Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reformasi 2.0 move is about dumping BN to fix Malaysia’s institutions, says Rafizi

BY EILEEN NG
APRIL 16, 2014
PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli with a copy of ‘Reformasi 2.0’. He says the aim of the Reformasi 2.0 campaign is to provoke the younger generation into questioning the independence of the judiciary. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, April 16, 2014.PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli with a copy of ‘Reformasi 2.0’. He says the aim of the Reformasi 2.0 campaign is to provoke the younger generation into questioning the independence of the judiciary. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, April 16, 2014.PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli is clear about the central message in the party's new Reformasi 2.0 campaign – it is about throwing out the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to fix Malaysia's institutions.
The Pandan MP said he hoped to provoke the younger generation into questioning the independence of the judiciary and abuse of the rule of law so that they may develop a commitment to justice and social reform.
"They don't understand the drive to defeat BN is not really about power. It's about fixing the institutions and what they should have been in the first place," he told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur.
He hoped the clarion call was sounded in his latest book “Reformasi 2.0 Fakta Kes Anwar Ibrahim: Di Mana Integriti Mahkamah?" (Reformation 2.0 Facts on Anwar Ibrahim’s Case: Where is the Court's Integrity?) released last week.
Rafizi said the book was not meant to recreate the Reformasi movement of 1998 born in the aftermath of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sacking from Putrajaya and first sodomy conviction, for which the former deputy prime minister spent six years in jail.
"My generation understood what happened in 1998 but the younger generation, who are in their early 20s, do not. All they know is Anwar is PKR and opposition leader who is hell-bent on taking over Putrajaya,” said the 37-year-old politician.
The book, Rafizi said, was to create awareness among youth, especially Malays aged between 18 and 25, on the importance of salvaging the independence of the judiciary which he claimed had been "strangled".
He added that the book explained to the younger generation that it was not just about bread-and-butter issues, it went beyond that.
"It is about salvaging the very institution that will deny justice, fairness in a much more deep-rooted sense than your barang naik," he said, using the Malay words for the rising prices of goods and services.
"When they understand this, their commitment to justice and political reform will be a lot stronger than just towards a political party," he said.
Rafizi said there was a marked difference in the reaction following Anwar's first sodomy trial and the recent case in the Court of Appeal.
The first sodomy conviction caused a huge shockwave and anger towards BN and it brought into focus the role of the judiciary and its integrity, he said.
He said in the latest hearing 15 years later, the people had long accepted that the court process was flawed and that the integrity of the judiciary had been compromised.
"Therefore, although the manipulation is as bad as the first trial, there is no real public reaction or awareness of what's happening with this latest trial.
"So, for the public to understand what's happening, the book will put the focus back on the independence of the judiciary and how the rule of law has been abused to have a go at political opponents.”
Anwar was sentenced to five years jail after the Court of Appeal last month overturned his acquittal by the High Court and found him guilty of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Saiful, 28, had accused Anwar of sodomising him in 2008 shortly after the 12th general election and even swore on the Quran that he was telling the truth.
As a result, Anwar – who is appealing against the decision – is at risk of losing his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat and he would also not be able to hold any party positions.
Under the Federal Constitution, an elected representative is disqualified from office if fined more than RM2,000 or jailed for a term exceeding one year.
Besides Anwar, the Pakatan Rakyat opposition pact has also accused BN of using existing laws to target their leaders.
DAP's Karpal Singh might lose his Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat after being found guilty of sedition for the remarks he made on the removal of Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as Perak menteri besar by the Sultan of Perak in February 2009. Karpal was  sentenced to a RM4,000 fine.
Rafizi is in danger of losing his Pandan parliamentary seat as well after being charged with violating banking laws on August 1 last year when he exposed confidential banking documents of the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp), the company at the centre of the RM250 million cattle-farming scandal that was linked to former women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil's family.
Rafizi faces a maximum RM3 million fine and jail term of up to three years upon conviction.
Both Karpal and Anwar are appealing their sentences.
Rafizi said by reproducing the facts of Anwar's case in the 80-page book, it allowed people to understand that after 16 years, nothing had changed.
"That's why we named it Reformasi 2.0, because the issues we are fighting today – rule of law, judicial integrity, abuse of police power – are the same issues we were fighting in 1998."

The book, which has been translated into Tamil, is sold at RM5 each at Reformasi 2.0 roadshows. It can be obtained online attwww.kempenrakyat.com for RM10, which includes the postage.
There are plans to translate it into English and Chinese as well.
To date, some 10,000 copies have been sold. An estimated 30,000 copies are expected to be sold by the end of the Reformasi roadshow on April 20 in Lembah Pantai.
So far, the feedback on the book has been positive, with many remarking that it was concise and factual. – April 16, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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