Author Archive

24 November 2014

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by Anwar Ibrahim, Leader of Opposition Malaysia and former Deputy Prime Minister

Stanford University on November 20, 2014 hosted by Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) and Muslim Student Association

I begin by making some bold assertions. We, as in we all, regardless whether it is the Muslim world or the West or Asia, are facing great challenges. This is no time for equivocation.

So, let me first state firmly: Islam and democracy are fully compatible. The contention that they are diametrically opposed to each other is without foundation.

Secondly, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, ISIS and all other terrorist organizations that resort to killing innocent people, raping, kidnapping and forced conversions have no legitimacy whatsoever and the term Islam or Islamic state cannot be ascribed to them. Period.

Thirdly, the ulema, Muslim clerics, influential Muslim organizations and all eminent Muslim democrats must condemn not just these extreme and violent groups but also the dictatorships and autocratic regimes in the Muslim world that have persistently denied democratic rights to their citizens, and whose human rights record could put even North Korea to shame.

Fourthly, even as the tentacles of ISIS appear to be spreading across Syria and Iraq, Islamophobia is spreading at an even faster pace all around the world. In consequence, bona fide Muslim organizations and Muslim democrats become targets even as ordinary Muslims fall prey to ‘hate crimes’.

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20 November 2014

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[Not related with the video, below is the response from The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) regarding this issue earlier]

CAIR Responds to ‘Bizarre’ Move by UAE

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/16/14) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today responded to reports that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has added CAIR to its list of “terrorist” groups.

In a statement, CAIR said:

“We are seeking clarification from the government of the United Arab Emirates about this shocking and bizarre report. There is absolutely no factual basis for the inclusion CAIR and other American and European civil rights and advocacy groups on this list.

“Like the rest of the mainstream institutions representing the American Muslim community, CAIR’s advocacy model is the antithesis of the narrative of violent extremists.

“We call on the United Arab Emirates cabinet to review this list and remove organizations such as CAIR, the Muslim American Society and other civil society organizations that peacefully promote civil and democratic rights and that oppose terrorism whenever it occurs, wherever it occurs and whoever carries it out.”

Among its many anti-terror initiatives, CAIR recently joined a number of national and local Muslim scholars and leaders in Washington, D.C., to release a first-of-its-kind open letter in Arabic (with English translation) signed by more than 120 international scholars of Islam and Muslim leaders refuting the ideology of the terrorist group ISIS and urging its supporters to repent and “return to the religion of mercy.”

CAIR: U.S., World Muslim Leaders’ Open Letter Refutes ISIS’s Ideology, Urges Supporters to ‘Repent,’ ‘Return to the Religion of Mercy’

http://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12663-muslim-leaders-open-letter-refutes-isis-ideology.html

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

20 November 2014

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Aliran.com

Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal at the Federal Court to reverse his conviction of sodomy by the Court of Appeal went on for eight days.

This was in stark contrast to the hasty two days of hearing at the Court of Appeal, which had overturned the earlier decision of the High Court to acquit Anwar of the sodomy charge.

Some quarters have pointed out that the hastiness in which the Court of Appeal had sat and convicted Anwar came ahead of PKR’s planned “Kajang Move”. The timing, of course, could have been mere coincidence.

Well, what’s past is past; we now await with bated breath the Federal Court’s decision on Anwar’s final appeal. Dare we hope that justice will triumph? Anwar’s defence team is claiming that the entire sodomy episode is part of a conspiracy to thwart the federal opposition leader’s political progress. The prosecution ask, in turn, “what political conspiracy?”

No matter the outcome of the appeal, life has to go on for the opposition leader. In Parliament recently, he raised some very important questions about the financial operations of 1MDB. Rafizi Ramli (PKR) and Tony Pua (DAP) too have been asking for clear answers on the actual liabilities of 1MDB and whether there has been full disclosure of the operations of this state ’sovereign fund’. The debt of 1MDB has soared to RM42bn, and should the firm fail for any reason there is grave concern that the ’letters of support’ issued would be tantamount to a sovereign guarantee implying serious financial obligations for the government.

Najib as the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Chairperson of the Board of Advisors of 1MDB, owes a fiduciary obligation to the people of Malaysia to make full disclosure of the actual financial health of 1MDB. Perhaps the Auditor Generalshould also reconsider the calls made for its operations to be thoroughly re-audited.

Malaysia has been on the path of neo-liberalism for many years. This ideology, if left to run its course unchecked and without appropriate state intervention, can only mean greater hardship for the ordinary average income earning families in Malaysia, so argues the Member of Parliament of Sungei Siput. Achieving high gross domestic product (GDP) growth means little to the ordinary rakyat especially the poor people if it doesn’t translate to an improvement in their quality of life.

Dr Jeyakumar points out that more than 50 per cent of the total families in Malaysia have a combined family income of RM4200 or less. This makes it very difficult for them to make ends meet. About 29 per cent of the families actually earn less than RM3000 per month and they have to struggle even harder; we are referring to 8.7 million lives.

Some solutions, on health and housing, are suggested but does the government of the day have the political will and the heart to do what is right for the people of Malaysia?

The Muslim transgender community received a boost and scored a significant victory last week when the Court of Appeal ruled that they have the right to dress and behave as women. In a landmark decision, a three-member bench led by Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus, said section 66 of the Sharia Criminal Enactment violated Articles 5, 8, 9, and 10 of the Federal Constitution. The Negri Sembilan Islamic Religious Department (Jain) has already indicated that it intendsto appeal to the Federal Court.

But with the landmark decision now in place, ripples have spread. The decisionessentially highlights the supremacy of the Federal Constitution. Constitutional lawyers are now curious as to how the courts are going to decide on several pending controversial cases such as the right to use the word Allah and the Borders case, where the Federal Court is set to decide on the challenge against a Selangor state legislation that bans religious publications deemed to be un-Islamic.

It would be useful to read the cogent arguments put forth by Shad Saleem Faruqion how the Federal Constitution is supreme.

Recently the authorities resorted to banningIndonesian Muslim scholar Dr Ulil Abshar Abdalla from entering Malaysia – purportedly because they were concerned over the impact of hisprogressive views on Islam. But modern technology had the last say: Ulil was able to participate via Skype in the Third International Conference on Human Rights and Peace and Conflict in Southeast Asia. This demonstrates thatideas can still flow across physical borders no matter the obstacles.

Finally, in full support of the articles of the Federal Constitution that provide for the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association AND the pursuit of academic freedom, we urge all right thinking Malaysians to rally behind the University Malaya students who are being probed for organising the talk by Anwar Ibrahim in University Malaya on 27 October.

20 November 2014

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Press Statement by Gooi Hsiao Leung dated 20th November 2014

1.     I refer to the media report yesterday in which the Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail gave his reasons for not prosecuting Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali over his threat to burn the Bible.

Abdul Gani Patail’s explanation that they could not find any element of “intent” to charge Ibrahim Ali are mere excuses for not wanting to prosecute him.

3.      The refusal to prosecute Ibrahim Ali is a failure on the part of the Attorney General to uphold his oath of office to enforce the law without fear or favour.

4.     A person should be criminally charged if the facts discloses an offence in law. It is not up to the AG to accept Ibrahim Ali’s explanation that he had no intention to commit an offence. It is for Ibrahim Ali to explain and convince the Court that his intentions or actions were excusable in law.

5.     It is the Court’s duty and not personally up to the AG to decide Ibrahim Ali’s guilt or innocence under the law.

6.     Again, the AG’s reasoning that is not an offence to defend one’s religion is utterly nonsensical in this case. A person’s right to defend his religion does not give him the right to incite one group of religious faith to cause disharmony, disunity, or ill-will against another group of people of different faiths. Such an act is clearly an offence under Chapter XV in respect of offences relating to religion, and in this particular case, under s.298A(1) of the Penal Code.

7.     Since the AG is reluctant or unwilling to take up this case, in the public interest, I call upon him to instead, to give a “fiat” to the Bar Council the authority to prosecute Ibrahim Ali on behalf of the government – The appointment of a private lawyer to prosecute in a criminal matter is nothing new – as the appointment of Datuk Shafee in Anwar Ibrahim’s case has set the precedent.

8.     In this connection, I urge the Bar Council to approach the Attorney General to apply for the fiat to initiate criminal proceedings against Ibrahim Ali as this is a matter of great public importance.

9.     Failure on the AG’s part to positively respond to my call herein to issue a fiat, would confirm the public’s strong suspicions that the AG is not impartial, and is enforcing the law selectively. Just as a person who incites others to burn the Quran would clearly be a punishable criminal offence, equally Ibrahim Ali must be brought to court to face the full brunt of the law for inciting others to burn the Bible.

GOOI HSIAO LEUNG
Member of Parliament for Alor Setar
Head of Office International Affairs, Parti Keadilan Rakyat

20 November 2014

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Published on 19 Nov 2014

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim talks about his commitment to the ideals of empowerment, justice, and equity. His trials have included arrest and imprisonment for his unrelenting campaign against corruption and but he soldiers on as the strongest-ever challenge to the ruling coalition in Malaysia. In this talk, he explains his determination to continue the “Reformasi” campaign and the struggle for freedom and democracy despite a looming five-year prison sentence.

Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim, once a rising political star expected to succeed Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is now the leader of the Malaysian Opposition. The creator of the “Reformasi” campaign of reforming the Malaysian political structure, he is an ardent supporter of democracy and is an authoritative voice in bridging the gap between East and West. He is viewed as one of the forefathers of the Asian Renaissance and a leading proponent of greater cooperation among civilizations.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

19 November 2014

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 The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat: The Life of Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim. By Charles Allers. New York: Peter Lang, 2013. 345 pp.

 

Any attempt at offering a biography of Malaysia’s enigmatic politician Anwar Ibrahim (b. 1947) will be intriguing for many reasons. Perhaps more than any other political igure in contemporary Malaysia, Anwar has led a life whose vicissitudes have seen him oscillating from high points — popular student irebrand, social activist–intellectual, rising star of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), handpicked protégé of  Prime  Minister  Dr  Mahathir  Mohamad (b. 1925), minister and deputy prime minister, right down to the lowest points that one can imagine — twice an Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee, convict stripped of human dignity, constantly excoriated opposition leader and purported hypocrite accused of heinous sexual crimes unbecoming of a professed Muslim holding leadership aspirations in religiously conservative Malaysia. Harnessing information from variegated sources, including personal interviews and published analyses of Malaysian politics and of Anwar Ibrahim’s diverse roles in it, The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat should be commended for ably capturing the different and even contrasting nuances of Anwar’s political life.

Far from being a blatantly lattering portrayal of Anwar Ibrahim as a consummate political leader once touted to be Malaysia’s “Prime Minister in waiting”, Allers’ account does not refrain from detailing episodes of Anwar’s political career that have exposed him to allegations of inconsistency, opportunism and unprincipled politicking. One example is Anwar’s alleged compromise on money politics during his days of ascendancy in UMNO, culminating in the victory of his Wawasan (Vision) Team — of which present Prime Minister Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin were members — in the fractious party elections of 1993. While employing analyses proffered by scholars critical of Anwar’s having indulged in patronage politics such as K.S. Jomo, Edmund Terence Gomez and Kikue Hamayotsu, Allers balances his account by citing

 

 

the analyses of Peter Riddell, Meredith Weiss and Khoo Boo Teik, among others, all of whom are inclined to offer mitigating factors in explaining Anwar’s antics in exculpatory terms.

Another instance of vacillation in Anwar Ibrahim’s political posture that Allers chronicles is his position on the draconian ISA, which had authorized detention without trial since its inauguration in 1960. Quoted in 1992 having defended the selective retention of the Act, Anwar remained mute for the large part of Prime Minister Mahathir’s recurrent instances of recourse to the oppressive legislation. These instances resulted in gross violations of human rights, as during the Operation Lallang round-up against civil rights campaigners in 1987 and the government’s clampdown on the Darul Arqam dakwah (missionary) movement in 1994. Only when out of power, and after undergoing the traumatic experience of both preventive and judicial incarceration from the time of his post-sacking arrest in 1998 until 2004, did Anwar unwaveringly oppose the ISA. For the record, Prime Minister Najib Razak eventually announced the repeal of the ISA in September 2011, but replaced it the following year with the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act of 2012.

Just prior to Operation Lallang, Anwar — in his capacity as minister of education and with the backing of the chauvinistic UMNO Youth then led by Najib Razak — also clashed with proponents of Chinese-medium education  who  resented  what  they  regarded as Anwar’s unwarranted intrusion into their affairs. Such dabbling in ethnocentric politics, which diehard Anwar supporters would rationalize as a means of winning over the grass-roots Malay-Muslim support necessary for political advancement in UMNO, remains a black spot in his career. That career has featured an otherwise inclusive appeal to harmonious ethno-religious relations in the manner of convivencia in medieval Spain. The question of Anwar’s mixed history of yielding to pragmatic politics aside, Allers gives prominence to pluralism as a major aspect of Anwar’s religio-political thought that has gained credence globally, especially since his heavy-handed treatment by Malaysia’s ruling establishment  after  1998. Amidst the trials and tribulations that have befallen Anwar as a political

 

 

practitioner, Allers argues that his numerous writings and speeches relect fundamental consistency, rooted in his irm belief in not only the compatibility of but also the convergence between Islamic and universal principles such as freedom, justice and democracy. Anwar has been critical of Muslim leaders who have denied their citizens the rights due to them as human beings. Such criticisms have not, however, stopped Anwar from being honoured by his co-religionists with frequent accolades and speaking invitations from the Muslim commonwealth, not least from Turkey and Indonesia — the two countries to which he has most often referred as model Muslim democracies.

On the whole, Allers’ book is a sympathetic rendering of Anwar’s professional life, but it falls short of being unduly laudatory. Notwithstanding contradictions pertaining to his political praxis and the continually scurrilous attacks upon Anwar’s reputation engineered by Malaysia’s state-controlled mainstream media, the fact that an American-based pastor could take the trouble to conduct both primary and secondary research in producing The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat speaks volumes about Anwar’s untainted image in the eyes of admirers worldwide. Upon reading Allers’ book, one may wonder if Anwar would not have fared better as a globe-trotting international statesman preaching the virtues of democracy in an increasingly plural world. He was, after all, once considered for the post of secretary-general of the United Nations — a itting position from which to articulate a vision that has resonated across borders on matters such as “transcending tolerance” and masyarakat madani (civil society).

Anwar Ibrahim has, however, been at the end of the day, a true Malaysian and Malay-Muslim at heart. Sacriicing the comforts of possible retirement amidst global adulation, he has remained irst and foremost  concerned  with  reform  in  Malaysia.  On  the  basis of his capricious record, sceptics might nonetheless see in him a power-hungry individual intent on avenging the injustices done unto him, his family and his loyalists. His detractors, meanwhile, will be perennially scheming to prevent his rise to the apex of national leadership. This is evident in the recent Court of Appeal ruling

 

 

dismissing his previous High Court acquittal on fresh allegations of sodomy. This unexpected verdict rendered meaningless a by-election dubbed the “Kajang Move” and designed to install Anwar as chief minister of Selangor, purportedly as a launching pad to the prime ministership.

Whatever the outcome of his judicial troubles, Anwar’s place in Malaysian history is assured. While Anwar’s practical contribution remains constricted, his post-Reformasi discourse and programmes offered to Malaysians a viable alternative to the condescending, hegemonic and racialist politics to which they have been subjected by the UMNO-led political establishment since independence. Putting aside technical weaknesses such as the frequent presence of too many quotations from authors of divergent viewpoints in single sentences, The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat manages to capture Anwar’s undying vision of a better deal for Malaysia, Malaysians and Malay-Muslims. Allers contextually locates the heritage of that vision in Malaysian Islam’s legacy of sui-centric religious tolerance and Anwar’s own socio-religious upbringing at home and school, particularly at the English-orientated secondary institution, the Malay College of Kuala Kangsar. Whether Anwar’s lofty ideals see the light of day during his lifetime is left for Malaysians to decide in forthcoming polls.

 

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid

School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia; email:

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

DOI:  10.1355/sj29-3n

Adat and Indigeneity in Indonesia: Culture and Entitlements between Heteronomy and Self-Ascription. Edited by Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin. Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2013. 240 pp.

 

Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin has contributed to academic debates about indigenous Balinese traditions and rituals for the last two decades. Her latest edited volume targets a wider readership than fellow

This review was published on Sojourn Magazine.

19 November 2014

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Islam with a Heart[1]

Professor Emad El-Din Shahin
Visiting Professor, Georgetown University
Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Columbia University
Professor of Public Policy,The American University in Cairo
Editor-in-Chief, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics

“We have Sent you but a Mercy to Humankind” Qur’an

“I am but a gift of Mercy” Prophet Muhammad

“People are of Two kinds: Your Brother in Faith or Your Equal in Creation” Ali Ibn Abi Talib

Abstract

What I am trying to accomplish in this piece is to revisit the connection between Islam and politics and place both within a humanistic and ethical framework. While I am not challenging the significance of governance (hukm) within the Islamic legal and historical contexts, I seek to shift the focus of our intellectual attention, at least at this critical juncture, away from the state to the human being and from law to ethics.

My main argument is that the human being, and not the state, should be at the core of Islamist political activity… and that ethics should be the foundation of our new perspectives of the Shari`a. These two domains were in fact at the heart of the Muslim intellectual endeavors during the Renaissance of Islam in the 10th century and the essence of the movement of Islamic modernism since the beginning of the twentieth century. These two movements were universal in appeal, humanistic in focus, inclusive in practice, and ethical in essence. I am hoping that my lecture today can help reclaim some of these values.

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6 October 2014

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Dimaklumkan bahawa satu program sesi perkongsian ilmu Datobersama-sama tokoh Gerakan Islam akan diadakan pada ketetapan seperti berikut:

Tarikh:          13 Oktober 2014 (Isnin)
Masa:           7:00 mlm – 9:30 mlm
Tempat:        Kediaman Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
No.11, Jalan 3/61,
Bukit Segambut Dalam,
51200 Kuala Lumpur

Jemputan khas bagi program ini ialah Maulana Ihsan Hendrick serta Dr. Sheikh Tareq Mohammed Al-Suwaidan.

Maulana Ihsaan Hendrick yang merupakan Presiden Muslim Judicial Council adalah tokoh gerakan Islam tersohor Afrika Selatan. Beliau turut menyandang jawatan Pengarah Yayasan Al-Quds Afrika Selatan merangkap Ketua Pasukan Konvoi Kemanusiaan Afrika Selatan ke Gaza, Palestin.

Manakala Dr. Tareq Mohammed Al Suwaidan merupakan tokoh terkemuka Kuwait yang juga memimpin Ikhwanul Muslimin Kuwait. Turut menjawat jawatan CEO Gulf Innovation Groups dan Pengerusi AWARE (Advocates for Western-Arab Relations & Exchange Majlis), beliau merupakan jurubicara terkenal di Kuwait dan peringkat antarabangsa khususnya dalam bidang pengurusan dan perancangan strategik. Dr Tareq juga adalah penulis terkenal yang telah menulis lebih daripada 30 buah buku.

Majlis akan dimulai dengan sesi solat maghrib berjemaah dan kemudiannya disusuli oleh ucapan alu-aluan oleh Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, disusuli dengan sesi perkongsian ilmu oleh Maulana Ihsaan Hendrick dan Dr. Tareq Mohammed Al-Suwaidan.

Sehubungan dengan itu, saudara/i yang berkelapangan adalah dialu-alukan untuk hadir memeriahkan majlis. Semoga sekalian yang hadir memperoleh manfaat dari program ini.

Sekian, salam takzim dan hormat.

PEJABAT DATO’ SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM

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.

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