Private Members’ Bill on The Social Inclusion Act 2014

KPRU welcomes the Bill of The Social Inclusion Act 2014 as an effort to address the problem of poverty and inequality in a comprehensive and pragmatic way.

Details of the proposals contained in the draft legislation can be accessed here: Draft Social Inclusion Act 2014

 

Below is the media statement from Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM).

24 February 2014

MEDIA STATEMENT/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GABUNGAN BERTINDAK MALAYSIA (GBM) ENDORSES

THE PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL ON THE SOCIAL INCLUSION ACT 2014

Preamble

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia [GBM] is a non-partisan, multi-ethnic, multi-faith Coalition of 24 Civil Society organizations (listed below) established in 2011 to champion the cause for a Better Malaysia.

YB Dr.Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, Member of Parliament, Sungei Siput has submitted a motion to the Secretary of the Dewan Rakyat to table a Private Member’s Bill entitled the Social Inclusion Act 2014 (SIA, 2014) at the coming session of Parliament starting 10th March 2014.

GBM strongly endorses this initiative as the essence of the proposed Bill is in line with GBM’s Charter that states –

There must be equitable distribution of wealth, to eradicate poverty, end marginalization and ensure the welfare of the People. Any affirmative action must be based on needs and not ethnicity.”

Background

In August 2012, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) and the Human Rights Society of Malaysia (HAKAM) presented the draft Social Inclusion Act. The proposal highlighted, that:-

·      The vision to achieve a just, equitable and inclusive society is enshrined in the Rukunegara proclaimed on the 31stAugust 1970 and that we are far from realizing the national aspiration set forth in this historic document.

·      Almost forty percent of Anak Bangsa Malaysia is still trapped in the inter-generational cycle of poverty and inequality. Poor and Low-Income households comprising 12 million citizens lack the capability to overcome the multi-dimensional disadvantages they face on a daily basis. Vulnerable individuals and groups continue to encounter prejudice and discrimination, and remain marginalized.

·      There is an increasing disconnect between our people from the Bottom 40% households with the rest of society. They are trapped in a constellation of disadvantages due to the low asset base that includes low levels of education and skills, poor nutrition and health; and unwholesome living conditions.

·      A host of social ills associated with dysfunctional families from this stratum of our society is becoming evident. Increasing rates of substance abuse, delinquency and dropouts, child abuse, crime and mental illnesses, are clear indicators that something is amiss in our beloved nation.

·      Since 1990, Income inequality has been worsening. The Bottom 40% households have an average monthly income RM 1,847 compared to RM 12,159 for the Top 20%. Their Income Share is 14.8% compared to the 48.6% share of the ‘Top 20%’ households.  And the ‘Top10%’ of households has an income share of 33.1% compared to 2.0% of the “Bottom 10%’ households.

·      Additionally there is growing inequality between the poor & low-income families and those in the middle and upper classes in terms of health status and educational achievements.

In essence, the rationale for the SIA was the need for a new paradigm that focuses on long term solutions to bring about a socially just and more inclusive society. In order to address the root causes of poverty and marginalization in a non-partisan and dispassionate manner, it proposed:-

·      The establishment of an independent Social Inclusion Commission answerable directly to Parliament. This Commission would be mandated to have oversight over all matters of poverty reduction, affirmative action and social inclusiveness.

For details of proposals contained in the draft legislation please see link below……

http://www.sayaanakbangsamalaysia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=806:draft-social-inclusion-act&catid=53:sabm-focus-group&Itemid=92

Since September 2012 the SIA proposal has gone through a consultation process that included political parties and civil society organizations. Parti Sosialis Malaysia [PSM] and Parti Rakyat Malaysia [PRM] have endorsed the proposed Act and included it in their respective GE13 Manifesto. We believe the other parties that attended the dialogue are still studying the proposal.

Civil Society organizations that attended the dialogue acknowledged the urgent need to address the serious issue of poverty and marginalization and in principle supported the proposed Act.

In November 2012, GBM fully endorsed the proposed legislation and issued a statement on this. Please see link below….

http://www.sayaanakbangsamalaysia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=759:gabungan-bertindak-malaysia-gbm-endorses-the-proposed-social-inclusion-act-2012-sia-2012&catid=1&Itemid=88

Rationale

The overarching reasons for this call to adopt and implement the Social Inclusion Act 2014 are:-

·      The basic needs of all our people must be fulfilled in a fair and equitable manner in order to realize a socially harmonious society that we all aspire to achieve;

·      Uplifting the socio-economic status of the disadvantaged members in our society has always been one of the main goals of all our development plans, since Independence;

·      Inculcating the spirit of self-reliance, strengthening self-esteem and upholding the dignity of our people are fundamental values enshrined in universal human rights and enjoined by all faiths;

·      Providing our less fortunate children the hope and the capability to break the inter- generational cycle of poverty and inequality is imperative; and

·      Ensuring that all will benefit – through higher productivity and a better quality of life (Nation) reduced social problems (Community); and less anxiety and stress (individual) – is the aspiration of all Malaysians.

Next Steps

We believe this legislation contains key proposals that would go a long way towards achieving the goal of a just, equitable and inclusive society as envisioned in the Rukunegara promulgated on 31 August 1970.

We appeal to the Federal and State governments to give serious consideration to this proposal and to seek ways to adopt and implement the Social Inclusion Act.

The People’s Representatives in Parliament must take responsibility. We call upon all MPs, irrespective of party affiliation, to seriously study the proposed legislation in order to support this Private Member’s Bill.

The People must know their rights and must take ownership. We call upon the people from all strata of our society to support this noble initiative and to urge their MPs to support this Private Member’s Bill.

This is indeed the time to come together as a nation to address the real issues of poverty, inequality and marginalization in a non-partisan and dispassionate manner.

 

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Lima Sebab Kenapa PAKATAN Harus Menang di Sabah Sarawak

Badan pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan berpendapat bahawa penduduk di negeri Sabah dan Sarawak seharusnya memberi peluang kepada diri mereka untuk membawa suatu perubahan besar ke dalam hidup mereka.

Ini berikutan beberapa faktor.

Faktor utama melibatkan isu Projek IC atau Projek M yang didakwa memberi kad pengenalan bewarna biru kepada pendatang asing seperti warga Filipina, Indonesia and Pakistan. Ianya telah dikatakan jumlah pendatang asing di Sabah adalah sebanyak 1.7 juta orang di mana negeri Sabah hanya mempunyai jumlah penduduk sebanyak tiga juta orang penduduk. Kedua-dua negeri Sabah dan Sarawak telah mengalami peningkatan secara mendadak dalam jumlah penduduk bagi kedua-dua negeri tersebut. Malah menurut bekas senator di Dewan Rakyat dan ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN), Chong Eng Leong, sehingga 2012, terdapat 700,000 individu yang diberikan kewarganegaraan di bawah Projek IC dan 200,000 dari jumlah tersebut berada dalam senarai pilihan raya. Negeri Sabah pula sehingga 2012, mempunyai 926,638 orang pengundi.

Malah, Datu Agbimudin Kiram, yang mendakwa dirinya sebagai Sultan Sulu yang juga bertanggungjawab untuk pencerobohan di Lahad Datu pada bulan Februari yang lepas juga dikatakan adalah seorang bekas penjawat awam tetapi pada masa yang sama tidak memegang kad pengenalan bewarna biru. Namun, persoalaan yang timbul adalah jika Kiram tidak diberikan kad pengenalan bewarna biru, bagaimanakah Kiram dapat dilantik sebagai seorang penjawat awam?

Soal Projek IC ini menghantui rakyat negeri Sabah yang terpaksa bersaing dengan warga asing yang meraih manfaat melebihi dari warga tempatan kerana mempunyai kad pengenalan Malaysia manakala warga tempatan negeri Sabah pula diketepikan hak mereka sebagai warga Malaysia untuk memperolehi kad pengenalan Malaysia. Warga tempatan menyalahkan kerajaan BN, terutamanya bekas Perdana Menteri, Dr Mahathir atas pelaksanaan Projek IC namun, sehingga kini, kerajaan BN masih enggan mengambil sebarang tindakan ke atas beliau dan mana-mana individu yang bertanggungjawab menjual hak rakyat Malaysia kepada pendatang asing dengan harga yang murah. Ini adalah walaupun Dr Mahathir pernah mempertahankan pemberian kewarganegaraan kepada warga asing di Sabah sebagai perbuatan “sah” dan menafikan sebarang pengetahuan tentang apa-apa pertimbangan politik yang terlibat.

Faktor kedua adalah kadar kemiskinan di Sabah dan Sarawak yang sehingga kini masih tidak ditangani walaupun kerajaan BN telah mentadbir kedua-dua negeri tersebut selama 56 tahun. Sehingga 2010, sebanyak 1.8 juta dari 3.225 juta populasi di Sabah hidup dalam kemiskinan. Angka ini persamaan dengan 60 peratus dari jumlah keseluruhan penduduk negeri Sabah. Kadar gaji minimum bagi negeri Sabah dan Sarawak juga lebih rendah dari kadar gaji minimum di Semenanjung Malaysia walaupun harga barangan di kedua-dua negeri tersebut adalah dua hingga tiga kali ganda dari harga barangan di Semenanjung Malaysia akibat dasar kabotaj yang dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan BN. Ianya harus diingatkan garis kemiskinan di Sabah adalah sebanyak RM1,048 dan di negeri Sarawak pula, ianya adalah sebanyak RM912. Ianya juga telah disahkan oleh Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia bahawa negeri-negeri Sabah dan Sarawak merupakan negeri pertama dan negeri kedua termiskin masing-masing.

Ketua Menteri negeri Sarawak, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud pula menyatakan negeri Sarawak merupakan negeri ketiga terkaya dalam Malaysia. Negeri Sabah pula bertanggungjawab untuk mengeluarkan 192,000 tong minyak petroleum sehari, lantas membantu negara Malaysia meraih tempat ketiga tertinggi di rantau Asia Pasifik selepas China dan India. Begitu juga, di mana kekayaan Taib Mahmud telah meraih sebanyak USD$15 bilion, rakyat di negeri tersebut merupakan yang kedua termiskin di Malaysia.

Faktor ketiga adalah penindasan hak tanah adat orang asli di negeri Sabah dan Sarawak. Walaupun negeri Sabah dan Sarawak merupakan antara negeri-negeri yang terkaya dalam Malaysia dengan sumber-sumber asli seperti minyak, kayu balak dan minyak kelapa sawit, namun hak tanah orang asli di kedua-dua negeri tersebut terjejas akibat sifat tamak kroni-kroni kerajaan negeri Sabah dan Sarawak. Dalam satu kes di Beluran, Sabah, para penduduk kampung mengadu bahawa ketua kampung mereka membenarkan tandatangannya digunakan oleh orang luar untuk merampas tanah milik penduduk kampung tersebut pada tahun 1980-an. Tanah tersebut dijual kepada sebuah syarikat perladangan namun pihak berkuasa mengambil keputusan untuk tidak menyiasat syarikat tersebut.

Sehingga 2013, masih terdapat 200 kes di mahkamah yang masih belum diselesaikan berkenaan pencabulan ke atas tanah adat milik orang asli di Sarawak. Manakala sebuah kes di Sabah pula, iaitu di daerah Tongod, dimana 16 buah perkampungan kini berusaha untuk melawan tanah mereka sebesar 38,000 ekar dari dibangunkan untuk sebuah projek agropolitan. Ini berikutan kerajaan negeri Sabah menyatakan para penduduk di perkampungan tersebut tidak mempunyai hak ke atas tanah adat mereka.

Secara amnya, hak orang asli di Sabah dan Sarawak ditolak ke tepi oleh kerajaan BN BN sementara pendatang asing meraih segala hak milik mereka. Segala kekayaan yang sepatutnya menjadi milik orang asli di kedua-dua negeri tersebut dirampas oleh kerajaan negeri mereka. Manakala laporan Suhakam mengenai hak tanah adat orang asli dalam Malaysia sehingga kini masih tidak dikeluarkan oleh kerajaan BN walaupun ianya telah disiapkan sebelum pembubaran Parlimen Malaysia. Pengeluaran laporan tersebut disekat kerana laporan tersebut menjumpai mendapati bukti mengenai penyalahgunaan kuasa dan penipuan yang menjejaskan keadaan orang asli. Oleh kerana keengganan kerajaan BN untuk menyiarkan laporan ini kepada orang awam, Sarawak Report telah mengambil keputusan untuk menerbitkan laporan Suhakam tanpa kebenaran kerajaan BN di laman sesawangnya.

Faktor keempat adalah projek pembinaan 12 empangan di seluruh Sarawak yang dirancang oleh kerajaan BN pada Julai 2008. 12 empangan pada awalnya dirancang untuk dibina di Ulu Air, Metjawah, Belaga, Baleh, Belepeh, Lawas, Tutoh, Limbang, Baram, Murum dan Linau. Manakala empangan Batang Air akan dibesarkan. 12 empangan ini akan menambah kapasiti bekalan tenaga elektik sebanyak 600 peratus dengan penambahan kuasa elektrik yang dibekalkan oleh 2,400MW empangan Bakun. Hanya selepas penentangan hebat oleh penduduk tempatan, terutamanya orang asli tempatan, kerajaan negeri Sarawak menyatakan negeri tersebut hanya akan membina empat dari 12 empangan tersebut.

Pada tahun 2012,  kontraktor yang terlibat dalam pembinaan Empangan Murum bernilai RM3billion di tengah Sarawak diselar oleh Timbalan Menteri Kebudayaan dan Warisan Sarawak, Liwan Lagang kerana memberi layanan buruk kepada orang Penan dan Kenyah yang terjejas oleh pembinaan empangan tersebut. Kira-kira 350 orang Penan, wanita dan kanak-kanak berkhemah menyekat jalan-jalan ke tapak empangan. Manakala pembinaan Bakun pula berjaya menarik lebih 200 saman yang difailkan terhadap projek pembinaan Bakun. Malah penempatan semula di Sungai Asap yang dibuka selepas pembinaan empangan Bakun telah mendapat reputasi sebagai sebuah kawasan setinggan yang mana keadaannya lebih teruk dari penempatan asal kaum Penan.

Manakala bagi pembinaan empangan Murum, rancangan penempatan semula kaum Penan melibatkan kaum Penan akan dipindahkan di kawasan-kawasan terpencil, di kawasan pinggiran perladangan kelapa sawit, di mana mereka dihalang untuk membuka ladang atau kebun milik sendiri dan menjana pendapatan sendiri. Juga, bagi dua tahun pertama, setiap keluarga akan dibayar sebanyak RM850 sebulan dan RM500 sebulan bagi dua tahun seterusnya. Selepas empat tahun ini, tiada sebarang pembayaran akan dibuat kepada kaum Penan. Malah 14 hektar tanah yang diberikan kepada kaum Penan bukan sahaja tanah berkualiti rendah ianya juga telah dirampas oleh syarikat perladangan kelapa sawit.

Faktor terakhir adalah penyakit rasuah oleh kedua-dua Ketua Menteri Sabah dan Sarawak.

Pada tahun 2012, ianya telah ditemui bahawa Ketua Menteri Sabah, Datuk Seri Musa Aman mempunyai akaun bank di Swiss Bank UBS di Hong Kong bernilai USD$29.6 juta. Ini berikutan penahanan Michael Chia (Chia Tien Foh) yang ditangkap pada tahun 2008 kerana cuba menyeludup sebanyak SG$16 juta atau RM40 juta wang tunai ke dalam Malaysia dari Hong Kong. Namun siasatan kerjasama antara Hong Kong dan Malaysia telah dihalang oleh Pendakwa Raya Malaysia, Abdul Gani Pattail yang merupakan kawan rapat Musa Aman. Pada tahun 2012, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) telah membebaskan Musa Aman dari dakwaan rasuah dan pengubahan wang haram (money laundering) ke atas wang sebanyak RM40 juta di mana menurut SPRM, wang tersebut adalah bertujuan untuk kegunaan Umno Sabah.

Ini menunjukkan kerajaan negeri Sabah walaupun antara yang terkaya, tujuan and punca wang tersebut masih menjadi tanda tanya rakyat Malaysia. Apabila rakyat tempatan negeri Sabah sengsara kerana kemiskinan, kerajaan negeri Sabah dengan gembiranya dan tanpa mempunyai sebarang perasaan serba salah menyalurkan wang sebanyak RM40 juta bagi kegunaan parti politik walhal wang tersebut merupakan hak milik rakyat Sabah dan bukannya kerajaan negeri Sabah atau parti politik Umno.

Manakala bagi negeri Sarawak pula, selama 32 tahun mentadbir, Ketua Menteri Sarawak Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud telah meraih kekayaan sebanyak USD$15 bilion, menjadikan beliau antara individu terkaya di Malaysia. Selepas video dari Global Witness menunjukkan ahli keluarga Taib Mahmud dan peguam keluarganya dengan jelas dan bangga melakukan amalan rasuah, Taib Mahmud mengambil keputusan untuk menegaskan beliau tidak akan bekerjasama dengan SPRM dan menurut beliau, beliau mempercayai SPRM merupakan sebuah badan kerajaan yang tidak jujur dan nakal. SPRM sebagai balasan pula, telah memilih untuk tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan terhadap Taib Mahmud mahupun ahli keluarga dan peguam beliau. Begitu juga ketiadaan jawapan dari kerajaan BN mahupun Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Individu seperti Musa Aman dan Taib Mahmud berpendapat mereka tidak tertakluk kepada undang-undang negara. Undang-undang negara hanya terpakai kpada mereka jika ianya membawa manfaat kepada mereka. Rakyat negeri Sabah dan Sarawak mempunyai peluang untuk bangkit menentang ketidakadilan kerajaan-kerajaan negeri Sabah dan Sarawak.

Orang asli tempatan Sarawak telah bangkit menentang pembinaan 12 empangan di Sarawak di mana akhirnya kerajaan negeri Sarawak bersetuju untuk membina hanya 4 dari 12 empangan tersebut. Warga negeri Sabah pula telah mula bangkit mementang Projek IC yang dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan BN.

Walaupun ianya merupakan suatu objektif yang sukar untuk dicapai, ianya tidak mustahil. Negeri-negeri Sabah dan Sarawak merupakan antara negeri-negeri terkaya di Malaysia dengan kekayaan sumber asli. Biarlah rakyat sebenar negeri Sabah dan Sarawak merasai kekayaan tersebut dan bukannya individu-individu seperti Musa Aman dan Taib Mahmud. PRU13 merupakan masa yang paling sesuai untuk rakyat negeri Sabah dan Sarawk mengambil semula hak mereka akan tetapi, mereka perlu mengambil keputusan untuk melakukan perubahan demi diri mereka dan masa hadapan anak-anak mereka.

Five reasons why PAKATAN Should Win in Sabah Sarawak

Political think tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) opines that the people of Sabah and Sarawak must give themselves the opportunity for themselves to bring a significant change to their lives.

This is based on several factors.

The first factor revolves around the controversial Project IC or Project M that was claimed to award blue identity cards to foreigners in such as Filipinos, Indonesians and Pakistanis. It is said the total amount of foreigners is as much as 1.7 million for a state with only 3 million citizens. Both Sabah and Sarawak have seen a dramatic increase in citizens. Similarly, according to a former senator at the Dewan Rakyat and state assemblyman, Chong Eng Leong, until 2012, 700, 000 citizenship to foreigners were given under Project IC and 200,000 of individuals are listed in the electoral roll. The total voters in Sabah, until 2012, are approximately 926,638 voters.

Also, Datu Agbimuddin Kiram, the self proclaimed Sultan of Sulu whom was also responsible for the Lahad Datu intrusion in last February was also said to have been a former public servant of Sabah but did not hold a blue identity card. The question that must be asked is if Kiram was not given the blue identification card, how is it possible for Kiram to be elected as a public servant?

The question of the Project IC have haunted the people of Sabah whom have to compete with foreigners who have enjoyed better benefits than the local citizens while the locals have had their rights as Malaysians to obtain the Malaysian identity card shoved to the side. The locals blame the BN government and particularly the former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir for the implementation of the Project IC. Yet, until today the BN government has no desires to take any actions against neither Dr Mahathir nor the individuals responsible for selling the rights of Malaysians to foreigners at a discount. This is even though Dr Mahathir has admitted that the act of giving citizenships to foreigners was a legal act and denies any knowledge of any considerations that was political.

The second factor is that the poverty rate in Sabah and Sarawak until today remains unchanged although the BN government have governed both states for 56 years. Until 2010, as much has 1.8 million from the 3.225 million Sabahans live in poverty. This number is approximately 60 percent of all Sabahans living in poverty. The minimum wage in Sabah and Sarawak too are lower than that in the Peninsular Malaysia even though the cabotage policy that was implemented by the BN government. It is to be reminded that the poverty line in Sabah is RM1,048 and in Sarawak, it is RM912. It is also confirmed by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia that both Sabah and Sarawak are the poorest and second poorest states respectively.

The Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud gleefully states that Sarawak is the third richest state in Malaysia. Sabah on the other hand is responsible for churning out as much as 192,000 barrels of crude oil a day, helping Malaysia become the third highest oil produder in the Asian Pacific region, after China and India. Taib Mahmud is worth USD$16 billion and yet the citizens in Sarawak remains as the second poorest in Malaysia.

The third factor is the oppression of the native land rights in Sabah and Sarawak. Even though Sabah and Sarawak are amongst the richest states Malaysia, proven by the abundance of natural resources such as oil, timber and palm oil, the native land rights of both states are systematically abused by the greed of the state governments in Sabah and Sarawak. In a case in Beluran, Sabah, the locals claimed that their village chief had allowed his signature to be used by outsiders to steal the lands of the villagers in the 1980s. Those lands were then sold off to the plantation companies with the authorities deciding no actions were to be taken against the said company.

Until 2013, there are approximately 200 court cases still unsolved with regards to the violations of the native land rights in Sarawak. In the case in the district of Tongod in Sabah, 16 villages are fighting to stop their 38,000 acres of land from being developed into an agropolitan project. This follows the decision by the state government that deem that the villagers have no right on their own native lands.

In a nutshell, the rights of the natives in Sabah and Sarawak have been sidelined by the BN government while the foreigners are swimming in the rights of the rightful locals. The riches that belonged to the natives in both states are stolen by their state governments. Meanwhile a Suhakam report with regards to the issues concerning the native land rights has been suspiciously withheld by the BN government even though it was completed before the dissolution of the Parliament. The release of the report was stopped as it contained evidence of abuse of power and fraud that ultimately affected the natives. However, an unsanctioned published of said report was published by Sarawak Report.

The fourth factor was the planned construction of 12 dams in Sarawak planned by the BN government in 2008. Those 12 dams were to be constructed in Ulu Air, Metjawah, Belaga, Baleh, Belepeh, Lawas, Tutoh, Limbang, Baram, Murum and Linau. The Batang Air dam would also be expanded. The 12 dams would increase the electricity supply to 600 percent with the additional electricity of 2,400MW by the Bakun dam. It was only after the fierce resistance by the locals that the Sarawak state government backtracked by saying that Sarawak will only construct only four out of the 12 planned dams.

In 2012 the contractors involved in the construction of the RM3billion Murum Dam in central Sarawak were slammed by Sarawak Assistant Minister for Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang for the poor treatment of Penans and Kenyahs displaced by the project. Approximately 350 Penan men, women and children camped out blocking the roads to the dam site. Also with regards to the construction of the Bakun dam, it attaracted as much as 200 legal suits. Even the resettlement in Sungai Asap that was opened after the construction of the Bakun dam have gained the infamous reputation of becoming a ghetto worse than of the original settlements of the Penans.

As for the construction of the Murum dam, the resettlement plans of the Penans involved the Penans moved to the fringes of a palm oil plantation in which this stops them from opening their own farms and generating their own income. For the first two years, each family would be paid RM850 per month and RM500 per month would be paid for the following two years. After four years, no other payments would be made to the Penans. Even the 14 hectares of land given to the Penan are not only bad in quality; it was also taken by the oil palm plantation company.

The last factor is the corruption of both Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak,

In 2012, it was found that the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman had an offshore account at the Swiss Bank UBS in Hong Kong worth USD$29.6 million. This follows the arrest of the Michael Chia (Chia Tien Foh) in 2008 for the attempt to smuggle SG$16 million or (RM40 million) in cash from Hong Kong to Malaysia. However, a joint investigation between Hong Kong and Malaysia was prematurely denied by the Malaysian Public Prosecutor, Abdul Gani Pattail whom was allegedly a close colleague of Musa Aman. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have cleared Musa Aman from any allegations of corruption and money laundering of the RM40 million, in which according to MACC, the money was intended to be used by Umno Sabah.

This shows that the Sabah state government even though is one of the richest state in Malaysia, the purpose and source of said money still remains as an unanswered question. The Sabahans are reeling from poverty and the state government with glee and no feelings of guilt channelled as much as RM40 million for party use although in actual fact, the money belongs to the people of Sabah and not the state government nor the Umno.

As for Sarawak, for 32 years, Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Seri Abdul TAib Mahmud had gained riches worth USD1$5 billion, making him one of the richest man in Malaysia. After the infamous Global Witness video was published, Malaysians saw the family members of the Taib Mahmud family and the family lawyer clearly committing graft, yet, Taib Mahmud has arrogantly stated that he would not cooperate with the MACC as according to him, MACC is a dishonest and naughty body. MACC then took the decision to not take any actions against Taib Mahmud, his family nor his lawyer. So, is the disappointing silence of BN government and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Individuals like Musa Aman and Taib Mahmud believe they are not subjected to the law of Malaysia. The law is only applicable to them when it benefits them. The people of Sabah and Sarawak have the opportunity to rise against the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak.

The natives of Sarawak have risen to fight the construction of the 12 dams in Sarawak in which it resulted in the Sarawak state government agreeing to construct only four of the 12 dams. The Sabahans too have risen up to fight againts the injustices caused by the Project IC committed by the BN government.

Although it may be a tough objective to achieve but it is not an impossible task. Both states of Sabah and Sarawak are amongst the richest states in Malaysia with the abundance of natural resources. Let the people of Sabah and Sarawak taste those wealth and not individuals such as Musa Aman and Taib Mahmud. GE13 is the most pertinent time for the people of Sabah and Sarawak to take back what is theirs, but they will have to take a leap of faith in order to make a change for themselves and also the future of their children.

MoU antara BN dan Hindraf tiada kesan besar terhadap undi

Badan Pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) berpendapat perjanjian persefahaman (MoU) antara parti politik Barisan Nasional (BN) dan Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) hanyalah suatu pancingan undian para pengundi kaun India, namun kesannya tidak besar dalam PRU13. Ini berdasarkan kegagalan selama 55 tahun BN meningkatkan taraf hidup kaum India dalam negara.

Hindraf di bawah pimpinan P Waythamoorthy dan BN di bawah pimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menandatangani MoU yang digelar ‘Pelan Tindakan Lima tahun Hindraf-BN untuk Masyarakat India’. Perjanjian tersebut merangkumi empat bidang utama iaitu meningkatkan taraf pekerja ladang yang tersesar, menyelesaikan isu tanpa kewarganegaraan dan peluang pendidikan dan perniagaan.

Ianya sebenarnya suatu tindakan yang terlalu lambat dan terlalu sikit untuk meraih undian kaum India. Melalui MoU ini, BN bagai kacang melupakan kulit kerana BN telah secara tidak langsung menjatuhkan Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) daripada barisan parti-parti politik komponen BN dengan mengiktiraf kewujudan Hindraf. Ianya juga menandakan pengakuan secara tidak langsung dari BN terhadap kegagalan BN dan MIC mempertahankan kepentingan kaum India dalam negara.

Manakala secara langsungnya pula, MoU ini mengisyaratkan keadaan terdesak BN dan Najib untuk meraih undian kaum India tidak kira cara dan keadaan kerana MIC telah gagal dalam meraih undian kaum India. Ini adalah kerana Najib menyedari bahawa beliau kehilangan undian kaum India yang tidak lagi mempercayai akan kebolehan atau janji-janji kosong Najib dan BN.

Dalam erti kata lain, seperti biasa, kaum India tidak akan memperolehi sebarang manfaat dari penandatanganan MoU ini kerana ianya tidak dilakukan secara jujur dan telus untuk membantu meningkatkan taraf hidup kaum India atau membawa sebarang manfaat kepada kepentingan kaum India dalam negara. Ianya dilakukan semata-mata untuk meraih undian kaum India kepada Barisan Nasional.

Salah satu punca BN sedang giat memancing untuk udian adalah kerana BN tidak pernah menganggap mana-mana parti komponen BN sebagai sama taraf dengan parti politik United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Contoh keadaan ini adalah pencalonan Zulkifli Nordin bagi kerusi Parlimen Shah Alam walaupun pencalonan tersebut merupakan pencalonan yang tidak disenangi oleh Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) kerana Zulkifli Nordin sering dikaitkan dengan tindakan bersifat perkauman beliau.

Kaum India sepatutnya menyedari bahawa sokongan kepada MoU ini tidak akan membawa sebarang manfaat kepada kaum India dalam negara. Ini adalah kerana seperti MIC sebelum ini, penandatanganan MoU ini berbau kepentingan politik dan bukannya kepentingan awam kaum India. Dalam erti kata lain, MoU ini hanyalah sebuah janji kosong, semata-mata untuk meraih undian kaum India dalam PRU13 ini.

KPRU juga berpendapat bahawa dengan penandatanganan MoU ini, Hindraf meneruskan politik perkauman di mana Malaysia berada di persimpangan peralihan keluar dari politik perkauman dan memasuki kepada politik matang di mana kepentingan awam termasuklah semua kaum dalam negara diutarakan dan ditangani, bukan sahaja kepentingan sesuatu kaum seperti yang dilakukan oleh BN selama 55 tahun mentadbir.

MoU between BN and Hindraf has little impact on voting

Think tank Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) holds the view that the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is a mere ploy to fish for Indian votes, yet it has little impact in GE13. This follows the failure of 55 years under BN for raising the living standards of Indians in Malaysia.

Hindraf under the leadership of P Waythamoorthy and BN under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak have signed a MoU dubbed the ‘Hindraf-BN five-year blueprint for the Indian community’. The MoU focuses on four key areas – the upliftment of displaced estate workers, resolving the issue of statelessness, the  provision of both education and business opportunities.

It is an act too little too late in a desperate attempt to sweep up the Indian votes. Through this MoU, BN has forgotten its roots by indirectly dropping Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) from the BN’s party component lineup by recognizing the existence of Hindraf. It also signals an indirect confession by BN and MIC by their own failure championing the rights of Indians in this country.

Meanwhile, it directly signals the pure desperation of BN and Najib to fish the Indian votes no matter the method or situation as MIC has ultimately failed to gain any support or votes from the Indians. Hence the realization of the part of Najib that he has lost the Indian votes whom no longer hold any faith on the ability or the empty promises by Najib and BN.

In other words, as usual, the Indians will not benefit from this signing as it was not made in good faith or transparency to raise the living standards or bring forward any interests of the Indians in this country. It was done purely to fish the Indian votes for BN.

The reason why BN has gone fishing for votes is because BN has never regarded any of the BN party components as equals with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). One of the glaring examples of this is the nomination of Zulkifli Nordin for the Shah Alam Parliamentary seat even though that nomination raises eyebrows from the Malaysian Chinese Assocation (MCA) as Zulkifli Nordin is usually known for his racist tendencies.

The Indians should realize that the support for this MoU will not bring any benefit to the Indians in this country. Just as MIC before Hindraf, this MoU smells of political interests and not the public interest of the Indians. In other words, this MoU is just another empty promises on a string of empty promises by BN to lure votes for this coming GE13.

KPRU also opines that by the signing of this MoU, Hindraf is recognizing the continuance of racial politics in which Malaysia is at a transitional crossroad, leaving behind racial politics into an era of mature politics where the interest of the public is upheld inclusive of all races in this country. The interests of all races will be faced and dealt with together and not just the interest of a single race as been carried out by BN from the past 55 years.

End the Fear Politics for a Clean Election

Think tank Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) criticizes the decision of the police to arrest activist PY Wong from the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Tindak Malaysia under Section 124 (c) of the Penal Code for his involvement in an activity that disrupts parliamentary democracy or the preparation to do so.

The action by the police is one of many scare tactics and dirty tactics that smells of politics. Prior to this is the scare tactics of scaring the voters of the negative racial implications of what will happen if there is a change of government. Just as with the scare tactic of a negative impact on the economy if there was to be a change in the government.

This act by the police is another act on a long list of scare tactics made on voters. The prediction of the 13th General Election (GE13) as the dirtiest general election in the history of Malaysia seems to hold truth to it.

It is a rather peculiar thing when a founder of a NGO responsible for the education program teaching the public on their rights during the election is interrogated by the police, just a day before the candidate nomination day for his involvement in teaching the voters on their legal rights.

By reason that the identity of the individual whom reported PR Wong to the police is not identified, hence, it is plausible to think that the act by the police is intended to make PY Wong as an example of what constitutes as a threat to parliamentary democracy during this election season, just as touted by the government and Barisan Nasional (BN).

However, what seems to forgotten by the police is the fact that this action itself is a threat to the freedoms contained in the parliamentary democracy, that is teaching the public on their rights during this GE13. Is the police and those relevant parties contented if the public is blind on their rights, particularly during this GE13 season?

The interrogation of the election activist smells of it. It signals that Malaysians will be showered with overt scare tactics to ‘enlighten’ the public that the peace currently enjoyed in Malaysia will be perversely affected if they were to vote for the opposition parties and not BN. Just as the reluctance of the police to act upon BN as they themselves are responsible for interfering with the parliamentary democracy by using fear tactics on Malaysians for the sake of vote fishing.

In a nutshell, this action by the police is a tactic reeking of dirty politics, irresponsible as well as cheap. It belittles the importance of Malaysian citizens rights during voting and sends a clear signal to activists that they will be made into sacrificial pawns in the games of politics. In another view, it also signals that the authorities or the government does not like it when the people are made aware of their rights.

KPRU urges activists not be made into pawns of politics. It is the basic right of the people to know and be made aware of their rights. Any actions made onto any activists after this will be seen as a harassment of the parliamentary democracy and if its roots are from any political parties, then the police sohuld remain neutral in practicing their duties.

Hentikan Politik Penakutan Demi Pilihan Raya Bersih

Badan Pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) mengecam tindakan pihak polis menangkap aktivis PY Wong daripada badan bukan kerajaan Tindak Malaysia di bawah Seksyen 124 (c) Kanun Keseksaaan iaitu penglibatan dalam aktiviti yang mengganggu demokrasi berparlimen atau persediaan untuk aktivti berkenaan.

Tindakan oleh polis tersebut merupakan salah satu taktik penakutan dan taktif kotor yang berbau politik. Sebelum ini taktik penakutan yang digunakan adalah taktik menakutkan para pengundi mengenai implikasi perkauman yang akan berlaku jika berlakunya pertukaran kerajaan. Begitu juga dengan taktik penakutan bahawa kesan ekonomi yang negatif akan berlaku jika berlakunya pertukaran kerajaan.

Tindakan polis ini menambah satu lagi taktik penakutan dalam senarai panjang taktik penakutan yang dikenakan ke atas para pengundi. Ramalan bahawa Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13) sebagai pilihan raya yang terkotor dalam sejarah Malaysia makin berbunyi benar.

Ianya adalah sesuatu perkara yang pelik bahawa pengasas sebuah badan bukan kerajaan yang bertanggungjawab dalam program kesedaran hak semasa pilihan raya disoal siasat oleh pihak polis hanya sehari sebelum hari penamaan calon kerana kesalahan mendidik pengundi mengenai hak undang-undang mereka.

Oleh kerana identiti pihak yang melaporkan PY Wong ke pada pihak polis tidak diketahui, maka ianya dapat dilihat bahawa tindakan pihak polis ini bersifat untuk menjadikan PY Wong contoh kepada ancaman keadaan yang boleh menjejaskan demokrasi berparlimen ketika musim pilihan raya ini yang sebelum ini diwar-warkan oleh pihak kerajaan dan Barisan Nasional (BN).

Namun, apa yan tidak disedari oleh pihak polis adalah tindakan ini sendiri menjejaskan kebebasan yang terkandung dalam demokrasi berparlimen, iaitu mendidik orang awam mengenai hak-hak mereka sewaktu PRU13 ini. Adakah pihak polis dan pihak yang berkenaan lebih selesa jika rakyat Malaysia buta akan hak-hak mereka, terutamanya sewaktu musim PRU13 ini?

Soal siasat ke atas aktivis pilihan raya ini berbau sedemikian. Tindakan ini juga mengisyaratkan bahawa rakyat Malaysia akan dilimpahkan dengan taktik penakutan secara melampau untuk ‘menyedarkan’ rakyat bahawa keamanan dalam Malaysia akan terjejas jika mereka mengundi untuk parti politik pembangkang dan bukannya parti politik BN. Begitu juga keengganan pihak polis untuk bertindak ke atas parti politik BN kerana mereka sendiri bertanggungjawab mengganggu demokrasi berparlimen dengan menggunakan taktik penakutan ke atas rakyat Malaysia semata-mata untuk memancing undian.

Secara asasnya, tindakan polis ini merupakan suatu tindakan yang berbau politik kotor, tidak bertanggungjawab dan murah. Ianya memperkecil-kecilkan kepentingan hak rakyat ketika mengundi dan memberi isyarat jelas kepada aktivis-aktivis dalam negara bahawa mereka akan dijadikan bahan korban bidak dalam permainan politik. Daripada sudut lain pula, ianya juga mengisyaratkan bahawa pihak berkuasa atau kerajaan tidak menyukai jika rakyat mempunyai kesedaran mengenai hak-hak mereka.

KPRU menggesa para aktivis tidak dijadikan bidak dalam permainan politik. Ianya merupakan hak asasi rakyat untuk mengetahui dan diberikan kesedaran mengenai hak-hak mereka. Sebarang tindakan ke atas mana-mana aktivis selepas ini  akan dilihat sebagai suatu gangguan ke atas demokrai berparlimen dan jika ianya berpunca dari mana-mana parti politik, maka pihak polis hendaklah bersifat neutral dalam isu tersebut.