Monday, July 30, 2012

Satu Merdeka, 1 Malaysia, Lain Rasa?



Berbagai-bagai kekecohan timbul berhubung tema, logo, lagu, lirik dan entah apa lagi yang bakal dikontroversikan mengenai cara mempromosikan hari kemerdekaan negara yang ke-55.

Kerajaan mendengar apa yang disuarakan, walaupun pada dasarnya sama ada logo yang dipertikaikan itu diterima pakai mungkin sesuatu yang subjektif.

Bagaimana pun, bagi kalangan seni grafik, rata-rata apa yang dihasilkan itu tidak memenuhi ciri-ciri optimum dari segi asas dan pendekatan dalam mereka cipta logo berkenaan.

Namun, segala itu kini telah menjadi kisah yang berlalu, kerana Menteri Penerangan Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim telah menjelaskan bahawa logo yang menjadi kontroversi itu bukannya logo rasmi seperti yang didakwa sesetengah pihak.

Ia dikatakan sebahagian daripada beberapa komponen elemen yang digunakan ke arah meraikan hari kemerdekaan negara yang ke-55 pada 31 Ogos depan.

Tetapi, walaupun satu aspek ketidakpuasan hati sesetengah rakyat diselesaikan, bagi pembangkang ia telah membuka lagi peluang bagi mereka mengeksploitasikan keadaan. Mereka sedaya upaya memburu dan membina aspek-aspek picisan untuk membina wajah buruk bagi menghentam kerajaan.

Justeru, keadaan demikian menggerakkan PAS menyatakan kemungkinan negeri-negeri Pakatan Rakyat menggunakan slogan dan tema lain untuk hari kebangsaan.

Bagi mereka yang arif dengan taktik ala gerila, cara paling berkesan untuk menggugat ialah dengan sentiasa memaksimumkan impak menggunakan apa saja cara bagi memastikan kesinambungan kemarahan rakyat terhadap pemerintah.

Dan dalam konteks perjuangan pembangkang masa kini, ia bererti tidak memberikan walaupun seinci di mana-mana dimensi untuk berbuat demikian – sama ada dari segi agama, patriotisme, peradaban atau apa saja. Semua boleh diperalatkan demi perjuangan untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan yang sah dipilih rakyat melalui proses demokrasi.

Tiada apa-apa yang pihak kerajaan boleh lakukan dari segi undang-undang dalam hal meraikan hari kemerdekaan negara dengan cara sendiri.

Bagi kerajaan pimpinan BN, sepatutnya mereka berhak melakukan apa saja asalkan tidak menyalahi undang-undang dalam soal menyiapkan negara bagi merayakan hari paling bermakna itu. Tetapi, suara hati sebagai pemimpin yang tidak dapat lari daripada hakikat bahaya mereka berada di atas kerana rakyat yang memilih, tentu sekali pandangan rakyat perlu diambil kira.

Oleh itu, kita bakal melihat kelompok-kelompok perayaan yang berbeza temanya di beberapa tempat menjelang Hari Kemerdekaan ke-55 ini.

Seperti ucapan hari raya, dan sebagainya, kita merayakannya, tapi slogan, ucapan yang digunakan dalam kad ucapan atau pengucapan seseorang semuanya berbeza.

Satu Merdeka, lain rasa...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bukan filem rasis, tapi kenapa Tanda Putera ditangguh?



Filem arahan Shuhaimi Baba, ‘Tanda Putera’ dengar khabar ditangguhkan tayangannya.

Alasan yang kedengaran setakat ini mengatakan beberapa bahagian filem tersebut perlu diedit keluar kerana sebab-sebab tertentu.

Membaca sinopsis, walaupun belum lagi melihat ‘master copy’ atau ‘director’s cut’ filem itu, saya mendapati tiada apa-apa yang perlu diedit keluar pun, kerana ia sekadar sebuah filem berdasarkan fakta.

Laporan Mageran yang diterbitkan sebagai bahagian daripada buku ‘merah’ Tragedi Mei 13 yang dikeluarkan kerajaan beberapa dekad lalu selari dengan apa yang cuba dipaparkan oleh Shuhaimi sebagai latar belakang cerita.

Penangguhan menimbulkan tanda tanya di kalangan pemerhati. Ada yang percaya ia disebabkan veteran politik DAP, Lim Kit Siang sebagai antara ‘background protagonist’ tragedi tersebut (sebagai antara elemen dalam kancah apa yang berlaku) tidak senang dengan apa yang dipaparkan melalui filem berkenaan.

Apakah benar penangguhan disebabkan isu ini? Jika benar, mengapa kerajaan perlu akur kepada desakan partisan Kit Siang, walhal Tanda Putera memaparkan kenyataan?

Berpada-padalah memenuhi desakan pembangkang dalam hal ini, memandangkan kes mendiang Teoh Beng Hock melalui pementasan teater ‘Beng Hock’ yang masih diragui fakta begitu mudah dipertontonkan kepada awam.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

PAS Bloggers lament 'Pay-for-Play' artistes in PAS



“Talks about artistes joining PAS never excite me, whether it is Bob Lokman, Abby Abadi, Aisyah, Hattan or even Ning Baizura,” wrote Blogger cenangau under the heading “Artistes are not mercenary soldiers, but paid RM2, 500 per ceramah?”

Blogger muhaiminsulam has revealed that PAS actually pays selected artistes at the end of each ceramah session. He likens them to mercenary soldiers asking for a price for their work.

“There are even those who make out a list of services for their so-called ‘struggle.’ Yes, they are ignorant of the fact that hard-core PAS members, who never fail to station themselves right in front of the ceramah stage, are the real party stalwart supporters. They willingly empty their pockets in the name of the party’s so-called jihad.

“Such mercenaries are like the demonstrators in Jakarta. Their protests are paid. Their violent actions are paid – all based on a pre-determined list of services offered. But, artistes are not mercenary soldiers, who kill for money,” he wrote.

To him, artistes are artistes. They are not politicians or orators.

“There are some among them who could not care less as to how thick or thin the ‘envelopes’ given to them are. They see their contribution merely for the ‘cause.’ And this is what we call real soldiers.

“But, why would they want to be political orators or panel members, when they are even better at what they are doing as artistes?

“PAS has transformed them into another type of being – they are being ‘reincarnated’ in life to be ersatz politicians?” he asked.

Earlier, blogger orangni revealed how certain artistes had asked RM2,500 as payment before they are willing to step up to the stage.

“What more can be said or interpreted about all this when we see certain artistes going up the ceramah stage fuelled by the power of RM2, 500 per appearance? It is such talk that is blowing hard in PAS now,” he asserted.

The above comments and excerpts reflect the deepening dissatisfaction among pro-PAS bloggers about the phenomenon of artistes joining PAS on a ‘pay-for-play’ basis.

Meanwhile, pro-PKR cartoonist, Zunar who has been the party’s stalwart since 1998 sees the situation where artistes change into the cloak of political orators for Pakatan Rakyat as not giving much value to the opposition.

According to him, it is even worse when artistes who join PR begin to touch on religion and lamenting about their regrets on becoming artistes and sinning.

“What I see now, the artistes are merely giving ceramah,” said Zunar in an interview with The Malaysian Insiderrecently.

But, then again there are times the artistes continue to talk about religion.
According to Zunar, most artistes who joined PR do not understand that they are still artistes, who have been bestowed special talents. He said in the world of arts there is no such thing as retirement.

SD Johari challenges Khalid, Ronnie to act on prostitution racket this Ramadan



“Following the exposé at location and supported by information culled from patrons of reflexology centres, the allegation that such places are in fact nothing more than prostitution dens have become more credible,” said SD Johari after carrying out a week’s observation in the vicinity of Bukit Tinggi recently.

The exposé has since been uploaded to YouTube.

Subsequently, the former PKR Youth Secretary challenged the State Local Government, Study and Research Committee exco Ronnie Liu, who is in charge of local authorities to disprove the allegation.

“I challenge all the local authorities in Selangor to take action. I don’t mean only the Klang Municipal Council, but all the councils in Selangor, because the modus operandi is all too prevalent in the state.

“My series of statements before this have been confirmed by Ronnie Liu, who admitted that there were massage centres running other businesses contrary to what is stipulated in the license approved,” he said.

It must be remembered that when he was Pandamaran assemblyman, Ronnie had, on Nov 3 2007 (when Selangor was under BN) been cited for obstructing enforcement officials from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) from carrying out its anti-vice operation at a hotel in Bandar Puchong Jaya, Selangor.

The raid and subsequent clampdown on the premises, which was jointly carried out by the police and MPSJ enforcement officers, was supposed to have caught 22 foreign prostitutes, but only 12 men believed to be patrons were detained for questioning. The hotel was evidently not licensed and found to have flouted other laws, too. The people behind the prostitution racket and the hoteliers conniving with them were supposed to have been taken to book.

The late Subang Jaya Police Chief Assistant Commissioner Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar was said to have issued five warnings to Ronnie within an hour, but he still refused to cooperate. When they police finally entered the premises, they came out empty handed because the prostitutes managed to escape through a hidden passage.

According to SD Johari, based on Ronnie Liu’s background, it was impossible that the Selangor state exco was not aware of the prostitution activities being carried out under the guise of a reflexology centre.

“Ronnie knew the existence of the massage centre, which became a prostitution den, but his excuse was that the existence of massage centres was not the reason for moral degradation.

“As a local government exco, his refusal to act on such activities only points to his working hand-in-glove with prostitution racket in Selangor, and for this he ought to be suitably labelled the ‘Father of Selangor Prostitution Centres.’

“I also believe this is in line with Pakatan Rakyat’s LGBT and Seksualiti Merdeka campaign spearheaded by Anwar Ibrahim,” he said.

SD Johari also challenged Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is in charge the state religious affairs portfolio, for not taking real action instead of playing around with words.

“I challenge the exco in charge of religious affairs to lead a major operation in conjunction with this auspicious month of Ramadan to rid the state of prostitution activities, which have continued unabated.

“I suspect, if no action is taken by any of the local authorities against the prostitution centres, it would not be wrong for me to say that the councillors are on the take from the prostitution racket,” he said.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vernacular schools don’t do anyone any good



It must be pointed out, and pointed out well that in the spirit of building a united Malaysia, based on socially agreed principles, vernacular schools don’t do anyone good.

Thinking away from the conventional mode – the mode expounded on the basis of what was supposedly ‘agreed’ by the nation’s founding fathers, we ought to seriously  look into our schools and its teachers.

We must not go against unity and the noble efforts of building a unity in this country.

Ponder this: If Bangladeshis, Nepali  and Burmese workers labourers here can speak Bahasa Malaysia, why can’t the blinkered and stubborn locals in the likes of the Dong Zong and its myriad stalwarts?

Postal voters - Fashionable to be Malaysians when abroad...



And so the Elections Commission (EC) is studying a proposal to allow all Malaysians overseas to cast their ballots by post.

They may be able to do so, but not without a caveat - they must return to the country at least once every five years before the general election.

Currently, only full-time Malaysian students and their spouses as well as civil servants and their spouses who are based abroad are allowed to apply to be postal voters.

Perhaps, good of EC to consider that, but not good enough.

Once every five years is not realistic. If ever, they must be made to be more responsible and show how committed and loyal they are to the country.

By merely declaring to all and sundry, especially to people in their borrowed country of abode is definitely insufficient.

As it is, under most circumstances given the simmering feeling of belonging to Malaysia while living in a foreign country, it is always expected that Malaysians abroad would proudly declare that they are Malaysians – never mind that in reality the life and mind-set is completely detached from the realities at home.

To them, Malaysia, the place they call home due to the absence of other places that they can readily identify with, is a place to return for a leisure sabbatical or to just ‘balik kampong.’

Do they really feel the heartbeat of the nation? Perhaps, many of them will readily stress that they are staunchly patriotic, although their ‘lifeline’ to Malaysia would, invariably, be only virtual through the web.

It is also from the web that they cull biased information and form a desperate overview of their motherland as fed by the recalcitrant opposition parties.

By attempting to compare the country’s situation with that of their borrowed homeland, they are quick to voice concern for the perceived lack of freedom – against the standards set in a foreign country with foreign culture and foreign world view.

To them, it is all about opening up to anything liberal in the west, and that is the way it should be in Malaysia – no apologies or compromises.

It is just like a fellow Malaysian going back to their kampong and suddenly be possessed with a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude about things being practised there. The sheer snobbery that they have inculcated for so long living in the cities have made them incessant complainants of just about anything.

Back to the issue at hand, there have been suggestions that overseas Malaysians who are to be allowed to vote must be made to visit the country more often – at least once every two or three years minimum as opposed to the mooted 5 years by the EC. They also must have properties here and pay taxes in Malaysia.

This must be addressed, as we do not want to see tens of thousands of citizens in name, but do not share our important concerns and experiences to determine our fates.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lewat bagi perkhidmatan membawa kepada rasuah



Tidak lama dulu blogger ini mencetuskan pelbagai lagi definisi rasuah dan apa sebenarnya rasuah.

Definisi rasuah yang kaku tanpa mengambil kira situasi tertentu menyebabkan jenayah itu difahamkan sebagai sekadar menerima imbuhan supaya melaksanakan sesuatu oleh seseorang yang berkuasa.

Tetapi, dengan kupasan oleh bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir hari ini bahawa kelewatan dalam melaksanakan sesuatu perkhidmatan oleh seseorang kakitangan kerajaan boleh berlaku rasuah, begitu tepat dan perlu difahami semua.

Apa yang beliau maksudkan, semua jabatan kerajaan perlu memastikan jangka waktu (time limit) bagi seseorang pegawai membereskan sesuatu tanggungjawab.

Ini kerana sama ada tugas berkenaan dilakukan dengan baik dan sempurna bergantung pada tempoh masa yang diambil.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tiba masanya 'Manusia Perak' kembali ke Lenggong



Kelmarin, sejurus selepas pengumuman oleh Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Datuk Dr Rais Yatim mengenai penganugerahan status Tapak Warisan Dunia daripada UNESCO kepada Lembah Lenggong di Perak, blogger ini menggesa melalui Twitter supaya dibawa pulang rangka tersebut ke tempat asalnya.

Hari ini, juga melalui Twitter, Anggota Parlimen Lenggong Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah menyuarakan saranan yang sama supaya dibawa pulang ‘Manusia Perak’ untuk dipamerkan di Muzium Arkeologi Lenggong di Kota Tampan.

Apa yang dicadangkan Shamsul berpaksikan potensi rangka tulen yang begitu besar impaknya kepada kajian pra-sejarah dunia kepada pelancongan di kawasan Lenggong.

Mungkin lain ceritanya jika di Lenggong tiada tempat sesuai untuk menempatkan rangka tersebut, tetapi dengan adanya Muzium Arkeologi, alasan lain tidak perlu timbul.

Buat masa ini yang dipamerkan di muzium berkenaan berupa replika ‘Manusia Perak’ lengkap dengan MyKadnya bagi memberi kepastian kepada ketulenannya.

Namun, gimik sedemikian tidak mampu menandingi impak dan tarikan pelancongan ke Lembah Lenggong.

Warisan pra-sejarah Lenggong ini jangan lagi ‘dipermainkan’ seperti mana dulunya apabila diusulkan pembinaan sebuah muzium pra-sejara, pihak bertanggungjawab mendirikannya pula betul-betul di atas tapak ekskavasi!

Selain itu, menyentuh perkembangan yang amat membanggakan bukan saja kepada Malaysia, negeri Perak, daerah Lenggong dan tidak terkecuali, tokoh yang menemui kesan pra-sejarah itu, Profesor Datuk Dr Zuraina Majid yang kini Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Warisan di bawah KPKK, pelbagai inisiatif bagi memperkasakan warisan Lembah Lenggong menjadi lebih perlu.

Lenggong memerlukan infrastruktur dan kemudahan untuk pelancong, termasuk penambahan ruang penginapan untuk menambah yang sedia ada seperti di Inap Desa Kampung Beng, Resort Tasik Raban dan Rumah Rehat Lenggong, antara lain.

Selain itu, juga perlu dipastikan pembangunan rakus tidak terus berlaku di sekitar wilayah sensitive sejarah ini seperti mana dapat dilihat berhampiran Tasik Raban yang boleh mengancam ekosistem tasik asli itu.

Program mendidik penduduk Lenggong supaya lebih mengetahui dan menghargai aset yang ada pada kampung mereka juga perlu, umpamanya lebih bertanggungjawab dan jangan membenarkan sesiapa melakarkan ‘grafiti’ di dinding gua, atau memusnahkan kesan sejarah, seperti yang berlaku pada kesan ‘batu kapur’ pra-sejarah berhampiran Kampung Bukit Sapi.