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19 April 2015

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Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata cukai GST (Goods and Services Tax) tidak akan membebankan rakyat. Timbalan Menteri Kewangan Datuk Ahmad Maslan pula berkata, 500 barangan akan turun harga apabila GST dilaksanakan.

Namun sekarang, rakyat Malaysia sudah sedar bahawa semua itu tidak benar!?

GST adalah sejenis cukai rakus, bersifat regresif yang membebankan rakyat. Golongan yang paling terbeban adalah rakyat berpendapatan rendah, pesara, warga emas, pelajar dan golongan pertengahan yang terhimpit dengan Barang Naik.

Mengikut kajian, setiap keluarga dijangka terpaksa membayar paling kurang RM100 sebulan untuk cukai GST. Lapan puluh peratus keluarga di Malaysia berpendapatan kurang dari RM3,000, mereka inilah golongan yang paling teruk akan tertindas.

Benarlah seperti awalan hurufnya, GST membawa maksud, Golongan Susah Tertindas!

Kita bantah GST kerana, di dalam keadaan rakyat terhimpit dengan kenaikan harga barang, kerajaan pusat bermewah-mewahan gunakan duit rakyat membeli jet peribadi baru, salah urus tadbir ekonomi sehingga mengakibatkan hutang Negara mencapai 700 billion ringgit, ditambah dengan banyak skandal kewangan seperti 1MDB!

Malaysia cukup kaya, jika sumber negara diurus tadbir dengan betul dan amanah maka kerajaan tidak perlu laksanakan cukai GST yang jelas begitu membebankan rakyat.

Apa yang boleh kita lakukan? Jika kita terus berpeluk tubuh dan menyerah tanpa melakukan apa-apa, kita akan terus ditindas selama-lamanya. Golongan Susah Tertindas tanpa dibela. Kita lancarkan petisyen ini sebagai tanda permulaan membantah cukai rakus, GST. Tindakan susulan harus difikirkan bersama.

Never Surrender! Kita perjuangkan kebajikan diri kita di samping membela golongan susah. Tandatangan petisyen sekarang!

Pautan: Bantah GST!

13 April 2015

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The Economist

An anti-terror law curtails liberties

THREE years ago Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, fulfilled a promise to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), a draconian colonial-era law which had long been used to lock up dissenters without trial. In the early hours of April 7th legislators approved a new bill which reinstates some of the old law’s power. The Prevention of Terror Act gives a government panel the right to imprison terror suspects for two years, with multiple extensions, or restrict their movements for five years. Critics spy another blow to civil liberties, which were already under siege.

The government argued that the new law was needed to combat a mounting threat from domestic extremists inspired by Islamic State, the militia that occupies large parts of Syria and Iraq. Officials reckon that at least a dozen Malaysians have died abroad fighting for the militants. Police say that since 2013 they have arrested around 90 people suspected of sympathising with them. On April 5th, just hours before Parliament began debating the law, police nabbed 17 people who they said were planning attacks on Kuala Lumpur, the capital, and on Putrajaya, the government seat.

The timing looked suspicious to opponents of the act, which include Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition coalition. Many fewer Malaysians than, for example, Belgians are thought to have travelled to Syria. Nor is Malaysia, a moderately Muslim country, battling provincial Islamic insurgencies of the sort that trouble its neighbours, Thailand and the Philippines. The government has produced no evidence that such sweeping powers are warranted, the International Commission of Jurists, a human-rights group, claims. It laments that only one member of the government’s detention panel need have legal experience. Even without the panel’s consent, police may now hold suspects for up to 60 days.

The big worry is that the law will become a new weapon in a worsening crackdown on opponents of UMNO, Mr Najib’s party, which has ruled Malaysia in coalition since the 1950s but which was nearly unseated in elections held in 2013. In the first three months of this year police arrested 36 people on suspicion of making comments that violated the Sedition Act, another archaic law which is being invoked more frequently than ever. Last month Nurul Izzah, a prominent MP, was arrested on suspicion of sedition after she delivered a speech in Parliament denouncing the imprisonment of her father, Anwar Ibrahim, who leads the opposition. Many think the sodomy charge against him is politically motivated. Other recent detainees include five staff at the Malaysian Insider, a news website, and a cartoonist called Zunar, who faces nine counts of sedition and a prison sentence of up to 43 years.

Mr Najib had promised to roll back the Sedition Act, just as he promised to junk the ISA. Yet while pushing through the new anti-terror rules, his government took the opportunity to table changes to the act which would greatly toughen sentences and forbid speech that denigrates religion.

Both pieces of legislation highlight how far Malaysia has retreated from the reformist policies that Mr Najib espoused during his first term, which ended in 2013. Supporters plead that the prime minister is tacking right only to head off leadership challenges from even less palatable parts of his party (on April 2nd Mahathir Mohamad, an influential former prime minister, renewed his call for Mr Najib to step down). But that is not much comfort to anyone.

13 April 2015

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The Economist

A thuggish government is playing racial politics. Najib Razak should be dressed down

MALAYSIA’S prime minister, Najib Razak, paints his country as a model of moderate Islam—a multicultural democracy and a beacon of tolerance. He has spoken of scrapping oppressive British-era laws and nurturing a creative economy. Meanwhile, his spin-doctors explain that their liberal master is the man to vanquish the reactionary forces in his political party, UMNO, which has never been out of power and which is prone to cronyism and political thuggery. Barack Obama, for one, buys this story. He is the first American president since 1966 to have visited Malaysia. And late last year in Hawaii he enjoyed a round on the golf links with Mr Najib. The two men are said to click. The White House gushes about a “growing and warming relationship” between America and Malaysia.

Race to the bottom

Yet it is time to call Mr Najib out on the widening gulf between spin and substance. On the economic front is a growing scandal over dubious connections and misused funds at a national investment fund, 1MDB, that Mr Najib launched and which is now burdened with $12 billion of debts. Malaysia’s human-rights record is of even greater concern. Three years ago Mr Najib scrapped a notorious colonial law, the Internal Security Act, which allowed indefinite detention without trial. This week he, in effect, reintroduced it. The new Prevention of Terrorism Act allows suspects to be detained indefinitely. Though it is aimed ostensibly at jihadists, lawyers and civic groups are appalled at the law’s sweep (see article).

This fits a pattern. The coalition that Mr Najib leads uses foul as well as fair means to keep the opposition down. In the most recent election, in 2013, it lost the popular vote for the first time. Yet it held on to power thanks to gerrymandered voting districts. Even after that dubious victory, it continued to persecute the charismatic opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who in February was sentenced to five years on trumped-up charges of sodomy. American criticism was perfunctory.

In the past year growing numbers of activists and opposition figures have been arrested under the Sedition Act, another colonial law aimed originally at advocates of independence. Mr Najib, who once promised to remove it from the statute book, now plans to strengthen it with harsher punishments and a clause forbidding speech that denigrates Islam.

Among those already arrested under the Sedition Act are opponents of hudud, corporal and capital punishments, including stoning to death for adultery, laid down in Islamic law. Hudud does not apply in Malaysia, but Islamists from an opposition party want it introduced in Kelantan state in the north-east. The government does not like the idea but is quietly supporting it in a cynical ploy to widen splits in Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition coalition struggling without Mr Anwar.

By encouraging the Islamists, the government is fanning racial and religious divisions in a majority-Malay (and Muslim) country with large ethnic-Chinese and ethnic-Indian minorities. In 1969 bloody race riots nearly tore Malaysia apart. Playing racial politics could be disastrous in this multiracial country. A better and more enlightened way for Mr Najib to boost UMNO’s prospects would be for him to repair its image with ethnic Chinese and Indians.

Malaysia’s friends should be blunter about this where they have been mealy-mouthed. They should condemn Malaysia’s corruption, its decaying freedoms and its racial politics. They should call for both the Sedition Act and unlimited detention to go. Until matters improve, not only should golf be off the agenda; so too should the prime minister’s hoped-for trip to Washington this year.

8 April 2015

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AI

A new law that would allow terrorism suspects in Malaysia to be held indefinitely without charge, trial or judicial review, is a shocking onslaught against human rights and the rule of law, said Amnesty International.

“Indefinite detention without trial is contrary to human rights law and it will not stop terrorism. Abandoning people to rot in a cell for years on end without a judicial process and proof that they have committed a crime is just like aimlessly stabbing in the dark. Authorities must ensure that human rights and fair trial guarantees are respected and protected,” said Hazel Galang-Folli, Malaysia Researcher at Amnesty International.

“Abandoning people to rot in a cell for years on end without a judicial process and proof that they have committed a crime is just like aimlessly stabbing in the dark. Authorities must ensure that human rights and fair trial guarantees are respected and protected.”

Under the newly enacted Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), a board will be established to approve detention or restriction orders for individuals “in the interest of security of Malaysia”. A suspect can first be detained for 59 days without charge before being presented to the board. This body, which will be appointed by the King and will be outside of the jurisdiction of any court, will have the power to renew detention orders indefinitely. Its decisions cannot be appealed.

The POTA is reminiscent of Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA), abolished in 2012, which also allowed for indefinite detention without trial. The new law has not included the necessary safeguards to ensure fair trials and respect of human rights so it could be just as susceptible to abuse as the widely condemned ISA, which was used to unjustly detain government critics and created a climate of fear in the country for decades.

“With the stroke of a pen, Malaysia has managed to get one step closer to becoming a ‘human rights black hole’ where fundamental rights to a fair trial or freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, even if enshrined in the Malaysian constitution, are increasingly being undermined in the name of national security,” said Hazel Galang-Folli.

Today, the Malaysian government also tabled amendments to the colonial-era Sedition Act, including increasing jail terms from three years to up to seven years on conviction and up to 20 years if a suspect is convicted of sedition with causing bodily harm or damage to property. The proposed amendments could also disallow bail for those charged.

In recent months, the Sedition Act has been used to arbitrarily arrest government critics including opposition leaders, human rights defenders, activists, journalists and human rights lawyers.

“Authorities in Malaysia must immediately repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Sedition Act and release all those who have been detained under it only for expressing their opinions peacefully,” said Hazel Galang-Folli.

8 April 2015

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The New York Times

BANGKOK — Three years after abolishing detention without trial, the Malaysian government revived the practice on Tuesday with the passage into law of a highly contentious antiterrorism bill that opposition leaders fear could be used against government critics.

The bill, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, was passed early Tuesday by a vote of 79 to 60 after more than 10 hours of debate.

The government, which arrested 17 people this week for what the chief of police said was a plot to attack army camps and police stations, has sought to justify the law as necessary to combat the threat of terrorism in Malaysia.

Critics say the law is a further slide toward authoritarianism in Malaysia and a definitive reversal of personal freedoms that Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed to introduce soon after assuming power in 2009.

28 March 2015

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By AFP
28 March 2015

Malaysian police arrested three leading opposition politicians in a bid to thwart a protest march on Saturday demanding the release of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, his party said.

The protest went ahead anyway, however, with several hundred people taking to the streets of the capital Kuala Lumpur to denounce the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The arrests are the latest in an growing tally of sedition charges levelled at government opponents amid anger over Anwar’s jailing last month on a sodomy charge.

“This is an abuse of the sedition law, and an abuse of everything. The government is acting maliciously,” said Tian Chua, a member of parliament and vice president of Anwar’s People’s Justice Party, shortly before he was arrested on Saturday.

Police had banned the rally and said participants faced arrest.

Demonstrators staged a short march through the city towards its convention centre, where participants had vowed to disrupt wedding celebrations for Najib’s daughter.

Scores of police blocked them from the area, and they later dispersed. There were no arrests or violent incidents reported.

Washington has been among the international critics of Anwar’s conviction and the crackdown on dissent, saying both raised rule-of-law concerns.

Anwar denies the charge that he sodomised a former male aide in 2008, saying it was fabricated by Malaysia’s long-ruling government to halt a run of opposition electoral gains.

Najib promised in 2011 to end the authoritarian tactics of his ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

But after that failed to win back ebbing voter support in 2013 polls, his government has launched a tightening clampdown in which dozens of opponents were hauled up on sedition or other charges over the past year.

Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah, a member of parliament and one of those charged recently with sedition, warned Friday that Malaysia was sliding toward becoming a “police state”.

Najib last week defended his policies, saying dissent cannot be allowed to jeopardise stability.

But Amnesty International last Monday noted “troubling signs of an escalating crackdown” on civil liberties.

“The space for dissent and debate in Malaysia is rapidly shrinking, under the guise of punishing ‘sedition’ or maintaining public order,” it said in a statement.

Besides Tian Chua, police on Saturday also arrested Mohamad Sabu, deputy president of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).

Rafizi Ramli, a vice president of Anwar’s party, was arrested on Friday.

A police official confirmed Rafizi’s arrest but declined comment on the others.

It was not clear what the men, who were still in custody later Saturday, would be charged with.

28 March 2015

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With global democracy declining for the ninth year in a row, we look at some of the opposition leaders around the world who have been charged with sodomy, bribery and arson, and who now face prison and even death sentences.

Venezuela
Leopoldo López, awaiting verdict, charged with inciting violence and arson

“Our arguments – and those of hundreds more Venezuelans suffering the same injustice – are clear and forceful: political disqualification violates laws.”

Founder of the opposition Popular Will party, Leopoldo López was arrested on 18 February 2014 after calling for citizens to protest the government of President Nicolas Maduro, whose leadership has seen Venezuela pushed into the top 10 countries in the world for corruption and homicide. Charges of murder and terrorism were later downgraded to arson, damage and inciting violence, for which he is still on trial.

Ethiopia
Andargachew Tsige, death row, convicted of attempting to overthrow the government

Accused of attempting to overthrow the government, Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige was sentenced to death in absentia in 2007. His party, Ginbot 7, seeks to end the country’s dictatorship and is Ethiopia’s largest exiled opposition movement. After Ginbot 7 was declared a terrorist organisation in the 1970s, Tsige fled and sought asylum in the UK.

While travelling to Eritrea in June 2014, Tsige disappeared during a stopover at Sana’a airport and was subsequently extradited to Ethiopia, where he remains on death row. Amnesty International has closely documented Tsige’s case, and online petitions call for his release.

Maldives
Mohamed Nasheed, 13 years, convicted of terrorism

“Maldivians have the right to be ruled, not through coercion, down the barrel of a gun, but peacefully, by popular consent, via the ballot box.”

As president of the Maldives, Nasheed sought to arrest the chief judge of the criminal court for corruption in January 2012, but was forced to resign from office in what was effectively a coup. Now leader of the opposition Maldivian Democratic party, he was arrested on terrorism charges and jailed for 13 years earlier this month.

The MDP launched a national civil disobedience campaign to free Nasheed on 15 March, calling for citizens to take to the street in peaceful protest. His trial was deemed deeply flawed by Amnesty International.

Kuwait
Musallam al-Barrak, two years, convicted for criticising the Kuwaiti ruler

“You can jail my body but not my ideas and will.”

Musallam al-Barrak, leader of the Popular Action Movement opposition, is accused of insulting Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah during a speech while he was an MP in October 2012. His speech protested that changes in law would allow the al-Sabah family to manipulate election outcomes.

Authorities have cracked down on their opposition since mass protests in 2012, and numerous former MPs and tweeters have since been jailed for criticising the emir. Al-Barrak was sentenced to two years in prison in February. Amnesty International has been calling for his release.

Malaysia
Anwar Ibrahim, five years, convicted of sodomy

“[Imprisonment] is a small price to pay in my struggle for freedom and justice for all Malaysians.”

On 10 February 2015, Malaysia’s highest court upheld a five-year prison sentence for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on a sodomy charge. The action came after a former campaign worker filed a sexual assault claim against him. Anal sex is illegal in Malaysia. Ibrahim was previously acquitted of the crime in 2012, but the ruling was overturned days before he was set to contest an election in March 2014. Critics describe his arrest as a government attempt to block the opposition’s ascendancy.

There are Facebook and Twitter campaigns for his release, and political coalition Pakatan Rakyat launched a petition to pardon Ibrahim on 16 March.

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Jean-Bertrand Ewanga, one year, convicted of contempt of court

The arrest of Jean-Bertrand Ewanga, secretary of the opposition Union for the Congolese Nation party, came in August 2014 after he participated in a rally opposing the extension of presidential terms in the DRC. He was placed under house arrest on charges of inciting hatred, tribalism and contempt of the supreme magistrature, then sentenced to one year in prison on 11 September 2014.

The Free Fair DRC campaign group has been active in raising awareness, and Ewanga’s case was discussed in British parliament during October 2014, where it garnered 28 signatures from across party lines.

Tanzania
Ibrahim Lipumba, awaiting verdict, charged with holding rallies without a permit

“The people of Zanzibar have been robbed of their choice. We will not accept it.”

Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, chairman of the Civic United Front party, was arrested on 28 January 2015 and for holding political rallies without a permit ahead of the October 2015 Tanzanian elections. New charges of conspiracy, unlawful assembly and rioting were issued on 25 February. With Lipumba currently out on bail, the case has been adjourned until April 13.

Rwanda
Victoire Ingabire, 15 years, convicted of threatening state security

“Remanding me in captivity or silencing my voice can only postpone the revolution, it cannot stop the movement.”

Unified Democratic Forces party leader Victoire Ingabire returned to Rwanda in January 2010, after living in exile for 16 years in the Netherlands, to stand in that year’s elections. She was arrested in April 2010 and barred from running for office.

She was charged with “threatening state security” and “belittling Rwanda’s 1994 genocide” after questioning why the country’s official memorial excluded Hutus (some moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu extremists alongside Tutsis). She boycotted the trial, which she described as politically motivated, and refused to appear in court. Courts upheld the conviction and increased her jail term from eight to 15 years, reviving previously dropped charges of encouraging revolt, after an appeal in December 2013. Her supporters call for international mobilisation against her imprisonment.

Sudan
Farouk Abu Issa, awaiting verdict, charged with undermining the constitutional system

Farouk Abu Issa was arrested on 6 December 2014 after signing a political declaration in Sudan that brought together opposition and rebel forces in a joint call for democratic change. He faces charges of (pdf) “complicity to execute a criminal agreement”, “undermining the constitutional system” and “opposing public authority by violence or criminal force”.

Abu Issa’s health has deteriorated since his arrest. Amnesty International and Canadian organisation Lawyers’ Rights Watch have spearheaded calls for the 82-year-old’s release.

Swaziland
Mario Masuku, awaiting verdict, charged with terrorism and sedition

“The king will try to silence the opposition, to try and tighten the knot around us, but we will continue to make things very difficult.”

Mario Masuku, president of banned opposition party of the People’s United Democratic Movement, was detained on terrorism charges after delivering a speech on 1 May 2014 that criticised the system of government in Swaziland. He has been denied bail twice, despite severe health problems, and could face 15 years behind bars if convicted.

Online petitions call for Masuku’s release, while blogs have reported widespread support from politicians, organisations and individuals including the International Trade Union Confederation, the African National Congress and Unison.

Burundi
Frédéric Bamvuginyumvira, five years, convicted of bribery

In his role as deputy leader of the Front for Democracy party, Frédéric Bamvuginyumvira was tipped as the preferred opposition candidate for the summer 2015 presidential elections. The former vice-president was accused of attempting to bribe police in December 2013. He denies the charges, claiming they were intended to block his run for president.

The initial accusations of adultery and bribery were dropped in favour of corruption charges, and on 15 January 2015, Bamvuginyumvira was sentenced to five years in prison. A 2014 report by Amnesty International included a section on his case.

Lauren Razavi
The Guardian
27 March 2015

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/mar/27/democracy-behind-bars-11-opposition-leaders-facing-jail-or-death

25 March 2015

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24 March 2015

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TMI

Putrajaya paid an excess of RM109 million for a private jet for the Prime Minister’s use from Jet Premier One (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd? (JPO), a private company who had acquired the aircraft from Air Luther AG, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said today.

Its secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said that this amount was derived from the current market value of the ACJ320 compared to the price the Malaysian government had paid to JPO.

“JPO sold the ACJ320 private jet at a hire purchase price, causing Putrajaya to pay a higher price from the cost that it would incur if it had bought the jet itself, without JPO,” he said in a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

Rafizi had revealed last week that Putrajaya had ordered a new private aircraft for Najib’s use, which was later confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office, who said the Airbus corporate jetliner was purchased to replace the 16-year-old Boeing business jet.

Rafizi had said last week that the new purchase brings the tally to seven aircraft owned by the government.

Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul said today that it was unacceptable for the government to have bought the jet at a marked up price at a time when the people were upset over the increasing prices of goods and the impending goods and services tax (GST).

“This is like double jeopardy… when the people are suffering, they buy a jet and on top of that, they buy it at a marked up price,” he added.

Rafizi said that he would reveal the owner of JPO, the company that bought the jet from Air Luther and sold it to the government, in a press conference tomorrow.

The Pandan MP had revealed yesterday that Putrajaya had spent US$8 million (RM28 million) to upgrade the recently-purchased private jet for the use of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his family.

“The US$8 million was included in the sale price which was the base of the hire purchase price of RM465 million that was borne by the Malaysian government,” he had said.

24 March 2015

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TMI

Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur hari ini menetapkan Jumaat untuk mendengar permohonan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berhubung kebenaran semakan kehakiman bagi mencabar keputusan Komisioner Jeneral Penjara yang menolak permohonannya untuk menghadiri mesyuarat pertama penggal ketiga Parlimen ke-13 yang berakhir 9 April ini.

Hakim Datuk Asmabi Mohamad menetapkan tarikh itu di dalam kamar dengan kehadiran Peguam Kanan Persekutuan Amarjeet Singh yang mewakili Menteri Dalam Negeri dan Komisioner Jeneral Penjara serta peguam Latheefa Koya yang mewakli Anwar.

Pada 18 Mac lepas, Anwar, 67, memfailkan permohonan itu dan menamakan  Menteri Dalam Negeri dan Komisioner Jeneral Penjara sebagai responden pertama dan kedua.

Beliau mengemukakan permohonan pengampunan untuk pembebasan itu pada 24 Februari lalu selepas Mahkamah Persekutuan mengekalkan hukuman penjara lima tahun ke atasnya kerana kesalahan meliwat pembantu peribadinya Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar mendakwa keputusan kedua-dua responden yang tidak membenarkannya menghadiri sidang Dewan Rakyat tersebut adalah tidak berperlembagaan, tidak sah dan terbatal.

Beliau memohon satu perintah bahawa keputusan Komisioner Jeneral Penjara bertarikh 4 Mac lalu dipindahkan ke Mahkamah Tinggi dan dibatalkan melalui satu perintah certiorari.

Turut dipohon ialah perintah berbentuk mandamus yang mewajibkan Komisioner-Jeneral Penjara membenarkan Anwar menghadiri sidang Dewan Rakyat pada 9 Mac hingga 9 April dan satu deklarasi bahawa Anwar berhak menghadiri sidang tersebut.

24 March 2015

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Malaysiakini

Chants of “Reformasi” and “Lawan tetap Lawan” are common whenever Anwar Ibrahim is present.

But at the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court of Appeal today, the chants came from a child, the opposition leader’s three-year-old grandson.

Upon hearing this, Anwar could not resist smiling. He then approached the boy and carried him.

Even in his grandfather’s embrace, the toddler, believed to be the son of Nurul Nuha, continued to chant the slogans much to the amusement of all those present outside the courtroom.

Speaking to reporters, Anwar, who is serving a five-year prison sentence, said he has been spending a lot of time reading in his cell.

“I finished reading the Quran twice. I also read William Shakespeare and Bertrand Russell’s ‘A History of Western Philosophy’,” he said before being escorted out by prison authorities.

This was Anwar’s second appearance in court after the Federal Court upheld his sodomy conviction on Feb 10.

He seemed to be in high spirits when he met his family, including his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. He chatted with them for about 10 minutes.

The opposition leader was accompanied by about 10 Prison Department officers.

Earlier, before the start of today’s proceedings, one of Anwar’s lawyer had asked the prison officers, who were carrying firearms, to leave to court room, to which the judges agreed.

18 March 2015

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Surat daripada Prof. Dr. Taha Jabir al-`Elwaniy

Saya telah mengenali Anwar Ibrahim hampir empat puluh tahun, sejak beliau memimpin ABIM (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia), gerakan belia terpenting di Asia Tenggara. Anwar yang saya kenal ketika itu adalah seorang anak muda yang cerdas, lulusan bidang sosiologi, datang dari keluarga Melayu berdarah India. Beliau dan organisasi pimpinannya itu banyak mendirikan sekolah-sekolah rendah dan menengah. Memang beliau telah dibesarkan dan didewasakan dalam dunia pendidikan, dan seterusnya menyertai arus gerakan Islam di rantau Melayu. Kerana aktivismenya yang cukup menyerlah beliau menjadi tokoh harapan masa depan arus Islam di dalam dan luar Malaysia.

Reputasinya sebagai pemimpin muda meluas hingga ke luar daerah persekitarannya. Ketika itulah beliau ditangkap dan seterusnya disumbatkan ke khemah tahanan politik oleh pemerintah Malaysia. Setelah pembebasannya, Isma`il al-Faruqi rahimahu ‘Llah tampil memainkan peranannya sebagai orang tengah antara Anwar dan Mahathir Muhamad, Perdana Menteri Malaysia ketika itu. Al-Faruqiy menyarankan agar Mahathir memanfaatkan pemikiran dan aktivisme Anwar sebagai seorang yang memiliki segala potensi kepimpinan dan sebagai tokoh berkarisma terutama dalam kalangan anak-anak muda.

Masa itu adalah era menyemaraknya fenomena keislaman yang disebut Islamic resurgence atau kebangkitan Islam. Dengan kepekaan politiknya, Mahathir melihat bahawa membawa masuk tokoh muda seperti Anwar Ibrahim – simbol golongan Islamis di Dunia Melayu dan Asia Tenggara – mungkin akan dapat menyelamatkan Malaysia daripada konflik yang tajam di antara golongan nasionalis Melayu (yang berorientasi sekular) dengan golongan Islamis. Di Malaysia ketika itu telahpun wujud parti Islam yang memperjuangkan pelaksanaan syari`at dan menjadikan seluruh wilayah Malaysia sebagai wilayah Islam, di samping telah juga wujud simbol-simbol Islam dalam negara yang memungkinkan Malaysia terdedah kepada konflik seperti yang berlaku di dunia Arab, iaitu konflik di antara golongan Islamis dengan golongan nasionalis.

Di Malaysia pada asasnya tidak wujud perpecahan dalam kalangan kaum bumiputera yang rata-rata adalah Muslim-Sunni yang menganut mazhab Syafi`i. Itulah yang menjadi asas perpaduan mereka selain asas kesatuan kebangsaan. Mahathir telah membuat keputusan untuk meyakinkan Anwar agar menyertai parti pemerintah (UMNO) dan seterusnya berkhidmat dalam kerajaan dengan jaminan bahawa ruang yang seluas-luasnya akan sentiasa terbuka untuk beliau memanfaatkan kemampuan politiknya semaksimanya. Sementara itu pihak parti Islam (parti yang didominasi para ulama) pula menawarkan agar Anwar memimpin parti tersebut. Bagaimanapun al-Faruqiy (yarhamuhu ‘Llah) berpandangan lebih baik Anwar memainkan peranan kepimpinan dalam parti pemerintah daripada menjadi pemimpin parti pembangkang Islami. Kedua-dua tokoh tersebut akhirnya telah mencapai kesepakatan. Berikutan dengan keputusan tersebut ramai para ulama (Islamis) yang mengecam tokoh muda Islam tersebut yang lebih mengutamakan kerjasama dengan golongan sekularis dan menyertai parti mereka daripada menjadi pemimpin parti Islam. Tentu sahaja Anwar perlu mempertahankan dirinya. Ketika itulah Dr. Al-Faruqi dan teman-teman dari Himpunan Belia Islam Sedunia (WAMY) di Riyadh meminta saya pergi ke Malaysia untuk mencari semacam penyelesaian di antara Anwar dan rakan-rakannya dengan para penentangnya dari kalangan Islamis, yang sebahagiannya telah bertindak terlalu jauh dan melampau dengan menuduhnya cenderung dan memihak kepada orang-orang zalim, seterusnya mengubah kesetiaannya kepada mereka serta pelbagai tuduhan lainnya lagi.

Saya telah pergi ke Malaysia menemui semua pihak: pimpinan ulama dan parti Islam mereka, juga belia Islam Malaysia dan pimpinannya. Selama kira-kira dua minggu saya berada di sana untuk menenangkan keadaan, cuba memelihara perpaduan kaum Muslimin Malaysia dan berusaha mencegah konflik dalam kalangan mereka. Sementara itu Anwar segera memulakan gerakan politiknya dalam kerangka parti pemerintah UMNO dan dalam konteks peranannya sebagai Timbalan Menteri (di Jabatan Perdana Menteri). Dengan demikian daerah ini telah melintasi era kebangkitan Islam tanpa terjerumus ke dalam konflik antara pendukung kebangkitan dan arus yang bersamanya dengan arus nasionalis-sekularis. Anwar tampaknya sangat menghargai usaha yang telah saya lakukan ketika itu, beliau menyambut kunjungan saya di rumahnya dan di pejabatnya beberapa kali. Selain itu saya juga telah menyampaikan siri ceramah di pelbagai tempat hingga keadaan kembali tenang dan setelah itu saya pun kembali ke Riyadh meneruskan tugas-tugas saya sebagai profesor di Universiti al-Imam.

Hubungan akrab saya dengan Anwar berterusan hingga sekarang. Beliau menghubungi saya setiap kali menghadapi persoalan besar atau ketika menghadapi sebarang pertembungan. Dari masa ke masa Anwar terus mara dan jaya dalam kerjaya politiknya. Tidak lama kemudian beliau menjadi menteri penuh (Menteri Pertanian), setelah itu menjadi Menteri Pendidikan dan seterusnya menjadi Menteri Kewangan dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Sejak itu semua orang tahu beliaulah (Anwar Ibrahim) yang akan menggantikan Mahathir nanti. Anwar telah meraih pelbagai penghargaan dan pengiktirafan, termasuk gelar kebesaran “Dato’ Seri” dari beberapa orang Sultan yang merupakan gelar tertinggi bagi mereka yang di luar keluarga diraja. Bintangnya terus menyinar dan tampak di mata umum bahawa beliau adalah tokoh di belakang pelbagai kejayaan kerajaan UMNO waktu itu. Tetapi rupa-rupanya prestasi cemerlang Anwar itulah pula yang mendorong orang-orang di keliling Mahathir berusaha mempengaruhinya dan menimbulkan rasa tidak senang di hatinya terhadap orang yang selama ini dianggap anak didiknya. Mereka berjaya meyakinkan Mahathir bahawa kononnya Anwar tidak lagi menganggapnya sebagai bapak yang berjasa memberikannya segala kesempatan mendapatkan kekuasaan. Usaha-usaha jahat itu pun mula membuahkan hasilnya.

Dalam konteks sedemikian itulah terbitnya buku “Lima Puluh Dalil” mengapa Anwar tidak wajar dan tidak layak menggantikan Mahathir. Mereka memberitahu Anwar bahawa buku tersebut tidak mungkin terbit tanpa dukungan Mahathir sendiri. Akibatnya hubungan antara kedua tokoh tersebut menjadi tegang dan dari hari ke hari semakin memburuk dan terbuka hingga diketahui umum, pemimpin dan anggota parti.

Anwar sendiri tidak menduga bahawa krisis tersebut akan sampai ke tahap penyingkirannya dari jawatannya. Maksudnya, beliau tidak menyangka bahawa Mahathir akan bertindak sejauh itu. Tetapi suasana politik dunia ketika itu telah berubah. Tahun-tahun 90’an adalah era timbulnya keinginan untuk menekan para Islamis dan menghadang kebangkitan Islam. Demikianlah, tiba-tiba kita dikejutkan dengan peristiwa September 1998 apabila Mahathir membuat keputusan bagaikan kudeta ketenteraan, iaitu dengan memecat Anwar dari semua jawatannya dalam parti dan kerajaan.

Ketika itulah juga polis masuk ke rumah yang didiami Anwar, iaitu rumah rasmi kerajaan untuk kediaman Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Mereka memintanya dan keluarganya meninggalkan rumah tersebut serta-merta kerana beliau tidak lagi menyandang sebarang jawatan rasmi. Ia adalah kejadian yang mendadak dan keterlaluan. Anwar terpaksa membawa keluarganya keluar dari rumah tersebut dan berpindah ke rumah miliknya sendiri. Setelah itu kerajaan melakukan pelbagai tindakan provokatif dan kejam secara bertubi-tubi sehingga membangkitkan protes massa rakyat Malaysia, termasuk ramai dari kalangan ahli-ahli parti pemerintah sendiri. Mereka keluar berdemonstrasi di jalan-jalan raya dan seringkali berakhir di rumah kediaman Anwar. Di sanalah Anwar, isterinya dan penyokong-penyokongnya menyambut para demonstran dan berpidato kepada mereka.

Untuk menghadapi protes rakyat tersebut, kerajaan telah mengambil pelbagai langkah dan tindakan. Yang paling menyedihkan adalah tindakan mahkamah yang tanpa henti berusaha mengkriminalisasikan Anwar dengan bukti-bukti rekaan. Dari masa ke masa ada sahaja kes mahkamah yang bermotif politik untuk menjerat Anwar yang semuanya direkayasa dengan satu tujuan, iatu mensabitkan bahawa Anwar adalah seorang pelaku seks luar tabii, dan kerananya tidak layak menggantikan Mahathir dan tidak layak memimpin sebarang parti parti politik. Itulah yang terjadi sejak 1998.

Sekarang kita sudah berada pada tahun 2015, namun kita masih lagi tak habis-habis dengan proses mahkamah yang ada ketikanya menghukum dan pada ketika yang lain menyokong. Sayang sekali, tahun-tahun yang memberikan kesempatan kepada rakyat Malaysia memanfaatkan kebolehan dan pengalaman Anwar, khususnya untuk menangani pelbagai masalah di rantau Asia Tenggara, telah disia-siakan dengan menyebokkan Anwar dan menyebokkan diri mereka sendiri dengan kes-kes dan dakwaan-dakwaan karut dengan segala pembuktian dan kesaksian yang aneh, lucu dan berubah-ubah. Yang harus membayar harga segala karut-marut itu adalah Anwar dan rakyat Malaysia serta pemimpin-pemimpin politik dari pelbagai parti.

Sesungguhnya saya – sebagai seorang yang sangat mencintai Malaysia dan rakyat Malaysia – terpegun dengan isu ini, lalu saya bertanya kepada beberapa orang Malaysia, “Tidakkah anda malu dengan tindakan dan perilaku buruk yang telah dilakukan ke atas seorang tokoh yang seharusnya ketika ini sudah menjadi pemimpin paling berjaya di Asia Tenggara dan pemimpin Melayu paling cemerlang?”. Ada seseorang yang menjawab, “Semua pemimpin-pemimpin kami pernah masuk penjara. Anwar juga tidak terkecuali. Beliau harus melalui masa-masa di penjara.”. Anwar telahpun dipenjara selama enam tahun atas tuduhan dan tohmah yang serba karut. Kita menyangka segalanya telah berakhir dengan pembebasannya. Tetapi rupa-rupanya para penguasa hari ini telah membuka kembali isu lapuk tersebut dan menyebarkan semula fitnah kotor dan jahat itu kerana sebab-sebab yang Allah sahaja yang tahu.

Sesungguhnya Malaysia pernah dianggap sebagai negara contoh dan model kejayaan, iaitu ketika negara ini di bawah kepimpinan Mahathir-Anwar. Kedua-duanya memiliki kekuatan dan keistimewaan sendiri-sendiri, yang seorang dengan pengalamannya, sementara yang seorang lagi dengan dinamika kemudaannya. Tetapi kini, gandingan itu telah dipecahkan oleh syaitan-syaitan manusia dan jin. Orang-orang Malaysia yang banyak berbicara tentang sihir, ramai yang apabila berbicara tentang konflik Mahathir-Anwar mengatakan bahawa mereka berdua terkena sihir hitam sehingga mereka saling membenci. Sebenarnya mereka (rakyat Malaysia) tidak mempunyai jawapan atau tafsiran yang meyakinkan tentang apa yang telah terjadi, selain kekarutan khurafat tersebut.

Tidak malukah Malaysia dengan keadaan terus-menerus dalam dongeng sihir hitam dan putih, dengan cerita tududan palsu dan bukti rekaan, dan segala kekarutan lainnya itu?

Andainya saya seorang hakim di Malaysia, pasti saya sudah berhenti dari perkhidmatan kehakiman, dan pasti saya merasa terhina dan malu besar apabila disebut bahawa saya seorang hakim atau pernah menjadi hakim. Memang demikianlah, kerana saya menyaksikan keadaan aib dan memalukan itu berlanjutan selama tujuh belas tahun, orang-orang politik dan hakim-hakim mahkamah sewenang-wenang memperlakukan isu ini sedemikian rupa.

Saya ingin berpesan kepada Anwar, mohonlah pertolongan Tuhan dengan memperbanyakkan sabar dan sembahyang, sesungguhnya Allah bersama mereka yang sabar. Dan saya ingin berkata kepada Mahathir, takutlah kepada Allah, sesungguhnya jarak antara kamu dengan liang kubur sudah tidak jauh. Umur kamu sudah melewati lapan puluhan. Ketahuilah bahawa perbuatan mencemarkan maruah dan tuduhan-tuduhan yang berkaitan dengannya, atas alasan apa pun, tidak akan dibiarkan oleh Allah menyentuh orang yang bersih. Bahkan akibat dan balasannya adalah sengsara kehinaan di dunia dan derita penyiksaan di akhirat. Marilah kita bertaqwa kepada Allah, dan sama-sama mengangkat perjuangan kita ke aras yang lebih tinggi dan lebih mulia daripada tahap sekarang yang serba cemar, rendah dan murah.

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