Tag Archives: Malaysia

Malaysia belongs to all races, says Anwar

The Star on line

BUTTERWORTH: While protecting the rights of the Malays, the Chinese and Indians must also be given an assurance on their citizenship and position in the country, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament said the country belonged to all races and not to just one community.

“With such an assurance, it does not mean that you will be sacrificing the rights of another community,” he said during a breakfast gathering with Permatang Pauh PKR Wanita members in Yayasan Aman in Penanti yesterday.

Anwar said when Independence was declared on Aug 31, 1957, the Malays, Chinese and Indians were assured the freedom of speech and freedom to form associations.

“Now, when you say you disagree (with your political leader) you get threatened. The true spirit of Merdeka is no longer present. [more]

Anwar: Budget 2009 not good enough to attract Foreign Direct Investment

The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 29, 2008): Parliamentary Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said the 2009 Budget is not good enough to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) which is important to propel the country’s economy.

“Nothing new. We reiterated that in the last four, five years when there was global pressure and slow economy, (but) the Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional were not able to give new incentives.

“The problem is that we have lost the competitive edge. There are no new FDI, slow management and corruption. These were not dealt with,” he said to reporters after the prime minister had tabled the budget in the parliament.

Describing it as a deficit budget, Anwar said for an oil-producing country, it is exceptional that Malaysia continues to register deficit. “It is understandable for a country that has no resources,” he added. [more]

Muzzling the Internet (Update 2): Malaysia censors blog after poor poll results

Financial Times, UK
By John Burton in Singapore

Published: August 29 2008 03:00 | Last updated: August 29 2008 03:00

Malaysia’s leading political blog was being blocked yesterday in what was seen as a crackdown on internet websites credited with contributing to government losses in this year’s general election.

The move came as former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was being sworn in as the new opposition leader following a by-election victory this week that returned him to parliament for the first time in a decade.

Mr Anwar vowed to mount a no-confidence vote against the government by midSeptember.

The Malaysia Today website was blocked by state-owned Telekom Malaysia, the country’s leading internet service provider, on the orders of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, which said comments posted on it were “insensitive, bordering on incitement”.

The MCMC action represents an apparent reversal of government promises not to censor the internet, except for pornographic websites. The policy was introduced in the 1990s to encourage foreign investment in the showcase Multimedia Super Corridor, near Kuala Lumpur. [more]

Muzzling the Internet: ISPs ordered to cut access to Malaysia Today website

The Star on Line


PETALING JAYA: All 21 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country have been ordered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block the controversial Malaysia Today website, an industry source revealed.

The notices were sent out on Tuesday in accordance with Section 263 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

“This means that MCMC is allowed to block any particular website which has committed acts that contravene the local laws of the country, for example, sedition,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin lashed out against the blocking of the online portal, saying it was a breach of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) charter. [more]

Malaysian govt submits controversial DNA bill

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s government on Tuesday submitted a controversial law that will require anyone charged with a crime to provide DNA samples, a measure some lawmakers fear will be used against opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim.

The bill started its second reading in parliament on Tuesday just as Anwar, who has been charged with sodomising a male aide, was standing in a by-election in which he hopes to return to parliament after a decade-long absence.

“Why are we being asked to debate this bill first. We have not had time to read and prepare for the debate. The time given is too short,” said Fong Po Kuan a legislator from the opposition Democratic Action Party. [more]

US told to butt out: What happened to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?


PUTRAJAYA: A body like the United Nations and not the United States should reprimand a country on its internal affairs, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

Strongly asking the United States not to meddle in Malaysia’s internal affairs anymore, he said even the UN secretary-general has not said anything about how Malaysia is handling its legal matters.

Responding to a statement by former US Vice-President Al Gore that the Malaysian Government was involved in “character assassination to silence an effective leader of the political opposition,” Dr Rais said he would like to see US’ discriminatory approach being scrutinised by others.

He added that the UN should play the role of the world policeman and not the US.

“The UN secretary-general had not uttered a word meaning that he respects our law and justice system; why should a lesser mortal from the US air it out in clarion call to say that Malaysia is not up to their standards.

Why should Gore and the former US Vice-President give judgment of evaluation of a country; does he not know the meaning for the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and the UN Charter – respect for the internal affairs of a country,” [more]

Note from freeanwar.org: So, does the universal declaration of human rights only apply when one’s actions are being criticized?

Financial Times, UK: To defend Anwar is to defend Malaysian democracy

Financial Times, UK

By Sandra Day O’Connor and Abdurrahman Wahid

Published: August 7 2008 19:30 | Last updated: August 7 2008 19:30

We know Anwar Ibrahim well and have the highest regard for him. For that reason, we are very concerned about recent developments in Malaysia that seem aimed at defaming him and threatening him with imprisonment in a manner reminiscent of the campaign to defame him in 1998.

The power to prosecute is one of the most awesome powers of the state. Without proper checks and balances it can easily be abused by those in power to humiliate and discredit innocent people. Even when the injustice is corrected, its victims are often left with their reputations permanently damaged. In Malaysia, the power to prosecute is being used to try to discredit Mr Anwar, the remarkable leader of the opposition, victim of a similar attack 10 years ago. If this effort were to succeed it would be a tragedy for Mr Anwar personally, for the people of Malaysia and for the world.

In 1974 Mr Anwar was jailed for 20 months, under Malaysia’s notorious internal security act, for leading demonstrations against rural poverty. Invited later to join the government, he rose to become Malaysia’s finance minister in 1991. His performance was recognised internationally. As deputy prime minister he was admired for his commitment to accountability and good governance. Many Malaysians wanted him to replace Mahathir Mohamad, the aging prime minister.

Poised to lead the nation towards greater transparency and the rule of law, his agenda for reform was clearly perceived as a threat by some. In 1998, as he was on the brink of succeeding Mr Mahathir, he was unjustly accused of sodomy and corruption, beaten in jail and convicted in a trial that was marked by coerced testimony, fabricated evidence and serious lapses in judicial integrity. He spent six years in solitary confinement before being released, in part through the wisdom of Mahathir’s successor as prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. [more]

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Malaysia issues court summons for Anwar


Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he will be charged with sodomy on Thursday.

The looming charge comes as Anwar Ibrahim prepares for an upcoming by-election.

Our reporter in Kuala Lumpur Steve Holland says the Permatang Pauh by-election in Northern Penang state was expected to see Anwar Ibrahim return to front-line politics.

The seat was last week vacated by his wife, Wan Azizah Ismail.

Now, Anwar Ibrahim says the prospect of charges relating to sodomy threatens his return to Parliament.

“I regret to say I fear an enormous injustice is about to be perpetrated upon the Malaysian people.”

The Election Commission earlier set August the 26th as the date for the upcoming by-election.

The commission’s chairman, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, says parties must nominate their candidates on August 16.

“During the by-election, it is important for all parties to follow the orders given by the security authorities and ensure peace and stability,” he said. [more]

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Anwar: Drop the Case

The Star on line

PETALING JAYA: PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that the medical report leaked on Monday confirmed that the sodomy allegations against him were baseless and were politically-motivated.

He urged the police to stop their investigation and to send the medical report to the Attorney-General’s Chambers and classify the case under “no further action.”

The medical report from Hospital Pusrawi, signed by Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid at 2.14pm on June 28, was leaked on the Internet on Monday.

The report said that there was no medical indication that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, Anwar’s 23-year-old former aide, had been sodomised.

In the report, Dr Mohamed Osman had also recommended that Mohd Saiful go to a government hospital for further check-up.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said that the case won’t be dropped based just on the medical report.

“This is just one aspect of the investigation. The police are piecing together evidence, let them do their job and complete their investigation,” he said.

“As it is, they haven’t charged Anwar with anything yet,” he noted.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, editor of news portal Malaysia Today which first carried the medical report, also claimed that Dr Mohamed Osman had gone into hiding because the police wanted him to change his medical report to implicate Anwar.

The police have denied that allegation. [more]

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Commentary from the Wall Street Journal: It’s Déjà Vu for Malaysia’s Opposition Leader

July 26, 2008

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“I was dumped into this high-security police lockup for, you see, these high-level criminals. . . . On the cement floor, without any mattresses. That explains why I have to be back on this.” Anwar Ibrahim gingerly peels up his shirt to reveal a corset-like back brace. And then he bursts into laughter.

[The Weekend Interview]
Ismael Roldan

For a man released from a night in jail only a few days earlier, Mr. Anwar is an awfully jolly man. Malaysia’s opposition leader has been accused of sodomy by a former aide — a criminal offense in this Muslim-majority country that could send him to jail for up to two decades. It’s a bizarre déjà vu for the bespectacled politician, who spent 1998-2004 behind bars on a trumped-up sodomy charge the last time he challenged for political power.

But he’s pushing ahead: On Wednesday, Mr. Anwar vowed to run for parliament “imminently” in a by-election, with the aim of toppling the government by September. If he’s successful, he could be the next prime minister of Malaysia.

None of this would matter much outside Southeast Asia were it not for the fact that Mr. Anwar’s political coalition espouses something unusual in the Muslim world: the virtues of a secular, free-market democracy. More Muslims live in Asia — Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh — than in the Middle East.

Mr. Anwar is unusually suited to bridge East-West divides. A Muslim, “though never typically very religious,” he chuckles, he is a good friend of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. alike — a man who memorized “hundreds of Elvis Presley, Paul Anka and Ricky Nelson tunes” in his youth, but also attended weekend religious classes and, in his 20s, founded the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia. He has never been afraid to argue that democracy and Islam are compatible forces — or to make that case to undemocratic Arab regimes.

In many ways, Malaysia — though it sports big urban centers and modern wonders like the Petronas Towers — seems stuck in a time warp. The media is largely state-controlled, and the executive branch still locks up political dissidents without trial under the British colonial-era Internal Security Act. [More]

Please click here to read the remainder of the article from the Wall Street Journal.