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1 May 2013

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Malaysiakini

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.

NONEThe 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.

anwar ibrahim black eye small 080206Images 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.

Fallen heir

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.

NONEHe 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.

– Reuters

29 April 2013

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Pilihanraya Umum ke 13 ini bakal menjadi satu detik yang sangat bersejarah. Pakatan Rakyat menjadikan perubahan sebagai teras pendekatan kami. Namun, kita sedar pendekatan Barisan Nasional (BN) adalah untuk menjadikan pilihanraya ini sebagai isu perkauman dan agama.

Pakatan Rakyat ingin menegaskan supaya UMNO dan BN jangan menakut-nakutkan pengundi dengan menggunakan isu bangsa dan agama untuk menimbulkan kecurigaan dan melaga-lagakan rakyat. Terutama, mempermainkan dan mengapi-apikan sentimen orang-orang Melayu sebagai kuda tunggangannya dalam meraih undi dan sering memaparkan Pakatan Rakyat sebagai musuh Islam dan bangsa Melayu.

Kami ingin menegaskan di sini bahawa ketiga-tiga parti Pakatan Rakyat memberi komitmen sepenuhnya mendokong perlembagaan Malaysia. Kami berikrar dan beriltizam akan memelihara status Islam sebagai agama rasmi, kedudukan istimewa orang-orang Melayu dan orang asal Sabah dan Sarawak, dan serta kedudukan institusi Raja-raja Melayu. Ini tidak pernah dipersoalkan dan tidak dipertikaikan oleh mana-mana parti Pakatan Rakyat.

Oleh sebab Dato’ Seri Najib Razak tidak berani tampil ke depan untuk debat dengan saya mengenai Manifesto Pilihanraya Umum ke-13, maka kami ingin mencabar Barisan Nasional, khususnya UMNO, untuk menjawab beberapa persoalan mengenai nasib orang Melayu:

Pertama, kenapakah di sepanjang pemerintahan BN jumlah tanah rezab Melayu yang berjumlah 3 juta hektar pada tahun 1957 telah menguncup kepada 1.7 juta hektar. Ke manakah pergi 1.3 juta hektar dan siapakah yang mendapat faedah dari penjualan tanah rezab Melayu? Bukankah BN yang cuba menjual tanah rezab Melayu Kampung Baru?

Kedua, kerajaan Pulau Pinang di bawah DAP telah mengekalkan kuota Bumiputera untuk kontraktor kelas F. Nilai kontrak yang diperolehi kontaktor Bumiputera telah meningkatkan dua kali ganda. Peruntukan untuk hal-ehwal Islam di Pulau Pinang telah meningkat sebanyak 2.5 kali ganda berbanding dengan ketika BN menguasai Pulau Pinang. Adakah ini dasar yang anti-Melayu dan anti-Islam? Prestasi Melayu di bawah kerajaan DAP lebih baik dari ketika Gerakan menguasai kerajaan Pulau Pinang. Di manakah suara UMNO ketika itu?

Ketiga, Dato’ Seri Najib sendiri dalam kenyataannya di Parlimen mengakui bahawa daripada saham syarikat yang tersenarai di Bursa Malaysia bernilai RM56 bilion yang telah diberi kepada Bumiputera, sebanyak RM52 bilion telah dijual kepada bangsa lain. Setahu kami, saham RM56 bilion tidak sampai kepada guru-guru sekolah, para nelayan dan penarik beca, kerani-kerani dan konstable polis. Berapa ramaikah menteri dan ketua-ketua bahagian UMNO yang telah menjadi jutawan melalui skim ini?

Keempat, kenapakah selepas 56 tahun Merdeka, orang Melayu masih merupakan bangsa yang termiskin? Jika benar, perjuangan UMNO ialah untuk membela orang Melayu, kenapa ramai pemimpin UMNO semakin kaya dan jurang di antara golongan miskin dan kaya semakin luas, terutama di kalangan orang Melayu? UMNO sedikit pun tidak memberi sumbangan kepada negara mahu pun meningkatkan kedudukan ekonomi orang-orang Melayu yang termiskin. Namun, UMNO cuba menagih budi dengan meningatkan orang Melayu supaya bersyukur kepada UMNO, tetapi kebetulannya merendahkan maruah Melayu dengan serdak yang mereka perolehi.

Kami, selaku pemimpin parti-parti Pakatan Rakyat, berikrar akan membebaskan rakyat dari belengu rasuah dengan langkah-langkah berikut:

  1. Mereformasikan urustadbir perkhidmatan awam supaya ia tidak menjadi instrumen eksploitasi kepimpinan politik. Ini akan dilakukan melalui proses yang telus, melalui pemisahan pembuatan dasar dari pelaksanaan supaya tidak wujud campur tangan politik dalam pelaksanaan dasar.
  2. Menjamin autonomi dan keberkecualian badan kehakiman, Pejabat Peguam Negara, PDRM dan SPRM supaya kesemuanya dapat bertindak tanpa pilih kasih atau perasaan takut. Kesemua badan ini perlu bertindak profesional dan tidak menjadi alat politik pemerintah.
  3. Menubuhkan sebuah Suruhanjaya untuk menyemak semula amalan kontrak runding terus yang berat sebelah dan amalan monopoli di ekonomi Malaysia yang membawa beban kepada rakyat.

Usaha membasmi kemiskinan di kalangan orang Melayu dan lain-lain komuniti yang terpinggir akan dipergiatkan lagi dengan program-program yang disasarkan untuk membina daya saing dan daya dikari seperti program mikrokredit. Dasar ekonomi yang berkesan dan berjaya ialah dasar yang dapat mengurangkan pergantungan kepada subsidi dan pemberian kebajikan. Dasar sebegini tidak akan merugikan masyarakat Melayu.

Orang Melayu yang miskin dan terpinggir tidak perlu bimbang akan perubahan yang kami bawa. Masa depan mereka lebih terjamin di bawah Pakatan Rakyat. Hanya orang Melayu yang menyalahguna kuasa dan terlibat dalam rasuah harus cemas dengan perubahan yang kami anjurkan.

 

ANWAR IBRAHIM

29 APRIL 2013

4 March 2013

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KENYATAAN MEDIA
PIMPINAN PAKATAN RAKYAT

4 MAC 2013

DATO’ SERI NAJIB RAZAK SEWAJARNYA MENUMPUKAN USAHA MEMASTIKAN KEDAULATAN WILAYAH NEGARA, KESELAMATAN RAKYAT SABAH DAN ANGGOTA PASUKAN KESELAMATAN

Setiap pimpinan mana-mana negara sekalipun bertanggungjawab mempertahan kedaulatan wilayah negara, keselamatan rakyat dan anggota pasukan keselamatan.

Kegagalan mempertahankan kedaulatan negara dan keselamatan rakyat merupakan satu pengkhianatan serta menodai amanah rakyat. Justeru Pakatan Rakyat berhasrat mengingatkan pimpinan negara agar tegas mempertahankan kedaulatan wilayah negara dan tidak alpa memastikan keselamatan setiap rakyat Malaysia, terutamanya di Sabah ekoran dari insiden pencerobohan sekumpulan bersenjata warga asing di sekitar Lahad Datu serta Semporna. Setiap inci tanah Sabah dan keselamatan rakyatnya wajib dipertahankan.

Pencerobohan di Lahad Datu telah mengorbankan dua nyawa perwira negara manakala insiden terbaru di Semporna pula mengorbankan enam nyawa perwira negara. Kita merakamkan ucapan takziah buat keluarga mereka dan rakyat Sabah serta berdoa moga roh mereka dicucuri rahmat.

Pakatan Rakyat juga mengajak seluruh rakyat Malaysia untuk tetap teguh mendokong pasukan keselamatan, samada dari pihak polis atau tentera. Kita berdoa moga mereka kekal selamat serta bersemangat mempertahankan negara dan rakyat Malaysia dari ancaman penceroboh.

Pakatan Rakyat sedar keadaan mutakhir di Sabah sememangnya menimbulkan kebimbangan, akan tetapi kita menyeru agar orang ramai tetap bertenang dan tidak mengambil tindakan terburu-buru atau menyebarkan berita-berita fitnah yang boleh menimbulkan keresahan. Pakatan Rakyat ingin menyatakan dengan jelas keyakinan kita terhadap kecekapan dan kebolehan anggota pasukan keselamatan. Mereka pastinya dapat menjalankan tugas dengan profesional sekiranya diberi kebebasan bertindak tanpa sebarang campurtangan politik.

Sehingga kini, kita merasa kesal dan kecewa dengan sikap kepimpinan negara yang tidak mempamerkan kewibawaan dan iltizam dalam menyelesaikan masalah ini. Pimpinan negara juga gagal menyalurkan maklumat tepat, cepat dan telus serta memberikan penjelasan terhadap apa yang berlaku kepada umum sehingga menyebabkan khabar angin tersebar luas.

Pakatan Rakyat menggesa supaya isu ini tidak dijadikan arena tuduh-menuduh dan sewajarnya kepimpinan negara memberi tumpuan kepada isu keselamatan negara serta tidak mengalihkan pandangan rakyat dari kelemahan mereka. Sewajarnya mereka menyedari, keutamaan adalah demi mempertahankan kedaulatan negara, keselamatan rakyat dan perwira negara yang bertungkus lumus di perbatasan.

Pakatan Rakyat menuntut agar segera diadakan satu sidang khas Parlimen bagi membincangkan isu pencerobohan ini serta demi untuk mendapatkan gambaran sebenar insiden yang tercetus di Sabah. Kita juga berhasrat mengadakan satu persidangan meja bulat di antara pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dengan pimpinan kerajaan dalam usaha untuk mencapai muafakat bersama berhubung isu ini.

YB DATO’ SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM
Ketua Umum KEADILAN

YB DATO’ SERI ABDUL HADI AWANG
Presiden PAS

YB LIM KIT SIANG
Penasihat DAP

1 March 2013

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KENYATAAN MEDIA
UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA

1 MAC 2013

INSIDEN LAHAD DATU: KENAPA KERAJAAN AMBIL MUDAH ISU KESELAMATAN NEGARA?

Saya ucapkan takziah kepada keluarga dua anggota keselamatan negara, Inspektor Zulkifli Mamat dan Sarjan Sabaruddin dari Unit 69 Komando yang terkorban dalam insiden bersenjata di Lahad Datu, Sabah hari ini.

Kerajaan Malaysia di bawah kepimpinan Dato’ Sri Najib Razak dan menteri yang bertanggungjawab menjaga urusan keselamatan dan pertahanan negara sewajarnya tampil menjelaskan kepada rakyat tentang peristiwa berdarah ini.

Mengapa sebegitu mudah sempadan negara dibolosi oleh sekumpulan warga asing bersenjata dan mengapakah kerajaan begitu berkompromi dalam menyelesaikan isu ini? Isu keselamatan negara tak sewajarnya dipandang remeh dan diambil mudah oleh pihak kerajaan. Rakyat perlu diberikan maklumat mengenai apa yang berlaku.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

16 February 2013

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I condemn in the strongest terms the detention of Australian senator Nick Xenophon at the KL International Airport who is said to be a security threat and branded an “enemy of the state.” The allegations are completely without foundation.

I would like to remind Prime Minister Najib Razak that he has no right to treat visitors as enemies of the state merely because they are critical of his UMNO led administration. Malaysia does not belong to UMNO. It belongs to all Malaysians regardless of political affiliation.

While it is true that Senator Xenophon has raised concerns about the probity of our coming general elections, he has neither violated any written law nor conducted himself in a manner which may be constituted as a threat to our security. Furthermore, he is here to be joined later by other Australian lawmakers for talks with us as well as officials of the Election Commission. These reasons cannot be grounds to black list him.

This act of detention and proposed deportation for partisan political reasons is therefore a gross abuse of power. It is also clearly a violation of international protocol in the treatment of visiting law makers from abroad, particularly from member countries of the Commonwealth.
Senator Xenophon must be released immediately and allowed to enter the country without further hindrance.

Anwar Ibrahim
16th February 2013

16 February 2013

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NICK XENOPHON

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today said Australian officials were seeking the immediate release of independent Senator Nick Xenophon who was detained this morning while seeking to enter Malaysia through Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.

“I’m advised Senator Xenophon has been detained by Malaysian authorities with a view to deportation,” Senator Carr said.

“Preliminary reports suggest the detention is under Malaysia’s national security laws.

“Our High Commissioner, Miles Kupa has now made direct contact with Senator Xenophon at the airport and is seeking his release.

“Mr Kupa is also urgently pursuing an explanation from Malaysian authorities regarding the reasons for this detention.

“Australia’s concerns have been raised with Malaysia’s Foreign Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs and the Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia. Their support is requested in securing Senator Xenophon’s swift release from custody.

“Senator Xenophon’s detention is a surprising and disappointing act from a country with which Australia routinely maintains strong diplomatic relations.”

16 February 2013

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TheAustralian.com

INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon has been refused entry to Malaysia and now expects to be deported.

Senator Xenophon, who has raised serious concerns about the probity of the upcoming Malaysian elections, flew to Kuala Lumpur this morning but was stopped by immigration officials.

“I am effectively a prisoner here. I’m being held in an area with all these holding cells which are full of women. They have basically told me I am an enemy of the state,” he told the Adelaide Sunday Mail.

“They are trying to get me on the next plane out of here and back home.”

A spokesman for his office said he had been informed he would be deported under the country’s security legislation.

Senator Xenophon planned to stay in Malaysia until Tuesday, meeting election commission officials and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

He has been highly critical of preparations for the election to be held later this year. In particular, he’s pointed to serious concerns about the integrity of the country’s election rolls.

Senator Xenophon said today that Malaysian immigration officials told him there was a technical glitch with his passport and then escorted to an area of holding cells, although he was not put in a cell.

“I was eventually told apologetically by immigration officials that I am on a watchlist, that there are orders from above in terms of security concerns and I have to be deported on the next flight out of here,” he told Sky News.

Senator Xenophon said he had visited Malaysia previously at the invitation of Mr Ibrahim, participating in the elections observer group last year.

“We found there are some serious systemic concerns about the Malaysian elections that are coming up. They are due to be called any day,” he said.

Senator Xenophon said he was participating in a delegation with other Australian MPs including Liberal Mal Washer, Nationals senator John Williams and ALP MP Steve Georganas, who were due to arrive in the next 24-36 hours.

He said the delegation had meetings arranged with the Malaysian government minister responsible for the election process as well as with Mr Ibrahim.

“It seems I won’t be doing any of that because I am deemed to be a security risk,” he said.

Senator Xenophon admitted he had been and remained critical of Malaysia’s human rights record.

He said he had he had talked with Australia’s High Commissioner Miles Cooper, who planned to visit him later today.

“Malaysia and Australia are great friends. The Australian government is willing to do a people swap deal with the Malaysians, which must involve a lot of trust on their part,” he said.

“It seems that a member of the Australian parliament is now not allowed into Malaysia because I am a supposed security risk. I just wanted to arrive here quietly and do our work. I didn’t ask to be deported, believe me.”

16 February 2013

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Malaysiakini

Australian senator Nick Xenophon has been detained at the KL International Airport and is awaiting deportation for allegedly being an “enemy of the state”.

Xenophon, who arrived at KLIA early this morning, has been held at the Immigration holding pen over the past few hours.

“I am effectively a prisoner here,” Xenophon told Australia’s Sunday Mail. “I’m being held in an area with all these holding cells which are full of women. They have basically told me I am an enemy of the state. They are trying to get me on the next plane out of here and back home.”

According to the senator, while he was not allowed to make any telephone calls, he managed to make a call to the Australian newspaper when he was left unattended in the interrogation room.

Xenophon is scheduled to meet with parliamentarians, the Election Commission and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz on electoral issues.

Three other Australian politicians are to join him as part of the fact-finding delegation – Liberal MP Mal Washer, Nationals senator John Williams, and Labor MP Steve Georganas. However, they have yet to leave for Malaysia. It is unclear whether they will reconsider their travel plans given the latest development.

Xenophon attended the Bersih 3.0 rally last year as an international observer and was teargassed by the riot police, who were clamping down on demonstrators demanding electoral reforms.

‘Orders from above’

He told Australia’s ABC News 24 he had not expected to be detained on arrival in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the immigration officials have been “incredibly polite” but they have told him they received “orders from above” to detain him.

“I just find it extraordinary. I’ve been here before [and] I’ve made statements about the state of Malaysian democracy previously,” he said.

“But on this occasion clearly someone high up in the Malaysian government doesn’t want me here.”

21 January 2013

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The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won his defamation lawsuit today against Utusan Malaysia after the High Court here ruled that the newspaper had “distorted” the opposition leader’s words to suggest he backed the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement.

Justice Datuk VT Singham also said the Umno-owned daily did not practise responsible journalism, in addition to disregarding a golden opportunity to correct itself after Anwar (picture) had sent a legal notice asking for clarification.

“The articles … are rather a distorted and incorrect version and obviously taken out of context,” Singham said in his judgment.

“The articles have a purpose of its own …to give rise to a defamatory imputation that the plaintiff is condoning LGBT activities to be legalised which is not true under the circumstances.

“This court is of the considered view that both the articles are capable of defamatory meaning and it is defamatory of the plaintiff.”

The judge said it was “crystal clear” that Anwar did not say that LGBT activities should be legalised in his BBC interview, and the Utusan articles had suggested that Anwar was unfit to hold public office and be the opposition leader.

Anwar was represented by lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya, while Utusan was represented by Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin.

The legal cost was set at RM45,000, but damages will be decided on a later date.

“This was a long reasoned judgment supported by extensive legal authorities. It’s a very thorough judgment,” Surendran told reporters outside the courtroom.

The lawyer claimed that today’s judgment is a “devastating indictment” of Utusan Malaysia, and by implication its owner Umno.

“This proves that there is evil continuous slander by Utusan,” Anwar told reporters later, saying that he was also mulling a legal suit against former PAS member Datuk Hasan Ali, whose remark was used to bolster Utusan’s articles.

Anwar had in January last year filed the defamation suit seeking RM50 million in damages and an injunction to stop Utusan and its editor-in-chief from repeating statements accusing him of being a gay rights proponent.

At a hearing on July 18, Anwar had told the court that it was “public knowledge” that Utusan Malaysia was Umno-owned and that it took orders from the party’s president.

He also agreed then that homosexuals should be discriminated against to protect the sanctity of marriage, but pointed out that archaic laws should be reviewed to prevent innocent people from being punished.

Earlier last year, Anwar was acquitted of a charge of sodomising former male aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, with the High Court ruling that the prosecution had not done enough to prove the opposition leader had committed sodomy against Saiful.

Just days after Anwar was exonerated, Utusan Malaysia front-paged a story titled “Anwar ulas isu gay” (Anwar discusses gay rights), claiming the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) de facto leader had told a BBC interview that laws on homosexuality in Malaysia were considered “archaic” and “not relevant”.

19 January 2013

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Malaysiakini

Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menuntut penjelasan Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR) sama ada modus operandi untuk memberikan kewarganegaraan dan hak mengundi, seperti yang didedahkan dalam siasatan suruhanjaya diraja (RCI) mengenai pendatang di Sabah, juga berlaku di Selangor .

Beliau berkata, kerajaan negeri Selangor telah menjalankan kajiselidik mengenai pengundi baru di negeri itu pada suku keempat tahun 2011, dan terdapat kira-kira 134,000 pengundi baru yang tidak dapat dikesan.

Anwar bertanya adakah mereka ini tergolong di bawah kategori yang sama seperti yang dijelaskan dalam RCI.

“Kita perlu respons segera dari SPR, kerana ia telah berlaku pada masa lalu dan kami mempunyai bukti untuk menyokong hujah tersebut.

“Bolehkah kita mendapatkan jaminan mutlak daripada SPR bahawa ini tidak akan berlaku?” Beliau mempersoalkan semasa sidang akhbar hari ini.

15 January 2013

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Malaysiakini

The chief economist of Bank Islam has been suspended following media reports on a presentation he made predicting a narrow victory for the opposition Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th general election.

The top officer, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin, received the suspension letter yesterday afternoon, after allegations of “serious misconduct” were made against him.

Contacted by Malaysiakini today, Azrul said he did not know the reason for his suspension but confirmed that it was linked to the presentation he made in Singapore recently.

“This action is politically motivated. I do not know what to say. I am shocked that this happened,” he said.

Azrul said the letter states that his suspension would be effective immediately. However, it does not say how long the suspension would last.

“As no two GEs can provide almost exactly the same reading and in view of the surprise GE12 results, predicting the outcome of the GE13 could prove very challenging and a highly speculative attempt,” Azrul Azwar said in his controversial presentation.

He gave three scenarios relating to the forthcoming general election.

1) Scenario with high probability:

Narrow loss for BN, securing only 97-107 parliamentary seats (narrow victory for Pakatan: 115-125)
Failure to retake Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan
Lose control of Perak, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu and Perlis
Narrowly retain Pahang and Johor
Lose significant ground in Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak
2) Scenario with moderate probability:

Narrow win for BN, securing 112-122 parliamentary seats (narrow loss for Pakatan: 100-110)
Failure to retake Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan
Lose control of Perak and Negri Sembilan
3) Scenario with low probability:

Big loss for BN, securing only 82-92 parliamentary seats (big victory for PR: 130-140)
Failure to retake Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan
Lose control of Perak, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Perlis and Pahang
Narrowly retain Johor and Malacca
Lose significant ground in Sabah and Sarawak
Short-term negative impact

He also speculated that a Pakatan win may have a short-term negative impact on the economy, though he predicted that the long-term political and economic effects will make Malaysia better off with the emergence of a genuine two-party system and stronger checks and balances.

Azrul also warned that Pakatan’s aversion to GST may see the government unable to expand revenue and discontinuance of established long-term policies that can be disruptive.

However he lamented that only one of the scenarios, the one of a Pakatan win, was reported by a media outlet, which painted him as “biased”.

“If all three possible scenarios were reported, this issue (my suspension) would not have happened,” he said, expressing regret over the media spin.

Azrul said he is reflecting on the matter but does not discount the possibility that he may quit his post.

“I don’t want others to suffer. This is for my boss’ benefit,” he explained, adding that his superiors are now facing undue influence from “senior BN leaders”.

15 January 2013

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Malaysiakini

Oh, to be a fly-on-the-wall in the home of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad when he witnessed the outpouring of support for the KL112 rally – dubbed the People’s Uprising Rally, last Saturday.

Did his purse his lips, clench his fists and tighten his resolve to remove the weaklings in Umno? His greatest fear is that the truth will emerge, his legacy is exposed as a sham and his dynasty is castrated.

Last Saturday, about 35km away from the Merdeka Stadium, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak attended a meet-the-people rally organised by the Malaysian Indian Progressive Front (IPF), and Bernama said he was “impressed by the strong support of the IPF”. Around 15,000 people had assembled in the sleepy town of Semenyih to welcome Najib.

The PM should have known that the IPF event would have been overshadowed by KL112 and that no amount of negative spin by the mainstream English and Malay newspapers would detract from the implications of KL112.

Was this a deliberate ploy by people in Najib’s camp to undermine him? Is Najib being prepared for the big push?

The adviser(s) couldn’t have chosen a more apt location. According to Wikipedia, the town’s name is derived from ‘Sembunyi’, a word in the Negri Sembilan dialect which means ‘hide or hidden’.

The irony of Najib hiding in Semenyih couldn’t be more damaging. Malaysians know that in the past, Najib is usually found overseas whenever there is any whiff of trouble or conflict.

Like a long-playing record, Najib again reeled-off the usual promises to the predominantly Indian crowd; that he would improve Tamil schools, resolve citizenship issues, provide loans for Indians to set up businesses, get more Indians in education and the civil service.

He wanted their support in GE13 so that he could double his efforts to help them in his ‘1Malaysia’ vision. Apparently, 55 years is not sufficient to make any headway.

Najib being set up

Najib is being set up and we will probably witness his downfall. More importantly, we are seeing the unravelling of Mahathir’s work and the dismantling of his policies.

Does it matter when some people observed that there was a predominantly Malay crowd in the KL112 rally and wondered where the non-Malays were? Does everything boil down to race? Isn’t it more important that Malaysians walked with one shared purpose? Mahathir tried to divide the races, but last Saturday’s event proved him wrong.

For over 22 years, Mahathir ruled with an iron fist. He still rules the country, by proxy. During his tenure, he raised his profile and declared himself a champion of the Malays. He may have had a war of words with the west and fought economic battles with them, using trade as his weapon.

He brought the non-Malays to their knees and humiliated them with his bumiputera policies. He even forced the royal households to beg for his mercy, though none of them would like to admit it today.

When Mahathir (left) watched the KL112 scenes unfold, he must have realised that his days are numbered; all because of Najib’s weakness.

Najib thought he could give the rakyat what they wanted, but it was too little, too late. He started off by talking about reform, but by merely paying lip service to reform without any real evidence of real reforms, Najib was the instrument of his own downfall.

He placed emphasis on sloganeering, but members of his own cabinet must have had difficulty remembering the various acronyms which crop up at an alarming rate.

When ‘1Malaysia’ took on a life of its own, it invaded every facet of our life. There was ‘1This’ and ‘1That’ or ‘1Whatever’. It made little impact on the lives of the rakyat, and people started to mock the ‘1Malaysia’ concept. He damaged his reputation further by admitting that when he first started the ‘1Malaysia’ slogan, he did not have a fixed strategy in mind.

Najib tried to be a man of the people with his ‘1Malaysia’ concept, but the response of his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, offended many Malaysians. Did others in his cabinet secretly oppose the ‘1Malaysia’ concept, whilst seeming to play along?

He became the darling of the UN by being the “1ModerateMuslim” when he denounced extremism, despite failing to control extremists in Malaysia.

He told us to tighten our belts just before going on a spending spree for the government and his wife (FLOM). His wife talks about giving the people a chance to sample croissants, when they have difficulty putting rice on the table.

Why did Najib return hurriedly from holiday in Europe, after his audience with the Pope? Had he heard rumours that his deputy was conspiring with others in Malaysia? The strain is beginning to show, not just in Najib but in Umno, too.

Wary and weary of turncoats

Umno may have enlisted the help of so-called respected citizens, to denounce the recent KL112 rally; people like Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, or Dr Chandra Muzaffar. These men once danced with the opposition but now sing praises for Umno. The rakyat are wary and weary of turncoats. These experts claimed that KL112 is a charade and a mockery of democracy. They are out of touch with the feelings on the ground.

Umno, which stands for United Malay National Organisation, is far from united. The cracks are beginning to show and MPs are becoming afraid, not just for their political futures but also for their freedom. Those who have aligned themselves with Mahathir are rejoicing at the prospect of holding the reins of power after Najib is toppled. That joy will be short-lived.

Najib has one staunch supporter, Rosmah Mansor; her ambition is uncontrolled, she is the stronger partner and is determined to stick with Najib because she has so much to lose. She is the driving force behind him.

Last week, Muhyiddin said that Malaysia does not need change, thus mirroring Mahathir’s sentiments of previous weeks. Muhyiddin said, “We have a good government and a good economy, so why do we need a change?”

Despite the recent exposes of high level corruption, Najib and the various agencies tasked to deal with these issues have done nothing.

So, they should not be shocked by events in Ayer Tawar in Perak, where people whose lives are allegedly blighted by corruption, have started to take the law into their own hands.

The rakyat sees that the government does not enforce the laws, but blatantly breaks them. The government and its agents act like thugs.

Ironically, the resistance to change, of Mahathir and Muhyiddin, is the driving force behind the people’s uprising which demands the fall of the Umno dictatorship at GE13.

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