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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

MELANGKAH BERSAMA KE 2015

Oleh SSK
BERBASIKAL AKTIVITI MENYIHATKAN

1. Esok kita melangkah ke Tahun Baru 2015 yang penuh dengan pelbagai cabaran dan kemungkinan, baik dalam politik mahupun ekonomi. Tahun baru yang penting bagi Malaysia di pentas dunia. Pastinya menguji dan mengujakan semua.

2. Dalam bidang ekonomi, antara yang bakal menarik perhatian ialah pelaksanaan GST. Ramai masih tertanya-tanya bagaimana senario ekonomi kesan dari pelaksanaannya, terutama kepada kumpulan bawahan.

3. Malaysia juga menjadi perhatian di arena antarabangsa apabila menjadi satu daripada lima anggota tidak tetap Majlis Keselamatan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (UNSC) serta sebagai Pengerusi Asean. Kedua-duanya jawatan penting yang menguji kewibawaan kita sebagai negara membangun di pentas dunia.

4. Sementara di gelanggang politik, suhunya dijangka panas pada 2015 dengan cerita 1MDB Bhd, kisah Undang-undang Hudud (yang akan dibawa ke Parlimen), penghakiman kes liwat Anwar Ibrahim, pertelingkahan Pakatan Rakyat dan model politik baru Umno serta perdebatan antara kumpulan liberal dan extreme Melayu.

5. Di Sabah, tahun 2015 juga memungkinkan beberapa cabaran termasuk dari aspek keselamatan dan kesudahan Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI). Kedua-dua soal ini saling berkaitan kerana menyentuh isu kebanjiran pendatang asing.

6. Mengambil kira kemungkinan-kemungkinan itu, adalah penting bagi rakyat seluruhnya mengukuhkan kesatuan selain bersederhana dalam pendekatan. Ini kerana perpaduan dan kesederhanaan menjadi kunci penyelesaian terhadap setiap cabaran.

7. Dalam menghadapi cabaran ekonomi misalnya, kita hendaklah bijak dan sentiasa berhemah dalam berbelanja dengan menyusun keutamaan perbelanjaan. Kita sudah lama maklum mengenai pelaksanaan GST mulai 1 April 2015, maka sewajarnya kita membuat persediaan awal menghadapinya. Hari ini, masih belum terlambat merangka pelan tindakan. Jangan membuat perbelanjaan atau pembelian yang tidak perlu. Tangguhkan sementara sehingga sudah jelas kelihatan kesan-kesan GST nanti.

8. Dalam pertemuan dengan rakyat peringkat akar-umbi, saya sering mengingatkan mereka pentingnya kita untuk sentiasa berhati-hati.  Jangan cepat melatah apabila menghadapi masalah. Stay cool dan relaks, tapi fokus. Baik dalam cabaran ekonomi mahupun politik.

9. Dalam konteks politik hari ini, saya sering tegaskan bahawa suasananya sudah jauh berbeza berbanding dahulu. Kita kena terima hakikat ini. Rakyat sudah pandai menilai dan bukan mudah dipengaruhi. Maka, pemimpin kena lebih matang dalam menghadapi keadaan politik seperti ini.

10. Dalam konteks kita di Sabah, geopolitiknya juga berlainan dengan di Semenanjung. Perpaduan kita tetap utuh biarpun dalam kepelbagaian kaum etnik dan kepercayaan. Tidak wujud pergeseran antara kaum dan agama.
KEUNIKAN BUDAYA SABAH

11. Sabah adalah model gagasan 1Malaysia yang sebenar. Dalam setiap keluarga pasti akan ada bermacam latarbelakang dan kepercayaan. Ia terikat kukuh, antaranya disebabkan perkahwinan campur yang menjadi lumrah sejak dahulu lagi.

12. Maka, sebagai orang Sabah, kita wajib untuk terus bersatu walau apapun perbezaan kita. Kita perlu bersama-sama menangkis fahaman extreme dalam agama dan kaum. Kita lakukan ini demi untuk pertahankan keharmonian antara kita.

13. Satu lagi yang selalu saya katakan ialah supaya setiap orang menjaga kesihatan dengan bersenam dan makan makanan seimbang. Kita mahu melahirkan rakyat, khususnya di Sabah yang senantiasa sihat minda dan fizikal.

14. Jika kita semua dapat memahami prinsip ini, maka tahun 2015 bukan sesuatu yang sukar untuk diharungi. Bersama kita mendepani cabaran tahun baru ini.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Najib is tackling the flood problem

By SSK


Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is being criticised for not attending to the flood problem. I really do not know what they expect from the Prime Minister and in what way they want him to ‘attend’ to the flood.

The Malaysian mentality is that when there is a flood then the political leaders, especially the Prime Minister, must wade in the flood with the water up to their stomach, or at least above the knees. Then they would be considered as doing something.

First of all, the floodwater is contaminated with sewage. In fact, the Health Ministry has advised children to not play or swim in the flood because there is a danger they may catch diseases. Hence is it advisable for Malaysia’s CEO to ‘play’ in the floodwaters?

Say Najib does what these people want -- he wades in the flood with the water up to his chest. In what way is he taking care of the problem other than having a look-see? He can see the flood without having to stand in the dirty water.

What needs to be done is to come out with a long-term solution on how to reduce the flood problem. And I say reduce and not eliminate because even in advanced countries it floods and this is a natural phenomena or act of nature. And they do not even have monsoon rains like Malaysia does.

For example, Terengganu has always been flooding since the beginning of time. (And in Kelantan they take floods as a natural and annual affair that they even once organised a Pesta Banjir). However, since they built the Kenyir Dam in Terengganu, the floods got worse. And this is because the flow of the Terengganu River slowed down so the silt could not be pushed out to sea and instead accumulated at the river mouth.

Because of the accumulation of silt at the river mouth, the floodwater could not be pushed out to sea and instead flowed inland to flood the towns and settlements along the river. Hence the way to solve this was to dredge the river mouth to clear the blockage.

This was the long-term solution that Terengganu adopted but it was still only temporary because after some time the silt built up again and they had to dredge the river mouth again.

That was how Terengganu fought the flood, not by having the Prime Minister wade through the flood and risk catching some sort of disease from the contaminated floodwater.

Floods happen all over the world, even in the UK and the US (and the UK recently saw one of its worst floods in history). But the people do not scream for the Prime Minister or President to wade through the flood. They ask for a viable flood mitigation program to be implemented.

Hence the Prime Minister’s job is to get the department in charge to come out with a plan on how floods can be reduced. It is going to cost a lot of money, which the taxpayers would have to pay for.

And this is what the Prime Minister is presently doing, not to wade through the flood to ‘show concern’ and just to please the voters that he is ‘doing something’ by playing in the floodwaters.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Bidong solution to the Sabah crisis

By SSK


In the late 1970s, there was an exodus of Vietnamese ‘boat people’, most who ended up on the East Coast of West Malaysia. The UNHCR immediately set up a refugee camp on Bidong Island to house the refugees, who could be considered political refugees, those who had ‘collaborated’ with the South Vietnamese government and/or the Americans.

The West then started ‘processing’ these refugees and many were given asylum in the west on humanitarian grounds. This sent out a signal to those who wanted to escape Vietnam that they were most welcome in Malaysia, and thereon would be sent to the rich western countries as their new homeland.

The second wave of Vietnamese boat people that reached Malaysia were no longer political refugees who fled Vietnam for fear of their lives but ‘economic’ refugees who just wanted to seek a better life in the west. Hence it was all now about money and the pursuit of a better life that their homeland could not offer them.

Mainly, this is a problem of poor people from poor countries migrating, legally or illegally, to more prosperous countries for economic reasons. This is happening the world over, not only in Malaysia. And this is possible because of the existence of syndicates that, for a large sum of money, will help smuggle these illegal immigrants across borders.

Sabah, too, is facing this same problem. And it is a problem not only because there are syndicates that for a fee will help smuggle these people across borders but also because there are employers who are prepared to employ illegal workers.

We can no longer handle this matter with kid gloves. The government needs to come down hard not only on the syndicates and employers who employ illegal workers but also on the many illegal immigrants walking free on the streets of Sabah. The illegal immigrant problem is a serious social and security problem that will turn into a political problem if there is no political will to confront what is starting to become a crisis.

We may have to address this problem the way we handled the Vietnamese boat people back in the 1970s. Those without valid papers must be rounded up and placed in transit camps. Alternatively, they can be confined to one of the islands off Semporna where they can easily be monitored and supervised.

The district of Semporna makes sense because the illegal immigrants share the same cultural background as the people from that area plus this is their main entry point. Then those that do not have any right to remain in Malaysia should be deported to their country of origin.

By allowing these illegal immigrants to roam free we are sending out a message that they are welcome in Malaysia. Only when they see that life in Malaysia is not better than life back in their homeland can we deter them from illegally entering Malaysia.

This may sound drastic and cruel but it is even crueller to prolong the social and security problem that Malaysians have to suffer due to a high influx of illegal immigrants who have no right to remain in Malaysia.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Even Mahathir could not do what he wants Najib to do

By SSK


To understand the history of Malay disunity, we must first understand the history of the Malay Archipelago. And when I say the Malay Archipelago this will include what is today known as Southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and parts of the Philippines.

The Buddhist Srivijaya Empire ruled the Malay Archipelago from the 7th-13th century, followed by the Hindu Majapahit Empire from the 13th-16th century. Hence, for almost 1,000 years, Malaysia was predominantly Buddhist and Hindu until Islam expanded in that region about 700 years ago.

The first Sultan of Malacca was Parameswara, who fled the Majapahit invasion of Singapura and founded the Malacca Sultanate in the 1300s. Due to expanding trade between China and India, Malacca, which was a port halfway between China and India in the Straits of Malacca, grew in importance and wealth. Muslim traders from India as well as from China led by Admiral Cheng Ho, a Muslim, established trade relations with Malacca.

Parameswara eventually converted to Islam and took the name of Sultan Iskandar Shah. The entire population of Malacca followed suit and became Muslims, as in those days subjects followed the example of their feudal lords.

In 1511, the Portuguese invaded Melaka and it is said that this was possible mainly because the Malays were disunited or split. In fact, ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir is very fond of pointing this out in his talks regarding the Malay split and the downfall of the Melaka Sultanate.

In 1641, the Dutch drove the Portuguese out and ruled Malacca for almost 200 years until the 1800s when the British took Malacca from the Dutch and quickly began to extend their influence to the rest of the Malay States using ‘gunboat diplomacy’.

It was not until the Japanese occupation of Malaya from 1941-1945 that the Malays began to have visions of independence. This was partly triggered by the nationalist movement in Indonesia plus the realisation that the British colonialists were not that powerful after all and could be defeated by Asian powers (and Malaya would have remained ‘Asian’ if not because of the atom bomb).

It was only when the British decided to form the Malayan Union in 1946 that Umno was born, not so much to fight for independence but to oppose the Malayan Union. The Islamists in Umno, however, were not too happy with the secular foundation of the party and in 1951 the Islamists left the party to form the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PMIP).

Hence the Malays were clearly split six years before Merdeka in 1957. While Umno under the umbrella of the Alliance Party won mainly urban and non-Malay support, PMIP, now called PAS, made gains in the Malay heartland such as the East Coast states of West Malaysia. Since then the Malays would never become united under one political ideology.

In its history, PAS saw many internal crises between the liberals and the conservatives resulting in breakaway parties such as BERJASA and HAMIM being formed (and this internal crisis is still going on until today). Umno, too, saw many splits that resulted in breakaway parties such as the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP), Parti Negara, Umno Baru, Semangat 46 and Parti Keadilan Nasional being formed.

In short, the history of the Malays has always been a history of disunity. And that, unfortunately, is still true until today. Bapa Merdeka Tunku Abdul Rahman could not avoid it. Tun Dr Mahathir also could not avoid it (in fact it happened twice during the time of Dr Mahathir). And I doubt Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak can be blamed for this as well because the problem is with the Malays who have never seen unity for more than 1,000 years.

And that, if I may be so bold as to suggest, is the real Malay dilemma.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Religion mixed with politics equals violence

By SSK


All you need to do is to monitor the news from around the world to see how potent the mixture of politics and religion can be. The 30 Years War of 1618-1648 was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history. Then there were the 300-year Crusades of 1,000 years ago.

Many tragedies have been perpetuated in the name of religion and it is still going on in many parts of the world even as you read this. I can only describe the situation as a world under siege from religious extremism.

Most Malaysians are not too concerned with all these goings-on mainly because they are happening so far from home. Only when it explodes in our own backyard will it be of concern. And most feel it can never happen in Malaysia.

But that is what everyone initially felt in the many countries that these tragedies are occurring. By the time reality sets in that religious extremism and terrorism have arrived on our doorstep, it is usually too late to do anything about it.

The matter of Hudud, the Allah word issue, and the confiscation of Bibles, hymns, and other Christian literature published in Bahasa Malaysia, appear to be a never-ending problem. Just as one incident is solved another one crops up. It is beginning to look like this is going to be part of the Malaysian ‘culture’ for a long time to come.


Sarawak recently issued a statement saying that it will not allow this conflict to spread to Sarawak, as has Sabah. And this is good because Sarawak and Sabah have always been moderate in matters of religion. Sarawak and Sabah should not be dragged into the conflict facing Peninsula Malaysia.

Sarawak and Sabah have to maintain their stand regarding the issue of Hudud, the Allah word, and Christian publications in the National Language. These two states have always been the model for religious tolerance and this must not be allowed to change.

Let us keep religion out of politics to ensure that we do not slide down the slippery slope that some states in West Malaysia appear to be heading for. Sarawak and Sabah have taken the lead and we should follow their example in maintaining the solidarity between those of different religious faiths.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Is Umno on self-destruct mode?

By SSK

NAJIB

Eight years ago back in 2006, certain forces within Umno decided to launch an attack on the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The result was quite dramatic when Umno and Barisan Nasional suffered its worst ever election defeat since 1969 (at that time called the Alliance Party).

No doubt some say the 2008 general election was reflective of the peoples’ desire for change. That may be true to some extent but how do you explain Umno’s and Barisan Nasional’s best ever-election performance just four years before that in 2004 (after the beating it got in 1999)?

Notwithstanding the voter sentiments in 2008, we cannot deny that what further contributed to the 2008 general election fiasco for Umno and Barisan Nasional was the infighting in Umno. This is a fact that even the opposition admits helped turn the tide.

MUHYIDDIN
Barisan Nasional did not recover its lost ground in 2013. In fact, the slide was slightly worse. And many predict that in the next general election that must be held by 2018 we may see Barisan Nasional gasping for life if it does not get its act together.

And that is the operative phrase here: ‘if it does not get its act together’. And from what we are currently seeing, Umno and Barisan Nasional still do not understand how to get its act together.

A police report has been made regarding 1MDB and the IGP has promised that the police are going to investigate the matter. That is good because probably once and for all we can get to the bottom of this matter and lay the matter to rest.

MAHATHIR
We do not know yet what the police are going to uncover. If they do find certain improprieties then I suppose the perpetrators will be bought to book.

But what if the police investigation reveals nothing untoward and gives 1MBD a clean bill of health? Will the critics, in particular those within Umno, accept this in good faith? Or are they going to accuse the police of a cover up (like they are doing regarding the RCI on the Sabah illegal immigrant issue)?

For years they demanded a RCI on the Sabah issue. Then, once that is done, they allege that the RCI covered up many things (some even say that more than half the report is ‘missing’). Hence they still do not accept the findings of the RCI after demanding that one is done.

I fear the same will happen with the police investigation on 1MDB. They demand police action and when the police do act they will say the police did not act in a transparent manner.

The fact that a police report was made means they want the police to act. And if they do not trust the police to act fairly then why make a police report and demand that they do act? That is the crux of the matter.

PAK LAH
Maybe the motive is to embarrass the Prime Minister and engineer his ouster. That, too, was what happened in 2006. And we can see the result of that in 2008. Do they now want to risk the same thing repeated in the coming general election?

Even if they successfully oust the Prime Minister it does not mean Umno or Barisan Nasional is going to win back the support of the voters. There are many issues that need to be resolved and unless these are resolved it does not matter who the new Prime Minister is going to be.

And the most important issue of all is that Umno and Barisan Nasional need to address the unhappiness of the voters of Sabah and Sarawak. This is what is going to determine the future of the ruling coalition.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

You do not need a passport to be a Malaysian

By SSK

There appears to be some confusion regarding passports and citizenship. First, some Malaysians think that if you do not have a passport, or your passport is cancelled, then you are no longer a Malaysian citizen. Next, some Malaysians think that it is unlawful for the government to cancel your passport.

You do not need a passport to be a citizen whether in Malaysia or in any other country in the world. A passport is merely a travel document. Millions in Malaysia and billions all over the world are citizens but do not posses a passport.

The passport that you are issued is not your property but the property of the government. That is clearly stated on your passport. Hence a passport is not a right but a privilege. And you can lose this privilege under certain circumstances or if you misuse your passport.

Bankrupts plus directors of companies or owners of businesses who defaulted on their EPF contribution can be barred from leaving the country. And if they still try to leave the country their passports can be impounded. The same goes for those who have evaded paying their income tax and are on the blacklist.

If these people still need to leave the country for special reasons, such as for medical treatment, then they will need a letter of permission before they can leave the country. Sometimes they might even be asked to place a security to ensure they return to the country. If not the immigration will impound their passports at the exit point.

Sometimes this also applies to those facing trial and who are free on bail. The court can ask that the passports of the person on bail be impounded if the court feels that the person is a flight risk or if the prosecution demands it be done.

In the 1970s a friend of mine lost his passport and he was barred from being issued a new one for five years. In the 1970s, the Immigration Department viewed losing your passport as a serious offence and even if you needed to leave the country the Immigration would issue a single-trip passport valid for only one year, but only if you can prove it is important for you to leave the country.

This confusion needs to be cleared up because there are Malaysians who think that once your passport is cancelled or impounded then you are no longer a Malaysian citizen. That is not so or else probably ten million or more Malaysians would not be citizens since they do not posses a passport.

Integriti penting untuk perangi rasuah: Salleh

KOTA KINABALU: Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Salleh Tun Said Keruak menegaskan pentingnya prinsip integriti diberi perhatian dalam usaha memerangi rasuah di pelbagai peringkat.

Beliau berkata integriti penting bukan saja dalam diri seseorang individu, tetapi juga dalam sesebuah organisasi secara keseluruhan.

"Integriti adalah sifat jati diri yang merangkumi juga keikhlasan, keterbukaan, ketelusan, amanah, benar, berpegang kepada prinsip, tidak mudah dipengaruhi, boleh dipercayai, boleh pegang cakapnya dan lain-lain lagi.

"Integriti merujuk kepada himpunan kualiti unggul yang wujud dalam kalangan individu dan kualiti ini berteraskan kepada prinsip berpegang teguh kepada kejujuran dan amalan bermoral tinggi," katanya.

Beliau bercakap pada Persidangan Anti-Rasuah peringkat negeri Sabah anjuran Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) bertema `Sokongan rakyat nadi perangi rasuah' di sini hari ini.

Salleh yang juga Timbalan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Sabah berkata soal integriti bukan hanya terpakai untuk pemimpin akar-umbi atau peringkat atasan pentadbiran, malah penduduk tempatan juga seharusnya mempraktikkan integriti dalam hidup mereka.

"Contohnya, jika mereka melihat orang yang tidak dikenali atau pendatang asing yang menyusup masuk ke kampung mereka, penduduk terbabit seharusnya segera melaporkan kepada pihak berkuasa, khususnya pasukan keselamatan supaya tindakan susulan dapat dilaksanakan.

"Jika elemen integriti ini diamalkan, sudah tentu kehadiran pendatang asing ke negeri kita mudah untuk dikawal," katanya.

Selain itu, katanya, integriti di kalangan majikan atau organisasi juga penting untuk memerangi gejala rasuah di negeri ini.

Katanya, kerajaan sudah berkali-kali mengingatkan majikan supaya tidak menggaji pendatang tanpa izin, namun masih ada juga majikan yang "tidak mengikut peraturan" mengambil pekerja asing tanpa dokumen sah semata-mata mahu mengaut keuntungan.

"Adakalanya keingkaran mereka boleh memudaratkan keselamatan rakyat di negeri ini. Saya percaya senario ini adalah antara cabaran utama kerajaan terutama SPRM dalam memastikan amalan rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa sentiasa terkawal. Saya melihat peranan SPRM amat besar dan mencabar," katanya.

Salleh yang juga bekas Ketua Menteri menegaskan semua pihak jangan menunding jari kepada kerajaan semata-mata, sebaliknya bersama-sama memberikan kerjasama.

Katanya, masyarakat perlu memandang rasuah sebagai satu jenayah yang keji untuk membendung gejala rasuah.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kenyataan Kit Siang Petanda Jangka Hayat Pakatan Pembangkang Bakal Berakhir - Salleh


KOTA KINABALU, 9 Dis – Timbalan Pengerusi Perhubungan UMNO Negeri Sabah, Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Said Keruak menyifatkan kenyataan penasihat DAP, Lim Kit Siang yang meragui pakatan akan terus bertahan sehingga ke PRU ke 14 sebagai satu isyarat yang jelas bahawa pergolakan dalaman antara ketiga-tiga parti tersebut kini berada di tahap kritikal yang bakal mengundangkan kepada perpecahan.

Kata beliau, berdasarkan senario politik pakatan pembangkang sejak kebelakangan ini sememangnya jelas memperlihatkan keretakan yang serius dalam perpaduan dan perhubungan antara ketiga-tiga parti tersebut.

“Bagi saya, perkara ini memang sudah kita jangkakan sejak dari awal lagi di mana pakatan antara ketiga-tiga parti itu tidak akan kekal lama. Jika kita lihat sejarah, perkara yang sama juga berlaku ketika Pas, PKR dan juga DAP membentuk Barisan Alternatif yang akhirnya berpecah.

“Apa yang saya lihat, ketiga-tiga parti itu membentuk pakatan rakyat adalah semata-mata untuk satu matlamat iaitu menjatuhkan BN sebagai pemerintah dan tidak ada perkara lain yang menyatukan mereka selain matlamat itu. Jika dilihat dari sudut ideologi dan pegangan politik ketiga-tiga parti itu jelas sekali amat berbeza sekali seperti langit dan bumi.

“Faktor ideologi politik yang amat berbeza ini bagi saya merupakan satu faktor utama yang menyebabkan kerjasama mereka akan menghadapi masalah dan seterusnya membawa kepada perpecahan, sepertimana yang berlaku ketika mereka membentuk barisan alternatif pada tahun 1999 dulu,” jelas beliau kepada UMNO-Online di sini hari ini.

Tambah Salleh, harapan mereka untuk menjatuhkan BN melalui PRU ke 13 terlalu tinggi namun mereka gagal dan kegagalan ini ternyata telah mengundang rasa kecewa yang amat mendalam terhadap kepimpinan pembangkang khususnya Dap.

“Kegagalan mereka untuk menumbangkan BN ini sebenarnya telah memberikan kesan yang kuat kepada pakatan itu sendiri. Ditambah pula dengan isu MB Selangor yang tercetus dari sikap Anwar dan PKR yang pandai-pandai sendiri seperti isu Langkah Kajang juga telah menyebabkan timbulnya konflik yang semakin parah antara ketiga-tiga parti tersebut khususnya antara Pas dan Dap.

“Dan kemelut pemilihan MB Selangor inilah sebenarnya kemuncak kepada kemelut dan konflik dalaman pakatan pembangkang apabila antara ketiga-tiga parti itu sudah hilang kepercayaan khususnya Dap dan Pas yang saling bertelagah dan salah menyalah antara satu sama lain.

“Ia juga sebenarnya telah membuka tembelang kelemahan dan ketidakmampuan Anwar untuk mengetuai pakatan pembangkang yang telah menyebabkan hilangnya kepercayaan kepimpinan Dap dan Pas terhadap beliau,” jelas lagi.

Beliau seterusnya berkata bahawa pakatan pembangkang bukanlah satu pakatan yang boleh diharapkan untuk mentadbir negara dengan lebih baik daripada kerajaan yang sedia ada pada hari ini.

“Mereka ini berpolitik hanya untuk kepentingan peribadi dan untuk kepentingan agenda parti masing-masing, dan bukannya untuk rakyat. Perkara ini terbukti dengan segala konflik dan perpecahan dalaman yang semakin kritikal hari ini yang bagi saya, mungkin tidak akan dapat diselamatkan.

“Jadi rakyat di negara ini harus melihat perkara ini dengan fikiran yang rasional dan bukan berdasarkan sentimen dan emosi bahawa pakatan pembangkang bukanlah satu gabungan parti yang mampu memerintah dan mampu membawa negara untuk ke tahap yang lebih baik dari apa yang ada hari ini,” akhirnya.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SALLEH EXPRESSES FULL SUPPORT FOR STATE CABINET'S STAND ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ISSUE

KOTA KINABALU, -- Sabah Umno Deputy Liaison Chief Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has expressed 'full support' for the state cabinet's call to the relevant authorities to take drastic action against the culprits behind the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah..

He said the remarks made by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman of the state cabinet's stand on the matter was reflective of the Sabah government's sincerity and seriousness in resolving the longstanding problems.

"Now is the time to move forward on meaningful reform of our approaches and policies to tackle the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah once and for all.

"In this respect, I fully support the state cabinet's stand on this issue. Of course, we cannot solve this problem overnight...but at least it gives us a glimpse of hope to end the illegal immigrants' saga. What is important now is for us to be united in realising this noble cause," he said in a statement, here today.

Salleh, who is also State Legislative Assembly Speaker was commenting on Musa's statement with regard to the state cabinet's stand following the release of the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

The RCI report titled, 'Commission of Inquiry on Immigrants in Sabah' was revealed by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, yesterday.

Ali was quoted as saying that the government had agreed to set a Permanent Committee to deal with the matter of illegal immigrants in Sabah as recommended by the RCI on the issue, and the committee would be jointly chaired by the Chief Minister of Sabah and the Home Minister, and would report to the Federal Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister.

He said a Working Committee chaired by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan would also be formed.

Ali was also quoted as stressing that the RCI investigation did not find the issuance of the ICs purportedly under 'Projek IC' to be politically motivated and instead found that the unlawful issuance of blue identity cards (IC) to illegal immigrants in the state was financially motivated.

In welcoming the release of the findings, Salleh said the RCI report had shed some light on some irresponsible individuals who were involved in the illegal issuance of IC for monetary gains and hoped the authorites would bring these culprits to justice.

"Certainly, our government do not condone any individual who breaches the immigration rules or goes against the law," he said, adding the people of Sabah should accept the findingsof the RCI, which is based on evidence, with open heart, and called on the people to not politicise the "Project IC" issue for poltical gains.

Salleh said the government was committed to finding solutions to the perennial problems associated with the influx of the illegal immigrants for the good of the people, the state and the country.

"Let us move forward to the future carrying with us the best from the past...let us work together for the sake of our future generation," he said.

He thanked the Federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who fulfilled its promise to establish the RCI and release its findings.

The RCI panel consists of independence people - respected retired civil servants and judge, and is not part of the government and does not answerable to the government.

The RCI formed on Aug 11, 2012 was chaired by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong.

Others on the committee were former vice-chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Prof Datuk Seri Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon, former Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Tan Sri Henry Chin Poy Wu, former Sabah State Secretary Datuk K.Y Mustafa and former Sabah Chief Minister and former Sabah Attorney-General, Tan Sri Herman J. Luping.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The impact of the world economy on Malaysia

By SSK


With the price of oil and gold falling and the Ringgit declining against foreign currencies (now RM5.5-5.6 against the Pound Sterling from RM4.8-4.9 just a couple of years ago), Malaysia has to brace itself for a repeat of the 1988 and 1997 financial crises.

The problem that the country is going to face is that Malaysia’s recently approved budget for next year was pegged at a higher contribution from Petronas, which contributes to about 30% of the government’s revenue, and which is now going to fall short.

There is talk that the oil price may fall even lower, possibly even below US$60 a barrel, and if this happens many countries are going to get hit, Malaysia included.

As has been pointed out by many political analysts, Barisan Nasional needs at least 45% of the popular votes to stay in power while the opposition needs at least 55% to take power. This is because of the way the seats are carved up, what some would call gerrymandering, something that exists even in the UK and US and is not illegal.


Hence there is only a 2% or so gap to see a change in federal government, not a very large gap indeed.
Barisan Nasional has to take cognisance of this fact. Changes in government happen when the rakyat are facing an economic crisis. In the 1988 and 1997 crises it was not so crucial. The opposition made some gains in the 1990 and 1999 general elections that followed but not enough for a change of federal government, mainly because the gap was quite wide.

This time, however, the gap is very narrow, just 2%. Hence a 2% shift in popular votes, although not enough to do much damage in 1990 and 1999, may have an affect this time around.

Barisan Nasional must not only brace itself for a crash-landing but also be able to survive this crash-landing in one piece.

This should be Barisan Nasional’s focus in the 12 months to come, unless by the grace of Allah the price of oil goes back up to US$80 a barrel or higher.

Monday, November 24, 2014

MENYINGKAP UNGKAPAN "2K" PERDANA MENTERI

Oleh SSK

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hari ini membuat komen yang amat menarik mengenai ungkapan atau prinsip "2K" - Knowledge (pengetahuan) dan Skill (kemahiran) yang perlu dimiliki anggota Umno bagi meraih semula sokongan pengundi di bandar.

Sesungguhnya, inilah cabaran atau masalah yang selama ini dihadapi parti pemerintah -- pada mulanya Parti Perikatan dan kemudiannya, Barisan Nasional (BN) - sejak 35 tahun yang lalu iaitu pada tahun 1969.

Malah sejak 35 tahun yang lalu, pola sokongan pengundi bandar lebih berpihak kepada parti pembangkang atau lebih tepat lagi, mereka mengundi menentang parti pemerintah yang serupa kecenderungannya di seluruh dunia.

Sebagai contoh, di Thailand tunjuk perasaan anti-kerajaan tertumpu di bandaraya Bangkok manakala penduduk luar bandar menyokong kerajaan. Keadaan yang serupa juga berlaku di Jakarta, Manila, Hong Kong dan sebagainya.

Dalam hal ini, Malaysia tidak terkecuali, dan pada tahun 1969 Parti Perikatan menyedari ia telah kehilangan sokongan penduduk bandar dan apabila BN ditubuhkan, ia mempelawa parti-parti pembangkang termasuk PAS, Gerakan, PPP dan lain-lain untuk menyertai parti gabungan itu.

Pada tahun 1969, Parti Perikatan hampir kehilangan kuasa di Perak dan Selangor dan kehilangan kuasa di Pulau Pinang dan Kelantan. Pada tahun 1974, selepas BN ditubuhkan, ia sudah diambang kehilangan kuasa di Selangor jika tidak kerana hakikat Kuala Lumpur dijadikan sebagai Wilayah Persekutuan, dan dengan itu, Selangor berjaya diselamatkan daripada jatuh ke tangan pembangkang -- kerana kehilangan Kuala Lumpur kepada pembangkang tidak lagi menjejaskan kedudukannya di Selangor.

Nampaknya bukan mudah memenangi hati pengundi bandar bukan sahaja di negara kita tetapi di seluruh dunia.Ini kerana pengundi bandar lebih berkemampuan (atau dalam kategori golongan berada) berbanding pengundi luar bandar. Berbeza dengan tahap kebergantungan pengundi luar bandar kepada kerajaan, pengundi bandar tidak terlalu mengharap bantuan kerajaan. Oleh itu, untuk menarik sokongan pengundi bandar, Umno tidak lagi boleh bermain 'politik kampung'.


Inilah yang dimaksudkan dengan ungkapan 2K. Umno mesti mempunyai pengetahuan dan kemahiran untuk mendalami harapan pengundi bandar dan seterusnya memenuhi harapan mereka. Dengan kewujudan kaedah komunikasi yang moden termasuk penggunaan internet, arena politik dunia kini bertambah canggih. Pengundi, khususnya di kawasan bandar, kini lebih bermaklumat.

Jadi apa yang dikatakan oleh Perdana Menteri adalah betul bahawa anggota Umno harus lebih berpengetahuan dan mahir jika mahu memenangi semula sokongan pengundi bandar.

Kebanyakan strategi politik masa lampau tidak lagi "mengena" untuk pengundi bandar. Jangkaan dan harapan mereka amat tinggi, dan melainkan jika Umno boleh menyesuaikan strategi termasuk memenuhi harapan pengundi bandar, saingan pilihan raya umum akan datang bertambah hebat dan mencabar.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

About the Prime Minister’s ‘2K’

 By SSK

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak made a most interesting comment today about Umno members requiring ‘2K’ -- knowledge and kemahiran (skill) -- to be able to win back the support of the urban voters.

Actually, this has been a problem that the ruling party -- in the beginning the Alliance Party and, later, Barisan Nasional -- has been facing since 35 years ago back in 1969.

Even 35 years ago the urban voters have been voting opposition, or, more accurately, have been voting anti-establishment, which is more or less the same the world over.

Take Thailand as an example. The anti-government protest was mainly in Bangkok while the rural population supported the government. And the same happened in Jakarta, Manila, Hong Kong, and so on.

So Malaysia is no different and in 1969 the Alliance Party realised it was losing the support of the urban population when it formed Barisan Nasional and brought the opposition parties such as PAS, Gerakan, PPP, etc., into the ruling coalition.

In 1969, the Alliance Party almost lost Perak and Selangor, and it did lose Penang and Kelantan. In 1974, after Barisan Nasional was formed, it would have lost Selangor if not for the fact that Kuala Lumpur was turned into Federal Territory and hence Selangor was saved from falling into the hands of the opposition since the loss of Kuala Lumpur to the opposition no longer affected Selangor.

Urban voters are hard to please, the world over. This is because urban voters are more affluent than the rural voters so they do not need the government as much as the rural voters do. Therefore, to attract the support of the urban voters, Umno can no longer play ‘kampung politics’.

This is what the 2K should be all about. Umno must have the knowledge and skill regarding what the urban voters expect and how to live up to those expectations. Because of the Internet and other modern and efficient modes of communication, politics the world over has become more sophisticated. The voters, especially in the urban areas, are now better informed.

So the Prime Minister is correct in saying that Umno has to become more knowledgeable and skilled if it wants to win back the support of the urban voters.

Much of the political strategies of the past no longer apply to the urban voters. The expectation of the urban voters is very high and unless Umno can manage these expectations the next general election is going to be an uphill battle.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BR1M was a promise Barisan Nasional made to the voters

By SSK

There are some in Umno and many in the opposition who feel that the BR1M program is immoral and smacks of bribery and should be ended. If so then what good are election manifestos and election promises if we do not deliver on these promises?

I would like to remind these people that the BR1M program was stated in Barisan Nasional’s April 2013 election manifesto, which goes as follows:

For the entire populace, schooling aid of RM100 per child and the RM250 1Malaysia Book Voucher scheme help alleviate expenditure, while the BR1M assistance for households earning below RM3,000 and singles earning below RM2,000, has provided much welcome relief.

In the next FIVE years, we commit to:

- Gradually increasing BR1M up to RM1,200 for households and RM600 for singles while maintaining it on an annual basis;

- Increasing 1Malaysia Book Vouchers to RM300 & Schooling Aid to RM150;

So it was clearly stated that BR1M will not only be implemented but will be increased over five years from 2013 to 2018 when the next general election is expected.

This was what the Prime Minister promised the voters and since Barisan Nasional won the election and is still in power then it is the duty of the Prime Minster to make good this promise.

Are election manifestos and election promises merely a means to fool or trick the voters into voting for you and once you win the election you renege on these promises? Is this the mark of a responsible Prime Minister and government?

The voters voted for you because of what you promised to do if they voted for you. So we have to be very careful about breaking these promises. Promises have been made and promises must be delivered. And BR1M is one of the promises that were made.

And this is one very crucial issue that the Umno General Assembly must discuss next weekend. Do we want the Prime Minister to end BR1M? And if he does end it, is Umno prepared to face the risk of losing votes in the next general election?

We must seriously consider this point and not get emotional due to the call from the opposition, which is being echoed by some in Umno, that the BR1M program should be terminated. If we do terminate it after promising it in the April 2013 election manifesto Umno may suffer a backlash from the voters.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What we need to discuss in the Umno General Assembly

By SSK


Political parties are all the same. In the run-up to each general election, they will reveal their most impressive election manifesto and make all sorts of promises to the voters.

Then, once the election is over, the manifesto will be quietly and conveniently forgotten until the next election, when most likely a rehashed or modified version of the last general election’s manifesto will again be presented to the voters.

Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are both guilty of not honouring their election promises, or at least not all their election promises. The truth is not all these promises can be honoured because some of the promises made are impossible to achieve. They were made just to make the manifesto look impressive.


Nevertheless, to be fair, some of these promises can be delivered. But it requires great political will to deliver them. And not all will be popular with the voters or with the grassroots supporters of the political parties.

Umno will be having its General Assembly at the end of this month. It is now about 18 months since the last general election of May 2013 and we have maybe three years or so to go before the next general election.

I would suggest that the Umno General Assembly focus on Barisan Nasional’s election manifesto that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak presented on 6th April 2013. Umno should do a post mortem on how much of these promises have been delivered and how much more needs to be done and how it can be achieved.

The test of the pudding is in the eating, as US President Bush said. Hence when Barisan Nasional faces the voters in three year’s time or so, it will need to impress the voters as to how much of its promises have been delivered and whether whatever promises it makes in the coming general election can be taken with any credibility.

If I want to go through the entire list of promises made in April 2013, and dissect what have thus far been achieved, I will need to write a 20-page thesis, or longer. Instead, maybe you can read the complete verbatim version of the Barisan Nasional election manifesto (in the link below) and see what has thus far been delivered and what more needs to be done.

And this, I strongly believe, is what the Umno delegates should be analysing and debating on in the General Assembly next weekend. The confidence of the voters in how Barisan Nasional keeps its promises would be one way the coalition could continue getting the support of the voters. There is no other way that Barisan Nasional can convince the voters that the coalition is worth voting for.

ADDENDUM: BARISAN NASIONAL GE 13 ELECTION MANIFESTO http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/04/06/GE13-BARISAN-NASIONAL-MANIFESTO/




Friday, November 14, 2014

Is the criticism of Najib sincere?

By SSK
NAJIB

Ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has yet again criticised Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak regarding BRIM, which Dr Mahathir calls bribery.

While some may be of the opinion that giving aid to the needy through BRIM is not the right way of doing things, none have offered their alternative proposal on how the people should receive aid and which they may consider the better way of doing things.

Soon after the 2013 general election, Dr Mahathir accused the Prime Minister of pandering too much to the Chinese and of not giving enough attention to the Malays, who form the backbone of Umno’s support.

Now, when the Prime Minister introduces BRIM, which goes to the needy, and hence benefits the Malays since more of them are amongst the needy group, the Prime Minister is accused of an attempt to bribe the people.

MAHATHIR

This is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I am sure the Prime Minister will be open to suggestions and if anyone, Dr Mahathir included, has a better idea on how aid can be given to the people this new and better idea can be adopted to replace BRIM.

Criticising is one thing and surely Malaysia as a democracy can tolerate criticism, even against the Prime Minister. But it should be constructive criticism where we also offer alternative views on how to improve what we view as weaknesses in the present system.

PERANGI FAHAMAN EXTREME, JANGAN BIARKAN MENULAR KE SABAH

Oleh SSK

1. HAMPIR semua akhbar di Sabah pada Khamis menyiarkan laporan penafian Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) menghalang sambutan perayaan Krismas dalam kawasan kampusnya.

2. Saya hairan kenapa cerita ini tiba-tiba timbul sehingga pihak UMS terpaksa membuat penafian. Rupanya, ia dimainkan oleh segelintir puak yang terpengaruh dengan fahaman extreme.
MASJID ATAS BUKIT PADANG BANDARAN KK

3. Cerita tersebut menjadi viral menerusi media sosial sehingga menjadi bualan ramai dan mencetuskan polemik, sedangkan soal larangan itu tidak pernah berlaku pun.

4. Ia bertambah hangat apabila cerita tersebut tersebar beberapa hari selepas kumpulan yang mendakwa sebagai aktivis pelajar dari Semenanjung, dilarang daripada mengadakan pidato di universiti berkenaan.

5. Apabila dua cerita ini dikaitkan, maka bertambah sensasi lagi kontroversinya.

6. Menurut penjelasan Naib Canselor UMS, Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah, pihaknya tidak pernah melarang penganjuran sambutan Krismas.

7. “Pihak universiti dengan rendah diri menafikannya dan menyifatkan ia sebagai salah faham. Cadangan sambutan Krismas telah awal mendapat kelulusan dan pihak UMS sendiri turut menyediakan bajet untuk pelaksanaannya,” demikian penjelasannya.

8. UMS turut menyokong hasrat pelajar yang inginkan penganjurannya dibuat secara meriah dengan melibatkan komuniti setempat seiring dengan usaha merakyatkan universiti.

9. Justeru, UMS memberi pilihan sama ada sambutan diadakan di luar kampus bagi memudahkan kehadiran lebih ramai pengunjung, katanya.

10. Dengan penjelasan UMS itu, kita berharap ia menjadi noktah kepada cerita yang tiada kebenaran itu.
GEREJA SECRET HEART KK

11. Inilah bahaya menyebar berita yang belum ada kesahihannya. Ia boleh memesongkan fakta dan pemikiran jika tidak disekat.

12. Sebenarnya soal tidak membenarkan rakyat Malaysia meraikan perayaan agama masing-masing sepatutnya tidak timbul. Ini kerana kebebasan meraikan perayaan agama termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Malaysia. Tidak boleh dipertikaikan.

13. Tetapi bagi puak yang terpengaruh fahaman extreme, mereka sanggup melakukan apa saja. Hanya untuk mencapai agenda sempit, memecahbelah kesatuan dan perpaduan.

14. Kita di Sabah sebenarnya tidak berlaku hal seperti ini. Kita saling hormat-menghormati antara satu sama lain. Tahap perpaduan begitu subur.

15. Jika ada pemikiran sedemikian, ia timbul kerana ada segelintir yang terpengaruh dengan fahaman extreme dan perlu disekat.

16. Kita di Sabah sudah biasa amalkan budaya hormat menghormati. Hubungan kekeluargaan antara kaum berlainan agama bukan sesuatu yang ganjil. Saya sendiri `celebrate' perayaan Krismas dengan kalangan ipar yang beragama Kristian.

17. Justeru, kita kena pupuk fahaman tolak ansur dan persefahaman yang diwarisi sejak sekian lama di Sabah. Sebarang pemikiran extreme tidak harus dibiar menular ke sini, kerana ia menjejaskan keharmonian di sini.

18. Kita perlu tegas dalam memerangi pemikiran yang tidak selari dengan orang Sabah.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What the voters need to be told

By SSK


Two days ago, an opposition portal reported that 1MDB lost RM670 million for year-end 31st March 2014 compared to a profit of RM878 million the year before, a swing of RM1.5 billion. It also reported that this loss was against a backdrop of an increase in revenue from RM2.6 billion to RM4.3 billion.

While 1MDB’s assets grew from RM45 billion to RM51 billion, its debts increased to RM42 billion from RM36 billion previously, reported the portal -- which also questioned how much of this increase in assets came from asset revaluation, meaning only paper gains?

The criticism or attacks against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak by the opposition social media is quite expected. Even if 1MDB reports a positive performance they will still ask, “Why are the profits so low; why not higher than that?”

The concern, however, is not about the attacks from the opposition, which will still attack the Prime Minister never mind what he does and how well he performs. The concern is the attacks by Umno leaders themselves, past and present, in particular from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Tun Daim even said that if Najib is not careful 1MDB might result in his downfall.

One thing that is very clear is that Tun Daim’s (and Dr Mahathir’s) comment was aimed at the Umno members, not for the consumption of the opposition supporters (who will still not support the Prime Minister even if Tun Daim says positive things about Najib) and it is targeted for the coming Umno General Assembly.

DAIM
Basically, those in Umno opposed to the Prime Minister hope that this will set the stage for an orgy of Najib-bashing during the Umno General Assembly. Hence Najib needs to nip the move in the bud by explaining the financial results of 1MDB so that it becomes a non-issue and no longer needs to be the main focus of the assembly.

MAHATHIR
If the Umno General Assembly gets bogged down by issues such as 1MDB, that will distract the delegates from the more important issues such as how can Umno reform from within to give the voters more confidence to throw their support behind Barisan Nasional come the next general election.

This is what is going to determine Umno’s future and make it still relevant. And there are enough positive things that Najib has done, but which are not being highlighted, to convince the voters that Umno is moving in the right direction.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Najib's task ahead of him

By SSK

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has asked the entire Umno Selangor leadership to step down so that Umno Selangor can be revamped and to make way for new faces to take over the leadership.

Mahathir added that amongst the current Umno Selangor leadership not a single candidate is suitable to take over as Menteri Besar in the event Barisan Nasional manages to win back that state in the next general election.
NAJIB

This is actually the issue of the chicken and the egg. It is not so much who is suitable to be the Menteri Besar if Barisan Nasional manages to win back the state. It is how can Barisan Nasional win back the state if Umno Selangor does not have the proper leadership?

The ball is now in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s court. Najib must not fear of being decisive. There are many issues that need a strong hand to tackle and the problem in Selangor is just one of many.

With three years or so to go before the next general election, time is not on Najib’s side. Many issues that have been raised by the opposition are not really that difficult to explain to the people.

The problem is while the opposition has the advantage of the social media and online news portals, the silence from the Prime Minister’s Office is giving the impression that what the opposition is saying is the truth.

The 2008 and 2013 general elections were basically a media war. The opposition was successful in its media campaign while the government was not. And this is what we shall see in the next general election as well.

We need to hear more from the Prime Minister. Najib must not be scared of speaking out and of replying to the many allegations against the government. Malaysians need to see that Malaysia has a strong prime minister and not what the opposition plus some of those in Umno allege.

And the first thing that Najib can do to show the country that he is in charge and is decisive is to revamp Umno Selangor in preparation for the coming general election.

Monday, November 3, 2014

MASA DEPAN UMNO TERLETAK DI JALAN TENGAH KESEDERHANAAN

Oleh SSK

NAJIB

Kedua-dua Barisan Nasional (BN) dan Pakatan Rakyat (PR) nampaknya dijangkiti "penyakit" yang sama -- kecelaruan menentukan hala tuju perjuangan. Umpama tangan kanan tidak tahu apa yang tangan kiri lakukan atau bahagian atas tidak bergerak seirama dengan bahagian bawah. Kata orang Melayu ekor dan kepala tak sama.


Sebagai contoh, krisis pelantikan Menteri Besar di Selangor baru-baru ini dan desakan untuk menguatkuasakan Undang-Undang Hudud di Kelantan. Pihak atasan mendesak untuk bergerak ke satu arah manakala pihak bawahan menyokong arah yang bertentangan. Keadaan ini jelas kelihatan di kalangan sekutu gabungan Pakatan Rakyat. 


Ini terbukti apabila Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng dalam kenyataan hari ini memberi amaran kepada sekutunya dalam Pakatan Rakyat supaya konsisten dalam perjuangan pakatan pembangkang itu.


Keadaan yang sama juga berlaku dalam BN dan Umno. Umno mahu bergerak lebih ke haluan kanan manakala parti-parti komponen BN yang lain lebih menjurus ke jalan tengah atau pendekatan yang sederhana.


Dalam Umno sendiri, Perdana Menteri mahu hala tuju parti terarah ke jalan tengah kesederhanaan namun pemimpin lain mahukan pergerakan itu tertumpu ke haluan kanan. Sebab itu, pergerakan NGO seperti PERKASA dan ISMA kini lebih terserlah dan mempunyai jumlah pengikut yang agak ramai dan mula merisaukan.


Arena politik Malaysia telah berubah dari satu era ke era yang lain. Trend semasa politik di pelusuk dunia kini lebih bersifat sentralistik, and kedua-dua gabungan BN dan Pakatan Rakyat tidak dapat merealisasikannya di negara ini.


Bagi memastikan kekal relevan, dan seterusnya kekal berkuasa, ada baiknya Umno bergerak menjurus ke jalan tengah kesederhanaan. Tentu sekali pejuang nasional, Islam, dan sebagainya merasa tidak senang hati pendekatan seumpama ini. 


Sesetengah nasionalis Melayu berpendapat masa depan UMNO terletak pada hala tuju parti yang lebih memperjuangkan Melayu. PAS pula berpendapat ia seharusnya lebih berlandaskan kepada perjuangan agenda Islam sebagai umpan meraih sokongan orang Melayu dari UMNO.


Puak pelampau haluan kanan atau kiri bukan lagi kumpulan majoriti dalam masyarakat Malaysia. Apabila diselaraskan masa berlaku, kita bakal melihat situasi di mana golongan yang memilih jalan tengah atau pendekatan yang sederhana akan mengatasi jumlah golongan pelampau atau ekstremis. Jalan tengah kesederhanaan inilah letaknya masa depan Umno.


Jika Umno mengabaikan hakikat ini, ia berdepan risiko sendiri. Pembangkang tidak boleh mengetepikan Umno sebagai parti tidak relevan. Hanya Umno yang boleh membuat parti itu sendiri tidak relevan, dan ini seharusnya menjadi petunjuk kepada Perdana Menteri dan bukan suara orang-orang yang mahu melihat Malaysia kembali ke era pra-1969.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Umno’s future is in the centre

By SSK
NAJIB

Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are both suffering from the same ailment. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing and the top is not moving in tandem with the bottom. Malays call this ekor dan kepala tak sama.

The recent Menteri Besar crisis in Selangor and the push for Hudud laws in Kelantan are just two of many examples. The top is pushing in one direction while the bottom is pushing in the opposite direction. Then one partner in Pakatan Rakyat wants this while the other partner wants that.
MAHATHIR

Lim Guan Eng’s statement today where he warned the Pakatan Rakyat allies to be consistent reinforces this point.

Barisan Nasional and Umno are no less chaotic. Umno wants to move more to the right whereas the other partners in Barisan Nasional want to move more to the centre.

Within Umno itself the Prime Minister wants to move more to the centre while others prefer to move more to the right. Hence movements such as PERKASA and ISMA are taking centre-stage and have an alarmingly high following.

GUAN ENG
Malaysian politics has been changing from one era to another. The current trend worldwide is for more centralist politics. And neither of the two coalitions is able to deliver this.

For Umno to stay relevant, and hence stay in power, would be for the party to move more to the centre. No doubt the nationalists, Islamists, and so on, would not be happy with this. Some Malay nationalists feel that Umno’s future lies in the party being more Malay-centric. PAS thinks it should be more Islam-centric to be able to take Malay support away from Umno.

HADI AWANG
The extreme right or extreme left no longer make up the majority in Malaysian society. As time goes on we are going to see the centrists outnumbering the extremists. And herein lies Umno’s future.

Umno ignores this fact at its own peril. The opposition cannot make Umno irrelevant. Only Umno can make itself irrelevant. And this should be what guides the Prime Minister and not the voice of those who want to see Malaysia return to the pre-1969 era.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Bar Council’s wavering stand

By SSK

Seven months ago, the Bar Council president, Christopher Leong, said that a resolution had been passed to ask the government to prohibit retired judges from litigating in court.

“It’s understandable that a person represented by a lawyer will feel that he is at a disadvantage if the adverse party is represented by a retired judge. It is not the question of whether there’s actually bias or advantage. 

The point is, it affects public confidence and that outweighs their ability to appear in court,” said Leong. “This amendment doesn’t stop them from practising, they can still do conveyance and consultation, just not go to court.”

Leong cited examples of Singapore, Sri Lanka and India, which prohibits retired judges from litigating in court. Australia’s Victoria state even punishes those breaking the rule by forfeiting their judicial pension. The Bar Council has vowed to take all reasonable steps to educate the public on the reasons for the proposed amendment to the law.

Yesterday, Syahredzan Johanin, a Bar Council member, said there is nothing wrong for retired Federal Court judge, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, acting as Anwar Ibrahim’s lead counsel in his sodomy conviction appeal. How would that reconcile with the resolution passed by the Bar Council and would they make a special exception for Gopal Sri Ram?

Syahredzan explained that the Bar Council resolution was only a proposal and not legally binding. Recently the Bar Council also passed a resolution asking the government to abolish the Sedition Act. Can we treat that resolution the same way we are being asked to treat the resolution regarding retired judges?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TIME FOR MAHATHIR TO BE MORE STATESMAN

By SSK

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement today that it is not wrong for Ibrahim Ali to suggest that Bahasa Malaysia Bibles be burned and that such a statement is not seditious does not go down well with Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak.

The argument that even Qur’ans can be burned is not valid. Qur’ans that are old and tattered and can no longer be read must be burned to ensure that it is not treated like trash and thrown into a dustbin alongside other dirty things and whatnot.


Burning Qur’ans, in this case, is an act of respect. Burning Qur’ans as a mark of protest is not a mark of respect, especially if done by non-Muslims to protest against Islam.

In this instance we are talking about Muslims burning Bibles to protest Christians using Allah in the Bible. This is not meant as a mark of respect like Muslims burning old and tattered Qur’ans.

We should put this issue to sleep instead of continuing to fan the flames. Tun Dr Mahathir should speak out with a voice of liberalism and not with a voice of extremism.


Telling Malaysians that it is right for Ibrahim Ali to call for the burning of the Bible is not something Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak will endorse. Even if the Christians do not protest such statements, Muslims will still feel uncomfortable with something like that.

I, of course, am speaking as a Muslim from Sabah, which may not be the way Muslims from West Malaysia will look at things. But it is something that has to be said although I am not claiming to represent the voice of every single Muslim in the state.