Kalau Anak Bangsa Malaysia, mengapa saya dibezakan?


February 28, 2o10

“To celebrate diversity – that is our final destination, the final apex. If we celebrate our diversity, then it means we have reached our final destination of ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ and 1 Malaysia. This means that we think as one people, one nation, one dream.”—Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak

“Saya wartawan anak Bangsa Malaysia, bukannya dari India,mengapa bezakan saya?”

oleh G. Manimaran (February 27, 2010)

Buat pertama kali penulis melangkah ke Kelab Sultan Sulaiman yang terletak di tengah-tengah ibu negara. Ketika melangkah ke pekarangan premis, penulis dapat merasai udara semangat perjuangan orang-orang Melayu, lebih-lebih ia terletak dalam lingkungan Kampung Baru, penempatan milik kaum Melayu.

Kelab Sultan Sulaiman memikul detik-detik bersejarah yang membawa kepada penubuhan Umno, menguburkan usaha menubuhkan Malayan Union dan kemudian kemerdekaan negara.

Walaupun hari ini merupakan cuti mingguan, penulis memutuskan untuk membuat liputan pelancaran Majlis Perundingan Melayu (MPM) yang ditubuhkan oleh pertubuhan-pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO). Program ini menarik perhatian penulis lebih-lebih ekoran perubahan landskap politik yang disaksikan dua tahun lalu.

Tanggal 8hb. Mac ini merupakan genap dua tahun negara melalui tsunami politik. Tsunami politik itu secara langsung dan secara tidak langsung telah mencetuskan pelbagai reaksi yang kita sedia mengetahui dan sedia maklum.

Sebagai penulis yang sudah dua dekad berkecimpung dalam dunia kewartawanan, pengalaman pagi ini cukup merimaskan, malah cukup membimbangkan.

Mengapa kita masih mahu melabelkan kita ini orang Melayu, orang Cina dan orang India? Mengapa tidak kita melihat sebagai satu bangsa Malaysia yang diilhamkan Wawasan 2020 dan kini slogan 1 Malaysia dibawa Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Latar Belakang

Penulis dibesarkan di sebuah ladang yang penduduknya terdiri daripada kalangan masyarakat pelbagai kaum. Penulis meneruskan pengajian di Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, yang rata-rata mengutamakan aspirasi nasional dengan bahasa kebangsaan. Penulis pernah berkhidmat di Kumpulan Utusan selama 16 tahun. Penulis pernah berkhidmat sebagai pensyarah sambilan di universiti-universiti awam yang pelajarnya pelbagai kaum. Penulis pernah terlibat dalam makmal 1 Malaysia akhir tahun untuk menghimpunkan input bagi menyemai perpaduan dan integrasi negara.

Ketua tempat saya bekerja, dari dulu hingga sekarang, adalah seorang Melayu. Mereka tidak pernah membezakan saya ini seorang keturunan India. Saya pernah menyelia staf bawahan saya. Saya tidak pernah melihat mereka mengikut warna kaum dan agama.

Banyak lagi yang boleh diketengahkan bahawa penulis adalah anak bangsa Malaysia.Sepanjang dua dekad penglibatan dalam dunia kewartawan, penulis selaku wartawan yang bertanggungjawab dan beretika, jika tidak amalkan tapisan kendiri dan menyiarkan segala apa yang diperkatakan oleh sumber berita — sama ada dikeluarkan orang perseorangan, NGO atau ahli-ahli politik secara bulat-bulat, sudah tentu ia sudah lama menyumbangkan kepada kerumitan, kesulitan atau masalah-masalah yang tidak perlu.

Penulis pernah membaca dan menghasilkan tulisan yang bersangkut paut dengan insiden berbaur perkauman. Ini termasuklah insiden bekas Ketua UMNO Bahagian Bukit Bendera, Datuk Ahmad Ismail dan bekas pegawai khas perdana menteri Datuk Nasir Safar baru-baru ini, sebagai antara contoh. Begitu juga tindakan seorang perwakilan pada mesyuarat agung tahunan MIC tahun lalu yang mahu mengenakan kalungan selipar.

Kami sebagai penulis mengecam tindakan-tindakan sedemikian.Tetapi apabila ia dialami hari ini, ia sesuatu yang sungguh mengejutkan. Mengapa ia harus berlaku sedangkan penulis hanya menghadirkan diri pada pelancaran Majlis Perundingan Melayu (MPM) selaku Editor Bahasa Malaysia The Malaysian Insider demi menolong masyarakat Melayu dengan mengetengahkan luahan dan suara mereka untuk tatapan kaum-kaum lain, juga kepada pihak berkuasa.

Kata orang “tak kenal, maka tak cinta”. Jika kita hendak menulis sesuatu isu atau perkara dengan mendalam, kita sebagai penulis harus menghayati masalah dan isu seseorang, sesuatu kaum dan sesebuah organisasi.

Justeru, dengan berbuat demikian kita boleh menghasilkan penulisan yang bermutu, adil dan bertanggungjawab. Malah, kehadiran penulis juga bertujuan memberi liputan seimbang selepas tercetusnya pelbagai pandangan tuduh-menuduh dan menuding jari ke arah pihak-pihak tertentu dan kaum lain di negara ini sejak 8hb. Mac 2008.

Diarah Keluar

Sekurangnya-kurangnya sebagai wartawan yang lahir di negara ini selepas Merdeka, yang mempunyai perasaan cintakan negara dan turut mahu menyumbang kepada kemakmuran dan kesejahteraan negara, penulis melangkah ke Kelab Sultan Sulaiman dengan niat baik.

Tetapi niat baik difahami dari sudut serong oleh beberapa individu tertentu yang mengaku mereka wakil sekretariat MPM. Akhirnya ia mencetuskan persepsi negatif terhadap MPM walaupun sebenarnya ia ditubuhkan dengan tujuan tertentu.

Selepas kira-kira 20 minit berada dewan, penulis dibawa keluar dari dewan majlis dan diminta tidak membuat liputan. Ada anggota sekretariat mengatakan bahawa “ini majlis kami, kita bincang masalah suami isteri, tidak mahu orang lain mendengar dan bimbang akan membuat berita mengelirukan”.

Penulis faham kehendak mereka. Justeru, jawapan penulis juga mudah, “jika begitu anggaplah majlis ini majlis tertutup dan wartawan lain yang berada dalam dewan juga harus dimaklumkan ini dan diminta keluar sekali”.

Penulis tersentak apabila dikatakan mereka adalah wartawan kalangan Melayu dan tidak akan menghasilkan berita sensitif.“Saya buat keputusan (mereka akan kekal di dewan),” kata seorang lagi wakil sekretariat. Penulis cuba menjelaskan tujuan kehadiran dan pendirian bahawa mahu memberikan laporan seimbang mengenai MPM tetapi tidak diambil peduli.

Penulis tidak ingin menceritakan panjang perkataan-perkatan lain yang digunakan dalam perbualan dengan sekretariat. Penulis tidak mahu mencetuskan suasana tidak senang di kalangan masyarakat pelbagai kaum negara ini.

Pokoknya, negara sudah lebih lima dekad mengharungi ranjau perjalanan dan pergeseran kaum. Penulis secara peribadi beranggapan bahawa kita sudah lama telah melepasi garis pemisahan kaum apabila melabel orang lain.

Antara yang berucap pada majlis pelancaran ialah  Presiden Perkasa Datuk Ibrahim Ali yang juga Ahli Parlimen Bebas Pasir Mas, Presiden Mubarak Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang dan Presiden Persatuan Pemikir Profesional Melayu Malaysia, Professor Datuk Dr Kamaruddin Kachar yang juga bekas Ketua Pengarah BTN berucap pada majlis pelancaran itu. Presiden Cuepacs Omar Osman juga hadir.

Penulis sudah lama mengenali Ibrahim Ali. Beliau seorang yang lantang bersuara, dan penulis pernah menemu bual beliau selaku ketua Perkasa untuk The Malaysian Insider beberapa minggu lalu. Pernah menemu bual beberapa kali selaku wartawan.

Atas kapasiti itu, Ibrahim secara peribadi menghubungi penulis untuk menjelaskan bahawa sekretariat tidak membuat sebarang keputusan melarang mana-mana wartawan daripada liputan pelancaran MPM.

“Saya sangat sedih, minta maaf dengan apa yang berlaku… saya kesal dengan apa yang berlaku… ini bukan keputusan MPM,” kata beliau yang berjanji akan mengambil tindakan ke atas mereka yang membuat keputusan sendiri itu.

Setiausaha MPM Dr Hassan Mat juga melahirkan pandangan yang serupa.“Saya memang ada dimaklumkan kehadiran saudara dan dikatakan bahawa mereka telah meminta saudara keluar, tetapi saya sebenarnya telah meminta mereka membenarkan saudara terus berada dalam dewan.

“Tetapi ada seorang dua pegawai buat keputusan sendiri, tidak mengikut apa yang saya kata… ini bukan keputusan MPM… saya meminta maaf bagi pihak MPM,” kata beliau kepada penulis menerusi perbualan telefon.

Penulis perlu mengakui sikap-sikap negatif begini tidak melibatkan semua orang Melayu di negara. Penulis juga mempunyai ramai kawan daripada kalangan Melayu dan yang beragama Islam. Penulis menganggap mereka sebagai sebahagian daripada anggota bangsa Malaysia.

Kita kena memahami mereka dan menghormati mereka. Itu yang penulis lakukan selama ini. Misalnya sempena sambutan Maulidur Rasul semalam, penulis meluangkan lebih dua hari untuk menghantar mesej selamat menyambut Maulidur Rasul dan masih ada rakan-rakan yang perlu dikirimkan perutusan.

Dalam suasana sebegini kita masih ada golongan yang berfikiran sempit, yang merosakkan segala usaha kerajaan dan dasar negara. Sebab nila setitik, rosak susu sebelangga!

Tidak kira kaum dan agama, kita tidak harus ada golongan “Little Napoleon” yang menghina dan menyinggung kaum lain. Bolehkah kita berubah? Saya wartawan anak bangsa Malaysia, bukannya dari India.

Malaysian Economy: Ahmad Husni responds to Anwar Ibrahim


February 27, 2010

Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni on the Malaysian Economy

Malaysia’s recovery from the global economic crisis were fuelled by positive growth registered by various sectors and not solely due to the accelerated implementation of the RM67 billion economic stimulus package, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

He said opposition claims that Malaysia’s 2009 “better than expected” fourth quarter economic performance was the direct result of the whopping RM67 billion stimulus package was totally baseless.

“The economic recovery in the United States and Europe also provided the advantage to Malaysia. While we did not reduce our exports to Europe, we also increased our exports to Asian countries.

“Previously, our country registered a trade deficit with China, but it was no longer the case now as within a two-year period, we have recorded a trade surplus,” he told reporters after launching the “Pintar MAS” programme at Sekolah Kebangsaan Manjoi Dua here today.

Ahmad Husni said the high growth rate recorded by several economic sectors provided the impetus for the country to recover from the economic crisis that plagued the world. For instance, he said, the manufacturing sector recorded a negative growth in the first, second and third consecutive quarters last year, but rebounded in the fourth quarter, with a positive growth.

“In the first quarter, the sector registered -17.9 per cent growth, second quarter -14.5 per cent, third quarter -8.6 per cent and in the fourth quarter +5.3 per cent. All these contributed to the nation’s economic growth,” he added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, when announcing the 2009 fourth quarter economic performance on Wednesday, said the worst was over for the country.

The 4.5 per cent economic growth registered in the fourth quarter of last year was beyond expectation, amid strengthened domestic and external demand, said Najib, who is also finance minister. For the year 2009, the economy contracted by 1.7 per cent, lower than the -3 per cent projected earlier, he added.

Anwar Ibrahim can forget about getting Justice from Malaysia


February 27, 2010

ALIRAN President  says, Anwar can forget about getting justice

Anwar can forget about getting justice from the Malaysian judicial system. Rules can be bent, rules can be ignored, rules can be overlooked when it involves Anwar. This is what the man in the street is saying.

We witnessed this nauseating so-called judicial process in both the trials concerning Anwar’s sodomy and corruption trials in 1999. In the first sodomy trial the charges were amended three times because the authorities did not know the definite date to conclusively state when the so-called sodomy was believed to have taken place then.

In the corruption trial, the presiding judge made it so difficult for the defence to mount a serious challenge to the charge. The judge even decided that he should be convinced of the relevance of the point before the defence was allowed to question the prosecution witnesses. It was so outrageously unjust that it led Malaysians to believe that Anwar had to be convicted no matter what.

Are we witnessing a similar scenario in this instance where Anwar is on trial for the second time charged with, of all things, another sodomy?

The way things are moving, it seems, only divine intervention can save him from the injustice he is being subjected to. Today’s ruling (25 February 2010) by the Federal Court refusing to review an earlier Federal Court decision has an unsettling effect on our system of justice.

Solicitor general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden had argued that the court is not empowered to review its decision. A review can only (be) granted if the applicant manages to prove that “there was an error in law” and only in extremely rare cases is a review granted (Malaysian Insider).

There may not be “an error in law” but what course of remedy is open to the litigant when there was an error in justice? When such error involving justice is so apparent, should the court turn a blind eye to the injustice?

We are made to understand that Rule 137 of the rules of the Federal Court stipulates that the court had limited power to decide on a review of its own decision “to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the process of the court” (Malaysian Insider).

Is this the reason why the law is sometimes referred to as an ass? Does this mean that an injustice and an abuse of the process of court can be tolerated and condoned by the court? Is this what rule of law is all about?

Why is Anwar being denied the list of witnesses? Why is he denied additional information and evidence which is so crucial to his defence? Is it meant to crucify him by all means as many believe it to be?

Shouldn’t the court, in all fairness, order this vital information be given to him so that the three foreign experts who are here can advise Anwar’s team of lawyers as to how to counter the so-called evidence with the prosecution?

Strangely, the court has also ruled that in spite of the fact that there was no penetration according to medical evidence, it will not dismiss the case as there is other corroborating evidence to support the charge.

Normally, penetration is most crucial in the case of rape and sodomy. In such an eventuality, other corroborating evidence may lend credence to the charge but without any positive evidence of penetration what credibility would this charge hold in any fair trial?

In the words of Lord Devlin, the court process “is to provide a civilized method of settling disputes. It is …to remove a sense of injustice.” Unfortunately, we have not witnessed this truth so far. The injustice has not been removed by any stretch of the imagination.

P Ramakrishnan
President
25 February 2010

Simply The Best for this Weekend


February 27, 2010

Friends and associates,

I have taken the unusual step of consulting Dr. Kamsiah’s friends about the songs that I should present this weekend for your entertainment.

They have chosen hot Tina Turner (which is Dr. Kamsiah’s choice), seductive Gloria Gaynor and lovely lady of song Barbra Striesand and wisely they have also included Sir Cliff Richard and the talented Canadian crooner of the Frank Sinatra type, Michael Buble. While these songs naturally reflect their taste, I personally think that they have chosen tunes which  are acceptable all of us.

May you have a good weekend and enjoy Chap Goh Mei. To the young Chinese ladies, throw those oranges into the sea for good luck and may you find the man of your dream. Hey, make sure you leave your telephone or handphone number and e-mail address on the oranges.–DJ Din Merican

Tina Turner–Simply the Best

Tina Turner–What’s Love got to do with it

Gloria Gaynor–I will survive

Barbra Streisand–Woman in Love

Cliff Richard –We don’t talk anymore

Michael Buble– I wanna go home

On the Malaysian Economy


February 27, 2010

On the state of the Malaysian Economy: Your Say

‘I pity the next generation of Malaysians who will be paying for our past and current culture of ‘entitled’ corruption. Wake up or we’re done for.’

‘Worst has yet to come’

Alfy: First of all, I don’t trust whatever the government announces using its ‘supported’ media. Secondly, when they use their own so-called economists, I trust them even less.

Get independent outside financial experts and let them inform us. They will paint the truth, instead of what we are being fed. The thing I cannot ‘tahan’ (stand) is the government thinking we were born yesterday!

Temenggong: What Anwar Ibrahim says is true and the economy’s been that way since the mid-90s. Obviously, he is being advised by economic experts. Public spending cannot continue indefinitely, and sooner or later we have to address the deficit or risk the ringgit falling. Besides, the government is effectively bankrupt and relies on oil income even to pay operating expenditure. This is a dangerous situation.

The atheist: Najib Abdul Razak’s pronouncement that Malaysia is out of the economic woods is but a smokescreen to hoodwink the unenlightened public and the kampong folks. There is no doubt that our FDI has plummeted, foreign investors are wary because of the racism and unstable political climate here.

Najib should go to the ground and see for himself how average (not BN political plunderers) Malaysians are trying to keep their heads above water. His denial syndrome is not going to fool anyone. Soon we’ll be exporting Malaysian maids and manual labourers to Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia.

I pity the next generation of Malaysians who will be paying for our past and current culture of ‘entitled’ corruption. Wake up or we’re done for.

Poor guy: Today the economic growth rate of Vietnam and Indonesia already far exceeds Malaysia. Their social activity and intellectual development is also better with the gap between us and them narrowing. According to an economist who recently surveyed the Philippines, he thinks in 20 years’ time, Malaysia can replace Philippines in becoming a world exporter of maids.

Jbss: Yes, Najib is trying to pull wool over the eyes of the rakyat. The KLCI shows increases while the prices of the stocks do not reflect the increases. This is one clear sign of manipulations of the share market to give false hope to the small investors. They become the suckers.

Bullish predictions by pea-brain leaders with devilish political agendas are intended to suck in the small investors who would become the losers in the end. So be warned!

Soapbox: I believe that BN will imprison Anwar. I also believe BN will not kick out Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. PKR should invite him over to helm the party and Pakatan Rakyat when Anwar is in prison. He should be able to hold Pakatan together until the general election. Forget about analysing BN’s economic data. It’s just a waste of time.

Kgen: The government pump-priming is unsustainable. The growth that really matters is private investments and that has fallen precipitously. If even locals have no confidence in investing in the economy, what more foreign investors?

The economy will continue to stagnate because UMNO leaders cannot make the connection between a robust democracy which respects the rule of law and economic performance.

Kay Kay: If what Anwar is predicting comes true, it can only be good for the politics of the opposition alliance. Those with money should consider it a blessing in disguise. There are always opportunities where there are problems. Those who only have their proverbial shirts on their backs should consider going into small trades for themselves. Those who depend on wages will be run out of town by the illegal immigrants.

UMNO will never change. Their politics is based on jealousy of the Chinese in business. Hence, they will always be looking for ways to become as rich as possible in the shortest time possible by stealing the people’s sweat from the Treasury.

More on CSIS Seminar: Gani Patail and MACC Chairman absent


February 26, 2010

CSIS Washington DC Seminar on Governance and The Rule of Law in Malaysia Became a Closed Door Affair, reports Malaysiakini’s Maran Perianen(February 25, 2010)

A high-profile seminar on the Malaysian government and judiciary in Washington DC by a prominent international think-tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) was strangely turned into a closed-door event.

The seminar titled “Governance and Rule of Law in Malaysia” featured prominent Malaysian government officials before an audience of US government officials, activists, students, diplomats and Malaysian expatriates.

NONEIn the CSIS announcement sent out last week, it stated that the two-hour seminar was “on the record”. But organisers made a U-turn on the matter.

Law Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz (right) was the sole Malaysian representative.Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s advisory panel chairperson Abdul Hamid Mohamad were also invited speakers but were absent.

Instead, Nazri’s entourage included an unsual mix of government and opposition federal lawmakers along with Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Ronald Kiandee.

The MPs present were Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (UMNO – Pasir Salak), Wee Choo Keong (PKR – Wangsa Maju), Zahrain Mohd Hashim (Independent – Bayan Baru) and Jamaluddin Jarjis (UMNO – Rompin), who is also the Malaysian Ambassador to the US.

Expectedly, the US audience and press were particularly keen on questioning the government’s handling of the on-going Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial and were thus disappointed with Abdul Gani’s absence and the organiser’s request for the seminar to be kept off the record.

Ex-envoy: Strange Seminar

Before the seminar commenced, senior adviser and director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program Ernest Bower barred attempts by Malaysiakini to record the session on video. When told that the invitations for the seminar did not specify that the seminar was a closed event, Bower brushed it off by saying that it was quite normal for CSIS seminars to be kept off the record.

NONESeminar participant and former US envoy to Malaysia John R Malott told Malaysiakini that the seminar was the “strangest” that he had attended in Washington DC.

“I found it unusual that the session was off-the-record. This is very rare for a Washington think-tank,” he said.

“The seminar was very strange because there were supposed to be three speakers, but throughout, only one person, Minister Nazri, was there. Abdul Gani never came at all.”

MalottNONE (left) said he had hoped that Abdul Gani would be present because he had specific questions regarding the conduct of the prosecution team in Anwar’s sodomy trial.

He said that the prosecution is required by law to give the defence team whatever evidence necessary for the accused to mount a defence but prosecutors are doing the exact opposite.

“How can they convince us (that it is a fair trial) when they withhold vital information needed defend someone. In America there is no question about this. It will be certainly hard to convince us that this trial is fair,” he said.

Seminar cut short

During his 40-minute speech, Nazri spoke about laws in Malaysia which promotes good governance and how he was instrumental in the formation of the National Integrity Plan, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and other instruments to curb graft.

Nazri also lauded Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s commitment towards combating graft and promoting good governance. He added that he would resign if Najib ever interferes with the MACC. Before the question-and-answer session began, Amnesty International representative T Kumar urged the seminar organisers to open up proceedings to the press.

“That is the right thing to do,” said Kumar, who is the Amnesty International’s Asia and Pacific advocacy director. Despite Nazri’s nod of approval, Bower replied with a firm “no”, adding that he will not backpedal on his decision.

Following this, Nazri was quizzed on the sodomy trial, the Internal Security Act and the controversy surrounding the use of the term ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims. Before he answered the question about the ‘Allah’ controversy, Nazri told the Malaysiakini reporter not to report his answer before his lengthy reply.

Bower abruptly ended the brief 20-minute session after Nazri answered the third question. According to Bower, the Malaysian entourage had to rush off to another engagement.

PKR MP’s participation not unusual

Meanwhile, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution described Wee’s presence at the event as nothing out of the ordinary.

“I do not think that it is peculiar because it is very normal for MPs to go on delegations, whether the opposition or the government. In fact, my last trip to Japan was with Parliament speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia and other MPs from BNBC (Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club).

“We cannot stop CSIS from inviting us. But we do have our stand on the speech given (at the seminar). However, the participation by our MPs is not against Pakatan Rakyat’s stand. So I think that it is perfectly normal for Wee to attend the event.”

Reminder to Our Prime Minister: “Pump Priming is the Road to Economic Serfdom”


PRESS RELEASE

Office of the Leader of the Opposition

February 26, 2010

MALAYSIAN ECONOMY: THE WORST IS YET TO COME

The latest declaration by the Prime Minister that “the worst is over” when the country’s GDP grew at 4.5% in the last quarter of 2009 is not only premature but irresponsible.

It is clear that the supposedly stronger growth was due to the massive pump priming by the government over the last year. Propping up the sagging economy is at best a stop gap measure. Pump priming by definition cannot be permanent. I am deeply concerned that the continuous reliance on massive spending will take us down the road to economic serfdom. And that may not be too distant in the future.

Since 1998, the Barisan Nasional government has implemented only one economic policy i.e. increasing public expenditure (most of the time unnecessarily through massive projects that were subjected to leakages and inflated costs) to make up for the dramatic slack in private spending.

The data on private investment trending since 1991 should serve as a reminder of the path to economic damnation that BN has dragged us into. While private investments grew at the compound annual growth rate of 16.2% between 1991 and 1997, this has dropped severely to a marginal growth of 1% between 1998 and 2008.

Translating this into private investments in real terms, between 2005 and 2008, private investments into our economy stagnated at RM20.3 billion each year. This is even lower than the private investments figure in 1991, nearly 20 years ago.

While Barisan Nasional remains clueless about rejuvenating the economy for the long term, private investments have plunged from the pre-1997 days when it constituted 40% of the gross domestic products (in real terms), to an average of 28% in the last decade.

That is why Pakatan Rakyat will not jump too quickly to declare that the economy has recovered, because there are still structural problems with the economy that have to be addressed urgently if we do not want to continue to fall behind.

Trumpeting a 5% growth for 2010 is disingenuous at best. What the Prime Minister does not say to the people is that even if our economy grows by 5%, Malaysia will continue to fall behind Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and even Vietnam in 2010.

The latest economic forecast by IMF published in October 2009 shows that in 2010, Malaysia is expected to perform the worst among all these countries even as the world economy shows signs of recovery. Vietnam is expected to double our growth rate while the rest will outpace Malaysia by an average of 50%.

The Barisan Nasional government must own up to the fact that our economy is the way it is because of the years of mismanagement and corruption perpetrated by the powers that be.

The future wealth of our country can only be guaranteed by a government that is accountable to the people where transparency and good governance are absolutely essential.

That is why Pakatan Rakyat will remain relentless in the pursuit to offer the people an efficiently managed economy that will sustain the livelihood of future generations.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
Parliamentary Opposition Leader

KENYATAN AKHBAR

Pejabat Ketua Pembangkang

26hb. Februari, 2010

EKONOMI MALAYSIA: RETAK MENANTI BELAH

Pengumuman terbaru oleh Perdana Menteri bahawa “senario ekonomi terburuk” negara telah berakhir kerana KDNK berkembang pada kadar 4.5% dalam suku terakhir 2009 bukan sahaja dikira terlalu awal tetapi juga tidak bertanggungjawab.

Apa yang jelas, pertumbuhan itu sebenarnya dipacu oleh perbelanjaan besar-besaran oleh kerajaan sejak setahun lepas. Suntikan pakej rangsangan, seperti yang diketahui oleh mana-mana ahli ekonomi, sebaiknya adalah langkah sementara dan tidak boleh dilakukan secara berterusan. Oleh sebab itulah, saya amat khuatir kerana kaedah pergantungan yang berterusan kepada perbelanjaan kerajaan secara besar-besaran seperti yang diamalkan Barisan Nasional, akan membawa kita ke kancah permasalahan ekonomi yang sangat serius. Saat apabila ekonomi negara yang kini retak akan terbelah dan berkecai sebenarnya sudah hampir tiba.

Sejak 1998, kerajaan Barisan Nasional hanya tahu satu dasar ekonomi sahaja, iaitu menaikkan perbelanjaan kerajaan (melalui projek-projek besar yang tidak diperlukan dan membazir kerana melibatkan kepentingan kroni) untuk menutup kegagalannya menarik pelaburan individu dan swasta yang telah jatuh merudum.

Data pelaburan individu dan swasta sejak 1991 menjadi peringatan bagaimana Barisan Nasional telah mengheret negara ke lembah kehancuran ekonomi. Kalau sebelumnya di antara tahun 1991 hingga 1997 pelaburan individu dan swasta meningkat setiap tahun pada kadar 16.2%, selepas 1998 hinggalah kini kadar ini hanya menokok 1% secara purata sejak 11 tahun lepas.

Mengambil kira kesan inflasi, maknanya di antara tahun 2005 sehingga 2008, pelaburan individu dan swasta kekal tidak berkembang pada tahap RM20.3 billion setiap tahun. Jumlah ini adalah lebih rendah dari jumlah pelaburan individu dan swasta semasa saya mula-mula menjadi Menteri Kewangan dalam tahun 1991, iaitu hampir 20 tahun lalu.

Pada ketika Barisan Nasional terus hilang punca untuk menghidupkan kembali ekonomi bagi jangka masa panjang, kadar pelaburan individu dan swasta menjunam berbanding dengan tahapnya sebelum tahun 1997. Pada ketika itu, pelaburan individu dan swasta menyumbang 40% kepada KDNK. Malangnya sejak sedekad yang lalu, sumbangan pelaburan individu dan swasta terus merosot secara puratanya kepada kadar 28% sahaja daripada KDNK.

Oleh sebab itu, Pakatan Rakyat tidak akan membuat pengisytiharan yang cuai seperti Perdana Menteri bahawa ekonomi kita sudah pulih, kerana masih terlalu banyak masalah pokok yang perlu diselesaikan dengan segera sekiranya kita tidak mahu Malaysia terus tertinggal di belakang.

Tindakan Perdana Menteri merwar-warkan anggaran pertumbuhan 5% bagi 2010 sebagai sangat baik sebenarnya kurang berhemah. Apa yang tidak diwar-warkan oleh Perdana Menteri disebalik anggaran pertumbuhan 5% itu adalah hakikat bahawa pada kadar tersebut, Malaysia ditinggalkan jauh oleh negara-negara seperti Korea Selatan, Singapura, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Filipina malahan juga Vietnam dalam tahun 2010 kelak. Malaysia pada suatu ketika adalah setanding dengan Korea Selatan dan Singapura dan jauh lebih maju dari negara-negara yang lain.

Anggaran terbaru yang dikeluarkan oleh IMF pada Oktober 2009 menunjukkan bagi tahun 2010, Malaysia dijangkakan akan tumbuh pada kadar yang paling lembap berbanding kumpulan negara-negara tadi, walaupun ekonomi dunia dijangka akan mula pulih. Vietnam dijangka akan tumbuh pada kadar 2 kali ganda lebih baik dari Malaysia dan negara-negara lain akan berkembang pada kadar yang secara puratanya 50% lebih pesat dari Malaysia.

Kerajaan Barisan Nasional perlulah bertanggungjawab dan menerima hakikat bahawa ekonomi kita tersangkut di dalam perangkap seperti yang diumumkan Menteri Kewangan Kedua suatu masa dahulu; adalah disebabkan oleh salahguna kuasa dan rasuah oleh mereka yang berkuasa sejak sekian lama.

Kemakmuran negara pada masa hadapan hanya boleh dijamin oleh sebuah kerajaan yang memikul amanah yang diberikan oleh rakyat dengan rasa tanggungjawab yang tinggi. Maka, persoalan ketelusan dan amalan pentadbiran yang baik adalah prasyarat untuk memulihkan ekonomi negara.

Oleh sebab itu, Pakatan Rakyat akan terus bekerja keras untuk menawarkan kepada rakyat pentadbiran ekonomi yang telus, tulus dan berkembang secara sihat bagi jangkamasa yang panjang demi generasi akan datang.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
Ketua Pembangkang