- Jelajah Reformasi 2.0 – Pandan
- Ceramah Perdana Pakatan Rakyat – Melaka
- Understand aspirations of M’sians, Mr Barack Obama!
- Why Obama Should Meet Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia
- Good Night, Sweet Prince
- Federal Courts’s Excuses For Refusal Of Extension To Karpal’s Firm In Fitnah II Appeal Is Unreasonable And Unacceptable
- The Myth of Malaysia’s Moderation
- Malaysia’s Anwar gets Susan Rice meeting
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 06:42 PM PDT
Tarikh : Selasa 29hb April, 2014
Masa : 8.30malam
Tempat : Padang MPAJ.
Semua dijemput hadir.
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 06:35 PM PDT
Ceramah Perdana Pakatan Rakyat – Melaka
Tarikh : Sabtu 26 April 2014
Masa : 8.30malam
Tempat : Jalan Tun Kudu Bukit Katil, Melaka (Berhadapan Dewan Tun Ali).
Semua dijemput hadir.
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 04:27 AM PDT
An open letter from Dennis Ignatius
Dear Mr President,
It has been widely reported that you won't be meeting Malaysia's Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim during your visit to Malaysia that begins tomorrow.
If this is indeed true, it would be an astonishing betrayal by a country that has often portrayed itself as a world champion of democracy and human rights.
It also sends an unmistakable signal to corrupt and abusive governments everywhere that disrespect human rights. The curtailing of democratic governance will be overlooked in exchange for pro-American policies.
Mr President, you should re-read the US Declaration of Independence and remind yourself of American's guiding principles, particularly the part about being endowed "with certain unalienable Rights… [including] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The inalienable rights of Malaysians are under threat today, as never before. All democratic nations should therefore be rightly be concerned.
If such rights are only for Americans, America has no right to claim moral leadership in the world, but if they be for all men, as America's founding fathers clearly intended, you, Mr President, have a moral obligation to passionately affirm and defend them, both in word and deed, wherever you go.
It cannot be that you are unaware of what is going on in Malaysia – the corruption and abuse of power, the tainted elections, the harassment and jailing of opposition leaders, the racial and religious incitement, the intolerance of dissent and the narrowing of our democratic space.
No, one has to reach the unhappy conclusion that you have chosen to remain silent, to close your eyes, to shut your ears to what's going on in order to maintain good relations with the Najib Abdul Razak Administration, for political and economic gains and strategic advantages.
To provide yourself with political cover, your administration has taken to referring to Malaysia as a "moderate Islamic democracy". That is nothing more than a chimera built on Malaysian government propaganda.
In the first place, there is no such thing as an "Islamic" democracy or a "Christian" democracy for that matter; a nation is either democratic or it is not. And increasingly, we, Malaysia, are not.
Of course, the majority of our people are Muslim and proud of it. However, that does not make us an Islamic state. If you care to study our constitution, you will find that we are, constitutionally, a secular state.
Listen to what our founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, had to say when he read Malaysia's proclamation of independence in 1957 in our name: "We will be forever a sovereign democratic and independent state founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people…"
Foreign leaders who refer to Malaysia as an Islamic state or an Islamic democracy, therefore, do enormous damage to our secular constitutional foundations.
As for moderation, Thomas Paine once remarked that “moderation in principle is always a vice".
We don't need moderation in the pursuit of justice or moderation in the number of people tortured and killed in our prisons ,or moderation in the fight against corruption or moderation in the harassment of racial and religious minorities.
These are not moderation, but vice. They are suffocating our democracy, destroying our freedom, undermining our institutions and looting our national wealth.
All this to say, Mr President, is that the so-called moderate Islamic democracy that you speak of is simply non-existent. What we have is a government that cynically and opportunistically exploits both religion and the trappings of our democracy, which remain, to stay in power.
As for Anwar Ibrahim, whether it is convenient for you or not, he is the leader of the opposition. The multiracial and multi-religious coalition he leads (Pakatan Rakyat) won the majority of the popular votes cast in our last general election.
As your own State Department would no doubt have briefed you, only fraud and gerrymandering kept him from taking his rightful place as prime minister of our nation.
Anwar Ibrahim, therefore, has a greater claim to speak for Malaysia than anyone else. If you want to understand our hopes and aspirations, speak to him. Ignore him and you trample upon our long struggle to build a better and more just nation.
Whatever it is, you cannot come to our country and treat the parliamentary opposition leader in such a callous and contemptuous manner. It is like spitting on our democracy! It is like going to Myanmar and refusing to meet Aung Sang Suu Kyi.
Furthermore, given the persecution, harassment and recent sentencing of Anwar Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of sodomy in a trial that has almost universally been condemned, your refusal to meet him will be seen as an endorsement of the Najib Administration's manipulation of the justice system to incarcerate a political opponent and stymie hopes for democratic change.
Remember what you once said, Mr President
You might as well be on hand to turn the key to Anwar's cell and lock him up for what might be the last years of his life.
If you keep silent at this time, if you decline to meet him, you are as guilty of this travesty of justice as Malaysia's government is.
Martin Luther King Jr., one of your own heroes, said, "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
And, Mr President, you yourself once said: “When the United States stands up for human rights, by example at home and by effort abroad, we align ourselves with men and women around the world who struggle for the right to speak their minds, to choose their leaders, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
“We also strengthen our security and well being, because the abuse of human rights can feed many of the global dangers that we confront – from armed conflict and humanitarian crises, to corruption and the spread of ideologies that promote hatred and violence."
During your visit, Mr President Barack Obama, you will have a historic opportunity to align yourself with the struggle for justice and democracy in Malaysia. I hope you will seize this opportunity, and walk your talk.
DENNIS IGNATIUS is a former Malaysian ambassador.
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 02:52 AM PDT
U.S. President Barack Obama is due to travel to Malaysia on April 27, 2014. This will be a historic visit that should seek to accomplish U.S. goals in the region but also demonstrate the value of democracy and rule of law.
While this trip is seen as an opportunity for the U.S. to make headway on initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, it is also an opportunity to demonstrate U.S. adherence to democratic values. A meeting between Obama and de-facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim can help America on both ends.
In a nation that is split along ethnic lines of Malay, Chinese and Indian, Ibrahim's opposition coalition of Pakatan Rakyat holds the popular support of a majority of Malaysians. The results of Malaysia's 13th general elections, held on May 5, 2013, marked the first time since 1957 that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition's support fell to less than 50 percent of the popular vote. Though BN lost the popular vote, it maintained control of national parliament, winning 133 of the 222 contested seats through gerrymandered electoral districts. Ibrahim's popularity and leadership as the opposition leader should not be underestimated; indeed, it should be cultivated.
Recent public opinion research in Malaysia indicates a continued slide of the government and its leader's performance based on unpopular public policies. The public opinion research firm in Malaysia, the Merdeka Center recently released a survey conducted between March 7 and March 20. The survey revealed that only 38 percent of respondents think the country is headed in the right direction. Regarding the government's handling of the economy, the survey results are similar: 39 percent are satisfied while 56 percent are dissatisfied. The Merdeka Center survey also showed that 44 percent are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Najib Razak's leadership. The level of dissatisfaction with Najib is the highest since the Merdeka Centre first tracked his performance in May 2009, a month after he took office.
With Malaysian government approval ratings diminishing and the window of political will closing, the U.S. will need to explore other partnerships that can offer hopes of success for TPP or at least mitigate strong opposition to it. By meeting with Ibrahim, this conversation can begin anew.
According to a press conference Ibrahim held in August 2013, the opposition Pakatan Rakyat bloc opposed the TPP trade agreement and believed it was not in Malaysia's national interest. Among reasons cited for opposition, Ibrahim pointed to the lack of transparency of the process, noting "the extent of secrecy in the TPP is extremely worrying." Much of the information he received about the TPP was "through leaked position papers of TPP countries" and analyzing existing American free trade agreements. Marginalizing Ibrahim and his opposition bloc will only further their concerns and add future challenges to public support for the TPP trade agreement in Malaysia.
Obama will be the first sitting president to visit Malaysia since President Lyndon B. Johnson traveled to Kuala Lumpur in 1966. Johnson was a pivotal figure in the American civil rights movement and is often credited with championing the push for greater equality – and expanded democracy in America. Nearly 50 years later, Obama now has an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to democracy and rule of law in Malaysia by meeting with Ibrahim.
Ibrahim's conviction and subsequent five year prison sentence last month was disturbing. A similar charge filed against him in 1998 was largely seen as politically motivated and ultimately resulted in the Federal Court overturning the conviction. The timing of last month's ruling was of particular concern given Ibrahim's intent to contest the March 23, 2014 Kajang state by-election in Malaysia's richest state, Selangor. Winning this election would have positioned Ibrahim to demonstrate his leadership.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore summarized the conviction of Ibrahim well: "It is extremely disturbing that the government of Malaysia — by continuing to press this case beyond the bounds of reason, let alone the bounds of justice — has used the courts to short-circuit the political process."
As Ibrahim looks to appeal this ruling, it is essential that the Federal Court, Malaysia's highest, view this case in a transparent and fair manner that upholds the rule of law and affords Ibrahim full protection of his legal rights. By meeting with the opposition leader, Obama would send a strong signal that America is supportive of the rule of law.
Anwar Ibrahim said recently that a meeting with Obama would have been "consistent with U.S. democratic ideals and its foreign policy of promoting freedom and justice." Indeed, it would be.
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 12:13 AM PDT
Eulogy by Anwar Ibrahim on the occasion of the memorial service for the late Karpal Singh, Tiger of Jelutong, on 24th April, 2014
Just as many of us had gone through in the early hours of 17th April, when the thunderbolt struck from out of the blue, the unintended wake-up call came with the devastating news. Stunned, shocked and stupefied. That is how I would sum up my immediate reaction.
And after getting hold of myself but still shaking I twittered my first expression of condolence, deep sorrow and devastation over the loss of "our indefatigable fighter for justice, the legendary Karpal Singh.
Later in the day, I sent out a press statement declaring there is none more valiant in life than this great mortal whose body may have perished but his spirit shall live on with us.
Indeed, on this occasion where we gather to do honour to the memory of our dearly beloved brother Karpal who, though physically departed, has left us his eternal presence for all the sacrifices he has made, all the labour of love he has given and all the pain and suffering he had endured for us.
"Footfalls echo in the memory
The profound sadness of his departure can never dissipate for when something that is more precious than the worldly treasures of the world is taken from you, there can never be a replacement.
As the nation has lost a most dedicated servant, so too, the people have lost a selfless, courageous and noble defender of their rights and liberties. And even as the legal fraternity has lost one of its sharpest minds, above all and speaking here personally for myself, I indeed have lost a true friend, kind in words, noble in deed.
When in more challenging times he had given me some tongue-lashing in public, I knew there was never an iota of malice or ill-will. Which is why I took it with an open heart, looking at it as an affectionate slap on the wrist from an elder brother to his younger sibling.
I can never thank him enough for all the help he had given me these last fifteen years and I will never forget those regular visits he paid me during my time in the Sungai Buloh prison. I certainly cannot even begin to entertain the possibility of repaying him for the kindness and generosity he had shown me.
He called me at 6.30 on the eve of that fateful morning. He told me he was worried about the Federal Court appeal that was pending. Having been accustomed to the devious machinations of the powers that be, he said he was particularly troubled by the unprecedented speed at which the appeal records were sent to his office. But when I too started sounding agitated and worried, he immediately switched back to his usual cool and confident self, no doubt intending to put me at ease. Such was his magnanimity of spirit that when push comes to shove, Karpal would always be on your side.
So, we ended our long chat with his trademark parting shots: "Anwar, you carry on. Don't worry. I'll do my best!" Seven hours or so later, with those parting words still ringing in my ear, I heard the news. The angels had taken him away.
He was a man of unimpeachable moral integrity – absolutely fearless as far as mortals are concerned, forgiving to a fault and being so full of milk of human kindness, was utterly selfless in helping the oppressed and the victims of injustice.
If justice is about fairness as indeed it is, then Karpal Singh personified it. Hence, he never used underhand tactics or dirty tricks when defending his clients. He always told me: "Anwar, we will fight them tooth and nail but it will be a clean fight. No cheating. No evil schemes." That is why the fact that I was not given a fair trial was so repugnant to him that he vowed to make sure that I would be acquitted and freed no matter how long that might take.
Last Sunday, we witnessed thousands of Malaysians paying their last respects to Karpal and there is no doubt in my mind that in his life time, worldly titles did not matter to him at all. What would really matter is the high esteem the people have of him. And true to that, a sea of people stretching for miles came on the day of the funeral to send him off, showing their love, affection and respect for this great man.
As Horatio says to Hamlet upon his death, I now say to my dearly departed brother Karpal:
Now cracks a noble heart.—Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:54 PM PDT
24 April 2014
This is an unreasonable and incorrect stand for the Federal Court to take.
They are fully aware that the final date for filing the petition of appeal is 24th April 2014. This means that there was no time for any motion to be filed and heard before the time limit expired on the 24th April. Despite this the Federal Court refused to allow the application for extension of time and asked Anwar's lawyers to file a motion.
The court did not even indicate that they would be prepared to fix an urgent date to allow the motion for extension be heard before the expiry of the time limit. The court had rejected the written application for extension without consideration or sympathy for the special circumstances surrounding Karpal's Singh's sudden and tragic death.
In fact the court had full powers to allow the written application by Karpal's firm for an extension of time. The court could easily have allowed the extension under its inherent powers as stated in Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules 1995. Rule 137 allows the Federal Court to do whatever "necessary to prevent injustice". Surely this power ought to have been exercised in view of Karpal's sudden death and the urgent deadline; and particularly so as this is a case of great public interest.
The inherent powers in Rule 137 exist precisely to cater for situations like this. It was simply impossible for Anwar's lawyers to put in a motion and get it heard before the expiry of the time limit.
We reiterate that the rejection of the written request was unjustified and constitutes a grave injustice in the circumstances of this case.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:31 PM PDT
By ANDREW KHOO
President Obama should not accept this fiction or defer to the Malaysian government because of regional security concerns. Instead, he would do well to note the sorry state of its human rights and call for greater respect for civil liberties.
Since the last general election in May 2013, when Prime Minister Najib Razak’s governing coalition was returned to power but lost the popular vote, racial and religious extremism has been on the rise. Pro-government extremist groups have responded to self-perceived slights and insults against the ethnic Malay majority and Islam by declaring that they are prepared to shed blood to defend their honor and sanctity.
These groups have made direct references to May 13, 1969, an infamous date in Malaysian history when race riots between Malays and Chinese led to killings in several cities and towns, and emergency rule. A 1996 fatwa forbidding the practice of Shia Islam has recently received renewed attention, leading to raids on and arrests of Shia adherents. Followers of the Ahmaddiya Islamic sect have also lately been targeted. Their prayer sessions and religious activities have been interrupted by Muslim religious authorities enforcing the state-sanctioned version of Islam.
A Malaysian Court of Appeal held in October 2013 that a Roman Catholic Church newspaper could not use the Arabic word “Allah” to refer to God. According to the court, use of the word was exclusive to Islam and not intrinsic to the practice of Christianity in Malaysia. Language has become a flashpoint in Christian-Islamic tensions. One Muslim group even suggested that using the Malay language to advertise an Easter concert meant that Christians were attempting to convert Muslims, which is an offense. The group openly questioned the very celebration of Easter, calling it un-Islamic.
Freedom of speech is also under threat. In an attempt to improve Malaysia’s human rights, a coalition of civil society groups submitted recommendations to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights back in September 2013. In January 2014, the government called these “haram,” or sinful, and declared the coalition unlawful.
Additionally, the government has renewed its use of the Sedition Act, a colonial-era law that makes it unlawful to “cause disaffection” against the government or the hereditary rulers. It has been used on everyone from politicians to social media commentators.
Clearly the public wants genuine reform. There was tremendous clamor for clean, free and fair elections in 2012, when hundreds of thousands risked tear gas, water cannons and arrest to participate in the BERSIH 3.0 peaceful protest in Kuala Lumpur. Yet the government has hardly been receptive.
Recent changes in legislation introduced by Prime Minister Najib Razak are the opposite of needed reform. They include outlawing street demonstrations, requiring a 10-day prior notification period for public assemblies, and introducing two-year without-trial detention orders, renewable indefinitely, for those alleged by the government to be involved in serious criminal offenses.
Individuals facing trial for unlawful assembly from the 2012 rally and subsequent protest gatherings have been predominantly political opponents of the Malaysian government. The most notable dissident is former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, recently convicted for sodomy, which many saw as a trumped-up charge.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has promoted Malaysia internationally as a leader in a global movement of moderation. But these actions show the government is anything but moderate. Mainstream newspapers, many of which are owned by political parties within the government, brazenly promote such double-speak. Those who dare to criticize put themselves at risk of vituperative attacks from extremist groups, police investigation and politically motivated prosecution.
President Obama needs to deftly use his public appearances and statements to demonstrate concern about what is happening in Malaysia –and to say what many Malaysians fearfully cannot. The usual mantra of moderation can no longer conceal the escalation of extremism and repression.
Mr. Khoo is co-chair of the Malaysian Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee. He writes in his personal capacity.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:21 PM PDT
TOKYO, Japan – The top White House national security aide Susan Rice will meet Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim when President Barack Obama’s regional tour reaches Malaysia, a senior US official told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Thursday, April 24.
Obama is set to arrive in the Malaysian capital on Saturday, April 26, in what will be the first visit to the country by a sitting US president in nearly half a century.
He faces a political balancing act: he will be keen not to alienate his hosts and a key Southeast Asian ally but Washington has made clear its disquiet about the revival of long term charges against Anwar and is concerned at what it sees as a deteriorating political situation.
Anwar, who was convicted of sodomy in March and whose opposition is engaged in a fierce political battle with Malaysia’s longtime government, had been told that Obama would not be able to see him personally.
But the decision to make national security advisor Rice available will send a clear signal, as she is the most senior foreign policy official other than the president on Obama’s four nation Asian tour.
Anwar told AFP earlier this week that he was not upset he would not get time with Obama but added that such an encounter would have been “consistent with US democratic ideals and its foreign policy of promoting freedom and justice”.
Washington has expressed disquiet about what it says are politically motivated charges to keep the veteran opposition leader out of Malaysian politics.
In March, a Malaysian Court of Appeal overturned Anwar’s 2012 acquittal on sodomy charges, finding him guilty of having had sex with a former male aide in 2008 and sentencing him to five years in jail.
Anwar remains free pending an appeal to Malaysia’s highest court. A former deputy premier with the ruling coalition, Anwar has cultivated strong friendships in Washington, where he is lauded for his calls for reform.
The 66-year-old said there was “opposition from the Malaysian government” against him meeting Obama.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.
In elections last year, an Anwar-led opposition won the popular vote for the first time, but Barisan Nasional retained control of parliament due to what critics say is gerrymandering.
An annual report by the US-based academic study Electoral Integrity Project published in February ranked Malaysia’s elections 66th out of 73 for democratic integrity.
AFP. 25 April 2014
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