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Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


The Opposition’s New Mandate

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:12 PM PDT

TMI

Thousands of Malaysians voted abroad during the 13th general election. Many more returned from Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, London and Taiwan, traditionally places with large numbers of Malaysians, to exercise their right to suffrage on May 5th.

This is a peculiar phenomenon.

Why do Malaysians who have found greener pastures abroad feel compelled to return to the country to cast their ballot? This certainly goes against the thesis of Albert O. Hirshman — who argued in a famous treatise in 1970 that when people have the chance to leave, they will, especially if they have found the entity to be increasingly dysfunctional and inefficient.

 Malaysia, or rather its government, over the last few decades, has certainly manifested such features.


Concurrently, those who decided to ‘stay back’ would attempt to improve the country by voicing out. Be that as it may, those who have left the country are not expected to express their voices anymore let alone to vote. Yet, vote they did.

The quick and short answer to the above phenomenon is that they care. Indeed, not only do they care about the future of their immediate and extended families still in Malaysia, but they care about Malaysia, period.

And that is where Malaysia draws its greatest pride from — Malaysians and their sense of belonging, of camaraderie.

Beyond caring, they also know, through their collective exposure in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, if not as far away as United Kingdom, Japan and Australia, that Malaysia has been back-pedaling, especially on issues like corruption and crime let alone in building a vibrant democracy.

Take corruption, for example. The national debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio at 54 per cent, it is one per cent shy of the constitutional limit; and this figure is a conservative estimate. When one lumps in the debt of the government linked companies (GLCS), often with the element of corruption still at work, the ratio is easily in the range of the mid-70s.

While many do not like to use the B word (i.e. bankcruptcy), the next generation is expected to foot the financial profligacy of the present one. Malaysians abroad share the same concern and anxieties with those at home.

Not surprisingly, up 75 to 85 per cent of the voters abroad, almost without fail, voted for the opposition according to exit polls.

Like the 51 per cent of the people in Malaysia, they chose to throw their lot with Pakatan Rakyat, this despite the fact that Pakatan Rakyat did not have any offices or representatives outside the country.

In fact, one may even wonder if they did so purely to register their disgust with Barisan National, rather than due to any objective attachment to Pakatan Rakyat; a trend that was discernible across all racial groups in urban areas from 2008 onwards.

Even in rural places ostensibly ‘won’ by the government, the establishment is not out of the woods, if ever they can be, due to their indulgent attitude to corruption and sheer exploitation of the natural resources that impacts rural communities directly.

My PAS colleague, Dr Dzukefly Ahmad, noted in a Malay op-ed that of the 11 constituencies with Dayak majority in Sarawak, all of them had experienced a dip of 10 per cent or more in the votes for the government.

This is unprecedented in areas that are customarily the vote banks of the state government. Thus, if Sabah and Sarawak are the ‘fixed deposit’ of the government, the yield is only decreasing, not enlarging.

Yet, this election, has allowed a minority government to be in Putrajaya, the seat of the Malaysian government. Like many in the country and abroad, the opposition is not so much shocked as it is outraged by the ‘enforced limitations’ of the electoral system; some of which are now being legally challenged by Pakatan Rakyat.

The limitations were ‘enforced’ because the Electoral Commission, which was under the Prime Minister’s Office, failed to reform the electoral system in the more than four years available ahead of the recent 13th general election, the ‘disappearing’ indelible ink fiasco included.

Electoral reforms were all the more imperative after repeated rounds of feedbacks from non-governmental groups like Bersih I, II, III, Tindak and Transparency International. But, whether by design or default, they chose to sit tight indifferent to the loud calls for free and fair elections. Even to the extent of allowing tainted electoral rolls to remain on the register, especially in my constituency that is Lembah Pantai.

In moments like these, it is easy to hate the arbitrary nature and high-handedness of the ruling government too. This is all the more the case when the ruling establishment, once again, is showing signs of attempting to remain in power on the sly.

Instead of seeking ‘national reconciliation’ advocated by the Prime Minister, the very first things that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Inspector General Police did was to arrest opposition figures and dissidents. A dragnet was imposed on those who spoke out against the unfairness of the election.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, the co-chairperson of Bersih, was right to affirm that “the government has been using words (such as national reconciliation), which it doesn’t even understand”; this when the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is also a patron to a Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) whose rhetoric is not even echoed by his own immoderate party at home.

But Malaysians near and abroad must not fall into the temptation of blind hate, just as I am reminding myself too. To do so would be to stoop to the level of extreme jingoistic and mirror the narrative of such rabid malicious press likeUtusan Malaysia - the UMNO mouthpiece.

On the other hand, Pakatan Rakyat’s demand for substantive action such as the immediate removal of the Election Commission’s leadership before participating in the Prime Minister’s offer of a Parliamentary Select Committee to manage the Election Commission, which now falls under the Prime Minister's Department will test the government’s readiness for reforms.

Indeed, revamping the Electoral Commission is urgently needed, especially on boundary redelineation which have to be completed over the next two years which once again will determine the next election’s fairness.

Beyond electoral petitions and all, the opposition has to govern well  in Selangor and Penang, too, without which they would not be able to arrest the growing skepticism of politicians emerging through out the country.

Pakatan Rakyat will continue to push for legislative reform in Parliament, as we have done since Malaysians gave us their mandate. The opposition mandate is to stay vigilant, alert and efficient, even as it is confronting a set of legal electoral challenges. Failure is not an option in the face of an increasingly hawkish and change-resistant minority government of Barisan National.

Indeed our march of history towards democracy will go on even if it is slightly bumpy, facing temporary roadblocks. For a mandate is still a mandate and should be the fodder for continued fortitude, determination and sacrifice for greater democracy in Malaysia.

Di Jakarta, Anwar Ibrahim Cerita Kecurangan Pemilu

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:05 PM PDT

Tempo

Pemimpin oposisi Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, bertandang ke Indonesia. Dalam kunjungannya di Jakarta, Anwar mengundang sejumlah media di Hotel Crown, Ahad, 16 Juni 2013, untuk berbincang soal kecurangan pemilihan umum di Malaysia yang diselenggarakan April lalu.

Anwar menceritakan “serangan” partai koalisi pro-pemerintah, Barisan Nasional, yang digawangi Partai UMNO, terhadap kelompok oposisi, Pakatan Rakyat. Saat masa kampanye, kata Anwar, partai oposisi diserang melalui media massa yang dia klaim sudah dibeli oleh partai penguasa. “Selama 24 jam kami diserang melalui siaran di televisi, isu-isu diembuskan,” kata Anwar.

Contohnya, menurut Anwar, adanya isu jika Anwar Ibrahim terpilih sebagai perdana menteri, ia akan mengkristenkan Malaysia. “Bagi masyarakat yang tahu isu itu bakal ketawa, tapi masyarakat yang di pedalaman banyak yang termakan, mungkin mereka khawatir,” ujarnya.

Lantaran partai penguasa menguasai media massa, kata Anwar, partai oposisi tak punya sarana kampanye. Satu-satunya cara kampanye dengan menyebar pamflet. Namun upaya ini sering kali menuai petaka. Beberapa kader Anwar ditangkap polisi saat menyebarkan pamflet tanpa tuduhan jelas. “Setidaknya ada 25-30 anak muda kami ditangkap,” kata Anwar.

Kecurangan berlanjut hingga pemilihan umum tiba. Anwar mengaku menemukan praktek politik uang saat pemilihan umum berlangsung. Dia menemukan sejumlah masyarakat mendapat duit 500 ringgit. Dia juga menuding Komisi Pemilihan Umum Malaysia tak netral sebab terlalu membela partai penguasa. Dia menyebut KPU Malaysia tak profesional. Sebagai contoh, tak ada pengawasan yang jelas saat pemilihan dan penghitungan suara dilakukan, sehingga rawan terjadi kecurangan.

Bahkan Anwar menyebutkan bahwa tinta tanda peserta pemilu dipalsukan KPU Malaysia. Tinta yang seharusnya permanen diganti menjadi tinta biasa yang mudah dihapus. “Bahkan lucunya di tengah pemilu ada yang mati lampu, ini, kan, rentan kecurangan,” katanya.

Akibat kecurangan itu, partai penguasa dinyatakan menang. Sementara data yang Anwar punya menyatakan partai oposisinya menang lebih dari 50 persen. Anwar dan partai oposisi berjanji tetap kukuh mempertanyakan pemilihan umum Malaysia. Dia meminta lembaga pengawas pemilu Malaysia untuk mengusut dugaan kecurangan ini. Termasuk meminta pejabat KPU Malaysia untuk lengser dan bertanggung jawab. Berita internasional tentang Malaysia lainnya klik di sini.

Anwar Ibrahim Pastikan Gelar Demo Besar

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:03 PM PDT

Tempo

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Pemimpin oposisi Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar Ibrahim, akan menggelar demo besar pada 22 Juni 2013, menolak pemilihan umum yang dianggap penuh kecurangan. Rencananya demo besar itu akan dipusatkan di Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur.

“Kami minta komisi pemilihan umum Malaysia mundur dan bertanggungjawab atas kecurangan ini,” kata Anwar saat menemui wartawan di Hotel Crown Plaza, Jakarta Selatan, Ahad, 16 Juni 2013.

Anwar mengaku pihak oposisi sudah pernah mengajukan keberatan serupa ke KPU Malaysia. Namun dia mengaku KPU menanggapi dengan arogan dengan mengatakan partai oposisi tak punya hak menggugat hasil pemilu.

Namun upaya demo besar tanggal 22 Juni mendatang, diakui Anwar mendapat halangan. Sekitar 15 pemuda kader Anwar ditangkap oleh polisi Malaysia, Sabtu, 15 Juni 2013, karena menyebarkan pamflet ajakan demo masal. “Ini tidak ada semangat bawa perubahan demokrasi,” kata Anwar.

Meski begitu, dia melanjutkan, tak akan membatalkan rencana demo besar tanggal 22 Juni mendatang. Anwar pun berjanji demo besar nanti partai oposisi tidak akan berujung aksi anarki. “Kami sudah nyatakan demo kami damai.”

Anwar Ibrahim Sambut Baik JK Jadi Penengah di Pemilu Malaysia

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 07:59 PM PDT

detikNews

Tokoh oposisi Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, menyambut baik tawaran Jusuf Kalla untuk menjadi penengah di kemelut Pemilu Malaysia yang melibatkan Anwar dan kontestan pertahanan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Saya hormati inisiatif Pak JK. Tetapi komisi belum selesai dan isu Pemilu belum selesai,” kata Anwar Ibrahim dalam jumpa pers di Hotel Crown Plaza, Jl Gatot Subroto, Jakarta Selatan,Minggu (16/6/2013).

JK, menurut Anwar, dianggap mampu menjadi penengah dalam kemelut diantara kedua kontestan Pemilu tersebut. Hal ini karena JK merupakan teman akrab kedua pihak. Selain itu juga, dia menilai JK memiliki rekam jejak dalam meredam konflik, tidak hanya di Indonesia, namun juga di kawasan Asia Tenggara seperti di Myanmar.

Anwar yang mengenakan stelan jas abu itu menyatakan telah bertemu dengan Presiden SBY dua hari lalu di Bali. Dalam pertemuan itu dia berbincang mengenai permasalahan-permasalahan yang ada di Malaysia, khususnya terkait proses Pemilu Malaysia, dan beberapa kebijakan bilateral kedua negara.

“Saya juga mengutarakan tentang peranan Indonesia dan semangat idealisme demokrasi tentang kebebasan dan keadilan,” ujar Anwar.

Anwar menampik rumor yang berkembang selama ini bila ada agenda dirinya bertemu dengan PM Najib di Jakarta membahas isu-isu seputar Pemilu 2013.

“Saya jelaskan, tidak ada pertemuan. Tidak ada rencana peremuan,” kata Anwar.

Meski demikian, dirinya akan membuka pintu pertemuan bila sewaktu-waktu pihak dari PM Najib hendak bertemu membicarakan persoalan Pemilu. “Saya pikir harus lebih terbuka,” katanya.

Gambar Sekitar Sidang Media Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim di Jakarta, Indonesia

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 07:58 PM PDT

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