Sunday, November 29, 2009

OF Animals, Animalistic Humans And Moonlighting Maids

A Kadir Jasin

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MIGRANT RIGTHS, a website dedicated to raising awareness on the plight of migrant and expatriate workers in the Middle East went to town to report that a Malaysian Chinese woman and a former flight attendant, Yim Pek Ha, 40, who repeatedly scalded her Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat with hot iron, had been jailed by a Kuala Lumpur court for 18 years.

Thanks to the animalistic behaviour of a handful of ugly Malaysians, their law-abiding countrymen and women have to suffer, and the country's image smeared.

Indonesia has stopped allowing its citizens to go to Malaysia as maids. Those who suffer most are the Malay/Muslim households who traditionally depend on maids from Indonesia for religious and cultural reasons.

But we are not alone in hosting humans with animal instinct, bearing in mind that some animals are capable of humanlike compassion. Over in China, the authorities a few days ago executed two men for abducting and selling 15 children, many of whom were taken as babies or toddlers and have not yet been reunited with their parents, state media said.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that Hu Minghua, 55, and Su Binde, 27, were executed on the order of the Supreme People's Court.

Hu was convicted of kidnapping and selling nine children from April 1999 to Oct. 2005. Five of the children, all boys now aged from 3 to 6, have been returned to their families, while the parents of the remaining ones have not been found.

Su was convicted of abducting six children between Sept. 2005 and July 2006. The police rescued five of the children while a sixth remains missing.

Child trafficking is big problem in China, where traditional preference for male heirs and a restrictive one-child policy has driven a thriving market in baby boys, who fetch a considerably higher price than girls.

In the UK, a religious education teacher who had sex with one of her 15-year-old students after seducing him on Facebook has been jailed for 32 months.

Madeleine Martin, 39, a mother of two teenaged girls, had sex with the boy in the back of her car in a country park, at a shopping centre and inside her family home in Knutsford, Cheshire, UK.

Judge Jonathan Geak of the Manchester Crown Court also ordered her to be put in the Sex Offenders Register. The court was told that she fell for the boy after she was assigned to help him with his difficulties with schoolwork last year.

She soon began giving him gifts, including a mobile phone, and contacting him on Facebook.

In Ireland, Roman Catholic Church leaders spent decades sheltering child-abusing priests from the law and most fellow clerics turned a blind eye, an investigation ordered by Ireland's government concluded.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who handed over more than 60,000 previously secret church files to the three-year investigation, said he felt deep shame and sorrow for how previous archbishops presided over endemic child abuse - yet claimed afterward not to understand the gravity of their sins.

In Bangladesh, a court jailed two men for severely beating a pregnant crocodile at an Islamic shrine. Judge Abdus Salam Khan convicted the men of torturing the crocodile and sentenced them to two years in jail with hard labor.

In Australia, a kangaroo startled by a man walking his dog attacked the pair, pinning the pet underwater and slashing the owner in the abdomen with its hind legs. Chris Rickard was in stable condition after the attack, which ended when the 49-year-old elbowed the kangaroo in the throat.

Also in Australia, the state of Northern Territory plans to round up about 6,000 wild camels with helicopters and gun them down after they overran a small town in the Outback in search of water, trampling fences, smashing tanks and contaminating supplies.

Again in China, the police raided a store, which is licensed to sell flowers, birds, fish and worms and stopped 800 cats from ending up on the dining table. The storeowner had for the last six months been catching stray cats or stealing them from owners for sale to restaurants throughout the country.

Also on the subject of foreign maids in Malaysia – a raid last weekend by the Immigration Department on a disco in Bukit Bintang found a handful of off-duty Filipino maids working "overtime" as guests relations officers (GROs) aka bargirls.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Could This Be The Seed Of Bipartisan Politics In Malaysia?

A Kadir Jasin

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IF the Opposition-initiated parliamentary caucus on oil and gas royalties takes off under the chairmanship of the Barisan Nasional member for Gua Musang, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, history of sorts will be made.

If indeed the Kelantan Prince and Umno veteran had agree to head the caucus as was claimed by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, on Nov. 24, we could end up witnessing the birth of some sort of bi-partisan politics in Malaysia.

Anwar told the Press that Tengku Razaleigh aka Ku Li had agreed to head the caucus to deliberate on the issue of petroleum and liquefied gas royalty.

Understandably, the reaction from the government side was guarded. On Nov. 25, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was reported as saying that he hoped Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would make an “educated choice” on the invitation to head the proposed caucus.

With the Opposition parties having strong presence in the Parliament and are presenting themselves as a common front, the movement towards some form of bi-partisanism cannot be totally dismissed.

In a two-party political system, bipartisanism refers to any bill, act, resolution, motion or any other action of the legislature in which both of the major parties or coalition of parties are in agreement.

On a more personal and private level, the Ku Li-Anwar collaboration does not come as a complete surprise to me for two major reasons.

Firstly Tengku Razaleigh is a very senior and independent-minded Umno leader. He is in a class of his own, partly because he’s the last surviving key player of early era. He is beholden neither to the government nor the current Umno leadership for his position.
He’s untouchable.

Secondly the Ku Li-Anwar relationship goes back a long way. Ku Li played key role in introducing Anwar to Umno in the opening months of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Administration back in the early 1980s. Anwar joined Umno in 1982.

As for the issue at hand, I personally do not see any harm in the Parliamentarians from both sides of the House revisiting the laws and practices pertaining to the oil and gas royalties paid to states.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Perihal Datuk Menteri, Menantu Dan Carla Bruni

A Kadir Jasin

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TOK GURU Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat akhirnya tunduk kepada persepsi dan pendapat umum bahawa pelantikan menantunya, Abdul Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman, sebagai Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO) Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan adalah langkah tidak popular dan meragukan.

Apa pun alasan dan motivasi Menteri Besar Kelantan itu melantik menantunya ke jawatan penting yang sangat hampir dengan Pejabat Menteri Besar itu tidak berguna dan bermakna apabila berdepan dengan pendapat umum yang negatif.

Dipendekkan cerita, pengalaman Nik Abdul Aziz ini wajib serentak dijadikan teladan dan sempadan oleh semua Wakil Rakyat dan penjawat awam.

Teladan: Langkah Nik Abdul Aziz mengakui kesilapan dan memecat menantunya adalah tepat dan berani.

Sempadan: Sayangkan anak, menantu dan bini ada had dan batasan. Sayang di rumah bawa bahagia. Bawa anak, menantu dan bini campur tangan dalam urusan negara mengundang bencana.

Mungkin Nik Abdul Aziz termakan mantera meritokrasi. Mungkin pada perkiraannya si menantu layak dilantik ke jawatan itu atas dasar meritokrasi. Atau boleh jadi juga dia berasa bahawa sebagai Tok Guru, apa sahaja keputusannya akan dipersetujui dan dihormati.

Saya tidak akan kering air liur atau berhenti mengingatkan Wakil Rakyat bahawa pengundi memilih mereka dan memberi mandat kepada mereka. Pengundi tidak memilih apatah lagi memberi mandat kepada anak, menantu, isteri, abang, adik dan kroni mereka.

Teringat saya berita yang disiarkan oleh akhbar arus perdana tempatan pada 19 November lalu bertajuk “Carla Nafi Suami Jadi Pak Turut”. Carla adalah Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, seorang bintang filem Perancis yang kini isteri Presiden Perancis, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Dalam sistem kepresidenan (presidency) Perancis seperti juga dalam sistem Amerika, Presiden adalah Ketua Negara dan Ketua Kerajaan. Jadi isteri Presiden Perancis dan Presiden Amerika memainkan peranan sebagai Wanita Pertama atau First Lady.

Kita tidak ada sistem itu. Kita ada dua ketua. Ketua Negara adalah Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Ketua Kerajaan adalah Perdana Menteri. Macam Ratu Inggeris Ketua Negara dan Perdana Menteri Inggeris Ketua Kerajaan.

Jadi janganlah silap atau sengaja bagi gelaran atau jolokan Wanita Pertama (First Lady) kepada sesiapa. Kita tidak mahu berlaku salah protokol kerana negara kita adalah negara Raja Berperlembagaan dan kita ada adat resam sendiri.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rethinking The MCA's Position In BN

A Kadir Jasin

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UNLESS whatever is left of the MCA leadership is able to patch up the fractured and tattered party in a reasonably short period, it’s advisable for the Barisan Nasional to seriously think of an alternative.

There isn’t much time left for the BN to rebuild. Here lies the next serious challenge for Umno being the dominant member of the 13-party coalition.

While the newspapers today reported that the Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, would meet the squabbling MCA factions in a bid to seek a solution to the worsening crisis, the rethinking of the whole BN equation remains relevant.

Apart from rebuilding its own strength, Umno has to shoulder the task of nursing the whole front back to health if it hopes to reverse its fortune in the 2013 general election.

Umno’s own recovery is, at best, tentative. Although the power transfer at the top had been affected, lower down the command chain, recalcitrant and pig-headed leaders continue to cause havoc. The costly truancy of its former Kota Siputeh State Assemblyman, Abu Hassan Sarif is a case in point.

With or without the solution to the MCA crisis, Umno leadership must to start to thinking seriously about what do to with the non-Malay representation in the BN.

Understandably Umno does not want to be seen to be lording over its non-Malay partners. In the case of the MCA, any sign that Umno is forcing its will on the party will further perpetuate the Chinese voters’ perception that the MCA and Gerakan are being subservient to UMNO.

Yet if the BN wishes to recoup its losses in the Peninsula, it needs stronger MCA and MIC. I am deliberately leaving the Gerakan out of this scenario because the Penang-based party is even weaker than the MCA.

In fact after being booted out of Penang in last year’s general election after 39 years of reign, the Gerakan’s future is questionable. It might have outlived its relevance and could go down the same sad road as the Ipoh-based PPP several decades ago.

One analyst noted soon after the 2008 general election that for the Gerakan and PPP, the key question is whether they should continue to exist and if so, what is their niche in Malaysian politics.

Umno cannot hope to maintain its leadership position if it fails to assist its non-Malay partners in the Peninsula to regain strength. The battle will continue to be here in the Peninsula.

At the same time it has to strengthen ties with the Sarawak- and Sabah-based coalition parties who hepled thwart the fall of the BN in the 2008 GE. Out of 140 seats won by the BN, 54 came from Sarawak and Sabah.

In the worse case scenario, the BN must entertain the unpalatable thought that the Chinese might not be too desperate if the MCA fails to recover. They may not be spoilt for choice, but they certainly have more choices than the Malays.

A substantial chunk of Chinese voters has always been with the DAP. Some are still committed to the nominally multi-racial Gerakan. But more could be looking towards the multi-racial PKR if the Pakatan Rakyat looks like a good long-term alternative to the BN.

This, however, does not deny the fact that the opposition parties too have their share of inter- and intra- party problems given their vast ideological and policy differences.

The Umno supporters too may not take too kindly to their leaders being reticent about the goings-on in the sister parties because at the end of the day, Umno will have to cede some Malay majority seats to its Chinese and Indian partners. In the 2008 GE many such seat were lost to the oppositions.

So it’s time for Mohd Najib who is BN Chairman to cease playing safe. This is his chance of taking the bull by the horn or risk having the BN's posterior kicked in the coming general poll.

He does not have to mediate in the full glare of the spotlight. Surely as Prime Minister and head of the BN he has other ways and means of bringing peace to the squabbling MCA and other BN parties.

If his late father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, could bring together parties of diverse interests and regional affiliations to form the BN in the aftermath of May 13, 1969 racial riots, it is incumbent upon Mohd Najib to breathe the life back into the faltering coalition.

Failing which history will judge him harshly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kemelut Politik Nasional: Dari Kota Mekah Ke Kota Siputeh

A Kadir Jasin

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[UPDATE, Nov. 18] -- JUST a thought. The Election Commission can, on the legal/technical ground, appeal against the High Court decision.

But morally the recalcitrant BN State Assemblyman no longer has the moral authority to stay on and be called Yang Berhormat. There’s no “hormat” whatsoever in his infantile behaviour.

We should just shoo him along and the EC should just prepare for a by-election.

[Original Post]

PERINTAH Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur 16 November mengisytiharkan kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Kota Siputeh di Kedah kosong menggambarkan betapa parti-parti politik nasional masih belum sembuh daripada masalah kronik.

Hakim Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin memutuskan bahawa kerusi itu kosong selepas penyandangnya Abu Hassan Sarif tidak hadir dua persidangan DUN tahun ini.

Apa sudah jadi dengan politik nasional kita? Kalau Barisan Nasional lemah, Pakatan Rakyat nampaknya tidak lebih kuat. Umno ada masalah. MCA ada masalah. Pas ada masalah. PKR apa kurangnya. Yang nampak “steady” sikit adalah DAP. Itu pun belum tahu.

Dalam Pas, kelompok Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat bertegang leher dengan penyokong Abdul Hadi Awang sampai kena adakan seminar khas. Serentak itu muncul kontroversi mengenai cerai talak tiga dalam sumpah setia laknat parti itu.

Duduk tak duduk, Nik Abdul Aziz didedah menerima “sponsorship” kelas platinum bernilai RM65,000 ke Mekah dan menantunya, Ariff Fahmi Abdul Rahman, dilantik CEO Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan yang Nik Abdul Aziz pengerusinya.

Kerana orang ramai sudah tahu, terpaksalah Nik Abdul Aziz membatalkan perjalanan hajinya kali ini. Tajaan RM65,000 itu boleh menghantar ramai fakir miskin ke Tanah Suci atau memberi makan anak-anak yatim dan ibu tunggal kalau si penderma yang baik hati itu mahu!

Nik Abdul Aziz Ketua PR?

PKR pula dikejutkan apabila pemimpin loncatan terbarunya Zaid bin Ibrahim mengatakan Nik Abdul Aziz adalah orang yang paling sesuai memimpin Pakatan Rakyat apabila ia didaftarkan secara rasmi.

Ini memaksa Ketua Umum PKR merangkap “Shadow Prime Minister” (PM bayang-bayangan), Anwar Ibrahim menyangkal dengan mengatakan bahawa itu adalah pendapat peribadi Zaid.

Tetapi kenyataan Zaid itu membawa erti yang besar kerana dia adalah Pengerusi Penaja Pakatan Rakyat. Jelas Zaid memikirkan kelangsungan (survival) PR daripada aspirasi politik Anwar apabila dia membayangkan Nik Abdul Aziz sebagai calon unggul pengerusi PR.

Tetapi itu sebelum Nik Abdul Aziz didedah menerima tajaan platinum ke Mekah dan sebelum menantunya dilantik CEO Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan. Zaid seperti kita maklum adalah anak Kelantan.

Sama ada secara kebetulan atau bagi menyanggah cadangan Zaid melantik Nik Abdul Aziz sebagai ketua PR, Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (Menteri Besar Selangor) melantiknya Anwar sebagai Penasihat Ekonomi Negeri dengan gaji RM1.

Semua penyakit politik ini, tidak kira yang menjangkiti BN atau PR, bukan sahaja mengelirukan rakyat jelata yang sangat-sangat dahagakan pembelaan, malah lebih teruk daripada itu ia menakutkan pelabur dalam dan luar negara.

Silap-silap hari, arus politik nasional sekarang boleh menterjemahkan peribahasa menang bersorak kampung tergadai menjadi kenyataan, khasnya bagi orang Melayu dan Bumiputera yang serba daif.

Ayam sabung kita mungkin menang tetapi tanah bendang kita jadi milik orang. Apatah lagi kalau ayam sabung kita itu ayam “sponsor.”

Umno Kedah Mamaikah?

BERBALIK kepada kes Abu Hassan ini, bayangkan seorang wakil rakyat yang dipilih secara sah oleh pengundi dan telah mengangkat sumpah dilucutkan jawatan oleh mahkamah kerana tidak hadir sidang DUN.

Katalah apa yang hendak dikatakan dan berilah apa pun juga alasan, seorang Adun tidak hadir sidang tanpa alasan dan tanpa mengikut peraturan sehingga dilucutkan jawatan tidak masuk akal.

Meminjam bahasa semasa anak muda, apa sudah jadi dengan si Mamat ni? Ke mana sikap dan sifat tanggungjawab dia. Apakah dia ini seorang yang tidak ada akhlak? Apa yang ketua dia Mahdzir Khalid (bekas Menteri Besar) buat? Apakah kerja Pengerusi Umno dan BN Kedah? Apa kerja Whip BN dalam DUN Kedah? Semua ralek?

Kalau inilah tahap prestasi dan tahap akhlak kepemimpinan Umno dan BN, maka susahlah bagi sesiapa pun menyokong dan mereka. Sebaliknya orang yang cuba menyokong dan mempertahankan mereka akan dicaci dan dikeji.

Kalau inilah tahap prestasi dan tahap akhlak kepemimpinan Umno dan BN Kedah, nampaknya malaplah cita-cita besar mereka hendak menakluki semula negeri itu daripada Pas.

Saya tidak perlu memberitahu orang macam Abu Hassan, Mahdzir dan Pengerusi Perhubungan Umno Kedah yang baru, Mohd Shafie Apdal, bahawa orang Umno pun selesa dengan Ustaz Azizan Abdul Razak.

Sejak pilihan raya umum Mac tahun lalu, Kerajaan Pas Kedah yang dipimpin oleh Azizan adalah antara kerajaan negeri pembangkang yang paling “steady” dan tanpa kontroversi kecuali kes rumah sembelihan babi di mana DAP yang ada hanya satu kerusi berjaya “memeras ugut” kerajaan pimpinan Pas itu.

Malah orang Pas sendiri sudah mula membandingkan kerajaan-kerajaan negeri yang dipimpin oleh parti mereka seperti Kedah, Kelantan dan pada suatu waktu dulu Perak.

Dengan imej kerajaan pimpinan Pas yang tidak banyak catat cela di Kedah, adalah satu tugas berat bagi BN mempertahankan kerusi Kota Siputeh jika (atau apabila) berlaku pilihan raya kecil.

BN menang tipis kerusi ini. Abu Hassan mengalahkan calon Pas Ismail Wan Teh dengan hanya 495 undi sahaja. Abu Hassan dapat 8,160 undi dan Ismail 7,665.

Peristiwa seperti ini dan orang macam Abu Hassan inilah yang menyukarkan usaha memulihkan imej Umno dan BN. Inilah jenis penyokong setia yang akan membawa rebah kepada Umno dan BN.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cerita Cina Buta Dan Cerai Talak Tiga

A Kadir Jasin

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SAYA tidak mahu ulas panjang mengenai bai'ah atau dalam pengertian Parti Islam Se Malaysia sumpah setia laknat. Cukuplah dengan apa yang telah dilaporkan dan diulas oleh media massa arus perdana dan alternatif.

Lagipun, Setiausaha Agung Pas, Mustafa Ali, secara rasmi dan dengan buktinya sekali telah mengaku bahawa bai’ah memang diamalkan oleh Pas. Cuma pada pengetahuannya ia tidak membabitkan cerai.

Portal berita bebas Malaysiakini memetik Mustafa sebagai berkata bahawa bai'ah yang dibuat menjelang pilihan raya umum lalu tidak melibatkan lafaz menceraikan isteri tetapi melibatkan "sumpah setia laknat" bagi mengelak kemungkinan lompat parti.

Mustafa berkata bai'ah tersebut diguna pakai di setiap negeri sejak pilihan raya umum 1974 apabila kali pertama beliau bertanding mewakili PAS.

[Kalau betullah macam kata Mustafa itu, maka hakikatnya Pas mula menggunakan sumpah setia laknat itu ketika ia dalam Barisan Nasional. Pas menyertai BN dalam pilihan raya umum 1974 tetapi disingkir pada tahun 1977.]

Menurut Mustafa, lafaz bai'ah tersebut berbunyi:

"Wallahi, wabillahi, watallahi, bahawa saya (nama calon) yang diamanahkan oleh Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) untuk bertanding bagi (nama pilihan raya dan kerusi) bersumpah dengan nama Allah, sama ada saya menang atau saya kalah dalam pilihan raya ini, saya tidak akan mengkhianati parti dan perjuangan parti ini. Jika saya mengkhianati parti dan perjuangan parti ini, maka saya akan dilaknati Allah, para malaikat dan sekalian para pelaknat."

Mustafa mempamerkan teks sumpah tersebut dalam sidang media di ibu pejabatnya di Kuala Lumpur pada 13 November.

Soalnya apakah ada pembesar Pas yang keliru atau sengaja memasukkan syarat cerai talak tiga sebagai sebahagian daripada sumpah mereka?

Sebagai seorang yang tidak dalam ilmu agamanya, saya susah hendak kaitkan cerai talak tiga dengan politik kepartian.

Tidak cukup dengan sumpah laknat, kena cerai isteri pula. Bukan main-main cerai pula, cerai talak tiga. Sekarang lagi susah sebab ada calon dan Wakil Rakyat Pas wanita. Adakah ini bermakna wanita Pas terpaksa meminta cerai daripada suami mereka?

Sebenarnya saya bila baca cerita cerai talak tiga dalam sumpah Pas itu, saya teringat cerita Cina buta masa budak-budak dan remaja dulu. Sekarang tak dengar lagi cerita atau amalan Cina buta.

Ceritanya begini. Bila seseorang suami menceraikan isterinya dengan talak tiga mereka tidak boleh rujuk atau menikah semula kecuali bekas isterinya berkahwin dengan orang lain dan selepas itu bercerai.

Masalahnya ramai si suami panas baran yang cerai isteri talak tiga itu bila sudah bercerai dia gila talak, kena penyakit “hangau” dan hendak kembali semula dengan bekas isterinya.

Kalau bekas jandanya hidup bahagia dengan suami baru dan tidak bercerai, maka gigit jarilah si duda gila talak itu.

Tapi ramai duda yang gila talak itu cerdik, pintar dan kuat putar belit. Orang utara kata banyak akai (akal). Maka dirujukkanlah permasalahan mereka kepada orang yang tahu hal agama. Selalunya tok gurulah.

Dipendekkan cerita, timbullah amalan yang dipanggil Cina buta. Kalau si janda belum berkahwin semula dan mahu kembali bersatu dengan bekas suaminya maka diaturkanlah kahwin Cina buta.

Daripada sudut amalan nampak sah. Ada pengantin lelaki dan ada pengantin perempuan. Ada jurunikah dan ada saksi. Semua lengkap cuma tidaklah berarak dan berkompang macam dara berkahwin teruna.

Yang berlainan ialah sebelum akad nikah, “perjanjian” dibuat di mana si suami akan menceraikan si isteri dalam tempoh masa tertentu tanpa menidurinya. Sebagai ganti, suami Cina buta itu akan mendapat bayaran wang ringgit atau harta benda macam kerbau, lembu dan motosikal.

Apabila pasangan Cina buta itu sudah bercerai dan lepas idah, si duda yang gila talak tadi bolehlah berkahwin semula dengan bekas isterinya yang kini menjadi janda.

Tetapi apa kena mengena tipu helah ini dengan Cina buta? Dikisahkan oleh orang yang mengetahui kononnya orang yang kerap diupah menjadi suami sementara itu adalah Cina mualaf yang buta matanya.

Agaknyalah hanya seorang Cina mualaf yang cacat penglihatan sahaja boleh diharapkan berkahwin dan tidak meniduri isterinya. Mungkin kalau dia teraba-raba mencari pun, si isteri boleh mengelak.

Di kampung saya dan persekitarannya yang selalu jadi suami Cina buta dan pak sanggup adalah orang susah (miskin) atau orang kurang daya akal.

Sekarang kahwin Cina buta tidak diamalkan lagi. Jadi tidak ada lagilah isteri yang diceraikan sebagai satu syarat.

Justeru itu, kalaulah benar ada syarat cerai isteri talak tiga dalam Pas sumpah setia laknat Pas, ia bunyi macam kahwin Cina buta. Susah hendak percaya.

Masakan sebuah parti Islam sanggup memperjudikan perkahwinan (yang disamakan dengan mendirikan masjid) sebagai syarat jadi calon dan wakil rakyat?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Unsolicited Advice For Malaysian F1 Team

A Kadir Jasin

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JUST a few short words of unsolicited advice to the Malaysian F1 Team – please look into the future and not make your team a has-been outfit.

As a motor sports enthusiast, a car lover and a proud Malaysian, I am alarmed by the New Straits Times’ Nov. 12 report that states “Villeneuve in talks with Lotus F1.”

Yes, the Canadian was a champion. That was in 1997 (not 1977). He no longer is a competitive racer. That’s why he is spoken of in past tense. He didn’t do well at all when he tried to make a comeback with the Petronas-Sauber Team in the 2006 season.

I truly hope that the NST is not promoting Jacques Villeneuve. Rather its hidden agenda to stop the Canadian from being engaged.

Our Malaysian Lotus F1 Team can call itself a team of the future only if it employs young and upcoming racers. There are many young, promising rookie drivers at home and abroad that the team can aspire to hire.

I would put my money anytime on Robert Kubica, Swiss A1 ace Neel Jani, Jarno Trulli and our own Malaysian hopeful Fairuz Fauzy.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Banggol I Can Call My Own

A Kadir Jasin

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THE NEW Straits Times’ page one picture today of the cattle sharing a banggol with the motorcars, several power tillers and a lorry to escape the floods in Kelantan tells a poignant story.

It was the story worth a million words and one that I am familiar with albeit with a modern twist.

The banggol is a raised ground in an otherwise flat topography of the rice fields and the grasslands.

I was the product of the banggols. There are several villages around mine in Kedah that have the word banggol in their names like Banggol Besi, Banggol Kambing and Banggol Petai.

During the rainy reason, when the Pendang River overflowed its banks for many miles on both sides, and the inundation lasted weeks, the banggols provided the much-needed temporary shelter for livestock.

Neighbours shared the banggols and cooperated with each other to feed the marooned animals. But there were occasions when disagreements broke out with the less cooperative neighbours.

Food would remain scarce for the livestock until after the floods had totally receded. Grasses and shrubs rotted in the floodwater and would take several weeks to fully rejuvenate.

A friend, who is a film enthusiast, told me that there is a 2004 Vietnamese movie called “The Buffalo Boy” which tells the story of quarrels among villages to gain control of the banggols during the Mikong’s annual floods.

The NST picture is special as it tells us of the change the country has gone through since my childhood in the 1950s. Then there were no motorcars, power tillers and lorries on the banggols. There were only cows, buffaloes and occasional goats.

Picture with the courtesy of the NST

Today, tractors and lorries have replaced the buffalo-driven wooden ploughs, bullock carts and anor (sledge) as farm essentials. Combined harvesters have taken over the backbreaking chores – literally sometimes – from human beings during the harvesting season.

Then floods were an essential part of the cycle of life. Floods that sometimes took lives and destroyed properties also enriched the soil, brought bountiful harvest of fish, lobsters and a variety of water birds.

Today, floods are big national news. What is very seldom asked and answered is why floods are getting bigger, less predictable and with greater lost of lives.

Those days, we built houses on stilts. Even when floodwater rose four or five ft., we were still dry on our stilted houses. We had sampan on the ready or at the very least we could quickly build bamboo rafts. Life was hard but the people were resilient and independent.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Zaid Leads The Registration Of Pakatan

A Kadir Jasin

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IT is reported today that a pro-tem committee headed by the former Barisan Nasional Minister, Zaid bin Ibrahim, has made an application to register Pakatan Rakyat as an official alliance.

Another person mentioned in the media report is Anthony Loke Siew Fook, the DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) chief.

Zaid is the right person to lead exercise given his wide experience in representing Umno in legal matters since the late 1980s. He’s now a member of the Central Leadership Council of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Also it was Zaid who, not too long ago, was quoted by the media as saying that the People’s Alliance could not be formally registered because it lacked “the required” seven founding members.

Since then, however, the Chairman of the Election Commission, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, had advised the coalition to formally register itself so that its applications to hold joint election talks could be considered.

On my part, I have argued that the PR did not have to wait to have seven founding members to apply for registration.

Pas vice-president Salahuddin Ayub was quoted as saying that Pas, the DAP and PKR were unequivocal in transforming the alliance into a legal entity.

The report says the alliance’s common symbol will incorporate the logos of all component parties.

Still, to my mind, it will be a big emotional issue for Pas and DAP supporters to say goodbye to their venerable moon and the rocket on the ballot papers.

Not seeing the moon and the rocket on the ballot papers is not going to be easy. Pas supporters are fanatical about their bulan, which is synonymous not only with the party but with Islam as well.

On the other hand, sharing a common symbol has been the practice of the main component parties of the Barisan Nasional and its predecessor Alliance from the very beginning.

The report also quoted the Registrar of Societies (ROS), Mohd Alias Kalil, as saying that his office had started studying the PR’s application.

KUDOS to members of the MCA disciplinary board if they had indeed resigned in protest against the restoration of Dr Chua Sooi Lek, as deputy president. The board sacked him from the post August. That’s being principle and having testicular gumption.

I had all a long contended that the Umno disciplinary board should have done that when the people it found guilty of money politics were either allowed to contest the party post (Khairy Jamaluddin) or be later appointed to the Supreme Council (Mohd Ali Rustam).

AND I applaud Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department aka KPI Minister, Koh Tsu Koon for taking his fouled-mouth detractors to task, saying that he would not be judged by them. He would be judged only by the PM whom he said endorses him. That’s correct. He was made a senator and a minister by the PM despite losing Penang to the opposition and himself being defeated in Batu Kawan.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Beberapa Kaedah Nilai KPI Perdana Menteri

A Kadir Jasin

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MUTAKHIR, 3 NovemberTINDAKAN Suruhanjaya Pencegah Rasuah Malaysia menyeret lebih lima orang pembesar politik kerajaan dan pembangkang serta pesuruh mereka ke mahkamah boleh memberi kesan positif kepada penilaian PKI Perdana Menteri.

Walaupun SPRM adalah badan bebas dan tidak semestinya bertindak atas arahan sesiapa, namun tindakan ke atas pembesar dan penggiat politik Umno, PKR, DAP dan Gerakan itu pasti memberi gambaran bahawa pemerintah kini lebih serius memerangi rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa.

[Posting Asal]

BEBERAPA orang pembahas mengingatkan saya dari semasa ke semasa bahawa waktu untuk “mengKPIkan” Perdana Menteri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak dan Kabinetnya sudah semakin dekat.

Mereka mengingatkan saya yang saya pernah menyatakan yang saya akan menilai KPI Perdana Menteri pada bulan ini (November). Mohd Najib mengangkat sumpah jawatan PM pada 3 April. Jadi dia sudah jadi PM tujuh bulan.

Bagaimanapun, saya berkata kita akan beri markah kepada beliau bulan ini kerana dia berjanji akan buat penilaian pertama ke atas KPI menterinya selepas enam bulan KPI dilancarkan.

Sebenarnya, sebagai PM setiap hari dan setiap waktu dia diKPIkan. Sebagai ketua nombor, tidak ada perayaan 100 hari, setengah tahun atau setahun. Setiap hari sama penting dengan hari yang berlalu dan akan datang.

Oleh sebab majoriti rakyat jelata, khasnya pengundi, tidak akan faham secukupnya mengenai aspek teknikal KPI, maka saya rasa kaedah paling asas yang akan mereka lalukan ialah dengan mengukur sama ada kehidupan mereka lebih baik atau lebih buruk di bawah kepemimpinan Mohd Najib.

Mohd Najib sendiri meletakkan beberapa prasyarat sebagai tapak pentadbiran beliau. Yang paling utama adalah konsep Satu Malaysia di mana rakyat didahulukan dan pencapaian diutamakan.

Jadi rakyat jelata boleh memulakan proses mengKPIkan PM dengan bertanya soalan-soalan seperti berikut. Saya katakan “seperti” kerana ada banyak lagi soalan yang boleh ditanya mengikut pengalaman dan aspirasi setiap individu:-

1. Adakah mereka berasa Malaysia lebih berSATU sekarang daripada sebelum Mohd Najib memperkenalkan 1Malaysia?

2. Adakah mereka berasa mereka didahulukan oleh PM dan jentera pentadbiran beliau? dan

3. Adakah mereka berasa kebajikan mereka semakin baik kerana pencapaian jentera pentadbiran semakin meningkat?

Kalau soalan-soalan di atas masih kabur, abstrak atau konseptual, rakyat jelata boleh bertanya (dan menjawab) soalan-soalan yang lebih faktual seperti:-

I. Adakah mereka berasa lebih mesra atau kurang mesra dengan sesama rakyat jelata yang berlainan agama dan bangsa?

II. Adakah mereka berasa lebih selamat dan terhindar daripada menjadi mangsa jenayah?

III. Adakah mereka menjadi lebih senang atau susah akibat pergerakan harga barangan dan perkhidmatan?

IV. Adakah pendapatan mereka meningkat atau berkurangan?

V. Adakah lebih mudah atau lebih susah untuk mendapat pekerjaan?

VI. Adakah lebih mudah atau lebih susah mendapatkan tempat di IPT serta bantuan kewangan untuk anak-anak?

VII. Adakah lebih mudah atau susah mendapat lesen perniagaan, bantuan modal daripada agensi awam dan sistem perbankan serta bayaran daripada kerajaan? dan

VIII. Adalah persekitaran mereka lebih bersih atau lebih kotor daripada sebelum Mohd Najib menjadi PM?

Bagi Mohd Najib pula, peluang terbaik mengotakan apa yang dikata ialah dengan mengambil tindakan dan menghukum secara terbuka (supaya semua orang nampak) si penipu dan si pemalas yang mempersendakan perakaunan awan seperti yang didedahkan baru-baru ini oleh Ketua Audit Negara dalam laporan tahunannya.

Saya sendiri sudah bosan dengan janji manis dan sikap sambil lewa pemerintah terhadap pendedahan Ketua Audit Negara tahun demi tahun.

Bagi kita rakyat jelata, inilah peluang dan cara paling mudah mengKPIkan PM kerana dia sendiri sudah berjanji secara terang dan terbuka yang dia akan bertindak tegas terhadap laporan itu.

Kita lihat berapa cepat, berapa orang dan berapa tegas hukuman yang akan dikenakan ke atas penipu dan pemalas yang didedahkan oleh Ketua Audit Negara itu.

Ini bukan setakat soal rakyat didahulukan dan pencapaian diutamakan. Tetapi ini soal duit cukai dan hasil yang kita bayar kepada kerajaan.

Kalau pegawai kerajaan yang korup “songlap” duit kita, mereka wajib dihukum. Kalau PM enggan hukum mereka kerana takut disabotaj atau hilang undi, kita sebagai pembayar cukai dan pengundi akan hukum beliau apabila masanya sampai.

Inilah kontrak demokrasi. Rakyat pilih pemimpin. Rakyat bayar cukai dan tanggung hutang untuk bayar gaji pemimpin.

Tugas pemimpin buat kebaikan. Bila dia buat kebaikan, dia tidak perlu disanjung, dipuji dan diberi bermacam anugerah. Itu kewajipan dia.

Tetapi kalau dia buat kesilapan – dia songlap kita -- kita wajib ingatkan dia sebab kita tidak pilih dan bayar gaji dia untuk buat keburukan.

Ingat, kita pilih (undi) pemimpin. Kita tak undi dan tak pilih laki atau bini, anak atau menantu, suku sakat atau sahabat mereka.

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).