Thursday, 4 December 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 ― Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) today urged Putrajaya to crack down on Sabah and Sarawak secessionists, saying stern action was necessary to protect and defend national unity.
In a statement here, Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman urged Sabah and Sarawak citizens not to be swayed by the movement, claiming it benefits nobody but “greedy and dissatisfied” parties that he did not name.
“Isma urges the federal government to enhance the effort and do the necessary to plug any opportunity for them to launch a secession campaign that would only destroy our peace and stability, and jeopardise the country’s future,” Abdullah said in a statement.
“Isma asks the authorities to fulfil its promise not to compromise on the matter, and to take strict action against those involved if they are found guilty of spreading the secession agenda.”
The group said its position on the matter is to defend the unity of the pribumi, or natives, across the country from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak.
“All Malaysians from all religion and ethnic groups are brothers who share history, interests and future,” added Abdullah.
Supporters of the secessionist movement argue that the allegedly Malaya-centric federal government has largely disregarded the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and the 20- and 18-point agreements pertaining to the special rights of Sabah and Sarawak, respectively, when Malaysia was formed.
Putrajaya recently pinpointed several people they believe to be involved in a movement to have Sabah and Sarawak secede from the federation, with Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar both issuing stern warnings against those behind the movement.
In September, police announced that they have identified three Malaysians involved in the secession movement, adding that they will be investigated under the Sedition Act 1948 and for criminal defamation.
On Monday, Isma’s website ran a report slamming an online group calling itself Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM), mooted by a Sabah-born political activist and lawyer based in the UK, Doris Jones.
Thursday, December 04, 2014 Agreement of Malaysia , Exposing the Truth , Fact , Federation of Malaysia 16 September 1963 , Jeffrey G.Kitingan , Nationalist , Sabah , Sarawak No comments
The manner of the announcement on the Sedition Act goes back to the colonial-era of dictatorial control over Sabahans and Sarawakians.
KOTA KINABALU: “Sabahans and Sarawakians need to unite and stand up for their Rights.”
That is the most important message and lesson for Sabahans and Sarawakians to learn from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s move to retain and fortify the Sedition Act against nationalists and activists of Sabah and Sarawak rights, said Jeffrey Kitingan, Star Sabah Chief in a statement.
”It may be a bitter pill to swallow for the leaders and grassroots of Umno Sabah and other BN components in Sabah and Sarawak but the reality has been laid bare at the Umno General Assembly that the Prime Minister cannot be relied upon to safeguard Sabah and Sarawak rights.”
Sadly for Sabah and Sarawak, Najib has failed miserably to demonstrate true leadership and failed to show that he is the Prime Minister for all Malaysians, including for Sabahans and Sarawakians, and made a mockery of his own “1Malaysia” slogan, he added. “To add salt to injury, there were open calls for “1-Melayu” to replace 1-Malaysia.”
”The retention of the Sedition Act after a grandiose announcement to the world in 2012 that it would be repealed is more than a long line of his flip-flop policies and his waning credibility.”
Jeffrey described the unhappiness in Sabah and Sarawak as not over a simple broken promise but one involving fair and equitable treatment for them including the restoration of their rights as promised in the formation of Malaysia.
”The manner of the announcement on the Sedition Act is sheer arrogance of the highest order and a clear-cut abuse of power, taking Malaysia back to the colonial-era of dictatorial control over Malaysians particularly Sabahans and Sarawakians,” said Jeffrey.
“Even the British who started the sedition laws know better and the Sedition Act has been abolished in the United Kingdom where sedition is no longer a criminal offence.”
There was a basis that led to the formation of Malaysia, he stressed, and if that basis is not honoured, one of the lawful and legal recourses would be a de-merger or dissolution.
”These nationalists and activists are not seeking additional rights or taking away rights from Malaya or others, he added. “Sabah and Sarawak rights are not different from the claim for Malay rights in the Peninsula.”
”There is no necessity to threaten and intimidate Sabahans so as to control Sabahans to ensure Umno/Malaya’s dominance and colonisation over Sabah.”
If the federal government had any decency and treated Sabahans as equal to Malaysians, he continued, the proper course would have been to engage the nationalists and activists and address the grievances and injustices against the people in Sabah and Sarawak.
The Prime Minister and Home Minister should be aware that the continued threats against the rights of the Borneo States will not dampen the voices and spirit of the people in Sabah and Sarawak, warned Jeffrey. “Any further harassment and continued ignoring of the rights of the Borneo States will only make their voices grow louder.”
Thursday, December 04, 2014 Agreement of Malaysia , Federation of Malaysia 16 September 1963 , Lim , malaya , Malaysia , News , Sabah , Sarawak , Secession , Sharing No comments
The proposed amendment violates a principle of the Malaysia Agreement, says Kit Siang.
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP has warned that one of the proposed amendments to the Sedition Act violates a fundamental principle of the Malaysia Agreement if Sarawak and Sabah are not consulted beforehand.
In a press statement referring to the proposal to make it seditious to urge for the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia, DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang said today that there are other ways of dealing with such calls.
“One way is for the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry to examine the unhappiness of the peoples of Sarawak and Sabah over the failures in the past five decades to honour Sarawak’s 18 Points and Sabah’s 20 Points, which were the basis for their agreement to form Malaysia in 1963,” he said, adding that he had proposed this many times in Parliament, “but with no support or even interest from the Barisan Nasional MPs, whether from Sarawak or Sabah.”
He also urged the Sabah and Sarawak state assemblies to convene to take a stand on the proposed amendment before a bill is tabled in Parliament.
“Do the people, governments and legislatures of Sarawak and Sabah agree that the Sedition Act should be strengthened by the amendment to make calls for secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia as sedition offences?”
He said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had committed a “gross injustice” in announcing the plan to amend the act without consulting the two states.
“As only a small group of people are calling for secession,” he said, “the proper and prudent response is to find out the root causes of their unhappiness and to take all remedial action if their grouses are legitimate and deserves prompt government action, and not to criminalise their views.”
As in his press statements of recent days, Lim taunted the Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for failure to take prompt action against Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said of Penang Umno and Mashitah Ibrahim of Kedah Umno for their allegedly inflammatory speeches.at the recent Umno general assembly.
Turning on Najib, he said the Umno President had broken his pledge to be fair in the enforcement of laws against hate speeches. He referred to the recent sedition dragnet targeting opposition figures and other dissenters and noted that Zaidi and Mashitah delivered their speeches less than 24 hours after Najib made the pledge.
He also noted that numerous police reports were promptly lodged against Zaidi and Mashitah.
“There has been no police action in the past six days despite Najib’s promise to be fair in enforcement of the laws,” he said.
As for Zahid, Lim said his “continued silence is deafening, especially coming from a very trigger happy Home Minister”.
Home minister Zahid Hamidi says these elements are important in strengthening the Act and in line with the changing times.
MELAKA: Sedition through the Internet, particularly social media, touching on religious sensitivities and calling for Sabah and Sarawak to leave the federation of Malaysia are among the elements taken into consideration in strengthening the Sedition Act 1948.
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the move was necessary to preserve unity and harmony among Malaysia’s multiracial society.
“These (three elements) are among the many elements that we have carefully studied in strengthening the Sedition Act…discussions were held with the legal advisers in the Home Ministry and Attorney-General’s Chambers on what needs to be tightened or amended.
“The bill to amend the Sedition Act is expected to be tabled in Parliament in March next year,” he said at a news conference after launching the “From Bikers 4 Gaza” programme and Melaka Motorcycle Carnival at Autocity, Ayer Keroh, here.
Also present were Melaka Chief Minister Idris Haron and state police chief Chuah Ghee Lye.
Ahmad Zahid said sedition through the Internet, especially the social media, should not be allowed to go on unchecked, but needed to be curbed to prevent the problem from becoming cancerous and destroying harmony in the country.
“The Sedition Act was introduced in 1948 where there was no Internet at the time. Therefore, this act now needs to be amended, taking into consideration the existence of this communication facility and other modern channels of communication,” he said.
However, he said, the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 was a specific act for tackling misuse of the Internet in this country, with the police working together with the relevant authority, the Communications and Multimedia Commission, on this.
Thursday, December 04, 2014 Exposing the Truth , Fact , Ghapur , Nationalist , Sabah , Sabah Sarawak Union (SSU) , Sarawak No comments
KUALA LUMPUR: Kalabakan Umno Chief Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh said the Sedition Act 1948 that will be retained and enhanced must be used wisely without any political agenda.
He said the Act should be enforced in accordance with its provisions to maintain racial and religious harmony and order in the country. "If you want to retain the Sedition Act, then use it based on its provisions and do not misuse it, especially for political purposes.
"Don't simply use the Act to arrest people indiscriminately, especially political enemies, based on hearsay, rumours or speculations. Use the Act wisely and in 'harmony'," he said to Sabah reporters during the Umno General Assembly.
He was commenting on the announcement by party President and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his policy speech that the Sedition Act 1948 will be retained and enhanced.
"I have mentioned in Parliament about a small group named as 'Sabah, Sarawak Keluar Malaysia' (SSKM). Do not take immediate and stern action against them without knowing the reasons why they are doing so.
"Instead, this group should be called to air their problems so that solutions can be found, which is better than arresting them.
"The group probably has problems like me but the difference is that I could voice my concerns and dissatisfactions over the big gap in development between Sabah and Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia in the Parliament, but this group does not have the avenue that I have.
"That is why I am recommending that this group be given the chance to be heard and provide them with a proper channel as their members are intellectual people who can think articulately," he said.
On the tabling of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah this month (December), the Kalabakan MP said there is not much difference with the Government tabling the report in the Parliament or making the report public in the form of a book.
This is because, he said, Members of Parliament can still raise the findings shown in the report in the Parliament for debate. On his proposals to address the longstanding problem, Ghapur said the Government must take serious action against those who issue the Malaysian identity cards to illegals.
According to him, there were many allegations that illegals in Sabah obtained genuine Malaysian identity cards and personal identification documents.
Thursday, December 04, 2014 Exposing the Truth , Fact , Nationalist , Sabah , SAPP , Sarawak , SSKM No comments
Bagaimanapun, pengekalan akta tersebut disambut baik banyak pihak di Sabah
KOTA KINABALU: Keputusan mengekalkan Akta Hasutan tidak akan mendiamkan mereka yang menuntut hak-hak Sabah dan Sarawak, kata bekas Ketua Menteri Sabah Yong Teck Lee
Yong yang merupakan presiden Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) berkata individu- individu dalam kumpulan seperti Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) akan meneruskan perjuangan mereka kerana keluhan mereka tidak didengar.
Perdana Menteri Mohd Najib Tun Razak telah mengumumkan bahawa Akta Hasutan akan dikekalkan dengan penambahan dua peruntukan khas yang bertujuan mempertahankan kesucian Islam dan agama-agama lain dan mendakwa mereka yang mahukan pemisahan Sabah dan Sarawak dari Malaysia.
Sehubungan itu, Presiden Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Pairin Kitingan berkata selain mempunyai undang-undang pencegahan seperti Akta Hasutan, ia juga adalah satu keperluan untuk terus memupuk semangat kenegaraan di antara rakyat Malaysia.
“Kita mesti mempunyai komitmen untuk menguatkan negara,” kata Pairin yang juga merupakan Timbalan Ketua Menteri Sabah.
Presiden Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Teo Chee Kang yang menyambut baik keputusan Najib berkata Akta Hasutan akan dijadikan lebih relevan dalam menangani isu-isu agama dan bangsa.
“Peruntukan yang baru akan memastikan bahawa semua kepercayaan tidak akan dihina atau diejek oleh sesiapa,” kata Teo.
“Walaupun sebelum ini pengumuman bahawa akta tersebut akan dimansuhkan, pada penghujung hari kita bermatlamat mencapai objektiftertentu,” tambah beliau.
Sebelum ini, pemangku presiden United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) berkata, antara langkah perlu dalam memperkukuhkan Akta Hasutan adalah dengan memastikan penguatkuasaannya tidak berat sebelah.
Beliau menegaskan, akta tersebut boleh menjadi lebih kukuh jika pindaan dibuat untuk memastikan sesiapa yang didapati menghina agama akan dikenakan tindakan undang-undang.
Thursday, December 04, 2014 Agreement of Malaysia , Exposing the Truth , Fact , Federation of Malaysia 16 September 1963 , Jeffrey G.Kitingan , Nationalist , Sabah , Sarawak No comments
Pendekatan menindas itu menyebabkan Malaysia semakin kurang kompetitif, kurang demokratik, semakin rasuah dan berpecah
KOTA KINABALU: Presiden Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF), Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan mendakwa pemimpin UMNO takut kehilangan kuasa apabila membatalkan pemansuhan Akta Hasutan 1948.
Katanya, ketakutan tersebut menyebabkan pemimpin terbabit sengaja mewujudkan perasaan takut terhadap orang Melayu dengan menggunakan pendekatan menindas.
“Oleh itu katanya, kerajaan Barisan Nasional pimpinan Umno akan mengulangi kesilapan lalu dengan berkeras mengekal, malah memperkukuhkan lagi Akta Hasutan 1948,” dakwa beliau.
Semasa mengumumkan pembatalan pemansuhan Akta Hasutan, Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak menyatakan pindaan mengenakan tindakan terhadap pihak yang mempersoalkan Islam, serta sebarang gesaan untuk membawa Sabah dan Sarawak keluar daripada Malaysia.
ADUN dari Bingkor itu mendakwa, pendekatan menindas itu menyebabkan Malaysia semakin kurang kompetitif, kurang demokratik, semakin rasuah dan berpecah dari segi agama dan bangsa berbanding dahulu.
Beliau juga mendakwa berlaku penjajahan dalaman di Sabah melalui program-program meMelayukan dan pengislaman, memutar belit fakta sejarah dan tidak memperdulikan janji-janji yang dibuat oleh pengasas Malaysia.
Semua ini kata Jeffrey, memaksa pihak-pihak tertentu, terutama golongan terpelajar di Borneo meminta pembubaran dan pemisahan daripada Malaysia.
Namun, beliau sedih daripada mengadakan dialog dan memahami masalah, pemimpin persekutuan sebaliknya melabel mereka sebagai pemisah.
“Dengan undang-undang menindas dan dasar berat sebelah Melayu/Islam yang diaktifkan untuk menindas masyarakat berpengetahuan tinggi Malaysia yang moden, negara ini akan semakin mundur,” katanya menggesa pemimpin mengutamakan kepentingan negara dan bertindak adil kepada semua komuniti.
Perdana Menteri katanya, perlu menjadi pemimpin untuk semua dan bukan hanya menjadi pemimpin untuk Umno jika tidak mahu dituduh memperlekehkan slogan 1Malaysia gagasannya sendiri.
Sehubungan itu, Jeffrey meminta pemimpin kebangsaan ini untuk keluar daripada pemikiran takut serta rendah diri dan mula mendengar rasa tidak puas hati, sekaligus menyelesaikan masalah.
“Ugutan dan menangkap rakyat tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah di negara ini,” katanya menambah sukar bagi Malaysia untuk maju jika penduduknya berpecah dari segi agama dan bangsa.
Dalam 20 hingga 30 tahun akan datang mungkin istilah yang ada pada hari ini tidak sesuai lagi, maka ini perlu dipersesuaikan untuk generasi akan datang
MELAKA: Pindaan Akta Hasutan 1948 yang akan dibentangkan di Parlimen pada Mac depan memberi penekanan kepada tiga elemen iaitu aspek media sosial, sensiviti agama dan isu Sabah dan Sarawak.
Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi berkata, pindaan itu bertujuan mengukuh akta dan menyesuaikannya dengan keperluan masa kini dan akan datang.
Menurut beliau, walaupun terdapat beberapa aspek lain yang perlu dilihat bagi memperkasakan akta tersebut, tiga elemen terbabit merupakan isu yang perlu diberi perhatian serius demi keselamatan dan keharmonian negara.
“Saya bersama Penasihat Undang-Undang kementerian akan mengadakan perbincangan dengan Peguam Negara dan pengamal perundangan untuk melihat beberapa aspek yang harus diperkasakan dan dipinda.
“Dalam 20 hingga 30 tahun akan datang mungkin istilah yang ada pada hari ini tidak sesuai lagi, maka ini perlu dipersesuaikan untuk generasi akan datang,” katanya, memetik laporan Utusan Online.
Jelas Ahmad Zahid, semasa Akta Hasutan digubal, media sosial masih belum wujud, malah beberapa medium komunikasi seperti yang ada pada masa kini juga tidak ada.
Selain itu, katanya, terlalu banyak isu keagamaan yang sensitif dibangkitkan pada masa kini bukan hanya oleh orang bukan Islam berkaitan isu pokok kedudukan Islam sebagai agama Persekutuan, tetapi juga oleh orang Islam yang memburukkan agama lain.
“Perkara ini tidak seharusnya dibiarkan begitu sahaja, tindakan mesti diambil dengan segera terhadap mana-mana individu yang menyentuh agama lain dengan niat untuk memburukkannya,” tegasnya.
Kata beliau, dalam soal Sabah dan Sarawak, sudah ada tindakan oleh individu atau kumpulan yang mahu membawa keluar negeri tersebut dari Malaysia, oleh itu perkara tersebut juga perlu disentuh di bawah Akta Hasutan.
Menurutnya, apabila pindaan akta tersebut dipersetujui oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong serta diwartakan pada tahun hadapan, maka Polis Diraja Malaysia dan Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) berupaya mengambil tindakan terhadap mana-mana individu atau kumpulan yang melanggar kesalahan di bawah akta berkenaan.
Pengekalan akta itu sebenarnya bertujuan untuk meneruskan survival politik beliau dalam parti UMNO.
KUALA LUMPUR : PAS mendakwa alasan yang diberikan oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak terhadap pengekalan Akta Hasutan 1948 semasa Perhimpunan Agung UMNO baru-baru ini merupakan satu pembohongan dan sewajarnya ditolak rakyat.
Ketua Penerangan PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar berkata, pengekalan akta itu oleh Perdana Menteri sebenarnya bertujuan untuk meneruskan survival politik beliau dalam parti UMNO.
“Padahal di waktu awal sebelum ini mahu melalui slogan ‘janji ditepati’ akan memansuhkan Akta Hasutan dan digantikan dengan Akta Keharmonian Nasional.
“Oleh kerana penentangan yang besar dalam UMNO, termasuk Timbalan Presiden, Wanita dan Pemuda, akhirnya dia (Najib) terpaksa akur demi kelangsungan kedudukan kepimpinan dia dalam UMNO” katanya pada sidang media di Ibu Pejabat PAS di sini, hari ini.
Mengulas lebih lanjut, Mahfuz berkata, kandungan dan peruntukan di dalam akta itu telah membuka ruang kepada penguatkuasaan yang selektif dan berat dan berat sebelah atas tujuan politik dan bukan untuk menjaga keamanan negara.
“Hakikat inilah yang gagal difahami oleh UMNO dan Barisan Nasional yang berterusan cuba mengelirukan rakyat kononnya Akta Hasutan inilah yang menjadi benteng terakhir di dalam mempertahankan kedudukan orang Melayu dan agama Islam di negara ini.
“Ketempangan utama di dalam Akta Hasutan ini ialah apabila di dalam pendakwaan ke atas sebarang kesalahan di bawah akta ini, pihak pendakwa tidak perlu untuk membuktikan niat orang yang dituduh untuk melakukan perbuatan – perbuatan yang menghasut sebagaimana yang disenaraikan di dalam Seksyen 3 dan 4 akta tersebut,” katanya.
Beliau yang juga merupakan Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena menambah, ia seterusnya membuka ruang kepada sebarang kritikan atau teguran terhadap institusi dan dasar kerajaan tanpa mengira niat sebenar atau konteks kritikan dibuat akan dianggap mempunyai kecenderungan menghasut.
Katanya, dalam keadaan seperti itu berlakunya banyak pendakwaan dilakukan semata-mata bersandarkan kepada peruntukan dalam akta tersebut.
“Walhal motif sebenar ialah untuk mengekang kebebasan bersuara dan menutup segala ruang kritikan terhadap kelemahan kerajaan,” ujarnya.
Katanya, PAS akan memperhebatkan kempen besar-besaran ke seluruh negara bagi menuntut akta itu dan undang-undang lain yang zalim dan tidak demokratik.
Thursday, December 04, 2014 Ghapur , Nationalist , Sabah , Sabah Sarawak Union (SSU) , Sarawak , SSKM No comments
Akta tersebut perlu dikuatkuasakan mengikut peruntukkannya untuk mengekalkan keharmonian bangsa dan agama di negara
KOTA KINABALU: Ahli Parlimen Kalabakan, Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh menggesa kerajaan tidak terlalu berkeras terhadap kumpulan yang mahu membawa Sabah dan Sarawak keluar Malaysia.
Sebaliknya beliau mencadangkan agar kerajaan mendengar rungutan atau rasa ketidapuasan hati mereka daripada bertindak menggunakan undang-undang.
Katanya, Akta Hasutan 1948 yang dikekalkan dan dipertingkatkan perlu digunakan dengan bijak tanpa sebarang agenda politik.
Tambah beliau, akta tersebut perlu dikuatkuasakan mengikut peruntukkannya untuk mengekalkan keharmonian bangsa dan agama di negara.
“Saya telah bercakap di Parlimen tentang sebuah kumpulan kecil bernama ‘Sabah, Sarawak Keluar Malaysia’ (SSKM). Jangan ambil tindakan tegas dan serta merta terhadap mereka tanpa mengetahui sebab mereka bertindak sedemikian,” kata Ghapur.
Beliau menyatakan: “Kumpulan ini perlu dipanggil untuk menyuarakan masalah mereka supaya penyelesaian dapat dicari, ini adalah lebih baik daripada menangkap mereka.”
Beliau yang pernah meletakkan jawatan Timbalan Menteri pada 2008 mendakwa, kumpulan tersebut kemungkinan besar mempunyai masalah seperti beliau tetapi tidak mempunyai saluran untuk bersuara..
“Ini adalah sebab mengapa saya mencadangkan bahawa kumpulan ini diberi peluang untuk didengari dan berikan mereka saluran yang betul kerana ahli-ahli mereka terdiri daripada orang-orang yang berintelek,” kata Ghapur.
Beliau mengulas pengumuman oleh Presiden Umno dan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak mengekalkan Akta Hasutan dengan mempamerkenalkan pindaan.
East Malaysians resent it when politicians in the peninsula play to the gallery on issues concerning their destiny.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, speaking to the media after the Umno general assembly on Saturday, echoed a position long held by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim: “Everything and anything can be discussed between Putrajaya and Sabah and Sarawak, but the question of their leaving Malaysia does not arise and is non-negotiable.”
That’s like a ruler talking down to his subjects, not something to be expected from a democratically elected leader who respects the people in Borneo as citizens.
Both Najib and his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, on an earlier occasion not so long ago in Sabah, had argued that “Sabah belongs to Malaysia” and outraged Borneo nationalists. That reminded them of the defunct Sulu Sultanate claiming that Sabah belongs to it, whatever that means.
Article 160 of the Federal Constitution clearly defines Federation as the Malayan Federation, no matter what name it goes by now. It was not the intention of the founding fathers of Sabah and Sarawak to join the Malayan Federation as the 12th and 13th states.
If there’s one thing that irks Sabahans and Sarawakians to no end, it’s the idea that Malay politicians across the divide in the peninsula must play to the gallery there on issues that concern their destiny. Najib’s Sedition Act pledges on Sabah and Sarawak, echoed by Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, won loud applause at the Umno General Assembly when the delegates should have in fact remained silent on the issue.
In the court of Borneo public opinion, the consensus is that Sabah and Sarawak must forge their own destiny and that Putrajaya’s propensity to continue to dictate to them after 51 years is unacceptable.
It’s not enough to say “non-negotiable and cannot leave Malaysia” and wave the Sedition Act. The people of Sabah and Sarawak resent the condescension, the presumption of lordship over them.
The Sedition Act itself without prejudice allows for legitimate criticism of the government’s mistakes. It does not prevent criticism of the ruling party or their leaders as politicians and party leaders.
It would be wrong in law for Putrajaya to use the intention of the British in introducing the Sedition Act in dealing with issues in Sabah and Sarawak.
Too little too late
In hindsight, it was Tunku Abdul Rahman who pledged in 1962/63 that “Malaya would not colonize Borneo after the British leave, and Borneo will be developed to be on par with Malaya”.
But Sabah and Sarawak continue to be the poorest states in the Federation. So, Najib offering to discuss the “oil royalty issue, power or any other matter we can agree to” may be a case of too little too late.
It was Najib himself and Petronas who had earlier dismissed the idea of revising the oil royalty upwards to a respectable 20 per cent from the current measly five per cent. Pakatan Rakyat, at the same time, has pledged 20 per cent oil royalty, not greater federal allocations as what the Barisan Nasional did. Unlike Putrajaya, Pakatan did not make the supreme insult of offering more allocations under corporate social responsibility.
Unlike BN, Pakatan has a finger on the pulse of Borneo. While Putrajaya is living in a state of denial, Pakatan has pledged to respect the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). That means it thinks there’s still hope for a Federation of North Borneo, Sarawak and Malaysia under MA63, i.e. away from the 12th and 13th states status.
Najib, by offering dialogue on dead end issues and at the same time waving the Sedition Act on an issue of contention, has in fact closed the door to dialogue.
Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, a Sarawakian, offered the “secessionists” unconditional dialogue not so long ago but may have been shot down since then by his political masters.
Thursday, December 04, 2014 Agreement of Malaysia , Exposing the Truth , Fact , Federation of Malaysia 16 September 1963 , Jeffrey G.Kitingan , Nationalist , STAR No comments
“Seek the true facts of history and be ready to assume mantle of leadership.”
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah needs leaders that are progressive and forward-thinking to lead the nation towards peace, progress and prosperity which will also contribute towards the advancement of the nation.
Leaders who are pessimistic and cowardly cannot lead Sabah.
That’s the advice from Star Sabah Chief Jeffrey Kitingan, taking a leaf from Mahatma Gandhi, for the youth who by and large remain blissfully unaware of the history of the Sabah’s Federation in 1963 with Sarawak and the peninsula.
He was giving his take on comments going viral in the social media on the youths of today being unaware of the history of the formation of the federation of 1963 and therefore would not be able to look after and safeguard Sabah when it’s their turn to assume the mantle of leadership.
“Sabah is part and parcel of the Federation and the youth leaders need to show their mettle,” said Jeffrey in a statement. “They need to show that they are not backward but are able contribute towards nation-building.”
“They should be forward-thinking as the country approaches the time-line of high income nation, if not developed nation status, by 2020.”
The youths are not the only ones to blame, added Jeffrey in the statement.
“The party that should be taught the true facts of history should be the federal government and the Ministry of Education so that the young are taught the true history, not some twisted fact that the Federation of 1963 gained independence on 31 Aug 1957,” said Jeffery in coming to the crux of the issue.
He also advised youths not to be too dependent on the Federal Government to ensure the security of Sabah as “it can’t be trusted on the issue and has in fact contributed to the insecurity in Sabah”.
“There is no reason why Sabah cannot take care of its own security.”
Delving into Sabah’s military history, Jeffrey recalled that Sabahans served with distinction during World War II with the allied forces from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries.
“There was also the Sabah Border Scouts who were disbanded by the federal government,” said Jeffrey. “They secured Sabah’s borders much better than the Federal security forces who looked the other way as the illegal immigrants flooded in.”
Malaysians may never be able to enjoy a decent degree of free speech.
How does a government stay in power? By fighting any opposition it confronts. How then does a government fight opposition? In Malaysia, it is by victimising any voice that critically questions the ruling elite and its methods of government. A mere comment on a political crisis that may mature into a constitutional issue could warrant such extreme persecution. Such is the case of academician Azmi Sharom, one of the many who have been charged under the Sedition act 1948.
Introduced by the British in 1948 to curb civil disobedience against the colonial rule, the Sedition Act is still in existence six decades later, except that now Barisan Nasional has stepped onto the platform to exercising this tool of oppression.
The act arbitrarily limits freedom of speech, hinders political growth and, most notably, is a violation of a fundamental human right. To quote Christopher Leong, President of the Malaysian Bar Council, “The Sedition act is repugnant because it seeks to compress and restrict democratic space. It punishes speech. It punishes expression of thought by thinking Malaysians.”
Section 2 of the act defines as sedition anything that has a “seditious tendency”. The act then goes on to define “seditious tendency” under Section 3 (1) as any tendency to “bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against” the government or to instigate “feelings of ill will and hostility between different races”. It also prohibits the questioning of the statuses of Articles 152, 153 and 181 of the Federal Constitution on the National Language, the special position of the Bumiputeras and the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers.
In PP v Mark Koding (1983), however, the court decided that before a statement is said to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be viewed in the context it was made.
Nevertheless, concern lies in the method in which the act is used and the purpose for which it is used. As retired Court of Appeal Judge K C Vohrah has said, there are two inherent processes when dealing with this act.
The first is the court process, where the intention is irrelevant and a person would be convicted if seditious words were uttered. Thus, the act imposes strict liability on the offender, allowing no room for the defence of truth, presence of an innocent or honourable intention, absence of consequent harm, or a lack of possibility or potential for consequent harm. This is oppression at its best.
The second process entails the Attorney-General’s decision as to whether or not a person is to be charged under the act. The alarmingly obscure definition of sedition has assisted the prosecution in opening the floodgates to the criminalising of a variety of offences. In fact, considering Malaysia’s poor state of separation of powers between the ruling government and the Attorney-General’s office, it is near impossible to deny that the sedition charges recently brought by the AG were for the political convenience of the government. This is evident through the sedition charges slapped on more than half a dozen opposition members of Parliament. In view of this, Human Rights Watch urged that the “Malaysian government should cease using the country’s sedition law to arbitrarily arrest opposition lawmakers, activists and critical academics.”
More disturbingly, the existence of the 1948 act contradicts Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees every citizen the right to freedom of speech, assembly and association. Nonetheless, Article 10 (2), (3) and (4), expressly permits Parliament to impose restrictions on this freedom in the interest of the security of the federation, friendly relations with other countries, public order, morality and other grounds. It appears that the Sedition Act falls under these restrictions. To quote Justice Raja Azlan Shah (later the Yang di-Pertuan Agong), “The right to free speech ceases at the point where it comes within the mischief of the Sedition Act.”
Subsections 2, 3 and 4 of Article 10 of the Constitution have been the targets of copious criticisms by human rights activists. In the 2003 Memorandum on the Malaysian Sedition Act, Article 19 of the Global Campaign for Free Expression said that the subsistence of the Sedition Act had gone beyond that of necessity as a result of Parliament’s low standard of what it deems to amount to necessary restrictions.
The injudicious enforcement of the act inevitably puts Malaysia on a slippery slope to authoritarian rule, according to Human Rights Watch’s Phil Robertson. This is by virtue of the government’s use of the act to “assert power over the people and to create a climate of fear”.
“And it’s working,” said Ambiga Sreenevasan, a former president of the Malaysian Bar.
Incontestably, such a curtailment of the fundamental right to free speech is detrimental to a country’s political and social growth. According to Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, “The success of a society is to be evaluated primarily by the freedoms that members of the society enjoy.”
Sen advocates that development is the process of expanding human freedom whereby the promotion of the freedoms of press, speech and assembly cultivates clean, honest and accountable governance. In his book Development as Freedom, he listed “political freedoms”, which include a functioning democracy, freedom to scrutinize and criticize the actions of authorities, freedom of expression and speech, and the presence of a free press as being among the freedoms that “tend to contribute to the general capability of a person to live more freely”.
The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “The advent of the world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”
Unfortunately, as long as the Sedition Act continues to be in existence and continues to have unlimited arbitrary power vested in it, Malaysians can never truly realize their aspiration for a decent degree of freedom of speech. Used by the ruling elite to subdue any form of political resistance against its six-decade reign, the Sedition Act will never cease to oppress Malaysians.
BN and PR cannot afford to wait 20 years to change their ways.
Gen X stands at the forefront of politics right now. Born in the 1960s and 1970s, Gen X created a revolution through the introduction of the Internet in public life, forever changed the way we communicate with each other, and introduced some of the most dynamic industries yet. Their time has only just begun, and they are set to change the political landscape worldwide as they begin to assume power in various countries throughout the world.
Waiting in the wings, however, is Gen Y. FMT has covered Gen Y’s workplace aspirations as well as the complaints leveled against these millennials by their Gen X managers. It’s clear that there is a significant divide in how Gen Y gets things done and how Gen X wants things to be done, and that represents an issue for our future leaders.
Born to the largest middle class in history, the millennials have rarely wanted for anything because the hard work ethics of their Baby Boomer parents have ensured that they have the best life available to them. From Internet access to unprecedented access to television programming, Gen Y is hyper connected and hyper aware of cultures and issues, though many of its members are armchair warriors on the subjects they claim to champion.
This environment of enablement allows Gen Y to harbour great entrepreneurial ambitions, and also great workplace expectations, which leads us to the complaints managers have against Gen Y. But that aside, of great curiosity is how Gen Y will come to impact the world of politics in Malaysia.
The ability of Gen Y to affect change was first seen in the crowning of Barack Obama as President of the United States. With his affable charm and easy slogans, he appeared a revolutionary figure who could live up to Gen Y’s visions of how a country should be run after power is taken out of the hands of old men set in their ways. Whether he has succeeded or not is for history to decide, but this remains the prime example of how millennials can organize to shift the political landscape entirely.
The leading edge of the millennials is represented by those in their mid-30s, old enough to have established a career path, and perhaps even a family. It’s also around this time that a person begins to think of how he can give back to society, and this manifests in helping the community his involved in, or even entering politics out of a hope to serve the nation better. There’s no denying, though, that some have got into politics because they saw a chance to make money. Be that as it may, within the next decade, Gen Y will begin it’s foray into politics, and the values held by Gen Y are going to cause many complications on both sides of the partisan divide.
As with all generations, Malaysia’s Gen Y will have political leanings in all shades, with some on the fringes of both the extreme right and left, though the more educated and connected will always tend towards liberal values. This is a great point to consider for any party that prides itself in upholding the rights of the downtrodden.
Millennials in general have made social responsibilities a part of their lives – serving in soup kitchens, finding uses for recycled materials, giving a weekend or two to awareness programmes and such. This bodes well for the opposition, which built it’s name in championing human rights and social justice, and less so for the ruling party and it’s conservative elements.
Women will also play a huge role as millennials have become increasingly empowered in terms of women’s rights, and despite the “men’s rights” backlash, a large portion of millennials see the rise of women in politics as a positive sign.
This can largely be attributed to the general optimism of Gen Y. They believe that things will eventually work out if they we keep putting in the effort, but this can lead to easy disillusionment when encountering failure, which is probably why the Pew Centre found in it’s research that despite the optimism, Gen Y is more distrustful of people than Gen X.
A very important finding in the Pew Centre’s research is that a majority of millennials do not identify with political parties. This is perhaps driven by Gen Y’s tendency to be driven by issues and not by rhetoric, and since no party seems to be interested in striking a balance between right-wing and left-wing policies, the millennials are not interested in proclaiming loyalty to any party in particular. After all, despite the leanings towards liberal ideals mentioned above, millennials are also fiscally conservative.
Millennials aren’t any more partial than their elders to higher taxes, and are generally seen to be unsupportive of handouts, believing that nobody owes them a living. (This may be a little bit of a hypocritical disconnect considering their lives are more or less handed to them by their parents.) Fiscal responsibility and curbing excess spending seems to be the government trend these days, and both sides need to make steps towards reducing the national deficit as the worsening economy is a great concern for Gen Y.
In 20 years, all of Gen Y will have come of age, and some will even be leaders in government. The parties that these leaders represent, however, may not be the same parties that claim dominance today should they refuse to learn that Gen Y requires a different touch than the one that worked for Gen X.
Policy and not rhetoric. Moderation and not extremism. Rights and not repression. These are only some of the issues both sides of the fence need to evaluate to maintain relevance for the generation, and one can only assume that Gen Z will exacerbate the current issues that need to be addressed within Malaysia’s political structure.
But then again, would it be so bad for Gen Y to demolish the current political structure and begin anew once the old guard have died off?
The burden to prove seditious or defamatory remarks made inside and outside social media are among the matters that will be scrutinised in a bid to improve the Sedition Act 1948.
Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the burden to prove actual sedition and defamation, including for the cases brought to courts, should be taken into consideration as many social media users were using their nicknames or a fake identity.
"There's a suggestion for all media users to register (their true identity) with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Logically, it is doable, but technically, challenges await because some individuals registered as social media users, such as Facebook, from overseas.
"In fact, Facebook is not registered under the MCMC. The public need to understand this," he said in Kuala Lumpur today.
Shabery also said Facebook registration did not require users to share their detailed information and this made it difficult to prove the identity of persons who abused the social media.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently announced that the Sedition Act would be maintained with improvements so that it would remain relevant with the change of time.
Shabery explained that it was also a big challenge for any country, including the developed ones, to prove that a social media user had committed a defamation or sedition offence.
"Maybe the other alternative is to foster cooperation with Facebook, Twitter and other social media, or to register IP addresses that will enable forensic work to be carried out to detect those involved," he said. – Bernama, December 1, 2014.