Friday, February 27, 2009

Kitar Semula Plastik Dan Orang Politik

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous TIDAK AKAN DILAYAN. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran. Jikalau menggunakan anonymous, sila nyatakan nama di penghujung komen. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan. Ulasan yang terkeluar daripada tajuk tidak akan diberi keutamaan.]

[VERSI Yang Dirombak, 1 Mac]

KALAU
kitar semula pembesar politik tidak bagus, apa pula halnya dengar kitar semula keputusan kerajaan dan tindakan “flip-flop”?

Apatah lagi apabila kitar semula dan flip-flop itu membabik nama Allah, Tuhan seru seluruh alam?

Berita Minggu hari ini melaporkan:

“KOTA KINABALU: Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) membatalkan serta-merta pewartaan perintah yang membenarkan penggunaan perkataan 'Allah' dalam penerbitan agama Kristian.

"Berikutan itu, Herald-The Catholic Weekly dilarang menggunakan perkataan Allah dalam penerbitannya, sehingga keputusan mengenainya dibuat Mahkamah Tinggi (Bahagian Rayuan dan Kuasa-kuasa Khas).

"Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, mengakui ada kesilapan dalam penggubalan perintah bertarikh 21 Januari yang diwartakan pada 16 Februari lalu itu, hingga menimbulkan kekeliruan.”

Maaf cakaplah. Ini bukan kesilapan atau flip-flop kecil. Kalau di negara macam Jepun menteri yang bertanggungjawab sudah melutut memohon maaf dan meletakkan jawatan.

Baru-baru ini Menteri Kewangan Jepun, Shoichi Nakagawa, meletakkan jawatan berikutan tuduhan dia mabuk di Persidangan Menteri Kewangan Kumpulan 7 (G7) di Rom walaupun dia menafikannnya.

Dalam kes flip-flop penggunaan nama Allah ini tidak ada siapa dituduh mabuk tetapi kalau orang siuman melakukan kerja flip-flop ini, rasa-rasanyalah kesalahan itu lebih teruk daripada dilakukan oleh orang mabuk.

Begitu juga flip-flop mengenai IJN, LCCT dan terbaru pembatalan kenaikan kadar tol.

[Posting Asal]

KITAR semula tidak begitu berleluasa di Malaysia. Kempen-kempen menggalakkan masyarakat mengamalkan kitar semula kurang mendapat sambutan.

Banyak pusat kitar semula terbengkalai dan dipenuhi sampah sarap. Sifat pengotor dan tidak disiplin rakyat Malaysia menyebabkan botol dan beg plastik serta tin aluminium bersepah di merata tempat.

Majoriti rakyat Malaysia Muslim. Islam mengajar umatnya bersih, berdisiplin dan beradab. Tetapi kedai dan gerai makan milik orang Islam jarang mengutamakan kebersihan.

Di Terengganu, saya terbaca papan tanda berbunyi “kebersihan sebahagian daripada iman”. Tetapi tandas di banyak masjid dan surau kotor sehingga kita tidak tergamak menggunakannya.
Kitar semula bahan-bahan buangan baik untuk alam sekitar dan boleh membantu menjaga kebersihan di samping memberikan pendapatan tambahan. Jadi kita perlu meneruskan kempen kesedaran alam sekitar, kebersihan dan kitar semula ini.

Tetapi kitar semula yang tidak digalakkan kerana boleh memudaratkan adalah kitar semula orang politik atau orang pentadbiran awam.

Kalau diperlukan pun, biarlah kitar semula setakat untuk menjadi penasihat, ahli nujum, pawang buaya dan penghalau hantu raya sahaja. Jadi Menteri, Menteri Besar dan Ketua Menteri tak payahlah.

Ketika saya membesar di pinggir Sungai Pendang pada tahun 1950-an, buaya masih banyak. Justeru itu, pawang buaya atau sesiapa saja yang memperkenalkan diri sebagai pawang buaya pasti dihormati.

Satu kepercayaan orang kampung mengenai buaya ialah jangan sekali-kali membasuh kelambu dalam sungai. Kononnya buaya cukup marah kelambu dibasuh di dalam sungainya. Agaknya bau manusia pada kelambu mudah dikesan oleh buaya.

Berbalik kepada kitar semula, jenis kitar semula yang kita tidak mahu adalah kitar semula untuk menjadi peneraju parti politik atau Menteri Kabinet, Menteri Besar, Ketua Menteri dan jawatan-jawatan seumpamanya.

Ada orang kata ramai calon Majlis Tertinggi Umno dalam pemilihan bulan depan adalah calon kitar semula. Kalau kitar semula emas atau tembaga tak apalah. Tapi kalau setakat plastik dan botol buruk tu tak payahlah kot.

Saya ada seorang member teh tarik di Raju yang bergiat dalam industri kitar semula. Dia budak muda Melayu berkelulusan kejuruteraan. Katanya dia lebih banyak kitar semula tembaga dan logam-logam yang bernilai tinggi.

Baru-baru ini dia rugi besar. Harga besi buruh merudum daripada RM1,800 setan kepada RM800 dan tembaga daripada RM27 sekilogram kepada RM11.50. Sekarang dia buat eksperimen bela ayam turki di Bukit Gantang, Perak.

Saya tidak berani hendak kata calon kitar semula Umno itu daripada jenis plastik, kaca, aluminium, besi waja, tembaga atau emas. Papan litar komputer (printed circuit board) kalau dilebur boleh menghasilkan emas.

Kita semua tahu antara calon MT Umno tu ada bekas Menteri, bekas Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Besar, bekas Menteri Besar yang dikitar semula menjadi Menteri, Menteri Besar yang hilang negeri dan banyak jenis mantan lagi.

Rasa-rasanyalah banyak yang sudah tidak boleh digilap dan digunakan semula. Pakailah banyak mana Brasso pun tidak bersih dan berkilat lagi. Orang kampung kata dah lebam. Sudah sampai masa dilebur atau dimasukkan ke dalam loji pelupusan sebagai bahan bakar.

Dalam itu pun, elok juga kita berhati-hati bila membuang barang-barang lama. Sekarang barang-barang lama yang tergolong dalam kategori antik sangat berharga.

Di rumah ayah dan emak saya ada sebuah katil besi pusaka yang sudah berusia hampir 100 tahun. Bila digilap dengan Brasso masih berkilat. Tapi kalau digunakan dengan lasak, ia berbunyi sana sini. Maklumlah katil lama. Nak kurangkan bunyi, jangan tidur lasak atau selalu masukkan pada celah-celah penyambungnya minyak pelicin Singer.
Brasso untuk mengilat logam

Saya rasa setelah melihat apa yang terjadi kepada Umno dan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional selepas persaraan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pada tahun 2003, parti-parti seperti Pas dan DAP tidak akan tergesa-gesa membersarakan veteran mereka macam Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (78 tahun), Lim Kit Siang (68) dan Karpal Singh (67).

Orang tua kita kena hormat. Jadi saya tidak setujulah orang tua cacat macam Karpal dikasari apatah lagi di Parlimen.

Maaf cakaplah orang kita, khasnya yang muda-muda tu, nampaknya tidaklah matang seperti yang didakwa.

Harap-haraplah Parlimen kita tidak jadi macam Parlimen Taiwan di mana mereka nampaknya lebih kerap bertinju dan berkuntau daripada berdebat secara waras dan bijaksana.

Akhir kalam, sokonglah kempen kitar semula bahan-bahan buangan, terutamanya plastik. Plastik amat buruk kepada alam sekitar. Saya harap dalam masa terdekat ini kita boleh mengurangkan atau menjimatkan penggunaan plastik.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sime Promises Better PR

A Kadir Jasin

[ANONYMOUS comments with not be entertained. When commenting, your real identity is preferred. But a suitable pseudonym is accepted. If you have to use anonymous, please print your name or pen name at the bottom of your message. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libelous statements. Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]

LAST evening, several bloggers were invited to a dinner and discussion with the top brass of Sime Darby Berhad led by its Chairman Tun Musa Hitam.

Also present were its President and Group Chief Executive, Ahmad Zubir Murshid and the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Group Communications and Corporate Affairs, Leela Barrock.

The bloggers were YB Wee Choo Keong, Rocky’s Bru (Ahirudin Atan), I Am A Malaysian (Eric Woon), 3540 Jalan Sudin (Noraina Samad), Outsyed The Box (Syed Akhbar Ali), CT Choo and yours truly.

Many issues and development concerning the conglomerate, its shareholders and the staff, including the controversies surrounding the aborted plans to purchase the National Heart Institute and the construction of a new low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) for AirAsia at KLIA were discussed.

They also explain the long-term philosophies and plans to make the company a major global player in plantation, engineering, properties development and natural resources extraction.

Ahmad Zubir said the board and management of the company are always conscious of their responsibility to the company’s 10.5 million shareholders, its 100,000-odd employees and the communities it serves worldwide.

Sime Darby is 52-per cent owned by Permodalan Nasional Berhad. Other substantial shareholders are the EPF and the Tabung Haji.

Ahmad Zubir said the next five years would see its plantation growing from the current 600,000 hectares to about a million hectares and several core units being listed while the smaller non-core businesses sold.

Both Musa and Ahmad Zubir acknowledged that Sime Darby has not been very good at conducting public relations and has missed a number of opportunities to explain its position in the LCCT and NHI controversies.

They said the company is taking step to improve its public relations capacity and expertise to deal with the traditional as well as the digital media as part and parcel of transparency and good corporate governance.

They also confirmed that contract with the controversial PR company, Fox Communications, has not been renewed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Apakah Benar Kita Matang Dan Toleran?

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous TIDAK AKAN DILAYAN. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran. Jikalau menggunakan anonymous, sila nyatakan nama di penghujung komen. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan. Ulasan yang terkeluar daripada tajuk tidak akan diberi keutamaan.]

SAYA tergerak untuk menulis coretan ini berikutan reaksi kepada tulisan saya mengenai perbandingan antara dunia pelacur Hong Kong Suzie Wong dan dunia Yang Berhormat Elizabeth Wong dalam posting lalu.

Tulisan saya itu menimbulkan kemarahan dan teguran ramai pembahas. Banyak yang marah dan berang.

Ada yang menuduh saya mengamalkan “tabloid journalism” dan penulisan picisan.

Rasa-rasanya tulisan saya itu bukan kewartawanan tabloid mahupun penulisan picisan. Sebaliknya saya rasa ia lebih mirip kepada genre (jonra) satira. Dalam bahasa Inggeris, satire (sataya).

Dalam satira, perlakuan jahat, sumbang, kegila-gilaan, kebudak-budakan dan kelemahan manusia didedahkan dan diadili melalui cemuhan, sindiran dan ironi dengan tujuan mencari kebaikan.

Maafkan saya kalau saya katakan bahawa ramai pembahas begitu emosional dan marah malah kasar apabila saya menulis sesuatu yang tidak memihak kepada pembangkang apatah lagi apabila saya mengkritik pembangkang.

Tetapi apabila saya kritikal terhadap pemerintah, begitu ramai yang menyokong saya dan berapi-api mengkritik dan mengutuk pemerintah.

Jadi saya kadang-kadang bertanya kepada diri sendiri, apakah benar seperti yang diuar-uarkan, iaitu pengundi kita semakin matang, bijak, toleran, demokratik, liberal dan menghormati hak asasi manusia?

Kalau benar mereka lebih menghormati hak asasi manusia, mereka tentulah tidak mencemuh apatah lagi memaki hamun orang lain semata-mata kerana fahaman atau afiliasi politik yang berbeza.

Kalau mereka lebih liberal (terbuka) mereka tentulah tidak mencemuh apatah lagi memaki hamun orang lain yang tidak sependapat dengan mereka.

Begitu jugalah kalau mereka lebih demokratik dan lebih toleran, mereka tentulah tidak mencemuh apatah lagi memaki hamun orang lain yang tidak sehaluan dengan mereka.

Lebih-lebih lagilah jika mereka benar-benar matang, bermoral dan berhemah tinggi, “Islamic” dan Muslimin seperti yang mereka dakwa, mereka tentulah lebih bertimbang rasa dan toleran.

Mereka menguar-uarkan kemunculan gabungan tidak rasmi Pakatan Rakyat sebagai manifestasi kepada aspirasi rakyat jelata yang mahukan sistem dua parti yang sejati.

Tetapi pada masa dan dalam nada yang sama juga, mereka memaki seranah parti lawan dan tidak putus-putus meramal dan mendoakan kepupusan Umno serta Barisan Nasional.

Ramai melemparkan pelbagai tuduhan dan dakwaan terhadap parti lawan (dan tidak kurang terhadap saya), tetapi tidak bersedia mendedahkan identiti. Malah ada yang seolah-olah takut untuk menggunakan nama samaran.

Kita tidak boleh mengakui diri kita matang kalau hujah dan tindakan kita penuh emosi dan mengikut rasa hati. Kita tidak boleh mengakui diri kita matang kalau tidak arif mengenai sejarah, tidak kaya dengan pengetahuan dan tidak berminat mengilmukan diri.

Akhirnya jadilah kita umpama dulang yang mengata paku serpih atau menterjemahkan peri bahasa Inggeris, periuk yang mengatakan cerek hitam.

Kadang-kadang saya terfikir untuk tidak langsung menyiarkan komen-komen seperti itu. Tetapi saya menyiarkannya juga supaya kita boleh mengukur sejauh mana matang atau tidak matangnya kita. Atau siapa yang matang dan siapa tidak.

Sebagai penulis, saya tidak mengharapkan simpati atau rasa belas kasihan. Falsafah saya lebih kurang ‘berani tulis, beranilah tanggung’.

Tetapi apabila sesetengah pembahas membuat ulasan yang terkeluar daripada batas kesopanan dan kewajaran, saya berasa terkilan sikit.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Not Quite The World of Suzie Wong

A Kadir Jasin

[ANONYMOUS comments with not be entertained. When commenting, your real identity is preferred. But a suitable pseudonym is accepted. If you have to use anonymous, please print your name or pen name at the bottom of your message. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libelous statements. Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]

IN the 1957 Richard Mason’s novel, The World of Suzie Wong, the hero, a budding English painter named Robert Lomax, fell in love with a young Hong Kong woman, Suzie Wong, and despite trials and tribulations, lived happily ever after.

I remember only scantily the movie adaptation of the novel that starred William Holden and Nancy Kwan. As a blue-blooded Hollywood movie should be, William Holden was not a budding English painter but an American architect turned artist.

Whether Lomax was an English painter or an American architect, he found his muse in Suzie Wong and immortalised her in his paintings.

Fast forward 52 years and changed the location from Imperial Hong Kong’s Wanchai District, to a modern metropolis in Malaysia and transformed the bargirl Suzie Wong into the State Assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong and we have a totally different plot.



The tears of a troubled politician

Suzie Wong was a youthful Chinese prostitute in British Hong Kong. Lomax was a Westerner in quest of the exotic East. And a beautiful painting of an exquisite flower of the Orient was more likely to make than break an aspiring artist.

The tragedy of Suzie Wong’s life in the flesh trade was more than offset by the fact that she spawned jealousy and rivalry among her many suitors and, in the process, found love, fame and immortality.

(Until today, Amazon.com and other online shopping websites still charge upward of US$10 (RM36) for the movie version of Suzie Wong’s world.)



William Holden & Nancy Kwan in the movie

Elizabeth Wong has nothing in common with her imaginary namesake. She does not look like Nancy Kwan, who played Suzie Wong, and her now estranged and disappeared allegedly Malay beau, I imagine, may not look like William Holden. Beauty is, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.



Rose Chan The Stripper


She’s not a sex worker (to be politically correct and gender sensitive). On the contrary is champion of gender equality and sex-free tourism.

Rightly so because our Ms Wong is an elected representative of the rakyat, a Yang Berhormat, a Right Honorable. And she represents a supposedly the most morally upright political party in the country.

So, it’s only natural that some people were dumb struck while others were flabbergasted and confounded when news broke out in the tabloids and the blogs that sartorially inappropriate pictures of Ms Wong have been found floating in the cyberspace.

Since then too, some bloggers and blog debaters have resorted to calling her Liz Wong and the PKR de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim called her Eli.

I hope that has nothing to do with the fact that the better known Liz, i.e. Liz Hurley, the English super model and actress, has a generous collection of sartorially deficient photos on the net.

I will not attempt to make any legal, moral, religious or political judgment on this incident.

Suffice to say that enough had been said by people and parties with higher moral, religious and political authority like Pas and the Minister in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs, Mohd Nazri Aziz.
For now at least, being associated with a bukit (hill) is a jinx of sort for the PKR. We have had its Assemblyman for Bukit Selambau (Kedah) resigning in mysterious circumstances and, like all troubled politicians these days, went missing.

Now we have Ms Wong’s sartorially deficient pictures hounding the Bukit Lanjan Assemblywoman. She had offered (repeat offered) to resign both her Exco post and her bukit seat.

I won’t call the death of the Pas Bukit Gantang MP, Roslan Shahrom, a jinx. Death is death irrespective of whom it chooses to visit.

For now, we are not sure if a few poorly shot sartorially deficient pictures of an Assemblywoman will send us up another slippery hill now that hillside development is once again allowed by the government.

So much for the “no more hillside development” promises and the crocodile tears when slopes came tumbling down and killing a few people in Ulu Klang recently. The area affected is in the Pakatan Rakyat country.

And who dare say that this county is not built on rock-and-roll, bukit and gunung, lembah and lurah?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What It Takes To Be Perak MB

A Kadir Jasin

[ANONYMOUS comments with not be entertained. When commenting, your real identity is preferred. But a suitable pseudonym is accepted. If you have to use anonymous, please print your name or pen name at the bottom of your message. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libelous statements. Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]

[UPDATE] – MALAYSIAKINI reported that the DAP Perak State Assembly Speaker, V Sivakumar (apologies not PKR as earlier stated), had suspended Dr Zambry from the Assembly for 18 months and his six Excos for 12.

This latest development plunges the state into deeper crisis. Can’t blame me if I see the spectre of 1977 Kelantan. I thought the Speaker should allow Dr Zambry, his Excos and BN Assemblymen to enter the Assembly and entrap them with a no-confidence motion.

Since PKR is holding the Speaker’s chair, there shouldn’t be any hindrance for the PR to table such a motion and, who knows, it may get rid of Dr Zambry for good.

[Original Post]

I THINK we can afford to let the sensational news of PKR Elizabeth Wong’s nude photos marinate a while longer before we joint the cookfest. In the meantime feel free to let your imagination be as creative as you like.

For now, I would like to post the 2nd part of my kopitiam conversations with several veteran politicians – ex-Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen -- and lawyers, who are familiar with the Constitution and past political crises.

In this post, we’ll talk about the Menteri Besar, Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, and the things he should and should not have done as he hangs on to power and tries to defend the legitimacy of his government.

Zambry is an intellectual with a PhD after his name. When Anwar was in Umno, Zambry was a very strong supporter of Anwar Ibrahim, like Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. But both stayed on when Anwar was sacked.

He has the great opportunity to introduce changes to new government and lead these changes in BN.

He could inspire the voters in Perak with an inspiring policy statement as to how he proposes to take Perak forward and what changes he has in mind.

So far, however, he has employed the same old tired style, which people have rejected.

Saying, “I am the MB for all” sounds like Abdullah Ahmad Badawi saying “I am the PM for all Malaysians.” Of course you are the MB for all.

Reducing the number of Exco members to six was good but when media asked for the reason, the reply was very disappointing. He said he could have between four and 10, and chose six.

If he had said, bearing in mind we are facing a very serious economic recession: “I decided to reduce the size of government to save money. I think seven of us can manage” would have been brilliant. Period.

We just have to be efficient. This will show to the public the beginning of change.

Then next day he appointed four advisors and gave the posts to MIC, Gerakan and UMNO, and said these advisors are as important as Exco members. So he is creating posts for BN component parties. Therefore, nothing has changed.

The Perak voters unequivocally rejected both the MIC and Gerakan in the 2008 general election. Why then brought them in by the backdoor? The MIC and Gerakan should have been principled enough to reject the appointment.

They should have the honour to tell their respective communities that “you rejected us in the election, so you do not have the right to have representation in government. If you want us to represent you, you must vote us in.”

Instead MIC got the cheek to be demanding and asked for the Speaker’s post.
Even if he wants to win back lost seats and must show that he is the MB for all, he surely can choose other more outstanding Chinese and Indian representatives.

Surely there are enough outstanding, honest and intelligent Indians and Chinese outside MIC and Gerakan in Perak who would be willing to make sacrifices and perform public service.

Approach them, offer them these advisory posts but salaries and allowances must be less than that of Exco members. Then people will see that the new MB really means what he says, i.e. being the MB for all.

Then why did he leave out the Orang Asli who are numerous in Perak and representatives of the NGOs? The MB must reach out to everybody.

He must come out with a policy statement to say he is against corruption, cronyism and only those who are clean and with integrity will be called upon to serve the state.

He wants his Exco to declare their assets. But he must make the rakyat believe that the declaration of assets is serious and transparent.

He should be visiting all districts and as many villages as he can to listen to the problems faced by the rakyat. If he can’t solve them within two weeks, he must give them reasons. He should promise efficient and prompt service.

He must insist that District Officers live in their respective districts and not in Ipoh. He said he wants to see projects implemented on time with no cost over-run.

His office is open to all – to those who voted for BN and those who voted against. He should try to solve all the rakyat’s problems. He must promise actions. Promises alone are not enough. He wants to be judged by results.

If he does all these, the voters will know that this BN MB means business when he says he wants to bring changes to the state.

Only change can help ensure BN’s survival. Failing which the voters will send BN back to the Opposition’s bench in the coming general election or even sooner.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Perak Crisis: The Constitution Is Supreme

A Kadir Jasin

[ANONYMOUS comments with not be entertained. When commenting, your real identity is preferred. But a suitable pseudonym is accepted. If you have to use anonymous, please print your name or pen name at the bottom of your message. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libelous statements. Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]

[UPDATE, Feb. 17] – MALAYSIAKINI reported a while ago that the Selangor executive councilor, Elizabeth Wong, had offered to quit from her state post and as PKR State Assembly representative for Bukit Lanjan following the release of her nude photos.

The independent news portal said Wong could not hold back her tears when she made the announcement at a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Tropicana, Selangor.

"I am resigning in the interest of the party," she said.

So it looks like another bukit (hill) is up for grabs. That makes three bukit in a row – Bukit Gantang (Perak) , Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Bukit Lanjan (Selengor).

[Original Post]

FIRST of all, a great big thank you to the new “followers” of this blog. We now have 283 “followers” who have linked this blog to theirs on a long-term basis. I won’t dare call it permanently.

I hope the “followers” will also link their blogs to each other so that we have a community of like-minded bloggers.

Over the last few days, I have been having a series of kopitiam discussions with several veteran politicians – ex-Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen -- and lawyers, who are familiar with the Constitution and past political crises.

From these discussions, I could paint the following picture about the ongoing events in Perak in particular and the country in general.

I propose to publish the results of these conversations in two or three future postings if the situation permits. And since this discussion involves the Rulers and the law, I appeal to debaters to be absolutely careful and please refer to the law. I don’t want to reject any comment if I can.

On the issue of the change of government in Perak from the informal Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to the Barisan Nasional (BN), they noted that we practise democracy and, therefore, the voices of the rakyat must be respected.

We practise parliamentary democracy. Once the voters have elected their representatives, parties win or lose their battles in the Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies. This is the essence of parliamentary democracy.

Our country is a constitutional monarchy. It means that the constitution is supreme and nobody, including a Ruler, is above the constitution (the law).

A Ruler derives his powers from the constitution. In the case of Perak, the ousted Menteri Besar, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin requested Sultan Azlan Shah to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly.

The Sultan, exercising his prerogative under the state constitution, refused. Instead he asked the MB to resign. After meeting the BN State Assemblymen and three defected Assemblymen – two from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and one from the DAP – His Majesty appointed a new MB, Mohd Zambry Abdul Kadir, from the BN.

Why did the ex-MB not quickly call the Assembly into session to prove he still commands the majority? The question now is, has the Ruler the power to sack the previous MB?

In the constitution, after an election, the party that won the majority of seats will approach the Sultan for his consent to form the government. The party may nominate a candidate as MB. But the choice whether to accept the candidate or not is the prerogative of the Ruler.

After the last general election, the Rulers of Perlis and Terengganu rejected the BN’s choices of Menteris Besar. The Rulers have the right to reject the candidates of the party that won the election. It is in the exercise of their prerogative.

Once the candidate is appointed as MB, he forms his Executive Council (Exco) and whether he commands the majority in the Assembly is only confirmed after the Assembly is called into session.

Therefore, the Ruler’s appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Assembly. His choice is not final, and must be confirmed by Assembly. If the MB fails to get support of majority, he has to resign. Then he goes back to report to the Ruler.

There is no specific provision in the constitution to allow a Ruler to sack an MB. But the Sultan of Perak, in making his decision, stated “………in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI (6) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak ordered YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the members of the state executive council with immediate effect.

“If YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin does not resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the state executive council members, then the posts of Mentri Besar and state executive councillors are regarded as vacant.”

A case in point was the sacking of the Sarawak Chief Minister Stephen Kalong Ningkan in 1966.
In the case of Stephen Kalong Ningkan vs Tun Abang Haji Openg & Tawi Sli, the Kuching High Court decided that the Sarawak Governor only had the power to dismiss the Chief Minister if the lack of confidence had been demonstrated by a vote in the Council Negeri.

Terengganu had similar case in 1961 when the Pas MB, Mohd Daud bin Abdul Samad, requested the Sultan to dissolve the State Assembly after several Pas State Assemblymen defected.
The Sultan refused and instead appointed Ibrahim Fikhri Mohammad from UMNO to take over.

Then there was the case of Joseph Pairin Kittingan in Sabah and Harun Idris in Selangor. In the case of Harun Idris, he was requested by the party (Umno) to resign. He refused. The party was forced to go to Assembly and passed a vote of no confidence that ousted him.

The problem is the Malays now are too emotional, and regretfully not knowledgeable. Their demonstration and unruly behaviour had brought shame to themselves. They will lose the respect of others and may even be manipulated.

The act of sacking was done by the Ruler, therefore, the Ruler must be a party to any legal proceeding. Instead the PR is playing politics and just wants to sue present MB. They do not want to be accused of being “penderhaka” – traitors. Doing what is legally right is not treason!

To succeed, the ex-MB may have to take the risk of naming the Sultan and present MB in any legal proceeding. Acting in accordance with the law does not tantamount to treason or insulting the Ruler.

It is surprising that the ousted MB had initially refused to vacate the office as well as the official residence. In a democracy, when you are sacked, you should accept that decision with a protest yet keep your dignity and grace, and file your suit for decision by the court like what Kalong Ningkan of Sarawak did.

Until the court rules otherwise, Ruler’s decision is valid. In the Gough Whitlam case in Australia, the Governor General, Sir John Kerr, on 11 November 1975, dismissed him as Prime Minister and appointed Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister.

Fraser advised Kerr to dissolve the Parliament and call a federal election, in which Fraser’s coalition won.

But knowing PR under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim, they will go to the streets to demonstrate instead of observing the rule of law.

The only solution for Perak is for the new MB to go to the Assembly and move a motion: “This Assembly accepts or concurs with the judgment of His Highness the Sultan that YB Dato Seri Nizar Mohammad Jamaluddin has lost the confidence of the majority in the Assembly, and endorses the Ruler’s appointment of YB Datuk Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new MB”.

Once this is passed, everything else is academic.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pertandingan Mendaki Dua Bukit

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous TIDAK AKAN DILAYAN. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran. Jikalau menggunakan anonymous, sila nyatakan nama di penghujung komen. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan. Ulasan yang terkeluar daripada tajuk tidak akan diberi keutamaan.]

PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) nampaknya mengalami cabaran yang lebih besar jika dibandingkan dengan dua rakannya dalam gagasan tidak rasmi Pakatan Rakyat pada akhir-akhir ini.

Dua Ahli Dewan Undangannya di Perak – Jamaluddin Mohd Razdi (Behrang) dan Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) – keluar parti dan mengikrarkan sokongan kepada Barisan Nasional.

Turut keluar parti ialah Hee Yit Foong, Adun DAP bagi kawasan Jelapang. Akibat tindakan mereka itu tumbanglah kerajaan PR Perak.

Jamaluddin dan Mohd Osman kedua-duanya sedang menghadapi tuduhan rasuah di mahkamah.

Hendak jadi cerita, tak sampai 10 hari kemudian, Adunnya bagi kerusi Bukit Selambau, Kedah, V Arumugam pula meletakkan jawatan sebagai Ahli Exco kerajaan PR Kedah dan serentak itu melepaskan kerusinya.

Kemudian, pada ketika parti-parti PR sedang hangat mempertikaikan pembentukan kerajaan BN di Perak, Ahli Parlimen Pas bagi kawasan Bukit Gantang, Roslam Shahrum, meninggal dunia.

Ada orang mengumpamakan kejadian-kejadian ini sebagai sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga dan ada pula yang mengatakan pucuk dicita ulam mendatang.

Apa pun andaian umum, pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Bukit Gantang dan DUN Bukit Selambau yang akan diadakan pada 7 April ini menjanjikan pertandingan sengit serta penuh erti bagi BN dan PR.

Bagi PR, dua pilihan raya kecil ini boleh dijadikan medan untuk menguji ketepatan dakwaan dan andaian bahawa rakyat jelata, khasnya di Perak, mahu DUN Perak dibubarkan dan pilihan raya baru diadakan.

Kalau pengundi Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau berpendirian yang sama, mereka tentulah akan menyokong calon-calon yang mewakili parti-parti PR apatah lagi dua kerusi ini adalah kerusi PR.

Yang menarik untuk diperhatikan adalah pendirian parti-parti PR sendiri selepas kejatuhan kerajaan PR Perak. Khasnya mengenai kerjasama dan perpaduan di kalangan mereka.

Portal berita bebas Malaysiakini melaporkan yang ketiga-tiga parti komponen PR – PKR, DAP dan Pas – berminat bertanding kerusi Bukit Selambau.

Ini tidak memeranjatkan kerana kerusi ini mempunyai komposisi kaum yang agak seimbang – Melayu 50.2%, Cina 19.3%, India 29.5% dan kaum-kaum lain 1%.

Sebenarnya ketiga-tiga parti itu berhak meletakkan calon di situ kerana Bukit Selambau tidak ditandingi oleh mana-mana parti PR pada PRU lalu.

V Arumugam bertanding sebagai calon bebas dan selepas menang baru menyertai PKR. Dia mengalahkan calon Barisan Nasional, S Krishnan dengan kelebihan 2,362 undi. Dia memperoleh 13,225 undi dan Krishnan 10,863 undi.

Parti-parti BN juga pasti melakukan lobi terbuka dan belakang tabir bagi meletakkan calon masing-masing di Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau.

Pemimpin tempatan Umno telah pun menyatakan harapan agar parti itu diberi peluang mewakili BN.

Pilihan raya kecil Bukit Selambau juga menghidupkan semula persoalan mengenai kaitan antara PKR dan pertubuhan haram Hindraf.

Tiga aktivis pertubuhan itu yang sedang dalam tahanan, iaitu M Manoharan, R Kengadharan and V Ganabatirau telah mencadangkan rakan setahanan mereka, P Vasanthakumar sebagai calon PKR bagi Bukit Selambau.

Ketua de facto PKR, Anwar Ibrahim mengakui hal ini apabila dia dipetik oleh Malaysikini sebagai berkata, dia akan menyerahkan nama Vasanthakumar kepada pasukan penilaian calon parti itu untuk pertimbangan.

Bagi BN, pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau tidak memihak kepadanya. Perkembangan di Perak dan kehilangan kerusi Parlimen Kuala Terengganu dalam pilihan raya kecil bulan lalu tidak membantu mencerahkan harapan BN.

Apatah lagi calon Pas dan calon bebas (PKR) menang dengan kelebihan suara yang besar dalam pilihan raya umum 2008.

Namun ada pemerhati berpendapat harapan BN di Bukit Gantang mungkin lebih cerah berbanding dalam pilihan raya umum 2008 jika BN berjaya memilih calon tempatan yang diterima ramai.

Mereka juga melihat dua pilihan raya kecil ini sebagai penting kepada Umno dan BN kerana berlaku ketika peralihan kuasa daripada Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kepada Mohd Najib Abdul Razak pada akhir bulan depan.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dawn Or Dusk For Multiracial Parties?

A Kadir Jasin

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PARDON me for saying that despite the best of efforts, many debaters of this blog regularly missed some very important historical points.

This could be due to the fact that the older ones (the present company included) have forgotten them and the younger ones are not deeply informed about history.

I have this sad, disquiet feeling that history is no longer the priority in our education system and in our everyday life. Or that we are simply “mudah lupa” – forget easily.

With that in mind, I would like to share with esteemed visitors and debaters an article entitled “A New Dawn For Multiracial Parties?”

This article is relevant especially in the light of the collapse of the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government following the defections of two Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state representatives and one from the DAP, and the failure of Anwar Ibrahim to topple the Barisan Nasional government via defections.

The article was published in July 1, 2008 issue of the Malaysian Business magazine. I wrote:

SOME weeks ago a businessman asked me if there is a future for race-based political parties in Malaysia. He's a Chinese and obviously apolitical.

He must have been influenced by the emergence of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or People's Justice Party, as a key player in national politics following the March 8 polls.

The credit has to go to the party's adviser and de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. His spirited efforts to entice a sufficient number of Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of Parliament to cross over to his Pakatan

Rakyat (an informal coalition of three parties), or to side with it, is keeping public interest alive.

To date, his success has been limited and tentative. Only the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has openly shown some interest.

But instead of leaving BN to join Pakatan Rakyat, SAPP had proposed its own vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in Parliament.

Even that did not materialise when on the appointed date - June 24 – the party's two MPs went absent on claims that `they were threatened'.

Instead, an indirect confidence motion seeking support for the Government's action in tackling rising food, fuel and commodity prices tabled by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, was carried, with 129 voting in favour and 78 against.

Even if SAPP's two MPs were to join Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar is still very far away from getting 29 or 30 crossovers to topple the BN government and to form an opposition minority government.

Anwar continues to claim that he will have a sufficient number of BN turncoats joining him by Sept 16 to enable Pakatan Rakyat to topple Abdullah and form its own government. Sept 16 would be the anniversary of the proclamation of Malaysia in 1963.

With the Abdullah government using its financial and legal might to keep the BN component parties and MPs in line, Anwar's backdoor attempt to take over Parliament may backfire.

Abdullah has already poured more money into Sabah and Sarawak where Anwar is concentrating his efforts. And out of the blue, the pro-government newspapers started to publish news that the SAPP president and former Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, might be investigated for corruption.

Abdullah's carrot-and-stick tactics could thwart Anwar's attempt to get further support from BN MPs either individually or en bloc.

A failure to do so can greatly affect Anwar's reputation and the relevance of PKR as a multiracial party in the multi-party Pakatan Rakyat.

Back to the Chinese businessman, I told him that it is the multiracial parties that have an uncertain future in Malaysia despite PKR's strong showing at the March 8 polls.

I am not against multiracial parties nor am I against multiracialism. I grew up in a multiracial environment, living side-by-side with our khinzir-rearing Chinese neighbours, attended a Roman Catholic school and worked in multiracial companies.

For those not familiar with contemporary Malay language, khinzir is supposed to be the politically correct word for `pig'. Instead of babi, which supposedly has dirty and unhygienic connotations, khinzir, which is an Arabic word, sounds cleaner and more palatable although no less haram (forbidden).

In all that time, I saw the multiracial parties, despite their lofty ideas, high ideals and encouraging initial support, come and go. What survived are coalitions that bring together communal and regional parties as typified by BN and its predecessor, the Alliance.

But in the case of the fledgling Pakatan Rakyat that proposes to formally bring together PKR, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (Pas) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in a BN-like coalition, its success depends very much on Anwar's leadership.

Without a strong PKR, Anwar may not be able to convince its more established and larger coalition partners to stick around with him given their vast ideological and policy differences.

Success at the polls alone will not guarantee that the PKR-Pas-DAP collaboration will survive and evolve into a permanent coalition that can rival BN and give birth to a true two-party system.

The idea of a multiracial party is not new. The first to promote it was the founder president of Umno, Datuk Onn Jaafar, a Johor Malay aristocrat.

He founded Umno in May 1946. In 1951, at the behest of the British, he proposed opening Umno membership to the immigrant races. At that time, the Chinese and Indians, most of whom were indentured labourers, were yet to be accorded Malayan citizenship.

The Malays objected and Onn, being an honourable person, left Umno and Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra took over the fledgling party.

Onn went on to pursue his dream of a multiracial party by forming the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP). The IMP became the first political movement to oppose the concept of Malay dominance.

Ironically, neither the Chinese nor the Indians, despite the promise of equality and citizenship, found the IMP convincing. Instead, the Chinese-based Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and the Indian-based Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) opted to form an alliance with Umno.

In 1952, Umno and the MCA contested the Kuala Lumpur Municipal election and won 11 out of the 12 seats. The Alliance was formalised in time to contest the 1955 Malayan Legislative Council elections with the MIC as a third member. It won 51 out of 52 seats. Pas won a solitary seat.

Undeterred by the dismal failure of IMP, Onn started another multiracial party called Parti Negara in 1953. He found some success among the Malays but again failed to get Chinese and Indian support.

The only parliamentary seat ever won by Parti Negara was by Onn himself in the 1959 general election in Terengganu. With his death in 1962, Parti Negara came to a natural end.

Since then, numerous attempts have been made to forge multiracial parties that draw membership from the various racial groups but with little success. Most of them failed while those that survived degenerated into communal parties.

Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia or the Malaysian People's Movement Party started off as a multiracial party in 1968. Its first chairman was the late Professor Syed Hussein Alatas.

In its early days as the opposition state government of Penang, Gerakan made quite widespread use of the services of its Malay members.

But many of them, especially the prominent ones, went back to Umno when it joined BN. Today the Malays form a tiny fraction of the party's membership. Some 80% of its members are Chinese and 15%, Indians.

Other attempts at promoting multiracial politics at the organizational level were Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia (Pekemas), Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia (PSRM) and the DAP.

When in 1972 Gerakan co-founder Tun Lim Chong Eu led the party into BN, the late Tan Sri Dr Tan Chee Khoon opposed it.

He soon left Gerakan because he felt that by joining BN, the party was endorsing the race-based politics of the new coalition. He went on to form Pekemas or the Social Justice Party of Malaysia as a non-communal party.

Despite his non-communal stance, Dr Tan supported the New Economic Policy (NEP) because he believed that an affirmative action plan was required to address poverty, which was then rampant among the Malays and the rural population.

Despite his best efforts and his idealism, Pekemas did badly in the 1974 general election. Dr Tan was the only Pekemas parliamentary candidate to win. When he retired in 1977 due to poor health, most of Pekemas' members defected to the DAP.

The DAP itself, which was the product of the “Malaysianisation” of the Malaysian operation of Lee Kuan Yew's People's Action Party (PAP), started life as a multiracial party in 1967.

But today it has lost its Malay representation. Despite winning the most number of seats in the Perak State Legislative Assembly in the March 8 polls, it was unable to lead the State Government because the State Constitution requires that the Menteri Besar be a Malay and a Muslim.

The last of the maverick post-colonial multiracial parties to survive was Parti Rakyat Malaysia or Malaysian People's Party.

It was founded in 1955 by nationalist Ahmad Boestaman and counted among its leaders Ishak Haji Muhammad or better known as Pak Sako, Abdul Aziz Ishak, Datuk Kampo Radjo, Tan Kai Hee, Tan Hock Hin, Dr Rajakumar, Hasnul Hadi and Tajuddin Kahar.

Under the leadership of academician Syed Husin Ali, the party supported Anwar's 1998 reformasi movement that led to the founding of Parti Keadilan (Justice Party). In August 2003, the two parties merged to form Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Thus the question arises whether PKR can sustain its multiracial representation or it too will degenerate into an ethnic-based party like the DAP and Gerakan.

Already, several key founders of the party have resigned while others have gone back to Umno.

Still, PKR may stand a better chance of surviving thanks to its strong leadership and its success in leading the opposition coalition in the March 8 polls.

Its chances of surviving may improve further if Pakatan Rakyat is formalised and becomes a viable long-term alternative to BN.

Of course, PKR will become stronger if, by Sept 16, Anwar is able to coax enough numbers of BN MPs to switch their allegiance and side with Pakatan Rakyat.

So we may yet see Anwar as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Karpal Wants New Leader For Pakatan

A Kadir Jasin

[ANONYMOUS comments with not be entertained. When commenting, your real identity is preferred. But a suitable pseudonym is accepted. If you have to use anonymous, please print your name or pen name at the bottom of your message. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libelous statements. Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]

[UPDATE, Feb. 10] -- PKR V. Arumugam has resigned as Bukit Selambau State Assemblyman. Anwar Ibrahim said another Indian is likely to represent the party in the by-election.

UPDATE, Feb. 9]

1. Malaysiakini reported that the DAP secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, has backed Anwar Ibrahim as Parliamentary opposition leader as well as the leader of Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

2. The Pas Bukit Gantang Member of Parliament, Roslan Shaharum , died this morning at 50. In last March general elections, Roslan defeated the Barisan Nasional heavyweight, the Umno Treasurer Abdul Azim Zabidi, by a majority of 1,566 votes, polling 20,015 votes against Azim’s 18,449 votes.

3. Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak today announced that Exco member V Arumugam of PKR has relinquished his Exco post but will continue as Bukit Selambau state assemblyman.

[Original Post]

THAT the DAP’s strongman, Karpal Singh, lashed out at the Barisan Nasional and blamed the BN for practising the game of defections is only to be expected.

But when the DAP Chairman and Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament up his ante against the de facto head of Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar Ibrahim, the final outcome could be devastating to the informal three-party coalition.

The independent news portal Malaysiakini described Karpal’s latest diatribe as “an outburst” and said it could have deep implications for the Pakatan Rakyat alliance.

Karpal, according to the Malaysiakini, openly urged Anwar to step down as the leader of the alliance. He blamed Anwar for the disarray in PR by his continuous rhetoric about forming government with the aid of defectors from Barisan Nasional.

Karpal also had harsh words for his colleagues, especially party’s supremo Lim Kit Siang and secretary general Lim Guan Eng for their inconsistent stand on party hopping.

According to Malaysiakini, Karpal did not mince words. He accused Anwar of causing trouble to PR.

"He (Anwar) has created enough trouble and it is time for him to bertaubat (repent)."It's time Pakatan got itself another leader," he said.

Karpal's biggest complain was Anwar's support for defections of elected representatives. Soon after the 2008 General Elections, Anwar had claimed that he had enough defectors from BN to form the federal government.

However, despite his repeated assurances, the takeover did not materialize.

Talking to reporters at his office in Penang, Karpal reiterated this stand that party hopping could never be justified.

He said he was somewhat confounded by how Anwar could have openly espoused and encouraged crossovers after the people gave a resounding mandate to the Pakatan on March 8 last year.

In the interest of the public and, in particular, the Pakatan, Karpal said Anwar has a lot to answer for creating the woes that the Pakatan is in now.

Karpal also blamed the BN for practising the game of defections – giving examples of how the ruling coalition had pinched DAP leaders in 1979 and 1982. In the latter instance Anwar was in Umno and the BN.

"I only hope Anwar did not learn of the morality, or rather immorality, of political kangaroos hopping form the opposition to the BN during the time he was in the BN.

"Be that as it may, the intelligence of the rakyat should not be underestimated by politicians from either side of the divide.

"The trust of the people cannot and should not be taken for granted by elected representative," he said.

As for the ongoing crisis in Perak, the DAP chairman said the solution lies squarely on the shoulder of the judiciary, given that the Sultan of Perak had appointed a new BN Menteri Besar and is poised to appoint a new Exco on Tuesday.

"The predicament faced by the rakyat in Perak is the consequence of political treachery and large scale deception and commission of fraud on the voters by the assemblypersons who have deserted the party, the strength of which placed them in the state assembly," he added.

The Perak PR government collapsed last week when two assemblymen from Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and one from DAP defected and pledged support for the BN.

The sole BN assemblyman who defected to the PKR days earlier made an about turn and returned to Umno’s fold.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Kurangkan Politik Pesatkan Rangsangan Ekonomi

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous TIDAK AKAN DILAYAN. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran. Jikalau menggunakan anonymous, sila nyatakan nama di penghujung komen. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan. Ulasan yang terkeluar daripada tajuk tidak akan diberi keutamaan.]

BANYAK pembahas berasa gusar kerana kita nampaknya terlalu banyak menumpukan masa, tenaga dan sumber kewangan kepada politik. Mereka meminta saya mengulas mengenai ekonomi.

Sebelum itu, kita terpaksa terima hakikat, iaitu apabila kita menabur angin -- dengan tersilap membuat perkiraan politik, sama ada politik dalam parti atau antara parti --maka kita hendaklah bersedia menuai badai.

Pembahas Sawit Futures Trader yang mencari makan dengan bergiat di pasaran hadapan komoditi, antara lain menyebut:

“Dato' (Datuk) boleh tulis artikel tentang kesan pakej rangsangan ekonomi setakat ini. Atau kesan daripada pelan tindakan ekonomi negara jiran (terutamanya Singapura) ke atas Malaysia.

"Tak kan Dato' (Datuk) tak sedar perangkaan dan jangkaan tahap pengangguran 2009 yang diwartakan oleh beberapa autoriti serantau baru-baru ini...”.

Saya rasa tidak ada siapa pun yang boleh memberi jawapan yang tepat dan khusus mengenai situasi ekonomi sekarang. Beberapa hari lalu, Tabung Matawang Antarabangsa (IMF) meramalkan ekonomi negara-negara di Asia akan pulih semula tahun depan tetapi ada juga ramalan ia akan berterusan sehingga tahun 2011.

Daripada pemerhatian rambang saya dan hasil persidangan sehari “Global Financial Crisis –Mapping the Blueprint for Survival” yang dipengerusikan oleh Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad di Kuala Lumpur pada 4 Februari lalu, izinkan saya sedikit ruang untuk mengemukakan fakta dan pandangan berikut:

1. Krisis kali ini lebih buruk dan luas daripada krisis kewangan serantau yang melanda Asia Timur dan Asia Tenggara pada tahun 1997/98;

2. Krisis kali ini berpunca dan bermula di Amerika Syarikat akibat krisis subprima dan merebak dengan pantas ke seluruh dunia, khasnya ke negara-negara maju;

3. Disebabkan Amerika adalah ekonomi terbesar di dunia, kemelesetan ekonominya menjejas ekonomi dunia keseluruhannya;

4. Malaysia bergantung terus kepada Amerika sebagai salah satu destinasi utama eksport dan sumber penting pelaburan asing;

5. Krisis subprima yang menyebabkan banyak institusi kewangan dan peminjam, khasnya pemilik rumah, muflis menjejas kuasa membeli Amerika;

6. Apabila pengguna Amerika dan negara-negara maju yang lain mengurangkan import, eksport kita akan berkurangan;

7. Kilang-kilang yang mengeluarkan barangan untuk pasaran Amerika dan dunia terpaksa mengurangkan pengeluaran atau ditutup terus;

8. Ada anggaran mengatakan seramai 400,000 pekerja sama ada sudah hilang pekerjaan atau tidak lagi mempunyai pekerjaan sepenuh masa atau tetap dan 200,000 lagi dalam ancaman;

9. Pekerja yang hilang pekerjaan atau tidak lagi mendapat gajian penuh akan mencetuskan reaksi berangkai (chain reaction) – tiada pekerjaan tiada pendapatan, tiada pendapatan tiada perbelanjaan, tiada perbelanjaan tiada pengeluaran dan tiada pengeluaran kilang terpaksa ditutup menyebabkan lebih ramai lagi pekerja yang akan menganggur;

10. Anggaran pengangguran yang sangat membimbangkan ini wajib diberi perhatian kerana ia mungkin tepat. Ini kerana bukan semua pekerja berdaftar, bergaji tetap atau mempunyai majikan. Ramai yang bekerja sendiri;

11. Justeru itu adalah sangat penting ekonomi dalam negara (domestic economy) diberi rangsangan agar kepenggunaan boleh dikekalkan pada tahap yang tinggi kerana kepenggunaan (consumption) memberi kesan langsung kepada pengeluaran (production) dan seterusnya kepada guna tenaga (employment);

12. Dalam suasana ekonomi global yang lembap beginilah kerajaan perlu menambah perbelanjaan awam (public expenditure) bagi mengimbangi perbelanjaan sektor swasta yang berkurangan;

13. Persidangan yang dipengerusikan oleh Dr Mahathir itu sependapat kerajaan wajib melancarkan Pakej Rangsangan Ekonomi (Economic Stimulus Package) yang kedua secepat mungkin;

14. Pakej itu hendaklah cukup besar, dengan tujuan yang jelas dan memberi kesan yang juga jelas (large, purposeful and impactful). Ada anggaran mengatakan peruntukan hingga RM30 bilion diperlukan;

15. Setiap ringgit dibelanjakan wajib dipantau pengalirannya agar sampai kepada matlamat yang dituju, iaitu rakyat jelata dan pengguna di peringkat paling bawah;

16. Peserta persidangan kurang pasti, justeru itu kurang yakin dengan keberkesanan pakej pertama yang dilancarkan tahun lalu bernilai RM7 bilion;

17. Sebahagian peruntukan pakej kedua ini wajib ditujukan dan diberikan terus kepada pengguna, khasnya golongan terancam seperti ibu tunggal, rakyat miskin dan mereka yang menjaga ibu bapa yang tua;

18. Selain “memaksa” sistem bank yang nampaknya semakin enggan mengeluarkan pinjaman agar tidak menjadi kurang ajar, kerajaan wajar memikirkan kemungkinan mengambil alih tabungan sistem bank jika ia terus degil;

19. Kerajaan boleh menambah kecairan dan mengurangkan lagi kos modal dengan mengeluarkan wang (dana) daripada pelbagai tabung pembangunan awam dan swasta seperti tabung tanam semula getah dan kelapa sawit, tabung penyelidikan, tabung pembangunan sumber manusia dan tabung pendidikan tinggi;

20. Mohd Najib sebagai Menteri Kewangan dan bakal Perdana Menteri, memikul tanggungjawab yang sangat besar dan berat;

21. Kalau beliau pandai mencari nasihat dan tidak takut berkawan dengan orang yang pakar, harapan beliau menyelamatkan ekonomi negara akan bertambah cerah;

22. Suka atau tidak, beliau terpaksa mengakui kepakaran dan pengalaman orang seperti Dr Mahathir, Daim Zainuddin, Thong Yaw Hong, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Mustapha Mohamed, Lin See Yan dan Ramon Navaratnam dalam menangani krisis ekonomi;

23. Saya sangat gembira melihat beberapa orang pegawai kanan kerajaan, termasuk Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Kewangan, (Tan Sri) Wan Abdul Aziz Abdullah, hadir di persidangan itu;

24. Harus diingat bahawa pakej rangsangan berbilion ringgit tidak bermakna kalau tidak ditujukan kepada sektor dan kegiatan yang produktif dan dipantau dengan terperinci;

25. Apa yang menyebabkan ekonomi Malaysia nampak tidak menyerlah pada beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini berpunca daripada krisis keyakinan. Pelabur dan pengguna kurang yakin dengan dasar-dasar dan projek-projek kerajaan serta perlaksanaannya;

26. Bagi Mohd Najib, tidak akan ada bulan madu atau waktu percubaan. Dia terpaksa bertindak segera dan bekerja keras mengembalikan keyakinan umum terhadap pengurusan dan pentadbiran ekonomi negara;

27. Saya kurang kemampuan dan keberanian untuk membuat analisis terperinci ke atas pakej rangsangan ekonomi yang lalu dan kesannya kerana saya tidak berada dalam lingkaran maklumat – information loop;

28. Daripada pengalaman lalu, saya rasa sebuah badan bertindak berkuasa tinggi seperti Majlis Bertindak Ekonomi Negara (NEAC) wajib diwujudkan semula; dan

29. Saya hanya boleh mengimbau kembali ingatan kepada krisis 1997/98 apabila saya berada dalam lingkaran maklumat. Waktu itu, pengaliran maklumat diuruskan dengan sangat terperinci untuk memudahkan tindakan dan mewujudkan keyakinan.

Apa pun kedudukannya, kita semua amat berharap kerajaan pusat dan negeri, tidak kira Barisan Nasional atau Pakatan Rakyat, tidak terperangkap dalam kemelut politik sehingga lalai menangani krisis yang sangat menakutkan ini.

Mungkin tidak keterlaluan kalau kita mengharapkan kemunculan satu mekanisme yang menyerupai pentadbiran perpaduan nasional (national unity administration) yang membabitkan semua pihak dan parti politik bagi menangani krisis ini.

Kesan dan petunjuk semasa kurang memberi keyakinan bahawa kita mempunyai kapasiti dan ketahanan yang mencukupi untuk mengharungi krisis ini dalam jangka masa panjang. Persepsi negatif seperti itu wajib dihapuskan agar wujud semula keyakinan.

Persidangan yang dipengerusikan oleh Dr Mahathir dan dihadiri pakar-pakar asing, kapten-kapten industri, para penyelidik, cendekiawan dan pegawai kanan kerajaan itu mengemukakan banyak pandangan dan cadangan. Saya harap kerajaan tidak menolaknya tanpa terlebih dahulu menelitinya.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Implikasi Tumbangnya Kerajaan PR Perak

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous TIDAK AKAN DILAYAN. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran. Jikalau menggunakan anonymous, sila nyatakan nama di penghujung komen. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan. Ulasan yang terkeluar daripada tajuk tidak akan diberi keutamaan.]

[UPDATE, 9 Feb.] -- Malaysiakini melaporkan kira-kira 1,000 orang berhimpun di padang Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh petang ini bagi mengisytiharkan sokongan kepada Raja-Raja Melayu.

Perhimpunan itu dianjurkan oleh Pemuda Umno dan beberapa badan bukan kerajaan termasuk Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS).

[UPDATE, 6 Feb.] -- KITA boleh terus membahaskan isu ini. Tetapi saya mohon para pembahas agar berhati-hati. Minta jangan sekali-kali pertikai kuasa RAJA-RAJA MELAYU di bawah Perlembagaan. Raja-Raja adalah kebal di bawah Perlembagaan ketika menjalankan tugas rasmi negera dan negeri.

Kita boleh kritikal dan boleh bersuara tetapi berhati-hati agar TIDAK MENDERHAKA kepada Raja. Raja-Raja Melayu adalah pelindung dan simbol kepada agama Islam dan bangsa Melayu serta payung bagi semua rakyat jelata Malaysia.

Hendaknya janganlah ada orang Melayu yang menderhaka kepada Raja dan bersekongkol dengan sesiapa pun untuk mempertikaikan kuasa dan budibicara Raja semata-mata kerana politik dan kuasa.

Gunalah saluran undang-undang. Gunalah Mahkamah. Seelok-eloknya gunakanlah Dewan Undangan Negeri untuk menentukan siapa yang ada sokongan dan siapa yang tidak ada sokongan. Buat usul undi percaya dan buatlah usul undi tidak percaya.

Pokok pangkalnya orang Melayu jangan derhaka kepada Raja yang adil apatah lagi bersekongkol dengan orang lain mencabar hak dan budibicara Raja Berperlembagaan.

[UPDATE, 6 Feb.] - Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir selesai mengangkat sumpah sebagai Menteri Besar Perak di Istana Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar. Kira-kira 3,000 penyokong Pakatan Rakyat mengadakan tunjuk perasaan di sekitar Masjid Ubudiah.

[UPDATE, Feb. 5] -- ACCORDING to Bernama, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had announced that Pangkor Assemblyman Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir would be the new Menteri Besar of Perak.

[MUTAKHIR, 5 Feb.] -- Bernama melaporkan Sultan Azlan Shah tidak memberi restu bagi membubarkan Dewan Undangan Negeri. Sebaliknya Baginda menitahkan Mohd Nizar meletakkan jawatan sebagai Menteri Besar.

Memetik kenyataan Pejabat Sultan, Bernama berkata jika Mohd Nizar gagal berbuat demikian, jawatan itu akan dianggap kosong.

[Posting Asal]

APA PUN yang terjadi dan akan terjadi dalam jangka masa singkat ini, hakikat yang terpaksa diterima ialah kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Perak yang berusia tidak sampai setahun telah roboh.

Empat Adunnya – tiga daripada parti Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia (PKR) dan seorang daripada DAP telah belot dan mengisytiharkan menyokong Barisan Nasional.

Mereka adalah Jamaluddin Mohd Razdi (PKR-Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (PKR-Changkat Jering), Hee Yit Foong (DAP-Jelapang) dan Nasaruddin Hashim (BN-Bota yang melompat ke PKR 10 hari lalu).

Melainkan mereka berubah hati dan merangkak pulang semula ke pangkuan PKR atau empat orang Adun BN pula belot dan memberi sokongan kepada PR, riwayat PR di Perak boleh dikira berakhir.

Malah itulah “pengakuan” Menteri Besarnya, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, apabila dia menyembah Sultan Perak hari ini dan menasihatkan Baginda agar membubarkan Dewan Undangan Negeri. Dalam erti kata yang lain, dia mengaku bahawa PR tidak lagi mempunyai bilangan ahli mencukupi untuk terus memerintah.

Dan seperti kata Mohd Nizar, sekarang terpulanglah kepada Tuanku. Apa pun keputusan Baginda, Kerajaan PR Perak sudah menjadi sejarah, sekurang-kurangnya buat sementara waktu ini.

Dan tuduhan ketua de fakto PR, Anwar Ibrahim, bahawa BN cuba menubuhkan kerajaan di Perak dengan apa cara pun – by hook or by crook – seperti yang dilaporkan oleh agensi berita Perancis, AFP, tidak lagi bermakna.

Malah hujah beliau bahawa dia dan pakatannya sedang berusaha membubarkan Dewan Undangan Negeri dan memanggil pilihan raya bagi mendapatkan mandat baru daripada rakyat jelata juga sudah tidak meyakinkan lagi.

Kurang dua minggu lalu apabila Nasaruddin belot dan melompat menyertai PKR, Anwar tidak pula mengatakan perlu kembali kepada rakyat untuk mendapatkan mandat baru. Malah dia berkata ramai lagi akan menyertai partinya.

Bukan itu saja, sepanjang masa dia mengusik dan mengasak untuk menumbangkan Kerajaan BN melalui pembelotan Ahli Parlimen BN, dia tidak sedikit pun menghiraukan mandat yang pengundi berikan kepada BN.

Yang tragik bukan sangat pembelotan oleh Adun PKR dan DAP itu, tetapi implikasi tindakan mereka ke atas pengundi yang menaruh sepenuh harapan kepada PR sebagai pengganti BN.

Pembelotan mereka itu juga akan menimbulkan tanda tanya mengenai keutuhan dan integriti PKR sebagai pemangkin gerakan pembangkang.

Lagipun, tidak kira apa jua tuduhan dan selaran yang Anwar dan penyokongnya buat terhadap BN, mereka terpaksa akui bahawa bertepuk tidak boleh sebelah tangan.

Kalau Adun PKR dan DAP itu teguh integritinya dan komited kepada perjuangan serta kepemimpinan parti masing-masing, tidak ada sogokan atau rayuan daripada BN boleh mengubah pendirian mereka.

Sama ada mereka orang yang tidak berintegriti atau mereka tidak lagi yakin dengan perjuangan serta kepemimpinan PKR dan DAP, hakikatnya mereka telah berpaling tadah.

Kalau maruah, integriti dan keadilan penting kepada Adun yang terlibat itu, mereka tidak perlu menunggu arahan sesiapa untuk mengosongkan kerusi masing-masing dan mengembalikan mandat kepada rakyat.

Betullah yang dipilih itu calon (manusia) dan bukan parti. Tetapi mereka bertanding sebagai calon kepada parti. Pengundi memilih mereka atas dasar parti. Melainkanlah mereka calon bebas.

Kalau mereka calon bebas sekali pun, mereka masih terikat kepada mandat pengundi apabila mereka hendak menyertai mana-mana parti.

BN pun tidaklah boleh terlalu gembira dan yakin sekalipun mempunyai bilangan yang cukup untuk mengambil alih kerajaan Perak.

Kalau tiga Adun PR itu boleh belot kepada parti masing-masing dan Adun Umno dari Bota sendiri boleh cabut seketika untuk bersekedudukan dengan PKR, apa jaminan bahawa mereka tidak akan belot kepada BN.

Lagipun, sebagai Adun bebas mereka tidak semestinya bersama BN sepanjang masa dan dalam semua isu.

Satu lagi cabaran kepada BN ialah memilih bakal Menteri Besar bagi mengambil tempat yang dulunya disandang oleh Tajol Rosli Ghazali.

Eloklah Umno mengambil kesempatan ini bagi memulakan proses restorasi dan penyegaran kepemimpinan dengan memilih orang baru yang lebih muda dan berpotensi.

[ADDENDUM]

Sultan Azlan Shah’s statement

THE following is the media statement issued by the office of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, which was signed by the ruler’s private secretary, Col Datuk Abd Rahim Mohamad Nor:

"Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was granted an audience by Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan on Feb 4, to ask for his Royal Highness’s consent to dissolve the Perak State Assembly.

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, also requested for an audience with his Royal Highness in his capacity as the Perak Barisan Nasional chairman and consent was granted to be present before his Royal Highness on Feb 5.

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohd Najib informed that the Barisan Nasional and its supporters, now comprising 31 state assemblymen, had the majority in the State Assembly.

On the order of the Duli Yang Maha Mulia to ascertain that the information given was accurate, all the 31 state assemblyman were to present themselves before Paduka Seri Sultan.

After meeting all the 31 assemblymen, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak was convinced that YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly members.

DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak had also considered thoroughly YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s application on Feb 4, 2009 for his Royal Highness’s consent to dissolve the Perak State Assembly.

His Royal Highness had used his discretion under Article XVIII (2)(b) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution and did not consent to the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly.

YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was summoned to an audience with the Sultan to be informed of his Royal Highness’s decision not to dissolve the State Assembly, and in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI (6) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak ordered YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the members of the state executive council with immediate effect.

If YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin does not resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the state executive council members, then the posts of Mentri Besar and state executive councillors are regarded as vacant.

This statement is issued with the consent of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan."

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Umno-PKR Tit-For-Tat?

A Kadir Jasin

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[UPDATE, Feb. 3]

MALAYSIAKINI reported that the Election Commission today announced that by-elections are not necessary for the state seats of Changkat Jering and Behrang as there are doubts over the resignation letters said to have been submitted by their representatives.

The Commission chairman, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, however said the Perak Pakatan Rakyat Government is free to challenge the decision in court.


[UPDATE, Feb. 2]

1. MALAYSIAKINI reported that Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman denied that they have stepped down as Assemblymen as claimed by the State Speaker, V. Sivakumar (DAP Tronoh), yesterday. Jamaluddin and Osman issued statements through their representatives at separate press conferences, insisting they are still members Behrang and Changkat Jering respectively.


2. The independent news portal quoted the Perak DAP chairman, Ngeh Koo Han, as saying that the undated resignation letters signed Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman are valid. He said the date of the letter or the absence of it is not relevant as the law takes into account the signatory’s intention.

3. This morning, V Sivakumar officially informed the state Election Commission Chief of the vacancies left behind by Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman.

4. Malaysiakini also reported that the Ipoh Barat PKR division chief, Fauzi Muda, has made a statutory declaration claiming that Umno deputy president, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, offered him RM50 million last year for his services to induce the crossover of two Pakatan Rakyat representatives in Perak. It carried no reaction from Mohd Najib.


[LATEST]

The Star
SMS service and Malaysiakini reported that Jamaludin and Mohd Osman have resigned as Assemblymen. House Speaker, V. Sivakumar said by-election will be held within 60 day.

Malaysiakini also reported the ‘disappearance' of Deputy Speaker, Hee Yit Fong, thereby fuelling speculation that she may join the MCA.. Hee, 46, is the DAP's representative for Jelapang.

The news portal learnt that she hadmissed state and party functions recently and was absent from a meeting chaired by Mohamad Nizar this morning.

[Original Posting]

IT’S now the turn of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat to worry about the loyalty and integrity of its elected representatives. It worries that Umno and the Barisan Nasional may be poaching them.

The independent news portal, Malaysiakini, reported that the Perak PKR had accused the Deputy Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, of attempting to entice two of its state executive councilors to defect to Umno.

According to Malaysiakini, over the past few days, rumours have circulated that Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu are quitting PKR. It said the duo, who had gone missing for a few days, have not publicly denied the speculation.

The allegation came only days after the PKR celebrated the defection of the Barisan Nasional State Assemblyman for Bota, Nasaruddin Hashim, to its side.

Whether it turns out to be a tit-for-tat between Umno and the PKR or the latter cooking up a story to test the loyalty of its Wakil Rakyat, this latest development makes for an interesting reading.

But it could also be real. Mohd Najib had just taken over the chairmanship of the Perak Umno Liaison Committee following the resignation of the former Menteri Besar, Tajol Rosli Ghazali, a few days ago. The latter took responsibility for Nasaruddin’s defection.

Tajol Rosli’s resignation is a blessing for Mohd Najib. When he takes over the party and the government next month, God willing, one of the first things Mohd Najib should consider doing is to remove all state liaison chiefs whose states fell to the oppositions in the last year’s general elections.

With Mohd Najib as the chief of the Perak Umno, the PKR has a genuine reason to worry that he might use his position to encourage PKR’s representatives to defect.

Rumours have also been circulating that the Perak Menteri Besar, Mohamad Nizar Jamaludin, who is from Pas, might be replaced by a PKR representative. PAS and PKR leaders have dismissed the rumours.

Being the most junior partner in the Perak Pakatan Rakyat coalition government, Pas is in an awkward position.

Mohamad Nizar, an engineer, was appointed the Menteri Besar because the DAP, despite being the dominant partner, does not have a Malay representative to offer and the PKR’s could not offer a suitable Malay candidate. The Perak constitution requires that the MB be Malay.

Pas has six members in the assembly against the DAP’s 18 and PKR’s eight, including the BN turncoat Nasaruddin.

But neither the PKR nor Umno should be using this immoral and undemocratic ploy to beef their strength or to topple one another. The defection of elected representatives is an act of betrayal.

It is already threatening to sour relations between the PKR, which derives much of its membership and tactics from Umno, and DAP.

The DAP has from the beginning been uncomfortable with Anwar Ibrahim’s attempts to buy the loyalty of the BN Parliamentarians in his botch attempt to topple the BN Government on Sept. 16 last year.

On Jan. 3, The Star newspaper quoted the DAP chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh, as saying that PR should only embark on capturing the federal and state governments during the next general elections, and not seize power via the crossovers of BN’s representatives.

He said the people’s choice during the election should be honoured, and they would feel cheated if the MPs or assemblymen hop over to another party.

"I must make it very clear that I have not at any one time been in support of Anwar’s stand on crossovers.

“In fact, as far back as March 23, 2008, I had gone to the extent of saying DAP would support the Barisan-led Federal Government to amend the Constitution to make party-hopping illegal by providing more than the eight MPs required by the Barisan to make up for the two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution,” he said in a statement.

DAP, he said, is against elected representatives betraying the sacred trust of their constituents through party-hopping.

On March 23, 2008, laywer-blogger Haris Ibrahim (apologies not Harris Hashim as earlier state) of People’s Parliament, posted the following excerpt of his letter to Anwar objecting to party-hopping:

“I write now on behalf of the many voters whose choice of candidate and party to represent them are, based on the many news reports, in serious jeopardy should defections by BN MPs come to pass. On their behalf, I ask that should you be approached by such MPs seeking to cross over, that you insist that your party will only accept them into your fold after they have first obtained the sanction of their voters to their proposed defection.

“A statement from you now to confirm that no defecting MP will be accepted without such MP first getting the consent of the voters will go a long way to allay our concerns.”

Harris appeared to feel so strongly about the “immorality” of party hopping by elected representatives that he even urged his readers to write to Anwar.

Apart from trying to be morally upright and democratically responsible, Karpal Singh’s vehement objection to Anwar’s underhanded method has a more sinister political dimension.

Should Anwar succeed in corrupting the BN MPs and State Assemblymen, especially his former colleagues from Umno, to cross over to PKR, the DAP could see its superiority in Perak and Penang reduced.

Already it is playing the second fiddle to PKR in Parliament with 28 seats against the latter’s 31. Pas has 23 seats.

Even Pas has a reason to worry if Anwar succeeds in corrupting Umno’s State Assemblymen and MPs to defect to its camp.

In the past, the shifting loyalty of the Malays moves back and forth between Umno and Pas. Now, apart from Umno, Pas has also to contend with PKR.

Pas could end up being the ultimate loser if the defecting Umno members and supporters side with PKR instead with Pas.

Also the party has to consider the long-term implications of its collaboration with the DAP via Pakatan Rakyat. I am sure its leaders are aware that the Muslims in general and its supporters in particular are angered by the DAP’s stance on the position of Islam in the Constitution and its opposition to Hudud and Qisas.

But it appears that many PKR leaders, members and supporters have no qualm adopting Umno’s alleged dirty tactics to gain power while at the same time claiming that they are more transparent, ethical and trustworthy than Umno.

There’s a Malay proverb that says a dog may not eat another dog’s excreta, but it’ll invariably sniff it. That’s ok for dogs and cats.

They mark their territories and announce their presence, their gender and their sexual condition with their excreta. Dogs even sniff each other’s behind in friendly gesture.

And a bull in heat will follow an ovulating female for days without eating and drinking just for a chance to mate with her.

A bull elephant would even go mad – tumpah minyak – when it’s in the heat and cannot find an ovulating female. The minyak or oil is actually the musk a mature male elephant produces when it is in the heat.

When I was growing up in Kedah in the 1950’s and 60’s, elephants were still widely kept as beasts of burden and stories of mahut (elephant handlers) and bystanders being killed or injured by a “tumpah minyak” elephant were common.

About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).