Thursday, June 11, 2009
(Bernama) - Pengerusi Kebangsaan DAP Karpal Singh hari ini meminta PAS menilai semula kedudukannya dalam pakatan pembangkang berikutan hasrat parti itu untuk mengadakan perbincangan perpaduan dengan Umno.
Menyatakan kesabaran parti itu ada hadnya, Karpal berkata PAS tidak sepatutnya meneruskan agendanya itu yang akan menjejaskan lagi pakatan pembangkang.
Hasrat PAS untuk mengadakan perbincangan perpaduan dengan Umno merupakan penentangan serius terhadap keikhlasan yang diharapkan daripada PAS sebagai komponen pakatan pembangkang, katanya dalam kenyataan di sini hari ini.
Karpal berkata PAS sepatutnya sedar bahawa ia bukan parti dominan dalam pakatan pembangkang kerana ia hanya mempunyai 24 kerusi di Parlimen berbanding dengan 28 kerusi yang dipegang DAP dan 31 kerusi oleh Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Katanya PAS sepatutnya tidak bersikap keterlaluan dengan membuat kenyataan , terutamanya melalui presidennya Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang untuk mengadakan perbincangan perpaduan dengan Umno.
Karpal turut menafikan kenyataan Abdul Hadi bahawa DAP bersetuju dengan cadangan mengadakan perbincangan perpaduan dengan Umno seperti yang dinyatakan secara terbuka oleh Abdul Hadi.
"Hadi memilih untuk mengelirukan bukan sahaja anggota dan pemimpin PAS tetapi juga rakyat. Secara terbuka mengaku telah menipu rakyat tidak akan memberikan kelebihan kepada Hadi," katanya.
Mengenai kritikan PAS terhadap SistersInIslam (SIs), Karpal berkata tindakan itu tidak akan menjadikan PAS lebih disayangi oleh mereka yang menyokongnya dalam pilihan raya umum Mac lepas dan begitu juga dengan desakan PAS supaya wartawan wanita yang membuat liputan Muktamar ke55 parti itu barubaru ini berpakaian "sopan".Bagaimanapun, pendirian pemimpin PAS bahawa Malaysia akan dijadikan sebagai negara Islam sekiranya parti itu berkuasa, merupakan sesuatu yang bercanggah dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang secara spesifik menetapkan Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara sekular dengan agama Islam sebagai agama rasmi, kata Karpal.
Menaksirkan Ketuanan Melayu sebagai 'Malay superiority’ (keunggulan Melayu) sebaliknya agak tidak bermakna, tidak tepat secara asal usul ilmu bahasa dan secara falsafahnya dilihat angkuh. Saya kira kata 'kediktatoran' lebih dekat pada pengertiannya.
A REPUBLIC OF VIRTUEDr. Azly Rahmanhttp://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/
(Terjemahan daripada bahasa Inggeris oleh Centre for Policy Initiatives)
'Wahai Manusia! Tuhan kamu itu esa dan dan kamu semua manusia berasal dari Adam dan Hawa, tidak ada orang Arab yang lebih mulia dari orang bukan Arab atau orang bukan Arab lebih mulia dari orang Arab; juga tidak ada yang (berkulit) putih lebih mulia dari yang (berkulit) hitam atau yang (berkulit) hitam lebih mulia dari (berkulit) putih), selain daripada belas kasihannya. Ketahuilah bahawa setiap Muslim adalah saudara kepada Muslim yang lain. Kamu semua adalah sama; tidak seorang pun yang lebih mulia dari yang lainnya kecuali dalam Taqwa dan beramal saleh.'
- Sabda Nabi Muhammad s.a.w (Selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi)
'Malaysia – dipunyai oleh siapa? Kepada warga Malaysia. Tapi siapakah warga Malaysia itu? Tuan Pengerusi Majlis, harapannya sayalah warga itu. Namun kadangkalanya, duduk di kamar ini, saya meragui kalau-kalau saya dibenarkan menjadi warga Malaysia. Ia keraguan yang membuai tergantung dalam pemikiran ramai orang,.... [sekali] emosi digerakkan dalam tindakan, manusia berlaga sesama manusia sepanjang kata-kata yang tidak terucap, kamu akan berdepan dengan perang yang akan memecahkan negara dari atas ke bawah dan meleraikan Malaysia.'
– Lee Kuan Yew, Menteri Kanan, Republik Singapura.
Menaksirkan Ketuanan Melayu sebagai 'Malay superiority’ (keunggulan Melayu) sebaliknya agak tidak bermakna, tidak tepat secara asal usul ilmu bahasa dan secara falsafahnya dilihat angkuh. Saya kira kata 'kediktatoran' lebih dekat pada pengertiannya. Seterusnya membaca tulisan ini, tolonglah jauhi daripada membuat penghakiman tentang nilai dan janganlah terperangkap dalam penjara bahasa yang berhubungan dengan kata 'kediktatoran'.
Mendikte ['dikte' kata akar 'diktator'] membawa erti tersirat memberitahu, yang juga bermaksud menceritakan. Menceritakan bermaksud menjalin kisah berasaskan satu ideologi. Mengideologikan bererti mengurung. Mengurung bermaksud akan diperangkap. Kediktatoran di sini bermaksud pemerangkapan. Seseorang itu bukan menyedari kebebasan untuk memerintah tetapi sebaliknya sedar dirinya dalam perangkap – dan cuba keluar dari keadaan yang menjeratnya itu. Inilah bentuk kesedaran palsu.
Kata-kata, seperti yang diungkapkan ahli teori sastera Raymond Williams, perlu dipancangkan pada konteks/diletakkan dalam keadaan ekonomi yang muncul di dalamnya. Pernyataan terkenal Marx bahawa kewujudan manusia itu berdasarkan takrif keadaan ekonomi mereka dan keadaan ekonomi tersebut telah ditentukan sebelum mereka lagi. Ini merupakan pandangan 'ketentuan' (deterministic) dalam sejarah manusia.
Saya pertama kali mendengar ungkapan Ketuanan Melayu dalam pertengahan 1980-an dari buku karangan Malik Munip. Saya membaca karyanya, dalam masa yang sama menelaah tulisan Lim Kit Siang, ‘Malaysia in the dangerous 80s’ (Malaysia dalam tahun-tahun 80an yang berbahaya) untuk mendapatkan kesan penghujahan. Waktu itu, saya seorang siswa pengajian Sastera, Pendidikan dan Politik Antarabangsa.
Saya juga mendengar, para pelajar Melayu tidak digalakkan membaca karya Kit Siang dan digalakkan membaca 'Ketuanan Melayu'. Saya sukakan buku-buku yang diharamkan dan buku yang disebut orang supaya jangan dibaca. Terdapat rasa cabaran intelektual atas keupayaan membaca buku-buku terlarang.
Saya membaca buku Mahathir Mohamad, 'Dilema Melayu' dan buku Syed Husin Ali, 'Orang Melayu: Masalah dan Masa Depannya' serta buku, 'Mitos Pribumi Malas' karya Syed Hussein Alatas serentak pada waktu yang sama. Sekali lagi, untuk mendapatkan rasa keseimbangan.
Saya membaca penerbitan rasmi tentang keadaan ekonomi, disamping iringan bacaan rapi analisa ekonomi-politik negara kapitalis Malaysia.
Saya membaca karya Freud dan Marx bagi melihat sejauhmanakah penghujahan tentang totalitarianisme dari para pengarang besar arus pemikiran Sekolah Kajian Kemasyarakatan Frankfurt (Frankfurt School of Social Research). Saya membaca Al-Quran dan Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana dan Mahabharata untuk melihat dimanakah berdirinya hujah berkenaan keunggulan kaum dan apakah takdir masa hadapan manusia.
Jika kita membaca sejarah perkembangan ideologi ketuanan ini, kita dapat melihat ide tentang penguasaan sosial dan keunggulan kaum kemungkinan segalanya hanyalah berpunca daripada ekonomi. Tetapi soalan saya – siapa yang berhak mendakwa bahawa tanah ini dan itu dipunyai oleh kumpulan orang ini dan itu. Di titik manakah budaya dan kewarganegaraan bertemu dan merundingkan isu berkenaan kesetaraan [fahaman egalitarianisme]? Di mana 'kebenaran satu-satu budaya' itu sampai ke batas hadnya dan datang persoalan menguasai tentang 'kebenaran kewarganegaraan'?
Ia perihal persoalan yang cukup rumit. Warga Malaysia perlu menjawabnya setelah 50 tahun kemerdekaan. Kita mesti membuka ruang perbincangan berkenaan isu ini.
Mari kita melihat bagaimana gagasan ketuanan Melayu disebar luaskan ke dalam jiwa anak-anak muda. Salah satu caranya, melalui kem-kem pemaksaan kepercayaan (indoctrination) dengan menggunakan nyanyian lagu-lagu.
Lebih berdekad lamanya, barangkali jutaan pelajar Melayu diajarkan lagu propaganda berbahaya, ‘WARISAN/Anak Kecil Main Api’. Salah satu rangkapnya mengungkapkan kuasa orang-orang Melayu:
… kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa
yang akan menentukan bangsa
hasil mengalir, ke tangan yang lain
pribumi merintih sendiri…
(senikata lagu Biro Tata Negara)
Saya tidak fikir kita memiliki kejernihan kefahaman terhadap maksud lirik ini. Saya juga meragui penulis lagu ini benar-benar mengerti maksud 'sejarah rakyat Malaya'. Ianya lagu yang berasaskan hasrat perkauman; liriknya ditulis seorang yang tidak memiliki kefahaman ekonomi-politik sejarah warga Malaysia, apatah lagi kemajuan terkini di bidang ilmu kejiwaan (psikologi) tentang kesedaran.
Program-program latihan yang memerangkap jerat dengan tema lagu ini bertujuan menumbuhkan perasaan takut orang Melayu, bukan terhadap orang lain tetapi diri mereka sendiri, serta mengacukan kebencian terhadap kumpulan etnik lainnya tanpa menyedari siapakah musuh sebenar orang Melayu.
Ia menggunakan kaedah merehatkan tubuh bagi membawa gelombang otak dalam isyarat alpha dan keadaan yang bersesuaian untuk penyampaian pesan-pesan tidak senonoh di bawah sedar. Dalam keadaan ini para pelatih dipukau ke dalam keadaan 'separuh tidur' bagi menyerap pesan ketuanan Melayu yang menjajah kesedaran mereka. Teknik ini dipelopori ahli sains Rusia, Barzakov dan Lozanoz di awal tahun 1970-an, dinamakan ’suggestopedia’ yang digunakan untuk menanam rasa takut yang mencengkam dalam diri seseorang dan kebencian mendalam terhadap orang lain.
Sejarah adalah himpunan corak rumit tata cara aturan susunan kata-kata yang saling mempengaruhi di antara teknologi, ideologi, budaya, taksiran dan proses yang melembagakannya. Sejarah tidaklah semudahnya dapat dikurangkan setakat lirik-lirik dangkal yang pernah dinyanyikan suatu waktu dahulu sebelum perang [Dunia Kedua] di Jerman dalam alunan gubahan semangat kebangsaan yang melampau.
Sejarah juga tentang kerumitan perkembangan beransur-ansur (evolusi) kelas pemerintah yang memiliki teknologi-teknologi pengawalan. Seperti kata Marx, pada setiap zaman hanya sejarah penguasa yang mengawal perkakas-perkakas pengeluaran yang akan ditulis dan ditulis kembali. Pemenang menulis sejarah, mereka yang kalah menulis puisi atau mengkaji sains kajian budaya (antropologi), keluh sebahagian orang lagi.
Kembali ke lirik tadi. Setelah 50 tahun kemerdekaan, siapakah yang menderita di Malaysia? Siapa yang menjadi kaya-raya? Siapa yang membesar dan berkembang menjadi raja perompak? Apa yang terjadi ke atas sistem kehakiman kita, universiti kita, jalan-jalan di kota kita, jaminan keselamatan awam kita, sekolah kita, anak muda kita dan keseluruhan penyusunan sosio-ekonomi masyarakat menjelang pilihanraya umum ke-12 yang lalu. Bagaimana ide ketuanan Melayu menyumbang terhadap keadaan-keadaan yang wujud hari ini?
Bahasa kuasa dan ideologi di alunkan dalam lirik tersebut. Penakrifan 'bumiputera' dimainkan. Ia menjadi kata yang bermasalah dalam era dekonstruksionisme [fahaman tentang kemusnahan makna dan pembinaannya kembali dalam bermacam ragam taksiran atas dobrakan pada makna tersebut]; menurut penyair WB Yeats suatu era dimana tiada lagi pemusatan, “pusat bukan lagi penumpuan segalanya.”
Pemuzik rock akan mengingati lagu terkenal kumpulan Scorpion, 'Winds of Change' bagi mengenang runtuhnya Tembok Berlin dan permulaan pecahnya Empayar Soviet. Kita perlu berdepan dengan 'kemarahan' kata-kata.
Tamatkan Ketuanan Melayu
Bagi umat penganut Islam di Malaysia, sabda Nabi Muhammad S.A.W ini memang biasa didengar:
'Asal usul turunanmu tidak perlu dibanggakan. Tidak juga ia membawa kepadamu keagungan. Wahai Manusia! Tuhan kamu itu esa dan dan kamu semua manusia berasal dari Adam dan Hawa. Kamu semua sama ibarat bijirin gandum di dalam cupak ... tiada yang lebih mulia dari lainnya, kecuali dalam amal saleh dan ketaqwaanmu. Untuk melihat seseorang itu dalam kekejian, mencukupi jika dia menghina orang lain dengan wang, amarah dan pembaziran....'
Saya menyatakan ketuanan Melayu merupakan gagasan berbahaya yang mengancam hubungan kaum. Ia merupakan taksiran sombong terhadap sejarah terpilih; sejarah yang memberi keuntungan besar terhadap sekumpulan orang hasil daripada penerapan ideologi ini.
Siapapun yang mempromosikan gagasan ini adalah dangkal dalam perihal perkara falsafah sejarah. Saya tidak fikir Melayu hari ini membeli ide 'ketuanan Melayu dan kediktatorannya'. Jika ada ketuanan satu-satu kaum itu, maksudnya kaum lain hanyalah 'hamba' dan 'abdi' atau 'warga kelas kedua'. Itupun kalau kita ingin menganalisa dari sudut pandang hikayat 'Tuan dan Hamba'?
Selaku orang Melayu yang ingin melihat berakhirnya gagasan layu Ketuanan Melayu dan lahirnya kesedaran baru yang menghormati martabat semua kaum dan maruah kesemua kumpulan etnik, saya menyeru warga Malaysia untuk terus bersikap kritis terhadap apa jua usaha oleh kaum manapun untuk mencanakkan gagasan ketuanan palsu mereka. Ini kerana ianya akan mencambahkan etnocentrisme [fahaman kecintaan kaum yang melampau] yang berjiran pula dengan xenofobia [fahaman kebencian terhadap orang asing].
Kita perlu bekerja sama untuk mendobrak [dekonstruk] segala bentuk susun aturan politik berasaskan kaum. Seiring dengan itu bekerja ke arah menzahirkan tata cara baru yang berasaskan kepada reka bentuk ekonomi yang lebih setara yang mengambil kira keperluaan asasi dan martabat kesemua kaum.
Kita mesti mengajar murid-murid sekolah bagaimana untuk mendobrak rasa keunggulan ketuanan kaum itu, bukan saja dengan mengajar tolak ansur tetapi kesetaraan masyarakat – melalui strategi pendidikan kedamaian. Kita akan menuai hasilnya buat generasi akan datang.--
KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — In another blow to the PAS leadership's insistence on resuming talks with Umno, the party's spiritual leader said engaging the Malay nationalist party should never be part of party's agenda.
In an interview with the party newsletter Harakah, published today, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat reiterated his stand against any form of political co-operation with Umno.
“Islam has always encouraged discussion. To place it as part of party's agenda creates the impression that Islam does not provide room for discussion,” said the PAS spiritual adviser.
During the recently-concluded muktamar, president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharudin Mat Isa declared their commitment to strengthening Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but vowed to continue discussion with Umno, in a sign that both leaders have yet to abandon plans to form a unity government with the ruling party.
“Islam has always allowed those who are against it to talk and discuss. It has always been there, so there is no need to make it part of our agenda. When we make it part of our agenda, it creates redundancy,” Nik Aziz added.
He also praised Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who is another strong critic of unity talks with Umno, for demonstrating his knowledge in Islamic history during the muktamar.
Nik Aziz said Khalid, an engineer by training, had shown there is no clear division between the religious scholars or ulama and the professionals in the party.
“Although I have never seen him in skullcap, turban or robe, but throughout his speech he used arguments commonly used by the ulama,” he added.
In the fiery speech, Khalid also criticised the muktamar secretariat for accepting sponsorship from Umno-linked corporation Puncak Niaga.
The Kelantan Mentri Besar also expressed his shock with the defeat of the state leaders in the party election.
“I am not only disappointed, but also saddened. I don't know what was the reason. We will study the matter and let the next muktamar decide,” he added.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is crying foul. With less than a month before he goes on trial for sodomy again, the opposition leader has yet to receive key documents from the Public Prosecutor (PP), which he says he is entitled to under the law.
In a statement yesterday from his lawyer, the former deputy prime minister accused the PP of purposely withholding information and denying him a fair trial.
He also charged the PP of taking part in a political conspiracy against him and demands the sodomy charges against him be dropped immediately.
“The Public Prosecutor has much to hide and as such, this prosecution of Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim is clearly an abuse, frivolous, unjust and is tantamount to a political persecution,” Sankara Nair said on behalf of Anwar.
Sankara noted the PP seemed to be repeating tired methods to deny Anwar a fair trial, employing an “ambush prosecution” tactic used in the Sodomy I case back in 1998/ 99.
Among the documents asked for are testimonies from witnesses, the original DNA samples sent for testing, medical notes, photographs and CCTV (closed circuit television) recordings showing Anwar with his accuser, a 23-year-old former male aide.
Sankara claimed that he had written to the PP asking for copies of the various pieces of proof as early as Sept 8 last year.
Several reminders sent out since January have been largely ignored, Sankara said.
“Save for the earlier delivery of just one statement and a few photo prints picked out of a purported CCTV recording, nothing else that was requested by us have been supplied,” he said.
He added that the last they heard from the PP was on June 6, when they received a letter rejecting their requests except to provide the results of the DNA tests.
“We are deeply disappointed and rather perturbed that the Public Prosecutor has acted most unprofessionally and unethically,” he said.
Sankara said Anwar was left with little choice but to apply to the High Court for an order to force the PP to release the pieces of proofs they plan to use in the upcoming trial.
Anwar's trial will run starting from July 1 to 24.
The 61-year-old father of six is charged with sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at Desa Damansara Condominium in the leafy enclave of Damansara Heights in June last year.
If found guilty, he can be jailed up to 20 years and whipped under Section 377B of the Penal Code.
By Farish A. Noor
The repercussions of the somewhat clumsy attempt by some sections of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party PAS to call for the investigation, and possibly banning, of the Muslim women’s rights group Sisters in Islam are still being felt today. Many questions have arisen in the wake of the proposal that was passed without debate at the recent General Assembly of PAS: How and why was the proposal passed as one of the ‘non-debated proposals’ in the first place? Why was it not vetted properly and why was it tabled at all? What does this say about the internal cohesion of PAS and its internal discipline? Does this proposal reflect just a faction of opinion among PAS members, or is it actually representative of the party as a whole? And what does this mean with regards to PAS’s avowed claims to be a modern party that supports the democratisation process and dialogue with others?
It is hard, to say the least, to believe that a party can be supportive of democracy if it starts by calling for the banning of NGOs even before it comes to power…
For now however we are left to watch the internal and external drama of PAS unfold as the party seeks to re-consolidate itself after what was clearly a hectic assembly for all. The lingering question of where PAS really stands, and where it goes from here though will have to be addressed sooner than later.
To help answer this question, we would like to propose a quick re-visit to the history of PAS from the 1980s to the present to illustrate a simple yet important point: Namely, that the Malaysian public has never had much appetite for violent, extreme and exclusive political discourse and behaviour, be it from PAS or UMNO.
In the 1980s, some of us will remember that PAS was heavily engaged in a fiery war of words with its nemesis UMNO. The leaders of PAS then – notably Yusof Rawa, Hadi Awang and Mat Sabu – were at the forefront of attacking and condemning the leaders of UMNO – notably (now Tun) Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim. It was during this period that UMNO and PAS both jointly raised the political temperature in the country, leading to the controversial kafir-mengafir episode where both sides were accusing the other side of being hypocrites (munafik) , secular and un-Islamic. This culminated in a number of bitter incidents such as the killing of Ustaz Ibrahim ‘Libya’ Mahmood at the village of Memali in 1985 and the controversy around the book ‘Hadis’ by Kassim Ahmad some years later.
PAS had then gone onto overdrive with its fiery polemics against UMNO, and the infamous proclamation of Hadi Awang that accused PAS’s opponents of being the enemies of Islam had done wonders to transform the image of PAS into that of a violent and extremist party. At the elections of 1986, the result of this overheated rhetoric were obvious: PAS’s share of the vote dropped to 15.3 per cent and Parliamentary seats to 0.6 per cent, winning only one seat.
Then, as now, PAS was trying to court the support of the non-Muslims in Malaysia through the Chinese Consultative Councils (CCCs) of PAS, but to no avail. The Malaysian public demonstrated that they were not able and willing to tolerate the violent oppositional dialectics of UMNO and PAS, but were more worried about PAS’s language of jihad and kafirs.
Fast-forward to 2002 and we see a similar scenario in the off-ing. In the wake of PAS’s victory at the elections of 1999, an over-confident PAS took it upon itself to once again play the role of the ‘defenders of Islam’. In 2002 Muslim writers, academics and NGOs (including Sisters in Islam) were once again attacked and accused of all manner of things. In the same year, PAS declared its support for the Taliban in the most blatant manner when PAS members demonstrated in front of the US embassy with posters and banners that read “Taliban are our brothers”.
The rest of the Malaysian electorate, however, was not inclined to think of the Taliban as their brothers, and once again PAS was badly damaged at the elections of 2004…
These incidents demonstrate a simple fact: That the Malaysian public may vote for PAS as a reaction against UMNO, but this does not mean that the vote is a vote in support of an Islamic state, liberal-bashing or Taliban-supporting. Consistently the Malaysian public has shown that whenever PAS (or UMNO) resorts to extreme communitarian politics and discourse, its votes will swing in the other direction.
PAS, like all political parties, has to learn the simple lesson of representative politics, and realise that the vote given to PAS in 2008 was given by the Malaysian public to the Pakatan Rakyat and what the Pakatan stands for; which is a new, freer, more democratic and plural Malaysia where diversity is respected and enhanced. The call for the investigation and possible banning of a Muslim women’s NGO like SIS on the spurious basis that it is ‘un-Islamic’ beggars belief, and makes a mockery of the Pakatan’s efforts thus far. But the ones who have the most to lose are the members of PAS themselves, who should always study their own history to learn from the past in order not to repeat the same mistakes in the future.
PAS has indeed come a long way, and no doubt will remain on the scene for a long time to come. We hope and pray that as it develops and evolves, PAS will evolve in tandem with the new spirit of the new Malaysia that we are trying to build, and not against it. Having learned from its history, PAS should not condemn itself to becoming a historical relic instead.
By Deborah Loh
Gobind Singh Deo
HAVING a famous father helps, but first-time Member of Parliament (MP) Gobind Singh Deo, 38, has carved his own reputation as a lawyer and a politician.
The "little lion of Puchong" as he is fondly known, has become as well known as his father for being thrown out of Parliament sittings.
On 16 March, he was suspended from attending the Dewan Rakyat and stripped of his salary and allowances for one year, for alleging during a parliamentary debate that then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.
The Puchong MP from DAP is challenging his suspension in court with a suit against the Dewan Rakyat speaker, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the Dewan Rakyat secretary, and the federal government.
In the first of a two-part interview with The Nut Graph, Gobind talks about his suit and explains that the consequence of such decisions by legislative assemblies not only impact elected representatives, but the constituents they serve.
TNG: Have you got the trial date for your suit against the Dewan Rakyat speaker?
Gobind: Not yet, although we've asked for an early date, specifically before 15 June when the next session of Parliament begins. I am hopeful, despite it being against the odds.
What have you been doing since your suspension?
I've been making it a point to go to my constituency even more often. We have events mostly over the weekends when people are around. During the week, there's still a lot of political activity like talks and conferences. So apart from the fact of physically being unable to go to Parliament, nothing has changed. It's still a political life for me.
What weekend programmes do you hold for your constituents?
I make it a point to visit a market every weekend for morning walkabouts. Then a breakfast meeting with my committee members and residents. Then I rotate my visits to my three service centres, one in Bandar Puchong Jaya, one in Batu 14 Puchong, and recently we opened one in Seri Serdang. At the centres, we try to solve people's problems on the spot, or get MPSJ (Subang Jaya Municipal Council) councillors to assist with more complex problems. I always move around with some MPSJ councillors. Then I have meetings to plan for our events and on national issues which I feel strongly about. I make it a point to speak to my committee about these issues before statements are made so they have a feel of politics, not only at [the] constituency level but so they also understand how an MP works.
How are you funding your work in your constituency now that your parliamentary income has been suspended?
I've not had my MP's salary since the middle of March. The service centres are currently funded by donations and money from fundraisers. There are also volunteers who consistently help. A large portion of my parliamentary salary was channelled to the service centres. After it was taken away, I've faced some difficulty but somehow we manage. I used to pay the volunteers allowances to cover their petrol or phone calls and now they don't receive anything, but they continue to work and they don't even ask because they feel strongly about the cause. It is during these difficult times that you realise [that] about the people you work with, and how they feel about the cause.
You are using personal funds?
Yes, I've had to resort to that. I have a legal practice. It's not particularly big, but it helps.
How much of your firm's earnings do you put into your constituency?
It ranges between RM5,000 and RM10,000 a month. I just spend it as and when needed. Like you go for a wedding and you make a contribution, then I go to another wedding and another contribution, and then another function at a temple ... The amount includes spending on the upkeep of my service centres. I'm also getting some help from a special fund set up by the Selangor government at the beginning of this year. It is a fund for all MPs in the state.
How much does an MP get from this fund?
It's a total of RM150,000 a year of which RM100,000 is used for various community-orientated purposes, and RM50,000 goes towards the upkeep of your service centres. You get the funding through making claims.
It's been said that an MP's salary is often not enough to do constituency work.
MPs don't get enough at all. Even the salary we get, we struggle with that. Imagine how it is when you have to survive without that salary. It sets you back about RM2,500 [a month] to run one service centre. Being an MP, you attend a lot of functions, so there are a lot of times you make contributions. These expenses dig very deep into the MP's pocket, in particular if you're from the Opposition because you do not get the peruntukan that government MPs get.
What is this peruntukan? Is it from the federal government?
All MPs are supposed to get a special allocation set aside for each constituency. The practice has been such that Barisan Nasional MPs get it but the Opposition MPs don't. That's been the norm.
How much is this entitlement?
I don't know the figure because I've never got it. But this has been an issue we've raised in Parliament before.
Who do you take up this complaint with?
We raise it in debates in the Dewan and ask the prime minister to explain. Their argument is that the allocation exists and it is up to us to make the application, but we don't get it.
Who are you supposed to apply to?
The district officer is one person; there are various different people. It's not channelled through one agency or one office.
All the Pakatan Rakyat MPs are not getting this allocation?
Many aren't. I don't know if it affects all.
In total it comes up to RM15,000, plus allowances, including an office allowance and for a driver. It is separate from the special federal allocation we have to apply for.
In your suit against the Dewan Rakyat speaker, what are the constitutionally, or maybe ethical, points that you are trying to prove?
That's a long one. I'll take it in stages. I've just written a press statement that I'm against the suspension of [former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr] Khir Toyo's allowances.
Now, the motion against me in Parliament sought to suspend me not only from attending the Dewan Rakyat but it went further and it read that I am suspended as MP. Ordinarily, as in the case of Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh and Fong Poh Kuan, the motions are clear that they are only suspended from attending the Dewan Rakyat sittings. So to my mind, the Dewan can only do that much to suspend you from attending the sitting. But it cannot suspend you as an MP because you become an MP by way of election. So to me, the Dewan Rakyat went beyond its powers.
The second aspect is the fact that after the motion was tabled, the charge was read, and I was never given a chance to defend myself. I was fully prepared to defend myself. I'm a lawyer by profession; I don't make statements without basis. And it was most disappointing when the Speaker of Parliament denied my request to speak. Disappointing because Parliament is supposed to be the seat of democracy. Parliament is supposed to uphold fundamental rights such as the right to be heard. If you were going to suspend me, to take away my allowances, then it follows as night would day, that I be given my right to speak. You must hear somebody before you condemn [him/her]. How can you condemn someone unheard? What if [he/she] can defend [him/herself]? What if you have made a mistake? These are basic tenets of fundamental justice. Having been denied that right in Parliament, it's changed my entire perception of parliamentary democracy in this country. There's no democracy in Parliament.
The third part is in respect of salary and remuneration. Unlike in England, where Parliament is supreme, we are different. England does not have a written constitution but we do here. And it's crystal clear in Article 4 of the Federal Constitution that the constitution is supreme. The provision with regards to allowances of an MP is provided for in the constitution. Article 64 says Parliament shall by law provide for the remuneration of each house. So it's a constitutional provision. The argument here is this: can the Dewan Rakyat pass a motion which is against an expressed provision of the constitution? To me it cannot be done. It's unconstitutional, simple as that. Unlike England where Parliament can do whatever it wants because it's supreme. But here it's not supreme. Parliament is subservient to the constitution.
At the end of the day, this suit is filed on principle, not so much the salary. Members of Parliament do more than just attend sittings. The greater part of it is going to the constituency and serving as a Member of Parliament there. Serving the people incurs cost, and the speaker should have thought of that.
I thinks around 85% of the MPs, particularly those from Pakatan, are full-time. They don't have any other profession or source of income to fall back on. These people also have their overheads and liabilities. What would happen to them if by just the stroke of the pen their livelihood is taken away?And if you were an MP who relied solely on income from Parliament, knowing it could be taken away so easily, by a simple majority in the house, would you be able to carry out your duties without fear or favour? Would you want to say things which would upset the majority, knowing that they could destroy you? I'm lucky because I have my legal practice to fall on. So what do rulings like this do? MPs are supposed to go to Parliament to speak their mind, and sometimes what they say may be very serious and very sensitive.
PUTRAJAYA, June 11 (Bernama) -- Singapore is quite keen on the construction of a third bridge linking the republic to Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday.
"The concept of the third bridge on the eastern side of Johor is something which we will pursue, and Singapore is quite keen on having the third bridge.
"When we have a third bridge, we can develop the whole of the eastern side (of Johor) up to Mersing and onwards to Desaru.
"Singapore did say that it (the area) has the potential to be another Nusa Jaya like in Bali (Indonesia)," he said in his opening address at the 2010 Budget consultation meeting at the Finance Ministry, here.
In his notice of motion filed at the Criminal High Court, Anwar wanted the prosecution to provide him with the documents before the hearing on his sodomy case which would start on July 1 until 24.
Among the documents that he wanted were the original CCTV recordings taken at several locations at the scene of the incident at the Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara from June 25 to 27, 2008.
The rest are the DNA samples, statements from witnesses including the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, police statements and several other documents.
Public prosecutor named as respondent
Anwar, who also submitted his supporting affidavits, filed the application through Messrs SN Nair and Partners at 2.15 pm. He named the public prosecutor as the respondent.
He applied to the court to acquit and free him immediately from the sodomy charge or to suspend proceedings on his sodomy case permanently should the public prosecutor fail to comply with the court order to supply him with the documents concerned.
Anwar, 61, has been charged with sodomising his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23.
He had allegedly committed the offence at Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26 last year.
The opposition leader has claimed that like his first sodomy charge in 1999, this is also part of a political conspiracy. But the authorities have denied this.
Public prosecutor unprofessional
Ina statement, Anwar's lawyer Nair said he was disappointed and perturbed that the public prosecutor has acted most unprofessionally and unethically in not supplying the documents.
He said that the non-cooperation by the public prosecutor was deliberately designed to deny the preparation of the best possible defence for Anwar.
He added that is was also to "deprive and or conceal from our client the evidence that is favourable to him in his defence".
He said that the public prosecutor has deprived Anwar the opportunity to check and verify the veracity and authenticity of the original DNA and other samples.
"This is to deny our client a fair trial," he said in a statement.
He also said the public prosecutor's actions showed that he "has much to hide" and as such Anwar's prosecution was clearly an "abuse, frivolous, unjust and tantamount to a political persecution".
"As such, in the name of justice, we again called upon the public prosecutor to withdraw the charge against our client with immediate effect," he added.
You have a closer look - what's in your hand is not raffia string but a long, thin brown snake.
This may seem like a replay of a worst nightmare for many. But Indonesian maid Fera, 38, found it only too real just a few weeks ago.
She has since re-lived the scenario daily, due to frequent 'visitors' from the snake-infested area near her employer’s backyard.
Snakes seem to have 'colonised' that part of the little neighbourhood of Taman Rahang, about 10 minutes away from the heart of Seremban, Negri Sembilan.
Fera’s employer, R Rajindren, claimed that the problem has persisted for over six months now, but that the authorities have not taken action.
Rajindren, 43, had a painful first-hand experience when he was bitten by a black baby cobra last Saturday evening.
“I was in the backyard, reading a newspaper and having tea. Suddenly I felt a stinging sensation on my hand. When I turned to look, I saw the baby snake on the table as it slithered away,” he said.
The bite caused numbness in three of his fingers. This has been a cause of extreme inconvenience as he works in the IT department of a bank in Kajang.
He said the problem began when two abandoned houses on KTM-owned land were demolished in February.
“Initially there were people living there. When they moved out in December, the houses were abandoned.”
Rajindren’s two-storey brick house is on slightly higher ground, while the abandoned houses are located lower down behind his backyard.
Apart from being a breeding ground for snakes and mosquitoes, the houses are also a hideout for drug addicts.
Rajindren’s ordeal began in early January when he was diagnosed with both dengue and chikungunya, which left him hospitalised for a week.
On Jan 25, he received another shock as five alleged drug addicts broke into his house to steal an aluminum ladder. One of them was caught and handed to the police.
He claimed that the clearing of a nearby jungle in June last year to make way for the Dusun-Nyoh highway had contributed to the problem.
This prompted him to lodge reports with the police and also three other agencies, namely the Seremban town council (MBS), the Health Ministry and Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM).
“There were several problems. So, I started the report with six complaints and MBS has taken care of five. They cleared the drain in front of the playground field, chopped down the trees, cleared the bushes, fixed the immediate drain next to my house."
Although there is still the problem of water stagnation in the drain next to his house, the MBS has attributed the problem to the structure of the main drain.
“But they said that they can’t do anything about the land behind the house because KTM would have to give approval for them to clear the land”.
Rajindren has constantly been calling KTM to alert them to the problem.
“In January, I told them about the abandoned houses. In February, they (KTM) came to demolish the houses but they just left the debris lying there,” he said, adding that he usually communicates with KTM by phone.
He has written to them twice through the state’s complaint bureau.
“They keep telling me that they will discuss this at meetings but nothing has been done since (the demolition of the houses).”
Snakes in the backyard
As both Rajindren and his wife work, leaving Fera alone in the house most of the time.
“I have seen at least two to three snakes every day,” said Fera, who has worked for the family for two-and-a-half years.
“The snakes intrude into the backyard and the house at least 21-24 days a month. They range in colour from green and yellow to black and once I saw a brown one with spots.”
The green ones, she says, are usually thin as “a grown man’s thumb”, adding that they usually come in the mornings and the evenings (when it is cooler).
Fera said that seeing the snakes on such a frequent basis has made them her “friends”, a euphemism she created in order not to frighten the children.
“I speak to the snakes. I tell them not to disturb us, saying 'if you’re here I can’t do my work',” she said.
The constant anxiety faced by the family is best summed up by Fera: “I am used to a thief (trying to breaking into a house) because at least you can see them from far away. But I can’t spot the snake from far away.
"So I am more anxious when I am washing the clothes. I have to keep a constant look out.”
Rajindren’s three children were playing in the backyard on the occasion he was bitten, and he claimed that the snake had almost bitten his youngest, R Loshinii, who is six years old.
When asked why he still allows the kids to play in the backyard knowing of the danger, he said: "They are children. They need to go out and play. I can’t lock them in the house.”
However, he said they are not allowed to play in the backyard without adult supervision.
“People have asked me why I don’t just move out. If they are willing to give me the cash, then I don’t mind,” he said, explaining that he bought the house just three years ago.
To add to their constant anxiety, last Saturday’s incident revealed a new development - that the snakes are moving closer to the house.
“The snakes had always lingered around the fence, but this is the first time that they entered the backyard,” he said.
When contacted, an official revealed that KTM has “limited resources” to clear the bushes and the debris.
“We don’t do maintenance frequently, maybe only one every three months. We can’t live up to the expectations of the local council,” he said requesting anonymity.
“Even when we do clean, we clean places close to the tracks, not (to the extent of) chopping the trees down.”
He also explained that because of the installation of the double tracks of the Seremban-Gemas track, there has been a mix of old and new reserves.
The contractor is in charge of the latter, and KTM is in charge of the older reserves.
However, the land is not neatly divided because old and new reserves might overlap. The land behind Rajindren’s backyard is one such plot.
The official said he would inform the contractor of the snake problem.
(Kompas.com) JAKARTA - Manohara Odelia Pinot iaitu isteri Tengku Temenggong Kelantan, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry menunjukkan bukti dia didera oleh suaminya, lapor akhbar Kompas.com semalam.
Gambar-gambar itu ditunjukkan kepada pemberita pada satu sidang akhbar yang diadakan pada malam kelmarin di sini dan dihadiri oleh peguamnya.
"Yang lebih buruk ada. Tetapi Manohara berasa tidak sesuai untuk menunjukkannya.
"Itu baru yang paling ringan. Saya hampir mengeluarkan air mata apabila melihat lukanya," katanya.
Manohara mengaku penyeksaannya seperti dicucuh api itu diterimanya sejak pulang daripada mengerjakan umrah pada Mac lalu.
"Itu yang dibakar, tapi kalau yang dipotong-potong mulainya April 2009," kata Manohara.
Sementara itu, laporan berita AFP semalam menyatakan satu pemeriksaan perubatan mengesahkan bahawa Manohara pernah didera secara fizikal.
Pengesahan itu dilakukan oleh doktor forensik di Hospital Cipto Mangunkusumo, Jakarta yang memeriksa tubuh remaja itu, Mun'im Idries.
"Terdapat kecederaan kelaran di kebanyakan bahagian di tubuhnya terutamanya di dadanya. Beberapa kecederaan itu masih baru," katanya.
"Kami masih memeriksa darahnya dan ujian air kencing kerana dia (Manohara) mendakwa dia diberikan suntikan," kata Mun'im.
Manohara yang merupakan seorang bekas model terkenal mendakwa dia dicederakan dengan pisau cukur dan diberikan suntikan dadah sehingga menyebabkan dia muntah darah ketika berada dalam istana.
Sementara itu, seorang lagi peguam Manohara, Farhat Abbas memberitahu anak guamnya itu sudah membuat laporan polis berhubung penderaan yang dialaminya.
Dia berkata, Manohara menamakan enam orang dalam laporan polis itu.
Seorang jurucakap polis Indonesia, Abubakar Nataprawira mengesahkan pihaknya menerima laporan polis Manohara.
"Polis Indonesia tidak mampu melakukan siasatan kerana kes penderaan itu berlaku di Malaysia yang di luar kuasa kami.
"Namun, kami akan membantu dalam melaporkan kes itu kepada polis Malaysia," katanya.
Pada 31 Mei lalu, Manohara pulang ke Indonesia dari Singapura ketika beliau berada di negara tersebut bagi menemani suaminya melawat ayahanda putera itu di Hospital Mount Elizabeth.
In 2007, six (6) police officers and two (2) underworld figures signed Statutory Declarations alleging that senior police officers right up to the IGP have links with the Chinese drugs, prostitution, illegal gambling and loan-shark syndicate based in Johor and which was expanding its operation throughout Malaysia. Another police officer made a police report alleging that his family was kidnapped by the ACA to force him to change his statement while the head of the CCD and his lawyer were arrested and charged for alleged criminal offenses for detaining underworld bosses under the Emergency Ordinance.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Saya, Mohd. Yasin Bin Malik (K/P Polis No: RF/89379) yang beralamat di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Kluang, Johor dengan ini sesungguhnya dan seikhlasnya berikrar dan menyatakan seperti berikut:-
1. Saya bekerja sebagai seorang anggota polis berpangkat Sarjan (Sjn) di Bahagian Siasatan Jenayah, IPD Kluang, Johor (JSJ). Sebagai anggota JSJ, saya menerima arahan dari pegawai atasan di JSJ. Saya membuat Akuan ini demi menjaga keselamatan peribadi dan integriti saya sebagai seorang anggota polis berhubung tugasan dan siasatan yang saya lakukan dan arahan yang saya terima.
2. Pada Mac 2005 jam 0030, saya bersama PPKG C/Insp. Mohd Shah Bin Kamaluddin dan anggota telah melaksanakan tangkapan WTT terhadap Ah Chai. Ketika itu saya nampak Ah Chai menelefon seseorang (panggilan Dato’) dan bercakap dalam keadaan gelisah. Kemudian saya telah menyemak nombor telefon orang yang bergelar Dato’ tersebut dan saya dapati nombor telefon tersebut adalah kepunyaan YDH Tan Sri Ketua Polis Negara yang ketika itu adalah Timbalan Ketua Polis Negara.
3. Pada Mac 2005 jam 0200, ketika sedang menguruskan tangkapan terhadap Ah Chai di pejabat D7, IPD Kluang PPKG, C/Insp. Mohd Shah ada beritahu kepada saya bahawa seorang pegawai dari IPK Johor, DSP Tukiman ada menelefonnya dan mengatakan YDH Timbalan KPN meminta supaya Ah Chai dibebaskan pada malam itu juga dan meminta pendapat saya. Saya memberitahu kepada PPKG bahawa kita tidak boleh berbuat demikian kerana repot tangkapan telah dibuat. Semasa dalam perjalanan untuk menghantar Ah Chai ke penjara Air Molek, Ah Chai ada beritahu kepada saya yang beliau hanya akan menjalani sekatan selama 6 bulan sahaja. Saya dapati Ah Chai kelihatan tidak puas hati dengan saya kerana membuka kes fail keatasnya.
4. Pada 08/03/2006, saya menyertai pasukan serbuan terhadap premis bersama ASP Md. Yusof dan anggota dan telah berjaya menangkap 4 orang termasuk isteri kedua Ah Chai nama Than Lee Poey dan merampas peralatan perjudian ekor haram.
5. Pada 30/03/2007 jam 0100, Ah Chai bersama isteri keduanya serta PR nama Ah Chin telah ditangkap dibawah Sek 3(1) Ordinan Darurat oleh pegawai D7 IPK Johor, ASP Mior Fahim Bin Ahmad dan dibawa balik ke IPK Johor untuk ditahan di sama selama 60 hari bagi meneruskan siasatan.
6. Pada 08/04/2007, saya dihubungi oleh sumber memberitahu Ah Chai terlalu marah pada saya dengan menuduh saya membuka kes fail keatasnya. Sumber memberitahu bahawa group Ah Chai akan menukarkan saya ketempat lain.
7. Pada 07/05/2007, saya mendapat tahu melalui E-siar yang saya ditukarkan ke Bahagian D4, JSJ Bukit Aman.
8. Pada 09/05/2007, saya membuat rayuan pertukaran atas alasan untuk menjaga bapa saya yang sakit. Untuk itu, say tidak ditukarkan keluar dari Johor. Saya meminta bantuan abang saya SM Tahir yang merupakan imam Masjid Bukit Aman untuk merayu bagi pihak saya supaya saya ditukarkan ke daerah Johor Bahru tetapi selepas 2-3 hari abang saya memberitahu saya dia telah berjumpa dengan pengawai tinggi di Jabatan Pengurusan dan menurut pengawai terebut arahan pertukaran saya telah dikeluarkan sendiri oleh YDH Ketua Polis Negara dan tidak boleh berbuat apa-apa. Pada 21/05/2007, saya dapat tahu melaui E-siar yang arahan pertukaran saya ke D4, Bukit Aman telah dibatalkan dan ditukarkan ke D6, JSJ, IPD Kemaman.
9. Pada 04/06/2007, saya berjumpa Sumber di bandar Kluang dan Sumber memberitahu sebelum arahan pertukaran saya ke Terengganu dikeluarkan dia bersama dengan kawannya telah pergi ke rumah YDH Tan Sri KPN dan semasa dalam perbualan tersebut sumber dengar bahawa YDH Tan Sri KPN beritahu yang SM Yasin akan ditukarkan ke Terengganu.
10. Adalah saya mengatakan bahawa sebagai seorang anggota polis, saya merasa amat tertekan bahawa tindakan saya menjalankan tugas terhadap Ah Chai boleh menyebabkan saya dikenakan pertukaran yang memberikan gambaran negativ terhadap kerjaya dan integriti saya.
Dan saya membuat pengakuan ini dengan sesungguhnya mempercayai bahawa yang sama adalah benar dan mengikut peruntukan Akta Akuan Berkanun, 1960.
DITANDATANGANI DAN DIIKRAR )
SESUNGGUHNYA oleh Mohd. Yasin Bin Malik )
(K/P Polis No: RF/89379) tersebut di atas di Kuala Lumpur )
pada haribulan 2007 )
Di hadapan saya,
(The original copy of the above was signed and personally delivered to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin).
KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh has asked PAS to reassess its position in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) following its intentions to initiate unity talks with Umno.
Indicating the party has limits to its patience, Karpal said PAS should not push its agenda, which adversely affected the pact.
“PAS embarking upon unity talks with Umno is a serious disservice to the sincerity expected of PAS as a component of PR,” he said in a statement today.
Karpal said PAS should realise that it was not the dominant party in the coalition, as it had only 24 seats in Parliament compared to the 28 held by the DAP and 31 by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
He stressed PAS should not overextend itself by making statements, particularly through its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to initiate unity talks with Umno.
Karpal Singh also refuted Hadi’s statement that the DAP had agreed to unity talks with Umno as the latter had publicly stated.
“Hadi has chosen to mislead not only PAS members and leaders, but also the rakyat. Publicly committing deception on the people does not gain Hadi any brownie points,” he said.
On the open attack by PAS on Sisters-In-Islam (SIS), Karpal said the action did not endear PAS to those who supported it in the March general election, and neither did PAS’ insistence that female journalists covering its 55th Muktamar recently be “properly” dressed.
Moreover, the insistence by PAS leaders that Malaysia would be turned into an Islamic state if it came to power was a flagrant and outrageous affront to the Federal Constitution, which specifically proclaims Malaysia to be a secular state, with Islam as the official religion, Karpal said. — Bernama
PETALING JAYA, June 10 — PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah today openly admitted there were problems between his party and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partner DAP in Penang.
“There is a problem. We don’t deny it,” he told reporters at PKR’s headquarters here after announcing massive reform plans to the party constitution.
But the national party leader stopped short of calling it a “fall-out”. He insisted it was a poor attempt by certain media to play up the issue and create the impression the PR coalition was in a crisis.
“We are not falling apart,” Sivarasa stressed.
He also strongly disagreed with DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s view that PR was in a “crisis of confidence” after PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s controversial idea to sit down and talk with archrival Umno on Malay/Muslim issues, raising the fear of an Umno-PAS unity government.
“Now that, I’ve to take up with him,” Sivarasa sighed.
The latest quarrel in Penang is sparked by disagreements over the state’s appointment last week of a senior civil servant as president in the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP).
Penang Chief Minister (CM) Lim Guan Eng, who is also the DAP secretary-general, had appointed district officer Mokhtar Mohd Jait to the powerful top post, catching his partners in PKR by surprise.
According to a Penang PKR representative, they were upset at Lim’s sudden announcement, which failed to follow the spirit of consultation among PR.
A state coalition council had in a meeting in January proposed to make the post a political appointment instead of keeping to past practices of putting a civil servant in charge of the local council.
“They understand that the CM has the final say, but they just wished he had told them he disagreed with the proposal before going public,” Yusmadi Yusoff, the PKR MP for Balik Pulau told The Malaysian Insider.
Sivarasa said the problem appears to a genuine failure in communication and consultation on both sides. He did not seem too troubled by the public spats.
“At least with us, things come out,” he pointed out.
The civil rights activist added that such public spats should be viewed in a positive light as it allowed the public to judge the situation for themselves, besides helping party leaders “deal with problems within the coalition.”
Truth is a core group have been working on taking the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia initiative forward and that’s been taking up practically all of my time.
You’ll hear more about this very soon.
That’s a promise.
Meanwhile, I’m joining friends tomorrow for kopi-O.
1BLACKMalaysia AfterDinnerCoffee – Kuchai Lama
1BLACKMalaysia Soulmate Night – Bangsar South
1BLACKMalaysia Coffee Night – 3rd Mile Square, Old Klang Road
1BLACKyUmcHa – Jaya1, PJ
Kopi-O Time – Bandar Puteri, Puchong
Kopi-O Mission – Aman Puri, Ampang
These kopi-O sessions are taking place at Old Town White Coffee outlets.
If you want to get more details, you may want to drop by the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=76346639997
And I’ve just been alerted about one taking place in Penang tomorrow at Old Town White Coffee Bayan Baru, Penang.
I’m going to be at the Kuchai Lama Old Town outlet if anyone cares to join me for kopi-O and gossip.
Meanwhile, a friend has launched a T-shirt which many of you may find suitable with the mood that is being slowly built up with these kopi-O sessions.
If you’d like to get your hands on this T-shirt, you may want to drop by at his website by clicking the image below.
Prelude - please read it before reading the article
I write this article so as to apprise the people who, in the mind of the general public, have taken the law into their own hands through the harassment of law abiding citizens of this country with the threat of using the Sedition Act 1948 on them. They should not have done it without first taking expert legal advice on the technical and difficult law of sedition under the Act.
After you have read this article, I am sure you will agree with me that the law of sedition is not easy for a layman to understand. Even lawyers and judges have found great difficulty in understanding it - let alone an uninitiated policeman. If the police are not careful, one of these days they will find themselves at the receiving end of a suit for malicious prosecution, false arrest or whatever the victims of their harassment would throw at them.
I hope you will bear with me if this time I am not able to explain difficult law in simple language as much as I would like to. It is at a time like this that I really appreciate the great ability of the late Lord Denning who was so adept at explaining difficult law to us ordinary folk.
Historical background of how the law of sedition in 1870 India had migrated to Peninsular Malaya in 1948 (Sabah in 1964 and Sarawak in 1969) where this archaic law has been implanted in modern 2l century Malaysia
In 19861 was the judge who tried Mr Param Cumaraswamy for sedition under s 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948. At the end of the trial, I acquitted him. But first, a little bit of history - it is necessary to understand the historical development of how this bit of archaic legislation came to be the law of modem Malaysia. While other countries of the Commonwealth, of which Malaysia is a member, have advanced into the modem age, in this country time has stood still to the time of Sir James Stephen in 1870 British India. This was pointed out by Sinha CJ in Kedar Nath v State of Bihar  AIR, SC 955:
Section 124A was not placed on the Statute Book until 1870, by Act XXVII of 1870. There was a considerable amount of discussion at the time the amendment was introduced by Sir James Stephen ………
The result of my research into the law of sedition is embodied in the judgment of P P v
Param Cumaraswamy  CU (Rep) 606.1 am sorry for not being able to give you the MU citation - it happened so long ago and I do not have access to a law library. At p 6191 said:
Sir James Stephen, you will remember, was the Judge whose definition of sedition appeared as article 93 of the Digest of the Criminal Law. In facts 124A which Sinha CJ had reproduced in the passage which I have just read was the work of Stephen J. Nowhere ins 124A of the Indian Penal Code did Sir James include the flirther qualification of incitement to violence or inciting others to public disorders as an ingredient of the offence. As I have said earlier (see my decision when I called on Mr Cumaraswamy to enter on his defence), “Although it may appear to be the position in English case law that incitement to violence or inciting others to public disorders is an essential ingredient of sedition, it is not so in a criminal code which has as its model Stephen’s definition.”
Incitement to violence or inciting others to public disorder k not an ingredient of sedition
Sir James Stephen was the author of s 1 24A of the Indian Penal Code. He did not in drafting that section make incitement to violence or the tendency or the intention to create public disorders the gist of the offence of sedition. Nor did he make them the gist of the crime in his defmition in article 93 of the Digest. And article 93 of the Digest was used as the model for the crime of sedition in the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast. So that when we look at s 124A of the Indian Penal Code or at the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast on sedition or our own Sedition Act (which I have previously said was modeled on Stephen’s definition), we are merely looking at the definition of sedition as apprehended by Sir James Stephen, and not at English case law … which had developed separately from Stephen’s definition. Stephen’s defmition has been codified as the law of the Gold Coast and of this country. And Wallace-Johnson v The King  AC 231 has laid down that since the law is contained in a code, “the Court must look for the ingredients of the offence from the codified law and not import principles which have been established by English case law, and that, accordingly there cannot be imported into the offence (as created under the codified law) the additional ingredient of incitement to violence or inciting others to public disorder.”
The view expressed by Sinha CJ in the Indian Supreme Court in Kedar Nath cannot by any means be supported. In my judgment, the correct view is that as laid down by the Privy Council in Wallace-Johnson.
Therefore, as I have explained above, incitement to violence or inciting others to public disorder is not an ingredient of the offence of sedition in this country.
Nor is intention an ingredient of the crime of sedition
Having got that off my chest, the next thing I need to explain is why mens rea is not a necessary ingredient of the crime of sedition under our Sedition Act 1948. As every law student knows mens rea is Latin for “intention”. Here is how I explained it in PP v Param Cumaraswamy. I said at p 612:
I have shown that the model for subsection 8 of s 326 of the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast was Stephen’s definition of sedition in Article 93 of the Digest. In Wallace-Johnson the Privy Council has laid down that incitement to violence is not a necessary ingredient of the crime of sedition under the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast. A fortiori, inciting others to public disorders is not a necessary ingredient of sedition.
In Stephen’s definition and as well as the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast, a seditious intention is an essential ingredient, but Stephen in Article 94 of the Digest had expressed the view that intention is no more than the natural consequence of the words, and the Privy Council in Wallace-Johnson has held that it is not necessary to prove actual intention. It is enough if the words are seditious by reason of their expression of a seditious intention as defined in the section.
It looks as if it was with hindsight that the Sedition Act came to be drafted. If intention requires no more mens rea than an intention to publish the words which were published; if it is not necessary to prove actual intention because seditious words are words which are “expressive of a seditious intention” as defined in the section, then the gravamen or an essential ingredient of sedition is not mens rea (intention) but an actus reus. That is, the words must have a tendency (a seditious tendency) to achieve one or more of the objects specified.
Instead, all that the prosecutor need to prove is a seditious tendency
This is what I said in Param Cumaraswamy, p 611:
In both the Stephen and the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast definitions an intention to achieve one or more of the objects specified in the definition is an essential ingredient of the crime of sedition. The important question is whether the “intention” must be proved. In Article 94 of the Digest (4th edn) Stephen put it thus:
“In determining whether the intention with which any words were spoken, any document was published, or any agreement was made, was or was not seditious, every person must be deemed to intend the consequences which would naturally follow from his conduct at the time and under the
circumstances in which he so conducted himself.”
Stephen’s view did not require any more mens rea than an intention to publish the words which were published. It would not be necessary to prove an actual intention to achieve any one of the objects specified.
In the Privy Council case of Wallace-Johnson v R  AC 231, it was argued on behalf of the appellant Wallace-Johnson, seep 234:
(a) that both in English common law and in the Criminal Code in question there must be some evidence of intention outside the mere words of the instrument before a seditious intention can be said to exist; and (b) that in the present case, when the document is read, there cannot be found in it any seditious intention at all; and therefore before the appellant can be convicted there must be some evidence of seditious intention extrinsically, and, there being none, this conviction cannot stand on any ground.
The judgment of the Privy Council was read by the Lord Chancellor, at p 240, in which he said:
“Seditious words,” in the terms of sub-s 8, “are words expressive of a seditious intention”.
Then he went on to say, at p 241:
The submission that there must be some extrinsic evidence of intention, outside the words themselves, before seditious intention can exist, must … fail … If the words are seditious by reason of their expression of a seditious intention as defined in the section, the seditious intention appears without any extrinsic evidence. The Legislature of the Colony might have defined “seditious words” by reference to an intention proved by evidence of other words or overt acts. It is sufficient to say they have not done so.
The headnote in the report of Wallace-Johnson has summarized accurately what was said by the Lord Chancellor. It reads, at p231, thus:
If the words complained of are themselves “expressive of a seditious intention” as defmed in the section they are “seditious words”. It is not necessary to produce any extrinsic evidence on intention, outside the words themselves, before seditious intention can exist. If the words are seditious by reason of their expression of a seditious intention as defined in the section the seditious intention appears without any extrinsic evidence.
So that in this country, instead of saying “seditious words” are words which are “expressive of a seditious intention ‘ in our Sedition Act we say they are words with a “seditious tendency”
This is how s 30) of the Sedition Act 1948 of this country states it:
3. (1) A “seditious tendency” is a tendency -
(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government;
(b) to excite the subjects of any Ruler or the inhabitants of any territory governed by any Government to attempt to procure in the territory of the Ruler or governed by the Government, the alteration, otherwise than by lawfhl means, of any matter as by law established;
(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against thc administration ofjustice in Malaysia or in any State;
(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State;
(e) to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia; or
(f) to question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution. (This paragraph did not appear in the original form of the sub-section)
As can be seen from the provisions of s 3 (1) of the Sedition Act, above, intention is not an ingredient of the crime of sedition, and all that need be proved by the prosecution is a seditious tendency as defined ins 3(1). This is established by s 3(3) which says:
3. (3) For the purpose of proving the commission of any offence against this Act the intention of the person charged at the time he did or attempted to do or made any preparation to do or conspired with any person to do any act or uttered any seditious words or printed, published, sold, offered for sale, distributed, reproduced or imported any publication or did any other thing shall be deemed to be irrelevant if in fact the act had, or would, if done, have had, or the words, publication or thing had a seditious tendency. (I have supplied the emphasis which is in bold type)
Then, how are we to decide whether the words have a seditious tendency
Although it is unnecessary to prove “intention”: see s 3(3) of the Act above, it is necessary to prove that the words have a tendency to achieve one or more of the objects specified ins 3(1) of the Act. In deciding whether the words have this tendency, it is proper, and here I would like to use the words of Coleridge J in R v Aidred (1909) 22 Cox CC 1, p 3,:
…..to look at all the circumstances surrounding the publication with the view of seeing whether the language used is calculated to produce the results imputed; that is to say, you are entitled to look at the audience addressed, because language which would be innocuous, practically speaking, if used to an assembly of professors or divines, might produce a different result if used before an excited audience of young and uneducated men.
On the other hand, here I would like to use the language of Cave J in R v Burns (1886) 16 Cox CC 355, p 365,:
A man cannot escape from the consequences of uttering words with a [seditious tendency] solely because the persons to whom they are addressed may be too wise or too temperate to be seduced [by those words].
Therefore, the words are seditious (1) if they are likely to incite or influence the audience actually addressed or (2) if they are likely to incite or influence ordinary people even though the audience addressed was unaffected by the words.
What is not seditious
Stephen in Article 93 of the Digest gave the definition of what is not seditious. Almost identical provisions are to be found in the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast. With regard to the Gold Coast provisions, this is what the Privy Council said in Wallace-Johnson, at p 240:
Question will necessarily arise in every case, as in this case, as to the facts to which it is sought to apply these definitions. Fine distinctions may have to be drawn between facts which justif’ the conclusion that the intention of the person charged was to “bring into hatred or contempt .. the Government of the Gold Coast,” and facts which are consistent only with the view that the intention was no more than, in the words of a later part of sub-s 8, “to point out errors or defects in the Government … of the Gold Coast.”
In the Sedition Act of this country, we have s 3(2). The subsection specifies the circumstances or situations which are not seditious. Fine distinctions may have to be drawn between facts which justify the conclusion that there was a tendency to achieve one or more of the objects specified in s 3(1), and facts which are consistent only with the view that the tendency was no more than to do the acts or things mentioned in s 3(2). Provided that in doing any of the acts or things mentioned in s 3(2), the words used do not have the effect of achieving any of the objects specified ins 30).
There is a similar provision to ours 3(2) in the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast: see the proviso to subsection 8 of s 326 of the Gold Coast Code. While in this country it is s 3(2) of the Sedition Act 1948 which reads:
3. (2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) an act. Speech, words, publication or other ting shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency -
(a) to show that any Ruler has been misled or mistaken in any of his measures;
(b) to point out errors or defects in any Government or constitution as by law established (except in respect of any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative referred to in paragraph (1)0 otherwise than in relation to the implementation of any provision relating thereto) or in legislation or in the administration ofjustice with a view to the remedying of the errors or defects;
(c) except in respect of any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative referred to in paragraph
(i) to persuade the subjects of any Ruler or the inhabitants of any terntory governed by any Government to attempt to procure by lawfiil means the alteration of any matter in the territory of such Government as by law established; or
(ii) to point out, with a view to their removal, any matters producing or having a tendency to produce feelings of ill will and enmity between different races or classes of the population of the Federation,
If the act, speech, words, publication or other thing has not otherwise in fact a seditious tendency.
(I have put the words in bold type to show that they were not found in the original text of sub-section (2))
Did Lim Kit Siang commit sedition?
Now that you know the law of sedition as much as any expert on the subject, we shall examine the law to find out if Lim Kit Siang has, in fact, committed the crime. As I have understood from the internet, all that he did was to point out that the biggest mistake that Naj ib made in the so-called Perak debacle was to approach the sultan for the appointment of Zambry as Mentri Besar - that step, as we all know, started the political and constitutional impasse in Perak.
Had Najib not seen the Ruler, but instead had he advised the Barisan Nasional assemblymen to obtain a vote of no confidence against Nizar at the time, he would have succeeded and there would have been no constitutional crisis in Perak. By his rash action to have Zambry appointed Mentri Besar when Nizar is still holding the office of Mentri Besar, he had caused the impasse in Perak. Najib had actually committed a serious political misjudgment. Since then he had been unable to extricate himself out of the political quagmire which he had orchestrated.
Since Lim Kit Siang’ s criticism was only directed at Naj ib for his personal misjudgment in the whole episode, it would not be possible for any prosecutor to establish a “seditious tendency” under s 3(1) of the Sedition Act. This is because paragraphs (a) and (b) of the subsection concern a seditious tendency against a Ruler or Government - so these provisions do not apply to a personal criticism of Naj ib in his handling of the affair. Paragraph (c ) concerns a seditious tendency against the administration ofjustice - definitely this does not apply to a criticism ofNajib’s handling of the matter. In paragraph (d) the seditious tendency is to raise discontent and disaffection among the people - so it does not apply. Paragraph (e) deals with race and class, and paragraph (I) deals with privileges, sovereignty etc - so they too do not apply to a personal criticism of Naj ib’ s miscalculation of the situation in Perak.
Therefore, since it is impossible, based on the above circumstances, to establish a “seditious tendency” against Lim Kit Siang for his criticism of Naj ib’ s conduct in the Perak debacle, Lim Kit Siang has not committed any offence under the Sedition Act. As such, what the police did to him was unwarranted and an inexcusable harassment of a respected politician. Such bullying methods by the police should be frowned upon by all right thinking people. By their bad behaviour in the matter, the police have done a great disservice to the Government of the day which eventually may reflect adversely against them in the next election. As a consequence of such outrageous act of harassment which the police have perpetrated against the people, the police were, in fact, promoting feelings of ill will against the Barisan Nasional government which is the government of the day. I wonder if they could have brought themselves within the meaning of “seditious tendency” under s 3(l’)(e) which says “(1) A ‘seditious tendency’ is a tendency (e) to promote feelings of ill will … between different … classes of the population of Malaysia” - i.e. between the people and the Barisan Nasional government? Perish the thought. But then, why were they doing this to the government? Were they trying to ensure a change of government at the next general election? Your Guess is as good as mine.
I remember when I was a serving judge, we would never dream of doing anything that would jeopardize the standing of our employer, the Government of Malaysia. Sometimes we would take a member of the executive government, like a minister or a public official, to task if they have done wrong but it must be done in a judgment. As a serving judge, it is taboo to criticize the government of the day out of court. But nowadays we find the police jeopardizing the position of their employer, the government of the day, by their overt action of harassing some members of the general public. Don’t these people realize that such actions would have an adverse effect on the government come next election? I suppose there are some people who think that it is all right for such an undesirable trend to continue like a cancer among the law enforcement agencies.
And what about poor Karpal Singh?
All that Karpal Singh said was that the sultan can be sued. And the next thing we hear is that he has been charged for the crime of sedition. We all know that Karpal Singh was speaking as a lawyer. And why is it wrong for a lawyer to say someone can be sued? All of us know that a ruler can be sued in the Special Court, albeit with leave of the court, for certain things, such as in an action in contract or tort, and also he could be prosecuted for certain crimes. There is no provision in s 3(1) of the Sedition Act which says that for saying that a sultan can be sued is a seditious tendency.
Moreover s 3 (2)(a) totally absolves Karpal Singh of any wrongdoing under the Sedition Act for his remark. Section 3 (2)(a) says:
3. (2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) an act, speech, words, publication or other thing shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency -
(a) to show that any Ruler has been misled or mistaken in any of his measures;
Rightly or wrongly Karpal Singh thought that the ruler could be sued by way of a judicial review for what was perceived by him as the unconstitutional appointment of Zambry as Mentri Besar. Judicial review was thought by many lawyers at the time to be the proper course to take to correct the mistaken step taken by the ruler in the appointment of a new Mentri Besar when the incumbent Mentri Besar is still in office.
So that by virtue of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 3 of the Sedition Act 1948, what Karpal Singh had said about suing the sultan would not be treated as seditious even though the words spoken by him would show that the ruler was mistaken in his measure to appoint another Menteri Besar when the incumbent is still in office.
PP v Param Cumaraswamy is still the law on the Sedition Act 1948
The law of sedition which I have referred to in this article is taken from my judgment in PP v Param Cumaraswamy  CU (Rep) 606 which was decided almost twenty three years ago. Cumaraswamy is authority for the statement of the statute law of sedition as it stands. It is also useful for its concise treatment of the Sedition Act 1948. To this day it is still the law of the land as it has not been overruled by any higher court.