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Rabu, 29 Mei 2013

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Tragedi media Melayu

Posted: 29 May 2013 09:22 AM PDT

The Malaysian Insider

Jika perkembangan media Melayu mutakhir ini diperhatikan, sifat-sifat kewarasan, keberkecualian dan kesusilaan sudah jelas tidak wujud.

Sentimen perkauman bagai menjadi kelumrahan media Melayu zaman sekarang, baik di kaca mata televisyen ataupun dalam media cetakan. Nyata trend yang sempit ini sedang diterajui oleh media-media kawalan Umno, khususnya Kumpulan Utusan Melayu.

Sejurus selepas pilihan raya umum ke-13, Utusan Malaysia dengan tidak segannya telah mempersoalkan "Apa lagi Cina mahu?" melalui tajuk berita utama, manakala tabloid Kosmo! yang dimiliki kumpulan yang sama telah meluahkan muka depan yang tidak kurang provokatifnya, yakni, "Pengundi Cina bersikap talam dua muka".

Seperti biasa, fitnah diterbit sebagai fakta dan tohmahan menjadi bahan ulasan para pengarang. Pengundi kaum Cina dipersalahkan atas kemerosotan keputusan pilihan raya Barisan Nasional, meskipun hujahnya tidak logik ? bagaimanakah mungkin golongan yang merangkumi lebih kurang satu suku populasi negara boleh memberikan 51 peratus undi popular (53 peratus di Semenanjung) kepada Pakatan Rakyat?

Jelas, kemenangan undi popular Pakatan Rakyat membuktikan bahawa gabungan parti tersebut telah menerima sokongan yang padu daripada segenap masyarakat Malaysia ? namun hakikat ini langsung diabaikan oleh media kawalan Umno yang tidak ingin menerima kenyataan.

Agenda perkauman kemudian telah diteruskan dengan seruan Awang Selamat, iaitu suara hati lembaga pengarang Utusan, untuk memboikot syarikat penerbangan Air Asia ekoran kritikan seorang pegawai kanannya, Azran Osman-Rani, yang telah mencemuh akhbar Utusan kerana bersifat rasis.

Dan jika itu tidak mencukupi, Utusan kemudiannya menyiarkan kenyataan Perkasa yang menyelar Azran sebagai "bongkak" dan "lupa diri", serta "mengingatkan" Azran agar tidak sesekali "menyentuh" Utusan Malaysia kerana akhbar itu merupakan satu-satunya wadah yang mempertahankan hak orang Melayu di negara ini, seolah-olah segala kejayaan Azran adalah hasil daripada jasa-jasa akhbar tersebut.

Aduhai, malangnya nasib bangsa sehingga perisai perkauman terpaksa menjadi pelindung kepada umat Melayu. Agaknya, tanpa "perlindungan" daripada wira-wira bangsa seperti Utusan dan Perkasa, tidak mungkin Melayu dapat berjaya atas usaha gigih sendiri ? inilah sebenarnya sikap yang memperlekehkan dan merendahkan martabat bangsa!

Keadaan ini bukan sahaja sangat mendukacitakan, tetapi amat memalukan, khususnya apabila Utusan Malaysia pernah pada suatu ketika dahulu menjadi tonggak dan peneraju kepada suara masyarakat Melayu yang bebas.

Mungkin ramai yang telah lupa peristiwa tahun 1961 apabila pekerja-pekerja Utusan, termasuk tokoh kewartawanan seperti Said Zahari (yang ketika itu Ketua Pengarang), Usman Awang (kini Sasterawan Negara), serta barisan penulis dan wartawan seperti Abu Zaki Fadzil, Awam-il Sarkam, Salleh Yusof, Tajuddin Kahar, Zailani Sulaiman, Rosdin Yaakub dan lain-lain telah melancarkan kempen mogok.

Tujuan mogok tersebut adalah untuk membantah pengambilalihan Utusan oleh Umno yang tidak senang dengan sikap akhbar itu yang kritikal terhadap pemerintah dan pro kepada masyarakat terbanyak.

Akhirnya, 50 tahun kemudian, kekhuatiran Said Zahari, Usman Awang dan para pekerja Utusan pada zaman 60-an yang mahukan Utusan kekal bebas daripada campur tangan politik, sudah pun menjadi kenyataan. Malah, Said Zahari dan Usman Awang tidak mungkin dapat bayangkan betapa corotnya kualiti kewartawanan akhbar yang pernah menjadi perjuangan mereka.

Akibatnya, Utusan sudah hilang wibawa di mata orang Melayu, khasnya golongan kelas menengah seperti Azran yang sudah lelah dengan politik perkauman dan fitnah. Jika tidak kerana langganan kerajaan melalui jabatan-jabatan, agensi-agensi dan anak-anak syarikatnya, Utusan tidak mungkin mampu bernyawa, apatah lagi apabila ia seringkali didapati bersalah oleh mahkamah dan dipaksa untuk membayar ganti rugi kepada mangsa-mangsa fitnahnya (Lim Guan Eng dua kali, Karpal Singh, Khalid Samad, Azan Ismail sebagai contoh-contoh yang terbaru).

Hakikatnya, Utusan yang dahulu menjuarai suara masyarakat terbanyak sudah menjadi alat politik parti konservatif kanan yang ketandusan ilham dan gagal merangkumi gagasan politik baru yang berteraskan idea. Yang paling malangnya, "usaha-usaha murni" Utusan serta puak-puak haluan kanan ini sebenarnya tidak memajukan, malah memperbodohkan bangsa sendiri.

Pada saya, keadaan Utusan Malaysia pada hari ini adalah tragedi yang sangat besar kepada warisan akhbar Melayu. Jalan keluar daripada kemelut ini hanya satu ? media massa di negara kita harus dibebaskan.

Pengalaman di negara-negara lain yang telah beralih daripada media terkongkong kepada media yang bebas telah menunjukkan bahawa akhbar-akhbar yang berpendirian sempit dan berhaluan ekstrim seperti Utusan Malaysia tidak dapat bersaing dan akhirnya akan berhadapan dengan dua pilihan: tukar pendirian atau tutup kedai. Yang berjaya adalah mereka yang mampu memenuhi kehendak pasaran untuk kewartawanan yang lebih objektif.

Jika warisan akhbar Melayu hendak diselamatkan dan kewibawaan dikembalikan, jalannya adalah melalui pembebasan media.

 

PKR reveals allegation of fraud in advance voting

Posted: 29 May 2013 09:18 AM PDT

Malaysiakini

PKR today revealed two police reports that were lodged regarding alleged fraud that had happened during the advance voting process for the 13th general election.

NONEParty director of strategy Rafizi Ramli (left) said that one of the police reports lodged was regarding an incident which took place in Malacca, where an Election Commission (EC) officer allegedly counted ballot papers before the actual counting time.

The second police report was regarding a ballot box that allegedly arrived late to a counting centre in Gerik, Perak, for counting, thus causing the ballots from the particular box to be rejected by officials.

“There are doubtful circumstances in advance voting when not even eight percent from all election results favoured Pakatan,” he said during a press conference at PKR headquarters today.

“So in a situation where we had 250,000 advance voters, today we are raising our misgivings about such things."

In the Malacca incident, PKR’s counting agent Abu Hussin Tamby alleged to have seen about seven to eight individuals donning EC uniforms counting the ballots in a police lock-up.

NONEAccording to the report, which was lodged on May 2, the ballot box for early voting was brought from the early voting centre at the Lubok China police station to the lock-up at the Alor Gajah police district headquarters on April 30.

This is despite the EC setting rules that the advance voting ballots be counted on the election day on May 5.

“After accompanying officers to keep the ballot boxes in the lock-up, I managed to witness officers in EC uniforms counting the ballot papers,” Abu Hussin, 42, said in his police report.

In the incident that took place in Gerik, meanwhile, another PKR counting agent Shairi Md Tajuddin alleged in his report that a postal ballot bag from a polling centre in Pengkalan Hulu did not arrive at the counting centre by the stipulated time on May 5.

He blamed the delay on the EC, which had resulted in the postal ballot bag being rejected, said Shahiri, 48, in his May 15 report.

“I believe this is an offence that was committed on purpose by the EC for the purpose of fraud in ensuring a win for Umno and BN in the Gerik parliamentary seat and the Pengkalan Hulu state seat,” he said in his report.

Blackout 505 tampil tiga tuntutan

Posted: 29 May 2013 12:46 AM PDT

Sinar Harian

Johari Abdul

Perhimpunan Blackout 505 akan meneruskan gerakan mereka sehingga Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) bersetuju untuk melaksanakan tiga tuntutan reformasi awal yang dikemukakan.

Pengarah program Blackout 505, Datuk Johari Abdul berkata, kehadiran rakyat di perhimpunan itu adalah lambang baru kesedaran politik rakyat yang mewakili suara 51peratus rakyat yang menyokong PR.

“Kita menuntut tiga perkara asas reformasi pilihan raya, pertama seluruh anggota SPR sekarang meletak jawatan kerana gagal memastikan PRU13 berjalan dengan telus, cekap, tanpa keraguan dan memenuhi janji mereka kepada rakyat seperti tuntutan Bersih.

“Kedua, adakan pilihan raya semula di 30 kawasan Parlimen yang diragui bila mana bukti kukuh. Ketiga, menangguhkan sebarang bentuk pindaan undang-undang pilihan raya dan persempadanan semula sehinggalah anggota SPR baru yang berwibawa dan dipersetujui oleh semua pihak mengikut konsesus rakyat,” katanya pada sidang media di pejabat PKR hari ini.

Menurut beliau, konsesus itu perlulah diwakili oleh PR dan NGO.

 

‘Black505’ to go on until all demands are met, says PKR

Posted: 28 May 2013 11:25 PM PDT

The Malaysian Insider

The "Black505" rallies to protest against alleged electoral fraud during Election 2013 will continue next month and be held every week until all PKR's demands are met, the party said today.

This comes even as Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders and analysts criticised the rallies and called for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to accept the results and move on towards nation building efforts instead.

"There is no such thing as nation building if the nation is built on fraud and cheating," PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli told reporters here.

 PKR's Datuk Johari Abdul also explained that top of their list of demands was for all Election Commission (EC) members to quit for their purported failure in ensuring a transparent election.

A new set of EC members should be appointed, but only after consultations together with PR and civil societies, he said.

The rallies are also to call for fresh elections in all 30 parliamentary seats where results were disputed.

In addition, any amendments to election laws and redelineation of constituencies must only be carried out after the new EC members have been elected.

PKR announced today that four "Black505" rallies will be held next month in Perlis, Sungai Petani, Kota Baru and Batu Pahat.

Malaysia — Slaying the Tiger Economy

Posted: 28 May 2013 07:06 PM PDT

Huffington Post

“The ruling BN coalition lost the popular vote, gaining only 47%, and turned in its worst electoral result ever as it was largely abandoned by minority Chinese and rejected by voters of all races in urban areas.”

elections-voters-queuingup-tmi

The outcome of the recent election in Malaysia has been a huge disappointment to democratic economic reformers. Malaysia has been continuously running budget deficits since 1998 with government debt rising to US$164.6 billion in the third quarter of 2012, bringing Malaysia’s debt-to-revenue ratio to a level similar to that of Italy’s.

After 55 years of one-party administration by the ruling coalition, it was considered to be high time that Malaysia had an alternative new vision. However, not only does it look like more of the same, but the greatly reduced majority for the ruling party makes it likely that any reforms will be postponed until October or November. This is when new party leadership elections will take place and Prime Minister Najib Razak will have to answer to the traditionalists in his party for its poor electoral showing.

The ruling BN coalition lost the popular vote, gaining only 47%, and turned in its worst electoral result ever as it was largely abandoned by minority Chinese and rejected by voters of all races in urban areas. The result should be seen as a message from voters tired of corruption and patronage politics and also a rejection of the BN’s austerity plans for balancing the budget with a new consumption tax and lower food and fuel subsidies.

Malaysia has been recognized for its strong “tiger” economy, growing at 5% in 2013 and surprisingly resilient at a time of negative developments internationally. This is despite dismal export performance because of the recession and stagnation in Europe and the slow economic growth in the US. Consumer confidence is expected to continue holding up and the inflation rate is stable in spite of higher food prices and is expected to remain at between 2.3 percent and 2.8 percent until 2016. Unemployment figures are low and expected to remain around 3 percent.

However, the underlying structure of the Malaysian economy is based on its relationship with its international trading partners and the domestic economy needs to be backed by the more lucrative external market. A vulnerable domestic economy must be strengthened if it is to continue to withstand the current global economic downturn and the status quo will no longer serve Malaysia well.

Malaysia had hopes of economic reform with the emergence of a strong political opposition under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim whose issues based campaign pointed to the need for ongoing reform. Institutional shortcomings that constrain the country’s prospects for long term economic expansion include the prevalence of corruption and lack of transparency and a judicial system that is vulnerable to political interference.

These are pressing issues that the government must address if it is to maintain competitiveness and achieve growth potential. The folly of reducing taxes has contributed to the budget deficit, and Malaysia’s rate of 26 percent seems reckless when compared with Thailand’s 37%, where the GDP has also been growing at a healthy rate.

The present government’s appetite for debt has been escalating since 2008, negating the effects of inward foreign investment. This has been justified as government spending on commercial enterprises to stimulate the economy, but too often has been seen as funding large-scale projects that reward political crony capitalists and support their companies. The strain of debt load inevitably becomes significant and falls on the wage-earning people.

Austerity measures such as cutting public services like health care will be deeply unpopular and a lower standard of living will be seen as divisive and unjust in view of the wealth of the lightly taxed super rich bracket. Tackling debt should be a major subject of policy discourse in Malaysia but not on the backs of working families.

Chinese economists who have studied Malaysia have concluded that the country will be unable to move ahead into a higher income level while it remains held back by a lack of tertiary industry, an education system that is falling behind in technological expertise and a restrictive low-wage economic model. Malaysia’s dependence on cheap uneducated foreign workers has depressed local wages and productivity growth.

The closely contested general election brought these issues to the forefront. An awareness across the political divide of the need for Malaysia to continue its economic expansion and attract further in¬vestment should play a key part in future policy-making.

The Inter¬national Monetary Fund (IMF), has forecast 5.1 per cent growth for 2013, although exter¬nal factors, such as slower than expected expansion in the US or China, along with the threat of continued recession in the euro¬zone, could affect the country’s economy. The so-called New Economic Model proposed by the existing government will never produce the promised high-income status for Malaysians in 2020 unless there is a change in the management of Malaysia’s resources based on the wellbeing of future generations.

Malaysia’s rapid economic growth may well be coming to an end, as natural resources are being depleted and the workforce has reached a limit of productivity. A new era of social justice underpinning economic decisions was envisaged by the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition. Their failure to gain enough seats was particularly galling given that the election laws favour the ruling party and electoral fraud, abuse of power and control of the Elections Commission made it almost inevitable.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim may have lost this election but he has certainly won the fight for change and social justice and he has a much stronger presence now to challenge the status quo, work for electoral reform, to put an end to corruption and to influence the restructuring of the economy for a more sustainable future for Malaysia’s people.

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