19 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?


The High Court will deliver on October 29 its decision on a defamation suit filed by former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

Lawyer Razlan Hadri Zulkifli said judge Siti Khadijah S. Hassan Badjenid fixed the date after meeting the lawyers in her chambers.

“Today we were called in for clarification but instead she decided on the judgment date,” Razlan, who is appearing for Anwar, told reporters.

Lawyers from both sides gave their submissions to the judge after the closing of the case in February.Anwar, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for sodomising ex-aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, was present in court.

He filed a RM100 million suit against Anifah whom he said uttered defamatory words about him during a news conference in Washington with former United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Anifah then told reporters that Anwar offered him the post of deputy prime minister if he brought members of parliament (MP) from Sabah to topple the Barisan Nasional government which had won 140 seats in the 2008 general election.

In his statement of claim, Anwar alleged that Anifah’s claims were baseless, unfounded and grossly negligent and had been widely reported in local and foreign media.

On November 27, Anifah took the stand and said businessman Datuk Ishak Ismail, a close associate of Anwar, offered him RM100 million to bring 10 MPs from Sabah to join Pakatan Rakyat and topple the federal government.

Anifah said he felt cheap when the offer was made by Ishak, a former KFC deputy executive chairman, at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur hotel.

Anifah, represented by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, brought eight other witnesses.

19 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?


While Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet reshuffle last month may have achieved the “unified team” he was seeking in the face of probes into his bank accounts, global funds have been voting with their feet.

The ringgit has slumped 6.3%, the benchmark stock index lost 9.4% and sovereign bond risk jumped to a four-year high since the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on August 3 said Najib had received RM2.6 billion from donors and not state investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The conclusion failed to help 1MDB’s bonds, which are trading at 81 cents on the dollar.

PineBridge Investments LLC has cut Malaysian sovereign bond holdings, while Schroder Investment Management Ltd says it’s too early to buy Asia’s worst-performing currency, as political uncertainty clouds the outlook for an economy rocked by plunging oil prices and an emerging-market selloff.

Najib had denied taking money for personal gain and has counter-attacked against what he described as a campaign to oust him, by reshuffling his Cabinet, suspending a leading newspaper and seeking the arrest of a newsletter’s founder.“By sacking everyone who criticises him, prime minister Najib is putting himself more in the spotlight from an international investor perspective,” said Anders Faergemann, who helps manage US$10.6 billion (RM43.25 billion) of emerging-market debt at PineBridge in London.

“We are increasingly worried about the outlook for Malaysian government bonds due to the ongoing 1MDB scandal and have recently reduced our exposure further.”

‘Unified team’

The UK-based Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal last month reported on documents that almost US$700 million may have moved through government agencies and companies linked to 1MDB before ending up in accounts bearing Najib’s name.

A warrant is out for the arrest of the Sarawak Report founder under laws relating to false statements and acts detrimental to democracy. Lawyers for Najib sent a letter criticizing the Journal report. Malaysia’s Edge newspaper has been suspended from publication as the government said its coverage of the events threatened public order. Publishers of all three media outlets contested the criticism.

On July 28, Najib said he needed a “unified team” when he removed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin from his Cabinet, shortly after the deputy prime minister called for “the real truth” on 1MDB.

His rural development minister also fell in the shuffle, while attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who helped to lead a 1MDB probe, was replaced for “health reasons”.

Amnesty International described Malaysia as a human rights “black hole” in May after the arrest of opponents on sedition charges.

Under attack

Najib, who chairs the advisory board of 1MDB, has resisted calls from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down over the RM42 billion in debt amassed by the fund.

The anti-corruption commission said the money in Najib’s accounts was from donors in the Middle East and not 1MDB. It said it wouldn’t disclose their identities and planned to question Najib about the funds. Malaysian opposition party, PKR, announced on August 12 that it would be suing Najib, saying his coalition breached campaign spending limits during 2013 elections.

Najib said last week that while there are rules on such expenditure, there are no laws on funding. He said better legislation is needed. His office didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment. 1MDB said in a statement that it had investor support for its reorganisation plans.

Malaysia, Brazil

“1MDB maintains regular contact with its bondholders, via meetings and conference calls,” the statement said. “The vast majority of our bondholders are fully aware of our current strategy and the on-going execution of our rationalization plan, and we are pleased with the support they have provided.”

La Francaise Des Placements, which sold almost half of its 1MDB debt in April, see similarities between the controversy and allegations involving Petroleo Brasileiro SA that has led to protests against Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. While the fund doesn’t expect a default, the current climate makes it “difficult to buy,” she said.

“As emerging-market fund managers, we are more or less used to difficult stories,” said Yasmine Ravai-Mans, a senior La Francaise Des Placements fund manager in Paris.

But if the money was used for other purposes than the national interest, she said, “it will not be just a regular case of corruption, it’ll be a huge scandal.

The mix of politics, money trails, central bank investigations would rank it close to Petrobras in terms of how toxic it is to emerging-market investors.”

‘Trust deficit’

The ringgit has tumbled 22.7% in the last 12 months and slid to a 17-year low of 4.1340 per dollar on Monday. Local-currency sovereign debt handed investors a 8.4% loss in dollar terms this month, the worst performance among 16 emerging markets tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co indexes. The cost to insure the securities for five years using credit-default swaps climbed to 180, the highest since 2011.

“There’s a growing trust deficit with the current leadership,” said Chua Hak Bin, a Singapore-based economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which sees the currency dropping to 4.28 by the end of 2016.

“Without confidence returning on the leadership and government, investors will be reluctant to jump into the currency and the markets.”

Overseas investors cut holdings of Malaysian debt by 2.4% in July to a three-year low of 206.8 billion ringgit, central bank data show. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index lost 10.3% this year as foreign investors pulled US$3.3 billion.

Restoring confidence

The nation has to show “a greater tolerance towards democracy, fighting corruption and a conservative monetary and fiscal policy” to restore confidence, said Christian Wildmann, a fixed-income portfolio manager at Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH in Frankfurt.

Malaysia’s 10-year sovereign yield has jumped 23 basis points this month to 4.30% and Wildmann sees its rising to 4.7% by year-end.

Moody’s Investors Service is standing by its A3 rating on Malaysia with a positive outlook as Najib’s administration hasn’t reversed reforms despite the “increased political risk,” said Christian de Guzman, a vice president in Singapore.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition lost the popular vote in the May 2013 general election, even as it kept a parliamentary majority. The next general election must be held by 2018.

Schroder Investment is among fund managers that view the probes as just one of the challenges for an economy that expanded at the slowest pace in almost two years in the second quarter.

“The domestic situation on the political side is uncertain,” said Rajeev De Mello, who oversees about $10 billion as head of Asian fixed income in Singapore. “But the other problems are the falling oil prices and commodity prices, which do impact Malaysia.”

Merrill’s Chua said politics may affect economic management. There are doubts that when central bank governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz finishes her term at the end of April she will be replaced by someone as “independent and credible,” he said.

“Investors cannot see the end-game,” he said. “Anybody who questions the prime minister has basically been sidelined.”

14 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?

14 Ogos 2015

Saya mengingatkan pimpinan Universiti Islam Antarabangsa supaya:

1. Mengingati semula semangat pertubuhan universiti.
2. Fahami pergolakan politik masakini yang mendesak kewajipan agar waras dan adil dalam membuat sebarang keputusan.

Jangan menzalimi minda mahasiswa-mahasiswi dengan kerakusan kuasa.


14 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, imprisoned since February, is the focus of a pledge signed by 40 scholars and public figures lamenting his mistreatment and urging his immediate release.

The “Global Call for the Release of Anwar Ibrahim” condemns Anwar’s persecution by the Malaysian authorities and their ongoing repression of freedom of speech and assembly.

Anwar is serving a five-year prison sentence on a sodomy charge that virtually all observers believe was politically motivated. The pledge, released by Anwar’s family on Monday, marks his 68th birthday and almost a half-year spent in jail.

Stanford professor Donald Emmerson, who has known Anwar since the 1980s, welcomed the circulation of the pledge. “Even if the Malaysian government ignores the petition,” Emmerson said, “it is important for the international community to show that Anwar is not alone.”

Anwar’s ordeal dates back to 1998 when, as deputy prime minister, he had a falling out with then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who drove him from office for apparently political reasons.

Malaysia’s current prime minister, Najib Razak, has continued this record of political persecution despite protests from around the world. Amnesty International has designated Anwar “a prisoner of conscience.”

Emmerson, who leads the Southeast Asia Program, joined Anwar on a panel in Nov. 2014 entitled “Islam and Democracy: Malaysia in Comparative Perspective,” hosted at Stanford by the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL).

Following that event, Anwar traveled back to Malaysia despite signs pointing toward his possible arrest.

“Anwar’s courage in the face of adversity is inspiring,” Emmerson said. “He could have chosen not to return from Stanford to Malaysia, thereby avoiding the risk of imprisonment. He could have gone into exile. Or asked for asylum outside Malaysia. Instead, he went home. How many of us, in his shoes, would have done the same?”

The pledge is attached below. Remarks and video from the CDDRL event with Anwar, Emmerson and Stanford’s Larry Diamond and Francis Fukuyama can be accessed here

13 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?

New York Times

Less than 10 months into his term, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia on Wednesday fired four cabinet ministers, including crucial members of his economic team, in a much-anticipated reshuffle that reflected growing frustration with his government’s struggles to improve the country’s sluggish economy.

The economy is growing at its slowest pace since 2009, with gross domestic product rising only 4.7 percent year on year in the second quarter. The currency, the rupiah, is at its lowest level against the dollar since the late 1990s.

Mr. Joko has publicly expressed frustration at his government’s inability to spend more of the tens of billions of dollars earmarked for extensive infrastructure projects across the sprawling Indonesian archipelago. Analysts say he is counting on those projects to improve G.D.P.

Mr. Joko did not speak or make any statements after swearing in his new cabinet members on live national television.

The biggest casualty of the reshuffle was Sofyan Djalil, the president’s coordinating minister for the economy, who was replaced by Darmin Nasution, the former governor of Bank Indonesia.

Mr. Sofyan was reassigned to become head of the country’s national planning agency, which is also a cabinet position, replacing Andrinof Chaniago.

Rachmat Gobel, the country’s trade minister, was also replaced on Wednesday, by Thomas Lembong, a private investment fund manager.

In addition, Mr. Joko appointed Rizal Ramli, who served as coordinating minister for the economy more than a decade ago, as coordinating minister for maritime affairs, a sector that the president is counting on to help his economic turnaround plans.

Indonesia had among the highest economic growth rates in Asia between 2010 and 2012, at 6 percent or higher, but last month, the World Bank projected that growth for this year would be only 4.7 percent. The government had estimated economic growth at 5 percent or higher.

“I think the pressure on Joko Widodo’s government has been growing since a few months ago to restore confidence,” said Didik J. Rachbini, a prominent economist and former member of the National Economic Committee, which advises the president. “The market response to his first government was not much, but this should increase confidence and make the government’s coordination better in implementing economic policies.”

Mr. Joko, 54, won the presidency in July 2014 as a political outsider and “pro-people” candidate, and he is the first leader not to come from the military or the country’s aloof political elite. Yet he filled the majority of his cabinet with appointees from his governing Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, known as the P.D.I.P., and other political parties that backed his campaign. As a result, analysts say, Mr. Joko’s government has been gridlocked by an absence of coordination, as ministers act unilaterally and make public pronouncements about state policy that run counter to the presidential palace.

In addition, despite Mr. Joko’s openly courting foreign investment into the country during prominent visits to China, Japan and Singapore this year, his government has passed a series of protectionist trade policies and drastically increased tariffs on more than 1,000 kinds of imports, from beef to cars to condoms.

The appointment of Mr. Lembong, a Harvard-educated businessman, as trade minister, however, “is a hopeful sign that Indonesia understands the importance of open trade,” said Douglas Ramage, a political and economic analyst based in Jakarta.

Mr. Joko also moved to shore up his inner circle on Wednesday, appointing Luhut Panjaitan, his chief of staff and a former army general, to the powerful post of coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs. He also appointed Pramono Anung, a senior politician from the P.D.I.P., as his new cabinet secretary.

“He has brought into his inner circle in Pramono Anung one of the P.D.I.P.’s most professional and talented members,” Mr. Ramage said. “It will help to smoothen and professionalize the operations of the president’s office and improve the process of policy and legislative development.”

Mr. Anung is also a close confidant of Megawati Sukarnoputri, a former president of Indonesia and the current chairwoman of the P.D.I.P. Ms. Sukarnoputri handpicked Mr. Joko to be the party’s presidential candidate last year because of his high polling numbers and maintains significant political influence within the government.

11 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim membidas pentadbiran Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang didakwanya tidak menghargai pengorbanan pejuang terdahulu dan meletakkan perdana menteri bertanggungjawab menyebabkan krisis ekonomi dan negara sehingga kini masih belum berakhir

Ketua Umum PKR itu berkata, Najib dan pentadbirannya lebih mementingkan masa depan politik diri mereka sendiri berbanding masa depan negara.

“Sejak merdeka malah sebelumnya lagi, begitu ramai rakyat patriot yang berkorban demi membina, mempertahan dan memakmurkan negara ini, termasuk angkatan tentera dan pasukan polis.

“Adakah begini caranya Najib dan konco-konconya membayar balik hutang budi itu? Dengan memacu negara menuju tebing kehancuran?” katanya yang kini menjalani hukuman penjara, dalam perutusan melalui peguamnya, hari ini.Katanya, seluruh Kabinet dan Barisan Nasional (BN) perlu bertanggungjawab di atas krisis ini kerana masih tidak memberi penjelasan dan tidak mengambil tindakan yang pantas.

Bekas ketua pembangkang itu berkata, walaupun negara di dalam krisis ekonomi dan politik, namun kerajaan BN bagai tidak mampu atau tidak mahu mengambil tindakan yang tegas dan pantas.

Katanya, ketika ini, perdana menteri berdepan dakwaan berat dalam skandal kewangan syarikat sarat hutang milik kerajaan 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“(Ia) Ditambah dengan kejadian terkini, termasuk pemecatan peguam negara dan gangguan yang jelas terhadap Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).

“Akibatnya, nilai mata wang ringgit merudum ke tahap yang amat rendah dan keyakinan pelabur terus hilang; ini akan mendatangkan kesan amat buruk terhadap kehidupan rakyat,” katanya.

Beliau merujuk kepada siasatan kerajaan terhadap wang berbilion ringgit yang dimasukkan ke akaun peribadi Najib, yang disahkan SPRM sebagai sumbangan derma politik dan tangkapan ke atas pegawai SPRM serta arahan pertukaran pegawai kanan SPRM yang dibuat serta merta dan dibatalkan dua hari kemudian.

Anwar menggesa semua pemimpin serta wakil rakyat supaya mengetepikan perbezaan politik dan bersama-sama menyelamatkan negara daripada krisis ekonomi dan negara.

“Dengan keberanian dan ketegasan, kita masih mampu mengatasi krisis ini, dan memulakan proses reformasi, mengembalikan demokrasi, dan menyelamatkan Malaysia.

“Tapi kita tak punyai banyak masa, kita mesti bertindak segera,” katanya.

11 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Jailed former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim slammed the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) for being more interested in its own survival as he urged all political parties to set aside their differences in order to save Malaysia from economic and political crises.

In a message conveyed  through his lawyers, Anwar said that allegations against  Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal had now been compounded by the machinations of the previous weeks, including the sacking of the Attorney-General and the gross interference with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

He added that the nation was in crisis, and yet the BN government seemed  incapable and unwilling to take strong, decisive and immediate action.

“The ringgit worsens to historic lows and investor confidence evaporates, this will have serious consequences for the well-being of every Malaysian.”But Najib and his government appear to be more interested in their own political survival than in the interest of the nation,” he said.

Anwar said that by not taking immediate action,  the whole Cabinet and BN was complicit and responsible for Malaysia’s situation.

He pointed out that in the past, many patriotic Malaysians sacrificed a great deal to build and prosper the country.

“Is this how Najib and his associates repay them?

“By bringing the country to the brink of ruin?” Anwar said.

The PKR de facto leader urged all party leaders and elected representatives to put the interest of the nation above all, adding that with courage and resolution, the crisis could be overcome.

“We can yet overcome this crisis, and put in place urgent reforms, restore democracy to save this nation.

“But time is of the essence, action must be immediate,” he said.

Anwar is serving out a five year prison sentence after being convicted of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

He began his sentence in February, after the Federal Court upheld his sodomy conviction. Anwar and the opposition maintain that the charge and conviction were part of a conspiracy to end his political career.

11 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?

The Jakarta Globe

The Supreme Court has ordered the family of former president Suharto to pay back to the state Rp. 4.4 trillion ($324 million) in funds misappropriated during the late strongman’s lengthy reign.

The court ruled in favor of the prosecution in a civil case against the now-defunct Supersemar Foundation, controlled by the Suharto family. The ruling, made on July 8 but not announced on the court’s website until Monday, revised an earlier ruling in 2010 which ordered the family to pay just a tiny fraction of the losses to the state.

The court repealed a 1976 government regulation issued by the former president ordering all state-owned banks to set aside 2.5 percent of their profits for the foundation. The court ruled that the funds accumulated since the foundation was established — a total sum of $420 million and Rp 185 billion — were largely embezzled and never used for their stated purpose: education.

The court has now ordered the foundation to pay 75 percent of the funds it had amassed over the years, while the 2010 ruling had ordered the Suharto family to pay $315,000 and Rp 185 million — a small sum for the once-powerful family — instead of the $315 million and Rp 185 billion the Attorney General’s Office had sought. The court claimed this was due to a typo.

The AGO only filed for a case review in 2013, around the same time the Suharto family filed a separate motion looking to reverse the order.

The court “granted the case review filed by the state [the AGO] and rejected the case review filed by the Supersemar Foundation,” the latest ruling states.

Hearing the case were Supreme Court judges Suwardi, Soltony Mohdally and Mahdi Soroinda Nasution.

Attorney General M. Prasetyo said on Monday that his office would follow up on the ruling.

“I haven’t read the ruling. I will read it first and then we will know what to do next,” he said, as quoted by Gatra magazine.

11 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Penulis mulai berkenalan dengan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim atau Pak Anwar ketika 2008, pasca Pilihan Raya Umum ke-12 yang menyaksikan buat pertama kalinya majoriti dua pertiga kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) di peringkat persekutuan berjaya dinafikan.

Siapa tidak terpukau dengan karisma beliau di khalayak umum, pidato yang memukau, persembahan bertenaga di Parlimen dan keupayaan menyatukan barisan pembangkang yang berlainan ideologi. Kini semua tinggal kenangan; beliau kini dinafikan kebebasan, kebebasan yang beliau sendiri perjuangkan berpuluh tahun lamanya.

Kini beliau terpenjara di sebalik jeriji besi, tidak mampu lagi berpencak di pentas pidato; apa lagi yang tinggal untuk kita?

Artikel ini ditulis atas kesedaran penulis yang sudah terlalu lama kita mengagumi beliau sebagai politikus yang lincah, pemidato yang memukau dan bekas timbalan perdana menteri yang dizalimi; saya kira tiba masanya kita menghargai beliau selaku seorang intelektual pencerah, pelontar idea dan pencetus gelombang kebangkitan Malaysia di era moden.

Politikus intelektual

Memulakan karier awal selaku aktivis mahasiswa, beliau pantas memacu nama selaku aktivis-intelektual muda Islamis yang menggerakkan kebangkitan Islam ketika periode 70-80an, di mana beliau selaku arkitek utama selaku presiden Abim, sebelum mengambil langkah mengejut terjun ke dunia politik sebagai ahli Umno.

Ramai yang mengeluh, alangkah baiknya Pak Anwar terus sahaja setia dengan dunia aktivisme-intelektualisme tanpa perlu menjadi politikus, siapa tahu sekarang mungkin beliau akan dikenang sebagai intelektual sebaris mentornya Syed Naquib dan Syed Hussein al-Attas.

Gelaran “politikus intelektual” yang pernah beliau kalungkan kepada Almarhum Muhammad  Natsir, maestro gerakan dakwah-politik Islam Indonesia, saya kira wajar juga kita kalungkan kepada Pak Anwar. Lincah berpencak di medan siasah, pada masa sama akalnya tidak kontang dari idea-idea pencerahan dan lidahnya tidak kontang dari wacana-wacana segar tentang demokrasi, masyarakat madani dan keadilan sosial.

Berapa ramai politikus di Malaysia yang mampu menukil kata-kata pujangga  Muhammad Iqbal, Jalaluddin Rumi dan Shakespeare dalam ucapannya? Berapa kerat politikus kita yang menghargai tradisi intelektualisme barat dan timur, John Locke dan Rabindranth Tagore?

Konsep “karamah insaniyyah” (kemuliaan insan) berjaya diangkat sebagai wacana sementara konsep Imago Dei dalam tradisi Kristian, di mana manusia dicipta berdasarkan “wajah Tuhan” dikupas dengan bagus sekali.

Selaku anak didik Prof Syed Mohd Naquib al-Attas di masa muda, hal ini sangat tidak menghairankan. Dibantu pula oleh think tank beliau, Institut Kajian Dasar yang beliau sendiri asaskan, di samping menggabungkan diri dengan International Institute of Islamic Thought; asas intelektual berakar begitu kuat dalam diri beliau.

Enam tahun di penjara, pelbagai buku berjaya dihadamkan; dari Origin of Species (Charles Darwin) ke Hamlet (Shakespeare), perspektif dan sudut pandang beliau cukup luas.

Setiap kali saya membaca, meneliti dan bergaduh soal politik, sering kali saya teringat peringatan beliau untuk ahli-ahli politik: Sepak terajang politik itu meruntunkan dan memberi karat pada intelektualisme, maka sekali-sekala, kena kilatkan ia kembali dengan wacana-wacana segar dan perbahasan-perbahasan idea

Tidak ramai ahli politik yang mempunyai gagasan dan visi yang jelas, namun salah seorangnya ialah Pak Anwar.  Gagasan Kebangkitan Asia yang beliau bawa dan rangkumkan dalam buku The Asian Renaissance wajar kita jadikan kajian dan panduan. Antara yang menarik untuk dibahaskan ialah idea mengenai demokrasi dan Asia.

Idea-idea beliau mengenai demokrasi tampak sangat bertentangan dengan bekas mentor beliau, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan bekas Perdana Menteri Singapura Lee Kuan Yew. Kedua-duanya mewakili dua kutub pemikiran yang berbeza.

Di kala Pak Anwar tidak ragu-ragu akan kesejajaran prinsip demokrasi dan nilai-nilai Asia/ketimuran, dan mempromosi demokrasi versi Asia, Dr Mahathir dan Lee menganggap nilai-nilai Asia yang mementingkan disiplin, kesatuan dan kepatuhan, dan menganggap demokrasi ala Barat akan menghancurkan Asia itu sendiri.

Tradisi intelektualisme timur dan barat

Ucapan beliau di London School of Economics pada 18 Mac 2010 bertajuk ‘Religion and Pluralism in a Divided World’ menggemparkan seisi Malaysia. Beliau dianggap mempromosikan agenda pluralisme agama, melalui kata-katanya:

“…it is a stark reality of our world that certain religious groups hold that only certain fundamental doctrines may lead to salvation.”

Sudah tentu, dalam masyarakat Malaysia yang rata-ratanya sangat konservatif, ucapan ini akan ditanggap dengan sikap reaktif dan terus “jump into the conclusion” tanpa perbahasan teliti dan penjelasan daripada beliau sendiri. Kemudian beliau memetik pula syair Rumi:

Back in the 13th century, the mystical poet Jelaluddin al-Rumi wrote in the Masnavi:

“The lamps are different but the Light is the same, it comes from Beyond; If thou(you) keep looking at the lamp, thou art lost; for thence arises the appearance of number and plurality.”

Beliau menambah:

“I believe I’m not alone in saying that for religious pluralism to flourish in a divided world, it is morally unacceptable to say to people of other faiths:

We believe in our God and we believe we are right; you believe in your God, but what you believe in is wrong.”

Soal kontroversi pluralisme agama dan faham liberalisme ini, saya serahkan kepada pembaca untuk menilai dan mengkajinya sendiri.

Cuma jika kita meneliti ucapan ini, kita akan dapati betapa penguasaan beliau terhadap tradisi intelektualisme timur mahupun barat sangat mendalam; memulakan ucapan dengan puisi T.S Elliot, penyair lagenda England, membahaskan pula idea kesatuan transenden Jalaluddin Rumi, ahli sufi mistik kelahiran Iran, kemudian memetik pula pandangan Dante mengenai keamanan universal.

Tabah dan gagah tidak pernah menyerah!

Memperingati Pak Anwar bukan dengan merintih akan terkuburnya Pakatan Rakyat selepas beliau ke penjara. Bukan juga dengan mempertahankan kesilapan ijtihad politik yang beliau lakukan daripada Projek 16 September ke Langkah Kajang.

Cara terbaik saya kira ialah dengan kita mendengungkan kembali idea, gagasan dan wacana yang beliau lontarkan lewat buku, artikel, temu bual, ucapan dan pembentangan. Mencontohi kecintaan beliau pada buku dan ilmu, penghargaan beliau pada ulama dan ilmuwan, serta mengangkat martabat daya rasional dan intelek manusia ke tempat yang sepatutnya.

Itulah sebaik-baik cara untuk kita mengenang beliau. Saya akhiri bingkisan ringkas ini dengan titipan sebuah sajak oleh Allahyarham Usman Awang khusus untuk Pak Anwar.

“Selamat Hari Lahir (buat Saudara Anwar Ibrahim)

Palu dijatuhkan
Lama sebelum tanganmu terikat ke belakang
Kau gegar aras kayangan
Kekuasaan yang mula tergoncang
Sekali tanganmu terancung ke udara
Sejuta teriakan menyambutnya
Sekali suaramu terpancar ke angkasa
Sejuta gelombang gema menyahutnya
Demi sumpah perjuangan
Demi maruah keadilan
Tabah dan gagah
Tidak pernah menyerah.”
Selamat Hari Lahir, Pak Anwar!

11 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Warkah Samahah Al-Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi Kepada Anwar Ibrahim Dan Kerajaan Malaysia
(Diurus selia terjemahan oleh Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia – ABIM)



Segala puji bagi Allah, selawat dan salam ke atas Rasulullah, keluarga, sahabat dan sesiapa yang mengikuti petunjukNya.

Sesungguhnya Malaysia sebuah negara yang dicintai kami, besar untuk kami dan ada tempat di sisi kami.

Malaysia ada kenangan indah pada diri kami, kecintaan yang benar di hati kami dan kedudukan yang tinggi di akal kami. Hubungan yang erat dan ziarah yang kerap menghimpunkan kami dengan rakyat Malaysia. Sesungguhnya jiwa kami menjadi gembira setiap kali kami melihat Malaysia menuju ketinggian dan kemajuan dalam berbagai-bagai lapangan. Kami berdoa kepada Allah untuk Malaysia, rakyat, kerajaan dan Rajanya; semoga Allah mengekalkan kepada mereka jalan pembangunan dan kemurahan, ikatan dan persaudaraan.

Namun begitu, kami bercita-cita supaya ufuk yang melewati keterbukaan pendidikan dan ekonomi, sosial dan keilmuan, turut merangkumi keterbukaan politik. Begitu juga, agar Kerajaan Malaysia tidak memandang kepada pihak yang membangkangnya sebagaimana pandangan negara-negara Dunia Ketiga. Pembangkang merupakan satu bahagian utama dari komponen negara dalam sistem demokrasi. Ia merupakan teras keamanan demi memelihara kesatuan negara dan kestabilannya, selain supaya para pemuda tidak pergi kepada pemikiran yang melampau dan aliran ekstremisme.

Saya berkata demikian, berdasarkan apa yang sedang dilalui saudara dan sahabat kami, yang dimuliakan Anwar Ibrahim. Beliau telah berdiri dengan peranan yang hebat, hasil yang besar dan usaha yang baik, yang mana negara Malaysia dan seluruh rakyatnya telah memperoleh manfaat dari usaha itu.

Sebagaimana manusia lain, saya mengikuti tuduhan yang aneh terhadap Anwar. Tuduhan itu tidak selari dengan usianya, akhlak, kehidupan beragama, sejarah dan kedudukannya. Demikian juga situasi dan kepelikan di sekelilingnya. Beliau telah dibuktikan tidak bersalah dalam satu penghakiman, kemudian dihukum bersalah dalam satu penghakiman terakhir, hal tersebut berlaku setelah tiada bukti dan telah berlalu satu tempoh yang tidak mungkin boleh dibuktikan lagi.

Sesungguhnya saya mengenali Anwar Ibrahim sewaktu beliau pada awal usia mudanya, bangun menentang pemerintahan yang lalu dan kemudian memimpin belia Malaysia (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM)). Kemudian kami mengenalinya ketika beliau dipenjara angkara penentangannya (terhadap kerajaan) dan kami mengenalinya selepas beliau dibebaskan dari penjara dan menyertai UMNO. Beliau memimpin beberapa Kementerian, sehingga menjadi orang nombor dua di dalam parti dan kerajaan.

Anwar Ibrahim banyak kali menjemput saya dalam merapatkan (hubungan) antara Parti Islam dan UMNO, saya menyambutnya, kerana saya menyeru kepada kekuatan, kesatuan dan jalan yang lurus buat Malaysia. Saya bersama-sama Anwar Ibrahim saling bekerjasama dalam membangunkan Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), yang mana tertegak atas dasar integrasi ilmu wahyu, sains dan kemanusiaan.

Saya mengenalinya semasa beliau sedang bersinar di Malaysia, dunia Arab dan di Barat, ketika itu beliau merupakan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Menteri Kewangan Malaysia. Beliau merupakan salah seorang pemimpin terhebat Malaysia di era ini, salah seorang yang menyumbang kepada kebangkitan negara. Dunia pada masa itu menantinya untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri, pemimpin Malaysia bagi era baru, (namun ia tidak berlaku) angkara kerosakan politik yang menimpa kita.

Saya menganggapnya sebagai seorang Muslim yang benar, mukmin yang istiqamah, menunaikan kewajipan, menjauhi dosa-dosa besar dan perbuatan yang haram. Beliau beramal untuk kemuliaan agamanya, ketinggian negara dan khidmat kepada rakyatnya. Allah lah yang layak menilainya, saya tidak layak menilainya di hadapan Allah.

Hari ini, Anwar Ibrahim merupakan satu-satunya orang politik yang telah dan sedang ditimpa dengan kes-kes yang meragukan, dan beliau dipenjara satu demi satu. Kalau saya meragui akan perbuatannya pada apa yang dituduh, pasti saya tidak menulis seperti apa yang ditulis sekarang.

Sebenarnya, saya boleh untuk berdiam dari apa yang sedang dideritai Anwar Ibrahim di penjara. Namun pengiktirafan kepada beliau, pengetahuan akannya dan kejujurannya, selain kerana nasihat ikhlas daripada saya kepada rakyat dan kerajaan Malaysia; (semua itu) menghalang saya untuk tidak berpihak dari topik ini.

Bahkan itu mewajibkan saya untuk menyampaikan seruan kepada Duli Yang Maha Mulia, Yang Dipertuan Agong, Sultan Abdul Halim. Demikian juga kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak; Perdana Menteri Malaysia, supaya memberikan pengampunan kepada Anwar Ibrahim. Lebih-lebih lagi isu ini tidak berlaku pada zaman Perdana Menteri sekarang; (PM sekarang) seorang yang saya telah temui dan berutus surat dengannya, saya membantunya dan saya telah menjaga hubungan dengannya. Saya mengiranya dengan izin Allah akan menyambut seruan ini.

Saya menyeru agar kita menutup episod lalu yang mana ia menyakitkan negara Malaysia dan para pimpinannya. Demi Allah, sesungguhnya saya sangat ingin menyatukan rakyat negara Malaysia, bahkan menyatukan seluruh umat Islam.

Dan sesungguhnya agama Islam ini ialah agama kamu, agama yang satu asas pokoknya, dan Akulah Tuhan kamu; maka bertaqwalah kamu kepadaKu.

(Al-Mukminun: 52)

“Dan berpegang teguhlah kamu sekalian kepada tali Allah (agama Islam), dan janganlah kamu bercerai-berai…”

(Al-i-’Imran: 103)

“… dan janganlah kamu berbantah-bantahan; kalau tidak nescaya kamu menjadi lemah semangat dan hilang kekuatan kamu, dan sabarlah (menghadapi segala kesukaran dengan cekal hati); sesungguhnya Allah beserta orang-orang yang sabar.”

(Al-Anfal: 46)

Ya Allah, satukanlah suara kami di dalam hidayahMu, hati-hati kami atas ketakwaan padaMu, jiwa-jiwa kami atas kasih sayangMu, dan (satukan) azam-azam kami untuk meneruskan kebaikan dan sebaik-baik amal. Amin.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Pengerusi, Kesatuan Ulama Sedunia

Kenyataan Rasmi dikeluarkan dalam laman web:

11 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Bloomberg View

Malaysia’s ongoing currency crash has many causes: a worsening global outlook, plunging commodity prices and, of course, the political scandal enveloping Prime Minister Najib Razak. But the real culprit is the year 1997.

The conventional wisdom is that Malaysia’s then-leader Mahathir Mohamad saved the country from the worst ravages of the Asian financial crisis when he imposed capital controls, pegged the ringgit and waged verbal war against speculators. It’s true that Malaysia avoided much of the chaos that toppled economies in Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand. But events today show why, 18 years later, Malaysia may wind up the biggest loser in the region.

Malaysia’s neighbors recovered by improving transparency, strengthening their financial systems, and limiting collusion between public and private sectors. Such urgency never swept Malaysia, where the ruling coalition has held power for almost six decades.

Improvements in Malaysian corporate governance have been slow and uneven. Hopes for an end to 46 years of affirmative action — which benefits the Malay majority while sapping productivity and repelling foreign investors — have been for naught. Efforts to weed out corruption and ween the economy off energy exports have been tepid.

Today’s economic troubles are the product of that complacency. Had the Malaysian government worked harder to strengthen economic fundamentals and win the trust of global investors, Najib’s scandal might not be sending the ringgit to its lowest level in 17 years. Had officials in Putrajaya, the country’s administrative capital, done more to internationalize Malaysia’s business culture, foreign investors wouldn’t now be rushing for the door. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has fallen more than 11 percent from its April 21 peak, while official foreign-exchange reserves dropped below $100 billion for the first time since 2010.

As has been well reported, Najib faces questions about $700 million that allegedly moved through government agencies and state-linked companies to accounts bearing his name. (Najib denies it, while Malaysia’s anti-graft commission says it was a “donation.”) But foreign investors’ mistrust of the Malaysian government traces back to policies pursued over the past 18 years.

Perhaps the most notorious was Mahathir’s September 1998 decision to sack Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim. After months of sparring with Anwar over post-crisis reforms, Mahathir fired him and named himself finance minister, an awkward centralization of power that persists today and enabled Najib to create and oversee scandal-plagued state investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd. And when Najib recently fired Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who was demanding answers from the prime minister, it seemed like history repeating itself. Just as in 1997 and 1998, the government is more concerned with closing ranks than retooling the economy.

Indonesia, Korea and Thailand are also having their share of troubles as China wobbles and the Federal Reserve prepares to hike interest rates. But Malaysia’s accelerating capital flight is particularly worrisome.

Malaysia’s central bank appears to be struggling to slow the ringgit’s 18 percent plunge over the past 12 months. The currency is now the lowest since Anwar’s departure in September 1998. That makes for an inauspicious economic bookend: Mahathir is now among those suggesting Malaysia peg the ringgit anew.

There’s certainly less stigma attached to such policies than there once was. In 1998, the International Monetary Fund called Malaysia’s peg a “retrograde step.” By December 2002, the IMF was terming it a “stability anchor.” And the IMF notably didn’t slap Greece for imposing capital controls, the way it did Mahathir in the late 1990s.

But the mere mention of another peg suggests Malaysia’s political establishment is still more concerned with the symptoms of the country’s problems than the underlying causes. The ringgit isn’t sliding because speculators like George Soros (who Mahathir blamed in 1997) are attacking it. Malaysian assets are suffering because the government failed to do basic economic maintenance — in part because it avoided the worst of 1997 and 1998, in ways Bangkok, Jakarta and Seoul couldn’t.

As that dawns on investors, the pressure to sell will intensify. Overseas ownership of Malaysian government and corporate debt fell 2.4 percent in July as a sense of crisis began to permeate the air.

Malaysia isn’t about to collapse. With its moderate growth and the highly-respected Zeti Akhtar Aziz helming the central bank, meltdown risks are limited. But Malaysian officials are wrong to argue that the ringgit’s slide doesn’t reflect underlying fundamentals. It does indeed, and that’s the real problem — one that can be traced back to 1997.

11 August 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Malaysia’s benchmark stock gauge entered a technical correction, as investors pulled funds amid concern about the political scandal enveloping Prime Minister Najib Razak and the worsening economic outlook.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index slid 1.7 percent to 1,654.37 at 5 p.m. local time, the lowest close since March 2013. The measure has lost 11 percent from its April 21 peak. Tenaga Nasional Bhd., the state-owned power utility, was the biggest drag on the gauge on Monday. The ringgit slid for a fourth day, the lowest level since 1998.

Foreign funds have dumped $3 billion of the nation’s shares this year amid concern the crisis will distract Najib as a commodities rout and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates threaten economic growth. The prime minister is fighting off a scandal linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a debt-ridden state investment company.

“Sentiment will remain bearish and stocks will be volatile in the short term,” said Danny Wong Teck Meng, chief executive officer of Kuala Lumpur-based Areca Capital Sdn., which manages about $224 million in assets. Investors are concerned about how far the ringgit will fall given the political situation and declining currency reserves, he said.

Malaysia’s ringgit depreciated 2.6 percent last week, its biggest loss since December. Foreign-exchange reserves fell below $100 billion for the first time since 2010 last month, the central bank said after markets closed on Friday.

Bond Outflows

Overseas ownership of the nation’s government and corporate debt dropped 2.4 percent in July to 206.8 billion ringgit ($52.7 billion), the least since August 2012, other data released Friday showed.

The Wall Street Journal reported on July 3 that $700 million may have moved through government agencies and state-linked companies to accounts bearing Najib’s name. The premier has denied taking money for personal gain and has described the furor as part of a campaign to remove him from office. A probe into about 2.6 billion ringgit ($662 million) that was deposited into Najib’s personal accounts found that the funds were legal donations from the Middle East.

Tenaga sank 3.5 percent to the lowest close since January 2014. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. and Malayan Banking Bhd. tumbled more than 1.8 percent.


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