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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bar's Press Statement: Raja Petra's 2 year detention order is puzzling


Contributed by Ambiga Sreenevasan
Tuesday, 23 September 2008 06:50pm

Ambiga SreenevasanThe Malaysian Bar is deeply disappointed that the Government has seen fit to issue a 2-year detention order under S8 of the ISA against Raja Petra. The issue of the order on the eve of the hearing of his habeas corpus application is troubling, as it undermines the application.

Raja Petra is being detained for writing articles, which have long been in the pubic domain. Police reports have been lodged against him by various parties. If offences have been committed, he can be charged in Court for them as he has been in the past.

Raja Petra’s continued detention is therefore puzzling. The ISA is being used against an individual where other avenues that afford him a chance to defend himself, exist. It confirms the impression that the ISA is being used for purposes other than national security. It is being used to stifle dissent.

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
President
Malaysian Bar

“Abolish ISA” forum in KL Tuesday

Forum : Abolish ISA

Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Date: 23 Sep 2008 Tue
Time: 8:00 pm
Admission is Free; Bring Friends

The panel of Distinguished Speakers include:

l Teresa Kok, Selangor State Exco
l Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bar Council President
l Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Chairman of Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)
l Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister
l Khalid Samad, MP Shah Alam
l Nurul Izzah binti Anwar, MP Lembah Pantai
l A. Sivanesan, ADUN Sungkai, Perak

* Moderator: Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim

Contact:Teo Nie Ching
Assistant National Publicity Secretary
Email: teonieching@gmail.com

Wide Angle 37 (spiked): The Malaysian Political Oscars!

WIDE ANGLE – Huzir Sulaiman

The Malaysian Political Oscars!
Our political situation is like something out of a movie – so here are the awards. The envelope, please…

The Wide Angle Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, headquartered for no particular reason in Skudai, presents this year’s Malaysian Political Oscars.

The most widely watched television event in Malaysia, the Political Oscar telecast reaches over 1 billion viewers, some of whom are dead, some of whom are 130 years old, and most of whom are registered at the same address.

How does it work? Members of the academy (all Malaysian taxi drivers who despite being allegedly the worst in the world at driving taxis are remarkably good at political analysis) vote on these awards, and the results are tabulated by the auditors of some large accounting firm who would rather do this sort of thing than real accounting work, which might explain the state of the economy.

Here are the nominees and winners.

Best Supporting Actor
It is a crowded field this year, with many stellar performances from both veterans and newcomers.

The nominees include private investigator P. Balasubramaniam in Missing; Pusrawi’s Dr. Mohd Osman in Rear Window; Zaid Ibrahim in Gone in Sixty Seconds; and Raja Petra Kamaruddin in An Inconvenient Truth.

But the Best Supporting Actor Oscar goes to Penang Umno leader Ahmad Ismail for his controversial performance in Pride and Prejudice.

Despite his recent success, which led to him being cast in Under Siege and Raging Bull, Ahmad has flatly refused roles in the films Anger Management and Atonement.

Best Supporting Actress
For her critically-acclaimed performance in Minority Report, this year’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar goes to Sinchew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng.

Interestingly, immediately after that film completed principal photography, Tan was the unwitting star of Catch and Release, a film that may or may not have been directed by Syed Hamid Albar, depending on which version of the studio press kit you read.

Tan spent just 18 hours on location, before quitting, citing creative differences.

Best Cinematography
For his impactful camera work in the V.K. Lingam vehicle The Conversation, the Oscar for Cinematography goes to Gwo Loh Burne.

(Although The Conversation was shot some time ago, due to his refusal to be credited for many months, Gwo Loh Burne could not be given the award earlier. When he finally came forward, this legal thriller was re-released in some markets as The Burne Identity.)

The Conversation beat out Entrapment, starring Chua Soi Lek, which also features an anonymous cinematographer.

Best Foreign-Language Film
Agricultural Study Tour, a Taiwanese sleeper hit, was shot entirely by coincidence, supposedly with no director and no funding.

Nonetheless, a sequel, Exile on My Taiwanese Farm: Peeling my Taugeh might be filmed next year with some of the original cast.

Best Original Screenplay
Jumper, written by Anwar Ibrahim, wins this year’s award. Although the film suffers from a cast of unknowns, whose number seems to fluctuate from scene to scene (though always at least 31), the script is undeniably original and exciting. It also has the potential for numerous sequels, which will prove profitable for the actors.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Written by a team of in-house screenwriters from the Attorney-General’s Studios, The Accused, starring Anwar Ibrahim, is allegedly adapted from instructions given by political superiors. A remake of the 1998 flop, but with many of the same actors and production team.

Best Actress
Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok was competing against herself this year with sterling performances in a slew of releases: Election; Woman on Top; Supergirl; and, in cinemas until last Friday, the black comedy Enemy of the State.

She wins the Best Actress Oscar, however, for her most famous role, Miss Congeniality, which has earned her praise from audiences and critics alike.

Best Actor
The big stars of yesteryear dominated the Best Actor category this year.

Nominees include S. Samy Vellu in Gone With The Wind; Dr. Mahathir Mohamed in V for Vendetta; and both Najib Tun Razak and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the comedy Trading Places.

The winner, however, of the Malaysian Political Oscar for Best Actor is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his flawless, nuanced, masterful performance in Eyes Wide Shut.

Best Picture
The nominees for Best Picture in the Malaysian Political Oscars are all gripping epics.

They include the moving story of the many members of Parti Sosialis Malaysia, The Magnificent Seven; the Khairy Jamaluddin biopic Million Dollar Baby; the Hindraf saga, Out for Justice; and the tale of Gerakan in the Barisan Nasional, The End of the Affair.

The winner for Best Picture, however, is the story of the MCA’s struggle against the Internal Security Act, Look Who’s Talking Now.

Lifetime Achievement Award
For his astonishing film career spanning many decades, and including both commercial hits and small but critically-acclaimed art-house movies, Anwar Ibrahim wins the Lifetime Achievement Award.

His roles, in chronological order, include: Wild at Heart; The Young Guns; The Great Debaters; Sleeping With The Enemy; The Insider; The Sweet Smell of Success; Reversal of Fortune; Cast Away; The Accused; The Cell; Cry Freedom!; Into the Wild; Back to the Future; Mission: Impossible; The Perfect Storm; and, most recently, Eastern Promises.

Depending on the outcome of contract negotiations, Anwar’s next movies may include The King and I; Top Gun; and Great Expectations.

Alternatively, he may take roles in Crash; The Departed; and The Forgotten. That’s the thing about show business – you never know what the big stars will do next!

That’s all for this year’s edition of the Malaysian Political Oscars. See you on the red carpet next year!

Persoalan yang perlu difikirkan


TIba - tiba Perdana menteri Malaysia, Abdullah Badawi telah bertukar potfolio dengan Najib Tun Razak, Timbalanya. Potfolio yang bertukar ialah Najib menjadi Menteri Kewangan dan Abdullah memegang Menteri Pertahanan.

Serentak dengan itu perbagai khabar muncul. Seperti biasa media arus perdana terus diperkudakan untuk menunjukkan kekukuhan kerajaan Bn. Maka tersiarlah komen pemimpin-pemimpin Umno/Bn yang mengatakan pertukaran itu bagus dan melambangkan kelancaran dan keikhlasan Abdullah ke arah peralihan kuasa.

Komen seperti terus mendesak perlahian sudah tentu tidak diberi ruang utama. Sebenarnya ini mungkin berlaku kerana desakan dalaman Umno itu sendiri, tetapi percayalah walaupun pertukaran itu melibatkan Najib menjadi PM dan Abdullah menjadi TPM juga tidak akan dapat meredakan kemelut dalaman Umno/ Bn.

Dalam sidang media yang sama Abdullah seolah memberikan 'tembakan' menyatakan Anwar boleh ditahan ISA kerana mengancam ekonomi negara. Anwar dijadikan alasan untuk menutup kelemahan Abdullah yang sememangnya menjadi punca utama kekalutan ekonomi negara. Sudahlah Abdullah lembab kerakusan menantu, anak-anak dan kerabat yang rapat di kelilingnya yang begitu tamak lebih memparahkan negara ini. Jika kerana mengancam ekonomi negara boleh ditahan ISA maka sudah tentu Abdulllah dan Khairy serta kerabat kelilingnya yang patut ditangkap dahulu.

Kita juga harus fikirkan kenapa pertukaran ini berlaku.... cheGuBard mendapat satu email yang mengingatkan agar tidak memandang ringan pertukaran potfolio itu. Ketika MAGERAN, kononya Abdullah merupakan Setiausaha bilik gerakan negara. Maka walaupun dia lembab dan lembek tetapi dia punya pengalaman menghancurkan demokrasi negara melalui MAGERAN.

Ramai yang mengatakan juga kerana Abdullah mahu mengalihkan kelemahan ekonomi ke atas bahu Najib... mungkin ini juga ada hujahnya... Menteri Kewangan di berikan kepada Najib tetapi mengapa tidak lubuk wang negara iaitu Khazanah Holding yang seharusnya dipengerusikan oleh Menteri Kewangan...? Jawatan baru iaitu timbalan pengerusi diwujudkan di Khazanah untuk menempatkan Najib selaku menteri kewangan.These are just some of the questions the corporate guys are asking following last week's portfolio swap.

Cukup pelik, kita tinjau sedikit !!. "Share Capital" diperbadankan 1993 dimiliki oleh Min of Finance Inc. Melalui Khazanah ini dikuasai semua gergasi korporat besar , lebih 50 gergasi korporat yang bernilai lebih US$20 bilion seperti Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, CIMB Group, Proton Holdings Berhad, PLUS Expressways Berhad, Malaysian Airline System Berhad, and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad. Inilah lubuk berkubang Khairy, Kamaludin dan kerabat kroni Abdullah...jika Khazanah dikawal sepenuhnya Najib akan terlondehlah jenayah keluarga Abdullah. Tetapi sebaliknya Abdullah mengambil penuh Kementerian Pertahanan yang juga banyak menyimpan skandal jenayah korupsi Najib... nampaknya Abdullah tidak selembek disangka...!!! Najib mungkin terkena getahnya...

Kayveas: PPP Will Not Join Pakatan

KUALA LUMPUR: People's Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk Dr M. Kayveas said, even if the BN government is eventually toppled, PPP will not join Pakatan Rakyat. Instead, he said, the party would stick to its political philosophies in its unique manner.

He said even if the party quits BN out of sheer disappointment, he will not lead his party members to join the opposition.

He said during an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily that joining the incumbent opposition alliance has not been the party's political pathway, adding that the party wants to see that changes are taking place within BN.

Prior to the March general elections, Kayveas was the deputy minister in the prime minister's department. He lost the Cabinet post after failing to defend his Taiping parliamentary seat.

Kayveas said, although he chooses to stay in BN, it doesn't mean he will always support BN's flawed policies.

"For example I absolutely do not agree with the recent arrest of three people under the ISA."

He said he couldn't see how a journalist could pose any danger on national security.

Although PPP is only a minor component party within BN, Kayveas feel that his party has played a pivotal role. However, he was reassured that the party did not suffer very bad defeat in the recent elections.

"This is because we were allocated only one parliamentary and one state seats. At least we were not so badly bruised, like other component parties."

He insisted that PPP is still a sound and useful party, because it advocates multiracial political philosophies.

"People are now supporting multiracial parties, because we only have one voice, to speak for all Malaysians instead of any particular ethnic group."

"I don't understand why I'm a Malaysian when I'm in London, India or China, but seen as an Indian when I'm back in my own country!"

Kayveas said BN is a failed alliance.

"We always say our country is multiracial, and we open the opportunities to all Malaysians. But when we come back to party policies and many other issues, we are talking only about the well-being of our own races. We have forgotten that we are now in Malaysia."

He said those who do not agree to "Bangsa Malaysia" are selfish people.

He felt that while we can have our own way of living, eat our own food and believe in our own religions, we must put national interest above all else when we come back to the big family of Malaysia.

"I hope we can redress this racial mindset, as racist parties will eventually be foresaken by the people. I have to reiterate that the days of such parties are numbered. It's just a matter of time."

He felt that all BN component parties should be dissolved and amalgamated into one "BN Party" in a bid to win over Malaysian voters.

On Anwar's claim that Pakatan Rakyat would seize power from BN on 16 September, Kayveas said this would only plunge the country into a state of unrest.

He said Anwar should play his role as an opposition leader and not engage himself in endless psychological warfare with leaders from the ruling coalition.

Now that the opposition has secured a greater mandate in the elections, he said, they should harness the opportunities given to them to better serve the public instead of rushing to topple the existing government.

"The reason is simple enough. We all need to work and our children need to go to schools. We still need to make a living. Spreading news of changing government and playing psychological warfare will only put the people in a state of confusion. This is totally unfair to them." (Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

Is Najib the man for the job?

By Baradan Kuppusamy

SEPT 23 — With a terrific pedigree and a seriously damaged reputation Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was shoved into national politics as a precocious 23 year old in 1976, is now more than 30 years later poised to take charge of a troubled country.

Najib Razak (left) and Abdullah Badawi at a press conference in Putrajaya today. — Bernama pic

It does not matter whether he takes over after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is forced to quit before the Umno polls in December or he challenges and defeats Abdullah or consummates the 2010 succession plan, as he had promised.

As the situation stands now only Najib, who has a strong grip over the party, is in line to succeed.

Therefore what really matters is whether this man, whose upper crust origins, entire upbringing and personal politics are all geared to defending the status quo, would embrace the change that Malaysians desire.

Will he defend the old Umno-led order in an uncertain time or ride the reformasi wave that was first set off with the arrest of archrival Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 and is still rolling after the March 8 general election.

Where Najib stands on the new Malaysia and how he responds to the demand for change are key issues not just for the ordinary Malaysian voter but also for the BN component parties.

The MCA, MIC, PPP and Gerakan — all of which face an uncertain future after voters deserted them in the March 8 general election — are anxious how the Umno succession battle is resolved and who emerges the winner.

Even Umno itself, which had made all the big decisions since before independence, is labouring under the weight of a great disquiet over its future.

Can it reform? Can it win back the support of the Malays and the other races?

Najib, in some ways, is the other man of the hour besides opposition leader Anwar. His future and the country's are intertwined in more ways than one.

"We and the BN as a coalition are facing our biggest crisis ever... May 13 is nothing compared to now. The future for all of us is clouded," said a senior MCA leader on condition of anonymity.

"There are fundamental differences in all political parties over how to change, what to change and how to survive the future," he said, adding all eyes are on the Umno succession battle.

"Naturally we need a liberal, inclusive and pragmatic Malay leader to take charge and lead the BN and the country out of the woods," he said. "We have to wait and see how Umno decides.'

"Is Najib the man?" said a Gerakan leader, adding with Umno itself gripped in a succession crisis the BN parties have to wait to see the outcome.

"However the business community likes Najib's calmness, sureness and firmness but his reputation is sullied over the murder of the Mongolian lady," he said, referring to the 2006 murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

"We worry whether this serious issue would develop into a big a setback for the BN later," he said.

Although Najib has strongly denied any links to the murdered woman and has sworn on the Quran to never having met her and although the Umno rank and file seems satisfied with the explanation, the public perception is that many questions remain unanswered over the whole episode.

"It is a liability… political baggage that can catch up later if left uncleared especially with Najib's political enemies active, possibly growing in strength and openly targeting him for the meat grinder," said the Gerakan leader.

Becoming a minister at the age of 32, Najib put in long years of steady and hard work, rising up the Umno ladder and gaining experience after being moved from one portfolio to another.

He was relatively free of controversy and admired for his patience and ability to clarify complex issues into simple messages.

As Umno Youth leader, however, he gained some notoriety during another Umno crisis — the 1987 leadership battle — when he took part in a rally in Kampung Baru where anti-Chinese sentiments were openly expressed.

Until the Mongolian murder surfaced in October 2006 Najib was relatively above it all, both in Umno and in the country, with a clear, unimpeded run to the top Prime Minister's post.

But after that it was one controversy after another in rapid succession.

First the rumours that he was linked to Altantuya. Then the accusations surfaced on the Internet and finally came the statutory declarations.

It all led to sedition and defamation charges, police investigations and ended with the arrest of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin under the ISA.

Adding to the skull drudgery was the explosive revelations by private eye P. Balasubramaniam and his retraction and disappearance — all within 24 hours — leaving the public gasping and speculating wildly where the truth ends and the lies begin.

The latest controversy is Najib's alleged links to Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who says he was sodomised by Anwar.

In all these controversies Najib has been deft and fast on the feet to survive the landmines thrown his way.

"It shows ambition, drive and determination to defeat his enemies and survive," a Umno insider said. "He is damaged but still firmly on the path to succession."

"If he survivors after December and makes it to the top, his future and the country's future would depend a lot on whether he embraces the reform agenda," said a lawyer and former MIC leader.

"That's the key word — reform. How he fights corruption, how he promotes the rule of law, how he satisfies the non-Malay desire for equality, meritocracy and justice... these are the key issues," the lawyer said.

"There is deep distrust of Umno and the BN among the people… it would take years to heal if at all," he said, adding that the next Prime Minister would have a tough job on his hands.

"Coming from the same sullied Umno-BN pond, naturally people have doubts over Najib's honesty and his integrity," the lawyer said, adding however Malaysians generally would give a new man a "chance to prove himself."

- The Malaysian Insider

Opposition momentum slows

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — The stalemate between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) over the formation of a new government came no closer to a conclusion today, with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim staying silent so far as the deadline set by him for BN to reconvene Parliament passed.

Opposition leaders are also acknowledging the fact that Malaysians were getting "frustrated and angry" over the many "delays", and some are already saying that a change of government may not happen any time soon.

While Anwar has made no statements so far, his party's information chief Tian Chua claimed that contact had been made with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi.

The claim was swiftly denied by Abdullah, who said "that's the craziest report", when asked to comment on the claim as reported by a news agency today.

Chua claimed that PR intermediaries had been in touch with Abdullah over Anwar's demand for a smooth transition of power.

Anwar had also demanded the PM reconvene Parliament today for a vote of no confidence against the BN government.

"We get the sense that the PM's stance is softening," he told The Malaysian Insider today, in reference to proposed discussions concerning a transition of power to Pakatan Rakyat.

He added that this was because the premier was being threatened not just by Pakatan Rakyat but by his own colleagues in Umno who were "unfriendly" as compared to the opposition.

But even the maverick Batu MP admits that things have come to an impasse in their ambitions to topple the BN government and acknowledged that people are becoming "frustrated and angry" with the delays.

The DAP's Tony Pua also concurred that people were getting increasingly restless after the huge build-up.

"But after 50 years of rule, BN is not going to let go so easily," said the party's publicity secretary.

Personally, Pua said he was willing to wait until the next general elections despite Anwar's stand that the need for change is urgent.

"We have to look at the big picture and five years is a very short time after waiting for 50 years," he implored.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar told The Malaysian Insider that he expects the stalemate to continue for years to come.

He believes that whatever happens in the near future, the disputes "are not going to stop" until a general election is held.

"You can't even be sure that a motion of no-confidence will be heard in Parliament when it reconvenes on Oct 13. The government can put it on the order paper but at the back so it'll never be heard before the end of the day," he said.

"But we are planning quite a few possibilities to do our level best to live up to expectations for a change in government. Even from before this, we had outlined plans for Sept 16+1, 16+2, even 16+20 and more too," he added.

For now, PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa could only give an assurance that the party is in the midst of consultation with its partners in PR. He added that Anwar would make a statement following these discussions.

- The Malaysian Insider

Anwar Ibrahim: Malaysian opposition leader accused of sodomy 'in race against time'

Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader fighting sodomy allegations, said he is in a race against time as repressive measures are used to thwart his attempt to topple the ruling party.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Dr Anwar acknowledged that he now only has days to act before his political momentum seeps away amid efforts by the government to prevent a challenge.

The former British colony, once seen as an "Asian Tiger" economy, is controlled by a semi-authoritarian government that imprisons its opponents without charge and strictly controls the media. For decades elections consistently returned giant majorities for the regime.

But the government stumbled to its worst ever election results this March. Now the public is gripped by an all-or-nothing drama as the leader of the resurgent opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, claims he has won over the 30 government MPs he needs to topple the prime minister Abdullah Badawi and the ruling party for the first time since independence from Britain half a century ago.

"We have a problem here because we have the numbers but we can't move," Dr Anwar said.

For the first time this year, the Malaysian parliament has taken a break for Ramadan, which Mr Anwar regards as a "pretext" to prevent a vote of no confidence.

Earlier this month three journalists and an opposition MP were arrested under powers that allow for detention without trial "to protect national security". Three of the detainees have since been released, but last week the prime minister called Anwar a threat to the economy and national security.

"When they say that I am a threat ... then all the rationale for detention is there," said Mr Anwar. "The threat has effected many of our MPs. The threat is working somewhat."

Analysts, and even government supporters, agree that the administration is deeply unpopular because of perceived corruption and a weakening economy.

Dr Anwar was a reformist deputy prime minister 10 years ago when he was arrested, savagely beaten and jailed on sodomy charges that were later exposed as politically motivated.

He is due in court on Wednesday to face fresh sodomy allegations. Dr Anwar says the charges, which could send him to jail for 20 years in the Muslim majority country, are once again politically motivated. He has produced photographs of his accuser meeting government officials to support his claim.

Meanwhile there are moves in the United Malays National Organisation, which controls the government, to remove Mr Badawi as prime minister and replace him with his deputy Najib Razak, who is seen as a hardliner.

On the sidelines of an opposition strategy meeting Kamaruddin Jaffar, the leader of one of the parties in Dr Anwar's opposition coalition, said: "Things are moving fast. If Najib comes in it will be a different ball game." The opposition has asked for a meeting with the prime minister and called for an emergency session of parliament. Both requests were refused. Now, according to Mr Kamaruddin, they intend to ask the king to intervene.

"I'm not ruling out that option," Dr Anwar said.

- Telegraph

INVITATION TO THE CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL ON 27TH SEPTEMBER 2008

My dear brothers and sisters....Vanakam .

It's time now for us to get united again !!

Once again the Government has refused to review and repeal the draconian Internal Security Act(ISA). There are 64 detainees under ISA, some have spent more than 6 years without being charged in court. Each night that every detainee spends under ISA is a night too long.

While you and me spend our evenings cocooned in the safety of our homes with our families, out at Kamunting there are 64 individuals who have been torn apart from there families and denied their basic human rights, we also know now, how poorly fed they are.

The time is now to call to free our Hindraf heroes, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and every other person who has been denied the rights to defend themselves and who are detained without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

All efforts to revoke this dreaded ISA, from our de facto law minister’s resignation, to even Cabinet Minister denouncing this law, have fallen on deaf ears. Innumerable and various legal approaches for the release of individuals have failed to free them. Even the judicial system in seems to have failed the ISA detainees.

Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, we plead that you once again stand united beyond all our ideological, political, religious and socio economical differences.

In accordance to our Rukun Negara principles of being the citizens who ‘Believe In God’ and practicing ‘Loyalty To The King And Country’, who always believed in ‘Upholding The Constitution’ and respect the ‘Rule Of Law’ which eventually results in ‘Good Behavior and Morality’.

We urge all Malaysians to gather in peace.

Venue : Dataran Merdeka , Kuala Lumpur

Date : Saturday, 27th September 2008

Time : 7.00pm

Come friends, lets garner support to light up a candle for each night that our ISA detainees have remained in prison. Each of your candles will denote one night too long that our ISA detainees have spent under detention.

Let this candle vigil send out a strong message, THE PEOPLE ARE THE BOSS. Let your voice rise up against this injustice to the ruling Barisan Nasional government to immediately release unconditionally the Hindraf Heroes, Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and all others who have been unlawfully detained under ISA .

The Bar Council, in their recent EGM unanimously voted for the abolishment of the Internal Security Act. We seek the Bar council of Malaysia, the various political party leaders , elected MPs , ADUNs, NGOs and every concerned Malaysian citizen who sincerely desire to repeal the ISA to come and lend their support.

To the Prime Minister, we welcome the police to protect peaceful Malaysian citizens to practice Article 10 of the federal constitution, which allows the citizens of Malaysia to gather peacefully.

Therefore please mark your calendars to gather peacefully on Saturday, 27th September 2008 at 7pm at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.

Once again failing this beautiful peaceful candle vigil is “NOT AN OPTION!!!”

Bring along candles, we are gathering in peace and love. Once again we ask everyone to respect the principles of Ahimsa (PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE) and excuse any of our police brothers in the event they have to carry out their duty.

Our system has denied justice to 64 ISA detainees, are you going to allow them to languish further? Some of these detainees, like our beloved YM Raja Petra Kamarudin, the Hindraf heroes spoke out for you and me, spoke up for a better Malaysia, spoke up for our next generation!! Now is our turn, what can we do for them?

Pick up your candles and join us for the vigil to repeal the draconian ISA.

JUSTICE FOR RPK, JUSTICE FOR HINDRAF HEROES, JUSTICE FOR ALL ISA DETAINEES.

Suara Rakyat, Makal Shakti!!!

ISA keatas Raja Petra, Kekejaman tanpa mengira masa

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 SEPTEMBER (SK) - PENGUNAAN Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) yang telah terbukti zalim hari ini sekali lagi digunakan tanpa mengira masa dan waktu.

Hari ini, Raja Petra Kamarudin, seorang blogger yang berani mendedahkan apa sahaja akan dihantar ke Kem Kemunting di Perak bagi meneruskan kezaliman Barisan Nasional yang memerintah negara ini.

Beliau akan ditahan di Kemunting selama dua tahan selepas Menteri Dalam Negeri menandatangani perintah tahanannya malam tadi mengikut seksyen 8 akta tersebut, yang membolehkan beliau ditahan tanpa bicara.

Mengikut akta tersebut, perintah tahanan ke atas Raja Petra itu boleh disambung setiap dua tahun.

Menurut Ketua Angkatan Muda KeADILan Shamsul Iskandar, ISA adalah satu tindakan yang kejam dan zalim dalam keadaan Syawal yang bakal menjelma kelak.

“Sepatutnya didalam bulan ramadhan ini, haruslah dihormati, walaubagaimanapun BN gunakan akta yang zalim ini untuk menahan seorang penyebar maklumat politik bagi melindungi kepincangan politik mereka,”katanya ketika dihubungi Suara Keadilan pagi ini.

Katanya lagi, Perdana Menteri, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ternyata tidak menghormati kebebasan bersuara dan pemberi maklumat seperti yang dijamin dibawah pelembagaan.

“AMK menyelar sekeras-kerasnya tindakan yang tidak berperi kemanusiaan, sata percaya walau Raja Petra ditahan dia tidak akan mematikan semangat para blogger yang lain untuk sampaikan mesej kebenaran kerana mereka sayangkan negara,”katanya lagi.

AMK, katanya lagi akan terus bekerjasama dengan Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA bagi menghapuskan akta zalim ini, seterusnya menutup Kemunting dan hapuskan ISA.

Pengarah eksekutif Suaram, Yap Swee Seng turut mengutuk tindakan kejam BN hanya kerana individu berkenaan mempunyai pandamngan berbeza dengan kerajaan.

“Ini satu tindakan yang kejam daaripada kerajaan ini menunjukan kezaliman yang dilakukan oleh BN terhadap mereka yanbg mempunyai pandangan berbeza dengan kerajaan,”katanya ketika dihubungi pagi ini.

Menurutnya lagi, pihaknya akan membuat bantahan terhadap penahan ini dan akan membawa kes ini kepada kerajaan, Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia dan Majlis Hak Asasi Manusi, Persatuan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu.

- Suara Keadilan

Home Minister signed order to detain Raja Petra at Kamunting, court told

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 23, 2008): Blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin's application seeking release from detention under section 73 (1) of the Internal Security Act (ISA) is academic because the home minister has signed an order to detain him under section 8 (1), the High Court here heard today.

Senior Federal Counsel Abdul Wahab Mohamad said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar signed the order yesterday to detain Raja Petra at the Kamunting detention camp for two years.

In his preliminary objection, he said that with the fresh detention order under Section 8(1) becoming operative, Raja Petra's detention was no longer under the purview of the Inspector-General of Police as stated in the notice of motion filed on Sept 16.

"We submit that any issues that transpired before the issuance of the detention cannot be subject to judicial inquiry," he said.

The main issue of the applicant had become purely academic, he said, urging the court to dismiss the application.

Raja Petra was arrested on Sept 12 and filed a habeas corpus application seeking his release from ISA detention on the grounds that the detention was unlawful and contravened the Federal Constitution. He named the Inspector-Genral of police and the Kamunting Detention Camp as respondents.

Section 73(1) allows a person to be held for up to 60 days without trial for the police to investigate and make their recommendations to the minister.

Raja Petra's counsel, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, said he was just informed about his client's detention under the minister's order.

"Our application definitely has bearing and definitely afects his (Raja Petra) liberty provided under the Federal Constitution," he said.

He said that even though he would file an application to challenge the minister's order, he wanted the court to hear the habeas corpus application since it still involved "life issues".

Justice Suraya Othman said that since the application had been overtaken by events, she fixed Oct 28 for both parties to make further submissions before the court decided whether to hear further on the matter.

On the habeas corpus application by Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok Suh Sim, who was detained under the ISA on the same day but has since been released, Suraya said the court could not be give any remedy since the matter too had been overtaken by events.

Kok's counsel, Karpal Singh, said that even though he was not asking the court to make any ruling, it should make some comment and go on public record on this detention issue to ensure that the authorities did not continue to abuse the Act.

Suraya said the court was bound by the Federal Court's ruling that the court could not make any comment since the matter had become academic and the applicant had other remedies like civil action.

Kok was freed last Friday.

Court strikes out Teresa Kok’s application

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here struck out Teresa Kok’s habeas corpus application over her detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA), saying the matter was now academic since she had been released.

The Seputeh Member of Parliament (MP) was detained under the ISA on Sept 12, along with Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng.

Tan was released after 18 hours, and Kok, 44, after a week’s detention.

Kok, also the Kinrara assemblyman and a senior Selangor state executive councillor, was apparently detained because she was considered a potential threat to national security for “racial incitement” after she was accused of petitioning a mosque to reduce the volume for azan (the call to prayer), something which she had vehemently denied.

The accusation surfaced in a Sept 10 article in Utusan Malaysia quoting former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

The accusation was refuted by the Kinrara mosque committee chairman and Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah had lodged a police report against Dr Mohd Khir on this issue.

Kok has also lodged a police report against the Malay daily, its columnist Zaini Hassan and Dr Mohd Khir.

- The Star

Makanan berkhasiat, 3x sehari di lokap


Jimadie Shah Othman | Sep 23, 08 1:12pm
Kerajaan diminta menyediakan makanan tiga kali sehari, berkhasiat dan seimbang kepada tahanan, termasuk yang ditahan tanpa bicara bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA).

pas chinese liaison rep 280607 salahuddin ayubKetua Pemuda PAS Salahuddin Ayub berkata, beliau akan membawa isu makanan yang “mutunya tidak dijamin” itu ke persidangan parlimen yang bersambung pada 13 Oktober ini.

“Bukanlah (mahu makanan) mewah, tetapi biarlah sederhana dan munasabah,” katanya, yang pernah dipenjara sebulan, kepada Malaysiakini.

Salahuddin (foto kiri) dibawa ke Penjara Kajang pada 2000 selepas didapati bersalah terlibat dalam perhimpunan haram bagi membantah kehadiran pasukan kriket Israel pada 1997.

Menurutnya lagi, dengan kenaikan harga barang di pasaran, keperluan menaikkan kos makanan di penjara dan lokap tidak boleh dinafikan.

Beliau mencadangkan RM10 sehari diperuntukkan untuk makanan tahanan di penjara dengan RM2 untuk sarapan pagi dan RM4 makan tengah hari dan makan malam.

Beliau diminta mengulas pendedahan Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, T Murugiah yang dilaporkan berkata beliau terkejut dengan kos makanan yang disediakan oleh kerajaan untuk setiap tahanan di lokap dan menyifatkannya “tidak masuk akal.”

Untuk tiga kali makan, katanya, kerajaan memperuntukkan RM4.50 sehari dengan pecahan 60 sen (sarapan), RM2 (tengah hari) dan RM1.90 (makan malam).

Murugiah mencadangkan kerajaan meningkatkan peruntukan RM10 sehari bagi setiap banduan atau tahanan.

teresa kok released from isa 190908 10Isu ini timbul apabila exco kanan Selangor, Teresa Kok (foto kanan) menyifatkan hidangannya dalam tahanan ISA minggu lalu "seperti makanan anjing" - dua biji telur, timun dan kuah untuk makan tengah hari dan malam.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) pula berkata ia menerima aduan tahanan tentang penyediaan makanan yang “teruk” dan “tidak pelbagai” di Penjara Simpang Renggam, Johor.

“Mereka diberikan ikan masin, nasi dan kari hampir setiap hari. Bila Suhakam datang melawat, baru makanannya berubah,” kata penyelarasnya E Nalini.

Tambahnya, tahanan dapat makanan sedap seperti ayam dan daging sebagai lauk hanya seminggu sekali.

Beliau berpendapat, tahanan patut diberikan makanan berkualiti untuk mengelakkan penyakit

Samy: PM janji timbang bebas 5 Hindraf


Sep 23, 08 5:52pm
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi telah berjanji untuk menimbang rayuan MIC bagi membebaskan lima pemimpin Hindraf yang ditahan mengikut Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) sejak 13 Disember tahun lalu, kata Presiden MIC, Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu.

"Perdana Menteri berjanji untuk berbincang perkara itu dengan Menteri Dalam Negeri (Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar) sebelum membuat keputusan," katanya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

Pemimpin MIC itu, diiringi menteri sumber manusia dan setiausaha agung parti itu, berbincang selama setengah jam dengan Abdullah di pejabat perdana menteri awal hari ini bagi mendapatkan pembebasan segera kelima-lima pemimpin Hindraf itu.

"Perdana menteri memberi jaminan bahawa beliau akan mengkaji keadaan dan mencadangkan tindakan sewajarnya. Kami mempunyai sepenuh keyakinan dan kepercayaan dengan perdana menteri dan kami percaya bahawa beliau akan melakukan sesuatu yang positif berhubung perkara ini," katanya dalam laporan Bernama.

Samy Vellu berkata beliau menjelaskan kepada Abdullah sebab-sebab kenapa R Kengadharan, 41, M Manoharan, 47, V Ganabatirau, 35, P Uthayakumar, 47, dan K Vasantha Kumar, 35 - perlu dibebaskan tanpa syarat.

Beliau berkata alasannya adalah mereka telah ditahan hampir sembilan bulan sekarang.

"Sebahagian daripada mereka memerlukan pemeriksaan perubatan walaupun kami diberitahu mereka telah diberi penjagaan yang sewajarnya. Keluarga mereka telah cukup menanggung penderitaan dan mereka sepatutnya dibenarkan pulang untuk menjaga keluarga mereka.

"Sudah tiba masanya mereka dibebaskan kerana mereka tidak membahayakan keselamatan negara," katanya.

Katanya, pembebasan kelima-lima pemimpin itu jug akan "mengurangkan ketegangan" di kalangan masyarakat India terhadap kerajaan.

"Saya juga menerima tekanan daripada pemimpin dan ahli MIC bagi mendapatkan pembebasan mereka. Hari ini saya bercakap dengan Perdana Menteri dan saya boleh memberi jaminan kepada ahli MIC bahawa sesuatu yang baik akan berlaku," katanya.

Samy Vellu berkata beliau akan membangkitkan perkara itu sekali lagi dalam mesyuarat Dewan Tertinggi Barisan Nasional (BN) akan datang.

Rasuah: Kedudukan M'sia merosot lagi


Chan Kok Leong | Sep 23, 08 4:57pm

Tidak ada kemajuan dalam persepsi rasuah di Malaysia sejak tahun 2001 walaupun banyak janji-janji yang telah dibuat oleh pihak berkuasa untuk membasmikannya.

Dalam Indeks Persepsi Rasuah (CPI) 2008 - yang mengukur tahap rasuah di sesebuah negara - Malaysia memperolehi 5.1 mata tahun lalu.

transparency international malaysia corruption perception index 2008 pc 230908 ramon navaratnamMata yang sederhana itu hanya sedikit berbeza daripada 4.9 hingga 5.1 mata yang diperolehi Malaysia sejak tahun 2001.

"Ini menunjukkan terdapat negara-negara yang mencatatkan kemajuan yang lebih baik daripada kita," kata Presiden Transparency International (Malaysia), Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.

Beliau merujuk kepada Singapura yang mendahului senarai bagi negara-negara di rantau Asia Tenggara, dengan mendapat 9.1 mata. Pada keseluruhannya, republik itu berada di tangga keempat di kalangan 180 negara yang dinilai.

Sebagai perbandingan, Malaysia berada di tangga 47 dalam senarai tersebut, berbanding pada tangga 36 pada tahun 2001 di kalangan 91 negara yang dinilai dalam indeks tersebut.

transparency international malaysia corruption perception index 2008 pc 230908 01Bagaimanapun, Malaysia masih berada di atas negara-negara lain di rantau ini seperti Thailand (3.5), Vietnam (2.7), Indonesia (2.6), Filipina (2.3), Kamboja (1.8) dan Burma (1.3).

Menurutnya, tahap rasuah yang tinggi yang masih wujud dalam ekonomi tersebut boleh menjejaskan perniagaan, kecekapan, menghalang atau melembabkan perniagaan dan menjadikan perniagaan lebih mahal dan berisiko tinggi.

Navaratnam juga berkata, lebih banyak yang boleh dilakukan oleh pihak berkuasa Malaysia untuk membasmi rasuah.

Katanya, sementara usaha memerangi rasuah dalam sektor awam memerlukan kekuatan keazaman politik yang kuat, ini perlu disusuli dengan keazaman yang kuat dan berterusan untuk memperkukuhkan akauntabiliti.

bm version transparency international malaysia ranking in cpi from 2001 to 2008 230908"Satu budaya yang tidak bertolak ansur dengan rasuah juga perlu ditanam dalam budaya perkhidmatan awam. Pemimpin politik mesti memimpin melalui teladan dan cakap seperti bikin," katanya.

Beliau bagaimanapun memuji langkah kerajaan menubuhkan badan seperti Pemudah, sebuah badan petugas khas untuk membantu memulakan perniagaan secara mudah dan telus, tetapi menegaskan lebih banyak lagi yang boleh dilakukan.

Menurutnya, jumlah mata yang sederhana yang diperolehi Malaysia dalam CPI 2008 itu harus menjadi peringatan kepada kerajaan supaya meningkat usaha membasmi rasuah dan bukan setakat beretorik sahaja.

Selain pembaharuan institusi dan undang-undang, TI juga berkata , CPI Malaysia boleh ditingkatkan dengan memastikan keputusan dan transaksi kerajaan menjadi lebih telus.

bm version transparency international 2008 malaysia ranking corruption perception index 230908"Ini termasuk merombak Akta Rahsia Rasmi," kata Navaratnam.

Perolehan kerajaan,tambahnya, juga mesti lebih terbuka untuk membasmi rasuah.

Mengenai politik wang, Navaratnam menyarankan supaya calon-calon yang bertanding dalam pilihanraya dan pemilihan parti politik lebih dihadkan dan dipertanggungjawabkan terhadap penggunaan wang dalam pilihanraya.

Ranking bagi CPI TI dibuat berdasarkan tahap persepsi rasuah di kalangan pegawai kerajaan awam dan ahli politik.

Indeks komposit ini mengumpul data dari pakar dan kajiselidik perniagaan yang dijalankan oleh pelbagai institusi bebas

Penyanyi 'Negarakuku' disiasat polis

Sep 23, 08 12:03pm
Penyanyi lagu rap kontroversi 'Negarakuku', yang popular dengan nama Namewee, sedang disiasat polis berhubung lagu itu yang mendapat perhatian nasional tahun lalu apabila ia disiarkan di internet.

negarakuku national anthem film strip 170707 oi veyWee Meng Chee diminta hadir di Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Perdagangan, Kuala Lumpur sejak 10.30 pagi.

Beliau tiba dari rumahnya di Muar, Johor bersama bapanya.

Sewaktu kontroversi itu memuncak Ogos tahun lalu, lagu pemuda 25 tahun itu di laman web Youtube.com mendapat sambutan hangat anak muda dan pengunjung Internet.

Wee, yang masih belajar di Taiwan waktu itu, turut mendapat kecaman ahli politik kerajaan dan pihak berkuasa Malaysia kerana didakwa membangkitkan isu-isu sensitif tentang agama dan kaum.

Lagu dalam bahasa Cina itu mengkritik polis, amalan rasuah, kelemahan birokrasi, dasar pro-Bumiputera, dan juga mengulas gaya azan dilaungkan yang berselang dengan lagu kebangsaa

Time to get to work, Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim has proclaimed that he has sufficient number of MPs to defect to Pakatan Rakyat and to form the next federal government. If this is true, it will be the first time since independence that the BN will lose control of the government.


Hence, Anwar must plan his take over carefully to prevent any untoward incidents by certain BN members who are unwilling to relinquish power and will do anything to prevent the handover of power from happening.

As much as the results of the 12 General Elections shows that the vast majority of the rakyat has rejected racial politics, it cannot be denied that the Malays must form the backbone of political power of Malaysia. Hence Anwar must first reassure the Malays that their rights as enshrined in the constitution will be protected and upheld and all times.

The Ahmad Ismail and Teresa Kok incidents highlight that certain issues involving race and/or religion can be easily played-up by those who wish to cling on to power and these group of individuals may be telling the Malays that they will lose all their powers and rights should BN lose power.

The Malays are the majority in the country and having the majority of the rakyat restless and wondering about their rights will not be good for the country. Anwar must ensure that the issue of Malays losing power is not played up by irresponsible quarters as this can lead to unrest.

Anwar must also reassure the Malays that economic policies to help uplift the status of the Malays will continue, albeit in a much more transparent manner. Although the general economic situation of the Malays has improved tremendously since the implementation of the NEP in 1970, much needs to be done to uplift the economic status of the Malays and also other communities that have been left behind.

Anwar must wipe out the leakages and corruption that have robbed economic aid and wealth from reaching those who are really in need, regardless of religion or race. Help those who really need help and while it is true that there are more poor Malays compared to non-Malays, Anwar cannot forget the plight of the non-Malays in the country.

Government scholarships must be given to those who truly deserve it, i.e. smart and gifted Malaysians who cannot afford higher education, not the children of ministers and politicians who can easily afford to pay for their children’s higher education.

Anwar must also reassure the civil service that it will be business as usual. The new government will ensure a smooth change in administration and the civil service must be professional in serving the government regardless of whether it is BN or Pakatan Rakyat.

Anwar has to engage and assure the police force and armed forces that Pakatan will be able to take over political power smoothly and the duty of these forces is to keep the peace and order. This is also to prevent certain groups of individuals who may use this opportunity to create mischief.

The police and armed forces must always remember that their loyalty is to king and country and country here means the government of the day and not BN or Umno. Should the BN government lose power in a democratic process, the police and armed forces must continue to pledge their loyalty to the new government. Anything short of this will be seen as mutiny.

The Anwar of 2008 is very different from the Anwar of the 1970s or 1980s and even the early 1990s. The situation in Malaysia too has been very different since the 1970s and today. Today, Anwar is a leader representing all Malaysians. He is no longer the pro-Malay student leader or Malay activist that he was in his younger days.

Anwar must also reassure the non-Malays that their rights will be protected and that all Malaysians are equal under the law. Anwar must show that although the rights of the Malays will be protected, nothing will be taken away from the non-Malays and racial politics will no longer be practiced or even tolerated.

Anwar has to also reassure investors that there is stability in the new government. Under the administration of Dr Mahathir, stability was the key point, albeit at the expense of human rights.

However, of late, instability and indecisiveness have plagued Pak Lah’s administration. One example of this was the unveiling of a sweeping and controversial windfall tax for IPPs only to remove it after much pressure form key players in the financial industry but not before the stocks of the IPPs took a beating, wiping of hundreds of millions of ringgit from the stock market. Who is going to compensate these investors from sudden changes in government policy?

Anwar must introduce proactive and investor friendly policies to stimulate our flagging economy and correct all the imbalances, imperfections and corruption that he has been talking about. Government policies must not only be properly thought out before being announced, they must also be implemented correctly.

Anwar must also continue with some of the policies introduced by Pak Lah which are beneficial to the country such as reforming the police force and the Anti Corruption Agency and restoring the independence of the judiciary.

These are just some of the many responsibilities that await Anwar. The task at hand for Anwar is heavy but Malaysians are confident that he can handle it.

The rakyat are looking forward to a new Malaysia for all Malaysians.

- By Derek Law, Malaysiakini

Dakwaan Teresa Tentang Makanan Semasa Ditahan Adalah Angkuh - Muhammad Taib

SUNGAI BESAR, 22 Sept (Bernama) -- Dakwaan Anggota Parlimen Seputeh Teresa Kok Suh Sim bahawa makanan yang dihidangkan kepadanya semasa ditahan di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) sebagai "lebih baik sedikit daripada makanan anjing" berunsur angkuh dan menghina, kata Ketua Penerangan Umno Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

Beliau yang juga Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah berkata kenyataan seperti itu tidak sepatutnya keluar dari mulut seorang ahli politik seperti Teresa yang dibimbangi boleh menyentuh sensitiviti orang lain yang kurang berkemampuan terutama orang miskin.

"Kita harap ahli politik tak boleh angkuh sebab sekiranya kita angkuh kita boleh sentuh sensitiviti orang lain kerana ada orang lain yang miskin makanannya lebih teruk lagi.

"Bila kita dah dapat makanan yang baik dan ikut prosedur, itu sudah kira baik berbanding sesetengah orang yang hanya makan nasi dengan garam sahaja," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menyampaikan bantuan kepada 71 penduduk kampung di Sungai Panjang di sini, yang rumah mereka rosak teruk akibat dilanda ribut semalam.

Teresa pada 19 Sept lepas, selepas dibebaskan daripada tahanan ISA berkata beliau dihidangkan dengan makanan bermutu rendah, yang lebih baik sedikit daripada makanan anjing sepanjang ditahan.

Teresa yang juga anggota exco kerajaan negeri Selangor mendakwa bahawa beliau hanya diberi makan dua biji telur rebus, timun dan kuah dua kali sehari iaitu bagi makan tengah hari dan makan malam.

Muhammad berkata mana-mana pihak yang ditahan di bawah ISA akan melalui layanan yang sama tidak kira sama ada mereka pemimpin dari Barisan Nasional atau parti pembangkang seperti DAP, PAS dan Pasti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

-- BERNAMA

Yang di-Pertuan Agong atau parlimen?

Profesor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari

Perdana Menteri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi telah menolak cadangan Dato Seri Anwar agar diadakan satu persidangan khas parlimen untuk membahaskan perkembangan mutakhir politik negara.

Ini menunjukkan betapa sukarnya untuk memanggil sidang khas parlimen bagi membincangkan usul undi tidak percaya walaupun cara ini adalah demokratik dan berperlembagaan.

Budaya politik dan perundangan negara kita menyebabkan ia sukar berlaku.

Sistem politik negara kita adalah berteraskan sistem Westminster yang mana fungsi ketua negara terpisah daripada fungsi ketua kerajaan.

Walaupun Yang di-Pertuan Agong lebih banyak memainkan peranan simbolik, Baginda sebenarnya berkuasa untuk memainkan peranan yang lebih aktif dalam situasi yang perlu.

Yang di-pertuan Agong dan politik

Para penasihat Anwar mungkin agak gusar jika beliau terus pergi mengadap Yang Di-Pertuan Agong untuk mendapatkan perkenan untuk membentuk kerajaan baru. Mereka mungkin tidak mahu Yang di-Pertuan Agong terlibat secara langsung dalam politik.

Para penasihat ini seolah-olah bimbang dan terlupa peranan penting Yang di-Pertuan Agong dalam menjaga negara ? satu perkara biasa dalam sistem Westminster yang kita amalkan. Dan ini tidak terhad kepada negara-negara yang mempunyai Raja (sistem monarki) sahaja.

Negara republik seperti India turut membolehkan ketua negaranya memainkan peranan dalam situasi luar biasa, walaupun biasanya ketua negara tersebut hanya memainkan peranan simbolik sahaja.

Peranan sebegini sebenarnya pernah diutarakan oleh Laporan Suruhanjaya Reid. Tetapi, oleh kerana ini merupakan kali pertama kita menghadapi situasi sebegini, kebimbangan mereka boleh difahami.

Bagaimanapun Anwar tidak menolak kemungkinan untuk pergi terus ke Istana. Oleh kerana Abdullah telah menolak cadangan agar diadakan sidang khas parlimen, Anwar kini mempunyai sebab untuk memohon mengadap Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Sistem perundangan kita tidak menyebut dengan jelas sama ada pertukaran kerajaan hanya boleh dibuat melalui parlimen. Artikel 43(4) dalam Perlembagaan memungkinkan pertukaran dibuat dengan cara majoriti ahli parlimen memaklumkan kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong bahawa mereka telah menarik balik sokongan terhadap kerajaan sedia ada.

Ini akan mewajibkan Perdana Menteri meletak jawatan. Yang di-Pertuan Agong kemudiannya boleh melantik seorang ahli parlimen yang mempunyai sokongan majoriti dalam Dewan Rakyat untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri baru.

Hujah salah

Pertukaran kerajaan melalui undi tidak percaya merupakan perkara yang pernah berlaku di negara-negara Komanwel lain. Tetapi ia amat sukar dilakukan di Malaysia kerana Umno menyekat sebarang usaha membentangkan usul undi tidak percaya.

Speaker Parlimen Pandikar Amin Mulia mengatakan bahawa Perdana Menteri mempunyai kuasa penuh untuk memutuskan sama ada mahu memanggil sidang khas parlimen atau tidak.

Rasanya Perlembagaan kita tidak bermaksud untuk memberi kuasa kepada Perdana Menteri membuat kata putus dalam hal ini.

Perdana Menteri merupakan ketua Eksekutif dan jika beliau mempunyai kuasa mutlak, maka ini seolah-olah meletakkan Legislatif di bawah Eksekutif. Pasti ini bertentangan dengan konsep pemisahan kuasa yang dituntut oleh sistem politik negara kita.

Selain itu, sukar dibayangkan sesebuah kerajaan akan bersetuju untuk memanggil sidang khas parlimen jika terdapat hal-hal yang mengancam penerusan hayat kerajaan tersebut. Hujah bahawa Perdana Menteri sahaja berkuasa memanggil parlimen adalah lemah.

Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia ada juga memetik peraturan parlimen (Standing Orders) dalam membuat keputusan beliau. Tetapi peraturan parlimen dibentuk berasaskan peruntukan Perlembagaan Artikel 62(1). Peraturan ini statusnya lebih rendah daripada Perlembagaan.

Apabila Speaker menggunakan hujah peraturan parlimen, beliau seolah-oleh mengatakan bahawa peraturan tersebut lebih tinggi daripada Perlembagaan. Ini tidak betul.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong berhak untuk memanggil persidangan parlimen tergempar. Tidak mungkin apabila Baginda mempunyai kuasa memprorog dan membubarkan parlimen seperti termaktub dalam Artikel 55 Perlembagaan, Baginda tidak pula berhak memanggil parlimen bersidang. Artikel 40(2) pula merupakan satu artikel umum dan situasi sekarang lebih kelihatan sebagai satu pengecualian.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong memang mempunyai peranan dalam situasi sekarang. Ini bukan luar biasa kerana sistem yang kita amalkan kadang kala memang memerlukan tindakan-tindakan tertentu untuk membolehkan ia berfungsi dengan baik. Yang di-Pertuan Agong perlu memainkan peranan untuk memastikan Perlembagaan boleh terus terlaksana.

Yang pastinya, ini bukanlah penamat bagi Abdullah. Sekiranya Anwar berjaya membentuk kerajaan, Abdullah juga boleh mencabar Anwar dengan cara yang sama. Inilah sebabnya kenapa Abdullah perlu membenarkan sistem Westminster yang kita amalkan berfungsi seperti sewajarnya.

Anwar telah berjanji akan menghormati Perlembagaan. Maka mungkin langkah pertama yang perlu beliau usulkan ialah membolehkan Speaker dilantik melalui pengundian bebas. Parlimen kita akan menghampiri status parlimen kelas pertama jika Speaker yang dipilih ialah dari kalangan parti pembangkang.

Kuasa Agong atau kuasa parlimen?

Kembali kepada dua cara penukaran kerajaan tadi, iaitu sama ada melalui undi tidak percaya di parlimen atau melalui kuasa Yang di-Pertuan Agong, saya rasa kedua-duanya dibenarkan oleh kerangka Artikel 43(4) Perlembagaan kita.

Cara pertama iaitu pengundian di parlimen memanglah cara yang paling ideal dan lebih demokratik. Cara ini telah berlaku jika kita teliti kes Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan, bekas Ketua Menteri Sarawak, pada tahun 1966. Tetapi ini hanya boleh berlaku dalam satu sistem politik yang terbuka dan demokratik.

Bolehkah ia berlaku dalam situasi Malaysia sekarang? Kita boleh melihat dengan jelas betapa kerajaan Barisan Nasional berusaha sedaya upaya menghalang usul undi tidak percaya dibahaskan di Parlimen termasuklah dengan mengancam penggunaan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA).

Cara kedua, iaitu melalui tindakan Yang di-Pertuan Agong, terhasil daripada pembacaan literal Artikel 43(4) bersama dengan Artikel 40(2)(a). Cara ini yang lebih cepat daripada cara pertama tadi.

Dan, oleh kerana terdapat unsur-unsur tidak demokratik dalam menghalang tercapainya cara pertama, maka mungkin cara kedua ini lebih praktikal.

Ia juga boleh menghalang kerajaan daripada terus menerus menyekat perubahan. Tetapi cara ini amat bergantung kepada kemahuan Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk memainkan peranan yang lebih proaktif.

Mungkin wajar disebut di sini bahawa terdapat negara-negara demokrasi yang stabil di Eropah yang turut mengamalkan sistem monarki seperti kita.

Di luar Eropah pula, telah terdapat Raja yang secara aktif membantu lahirnya demokrasi di negara mereka. Inilah yang berlaku di Sepanyol, Thailand dan juga sedikit sebanyak di Jordan.

Adakah Raja-Raja kita juga mahu turut sama seperti Raja-Raja di negara-negara itu?

(Profesor Abdul Aziz Bari ialah Profesor Undang-undang di Universiti Islam Antarabangsa. Artikel ini diterjemahkan daripada artikel asal beliau berbahasa Inggeris oleh WauBebas.org)

Beranikah Abdullah isytihar pilihan raya mengejut?


Secara tradisinya, dua pihak yang sering beradu kuasa dalam politik Malaysia adalah Umno dan PAS.

Namun, di sebalik apa jua manifesto kedua-dua parti itu dalam 12 pilihan raya umum lalu, mengenai siapa yang lebih mampu mempertahankan hak dan kekuasaan politik Melayu dan kedaulatan Islam, penyokong, pengundi dan ahli-ahli parti berkenaan akan merasa kehilangan besar jika Umno atau PAS yang berkuasa di sesebuah negeri.

Bagi rakyat, khususnya orang Melayu, sama ada PAS atau Umno yang menang, ia tetap merupakan kerajaan Melayu. Siapapun yang menang dan memerintah, ia tetap situasi menang-menang dan mencerminkan kuasa dominan politik Melayu.

Pemimpin parti mungkin melihat kuasa politik dari sudut berbeza. Namun bagi rakyat yang waras, ia berkaitan dengan siapakah yang patut diberikan amanah dan prestasi pula diukur sejauh mana mereka yang dipilih boleh memberikan keselesaan buat rakyat.

Peningkatan asas sokongan PAS dan penghijrahan pengundi dan penyokong dari Umno ke PAS dari masa ke masa berlaku atas pelbagai faktor ? yang terbesar ialah kemampuan Umno dalam menggalas tanggungjawab terhadap orang Melayu dan Islam semakin dilihat tidak lagi berkesan dan kemampuannya kian dipertikaikan.

Selepas Pilihan Raya Umum ke-12, lanskap politik Malaysia terubah dengan kejayaan KeADILan yang relatifnya baru dalam senario proses pemilihan elektoral memperolehi 31 kerusi Parlimen (20 daripadanya dimenangi calon Melayu). PAS mendapat 23 kerusi, DAP 28.

Dengan kemungkinan setidak-tidak 30 Ahli Parlimen BN menyertai Pakatan, menjadikan jumlah kerusi Pakatan 112 berbanding BN 110, maka BN tidak lagi berkuasa di peringat Persekutan.

Perkiraan inilah yang menguatkan hasrat Dato' Seri Anwar Inrahim mengambil alih kerajaan.

Walaupun ia tidak berlaku pada 16 September lalu, namun tidak mustahil ia akan berlaku pada satu tarikh lain memadangkan ada Ahli Parlimen BN yang dikatakan berada di ambang meninggalkan parti masing-masing kerana tidak berpuas hati dengan kelemahan kepimpinan Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mendahului proses menterjemahkan protes rasa tidak puas hati ini sehingga mengucapkan selamat tinggal kepada BN ialah Parti Maju Sabah (SAPP) yang keluar dari BN pada 17 September 2008.

Juga di sebalik semua penafian Abdullah dan pemimpin kanan Umno-BN mengenai peralihan kuasa itu, ramai melihat keputusan SAPP sebagai bermulanya satu chain-reaction yang bakal menyaksikan lebih banyak komponen BN atau Ahli Parlimennya yang menuruti jejak langkah parti itu.

Ramai menanggap rancangan peralihan kuasa tajaan Anwar ini satu ancaman sahih yang diyakini oleh BN sendiri di sebalik pelbagai penafian, bermula saat pengumuman 49 Ahli Parlimen Backbenchers BN membuat lawatan ke Taiwan menjelang 16 September.

Tentu sekali ramai yang tidak mempercayai bahawa tujuan mereka ke negara tersebut adalah semata kerana mempelajari pertanian. Malah ramai berkongsi pandangan bahawa penahanan beberapa individu termasuk seorang Ahli Parlimen DAP ada kaitan dengan rancangan Anwar itu.

Walaupun perkaitan sedemikian tidak begitu jelas, yang pasti beberapa pemimpin Umno termasuk yang berjawatan menteri tidak bersetuju dengan penahanan wartawan Sin Chew Daily. Keadaan ini sudah tentu menambahkan lagi luka kesatuan pemikiran, pandangan dan keputusan dalam Umno yang amat utuh satu ketika dulu.

Yang Razali Kassim, felo kanan di S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Techonological University, Singapura berpendapat: "Keadaan darurat boleh diisytiharkan, atas sebab bahawa negara (Malaysia) sedang memasuki satu tempoh ketidak-stabilan berpanjangan. Kerajaan telah mengkaji opsyen darurat sejak kemelut pilihanraya 8 Mac. Ketua Turus Angkatan Tentera telah membangkitkan ? dua kali ? mengenai keadaan huru-hara ini dan meminta kerajaan supaya bertindak. Adalah sesuatu luar biasa bagi seorang jenderal tinggi untuk berkata demikian."

Keputusan Abdullah bertukar portfolio dengan timbalannya Dato? Seri Najib Abdul Razak yang menyaksikan beliau menjadi Menteri Pertahanan mengundang spekulasi selanjutnya kepada pandangan di atas.

Tulisan tersebut turut juga menyentuh tentang kemungkinan sebuah pilihan raya umum mengejut, "... Sekiranya BN akan kehilangan kuasa mengapa tidak sahaja mengadakan pilihan raya sekali lagi untuk cuba mengubah gelombang? Itu, bagaimanapun, mungkin akan membuktikan satu strategi berisiko bagi BN. Lagipun, kali ini BN mungkin akan tersingkir terus."

Kebarangkalian BN kehilangan kuasa jika satu pilihan raya umum diadakan dalam masa terdekat adalah tinggi memandangkan ramalam kemenangan moralnya pada pilihan raya kecil Permatang Pauh lalu tidak menjadi, malah Anwar menang lebih besar.

Walaupun ketika menjawab soalan media pada 16 September lalu Abdullah mendakwa masak dengan cara dan strategi politik Anwar, namun beliau mungkin terlupa betapa menerusi semua jawatan dalam parti dan kerajaan yang pernah disandang bekas TPM itu ketika dan sebagai pemimpin yang amat popular, Anwar dapat memahami mindset pemimpin Umno dan budaya yang melahirkan mindset sedemikian serta insight kepada cara Umno dan kerajaan BN bergerak dan bertindak dalam menghadapi krisis.

Anwar sesungguhnya memiliki kemampuan mempengaruhi keadaan. Kehadiran semula beliau dalam senario politik Malaysia menghantui Umno dan sedikit sebanyak memberikan impak perpaduan dalam PAS sendiri.

Politik Malaysia berada dalam keadaan paling kelam-kabut dan tidak stabil. Debu politik pilihan raya umum masih belum mendak walaupun sudah berlalu hampir lapan bulan.

Sementara semua ini berlaku, golongan yang menyandarkan harapan berlakunya peralihan kuasa terus meyakini Anwar boleh melakukan satu keajaiban politik dan seterusnya urus-tadbir kerajaan yang serba-sempurna dalam keadaan majoriti mudah yang paling minima. - mks.

Shirzat Lifeboat

Breaking news: Raja Petra Kamarudin akan dihantar ke Kem Kamunting selama dua tahun

23 09 2008

Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) akan dihantar ke Kem Tahanan Kamunting untuk menjalani tahanan selama dua tahun pada hari ini.

Menurut peguamnya, polis memberitahu mereka bahawa Menteri Dalam Negeri telahpun menandatangani surat untuk menahan RPK selama dua tahun di Kem Kamunting, Perak. Klik disini untuk membaca berita dari Malaysiakini.

Hari ini, peguam RPK ke mahkamah Jalan Duta untuk memfailkan Habaes Corpus untuk membantah penahanan RPK.


RPK sent to Kamunting - gross travesty of justice by Syed Hamid Albar


Many Malaysians started their day with the “f*” word in their mouth! Because justice in Malaysia is dealt another blow by our “detain-you-for-your-safety” Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

This morning Raja Petra Kamarudin, better known as RPK and editor of the ultra-popular news portal Malaysia-Today, is supposed to have a court hearing regarding his ISA detention by the police on Sep 12. When he was detained, Section 73 of ISA was used, which grants power to police officers for detention, but allows judicial review by the court. The court can ascertain if the detainee is indeed a threat to national security and therefore the detention lawful or not.

Came the shocking news to RPK lawyers this morning that the Home Minister has signed the detention order under Section 8 of ISA, which grants the minister detention power for up to two years, but does NOT allow judicial review. It means there is no longer ground to review in court if the detention of RPK is lawful or not.

[ISA, especially with Section 8 provisions, is a law against natural justice. I have dealt with this point in separate blog posts.]

It now seems to indicate that there was indeed no grounds to detain RPK under the pretext of national security threat. The minister knew about it, and was nervous if the court hearing the case would throw out the police detention order and set RPK free. Hence his intervention at the 11th hour! What a travesty of justice. Like the prime minister Dollah, if the minister has got ‘ball’, let both sides argue it out in court and let justice prevail, either way. Now we can confirm that “detain-you-for-your-safety” minister Syed Hamid Albar has got no ball, like his boss Dollah.

https://airkosong.com/_/2008/09/23/rpk-sent-to-kamunting-gross-travesty-of-justice-by-syed-hamid-albar/

THE BARISAN NASIONAL II


1. When the Barisan Nasional did very badly in the March 2008 general elections, all the component parties except those in Sabah and Sarawak experienced losses as they had never done before.

2. In the aftermath of the elections, the component parties pointed accusing fingers at each other. Very quickly they were at each other's throats.

3. There were talks about leaving the BN. And now we are seeing the first party to do so and to become an independent party.

4. Where before all parties avoided raising sensitive issues in public, now in the name of democracy and liberalism sensitive issues are brought up in which the component parties of the BN make known the differences in their view. The result is to widen the divide separating the BN component parties.

5. When Ahmad Ismail made unpalatable remarks about the Chinese, it was made out that it was the view of UMNO itself. Far from denying it, the UMNO leadership accepted the blame and apologised. This solved nothing as the Chinese parties refused to accept the apology but demanded the culprit himself should apologise.

6. He refused and UMNO whose president heads the Government suspended Ahmad for three years. This may satisfy some Chinese but almost immediately the Government arrested a Chinese MP under ISA. The effects of Ahmad's suspension have been nullified.

7. Now the Malays are angry with the Chinese and the Chinese are angry with the Malays. Party-wise UMNO is angry with Gerakan and MCA and Gerakan/MCA are angry with UMNO.

8. Threats to leave the BN are made by the Chinese parties, not just because of Ahmad's refusal to apologise but also because of the impression that they are subservient to UMNO. They believe that the failure of Chinese voters to vote for them was due to this junior position they hold in BN. To correct this impression they found it necessary to take pot shots at UMNO and defy the BN leadership.

9. Privately UMNO, MCA Gerakan and MIC express their dislike of Dato Seri Abdullah and his Premiership. But none seem willing to acknowledge that it was dislike for Abdullah which caused the BN to lose the support of the people. Instead they picked on the parties and blame each other.

10. At the rate things are going the BN might split asunder. If each party go their separate ways, none would become a force in Malaysian politics and certainly none, not even UMNO, can aspire to form the Government of Malaysia. Of course they can all join the Opposition under Anwar, but they would still play a subservient role in the Opposition. In any case the Opposition withi its ideological incompatibility would not make a good Government, capable of handling Malaysia's multi-racial population. It is difficult to think that the hodge-podge collection of incompatible parties can handle oncoming economic and financial problems that are inevitable.

11. The stability of this country has been undermined by the weakness and incompetence of the current Government and the harsh bickering between the Government parties. A Government by the Opposition is not going to be any better and probably would be worse.

12. Currently we are seeing the loss of confidence in the ability of the Government to deal with economic problems. Foreign investors are not coming and together with locals are pulling out their investments in the stock market. From a high of almost 1500 the index is now below 1000. God knows how much market capital has been wiped out.

13. The Ringgit is depreciating and may shrink further. The cost of living has shot up. Businesses are having a hard time already. The recent decision to tax excess profits of the Independent Power Producers has caused foreign investors and locals too to lose confidence. The tax has now been withdrawn but not for the first year. This alone would put the IPPs in trouble with their banks.

14. In at least one case a foreign investor has been given back his deposit of almost 100 million Ringgit because allegedly there was some technical error.

15. I once said Malaysia as a multi-racial country needs a strong government. Multi-racial countries have to face race relation problems. With the need to handle racial problems, the managment of the economy becomes extremely difficult.

16. I cannot see the Opposition with its loose organisation being able to handle Malaysia's racial and economic problems.

17. In the past, the BN Government had managed to keep Malaysia stable and to develop the country as well. If it seems not to be able to do so now it is not because the BN as a party is no longer suitable for this country. It is simply due to very poor and incompetent leadership.

18. The component parties of the BN should not think that their best hope is to see the demise of the BN. Rather they should all come together to resuscitate it. If it is necessary to dump the leader than they should do so. But destroying the BN will neither be good for the component parties nor for the nation.

19. I am not an UMNO member even but I would like to suggest the component parties should stop blaming each other, stop taking pot-shots at each other. Instead they should all come together and review the structure of BN. They should try for a win-win or lose-lose solution in dealing with inter-party relations. They should listen to the people and to their own members and find ways to satisfy their needs; to overcome their dissatisfaction.

20. There must be some new thinking on the BN concept. But the basic premises about close collaboration between the parties, about the need to help each other, to accommodate and deal with grouses together should be maintained.

21. I believe that for this multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural country with extreme economic disparities, the BN is still the best political solution provider. It is still the best way for the different races to cooperate to govern this country.

22. As the Malays say "Because of one drop of indigo, a whole pot of milk is spoilt."

23. We must not throw out the baby with the bath water.

24. The BN is still relevant. It is still the ideal coalition for Malaysia's multi-racial population.

RPK’s habeas corpus hearing brought forward to 23 Sept

Meanwhile, something else is happening…

This was reported on Malaysia Today:

RPK’s habeas corpus hearing has been brought forward to Tuesday, 23 September 2008 at 9:00am at Jalan Duta Criminal Court 2. (That’s tomorrow! - Anil.) The judge hearing the application is Yang Arif Puan Suraya binti Othman.

It was originally supposed to be heard this Friday before a different judge.

This was a 19 September report by Bernama:

Court To Hear Raja Petra’s Habeas Corpus Application On Friday

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (Bernama) — The High Court here fixed next Friday to hear the habeas corpus application by blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin who is seeking his release from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The case will be heard before Justice Datuk Mohamed Apandi Ali.

His counsel, Ashok Kandiah, when contacted said he met Raja Petra at Bukit Aman and the blogger had affirmed his affidavit which would be filed at the High Court crminal registry Friday to facilitate his application.

Raja Petra filed a notice of motion through Messrs Mathews Hun Kandiah on Tuesday citing the grounds that his detention was unlawful and contravened the Federal Constitution.

Let’s keep praying for a favourable outcome.

(from anilnetto.com)