24 March 2015

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Malaysiakini

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18 March 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17 March 2015

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TMI

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal lawmakers will move a motion to censure Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar following the arrest of Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai) for sedition over a speech made in Parliament last week.

Speaking to the media at a press conference in the Parliament lobby today, Nurul Izzah said they hoped the move will inculcate an understanding in Malaysia’s top cop on the concept of separation of powers.

They will move the motion under Section 7 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952.

“We must affirm our Federal Constitution and separation of powers principle by sanctioning the police for contempt of court in both going against the Court’s decision in the ongoing investigations under the Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act as well as Section 7 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952,” she said.

Section 7 of the Act states that no Member of Parliament is liable for civil or criminal proceedings for what they said within the Chambers.

Nurul Izzah was detained overnight for allegedly making a seditious statement while debating on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech, where she criticised the judiciary over the Federal Court verdict that upheld Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction for sodomy.

Anwar is the opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP.

She had been earlier ordered by the police to give her statement at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today in connection with the #KitaLawan rally held in Kuala Lumpur on March 7.

In thanking Malaysians for the overwhelming show of support for her wellbeing, she charged that Putrajaya is abusing their powers by using the police to silence critics.

“We are more determined than ever to fight against the injustice and flagrant attack on democracy. I would like to stress that this incident is a clear sign the government is desperate, and is resorting to cowardly tactics to intimidate the opposition,” she said.

The PKR vice-president maintained that her arrest and detention was completely unnecessary, charging that it was malicious, unlawful and an assault on the institution of Parliament.

She said her arrest confirmed what PR had maintained all this while: that Anwar is Malaysia’s number one political prisoner and there are “hidden intentions” to make her a political prisoner to further consolidate power by the ruling elite.

“I will be discussing with my lawyers on the legal recourse for the unlawful arrest and detention that I was subjected to,” she added.

‘Twitter trigger-happy IGP’

In condemning Nurul Izzah’s arrest, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said it was clear that the IGP has declared war against PR leaders and activists when he should be focussing his energies on tackling the threat of Islamic State recruitment, where scores of Malaysians have either gone abroad to join the militant group or been arrested for supporting the organisation or seeking to travel to Syria.

He said PR MPs will seek a meeting with Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin to protect the House’s sovereignity.

“We are not the threat. We are just doing our jobs by expressing our views. Stop this war against PR and NGO activists. Stop being a Twitter trigger-happy IGP,” he said in reference to Khalid’s penchant of using his Twitter account to issue warnings to dissidents and directives to his men.

The latest opposition leader who came under Khalid’s radar was DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua who is in trouble with the police over a tweet he posted: “Bastards. Real bastards. Royal my foot” in response to Nurul Izzah’s arrest.

Khalid then tweeted on the social media platform that police would call Pua up to explain his Twitter post and determine if he was trying to insult the Malay Rulers.

Pua has since deleted the Twitter post and replaced it with “Bastards. “Nurul Izzah arrested under Sedition Act”.

To this, Lim said even school children will understand that Pua did not insult Malay rulers with this tweet.

“Ask the students, what does the tweet mean? Does it affect royalty? All of them will say no. No one will read it as an attack on royalty.

“Does the IGP has such a low IQ that he cannot even understand such a phrase? What’s wrong with him?

“He is not fit to be IGP,” said the Gelang Patah MP, adding that he expected such conduct from an Umno cybertrooper but not from the nation’s top cop.

PAS’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said Khalid has gone overboard with his actions in using his Twitter account to warn critics, which he described as “immature, infantile, childish and irresponsible”.

“Profesional police, let alone an IGP should not be doing this. It is as though giving an impression that he is policing the citizens of this country and if there is anything (deemed) untowards, they will get a tweet from the IGP.

“This is worst than a communist state or nearly like a communist state, under constant watch and surveillance. If a teenager does it, I will understand, but if an IGP acts as such, it is childish.” he added.

17 March 2015

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U.S. Department of State

Press Statement

Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 16, 2015

We are deeply concerned with the detention of opposition member of Parliament, Nurul Izzah.
The Malaysian Government’s recent investigations and charges of sedition against critics raise serious concerns about freedom of expression, rule of law, and the independence of the judicial system in Malaysia. To further restrict freedom of expression will only lead to further erosion of important pillars of Malaysia’s democratic system.
We encourage Malaysia to take steps to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently, and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy, judiciary, and economy.

17 March 2015

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WSJ

The government arrests Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysian politics are moving down a dark path. A month after the country’s highest court upheld the conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of sodomy, police on Monday arrested Mr. Anwar’s daughter for violating the Sedition Act, a colonial-era law increasingly used to chill political debate.

Nurul Izzah Anwar’s apparent offense was to criticize the judiciary last week in Parliament, where she is opposition vice president. In addition to reading a statement from her father condemning his trial as a political conspiracy, Ms. Nurul Izzah condemned Malaysia’s Federal Court for “bowing to political masters” and being “partners in a crime that contributed to the death of a free judiciary.”

Western diplomats have also criticized her father’s prosecution. “The decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, and his trial, have raised serious concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts,” the U.S. State Department said last month.

Mr. Anwar was convicted on similar sodomy charges in 1999, only to have the conviction overturned after six years in prison. This time his accuser met with senior government officials—including Prime Minister Najib Razak, then the deputy prime minister—days before the alleged incident, but judges blocked Mr. Anwar’s lawyers from questioning those involved.

Mr. Anwar is 67, so a five-year prison sentence and additional five-year ban from politics could end his career. His multireligious coalition won 53% of the popular vote in 2013 but never took power from the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which has controlled Malaysia during its nearly six decades since independence.

The persecution of the Anwar family is a further blot on UMNO’s reputation. Mr. Najib promised to repeal the Sedition Act in 2012 but has since used it against more than a dozen opposition politicians, academics and even cartoonists such as Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, known as Zunar. In November he proposed strengthening the law with new provisions “to protect the sanctity of Islam and other religions.”

Creeping authoritarianism won’t slow UMNO’s rising unpopularity among young people, urbanites and ethnic minorities. Nor will it help Malaysia’s ties with the U.S., which are important for combating terrorism; Malaysian police arrested 19 Islamic State supporters plotting attacks around Kuala Lumpur last year. Nurul Izzah Anwar and Anwar Ibrahim should be released for their own sake and that of a democracy sliding into repression.

17 March 2015

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Forbes

This column has frequently covered Malaysia’s treatment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, and the damage I believe it does not only to Anwar and his party but to Malaysia as a whole, by removing debate and competition from a country that would benefit from both. This article discussed a trial on sodomy charges, and this one the state appeal against his acquittal, which put him in jail (and triggering a lengthy response by the ruling UMNO party here). UMNO has told me I have bought into Anwar’s personality and ignored the legal issues (leaving aside the issue of whether it can possibly be right for homosexuality to be illegal anyway). Go ahead and explain, then, why Anwar’s daughter has just been arrested for a speech made in parliament which, under Malaysian law, should have been immune from prosecution.

On Monday Nurul Izzah Anwar, who as well as being Anwar’s daughter is vice president of the People’s Justice Party, was arrested following a speech criticising the state and judiciary in parliament, as well as for her participation in an opposition rally. The national police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, made a statement saying she was detained partly for making “contemptuous remarks that those in the judiciary system had sold their souls to the devil.” Be that as it may, lawmakers have immunity over any remark they make in parliament. So how exactly is the legal system being respected with this arrest? I look forward to a further admonishment from UMNO representatives.

Human Rights Watch put out a statement swiftly, with Phil Robertson in the group’s Asian management saying: “Prime Minister Najib needs to recognise that every sedition arrest of an opposition political leader is another step towards the destruction of rights-respecting democracy in Malaysia, and bring this campaign of abuse to an end.” I completely agree, and Robertson’s comments touch on a broader point I have made repeatedly: this all damages Malaysia. Whether you like Anwar or not, as a person or a policymaker, it is hard to argue that Malaysia has not benefited from the introduction of credible opposition to Malaysian politics. Some of Najib’s better policies – such as streamlining of affirmative action policies towards native Malays which, while understandable, have sometimes been open to abuse and created a crutch for people that has made them uncompetitive in the region – have almost certainly come about in part because of an understanding of what the population was saying to him, and saying through the vehicle of the democratic process. Even if Umno/Barisan Nasional stays in power indefinitely, it is in Malaysia’s interests that there is a coherent and representative voice speaking against it. Malaysia’s international perception is increasingly and repeatedly being damaged by the sense that anyone who speaks up is put down.

Hopefully Nurul Izzah will be released and not charged – but if she is, it will be fascinating to see how Malaysia’s judiciary, supposedly independent of state interests, deals with a charge based on what was said in a situation in which she should have had immunity.

17 March 2015

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Malaysiakini

Utusan Malaysia went into overdrive trying to discredit the people who attended the Kita Lawan rallies across the globe, but two attacks stand out. They targeted PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu. They also attacked Malaysian students in London.

The attack on Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, was politically motivated. Utusan questioned Mat Sabu’s motives for attending the March 7 rally in London, and stressed that PAS leaders had discouraged its members from attending the Kita Lawan rally.

Utusan failed to mention that Mat Sabu and party secretary-general Mustafa Ali were in England to solicit funds for rehousing the Kelantan flood victims. If Putrajaya respected the Kelantan oil royalty, PAS would not need to bring out the begging bowl.

Najib Abdul Razak is afraid that Umno Baru will be eliminated in the 14th general election (GE14). Now that Anwar Ibrahim is jailed, he is bent on destroying Pakatan and will capitalise on the infighting between the ulama and progressives in PAS.

In the second phase of the Utusan attack, the paper, again in collaboration with Umno Baru, tried to discredit and intimidate Malaysian students in London. Umno Baru outsources its bullying and scare-mongering to extremist NGOs. The same now happens in London.

The UK Perkasa pesident, who is based at Brunel University, said he was disappointed with the opposition for masterminding the event and trying to discredit the country, purely for political gain.

He criticised the Malaysians at London’s March 7 ‘Rise for Justice’ rally by saying they were devoid of identity, were unpatriotic, lacked dignity and had no self-esteem. He told them that they should show their disapproval of the government at the next general election.

Perhaps, the president of UK Perkasa is ignorant. First. Umno Baru cheats at elections. Re-delineation will create more seats for Umno Baru, and the Election Commission, like the Malaysian judiciary, is far from independent. Bersih’s eight election demands have not been met.

The UK Perkasa president is misguided, or naïve, or both. Malaysians at the Kita Lawan rally did not embarrass Malaysia, but Malaysian leaders have dragged the reputation of Malaysia through the mire. The following examples may educate UK Perkasa.

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is an abuse of taxpayer’s money. Najib Abdul Razak’s Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) is a bribe to the masses.

The self-styled First Lady of Malaysia’s (Flom) extravagance insults Malaysians, and Najib’s stepson, who was a junior HSBC London employee, allegedly spent multi-millions of dollars buying apartments in America; he makes the bonuses awarded in the 2008 banking scandal seem like chicken feed.

A blog-standard education?

Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s “best education system in the world” delivered the worst examination results last week. Is the UK Perkasa president a product of Muhyiddin’s education, in which students fail to use reason, logic and critical analysis? Elite Umno Baruputras, well-connected Malays and the VVIPs send their children to international schools and overseas to receive decent education. The ordinary rakyat get a bog-standard education.

The recent report into MH370 revealed that an air traffic control supervisor was asleep. Some years ago, a MAS Jumbo jet allegedly had 10 minutes of fuel left and made an emergency landing at Heathrow airport. Are Malaysians to be proud of the cost-cutting measures commonly practised by cronies of Umno Baru? Cost-cutting has caused the collapse of buildings and roads.

The gang-rape of an Indonesian maid, by policemen, brought shame on Malaysia. There are unprecedented numbers of ‘sudden-deaths’ of detainees in police custody. The home minister said it was best to “shoot first, ask questions later”.

Not far from Brunel University, allegations of corruption in the purchase of properties in Paddington involve the son of the head of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), Isa Samad.

Around the world, Malays in position of responsibility have heaped more shame on the country. A Tourism Malaysia director and his wife abused their children in Sweden. A military attaché allegedly attempted to rape a woman in New Zealand.

A husband forged the signature of the Malaysian Consul in Melbourne, to enable him and his postgraduate wife to extend their stay in Australia, so they can continue to operate their thriving restaurant business.

Perhaps, the most despicable of the UK Perkasa president’s criticism was his unjustified attack on the students of the ‘United Kingdom and Eire Law Students Union’ (Kesatuan Penuntut Undang-Undang Malaysia di United Kingdom dan Eire, KPUM).

In a scathing retaliation, JoFan Pang, the KPUM president, warned the UK Perkasa president, “If you have the guts, please just name me and not the union. I went there in a personal capacity, exercising my freedom, as a concerned Malaysian to speak my mind.

“There were only two students from KPUM at the event, which was held by Malaysian Progressives UK. Please at least give Jin Shern Chai and his friends some credit for the hard work organising it.

“The statement you made was unsubstantiated, misinformed and misrepresentative. At least make an informed statement,” he added.

The rakyat is aware that the government intimidates Malaysian students. Special Branch operatives snoop at talks. Others masquerade as mature students.

JoFan said, “And to the Special Branch, we are doing this not to lower the image of our country, but to show the world how much we love and care about this beautiful country we call home.

“We gather because it is our duty to speak up. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? We gather because we want a better Malaysia. And more so as students, because it is our future, that we are fighting for.”

JoFan is right. Students are Malaysia’s future. The stand they make today, will help shape the Malaysia of tomorrow.

13 March 2015

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Official White House Response to Make the release of Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim from prison a top priority for US policy toward Malaysia

Thank you for your petition.

The United States is deeply disappointed with Mr. Anwar’s conviction following a government appeal of the original verdict finding him not guilty. We have made this clear both through statements and in our interactions with the Government of Malaysia, and we will continue to do so.

The initial decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, the decision to appeal the not guilty verdict, and the overturning of that verdict raise a number of serious concerns about the rule of law and the fairness of the judicial system in Malaysia. These concerns are compounded by the government’s intent to expand its sedition law, which Prime Minister Najib had pledged to repeal, to prosecute critics of the government.

The United States and Malaysia have built a strong “comprehensive partnership,” and we remain committed to expanding our cooperation on shared economic and security challenges affecting our countries’ interests in Asia and globally. At the same time, we have and will continue to urge the government to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently, and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy, judiciary, and economy. History has shown that countries that uphold the human rights of all their citizens — regardless of their political affiliation, ethnicity, race, religion, or sexual orientation — are ultimately more prosperous and more stable.

12 March 2015

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Malaysiakini

The US embassy in Kuala Lumpur today shed more light on the fraud committed in an anti-Anwar petition on the White House website, explaining that over 60,000 signatories were in fact from disposable emails.

In a Facebook posting, the US embassy said it was these type of entries that were zapped from the petition signatory list and it was not done arbitrarily.

“There is an erroneous assumption that the fraudulent signatures removed from The White House petition titled ‘Respecting the Sovereign Nation of Malaysia’ were the first 60,789 signatures on the petition.

“The White House did remove 60,789 signatures deemed to be fraudulent because a vast majority of those signatures originated from slipry.net.

“Other fraudulent signatures originated from trashmail, sharklasers, and mallinator – all disposable email services,” it said.

The US embassy added that the fraud occurred throughout the period of the petition.

Yesterday, the petition demanding the US not to interfere in the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, which had over 70,000 signatures, suddenly saw it being reduced to only around 12,000.

The petition, which was aggressively promoted by BN supporters on social media, was meant to counter another petition started by former US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott in support of Anwar.

Malott’s petition had asked the US to make the release of Anwar as a top priority of the US government.

Anwar was on Feb 10 sentenced to five years in prison for sodomy, a charge he claims is politically motivated.

The petition, titled ‘Make the release of Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim from prison a top priority for US policy toward Malaysia’, was also aggressively promoted by Pakatan Rakyat supporters on social media.

This petition, too, was briefly removed for a fraud check but it was eventually cleared and restored. It has since hit over 113,000 signatures.

The White House petition platform allows netizens to collect signatures on particular issues and if it hits over 100,000 signatures within the stipulated time, it will be forwarded to the relevant US agencies which must respond to it.

Individuals interested in signing the petition must do so with a legitimate email.

12 March 2015

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Malaysiakini

Seventy Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have signed a motion to condemn the conduct of the five judges in the Sodomy II trial at the Federal Court, which was submitted to speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia this morning.

This eclipses the 63 MPs who signed a similar motion to condemn the three Court of Appeal judges for the same trial last year, which, however, was not allowed to be debated.

PKR parliamentary whip Johari Abdul submitted the motion with all the signatures today, and is awaiting a response from the speaker if the motion would be allowed to be debated.

The motion seeks to recommend that action be taken against the judges under the Judges Code of Ethics Act 2009.

“There are hidden reasons and a pre-emptive judgment was made on Anwar Ibrahim, which is one-sided,” the motion read.

Anwar was convicted of sodomising a former aide on Feb 10 and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence at the Sungai Buloh prison.

The motion was filed under Article 127 of the federal constitution, which states that only Parliament can condemn the actions of the judiciary.

11 March 2015

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Assalamualaikum and well wishes to you,

Today is the 30th day Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim is imprisoned as Malaysia’s number 1 political prisoner.

The White House petition; “Make the Release of Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim from Prison a Top Priority for US Policy Towards Malaysia” had successfully reached 100,000 sign-ups around 3am Kuala Lumpur time on the 11th March 2015.

On behalf of the March2Freedom movement and the family members of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to everyone who had signed this petition. I would also like to thank His Excellency John Mallot, Former US Ambassador to Malaysia, who had initiated this petition.

This petition is indeed one of the several efforts that we have and will be undertaking to ensure the successful release of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He is innocent and is a victim of a vicious political conspiracy, aimed at ending his political career and to weaken the voices of reform that has taken root in this country.

We will never surrender!

Nurul Nuha Anwar
Coordinator
March2Freedom
11 Mac 2015

11 March 2015

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Malaysiakini

How prophetic that in 2020, the ideals of a wealthy nation enjoying economic prosperity, social well-being and a world class education, will all be overshadowed by one major event; the release of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim from jail.

So, instead of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad being lauded for his vision of a self-sufficient industrialised nation, the irony is that there will be a celebration of Mahathir’s long-term foe being freed.

If our ministers are to be believed, we are already blessed with world class educational institutions. As for social well-being, our prime minister and his family’s socialite existence have made headlines around the world.

Umno Baru would like you to believe that Anwar’s incarceration was not politically motivated, but there are several signs of this being a political imprisonment.

First: Najib’s lack of imagination.

Mahathir was probably horrified when his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi released Anwar from prison. Najib was then given the mandate to rule, and replace the recalcitrant Abdullah.

Umno Baru’s wake-up call, after the 2008 elections, meant that Anwar (left) was a serious threat. Behind the scenes, the Putrajaya’s battle cry was probably, ‘Stop Anwar now, because he will stop us from ruling the nation and we will lose our power’.

Najib Abdul Razak and his team lack creativity and drive. Hence, another charge of sodomy was used to trap Anwar. Mahathir must have torn his hair out when his protégé merely copied the sodomy plan. Perhaps Najib believed that a tried and tested method was best.

All Najib had to do was to find a fall guy, and he was lucky. One of his special advisers introduced him to a university drop-out, and a plan was hatched. The rest is history.

Second: It takes two to tango.

The complainant Saiful Bukhari Azlan cannot decide if he was voluntarily or forcibly sodomised. He claimed that he carried a tube of KY jelly for less painful sex. So why go through the charade of being forcibly sodomised?

If he was a willing partner, why is he not charged as well? Cases like these dent public confidence in our legal system. It only confirms our suspicions that special laws exist for those who are well connected.

Third: Archaic laws in ultra-modern Malaysia.

Why do we still retain the archaic provision, under the Penal Code, which criminalises sodomy and oral sex? We have wasted money and time trying to find Anwar guilty, when there are more pressing issues facing the rakyat.

This archaic law is just another gadget in the Umno Baru tool box to be used against select individuals as and when required.

Fourth: Umno Baru took fright.

When Pakatan announced the ‘Kajang move’ one year ago, Putrajaya was shell-shocked. The implications were clear. Putrajaya would have been within Anwar’s grasp and Pakatan would have scored a moral victory, had it succeeded.

The ‘Kajang move’ would have been a good political strategy, otherwise why was Umno Baru frightened?

There were probably several high powered meetings to thwart Pakatan’s plans. In the end, the legal eagles provided the best solution. The Court of Appeal brought forward Anwar’s appeal, from the agreed hearing dates of April 7 and 10, to March 6 and 7.

They had to convict Anwar, before he could topple Umno Baru.

Fifth: Hijacking justice with repeated persecutions.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court’s January 2012 decision had found Anwar innocent of sodomy, but the Court of Appeal overturned this ruling and found Anwar guilty.

Why did the courts bring forward the appeal dates and not allow Anwar’s legal team ample time to prepare its submissions, refuse Karpal Singh an adjournment and not allow him the opportunity to obtain Anwar’s medical report? Karpal Singh only had seven days to prepare for the appeal. One is forced to wonder why Karpal Singh died so suddenly.

Sixth: Calling in favours.

Sentencing Anwar at a rushed appeal was insufficient. They had to destroy his political future, wear down the opposition coalition and punish them for their audacity. Umno Baru then called in favours from their sympathisers.

PAS’ Hadi Awang played his role, albeit crudely, but his delay tactics worked to antagonise the public against Pakatan. Hadi may fear women, but he fears Umno Baru more.

As we know, any Malay who cares to listen to Umno Baru is usually promised ‘the moon and the stars’, in instalments.

Anwar is the most vocal critic of the government’s corruption, human rights abuses and injustice. He brought three divergent parties together to form a credible opposition. Anwar is symbolic, because he represents the many freedoms which have been stolen by Umno Baru. Anwar was detained in a discriminatory manner, in a judiciary process that was unfair and politically motivated. His detention is purely for political reasons.

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