I refer to the letter For Anwar, Fairus betrayed Penanti voters.
I believe the writer is a BN supporter trying to distort facts.
The reason why PKR decided to take such evasive action is because they had learned a bitter lesson when two Pakatan Rakyat assembly persons in Perak were hit by a sting operation created by BN and they subsequently charged with corruption by the then ACA.
Using the corruption charges, the two were then blackmailed into jumping ship across to BN causing the Perak Pakatan government to fall.
You will notice that since these two ‘frogs’ joined BN, their corruption case has been in like some kind of suspended animation and I don’t think they will be charged at all unless they cause trouble for the BN government in Perak.
The same could have happened to Fairus Khairuddin if he had not resigned from his seat.
They would have charged him on some trumped up charges and blackmailed him to jump ship, thereby weakening Pakatan’s government in Penang.
Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan were merely taking preventive measures to avoid another episode like the one that happened in Perak.
After Fairus quit, the MACC then came out with a statement that there was nothing concrete to charge Fairus with in relation to the quarry affair.
If he had not quit, it is anyone’s guess if the charge would have been dropped at all.
PKR should give Mansor Othman’s senate seat to Fairus since he has now been cleared by the MACC and he did the noble thing of resigning and is still faithful to PKR despite all the dirt thrown at him.
As for comparing Elizabeth Wong’s case with Fairus’ the writer is merely harping on what BN and Mohd Khir Toyo have been harping about – that she is guilty of misconduct as an elected representative.
If somebody peeped into you bathroom and took photos of you bathing and circulated it on the Internet for political reasons, is it the fault of the person in the photo or the person who distributed the photos.
BN people seem to have a warped sense of justice. We are all wondering why the police who know where the culprit is have not extradited him back to Malaysia to face charges.
The World Health Organisation has warned that “all of humanity is under threat” from a potential swine flu pandemic and called for “global solidarity” to combat the virus.
The plea came as the WHO raised the swine flu threat awareness level to 5 out of 6, indicating that the world is on the brink of a pandemic.
Holland and Switzerland both confirmed their first cases of swine flu on Thursday, bringing the total number of countries affected around the world to 11.
There have been 93 confirmed cases in the US, 19 in Canada, 13 in New Zealand, five in Britain, four in Germany, 10 in Spain, two in Israel, and one in Austria.
The US has confirmed the first death outside of Mexico on Wednesday, while a further “probable” case of swine flu has emerged in Glasgow, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond told MSPs today. The new case is someone with travel links to an affected area, but he also disclosed that Iain and Dawn Askham – the first confirmed cases of the disease – had now been released from Monklands Hospital in Lanarkshire, where they had been receiving treatment in an isolation ward.
Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO director-general, urged all countries to activate their pandemic plans as she made the announcement on Wednesday night.
Phase 5 indicates that there is evidence of the virus being spread from human-to-human in at least two countries in one WHO region. Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterised by increased and sustained transmission in the general population.
Dr Chan said that the world was better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.
However, she warned that the threat “must be taken seriously” due to the ability of the swine flu swine flu virus to spread rapidly across the world.
Dr Chan said that raising the phase of alert was a signal to governments, health officials and the pharmaceutical industry to take urgent action in readiness to tackle a pandemic.
Speaking at a conference in Geneva, Dr Chan said: “Above all this is an opportunity for global solidarity as we look for responses and solutions that benefit all countries, all of humanity.
“After all it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.
“The international community should treat this as a window of opportunity to ramp up preparedness and response.
“Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously, precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world.
“For the first time in history we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real time. Influenza viruses are notorious for their rapid mutation and unpredictable behaviour.
“All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans. Countries should remain on high alert for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.”
She added: “Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5.
“This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions now should be undertaken with increased urgency and at an accelerated pace.”
The announcement came on the same day that the Prime Minister Gordon Brown disclosed that there are now five confirmed cases of swine flu in Britain.
Among them is a 12-year-old girl from Devon, who recently flew back to Britain on the same flight as the first two people who tested positive for the virus – Scottish couple Dawn and Iain Askham.
The news prompted the closure of the girl’s secondary school in Paignton, Devon, and 200 pupils there have been prescribed the antiviral drug Tamiflu.
In response to the WHO’s alert, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, the Government’s Chief Medical Adviser, said that Britain was well prepared for a pandemic.
Sir Liam said: “Phase five indicates that WHO considers a global pandemic to be imminent, whereas at phase four a global pandemic is not inevitable.
“A change to phase five is a signal to countries’ governments to ramp up their pandemic preparations – which we are already doing.
“We have been planning for a situation like this for some years. The preparations we have in place and are continuing to make will help to ensure we respond well in the event of a pandemic.
“If you have returned from an affected area and have flu like symptoms stay at home, call your GP or NHS Direct and you will be assessed and receive treatment if necessary.”
The UK will see “many more cases” of swine flu as the virus spreads but most people will make a good recovery, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer said today.
He told BBC Breakfast on Thursday : “Most people who get flu, even a new strain of flu, will make a good recovery. It’s a nasty illness but it’s short and they will recover.
“To put things in proportion, in any flu, even the seasonal flu, there are some deaths, often of elderly people and the very frail.
“What we will see is many more cases, but on the whole most people make a good recovery from flu.”
But bacteriology expert Professor Hugh Pennington, of the University of Aberdeen, said the WHO may have raised the level to five slightly prematurely to keep everybody as alert as possible.
He said: “A five is where there’s good evidence of transmission outside of one country and we’re a little bit short of that.
“I suspect they just want to keep everybody on their toes.
“They are only one short of a pandemic but there has got to be very good evidence of transmission outside of where the virus started for it to be a pandemic.
“There are various definitions of a pandemic but the consensus view would be worldwide spread affecting all ages.”
He added that if swine flu does reach pandemic levels the scenario might not be as bad as people expect.
He said: “We’ve been thinking of pandemic as shock, horror, millions of people will die.
“Of course it may not be quite as bad as that. It may still be a pandemic with an ordinary flu virus that affects a lot of people and will still unfortunately kill people that are in the high risk groups.”
He said it could take four or five months to develop a vaccine against the virus.
The WHO’s Dr Chan explained that the decision to raise the awareness level from 4 to 5 was taken because evidence had emerged of human-to-human transmission in Mexico and the US, which are in the same WHO region.
Evidence of human-to-human transmission has also been seen in Spain.
With an elevated pandemic alert level, WHO might also issue travel advisories, warning against non-essential travel to regions battling outbreaks, trade restrictions, the cancellation of public events or border closures.
An eight-year-old girl from Saudi Arabia has been granted a divorce from her 50-year-old husband.
The case has prompted the kingdom to re-evaluate its conservative attitudes to marriage. has prompted the kingdom to re-evaluate its conservative attitudes to marriage.
The girl’s marriage was arranged by her father and backed twice by a judge on the condition that it was not consummated until she reached puberty.
Her mother, who is separated from the father, objected to the arrangement and twice sought a divorce on her daughter’s behalf. It was refused both times by the judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, after the girl’s husband refused to agree.
The judge did say that when the girl reached puberty she could herself seek a divorce.
The case was widely publicised and prompted heated debate in the country, which is currently giving more rights to women than have previously been granted. It was also condemned by human rights groups abroad.
King Abdullah, seen as a reformist, appointed the first ever woman deputy minister earlier this year.
One of his advisers, Mohsen al-Obaikan, an Islamic scholar, went public to demand that a legal age for marriage be set at 18. The justice ministry said it was considering reforming the law, which until now has given no minimum.
The justice minister said he wanted to end the “arbitrary” control of marriages by girl’s fathers.
However, the country’s highest religious authority, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Shaikh, said that marrying girls even under the age of 15 was not against Sharia – Islamic law which forms the basis of the Saudi legal system.
The Saudi Gazette reported that the marriage of the eight-year-old, who has never been named, was annulled in a private out-of-court settlement between the two families in the city of Onaiza.
Most such marriages are arranged by families in return for money. In this case, the father was said to need to pay off a personal debt to the husband, a friend.
The girl herself has been living with her mother, and was never told that she was married, or of the international controversy her case had provoked.
Earlier, Anne Veneman, director of Unicef, said: “Unicef joins many in voicing concern that child marriage contravenes accepted international standards of human rights.”
SUARA Keadilan mendapat email daripada pembaca mendakwa bahawa bekas Menteri Besar
Selangor Khir Toyo membina sebuah rumah mewah baru bernilai RM15 juta.
Lokasi rumah tersebut dikatakan terletak di Jalan Suasa, Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor.
Pembaca berkenaan juga menyertakan bersama gambar-gambar rumah tersebut. Kami memerlukan maklum balas dari anda pembaca budiman untuk mengesahkan berita dan gambar yang disertakan atau sebarang komen mengenainya. Hantarkan kepada firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Malaysian Insider
APRIL 30 — If there is one thing that demonstrates that we are probably just a bunch of people who happen to live on the same land, it is the issue of religious conversion. This is the one thing that shows, starkly, why we still have some distance to go before we can safely say that we are one united nation.
Last week, five ministers sat down and came up with the policy that a child is to be raised in the faith of the parents when they were married even if one spouse then decides to become a Muslim. It was a decision that was greeted warmly by the non-Muslims, as well as the odd Muslim or two. But for seemingly the majority of Muslims, it was not received very well.
Firstly, let’s consider the reason why this policy even needed to be made and announced. The core is that there has been a slew of cases where a marriage broke down and one of the spouses converted into Islam. And in what feels a bit like a “package deal” the saudara/i baru then converts the children into Islam too. Usually, well … obviously, without the consent of the other parent.
The cases are numerous, more numerous than most people think, and invariably they involve Indian families. Why that is so, I’d imagine that the sociologists could tell us eventually.
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, the lawyer who is probably one of the most prominent persons involved in these sort of stuff, was quick to laud the decision though he expressed reservations as to how the policy would actually translate into practice.
He also wrote that in his opinion, the policy seems to adhere to the Constitution, where the word “parent” is also to be understood to mean “parents”.
Why was that pertinent? Because Zulkifli Noordin (and it had to be him, didn’t it?), among others, objected to the policy, stating that there was already precedent in this matter, citing the case of R. Subashini where the court decided that under Article 12 (4) of the Constitution, any one of the parent or legal guardian is allowed to decide on the faith of the child(ren).
At that point, we start to slide down the slippery slope of logical fallacy and vacuous reasoning.
I say that because, well, let’s examine the protests made by those who object to the policy.
Zulkifli argues that the matter is resolved in spite of the policy because the court asserted that one of the parents can decide which faith the child is to be in. What Zulkifli did not say, but seemed to imply, is that the one parent is to obviously be the Muslim parent. What Zulkifli did not say, but seemed to imply, is that the moment one of the parents converts into Islam, that parent is automatically elevated in status and therefore has the upper hand.
But then, Zulkifli has also always believed that converting a child into Islam is not really conversion but more of a reversion. Because he believes that every child that has not reached puberty is considered Muslim under certain interpretations of Syaria law. This, of course, might be rather shocking news to the parents of the children, but try telling that to Zulkifli.
Similarly, the Muslim coalition of NGOs calling itself Pembela protests the policy where one of the members, Yusri Mohamad, said: “In Article 12 section 4 of the Constitution, the faith of a child who is not yet an adult is determined by the parents. The courts have interpreted that the parents have the right to decide regardless if they are the husband or wife.”
Pembela’s argument was that the policy would deny the parent who converted his or her right and responsibility over the future of the children, saying that it would not be fair to those who want to convert into Islam.
What is not said, but seemingly implied, is that as long as one of the parents is a Muslim, then he or she can convert the children, even if the other one disagrees. Because as a Muslim, the parent has a responsibility to raise the children to be faithful and good Muslims.
To make clear why this reasoning breaks down, let’s flip it the other way. Say that the other parent who has not converted decides that the children should be in the religion of the unconverted parent, how is the “right to decide” not applied to the parent?
Or, let’s say that the other parent who has not converted then decides to convert from, for example, Hinduism to Catholicism, just as his or her erstwhile partner converts into Islam. How is the “right to decide” not applied to the now Catholic parent?
If denying the right of the converted Muslim parent to raise the children in his or her faith is unfair, how is it fair to deny the unconverted parent the right to raise the children in her or his faith?
Wait, you know what, I’m going to stop beating about the bush and get straight to the point. The basic foundation of the protests by the Muslim groups is that Islam is the one true religion, the faith of the one true God, the Absolute Truth and that every other religion on the face of the earth is false. False deities, false faiths, false, false, false. As such, certain rights are inalienable to the Muslims, and absolutely alienated from the non-Muslims.
And this reasoning scares the pants out of some non-Muslims in Malaysia, and pisses off a lot of the others. In some cases, achieving both at the same time.
I write this as a Malay, ergo a Muslim. I write this as a Muslim who looks on uncomfortably at all the custody battles and conversion arguments. I write this as a Muslim who finds it hard to accept that it’s okay to assume primacy over others, simply because their beliefs are considered false … rendering them as less than worthy of the same consideration as Muslims.
Islam is a religion of justice, fairness, equality and compassion. It’s well past time that we prove it, isn’t it? And stop scaring the pants out of, and pissing off, our fellow Malaysian brothers and sisters. They will all end up going to hell, of course, but you never know, you might end up joining them.
Sebelum Perang Dunia Kedua, di bawah jajahan Inggeris, akhbar tidak juga bebas. Namun begitu, ia masih ada ruang besar untuk membicarakan banyak isu, khususnya mengenai Islam dan hal ehwal agama Islam serta juga soal kemerdekaan. Sememangnya pihak berkuasa penjajah mengambil perhatian terhadap apa yang dinyatakan oleh akhbar-akhbar, termasuk akhbar Melayu.
Secara umum, penjajah akan mengambil berat jika sesebuah akhbar itu menghasut dengan mengajak orang ramai bangkit menentang penjajah dengan menggunakan senjata. Tetapi kalau sekadar memperjuangkan nasib bangsa dan menentang ketidakadilan, bagi penjajah Inggeris itu tidak menjadi masalah. Secara umumnya,akhbar dalam zaman penjajah Inggeris adalah lebih bebas daripada masa sekarang. Untuk mengukur secara tepat, maka wajar dibuat penyelidikan sejarah.
Bagaimanapun kongkongan yang dikenakan oleh pihak berkuasa Inggeris adalah juga tidak patut. Mengapakah Britain yang mengamalkan demokrasi dan kebebasan akhbar di negara sendiri telah menafikan hak yang sama di tanah-tanah jajahan? Walau bagaimanapun, layanannya terhadap akhbar Melayu, Inggeris dan Cina adalah juga berbeza-beza.
Kajian sejarah akan membolehkan seseorang membuat penilaian akhbar mana di antara ketiga-tiga itu yang paling dikongkong. Tetapi akhbar bahasa Inggeris yang diterbitkan oleh orang Inggeris sendiri seperti The Straits Times, The Straits Echo dan The Malay Mail turut dikongkong. Andai kata mereka mengkritik dasar-dasar pihak berkuasa penjajah, maka pasti mereka ditegur.
Hakikatnya ialah dasar mengawal kebebasan akhbar adalah sebahagian daripada fahaman imperialisme yang bercanggah dengan demokrasi dan hak asasi manusia. Di Tanah Melayu pada zaman penjajah, kongkongan di negeri-negeri Melayu adalah lebih ketat daripada di negeri-negeri Selat.
Di negeri-negeri Melayu termasuk Negeri-negeri Melayu Bersekutu (FMS) dan Negeri-negeri Melayu Tidak Bersekutu (UFMS), sebarang komen mengenai Melayu lebih-lebih lagi kaitannya dengan Raja-raja Melayu, adat istiadat Melayu dan apatah lagi mengenai agama Islam amat dikongkong.
Walaupun di bawah penjajahan Inggeris tetapi pihak berkuasa Inggeris mengiktiraf kedaulatan Raja-Raja Melayu dan penguasaannya terhadap agama Islam. Maka jika terdapat penerbitan Melayu yang kritikal terhadap soal bangsa dan agama, maka mereka pasti dikenakan tindakan. Soal politik pastinya dipandang dengan penuh curiga.
Justeru, penerbit-penerbit berasa bebas untuk menerbitkan akhbar-akhbar di negeri-negeri Selat khususnya Singapura dan Pulau Pinang. Maka tidak hairanlah Utusan Melayu yang mula diterbitkan pada tahun 1930-an memilih Singapura sebagai tempatnya. Tetapi bukan saja aktiviti penerbitan yang lebih bebas di negeri-negeri Selat, aktiviti lain seperti penubuhan persatuan lebih bebas di Singapura. Maka tidak hairanlah persatuan Melayu pertama yang ditubuhkan ialah di Singapura iaitu Persatuan Melayu Singapura.
Kawalan tambah ketat
Semasa pemerintahan Jepun, pengawalan akhbar bertambah ketat dan teruk tetapi wartawan Melayu tetap bekerja di bawah Jepun itu. Mereka cuba berusaha mengambil ruang-ruang yang ada untuk memperjuangkan kepentingan bangsa, agama dan negara. Kisah ini jelas dipaparkan oleh Samad Ismail dalam novelnya Patah Sayap Terbang Jua.
Selepas Jepun menyerah, akhbar mengecapi lebih kebebasan, pada awalnya lebih luas lagi kerana pihak berkuasa penjajah belum masuk mengawal. Pada masa ini Pentadbiran Tentera British (BMA) belum benar-benar menunjukkan taringnya. Maka sesiapapun boleh menerbitkan akhbar sendiri.
Kisah ini dipaparkan oleh Ahmad Boestamam dalam bukunya Merintis Jalan Ke Puncak yang menceritakan bagaimana beliau menerbitkan akhbar Suara Rakyat dan Voice of the People di Taiping dengan mengkritik pihak penjajah secara bebas. Hanya kemudian BMA meminta akhbar itu memohon maaf setiap hari tetapi tidak menganggu tulisan yang tersiar.
Namun begitu, kawalan yang ada oleh pihak penjajah tidaklah seketat berbanding zaman merdeka. Itu ironinya. Akhbar lebih merdeka sebelum merdeka daripada selepas merdeka. Utusan Melayu bebas melaporkan apa saja. Selain itu terdapat juga akhbar Melayu lain yang bebas iaitu Warta Malaya.
Keadaan berubah selepas merdeka. Utusan Melayu dibeli oleh Umno dan bermulalah kawalan terhadap akhbar itu. Walaupun keberatan, Yusof Ishak, pemiliknya terpaksa tunduk kepada kehendak penguasa politik ketika itu iaitu Tunku Abdul Rahman. Wartawannya membantah dipimpin oleh pengarangnya Said Zahari. Tetapi mereka tidak berkuasa dan sejak itu Utusan Melayu dikawal oleh Umno.
Kongkongan terhadap Utusan Melayu berlaku selepas ia berhijrah ke Kuala Lumpur. Maknanya di Singapura, ia lebih bebas. Tetapi kemudian walaupun Yusof Ishak menjadi Presiden Singapura, akhbar Utusan Melayu diharamkan masuk ke Singapura. Ini ekoran laporannya yang dikatakan sebagai menghasut rusuhan kaum di Singapura. Maka zaman penjajah lebih memberi kebebasan daripada era Tunku Abdul Rahman dan Lee Kuan Yew.
Akhbar mulanya lebih bebas
Bagaimanapun ketika pilihan raya tahun 1964, terdapat tiga akhbar Melayu yang utama iaitu Utusan Melayu, Berita Harian dan Warta Negara. Keadaan masa itu, walaupun berdepan dengan konfrontasi dari Indonesia, suasana akhbar adalah lebih bebas daripada hari ini.
Sememangnya Utusan Melayu dan Berita Harian cenderung menyokong Perikatan yang memerintah. Tetapi Warta Negara yang teredar luas di bahagian utara Semenanjung memberi liputan yang saksama kepada PAS. Selepas pilihan raya, Warta Negara dibeli oleh Utusan Melayu.
Bertambah maju negara ini, bertambah terkongkong akhbarnya. Elit politik negara pimpinan Umno tidak menghormati atau menghargai kepentingan kebebasan akhbar. Akhirnya polisi ini memakan tuan.
Setelah generasi bergenerasi, rakyat hilang keyakinan terhadap akhbar arus perdana. Pada asalnya kongkongan akhbar bertujuan untuk mengukuhkan kuasa, tetapi akhirnya apabila kekuasaan itu tidak berasaskan pada kejujuran, maka keyakinan seseorang kepada penguasa terjejas, sekali dengan akhbar kongkongannya.
Kebenaran sendiri tidak boleh dikongkong. Kalau di zaman Kersatuan Soviet dahulu, ada dua akhbar utama yang dikongkong iaitu Pravda yang bermakna kebenaran dan Izvestia bermaksud berita, maka di Malaysia ada Utusan Malaysia dan ada Berita Harian. Hakikatnya tidak ada kebenaran dalam Pravda, dan juga tidak ada berita dalam Izvestia. Orang lebih mempercayai Samizdat, lembaran gelap pada zaman Soviet.
Di Malaysia orang lebih percaya surat layang pada tahun 70-an. Ini diikuti dengan kaset pada tahun 80-an, dan kemudian laman web pada tahun 90-an dan blog pada tahun 2000-an. Kebenaran akan mencari jalan sendiri dan akhirya Parti Komunis Kesatuan Soviet tumbang dengan Kesatuan Soviet juga tamat tempohnya. Kini akhbar bebas di sana.
Begitu juga di Indonesia. Akhirnya rejim Suharto tumbang dan kini akhbar bebas di sana. Lihatlah dalam sejarah. Penjajah Inggeris yang menguasai akhbar akhirnya tumbang. Begitu juga dengan penjajah Jepun. Begitu juga dengan parti komunis Soviet. Begitu juga dengan Suharto.
Siapa mengawal akhbar akhirnya akan tumbang. Ini adalah satu ingatan kepada Parti Komunis China dan kerajaan PAP di Singapura. Terhadap Malaysia, fikirlah sendiri. Ingatan ini bukan saja ditujukan kepada kerajaan Barisan Nasional tetapi juga Pakatan Rakyat._
The Malaysian Insider
APRIL 30 — Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir will begin May by trying to sack Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar and auction off 15 Toyota Camrys bought by the toppled Pakatan Rakyat state government.
All this while Zambry has yet to get the courts to confirm whether his appointment as Perak mentri besar is legal notwithstanding the royal endorsement in early February when Barisan Nasional grabbed the state from Pakatan Rakyat.
While sacking Sivakumar is politically expedient to seal his status within the state assembly, which by his count must meet by May 13, putting the Camrys under the auctioneer’s hammer smacks of haste ahead of any court verdict.
By moving in a hurry, either the Pangkor assemblyman is prescient or is absolutely convinced that despite the weight of legal opinion and precedents in Malaysia and the Commonwealth, any empanelled court will decide in his favour.
Such confidence is good although it is best spent on getting the Perak Ruler to agree to fresh state elections and cut through the Gordian knot that has tied up the state in a constitutional crisis and political impasse.
Also, pushing off the perfectly-serviceable and three-month-old Toyota Camrys, all registered on Jan 9 just weeks before the putsch, makes no sense. Especially if Zambry says he is doing this as a matter of national pride to drive a Proton car.
Aliran president P. Ramakrishnan called the auction “foolish and puerile” but pointedly asked what national pride is Zambry talking about, saying he can only claim that if he had the legitimate mandate from the Perak electorate.
“He cannot talk about pride and dignity after toppling the rightful government through the help of corrupt politicians and unsavoury characters,” Ramakrishnan said in a statement this week.
Ramakrishnan castigated Zambry for talking about national pride when he had kept quiet about Terengganu’s decision to buy Mercedes Benz to replace their Proton Perdanas that were said to experience problems.
“The hypocrisy displayed in the car episode is nauseating. It will rankle and smoulder for eternity until this injustice is rectified. Rest assured that Perakians will long remember this hypocrisy and they will punish Umno without fail. The rallying cry for the next general election will be, “Remember Perak — Remember the injustice!” Ramakrishnan added.
While Zambry is in a hurry to get rid of the last vestiges of Pakatan Rakyat rule, his attention must surely be on administering the state for the remainder of just four years before the next general elections, unless state elections are called.
In an earlier interview with The Malaysian Insider, he said he cannot afford mistakes as it will be picked upon immediately.
“That is why I am trying to be very objective in carrying out my responsibility and the most important thing is to deliver,” he added.
Wise words. Deliver. Not the Toyota Camrys but the promises made once legally ratified as the mentri besar.
PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is back as the face of the party in a reshuffle to assert itself as a dominant voice in the Pakatan Rakyat, where it leads with 31 MPs.
PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday tasked his wife, who quit as MP in favour of him last year, to be the party spokesperson on issues emerging in the media. The move is also seen as putting her as his successor if he is convicted of a fresh sodomy charge.
PKR insiders alluded the latest reshuffle is to strengthen the party leadership and bleed in new faces for the next echelon of leaders as the Permatang Pauh MP faces the charge brought by former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan. “With the current political climate there is no telling what will happen next.” said PKR Kapar MP S Manikavasagam. He said Wan Azizah has led PKR for over a decade and has emerged as a leader in her own right who draws crowds just like her husband.
Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution said Wan Azizah had never stopped carrying out her functions as PKR president but was out of the media spotlight when Anwar returned to parliament as the opposition leader. Other party insiders said the latest move came as PKR has not played its role as the dominant opposition party despite having the most number of MPs in the Pakatan Rakyat.
“Unlike DAP or PAS there is virtually no statements on Government policy from PKR and the move by Anwar to get Wan Azizah to step up to the plate is both timely and necessary,” one told The Malaysian Insider. Since coming together as an electoral pact, senior PKR leaders have fallen behind their Pakatan counterparts such as DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and his son, party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who issue statements on policies every other day.
Party insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity pointed out that Wan Azizah has been out of the public spotlight ever since she made way for Anwar to win the Permatang Pauh by-election. She has been comfortable with handing over the running of PKR to Anwar, they said. However PKR is now amending its constitution to enable grassroots supporters to have more say in the party and Wan Azizah in the forefront of implementing and explaining these changes.
Among changes are the appointments of more vice-presidents to represent various pressure groups while allowing members to elect leaders at the central level.
– KENYATAAN MEDIA UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA –
28 April 2009
(Permatang Pauh, Pulau Pinang) Sesudahnya tsunami politik Mac 2008, rakyat Malaysia kembali ke peti undi sebanyak lima kali. Empat darinya kita menyaksikan rakyat Malaysia memilih Pakatan Rakyat, yang kelimanya walaupun dicemari politik wang dan penipuan, menunjukkan betapa rakyat begitu mengidamkan perubahan dan politik baru di negara ini.
Mesejnya jelas. Rakyat Malaysia mahukan perubahan dan menidakkan pemerintahan BN yang dikuasai Umno. Mereka mendakap perjuangan Pakatan Rakyat yang mahukan rakyat bersatu padu dan berusaha membasmi rasuah serta memastikan tidak ada lagi kaum yang dipinggirkan, baik Melayu mahupun kaum bumiputera Sarawak dan Sabah.
Oleh itu saya dengan sukacitanya ingin mengumumkan calon KEADILAN bagi kawasan Penanti pada pilihanraya 31 Mei ini ialah En. Mansor bin Othman. Beliau merupakan Ketua Bahagian KEADILAN Balik Pulau dan Timbalan Pengerusi Perhubungan Negeri KEADILAN Pulau Pinang. Beliau juga telah berkhidmat selama 10 tahun sebagai Ahli Majlis Pimpinan Tertinggi Parti Keadilan Rakyat dan Timbalan Pengarah Pilihanraya Pusat KEADILAN. En. Mansor Othman juga telah berkhidmat dengan saya yang pada ketika itu merupakan Timbalan Perdana Menteri sebagai Setiausaha Politik dari tahun 1996-1998.
Beliau telah mencurahkan tenaga demi membawa pembangunan ke Pulau Pinang dan saya yakin beliau bersedia untuk berkhidmat untuk penduduk Penanti sepenuh jiwa dan raga.
En. Mansor merupakan pemegang ijazah sarjana dari Universiti Sains Malaysia dan sarjana falsafah serta sarjana sastera dari Universiti Yale. Beliau merupakan Profesor Madya di USM dan Pengarah Pusat Kajian Dasar. Beliau secara aktif berusaha meningkatkan taraf pendidikan dan program belia di Pulau Pinang dengan penglibatan sebagai ahli Jawatankuasa Pendidikan Masyarakat dan Jawatankuasa Program Pembangunan Belia. Sebagai exco PEMADAM, beliau bekerja keras meningkatkan kesedaran awam berhubung penyalahgunaan serta langkah-langkah pencegahan dari terlibat dengan dadah.
Melalui program TEKUN di mana beliau sebagai Pengurus Besar, En. Mansor Othman terlibat secara aktif dalam pembangunan usahawan bumiputera, bertujuan meningkatkan kemahiran usahawan kecil dan sederhana serta membiayai usaha mereka dengan pemberian kredit mikro.
Saya merakamkan ucapan penghargaan kepada YAB Ketua Menteri Lim Guan Eng kerana sudi bersama kita malam ini dan membuktikan kepada semua keteguhan kerjasama Pakatan Rakyat. Parti Keadilan Rakyat yakin DAP dan PAS pasti bersama-sama di dalam pihanraya kecil ini bagi memastikan kemenangan Pakatan Rakyat.
The Special Branch wanted to know how much of these tactics were being used to enable Anwar to communicate with the outside world and thereby organise his Reformasi Movement and other political activities from behind the high walls of the Sungai Buloh Prison.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I was made to sit for an IQ test. I just enjoyed these tests because I had already done many before that. You see, my parents subscribed me to the Junior Readers Digest and every month, whenever I received my copies, I would relish reading them from cover to cover. One of my favourite chapters was the one on IQ tests.
Some questions were in text format and others in graphics form. Invariably, you are asked to solve puzzles and problems and how to get over sticky situations. My favourite question was the one about the bridge closing at 7.00pm and a guard being placed in the middle of the bridge to prevent anyone from crossing it. Those on the left bank would not be allowed to cross over to the right bank and vice versa.
The question was: you arrived at the bridge at 11.00pm and found the guard asleep in the middle of the bridge. If you crossed the bridge the guard would wake up and catch you trying to cross and will force you to go back the way you came. So how are you going to cross the bridge to get home?
Hmm….this was one tricky question. I pondered for a while and my reply was I would quietly creep across the bridge and just before I reached the guard I would turn around and walk back the way I came. I would then make a lot of noise, which would wake the guard up. The guard, seeing that I was trying to sneak across the bridge, would chase me and catch me and force me to return to the opposite direction. And the opposite direction is where I actually wanted to go in the first place.
So that would be how I would get to cross the bridge and go home. But this would mean the guard would have to be not too bright and can be easily fooled. He sees you heading back from where you came and he would think that you came from the other direction. So he would force you back to the opposite direction, thinking this is where you came from rather than this is where you actually wanted to go in the first place.
Confusing? Not really. All you need to do is to create the impression that you are coming from one direction whereas you are actually coming from the opposite direction. And when they force you to return to the direction they thought you were coming from, you end up, with their help, heading for the direction you really wanted to go.
And this is the cat and mouse game that one has to play with the officers in blue from the Royal Malaysian Police.
The officers in the Malaysian police force rejoice when they think they have got you covered and have figured out your every move. They monitor your movements, your phone calls, those of your friends, and whatnot. If they don’t get what they want they will dig deeper. And maybe, in the end, they will find what they want to know. So you need to give them something to work on. Let them think they have got you, whereas it is you who have got them.
For example, on 10 April 2001, the police picked up four people under the Internal Security Act — Tian Chua, Saari Sungib, Hishamuddin Rais and Ezam Mohd Nor. The police had been following me for three days and I knew I was also about to be picked up.
I got into my car and with my wife driving we went to our daughter’s apartment. My wife noticed we were being followed.
That evening, my wife went out to buy some ice cream and she saw a bunch of police officers loitering at the entrance. She knew they were waiting for me.
The next morning, we left the apartment, and about one kilometre down the road, they stopped our car and took me in. I could have sneaked out the back and would have been able to give them the slip, but it was crucial that we find out what their game plan was.
To cut a long 54-day story short, Anwar was facing nine criminal charges and was already convicted for the first and was facing trial for the second. He was eventually found guilty for both and his jail sentences were made to run consecutive rather than concurrent. The first conviction attracted a six-year jail sentence and the second nine years. Together with the seven months remand period during the trial, Anwar was given a 15 years and seven months jail sentence. And he still had seven more trials to go through.
Anwar was probably going to be in jail for at least 100 years, which meant he was going to die in jail.
My interrogation took 54 days and my signed ‘confession’ was more than 200 pages. There was a lot they asked me and a lot I told them. The most crucial piece of information they wanted was how did Anwar manage to run the Reformasi Movement from behind the high walls of the Sungai Buloh Prison? They knew the Reformasi Movement was being guided and run by Anwar. They just did not know how it was being done.
I was posed this question and I spilled the beans. I could not hold anything back. The information just flowed.
We meet Anwar in court during his many trials and that is when he dishes out his instructions. In fact, not only the Reformasi Movement, but also the party itself is run in this manner. We look forward to his trial dates because that is when we are able to meet Anwar and receive instructions from him.
Three days later, the Special Branch officers came to see me, bringing a copy of a newspaper. “Read this,” they told me.
It was the newspaper headline about the government dropping the balance seven charges against Anwar.
“So, now there are no more trials. Anwar will no longer be going to court. So how are you people going to meet him now?”
“Aiyah,” I said, with a very disappointed and dejected look on my face. “Now the link to Anwar has been severed. There would be no way we can continue meeting him to get further instructions from him.”
I sat back and looked my Special Branch officers in the face. They had this very pleased look, as it they had pulled off the coup of the century. These are five very happy Special Branch officers. They even offered me a cigarette and ordered some Kentucky Fried Chicken for my lunch. They had broken the link of communication between Anwar and the outside world. That is the end of Anwar’s communication network.
The Special Branch officers were probably made to sit for a course where they studied how Chin Peng communicated with his guerrillas in the Pahang, Perak and Kelantan jungles, plus those along the Malaysian-Thai border. I, in fact, discussed this with them and knew of the ‘dead letter boxes’ and all such primitive communication methods of 50 years or so ago.
The Special Branch knew that I knew. And I knew that the Special Branch knew that I knew. So they wanted to know how much of these tactics were being used to enable Anwar to communicate with the outside world and thereby organise his Reformasi Movement and other political activities.
Well, I could not hold anything back. I spilled my guts out and told them everything. And the result of that was they dropped the balance seven charges against Anwar so that he can be cut off from the outside world and can no longer direct things from behind the high walls of the Sungai Buloh Prison.
But that was not really how it was done. And of course I can’t tell you how it was done in case we need to do it again. But what matters is that they believed this was how it was done and they dropped the seven charges against Anwar to ‘plug the holes’.
They were one happy bunch of Special Branch officers the day they broke the news to me that they had dropped the balance seven charges against Anwar. And I had to pretend I was so disappointed and unhappy that they had outsmarted us.
Yes, I bet those Special Branch officers did not have to sit for IQ tests when they were 11 or 12 years old. If not they would have had to figure out how to cross the bridge after 7.00pm when the guard is sitting right in the middle of the bridge to stop anyone from crossing. And then they would have figured out you need to fool the guard by pretending that you are crossing from one direction whereas you are actually crossing from the opposite direction. Then they would have known that, if you can successfully fool the guard, he would actually assist you to cross to the side, where you actually wanted to go.
Yes, there is more I want to reveal. But let this suffice for today. In the next article we shall talk more about how to play cat and mouse games with the Malaysian police. No, nothing that has happened thus far is anything we did not want to happen. They think they have us on the run. They think they have sent us underground. Is that so? Lt Col George Armstrong Custer also thought he had the Indians on the run. By the time he realised it was the other way around, it was too late. Little Bighorn was Custer’s last stand and where the Seventh Calvary met its doom.
More later, and stay safe till then.