Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One step forward for Indonesia, 2 steps back for Malaysia, says Aussie paper

Published: 21 October 2014
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli (second right) and members of the PKR delegation are seen with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (centre) and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon (left). – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 21, 2014.

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli (second right) and members of the PKR delegation are seen with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (centre) and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon (left). – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 21, 2014.
As Indonesia welcomes its seventh president, an Australian newspaper has highlighted the difference between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Malaysia under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Hailing Jokowi’s installation as one step forward for democracy, Malaysia, The Sydney Morning Herald said today, was in contrast moving backwards as it adopts an authoritarian stance.
The Australian daily’s political and international editor, Peter Hatcher, said Malaysia was going all out “to destroy a man most Malaysians chose as their leader” in reference to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Hatcher said Malaysia’s regressive democracy was illustrated in next week’s “sham trial” of Anwar.
“Indonesia inaugurates the man that most voters chose to be leader, while Malaysia concludes a sham trial to destroy the man that most voters chose to be leader,” wrote Hatcher.

“Indonesia is conducting the first transfer of power from one directly elected president to another. And Malaysia? It remains under the control of the same party that has ruled continuously since independence in 1957.”
Hatcher said Anwar was a “victim” of Barisan Nasional, which was afraid of the fact that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had managed to win 51% of the popular vote in last year’s general election.
“The result scared the government of Najib into reviving its favoured tactic for repressing Anwar: the charge of sodomy.”
He said Putrajaya’s “manic determination to get Anwar” was illustrated by the appointment of Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as deputy public prosecutor in Anwar’s sodomy trial.
Anwar had first challenged the legality of Shafee's appointment under the Criminal Procedure Code but his challenge was dismissed by the Federal Court on November 20 last year.
His second application to disqualify Shafee, based on a statutory declaration by former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, was also dismissed by the Federal Court on February 11.
On March 7, the Court of Appeal overturned the January 9, 2012 High Court decision in acquitting Anwar on a charge of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
He allegedly committed the offence at a unit of the Desa Damansara condominium in Bukit Damansara, between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
A three-member Court of Appeal bench sentenced Anwar to five years' jail, but granted him a stay on the sentence pending his appeal to the Federal Court.
Anwar was released on an RM10,000 bail in one surety.
Hatcher noted that Putrajaya’s political persecution was not limited to Anwar alone, with many political activists and opponents facing charges or under investigation under the Sedition Act 1948.
Among those who have fallen into the sedition dragnet are PKR vice-president N. Surendran, who was charged twice with sedition, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer, Sabah politician David Orok, Universiti Malaya law professor Dr Azmi Sharom and preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussein.
Hatcher also cited PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli as an example.
Rafizi is currently visiting Australia and risks three years’ jail for breaching bank secrecy laws in disclosing the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd scandal which involved a former minister.
Earlier today, Rafizi and his PKR entourage who are on a week-long visit to Australia, met Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and discussed Anwar's upcoming trial as well as Putrajaya's use of the Sedition Act.
Accompanying Rafizi were Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin and Semambu state assemblyman Lee Chean Chung, who met Bishop at the Parliament House in Canberra.
In a statement, Rafizi said among the issues discussed with Bishop was how Putrajaya had been using racial issues as a political tool in recent months.
"The meeting with Bishop, who is also the deputy Liberal party chairman, the ruling party in Australia, went quite well as we covered several issues," Rafizi said.
“We also discussed Anwar's upcoming appeal against his sodomy conviction which will be heard by the Federal Court.”
Besides holding the meeting with Bishop, Rafizi said the PKR delegation also issued a joint statement with South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon.
"The joint statement was released to the media in the lobby of Parliament House and covered the latest developments in Malaysia," he said.
Rafizi said the PKR delegation also met with other Australian MPs and foreign embassies to give a briefing on the latest issues in Malaysia.
The PKR delegation is expected to wrap up their working visit today by meeting with Senator Gavin Marshall, the deputy president of the Australian Senate.
"PKR will continue to send delegations abroad to bring the irresponsible actions of BN to the attention of the global community," Rafizi said.
Besides meeting members of the Australian government, the PKR delegation also participated in a series of open forums in major cities around the country.
The forums were organised by Malaysian students studying in Australia and Rafizi expressed confidence they would be able to give a true portrayal of what was going on in Malaysia. – October 21, 2014.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/one-step-forward-for-indonesia-2-steps-back-for-malaysia-says-aussie-paper#sthash.kywI0m3o.dpuf

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