Rabu, 20 Mac 2013




Posted: 20 Mar 2013 03:13 AM PDT



Posted: 19 Mar 2013 11:43 PM PDT

The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 11:32 PM PDT

The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah

Laman Rasmi: VIDEO - ANWAR DI K. KRAU PADA 14 MAC 2013

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 04:20 PM PDT

Anwar Ibrahim

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 07:50 PM PDT

Anwar Ibrahim

The Myth of the Rich and Poor

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 07:08 PM PDT

Malaysian Insider

by Anas Alam Faizli

"They are simply lazy"

"His father is a Tan Sri"

"He knows someone from the inside"

"I made it purely out of effort; I worked hard to get where I am today"

These are some typical expressions that are sure to be heard in coffee chats, every time the topic of rich and poor is brought up. People have grown easily accustomed to brushing off the topic of inequality as welfarist or socialist. This happens even amongst supposedly "middle class" Malaysians, not realizing that they are in actuality, most likely top income earners and wealth owners. Households earning RM10,000 a month above already qualify as Top 4% Malaysians! In fact, while partisan voices continue their discourse in the racial imbalance tone, Malaysia has silently migrated into new battles, concerning intra-racial, income, and class-based imbalances.

It is often argued that the poor and the low income earners are plain lazy and do not work hard; that one earns what one deserves. This is not true. Many are simply unlucky, to be born to parents who lack education or skills to escape from the clutches of poverty. Some were born with disabilities and diseases, while some others live in flood-prone or hazardous places. On the other hand, we have sub-quality undeserving businessmen linked to political patrons, estate and fortune inheritors, and individuals plainly lucky to be placed in lucrative industries with high economic rent. Accusations like laziness then become hardly the issue. The rich can be lazy too!

There are those who do not deserve to be in poverty, just as there are those who do not deserve their wealth. The cases above are simple yet fitting examples to describe that not all poverty is a result of unwillingness for hard work, and not all wealth is a result of it. Thus, the fight against inequality is rather a fight to equalize opportunities so as to reach more equitable outcomes, not to distortively equalize outcomes. This is not a crusade against the rich, but a crusade to help the poor.

What's the Big Deal with Inequality?

Inequality is very real, whether or not we have problems with the GINI coefficient as a measure. In fact, the attention regarded to inequality is very much driven by consequences of inequality, rather than pre-emptive. We can see real consequences to the society; including societal backlashes, power imbalances, effects on wages, effects on growth, crime and quality of living, to name a few. As long as the income and wealth inequality gap remain large and public investment for education, training, childcare and public infrastructure remain inadequate, progressive taxes and affirmative action in its true and productive spirit have a place within public policy. It is imperative that the richer within the society share the responsibility of helping the poor; in the bigger picture, it is actually in their interest to do so, as they too will feel the consequences of inequality.

The Fallacy of the Free Market

In any discourse of inequality and the rich and poor, the "free market" will almost immediately arise. The basic tenant of a free market is well described by the "Invisible Hand" coined by 18th century economist, Adam Smith. It argues that prices, and thus distribution of goods, services, labour, capital goods, land and human skills are all determined by market forces, or this "hand" that cannot physically be seen. Proponents of this market-based allocation system are naturally against increased forms of government intervention like transfers, donations, taxes, subsidies and benefits. To put simply, they believe that letting the market run its course freely will reach desirable market equilibriums in the fairest manner, thus achieving productivity and wealth for a nation.

The marketplace does have some elements of arguable fairness; hard work will get you higher income, and laziness will be punished. Jobs, goods and wages are "naturally" supplied to and demanded by society, according to their needs and capabilities, instead of government allocation which is dangerously prone to over or under budgeting.

However, one must note critically that the fairness of the marketplace should not be exaggerated. Market forces can be "brutally unsentimental", as put by Jeffrey Sachs. Pockets of failures in the market are impossible to deny because not everyone in the economy starts from the same baseline. Endowments like wealth, opportunities, or physical health vary extremely amongst people within the system. While some manage to climb out of low income brackets and make it, as a result of opportunities and big breaks, others remain pressed in a vicious downward cycle. Indeed, not everyone gets a big break.

The Taxation Antagonist

The most common proponents of the free market are libertarians; whose ethical core is liberty. They hold the best economic outcomes will only prevail when each individual is left free to act economically and live without an authority governing their economic decisions. Individuals are in no way held responsible to the society, other than to be respectful towards the liberty and property of others. The government's sole responsibility is to only maintain law and order such as protection of private property. Extreme libertarians even hold that there is no requirement for government to build infrastructures, road or highways; such should be left to market forces because the need for them itself is incentive enough for someone to build them.

Libertarians are like "taxation antagonists". Amongst other forms of government intervention, libertarians reject governments promoting fairness and efficiency through a system of taxation. Tax is regarded as just another form of government extortion; de-motivating those who work hard while potentially over compensating those who don't.

In summary, libertarians hold that free market is the only way economic allocations are done "democratically"; hence it is the savior of democracy and enough on its own to ensure prosperity. Therefore, talk of government intervention in helping the poor will also become a point of contention in the books of libertarians.

Malaysian Libertarians

Many quarters have easily discarded the New Economic Policy (NEP) in hindsight, but it arguably did its job to almost eliminate poverty; reducing it from 50% in 1970 to the current 3.8%. Previously poor now form middle class and professional Malaysians.

Unfortunately, there is nothing to be proud of with the NEP mid 90s onwards. Rampant corruption, leakages and a breakdown in the integrity system demonstrated by those within the government have further worsened the situation. Perhaps this frustration in the government is behind the mushrooming of libertarian ideologies in Malaysia.

Is Libertarianism for Malaysia? We can first answer this by revisiting typical problems of missing a government sector. There is the question of who will provide public and common goods. We also do not need more than one police force, firemen, or court of law competing against each other. Without the government, who will then take care of the environment, regulate moral hazards, ensure individuals do not hurt each other, and protect the sovereign rights of Malaysians? Reducing government role is perhaps agreeable, but its total elimination has grave repercussions.

We then approach the issue of poverty. In all its admirable intentions of rewarding hard work and reducing influence of corrupt governments, libertarianism leaves too much room for an upward continuity of wealth and a downward spiral of poverty. As argued earlier, people start from different baselines. Holders of wealth are in the position to continue leveraging on existing wealth, to create more wealth- they can hardly be blamed as they are only incentivized and allowed to do so! It is worse when wealth comes from extracting economic rent, rather than the creating of true values that ultimately increases the size of the economic pie.

Consequently, the levers of power will be in the hands of corporations and the wealthy, which will have a bigger say in public policies, thus countering the libertarians' intended "democracy". Unlike the government of the day, boards of directors are not voted in by the people. Their fear of how a socialist nation will lead to fascism can also happen in free market except under the disguise corporate power. The free market failure then becomes as much political as economic!

Now imagine this "free market" is Malaysia, with one of the highest inequality levels in Asia (measured by GINI). The helpless poor will be left drowning in the currents of this market force, contending against the rich. This is exactly where a true, free, and liberal form of the market may not be able to generate the pristine intended outcomes it initially set out to do.

The Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto: A Manifesto for its Time

Political preference aside, there is cause to applaud the recent Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto. Tackling core economic issues, its four pillars hit home the concerns of the common rakyat; fraternity of the people, the people's economy, people's well-being and people's government. In Malaysia, the published absolute poverty number may be low, but in relative terms, many rakyat including daily creation of urban poor are effectively impoverished by demanding cost of housing and living that are unmatched by salary levels, high indebtedness, and low productivity levels due to limited skills and education.

For the government to maintain relevance in the face of libertarian claims, government interventions need to be tactical. If the government's stance is pro-business, it must be backed-up with robust social safety nets to hoist up and bring along poor households in the sprint towards growth and wealth creation. If the focus is the rakyat, care must be put to ensure business appetite is not suppressed. Such aspirations will be impossible to achieve without policies such as those proposed by the PR Manifesto; such as expanded educational opportunities (by making tertiary education free), reduction in the cost of living (utilities and tolls), targeted instead of blanket subsidies, and an upward pressure towards wages and salaries that are currently depressed by influx of foreign labour.

We have yet to see what Barisan Nasional has to promise with its manifesto but as a start, it should be more defined than its 2008 one; “to grow the economy” and start quantifying them. In fact, growing the economy is really a given.

Uplifting the Poor: Leveling the Playing Field

This is no plan to pull a modern-day Robin Hood, robbing the rich off of their hard work to reassign some wealth to the poor. The rich may be reached out to, to shoulder some responsibility to raise the level of education, health and productivity of the poor. Imagine the difference between a community with a billionaire worth RM40 billion and lots of poor people, versus one with 400 households worth RM10.0 million each. We might not love to pay tax but we accept its legitimacy as long as it is properly enacted into law and is used properly. This by no means entails slacking off on the part of the poor. Opportunities are provided, but they still need to be capitalized upon. The idea is a bigger economic pie and an unleashing of further values that the poorer population could have produced and Malaysia could have enjoyed.

Putting all these into consideration, where does it leave libertarianism, minimal taxes to the rich and businesses, and the free market? Need bigger government roles necessarily mean bigger inefficiencies, and more corruption? Welfare states in Scandinavia have ranked higher than America in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI). At the same time, Scandinavian nations are among the most equal nations, high in governance and control over corruption, despite the bigger size of their government.

Ultimately, a healthy economy is a mixed economy, in which both the government and market forces both play their role. The exact balance remains an ongoing battle; but it's good to start with unraveling the realities of inequality. Inequality is neither a hobby for anti-capitalist activists, nor development economists looking for the next trendy topic for their thesis. It's true that government intervention in the shapes and sizes that they take form, may have distortive capabilities, but the "lazy poor and the hardworking rich" is a myth. For a better Malaysia, we have no choice but to continue our strive for productivity albeit with a new focus; inclusiveness.

Otherwise, Malaysia will be dragging its feet into the future, carrying the baggage of the past policies and its repercussions.

"A statesman is he who thinks in the future generations, and a politician is he who thinks in the upcoming elections." – Abraham Lincoln

* Anas Alam Faizli is an oil and gas professional. He is pursuing a post-graduate doctorate, executive director of TFTN and tweets at @aafaizli

[VIDEO] UMNO Guna Isu Lahad Datu Bukan Sebagai Isu Keselamatan

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 01:33 AM PDT

Kita Mempunyai Harapan Tinggi Di Sabah & Sarawak

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 01:31 AM PDT

[VIDEO] Jelajah MerdekaRakyat Kuala Lipis Pahang

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 01:27 AM PDT

PR Gesa Najib Tubuh Kerajaan Sementara

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 12:15 AM PDT

Sinar Harian

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) mendesak atas nama keadilan agar Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13) mengambil kira lima penambahbaikan berdasarkan laporan persidangan antarabangsa berkaitan pilihan raya anjuran pihaknnya awal bulan ini.

Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berkata, penambahbaikan itu antaranya mahu Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak bersetuju dengan penubuhan kerajaan sementara.

“Beliau harus memastikan jentera dan dana kerajaan tidak disalahgunakan dalam usaha meraih undi Barisan Nasional,” kata Anwar dalam kenyataan media yang dibacakan oleh Naib Presiden PKR, Tian Chua di sini, hari ini.

Katanya, Najib selaku perdana menteri pada hari ini sudah tidak ada status etika untuk meluluskan apa-apa projek jika sistem kerajaan sementara diaplikasikan.

Menurut kenyataan media itu lagi, PR juga mahu tempoh berkempen yang diputuskan sekurang-kurangnya 11 hari oleh Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) sebelum ini dipanjangkan kepada 21 hari.

“Ini akan memberi ruang kepada semua parti terutamanya parti yang memiliki keupayaan kewangan terbatas untuk memastikan mesej kempen mereka sampai kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia,” kata Anwar.

Pihaknya juga menggesa supaya agar capaian media yang sama rata diperuntukkan kepada semua parti politik yang bertanding dalam PRU13.

SPR katanya, boleh mengarahkan supaya ia dilaksanakan oleh media kerajaan dan perdana menerusi TV, radio, media cetak dan elektronik di negara ini untuk berbuat demikian.

Ketua Setiausaha Negera (KSN), Datuk Seri Ali Hamsa juga diminta mengarahkan semua penjawat awam supaya mengamalkan sikap berkecuali dalam pilihan raya.

“Walaupun SPR yang merancang dan menguruskan pilihan raya, para penjawat awam yang bertugas dengan SPR dalam menguruskan pilihan raya merupakan penentu kepada proses pilihan raya yang bebas dan adil,” katanya.

SPR juga dituntut supaya mengendalikan tugas mereka khususnya melibatkan undi pos, undi awal, akses kepada pemerhati dalam dan luar negara serta pengurusan pegawai petugas,” katanya.

Menurut Anwar, jika tuntutan-tuntutan ini dipenuhi berpandukan kepada laporan ini, proses pilihan raya akan menjadi kebanggaan rakyat Malaysia.

Laporan persidangan antarabangsa yang berlangsung awal bulan ini turut diserahkan kepada menteri yang bertanggungjawab menjaga hal ehwal Parlimen, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz Khamis lalu.

Bekas DO Dakwa Mahathir Lulus ‘Projek IC’

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 12:02 AM PDT


Seorang bekas pegawai daerah Sandakan, Hassnar Ebrahim mengakui terlibat dalam ‘Projek IC’ di Sabah pada tahun 1980-an dan mendakwa mengetahui bahawa skim tersebut diluluskan oleh perdana menteri pada masa itu, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Hassnar, berkata beliau menyertai satu "mesyuarat rahsia" pada tahun 1980-an, di mana Timblan Menteri Dalam Negeri pada masa itu, Allahyarham Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub "secara terbuka mengakui penglibatan Mahathir".

Sejumlah 15 orang pegawai menghadiri mesyuarat tersebut, dakwanya, termasuk "tiga orang anggota pasukan polis, termasuk wakil daripada jabatan imigresen dan jabatan pendaftaran negara", katanya.

Hassnar, 62, berkata demikian pada malam tadi dalam satu forum mengenai pencerobohan kumpulan Suluk di Lahad Datu, Sabah.

Acara berkenaan dianjurkan Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) di Dewan Perhimpunan Cina Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor.

Beliau yang kini mengetuai PKR Batu Sapi berkata skim berkenaan untuk memberi kerakyatan kepada pendatang asing beragama Islam itu bermla pada awal 1980-an.

Beliau berkata, pengundi Cina pada masa itu menjadi kumpulan yang menentukan kemenangan parti yang bertanding dalam pilihan raya di negeri berkenaan.

"Jadi, timbul perasaan bahawa kehadiran orang Islam di negeri itu mesti diperkukuhkan untuk memastikan negeri berkenaan kekal di tangan orang Islam," katanya.

Beliau seterusnya mengimbau kembali pengalamannya pada hari pertama sebagai pegawai daerah Sandakan pada 1982 – jawatan yang disandangnya atas desakan ketua menteri Sabah masa itu, Tan Sri Harris Salleh – di mana beliau diarahkan untuk menandatangani 500 borang pendaftaran kewarganegaraan yang tidak mempunyai butiran pemohon.

"Di antara 1976 dan 1984, saya boleh kata tidak kurang dari 125,000 pendatang asing diberi kewarganegaraan di Sabah," dakwanya.

[PRESS STATEMENT] Anwar sues UMNO-linked blogger Papa Gomo over latest fake sex video allegations

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 09:23 PM PDT

March 19, 2013

Federal opposition leader Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has today commenced legal proceedings against one Wan Muhammad Azri b Wan Deris who is the owner/operator of the Umno-linked website known as ” Papa Gomo “. On 16th March 2013, the Papa Gomo website published fake photos and vicious allegations against Dato’ Seri Anwar in an attempt to implicate him in another fabricated sex video. The faking and distribution of photos and false allegations of a sexual nature against Dato’ Seri Anwar has become a trademark of the gutter politics practised by Umno and its bloggers.

The blogger Papa Gomo is notorious for his close and confidential ties with the Umno leadership, including Umno Vice President Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. In December 2011, the blogger was even allowed privileged access to KD Tun Razak, which is one of our Navy’s newest and most advanced submarine, during a controversy between BN and PR on defence capabilities.

The hidden hand of Umno is thus clearly present behind this latest disgusting attack upon the character and reputation of the leader of Pakatan Rakyat. Umno’ s heavy reliance upon this type of sleazy politics and dubious bloggers highlights their utter moral and ethical collapse. It proves Umno-BN’s complete unfitness to continue to rule and administer our nation.

In the letter of demand sent today, Dato’ Seri Anwar’s solicitors have demanded that the blogger Papa Gomo withdraw his malicious allegations, apologize within 48 hours from today, and pay damages in the sum of RM 100 million. The sum of damages demanded reflects the blogger’s close ties with Umno amd Umno’s clear backing for him.

Vice President
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Anak Muda Kampung Nak Senang

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 11:08 AM PDT

Anak Muda Kampung Nak Senang

120 pekerja ditahan cuba cetus Nepal Spring

Posted: 19 Mar 2013 02:09 AM PDT

19 Mac 2013  - Kesemua 120 pekerja Nepal yang ditahan kerana cuba berdemonstrasi di bandar itu sehingga dikhuatiri boleh mencetuskan Nepal Spring telah dibebaskan malam tadi. Timbalan Ketua Polis Daerah Muar, Supritendan Sahadan Jaafar berkata, kesemua mereka yang ditahan dalam operasi selama 10 jam tersebut dibebaskan selepas didapati mempunyai dokumen dan permit kerja yang sah.

Katanya, pihaknya turut mendapat kerjasama baik daripada pihak majikan yang datang ke Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Muar di sini. "Hasil siasatan juga mendapati mereka tidak membawa sebarang senjata tajam atau objek merbahaya. Kita tahan di tempat mereka sering berkumpul di bandar ini selain semasa sekatan jalan raya untuk masuk ke pusat bandar.

"Mereka bekerja di kilang-kilang perabot di sekitar Muar dan Bakri. Keadaan terkawal dan orang ramai tidak perlu bimbang," katanya semasa ditemui selepas Majlis Penyerahan Tabung Wira Lahad Datu Sumbangan Persatuan Penjaja dan Peniaga Kecil Melayu Johor (PPPKMNJ) cawangan Muar di IPD Muar hari ini

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