Shah Alam. 16/7/2014
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
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
Malaysian students in Adelaide have been warned off going to hear Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim during the Adelaide Festival of Ideas on Saturday.
An email sent on Monday to 90 Malaysian students in Adelaide warns “stern action” would be taken against them if they attended.
Anwar Ibrahim, who is due to fly in to Adelaide on Friday morning is world famous as a reforming politician in Malaysia, where he has been harassed and jailed on successive charges of homosexuality and sodomy, which he denies.
He is Leader of the Opposition in Malaysia and was invited to the Festival of Ideas to speak on Dissent and Democracy.
The email is addressed to JPA scholars, those who have received scholarships to study here funded by Malaysia’s Public Service Department.
The email is signed by Shahrezan MD Sheriff, student adviser at the Public Service Department, and advises students not to attend the meeting.
It reads: “You are smarter to think and focus on what matters rather than joining this activity that could make your hardship in maintaining good grades and earning the scholarship goes down the drain (sic).”
While the email’s authorship has not been confirmed and Shahrezan MD Sheriff did not return calls to the JPA office at the Malaysian Consulate, based in Sydney, it has caused consternation both in Australia and Malaysia.
The visit of Anwar Ibrahim was organised by the Festival of Ideas, together with the State Government, Flinders University and Senator Nick Xenophon.
Mr Xenophon said he had no doubt the email was real.
“When I first saw it I thought it was a hoax, but there’s no denial of it,” he said.
“This is not unusual. This is the story of intimidation that Malaysian students face all the time and now they are extending their harassment to Australia.
“That’s unacceptable, and that’s why I am about to send a letter to the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop about this because this is clearly intimidatory.”
Professor Clinton Fernandez, a Canberra-based expert on Malaysia, said ASIO should also be called in to investigate.
“This is clearly an intrusion in Australia’s domestic affairs and if he is employed by the Malaysian Government (Shahrezan) should be deported,” he said.
Mr Xenophon, who described Ibrahim as a beacon of hope for democracy in Malaysia and the entire South East Asian region, was himself deported and banned from Malaysia earlier this year.
The threatening email was greeted with derision on chat sites of the Anwar Ibrahim Club, both for its poor English and for its threatening tone. “We aren’t stupid anymore. Go to hell, government!” says one.
Mr Anwar’s official engagement is to appear in conversation with ABC broadcaster Waleed Aly at Elder Hall on Saturday, October 19 at 11.30am, hosted by Senator Nick Xenophon. Entry is free.
However, separate meetings have been organised in the city tomorrow and at Bradford Lodge, an international student hostel in Rose Park by the Anwar Ibrahim Club and Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Adelaide on Saturday night.
It was not clear whether the threatening email was referring specifically to one or all of those events.
The 9th Adelaide Festival of Ideas continues until Sunday.
Ketua Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hari ini menegaskan bahawa individu yang mengendalikan syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLC) di Selangor bukan terdiri daripada tokoh politik.
Dalam ucapan penggulungannya, Anwar menjelaskan bahawa kedudukan GLC bukan merupakan rizab parti.
“Kita jangan kompromi dengan prinsip integiriti pentadbiran yang baik yang kita bicarakan. Kedudukan GLC itu bukan rizab parti.
“Dan sesiapa yang duduk dalam GLC itu mungkin orang politik mungkin tidak. Tapi orang itu mesti ada kelayakan yang tidak akan mencampurkan urusan parti,” katanya dalam Kongres Nasional Keadilan ke-9 di Petaling Jaya.
Dalam ucapan perbahasannya, Ketua Penerangan PKR Shuhaimi Shafiei, meminta ahli parti dilantik dalam GLC dan majlis tempatan untuk memantau mereka yang tidak sehaluan dengan dasar parti.
Sehubungan itu, ketika bercakap kepada media selepas ucapan penggulungannya, Anwar sekali lagi menegaskan, ahli parti tidak sewajarnya terlibat dalam mana-mana perkhidmatan awam atau dalam kerajaan negeri.
“Isunya ialah individu itu perlu benar-benar profesional untuk mengendali sesebuah organisasi dan tidak mewakili parti.
“Parti tidak wajar dilihat atau terlibat secara langsung dalam mana-mana pengurusan perkhidmatan awam urusniaga negeri. Kita mesti mengasingkan tanggungjawab mereka,” katanya lagi.
A new commission should be established to study the redelineation of state and parliamentary constituencies, which is due to soon, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali proposed today.
“The gerrymandering masterminded by Umno has crippled the electoral system in Malaysia. The delineation of constituency boundaries was done unfairly and did not meet the principle of representative democracy.
“The Election Commission (EC) should focus more on the management of elections and not be burdened with the responsibility to propose redelineation of constituency boundaries.
“This will only jeopardise the credibility and independence of the EC,” Azmin said in his opening address at the annual congress of the PKR Wanita and Youth wings in Petaling Jaya this afternoon.
The Gombak MP proposed that a new commission that will be independent, transparent and professional be given the task of re-delineating constituency boundaries.
Azmin cited the Boundary Commission of the United Kingdom, which is tasked to conduct the redelineation of constituencies every five years, as the example for Malaysia to follow.
Kick off efforts in this, Wanita, Youth wings told
“Hence, I suggest that the Wanita and Youth wings be proactive in kicking off the effort to discuss with those who have the expertise to propose the justification for re-delineation based on democratic ethics, to serve as a counter-proposal to the re-delineation proposal of the EC at the end of this year.”
Last night DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua (right) told a rally in Petaling Jaya that Pakatan Rakyat MPs will push for a bi-partisan parliamentary select committee on redelineation when the new Parliament convenes on June 24.
This is to ensure a fairer distribution of voters in the constituencies, said Pua, the MP for PJ Utara.
The federal constitution stipulates for an interval of not less than eight years between two redelineation exercises, with a mandatory deadline of two years for the process to be completed.
The last constituency redelineation was carried out in 2002 and the proposals adopted by Parliament in 2003.
After the redelineation, the EC still needs a two-thirds backing of the Members of Parliament or the members of the state assemblies for the new constituency boundaries to be approved.
Yesterday, EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the new round of redelineation exercise will begin soon.
In his speech today, Azmin also slammed Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak by “reminding” him that he is heading a minority government, which has lost the popular vote.
“Yet, Malaysia’s democracy is strange and miraculous. Pakatan Rakyat which has garnered 51 percent of the popular vote from the people becomes the opposition, whereas Umno (and BN) forms the government although he only receives 47 percent (of the votes),” he lamented.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal lawmakers have vowed to make full use of their increased parliamentary numbers to ensure constituencies are fairly redrawn when the Election Commission (EC) kicks off the redelineation exercise this year-end.
PKR’s Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli reminded that if the exercise involves an increase in seat numbers, a two-thirds majority vote is needed to approve the changes before they are passed by the lower House.
The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) does not have required two-thirds majority in Parliament, with only 133 seats to PR’s 89 seats, and will require votes from opposition lawmakers to approve the exercise.
“But if they (EC) do not add constituencies and the process only includes redrawing boundaries, this could be dangerous as this allows gerrymandering and there is no need for a two-third vote.
“In the past, they (BN) score big in the elections because the redelineation exercise is often in [their] favour … they disperse our support to other seats,” Rafizi told The Malaysian Insider.
But the PKR strategy director said it was likely that, this time, redelineation would include an increase in seat numbers.
He said that in tandem with the DAP’s “one vote, one value” campaign push, PR lawmakers will fight hard to use their parliamentary powers to ensure voters are more fairly distributed unlike the present situation.
The allegedly unfair dispersal of voters in constituencies here has been used as a major argument point by PR lawmakers to back accusations that gerrymandering in favour of BN has helped the ruling pact stay in power.
In a recent article on news portal FZ.com, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan had pointed out that the existing delineation of constituencies defies logic in terms of size and the number of voters.
“Putrajaya has 15,791 voters compared with Kapar, which has 144,159 voters. It doesn’t make sense.”
“And then you have a state seat like Sri Serdang with 72,769 voters which is higher than the Putrajaya parliamentary seat,” he was quoted saying.
This has also earned the attention of the foreign media.
In the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Hong Kong journalist Philip Bowring commented on how PR had lost the election despite winning 51 per cent of the popular vote ? an outcome that opposition lawmakers and civil society groups have blamed on unfair gerrymandering.
“Thanks to an extreme anti-urban bias and the abolition of rules governing the relative size of constituencies, the largest constituency has nine times more voters than the smallest.
“On that basis, and taking account of the number of closely fought seats, the opposition would probably have to win at least 58 per cent of the popular vote to get a majority of seats,” Bowring wrote.
Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, DAP’s publicity secretary Tony Pua said with the polls now over and efforts underway to challenge some of the results through election petitions, the next step for PR would be to focus on the coming redelineation exercise.
The EC recently said that the exercise will be kicked off by year-end after the six-month process to hear election petitions are completed. The petitions must be filed within 21 days after the results of the election are gazetted.
The Federal Constitution prohibits a redelineation exercise from being conducted within eight years of the last. The EC last redrew constituency lines in 2003.
“The focus will be on one man, one vote, one value, apart from pushing other related reforms. What we want is a more level playing field in the next general election.
“And this means that we should not be seeing a coalition winning the popular vote but losing the parliamentary seat count by a mile,” Pua said.
“Given that BN does not have two-thirds majority in Parliament, the exercise must be agreeable to both sides,” he added.
DAP’s Rasah MP Anthony Loke agreed with his party colleague, saying it was important that PR makes full use of its influence in Parliament and put up a fight if they are disagreeable to the EC’s redelineation proposal.
“We have more than one-third of our MPs in Parliament. We are a strong enough force to ensure that redelineation is done properly and professionally.
“The weightage of votes cannot be as ridiculous as it is today,” he said.
PAS’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said there must be a more “reasonable” spread of voters across the constituencies to ensure that every vote has the same value across all constituencies.
“In some cases, you have a parliamentary seat with less than 10,000 voters… and elsewhere, you have seats with over 100,000 voters.
“We will be trying to push for fairer representation across the board,” he said.
BN snapped up 133 federal seats to PR’s 89 seats in the May 5 polls but for the first time ince 1969, the ruling pact lost the popular vote, scoring just under 48 per cent of the votes cast to PR’s 51 per cent.
PR leaders immediately cried foul with its de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim insisting that his federal opposition pact had won the election.
President Obama called Prime Minister Najib on the evening of May 13 to congratulate him on his victory in parliamentary elections and to reaffirm the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Malaysia. The President noted that Malaysians had turned out in record numbers to vote and welcomed the Prime Minister’s efforts to address concerns about election irregularities. The two leaders discussed the importance of continuing to deepen our bilateral cooperation, including on expanding cooperation on trade, regional security, and multilateral cooperation.
Bagi pihak Presiden dan rakyat Amerika Syarikat, kami mengucapkan tahniah kepada Perdana Menteri Najib atas kemenangan koalisinya dalam pilihanraya Parlimen pada hari Ahad, 5 Mei. Kami juga ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada rakyat Malaysia kerana peratusan keluar mengundi yang tinggi, dan juga kepada parti-parti pembangkang untuk kempen mereka, kerana pembangkang yang teguh adalah batu asas kepada demokrasi. Kami juga sedar bahawa terdapat laporan tentang berlakunya penipuan dalam proses pilihanraya, dan percaya bahawa ianya sangat penting bagi pihak bertanggungjawab menyelesaikan isu-isu yang berbangkit. Kami menanti hasil siasatan mereka. Amerika Syarikat akan meneruskan hubungan yang rapat antara kerajaan dan rakyat Malaysia demi mengukuhkan demokrasi, keamanan dan kemakmuran di rantau ini.
On behalf of the President and the people of the United States, we congratulate Prime Minister Najib on his coalition’s victory in Malaysia’s parliamentary elections on Sunday May 5. We also congratulate the people of Malaysia, who turned out in record numbers to cast their votes, as well as the parties of the opposition coalition on their campaigns, as a vibrant opposition is a foundation of democracy. We note concerns regarding reported irregularities in the conduct of the election, and believe it is important that Malaysian authorities address concerns that have been raised. We look forward to the outcome of their investigations. The United States looks forward to continuing its close cooperation with the government and the people of Malaysia to continue to strengthen democracy, peace, and prosperity in the region.
PKR is investigating the results of 27 federal seats that Barisan Nasional (BN) won with a razor-thin margin in Election 2013 and where electoral fraud has been reported in most of the seats, Rafizi Ramli said today.
The PKR strategy director noted that the party’s #siasatPRU13 team, which he is leading, has received 237 reports from the public on vote-rigging like voters not being allowed to cast their ballots because others had already done so in their name, vote-buying, unidentified voters registered at certain house addresses, flawed indelible ink, foreigners suspected of being given ICs and subsequently voting, as well as Election Commission (EC) officials signing the Borang 14 before vote-counting or not providing copies of Borang 14 to counting agents.
“From our analysis, 27 federal seats will be investigated: Bentong, Kuala Selangor, Baram, Sungai Besar, Pasir Gudang, Labis, Machang, Ketereh, Titiwangsa, Tebrau, Bagan Serai, Kota Marudu, Beaufort, Setiawangsa, Segamat, Ledang, Balik Pulau, Kulim Bandar Bharu, Pulai, Kuala Kangsar, Muar, Pendang, Hulu Selangor, Sabak Bernam, Merbok, Pensiangan and Saratok,” Rafizi (picture) told reporters at the PKR headquarters here.
“Except for Hulu Selangor and Machang, all other seats have got reports,” he added, referring to reports of electoral fraud.
BN retained power in the May 5 general election with just 133 federal seats, 21 more than the 112 required to win a simple majority.
Rafizi said his team shortlisted the 27 parliamentary seats based on four criteria: a margin of victory of less than 5 per cent, spoilt votes exceeding the margin of victory, postal votes and early votes exceeding the margin of victory based on normal votes, and reports of vote-rigging.
He pointed out that in Balik Pulau, for example, his team has received photographic evidence of BN agents providing voters vouchers that could be exchanged for cash.
Rafizi said 19 of the 27 disputed seats were contested by PKR, pointing out that those hotly-contested seats were mixed seats with Malays forming between 60 and 70 per cent of the electorate.
He noted that vote-rigging would have the biggest impact in seats with slim margins of victory, saying: “Fraud can only bring in maximum 2,000, 3,000 votes.”
Rafizi said his team has 67 volunteers, comprising mostly lawyers and accountants, who will record evidence from complainants this week.
“Once we go through the whole process, we’ll bring up our case to the People’s Tribunal,” he said, referring to the tribunal set up by polls watchdog Bersih to examine evidence on electoral irregularities.
Rafizi added that election petitions would be filed by the end of the month, but said he did not expect favourable verdicts.
“The main problem is the existence of phantom voters. But as long as one has an IC and his name is in the roll, he’s a legitimate voter,” he said.
“What is important is creating the momentum, awareness and disgust among the people on how various methods of cheating by BN were used to skew the results,” he added.
Thousands of Malaysians from various races and ages flooded recent PR rallies in Petaling Jaya, Penang and Ipoh to protest against alleged vote-rigging in Election 2013 and the legitimacy of the BN government.
Rafizi also noted today that electoral fraud was detected in federal seats won by PR like Pandan, which he himself had won, Lembah Pantai and Selayang.