Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Anwar's foreign cheerleader, Mitton in desperation



Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sycophants seems to be at wit’s end trying to gain more positive grounds in their efforts to kiss their idol’s posterior.

When influential western newspapers would not hold their punches writing about Anwar and his misguided political band of brothers, they readily shifted their platform elsewhere.

It looks like sheer desperation when they even have the gall to home in on some obscure newspaper in country, which is still seen as wanting of all things, human rights.

Latest has it that Anwar Ibrahim Fan Club’s cheerleader, Roger Mitton used The Myanmar Times to sound off his pent up desires that ran the gamut from stridently running down Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam over his son’s so-called lavish wedding which drew over 130,000 people from all walks of life to the Prime Minister’s perceived waning popularity.

Mitton used Ali Rustam to extend his diatribe against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and without fail UMNO, too.

It is not so much what he spewed from the darkest depths of his journalistic mind and stomach, but the desperate clawing at the flimsiest of branches to do it.

The gist of his output in Myanmar Times published on October 15 was to declare with what’s left of his journalistic influence that Najib was bidding his time in office.

He predicted that Najib would be forced to relinquish his hold on Putrajaya and there is slim chance he would be around the same time next year.

While UMNO/BN and pro government ‘cyber troopers’ are taking on their opposition counterpart face-on on social media, Anwar also has his stalwart foreign scribes trying hard to saturate the ground in the four corners of the globe.

A keen mind can see where he is coming from. For Anwar the fight is not only on home ground but also abroad.

By planting negative views about Malaysia and its legitimate democratically-elected leaders and government, he hopes to cash in on a synchronous wave of foreign support when the 13th General Election is called.

Towards keeping up this tempo, given that the date is still a mystery and obvious agony to Pakatan Rakyat, it is no wonder that Anwar’s ‘star’ writers have moved to other platforms.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kecenderungan pembangkang bantah apa saja inisiatif kerajaan



Dalam satu minit, dilemparkan persoalan supaya disebutkan sekurang-kurangnya satu dasar atau inisiatif kerajaan persekutuan yang diterima positif oleh pembangkang – apa jawapannya?

Ramai yang tidak dapat memberikan jawapan, tidak kira sama ada daripada pihak kerajaan atau pun daripada pembangkang.

Pengertian istilah ‘dasar’ berhubung pelbagai pendirian pembangkang bukan bermaksud ‘dasar’ pembangkang secara generik, tetapi dalam ekspresi meluat dengan sikap mereka yang keterlaluan.

Terbaru, apabila idea pelaksanaan sistem penguatkuasaan trafik dicetuskan, pembangkang lebih ke hadapan mengupas dari A-hingga Z. Semuanya berbaur negatif dan menghentam tanpa berlapikkan sesuatu yang konstruktif bagi membantu menyelesaikan masalah.

Dengan pelaksanaan AES, pembangkang kini kembali menyerang secara populis, menghasut kalangan rakyat yang cetek pemikiran dan kurang menganalisis keadaan.

Pembangkang melemparkan tuduhan kononnya pelaksanaan AES hanya topeng bagi usaha licik untuk meraih keuntungan sebagai menebus kembali jumlah yang diagihkan di bawah inisiatif BR1M pertama tempoh hari.

Mereka turut menyerang syarikat yang dilantik untuk membantu melaksanakan sistem berkenaan.
Maka itu, disebabkan asakan demi asakan yang dilemparkan melalui media-media mata juling di Internet, mereka sedikit sebanyak telah berjaya menjayakan agenda untuk menggoncang pegangan kerajaan pada inisiatif tersebut.

Sekarang isu AES bukan sahaja ditentang oleh ahli-ahli pembangkang, tetapi juga oleh segelintir ahli parlimen pro-kerajaan.

Dalam keghairahan menyerang menggunakan isu yang dianggap begitu populis itu kerajaan kini seolah-olah tersentak seketika.

Justeru itu, agensi-agensi berkaitan, seperti PDRM dan JPJ masing-masing mengeluarkan kenyataan untuk cuba menenteramkan keadaan.

Sebenarnya tidak perlu berbuat demikian, kerana pada asasnya tiada apa-apa yang salah dalam inisiatif AES itu.

Sekiranya pembangkang mendakwa syarikat terbabit akan meraih keuntungan hingga RM700 juta daripada tindakan saman pengguna jalan raya yang melebihi had laju atau cara pemanduan lain, tidakkah diambil kira bahawa wang hanya akan masuk jika kesalahan direkodkan? Jika rakyat patuh kepada undang-undang, maka tidaklah perlu dikeluarkan saman dan persoalan syarikat terbabit serta kerajaan menekan rakyat juga tidak akan timbul.

Persepsi melanggar peraturan jalan raya begitu berkesan sejak AES dilaksanakan. Angka pesalah menurun dengan mendadak, tetapi keadaan positif ini tidak digemari pembangkang dan sebahagian besar pengguna jalan raya. Kenapa?

Kerana mereka tidak suka dikenakan tindakan walaupun terbukti melanggar undang-undang? Apakah ini satu daripada falsafah masyarakat sivil yang begitu ghairah dipupuk pembangkang?

Bukan AES saja yang dipertikaikan, tetapi isu tindakan tegas Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) terhadap lori-lori yang membawa lebih muatan.

Tindakan tegas penguat kuasa SPAD terhadap lori-lori diambil berikutan risiko bahaya jika keadaan sedemikian dibiarkan.

Bagaimana pun, SPAD dan kerajaan dijadikan sasaran kerana kononnya mengganggu ‘periuk nasi’ sektor pengangkutan berlori. Isu risiko bahaya dan kemalangan maut yang sering berlaku membabitkan lori membawa lebih muatan tidak sikit pun diambil kira.

Berikutan isu lori dan kenderaan persendirian yang ditangani kerajaan melalui pelbagai cara, pengusaha bas ekspres turut terheret meniti mentaliti yang sama apabila membantah tindakan tegas JPJ.

Oleh itu, mengambil kira rungutan dan bantahan yang tidak berasas berhubung isu-isu ini, maka rakyat perlu memikirkan keadaan dengan waras, sama ada ingin lebih cenderung memupuk anarki atau menjadi masyarakat yang berdisiplin?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Keselamatan Koleksi Tetap seni tanggungjawab semua staf



Laporan Ketua Audit Negara yang mendapati bangunan menyimpan Koleksi Tetap seni visual negara mendedahkan lebih 4,000 karya seni bernilai RM65juta kepada bahaya, sesuatu yang serius.

Koleksi Tetap mengandungi lukisan, foto, ukiran dan lain-lain karya yang kebanyakannya merupakan hadiah daripada tokoh-tokoh korporat, pengumpul, kedutaan dan persatuan pelukis.

Asasnya, walaupun jawapan diberi untuk segala kepincangan, namun di atas segala-galanya ialah isu kepekaan serta komitmen kakitangan.

Piagam dan misi jabatan amat jelas. Prosedur kepiawaian taraf antarabangsa untuk menyenggara objek-objek seni difahami semua, termasuk Ketua Pengarah dan Kurator. Bagaimana pun, ia tidak bermakna jika seluruh kakitangan tidak sensitif kepada misi jabatan.

Setiap jabatan mempunyai misi tersendiri berpandukan fokus jabatan. Oleh itu, jika seluruh kakitangan sekadar bertugas dengan cara memegang kepada hanya aspek acuan pentadbiran generik yang standard, maka akan lemah pelaksanaan misi dan piagam.

Kelemahan sebegini bukan hanya berlaku di gedung seni negara, tetapi hampir di semua jabatan.
Oleh yang demikian, perlu dirumuskan cara untuk menyedarkan kesemua kakitangan keunikan tugas mereka seiring fokus jabatan.

Dalam konteks Koleksi Tetap, kesemua aset bernilai itu dilaporkan terdedah kepada kebocoran alat pemadam api berasaskan air, dan memerlukan tindakan segera bagi memastikan ia tidak rosak.

Menurut Laporan Ketua Audit Negara, bangunan yang diguna untuk menyimpan koleksi itu mempunyai laluan kecemasan yang dihalang pelbagai objek, sementara kamera litar tertutup yang mengawasi hampir setiap penjuru bangunan merakamkan imej tidak jelas, selain tidak mempunyai keupayaan rakaman dalam gelap.

Laporan tersebut mencadangkan naik taraf ciri-ciri keselamatan, termasuk pemasangan alat pengesan awal asap.

Berikutan pendedahan itu, Lembaga Pembangunan Seni Visual Negara berkata kerja-kerja membaiki bahagian bumbung hampir siap 90 peratus pada Ogos lalu, dan permohonan akan dibuat kepada Kementerian Kewangan bagi dana untuk kelengkapan sistem pemadam api kering.

Lembaga juga akur dengan kelemahan pada sistem kamera litar tertutup, dan akan melengkapkannya dengan ciri-ciri rakaman dalam gelap.

Ruang bangunan yang tidak mampu menampung simpanan yang banyak itu juga dikatakan menyebabkan koleksi tersebut diserang kulat ekoran penyenggaraan yang lemah dari aspek kawalan suhu dan kelembapan bangunan.

Bagi mengatasi masalah itu laporan mencadangkan bahagian dinding digantikan dengan jenis kayu yang sesuai.

Satu lagi kelemahan ialah kelewatan pembaharuan polisi insurans, yang menyebabkan keselamatan seluruh koleksi tidak terjamin.

Sebagai jawapan, pihak lembaga berkata sebuah syarikat insurans telah dilantik untuk setahun, dan tarikh luput polisi perlindungan akan diperingatkan melalui komputer.

Agak robotik semua jawapan yang diberikan, namun hakikatnya kelemahan terdapat pada peringkat pelaksana yang dilantik khas untuk menjalankan tugas-tugas yang perlu bagi menjamin keselamatan harta seni negara.

Kepincangan atau kelonggaran dalam aspek pelaksanaan perlu ditanggung oleh pihak jabatan dan diharap jangan pula dituding jari ke arah menteri dan kementerian bertanggungjawab, kerana akhirnya ia akan di manipulasi pembangkang untuk tujuan rakus mereka.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tiba masa Melayu bermuhasabah, cukuplah mengalah…


Bertegas tidak bererti kita lemah atau sombong, malahan bertegas antara nilai yang terhormat pada seseorang atau pun sesebuah bangsa.


Maka itu, senada dengan inilah dibangkitkan persoalan mengapa orang Melayu perlu terlalu banyak memberi jalan kepada kaum lain hinggakan maruah bangsa sendiri digadaikan?

Sejak berzaman lagi orang Melayu dikatakan terlalu berhemah, memberi peluang, memberi jalan dan memberi muka kepada orang lain hinggakan kini hampir luput identiti sebenar Melayu.

Apa tidaknya? Daripada nama asal Tanah Melayu, kepada Bahasa Melayu dan terbaru, Raja-Raja Melayu pun seolah cuba diubah kepada Raja-Raja Malaysia.

Legasi sejarah bangsa tidak sepatutnya diubah atau pun dicairkan. Ia perlu wujud kental untuk diabadikan selama-lamanya.

Menyentuh tentang Bahasa Melayu, sememangnya ia bahasa yang sejak ribuan tahun digunakan orang Melayu, tetapi apabila negara Malaysia di acuan berdasarkan kepelbagaian etnik, maka timbul rasa perlu (sekurang-kurangnya bagi segelintir bijak pandai) untuk menyamaratakan lingua franca tersebut sebagai Bahasa Malaysia.

Pertukaran itu tidak perlu memandangkan walaupun Bahasa Melayu dinaiktarafkan sebagai bahasa rasmi negara Malaysia, namun ironinya bahasa-bahasa lain masih tebal digunakan di sekolah-sekolah vernakular.

Realitinya, dalam keadaan demikian Bahasa Melayu dijadikan seperti boneka – tanpa nyawa, tanpa roh, kerana di sekolah-sekolah Cina dan sekolah-sekolah Tamil bahasa ibunda Melayu masih tersepit di kelas kedua. 

Ini bagi memberi ruang penonjolan serta kesinambungan mendaulatkan bahasa etnik sekolah-sekolah tertentu – seperti mana misi dan hasrat sekolah-sekolah tersebut diwujudkan di bumi Tanah Melayu.

Sedikit ruang yang diberikan orang Melayu kini dilebarkan lagi untuk membolehkan orang lain mendesak bermacam-macam lagi. Sebagai contoh lihat kepada desakan melalui pelbagai ‘ancaman’ Dong Zong.

Pencairan identiti Melayu perlu dikawal. Masih tidak terlembat berbuat demikian.

Kerana terlalu memberi ruang kepada orang lainlah maka hinggakan muncul pihak-pihak yang bertindak biadab terhadap institusi Raja-Raja Melayu. Sikap biadab mereka diperkukuhkan dengan asakan ‘liberalisme’ yang diperjuangkan kononnya demi menjadikan Malaysia sebuah negara progresif.

Apa nilai progresif dalam konteks ini?

Sikap biadab yang dicetuskan daripada budaya liberalisme dan kebebasan yang membenarkan pelbagai persoalan di atas nama hak asasi manusia kini memakan diri orang Melayu – kerana terlalu lama memberi ruang.

Menyentuh tentang institusi raja, dengan didahului dengan ‘Ampun Tuanku’ , penulis ini berhasrat mempertahankan premis kedaulatan negara, perlembagaan dan Raja-Raja Melayu.

Dan apabila pada Isnin malam RTM menyiarkan pengumuman tarikh Hari Raya Aidil Adha oleh Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-Raja Melayu, tidak kurang ramai yang tersentak apabila ia ditukarkan kepada Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-Raja Malaysia.

Pada yang hanyut dengan pengaruh ‘liberalisme’ ia bukan isu pun dan tidak menimbulkan apa-apa reaksi. Bagaimanapun, dalam konteks keperkasaan serta keutuhan bangsa Melayu, ke mana kini arah kita, hinggakan fakta pun diubah?


Friday, October 12, 2012

Corruption: The giving factor in race



Although the ‘giving’ factor in the issue of corruption is entrenched in the country’s anti-corruption laws, seldom has much light been shone upon this vital premise.

If the scourge of corruption is based on race and ethnicity, history will show how rampant the crime has become ever since these bounteous shores of Malaysia welcomed stocks of people from lands afar.

We have Indians streaming in from India to work the plantations, Chinese to work the mines as well as way before that, the Arabs to partake of the generous trade upriver in areas such as Merbok in Kedah, and Melaka.

According to records things were civil then when much honesty and integrity abound in the mercantile sector.

However, with the coming of the foreign powers in the likes of the Portuguese, Dutch and British, things had, however, taken on a more sinister dimension. Corruption suddenly reared its ugly head to cast its evil spell on the locals, who had for so long held on to trust and honesty in their lifestyle.

Reading the historical treatises of the British administrators in old Malaya, we can’t but help notice how corruption had crept into almost every nook and cranny of society. It sold out our self and soul.

Today, we hear so much recriminations and complaints directed at the Malay-dominated civil service for the allegedly rampant abuse of power and obscene practice of corruption.

It is mostly about the ‘acceptor’, although there has been quite a smattering of ‘givers’ taken to the book of law.

Lately, many have been questioning: “wither corruption without then giver?” Verily, it will die a certain death if there is a dearth of givers of corruption. In this sense, perhaps a line such as ‘corruption stops when the giving ends’ may be appropriate.

The givers in the corruption factor can be thickly traced to one particular race. It runs the spectrum from the super-rich conglomerates, who do so to lock in choice contracts to the lowest denomination of mercantilism.

This is one factor that needs to be brought to the fore. Fighting this part of the equation may win us a great portion of the war against corruption.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Alleged attempts at proselytizing by Christians anger Jews


Trinity Broadcasting Network co-founder Paul Crouch, center, his son Matt Crouch, right, and Singapore evangelist Joseph Prince tape a prayer broadcast on the terrace of TBN's new Jerusalem studio. (Pix: LA Times/
Edmund Sanders)

Allegations of proselytization by some Christian groups have been reported lately on several occasions throughout the world.

It is not only confined to Malaysia, where it has caused concerned to not only to Muslim groups, but also to law-abiding Christians of the main denominations.

Latest, it has been reported by several U.S. newspapers that a race between two rival American evangelical broadcasters to get a foothold of a strategic location in Jerusalem overlooking the old city.

Located not far from the holy Mount of Olives much revered by Christians as the spot where the Messiah would descend, Texas-based Daystar Television has dug in with round the clock live webcam coverage.

The station’s strategy is being countered by rival station, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting (TBN), which hastily bought the building next door.

According to The LA Times, the studios are aggressively competing for a big slice of  niche programming on Christianity, which is seen as a controversial  platform for what it alleged as ‘spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to Jews in Israel.’

Reports say TBN is also talking to Israel’s Yes satellite TV for a full-time centre for its evangelical Shalom TV channel.
Recently, it was reported that Singapore evangelist Joseph Prince was featured by TBN to tape a prayer broadcast on the terrace of TBN's new Jerusalem studio.

Already, Daystar already is transmitting its English-language programming in Israel with dedicated channels on both Yes and cable provider HOT Telecommunications Systems. The station claims it to be the first Christian evangelical broadcaster to broadcast a gospel message to Israeli television sets round the clock.

"The main thing we want to do is help sponsor what we call Messianic Jews, or Jews that have received Jesus Christ as their Messiah," said TBN co-founder Paul Crouch, who recently wrapped up a tour of Israel with 1,800 TBN supporters, most of them from America. "We want to do some Hebrew language programs to reach out to Jews and entice them to read the word of God and become what we call a completed Jew."

Meanwhile, at the receiving end, such proselytizing has angered Orthodox Jewish groups. They claim that it threatens the character of a Jewish ‘for Jewish refugees of the Holocaust.

For the record, Christian proselytizing is legal in Israel, though the Tel Aviv regime has at times restricted and discouraged the practice, as members of the Jewish faith do not seek to convert those of other faiths.

"One of the things I find offensive is that they are bragging about their missionary work," said Ellen Horowitz, research director at Jewish Israel, a grass-roots group created in 2008 to track and counteract Christian missionaries in Israel. "They're actually very in-your-face about it."

Horowitz said proselytizing is a touchy subject in Israel. "Our people have been through the wringer already with either persecution or assimilation," she said. "Now people finally get to a Jewish nation and someone pushes a copy of the New Testament in Hebrew at them. A sensitive line is being crossed."

When Daystar debuted in Israel in 2006, it created such a public uproar that the channel was temporarily suspended from the HOT network. It was restored after a court challenge.

Since then, Christian evangelical groups have quietly and steadily expanded their footprint in Jerusalem.

Last spring, evangelist organizer Mike Evans began soliciting donations from U.S. supporters for his $10-million purchase of a prime commercial building in Jerusalem's city center, where he plans to open a facility devoted to Christian evangelism.

The LA Times noted that in July, American missionary Rick Ridings, a nephew of Paul Crouch who operates a walk-in prayer centre near Mt. Zion, hosted several hundred Israeli youths at a three-day gospel music and prayer festival in Tel Aviv.

Crouch said TBN, whose recently purchased building houses the Los Angeles Times Jerusalem bureau, is striving to promote Christianity in Israel, where the faith is sometimes overshadowed by the struggle between Judaism and Islam. Trinity Broadcasting already is one of the world's largest religious broadcasters, with 18 networks in seven languages.

"Christianity is not represented in Israel as well as it could," he said. "We hope to equalize that and give Christianity a better platform."

The latest inroads by evangelical Christians have not triggered the backlash that occurred in 2006 when Daystar went on the air. In fact, Crouch said TBN's biggest obstacle in Jerusalem so far is rival Daystar, which he said tried to block TBN's Shalom Channel from airing on Yes satellite.

"They raised a stink," Crouch said. "I guess some of our Christian brothers don't want the competition."

A Yes spokeswoman said negotiations with TBN are ongoing and a final deal has not been reached. Daystar officials declined to comment, but said in a statement that the company "loves and appreciates Israel."

Some Israelis are welcoming members of the American evangelical community as strategic partners, both politically and economically.

In addition to becoming the fastest-growing segment of Israel's tourism market, U.S. evangelicals tend to be staunchly pro-Israel, lobbying in Washington on the Israeli government's behalf on such matters as the Palestinian conflict or West Bank settlement construction.

Christian broadcasters have donated tens of millions of dollars in recent years to build Israeli schools, community centres, hospital wards and even synagogues. Part of the support is based upon their belief that the return of the Jewish people to Israel will usher in the second coming of Jesus.

Christian groups have forged close ties with Russian-born lawmakers in the parliament, or Knesset, and recently helped push through a law that extended property tax exemptions once available only to Jewish religious institutions to those owned by Christian congregations.

"They are much more sophisticated and calculated than they were before," Horowitz said. "With all the millions of dollars they are giving, it's harder for the government to say no."

Her group said the number of evangelical Christian congregations in Israel has grown to 150 with as many as 20,000 followers, up from an estimated 3,000 in 1987, based on estimates from the congregations.

Christian broadcasters boast to their viewers that they are seeing a record number of Jews convert to Christianity. "The harvest is coming in so fast," Crouch said.

Much of the growth is coming from the 1 million Russian immigrants who arrived in Israel during the 1990s. Many of the immigrants were never considered Jewish by Orthodox rabbis or had practiced Christianity in Russia.

"They see Russians as a way to get a foothold in Israel and create a Christian revival here," Horowitz said. "We don't have anything against Christians. But the Jewish people have to watch their backside to make sure this evangelical embrace does not become a hold that we can't get out of."