Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kita Menang! We Won!



Alhamdulillah, Allah memberikan kita kejayaan. Kemenangan ini merupakan saat penentu dan bakal menentukan hala tuju negara ini.

Saya berkongsi kegembiraan yang dirasai oleh semua rakyat Malaysia pada hari bersejarah ini. Ianya merupakan kemenangan buat rakyat.

Pada 8 Mac rakyat Malaysia memilih Harapan Baru. Hari ini di saat kita bakal menyambut hari kemerdekaan, rakyat menyahut seruan tersebut. Dengan ini kita merayakant hari kemerdekaan sepertimana pendiri-pendiri negara kita inginkan-sebuah negara dan rakyat yang bersatu.

Berhadapan dengan cabaran yang getir, kita memilih untuk menumpukan perhatian kepada isu yang berkaitan dengan negara ini. Seruan kita agar negara ini bersatu, mulai mengamalkan urus tadbir yang baik dan memperkasakan ekonomi telah menguburkan kempen yang berbaur perkauman, cita-cita individu yang sering mendapat habuan hasil dari penyalahgunaan kuasa dan eksploitasi politik yang berasaskan ketakutan serta penipuan.

Kami telah menjanjikan satu lembaran baru untuk Malaysia dan kami pasti akan melaksanakan janji kami. Kami akan melaksanakan Agenda Ekonomi Malaysia untuk memulihkan keadaan ekonomi kita, membasmi kemiskinan dan membantu sesiapa sahaja yang terpinggir tanpa berasaskan kaum. Kami akan memulihkan intergriti badan kehakiman, memerangi rasuah dan membina sebuah negara yang bersatu.

Dan kami akan menjadi sebuah kerajaan yang komited untuk merealisasikan aspirasi rakyat.

Dengan kejayaan 8 Mac dan juga kemenangan malam ini saya berani untuk menegaskan kita mampu bersama-sama menghadapi segala rintangan di masa hadapan.

Kami tidak akan menang tanpa dokongan kukuh dari rakan-rakan kami dalam Pakatan Rakyat dan juga sokongan ribuan rakyat Malaysia tidak kira samada Melayu, Cina, India, Iban, Kadazan, yang datang ke Permatang Pauh, bekerja keras, memerah keringat serta mengirim doa demi memastikan kemenangan ini. Saya sangat menghargai keberanian, tekad dan kesungguhan kamu semua; saya mengucapkan tahniah terhadap komitmen saudara semua terhadap prinsip bersama sebuah kemerdekaan, keadilan dan demokrasi.

Langkah kecil buat Permatang Pauh hari ini akan memastikan perubahan besar buat Malaysia.



We won! And our victory is decisive and overwhelming.

I share in the joy felt by all Malaysians on this historic day. This is a victory for the people. And it’s great to be back!

On March 8th Malaysians voted for a New Dawn. Today, on the eve of our independence day, we have reasserted that call. We celebrate our nation’s independence in the spirit that our founding fathers intended - a nation of one and a people united.

In the face of the greatest adversity, our campaign focused on the issues that matter to Malaysians. Our calls for national unity, good governance and a vibrant democracy have silenced the voices of racist chanting, those who profit from the abuse of power and exploit the politics of fear and deceit.

We have promised a New Dawn for Malaysia and we will deliver on our promise. We will forge ahead on our Malaysian Economic Agenda to revive the economy, and to uplift the poor and the marginalized of all races. We will restore the integrity of the judiciary, fight corruption and build a truly unified nation.

We will be a government that is totally committed to realizing the people’s aspirations.

With the success of the eight of March and tonight’s resounding victory, I daresay we are indeed ready to face the challenges of the future, together.

We could not have won without the firm, unwavering support of our friends in the Pakatan Rakyat and the tens of thousands of Malaysians – Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadhazans - who have come to Permatang Pauh to work hard for this victory. I truly appreciate your courage, conviction and valour; and congratulate your commitment to our shared principles of freedom, justice and democracy.

This may be one small step for Permatang Pauh but one giant leap for the people of Malaysia.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Permatang Pauh and beyond

Permatang Pauh and beyond

Barring massive electoral fraud, Anwar is one by-election and two weeks short of returning to Parliament. When he does, he’d be the Opposition Leader of a second coalition. After that people would want to know if he’d really form a new Federal government in mid-September as he has declared, promised, or threatened.

If we don’t live in them but only notice them while we travel the old trunk roads or veer off the highways, our small towns will seem to be neither-here-nor-there places. They have neither the preserved charm of rural settlements nor the catching vibrancy of large cities.

One small town might be a shrine to a bit of history, like Baling, say, which hosted the abortive ‘peace talks’ of 1955. Another might fortuitously be associated with an unexpectedly prominent personage, rather like Kepala Batas, the hometown of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

We rarely think of the small towns as repositories of deeply cherished tradition or cradles of consequential change. Truth be told, we seldom expect our small towns to rise above nondescript places that are inhabited by hicks whose lives are so parochial they touch or inspire few outsiders.

Small town, big waves
Perhaps that’s why many people are startled each time a small-town electoral constituency teaches us political lessons that resonate beyond its geographical and social boundaries.

Three such constituencies, each coming alive at a crucial moment in our recent history, readily come to mind: Tambunan (Sabah), Lunas (Kedah) and Sungei Siput (Perak).

The Tambunan by-election of December 1984 gave Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan a spirited triumph that heralded Parti Bersatu Sabah’s toppling of Datuk Harris Salleh and his Parti Berjaya four months later. Tambunan’s many-sided impact on Sabah politics remains to this day.

The Lunas by-election of November 2000, which ended Barisan Nasional’s 40-year control of the constituency, marked the furthest point of Barisan Alternatif’s 1999 sally as a second coalition. The result broke BN’s customary two-thirds majority in Kedah, in hindsight a harbinger of Pakatan Rakyat’s takeover of the state government five months ago.

On 8 March 2008, Sungei Siput spurned Dato’ Seri Samy Vellu after having returned him in eight consecutive elections starting in 1974. Without detracting from Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s tenacious grassroots work, Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj’s victory after two failures revealed the reach of a Hindraf-inspired Makkhal Sakhti (People Power) and the scale of the rout of BN’s non-Malay-based parties.

Whatever their differences, each of those contests supplied a critical lesson. When a small-town constituency concentrates in itself political issues that grip the whole nation, an out-resourced, harassed and otherwise disadvantaged opposition could defeat the BN machine by surfing a wave of sheer voter rebelliousness.

By-election in Permatang Pauh
On 26 August, there will be just such an election in Permatang Pauh, Penang – with a critical difference (from Tambunan, Lunas and Sungei Siput): the voter rebelliousness won’t be directed at a BN incumbent, but will support an old incumbent against the national BN machine.

The immediate reason for the by-election is the resignation of Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Member of Parliament barely five months after she won her third term since 1999. The most keenly anticipated aspect of the by-election is Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s return to electoral contest after an involuntary absence of ten years.

The basic outcome itself may not be remarkable. Almost everyone expects Anwar to win, after which the spin masters can go to work on the winning margin. Already some UMNO leaders belittle the significance of the by-election – just another by-election, according to UMNO Vice-President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin.

But were that so, there would be no need for Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak to lead the BN/UMNO campaign, or for the hotels in Bukit Mertajam and nearby towns to be fully booked, or for born-again foes of Anwar, such as Dr Chandra Muzaffar and Ezam Mohd Nor, to train their sights on the Pakatan Rakyat leader.

Startling results
Permatang Pauh which has 58,459 voters presently has been an interesting electoral battle ground.

Here in 1982, upon joining UMNO, Anwar won against the Parti Islam incumbent, demonstrating the huge electoral support Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad received when he led BN for the first time. (Thereafter, Anwar retained his seat against the challenges of other PAS notables, Mohamad Sabu and Mahfuz Omar.)

Seventeen years later, joining the Malay revolt against Mahathir and UMNO, Permatang Pauh responded to Anwar’s humiliation by electing his wife, Wan Azizah, in her contest against an erstwhile Anwar lieutenant, Dato’ Dr Ibrahim Saad.

Only Permatang Pauh was narrowly left standing in 2004 when BN’s unprecedented sweep cost Parti Keadilan Rakyat four of its five parliamentary seats.

Last March, however, any UMNO hope of seizing Permatang Pauh and wiping out Keadilan was dashed when Wan Azizah won her largest ever majority (while 30 other Keadilan candidates were victorious elsewhere).

Significant shifts
What can we infer from Permatang Pauh’s electoral record and its several startling results?

For the past 26 years, the constituency has been loyal to Anwar and Azizah. Crucially, though, its electorate has taken turns over several decades to support PAS, UMNO and Keadilan. In the heat of previous battles, the deeper significance of this willingness to vote in and vote out might have been overlooked. But such an attitude among the voters is precisely what’s necessary to liberalize the political system.

The present state-level balance of power is unusually equitable. Within Permatang Pauh, the State Legislative Assembly seats of Penanti, Permatang Pasir and Seberang Jaya are respectively held by Keadilan, PAS and UMNO. In other words, no party has a monopoly over local support. This situation may not gladden the hearts of party partisans. But it needn’t dishearten those who seek to pluralize the political system.

Moreover, the tripartite division of seats at state level suggests that this 69-percent-Malay constituency is barren soil for narrow appeals to ‘Malay unity’, UMNO’s constant refrain since Reformasi was first declared by Anwar in Permatang Pauh in September 1998.

And if a constituency such as Permatang Pauh, with its 31 per cent non-Malay voters, is also poor soil for BN’s ethnic politics, as shown by the March 2008 election, then the gerrymandering that long favoured BN against the stand-alone race-based parties has been undermined.

In short, this small-town constituency has quietly anticipated the shifts in voter attitudes and voting behaviour that now make a two-coalition system feasible.

The tenor of the by-election will surely be set by a persisting voter rebelliousness made up of four parts.

First, the 8 March voter defiance of BN remains. Abdullah Badawi’s regime has offered nothing meaningful to assuage non-Malay anger at UMNO, or to reverse Malay disenchantment with Abdullah’s leadership. For their losses in March, BN’s non-Malay-based parties blamed UMNO while large segments of UMNO blamed Abdullah.

Hence, the low or sharply reduced popularity and approval ratings for Abdullah, Najib, and BN in the Merdeka Centre polls of July and according to other less methodical soundings of public opinion. The ratings are indications that the regime has not won back disgruntled voters.

Second, there’s the post-election anger at worsening inflation, most starkly represented by the 41 per cent and 100 per cent increases in petroleum and diesel prices respectively in June. By now, public resentment of inflation is part of a deeper loss of confidence in the Abdullah regime’s ability to manage what many fear is impending economic decline.

Indeed, at the Bankers Club Luncheon and Forum of 15 July, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah dismissed Abdullah’s various ‘Corridors’ as ‘stillborn projects’. Tengku Razaleigh described current economic policy as being ‘haphazard, driven by whims and special interest projects rather than by a cohesive design geared to shape areas of distinct national competitive advantage’.

Many voters would remember that Pakatan Rakyat’s New Malaysian Agenda stresses an urgent need for reform precisely to restore national competitive advantage.

The return of the sodomised
Third, there’s the collective disgust at Sodomy II (see ‘Conquering and vulnerable’, Aliran Monthly, 28, 5, 2008). The charges, based on Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s police report of ‘consensual sodomy’ performed by Anwar on him, will be tested in a court of law in September.

But with only 11 per cent of the Merdeka Centre’s surveyed respondents believing Anwar to be culpable, the court of public opinion has resoundingly rejected Sodomy II.

An electorate, and especially the Malay electorate, that painfully remembers Anwar’s 1998 sodomy trial is bound to regard Sodomy II as a politically-directed character assassination to preempt Anwar’s return to Parliament.

Political degeneration
And fourth, there is impatience over Abdullah’s undelivered promises of institutional reform. Politics in the country appears to have been reduced to a charade of allegations and counter-allegations, police reports and counter-reports, and statutory declarations and counter-declarations. Where have these led?

These have not clarified controversies such as the Shaariibuu Altantuya murder, Sodomy II, or the alleged roles of the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General in alleged evidence-fixing during Sodomy I.

These have not allayed suspicions over the disappearances of private investigator, P. Balasubramaniam (who had made two opposed statutory declarations in two days, first linking and then delinking Najib from the Altantuya murder trial) and Hospital Pusrawi’s Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid (whose medical report on Saiful had indicated no sign of sodomy).

Such are the symptoms, to paraphrase Tengku Razaleigh, of ‘a crippling loss of confidence in our key institutions’ when ‘personality dominated politics degenerates’, leading to ‘the destruction of reputations, intrigues, spy scandals, succession plans and whatnot as stratagems to resolve leadership contests’.

Crowd at a ceramah
Against this political background, within and beyond the constituency of Permatang Pauh, Anwar spoke at the Ceramah Perdana Menuju Ke Putrajaya, held in a field at Taman Pauh on Saturday, 9 August.

The large crowd, 15,000 according to one media estimate, was predominantly Malay. The majority sat in orderly fashion on the fenced field. The rest milled about the perimeter of the field.

There were many elderly men and women, mostly dressed in casual kampong attire. There were couples with young children, a few mothers with infants, and a small number of children who were peddling balloons and snacks. A lot of young men sat on or stood by their motorcycles. From the nearby flats, some residents leaned out of their windows.

Along one side of the field were the stalls that regularly add a pasar malam (night market) air to the Pakatan Rakyat rallies. The stalls sold food, drinks, and the Pakatan Rakyat parties’ paraphernalia – stickers, photos of Anwar and Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat, DVDs of political speeches and events, and even ‘aic’ (Anwar Ibrahim Club) t-shirts.

The crowd very much recalled the gathering outside Anwar’s house in Cherok To’kun ten years ago when Anwar issued the original Permatang Pauh Declaration to launch Reformasi to a resounding reception (see ‘Wit and Wisdom’, Aliran Monthly, 18, 9, October 1998).

The world watches us
Several speakers spoke before Anwar, namely Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, Mohd Fariz Musa, Khairil Anuar Ahmad Zainudin, Tan Seng Toh and S. Kesavan, all leaders of Keadilan’s Angkatan Muda; Nga Kor Ming from Democratic Action Party; and Salahuddin Ayub from PAS.

Their presence and speeches underscored three points. Keadilan, itself a ‘youthful’ party, would heavily mobilize young voters who have always been drawn to Anwar’s charisma. All Pakatan Rakyat was united in defence of Anwar against Sodomy II and would spare no effort to secure his victory. And not just Malaysia but the world would be watching Permatang Pauh on 26 August.

New days
Then spoke Anwar.

It was 11 pm, not the time of night for shouting oneself hoarse. It was August 2008, not the time in Anwar’s career for demonstrating the desperate defiance of September 1998 when his days of freedom were numbered.

True, his days of freedom could be numbered again if, he said, a ‘correct, correct, correct’ judge presided over the Sodomy II trial. But now was a time to rally and reassure, and Anwar always did that with unmatched eloquence.

His tone was measured, his approach relaxed and comradely. The crowd was not a sea of anonymous voters, curious onlookers and itinerant stallholders. He addressed them as friends and neighbours which many of them were. Now he raised the pressing economic problems they faced; now he jested about the attempts on his reputation, derisively mimicking some of his detractors. On two occasions, he playfully broke into a few lines of song.

Son, not traitor
After all, this was Permatang Pauh, and he its favourite son. He wasn’t ever a sodomite; not then, not now. To charge him so was a conspiracy then and now.

He was no traitor to the Malays. Since his University of Malaya days he’d struggled for their interests. He was no one’s tool. But as Pakatan Rakyat leader he would be the instrument for uplifting all Malaysians. Before a crowd that was 90 per cent Malay, he didn’t hesitate. No more ketuanan Melayu: that was the slogan of corruption and cronyism.

He quoted Ibn Khaldun as if the Muqadimmah was meat and drink to his audience. Surprisingly, he also drew on Arnold Toynbee and Edward Gibbons to make a point about the rise and fall of civilizations and empires.

Anwar’s point was one that Mahathir had repeatedly taught: we have been sliding and sliding and we must catch up. But whereas Mahathir agonized over the decline of the Malays, Anwar was indignant about the decline of Malaysia.

The old doctor’s prescription was knowledge, work, discipline, and the New Economic Policy. His former ‘anointed’ successor’s solution was terse: Change the government!

Return to Permatang Pauh
Thus Anwar emphasized that his agenda was not personal. Permatang Pauh’s mission, come 26 August, was more than returning him to Parliament. This small-town constituency had to make a national choice. ‘If you want a small petrol price reduction, vote BN,’ he said. ‘But if you want real improvement to your lives, vote for a Pakatan Rakyat government.’

Barring massive electoral fraud, a qualification that even some observers indifferent to his fate have found it necessary to make in cyberspace, Anwar is one by-election and two weeks short of returning to Parliament. When he does, he’d be the Opposition Leader of a second coalition.

After that people would want to know if he’d really form a new Federal government in mid-September as he has declared, promised, or threatened.

But about that, don’t ask me, I wish I knew. Don’t ask Anwar either; he might just quote Hamlet to you.

Ask the Permatang Pauh voters: they may have something to do with it.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Permatang Pauh Election

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Permatang Pauh Election

The convoy of cars and SUVs which accompanied Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail left his residence at Cherok Tok Kun, not far from Bukit Mertajam at 8.00 am sharp for the nomination center at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers College in Seberang Jaya.

By the time we arrived at the place 30 minites later, it was jam packed since very early morning with some 120,000 people from all walks of life, who have come from various parts of Malaysia as far as Sabah and Sarawak, to witness the official start of the by-election for the Parliamentary constituency of Permatang Pauh.

More than 95 per cent of those who braved the intense heat of the sun were KeADILan/Pakatan Rakyat supporters. They were energised by the sounds and beat of drums and percussion instruments of Indian and Chinese community and inspired by the winds of change which Anwar represents.

The UMNO-Barisan supporters were overwhelmed by the strong presence of “Anwar’s people”, a clear sign that public support for the ruling government was at an all time low. They were jeered by the crowd. The Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was not spared as the crowd greeted him with shouts of “pembunuh”(murderer) and “Altantuya!, Altantuya!”. Shahrizat “Jihad” Abdul Jalil, Mukhriz Tun Mahathir and UMNO Treasurer Azim Zabidi, among other BN and UMNO leaders, too received uncomplimentary remarks from the crowd.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders Tok Guru Nik Aziz, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of Penang , however, were warmly greated by the crowd. Special cheers were given to hometown favorite, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as his car entered the compound of the Teachers’ College.

Bloggers like Raja Petra and his wife Marina Abdullah, Sam Haris Ibrahim, Benard Khoo and members of Kuala Lumpur based civil society groups were present. They mingled in the crowd. The bulky and formidable Bala, a keen supporter of Nurul Izzah Anwar, our dynamic Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, was seen among a group of Makal Sakti/Hindraf supporters. Overall, it was a spectacle unseen before in the history of Malaysian elections.

To the credit of all concerned, especially the Officers and men of our Royal Malaysian Police and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and marshalls of PKR and Pakatan Raykat, the crowd was orderly and well disciplined.

There is no doubt in my mind that this by-elections would be for the Pakatan Rakyat to lose. But given the Pakatan election machinery, PKR grassroots organisation in Permatang Pauh, and election strategists led by Party Vice President Azmin Ali which went into full gear following Datuk Seri Wan Azizah’s resignation in late July to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the outcome may be a foregone conclusion, that is, Dato Seri Anwar will be in Parliament on August 27.

That said, PKR party officials led by Vice President Azmin Ali and Penang Liaison Chief Dato Zahrain Mohammed Hashim, the Pakatan Rakyat election oganisation and their workers and volunteers were not taking anything for granted, given the clearly demonstrated capacity of UMNO-Barisan Nasional political machine and official agencies of the government to cheat and bribe voters and use dirty politics.

When the formalities were completed at noon, the returning officer announced that there would be a three-corned fight (see the Malaysiakini report). Ten minutes later, the rain came down.–Din Merican

Kel N05 - Kijang: Wan Ubaidah Omar


Kel N02 - Kelaboran: Mohd Zaki Ibrahim


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pasca Penamaan Calon: ‘Alhamdulillah Semuanya Lancar’

Alhamdulillah semuanya berjalan lancar sepanjang proses penamaan calon pagi tadi.

Say terharu tatkala mengenang kembali saat dipilih mewakili rakyat Permatang Pauh hampir 26 tahun yang lalu. Kini selepas 4 tahun bebas daripada penjara, diri kerdil ini terasa umpama sireh pulang ke gagang.

Saya terharu tatkala mengenang kembali saat dipilih mewakili rakyat Permatang Pauh hampir 26 tahun yang lalu. Kini selepas 4 tahun bebas daripada penjara, diri kerdil ini terasa umpama sireh pulang ke gagang.

Jutaan terima kasih buat Tuan Guru Nik Abd Aziz, Sdr Lim Kit Siang, Sdr Mohd Sabu, Sdr Karpal Singh, Sdr Husam Musa, Sdr Lim Guan Eng, Dr. Lo’Lo, serta teman pimpinan Pakatan lainnya. Komitmen Dr. Syed Husin, Sdr Azmin, Sivarasa, William Leong, serta pimpinan KeADILan seluruh negara yang berkumpul di Permatang Pauh sangat menyuntik semangat. Demikian juga buat puluhan ribu penyokong dan pendukung Pakatan Rakyat yang hadir menyatakan sokongan pagi ini.

Jentera kempen sudah dipersiap dan perlu kekal mantap selepas ini. Masanya telah tiba untuk kita semua berjuang demi masa depan Malaysia yang lebih gagah perkasa.

Gelanggang telah dibuka. Ayuh, kita gerakkan rakyat demi nusa!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah is the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Permatang Pauh

(The Star) Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah is the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat by-election.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made the announcement in Permatang Pauh Wednesday night.

Arif Shah is the assemblyman for Seberang Jaya, which is among the three state seats under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency.

The other two are Permatang Pasir, which was won by PAS in the March 8 general election; while PKR clinched the Penanti seat.

The Permatang Pauh seat fell vacant on July 31, when Anwar's wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail resigned to make way for her husband to contest.

Nomination for the by-election is Saturday while polling will be on Aug 26.

In the general election, Wan Azizah retained the seat by obtaining 30,338 votes against Datuk Pirdaus Ismail of Umno, who garnered 16,950 votes.

As at July 31, 58,459 voters, 490 of them postal, were registered as eligible to cast their ballots in the by-election.

Except for Seberang Jaya, which is a cosmopolitan centre, the rest of the constituency is made up of villages and farmland, mainly paddy fields.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Muzakarah: PAS tidak sekali-kali masuk BN - Nasharuddin Mat Isa

Khamis, 2008 Julai 31
Muzakarah: PAS tidak sekali-kali masuk BN - Nasharuddin Mat Isa

Bermula interbiu Presiden PAS dan kemudian pendedahan Perdana Menteri tentang adanya pertemuan Umno-PAS dan diperakui oleh Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. Ia telah menimbulkan kekeliruan dan pro-kontra bukan sahaja di kalangan ahli PAS tetapi para penyokong Pakatan Rakyat. Bagi menjelaskan keserabutan itu, Harakah sempat mengejar Timbalan Presiden PAS, Nasharuddin Mat Isa dicelah kesibukan Sidang Dewan Rakyat bagi mendapatkan penjelasan lanjut. Ikuti interbiu eksklusif saya, TARMIZI MOHD JAM dan wartawan Harakah, ROY RASUL serta pemberita pelatih, NUHA RAHIM bersama beliau di lobi Parlimen baru-baru ini.

Harakah: Perdana Menteri telah mendedahkan tentang adanya pertemuan Umno-PAS baru-baru ini dan ia telah diperakui oleh Presiden, Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang. Macam mana kedudukan PAS dalam Pakatan Rakyat apabila isu muzakarah ini sudahpun diketahui umum.

Nasharuddin: Namanya pun muzakarah. Bukan untuk membuat sebarang keputusan. Tidak ada apa-apa keputusan dibuat dalam muzakarah ini. Mengapa pula timbul persoalan kedudukan PAS dalam Pakatan Rakyat?
Sebab sebagaimana disebut Presiden PAS, Dato' Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang, tak ada siapapun yang boleh menghalang hasrat PAS untuk berbincang dengan sesiapapun termasuk Umno. Soal kedudukan PAS dalam Pakatan tidak berbangkit. Kita masih mengekalkan peranan kita dalam Pakatan. Kita masih bergerak di atas Pakatan itu. Cuma, kita juga tidak dapat menafikan ada timbul sedikit isu-isu yang bagi saya, ramai orang tahu yang melibatkan pentadbiran di negeri-negeri khasnya negeri Selangor dan sebagainya yang sekarang ini dalam proses untuk diperbaiki.

Maksudnya tiada sebarang keputusan dicapai…

Kita bermuzakarah bukan untuk membuat keputusan. Sebarang keputusan mesti dirujuk semula kepada parti. Soalan saya, salahkah kita untuk berbincang dengan sesiapa saja? Kalau kita salah, maknanya duduk dalam Pakatan Rakyat pun tidak boleh. Itupun salah! Kerana duduk dalam Pakatan Rakyat melibatkan perbincangan, melibatkan muzakarah. Jadi persoalan saya ialah salahkah kita berbincang atau muzakarah? Jika salah kita berbincang, maknanya kita terus tutup dan tidak boleh bertemu dengan sesiapa. Isu yang timbul ialah ahli-ahli dan semua pihak patut faham iaitu muzakarah dengan Umno ini bukan untuk membuat keputusan. Ia hanya perbincangan.

Sekarang telah heboh diperkatakan tentang muzakarah Umno-PAS ini. Macam mana perkembangannya setakat ini…

Kita tidak menafikan memang ada pertemuan dengan Umno. Ia telah diperakui oleh Dato’ Seri Presiden dalam kenyataannya. Semua pertemuan dilaporkan ke dalam Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa PAS Pusat dan Majlis Syura. Apa yang lebih penting sekali adalah mandat telah diberikan dan keputusan dipersetujui sebulat suara di peringkat Majlis Syura Ulama supaya kita membuat dan melangsungkan perbincangan dengan sesiapa saja. Mandat telah diberikan kepada Presiden, Timbalan Presiden dan Setiausaha Agung untuk terlibat dalam muzakarah itu.

Nama Ustaz banyak dikaitkan dengan pertemuan ini…

Sebabnya saya banyak terlibat dan mandat diberikan kepada saya selaku Timbalan Presiden. Saya menjalankan amanah sebagai ahli yang diberi mandat oleh Majlis Syura. Saya tidak boleh buat sebarang keputusan. Keputusan kena balik semula kepada parti. Kalau keputusan Majlis Syura itu sudah dipertikaikan, ini menimbulkan banyak persoalan juga. Kenapa dipertikaikan keputusan Majlis Syura itu?

Tapi, Musyidul Am PAS, Dato' Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat dalam kenyataan terbarunya mahu usaha muzakarah dihentikan.

Saya berpegang kepada apa yang Dato’ Seri Presiden PAS sebut dalam intrebiunya di Harakah dan beberapa kenyataan media sebelum ini. Pertamanya, ini adalah keputusan Majlis Syura Ulama. Keduanya, kita bersedia untuk melanjutkan muzakarah dengan sesiapa saja termasuklah Umno.

Mungkin satu penjelasan patut diberikan berhubung kenyataan Presiden PAS sebelum meninggalkan Institut Jantung Negara (IJN), tentang mengadakan pertemuan dengan Umno bagi membincangkan isu-isu Melayu dan Islam…

Bagi saya ini bukan satu kenyataan yang baru daripada Presiden PAS atau dari parti kerana sebelum daripada ini pun telah ada perjumpaan-perjumpaan sedemikian dan saya merasakan Presiden menyebut kenyataan itu berdasarkan landskap politik Malaysia yang semakin aktif dan semakin banyak berlaku perubahan.Bagi saya, Presiden sudah pasti mengamati perkembangan suasana yang berlaku dalam negara kita dan beliau melihat bahawa isu ini perlu diketengahkan.
Atas sebab dasar PAS itu sendiri yang merupakan Islam dan menjadi dasar yang akan terus kita pertahankan. Apa saja usul ke arah memperkukuhkan dasar itu, bagi saya perlu dipertingkatkan. Termasuklah dengan mengadakan perbincangan dan pertemuan dengan sesiapa saja. Termasuk dengan Umno.

Tadi Ustaz sebut dapat mandat dari parti, bukan peribadi… Macam mana idea ini boleh timbul?

Dalam beberapa majlis saya menyebut bahawa sebenarnya Majlis Syura Ulama yang bersidang pada 23 April (2008) lepas telah membincangkan perkara ini. Hasil daripada kertas kerja yang dibentang oleh Al-Fadhil Dato' Dr Harun Din (Timbalan Mursyidul Am PAS) yang bertajuk Tahaluf Siasi: Pasca Pilihan Raya Umum ke 12. Pada mesyuarat tersebut telah dibincangkan beberapa perkara yang berkaitan tahaluf siasi dan masa depan politik serta peranan PAS yang menyangkut tentang masa depan Islam, umat Islam dan orang Melayu.
Dalam mesyuarat tersebut telah capai satu keputusan dan saya bacakan di sini keputusan itu berbunyi: “Majlis Syura Ulama yang bersidang pada 23 April 2008 mengambil ketetapan bersetuju sebulat suara merestui Presiden, Timbalan Presiden dan Setiausaha Agung parti, bagi mempertingkatkan usaha yang bersungguh-sungguh untuk menyatupadukan umat Islam dan rakyat Malysia berlandaskan Islam”.
Jadi mandat diberikan Majlis Syura Ulama, institusi tertinggi di dalam parti dan di dalam Mesyuarat Majlis Syura yang terakhir, bukan saja perkara ini dipertegaskan kembali tetapi juga dikembangkan untuk membuat apa yang kita sebut “explorasi” (penerokaan) kepada pekembangan ini dengan mempertegaskan lagi keputusan ini. Jadi, ini merupakan satu mandat yang diberikan Majlis Syura Ulama kepada individu-individu yang telah disebut tadi. Dan saya memang tidak menafikan berlaku pertemuan-pertemuan dan perbincangan-perbincangan yang bagi saya normal. Orang berbincang di lobi parlimen dan sebagainya serta tempat-tempat lain untuk mulakan bincang isu ini.

Kita lihat keputusan Majlis Syura ini agak kontroversi jadi bagaimana PAS melihat isu ini. Tidakkah ia boleh menggoncang parti. Sebab kita tengok penerimaan akar umbi…

Saya tidak nampak kontraversi tentang keputusan ini kerana pada peringkat ini apa yang diputuskan adalah mandat diberikan untuk membuat explorasi. Bukan mandat diberikan untuk membuat keputusan. Ini kerana struktur di dalam parti kita, muktamar merupakan kata putus kepada perkara-perkara dasar yang hendak dibuat. Majlis Syura memberikan semacam satu ‘lesen’ untuk kita membuat explorasi itu dan ia sekarang sedang berjalan.Kita lihat pula selepas saja Presiden PAS membuat kenyataan dalam Harakah baru-baru ini tentang suasana politik terkini, hubungan dengan PAS dengan Pakatan Rakyat dan lain-lain, maka dengan ini timbul reaksi yang cukup positif.
Saya lihat sendiri kenyataan bertulis yang keluar dari Dewan Muslimat, Dewan Ulama dan beberapa pemimpin pemuda malah mewakili Dewan Pemuda beberapa buah negeri. Maklumat dan apa yang saya dengar diperingkat bawah (akar umbi), mereka memberi respon yang cukup positif tapi sudah pastilah ia memerlukan sedikit masa lagi untuk dibuat penerangan sebab perkara ini baru. Saya juga menerima respon cukup baik dan banyak daripada orang yang bukan ahli PAS.
Daripada golongan korporat, daripada pegawai-pegawai kerajaan, daripada orang-orang Umno dan pemimpin-pemimpin Umno yang menyatakan seperti mana yang dilaporkan oleh sebuah suratkhabar berbahasa Inggeris baru-baru ini, PAS merupakan ‘king maker’ dalam konteks politik. Isu ini bukan hanya sekadar politik 'for sale'. Isu yang ada di hadapan kita adalah tentang suasana masa depan Islam, orang Islam dan secara keseluruhannya di Malaysia ini.

Sebelum inipun, Musryidul Am PAS, nampaknya mengenakan syarat untuk mengadakan muzakarah itu. Mesti dengan Umno bukan dengan Perdana Menteri semata-mata. Itu peribadi, katanya. Boleh Ustaz jelaskan sedikit.

Saya bersetuju dengan kenyataan Yang Amat Berhormat Tok Guru. Ini kerana kita lihat bagaimana Tok Guru mencadangkan supaya benda ini sepatutnya datang dari bottom-up daripada bawah ke atas. Tapi, sudah tentulah sebagai pemimpin, bagi saya, pemimpin yang mencetuskan pandangan ini. Kita lihat bila saja Presiden PAS mencetuskannya, kita menerima respon yang cukup baik daripada Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri. Kita lihat, sudah banyak pihak mula respon. Jadi sudah ada. Isunya sekarang sudah ada maklum balas yang menampakkan satu perkara yang cukup positif untuk kebaikan negara. Saya melihat isu ini adalah untuk kebaikan agama, kebaikan Islam dan kebaikan negara.

Dari segi semangatnya, apa yang PAS harapkan selepas pertemuan atau muzakarah ini…

Seperti mana yang saya sebut tadi, peringkat sekarang masih lagi peringkat explorasi. Kita lihat, kita risik, kita bincang. Belum ada lagi sesuatu yang bersifat, keputusan. Bagi saya, apa yang kita harapkan sudah tentu sesuatu yang baik untuk Islam. Jadi, bagi saya sesuatu yang baik untuk Islam itu harus dijadikan asas kepada pertemuan ini agar ia menguntungkan Islam, umat Islam dan perjuangan kita. Itu yang menjadi asas.
Maknanya, kalau sesuatu yang baik untuk Islam itu tidak kita ambil peluangnya maka kita mungkin melalaikan tanggungjawab kita. Perjuangan kita selama ini, sejak tahun 1951 ditubuhkan, kita perjuangan Islam dan menggunakan politik sebagai salah satu wadah kita. Sekarang ini dengan suasana dan keadaan yang ada, kalau ini merupakan sesuatu yang baik untuk Islam, bagi saya kenapa tidak?
Tapi dengan jelas isunya bukan masuk Umno, isunya bukan masuk Barisan Nasional dan kita adalah sebuah parti yang punya kewibawaan kita sendiri. Kita ada atlamat perjuangan kita sendiri. Islam tetap menjadi dasar kita, asas perjuangan kita dan sudah tentulah pintu yang ada di hadapan kita terbuka luas untuk kita melihat sesuatu yang baik untuk perjuangan dalam parti kita.

Tadi Ustaz sebut bukan masuk BN. Bukan masuk Umno. Tetapi yang selalu dibangkitkan soal ‘bimbang’. Cerita 'pembulian' BN ketika PAS dalam komponen itu dulu, cukup menakutkan. Itu dalam konteks kerjasama. Kali ini muzakarah. Boleh Ustaz komen tentang rasa ‘bimbang’ yang dicetuskan banyak pihak ini.

Kalau menafikan ataupun menidakkan ruang untuk bermuzakarah dan berbincang ini, bagi saya itu bercanggah dengan dasar Islam itu sendiri. Kalau kita lihat dalam Al-Quran dan sejarah perjuangan para anbiya' dan hatta Firaun yang toghut itu pun, diperintahkan Allah SWT, nabinya sendiri untuk pergi berbincang dengan Firaun dan Nabi tidak pernah dalam kontek Rasulullah SAW menutup pintu hiwar. Hiwar ini atau perbincangan dengan sesiapa saja, perbicangan dengan musuh, dengan masyarakat, dengan ahli dan sebagainya. Saya melihat pintu ini tidak boleh ditutup. Kita mestilah membuka ruang yang luas untuk berbincang. Cuma kita kena jelas pendirian kita, kita kena jelas pendirian kita.

Kenyataan Presiden PAS dalam wawancara Harakah baru-baru ini telah menimbulkan pro dan kontra. Bagaimana Ustaz melihat beberapa isu yang ditimbulkan itu?

Bagi saya ini adalah sesuatu yang positif. Pro dan kontra biasa. Kitasebuah harakah ummah, sebuah harakah yang didokong oleh massa yang berbagai-bagai. Ini tanda kematangan. Cuma satu konsep yang perlu saya peringatkan kepada ahli kita, juga ada dalam parti dididik dengan konsep as-samu'ah wa ta’ah, yakni ketaatan, apa yang disebut sebagai wala' dalam keputusan yang dibuat oleh pimpinan dan sudah tentulah konsep wala' ini benda yang telah menjadi sesuatu yang telah dididik kepada ahli-ahli PAS. Kita tidak membuat sesuatu itu mengikut kehendak peribadi.
Dan kita lihat Tok Guru (Tuan Guru Abd Hadi Awang) membuat kenyataan ini bukan untuk peribadi beliau. Ini adalah untuk maslahah ummah. Dan bila kita sebut konsep maslahah, maslahah ammah, maslahah umum, hendaklah didahulukan daripada maslahah... maslahah individu. Ini maslahah untuk ummah, maslahah untuk agama, maslahah untuk negara yang saya lihat dalam senario politik masa sekarang ini sudah semacam sedikit perlu kita membuat satu tindakan dan langkah yang bijak untuk memastikan kesinambungan Islam dan ummat Islam.

Respon kepimpinan lain dan juga akar umbi…

Telah saya sebutkan tadi, kita lihat banyak kenyataan yang telahkeluar dari dewan-dewan. Misalnya Dewan Muslimat, Dewan Ulama'. Bagi saya, bila telah ada arahan daripada Majlis Syura yang menjadi sebagai badan tertinggi parti, itu adalah sesuatu penting. Respon daripada pimpinan sudah tentulah pelbagai. Kita sentiasa mengadakan perbincangan-perbincangan. Ini sudah tentu akan menghasilkan berbagai pendekatan, berbagai pandangan. Bagi saya, itu adalah sesuatu yang normal, nanti parti akan memutuskan, insya Allah.

Pakatan Rakyat will secure fundamental liberties

PRESS STATEMENT - Pakatan Rakyat will secure fundamental liberties

08 August 2008, Petaling Jaya

I promise that under a Pakatan Rakyat government Malaysians will never again be subjected to such gross abuse of executive power as we are again witnessing today. Arbitrary arrest and detention, frivolous investigation and malicious prosecutions shall be a thing of the past. Police officers and prosecutors who launch conspiracies to defame and humiliate the innocent will be severely punished. The use of police powers as well the office of the Attorney General to persecute political opponents will be criminalized so as to ensure a healthy and vibrant democracy where dissent is not only tolerated but nurtured.In this regard every Malaysian’s fundamental liberties will be treated as sacrosanct and safeguarded by a truly independent judiciary guided by principles of utmost integrity and an adherence to the spirit of the federal constitution.
The politically motivated trial launched against me will, Insha’Allah, be the last of its kind. No Malaysian will suffer from this cruel injustice ever again.

Yesterday’s events confirm my innocence from the charges that recently surfaced. The medical report and statutory declaration by Dr. Osman Abdul Hamid of the Pusrawi Hospital that surfaced on Thursday shatter lingering doubts as to whether the alleged act ever took place. Dr. Osman’s statement also confirms what we have already stated regarding deplorable actions by the police to fabricate evidence in a manner identical to the manipulation of my case in 1998. Anything short of a thorough investigation into the mishandling of this investigation would further tarnish the credibility of the police.

The doctor’s personal safety is a matter of deep concern to us. Material witnesses in high-profile cases in Malaysia have gone missing in the past such as the PI Balasubramanian. I applaud those brave individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to freedom and justice by coming forward with important evidence, and call upon the authorities to ensure their protection.

Yesterday in court we learned that the prosecution’s case has, in a manner similar to the botched trials of 1998, shape-shifted from a charge of assault to one of a consensual act. The conspiracy launched against me in the final week of June 2008 is falling apart. There is a hasty attempt by some to patch up glaring holes in the complainant’s testimony. This will certainly fail given the preponderance of evidence confirming my innocence.

The Prime Minister has actively involved himself in this matter in an attempt to derail the process of transformational change in Malaysia and stave off his own political demise. But in soiling his hands with this sordid matter he has deepened the crisis within his own administration. His most ardent supporters among the Malays have also expressed their disgust with the matter. Furthermore Prime Minister Badawi now faces investigation by the Anti Corruption Agency for his involvement in corruption and money politics.

The shadow of corruption and mismanagement of the economy darkens the legacy of his Premiership. Prime Minister Badawi has still offered no convincing explanation over the huge profits reaped by his family in the Oil For Food scandal at the expense of dying Iraqis.

I advise those around him to leave the sinking ship of his leadership while there is still a chance to do so.

Pakatan Rakyat’s reform agenda is firmly back on track and the New Dawn for Malaysia is well within reach. We will mount a unified campaign to win in Permatang Pauh with a solid majority encompassing that constituency’s diverse population. I look forward to entering Parliament on August 27th with the support of my friends in the coalition.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wan Azizah Wan Ismail - Lady of Grace

Sunday, August 3, 2008
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail - Lady of Grace


Siapa tidak kenal dengan Ketua Pembangkang Malaysia di Dewan Rakyat. Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah binti Wan Ismail yang pernah menjadi wanita no 2 paling penting dalam negara, sebelum suaminya dipecat daripada semua jawatan dalam kerajaan dan kabinet ketika era penguasaan Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad (sekarang Tun). Beliau merupakan seorang wanita yang tabah dan berani mempertahankan suami, diangkat menjadi ahli politik secara tiba-tiba, demi membela nasib suami tercinta. Semuanya berlaku dengan mengejut.

Saya bukan peminat parti beliau, yang juga merupakan serpihan daripada parti utama di Malaysia sekarang. Saya mengakumi semangat perjuangan beliau, bukan ideologi perjuangannya.

Beliau merupakan Presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) yang merupakan gabungan Parti Keadilan Nasional dan Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM). Parti Keadilan Nasional lahir daripada gelombang Reformasi yang melanda negara selepas pemecatan Anwar Ibrahim daripada UMNO pada September 1998. Peristiwa tersebut menjadi titik kesedaran bagi rakyat Malaysia pelbagai kaum dan lapisan masyarakat.

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah ibarat Ibu Kartini di Indonesia. Dari zaman antara 30 hingga 40 an. Ibu kartini membuka jalan untuk kaum-kaum wanita khususunya ibu-ibu untuk memartabatkan serta meningkatkan taraf kaum wanita.

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah yang berjuang hampir 10 tahun merupakan contoh serta teladan bagi kita. Perjuangan beliau yang tidak berbelah bahagi di dalam mempertabatkan serta memperjuangkan hak wanita dari dulu hingga kini.

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (dilahirkan pada 3 Disember 1952), merupakan seorang ahli politik Malaysia yang hebat dan merupakan Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh sejak 1999 hingga 2008. Baru-baru ini, beliau meletakkan jawatan sebagai Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh untuk memberi laluan kepada suaminya, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim untuk bertanding dalam pilihanraya kecil yang bakal diadakan dalam tempoh 60 hari selepas beliau meletakkan jawatan.

Asal Usul

Dilahirkan pada 1952, Wan Azizah mendapat pendidikan awalnya di St. Nicholas Convent School, Alor Setar dan menyambung pelajaran di salah sebuah sekolah berprestij, iaitu di Kolej Tunku Kurshiah, Seremban. Beliau kemudian menyambung pengajian dalam bidang perubatan di Rotal College of Surgeons in Ireland dan telah dianugerahkan pingat emas dalam bidang obstetrik dan ginekologi. Beliau kemudiannya graduate sebagai ophtalmologist (pakar mata).

Wan Azizah berkhidmat dengan kerajaan sebagai doktor selama 14 tahun sebelum bertindak membuat keputusan untuk memfokuskan kepada kerja-kerja amal, iaitu apabila suaminya dilantik menjadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri pada 1993. Beliau merupakan penasihat bagi (Majlis Kanser Nasional or National Cancer Council) dan menjadi wanita kedua yang menjadi pemimpin Presiden parti dalam sejarah lanskap politik Malaysia (Ganga Nayar merupakan wanita pertama yang menjadi Presiden Malaysian Worker’s Party pada 1978).

Wan Azizah merupakan keturunan daripada Cina Peranakan.

Beliau telah dianugerahkan Darjah Panglima Pangkuan Negeri (Order of the Defender of the State), darjah kedua paling tinggi di Pulau Pinang) pada hari ulangtahun kelahiran Yang Dipertua Pulau Pinang pada 12 Julai 2008 yang membawa gelaran ‘Datuk Seri’. Pada awalnhya beliau menolak, tetapi setelah dirayu oleh YB Lim Guan Eng (Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang), beliau menerimanya. Sedekad yang lepas, beliau pernah ditawarkan anugerah yang membawa gelaran Dato', tetapi beliau menolak tawaran itu.

Karier Politik

Selepas peristiwa pemecatan dan penahanan suami beliau pada 20 September 1998, Dr Wan Azizah mendapat sokongan dan suntikan semangat daripada rakyat Malaysia untuk memimpin gerakan Reformasi. Untuk pertama kalinya, beliau menubuhkan dan menjadi pemimpin bagi Gerakan Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia (GERAK, salah satu NGO yang memperjuangkan hak asasi manusia) sebelum menubuhkan dan menjadi Presiden Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKN) pada 4 April 1999.

Pada 3 Ogos 2003, beliau telah melakukan perubahan pada PKN, di mana satu gabungan dilakukan dengan parti lama, iaitu Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) yang menghasilkan Pasti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dan telah dilantik sebagai Presiden PKR yang pertama sehingga sekarang.

Untuk pilihanraya yang pertama yang disertai beliau pada 1999, parti beliau berjaya mendapatkan 5 kerusi di parlimen dan beliau telah dipilih rakyat sebagai Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh, kerusi yang sebelumnya disandang oleh suaminya, Anwar Ibrahim dengan majoriti undi sebanyak 9077. Beliau berjaya mengekalkan kerusi Permatang Pauh pada pilihanraya tahun 2004 dengan majoriti yang lebih rendah berbanding 1999.

Sebagai seorang pemimpin politik parti dan wakil daripada parlimen, Dr Wan Azizah aktif terlibat dalam banyak program dan aktiviti tempatan dan antarabangsa. Beliau telah bersuara dengan lantang menyuarakan pendapatnya di program-program yang dianjurkan oleh Persatuan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB). Beliau juga merupakan Timbalan Pengerusi bagi Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus for Democracy di Myanmar dan ahli ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus.

Dr Wan Azizah memenangi kerusi parlimen Permatang Pauh pada 2008 untuk pilihanraya ke-12 dengan majoriti 13,388 undi. Beliau telah disokong oleh segenap parti Pakatan Rakyat untuk memimpin pihak pembangkang di Dewan Rakyat.

Selepas tempoh Anwar Ibrahim yang dihalang daripada menyertai politik negara, beliau mengumukan untuk bertanding di Permatang Pauh, yang pernah dipegangnya dahulu. Dr Wan Azizah telah menyatakan kesediaan untuk mengosongkan kerusi tersebut bagi memberikan laluan kepada Anwar pada 31 July 2008 tetapi beliau masih lagi Presiden PKR dan Pengerusi bagi Yayasan Aman.


Saya begitu mengagumi Wan Azizah yang mempunyai semangat kental dan tabah dalam perjuangan. Dunia politik penuh cabaran dan dugaan. Untuk seorang wanita yang lembut seperti Wan Azizah diangkat menjadi ahli politik secara mengejut bukanlah satu kerja yang mudah dan beliau terpaksa berjuang tanpa sokongan dan semangat daripada suami tercinta, yang telah dipenjarakan pada ketika itu. Beliau bangkit, demi membela keadilan anak-anak dan suami dan beliau tidak berada dalam keadaan yang sentiasa selesa. Banyak halangan yang beliau hadapi sepanjang 10 tahun penglibatannya dalam dunia politik.

Mungkin dalam keadaan situasi beliau sebegitu yang membuatkan saya kagum dengan beliau. Ada yang akan berkata, banyak lagi pemimpin wanita Melayu Islam yang boleh dikagumi, tetapi mengapa Wan Azizah menjadi pilihan?

Semoga dipertemukan jodoh dengan wanita yang semangat juangnya sehebat Wan Azizah, insyaAllah.

Semoga diberi kekuatan.


A Reluctant Politician – Wan Azizah

Not all, but many people will miss Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the Parliament.

At the beginning, she had no choice but to join politics in the 1999 general elections for the hope of his husband and the reputation of her family.

She was a reluctant politician. She made it clear that she was doing so for her husband.

The people were not optimistic about the political life of such a woman who was moderate, shy and looked weak. In particular, she was caught in difficult situations most of the time over the past 10 years as PKR faced internal disputes and suffered great loss in the general elections while her husband was imprisoned.

She had to bear all the pressures and hardships but she managed to walk through the tests.

As a wife and a mother, she is absolutely competent and as a politician, she actually did well too.

She is soft but strong like a magnolia. She looks beautiful and frail but in fact, she is resolute and steadfast. Her impartiality and care helped her to win support and respect in the party.

The people can still remember the moment when the first female opposition leader reprimanded the Prime Minister's son-in-law in the Parliament. Some also hope that she can be the first woman prime minister.

However, the wish is temporarily, or forever not achievable. After she resigned and stepped aside for her husband, she can no longer contest for any parliamentary seat for at least five years.

Even if she keeps the party presidency, it would be a temporary measure. She will let it go once Anwar or any other leader is ready to take over.

She was really a reluctant politician at first. But once she took over the position, she naturally bore the responsibility and courageously moved forward.

Until the time has come when she has completed her tasks, she is perfectly happy to let go her power and status and let her husband, whom she thinks is more capable, to carry on.

She would rather to be an ordinary dutiful wife and loving mother. It is just that simple.

I do not agree with those who believe her resignation has in fact disappointed voters and violated the principles of democracy. She already made herself clear at the beginning that she is not a lifelong politician. She let it to the voters to decide whether to vote for her.

Moreover, the by-election has indirectly allowed the voters to make a major decision. Let's leave it to the Permatang Pauh's voters to decide whether it is right or wrong. (By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

Tan Yee Kew and 1,700 others join PKR