Friday, January 30, 2015
Posted by Suara Sarawak at 1/30/2015 01:08:00 PM
PUBLISHED: JANUARY 30, 2015 12:13 PM
If Anwar fails to reverse the Court of Appeal’s five-year imprisonment sentence and conviction, the 67-year-old would lose his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat. — file picture
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has expressed confidence that the fledgling Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact will hold strong if he goes to jail for sodomy, despite tense ties between DAP and PAS.
Anwar pointed out to DAP organ The Rocket in an interview published today, ahead of the Federal Court verdict on February 10 in his second sodomy case, that he was already in prison when the loose coalition of PKR, PAS and the DAP was formed.
“So this isn’t something new,” Anwar was quoted saying.
“Some say my entry to jail may even fortify and strengthen Pakatan, because there will be a rallying point. So I always view it in the positive,” the PKR and PR de facto leader added.
In the watershed Election 2008, PKR, DAP and PAS had agreed to cooperate and not to contest against each other, resulting in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) losing its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament and the subsequent creation of the PR alliance that gained more ground in Election 2013.
However, Anwar’s comments today come even as the DAP and PAS are embroiled in a public spat over the former’s push to restore local council elections, an attempt which PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang claims will lead to a repeat of the May 13, 1969 race riots.
DAP assistant national publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari even told PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali today to sue his DAP counterpart Lim Guan Eng or resolve the disagreement over local government polls privately.
On Wednesday, Mustafa challenged Lim, who is also Penang chief minister, to an open debate on hudud and local government elections ― two issues that have brought the two parties to loggerheads on numerous occasions.
The Rocket reported today that Anwar had tried to convince DAP leaders at the party’s national leadership retreat that PAS would stick to PR.
“We (see it) as our duty to save the nation. Is Pakatan strong enough to do that? Yes we have to (be). We are gaining, and that’s why I think it is important to maintain the cordial relationship between the parties,” Anwar was quoted saying.
The High Court had, in 2012, acquitted Anwar of allegedly sodomising his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in an upscale Bukit Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008.
But the decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal and the opposition leader was subsequently sentenced to a five-year jail term.
If Anwar fails to reverse the Court of Appeal’s five-year imprisonment sentence and conviction, the 67-year-old would lose his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat as the law bars anyone fined RM2,000 or imprisoned for more than one year from serving as a lawmaker.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/anwar-pakatan-can-stand-without-me#sthash.VvUKVyB7.dpuf
Posted by Suara Sarawak at 1/30/2015 12:59:00 PM
30 Jan 10:00 AM
by Aziz Bari
OUTSPOKEN: The non-renewal of the contract of services for the outgoing Deputy Vice-Chancellors at Universiti Malaya (UM) became news last week. It was alleged that the reason why the government decided not to reappoint the two academic administrators of the country’s oldest university was that the two professors have not been friendly to the ruling Umno-BN government.
Given what happened in the university last year, especially the ruckus that took place at the university’s gate on the night Opposition Leader and university alumnus Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was invited to address UM students, no one would dispute the claim.
However, from the strict contract’s point of view on whether or not the renewal is given is actually a matter that is entirely within the prerogative of the university owners. Even from the purist point of view which sees academic administration as something that is not central to academic career, a non-renewal is quite a non-issue.
For one thing, the very essence of the academic profession is about research and teaching most of which are done and disseminated through seminar papers and publications, be they in the form of books, chapters from books or journal articles. Hence, assuming the post of departmental head, dean or the deputy and eventually deputy vice-chancellors or vice-chancellors (or rectors) is not in his or her agenda.
That is why it is often said deanship or other administrative functions are a matter of rotation among the academics. Of course in good universities, the deanship for example is rotated among senior professors in the faculty.
As such, there is no question of outside or government interference like here in Malaysia where even the deanship, let alone the vice-chancellors or rectors need to have the Umno-BN nod. While admittedly there is no need for the candidate to be friendly to the party in power, it is crucial – from point of view of the Education Ministry - that the person to hold the post is someone who is not critical of the sitting government.
Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Sham Shani, a former vice-chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, has once said that a university is a unique place. This is because one day, one is up there as the vice-chancellor or rector and the next day, one is just an ordinary academic who goes back to his library, laboratory or class. There is no question of demotion as claimed by the portal who broke the news over what happened in UM. It is just the ordinary way of life in a university.
I remember that when I was pursuing my post-graduate studies in England and later post-doctoral in Germany and the United States, I was never aware of the dean, let alone the top brass of the university. It was not because I could not care less or anything; it was just not the culture of their universities to gossip about who and who occupies the chancellery or dean’s office. And of course their vice-chancellors or deans do not behave like ours here. They consider themselves as colleagues to their fellow academics and are just there in the office for a certain period of time.
Here, those in power seem to have turned their back on academic freedom and treated universities as a mere extension of the bureaucracy. And it must be conceded that the majority of academics are quite naïve about it. Some have indeed become the pawn of the game. This explains the politics among some of the academics who lobbied their way up to the office.
What about student activism; namely student politics and elections, and so on? These have got little or nothing to do with academic freedom that is primarily concerned with research and teaching. In short, academic freedom is mainly about the academics and their academic pursuits. While it is true that the way the government dealt with Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Redhuan Othman of Umcedel was against the notion of academic freedom, what they did to Fahmi Zainol, president of the UM Students Union was not.
However, this does not mean that Umno-BN was right for they have denied Fahmi and his friends their constitutional rights.
Be that as it may, in a truly democratic society and in good universities both Redhuan and Fahmi should have been allowed to go on with their pursuits. Indeed they should have been given assistance instead of being punished.
Dr Abdul Aziz Bari is formerly IIUM law professor who now teaches at Unisel. He is also Senior Fellow at IDEAS.
- See more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/Lack-of-academic-freedom-Academics-themselves-to-blame#sthash.oUIAbpSK.dpuf
Posted by Suara Sarawak at 1/30/2015 12:47:00 PM
Last updated on 29 Jan 08:51 AM
OUTSPOKEN: For decades, we watched as Malaysia was overwhelmed by racial and religious extremists. Recently, we wondered if there was anyone who could lead the nation through its darkest hour.
Some of us may remember being united, at the formation of Malaysia, against a colonial power, the British; but 57 years later, we are still gripped by another form of colonial rule, the enemy from within, which is Umno-Baru. Dissension and tolerance are both prohibited. Anyone who opposes the administration is silenced by the Sedition Act.
Ever since the 1970s, many of us have felt that we were seeing the end of the era of the multiracial and secular Malaysia. Did we say farewell to the Malaysian dream, at the death of Tunku Abdul Rahman? Not necessarily, because in December 2014, we were given a lifeline, when 25 voices of moderation arose.
Former ambassador, Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, a member of the group of 25 prominent Malays dubbed the “Eminent 25”, has said that their group is speaking-up for peaceful dialogue and rationality.
She said, “I remember when I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, we didn’t have supremacist groups, there was so much tolerance and mixing between the races. It is because we are patriots and we love this country that we are standing up to call for the return of moderation for the benefit of all Malaysians, before it is too late.”
As 2015 begins, the Eminent 25 have grown in number. Their presence gives all Malaysians hope. They are waiting to speak with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, but will he seize this golden opportunity? Or will he be crippled by indecision and his penchant for brooding and silence, in the hope that the Eminent 25 will give up and go away?
When you look back at the 70s, as Farida recalls, Malaysia was a different country, not just in its countryside or the urban areas, or its dress code and racial and religious make-up, but also in its moral and cultural attitudes. Will we ever recapture those days? Today’s generation do not know the Malaysia that was vastly different from the one they know today.
It was a country in which women wore the selendang (scarf) and there was no peer pressure to cover themselves from head to toe, for the purposes of promotion or career advancement. Malay girls did sports at school and wearing shorts or short sleeved shirts, was not an issue.
Several thousand schoolchildren went to mission schools and Malay parents did not worry that the crucifix or The Lord’s Prayer, would convert their children. Children were not ashamed to communicate in English, unlike today. In those days, parents wanted a good education for their children. When English was sidelined in favour of Malay, in the seventies, the elite started to send their children to international schools or overseas. The irony is that today, many non-Malays speak better Malay than the Malays, and are well versed in at least three languages.
Family time was important, then. Today’s rat-race means parents are too busy to tend to their children. At night, the exclusive clubs, in KL’s golden triangle, are the preserve of the children of the rich and famous, including and especially children of the political elite. For the less well-off, there is always the 24-hour mamak stall. The end result is the same. Many of today’s parents do not know where their children are, nor what they get up to, at night.
Pornography was hardly known, and although religion was important, it was not used to isolate communities or pit one against another. Today, it is alleged that the conservative state of Kelantan holds the highest rate of housewives who have HIV/Aids, people involved in incestuous relationship and sexually transmitted diseases.
Most Malaysians had not travelled on an aeroplane. Now, despite their ability to travel and see the world cheaply, some have not learnt to shake off their bad Malaysian habits. Malaysian students cluster into their racial groups at universities overseas, and recently, someone wrote to say that, at the Bicester Village shopping outlet in England, one Malaysian wanted to know if the food was halal. Instead of asking nicely, he simply grunted “Halah ah?”
It took a few grunts before the proprietor of the food stall understood him. In typical Malaysian fashion, he was also seen rummaging through the fridge, behind the counter, instead of waiting to be served.
We used to communicate verbally, but today, sending text is the norm. Human contact is avoided.
Many revere people with a “Datuk” or “Tan Sri”, but treat others shabbily. In reality, the titles mean very little these days; they are offered for a sum of money.
Money is useful in many ways, like helping the poor uplift their lives, but politicians are the most despicable for corrupting the ordinary people by using money to buy votes.
Illegal immigrants are treated better than non-Malay Malaysians, and are given an identity card, voting rights and opportunities in business. We have forgotten the importance of our cultural and religious values, many of which we once held dear.
In the past, police outriders were reserved for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, but today, even the ministers’ children brag about using police outriders.
On the sporting arena, any Malaysian, who excelled in his particular field, could represent the nation. Today, only a certain race is allowed to predominate. This bias starts in school and the discrimination means that talent is neither recognised, nor nurtured. Today, this discrimination is also prevalent in the civil-service.
What use is the gleaming architecture of the Petronas twin towers when we are bankrupt of social and cultural mores? The homeless are banished from our city centres because they are unsightly.
Of course, not everything from the 60s and 70s was good, but are we too arrogant to learn from the past. Will Najib meet the Eminent 25 soon and move Malaysia forward?
Mariam Mokhtar is "a Malaysian who dares to speak the truth.”
- See more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/Let-us-recapture-those-happy-days-of-the-way-we-were#sthash.pEoFsOHN.dpuf
Posted by Suara Sarawak at 1/30/2015 12:44:00 PM