Sabtu, 7 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News


Michelle Yeoh Launches iM4U Street Watch Campaign To Fight Crimes Against Women

Posted: 07 Sep 2013 12:29 PM PDT

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(Bernama) -- 1Malaysia For Youth (iM4U) mentor Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh today launched the iM4U Street Watch Campaign to fight crime and raise awareness on women's safety especially in the areas where women are particularly vulnerable.

Yeoh said this was her first initiative after being appointed as iM4U mentor.

She said it was aimed at raising awareness among all Malaysians to pledge their support for the "Women's Safety and Respect for Women" campaign.

"I believes it is important to educate the public and instill a sense of pro-activeness among Malaysians to make our country a safer place for all.

"iM4U also developed a series of five pledges and five tips to be shared via special media platforms and promotion with the support of RapidKL on it's various transportation and networks," she told reporters here, today.

At the launch, Yeoh joined some 20 volunteers on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) to distribute safety packs containing a whistle and safety tips card to women passengers.

Meanwhile, Events and Outdoor Activation director Moots Marimuthu said in partnership with RapidKL, they would be conducting various safety awareness programmes including the placement of iM4U volunteers at selected LRT stations to help escort women to their vehicles if needed.

"We want people to be more self aware and alert with their surroundings. They should report any suspicious activities," he said.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad's Infrastrucure Services Group Director Masnizam Hisham said the company is committed to the safety and security of they guests and will ensure that they have a pleasant experience when using the LRT.

Make all rural schools English ready by 2014, says Perkasa

Posted: 07 Sep 2013 12:23 PM PDT

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(MMO) - To ensure no Bumiputera student is left behind, Malay rights group Perkasa wants the Education Ministry to equip all rural schools with English-trained teachers and reading materials by next year now that the language is a must-pass subject for national examinations.

Echoing the sentiments of the Malay Consultative Council (MPM), Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said they agreed with the government's decision to make it a compulsory passing subject as English is the world's tongue and the language of knowledge.

"To ensure Bumiputera students in rural areas are not left behind, the Education Ministry must make sure every rural school has sufficient trained teachers in English, English books and reading materials to help the students.

"All needs must be met starting 2014 even though it is compulsory only from year 2016," the former Independent federal lawmaker told The Malay Mail Online.

Yesterday, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced English as a mandatory passing subject in the national SPM examination for Fifth Formers in an apparent nod to education lobbyists who have been pushing for its return to schools to boost the learning standard.

Muhyiddin, who is also deputy prime minister, had also said the number of lesson hours for English would be increased, to ensure the plan works.

The teaching of science and mathematics in English -- better known by its Malay initials of PPSMI -- had been introduced in national schools as an option around 2003 by then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in an effort to turn the country's economy from manufacturing-based to knowledge-centric.

The education policy was later reversed in 2010.

The Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE), a leading advocate for PPSMI, however felt that making English a mandatory passing subject suddenly would leave rural students out in the cold, and expressed concern the latest policy change would put more emphasis on exam results instead of actual learning.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has also voiced caution in making English a must-pass, saying it should only be carried out when all schools were on an equal footing.

Conversely, MPM - which had been against the revival of PPSMI - welcomed the plan.

The coalition of some 200 Malay organisations, including businesses and education groups, said the policy was in tandem with the government's goal of strengthening students' command of Bahasa Malaysia, the national language.

READ MORE HERE

Pak Samad isn’t the problem here

Posted: 07 Sep 2013 12:17 PM PDT

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How will putting a poet behind bars make a difference to the BN government?

Jeswan Kaur, FMT 

Outsiders get murdered in Malaysia and the murderers are never convicted. The country's Islamic Development Department (Jakim) blatantly misuses the Friday sermons to incite the Muslims against the non-Malays but that too is alright with the federal government.

What however Putrajaya under the Barisan Nasional government cannot digest is the fact that there are Malaysians who are willing to forsake glory to uphold their belief in the truth.

Be it then the Bersih chairperson S Ambiga or its co-chairperson A Samad Said, the national laureate-cum-activist, both have experienced the wrath of the BN government for standing up against injustices and wrongdoings.

Just for being honest and dedicated to a cause, both Ambiga and Samad were censured and calls made for their citizenships and honorific titles to be revoked.

Ambiga who was the force behind the Bersih rallies that demanded a clean-up to the electoral system, remains true to her cause, the 'obstacles' coming her way in spite.

Now, it is the 78-year-old poet and novelist Samad who is going through the same motion – the disrespect and uncouth treatment meted out by the authorities to him speaks volumes of their desperation in appeasing the 'powers that be'.

Samad, the 1979 recipient of the Southeast Asia Write Award, found himself in trouble when he was arrested for allegedly flying the Sang Saka Malaya flag on the eve of Merdeka celebrations at Dataran Merdeka.

The country's Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, notorious for his racist sentiments, has described the laureate's actions as indecent and shameful.

The Sang Saka Malaya is a red-and-white flag with 12 yellow stars set in four columns and was reportedly proposed as Malaya's national flag in the 1940s.

The flag was used by the first Malay party, Kesatuan Melayu Malaya (KMM) formed in 1938, that had fought against the colonial British for the country's independence.

This is the second time in two years where authorities have taken action under the Sedition Act 1948, on those caught holding up the Sang Saka Malaya flag.

Muhyiddin said the display of the Sang Saka Malaya was politically-motivated.

"Samad's involvement is incredibly embarrassing and it's improper since he carries the title of a laureate," Muhyiddin had said in his speech at Universiti Malaya on Friday.

The DPM who is also the Eduaction Minister added: "I don't know what intention he has in flying the Sang Saka Malaya. It can't be that someone who is so respected and who has produced many major works of literature would do something so shameful.

"It is not that he is uneducated. He is, and better than us," the DPM had said.

Bingo! Muhyiddin got it right that Samad is far better enlightened that him and everyone else occupying the comfortable offices of Putrajaya.

It is precisely because he is far more 'educated' than prime minister Najib Tun Razak or Muhyiddin that Samad has no remorse over his actions.

As far as this reticent poet is concerned, the authorities can do whatever they please to 'make their point' and calls by Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek for Samad be stripped of his 1985 national laureate title following this incident far from bother him.

BN's fear of truth-seekers

The DPM said the display of the Sang Saka Malays was politically motivated. Even if it was, what was so wrong in that? What was it about the Sang Saka Malaya that left BN insecure to the point that it had scramble to its feet to find scapegoats for reasons best known to it?

How will putting a poet behind bars make a difference to the BN government? To abuse the Sedition Act and punish Malaysians for having the courage to fight against injustices is fast becoming the hallmark of BN.

Is the BN government so unsure of its standing in the eyes of the rakyat that it had to despatch the police at midnight to nab Samad?

How has Muyhiddin arrived at the conclusion that flying the Sang Saka Malaya flag was politically propelling?

What about the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu? Was her death by C4 explosives not politically connected?

What about the fact that despite having been rejected by the rakyat, former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Jalil has been appointed as special adviser on women affairs to Najib? Is this not an obvious case of political agenda at work?

The flimsy tale cooked up by the Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar that Samad had gone into hiding when the police went to his house to arrest him past midnight has further damaged the battered image of the police force.

Khalid claimed the arrest was made according to procedures and that the police went to Samad's house on Tuesday afternoon but the national laureate was not at home.

"Samad returned home at midnight and tried to sneak but we caught him. Why blame the police for arresting someone who shamelessly desecrated the flag of our beloved country?," was Khalid's outburst.

The IGP claimed that the police had urged Samad to surrender himself but he failed to do so.

The truth as Samad has pointed out is something else.

"I was at home. I was not in hiding. I was at home all the time, though I did go for a walk at Bangsar and had tea at a mamak shop near my house," he was reported as saying.

The tables have now turned with Samad, more popularly known as Pak Samad, accusing Khalid of fabricating a story to justify the 12.40am Sept 4 arrest at his home in Bangsar.

Pakatan: Dr M’s financial advice too little, too late for BN

Posted: 07 Sep 2013 12:01 PM PDT

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(MMO) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's advice for Putrajaya to tighten its belt has come too late, say Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs who predict a dire financial outlook for Malaysia unless the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government quickens its pace in carrying out comprehensive austerity measures.

It was because the former prime minister of 22 years was profligate with public money that the country is faced with government spending that's potentially spiralling out of control, lawmakers from the three-party opposition pact said.

But they added there was no point in sniping at the 88-year-old now when the real issue at hand was for the present Najib administration to check financial wastage and monetary leaks to lower Malaysia's sovereign debt, which now stands at an alarming 53 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), just slightly below the government's self-imposed debt ceiling of 55 per cent.

"As much as I think much of the spending is inherited from his time, the real issue is the government's spending going out of control," PKR's Rafizi Ramli told The Malay Mail Online.

He said the lack of seriousness shown by Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the sixth prime minister and finance minister in controlling public spending is the real problem.

"They continue to harp over and over again on one or two billion ringgit of subsidies (for fuel), but these are marginal subsidies compared to many other items such as power production.

"I think it's dishonest. Fixing the financial problems in Malaysia need to be taken as a whole package, and it has to start with the personal commitment of the leadership to show they are serious in tackling wastages and leakages," the Pandan MP said.

Dr Mahathir on Friday posted in his blog, chedet.cc, that the government must be more prudent with its spending and whatever financial assistance is doled out, such as the 1Malaysia People's Assistance (BR1M), must be "properly budgeted for".

He said cash aid programmes like BR1M should be done more selectively, and should not become a crutch like the public's dependence on fuel subsidies.

Dr Mahathir, who also held the finance portfolio, added that the impact of the recent 20 sen reduction in RON95 and diesel subsidies would only contribute to between 1 and 5 per cent inflation to the price of goods and services.

Oil-producing Malaysia had last week hiked up the pump prices for the widely-used grade of fuel as part of the government's subsidy rationalisation programme introduced soon after Najib came into office in 2009.

READ MORE HERE 

Ulama as deputy chief: Nik Aziz was speaking in general, says Mat Sabu

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 09:39 PM PDT

(The Star) - PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu is unfazed by spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat's apparent support for an ulama to be the party's deputy president in the upcoming party election.

"You have to read the whole context of his statement. He was speaking in general and wasn't referring to me or anyone," Mohamad Sabu, popularly known as Mat Sabu, told The Star Online when contacted.

A Malay daily had reported on Saturday that Nik Aziz's support was in addition to his backing of incumbent PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who is also an ulama, to retain his post.

Although the apparent backing did not look good for Mat Sabu, who isn't an ulama, Mat Sabu maintained that there was no such thing as ulama or non-ulama in the party.

"In PAS, everyone is an ulama. It's either you have more or less religious knowledge, that's all," he said.

Mat Sabu also said he would defend his position at the November party election.

Meanwhile, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad believed that Nik Aziz was quoted out of context.

"If you read the whole report, he also mentioned that everyone in PAS is qualified as an ulama, only the level of their religious knowledge may differ," he said when contacted.

In the report, Nik Aziz also said he had his eyes on a possible candidate for the party's deputy presidency but insisted it was the party that would decide who it would be.

His remarks came after Padang Serai PAS chief Fauzi Tahir said that he was prepared to challenge Hadi Awang for the party's top post.

 

Mat Sabu believes Muslims lagging in terms of ethics and integrity

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 06:48 PM PDT

Lee Shi-Ian, TMI

Muslims must return to their roots and learn to embrace ethics and integrity as many sorely lack these two qualities in modern times, says PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu.

He said Muslims had been left behind by other communities in terms of being "honest, ethical and upstanding" as Malaysia moved towards achieving developed nation status by 2020.

"I am not pointing the finger at any political party. It is a general view which I have observed with the passing of time," he said during a forum at Taylor's University today.

The forum, entitled Strengthening Political Integrity, was held at the university in Subang Jaya and organised by the Malaysian Integrity Institute.

Mohamad, also known as Mat Sabu, in closing the forum, said Nordic countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Norway lead the way in terms of being free of corruption and graft.

"The people in these countries have a strong sense of integrity and honesty, a process which began in the classrooms.

"Muslims should actually be at the forefront of such rankings, in terms of being honest, and not prone to either giving or receiving bribes."

He cited an example which occurred at a restaurant he owned in Alor Star, Kedah.

Mat Sabu was having a drink and there was a group of civil servants at a table nearby.

"The waitress walked over to their table to calculate their bill. The bill was RM50 but was told to issue a receipt for RM100."

Mat Sabu shook his head as he related this story, saying it had become normal for civil servants to inflate their expenses to increase their claims.

"The problem seems to be differentiating between personal and public funds. We are prudent when it comes to spending our own money but spendthrift when using funds which we can later claim."

Mat Sabu gave further examples of government officers who didn't attend seminars and functions held in other states but still put in claims that they had.

"Why do they do this? So that they are able to make claims for traveling and transport expenses," Mat Sabu said, in a voice tinged with disappointment.

Another lament of Mat Sabu was cleanliness, a cornerstone of the Muslim faith, which he claimed seemed to be sorely lacking in modern times.

"I have been abroad to other countries and I've seen with my own eyes that the non-Muslim areas were always much cleaner and hygienic compared with the Muslim areas," he said.

He said during a trip to India he asked to be taken to a clean halal restaurant for a meal but was instead told by his tour guide that such restaurants were located in the non-Muslim areas.

"Even in London, where the majority of Muslims reside in the eastern part of the city and the non-Muslims and Caucasians lived in the west, it was the former which was in a deplorable condition.

"What kind of message are we telling the rest of the world when we can't even keep our own places clean? Why is this happening?" Mat Sabu questioned.

He said an ongoing operation in Indonesia where the chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), an Islamic party, had been arrested for graft was a sad fact.

"This is a question of ethics and integrity. Muslims today are lacking in these qualities and walking down the wrong path."

READ MORE HERE

 

Name your shadow cabinet, Khairy dares Pakatan

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 06:45 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Umno Youth head Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) today challenged Pakatan Rakyat to reveal its shadow cabinet without delay.

Khairy, who is Youth and Sports Minister, said Umno Youth had long called the opposition pact to do so but to date there were no signs they had a shadow cabinet.

In this matter, Khairy said he very much agreed with the suggestion by PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan for Pakatan Rakyat to show its cabinet line-up.

"This is what the Barisan Nasional (BN) has challenged them all along... if they feel they are ready to form the government, show us your shadow cabinet.

"We challenge them, because now the call is coming from their own ranks. Don't dilly-dally, do it without delay," he told reporters after launching the state-level "Liga Sukan Untuk Semua" (Sports League for All) event at the Youth and Sports Complex in Putatan, Sabah.

Khairy was commenting  on the call by Nasrudin, who is also the MP for Temerloh,  on the matter which was reported in a news portal today.

 

Anwar hits out at plans to make passing of English compulsory

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 06:42 PM PDT

(MM) - Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said that the time is not right to make passing of English in public examinations compulsory for students.

A Malaysiakini report cited Anwar (picture) as saying that the government must make the necessary facilities available before that could happen.

The PKR advisor stated that the lack of facilities and shortage in teachers who are fluent in English will add burden to the student.

Anwar calls for the Education Ministry to uplift Bahasa Melayu as the official language and strengthening the students' command of the official language before addressing students' fluency in English

Anwar hits out at the leaders in the government unrealistic call for mastery in the English language and blames them for being 'disconnected' from the grassroots. He added that the gap and differences in facilities in urban and rural schools will make difficult for students in the rural areas to pass the English subject.

Although he agrees for the subject to be made compulsory to students, and for the quality of the command to increase, he is against the government's plan to make the passing of English compulsory.

Anwar accuses the country's leaders as being disconnected from the grassroots, and cites this as their inability to gauge the differences in the facilities between urban and rural schools,  which makes it difficult for the latter if English were to be made a compulsory pass subject. 

 

Pemilihan Umno: Antara watak dan dasar

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 05:50 PM PDT

Kalau mereka mahu orang Melayu dan kaum-kaum Bumiputera lain diberikan peluang untuk membebaskan diri mereka daripada terus menjadi warga ekonomi kelas tiga, mereka wajib memilih barisan kepemimpinan yang cerdik, berani, berilmu dan berwawasan.

A Kadir Jasin, TMI

Pemilihan kepemimpinan Umno semakin panas. "Hot" kata bahasa jalanan anak-anak muda dewasa ini.

Tetapi, umpama kereta api, adakah yang panas itu kepalanya (lokomotif) atau gerabaknya yang berisi penumpang yang "gumbira" (meminjam bahasa P Ramlee) dan kargo yang berharga?

Kalau kepalanya saja yang "hot" tetapi penumpangnya moyok, meragam, meluat, menyampah dan tidak sabar turun atau mahu lokomotif baru menarik mereka pun tidak berguna juga.

Kereta api wap KTM panas, bising dan berasap. Saya nostalgi. Inilah kereta api zaman muda saya.

Tetapi setakat hari ini, apa yang dilaporkan oleh media massa memberi gambaran pemilihan kepemimpinan Umno adalah mengenai kepala kereta api.

Mungkin saya terlepas pandang. Yang saya baca hanya seorang sahaja daripada banyak orang yang menawarkan diri sebagai calon dilaporkan bercakap mengenai gerabak, penumpang dan muatan iaitu Mohd Ali Rustam yang berkata dia mahu memperjuangkan semula asas penubuhan Umno.

Kalau setakat hendak memilih kepemimpinan dan mencari ganjaran peribadi jangka pendek, tidak perlulah ahli Umno bersusah payah memeras otak. Pilih saja yang koceknya dalam dan prinsipnya cetek.

Apa orang Umno mahu?

Tetapi kalau mereka mahu kepemimpinan yang berjiwa perjuangan dan mampu menebus semula maruah parti dan kembali memperjuangkan kepentingan bangsa, agama dan negara, mereka perlulah memilih yang lebih baik.

Kalau mereka mahu orang Melayu dan kaum-kaum Bumiputera lain diberikan peluang untuk membebaskan diri mereka daripada terus menjadi warga ekonomi kelas tiga, mereka wajib memilih barisan kepemimpinan yang cerdik, berani, berilmu dan berwawasan.

Kalau mereka berasa dasar pertumbuhan ekonomi yang disertai oleh pembahagian adil seperti yang terkandung dalam Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) baik untuk mereka, mereka wajib memilih barisan kepemimpinan yang tidak "apologitic" memperjuangkan hak majoriti.

Soalnya (soalnya), akan adakah dalam barisan calon Umno nanti orang seperti itu? Atau, seperti kata P Ramlee, walhasil balik asal itu pasal tak hasil.

Masih adakah lagi pewaris Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Allahyarham Tun Dr Ismail dan Tun Dr Mahathir di kalangan kepemimpinan dan calon pemimpin Umno dewasa ini?

Masih pedulikan kepemimpinan Umno kepada kedudukan orang Melayu dan Bumiputera lain yang berupa majoriti dalam kelompok 40 peratus rakyat jelata terkebawah dalam arena ekonomi?

Selepas menyalahkan kehambaran pencapaian Barisan Nasional kepada tsunami Cina, adakah Mohd Najib dan kepemimpinan Umno akan mengucapkan terima kasih kepada orang Melayu dan anak negeri Sarawak dan Sabah kerana menyelamatkan BN dan Umno pada 5 Mei lalu dengan memberikan mereka apa yang telah diabaikan?

Apakah Mohd Najib akan membentangkan agenda Melayu, agenda Bumiputera dan agenda rakyat miskin yang lestari ("sustainable") sebelum atau ketika Perhimpunan Agung Umno kali ini?

READ MORE HERE

 

Are the Malays going back to BN?

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 05:40 PM PDT

There is a vast difference between the Umno Malay and the Pakatan Malay.

Selena Tay, FMT

The latest survey that concluded in mid-August revealed that the Malays have gone back to supporting Barisan Nasional.

According to Bukit Gantang MP, Ustaz Idris Ahmad of PAS, "the main reason for the Malays deserting Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is due to short-sightedness.  The Malays view the BR1M financial aid as their great problem-solver and therefore threw their support behind BN, not realising that BN will get back more than what was given out to the rakyat.  Prices of goods, food and other necessities go up regularly and BR1M will not be able to cover these increases as BR1M is only given at the beginning of the year while prices of goods continue to go up the whole year."

This sadly shows that many Malays just see the bulk amount of BR1M and thus they get influenced by BN.

However, PAS' Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has a different view. He said the Malay support was returning to BN due to their baseless fears when they see many Chinese voting for Pakatan.

Besides that, the Chinese have been unjustly portrayed as ungrateful to the government when they voted for Pakatan.

This is untrue as the Chinese merely showed their preference for Anwar Ibrahim over Najib Tun Razak because they view the opposition leader and Pakatan as having better ideas for good governance.

The Chinese know that only a Malay can be Prime Minister and by voting for Pakatan, they merely choose one leader over another.

All these just go to show that our nation is still divided along racial lines. It is the BN politicians who use the race card well and the fear of the Malays for the Chinese has opened up endless possibilities for Umno.

Although MCA and MIC also use the race card by harping that they do a lot to help their respective races, many can see that both the parties cannot really do much as they always have to toe the line and one word from big brother Umno will immediately drive them into absolute silence.

There is a vast difference between the Umno Malay and the Pakatan Malay.

The harsh reality

The Pakatan Malay have no qualms voting for the DAP and working well with the Chinese as shown in the Bersih rallies where there was always great camaraderie between all races.

The Malays who support Pakatan respect the DAP while those who support BN do so only because of Umno but do they really respect the MCA?

This is the harsh reality of the Malaysian political scenario.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak must thus work fast on his national reconciliation plan.

The second Parliament sitting is from Sept 23 to Oct 3 and what are his programmes for national reconciliation?

As the Prime Minister, Najib must be all-inclusive. He should try to win back some Chinese support to show that all races support BN and thus his 1Malaysia slogan is a successful one.

He can regain Chinese backing by launching concrete plans to curb crime, corruption and cronyism.

On the other hand, Pakatan leaders must go all out to regain some Malay support by explaining that there is no need to fear the Chinese because their community also wants a Malay to lead the nation.

The Chinese acknowledge that Malaysia being a Malay-majority nation must therefore have a Malay leader.

However, this is easier said than done as PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu has said that the Malays have blind faith in Umno.

"The Malays always believe that every word Umno says is true and that is the reason why it is difficult to get them to believe in Pakatan.

"During the 13th general election campaign, Pakatan leaders had warned that there will be a petrol hike if BN wins. But the Malays instead said that Pakatan leaders were telling lies about BN in order to garner votes.

"It is extremely difficult to convince the Malays to vote Pakatan because they are easily blinded by Umno's words," said Mohamad, also popularly known as Mat Sabu.

For a vibrant democracy, both the government and the opposition must have a fair mix of races supporting both coalitions.

Race issues should never be used to garner support and divide the rakyat as everyone has a place under the Malaysian sun.

READ MORE HERE

 

Musim Pemimpin UMNO Berlumba-lumba Menunjuk Baik

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 05:04 PM PDT

http://media.themalaysianinsider.com/images/uploads/2011/august/12/812shahbudin_new-buku_penulis.jpg

Itulah realitinya setiap kali menjelang pemilihan UMNO. Masing-masing pemimpin yang ingin menang dan merasakan kedudukannya tergugat cuba bersikap kreatif dan menonjolkan sesuatu yang berbeza mengenai diri mereka. Ada yang bersikap baik, budiman, terlebih Melayu, peramah, sentiasa senyum, membuka pintu pejabatnya kepada sesiapa saja dan macam-macam lagi. 

Asalkan boleh menambah undi, itulah yang dilakukan.

Shahbudin Husin 

Dalam ribut-ribut orang bercakap mengenai harga minyak dan langkah kerajaan menaikkan harganya yang dilihat hanya membebankan rakyat, Menteri Pertahanan, Hishammuddin Hussein mengejutkan banyak pihak apabila memberi reaksi cukup pantas terhadap cadangan pemotongan elaun minyak untuk menteri dan pegawai tinggi kerajaan.

Idea pemotongan elaun itu pada mulanya dicadangkan oleh Pengarah Strategik PKR, Rafizi Ramli sebagai menunjukkan para menteri turut menghayati langkah berjimat cermat kerajaan. Ia kemudian turut disokong oleh Perkasa dan pelbagai pihak lain turut juga menyambut baik cadangan itu.

Hishammuddin yang juga Naib Presiden UMNO merupakan menteri pertama dan satu-satunya anggota kabinet Najib yang memberi reaksi positif terhadap cadangan itu setakat ini.

"Baik potong elaun saya sekarang kalau itu boleh bantu kukuhkan ekonomi, saya tidak teragak-agak dan sanggup lakukannya", demikian lebih kurang kata-kata yang diucapkan oleh Hishammuddin.

Baik betul ada pemimpin macam Hisham ni, walaupun anak bangsawan dia memahami derita rakyat, kata seorang ahli jawatankasa bahagian memberi komen tentang kemuliaan hati yang dilihatnya daripada kesediaan Hishammuddin itu.

Bukankah dia asyik bagi amaran saja sebelum ini, kata seorang teman yang lain.

Ini musim pemilihan, semua pemimpin kena tunjuk baik dan berjiwa rakyat, selalunya begitulah. Ada makna semua tu, pintas seorang ketua cawangan yang agak veteran menjelaskan kepada rakan-rakannya.

Mereka kemudian ketawa berdekah-dekah dan perbualan seterusnya meleret kepada pelbagai lagi karenah pemimpin yang cuba menunjuk baik yang mereka ketahui, bukan saja di musim pemilihan kali ini tetapi juga di musim-musim pemilihan sebelumnya.

Sementara idea pemotongan elaun minyak ini disanggah oleh seorang lagi menteri iaitu Nazri Aziz, bahkan menyifatkannya sebagai idea bodoh, Hishammuddin sebaliknya menunjukkan sikap baik dan budiman dalam hal ini.

Nazri tidak bertanding apa-apa jawatan dalam MT, bolehlah cakap begitu. Hisham pula perlukan undi, ketua cawangan veteran tadi menghuraikan dengan ringkas perbezaan kepentingan antara Hishammuddin dan Nazri Aziz. Mereka kemudian ketawa lagi dan gelihati apabila mengenangkan begini rupanya wajah pemimpin semata-mata untuk mendapatkan undi.

Itulah realitinya setiap kali menjelang pemilihan UMNO. Masing-masing pemimpin yang ingin menang dan merasakan kedudukannya tergugat cuba bersikap kreatif dan menonjolkan sesuatu yang berbeza mengenai diri mereka. Ada yang bersikap baik, budiman, terlebih Melayu, peramah, sentiasa senyum, membuka pintu pejabatnya kepada sesiapa saja dan macam-macam lagi.

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Contest For Top Posts: Between Stability And Democracy In Umno

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 04:39 PM PDT

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(Bernama) -- In view of the upcoming Umno divisional meetings next month, more and more party members and leaders have voiced out their opinions that the party president and deputy president posts need not be contested.

Three Umno vice-presidents - Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal - as well as Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Sabah Umno liaison committees, have also taken a firm stand in saying that that the two top party posts should not be contested for the sake of party stability.


History has shown that in 1987 when Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the Umno presidency, the party was badly divided and weakened.

However, certain quarters still keen on questioning how far democracy exists in Umno if the top posts were not contested.

For political analyst, Prof Datuk Dr Zainal Kling, stability and democracy are the two important pillars in ensuring that Umno will remain strong and that the party should never have to put more priority to one than the other.

"Umno has carried out transformation to enable more of its members to choose their central-level leaders. This shows that democracy still exist in Umno.

"It is wrong to think that democracy is dead in Umno just because the president and deputy president posts are not contested. The contest for vice president posts and Supreme Council members are still on.

"However, Umno needs to ensure that the party stability comes from a system of democracy that is healthy and clean from negative elements, such as money politics," said Zainal, who holds the Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba Chair at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, when contacted by Bernama.

A total of 146,500 Umno members from 191 divisions will be involved in selecting the party president, deputy president, three vice-presidents, 25 Supreme Council members and divisional committee members in the party polls this year.

The deadline for divisional delegates meetings and candidate's registration at the central level is set on Oct 19 and Sept 28 respectively, while the Umno General Assembly is scheduled to be held from Dec 2 to 7.

Zainal said in a bid to ensure that democracy would continue to exist in Umno, all members should be responsible in selecting credible candidates to lead the party.

"Such a responsible attitude will ensure that the selected candidates are those who really want to serve the party and that attitude is also important to ensure that the polls will be held in a clean and transparent manner," he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Umno Veteran Club secretary Datuk Mustapha Yaakub said, in reality, it was important for the two top party posts not to be contested to prevent the recreation of Team A and Team B.

"Undeniably, in theory, democracy will look alive and beautiful if all posts are contested, but after spending years in Umno, I can say that, in reality, it is too difficult to practice democracy while preventing factionalism.

"Not that I want to refute the opinions of academicians, but we are talking about the reality of politics, not only in Umno, but all political parties in Malaysia.

"There is no such thing as a perfect party democracy. There will always be some people who are dissatisfied about certain things and they will eventually decide to break away," he said.

As such, Mustapha said to ensure that Umno will not divide, all members should agree that the top party posts need not to be contested, including the posts of vice presidents and chief of Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri.

"The reason I said this is because when the top posts are contested, various teams will be created, from the top to the grass root levels.

"Each candidate will have their own teams. This has happened before to the extent of causing Umno to be declared illegal (in 1988). Umno veterans will not allow this to happen again," he said.

He also reminded Umno leaders to stop running on cloud nine after being able to retain power at the 13th general election (GE13).

"The GE13 is just another page in our history book now. The elected representatives should not look back at the GE13, but instead to look forward to the 14th general election and how we can strengthen our party to face the ever more challenging tasks," he added.

I don’t recognise Perkasa, says Samad Said

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 04:34 PM PDT

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 (TMI) - National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said (pic) has thumbed his nose at Malay right-wing organisation Perkasa over its call for him to return his honorific to the government.

He said he will ignore the call from the group led by Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who had questioned his patriotism over his attendance at an event where the Sang Saka Malaya flag was flown.

"I don't recognise Perkasa. If they want the title stripped from me, then they should act on it themselves," said the poet in a text reply to The Malaysian Insider.

Ibrahim demanded that Samad should return the national laureate title to prove that he would not be bothered if it was stripped off him.

This came after Samad had said he was not bothered by calls to strip off his national laureate title for allegedly insulting the country.

"I applaud Samad's bravery, but he should return the national laureate title himself if he is sincere. Many people will criticise the government if it revokes the title," Ibrahim had said at a press conference on Thursday.

A defiant Samad today also brushed aside rebukes over his participation at the Merdeka eve event at Dataran Merdeka.

He said he was invited to the event by Himpunan Hijau, a non-governmental organisation.

"It was just a coincidence that the flag was flown when I was on the stage. I was not aware of the incident. It was easy for certain parties to link it to me.

"I know Hishamuddin Rais and Adam Adli were there but they arrived earlier than me. When it was my turn to be with Himpunan Hijau, they were already there.

"To link me (to the flag) is unreasonable although I sympatise with Adam Adli and Hishamuddin," he said.

Hishamuddin and Adam, both activists, were the first to be arrested by police. Two days later, Samad was also arrested. All three are being investigated under the Sedition Act.

The Sang Saka Malaya is a red-and-white flag with 12 yellow stars set in four columns and was reportedly proposed as Malaya's national flag in the 1940s. The country does not recognise the flag and those caught flying the flag can be charged under the Sedition Act. 

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