Sunday, August 22, 2010

Isu Doa Khutbah Jumaat

(Nota: Gambar hiasan semata-mata)




Kerakusan kuasa YAB Lim Guan Eng di Pulau Pinang tampaknya semakin menjadi-jadi apabila telah 'dinobatkan' lebih afdal daripada Yang di-Pertuan Agong sendiri selaku Ketua Agama Islam di negari itu, sebagaimana laporan Utusan Malaysia yang menyatakan bahawa nama Seri Paduka Baginda telah digantikan dengan nama beliau semasa bacaan doa khutbah solat Jumaat di beberapa masjid di Permatang Pauh dan Jelutong sejak minggu lalu.

Justeru, Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO Malaysia (Pemuda UMNO) mendesak agar suatu siasatan dibuat segera berhubung perkara ini. Pemuda UMNO juga membantah dan menolak dengan keras penggantian itu, sekiranya benar terjadi, yang mana bukan sahaja menghina institusi raja selaku ketua agama bahkan kesucian masjid dengan penggunaan mimbar sebagai saluran politik bagi mengagungkan Lim Guan Eng.

Bahkan, kejadian ini adalah pelik lagi dangkal kerana pembacaan doa khutbah solat Jumaat sememangnya dikhususkan kepada Ketua Agama Islam Persekutuan atau Ketua Agama Islam Negeri, yakni Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Sultan, dan bukannya untuk ketua eksekutif pentadbiran negeri iaitu Menteri Besar atau Ketua Menteri, tidak kira sama ada beliau itu Muslim atau tidak.

Sikap biadap seperti ini pastinyamembuat luka yang menyinggung hati umat Islam di Pulau Pinang dengan pembatalan perarakan Maulidur Rasul pada Februari lalu berdarah kembali.

Namun, apa yang lebih memeranjatkan adalah sikap membisu dan tidak ambil kisah oleh PAS yang sering mendabik dada sebagai pejuang Islam tetapi terbukti longlai di kaki 'Khalifah' Lim Guan Eng.

Lembaran sejarah Islam menunjukkan bahawa apabila suatu jajahan itu telah ditakluki oleh pemimpin baru atau berlaku sebarang peralihan kuasa, maka doa khutbah solat Jumaat akan ditujukan kepada pihak pemerintah yang baru sebagaimana kisah penyerahan kuasa daripada Daulah Fatimiah kepada Daulah Abbasiah di Mesir pada tahun 567 Hijriah yang disusuli oleh simbolik penggantian doa khutbah Jumaat daripada yang menyebut Khalifah Al-Adhid kepada Khalifah Al-Mustadhi dari Daulat Abbasiah. Jadinya, sikap berdiam diri yang ditonjolkan oleh PAS bukan sahaja menzahirkan kerelaan mereka di dalam mempromosikan cengkaman dan campur tangan DAP di dalam urusan umat Islam malahan juga mungkin suatu pengiktirafan PAS kepada kuasa dan pengaruh DAP sebagai penakluk baru di Pulau Pinang.

Malah ia juga membuktikan kuasa DAP yang bukan sahaja telah menguasai Pulau Pinang bahkan juga meminggiri PAS dan PKR, yang kelihatan begitu rela dan redha menjadi pak turut parti tersebut. Pakatan Rakyat atau PR kini nampaknya bukan lagi Pakatan Rakyat tetapi adalah Pelana Rezeki buat tunggangan rakus DAP.

Kenyataan Pemuda BN Berhubung Kenyataan Berbaur Perkauman Oleh Pengetua SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra

Source: Rembau Dot Net




Pergerakan Pemuda Barisan Nasional (Pemuda BN) memandang serius dan mengecam keras kenyataan berbaur perkauman serta menghina yang didakwa telah diucapkan oleh Pengetua Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kulai Jaya, Johor pada 12 Ogos lalu.


Ucapan beliau yang dilaporkan menyebut bahawa pelajar berbangsa Cina tidak diperlukan di sini dan boleh pulang ke negara Cina disamping menyamakan gelang keagamaan agama Hindu yang dipakai oleh pelajar berbangsa India seperti rantai anjing adalah amat jijik dan begitu menonjolkan kejahilan beliau berhubung isu kewarganegaraan serta aspek ritual agama-agama lain di negara ini.


Bahkan, amat memeranjat dan memilukan sekali kerana semua itu diucapkan di hadapan murid-murid pelbagai bangsa semasa perhimpunan sekolah bersempena perayaan menyambut bulan kemerdekaan negara. Apakah beliau langsung tidak memikirkan perasaan para pelajar, terutama berbangsa Cina dan India, yang mengumandangkan lirik “Negaraku, Tanah tumpahnya darahku” semasa menyanyikan lagu kebangsaan pada majlis tersebut namun disajikan dengan ungkapan umpama menghina dan menghalau keluar dari negara ini?


Oleh itu, Pemuda BN berpendapat bahawa insiden ini, yang telah mengundang 17 laporan polis setakat ini, haruslah disiasat sepenuhnya dan sekiranya benar terjadi maka beliau hendaklah di dakwa bagi satu hukuman yang keras, di bawah Seksyen 504 Kanun Keseksaan atau seumpamanya, kerana ia langsung tidak boleh diterima sama sekali oleh masyarakat majmuk di negara ini.


Pemuda BN juga menyeru supaya Kerajaan tidak memandang remeh tentang perkara ini dan sekiranya benar ia berlaku maka suatu hukuman yang keras perlu dilaksanakan sebagai suatu pengajaran serta isyarat tegas bahawa mana-mana tindakan yang tidak selari dan sejajar dengan gagasan 1Malaysia, yang memupuk semangat perpaduan nasional, haruslah ditangani dan diambil tindakan yang sewajarnya.


Insiden ini, yang melibatkan seorang ketua pentadbir sebuah insititusi pendidikan, mahupun kes terdahulu yang membabitkan seorang bekas Pegawai Khas kepada YAB Perdana Menteri menampakkan bahawa isu perkauman adalah suatu permasalahan sistemik yang bukan sahaja wujud bahkan menular di dalam masyarakat majmuk di negara kita ini dan betapa amat mudah sekali bagi mana-mana pihak untuk terjebak di dalam apa jua provokasi mahupun konflik berbaur perkauman.


Sehubungan itu, disamping menekankan aspek punitif bagi sebarang insiden yang disabitkan kesalahannya, Pemuda BN juga menyeru agar Kerajaan dapat mencari jalan bagi mempertingkatkan lagi penyemaian dan penyuburan semangat serta nilai patriotisme dan perpaduan di kalangan rakyat disamping menginstitusikan usaha-usaha tersebut, terutama di dalam aspek penilaian dan kenaikan pangkat kakitangan Kerajaan bagi mengelakkan berulangnya insiden yang melibatkan seorang pegawai kanan Kerajaan, yang berperanan besar di dalam urus tadbir sebuah sekolah, seperti mana yang berlaku di Kulai Jaya, Johor ini.


Umum mengetahui bahawa isu perkauman adalah aspek dua hala yang bukan sahaja membabitkan kenyataan atau tindakan dari bangsa Melayu berhubung Bukan Melayu, bahkan begitu juga sebaliknya. Sehubungan dengan itu Pemuda BN menyeru semua pihak untuk bersifat waspada dan menghindarkan diri daripada mudah terjerumus ke kancah polemik dan konflik perkauman disamping kita semua bersama mencari titik penyelesaiannya. Inilah dianya cabaran 1Malaysia.

Khairy Jamaluddin : Solve The Root Cause First

(this post, that is taken from Rembau Dot Net, appears as a column in the 16th August weekly edition of The Edge)

I attended a forum at a local university recently discussing Malaysia's competitiveness. On the panel with me were two academics with diametrically opposed political views and the youth chief from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). I was looking forward to a decent, intellectual discussion on economic policy and the reforms that have been introduced by Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak's government in order to lift Malaysia from its 'middle-middle' (middle income, middling achievement) predicament. Of course, this didn't happen.


The forum was held the day after the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its World Investment Report for 2010. The key take away for many from that report was that Malaysia suffered an 81% drop in foreign direct investments (FDI) inflow in 2009 from the year before. This headline figure was a godsend especially for the opposition. The PKR youth chief made a meal of the report without having any profound grasp of economics. All he needed to do was to plot the 81% drop on a graph to score visual points with the student audience. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the forum descended into political point scoring with my opposition counterpart trying his best to show how much - or little - he knows about finance ("Felda is on the brink of bankruptcy because its cash reserves have dwindled."). But that's for another day.


The point is that the UNCTAD report reduced all nuanced discussions on Malaysia’s economic competitiveness to one annual reduction - albeit a significant one - in FDI and how this is a clear signal that reforms are not working. While the sustained reduction in inward investments over the last few years has been a cause for concern, it is easy to overstate the figure highlighted by the UNCTAD. After bizarrely trying to dispute the figure in the report, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) finally got into damage control mode and sought to put the findings into its proper context.

Some of its arguments are valid: the drop in FDI is reflective of substantial reductions in global FDI flows, many advanced economies that make up our traditional sources for FDI have yet to see full economic recovery and a deliberate policy shift by the government to focus on high-technology investments which is still a work in progress. The second point is all the more relevant considering net FDI figures are adjusted for profit repatriation which count as outflows given that some USD 8 billion was sent by multinationals based here to their parent companies that were facing capital constraints during the financial crisis.


Other reasons given can be contested. For instance, much has been said that neighbouring countries with higher FDI numbers like Indonesia and Vietnam are at a lower stage of development hence receive much more investments in infrastructure whereas Malaysia while not yet fully developed doesn't have or need as many big works projects. This lower base argument is not wrong, but it doesn't fully explain why other neighbours like Singapore can attract more FDI over the same period without having to offer big investment opportunities in building highways, power plants and other big-ticket infrastructure items.

There are also problems with the industrial policy argument which excuses away lower FDI because of a deliberate shift from labour-intensive to capital-intensive and now to knowledge-based industries. Because of this strategic transformation, attracting FDI is more competitive and the returns that we get from every dollar that comes in is higher so lower inflow figures may not adequately reflect what we are getting out of it.


But the main issue here is, are we really prepared for the shift or is this a ready made excuse every time FDI numbers plunge y-o-y? If I remember correctly, every time FDI figures don't go our way, we say that its because we are more discerning in terms of investment. Previously, it was moving Malaysia away from labour-intensive sweatshops in our industrial estates to more value-added, capital intensive manufacturing. Now when it appears even capital-intensivity has fallen - capital investment per employee fell to RM507,335 in 2009 from RM620,571 the year before - we speak of the need to move to knowledge-based industries. Shifting the goalposts may sound good and make economic sense, but the feeling out there is that much of it is spin to deflect from lower investments in whatever category.


Another point about the industrial policy argument is whether or not we are ready for this to begin with. Don't get me wrong. We must move up the value chain in order to stay competitive and we cannot rely on cheap industries to continue to propel our economy as tempting as it is to fall back on foreign labour and subsidized utilities just to rack up the numbers. But the shift to capital intensive and knowledge-based industries presupposes the existence of a talent pool that can make the transformation happen. Based on publicly available data, 80% of our productive workforce under 40 only have SPM. Without reforms to the education system under way with a new, revamped option for vocational training, its difficult to see how present human capital inputs can create a viable shift in industrial policy. So, its all well and good having an intent to move up the value chain but when that intent is not matched by the ability to do so, then its all the more telling that maybe we're not getting in the targeted FDI because other destinations are seen as better offering the building blocks required for such industries.

And that really is the crux of the problem at hand. We are not an unattractive investment destination by any objective measure. Even the UNCTAD report which has caused much problems for our policy-makers maintained that Malaysia was one of the top 15 host countries for FDI. But in order to post better numbers and make a meaningful industrial shift in the quality of investments and economic activity we want to attract, we need to face up to some uncomfortable truths.



We need to acknowledge that bureaucratic reforms are still lagging global pace-setters. We need to admit that high-technology infrastructure is still sparsely available with very little consistency of service. And most importantly, we need to own up to the fact that despite having a skilled, multiracial population that is supposed to be proficient in English - at least this is what we tell investors - the reality is far different. The biggest problem that we face today, whether in terms of attracting FDI or maintaining economic competitiveness is the lack of innovation and talent in our workforce. And the root cause of that is how we educate and train young Malaysians. Solve that and we won't have to shift goalposts anymore every time UNCTAD's figures don't go our way.

Khairy Jamaluddin : Statesmen and Opportunists - A Rejoinder To Lim Kit Siang

Source: Rembau Dot Net



There are statesmen and there are opportunists. We learnt yesterday the shocking news that Petaling Jaya Utara MP YB Tony Pua received a bullet threat in the post. Immediately a chorus of condemnation ensued, and rightly so. At some point the politics and politicking need to take a backseat in favour of humanity and caring for each other's fundamental right to physical safety. It was in such spirit that I, as Leader of UMNO Youth, expressed outrage against the threat to YB Tony and his family, as well as urged the police to ensure their safety. It matters not that YB Tony is a DAP leader, or that we have our numerous disagreements politically, and it certainly does not matter that he is an ethnic Chinese. All that should count is that he is a Malaysian citizen who was threatened by an individual or individuals and that no justification exists for such a threat.


But as is often the case here, in times of shock or crisis, some politicians find ways to exploit sentiments and score political points against an opposing political party. A matter, to which sensible Malaysians can gravitate, suddenly becomes all about how UMNO or Barisan Nasional is at fault. In the minds of such politicians, the politics never stops; in their actions and statements they insist our entire social lives be governed by narrow, belligerent partisan logic, 24/7.


One such politician who tends to do this is YB Lim Kit Siang. We shan't go through history here to see how often he has exploited tensions, conflicts and unease for partisan gains. His recent blog post suffices.


In it, YB Lim Kit Siang implies that the threat was a result of "communal hatred against YB Tony". He precedes this insinuation by stating the police reports and warnings made against YB Tony made by UMNO Youth Selangor and the UMNO Information Chief. He is careful to avoid blaming UMNO outright on his blog, but we all know what he's trying to say.


Was the bullet threat motivated by discontent in parts of the Malay community about YB Tony's position on the Bumiputera housing discount? Likely, though we cannot rule out any possibility until the police conclude their investigations, hence the call I made earlier for speculations to be kept at bay. For the sake of argument, was UMNO at the forefront of this Malay discontent? Sure. But instead of trying to empathise with such disgruntlement, YB Lim Kit Siang dismisses it with adjectives like 'irresponsible', 'ugly' and 'vicious' - because he'd like very much for people to believe that UMNO manufactured the discontent, and that in doing so UMNO similarly created a "communal hatred" against an individual resulting in a bullet threat. Talk about generalising and piling one assumption over another.


Nevermind that many Malays who have nothing to do with UMNO feel strongly about the issue of Bumiputera housing discounts, it is what YB Lim Kit Siang omits from his statement that interests me most. If he is going to assume that the threat was racially motivated, then I say bravo, Captain Obvious. But especially so being a veteran politician, YB Lim Kit Siang should follow that up with calls for calm, join UMNO Youth and others in rallying all Malaysians of all races to stand in solidarity against extremism. He could have stated that even if the threat was racially motivated, it was not representative of any community. These are exactly the things YB Lim Kit Siang should say if he has the country's interests at heart. But true to form, instead of defusing the situation, YB Lim Kit Siang sought to worsen it by fanning the very "communal hatred" he is convinced exists - provoke UMNO, ridicule the aforementioned discontent and hope people see it through his partisan eyes.


But I have more faith in Malaysians than YB Lim Kit Siang does. Just as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and all the various ethnicities in this great country rose up against the arson attacks early this year, I believe we will do the same whenever anyone receives death threats for stating their views, even if there are racial or religious dimensions involved. We are a resilient lot; push comes to shove, we know to put our differences aside and stand together. Well, most of us, anyway. There are statesmen and there are opportunists.

Pemuda UMNO Prihatin Kenaikan Harga Barang






Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO (Pemuda UMNO) amat perihatin dengan tren kenaikan harga barangan yang kini sudah menjadi suatu yang sinonim dengan musim perayaan di negara kita. Senario kenaikan harga ini terbukti apabila media melaporkan dua insiden kenaikan harga melibatkan ayam dan juga bawang putih yang mana menyaksikan kenaikan antara 30 sen sehingga RM1.50 sekilogram bagi ayam dan juga lonjakan mendadak daripada lingkungan RM3.00 hingga RM3.50 sekilogram bagi bawang putih.


Berkisar dengan isu ayam, Pemuda UMNO berasa kesal dengan sikap pembekal dan pemborong yang mengambil peluang untuk menjana keuntungan lebih serta tidak mengendahkan nasihat YAB Perdana Menteri, Dato’Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak yang mengingatkan golongan peniaga agar tidak sewenang-wenangnya menaikkan harga barang tatakala bulan Ramadhan ini.


Tindakan sebegini bukan sahaja membebankan pengguna malahan memberi maklum balas pasaran yang negatif terhadap keputusan Kerajaan untuk memansuhkan lesen ayam bermula 15 Julai lepas. Ini kerana golongan pengguna, terutama sekali mereka yang tidak mempunyai peluang dan kuasa memilih oleh kerana lokasi atau pun tindakan peniaga yang berpakat, pastinya akan tertindas dan teraniaya.


Sehubungan itu Pemuda UMNO mengecam sebarang amalan pengambilan untung berlebihan atau mencatut dengan menaikkan harga barang yang tidak berpatutan di kala permintaan tinggi semasa musim perayaan dan dengan itu meminta agar kerajaan dapat menyegerakan perlaksanaan undang-undang anti pencatutan. Ini kerana undang-undang sedemikian beserta pemantauan dan penguatkuasaan yang efektif dan menyeluruh bakal mengekang serta membendung amalan tidak beretika peniaga bukan sahaja di kala musim perayaan namun jika apabila berlaku sebarang pengurangan subsidi seperti subsidi bahan bakar, yang mana sebelum ini menunjukkan kenaikan tinggi barangan yang tidak setimpal dengan unjuran kos pihak peniaga.


Disamping itu, Pemuda UMNO juga gusar dengan peningkatan harga yang mencecah sehingga 143 peratus dan 184 peratus sekilogram bagi bawang putih yang mana menurut Presiden Persatuan Import dan Eksport Barangan Makanan Malaysia adalah disebabkan oleh banjir yang melanda kawasan penanaman bawang putih di Cina seperti Henan dan Shandong. Difahamkan Malaysia mengimport 100 peratus keperluan bawang putih negara dari Cina yang juga pengeluar terbesar dunia dengan menguasai 77 peratus saiz pengeluaran.


Namun demikian, hasil kajian Pemuda UMNO bahawa kenaikan harga bawang putih di pasaran antarabangsa tidak sepenuhnya disebabkan oleh bencana alam banjir di Cina. Ini kerana kenaikan harga ini juga didorongi oleh faktor pengeluaran pengeluaran sebanyak 50 peratus oleh pengusaha dan penanam bawang putih unjuran harga bawang yang rendah pada tahun 2008 serta aktiviti spekulasi pasaran yang membuat taruhan dagangan pada komoditi bawang putih.


Sehubungan dengan itu, disamping mengambil maklum akan penjelasan yang diberikan oleh Persatuan Pengimport dan Pengeksport Barangan Makanan Malaysia, Pemuda UMNO juga berharap agar pihak Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan dapat mencari jalan untuk mengurang dan mengekang risiko kenaikan harga yang tidak berasaskan kepada pasaran sebenar seperti kegiatan spekulasi melalui proses rundingan pukal jangka panjang ataupun kaedah lain yang dapat membendung gejala ini.


Disamping itu juga, Pemuda UMNO meminta pihak berkuasa dan juga orang ramai agar dapat meningkatkan usaha pemantauan bersama bagi mengelakkan aktiviti pencatutan menerusi kenaikan harga dengan tinggi atau tidak berpatutan mahupun sebarang amalan penyorokan barangan.