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Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim listens to a question during an interview with The Malaysian Insider at his house in Kuala Lumpur, today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 24, 2014.

As a second jail term looms over opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the 67-year old is not as worried about prison time as he is about sending the right message to civil society.

Anwar, who faces up to 20 years in prison for a charge he claimed is politically motivated, said he would send the wrong message if he chose exile to continue leading Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“If you want to campaign for change you have to accept some difficulty.

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"40 Tahun- Dari Universiti Malaya Ke Penjara

PETALING JAYA: Despite threats of disciplinary action including suspension and a RM200 fine, Fahmi Zainol says he will not bow down to threats from the university and is determined to host opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on the campus grounds.

Fahmi who is the President of the Universiti Malaya’s Student Council (PMUM), was issued a show cause letter by the Student Affairs Division (HEP) for organising a talk by Anwar entitled “40 Years: From University of Malaya to Jail”.

Anwar, who is an alumnus of UM, is expected to share his experience as a student activist and thoughts on the coming court hearing on his sodomy charge.

UM’s student affairs vice chancellor Rohana Yusof said the university had banned the programme because it would be in violation of the university’s rules and would tarnish the university’s reputation.

“I was never afraid of intimidation by the university,” Fahmi told FMT. “I knew what I was getting into and the Student Council will continue to run the programme.”

He explained that the programme was not meant to challenge the UM administration but to fight injustice.

The goal of the Student Council was to resuscitate UM’s philosophy of adherence to academic freedom, university autonomy, and student governance, Fahmi said.

“The university is public property. Therefore Anwar Ibrahim’s freedom of speech should be protected,” he added.

According to him, the students should be treated like adults and given the freedom to organise programmes without being controlled by the university as long as there was no conflict with the law.

He said that the Student Council was determined to ensure that Anwar was allowed into UM and given the opportunity to talk on the right to freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, Fahmi has made an appeal to all university students to attend the talk scheduled for this Monday, 9pm, at Dataran Dewan Tunku Chancellor of Universiti Malaya.

 

FMT

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KUALA LUMPUR: Everyone, it seems, is charmed by Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who was sworn in this week as President of Indonesia.

The near euphoria with which the international press has greeted the rise of this “man of the people” is reminiscent of Barack Obama’s election to the US Presidency in 2008. Despite it’s being too early to tell, he has been hailed as the new face for Indonesian democracy and the answer to his countrymen’s hunger for reform.

This week, at least two press articles have drawn a contrast between Jokowi and Malaysia’s own Najib Abdul Razak, to the Malaysian Prime Minister’s detriment.

The Sydney Morning Herald, in an article appearing on Tuesday, said Malaysia was regressing towards authoritarianism while Indonesia appeared to be strengthening its democracy.

In his column today, Bloomberg’s William Pesek warns Najib that he has to watch out for the “Jokowi effect” that might spread to Indonesia’s neighbours.

“Even as hopes rise that Indonesia might finally achieve its true growth potential, Malaysia seems consumed by petty political infighting and religious small-mindedness,” he said.

Citing the alleged persecution of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, Umno’s opposition to the Octoberfest celebration and the controversy over the recent touch-a-dog event, Pesek said Malaysia should not let itself get “bogged down in such side issues”.

He said Najib had expanded Barisan Nasional’s pro-bumiputera programme instead of scaling it back to increase Malaysia’s competitiveness.

“Malaysian leaders should be striving to improve the investment climate through stronger corporate governance, and expanding education and training to raise productivity,” he said.

“Subsidies for state-connected companies need to be scaled back and eventually eliminated.”

He added: “Malaysians should remember that globalization enables all economies to grow quickly. If their country refuses to open up and become a true meritocracy — the kind of place where a figure like Jokowi could come to power through the ballot box — neighbours like Indonesia and the Philippines will steal away investment and industries.

“Then the problems they’re focusing on today won’t seem so large.”

That Malaysians are still using the “pendatang” (immigrant) slur against one another after 57 years of Merdeka is proof that the millions of ringgit Putrajaya spent on nation-building have been wasted, says DAP.

The party’s parliamentary leader, Lim Kit Siang (pic), today said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should review his 1Malaysia and Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) nation-building policies.

“Since the 70s, there is a National Unity Department in the Prime Minister’s Department, but all the tens and even hundreds millions of ringgit of budget expenditures have been a total waste and loss, when 57 years after Merdeka, extremists are hurling the “pendatang” label at ordinary, loyal and patriotic Malaysians.”

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Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong speaking at the party’s 43rd National Delegates Conference yesterday. The party’s deputy president Datuk Dr Cheah Soon Hai said today the statement by Tan Lai Soon did not in any way reflect the party’s stand. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Gerakan suspended with immediate effect the membership of its Johor delegate who claimed that Malays are “pendatang” or immigrants during the party’s 43rd National Delegates Conference here yesterday.

The party’s deputy president Datuk Dr Cheah Soon Hai said today the statement by Tan Lai Soon did not in any way reflect the party’s stand, especially as Gerakan is “a party of all races”.

“It is not the party’s stand; we are all Malaysians and no Malaysian is a ‘pendatang’ or an immigrant,” Dr Cheah said at a news conference here.

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Media Statement by Teresa Kok, DAP National Vice Chairperson and Mp for Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, October 20, 2014

Who has misled the public, Nancy or Liow?

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Yesterday’s Sin Chew Jit Poh reported that the de facto law minister Nancy Sukri said that the Cabinet discussed and reached a decision on the issue of non prosecution of Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali over his threat to burn Bibles.

She was quoted to say that the decision was confidential and would only be conveyed to the relevant agency and to be considered by the Attorney General Chamber.

However, in today’s Sin Chew Jit Poh, Transport Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai rebutted what she said though without mentioning her name.

Liow said that the Cabinet did discuss the issue but did not make a decision.  He said that the comment that the Cabinet has made a decision on the matter is misleading.

So the question now is who has misled the public –Nancy or Liow?

How could two Ministers have different understanding as to whether the Cabinet had made decision or otherwise?  Was one of them sleeping during the Cabinet discussion?

Since Liow has rebutted what Nancy claimed, let see what will be Nancy‘s response.

However, Liow should also explain why the Cabinet failed to reach a decision and if he was happy with the discussion and the no decision?

After her Oct 9 parliamentary reply which said the police had decided not to take action against Ibrahim because his call was made in defence of Islam  had met with heavy criticisms, Nancy had on the same day subsequently issued  a statement to explain that “The decision by the Attorney-General Chambers to not prosecute Ibrahim was because the context of his speech was in line with the spirit in Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution” and the decision to not charge Ibrahim was taken after considering the outcome of the investigation by the police

On October 12, Liow had said that that the police must give the public a more detailed answer as to why the force decided not to take action against Datuk Ibrahim Ali for his alleged threat to burn Bibles.

He said a thorough investigation against Ibrahim was needed so that the Attorney-General (A-G) could make the “professional decision” to charge a person with sedition.

Liow seemed to empahsise the Police’s investigation although Nancy had said that the Attorney General Chambers did not prosecute because of Article 11 (4) of the Federal Constitution.

Can Liow tell the public if he had obtained more details from the Police, if so, was he satisfied with the reasons given?

Can he also explain the real reason why Ibrahim Ali was not charged?

Media Statement by Teresa Kok, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, October 18, 2014

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The  Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Stewart Forbes said at forum yesterday that Malaysia are 19 years behind South Korea in terms of productivity, naming graft, leakages, complacency and archaic labour laws as road blocks.

What he said will not surprise Malaysians because DAP and other opposition parties have always criticized the BN government’s  economic incompetency and the lack of political will to combat corruption and leakages resulting in Malaysia far lagging behind nation like South Korea .

Forbes is totally right to say that Putrajaya is always quick to choose the worst to make comparisons.

However, complacency is not cause for such habit to compare with the worst, but rather it is due to the fact that because Putrajaya simply cannot explain or justify to Malaysians why it has lagged far behind nations like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, in his 2013 Chinese New Year message, has said the following:-

From International Monetary Fund data bases, 1980 was the last year when Malaysia had a higher GDP per capita than South Korea, i.e. US$1,769 for Malaysia and US$1,689 for South Korea.

Since then, South Korea had left Malaysia far behind but it was after the South Korean democratisation process in 1987 that the South Korean economy reached an entirely new level of innovation with that last, difficult push into the realm of the truly advanced economies, it catapulted from the “middle-income trap” which Malaysia is still struggling to escape from.

Today, Malaysia is certainly far behind South Korea as from World Bank and International Monetary Fund data bases, the GDP per capital ( in US dollars) in 2012 for Malaysia and South Korea are 10678 and 23021 respectively.

Malaysia certainly has a lot to catch up and the first thing that the federal government must have is the political will to combat corruption and leakages.

Unfortunately, the BN government, as can be seen in the 2015 Budget announced in Parliament, has still not shown the will to address the serious problems of corruption and leakages.

Neither is the BN government serious or committed to political reforms as evidenced by the recent political crackdown against government critics and opposition lawmakers ala selective prosecution under the Sedition Act.

Some netizens have joked before  that if the BN government does not do what is right and necessary , one day may just come that the nations it will use as comparison are no more Thailand and Vietnam but some underdeveloped nations in Africa!

The Prime Minister cannot keep silent and must respond to Forbes’s comments.

 

Yesterday’s Sin Chew Jit Poh reported that the de facto law minister Nancy Sukri said that the Cabinet discussed and reached a decision on the issue of non prosecution of Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali over his threat to burn Bibles.

She was quoted to say that the decision was confidential and would only be conveyed to the relevant agency and to be considered by the Attorney General Chamber.

However, in today’s Sin Chew Jit Poh, Transport Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai rebutted what she said though without mentioning her name.

Liow said that the Cabinet did discuss the issue but did not make a decision. He said that the comment that the Cabinet has made a decision on the matter is misleading.

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