15 September 2014

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KENYATAAN MEDIA
UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA
15 SEPT 2014

KEADILAN KECAM RAMPASAN AKHBAR, NAJIB PERLU MANSUHKAN AKTA MESIN CETAK DAN PENERBITAN

Hari ini umum dikejutkan dengan berita rampasan 300 naskhah akhbar Suara Keadilan di Kedah, iaitu di Jitra, Kuala Kedah, Alor Setar, Pendang dan Kepala Batas pada 10hb September lalu oleh pegawai-pegawai Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

Saya difahamkan bahawa para peniaga yang menjual Suara Keadilan di kawasan-kawasan itu telah diberi amaran, jika mereka terus menjual akhbar tersebut maka kedai-kedai mereka akan ditutup. Jika benar, perkara ini amat mendukacitakan dan cukup zalim. Pihak KDN perlu mengesahkan sama ada perkara ini benar-benar berlaku, dan jika ya amalan ini wajib dihentikan.

KEADILAN mengecam tindakan KDN ini yang mengekang kebebasan bersuara, satu hak asasi yang termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Pada masa yang sama, KEADILAN menggesa Menteri Dalam Negeri, DS Zahid Hamidi untuk menjelaskan status permohonan permit Suara Keadilan yang telah dihantar sejak tahun lalu.

KEADILAN turut menggesa Perdana Menteri, DS Najib Razak untuk memansuhkan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan. Walaupun akta tersebut telah dipinda pada 2012, namun pindaan tersebut tidak mencukupi dan akta itu masih bersifat kukubesi dan tidak demokratik. Perdana Menteri harus menunjukkan kesungguhan politik sebagai seorang “demokrat moderat” dan memansuhkan akta ini dengan segera.

Fahmi Fadzil
Pengarah Komunikasi KEADILAN

15 September 2014

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KENYATAAN MEDIA
UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA
15 SEPT 2014

SAH HARGA MINYAK NAIK LAGI DENGAN GST

Laporan akhbar Sin Chew Daily yang turut dipetik oleh laman kereta paultan.org mengesahkan bahawa Umno/Barisan Nasional akan mengenakan Cukai Barang dan Perkhidmatan (GST) ke atas petrol dan diesel.

Mengikut laporan, pengesahan ini dibuat oleh Ishak Daud, Penolong Pengarah Kanan Jabatan Kastam dan Eksais dalam satu taklimat GST anjuran Universiti Tuanku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) minggu lalu.

Ini mengesahkan sangkaan saya selama ini bahawa Umno/Barisan Nasional akan mengenakan GST ke atas petrol dan diesel yang secara langsung bermakna harga minyak akan dinaikkan apabila GST dilaksanakan dalam April 2015 kelak.

Pada kadar GST 6%, harga seliter petrol selepas ini adalah RM2.27 sen. Jika seorang pengguna biasa dianggarkan menggunakan 80 liter seminggu bersamaan 320 liter petrol sebulan, kenaikan harga minyak akibat pelaksanaan GST ini bermakna bil petrol satu isi rumah biasa akan meningkat sebanyak RM50 sebulan.

Pada masa yang sama, kenaikan harga minyak ini juga akan menyebabkan kenaikan harga barangan dan perkhidmatan yang lain.

Akhirnya, bebanan bulanan setiap isi rumah akan bertambah dan saya anggarkan sekurang-kurangnya meningkat RM100 sebulan (kenaikan terus harga minyak dan kenaikan harga barang dan perkhidmatan yang lain) bagi setiap isi rumah di kawasan bandar dan separa bandar.

Saya juga telah menyatakan bahawa Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak akan melaksanakan penarikan balik subsidi minyak dengan menghadkannya kepada golongan tertentu dan sebahagian pengguna akan terpaksa membayar harga penuh tanpa subsidi.

Saya dimaklumkan keputusan itu telah dibuat tetapi belum dilaksanakan sementara memuktamadkan syarikat yang dianugerahkan kontrak untuk menaiktaraf semua pam minyak bagi tujuan ini.

Sudah tentu apabila ini juga dilaksanakan, bebanan akibat kenaikan harga minyak itu adalah lebih tinggi dan kenaikan harga barang dan perkhidmatan yang menyusul juga lebih tinggi.

Pada ketika pegawai-pegawai Jabatan Kastam dan Eksais telah mula mengesahkan mengenai kenaikan harga minyak akibat pelaksanaan GST ini, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak masih diam seribu bahasa dan mahu berahsia.

Saya menggesa supaya Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak mengesahkan dengan segera bahawa harga minyak akan naik dengan pelaksanaan GST dan berterus terang dengan rakyat.

Pada masa yang sama, saya seru seluruh rakyat Malaysia menzahirkan bangkangan mereka kepada kenaikan harga minyak ini melalui laman-laman sosial terlebih dahulu sebelum disusuli dengan protes yang lebih besar.

RAFIZI RAMLI

Naib Presiden KEADILAN

Ahli Parlimen Pandan

15 September 2014

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KENYATAAN MEDIA
UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA
15 SEPT 2014

KAMI PEMIMPIN MASYARAKAT & PEMIMPIN NGO NEGERI SELANGOR MENYOKONG PENUH DATUK SERI DR WAN AZIZAH BINTI WAN ISMAIL MENJADI MENTERI BESAR SELANGOR YANG BAHARU

Kami pemimpin masyarakat dan pemimpin NGO di Selangor merafak sembah Ke Bawah DYMM Tuanku Sultan Sharaffudin Idris Shah Sultan Selangor Darul Ehsan, mohon perkenan Tuanku agar Tuanku Sultan dapat menyelesaikan konflik yang berlaku dalam Negeri Selangor berkaitan isu Perlantikan Menteri Besar yang Baharu dengan bijaksana.

Kelemut isu perlantikan Menteri Besar ini sudah terlalu lama. Ia boleh mengakibat pentadbiran kerajaan tidak dapat berjalan dengan baik. Banyak urusan kerajaan boleh terganggu dan boleh dicabar kesahihannnya. Penyelesaian perlantikan Menteri Besar ini akan dapat meredakan konflik politik di negeri Selangor. Rakyat Selangor harus bersatu bagi memastikan Selangor terus maju dan membangun.

Kami menjunjung setia konsep Raja Berpelembagaan dalam sistem demokrasi di Malaysia seperti yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Negara dan Undang-Undang Tubuh Negeri Selangor. Konsep konvensional dalam amalan demokrasi dalam membentuk sesebuah kerajaan harus dipatuhi, bahawa mana-mana Ahli Dewan Negeri yang mendapat sokongan majoriti dari ahli-ahli Dewan Negeri hendaklah dilantik sebagai Menteri Besar dan mendapat perkenan dari Tuanku Sultan. Proses seumpama inilah telah berjalan dengan sempurna sejak dari kita mula membentuk kerajaan dari PRU yang pertama sampailah sekarang dan yang paling akhir sekali ialah perlantikan menteri besar Terengganu.

Pada pandangan Kami Para Pemimpin Masyarakat dan Pemimpin Badan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO) ingin merujuk kepada Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Selangor berkaitan syarat dan kelayakan seseorang untuk dilantik menjadi Menteri Besar.
1. Fasal 53 (2) Seorang Ahli Dewan Negeri
2. Fasal 51 (2) Bangsa Melayu
3. Fasal 51 (2) Menganut Agama Islam
4. Fasal 53 (2) (a) Ahli Dewan Negeri yang mendapat sokongan Majoriti Ahli Dewan Negeri

Berdasarkan kepada syarat serta kelayakan yang dinyatakan dalam Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Selangor maka kami tanpa sebarang keraguan menyokong penuh YB Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah binti Dato’ Wan Ismail sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor yang baharu kerana kelayakan yang jitu lagi padu, di mana beliau mencukupi segala syarat serta kelayakan;

1.Ahli Dewan Negeri Selangor kawasan Kajang
2.Seorang yang Bangsa Melayu
3.Seorang Islam yang mengamalkan ajaran Islam dengan baik
4.Sah mendapat sokongan majoriti 30 ADN Selangor melalui Akaun Bersumpah.

Kami penuh yakin YB Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah binti Dato ’ Wan Ismail akan menjadi seorang Menteri Besar Selangor yang mementingkan rakyat dengan mengamalkan corak kepimpinan secara masyuwarah melalui pembentukan majlis Syura’ kerana latar belakang pendidikan, pengalaman dan rekod cemerlang beliau antaranya;

1. Berkhidmat sebagai Doktor Perubatan selama 14 tahun di Hospital Universiti.

2. Menjadi Pensyarah di Fakulti Perubatan Universiti Malaya.

3. Mendapat Anugerah ‘Gold Medal’ Pingat Emas MacNaughton Jones untuk jurusan Obsterik dan Ginekologi, Royal College of Surgeon, Ireland.

4. Menerima Anugerah Medal Memorial David Gault daripada Royal College of Surgeon, Ireland.

5. Menubuhkan Parti Keadilan Rakyat pada 1999 dan menjadi Presiden selama 16 tahun hingga kini 2014.

6. Menjadi Pengerusi Barisan Alternatif pada 1999.

7. Menjadi Ahli Majlis Gerak 1999.

8. Dipilih dalam Pilihanraya Umum menjadi Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh 1999, 2004 & 2008.

9. Dilantik menjadi Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen Malaysia 2008.

10. Dipilih menjadi Ahli Dewan Negeri Selangor Kawasan Kajang dalam Pilihanraya Raya Kecil 2014.

11. Dianugerahkan “Distinguished Pathfinders Award” oleh The Board of Trustees of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Foundation – Los Angelas, California, USA.

12. Menerima Anugerah Darjah Panglima Pangkuan Negeri (DPSN) sempena hari jadi Yang Di Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang yang membawa gelaran Datuk Seri.

13. Anugerah Sayidatina Khadijah, bersempena Himpunan Helwa Kebangsaan ABIM. Lambang perjuangan menegakkan kebenaran

14. Mempunyai hubungan yang akrab dengan syarikat-syarikat dan pedagang Arab, Sheikh Saleh Kamal al-Barakah (Arab Saudi)

15. Hubungan baik dengan mantan, Presiden B J Habibie, Indonesia yang juga pengasas pertubuhan “The Habibie Centre” yang mengangkat rakyat yang demokrasi.

16. Hubungan baik dengan mantan Presiden Joseph Estrada, Filipina

Dengan rekod cemerlang serta pengalaman beliau serta yang amat membanggakan kami, beliau kini merupakan Presiden Parti Politik di Malaysia yang paling kanan dikalangan Presiden Parti-Parti Politik yang ada di Malaysia (sebagai contoh TGHH memangku Jawatan Presiden PAS jun 2002 dan pada 2003 Presiden, Dato’ Seri Najib November 2008, semua Presiden Parti Politik yang lain memegang jawatan selepas tahun 2000), jadi sangat sangat wajar dan tidak boleh diragui YB Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah binti Dato’ Wan Ismail adalah Wanita pertama menjadi Menteri Besar Selangor.

Maka kami dengan penuh hormat dan takzimnya menyeru supaya semua pihak yang berkaitan agar tidak lari atau keluar dari kaedah ini dalam menyelesaikan kemelut proses perlantikan Menteri Besar yang baharu.. Sekiranya semua pihak berlapang dada, berfikiran terbuka, berpolitik secara matang dan mengutamakan kepentingan rakyat serta menunjukkan kesepakatan yang padu, maka isu ini akan dapat diselesaikan dengan cara yang paling hikmah, telus dan bijaksana dan Insha Allah akan diperkenankan oleh Tuanku Sultan. Muga Allah SWT akan memberkati dan merahmati kita semua.

Dibacakan oleh

Dato’ Hj Mat Ghazali bin Abdul Rakim

Pengerusi Dewan Perdagangan Islam Malaysia Selangor

Di Sokong Penuh oleh Pemimpin Masyarakat serta Pemimpin Badan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO) Negeri Selangor;

1. Dewan Perdagangan Islam Malaysia Cawangan Selangor (DPIM Selangor)

2. Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) Selangor

3. Persatuan Pelajar Islam Selangor

4. Wadah Selangor

5. Wirda Selangor

6. Ikatan Jawa Sejiwa Selangor (iJawa Selangor)

7. Pusat Khidmat Islah Selangor

8. Pusat Kerohanian Selangor

9. Pusat Komuniti Wanita Tg.Karang Selangor

10. Anak Muda Bersatu Tg.Karang Selangor

11. Ikatan Masyarakat Prihatin Parlimen Tg.Karang Selangor

12. Persatuan Pekebun Kecil Daerah Kuala Langat Selangor

13. Pesatuan Pemaju Perumahan Bumiputera Selangor

14. Rakan Muafakat Bisnes Selangor

15. Persatuan Pemandu Teksi dan Kereta Sewa Ulu Langat Selangor

16. Kelab Sahabat Alam Kuala Selangor Selangor

17. Persatuan Darul Wardah Selangor

18. Persatuan Penduduk Rinching Selangor

19. Persatuan Komuniti Pulau Indah Selangor

20. Kelab Rakan Penduduk Puchong Selangor

21. Persatuan Kebajikan Penduduk Paya Jaras Selangor

22. Kelab Kebajikan Sg Kendi Sabak Bernam Selangor

23. Wakil Ketua-Ketua Kampung – 22 Kawasan Parlimen

24. Wakil Ketua-Ketua Kampung Baru – 22 Kawasan Parlimen

25. Wakil Ketua-Ketua Komuniti – 22 Kawasan Parlimen

26. Wakil Pengerusi-Pengerusi Persatuan Penduduk – 22 Kawasan Parlimen

15 September 2014

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Times of Israel

Lack of diplomatic relations and hostility to Israel don’t stop several Islamic nations from (quiet) trade

In the winter of 2013, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stepped across the Egyptian border at Rafah and made a rare visit by a head of government to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Razak, whose country does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, told reporters: “We believe in the struggle of the Palestinian people. They have been suppressed and oppressed for so long.”

It was crystal clear which side he was on. Yet all that time, his country was importing more and more Israeli products — but not talking about it much, certainly not in Gaza.

Official data published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) tells of a booming, but very discreet, trade relationship that is blossoming between the two countries, despite a hawkish prime minister in Jerusalem and Razak’s Islamist and proudly pro-Palestinian government in Kuala Lumpur.

Total trade between the two countries in 2013 reached $1.529 billion, almost double that of 2012, according to the CBS. That figure consists mostly of Israeli exports, at $1.457 billion. Trade continues to accelerate: Between January and July this year, Israeli exports to Malaysia soared to $884.7 million, a 27% jump over the same period last year.

By contrast, Malaysia’s foreign trade figures don’t carry any mention of Israel at all. In its annual data for 2012, for instance, trade with Israel is included in an entry for “Other Countries.”

A significant chunk of the trade boom can be traced to Kiryat Gat in Israel’s sandy southern plains, where global giant Intel has a plant churning out computer chips. It exports these to a second assembly plant in Malaysia. Every shipment is duly recorded in Israel’s foreign trade statistics but studiously ignored by Malaysia. Intel is a US-based company, but the Israeli government promised a 5% co-investment in its Kiryat Gat plant that could amount to one billion shekels ($290 million).

In addition to the officially recorded movement of goods, there is a heavy current of trade flowing beneath the surface, making it hard to calculate the value.

A raft of Israeli exporters and eager buyers in Malaysia and also neighboring Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim nation — are braving the political headwinds in order to do business – largely through third countries such as Singapore. Israel’s embassy there says that most trade is done this way, and in the case of Indonesia, with the embassy’s assistance. Including deals done through a third country, the estimated value of trade between Israel and Indonesia runs as high as $250 million last year, 10 times the $24.9 million of direct trade detailed in official figures.

Hush-hush trade between Israel and hostile states has been going on for decades, through conduits such as Cyprus, Turkey and Jordan, although some direct trade is registered to countries as surprising as Saudi Arabia and Yemen. As in the case of Southeast Asia, the allure of Israel’s high tech exports to businesspeople in these countries seems to outstrip the political hostility.

Israel sees commerce as a stepping stone that can lead to more co-operation with hostile states. Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson labelled the volume of trade with Malaysia “pleasantly surprising” and that of Indonesia as “disappointingly low.”

“Israel does a lot of trade with many countries that we do not have formal diplomatic relations with and we are more than happy with this,” he said. When asked if plans were afoot for establishing more formal dialogue, he responded: “It is no secret that we have periodically engaged in dialogue with these countries. We would like nothing more than to establish diplomatic relations and representative offices.”

For the moment, initiating personal relationships amid such a political minefield is a triumph on its own.

“When I was there and I met the private businesspeople it was like normal,” says Ron Doron, an Israeli businessman with experience in Malaysia. “It’s only coming from the top that people are afraid.”  The official anti-Israel sentiment is reinforced anytime Malaysians open their passport, which are all imprinted with the clear statement: “This passport is valid for all countries except Israel.”

That doesn’t stop the trade, though. Chemicals, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals are some of the most sought-after items. Those with knowledge of the trade say products are scrubbed of all insignia that could disclose their place of manufacture, to avoid hysterical scenes of the kind that erupted in Kuwait in January when rumors ran rife that Israeli potatoes had been spotted for sale at a local supermarket.

Discretion is essential, because the potential for reputation damage, and thus financial damage, to companies seen to be doing business with Israel exists as long as the Israeli-Arab conflict continues. According to Emanuel Shahaf, vice chairman of the Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, “There are two contradictory trends. The pro trend is that Indonesia demands more high-tech things… The negative trend is the political situation is not getting better (when it comes to Israel), in fact it’s getting worse.” Even so, this may not always suppress trade, according to Shahaf. “Sometimes in Indonesia … the forbidden is more exciting.”

Recent political developments are not promising, but it’s possible that even the collapse of the US-led Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in April and the renewed hostilities with Hamas, will not cause a slump in trade. Commerce continued to grow after the last flare-up in Gaza in 2012.

Political tensions mean that personal relationships are paramount when it comes to forging contacts and closing deals. “Israeli companies usually don’t have the patience for the long term,” says Doron. “That’s one of the problems for Israeli companies. In Asia, you need to look for long term. You cannot do business for the short term. It takes time to build the relationship and the confidence.”

Personal bonds have laid some ground work for Indonesians to be more receptive to Israel. Steve Stein has been coordinating humanitarian and development programs there since the early 90s and says that Indonesians see Israel in a “positive way” and “are eager to expend trade and investment.” Expanding the relationship could involve creating “a special long term Indonesia program by expending academic, agriculture for food security and medical cooperation,” says Stein. “This would expose the young generation of Indonesians to the land of Israel and its people, its academic and business community,” he wrote in an email.

Last November, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett made a visit to the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where he spoke at a World Trade Organization summit. It was the first visit of an Israeli minister to the world’s most populous Muslim nation for 13 years. However, it is understood he did not meet with any Indonesian government representatives.

15 September 2014

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Keynote address by Anwar Ibrahim, Opposition Leader, on the eve of Malaysia Day, 15th September 2014 at the Penang Institute

As we approach the 51st anniversary of the formation of our nation, we find ourselves asking the fundamental question yet again ‘what are we celebrating?’

Indeed, the term ‘independence’ is often used without a true appreciation of what it really means and signifies. Defined in our historical context, Independence for Malaya was freedom from British colonial rule officially granted on August 31st 1957. For Sarawak, it was the 22nd July 1963 supposedly given on the condition that Sarawak would, together with Sabah, join the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963.

But that is the simplistic, if not entirely superficial, understanding of Independence where it is celebrated more by the appreciation of its form and colour and less by substance and true significance.

When the true substance of Independence is ignored or, when the powers that be consider it “…more honoured in the breach than the observance” then it is time again to take stock of things.

To my mind, independence has to mean among other things liberation fromoppression. In the historical context, it was liberation from the British colonial master. But history has not ended because we know that the post-war independence that was gained by most of the countries of Asia and Africa was eventually supplanted by a new-fangled oppression imposed from within by the powers that be.

So, for most of these countries, what was supposed to be the end of an era of oppression in reality saw the birth of a new era of tyranny and injustice, which turned out to be more insidious than the one it replaced.

How our independence went astray

For Malaysia, our attainment of independence was followed by the initial yearsof growth and development as a free nation.

However, it was interrupted by the outbreak of ‘Confrontation’ with Indonesiaand the mass arrests that ensued and subsequently that dark patch known as May 13. But the interaction between the Opposition and the ruling government saw intense and vibrant debates in Parliament, and our new found freedom wasas palpable as it could realistically be at that point in time.

However, as we moved into the last three decades, the path that should have taken us to the next level of political maturity and stability as a truly independent nation went off the track and took us instead to a new era of oppression, marked by harsh police crackdowns, mass arrests and detentions without trial and government lording over the people with impunity.

We cannot have true independence when repressive laws of the colonial era that should have been repealed with the passage of time still remain in our statute books.

Now, not only are these laws still in force, they are being used with a renewed vengeance and rigour. The Sedition Act, for example, is now employed as a newweapon of mass oppression.

To my mind, not only is this a negation of true independence, but the recent spate of arbitrary arrests and selective prosecution of Pakatan Rakyat leaders as well as lawyers doing their job and even academicians represents a gross affront to the democratic process and signifies a breakdown in the rule of law.


Hijacking democracy and the electoral process

It is a blatant and shameless attempt by the UMNO-BN government to hijack democracy by having duly elected law makers from Pakatan to be denied their legitimate representative capacities and disqualified from contesting in the subsequent by-elections. In doing so, they are attempting to stifle the voices of the rakyat.

Democracy is being hijacked and the electoral process is being undermined.True independence would mean that such abuse of power by the Executive will and cannot be tolerated.

It is an attack on the very foundation of our constitution which guarantees freedom from arbitrary arrests and prosecution. It violates the democratic process which renders elected representatives to be duty-bound to speak for the people against injustice and abuse of power.

Meanwhile, racist remarks and speeches by UMNO ministers and MPs aregiven full media coverage by UMNO’s propaganda network machine with complete impunity. Extreme right-wing groups and countless other racistorganizations continue to spread and incite communal hatred. Racists andpurveyors of religious extremism get off scot free while those who speak the truth for the sake of a better, more harmonious Malaysia are treated as criminals.

True Independence means that we must reject these archaic laws and that the maxim everyone is equal before the law must be observed strictly.

The concept of Federalism and Malaysia

Malaysia is in theory a Federation of states buttressed by the Federal Constitution. However, when we go through the Federal List, it would soon begin to dawn on us that we are more a unitary state.

The concept of federalism entails a division of power between the federalgovernment and the state governments while in a unitary state, power is centralised. A rather common misperception is that we cannot afford real federalism or decentralization because this diverse country will fall apart. Calls for decentralization are therefore often dismissed as conspiracies to undermine the nation-state or worse still, viewed askance as campaigns for separation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. True federalism ensures proportionate allocation of power so that all component states can work as separate unitswhile the overall federal structure remains firm and intact. This is essential to allow the Federal Government to move the nation forward as a sovereign state recognised in the international community.

To maintain cohesiveness as a multi-cultural multi-religious nation, all national policies must be inclusive and sensitive to the fundamental rights of the diverse communities.

Collective platform approach

True federalism can only be realised where there is a collective platform approach in first ensuring real independence.

Regardless of partisan affiliation, a pre-requisite must be the sharing of the values that will form the bed rock for a nation to maintain true independence. These are none other than respecting and honouring the fundamental rights and liberties as enshrined in the charter for statehood; cherishing and defending justice for all regardless of ethnicity, regional background, social class or religious calling; and last but not least subscribing to the basic principles of democracy and rule of law.

These values are not to be merely proclaimed for political expediency, trumpeted about when the occasion demands or articulated wantonly in public forums for the sake of grandstanding.

They must be sincerely believed in, actualised through word and deed and when push comes to shove held on to even at the risk of losing political power. For power gained through unprincipled means will be illegitimate power and all actions derived therefrom will be likewise illegitimate.

For Pakatan Rakyat, developments in the last two months have demonstrated a case of acute consensus deficiency flaring into open disputes and unwarranted washing of dirty linen in public. They should have been resolved if all members adhered to the shared values on a common platform.

In respect of the states under Pakatan rule, it must be reiterated that true independence must compel us to subscribe to the rule of law and the established process of Parliamentary democracy as well as to honour and respect our system of constitutional monarchy.

The words and actions of Pakatan leaders must reflect this conviction. They must reflect what Pakatan is fighting for. And in all situations, they must reflect a faithful adherence to the precepts and principles of the Orange Book.

Admittedly, people are beginning to question whether our words and actions do indeed reflect these shared values and perspectives. On the contrary, some are convinced that the rhetoric that is being spewed out by some of the leadersactually run counter to our shared values.

The tyranny of the majority

Ours is a “majoritarian democracy” highlighted by a concentration of power in the hand of winners while the losers are excluded from participating in any kind of power sharing. The inherent problem of such a system is the possibility of tyranny of the majority.

It was Edmund Burke who said that “The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.”

But in theory, federalism in our system which incorporates the Senate representing state interests in our Parliament should have served as a good check to the majoritarian tendency and move us more towards an alternative, “consensus democracy”. Unfortunately, our federalism is overly centralized and our Senate is, with all due respect, essentially incapable of advancing the states’ interest.

Some stark examples of the tyranny of the majority have been unfolding and threatening the sensitive social fabric of our multi-religious and multi-racial society. We know the myriad problems caused by the insistence of certain members of one community on disallowing the use of certain words they claimto be exclusive to them; or the demand that the religious books of onecommunity cannot be translated into a certain language.

The community that feels victimised naturally insists on its fundamental rights. The more dominant group threatens retaliation. That is unwarranted and confrontational. There is no reasoned discourse. It is less about theology than about generating mass psychology.

Bahasa Malaysia as the national identity

Language identity as a nation cannot be separated from its sovereignty. Anyproposal to enhance federalism without giving pride of place to Bahasa Malaysia as the national unifying language for all Malaysians is doomed to fail.

Thus, the position of Bahasa Malaysia must not be questioned at all. This is a struggle not just for the champions of the language but a conviction for all of us regardless of our mother tongue. While no community may be denied its fundamental right to its native tongue, Malay is the only language that will bind us linguistically as a nation.

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

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

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

Governance and accountability

Often, the discourse on decentralization and true federalism proceeds without sufficient thought being given to the issue of governance and accountability.

This cannot be overstated for decentralization from the federal nexus of powercould lead to over-centralization to the respective states. This in turn may generate an overconcentration of power and the host of problems that will accompany power that is unchecked. Even without this devolution we can see the level and magnitude of power abuse and corruption in certain states where governance proceeds without the slightest regard to demands of transparency and accountability. Therefore, the devolution of central power must go hand in hand with putting in place a system of checks and balances.

Conclusion

To conclude, true federalism can only proceed from true independence. The notion that we cannot afford real federalism lest the country will fall apart has no basis in truth. Calls for devolution of power from the Federal government must never be associated with campaigns for separation. As true federalism ensures proportionate allocation of power, decentralization will enhance thestrength of the Federal Government and positively contribute to its consolidation as a sovereign state recognised in the international community.

Thank you.

12 September 2014

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PRESS STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 SEPTEMBER 2014

LFL: N.Surendran’s Sedition Charges Jeopardises Anwar’s Final Appeal

LFL views with serious concern the two sedition charges against N. Surendran for statements made in his capacity as Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer. The first charge against Surendran was for mere criticism of the Court of Appeal’s judgment convicting Anwar; whereas the second charge was for comments relating to the case made after attending a case management hearing on behalf of Anwar at the Federal Court.

The alleged seditious statements made were in fact the crux of Anwar Ibrahim’s legal defence at the Federal Court appeal. It is shocking and unacceptable for a lawyer to be charged for statements made in relation to his client’s case, and even more so for statements which also form the basis of the client’s legal defence.

Needless to say, these charges have enormous ramifications on the independence of the Bar and the right of lawyers to defend their clients and to act without fear or favour. The public will be adversely affected if lawyers begin to fear criminal charges for speaking out on behalf of their clients.

The right to a fair trial crucially includes allowing lawyers to carry out their duties without threat or intimidation from the authorities. In this case, Anwar Ibrahim’s right to a fair hearing in the impending Federal Court appeal on 28 and 29 October 2014 has been seriously jeopardised by the sedition charges which has had a serious impact upon Anwar’s entire legal team.

It is unacceptable for the Federal Court to proceed with Anwar’s appeal with these sedition charges hanging over the head of one of his key lawyers for the appeal.

LFL urges the Attorney-General to urgently review and drop the charges against Surendran. In addition, the AG should also similarly review and drop all charges against all other persons charged under the Sedition Act and work towards the eventual repeal of this draconian law as promised repeatedly by the Prime Minister.

Eric Paulsen
Executive Director
Lawyers for Liberty

12 September 2014

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SOALAN-SOALAN PARLIMEN
DATO’ SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM
KETUA PEMBANGKANG
AHLI PARLIMEN PERMATANG PAUH

MESYUARAT KETIGA, PENGGAL KEDUA
PARLIMEN KETIGA BELAS, DEWAN RAKYAT 2014

PERTANYAAN-PERTANYAAN BAGI JAWAB LISAN

1. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Perdana Menteri menjelaskan apakah kerajaan berpendapat dengan mendakwa sebilangan pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat termasuk beberapa orang Ahli Parlimen, aktivis dan cendekiawan dengan tuduhan menghasut (Akta Hasutan 1948) selaras dengan komitmen PM menjadikan Malaysia sebuah negara yang lebih demokratik.

2. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan perincian jumlah liabiliti 1MDB terkini dan apakah sebab penangguhan IPO aset tenaganya yang bernilai USD 3 bilion.

3. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan adakah kerajaan telah mengenalpasti dalang tembakan pesawat MH17 di Ukraine dan berapakah kos yang ditanggung kerajaan bagi mempersiapkan kepulangan jenazah-jenazah mangsa nahas pesawat MH17 tersebut.

4. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Kewangan menyatakan apakah
1) jaminan kerajaan dan Khazanah bahawa MAS akan diurus
dengan lebih cekap.
2) kerajaan bersedia untuk mengkaji “fuel and oil
expenditure” yang menyumbang 36% kepada jumlah
perbelanjaan MAS.
3) jaminan kepentingan pekerja MAS dilindungi.

5. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Kewangan apakah langkah-langkah yang diambil kerajaan setakat ini untuk:
1) merapatkan jurang kesenjangan pendapatan yang semakin melebar.
2) mencapai pendapatan per kapita GNI USD15, 000 menjelang 2020 memandangkan kira-kira 30% daripada isi rumah masih berpendapatan kurang dari RM3000.

6. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Pengangkutan menjelaskan apakah kerajaan bersedia untuk mengkaji semula dasar kerajaan berkenaan pengangkutan awam, terutamanya bas awam yang beroperasi tidak mengikut jadual yang ditetapkan sekaligus menyusahkan rakyat terbanyak yang menggunakannya.

7. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Pendidikan menjelaskan secara terperinci berhubung insiden “perletakan jawatan” pengasas dan Pengarah Pusat Demokrasi dan Pilihan Raya Universiti Malaya (Umcedel) Prof Datuk Redzuan Othman.

8. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Pendidikan menjelaskan apakah tindakan yang telah diambil berhubung kecuaian sehingga berlaku kebocoran Kertas Peperiksaan Sains 018, 028, 038 bagi Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) 2014 yang sepatutnya berlangsung pada 11 September 2014.

9. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Dalam Negeri menjelaskan samada siasatan terhadap dua orang penumpang pesawat MAS MH370 yang dilaporkan menggunakan pasport palsu telah dijalankan dan apakah hasil siasatan setakat ini.

10. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan apakah kerajaan bersedia untuk menaiktaraf sistem Parlimen di Malaysia dengan mewujudkan sesi “Prime Minister’s Questions” atau “PMQs” sepertimana sistem Westminster di UK yang memperuntukkan setengah jam untuk Perdana Menteri untuk menjawab soalan-soalan berkaitan.

Soalan-Soalan Bertulis

1. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Dalam Negeri status terkini siasatan kes pencerobohan Lahad Datu di Sabah dan apakah kerajaan telah membayar pampasan kepada mangsa tragedi berdarah itu dan berapa jumlahnya.

2. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Dalam Negeri menyatakan statistik jenayah indeks dan jenayah bukan indeks mengikut negeri dan kawasan Parlimen.

3. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan dengan terperinci status kes-kes rasuah berprofil tinggi, apakah status siasatan dan apakah ada tangkapan dan pendakwaan yang telah dijalankan.

4. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan statistik pemilih berdaftar mengikut negeri dan kawasan Parlimen dan apakah perkembangan terkini ke arah persempadanan semula.

5. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim [ Permatang Pauh ] minta Menteri Luar Negeri menyatakan secara terperinci jumlah bantuan yang telah disumbangkan oleh kerajaan Malaysia kepada mangsa-mangsa di Palestin setakat ini ekoran “Operation Protective Edge” yang dilancarkan rejim Zionis terhadap Gaza baru-baru ini.

PEJABAT KETUA PEMBANGKANG

12 September 2014

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PRESS STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 SEPT 2014

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s claim yesterday that I had agreed to the imposition of GST back in 1992 is both disingenuous and misleading.

Even then in Parliament I had made it explicitly clear that the GST must be carried out in a “transparent and efficient” manner and by that I had stated that certain pre-requisites must be met before implementation.

These included proper governance, transparency, no leakages and wastage, and safeguards against corrupt practices. I had also emphasized that the GST should start at a low level.

These pre-conditions not being fulfilled, that was why the GST was never implemented during my watch as Finance Minister.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

12 September 2014

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TMI

Pertuduhan hasutan yang bertalu-talu terhadap wakil rakyat pembangkang dan individu lain dilihat sebagai “penindasan” dan bukannya pendakwaan, kata bekas Peguam Negara Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman mengkritik tindakan Jabatan Peguam Negara untuk mengkaji semula kes selepas pertuduhan dikenakan.

Abu Talib berkata, luar biasa bagi Peguam Negara Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail yang juga pendakwa raya mendakwa dulu, kemudiannya membuat keputusan untuk kajian semula.

“Kita mesti berlaku adil dengan melakukan pendakwaan dan bukannya penindasan,” kata Abu Talib kepada The Malaysian Insider dalam satu temuramah khas di Kuala Lumpur semalam.

Abu Talib, yang menjadi peguam negara pada 1980 hingga 1993, berkata demikian ketika mengulas kenyataan Gani pada Selasa pihaknya mengkaji kes terhadap pensyarah undang-undang Universiti Malaya Profesor Madya Dr Azmi Sharom dan beberapa lagi yang dihadapkan dengan tuduhan mengikut Akta Hasutan 1948.

Gani berkata, ia adalah amalan biasa bagi pihak pendakwaan dan beliau akan menjalankan tugasnya dengan penuh tanggungjawab, adil, tepat dan telus tanpa pengaruh mana-mana pihak.

“Mendakwa seseorang adalah perkara yang sangat serius kerana  ia memberi kesan kepada kredibiliti, kedudukan dan maruah tertuduh.

“Ia akan menyebabkan tertuduh dalam terganggu emosi. Malah, jika pertuduhan ditarik balik kemudian pun, kerosakan sudah berlaku,” katanya.

Abu Talib berkata, sepanjang tempoh perkhidmatannya, beliau hanya memberikan persetujuan kepada pendakwaan sekiranya terdapat 90% bukti untuk melakukan sabitan.

Katanya, pendakwaan dibuat berdasarkan undang-undang, keadilan dan pertimbangan kepentingan awam tanpa dipengaruhi pihak ketiga.

Beliau berkata, kenyataan Gani untuk mengkaji semula pertuduhan hanya memberi gambaran keputusan mengenakan dakwaan terhadap tertuduh dibuat tanpa pertimbangan teliti dan serius terhadap semua fakta yang ada.

“Adakah beliau (Gani) mengakui tidak adil dan telus apabila melakukan dakwaan, dan itu sebabnya mengapa beliau  mengkaji semula kes sekarang? Mungkin beliau perlu beri penjelasan,” katanya.

Abu Talib berkata, bukan tugas pihak pendakwa mendapatkan sabitan tetapi memastikan keadilan terhadap pertuduhan dan mangsa.

Beliau berkata, Dr Azmi hanya mengulas mengenai undang-undang atau menjelaskan undang-undang.

“Malangnya, makna menghasut sangat luas. Di sinilah peguam negara perlu menggunakan kebijaksanaan beliau dalam keputusannya untuk melakukan pendakwaan,” katanya sambil menambah pada zamannya hanya terdapat satu atau dua kes hasutan bagi pendakwaan.

Abu Talib, yang enggan menyebut sebarang nama berkata, terdapat personaliti yang membuat kenyataan hasutan kaum dan agama yang lebih serius tetapi tidak dikenakan dakwaan.

“Beliau tidak diperlukan untuk memberi penerangan tetapi ia amat ideal bagi meningkatkan keyakinan dalam soal pentadbiran keadilan dan jawatannya,” kata Abu Taib merujuk kepada Gani.

Pada Rabu, Majlis Peguam Malaysia menyeru Gani menarik balik dakwaan hasutan terhadap Azmi, pemimpin pembangkang dan aktivis.

Presidennya Christopher Leong berkata Gani pada pembukaan Undang-Undang Tahun 2013 menyatakan “setiap orang perlu mengemukakan pandangannya tanpa penalti dan perlu ada satu semangat toleransi di seluruh rakyat”.

Majlis peguam akan mengadakan mesyuarat agung luar biasa pada 19 September bagi membincangkan resolusi berkenaan Akta Hasutan 1948.

Mahasiswa daripada university awam di seluruh negara juga menyertai hartal (protes) yang dianjurkan Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya sebagai solidariti terhadap Azmi.

Pada 2 September, Azmi didakwa menghasut berdasarkan kenyataannya dalam satu artikel bertajuk “Ambil laluan krisis Perak bagi mengakhir kebuntuan Selangor, kata Pakatan”, yang diterbitkan dalam sebuah portal berita pada 14 Ogos.

Ahli politik Sabah David Orok juga didakwa mengikut undang-undang yang sama pada 3 September kerana didakwa menghina Islam dan Nabi Muhammad menerusi Facebook dua bulan lalu.

Sejak awal bulan ini beberapa ahli politik pembangkang termasuk Ahli Parlimen Padang Serai N Surendran (PKR), Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam dan Ahli Jawatankuasa Pusat PAS Khalid Samad serta wakil rakyat Seri Delima RSN Rayer (DAP) didakwa mengikut Akta Hasutan.

Ahli Parlimen Seputeh Teresa Kok (DAP), Ahli Parlimen Batu Tian Chua (PKR) dan aktivis Haris Ibrahim juga berdepan dengan perbicaraan kerana dakwaan menghasut.

Jika sabit kesalahan, mereka boleh dikenakan denda sehingga RM5,000 atau penjara sehingga tiga tahun, atau kedua-duanya.

Wakil rakyat berisiko kehilangan jawatan mereka jika mahkamah mengenakan denda RM2,000 atau lebih, atau sekurang-kurangnya setahun penjara.

12 September 2014

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TMI

The goods and services tax (GST) system must be executed transparently and efficiently, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said in denying the prime minister’s claim that he had agreed to impose the GST while he was finance minister more than two decades ago.

The opposition leader said Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claim was “disingenuous and misleading”, and stressed that the tax system was never implemented under his watch.

Anwar said he had made it clear in Parliament then that the proposed tax system must be carried out in a transparent and efficient manner, and that certain prerequisites had to be met before its implementation.

“These included proper governance, transparency, no leakage and wastage, and safeguards against corrupt practices and I had also emphasised that the GST should start at a low level.

“These pre-conditions have not been fulfilled and that was why the GST was never implemented during my watch as finance minister,” Anwar said in a statement today.

Anwar’s response comes in the wake of Najib’s speech when closing a briefing session on the GST two days ago, where the prime minister had said that he was not the first finance minister to push the GST.

“The first finance minister who said that the government wanted to impose GST in his budget speech in 1992 was Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” Najib had said on Wednesday.

Najib had also said that the GST was not new and had been announced by three previous finance ministers, including Tun Daim Zainuddin and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Najib added that the tax system slated to be implemented in April next year would not burden Malaysians.

11 September 2014

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TMI

Leaked test papers for a Year 6 examination must be a new low in Malaysia.

In times past, including a case last year, the leaks were either for SPM or STPM examinations but now, even primary school children are not spared such an incident.

Yesterday, the Education Ministry moved the Science paper test to September 30 because of a leak that was provided through social media. Today, the ministry said those who sat the English paper will also have to re-sit the paper as it was also leaked.

Are there any more papers that have been leaked for the Year 6 examination that tests nearly 500,000 across Malaysia?

And is this another indicator of Malaysia, where the moral compass has gone awry and where parents of even the young don’t understand between right and wrong?

Why would anyone want to buy examination answers for their 12-year-old child? Is passing an examination more important than the lessons learnt in school?

Are we teaching children that it is perfectly fine to cheat at examinations just so that they can get ahead of their peers in life? Won’t this be the new culture that they will take with them through their school life?

Cheating at any level is wrong, be it for a primary school examination or even at secondary and tertiary level. What more in life.

This year’s leaks tell us that some people don’t think so. They think they can get away with it because it is easily done and it is just an examination for 12-year-olds.

They are wrong.

It is this kind of cheating that leads to corruption, one of Malaysia’s biggest banes and one reason why there is so little trust in the authorities these days. But this kind of cheating will create a bigger trust deficit.

In future, no one will trust any school or university certificate or degree because cheating and examination paper leaks have spread to the most basic level of examinations – the UPSR.

Is it too late to nip this in the bud if it has reached the UPSR? Do we still know right from wrong? Can we go back to a time where at least examination papers are taken seriously and not just a commodity that can be bought or sold?

The nub of the matter is simple. It is not just Putrajaya that must take action but all of us, because our future generation depends on us sticking to the straight and narrow.

11 September 2014

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Malaysiakini

YOURSAY ‘It was good of Anwar to apologise and state the fact of the matter.’

‘Sorry your highness, I was following constitution’

Kim Quek: Through PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s statement, one can see the contrast between Anwar and PM Najib Razak.

The former has stood up bravely to uphold the supremacy of the constitution and constitutional monarchy, while the latter has twisted PKR’s stand to present one nominee as an act of betrayal of the sultan, the Malays and Islam.

Such slander is hypocrisy of the highest order, as Umno-BN has always nominated only one candidate for the posts of prime minister, menteri besar and chief minister since independence in 1957, as rightly pointed out by Anwar.

As prime minister, Najib’s despicable conduct has put Malaysians to shame. Now that the apology is over, Pakatan must stay on its course to nominate PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, for the sake of preserving our system of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.

Hank Marvin: Given the circumstances Anwar was absolutely right. Now let us listen to what Umno has to say.

But as of now, the Malay party has been hypocritical. Two decades ago, it was Umno who went around asking the power to appoint MB to be abolished. Now they are upholding it as they know only through the palace they can hold on to power.

Hbasill: It is great that DSAI (Anwar) has stood his ground and politely told the sultan that the state constitution is supreme.

However, the real challenge for me is how DSAI is going to handle PAS because his mishandling may force a big number of PKR supporters to move their allegiance to DAP or BN.

DSAI is in muddy waters as he himself must be angry with the latest twist to the MB saga because of PAS. The opposition supporters are watching.

As I see it PAS must be axed for the non-Malay supporters to continue supporting PKR. Let’s see what unfolds next.

NewMalaysia: Yes, this is what we want to see in true political courage to stand firm to protect the interest of the people and the constitution.

Despite all the adversities, the people can see clearly that PKR and DAP tried their best to uphold the constitution and the spirit of democracy.

PKR and DAP are bound to name only one candidate because only Wan Azizah command the majority support from the state assemblypersons, any other candidate will automatically be disqualified.

If the sultan insists on someone clearly without the majority support, then there’s no need for Khalid Ibrahim to resign.

Kyrie Eleison: Anwar, you could not have said it better. Unless this country starts to respect the constitution and the rule of law, we will descend into anarchy very soon. This is what I really feared most.

Malaccan: Anwar has taken the difficult but principled stand and is the leader the country desperately needs. And his wife took the matured position to be the better Muslim and politician.

Even among royalty and religious leaders, despite their privileged lives and high stations, many have failed to live up to what this couple have sacrificed and their leadership.

If history is written fairly, they will be counted among the great sons and daughters this nation has birthed and that God has created.

Speaking Sense: If what Anwar says is correct, the question must now be asked: why do the palace advisers suddenly find the need to ask for more than one name this time when it is already very clear that the nominating Pakatan Rakyat coalition has a clear majority in the House?

And another question: was Najib hypocritical or lying when he accused PKR of disrespect for the sultan?

Malaysian 53: It was good of Anwar to apologise and state the fact of the matter. There is nothing more to explain because Anwar’s few sentences says it all.

It is either HRH is wrongly advised or has not been properly briefed of the consequences of a stalemate and the possibility of the ‘selected’ MB losing the vote of confidence in the House.

Many of us dread to see the embarrassment that will befall the royal house on such a situation.

Proarte: Based on what Anwar has revealed, BN looks very hypocritical and sadly it also appears as though the Selangor monarchy is dancing to the tune of Umno.

The sultan must be seen to be neutral in a constitutional monarchy, otherwise the raison d’être of the institution is negated.

Furthermore, Selangorians may begin to question the relevance of the monarchy. This would be the regrettable outcome if Umno’s carries out an unconstitutional and undemocratic attempt to influence the sultan.

Anonymous #57883242: Like it or not, Anwar is the only politician in Malaysia that has true courage to say what needs to be said.

MalaysiaMyhome: This is a defining moment in the history of our nation. I respect the sultan, but I respect the constitution too. Anwar and gang are just upholding the constitution and that’s why they have my support.

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