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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

AES: Saya tidak puas hati disaman

'Bid to crack down on rally for stateless Indians'

Ku Li: We'd have been better off with a sovereign oil fund

Former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah claimed that should his idea of setting up a sovereign wealth fund to manage oil and gas revenue in 1980s been accepted, Malaysia might be a wealthier nation now.

“Back then, the concept of a sovereign wealth fund never really existed. Had we pursued that idea then, we would have been one of the first countries in the world to have created a sovereign wealth fund.

NONE“We might even have been wealthier as a nation considering the bull market in both bonds and equities for a good part of the past 30 years,” he said in his keynote speech for the National Economic Outlook Conference organised by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research today.

The Gua Musang MP pointed out that the Norgesbank Investment Management (NBIM), which was set up only in 1997 to manage Norway’s government pension fund and its oil profits, has become a model for others to follow as it is subject to high governance and disclosure standards, with reporting requirements to Norway’s parliament.

“The idea of a sovereign wealth fund still appeals to me just as it did back in the 1980s.

“This sovereign wealth fund must be professionally managed  and committed to performance, governance and transparency standards that would give the public greater confidence in the government’s effort to save for our future generations,” he said.

Earlier on, Razaleigh, who is also the founding chairperson of Petronas, had revealed that the national oil producer had planned to establish a National Petroleum Heritage Fund.

In his speech entitled ‘Pragmatism in the Face of Present Economic Outlook’, Razaleigh proposed to apply a higher road tax for bigger cars to facilitate the gradual removal of petrol subsidies.

“That means for many of us in this room, myself included, we should pay higher road taxation to proxy subsidy removal for our bigger cars. At the appropriate times, the petrol subsidies themselves should gradually be removed,” he said.

‘Removal of petrol subsidy imperative

He stressed that the removal of petrol subsidy is imperative as it is a drag on government finances and an impediment to proper resource allocation.

azlanOn public housing, he suggested that the government, instead of building affordable homes for the middle-income class under the 1Malaysia Housing Programme (PR1MA), should construct more low-cost homes on a scale that is larger than what it has pursued in the past.

“Increasing home ownership among the lower income level groups via housing finance availability creates a favourable wealth effect as we’ve seen in public housing programmes in other countries.

“As we all know, it also creates considerable knock-on effects on domestic demand. We should consider launching large low-cost housing schemes supported by the availability of finance,” he explained.

The Umno veteran also warned that Malaysia’s household debt-to-GDP ratio, which stands at 77 percent in 2011, would turn out to be an economic threat should the global interest rates increase.

“Some people say that a mid-70 percent household debt-to-GDP ratio is all right - I must add that this comes with a disclaimer.

“So long as global interest rates stay low, it’s fine. If we see an uptick in rates... We need to be sensitive to the accompanying cutback in general consumption that would drag domestic demand.

“In Malaysia specifically, it would add more strain on public finances to keep growth steady,” he added.

BJP activists burn Pakistan flag in protest to Rama Pir Temple at Karachi.

BJP activists burn Pakistan flag

TNN | Dec 4, 2012, 02.58 PM IST :: KANPUR: Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) burnt the national flag of Pakistan at Parade crossing protesting against demolition of Ram Pir temple. The temple was demolished in Pakistan on Sunday.
On the occasion, Surendra Maithani, district convener of the BJP and legislator Salil Vishnoi said the Pakistan police and Army had been inflicting atrocities on the Hindu minority in Pakistan demolition of temple there was a glaring example. After this a flag of the neighbouring country was burnt by the BJP members who demanded Central Government to cancel the India-Pakistan cricket series scheduled to begin from January. The activists also said Pakistani nationals should not be given VISA for coming to India to see cricket matches.

Surendra Maithani said if Pakistan was not given a befitting reply, the activists of BJP will hit the streets in protest and said that Kanpur unit of BJP will write to Pakistan embassy to register their protest.

Among those who burnt Pakistan flag were Sunil Bajaj, Rakesh Sonkar, Neena Awasthi, Mohit Pandey, Amit Bathan and some others. [Courtesy: TOI].

Boko Haram suspected in deadly Nigeria attack

At least 10 Christians in northeastern Borno state "slaughtered like sheep" in latest attack blamed on the armed group.
Members of the Nigerian armed group Boko Haram are suspected of killing 10 Christians in northeastern Nigeria. Sunday’s attack happened in a village called Chibok, in a remote part of Borno state, at the heart of a violent campaign led by Boko Haram, which is fighting Western influence and wants to form an Islamic state in Nigeria's north. "Suspected Boko Haram came at night and set people's houses on fire before killing their victims," said Nuhu Clark, a former councillor of the village who escaped the attack. He said he counted 10 bodies afterwards. A local government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "the attackers came in around 9pm chanting 'Allahu Akbar', which made us suspect they are Boko Haram. They moved into selected homes in the predominantly Christian part of the town and slaughtered 10 people like sheep". A police spokesman said they were aware of the incident but were still trying to confirm casualties. Fear in Maiduguri Armed fighters have killed hundreds of people since launching a rebellion against the government in 2009, the usual targets being security forces, government officials or Christians, whom Boko Haram sees as infidels. Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege, reporting from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno province, says there is fear among the people in the area. "People are on edge and are constantly worried about violence. Maiduguri has been at the epicentre of violence, with criminal acts perpetrated by members of Boko Haram for at least two years now," she said. "Almost on a daily basis we found, while on the ground there, that people witnessed suicide attacks, car bombings, churches being attacked, and major fighting between the armed group and a joint task force set up to fight Boko Haram." In another development, security forces said on Sunday they had killed a senior Boko Haram commander, Mohammed Ibrahim, one of several who had a bounty placed on his head last week of 25 million naira ($158,900) in his case. "He was killed in an operation in Gwange ward [Borno state] along with two of his unit commanders," a spokesman for joint military and police forces in Borno state, Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa, said. Attacks on Christians seem calculated to ignite sectarian tensions in Africa's most populous nation, which is split roughly evenly between Muslims and Christians. They mostly live side by side in peace, although bouts of violence between the communities sometimes flare up. The US has designated three of Boko Haram's senior members as terrorists. Human Rights Watch has said about 3,000 people have been killed in the conflict between Boko Haram and security forces since its campaign intensified in 2010. Source:Al Jazeera And Agencies

Mysterious circumstances: Blasphemy accused dies in custody

The 22-year-old was taken in protective custody after being accused by Nankana Sahib residents. DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

LAHORE: A 22-year-old youth, accused of burning a copy of the Holy Quran, died in police custody at Warburton police station on Sunday, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The youth, Nadeem, was detained without an FIR by the Nankana Sahib police seven days ago. Police say he was being kept in protective custody. He was later shifted to Warburton police station, 20km for Nankana Sahib.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Nankana Sahib district police officer (DPO) Ghulam Mubashar Maken said the youth fell severely ill while in custody at Warburton police station and subsequently died.

He said allegations against Nadeem had not been substantiated so far. He added that they were informed by a local committee of Ulema that there was no proof so far to suggest the youth had burned the Holy Quran copy. Since they had been waiting for the committee’s final decision, no case was registered against the youth, DPO Maken said.

Meanwhile, police have handed over Nadeem’s body to his heirs and initiated proceedings under section 174.

DPO Maken said Nadeem’s father Yousaf had told the police that his son was mentally unstable. He added that even after his son’s death, Yousaf was unwilling to take legal action.

Police officials also suggested that Nadeem was tortured by local resident when they allegedly discovered him burning a copy of the Holy Quran. They also suspect he may have been an addict.

Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death in 2010 on blasphemy charges, also belongs to Nankana Sahib.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2012.

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly termed Nadeem a ‘Christian’. The error is regretted.

Answer Musa’s claims, cops tell top brass

Police want the top brass to look into the ex-IGP’s claims of criminal elements and political interference in the police force.

PETALING JAYA: The police are split over ex-inspector general of police Musa Hassan’s claims of political interference and criminal elements in the police force but one common sentiment prevails – the top brass must take responsibility over it.

“Of course it is damaging to the police force but then again, there is no smoke without fire, so there is an element of truth in it,” said a senior policeman on condition of anonymity.

“Perhaps in a way it is good because if the top level wants to change, it is high time to look into it,” he told FMT.

Last week, Musa dropped a bombshell when he accused Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as one of the politicians who interfered with police investigation.

The former top cop also suggested that criminal elements had infiltrated the police force, revealing that there were cases where the links went high up and “nobody dared talk about it.”

His damning comments coincided with Umno’s general assembly; the party’s last huddle before it faced the 13th general election.

Umno top leaders, including Hishammuddin, had not directly answered Musa’s claims since last week, choosing instead to dismiss them as attempts to sidetrack the public from the issues raised during the general assembly.

Meanwhile, current IGP Ismail Omar said that he did not have the time for things that were “not important” – a response that courted ire from Musa who labelled the former as “snobbish.”

‘Ismail is a poor leader’

Commenting on this, the senior police officer told FMT that Ismail lacked leadership quality.

“He shouldn’t be there in the first place, he’s merely a puppet. Whenever he is summoned by the ministry, he comes back crying.

“Whenever he is pressured, he doesn’t act professionally, he screams at his officers. He is someone who is hard to work with, no backbone, no guts,” he said.

Another police officer also agreed that it was best for the top brass to answer Musa’s allegations but criticised the latter for revealing the cracks only after he had retired.

“You were our leader then, and during your time, you did not say all this, just asking people to be tougher. Personally, I feel that when Musa was the IGP, he took care of his own seat.

“And now that he is without position, nobody can do anything to him, he comes out openly talking about his own former employer like that. It’s not right. You were not there for months but years. What were you doing then?” said the source.

But a third police officer told FMT that Musa’s claims “don’t add up.”

“If you ask me personally, we are always loyal to the leadership… so whatever my former boss says doesn’t disturb our morale, as we work based on rules and regulations,” he said.

‘Explain Hindu burial land given to Muslims’

Hindraf questions Selangor's state government's decision to convert a 3.38 hectre plot of Hindu burial land to a Muslim cemetery.

PETALING JAYA: Hindraf wants the Selangor state government to explain its decision to convert a 3.38 hectre Hindu burial land in Teluk Piai, Kuala Selangor, to a Muslim cemetery.

“Why grab the land when Selangor is 7,955 square kilometres?” asked Hindraf’s P Uthayakumar in a letter addressed to Selangor Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim.

Uthayakumar, who is also Human Rights Party’s pro-tem secretary general, was responding to a news report in Malay daily, Sinar Harian today on the matter.

In the report, Malaysian Indian Welfare and Cemetery Management Association president M Raman had asked the state government for an alternative plot of land for a Hindu cemetery.

Raman said the state exco, at a meeting in July last year, despite acknowledging that the plot of land in Teluk Piai was a Hindu cemetery decided to regazette it as a Muslim cemetary.

Raman said this was revealed in the 2010 Selangor Cemetery Inventory Report.

“Even a letter from the rural and urban planning department dated Aug 28 this year states that the land, in Lot 13, Api-Api, Kampung Teluk Piai, is a Hindu burial land,” said Raman.

Uthayakumar said: “Reconvert, re-gazette, issue permanent land titles and restore this historical Hindu cemetery in the memory of the rubber tappers who contributed extensively to Malaya’s economy.”

He also requested for a copy of the 2010 Selangor Cemetery Inventory Report under the Selangor Freedom of Information Enactment 2010 to ascertain the number of Hindu cemeteries in the state and how many of them have been gazetted.

Uthayakumar also raised concerns over the status of the Hindu cemeteries in Barisan Nasional administered states.

He gave three examples: the Bukit Jalil Hindu cemetery that was re-gazetted as Muslim burial ground, a cemetary in Kuala Sawah, Negeri Sembilan that was wiped out and a burial ground in Rantau, Seremban that was desecreated.

Indonesian embassy warns maids to avoid Malaysia

A spokesman for the embassy says Malaysia is asking for Indonesian maids but they cannot protect them well.

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia warned its nationals not to work as maids in Malaysia after a weekend raid freed 105 women who were confined against their will and forced to work without pay.

In the latest maid abuse scandal to hit Malaysia, authorities said they had freed 95 Indonesians, six Filipinas and four Cambodians who toiled as housemaids by day but were locked inside a building near the capital Kuala Lumpur at night.

Recurring reports of abuse of Indonesian maids have soured relations between the two Southeast Asian neighbours and in 2009 prompted Jakarta to angrily cut off the supply of domestic workers to Malaysia.

The two sides announced a year ago that the ban would be lifted after they reaching an accord to provide maids better protection and working conditions.

But the latest case showed Indonesians were still at risk, especially those who come to Malaysia illegally without going through proper recruitment channels, a spokesman for Jakarta’s embassy said.

“The Malaysian authorities should take tough action… It’s better for Indonesian maids not to work in Malaysia,” spokesman Suryana Sastradiredja told AFP.

“They (Malaysia) are asking for Indonesian maids but they cannot protect them well.”

The women freed on Saturday — who according to Malaysian media reports had arrived illegally over the past several months — have been taken to a shelter and will eventually be sent back to Indonesia, Sastradiredja said.

Sastradiredja said that since the ban was lifted, fewer than 100 Indonesian maids had arrived through official channels, turned off by the low salaries and abuse reports.

But, citing reports from Indonesian and Malaysian activists, he said Jakarta fears thousands more may have been duped into coming illegally with promises of well-paid work since the ban was set in 2009, and were now working in vulnerable situations.

One of Southeast Asia’s most affluent and developed countries, Malaysia has long attracted women from its poorer neighbours, mostly Indonesia, seeking work as maids.

Before the ban, some 300,000 Indonesians were legally registered as working as maids in Malaysia.

Recurring incidents in which foreign maids have been confined, abused, beaten, or even killed have repeatedly rankled Malaysia’s neighbours.

In October, an advertisement in Malaysia that offered Indonesian maids “on sale” went viral online in Indonesia, sparking new outrage.

Last month, police said they were investigating a man in northern Malaysia for allegedly raping his 15-year-old Indonesian maid, while in a separate case, three police officers were charged with raping a 25-year-old Indonesian woman at a police station.

Cambodia also banned sending maids to Malaysia last year following numerous abuse complaints.

Usaha akhir MIC tawan kaum India

Setiausaha Agung parti optimistik hasil kerja serius selama dua tahun di bawah pelan tindakan bersepadu akan membuahkan hasil kepada MIC.

Oleh S Chandravathani

KUALA LUMPUR: Perhimpunan Agung Tahunan MIC ke-66 pada Ahad bersedia untuk menggerakkan delegasi dan pemimpin akar umbi sebagai kempen terakhir untuk memenangi hati dan minda masyarakat India kepada Barisan Nasional (BN).

Setiausaha Agung parti Datuk S.Murugesan optimistik hasil kerja serius dan usaha berterusan yang dijalankan selama dua tahun di bawah pelan tindakan bersepadu akan membuahkan hasil kepada MIC.

Memenangi semula sokongan majoriti pengundi India menjadi tugas utama parti itu berikutan kekalahan besar dalam pilihan raya umum 2008 apabila ramai kaumIndia keluar BN.

MIC hilang enam daripada sembilan kerusi Parlimen yang dipertandingkan. Ia hanya mengekalkan kerusi di Tapah, Cameron Highlands dan Segamat dan menawan semula Hulu Selangor pada pilihan raya kecil kemudian.

Dalam temu bual dengan Bernama, Murugesan menerangkan rancangan parti terbesar masyarakat India itu, mengatakan ia tidak pernah mengambil ringan rayuan kaum India dan telah banyak menyelesaikan masalah lama yang dihadapi komuniti itu, terima kasih juga kepada usaha Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dan presiden parti Datuk Seri G.Palanivel.

“Masyarakat harus memahami bahawa rancangan ini adalah murni dan bukan hanya untuk jangka masa pendek. Ia sudah pasti mengambil masa untuk melihat hasilnya. Kamu tidak boleh hanya lakukan sekali dan berpendapat MIC berjaya memenangi kembali masyarakat. Tidak ada jalan pintas,” katanya.

Murugesan berkata Palanivel telah merangka strategi untuk menggerakkan kerajaan melaksanakan dasar dan skim untuk membantu dan meningkatkan taraf hidup masyarakat India, sambil menepis kritikan buruk bahawa parti itu telah melakukan yang terbaik dalam usaha memastikan kaum itu tidak terlepas dari arus perdana pembangunan negara.

Di bawah Belanjawan 2013, RM350 juta diperuntukkan kepada Skim Pembiayaan Tekun bagi industri kecil dan sederhana, RM50 juta daripadanya adalah untuk Skim Keusahawanan Sosial Kaum India, katanya.

Juga RM50 juta diperuntukkan untuk melatih 3,200 pelajar India yang miskin memperoleh kemahiran industri, dan RM100 juta untuk menaik taraf dan pembangunan sekolah Tamil di seluruh negara, katanya.

Bersih dan telus

Murugesan menegaskan MIC sentiasa mengekalkan dirinya sebagai parti yang bersih dan transparen, untuk menunjukkan kepada pengundi, pemimpin parti adalah lebih baik untuk mentadbir dan akan teruskan usaha menangani isu-isu yang dekat di hati kaum India seperti sekolah Tamil, pendidikan universiti dan peluang pekerjaan untuk semua.

Beliau juga berkata parti itu telah menjalankan pengesahan pengundi dan pendaftaran di semua 4,300 cawangannya di seluruh negara, dan juga telah memperkenalkan pelbagai langkah untuk menarik pengundi muda menyertai parti itu.

“MIC bersama (komponen) Barisan Nasional yang lain telah melaksanakan beberapa program termasuk ‘Karnival Kerjaya Pemuda BN’ dan ‘Konsert Jelajah BN Pilihan Saya’ juga menggunakan media baru seperti Twitter, Facebook dan blog sebagai salah satu cara mendekati golongan muda,” katanya.

Berdasarkan statistik baru-baru ini menunjukkan antara 60 dan 65 peratus pengundi muda memilih BN berbanding Pakatan Rakyat memandangkan parti pembangkang itu hanya pandai menabur janji tetapi gagal mengotakannya,” kata beliau.

“Untuk menarik generasi Y, MIC mesti berupaya memberi penjelasan dan memberitahu mereka bahawa inilah masa depan yang kita mahukan, iaitu ini adalah hala tuju bangsa bagi memastikan masa depan yang lebih baik dan stabil untuk mereka,” katanya.

Murugesan berkata walaupun pengundi India kembali semula ke pangkuan BN dan trend itu semakin baik sejak 2008, MIC masih berusaha meningkatkan jumlah pengundi India.

“Memandangkan komuniti India sering kali mendesak transformasi dalam MIC, parti ini sedang melakukan transformasi agar lebih agresif untuk memenuhi harapan dan cabaran yang semakin meningkat yang dihadapi masyarakat,” katanya.

Murugesan berkata parti itu menerima enam resolusi antaranya politik, hal ehwal kerajaan, pendidikan dan sosioekonomi, untuk dibahaskan pada perhimpunan
itu, yang dihadiri 1,500 delegasi dan 2,000 pemerhati di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC).

Beliau juga berkata perhimpunan itu, hanya berlangsung sehari bagi menjimatkan masa dan kos, akan dirasmikan Perdana Menteri dan pengerusi BN Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Public inquiry needed on police, ministry

Serious allegations by the former aide-de-camp of the ex-IGP have demoralised the entire Malaysian police force.

By Kua Kia Soong

The serious allegations of misconduct against the former IGP Musa Hassan through a statutory declaration (SD) made in 2009 and the recent claim by the ex-inspector-general himself that criminal element had infiltrated the force as well as interference of politicians in investigations warrants an urgent independent public inquiry to restore public trust in the Malaysian police force.

These allegations contained in the SD were by police officer Noor Azizul Rahim Taharim, who served as Musa’s aide de camp from 2005 to 2007.

The document accuses Musa of wrongdoings during his tenure and exposes how he had purportedly silenced critics with transfers and trumped-up charges. Azizul claims that former CID director Christopher Wan had revealed to him that Musa had directed the setting up of a covert blog to publish allegations of corruption against then deputy home minister Johari Baharom.

The contents of the blog, he said, damaged Johari’s reputation and subjected him to a probe by the Anti-Corruption Agency.

“I am also aware of the statutory declarations made by several policemen, police informants and subjects of police actions showing links between Musa and the underworld, specifically concerning restricted residence detainee Goh Cheng Poh @ Tongku and one shadow figure, BK Tan. Based on my personal knowledge and involvement as the ADC to the IGP, I can confirm that the statements made by these deponents concerning Musa were true…,” he alleged.

Referring to the SDs of ASP Mior Fahim Ahmad and ASP Hong Kin Hock, Azizul confirmed that their allegations had basis. The pair had claimed that there was manipulation of promotions, ranks and postings in the PDRM involving BK Tan.

“The credibility of these officers would be ‘demolished’ such that whatsoever information they gathered about Musa would be discredited. These officers would suffer hardship being transferred away from their families and home base. They would also get bypassed in promotions and suffer disciplinary action without the proper process. Consequently, less able officers climbed the ranks and the victimised officers were used as warnings against others… This process of ‘mecantas’ [pruning] explains the apparent lack of ability by PDRM to tackle crime, the lack of motivation and low morale within PDRM that saw crime escalating at an alarming rate during Musa’s tenure,” he added.

After former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave Musa a two-year extension in 2007,

“This served as a powerful endorsement that the government was fully behind Musa. A sense of fear also gripped many within PDRM and outside when not long after that in October 2007, the lawyer who assisted CCD [Ramli] in the Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku matter [after the AG Chambers declined to prepare affidavits for the CCD], was himself arrested in a most humiliating manner and charged one day before Aidilfitri.

“The message was clear that Musa had the support of the ACA, the attorney-general and the prime minister in all his actions. The fear among officers in PDRM became the need for self-preservation after six rank and file policemen including Ramli were charged with various offences. Not long after that, the AG ordered the release of the said Goh Cheng Ph @ Tongku.” (FMT, Dec 12, 2012)

These are serious allegations by the former aide-de-camp of the ex-IGP which have demoralised the entire Malaysian police force.

Earlier in the week, the ex-inspector-general himself had pointed the finger at Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein when he charged that politicians had interfered with investigations.

Musa’s revelations that the police force had been infiltrated by criminal elements and that the current IGP Ismail Omar was weak in heading the police force are enough reason for the urgent establishment of an independent public inquiry.

These exposes of unprofessional goings-on in the Malaysian police top brass and skeletons in the cupboard of the Home Ministry provide us with some clue as to why the recommendation by the Royal Commission on the Police in 2005 for an Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Committee has failed to be implemented after so many years.

The government must ultimately be held responsible for dragging its feet on this vital reform to stop deaths in custody, police shootings and the culture of impunity in the Malaysian police force.

The just accomplished Leveson Commission over the British media practices brought about by phone hacking of the British media cannot compare with these much more serious allegations against the Malaysian police top brass and the Home Minister.

Surendran gives cops the silent treatment

The PKR leader says police are trying to stop next week’s sit-in.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice president N Surendran today refused to give a statement to the police regarding a planned protest over the issue of stateless Indians and indigenous Malaysians.

“I will give my statement in open court, not to the police,” he told reporters after a 30-minute meeting with officers at the Travers police station here. He went there with his lawyers, S Ambiga and Latheefa Koya.

The protest, publicised as a “sit-in rally,” is scheduled for Dec 12 and will be held outside the National Registration Department in Putrajaya.

Police summoned Surendran to the Travers station as a follow-up on a report filed by Inspector George Nipa on Nov 24, the day the PKR leader delivered speeches during a protest march in Brickfields.

The police report was made under Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, which requires organisers of a peaceful assembly to notify police a month beforehand.

Surendran’s speeches were on the issue of citizenship documentation for Indians born in Malaysia.

He told reporters that today’s attempt to interrogate him was part of a bid to stop next week’s sit-in.

“It is an attempt to crack down on the 12.12.12 protest,” he said. “A few thousand people are expected to turn up.This criminal investigation is improper, uncalled for and an abuse of power.”

Latheefa said Surendran exercised his right to remain silent, provided for under Section 112 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Last Saturday, police questioned Kapar MP S Manikavasagam about the Brickfields march.

Manikavasagam said five police officers went to his office to record his statement.

“They questioned me for using the word ‘celaka’ (damn) during the march in Brickfields,” he said. “They also stressed the need for a permit for the 12.12.12 rally.”

He alleged that police were trying to instil fear in activists planning to participate in next week’s protest.

Zaid: PM must apologise over May 13 reference

Sean Augustin,

Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim says Datuk Seri Najib Razak should apologise for references to the May 13 tragedy made at the recent Umno general assembly.
Zaid said that claims the 1969 racial riots would recur if Umno lost the next general election or if it returned with a weak majority was uncalled for and made him 'sick to his bones'.

He said Najib - the prime minister and Umno president - should distance himself from such statements, which he feels were outright threats, immediately.

As prime minister for all Malaysians, Najib should apologise to the nation for the inflammatory statements made by the delegates of the party he leads, said Zahid.

"No one should capitalise on a national tragedy for the reprehensible purpose of exploiting emotions ahead of the coming election.

"I hope Malaysians-and especially Malays-will find this statement repulsive and punish Umno accordingly," the lawyer turned politician wrote in his blog,

The May 13th spectre is often resurrected by politicians and right wing groups, especially in response to what they perceive as threats to the rights of Malays.

While racial rhetoric was largely absent at the Umno general assembly, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil had mentioned May 13, in her written opening speech, when discussing the fate of the Malays if the party under performed in the coming general election.

That part of the speech however was not read.

Sharizat however later defended her remarks saying she did not commit any wrong and flayed the media for lacking professionalism.

Zaid, in his blog, also wondered why Najib led the 'virulent attack' against liberalism which he defined as a political philosophy founded on the principles of freedom, liberty and equality.

Liberalism, he said, supported the free-market economy, the individual's right to ownership of property, free and democratic elections as the foundation of government, freedom of religion and basic human rights.

"The constitution of the Federation of Malaysia was founded on these principles, and our proclamation of independence contained the words 'liberty, freedom and justice for all.' So, why are the prime minister and his followers in Umno attacking the constitution and the core values of this country?" he asked.

Musa too abused powers while IGP, says Ramli Yusuff

Musa had claimed that ministers and politicians interfered with police matters. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Tan Sri Musa Hassan had abused his power while he was the Inspector-General of Police and colluded with the Attorney-General to escape from being arraigned in a 2006 criminal court case, his former colleague and rival in the force, Datuk Ramli Yusuff, has alleged.

The retired Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) director was responding to the ex-IGP’s bombshell at a new conference last week in which the latter had accused Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as among ministers and politicians who had interfered with police matters.

“CCID once captured a criminal named Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku Goh in December 2006. Tengku Goh made his affidavit and implicated Musa Hassan’s name.

“Then I handed it to the A-G’s office but it was never filed in court, resulting in the habeas corpus application by Tengku Goh being allowed and [he] was freed,” Ramli told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

The retired police veteran has been a vocal critic of Musa and A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, both whom he blames for putting him in the dock on a corruption charge in 2007, which several mainstream media had sensationalised as the case of the “RM27 million cop”.

“Instead, the A-G directed the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to get confidential files regarding this case and hunted down informants to change their original testimonies,” said Ramli, who was once the nation’s third-most senior police officer.

Asked what proof he had to support his allegation, he said: “If what I say is not right, I am ready for Musa or Gani to take legal action against me. Berani kerana benar [bold as true].”

Ramli was at one time the nation’s third-most senior police officer.
Ramli also stood up for Musa’s successor, IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar, and said the latter should be given the chance to prove his capability.

“The negative perception started during Musa Hassan’s term. Tan Sri Ismail Omar is making an effort to improve that image,” he said, referring to the endemic poor public confidence in the police force.

“To me, it is not just if Musa attacks relentlessly the IGP now.”

Ramli said that Musa’s criticism against the public institution the latter once led and the government was nothing new.

“He started becoming vocal and criticised the government when Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin announced his service would not be extended,” Ramli said, referring to the ex-IGP, and adding that it was the source of Musa’s disgruntlement.

Musa served as IGP for three years before retiring on September 13, 2010, after a corruption case that was closed in July 2007 for lack of evidence.

The nation’s former No. 1 watchman had last week described his working relationship with Hishammuddin as cordial, but the home minister did not see eye-to-eye with him on the command of the police force, saying that his refusal to indulge those who tried to interfere had likely been the reason why his tenure had not been extended.

The police force and other enforcement agencies fall under the home minister’s portfolio.

“When I found out that instructions were given to junior officers and OCPDs (Officer in Charge of Police District) without my knowledge, then something is wrong.

“So, I highlighted to him section 4(1) of the Police Act ... command and control of the police force is by the IGP, not a minister.

“I talked to him nicely, he didn’t like it ... that’s why (my tenure) was not extended,” Musa told a news conference last week organised by Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch), a crime watchdog which had claimed that it will “challenge any statistics that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) comes out with”.

The organisation claimed that it has the “real” crime statistics from the police force which, it said, are “manipulated” before their release to the public.

MyWatch also claimed to have evidence of alleged links between high-ranking police officers and underworld kingpins.

It plans to release its revelations in stages, starting from next week, if the police continue to refuse working with it.

Musa also quoted section 4(1) of the Police Act, which states that police orders must only come from the IGP, who will be liable for such instructions.

He said that command and control over the police force should rest entirely on the IGP, adding that no other individual should be accorded the same right for the sake of checks and balances in the system.

Musa also took aim at his successor, Ismail, suggesting the latter was a yes-man who bowed to politicians’ influence.

Deepakgate video revealed

Kaum Muda dan Akal

Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi
Adapun gagasan pencerahan itu, buah fikir serta segala cita-cita pembaharuan yang tersandar kepadanya, sudah terasa berbenih sejak sebelum kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu lagi. Hanya, dalam setiap zaman, cita-cita berkenaan perlu diberi bahasa baharu di atas penelitian persoalan-persoalan semasa yang tentu sahaja sudah banyak beza dengan zaman-zaman sebelumnya.
Dan, tidaklah dapat ditemukan tapak persoalan sama berhubung soal tatanegara seandainya tidak diperakui bahawa politik dan kekuasaan perlu akhirnya bermatlamat membangun tamadun. Politik bukan cuma soal jadi penguasa dan pemerintah. Huraian mengenainya telah berkali-kali saya nyatakan sebelum sampai ke forum ini sekalipun. Terbaharu adalah dengan tajuk “Mencari Kili Suci” yang terbit dalam portal; bahawa begitu dalam banyak kes, batu penghalang kepada tujuan mengeluarkan manusia daripada “ketidakmatangan yang ditanggungnya sendiri” adalah datangnya daripada agamawan, institusi agama, yang keduanya telah bersekongkol dengan kekuasaan yang korup.[1]
Sepanjang sejarah dunia ini, tidakkah telah menyaksikan banyak raja-raja dan penguasa yang tak berguna, yang kemudiannya hanya meruntuhkan tamadun bangsa sendiri? Sementara seperti ungkapan seorang penulis di Era Pencerahan Eropah, Diderot berkata “filasuf mengkritik keras paderi, begitu juga sebaliknya. Namun filasuf tidak pernah membunuh seorang paderi pun tetapi paderi telah membunuh ramai filasuf”. Ibnu Khaldun, di dalam Mukadimah menyebutkan, simtom-simtom kehancuran itu berada pada “tahap yang kelima”.
Apa yang berlaku pada tahap berkenaan ialah pemegang tampuk pemerintahan mula suka berfoya-foya—membelanjakan kekayaan yang telah dikumpul oleh para pendahulunya dengan cara berlebih-lebihan untuk golongan bangsawan. Dia juga mengambil orang bawahannya yang berwatak jahat untuk melakukan tugas-tugas penting. Sementara sifat orang-orang yang diambil bekerja itu tidak mengetahui apa yang perlu dilakukannya.[2]
Demikian, secara keseluruhan Mukadimah oleh Ibnu Khaldun tidak lain adalah huraian panjang lebar akan keperluan dan cabaran kalamana kekuasaan-politik dilihat sebagai alat membangun tamadun. Tanpa kesedaran sesederhana itu, maka perebutan jawatan tak lain hanyalah perihal politik sempit peribadi-peribadi. Politik jenis ini akan hanya ibarat kata petuah, si kudung dapat cincin; tidak dia tahu untuk apa cincin kerana dia kudung; dan tak berguna pula kuasa kepadanya selain hanya untuk bermegah-megah.
Lantas apabila disebut akan istilah “Pencerahan”, maka paling tinggi sekalipun akan dikaitkan dengan Zaman Enlightenment di Eropah yang tercetus abad delapan-belas. Begitu pula ada orang-orang yang malas, lemah atau tak cermat berfikir pernah mengaitkan slogan “Reformasi” dengan gerakan Protestant Reformation di dalam agama Kristian sepertimana yang dibawa Martin Luther pada abad ke-16. Semua ini adalah tafsiran buram.
Kerajaan Pulau Pinang [sama seperti kerajaan negeri Selangor, Kedah dan Kelantan] bolehlah ditandakan sebagai “Kerajaan Reformasi”. Kerajaan-kerajaan ini adalah Pemerintah yang terbentuk daripada selusur jejak Reformasi 1998”; sama ada aktivisnya, pemimpin pelbagai peringkat; bahkan persoalan dan dasar yang dibawa tak lain adalah terkepal sebermula peristiwa “September 1998”. Demikian, selepas empat tahun berdirinya kerajaan-kerajaan empat negeri itu, maka elok juga diukur sejauh mana pembesar-pembesarnya betul-betul faham apa arti dan tujuan-tujuan reformasi, pembaharuan atau islah (?) yang nampaknya tak difahami dan gagal dirungkai oleh rejim sebelum mereka. Jalan pintas yang dilakukan oleh pewaris rejim itu ialah melabel-semula dengan bungkusan baru seperti penggunaan istilah “tranformasi” yang tipis pengertian.
Sering ditanya, apakah matlamat agung politik-perubahan yang hendak dibawa? Atau yang mahu dijanjikan hanyalah selingkar pemberian air percuma, penghapusan saman letak kereta, cikgu sekolah tadika naik gaji dan seumpama-seumpama itu? Kalau hanya seumpama itu, maka bukanlah sesuatu yang boleh dipandang jelek atau perlu ditentang kalau lawan politik Pakatan Rakyat memberikan wang langsung RM500 sepertimana dalam program Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) menjelang pilihanraya umum.
Arakian perlu terus dipertanyakan tanpa jemu kepada para pemimpin politik, apakah sebenarnya yang dilawan; soalan yang hanya dalam nada lain kepada maksud, apa itu Reformasi? Seiringan itu, maka pencerahan pasti akan segera naik panggung.

Perspektif agama yang diketengah Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi (1867-1934) adalah Islam yang mampu menjadikan seawal-awalnya masyarakat Muslim yang progresif serta maju. Kekuatan asas yang tercecer kalangan masyarakat Muslim adalah kekuatan akal dan daya fikir. Lantas, tidak hairanlah mengapa akhirnya Muslim tidak punya daya hidup nan kental. Semakin hari semakin merela diri jadi keliru dan melemah.
Sepertimana juga Ibnu Khaldun yang mengingat dan meletakkan peranan dan kemuliaan manusia (berbanding binatang) tidak lain adalah disebabkan Tuhan telah mengurnia manusia dengan akal (“ra’y”). Allah, jelas Ibnu Khaldun, membezakan manusia daripada makhluk-makhluk lainnya dengan keupayaan untuk dijadikan sejak awal-awal lagi suatu kesempuranaan dan sehabis mulia dan berdarjat daripada makhluk-makhluk yang ada.[3]
Kongkongan terhadap akal adalah penjajahan tingkat pertama. Buku Syed Sheikh yang popular yang turut cuba membicarakan hal ini adalah “Ugama Islam dan Akal”, yang edisi baru dicetak pada 1965.[4] Akal-dengan-Tuhan, kepada Syed Sheikh bukan subjek yang terpisah. Hujahnya:
Apa, dapat-kah lari lagi ‘akal yang menuntut kebenaran, daripada mengaku bahawa sa-benar2-nya ada Tuhan yang sangat2 berkuasa atas tiap2 suatu dengan sebab ada segala tanda2 kuderat-kuasa-Nya itu di-pandang dan dapat di-rasa serta dapat di-perhati dengan mata kepala dan mata hati yang menggunakan ‘akal.”[5]
Seruan itu tentu sahaja pada ketika ini bagi sesiapa yang pernah membaca makalah ringkas filasuf Jerman, Immanual Kant (1724-1804), “Was ist Aufklärung?” akan tahu sejajaran pandangan Kant dengan Syed Sheikh. Tulis Kant bahawa ketidakmatangan seseorang manusia bukanlah disebabkan kurangnya kefahaman, tetapi kurangnya azam untuk menggunakannya (kefahaman itu) tanpa panduan orang lain. Seruannya adalah “Sapere Aude” demi beranilah menggunakan kefahaman sendiri.[6] Ya! Kant tidak hanya terhenti di situ. Dia di dalam karangan sama segera memashyurkan bahawa “zaman ini,” kata Kant, “iaitu abad Friederich, adalah Zaman Pencerahan”.[7]
Entah apa sialnya, dalam zaman mana sekalipun, golongan yang menyeru dan bertindak atas kecerdasan akal (pencerahan) akan disisih atau paling tidak dicemuh dengan macam-macam tuduhan liar. Mereka ditindas. Ada yang dibunuh.
Misalnya bukan hanya berlaku kepada Syed Sheikh dan lingkungan beliau yang berkongsi kesedaran sama, tetapi juga pernah menimpa ke atas filasuf di dalam pemerintahan Andalusia, iaitu Ibnu Rushd (nama penuhnya Abu Walid Muhammad Ibnu Ahmad: 1126-1198). Ibnu Rushd dalam garis hayatnya telah bergelumang dengan cabaran seumpama demi membuktikan bahawa akal-sedar sama sekali tidak selamanya berlawanan dengan agama. Dalam kata mudah, falsafah tidak bertentangan dengan syariah.
Sepintas lalu, Ibnu Rushd menyeru, termasuk di dalam perkara-perkara agama serta ayat-ayat Quran seharusnya dapat dihujahkan dengan hujah yang dapat didatangkan pembuktian-pembuktian (empirical argument). Jalan pemikiran itu juga sering disebut sebagai “falsafah”. Adapun sekali peringatan Ibnu Rushd bahawa menghalang orang menggunakan akal untuk mencapai kebenaran tidak lain umpama menghalang orang yang dahaga meminum air yang dingin dan lazat sehingga menyebabkan seseorang itu mati [akibat dahaga] semata-mata kerana [barangkali sebelumnya] ada seseorang yang tercekik air.[8] Mati terbukun air adalah kebetulan; mati kerana dahaga adalah pasti.
Meski pembelaan terhadap akal-sihat dan waras telah sampai ke satu paras ke kemuncak, tapi yang tetap terjadi di gelanggang kekuasaan dan di perut masyarakat tetap sahaja merupakan helah mahupun serangan peribadi. Ketika mula-mula Syed Sheikh memimpin sidang pengarang Al-Imam di Singapura selama empat tahun sebermula 1906, sehinggalah penerbitan majalah bulanan Al-Ikhwan di Pulau Pinang pada 1926; dua tahun selepas itu, dia menerbitkan pula surat khabar dua kali seminggu, Saudara. Keghairahan Syed Sheikh untuk berkali-kali menerbitkan majalah di awal abad 20 lalu boleh sahaja dianggap sebagai kesedaran baru dan progresif pada ketika itu.
Terbukti ‘sasaran serangan’ Syed Sheikh menjurus kepada “Ketua-ketua Agama”. Dalam satu karangan panjangnya di dalam Al-Ikhwan keluaran ke-3 (16 November 1930: muka surat 65-75), dengan tajuk “Bukan Sa-kali-kali Agama Islam ini Sebab bagi Kejatuhan Kaum Islam tetapi Hanya-lah sebab Angkara Ketua-ketua Agama” menegaskan kebodohan jualah yang menyebabkan runtuhnya sesuatu pemerintahan Muslim. Antara hujah Syed Sheikh yang sudah diterjemah dalam buku berbahasa Inggeris, “The Real Cry of Syed Shaykh Al-Hadi” begini:
So Wrapped in ignorance and stupidity and so covered by continual darkness are their minds that they have lost all ability to understand the true calling sublime religion.”[9]
Golongan yang dimaksudkan Syed Sheikh dalam kenyataan di atas ialah penguasa Muslim di Mesir di bawah pemerintahan Abbasiyah yang runtuh apabila diserbu dan diserang oleh bangsa Monggol [atau disebut juga sebagai “Tartar”] pada 1258. Dapatlah kita faham akan pesan yang mahu dititipkan Syed Sheikh mengenai kelemahan dan gelap akal sehingga sebuah kerajaan yang bagaimana besar pun dapat ditumpaskan. Serangan Syed Sheikh kepada golongan “ulamak” juga sangat jelas dan keras di dalam tulisan lain, yang bertajuk “Perchayakan Ulamã’: Pertelingkahan di-antara kaum Tua dengan Kaum Muda” yang juga terbit di dalam majalah al-Ikhwan pada 1929. Tunjulan Syed Sheikh bahawa ulamak sendiri bukanlah “maksum” dan pasti betul.
It is for this reason that Kaum Muda contends that not all words uttered by the ‘ulamã’ are necessarily true and should be accepted as we accept what is written in the Qur’ãn!”[10]
Menurut seorang lagi penulis dalam buku yang sama, Linda Tan, sedari awal-awal lagi penerbitan Al-Imam, sepertimana yang menjadi salah satu judul karangan Syed Syeikh, iaitu dia berkehendak di dalam cita-citanya untuk “Menuntut Ketinggian akan Anak-anak Negeri”.[11] Sifat paradok kaum tradisionalis, “Kaum Tua” atau pernah juga disebut sebagai “lebai pondok” yang “memakai ketayap” yang sering ‘bersenang-senang’ dengan kefahaman tradisi, cuba dijolok apabila membawa kenyataan sekiranya benar golongan itu telah menggunakan akal-fikirnya, mengapakah diizinkan orang lain yang memerintah, menjadi penguasa di tanahair tercinta ini?[12]
Banyak sekali tulisan-tulisan yang disiar melalui media cukup menampar dan memberi kesan khasnya kepada penguasa dan agamawan yang berada dalam lingkaran kekuasaan. Sebenarnya jolokan “Kaum Muda” adalah kata yang awalnya merupakan kata ejek kepada golongan pembaharuan, walaupun ketika di Singapura, mereka terlebih dahulu dikenali, misalnya sebagai “Kaum Al-Manar”.[13]
Sebagai perbandingan, mungkin keadaan hampir serupa juga berlaku di Indonesia ketika kelompok seniman dan budayawan yang menulis dan menyokong “Manifesto Kebudayaan” (terbit pada 1963 dan dicetuskan oleh Wiratmo Soekito) telah diejek-ejek dengan gelar “Manikebu” oleh kelompok lawan mereka yang berada di dalam Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat (Lekra). Begitu jolokan berkenaan telah kekal sehingga hari ini sebagai sesuatu yang tidak lagi bernada ejekan, apatah lagi bermaksud buruk.
Kepada William R. Roff, iaitu daripada pengamatannya terhadap “Golongan Al-Manar” atau “Kaum Muda”, beliau merumuskan bahawa yang menjadi perkara utama dan prinsip-prinsip “Kaum Muda” ialah pandangan yang manusia haruslah menggunakan akal untuk menentukan kebenaran dalam agama. Fungsi akal-sihat bagaimana pun tidak terbatas kepada persoalan agama sahaja, tetapi meliputi hal-hal lain serta harus tegas di dalam menolak sifat “karut penerimaan membuta tuli kekuasaan perantara.”[14]
Kesempurnaan Islam bagi Kaum muda, tambah William, bukan matlamat akhir. Hal itu tidak lebih sebagai alat bagi menggerakkan dan mengarahkan perubahan sosial dan ekonomi untuk kebaikan masyarakat Melayu.
Sepertimana juga hari ini, persaingan antara media, majalah dan surat-surat khabar bukan hanya persaingan perniagaan. Hampir setiap parti politik mempunyai surat khabarnya sendiri, atau syarikat-syarikat media yang dipegang bahagian besar sahamnya oleh parti politik. Jumlah surat khabar yang banyak itu, sama sekali tidak menunjukkan bahawa wujudnya demokrasi, atau paling tidak wujudnya kebebasan media. Jauh lagi untuk dibicarakan soal etika dan kualiti media yang sedia ada.
Daripada pengalaman pertembungan “Kaum Muda” lawan “Kaum Tua”, sepertimana yang dirasai oleh orang-orang segenerasi Syed Sheikh, maka “Kaum Tua” pun menerbitkan majalahnya sendiri sebagai aksi balas dan mahu menyebarkan juga fahaman-fahaman mereka.
Melalui Majlis Agama dan Adat-istihadar Melayu Kelantan, maka diterbitkan Pengasuh (1918-37) beredisi dua kali sebulan. Edaran majalah itu tidak hanya di Kelantan sahaja, tetapi ke negeri-negeri lain di Semenanjung. Bahkan untuk mengawal pengaruh dan orang-orang “Kaum Muda”, maka di Kelantan diwujudkan satu undang-undang untuk mengawal sesiapa yang mahu mengajar atau memberi kuliah di majlis-masjid mahupun di tempat awam.
Di bawah peraturan undang-undang Agama Islam tahun 1904, sudah wujud undang-undang yang melarang sesiapa “kecuali dalam rumahnya sendiri, dan di depan anggota keluarganya sahaja, mengajar sebarang ajaran agama melainkan dia terlebih dahulu mendapat izin bertulis berbuat demikian dari Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan”.[15] Lalu, tidaklah terlalu sukar untuk kita mengerti bagaimana sistem kawalan itu dilakukan sehingga ke hari ini.

Dalam buku sama, William juga mengutip kembali tulisan Hamka yang mengkritik keras “Kaum Tua”. Kali ini sasarannya para mufti—kita juga tahu bahawa Hamka adalah antara sarjana Muslim-Melayu-Sumatera yang tergolong sebagai “Kaum Muda”.
Menjadi Mufti dalam keradjaan-keradjaan Melayu itu sangatlah megahnja. Memakai pakaian rasmi dengan pingat, berpisang sesikat di bahu, djubahnya berukir-ukir benang mas, dan serban daripada sutera dan mempunyai motokar sendiri. Rakjat pun sangat takut dan thaat, sisanja dimakan, sepah sirihnja dikunjah. Dan kalau beliau ingin hendak kawin, bismillah!”[16]
Bukan cuma hari ini di Malaysia, sejak seawal dasawarsa lalu pun, ketika politik dua kubu itu tercetus, orang politik dan penguasa selalu diam serta gelabah apabila timbul isu-isu yang genting, yang memerlukan daya pengamatan dan berfikir. Mereka seakan-akan lebih gemar membiarkan sahaja. Seakan-akan tidak faham apa perlunya turut serta di dalam perbincangan dan debat terbuka. Tapi, setidak-tidaknya, ke atas Presiden pertama Indonesia, Soekarno bukan kepalang dia menuliskan fikiran-fikiran dan gagasannya kepada sebuah negeri yang bakal lahir. Dia tak pernah takut untuk ikut berpolimik secara terbuka, di dalam surat-surat khabar mahupun majalah. Soekarno aktif untuk turut sama membicarakan soal sejarah, idea-idea daripada serata bangsa, kebudayaan, pemikiran agama dan sebagainya. Mungkin itulah yang membezakan antara dua bangsa serumpun ini dalam sejarah kelahiran dua negeri ini.
Meskipun bertentangan di dalam soal pemikiran, termasuk melihat erti bangsa dari jaring-jaring agama, makalah “Pembela Islam” pernah menerbitkan kembali siri tulisan Soekarno yang diberi judul, “Surat-surat dari Endeh”. Sementara tulisan Soekarno itu diterbitkan, penulis-penulis dan aktivis di dalam Pembela Islam terus bertanding dan lawan hujah dengan para pengikut Soekarno, atau dipanggil juga sebagai kelompok “Soekarno cs”. Apa yang terjadi, kalau pun tidak lebih buruk ialah makalah Pembela Islam juga tetap yang membela Soekarno ketika Soekarno dibicarakan atau “diadili” di hadapan Landraad Bandung oleh pemerintah kolonial.[17]
Selanjutkan, Soekarno yang diketahui sebagai pemimpin besar, mempunyai pengikut bahkan pendukung di kalangan bijak pandai, tetap pula meneliti dan berdebat secara terbuka dengan Natsir, seorang anak Minang yang ke Jakarta untuk belajar dan kemudiannya mengharung cabaran mendirikan sekolah. Perdebatan pemikiran dan cerpik api polimik antara lainnya ialah apabila Natsir cuba menjawab tulisan Soekarno yang begitu mempertahankan Kamal Attatuk di Turki. Saking demikian, Natsir juga segera mengungkapkan bahawa Islam sebagai “ideologi” selepas dihambat kembali oleh karangan balas Soekarno yang antaranya di bawah tajuk-tajuk seperti “Cinta Agama dan Tanah Air”, “Rasionalisme dalam Islam” dan “Islam dan Akan Merdeka”. [18]
Pertembungan sebegini tidak dapat kita ikuti dengan jelas wujudnya di Semenanjung, sama ada sebelum mahupun selepas merdeka. Menurut anak Syed Sheikh, Syed Alwi yang berusaha membetulkan kembali pandangan yang dikutip ramai orang daripada Za’ba yang menyatakan bahawa Syed Sheikh sebagai “anti-British”, adalah tidak benar.
Cerita Syed Alwi behawa bapanya sering menyatakan akan segala dan pelbagai-bagai keburukan raja, sultan-sultan Melayu, ulamak dan para pemimpin, tetapi tidak pernah menyebutkan tentang keburukan British. Kepada Syed Sheikh, Sultan-sultan Melayulah yang tidak pernah meminta daripada British peluang yang lebih untuk pendidikan anak negeri. Demikian, tak ada gunanya untuk menjadi seorang yang anti-British apabila kebanyakan orang Melayu masih menjadi penanam padi di desa-desa, “lebai”, “haji” dan guru-guru yang mengajar Quran juga masih terlalu miskin sehinga mengambil wang daripada anak murid sendiri untuk sara hidup.[19]
Daripada sudut itu, maka terlihatlah bahawa tujuan agamawan yang selamanya dikritik “Kaum Muda” tak lain adalah mahukan masyarakat untuk belajar agama bagi membolehkan mereka memperolehi pendapatan… bukan kerana keperluan memajukan masyarakat dengan keupayaan akal sendiri. Sikap Syed Sheikh dalam berhadapan dengan persoalan penjajahan dan Inggeris dikatakan sama seperti pendekatan dan sifat S.A. Khan yang berhadapan dengan pemerintah Inggeris di India.[20] Tak ada gunanya mencapai kemerdekaan kalau tidak dengan persiapan untuk mentadbir negeri dengan baik, dan adalah mustahak untuk soal-soal keadilan, keamanan dan kebebasan segera dituntut seperti yang diingatkan agama.
Pada titik ini, persamaan yang dapat segera kita buat adalah bagaimana soal keadilan dan demokrasi, misalnya, yang menjadi tombak perjuangan sejak September 1998 harap-harap bukan hanya untuk menggerakkan rakyat untuk menggantikan pemerintah, tetapi untuk benar-benar kembali manfaatnya kepada msa depan rakyat. Kesempatan yang diperoleh oleh “Kerajaan Reformasi” bukan kesempatan untuk pemimpin politik dan elit penguasa menukar telefon bimbit atau iPad setiap dua-tiga bulan, berganti kereta besar, berumah bukan main mewah dan melonggok kekayaan untuk diri dan anak-pinak sendiri. Hal berkenaan sesungguhnya tidak lebih baik daripada membida nombor plat kereta!
Apa yang dibimbangi sebagai punca lemban mahupun runtuhnya tamadun itu bisa sahaja terjadi andai persoalan asas pembaharuan dan matlamat-matlamatnya masih juga tidak terjawab. Cuba saya rungkai dengan pantun ini:
Bagaimana titi tidak patah,
Susun bata kayu tak rapat;
Bagaimana hati tidak gundah,
Lain dicita lain yang dapat.
Demi masa, zaman akan tetap bergerak. Namun semangat pembaharuan dengan pencerahan (akal) itu nampaknya tidak akan pernah mampu dimatikan oleh sesiapa jua.

*Tulisan ini merupakan bahan sisipan di dalam Forum Nusantara (Siri 5) anjuran Penang Institute (PI) dengan tajuk “Syed Syeikh bin Syed Ahmad Al-Hadi Pengasas Madrasah Pulau Pinang: Pusat Tumbuhnya Gerakan Pencerahan di Malaysia?” pada 16 Jun 2012, pukul 9 pagi di dewan Auditorium Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Prai (MPSP), Bandar Perda, Pulau Pinang.

[1]^ Tulisan asal adalah teks ucapan di Sekolah Politik, Institut Kajian Dasar (SP-IKD) pada 19 Mei 2012 (Sabtu) di Hotel Pusrawi, Kuala Lumpur. Boleh dicapai di

[2]^ Ibnu Khaldun, di dalam terjemahan daripada buku Arab Muqaddimah Ibnu Khaldun (Cetakan Pertama Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka [DBP], 1993). [ms: 175].

[3]^ Ibid, muka surat 524.

[4]^ Syed Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hady, “Ugama Islam dan ‘Akal” (Perchetakan Pustaka Dian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan). Buku ini tidak mempunyai tarikh tahun dicetak, tetapi dapat diduga dengan tarikh kata pendahuluan yang ditulis oleh [mantan] Mufti Kerajaan Terengganu, Syed Yusoff bin Ali Al-Zawawi pada 19 Oktober 1965, atau bersamaan 24 Jamadilakhir 1385.

[5]^Ibid, muka surat 21.

[6]^Immanuel Kant, terjemahan bahasa Melayu oleh Pauline Fan dengan tajuk “Apa Itu Pencerahan, Immanuel Kant” (Institut Kajian Dasar [IKD]), Kuala Lumpur, cetakan pertama 2006. [Muka Surat 16].

[7]^ Ibid, muka surat 23.

[8]^ Ibnu Rushd dalam “Makalah Penentu Tentang Hubungan Antara Syariah Dengan Falsafah” (“Kitab Fasl al-Maqal wa Taqrir ma biana al-Syariah wa al-Hikmah min al-Ittisal”) terjemahan Bahasa Melayu oleh Al-Mustaqeem Mahmod Radhi (diterbitkan oleh Middle-Eastern Graduates Centre (MEGC), Kuala Lumpur (2006). Muka surat 13.

[9]^ Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi, di dalam buku himpunan karangan Syed Sheikh yang dilakukan oleh anaknya Syed Alwi Al-Hady dengan disunting oleh Alijah Gordon yang “The Real Cry of Syed Shaykh al-Hady” (cetakkan petama, 1999) terbitan Malaysian Sociological Research Institute (MSRI), Kuala Lumpur. [Muka surat: 220] Saya mengekalkan tulisan yang telah dialih bahasa daripada Bahasa Melayu ke Bahasa Inggeris agar tidak nanti terjemahan kembali ke dalam bahasa Melayu akan bertentangan dari ada yang tidak tepat daripada penggunaan istilah daripada karangan asal.

[10]^ Ibid, [Muka surat: 202].

[11]^ Ibid, Linda Tan di dalam bab bertajuk “Syed Shaykh: His Life & Time” di bawah tajuk kecil “His Mission”. [Muka surat: 137].

[12]^ Ibid. Asalnya kritikan itu di dalam karangan yang bertajuk “Teriak Sa-benar” yang terbit di dalam al-Ikhwan pada Oktober 1926. [Muka surat: 138].

[13]^William R. Roff menyebutkan nama jolokan itu pernah diberikan kepada golongan “Kaum Muda” di dalam buku kajiannya yang bertajuk “The Origins of Malay Nationalism” yang asalnya diterbitkan oleh Yale Universiti Press, kemudian terjemahan dalam Bahasa Melayu oleh Ahmad Boestamam dengan tajuk “Nasionalisme Melayu”, diterbitkan oleh Penerbit Universiti Malaya dan cetakan ketiga pada 2004. [Muka surat: 65].

[14]^  Ibid [Muka surat: 65].

[15]^Ibid, [Muka surat: 82]. Dinyatakan juga di dalam nota kaki oleh William R. Roff bahawa di dalam Ceraian 10 daripada Muhammadan Laws Enactment (1904), undang-undang serupa juga wujud di Perak dan Negeri Sembilan pada tahun yang sama.

[16]^ Ibid, di bawah tajuk kecil, “Golongan Elit Tradisional dan Badan-badan Keagamaan”. [Muka surat: 71].

[17]^ Muhammad Natsir di dalam buku berbentuk memoirnya yang berjudul “Muhammad Natsir: 70 Tahun Kenang-kenang Kehidupan dan Perjuangan” terbitan Pustaka Antara, Jakarta. Penyataan Muhammad Natsir itu dipetik daripada bab “Pendidikan dan Pengjaran jadi pilihan”. [Muka surat: 23]. Sepertimana juga Al-Imam dan Ak-Ikhwan yang diusahakan Syed Sheikh, Pembela Islam dikatakan telah menerima pengaruh besar daripada Al-Manar oleh Rashid Reda di Mesir.

[18]^ Ibid, di dalam bab “Mengungkapkan Islam Sebagai Ideologi”. [Muka surat 47].

[19]^ Ibid, cerita berkenaan dapat diikuti di bawah bad “Through The Prism of A Child’s Eyes” oleh Syed Alwi Al-Hadi di dalam buku yang disunting oleh Alijah Gordon. [Muka surat: 92]

[20]^ Ibrahim bin Abu Bakar di dalam buku “Islamic Modernism in Malaya: The Life Anda Thought of Sayid Syeikh Al-Hadi 1867-1934”, terbitan Percetakan Universiti Malaya (Cetakkan pertama 1994). [Muka surat  155]

UMNO is incapable of change unless it is sent to the Opposition benches in the 13GE

The recently concluded and highly-choreographed 66th UMNO General Assembly has only served to underline one inescapable fact of Malaysian political life – that UMNO is incapable of change unless it is sent to the Opposition benches in the 13th General Elections.

Malaysian voters will do UMNO and the country a great national service by dispatching UMNO to the Opposition benches for they will not only be creating the necessary conditions before any “transformation” can be effected in UMNO, but also laying a firmer and more solid basis for greater maturity of the parliamentary democratic process by institutionalizing the two-coalition system and the peaceful alternation and transition of power through the democratic process.

Without these “building blocks”, Malaysia cannot even talk about wanting to be the “world’s best democracy” as had been claimed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In his Umno presidential address, Najib said:

“This election will shape the Malaysia of tomorrow to be inherited by our children. It will be a toss between a developed Malaysia based on shared values and goals or a backward Malaysia separated by invisible barriers compounded with suspicion and prejudice.”

Najib is right in the first sentence but wrong in the second when he implied that Malaysian voters in the next general elections must support UMNO/Barisan Nasional.

The question all Malaysians must be asking is what credentials and legitimacy have UMNO/BN to appeal for Malaysian support to promote “shared values and goals” when there are no “shared values and goals” in BN, with UMNO and MCA for instance openly inciting hatred and conflict with diametrically contradictory messages – UMNO telling the Malays that a vote for DAP is a vote for the oppression of the Malays while MCA warning the Chinese that a vote for the DAP is a vote for the oppression of the Chinese!

The Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP do not hide our ideological differences whether on the question of Islamic state or hudud laws, but we are committed to put our differences aside and promote the PR Common Policy Framework to uphold the fundamental features of the Malaysian constitution, foster greater national unity, restore democracy and justice, and ensure good governance.

Pakatan Rakyat is also bound by the principle that there must be consensus among the three PR component parties before there could be any change in any agreed PR policy.

It is taboo for Pakatan Rakyat parties to campaign in the dishonest and unprincipled fashion like what UMNO and MCA are doing – UMNO blatantly lying that a vote for DAP is a vote for the oppression of the Malays while MCA shamelessly lying that a vote for the DAP is a vote for the oppression of the Chinese.

The lasting impression of the 66th UMNO General Assembly is not UMNO Wanita Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil’s raising of the “May 13” spectre; the subtle but irresponsible talk by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin about “chaos” if UMNO is defeated by PR; Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob’s promise to cut off his ears if MCA loses Bentong to DAP or the claim by a Penang UMNO delegate that UMNO is “the party chosen by God”.

The dubious honour must go to Najib for providing the categorical testimony that he is incapable of implementing the whole raft of his “transformation” promises, starting with his 1Malaysia signature policy and slogan, and explaining why neither Najib nor any UMNO delegate said a word about the No. 1 problem in the country – the problem of corruption and cronyism which is even worse today under Najib than under the previous Prime Ministers as well as when compared to other countries, whether in ASEAN, Asia-Pacific or Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) which are chalking up progress in their anti-corruption efforts in recent years.

If UMNO is really to change and transform, it needs a spell in the Opposition!

What has Umno achieved?

By Martin Jalleh

Damages for ex-ISA detainee reduced

The Star 

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that Badrul Zaman P.S. Mohamed was wrongfully detained under the Internal Security Act but reduced the damages awarded to him from RM3.3mil to RM300,000.

A panel of three judges unanimously dismissed the appeal by the Government and two others against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision on liability and upheld that Badrul Zaman’s detention was unlawful.

“However, we are allowing the appeal against the quantum,” said Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad who chaired the panel.

“The High Court’s decision on the quantum is set aside and substituted with an award of RM300,000,” said Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy who sat with Justices Abdul Wahab Patail and Mohamad Ariff Mohd Yusof.

The panel also awarded costs of RM15,000 to Badrul Zaman.

Upon hearing the decision, Badrul Zaman stood up and thanked the judges.

Badrul Zaman was detained for two years from 1991 for his alleged involvement in issuing fake permits and passports to foreign workers.

His detention order was then extended for another two years from Sept 14, 1993.

He was released in 1994 after the Penang High Court allowed his habeas corpus application on grounds the extended detention was unlawful and unconstitutional since it had not complied with the provisions of the ISA.

Badrul Zaman then sued the Kamunting Detention Centre superintendent, deputy home minister and the Government for wrongful detention.

His counsel M. Manoharan said the court had allowed 8% annual interest on the damages, from the date the action was filed on Nov 30, 1994 until yesterday.

“With the interest, the awarded sum should come up to more than RM800,000,” Manoharan told reporters after the proceedings.

A former ISA detainee himself, he added they would appeal to the Federal Court on the quantum.

Najib Says Malaysia Well On Its Way To Developing Clean Technology

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is well on its way to developing clean technology as part of its global commitment to protect the environment, as well as, take measures to ensure such a move contribute to the nation's social and economic development.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia was working hard to meet the country's carbon-reduction commitment - a 40 per cent cut in emission intensity by 2020, from 2005 levels.

"We aim to meet this goal through a variety of measures, all of which increase growth, create new industries and jobs, and boost prosperity," he said in his 1Malaysia blog.

Najib said Malaysia was a major producer of clean energy products such as solar panels and efficient LED lighting, and have also introduced a feed-in tariff to boost the country's domestic uptake of renewable energy and broaden the energy mix.

"We seek to grow and diversify these sectors, so we can lead the low carbon economy of the future," he added.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister said, Malaysia was also investing billions of dollars in clean energy infrastructure such as Iskandar Malaysia, a new eco-city of three million people just across the water from Singapore.

"Plans are also afoot to build a South-East Asian high-speed rail network, initially connecting Kuala Lumpur with Singapore, but eventually reaching China," he added.

He also said Malaysia would soon become a major exporter of rare earth elements, a key ingredient of clean technology products such as hybrid cars and wind turbines, with a new plant producing some 20 per cent of the global supply.

"This single factory will contribute 1 per cent to Malaysia's GDP - underscoring the economic rationale of leading the clean economy," he said.

On the need of Asian countries to address climate change, he said, it was time for Asia to be part of the solution since Asia has been forecast to produce 40 per cent of the world's energy-related greenhouse gasses by end of the decade.

Although western nations have brought the world to the climate precipice, but Asia must not push it over the edge, he stressed.

"As Asia rises, so must its climate commitment. At the current UN climate conference in Doha, Asian leaders must argue for strong and effective action on climate change. And we must be prepared to play our part in reducing emission. Our future development demands it," he said.

Najib said the consequences of inaction will increase the risks to our people, our cities and our economies, and "doing nothing is no longer an option."