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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Rakyat Bantah GST

Esok malam saya akan menyertai ceramah mengenai GST. Turut sama ialah pemimpin2 politik seperti Tian Chua, Tamrin Tun Ghafar dan abang Hj Mat Sabu. Esok 30hb April ambang kepada himpunan bantah GST di dataran merdeka. Dataran merdeka hak rakyat. rakyat yang punya.
Saya harap ramai akan datang ke dataran merdeka. Jangan takut. Mahkamah telah menghukum bahawa himpunan aman tidak melanggar undang2. Bahkan melarang himpunan aman melanggar perlembagaan. Kita sudah buktikan bahawa bila kita berhimpun kalau tidak ada provokasi dari pihak upahan UMNO, himpunan akan jadi aman.
Pihak polis tidak boleh ancam rakyat mereka sendiri. Zahid Hamidi tidak boleh ugut rakyat. pemimpin kerajaan seperti Zahid mesti ingat, mereka ialah kerajaan yang disokong oleh 47% dari mereka yang benar2 keluar mengundi. Kerajaan BN ialah kerajaan yang menang atas technicalities. Dari segi moral mereka kalah.
Majority yang tidak sokong kerajaan berhak membantah suatu dasar yang menyakiti mereka. Orang Melayu khususnya mesti celik mata dan cerdiklah sedikit. Jika rakyat terutama orang Melayu sokong juga GST , ini mengesahkan mereka ini lembab. Kita mesti berhenti dari dilembukan.
Bila kita cadangkan untuk batal dan masnuhkan AES, golongan UMNO dan kumpulan Melayu berdemonstrasi dan membantah pembatalan saman AES. Sedangkan hasil AES dinikamati oleh elit Melayu.
Ingat ini hai orang Melayu. 20% Melayu teratas ada pendapatan bulanan RM10,666. 40% yang ditengah ada pendapatan bulanan purata sebanyak RM4123. Yang 40% terbawah pendapatan mereka RM1686. Jangan lupa ini.
Bila kita cadang nak beri pendidikan sampai universiti secara percuma, orang Melayu juga bangkit memprotes, berdemonstrasi dan membantah pembatalan PTTN. Apa- orang Melayu sudah cukup kaya dan punya pendapatan yang besar? Perkara percuma, mereka bertegas dan berkeras hendak bayar juga?
Nasi apa yang orang Melayu makan?
Sekarang bila GST hendak dikenakan- sekali lagi takyat dan khususnya orang Melayu hendak sokong. Apa kena mereka ini?
GST akan menguntungkan kerajaan. Pendapatan kerajaan bertambah. Pendapatan awak bagaimana? Bandingan nya seperti semasa kita dalam keadaan berdepan dengan kos kehidupan yang tinggi, kerajaan mengurniakan kepada diri mereka sendiri kenaikan gaji. Kenaikan pendapatan ini – adakah ianya mendatangkan kebaikaan kepada rakyat atau kebaikan kepada golongan istimewa dan terpilih?
Saya tidak perlu menghurai GST dari sudut arithmetic nya. tidak perlu saya memeningkan kepala pendengar dengan kiraan beza antara input gst dan output gst. Tidak perlu juga saya menerangkan cukai gst yang dikenakan kepada setiap fasa dalam rantaian bekalan. Dari pengilang, kepada pemborong kepada peruncit dan kepada pengguna.
Siapa kata, GST tidak akan menaikkan  harga barang? Kerajaan kata GST bukan elemen kos kepada pihak pembekal. Setiap fasa dalam rantaian bekalan bertindak sebagai ejen mengutip dan memperoses cukai gst. Kerja pemerosesan ini dilakukan percuma kah? Mendahulukan bayaran kepada pihak kerajaan bukan kos? Menanti refund dari kerajaan bukan kos? Semua ini kos kepada pembekal. Pembekal dan peniaga akan assign kos kepada perkara2 ini dan akan mengambil kesempatan menaikkan harga secara umum.
Tidak dapat tidak harga barang atau inflasi akan berlaku. Pengguna akhir bukan sama kekayaan mereka. Yang miskin akan memperuntukkan bahagian yang lebih besar dari pendapatan mereka walhal pendapatan mereka kekal pada tahap sama. Apabila golongan miskin memperuntukkan bahagian yang lebih besar kepada bayaran cukai, ertinya cukai itu regressive. Orang kaya memang bayar cukai- tapi peratusan bayaran cukai dari pendapatan mereka yang lebih besar tidak mencederakan mereka. Bayaran cukai RM100 dari pendapatan 1500 tidak sama dengan bayaran cukai RM100 dari pendapatan RM10,000.
Jadi siapa kata GST membantu golongan pendapatan rendah? Yang menanggung beban cukai dan kenaikan harga umum ialah golongan miskin.


Monday, 28 April 2014

The Obama Visit

President Obama, came, saw and left. There must be some substantive issues discussed between him and the government- but  because it’s a discussion of a very high quality suited to the 21st century, just like the TPPA, the discussions were shrouded in secrecy.
The way Obama went about doing his visit to Malaysia appears to be an all American affair with little or minimal supervision or control from the PM’s office. He went to meet up NGOs who are critical of the BN government. This could not have been an agreed itinerary by the government. Obama went to visit the national mosque. He went to the University of Malaya where he engaged selected students. The American president does his thing the American way. Malaysians could only look on.
The president even brought his own car. The Malaysian government could not even get the car to fill gas from PETRONAS. Instead the Americans filled up from a brand familiar to Americans- Caltex. A phalanx of special agents and security personnel body-guarded Obama and his entourage.  Obama could not trust Malaysian security personnel who may want to allow a security breach by an unidentified entity assumed to be non-hostile.
UMNO has been silent about the visit. Usually the UMNO people and its controlled media will be jumping up and down proclaiming the visit a triumph and endorsement of what Najib is doing. Instead we are hearing counter attacks from UMNO leaders like Zahid. I hope Zahid understood what Obama said when the latter spoke because speaking English to Zahid is a tiring enterprise. The only person who have tons of bragging rights to regal whoever wants to listen to him is Khairy Jamaludin, the minister assigned to chaperon Obama. KJ’s braggadocio will not endear him to the UMNO warlords.
For the former ambassador Jamaludin Jarjis, the visit vindicated his appointment as a special ambassador on a special mission. His tour of duty as ambassador included tasks to cultivate da man Barack and to feed information to media cells and media guerrillas in USA to discredit Anwar. Obama came to Malaysia, Anwar is going to the lockup soon- so in that sense,  JJ has succeeded. He can now concentrate making money through PRIMA and other business endeavours. And continue to be a nuisance in parliament.
What has Obama achieved? We know the American president did not come to Malaysia to say good things about Najib. So Dr Mahathir- who’s the America’s man for Malaysia now? Has Najib become America’s man for Malaysia? If it were Anwar, Dr Mahathir would have come into town and label him an American agent.
He has probably come to apply pressure to Najib to sign the TPPA. Democrat Obama is just another spokesman for big businesses who has come to Malaysia to say, open up or else. As consideration, we will slight Anwar by not meeting up with him; we will issue palliatives on the policies of the government and will say the politically correct Sound Bites.
There was one statement from Obama that is causing less than desirable implications. President Obama says Dato Najib has the instincts for unity and moderation. That’s a most diplomatic way of saying- hey man I think you suck. It only serves to confirm that Najib is not a rational leader who believes that the way forward is moderation and unity. Instincts as we already know are associated with animals who don’t think but act on instincts and impulses. So what Obama is saying, Najib’s intelligence is at the same level of animals like chimpanzees and orang utans.
We are really not sure what Obama’s agenda is. It’s not all complimentary on Najib as we all saw. Patting each other is just a show of bonhomie that hides the bitter medicine which may have been communicated to Najib. Maybe it was hey yo jibby, when will yaalls sign the tppa? Hey man- you gotta jive in with the Chinamen.
Obama must have spoken about the sorry state of the rule of law, impingements on rights of the citizens, worsening race relations made by irrational UMNO and pro UMNO elements.
So Obama concedes that Najib does have the instincts  but elements within his party and outside are cancelling out what could have blossomed from instincts into rational thoughts and actions.
This is not a visit which Najib can rejoice on. It is more a visit of the college principal coming down to scold the errant student.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Muslim DAP MP and Hudud

In the earlier article I have set out my views. Since then I have thought of nothing but ask deep questions as to why PAS wants to table this bill knowing that it will jeopardise its relationship with other PR partners? So the really important question is why?
Why is PAS willing to risk it? 
It’s not a simple case as this set of laws only applies to Muslims. Are there sufficient safeguards to contain excesses of the theocratic class? We don’t want an Islamic inquisition on Muslims themselves who will definitely disagree on some policies. Will Muslims countenance activities of the moral police intruding into the privacy of individuals? A theocratic state can turn into a spiritual dictatorship too. If that comes into being, it will be no different from any other dictatorships.
We have made mere promises that don’t have constraints written on them. Recent events undertaken by Islamic authorities have not shown that application of Islamic laws have not affected non-Muslims adversely.
I have asked my PAS friends- they are saying they are doing what is expected of them to do. It has never abandoned its agenda to set up an Islamic state and adopt shariah laws where hudud is one of them.  This isn’t an agenda by the hardliners and the conservatives only- but is also a shared and common agenda by PAS as a whole. There is only one common agenda.
Now, I don’t think a party based on principle such as DAP will find that stand, difficult to understand. We may disagree with the agenda but must respect the principles that motivate PAS.
So how do we reconcile two opposing set of principles and agenda? PAS will have to go on this alone and cannot expect and demand its partners who operate on different principles to support them. Let us agree to disagree without making judgement on each other.
I said it in the earlier article- PAS ought not to table the bill. Who can stop them? I believe it will go ahead- with or without support from Pakatan. It has to do that because it had said so and carrying out what it said it wanted to do will earn PAS adherents. Perhaps these are the side benefits it will gain- it consolidates support from its own power base and will earn itself new adherents. I am certain PAS will go ahead.
It has to ready itself from lack of support from its Pakatan partners. The other Pakatan partners must also restrain themselves from accusing PAS of backtracking on the terms of cooperation between them. If this is acceptable, then there is no need to leave Pakatan.
Having said that PAS ought not to table a private member’s bill, I do not mean to say that hudud is inherently bad. We don’t have a clear understanding on it as a concept yet.
So far, as I understand it, hudud under Islamic law refers to the class of punishments that are fixed for certain crimes that are considered to be "claims of God."  The crimes are mentioned in the Quran. They include theft, fornication (zina) and adultery (extramarital sex), consumption of alcohol or other intoxicants, and apostasy, and gambling (game of chance). Punishment on some of these crimes are mentioned in the Quran and some are not. For example, the punishment on drinking of alcohol and on gambling are not prescribed in the Quran.
Analysis on the merits of hudud is not amenable to ordinary academic discourses without resorting to complex spiritual principles. That is beyond the ability of this writer. But consider the following:-
3 events that took place illustrate some difficulties.
·        The abduction by a Muslim convict of his son from the mother who is not a Muslim.
·        The refusal by Malaysian Medical Association to allow any of its members to carry out amputation.( so hudud is understood as cutting off hands and stoning).
·        The directive from Majlis Agama Islam Pahang to Hotels to stop placing bibles and other non-Muslim holy books in hotel rooms. Are these hotels built by MAIP or any Islamic groups?
I am reminded by the verse in Quran 3:110. The commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali in the footnote is worth our attention.
At note 434, Abdullah Yusuf Ali wrote: the logical conclusion to the evolution of religious history is a non-sectarian, non-racial, non-doctrinal, universal religion which Islam claims to be. For Islam is just submission to the will of Allah.  This implies (1) faith, (2) doing right and being an example to others to do right, and having the power to see that the right prevails. (3) Eschewing wrong and being an example to others to eschew wrong and having the power to see that wrong and injustice are defeated. Islam therefore lives not for itself, but for mankind.
The objection by MMA , I am not sure is legally enforceable. Will Muslim doctors agreeing to amputate a person when convicted under hudud be struck off as medical practitioners? I think MMA underestimates Muslim doctors’ religiosity. They will do if their beliefs urge them to, written articles of membership of MMA notwithstanding
The objection by MMA however reveals lack of conceptual understanding. MMA understands hudud as being represented by amputation only. I regret to say the statement by the president offends the sensibilities of Muslims as whole; for we do not associate the amputation of limbs in the execution of God’s laws with butchers. That is condescending in fact.
On the other hand, the lack of sensitivity on the part of MMA even before hudud is implemented reveals the great rift in understanding of hudud and can only imply the failure of Islamic authorities to enlighten the general public on hudud. Therefore, who can we blame for the strong objection to the proposal to establish hudud when the law are not even understood as a concept?
This means that PAS or any Islamist groups have not raised the understanding of others on what hudud is all about. Understanding what hudud is all about is both a necessary and sufficient requirement. Without which, there will be opposition on hudud not only from non-Muslim but Muslim themselves.
PAS and other Islamists have not vindicated themselves by keeping silent on the abduction by the Muslim convert father of the son. The civil court has granted custody of the son to the mother. In Islam, the mother has first claim on the children. By keeping silent, the Islamists whose agenda is hudud, has raised concern that if they come to power, those in power will be morbidly intolerant. We all know what the father did was in defiance and out of spite and there wasn’t anything to suggest that the father will be capable of turning the son into good Muslim later. By keeping silent and acquiescing in the abduction, that non-feasance raises concern about a real danger that religious authorities will turn into theocratic depots.
Muslim authorities have not taken the opportunity to show that Islam speaks not for itself but for mankind.
In that case, whom does Islam speak for? It spoke for the Muslims fanatics and the Islamic intolerant bullies. Have the authorities and interested parties wishing to implement hudud done anything to show they stand for a right and done anything to defeat injustice and a wrong? The Islamists have forfeited an opportunity to show non-Muslims they have nothing to be afraid of Islamic justice.  
As Muslims we need to ask- on what basis can we blame non-Muslims from objecting to not only hudud but the entire shariah.


The Muslim DAP and Hudud- a response to Zaid Ibrahim's Hudud without Karpal.

After weeks of pondering and thinking about this matter, I can’t avoid but pen down my thoughts. Friends have been sending messages to me asking me directly- if PAS tables a private member’s bill on Hudud, will you support it? Reporters have been looking for me trying to get some views from me. The Chinese papers especially like nothing better to ask a Muslim whether he supports the PAS proposition.
What should a Muslim like me do? I am a member of DAP and DAP’s official stand is that it opposes hudud and the creation of Islamic state. Sometime ago I actually wrote an article about this. This followed some confusion that came about when an internet news portal asked me about the implementation of hudud.
Nasrudin Tantawi , the MP from Termerloh proposed that hudud be implemented to tackle  various serious crimes. As I was coming out from parliament a reporter asked me whether I support Tantawi. I said as a Muslim I support Tantawi’s proposal subject to it getting parliamentary approval and as long as whatever laws Tantawi’s may suggest do not subvert our constitution. The rights of non-Muslims be guaranteed and all that.
As not a lawyer I further said, I thought Tantawi’s suggestions are un-implementable because we don’t have an Islamic constitution. I later read that professor Aziz Bari wrote that hudud laws can be implemented even without having an Islamic constitution. That is up for the lawyers to argue further. I suppose there must be some enabling act or parent act. The comparison is, there cannot be children without parents.
I further added that in the end, if we were to carry out a referendum and 70% of the people in Malaysia agree to the adoption of hudud, then there is nothing anyone can do about it including Karpal Singh. I was not unaware of the late Karpal’s Singh’s opposition to the implementation of the hudud.
Now Karpal Singh and other non-Muslim’s opposition to hudud or even an Islamic state are to be expected because they are non-Muslims. We can’t force people to like us- UMNO or now Pas should understand this.
What should a Muslim MP from DAP do about this? My colleague from Bukit Bendera, Zairil Khir Johari another Muslim MP from DAP has reserved comments on this issue. We must respect his decision.
My position is this. As a Muslim I am obligated to accept hudud because they are punishments on violation on God's laws as stated in the Quran. Quran is our holy book and as a practising Muslim though not entirely as holy as the UMNO MPs are, I have to submit to the will of Allah as any good Muslim aspires to do. I further believe that nurturing of faith is a personal responsibility.
But I cannot agree to the tabling of the bill by PAS and I will give my reasons for doing so. But I won’t give the excuses along the lines mentioned by Zaid Ibrahim in his article; because in that article Zaid seems to imply that the Muslim DAP MPs will display some sort of deception. To Zaid, it seems that to oppose hudud is a badge of honour and something to be proud of along the lines of say it loud, I am Black and I am proud. I will not do that because it is not a proud thing to say something that can and will be interpreted as opposing your own religion; but I will instead take the line suggested in his earlier article- be a sensible Muslim. I will not adopt the line used by our spineless PM from UMNO either.
I will give the reasons why I cannot support PAS in this matter.  I will therefore not support the proposed tabling of the bill by PAS and I want PAS to be aware of this.
My reasons for not agreeing to PAS’s intended tabling are not entirely because of DAP’s official stand. As a party member, I will support the only and official stand of DAP. But DAP is a mature party- it has evolved since it formation into a party that tolerates differing personal views. I want to make it clear to DAP that personally as a Muslim I am obligated to support hudud by trying to be as good a Muslim as I can be. I would further caution my DAP colleagues no to make utterances and statements that can be construed as some form of triumphalism. DAP opposes as a matter of its principle and does so as a matter of fact. It has no intention of offending its Muslim supporters and Muslims in general. As a party member, I stand by what the party stands for. I believe DAP accepts my personal stand.
The reasons why I cannot support the bill are as follows:-
The bill must be part of a larger overriding constitution. I believe that it must be a part of a larger constitution. Right or wrong, I believe there must first be an Islamic constitution otherwise the Islamic forms of punishment are enabled only though delegated legislation administered by definition, what must be inferior courts. Whether the Muslim lawyers and the shariah courts like it or not, the reality is, the shariah courts are inferior to the civil courts. How they feel personally is not relevant. We have a secular constitution and our civil courts and therefore civil laws are superior.
How can PAS or any other Islamic based parties want to overcome this? They can only overcome if they take over parliament and draws up a new constitution replacing the existing one. So, to me, PAS must do the right thing first- secure parliament and change the constitution. Unless they do this, they can’t push through a bill hoping to capitalise on some sort of religious blackmail. I don’t support your bill therefore I am not a good Muslim or even an infidel? I dont agree with you does not mean i am faithless.
To me there are 2 problems here. We have a secular constitution which we have adopted since 1957. (2) We don’t have an overriding Islamic constitution.
Point number (2) Suggests that if PAS or anyone wants to implement any constitutionally changing act, it must first control and get it passed by parliament. As PAS does not have majority control of parliament, it should and ought not propose this bill. It cannot expect the bill to be supported simply on the basis it reserves the right to question other people’s Islamic religiosity if they refuse to support PAS. I hope PAS isn’t going to lower its estimation on other Muslim MPs who will not support PAS even though we are from the same political grouping. There are also Muslim MPs in PKR.
Otherwise PAS must assess the statement given by DAP’s national organising secretary Mr Anthony Loke, which I fully support. If PAS feels so strongly about what it wants to do, and we have no doubts that PAS does feel so, then it must do the necessary action- pull itself out from Pakatan Rakyat.
It can do that, retain its integrity and fight for what is believes in and that is what the party’s raison detre is anyway. Then fight for what it believes for with all intensity. We can still be part of Pakatan rakyat and cooperate when elections comes. The other members will still respect PAS as a partner in the coalition. I believe we have many things in common that can be the basis of cooperation. PLus we face a common enemy.

Other articles on the subject will follow.


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