Author Archive

29 November 2016

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oleh Dr Siddiq Fadzil

Mukadimah

Dalam era kekuasaan media, kita selalu tertipu dengan propaganda. Media sebagai image maker banyak melakukan pemalsuan citra, yang kecil diperbesar dan yang besar diperkecil. Antara yang cuba dimangsakan adalah Anwar Ibrahim, tokoh yang sumbangannya selalu dinafikan, dan kebesarannya selalu diperkecilkan. Mudah-mudahan kita masih memiliki kejujuran nurani, daya fikir kritis dan keberanian bersikap objektif dalam menilai seseorang. Anwar Ibrahim adalah tokoh multi-dimensi dalam pengertian memiliki kemampuan yang pelbagai. Umum mengenalinya sebagai pemimpin karismatik, ahli politik berkaliber dan strategis yang cemerlang. Tetapi selain itu beliau juga sebenarnya adalah seorang pemikir serius dan ilmuwan berwawasan luas. Banyak wawasan dan gagasannya yang segar dan menginspirasikan: wawasan kebangkitan Islam, wawasan kebangkitan Asia, wawasan ekonomi kemanusian, wawasan pendidikan keinsanan, wawasan masyarakat madani, dan yang terkini gagasan World Forum for Muslim Democrats.

Wawasan Kependidikan

Anwar Ibrahim adalah pemimpin-pendidik yang gigih memperjuangkan pendidikan sebagai birth right, hak yang lahir bersama kelahiran setiap anak manusia. Sejak muda beliau sangat memprihatinkan nasib anak-anak yang tidak mendapat peluang dan kemudahan belajar, terutama kanak-kanak di luar bandar. Mereka adalah antara korban kepincangan dasar urban biased development, dasar pembangunan yang lebih memusat di kawasan bandar. Sementara itu mereka yang berpeluang mendapat pendidikan pula, banyak dirosakkan oleh sistem pendidikan yang terlalu bersifat pragmatik dan utilitariansehingga mengabaikan objektif utama islah al-insan (pembaikan insan). Akibatnya berleluasalah gejala moral decadence,  kebejatan moral dalam pelbagai bentuknya. Yang paling menyolok adalah hypocrisy elit kepimpinan sebagaimana yang dirumuskan oleh Anwar sendiri ketika diwawancarai oleh Zainah Anwar,

The leaders were condemning corruption, but they were enriching themselves. They talked about Malay nationalism but they were alienated from the Malay masses.
They were obsessed with the west. They were too accommodating to non-Malay sentiments. They were extremely slow in implementing national policies in education and language. We wereimpatient and angry about the plight of the Malays, their education, rural development, rural health. There was this huge University Hospital, but no clinics in the rural areas. There were schools with no laboratories, no libraries and no qualified teachers. We were very angry, disgusted and critical of the government. There seemed to be no moral foundation and no spiritual guidance. We turned to Islam to fill this vacuum and to look for solutions. (Zainah Anwar, 1987:12-13)

Ketempangan sedemikian itulah yang membibitkan kesedaran reformatif-islahi yang kemudiannya mengorientasikan gerakan kesiswaan PKPIM (Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia) yang dipimpinnya. Dalam wawasan reformasi-islahinya, agenda pendidikan menempati posisi teras sebagaimana terserlah dalam orientasi gerakan kepemudaan yang muncul menyusul pada tahun 1971 iaitu Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM).

Sebaik sahaja menamatkan pengajiannya di Universiti Malaya, Anwar Ibrahim terus terjun ke dunia pendidikan kerakyatan dengan menubuhkan Yayasan Anda, sebuah sekolah menengah kerakyatan di Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, yang menampung pelajar-pelajar yang tidak mendapat tempat di sekolah-sekolah kerajaan. Mengenai sekolah ini Nagata menyebutnya sebagai gabungan pola pendidikan agama dan sekular:

Religious and secular education patterns in such a way that pupils can both sit for the national promotional examinations which open the doors of occupational opportunity to government and private sector and receive a solid religious and moral foundation for life as good Muslims. (Nagata, J., 1984:92).

Persekolahan model Yayasan Anda segera berkembang dengan memakai nama yang berbeza-beza di Ipoh, Taiping, Sungai Petani, Alor Star dan Kota Kinabalu. Yang menjadi ciri khas persekolahan model ini ialah pengajaran subjek Prinsip Islam yang memperkenalkan shumuliyyat al-Islam, iaitu Islam sebagai cara hidup yang utuh dan menyeluruh. Selain itu ialah orientasi keislamannya yang kental sebagai jelmaan semangat kebangkitan Islam yang menggelora ketika itu. Sekolah-sekolah tersebut rata-rata dikendalikan oleh aktivis-aktivis gerakan Islam ABIM. Majoriti besar aktivis ABIM ketika itu adalah guru-guru, dan mereka memang sangat instrumental dalam gerakan pemerataan kesedaran Islamiah yang berteraskan pendidikan.

Gerakan kependidikan ini juga didukung kekuatan idea demokratisasi pendidikan, bahawa pendidikan tidak seharusnya menjadi hak eksklusif golongan istimewa, sebaliknya harus dapat dinikmati secara kolektif oleh seluruh rakyat, tanpa mengira kaum dan agama atau status sosialnya. Komitmen terhadap semangat democratization of education yang dikobarkan oleh Anwar Ibrahim telah membangkitkan kesedaran pemerataan pendidikan, di samping pemerataan kesedaran tentang hak mendapat pendidikan berkualiti.

Pendidikan Keinsanan

Komitmen kependidikan Anwar Ibrahim juga terbina hasil penjelajahannya yang luas dalam dunia keintelektualan. Pelbagai aliran pemikiran, Timur dan Barat dipelajari dengan tekun, untuk kemudiannya diadun menjadi suatu gagasan yang segar. Demikianlah beliau mengadun pemikiran Paolo Freire dari Brazil dengan pemikiran ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibiy dari Syria untuk menggagaskan pendidikan pembebasan dan pemberdayaan. Paolo Freire (1921-1997) adalah tokoh pemikir yang menggagaskan pendidikan untuk kaum tertindas. Antara bukunya yang banyak dibicarakan dalam kalangan masyarakat pendidik ialah Pedagogy of the Oppressed dan Education as the Practice of Freedom. Paolo Freire menggunakan pendidikan sebagai wahana membangkitkan kaum tertindas yang buta huruf dan terbenam dalam budaya bisu. Freire berkeyakinan bahawa manusia betapa pun jahilnya, dan berapa pun lamanya terbenam dalam budaya bisu (submerged in the culture of silence), ia tetap berpotensi untuk mampu melihat dunianya secara kritis. Pendidikan yang tepat akan membangkitkan kesedaran tentang hakikat dirinya sebagai manusia yang bermartabat. Pendidikan yang tepat juga akan membebaskannya dari budaya bisu, dan seterusnya memberinya keberanian tampil di pentas dialog kritis. Dengan kata lain, pendidikan liberatif mampu menciptakan transformasi radikal, merubah manusia buta huruf yang pasif dan bisu, menjadi manusia baru yang berani bangkit menggugat budaya dan order masyarakat yang menindasnya selama ini.

`Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibiy (1854-1902) adalah ilmuwan-pejuang yang termasuk dalam rangkaian tokoh-tokoh gerakan islahakhir abad ke-19 dan awal abad ke-20 yang dipelopori oleh Jamal al-din al-Afghaniy, Muhammad `Abduh dan Rashid Rida. Kekuatan al-Kawakibiy adalah analisisnya tentang gejala penindasan sebagaimana yang tertuang dalam bukunya Taba’i` al-Istibdad wa Masari` al-Isti`bad. Bagi al-Kawakibiy, ibu segala bentuk penindasan adalah penindasan politik. Rakyat diindoktrinasi untuk menerima hakikat bahawa golongan penguasa memang diciptakan untuk memerintah semahu mereka, sementara rakyat pula memang dicipta untuk mengabdi kepada penguasa, adil atau zalim. Al-Kawakibiy mengatakan bahawa rakyat yang tertindas dalam pemerintahan despotik dilayani bagaikan anjing yang dihina tetapi tetap setia, rela mengabdi walaupun hanya diberi tulang. Rakyat Muslimin di pelbagai rantau dunia terbelenggu dalam kezaliman para penguasa yang dibantu oleh fuqaha’ al-istibdad (ulama penindasan). Umat diindoktrinasi dengan fiqh al-istibdad (fiqh penindasan) yang berintikan ajaran syukur kalau penguasa adil, sabar kalau mereka zalim. Satu-satunya cara melawan penindasan bagi Al-Kawakibiy adalah pendidikan pembebasan, ilmu yang dapat menyedarkan umat tentang betapa buruknya kehidupan yang sedang mereka alami, dan sekali gus memberikan harapan bahawa mereka boleh memperbaikinya. Dengan kesedaran sedemikian, mereka akan mulai merasakan sakitnya ditindas dan diperas.

Wacana penindasan dan pentingnya pendidikan pembebasan memang sangat relevan dalam konteks masyarakat pasca-kolonial yang masih terbelenggu dalam sikap jiwa hamba warisan penjajahan, dan dilanjutkan oleh penguasa pasca-kemerdekaan. Anwar dan rakan-rakannya menyedari bahawa kemerdekaan telah tidak diisi dengan pembinaan jiwa merdeka, malah telah berlaku proses dehumanisasi (penghakisan ciri dan nilai keinsanan). Manusia yang kehilangan hak dan martabatnya adalah manusia yang telah kehilangan kemanusiaannya. Kerana itu isu insaniyyat al-insan menjadi keprihatinan utama, dan seterusnya membangkitkan kesedaran tentang pendidikan keinsanan.

Pendidikan yang berorientasi keinsanan inilah yang menjadi tumpuan utama ketika Anwar Ibrahim menjadi Menteri Pendidikan. Antara sumbangan besar beliau sebagai Menteri Pendidikan ialah perumusan Falsafah Pendidikan Negara yang berintikan idea keinsanan, “…memperkembangkan lagi potensi individu secara menyeluruh dan bersepadu untuk mewujudkan insan yang seimbang dan harmonis dari segi intelek, rohani, emosi dan jasmani berdasarkan kepercayaan dan kepatuhan kepada Tuhan.” Bagi Anwar human development adalah paksi pembangunan di segala sektor dan bidang, termasuk pembangunan ekonomi yang harus menjadi bahagian integral daripada keseluruhan falsafah pembangunan insan. Beliau mengingatkan bahawa manusia yang dimaksudkan dalam konteks pembangunan ekonomi yang digagaskannya, bukan manusia menurut definisi humanisme sekular yang sentiasa haus dan rakus, tetapi manusia unggul seperti yang dikonsepsikan dalam tamadun-tamadun besar dunia, iaitu seperti chun tzu(manusia sempurna) dalam Konfusianisme, dan insan salih (manusia baik) dalam Islam. Pembangunan ekonomi tidak dilihat dari perspektif homo economicus yang materialistik, tetapi dari perspektif homo islamicus yang mampu menciptakan keseimbangan material-spiritual.

Universiti dan Kualiti Keintelektualan

Berbicara tentang kebangkitan Asia, Anwar Ibrahim mengingatkan peri pentingnya kecemerlangan intelektual dan pengayaan budaya (intellectual excellence and cultural enrichment). Mediokriti harus segera digantikan dengan kecemerlangan (intelektual). Justeru, kemajuan dan kebangkitan tidak mungkin berlaku di tengah kebekuan dan kegersangan intelektual. Mengenai kepentingan iklim keintelektualan yang segar sebagai prasyarat perubahan, beliau mengatakan, “The reengineering of society, to make it more open, transparent and tolerant, is also contingent upon a vibrant intellectual climate.” (Anwar Ibrahim, 1997:30).

Ternyata Anwar Ibrahim sangat memprihatinkan kualiti keintelektualan di negara ini, dan seterusnya kepiawaian para graduan yang ditampilkan oleh universiti-universiti tempatan. Dilatari keprihatinan tersebut, ketika menjadi Menteri Pendidikan, beliau telah mengarahkan semua Naib Canselor membaca sebuah laporan tentang kemerosotan pengajian tinggi di Amerika Syarikat. Laporan berjudul A Nation at Risk (1983) itu mengungkapkan keprihatinan terhadap tahap kekuatan intelektual, moral dan spiritual bangsa Amerika, “Our concern, however, goes well beyond matters such as industry and commerce. It also includes the intellectual, moral and spiritual strength of our people which knit together the very fabric of our society.”

Perhatiannya terhadap mutu pengajian tinggi tidak terbatas hanya ketika menjadi Menteri Pendidikan, tetapi berterusan hingga sekarang. Dalam pesanan khasnya kepada penulis, beliau menyarankan agar diteliti juga laporan selepas A Nation at Riskdi atas, iaitu A Test of Leadership (2006) yang memprihatinkan pelbagai gejala kemorosotan dalam pendidikan tinggi Amerika Syarikat. Kesimpulan laporan tersebut menyatakan:

The future of our country’s colleges and universities is threatened by global competitive pressures, powerful technological development, restraints on public finance, and serious structural limitations that cry out for reform.
Our report has recommended strategic actions designed to make higher education more accessible, more affordable, and more accountable, while maintaining world-class quality. Our Colleges and universities must become more transparent, faster to respond to rapidly changing circumstances and increasingly productive in order to deal effectively with the powerful forces of change they now face.

Laporan-laporan sedemikian menarik perhatian Anwar, kerana beliau sendiri memang mengaspirasikan universiti berkualiti tinggi yang dapat menjadi pusat pengembangan minda kreatif dan adventurous. Beliau menerima pentingnya pengkhususan, tetapi tidak harus terkurung dalam kepompong pengkhususan. Sebaliknya harus ada pendedahan secukupnya kepada idea-idea penting dari disiplin lain dan perkembangan pemikiran umum semasa. Di samping cemerlang dalam bidang masing-masing, para graduan juga harus memiliki cita rasa seni, sastera, musik dan karya-karya yang tinggi nilai estetikanya. Para graduan universiti yang menguasai bidang yang pelbagai itulah yang beliau sebut sebagai multidimensional men.

Beliau juga menginginkan agar institusi-institusi pengajian tinggi memiliki kesanggupan dan keberanian melakukan penerokaan baru dalam pelbagai bidang falsafah, agama, perundangan, ekonomi, seni dan sains. Pelajar-pelajar universiti pula tidak harus hanya terpaku pada buku-buku teks semata-mata, tetapi harus dibimbing untuk meneroka idea-idea dari karya sarjana-sarjana besar, dan mengikuti polemik intelektual dari pelbagai aliran. Di samping membangkitkan ghairah keintelektualan, beliau juga mengingatkan pentingnya nilai-nilai murni kerohanian seperti keihlasan, kerendahan dan kemurahan hati, serta kecintaan pada kebenaran dan keadilan. Tanpa didasari nilai-nilai tersebut, ilmu setinggi mana pun tidak akan membawa kebaikan. (Anwar Ibrahim, 1997: 106-107).

Anwar Ibrahim memang sangat komited dengan epistemologi Islam. Peranan kuncinya dalam penubuhan Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) membuktikan kesungguhannya dalam usaha membangun semula tamadun keilmuan Islam berteraskan epistemologi tawhidik dalam pengertian Islamisasi ilmu. Sebagai ilmuwan Islamis, beliau cukup menyedari masalah-masalah yang membelit tradisi keilmuan sekular Barat dengan segala akibatnya. Kritiknya yang konsisten terhadap sekularisme, mengimplikasikan komitmen terhadap de-sekularisasi ilmu, untuk seterusnya dikembalikan kepada tawhid sebagai prinsip dan kaedah integratif menuju kesepaduan ilmu dalam suluhan wahyu Ilahi.

Khatimah

Anwar Ibrahim adalah contoh manusia pencinta ilmu yang setulennya. Beliau benar-benar telah mengecapi ladhdhat al-ma`rifah (kelazatan ilmu). Kerana itu beliau selamanya sangat akrab dengan ilmu dan ilmuwan. Apabila berbicara tentang sesuatu, dapat dipastikan beliau memang tahu apa yang dibicarakannya, bukan pura-pura tahu seperti sesetengah orang. Pidato-pidatonya yang memukau, bukan hanya kerana gaya retorikanya yang istimewa, tetapi lebih daripada itu adalah kekentalan ideanya yang terhasil dari penjelajahannya dalam dunia keilmuan yang memang cukup luas. Kemanusiaan seorang manusia, bukan pada raga jasmaninya, tetapi pada akal budinya. Demikianlah keyakinan dan pegangan hidup Anwar Ibrahim yang ternyata sangat teruja dengan bait-bait puisi Abu al-Fath al-Busti:

Ya khadima ‘l-jismi, kam tashqa li khidmatihi,

Litatluba ‘r-ribha mimma fihi khusranu,

Aqbil `ala ‘n-nafsi wa ‘stakmil fada’ilaha,

Fa anta bi ‘n-nafsi, la bi ‘l-jismi insanu.

Wahai pengabdi jasmani, betapa penat kau merawatnya,

Bak mencari laba, di pasar ruginya segala niaga

Hadap sajalah jiwa dan minda, bina hingga sempurna

Dengan akal budi, bukan raga jasmani, kau jadi manusia.

Rujukan:

Allers, Charles. 2013. Anwar Ibrahim: Evolution of a Muslim Democrat. Singapore:
Monsoon.

Al-Kawakibiy, `Abd al-Rahman. 2009. Taba’i` al-Istibdad wa Masari` al-Isti`bad. Kaherah: Dar al-Shuruq.

Anwar Ibrahim. 1997. The Asian Renaissance. Singapore: Times Book International.

Freire, Paolo. 1968. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: The Seabury Press.

Nagata, Judith. 1984. The Reflowering of Malaysian Islam: Modern Religious Radicals and Their Roots. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Siddiq Fadzil. 2014. Pendidikan al-Hikmah dan Misi Pencerahan. Kajang: Akademi Kajian Ketamadunan.

—————– 2015. Misi Kecendekiawanan dalam Gerakan Reformasi Islahi. Bangi:

Wadah Pencerdasan Umat Malaysia (WADAH)

Zainah Anwar. 1987. Islamic Revivalism in Malaysia: Dakwah Among the Students. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk Publication.

2 November 2016

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KENYATAAN MEDIA

Kita sudah gunakan segala ikhtiar untuk memastikan negara memperkasa demokrasi yang diikrarkan dalam Perisytiharan Kemerdekaan 1957 dan Perjanjian Malaysia 1963. Di antara tunggak proses tersebut adalah pelaksananaan pilihanraya adil dan bersih.

Selama ini amanah tersebut dimungkiri. Tuntutan Bersih 2.0 juga diketepikan.

Maka saya menyeru semua rakyat untuk menyertai perhimpunan Bersih 5 dengan semangat setiakawan pada 19 November 2016.

Kehadiran saudara-saudari akan membantu menjana perubahan di negara Malaysia tercinta.

Anwar Ibrahim

2 November 2016

12 October 2016

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Today marks day 610 of Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration.

Following last month’s surprise meeting and hand shake between Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Mahathir[1], Anwar cast aside any calls to dismiss the olive branch offered by Dr Mahathir by stating that the fixation of the public shouldn’t be on him but on more important issues at hand that effects public interests. Noting that his family and supporters have suffered immensely, what is more important is the present and to fight the transgressions by the current ruling party.

On the 19th of September, Anwar and Dr Mahathir issued a joint statement condemning the National Security Council (NSC) act.

“We notice that almost all institutions in the country, such as the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General and Bank Negara are fully under Prime Minister Najib Razak’s control.”

“Thus, we are united with the people to fight the NSC, and to bring change and reform to protect the rights and freedoms of Malaysians and to bring progress to Malaysia once more.”[2] The statement signed by both of them read.

Legal Team New Addition

A new addition to Anwar’s legal team was announced on 9th of September. International human rights lawyer, Kimberley Motley who gain stature through her litigation and human rights battle in Afghanistan[3], arrived in Kuala Lumpur to meet up with the legal team to discuss the upcoming review of the case at the Federal Court on October 12th. She also requested to meet her client Anwar but was declined initially prompting her to a press conference calling for the right to legal access for Anwar[4].

Motley described Anwar’s case as one of the most “horrendous travesties of justice of the 21st century”.

“I travelled thousands of miles to see my client and I am being denied access. What happened to him is a political issue more than a legal issue.

“I intend to talk globally about the way Anwar has been treated within the legal system.”

The following day Home Minister Zahid Hamidi allowed Kimberly a brief visit to meet Anwar after wide coverage from the press on the incident.

Bersih 5

Election and electoral watch group Bersih 2.0 announced that Bersih 5 peaceful street rally is going to be held on 19th of November. Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah announced that this time a nationwide convoy will be held featuring “Bersih torches”, which will be passed throughout 246 stops around the country. The intention is to create a national debate on the issues of election and electorate fairness, rule of law, reform and for Prime Minister Najib to step down[5].

Bersih 2.0 held four hugely succesful rallies previously, amassing hundreds of thousands of people from all background.

Institute Darul Ehsan (IDE) Survey

In a survey conducted by IDE, a think tank and pollster, on Selangor voters Anwar remains the most popular personality ahead of Dr Mahathir, Hadi Awang and other leaders. It is a testament that although behind bars, Anwar still remains relevant and important to the movement for a better Malaysia[6].

October 12 Final Court Review

Anwar will hear his final review of his case at the Federal Court on October 12. It will be his last chance under the Malaysia court system to prove that there was a miscarriage of justice, and the decision against him should be set aside.

It must be said that it will be an uphill task as the previous decision against him at the Federal Court decision was unanimous. After the review the only outlet left for Anwar is for a Royal Pardon by the King of Malaysia. For the record Anwar has applied for it once but it was turned down on technicality as the Prime Minister and Attorney General is on the board of advisory that advises the King of Malaysia.

I am reminded at difficult times like this on the optimism and perseverance of Anwar. He is resolute in his fight to clear his name and bring significant change to the country.

Please spread the word on the Anwar’s latest development. We need to create more pressure on the Malaysian government internationally. The latest website for Anwar is linked and we seek more signatories to join the pledge made by world leaders, NGO’s, academicians, human rights activists to release Anwar.

Thanks for the support and prayers.

Best

Khairul

Watch Kimberly Motley on TED Talk

19 September 2016

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Today marks day 588 of Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration.

The world was buzzing with the news of the meeting between former Prime minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim recently. To everyone’s surprise Dr Mahathir turned up during a court appearance of Anwar. Anwar was in court to challenge the constitutional legitimacy of the newly minted controversial National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016. The two towering political figure met for the first time in 18 years and embraced each other with a warm handshake and smile. The meeting was indeed significant and received mix reactions from supporters and the public.

Considering their political differences and history between the two, it was humility and grace in its highest form for Anwar.

National Security Council Act (NSC) 2016

While the ruling government claims that the NSC act is crucial in their effort to combat terrorism and radicalization, critics are claiming that the act gives the prime minister and security forces unfettered power. The act allows the prime minister to declare security zone for up to 6 months where arrests and seizures can be made without warrants and total control of all departments including the military and police. The opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan has expressed their opposition to it with a statement calling it “bringing Malaysia to the brink of dictatorship

Subject to his whims and fancies, Najib can now declare any area a “security area” for six months at a time, a period of which he is authorized to renew indefinitely. The NSC Act empowers security force with arbitrary powers of violence and deadly force, warrantless arrest, search and seizure, and imposition of curfews. Despite disenfranchising Malaysians to such new lows, the NSC Act also decrees a ban that disallows any action, suit or proceedings to be brought against the NSC Council.” It’s presidential council said.[i]

Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for South East Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict raised his concern stating, “With this new law, the government now has spurned checks and assumed potentially abusive powers”.

There is good reason to fear that the Act will be yet another tool in the hands of the government to crack down on peaceful protests under the guise of national security,” Josef Benedict further added[ii]

Anwar is currently challenging the constitutional legality of the act by filing a suit from prison claiming that the act came into force without royal assent as the regent council had earlier requested the law to be further refined[iii]. It’s clear that the fighting spirit is still alive in Anwar as he is still leading the charge in challenging the ruling government even behind bars.

Birthday Celebration Of Anwar Ibrahim

On 10th Aug 2016, some 500 supporters of Anwar congregated outside the Sg Buloh Prison to celebrate his 69th birthday. A large birthday cake was brought on to the makeshift stage where Anwar’s family members, friends and supporters were already gathered as early as 8pm.

Many political and activist leaders spoke on stage demanding the release of Anwar. They also rallied all Malaysians to remain united to bring down the curtains for Barisan Nasional, the ruling party.

Subsequent to the gathering, two elected opposition representatives were called in for questioning by the police force for their involvement in the gathering outside Sungai Buloh prison. Peoples Justice Party’s Vice-President and Member or Parliament, Rafizi Ramli and assemblyman Lee Chean Chung was brought in for questioning for supposingly speaking and singing during the gathering[iv][v].

Tangkap MO1 Rally

After the US justice department coined the term Malaysian Official Number 1(MO1), a rally was called by student activists to put further pressure on the person known to be MO1, Prime Minister Najib.

Leading up to the rally slated to be on the 27th of August, three student activists were detained for promoting the rally under the Peaceful Assembly Act[vi]. This prompted Amnesty International to again come out with a statement urging to stop penalizing peaceful assembly and dissent[vii]. The rally went on and a few thousands turned up for it. What made it significant was the rally was organized and attended primarily by student activists clearly frustrated by the current political climate plaguing the country[viii].

Sedition Blitz Continues

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) Youth vice-chief Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar was sentenced to 8 months in jail for the crime of sedition. The “crime” was allegedly made during the #KitaLawan rally February last year which was held to call for the release of Anwar after the start of his sentencing.

The Sessions Court judge when passing his judgment said “..the remark brought about hatred, excite dissatisfaction against the government and the administration of justice in the judiciary..and serves as a deterrent to others.[ix]

Again we see the blatant use of a draconian act to impede the most basic of human rights, freedom of speech. It continues to be used by the government as a tool to intimidate and stifle dissent against opposition activists.

Next month I will share the latest setback faced by the opposition coalition where the Election Commission (EC) recently announce a new redelineation of electoral boundaries that will increase gerrymendering and mallaportionment and benefit greatly the current ruling government.

From my recent family visit with Anwar, he sends his regards to all his friends. He is resolute in his fight but certainly hopes that the imprisonment will end soon. Please continue with your prayers and thoughts, pass the message of his struggle so that his pain and suffering will not remain unknown.

Thank you and till next month.

Best

Khairul

On behalf the family of Anwar Ibrahim

22 August 2016

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Today marks 560 days Anwar Ibrahim has spent time behind bars. This past August 10th also marked his 69th birthday; the second year in a row Anwar is spending his birthday in prison.

Celebrating Eid in Sungai Buloh

On the 5th of July on the eve of Eid day, Anwar’s family and supporters gathered outside Sungai Buloh prison to “celebrate” Eid with Anwar.

Eid celebration comes after a month of fasting from dawn to dusk, a joyous occasion to celebrate a month of fasting, charity, obedience to god and reflections, spent usually with family and friends.

On that night gathering prayers was offered together to mark Eid celebration and opposition leaders and family members gave speeches to the supporters outside the gates of prison.

On the 7th of July in conjunction with the second day of Eid, Anwar’s family members were allowed to visit him at Sungai Buloh. The permission to visit allowed Anwar’s wife and children the opportunity to spend an hour together where they shared some customary Eid traditional delicacies.  Although short lived, it proved to be precious for Anwar’s family to spend some time together with Anwar for Eid.

Court Ruling On Eligibility To Vote

On the 15th of July, in a suit against the Election Commission (EC), the High Court ruled that Anwar has the right to vote even while in prison in line with the Constitution. Anwar claimed that he was denied his right to vote during the last Permatang Pauh by-election, which was vacated when he was sentenced to prison. However the High Court also dismissed the suit as the court ruled that the suit should be directed to the Prison Department for not providing the avenue to vote[1]

Anwar’s lawyer N. Surenden MP remarked “I also want to add that this decision also shows that up to now, that right has been denied because there has been no attempt by the EC to ensure that those prisoners who are qualified are taken out and arrangements made to ensure they can cast their vote,”. N. Surendan wanted a clear declaration by the High Court to ensure a similar incident does not repeat in the future.

Other Court Proceedings

In a defamation suit against the current Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, which was filed in originally in 2008, the High Court has allowed the case to be heard and will be calling Khairy Jamaluddin to testify on September 19. Anwar claimed Khairy uttered defamatory words during a speech in Lembah Pantai constituency, a Parliamentary seat held by Nurul Izzah Anwar[2].

On the 22nd of July, political blogger Papagomo failed in his final appeal to overturn a 2014 court verdict finding him guilty of defamation against Anwar. The High Court previously ordered Papagomo to pay 800,000 ringgit in damages[3].

The 1MDB Saga Continues

Anwar has been consistent in his opposition to endemic corruption within the ruling party and was among the first to have brought up the issue of corruption and shady dealings in the 1MDB scandal in 2010[4][5]. 6 years later the issue has now evolved into the biggest scandal in Malaysia’s history[6] and the Department of Justice of United States of America has opened an investigation to recover more than USD1 billion in money laundered through the American financial system[7]

Free and fair election advocacy group BERSIH has called for a mammoth rally after the DOJ 1MDB suit to pressure for Prime Minister to step down as he is deeply embroiled in the saga[8]

Since the incarceration of Anwar, Malaysia continues to be embroiled with scandals after scandals. Former Opposition Leader and Democratic Action Party(DAP) Member of Parliament, Lim Kit Siang quipped in his speech that “If Anwar had become Prime Minister in 2013, Malaysia would have been spared the agony of the protracted 1MDB scandal, there would be no DOJ lawsuit derogatory of the nation’s international reputation and Malaysia would be spared the latest label as a global kleptocracy.”[9]

Let us hope the ordeal of Anwar will end soon and his release will allow him to lead in rebuilding Malaysia. By removing Anwar from politics, the government has successfully eliminated a successful coalition that was capable of replacing the government during the next General Elections. We see growing calls from activists not to forget Anwar[10] while he languishes in prison and that his sacrifices must not go to waste in ensuring the struggle continues for a better Malaysia.

Till next month. Take care and thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Best

Khairul


21 August 2016

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KENYATAAN MEDIA

MCKK

Saya terima berita insiden keracunan makanan di sekolah lama saya, MCKK, di mana 56 pelajar telah mengalami masalah keracunan makanan.

MCKK sebagai sebuah institusi pengajian ulung di negara ini harus mengkaji semula semua aspek termasuk isu kebersihan serta pengendalian kantin untuk memastikan perkara ini tidak berulang.

Saya doakan para pelajar cepat sembuh.

RIO

Saya turut gembira menerima berita atlit-atlit negara memenangi 4 perak dan 1 gangsa di temasya sukan Olimpik di Rio. Tahniah diucapkan kepada semua.

Kepada pasangan terjun 10m Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong, pelumba basikal acara keirin Azizulhasni Awang, pemain badminton beregu lelaki Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong dan beregu campuran Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, dan Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, anda semua adalah hero Malaysia dan kita cukup bangga dengan anda semua!

Khusus buat Azizulhasni, anak Dungun yang telah mengatasi segala kekurangan dengan cekal dan tabah untuk merangkul pingat gangsa bagi lumba basikal acara keirin, yang juga merupakan pingat pertama diraih negara di sukan Olimpik Rio. Saya harap saudara akan terus berusaha untuk meningkatkan mutu dan menjadi inspirasi kepada anak muda yang lain.

Para atlit negara membuktikan bahawa dengan usaha dan cita-cita, kita mampu mengharumkan nama negara di persada dunia.

Anwar Ibrahim
21 Ogos 2016

17 July 2016

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Today marks day 523 of Anwar Ibrahim’s imprisonment as a political prisoner.

Newest addition Anwar’s family

On the 4th of June, Nurul Nuha, Anwar’s second daughter gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Although it gave great joy to hear the news of his 8th grandchild, this would be the second time being blessed a grandchild since being separated from his family more than a year ago.

National Security Council bill

On the 7th of June the controversial National Security Council (NSC) bill was gazetted as legislation. The bill was initially passed last December but needed Royal Assent by the King before it becomes law. However in a surprising move the King requested amendments to the law that provides sweeping power to the Prime Minister and members of the security council to declare “Security Zones” which would accord authorities wide powers of arrest, search and seizure without a warrant[1]. This has caused serious concerns among opposition leaders and human rights activist given the track record on human rights violations by the government. The bill automatically becomes gazetted even without Royal Assent after 30 days of presenting it to the King[2].

Anwar continues to be hospitalized

On the 15th of June Anwar was again transferred to the General Hospital of Kuala Lumpur for health checkup on his irregular blood pressure and recurring back and shoulder pain. He was admitted for 5 days where he underwent medical testing and treatment. Following the transfer, Nurul Izzah, daughter of Anwar issued a statement lamenting the inadequate medical care on Anwar. Nurul Izzah questioned “..if the number of treatments given failed to improve his health, can they be considered adequate?[3].

She renewed calls for Anwar to be allowed to travel overseas for medical intervention and treatment, especially on the shoulder surgery that Anwar requires to alleviate the pain on his shoulder.

Lead prosecutor against Anwar appointed as human rights ambassador

Well known lawyer of the ruling party UMNO Shafee Abdullah[4]who contreversially lead the prosecution team against Anwar at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court level was appointed by the Foreign Ministry as Malaysia’s ambassador at large for Human Rights[5].

The announcement was met by criticism over the obvious attempt by the government to mislead especially the international community over their commitment to human rights. Human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) Executive Director Sevan Doraisamy in the statement said “..(it) makes it clear that the government has little to no interest in fulfilling its obligations to defend human rights[6].

Shafee Abdullah is the same lawyer that was recorded in court to be in the house of the Prime Minister Najib Razak while Saiful Bukhari, the accuser in Anwar’s case, was meeting Najib Razak to seek for “scholarship” just days before allegation against Anwar was raised[7]. Anwar’s defense team has used this as a foundation that a political conspiracy exists.

This clear conflict raised many doubts regarding the integrity of the proceeding as Shafee Abdullah was later appointed special prosecuter to lead the case despite having many capable senior prosecuters at the Attorney General’s Chambers office.

500 days of prison

On the 23rd of June another sad milestone was passed as it marks 500 days of imprisonment for Anwar. Friends and family gathered at the residence of Anwar for an event to commemorate the milestone, breaking Ramadan fast together followed by Ramadan night prayers.

That’s all for June’s update. I end this email with a short message from Anwar wishing all his fellow friends and supporters Eid Mubarak. Thank you for your support and as always do keep in touch.

Best

Khairul

25 June 2016

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Kepada rakyat Malaysia, juga teman-teman pembangkang seperjuangan:

Walaupun dari sudut kecil di dalam penjara ini, saya tahu bahawa keputusan pilihanraya kecil baru-baru ini telah mengecewakan ramai. Saya tahu ramai yang menaruh harapan pada pembangkang untuk menyelamatkan Malaysia dari cengkaman rejim yang menindas, korup dan bankrap moralnya. Malaysia tidak punyai harapan untuk membina masa depan yang lebih baik buat rakyatnya atau untuk dihormati dunia di bawah rejim sedia ada, dengan seorang perdana menteri yang berada ditengah-tengah skandal kewangan yang mempunyai implikasi yang sangat luas dan melibatkan pelbagai negara.

Parti-parti pembangkang mesti mengambil iktibar dan bermuhasabah di atas keputusan PRK ini, dan memahami dengan amat mendalam kelemahan-kelemahan kita. Sekarang bukanlah masa untuk mencari alasan atau menuding jari.

Kita perlu sentiasa ingat bahawa kita mempunyai satu kewajipan untuk menjadi alternatif tulen buat rakyat. Ketepikan perbezaan dan perbalahan. Sampaikan keluhan dan rungutan dengan saluran yang betul; duduklah bersama untuk mengatasi dan menyelesaikan masalah.

Kebajikan rakyat dan negara lah yang paling utama; dan kita berkhidmat untuk rakyat. Kita perlu kalahkan BN dalam PRU14, kita perlu berjaya demi Malaysia!

Mereka yang tidak percaya ini boleh dilakukan dalam PRU yang akan datang, adalah salah. Tetapi untuk melaksanakannya, kita perlu bersatu. Ini bukanlah perkara yang mudah; kita perlu hadapi keseluruhan kekuatan dan taktik BN yang tidak demokratik. Tetapi usaha kita ini murni, walhal mereka hanya memegang kuasa demi kuasa. Jika kita bersatu demi rakyat, kita akan berjaya.

Message from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the recent by-election results.

To the Malaysian public, and my friends and colleagues in the opposition:

Even from this prison, I know that the results of the recent by-elections have disappointed many. I know the public have pinned their hopes upon the Opposition, to save Malaysia from the current oppressive, corrupt and morally bankrupt regime. Malaysia has no hope of making a better future for its people or of gaining the respect of the world under the current regime, whose prime minister is in the centre of a financial scandal of worldwide reach and implication.

The Opposition must look at this electoral outcome with humility, and take a hard look at our weaknesses. This is no time for excuses or blame.

Remember constantly that it is our moral duty to provide a genuine alternative to the people. Put aside all differences, put aside internecine quarrels. Bring up grievances in the proper forum; sit together and resolve matters.

Only the welfare of the rakyat and the country matters; and we exist to serve the Rakyat. We must defeat the BN in the 14th GE, we must come through for the sake of Malaysia!

Those who now think that this can’t be done in the next GE, are wrong. But to do so, we must all pull together. It is not an easy task; we face the entrenched power and undemocratic tactics of the BN. But we have a noble cause, they merely cling to power for powers sake. If we stand united and determined for the sake of the Rakyat, we will prevail.

12 June 2016

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Today marks day 489 of Anwar Ibrahim in prison. In May 2016 the trend of gross abuse of power by the Malaysian government continues while Anwar remains languished in prison for daring to fight for a change.

Suppression continues

The Malaysian authorities continue its crackdown on dissent. The Malaysian police are targeting billboards that have been erected nationwide calling for the release of Anwar.  Besides removing the billboards by force, they have also proceeded to investigate key figures using the draconian The Sedition Act for erecting the billboards. Amongst those investigated for the “crime” of erecting the billboards is the current Chief Minister of Selangor Dato Seri Azmin Ali.

Besides that the police are also investigating Nurul Izzah Anwar and Nurul Nuha Anwar, Anwar’s daughter and other party leaders for participating in a peaceful rally outside the Sg Buloh prison in conjunction with 1-year anniversary of Anwar in prison. They have been summoned by the police to have their statement recorded and are waiting to see if any official charges will be made.

The worrying trend of disregard of freedom of expression prompted Amnesty International to issue a statement late May calling “on the Malaysian government to end its blatant disregard for the right to freedom of expression and peaceful public assembly. The organisation also urges the government to take immediate steps to repeal or amend repressive laws including the Sedition Act 1948, the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 so as to bring them into line with international human rights law and standards”[i]

Cartoonist Wins International Award

Local cartoonist activist Zunar was awarded the 2016 International Editorial Cartoons Prize by the Kofi Annan Foundation in Geneva. Through his cartoons, Zunar is currently facing 9 counts on sedition and faces the possibility of 43 years in prison for courageously using his pen to question the excesses and corrupt practices of the ruling government. Among the charges was for his critic of the Federal Court decision against Anwar through his tweets and his constant usage of his cartoons to highlight many injustices including the case of Anwar.

After the award Zunar said, “Talent is not a gift, but a responsibility. It is a duty for me as a cartoonist to use the art as a weapon to fight unjust rulers. Fear and intimidation are the potent tools being used by the regime to scare the people. I believe, strokes of art can lead the people to cross the line of fear.”[ii]

Health

On the 9th of May Anwar was transferred to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital for monitoring for 5 days due to erratic and high blood pressure. He was later transferred back to prison after his blood pressure stabilizes but his health remains a concern and requires constant monitoring. This marks the 4th time that Anwar has been transferred to the hospital in recent months.

White Paper

On the 23rd of May, Anwar’s legal team released a White Paper detailing the history of the Malaysian government’s persecution of Anwar[iii]. Please use the report to spread the information on Anwar’s case.

Case Appeal In Court

The Malaysian Federal Court rejected an appeal by Anwar to include new evidence appeared recently. Malaysia’s former national Criminal Investigation Department chief in a court appearance for another case testified that he was instructed in 1998 by the former Attorney General to fabricate evidence against Anwar. This new evidence would prove the validity Anwar’s assertion that there has been a deliberate political conspiracy against him plotted by the government. Anwar has since appealed against the decision.

I end this update with a warm message from Anwar, wishing everyone a blessed Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar. Ramadan is a month we reconnect to our almighty lord Allah; by renewing kinship, remembering the less fortunate through fasting and charity and self reflection.

It will be the second Ramadan away from his family for Anwar since taken to prison. Take care and till next time, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

[i] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/malaysian-authorities-continue-to-show-blatant-disregard-for-freedom-of-exp
[ii] https://www.zunar.my/news/zunar-awarded-2016-cartooning-peace-award/
[iii] http://perseus-strategies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Anwar-White-Paper-5.23.16.pdf

4 May 2016

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Second International Conference of the World Forum for Muslim Democrats addressed critical issues facing the Muslim world, from the challenges of violence and extremism and refugee crises to Islamophobia and challenges to improve social justice and strengthen the rule of law. Bringing together experts and practitioners from Southeast Asia, Turkey, the Middle East and Europe, the participants offered diverse perspectives of the causes and solutions to these issues, calling for greater engagement, dialogue and participation by Muslim democrats in formulating and implementing solutions. The rich discussion over two days ranged in scope, but stressed three core themes:1) the central role that democratic principles and norms in areas such as pluralism, justice and inclusion play in underling sustainable solutions to the challenges in the Muslim world; 2) the vital leadership role that Muslim democrats must play in addressing contemporary challenges, from controlling the narrative about Islam and deepening dialogue to taking more active role in strengthening legal frameworks on refugee issues and in other areas of social justice. 3) Finally,  participants highlighted the need adopt new approaches to existing problems, be it moving away from primary focus on military solutions to ISIS to a more inclusive approach to refugee issues that brings in civil society actors. These discussions contributed to important ongoing debates in the Muslim world.

[Download : WFMD – Report FINAL]

30 March 2016

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Dear Friends,

Today marks day 415 of Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration.

On the 10th of March, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighted Malaysia and the plight of Anwar Ibrahim at Human Rights Council’s 31st session. In the statement Prince Zeid said:

“In Malaysia, democratic space continues to be limited, with the Government applying “sedition” and other charges to an ever-widening circle of journalists, human rights defenders, political opponents and critical voices. The enactment of the Prevention of Terrorist Act and the National Security Council Act, without proper human rights safeguards, and without transparent and consultative process, is also a matter of concern. The imprisonment of a former opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim – whose detention has been ruled arbitrary by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – is emblematic of a broader democratic malaise.”[1]

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on the 23rd of March adopted a strong and clear resolution for Malaysia and Anwar Ibrahim citing:

“Decisions on cases in Malaysia include calls for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to be released from prison following new information that his trial and subsequent conviction were not based on legal considerations. IPU is, nevertheless, pleased by assurances that Anwar Ibrahim would receive medical treatment by a doctor of his own choosing. The Organization, however, remains concerned by Malaysia’s amended Sedition Act and Peaceful Assembly Act which have been used against 19 other MPs exercising their right as parliamentarians to speak and assemble freely.”[2]

On the local front, Anwar was transferred to Kuala Lumpur General Hospital from the 15th to the 17th for follow up check up. While his general health remains stable, his shoulder injury necessitates surgery to alleviate pain and allow for full mobility of his right shoulder. He continues to be denied proper intensive physiotherapy in hospital – two to three times a week as recommended by shoulder specialists.

Anwar appeared in court representing himself for the first time on the 22nd of March. He was forced to act as his own counsel after the prison authorities restricted his access to lawyers to only one hour a week despite 16 on going cases in court. This serious breach of his legal rights makes it impossible for Anwar and his team to adequately prepare for his legal defence. He has officially made requests for access to the Internet and legal literature to allow him to adequately prepare for cases.

In the RM100 million defamation suit case against Malaysian United Indian Party (MUIP) president S Nallakaruppan, Anwar successfully cross examined and cleared his name as S Nallakaruppan denied vehemently uttering the statement he made against Anwar during the 2008 by election that was deemed defamatory. Having cleared his name unequivocally in court, Anwar withdrew his suit.

The following week, 27th of March, Anwar again appeared in court representing himself. This time for an appeal to the decision of the Royal Pardon Board. In February 2015, the family of Anwar applied for a royal pardon to the King of Malaysia on the 5-year sentence imposed on Anwar citing miscarriage of justice.

However the Pardon Board rejected the application. Anwar’s family is citing conflict of interest as the Attorney General (at that time the Attorney General was Gani Patail) sits on the Pardon Board. His involvement with Anwar’s case is well known, as he remains a key player in the conviction of Anwar in both 1998 case and the recent case.

The application itself was eventually held in chambers behind closed doors with no one allowed to enter except for the applicants. Lawasia and IPU representative, Mark Trowell,  who wrote in earlier requesting permission to be allowed in as an international observer remarked that although he respects the decision of the judge he went on to say “The international community is still interested and concerned about legal proceedings concerning Anwar Ibrahim” and the judge should have used her discretion to allow international observers.

The application was later postponed to 4th of April 2016 to allow Anwar to review the senior federal counsel’s last minute submission on the matter.

We thank you for your concern and support. We will try our best to update as time goes on. Meanwhile, we leave you with a video we recently released.

Family of Anwar Ibrahim

“I hope Malaysians will continue to push for institutional reforms, a change in the judiciary system and most paramount the Election Commission, and other genuine changes. Not only a change of personalities” – Anwar Ibrahim on the 28th of March after court hearing

[1]http://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17200&LangID=E

[2] http://www.ipu.org/press-e/pressrelease201603231.htm

https://youtu.be/sJXhoEVufQE

11 March 2016

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UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ZEID HIGHLIGHTS ARBITRARY DETENTION OF MALAYSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ANWAR IBRAHIM IN ANNUAL REPORT TO HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

 

Anwar only prisoner of conscience anywhere in the world mentioned by High Commissioner

 

Geneva – In remarks to the Human Rights Council earlier today presenting his annual report, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad focused on shrinking democratic space in Malaysia. He highlighted the ongoing imprisonment of Anwar Ibrahim, which he described as arbitrary, as emblematic of the country’s retreat from democratic principles.  His remarks, in full, were as follows:

“In Malaysia, democratic space continues to be limited, with the Government applying “sedition” and other charges to an ever-widening circle of journalists, human rights defenders, political opponents and critical voices. The enactment of the Prevention of Terrorist Act and the National Security Council Act, without proper human rights safeguards, and without transparent and consultative process, is also a matter of concern. The imprisonment of a former opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim – whose detention has been ruled arbitrary by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – is emblematic of a broader democratic malaise.”

Anwar is a Malaysian opposition leader and a former Deputy Prime Minister.  He led a diverse opposition coalition, cutting across race and religion, to win 52 percent of the popular vote among Malaysians in the country’s 2013 parliamentary elections. He is now imprisoned on fabricated charges because he is a democratic threat to Prime Minister Najib Razak.  Amnesty International designated him a prisoner of conscience; the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined his detention is arbitrary in an October 2015 opinion.

Since his imprisonment in February 2015, Anwar has suffered numerous human rights and due process violations.  These include the consistent denial of access to adequate medical care and treatment for his existing injuries as well as new conditions that arose from his detention.  Over the last months, Anwar had been denied effective access to his lawyers as visits with them were restricted to only one hour per week, despite the fact that there are 16 ongoing civil and criminal cases. As such, Anwar has had no choice but to discharge his counsel and to represent himself in several of his cases. Psychological pressure is maintained by denying contact visits with family members who speak to him only once in 3 weeks via telephone across a glass partition.

High Commissioner Zeid’s strong statement of support joins others in condemning Anwar’s imprisonment.  US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Powers, called it an “unjust jailing,” and Human Rights Watch referred to it as a “travesty of justice.” The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union called in a Resolution for “the authorities to do everything possible to address this situation,” and the European Parliament issued a Resolution on Malaysia urging the immediate release “of all political prisoners, including … Anwar Ibrahim.”

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