Archive for July 2009

Saya Ahli Pakatan

July 30, 2009

Ramai orang sibuk bercakap tentang prestasi Datuk Seri Najib sepanjang 100 hari pertama pentadbirannya. Ada yang memuji Najib dan memberi amaran kepada saya bahawa UMNO akan bangkit semua dengan gagahnya di bawah kepimpinan beliau. Setakat ini saya lebih suka untuk tunggu dan lihat; bak kata pepatah Inggeris “new broom sweeps well” yang bermaksud yang baru selalunya indah. Tetapi saya sedikit pun tidak rasa bimbang mengenai “kebangkitan” UMNO ini.

Setelah 40 hari saya menjadi ahli Parti Keadilaan Rakyat, saya merasa begitu bangga dan yakin tentang perjuangan parti ini. Saya telah mula bertemu dengan pemimpin and ahli Keadilan di semua peringkat. Saya diterima dengan penuh hormat dan dijemput ke sana sini untuk berucap. Saya terharu dengan respons mereka. Jelas komitmen dan kesungguhan mereka yang memberangsangkan. Mereka rajin dan penuh inisiatif dan mempunyai semangat yakin diri yang tinggi . Mereka percaya bahawa Keadilan adalah wadah politik yang sesuai untuk memperjuangkan dasar yang baik untuk negara; demi kebaikan semua rakyat, dalam semua bidang. Parti Keadilan bukanlah parti untuk menjaga Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, seperti yang dilaungkan oleh propagandis UMNO. Maklumlah parti mereka hanya untuk kepentingan pemimpin besar sahaja.

Pengalaman yang sama menarik kepada saya ialah menyedari bagaimana kuatnya hubungan antara parti-parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat. Kekuatan ini timbul dari keinginan ahli-ahli Keadilan, PAS dan DAP yang mahu melihat Pakatan menjadi kerajaan; sebagai parti alternatif kepada BN. Hasrat mereka sama seperti dengan lebih 4 juta pengundi dalam tahun 2008 yang mahu memilih kerajaan baru di Putrajaya yang benar-benar adil, tidak gila kuasa dan tidak rasuah atau menyeleweng. Walaupun akhbar UMNO telah berjaya membesar-besarkan masalah kecil dalam Pakatan, hakikatnya ialah apa pun masalah kecil itu, pemimpin dan ahli Pakatan berjaya bersatu untuk mengatasi permasalahan tersebut. Resilience atau pun tahan lasak Pakatan ini membuktikan ia akan terus bersatu dan berjaya bila saja pilihan raya diadakan.

Saya sedar ramai pengkritik Pakatan menuduh Pakatan tidak ada dasar yang konkrit dan tidak ada dasar bersama. Kononnya kerana ideologi berbeza, Pakatan tidak mungkin dapat bersatu seperti BN, kata mereka. Golongan skeptik atau penimbul keraguan ini, termasuk sesetengah profesor dan akademik, sebenarnya sedar tentang kekuatan Pakatan yang semakin mendapat sokongan rakyat. Mereka tahu parti-parti dalam Pakatan serta pemimpin-pemimpinnya telah lama berkecimpung dalam politik. Para pemimpin dan ahli Pakatan telah merasai penat-lelah sebagai pembangkang. Mereka telah terbukti dapat bertahan dengan segala tekanan dari kerajaan diktator BN. Mereka telah diuji dan diuji berkali-kali. Mereka tekah masok penjara, masok tahanan ISA dan penyokong mereka berani dan kental.

Sebab itulah strategi utama BN ialah untuk memecahbelahkan Pakatan kerana takut untuk berdepan dan bertarung satu lawan satu. Maka berlakulah pertuduhan palsu terhadap Anwar Ibrahim, merampas kuasa kerajaan negeri di Perak, dan sedang berusaha untuk memecahbelahkan perpaduan Pakatan di Selangor, sehingga berlaku kematian Teoh Beng Hock. Sebelum itu pula UMNO sibuk memecahbelahkan PAS sehingga hampir berjaya dalam pilihan raya kecil di Manek Urai, Kelantan. Sehingga sekarang UMNO memainkan jarum perkauman untuk memecahbelahkan perpaduan orang Melayu yang semakin ramai menyokong Pakatan kerana sudah jijik dengan politik kotor UMNO. Memang, UMNO dan BN sebenarnyaya takut kepada Pakatan.

Memanglah Pakatan ada kelemahannya dan banyak lagi perkara mesti diwujudkan untuk memperkukuhkannya. Ingatlah, Pakatan baru 18 bulan umor nya , dan perkongsian baru mesti lah ada tersilap dan tidak mudah dijalinkan . Tetapi saya yakin apa yang perlu dilaksanakan, akan dilaksanakan. Dasar yang perlu diumumkan kepada orang ramai akan digubal. Tekad dan kesungguhan pucuk pimpinan Keadilan, PAS dan DAP tidak perlu diragui. Keikhlasan dan kebolehan mereka serta penyokong mereka tinggi.

Sekarang ini pun Pakatan sedang bersusaha ke arah mendaftarkan diri sebagai satu badan politik untuk mewujudkan perkongsian perjuangan parti-parti politik secara rasmi. Saya dari sekretariat Pakatan akan berusaha untok menrealisasikan hasrat ini. Rakyat akan diberi pilihan sebenar dalam pilihan raya akan datang; satu lawan satu. Semua ahli parti gabungan Pakatan sudah bersedia untuk berkhidmat kepada rakyat atas nama Pakatan. Malah, dalam tindak-tanduk seharian kita; kita seolah-olah sudah pun menjadi ahli Pakatan dan bukan sekadar ahli Keadilan, PAS atau PAS. Dan inilah yang rakyat mahukan. Dan inilah yang amat digeruni oleh Najib, UMNO dan BN.

Orang Kelantan Mudah Dipujuk?

July 26, 2009

Keputusan pilihanraya Manik Urai menunjokan bahawa tidak semua pengundi membuat pilihan berdasarkan isu yang penting dan mustahak. Semasa berkempen disana saya memberi tumpuan pada hal royalti minyak Saya ingat inilah isu yang sepatut nya diketahui rakyat Kelantan. Tapi malang nya keputusan tidak sebagitu. Inilah yang mengecewakan. Pada saya isu Kerajaan Pusat menafikan hak royalti minyak kapada Kelantan sepatut nya menjadi isu yang menyatukan hati orang Kelantan.Sepatut nya BN di hukum olih rakyat Kelantan kerana tidak memberitahu mereka perkara yang benar. BN patut dihukum kerana BN berdiam diri dan sengaja tidak mahu rakyat Kelantan mendapat hak mereka sebanyak RM 1 billion. Agak nya BN sanggup berbuat demikian kerana mereka tahu memadailah kapada orang Manik Urai kalau jambatan 7 juta ringgit dijanjikan atau wang 1000 Ringgit diberi kapada pengundi pengundi terpilih.

Tetapi semua nya tidak terlewat. Rakyat Kelantan mesti bersuara dalam hal ini. Tidak memadai Dato Nik Aziz dan Dato Husam yang bercakap soal ini. Rakyat Kelantan mesti bangun dan menuntut hak mereka. Kita sepatutnya mendesak bayaran wang tertunggak itu dibuat dalam masa terdekat. Kita sepatut nya bersedia berarak dan menunjokkan perassan kita secara aman sahinggalah BN bayar wang itu. Ini akan membolehkan Kerajaan Kelantan meneruskan pembangunan membasmi kemiskinan di negeri itu. Dato Mustapha Mohammad sebagai ketua UMNO Kelantan sepatutnya menyokong pembayaran wang tunai ini, dan lebih mementingkan kepentingan negeri dari parti politik nya. Bila kah agak nya Dato Pa sanggup bertindak untok kepentingan rakyat Kelantan.

Dari segi undang undang hak Kelantan adalah jelas. Jangan lah terkeliru dengan pandangan Rais Yatim yang karut itu. Perjanjian tersebut ditanda tangani olih Tengku Razaleigh bagi pihak PETRONAS dan HJ MOHD NASIR, Menteri Besar bagi pihak Kelantan pada tahun 1975. Tengku Razaleigh sendiri telah menyatakan bahawa perkara ini jelas dan Kelantan sepatutnya dibayar wang dari hasil minyak ini. Hanya BN dan penasihat mereka yang tidak bermaruah yang masih mahu menidakkan perkara yang benar.

Satu Lagi Suruhanjaya?

July 23, 2009

Kata Dr Mahathir orang Melayu mudah lupa; saya pula kata orang Malaysia juga mudah lupa. Dari tragedi kematian Teoh Beng Huat, ada antara kita yang sudah pun puas hati dengan pengumuman penubuhan Suruhanjaya Diraja oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional. Seolah-olah dengan adanya pengumuman itu, semua masalah akan selesai.

Nampaknya ada orang Malaysia sudah lupa dalam soal salah laku polis dan kes-kes kematian semasa siatan dan sewaktu dalam tahanan. Mereka sudah lupa bahawa cadangan-cadangan pokok yang dibuat oleh Tun Dzaiddin dan Tun Hanif dalam Laporan Suruhanjaya Aduan dan Salahlaku Polis (IPCMC) lima tahun lalu masih belum dilaksanakan.

Mereka juga lupa mengenai cadangan-cadangan Suruhanjaya Diraja yang diketuai oleh Tan Sri Haidar mengenai kes pita video V.K. Lingam. Walaupun kandungan laporan itu sudah dimaklumkan kepada umum, dan secara “prima facie” memang ada kes salah laku oleh orang-orang ternama, tindakan susulan yang sepatutnya dilaksanakan oleh Peguam Negara tidak pun berlaku.

Kini satu lagi sejarah hitam berlaku dalam negara kita di mana Teoh menjadi mangsanya. Rakyat Malaysia sekali lagi mahu sa buah Suruhanjaya untuk menyiasat kematian Teoh. Nampaknya sekali lagi kita akan dipermainkan, dan sudah pasti kita akan terus kecewa dan hampa.

Perdana Menteri menyediakan dua badan untuk menyiasat kes tersebut. Oleh kerana rakyat mahukan Suruhanjaya Diraja, maka Najib menghadiahkan satu Suruhanjaya tapi ia hanya untuk menyiasat prosedur yang digunakan oleh pihak penyiasat, iaitu Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM). Yang menyiasat soal pokok yang lebih besar dan penting, iaitu mengenal punca sebab kematian Teoh yang memang semua orang ingin tahu; Najib menyerahkan tugas yang maha berat itu kepada seorang majistret, iaitu pegawai mahkamah yang paling rendah pangkat dan kedudukannya di bawah kawalan Peguam Negara.

Jadi, marilah kita sama-sama fikirkan sendiri, sejauh mana hasil siasatan sa orang majistret dan sama ada kebenaran akan terserlah nanti. Saya jangka satu lagi “cover up” akan berlaku.

Ingin dingatkan bahawa Suruhanjaya Diraja di bawah undang-undang hanya boleh membuat cadangan-cadangan sahaja. Tindakan muktamad terhadap orang yang didapati bersalah bergantung kepada Peguam Negara. Kalau Peguam Negara kata tak ada salah laku, maka dengan itu tak wujudlah kesalahan, walaupun Suruhanjaya Diraja mendapati ada kesalahan. Tengoklah apa yang berlaku dalam kes pita video Lingam. Sampai hari ini, yang jelas bersalah masih belum di bawa kamuka pengadilan.

Kalau rakyat mahu tahu dengan sebenar-benarnya mengenai bagaimana dan sebab-sebab Teoh, A. Kugan dan 1,500 orang lagi yang mati dalam tahanan sejak 6 tahun lalu, hanya ada satu cara sahaja – KITA MESTI MENOLAK BN. Biarlah Pakatan Rakyat pula diberi peluang memerintah. Itu sahaja harapan kita untok mengetahui perkara yang sabenar.

PM mesti berani melawan rasisme

July 21, 2009

Kira-kira sebulan yang lalu saya ditanya oleh seorang profesor Melayu apa sebabnya saya membuat ucapan pada bulan Februari tahun ini merayu supaya DYMM Yang di-Pertuan Agong tidak melantik Datuk Seri Najib Razak sebagai Perdana Menteri untuk menggantikan Pak Lah. Saya memberitahu profesor ini bahawa saya berpendapat Najib bukanlah orangnya yang boleh menyelamatkan Malaysia; malah di bawah pemerintahan Najib akan bermulanya keruntuhan Malaysia yang kita sayangi ini. Itu sebabnya saya cadangkan supaya orang lain yang dipilih. Biasalah, ramai pendekar UMNO yang marah dan melenting, dan ada yang kata saya ini bodoh dan jahat.

Saya sedar UMNO parti terbesar dalam Parlimen, maka Perdana Menteri mestilah datangnya dari UMNO. Tapi ia tidak semestinya Najib. Saya berpendapat Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Yang Berhormat dari Gua Musang, lebih sesuai menjadi Perdana Menteri. Buat masa ini, dia sahajalah Ahli Parlimen UMNO yang paling kanan yang tidak perkauman atau tidak rasis (racist). Hanya Perdana Menteri Melayu yang tidak rasis sahaja boleh menyelamatkan negara ini.

Tengku Razaleigh memang kuat nasionalismenya; memang pejuang Melayu yang tulen tetapi tidak terdengar ucapan dibuat olehnya yang membenci dan menghina kaum lain dalam apa-apa isu. Dia boleh mengatasi isu rumit tanpa mengapi-apikan rasa perkauman atau menggunakan kekerasan. Dia tidak akan menggunakan polis dan SPRM untuk menjatuhkan musuh politiknya. Dia tidak akan melantik orang yang rasis untuk menjadi pengarang akhbar. Isterinya pula tidak akan rasa tersinggung kalau gambarnya tak keluar dalam akhbar.

Tapi sayang sekali, Tengku Razaleigh masih menaruh harapan yang dia mampu menyelamatkan UMNO. Bagi saya, UMNO hari ini bukan lagi UMNO yang diperjuangkan oleh Ku Li dahulu. Mungkin lebih baik rasanya kalau Ku Li pertimbangkan untuk sertai Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Kebanyakan wakil rakyat dan pemimpin UMNO tidak tahu membezakan tanggung jawab nasionalisme daripada pemikiran fasis dan rasis. Sebab itu mereka tidak boleh menyelesaikan masalah negara atau pun menyelamatkan Malaysia. Sebab itu akhbar Berita Harian dan Utusan Malaysia sering mencerminkan pemikiran jahat yang membenci kaum daan agama lain. Sememangnya mereka tidak ada minat dan hasrat untuk meniliti dan menilai satu-satu masalah secara objektif dan rasional. Yang mereka tahu hanya mengapi-apikan perasaan perkauman.

Rasisme adalah ideology usang, primitif, zalim dan tidak berperikemanusiaan. Rasisme telah dan akan memuntahkan sesuatu yang buruk dan busuk dari dalam diri kita, iaitu rasa benci yang meluap-luap kepad kaum tertentu;; mungkin jiran kita sendiri. Apabila kita membenci, ia mengabui pertimbangan kita, menghalang kemampuan kita untuk mencari penyelesaian, dan ia akan menghancurkan segala nilai-nilai murni.

Bagaimana kita akan hidup berharmoni sebagai satu masyarakat jika kebencian menjadi pegangan dan amalan kita? Tidak masuk akal sama sekali apabila ada pemimpin UMNO serta media suruhan mereka yang sanggup menyifatkan kesedihan dan kemarahan rakyat Malaysia terhadap kematian Teoh Beng Hock yang berada dalam siasatan SPRM sebagai satu tindakan politik. Malah mereka turut menyifatkan rasa pilu rakyat sebagai mempersoalkan institusi Melayu! Sejak bila pula SPRM menjadi institusi untuk orang Melayu sahaja? Inilah racun perkauman yang telah menyerap ke dalam otak para pemimpin UMNO dan media yang mereka kuasai.

Perdana Menteri yang ghairah dengan slogan 1Malaysia yang kononnya mahu rakyat Malaysia hidup berharmoni tanpa mengira kaum dan agama hanya diam membisu dalam hal ini. Dia tak berani nak tegur kenyataan-kenyataan rasis yang keluar dari mulut orang-orang di bawahnya.

Saya harap orang Melayu tidak mudah tertipu dengan racun perkauman ini. Melayu adalah bangsa yang mulia dan bertanggungjawab. Melayu bangga dengan nilai-nilai murni Islam yang memandang hina terhadap perkauman. Kita tahu membezakan di antara jahat dan baik. Kita patut mampu memimpin dan menyelesaikan masalah rakyat tanpa perkauman. Kaum tidak sepatutnya menjadi perhitungan sama sekali. Hanya bila orang Melayu dan pemimpin tertinggi Melayu menolak perkauman dan pemikiran fasis, baru Malaysia boleh selamat dan semua kaum selamat. Semua rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kaum mesti menolak perkauman dan fasisme. Itulah sahaja yang boleh menjamin masa depan negara.

Undi Boleh diBeli

July 17, 2009

Selepas keputusan pilihan raya kecil Manek Urai, banyak penganalisa politik terus memberi pujian kepada Najib Tun Razak dan Barisan Nasional. Kata mereka populariti Najib sekarang meningkat 65%, dan pemimpin muda UMNO seperti Khairy Jamaluddin pula berkata pengundi muda sekarang telah mula memihak kepada BN. Ada pula yang berkata PAS telah mula retak dari dalam kerana perbalahan kumpulan Tok Guru Nik Aziz dan Tuan Guru Hadi Awang. Ada pula yang berkata Pakatan Rakyat yang telah bertengkar sesama sendiri secara terbuka menunjukan komponennya kurang disiplin dan kematangan.

Saya pula berpendapat kemenangan 65 undi itu kepada PAS besar ertinya. Ia menunjukkan kekuatan PAS yang dapat terus bertahan walau diserang dengan pelbagai macam peluru berpandu.

Sebagai pendahuluan, Manek Urai bukan kubu tradisional PAS. Cuma Allahyarham Ismail Yaakub atau lebih dikenali dengan nama Pak Su Wel, wakil rakyat PAS yang meninggal dunia itu, memang popular dan disayangi orang kampung. Itu saja. Bila dia tak bertanding pada tahun 2004, UMNO menang. Orang di Manek Urai pula kebanyakannya bekerja dan bergantung kepada ehsan Kesedar, agensi kerajaan Pusat yang dikawal rapi oleh UMNO. Orang Manek Urai juga adalah peneroka Felda, satu lagi agensi Pusat dikawal oleh UMNO. Jadi hanya penoreh getah sahaja yang tidak dikawal oleh UMNO. Penganalisa politik tidak boleh membuat andaian semua kawasan di negeri Kelantan adalah kubu kuat PAS.

Ramai pula pengundi Manek Urai berkerja di luar kawasan – lebih dari 1,300 atau 10% dari jumlah pengundi. Anak-anak muda ini dibayar begitu lumayan untuk balik mengundi. Kalaulah mereka dibayar RM500 atau RM1,000 seorang, mustahil anak-anak muda ini tidak memberi undi mereka. Mereka yang tinggal di Manik Urai pun tidak lah hidup selesa dan pendapatan mereka rendah. Harga getah pun telah menurun. Lagi pun orang Melayu mudah termakan budi. Gaji mereka sebulan pun tak begitu banyak. Mereka akan berterima kasih. Membayar untuk membeli undi anak-anak muda itu tidak salah mengikut pandangan sesetengah pihak yang sudah biasa dengan politik wang. Sama seperti janji nak bina jambatan bernilai RM7 juta yang juga dianggap tidak salah dari segi undang-undang kerana ikrar itu dibuat oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri.

Kepada penganalisa politik yang budiman, usahlah pandang terlalu jauh untuk memahami keputusan pilihan raya kecil Manek Urai. Selagi ada orang yang sanggup menjual undi, dan kemungkinan ini besar kerana ada pihak yang banyak wang bersedia membeli undi, maka keputusan pilihan raya (terutama di kawasan di mana pengundinya tidak ramai dan bergantung kepada ehsan kerajaan) akan sentiasa menjadi cabaran dan rumit kepada Pakatan Rakyat. Kuasa wang dan janji projek memang besar kesannya dan sukar diatasi.

PAS usahlah kecewa dan tidak perlu memperbesarkan masalah dalaman, walau pun ada. Keputusan Manek Urai jelas menunjukkan kecekalan PAS. Pekerja PAS harus dipuji kerana tidak putus harapan dan dapat bertahan. Tahniah kapada Abe Uji. Kepada rakyat sekalian Tumpulah kepada isu sabenar, iaitu isu rasuah politik; tumpukan kepada usaha bagaimana mengatasi fenomena penggunaan wang berjuta-juta ringgit untuk membeli undi. Fenomena pemimpin BN mengumunkan projek projek besar sabelum pilihan raya. Inilah cabaran Pakatan Rakyat yang sebenar dimasa depan.

minyak Dan Politik

July 13, 2009

Rais Yatim, seorang Menteri dan juga ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO, beberapa hari lalu telah membuat satu kenyataan yang luar biasa. Bukanlah saya terkejut bila Rais membuat kenyataan yang luar biasa dan aneh itu. Dah memang menjadi “trademark” Rais yang begitu rupa. Kali ini dia berkata Kelantan tak ada hak di bawah undang-undang untuk membuat tuntutan terhadap Petronas daripada hasil minyak dalam kawasan Laut Cina Selatan yang sudah dalam produksi sejak tahun 2004. Terengganu juga katanya tidak berhak kepada royalti minyak kerana apa yang diberi kepada Terengganu adalah wang ehsan mengikut budi bicara Kerajaan Pusat. Wah! Hebat sungguh kenyataan Menteri yang dikatakan pakar dalam bidang undang-undang itu.

Mungkin esok Rais akan mengumumkan pula bahawa Sarawak dan Sabah pun “tidak ada hak” untuk dapatkan royalti minyak dan beratus juta ringgit yang diperolehi sekarang hanyalah “wang ehsan” semata-mata. Kalaulah semua ini benar, maka ia bererti tak ada maknalah janji Petronas kepada Kelantan, Terengganu, Sarawak dan Sabah pada tahun 1975. Setahu saya, mengikut perjanjian itu, Petronas wajib membuat bayaran tunai dua kali setahun kepada negeri-negeri tersebut. Jumlah pembayaran itu adalah 5% daripada hasil jualan minyak dari kawasan-kawasan yang dikenal pasti di Laut Cina Selatan.

Rais sepatutnya menjelaskan kepada rakyat apa yang sudah terjadi kepada perjanjian yang saya sebutkan itu. Apakah perjanjian itu sudah tidak boleh dipakai lagi? Mengapa mahkamah sudah sekian lama membekukan atau “cold storage” tuntutan Terengganu terhadap royalti minyak itu? Nampaknya mahkamah di negara kita dalam kes-kes tertentu begitu cekap dan pantas sekali membuat keputusan tetapi dalam hal-hal yang tidak menguntungkan UMNO dan Barisan Nasional, mahkamah mengambil masa begitu lama.

Apa dah jadi dengan tuntutan kerajaan Terengganu terhadap hasil minyaknya? Bilakah kes tuntutan kerajaan Terengganu mengenai minyak itu akan didengar? Ada baiknya Rais tunggu sebentar dan jangan cuba menjadi hakim yang tahu segala-galanya. Saya yakin Malaysia masih ada hakim yang jujur dan para peguam yang lebih bijak dan cekap daripada Rais. Jadi biarlah mahkamah yang menentukan keputusan sama ada Terengganu dan Kelantan ada hak atau tidak dalam perkara ini.

Kepada Rais, saya harap beliau dapat menumpukan lebih banyak masa untuk meningkatkan mutu rancangan TV dan radio RTM serta memastikan agensi berita Bernama yang dibiayai sepenuhnya oleh pembayar cukai tidak menjadi alat kepada UMNO dan Barisan Nasional, daripada cuba berlakon menjadi hakim mahkamah.

The Preservation of Democracy and the Rule of Law in Malaysia

July 10, 2009

Speech at The Oxbridge Malaysia Dinner Dialogue Series, hosted by the Oxford & Cambridge Society, Malaysia.
Date: Thursday, 9th of July 2009
Venue: Bankers’ Club, Kuala Lumpur.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for your invitation for me to speak today. When I accepted your kind offer, I was ‘party-less’. But things have now changed. I have drawn my line in the sand. And I have chosen sides. Today, I am a proud member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Today I am persuaded by the argument that for Malaysia to have democracy and the Rule of Law, we must have a new government; a viable inclusive government of the people; a government for all Malaysians. Today I am dedicated to the cause of securing the success of Parti Keadilan and Pakatan Rakyat, and ensuring that it galvanises the best talents and ideas to form a robust alternative Malaysian political force to lead the nation, to deliver true integration and nationhood.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
This country was established as a secular multicultural and multi-religious democracy ala the Westminster model. The Constitution however provides for a special position for the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak. They unfortunately omitted to include the Orang Asli in this special category, although they were naturally the first original inhabitants of this country. All they got was a Jabatan Orang Asli. The special provisions for Bumiputras under Article 153 do not make them more special than other citizens, for the fighters of independence did not envisage an Orwellian society where some are more equal than others. The acceptance of equality of rights as citizens is central to the success of our Malaysian journey.

When the PM announced his 1 Malaysia slogan, I asked if that meant he would make a declaration that all Malaysians are equal. The answer was not forthcoming till today. All he said was rights must be understood in the context of responsibilities. Another fuzzy reply. When critics asked if 1 Malaysia meant that the cultural characteristics of the diverse racial groups would be assimilated to a new design called 1 Malaysia, he quickly denied that it was an assimilation plan. So therefore I assume that 1 Malaysia is an affirmation of the rights of ALL the citizens under the Constitution, an affirmation of the multicultural and multi- religious nature of our country; and that the principles of Rukun Negara will continue to be the mainstay of our society.

My detractors say that my views are fodder for the egos and insecurities of those who detest the constitutional position of the Malays. They say I work too hard at being a Malaysian and by doing so, have forgotten my roots and responsibilities to the Malays. And that no right thinking Malay, who truly understands what is at stake, would ever support me. I know my heritage, I know my humble beginnings, and I know my roots and my responsibilities as a Malay. They are wrong. To them, let me say this.

UMNO — being hidden in a cave for so long and concealed from the real world — have almost abandoned the idea of a shared and common nationhood. They believe that for so long as the MCA and the MIC remain with them as partners of convenience, that is sufficient to build a nation. They think it’s sufficient to forge a new nation by electoral arrangements. The MCA and the MIC also think it’s sufficient for nationhood if they remain business partners of UMNO.

A new united Malaysia can only come true when UMNO changes and abandons racial politics and the politics of racial hegemony. Or, when the Malays can be made to understand that patronage, authoritarianism and nationalist extremism, which underpins UMNO’s style of leadership, does more harm to the community and the country than good. That Malays themselves must break from the shackles of narrow nationalism so that they may realise self-actualisation and emancipation. The first is difficult to achieve but I take it as my responsibility to try and achieve the second.

Let me now get into the subject of the speech by giving you an understanding about how UMNO ticks. This, to me, is critical in order for you to appreciate what hope we have for the preservation of the Rule of Law and Democracy in Malaysia.

At the heart of UMNO’s philosophy on leadership is a conviction that there is an inherent, almost ‘divine’ right to retain power at all costs. This is so for two reasons: Firstly, because they assume that they are the only political force, by way of Barisan Nasional, to offer a workable power-sharing leadership of this nation.

And secondly, because they believe that the Malay hegemony that UMNO maintains is necessary to prevent the Malays from becoming marginalised. It is these beliefs that are at the centre of UMNO’s self-indulgent sense of indispensability and self-importance that is today causing them to steer the nation to an authoritarian rule. It is this sense of self-importance that is accountable for the authoritarianism in leadership and government. It is this that has helped justify in their minds their right to quell anyone who threatens the status quo, whether it be a group of politicians or activists protesting against abuses in government, or a group of Indians protesting against their treatment and lack of opportunities, or a previous deputy prime-minister who was no longer in step with the ‘Big Boss’. It does not matter. Self-preservation demands expedience at all costs to resolve any impending threat.

But there is more. Since the hegemony is protected by policies that benefit the elites and other powerful forces, this sense of self-importance becomes even more dangerous. Because it justifies why real checks and balances against governmental abuses can be done away with. It justifies trampling on fundamental safeguards in the Federal Constitution in the last 20 years.

But there is more. If you are on the cause of preserving the rights of the elites, the oligarchs, then it brings you no shame to have a former UMNO lawyer as Chief Justice; in fact, you become proud of that achievement. Even if the Attorney General had committed many errors in the discharge of his functions and duties, a well-known fact amongst the legal fraternity, you will not change him; nor would you change the Chief Of Police despite so many reports of transgressions committed by him. All for the ‘Malay cause’ they would say! And if you are on the Bench writing your judgement on the Perak fiasco; you can tailor it to suit your master’s political interests, and you will be lauded for that. The ‘Malay Cause’ is everything. The Constitution can wait; sound legal reasoning can wait, justice can wait.

But there is more.

Many in UMNO see the hegemony as a ‘be all and end all’, with the power sharing between component parties as being a means to an end. Ketuanan Melayu, a mantra of Malay supremacy, has gained ground instead of receding over time. More accurately it is Ketuanan Elit Melayu as the majority of the Malays have found out to their dismay.

What is the price that we ultimately pay as a nation, if this pernicious doctrine is embraced by many? Clearly to start with, we would continue to be cursed with a non-transparent government without the capability of functioning in a way that respects the rule of law. We will be cursed by having laws that oppress, that curtail and suffocate the basic freedoms of the people. We now have a set of rules for the elites and one for the rakyat, one for Barisan Nasional and one for Pakatan Rakyat.

If the public believes that the government is not beholden to a set of commonly revered values and principles, and its actions are tainted by racial biases, there will continue to be physical and emotional segregation of communities, regardless of how may times we change the slogans to break such divisiveness. The notion of creating a free and democratic Malaysia therefore becomes unachievable.

The ultimate price that the country suffers from the present political culture is that the Malays and non-Malays will continue to be denied a sense of ownership of Malaysia’s nation-building journey. And instead of become partners in this voyage to mature nationhood they continue to bicker and remain suspicious and distrustful of one another. Because of this segregation, the government is unable to set a new direction of the country. Because of racial polarization the people are not ready to accept a multiracial dimension of this country. As a result, we are not able to enact or even discuss comprehensive national policies whether it is regarding the police, education or judicial and civil service reforms .The distrust of the communities will prevent objective appraisals and solutions to the problems. Ethnic interests take precedence over national interests. National interests become a strange and fearful concept. And there will continue to be a brain drain of Malaysian talents who would have decided that they would rather make their home elsewhere. This is a high price that the country can ill-afford to pay given the increasingly challenging global outlook.

Authoritarianism, patronage, and nationalist extremism from any quarter destroy the key ingredients necessary for the Malaysian community to really build on and retain that wealth and knowledge. Competitiveness and true economic and scholastic success, is a function of instilling in the hearts and minds of beneficiaries a set of new behaviours, around the capacity and desire to take personal accountability, to trust one another, to be achievement oriented, to develop a sense of curiousity, a sense a solidarity that go beyond your own ethnic clans and groups; so that together, we are to be able to build this country. We must do away with unprincipled politics, with Machiavellian methods, but instead seek to change with reforms that encourage the development of a viable democracy and a prosperous country for all.

The government says it hopes to amend up to 33 laws, which involve discretionary powers to the Home minister, beginning with the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA), in the next Parliament session. Let’s hope and see if this will bear fruit. Authoritarianism in government will continue albeit in a different guise, unless the whole of the ISA, Official Secrets Act, The Sedition Act and similar such laws are abolished. This would be an example of good governance. However, authoritarian policies will most likely continue while corruption is rampant, when the elites need protection from their misdeeds. Najib will not be able to change any of these.

Perak State Government
The whole cloak and dagger story of intrigue about the overthrow of the Pakatan Rakyat government gave rise to much suspicion about Najib’s style, well before he took office. He could have allayed the fears that he would not be one to resort to under-the-belt tactics in his leadership, by calling for fresh elections. Najib’s unwillingness to dissolve the Perak Assembly has gotten the country deeper into a political quagmire. By doing so he will also help the Federal Court judges from having to come up with a convoluted legal reasoning, like that of the Court of Appeal, to please the Prime Minister.

Malay Unity Talk
This is again Najib’s idea to strengthen himself. If PAS were to support UMNO under the guise of a unity government, a viable alternative to Barisan Nasional at the next elections will be seriously undermined. Najib wanted the internal difficulties between Pakatan Rakyat parties to continue and fester as the mainstream media went full steam ahead to ensure Pakatan’s demise. Let me assure you that that such a scenario will not happen. Pakatan will only get stronger. Pakatan has its weaknesses but we do not have the culture of hegemony. We do not suppress dissent. Hence you will hear of occasional disagreements. You will hear of occasional flare-ups; but PAS, Keadilan and DAP are committed to finding ways to strengthen their partnership. They will not break up. Instead, they will form a formidable coalition that will be ready to provide an alternative government to the people.

Today, Malaysians are suffering the deleterious effect of a stagnating world economy, and the GDP will contract by 4.4 per cent according to the World Bank. FDI’s continue to fall, while talent is being lost. The standard of education and the skill sets, including the command of English, necessary for the work force to remain globally competitive continues to fall. Now after spending billions on teaching Science and Maths in English in the last 6 years, the Government has announced the reversal of the policy effective 2012. One wonders if the farcical National Service programme, which is neither a national service nor an educational programme will be scrapped too. .

Crimes and home security issues have increased since 2003 and these remain major concerns of the people. In the 1998 case of Anwar Ibrahim, allegations by the investigating officer himself of tampering with evidence by the IGP and the AG have not been answered satisfactorily. Of course the government had formed a certain panel comprising three ex-judges deliberating in a secret place. Not surprisingly the Panel cleared them. The findings of the Royal Commission in the Lingam case have not been acted upon in satisfactory manner. And many high profile cases reported to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) remain unattended. Such is the state of the Rule of Law in Malaysia. Will Najib attend to these issues? Certainly not.

All he can do is to announce the scrapping of some outdated policies that he had little choice but to do it anyway, as part of the demands of the international and ASEAN trade agreements. After decades of the NEP, the 30% equity requirement in companies listed amongst the 27 services sub-sectors are taken away. Also, the Foreign Investment Committee regulating investments in Malaysia, have been scrapped. The reasoning of the government, which is disputed by many Malays, is that the Bumiputra participation in the relevant services sub-sectors are satisfactory and hence the removal of the quota requirement. Whilst the move has made Najib popular in the short term, it will come back to haunt him. Economics and social justice require him to address the larger question of disparities in income of the rakyat. The plight and grievances of ordinary people will not be redressed by one or two populist policies.

On the question of the preservation of the Rule of Law and Democracy, he did nothing and probably will continue to do nothing. He should have acted as if he has only 100 days before his reign comes to an end. He should have embraced Roosevelt’s dictum, ‘There is nothing to fear but fear itself’, and embarked on far reaching policies to give back judicial power to the Courts, to give back integrity, trust and respectability to governmental institutions like the Police, the Attorney General’s Office, the Election Commission; that of which Malaysia desperately needs. In doing so he can show the people he was prepared to sacrifice his neck if that is required of him.

He should not have started the Perak debacle but since it had already got under way, he should have had the courage to win back the support of the people by allowing for the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. Instead of embarking on the inane idea of UMNO-PAS unity — confirming the suspicion that he is like his Deputy who only understands UMNO-PAS unity at the expense of everything else — Najib should have called for a national debate amongst all leaders of major political parties for a serious discussion on key and core values for the country.

The problems in our country are not race or religion based, but BN has worked very hard to make them so. It’s always about the Rakyat against the elites or the powerful oligarchs that run and control the country’s institutions and wealth. The Rakyat, for too long have becomes pawns in this political game where the race and religious issues are being played out to divide them.

Najib should have started his administration with pushing through a Race Relations Act that will punish racism and racist speeches and writings from all quarters, even if it’s from leaders of his own party and from Utusan Malaysia. The single greatest impediment to Malaysians being united and working together for the common good, is racist politics in Malaysia. Racism here is not the same kind that the Anglo Saxon whites have over blacks and coloureds (or vice versa) for many years. It’s not the apartheid kind of racism where whites generally believe they are superior to blacks and coloureds in genetics and all spheres of life. Our racism is driven more by ethnic distrust and ethnic rivalry for the economic cake. They are mainly economic and cultural in nature, based on the fear that the wealth of the country will be taken away by the Chinese, and vice versa. But it’s just as divisive and dangerous. It refers to both institutionalised racism and those exhibited by individuals. Malaysia needs to combat this problem because it’s particularly acute. Because we have three major races that did not have the luxury of time for natural assimilation or the time to gel and live in harmony, we need legislation and governmental support to push through the unity factors and manage the divisive factors found in the community.

To bring about a truly united 1 Malaysia, our PM must not always refer to the deprivation of the Malays suffered under the British. No amount of wallowing of the past can change history, nor can we just tell the Chinese and the Indians how grateful they should be for events taking place 100 years ago. Equally, he cannot just be happy that he has the MCA and MIC taking care of the non-Malays. He has to do more to make sure the non-Malays are equally responsible and generous with the Malays. Will they open their businesses to the Malays? Will they give credit on the same terms they do to their own clans?

But at the same time the people, including the Malays, must be convinced that democracy and a functioning bureaucracy is good for them. That they have a better chance of realizing their potentials and benefiting from their rights and privileges under a government that respects just laws. They must resist corruption by all means at their disposal. The notion of Bangsa Malaysia will not detract or take away anything from them, but instead they become a part of a larger and more diverse community where they too can experience the generousity, beauty, strength, and richness of Malaysian cultures. They will benefit from the solidarity of people from all walks of life, and their worldview will change to make them stronger and more confident of themselves.

A PM of this country must not succumb to the idea that force and repression will prevail over the people’s will. The PM of this country must not suffer from the delusion that the Police, the Army, the Courts, the Election Commission and the Attorney General could strike fear in the hearts of the people to the extent that they will retreat. No leader in ancient and modern times has survived the outrage of the masses. Today we have witnessed a new sense of outrage; outrage against the abuse of power, against inequality, outrage against the continued persecution of Anwar Ibrahim, and outrage against the policies of divide and rule.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The winds of change have never blown so strong. Today, the rakyat has spoken and they want their voices heard. They want a new beginning, so that this country, which we all call home, will be transformed into a dynamic, open and vibrant democratic sanctuary. A sanctuary where we live without fear of police harassment, without fear of wearing black or yellow, without fear of detention without trial, without the nausea of reading newspapers whose editors have to toe the line to keep the papers alive. We will make this country such that we have room and space for all of us to have our dreams and hopes come true.

But the window of opportunity has opened for one central reason. And that is because the people now have a choice; between the establishment that has led the country over the last 50 years, or a viable alternative in Pakatan Rakyat that can inclusively carry the hopes and aspirations of all Malaysians, no matter they be Malay, Chinese or Indian. For without this alternative, the self indulgent and delusional sense of self-importance of UMNO and its cohorts in Barisan Nasional will continue to impose itself.

No doubt, Keadilan is a new party, and Pakatan Rakyat is in its infancy, and the coming together of different political parties to find a common thread with which to build meaningful solidarity to work together, is a long and arduous journey. Let us not kid ourselves. Many challenges lie ahead to make it a truly viable alternative political force to Barisan Nasional and acceptable choice to all Malaysians. And the traps and snares to trip up this fledgling alternative are being laid everywhere; the Unity talks being just one.

My colleagues and I in Pakatan Rakyat must be cautious, and yet courageous, patient yet purposeful, tolerant yet principled, to ensure that Pakatan Rakyat steers clear of these traps, and that we build a truly robust and secure alternative from which the electorate can choose to form government. We must desist from any temptation to go back to the ways of the past, in which opposition parties represent their own narrow factional interests, only to grant a walkover victory to the status quo.

At for Parti Keadilan Rakyat, it must soldier on come what may, as a party that will protect the people regardless of race and ethnicity. The Special position of the Bumiputras and Islam as mandated by the Constitution will be honoured but will do so in an open transparent manner; as a democratic multiracial party that observes the Rule of Law will be obliged to do. Keadilan will not champion racial politics and will not seek racial hegemony. We are a lot more humble than UMNO. But we will be fearless in the defence of the rights of the Rakyat against powerful oligarchs and vested interest groups. We will make the public institutions in this country respectable and full of integrity. These institutions will regain the respect and the trust of the people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We do not live in a world of black and white. We live in a world full of different colours, shades and textures. No truer is this than in Malaysia. I can stand here and tell you of my immense sense of pride and affection in being a Malaysian, just as I can do the same about being Malay. And I believe that we all are just as capable of feeling that way about being Malaysian, and yet similarly proud of being Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban, no matter who we are.

And it is this mix of seemingly conflicting values, which when blended and tempered with courage, tolerance, good faith, and framed by universally held moral and civic values, that makes the canvas of Malaysia so rich, so powerful and so full of potential. Let us preserve this living piece of art, and ensure that it continues to beautify and enrich our personal lives, as private citizens.

For if we fail, then the providence with which we are blessed today to make a breakthrough change, will disappear as quickly as it came, and we will be back to square one. Our future and that of our children and their children, depends on our success. Failure is not an option. God favours the brave.

Thank You.


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