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17 July 2014

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Speech by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Economic Agenda Forum & Iftar on July 16, 2014 at the Mentri Besar Selangor’s Official Residence

Versi Bahasa Melayu

English Version

10 July 2014

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Keynote address by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian Opposition Leader and Selangor State Economic Advisor at the Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur on July 9th 2014

English Version

Versi Bahasa Malaysia

 

 

26 January 2014

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SPECIAL ADDRESS TO MALAYSIANS
26 JANUARY 2014

Let’s work towards a national consensus

1. It has been just over four months since we last celebrated Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day. Just celebrating them as a festivity doesn’t mean much if we miss the bigger picture.

2. I cannot overemphasise the importance of this bigger picture.

3. That is why I am taking this opportunity to address not just all of you present here this afternoon but to all Malaysians at home and abroad today.

4. By all Malaysians I mean exactly that – regardless of race, religion, cultural group or mother tongue; regardless of whether you are from the Peninsula or from Sabah and Sarawak; and regardless of your political affiliation.

5. It does not matter whether you are with Pakatan Rakyat or with Barisan Nasional, or that you are with neither party, nor that you are independent or even totally apolitical, I want to reach out to all with this message.

6. It is a message conceived in love for the nation and not in hate against anyone. It is a message raised on the altar of hope, not on the ruins of despair. And it is a message for all of us including myself to take home and share with our family, our neighbours and our friends so that we may move forward.

7. At the outset, I mentioned celebrating Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day and what it entails for it to be truly meaningful. First and foremost, it is a celebration of the fundamental liberties enshrined in our Federal Constitution, a document of statehood agreed to by our founding fathers attendant upon our gaining independence.

8. This constitution is not just a piece of paper. It is a sovereign document brought into existence as a result of the social compact of our leaders representing the diverse communities in this blessed country of ours.

9. It guarantees our right to life and liberty, to freedom of speech, assembly and association. It prescribes equality of all citizens before the law and guarantees freedom of religion.

10. These provisions form the sub-stratum of our Malaysian identity, an identity made up of a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. These principles must be respected by all communities, whether they comprise the majority or they constitute minorities. They must be honoured by the politicians in word and deed whether they are in power or whether they are in the opposition. Similarly, all civil society groups, NGOs, and all the organs of state must abide by these constitutional safeguards.

11. The Malaysian identity as a nation of peoples can only be as good as the cohesiveness of this very plural society of ours. Take this unity and sense of togetherness away and we will take away our identity as Malaysians.

12. So, indeed, after 56 years of independence one would expect that this cohesiveness is not only in existence but should be growing stronger by the day. Unfortunately though, there has been particularly in the last few months, a series of circumstances and developments that collectively are fast eroding the cohesiveness that is so crucial to our identity.

13. In fact, these developments appear to be reaching a crescendo that threatens to tear the very fabric of our unity apart. Of course, we have not reached the tipping point yet but as they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

14. And we cannot be vigilant enough here. That is because what we are seeing today are all kinds of attempts by certain quarters to take this nation to the brink.

15. In fact, we have not seen this building up of tension since the events leading up to our national tragedy of May 13th 1969. The voices of hate and animosity, the voices of prejudice and suspicion, and the voices of wreck and ruin are attempting to drown out the harmony, cooperation and understanding that we have managed to build on the ruins of this tragedy.

16. I call on you, my fellow Malaysians to rise up and let your voices be heard. Let your voice of mutual respect and goodwill, your voice of understanding and trust, and your voice of unity and integration prevail over these voices of hatred, rancour, hostility and destruction.

17. We must turn the corner from the path of increasing polarization to the path of greater integration. We must stop the race-baiting, put an end to this disease of incitement to religious intolerance and hatred and join our hands in unity and togetherness.

18. Leaders from both sides of the political divide must put aside all partisan concerns and show real leadership in easing the tension and work towards ameliorating the situation.

19. Indeed, the time has come for all of us to reach a national consensus on these crucial issues that impact the sub-stratum of our identity as a nation.

20. In line with the spirit of the constitution, all parties must cease questioning the paramount position of Islam as the religion of the Federation.

21. In reaffirming the position of Islam and recognizing that Muslims make up the majority of the population, we must reject the notion that Islam is under threat. We must reject the notion that there is some sinister conspiracy to replace Islam as the religion of the Federation with some other religion.

22. We must at the same time give due recognition to the same constitutional safeguards on all the other religions in the land. We are a nation of communities comprising a plurality of faiths. In this regard, Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and practitioners of ethnic religions must be accorded their constitutional freedom to practise their religion in the manner of their choosing.

23. In working towards this consensus, let us remain focussed on the other things that really matter to us as a nation going forward.

24. Let us work together to tackle the issues of governance, transparency and accountability. Whether it is at the Federal or state levels, let us resolve to stamp out the cancer of corruption which still plagues us.

25. The problem of rising prices recognises no partisan boundaries. So, let us channel our energies to enhancing the welfare of the rakyat and formulating practical solutions to lighten their burden.

26. Instead of fighting figments of our imagination, let us help our police fight crime and make our homes, our schools, our shopping complexes safer.

27. It is morally incumbent on us, particularly those of us who have been elected by the people to represent them, to go beyond partisan lines and come to a national consensus on how to move the nation forward.

28. Duty towards the nation, even greater than duty to party, impels us to take up the challenge. We must strengthen our resolve and summon all our moral courage to see this through.

Thank you.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

12 December 2013

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Keynote address by Anwar Ibrahim at the Symposium on “Reform of Higher Education in Muslim Societies,” organized by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) on December 9-10, 2013 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC.

Introduction

The crisis in higher education in Muslim societies is manifested in myriad ways not the least of which are impacting socioeconomic development. Among the root causes of the crisis are those related to choice, content, quality and financial resources and issues of governance.

It is said that Islamic education has not progressed much from its traditional form with its emphasis on Qur’anic and Hadith studies and while other societies have transformed their systems, Muslim countries are still grappling with the challenges of integrating within modern education.

Another major concern is the accessibility of education to the people. The need to democratize access to education has been canvassed for some time but this has remained a long-standing problem in Muslim countries.

It is obvious that the traditional system, without more, is unable to meet the needs of contemporary Muslim societies what with the additional pressures of globalization and the increasing need for education to produce problem-solving capacities. I believe all these issues are being discoursed in our two-day symposium and as such I shall confine my address today to the conceptual issues pertaining to the ummah and the intellectual crisis.

The economics of education

To begin with, there is a general perception in the discourse among many Muslim scholars that Western education and philosophy is secular and bereft of an ethical and moral dimension. To my mind, this is unfounded.

In John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, it is clear that the driving concern is morality which for him, “is the one area apart from mathematics wherein human reasoning can attain a level of rational certitude.”[1]

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which debunks the notion of him being the free market fundamentalist, Adam Smith asserts:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.

Expounding his moral philosophy, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen is of the view that Adam Smith has two fundamental propositions on the functioning of the economic system in general, and of the market in particular. The first principle, being epistemological, is that human beings are not guided only by self-gain or even prudence. The second is one of practical reason: That there are good ethical and practical grounds for encouraging motives other than self-interest.

According to Professor Sen, Smith argues that while “prudence” was “of all virtues that which is most helpful to the individual”, “humanity, justice, generosity, and public spirit, are the qualities most useful to others”.

The point is that these are principles about which “unfortunately, a big part of modern economics gets both of them wrong in interpreting Smith.” Making him out as an advocate of pure capitalism, with complete reliance on the market mechanism guided by pure profit motive, is altogether misconceived.[2]

So, it appears that the misperceptions are not only pervasive among Muslim scholars but even among Western scholars in this regard, Smith – the icon of ‘capitalism’ – has been seriously misread.

Coming back to our original concern, I believe these ‘moral sentiments’ are not at loggerheads with Islamic precepts. After all, the guiding principle in political economy as summed up by al-Marhum Ismail al-F?r?q? is that economic action is the expression of Islam’s spirituality: The economy of the ummah and its good health are of the essence of Islam just as Islam’s spirituality is inexistent without just economic action.[3]

According to al-F?r?q?, if charity is to serve as a tool of religion whose purpose is the well-being of mankind, then it must have for its object goods of economic value. Religion, therefore, seeks to subject Man’s economic behaviour to the norms of morality. Islam, the religion of world-affirmation par excellence, seeks to order human life so as to make it actualize the pattern intended for it by its Creator. Hence the Islamic dictum: Inna al din al mu’amalah (Religion is indeed man’s treatment of his fellows).[4]

In looking at the economics of education, while the profit motive may be a legitimate factor, it cannot be driven purely by self-gain. On the contrary in line with the Islamic dictum on charity as expounded by al-F?r?q?, where the purpose of religion is the well-being of mankind, the promotion of education must be conducted as a virtue at par with such other virtues as “humanity, justice, generosity, and public spirit.”

Going back to first principles

It is important to remind ourselves that Muslim societies will not be able to progress by merely resting on the laurels of its time honoured labels. It is doubtful indeed that anything productive can emerge from the exercise of finding fault with the Western systems. The crisis in higher education – and for that matter, crisis in education at all levels – is most acute in Muslim countries, not in the West.

In fact, in the West, much less is said about the need for moral rectitude and ethical behaviour in education, yet the universities are at the forefront in producing the most sought after graduates, and in research and development. In saying this, I am not suggesting that moral rectitude and ethical behaviour in education are irrelevant but that this has to be seen in deed and action, not in proclamation of intentions.

In analysing the causes of the decline of the ummah be it in the field of education or any other field of significance, we should do away with the defensive mind-set that seems to have exemplified Muslim writers. Though Islamophobia is indeed a real problem, it is nevertheless not a cause or a factor that may be legitimately linked to the decline.

In this regard, going back to first principles is a better recourse. The Qur’an reminds us:

“Similar situations [as yours] have passed on before you, so proceed throughout the earth and observe how was the end of those who denied.” (Ali Imran: 137)

It is clear that much can be learned from the lessons of history. Malik Bennabi’s central thesis is indeed relevant concerning the need for original ideas and that a vibrant progressive society may emerge only if it can break free from the tradition of intellectual retardation.[5]

Bennabi tells us that a society’s wealth is not measured by material possessions but by ideas and that it is only from creative ideas alone that great strides in civilization were made.[6]

In the area of scientific and technological advancement, it bears recalling that Bennabi was already advocating the importance of the inculcation of skills and competencies in all fields as well as vocational and technical training for the ummah. And this is absolutely essential for the ummah to move ahead with the times.[7]

Education, rationality and ijtihad

Education must proceed on the basis of rationality and with that ijtihad. I am using this term in the sense as explained by Al-F?r?q?, where he has said:

As a methodical principle, rationalism is constitutive of the essence of Islamic civilization. … Rationalism does not mean the priority of reason over revelation but the rejection of any ultimate contradiction between them.[8]

Al-F?r?q? presented Islam as the religion par excellence of reason, science, and progress with a strong emphasis on action and the work ethic. Any suggestion that the advocacy of rationality in the articulation of educational policies and principles is grounded in secular thinking is therefore without foundation.[9]

For the advancement of the ummah, Al-F?r?q? advocates the fundamental processes of tajdid and islah in order to renew and reform the educational system.

To move ahead with the changing times is not tantamount to abandoning first principles or a rejection of tradition. Professor Naquib al-Attas, always mindful of the need to reassert the primacy of Islam as an intellectual tradition, persuasively argues that real modern education cannot be separated from the categories of knowledge fundamental to the Islamic tradition whereas contemporary modern knowledge should be freed from its secular-bound interpretations.[10]

To al-Attas, the major cause of not just of the crisis of Muslim education but the general retrogression of the ummah is the failure to inculcate ta?dib, which is the cultivation of the inner dimensions of the self, centering on the spirit of knowledge and education.

To my mind, and in this regard, it might constitute a contrarian view, rather than viewing it as a clash of views, I see a convergence of approaches between al-F?r?q? and al-Attas. If I may use the analogy of the Baytu l-?ar?m, there are various entrances to the holiest of holy sites in Islam but by which ever entrance used, the ultimate destination remains the Ka’aba. In both their approaches, we can discern a unified concern for the revivification of Islamic knowledge and thought.

That concern was not entirely new. From the time of Muhammad ‘Abduh, the call for change was couched in the language of modernity. Even back then there was the suspicion of ‘Abduh attempting to introduce secularism through the back door of ijtih?d but we know that such allegations are misconceived. On the contrary, what ‘Abduh did was to subject the moral and epistemological premises of secular modernity to scrutiny and he came to the conclusion that Islam’s modernity was both non-Western and non-secular.[11]

Allama Iqbal reminded us of the inadequacy of fiqh for the requirements of his time and called for ijtih?d. In doing so, he rightly cautioned that in the area of legislation for the State, ijtih?d should be undertaken as a collective enterprise and not individuals going on their own ways.[12]

Nevertheless, it would be timely to reconsider the constraints on the adoption of the ijtihad, including those advocated by Iqbal, removing them and allowing the doctrine to apply beyond legal matters into the realm of everyday life.

In this regard, we are in complete agreement with Sheikh Taha’s call for the revival of knowledge based on divine revelation against blind imitation of supposedly modern curricula in all areas of education where the dissemination of knowledge appears to be deliberately divorced from Islam’s core values.[13]

One must not forget that taqlid can also refer to blind imitation of the West and falling prey, even subconsciously, to the influence of the biases latent in the language of discourse. Hence, the need to propound alternative views and articulate a greater degree of independent thinking.[14]

The caveat against blind adoption of liberal views was sounded by Fazlur Rahman: “Universal values are the crux of the being of a society: the debate about the relativity of moral values in a society is born of a liberalism that in the process of liberalisation has become so perverted as to destroy those very moral values that it set out to liberate from the constraints of dogma.”[15]

A tentative prescription in the tradition of IIIT

In formulating a new prescription for Muslims one can do no better than to echo the calls made in the tradition of the International Institute of Islamic Thought on the Islamization of knowledge as pioneered by al-Marhum Ismail al-F?r?q?. I use the word ‘echo’ deliberately with the rider that a fresh interpretation is called for in order to do justice to the purport of this approach. This fresh interpretation is in tandem with the commitment to the core values of Islam.

In my humble view, this is necessary because in failing to do justice to these fundamental principles, certain scholars and ulema have confounded the plain message of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. They call for the adoption of the Shari’ah without a deeper understanding of the maqasid, giving preference to scholastic views and speculative opinions, many of which rely on unauthentic hadith and a skewered understanding of hudud law.[16] Indeed, this is clearly contrary to the clear message of the Qur’an:

“This [Qur'an] is a clear statement to [all] the people and a guidance and instruction for those conscious of Allah.” (Ali Imran: 138)

Though we would expect it to be taken for granted, yet it is imperative to remind ourselves that the Qur??n is more than just a moral code. Indeed it is a universal guide for the community. If we take the definition of education as a social extension of culture and culture as a definitive or core ingredient of civilization, then this approach of the Islamization of knowledge will lead to a truly holistic adoption of Islam’s core values. This indeed will be the best answer to the question what is the Islamic weltanschauung:

“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” (Ali Imran: 110)

Secondly, to my mind, there is some substance in the observation that in the current approach to the Islamization of knowledge endeavour, there is a preponderance of focus on the social sciences while the crisis of the ummah in practical terms can be traced to it being technologically and scientifically lagging behind the non-Muslim communities.[17]

The project should therefore be broadened to attract more scholars and participants from the physical sciences and in time this will add a more balanced critical mass to the intellectual force. After all, the Bayt al-Hikmah of the Golden Age of Islam gave birth to not just philosophers but eminent scientists. In fact, the bifurcation between the two was not the norm as the holistic pursuit of knowledge saw the genesis of “philosopher-scientists” competent in a wide spectrum of intellectual disciplines.[18] At the core of this focus, I believe, is the divine injunction on the use of the intellectual faculty.

Thus, the Qur’an enjoins the use of reason to ascertain the truth as provided by the senses, and truth grounded on revelation:

“And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth – all from Him. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (al-Jathiyah:13)

Finally, we must consider it a jihad to free ourselves from a new shroud of ignorance that has been cast upon the ummah. Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali reminds us that “ignorance combined with bigotry and caprice are a great misfortune.” The antidote to this is the pursuit of knowledge which will widen our horizons and strengthen our resolve and will-power for individuals as well as communities.[19]

Thank you.


[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy –  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke-moral/ An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, in P.H. Nidditch (ed.), An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, based on the fourth edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.

[2] http://www.newstatesman.com/ideas/2010/04/smith-market-essay-sentiments

[3] Ismail Raji al Faruqi, Al Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life, 2nd ed., Herndon: IIIT, 1992, p. 157

[4] Ibid. at p.170

[5] Badrane Benlahcene, The Socio-Intellectual Foundations of Malek Bennabi’s Approach To Civilisation, IIIT, 2011

[6] Malik Bennabi, Mushkilat al Afkar fil Alam al Islami, trans. M Ali, Cairo: Maktabat Amar, 1971, 56

[7] Abdulaziz Berghout, The Concept of Culture and Cultural Transformation: Views of Malik Bennabi, Intellectual Discourse, 2001 Vol. 9, No 1, pp. 78-79

[8] Ismail R. al Faruqi and Lois Lamya al Faruqi, Cultural Atlas of Islam, Macmillan Publishing Company: New York, 1986, pp.78-79

[9] Islam and Knowledge: Al Faruqi’s Concept Of Religion In Islamic Thought, ed. Imtiyaz Yusuf, I.B. Tauris in association with IIIT and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Washington 2012

[10] Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam: An Exposition of the Fundamental Elements of the Worldview of Islam, Kuala Lumpur: International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, 1995

[11] Tradition and Modernity – Christian and Muslim Perspectives, ed. David Marshall, Georgetown University Press, 2013, Chapter on “Muhammad ‘Abduh – A Sufi-inspired Modernist?” by Vincent J. Cornell p.108

[12] Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Kitab Bhavan, 2000

[13] Taha J. al-Alwani, Islamic Thought: An Approach To Reform

[14] Epistemological Bias in the Physical & Social Sciences, Edited by A. M. Elmessiri, IIIT

[15] Liberal Islam – A Sourcebook, ed. Charles Kruzman, Oxford University Press, 1998, Ch. 31 on Fazlur Rahman’s Islam and Modernity p.317

[16] Mohammad Omar Farooq, Toward Our Reformation: From Legalism to Value-Oriented Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, IIIT, 2011

[17] Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, “Islamization of Knowledge: A Critical Overview”, Islamic Studies Vol. 30, No. 3 (Autumn 1991), pp. 387-400

[18] Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. “The Teaching of Philosophy.” In Philosophy, Literature, and Fine Arts, edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, pp. 3–21. Islamic Education Series. Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, 1982

[19] Shaykh  Muhammad al-Ghazali, A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an, trans. Ashur A. Shamis, rev. Zaynab Alawiye, IIIT, 2000, pp. 516-517

30 August 2013

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Sekali lagi menjelang 31 Ogos, kita akan meraikan Hari Merdeka, hari yang cukup gemilang dan bermakna untuk seluruh rakyat Malaysia. Kini adalah masanya untuk kita menghimbau kembali pencapaian dan kegagalan kita dan memandang ke depan untuk hari-hari dan bulan-bulan yang mendatang. Kini adalah masanya untuk bermuhasabah dan bertanya apakah sebenarnya erti Merdeka dan apa yang boleh kita pelajari dari masa silam dan harapan di masa depan.

‘Merdeka’ memiliki makna yang lebih dalam berbanding perkataan ‘Kebebasan’. Ia bukan sekadar persoalan dibebaskan dari cengkaman penjajahan atau penindasan asing jika ianya kemudian digantikan dengan penindas di tanah air sendiri yang barangkali lebih rakus dan tamak. Merdeka bermaksud bebas dari sebarang bentuk kezaliman dan penindasan dalam apa jua bentuk dan negara dipacu ke arah baru menuju keadilan, kebebasan, demokrasi dan kemuliaan insan.

Di atas cabaran ini, ramai yang bersetuju bahawa kita masih jauh untuk mencapainya. Setelah lebih dari setengah abad, kita masih lagi bertanya samada prinsip-prinsip asas di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan masih dijunjung dan samada kebebasan dan hak-hak yang termaktub di dalamnya masih utuh dan dihormati. Justeru, apa kebaikan Merdeka seandainya asas perlembagaan dicabuli dengan sewenang-wenangnya?

Tatkala kita seharusnya meraikan perpaduan sebagai sebuah negara pelbagai kaum dan pelbagai agama yang telah menjangkau 56 tahun usia kemerdekaan, kita sebaliknya kini melihat polarisasi masyarakat yang dahsyat dan perpecahan dalam hal-hal berkaitan agama. Tanggungjawab dan peranan pemimpin politik sewajarnya menjernihkan keadaan ini namun apa yang berlaku adalah sebaliknya. Terdapat segelintir daripada mereka yang mengeruhkan lagi keadaan dengan mengeksploitasi hal-hal agama dan isu-isu sensitif untuk kepentingan mereka sendiri. Kini wujud perkembangan yang membimbangkan bila mana terdapat parti-parti politik yang mengupah kumpulan-kumpulan ‘hak istimewa’ dan media untuk meneruskan agenda mereka memecahbelah dan menyemai perbezaan di kalangan rakyat.

Kesannya, setelah 56 tahun mencapai Merdeka, berlaku lebih banyak provokasi perkauman, hasutan yang menjurus kepada kebencian terhadap agama dan secara umumnya semakin banyak ucapan dan penulisan berbaur hasutan yang disiarkan oleh media cetak. Apa yang malang adalah ia bukan sekadar kelemahan kepimpinan dalam menjernihkan keadaan, tetapi tampak seolah-olah kerajaan sedang menggalakkan fenomena ini supaya menjadi lebih parah.

Sebagai contoh, ketika pelbagai tuntutan dan bantahan dinyatakan dari kalangan rakyat prihatin dan pertubuhan-pertubuhan bukan kerajaan, kerajaan sebaliknya membenarkan juga penayangan di seluruh negara sebuah filem yang hanya akan menyajikan mesej berbaur perkauman walaupun nilai keseniannya masih boleh dipersoalkan. Di sebalik kebanggaan tentang negara, terdapat sensitiviti yang lebih besar yakni perkauman dan perasaan khalayak. Suara-suara melampau berbaur kebencian dan yang bersifat tidak toleran sedang menenggelamkan suara-suara kesederhanaan dan keterbukaan.

Peningkatan mendadak kes tembakan dan jenayah berat, rompakan dan jenayah ragut adalah hal yang membimbangkan. Manakala kita mendukung usaha pihak polis dalam memerangi dan mencegah jenayah, adalah penting juga untuk mereka melakukannya dengan menuruti proses yang sewajarnya. Semua pihak perlu bekerjasama mencari jalan penyelesaian namun demikian penggunaan undang-undang yang lebih berat bukanlah jawapannya. Perkara tersebut perlu diteliti dengan lebih menyeluruh.

Menyentuh isu tatakelola, ketelusan dan kebertanggungjawaban, rasuah kekal menjadi barah yang merisaukan kita. Merujuk kepada perkara ini, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) mesti melaksanakan tugas mereka tanpa rasa takut dan memihak namun kita mendesak Peguam Negara supaya tidak menghalang pendakwaan yang melibatkan amalan rasuah di kalangan pimpinan atasan.

Negara kita tidak kebal daripada ribut ekononi yang melanda di sekeliling kita. Kita lebih perlu berhati-hati daripada berada di dalam keadaan tidak bersiap sedia. Kita boleh menerapkan tata kelola, hemah dan kebertanggungjawaban dalam pengurusan kewangan awam dan ekonomi kita. Kerajaan bersalah terhadap kecurangan ekonomi – menyatakan fakta yang separa benar dan memberikan statistik tidak sempurna untuk mengaburi perbelanjaan melampau yang tidak mampu lagi ditanggung oleh negara.

Penilaian Agensi Penarafan Kewangan Antarabangsa (FITCH) yang mendedahkan kemerosotan prospek ekonomi negara sewajarnya mempercepatkan kerajaan untuk bertindak lebih terbuka dalam mendepani cabaran sebenar ekonomi. Sebaliknya, kerajaan memperlekeh penilaian tersebut dan menyifatkannya sebagai kerja “penganalisa muda yang tidak mendengar pandangan kerajaan”. FITCH bukanlah satu-satunya firma penganalisa yang menyatakan kebimbangan terhadap prospek pertumbuhan ekonomi dan kesannya kepada kejutan luaran.

Terdahulu, Institut Penyelidikan Ekonomi Malaysia (MIER) telah menolak unjuran pertumbuhan 2013 daripada 5.6% sebelumnya kepada 4.8%. Bank Negara pula baru-baru ini telah mengurangkan ramalan pertumbuhan 2013 daripada 5-6% sebelumnya kepada 4.5-5%. Ini selari dengan ramalan terkini Bank Dunia untuk tahun 2013 iaitu daripada 5.6% sebelumnya kepada 5.1%. Selain daripada ancaman berganda defisit fiskal yang tinggi secara berterusan dan peningkatan hutang kerajaan secara langsung dan tidak langsung, lebihan akaun semasa kita berada pada tahap paling rendah sejak 1997. Oleh kerana kita terlalu bergantung pada nilai dan komoditi eksport yang rendah di pasaran global, kejatuhan berterusan dalam ekonomi global mewujudkan ketidaktentuan terhadap pertumbuhan kita.

Pengurangan defisit fiskal memerlukan komitmen sepenuhnya dalam membasmi rasuah daripada perolehan dan projek-projek kerajaan. Penjimatan 10% dalam perolehan dan projek-projek dengan mudah dapat diterjemahkan kepada perolehan RM20 bilion setahun (berdasarkan perolehan dan perbelanjaan tahunan projek RM200 bilion di bawah kawalan kerajaan Persekutuan).

Pengurangan hutang kerajaan dan pemotongan defisit fiskal hanya boleh dimulakan menerusi perolehan hasil kerajaan yang lebih tinggi yang diraih melalui pertumbuhan yang lebih tinggi. Malangnya pertumbuhan Malaysia akan terencat di skala 4-5% untuk seketika melainkan reformasi struktur secara menyeluruh terhadap ekonomi dilaksanakan sebaiknya dengan segera.

Di ambang ulangtahun kemerdekaan yang ke-56 ini, reformasi ekonomi bukan lagi berkisar kepada pertandingan dasar dan retorik politik. Ianya berkait dengan kepentingan negara yang seharusnya menembusi politik kepartian dan ideologi kerana kita tidak mampu untuk mundur ke belakang sedangkan negara-negara jiran kita maju ke depan.

Persoalan kepimpinan adalah amat penting dalam memacu negara ke hadapan dengan memperkukuhkan asas ekonomi dan menjadikan kita lebih berdaya saing. Malah lebih penting lagi, pemimpin-pemimpin kita mesti dilihat serius menjaga kesejahteraan negara dan memacu hala tuju yang betul. Untuk memastikan perkembangan tidak sihat tidak berlaku di bawah kepimpinannya, seseorang pemimpin itu mesti menunjukkan ketegasan dan iltizam moral yang tinggi.

Meski pun kami membantah sekeras-kerasnya tentang kesahihan keputusan pilihanraya yang lepas, kami bersedia untuk mengetepikan perbezaan kami demi negara kesejahteraan dan masa depan. Dalam hal ini, kami percaya bahawa adalah penting bagi Perdana Menteri untuk segera mengadakan rundingan meja bulat antara kerajaan BN dan Pakatan Rakyat bagi membincangkan isu-isu yang dibangkitkan dan merumuskan satu penyelesaian yang menyeluruh.

Meraikan Merdeka semestinya dengan mengiktiraf kebaikan yang telah dilakukan dan tidak mengulangi kesilapan masa lalu. Iltizam untuk melakukan apa yang baik untuk negara perlu menjadi agenda utama kita semua.

Semangat Merdeka bukan sahaja toleransi atau kompromi. Ianya adalah mengenai pemahaman yang lebih besar, menerima perbezaan kita dan meningkatkan persamaan kita serta menggerakkan negara ke hadapan untuk menghadapi cabaran yang mendatang.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

30 August 2013

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Once again as 31st August beckons, we will celebrate Merdeka Day, an auspicious and memorable occasion for all Malaysians. It is time to take stock of our achievements and shortcomings and look forward to the days and months ahead. It is a time for soul-searching where we look into ourselves and ask what Merdeka really means and what we can learn from the past and hope the future holds.

‘Merdeka’ means much more than what the word ‘Independence’ may convey. It is not just a matter of being liberated from the yoke of colonial rule or foreign oppression if it is only to be replaced by the rule of home grown oppressors who may be even more ruthless and self-serving. Merdeka is about being freed from tyranny and oppression in all its guises and setting the nation on a new path to justice, freedom, democracy and human dignity.

Set against this test, many would agree we are still far from there. After more than half a century, we are still left asking whether the fundamental principles in our Federal Constitution are still in place and whether the liberties and rights enshrined therein remain intact and are still honoured. Indeed, what good is Merdeka if these fundamental constitutional safeguards are violated with impunity?

At a time when we should be celebrating our cohesiveness as a multiracial multi-religious nation that has attained 56 years of independence, we are instead witnessing greater polarisation of the communities and increasing divisiveness on religious matters. Rather than alleviating the situation, certain politicians are making it worse by exploiting religious and sensitive issues for their own interests. There is a disconcerting trend of political parties hiring supposed ‘special interest’ groups and the media to further their agenda of causing division and dissention among the people.

Consequently, after 56 years of Merdeka, there is more race baiting, incitement to religious intolerance and hatred and generally an increase in seditious speeches and articles published by the print media. The tragedy in this is that not only is there a lack of leadership in ameliorating the situation but it appears that the government is encouraging this phenomenon to worsen.

For example, in spite of appeals and protests from concerned citizens and NGOs, the government has sanctioned the nation-wide screening of a movie that will only serve to incite communal animosity even as its artistic value remains questionable. Instead of greater sense of nation-consciousness, there is greater sense of race and communal consciousness. The voices of extremism, of hate and of intolerance are drowning the voices of moderation and inclusiveness.

The sharp increase in shooting cases and other violent crimes, robberies and snatch thefts is a matter of grave concern. While we must support the police in the efforts to curb and prevent crime, it is also incumbent on them to follow due process. All parties must collectively work out a solution to the problem but merely getting more punitive laws is not the answer. The matter must be looked at comprehensively.

On the issues of governance, transparency and accountability corruption remains a matter which still plagues us. In this regard, the MACC must perform its tasks without fear or favour but we would urge the Attorney General not to obstruct the prosecution of those involved in corruption in high office.

We are not insulated from the economic storms brewing around us. We should rather err on the side of caution than to be caught off guard. We can institute good governance, prudence and accountability in the management of our public finances and economy. The government is guilty of economic dishonesty – telling half-truths and giving incomplete statistics to camouflage the excessive spending that the country can no longer afford.

Fitch’s downgrading of the country’s economic prospect should have prompted the government to come clean on the real economic challenges. Instead it has dismissed it as the work of “young analysts who don’t listen to government’s opinion”. Fitch is not the only reputable firm of analysts which had expressed concerns over the growth prospect of our economy and its vulnerability to external shocks.

Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) had earlier cut 2013’s growth projection to 4.8% from 5.6% previously. Bank Negara recently cut its 2013 growth forecast to 4.5-5% from 5-6% previously. This is in line with World Bank’s latest forecast for 2013 at 5.1% from 5.6% previously. Apart from the double menace of persistently high fiscal deficit and mounting direct and indirect government debts, our current account surplus is at the lowest level since 1997. Because we rely heavily on low value and commodity exports to the global markets, a continuing drag in the global economy casts uncertainties over our growth.

Cutting fiscal deficit requires a total commitment to eradicate corruption from government procurements and projects. A 10% saving in procurement and projects easily translates to RM20 billion a year (based on a procurement and project annual expenditure of RM200 billion within the control of the federal government).

The reduction of government debt and cutting of fiscal deficit can only begin earnestly with higher government revenue that comes with higher growth. Unfortunately Malaysia’s growth will be stuck around the 4-5% region for a while unless all structural reforms to the economy are rolled out honestly and immediately.

On the eve of our 56th Merdeka, economic reforms are no longer a matter of policy contestation or political rhetoric. It is a national imperative that should transcend partisan and ideological boundaries because we cannot afford to slide back while our neighbours progress unabatedly.

The question of leadership is of paramount importance in steering the nation forward by strengthening our economic fundamentals and making us more competitive. Even more importantly, our leaders must be seen to be in control of the well-being of the nation and the direction it is going. To check the unhealthy trends developing under his watch, he must display firm resolve and moral courage.

Notwithstanding our strong protests about the validity of the outcome of the last elections, we are prepared to put aside our differences for the sake of the nation’s well-being and future. In this regard, we believe that it is imperative for the Prime Minister to convene without the slightest delay a round-table meeting between the BN government and Pakatan Rakyat in order to deliberate on the issues raised and formulate a comprehensive solution.

Celebrating Merdeka must be about recognising the good that has been done and not repeating the mistakes of the past. The resolve to do what is good for the nation must be our main concern. The Merdeka spirit is not just about tolerance or compromise. It is about greater understanding, embracing our differences and enhancing our similarities as well as propelling the nation forward to face the challenges ahead.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

9 May 2013

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Malaysiakini

LIVE REPORTS

11.40pm: Traffic congestion worsens and motorists continue to snake their way home. Some are even still trying to get to the stadium.

Malaysiakini reporter Aidila Razak was unable to make it to the stadium as she has been stuck in traffic for four hours.

Including those caught in traffic jams all around Petaling Jaya, the crowd is estimated at 120,000 – making it one of the biggest rallies in recent times.

post-ge13 rally in kelana jaya stadium crowd 711.27pm:Although the event is over, there are still people dressed in black walking towards the stadium from a couple of kilometres away.

Traffic is at an absolute standstill from least five kilometres away in various direction and many who were heading to the rally are still stuck.

This includes the Damansara-Puchong highway from the Federal Highway in one direction and Kelana Jaya LRT station in the other.

11.25pm: Met by reporters later, Anwar says he is impressed by the spontaneous turnout despite the rally only being called on Monday.

“I would not quit until we reach Putrajaya, until we expose all (fraud) and claim Putrajaya for the rakyat.

“They deserved it as we, Pakatan, won the popular vote,” he says.

Anwar then announced that there is to be another rally on Saturday in Penang, while they are still considering holing one in Ipoh on Friday.

post-ge13 rally in kelana jaya stadium crowd 611pm: Despite the drizzle, the crowd is still trickling into the stadium. Cars have been parked as far as 2km away and the party doesn’t seem to end anytime soon for supporters.

Many cannot not make out their leaders’ speeches but still chime in with chants of reformasi and ubah.

The rally then ends with the singing of ‘Negaraku’.

10.45pm: Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang takes to the stage, after having earlier arrived via the back of a motorcycle.

He begins by thanking all Malaysians, even those who did not support the Pakatan coalition, for their commitment towards making the country and people stronger and states that now is the time to “turn our resolve into the tasks that can move our country forward”.

“Foremost is the need to properly account for all of the irregularities during an election that was not only the dirtiest election in our country’s history, but also the most marred in its process.

“We support Bersih’s people’s tribunal as an essential step for justice and transparency. We call on all Malaysians to come forward to share their experiences and help us get to the truth,” he says, and adds Pakatan also supports electoral petitions.

The DAP supremo says a victory that is earned through money, lies and manipulation is not a victory at all.

“The Malaysia I know is one that believes in fairness. The Malaysia that I know is one that believes in decency.”

10.40pm: The way out of the stadium, heading towards Paradigm Mall is clogged as the car ferrying Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is forced to slow down as many people ask the latter to roll down his window so that they may take snapshots with him.

Khalid, meanwhile, smiles and graciously accomodates the requests of the crowd comprising of those leaving the stadium and those just heading in.

10.39pm: Pakatan Rakyat supremo Anwar Ibrahim declares that the people of Malaysia, be they Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Dayak, want free and fair election.

He is taking a dig at Utusan Malaysia’s inflammatory headline yesterday, “Apa lagi Cina mahu?“.

post-ge13 rally in kelana jaya stadium crowd 2Anwar says every Malaysian, regardless of race, want to reclaim their rights and they want BN to fall.

The crowd, which has now swelled to 80,000 responds enthusiastically, raising their fists in a show support.

10.26pm: With no traffic police guiding traffic, civilians have taken it upon themselves to help unclog the roads.

Almost all cars have their windows down and most are honking rhythms, in what appears to be the most jubilant traffic jam in the Klang Valley.

Along the LDP, people are still making their way to the stadium on foot.

Most of them wear black, to symbolise protest against what they allege as “electoral fraud”.

Columns of cars and motorbikes, parked along the road and believed to belong to Pakatan supporters, have contributed to the traffic congestion.

post-ge13 rally in kelana jaya stadium crowd 410.19pm: Many are also walking to the stadium from Paradigm Mall, undeterred by the fact the rally was to have started two hours ago.

Those seen walking comprise of youth of various races.

10.15pm: Those still on the road start unwinding their windows to chat with each other. Among them are middle-aged Malay women and a group of young Chinese men.

“There was a bus which came all the way from Johor!” a man tells another.

“Well, I came from Kedah!” another man replies.

Then a young Malay man flies a PAS flag out a window and a car ferrying group of young women of different races honk wildly in support.

The traffic light has changed several times but there is no room to move.

10.05pm: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim arrives. His arrival is greeted with wild cheers from the crowd, who also begin shouting, “Kami anak Malaysia“.

post-ge13 rally in kelana jaya stadium crowd 3 bicycles10pm: Four kilometres from the venue, passengers on a bus and several cars alight from their vehicles and begin making their way to the rally on foot. All are dressed in black.

Meanwhile, men in a pick-up truck waves a PKR flag, to honks of support.

DAP leader Lim Kit Siang is spotted riding pillion on a motorbike in the effort to beat the traffic jam so that he could get to the stadium on time for his speech.

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim is also seen being ferried to the venue on a motorbike.

9.33pm: The traffic jam from Kelana Jaya goes as far as the NPE toll near Sunway. According to Google Map Traffic, the whole of Petaling Jaya is in a gridlock.

9.30pm: The audio system in the stadium is not fully functioning, making it difficult for the speakers to be heard from outside the stadium or even from certain areas inside.

post-ge13 rally in kelana jaya stadium crowd 5Participants inside are also still having difficulty accessing active phone lines. Meanwhile, there’s a substantial spillover crowd at the entrance and spaces have run out inside the stadium.

9.25pm:Motorcyclists passing by drivers dressed in black but stuck in the traffic crawl on the LDP, yell out “Ini Kalilah”.

The roads around the stadium are clogged for several kilometres, with no sign of having eased over the past two hours.

Many people, adorning ‘Ini Kalilah’ T-shirst, are observed leaving their cars parked along the side of the highway and are legging it towards the stadium.

9.05pm: Stalls selling food and Pakatan memorabilia such as T-shirts, sashes and stickers, surround the stadium complex.

Meanwhile, people continue to stream into the stadium. All the seats have long been filled and so the crowd begin to sit on the field and running track.

9pm: PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli warns Utusan Malaysiathat if they still play the racial card, they will face the wrath of Malay people.

NONE“I am Malay, but I support Pakatan Rakyat,” he told the 50,000 crowd.

They are chanting “Najib, tipu”, “Ubah” and blowing the noisy vuvuzelas.

Many of them have brought yellow flowers, symbolising Bersih, or clean and fair elections.

8.40pm: Many Pakatan Rakyat leaders tweeted that they are trapped in the traffic jam, including Tian Chua and Elizabeth Wong.

The drizzle has stopped and the participants of ‘Suara Rakyat Suara Keramat’ rally are packing up their umbrellas.

Newly-elected MP for Kelana Jaya Wong Chen takes the stage to address the excited crowd.

Telephone lines around the stadium are congested.

NONE8.35pm: The rain has caused roads near the area to be jam-packed from the junction with the Federal Highway until Paradigm Mall.

Some of the participants have parked their cars at the side of the main road and are walking about 1km to the Kelana Jaya stadium.

Some of them are wearing black T-shirts and are walking while shouting “Hidup! Hidup! Hidup rakyat!”

8.35pm: Massive traffic jams are reported in the vicinity of the stadium. Some participants have to walk more than 2km to get the venue.

“I am stuck in the biggest ‘carpark’ in the world. Haven’t moved an inch for close to 15 minutes,” reports Malaysiakini journalist Aidila Razak.

Those who have reached the stadium are finding it difficult to find a parking space.

8.15pm: Tens of thousands are already inside the stadium. The slight drizzle continues with the crowd unfurling their umbrellas or donning raincoats.

7.30pm: PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim will today address his supporters for the first time since Sunday’s elections, which he alleged were marred with fraudulent practices that ensured BN’s win.

NONEThe rally in Kelana Jaya today is expected to draw a large crowd eager to listen to their leaders after an election that has left many Pakatan Rakyat supporters unhappy.

The crowd is slowly trickling in, with the stadium about a quarter full as a slight drizzle falls on the grounds of the Kelana Jaya stadium.

No police presence has been spotted yet despite speculations that there will be tight police control around the stadium, which housed 50,000 supporters during a pre-election rally.

6 May 2013

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The Malaysian Insider

The DAP is endorsing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Opposition Leader despite winning more seats than PKR in Election 2013, party advisor Lim Kit Siang said today.

The DAP won 38 federal seats in the country’s tightest election in history, making it the second-largest party in Parliament; PKR and PAS took 30 and 21 seats respectively.

“We supported him as prime minister for a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government, which was supposed to be formed on the fifth of May,” Lim told reporters at the DAP headquarters here today.

“But since this didn’t come about, the preparation and commitment for Pakatan Rakyat remains. That’s why we propose that Anwar continues as parliamentary opposition leader and shadow prime minister,” added the DAP advisor.

Lim also said the results in some constituencies could be challenged due to alleged electoral fraud.

“Pakatan Rakyat will look into these constituencies where fraudulent practices were committed and take the necessary steps to uphold the integrity of the electoral process,” said the newly-elected Gelang Patah MP.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke pointed out that the DAP lost the Bentong, Cameron Highlands and Labis federal seats by fewer than 400 votes each.

“Many of these seats didn’t provide ‘Borang 14,’” said Loke, who was also at the press conference, referring to the form recording the total number of votes at each polling stream that must be provided to counting agents.

Anwar said earlier today that he would gather mass support to question the legitimacy of the newly-elected BN government, stressing that the “worst electoral fraud in history” had kept the coalition in federal government.

Election watchdog Bersih also said it would not recognise the BN government until it verified reports of vote-rigging.

BN won the 13th general election with a smaller majority, losing an additional seven federal seats to PR, besides failing to retake Selangor and Penang, the two most industrialised states in Malaysia.

BN and PR took 133 and 89 federal seats respectively, while the latter also significantly increased its number of state seats from 197 in Election 2008 to 230 in yesterday’s polls.

Lim pointed out today that PR won the popular vote as well.

“It was a ‘Malaysian tsunami’ and not a ‘Chinese tsunami’,” said Lim, dismissing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement yesterday that attributed BN’s losses to a Chinese swing.

“In many parts of the country, Pakatan won seats in areas that were previously considered as BN strongholds and took down many big BN guns in Malay-majority areas,” he added, highlighting the Kuala Terengganu, Alor Setar, Lumut and Sepang federal constituencies.

BN’s losses in major cities and towns from George Town to Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Malacca and big towns in Johor show a rising discontent among the middle-class and urban working-class, who are concerned with issues like corruption, increasing cost of living and crime.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua, who was also at the press conference, similarly pointed out that PR’s improved performance in Selangor, particularly the semi-rural areas, were won with a “massive increase in Malay support”.

6 May 2013

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The Malaysian Insider

anwarazizah0506

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim vowed today to amass support from Malaysians indignant at last night’s polls results and move for “national consensus” to question the legitimacy of the newly-elected Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

He reiterated claims that the “worst electoral fraud in history” kept BN in federal power and issued a stern reminder to his foes that the push for change is “unstoppable”. Anwar also insisted the demand for clean and fair elections would persist beyond Election 2013. “Our conscience cannot allow us to accept election results conjured through frauds and cheating,” he said in a statement here.

“My heart is with every Malaysian who does not accept the results. I will work towards a national consensus to question the legitimacy of the BN’s government achieved through such electoral frauds,” he added.

Anwar also vowed to devote all his time and energy to work with polls reform group Bersih to remove the current crop of leaders in the Election Commission (EC), saying they should be held responsible to all proven acts of electoral fraud.

“The fact that Pakatan Rakyat won the popular votes by a large margin (50.3 per cent, compared to BN’s 46.8 per cent) confirms the mandate given to us and highlights that electoral frauds won the 13th General Election for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” he said.

Anwar’s Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact lost its bid for Putrajaya in a hard-fought election last night, picking up 89 seats to the 133 secured by Barisan Nasional (BN), despite increasing its seat numbers in Parliament and many state legislative assemblies.

As the results streamed in, the senior politician, who has vowed to stay out of the forefront of politics after this, said he would not accept the polls outcome due to widespread reports of vote-rigging and electoral discrepancies.

In a press conference late last night, Anwar noted claims that several hotly-contested seats were marred by allegations of widespread fraud.

“As of now we are not accepting the results,” the visibly upset Anwar told the press conference packed with supporters, local and international pressmen.

“Many of the seats they have announced we are contesting (the results) and they have not responded to our allegations,” he said.

The opposition leader added that PR would only accept yesterday’s results if the EC gives a satisfactory explanation to the complaints.

“They were complicit to the crime,” he said.

Anwar added today that a mass gathering will be held at the Kelana Jaya Stadium this Wednesday where he will address Malaysians for the first time after the polls.

“I call upon as many Malaysians to join hands and express our rejection and disgust at the unprecedented electoral frauds committed by Najib and the EC,” he said.

6 May 2013

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Malaysiakini

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has said that he is not contemplating retirement from politics yet, as he believes that his work “is not done” in the Malaysian political arena after Pakatan Rakyat’s defeat in yesterday’s disputed polls.

NONEAnwar (right), who has said that he does not accept the Election Commission’s (EC) results for the general election, where Pakatan managed to win 89 parliamentary seats but fell short of forming the federal government, said that he will need to “settle all the issues” regarding the polls results before evaluating his options.

He had previously said that he would consider retiring to a teaching job in Europe if Pakatan fails to attain power this elections.

“These elections have been stolen from us by Umno-BN. As far as I am concerned, we have won this election,” he told Malaysiakini during an interview at PKR headquarters today.

Anwar said that he and the other coalition party leaders from DAP and PAS will decide on the next course of action, which will probably involve petitions to the court to re-look into the results of some disputed seats.

“I have said that the issue of legitimacy (of the elections) is in question. There is evidence of clear fraud. There are constituencies where we have a case. We will not accept the results of these seats- about 30 to 40 of them. We are working on it,” said Anwar.

Dressed in a dappled black shirt and a black coat, Anwar appeared mellow and slightly downbeat, and even admitted that he and his family did enjoy his time teaching in the US.

“When I was teaching in the US, those were the best times for me, Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail, his wife) and the family,” he said.

Anwar noted that he was confident that he was robbed of winning this election because of the groundswell momentum that he had observed during the last leg of his campaign.

“I know about the sentiments, because I have been campaigning my whole life,” he said, rolling his eyes.

“It saddens me (the result). I can still visualise the frustration that the people had during my ceramah nationwide,” he added.

During the closing days of campaigning, Pakatan ceramahs nationwide drew in bumper crowds ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 participants almost on a daily basis.

Postal votes don’t reflect groundswell sentiments

He also said that apart from allegations about phantom and foreign voters along with reports of controversial final counts which favoured BN, early votes and postal votes did not reflect the groundswell sentiments.

“Early votes and postal votes – are you telling me that Pakatan only got 12 percent of these votes? Are the army and police cut off from the rest of Malaysia? They don’t have relatives that they communicate with?” he asked.

He, however, appeared to be slightly sceptical about getting any form of response from the EC regarding the alleged discrepancies in the polling process.

NONE“Of course they (EC) never took us seriously. They are unrepentant and are in a state of denial. They must be stupid to say that the indelible ink can’t be washed off when thousands of people complained about the same thing,” he further added.

“But we have not tried yet, we will give them a chance to respond to us,” he added, before saying that his party “cannot accept the process”.

“It has become so pervasive, the extent of fraud, that this is maybe the worst-conducted elections we ever had.”

Anwar, 65, was stripped of his deputy prime minister’s post and subsequently jailed for corruption in 1998 in a highly publicised rift with then-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He spent six years in jail prior to his release in 2004, and also formed Parti Keadilan Nasional, which later became Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)

This election was the first time he had led an opposition pact heading into the polls- his wife Wan Azizah was still the opposition leader during the 2008 elections because Anwar was still banned from contesting.

Going by results alone, this is still the best ever performance for an opposition pact  in the country’s history – with 89 parliamentary seats obtained.

Pakatan have won seven more seats than the 82 it won in 2008, and also won the popular vote nationwide at about 51 percent.

However, Anwar might be pushing 70 by the time Malaysia heads into the 14th general election, and it remains to be seen if a man who has has made an unlikely comeback in politics would be able to muster one last push to unseat BN, and assume the prime minister’s post.

2 May 2013

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MAY 2, 2013

This morning, I will be disclosing information and findings regarding the sudden surge in the arrival of dubious individuals on chartered flights since April 25th. These are foreign nationals as well as Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak who have been flown in to Peninsula Malaysia.

We have also received information that there has been a sudden surge in the arrivals of foreign workers from Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan and Myanmar through Bukti Kayu Hitam as well those from Indonesia through Port Kelang and other coastal entry points.

The timing of this surge in arrivals and its sheer size raises naturally raises the question of whether they have been transported here surreptitiously to vote in favour of Barisan Nasional.

We also received information that these flights were made at the instruction of the Prime Minister’s Department and made through a letter signed by a minister. The facts that we have established so far are:

The number of these flights, as many as 16 per day from East Malaysia primarily departing from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu as well as Sandakan, Miri and Sibu, with some flights using jumbo jets. The number of charter flights per day is more than even the number of charter flights during the Haj season.

Based on our calculations, as many as 4,500 people are being transported via the in-bound flights into KLIA each day. This has been taking place each day with the exception of May 1st, since April 25th.

This means at least 40,500 dubious individuals have and are still entering via this method of chartered flights via KLIA. This does not include foreign nationals who are being moved through land routes and seaports or other airport facilities such as LCCT.

The points of arrival of these flights have been KLIA Sepang as well as Bayan Lepas and Senai. We also have information that military aircraft (C130 Hercules) are being used to bring in these phantom voters to land in smaller airports such as Batu Berendam and Ipoh.

We have credible documentary evidence that these groups of foreign nationals are being transported from the airports to various sequestration points within Selangor/Kuala Lumpur and the other affected states using transport provided by various government agencies as well as charted bus operators;

We believe that the Election Commission in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office, and the involvement of a number of other agencies are involved in this operation. We now demand answers to the following questions from the relevant parties:

  1. Can the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of the Armed Forces assure us that the Royal Malaysian Police and Malaysian Armed Forces are neutral professionals and are not involved in a plot to keep Barisan Nasional in power? Can both of them confirm that their intelligence personnel are not involved in orchestrating the movement of these dubious people?
  2. Can the Chief of Armed Forces explain if the various Territorial Army (Askar Wataniah) camps have been used as accommodation centers for these dubious individuals?
  3. Can the Director General of Immigration explain the role of the various depots in Lenggeng, Sepang and Semenyih in providing accommodation these foreign phantom voters?
  4. Can the Director General of the National Registration Department explain whether foreign workers in the Sepang Formula 1 Circuit and KLIA have been given Malaysian identity cards?

We warn the Election Commission and its cahoots that there are many patriotic Malaysians in the various security agencies, airlines and airport employees who are angry and upset that the sovereignty of the country is being compromised. These patriots are monitoring and documenting all the suspicious movements groups of individuals. We have video recordings, photographic evidence and documents to support our claims. We also have the flight schedule of these chartered flights.

We want to warn the current Barisoan Nasional caretaker government not to deny Malaysians their democratic rights to vote freely and fairly. They should also not exploit powerless and marginalized foreign nationals or Malaysians for their goal of staying in power.

I also call upon Malaysians to document all evidence of the inflow of these imported voters. Take photos or videos of their movements. For those have in any way been involved in this operation, please forward to us the evidences that you have. We must protect the sovereignty of the rakyat.

Finally, we urge every single voter who loves Malaysia to come out to take control of our destiny by voting and not let the BN steal our election by using these dubious voters. If Pakatan Rakyat, Insyallah, is given the mandate by the rakyat, we will declare 6th May 2013 a national holiday to allow Malaysia to return home after the voting exercise.

We must overwhelm these imported voters with our high turnout to ensure our dignity and sovereignty. Let us exorcise this country from the demons of BN and the Election Commission.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

26 April 2013

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Lebih daripada 60 peratus responden yang dipilih secara rawak oleh Pusat Kajian Demokrasi dan Pilihan Raya Universiti Malaya (Umcedel) mahu Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dan Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berdebat berhubung manifesto masing-masing menjelang hari mengundi 5 Mei ini.

Kajian membabitkan 1,407 responden ini bermula pada 3 April lalu dan berakhir pada 20 April iaitu pada hari penamaan calon.

Sebanyak 23 peratus daripada responden mengatakan debat mengenai manifesto kedua-dua pemimpin ini tidak perlu sementara 14 peratus lagi tidak pasti mengenainya.

Hasil kajian yang dilakukan oleh Umcedel menunjukkan pengundi Cina lebih cenderung kepada manifesto yang dibentangkan oleh Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pada Februari lalu.

“(Sebanyak) 77 peratus pengundi Cina yakin janji PR menurunkan harga minyak,” kata Pengarah Umcedel, Profesor Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman pada sidang media hari ini.

Antara manifesto popular PR yang ditanya kepada masyarakat termasuklah janji menurunkan caj air dan elektrik (64 peratus), menghapuskan tol (60 peratus), menurunkan harga kereta (61 peratus) dan pendidikan percuma (63 peratus).

Sementara manifesto BN yang turut ditanyakan ialah menaikkan Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia kepada RM1,200 (52 peratus), janji program transformasi seperti Klinik Rakyat 1Malaysia, Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (52 peratus) dan jani membina satu juta rumah mampu milik (51 peratus).

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