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Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Najib’s Economic Advisers Feared NEM Just For Show

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 01:40 AM PDT

From The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Najib Razak's economic advisers were worried that the prime minister's New Economic Model (NEM) brainchild was just a short-term public relations exercise without any lasting policy impact, according to a leaked United States diplomatic cable.

According to the cable released by whistleblower website Wikileaks, the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) was frustrated with the slow responses from government ministries and the lack of high-level political commitment outside of the prime minister's office.

The entire cable, which quoted NEAC acting director of research Tong Yee Siong and American Chamber's Nicholas Zeffries, among others, was published in the Malaysia Today news portal today.

"Tong told us that achieving any of the goals developed by the NEAC will require significant political buy-in to operationalize the policy changes necessary to reinvigorate investment and spur additional growth.

"However, Tong commented that NEAC members are frustrated with a lack of high-level political commitment outside of PM Najib (picture) as well as the slow responses from Ministries which impeded progress on the NEM," according to the cable sent from the US Embassy here to Washington.

It quoted Tong further as saying "that some NEAC members are concerned that the NEM maybe merely a public relations exercise that will have no real long-term policy impact.

"Zeffries told us that he was not confident that PM Najib has a sufficiently strong political position to pursue the NEAC's upcoming proposals," the cable added further.

Najib launched the NEM last year in two parts but dropped certain sections including one on the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) which was severely criticised by NEAC member, the late Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam Mohd Yusof.

Zainal Aznam, who died on April 30, accused the Najib administration of succumbing to Perkasa and lacking the political will to implement reforms, including the formation of the EOC.

In a summary in the cable, US diplomats said: "Leading Malaysian economists believe that Najib is sincere in his desire to address these problems.

"However, they question his ability to make major changes in the government's long-standing discriminatory Bumiputera preference policies which have discouraged domestic investment and new business formation and are driving the 'brain drain' of young professional Malaysians frustrated with limited opportunities under this system."

The diplomats said local economists expect Najib's effort "to establish a policy framework that will foster a more gradual move away from ethnic preferences to a merit-based economy, but believe that may be insufficient".

"If PM Najib is unable to deliver on NEM reforms, they expect the opposition will seize the reform agenda as an issue for possible 2012 elections," it said.

"Each of our contacts agreed that political will is the key to reform, but none are convinced all of the coming announcements of plans to reform Malaysia's economy will be backed by substantially broad concrete measures.

"After early enthusiasm for economic reform, some Umno insiders do not want reform that would take away the economic rents and patronage system they have relied on to maintain the party's power base for over a generation," the cable said.

The cable said that Umno leaders are challenging Najib's reforms because the party will not "survive in power by moving to an open and transparent system."

Najib has embarked on an effort to sell his NEM to sceptical Malay voters, arguing that a new direction is needed to pull the ailing economy out of its middle-income trap by freeing the market of the crippling Malay largesse.

Umno Tangguh Pemilihan Kerana Takut Pilihan Raya- Aziz Bari

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 12:39 AM PDT

Dari Keadilan Daily

Pakar Perlembagaan, Profesor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari berkata, berbeza dengan Umno, komponen  Pakatan Rakyat berani mengadakan pemilihan masing-masing meskipun waktu pilihan raya umum semakin hampir.

Ia katanya, berbeza dengan parti komponen dalam Barisan Nasional seperti Umno dan MCA yang terpaksa menangguhkan pemilihan parti  kerana bimbang berlaku perpecahan ketika Pilihan Raya Umum ke 13.

"Umno dan MCA tak berani, mereka tangguhkan pemilihan. Berbanding Pakatan Rakyat, mereka berani buat pemilihan meskipun tahu pilihan raya umum telah hampir.

"Ini menggambarkan komitmen Pakatan Rakyat untuk mengadakan pemilihan meskipun pilihan raya lebih awal, berbanding tradisi BN," ujarnya.

Justeru, katanya seperti mana pemilihan KEADILAN pada 2010,  muktamar pemilihan Pas yang berlangsung baru-baru adalah petanda keberanian Pakatan Rakyat melaksana prinsip pemilihan berdasarkan amalan demokrasi.

Beliau juga menyatakan kehairanan kerana pemilihan Pas yang dijalankan dengan semangat setiakawan dan  tertib itu, tidak pernah mendapat liputan yang begitu meluas oleh media milik Umno-BN sebelum ini.

"Saya hairan, sejak bila media yang dikuasai mereka seperti Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times dan The Star memberi liputan terhadap muktamar?" soalnya.

Dalam pada itu, beliau turut diminta mengulas kritikan Timbalan Presiden Umno, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang mengecam ucapan dasar Presiden Pas, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang ketika muktamar berlangsung.

Dalam masa yang sama pula, Muhyiddin dilapor berkata Umno sentiasa membuka pintu perbincangan terhadap parti itu bagi menjalinkan hubungan kerjasama.

Menurut Aziz, kenyataan Muhyiddin sebenarnya menggambarkan keresahan pemimpin Umno-BN dengan barisan kabinet baru Pas yang dianggap sebagai ancaman kepada hegemoni mereka.

Tambahnya, rakyat tidak mungkin melupakan tohmahan yang dilemparkan Umno kepada Pas, termasuk melabel parti itu sebagai 'Parti Ajaran Sesat', bahkan sehingga ke peringkat menyamakannya dengan komunis.

"Apa yang dilakukan oleh Umno terhadap Pas sebenarnya lebih teruk. Siapa tidak lupa dengan peristiwa pembunuhan Samad Gul di Kelantan dan serangan di Lubuk Merbau?

"Apakah Umno lupa tentang peristiwa di Memali? Bagaimana dengan ratusan pemimpin dan aktivis Pas yang dipenjara dan ditahan di bawah ISA?' soal beliau.

Anwar: I’m Not Getting a Fair Trial

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 12:36 AM PDT

From Malaysiakini

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has cried foul that the court is allegedly not giving him a fair trial, citing police preventing his lawyers from interviewing potential defence witnesses and the court pre-judging him in ruling complainant Saiful Bukhari a truthful and credible witness even before hearing his testimony.

Anwar (left) also denied that his unsuccessful attempt to recuse trial judge justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, his third, was a delay tactic by his team.

“All I want is a fair trial which I am entitled to, but so far it has not been accorded to me,” he said.

“The judge has pre-judged against me in ruling the complainant as a truthful and credible witness. This is despite the court having yet to witness what I have to say in my defence,” he said.

Anwar, who is Permatang Pauh MP, said these legal issues were fundamental in any legal system worldwide.

“This is a blatant disregard of the law for which I am entitled to, that is a fair trial,” he said.

Cops only facilitated 5 witnesses

Anwar said throughout the three week break since the judge’s decision to call his defence, his team of lawyers had applied to interview 25 witnesses from the prosecution’s list, of which they only managed to interview five.

He said one cannot expect him to take the stand without having all these witnesses interviewed first.

The defence had applied for prime minister Najib Abdul Razak (left) and his wife Rosmah Mansor to be among the defence witnesses.

The prosecution had given the defence a list of 71 witnesses to choose from, of which lead counsel Karpal Singh and lawyer Sankara Nair said they had wanted to call 25.

The list included the 27 witnesses whom the prosecution had called in the first portion of the trial.

The police, who was supposed to facilitate their meeting with the requested witnesses, only supplied them with five, none of whom were material witnesses, said Karpal.

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