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2 September 2014

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The Sedition Act is now clearly used as an instrument of gross injustice and a weapon of mass oppression. The recent spate of arbitrary arrests and selective prosecution of Pakatan Rakyat leadersrepresents a gross affront to the democratic process and signifies a breakdown in the rule of law.

The dragnet
To date, five Members of Parliament and two State Assemblymen as well as several other Pakatan leaders have been prosecuted. It is a long list whichis growing even longer with no one being spared except UMNO leaders and their right-wing racist cohorts.

They are PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli, PKR MP for Padang Serai N Surendran, PKR Youth chiefand Deputy Selangor State Assembly Speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok, PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua, PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad, and DAP Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer and former Perak MP and Changkat Jering assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

Today, this wave of repression has taken on the hue of an outrageous farce with the prosecution of law professor Azmi Sharom for expressing his academic opinion on the Selangor MB crisis. Incidentally, though it was not a view that was pro-UMNO, neither was it pro-PKR in any way. But as a firm believer in academic freedom, I maintain that Azmi has every right to express his views.

Hijacking democracy and the electoral process
If the prosecutions are successful, it is likely that at least six parliamentary by-elections and three state assembly by-elections will ensue, if we include myown impending Federal Court appeal which, going by the current state of the judiciary, holds not much promise that justice will prevail.

What we are seeing is thus a blatant and shameless attempt by Najib to hijack democracy by having duly elected law makers from Pakatan to be stripped of their democratic entitlements and disqualified from contesting in the subsequent by-elections. This will be a grave perversion of justice via the back door of the Attorney-General’s chambers.

Yesterday, the dragnet of repression was extended to haul in members of civil society with the police arresting 156 Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) members – essentially citizens who have volunteered to perform their civic responsibilities to keep the peace. There is also the audacious threat by the Home Minister to take action against PAS’s Unit Amal which has been for years recognised by the people as effective in crowd control during opposition rallies apart from its other humanitarian and welfare work.

The statement from the Prime Minister’s Office that the Sedition Act will be repealed is not only hollow but a gross lie considering the spate of prosecutions being carried. How can such flagrant use of an archaic and repressive law convince anyone that the government is serious about legislative reform?

On the contrary, it nails the lie to the elaborate game of deception played by Najib when in July 2012, he proclaimed with much fanfare and PR blitz, his National Transformation Plan.

By holding out such a big promise to the people of making Malaysia the “best democracy in the world”, while in reality imposing a new reign of Executiveterror, Najib has therefore perpetrated a gross and reckless fraud on the people.

The volley ball blame game being played by the Home Ministry in tossing the blame on the Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail for this heightened pace of prosecutions is futile because at the end of the day,all are culpable in this despicable enterprise as they are part and parcel of the Executive.

Attack on justice and freedom
In a fully functioning democracy, such abuse of power by the Executive can and will be checked by the judiciary by summary dismissal of the chargesfor they are not just frivolous and an abuse of legal process but constitute a general affront to our basic sense of justice and freedom.

These are attacks on the very foundation of our constitution which guarantees freedom from arbitrary arrests and prosecution. They are direct assaults on the democratic process which renders elected representatives to be duty-bound to speak for the people against injustice and abuse of power.

The question is: Do we have a strong, independent and vibrant judiciary that believes that politicians and their appointees who hold high executive office must act according to the rule of law, and not the rule of political expediency?

Do we have the requisite number of judges who will judge without fear or favour according to the criterion of justice? Will they have the moral courage and conviction to send a clear message that they will not be party to the Executive’s attempt to pervert the course of justice and violate the liberties and rights of the people as enshrined in the Constitution?

A government must not only administer efficiently though in this regard the Najib government has failed miserably. But even more profound is the moral obligation to administer justly.

Racist speeches by UMNO ministers and MPs, given full media coverage by UMNO’s propaganda network machine, are on the uptake. Extreme right-wing groups and countless other racist organizations continue to spread and incite communal hatred.

But what does it say for justice and democracy whenthese racists and purveyors of religious extremism get off scot free while those who speak the truth for the sake of a better, more harmonious Malaysia are treated as criminals?

Conclusion
Merdeka Day has just come and gone and two days ago the Malaysian people were treated to a grand show to mark our day of independence. It is supposed to be a celebration from the yoke of colonialism for our new found freedoms and rights.

Indeed, what a tragic irony it is that we are in fact witnessing the unbridled use of the Sedition Act that is nothing but a relic of this era of colonialism. TrueMerdeka means that we must reject this law, not use it as what the Najib government is doing, with renewed vigour and determination as an instrument of injustice and a weapon of mass oppression.

Anwar Ibrahim
Opposition leader
2 September 2014

11 August 2014

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Mewakili seluruh kepimpinan dan akar umbi KEADILAN, setinggi ucapan tahniah diucapkan kepada sahabat saya Recep Tayyip Erdogan di atas kemenangan beliau melalui Parti Keadilan & Pembangunan (AK Party) dalam pemilihan Presiden tanpa perlu melalui pusingan kedua.

Pemilihan Presiden ini yang julung kali diadakan dalam sejarah demokrasi Turki nyata sekali memberi impak positif buat Turki dalam mendepani arus perubahan. Meski berhadapan saingan sengit, keupayaan Erdogan meraih lebih 50 peratus undi membuktikan AKP di bawah kepimpinan Erdogan diyakini untuk terus mengemudi Turki.

Doa kami di Malaysia buat Erdogan dan AKP agar terus memainkan peranan aktif dan istiqamah demi memperjuangkan keadilan sejagat.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

12 July 2014

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Further to our earlier denunciations of the atrocities; we reiterate our condemnation of the latest massacre of more than 100 Palestinians including women and children in the Gaza by the Israeli regime of Netanyahu and call on the international community to collectively put pressure to stop the atrocities.

It is clear that the Israeli regime is exploiting the killing of the three Israeli youths as a pretext to attack Gaza and start a chain of violence and bloodshed so as to destabilize the unity government between Hamas and Fatah.

In his desperate attempts at destroying the prospect of a united Palestinian state in the near future, Netanyahu is prepared to drag the Israeli people to the brink of outright war.

No doubt, he is committing these acts of violence with impunity, emboldened by the fact that neither the United States nor the European Union will condemn these crimes, let alone intervene to stop them.

In this regard, the Western powers have once again displayed hypocrisy in their muted response to the atrocities. This is a disgraceful abdication of moral responsibility and exposes their double standards to the cause of democracy, freedom and justice.

Even more tragic is the fact that Muslim countries, except possibly Turkey and Iran, appear to be powerless in the face of these unmitigated acts of violence and cruelty while so-called jihadists are keener on killing fellow Muslims and proclaiming a caliphate than helping their downtrodden Palestinian kin.

Meanwhile, the Western media continue to report the latest rounds of violence in its usual skewered manner by its constant reference to Hamas firing of missiles into Israel so as to justify Israel’s utterly disproportionate retaliation.

The media and Western leaders continue to downplay if not entirely ignore the fundamental issue of the illegal occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and Israel’s blatant disregard of UN Resolution 242 in their barefaced drive for territorial aggrandisement.

Indeed, the current round of murdering and wounding of hundreds of innocent Palestinians is but yet another episode of the continuing saga of brutality, ruthlessness, inhumanity, and injustice committed against them by the Israelis.

Anwar Ibrahim
Member of Parliament,
Parliamentary Opposition Leader
Malaysia

12 July 2014

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MSN.Com

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against his second sodomy conviction and jail sentence should not be rushed through again, his lawyer N. Surendran said today after the Federal Court registrar fixed August 8 for case management.

The PKR vice-president said after walking out from the Federal Court registrar’s chambers, where the court fixed Aug 8 for the case management of Anwar’s appeal and also the prosecution’s cross appeal to enhance his five-year jail sentence.

According to another of Anwar’s lawyers, Ramkarpal Singh, the registrar also set the same date for the case management on Anwar’s application to disqualify Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who was appointed ad hoc deputy public prosecutor to lead Putrajaya’s case to overturn the sodomy acquittal.

On March 7, the Court of Appeal overturned Anwar’s acquittal in 2012 for sodomy and sentenced him to five years’ jail.

Ramkarpal filed an appeal against the conviction on March 10. Anwar is free pending appeal.

Anwar had also made three applications to disqualify Shafee, with the third one pending at the Federal Court.

Surendran told reporters that the indication was that the court wanted to fix the hearing dates by September.

“There should not be any unusual rush to hear the appeal like what happened at the Court of Appeal the last time.

“Dates are fixed when the documentation is done and subject to the availability of the counsel involved,” he said.

According to Surendran, lead defence counsel Sulaiman Abdullah was not well and as such his progress needed to be taken into account before hearing dates could be fixed.

He also called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to drop the charge against Anwar immediately, saying that the attempt to send the country’s Opposition leader to jail was an embarrassment.

“He should withdraw this trumped up and fabricated charge immediately,” Surendran said.

The court has served the full appeals record to Anwar, an indication that are plans to rush through the appeal, Surendran said.

Anwar, who is the Permatang Pauh MP, risks losing his parliamentary seat and could see his political career coming to a premature end should the apex court uphold the Court of Appeal ruling.

Under the Federal Constitution, an elected representative is disqualified from office if fined more than RM2,000 or jailed for a term exceeding one year.

The sodomy punishment under Section 377B of the Penal Code carries a jail term of up to 20 years and the offender shall also liable to whipping.

Anwar was found guilty of sodomising his aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at an upscale condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

Trial judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah ruled on January 9, 2012, that he doubted the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from Saiful as the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, the three-man Court of Appeal bench, led by justice Balia Yusof Wahi, in their oral decision said Zabidin had erred in his findings as the samples were not compromised.

The appellate court ruling, four days before the nomination day for the Kajang by-election, scuttled Anwar’s hopes of becoming the Selangor menteri besar as he was PKR’s candidate for the by-election.

4 July 2014

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Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has denied accusations by the Malaysian Government that he’s trying to smear the country’s reputation overseas, by calling on foreign governments to speak out against human rights abuses in his country.

Click here to watch the full interview on ABC Australia.

9 May 2014

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The Asian Renaissance Course Part 3

Center for Reform Democracy & Social Initiatives

71, Jalan Puteri 2/3, Bandar Puteri Puchong,

47100 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia

(GPS : 3.021796, 101.618208)

Saturday, 10th  May 2014, 2.00pm to 5.00pm.

Registration start at 1.30pm.

All invited.

3 May 2014

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http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-05-01/one-missing-jet-one-sunken-ferry-two-responses

There are no ideologues in a financial crisis, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke once said. Clearly the same doesn’t hold true for political crises, as a comparison of Malaysia and South Korea very quickly reveals.

Tragedy has struck both nations in recent weeks, their travails played out in horrifying detail on the world’s television screens. Fairly or unfairly, the hunt for a missing Malaysian airliner and the desperate attempt to rescue and now recover victims from the sunken Sewol ferry are being viewed as tests of the governments in Putrajaya and Seoul, if not of Malaysian and South Korean societies. The grades so far? I’d give Korea an A-, Malaysia a D.

In the two weeks since the Sewol tipped over and sank — almost certainly killing 302 passengers, most of them high school students — Korea has been gripped by a paroxysm of self-questioning, shame and official penitence. President Park Geun Hye issued a dramatic and heartfelt apology. Her No. 2, Prime Minister Chung Hong Won, resigned outright. Prosecutors hauled in the ship’s entire crew and raided the offices of its owners and shipping regulators. Citizens and the media are demanding speedy convictions and long-term reforms.

And Malaysia, 55 days after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished? Nothing. No officials have quit. Prime MinisterNajib Razak seems more defiant than contrite. The docile local news media has focused more on international criticism of Malaysia’s leaders rather than on any missteps by those leaders themselves.

Both countries are democracies — Malaysia’s even older than South Korea’s. The key difference, though, is the relative openness of their political systems. One party has dominated Malaysia since independence, while Korea, for all its growing pains and occasional tumultuousness, has seen several peaceful transfers of power over the past quarter-century. Unused to having to answer critics, Malaysia’s government hasresponded defensively. Korean officials, on the other hand, are reflecting, addressing the anger of citizens, and delving into what went wrong with the shipping industry’s regulatory checks and balances.

That’s why Korea is likely to come out of this crisis stronger than ever, unlike Malaysia. The two nations responded similarly after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, too. Malaysia’s then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sought to prove Bernanke’s axiom wrong, bizarrely blaming some shadowy Jewish cabal headed by George Soros for the ringgit’s plunge. Malaysia didn’t internalize what had gone wrong or look in the mirror. It didn’t admit it had been using capital inflows unproductively and that coddling state champions — including Malaysia Airlines — was killing competitiveness. Never did the ruling United Malays National Organization consider it might be part of the problem.

Contrast that with Korea’s response to 1997. The government forced weak companies and banks to fail, accepting tens of thousands of job losses. Authorities clamped down on reckless investing and lending and addressed moral hazard head-on. Koreans felt such shame that millions lined up to donate gold, jewelry, art and other heirlooms to the national treasury.

South Korea’s response wasn’t perfect. I worry, for example, that the family-run conglomerates, or chaebol, that helped precipitate the crisis are still too dominant a decade and a half later. But the country’s economic performance since then speaks for itself.

Now as then, Korea’s open and accountable system is forcing its leaders to look beyond an immediate crisis. Ordinary Koreans are calling for a national catharsis that will reshape their society and its attitude toward safety. Park’s government has no choice but to respond.

Malaysia’s government, on the other hand, appears to be lost in its own propaganda. To the outside world, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Husseinperformed dismally as a government spokesman: He was combative, defensive and so opaque that even China complained. Yet Hishammuddin is now seen as prime-minister material for standing up to pesky foreign journalists and their rude questions. The government seems intent on ensuring that nothing changes as a result of this tragedy.

As hard as it seems now, South Korea will move past this tragedy, rejuvenated. Malaysia? I’m not so sure.

26 April 2014

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Tarikh     : Selasa 29hb April, 2014

Masa        : 8.30malam

Tempat    : Padang MPAJ.

Semua dijemput hadir.

26 April 2014

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Ceramah Perdana Pakatan Rakyat – Melaka

Tarikh   : Sabtu 26 April 2014

Masa      : 8.30malam

Tempat  : Jalan Tun Kudu  Bukit Katil, Melaka (Berhadapan Dewan Tun Ali).

Semua dijemput hadir.

25 April 2014

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By ANDREW KHOO

WSJ.com
When U.S. President Barack Obama visits Malaysia this weekend, he will be the first American president to do so since Lyndon Johnson in 1966. Kuala Lumpur will seek to take advantage of the much-anticipated trip to showcase Malaysia as a moderate Muslim-majority democracy, a model of interracial and interreligious diversity heading for developed-nation status by 2020. It will present itself as an ally in combating arms proliferation and transnational crime, and friend of the U.S. in Asia.

President Obama should not accept this fiction or defer to the Malaysian government because of regional security concerns. Instead, he would do well to note the sorry state of its human rights and call for greater respect for civil liberties.

Since the last general election in May 2013, when Prime Minister Najib Razak’s governing coalition was returned to power but lost the popular vote, racial and religious extremism has been on the rise. Pro-government extremist groups have responded to self-perceived slights and insults against the ethnic Malay majority and Islam by declaring that they are prepared to shed blood to defend their honor and sanctity.

These groups have made direct references to May 13, 1969, an infamous date in Malaysian history when race riots between Malays and Chinese led to killings in several cities and towns, and emergency rule. A 1996 fatwa forbidding the practice of Shia Islam has recently received renewed attention, leading to raids on and arrests of Shia adherents. Followers of the Ahmaddiya Islamic sect have also lately been targeted. Their prayer sessions and religious activities have been interrupted by Muslim religious authorities enforcing the state-sanctioned version of Islam.

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A Malaysian Court of Appeal held in October 2013 that a Roman Catholic Church newspaper could not use the Arabic word “Allah” to refer to God. According to the court, use of the word was exclusive to Islam and not intrinsic to the practice of Christianity in Malaysia. Language has become a flashpoint in Christian-Islamic tensions. One Muslim group even suggested that using the Malay language to advertise an Easter concert meant that Christians were attempting to convert Muslims, which is an offense. The group openly questioned the very celebration of Easter, calling it un-Islamic.

Freedom of speech is also under threat. In an attempt to improve Malaysia’s human rights, a coalition of civil society groups submitted recommendations to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights back in September 2013. In January 2014, the government called these “haram,” or sinful, and declared the coalition unlawful.

Additionally, the government has renewed its use of the Sedition Act, a colonial-era law that makes it unlawful to “cause disaffection” against the government or the hereditary rulers. It has been used on everyone from politicians to social media commentators.

Clearly the public wants genuine reform. There was tremendous clamor for clean, free and fair elections in 2012, when hundreds of thousands risked tear gas, water cannons and arrest to participate in the BERSIH 3.0 peaceful protest in Kuala Lumpur. Yet the government has hardly been receptive.

Recent changes in legislation introduced by Prime Minister Najib Razak are the opposite of needed reform. They include outlawing street demonstrations, requiring a 10-day prior notification period for public assemblies, and introducing two-year without-trial detention orders, renewable indefinitely, for those alleged by the government to be involved in serious criminal offenses.

Individuals facing trial for unlawful assembly from the 2012 rally and subsequent protest gatherings have been predominantly political opponents of the Malaysian government. The most notable dissident is former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, recently convicted for sodomy, which many saw as a trumped-up charge.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has promoted Malaysia internationally as a leader in a global movement of moderation. But these actions show the government is anything but moderate. Mainstream newspapers, many of which are owned by political parties within the government, brazenly promote such double-speak. Those who dare to criticize put themselves at risk of vituperative attacks from extremist groups, police investigation and politically motivated prosecution.

President Obama needs to deftly use his public appearances and statements to demonstrate concern about what is happening in Malaysia –and to say what many Malaysians fearfully cannot. The usual mantra of moderation can no longer conceal the escalation of extremism and repression.

Mr. Khoo is co-chair of the Malaysian Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee. He writes in his personal capacity.

18 March 2014

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I cannot express enough my disgust to those who are so ready, in the absence of any proof whatsoever, to pin the blame on Captain Zaharie. I would like to express my deepest sympathy to his wife and children and his family too and to tell them to remain strong in these most trying times. The same goes for all the passengers and crew of flight MH370.

Casting aspersions on his character and making unfounded insinuations about Captain Zaharie’s support for my political cause being a probable reason for the disappearance of flight MH370 is not only reckless and insensitive but in the absence of any proof, is highly defamatory. In relation to me, these insinuations and innuendoes are of course part of the routine character assassination campaign carried out against me by government and UMNO-controlled media.

Meantime, many questions have been raised regarding not just the competency of the authorities in the investigations but also the sheer lack of transparency. What is it that the authorities are hiding that is making them so paranoid about letting others help in the investigation? It should be noted too that the Opposition’s attempt to move a motion in Parliament to discuss MH370 was flatly rejected.

Anwar Ibrahim

10 March 2014

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I have been receiving calls from the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the Governor of Bangkok, Mr Sukumbhan Paribatra; former President of Indonesia, Mr Jusuf Habibie and renowned Islamic Scholar, Dr Yusul al-Qaradawi since the Appeal Court judgment on the 7th of March. They have all expressed grave concerns over the manner on how the case was rushed and the subsequent ruling.

I was also visited by the American Ambassador to Malaysia, Mr Joseph Yun and his political officers at my residence on the 9th of March who have also express similar concerns. They have committed to convey these to President Obama soon.

Anwar Ibrahim

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