Arkib Tahun 2011

16 December 2011

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The Washington Post

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says a conviction in his sodomy trial would only strengthen his opposition alliance ahead of elections.

Anwar also vowed to keep fighting for justice even if he was put behind bars. He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of sodomizing his male former aide.

The court announced Thursday it would deliver its verdict on Jan. 9.

Anwar says he is surprised at the early verdict date and questioned if it was being rushed to keep him from contesting national elections widely expected next year.

A conviction in the two-year trial would prevent Anwar from running in the polls.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied Anwar’s allegation that the government cooked up the charge to crush his political career.

16 December 2011

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Malaysia Chronicle

Tahukah anda, sejak daripada tahun 2008 sehinggalah pada penghujung tahun 2010, kerajaan persekutuan BN yang didominasi oleh Umno telah membelanjakan lebih daripada RM138 juta bagi membiayai kos operasi dan membayar elaun-elaun serta faedah ahli-ahli Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung-Persekutuan (JKKKP).

JKKKP ini telah ditubuhkan di negeri-negeri yang diperintah oleh Pakatan Rakyat, seperti Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Kedah dan Kelantan yang sejak daripada dahulu lagi telahpun mempunyai Jawatankuasa Keselamatan dan Kemajuan Kampung (JKKK) lantikan peringkat negeri yang asal.

JKKKP ini telah ditubuhkan di semua perkampungan di negeri-negeri di mana BN telah dikalahkan dan kehilangan kuasa di dalam pilihanraya umum yang lalu bagi mencabar kewibawaan JKKK asal yang sedia ada.

Manakala bagi negeri-negeri yang masih ditadbir oleh BN, JKKKP tidak ditubuhkan kerana JKKK lantikan negeri masih dikuasai oleh mereka.

Tujuan pembentukan dan perlantikan JKKKP ini adalah jelas, BN tidak dapat menerima hakikat bahawa mereka telah ditolak oleh rakyat dan kekalahan mereka di dalam pilihanraya umum yang lalu, justeru daripada itu, menggunakan kaedah sedemikian (JKKKP) untuk mencabar dan melawan kesahihan JKKK di negeri-negeri di bawah Pakatan Rakyat.

Inilah disebut JKKK Klon yang digelar JKKKP.

Ada juga Penghulu Persekutuan!

Selain daripada JKKKP lantikan kerajaan persekutuan BN untuk mencabar kewibawaan JKKK asal yang sedia ada, BN turut melaksanakan perlantikan Penghulu-penghulu Persekutuan bagi mencabar para Penghulu-penghulu asal perkampungan yang telahpun dilantik oleh kerajaan-kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat.

Perbuatan kerajaan persekutuan BN yang sehingga kini masih enggan mengiktiraf sepenuhnya kerajaan-kerajaan negeri di bawah pentadbiran Pakatan Rakyat yang dipilih oleh rakyat dengan melantik JKKKP dan Penghulu Persekutuan di kawasan-kawasan dan perkampungan-perkampungan di negeri-negeri tersebut telah mengakibatkan perbelanjaan boros wang rakyat yang langsung tidak berfaedah kerana wang-wang tersebut hanya diberikan kepada para penyokong BN yang menganggotai JKKKP dan menjadi Penghulu Persekutuan.

Dah ada Penghulu Klon pula yang bergelar Penghulu Persekutuan.

Wakil-wakil Rakyat Klon turut wujud

Dalam pada itu, kita juga dapati bahawa wakil-wakil rakyat klon turut wujud di kesemua kawasan-kawasan parlimen dan dewan undangan negeri yang dimenangi oleh Pakatan Rakyat, yang digelar sebagai Penyelaras Parlimen ataupun Penyelaras Dewan Undangan Negeri.

Para Penyelaras-penyelaras BN Parlimen dan Penyelaras-penyelaras BN Dewan Undangan Negeri ini adalah dilantik secara terus oleh kerajaan persekutuan BN melalui Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM) dan lantikan-lantikan mereka dikawal selia oleh Unit Penyelarasan dan Perlaksanaan (ICU) JPM. (more…)

15 December 2011

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Malaysiakini

The founders of Google, Twitter, Yahoo! eBay and other Internet giants expressed concern to the US Congress over legislation intended to crack down on online piracy.

They warned that the proposed legislation will give Washington the power to censor the Internet, much like that employed by China, Malaysia and Iran.

The Stop Online Piracy Act has received some bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and is the House version of a bill introduced in the Senate known as the Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or Protect IP Act.

The legislation has received the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce and other groups.

But it has come under fire from digital rights and free speech organisations for allegedly paving the way for US authorities to shut down websites, including foreign sites, without due process and threatening the architecture of the Web.

The founders of the leading Internet companies added their voices to the chorus of opposition against the bills in an open letter to Congress published Wednesday in several US newspapers, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

“We’ve all had the good fortune to found Internet companies and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and free expression online,” they said in the letter. (more…)

15 December 2011

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The Malaysian Insider

Selepas pernah berada di penjara selama enam tahun, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim bertekad akan terus berjuang demi keadilan tidak kisah bakal keputusan kes liwat, yang akan diumumkan 9 Januari depan.

“Ia tidak berbeza, di penjara ataupun di luar, saya akan berjuang untuk keadilan,” kata beliau kepada pemberita di kompleks mahkamah Jalan Duta di sini, di akhir sesi penggulungan kes peringkat pembelaan, tengah hari ini.

Ketua Pembangkang ini menambah, beliau pernah melalui kehidupan di penjara dan mendapati ia bukan sesuatu yang sukar untuk dilalui.

Anwar , bekas timbalan perdana menteri, telah dikenakan hukuman penjara atas kesalahan liwat dan salah guna kuasa selepas dipecat pada 1998. Beliau dibebaskan pada 2004.

Bagaimanapun pemimpin berusia 64 tahun ini berkata kenyataan beliau tidak harus dianggap sebagai satu kekalahan.

“Ia bukan satu persoalan secara sukarela mahu ke penjara. Untuk apa sebab? Sebab saya memutuskan untuk tidak menyertai semula Umno, sebab saya memutuskan untuk melawan mereka atas sifat rasis dan dasar-dasar tidak adil mereka?” katanya.

15 December 2011

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Keadilan Daily

Mahkamah Tinggi Jalan Duta kembali bersidang bagi mendengar hujah balas penggulungan akhir oleh peguam  Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dalam kes Fitnah II.

Antara isu yang dijangka ditumpukan pasukan peguam bela Anwar hari ini ialah kredibiliti tiga saksi pakar pembelaan yang dipertikaikan ketua pendakwaan, Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden semasa penggulungannya Selasa lalu.

Isnin lalu, peguam Anwar, Karpal Singh ketika menggulung hujah mendesak mahkamah memanggil semula bekas Timbalan Pendakwa Raya, Farah Azlina dan pengadu,Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan bagi memastikan keputusan perbicaraan dilakukan dengan adil.

Menurut Karpal, hakim perlu meneliti keterangan pembelaan yang dibuat Anwar dari kandang tertuduh sebagai rujukan terhadap bukti yang dibentangkan sepanjang perbicaraan.

Karpal juga menegaskan adalah mustahil Saiful menuruti semua arahan Anwar ketika kejadian itu berlaku, dan mempunyai banyak peluang untuk melarikan diri tetapi tidak berbuat demikian.

14 December 2011

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Esok Khamis 15 Disember 2011, Mahkamah Tinggi Jalan Duta akan kembali bersidang bagi mendengar sambungan Hujahan dalam kes Fitnah Versi Ke 2. Mahkamah akan bermula pada Jam 9:30 pagi

14 December 2011

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Merdeka Review

Zunar

Pada 2 September 1998, media seperti Utusan Malaysia atau nama timangannya “Utusan Meloya” serta TV3 menyiarkan berita dan afidavit penuh dari beberapa individu bahawa Anwar Ibrahim terlibat dalam perlakuan liwat.  Kebanyakan penyokong reformasi dan Pakatan Rakyat pada ketika itu tidak mengenali Anwar, begitu juga dengan saya.  Semua dalam kekeliruan.

Tetapi, saya mula menyoal kalau betul Anwar bersalah, pasti dia bukan begini peribadinya.  Orang bersalah tidak akan berani berceramah di hadapan khalayak ramai, apatah lagi untuk bertentang mata dengan ribuan manusia.  Sebagai manusia berakal, saya perlu mencari kepastian.  Ketika itu, dari dua hingga ke 20 September, setiap malam di rumah Anwar diadakan ceramah.

Pada satu malam, saya berkesempatan untuk kali pertama mendengar ucapan mantan Timbalan Perdana Menteri itu di rumahnya di Bukit Damansara.  Siang itu, penulis ucapan beliau Dr. Munawar Anees ditangkap.

Ceramah beliau pada malam itu mematikan keraguan saya termasuk satu baris pidato yang sangat penting dan signifikan.  Kata Anwar, merujuk penangkapan Dr.Munawar, lebih kurang begini, “Kenapa tangkap orang-orang saya?  Tangkap saya.  Saya pemimpin!!!”.

Hanya mereka yang “berani kerana benar” boleh berbicara seperti itu.  Kata-kata seperti ini tidak mampu lahir dari mulut seorang yang bersalah.  Atas kebenaran ini, dia berdiri tegak dan mencabar para rangkaian konspirator.  Atas kebenaran ini, dia menerjang segala risiko demi membela orang yang dipimpin.

Saya percaya kalaulah situasi ini dihadapi oleh Dr.Mahathir, sejak awal beliau sudah lari ke kandang kuda di Argentina dan membiarkan pengikut-pengikutnya menghadapi segala risiko.  Dan kalau Najib mungkin sudah lama lari ke Mongolia.

Sejak saat itu saya pasti semua tuduhan yang dilemparkan ke atas Anwar adalah fitnah dan hanya untuk membunuh karier politik beliau dan menyelamatkan perasuah.  Betapa besarnya dosa pereka-pereka fitnah, penyebar, pentokong dan orang yang berdiam serta merelakannya.

Bagi saya Anwar layak membawa Malaysia keluar dari kemelut dan dia perlu disokong.  Kepada dia, rakyat boleh sandarkan harapan.  Di bawah ini beberapa insiden yang diberitahu kepada saya kemudiannya yang mengukuhkan menyerlahkan perwatakannya sebagai seorang pemimpin.

Dalam peristiwa demonstrasi membela petani miskin Baling pada tahun 1974, Anwar pada asalnya tidak ditangkap dan sudah berada di rumah bapanya (Datuk Ibrahim) di Petaling Jaya.  Tapi apabila mendengar berita penangkapan teman-temannya (termasuk Fadzil Noor), beliau segera ke balai polis Jalan Stadium untuk membela, yang akhirnya menyebabkan dia terus ditangkap di bawah ISA selama dua tahun.

Insiden kedua, apabila menghadapi tuduhan, sehari sebelum dipecat, dia diberi kata oleh oleh Dr.Mahathir – “dipecat atau menghadapi tuduhan yang memalukan”.  Dan ini diiringi tawaran lumayan untuk bertugas di Bank Dunia sekiranya beliau memilih untuk meletak jawatan.  Jawab Anwar, “Kenapa saya harus meletak jawatan, saya tidak bersalah.”  Kita percaya semua pemimpin UMNO/BN dalam situasi ini akan memlilih jawatan di Bank Dunia.

Satu kriteria penting bagi seseorang pemimpin berwibawa.  “Apabila berhadapan dengan pilihan laba, beliau memilih untuk mempertahankan prinsip walaupun risikonya penjara.”

Malah prinsip beliau jelas dalam pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh 2008 di mana dia bertanding.  Dalam kempen, taktik bersumpah atas nama agama dilakukan oleh Najib Razak dan Saiful demi mendapat undi.

Kerana tingkah lalu para sesumpah ini disiarkan oleh Meloya dan TV3, sokongan pengundi Melayu merosot mendadak, maka ada teman-teman yang menasihati Anwar untuk ikut bersumpah.  Beliau menolak kerana amalan sumpah dilarang dalam Islam. Persoalan jenayah wajib di bawa ke mahkamah adil.

Beliau berpendirian tidak akan mengorbankan prinsip agama untuk tujuan politik kalaupun sekiranya ditakdir beliau kalah dalam pilihanraya itu.

Akhir kalam, rencana ini tidak membicarakan soal politik kepartian, tetapi keperluan membawa Malaysia keluar dari kebobrokan rasuah, penjarahan harta negara, perompakan wang rakyat yang menghalang kemajuan negara.  UMNO/BN terjebak dalam lubuk keji ini dan mereka sendiri tidak mampu mencari jalan keluar, apa lagi membawa rakyat keluar.

Sebagai alternatif, kita punya seorang pemimpin yang berani, bertanggungjawab, berprinsip dan mempunyai jiwa pembela rakyat.  Hanya seorang pemimpin tanpa rasuah seperti Anwar dengan gagasan Pakatan Rakyat mampu mengemudi Malaysia kembali berdaulat dengan rakyat yang berjati diri.

*Nota Zunar: Rencana khusus kepada golongan muda, terutama generasi selepas September 1998.

**Zunar (nama asal: Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, gambar kiri) ialah kartunis politik. Tulisan ini dipetik dari blognya.

14 December 2011

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Keadilan Daily

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi adalah antara saksi penting yang perlu dipanggil dalam perbicaraan kes Zon Bebas Pelabuhan Klang (PKFZ).

Perkara itu dinyatakan peguam yang meakili bekas Menteri Pengangkutan, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, Wong Kian Kheong di Mahkamah Tinggi hari ini.

Beliau berkata pendakwaan gagal memanggil Dr Mahathir, Abdullah, Najib, Menteri Penerangan Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Datuk Seri Rais Yatim (ketika itu Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri) serta 19 menteri lain sebagai saksi, tanpa sebarang alasan.

“Dr Mahathir merupakan saksi penting dalam kes ini kerana berdasarkan dokumen secara kronologi, beliau mempunyai peranan peribadi dan aktif dalam projek PKFZ. Abdullah juga perlu dipanggil kerana KDSB (Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd) menulis sepucuk surat bertarikh 4 Julai 2001 kepada beliau mengenai projek PKFZ.

“Najib juga adalah saksi penting kerana beliau mempengerusikan mesyuarat kabinet pada 27 Jun 2007, manakala (Datuk Seri) Dr Rais (Yatim) pula memberi pandangan bahawa tanah itu harus dibeli berdasarkan terma yang ditawarkan KDSB,” katanya.

Menurut Wong, Liong Sik hanya dijadikan kambing hitam dan kabinet sememangnya dimaklumkan mengenai faedah pada kadar 7.5 peratus setahun, lapor Bernama.

Katanya, anak guamnnya juga tidak memberikan gambaran yang salah kepada kabinet bahawa kadar RM25 bagi satu kaki persegi (skp) dan faedah 7.5 peratus itu telah disahkan serta dipersetujui Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta (JPPH).

Beliau berkata meskipun Dr Ling adalah penandatangan surat kepada bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad bertarikh 29 Jun 2002 serta nota bertarikh 29 Okt tahun yang sama, kedua-dua dokumen tidak disediakan sendiri oleh tertuduh.

“Dr Ling tidak terlibat langsung dalam memberikan apa-apa maklumat kepada Tun Dr Mahathir melalui surat berkenaan. Selain itu, tidak ada bukti yang menunjukkan Dr Ling meminda draf kedua-dua eksibit itu,” katanya ketika berhujah di akhir kes pendakwaan.

Wong juga berkata penilaian JPPH pada kadar RM25 skp dalam surat jabatan itu pada September 2000 tidak termasuk jumlah keseluruhan faedah yang perlu dibayar.

Wong berkata, Kementerian Kewangan turut terlibat secara aktif bersama Lembaga Pelabuhan Klang (LPK) dan Kementerian Pengangkutan dalam projek PKFZ, serta mempunyai pengetahuan mengenai surat JPPH.

Beliau berkata selain itu, pendakwaan gagal membuktikan bahawa semua anggota kabinet terutama Dr Mahathir, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri ketika itu) dan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak (yang mempengerusikan mesyuarat kabibet pada 2007), telah diperdayakan.

Dr Ling, 68, didakwa menipu Kerajaan Malaysia apabila tidak mendedahkan kepada Jemaah Menteri fakta berkaitan kadar faedah sebanyak 7.5 peratus setahun adalah tambahan kepada harga pembelian tanah pajakan negeri 7324 Lot 67894 yang berasaskan RM25 skp iaitu RM1,088,456,000 sedangkan beliau tahu JPPH, dalam menentukan nilai kadar RM25 skp, telah mengambil kira kadar kupon/faedah.

Beliau juga didakwa atas dua pertuduhan pilihan (pindaan) iaitu menipu dan sengaja tidak mendedahkan kepada Jemaah Menteri fakta berkaitan kadar faedah sebanyak 7.5 peratus setahun adalah kadar faedah tambahan kepada harga pembelian tanah pajakan 7324 Lot 67894 berasaskan RM25 skp iaitu RM1,088,456,000.

Dr Ling didakwa melakukan semua kesalahan itu di tingkat 4, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Bangunan Perdana Putra, Putrajaya antara 25 Sept dan 6 Nov 2002.

Penggulungan hujah di depan Hakim Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi disambung esok.

14 December 2011

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DEMI RAKYAT


16 Disember 2011 (Jumaat)

Program 1) Temerloh,  Pahang

5.00 – 7.00 ptg – Hi-Tea Dan Ceramah

Lokasi : Syakira Café, Batu Satu, Jalan Mentakab, Temerloh

Penceramah:

1.      YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim

2.      YBhg Ahmad Nizam Hamid

3.      YBhg Haji Yusof Darus

4.      YBhg Haji Abas Awang

5.      YB Leong Ngah Ngah

Program 2) Kuantan, Pahang

8.00 – 11.00 malam – Ceramah Perdana – Demi Rakyat

Lokasi: Sekilau Seafood Restaurant, Jln Haji Ahmad, Kuantan

Penceramah:

1.      YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim

2.      YB Fauziah Salleh

3.      YB Chang Li Kang

4.      YBhg Dato’ Fauzi Abdul Rahman

Program 3)  Kemaman, Terengganu

9.00 – 12.00 malam – Ceramah Perdana – Demi Rakyat

Lokasi: Pejabat PKR Kemaman, Taman Jakar Jaya, Cukai, Kemaman

Penceramah:

1.      YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim

2.      YB Azan Ismail

3.      YBhg Rafizi Ramli

4.       YBhg Ismail Harun

14 December 2011

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The New York Times

By LIZ GOOCH

Shortly after the prosecution filed its closing arguments Tuesday and declared that it had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, was guilty of sodomy, Mr. Anwar emerged from the Kuala Lumpur High Court to cries of “Reform!” from his supporters.

“I still hope that sanity and justice will prevail and the judge will have to decide based on the facts and the law,” said Mr. Anwar, who faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty, said as he left the courtroom.

The trial, which has extended over nearly two years, is expected to end on Thursday with a reply from the defense. Mr. Anwar will then face an anxious wait for a verdict that could prevent him from running in elections widely expected to be held next year and realizing his long-held ambition to become prime minister.

Sodomy, even between consenting adults, remains a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia, and any prison sentence would bar Mr. Anwar, 64, from contesting elections for five years from the date of his release.

Some analysts, however, predict that a guilty verdict could enhance support for the political opposition and bolster its contention that the trial was politically motivated. The government has denied such assertions.

More than a decade has passed since Mr. Anwar, who served as deputy prime minister from 1993 to 1998, was convicted of earlier charges of abuse of power and sodomy.

Released from prison in 2004 after the Federal Court overturned the sodomy conviction, Mr. Anwar now leads an opposition alliance that holds more parliamentary seats than ever after the governing coalition, which has dominated Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957, lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority in the 2008 elections.

Mr. Anwar has not backed down from his assertion that he is the victim of a conspiracy and the government his persecutor. And he does not believe that the verdict in the new trial, in which he is charged with forcing a male aide to have sex, will be any different from the first.

A guilty verdict, he says, is a “foregone conclusion.”

“Am I prepared?” he said Thursday in an interview at his party’s headquarters. “Yes, I don’t have a choice.”

But he added, “Whether I am in jail or convicted or otherwise, reform and change must take place.”

Several months after the 2008 elections, Mr. Anwar was charged with sodomizing his former political aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in a Kuala Lumpur apartment. Mr. Anwar has described the allegation as a “blatant and vicious lie.”

In final submissions to the court on Tuesday, the prosecution disputed the defense’s claims that DNA evidence considered crucial in the trial could have been tainted. The prosecution said Mr. Anwar had failed to refute key elements of Mr. Saiful’s testimony when he delivered a statement from the dock. Because he did not give evidence under oath, Mr. Anwar was not subject to cross-examination.

Mr. Anwar’s lawyers, who have complained that the trial has not been conducted fairly, had sought to paint his accuser as a “consummate liar.”

Human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have criticized the trial.

Condemnation has also come from Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president who, with Paul D. Wolfowitz, the former U.S. deputy secretary of defense, wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year that the trial “threatens not just Mr. Anwar but all those in Malaysia who have struggled for a freer and more democratic nation.”

But for all his pessimism about his chances of acquittal, Mr. Anwar voices equal optimism about the opposition’s prospects in the next election: “Not if — when,” he said.

James Chin, a political scientist and director of the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Monash University Malaysia, said that a guilty verdict would lend credence to the opposition’s assertions that the trial was a government conspiracy. “If he gets a guilty verdict and a very harsh sentence, this will be a very good thing for the opposition,” Mr. Chin said.

Bridget Welsh, an associate professor at Singapore Management University who specializes in Malaysian politics, said a guilty verdict would support the view that the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak “is so insecure that it has to use the judiciary against the opposition leader.”

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“This will bring international attention to the issue and within Malaysia consolidate Anwar’s base of support,” she said.

While the opposition has often been beset by claims of disunity in its ranks, Mr. Anwar said the parties had been working to come up with a “clear platform” on key policies ahead of the election.

“Our target is to win the elections,” Mr. Anwar said. “I’m very optimistic.”

He said the opposition must present a coherent, united voice and emphasize its commitment to democratic reforms, and communicate its message to the public — something Mr. Anwar complained was difficult because of the government dominance of television and newspapers.

Calls for greater protection of civil liberties have grown louder in Malaysia this year, and Mr. Najib has announced that he will undertake a series of legislative changes.

But his actions have failed to satisfy the Malaysian Bar Council and other rights advocates, with many criticizing the government’s new Peaceful Assembly Act. Although the act would eliminate the need to obtain a police permit for protests, it would ban street demonstrations and require protesters to notify the police in advance.

Mr. Anwar, who said he would allow street protests if elected, said Malaysia has the ingredients for its own “Arab spring” if changes are not made.

He said Malaysia was not comparable to Libya under Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime or Syria under President Bashar al-Assad. But, he said, “all the ingredients of a repressive regime, an authoritarian regime, are there.”

As Mr. Anwar awaits the verdict, he said he would be traveling around the country, meeting members of the public to garner support for the opposition.

He said that, if he is jailed, he believes the government “will just try and erase me as they did before in 1998, because they thought by just jailing me that Anwar’s role and future is erased for good.”

But he left no doubt that he would not go quietly if convicted. In a courtroom speech delivered during the trial, he vowed that the “truth will eventually prevail.”

“Come what come may,” he said, “I shall never surrender.”

14 December 2011

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The Guardian

The portents do not look good for Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, whose trial on highly dubious sodomy charges draws to a close this week. If Anwar is found guilty – and the trial judge seems to have made up his mind already – he will not be the only or even the most important victim of an egregious, politically suspect injustice. Malaysia’s democratic reputation will have been critically wounded, and for that outrage, Malaysians will have their prime minister, Najib Razak, to thank.

The plodding Najib’s overriding objective is winning the general election expected next year, possibly within a few months. The son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, the nephew of its third, president of the dominant United Malays National Organisation (Umno), and a former defence minister, Najib was born to power and is accustomed to wielding it. As the charismatic leader of the opposition coalition, Anwar represents the biggest challenge to his continuing ascendancy.

It hardly seems coincidental that the sodomy charges were levelled at Anwar shortly after the opposition inflicted unprecedented defeats on Umno and its allies in the 2008 elections. Anwar’s main campaign plank – combating the official, institutionalised discrimination that favours ethnic Malays over the country’s large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities – threatened the post-colonial order that has kept Umno and its National Front coalition on top since 1957.

In a court appearance earlier this year, Anwar, 64, a married father of six, denied accusations he had had sexual relations with a former male aide. Homosexuality is punishable by law in Malaysia by caning and up to 20 years in jail. The allegations were “a vile and desperate attempt at character assassination” and a “blatant and vicious lie” spread by his political enemies, he said. “This entire process is nothing but a conspiracy by Najib Razak to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars.”

Najib flatly rejects the idea of a political vendetta. But the recycling of sodomy accusations – Anwar was jailed on a similar charge in 1998 and detained until the conviction was quashed in 2004 – suggests a lack of originality characteristic of the prime minister. The case turns on the testimony of the alleged victim and DNA evidence produced by the prosecution. Defence lawyers suggested this week that Anwar’s accuser was a “compulsive and consummate liar” who may have been put up to it. Yet the trial judge has already declared the prosecution’s evidence “reliable” and credible”, leading Anwar to claim he is being denied a fair trial.

Najib gives every appearance of preparing for snap polls on the assumption that Anwar will be out of the way and the opposition decapitated. He told Umno’s annual congress to prepare for battle because “the time is near” and urged delegates to work harder, for example by using social media, to attract a “new generation of Malaysians who are more critical and have rising expectations of the government”. The party must adapt or face “tragedy”, he warned.

To Najib’s evident alarm, that tragedy almost occurred in July when tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur. The highly unusual public display of discontent was spurred by a range of factors: spending cuts, official corruption and cronyism, a defective electoral system, curbs on public assembly and debate, and state-imposed censorship considered draconian even by regional standards. The example of recent political upheavals in neighbouring Thailand and Singapore also played a part. In response, thousands were beaten and detained by police.

Now Najib is taking no chances as his lieutenants warn that Anwar is fomenting an Arab spring-style uprising – a so-called “hibiscus revolution”. Having more or less reneged on shaky, post-July promises of civil rights reform, Najib is now pushing through remodelled restrictions in the form of the Peaceful Assembly act.

The act effectively makes peaceful assembly impossible by restricting it to undefined “designated places”. No gatherings are permitted within 50 meters of prohibited places including hospitals, schools or places of worship. The police can dictate the date, time and place. Najib’s idea of engaging the “new generation” of young Malaysians is to ban anyone under the age of 21 from organising a protest.

Opposition parties, lawyers and activist groups have condemned the new law, as has Amnesty International. But Najib Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno’s youth-wing leader, articulated Najib’s paranoia last month when he accused Anwar’s coalition of “trying hard to manufacture panic and disorder” by promoting street rallies instead of elections. “The opposition often quotes social movements in the Middle East to instigate people to take part in street revolutions and in the process manufacture a Malaysian version of the Arab spring,” Khairy said.

Najib’s authoritarian tendencies, blatant political scaremongering, and the judicial travesty that is Anwar’s trial all suggest Malaysia’s western allies, including Britain and the US, should take a closer look at their friend. Malaysia is valued as a trading partner, counterproliferation collaborator, and noncombatant member of the Afghanistan coalition. But the government’s human rights record and democratic practices merit closer scrutiny.

In a visit last year, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton extracted a promise that Anwar would receive a fair trial. “The US believes it is important for all aspects of the case to be conducted fairly and transparently and in a way that increases confidence in the rule of law in Malaysia,” she said. In a recent speech, Clinton urged all states to end discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

As Anwar’s ordeal approaches an ugly climax, it seems increasingly unlikely that these benchmarks will be met. The next question is: what will Malaysians and their friends do about it?

14 December 2011

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Kompas.com

Kelompok-kelompok dan para aktivis lingkungan dari Malaysia, Eropa, dan Australia, Selasa (13/12), mengimbau pihak berwenang Malaysia menangkap seorang gubernur yang kuat dan 13 kerabatnya yang dituduh melakukan korupsi.

Penanda tangan seruan itu antara lain Greenpeace dan Bruno Manser Fund yang bermarkas di Swiss. Mereka mengeluarkan sebuah surat yang dikirim kepada Pemerintah Malaysia. Mereka mendesak agar Menteri Besar Negara Bagian Sarawak Abdul Taib Mahmud, yang berkuasa sejak 1981, segera ditangkap.

Para lawan politik Taib sudah lama menuduh bahwa korupsi sistematis dan penjarahan sumber daya alam di Sarawak, yang terletak di bagian utara Kalimantan, dilakukan oleh Taib (75) dan keluarganya.

Surat yang ditandatangani 17 LSM dan aktivis itu menyatakan kejahatan yang dilakukan antara lain pengambilan dana, tanah publik, penyalahgunaan jabatan, penggelapan, pencucian uang ”dan konspirasi untuk membentuk sebuah organisasi kejahatan”.

Organisasi Bruno Manser Fund, yang memimpin upaya ini, mengatakan, catatan publik di beberapa negara memperlihatkan Taib dan anggota keluarganya memiliki saham di 332 perusahaan Malaysia dan di 85 perusahaan asing dengan nilai aset miliaran dollar AS.

Pusat tak bertindak

Surat itu menambahkan, saham keluarga Taib di 14 perusahaan besar Malaysia melebihi 1,46 miliar dollar AS. ”Kami menduga keras hanya pelanggaran hukum sistematis dan penggunaan metode ilegal yang memungkinkan Taib dan anggota keluarga mendapatkan aset korporasi yang begitu besar,” demikian salah satu pernyataan dalam surat itu.

Imbauan itu dikirim kepada jaksa agung, badan antikorupsi, dan inspektur jenderal polisi Malaysia. Komisi Antikorupsi Malaysia beberapa waktu lalu mengatakan sedang menyidik Taib. Akan tetapi, direktur penyidikan di badan itu, Mustafar Ali, menolak berkomentar.

Seorang pejabat di kantor Taib juga menolak berkomentar. Taib sebelumnya menyangkal tuduhan-tuduhan semacam itu.

LSM-LSM itu mengatakan, penangkapan kasus ini perlu agar tersangka tidak keburu melenyapkan bukti-bukti.

Para pejabat Sarawak telah mengatakan, negara bagian yang kurang berkembang itu perlu mempercepat pertumbuhan ekonomi. Namun, para lawan Taib menuduh korupsi terjadi lewat pemberian konsesi bisnis kayu dan kontrak lain di Sarawak.

Pembangunan dengan dasar keserakahan telah menyebabkan penebangan hutan, pembangunan bendungan yang beres, dan juga menyebabkan terjadinya penggusuran suku-suku asli.

Mereka juga menuduh pemerintah pusat tidak bertindak karena ingin mempertahankan Sarawak sebagai kubu politik bagi koalisi Barisan Nasional. (AFP/DI)

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