Monday, October 29, 2007

Spare some time to understand with a humble and open mind The Concept of Human Rights as Provided by the Quran

From Publius Melayu Blog

President Ahmadinejad addressing 62nd UN General Assembly

In the Name of God, the Almighty

"Oh God, hasten the arrival of Imam Al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his rightfulness"

Mr. Chairman, Honorable Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased and grateful to the Almighty to have the opportunity once again to attend this important universal forum.

In the present tumultuous world and predominance of loud outcries, threats and tensions, and in the time when the big powers are unable to solve the present problems, when mistrust in regional and international arenas is on the rise, when psychological security of societies is being targeted by an onslaught of political and propaganda designs, and disappointment prevails over efficacy of policies and actions of the international organizations in establishing of durable peace and security, and the protection of human rights is being weakened, I plan to touch upon and explain the roots and ways out of these predicaments and some of the principal challenges facing our world.

I will also speak to you about the need for amending the present situation, prospects for brighter and more hopeful future, and about the reappearance of the sublime and beauty, kindness and dignity, justice and blossoming of all divine human talents and dominance of love of God and realization of the promise of God as stated by of all divine prophets and righteous men.

I will then put to your judgment the nuclear issue of Iran as a reality and testing ground for measurement of honesty, efficacy, steadfastness and victories. In the closing part of my address, I will offer my proposals.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you are all aware we are presently facing important, numerous and diverse challenges that I will refer to some of them.

1- Organized attempts to tear down the institution of family and to reduce the status of women.

Family is the most sacred and valuable human institution that serves as the center of the purest mutual love and affection of mothers, fathers and children, and a safe environment for the upbringing and cultivating human generations, and a fertile ground for blossoming of sentiments and emotions. This institution has always been respected by all nationalities, religions of cultures.

Today we are witnessing an organized invasion by the enemies of humanity and plunderers to tear down this genuine institution. They target this noble institution by promoting lewdness, violence and breaking the boundaries of chastity and decency.

The precious existence of women as the expression of divine beauty and peak of kindness, affection and purity has been the target of heavy exploitation over the past recent decades by the holders of powers and owners of media and wealth. In some societies, this beloved creature has been reduced to mere instruments of publicity and all boundaries and protective shields of chastity, purity and beauty have been trampled. This is a colossal betrayal of human society, of succeeding generations, and an irreparable blow on the social coherence.

2. Widespread Violations of Human Rights, Terrorism and Occupation

Unfortunately human rights are being extensively violated by certain powers, especially by those who pretend to be their exclusive advocates. Setting up clandestine prisons, abductions, trials and secret punishments without any regard to due process, listening on telephone conversations, opening private letters and frequent summons to police and security centers have become commonplace and prevalent. They prosecute scientists and historians for stating their opinions on important global issues. They are using different alibis to occupy sovereign nations and cause chaos and divisions, and then use the prevailing situation as an excuse to continue their occupation.

For more than sixty years, Palestine, as compensation of the loss they incurred in the war in Europe, has been under occupation of the illegal Zionist regime. Their people have been displaced or are under heavy military pressure, economic siege or are incarcerated under abhorrent conditions. The occupiers are protected and praised, while innocent people of Palestine are subjected to political, military and propaganda onslaughts.

The people of Palestine are deprived of water, electricity and medicine for the sin of asking for freedom, and their government that has come from the votes of the people is targeted. Terrorists are being organized to attack the lives and property of people, under auspices of politicians and military officials of the big powers.

The brutal Zionists carry out targeted assassinations of Palestinians in their homes and cities, and terrorists receive medals of peace and support from the big powers. On the other hand they gather a number of deprived Jewish people with false propagation under pretext of providing them with welfare, job and food from different parts of the world and settle them in the occupied territories and exposed them to harshest restrictions, psychological pressures and constant threat.

They prevent these deprived people to return to their main lands and by use of force and false propagation make them show their hatred towards indigenous Palestinian people.

Iraq was occupied under the pretext of overthrow of a dictator and existence of weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi dictator who had been supported by the same occupiers was disposed of, and no weapons were discovered, but occupation continues under different excuses.

No day passes without people being killed, wounded or displaced, and occupiers not only refuse to be accountable and ashamed, but speak in a report of a new market for their armaments as the result of their military venture. They even oppose the constitution, national assembly and the government arising from the votes of the people, while do not even have the courage to declare their defeat and exit Iraq.

Unfortunately we are witnessing this bitter truth that some powers do not put value on any nation or human beings, and the only things that matters to them are themselves, their parties and groups. In their view, human rights are tantamount to profits for their companies and friends. The rights and the good name of American people are also being sacrificed for the selfish desires of those holding power.

3. Aggressions against Indigenous Cultures and National Values

Culture is the expression of identity and the key to survival of nations and the foundation for their interaction with others. In an organized movement, indigenous cultures that are messengers of monotheism, love and fraternity are being subjected to broad and destructive aggressions. National customs and values are humiliated and self-esteem and character of nations are ridiculed and defamed. The purpose is to promote blind emulations, consumerism, skeptism toward God and human values, and plundering of their wealth by big powers.

4. Poverty, illiteracy, Health Deprivation and Gap between the poor and the Rich

While a major part of the natural environment in Asia, Africa and Latin America is being plundered by political and economic domination of certain powers. The situation of poverty and deprivation is very alarming. These are some of numbers by the United Nations:

- Every day close to 800 million people go to bed hungry and about 980 million suffer from absolute poverty, with less than one dollar a day in purchasing power.

- People of 31 countries, equivalent to 9 percent of the world’s population, have an average life expectancy equaling to 46 years, which is 32 years less than the average of some countries.

- Ratio between the rich and the poor in some parts of the world is 40 times.

- In some countries, majority of people are deprived of access to education and schooling.

- In many developing countries the maternal mortality rate during pregnancy is 450 per 100,000. This ratio is 7 in the richer nations and the ratio of mortality of new births is 59 for developing countries and 6 for the richer nations.

- One-third of mortality in the world, or 50,000 daily, results from poverty.
I believe these numbers clearly demonstrat the tragic situation prevailing over the global economy.

5. Ignoring Noble Values and Promotion of Deception and Lies.

Some powers sacrifice all human values including honesty, purity and trust for the advancement of their goals. They propagate skepticism and deception in the relations between states and peoples. They lie openly, level baseless charges against others, act contrary to legal norms and damage the climate of trust and friendship. They openly abandon morality and noble values in their relations with others, and substitute selfishness, supremacy, enmity and imposition for justice, respect for others, love, affection and honesty.

They sacrifice all the good things of life and the sublime for their own greed.

6. Violations of Rules of International Law and Disrespect of Commitments

Some who were themselves the drafters of international law openly and easily violate them and apply discriminatory policies and double standards. They drafted disarmament regulations, but every day test and stockpile new generations of lethal weapons. They framed the Charter of the United Nations, but show disrespect to the right of self-determination and independence of sovereign nations. They conveniently abrogate their formal treaties, and do not yield to laws concerning protection of environment. Most of the violations of international obligations are done by few global powers.

7. Escalation of Threats and Arms Race

Some powers, whenever their logic fails, simply use the language of threat. The heavy arms race cast the shadow of threat over the globe. The nations of Europe were the victims of two world wars and a number of other devastating conflicts and were subjected to the consequences of the Cold War for many decades. Today Europeans are living under the shadow of threat, and their interests, security and lands are endangered under shadow of the arms race imposed by certain big powers.

A bullying power allows itself the right to set up a missile system, makes the life of the peoples of a continent bitter and lays the ground for arms race.

Some rulers who superficially appear to be powerful act as a child that has acquired a plastic water gun and feels powerful power and starts shooting impatiently at all things and at all times, threaten others and cast the shadow of insecurity over nations and regions.

8. Inefficacy of International Mechanism to prevail over these challenges and to bring durable peace and security.

International organizations and mechanisms clearly lack the capacity to overcome problems and challenges, to put in place fair and just relations and peace, fraternity and security. There is hardly any government or nation that places much hope on these mechanisms to secure its rights or defend its independence, territorial integrity and national interests.

Dear Friends and Collegues,

The challenges are a lot more than the ones I enumerated and I know that you would have presented many more if you wanted to dwell on them, but I chose to confine myself to the ones I stated.

Now, the important and decisive question concerns the roots and causes of these challenges.

A scientific and careful analysis shows that the root of the present situation lies in two fundamental factors.
Without doubt, the first factor lies in the relations arising from the consequences of World War the Second.

The victors of the war drew the roadmap for global domination and formulated their policies not on the basis of justice but for ensuring interests of victors over the vanquished nations. Therefore mechanisms arising from this approach and related policies have not been capable to find just solutions for global problems since 60 years ago.

Some big powers still carry the conduct of the victors of a world war and regard other states and nations even those that had nothing to do with the war, as the vanquished, and humiliate other nations and demand extortion from the condescending position similar to feudal and peasants of the medieval age.

They regard themselves superior to others and are not accountable to any government or international body.

Colleagues, Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among all the ineffective organizations, unfortunately, the UN Security Council ranks first.

They have created circumstances in which some powers with exclusive and special right to veto in the Security Council act as prosecutor, Judge and executioner, regardless of being a defendant or respondent. It is natural that countries that have been subjected to their infringements have no hope to get what they deserve from the Council.

Unfortunately the humanity has witnessed that in all long wars, like the Korean and Vietnam wars, the war of the Zionists against Palestinians and Lebanon, war of Saddam against the people of Iran and ethnic wars of Europe and Africa, one of members the Security Council was one of the belligerents or supported one party against the other, usually the aggressor, or the conflict itself.

Look at Iraq, they first occupied them and then received authorization from the Security Council, the same Council in which the same occupiers have the right of veto.

Who should the people of Iraq complain about and to where should they take their complaints with hopes of securing their rights?

We saw in Lebanon that some powers delayed the decisions of the Security Council hoping for the victory of the Zionist regime. However, when they became disappointed in that usurper regime's victory, they approved of a ceasefire to take effect. But the duty of the Security Council is to prevent the expansion of conflicts, to put in place the ceasefire and promote peace and safety. Who should the people of Lebanon complain about and where should they take their complaints to?

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The presence of some monopolist powers has prevented the Security Council from doing its main duties which are safeguarding peace and security based on justice. The credibility of the council has been tarnished and its efficacy in defending the rights of its members has been destroyed. Many nations have lost their confidence in the Council.

Some other mechanisms like the monetary and banking mechanisms are in the same undesirable situation and have been turned into tools for the imposition of the wishes of some powers on other nations.

It is evident that these mechanisms are not capable of responding to the current needs and solving the challenges and establishing fair and sustainable relations.

Dear Colleagues,

Again, there is no doubt that the second and more important factor is some big powers' disregard of morals, divine values, the teachings of prophets and directions specified by the all-knowing God as well as the rule of the sinful. How can the sinful that can not even manage and control themselves, rule the humanity and arrange his affairs?

Unfortunately they have put themselves in the position of God! They are in servitude of their own whims and desire to have everything for themselves. For them, the human dignity and the lives, properties lands of others are no longer important.
Humanity has had the deep wound caused by impious powers on his battered body. Today, the problems that people around world face are mainly rooted in the disregard of human values and morals and also in the management by the impious.

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The only sustainable way to the betterment of mankind, is the return to the teachings of divine prophets, monotheism, respect for the dignity of humans and the flow of love and affections in all relationships, ties and regulations. Then the structures should be reformed based on these.

To fulfill this objective, I invite everybody to line up a front of fraternity, amity and sustainable peaces based on monotheism and justice under the name of "Coalition for Peace" to prevent incursions and arrogance and propagate the culture of affection and justice. I hereby announce that with the help of all independent, justice-seeking and peace-loving nations, the Islamic republic of Iran will be treading on this path.
Monotheism, Justice and love for humans should dominate all the pillars of the UN and this organization has to be a reference for justice and every member of it has to enjoy equal spiritual and legal support.

General Assembly as the representative of the international community shall be considered as the most important pillar of the UN in order, free from any pressure and threats of big powers, to take required measures for reforming the UN structures and especially change the present status of the Security Council and define new structures based on justice and democracy with the purpose to become responsive to the present requirements and be able to settle existing challenges leading to the establishment of sustainable stability and security.

Excellencies,

The nuclear issue of Iran is a clear example of the performance of such mechanisms and their prevailing thoughts.

As you all know, Iran is an official member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and has always observed its rules and regulations and has had the most extensive cooperation with this Agency in all aspects. All our nuclear work has been completely peaceful and transparent.

According to the Statute of the IAEA, any member has a number of rights and commitments. Actually, any member has to move on the peaceful path and, under the supervision of the Agency, assist other members and is entitled to be supported by the Agency and have access to the fuel cycle with the help the Agency and its members.

So far, Iran has fulfilled all its obligations but has been deprived of other members' technical assistance and, even during some periods of time, of the Agency's support.

For about 5 years, some of the aforementioned powers tried to deny the Iranian nation of its rights by exerting pressures on IAEA.

They derailed Iran's nuclear issue of its legal path and politicized the atmosphere to impose their wishes taking advantage of all their potentials.

Iran spared no effort to build confidence. However, nothing satisfied them except the complete halt of all nuclear activities even those related to research and university fields. They were only after depriving Iran of all its inalienable rights. Therefore, even those centers not involved in the fuel cycle or not in need of the supervision of the Agency were closed. After three years of negotiation and trying to build confidence, the Iranian nation came to the resolute conviction that the main concern of these powers is not the possible deviation of Iran from the rules and regulations of the Agency but its scientific progress. If this trend continues there will be no chance for Iran to enjoy its rights, not even in the next 20 years. Therefore, it has to be decided to follow up the issue on its right legal path that goes through the Agency away from illegitimate and political impositions by the arrogant powers. Of course, Iranian Nation has always been ready and now is prepared for constructive talks.

By abusing the Security Council, the arrogant powers have repeatedly accused Iran and even made military threats against it over the last two years. However, thanks to the faith in God and the national unity, Iran has moved forward step by step and now our country is recognized as a country with the capacity for industrial scale fuel cycle production for peaceful uses.

Fortunately, the Agency has recently tried to regain its legal role as supporter of the rights of its members and supervisor of nuclear activities. We see this as a right approach adopted by the Agency. Previously, they illegally wished to politicize Iranian Nation's nuclear case, but today, thanks to the resistance of the Iranian nation, the issue is back at the Agency and I officially announce that in our opinion the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed and has turned into an ordinary matter. Today many questions have been raised on Iranian nuclear activities within IAEA by certain powers which shall be examined properly. Of course Iran has always been prepared to have constructive talks with all parties.

I would like to thank all the nations and countries that, during this hard juncture, defended the legal rights of my nation and motherland and also appreciate the members of the Non-Aligned Movement, our other friends in the Security Council, IAEA's Board of Governors, the committed and law-abiding experts of the Agency and its Director General for their insistence on the law. I would also like to announce that unlike the monopolist powers, the Iranian nation is ready to offer to other members its experiences in form of educational programs and based on the obligations of the Agency's statute and under its supervision.

Now I would like to address those who beleaguered the Iranian nation for about five years, offended and accused my people who have contributed to the history and civilization of the world and advice them to learn from their recent actions. They mistreated the Iranian nation but they have to be careful not to do the same with other nations and not to sacrifice the integrity of international organizations for the sake of their unlawful wishes. Today the nations of the world are wide-awake, vigilant, and resistant. If you reform yourselves, the whole world will be reformed.
Nations are inherently good and can co-exist peacefully. They'd better try to serve their own people, and be sure that others do not need them.

Is it not high time for these powers to return from the path of arrogance and obedience of Satan to the path of Godliness?

Do they not like to be cleansed of their impurities, submit to the will of God and believe in him?

Faith in God means believing in honesty, purity, justice and loving others!
They can be sure that they will benefit from purity, honesty, justice, loving and respecting the human dignity. They can be sure that such attributes are considered to be more appropriate, valuable and beautiful by the nations of the world.

This is the invitation of all divine prophets from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses,

If they answer to the invitation, they will be saved and if they don’t, the same thing that befell the people of the past will befall them.

According to holy Koran:

"One who does not answer the divine call should not think that he has weakened God on earth; he has no companion but God and he is clearly engulfed by darkness".
They have nothing of their own and can not escape from the dominion of the rule of God and his will.

In this important gathering, I have to remind them of the following words of the Almighty which has been mentioned in the Holy Quran:

"Do they not look at the powers and governments which came before them? If the people of the past had actually possessed something, they would have kept it and would not have let you the posses it now. God destroyed them because of their sins and nobody could protect them against the will of God".

They have to know that the ways and traditions based on oppression and injustice will be destroyed. Do they not see the signs of vigilance and resistance based on monotheism, philanthropy and the justice-seeking spirit of the nations of the world? Do they not notice the imminent fall of empires?

I hope that this invitation will have a practical answer.

Excellencies,

Nations and countries don’t have to obey the injustice of certain powers. These powers, because of the reasons already mentioned, have lost the competence to lead the world because of their hideous acts.

I officially declare that the age of relations arising from the Second World War as well as materialistic thoughts based on arrogance and domination is well over now.
Humanity has passed a perilous precipice and the age of monotheism, purity, affinity, respecting others, justice and true peace loving has commenced.

It is the divine promise that the truth will be victorious and earth will be inherited by the righteous. You, who are free, believers and the people of the world, put your trust in God. You, who crave for the high values, wherever you are, try to prepare the grounds for the fulfillment of this great divine promise by serving the people and seeking justice.

The age of darkness will end, the prisoners will come back home, the occupied lands will be freed, Palestine and Iraq will be liberated from the domination of the occupiers and the people of Europe will be free of the pressures exerted by the Zionists. The tender-hearted and humanity-loving governments will replace the aggressive and domineering ones. The human dignity will be regained. The pleasing aroma of justice will permeate the world and people will live together in a brotherly and affectionate manner.

Striving in this way to give the rule to the righteous and the Promised One is actually the final cure for the wounds of humanity, the solution of all problems, and the establishment of love, beauty, justice and happiness all over the world. This belief and endeavor is the key to unity and the constructive interactions among nations, countries, the people of the world and all the true justice seekers.
Without any doubt, the Promised One who is the final Savior and the last heavenly message will come. In the company of all believers, justice-seekers and benefactors, he will establish the bright future and fill the world with justice and beauty. This is the promise of God, therefore it will be fulfilled.

Let's have a role in the fulfillment of all this glory and beauty.
I wish for the bright future for all human beings and the dawn of the liberation and freedom for all humans and the rule of love and affections all around the world as well as elimination of oppression, hatred and violence. The wish which I think will be realized in the near future.

Ponder the following:


 

From Publius Melayu Blog

  1. Nasaruddin Jalil, rich economic advisor and died-hard supporter of DSAI died recently.
  2. Razak Ahmad, Chairman of PKR Johore died a few months ago, too.
  3. Syed Azmi, Penang strong supporter & Pengerusi Perhubungan Pulau Pinang is now seriously ill.
  4. Zainal Abidin Wahid, ardent supporter is also now seriously ill and wheel-chair bound.
  5. Sanusi Osman of PRM is also seriously ill of old age.
  6. The wives of three of DSAI's close friends have died of cancer (i.e. Anuar Zaini, former VC Universiti Malaya, Nazri Abdullah, formerly of NST and Kamaruddin Md Nor, still Ketua bahagian UMNO Pasir Putih Kelantan).
  7. Zainur Zakaria, former lawyer to DSAI, has decided to wind down his support of DSAI and is now significantly quiet and no longer active in PKR.
  8. Marina Yusof and Saidatul Said Keruak (Sabah) have left Keadilan and rejoined UMNO (though surely they will get anywhere now in UMNO?)
  9. Roslan Kassim, LokmanNor Adam, Hanafiah Man and Zaid Mat Ariff plus eight others have declared rejoining UMNO a year ago.
  10. Many others like Saupi Daud, Anwar Tahir, Ustaz Mohamed Mustapha (Kelantan) and Shaari Sungib have left PKR for PAS.
  11. Ezam Md Nor left PKR recently, why?
  12. Even Nallakaruppan has quit PKR and deserted Anwar...

Why? Are they all wrong and only Anwar right? One begins to wonder – why? Needless, this surely has affected DSAI's morale. Hence, failing to get support from these people anymore, he now has no choice but to try become a hero for the non-Malays in order to continue to be relevant to Malaysian politics.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Child Alert System


It is good to know that an initiative for a child alert system mooted by Nuraina Samad in her blog sometime back has received positive response. Based on the American system, Amber Alert, the Nurin Alert system as envisioned by Nurin's uncle, Jazlin, may very well be a manifestation of a wholesome programme to facilitate the search and rescue process in the event of a lost child report.

Prior to this, about two years ago, this blogger had come out with a similar idea named GERAK AWAM, which was submitted to the Malaysian police through some people but came to nothing. I don't know whether it got lost in the convoluted proposal submitting system or received but found its way into oblivion in some musty store room somewhere.

Anyway, my programme is a comprehensive link-up of a web portal with a nationwide satellite child tracking system that uses nanotechnology in the form of the RFID (Radio Frequency Integrated Digital Device). As an adjuct to this 'base' setup, the system would also link to the Short Messaging System (SMS) and other modes of connectivity.

Now, with the Nurin Alert programme attracting certain attention, I do hope my programme would again be revisited. I would gladly help invoke its use should Nurin Alert require further enhancements.

Ada apa dengan Reformasi Anwar?


Dalam wawancara bersama stesen televisyen al-Jazeera, Anwar Ibrahim ditanya oleh Riz Khamis, mengapa beliau dilihat sebagai "all things to all people or try to please everyone."

Dengan kata lain, Riz cuba menyoal mengapa terdapat pandangan bahawa perjuangan dan falsafah politik Anwar sentiasa berubah mengikut khalayak. Ini memang diakui oleh ramai pengkaji politik bahawa Anwar mempunyai kebolehan bercakap topik yang sama dengan pendirian berbeza mengikut khalayak beliau.

Malangnya dalam jawapan kepada Riz Khamis, pengacara One on One, Anwar menjelaskan bahawa beliau memetik pandangan-pandangan pemikir dan sasterawan pelbagai kaum sebagai mantera ucapannya sahaja.

Ini bukanlah maksud sebenar pengkritik Anwar mahu pun Riz Khamis. Riz dan ramai lagi orang mahu tahu mengapa Anwar boleh bercakap kepada orang Cina untuk menghapuskan DEB tetapi bercakap kepada orang Melayu mengenai mempertahankan DEB.

Orang mahu tahu mengapa Anwar semasa dalam kerajaan bercakap soal kebebasan media bila berada bersama-sama rakan-rakan sekutu beliau di Amerika, tetapi di dalam negara sebdiri beliau menguasai akhbar Utusan, Berita Harian dan Tv3 ketika itu?

Orang ramai mahu tahu mengapa Anwar bercakap kejelikan isu kronisme dan nepotisme kepada masyarakat kewangan antarabangsa (bagi mendapat pujian dan sanjungan) tetapi beliau juga yang mengagihkan saham-saham Hicom sewaktu mahu menjadi Timbalan Presiden UMNO dahulu? Bapa beliau juga, bekas seorang paramedik, telah menjadi Pengerusi IOI sekelip mata dan IOI pula mendapat (dengan bayaran premium) sekian besar tanah di Puchong dan berhampiran Putrajaya.

Orang ramai juga mahu tahu mengapa dua minggu selepas mengisytiharkan Ghafar seumpama bapanya dan tidak akan menentangnya, jentera Anwar sudah bergerak serata negeri bagi menggerakkan sokongan kepada Anwar dalam pemilihan UMNO 1993?

Dalam wawancara yang sama, dan juga tulisan beliau di Malaysiakini.com sebelum ini, Anwar mendakwa badan kehakiman negara ini korup dan tidak bebas (dikawal oleh kerajaan).

"Abdullah memberi sedikit kebebasan kepada kehakiman dalam mana ada keperluan." kata Anwar kepada al-Jazeera merujuk kepada kepada keputusan penghakiman yang membebaskan beliau.

Bukankah aneh dakwaan ini? Apa sahaja yang menguntungkan beliau maka dianggap keputusan yang adil dan bebas, tetapi apa sahaja yang tidak menguntungkan beliau akan dianggap sebagai tidak bebas.

Bukankah sifat Anwar ini tidak lebih seperti ungkapan Jeneral Rabuka, ketika merampas kuasa di Fiji suatu ketika dahulu, bahawa, "Keadilan dan kebenaran bergantung dari sudut pihak mana anda melihatnya"?

Jika Anwar benar-benar percaya bahawa kehakiman negara tidak bebas dalam membuat keputusan yang adil, maka beliau sepatutnya mengisytiharkan pembebasan beliau juga dilakukan atas arahan pemerintah bukan kerana beliau tidak bersalah.

Malangnya, Anwar tiada keberanian dan semangat perjuangan tulen untuk berkata demikian. Anwar hanyalah oportunis. Beliau akan menerima apa sahaja keadaan yang menguntungkan dirinya. Perjuangan beliau hanyalah kosmetik semata-mata.

Beliau berkata mahukan pembaharuan Keadilan dan Kehakiman tetapi beliau tidak bersedia pun untuk berjuang untuknya jika tiada keuntungan peribadi.

Lihat sahaja liku perjuangan Anwar. Beliau akan melupakan perjuangan bila melakukan sebaliknya boleh mencapai keuntungan peribadi.

Beliau tinggal perjuangan Islam beliau kerana ditawar sesuatu oleh UMNO. Dalam UMNO beliau ketepikan Ku Li kerana Mahathir boleh menjanjikan jawatan dan kedudukan yang lebih baik.

Beliau hanya berjuang untuk reformasi / pembaharuan hanya apabila ditolak oleh UMNO.

Beliau bercakap soal korupsi dan keadilan hanyalah apabila dipecat dan didakwa di mahkamah. Untuk apa ini jika bukan untuk menyelamatkan dirinya? Berpuluh tahun dalam kerajaan, mengetuai Jawatankuasa Anti Rasuah Kabinet, menjadi pemangku Perdana Menteri Selama dua bulan apa yang dilakukannya? Hanya mencari jalan membunuh musuh politiknya sahaja.

Kini beliau bersama DAP dan Pas kerana parti tersebut memberi keuntungan kepada beliau.

Kini beliau bercakap soal pembaharuan kehakiman dan keadilan (justice) kerana itu modal politik beliau. Jika esok beliau ditawarkan masuk UMNO dengan kedudukan tertentu, pastinya UMNO dan BN akan menjadi baik segalanya. Maka bercakaplah beliau soal penyatuan Melayu, kepentingan orang Melayu dan Islam sederhana.

Maka apa ada dengan reformasi Anwar? Semuanya ciptaan beliau untuk diri sendiri.


Oleh Pokka a.k.a Sesumpah


Menentukan Pendirian Kita Terhadap Barat


DALAM suasana merdeka ini, kita patut kembali melihat pendirian yang betul terhadap dunia yang pernah menjajah kita. Sikap yang adil amat sukar dibuat oleh sesetengah pihak. Ini disebabkan beberapa faktor.

Kekuatan dan kemegahan Barat yang berjaya mempengaruhi minda manusia. Juga kemunduran atau kelemahan dunia Islam yang menjadikan seakan segala falsafah Islam yang hebat bagaikan dongengan yang tidak berpijak di alam nyata.

Saya selalu membuat perumpamaan, jikalau ada barangan tertentu yang satu dikeluarkan di Barat tanpa disenaraikan keistimewaannya, dan satu lagi dikeluarkan di dunia Islam dengan disenaraikan keistimewaannya, perasaan masyarakat umumnya merasai, barangan Barat tentu lebih hebat.

Ini kerana Barat secara umumnya telah berjaya membina jenama yang baik untuk blok mereka. Sementara dunia Islam sentiasa dipandang sinis dalam berbagai-bagai perkara.

Dunia Islam yang sepatutnya menerajui tamadun pembangunan insan dan kebendaan telah mundur dan hilang peranan. Hasil dari hilangnya identiti diri iaitu akidah yang murni yang menjadi asas tamadun umat, maka hilanglah tamadun kita yang pernah dibina. Bahkan sebahagian masyarakat Islam hidup dalam kesyirikan dan khurafat yang tebal.

Lihat sahaja apa yang wujud di Indonesia, Mesir dan Morocco dan seumpama mereka. Mereka bukan sahaja ketinggalan zaman, mereka juga ketinggalan Islam yang tulen. Kepercayaan kepada tangkal-mangkal, bomoh, tahyul, khurafat wali-wali dan seumpamanya menguasai sebahagian masyarakat umat ini.

Walaupun mereka mendakwa diri mereka Muslim, namun benteng akidah telah pun mereka hancurkan.

Bahkan ada istiadat dan pegangan bangsa yang menyanggahi syarak menggantikan tempat agama. Wanita Islam di sesetengah masyarakat umpamanya, begitu ditindas di sudut hak sebagai wanita, bahkan sebagai insan. Anak perempuan bagaikan hak dagangan bapanya yang mempunyai kuasa mutlak mengahwinkan dia kepada sesiapa yang dikehendakinya tanpa diizinkan sebarang bantahan dari empunya tubuh. Isteri pula bagaikan hamba abdi suaminya yang seakan diberi kuasa oleh budaya setempat untuk benar-benar diperhambakan.

Wajah-wajah buruk bangsa yang menganut Islam ini telah benar-benar menconteng keindahan Islam di mata dunia. Setelah menggambarkan keagungan generasi Islam yang lampau, 'Ali Tantawi berkata: "Majoriti kaum Muslimin hari ini, disebabkan kecuaian mereka dengan kewajipan- kewajipan agama ini, maka mereka berada di belakang umat-umat yang lain, mereka menjadi hujah untuk musuh-musuh Islam menghina Islam." Sehingga Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, atau Muhammad Abduh menyebut perkataan yang hebat: "Islam itu terlindung oleh penganutnya." (Ali Tantawi, Mauqifuna min al-Hadarat al-Gharbiyyat, m.s. 45, Jeddah: Dar al-Manarah).

Maka perkembangan kemajuan dan perubahan norma-norma tertentu yang berlaku di dunia Barat telah mempengaruhi dunia Islam. Barat yang sebelumnya ketinggalan jauh dibandingkan kemajuan yang pernah dicapai oleh umat Islam. Barat telah berjaya menguasai tamadun kebendaan dan cuba memunculkan diri mereka sebagai simbol kejayaan tamadun manusia moden.

Ini sebenarnya hasil kecuaian umat Islam terutama golongan agama dan pemerintah. Golongan agama yang tidak faham telah menjadikan agama begitu jumud menolak kemodenan dan hanya tertumpu kepada persoalan fardu ain. Sementara banyak pemerintah di dunia Islam hanya mementing diri dan meninggalkan tanggungjawab membangunkan umat.

Justeru itu semua pandangan kebanyakan bangsa tertumpu kepada Barat, termasuklah umat Islam. Barat telah dianggap kononnya simbol kepada gaya hidup zaman moden, juga kononnya mereka adalah pejuang hak dan kebebasan manusia dalam era ini.

Dalam menghadapi cabaran ini, maka empat sikap utama telah muncul di tengah umat Islam yang telah ketinggalan ke belakang:

Pertama: Di kalangan mereka ada yang menerima apa sahaja dari Barat dan menolak agama serta tidak menghiraukan langsung nas-nas agama. Ini seperti tokoh sasterawan Mesir, Taha Hussain. Beliau menyeru agar Mesir mencontohi dan meninggalkan keislamannya untuk maju kehadapan.

Katanya dalam bukunya Mustaqbal al-Thaqafat fi Misr (Masa Depan Ilmu Dan Kebudayaaan Di Mesir): "Kita mesti mengikut jejak langkah orang-orang Eropah dan cara mereka. Kita mesti menjadi sekutu mereka dan rakan kongsi dalam ketamadunan, sama ada yang baik atau yang buruk, sama ada yang manis atau yang pahit, sama ada yang disukai atau yang dicercai."

Bahkan lebih dari itu beliau menyebut: "Ini semua menunjukkan kita pada zaman moden ini ingin berhubung dengan Barat dengan satu perhubungan yang bertambah kuat dari hari ke hari. Sehingga kita menjadi sebahagian daripada mereka secara lafaz dan makna, hakikat dan rupa."

Katanya juga: "Hendaklah kita menjadikan Barat merasai bahawa kita melihat setiap perkara sama seperti yang Barat mahu, kita menilai setiap perkara sama seperti yang Barat nilai dan kita menghukum setiap perkara sama seperti Barat menghukumnya." (Dinukil dari Abu al-Hasan Ali al-Nadwi, Al-Sira' Bain al-Fikrah al-Islamiyyah wa al-Fikrah al-Gharbiyyah fi al-Aqtar al-Islamiyyah, m.s. 111, India: al-Majma' al-Islami al-'Alami)

Golongan yang kedua: Mereka tidak menyatakan mereka menolak agama tetapi apa yang mereka lakukan adalah cuba mentafsirkan nas-nas Islam agar sesuai dengan kehidupan moden di Barat. Apa sahaja nas al-Quran atau al-sunah yang menyanggahi Barat akan cuba ditakwil sedaya upaya agar dapat disesuaikan dengan cara hidup di Barat.

Bagi mereka seolah-olah kehidupan Barat adalah asas dan nas-nas mesti disesuaikan dengannya. Sedangkan dalam prinsip Islam nas-nas al-Quran adalah asas dan kehidupan mesti disesuaikan dengannya bukan sebaliknya. Ini seperti yang disebut oleh al-Qaradawi: "Mereka menuntut agar Islam berubah tetapi mereka tidak meminta agar perubahan diislamkan." (Al-Qaradawi, al-Marji'iyyat al-'Ulya fi al-Islam: li Al-Quran wa al-Sunnah, Beirut: Muassasat al-Risalah).

Umpamanya mereka menyerang kesopanan pakaian wanita Islam. Ini kerana ia bercanggah gaya hidup wanita Barat. Namun percayalah sekiranya wanita Barat memakai purdah, pasti mereka sungguh- sungguh mencari dalil menyokong amalan itu. Kalau wanita Barat bertudung nescaya bersungguh-sungguh mereka kumpulkan dalil wajib bertudung kepala.

Oleh kerana mereka melihat wanita dunia Barat mendedahkan diri tidak seperti wanita Islam maka segala nas agama cuba ditafsirkan agar bersesuai dengan keadaan tersebut. Ini seperti kelompok liberalis yang subur di sesetengah negara Arab dan Indonesia. Mereka ini tidak menyatakan yang mereka ingin tinggalkan agama, tetapi mereka tafsirkan agama agar seiras dengan pandangan-pandangan umum yang diterima oleh masyarakat Barat. Sedangkan, disiplin asas dalam pengkajian nas (teks) hendaklah nas-nas yang menentukan sesuatu keputusan bukan keputusan yang menentukan tafsiran nas.

Kata Dr. Salah al-Khalidi: "Sesungguhnya sebahagian manusia telah tersalah dalam hubungan mereka dengan al-Quran. Mereka memasuki alam al-Quran yang luas dengan cara yang tidak betul. Di kalangan mereka ada yang membawa bersamanya (dalam memasuki alam al-Quran) himpunan ilmu pengetahuan, kebudayaan, akhlak, adat istiadat dan sikap yang bertentangan dengan arahan al-Quran, maka cahaya al- Quran terhalang darinya.

"Ada pula yang memasuki alam al-Quran dengan suatu pemikiran sebelumnya yang mengganggu fikirannya ketika dia melihat al-Quran maka terhalanglah pandangannya, lantas dia terjatuh dalam kekaburan dan kekeliruan.

"Ada pula yang mengambil al-Quran dengan niat serta latar belakang tertentu, juga tujuan yang hendak diperolehnya maka dia menyelewengkan jalannya, memutarbelitkan, memaksa-maksa dalil dan nas dan memayah-mayahkan ulasan untuk dijadikan alasan bagi dirinya." (Salah Abd. al-Fattah al-Khalidi, Mafatih li al-Ta'amul ma'a al-Quran, m.s 90, Jordan: Dar al-Manar).

Dengan melalui kaedah yang salah ini, segala dalil akan ditafsirkan agar serasi dengan kehendak yang diputuskan. Mereka bukan ingin mengikut al-Quran, sebaliknya mereka mengambil tindakan terlebih dahulu dan kemudian mencari dalil dari al-Quran dan al-sunah lalu ditafsir agar selaras dengan tindakan yang telah mereka ambil.

Maka, al-Quran dan al-sunah tidak lagi mempunyai fungsi membimbing, sebaliknya hanya sebagai 'cop' untuk menjustifikasikan tindakan mereka. Sementara kayu pengukur sebenar tindakan mereka, adalah pegangan umum di Barat yang mereka lihat diterima di Barat.

Golongan ketiga: Adalah golongan yang menolak apa sahaja daripada Barat. Bagi mereka semua yang berasal dari Barat adalah kufur atau sesat, atau sekurang-kurangnya bercanggah dengan Islam. Mereka tidak membezakan antara sikap, kebudayaan, nilai-nilai yang tidak menyanggahi Islam, dengan perkara-perkara yang menyanggahinya. Sehingga pernah golongan yang seperti ini menentang pakaian 'neck-tie', makan bersudu-garpu, bercakap 'orang putih' dan seumpamanya.

Alasannya semua itu berasal dari Barat. Bahkan di sesetengah pusat pengajian agama sehingga ke hari ini ada yang menganggap mata pelajaran Sains, Matematik, Geografi, dan seumpamanya sebagai pelajaran sekular dan keduniaan. Lalu mereka tidak mementingkannya, bahkan ada yang memandang jelik terhadapnya.

Sikap terlalu memusuhi Barat telah menyebabkan mereka lupa bahawa mata pelajaran tersebut berkhidmat untuk umat Islam, bahkan kebanyakan asasnya diletakkan oleh umat Islam pada zaman kegemilangan tamadun mereka. Islam adalah agama dunia dan akhirat.

Bahkan sikap mereka mengasingkan perkara-perkara tersebut dari agama itulah yang berbau sekular. Mereka juga lupa bahawa dada Islam itu luas untuk mengambil manfaat dari mana-mana sudut yang membawa kebaikan kepada manusia. Dengan syarat ia tidak boleh bertentangan dengan al-Quran dan al-sunah.

Golongan keempat: Menapis apa yang ada di Barat dengan tapisan Islam. Kemajuan diakui. Bahkan kemajuan yang dinikmati di Barat adalah cedokan dari kemajuan yang pernah wujud di dunia Islam dahulu. Islam tidak pernah menyatakan ia memusuhi Barat atau Timur, Utara atau Selatan. Bukan semua yang ada di Barat mesti ditolak. Seperti bukan semua yang ada di Timur diterima. Entah berapa banyak sikap atau budaya Barat itu mendekati kehendak Islam seperti tekun, menepati waktu, kebersihan dan seumpamanya.

Demikian entah berapa banyak budaya setempat; seperti suka mengumpat, dengki-mendengki, malas berusaha dan sebagainya amat menyanggahi Islam. Timbangannya ialah tafsiran yang betul terhadap nas-nas al-Quran dan al-sunah.

Islam adalah agama yang hidup dan sesuai untuk segala masa dan zaman. Kemajuan yang dicapai oleh Barat patut diberi penghormatan juga penapisan secara adil. Hendaklah dibezakan bahawa dalam ajaran Islam ada perkara yang tetap tidak boleh diubah. Di samping ada juga perkara-perkara tertentu yang terdedah kepada perubahan tempat dan zaman. Hal ini telah saya sentuh dalam tulisan-tulisan yang lepas.

Kefahaman yang seperti inilah pendirian golongan umat Islam yang lurus dengan agamanya. Pandangan dan pegangan di Barat tidak boleh ditolak mentah-mentah, seperti ia juga tidak boleh ditelan bulat-bulat.

Dengan penuh kesedaran kita selalu menyebut masih ada perkara-perkara yang berhajat kepada semakan yang membabitkan kefahaman dan amalan umat Islam. Pintu ijtihad itu terus terbuka sehingga hari kiamat. Tiada siapa pun berhak menutupnya.

Namun hendaklah dibekalkan dalam jiwa pengkaji agama ini perasaan takutkan Allah dalam menghuraikan hukum syarak. Ijtihad itu berteraskan ilmu, bukan kejahilan dan nafsu. Banyak juga perkara baru yang ditimbulkan oleh kemajuan Barat perlu dinilai dengan perasaan yang adil dan saksama. Bahkan banyak nilai di Barat yang lebih mendekati Islam dibandingkan apa yang berlaku atau diamalkan di dunia Islam.

Prasangka dan kejumudan terhadap semua unsur Barat hanya memundurkan umat ini dan menjadikan kita beku dari mengambil manfaat daripada orang lain. Namun, sikap terlalu liberal tanpa prinsip hanya akan memusnah ajaran Islam yang hakiki.

Oleh DR MOHD ASRI ZAINUL ABIDIN


Polis boleh siasat pegawai dera tahanan ISA


Keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi memerintahkan aktivis Abdul Malek Husin dibayar RM2.5 juta, antaranya kerana didera semasa dalam tahanan, boleh dijadikan asas oleh PDRM untuk menyiasat tindakan salah laku di kalangan anggotanya yang melakukan perbuatan 'mengaibkan' itu, kata Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kira-kira Wang Negara (PAC).

Shahrir berkata tindakan itu perlu diambil sekiranya kerajaan tidak berminat untuk merayu keputusan mahkamah itu.

"Ini menunjukkan bahawa dakwaan (Abdul Malek) bahawa dia didera semasa dalam tahanan itu betul, sebabnya mahkamah telah terima dakwaan bahawa beliau telah didera semasa dalam tahanan," katanya ketika dihubungi baru-baru ini.

"Tetapi masih ada proses rayuan. Jika kerajaan tidak rayu, PDRM perlu siasat anggota mereka yang didakwa terlibat. Ramai pegawai-pegawai yang didakwa telah menderanya, dan mahkamah telah mendapati kenyataan mereka bercanggah antara satu dengan yang lain semasa perbicaraan," kata Shahrir lagi.

Jelasnya, PDRM boleh mengadakan siasatan dalaman untuk menentukan sama ada anggota-anggota berkenaan benar-benar terlibat dalam penderaan tersebut.

"Pihak polis mesti tengok dan siasat dan ambil tindakan sewajarnya kepada pegawai terbabit jika benar mereka terlibat.

"Tapi kita mesti ingat, itu adalah kes saman, pegawai polis berkenaan hanya tampil sebagai saksi untuk memberi keterangan. Tapi kalau PDRM fikir mereka betul (dalam kes penderaan), tak apalah. Sebab bukan polis yang dibicarakan di sini," tegasnya.

Abdul Malek, yang juga bekas setiausaha eksekutif PAS, menamakan pegawai polis Cawangan Khas ASP Borhan Daud, Ketua Polis Negara ketika itu Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor dan kerajaan Malaysia sebagai defendan dalam saman yang difailkan pada Mac 1999.

Beliau telah memohon ganti rugi RM30 juta bagi dakwaan diperlakukan dengan kejam oleh polis semasa ditahan selama 57 hari bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) ketika menyertai perhimpunan 'reformasi' di Kuala Lumpur pada 25 Sept 1998.

Di dalam fail samannya itu, Abdul Malek mendakwa, selain ditampar tiga kali dan matanya ditutup, kepalanya juga telah dikelubung dengan sehelai kemeja T dan dipaksa menundukkan kepalanya di celah kedua-dua kakinya dalam kereta yang membawanya ke ibu pejabat polis.

Katanya lagi, beliau telah dibogelkan dalam bilik berhawa dingin dan cecair berbau air kencing dicurahkan ke dalam mulutnya, manakal alat sulitnya dipukul dan satu objek dimasukkan ke dalam duburnya.

Beliau juga mendakwa telah disuruh berdiri di depan penghawa dingin dan disimbah dengan air selama hampir sejam.

Dalam penghakimannya sepanjang 41 halaman, Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Hakim Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus berkata, Abdul Malek berhak mendapat ganti rugi itu kerana penahanannya pada malam, 25 Sept 1998 mengikut ISA itu adalah menyalahi undang-undang dan dilakukan secara mala fide (niat jahat).

"Perlakuan para defendan adalah tidak berperikemanusiaan, kejam dan hina, kerana plaintif (Abdul Malek) bukan sahaja ditangkap dan ditahan secara salah selama 57 hari tetapi juga turut disakiti, diaibkan dan didera secara fizikal dan mental," kata Hishamudin seperti dilaporkan.

Katanya lagi soal siasat yang dijalankan ke atas Abdul Malek di Bukit Aman adalah bersifat politik bagi risikan mengumpulkan maklumat bagi tujuan politik dan tiada kena mengena dengan kebimbangan terhadap keselamatan negara.

Shahrir bagaimanapun menolak andaian bahawa PDRM telah dijadikan ejen oleh parti pemerintah untuk menekan pengaruh parti pembangkang pada masa itu.

"Itu andaian saja, tidak dibuktikan secara asas," katanya lagi.

Jelasnya, insiden tersebut berlaku kerana negara pada masa itu dilanda krisis politik dan rusuhan berlaku hampir setiap hari selepas Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dipecat.

"Pada waktu itu, latar belakangnya adalah rusuhan, sebab itu sebab itu kita tengok parti Pas dan PKR menang lebih banyak kerusi dalam pilihanraya 1999 (berbanding sebelumnya), tetapi BN tetap menang undi majoriti," katanya lagi.

Dipetik dari Mstar. Oleh SALHAN K. AHMAD


Wanita UMNO: Proxy fight in the making


It's still early days yet but Azalina Othman Said cannot be underestimated. A political feud in Cheras Umno has sparked off the possibility of a challenge to Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz's leadership in Wanita Umno. The likely challenger may be the party's former Puteri chief.

SENATOR Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshi and Datuk Faridah Abu Hassan are both big guns in the Cheras Umno division.

But on on one Sunday evening recently, both politicians hosted separate political functions in Cheras.

Syed Ali, the powerful division chief, was at a buka puasa event for orphans whereas Faridah, the division Wanita head, was hosting a buka puasa dinner for single mothers and the elderly.

It was all quite deliberate because the two have not seen eye to eye for more than a year now. In fact, they cannot stand the sight of each other.

The depth of the animosity was demonstrated that evening when Syed Ali voiced his support for Datuk Azalina Othman Said, the VIP guest that evening, to contest the top Wanita Umno post.

He said that if the Youth and Sports Minister were ready to challenge Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, his division would give her the full backing.

His statement was rather premature given that Umno elections are due only next year but SMSes have been flying like crazy within Umno circles.

According to one deputy minister, those who approve of the proposal are almost equal in number to those critical of it.

But what surprised the deputy minister was that those who disapproved seemed less concerned about a contest in the Wanita wing than the fact that members should be focusing on the general election for now.

"He may have opened up Pandora's Box," said an Umno supreme council member, meaning that Syed Ali's action might lead to unpredictable, even damaging, consequences.

Syed Ali's target, as everyone knows, is Faridah. But he has decided to extend his fight to the power behind Faridah, that is Rafidah.

Faridah has long been Rafidah's right-hand woman. The International Trade and Industry Minister stood by Faridah throughout her feud with Syed Ali and reportedly said that she would keep Faridah as the national Wanita secretary even if the latter was not re-elected Cheras Wanita head.

It is understood that Syed Ali had turned to Azalina only after he failed to persuade Wanita deputy chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil to contest against Rafidah.

Shahrizat has made it very clear that she will not challenge Rafidah.

"I'm modern in thinking but when it comes to the party, I am a traditionalist. I believe in the party system and I don't want to put the movement at risk," said Shahrizat.

Syed Ali is the archetype Umno warlord but to his credit, his division is one of the best managed and even has its own building. The blot on his record would be his fall-out with Faridah.

He is also very shrewd and would not do something without preliminary groundwork. Some suggest he knows his proposal would have the support of other division chiefs, most of whom call the shots over the Youth and Wanita heads in their respective divisions.

There has never been much love lost between Rafidah and the men in the party. She makes no bones about what she thinks of most of them and they simply cannot stomach the way she refuses to dance to their tune.

Given this, Azalina cannot be underestimated.

On her own she may seem like a featherweight against the mighty Iron Lady but with the backing of powerful division heads she may prove to be a match.

The current scenario, said Kelantan Umno information chief Datuk Alwi Che Ahmad, is reminiscent of the 1996 Umno polls when Datuk Dr Siti Zaharah Sulaiman defeated Rafidah for the Wanita leadership.

"Zaharah was not a strong candidate but she won because the division chiefs wanted a change and exerted their influence over the Wanita members," said Alwi.

Azalina has neither endorsed nor dismissed the proposal. She said she was happy with her position in the supreme council and that she would only think of party politics after the general election.

But Rafidah will also have much to think about because Syed Ali has fired the warning shot.

From The Star. By Joceline Tan (Star Columnist)

Animal rights, human wrongs


 

By SHAD SALEEM FARUQI.

We need to adopt and enforce laws and policies about humane treatment of animals in every sphere of interaction with our fellow creatures. 

CRUELTY towards all other forms of life has been a shameful aspect of human existence for thousands of years.  

We use our distant cousins in feather and fur for food. Many animals are exploited as beasts of burden. We kill beautiful creatures for their fur. To some people fashion statements are more important than reverence for life!  

Poachers kill rare animals for ivory and for the manufacture of aphrodisiacs. Medical schools use live animals for dissection. Animal organs are used in xenotransplantation to save human lives. Genetic engineering of animals is increasingly common. 

There are cruel sports such as hunting and cockfights. Matadors pierce bulls' bodies to the roar of delighted fans. Animal businesses employ brutal ways of transporting creatures from farms to markets.  

Slaughterhouses skin animals alive. Some of our exotic food preferences and cooking techniques are absolutely bestial. Fish and crustaceans are cooked alive. In some gourmet restaurants live monkey skulls are split open for connoisseurs to feast on raw brain!  

The smugness with which man does whatever he pleases to other species exemplifies a brutal anthropocentric approach and is based on the principle that might is right.  

I have reliable reports from animal lovers that, contrary to official denial, monkeys are being trapped and shot in Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur. It is suspected that unscrupulous traffickers in animals are emboldened by the recent lifting of the ban by our authorities on the export of monkeys.  

Animal lovers fear that many of the monkeys trapped or shot dead will end up in cooking pots or on vivisection tables in laboratories.  

I have strong doubts about the morality or utility of monkey and crow shoots, and the offering of rewards to catchers of stray dogs.  

Are we ignoring the root causes of conflict between animals and humans – the damage to our environment, the slow elimination of our flora and fauna, the constant encroachment on animal habitats and the slow but sure de-gazetting of forest reserves, green belts and parks? 

These human-centred development policies confirm our callousness towards animal welfare, and reinforce the mistaken view that all other forms of life on this planet exist only to serve human beings.  

In fact, they have God's own reason for existence.  

Some readers will, of course, wonder why "animal rights" are important. Animals are, after all, a "lower form" of life.  

My answer is that animals are our fellow creatures and part of God's majestic creation. Like humans, they have a spark of life that deserves respect and demands compassion.  

Whether animals can reason or talk is less important than whether they can suffer. It is undeniable that all animals with central nervous systems feel pain. Their suffering at our hands is as real as our suffering would be if the roles were reversed.  

In an earlier age, most human beings had a "tribal ethic". Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed, raped or killed as one pleased.  

As civilisation advanced, the circle of protection expanded. We began to see the evil in tribalism, slavery, caste system, racism, religious bigotry, colonialism and gender exploitation.  

Pete Singer says that "just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the species-ist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics".  

"Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures" – Albert Schweitzer.  

"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar" – Bradley Millar.  

Many studies indicate that those who are cruel towards animals are also more disposed to crimes against other human beings.  

The movement for the protection of animals is split into two. The first approach is that animals are sentient beings possessing inherent value and deserving moral and legal rights.  

Religions like Buddhism and Hinduism support this approach fully. In most other religions there are strictures against cruelty towards animals. Unfortunately there is as yet no international treaty on animal rights.  

The second approach is that animals have no inherent rights, but their protection is part of the biodiversity of this planet. As such, animals should be protected because of their instrumental value for the survival of this planet's ecosystem.  

Both approaches call for methods and environments that are more humane for the lives of animals, and envisage that the time will come when animals will not be used as mere tools of human interest.  

A few non-binding instruments like the International Convention for the Protection of Animals, 1988, and the World Medical Association Statement on Animal Use in Biomedical Research, 1989, have been framed by eminent legal thinkers and regional organisations. 

Europe is providing leadership. There are documents for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (1976), for slaughter (1979), as pets (1987), and during international transport (1971).  

The Humane Society of the US has a number of documents on farm animals, biomedical research, animals in entertainment, and competition and companion animals. 

Sadly, the Malaysian legal system has not developed along these lines. The Penal Code regards animals as property and makes it a criminal offence to "(commit) mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless, any animal or animals of the value of five dollars or upwards".  

The law is obviously quite inadequate to deal with many of the animal abuses mentioned earlier. 

What we need to do is to adopt and enforce laws and policies about humane treatment of animals in every sphere of interaction with our fellow creatures.  

In addition, we need to conserve and protect areas that are vital to the survival of all other inhabitants of the earth. We need to learn to live with our fellow creatures. This new consciousness cannot wait. Time is running out on our planet.  

The Government must join hands with animal lovers to remind the apathetic citizenry of the unity of life and its interconnectedness.  

Education should be directed towards the refinement of the individual's sensibilities in relation not only to one's fellow humans everywhere, but also to all things everywhere.  

Animals are not our underlings. They are an integral part of the net of life and time. They are fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of Earth. Our life depends on their survival.  

 Dr Shad Faruqi is Professor of Law at UiTM 

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In no hurry for polls


The snap election everyone has been expecting may not happen. The Prime Minister is in no rush to seek a fresh mandate and may even go the full term while the young Turks in Umno want to take on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the polls.

ACOUPLE of days after the controversial video made the news, the Prime Minister decided to see for himself what the fuss was about.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sat through the fuzzy eight-minute video of a top lawyer purportedly discussing the appointment of judges with a senior judge. Then he went through the transcripts of the tape. His aides have been tight-lipped about his reaction after the viewing but it is clear by now that he thought it serious enough to warrant some answers.

The Government moved with remarkable speed, and on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced an independent panel of inquiry to look into the issue.

The video, reportedly recorded in 2002, has serious implications for the reputation of the Malaysian judiciary even if it does not directly implicate the Abdullah administration. But the swift response by the government has been correct as well as strategic. The message was: we have nothing to hide, we are going to be transparent about this and we want to know the truth as much as everyone else.

When Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim released the video a fortnight ago, many had thought it to be a political bomb for Abdullah. Political sources suggested that the Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader had been holding on to the video for a while now, waiting for the right time to go public with it. It was quite a coup and Anwar must have also thought that the general election was very close. In fact, if his party had its way, elections would have been over by now because Anwar had been predicting that Abdullah would call for elections in August to ride on the 50th Merdeka mood.

But August has come and gone and many opposition figures now claim it will be in November. Others say February, after the Chinese New Year. Speculation about an early election had been based on the assumption that the Barisan Nasional would call for elections before April next year to prevent Anwar from contesting. His conviction of corruption bars him from electoral politics till then. The assumption may no longer be current and there was some hint from the top man himself.

A day before the Prime Minister flew off to New York, he had brushed off questions about elections saying: "That one, wait first. We still have a mandate of two years." Not many are aware of this but the young Turks in Umno want to see Anwar contest the polls and be defeated. This is the group now making their way up the greasy pole of politics and they are adamant that the polls date should not revolve around one person.

"I believe we should take him on, there's nothing to worry about. The general election will depend on a host of factors, none of which is related to him. It will not be based on whether or not he can contest," said Putrajaya Umno Youth chief Zaki Zahid.

Federal Territory Umno Youth chief Datuk Norza Zakaria said: "For people of my generation, Anwar is someone from the past. His party supporters are the ones creating a situation, applying pressure for an early election." Others like Umno Youth secretary Datuk Rahman Dahlan said that blocking Anwar would only perpetuate the myth that he is powerful and a threat to Umno. "Instead of over-estimating his strength, we should fight him politically," said Rahman. Besides, it makes sense to tie him down to a seat during the polls instead of enjoying the freedom to roam the country to campaign for the opposition.

Or as Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said: "It doesn't matter if he contests or not. He is fast descending into irrelevance.

But if you ask me, it's best that he is beaten in the general election. We're not scared of him and it's best to defeat him once and for all. "But what's the rush? I don't understand all the fuss and speculation. Pak Lah has one and a half years left in his mandate. If elections are held this year, this will be the shortest-lived government in our electoral history. The argument about the economy doing well also doesn't hold. The economy is not the only factor that should be considered."

Perhaps the most gung-ho remark came from Ketereh MP Datuk Alwi Che Ahmad who said Umno was prepared to face Anwar even in Kota Baru, a parliamentary seat which PAS has offered to PKR. "God willing, if he is eligible, we'll fight him and finish him off. If he cannot contest, then hard luck. And if he wins and goes to Parliament, I will be the first to engage him in debate," said Alwi Some like Datuk Reezal Merican Naina Merican have even aired their views to the Prime Minister. Reezal, political secretary to Abdullah in his capacity as Finance Minister I, had frankly suggested during a discussion that elections be held after April because "there is nothing to fear about Anwar."

"We should level up with him. We faced him in Ijok; he lost. He could not take on Datuk Seri Najib even though he camped there day and night. He is not a big factor, that's why he is banking on issues popular with the Chinese," said Reezal. Basically, the young Turks are saying that setting the date of election should be based on the bigger picture, particularly on how well the government has delivered on its 2004 election promises.

Abdullah's team coasted to power promising great things but some feel that the delivery, especially on issues like corruption and governance, has been more thunder than rain. The Prime Minister was at his weakest when under attack from the very man who had picked him as his successor. He went through a horrible time but he held his tongue and even though relations between him and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have not fully mended, he has survived the ordeal. Stretching his mandate will not cost him but will buy him more time to see his policies take shape and bear fruit.

As everyone knows, Anwar's target has not been Abdullah but Najib. In fact, many thought it was Najib who was most uneasy about Anwar contesting the polls. But according to a member of Najib's inner circle, whatever apprehension Najib may have harboured about Anwar is now water under the bridge, especially after the Ijok polls. "That was a moral victory for Najib. He is very comfortable about his place in the party and government. Where Najib is concerned, we have to look at the relationship he enjoys with the PM – it could not be better. Rarely has the No. 1 and No. 2 enjoyed such a comfort level and shared aims.

"We also have to look at his standing in Umno. His grassroots support needs no elaboration and it's ridiculous to suggest that he is afraid of Anwar," said the inner circle member.

The influence of the Umno young Turks on the party leadership remains to be seen. But Anwar, who turned 60 last month, had better get prepared to face what might be the toughest general election of his political career. He must have been on a natural high this week because he became a first-time grandfather on Monday and, two days later, a national inquiry was formed in response to his video exposé.

For months, the April dateline has been a real hindrance for the ruling coalition. Striking out the date as a factor will free the Prime Minister to allow his policies and programmes to take shape until such time that he finds what other Premiers before him have described as "the inspiration" to call for polls.

"Some people want it later, some sooner. The PM listens to everybody but whatever he decides, we will go with him," said Reezal.

By JOCELINE TAN (The Star)

Penjawat awam dilarang terima hadiah Hari Raya


Penjawat awam hari ini diingatkan supaya memandang serius aspek pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah atau keraian terutama di musim perayaan, kerana ia boleh membawa kepada kesalahan berkaitan rasuah.

Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) dalam satu kenyataan hari ini berkata jika dibiarkan berlaku di kalangan penjawat awam tanpa kawalan, ia boleh membuka ruang dan peluang kepada berlakunya perlakuan rasuah, apabila pemberian seumpamanya menjadi kemestian yang melibatkan urusan rasmi. Menurutnya kenyataan itu BPR menubuhkan sebuah Pusat Khidmat Nasihat Pemberian/Penerimaan Hadiah untuk membantu dari aspek nasihat bagi segala pertanyaan dan kemusykilan berhubung pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah. Pusat khidmat itu dikendalikan Bahagian Pemeriksaan dan Perundingan Ibu Pejabat BPR di Putrajaya.

Orang ramai boleh menghubungi pusat khidmat itu dengan menelefon atau menghantar Pesanan Khidmat Ringkas (SMS) kepada 019 60 00 103 atau 019 60 00 104. Selain itu mereka juga boleh melayari laman web BPR di www.bpr.gov.my/forum/hadiah selain mengemukakan pertanyaan dan kemusykilan melalui emel di hadiah@bpr.gov.my.

BPR seterusnya mengingatkan semua penjawat awam bahawa di bawah Seksyen 165 Kanun Keseksaan dan Seksyen 11(a) Akta Pencegahan Rasuah 1997 seorang pegawai awam atau swasta dilarang menerima hadiah daripada mereka yang bertujuan mendapat balasan atau keistimewaan yang membabitkan tugas dan kuasanya. Penjawat awam yang ditawarkan dengan apa-apa suapan, termasuk hadiah secara rasuah dikehendaki melaporkan hadiah itu dengan segera, menurut Seksyen 17 Akta Pencegahan Rasuah 1997.

Kegagalan berbuat demikian boleh menyebabkan mereka yang disabit kesalahan didenda tidak melebihi RM100,000 atau dipenjara tidak melebihi 10 tahun atau kedua-duanya. Mereka yang suapan telah diminta atau diperolehi juga hendaklah melaporkan kepada pegawai BPR atau pegawai polis yang hampir, di mana kegagalan berbuat demikian merupakan kesalahan yang boleh didenda tidak melebihi RM10,000 atau dipenjara tidak melebihi dua tahun atau kedua-duanya, jika disabit kesalahan.

Penjawat awam boleh merujuk kepada garis panduan pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah di dalam perkhidmatan awam dikeluarkan menerusi Pekeliling Perkhidmatan Bil 3 Tahun 1998. Peraturan itu turut menjelaskan dalam keadaan yang menyebabkan sukar bagi seorang pegawai menolak sesuatu hadiah atau cenderamata bernilai, hadiah itu boleh diterima secara rasmi dengan syarat pegawai itu hendaklah mengemukakan satu laporan bertulis kepada ketua jabatan dengan segera untuk mendapat kelulusan sama ada boleh atau tidak menerimanya.

Kenyataan itu meminta semua ketua jabatan memberi peringatan kepada pegawai dan kakitangan jabatan dan agensi masing-masing supaya memberi perhatian kepada gejala ini, dan mereka dikehendaki melaporkan kepada BPR apabila ditawarkan hadiah yang mempunyai kaitan dengan tugas rasmi.

Dipetik dari BERNAMA

IPTA baru dikuasai pro-aspirasi


 

Keputusan awal bagi pemilihan Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar (MPP) institusi pengajian tinggi awam hari ini menunjukkan kebanyakannya didominasi oleh calon-calon pro-aspirasi. Tindakan kumpulan pro-mahasiswa yang memboikot sistem pembuangan undi secara elektronik sejak dua tahun lalu menyaksikan persembahan hambar di Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Setelah enam calon mereka dibatalkan pencalonan, kumpulan ini hanya berjaya meraih enam daripada 48 kerusi yang dipertandingkan, manakala kerusi selebihnya dimenangi calon pro-aspirasi. Kempen habis-habisan yang berakhir semalam di kampus berkenaan menyaksikan kedua-dua pihak saling tuduh-menuduh berkempen secara kotor.

Keadaan bagaimanapun lebih tenang di Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Negeri Sembilan, di mana calon pro-aspirasi memenangi kesemua 24 kerusi.

Jumlah keluar mengundi juga meningkat lagi 2.71% daripada 94% tahun lalu. "Ini bagus kerana pelajar-pelajar ini menyedari tangungjawab mereka dengan keluar mengundi," kata timbalan pendaftar kanan USIM, Muhammad Haizuan Rozali.

Calon-calon pro-aspirasi juga menyapu bersih kesemua kerusi MPP di Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Darul Iman Terengganu, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu dan Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

Trend yang sama boleh dilihat di Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Johor, di mana calon pro-aspirasi meraih 19 daripada 20 kerusi.

Dari mStar

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Indonesia pertikai 'Rasa Sayange' bagi promosi M'sia

Seorang anggota Parlimen Indonesia mahu kerajaan bertindak terhadap penggunaan lagu tradisional Indonesia Rasa Sayange dalam kempen "Truly Asia" anjuran kerajaan Malaysia untuk menarik pelancong. Hakam Naja dari Partai Amanah Nasional dipetik oleh akhbar Jakarta Post hari ini sebagai berkata jika kerajaan dapat buktikan lagu itu milik Indonesia, ia hendaklah menyaman kerajaan Malaysia.

"Kerajaan perlu selidik asal-usulnya, sama ada ia dari Indonesia ataupun bukan," katanya.

Rasa Sayange dipercayai berasal dari Maluku, Indonesia, dan dinyanyikan sejak generasi dahulu bagi menyatakan rasa cinta mereka kepada alam sekitar. Hakam juga menuduh Malaysia telah menjadikan batik sebagai hak miliknya. "Ini berlaku kerana kerajaan Indonesia tidak bertindak berhubung hak cipta atau untuk mempatenkan warisan negara. Jika sesiapa mahu menggunakan elemen budaya Indonesia, kerajaan perlu diberi pampasan," kata Hakam.

Priyo Budi Santoso dari Parti Golkar pula berkata Malaysia perlu meminta izin kerajaan Indonesia untuk mengguankan lagu itu kerana ia adalah satu warisan negara. Pengerusi Majlis Hak Cipta Indonesia, Enteng Tanamal, berkata tindakan untuk menyaman Malaysia mungkin tidak akan berjaya kerana tidak ada siapa tahu siapa pencipta lagu itu.

"Bagaimana nak saman Malaysia jika tidak ada siapa yang tahu siapa pencipta lagu itu? Jadi biarlah Malaysia menggunakan lagu itu sebagai lagu tema pelancongan mereka," katanya.

Bagaimanapun, katanya, kerajaan boleh menyemak dengan Jabatan Paten atau kementerian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan untuk cuba mengenal pasti pencipta lagu itu.

Dipetik dari BERNAMA