ANWAR NEEDS TO SHOW US HIS REFORM PLAN

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 14.9.2018

After the disappointment of the new PH government reneging on their GE14 manifesto promises, Anwar has to tell us what he plans to do that is different from the actions of the current Prime Minister. If he fails to produce a better vision than Dr. Mahathir has shown us thus far, there really isn’t much to look forward to and we might as well let the current PM last out his term until the next elections.

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LET ANWAR STAND IN DR. M’S CONSTITUENCY

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, 12 Sep 2018

After the frivolous “Kajang Move”, it is a wonder that our thick-skinned politicians in Pakatan Harapan still want to test the patience of Malaysian voters by forcing another by-election to allow Anwar Ibrahim to become a Member of Parliament.

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Malaysia: Rights groups welcome Anwar Ibrahim’s release after more than three years of arbitrary detention

Kuala Lumpur, Paris, 16 May 2018: FIDH and its member organization Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) welcome the early release of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, following a pardon granted by Malaysia’s King today.

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Malaysia: Anwar Ibrahim marks three years in arbitrary detention

FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights

and its member organization in Malaysia

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Joint press release

Kuala Lumpur, Paris, 9 February 2018: FIDH and its member organization Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemn former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s ongoing arbitrary detention and reiterate their calls for his release, one day ahead of the three-year anniversary of his imprisonment.

“The fact that Anwar is still in jail after three years speaks volumes about Prime Minister Najib’s desperate attempt to keep Anwar away from the political scene. Anwar must be immediately released and his political rights should be fully reinstated,” said FIDH Secretary-General Debbie Stothard.

Anwar is currently incarcerated in Sungai Buloh prison, Selangor State, and is due to be released on 8 June 2018. However, the conviction renders him ineligible to stand as a candidate in the upcoming 2018 general election, (scheduled to be held by August 2018) unless he is granted a pardon by the King and is elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) in a by-election prior to the general election.

“Anwar’s unjust conviction and imprisonment has denied him his right to contest the 2018 general election. It’s time for the government to right this wrong and immediately free Anwar,” said SUARAM Executive Director Sevan Doraisamy.

In an opinion issued on 1 September 2015, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) deemed Anwar’s detention arbitrary. The UNWGAD called for Anwar’s immediate release and for his political rights to be reinstated.

Background

Anwar has been detained since 10 February 2015, when the Federal Court in Putrajaya upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision to convict Anwar on charges of sodomy (Article 377 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced him to five years in prison. FIDH observed the Court of Appeals and the Federal Court’s hearings of Anwar’s trial and found that the proceedings failed to meet international standards for fair trials.

Anwar’s family filed a petition for a royal pardon to the Malaysian King on 24 February 2015. The request was rejected by the Pardons Board, which advises the King on candidates for clemency, on 16 March 2015. On 24 June 2015, Anwar and his family filed a legal challenge against the Pardons Board’s decision. On 15 July 2016, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Anwar’s challenge.

On 18 January 2017, the Court of Appeals ruled that Anwar has standing to petition the Federal Court to determine if he has the constitutional right to challenge the Pardons Board’s decision to reject his request for clemency. The case is scheduled to be heard in the Federal Court on 17 April 2018.

Press contacts:

FIDH: Mr. Andrea Giorgetta (English) – Tel: +66886117722 (Bangkok)

FIDH: Ms. Audrey Couprie (French, English) – Tel: +33648059157 (Paris)

SUARAM: Mr. Sevan Doraisamy (English, Malay) – Tel: + 60169708370 (Kuala Lumpur)

GETTING THE FACTS RIGHT ON OPS LALANG

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 25 Jan 2018

Testifying at the hearing of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah’s defamation suit against Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Md Yunos, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI), the former Education Minister during Ops Lalang has claimed that the infamous Operasi Lalang resulted from the discord between MCA Youth and Umno Youth. At a stroke, he placed the responsibility on the UMNO Youth leader, Najib at the time and thus absolved both himself, the then Education Minister and Dr Mahathir, the then PM.

Those who respect the importance of truth in historical accounts, no matter how distasteful it may be, begin with discerning accurate facts and the related sequence of events. In this process, for facts before the advent of Google, Malaysians can be assisted by my record of the events in my 1992 title, ‘Malaysian Political Realities’. In the Introduction to my book, Leader of the Opposition Lim Kit Siang wrote:

“Dr Kua Kia Soong has aptly chosen the title of his book ‘Malaysian Political realities’…In Malaysia, there is not only an industry to rewrite history but a very high-powered conspiracy to daily distort and suppress reality through the government monopoly and control of the electronic and printed mass media…The ‘free press’ which the PM, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamed, claims in international forums that Malaysia enjoys, is a press which is only ‘free’ to distort and suppress political realities in Malaysia.”

Contrived controversy between UMNO & MCA, October 1986

The first chapter in my 1992 title is called: ‘History and the Pribumi: Fruitless quest for the unholy grail’, which is a comment on the rather contrived controversy between UMNO and MCA during October 1986. It is important to note the date that the controversy was contrived, namely, October 1986.

In this article, I was at pains to point out that “the issue of whether any community is genuinely ‘pribumi’ or ‘immigrant’ has absolutely no significance to the question of peoples’ rights.” This controversy was by no means the only one orchestrated by UMNO in 1986. There was also the one about the “social contract” created by Datuk Abdullah Ahmad of “Ketuanan Melayu” fame.

Any serious scholar of Malaysian politics will know that all the “racial” controversies in recent Malaysian history including the May 13 incident, have been orchestrated by UMNO. Through all these years, there is no doubt that UMNO Youth has played the role of stormtroopers who carry out the breast beating and gong banging at the behest of their political masters in UMNO. I am sure DSAI is familiar with these “Standard Operating Procedures” within UMNO. The mob which attacked us during the Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor in 1996 was no different. Who should bear the responsibility for that shameful event then? Saifuddin or the UMNO Youth chief at the time Zahid Hamidi or DSAI himself?

Orchestrated controversy in Chinese schools, October 1987

Nevertheless, in Chapter 12 of my book, ‘OCTOBER 1987: The Furore in the Chinese Schools’, it was the Education Minister, namely, DSAI with the connivance of the PM at the time, Dr Mahathir, who made the decision to send non-qualified administrators to the Chinese schools. Whereas the contrived controversy over ‘Pribumi vs Immigrants’ by UMNO Youth and MCA Youth was in October 1986, it was the Chinese schools controversy in October 1987 which caused the Chinese community to protest against the unjust move and which resulted in orchestrated tension that led to Ops Lalang.

The DAP was also in the committee which opposed this unjust and orchestrated move to send unqualified administrators to the Chinese school. I am sure DAP leaders such as Lim Kit Siang will agree with me that it was not the UMNO Youth-MCA Youth spat in 1986 but the Chinese schools issue in October 1987 that led to Ops Lalang.

Certainly, the UMNO Youth leader at the time, Najib Razak was one of the UMNO firebrands who were at the Jalan Raja Muda stadium where racist banners were displayed just before Ops Lalang was launched. But responsibility for sending the unqualified administrators to the Chinese schools rests on DSAI while responsibility for launching the arrests and detention rests squarely on the Home Minister and Prime Minister at the time, Dr Mahathir.

Yes, you can be forgiven but…

Having left UMNO, both DSAI and Dr Mahathir can ask for forgiveness from the victims of Ops Lalang and the Chinese community for orchestrating that racial tension which gave Dr Mahathir the excuse to launch Ops Lalang, the precursor to his assault on the Judiciary.

One thing they must never do is to distort the facts of history. As Noam Chomsky has warned us:

“Younger people who are being indoctrinated into the contemporary system of falsification – they really have to do some research to find out what is the truth…”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau goes even further by saying, “The falsification of history has done more to impede human development than any one thing known to mankind!”