23 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

*Opening address by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, convener and co-founder of the World Forum for Muslim Democrats, at its Second International Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on 23rd November, 2015. The speech was delivered by Nurul Izzah Anwar, Malaysia’s Member of Parliament, Vice President of KEADILAN

Friends, fellow democrats, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Assalamualaikum wbt & Selamat Siang.
First, let me extend a warm welcome to all our participants and delegates to this conference – the second international conference of the World Forum for Muslim Democrats.
I remain gratified by the support of Sasakawa; the Habibie Center and SETA for allowing the articulation of the vision first formulated to unite Muslims in the pursuit of democratic reforms. Specifically, I must express my personal appreciation for this endeavor through the enthusiastic support and consideration by Former Presidents BJ Habibie, Abdullah Gul and Dr Rashid Ghannouchi.
More than three years ago, in March 2012, I was in Dubai at a conference presenting the changing political landscape in the Muslim world when the idea of this forum took shape.
When I used that phrase – changing political landscape, back then, it indeed reflected the turbulent times we were in. However, now with the benefit of hindsight, it did not anticipate the pace of the change, nor its intensity and ramifications.
The Arab Spring was still unfolding with Tunisia blazing the democracy trail, after successfully deposing Ben Ali, just 13 months before that. But hardly a year later, Bashar al-Assad warned protesters of consequences of “working with foreign elements to undermine his regime.”
Soon after, the first of a series of murderous attacks by the Assad regime on its own people unfolded in the city of Homs. Two weeks before I delivered that keynote address in Dubai, Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down. Two months later, Mohammed Morsi won the first round of the presidential elections in Egypt and the day after, Assad ordered another round of massacre in Houla.
On June 24, 2012, the election commission officially announced that Morsi had won the presidential runoff. It was a narrow margin of 51.7 percent of the vote versus 48.3 for the contender.
By July, the international world finally realised that a full blown civil war in Syria was underway. Over 200,000 Syrian refugees had fled the country.


23 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?


ULASAN l Saya dengar daripada lima orang – rakyat Malaysia dan juga rakyat Amerika Syarikat serta mereka yang dalam kedudukan untuk tahu, bahawa pada pertemuannya dengan Datuk Seri Najib Razak pada 20 November lalu, Presiden Barack Obama menggesa perdana menteri Malaysia untuk membebaskan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dari penjara.

Permintaan itu dilaporkan atas dasar kemanusiaan, kerana kesihatan Anwar yang semakin merosot. Bagiamanapun pendirian kerajaan Amerika adalah bahawa perbicaraan Anwar adalah pincang dan bermotifkan politik, dan bahawa Anwar adalah tahanan politik.

Seorang sumber memberitahu saya bahawa jawapan Najib adalah beliau terpaksa mematuhi sistem undang-undang Malaysia. Bagi saya, ia adalah ironis bahawa Najib mahu bersembunyi di sebalik sistem undang-undang Malaysia, sedangkan dirinya sendiri tidak teragak-agak untuk menggunakan dan menyalahgunakannya untuk kepentingan politik peribadi.

Dan ia bukan hanya digunakan ke atas pembangkang sahaja lagi. Sekarang Najib menggunakannya terhadap pengkritik dalam parti sendiri, dan juga penyiasat yang semakin hampir menemui kebenaran.

Banyak yang telah berlaku sejak permainan golf terkenal pada Disember lalu. Bermula dengan Anwar yang dadapati bersalah pada Februari lalu, muka depan utama akhbar New York Times memperincikan semua dakwaan rasuah sekitar Najib dan keluarganya.

Poortal Sarawak Report pula mendedahkan lebih banyak dokumen mengenai 1MDB dan berbilion-bilion ringgit yang hilang. Semua laporan 1MDB adalah sangat rumit dan sukar difahami. Tetapi The Wall Street Journal kemudiannya menerbitkan sebuah artikel yang semua orang boleh faham. Sebanyak AS$700 juta (RM2.6 bilion) didakwa berakhir di akaun bank peribadi Najib, dan berminggu-minggu, beliau tidak dapat menjelaskan bagaimana wang itu berada di akaunnnya.

Dan kemudian, secara tiba-tiba, sebahagian besar wang didakwa dibawa keluar negara lagi – tetapi tiada siapa yang tahu di mana, dan Najib tidak bercakap. Semua orang dapat memahami cerita ini – anda tidak perlu mempunyai MBA dalam kewangan antarabangsa. Kemudian New York Times melaporkan bahawa Najib dan keluarganya sedang disiasat oleh Biro Penyiasatan Persekutuan (FBI) di bawah Inisiatif Pemulihan Aset Kleptokrasi. Apa punya nama!

Bagihak-hak asasi manusia dan demokrasi, tindakan keras Najib ke atas pembangkang telah dilaporkan secara meluas oleh media barat. Pemerhati Hak Asasi Manusia baru-baru ini mengeluarkan laporan 151 muka surat berhubung “suasana ketakutan” yang dicipta oleh Najib. Tak pernah sebelum ini – 151 muka surat! Kemudian ada kumpulan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu yang baru-baru ini menggesa pembebasan Anwar.

Obama adalah seorang peguam. Beliau sedar bahawa keterangan dan bukti adalah mencukupi dan Najib bukanlah manusia seperti yang difikirkannya. Seperti yang saya katakan sebelum ini, Obama bukannya satu-satunya pemimpin dunia yang percaya dengan retorik pembaharuan Najib.

Tetapi apabila meletakkan semuanya bersama, dan dengan berita-berita tahun ini, ia mencapai tahap di mana Obama akhirnya mengiktiraf realiti mengenai Malaysia dan Najib.


JOHN MALOTT adalah bekas duta Amerika Syarikat ke Malaysia.

17 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

The following is a statement by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim issued through his lawyers in respect of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. The statement is issued by him in his capacity as Chairman of the World Forum for Muslim Democrats.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the President and people of France and in particular the families and friends of those killed in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Although I speak from a prison cell in Malaysia, having been unjustly denied of my freedom, that does not present an obstacle to the deep sadness and outrage anyone must feel upon hearing of such heinous and despicable acts.
These despicable acts of savage and wanton killing of innocent civilians including women and young persons deserve our unreserved condemnation.  We must join hands with all like minded forces, eschewing all parochial boundaries of race and religion, in one resolute message – that such premeditated and cruel killing is simply not acceptable.
The small group of terrorists did not act alone and those responsible for planning this crime must be brought to justice.
Their objectives were to create fear and perhaps to provoke similar retaliatory actions of hate. It is imperative we ensure that they fail to do so.
We must remember that they do not speak for or represent the overwhelming majority of peace-loving human beings.
Anwar Ibrahim”

12 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Human Rights Watch

(Washington, DC) – Malaysian authorities have brought new criminal charges against critics of the government and are showing no signs of easing this year’s intensifying crackdown on free expression, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia, currently the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the East Asia Summit, and a member of the United Nations Security Council, will host several high-profile summits next week involving the leaders of ASEAN, as well as United States President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among other leaders.

“The Malaysian government has revealed itself as petty, vindictive, and brittle when thrust into the limelight on the eve of important state visits,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Going after activists, journalists, and opposition leaders are not the actions of a confident government committed to promoting respect for human rights, and visiting leaders need to say so.”

On October 27, 2015, Human Rights Watch issued a 140-page report on the intensifying repression in Malaysia, outlining a long series of legal cases against critics of the government, from opposition leaders to cartoonists.

Since mid-October, Malaysian authorities have charged two opposition members of parliament, an opposition activist, and two rally organizers with criminal offenses for exercising their free speech rights. They have also threatened criminal charges against other critical voices and raided the offices of two online news portals reporting on corruption investigations.

These cases cast a chill on civil society and critical reporting by the media, and should top the agenda of bilateral concerns with Malaysian officials. The recent actions include:

  • The authorities charged opposition Members of Parliament Rasiah Sivarasa and Ng Wei Aik with sedition, the latest in a string of opposition politicians charged under the outdated and draconian Sedition Act – at least five others are currently awaiting trial. Sivarasa was charged with sedition on October 20 for a statement he made at a March 2015 rally criticizing the sodomy conviction of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Aik was charged on November 6 for a similar statement made at a rally in February 2015. If convicted and fined more than 2000 Malaysian ringgit (US$455.89), or sentenced to more than one year in prison, these parliamentarians would be discharged from office and disqualified from taking part in politics for five years after their term ends;
  • Police detained activist Khalid Ismath and charged him with three counts of sedition and 11 counts of violating the Communications and Multimedia Act for social media posts that the government alleges are insulting to the sultan of Johor. He was denied bail for more than three weeks. The government responded to opposition Parliamentarian Hanipa Maidan’s criticism of the attorney general for opposing bail for Ismath by opening a sedition investigation of Maidan;
  • The authorities criminally charged Maria Chin Abdullah, chair of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih), and Jannie Lasimbang, vice-chair of Bersih Sabah, with failing to give the police 10 days’ notice for the 34-hour rally that was held peacefully on August 29 and 30. The rally called for institutional reforms to provide governmental accountability to address corruption, and specifically for Prime Minister Najib Razak to explain his handling of the scandal-rocked, government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). If convicted under section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act, the two activists could be fined up to RM10,000 ($2279.46). Beyond the fact that Bersih twice met with police prior to the rally, thus giving notice, imposing criminal penalties for failure to provide notice of a rally is contrary to international standards for the right to peaceful assembly;
  • The authorities questioned blogger Mohamed Safi Yassin for criminal defamation and criminal intimidation after he posted a warning to the police that abusive police tactics at the then-upcoming Bersih rally would harm their reputation; and
  • The government raided the offices of online news portals Malaysiakini and The Star on November 6, continuing a trend of harassing media that report on corruption. According to Malaysiakini, the raids were in response to an article published on November 2 about the transfer of a deputy-prosecutor in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. After a complaint by the attorney general’s chambers, authorities opened an investigation for criminal defamation by the news portals, raided their offices, and seized computer equipment. The government raided Malaysiakini’s office a second time on November 7. The government in July had suspended publication of two newspapers for three months for their reporting on the 1MDB scandal. That suspension was overturned by the Malaysian High Court in September.

Visiting leaders, including Obama, should press Malaysia’s government to stem the latest round of repression, Human Rights Watch said. They should call on Najib to end the use of criminal defamation, sedition, and other laws to criminalize dissent.

“Exposure of corruption and criticism of the government are essential elements of a rights-respecting democracy,” Sifton said. “The Malaysian government should stop treating criticism as a crime and drop all charges against those being prosecuted for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.”

12 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Philippine Daily Inquirer

BE a champion of democracy in Asia, a Malaysian human rights leader called on President Benigno Aquino.

Tian Chua, who made the call, is also vice president of jailed Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party.

He is in the Philippines along with Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah as part of their tour to lobby leaders and friends to support the call for Anwar’s immediate release so he can undergo medical treatment due to serious #124muscle tear in the right shoulder.

Early this year, Malaysia’s highest court found Anwar guilty of sodomising a former political aide.

International critics including the United States slammed the conviction, believing it is part of Malaysia’s crackdown against the opposition.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recently found that Anwar is being held illegally and in violation of international law.

“For a long time, especially when Anwar was leading the opposition coalition, our position has been that the government is abusing religious norms to politically persecute those who present the biggest challenge to the government. So, through the findings by the Interparliamentary unit, world leaders and the UN, it proves it really justifies our position that Anwar is innocent, that he has been tried in a politically motivated exercise,” Nurul said.

Former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada joined the call for the immediate release of Anwar who, he said, is a personal friend.

When asked if President Aquino has expressed support for their call, Tian said: “We respect the president’s position on being a member of Asean and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of another country.

“However, we believe the president shares a common experience with Nurul’s family. I think he definitely, privately sympathises with the family of Anwar Ibrahim and we were expecting that being president, he should #124be the champion of democracy of this region,” Tian said.

“And being an outgoing president, we hope he can take courage in reminding [Malaysian] Prime Minister Najib [Razak], his counterpart, that Asean as a region must grow in advancing human rights. This is #124our greatest hope. I believe he has the humility and understanding to #124do the right thing. Our #124trip will not be in vain,” Tian said.


8 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

I am gravely concerned by the news that former prime minister of Malaysia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the subject of a police investigation for criminal defamation and was questioned by the police on 6 November.
He committed no crime when he asked questions and voiced criticism against the Prime Minister on the 1MDB crisis.
If this is how even Tun Dr Mahathir is treated, the democratic right of ordinary Malaysians to question and criticise the government is in serious jeopardy.
Our constitution and the democratic rights therein guaranteed to our people must not be disregarded or interfered with by government or enforcement agencies.
I have watched with increasing concern the worsening strain of authoritarianism by those in power.
Instead of investigating Tun Dr Mahathir, the PM and the government should answer the important questions that he had raised. These questions are also being asked by ordinary Malaysians throughout the country.
This heavy handed response will only worsen the crisis of confidence in the PM, the government and the institutions involved in trying to silence critics.
I call for an end to this harassment against Dr Mahathir and all others, who have merely done their duty by our country by voicing out against the errors and wrongdoings of the government and its leaders.
Anwar Ibrahim

8 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

DS Anwar Ibrahim conveyed the following message to the public through his lawyers on 6 November 2015

“The festival of Deepavali is once again being celebrated by Hindus with joy and devotion in Malaysia, and throughout the world.
Deepavali celebrates the eternal
struggle between Right and Wrong, and Good and Evil. No matter what the obstacles and the challenges facing us, Good will always emerge triumphant in the end. Remember this, and do not be dismayed by setbacks or temporary failure.
In the current situation of Malaysia, this message bears great meaning.
Let us strengthen our purpose, and continue the struggle against tyranny with renewed vigour and effort.
This year I cannot be with you to celebrate the festival of lights.
But rest assured, my thoughts, hopes and best wishes will always be with you, the people.
Deepavali Naal Valtugal!”

2 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Kuala Lumpur – Hari ini, barisan peguam Anwar Ibrahim mengeluarkan Pendapat No. 22/2015 oleh Kumpulan Kerja Penahanan Arbitrari PBB (UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention)(UNWGAD), yang sebulat suara mendapati Anwar dipenjarakan secara haram, dan melanggar undang-undang antarabangsa.

Kumpulan Kerja Penahanan Arbitrari mengeluarkan pendapat berikut: Pemenjaraan Saudara (Anwar) Ibrahim adalah arbitrari. . . mengambil kira semua hal dalam kes tersebut, Kumpulan Kerja ini berpendapat bahawa jalan untuk membetulkan keadaan adalah untuk membebaskan Saudara (Anwar) Ibrahim dengan serta merta, dan memastikan hak-hak politik beliau yang dirampas oleh kerana pemenjaraan beliau ini dikembalikan.

“Saya amat bersyukur dengan gesaan Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa bersatu kepada kerajaan Malaysia untuk membebaskan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” kata YB Nurul Izzah Anwar. “Pendirian tegas sebegini bersolidariti bersama-sama Datuk Seri Anwar menghantar sebuah mesej yang jelas kepada Perdana Menteri, Najib Razak, dan memastikan kemerosotan hak-hak asasi manusia yang berlaku di bawah kepimpinan beliau tidak diabaikan oleh dunia,” tambah beliau.

Kumpulan Kerja ini merupakan sebuah badan bebas yang dilantik oleh Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB, dan pada masa ini terdiri daripada pakar daripada Australia, Benin, Mexico, Korea Selatan dan Ukraine. Ianya diberikan mandat untuk mempertimbangkan dan mengeluarkan pendapat mengenai kes-kes penahanan arbitrari. Kerajaan Malaysia memegang kerusi Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB pada tahun 2006 hingga 2009, dan 2010 hingga 2013. Kerajaan Malaysia wajib mematuhi dapatan PBB ini serta cadangan yang diberikan.

Datuk Seri Anwar, mantan Ketua Pembangkang dan seorang bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri dipenjarakan kerana beliau mencabar hegemoni politik UMNO dan Perdana Menteri Najib Razak. Datuk Seri Anwar memimpin pakatan parti-parti pembangkang pelbagai bangsa dan agama untuk memenangi 52 peratus daripada undi popular di kalangan rakyat Malaysia pada pilihan raya umum pada tahun 2013.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berada dalam keadaan kesakitan sepanjang penahanan beliau, yang bermula pada Februari 2015, berikutan kecederaan yang dialami pada bahu kanan beliau. Walaupun beliau memerlukan perhatian dan rawatan perubatan dengan segera, Datuk Dr. Jeyaindran Sinnadurai yang merupakan Doktor yang dilantik oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri untuk memantau Anwar, berulangkali menafikan rawatan yang perlu diberikan kepada Anwar, dan yang paling kritikal, rekomendasi menjalani rawatan fisioterapi setiap minggu.

Fisioterapi secara intensif telah dicadangkan semenjak bulan Mac lagi oleh doktor ortopedik yang akan mengurangkan kesakitan dan mengekalkan mobiliti dan kekuatan otot, tetapi telah acapkali ditangguhkan atas arahan Dr Jeyaindran. Kesannya, kecederaan dan kesakitan yang dialami oleh Anwar meningkat, yang mana Dr Jeyaindran hanya memberikan ubat tahan sakit, bukannya memastikan fisioterapi intensif di hospital buat Anwar. Oleh kerana campurtangan politik dan gangguan tidak professional oleh Dr Jeyaindran, pilihan untuk rawatan pembedahan untuk Anwar Ibrahim juga amat terhad sekiranya Dr Jeyaindran masih lagi membuat keputusan berkenaan penjagaan sebelum dan selepas pembedahan.

Selain daripada penafian rawatan perubatan termasuk fisioterapi intensif yang diperlukan Datuk Seri Anwar, beliau jua berhadapan dengan halangan-halangan yang lain. Semenjak dua bulan lepas, akses beliau kepada barisan peguam dihadkan kepada 1 jam seminggu walaupun beliau pada masa ini mempunyai sebanyak 16 kes sivil, jenayah dan syariah yang sedang dijalankan. Halangan ini merupakan pencabulan terhadap hak-hak asasi beliau seperti yang diperuntukkan di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Pejabat Suruhanjaya Tinggi Hak Asasi Manusia, Ahli-ahli Parlimen ASEAN bagi Hak Asasi Manusia, Kesatuan Parlimen Antarabangsa, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Persekutuan Antarabangsa untuk Hak Asasi Manusia (FIDH), dan pemimpin dunia seperti bekas Presiden Indonesia BJ Habibie , bekas Turki Presiden Abdullah Gül, dan bekas Naib Presiden Al Gore dari Amerika Syarikat, antara lain, turut menggesa pembebasan beliau tanpa syarat.

Kami juga menggesa supaya Anwar Ibrahim diberi rawatan perubatan mengikut pilihannya – bebas dari sebarang campur tangan politik yang akan menghalang penjagaan sebelum dan pasca pembedahan dan memberikan kesan negatif* terhadap kualiti hidup beliau. Dia mesti dibebaskan segera, selaras dengan penemuan UNWGAD.


2 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

South China Morning Post

A UN body has determined that former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been jailed illegally and called for his immediate release, according to a copy of the opinion released Monday by his family.

Anwar, 68, was jailed in February for five years after earlier being convicted for sodomising a former male aide. He denies the charge, calling it a frame-up by Malaysia’s long-ruling government to halt recent opposition political gains.

The opinion by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Anwar’s imprisonment was “arbitrary”, that he was denied a fair trial, and was jailed for political reasons.

“The Working Group considers that the adequate remedy would be to release Mr. Ibrahim immediately, and ensure that his political rights that were removed based on his arbitrary detention be reinstated,” said the opinion, dated September 15.

It also said Anwar’s treatment in prison violates international prohibitions against “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Anwar’s family has complained that he is being held in a filthy cell with only a thin foam mattress despite chronic back trouble, and has been denied adequate medical care for a host of ailments include erratic blood pressure and a shoulder ailment.

“I am deeply grateful that the United Nations has called for Anwar’s release,” said Nurul Izzah Anwar, the former opposition leader’s daughter and a member of parliament.

“Its strong stance in solidarity with my father sends a clear and unequivocal message to Prime Minister Najib Razak, and ensures that the sharp decline in human rights under his administration will not go unnoticed.”

No immediate reaction was seen from Najib’s government.

The UN working group is a five-member body currently comprised of experts from Australia, Benin, Mexico, South Korea, and Ukraine.

The case is the second such disputed conviction for Anwar, a former deputy prime minister who was ousted from the ruling party in a late 1990s power struggle and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges widely viewed as politically motivated.

After his release in 2004, he helped unite Malaysia’s previously divided opposition into a formidable alliance.

His latest conviction has been criticised by the United States – which said it raised questions over rule of law – as well as other nations and international human rights groups.

2 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy charges were political motivated to discredit him, according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Channel NewsAsia

KUALA LUMPUR: The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which comes under the UN Human Rights Council, has concluded that Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s detention was arbitrary, and that his sodomy charges were political motivated to discredit him.

This comes after the working group considered persuasive evidence which was not contested by the government despite given over two months to do so.

Among the basis of the working group findings, it concluded that Mr Anwar was denied access to a fair trial, and that there was no due process in court – the judge was biased, including chief prosecutor, as well as the haste of the appeal hearing and sentencing.

The working group has requested the Malaysian government to immediately release Mr Anwar and reinstate all his political rights.

Mr Anwar, 68,  was found guilty of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan in early 2015. It is his second conviction since 2000; his first conviction was overturned in 2004 after six years in jail.

Mr Anwar was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment this time, and was subsequently disqualified as a Member of Parliament in March.

2 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

M ereka sedang mewujudkan budaya ketakutan. Sekiranya kamu me/ibatkan diri dalam mana-ma na perbincangan mengenai kepentingan awam, pol is akan datang ke rumah kamu, kamu mungkin ditangkap, dibawa ke balai polis, direman. Ahli-ahli Parliamen pun diperlakukan sedemikian.

-Yap Swee Seng, mantan pengarah eksekutif Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Kuala Lumpur, 14 April 2015

Kebebasan bersuara dan berhimpun di Malaysia kini terancam, dibantu oleh kewujudan undang­ undang yang sengaja dibahasakan dengan luas dan samar-samar dan dipergunakan oleh pihak kerajaan untuk menangkap, menyoalsiasat, dan memenjarakan pengkritik-pengkritiknya. Penggunaan undang-undang secara berleluasa untuk menjenayahkan hak bersuara secara aman sejak kebelakangan ini adalah suatu langkah mundur bagi sebuah negara yang sebelum ini seolah­ olahnya melangkah maju dalam perlindungan hak-hak asasi. Laporan ini memeriksa bagaimana kerajaan Malaysia menggunakan dan menyalahgunakan undang-undang terse but, dan bagaimana undang-undang itu sendiri tidak mencapai piawaian antarabangsa.

Semasa penggal pertama Perdana Menteri Najib Razak (sepanjang tahun-tahun 2009 hingga 2013), kerajaan Malaysia telah memansuhkan beberapa akta, termasuk Akta l<eselamatan Dalam Negara (AKDN) yang zalim, yang sering digunakan untuk menyekat hak-hak sivil dan politik, termasuk hak bersuara. Sepanjang kempen pilihanraya 2013, Najib telah berjanji untuk turut memansuhkan Akta Hasutan. Sebagaimana aktivis lama Hishamuddin Rais memaklumkan Human Rights Watch:

Apabita /SA dimansuhkan, wujudnya rasa kebebasan. Saya fikirkan Malaysia bergerak ke arah yang benar. Apabila Najib menjanjikan pemansuhan Akta Hasutan, saya pikir: “Kita sudah tiba. Kita dijatan yang benar.”

Sikap optimistik itu kini lenyap. Apabila berhadapan dengan populariti yang menjunam serta ketidakpuashatian orang ramai yang kian memuncak atas pelbagai isu, perdana menteri telah membalas dengan mengambil tindakan keras terhadap pengkritik dan dengan menyokong undang­ undang baru, seperti Akta Pencegahan l<eganasan (API<), yang meniru kebanyakan kelemahan yang wujud dalam undang-undangyang telah dimansuhkan itu. Pada November 2014, Najib mengingkari janjinya untuk memansuhkan Akta Hasutan dan telah mengisytiharkan bahawa undang-undang itu sebaliknya boleh “diperkuatkan dan dijadikan lebih berkesan,” dengan “kewujudan klausa khas untuk melindungi kesucian Islam, manakala lain-lain agama turut tidak boleh dihina.” Pada April 2015, kerajaan telah mendesak-luluskan pindaan yang memperuntukkan hukuman yang lebih berat serta sekatan tambahan terhadap kebebasan bersuara, terutamanya di media sosial.

Tahap penindasan telah meningkat di sekitar lewat 2014 dan awal 2015 apabila kerajaan menghadapi kritikan dari orang awam terhadap cara mantan ketua pembangkang Anwar Ibrahim diperlakukan serta pengenaan cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan yang baru. Skandal rasuah yang semakin berlingkar-lingkar melibatkan syarikat koprat milik kerajaan 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), yang mana lembaga penasihatnya dipengerusikan Perdana Menteri Najib, telah menyebabkan kerajaan menyekat beberapa laman web serta menggantung surat khabar yang melaporkan skandal tersebut, malah mereka mengumumkan rancangan untuk memperkuatkan kuasa untuk mengambil tindakan keras terhadap kebebasan bersuara di Internet.

Walaupun pada asalnya fokus tindakan keras adalah terhadap ahli-ahli politik pembangkang, setelah kritikan awam terhadap kerajaan menjadi semakin lantang, pelajar-pelajar, wartawan-wartawan, aktivis masyarakat sivil, dan orang awam turut menjadi mangsa gelombang penindasan ini.

Aktivis pelajar Adam Adli bin Abdul Halim, contohnya, telah ditahan sebanyak enam kali kerana mengambil bahagian dalam protes-prates aman terhadap kerajaan dan mengajak orang lain turut menyertainya. Pada September 2014, beliau telah disabitkan atas kesalahan hasutan bagi suatu ucapan yang dibuatnya dalam membantah pilihanraya am 2013 dan telah dihukum satu tahun penjara. Pada ketika ini, beliau bebas atas ikat jamin sementara menunggu rayuan, dan kini menghadapi pertuduhan baru kerana melibatkan diri dalam “prates jalanan haram” pada bulan Februari serta menghadapi siasatan bagi pertuduhan “aktiviti menjejaskan demokrasi berparlimen” atas peranan yang beliau mainkan dalam penganjuran satu prates baru-baru ini. Beliau telah digantung dan sejurus itu dibuang dari kursus latihan pengajar beliau di Kolej Latihan Guru Sultan Idris disebabkan aktivismnya itu. Beliau kini mengikuti pengajian bidang undang­ undang di sebuah institusi swasta.

Apabila disoal mengapa beliau terus bersuara walaupun berhadapan risiko sedemikian, Adli membalas:

la merupakan suatu tanggu ngjawab bagi kita bersuara apabila kerajaan menggugat kedaulatan undang-undang untuk memastikan mereka terus berkuasa …. Bukan hasil atau apa yang boteh dicapai dalam jangkamasa pendek yang penting. Prates adalah perlu untuk membu ka ruang demokrasi … Kebebasan bersuara di Malaysia kini diancam oleh pihak kerajaan. }etas sekali piha k berkuasa tidak berpihak kepada hak- hak kebebasan bersuara.

Chua Tian Chang, naib-presiden parti pembangkang Malaysia, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), juga menjadi mangsa kerana lantang bersuara mengenai isu-isu politik. Beliau dikenakan pertuduhan hasutan dalam satu kes dan sedang disiasat untuk pertuduhan hasutan untuk kes satu lagi, sementara pihak kerajaan sedang merayu terhadap pembebasan beliau dari pertuduhan hasutan dalam kes ketiga. Pada 12 Ogos 2014, pertuduhan baru telah dibawa terhadapnya di bawah seksyen 509 kanun keseksaan kerana didakwa melakukan penderaan lisan terhadap pegawai­ pegawai polis yang berlaku beberapa bulan sebelum itu apabila mereka merampas telefon bimbit serta iPad beliau untuk menyiasat salah satu dari kenyataannya di media sosial. Sebelum itu beliau telah dibebaskan dari pertuduhan menyertai protes haram, tetapi kini di bawah siasatan untuk penyertaannya dalam beberapa “perhimpunan haram” dan kerana memakai kemeja-T kuningyang telah diharamkan yang mempunyai lambang Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih), sebuah kumpulan yang berkempen untuk penambahbaikan pilihanraya sejak 2012. Menurut Chua, tindakan kerajaan adalah bermotivasikan politik:

Bagi pihak berkuasa, apa sahaja yang saya cakap merupakan masalah … Kalau kamu pegi ke prates aman, mereka tangkap kamu kerana berkumpu l . Ka/au kamu mengkritik kerajaan, mereka buru kamu kerana hasutan .

Penggunaan Undang-Undang Yang Terlampau Ketat sebagai Alat Penindasan

Semenjak berakhirnya penjajahan pada tahun 1957, Malaysia telah diperintah oleh suatu gabungan yang didominasi parti United Malays National Organization (UMNO). Gabungan terkini, Barisan Nasional (BN), telah berkuasa semenjak tahun 1974. Sepanjang tempoh 40 tahun berkuasa, BN telah menggunakan pelbagai undang-undang yang sengaja dibahasakan dengan luas dan samar-samar untuk mengganggu dan mendiamkan pengkritik serta pembangkang politiknya. Beberapa undang-undang tersebut telah wujud semenjak Malaysia memperolehi kemerdekaannya

dari United Kingdom pada tahun 1957, sementara banyak undang-undang lain telahpun diwujudkan atau dipinda baru-baru ini.

Najib ketika menyandang jawatan pada April 2009 telah memberi ikrar untuk “menegakkan kebebasan sivil ” serta untuk “menghormati hak-hak asasi rakyat,” tetapi penggunaan undang­ undang jenayah yang dibahasakan dengan terlalu luas untuk mendiamkan pengkritik dan aktivis masyarakat sivil telah meningkat dengan dramatik semenjak pilihanraya tahun 2013, di mana BN masih memenangi majoriti parlimen tetapi gaga! mendapat undi popular. Di saat-saat menjelang pilihanraya, lebih dari 200 orang telah ditahan dan disoalsiasat oleh pihak polis hanya kerana melontarkan kritikan terhadap pihak berkuasa atau badan kehakiman ataupun melaksanakan hak mereka untuk berhimpun secara aman.

Senjata yang paling kerap digunakan dalam tindakan keras ini, seperti yang ditunjukkan dalam kes Adli dan Chua, adalah peruntukkan yang paling terkenal di Malaysia: Akta Hasutan, yang telah diacukan terhadap ahli-ahli politik pembangkang, aktivis masyarakat sivil, wartawan, ahli akademik, dan rakyat biasa yang menggunakan media sosial.

Dalam usahanya mendiamkan pengkritik, pihak kerajaan turut menggunakan peruntukkan kanun keseksaan yang juga dibahasakan dengan luas, termasuk seksyen-seksyen 504 dan 505(b), yang mengharamkan ucapan yang mengarah kepada pelanggaran “keamanan awam,” dan seksyen 499, yang mengharamkan ucapan yang merosakkan nama baik seseorang , samada hidup atau sudah mati.

Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan telah digunakan untuk menyekat beberapa akhbar cetak, menggantung penerbitan suratkhabar yang melaporkan perlakuan rasuah, mencegah mesin cetak dari mencetak buku-buku yang mengkritik kerajaan, dan turut mengisytiharkan pengharaman logo Bersih. Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia (AKM) telah digunakan untuk menghalang laman-laman web yang melaporkan rasuah, menghukum stesen radio yang menyiarkan perbincangan atas perkara-perkara hal-ehwal kepentingan awam, dan menahan serta menghukum pengguna­ pengguna media sosial.

Mereka yang melibatkan diri dalam protes aman telah didakwa di bawah Akta Perhimpunan Aman dan seksyen 143 Kanun Keseksaan, yang menjenayahkan perhimpunan “haram”, sementara mereka yang mengaturkan atau mengajak orang menghadiri perhimpunan aman telah didakwa atau disoalsiasat atas tuduhan hasutan. Pada tahun 2015, apabila berhadapan dengan fokus awam yang semakin meningkat terhadap pertuduhan rasuah melibatkan 1MDB, kerajaan telah mengancam mereka yang bersuara lantang terhadap rasuah dengan pertuduhan “aktiviti-aktiviti yang menjejaskan demokrasi berparlimen” di bawah seksyen-seksyen 124(b) dan 124(c) kanun keseksaan. Pihak kerajaan nampaknya tidak sedar betapa ironinya kegunaan undang-undang yang diwujudkan bagi melindungi demokrasi untuk tujuan menyekat percakapan kritis.

Paling membimbangkan adalah undang-undang yang mengenakan hukuman jenayah kerana ini memberi kesan yang menggerunkan terhadap kebebasan bersuara. Sepertimana yang dinyatakan oleh rapporteur khas UN bagi promosi dan perlindungan hak-hak kebebasan berpendapat dan bersuara, dengan kewujudan undang-undang tersebut:

lndividu-individu menghadapi ancaman yang berterusan bagi risiko ditangkap, ditahan dalam tahanan pra-bicara, dikenakan perbicaraan jenayah, denda dan pemenjaraan yang memakan belanja ya ng banyak, serta stigma sosial kerana mempu nyai suatu rekod jenayah.

Ramai di antara individu-individu yang ditemubual Human Rights Watch telah merujuk kepada kewujudan suatu “budaya” atau “suasana” ketakutan di Malaysia. Ketakutan membawa kepada penapisan diri, dan penapisan diri membawa kepada tekanan dalam perdebatan politik yang merupakan teras suatu masyarakat demokratik.

Menyasarkan Pembangkang Politik

Ahli-ahli politik dari pihak pembangkang sudah lama menjadi sasaran undang-undang yang lebih menindas di Malaysia, dan trend ini telah berterusan dalam tindakan keras yang diambil oleh pihak kerajaan baru-baru ini. Sekurang-kurangnya lima ahli parlimen pembangkang telah dikenakan pertuduhan di bawah Akta Hasutan untuk mengkritik pihak kerajaan, pegawai kerajaan, atau badan kehakiman semenjak pilihanraya, dan sekurang-kurangnya tiga orang lagi telah dikenakan pertuduhan di bawah undang-undang jenayah lain. Sekiranya disabitkan dan dijatuhkan hukuman melebihi satu tahun penjara atau dikenakan denda melebihi RM2,ooo (kira-kira US$484), mereka terus tidak layak untuk berkhidmat di Parlimen untuk tempoh lima tahun selepas dilepaskan dari penjara. Ahli-ah Ii politik pembangkang yang berkhidmat di dewan undangan negeri dan mereka yang memegang peranan utama dalam parti-parti politik pembangkang turut menjadi sasaran dalam tindakan keras tersebut.

Muatturun Ringkasan dan Syor dalam Bahasa

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2 November 2015


Pendapat Anda?

From : Legal Monitor Worldwide.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim former opposition leader no longer faces a charge for participating in the Bersih 3.0 rally in 2012, after the Court of Appeal decided that his appeal challenging the constitutionality of the charge was a non-issue since an order prohibiting the demonstration at Dataran Merdeka was defective.

The appellate court’s three man bench chaired by judge Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim said Anwar’s bid to challenge the constitutionality of the charge brought against him was not sustainable because a magistrate court order that prohibited the Bersih 3.0 rally at Dataran Merdeka was defective.

Anwar had previously challenged the constitutionality of the charge under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 before the High Court but it was refused, and he then filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Ramkarpal Singh, who appeared for Anwar, told reporters it was impossible to charge the former opposition leader for the same offence.

The magistrate’s order, dated April 26, 2012, had prohibited any assembly at Dataran Merdeka from April 28 to May 1, 2012.

Another Court of Appeal bench led by Datuk Linton Albert then set aside the magistrate’s order on grounds it was ill-conceived in January 2014.

Subsequently, the Sessions court last year gave Anwar and five others a discharge not amounting to acquittal on the charges under the PAA in relation to the rally.

The then Sessions court judge Ahmad Bache said he found the charges defective following Linton’s decision which declared that the magistrate’s order invalid.

Anwar had claimed trial to two summons charges.

In the first charge, Anwar was charged with breaching an order by Magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir, which barred the public from entering Dataran Merdeka during Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, 2012.

In the second charge, Anwar together with PKR’s deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham Shaharin @ Chegubard were jointly charged for allegedly inciting and abetting R.Tangam, G.Rajesh Kumar and Farhan Ibrahim, in breaching a court order issued by the magistrate.

While Anwar had chosen to challenge the constitutionality of the charge, Azmin, Badrul Hisham and the thee others had taken a different route by appealing the magistrate’s order that was issued under Section 98 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

They appealed at the Court of Appeal, which set aside the magistrate’s order.


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