23 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Huffington Post

Dear 25,000 Anti-Islam Dresden Protesters and Pegida,

I hear you marched in your thousands against my religion. Last week, and last month. You marched against immigrants, foreigners, and anyone a shade darker. I will not draw comparisons to Nazi Germany. I will not call you bigots, I will not insult you, and I will not label you. But we do have a problem.

You marched with banners claiming your city is overcrowded with Muslims. Yet 0.1% of Dresden are Muslim. You marched claiming immigrants are cramming your schools and leaving your children to travel miles for an education. Yet 2.5% of Dresden are foreign-born.

You claim that Germany is being invaded by Muslims. Yet only 5% of Germans are Muslim.

You march “against the Islamization of the West”. Yet within a century containing two World Wars, the decolonisation process, countless civil conflicts, foreign intervention, globalisation, and further displacement, Muslims remain a fringe minority in Europe. Less than 6%. A pretty lousy colonisation process, no?

You marched against refugees and asylum seekers, claiming Germany is their target for welfare and social security. Yet according to UNHCR, there are 51.2million refugees worldwide. Germany caters for less than 0.01% of them. Is that too much to ask? Is such a humanitarian obligation too large for the Refugee Convention 1951 your government ratified? Or is it actually punitive, for example, in comparison to Lebanon where every fourth person is a Syrian refugee?

Protesters, you are not alone. In my country, Britain, we have our own anti-immigration party. Ukip won their first seat in Clacton with nothing but anti-migrant rhetoric. Yet only 4.3% of Clacton are foreign-born. In a Parliamentary-based system, where each constituency elects a representative to voice their views, there is nothing Ukip can do for the people of Clacton.

Do you see a pattern? Perhaps I should explain. Your kind tend to establish themselves where their “problem” does not actually exist. Is this therefore an issue of negative perception? Fear of the unfamiliar? Intolerance in ignorance? Scapegoating an underclass? Media misinformation?

I will elaborate. London has a 36.2% foreign-born population. Relatively, that is fifteen times the population of foreigners in Dresden. A far greater diversity. Ukip poll the lowest in London compared to the rest of the country– in every demographic, foreign or not. London is a metropolis of brown, black, and white working side by side. We thrive. I saw an atheist today. Guess what? I did not try to convert him nor behead him for blasphemy; I helped him off the bus. He was 74 years old.

Does that make sense?

Your only insight into Islam is a box in your living room. Confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance infest the information you expose yourself to. Information which dehumanises and polarises anyone unlike you.

You enjoy the far-right media portrayal of Islam. It makes you feel good. Superior. Better. The barbaric Muslims, we are. We disrespect women, and we impose our beliefs on to others.

Yet did you know that Turkey, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, all Muslim majority states have had more elected female heads of state than almost every other Western country? Did you know that the Quran explicitly says “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256), and our Prophet clarified “whomever hurts a non-Muslim will not smell a whiff of paradise”?

Did you know that your twisted misrepresentation of my religion helps the terrorists? Did you know that you and the terrorists agree on what seems to form an integral part of your identity: that Islam is violent? Did you know that you even use the same methodology to proclaim this; taking a verse out of context and evading any intellectual discourse?

What are Muslims to you, anyway? Arabs? Less than 20% of us are Arab. Indian or Pakistani? Again, less than 20%. Turkish? Less than 5%. Nothing else? That is more than half of us you cannot identify.

You assume our identity by our race. Is it not disheartening to you that such a narrow world view is legitimately held by so many? Does it not display a perspective so constrained to the contents of immediate life and prejudice? Is that not likely to lead to ignorant assumptions and offence in face of what is unbeknownst?

What becomes of the German Muslim, I wonder? Is he spared because he is white? Or is he declared a traitor and shunned? Is it difficult to choose between racism and neglecting a fellow countryman? Choose neither. Choose education. Tolerance. Kindness.

Detach from the vicious cycle of far-right media (who are unfamiliar with foreigners) feeding the far-right populace (who are unfamiliar with foreigners) what they should think about foreigners.

I ask you, have you ever met a Muslim? “Met” is not a synonym for shouting abuse at or stabbing to death in or outside their home. No, have you ever sat with a Muslim? Talked to a Muslim? Worked with a Muslim?

You should. At an airport perhaps, where we are 42 times more likely to be searched, and thus declared safe for human interaction.

A Real-Life Muslim (not the ones on TV)

23 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Malaysia’s pace of democratisation has improved only marginally over the years and it remained a “flawed democracy” last year, the same category it occupied in 2008, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) latest findings showed.

The country placed 65th out of 167 nations and federal territories reviewed in the EIU’s Democracy Index 2014, putting it 10 spots ahead of Singapore, but far behind other South-east Asian peers such as Indonesia, which is 49th, and the Philippines in the 53rd spot.

Last year, Malaysia was categorised as a flawed democracy from its aggregate grade of 6.49 out of 10, according to scores tabulated from expert assessments and public surveys.

Flawed democracies are countries that respect basic civil liberties and generally hold free and fair elections, though they may be marred by problems such as infringements on media freedom, said the EIU.

Apart from possible irregularities in elections, a flawed democracy also suffers from other significant weaknesses such as problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation, the EIU said.

Civil society movements in Malaysia have previously alleged that clandestine gerrymandering, the abuse of government machinery, strict media controls and vote-rigging in elections have allowed the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to stay in power for more than five decades.

Despite the allegations, BN lost five states to the opposition as well as its customary parliamentary supermajority in a 2008 general election that was later described as a “political tsunami”. Allegations of unfair polls arose more strongly after the following general election in 2013, when BN lost the popular vote but remained firmly in power and whittled down the number of opposition-held states to only three.

The EIU findings put Singapore in 75th place last year, under the flawed democracy category, with a score of 6.03. That was an improvement from its “hybrid regime” ranking in 2008, when it came in 82nd place with a score of 5.89.

In its report, the EIU highlighted the notable trend of a growing level of engagement in politics in Asia, including more prominent protests in countries “ranging from supposedly apathetic Singapore through to more active democracies, such as India and Taiwan”. “In Singapore, this shift has been enough to lift the country from the status of hybrid regime to flawed democracy,” the report added.

In response, a Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said: “This index is based on a rigid, ideological position that ignores the fact that democratic governments around the world take different forms, depending on their particular history and national conditions. Singapore is a fully democratic state that pragmatically pursues policies to maximise the social and economic outcomes for our citizens.”

The index considers hybrid regimes as countries with substantial election irregularities that often prevent them from being free and fair. They also tend to see government pressure on opposition parties and candidates and “serious weaknesses” in political culture and civil society, among other factors.

The EIU said the index, a snapshot on the state of democracy worldwide, was based on ratings for 60 indicators grouped into five categories: Electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

Based on scores within the five categories, rankings are then assigned according to four types of regimes: Full democracies (8 to 10), flawed democracies (6 to 7.9), hybrid regimes (4 to 5.9), and authoritarian regimes (below 4).

Malaysia and Singapore share their category with 51 other countries. Twenty-four nations were categorised as full democracies, 39 as hybrid regimes and 52 as authoritarian regimes.

22 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Saya ingin menyatakan sokongan terbuka ke atas kenyataan terbaharu Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) melalui Presiden S.M. Mohamed Idris bersabit gesaan membekukan penukaran gunatanah hutan kepada perladangan.

Beberapa perkembangan mutakhir termasuklah bencana banjir yang melanda khususnya kawasan Pantai Timur dan beberapa kawasan lain Semenanjung Malaysia dan tanah runtuh di Cameron Highland merupakan natijah daripada penukaran gunatanah hutan yang didorong inisiatif penerokaan hutan simpan kekal. Ini jelas sekali memberi kesan jangka panjang kepada keseimbangan ekosistem dan biodiversiti.

Isu pembalakan haram yang berlaku baik di Semenanjung mahupun Sabah dan Sarawak bukan sesuatu yang baru dibangkitkan sehari dua ini. Isu ini menjangkau puluhan tahun dan pastinya memberi dampak negatif ke atas perolehan hasil hutan. Puluhan malah ratusan juta ringgit hilang begitu sahaja saban tahun dek pembalakan haram yang tidak dibendung dengan serius.

Perincian dan butiran fakta yang dikemukakan oleh SAM menunjukkan rakyat wajar merasa bimbang. Trend melalui konsep agro-perhutanan tidak wajar dijadikan justifikasi untuk menghalalkan penerokaan hutan serta penukaran guna tanah melibatkan hutan simpan kekal secara sewenang-wenang. Justeru wajar sekali kenyataan SAM ini dijawab dengan jelas dan tuntas oleh badan berwajib khususnya Kementerian Sumber Asli & Alam Sekitar melalui Jabatan Perhutanan Semenanjung Malaysia serta Kementerian Perusahaan Perladangan & Komoditi melalui Lembaga Perindustrian Kayu Malaysia (MTIB).

Adalah wajar sekiranya Majlis Tanah Negara kembali menyemak Dasar Perhutanan Negara yang digubal pada tahun 1977 agar ia diperkemas sesuai dengan kondisi masa kini yang terdedah kepada ancaman pembalakan serta penerokaan haram, dan juga mempertimbangkan seseriusnya gesaan SAM untuk membekukan sebarang bentuk penukaran gunatanah hutan kepada perladangan. Elemen penguatkuasaan harus dimantapkan supaya bersifat lebih efektif dalam menangani masalah ini.

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) juga digesa bertindak tegas untuk membanteras kegiatan korupsi di sebalik pembalakan haram yang berlaku. Dalam pada kita mendorong pembangunan dilaksana dan menggiatkan hasil perladangan, kita sama sekali tidak wajar berkompromi dengan pemugaran tanah sehingga mengakibatkan keseimbangan ekosistem terjejas.

22 Januari 2015

21 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?


24 Januari 2015 (Sabtu)

3.00 ptg :
Dailog b’sama Anak Muda @ Dewan Pej Keadilan Cabang Ipoh. Timur, Jln Pasir Puteh, Ipoh.

5.30ptg ;
Pertemuan Tertutup MPN Perak @ Wisma Keadilan, Ipoh.

7.15 mlm –
Solat & Tazkirah Maghrib @ Surau Muhamaddiyah, Jalan Tiong, Kg Dato’ Ahmad Ahmad Said, Manjoi, Ipoh.

8.00 – 11.00 mlm ;
Jamuan Makan Malam Cabang Lumut @ Dewan Chung Wah, Kg Koh, Sitiawan


18 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

18 JANUARY 2015

Falling oil prices and plunging ringgit: Government must step up to the plate

On December 12 last year, I told the people to brace for tougher times ahead because we

were facing a double whammy with declining international crude oil prices coupled with a

depreciation of the Ringgit at levels unseen since the Asian Financial crisis of 1997.

The prices of Brent crude oil have continued to drop. To date, it has plunged by 53% from

last year, that is, from an average of USD 108 per barrel in January 2014 to an average of

USD 51 for January 2015.

Our Ringgit is currently the weakest Asian currency, leaving aside the Yen. It has depreciated

to 3.55 Ringgit per USD from 3.32 Ringgit a year ago. Since October 2014, the ringgit has

lost almost 8.3%.

It is true that other Asian currencies have also fallen against the USD but our drop is almost

double that of the closest laggards such as the Taiwanese dollar and the Singapore dollar at

4.59% and 4.50% against the USD respectively.

Crude palm oil prices have also weakened by approximately 10% to RM 2300 per tonne.

Impact on our revenue

Income from oil and gas makes up 30% of our total government revenue. The 2015 Federal

Budget that was tabled on October 10 last year was based on an oil price range of USD 100

to 105 per barrel.

Even before the plunge to the current levels, Petronas had warned that if crude prices

averaged at USD 70 to 75, its overall contribution to government revenue would fall short of

8%. This means a shortfall of RM 19.4bn of the estimated revenue of RM 242bn against the

2015 budget projection.

Now that the oil prices have dropped by nearly half, what will be the actual impact on our


Granted there will be savings in fuel subsidies but, as Maybank Research in its latest

publication says, a revenue shortfall of RM 8.4bn will already outweigh the subsidy saving

and result in a fiscal deficit of 4% of GDP instead of the 3% target for 2015.

According to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, crude prices may continue to hover

between the USD 40 and 50 range in 2015. What this means is that the impact on government

revenue and deficit will be even greater. Some analysts are warning of deficit levels reaching

as high as 5%. This would be further accentuated if the ringgit continues to weaken and CPO

prices continue to fall.

In terms of equity investment, according to CLSA (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia),

Malaysia is the worst performing Asian market in 2014. While the stock exchanges in

Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore still managed to chart positive growth, our Bursa suffered

significant declines.

Apart from the factors already stated earlier, there is also the issue of foreign capital

outflows, exiting both Ringgit bonds (owning 45% of total MGS) and equity. With

weakening carry trade attraction and fiscal uncertainties these have driven the Ringgit to

historical lows and pushed MGS yields up and raised financing cost (debt to GDP at 55%).

What the government must do now

First and foremost, corruption and leakages must be tackled. We have already shown in the

Pakatan Rakyat 2015 shadow budget that a conservative saving of only 15% in government

spending leakages could save almost RM20bn or an equivalent of 1.6% of the projected


Secondly, we must put a stop to the culture of wastage and opulent and spendthrift ways

cloaked under shady procurement processes and opaque privatisation awards. The

government must stop sweeping bad debts under the off-balance sheet carpet.

There are no alternatives to good governance other than being transparent and truthful with

information relating to the country’s finances. In this regard, we are already saddled with the

scandalous 1MDB. The people will not tolerate yet another one.

Thirdly, a bi-partisan ‘National Crisis Committee’ should be set up without further delay

comprising government and opposition MPs, economists, market experts and other


Inter alia, the committee should be tasked with the responsibility of monitoring commodity

prices on a daily basis and given the authority to execute any necessary measures to mitigate

any negative impacts once a consensus is obtained.

Fourthly, the government should be prepared to introduce austerity measures in the event that

oil prices go lower and remain there. This will mean cut-backs on mega projects while

continuing to spend on critical areas such as healthcare, education and the humanitarian

assistance for flood victims.

It should be noted that other oil dependent countries such as Norway (with very good

governance) are already on ‘alert mode’ running scenarios on the long-term effects of low oil


It is true that the movement of international commodity prices is beyond our control. But

surely we have control over how we spend our money and manage our overall finances.

This is where the government is failing and continues to fail in spite of our repeated calls to

do a reality check and put in place remedial measures. What have they been doing all this

while? Is this the kind of attitude to show case our drive for transformation?

Flood crisis and lessons drawn

It is the same attitude that had resulted in the devastation caused by the recent floods.

Flooding is an annual phenomenon going on for centuries but no serious mitigation measures

were done by the government.

In this regard, we must commend the NGOs who came in droves to help out. Comprising all

the races and religious groups this show of support and readiness to help the victims is

unprecedented and underscores the paramount importance for the Federal government to

work with Pakatan state governments and the NGOs.

Message to the rakyat

Tougher times lie ahead as government spending could be reduced and growth slows down.

The rakyat needs to remain frugal and not take on additional unnecessary debts.

As inflation continues to rise while wages remain stagnant, the rakyat will face greater

economic hardship and income inequality will continue to widen.

Meanwhile, we want the government to come clean on the economic outlook for the nation.

The people await the Tuesday announcement and expect serious and earnest efforts put in for

the restructuring of the 2015 budget.


18 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

18 JANUARI 2015

Penurunan Harga Minyak dan Junaman Ringgit: Kerajaan Perlu Bertindak Segera

Pada 12 Disember tahun lalu, saya telah memaklumkan kepada rakyat Malaysia untuk

bersedia menghadapi waktu-waktu sukar kerana kita sedang berhadapan dengan hentakan

berganda melalui penurunan harga minyak mentah antarabangsa di samping penyusutan nilai

Ringgit Malaysia ke tahap terendah semenjak krisis kewangan Asia pada tahun 1997.

Harga minyak mentah Brent terus menurun. Sehingga kini, ia telah menyusut sebanyak 53

peratus dari tahun lepas, yakni daripada purata 108 Dollar Amerika Syarikat setong pada

Januari 2014 kepada 51 Dollar Amerika Syarikat secara purata bagi bulan Januari 2015.

Nilai Ringgit kini merupakan matawang Asia yang paling lemah, mengkesampingkan nilai

Yen. Ia telah menyusut kepada RM3.55 untuk setiap 1 Dollar Amerika Syarikat daripada

RM3.32 setahun yang lalu. Sejak Oktober 2014, ringgit telah menyusut hampir 8.3 peratus.

Benar, bahawa matawang Asia yang lain turut menyusut dan terkesan ke atas Dollar Amerika

Syarikat, tetapi matawang kita jatuh hampir dua kali ganda jika dibanding Dollar Taiwan dan

Dollar Singapura pada 4.59 peratus dan 4.50 peratus masing-masing berbanding Dollar

Amerika Syarikat.

Harga minyak sawit mentah juga melemah pada anggaran 10 peratus kepada RM 2300 satu


Dampak Pada Hasil Negara

Pendapatan daripada minyak dan gas membentuk 30 peratus daripada keseluruhan

pendapatan kerajaan. Belanjawan Persekutuan 2015 yang telah dibentangkan pada 10

Oktober tahun lepas adalah berasaskan kepada julat harga minyak mentah antara 100 ke 105

Dollar Amerika Syarikat setong.

Malah sebelum penyusutan ke tahap semasa, Petronas telah memberi amaran sekiranya harga

minyak mentah pada anggaran purata 70 ke 75 Dollar Amerika Syarikat, keseluruhan

sumbangan kepada pendapatan kerajaan akan menyusut sebanyak 8 peratus. Ini bermakna

pengurangan sebanyak RM 19.4 billion daripada anggaran pendapatan sebanyak RM 242

billion ke atas unjuran belanjawan 2015.

Kini, dalam pada harga minyak menurun hampir separuh, apakah dampak sebenar ke atas

pendapatan negara?

Meskipun dimaklumi bahawa akan berlaku penjimatan subsidi minyak, namun sebagaimana

yang dilapor oleh Maybank Research di dalam penerbitan terbaharu mereka, penyusutan

pendapatan sebanyak RM 8.4 billion akan melangkaui penjimatan subsidi dan mengakibatkan

defisit fiskal sebanyak 4 peratus daripada Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar (KDNK) dan

bukannya seperti yang sasaran 3 peratus untuk tahun 2015.

Menurut Goldman Sachs dan Morgan Stanley, harga minyak mentah bakal terus terapung di

antara 40 ke 50 Dollar Amerika Syarikat pada tahun 2015. Ini membawa maksud kesan ke

atas pendapatan kerajaan dan defisit akan menjadi lebih parah. Beberapa penganalisis

memberi peringatan mengenai tahap defisit yang mampu mencecah setinggi 5 peratus. Ini

akan berlanjutan sekiranya nilai Ringgit Malaysia terus menyusut dan harga minyak sawit

mentah terus jatuh.

Dari segi pelaburan ekuiti, menurut CLSA (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia), Malaysia

mencatatkan prestasi pasaran saham terburuk Asia pada tahun 2014. Meskipun bursa saham

Indonesia, Thailand dan Singapura masih berjaya mencatatkan pertumbuhan positif, bursa

saham negara mencatatkan penurunan yang signifikan.

Selain daripada faktor-faktor yang dinyatakan terdahulu, terdapat juga isu berkaitan aliran

keluar modal asing daripada kedua-dua pasaran bon Ringgit (45 peratus daripada keseluruhan

MGS (sekuriti kerajaan Malaysia)) dan ekuiti. Tarikan pasaran yang lemah serta

ketidaktentuan fiskal akan mendorong Ringgit menyusut ke tahap terendah dalam sejarah

serta menolak kadar pulangan MGS dan menaikkan kos pembiayaan (nisbah hutang kepada

KDNK pada 55 peratus).

Apa Yang Harus Kerajaan Lakukan Sekarang?

Pertama sekali, korupsi dan ketirisan perlu ditangani. Kami melalui Pakatan Rakyat telah

membentangkan dalam Belanjawan Bayangan Pakatan Rakyat 2015 bahawa penjimatan

konservatif hanya pada kadar 15 peratus dalam ketirisan perbelanjaan kerajaan mampu

menjimatkan hampir RM 20 billion atau bersamaan 1.6 peratus daripada unjuran KDNK.

Kedua, kita harus menghentikan budaya pembaziran serta cara hidup mewah dan boros yang

diselimuti melalui proses perolehan yang samar dan amalan penswastaan yang legap.

Kerajaan perlu berhenti menyorok setiap hutang lapuk di bawah hamparan luar kunci kira-


Tiada satu sebarang alternatif kepada tatakelola yang baik selain daripada maklumat yang

benar dan telus berhubung kewangan negara. Dalam hal ini, kita sudah sedia terkesan

dibebani skandal 1MDB. Rakyat sudah muak dan tidak mampu bertolak ansur lagi.

Ketiga, Jawatankuasa Krisis Nasional yang bersifat rentas parti politik perlu ditubuhkan pada

kadar segera melibatkan Ahli-ahli Parlimen Kerajaan dan Pembangkang, para ekonomis,

pakar-pakar pasaran serta pakar dalam bidang-bidang berkaitan.

Jawatankuasa ini, antara lain hendaklah ditugaskan dengan peranan dan tanggungjawab untuk

memantau harga komoditi setiap hari dan diberikan kuasa untuk melaksanakan segala

langkah bersesuaian untuk mengurangkan dampak negatif selepas sebarang konsensus


Keempat, kerajaan perlu bersedia untuk memperkenalkan langkah-langkah penjimatan

sekiranya harga minyak menyusut ke tahap lebih rendah dan kekal statik. Ini bermaksud

keperluan memangkas projek-projek mega, tetapi meneruskan perbelanjaan dalam bidang-

bidang kritikal seperti kesihatan, pendidikan, dan bantuan kemanusiaan untuk mangsa banjir.

Perlu diingatkan bahawa negara-negara yang bergantung kepada hasil mahsul minyak seperti

Norway (yang mempunyai tatakelola terbaik) juga telah berada dalam mod bersedia untuk

berhadapan dengan kesan jangka panjang berikutan harga minyak yang rendah.

Diakui bahawa pergerakan harga komoditi antarabangsa merupakan sesuatu di luar kawalan

kita. Sungguhpun begitu, kita berkemampuan mengawal seluruh cara perbelanjaan dan

pengurusan kewangan negara.

Di sinilah kerajaan gagal dan terus gagal meskipun Pakatan Rakyat berulang kali menggesa

agar berpijak pada bumi yang nyata dan mengambil langkah-langkah pencegahan. Apakah

yang telah dilakukan sebelum ini? Apakah ini sikap yang memperlihatkan kesungguhan

kerajaan untuk bertransformasi?

Krisis Banjir dan Pengajarannya

Inilah sikap yang sama yang telah mengakibatkan kemusnahan dek bencana banjir baru-baru

ini. Banjir merupakan satu fenomena saban tahun yang telah berlaku berabad lamanya, tetapi

tiada langkah kawalan dan pencegahan yang serius dilaksanakan oleh pihak kerajaan.

Dalam hal ini, kita harus mengagumi badan-badan NGO yang datang beramai-ramai

menghulur bantuan. Melangkaui batas agama dan bangsa yang berbeza, sokongan dan

kesiapsiagaan untuk membantu mangsa-mangsa banjir merupakan sesuatu yang belum

pernah berlaku sebelumnya dan menunjukkan peri penting Kerajaan Persekutuan

bekerjasama dengan Kerajaan-kerajaan Negeri Pakatan Rakyat bersekali dengan badan-badan


Mesej Kepada Rakyat

Zaman sukar menanti kita kesan daripada perbelanjaan kerajaan yang bakal dikurangkan dan

pertumbuhan ekonomi yang turut menguncup. Rakyat perlu kekal berjimat cermat dan

jangan menambah hutang atau komitmen kewangan yang tidak perlu.

Tatkala inflasi berterusan meningkat di saat penggajian kekal di takuk lama, rakyat akan

berhadapan dengan kesukaran ekonomi yang hebat dan ketidakseimbangan pendapatan akan

terus melebar.

Justeru, kami menggesa kerajaan agar telus dalam meramal ekonomi negara. Rakyat

menantikan pengumuman Selasa ini dan menjangkakan usaha Kerajaan Persekutuan yang

serius lagi bersungguh-sungguh untuk menstruktur semula Belanjawan 2015.


16 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Penahanan Paulsen dan Kerajaan Yang Paranoia

Perbezaan pendapat dan idea awam adalah aspek yang penting di dalam sebuah demokrasi yang berkembang. Tatkala kebebasan bersuara tidak bersifat mutlak, kedaulatan undang-undang harus bersifat luhur dan setiap pihak berwajib mesti memelihara prinsip demokrasi berparlimen secara tersurat mahu tersirat. Kegagalan perkara ini dijamin, mendorong sebuah Negara menghadapi risiko yang parah.
Justeru, penahanan sewenang-wenang, pendakwaan terpilih dan penghakiman mahkamah yang tersasar nyata sekali bercanggah dengan doktrin ini dan sekaligus mencalar maruah rakyat. Pelanggaran seumpama ini bukan sesuatu yang remeh dalam praktis tatakekola tetapi pasti dilihat sebagai jenayah terbesar ke atas rakyat sebuah Negara yang bertamadun, yang seharusnya berbangga dengan sebuah perlembagaan yang menjamin kebebasan asasi agar dilindungi melalui kedaulatan undang-undang.
Pelanggaran terkini dapat dirujuk kepada penahanan Eric Paulsen pada malam Isnin dan reman selama dua hari berikutan ‘tweet’ beliau menuduh JAKIM (Jabatan Kemajuan Agama Islam Malaysia) mempromosikan keganasan melalui khutbah Jumaat. Penahanan termasuklah kaedah beliau ditahan adalah manifestasi jelas betapa kedaulatan undang-undang diperlekeh dan kerajaan berada dalam keadaan paranoia.
Apa lagi yang boleh diperkatakan dengan pengerahan satu platun dengan 20 pegawai polis hanya untuk menahan seorang individu tanpa mempertimbangkan bahawa individu tersebut adalah seorang peguam hak asasi ternama? Jika tindakan zalim tersebut hanya untuk mempamerkan tekanan secara terang-terangan, ia telah berjaya membuktikan wujudnya ketidakseimbangan antara kekuasaan dan rakyat bawahan. Di mata sang penguasa zalim, kebebasan asasi sering diketepikan. ‘Tweet’ seseorang berupaya menjadi bisa kepada orang lain.

Memandangkan beliau tidak didakwa, masih samar atas kesalahan apakah Eric Paulsen akan disabitkan tetapi memandangkan Ketua Polis Negara sendiri telah menyatakan melalui ‘tweet’ beliau bahawa Paulsen disiasat di bawah Akta Hasutan, peninggalan lapuk era kolonial British. Tidak lama selepas mengambil alih tampuk pemerintahan, Perdana Menteri Dato’ Sri Najib tidak lama selepas mengambil alih jawatan, PM Dato ‘Sri Najib berikrar di atas altar demokratik bahawa beliau akan menghapuskan undang-undang lapuk ini, sayangnya bukan sekadar beliau mengingkar janji, mezbah reformasi demokratik bahawa dia akan menghapuskan sekeping undang-undang ini tetapi bukan sahaja telah beliau mengingkari janji ini, beliau telah melangkaui pemimpin terdahulu dengan mengubah undang-undang tersebut menjadi “sejata pendakwaan” demi mengekang pimpinan pembangkang dan sekalian yang kritikal ke atas pemerintah.

Selain daripada lompongnya kedaulatan undang-undang, reaksi berlebihan ke atas tweet Paulsen juga melambangkan maraknya sikap tidak bertoleransi terhadap agama yang hadir untuk memasung Negara kita yang berbilang bangsa dan agama. Melalui penyemarakan api perkauman melalui syak wasangka, kebencian dan permusuhan menjadi pertaruahan kalangan mereka yang berada di bawah politik naungan. Ramai yang telah terjun ke kancah pertelagahan dengan menggesa tindakan ke atas Paulsen secara tegas atas pendirian mempertahankan maruah umat Islam. Sementelahan ia dilihat hipokrit dan melucukan tatkala kalangan mereka yang teruja ini kononnya maruah mereka tercalar, adalah mereka yang juga terkenal dengan lontaran penghinaan bersifat perkauman dan ancaman keganasan.

Islam telah wujud lebih daripada 1500 tahun tanpa kalangan mereka yang menggelar diri sendiri sebagai pembela keimanan. Sudah pasti Islam mampu bertahan ribuan tahun malah selamanya tanpa mereka. Islam mendorong toleransi dan persefahaman, tatkala mereka mengamalkan permusuhan dan ketaksuban. Islam menyantuni dakwah da perdamaian, tatkala mereka menggesa perselisihan dan perseteruan. Kedua-dua ini, tidak mungkin bersatu.

Bagi sesetengah pihak, ‘tweet’ Eric Paulsen dilihat melangkaui batasan dan khilaf. Bagi sesetengah pihak yang lain, ia mungkin dilihat kritikan yang berasas. Dalam apa jua keadaan, JAKIM tidak sinonim dengan Islam. Sebagai sebuah agensi di bawah Jabatan Perdana Menteri yang dianggotai oleh manusia biasa, JAKIM tidak sempurna sepenuhnya. Untuk menyatakan bahawa kritikan ke atas JAKIM harus ditafsir sebagai serangan ke atas Islam adalah kemuncak keberanian yang nyata satu penghinaan ke atas Islam itu sendiri.

Hatta jika Paulsen tidak menyebut JAKIM melalui ‘tweet’ beliau, hakikatnya umat Islam di Negara ini tahu betapa khutbah Jumaat yang disampaikan mempunyai kecenderungan politik dan campur tangan pihak tertentu. Namun menjadi pengetahuan umum bahawa khutbah yang diselaras JAKIM telah beberapa kali melakukan serangan yang tidak munasabah meskipun pelik dan serong, ke atas pembangkang dan pimpinan pembangkang. Menyeru kesederhanaan dan persefahaman kalangan komuniti dan kumpulan agama yang pelbagai di Negara ini tidak menjadi amalan JAKIM. Tetapi di saat mereka melaksanakan perkara tersebut, saya telah menjadi antara yang pertama memuji mereka keranan melakukan perkara yang benar – sebagaimana yang telah saya lakukan dalam satu majlis tahun lepas atas khutbah yang menginspirasikan perihal keperluan komuniti yang pelbagai untuk mendekati dan mengenali antara satu sama lain.

Untuk melabel bahawa Islam bukanlah agama yang ekstrem tetapi dalam masa yang sama menggesa tindakan tegas ke atas Paulsen atas ‘tweet’ beliau merupakan satu kontradiksi. Hanya mengisytiharkan “Islam adalah agama yang paling sederhana” tidak mencukupi. Kita mesti melaksanakannya. Kendatipun khutbah Jumaat turut menyentuh perihal masyarakat dan kemanusiaan dan jika – sebagaimana didakwa sesetengah pihak – ini tidak disedari Paulsen, maka menjadi kewajiban umat Islam untuk mencerahkan beliau mengenai perkara ini, bukan mengasak beliau dengan kekerasan undang-undang.


16 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?


16 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Paulsen’s arrest and a government in a state of paranoia

The public contestation of ideas is a crucial aspect of a thriving democracy. While freedom of speech cannot be absolute, the rule of law must be sacrosanct and all organs of power must observe this principle of parliamentary democracy according to letter and spirit. Bereft of this, a nation runs the risk of being brought to the brim.

Hence, arbitrary arrests, selective prosecution and skewered court judgements run afoul of this doctrine and offend against our sense of dignity. These violations are no trifling matter in governance but indeed should be seen as capital crimes against the people of a civilised state, one that prides itself with a constitution that guarantees our fundamental liberties to be safeguarded by the rule of law.

The latest transgression committed in this regardis the arrest on Monday night and the two-day remand of Eric Paulsen over his tweet accusing Jakim (the Islamic Development Department) of promoting extremism in its Friday sermons. Both the act of arrest as well as the manner with which it was carried out is clear manifestation of the rule of law standing on its head and a government in a state of paranoia.

How else could one explain the despatching of a platoon of more than 20 police officers just to apprehend one man, never mind that he is also a prominent human rights lawyer? If that blatant show of excessive force was intended to be an act of state intimidation it has successfully demonstrated the gross imbalance between the overwhelming might of the state and the helplessness of the citizen. In the face of executive tyranny, our fundamental liberties fly out the window. One man’s tweet could indeed be another man’s poison.

Since he has not been charged, it remains unclear what specific offence Eric Paulsen stands accused of but as the IGP himself has indicated via his tweet, it will be under the catch-all Sedition Act, no doubt a relic of the British colonial era. Shortly after taking office, PM Dato’ Sri Najib swore on the altar of democratic reform that he would abolish this piece of legislation but not only has he reneged on this promise, he has outdone his predecessors by transforming it into a weapon of mass persecution in order to muzzle opposition leaders and those critical of the government.

Aside from the breakdown in the rule of law, the over-reaction to Paulsen’s tweet also signifies the rising tide of religious intolerance that appears to be engulfing our multi-racial multi-religious nation. And fanning the flames of communal suspicion, hatred and hostility are the usual suspects who owe their existence to political patronage. Many have jumped into the fray to call for the lynching of Paulsen audaciously on the lofty ground of defending the dignity of Islam and Muslims. It is indeed hypocritical and farcical that among the most vehement of those whose ‘dignity’ has been so assailed and are now baying for blood are those notorious for making racist slurs and issuing threats of violence.
Islam has survived for almost 1500 years without these self-righteous self-proclaimed defenders of the faith. It can certainly go on for another thousand years and more without them. Islam teaches tolerance and understanding. They preach hostility and bigotry. Islam enjoins reaching out and reconciliation. They urge discord and rejection. The twain shall never meet.

To some, Eric Paulsen’s tweet may well have crossed the line and some may take offence. To some others, it might be taken as legitimate criticism. In any event, Jakim is not synonymous with Islam. As an agency under the Prime Minister’s Department made up of ordinary mortals, it is not infallible. To suggest that criticism directed at them constitutes an attack on Islam is the height of audacity and indeed an affront to Islam itself.

Even if Paulsen had not tweeted about Jakim, the fact is that Muslims in this country know the worth of Friday sermons especially those delivered free of political slant and interference. But it is widely known that Jakim sermons have on various occasions made unwarranted attacks, albeit in oblique fashion, on the opposition and opposition leaders. Calling for moderation and mutual understanding among the communities and the diverse religious groups in the country has not been the practice of Jakim. But when it does do so, I have been among the first to commend it for doing the right thing – as I did on one occasion last year for an inspiring sermon on the need for the different communities to reach out and get to know one another.

To say that Islam is not an extremist religion and in the same breath calling for ‘stern action’ against Paulsen for his tweet is indeed a contradiction in terms. Just declaring that “Islam is the most moderate religion” is not good enough. We must walk the talk. Indeed as Friday sermons also deal with issues of society and humanity and if, as it is alleged by some, that Paulsen is not aware of this, then it is the duty of Muslims to enlighten him on the subject, not attempt to crucify him by the force of law.


15 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Ulasan Isu K-Pop, Mejar Zaidi dan Eric Paulsen

Terdapat beberapa perkembangan mutakhir yang saya kira penting untuk dikendalikan dengan cermat dan memerlukan perhatian serius khususnya daripada pihak berwajib.

(i) Kontroversi Artis K-Pop

Saya mengusulkan agar nasihat, dan teguran kepada generasi muda dipergiat melalui metod dakwah bilhikmah. Mengasak mereka dengan ugutan hanya mendatangkan resah dan kekeliruan di kalangan mereka. Justeru kebijaksanaan dituntut agar mereka didekati dengan pendekatan psikologi yang bijaksana serta berhemah. Saya juga menyarankan agar penguatkuasaan terpilih tidak dilaksanakan oleh JAWI dan badan agama lainnya. Jangan gejala berpelukan anak muda berpelukan dikejar, tetapi gejala yang sama kalangan penguasa atasan dan artis tidak ditegur.

(ii)Penamatan Perkhidmatan Mejar Zaidi Ahmad

Saya menuntut penjelasan Kementerian Pertahanan mengenai penghukuman ke atas Mejar Zaidi Ahmad yang membawa kepada penamatan perkhidmatan serta merta. Ini ternyata satu keputusan yang zalim ke atas beliau yang telah berkhidmat selama 26 tahun, dikenakan pula atas satu kesalahan yang mendorong kepada kesedaran awam atas kepincangan sistem pilihanraya melalui penggunaan dakwat kekal yang tidak kekal. Walhasil SPR terus membisu tanpa pembelaan ke atas dakwaan beliau, pendedahan peguam Hanipa Maidin mengenai kepincangan prosiding Mahkamah Tentera harus diberi perhatian serius.

(iii) Penahanan Eric Paulsen

Kenyataan Saudara Eric Paulsen tatkala merujuk kepada khutbah Jumaat lewat tweet beliau perlu dijawab atau diulas oleh Jabatan Agama. Jabatan Agama seterusnya berhak mempertikai atau menyanggah berdasarkan hujah. Tetapi penahanan beliau adalah sesuatu di luar kebiasaan yang mendatangkan persoalan. Terdahulu saya telah menyarankan agar Eric memberikan penjelasan ke atas kenyataan tersebut sebelum sebarang tindakan dikenakan ke atas beliau.


12 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Assalamualaikum w.b.t & Salam Sejahtera,

Berdasarkan perkara di atas, kami warga PKR akan mengambil tindakan serius terhadap masalah rakyat berkaitan dengan aktiviti merobohkan dan melupuskan gerai di Tasik Biru, Kundang.

Dilampirkan di bawah adalah surat yang telah diedarkan dan didedahkan oleh rakyat melalui media sosial Whatsapp dan Facebook. Semoga kenyataan ini akan membantu permasalahan yang telah berlaku.

Kami akan mengeluarkan surat bantahan kepada pihak yang berkaitan bagi mengekalkan gerai tersebut.

Kami komited dalam menangani masalah rakyat. Terima kasih.

Surat Penutupan Gerai



10 January 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Malam tadi seorang lagi tokoh penting negara telah kembali menemui penciptaNya.

Bekas Yang Dipertua Negeri dan mantan Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’kub menghembuskan nafas terakhir pukul 9.40malam tadi. Almarhum mula dirawat di hospital sejak awal November lepas berikutan kondisi kesihatan yang mula melemah.

Pengalaman jalinan ukhuwah kami ternyata panjang sekali. Tatkala Almarhum menjawat jawatan Menteri Pelajaran, Almarhum mengambil pendekatan berdamping dengan kalangan sarjana dan mahasiswa Melayu. Acapkali ditekankan peri penting kekuatan Bahasa Melayu sebagai Bahasa Ilmu dan pengukuhan akhlak pelajar agar terus menjaga sahsiah. Almarhum antara kelompok tokoh yang bertanggungjawab mencadang penubuhan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Sewaktu menjawat jawatan Ketua Menteri Sarawak, saya diundang beberapa kali ke program anjuran BINA (Angkatan Nahdatul Islam Bersatu Sarawak), yakni program kesadaran pendidikan dan dakwah di kalangan pelajar dan belia. Fokus Almarhum pada program-program keagamaan begitu menyerlah melalui penglibatan dalam beberapa organisasi Islam antarabangsa antaranya Muslim World Congress di Pakistan.

Keprihatinan Almarhum pada kami sekeluarga ternyata tinggi, ini terbukti saat saya di penjara Almarhum masih menemui Azizah melahirkan simpati dan memberi dorongan semangat.

Kali terakhir kami bertemu di kediaman beliau di Kuching beberapa tahun lalu diiringi Datuk Hafsah Harun, membincangkan perkembangan politik dengan segar. Ternyata Almarhum masih cakna dan prihatin dengan permasalahan rakyat.

Pemergian Almarhum merupakan satu kehilangan tokoh negarawan yang komited dan berjiwa besar. Pastinya saya secara peribadi tidak akan melupakan segala jasa baik Almarhum kepada saya dan keluarga.

Didoakan agar roh Allahyarham dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan di kalangan hambaNya yang soleh, inshaaAllah.



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