was to whisk me off quickly to my father's residence about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur and then spend just some time with him. I lost my mum when she was in… when I was in prison, so I went to see him and to spend a bit of time with the family and, of course, after 45 minutes they have phoned people – I went back to a huge reception. But Azizah was… is an Irish/Dublin trained ophthalmologist – so, you know, very tough, very conservative when it comes to treatment – so she said 'No, the priority is to go immediately to Dr Hoogland, Alpha Clinic, Munich for immediate surgery', so we plan and the following day we got on the phone to the doctor and we left for Munich for back surgery and this is [inaudible]

[12:46:17.24]

JA:
And this is related to the injury you suffered, or something else?

[12:46:24.13]

AI:
Yeah, the assault when I was in prison, the first night in the lock-up under police custody and what was badly bruised was the face and the eye and the black eye incident…

[12:46:36.22]

JA:
I remember. I remember seeing the photos.

[12:46:39.07]

AI:
But then, what was not known even to me at that time was the extent of the injury to the back. So, after the suggested recuperate I came back and there was a huge reception in Malaysia, Indonesia, then we had a note from Mandela, who invited the family to visit him, so we went to Johannesburg to see Mandela, then Cape Town and back again. So I was… immediately afterwards we decided therefore that I needed to spend some time with the family so we did…

[12:47:18.10]

JA:
And did you find it… you know, this immediately getting out and you report you were rushed off to go into another prison, which is hospital, but… did you find it – being liberated – to be overwhelming to your senses? Was it too much, or did you feel like you had such an amount of energy stored up from these years that you wanted to display it and to socialise and to sort of…?

[12:47:48.12]

AI:
So many things you want to do. You want to eat and, you know… You know in Australia you find this… this king fruit, durian, which I had not tasted for a long time. It's an awful smell to most Europeans.

[12:48:02.12]

JA:
Yeah, it's banned in Malaysian airport – Singapore airport, Singapore airport, it's banned.

[12:48:09.03]

AI:
Yes. I mean, from most hotels here, who banned too because it gives such a smell. And also meet so many friends and so many things you want to say… to tell, but at the same time those outside would like to report you. You will have to spend hours talking about what's happening, the political situation, etcetera. So we decided, the family and Azizah, you take off for a while and we went to St Antony's, Oxford as visiting Fellow for some time but then when I got this offer at Georgetown University as a visiting professor, which of course is more lucrative, and my… my daughter and son were studying there, my eldest daughter's doing Masters at John Hopkins, so we thought therefore it's better to continue…

[12:48:57.20]

JA:
So you felt when you first got out that Malaysia was too dangerous for you? I mean, you left Malaysia and you spent time at John Hopkins and in England, and then something must have changed, you must have felt that the time was right to return?

[12:49:20.17]

AI:
Yeah. No, I did return, Julian, from time to time, every month or every other month. Every time there's an opportunity.

[12:49:26.08]

JA:
But to live there… but to fully integrate yourself back into Malaysian political life?

[12:49:32.12]

AI:
But I took time… a lot of time because I love speaking engagements, you know, either in the Middle East or in Turkey or in Hong Kong, so you know, why should you come back home just to be in touch? But finally… And prior to that, as you know, Turkey initiated this and lobbied and was trying to persuade me to enter international arena, the United Nations, etcetera, which I politely declined because I thought 'I'm a village guy', and I thought 'You know, I owe it to the Malaysians – in the worst of times, they were there in support'. So I decided to go back by end of 2006/7 because we thought that elections would be called by the end of 2007 at the earliest. That was the primary reason because I think that the government, with different leadership, remained entrenched with this old oppressive system, with draconian laws, no free media and endemic corruption. I think that was the reason that we then decided we should go back full-time to do this in politics.

[12:50:50.07]

JA:
So, you come back into Malaysia and in the lead up to 2008, an extraordinary year in Malaysian politics, you try and get into… you try and get elected to parliament. What happens during that year, and how can you describe what happens to yourself with this new attack on you and this remarkable transition in Malaysian politics from the government having nearly 80 per cent of the vote to 54 per cent?

[12:51:26.22]

AI:
Well, we went… we worked very hard, you know. We don't have any access to the media – the entire media was groomed to support the ruling party. Even today as leader of the opposition, I don't have even one minute of air-time – that's why I decided to… accepted your invitation. You don't have any – and not only that, you have daily attacks. They could use any statement that you are, you know, 'sexual pervert'… and now 'agent of Israel' and then you're a supporter of al-Qaeda and America and Egypt, and every other night there would be a new attack – vicious – against you but still, as I said, I still trust the wisdom of the people. Can you imagine? Not a minute of air-time and you could still win five states, including Kuala Lumpur. We won 10 out of 11 parliamentary seats, and so I believe we are ripe for some sort of Malaysian Spring, through the electoral process. But we worked very hard, as you said, in 2007/2008, and we did work harder among the ethnic minorities because we thought that from '99 to 2004 they would be apprehensive because the policies… they thought it is a better… struggle among the Malay leaders supporting the same policies, and I said to the contrary, we are a reform party, committed to a reform agenda. Some of the obsolete policies, race-based, has to change with the times, andwe were very successful in… at least in our interaction with the ethnic minorities, Chinese and Indians in particular, and they did show a very impressive level of support in 2008. Since then, we are continuing, including the heartland in Sabah, in Sarawak, where we lost very badly.

[12:53:44.21]

JA:
I want to look at this change in the… this change in the Asian… I want to look at this change in the South East Asian region. So, there was a democracy movement in Indonesia, which was successful, a breakaway of East Timor from Indonesia, this movement in 2008 which saw your party, your coalition, take the majority of seats in Kuala Lumpur and in five other states. What do you think was driving this? Was it the internet, was it greater movement of people amongst the region, what… why – at this time you had the Asian economic crisis, was that one of the drivers?

[12:54:36.04]

AI:
Well, for Malaysia specifically, the '98… 97/98 economic crisis, then my sacking did play a role in, you know, keeping this awareness. The Malays have never, for example, been seen to be that prepared to question the dominance of the ruling UMNO, but you can sense the change taking place in the region because there's a move to enhance levels of education, people are getting more sophisticated, and among the urban and the suburban areas there is also new access to the alternative media. The internet plays a very significant role – not a complete one, because there was a limit… a limit in terms of the extent of penetration into the rural heartland. But you can see from the urban and the suburban areas, people opt for change and

[12:55:42.15]

JA:
So, those areas that could… you know, the strong dominance of Malaysian media culture and Malaysia media proprietors by the ruling coalition and those areas which could receive another voice from the internet through – actually quite a vibrant Malaysian print internet publishing group – was particularly those areas that voted for change?

[12:56:16.07]

AI:
It's true because '98 for example, look at Malaysiakini then, which was dominant, and any internet probably in… Malaysia was probably the… the… you can sense the highest exponential growth of internet users in '98. But you look at Thailand, if we consider the democratic transition's somewhat more fragile but in terms of the commitment towards a democratic transition was there, so any sort of a coup or military dictatorship cannot be expected to sustain for far too long. Philippines is more reassuring, although they're still having to grapple with the problem of endemic corruption, but Burma, which is quite shocking in terms of change – I mean, I am one of the voices, lone voices, in… even in the Malaysian government those days, that had never had any hope of a military junta reforming itself, but I have to acknowledge there is some more positive changes taking place. In terms of democratic transition, access to media, or freer elections – Burma is way ahead of Malaysia today.

[12:57:40.17]

JA:
Burma, really? Amazing.

[12:57:41.08]

AI:
… In Malaysia… Yes, yes – because you have Aung San Suu Kyi on television, and we don't in Malaysia.

[12:57:48.08]

JA:
Right, and you're not permitted in practice on TV.

[12:57:49.20]

AI:
But… so then it's not democratic, I mean, it would be fallacious to assume that Burma is a democratic country but you find there's some sort of more positive, more reassuring change towards democratic reform. In Tunisia – and I share your views on that – the only major problem in Tunisia to grapple is the issue of the growing gap from the… between the rich and the poor, particularly the marginalised areas, and endemic corruption, which… whichI think the president and the government really have to deal with. But I think this… signs are positive, even in Singapore. Singapore is interesting. You know, people say 'What else do you want?' Good housing programme, good educationand less corrupt, but still people want freedom and you find this notion in the last elections. It's a growing trend, particularly among the young and professionals and intellectuals calling for… even those amongst the supporters of the PAP or the Singapore ruling establishment… to suggest that they must undertake this reform, so Malaysia is part and parcel of this change. And now with the Arab Spring, it is more, I think, imminent that we can sense this change coming.

[12:59:12.03]

JA:
There were protests, weren't there, in Malaysia coinciding with the… with the Arab Spring?

[12:59:20.06]

AI:
Yes, there was a massive rally in support of BERSIH calling for free, fair elections, and though the government controlled and banned the rallies etcetera, finally they had to concede by setting up a public parliamentary select committee on electoral reform. And, contrary to their plan, that committee has been used now to expose the fraud, massive fraud, in the electoral process of this country.

[12:59:55.14]

JA:
This trend that is spreading through… through South East Asia, this trend to greater education by the internet, free media, a demand for greater representation – let's not necessarily call it democracy – but a greater representation of the will of the people, do you see this as spreading north up into… up into China, Nepal, Thailand?

[13:00:26.16]

AI:
Well, India has virtually, I mean, matured as a democratic country and the… and the large Muslim minority have never questioned the issue of compatibility between Islam and democracy that some people in the West suggest. They tend to forget that Indonesia, the largest Muslim country on Earth, opted for democracy and it's not a contentious issue whether it should be democratic or not. But, as I've said… I mean, read in the India Today forum that Indian leadership has failed in its mission. You see, unlike democratic countries who fought for freedom because you're convinced that freedom's not only for India but for humanity, but they have done hardly anything meaningful to support the call for reform or democracy or democratic transition. Not necessarily in interfering in domestic affairs in each state, but at the least to show that they support judiciary independence, free media, etcetera. So I think, because of that reason, you can… you see a very slow pace of change or reform taking place in neighbouring countries. China's…

[13:01:47.01]

JA:
Sorry Anwar, tell me about China.

[13:01:50.02]

AI:
No just… just about China… China is, of course, it… it's more problematic in that sense because I think the ruling communist party, although they have undertaken major economic reforms, they're a bit resistant to it in terms of this change towards democracy, although you can see signs of it occurring. But the issue of human rights abuse or… are issues of concern and countries in the region, of course, are the last to raise some of these issues, which I think is really unfortunate because we, in ASEAN for example, form ASEAN to… for this sort of reason.

[13:02:30.13]

JA:
ASEAN is the Asian security economic co-operation forum.

[13:02:33.13]

AI:
It's true, yeah. For South East Asian countries, relatively successful, but the eminent persons group's initial charter called for independent… independence and freedom, not to be swallowed by the Cold War politics, but for freedom and – clearly for freedom – and… and clearly independent, and there's no reason why we cannot be and cannot remain consistent in our policies in support of human rights and democratic transition.

[13:03:13.10]

JA:
Do you think… do you see a similarity between China and Singapore, ethnically, in terms of language, some culture, that…? Will China turn into a giant Singapore?

[13:03:29.01]

AI:
Well, I… there's something like that but I don't share that view, Julian, because Singapore's leadership seems to be taking some… or making some adjustments in terms of a democratic transition. You can sense this change in the media, in some of their policies to be more… to show more concern and friendly to the constituents and the Singapore citizens, unlike…

[13:04:00.23]

JA:
What do you see as the security situation? Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister has now agreed to station some 3,000 US marines in the north of Australia as a… clearly as a sort of long-term push-back against any possible Chinese influence. Did… what's going to happen to these countries in the middle, to South East Asian countries, with an enormous powerful China up at the north? There's a… the Australian solution, which I'm not really clear how much of a solution that really is to have troops stationed from a country that is very, very far away – What do you think the correct security approach is in the region?

[13:04:51.13]

AI:
I don't share the Australian view because, by having this military presence of the United States – I mean, personally, this is certainly not necessarily going to deter this giant China but it would cause more volatility and tension within the region, but I think I… I do support the initial ASEAN version, er, vision of making sure that we continue to engage both China and United States and the other superpowers, Russia, European Union and India for that matter, and we maintain this very close rapport with these countries but also some dist… there's been signs, for example this spat between China and the Philippines. ASEAN must demand or insist upon this peaceful resolution to many of these more contentious issues over territory, and we cannot therefore have China taking a more belligerent stance. Er, China…

[13:05:56.13]

JA:
Do you think the ASEAN… do you think that the ASEAN countries – so, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia – do you think that they should form a united security pact?

[13:06:15.05]

AI:
I'm not a great supporter of these security pacts but there should be a strong regional understanding between these countries – political, economic, cultural – and that would be enough to show they can deter any form of possible interference by outside forces, be it the West or China, and I think that we should maintain. That was why one of the issues that I had, for example, a problem with Mohamed. Mohamed talked about East Asia Economic Caucus. I'm for an Asian regional forum, which I think we should be… because East Asia would preclude India, Australia, New Zealand, and I think to suggest Australia cannot come in because they are whites, I mean, I think it's a bit ridiculous, it's just as bad as the European or the United States position. So I believe that, by having a regional reform, strong ties with the Chinese, India… Indians and Australia for example, would fortify and strengthen the regional grouping more effectively than a security pact. Because a security pact, Julian, for our countries would require enormous sums of money. It will always be at the expense of education, public health, housing and public innovation, and I have a huge problem in my mind…

[13:07:40.16]

JA:
But won't we have… if we don't have some kind of security pact or alliance of the South East Asian states, won't it be the case that China picks off an alliance here – so, one country becomes sort of embedded with China – perhaps it will be some part of the Philippines, another country goes into bed with the United States – and in that way there's not a coherent sphere in South East Asia but rather there's sort of a chessboard with black squares and white squares and everyone on one side or the other?

[13:08:16.15]

AI:
Well, we can avoid that – not necessarily by having a security pact, but a strong regional body that have clear understanding and the parameters would include not to allow any of our countries to be a base for the superpowers. This was the arrangement before. I mean, the Philippines is a problem because they already had a base so they are…

[13:08:40.07]

JA:
They already had the US, for a long time, yeah.

[13:08:41.24]

AI:
Yeah, so the understanding was not to increase, and to have a timetable to be decided by them, to then close some…

[13:08:51.13]

JA:
But what is… what is the Malaysian view of this development in Australia? I don't know if you are aware of the other views like Indonesia's view and so on, perhaps if you are you can speak about them, but what is the South East Asian view of this decision by the Australian Prime Minister for the first time since World War II to have a big US base in the north of Australia?

[13:09:16.07]

AI:
Well, I think it's divided. Some countries thought that, you know, those were a bit of a concern, a bit more concerned about the Chinese, sort of more display of some… some relative force, particularly in dealing with the Philippines, so I wouldn't expect for someone in the Philippines to say Ok. They would probably, say, may have to do that, but I think by and large the sentiment in Indonesia or in Malaysia – although I think the Malaysian government has not said much about this – I think it's certainly not to encourage because it runs contrary to the ASEAN mechanism of avoiding the rift… to become the centre for the power… force of super… between the superpowers. I don't see this as a positive strength.

[13:10:08.23]

JA:
Yeah. Anwar, you're…

[13:10:10.17]

AI:
But I'm not saying [audio cuts out] decisions are… to me is shocking. I mean, sure migration… immigration, issue of the new rare earth facility in Malaysia, which I think runs contrary to the… even the Australian democratic spirit.

[13:10:27.10]

JA:
Yep. Yep. I agree. Anwar, can you…? You have a perspective on Malaysia because you've travelled the world and you have spoken around the world and you've become highly educated in prison. [both laugh]

Can you describe to me what is… what is Malaysia culturally?… without going into enormous detail… Because when I was there, my impression was that Malaysia was like a very vibrant Europe, that there are so many cultures and different regions and religions and races, all in this pot together, with distinct flavours but interacting, and I find it actually remarkable that Malaysia has… has held together as a country.

[13:11:25.21]

AI:
I mean, first we had a… a… an experience, a tragic experience, that was of inter-racial conflict and the last was in 1969. Since then, I think to the credit of both the political leadership, and the opposition and, you know, civil society organisations, the general public at large, we had to realise that, you know, we have to live, continue to interact, accept the differences. Most non-Muslims in Malaysia would accept the role of Islam in this country, but when you use the religion to infringe upon the rights of non-Muslims, then you cross the barrier. Malaysians generally accept the Malay language as the official language and I would expect Malaysians to master the official language, but once you use the language policy to curb the advancement of Chinese as a language, or the need to enhance the level of proficiency of the English language, then you find this again contentious. What is to my mind a major problem in this country right now in terms of multi-racial, multi-religious conflict – or potential conflict – is not with the masses, is not with the civil society. I come from Penang – and Penang's the most multi-racial because Chinese are the majority in this state – we don't have that problem. But the problem now is being largely exploited by the ruling power – we're talking about Malay supremacy – and supporting some racist-based, or race-based and racist organisations. Here in Penang, the ruling party would support a small group of races launching weekly attacks against the Penang Chief Minister who's Chinese, and with some sort of complicity with authorities because they have been tolerant. I don't mind, you can demonstrate by all means, but you don't use racist slurs against the leadership of this state, you see. So, to my mind, these elections is a real major test whether we will opt for race-based policies of the past, or to move on. Malaysia is a mature democracy. Respect the rule of law, and respect the rights of all citizens of this country, including the ethnic minorities.

[13:14:11.17]

JA:
How did it come to be this way, so that the Malays have certain extra rights politically compared to the Indians or to the Chinese or to non-Islamics? I read that at one stage Malay equity – Malay ownership – was only 2 per cent, and during this period, if you like, of very aggressive affirmative action, it increased to something like 15 per cent, but it is still very low. Can you describe this tension between the Chinese businessmen and Chinese wealth within Malaysia and the poor rural Malays?

[13:14:59.05]

AI:
I grew up active in the university, Julian, at the time when there was also this strong sense of Malay insecurity, because they looked at the control of the wealth of the country, the level of education, the number of students in the universities. So, generally by and large, people do accept the affirmative action policy called the New Economic Policy. So, there's greater social mobility – huge number of scholarships given to the Malays, and new avenues for business, but now the same Malays are suggesting that we should dismantle these obsolete policies because once we support a policy that allows for more opportunities for the rural poor, for the marginalised Malays, then they say 'Why can't you give similar support to the poor, marginalised Chinese, Indians or Dayaks?'

JA:
Yep. Yep.

AI:
… so that's number one. Number two, we have in evidence billions of dollars were awarded without tender – shares allocation – contracts awarded to family members of the ruling clique and their cronies in the name of Malay rights or New Economic Policy. That was why… that's why we then called for a dismantling of this policy, to have transparent policies, because the challenge is to make sure Malaysia remains competitive. We have lost our competitiveness, compared to the neighbouring countries, and we have to [inaudible]

again. I mean, after half a century really, you can't have, for example, this sense among the younger ethnic Chinese, Indians, say 'Well, you know, after half a century we're still second-class, or being discriminated against'. You cannot have that. But this new policy, will it be at the expense of the majority of Malays? I don't believe so, because we have a transparent policy- affirmative action based on need – then the vast majority of the Malays will benefit. The only difference is it's not the families of ministers, or Prime Minister's children, it is the Malays, those deserving Malays at large, so I think we… [audio breaks up]

[13:17:35.07]

JA:
So, you're saying look at the economic circumstances of the people as opposed to their ethnic circumstances?

[13:17:43.13]

AI:
Ethnic, non-ethnic – the ruling clique. Look at the richest Malays. Children of the Prime Minister or the former Prime Minister. Billions of dollars' worth. How do you defend such a policy where you know it's squandered by a few? Look at the position of the Malays, the large majority of Malays – not only here but the… the indigenous tribes in Sabah and Sarawak – I mean, the abject poverty! You're talking about some areas without electricity and water, and you have Malay family members of the ruling clique made billionaires. This is, to me, an indefensible policy.

[13:18:26.04]

JA:
Let's… let's talk a little bit about Prime Minister Najib and the ruling clique. When I was in Malaysia in 2009 and was very briefly detained by the Special Branch, the secret police there, after attending an election, the… the people I was speaking to were saying 'Whatever you do, don't mention this Altantuyaa murder'. This is the murder of the Mongolian beauty who was… whose body was blown up with C4 explosives and who was alleged to have been Najib's, the now-current Prime Minister's, lover. And my response to this was 'Well, why not?' 'Well, because as soon as you do – if we ever do this at a rally – the police turn up and they start arresting everyone' – which I thought was a great opportunity because whenever you want to have a lot of police somewhere, you have a button that you can press at your time and place of choosing to get them there – but can you describe this murder case, and why is it still so sensitive in Malaysia?

[13:19:40.09]

AI:
It should not be sensitive. I brought this up in parliament and, of course, the Speaker or the members of the ruling party seemed very upset. I did not in any way infer that Najib was even complicit in the murder. What we said was there were major questions unresolved. Number one, why did you change the charge? Number two, why was there no proper investigation? Number three, why were the key people not called as witnesses in the case? I mean, it's major… in this case, the murder of Altantuyaa is related to a major corruption scandal involving the purchase or procurement of two submarines from France, where the case now is in the Paris courts – the issue of half a billion ringgit of commission, and from what I know from the World Bank sources, in terms of a single purchase or procurement, it's one of the highest commissions paid. I tend to joke about it: If a police officer takes one hundred ringgit, it's called corruption; if a minister takes half a billion, it's called commission – and commission's legal, by the way. It makes a mockery of the system, so what we've been calling for Najib to do is to have a transparent… or professional investigation, both in terms of the allegations and corruption. How is it it can be heard and opened up in a Paris court, and we are completely silent about that? It's just…

[13:21:22.10]

JA:
In Malaysia… in Malaysia, the testimony of a number of the witnesses in this case was secret for some reason.

[13:21:28.24]

AI:
Yes. Secret, and worse, his ADC was not even called, although the last thing we heard in court was that these commandos said 'We received instructions from him', so by right he should have been called to affirm or deny, or give his… an explanation.

[13:21:56.00]

JA:
In 2008 at this time of the election…

[13:22:02.11]

JA:
In 2008 of this…

[13:22:06.02]

JA:
In 2008 at this time of the election in Malaysia, you suffered a second acquisition of sodomy, and which… Start again.

[13:22:24.07]

JA:
In 2008, around the time of the election in Malaysia, you suffered a second accusation of sodomy, brought by one of your aides. Can you describe the sensations that you felt when you heard a second accusation?

[13:22:47.13]

AI:
I was clearly disgusted with this type of… level of gutter politics that they were prepared to go through. I mean, ok, we passed that process under Mahathir. You know, Mahathir lightly commented 'Yes, you can proceed but why use the same script?' [JA laughs} I mean, he talked about script but...

[13:23:16.00]

JA:
I couldn't believe it when I heard this, that…that… a second time, surely no one would believe this a second time?

[13:23:22.10]

AI:
And worse is the involvement of the Prime Minister! Before the complainant made the police report about the alleged incident he went to see the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister firstly denied, secondly he said yes, he went and applied for a scholarship. Can you imagine in a country where a drop-out could just go…? I mean, he was one of the volunteers, supportive volunteers – I didn't know they were planted, I didn't know because they were not directly under my charge I mean, they were just volunteers backing this team, but… and then what happened during the by-election that I contested was just a smear campaign – went on about this sodomy charge, in every village they displayed this video about the so-called statement from the complainant. But again, as I said then, you know, don't underestimate the wisdom of the people. You have the entire cabinet, the entire government resources, every night in the national media abusing me as a sodomiser, etcetera – and still I increase my majority in the particular constituency, but then at what price? I mean, these people's honour, dignity… I mean, we're talking about morals, which to me is … I mean, you experienced this, you understand, but it's just sheer hypocrisy. These guys who would… I mean, they were my colleagues, I was in charge of many of them. Reports from the police, reports from the corruption – basically came to me when I was acting Prime Minister, and these guys talking about moral standards… I mean, you don't use this against people. And I… I have said it publicly that I believe in the sanctity of marriage between men and women. It's not for me to go and, you know, abuse people, condemn people in their preference or sexual orientation, but worse is to use this as a political ploy, trump up charges, use the police and finally even the judiciary – although finally, Julian, I was acquitted…

JA:
Yes.

AI:
… but never suggest that the judiciary was independent. Right through, they could just entertain and allow the prosecution just to abuse, you know. 'Clearly bought, no penetration – yes, we can proceed.' A clear case: A doctor's coming with reports, and they say 'Where are your notes of evidence and notes of examination? We refuse to give exception'. I mean, this is a criminal trial? I mean, it's not under Stalin or Hitler, it's under so-called label, the sophistication and facade of an independent judiciary. This is why… I think the word is most – I should say – not shocking… but most disgusting – when you use this facade – democracy, democratic elections, judicial independence – and you abuse the process. I'm sorry, I mean, I sound a bit strong in this case.

[13:26:26.14]

JA:
No, no, no… I… I sometimes feel like speaking this way myself, so I'm glad you did – it's a bit harder for me at the moment. So, in the end you were acquitted in this process. In preparing to do this interview,we already started off some dispute in Malaysia with the Prime Minister attacking you in relation to this interview and so on and the Deputy Prime Minister saying that in respect. I'll start again.

[13:27:08.14]

JA:
In preparing to do this interview, there was already conflict within Malaysia with the Prime Minister attacking you, saying that you were a coward in relation to these circumstances, and you replied 'Well look, the Prime Minister still won't debate me, why will he not debate me?', and then the Deputy Prime Minister saying 'Anwar should debate this sodomy complainant'. So, even after the case, even after you have been acquitted of two of these, they are still bringing up this matter every day in Malaysian politics.

[13:27:47.02]

AI:
Well, there's no respect for the rule of law. You know that if he says that then I can immediately file a libel suit against him, but can I under these circumstances? After he said that, there's another person, this semi-literate guy, came out: 'Well, I know, I have seen Anwar in sexual acts with a man and women.' I had no choice under the circumstances but to file a libel suit. And… and because I was acquitted, and apparently they were clearly disappointed with the result, immediately afterwards the ruling party's cont… media, the government – their entire media went on this massive campaign against me that, you know… still an 'American agent' – not only 'Jewish agent' now – condoning the aggression of the Israelis towards Palestinians… And this is a daily grind, and – lastly – even suggesting that I am supporting Salman Rushdie's position, because I was in India. I attended the conference India Today, I did not attend Salman Rushdie's session. I did not, but some decided to boycott the entire proceedings. I did attend the proceeding but did not attend his session – but I had a good reason. Firstly, I thought this completely unnecessary. I respect the, you know, independent free voice but I don't want to be in any way associated with people denigrating religions or race or… you know… So I stayed away but I had a good reason because for the last three decades I have promised Azizah I will bring her to see the Taj Mahal – and I did, Julian, after 30 years, one of my promise to her. Wonderful.

[13:29:49.06]

JA:
Well, I… I wish I could go to India myself, actually. I have many friends there. Anwar, I spoke in one of these interviews… Start again.

[13:29:59.02]

JA:
In one of these interviews I spoke to a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and a lawyer that he was working with, and we spoke about Sharia law and he said that even in Saudi Arabia that Sharia law is not properly interment, implemented because the evidentiary standards for a charge of… adultery or rape require four witnesses, so in your case there has not been these four witnesses, and the man I was speaking to said '…but if there were four witnesses, then women should be stoned to death because that's what the Qur'an says'. But I want you to reflect on a thought that I had, which is that Mohammed in his time was an extraordinary reformer and he had to exist in the politics of his time and the relatively barbarous existence before Islam, and that his statement that there must be four witnesses for adultery, that must see the act of copulation, was in fact an attempt by Mohammed to remove the death penalty completely from adultery because you never could have four witnesses. So, a rather, if you like, clever legislative manoeuvre to prevent the death penalty applying to that, and that perhaps the best way… perhaps it is not being generous enough to Mohammed to interpret the Qur'an in a literal manner, that should we be interpreting the Qur'an in relation to sexual offences in the manner that Mohammed willed for it to be done, or should we be interpreting it literally?

[13:32:08.04]

AI:
Well, there has been this training even in classical interpretation of the Qur'an in the literal sense, so it's not something which is odd. The message – and you are clear on that – that the gravity of the offence he made very clear, but while the imposition of very high standards is again explained – to protect dignity of a person being accused – and here in particular, in the… what is called the Maqasid, the higher objectives of Sharia, the dignity of women initially – because with women, they were falsely accused – but if you have compelling or incontrovertible facts to support a crime, rape for example, even without the four witnesses there is also the law of Ta'zir, which means these call for lesser punishment, certainly not necessarily by… I mean, sentencing to death but, I mean, imprisonment or any sort of a penalty is then possible. Now, I don't believe that one should – and I agree with you – look at the implementation of the Sharia laws in many of these countries if I haven't even questioned it in Malaysia, because higher standards in the evidential is not [inaudible]

Islamic but once we [inaudible]

this, the administration of these laws is questionable. Well, this is not to suggest, Julian, going through my experience in so-called Western-based courts – there they are free and fair… mind you, can be as rotten – but when you talk about Islamic law then you have a religious connotation, you know, and an understanding from faith, you have to be very careful because… whilst, you know, I think the purpose you are right, because it makes it so difficult unless you voluntarily want to acknowledge this…

[13:34:16.00]

JA:
Admit to, yeah.

[13:34:16.13]

AI:
…and be punished. Yeah, admit to. But otherwise you can even, you know, seek for… forgiveness and there are certain laws that would allow it. That means the law is by itself, in itself – and you are right – is to discourage a severe penalty.

JA:
Yes.

AI:
The message is very clear – to condemn the… such a crime, but to say that one can be set free completely just because of the presence of four witnesses, it is not also true. That is why they petition these laws in Pakistan. I mean, a rape victim with all the evidence… Ok, you can see, yes, it is not rape in the sense that… the notion that we don't have four witnesses, but the more evidence you have – assault, brutality and so many other circumstantial – not circumstantial, factual – evidence, incontravertible, to support a case, to punish the perpetrator of the crime, because what's been perceived – not only in the West, many of us who are thinking Muslims, cannot accept this – because finally it is bias, it is sexist, it is at the expense of the victims, and particularly… particularly women, in these countries.

[13:35:29.09]

JA:
Can you speak about what is the practical implementation of Sharia in Malaysia, that if you are a Muslim then you must submit to the Sharia courts for certain matters. Can you speak a bit about what happens, for example, if… if I am born a Muslim, must I always stay within the Sharia court system in Malaysia, or do I choose when I am 18 to go with.. into the Sharia system?

[13:36:07.11]

AI:
Well, in the country the… a Muslim under the law, within the limited jurisdiction of the Sharia court, must submit himself or herself to the court… mainly the Muslim personal laws – marriage, divorce and some related issues. Not, of course, like now – that's progressing into other legal aspects or precepts and I… and my understanding is that most people don't actually question that. The question is sometimes… there's… there's this concern or worry whether you are going to get a fair adjudication or trial in this court. Even when I was in government, Julian, I was relayed a presentation from Muslim women appealing to me because they said the courts will sometimes in their decisions always favour the men, even in terms of divorce proceedings, and that actually influenced me to conduct this new programme for recordings in terms of Criminal Procedure Code. You know, how you accept and how you investigate the witnesses because otherwise it's just, you know, it's simplistic over-interpretation of these laws. So I think that is to my mind more… more pronounced, because you can't prove…

[13:37:28.03]

JA:
So, you see… you see that really the important difference is not between Sharia courts or common law courts, rather it is between courts that are corrupt and courts that are not corrupt?

[13:37:44.03]

AI:
Yeah, corrupt – or incompetent in this case. It is either corrupt or incompetent. You have to make sure that they have the highest standards and it's truly independent. I have a case, for example, even in this sodomy case because I wanted to test the case. I went to the Sharia court because they were using religion: 'Anwar is not a good Muslim, he's not prepared to swear by the Qur'an.' I said 'Ok, I will submit myself to the Sharia court'. Went to the court… Do you know that after three years the court have, you know, directed not to even hear the case? Yeah. So how do you call it a Sharia court? I don't call it a Sharia court when it's clearly a… clearly… and evident, it's not fair, you don't have the independence. The independence of the court is very paramount so I think this needs to be resolved. And then, of course, I made the petition – you are right – like, the issue's apostasy, you know, which becomes quite controversial because the general understanding is that, you know, be sent to death. But there are also classical texts to support an argument that if you accept that there's no compulsion in religion then you have to be very careful in using the Sharia court to then decide on this particular case based on the fact that a person has chosen to leave Islam. I don't believe… I don't share the view that you make it simple for anyone to leave any religion – you make a conviction – but finally who decides, Julian? It is in… the decision of the individual.

[13:39:24.12]

JA:
What happens in practice in Malaysia now? Are people able to leave Islam effectively? Is there a… a significant punishment… in practice?

[13:39:36.00]

AI:
Well, in practice the law does not allow, or you'll be in liable to be punished, but it becomes either contentious between Muslims and non-Muslims, sometimes they say while we are technically Muslims we are not really Muslims, we have just converted to Islam. So these issues will be clearly resolved and I think there should be a more elaborate session. I went through a very important text, by the way. It was published by the International Institute of Islamic Thought in London, by a very prominent scholar, Shehad Bahar, on the issue of apostasy and it was to suggest that look, nobody should encourage apostasy. If you believe in a religion you should take it seriously, it's not a fad, it's not something that is a political gimmick, but at the same time in the issue of faith… on the issue of faith, it's not the State or a Department, it's a decision of an individual to accept or reject the faith. It's condemned by the religion but the decision is his or hers. And it is very important this document, that I thought Muslim scholars must at least start a new debate on this. I was in Pakistan initially… recently and I brought up the subject, and they said 'Anwar, be careful because unless you talk to people like-minded or are prepared to discuss this, they may immediately condemn you, like in Malaysia…'

[13:41:18.05]

JA:
Yup, yup. When I was in Malaysia a brother of a friend of mine, he was not Muslim, in fact he was Chinese, but he converted to being Muslim in order to advance his career because he perceived that there were certain structures within the Malaysian government that would keep him down if he was not a Muslim. And that this is something that was happening more and more over time, that the sort of, if you like, the… the patronage of Islam, the connections of Islam, the career promotion within this Malay patronage group was strengthening over time. Do you think… do you think the combination of Islam and patronage in Malaysia is strengthening over time or is it weakening over time?

[13:42:26.14]

AI:
Well I… I don't necessarily share that view, Julian, because I don't find many really, I mean, in my experience and interaction with many that people who… that many actually convert to Islam, and more so because of their position. In fact, the concern that many Muslims are thinking is that there is a proselytisation into Christianity based on some of which was alleged to have happened. In fact, we are waiting for evidence to support this. We have not seen evidence but there were allegations that have created such a furore in the country – 300,000 Muslims converted to Christianity, for example, and I think it was just more a political sort of ploy by the ruling establishment to suggest that there must be this inherent fear. In fact, one of the leading proponents in this poor UMNO establishment would say… even suggested that there is a danger of this Christianisation of Malaysia…

[13:43:29.13]

JA:
Really?

AI:
which to my mind… humbly, I would say is completely…

JA:
Absurd, yeah.

AI:
… outrageous, absurd… but that is the reality, the real… the concern and it caused a lot of, you know, concern in some of the rural forums but by and large people don't share this view. I mean, we practise our belief, we should be tolerant enough. I come from Penang people, even we interact with non-Muslims, we go to their parties, we attend Christmas parties or Chinese New Year, and people have their sort of issues of tolerance. You go even to Chinese weddings, even if I'm new there, they'll make sure they have some, you know, catering for Muslim food to make sure you feel reasonably comfortable. You go to, I mean, you invite the Indians, I mean, they're vegetarians or non-vegetarians, you do – I mean, generally in the west coast, where I grew up in Penang and many of these places – people do accept this, and I think why can't this happen without compromising your belief?

[13:44:38.03]

JA:
Anwar, let's talk about the future. We have a good portrait of Malaysia now so let's talk about where Malaysia is going forward and where the region is going forward. What is your plan for Malaysia if your opposition coalition was to win government? I don't want to talk about these narrow matters concerning economy, but your big themes for Malaysia that, on the one hand, are things that you ideally would want, and the others that you think are practically achievable.

[13:45:17.07]

AI:
Immediately we should mature as a democracy, ok. We have a largely much better infrastructure and more educated workforce. I don't treat Malaysia in such condescending manner that people are not prepared or ready to be… exercise their freedom, which means an independent judiciary, free media and an economic policy that can promote growth, market economy, at the same time understand their abuses. What we talk about in our discourse… even the Arab Spring… Arab Spring – one area clammering for freedom, before. Then we have Occupy Wall Street… and the limitations riddled in… greed and the gap between the very rich and very poor, complicity of… between the big business groups and politics – these we need to avoid, which I think in… some of the discussions that I had with our friends. Recently I was in Tunisia and I said precisely that – I'm for the Arab Spring – but I… remember it is not the Washington consensus or Washington module that you are going to adopt because you should learn about it from the frustrations…

[13:46:39.07]

JA:
From the frustrations in the West? Yeah.

[13:46:41.23]

AI:
In the West – and, I mean, your experience too – and the fact that they are now exposed to the WikiLeaks. You can sense the hypocrisy, the… the paradox and the contradictions between the, you know, pronouncements and what was actually being received… sent. 'They are not entirely true.' Ok, they can check and question the veracity and the truth of these statements but it gives you a major sense, and you made – may I just acknowledge it here for a moment – a major contribution. Not everybody agrees, [inaudible] some they may say even at my expense, but I support that. You know why? Because you understand what is real politics, what is the so- called hypocrisy of the notion of diplomacy that is not based on truth or morality or ethical standards but pure brute power and parochial or national interests. I think this needs to change. Is it really difficult? I don't believe it's difficult. I mean, Gandhi talks about politics of conscience and I know of a great scholar, philosopher in Algeria, those days Malek Bannabi talked about in the struggle of conscience that you actually have some minimum standards that you agree. Why can't Malaysia after half a century bring this new sense among Malays, Chinese, Indians or Dayaks that 'Look, we are a big family, we can move up together'. Why can't it be done? Why is so… why is it so difficult? It is a rich country, you know. We have 90 billion ringgit net income from petroleum. We are not like most of our neighbours having to import and having this, you know, dragged by this whole problem of oil…

[13:48:29.03]

JA:
Well, why can't it be done, Anwar?

AI:
Again…

JA:
What will it take for that to be done? Is it a matter of education?

[13:48:41.07]

AI:
No, it is leadership, Julian. It's the courage of conviction, tenacity of purpose. If you want to do something good, you must not be corrupt. And, I mean… and it has to work and, of course, politics is the other [audio breaks up]
… I'm not saying that, you know, you are like a political philosopher dictating issues and… but there are certain ground rules that you have to accept and adopt, you know. I mean, you're attacked – the moment you say you are for democracy, you become a Western stooge. The moment you talk about market economy you become a… you know, a Soros agent…

[13:49:18.22]

JA:
I've been one of those. [both laugh]

[13:49:19.20]

AI:
You have… now the moment I have an interview with you, you know what's going to happen after this. [JA laughs]

But I think, you know, people… you know, the problem with these authoritarian leaders, and at times even the leaders in the West, they're including this strong Islamo-phobia, this 'we against them', this unilateral policy of the United States. It is because of the… I mean… I don't sense that they even ascribe to the ideals, the initial spirit of the American revolution or Jeffersonian ideals…

[13:49:59.00]

JA:
Yes. Yup. Or Madison.

[13:49:59.09]

AI:
… or the happiness of the heart, the topic we talked about. Yeah, they don't and that is our concern, but we have to do it in a small way and in a small country – not that we should be a great nation on Earth, but at least for Malaysia, what is it? Why is it so difficult to make a village guy, a Malay farmer, and a Chinese petty trader or Indian worker feel that they are being respected and recognised as a citizen, given the dignity as a Malaysian citizen. I don't think it takes a lot, it takes just conscience, sincerity and courage of conviction.

[13:50:47.01]

JA:
Very good. Anwar Ibrahim, thank you very much.

Man:
He wants three minutes of you.

[13:50:53.03]

JA:
You want three minutes? Ok. So that's very… very nice, thank you Anwar, we've got lots of good material there. So, actually just as a matter of curiosity, I heard a rumour that the Saudis about ten years ago XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

[13:51:17.08]

AI:
I hope [audio breaks up]

I find it. I can give a commission.

[13:51:21.11]

JA:
[laughing]

That's not a denial, Anwar, that's not a denial.

[13:51:24.22]

AI:
No, no, no, there's no basis at all. I mean, if it is… they can check. In fact, I've [inaudible]… You know, they say one billion Bangkok – in fact, Mahathir said three billion ringgit, and got somebody to sign an affidavit to support that.

JA:
Yeah.

AI:
Then I said 'Ok have a… open investigations'. They did conduct an investigation, accounts in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and… and London and found it to be untrue, and they kept there. I only knew of it 15 years later.

[13:51:56.20]

JA:
Is there… is there a Saudi influence just in Malaysia?

[13:52:01.03]

AI:
I engage Saudis. I just… I do engage with the Saudis.

[13:52:05.17]

JA:
Didn't they…? When I was there I seem to recall that they funded one of the universities in Kuala Lumpur, is that…?

[13:52:15.02]

AI:
They did give a very small sum to the International Islamic University. You know, I don't think it even exceed 1/2 million dollars. For the International Islamic University of Yangon they can make the call elected, it's not true.

[13:52:27.11]

JA:
It may not interest you but I interviewed the president of Tunisia just before you. Did you manage to meet with him when you were over there? The new president.

[13:52:36.24]

AI:
No, unfortunately, that time they were convening… posting the Syrian opposition…

[13:52:44.22]

JA:
Ah yeah, the Friends of Syria..

[13:52:48.14]

AI:
So I spent [audio cuts out]

and half the cabinet and 60 MPs there for this dialogue mainly on this issue about, you know, democratic reform and, you know, that they have a major role because if they go too… a bit too… too tough on some of the Islamic issues then, you know, there'll be a great concern about the rule of Islam. Now, back to you, so… what's happening now at this…

[13:53:16.10]

JA:
So, right now I have this US Grand Jury which has been investigating me for 18 months and it appears to have filed a secret indictment, which they will use to try to extradite me to the United States. At the same time, I have a case in the Supreme Court here in Great Britain, which used to be the House of Lords, and it will make a decision any time now, so some time in the next week or month and…

AI:
[audio breaks up] shocking if you're…

JA:
If I am not successful, then I'll be extradited to Sweden, imprisoned immediately, without charge – I have not been charged, ever, in any country, and then be… go through a sex trial, or not – maybe they will drop it. They refuse to come over here to interview me, to ask questions, to use any standard mechanism. There are standard EU mechanisms, such as the Mutual Assistance treaty. This is done normally all the time. We offered to do this by phone, to go to the Swedish Embassy here – they refused to do this. Instead, they demand to extradite me to ask questions without any charge and this is the situation I have been in now for 463 days under house arrest. I have to go to the police every day, I have an electronic manacle around my leg to report my location, so… yeah, so it's a bit grim but, on the other hand, I do have a platform, you know, it does give me, to a degree, a platform. And earlier on, earlier on in the case I was imprisoned in solitary confinement, without charge. I mean, it's an extraordinary thing and this process comes out of the legislation in Europe in response to 9/11. So, this particular thing that I am trapped under came about as a result of European police departments and governments saying 'We must have a way to quickly take terrorists from one European country to another European country. But there's not even…

AI:
There's a similar… used against others… this is the same point. They initially use it against everybody I don't support but now the same draconian laws are used in other cases.

JA:
Yeah, and in my case, I mean, it's very bizarre that there's not even from these women that there's an allegation of rape. According to the police, they went to the police station to ask for advice as to whether… they were two lovers of mine and they met each other… as to whether they could demand a HIV test. And then the police… some phone calls were made and then the police took this and they decided that they would make a case.

AI:
Go ahead, I'm following.

JA:
And all that came out rather early but you don't see it reported in the press because at that time there was a big panic in the Western press about us and were we a competitor to the press and then very powerful politicians in the United States saying I should be assassinated and we should be shut down and now Wikileaks has an electronic banking blockade that… so Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Western Union, Bank of America – they all try and prevent any transactions happening for me personally or for the organisation as a whole, even though the US Treasury Secretary, Timothy C Geithner, found that there was no legal reason why we should be added to a blacklist. But it's this under the surface… patronage between politicians in Washington and big business in the banks that means that, still now, we lose 95 per cent of our income because of this financial censorship attack. On the other hand, it gives us an important platform to say 'Look, when power in the West is really challenged – and these cables really did unveil a lot of connections between powerful people – that when it is really challenged, that the United States and England act just like the Soviet Union used to act.' They use the same sort of brute tools, it is not sophisticated. When they get scared enough, they stop being sophisticated. When they're not scared, there is a sort of censorship that happens in the West but it's much more sophisticated – it's a censorship by 'We hire this person or don't hire that person. We give them some information, we don't give them some information.' They don't take journalists from houses, they take houses from journalists – by suing the house under them or making them lose their job, or something like this.

AI:
Well, we wish you all the best, but then it is a [inaudible] cause… disconcerting, worrying because here in the West you're the best thing for democracy and justice and we are, of course, very concerned at the legal and justice system.

JA:
Yeah, it is… I don't like the tendency of where it is going as a whole. I think it is… We did something that was very significant, so that's part of the reaction to us, but another part, I think, is part of a trend in the degradation of the rule of law in the Anglo-American world. And we can see that with Guantanamo Bay, for example – the people detained for years and years without trial. Here in the United Kingdom, there's been one person that the US has been trying to extradite detained for seven years without charge in prison. And me, and now…

AI:
Yeah. Dictators in authoritarian regimes already cite this, you know. 'The Britons can do that, the Americans do that.' I say 'So what?' Is this… do we emulate…

JA:
They have. They have, yeah.

AI:
We should not.

JA:
Even for my own case, two Swedish journalists were detained in Ethopia, who… they were investigating corruption in the Swedish government. There's an oil company called Lunden Oil which is involved in Sudan and Ethopia, and they went to Ethopia to investigate this corruption and were detained by Ethopian authorities and sentenced to 15 years in prison, because they were being escorted by the rebels into these particular areas. And the Ethopian Prime minister said: 'This is perfectly legitimate for us to detain these journalists. You should stop complaining about it. You detained Julian Assange and this means that this is an acceptable… acceptable thing to do.'

AI:
Well, stay there, be strong. I'll still hope to see you in London.

JA:
Well, I hope to see you in Malaysia [both laugh] … would be even better. I love the…

AI:
No, really. I meant… I really… [talking over each other] … I regret very much, you know, failing to leave and, and then to London straightaway but with the problems here… I thought this was a great opportunity to sit down with you… have a long chat.

JA:
Now, what do… what do you think we should do…? I would still like to push a bit more on Najib, to try and see if we can get something out of him… I don't think he will… I think… he may make a mistake…

AI:
You should say that 'Anwar…' No, you say that Anwar and Raja Petra has agreed. We are just waiting for Najib to respond…

JA:
We are just waiting for him, exactly. I think that's what we continue on saying…

AI:
Yeah, it'd be nice.

JA:
Well, I can't see him doing it… What about…? Now, what about the Deputy Prime Minister?

AI:
Yeah, probably. Probably you can…

JA:
If he said 'Yes'?

AI:
Yeah. I mean… it's ok, you can give him another week for Najib to respond – he fails to respond, I think the Deputy Prime Minister should.

JA:
Yeah, ok. Well, we'll try and do that. I quite like this interplay that is happening at the moment in the Malaysian press. I am tremendously fond of Malaysia because I… I… it's so dynamic and diverse.

AI:
Well, this interest in your colleagues and yourself keep on coming, you know. Initially because there was this leakage from… apparently from [inaudible] who said 'Well, you know, I may be guilty of the crime', etcetera, and then they've made a big issue here – WikiLeaks – and it's an authoritative source. The following week's release was that Najib is in danger because he will fight all-out because if he fails then he will be… may be sent to prison because of complicity in a murder. So, WikiLeaks is bad. [both laugh]

JA:
Exactly the same thing happened in India – it was quite nice to see – which was that the first leak that we did affected the government there… Sorry, the opposite way… the first leak we did affected the government and then the opposition, the BJP, were 'See! It proves how corrupt the government is. This is a terrible thing! And this WikiLeaks is completely accurate, absolutely right.' And then we… we waited the next week and we did the other way around, and the BJP had already said that, you know, that WikiLeaks is completely accurate and a reliable source, and then – Boomphf ! – So, good fun. Anyway, Anwar…

AI:
[audio cuts]

Yeah. I said 'You see? WikiLeaks said so, and you said WikiLeaks's credible. You explained it…'[laughs]

You must… you know the rules of the game: enjoy yourself, be calm, relax. We will. You will be vindicated and we will meet you – London or Kuala Lumpur. We will make it, I tell you, and this election… you… follow closely, Julian – I'm very optimistic.

JA:
I think you'll go well. I think you'll go well. That's my feeling. And the Malaysian… and the Malaysian internet sector and places like Malaysiakini and so on, they're getting so sharp now. Ok, good luck Anwar, take care.

AI:
Although you… have to pursuade my friend Petra to cool off a bit. [laughs]

JA:
He…he's… I mean, he leaked our email as well – in the production, just yesterday, so… but he's quite predictable in some ways.

AI:
Yeah, it's ok. Well… thank you very much again and thanks to the team, thank you.

JA:
They're smiling – alright.

Kerajaan Belanja RM170 Juta Ubah Persepi Rakyat, Tapi Jenayah Meningkat

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 01:14 AM PDT

KeadilanDaily

Presiden KEADILAN, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail berkata, kerajaan telah membelanjakan RM170 juta dengan cara salah hanya untuk membetulkan persepsi orang awam terhadap polis.

Katanya, kerajaan juga secara berlebihan menumpu kepada menguruskan persepsi awam berbanding menangani masalah jenayah.

Ini berdasarkan perbelanjaan besar kerajaan dalam peruntukan Program Transformasi Kerajaan (GTP) bagi memerangi jenayah untuk menguruskan persepsi semata-mata.

"Rakyat Malaysia mahu melihat proses penyelesaian jangka panjang untuk mengurangkan jenayah. Ini hanya diperolehi daripada tatakelola dan pengurusan ekonomi yang kukuh bagi mengurangkan jurang pendapatan rakyat.

"Sebagai kerajaan yang bertanggungjawab akan sentiasa bekerja untuk memperbaharui struktur pasukan polis, bukan semata-mata memikirkan persepsi umum," katanya pada sidang media di Ibu Pejabat KEDAILAN, hari ini.

Wan Azizah berkata, 71 peratus daripada belanjawan Bidang Keberhasilan Utama Negara (NKRA) tahun 2012 adalah untuk mengurangkan perasaan takut terhadap aktiviti jenayah.

Menurut beliau, satu-satunya aktiviti yang dinyatakan dalam laporan Pemandu 2011 adalah kajian 'Takut Menjadi Mangsa Penyiasatan Jenayah' dan kerajaan memperuntukkan RM170 juta untuk tujuan itu.

"Konsep 'Keputusan Besar Pantas' hanyalah semata-mata untuk memberi persepsi kepada rakyat bahawa aktiviti jenayah sudah menurun daripada membaikpulih struktur keselamatan Malaysia," katanya.

Sementara itu, Pengarah Biro Perdagangan, Wong Chen mempersoalkan 'program bandar selamat' yang menelan belanja RM28 juta atau 11.27 peratus dari RM240 juta peruntukan pengurusan NKRA.

"Adakah mereka ada 'air time' (iklan di media), atau mereka cetak lima juta risalah untuk diedarkan pada orang ramai? Ini tidak termasuk kos pembelian aset seperti CCTV untuk dipasang di tempat awam dengan kos RM15 juta.

"Kita masih belum dengar sebarang maklum balas mengenai isu yang dibangkitkan minggu lepas. Mengapa Cawangan Khas (SB) melebihkan aktiviti mengintip rakyat sendiri daripada mencegah aktiviti jenayah?" soalnya.

Dokumen ‘Sahkan’ PM Campurtangan

Posted: 09 Jul 2012 11:20 PM PDT

Malaysiakini

PKR telah mendedahkan satu dokumen yang didakwanya membuktikan bahawa jawatankuasa peringkat tinggi yang dipengerusikan oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak telah menganugerahkan projek sambungan LRT Ampang bernilai RM1.18 bilion kepada konsortium yang diketuai oleh George Kent Bhd.

Dokumen itu adalah minit mesyuarat kelima Jawatankuasa Perolehan Menteri Kewangan (JPMK) pada 21 Jun, yang mempengerusikan Najib kerana beliau juga merupakan menteri kewangan.

Dalam sidang akhbar hari ini, Pengarah Strategi PKR, Rafizi Ramli berkata anugerah itu adalah pelik kerana George Kent dianggap sebagai “pembida lebih tinggi tidak berpengalaman” dalam tender tersebut.

Menurutnya, kepakaran yang George Kent ada ialah mengilang meter air dan syarikat itu sebelum ini ditolak kerana ia tidak memenuhi keperluan minimum teknikal bagi kerja tersebut.

Najib, yang sebelum ini diminta menjelaskan dakwaan tersebut, menyangkalnya dengan berkata semuanya mengikut aturan.

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