The Power Of SMS

Why BN will forever remain in power, unless it loses control of East Malaysia

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 23, 2009

MALAYSIA TODAY

 

 

I would even dare bet that Pakatan Rakyat has a good chance of winning 95 seats against  Barisan Nasional’s 71. This means Barisan Nasional needs to win at least 50 seats from Sabah and Sarawak to form the federal government with a minimum of 121 seats. That would give Barisan Nasional a nine-seat margin over the 112 required to form the federal government.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Umno Youth Must Ensure Sabah Remain BN’s “Fixed Deposit” – Salleh

PAPAR, June 22 (Bernama)
— Sabah Umno Youth must play a vital role in ensuring that Sabah remained Barisan Nasional’s (BN) “fixed deposit” assets, said Sabah Umno deputy liaison chairman Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said.

The state Umno Youth have a major responsibility to play in ensuring the trust of the people, especially the youth, and also to ensure that the party remained relevant.

The former Chief Minister said in any organisation, only one leader can lead and administer and not two or more, so that the organisation can be a strong team.

“In an organisation there must be a leader with caliber so as to lead Umno’s struggles and strengthen the party. This is where Umno Youth can play a major role,” he told reporters after closing an Umno Youth workshop in Kinarut, near here Monday.

“Sabah youths must be inspired, innovative, knowledgeable and most importantly, brave to face the challenges ahead. If we remained with the old mindset, there won’t be any room to accept changes and that will be meaningless to the party’s struggle.”

Salleh who is also Kota Belud Umno division chief said Umno Youth must remain the pillars of the party, especially when facing uncertainty and challenges in politics and economy.

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When Sabah and Sarawak teamed up with Malaya and Singapore to form Malaysia (yes, that’s right, Sabah and Sarawak did not JOIN Malaysia) it was with certain terms and conditions attached. Some may have heard of the 20-point agreement but not many may have actually read it. I suppose the same goes for the Merdeka agreement prior to independence in August 1957 or the ‘Social Contract’ that binds the very delicate fabric of Malaysian society.

This is probably the trouble with most Malaysians. They know certain words or phrases. They throw these words and phrases around. But not many know the concept behind these words or phrases. We have had the Look East Policy, the Buy British Last policy, Malaysia Incorporated, 1Malaysia, the New Economic Policy, Ketuanan Melayu, the ‘Social Contract’, and whatnot. We have all heard of them. But what do they all mean?

The 20-Point Agreement is another that many Malaysians can liberally quote but very few have actually read what it says. Even the police and Peninsular Malaysia politicians do not understand it. For example, if a Sabah politician were to say that the state should pull out of Malaysia and become the Independent Republic of Sabah, the federal leaders and the police would scream treason and rush over to Kota Kinabalu to arrest that Sabah politician under the Internal Security Act.

Is it treason? Or is it when Sabah and Sarawak teamed up with Malaya to form Malaysia it had been agreed that these two East Malaysian states could later leave the Federation of Malaysia if they find it untenable, but it must be done through a certain manner — like holding a Referendum first and successfully getting the minimum number of votes required?

No, it is not treason. It is provided for in the agreement when Sabah and Sarawak first sat down to discuss the possibility of forming a new country called Malaysia. The only thing is it must be done according to the method agreed upon. The Chief Minister can’t wake up one morning and just announce that Sabah is no longer part of Malaysia and is now an independent republic.

But will Umno allow Sabah and Sarawak to leave Malaysia even if it is legally allowed? Would Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, again, be detained under the Internal Security Act if, again, he makes a statement saying that Sabah should leave Malaysia? The answer is ‘no’ to the first and ‘yes’ to the second. Umno will never allow Sabah and Sarawak to leave Malaysia and they will certainly detain without trial anyone who suggests so.

Why are Sabah and Sarawak so important to Malaysia, other than the fact they have plenty of oil and other natural resources which we can plunder? Well, Sabah and Sarawak must at all times hold 25% of the total number of parliament seats. Currently, out of 222 parliament seats, East Malaysia has 56 — that is 31 from Sarawak and 25 from Sabah.

For all intents and purposes, Sabah and Sarawak hold the key to federal power and are the ‘Kingmakers’. Ever wonder why Barisan Nasional politicians regard Sabah and Sarawak as the ruling coalition’s ‘fixed deposit’? They are not ashamed of this and make no apologies for it. In fact, they brazenly say so openly.

In the last general election on 8 March 2008, the opposition — meaning DAP here — won just one parliament seat in Sabah and another in Sarawak. Barisan Nasional retained 54 seats in both states.

Nationwide, Barisan Nasional won 140 seats in total while the opposition won 82. But if we minus the 54 seats from East Malaysia, Barisan Nasional won only 86 seats against the opposition’s 80 (also if we minus the two DAP seats in Sabah and Sarawak). Now, however, since the Kuala Terengganu by-election, it is 85 Barisan Nasional versus 81 Pakatan Rakyat.

Can you see how crucial Sabah and Sarawak are to Barisan Nasional? In the next general election Barisan Nasional may win less seats than Pakatan Rakyat in Peninsular Malaysia. I would even dare bet that Pakatan Rakyat has a good chance of winning 95 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 71. This means Barisan Nasional needs to win at least 50 seats from Sabah and Sarawak to form the federal government with a minimum of 121 seats. That would give Barisan Nasional a nine-seat margin over the 112 required to form the federal government.

Nine seats is not a very large margin. But if Pakatan Rakyat increases its seats in Peninsular Malaysia from 81 to 95, then Barisan Nasional will need Sabah and Sarawak even more than before. However, Barisan Nasional will need to win at least 50 of the 56 seats in East Malaysia. If it wins only 40 seats instead of 50, then Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat would be locked in an ‘hung parliament’ with 111 seats each.

Not very good for political stability is it?

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Surat terbuka kepada Tuan Guru Presiden PAS

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 20, 2009

HARAKAH DAILY

Ahmad Fawwaz Abdul Aziz

DENGAN Nama Allah Yang Pengasih Lagi Maha Penyayang.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh.

Saat saya menulis untuk meluahkan hati tika ini, saya tidak tahu Tuan Guru berada di mana. Tapi, jauh di sudut hati saya tetap berkata Tuan Guru akan membaca surat terbuka ini kerana saya tahu Tuan Guru adalah seorang yang rajin membaca dan sensitif dengan perkembangan Harakahdaily. Jadi, saya utuskan surat terbuka ini selepas saya hiba dengan keadaan PAS pada hari ini.

Tuan Guru yang dihormati.

Saya anak muda yang berada dalam PAS untuk memperjuangkan Islam. Dari sekolah menengah saya mengenali PAS. Saya kenal bukan melalui usrah. Saya kenal bukan melalui pimpinan PAS. Tapi, saya kenal PAS ketika saya bergembira menaiki lori menggantung bendera PAS di tiang-tiang lampu dan pokok-pokok.

Uncang-uncang duit

Saya meminati PAS selepas saya diminta membawa uncang-uncang duit untuk memungut derma ketika ceramah PAS berdekatan dengan sekolah saya.

Maahad saya uzur. Pelajar-pelajarnya pada waktu itu tidaklah sebijak rakan-rakan lain yang berada di SMKA, Sekolah Agama Kerajaan Negeri mahupun di Kolej Islam. Tapi, apabila saya kenang sekolah itu, saya yakin di tanah itulah Allah memberkati orang-orang yang menuntut ilmu kerana-Nya.

Di situlah Almarhum Abu Bakar Al-Baqir berpangkalan untuk memperjuangkan Islam. Sehinggalah saya berazam mengiltizamkan diri dengan perjuangan yang suci ini ketika saya di bangku universiti. Hari ini pun saya masih lagi belajar memahami dan bekerja untuk memaknakan perjuangan Islam ini.

Ketika Muktamar Tahunan Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat ke-50 baru-baru ini, saya telah membeli sebuah buku yang dikarang oleh Riduan Md Nor. Buku mengenai kisah hidup Tuan Guru. Saya ralit membaca buku itu kerana saya berasa tenang dengan peribadi dan ketokohan Tuan Guru seperti yang digambarkan.

Saya turut mengikuti Ucapan Dasar Presiden selepas Muktamar Tahunan PAS Ke-55 malah saya baca berulang-ulang kali untuk menjiwai intipati ucapan itu. Apa yang saya dapat rumuskan ialah hanya Islam yang akan menyelesaikan masalah manusia terutamanya di Malaysia ini. Tidak ada walau satu masalah pun yang tidak boleh ditangani oleh Islam sebagai agama Allah.

Alhamdulillah atas nikmat Iman dan Islam ini. Saya yakin!

Ungkapan Tuan Guru

Sebelum muktamar hati saya sedih melihat pimpinan PAS. Saya tidak mahu ceritakan mengapa saya sedih sebab saya tidak tahu siapa yang paling benar pada percakapannya. Tetapi, semuanya ini berlaku kerana ungkapan Tuan Guru mengenai Kerajaan Perpaduan. Sebahagian pimpinan mengatakan Tuan Guru tidak cerdik politik. Sebilangan yang lain menegaskan Tuan Guru berjiwa besar bak Sang Negarawan.

Hanya Allah Maha Mengetahui hati-hati mereka yang ikhlas memperjuangkan agama Allah ini. Media pula menggembar-gemburkan pelbagai isu yang keluar dari setiap bibir pimpinan PAS. Bukan sekadar media perdana, bahkan media alternatif. Sehinggakan yang tulen menjadi kabur, terang berubah gelap.

Tuan Guru yang disegani.

Saya yakin ramai lagi ahli seperti saya gundah melihat perkembangan ini. Tambahan, apabila pandangan Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat sering bercanggah dengan Tuan Guru. Bahkan, media melaporkan Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz sebut boneka Umno dalam PAS yang ingin menjual parti Islam ini kepada Parti Nasionalis.

Sedih. Saya benar-benar sedih. Benarkah ada orang-orang ini dalam parti yang mulia ini? Saya percaya Tuan Guru sudah menerangkan berkali-kali mengenai Kerajaan Perpaduan.

Pintu rundingan

Hari ini, saya membaca tulisan Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Ab Latif, Pengarah Penyelidikan PAS mengenai idea politik tersebut. Segar hati saya. Apa yang saya faham adalah Kerajaan Perpaduan bukan tahalluf siyasi antara PAS dan Umno. Tetapi, PAS membuka pintu rundingan dengan sesiapa sahaja untuk memulihkan krisis politik, ekonomi dan kebejatan rakyat yang melanda negara.

PAS mahu mengajak Umno, KeADILan, DAP, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP dan parti-parti di Sabah dan Sarawak untuk membentuk sebuah kerajaan asalkan meletakkan al-Quran dan As-Sunnah sebagai tunjang. Mesti Islam sebagai asas pembentukan.

Tuan Guru yang dikasihi.

Saya merayu pada Tuan Guru, bertemu matalah dengan Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz. Saya tahu Tuan Guru seorang yang setia. Malah, apa yang saya dengar, Tuan Guru akan berpeluk dan mencium dahi Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz apabila bertemu. Bermuqabalah dan bermuzakarahlah dengan beliau.

Saya sendiri melahirkan rasa terkilan apabila kenyataan beliau terlalu keras seperti pemimpin yang tidak pernah maklum mengenai Kerajaan Perpaduan. Hanya Tuan Guru yang boleh menasihatinya. Leraikanlah kekusutan beliau.

Bertemu Husam Musa

Saya mohon sebagai pemimpin yang besar jiwanya, bertemulah dengan Dato’ Husam Musa. Bincanglah dengan dia mengenai perkara ini dan dapatkanlah kata sepakat. Walaupun beliau adalah AJK PAS Pusat, sebagai pemimpin yang dihormati, Tuan Guru akan terus bersemuka untuk menyelesaikan polemik bersama. Itu adalah cara yang terbaik untuk seorang AJK menghargai dan memahami siapa sebenar dirinya.

Saya juga berharap kepada Tuan Guru untuk memanggil semua komponen parti Pakatan Rakyat.

Beritahulah kepada mereka bahawa Kerajaan Perpaduan ini bukan perkongsian kuasa antara PAS dan Umno. Saya benar-benar memahami bahawa PAS tidak akan mengkhianati persahabatan ini meskipun mereka seringkali membuat PAS sedih. Tuan Guru kena buktikan bahawa betapa mulianya sifat pemaaf dan ibrah di sebalik Sahifah Madinah. Saya yakin Tuan Guru seorang perunding politik yang hebat.

Tuan Guru berilah nasihat yang lembut kepada pemimpin Umno, MCA dan MIC bahawa Kerajaan Perpaduan bukan antara PAS dan Umno sahaja. PAS akan berbincang dengan sesiapa sahaja untuk memulihkan negara walaupun dengan parti politik yang kecil. Inilah jiwa Tuan Guru yang besar tetapi seringkali disalahertikan dengan propaganda musuh.

Tuan Guru yang dimuliakan Allah.

Sentiasa bermunajat

Seringkali saya berfikir bahawa Tuan Guru sentiasa bermunajat kepada Allah untuk memandu diri dalam setiap saat. Saya kagum dengan kenyataan Tuan Guru ketika meletakkan Abdul Wahid Endut sebagai calon di Kuala Terengganu meskipun ramai berpendapat pemimpin-pemimpin yang lain adalah lebih layak.

Kenyataan Tuan Guru melegakan hati apabila Tuan Guru menyebut bahawa ini adalah ilham daripada Allah. Saya juga berpendapat begitu. Walaupun idea Kerajaan Perpaduan ini dicemuh, diremeh malah dipertikai oleh sebahagian yang lain, Tuan Guru teruskan niat yang mulia ini.

Hati kecil saya sentiasa beringat bahawa Tuan Guru mendapat petunjuk dan ilham daripada Allah. Sudah pasti petunjuk Allah itu benar walaupun ujiannya berat dan pedih. Tuan Guru, idea revolusi itu selalunya lewat untuk dicernakan.

Mungkin Tuan Guru akan meninggalkan idea ini dalam legasi politik PAS dan Malaysia. Tidak mustahil ia akan diungkap kembali daripada generasi kepimpinan PAS yang lain dan pada waktu itulah gagasan politik ini akan menjadi satu realiti yang sangat mahal harganya. Inilah hikmatullah yang mulia. Hanya optimis dan positif melatari perjuangan Islam ini.

Tuan Guru yang dikagumi.

Saya hanya aktivis PAS yang menghiasi persada perjuangan ini. Tuan Guru adalah inspirasinya. Saya memohon maaf andai kata surat terbuka ini tidak memberikan apa-apa makna buat semua. Tapi inilah rayuan saya.

Inilah luahan saya setelah beberapa kali menangis di hadapan Allah. Tidak ada apa-apa yang saya ingin lafazkan lagi melainkan saya mencintai Tuan Guru kerana Allah Taala.

Saya berbai’ah dengan Allah dan Rasul serta Tuan Guru bahawa saya mewakafkan diri kepada perjuangan Islam yang mulia ini. Doakanlah saya agar tsabat dan istiqamah hingga syahid bertemu Rabbul ‘Izzati.

Maafkan saya Tuan Guru. Maafkan saya. Moga Allah memberikan taufik dan hidayah kepada Sang Murabbi yang saya cintai. Ya Allah, bantulah kami. _

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VIEWS : Unity talks: A stab in the back from PAS

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 19, 2009

MALAYSIAKINI

 

Marion Tharsis |
 
To me, if it true PAS wants unity with Umno, then PAS’ actions tantamount to an extramarital affair while being in partnership with Pakatan Rakyat. It is a stab behind the back for their partners who helped PAS gain more seats in the last general elections.
PAS has gained more bargaining power with their respective number of seats secured during the last election but is now looking to have the best of both worlds. It is plain hypocrisy if you were to ask me. Where is their dignity and honour?

From reports, it seems that PAS has been pursuing these talks with Umno for some time now even though it abhors and rejects Umno’s style of operations. But the resolutions passed at their recent assembly gives one a lot of jitters and awakens one’s mind to the compounded fears of the past.

If PAS continues along this line and ignores its alliance with PKR and DAP and the consultation  which is paramount in any relationship, then it opens a lot of room for the rakyat to think hard if PAS can indeed be a reliable friend.

This may be a blessing in disguise to know PAS’ true and unchanging character before giving them more support in the future. Pakatan’s strength in March 2008 shook BN and literally caught BN with its pants down bit since then it has dwindled somewhat rather than gained momentum or impetus.

After Perak’s unresolved crisis, the PAS-Umno unity talks seem to be the news of the day with even the prime minister ignoring the fact that PAS is no longer a bachelor.

Umno has all to gain from its ‘marriage’ to a ‘divorced’ PAS who may be willing to change partners if it can gain strong backing and compromises from Umno with regards to its (PAS) hardened stand on religion.

The move could also well serve as a lifeline for Umno at this time when Umno’s reputation is at its lowest ebb.

It is also not surprising for the Umno honchos to be tightlipped about PAS’ hardline stand on the status of NGO Sisters in Islam. Such a move is seen as not to disrupt or jeopardise Umno’s overtures to PAS.

On the other hand, PAS may be just be looking at the proposal from Umno without any commitment or direct approach on this matter. However, contradictory statements from the PAS camp gives a lot of wrong impressions and perceptions as to what is really happening.

If PAS claims all this is ‘karut’, then they should make their stand known very clearly as a party – not as individuals giving their own versions to cause confusion.

If PAS is committed to the Pakatan vision, then it should show its solidarity and support for this cause and make it explicitly known that they will stand united with Pakatan.

 

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The name don’t maketh the man

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 19, 2009

MALAYSIA TODAY

raja_petra3_newThe Muslim sense of values is totally warped. If you eat pork or drink liquor or gamble, at least you are doing it with your own money. But corruption and fraud involves other people’s money, in most cases the taxpayers’ money. So this makes it an even bigger sin.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Civil Defence director charged with falsifying documents
By EMBUN MAJID, The Star

ALOR SETAR: Kedah Civil Defence Department director pleaded not guilty to two counts of falsifying documents at a Sessions Court here. Mohamad Abdullah, 49, was charged with falsifying two documents on Jun 26 and July 28, both in 2005 at his office at Wisma Persekutuan building here.

In the first charge, Mohamad was alleged to have falsified a document by endorsing that Mohd Roshid Hussain had supplied food for a group of 70 people for the Civil Defence Training Programme at Unit Giat Mara Sungai Tiang on March 17, 18, 19 and 20, 2005 although there was no such supply during the said period.

In the second charge, Mohamad was alleged to have falsified a document on July 28, 2005, by endorsing that Mohd Roshid had supplied food for a group of 80 people for the department Intensive Training Programme at Unit Giat Mara Sungai on May 19, 20 and 21, 2005, although there was no such supply during the three days.

The charge sheet, however, did not state the amount of money involved.

Mohamad faced both charges under Section 11(c) of the Anti Corruption Act 1997 that carries a maximum imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and not more than twenty years; and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification which is the subject matter of the offence where such gratification is capable of being valued or is of a pecuniary nature, or ten thousand ringgit, whichever is the higher.

In the same court, Mohd Roshid, 32, claimed trial with abetting Mohamad to falsify the two documents. He was also charged under Section 11(c) of the same Act.

Judge Norsharidah Awang set bail RM10,000 in one surety for each offences to Mohamad and Mohd Roshid and fixed July 8 for hearing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Fieza Fazlin Fandi prosecuted the case while counsel Shariff Matt represented the two accused.

TO READ MORE PLEASE GO TO :
http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/22055/84/

Open letter to the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 15, 2009

MALAYSIA TODAY

Image

Okay, on the point that I only criticise and never praise. That too is also true. But while I criticise the federal government, which happens to be Barisan Nasional, I also criticise the state governments, which are not all Barisan Nasional.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Datuk Seri,

I read your interview in Malaysiakini yesterday, which I believe was an extract of your interview with the BBC the same day. I really have no quarrel with what you said merely because I believe everyone is entitled to his and her views and that we should respect this. Of course, this does not mean we must agree with these views. We are definitely at liberty to disagree with them. But just because we disagree with them does not mean we should silence these people and not allow them to express their opinions.

On the point that I never say nice things about the government but only know how to criticise, I would also certainly agree with you and will plead guilty as charged. Have you, however, maybe not noticed that I also never say nice things about the opposition as well?

When have I ever said even one nice thing about Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Hadi Awang, Lim Guan Eng, Nik Aziz, Ustaz Azizan, Tan Sri Khalid, Nizar Jamaluddin, or whoever? But I did say I think Khairy Jamaluddin is very intelligent and that I have confidence he might yet become Prime Minister at the age of 40. And I said Matthias Chang, Mahathir’s adviser whom you also know well enough, is a genius, and whatnot.

And did you read the comments my readers posted in Malaysia Today? They called me a Mahathir stooge, a Mahathir boot-licker, and much worse.

So, while I may not say nice things about the government, neither do I say nice things about the opposition. Would you, therefore, not consider that as balanced?

Okay, on the point that I only criticise and never praise. That too is also true. But while I criticise the federal government, which happens to be Barisan Nasional, I also criticise the state governments, which are not all Barisan Nasional.

Now, Datuk Seri, this fact may have escaped you. I criticise the Pakatan Rakyat states like Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Selangor, and before this Perak, but have you ever seen me criticising states like Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and so on?

Yes, that’s right, I whack Pakatan Rakyat state governments good and proper. But I never touch Barisan Nasional state governments. Okay, I did write about the RM7 billion Wang Ehsan for Terengganu, which has been pilfered. But, hey, even His Majesty the Agong is upset about this. Why do you think Tuanku rejected Idris Jusoh as Menteri Besar if not for the fact that Idris was managing the Wang Ehsan since 2000 and most of it had ‘evaporated’.

I admit I also whacked Sabah and Sarawak on what these two states did to their timber resources. But let’s face it, Datuk Seri, are you not also personally outraged by what these two states have done to forests that took millions of years to develop? And is it not downright criminal that what took millions of years to develop was utterly destroyed in less than 30 years?

One more point I would like to make here, Datuk Seri, I do not praise the federal government or state governments because I consider it their duty to do good things. For example, if I pay someone to repair my toilet, and if I am paying a hell of a lot of money on top of that, I expect the job to be done well. If the toilet still can’t flush then I am going to complain like hell. I would probably also refuse to pay the bill until the chap redoes it properly this time. But if he did a great job I will just pay him his money and would most likely call him again the next time I need my toilets repaired. But I am not going to pat the chap on the head and say, “Good boy. Clever boy.” Or whatever.

Have you seen how rich people summon waiters in an expensive restaurant? They click their fingers and scowl if the waiter is too slow and will order their food and drinks without even looking the waiter in the face or offering the poor chap a smile. Why? Well, these rich people are paying good money for the service so they need not be nice to the hired hands.

You give them the bill and they pay, never mind how much it may be, and they may even include a 10% tip if there is no service charge and if they are satisfied with the service. But they are definitely not going to summon the manager and tell the manager how great his waiter is and that he should be given a raise. But if they are not satisfied with the service, they will certainly call the manager and complain and demand that the waiter be sacked or something like that.

To read more please go to :

http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/21861/84/

Forty May 13s later — Praba Ganesan

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 13, 2009

THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — I’ve spent many of my formative years being told why my life in this country has been shaped by May 13. And today will be its 40th anniversary.

Seventy per cent of the country at least will not have a living memory of it, and those who do have only the bits from their personal experiences. The rest of us have to do with what our parents tell us.

For my parents, it was grabbing my toddler brother and taking their Vespa back to the Sungai Besi camp, where they resided. My dad was not asked to participate in the military’s role in bringing law and order back to KL as, according to him, “all non-Malays were asked not to”. What that means, and if that is true, is all up to who you talk to, and how they feel about the event.

So Malaysia’s race policy, and we are one of the few countries in the world to have an explicit race policy for almost every facet of our daily lives, has been based on a series of events that most Malaysians don’t have an objective knowledge of.

Juxtapose it with America. The civil war tore through the heart of the union, and in many senses underlined fundamental differences. The south was not willing to give up its past, and the present is always about looking back to that period through different lenses. However, a large portion of the facts are known, even if the motives, purpose and harm never quantified.

The south attacked Fort Sumter in April 1861, and the various battles saw high attrition rates on both sides. To some, Abraham Lincoln is the seal of the union, or a man who ended state rights.

Some are facts, and some need a little interpretation, and the debate goes on.

Malaysia’s defining moment had no facts disclosed, and little to interpret, with debate on it disallowed.

So why are we surprised that we are such a dysfunctional nation?

An expatriate pointed to me last week that he had never seen a country so openly racist. I think he was referring to all of us, not any particular race.

People here can make summary judgments on people just based on colour and background.

As an Indian, I can be a well-educated and cultured person from Sri Lankan Tamil stock, all with English education and civil service experience. Or I am the child of general workers, with an odd way of speaking Malay, bereft of good English and looking always for things to steal.

Trust a snake more than me, they’ll say — especially if you ask Perak executive councillor Hamidah Osman from Umno.

The diversity forced by a globalised world has allowed for more categories, but categories still.

What is this event, May 13, then to me, or any of my countrymen?

If the argument is murder, pillaging and violence are repugnant, the argument is well made.

But you don’t need a specific act of violence to rationalise the dangers of mob violence.

Then the idea would be about social redistribution. No one when financially oppressed is a stable member of society.

True, a man with a great need for a means of life is on the edge. Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean stole to feed his dying family, and lived a life to explain himself.

Unemployed thousands in KL would be more likely to grab your handbags and run because being caught is less of an issue than going poor.

But the principle of alleviating all men from the burden of penury is synonymous with all noble intents to build a society of equals. It is not predicated on one group being needy. The needy are a group of people with only one commonality, a lack of things.

That is how you recognise them.

Single mothers in this country are needy. Many of them Malay. Giving their husbands handy contracts will not improve the lives of the children they had, for instance. And neither is it OK to give state support to the widow of a millionaire.

It is weird, to say the least, that generations of Malaysians have always been reminded of May 13, with absolutely no opportunity to talk about it, or exchange ideas pertaining to it with their teachers.

I am sure it is not fun, fun, fun talking about the civil rights movement in the old south, in Birmingham, where they beat blacks wholesale. Being that 12-year-old white kid talking and discussing the brutality of white policemen on their black brethren. That today’s police would be black and white. That every time a black person is killed by a police bullet, race is the theme.

No period of pain will be easy to pass, but without talking about it, how do you pass it?

Umno has an infallibility complex. Therefore it cannot talk about its past without having the precondition of having a monopoly over truth, or writing that truth.

So in some ways, this country cannot move forward with Umno at the helm.

When hate fills the hearts of men, only one voice speaks for them, the language of destruction. It takes a life of its own. It does not define society, it merely explains its frailties.

Societies do not become better because they deny their frailties but because they muster the courage to face them.

So May 13, this May 13, the 40th time we will recollect it, perhaps we need to recollect it with some honesty. That all our hands have blood on them, and the blood of a brother is unacceptable. Above that we have greater things binding us than dividing us, and that talking about our common pain is not a blame game.

Then my country will away walk from the memory of violence, and a cleansing begins

Praba Ganesan heads Balairakyat and his writings can be found at http://prabaganesan.wordpress.com/

Views : Man, you are treated worse than a dog!

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 12, 2009

From Malaysia Today

By Merdekablog.com

I totally agreed with Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar’s conviction that he would not thank the government for releasing him. The reason was simply that he should not be detained in the first place!

Well, should you thank the thief for returning your money? Of course not! That’s your money, and it should not be stolen from you in the first place!

Another example but more bizarre. Should you thank the rapist for releasing you after raping you? You got to be kidding me! Your right to protect your body and your mind has been snatched away from you. Someone who has been assaulted physically and mentally has the full right to sue the one who conducted such crime!  

Unfortunately, what our fellow Malaysians experience today is no better than the above two disasters. Firstly, our money is being stolen for various projects allegedly meant to support cronyism and nepotism! Secondly, our right to protect our physical and mental conditions has been taken away by the police-government!

Think on those who have been detained for the wrong reasons. They have wasted 500 days or even longer of their life in a place where they should not have been locked up! They have lost their careers! They have been forced to sacrifice the valuable moments of celebrations with their loved ones!

Imagine if you are one of them. How would you feel, being arrested if what you did was simply speaking out for the underprivileged ones who were ignored by the government which was supposed to equally treat the citizens regardless of race? In other words, the one in power locked you up just because you talked too much!

And now, you are okay to go but with conditions such as: you can’t step foot in a certain place, like Seremban; you can’t talk to the public for a year; you can’t be interviewed by the media; you can’t leave your home; you can’t attend any gathering! And lastly, you have to report to the police every now and then!

Absolutely ridiculous! Man, you are treated worse than a dog! A dog can still go to the park with its master; a dog can still bark at strangers; a dog can still pee here and there. But for you, it’s a no-no. You have to stay at home and keep quiet!

A “wonderful” government who came out with all these incomprehensible conditions for releasing her innocent tax-payers! 

To all the Dato, YB, etc., please treat others the way you want to be treated!

For goodness sake, please offer your apologies to those whom you have faultily detained. Each and every one of them should be compensated considerably based on what they have suffered. And I urge you to please spend some time going through The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in which Malaysia is a part of since 1957.

Here are some articles listed under the declaration just for your reference:

Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 

Article 8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. 

Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. 

Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. 

Article 20: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. 

A LOT OF GROWING UP TO DO – RPK

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 11, 2009

raja_petra3_new

Malaysia Today

We carry no grudge against those Bloggers who were enticed by money and ‘sold out to the other side’. In that same spirit they should not grudge those of us who refuse to accept the money and chose, instead, to remain anti-establishment. That is no reason to declare war on us and to suggest that our life should be ended with a bullet in the head.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Uthayakumar and YB BABI! Cancerous cells that will destroy the country!
Barking Magpie

I cannot help noticing the similar arrogant and defiant pose of Uthayakumar made to the public upon his release from detention, which is quite similar to that of YB BABI’s!

Like two cancerous cells that will destroy this once sanctified body called Malaysia, the only way for the country to prevent it from being totally terminally ill is to destroy such cancerous cells from the beginning. It appears as though the government is weak and giving in to an act of terrorism!

May be we should follow the way of Sri Lanka in waging war against groups and individuals who are bent on trying to destroy the natural order of this country.

To quote Chris Hedges in his book who said that “war sometimes is a force that gives us meaning”. Yes, that meaning means peace from blackmail, threat and a disrespect to all things that made up this country to what it is today.

May be we need that war in Malaysia just to show us again what is the true meaning of a peaceful co-existence. War to prevent anyone from trying to manipulate the people into doing something horrid such as disrespect to the existing institutions, may be we all need to be taught a lesson on the true meaning of the word peace! It appears in Malaysia that we need war to obtain it! When all else failed!

What say you Brother Uthaya and YB BABI! Are you ready, really ready for it?

****************************************

Out-manoeuvred and ill-prepared, Perak DAP and PKR resort to tyranny
A Voice

In a nutshell, the fiasco in Perak was mainly due to the ever defiant and ungentlemenly conduct of Nizar, his puppetmaster Nger, Perak DAP and PKR, and Pakatan Rakyat as a whole.

They defied all court orders, palace ruling and prerogative, and assembly conduct conventions. Worse still, they persistently lie and spin fact for their political expediency.

****************************************

Those are the comments from just two Umno Bloggers — the first by Rusdi, Najib’s man, and the second by Salahuddin, Mukhriz Mahathir’s man.

Actually, I know both quite well. I have gone out with them and even paid for their food and drinks more than once. The same also goes for Zakir, ‘Rocky’, Aspan, Ron, and many others — all Umno people. These people, as far as I am concerned, are my friends — fellow Bloggers. Unfortunately, to these people, I am the enemy.

We became friends back in 2006 when Malaysia Today hosted the first dialogue with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Kelab Century Paradise. I invited many PAS, DAP and PKR leaders and supporters to this event and the hall overflowed with guests. There was standing room only and many could not even get into the hall and had to stand outside.

It was simply overwhelming and the turnout was far higher than expected. After the dialogue we had tea and cakes and the opposition leaders joined Mahathir in the VIP room. I had to stand outside to guard the door as so many were trying to push their way into the VIP room to shake hands with Mahathir. I was worried someone may try to harm him and it became a security nightmare for me.

Finally, I told the guards to just block everyone from coming in and if anyone wants to get in then ask me first. I then stood guard near Mahathir, ready to dive forward in the event someone makes a move on him or something like that. Sheesh, I thought to myself, you mean I got to go like this; taking a bullet or knife on behalf of Mahathir?

I suppose, since I had invited Mahathir, then it is my responsibility to guard his security. Unfortunately, I overlooked that point because I did not expect such a large crowd. I thought it was going to be a small and controlled affair. I did not expect so many people, in particular from the opposition — and many leaders amongst them on top of that. And I did not expect that so many would try to push and shove their way into the VIP room to shake hands with Mahathir.

Anyway, everything went fine that day in mid-2006 and nothing untoward happened, thank God. If not I would have probably been arrested as the mastermind behind the plot to assassinate Mahathir.

After that first event I travelled to Kedah, Kelantan and Johor (twice) to attend functions where Mahathir was speaking. I even got sprayed with some chemical at the Kota Bharu airport the day that PPP Kelantan leader sprayed Mahathir. I also attended all the functions at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya, one at University Malaya, plus a few more in hotels all over Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. I must have attended more than a dozen Mahathir functions all over Malaysia and video-recorded the entire lot.

I also attended Mukhriz Mahathir’s and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s functions and video-recorded them as well. When Mukhriz launched a blood donation drive at the Kampong Baru mosque I contacted YB Ronnie Liu and asked him to arrange a group of DAP people to go there to donate blood. Although it was a last minute arrangement, and in spite of it being an Umno Youth and Mukhriz Mahathir event, Ronnie managed to mobilise a small group of DAP people (all Chinese of course) to go to the Kampong Baru mosque to donate blood. 

This is the way we do things. While they call Anwar Ibrahim BABI, we do not call Mahathir, Pak Lah, Najib or Muhyiddin the same. I might disagree with Umno but I am civil enough and know how to maintain protocol. Even whenever I meet Mukhriz, who is younger than me, I walk over to him and give a small but courteous bow when I shake his hand. I do not allow him to walk over to greet me. He stays put. I make the move.

I have met Khairy Jamaluddin face-to-face only once. But when he walked in I stood up. He is younger than my daughter so I really need not have done that. But I stood up anyway when he walked in and offered him a chair. And I did not sit down until he sat down first.

I am talking about how I treat my ‘enemies’. Am I being stupid here? Why do I waste my money buying dinner and drinks for people I oppose and then follow people like Mahathir all over Malaysia when he is the cause of all my problems and he was the one who ordered my arrest and later detained me without trial?

When Rusdi phoned and said that Rosmah wants to meet me I agreed. My wife dropped Rusdi and me off in front of Najib’s house and came back two hours later to fetch us. But when Rusdi asked me to ‘name my price’ to stop writing about Najib and Altantuya, I went to meet Mahathir to complain about it and thereafter cut off all my links with Rusdi.

Later, I received a phone call from Sufi, Mahathir’s aide, who said that JJ contacted his office to ask for my phone number. Sufi wanted to know whether I have any objections for my phone number to be given to JJ. I asked Sufi why JJ wants to contact me but he did not know. Anyway, I agreed and now, of course, we know why JJ wanted to contact me.

I, again, complained to Mahathir through a certain Chinese Datuk. I asked the Datuk to inform Mahathir that JJ had offered to buy me off. He called back a few days later and told me to not have any more dealings with JJ. That, I was told, were my ‘instructions’.

We may disagree with the government. We may even be bitterly opposed to the government and work relentlessly to bring it down. But we are also civil about it and will never regard ‘the other side’ as lepers whom we should distance ourselves from. All they need to do is phone and we will agree to meet up anytime, any place. That has been proven time and time again.

But that is not how they treat us. Rusdi suggests, in his posting above, that we are cancerous cells. Cancerous cells need to be destroyed and that is basically what he means — that we must be destroyed. There are other Umno Blogs and websites that suggest I should suffer a bullet in the head for what I wrote with regards to the 7 May 2009 skirmish in the Perak State Assembly. Others want my citizenship withdrawn and that I should be thrown out of the country. Yet others feel the court made a grievous mistake in freeing me from ISA detention in November last year and that I should be re-detained and locked away in Kamunting till the day I die.

They want to put a bullet in my head while I stand guard over Mahathir to ensure that no one puts a bullet in his head. The fact that I invited Mahathir to the function, so I am therefore responsible for his safety, is not an issue. I am not head of security in this country. But I took it upon myself to be responsible for my ‘guest’. Hey, I even asked my wife to allow the Special Branch officers into the hall when she tried to deny them access. Never mind, I told my wife, they have a job to do, let them come in. You should have seen my wife’s ‘long face’. She was pissed with me.

If I had written in Malaysia Today that a certain Umno leader or Blogger should be shot, within 24 hours there would be numerous police reports made against me. In fact, over the last two months, there have been about half a dozen new police reports made against me. The most recent was two days ago when I wrote about the Perak State Assembly fiasco.

More than two years ago, these Umno Bloggers called for a meeting at the National Press Club (NPC). The purpose of the meeting was to form a Bloggers union or association. Amongst those who attended this maiden or ad hoc committee meeting were pro-Mahathir Umno Bloggers, pro-Najib Umno Bloggers, pro-Tengku Razaleigh Umno Bloggers, pro-Pakatan Rakyat Bloggers, and Bloggers in the civil society movement or Reformist category. I would like to believe I am in that last category.

The idea was actually mooted by Dr Mahathir. He felt that Malaysian Bloggers should form an umbrella body so that the so many Bloggers from all sides of the political divide could unite under some sort of national organisation. That reminded me of how Umno was formed back in 1946 when the so many different Malay-based societies, associations, movements, and so on, formed a national body called the United Malays National Organisation.

Sufi was also present as a sort of ‘representative’ of Dr Mahathir. It was proposed that I head this new union or association but I declined and proposed that Rocky should instead head it. I was, however, prepared to back him up and help with whatever needed to be done. The Bloggers union went on to set up the Blog House at Bukit Damansara.

We were, of course, from different political leanings. But we thought that, as Bloggers, we could leave our political differences aside and come together under one umbrella in spite of our political differences. It puzzled most people how we, known opposition supporters or political activists, could play footsie with those hardcore Umno people.

I suppose we were either naïve in thinking that the Umno Bloggers would be able to set aside our political differences for the common good of the Blogging community or we were suckers in not seeing that this move was not so much to unite the Bloggers as much as it was to ‘rope in’ the Bloggers.

Anyway, we still maintained our ‘independence’. We never expected the Umno crowd to turn opposition. But they expected us to turn pro-government. Some, of course, who were initially anti-establishment, eventually turned pro-government. And, inevitably, the Bloggers union broke up with the pro-government crowd on one side and the anti-establishment Bloggers on the other. Then the pro-government Bloggers started attacking the anti-establishment Bloggers although we did not retaliate in kind.

Today, there is no longer any Bloggers union. And the target of attack of the pro-government Bloggers is the anti-establishment Bloggers. They whack us to kingdom come every opportunity they can find.

Rusdi wants to declare war on us. He wants the government to do to us what the Sri Lankan security forces are doing to the LTTE. But that is just it. We anti-establishment Bloggers are not like the LTTE. We do not bomb and shoot and burn. But they would like to bomb and shoot and burn us. And they would like to put a bullet in my head as suggested by one Umno Blog.

These people have a lot of growing up to do. Have they not heard of freedom of expression and association? That is not a crime that warrants the issuing of a death sentence fatwah. That, in case many do not realise, is what the Federal Constitution of Malaysia guarantees us.

We carry no grudge against those Bloggers who were enticed by money and ‘sold out to the other side’. In that same spirit they should not grudge those of us who refuse to accept the money and choose, instead, to remain anti-establishment. That is no reason to declare war on us and to suggest that our life should be ended with a bullet in the head.

The lesson from Perak — M. Bakri Musa

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 11, 2009

Limkitsiangblog

MAY 11 — The current political paralysis in Perak reflects the major failures of our key institutions. It is a total breakdown at the palace, the legislature, and the permanent establishment.

It also exposes the glaring inadequacies of the judicial system which has yet to adjudicate this critical and urgent matter of state.

It is not however, the failure of the people, as some pundits have implied by quoting the old adage that we deserve the government we get.

It is the voters’ prerogative whether to grant the incumbent party a stunning victory, humble it with an unstable slim majority, or even throw it into the ranks of the opposition. Canada and Italy have a long history of minority governments, and they have managed well.

A mark of a mature democracy, or any system for that matter, is the transfer of power from one entity to another smoothly and predictably. Perak is a spectacular failure; it is also a preview for Malaysia.

Perak is one of three state governments that changed hands as a consequence of the 2008 general elections. In the other two, Kedah and Penang, the transition went much smoother. There were hiccups of course, like the destruction of state documents and the dissolution of legislators’ wives’ club in Selangor, for example.

That reflected more infantile behaviours than institutional failure. Why Perak should be the exception merits careful consideration.

We used to assume that if only we could get qualified and experienced people, then no matter how battered or inadequate our institutions, those people would rise up to the challenge.

In Perak, we have a sultan who by any measure is the most qualified and experienced, having served as the nation’s top judge for many years. Yet his decision in this critical matter, which demanded the most judicious of judgment, proved to be unwise and precipitous. And that is putting it mildly.

This is not hindsight. Even at the time when he made that pivotal decision (which was the singular event that triggered developments which culminated in the spectacle of May 7), the voice of the people was loud and clear.

Only that the sultan refused to hear or chose to ignore it. No amount of subsequent royal pontifications will ever rectify or justify this error. Only a reversal of that earlier erroneous decision would.

It was too bad that Sultan Azlan Shah deputised his Raja Muda to the May 7th opening of the legislature.

While that may have spared the sultan the spectacle and embarrassment of being physically entrapped by the bedlam, he missed a splendid opportunity to witness firsthand what his modern-day version of hulubalangs was up to!

Instead it was his Raja Muda who was left to cool his heels for a good six hours! Well, let us hope that at least it was an edifying experience for him.

It was nonetheless pathetic to see the Raja Muda reduced to pleading for respect for his speech! Few, not even the normally pliant mainstream media, bothered to carry his speech in full. So much for the respect that he desperately sought!

Amazingly in his speech, the Raja Muda did not deem it important or necessary to comment on the ugly spectacle he had just witnessed and been a part of. He remained aloof and strangely uncurious.

He must have been in temporary suspended animation, oblivious of his immediate surroundings, during his six-hour wait. He was from another planet, earlier programmed to deliver his royal speech and then leave! Nothing more; for that you would have to re-programme him again!

The principal political protagonists here were Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Dr Zamry Kadir, a Temple University PhD, and Pakatan’s Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, a professional engineer fluent in multiple languages.

Then there was the Speaker of the House, A. Sivakumar, a lawyer by profession. Their impressive diplomas and credentials meant nothing; they only looked impressive when framed and hanged on their office walls.

Instead of being the stabilising force and buffering factor, the permanent establishment, from the state secretary to the state legal advisor and the chief of police, was hopelessly ensnared in the mess through their highly partisan performances. They rapidly degenerated to being part of the problem (and a very significant one at that) instead of the solution.

As for the judiciary, it failed to appreciate the urgency and gravity of the crisis. Thus the case did not merit an expedited hearing and left to meander through the usual slow judicial pathway.

By contrast, the 2000 American elections that saw the Florida ballot counts being litigated, the case ended up at the Supreme Court for a definitive decision in a matter of days, not months.

Lessons Learned

Thanks to modern technology, those who were not there in Ipoh could still follow the unfolding events in real time, trumping the severe censorship machinery of the government. Not that it was ever effective, just like the rest of the government.

Unfortunately there is not much that we could learn from the sorry spectacle. Even to declare that it reflected the sorry state of our institutions would be inadequate. Besides, we already have too many affirmations of that sad reality.

The next reflex reaction would be to declare, “Everyone is to be blamed!” While that is an understandable response, it does not solve anything, for the corollary to that statement would be that no one is to be blamed. That would be a cop out; we are all not equally culpable.

Everyone in the chain of events could have stopped if not reversed the destructive sequence right up to the day before the infamous debacle at the legislature. Failing that, the buck must and should stop somewhere. In our system, the buck stops at the highest level, the palace.

Consider the chain of events again. First there were those renegade legislators switching party affiliations. No law against that; it was their choice. Perhaps that would galvanise the leaders of the party they had deserted to do a better job of screening and scrutinising their future candidates.

Maybe primary elections among party members (as in America) instead of a decision from headquarters would produce better and more reliable candidates. That certainly would be a useful lesson.

However, this being Malaysia, things get more interesting. It turned out that those turncoats were earlier being investigated for corruption. Miraculously after their switchover, the charges were not pursued! So far no journalist has any thought of following that lead.

Even if those characters were pure, their switching over should never have triggered such a mess. Surely they could wait till the next sitting of the legislature to introduce whatever vote of no confidence they may have in mind of the leadership, and thus bring down the sitting government in the traditional and only legitimate way.

Even if leaders of the Barisan coalition were to petition the sultan to dismiss the sitting Chief Minister (which they did), the sultan ought to first also hear out the incumbent before making a decision. Common sense dictates that.

One does not have to be a judge or have read the weighty tomes of legal luminaries to appreciate that elementary dictum. Hear both sides before rendering a decision! Even a new father knows that.

Sultan Azlan Shah cannot pretend to be able to read or predict the thinking of his legislators after only a few moments of “chat” under the most severe royal protocol at the palace. That would be the height of royal arrogance. In any other circumstance, decisions made under such surroundings could be considered as coerced.

Besides, it is their collective judgment expressed openly in a properly convened legislative forum that matters. Not only could you not predict individual behaviours, you could never foretell the group dynamics and the final collective decision.

If our political leaders make a mistake, they are held accountable. Just ask Abdullah Badawi. The buck with the present imbroglio stops at the palace, with Sultan Azlan Shah.

Unfortunately in our system at present, there is no effective system of checks and balances with respect to our monarchs, both at the state as well as federal levels. They are also immune to prosecution in the conduct of their official duties.

There is no mechanism to fire or censure them. The Special Tribunal is only for prosecuting their personal misconduct. Well, at least that is a beginning, a measure of some accountability.

Regardless whether we have an effective system of checks and balances with respect to the sultans, our society has irreversibly changed. The old feudal order is now gone, for good, and never to return. Get used to it! In today’s world, the people is sovereign. Just ask the descendents of the late Shah Pahlavi and King Farouk, or closer to home, the Sultan of Sulu.

I tried to convey this in my poem, Makna Merdeka 50 (Meaning of Merdeka 50), I wrote to commemorate our 50th year of independence. I quote a couple of stanzas:

Rakyat negri bukan nya kuli

Untok di kerah ka sana sini

Zaman purba tak akan kembali

Mungkin menteri di buang negri!

Renungkan nasib si Idi Amin

Yang Shah Pahlavi pun tak terjamin

Pemimpin negri mesti meninggati

Rakyat – bukan Raja – yang di daulati!

(Blessed with freedom and reason are God’s children/To lords and kings we are not beholden/The feudal order has long been toppled/Let’s be clear, the sovereign is the people!

Ponder the fate of one Idi Amin/That of Shah Pahlavi was equally grim!/Those realities our leaders must heed/“Power to the people!” is the new creed.)

That in essence is the pertinent lesson from Perak. —

Don’t follow the path of Dr M – Param Cumaraswamy

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 6, 2009

The Malaysian Insider

param-cumaraswamy1

MAY 6 – Dear Prime Minister, I draw your attention to and express my grave concern on reading media reports on the arrest of Wong Chin Huat, the spokesman for polls reform group Bersih, last night at his home for investigations under S.4(1) of the Sedition Act.

It was also reported that, upon arrest, he was taken away to an undisclosed location after midnight and his whereabouts kept secret.  It was further reported that he was to be produced in court either to be charged or for a remand order today.

If these reports are correct they must be a source of concern to you and all Malaysians. The continued use of the draconian Sedition Act is bad enough.  But the manner in which Wong was arrested and taken to an undisclosed location in the middle of the night is akin to what we have seen in repressive States where there is no rule of law.

Is Malaysia moving towards such a police state?  Arrest and detention prior to investigations for an offence under S.4(1) of the Sedition Act is most unwarranted and most unbecoming.

These events go counter to the promises you made publicly soon after you were appointed Prime Minister on April 3, 2009. You called for the removal of the temporary ban on two newspapers, the release of 13 ISA detainees and the review of the ISA itself.

You went on and said “These decisions are timely as we move to enhance the confidence of our citizens in those entrusted with maintaining peace, law and order, while recognising the need to remain vigilant of the very real security threats we continue to face as a young nation”.

Far from enhancing the confidence of Malaysians in the police, their conduct in the arrest and detention of Wong further erodes public confidence in the enforcement agencies in Malaysia.  How could Wong’s call on behalf of Bersih to the public to wear black tomorrow as a mark of protest over developments in Perak be seen as a threat to public security?

Please do not confuse threats to security of State with security of the government in power.

I urge you not to follow the path of Dr (now Tun) Mahathir Mohamad who made similar promises when he took office as Prime Minister in 1982 and later systematically turned the nation to a repressive State where, till today, the rule of law is seen on the balance.

Please remember that rule of law is not synonymous with rule by law.

* Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges & Lawyers.