Anwar Ibrahim

Posted by Awanama | Posted on 7:28 PG

Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia’s Anwar Defiant as Sodomy Trial Resumes

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 07:15 AM PDT

From Jakarta Globe

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arriving at a courthouse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Monday. Anwar began testifying at his sodomy trial on Monday, insisting he was not frightened by the threat of being sent to prison for two decades and calling the charges against him

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Monday rejected sodomy charges against him as a "vicious lie" meant to ruin him politically, as he spoke in his defense for the first time in the trial.

Anwar made the claim while reading out an opening statement from the dock as the defence began presenting its case in the often-delayed trial. The prosecution rested its case in March.

"The allegation is a blatant and vicious lie and will be proven so. This is a vile and desperate attempt at character assassination," Anwar told a Kuala Lumpur courtroom packed with journalists and foreign diplomats.

"This entire process is nothing but a conspiracy by Prime Minister Najib Razak to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars," he added later.

Anwar, 64, is charged with sodomizing young male aide Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan in June 2008 and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Sodomy is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

The former deputy prime minister and one-time Malaysian leader-in-waiting has blasted the trial as a political frame-up aimed at thwarting a political opposition that has found new strength under him.

Dressed in a dark suit, Anwar spent an hour reading out the statement, in which he said the prosecution's case was riven by inconsistencies.

"I categorically deny the charges against me. I want to state in no uncertain terms that I never had sexual relations with the complainant," he said.

"They can do all they want to sully my reputation and threaten me with… jail. They won't be able to cow me. The truth will prevail."

Anwar's legal battles have dominated Malaysian politics for years.

Malaysia was once one of Asia's most politically stable countries under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who had groomed Anwar to take the helm of the economically vibrant, multi-cultural nation.

But a bitter split over how to respond to the 1997 Asian currency crisis led to Anwar's arrest the following year — and later conviction — on separate sodomy and corruption charges widely seen as politically motivated.

He was freed in 2004 after that sodomy conviction was overturned and sparked a resurgence by the political opposition, which achieved historic gains against the ruling Barisan Nasional in 2008 general elections.

Anwar says the new allegations are aimed at ruining his reputation to damage opposition chances in fresh elections expected to be called early next year.

Saiful has said he met with Najib before filing a police report on the sodomy accusation, which Anwar's defence team says indicates the case was manufactured.

Najib's government has denied involvement in the case. Najib refused to speak to defence lawyers or be called as a witness in interviews last week ordered by the trial judge.

Anwar's appearance comes after police used tear gas and water cannon to put down a demonstration calling for electoral reform on July 9, the biggest anti-government protest in years.

Agence France-Presse

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Anwar Sidesteps Prosecutors And Denounces Trial

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 07:08 AM PDT

From The Sydney Morning Herald

The Malaysian Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has refused to let prosecutors question him at his sodomy trial, instead delivering a long courtroom tirade accusing the judge and government of conspiring to send him ”into political oblivion”.

Mr Anwar had been expected to begin testifying at the trial, but he struck a defiant note by reading for about an hour from a prepared text that maintained his government rivals had fabricated the charge that he sodomised a 26-year-old male former aide.

The Prime Minister, Najib Razak, and other officials have denied any plot.

”It is a vile and desperate attempt at character assassination,” Mr Anwar, 64, told the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday. ”They can do all they want to assassinate and sully my character and threaten me with another 20 years in jail, but mark my words, they won’t be able to cow me into submission.”

Mr Anwar was the defence’s first witness after the court ruled in June that prosecutors had established a credible case against him. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Mr Anwar was charged with sodomy several months after his three-party opposition alliance wrested control of several states and more than one-third of Parliament’s seats in landmark elections in 2008. Mr Najib’s National Front coalition, which has ruled since 1957, is expected to seek a new mandate next year.

Mr Anwar spoke from his lawyers’ table instead of the witness stand, preventing prosecutors from cross-examining him.

This was because he was unhappy with how Justice Mohamad Zabidin Diah had conducted the trial. Mr Anwar accused the judge of demonstrating a ”complete lack of impartiality,” claiming he had allowed prosecutors to introduce allegedly tainted DNA evidence earlier in the trial.

”This entire process is nothing but a conspiracy by [the] Prime Minister to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars,” Mr Anwar said. ”This is not a criminal trial. It is a charade staged by the powers-that-be to put me out of action in order that they remain in power.”

It is Mr Anwar’s second time being embroiled in a sex trial. He lost his post as deputy prime minister in 1998 after being charged with sodomising his family’s ex-driver and abusing his power to cover up his actions – both of which he denied. He was freed in 2004 after six years when a court overturned the sodomy conviction.

Mr Anwar said his current accuser was merely ”a pawn being employed by the shady plotters to achieve their devious ends”.

The man, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, has testified that Mr Anwar coerced him into having sex at a Kuala Lumpur apartment in 2008. Sodomy, even consensual, is a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Mr Anwar is married with six children.

Malaysian Opposition Leader Begins Defense

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 06:56 AM PDT

From The New York Times

The Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began his defense in his sodomy trial on Monday, declaring the charges "a vile and despicable attempt at character assassination."

After Mr. Anwar delivered a 32-page statement in which he said the trial was a conspiracy by Prime Minister Najib Razak to send him into "political oblivion," Mr. Anwar's lawyers disclosed that they had issued subpoenas compelling Mr. Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, to appear in court as witnesses.

Mr. Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, is accused of sodomizing a former political aide in 2008 in a Kuala Lumpur apartment and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, has accused Mr. Anwar of having coerced him into having sex, but even consensual sodomy is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

It is the second time that Mr. Anwar has faced such charges. In 1998, he was convicted of sodomy and abuse of power, and although the sodomy conviction was later overturned, he spent six years in prison.

Denying that he had ever had sexual relations with the former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, Mr. Anwar dismissed his accuser's allegations as "a blatant and vicious lie."

"They can do all they want to assassinate my character and sully my reputation and threaten me with another 20 years of imprisonment, but, mark my words, they won't be able to cow me into submission," he said before a packed courtroom. "On the contrary, it only serves to fortify my conviction that the truth will eventually prevail. Come what come may, I shall never surrender."

Mr. Anwar chose to deliver a statement from the floor of the courtroom on Monday, rather than take the witness stand, denying the prosecution the opportunity to cross-examine him. He said that he would have given evidence from the witness box if not for "all the handicaps foisted on me" and the manner in which the presiding judge, Mohamad Zabidin Diah, had conducted the trial.

In a scathing critique, during which he quoted Nelson Mandela, Shakespeare and the Koran, Mr. Anwar said Mr. Diah had demonstrated a "complete lack of impartiality."

He said the judge had failed to respond to a number of issues pertinent to the case, such as an alleged affair between a member of the prosecution and the former aide, statements made by government politicians that he said amounted to contempt of court, and suggestions that DNA samples used to establish the prosecution's case might have been contaminated.

Mr. Anwar said that the judge, who has rejected his requests that he disqualify himself from hearing the trial on the grounds that he was biased, had prejudged the trial by declaring Mr. Saiful a "truthful witness."

Mr. Anwar said that it was obvious that Mr. Saiful was "lying through his teeth." He said that Mr. Saiful was a fit young man in his early 20s, while he was a 60-year-old man with a history of back injury.

"It would take a great stretch of the imagination to suggest that I could pose any physical harm to him," he said.

Later, Mr. Anwar added: "The court's integrity has been completely compromised and bears all the classic symptoms of a show trial where the script has been effectively written and the outcome a foregone conclusion."

Mr. Anwar repeated his claim that the trial was a "conspiracy" by Mr. Najib "to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars."

"This is not a criminal trial. It is a charade staged by the powers that be to put me out of action in order that they remain in power," he said, adding that the "relentless conviction" to send him back to prison became "all the more imperative" after the 2008 elections, when the opposition made unprecedented gains.

The government has denied that the trial is politically motivated.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Mr. Anwar said that his lawyers had subpoenaed seven witnesses, including Mr. Najib.

Karpal Singh, one of Mr. Anwar's lawyers, said that the subpoenas should already have been served on Mr. Najib and his wife, who had earlier refused to be interviewed by defense lawyers.

"When a subpoena is issued, a witness must turn up in court," Mr. Karpal said. "The judge will decide whether a subpoena should be set aside. If a witness is in a position to give material evidence, then the subpoena cannot be set aside. That witness must give evidence from the witness box."

Forensic experts are expected to testify on Tuesday.

Anwar Assails Malaysian Officials, Court

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 06:25 AM PDT

From The Wall Street Journal


Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim used his ongoing sodomy trial Monday to deliver a stinging attack accusing the judge and the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak of using a “show trial” to destroy his political career and extinguish any threat to the mostly Muslim nation’s ruling party.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim smiled as he arrived at the courthouse for his trial on sodomy charges in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. Mr. Anwar is fighting the charges.

Quoting liberally from Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela and the Quran from the dock, Mr. Anwar read for an hour from a prepared text, saying his political rivals cooked up charges that he violated Malaysia’s sodomy laws by having sex with a former male aide three years ago.

“It is a vile and desperate attempt at character assassination,” Mr. Anwar said. “They can do all they want to assassinate and sully my character and threaten me with another 20 years in jail, but mark my words: They won’t be able to cow me into submission.”

Mr. Najib and judicial officials didn’t respond to messages seeking comment Monday. Mr. Najib previously has denied any involvement in the case against Mr. Anwar, saying the charges against the 64-year-old opposition leader were filed independently by his former aide, 26-year-old Saiful Bukhari Azlan. People familiar with the government’s thinking also say Mr. Najib is concerned that the international community doesn’t appreciate that Malaysia’s judiciary has become more independent in recent years and the government sometimes loses cases.

In a telephone interview with The Wall Street Journal prior to Monday’s court proceedings, Mr. Anwar said he was dismayed at how debate over how to modernize this multiethnic country and make its economy more competitive internationally had degenerated into a series of sex allegations. Besides the sodomy trial, some of Mr. Anwar’s political opponents also suggested he was featured in a grainy video clip released on the Internet hugging a woman who his opponents claimed is a prostitute. Mr. Anwar and his family have denied he is the man pictured in the film.

“It’s really very telling how low they are willing to go,” Mr. Anwar said, without specifying who he was referring to.

Mr. Anwar was arrested and charged with sodomy in 2008, a few months after his three-party opposition alliance won control of several key states in hotly contested elections and broke the ruling National Front’s customary two-thirds hold on Parliament.

Mr. Najib, the 58-year-old aristocratic son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, became the country’s leader in 2009 and set about trying to reassert the National Front’s dominance. The coalition built around Mr. Najib’s United Malays National Organization party has controlled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957. To attract voters from ethnic minorities, he began rolling back Malaysia’s extensive system of race-based affirmative action policies that are designed to give an economic leg-up to the less prosperous majority Muslim Malay population by offering, among other things, subsidized loans and quotas at top universities. Mr. Najib also opened the way to more foreign investment in the financial sector and other businesses.

Although Mr. Najib doesn’t have to call elections until 2013, many analysts say they expect him to call early polls if it provides him with an advantage.

The multiethnic opposition continues to command considerable support, however, and Mr. Najib last week pledged to consider ways to change the country’s election laws in response to a massive demonstration of more than 20,000 people on the streets of Kuala Lumpur in July. That protest march, which included Mr. Anwar, himself a Muslim Malay, was forcibly broken up by police equipped with water cannons and tear gas.

In his speech Monday—which Mr. Anwar read from the dock instead of from the witness stand in order to avoid cross-examination from prosecutors—the opposition leader accused the judge of allowing DNA evidence that Mr. Anwar’s camp alleges is contaminated to be admitted.

Mr. Anwar also said his accuser, Mr. Saiful, was being manipulated by rival politicians. Mr. Saiful couldn’t be reached for comment.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, has accused Malaysia’s powerful leaders of manufacturing sex allegations to silence him. In 1998 he was charged with sodomizing two male aides and later convicted after challenging former leader Mahathir Mohamad. That conviction was overturned in 2004 and Mr. Anwar was freed after spending six years in prison. Mr. Mahathir denies fabricating a case against Mr. Anwar.

This time, Mr. Anwar said he expects the court to press for a conviction as quickly as possible. “They want to wrap things up quickly,” he told the Journal.

Cerita Kak Wan

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 01:23 AM PDT

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Government-MILF Talks Resume Today in Malaysia

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 01:19 AM PDT
By Delon Porcalla

Peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will resume today in Malaysia, more than two weeks after the meeting between President Aquino and MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ibrahim in Japan.

The MILF is expected to offer its proposal for a sub-state in Mindanao, which some of its leaders say is a "reframed" version of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) that the Supreme Court struck down in 2008.

The government peace panel, led by Marvic Leonen, is also expected to make its counter-offer.

The GPH and the MILF peace panels are scheduled to meet today until Aug. 24 in Kuala Lumpur for their 22nd formal exploratory talks.

"The net effect of these peace talks is that we will be able to submit our proposal, and the issue with regard to the real status of (renegade MILF leader Ameril) Umbra Kato will also be discussed," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

Valte said the consequences of a lost command in the MILF, like that of Kato's Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) will be raised during the talks.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said the issue on Kato would be definitely discussed by both panels.

Deles noted the issue on Kato could jeopardize the peace talks.

Kato, who was a senior commander of the MILF, took about 300 of his men to continue the 33-year Islamist insurgency that has claimed some 150,000 lives.

Kato rejected the talks and accused his former comrades of abandoning the fight for an independent Muslim homeland in Mindanao.

While the government action on Kato would hinge on the MILF's explanation of how it was planning to deal with his faction, Deles said a military response was possible.

She said the government may invoke an earlier agreement with the MILF calling on both parties to help each other arrest or capture lawless elements operating in areas under its control.

After weeks of denying dissent among its ranks, the MILF described Kato and his BIFF on Friday as a "lost command" – a term it uses for former guerrillas who no longer follow its orders and operating on its own.

"Government action will depend on what they explain his (Kato's) exact status is," Deles said.

"Assuming that we all know what 'lost command' means, the government may invoke the ad hoc joint action group," Deles said.

Kato was among the hard line MILF leaders who led large-scale attacks across Mindanao in August 2008 after the Supreme Court outlawed the MOA-AD that could have given the MILF control over an expanded autonomous region.

About 400 people died and some 750,000 were displaced from their homes in that attack.

Deles also clarified President Aquino will not sign any peace accord with the MILF that the government cannot implement.

"The President's order for the government's peace panel is negotiate with the MILF based on the Constitution and its flexibilities," Deles said.

"The President will not sign anything the government cannot implement," she stressed.

Deles noted the argument of some sectors that the MILF's proposal for a "sub-state" deals with more comprehensive fiscal, political and administrative powers than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Local sectors are optimistic of a fruitful outcome of today's talks in Malaysia.

Many Muslims attended last Friday's obligatory worship rites in many mosques in Mindanao with special prayers for a positive result of the meeting.

Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe on Friday expressed optimism on the outcome of the peace talks.

"Fighting does not foster harmony among people," said Urabe after inspecting the infrastructure projects funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency inside the 32-hectare ARMM compound in Cotabato City.

Urabe said Tokyo also wanted the peace talks to succeed.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda acknowledged the strong showing of support and the positive indication of a peace constituency, most especially in Mindanao.

"This hopefulness points to strong public support for the President's policy of achieving peace in Mindanao on a basis that takes into account justice for all concerned, whether they be Moros, Christians, or Lumads," he said.

"It is no coincidence that optimism for peace between the government and the MILF is highest in Mindanao, at 59 percent, where everyone knows full well, how much there is to gain by achieving peace," Lacierda said in a statement. – With John Unson

Pakatan Rakyat Mengalu-alukan BN Mencontohi Polisi Ekonominya

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 01:03 AM PDT

Kenyataan Media Pakatan Rakyat

Jawatankuasa Bajet Alternatif Pakatan Rakyat mengalu-alukan kesedaran terlewat oleh Barisan Nasional mengenai betapa peripentingnya membantu golongan yang berpendapatan di bawah RM3,000 sebulan.

Disebalik topeng projek-projek infrastruktur mega yang dijulang dan digemari oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional ialah sebuah Negara Malaysia yang sebenarnya amat sederhana pencapaiannya. Beratus billion telah dihabiskan untuk berbagai rancangan induk dan projek mega tetapi hakikatnya:

· Lebih dari separuh – 60% – dari isirumah rakyat Malaysia berpendapatan kurang dari  RM3,000 sebulan;

· Hampir separuh – 43% – dari isirumah rakyat Malaysia berhempas-pulas melangsungkan kehidupan dengan hanya RM1,500 ke  bawah setiap bulan. Daripada jumlah tersebut, ¾ ataupun 73%  adalah  bumiputera.

Aspek paling penting dalam Bajet Alternatif Pakatan Rakyat 2012, dengan judul yang tepat sekali  iaitu Kesejahteraan Untuk Semua, ialah:

·   Fokusnya adalah untuk membangunkan manusia iaitu rakyat jelata  Malaysia, bukannya projek-projek; dan

· Memberi penekanan kepada kerja-kerja yang mengangkat martabat manusia, penggajian yang adil dan saksama serta  peluang-peluang mencari rezeki  untuk semua golongan rakyat  terutamanya, rakyat biasa Malaysia dan  bukan hanya untuk golongan elit  yang mempunyai jaringan pengaruh meluas.

Sekiranya diberi peluang oleh rakyat, Kerajaan Persekutuan Pakatan Rakyat akan merombak secara menyeluruh dasar-dasar kerajaan BM ini agar dapat meningkatkan pendapatan boleh guna 60% dari  rakyat Malaysia kepada satu keadaan di mana  mereka boleh membangunkan  satu kehidupan yang mengangkat martabat manusia dan meningkatkan  kedudukan kewangan mereka juga. Ini secara langsungnya akan meningkatkan penggunaan domestik dalam satu cara yang  mampan; seperti makna pepatah Inggeris iaitu "air yang pasang akan mengangkat kedudukan semua  bot”.

Menteri Kewangan Kedua Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah semalam mengumumkan yang (PEMANDU) telah ditugaskan untuk mengkaji langkah baru membantu meringankan kos sara hidup meningkat bagi yang  berpendapatan kurang daripada RM3,000 setiap bulan.

Ini ialah kali ketiga dalam satu bulan, Kerajaan Barisan Nasional telah terpaksa memberi reaksi kepada pengumuman-pengumuman ekonomi oleh Pakatan Rakyat dengan meniru cadangan-cadangan yang diutarakan . Dua peristiwa yang lain sebelum ini ialah pengumuman satu lagi NKRA yang baru mengenai kos sara hidupSELEPAS Pakatan Rakyat mengadakan Perundingan Meja Bulat yang dipengerusikan oleh Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim mengenai inflasi; dan siaran blog Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pada 10 Ogos 2011 mengenai kos sara hidup SELEPAS sidang media pertama oleh Jawatankuasa Bajet Alternatif Pakatan Rakyat pada 5 Ogos 2011.

Pengakuan oleh Husni dan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional bahawa mereka yang berpendapatan di bawah RM3,000 memerlukan bantuan ialah satu kenyataan jelas tentang kegagalan  Barisan Nasional mewujudkan masyarakat berpendapatan tinggi dan BN tidak mengendahkan nasib 60% rakyat Malaysia dalam merangka polisi ekonomi mereka..
Satu rangkakerja polisi yang baru nyata amatlah diperlukan untuk membantu majoriti 60% rakyat Malaysia biasa untuk menjalani taraf hidup yang berkualiti dengan kurang daripada RM3,000 setiap bulan. Adalah dijangkakan modifikasi tempelan oleh PEMANDU itu tidak akan mengakibatkan banyak perubahan kerana PEMANDU hanya mempunyai jangkamasa 2 minggu sahaja untuk mengeluarkan rangkakerja polisi yang baru tersebut .
Ekonomi berpaksikan kroni BN mestilah memberi laluan kepada satu  rangka kerja ekonomi bersifat berpaksikan  rakyat.  Rangkakerja Bajet Pakatan Rakyat “Kesejahteraan Untuk Semua”  termasuklah mengurus cabaran-cabaran dasar berikut:

1. Meningkatkan pendapatan dan produktiviti

·                  Membantu pekerja-pekerja meningkatkan ketrampilan kemahiran dan  memperkenalkan satu gaji minimum  agar memecahkan lingkaran ganas produktiviti rendah, gaji rendah dan kemahiran rendah

·                  Membantu industri-industri meningkat naik dalam lengkungan  automasi dan mekanisasi disamping  menguncup jumlah buruh asing tidak mahir serta meningkatkan  upah sebenar bagi pekerja

·                  Merangka dasar-dasar untuk golongan yang bekerja sendiri dalam sektor-sektor tidak formal (seperti pemandu-pemandu teksi, perniagaan-perniagaan kecil, peruncit kecil-kecilan);

·                  Melonjak dan menyemarakkan potensi-potensi keusahawanan dan inovasi  rakyat Malaysia

2.  Meningkatkan pendapatan bolehguna

Bajet Alternatif Pakatan Rakyat akan mengkaji empat perbelanjaan  besar untuk keluarga-keluarga yang bergelut dengan kos sara hidup yang meningkat  dan mengkaji peranan kerajaan dalam meningkatkan pendapatan boleh guna melalui penyampaian perkhidmatan awam lebih efektif dan efisien:

·                  Kesihatan;

·                  Pengangkutan;

·                  Perumahan;

·                  Beban hutang isi rumah dan  penyelesaian pembayaran hutang-hutang

3.   Mengehadkan monopoli, oligopoli dan kartel

Meningkatkan  pendapatan boleh guna dan mewujudkan satu keadaan seperti air pasang yang mengangkat semua bot melalui penggunaan domestik oleh  warganegara persendirian iaitu dengan   menggalakkan  persaingan  di sektor-sektor yang  kini dikuasai oleh monopoli, oligopoli dan kartel.

Jawatankuasa Bajet Alternatif Pakatan Rakyat telah menyatakan  rangkakerja kami mengenai monopoli beras oleh BERNAS, oligopoli gula dan MAS / kartel syarikat penerbangan Air Asia yang dimudahcarakan oleh GLCs. Lebih banyak butiran pada sektor lain akan ditampilkan  pada bulan September ini dengan butiran penuh terkandung  di dalam dokumen akhir  belanjawan alternatif nanti..

YB Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad                   YB Liew Chin Tong                         YB Tian Chua



Pakatan welcomes BN belated awareness of neglected Malaysians

The Pakatan Rakyat Alternative Budget Committee welcomes the Barisan Nasional's belated realisation on the importance of helping those who earn below RM3,000 per month.

Behind the façade of the massive, impressive infrastructure projects favoured by the Barisan Nasional government is a much more modest Malaysia. Hundreds of billions have been spent on showcase projects and masterplans but:

·         More than half – 60% – of Malaysian households earn less than RM3,000 per month;

·         Nearly half – 43% – of Malaysian households get by on less than RM1,500 per month. Of this, ¾ – 73% – are bumiputra.

The most important aspect of Pakatan Rakyat's Alternative Budget for 2012, aptly entitled Kesahjeteraan Untuk Semua, is:

·           The focus on developing Malaysians, not projects; and

·           Emphasising dignified jobs, fair wages and opportunities for all, and especially, the common Malaysian, not just well-connected elites.

If given the opportunity by the rakyat, a Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government will radically overhaul policies to ensure they boost the disposable income of the vast 60% of Malaysians,  so that they live a dignified life while their improved financial position will boost domestic consumption in a sustainable manner, resulting in a positive “rising tide for all boats”.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah announced yesterday that Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) has been tasked to study new measures to help ease the rising cost of living for those earning less than RM3,000 per month.

This is the third time within a month that the Barisan Nasional Government has responded to economic pronouncements by Pakatan Rakyat. The other two occasions were the announcement of a new National Key Result Area (NKRA) on cost of living after Pakatan Rakyat held a roundtable chaired by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on inflation; and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s blog post on 10 August 2011 on cost of living after the inaugural media conference by Pakatan Rakyat's Alternative Budget Committee on 5 Aug.

The admission by Husni and the Barisan Nasional Government that those who earn below RM3,000 need help is a clear indictment of Barisan Nasional's failure to create a high income society.

A new policy framework is needed to help the majority 60% of common Malaysians living on less than RM3,000 per month. Mere tweaking by PEMANDU would not result in much changes.  And we expect mere tweaking – PEMANDU has a tiny 2 week time-frame to deliver.

BN’s crony economy must give way to a people-centric economic framework. Pakatan Rakyat’s “Kesejateraan Untuk Semua” framework includes dealing with the following policy challenges:

1. Raising incomes and productivity

·                  To help workers upskill and to introduce a minimum wage to break the vicious cycle of low-wage, low-skill and low productivity;

·                  To help industries move up the automation and mechanization curve while curbing unskilled foreign labour and increasing real wages for workers;

·                  To craft policies for the self-employed in informal sectors (such as taxi drivers, small businesses, petty traders);

·                  To unleash the entrepreneurial and innovative potentials of Malaysians.

2.      Raising disposable income

The Pakatan Rakyat Alternative Budget will look into the four big-ticket expenditures for struggling families and to study the role of government in enhancing disposable income through better public service delivery:

·         Health;

·         Transport;

·         Housing;

·         Household debts and servicing of debts.

3.      Curtailing monopolies, oligopolies and cartels

To boost disposable income and to create a rising tide that lifts all boats through domestic consumption from private citizens is to introduce competition in areas currently dominated by monopolies, oligopolies and cartels.

Pakatan Rakyat Alternative Budget Committee has articulated our framework on the rice monopoly by BERNAS, sugar oligopoly and the MAS/Air Asia airline cartel facilitated by GLCs. More details on other sectors will be highlighted in September with the full details to be released the final budget document.

YB Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad                   YB Liew Chin Tong                         YB Tian Chua

Muslihat di Sebalik Permohonan Maaf Kompas

Posted: 22 Aug 2011 11:46 PM PDT


Ahad lalu, harian terkenal Indonesia Kompas memohon maaf kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak berhubung laporan yang diterbitkan mengenai dirinya dan isterinya, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Namun, permohonan maaf itu didapati hanya diselitkan dalam satu wawancara dengan Najib. Malaysiakini juga difahamkan bahawa ia juga dilakukan pada saat-saat terakhir oleh pengurusan tertinggi Kompas.

Artikel pedas, yang menjadi kontroversi itu bertajuk ‘Istri PM Najib dan Cincin 24 Juta Dollar’. Ia disiarkan pada isu Kompas 4 Ogos lalu tetapi dengan mudahnya boleh dilayari di versi Internet di Malaysia.

Antara lain, artikel itu mengaitkan Rosmah dengan pembelian kontroversi sebentuk cincin bernilai RM24 juta, dan mendakwa bakal besan Rosmah, Maira Nazarbayev, mempunyai hubungan dengan “mafia Rusia”.

Maira Nazarbayev dari Kazakhstan adalah ibu kepada Daniyar Nazarbayev yang telah bertunang dengan Nooryana Najwa, anak gadis Najib dan Rosmah.

Kompas juga dalam laporannya itu menyifatkan Rosmah sebagai menjalani “kehidupan yang penuh kontroversi”, dan mengaitkannya dengan Perimekar, syarikat yang dikatakan telah menerima komisen jutaan ringgit berikutan penjualan kapal selam Scorpene.

Menurut penulis, perjanjian yang mencurigakan itu antara faktor yang membawa kepada pembunuhan wanita warga Mongolia Altantuya Shaariibuu pada tahun 2006.

Menyedari artikel berkenaan mampu memberi kesan dan menjejaskan reputasi Najib, dua penasihat perhubungan awam tidak rasmi Najib – seorang daripada mereka dikaitkan dengan konglomerat Indonesia – bertindak segera mententeramkan keadaan – dengan meminta Kompas memohon maaf.

Menurut sumber Malaysiakini, permohonan maaf yang dituntut oleh Pejabat Perdana Menteri (PMO) pada mulanya ditolak oleh editor Kompas yang bertegas mempertahankan artikel mereka, khususnya berhubung dakwaan kegiatan kongsi gelap Maira, yang juga boleh dilayari secara meluas di Internet.

Dua penasihat itu kemudiannya mengancam mengugut Kompas dengan tindakan undang-undang, tetapi ini juga gagal untuk menundukkan akhbar Indonesia yang berpengaruh itu.

Kompas, bagaimanapun bersetuju membuka ruang kepada Najib untuk menjawap dan menangkis segala tuduhan dengan menghantar editor antarabangsa, Jimmy Harianto bagi menemubual Najib di Putrajaya pada Khamis lalu.

Bagiamanapun pada Ahad lalu, agensi berita nasional Bernama mengesahkan bahawa Kompas telah meminta maaf kepada Najib.

Setakat ini, mengapa Kompas membuat pusingan U pada saat-saat terakhir belum jelas tetapi menurut sumber, keputusan berkenaan telah dibuat dalam keadaan “situasi luar biasa”.

Namun, akhbar itu jelas tidak membuat permohonan maaf secara penuh – ia boleh diibaratkan sebagai ‘permohonan maaf separuh’.

Malah, permohonan maaf itu diselitkan pada perenggan 10 di halaman 10 akhbar itu dalam laporan yang bertajuk ‘PM Najib Razak: Demokrasi Juga Terjadi di Malaysia’.

Artikel wawancara dengan Najib itu memetik perdana menteri Malaysia itu menafikan dakwaan dalam artikel Kompas sebelum ini dan diikuti dengan permohonan maaf satu ayat yang berbunyi: "Atas pemberitaan tersebut, Pemimpin Redaksi Kompas Rikard Bagun, Sabtu (20 Ogos) di Jakarta, secara khusus menyatakan permintaan maafnya kepada Ketua Kerajaan dan Keluarga.”

Selain menerbitkan penafian Najib, akhbar itu juga tidak menyatakan bahawa dakwaan dalam artikelnya itu adalah tidak benar. Malah Kompas juga tidak menarik semula balik artikel, yang didakwa menghina Najib dan isterinya itu.

Namun, di Malaysia, media arus perdana mencanang-canangkan permohonan maaf itu dan menyiarkannya di halaman utama mereka.

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