Speech by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Economic Agenda Forum & Iftar on July 16, 2014 at the Mentri Besar Selangor’s Official Residence
Versi Bahasa Melayu
Speech by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Economic Agenda Forum & Iftar on July 16, 2014 at the Mentri Besar Selangor’s Official Residence
Versi Bahasa Melayu
Keynote address by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian Opposition Leader and Selangor State Economic Advisor at the Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur on July 9th 2014
Versi Bahasa Malaysia
SETIAUSAHA AGUNG PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT
KEJAYAAN MEMPERTAHANKAN KERAJAAN PAKATAN RAKYAT SELANGOR DAN PERLANTIKAN MENTERI BESAR SELANGOR
Parti KEADILAN Rakyat memanjatkan rasa syukur kami ke hadrat Allah SWT di atas kejayaan Pakatan Rakyat mempertahankan negeri Selangor dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke-13 baru-baru ini. Kami juga ingin merakamkan ucapan terima kasih dan penghargaan kami dan rakan-rakan sekutu dalam Pakatan Rakyat terhadap para pengundi khususnya dan rakyat negeri Selangor amnya kerana telah memberikan kepercayaan mereka kepada Pakatan Rakyat untuk menerajui kerajaan negeri Selangor buat penggal yang kedua.
Bagi pihak KEADILAN, saya juga ingin merakamkan penghargaan kami kepada pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat negeri Selangor, juga kepada jentera ketiga-tiga Parti KEADILAN, PAS dan DAP yang telah bertungkus lumus dan penuh komited dalam amanah yang dipikul untuk memastikan kepercayaan rakyat Selangor terus diberi kepada Pakatan Rakyat.
Kejayaan ini juga disambut dengan penuh rasa tawaddhu’ dan rendah diri, terutama dalam proses untuk menamakan seorang Menteri Besar bagi memimpin kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Selangor dalam pentadbiran negeri. KEADILAN sesungguhnya amat berbesar hati dan menghormati sokongan oleh PAS dan DAP yang telah bersetuju supaya jawatan Menteri Besar Selangor dinamakan dari Parti KEADILAN Rakyat.
Berteraskan kepada prinsip konsensus dan rundingan serta semangat kesetiakawanan dan kerjasama yang selama ini telah tersemai dalam Pakatan Rakyat, KEADILAN telah mengangkat dua (2) nama dari kalangan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri KEADILAN yang berjaya memenangi kerusi mereka dalam pilihanraya umum Negeri Selangor baru-baru ini kepada pimpinan PAS dan DAP untuk dibincang secara bersama dengan KEADILAN bagi memilih salah seorang daripada mereka untuk dinamakan sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor.
PAS dan DAP, menerusi Presidennya Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Hadi Awang dan Setiausaha Agungnya Yang Amat Berhormat Tuan Lim Guan Eng masing-masing telah bersetuju supaya Yang Berhormat Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim, Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Pelabuhan Klang untuk diangkat sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor dan meneruskan khidmat cemerlang beliau menerajui pentadbiran kerajaan Negeri Selangor sebelum ini.
KEADILAN dengan ini menyeru supaya keseluruhan rakyat Negeri Selangor khususnya dan rakyat Malaysia amnya untuk terus menggembeling semangat kerjasama dan setiakawan antara satu sama lain tanpa mengira agama, bangsa dan warna kulit yang telah selama ini ditunjukkan, bagi terus memastikan agenda perubahan rakyat dapat diteruskan bersama-sama dengan Pakatan Rakyat.
Sekian, terima kasih.
SAIFUDDIN NASUTION ISMAIL
PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT
10 MEI 2013
PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim today announced that newly-minted Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli will head a team to investigate electoral fraud as Pakatan Rakyat refuses to accept the 13th general election results.
“It is a dictate of our conscience to reject the election results until a reasonable justification is provided by the Election Commission,” he said in a press statement today.
Anwar (right) said the team has already begun work to gather all information and proof of fraud and irregularities across the country.
“His team will match the proof against an empirical analysis of the specific constituency’s result to highlight the constituencies whose result is in dispute,” he said.
Anwar adds that the team, along with similar teams from DAP and PAS, will work closely with electoral reform group Bersih’s people’s tribunal to address this matter.
“In the next few weeks, we will present to the public proof that (Prime Minister) Najib Abdul Razak won this election through frauds and irregularities,” he said.
‘Electoral reforms not implemented’
The PKR de facto leader also pointed out that the EC had failed to implement Bersih’s eight-point demand for electoral reforms.
“In fact, the EC could not even implement a simple use of indelible ink and the chairman fumbled miserably to provide a logical explanation for the failure.
“As of today, we continue to receive information that hundreds of police reports had been lodged around the country for the failure,” he said.
There had been widespread reports that the indelible ink could be removed with soap or bleach despite the EC claiming that it non-removable for up to five days.
Anwar also called on Malaysians to wear black as a sign of protest against the alleged fraud in the 13th general election.
“I shall address fellow Malaysians tomorrow at the Kelana Jaya stadium at 8.30pm fully dressed in black.
“This shall be a beginning for a fierce movement to clean this country from election malpractices and fraud, for there is no opportunity for renewal without a clean and fair election,” he said.
It is widely believed that a happy and contented Singaporean is one who has achieved the 5Cs – cash, credit card, car, condominium and country club.
In neighbouring Malaysia, the victorious Umno Baru leader is defined by the 6Cs; corruption, chaos, cheating, cronyism, cowardice and concubine.
BN head Najib Abdul Razak injected many millions of ringgit into the country to secure a victory, and unleashed a violent campaign of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to defend Putrajaya. In the end, he only managed a ‘win’ by a handful of seats.
For many Umno Baru leaders, the effort has been worthwhile because the alternative is a long spell behind bars.
Ironically, the worst damage inflicted on Najib and BN, was Najib’s own ‘1Malaysia’ slogan.
Malaysians are fairly reticent people and not known for outward displays of public-spiritedness, but yesterday, in the true spirit of ‘1Malaysia’, Malaysians of all races were united in defending their polling stations against foreign ‘phantom’ voters.
Members of the rakyat blocked the path of buses suspected of carrying Bangladesh and Myanmar nationals to polling stations. Elsewhere, foreign-looking individuals at the polling centres had their identification papers scrutinised.
Outsiders are wrong to think that Malaysians are xenophobic. Malaysians were not targeting these foreigners as individuals; rather they were stopping an abuse of the voting system.
The rakyat’s apparent xenophobia must be blamed on Najib and the Election Commission (EC). The EC chairperson and deputy have obstinately refused to acknowledge voting irregularities and to complicate matters, Najib has allegedly bribed voters to secure a win.
He cannot be trusted to run his own bath but, in the last week, ran a rash of reforms, most of which were hurriedly plucked from Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto. It is Najib’s self-inflicted wound which has given rise to our deep mistrust of institutions.
Despite the cries of fraud, the rakyat watched with incredulity when the EC went ahead with the announcement that BN had won.
What hope have Malaysians of a free and fair election if the leaders of the EC are biased and in denial? Shouldn’t they at least investigate the allegations of voting irregularities? BN stole the votes of the rakyat and the future of the country.
Najib’s report card
Najib’s tenure was an unremarkable one. He was out of touch with the electorate and did not know how to engage with the rakyat. For someone who has not known real hardship in his life, he has yet to discover that money is not what consumes most people’s minds.
He is unable to understand that people are concerned about their families’ well-being; security, education, governance, justice and fair-mindedness.
Najib’s rule was fraught with disaster and U-turns. He failed to act to control extremist views within his own party and he firmly believed that churning out acronyms like ETP, BR1M and KR1M would resonate with the rakyat.
He refused to deal with corruption, injustice and racial intolerance. He chose to alienate the rakyat by underestimating their needs and by declining to engage with them.
Najib and Umno Baru should see if they can retain their popularity without flashing any money. When Umno Baru arranges a ceramah, it is alleged that the participants receive money, buses are used to transport them and food is provided.
Kelab Umno Baru meetings at overseas locations, operate with the same modus operandi. If Umno Baru stopped the food, transport and money handouts, would attendance at these events diminish?
Anyone who has attended a Pakatan event is aware that coaches are not laid on, no food is distributed and when the donation box is passed around, people give freely and generously. Money goes from the rakyat to its machinery, and not the other way round, as with Umno Baru events.
In the final days of campaigning, we looked on in bewilderment when Najib claimed that reducing petrol prices would only benefit the rich. Is he out of his mind? The poor cannot get by without a car; even a decrepit Proton held together with duct tape is better than nothing.
The greatest manipulator of all, Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted funds for his pet project, Proton, and billions of ringgit have been pumped into the Proton car industry, while he neglected the development of an efficient public transport system.
Today, car prices are artificially inflated and we waste our money on the Proton. Our suffering does not end there. We waste more money feeding Mahathir’s cronies, the toll operators.
If you talk to the graduates who went overseas to study, they will tell you that, when they were abroad, they moved around easily on public transport,;but when they returned home to work, a car is needed for mobility.
Again Najib’s stupidity astounds us. When in Kuantan he said the public transport system was marvellous.
But has Najib tried to emulate the daily journey of a worker who lives in one part of KL but works across the city? The majority of Umno Baru leaders have the roads cleared by outriders and know nothing of our suffering.
When Malaysians voted yesterday, they wanted a change for themselves, but more so for their children and future generations. They despise corrupt politicians, but they are also weary of the inappropriate behaviour of the children of these politicians.
Abdul Taib Mahmud’s daughter gave editors at a Sarawak newspaper a dressing down, making them sit for several hours until while she raged on about a report which portrayed the chief minister in a negative light.
Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz’s son impersonated a member of royalty and then beat up a security guard who dared challenge his authority. Other ministers’ children get preferential treatment at school and their exam papers are isolated for lenient marking. Malaysians have no faith in the BN leadership, particularly, Umno Baru leaders.
By condoning cheating and promoting violence, Najib, Umno Baru and the EC chairperson and his deputy, have disgusted and humiliated the Malays, and betrayed all Malaysians. Umno Baru must not be allowed to get away with cheating, not this time, nor ever.
Our votes have been stolen and if we sit by and do nothing about this, Umno Baru will have us in their evil clutches forever. Cheating is the last straw and we must not sit idly by and give up.
We must demand that the wishes of the electorate be respected and the result of the electoral fraud be reversed, so that DAP, PAS and PKR can form the government that the people of Malaysia voted for.
If Najib is allowed to form a government despite ‘winning’ by fraudulent means, Umno Baru will stay in power by cheating for another 56 years.
Umno Baru would not have organised and perpetrated fraud on a massive scale if they had known that they would have the support of the rakyat to win GE13.
“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.”
- John Steinbeck (The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights)
COMMENT “Mohd Najib terkejut dengan keputusan itu dan menjanjikan perubahan kepada partinya Umno. Tetapi prestasi BN yang lebih buruk daripada 2008 menjadikan kedudukan beliau goyah.
Juga, apakah keputusan PRU kali ini berupa ‘Chinese tsunami’ seperti yang Mohd Najib ungkapkan atau ia adalah sesuatu yang lebih besar dan menyeluruh iaitu ramai pengundi tidak lagi menerima BN dan kerajaan BN seperti yang wujud sekarang?
Adakah tidak mungkin bahawa ini bukan tsunami Cina atau cauvinisme kaum, tetapi tsunami Malaysia yang berpaksikan aspirasi dan realiti baru, khasnya di kalangan pengundi muda?
Walaupun BN berjaya merampas semula Kedah, tetapi kekuatannya dalam semua DUN merosot. Ia hampir-hampir kehilangan Terengganu dan menyerahkan banyak kerusi kepada Pakatan di semua negeri.
Di pihaknya pula, Pakatan hendaklah menerima keputusan pemilih dan sebarang ketidakpuasan dan pertikaian hendaklah diselesaikan mengikut peraturan dan undang-undang dan bukan dengan protes jalanan.”
The above is the last few paragraphs of A Kadir Jasin’s blog post on the results of the concluded general election and on the issue of the so-called ‘Chinese tsunami’ that seem to have engulfed Umno thinking in Putrajaya.
The narrative in most pro-establishment blogs is one of retribution to the Chinese community for abandoning the social contract of racial give-and-take of Umno. I am neither shocked nor perturbed by this because seeing the way how pro-opposition partisan operate in cyberspace, especially some DAP supporters (apparatchiks) who engage in the politics of hate, all the while decrying that of Umno’s and the vitriol they heap on pro-establishment partisans, all this is to be expected.
MCA’s Chua Soi Lek’s threat to the Chinese community that the MCA will not participate in the new BN federal government remains to be seen but what the MCA is doing is merely fuelling the retribution narrative of pro-establishment forces.
In other words, there will be no real reconciliation but merely an extension of Umno benefice to Chinese plutocratic interests to maintain the multiracial facade which is important for various economic and propaganda reasons.
Umno can rule alone
While I have never been in the habit of quoting Kadir to bolster any of my arguments, the themes of this particular post of his is something I can get behind. Anyone who had any real knowledge of the mood on the ground would have paid attention to William Case’sperceptive article on the chances of Pakatan Rakyat claiming the throne in Putrajaya. Optimism usually gets the better of us.
The Chinese/Malay dialectic although it plays well in the race discourse is really a minor narrative in the goal of ‘ubahing’ Malaysia. The greater story is the class divisions in the Malay community that translates to the rural/urban divide of the voting patterns in the Malay polity.
The one thing Umno has proved with this election is that it can retain the federal government without the aid of the ‘others’. Until the others lose the demographic game, the best we can hope for is that urban areas will always be the base for a supposed multiracial alliance.
It is pointless to warn against “racialising” Malaysian politics as long as a greater minority group is aligning itself with a faction of the Malay polity whose aspirations are at odds with the racial dogma of the current ruling Malay elite that holds sway with the rural Malay population.
The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of 1Malaysia and Bangsa Malaysia demagoguery is demonstrated with the reality that people have always voted across racial lines when supporting the alliance of their choice and of course the agendas of opposition political parties and their targeted racial demographics.
However, the reality is that the aspirations of a sizeable section of a multiracial urban population are in conflict with a dominant Malay rural electorate. Therefore, it is a racial game played on many levels but which always revolve around the Malay community. In fact I would argue that barring the possible retributive design of the federal government on the Chinese community, what this election has done is once and for all define the conflict in the context of the Malay community.
Simmering class tensions
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad knows his audience well. This is why he was screaming his head off stirring the racial and religious pot and throwing his support behind racist candidates like Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin.
The fact that these two lost, is something any right-thinking Malaysian can take comfort in but I do wonder if Zulkifli had stuck to his Kulim-Bandar Baru seat, would he have delivered it to BN since BN did win this seat? I hope that even if he stood there, voters there would have rejected him as they did Ibrahim Ali in Pasir Mas for whatever reasons.
However, it all goes back to the simmering class tensions within the Malay community that Umno has managed to keep a lid on by its use of gerrymandering, creation of instant citizens, racial/religious fear-mongering and of course the handout culture. Ironically, these are the very measures that would break the camel’s back in the eventual class struggle that would spill onto the streets in the near future.
It is pointless for Umno to attempt reconciliation with not only the Chinese community but also anyone who voted for Pakatan merely because the aspirations that divide the various Malaysian communities are the very ones that Umno seeks to propagate.
Unless Umno manages to reconcile the aspirations of those Malays who have rejected Umno and those who believe in the system Umno continues to propagate, eventually Umno will face a Malay tsunami.
A dubious voter in Pandan, Selangor, was turned away from the polling station after PKR polling agents objected, PKR Pandan candidate Rafizi Ramli (below) said.
He said Pandan voter Seok Leong Yew alerted his team to the dubious voter, whose registered address was the same as Seok’s.
“We have circulated all the suspicious IC numbers to our polling agents. So as soon as the polling clerk read out his IC number, our polling agent objected.
“Since our agents objected (to the dubious voter), he left without voting. We could not to stop him,” Rafizi told a press conference outside the Ampang district police headquarters before going inside to lodge a police report over the matter.
The incident was reported taking place at the polling centre at a Taman Dagang religious school.
Accompanying him to lodge the report is Seok and another Pandan voter Sivaprakasam Kuruppiah, who also found out today that there are unknown voters registered at his residential address.
Letters addressed to ‘phantoms’
Seok told reporters that he found six hand-delivered slips in his mailbox at 9am today when he returned home from voting, which instructs each Pandan voter in the household which polling station and polling stream to go to.
However he did not recognise four of the six addressees, and claims he has lived at the address since the house’s completion 25 years ago and had never rented it out or sold it.
Meanwhile, Sivaprakasam said he had received three of the instruction slips, but did not recognise two of them, which were Chinese names.
He and his family, all Indians, have similarly occupied the house continuously for 14 years since it was completed.
While not ruling out the possibility of clerical error on the Election Commission’s (EC) part, Rafizi expressed concern that they could also be phantom voters, especially in view of fresh complaints that the indelible ink meant to deter such fraud have been widely reported by voters to be completely washable.
“Let’s see what the EC has to say. What is important is that we are making a police report so that the police can summon these people and the EC can do the rest of the work.
“I am sure the EC will have a good reason for this,” he said.
Not detaining phantoms
Rafizi added that although the instruction slips had BN’s logo on them, the information is identical with that on the EC’s database that PKR also uses.
Rafizi added that to avoid any untoward incidents, he has instructed his election workers not to detain the alleged dubious voters, but only to take photographs of the voter and their IC to facilitate investigations later.
“I am concerned that if we detain them for long, the issue of phantom voters would be buried if it escalates into violence, since our workers have no legal standing to detain them.
“The important issue now is about phantom voters, and I don’t want to risk a confrontation,” he said.
In Cheras, DAP incumbent Tan Kok Wai said voters at Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Segar caught a suspicious foreign-looking man who tried to vote at 9am.
Tan said the suspect produced his MyKad to prove that he is a Malaysian, but a member of the public said he does not believe him and handed the man to the police.
“However, a few men tried to intervene and insisted that the suspect be allowed to vote. I arrived at the scene and saw the suspect being taken to the polling centre to vote,” Tan said.
“However, the hundreds of voters there shouted “hantu, hantu” (phantom, phantom) and the suspect felt overwhelmed by the angry voters and left the centre without casting his vote,” Tan said.
His party workers, he added, were monitoring the situation. Video clips and pictures of the incident have gone viral on the Internet.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be Malaysia’s seventh prime minister while PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Lim Kit Siang will share honours as his deputies if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) seizes Putrajaya on Sunday, the DAP’s Karpal Singh proposed last night before a big crowd in Penang.
“Of course the man who is fit to be prime minister of this country, we in DAP propose and support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister.
“Hadi Awang can be deputy prime minister. Lim Kit Siang can be DPM II and he can also be home minister,” the DAP national chairman told an ecstatic crowd dressed in the traffic light colours of red, yellow and green that crammed every square inch of ground in the port city where the pact had resurrected the forgotten Speaker’s Corner after coming to power five years ago.
The Bukit Gelugor MP incumbent, who is defending his seat in the May 5 polls, also proposed that he stay a lawyer to advise the new regime — should it come to power — on making laws that enforce justice for all.
“People say Kit Siang and I are old, we both have served for more than 20 years,” he said, before telling the predominantly Chinese crowd, “lang lau, sim bo lau.”
In the Hokkien dialect favoured by the Penang Chinese, it means the body may be old but the heart is not.
“Lim Kit Siang and I, we are not old. There is still fire in our bellies,” said the 72-year-old known to many as the “Tiger of Bukit Gelugor” for his fierce and unbending belief in the rule of law.
Pakatan Rakyat candidates and leaders (right) wave to the huge crowd at the grand rally at the Esplanade last night.The veteran lawyer and lawmaker reminded Penang’s voters who were out in full force that night — beating the turnout at the historic Han Chiang College just four nights earlier — that the time for change had come.
“In Singapore, the People’s Action Party has suffered defeat in its elections… the time has come, there must be change. On the 5th of May, the change must be the removal of Barisan Nasional in Putrajaya,” he said.
The party’s line-up of speakers last night, which included newcomers such as Kasthuri Patto and Zairil Khir Johari, told the Penang crowd that the BN’s old playbook of peddling racial and religious fears to divide and conquer Malaysia’s multicultural communities no longer held traction with the 13.3 million electorate, especially the young, who craved a government that focused on cutting corruption and helping to put the economy back on track.
“There is a thirst for change in Malaysia today.
“It’s all in your hands, the people of this country. And this thirst for change will be quenched on the 5th of May,” Karpal summed up when he took to the stage as the rally’s final speaker.
In a speech punctuated with the blares from the vuvuzuela popularly used to cheer on football teams, Karpal also called on the gargantuan crowd to make sure that on May 5, Kit Siang’s son Lim Guan Eng is given a second mandate to govern Penang as its chief minister.
The mega ceramah, which started at about 8pm, saw droves of people arriving from as early as 7pm.
Major roads leading into the world heritage city were clogged with cars and motorcycles by 9pm, just as the ceramah was warming up.
According to news reports fed by the organisers as well as friends who had planned to attend the rally but were stuck in traffic, the gridlock extended all the way to the Penang Bridge to the south and Tanjung Tokong on the turtle-shaped island’s north end.
The event ended shortly after midnight with the DAP announcing a jaw-dropping RM505,000 in its donation drive at the Esplanade last night. On its Facebook page a couple of hours later, the donation was updated to read RM587,168.85.
The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) promised to change civil servants’ pay scheme to weekly from monthly when it takes power, potentially giving civil servants an extra four weeks’ pay annually, in a move to get votes from the 1.4 million-strong civil service.
De facto PR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim delivered his Labour Day’s address here, to greet thousands of supporters at the same ground in Precinct 3 where PAS’ spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was given a historic welcome last week.
“Our approach is to give benefits and rewards to defend the fates of workers, equivalent to their sacrifices and work load. This is the principles that is not understood by our friends on the other side,” Anwar said to the crowd here who welcomed him with standing ovations and “Reformasi” chants earlier.
PR’s pledges for civil servants, called “Declaration of Putrajaya 2013”, were delivered to Anwar by its author PAS’ Datuk Husam Musa, who is making a bid for the federal administrative capital in the May 5 polls.
Civil servants are also slated to get interest-free home loans for first-time home buyers, and earlier pension age – 45 for women and 50 for men – should PR win Election 2013.
PR also pledged to reduce the promotion period from 15 to 10 years. Workers union will also be allowed, and any political interference in the civil service will be stopped.
Earlier on, Anwar praised the civil service for contributing towards his good record while in the Ministry of Education and the Treasury, but lamented that the workers have been demoted due to political interference and use of foreign consultants.
He also criticised the Public Service Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) which was introduced on January last year. It was scrapped just after two months, after being criticised for only benefiting top government servants while leaving the majority of the civil service with paltry salary hikes.
“This shows the attitude of Umno-BN leaders, they have always sided with the rich people above,” said Anwar.
It was revealed last year that under the SBPA, the Chief Secretary would draw a salary of RM60,000 while those in the “Premier Service” category were to rake in RM36,000, a vast difference from those in the lower pay grades, some of whom were only given increments as low as RM1.70.
The then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that the existing Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM) would be maintained with improvements, where salaries of the Chief Secretary to the Government and top-tier civil servants in the “Premier Service I” (Turus I) category would only be adjusted by seven per cent.
Civil servants in the management and professional groups and Grades 1 to 54, in turn, would see their salaries hiked by 13 per cent across the board.
“I assure you, a PR government will restore people’s trust towards the civil service’s professionalism and we will reform the service to increase their dignities as competent civil servants,” Anwar said to cheers from the crowd.
Malaysia’s bureaucracy is powered by some 1.4 million workers. Some 80,000 people live in Putrajaya, with 15,798 of them registered to vote.
On Sunday, Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim has his best – and seemingly last – chance to complete an extraordinary political comeback from beaten-down prisoner to leader of his country.
The 65-year-old former deputy prime minister and finance minister told Reuters in an interview he will step down if his three-party alliance fails to wrest power for the first time from the ruling National Front (BN) coalition in Sunday’s election.
“I’ll have given my best and if the people are not ready for change, it’s better that you have a post-Anwar situation,” he said after a gruelling day of campaigning in Malacca, a BN stronghold.
Anwar is closer to power than at any time since his meteoric career came crashing down in 1998 when he fell out with the then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, his mentor and Malaysia’s longest-serving leader.
His alliance surged to its best-ever election result in 2008, gaining support from ethnic Chinese and Indians disillusioned with race-based policies favouring majority Malays and discontent over a lack of political and economic reform.
The charismatic former rising star of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) party said he was optimistic about going one better this time.
“What is encouraging compared with 2008 is that we have built the momentum rather early this time.
“Normally, you don’t see a crowd like tonight until the end of the campaign trail,” Anwar said as he sat down at a roadside restaurant close to midnight after a long day of campaigning.
Late diners mobbed Anwar for pictures and hand shakes, a reminder of how he remains a popular figure after his tumultuous political career.
‘Premature power play that failed’
Anwar, who had long been tipped to succeed Mahathir, was dismissed in 1998 and charged with sodomy and corruption after he clashed with Mahathir over his handling of the Asian financial crisis that battered Malaysia.
Many saw the events as a premature power play that failed badly for Anwar, who critics say is still motivated by intense personal ambition. However, his arrest sparked street protests calling for “reformasi”, or reform, that still resonate today, especially for a younger generation eager for change.
Images at the time of the goateed, bespectacled Anwar appearing in court with a black eye and bruises sparked international outrage. Only a year earlier,Time magazine had put him on its cover, calling him “The Future of Asia”.
Anwar spent six years in solitary confinement and was forced to sit out Malaysia’s next two elections before returning to parliament in 2008 with a sweeping by-election victory.
Fresh allegations of sodomy then surfaced and many expected Anwar’s political career to end with a guilty verdict in court.
Instead, he was given a new lease on political life when he was acquitted in January 2012 following a trial that gripped the Muslim-majority, multi-ethnic nation of 28 million people.
Anwar has always maintained the charges against him were politically-motivated, a view shared by international human rights groups and a majority of Malaysians in opinion polls.
Anwar has promoted a rival vision for Malaysia that would abolish or scale back its most authoritarian laws and scrap a system of ethnic preferences for majority Malays.
A magnetic speaker who has cultivated a range of international allies, Anwar rails against the network of patronage that has grown up between Umno and well-connected business people, fostering inefficiency and corruption.
His critics say he is far from clean himself, having long thrived within the very same establishment.
“Malaysia must mature as a democracy. And we must be able to ensure that the (country’s) enormous wealth be well and prudently managed,” Anwar said.
Anwar was born in northern Penang island in 1947, the son of a hospital porter who later became a member of parliament. He attended one of Malaysia’s top schools and made his name as a firebrand Islamic youth leader.
He was jailed for 20 months in 1974 under a sweeping Internal Security Act (ISA) for leading anti-government demonstrations against poverty.
Mahathir invited him to join Umno in 1982 to bridge a gap between the party’s ethnic Malay nationalist image and its rising Islamic aspirations.
He held a string of senior cabinet posts, including the ministries of agriculture and education, and had been finance minister since 1991 when he was sacked.
After his first sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004, Anwar quickly returned to politics as the head of a revitalised, multi-ethnic opposition, centred around Islamists and secular social reformers.
The 2008 election put Anwar’s coalition tantalisingly close to a parliamentary majority, challenging the coalition which has controlled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.
MEI 1, 2013
Saya ingin merujuk di sini kepada laporan media oleh En Azlan Mat Lazim, bapa kepada Saiful Bukhari. Laporan media menyebut bahawa beliau menarik balik mohon maaf yang dibuatnya kepada Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan turut mengumumkan dirinya keluar dari Parti Keadilan Rakyat dengan serta merta.
Kami ingin menjelaskan di sini bahawa En Azlan Mat Lazim tidak pernah menjadi ahli Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Permohonannya untuk menyertai KEADILAN belum pun diluluskan. Saya juga ingin menjelaskan di sini, bahawa En Azlan Mat Lazim yang meminta untuk bertemu kami dan bukan sebaliknya. Beliau dengan sendiri telah menawarkan untuk membuat pengakuan bahawa segala dakwaan terhadap Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim merupakan satu konspirasi politik.
Perkembangan sebegini bukanlah sesuatu yang luar biasa terutama di musim pilihanraya. Apa tah lagi modus operandi sebegini sudah sinomim dengan muslihat politik UMNO. Beberapa hari sebelum ini En Azlan Mat Lazim telah menghubungi saya dan menyatakan beliau menghadapi tekanan yang sangat kuat dari UMNO. Tekanan ini turut dikenakan ke atas keluarganya. Saya yakin “penarikan balik” pengakuannya ini adalah natijah dari tekanan ini.
Dato’ Johari Abdul,
Ahli Majlis Pimpinan Pusat,
by Abdul Ghani Mohamad
If Pakatan Rakyat (PR) wins the general election on May 5, it will be because a majority of Malaysians decided that it wants a new leadership at the helm of our country.
But Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that PR’s cry for change in Election 2013 is a call for chaos, division and national bankruptcy.
How’s that again?
If a majority of us — and that remains an if — want PR to run the country for the next five years, why exactly would there be chaos?
I would think the only chaos would be among Barisan Nasional (BN) parties and their leaders.
Surely, Muhyiddin is not suggesting that BN leaders, their parties and the voters who support them would be sore losers and create chaos?
Or is there an implied threat there? I would like to have more confidence in my fellow Malaysians.
After all, a significant number of Malaysians — millions, in fact — have consistently voted for opposition parties since independence.
And the result has more often than not been peace. Except in 1969 when BN’s predecessor the Alliance scraped through but lost the popular vote.
So, there has always been division in our country too, just like there is in any country, organisation or even family. We have different opinions but we are still Malaysians.
As for bankruptcy, I am assuming Muhyiddin is referring to Pakatan’s many promises in its election manifesto.
I do not agree with some of the proposals in Pakatan’s manifesto but it is rich of him to suggest the opposition, if given a chance to rule, would bankrupt the country.
BN’s policies in facing this election are equally if not more populist, what with handouts being announced every week.
I can only come to one conclusion — Muhyiddin’s remarks are nothing more than a self-serving bid to stay in power, and not an attempt to offer Malaysians a chance to make an informed choice between BN and Pakatan.
Maybe, it was too much to expect from the man.
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