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
Versi Bahasa Malaysia
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
Versi Bahasa Malaysia
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.
The recent allegations by Tun Dr Mahathir that the AG’s Chambers employed two CIA agents are shocking indeed and require an immediate response from the Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Razak as well as the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Coming in the wake of the reports exposing a global spying network by the United States, Australia and other countries conducted on Malaysian soil about which the PM till today has remained absolutely silent, this latest expose is nothing if not shameful and scandalous.
This wall of silence that has been surrounding the PM and his Home Minister is symptomatic of a larger problem that is afflicting the government of DS Najib Razak where demands for transparency and accountability continue to fall on deaf ears.
In the same vein, Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail, owes the public an explanation concerning these allegations as well as the series of other allegations regarding his illegal and conspiratorial activities linked to his office.
Numerous police reports have already been filed by former CID chief of
Kuala Lumpur Dato’ Mat Zain containing damning allegations against the AG. His failure to deny them renders him culpable of the wrong doings alleged and at the very least warrant an immediate suspension of
The Prime Minister must not ignore public demands for answers and the AG must not be allowed to continue in office seemingly oblivious of the stark allegations of nefarious and criminal activities committed by him.
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.
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.
Kes saman fitnah terhadap Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar berkaitan tuduhan agen asing akan dibicarakan di Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil 3, Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur pada 24 dan 25 Julai 2013 bermula jam 9.00 pagi.
- Pejabat Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
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:
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.
Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has alleged that the ruling party’s vote could be bolstered with phantom ballots, in this weekend’s election.
TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Polling predicts this weekend’s election in Malaysia will be the closest in the country’s history.
Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional coalition has ruled for 57 years, but at the last election in 2008, the party lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority.
Now the country is waiting to see whether the Opposition, led by controversial figure Anwar Ibrahim, can force a change in government.
South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel reports from Kuala Lumpur.
ZOE DANIEL, REPORTER: It’s still a long shot. Malaysia’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition must win about 35 more seats than it currently holds to take government in its own right. A big challenge in a country where people have been voting only one way for almost six decades.
The Opposition is made up of three multi-racial parties, one of which is predominantly Chinese, one predominantly Islamic and is led by the sometimes controversial former ruling party deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, who spent six years in jail after allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct, now widely interpreted as a Government smear campaign.
The ruling party says the Opposition is fractious and unreliable and that its election could lead to instability in multi-racial Malaysia.
The Opposition responds by saying that the Government has been relying on the politics of fear and using cash handouts, mass media dominance and fraudulent stacking of voting roles to win Sunday’s poll.
We spoke with Mr Anwar at his office in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Anwar, welcome. Are you going to win this election?
ANWAR IBRAHIM, OPPOSITION LEADER: Well, initially I said I was cautiously optimistic, but now I think with the upsurge of – in growing support, I’m very confident that we’ll make it.
ZOE DANIEL: You have to win 35 seats to get that majority. That’s a big ask, isn’t it?
ANWAR IBRAHIM: Not really because we are able to consolidate our position in the five states, including Kuala Lumpur, six states. So we have been enormously successful in our penetration into the rural heartland, particularly around Jahor, Saba and Sarawak, where we failed miserably in 2008.
ZOE DANIEL: What will prevent you from winning?
ANWAR IBRAHIM: Massive fraud. We have presented our case based on the March electoral roll where we find even postal voters who are actually designated there as Bangladeshis or Pakistanis or Indonesians, but they are supposed to serve the Army or the police. So clearly, there’s a fraud there. (Inaudible), more than 28,000 designated as Filipinos and Indonesians who are voters based in Saba but voting in Kuala Lumpur or Selangor and there has not been a satisfactory response from the Election Commission.
ZOE DANIEL: Are you disappointed that Australia didn’t send election observers?
ANWAR IBRAHIM: Well it’s quite baffling to my mind because the initial response from Australia is that there’s no interference in domestic affairs. We are not asking them to support any party. We are asking them to remain consistent with Australian foreign policy position in support of freedom and democracy. Why do you make so much noise about Iraq or Afghanistan or Myanmar and mute it with regard to Malaysia?
ZOE DANIEL: If you win, who will be Prime Minister next week?
ANWAR IBRAHIM: Well of course, as we say, we are party by consensus. There is talk that I may be able to – I mean, given the chance, or otherwise we’ll have to re-look at it if there is any other possibility or other candidate.
ZOE DANIEL: Is that a good answer though, because wouldn’t it be better if the population at least had certainty on that issue?
ANWAR IBRAHIM: Well, generally to the masses and all my campaign trips, Keadilan or DEP or Islamic Party leaders, they all – they always introduce me or invite me as the next Prime Minister, but I would leave it at that.
ZOE DANIEL: Thanks for your time.
ANWAR IBRAHIM: Thank you.
APRIL 23rd 2013
OVERLAPPING SEATS BETWEEN PAS AND KEADILAN RESOLVED
The past two weeks have seen the unrelenting assault by the UMNO/BN machinery and media in their attempts to drive a wedge among the Pakatan Rakyat parties and to give the impression that the coalition is in disarray. Nothing can be further from the truth. Once again, as can be seen by the massive turn out of Pakatan supporters and the people in our ceramahs, we have proven them wrong.
The renewed psywar and dirty tactics campaign began with their circulation of yet another sex video to humiliate Pakatan leaders followed by the use of the Registrar of Societies to precipitate a crisis in DAP regarding the party’s legitimacy and casting grave doubt over the authority of the Central Executive Committee at the eleventh hour. Since nomination day, their media have also gone to town about the supposed split between PAS and PKR over a few overlapping seats. The suggestion that this is ‘a time bomb waiting to explode’ is sheer nonsense.
In the spirit of solidarity and compromise that holds together Pakatan Rakyat, the leaders of PAS and KEADILAN met over the weekend to discuss the seven overlapping seats – one parliament and seven state seats or 0.5% of parliament seats and 1.1% of state seats. We have resolved this miscommunication that had resulted in some confusion over who was to contest which seat.
As we now stand, KEADILAN has conceded some seats and PAS has done likewise. Of the seven overlapping seats in contention, PAS will keep the three Terengganu state seats of Bukit Besi, Seberang Takir and Kota Putera. Keadilan will field our candidates in the parliamentary seat of Labuan, and the state seats of Sungai Acheh in Pulau Pinang and Panti in Johor.
The state seat of Kota Damansara in Selangor, which will be contested by PSM under the Keadilan logo, is still being discussed, as this was a seat allocation decided by Pakatan Rakyat. I am confident we will be able to resolve this very soon.
Although the Election Commission might not permit us to withdraw the candidates already fielded and print either the PAS or KEADILAN logos on the ballot paper, KEADILAN President, Dr Wan Azizah has issued letters revoking the watikah (authorization letters) of our candidates for three seats we have conceded to PAS.
We do not mind the publicity that is given by the alternative media critical as it may be but we condemn the utterly warped reports by the UMNO-BN media that continue to spin lies and fabrications in their attempt to paint Pakatan in a bad light. Furthermore, their persistent resort to libel and slander in the name of press freedom cannot be accepted or tolerated by any right minded citizen. That they are doing this with impunity speaks volumes about the state of rule of law and due process under UMNO-BN.
For the next ten days ahead, we urge voters, supporters and Pakatan Rakyat local party machineries to double their efforts to bring to fruition our goal to win Putrajaya. Insyallah, with the rakyat’s support, we can and we will.
KUALA LUMPUR 2 APRIL: Lagu ‘Pasti Kau Ingin” dendangan kumpulan Exist ciptaan Jay D dan lirik Musrad atau nama sebenarnya Musa Radhi yang memaparkan graffiti Ketua Umum KEADILAN, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim kini boleh ditonton melalui Youtube.
Video klip ‘Pasti Kau Ingin” boleh dilayari DI SINI.
Ketua pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim memfailkan saman fitnah ke atas penulis blog Papagomo selepas individu yang dikaitkan dengan Umno itu gagal memohon maaf dan menarik balik satu siri gambar lucah.
Penulis blog itu yang nama sebenarnya Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, mendakwa foto berkenaan merupakan ramakan daripada video yang didakwa menujukkan keintiman Anwar dengan seorang lelaki.
Peguam dan naib presiden PKR N Surendran ketika memfailkan saman itu berkata notis 48 jam untuk Papagomo menarik balik dan memohon maaf atas penerbitan berkenaan telah tamat dan penulis blog tersebut mengancam untuk memuatkan video terbabit.
Peguam itu berkata Anwar juga tidak akan membuat laporan polis atau aduan kepada Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia memandangkan tindakan itu sudah banyak kali dilakukan sebelum ini.
“Nampaknya agensi ini tidak akan bertindak ke atas aduan keran mereka adalah alat Umno dan BN. Memfailkan tindakan di mahkamah adalah lebih baik,” katanya.
Anwar menamakan Wan Muhammad Azri sebagai defendan tunggal. Selain kuantum, MP Permatang Pauh itu turut menuntut ganti rugi am, teruk dan teladan.
Beliau juga memohon injunksi untuk menghalang Papagomo daripada mengulang semua atau menerbitkan kenyataan serupa.
March 19, 2013
Federal opposition leader Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has today commenced legal proceedings against one Wan Muhammad Azri b Wan Deris who is the owner/operator of the Umno-linked website known as ” Papa Gomo “. On 16th March 2013, the Papa Gomo website published fake photos and vicious allegations against Dato’ Seri Anwar in an attempt to implicate him in another fabricated sex video. The faking and distribution of photos and false allegations of a sexual nature against Dato’ Seri Anwar has become a trademark of the gutter politics practised by Umno and its bloggers.
The blogger Papa Gomo is notorious for his close and confidential ties with the Umno leadership, including Umno Vice President Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. In December 2011, the blogger was even allowed privileged access to KD Tun Razak, which is one of our Navy’s newest and most advanced submarine, during a controversy between BN and PR on defence capabilities.
The hidden hand of Umno is thus clearly present behind this latest disgusting attack upon the character and reputation of the leader of Pakatan Rakyat. Umno’ s heavy reliance upon this type of sleazy politics and dubious bloggers highlights their utter moral and ethical collapse. It proves Umno-BN’s complete unfitness to continue to rule and administer our nation.
In the letter of demand sent today, Dato’ Seri Anwar’s solicitors have demanded that the blogger Papa Gomo withdraw his malicious allegations, apologize within 48 hours from today, and pay damages in the sum of RM 100 million. The sum of damages demanded reflects the blogger’s close ties with Umno amd Umno’s clear backing for him.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat
Switch to our mobile site