Wednesday, March 04, 2015

'Heret ROS Ke Mahkamah Tidak Selesaikan Krisis MIC - Pemerhati Politik', Bernama, 4 Mac 2015

 




Oleh S. Kisho Kumari

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- Meskipun MIC berhak mengheret Pendaftar Pertubuhan (ROS) ke mahkamah berhubung arahan kepada parti supaya mengadakan pemilihan semula, tindakan undang-undang itu tidak mungkin dapat menyelesaikan sepenuhnya krisis dalaman parti itu, demikian menurut pemerhati politik.

Pada hakikatnya, mereka menyifatkan kes mahkamah itu sebagai satu lagi episod buruk, yang akan hanya menyebabkan perseteruan antara Presiden Datuk Seri G. Palanivel dengan timbalannya, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, dan penyokong masing-masing berlanjutan.

Prof Madya Dr Sarjit Singh Gill, pensyarah kanan Jabatan Sains Sosial dan Pembangunan di Universiti Putra Malaysia, berkata memandangkan hal berkenaan kini dibawa ke mahkamah, usaha MIC untuk memberi nafas baharu kepada parti dan menumpukan tumpuan kepada isu-isu nasional dan masyarakat akan tertangguh.

"Ia akan hanya mewujudkan keadaan lebih tidak menentu kepada parti," katanya.

PEMILIHAN SEMULA TERJEJAS

Meskipun Sarjit Singh yakin parti itu akan dapat mengadakan pemilihan semula parti sebelum Julai tahun ini, beliau meragui proses itu akan berjalan lancar memandangkan perbezaan pendapat yang wujud antara kedua-dua pemimpin utama parti.

Pada 24 Feb, Palanivel, dua naib presiden Datuk S. Sothinathan dan Datuk S. Balakrishnan, dan bekas setiausaha agung MIC A. Prakash Rao memfailkan permohonan semakan kehakiman bagi membatalkan arahan ROS berhubung pemilihan semula beberapa jawatan utama parti.

Sehari sebelumnya, anggota Jawatankuasa Kerja Pusat (CWC) A. K. Ramalingam juga memohon semakan kehakiman bagi mengarahkan ROS dan Ketua Pengarahnya, Mohammad Razin Abdullah, supaya menarik balik arahan pemilihan semula parti yang diberikan kepada MIC.

"Mereka boleh membawa isu ini ke mahkamah. Itu hak mereka tetapi saya yakin ROS telah mengkaji implikasi undang-undang dan tidak semudah itu mereka mempertaruhkan reputasi mereka.

"Apabila sesuatu perkara itu diheret ke mahkamah, maka semua pihak perlu menunggu keputusan mahkamah," kata Sarjit Singh kepada BERNAMA.

Bekas Setiausaha Agung MIC dan Timbalan Speaker Dewan Rakyat D.P. Vijandran, yang juga seorang peguam, berpendapat bahawa MIC boleh meneruskan pemilihan semula parti, walaupun kes mahkamah belum selesai, dengan syarat bahawa "ia telah mengambil langkah-langkah yang betul dan berunding dengan penasihat undang-undang".

"Para pemimpin parti (yang mahu pemilihan semula diadakan) perlu melakukannya dalam batasan perlembagaan MIC. Satu lagi perkara, wujud persoalan sama ada RoS diberi kuasa untuk melakukan apa yang telah dilakukannya (mengarahkan MIC untuk mengadakan pemilihan baharu).

"Malahan jika mahkamah memutuskan bahawa ROS tidak mempunyai kuasa (mengarahkan pemilihan semula diadakan), masih terdapat tanda tanya mengenai kesahihan pemilihan MIC pada 2013 dan kes mahkamah tidak akan menyelesaikan perkara ini," katanya, dan menambah kata bahawa permohonan semakan kehakiman hanya memohon untuk mentafsir sama ada ROS mempunyai kuasa untuk mengeluarkan arahan pemilihan semula parti kepada MIC atau tidak.

KRISIS BERLARUTAN

Krisis MIC semakin bergejolak berikutan perbezaan pendapat antara dua pemimpin utama parti setelah Pendaftar Pertubuhan (ROS) mengeluarkan satu notis pada 5 Dis lepas mengarahkan parti itu mengadakan pemilihan semula bagi tiga jawatan Naib Presiden dan 23 jawatan anggota CWC.

ROS telah membatalkan semua pemilihan parti yang diadakan pada November 2013 berikutan aduan berlaku penyelewengan.

Pada 18 Feb, Pengerusi BN Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, timbalan pengerusinya Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dan Setiausaha Agung Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor menemui Presiden MIC Datuk Seri G. Palanivel dan timbalannya Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam bagi menyelesaikan krisis parti.

Menurut Tengku Adnan, pada mesyuarat itu telah dipersetujui bahawa MIC akan mengadakan pemilihan semula parti dan ia akan menggunakan senarai CWC 2009 bagi tujuan mengadakan pemilihan semula parti seperti yang diarahkan oleh ROS.

Prof Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, seorang pensyarah kanan Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan Universiti Sains Malaysia, bersetuju dengan pandangan bahawa kes mahkamah hanya akan menyebabkan krisis MIC berlarutan, melainkan mahkamah menolak kedua-dua permohonan semakan kehakiman berkenaan.

Beliau berkata semakin lama krisis itu berlanjutan, semakin rumit bagi pemimpin parti untuk memberi tumpuan kepada keperluan dan permintaan masyarakat berkenaan.

"Nampak gayanya ia sudah bertukar menjadi sebuah kisah yang tiada berkesudahan dan mencemarkan imej parti. Bahkan keputusan Perdana Menteri dan timbalannya tidak dihormati. Ia turut menimbulkan persoalan tentang integriti dan keabsahan politik," katanya.

Sarjit Singh bersetuju bahawa MIC akan berdepan dengan lebih banyak masalah sekiranya krisis berkenaan dibiarkan membarah.

"MIC mungkin berhadapan kesukaran untuk menarik golongan muda India bekerjasama dengan parti atau menyertai sebagai ahli kerana mereka kini mempunyai perspektif berbeza berikutan apa yang berlaku dalam parti itu," katanya.

Menggesa para pemimpin parti untuk mengetepikan perbezaan pendapat dan mengadakan pemilihan baharu, beliau berkata mereka perlu mara ke hadapan dan merangka satu pelan tindakan pembangunan mengenai masyarakat India.

"Setakat ini, saya tidak melihat apa-apa rancangan... sebagai seorang ahli akademik, saya mahu melihat fakta dan angka.

"Masyarakat India, khususnya mereka di kawasan luar bandar dan penuntut universiti terkesan dengan krisis MIC yang berlanjutan. Parti ini perlu mendekati mereka," katanya.

--BERNAMA

'Dragging RoS To Court Will Not Resolve MIC Crisis, Say Political Observers', Bernama, 4 March 2015




 



News Focus By S. Kisho Kumari

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Although the MIC has the right to take the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to court over its directive to the party to hold re-elections, the legal action is not likely do much to resolve the crisis the party is engulfed in, say political observers.

In fact, they describe the court case as just another turn of the screw, which will only serve to prolong the bad vibes between the party president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and his estranged deputy, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, as well as their respective supporters.

Assoc Prof Dr Sarjit Singh Gill, who is a senior lecturer with Universiti Putra Malaysia's Department of Social Sciences and Development, said now that the matter has been dragged to the court, the MIC's efforts to rejuvenate the party and start focusing on national and community issues would have to be postponed indefinitely.

"It's going to cause the party to wobble even more," he said.

RE-ELECTIONS MAY NOT BE SMOOTH

Although Sarjit was confident the party may get to hold fresh elections before July this year, he doubted it would be a smooth process in view of the differences of opinion between the top two party leaders.

On Feb 24, Palanivel, his two Vice-Presidents Datuk S. Sothinathan and Datuk S. Balakrishnan, and former MIC secretary-general A. Prakash Rao filed an application for a judicial review to quash the RoS' directive calling for fresh elections for several key party posts.

A day earlier, MIC Central Working Committee (CWC) member A. K. Ramalingam had applied for a judicial review to get the RoS and its director-general, Mohammad Razin Abdullah, to retract the re-election directive sent to the party.

"They can bring the issue to the court. That's their right but I'm sure RoS has also studied the legal implications and will not simply put their reputation at stake.

"Once a matter goes to the court, then everybody has to wait for the court decision," Sarjit Singh told Bernama recently.

Former MIC secretary-general and deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker D.P. Vijandran, who is a lawyer, opined that the party could proceed with the re-elections, even with the court case pending, provided that "it has taken the proper steps in consultation with a legal adviser".

"The party leaders (who want the re-elections to be held) should do it within the confines of the MIC constitution. Then again, there is the question of whether the RoS is empowered to do what it did (send the directive to MIC to hold fresh elections).

"Even if the court were to decide that the RoS does not have the power (to send the re-election directive), there is still the question of the validity of the MIC's last party elections in 2013 and the court case will not resolve this," he said, adding that the applications for judicial review only sought to establish whether or not the RoS was empowered to issue the re-election directive to MIC.

CRISIS BEING PROLONGED

The MIC crisis erupted following differences in opinion between Palanivel and his deputy after the RoS issued a notice last Dec 5 directing the party to hold fresh elections for the three vice-presidential and 23 CWC posts.

The RoS had nullified the elections held in November 2013 following complaints of irregularities.

On Feb 18, Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor met with Palanivel and Subramaniam to resolve the party crisis.

According to Tengku Adnan, it was agreed during the meeting that the MIC would hold fresh elections and that it would use its 2009 CWC list for the purpose of holding the re-elections as decided by the RoS.

Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a senior lecturer with Universiti Sains Malaysia's School of Social Sciences, agreed that the court case would serve to prolong the MIC crisis, unless the court dismissed both the applications for judicial review.

He said the longer the crisis prolonged, the more tedious it would become for the party leaders to focus on the needs and demands of the community.

"It seems to have turned into a never-ending story and has tarnished party's image. Even decisions made by the prime minister and his deputy were not respected. It also brings into question the party's integrity and political legitimacy," he added.

Sarjit agreed that the MIC would be saddled with more problems if its crisis was left to fester.

"MIC may find it difficult to attract young Indians to collaborate with the party or join as members as they now have a different perspective of the goings-on in the party," he said.

Urging the party leaders to set aside their differences and hold fresh elections, he said they should move on and draft a blueprint on the development of the Indian community.

"So far I've not seen any plan...as an academician, I would like to see the facts and figures.

"The Indians, especially those in the rural areas and university students, are suffering due to the ongoing crisis in MIC. The party should reach out to them," he added.

-- BERNAMA

'Lawyers At Odds Over Palanivel's Status', New Straits Times, 4 March 2015


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

'Umno's No-contest Decision Shows It Prioritises The People's Needs: Analysts', Bernama, 28 February 2015

 



By Nur Aimidiyana Zuher

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional's (BN) decision to stay out of the Chempaka state by-election reflects the government's commitment towards prioritising the needs of the people.

UMNO, which had traditionally contested the seat, had based its decision on the ongoing efforts by the federal government to help the people of Kelantan, who were badly hit by the floods that ravaged the state at the end of last year.

Many, including Kelantan PAS, are viewing UMNO's move positively, as they feel it will enable both parties to concentrate on the post-flood clean-up and rehabitation exercise.

Unfortunately, certain opposition leaders are seeing it in a negative light, even insinuating that the no-contest decision by UMNO-led BN has unleashed a new era of politics in Malaysia, which, they claim, will be more peaceful if UMNO and BN stayed away from all elections in future.

PAS Information Chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar alleged that the involvement of UMNO in any election would only give rise to discord and conflict, and create an uneven playing field.

Why is the BN's decision drawing such pessimistic views, even to the extent of belittling UMNO's efforts at lending a helping hand to the hapless flood victims and uniting the rakyat?

CHANCE FOR GOVERNMENT TO SERVE THE PEOPLE

Several political analysts interviewed said any dispute or criticism arising from the BN's no-contest decision was unwarranted.

They felt that it deserved to be viewed positively because federal leaders would now have more time to serve the people.

Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain, who is a lecturer with Universiti Sains Malaysia's (USM) Centre for Social Science Studies, said it was not something out of the ordinary if the BN chose not to field a candidate in a by-election.

"In May last year, BN took the same approach by not contesting the Bukit Gelugor by-election (in Penang).

"Years ago, PAS itself didn't field any candidate in Pekan, Pahang when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's father, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, passed away," he told Bernama.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced that the BN would sit out the Chempaka state by-election so that it could focus on the post-flood rehabilitation works in Kelantan, as well as carry out efforts to strengthen the unity of the people.

The Election Commission has fixed the Chempaka by-election for March 22, while nomination day will fall on March 10. The seat was made vacant following the death of Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat of prostrate cancer on Feb 12.

RESPECTING NIK AZIZ'S LEADERSHIP

Political analysts also pointed out that although their political idealogies may vary, the Muslim community regarded Nik Aziz's demise as a great loss in view of the charismatic and exemplary leadership qualities he exuded as PAS Spiritual Leader.

Najib, when commenting on Nik Aziz's death, said the nation had lost a knowledgeable Islamic leader who had made vast contributions.

Ahmad Atory described the BN's decision to stay out of Chempaka as a mark of respect for the late Nik Aziz, who had held the seat since 1990.

During the 13th general election, Nik Aziz defeated BN's Wan Razman Wan Abd Razak with a majority of 6,500 votes.

While many see the no-contest move as proof that UMNO respects PAS, it is also an indication that the BN wants to maintain PAS-controlled Kelantan's harmonious political landscape.

Ahmad Atory said the federal government's commitment to press on with its flood relief works should not be seen as a ploy to win the support of the people of Kelantan, as both the federal and state authorities were tasked with the responsibility of taking care of the welfare and well-being of the people.

"It's better for the federal government, that is BN, to focus on post-flood rehabilitation efforts so that it will not have any guilt feelings. For sure, the flood relief works will be affected if it decides to contest the by-election," he said.

FLOOD COMMITTEE TO CARRY ON UNINTERRUPTED

Sharing Ahmad Atory's views was Asso Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Social Science Studies, who said that the BN's decision was a strategic one as it would enable the government to concentrate on the post-flood operations in Kelantan.

Describing it as a good initiative, Sivamurugan said the joint committee which was established to address the post-flood problems in the state, could continue doing its work uninterrupted.

It could also, he added, be a starting point for further cooperation between the federal and state governments.

"This joint flood committee is a first for PAS and UMNO, and both were willing to set aside their differences in their political idealogies for the sake of helping the people," he said.

Sivamurugan said although the BN's choice to stay away from the Chempaka by-election may be perceived wrongly by certain leaders and supporters of the coalition, the decision was made in the best interest of the people of Kelantan.

"In politics, it's usual for people to talk behind one's back. They will say that UMNO and BN are not contesting because they're worried they may not get enough support. But people who say such things are frustrated and don't want to see PAS and UMNO cooperating.

"There's no question of them being afraid to contest in a seat held by the opposition, but it's just that UMNO and BN want to prioritise the interests of the people first, not politics," he said.

The Post-Flood Joint Committee was set up last year to oversee rehabilitation works in various parts of Kelantan, which were badly hit by the floods.

It is jointly chaired by Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, who is also Kelantan UMNO Liaison Chairman.

-- BERNAMA

'Tidak Bertanding, Umno Dan BN Lebih Utamakan Rakyat - Penganalisis', Bernama, 28 February 2015

 



Fokus Berita Oleh Nur Aimidiyana Zuher

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- Keputusan Barisan Nasional (BN) tidak bertanding Pilihan Raya Kecil (PRK) Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Chempaka, memperlihatkan komitmen dan keikhlasan kerajaan dalam mengutamakan rakyat.

Bersandarkan hujah untuk memfokus usaha membantu rakyat Kelantan yang terjejas teruk berikutan musibah banjir akhir tahun lalu dan mengutamakan perpaduan ummah, Umno yang secara tradisi bertanding di kerusi itu mengambil pendirian tidak meletak calon.

Suatu tindakan yang dilihat positif oleh banyak pihak termasuk PAS Kelantan, keputusan tidak bertanding pilihan raya kecil itu akan membolehkan kedua-dua parti memberi perhatian kepada usaha pemulihan pasca banjir di negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang.

Malangnya, pendirian BN, yang ditunjangi UMNO, dipandang negatif segelintir pemimpin lawan yang amat sinis apabila mendakwa keputusan itu mencetuskan gelombang politik baharu yang lebih aman di Malaysia jika UMNO dan BN tidak bertanding pilihan raya.

Ketua Penerangan PAS Datuk Mahfuz Omar berpendapat penglibatan UMNO dalam mana-mana pilihan raya hanya akan mencetuskan suasana perpecahan dan perbalahan, serta mewujudkan padang permainan yang tidak rata.

Mengapa pesimis dengan keputusan BN, sehingga usaha UMNO membantu rakyat Kelantan yang terjejas teruk akibat musibah banjir dan menyatukan ummah diperlekeh? Bukankah ia satu isu kemanusiaan yang perlu ditangani bersama?

Beberapa penganalisis politik berpendapat keputusan BN tidak seharusnya menimbulkan pertikaian dan dicerca.

Lihatlah dengan positif kerana tindakan itu sebenarnya memberi peluang dan masa kepada pemimpin kerajaan persekutuan untuk berbakti kepada rakyat.

Pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain berkata bukanlah sesuatu yang janggal apabila BN tidak meletakkan calon dalam suatu pilihan raya kecil.

"Jika dilihat sebelum ini dalam pilihan raya Bukit Gelugor pada Mei tahun 2014 BN turut mengambil pendekatan yang sama untuk tidak bertanding.

"Malah PAS sendiri pun tidak meletakkan calon di Parlimen Pekan, Pahang semasa ayahanda Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak Hussein meninggal dunia," katanya kepada Bernama.

Pada Rabu, Perdana Menteri mengumumkan bahawa BN tidak akan bertanding pada PRK DUN Chempaka untuk memberi fokus kepada kerja-kerja pemulihan pasca banjir di Kelantan, selain memastikan usaha-usaha perpaduan ummah diperkukuhkan.

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya menetapkan pilihan raya kecil Chempaka pada 22 Mac depan manakala penamaan calon 10 Mac. Kerusi itu kosong berikutan kematian penyandangnya, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat akibat kanser prostat pada 12 Feb lepas.

Penganalisis politik turut berpendapat bahawa biarpun berbeza idealogi politik, ketokohan dan kepimpinan Nik Aziz, yang merupakan Mursyidul Am PAS, adalah satu kehilangan besar seorang pemimpin Islam yang dihormati.

Najib turut menyifatkan negara kehilangan seorang pemimpin dan ilmuwan Islam yang telah banyak berjasa dengan pemergian Nik Aziz ke rahmatullah.

Ahmad Atory berpandangan keputusan BN untuk tidak bertanding di DUN Chempaka ibarat satu penghormatan kepada Allahyarham Nik Aziz, yang merupakan wakil rakyat DUN Chempaka sejak 1990.

Pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13) lepas, Nik Aziz (PAS) menewaskan calon BN, Wan Razman Wan Abd Razak dengan majoriti 6,500 undi.

Banyak pihak melihat langkah UMNO tidak bertanding membuktikan sikap hormat UMNO kepada PAS. Ia juga satu petanda baik mengekalkan keharmonian lanskap politik di Kelantan, yang ditadbir PAS.

Ahmad Atory berkata komitmen kerajaan pusat untuk meneruskan kerja-kerja pemulihan pasca banjir ini tidak boleh dilihat bertujuan meraih sokongan rakyat Kelantan, sebaliknya ia adalah tanggungjawab kerajaan persekutuan dan negeri bekerjasama memastikan kebajikan rakyat Kelantan dibela.

"Adalah lebih baik bagi kerajaan persekutuan iaitu BN menumpukan kepada kerja-kerja pemulihan pasca banjir untuk mengelakkan perasaan 'serba salah' jika BN bertanding dalam PRK DUN Chempaka kerana ia akan menjejaskan kerja-kerja pasca banjir," katanya.

Senada dengan Ahmad Atory, pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan di Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian berkata secara strategik, ia merupakan keputusan tepat bagi mengelakkan gangguan kepada jawatankuasa bersama mengatasi masalah banjir di Kelantan.

"Jawatankuasa banjir ini merupakan permulaan asas melibatkan kerjasama antara PAS dan Umno yang sanggup mengetepikan perbezaan idealogi politik demi memberi manafaat kepada rakyat," katanya.

Mengakui keputusan BN untuk tidak bertanding dalam PRK DUN Chempaka menimbulkan pelbagai tanggapan dan perasaan kurang senang di kalangan pemimpin serta penyokong BN bahkan parti lawan, Sivamurugan berkata ia adalah keputusan bersama demi kesejahteraan rakyat Kelantan.

"Sudah menjadi lumrah biasa dalam politik pasti ada 'cakap-cakap belakang' kononya Umno dan BN tidak bertanding kerana bimbang tidak mendapat sokongan rakyat Kelantan, itu adalah golongan yang kecewa dan tidak mahu melihat kesepakatan antara PAS dan Umno.

"Tidak timbul soal takut untuk bertanding di kawasan lawan (pembangkang) tetapi BN dan Umno merasakan kepentingan rakyat perlu didahulukan daripada soal politik," katanya.

Jawatankuasa Bersama Menangani Pasca Banjir bagi memulihkan semula kehidupan rakyat di negeri ini yang terjejas teruk akibat banjir diwujudkan tahun lepas. Ia dipengerusikan bersama Menteri Besar Kelantan Datuk Ahmad Yakob dan Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yang juga Pengerusi Perhubungan UMNO Kelantan.

-- BERNAMA

Friday, February 27, 2015

'Political Fanaticism Can Undermine Spirit Of Sharing Among Malaysians, Say Analysts', Bernama, 27 February 2015

 



By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Political fanaticism and the insensitive attitude of certain quarters have in one way or other undermined the concept of sharing long nurtured by Malaysians, according to analysts.

Dr Mohd Ainuddin Iskandar Lee Abdullah, a senior lecturer at the Centre for International Studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia's Faculty for Legal, Government and International Studies, said all parties should practice moderation in politics, even if their directions were varied.

"Currently, certain quarters are deliberately raising disputes and challenges that are closely intertwined with political interests and sensitive issues.

"This matter must be given due attention in order to safeguard the sensitivities of the various enthnic groups in this country and enable the noble quality of sharing to thrive and be preserved," he told Bernama.

SHARING OF POLITICAL, ECONOMIC POWER

At a talk by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad titled "The Malaysian Dilemma" on Feb 12 during a forum organised by non-governmental organisation Centre for a Better Tomorrow, the former prime minister spoke, among other things, about how political and economic power sharing by all races could be the best formula for Malaysia to attain developed nation status by 2020.

Urging more Malaysians to practice the sharing spirit, and acknowledging that it had already long existed in this country, Dr Mahathir said it would help Malaysia to become more successful and prosperous.

However, the dilemma most Malaysians are confronted with now is whether they should continue sharing economic and political power on the back of the success attained thus far.

"If they want to share, the Malays must give up some of their political power to the other races while the Chinese should surrender their economic dominance. This is why this country has never been controlled by a single race. Malaysia is ruled by the three major races. If we agree to sharing, then this is the best way for our nation," explained Mahathir.

Commenting on this, Mohd Ainuddin said he wondered to what extent the Chinese were willing to surrender the power they wielded over the economy, and whether they could match the Malays, who had sacrificed their political dominance.

He said the cession of Malay supremacy and economic legacy of the Chinese must be studied and analysed from various dimensions because it would have a major implication on the question of political and economic survival in Malaysia.

"Barisan Nasional's (BN) existing political formula is adequate enough... it cannot be denied that UMNO had in the past given its seats to the MCA based on the racial breakdown of voters in those constituencies, and even Cabinet posts. UMNO did this in the spirit of friendship within BN.

"Now the question is, have the Chinese ever surrendered their dominance in the business supply chain to the Malays? During Tun's (Dr Mahathir) era of liberalisation, several nouveau riche people were created and added to the ranks of tycoons, as a result of the opportunities given to them by the government then," he said.

All these, stressed Mohd Ainuddin, testified that the Malays had made a great deal of sacrifices in the past, and also proved the community's high level of tolerance towards their fellow non-Malay citizens.

"If only the Chinese community is willing to relinquish their economic dominance in certain sectors to the Malays, it will take the concept of sharing to new heights and help create a more dynamic, progressive and advanced society," he added.

CONTINUANCE OF NEP

What does sharing entail in the context of promoting racial tolerance?

Mohd Ainuddin, who is also a lecturer in ethnic relations, replied that many people were not aware that the seeds of racial tolerance were first sown when the country was on the threshold of independence, that is during the era of political consensus, as it was known then.

He said the New Economic Policy (NEP) era had, rightfully, seen an adequate level of economic sharing, which had a positive impact on the political and economic well-being of the nation.

"During the NEP era, the government helped uplift the status of the Malay community by establishing FELDA, FELCRA and other development programmes. Even the non-Malays enjoyed spillovers from the NEP because their contractors helped to open up new land, build roads, instal irrigation canals, supply equipment and provide various other services.

"The NEP-era sharing benefited all parties and led to the creation of a Malay middle-class, which saw the emergence of Malay professionals in various fields who were as competent as their non-Malay counterparts," he said.

Mohd Ainuddin also called on the various races to share their knowledge and expertise as it could contribute to narrowing the economic gap between them, adding that it would also lead to equality in terms of professional achievements.

READY TO COMPROMISE

Asso Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Social Science Studies, said while all parties played an important role in understanding the concept of compromising and sacrificing, they should uphold the values they had in common, instead of pinpointing their differences.

"Sharing enables us to move forward together, but it should be done in an honest and sincere manner without suspicion. We should look for common values that connect the Malays and non-Malays.

"In the context of our plural society, we must understand that there are limitations to what we can do and can't do, based on the principle of respect we have for others," he said.

Asked to comment on moderate-minded people who preferred to remain silent and keep their views to themselves rather than make an effort to tame the political fanatics, Sivamurugan said the time has come for them (the moderates) to change their attitude and act accordingly.

"The truth is, in keeping quiet, they are allowing the political fanatics to feel free to act as they like. As such, we also need to hear the voice of the moderates as it can neutralise the agenda of the fanatics and prevent them from destroying all that we've have built over the years," he said.

ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

On the role of the social media in nurturing the concept of sharing, Mohd Ainuddin said due to the explosion in information technology and the ease at which information could be retrieved, social media should be utilised as a platform to promote the concept of sharing.

Pointing out that views and comments shared on social media sites should be sensible and not emotionally-charged, he said they should also not cause racial disunity and political instability.

"There are people who abuse the social media... in fact some are using it to give vent to their emotions without considering the repercussions on society.

"The posting of views and comments which carry no bias or prejudice towards any ethnic group can, indirectly, contribute to interracial harmony and lend a positive aura to the nation's socio-political, and even economic, development," he added.

-- BERNAMA

'Taksub Berpolitik, Gugat Amalan Berkongsi Antara Kaum - Penganalisis', Bernama, 27 Februari 2015


 



Oleh Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Ketaksuban berpolitik dan sikap tidak sensitif segelintir pihak di negara ini sedikit sebanyak menggugat konsep perkongsian yang sekian lama dipupuk dalam masyarakat, demikian menurut beberapa penganalisis.

Pensyarah kanan Pusat Pengajian Antarabangsa, Kolej Undang-Undang, Kerajaan dan Pengajian Antarabangsa, Universiti Utara Malaysia Dr Mohd Ainuddin Iskandar Lee Abdullah berkata bagi mengatasi perkara itu, semua pihak perlu berpegang kepada konsep wasatiyyah atau kesederhanaan dalam berpolitik meskipun berbeza haluan.

"Tuntutan dan cabaran semasa pada hari ini berkait rapat dengan kepentingan politik dan isu-isu sensitif yang sengaja dibangkitkan oleh segelintir pihak.

"Perkara ini perlu diberi perhatian dalam konteks menjaga sensitiviti kepelbagaian etnik di negara ini supaya nilai perkongsian itu terus mekar dan melestarikannya dengan baik," katanya kepada Bernama.

PERKONGSIAN KUASA DAN EKONOMI

Pada 12 Feb lepas, bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dalam ceramahnya bertajuk 'The Malaysian Dilemma' antara lain menyebut bahawa perkongsian kuasa dan ekonomi antara semua kaum adalah formula terbaik bagi Malaysia melangkah ke arah mencapai status negara maju menjelang 2020.

Katanya rakyat Malaysia perlu terus mempraktikkan semangat sedia berkongsi kerana semangat yang dipupuk sekian lama itu mampu menjadikan Malaysia berjaya dan makmur.

Namun, yang menjadi dilema rakyat Malaysia kini ialah sama ada mereka perlu terus berkongsi kuasa politik dan ekonomi berikutan kejayaan yang dicapai.

"Kalau mahu berkongsi orang Melayu perlu melepaskan sebahagian kuasa politik dan orang Cina pula perlu melepaskan sebahagian kuasa ekonomi. Sebab itu, negara ini tidak pernah dikuasai satu kaum sahaja. Malaysia dikuasai ketiga-tiga kaum majoriti. Kalau kita bersetuju kepada perkongsian, maka ini cara terbaik untuk negara ini," tegas Dr Mahathir dalam satu forum anjuran badan bukan kerajaan, Centre For A Better Tomorrow di ibu negara baru-baru ini.

Tidak menolak pendapat bekas perdana menteri itu, Mohd Ainuddin berkata persoalan yang timbul ialah sejauh mana masyarakat Cina bersedia untuk menyerahkan kuasa ekonomi mereka, berbanding pengorbanan kuasa politik yang telah diberikan oleh orang Melayu.

Katanya soal penyerahan hak ketuanan Melayu dan legasi ekonomi Cina merupakan perkara yang perlu diteliti dan dikaji dalam pelbagai dimensi kerana ia memberi implikasi besar dalam soal survival politik dan ekonomi Malaysia.

"Formula sedia ada dalam politik Barisan Nasional (BN) sudah memadai... tidak dinafikan dahulu UMNO pernah menyerahkan kerusi kepada MCA dalam perkiraan jumlah pengundi mahupun jawatan dalam kabinet, dan UMNO sebenarnya memberi lebih kerusi dengan mengambil kira semangat setiakawan dalam BN.

"Persoalannya, pernahkah penguasaan ekonomi dalam rantaian bekalan perniagaan Cina diserahkan kepada orang Melayu? Era liberalisasi zaman Tun (Dr Mahathir) banyak melahirkan golongan orang kaya baharu dalam komuniti taikun Cina hasil daripada peluang yang diberikan kerajaan pada masa itu," katanya.

Tindakan tersebut secara tidak langsung membuktikan pengorbanan besar dan tahap toleransi yang tinggi kaum Melayu terhadap rakan-rakan bukan Melayu.

"Sekiranya masyarakat Cina bersedia 'melepaskan' penguasaan dalam sektor-sektor dominan tertentu kepada orang Melayu, benteng perkongsian dapat dileraikan ke arah pemupukan sebuah masyarakat Malaysia yang lebih dinamik, progresif dan maju," kata Mohd Ainuddin.

KELANGSUNGAN DEB

Apa sebenarnya yang wajar dikongsi dalam memupuk toleransi antara kaum?

Menjawab persoalan itu, Mohd Ainuddin yang juga pensyarah bidang hubungan etnik berkata ramai pihak tidak menyedari bahawa sejarah toleransi yang wujud antara kaum telah tersemai sejak era ambang kemerdekaan, yang dikenali sebagai era permuafakatan politik.

Katanya pembangunan Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) sebenarnya memperlihatkan nilai perkongsian ekonomi yang cukup tinggi kepada rakyat dan membawa impak positif daripada sudut politik mahupun ekonomi negara.

"Pada era DEB kerajaan membantu masyarakat Melayu dengan menaik taraf hidup mereka melalui penubuhan FELDA, FELCRA serta rancangan pembangunan yang lain. Golongan bukan Melayu pula menerima limpahan kemakmuran DEB melalui pembukaan kawasan-kawasan baharu oleh kontraktor bukan Melayu termasuklah penyediaan peralatan, membuat jalan, memasang tali air dan pelbagai lagi perkhidmatan.

"Perkongsian era DEB memberi manfaat kepada semua pihak dan kewujudan masyarakat Melayu kelas menengah dalam bidang-bidang profesional berupaya menandingi kumpulan profesional bukan Melayu," katanya.

Berpendapat perkongsian ilmu dan kepakaran antara etnik penting bagi tujuan merapatkan jurang ekonomi antara kaum, Mohd Ainuddin berkata ia boleh membawa kepada kesamaan dalam soal pencapaian terutamanya dalam bidang profesional.

SEDIA BERKOMPROMI

Mengulas perkara sama, pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan di Universiti Sains Malaysia Prof Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian berkata semua pihak perlu memainkan peranan di samping memahami konsep kompromi dan sedia berkorban.

"Perkongsian akan membolehkan kita bergerak bersama ke hadapan namun ia harus dilakukan dengan jujur dan ikhlas tanpa ada sifat prasangka buruk demi mencari titik keseimbangan antara orang Melayu dan bukan Melayu.

"Dalam konteks masyarakat majmuk, kita harus memahami bahawa ada batasan tertentu ke atas apa yang boleh dilakukan dan tidak boleh dilakukan, berlandaskan prinsip hormat-menghormati antara satu sama lain," katanya.

Beliau berpandangan bahawa dengan memahami dan mematuhi batasan tertentu, ia akan membawa kepada titik penyatuan kaum.

Menyentuh golongan berpendirian sederhana yang lebih selesa berdiam diri berbanding berkongsi pendapat dan pendirian mereka bagi mengimbangi pandangan golongan taksub berpolitik, Sivamurugan berkata mereka harus melakukan perubahan dan bertindak seiring dengan keperluan semasa.

"Hakikatnya, tindakan berdiam diri akan membuatkan golongan taksub berpolitik merasakan mereka bebas berbuat apa sahaja. Justeru, suara-suara sederhana harus keluar dan bergerak bersama untuk memastikan tiada agenda golongan taksub politik mengganggu-gugat apa yang terbina selama ini," katanya.

PERANAN MEDIA SOSIAL

Dalam zaman teknologi maklumat masa kini, Mohd Ainuddin berkata pengaruh dan kuasa media sosial hendaklah dimanfaatkan sebagai platform untuk memakmurkan konsep perkongsian.

Selain pandangan dan komentar yang dikongsi di media sosial dilontar secara berhemah dan tidak beremosi sehingga mengenepikan fakta, ia juga perlu menolak unsur-unsur yang mendorong kepada perpecahan kaum dan ketidakstabilan politik.

"Ada pihak menyalahgunakan media sosial termasuklah menjadikan ia sebagai gelanggang melepaskan emosi tanpa memikirkan akibatnya kepada masyarakat.

"Selain itu, pandangan dan komentar yang dilontarkan tanpa memihak kepada etnik tertentu secara tidak langsung boleh menyumbang kepada keserasian kaum dan membawa aura positif terhadap perkembangan sosio-politik mahupun ekonomi negara," katanya.

-- BERNAMA

Thursday, February 19, 2015

'Should BN Refrain From Contesting In Chempaka?', Bernama, 19 February 2015

 



By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Whilst Malaysians were still in mourning following the demise of PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who was respected by both friends and foes, there was suggestion that the Barisan Nasional (BN) need not field a candidate in the Chempaka state by-election in Kelantan.

Political analysts, however, said the BN should only arrive at a decision after thoroughly studying the consequences.

Today, the Election Commission announced that the by-election for the Chempaka state seat, which was held by Nik Aziz, will take place on March 22, while March 10 has been fixed as nomination day.

CONSEQUENCES OF NOT FIELDING CANDIDATE

Md Shukri Shuib, who is a senior lecturer in political and international studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia, said even if the Umno leadership were to decide against the BN's participation in the Chempaka by-election, the party should consider the consequences of not fielding a candidate there.

"Not taking part in the by-election may lead to a weakening of Umno's image as the main political party in the ruling government," he said.

He felt that the public perception of Umno would be worse if the BN announced its decision not to contest the Chempaka seat even before knowing who PAS was fielding as candidate.

"The people may think that there is no match for Kelantan under PAS rule. And, they may also view Umno as a weak party, bereft of candidates of integrity.

"This is not a question of winning or losing, but the question of maintaining the party's dignity and perception. But if its leaders are expressing such a view (not to contest in the Chempaka by-election), it might hinder Umno's efforts to portray itself as a strong party worthy of ruling Kelantan.

"It will also strengthen the perception that Kelantan is PAS and PAS is Kelantan," he told Bernama.

On Feb 14, Kelantan Umno Liaison Chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had expressed his personal view that if the BN abstained from contesting, it would make it easier for the federal government, as well as BN and PAS, to carry out post-flood rehabilitation works in Kelantan. Several Umno leaders, include those from the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings, have also echoed Mustapha's views.

MARK OF RESPECT

Some quarters have also expressed their opinion that there was no point in the BN contesting the Chempaka state seat owing to the strong voter sentiment towards Nik Aziz, who passed away on Feb 12 from prostrate cancer. He died at his residence in Pulau Melaka, Kota Baharu, Kelantan.

Asso Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, who is a lecturer with Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Social Science Studies, offered a different view, saying that if the BN decided not to contest in Chempaka, it could be construed as a mark of respect for the late Nik Aziz.

"By not contesting in the Chempaka state seat, BN can focus on enhancing its cooperation with the state to deal with the after-effects of the floods. This will, over the long term, help the BN to secure more support," he said.

THE PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE

On the impending by-election in the Permatang Paul Parliamentary seat in Penang, Md Shukri said it was the right of the voters to elect their representative, and that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) was free to choose who they wanted to field as candidate.

"If rumours stating that the incumbent's (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) daughter Nurul Nuha will be chosen as the candidate are true, it won't be proper because it will be akin to ignoring the integrity of the party's existing leaders, particularly those from PKR Permatang Pauh.

"I also feel that PKR is not willing to sacrifice Permatang Pauh by fielding a PAS candidate there, as there is talk that PAS Deputy President Mohammad Sabu is being considered as a possible candidate," he said.

Md Shukri said he was confident that Permatang Pauh would return to PKR because, as it was generally known, the by-election involved Anwar in his personal capacity.

He added that if the DAP intended to strengthen its dominance in Penang, as well as the opposition bench in the Dewan Rakyat, it should consider fielding a Malay candidate in Permatang Pauh.

"Maybe Dyana Sofea Mohd Daud, who stood as the DAP candidate in the Teluk Intan by-election previously, should be given one more chance as she will appeal to the youth," he said.

Anwar, 67, is set to be disqualified as MP within 14 days from the date the Federal Court dismissed his final appeal against his conviction for sodomising his former personal assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and upheld his five-year jail term. The court passed the ruling on Feb 10.

However, if Anwar files a petition for royal pardon within 14 days of the apex court's ruling, his disqualification will only take effect when the petition is disposed of, as provided for under paragraph (c), clause (4) of Article 48 of the Federal Constitution.

-- BERNAMA

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