4 August 2014


Pendapat Anda?


4 AUGUST 2014

Gag Order On Banknote Bribery Case Shocking

The recent gag order prohibiting mention of Asian government officials who may have been offered bribes is both unprecedented and shocking.

Apart from violating a fundamental principle of press freedom, the suppression order also runs counter to the practice of good governance which, among other things, prescribes transparency in dealings among public officials and accountability for their actions.

We fail to see how such a prohibition would advance the cause of good governance aside from serving to protect certain vested interests. In this regard, the continued pursuance by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the gag order must be seen as condoning corruption in high places.

Not only has the Australian public a right to know but considering that it may involve ‘no less than 3 generations of Malaysian Prime Ministers’, the people of Malaysia too have legitimate expectations that all relevant facts and details be made known in the most transparent manner possible.


Read more: Australia bans reporting of multi-nation corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam https://wikileaks.org/aus-suppression-order/

4 August 2014


Pendapat Anda?


Israel’s ‘dream of Israeli and Palestinian children playing together’ is somewhat hypocritcal when you look at the 230 children killed in Gaza

To many readers the New York Times coverage of the war in Gaza comes across as neutered or as having a pro-Israeli bias. But not to Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador in Washington, who lambasts the paperfor failing “to mention that a million Israelis were in bomb shelters yesterday as 100 rockets were fired at our civilian population.”

Mr Dermer is considered so close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he has been called “Bibi’s brain”. He is also a former student and employee of Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist who produced a confidential booklet in 2009, promptly leaked, advising Israeli spokesmen how best to manipulate American and European public opinion. “Don’t confuse messages with facts,” Dr Luntz advises the spokesmen as he explains how facts should be selected and best presented to make Israel’s case.

It is a sophisticated document based on wide-ranging opinion polls, suggesting, for instance, that the removal of Israeli settlements from the West Bank should be denounced as “a kind of ethnic cleansing”. Dr Luntz stresses that spokesmen must demonise Hamas, but above all emphasise that they feel for the sufferings of Palestinians as well as Israelis. As a sample of what they should say, he gives: “The day will come when Israeli children and Palestinian children will grow up together, play together, and work together side-by-side not just because they have to but because they want to.”

The problem about this approach is that it sounds particularly hypocritical when, according to Unicef, 230 children have been killed in Gaza, an average of ten a day, and 2,000 have been wounded by Israeli bombs, shells and bullets. Israeli spokesmen are now denying their responsibility for the most notorious and televised atrocities such as the strike on the UN hospital last week. This is an old PR tactic, though not one recommended by Dr Luntz, which is sometime referred to as “first you say no story, then you say old story”. In other words, deny everything in the teeth of the evidence on day one and, by the time definitive proof of the massacre comes through, nobody notices when you have to admit responsibility.

A problem here is that propaganda that works in a short war comes back to haunt you in a longer one. This is now happening in Gaza. Israeli air and artillery strikes and Hamas mortars and rockets are often presented as if they balanced each other out in terms of lethality. But the most important statistic here is that some 1,100 Palestinians have been killed as opposed to three civilians in Israel.

Despite his tutoring by Dr Luntz, Mr Dermer only speaks these days to the converted. Attending a Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington he replied to protesters who called him a “war criminal” by saying that “the truth is that the Israeli Defence Forces should be given a Nobel Peace Prize”. Stuff like this may explain why a Gallup poll shows that among Americans aged between 18 and 29 some 51 per cent said Israel’s actions were unjustified while only 23 per cent said they were.

For all the good advice of Dr Luntz there are signs of Israeli leaders getting rattled. Mr Netanyahu complained on CNN that Hamas wants “to pile up as many civilian dead as they can” and “to use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.” Even the best propaganda machine cannot explain away massacres of civilians as happened in Lebanon at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 and at Qana in 1996 and 2006.


4 August 2014


Pendapat Anda?


Actual context should have a bigger say in the BBC’s coverage

The war raging in Gaza is the third in six years. War is probably the wrong word to describe the confrontation between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement that rules the Gaza Strip, given the huge asymmetry of power between them. Nor does “asymmetric warfare” adequately convey the full measure of inequality between the two sides.

The biblical image of David and Goliath comes to mind, except that the roles have been reversed: a tiny and vulnerable Palestinian David faces a massively armed and overbearing Israeli Goliath. It is this asymmetry that makes the notion of “balance” problematic.

Invariably, the allegations of bias in the BBC’s coverage come from both the supporters of Israel and of the Palestinians. Listeners and viewers have complained in equal numbers that the corporation’s coverage was biased either towards Israel or towards the Palestinians.

BBC bosses say that if complaints are coming from both directions, they must be striking the right balance. But lack of balance is only one of several charges levelled at the broadcaster. Failure to put current events in their proper historical context is another.

Twelve days ago, some 5,000 people protested outside the BBC’s headquarters, demanding an end to pro-Israeli bias in its reporting. The demonstration was staged by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War, CND and others. A further 45,000 people signed an online petition, claiming that the corporation’s reporting of Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza was “entirely devoid of context or background”.

The importance of context was also noted in a 2006 report commissioned by the BBC governors from an independent panel, chaired by Sir Quentin Thomas, to assess its coverage. While exonerating the BBC of the charge of systematic bias, the Thomas report found “identifiable shortcomings, particularly in respect of gaps in coverage, analysis, context and perspective”.

The report noted the “failure to convey adequately the disparity in the Israeli and Palestinian experience, reflecting the fact that one side is in control and the other lives under occupation”. It also stated that “given this asymmetry, the BBC’s concern with balance gave an impression of equality between the two sides which was fundamentally, if unintentionally, misleading”.

To counter this tendency, the report recommended that the BBC “should make purposive, and not merely reactive, efforts to explain the complexities of the conflict in the round, including the marked disparity between the position of the two sides”.

The BBC’s coverage of the current crisis reflects a serious attempt to rectify some of these shortcomings. Reporters regularly highlight the unequal nature of the struggle in Gaza and the devastating impact of the Israeli offensive on the enclave. Israeli spokesmen still receive more than their fair share of airtime but, as civilian casualties mount, they are challenged more robustly.

Nevertheless, presenters too often stick to the “justified but disproportionate response” paradigm, espoused by the UK government. Pressure on the BBC governors by Israel’s vocal supporters in Britain continues to play its part in inducing self-censorship and inhibiting criticism.

This last issue is one faced by the media in general. Israel is infinitely stronger than Hamas not only in military terms but also in its capacity to wage the propaganda war. It is sometimes said that history is the propaganda of the victors. Because it is the stronger party, Israel is better placed to impose its narrative not only on the past but also on the present. And to me, as a revisionist Israeli historian, this narrative appears fundamentally flawed.

The origins of the current war in Gaza is a case in point. As always, Israel claims to be acting in self-defence, blaming the victims of its military aggression for their own misfortunes. Yet the basic cause for this war is the 47-year-old Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

True, in 2005 Israel carried out a unilateral disengagement of Gaza. But, under international law, it remains the occupying power because it continues to control access to the strip by land, sea and air. An occupying power has a legal obligation to protect civilians in the areas it controls, yet Israel has been shelling and killing them.

Israel claims its most recent incursion into Gaza was a response to Hamas rocket attacks. Here are some facts that do not fit comfortably into the narrative of a peace-loving nation that is up against a fanatical, murderous terrorist organisation. In 2006, Hamas won a fair and free Palestinian election and formed a government, seeking a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel refused to negotiate.

In 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government with the same agenda. Israel resorted to economic warfare to undermine this government and encouraged Fatah to stage a coup to drive Hamas from power. Hamas pre-empted the coup with a violent seizure of power in Gaza.

In flagrant violation of international law, Israel then imposed a blockade (still in force today) on the 1.8 million inhabitants of Gaza. Four months ago, Hamas reached an accord with Fatah, and another national unity government was formed, this time without a single Hamas-affiliated member but with the old agenda of negotiating an end to the conflict with Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hysterically attacked it as a vote for terror, not for peace. He used the abduction of three Jewish teenagers on the West Bank as an excuse for a violent crackdown on Hamas supporters there, although Hamas had nothing to do with it. The Hamas rocket attacks were a response to this provocation.

The last thing Netanyahu and his right-wing colleagues want is a united and moderate Palestinian national leadership. Undermining the unity government is one of the undeclared objectives of the current assault. Israel’s spin doctors trumpeted its acceptance and Hamas’s rejection of an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. Hamas, however, could not accept this proposal because it left the savage siege in place.

It is difficult to resist the conclusion that Israel’s real objective in unleashing this offensive is to bomb Hamas into a humiliating surrender. Israel’s ultimate aim seems to be not a just peace but the reimposition of the status quo with a fragmented Palestine and with itself as an imperial overlord. The BBC may be forgiven for having difficulty in explaining this staggeringly unequal conflict in all its complexity. It is an extremely tough conflict to cover well.

27 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?


Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar.

Segala puji kita panjatkan ke hadrat Ilahi, setelah sebulan Ramadhan diharungi, kini bulan mulia Eidulfitri bakal dirai.

Mewakili keluarga besar KEADILAN, saya merakamkan ucapan Salam Eidulfitri buat seluruh muslimin muslimat di Malaysia. Semoga Allah SWT menerima segala amat ibadah yang telah kita imarahkan sepanjang Ramadhan yang berlalu.

Ramadhan yang bakal meninggalkan kita seharusnya dimaknai sepenuhnya dengan ibadah yang telah dikerjakan untuk mencapai redhaNya, di samping kita terus disaran memupuk ukhuwah sesama manusia khususnya kalangan mereka yang tidak berkemampuan dan dihambat penderitaan. Inilah falsafah agung di sebalik Ramadhan: kita memperkukuh iktikad dan rohani ke derajat taqwa.

Ramadhan kali ini kita turut dikejutkan dengan penderitaan saudara seagama di Gaza, akibat kezaliman regim Zionis Israel yang semakin angkuh dan biadap. Demikian juga kekejaman gerombolan di Ukraine yang mengorbankan anak kapal serta penumpang pesawat Malaysia Airlines MH17. Dunia Islam terus dilanda malapetaka – di Syria, Iraq dan Afghanistan. Kita meneruskan ikhtiar melalui doa dan munajat, agar pertolongan Allah SWT dapat mempermudahkan keadilan tertegak, insyaAllah.

Pastinya Syawal yang menjelang harus kita lapisi dengan penuh rasa syukur dan penuh keinsafan. Madrasah Ramadhan yang telah diimarah harus mensiap siagakan kita dengan penghayatan Rabbani agar ukhuwah insani terus diperkukuh, ketaqwaan padaNya kekal ampuh. Roh Islami terus kita sematkan demi mencapai kemenangan, sebagaimana firman Allah SWT di dalam ayat 48 Surah Al-Fath Ayat 1-2:

Sesungguhnya Kami telah membuka bagi perjuanganmu (wahai Muhammad) satu jalan kemenangan yang jelas nyata; Kemenangan yang dengan sebabnya Allah mengampunkan salah dan silapmu yang telah lalu dan yang terkemudian, dan menyempurnakan nikmatNya kepadamu, serta menambahkanmu hidayah ke jalan yang lurus (dalam mengembangkan Islam dan melaksanakan hukum-hukumnya).

Semoga Syawal ini terus kita raikan sebagai hari kemenangan, tidak terhad kemenangan melawan hawa nafsu, tetapi juga dimaknai dengan iktiqad memperbanyakkan amalan, menegakkan keadilan dan meruntuh kezaliman.

Salam Eidulfitri 1435 Hijrah.
Minal ‘aidil wal faiziin.
Maaf zahir dan batin.

Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen Malaysia

23 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?

Speech by Anwar Ibrahim on the occasion of Sarawak’s 51st Year of Independence on July 22, 2014

A brief history of Sarawak reconstructed

In a leading text on Sarawak history, Steven Runciman, the English expert on Byzantine studies and a contemporary of George Orwell, tells us that in return for successfully waging war on piracy and insurgency among the indigenous peoples, the Sultan of Brunei, the late Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II, ceded amassive tract of land in the southwest area of Brunei to James Brook.

This generous grant was not only a surrender of land as such but a secession of sovereignty and heralded the birth of a dynastic monarchy that we have come to know as The White Rajahs who ruled the “Kingdom of Sarawak” from 1841 to 1946.

Between enemies and heroes

While that aspect of history is familiar to most of us, I am more concerned about the history books clichéd reference to “fighting pirates and insurgentsamong the indigenous peoples”. I believe the time is overdue for a reconstruction of this part of Sarawak history so as to get a balanced discourse.

The question is: what do you mean exactly by ‘pirates’ and ‘insurgents’? The answer depends on whose point of view we are taking. Indeed, if we view itfrom the perspective of the colonial overlord, or even from the ruler’s, they were pirates and rebels to be destroyed. But how about from the point of view of the indigenous peoples?

To my mind, those who might be seen as enemies by the colonial masters and domestic oppressors may well be celebrated as heroes for the native peoples. For example, Iban chief Libau ‘Rentap’ of Kanowit might have been James Brooke’s arch-enemy but to us as Malaysians, and definitely to the people of Sarawak, he remains “the Hero of Bukit Sadok”, no doubt a great Dayak Iban Warrior.

Similarly, Sayyid Mashhur bin Muhammad Al-Shahab, or more popularly known as “Sharif Masahor”, was also public enemy number one for the White Rajah but there is no doubt that he was one of the greatest Melanau warriors inour history. After forging an alliance with Rentap, their history of struggles can no longer be seen as rebellion but one of the earliest heroic struggles for freedom against British colonialism and oppression.

So, today we are here not only to celebrate an occasion or a day but also to commemorate the heroism, sacrifice and invaluable contributions of the people of Sarawak.

The concept of Federalism and Malaysia

Malaysia is a Federation, which is why we have what is called the Federal Constitution. However, when we go through the Federal List, it would soonbegin to dawn on us that our Federation, for all intents and purposes, is more a unitary state.

The concept of federalism entails a division of power between the federalgovernment and the state governments while in a unitary state, power is centralised.

In a true federation, the distribution of power allows all the component states to work as separate units while the overall structure remains intact to allow theNational Government to move the nation forward as a sovereign state recognised in the international community. To maintain cohesiveness as a multi-cultural multi-religious nation, all national policies must be inclusive and sensitive to the fundamental rights of the diverse communities.

Bahasa Malaysia as the national identity

Language identity as a nation cannot be separated from the sovereignty and distinct character that makes one nation distinct from another. In this regard, any proposal to enhance federalism without giving pride of place to Bahasa Malaysia as the national unifying language for all Malaysians is doomed to fail.

Thus, the position of Bahasa Malaysia must not be questioned at all. This is a struggle not just for the champions of the language but a conviction for all of us regardless of our mother tongue. Indeed, Malay is the only language that will bind us linguistically as a nation.

We should be guided by such an overriding principle so as to maintain unity in diversity while preserving national sovereignty as a nation and this can done without an overconcentration of centralised power.

Rather than being fixated on amassing power at the centre, the Federal government must seriously consider a general decentralisation agenda that will add invaluable economic synergies and cultural empowerment to the states regardless whether they are controlled by Pakatan or Barisan Nasional.

To ensure the preservation of the national statehood, essential matters covered in the Federal List such as national defence, internal order and security and raising revenue should never be compromised.

The establishment of the Federation of Malaya – as a consequence to the opposition to the aborted Malayan Union – was, at least in theory precisely to allow for that unity without sacrificing the individual sovereignty of the states.

If we stop to ponder then that there would have been no Malaysia withoutbringing in Sarawak and Sabah, then our appreciation of these two states should grow by leaps and bounds.

Indeed, the wealth of resources they bring are immense but this is not the point Iam making. More important than anything else I am talking about the rich diversity in people, culture and religion that cannot be measured in economic terms that Sarawak and Sabah bring to the very concept of Malaysia as a nation.

Pakatan’s 7-Point Proposal for Sarawak and Sabah

They say that celebrating the Independence Day of Sarawak is a very brave step. Indeed, it is. But I believe the people of Sarawak deserve more and in conjunction with this 51st anniversary, and in line with the true concept of federalism, the following 7-point plan is proposed:

Point 1

1. In recognition of the spirit of the federal compact signed in 1963 known as the Malaysia Agreement, to:


Recognise – in the Federal Constitution, text books and official discourses – Sabah and Sarawak as special states that are equal partners to the Peninsula of Malaysia within the Federation of Malaysia; and


Recognise three National Days: August 31 as the Merdeka Day for Malaya and Sabah, July 22 as the Independence Day for Sarawak and September 16 as Malaysia Day – with national celebrations for August 31 and September 16.


Point 2

2. In the spirit of true federalism that values unity in diversity while preserving a cohesive nation, to:


Uphold Bahasa Malaysia as the national language unifying all Malaysians regardless of faiths, ethnicity or mother-tongue;



Protect the freedom of expression and information in all languages, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, including the use of Allah in the Malay and Iban-language Bibles and other publications; and


Establish a television channel for Borneo

Point 3

3. In full recognition of the injustice in the marginalization and poverty suffered by Sarawak and Sabah despite their rich resources, as a result of corruption, nepotism and cronyism by both the Federal and State Governments, bring about the following economic reforms and developments when Pakatan Rakyat forms the new federal and state governments:

a. Federal-state sharing of petroleum wealth and power in Petronas, with


a director each from Sarawak, Sabah and all other petroleum-producing states on Petronas’ Board;


the establishment of state-owned second-tiered Oil and Gas company as Petronas’ partners; and


20% royalty for those states;

b. The abolition of cabotage policy to eliminate the artificial price disparity that burdens the people of Sarawak and Sabah;

c. The construction of a Pan-Borneo highway of comparable quality to those highways in Peninsular Malaysia

d. The supply of electricity and tap water to 90% of households in Sarawak and Sabah

Point 4

4. To correct and prevent the illegal naturalization and enfranchisement of foreigners and the failure in safeguarding the border of Sabah, establish permanent joint Federal-State Commissions in Sarawak and Sabah answerable to both the Federal Parliament and the respective State Assemblies in order to oversee:


The naturalization of foreigners in Sarawak and Sabah;


The trans-migration of other Malaysians into Sabah and Sarawak; and


Border and coastline security in both states


Point 5

To ensure protection of the native communities and environment:


Establish State Land Commissions in Sarawak and Sabah, with institutionalized representation from the native communities and answerable to the respective State Assemblies, to administer land especially Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands, undertake surveys, investigate and resolve land disputes; and


Establish elected third-tiered governments at city and division level, with the boundaries of rural divisions taking into account socio-culturalboundaries of native communities where possible, to facilitate participatory decision-making and indigenous autonomy.


Point 6

Guided by the spirit of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, support human resource development in Sarawak and Sabah, with no discrimination on the ground of religion, through:


Borneonisation of the state public service in Sarawak and Sabah with transparent and meritocratic recruitment and promotion;


Recruitment of more Borneans into the Administrative and Diplomatic Services and appointment of more Borneans as Ambassadors and High Commissioners; and


More scholarships for both Bornean students in general and Bornean native students in particular.


Point 7

7. Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to commence a study on the health of federalism in Malaysia within the first year of the new Federal Government and complete it within 3 years, to reform and rejuvenate our federal system before GE15 to better serve the nation and all the states and territories.


A federation of states is only as strong as the sum of its parts. The call for real federalism and greater devolution of powers is intended to strengthen these parts and that in turn will strengthen the entire federation. This will augur well for the future of Malaysia.


Thank you.

21 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?

Sydney Morning Herald

A boy with cuts all over his body is using every ounce of his strength to cling on to a rubber-gloved medic trying to lay him on a hospital bed.

What the haunting photograph does not capture are the Palestinian boy’s screams at the paramedic: “I want my father, bring me my father!”


It also fails to show the gaping wound on the left side of his head, the large piece of shrapnel in his neck, and smaller pieces lodged in his chest and abdomen, sustained after being caught in artillery fire from Israel.

The story behind the photograph taken at Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital last Thursday – and disseminated across the world – was revealed by a junior doctor Belal Dabour in a piece for the pro-Palestinian masthead The Electronic Intifada.

“At around 3am, about eight or nine casualties arrived at the emergency room all at once. The last to come in were four siblings – two of them little children, both about three years old, with relatively superficial wounds,” he wrote.

“Then came the older of the four siblings, a boy in his early teens. His head and face were covered in blood and he was pressing a rag to his head to staunch the flow. But his focus was on something else: ‘Save my little brother!’ he kept screaming.”

The unnamed boy pictured in the photograph was thrashing about and screaming for his father as the paramedic carried him straight from the emergency unit to intensive care.

“Upon carefully examining the wounds, it appeared that the explosion from the artillery round sent flying small pieces of stone from the walls of his house, and that some of his wounds were caused by these high-velocity projectiles,” Dr Dabour wrote.

The shrapnel in the boy’s neck just missed a major artery, the piece in his chest nearly punctured a lung, and the one in his stomach nearly hit his bowel. But the child was a “lucky” one, Dr Dabour said, because he had seen too many killed.

Just a day earlier, four boys aged between nine and 11 were playing on the beach in Gaza City when Israeli military strikes slaughtered them. They were cousins.

As the Islamic militant group Hamas and Israeli troops prepare to enter day 14 of their latest conflict, the death toll sits at 417 Palestinians and 18 Israelis.

A third of Palestine’s dead were children, the United Nations children’s agency declared on Saturday. About 50 boys and 20 girls between three months and18 years of age had been slain.

“From July 8, until 4am on July 19, at least 73 Palestinian children have been reported killed as a result of air strikes and shelling by Israel aerial, naval and ground forces,” UNICEF’s Catherine Weibel said.

Israel accused Hamas of using the Gaza population as a human shield, firing rockets from civilian areas and infrastructure.

Dr Dabour ended his account by saying he did not find out the youngster’s name as too many people – “some arrived torn to pieces, some beheaded, some disfigured beyond recognition” – arrived to be saved.

“I do not know whether he was reunited with his father, or even what became of the rest of his family,” he wrote. “But there’s one thing that I know for sure, which is that hundreds of children just like him suffered similar or worse injuries, and up to the moment of this writing, nearly 80 children just like him have been killed as Israel’s merciless attack goes on.”

21 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?


Click to enlarge

The news: As Israeli military forces make their way into the Gaza Strip in a major new ground invasion, this infographic from Visualizing Palestine has some perspective on the relative costs each side has paid in this entrenched conflict.

According to their data, 79% of deaths in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from 2000-2008 have been from Israeli military or police actions against residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Just 8% of total deaths during that time period were from Palestinian attacks on Israel. The infographic doesn’t necessarily assign blame to one side or the other, but notes that who was killed by who “first” was determined by whichever side attacked after a day of peace.

In all, since 2000 some 6,792 Palestinians and 1,102 Israelis have paid the ultimate price over the ongoing dispute. Since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, it’s become even more disproportionate: 3,457 Palestinians and 125 Israelis have died.

Why the huge gap? Israel unilaterally pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, removing all security forces and civilians. Israeli citizens in the area who refused to vacate were actually removed by unarmed soldiers. Since then, Hamas began emphasizing the political process and strengthened its support among Palestinians, eventually taking control of the entire Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority in a violent coup in 2007. So for a time, they were quite busy focusing on the situation within their own territory. The resulting 2008 Gaza War between Hamas and Israel saw nearly 200 Israeli citizens injured and a few killed, during which Israeli counterattacks drew far greater blood from the Palestinian side.

It’s not that Hamas hates Israel any less now that it’s in a position of power. Instead, they’ve had more domestic problems to deal with as they solidified their position in Gaza and fewer opportunities to attack Israel thanks to better security. Hamas’ use of suicide bombings fell dramatically since the Second Intifada in 2005, and the organization began abandoning suicide attacks in 2006. The last such attack in Israel happened in April 2008, when three bombers in Kerem Shalom killed themselves and injured 13 others. Hamas apparently decided the tactic was costly and ineffective. Further factors preventing further bombings also included the construction of security walls and checkpoints which made it harder for extremists to slip into Israeli cities and settlements.

Launching rockets against Israeli cities became the preferred tactic. But from 2011 onwards, Israel’s Iron Dome defense system has ensured that many Palestinian rockets fired towards Israel (which were alreadypretty poorly designed) have simply been shot down or disabled. Despite being more powerful, Hamas now lacks the ability to launch suicide campaigns. Overwhelming Israeli military and intelligence superiority has thwarted even some recent attempts by militants to sneak over the border.

[VIDEO]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MPkic4HNrs

The Israeli capacity to strike back, on the other hand, has only grown. Israeli reprisals against Hamas have grown both bigger in scale and more aggressive since the organization seized power in Gaza. The U.S. has also funneled huge amounts of money into the Israeli military, by some accounts providing 23-25% of its funding. There’s just simply no comparison between the two sides’ military strength and indeed their capacity for inflicting pain on the other anymore.

Why you should care: As Vox’s Max Fisher notes, Israeli military and defense superiority and its increased control over Palestinian territory may have actually helped prevent an agreement. The economic blockade in place since 2007 has sent many Palestinians into poverty, helping Hamas find steady recruits despite a disastrous lack of success in its campaign against Israel. (Paradoxically, extremist groups thrive in terrible socioeconomic conditions even when they’re partially responsible for them.) The expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank furthermore indicates to many Palestinians that agreements can’t be trusted.

Meanwhile, the Israeli public’s support for a solution that would grant Palestinian independence, once massive, has plummeted. Fisher says that suicide bombings during the Second Intifada convinced many Israelis that peace with Palestinians was impossible, and this “sense of apathy” has been further encouraged by the other side’s subsequent inability to fight back. Since Israel has incontestably won the physical battle, when shots go off Palestinians are far more likely to be in the line of fire. That’s just the frank reality of the situation.

20 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?


Sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan Sarawak ke-51 bersama Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim

22 Julai 2014| 2.30 – 6.00 petang| Hotel Grand Continental, Kuching

19 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?

19 July 2014

I declare full support for the call by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for an emergency parliamentary
sitting on the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

We in Pakatan are totally committed to any resolution to categorically condemn the mass murder committed by the perpetrators. In this regard, the Prime Minister must be unequivocal in naming the party or parties responsible, whoever they may be.

We also fully support the demand that the culprits of this crime be brought to justice and that all necessary measures be taken to facilitate a swift, effective and independent investigation.

This is indeed a time of grief and sadness for all Malaysians as it is too for others and we urge all parties to refrain from making statements or remarks that are insensitive to the feelings of the
families and loved ones of the innocent victims.


19 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?

Al Jazeera

Palestinians as a diverse society are neither reducible to Hamas nor can they be denied the right to resist occupation.

In much of the North American and western European media reporting on the current Israeli carnage of Palestinians, a common refrain is that Hamas has also shot some rockets towards Israel. Given the sophisticated defence system Israel possesses, courtesy of US taxpayers, none of these rockets hit any targets and fortunately no Israeli man, woman, or child has lost any life or limb because of them. This fact has scarcely bothered BBC, CNN, or any other shamelessly pro-Israeli outlet that always seeks to “balance” their reporting on Gaza by mentioning the fact that Hamas has also shot some rockets towards the Jewish state.

In one particularly nefarious example, Diane Sawyer of ABC showed a picture of Palestinians enduring Israeli bombing but told her American audience these were the pictures of Israelis under attack by Hamas rockets.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that Hamas does shoot some rockets towards Israel, and though these rockets scarcely harm anyone does not diminish their intent, which is to hit somewhere or harm someone. So the Hamas operation intends to harm people but they cannot do as they wish for their military wherewithal is not outsourced to the United States.

Thanks to AIPAC and other Israeli lobbies and pro-Israeli billionaires, among them those who encourage US President Barack Obama to nuke Iran on behalf of Israel, Israel enjoys a special relationship with the most deadly military machinery on the planet and partakes in that deadly force at will. Hamas in this regard has lost the bid to its Israeli counterparts and any outside military help they might receive is from countries like Iran that can hardly be compared to that gargantuan deadly machine called the US.

Erratic rockets

Useless as they are, why is Hamas firing these erratic rockets, and why would they not stop them anyway? Why bother? They are hardly any match for the Israeli army. After all, Hamas is David and Israel is Goliath in this contest. Wouldn’t Palestinians be better off without Hamas trying to defend them in Gaza?

Here we need to ask the question in a slightly larger context. Is Hamas not a legitimate Palestinian organisation, with enough grassroots support that itwon a major parliamentary election in Gaza back in 2006? I have known, and I still know, many Palestinians who do not like Hamas, disagree with their ideology, and oppose their ways. But these Palestinians of diverse political opinions are as much part of the Palestinian resistance to occupation and theft of their homeland as Hamas is.

Like any other richly diversified society, Palestinians are composed of followers of many religions, politics, and ideologies. Palestinians are Christian, Muslim, atheists, and agnostic. They are nationalist and/or socialists. They are secularists, Islamists, post-Islamists, and post-secularists. They are feminists, modernists, post-modernists, deconstructionists, and they are nativists at times, cosmopolitan at others, unionists, pacifists, militants, you name it. One of them was a founding figure of a school of critical thinking called post-colonial studies.

By far the most consistent and the most definitive aspect of Palestinian resistance to the occupation and theft of their homeland over the decades has been non-violent civil disobedience. Resistance for Palestinians is definitive of who and what they are. They might be a poet like Mahmoud Darwish, a novelist like Ghassan Kanafani, a film-maker like Michel Khleifi, an artist like Mona Hatoum, a feminist like Lila Abu Lughod – but in doing what they do, whatever they do, they oppose and defy the armed robbery of their homeland.

But there are also those Palestinians who have taken arms and opposed villainy by violence. As part of this resistance, Hamas is integral to the Palestinian national liberation movement, but like any other forms of resistance, Hamas is not definitive to Palestine.

Israeli propaganda machinery

What the Israeli propaganda machinery does is to reduce the entirety of Palestine, the rich and diversified tapestry of Palestinian resistance, to Hamas, then demonise Hamas. The strategy works, especially aided and abetted by major state-sponsored or corporate media like BBC, ABC, or CNN. Execute this strategy, and go on a rampage against Palestinians, maim and murder them with impunity.

Now for the sake of argument: Suppose we wake up tomorrow morning and there is no Hamas to shoot off any useless rockets towards Israel. Then what? The magnificent Israeli benevolence will move into operation and return the stolen Palestine to their rightful owners? Of course not. Suppose Hamas did not even exist since its founding in 1987. Then what? Israel would have by now returned Palestine to its rightful owners? Of course not.

Palestinians are varied and Palestinians are entirely entitled to resist and oppose the occupation and theft of their homeland by any means they deem necessary – whether it is by a beautiful song by Muhammad Assaf, a magnificent poem by Mahmoud Darwish, a film by Elia Suleiman, a novel by Ghassan Kanafani, a book on Palestinian costumes by Widad Kawar, or another on Palestinian cuisine by Rawia Bishara or by the militant Marxist organisation PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), or indeed through the Islamist ideology of Hamas.

One may not agree with Hamas, may not join them, but one cannot reduce the entire tapestry of Palestinian resistance to Hamas, or tell Hamas to disband, for Israelis are about to return Palestine to its rightful owners.

So the bogus proposition that Hamas provokes Israel to attack Gaza is not only narratively false because Israeli military operations in Palestine always predate any Hamas operation, but also because Palestinians in their entirety are neither reducible to Hamas nor can they be denied the right to resist occupation in whatever form they deem necessary. Dividing these forms of resistance into “moderate” and “militant” will also lead nowhere but the pestiferous Washington think tanks.

A film by Annemarie Jacir, an art installation by Emily Jacir, a poem by Rafeef Ziadah or Dana Dajani, or a moving song by Rim Banna is infinitely more radical than any flimsy rocket that Hamas might fire. The Israeli propaganda machinery does not want the world to know these radically defiant forms of Palestinian resistance that have grabbed Zionism by the throat for generations and do not allow it to swallow Palestine. But they magnify Hamas as the face of Palestine.

Military atrocities

In a future free and democratic Palestine, who knows how many votes Hamas would garner in a given election. But we are nowhere near that moment yet – and Israel and its criminal military atrocities are the principle obstacle why we are nowhere near that point. Until then, Palestinians are perfectly entitled to resist the robbery of their homeland by any means they deem necessary, including, but never limited to, Hamas.

Hamas does not provoke Israel to attack Gaza. Palestinians do. The very name of Palestine, the very fact and phenomenon of being a Palestinian, being a witness to the moral bankruptcy of the very idea of Zionism provokes Israel. The mere existence of Palestinians is the denial of Israel and its dominant Zionist ideology. That is the reason that Golda Meir famously said there are no Palestinians, for if there were any Palestinians, she would be a joke. So she had to say there are no Palestinians in order to be an Israeli prime minister.

So anytime you hear an Israeli propagandist mention the word “Hamas”, substitute for it “Palestinians” and the replaced signifier is far closer and truer to what they mean. They want to level that land from one end to another, continue to ethnically cleanse it, and call it Israel, and wash, as one young Israeli put it bluntly, Palestinians into the sea.

Zionism as a murderous machinery of colonial conquest will not stop until the very last inch of Palestine is taken – and yet the Palestinians persist in their homeland, resist occupation, procreate, sing, dance, compose music and poetry, make films, stage drama, organise acts of civil disobedience, mobilise for BDS … and yes, of course, some of them also pick up a few flimsy arms against the most sophisticated armed robbery of a homeland in history.

18 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?

Bloomberg View

There’s nothing funny about Malaysia Airlines losing two Boeing 777s and more than 500 lives in the space of four months. That hasn’t kept the humor mills from churning out dark humor and lighting up cyberspace.

Actor Jason Biggs, for example, got in trouble for tweeting: “Anyone wanna buy my Malaysia Airlines frequent flier miles?” A passenger supposedly among the 298 people aboard Flight 17 that was shot down over eastern Ukraine yesterday uploaded a photo of the doomed plane on Facebook just before takeoff in Amsterdam, captioning it: “Should it disappear, this is what it looks like.”

That reference, by a man reportedly named Cor Pan, was to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, whose disappearance in March continues to provide fodder for satirists, conspiracy theorists and average airplane passengers with a taste for the absurd. On my own Malaysia Air flight last month, I was struck by all the fatalistic quips around me — conversations I overheard and in those with my fellow passengers. One guy deadpanned: “First time I ever bought flight insurance.”

There is, of course, no room for humor after this disaster or the prospect that the money-losing airline might not survive — at least not without a government rescue. This company had already become a macabre punch line, something no business can afford in the Internet and social-media age. It’s one thing to have a perception problem; it’s quite another to have folks around the world swearing never to fly Malaysia Air.

Nor is no margin for mistakes by Malaysia or the airline this time, even though all signs indicate that there is no fault on the part of the carrier. The same can’t be said for the bumbling and opacity that surrounded the unexplained loss of Flight 370. Even if there was no negligence on the part of Malaysia Air this week, the credibility of the probe and the willingness of Prime Minister Najib Razak‘s government to cooperate with outside investigators — tests it failed with Flight 370 — will be enormously important.

As I have written before, the botched response to Flight 370 was a case study in government incompetence and insularity. After six decades in power, Najib’s party isn’t used to being held accountable by voters, never mind foreign reporters demanding answers. Rather than understand that transparency would enhance its credibility, Malaysia’s government chose to blame the international press for impugning the country’s good name.

The world needs to be patient, of course. If Flight 370′s loss was puzzling, even surreal, Flight 17 is just plain tragic. It’s doubtful Najib ever expected to be thrown into the middle of Russian-Ukraine-European politics. Although there are still so many unanswered questions — who exactly did the shooting and why? — it’s depressing to feel like we’re revisiting the Cold War of the early 1980s, when Korean Air Flight 007 was shot down by a Soviet fighter jet.

More frightening is how vulnerable civilian aviation has become. Even if this is the work of pro-Russian rebels, yesterday’s attack comes a month after a deadly assault on a commercial jetliner in Pakistan. One passenger was killed and two flight attendants were injured as at least 12 gunshots hit Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK-756 as it landed in the northwestern city of Peshawar. It was the first known attack of its kind and raises the risk of copycats. The low-tech nature of such assaults — available to anyone with a gripe, a high-powered rifle and decent marksmanship — is reason for the entire world to worry.

The days ahead will be filled with postmortems and assigning blame. That includes aviation experts questioning why Malaysia Air took a route over a war zone being avoided by Qantas, Cathay Pacific and several other carriers. The key is for Malaysian authorities to be open, competent and expeditious as the investigation gains momentum. Anything less probably won’t pass muster.

18 July 2014


Pendapat Anda?

Kenyataan Media

Pihak pejabat  ingin memaklumkan bahawa tweet di bawah bukanlah daripada akaun twitter Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim (@anwaribrahim). Kami kesal dengan tindakan sesetengah pihak yang cuba mengambil kesempatan untuk memburuk-burukkan beliau tanpa mengambil kira perasaan keluarga mangsa dan sensitiviti seluruh rakyat Malaysia.

Pejabat Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen Malaysia

18 Julai 2014

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Twit sebenar Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim berkenaan #MH17

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