Arkib Tahun 2012

24 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

Malaysian Chronicle

Raised eyebrows, annoyance, snorts and sniggers. Those were among the most common responses to a plan by Umno President and Barisan Nasional chairman Najib Razak to seek the help of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission to vet the ruling coalition’s candidates for the forthcoming 13th General Election.

To make it worse, there has been nothing but an ominous silence to this proposal from the most powerful man in Umno today, Najib’s former boss and ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, and with good reasons too.

Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz, is unlikely to make the grade given the father’s reported US$ 44 billion in assets and the flight of US$ 200 billion in dirty money last year. In fact, few if any of the top leaders in Umno would be able to make the grade, with the entire plan already ridiculed by the public and tagged as an eye-wash to curry favor in a most childish way with voters.

Trying to scare the Devil or negotiating better exit terms

What is Najib trying to do? As far as the general perception goes, Najib along with Mahathir should to be among the first to be axed given the former’s humongous Scorpene corruption and Altantuya Shaariibuu murder scandals. Can the 59-year-old Najib really be so fatuous as to believe that by roping in the MACC, whose own integrity is in doubt, it will make things right with voters?

Come on, voters are already sick and tired of the Umno-BN’s never-ending story of bribery and plundering of the national coffers. So what is Najib after? Is he trying to warn Mahathir and his own deputy, the also corruption-tainted Muhyiddin Yassin, to back off? Red-hot on the Umno grapevine is talk that Mahathir and Muhyiddin have struck a deal to push out Najib before GE13. Is Najib trying to signal that he won’t be giving up so easily and if he has to, he will fight back?

Those who are watching the developments in Umno will know soon enough. However, given the strength of Mahathir’s sinister character and Najib’s weak indecisivness, few believe Najib can do much to scare Mahathir. That would be like a kitten trying to take on a wolf.

At the most, it might buy the PM and his wife Rosmah Mansor a few more months in power, allowing them to make a more advantageous and graceful exit. Instead of relinquishing the premiership before GE13 as Mahathir and Muhyiddin are said to have demanded, Najib might get to lead Umno-BN into GE13 before stepping down as Umno president at the party’s internal election due to be held later in 2013.

Mahathir conducted a purge of Umno, BN candidates

Mahathir is not an easy man to cross and few have survived doing so. His most successful opponent remains his chief thorn in the flesh – Anwar Ibrahim. Not Najib. For now until GE13, Mahathir may continue to say good things about Najib but this can change anytime. Author Barry Wain did not call Mahathir a maverick for nothing. Mahathir is indeed the power behind the throne and all eyes are now on the 87-year-old as he twists and turns to keep his grip on Umno and protect his family and their enormous wealth.

Upon assuming power in 1981, Mahathir decided, unilaterally, that his Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah (Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy) administration would not field undeserving candidates. Mahathir was judge, jury, and hangman in this case. No MACC or ACA for him! The candidates knew it had nothing to do with their being ‘undeserving’ but that this was his way of purging BN of candidates put up by his predecessors and bringing in his own faction members.

Many Umno and BN members who held party posts were not fielded as candidates in the General Election (GE) simply because they weren’t with him or he simply didn’t like their faces. To add insult to injury, they weren’t compensated with other government posts either because his aim was to finish them off politically and bury them for good. Yet, his losing candidates in party elections were not only fielded as GE candidates but were rewarded with other government positions when they lost at the party and GE levels.

Ruthless, mean, vicious, vindictive – these are all words used to describe Mahathir, and another strongman politician in Malaysia – Taib Mahmud of Sarawak.

Najib is no better than this duo. He and Rosmah are just as controversial and unpopular. But for his own self-preservation, Najib should know why he must get Mahathir and Company out of the 13th GE.

Mahathir’s regime was anything but clean, efficient and trustworthy as evident in, among others, Barry Wain’s book, “Malaysian Maverick – Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times.” According Wain’s research, during Mahathir’s administration US$ 100billion was lost from the Malaysian treasury.

Mahathir stabbed Hussein Onn in the back and betrayed Razak

If Malaysia’s third prime minister Hussein Onn, who was also Najib’s uncle, had not selected Mahathir as his Deputy Prime Minister, Malaysia would have had a different history. Hussein erroneously thought that since Mahathir was a lone ranger in politics and did not have any grassroots support, he would not be a challenge to him. Mahathir, however, being the wily Keralan that he was, managed to outmaneuver Hussein out of office in what’s seen today as virtually a coup d’etat.

This was how Mahathir repaid Abdul Razak, Najib’s father and Hussein’s brother-in-law, who brought him back to Umno after having being sacked by Tunku Abdul Rahman for being one of the three arch villains behind the May 13 race riots. The other two arch villains were Razak himself and then Selangor Menteri Besar Harun Idris who prevailed on the former to re-admit Mahathir into Umno.

The issue that Mahathir used against Hussein was the allegation that the latter’s wife was virtually running Petronas from her house. The Dap mysteriously received, now believed to be from Mahathir, documents in the post on the allegation and on Exxon allegedly stealing Malaysian oil on the high seas unknown to Petronas. Then Dap secretary-general Lim Kit Siang ended up in Court as a result of the documents as Exxon fought back with a legal suit.

The story, as it goes further, is that Mahathir had Hussein’s office completely cleared out when the Prime Minister was subsequently in London for medical attention.

He also reportedly spread rumours, in hinting at the allegations on Petronas/Exxon, that Hussein had a “terrible heart condition” and would be stepping down as Prime Minister upon his return “for health reasons”. Mahathir’s regime was a time of great rumour-mongering and all of which subsequently turned out to be true since they originated from the man himself.

It was Dap, albeit inadvertently, who helped put Mahathir in the Prime Minister’s chair.

Now, Najib has the opportunity to settle scores on behalf of Hussein, his father and Tunku and embark on a real purge of Umno and BN members he shouldn’t field as candidates. But will he rise to the occassion or is the latest MACC ploy just to negotiate better exit terms for himself and Rosmah?

If Najib had the guts …

But if Najib could summon up the courage to launch a fight-back, then his primary purpose of bringing in MACC would be to eliminate those who are not in his camp.

This would include Muhyiddin, who is in cahoots with Mahathir to undermine him. However, MACC or no MACC, it would be difficult for Najib to drop Muhyiddin and get away with it. He would need a more complex plot and there is no enough time to get one going. However, Najib can get poetic justice by fielding only Muhyiddin from the latter’s and Mahathir’s camp.

It would not be a good idea for Najib to pack the list of BN candidates with only his people. He should include some from the Tunku, Hussein, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah camps as well. This is the time for them to make a comeback and help neutralise Mahathir who never really had any grassroots support in Umno.

Mahathir survived by first pitting Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh against each other not once but twice. He himself was returned unopposed. This is a feat he stage-managed. If either Musa or Razaleigh had taken on Mahathir for the Umno Presidency then, they could have beaten him.

Mahathir used everyone and betrayed them

Mahathir, having used Musa to neutralize Razaleigh – hinting that Razaleigh won’t be Deputy Prime Minister if he won — subsequently spread rumours that the Mahathir-Musa 2M Administration would henceforth be the Mahathir Mohamad 2M Administration. Musa resigned and played into Mahathir’s hands.

Mahathir then brought in veteran Ghaffar Baba, a strong grassroots man who had the backing of Malay teachers who then formed the bulk of the Umno membership, as his Deputy Prime Minister. It was Ghaffar who helped to pull in votes for Mahathir as Umno president in the face of a combined assault by Razaleigh and Musa for the Presidency and Deputy Presidency. Even then Mahathir would not have made it had he not received the backing of votes from 30 illegal branches created by him.

As history has recorded, Mahathir used Anwar Ibrahim to ‘kill’ Ghaffar Baba. Subsequently, he had Anwar incarcerated on trumped-up sodomy charges because the latter realised that the former was a grave danger to Umno, the Malays and the country.

Mahathir’s past will catch up with him in the present to haunt his future. It should be evident when Najib announces the list of Umno and BN candidates for the 13th GE and the Mahathir-Muhyiddin camps find they have been left out in the cold.

Even if Najib disappoints, even if he chickens out and submits to the older man’s will in exchange for more largesse, time has is running out. And it’s not just for Mahathir but for the bad brand name that Umno has become thanks to selfish leaders who through the decades placed their vested interests way ahead of the party’s.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone dropped from the Mahathir and Muhyiddin camps would be fielded by Pakatan Rakyat, led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. If at all, Pakatan should only consider accepting candidates from the Tunku, Hussein, Badawi, Musa Hitam, Razaleigh and Najib camps who had expected to be fielded by BN but were not. The doors are fast closing even on this group. Brimming with young talent, Pakatan might not have space!

23 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

Malaysia Chronicle

Dangerous times are ahead for Malaysia as its ruling party UMNO desperately twists and turns to redeem itself ahead of a general election that some believe will be won by the Opposition and others, that it may never even take place.

Political sources tell Malaysia Chronicle that UMNO divisions in three states – Johor, Terengganu and Perak – have already begun the ball rolling to get scandal-plagued Najib Razak to step down both as Prime Minister and UMNO president.

The latest tell-tale signs that infighting is reaching a head are the rumors of racial riots spread by several pro-UMNO bloggers.

Killing two birds with one stone

Coming eerily hot on the heels of warnings issued by UMNO-linked leaders such as Ibrahim Ali and Shahrizat Jalil, the rumors fueled fear of a reprisal of the May 13, 1969 racial riots that left thousands injured and hundreds dead.

During the 1969 mayhem, Malay youths were egged on by UMNO leaders to attack the ethnic Chinese community in a ‘kill two birds with one stone’ stratagem.

The first and primary goal was to replace first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman with Abdul Razak Hussein, who ironically is Najib’s dad. The second was to allow the UMNO leaders to grab complete political and economic dominance by accusing the Chinese of bullying the Malays and robbing them of their ‘birth rights’.

With the UMNO-led BN coalition now on the ropes following a torrent of corruption scandals that include sex and murder, there is fear that UMNO power brokers might again conspire to defend their grip on the federal government by making Najib and his controversial wife Rosmah Mansor the scapegoats.

These sinister ‘warlords’ would then create chaotic conditions that would allow Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to delay the country’s  13th general election and perhaps even impose martial law until the BN, which has ruled Malaysia since 1957, was again sure of winning.

Three scenarios

That would be the worst of three possible scenarios as it would take Malaysia into no-man’s land. The country, the second-most modern in Southeast Asia after Singapore, would join the ranks of the turbulent African nations, where power-grabs, coup d’etats and militia rule are common. Fortunately, this is the least likely scenario.

Chances are higher that former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, the main puppet master in UMNO, will throw his weight behind Muhyiddin, effect a leadership change by ‘forcing’ Najib to quit, and then shepherding UMNO into elections banking on Muhyiddin’s pro-Malay battle cry to pull in the votes.

This way, Mahathir avoids the notoriety and responsibility of bloody riots as well as flushing the country and his family’s billion-dollar investments and business interests down the drain.

The third scenario is that Mahathir might decide to do nothing after all. While he has given Muhyiddin’s camp the tacit green light to do the best they can to upset Najib, he has not given the final OK. If after their best shots and Mahathir feels that an 11th hour switch would still be the political suicide that many have warned of, he may agree to let Najib lead UMNO-BN into GE13 and hope for the best.

Stirring up clashes using the Underworld

“Mahathir is a kamikaze fighter. He doesn’t need emergency laws or any law if he wants to do something. Look at how he dissolved the old UMNO and re-created UMNO Baru, look at how he threw Anwar Ibrahim into jail, declared all-out war on Abdullah Badawi,” a veteran political observer told Malaysia Chronicle.

“But the option of delaying GE13 and imposing martial law is out. The UMNO warlords know if they do that, they will really end up with nothing but jail and infamy. It is better to take a chance at the ballot boxes. After all, they have already done so much gerrymandering and they have so much wealth overseas, they might as well try their luck in the courts if the new regime prosecutes them for plundering.”

“There’s no doubt Mahathir is trying to change the PM to boost the morale in UMNO before going straight into GE13. He has always been the biggest gambler of them all. He is willing to put all his chips on winning big with Muhyiddin’s pro-Malay image. To do that, they will stir up Malay sentiments. So far, there has only been rhetoric. Now we are hearing talk of racial clashes. It is therefore possible that what happens next will be actual incidents. The grapevine goes that they may stir up small incidents here and there to rally the Malays together and they could do this with the help of UMNO hot-heads and the Chinese and Indian underworld.”

Dilemma for UMNO

All eyes are now on what new muck Deepakr Jaikishan, a former close friend of Rosmah’s, and Musa Hassan, the ex-Inspector General of Police, will rake up next. Both men are heavily suspected of being the hired ‘assassins’ of the Muhyiddin-Mahathir camp. They have already aimed very heavy body blows at Najib and Rosmah.

Deepak has minced no words accusing the Najibs of receiving “millions” for pushing through a military deal to benefit a political ally, the Selangor UMNO women’s chief. More damagingly, Deepak shocked the nation when he revealed that it was also Rosmah and Najib who sought his help to overturn an incriminating statutory declaration linking them to the controversial Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and Scorpenes corruption cases.

Waiting at the net, Musa Hassan hit bulls-eye by revealing that Najib’s cousin – Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein – “interfered” with police work, thereby influencing the outcome of investigations.

To UMNO watchers, the Deepak-Musa exposures are the last straw. It is like Najib’s rivals in UMNO are asking him, “ Are you still adamant to stay in power with all these exposés? Are you asking for more?”

“It is not so back-stabbing as it may seem to you outsiders. UMNO leaders are in a real dilemma. Yes, they are squabbling about who should be allowed to contest in GE13, they are also not happy with Najib’s ‘winnable’ list but he is willing to compromise too. No doubt, some of his enemies are jumping on the bandwagon to get rid of him before the elections because you can’t really tell how voters will react. Lastly, Najib himself is so tainted that he is the most un-winnable one to lead BN into GE13. This is why there are so many in UMNO pushing to replace him with Muhyiddin. To them, UMNO simply cannot afford to fall with Najib,” another party watcher told Malaysia Chronicle.

Najib likely to step down before GE13

So far, there has only been a deafening silence from Najib and Rosmah. As the sitting PM, Najib has at his command a wide array of powers. There is some talk his advisers are busy ‘planning’ a fight-back but given Najib’s indecisive temperament, the possibility of him laying a trap that will result in the arrests of his political rivals is close to zero.

Despite being the eldest son of a revered former UMNO president, or having been the Defense Minister, or having control of the police via his cousin Hishammuddin, Najib simply has not succeeded in stamping his control over the government machinery and its institutions.Both he and his wife are unpopular due to their scandals and spendthrift lifestyles and in the event of an internal tussle with Mahathir and Muhyiddin, chances are they will lose.

Feistier than her husband, Rosmah has allegedly threatened to get even by revealing their enemies’ equally dark and horrific secrets.This is a development that if it unfolds will surely be the final nail in UMNO’s coffin. As the saying goes, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

But at the end of the day, who has more money and is willing to spend to manipulate the outcome, will win the day at UMNO. That person is of course Mahathir, who has been accused of having a US$44 billion fortune stashed all around the world.

At this point in time, the situation in UMNO is very much in flux and from all accounts, no final decision has been made yet by Mahathir. But to UMNO bookmakers, the odds are Najib will have to step down within the next few weeks to pave the way for GE13, which in turn is expected to be held in the next 30 to 60 days.

22 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

By Mariam Mokhtar

Last July, the New York Times (NYT) carried a report on the apology by the outgoing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, for the various corruption scandals said to have undermined his government. Several close colleagues and relatives of the president had been prosecuted and jailed. Many of them had influenced the workings of the government.

In recent weeks, Malaysians have noticed a succession of people who have come forward to implicate Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor, his brother Nazim Abdul Razak as well as those in positions of responsibility, such as Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

These people, whose reputations are tarnished, appear to have no desire to clear their names, nor deny the allegations. Have they complete disregard for the rakyat?

Was it pure coincidence that Rosmah has announced the publication of her biography, which she and her “publishing adviser”, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Ahmad Maslan, claim will address the various allegations made against her? Had she been prepared for a day of revelations by disgruntled former associates?

The pre-launch is most unusual. JK Rowling did not have a pre-launch for her books. Most authors launch their books with a promotional tour.

What is significant about president Lee’s humiliating apology and the NYT claim that “he could hardly lift his face”, was that when he came to office, Lee described his government as “morally perfect”.

During his television appearance, Lee said, “The more I think about it, the more it crushes my heart. But whom can I blame now? It’s all because of my negligence. I bow before the people in apology”.

Hours after Lee concluded his nationwide apology, two of his colleagues were arrested for corruption. In all, three of Lee’s relatives, four senior presidential aides and several former senior officials in the Cabinet and government-run companies had been implicated.

Corruption menace

Malaysian leaders don’t apologise and hell would freeze over before Najib would bow before the rakyat and apologise for his wrongdoings or the various scandals which have hit his government.

In September 2010, a year and a half after becoming prime minister, Najib told Malaysians that “combating corruption is not only a moral imperative but a prerequisite for national survival”.

In a speech that was delivered by his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, at the Asian Development Bank/Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (ADB/OECD) Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific’s 10th Regional Seminar: Criminalisation of Bribery, Najib said that three organisations would fight the corruption menace – the police for investigating the criminal acts, the Attorney-General’s Chambers for dealing with prosecutions and the Prime Minister’s Department for “crafting the preventive eco-system”.

Najib stressed that “prevention and education should be given equal attention alongside enforcement in the fight against corruption”.

He praised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for receiving an increased amount of information from the public which led to investigations, arrests and prosecutions. This, Najib concluded, was a reflection of the public’s confidence in the government.

Despite the recent revelations by carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan and former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan, the rakyat has yet to see an investigation being initiated by the police or the MACC. The Attorney-General’s Chambers has also remained silent.

In 2010, Najib claimed that “…studies reveal that corruptors tend to hide themselves or their ill-gotten gains in foreign jurisdictions. The denial of a safe haven for corruptors and their proceeds of crime is vital in any strategy to combat corruption”.
Dirty money

Recently, the Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) reported that around RM200 billion of illicit outflows had been recorded by Malaysia in 2010, the highest amount for the period 2001 to 2010. The revised figures for 2009 are estimated at RM93 billion.

According to the GFI, 20% of the dirty money are the “proceeds of corruption, bribery theft and kickbacks” and that Malaysia was ranked third in the world, behind China and Mexico.

If both Najib and Bank Negara are concerned, what steps are they taking to address the issue? Will the steps be enough to allay our fears?
Last year, Najib, who is also the finance minister, said that Bank Negara would investigate the illicit outflows, but to date, the reasons of the illicit capital flight have not been made public.

Our government wants to emulate the South Korean work ethic and development, but there is so much more we could learn from them, and that is to be magnanimous and to be humble, like President Lee.

Two weeks after Lee’s elder brother, Lee Sang-deuk, had been arrested for receiving bribes from two bankers, the president apologised to the South Korean nation.

Two weeks after Deepak, the carpet-man, implicated Najib’s brother Nazim in perverting the course of justice, Najib carries on as normal without a hint of a denial or an apology.

MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed, who addressed the ADB/OECD Seminar in 2010, said that ethical leadership and integrity would help combat corruption.

In general, this would be true, but ethical leadership and integrity are not to be found in Malaysia, and he should have added that corrupt Malaysian leaders are morally bankrupt.

Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.

21 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

From Myanmar Times

By Roger Mitton | Monday, 15 October 2012

Ali Rustam, the chief minister of Malaysia’s small state of Malacca, is one of the most creepy, corrupt and boring politicians I have ever interviewed.

Between a dead slug and Ali Rustam, I’ll take the dead slug any day.

But lo and behold, the man made headlines last week by inviting 130,000 people to a lavish bash for his son’s wedding, which he claims cost “only” US$200,000, but others say set him back more than $500,000.

Either way, with his political boss, Prime Minister Najib Razak, poised to call a national election premised on prudent economic management, it was an act of astonishing naivety.

It did, however, illustrate how Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has descended to a vessel for Ali Rustam-like wallflowers who are afraid to say boo to a goose, let alone espouse bold new ideas.

The outrage provoked by the matrimonial extravagance made things more difficult for Najib as he agonises over an election date.

The PM’s natural inclination is to take as much time as possible before making any decision – or before avoiding making a decision.

Faced with a tough choice, he prefers to let others jump first and then gauge how they fare before he takes the plunge.

Forget loyalty and principles, Najib’s credo is survival at all costs.

Back in 1987, when UMNO faced a divisive leadership crisis, young Najib waited till the last minute before spurning his mentor Razaleigh Hamzah and backing then PM Mahathir Mohamad.

It was a betrayal, but thanks to Najib’s support, Mahathir narrowly defeated Razaleigh and later rewarded Najib handsomely.

Five years on, when, against Mahathir’s wishes, Anwar Ibrahim made a precocious bid for the party’s No 2 slot, Najib belatedly joined Anwar’s Dream Team and won a top party post for himself.

Then, in 1998, when DPM Anwar challenged Mahathir, Najib initially cowered in the shadows like a desperado waiting for a train, before he finally sided with the PM and let the wolves devour Anwar.

Now Najib himself has become PM, inheriting the post after Mahathir’s successor, the lamentable Abdullah Badawi, led the National Front coalition to its worst electoral showing in history four years ago.

With the circle completed, Najib now faces a resurgent Anwar, whose opposition People’s Alliance threatens to capture yet more of the 222 seats up for grabs in the coming election.

It must be called within six months, so the clock is running out for Najib. And this time, he cannot wait for others to jump first; it is his call alone.

Facing taunts that he is running scared, Najib’s leadership is already being questioned within UMNO, as well as throughout the country.

Many in the minority Chinese and Indian communities have lost faith in him due to his pandering to the Malay majority and his one step forward, two steps back reforms.

If the Front does not fare better than it did in 2008, Najib is sure to face strong pressure to step down and make way for a bolder, more decisive leader.

Right now, his chances look rather slim, particularly in the key state of Selangor, which surrounds Kuala Lumpur and is the political and economic hub of the nation.

He rashly promised to lead it back into the Front fold after it was stunningly won by the Anwar-led Alliance four years ago, but few analysts think there is much chance of that happening.

In fact, the opposition has performed well there, as it has in Penang. And it has a rock solid grip on Kelantan and may even retake Perak.

Meanwhile, over in East Malaysia, traditionally neglected by the Front, the Chinese opposition party looks sure to pick up seats, particularly in Sarawak.

So, whether Najib vacillates to the very end or goes to the polls after the Hajj ends next month, it is an even bet whether he will be PM this time next year.

20 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

20 DISEMBER 2012


Laporan terbaru oleh Global Financial Integrity (GFI) meletakkan Malaysia sebagai negara kedua paling teruk dalam senarai aliran keluar wang haram (illicit financial flows) di kalangan negara-negara membangun di seluruh dunia bagi tahun 2010. Walaupun ini sudah diduga, namun jumlah besar wang haram yang dipindahkan keluar dari Malaysia di antara tahun 2000 hingga 2010 tetap mengejutkan negara.

GFI memantau aliran keluar wang haram dengan menggunakan kaedah ekonomi yang diterimapakai di seluruh dunia. Kajian GFI adalah satu-satunya kajian seumpamanya yang dijadikan kayu ukur di seluruh dunia. Makanya, dapatan kajian GFI yang meletakkan Malaysia di kedudukan tercorot sewajarnya diambil serius oleh semua pihak di Malaysia.

Malaysia adalah sebuah negara yang ekonominya bergantung kepada perdagangan antarabangsa. Kegiatan eksport dan import melibatkan aliran wang keluar masuk dan perpindahan dana pelaburan yang saban hari menjadi lebih rumit. Oleh itu, dapatan kajian GFI ini memberi gambaran besarnya ketirisan ekonomi dalam negara dipindahkan ke luar negara yang akhirnya merugikan rakyat.

Sebab itu saya memulakan siri sidang akhbar mingguan saya menjelang Pilihanraya Umum 13 (PRU13) ini dengan memberi fokus kepada krisis aliran keluar wang haram. Ia menjadi bukti bahawa rasuah, penyelewengan dan tiadanya disiplin tata kelola yang telus akhirnya akan meranapkan kedudukan ekonomi Malaysia yang dibina selama ini.

Dalam laporannya, GFI menggariskan tiga aspek utama yang mempengaruhi jumlah aliran keluar wang haram sesebuah negara, iaitu:

  1. Isu-isu makroekonomi sesebuah negara yang bersabit rapat dengan persepsi rasuah dan berleluasanya rasuah;
  2. Saiz ekonomi haram dari kegiatan-kegiatan haram seperti kongsi gelap, perjudian tanpa lesen dan lain-lain; dan
  3. Penguatkuasaan undang-undang yang lemah oleh institusi yang dipertanggungjawabkan menyebabkan tiadanya disiplin tata kelola pentadbiran ekonomi yang baik

Oleh itu, jumlah aliran keluar wang haram yang meningkat 111% dari angka US$30.41 bilion (bersamaan RM94.27 bilion) pada tahun 2009 kepada US$64.38 (bersamaan RM199.58 bilion) dalam tahun 2010 adalah bukti kegagalan Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak sebagai Perdana Menteri dan Menteri Kewangan dalam menguruskan ekonomi negara.

Jika dibandingkan dengan negara-negara yang sama-sama menduduki tempat tercorot dari segi jumlah aliran keluar wang haram iaitu China, Mexico dan Arab Saudi (selain Malaysia), Malaysia adalah satu-satunya negara yang menyaksikan jumlah aliran keluar wang haramnya meningkat satu kali ganda dalam tempoh setahun antara 2009 hingga 2010.

Tempoh 2009 dan 2010 ini adalah tempoh kritikal pentadbiran Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak yang menggambarkan dasar dan pendekatan ekonomi yang beliau laksanakan. Justeru, peningkatan satu kali ganda aliran keluar wang haram di dalam tempoh ini membuktikan bahawa dasar dan pendekatan ekonomi beliau gagal membanteras rasuah, gagal menyekat aktiviti jenayah yang menjadi dalang ekonomi haram dan gagal memperkuatkan institusi negara untuk membudayakan tata kelola yang baik.

Oleh sebab itu, saya melontarkan jemputan yang tidak putus-putus kepada beliau untuk berdebat mengenai pengurusan ekonomi negara demi kebajikan rakyat. Saya yakin isu yang paling menarik minat rakyat dalam PRU13 ini adalah tata kelola pengurusan ekonomi yang baik, makanya Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak harus mempertahankan rekod pengurusan ekonomi beliau.

Setakat ini, rekod pengurusan ekonomi beliau tidak memberangsangkan. Selepas empat tahun menjadi Menteri Kewangan, beliau masih belum menyelesaikan masalah pokok ekonomi rakyat seperti kenaikan harga barang, perumahan rakyat yang tidak mencukupi, gaji yang tidak meningkat dan rasuah yang berleluasa. Pada peringkat pengurusan ekonomi makro pula, beliau masih gagal menyelesaikan masalah hutang negara, defisit belanjawan yang berpanjangan dan terkini, aliran keluar wang haram yang meningkat satu kali ganda di bawah pentadbiran beliau.

Jika prestasi ini tidak berubah, ia akan membawa musibah besar kepada ekonomi negara dan kebajikan rakyat.
Sebab itu, saya memandang serius sikap acuh tidak acuh Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak dan pentadbiran beliau dalam menangani masalah aliran keluar wang haram ini. Sehingga kini, masih belum ada jawapan dari beliau mengenai kegagalan dasar ekonomi beliau hingga melonjakkan Malaysia ke tempat kedua paling corot dalam tahun 2010 dari segi jumlah wang haram.

Saya dan rakan-rakan Pakatan Rakyat akan mengambil inisiatif untuk membawa pihak-pihak terbabit ke meja rundingan untuk mendalami masalah ini dan memuktamadkan pelan tindakan membanteras aliran keluar wang haram.

Hari ini, saya akan menulis kepada Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar, Gabenor Bank Negara, GFI dan Menteri-menteri Besar/Ketua Menteri Pakatan Rakyat untuk menjemput mereka menganggotai wacana membanteras aliran keluar wang haram yang dijangka diadakan dalam bulan Januari 2013.

Saya percaya negara memerlukan pendekatan membina untuk menyelesaikan masalah ini. Langkah segera perlu diambil dengan memuktamadkan pelan tindakan yang perlu dilaksanakan, bukannya dengan mengelak dari menjawab isu seperti mana gelagat Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak setakat ini.


20 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

Malaysia Chronicle

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim held Prime Minister Najib Razak accountable for the huge jump in “dirty money” siphoned out of Malaysia, accusing him of blocking investigations and failing to make public the results of a central bank probe.

Anwar also challenged the central bank to explain “how it can fail to detect such a large sum as RM197billion” leaving the country when the existing financial system was “transparent.”

Anwar also slammed BN Members of Parliament for failing in their duty to the people and demanding for an explanation from the government.

“We are talking about mind-boggling crime… This is the same situation as in the Great Indian Robbery where US$500 billion was spirited out of the coutry over a period of 6 decades. But not a single BN MP has stood up to question what is happening here,” Anwar told a press conference on Thursday.

“The Opposition has already raised the matter in Parliament two years ago and we were told by the Deputy Minister of Finance that the probe carried out by Bank Negara found the amount was exaggerated. But now we find that a year later, the amount of illegal outflows has jumped even more.

“The Bank Negara report was never made public. Why? I will be writing to Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the BNM governor, GFI officials, representatives of the government and state governments to come together in a meeting in 2013 to sort out what is behind these huge numbers. We also welcome Datuk Najib to attend.”

Earlier this week, Washington-based financial watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI), in its latest report which tracks capital flight, had said that RM 197 billion of illicit money was siphoned out of Malaysia in 2010 compared to RM 93 billion in 2009, an increase of 112 %. Malaysia has the shameful record of being the No.2 country in the world after China, of illicit outflow of dirty money in 2010.

GFI warned that capital flight in Malaysia is “at a scale seen in few Asian countries”. Malaysia was ranked No. 2 globally in 2010 and No. 3 globally over 10 years from 2001-2010. The total 10-year estimate for Malaysia is US$285 billion (RM871.4 billion), while China is US$2,740 billion, and Mexico, US$476 billion.

20 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

Malaysia is world champion in corruption

Washington, December 13, 2012

Despite Malaysia’s high-profile anti-corruption crusade, half of the corporate executives surveyed by a global corruption watchdog believe that competitors have obtained business in the country through bribery.

Transparency International said Malaysia scored worst in the 2012

Bribe Payers Survey.It asked nearly 3,000 executives from 30 countries whether they had lost a contract in the past year because competitors paid a bribe, and in Malaysia, 50% of them said ‘yes’.

Second on the dubious honor roll was Mexico, which was at 48%.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Japan was ranked as the world’s least-corrupt place to do business, with just 2% of respondents saying they had lost out due to bribery.

Malaysia’s neighbour Singapore was second-cleanest, which was at 9%.
Even Indonesia, with a long-standing reputation for corruption, fared better than more-developed Malaysia.
By comparison, 27% of respondents in China said they thought bribes had cost them business, the report said.

“It shows the attitude of private companies in Malaysia, indicating that bribery in the public sector could be systemic and in a sense institutionalized,” Paul Low, president of the Malaysian chapter of Transparency International, said.

19 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

Bermula minggu ini, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebagai Ketua Pembangkang dan Ketua Umum KEADILAN akan mengadakan sidang media mingguan mengenai pelbagai isu. Selain membentangkan dasar Pakatan Rakyat menjelang Pilihanraya Umum ke-13 (PRU13), sidang media mingguan ini juga akan digunakan untuk menjawab pelbagai isu rakyat atau serangan politik dari Barisan Nasional secara tersusun sehinggalah kempen rasmi PRU13 diumumkan.

Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim akan mengulas mengenai laporan terbaru aliran keluar wang haram (illicit fund transfers) dalam sidang media mingguan pertama yang akan diadakan seperti berikut:

Tarikh : 20 Disember 2012, Khamis
Jam : 11.00 pagi
Tempat : Pusat Media, Ibupejabat KEADILAN, Merchants Square, Tropicana


19 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?


19 DISEMBER 2012


Serangan dangkal dan biadab Zainudin Maidin ke atas mantan Presiden Indonesia, YTH BJ Habibie kini merebak kepada Almarhum Gus Dur dan Amien Rais pula. Ternyata, Zainudin mewakili sosok pimpinan UMNO yang angkuh dan anti-demokrasi.

Menteri Penerangan, Dr. Rais Yatim sewajarnya tidak berdolak-dalih dan memberi alasan lagi memandangkan perancangan biadab menghina tokoh pimpinan Indonesia ini disiarkan di dalam Utusan Malaysia, sebuah media yang diketahui dimiliki oleh UMNO!

Justeru, apakah tidak wajar untuk pimpinan UMNO mendesak Zainudin dan Utusan Malaysia supaya memohon maaf secara terbuka? Saya percaya dan yakin bahawa kebiadaban sebegini tidak sekali-kali mewakili sentimen rakyat malah dibantah keras oleh majoriti rakyat Malaysia yang amat menghormati tokoh-tokoh Indonesia tersebut.


19 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

From The Edge

Malaysia ranks number three globally in terms of illicit capital outflow over a 10-year period from 2001 to 2010, according to a report released by the Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) on Monday.

A whopping US$285.24 billion (RM872.8 billion) of illicit outflow occurred in the country between 2001 and 2010, or an average of US$28.5 billion annually. An illicit outflow refers to a form of illegal capital flight and occurs when money is illegally earned, transferred or spent.

The GFI report said China and Mexico topped Malaysia during the 10-year period, with illicit outflows of US$2,740 billion and US$475.6 billion respectively
Other countries in the top 10 list were Saudi Arabia, Russia, the Philippines, Nigeria, India, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the report, in 2010 Malaysia was the world’s number two in terms of illegal capital outflow with US$64.4 billion. China was in the top spot with US$420.4 billion.
The outflow of US$64.4 billion was the highest ever level for Malaysia in the 10-year period, an increase of 111.8% compared with the US$30.4 billion recorded in 2009. It was five times or 414% more than the outflow of US$12.54 billion recorded by Malaysia in 2002.

Malaysia’s capital flight has been increasing every year since 2002, except in 2009 when the outflow was US$7 billion lower than 2008.

The GFI report revealed that Asia was still the main driver of such flows, accounting for 61.2% of cumulative outflows. Five of the 10 countries with the largest illicit outflows — China, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, and Indonesia — are in Asia.

“The private sector in developing countries transfers illicit capital into the global shadow financial system through different channels, depending on the country of origin. For instance, while trade mispricing is the preferred method of sending illicit funds out of China, the balance of payments is the major channel for transferring unrecorded capital from oil exporters such as Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

“Mexico and Malaysia are the only oil exporters where trade mispricing is the preferred method of transferring illicit capital abroad,” the report noted.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last year gave Parliament a lower outflow figure of RM135.3 billion from 2000 to 2009. The GFI report, however, put Malaysia’s illicit outflow at US$220.84 billion for the 2001-2009 period.

The GFI, launched in September 2006, receives funding from the Ford Foundation, the Task Force on Financial Integrity & Economic Development and various individual donors.

Centre for Policy Initiatives director Dr Lim Teck Ghee said the findings are not surprising given the prevalence of high-level corruption in Malaysia, as well as its elevated position in global corruption ranking.

“Illicit outflows are so large because of the tremendous amount of financial gains related to kickbacks, corruption and other illegal means,” he said.

He also noted that it is alarming that Malaysia belongs to the same league as China.

“Our population and national output of goods and services are many times smaller than China’s. Hence, for us to belong to the same league as China in terms of absolute size of illicit outflows is an alarming indicator of the extent of financial pillage taking place,” he added.

He pointed out that there was also little enforcement to curb such practices. “There isn’t even any interest in the government to pursue the matter. In January 2011, an offer was made by a senior staff member of GFI to assist Bank Negara Malaysia and the government to look into the outflows and to see how they can be prevented, but it appears that the offer has been completely ignored,” he said.

RHB Research Institute executive director and economist Lim Chee Sing said it is not unusual for developing countries to experience illegal capital outflow.

“While it is hard to ascertain the actual figures, I believe illegal practices of capital being siphoned off do happen. During the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98, there were reports of people trying to take capital out illegally but we don’t hear much of this today,” he told The Edge Financial Daily.

An executive with a local stockbroking firm said it is not unusual for local companies to transfer prices via inter-company transactions to evade taxes. “Such practices are common even for foreign companies with operations in Malaysia, so they can avoid paying higher taxes to the government. As to how much capital has escaped taxes, I think it is quite difficult to track,” he noted.

Nevertheless, he pointed out that the estimated outflow of US$285 billion from Malaysia over 10 years was a startling figure. “If it is true, the figure is very high even for an exporting nation such as Malaysia. Consider Singapore which has a higher volume of exports, but it is not on the list,” he said.

He opined that the lack of illegal capital outflow in Singapore could be attributed to the stronger capital governance laws there.

19 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

Oleh Fathi Aris Omar

Pada 2001, Dr Mahathir Mohamad menyifatkan Malaysiakini sebagai “pengkhianat” negara.

Waktu itu portal berita ini dituduh mengambil dana hartawan George Soros, spekulator yang dituduh dalang perosak ekonomi Asia susulan “kesan tom yam” keruntuhan mata wang bath.

Lima tahun kemudian, mantan perdana menteri tidak semena-mena menerima penjelasan Soros bahawa beliau tidak terlibat meranapkan ekonomi negara dalam krisis 1997 selepas satu pertemuan di Kuala Lumpur.

Padahal Soros dan Mahathir pernah menjalin permusuhan senyap sejak awal 1990-an.

Dalam tempoh berbaik-baik dengan Soros itu, Dr Mahathir memberikan wawancara kepada Malaysiakini, media dalam talian yang didakwa “pengkhianat” sewaktu di puncak kuasanya.

Mahathir mempergunakan Malaysiakini – seperti juga taktiknya berbaik-baik dengan Soros – waktu itu kerana beliau sedang berperang besar dengan pengganti pilihannya sendiri, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, sehingga parti dan media arus perdana membelakangkannya.

Hanya Malaysiakini satu-satunya media alternatif yang sepadan dengan media besar arus perdana. Maka, beliau memilih Malaysiakini, selain pentas-pentas ceramahnya di serata negara.

Tujuan rasmi (siapa tahu tujuan tidak rasmi pertemuan Soros-Mahathir?) berbaik-baik itu dilaporkan untuk bersama-sama menentang presiden George Bush yang mengamalkan dasar perang demi petroleum.

Dana gelap kepada Abramoff

Padahal, kemunculan awal Bush ini disambut positif oleh Umno dan media arus perdana atas kejayaannya menewaskan calon Demokrat, Al Gore pada tahun 2000.

Mereka bergembira atas kenaikan Bush semata-mata dendam mereka pada Gore – sewaktu itu, 1998, naib presiden Amerika Syarikat – yang pernah melemparkan percikan sokongan pada Gerakan Reformasi dalam ucapannya di Kuala Lumpur.

Susulan kemenangan Bush, Dr Mahathir secara senyap-senyap mengatur pula pertemuan dengan presiden Amerika Syarikat itu di Rumah Putih pada 2002.

Maka tersebarlah foto kedua-dua pemimpin ini berjabat tangan sambil tersenyum ke serata dunia.

Namun, kehebatan Dr Mahathir ini terbongkar apabila beliau dituduh menggunakan AS$1.2 juta (RM4.56 juta) kepada pelobi Jack Abramoff untuk membeli janji temu dengan Bush.

Dana yang disalurkan secara gelap kepada Abramoff – bersama taktik gelap pelobi itu sendiri – menyebabkan Senat Amerika menyiasatnya.

Abramoff akhirnya mengaku bersalah, dan pada waktu yang sama mendedahkan tembelang di sebalik makna jabat tangan Mahathir-Bush, empat tahun sebelum Mahathir-Soros berbaik-baik untuk menentang presiden tersebut.

[Dr Mahathir akhirnya mengakui kewujudan dana ini tetapi menafikan ia dibayar oleh kerajaan Malaysia.]

Bolak-balik perseteruan Dr M

Seperti hubungan mesra Mahathir-Anwar Ibrahim dan Mahathir-Abdullah, semua imej indah beliau dengan Soros dan Bush berakhir dengan sikap perseteruan.

Abdullah diangkat sebagai pengganti Anwar sewaktu bekas “anak didiknya” menjadi musuh nombor satunya. Kemudian Abdullah menjadi musuhnya pula.

Di saat itulah, Mahathir mempergunakan Malaysiakini dalam empat wawancaranya, termasuk menjelang pilihan raya umum 2008, untuk menentang Abdullah. Selepas itu beliau tidak berminat lagi ditemubual akhbar portal ini.

Sikap sebegini – berbolak-balik dalam persahabatan dan perseteruan – sudah lama mendarah daging dalam kelicikan politik Mahathir, seperti dilihat sejak 1980-an.

Musa Hitam, seorang lagi bekas timbalannya, diangkat menjadi regu kuatnya sewaktu perlunya tokoh Johor itu dipergunakan untuk menentang kemaraan Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Musa akhirnya tersungkur dan sekali gus tersingkir dengan beban sejarah yang ditanggungnya hingga saat ini.

Jadi tidaklah menghairankan apabila Mahathir menyerang Soros dan sekali gus Malaysiakini semula dalam artikelnya di New Sunday Times baru-baru ini.

Padahal akhbar itu pernah juga menjadi kecaman utama beliau dan sekutu-sekutunya sewaktu berperang dengan Abdullah.

Lidah orang politik

Cuma, beliau mungkin terasa sasarannya (Malaysiakini) terlalu kecil dalam skema analisisnya dan tidak pula sepadan dengan status besarnya sebagai perdana menteri selama 22 tahun.

Lalu, bagi menampakkan artikelnya itu besar setaraf dengan kenegarawanannya, maka diolah pula slogan “undi untuk pembangkang bermakna undi untuk Soros”!

Dalam wawancara terakhirnya di Malaysiakini, hanya tiga hari sebelum 8 Mac 2008, Dr Mahathir menyokong penuh barisan pembangkang – perlunya pembangkang yang menunjukkan sisi-sisi hodoh wajah politik kerajaan.

Orang kerajaan dan orang parti pemerintah hanya tahu membodek, tambahnya ketika berperang dengan Abdullah dan dengan New Straits Times empat tahun lalu.

Negara kita akan jahanam jika pembangkang lembik seperti politik Singapura, katanya lagi, merujuk negara yang tidak pernah disenanginya itu.

Tanpa sebarang perubahan, barisan pembangkang yang sama – dan “NGO seperti Malaysiakini” itu juga – kini dianggapnya “ejen Soros” untuk “menukar rejim” BN.

Kita boleh faham lidah bercabang orang politik; hal itu tidak perlu dihairankan. Namun kita tidak pernah melihat mata pena bercabang-cabang seperti digunakan Dr Mahathir di dada akhbar pada Ahad itu.

FATHI ARIS OMAR ketua pengarang Malaysiakini.

18 December 2012


Pendapat Anda?

Tulisan Zainudin bertajuk ‘Persamaan BJ Habibie dengan Anwar Ibrahim’ (UM 10 Disember 2012) selayaknya dibakulsampahkan jika Editor UM  wartawan yang berintegriti, peka dan tajam pemikirannya.  Bukan saja faktanya salah, malah tulisannya juga tidak beretika, berniat jahat dan sarat dengan fitnah. Lebih memalukan lagi, Zainuddin adalah bekas Ketua Pengarang Utusan dan Mantan Menteri Penerangan.  Belum pun badai yang melanda  Menteri Penerangan Rais Yatim dengan pembantu rumah Indonesia reda, Zainudin pula mengundang ribut taufan sehingga Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Indonesia membuat bantahanm rasmi dan memohon Zainudin memohon maaf.
Malang sekali, Kementerian yang sepatutnya memancarkan sinar kebenaran telah dihitamkan oleh Menteri dan mantan Menterinya yang angkuh, sombong dan berfikiran separuh matang. Hubungan bangsa serumpun dengan Indonesia yang sentiasa aman dan saling membantu terjejas kerana sikap biadap pemimpin kita sepertimana yang dibuktikan oleh Zainuddin.  Kemesraan yang mahu diperelokkan lagi  oleh Perdana Menteri Najib tercalar dengan tulisan Zainudin.
 Zainudin tidak sepatutnya cemburu dengan Anwar Ibrahim yang mempunyai hubungan rapat dengan pemimpin di Indonesia sejak zaman Pak Mohamad Natsir lagi.  Pada era pemerintahan Seoharto,  hampir separuh anggota Kabinet Indonesia adalah sahabat Anwar.  Anwar menjalin hubungan rapat dengan cendikiawan dan pemimpin Indonesia termasuk Habibie sejak beliau memimpin Abim dan aktif dalam World Assembly of Muslim Youth (Wamy). Hubungan rapat Anwar dengan pemimpin Indonesia ini sebenarnya membantu merapatkan lagi hubungan Malaysia Indonesia di zaman Mahathir.
Barangkali ramai rakyat Malaysia tidak tahu bahawa Mahathir memecat Zainudin daripada Utusan Melayu pada tahun 1992 kerana hendak menjaga hubungan baik Malaysia-Indonesia.  Seorang wartawan kanan Utusan yang membuat liputan Persidangan Pergerakan Berkecuali (NAM) di Jakarta pada tahun itu telah menulis sebuah rencana menuduh Mahathir menghina media Indonesia apabila beliau bercakap bahasa Ingeris ketika ditemubual  wartawan Indonesia.  Mustahil Zainudin  Maidin sudah lupa peristiwa ini kerana beliau yang mengedit dan menerbitkan rencana itu.  Mahathir amat marah dan meminta Anwar mencari pengarang yang lebih cerdik menggantikan Zainudin.  Anwar kemudiannya menamakan Johan Jaafar sebagai pengganti Zainudin.

Habibie menjadi Presiden Indonesia pada bulan Mac 1998 bukannya 20 Oktober 1999 seperti yang Zainudin tulis (Nampak benar Editor Utusan tidak teliti). Beliau menjadi Presiden selama satu tahun enam bulan dan mengundur diri dengan rela hati selepas membina asas reformasi dan transformasi Indonesia daripada sistem autoritarian kepada demokrasi. Beliau tidak pernah menjadi gunting dalam lipatan Soeharto sebaliknya beliaulah pendukung utama yang memacu perkembangan teknologi, khususnya Industri Pesawat Terbang Indonersia (IPTN). Kejayaan beliau ini menyebabkan negara Barat bimbang akan kemungkinan Indonesia di satu hari nanti bisa menghasilkan jet pejuang dan kelengkapan perang yang lain.  Antara sayarat yang dikenakan IMF kepada Indonesia ialah melarang IPTN membuat pinjaman untuk Penyelidikan dan Pembangunan.
Zainudin sebenarnya buta fakta bila menuduh Habibie dan Anwar sebagai anjing imperialis. Tuduhan ini adalah fitnah yang amat jahat. Sebagai bekas pelajar Maktab Mahmud Alor Setar, Zainuidin  sudah lupa bahawa Rasulullah melarang sama sekali umatnya mengelar sesiapa pun dengan panggilan nama binatang sementelahan pula binatang itu seekor anjing.  Pendirian Habibie mengenai isu Timur Timor amat konsisten dengan sikapnya yang anti imperialisme Barat. Di kala beliau menentang kolonialism Barat dan penindasan ke atas rakyat Palestin, Bosnia, Chechnya dan sebagainya apakah alasannya untuk menghantar tentera dan membunuh penduduk Timur Timor?  Justeru beliau menyarankan pengutan suara bagi menentukan masa depan pulau itu, walaupun pendekatan ini tidak digemari khususnya oleh angkatan tentera.
Zainudin mungkin terlupa, sebelum Pilihanraya Presiden Indonesia  bulan Mac 1998, Mantan PM Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew membuat kenyataan sinis kononnya jika Seoharto memilih Habibie sebagai Timbalan Presiden,  matawang rupiah Indonesia akan menjunam turun.  Mungkin Zainudin buat-buat tidak tahu bahawa PM Mahathir menggunakan Daim Zainudin untuk memperlekehkan  Habibie supaya beliau tidak dilantik. Reputasi Mahathir yang ketika itu ditatang sebagai pemimpin dunia ketiga tentu sekali akan terjejas dengan kehadiran Habibie di persada politik Indonesia.
Dalam temubual selepas menjadi Presiden, Habibie ditanya mengenai komen Lee Kuan Yew. Beliau menjawab dengan menuding jari ke arah peta dunia di pejabat Presiden sambil berkata ‘ Singapore was just a red dot on the map’.  Pada 13 Oktober 1998 Presiden Habibie  mengadakan pertemuan dengan Presiden Joseph Estrada  dari Filipina di Batam. Kedua-dua mereka amat prihatin dengan pemecatan Anwar Ibrahim oleh Mahathir Mohamad. Berikutnya Kementerian Luar Indonesia dan Filipina mengeluarkan kenyataan bersama meminta kerajaan Malaysia membebaskan Anwar daripada tahanan.
Seluruh dunia mengakui dan menghormati jasa Habibie sebagai pengasas demokrasi di Indonesia. Malah musuh politik Habibie di Indonesia sendiri mengakui bahawa Habibielah peneraju utama mengubah Order baru Seoharto kepada demokrasi. Selain membebaskan semua tahanan politik di hari pertama bergelar Presiden, Habibie turut mehapuskan segala sekatan yang mencekam kebebasan akhbar, kebebasan bersuara dan berhimpun.  Beliaulah pengasas Trias Politica Indonesia iaitu pembahagian kuasa di antara eksekutif, kehakiman dan legislatif. Dalam masa yang singkat Habibie berjaya mengurangkan keterbabitan militar dalam pemerintahan dan membina imej baru untuk pegawai kerajaan dan kakitangan sivil. Zainudin juga mungkin tidak sedar bahawa Habibielah yang menandatangani Law No 22 dan 25/1999 yang membolehkan kewujudan kerajaan autonomi di wilayah Indonesia.
Dalam masa 18 bulan Habibie berjaya melaksanakan  perubahan struktural yang hebat bagi masa depan Indonesia yang lebih gemilang. Beliau mengundur diri secara terhormat tidak seperti yang ditohmahkan Zainuddin.  Beliau bukanlah pemimpin yang gila kuasa seperti sesetengah pemimpin di Malaysia yang mahu terus berkokok walaupun suaranya sumbang kerana sudah lama bersara.
Zainudin bertindak biadap dan memalukan bukan sahaja Umno dan Najib malah seluruh warga Malaysia kerana menuduh Habibie sebagai ‘pengkhianat bangsa Indonesia’. Suluruh bangsa Indonesia menyanjung tinggi sumbangan Habibie untuk negara dan bangsanya, tiba-tiba wartawan tua yang tewas dari Malaysia(Zainuddin kalah teruk di kawasan parlimen Sungai Petani di tangan calon Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Johari Abdul pada pilihanraya 2008) begitu celupar menuduh Habibie sebagai pengkhianat bangsa Indonesia. Memandangkan Zainudin mantan Menteri kanan Umno maka tentulah wajar kerajaan Indonesia menuntut Malaysia dan Zainudin memohon maaf kepada rakyat Indonesia. 
Sekali lagi Zainudin buta fakta bila menuduh Mahathir memungut Anwar daripada Abim seolah-olah Anwar sampah yang tidak berguna.  Fakta ini mesti diperbetulkan kerana generasi yang lahir dan besar di zaman Mahathir mudah diperdayakan dengan fitnah jahat seperti ini.  Sementelahan pula Zainudin kini menjadi Karyawan Tamu Institut Pemikiran Tun Dr Mahathir Universiti Utara Malaysia. Sesungguhnya kita amat bimbang jika beginilah kualitinya karyawan tamu, alamatnya tidak lama lagi akan hancurlah institut itu.

 Mahathir menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia pada tahun 1981 ketika seluruh dunia mendapat tempias kebangkitan Islam selepas Revolusi Islam Iran 1980. Pertama kalinya seluruh dunia menyaksikan kemunculan pelabagai NGO Islam. Di Amerika dan Eropah, pelajar Islam dari Malaysia, Timur Tengah, India, Pakistan, Indonesia dan  benua Afrika berganding bahu menubuhkan persatuan dan pertubuhan yang berorientasikan Islam.

Mahathir yang dibesarkan dalam keluarga bangsawan tidak memiliki imej Islam untuk berdepan dengan gelombang kebangkitan semula Islam. Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas) mendapat manfaatnya apabila pelajar yang ditaja oleh kerajaan  pulang menyertai Pas. Penyertaan golongan profesional  – peguam, jurutera, doktor, ahli ekonomi dan sebagainya dalam Pas telah melonjak naik pengaruh Pas sebagai parti yang dinamik untuk  mencabar hegemony politik Umno.

Mahathir sedar kekurangan beliau lantas memujuk Anwar yang ketika itu sebagai Presiden Abim menyertai Umno. Anwar pada mulanya tidak berminat menyertai Umno kerana dirinya lebih rapat dengan Pas. Hubungan persahabatannya dengan Ustaz Fadzil Noor Presiden Pas amat intim sehinggalah ke akhir hayatnya.  Janji Mahathir untuk melaksanakan Islam dalam pentadbirannya berjaya memikat  Anwar. Mahathir sedar sekiranya Anwar menyertai Pas, jangka hayat Umno mungkin tidak panjang.
Dengan kemasukan Anwar pelbagai projek dan program Islam dilaksanakan.  Dasar penerapan nilai-nilai Islam, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa, Bank Islam, dan sebagainya berjaya menyekat golongan profesional daripada terus berhijrah ke Pas. Sejarah akan merekodkan fakta kemasukan Anwar ke dalam Umno berjaya menyelamatkan Mahathir dan Umno daripada gelombang kebangkitan semula Islam. Kalau dulu Wanita Umno melangkah ke Perhimpunan Agung dengan sanggul bermacam jenis, kini majoriti sudah bertudung. Sudah tidak kelihatan lagi kaki dan paha wanita Umno kerana kebanyakannya sudah bersarung dan baju kurung.
Penyertaan Anwar ke dalam Umno dibantah oleh ramai rakannya dari Abim. Mereka bimbang kalau-kalau Anwar akan ditelan oleh budaya dan sistem fikir sekular Umno dan mengorbankan asas dan manhaj Islam yang menjadi asas perjuangan mereka. Kebimbangan rakan-rakan dalam Abim terbukti tidak benar. Anwar tetap dengan prinsip perjuangannya dan tidak akan bertolak ansur dalam soal rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa. Ketegasan Anwar  mempertahankan ketelusan dan keadilan  dalam menangani  krisis kewangan 1997 menyebabkan beliau akhirnya  merengkok di penjara selama enam tahun.

Keenganan Anwar menuruti telunjuk Mahathir dalam mengurus ekonomi ketika dunia dilanda kemelesetan adalah punca sebenar mengapa beliau dipecat. Anwar tidak berganjak mempertahankan Tabung Wang Kumpulan Simpanan Pekerja daripada digunakan untuk menyelamatkan syarikat kroni Mahathir dan Daim.  Anwar  tidak mahu wang Petronas dibelanja sewenangan untuk menyelamatkan syarikat anak Mahathir.  Anwar menentang hasrat Mahathir hendak mengisytiharkan  darurat  ekonomi kerana langkah ini bermakna menggantikan demokrasi berparlimen dengan pentadbiran ala diktator.  

 Untuk membunuh karier politik seorang tokoh seperti Anwar bukanlah mudah. Menyedari betapa sukarnya Mahathir menangani krisis Umno 1987 sehingga Umno diharamkan, maka Mahathir perlu mengatur strategi yang lebih detail  untuk membunuh karier politik Anwar.  Apakah kekuatan Anwar? Kekuatan Anwar terletak kepada imej dan maruah Islamnya. Beliau dilihat sebagai jambatan yang menghubungkan pemimpin dan tokoh Islam sedunia dengan Barat.  Latarbelakang Islamnya yang mantap diadun dengan  pemikiran dan falsafah Barat yang dikuasainya , menjadikan Anwar seorang pemimpin Islam yang hebat. Justeru itu tidak hairanlah seluruh dunia Islam prihatin bila beliau dipenjarakan oleh Mahathir.
Kita akui Mahathir  pemimpin yang cerdik dan bijak. Pemimpin cerdik tanpa iman yang jernih sanggup melakukan apa saja termasuk berbohong, menipu dan memfitnah. Untuk membunuh karier politik Anwar, Mahathir mesti merobek imej Islam beliau bagi menimbulkan kebencian orang Melayu terhadapnya. Peringkat awalnya Anwar ditahan di bawah ISA. Menyedari tekanan antarabangsa , Anwar kemudiannya didakwa atas salah laku seks dan penyalahgunaan kuasa. Seluruh tenaga polis, kehakiman dan media masa dikerah habis-habisan untuk menghalalkan tindakan Mahathir menyingkir dan memenjarakan Anwar.  Fitnah ini dirancang rapi seawal-awalnya pada tahun 1993 ketika Anwar dicalonkan untuk jawatan Timbalan Presiden.

Dari tahun 1998 hingga kini media arus perdana milik Barisan Nasional tidak pernah berasa letih mengodam, mencemar dan megaibkan Anwar dan keluarganya.  Untuk mendapat projek, jawatan ataupun upah lumayan kutuk dan caci Anwar.  Alhamdulillah semakin Anwar digodam dan dicaci  beliau semakin popular dan diminati. 
Kita memahami mengapa Zainudin marah dan berdendam dengan Anwar.  Selepas Anwar dipenjarakan Zainudin kembali mendekati Mahathir dengan mengampu dan membodeknya melalui penulisan buku sehinggalah akhirnya beliau dilantik sebagai Menteri Penerangan. Malangnya dalam pilihanraya 2008 Zainudin  adalah satu-satunya Menteri Umno yang dikalahkan oleh Parti Keadilan Rakyat. PM Abdullah Badawi terus mengenepikan Zainudin dan beliau menjadi mantan menteri yang semakin dilupai.

Mungkin dengan membelasah Habibie dan Anwar sedemikian rupa nama Zainudin Maidin kembali menjadi sebutan. Sebagai penyokong totok Mahathir, Zainudin berharap penulisannya itu akan membantu Umno mengekalkan kuasa dalam PRU 13 nanti. Zainudin lupa jutaan pengundi asal keturunan Indonesia terguris hati dan marah. Penjelasan Zainudin dalam blognya menyerlahkan lagi sikap bodoh sombongnya. Beliau berbangga kerana namanya kembali menjadi sebutan jutaan rakyat Indonesia. Beliau menuduh rakyat Indonesia sedang mengalami euporia demokrasi sedangkan Malaysia sudah  lama mengamalkan ‘Manchester democracy’.   Ini bukan kesilapan ejaan. Mungkin kerana panik, bimbang atau sememangnya beliau tidak tahu asal usul istilah  Westminster democracy.
Begitu naifnya Zainuddin sehinggakan beliau tidak sedar tulisan jahatnya menjadikan suatu beban buat Umno. Justru Umno tidak boleh berlepas tangan dalam isu ini. Pertamanya Zainuddin adalah bekas Ketua Pengarang kumpulan utusan yang semua orang tahu isu kandungan akhbar itu dikawal sepenuhnya oleh kepimpinan Umno, khususnya Najib sebagai Presiden Umno. Pada sisi lain episod ‘kebodohan’ Zainuddin ini menyerlahkan kelemahan Najib sehingga tidak bermaya sama sekali menegur Zainuddin ketika terserlah kemarahan rakyat Indonesia akibat penghinaan Zainuddin secara terang-terang dan berterusan terhadap pemimpin dan rakyat Indonesia.
Saya percaya rakan-rakan yang masih rasional dalam Umno turut kesal dengan tulisan Zainudin. Walaupun itu pendapat peribadi, sebagai mantan Menteri Umno dan disiar pula oleh media milik Umno maka bantahan dan kemarahan Indonesia ada asasnya. Rakan-rakan dalam Umno juga tertanya-tanya apakah Zainudin sebodoh itu dengan sengaja mencari musuh baru ketika pucuk pimpinan Umno berhempas pulas mempersiapkan diri menghadapi PRU13? Atau adakah Zainudin kini  diperalatkan oleh Mahathir untuk sabotaj PM Najib? Di kalangan ahli politik Pakatan Rakyat dan BN bukanlah menjadi  rahsia lagi bahawa Mahathir memperalatkan Muhyidin Yasin untuk memaksa Abdullah Badawi bersara. Kini Mahathir bekerja keras untuk mengantikan Najib dengan Muhyidin. Ahli Umno tidak boleh marahkan Mahathir kerana Umno yang ada hari ini ialah Umno Baru milik Mahathir Mohamad. Sementara reputasi Anwar sekelumit pun tidak terjejas dengan tulisan Zainuddin, isu ini lebih menyerlahkan politicking dalaman Umno sendiri. Anwar kekal sebagai pemimpin tahan uji. Bak kata pepatah arab “emas yang terbaik ialah emas yang terhasil apabila dibakar berulangkali”. Manakala Umno pula menhitung hari menanti rebah.
Saifudin Nasution Ismail
Setiausaha Agong
Parti Keadilan Rakyat 

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