Tubuh Suruhanjaya Diraja kaji kesan pindaan perlembagaan

Tubuh Suruhanjaya Diraja kaji kesan pindaan perlembagaan
Ooi Heng & Elijah Khor

Sebagai rakyat Malaysia, kita menyambut ulang tahun penubuhan Hari Malaysia yang ke-53 pada 16 September ini. Kemudian, kita akan menyambut ulang tahun Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang ke-60 pada tahun 2017.

Beberapa bulan lagi, kita akan melangkah masuk ke tahun 2017. Sehubungan itu, badan pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) mencadangkan agar satu Suruhanjaya Diraja ditubuhkan untuk mengaji kesan-kesan pindaan-pindaan Perlembagaan Persekutuan semenjak perlembagaan ini diperkenalkan secara rasmi pada 31 Ogos 1957.

Banyak pindaan Perlembagaan Persekutuan telah dilakukan semenjak tahun 1957. Mengikut pakar perlembagaan, Profesor Shad Saleem Faruqi, sehingga tahun 2005 Perlembagaan Persekutuan telah dipinda sebanyak 42 kali. Oleh kerana setiap kali Perlembagaan Persekutuan dipinda, ianya melibatkan sebilangan pindaan individu, dijangkakan bahawa jumlah pindaan yang terlibat adalah sekitar 650.[ http://www.thesundaily.my/node/176393%5D

Sebelum tahun 2008, Kerajaan Barisan Nasional banyak melakukan pindaan perlembagaan yang memerlukan majoriti dua pertiga di Dewan Rakyat. Daripada pindaan-pindaan tersebut, terdapat pindaan yang mengundang kontroversi.

Baru-baru ini, apabila Akta Majlis Keselamatan Negara 2016 (Akta MKN 2016) diwartakan pada 7 Jun 2016 dan dikuatkuasakan pada 1 Ogos 2016, berbangkit kontroversi bahawa sehari selepas Majlis Raja-Raja mengembalikan Rang Undang-Undang Majlis Keselamatan Negara kepada Jabatan Peguam Negara kerana mahu beberapa peruntukan diperhalusi, Rang Undang-Undang tersebut dianggap telah diperkenan oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong pada 18 Februari 2016, menurut Fasal (4A) Perkara 66 Pelembagaan Persekutuan.

Sehari selepas Akta MKN 2016 dikuatkuasakan, mantan Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim memfailkan saman pemula bagi memohon perisytiharaan bahawa Akta MKN 2016 yang berkuat-kuasa pada 1 Ogos 2016, adalah tidak sah dan tidak mengikut perlembagaan.

Kontroversi ini berbangkit melibatkan, antara lain, pindaan perlembagaan pada ketika Kerajaan Barisan Nasional mempunyai majoriti dua pertiga di Parlimen untuk melakukan pindaan seumpama. Namun, ini bukanlah satu-satunya kontroversi yang melibatkan pindaan perlembagaan semenjak tahun 1957.

Jika pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang, Kerajaan Barisan Nasional kembali ke Parlimen dengan majoriti dua pertiga, kami menjangkakan, banyak lagi pindaan perlembagaan yang akan dibentang ke Dewan Rakyat untuk mendapat kelulusan.

Lantaran itu, kami berpendapat, sehubungan dengan ulang tahun ke-60 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, ada kewajarannya satu Suruhanjaya Diraja ditubuhkan untuk mengaji kesan-kesan pindaan-pindaan perlembagaan yang telah dilakukan semenjak tahun 1957.

Kajian Suruhanjaya Diraja dapat melihat sejauh mana semangat kemerdekaan, sejarah penubuhan Malaysia dan prinsip asas Perlembagaan 1957 dihayati dan sejauh mana pindaan-pindaan perlembagaan sehingga hari ini telah memberi kesan kepada diri Perlembagaan dan seterusnya kesannya terhadap tiga cabang utama negara, yakni cabang kehakiman, cabang perundangan dan cabang eksekutif.

Malaysia melaksanakan demokrasi berparlimen ala-Westminster. Namun begitu, model Malaysia berbeza dengan model United Kingdom. Model United Kingdom adalah berasaskan ‘Supremasi Parlimen’ (Parliamentary Supremacy). Sedangkan model Malaysia adalah berasaskan ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’ (Constitutional Supremacy).

Berbeza dengan United Kingdom yang tidak mempunyai sebuah dokumen perlembagaan, Malaysia mempunyai sebuah dokumen perlembagaan bernama ‘Perlembagaan Persekutuan’ dan ianya merupakan rujukan tertinggi entiti politik bergelar Malaysia.

Seperti yang termaktub dalam Fasal (1) Perkara 4 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, “Perlembagaan ini ialah undang-undang utama Persekutuan dan apa-apa undang-undang yang diluluskan selepas Hari Merdeka yang tidak selaras dengan Perlembagaan ini adalah tidak sah setakat ketidakselarasan itu.”

Hal ini bermaksud, apabila wujudnya akta parlimen yang melanggar peruntukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, cabang kehakiman seharusnya menyemak semula akta tersebut tanpa ketakutan atau ‘without fear and favour’.

Jika sekiranya didapati sesuatu akta parlimen itu memang bercanggah dengan peruntukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, cabang kehakiman haruslah berani membuat penghakiman yang sewajarnya.

Hanya dengan melakukan apa yang berpatutan selari dengan sistem demokrasi berparlimen, barulah ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’ dapat dipelihara secara terus menerus.

Malangnya, sesetengah pindaan yang dibentang oleh pihak eksekutif dalam bentuk ‘urusan kerajaan’ di Parlimen, khususnya rang undang-undang untuk meminda sesuatu akta atau sesuatu pindaan perlembagaan semenjak tahun 1957, telah mengubah wajah sistem kehakiman sehingga melemahkan keupayaan cabang kehakiman dalam memelihara ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’ yang sepatutnya menjadi asas kepada model demokrasi berparlimen yang dipraktiskan di Malaysia.

Berdepan dengan kontroversi seperti isu Akta MKN 2016, pokok perbincangan seharusnya menumpu kepada kekuatan sistem kehakiman yang dapat mengangkat ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’ dan menyemak cabang eksekutif yang terlampau besar kuasanya.

Sebarang penggubalan akta yang menghala ke arah membentuk pentadbiran diktator secara undang-undang adalah bercanggah dengan semangat perlembagaan yang bertapak atas prinsip negara hukum atau rule of law.

Tindakan Anwar Ibrahim menfailkan saman menuntut semakan kehakiman terhadap Akta MKN 2016 adalah tepat pada masanya. Cabang kehakiman seharusnya berpegang teguh kepada semangat mengangkat ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’ dalam mengendalikan kes semakan tersebut.

Selain Akta MKN 2016, masih terdapat akta-akta kontroversi yang dibentang oleh cabang eksekutif melalui rang undang-undang kerajaan di Parlimen. Malah, pindaan-pindaan perlembagaan yang tertentu juga mengundang kontroversi pada ketika pindaan berkaitan dikemukakan pada masa lampau.

Kami berpendapat, penubuhan Suruhanjaya Diraja adalah langkah penting pertama menghala ke arah mengembalikan sistem kehakiman yang dapat memelihara ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’.

Dalam kita menyambut Hari Malaysia dan ketibaan ulang tahun Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang ke-60, mustahak sekali penghayatan ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’ dikembali ke posisi yang seharusnya selari dengan tiga prinsip asas seperti berikut:

Pertama, prinsip negara hukum atau rule of law dipatuhi;
Kedua, Sebarang akta parlimen yang bercanggah dengan ‘Supremasi Perlembagaan’ dan prinsip negara hukum harus disemak semula;
Ketiga, Sebarang akta parlimen yang memungkinkan pembentukan pentadbiran diktator secara undang-undang dimansuhkan.

 

Tamat.

 

Ooi Heng merupakan pengarah eksekutif KPRU
Elijah Khor merupakan penyelidik KPRU
13 September 2016

 

Badan pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU), bersamaan dengan Political Studies for Change (KPRU) atau 政改研究所(KPRU).

Portal rasmi: https://kprumalaysia.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kprumalaysia/

Emel: kprumalaysia@gmail.com

 

KPRU Internship Programme Oct-Nov 2016

2016 KPRU Internship Programme (Oct-Nov 2016)

The KPRU Internship Programme for the second half of 2016 is now open for application. Selected candidates will attach on a full-time basis, and will be paid a monthly stipend (only a very small amount). Candidates will have the opportunity to:

  • Assist and contribute to parliamentary research
  • Gain exposure to parliamentary affairs
  • Coordinate consultative meetings and briefing sessions for members of parliament, etc

Selection Criteria:

  • Youths between age 20-30 (students, fresh grads, post-grads or young working adults)
  • Full-time attachment, minimum period of 1 month

Details:

  • Closing date of application: 25 August 2016
  • Duration of programme: 1 October 2016 to 30 November 2016
  • Successful candidates will be informed via email

Application procedures:

Email resume / curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter expressing interest to kprumalaysia@gmail.com

Include in your application the following:

  • Preferred duration of your attachment
  • Your education/working background and research interest
  • Your language proficiency
  • Your learning expectation

LPA amendments an open attack on independence of M’sian Bar

Amendments to the 1976 Legal Profession Act: 
An open attack on the independence of the Malaysian Bar

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) and the following Civil Society Organisations are gravely concerned with the decision of the government to make several amendments to the 1976 Legal Profession Act. Such amendments are open attacks on the independence of the Malaysian Bar and blatant violations of the right to freedom of association as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.

It sets a dangerous precedent of government interference in the operations of independent statutory bodies and civil society organisations. We urge the government to withdraw such proposals immediately.

The amendments, due to be tabled in parliament in October 2016, empowers the government to abolish the current direct elections of 12 members of the Bar Council through postal votes and replace it with elections at the state level, the appointment of two representatives by the minister in charge of legal affairs to sit in the Bar Council and to increase the quorum of the Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar from 500 to 4000 members.

The government purportedly made the amendments to improve transparency and representation of the Bar Council, when in reality, it does the exact opposite.

First and foremost, these proposals were not mooted by the members of the Malaysian Bar. Furthermore, the proposed bill has not been made available either to the Malaysian Bar or the public. Hence, its claim of improving transparency and representation is highly questionable.

It is ironic that the Attorney General who had complained about the inadequate representation of the current Bar Council had no qualms about government appointees, a measure that is totally devoid of transparency and representation of the members of the Bar.

The proposal to raise the quorum of the Annual General Meeting to 25% of the membership or 4000 members, smacks of ill intent.  It is absolutely unreasonable and unrealistic, since the highest turnout for any of her AGM has not surpassed 1910 lawyers, out of their 17,000 membership. It is designed to paralyze the functions of the Malaysian Bar.

In comparison, the quorum for the AGM of the Canadian Bar Association with 37,000 members, is only 100. The Hong Kong Bar Association with about 1,300 members, requires not less than 20 members as its quorum to convene a general meeting.

We strongly urge the federal government and the Attorney General, to withdraw the planned amendments and to respect the principle of self-regulation and the right to freedom of association of the Malaysian Bar.

It is the right of the members of the Malaysian Bar to choose her leaders and representatives, through a democratic electoral process. The government must not interfere nor impose conditions on this legitimate and transparent electoral process.

Endorsed by member organizations of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia:

1.Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
2.ENGAGE
3.Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
4.Japan Graduates Association Malaysia (JAGAM)
5.Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
6.Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
7.LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
8.Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Kritisian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao (MCCBCHST)
9.Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
10.National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
11.Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
12.Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
13.Pusat Komas (KOMAS)
14.Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
15.Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
16.Tamil Foundation (TF)
17.The Association of Graduates from Universities and Colleges of China, Malaysia (Liu Hua)
18.The Federation & Alumni Associations Taiwan University, Malaysia (FAATUM)
19.Tindak Malaysia
20.United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)

 

Endorsed by other non-governmental organzations:

1.Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
2.Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
3.Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (PRIMA)
4.Friends of Kota Damansara
5.Green Friends Sabah
6.Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
7.JIHAD for JUSTICE
8.Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU)
9.Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU)
10.Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)
11.Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA)
12.Malaysian Youth And Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
13.Malaysian Youth Care Association (PRIHATIN)
14.Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
15.Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
16.Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
17.Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
18.Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)
19.Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
20.Projek Dialogue
21.Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO)
22.Sahabat Rakyat
23.Save Open Spaces, KK
24.Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers)
25.Sekolah Pemikiran Asy Syatibi
26.Sisters in Islam (SIS)
27.Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (SEED)
28.WE ARE MALAYSIANS
29.Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
30.Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)
31.Women Development of Malaysia PJ Branch

 

 

Pindaan kepada Akta Profesion Undang-Undang 1976:
Satu Serangan Terbuka Terhadap Kebebasan Majlis Peguam
Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) dan Pertubuhan-Pertubuhan Badan Masyarakat Sivil yang berikut berasa amat bimbang dengan keputusan kerajaan untuk membuat beberapa pindaan terhadap Akta Profesion Undang-Undang 1976. Pindaan-pindaan ini adalah serangan terbuka terhadap kebebasan Majlis Peguam dan secara terang-terangan melanggar hak untuk berpersatuan yang dijamin di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
Ia akan menetapkan satu contoh pertama kalinya yang merbahaya dari segi campur tangan kerajaan dalam urusan badan berkanun yang bebas dan pertubuhan-pertubuhan masyarakat sivil. Kami menuntut kerajaan segera menarik balik cadangan pindaan tersebut.
Pindaan-pindaan ini yang bakal dibentangkan di parlimen pada bulan Oktober 2016, memberi kuasa kepada kerajaan untuk memansuhkan pemilihan langsung 12 anggota Majlis Peguam menerusi undi pos dan menggantikannya dengan pemilihan di peringkat negeri, perlantikan dua wakil kerajaan oleh menteri yang bertanggungjawab ke atas hal ehwal undang-undang untuk duduk dalam Majlis Peguam, dan menaikkan kuorum Perhimpunan Agung Majlis Peguam dari 500 ke 4000 ahli.

Kerajaan mendakwa pindaan-pindaan ini dibuat untuk menambahbaik ketelusan dan perwakilan Majlis Peguam, tapi apa yang dilakukan adalah sebaliknya.
Pertama sekali, cadangan-cadangan ini bukan dicadangkan oleh ahli Majlis Peguam. Tambahan pula, akta pindaan yang dicadangkan ini tidak diberikan sama ada kepada Majlis Peguam atau kepada masyarakat umum. Oleh itu, dakwaan berkenaan menambaik ketelusan dan perwakilan boleh dipersoalkan.
Adalah ironik sekali bahawa Peguam Negara yang sebelum ini mempersoalkan perwakilan Majlis Peguam, tidak mempunyai apa-apa bantahan terhadap perlantikan wakil kerajaan yang merupakan satu langkah yang bercanggah dengan ketelusan dan perwakilan ahli-ahli Majlis Peguam.
Cadangan untuk menaikkan kuorum Perhimpunan Agung kepada 25% daripada keahlian atau sejumlah 4000 ahli, jelas mempunyai niat jahat. Ia adalah tidak munasabah dan tidak realistik, memandangkan jumlah tertinggi kehadiran yang dicatat dalam Perhimpunan Agung sebelumnya tidak lebih dari 1910 orang peguam dari jumlah keahlian seramai 17,000. Ia sengaja dirancang untuk melumpuhkan fungsi Majlis Peguam.

Untuk perbandingan, Perhimpunan Agung Majlis Peguam Kanada yang seramai 37,000 ahli kuorumnya cuma seramai 100 ahli. Majlis Peguam Hong Kong yang mempunyai 1,300 ahli hanya memerlukan tidak kurang dari 20 ahli sebagai kuorum untuk mengadakan perhimpunan agung.

Kami menyeru kerajaan persekutuan dan Peguam Negara untuk menarik balik cadangan-cadangan pindaan ini dan menghormati prinsip pengawalseliaan sendiri dan kebebasan berpersatuan Majlis Peguam.

Ahli-ahli Majlis Peguam mempunyai hak untuk memilih pemimpin dan wakil mereka melalui proses pemilihan yang demokratik. Kerajaan tidak patut campur tangan atau mengenakan syarat ke atas proses pemilihan sedia ada yang sah dan telus.

Senarai badan-badan pertubuhan ahli Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia:
1.Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
2.ENGAGE
3.Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
4.Japan Graduates Association Malaysia (JAGAM)
5.Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
6.Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
7.LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
8.Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Kritisian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao (MCCBCHST)
9.Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
10.National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
11.Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
12.Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
13.Pusat Komas (KOMAS)
14.Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
15.Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
16.Tamil Foundation (TF)
17.The Association of Graduates from Universities and Colleges of China, Malaysia (Liu Hua)
18.The Federation & Alumni Associations Taiwan University, Malaysia (FAATUM)
19.Tindak Malaysia
20.United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)

 

Senarai badan-badan masyarakat madani lain:
1.Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
2.Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
3.Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (PRIMA)
4.Friends of Kota Damansara
5.Green Friends Sabah
6.Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
7.JIHAD for JUSTICE
8.Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU)
9.Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU)
10.Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)
11.Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA)
12.Malaysian Youth And Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
13.Malaysian Youth Care Association (PRIHATIN)
14.Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
15.Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
16.Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
17.Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
18.Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)
19.Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
20.Projek Dialogue
21.Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO)
22.Sahabat Rakyat
23.Save Open Spaces, KK
24.Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers)
25.Sekolah Pemikiran Asy Syatibi
26.Sisters in Islam (SIS)
27.Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (SEED)
28.WE ARE MALAYSIANS
29.Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
30.Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)
31.Women Development of Malaysia PJ Branch

Segerakan pelaksanaan Skim Insurans Pekerja

Segerakan pelaksanaan Skim Insurans Pekerja

KPRU

Menurut liputan media semalam, Kementerian Sumber Manusia akan membentangkan kertas cadangan Skim Insurans Pekerja (Employment Insurance Scheme, EIS) untuk mendapatkan kelulusan di Parlimen pada tahun ini atau awal tahun depan sebelum dijangka mula dilaksanakan tahun depan.

Badan pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) menyambut baik sebarang usaha kementerian yang dapat membantu golongan pekerja khususnya mereka yang berdepan dengan masalah pengangguran.

Skim Insurans Pekerja merupakan sejenis kebajikan pekerja yang melindungi para penganggur daripada kehilangan pendapatan akibat kehilangan kerja, serta membantu mereka mencari kerja yang baru.

Skim seumpama telahpun dilaksanakan di negara lain termasuk Amerika Syarikat, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea Selatan, Jepun, Jerman, Itali, Perancis dan Sepanyol.

Bagi tujuan mewujudkan skim ini, suatu tabung dana perlu diwujudkan sebagai sumber elaun, oleh itu setiap pekerja dan majikan mereka harus diwajibkan untuk menyumbang kepada tabung ini dengan mencarum satu peratusan kecil daripada gaji masing-masing, sepertimana yang dilaksanakan dalam Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) dan Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO) buat masa kini.

Biasanya terdapat had tempoh untuk para pekerja menerima elaun pengangguran, ada negara yang hanya memberi 6 bulan, ada yang memberi 12 bulan, ada juga yang memberi 24 bulan. Bergantung kepada syarat-syarat tertentu termasuk syarat ‘pekerja telah mencarum selama satu tempoh seperti 6 bulan’, lazimnya pekerja yang bekerja dan mencarum untuk satu tempoh tetapi kemudian menganggur akan menerima elaun penggangguran sekitar 6 bulan hingga 24 bulan.

Namun sebagai permulaan pelaksanaan sistem ini, KPRU bercadang agar kementerian mengambil kira realiti semasa di mana terdapat berpuluh-puluh ribu pekerja yang sedang dan akan diberhentikan kerja sebelum pelaksanaan Skim Insurans Pekerja. Kumpulan ini tidak dapat mencarum dan seterusnya tidak dapat menikmati bantuan skim baru ini.

Untuk membantu golongan yang sedang menganggur buat masa ini, skim baru ini harus terbuka kepada penyertaan mereka dan syarat-syarat penerimaan bantuan harus diketepikan untuk satu tempoh apabila skim baru ini dilaksanakan nanti, supaya golongan ini dihulurkan bantuan dengan kadar segera.

Baru-baru ini, kita sering menerima berita bahawa terdapat pekerja yang kehilangan kerja, akibat kemerosotan industri yang tertentu. Malah terdapat juga kilang yang terpaksa ditutup atas faktor-faktor yang tertentu. Dengan ini, adalah mustahak untuk membantu para penganggur untuk mengharungi kesulitan kehidupan mereka atas masalah pendapatan, serta membantu mereka mencari pekerjaan yang baru untuk meneruskan kehidupan mereka.

Antara berita yang menjadi perbualan harian ialah, penutupan kilang roti High-5 (oleh High-5 Consolidated Bhd, sebelum itu Silver Bird Group Bhd) di Shah Alam yang secara tiba-tiba pada 23 Jun 2016 (dan perlu mengosongkan premisnya pada 3 Julai 2016) akibat perintah mahkamah yang diperolehi oleh AmanahRaya Real Estate Investment Trust (Amanahraya REIT) selaku pemilik hartanah.

Para pekerja High-5 mendakwa bahawa pengupahan mereka dihentikan dengan serta merta dengan hanya notis yang dikeluarkan 24 jam sebelum itu, dan hanya mendapat gaji separuh bulan sebagai pampasan. Namun tuduhan ini dinafikan oleh pihak kilang, bahawa tarikh penamatan kerja ialah 22 Julai 2016, dan separuh lagi daripada gaji mereka akan dibayar sebelum Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Menurut laporan pada 2 Mei 2016, pengarah eksekutif Persekutuan Majikan-majikan Malaysia (MEF), Shamsuddin Bardan memberi amaran bahawa sekiranya Perintah Gaji Minimun 2016 (PGM 2016) dikuatkuasa pada 1 Julai 2016, maka 30,000 orang pekerja (terutamanya pada peringkat bawahan) akan diberhentikan kerja. Ini kerana para majikan terpaksa menanggung kos yang tinggi, dan terpaksa memberhentikan sesetengah pekerja sebelum Julai demi menjimat kos operasi dan pampasan kehilangan kerja.

Menurut Shamsuddin, para pekerja yang akan diberhentikan adalah datang dari sektor-sektor seperti minyak dan gas (oil and gas), perbankan dan kewangan (banking and finance), insurans, dan peruncitan. Beliau turut menyatakan bahawa pada tahun 2015, ramai syarikat besar mengalami pengurangan pendapatan sebanyak 30% hingga 40% dan menyebabkan seramai 38,000 orang pekerja diberhentikan.

Dilaporkan bahawa pada tahun 2015 dalam sektor perbankan, Standard Chartered Bank telah memberhentikan 11% daripada tenaga kerjanya, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd memberhentikan 3,599 orang kakitangannya yang merupakan 11% daripada tenaga kerjanya, dan RHB Capital Bhd telah memberhentikan 2,700 orang kakitangan iaitu 15% daripada tenaga kerja.

Menurut laporan pada 8 Januari 2016, bagi sektor minyak dan gas pula, sejumlah 10 buah syarikat bercadang untuk memberhentikan 2,700 orang kakitangan. Dikatakan Shell Malaysia ingin memberhentikan 1,300 orang dalam masa 2 tahun, 7 buah lagi syarikat ingin memberhentikan 80 hingga 600 orang kakitangan setiap syarikat, dan 2 buah syarikat yang baki bercadang melaksanakan skim pemberhentian sukarela (VSS).

Selepas itu, menurut laporan pada 21 Januari 2016, Petronas sedang bertimbang untuk memberhentikan 51,000 orang kakitangannya, sebagai sebahagian daripada tindakan untuk mengurangkan modal dan kos operasi sebanyak RM50 bilion dalam 4 tahun.

Menurut laporan pada 6 Julai 2015, JVC terpaksa menutup kilang mereka di Shah Alam sebagai langkah memindah operasi mereka ke Negara Thai. Ini menjejaskan 300 orang pekerja di sini. Antara sebab JVC memindahkan kilang mereka ialah, nilai mata wang Ringgit yang rendah.

Menurut laporan pada 1 Mac 2016, Samsung Electronics Display (M) Sdn Bhd terpaksa menutup kilang pengeluaran televisyen di Seremban pada April 2016, akibat persekitaran perniagaan yang mencabar dan keadaan pasaran yang tidak stabil. Ini menyebabkan 620 orang pekerja (475 warganegara Malaysia dan 145 pekerja asing) terjejas.

Dengan suasana ekonomi sekarang, terutamanya dengan kemerosotan industri minyak dan gas, industri perbankan, industri elektronik dan seumpamanya, adalah sesuatu yang mustahak dan harus didahulukan bahawa kita membantu mereka yang kehilangan kerja akibat keadaan ini.

Sesungguhnya, skim baru ini harus dibentang ke Parlimen sesi akan datang dan dilaksanakan tanpa dilengah-lengahkan lagi.

 
Dikeluarkan oleh,
Ooi Heng
Pengarah eksekutif
Badan pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU)
21 Julai 2016

Self-defeating pattern of the Opposition

Self-defeating pattern of the Opposition

KPRU

Out of so many messages being conveyed by the twin by-elections on June 18, the most important one is, the Opposition probably has no chance to capture Putrajaya in the next General Election. Barisan Nasional (BN) might be able to regain a two-thirds parliamentary majority. A new political scenario will emerge after the next General Election, we might be seeing new political realignment before our eyes. If worst comes to worst, Pakatan Harapan might end up as a one-term alliance.

By learning from the by-elections of Teluk Intan, Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, BN may emulate a winning formula to defeat the Opposition. The winning formula of BN not only includes money, media and party-state machinery which we often mentioned, but also a self-defeating pattern of the Opposition.

The Opposition’s self-defeat is the major factor for BN’s winning formula to prevail. However, some Pakatan Harapan supporters and politicians continue to blame their defeat on the voters and the Other. Pakatan Harapan will continue losing voters.

The formula to defeat Pakatan Harapan, has to start from the low voter turnout.

We usually assume that if those who are outstation or overseas return to vote in their hometowns, it will increase the winning chance of the Opposition. This would mean that a low voter turnout would help BN to defeat the Opposition.

The voter turnout of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar were respectively 74% and 71%. On the other hand, the voter turnouts in the 2013 General Election were 88% and 84%. The former reduced by 14%, while the latter reduced by 13%.

As for the Teluk Intan by-election on 31 May 2014, the voter turnout reduced from 80.7% in 2013 to 66.67%, a reduction of 14.03%.

The high voter turnout on 5 May 2013 showed that after the unexpected Malaysian political tsunami in 2008, people thought that they were just in the last mile to change the federal government, therefore making dynamic and historic collective action, flying back to Malaysia to vote from as far as Switzerland or China.

In the next General Election, the people will no longer carry hope to change the federal government, thus the voter turnout will drop.

The total voter turnout for the Parliamentary seats in the 2013 General Election was 84.84%. If the voter turnout continues to drop following the trend of the by-elections, then the voter turnout of the next General Election will only be 70.84%. If reduced by 10%, therefore the voter turnout will be 74.84% (or 75%).

What does a voter turnout of 75% mean?

On the next day after the result of the twin by-elections came out, Malaysiakini Chinese columnist Hew Wai Weng wrote that Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) obtained less than 10% of the Malay votes in these two seats.

According to media reports, the President of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (GERAKAN), Mah Siew Keong said that BN obtained 40% of the Chinese votes in Kuala Kangsar. Besides, MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon said that BN obtained support from 35% of the Chinese in Sungai Besar.

Even if BN did not actually get such a high percentage of Chinese votes, the by-election results demonstrated the fact that Pakatan Harapan is losing Chinese votes.

During the 2013 General Election, there were 29 of the Parliamentary seats throughout the country having more than 50% of Chinese voters. The majority of the seats were won by Pakatan Rakyat. In that year, the overall Chinese support for Pakatan Rakyat was as high as 80%.

If Pakatan Harapan loses 10% of the Chinese votes in the next General Election, retaining 70%, how many Pakatan Harapan constituencies will be lost? If 20% of the votes are lost, retaining 60%, how many more constituencies will be lost?

In 2014, Pakatan leader Lim Kit Siang said that in the 13th General Election, Pakatan Rakyat won 46 out of 53 urban constituencies, and won 33 out of 69 semi-urban constituencies.

As AMANAH obtained 10% of the Malay votes in the twin by-elections and we assume this further into the next election, can we still be optimistic for Pakatan Harapan’s performance in the semi-urban areas?

In the next General Election, among the urban and semi-urban constituencies with 75% of voter turnout, if Pakatan Harapan obtains 60% to 70% of Chinese support and 10% to 15% of Malay support, the outcome will be pessimistic.

By that time, simply by grabbing 15 Parliamentary seats from the Opposition, BN will be able to regain the two-thirds majority that they have lost since the 2008 General Election. As for the defeated Pakatan Harapan, whether they can carry on the alliance for more than one term of election, or subsequently realign under a new political scenario, will be in question.

Since Anwar Ibrahim’s imprisonment, the Opposition continuously showed signs of self-defeat. After the dissolution of Pakatan Rakyat, the first phase of road to Putrajaya has ended. The defeat in the twin by-elections might imply that the Opposition’s denial of BN’s two-thirds majority, too, will be in question.

If Pakatan Rakyat era was showing a winning pattern of the Opposition, Pakatan Harapan era is showing a self-defeating pattern of the Opposition.

Under this self-defeating pattern, opposition parties have not only mistaken party competition between political competitors for battle between political enemies, but also having party internal factionalism descending into battle between enemies.

Due to elections, party interests and factional interests, such “friend or foe” political view resulted in blind fighting. The way in dealing with inter-party and intra-party competitions within the Opposition, against competing parties, and also against rivals in the party, is getting similar to the way in dealing against enemy parties. Many followers and supporters of political parties and factions fail to distinguish between competitors and enemies, therefore wasting energy in such battles between friends and foes.

What is more regretful is that under the so-called idealism, such deadlocked “friend or foe” battles have reduced the enthusiasm of the party cadres and grassroots, while also making people lose hope.

When there is no more hope, is there still a need in flying back to Malaysia or going back to one’s hometown to vote?

 

Released by,

Ooi Heng
Executive director
Think tank
Political Studies for Change (KPRU)
21 June 2016

20% Oil royalty for Sarawak and Tok Nan-style of autonomy

20% Oil royalty for Sarawak and Tok Nan-style of autonomy

KPRU

After the quitting of each autocratic leader, it is not hard for the immediate successor who is in control of necessary resources to create a new political wave.

After the retirement of Mahathir Mohamad, his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi created the so-called “Pak Lah phenomenon”, and won 90.86% of the Parliamentary seats in 2004 for Barisan Nasional (BN).

After the resignation of Taib Mahmud who is also known as “Pak Uban” and “Pek Moh” (white hair), his successor Adenan Satem who is also known as Tok Nan, creating an “Adenan fever”, and winning 87.80% of the Sarawak state assembly seats on 7th May 2016.

In the later days of Mahathir as Prime Minister, he had been facing accusations of dictatorship, cronyism and abuse of power, therefore as the “Good Guy” Pak Lah came into power, bringing along his Islam Hadhari ideology, he diverted the voters’ dissatisfaction towards the Mahathir regime, continuing to enable BN in ruling the Federal government with a two-thirds majority of the seats, thus achieving a historic election result.

Taib Mahmud’s tenure as Chief Minister was longer, and there were endless accusations against him on corruptions, cronyism, and abuse of power. Since Tok Nan came into power, he has put in efforts in his call for Sarawakian autonomy and in his making of a liberal or moderate image. Tok Nan’s cult of personality by the media is so overwhelming that those who are unfamiliar with politics would have mistaken him as a prominent federal leader.

National sovereignty vs Tok Nan-style of Sarawak autonomy

Under the constitutional orthodoxy of national popular sovereignty, the struggle for autonomy is regarded as highly sensitive by the federal regime. In the context of the new National Security Council Bill, one must be cautious in any urgings for autonomy for Sarawak. However the Najib Abdul Razak regime urgently needs to claim some credit from Adenan’s Sarawak victory, therefore he had to tolerate and cooperate with Adenan in his political narrative of a “Tok Nan-style of Sarawak autonomy”.

Adenan’s narrative of Sarawak autonomy focused on his continuous acts of banning Peninsular Malaysians from entering Sarawak. Based on media reporting, in the past one-and-a-half years there were at least 30 political and civil society individuals who were banned. On the eve of polling day of the Sarawak state election, Adenan even banned the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Azmin Ali – a head of state government.

In this state elections, the Adenan regime has obviously politicized the banning of West Malaysians into Sarawak. This is to fulfil the campaigning needs for the argument of Sarawakian autonomy, and also to answer the question of whether Sarawak under Tok Nan is able to continue Pek Moh’s strongman legacy in barring the West Malaysia-based UMNO from entering Sarawak, in order to prevent UMNO from reshuffling the Sarawakian politics, and exerting hegemonic control in distributing the resources in Sarawak.

The banning of West Malaysians not only addresses the collective psychosocial needs of the Sarawakian voters, but also to address the political needs of a rent-seeking as well as patronage culture under crony capitalism of the ruling regime.

Before the polling day of the Sarawak state election, The Economist published a ranking for “crony-capitalism index”, where Malaysia has moved up from third place two years ago to the second place. The report also showed almost all of the wealth in the country is crony wealth, with just a smidgen of difference between the two.

Media reporting in the past few months showed that before the dissolution of the Sarawak state assembly, everyone had expected the Adenan regime to continue, and were predicting the enterprises which will benefit from the contracts given by the ruling group and also the delivery of the benefits from rent-seeking activity.

Malaysiakini even followed up various promises of fund allocations and contracts made by the ruling group in this Sarawak election, and since the nomination day all sorts of fund allocations and promises (including election promises, as well as funds which were already allocated) have amounted up to RM500 million.

Different interpretations of Sarawak autonomy

In this state election, The ruling and the opposition parties have different types of political discourse regarding the autonomy for Sarawak, and even the West Malaysia-based BN and the Sarawak BN are having their own interpretations as well, bypassing the framework of UMNO’s doctrine of national sovereignty, following the pace of Tok Nan.

On 4th of May, three days before the polling day, five candidates from Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s, headed by its state vice-chairman See Chee How, made five demands to the Federal government, and three of them were closely related with the oil royalty, including the realization of 20% oil royalty for Sarawak, the annulment of Territorial Sea Act 2012, and the rescission of the 1974 tripartite Petroleum Agreement.

On the same day, after chairing the weekly federal cabinet meeting at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching, Najib said that now was not the right time for talks on increasing the oil royalty from 5% to 20% for Sarawak.

The autonomy for Sarawak is an important feature in the 18-point agreement proposed by Sarawak, prior to the formation of Malaysia in 1963. The Adenan regime’s action of banning West Malaysians from entering Sarawak is taken as related to the 18-point agreement, where Sarawak would maintain their jurisdiction in entry and exit affairs vis-a-vis immigration control. As for PKR’s demand for oil royalty, it is related to the state government’s jurisdiction over finance affairs.

Tok Nan’s narrative of Sarawak autonomy is illusory

Actually on 7th May 2014, during the sitting of the Sarawak state assembly, members from both sides made an unusual cross-partisan move being in agreement with each other, unanimously passing a motion demanding the Federal government to increase the current 5% oil royalty to 20%. This is an important move in the first 100 days of Tok Nan’s tenure as Chief Minister, yet before the polling day of Sarawak, Najib turned down this demand by the Sarawak state assembly, in front of him.

As now the election has ended, will Tok Nan’s narrative of Sarawak autonomy be materialized before the next General Election? Or the so-called autonomy for Sarawak is merely a show to ban the opposition and non-governmental organization (NGO) individuals from entering Sarawak?

We daringly deduced that even if the General Election is to be held next year, in the context of 20% oil royalty, Tok Nan’s narrative of Sarawak autonomy is purely illusory and will not be enforced.

Why? To the Najib regime, by recognising the Adenen regime’s jurisdiction over the immigration, does not affect the interest of the Federal government, and this “Adenan fever” does help in strengthening the Najib regime, albeit for a short period of time, and also being able to build up the false consciousness of the “Tok Nan’s style of autonomy” among the Sarawakian, so why not?

On the other hand, if the demand from the Sarawak state assembly is being approved, where the oil royalty is being allowed to raise from 5% to 20%, in terms of the importance of oil revenue towards the contribution to the national income, this is just as demanding decentralisation of concentrated power and resources from the Federal government. Furthermore, if autonomy is really given to Sarawak, this will affect the needs of UMNO in exercising their hegemony in Sarawak in the future.

Not giving excuses for warlords’ rebellion

Before the next General Election, if Najib is being forced to approve the oil royalty to 20% in order to fulfill his own needs for political survival, we think that the inner circle of UMNO which is so embedded within a system of crony capitalism will start a rebellion from within the party.

In the context of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion issues, Najib has gained control of the UMNO supreme council and majority of the UMNO divisions (bahagian) and Members of Parliaments (MP), in order to strengthen his own position, so there is no reason for him to give the Adenan regime 20% oil royalty at this moment, giving an excuse for an UMNO warlords’ rebellion.

After the Sarawakian people have given the Adenan regime another five-year mandate, the first thing they should do is to demand the Sarawak BN under the Adenan regime to submit a motion in the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting, demanding the Federal government to approve Sarawak’s demand for the 20% oil royalty, and mobilise the MP from all over the country to support this motion.

This is the first test of whether the Adenan regime can fulfill the autonomy for Sarawak.

Released by,
Ooi Heng
Executive director
Think tank
Political Studies for Change (KPRU)
12 May 2016

Three scenarios to deal with multi-cornered fights for GE

‘Three scenarios to deal with multi-cornered fights for GE’

A political think-tank has outlined three scenarios that could potentially take place during the next general election, following the high numbers of multi-cornered fights in the 11th Sarawak state election.

Political Studies for Change (KPRU) executive director Ooi Heng said while the multi-cornered fights that took place during the Sarawak election was a contentious discussion for those in peninsular Malaysia, he noted that the impact of the controversy was less significant for the people of Sarawak.

“Imagine what will happen if, during the 14th general election, there are three-cornered fights, whether it involves Amanah and PAS or PKR and DAP? Surely the voting turnout will drop and affect the results of polling day.

“So what is the solution to the issue of overlapping seats among opposition parties? There are three scenarios,” Ooi said in a press statement today.

The first scenario – and the most likely one – he said, is that the opposition parties continue with their negotiations in the same way.

This will also mean that unilateral announcements from the parties will continue, he added.

In this scenario, he explained, one-on-one fights will probably be observed for a majority of the seats but there will still be a number of seats facing multi-cornered fights.

‘Complete overhaul of voting system’

The second scenario would see the complete overhaul of the voting system, Ooi said.

The country’s current voting system is the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, which means that the candidate with the highest votes wins, even if it is only by a margin of one.

This system is the reason why one-on-one fights became so important to the opposition, and also why jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim became such an important figure, he said.

“Hence, we have to either change the FPTP system or the opposition has to get Anwar out of jail,” Ooi said

“In a system which cultivates a fairer contest, the role of figureheads is not so important, because the system itself provides a fairer space of representation to all parties.

“But in a flawed system, figureheads like Anwar become important, as they can unite all main opposition parties and ensure one-on-one fights.

“Unfortunately, Anwar is in jail and the flaws of the system are obvious,” he pointed out.

If the opposition cannot get Anwar (photo) out of jail, and the system be reformed to proportional representation (PR), Ooi said that if there were multi-cornered fights like in the Sarawak election, PKR and DAP would be able to compete against each other in a fairer way.

He added that another system is the alternative voting (AV) system, where voters can vote by ranking their candidates of choice.

He cited an example where if PKR and DAP were contesting the same seat, PKR voters could choose DAP as their second choice while DAP voters could choose PKR as their second choice.

“Under this system, if there are no candidates with more than 50 percent of the vote, the candidate with the lowest votes will be eliminated and the votes will be re-distributed to the rest of the candidates based on the alternative choices of the voters.

“This process must be repeated as long as there are no candidates with more than 50 percent of the vote. The AV system is to make sure that the winner can represent the majority of the constituency,” Ooi explained.

If both of those do not work, “we could also have a mix of several voting systems”, he suggested.

Voting system not likely to change

However, Ooi said the voting system overhaul does not seem likely to change as long as BN is the ruling government because the FPTP system clearly plays to the advantage of whoever dominates the federal administration.

This is especially true if the ruling government does gerrymandering and malapportionment, he said.

He added that the third and final scenario is for a reshuffling of the opposition coalition with a clear goal of ensuring one-on-one fights during the next general election.

In this case, he said, Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali’s invitation to PAS to rejoin the opposition coalition is very timely.

The Sarawak state election has proven that PKR, DAP, Amanah and PAS have failed to confront the flaws of the voting system, as they are out to protect their own party interests.

“In the context of the flawed system, their competition with one another, leading to multi-cornered fights, is very disappointing to the rakyat who hope to vote for the opposition to bring change,” Ooi said.

“Hence, if they don’t look into the three scenarios proposed and take rational political steps, we predict that the 14th GE will witness the terrible failure of the opposition in changing the ruling regime,” he added.

 

English: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/340927

Malay: https://kprumalaysia.org/2016/05/10/isu-pertindihan-kerusi-tiga-senario-menuju-pru-14/