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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — The Bar Council warned the Najib administration today it will “continue knocking on the doors of Parliament” if the Peaceful Assembly Bill is passed without public consultation. Malaysian Bar President Lim Chee Wee urged the government to consider the council’s proposed alternative to the government’s original Bill, which he described as an “unjust law made in haste ... which will impose unreasonable and disproportionate fetters on freedom of assembly”.

“The Bar will continue knocking on the doors of Parliament if the Bill makes it to the statute books in its current form. We will not give up hope,” he vowed during a brief press conference in Parliament here. Lim was addressing reporters just moments after he led hundreds of lawyers in the council’s “Walk for Freedom” march to Parliament as a sign of their open defiance of a law they claim infringes on Malaysians’ constitutional rights. When asked if the council would continue holding more protests if today’s Bill is approved, Lim declined to comment, saying, “Let me finish today first and let’s see how things turn out.”

He acknowledged that any marches held after the Bill is gazetted into law would be against the law but added, “History is full of civil disobedience and events, which have led to changes for the better in the country.” “But I am a cautious and eternal optimist in that our 222 MPs will uphold the rule of law and the Constitution (when they vote today).” The prominent lawyer, along with nine other representatives from the council, were earlier allowed through Parliament gates and into the lobby to hand over a copy of its alternative Bill to deputy minister Datuk V. K. Liew and a letter of appeal urging MPs to vote wisely. “We are not anti-government or pro-opposition. We are anti-injustice and anti-unconstitutionality ... We are pro-justice and pro-rule of law. We have always worked closely with the government,” Lim told Liew when handing over the documents.

“We, the members of the Bar are hopeful and will certainly pray that the wakil rakyat will read what we have to say, deliberate, and vote according to conscience and not according to party whip. “We urge the prime minister, who has made good announcements on Malaysia Day, not to be influenced by others, but to return to the path of transformation that he had promised the rakyat,” he added. Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a raft of reforms during his Malaysia Day message in September, including the repeal of the Internal Security Act and amendments to other security laws, and promised to increase civil liberties. Lim also told reporters today that “our country was founded on procession”, pointing to the historic 15,000-strong pre-Merdeka procession led by Datuk Onn Jaafar to protest the formation of the Malayan Union by the British on February 27, 1946.

“Processions or assemblies in motion are very much deep in the history of Malaysia ... which is why we urge the government — do not, with the stroke of the pen, strike back against the very foundation of this nation,” he said. Liew accepted the council’s alternative Bill from Lim and promised to go through the document. “I will do the best I can,” he promised Lim.

PKR Youth dared Umno today to amend the federal constitution to state that the prime minister must be Malay. Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin said in his policy speech at the wing’s national congress here that this was because “history shows Umno is willing to sell out everything.” “To ensure that the last Malay stronghold, that is political power, is not traded away by Umno, we challenge Umno to amend the federal constitution to insert conditions and guarantees that the prime minister must be Malay. “The excuse that the post is held by a Malay because Umno is in power cannot be accepted. To cover up their evil, those who question them are accused of betraying Malays,” he told over 800 delegates.

He accused Umno of “endangering the interests and position of Malays... for their own gains.” Umno has repeatedly accused Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of selling out the Malays to Chinese and foreign interests, insisting that the Malays can only be protected if Barisan Nasional (BN) remains in power. Since the landmark Election 2008 where PR denied BN its customary two-thirds majority of Parliament and five state governments, the Malays have swung back towards the ruling coalition even as Chinese support for the federal opposition has increased. Racial tension has also heightened over the past few years especially with repeated allegations that Muslims are being proselytised.

Umno’s Utusan Malaysia accused the DAP earlier this year of conspiring with the church to turn Malaysia into a Christian state and install a Christian prime minister. A coalition of Muslim NGOs known as Himpunan Sejuta Umat (Gathering of a Million Faithful) has also organised several gatherings around the country to “rise up to the challenge of Christianisation.” Article 153 of the constitution grants the Agong di-Pertuan Agong responsibility to “safeguard the special position of the Malays” and has been interpreted by Malay rights groups to justify special privileges in the economy, religion and education.

Rakaman TVPAS09

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party or the Islamic Party of Malaysia (Malay: Parti Islam Se-Malaysia), commonly known as PAS or Pas, is an Islamist political party in Malaysia and is currently headed by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. PAS positions itself as a political party that aims to establish Malaysia as a country based on Islamic legal theory derived from the primary sources of Islam, the Quran, Sunnah as well as Hadiths, as opposed to Barisan Nasional's Islam Hadhari, which PAS sees as based on a watered-down understanding of Islam.

The party enjoys strong support from the northern rural and conservative states such as Kelantan and Terengganu. It is also the first opposition party in independent Malaysia's history to defeat the Barisan Nasional coalition in a Malay dominated state. PAS, together with Parti KeADILan Rakyat (known as PKR), and Democratic Action Party (known as DAP) formed part of a coalition called Pakatan Rakyat following the 2008 election. Together, Pakatan Rakyat now controls five states in Malaysia which is Kelantan, Kedah, Selangor, Perak and Penang.

TV Selangor

TVSelangor adalah saluran televisyen milik Kerajaan Negeri Selangor Darul Ehsan yang ditadbir oleh Pakatan Rakyat. TVSelangor mula beroperasi pada tahun 2008 selepas Menteri Besar Selangor ke-14, YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim daripada Parti Keadilan Rakyat menjadi Menteri Besar Selangor yang baru menggantikan Dato' Seri Khir Toyo. TVSelangor diwujudkan kerana Kerajaan Persekutuan yang ditadbir oleh Barisan Nasional tidak memberi peluang kepada Kerajaan Selangor yang ditadbir oleh Pakatan Rakyat untuk menggunakan media milik Kerajaan Persekutuan seperti RTM bagi menyebarkan maklumat kepada rakyat Selangor.

TVSelangor beroperasi dari Kompleks Pentadbiran Kerajaan Selangor Darul Ehsan yang terletak di Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam dan dikendalikan oleh Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor. TVSelangor adalah station tv milik penuh Kerajaan Selangor. Namun, siaran TVSelangor hanya boleh ditonton menerusi internet di lawan web Ini kerana Kerajaan Persekutuan tidak memberi lesen penyiaran kepada TVSelangor untuk memancarkan siaran menerusi gelombang UHF/VHF ataupun menerusi satelit di Selangor. Oleh sebab itu, buat masa kini, TVSelangor hanya boleh ditonton menerusi internet sahaja. Siaran TVSelangor menggunakan Bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa pengantar utama dan mempunyai pelbagai jenis rancangan seperti talkshow, short drama, ceramah agama, kartun, berita dan sebagainya. Siaran TVSelangor adalah selama 24 jam sehari.

Rakaman TV Selangor

Bersih 3.0...

PETALING JAYA, Nov 25 — Bersih 2.0 today called on the government to give Malaysians living abroad the right to vote in the upcoming general election. “The government, instead of arguing why it cannot be done, has a duty to ensure that it is done,” Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan told reporters today at a press conference on overseas voting rights here. “It is their duty to enfranchise Malaysians, not to stop them from voting but to make sure that they can vote,” she added. The former president of the Bar Council also announced “Global Bersih”, a global movement of Malaysians abroad gathering in solidarity tomorrow “to demand their right to vote as overseas voters”.

“This is one of the eight demands of Bersih 2.0 in relation to postal voters,” Ambiga said, adding that 10 cities around the world have confirmed their participation. Speaking via Skype, London-based group MyOverseasVote said “it is a day of reflection rather than direct action. It is a day for us to think about the importance of our vote and the importance of getting people around the world interested again in charting the future of our country.” Another participating group, Perth-based Bersihkan Malaysia, questioned the government’s blatant discrimination against overseas Malaysians. “Can any government elected under such a system truly claim to be the choice of the majority? Is such a government truly representative of the people?” it asked.

“Please do not deny our very basic right to vote as a Malaysian citizen, whether we’re in Malaysia or overseas. That is our fundamental right, it cannot be denied by anyone,” it said. MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had earlier spoken against overseas voting, saying it presented a “logistical nightmare” as considerable resources would have to be devoted to ensure its success. However, Ambiga stressed the government should change its mindset as overseas Malaysians are ready to help. “They are willing to do their part. They are prepared to volunteer to make sure that overseas voting can take place. Our overseas voters want to vote in the 13th general election,” she said. “And it is up to us, up to the government, to make sure that happens. We cannot disenfranchise any voters, anyone who has the right to vote.”

Anwar Ibrahim’s ease at finding parallels between seemingly contending beliefs and his comfort in paradox was in evidence at a forum in Kolkata over the weekend. Invited to an Indian Muslim NGO’s silver jubilee conference themed ‘Good Governance in a Globalising World’, Anwar held forth on ‘Governance and Ethics’ in one segment of the three-day affair organised by the Institute of Objective Studies, a highly regarded research organisation with links to the International Institute of Islamic Thought and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

The thrust of Anwar’s presentation revolved around the temptation of power to think that it is always twinned with virtue. He cited the admonitory wisdom of Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz, one of Prophet Muhammad’s political successors, who appointed monitors to watch over his conduct. Anwar quoted Umar’s rationale to his monitors: “Rulers usually appoint people to watch over their subjects. I appoint you to watch over me and my conduct.” This oft-cited quotation from Umar helps the Malaysian opposition leader to dilate on another favorite oracular pronouncement: “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary” – this one from the Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

As long ago as his 1996 Budget speech to Parliament as finance minister, Anwar cited this cautionary wisdom as a check on the temptations of power to vanity, complacency and hypocrisy. Anwar told the audience during his segment of the conference that a critique of hubris was necessary to keep the apparatus of even democratic states from the temptations of extrajudicial procedures that result in injustice and the muzzling of dissent and opposition. Yet again, he held up as a guide for the restraint of power the maqasid shariah, the 12th century formulation of the Islamic jurist Al Shatibi, which posited the protection of life, property and the preservation of peace as the higher goals of syariah.

Anwar said a holistic conception of the maqasid shariah was the guarantee against the rigid interpretation and application of syariah. Anwar said he was conscious that the venue of the conference, Jesuit St Xavier’s College, was where Nobel literary laureate Rabindranath Tagore studied as a boy. “In this year of the 150th anniversary of his birth, I am reminded of Sir Rabindranath Tagore’s gesture of returning his knighthood in protest against the Amritsar massacre of 1919,” said Anwar who has cited Tagore (right) as one of the progenitors of the ‘Asian Renaissance’ espoused by the Malaysian leader since the mid-1990s.

“Not only must power resist the temptation to think that it is always twinned with virtue, but fame must always be accompanied by solicitude for those who suffer from man’s inhumanity to man,” said Anwar in praise of Tagore who was born in Kolkata in 1841, received the Nobel for literature in 1913, and was knighted in 1915. Anwar said that in Tagore’s poetry and short stories there was always the emphasis on freedom and reason and because he conveyed these ideas in mystic terms, he encountered much misunderstanding in the West. In expatiating on the philosophic identity of noble minds, Anwar quoted the following lines from Tagore’s poetry:

“Where the mind is without fear and
the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments by
narrow domestic walls.”

He said that the lines conveyed the same sentiment embodied in Philippine national hero Jose Rizal’s declaration in his book El Filibusterismo: “Within a few centuries, when humanity has become redeemed and enlightened, when there are no races, when all peoples are free, when they are neither tyrants nor slaves, colonies nor mother countries, when justice rules and man is a citizen of the world…”

“These two men born in the same year in different countries on the same continent, articulators and strugglers for the liberation of not only their peoples but also of their continents, are the precursors of the Asian Renaissance through their lofty vision of the human pageant and of where it should eventuate.

“Their dream was not only for human emancipation but also for man’s ethical governance without which all struggle is futile and all striving meaningless,” concluded Anwar. ~ ~

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