Archive for September 8th, 2008

Pakatan Rakyat leadership council condemns racism of Ahmad Ismail and Penang Umno leaders

Kenyataan Akhbar

8 September 2008

Pakatan Rakyat Menjunjung Prinsip Perlembagaan Persekutuan

Majlis Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat yang bersidang pada hari ini 8 September 2008 dengan ini menegaskan penolakan kami terhadap usaha-usaha menyemarakkan politik perkauman yang sedang dilakukan oleh UMNO akhir-akhir ini. Kami amat bimbang isu ini sekarang digunakan untuk mengelabui pandangan rakyat yang sebenarnya merupakan usaha terdesak untuk menyelamatkan kepentingan segelintir golongan elit politik dan kroni mereka.

Kami sekali lagi mengulangi pendirian menjunjung prinsip-prinsip dasar yang termaktub di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Ini termasuk soal-soal dasar seperti kedudukan Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan dan menjamin kebebasan mengamalkan agama-agama lain, kedaulatan Bahasa Melayu sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan dan mempertahankan hak bahasa ibunda, kedudukan dan kedaulatan Institusi Raja-Raja Melayu serta kedudukan hak-hak istimewa orang Melayu dan Bumiputera serta hak-hak semua kaum yang telah dijamin oleh Perlembagaan.

Berdasarkan prinsip-prinsip Perlembagaan ini kami menolak sekeras-kerasnya pendekatan politik perkauman sempit yang menjadi dasar UMNO-BN. Pendekatan inilah yang sengaja digunakan untuk memecahbelahkan perpaduan dan keharmonian masyarakat majmuk negara ini. Read the rest of this entry »


“The birds have flown” – BN MPs forced to flee from Malaysia because of “916”

The Star front-page headline today “Off to Taiwan – 50 Barisan MPs begin eight-day study trip” is the latest update of the political farce which could be appropriately entitled “The Birds Have Flown” to tell the story as to how 51 years after Merdeka, two-thirds of the 75 BN parliamentary backbenchers were forced to flee from Malaysia to ensure that they don’t take part any “916” political changes.

Despite maintaining a public stanc of stoic indifference, there is no doubt that with the daily countdown to September 16, there is an increasing panic in Umno and Barisan Nasional leadership ranks over the degree of cohesion, solidarity and allegiance of the 75 Barisan Nasional parliamentary backbenchers, resulting in the farcical “forced flight” overseas by two-thirds of the BN MPs to make it absolutely sure that none of them will participate in any “916” developments.

The Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BBC) chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (Bintulu) may pride himself for coming up with a “political masterstroke” to thwart “916”, but he did not realize that he has made the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the entire Umno and BN leadership look even more foolish in the eyes of Malaysians and the world! Read the rest of this entry »


Sycophantic Editors Ruin Trust

by M. Bakri Musa

The result of the recent Permatang Pauh by-election was a surprise only to those who depended on the mainstream media and the government’s massive propaganda machinery for their source of news and information.

A measure of how far detached from reality those who sit in the editorial suites of our mainstream papers can be gauged by the pre-election editorial of The New Straits Times where its Editor-in-Chief Syed Nadzri boldly predicted that Anwar would be defeated. Obviously Syed Nadzri was beginning to believe his own spin.

In coming to such a wildly off-the-mark conclusion, Syed Nadzri is either a lousy observer of the public mood or he is more concerned with sucking up to his political superiors. In either case, he does not deserve to be the custodian of such a valuable and essential institution of modern society.

To me Syed Nadzri is both. That he is a poor judge of the public mood can be seen by the ever declining circulation and influence of his paper. Syed Nadzri is only the latest in a long series of those who, through their lack of professional integrity and journalistic skills, have destroyed this once-valued brand name. As one naughty wag put it, that paper should now be more correctly called, The New S**t Times.

It pains me to note (what is obvious to all) that since the paper was acquired by UMNO, nearly all its senior editors and journalists are Malays. I refuse to believe that a Just Allah had not bequeathed upon the Malay race our fair share of talent. I also refuse to believe that past luminaries like the now-ailing Samad Ismail was an accidental fluke and not the trademark of our culture. He should be an inspiration for the present generation of journalists, a measure of what we are capable of producing.

Instead we have the likes of Syed Nadzri, individuals more adept at sucking up to their superiors. Syed Nadzri has obviously learned little from the fate and experiences of his many predecessors who were similarly afflicted. While such a trait may have facilitated their ascent to the top, once there it is no guarantee of career longevity.

Syed Nadzri should have learned, or somebody should have taught him, that while political winds and personalities may change, your professional duties and ideals do not. Yours is to ensure that the public be well informed, the prerequisite of a healthy, functioning democracy.

The slow but sure decline of The New Straits Times was interrupted only briefly when Abdullah Ahmad, a former Ambassador to the UN and a Mahathir appointee, took the helm. He survived but only briefly under Abdullah Badawi. At least Abdullah Ahmad left in a blaze of glory, having had the courage to speak his mind publicly.

As I look at its roster of past Editors-in-Chief, I am struck at how quickly they, with few exceptions, have descended into oblivion once deprived of their perch at the editor’s desk. Kadir Jasin has his widely-read blog where he gives the occasional pungent comments now that he is freed from the tethers of officialdom. Again remarkable because of the rarity, Abdullah Ahmad is one of the few editors whose writings have been respectable enough to appear in reputable foreign publications. Read the rest of this entry »