Friday, May 20, 2016

'A Million Signatures And A Letter From Prison', New Straits Times, 18 May 2016



'PKR Dalam Dilema Hadapi PRK Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar - Penganalisis Politik', Bernama, 18 Mei 2016



Fokus Berita Oleh Norhayati Mohd Akhir

KUALA LUMPUR,(Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) kini dalam dilema antara Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) sekutunya dalam Pakatan Harapan dan PAS yang merupakan sekutu kuatnya dalam kerajaan negeri Selangor menjelang pilihan raya Kecil (PRK) Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar, menurut penganilisis politik.

Mereka berpendapat ibarat perbahasa Melayu diitelan mati emak diluah mati bapak, itulah dilema yang dihadapi PKR sekiranya Amanah turut bertanding kerusi Parlimen Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar, Perak yang secara tradisinya ditandingi PAS.

PKR kini menganggotai pakatan pembangkang (yang dinamakan sebagai Pakatan Harapan) bersama DAP dan Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), tanpa parti PAS, sekutu kuat mereka dalam pembentukan kerajaan negeri Selangor.

Persoalannya, siapa PKR akan sokong? Adakah Amanah yang menjadi rakan mereka dalam Pakatan Harapan atau PAS, rakan mereka dalam kerajaan negeri Selangor?

Menteri Besar Selangor Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali baru-baru ini berkata pakatan pembangkang perlu bermuhasabah diri atas kekalahan teruk pada pilihan raya negeri (PRN) Sarawak pada 7 Mei lepas dan mengajak PAS kembali bersama DAP dan PKR sebagai satu pasukan.

Mohamed Azmin yang juga Timbalan Presiden PKR mengakui kekalahan teruk di Sarawak jelas menunjukkan rakyat negeri itu menolak pertelingkahan sesama parti.

Namun, ajakan itu jelas tidak disambut PAS. Selasa lepas, Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang menegaskan PAS tetap akan bertanding di kawasan Parlimen Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar bulan depan sekalipun PKR turut menurunkan calonnya.

Abdul Hadi berkata Azmin juga tidak pernah menemuinya untuk berunding mengenai soal calon.

Pensyarah di Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Profesor Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian berkata konflik itu dilihat menjadi 'bonus' kepada Barisan Nasional (BN) untuk mempertahankan dua kerusi Parlimen itu.

"Jika masing-masing (PAS dan Pakatan Harapan) masih bertegas mahu meletakkan calon untuk kerusi Parlimen Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar, jelas PKR akan hadapi dilema dan BN perlu mengambil peluang ini," katanya kepada Bernama di sini.

Kekosongan kerusi Parlimen Sungai Besar dan Parlimen Kuala Kangsar masing-masing berikutan penyandangnya Datuk Noriah Kasnon yang juga Timbalan Menteri Perusahaan Perladangan dan Komoditi dan Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad, terkorban dalam nahas helikopter di Sebuyau, Sarawak, pada 5 Mei.

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya menetapkan PRK Kuala Kangsar dan Sungai Besar diadakan serentak pada 18 Jun iaitu 13 hari selepas penamaan calon pada 5 Jun.

Sivamurugan berkata walaupun calon PAS Mohamed Salleh M.Hussin ditewaskan Allahyarham Noriah dengan majoriti 399 undi, namun berdasarkan senario ketika ini, PAS dilihat tetap tidak berpeluang menang di kawasan itu.

Kawasan Parlimen Sungai Besar mempunyai 42,655 pemilih berdaftar dengan pengundi biasa (42,365), pengundi awal (286) dan pemilih tidak hadir luar negara (empat).

Parlimen Kuala Kangsar pula mempunyai 32,949 pemilih berdaftar melibatkan pengundi biasa (32,632), pengundi awal (312) dan pemilih tidak hadir luar negara (lima).

Senada dengan Sivamurugan, penganalisis politik Prof Madya Dr Azmi Hassan berkata dilema dalam pakatan pembangkang itu memberi kelebihan besar kepada BN.

"Akibat perselisihan parti-parti pembangkang, ia akan membawa kesan kepada rakyat di mana rakyat akan hilang kepercayaan terhadap mereka," katanya.

Penganalisis Hal Ehwal Politik dan Antarabangsa Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Shukri Shuaib berkata apa yang sedang dihadapi pakatan pembangkang itu merupakan natijah kepada ketidaksepakatan mereka.

Beliau berkata PAS kini menunjukkan protes mereka terhadap PKR.

"Jelas menunjukkan PKR tidak jujur ketika bersama PAS dalam Pakatan Rakyat. PAS menjadi 'mangsa' kerana agenda perjuangannya untuk melaksanakan hukum hudud ditentang DAP dan PKR," katanya.

-- BERNAMA

Thursday, May 05, 2016

"This Is What 'Adenan Fever' Is All About, Experts Say", Malaysian Digest, 5 May 2016

AS the clock ticks towards the end of the campaign week in Sarawak, both sides of the coalitions are gearing up for polling day this Saturday (May 7).
The 11th Sarawak state election will be the very first litmus test for Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who has gained widespread popularity since taking over as the fifth chief minister from his predecessor, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Surprising or not so, Adenan is now labelled as a star in Chinese media. It was only to be expected that the Chinese press, like the other media organisations, would give him wide coverage when he took over as Sarawak Chief Minister two years ago.
But what was not foreseen was the unprecedented amount of attention that the four Chinese dailies allotted to him, making him their biggest news maker. As Sarawak gears for a state elections, Adenan is enjoying very high popularity among some sections of voters.
Earlier, a study by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak showed Adenan’s popularity rose to about 84 percent in January from 74 percent in June, Bernama reported this month, citing Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi.
The implementation of new policies like empowerment for Sarawak in a number of sectors, development programs and the ending of toll collection on three bridges were said to be among the key reasons for the swing in his popularity.
Having said that, in the 2011 Sarawak's state election, Chinese voters had overwhelmingly voted for the opposition but this time they are expected to divide their votes between the opposition and BN. Be that as it may, it begs the question: Can Adenan's popularity win over the Chinese voters who make up 28% of the population this time around?
Yesterday, Malaysian Digest spoke to Barisan Nasional's candidate in Bawang Assan constituency, political analysts and an economic expert as they shared their opinions behind Adenan’s popularity spikes leading up to the 11th state polls this coming weekend.
The Reasons Behind “Adenan’s Fever”
Sarawak Local Government and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh (pic), who is also the president of United People’s Party (UPP), relayed in a recent interview with Malaysian Digest that he believes the state’s Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s popularity will help the party to win the upcoming state polls.
“Adenan is so popular and well-received for so many reasons. Firstly, he is a man with an open mind who is receptive to ideas, suggestions and criticisms. He is a pragmatic leader and a fierce champion for the rights of Sarawakians regardless of creed, religion and political leanings.
“During his stint in the past two years, he has implemented people-friendly policies. He has won the hearts (of Sarawakians), especially those in urban areas, through moves like the abolishment of toll, acceleration development in the suburban areas as well as premium payments for agricultural land and housing, among others,” said Wong. Wong: "Adenan is a pragmatic leader and a fierce champion for the rights of Sarawakians regardless of creed, religion and political leanings."Wong: "Adenan is a pragmatic leader and a fierce champion for the rights of Sarawakians regardless of creed, religion and political leanings."
“Among his most notable contributions is that he had revised tariff structure for the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors to cushion the rising cost of living of the people. Earlier this year, Adenan had also announced that the state government had abolished payment of certain land-quit rents which have brought a huge impact on the people.
“Besides, he is a humorous person. Adenan loves to elicit much laughter and he likes to get out and mingle with people. If you notice, he used to sing a song to entertain the crowds before an event or function gets started, and everyone seems to enjoy it. All these make him so well-received,” he explained.
Acknowledging that Adenan’s growing popularity among the non-Bumiputra voters, Wong asserted: “Nobody can deny the fact that Adenan is so loved by the people in the Hornbill state, not only by the native communities but also the urban Chinese voters. He had adopted initiatives for the Chinese community as well as in matters of faith and education in the state.”
The president of UPP continued, “Apart from putting aside the differences when it comes to supporting Chinese education, Adenan has also won the hearts (of the Chinese community) as he had called on the ultras to stop labelling Chinese in the nation 'pendatang’ or immigrant.”
“All these have earned him a sky-high popularity rating, and loved by the people. He has contributed a lot since taking office two years ago.  Having said that, I sincerely hope there is a swing back by the Chinese voters in the upcoming (state) elections,” he stressed.
Autonomous Power Leads To Adenan’s Popularity Spikes
Political analyst Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain (pic), said Tan Sri Adenan Satem is a charismatic and personable leader with clear principles, saying that the Sarawak Chief Minister has over the past two years acted on his promises with assertiveness although he was faced by various challenges at the onset.
Ahmad: "One of the reasons why Adenan is so well-received among Sarawakians is that he succeeded to gain autonomous power from the federal government."Ahmad: "One of the reasons why Adenan is so well-received among Sarawakians is that he succeeded to gain autonomous power from the federal government."“To me, one of the reasons why Adenan is so well-received among Sarawakians is that he succeeded to gain autonomous power from the federal government, especially in terms of policy-making and in the development of various projects in the state.
“Take, for example, Sarawak had achieved some success as Petronas had recently agreed to give RM2.1billion of contracts to local firms. Besides, the chief minister also said earlier that his government will continue to negotiate with Petronas for better royalty for its oil and gas. This is indeed something praiseworthy,” Prof Ahmad Atory told Malaysian Digest.
"He has also reintroduced Malay-English bilingualism in Sarawak’s administration and restoring the Malaysia Agreement 1963 pact in regaining the state’s full autonomy through well-structured negotiation," he pointed out.
Asked if Adenan’s move on barring Opposition leaders from entering the state would dampen voters’ acceptance towards him, Prof Atory quipped, “Certainly no. He knows what he is doing, and he wants the best for its people. The main intention behind the move, to me, was to keep things local and not allow politics in the peninsula to get into the mix.”
“Sarawak is a state in which they have their own autonomy on immigration. It is the autonomous right of Sarawak to ban unsavoury elements from entering the state. Adenan knows how to protect the interest of Sarawak from negative influences in which he has managed to keep the taint of 1MDB off the state.
“Besides, Adenan has also assured the Chinese they will never be called immigrants in the state and helped the natives of Sarawak win their battle over race classification of Sarawak natives on government forms.” he said.
Ahmad, however, remains pessimistic that BN will gain more seats than its previous two-thirds majority despite the obvious prediction of the party victory in the upcoming state polls,.
While not discounting the 'new guy' factor symbolized by Adenan, he stressed that “voters nowadays especially those in the urban constituencies, are more resourceful, mature and above all unbowed by election candy.”
A People-Oriented, Grassroots Leader
Echoing the stance of Atory, Prof Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian (pic), a political observer from Universiti Sains Malaysia said Adenan is a far-sighted leader who can articulate a possible future in a way that speaks for the people of Sarawak which has won him a lot of admiration from all. Sivamurugan: "Adenan is a far-sighted leader who can articulate a possible future in a way that speaks for the people of Sarawak which has won him a lot of admiration from all."Sivamurugan: "Adenan is a far-sighted leader who can articulate a possible future in a way that speaks for the people of Sarawak which has won him a lot of admiration from all."
“An ambitious leader is the one who uses their clarity of vision and their articulation of a successful future to pull people out of uncertainly into hopefulness to the betterment of all things, and Adenan possesses that quality.
“Malaysians, in general, want leaders who can look beyond and have political capital. They want to have the sense there is a plan to pull them through whatever challenges arise. Over a short period of time, Adenan has proven himself (to be) capable of excellent work to the betterment of Sarawakians.
“The abolition of road tolls and reduction of land and housing assessment rate, are among many initiatives he had implemented. Besides, he has made the people in the state feel they belong to Sarawak, especially the Chinese community,” he told Malaysian Digest.
“Simply put, he is a leader who walks the talk as he did not let the promises ring hollow since he came to power. Adenan is certainly the right candidate to lead Sarawak as he has made a major breakthrough in terms of the development and well-being of the people in Sarawak, irrespective of racial and ethnic origin.
On that note, Sivamurugan said the significant moves to the Chinese community include the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and recruitment of UEC graduates into the state’s public services.
“In addition, Adenan had also stressed that he will not interfere in matters related to religion in which Christians in the state can use the word 'Allah' since it is used with reverence,” he added.
On The Right Track To Improve The Well-Being Of All Sarawakians
Over the past two years, Adenan’s initiatives and actions indeed prove that Sarawak is undergoing transformation with a state government serious about making changes in education, employment and business to benefit the people and prosper the state in the long run.
In fact, he is turning Sarawak into a vibrant and dynamic state through his ‘gentleman’s negotiation’ with Putrajaya and he dares to implement worthwhile policies other states have not thought about.
The biggest project he has successfully initiated with Putrajaya is the full implementation of Pan Borneo Highway, which will serve to accelerate the state’s socio-economic growth. The Pan Borneo Highway from Telok Melano to Merapok, when completed in early 2023, will span a total distance of 1,089km.
Sarawak, with its oil fields, hydroelectric dams and rainforests, was Malaysia’s third biggest contributor by state or federal territory to gross domestic product in 2014, accounting for about a 10th of output. The result of the state polls is key in part because the assembly’s composition determines if the chief minister is an ally to Najib.
Observers have already noted that Sarawak is keen to diversify its economy and is putting in place an industrialisation plan to help it achieve high income status by 2030.
“Industrialisation is a vital part of Sarawak’s plan,” Chief Minister Adenan Satem told Bloomberg TV in an interview earlier, saying that a progressive shift away from its commodities-based economy will help the state to realise a growth of 4.7% per annum over the next five years.
When contacted, Prof Dr Shazali Abu Mansor, economic expert and lecturer of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) told Malaysian Digest that Adenan’s 15-point manifesto which, among others, touched on improving the welfare of the less fortunate and creating more job opportunities is something that is well received by the people of Sarawak.
“Adenan’s initiatives in the past two years has proven that the state is undergoing transformation with a state government serious about making changes not only economically but also in terms of education and employment to benefit the people and prosper the state in the long run.
Under Adenan's government, the state has been consistent with his efforts to pursue its interest towards the increase in oil and gas royalty. This is something we should look forward to as it will eventually creates more employment opportunities for the people in Sarawak," he said.
"To me, Adenan is a charismatic leader whose policies are not race-based which is the reason he has won the hearts of so many," he sums up the Adenan fever taking hold in Sarawak.
As political analyst Prof Ahmad so aptly puts it: “Voters nowadays are more exposed to information on social media. Hence, they are more resourceful, mature and above all they will not be unbowed by scare tactics. Unlike the olden days, they know very well who they should choose for the sake of their future.
“The scare tactics will not work on the voters nowadays. They know how to vote and who to vote for,” he concluded.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

'Rukun Negara Values, Spirit Eroding - Lecturer', Bernama, 3 May 2016

Rukun Negara Values, Spirit Eroding - Lecturer
KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 (Bernama) -- The values and spirit of the Rukun Negara today have eroded with people no longer seeing it as a way to build a united nation.

Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the five principles in the Rukun Negara were now not fully understood.

"The principles are no longer given importance by anyone, when each of the values in the Rukun Negara was developed after we went through the racial riots in 1969.

"Every principle has a significant value to us in the context of a multi-ethnic society in this country," he said when interviewed in the 'Langit Biru' programme over Bernama Radio, here, today.

He was interviewed by the radio station to discuss the topic of promoting patriotism among the public.

Sivamurugan said the principles of Rukun Negara which were often printed on the back of school notebooks and exercise books should be fully understood, especially by people of a multi-racial society.

He said the principles should be revived to inculcate good values among the people.

He also felt that political leaders should play their role in guiding the people towards fully understanding the Rukun Negara.

-- BERNAMA

'Nilai Dan Semangat Rukun Negara Semakin Luntur - Pensyarah', Bernama, 3 Mei 2016

 

Nilai Dan Semangat Rukun Negara Semakin Luntur - Pensyarah



KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Mei (Bernama) -- Nilai dan semangat yang terkandung dalam Rukun Negara dilihat semakin luntur apabila masyarakat tidak lagi melihatnya sebagai satu pendekatan ke arah pembentukan dan penyatuan negara bangsa.

Pensyarah di Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Profesor Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian berkata kelima-lima prinsip yang terkandung dalam Rukun Negara juga kini hanya dilihat secara luaran tanpa pengertian mendalam terhadap maksud setiap prinsip itu.

"Prinsip-prinsip itu kini seolah-olah tidak memberikan kepentingan kepada mana-mana pihak, sedangkan setiap nilai dalam Rukun Negara itu dihasilkan selepas kita mengalami kejadian rusuhan kaum pada 1969.

"Setiap satu perkara (prinsip) itu mempunyai nilai signifikan kepada kita dalam konteks kehidupan bermasyarakat pelbagai etnik di negara ini," katanya semasa ditemuramah dalam rancangan 'Langit Biru' terbitan Bernama Radio di sini hari ini.

Beliau yang ditemuramah oleh stesen radio tersebut bagi membincangkan topik mengenai pemupukan jiwa dan semangat patriotisme dalam kalangan rakyat.

Sivamurugan berkata prinsip Rukun Negara yang sering menghiasi kulit belakang buku nota dan latihan sekolah seharusnya dipandang lebih daripada itu dan diselami sedalam mungkin fungsinya terutama oleh masyarakat negara ini yang berbilang kaum.

Katanya kepentingan prinsip Rukun Negara perlu disuburkan semula agar nilai akidah dan akhlak dalam kalangan rakyat dapat terus disemai dan dibenihkan dengan nilai-nilai murni.

Dalam hal ini, beliau berpendapat adalah amat wajar pemimpin-pemimpin politik memainkan peranan mereka dengan membimbing rakyat ke arah pemahaman secara mendalam terhadap prinsip-prinsip Rukun Negara.



-- BERNAMA

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