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Friday, March 30, 2018

Crowds don't translate to votes


Salleh Said Keruak

Liew Chin Tong of DAP said the crowd at Pakatan Harapan's ceramah in Kedah last night is proof of a Malay Tsunami in the upcoming general election. This is the problem with the opposition. They count their chickens before they hatch and they translate crowds during ceramah to votes.

In Sanggang in 2000, the opposition crowd was so huge and the traffic jam miles long that then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad commented about it. However, the PAS candidate lost the by-election to the Umno candidate.

The same happened in Indera Kayangan when 30,000 people turned up at the PKR ceramah and next door only 300 were at Menteri Besar Shahidan Kassim's event. But PKR's candidate lost to MCA.

More recently, Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar are two more examples. Since 1990 the opposition has been told that crowds do not translate to votes but they never listen. Maybe once GE14 is over and the votes are counted they may begin to understand.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Memahami apa yang menjadi berita palsu


Salleh Said Keruak

Mereka yang menentang undang-undang anti berita tidak benar yang baru dengan mengatakan bahawa undang-undang ini bertujuan untuk melenyapkan perdebatan mengenai 1MDB. Tetapi ini tidak benar. Tidak ada apa-apa yang menghalang sesiapa daripada membahaskan atau bercakap mengenai 1MDB. Isu ini adalah apabila seseorang mula menyebarkan 'berita' dan 'fakta' yang palsu. Sebagai contoh, kita terus mendengar 'berita' bahawa RM42 bilion wang 1MDB telah 'hilang' begitu sahaja. Ini secara rasmi telah dijelaskan dan terbukti palsu. Isu yang lebih besar di sini ialah untuk menangani penyebaran 'berita' dan 'fakta' palsu yang tidak bertanggungjawab, yang terpakai kepada banyak situasi lain dalam kehidupan kita.

Apabila pembohongan diulang terlalu banyak, orang boleh percaya ia benar. Ini adalah penyakit berita palsu yang menjejaskan dunia secara global, bukan hanya Malaysia. Kebenarannya tidak subjektif. Ia perlu tepat dan disokong dengan bukti yang disahkan benar. Jika tidak, ia akan menjadi tuntutan dan tuduhan semata-mata, dengan tiada bukti. Setiap orang harus memahami konsep ini, supaya mereka tidak mudah disesatkan oleh 'berita palsu'.

Dalam undang-undang, beban bukti selalunya adalah pada mereka  yang membuat dakwaan atau tuduhan. Tertuduh tidak bersalah, sehingga terbukti bersalah. Oleh itu, adalah mengejutkan bahawa sesetengah rakyat Malaysia tidak mempedulikan peraturan yang sangat asas ini. Sekiranya anda menuduh sesuatu, maka anda perlu membuktikannya benar. Anda perlu menunjukkan keterangan anda, yang perlu disahkan untuk kebenaran dan ketulenan.

Understanding what constitutes fake news  


Salleh Said Keruak

Those opposed to the new fake news law say that this law is aimed at silencing debate regarding 1MDB. But this is not true. There is nothing to stop anyone from debating or talking about 1MDB. The issue is when someone start spreading ‘news’ and ‘facts’ which are false. For example, we keep hearing ‘news’ that RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money has ‘disappeared’ into thin air, when this has been officially explained and proven false. The bigger issue here is to deal with the irresponsible spread of such fake ‘news’ and ‘facts’, which applies to many other situations in our lives.

When a lie is repeated too many times, people can believe it to be true. This is the disease of fake news which affects the world globally, not just Malaysia. The truth is not subjective. It has to be precise and backed with evidence which is verified to be true. If not, it would be mere claims and allegation, with nothing proven. Everyone should understand this concept, so that they would not be easily misled by ‘fake news’.

In law, the burden of proof is always on the person who puts the claim or allegation. The defendant is innocent, until proven guilty. So its surprising that some Malaysians appear ignorant of this very basic rule. If you claim something, then you have to prove it to be true. You have to show your evidence, which needs to be verified for truth and authenticity.

Monday, March 26, 2018

KITA PERLUKAN POLITIK MATANG

KITA PERLUKAN POLITIK MATANG

Salleh Said Keruak

1. Malaysia adalah sebuah negara demokrasi yang memberi ruang kepada rakyatnya untuk berpartisipasi dalam politik.  Kerajaan juga komited untuk menyekat amalan politik kotor dan fitnah yang boleh memudaratkan negara.

2. Kita tidak perlu lagi kepada politik adu domba, fitnah, pembunuhan karakter, dan juga penyebaran berita-berita palsu kerana amalan buruk ini boleh merosakkan akal budi kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia yang berakhlak dan beradab. Kita boleh berbeza pendapat politik dan berada dalam parti yang berlainan, tetapi janganlah sampai ke tahap kita menyebar berita palsu tentang negara. Misalnya, menyebarkan berita tidak tepat tentang tahap kesihatan ekonomi negara, rasuah dan juga kadar jenayah tanpa menggunakan data-data yang betul. Dalam hal di atas, kerajaan telah mengeluarkan data-data rasmi, maka janganlah pula kita mengambil contoh-contoh terpencil untuk menafikan kejayaan negara kita sendiri hanya kerana kita berbeza pandangan politik.  Inilah yang dimaksudkan kita meraikan perbezaan politik dan pendapat, tetapi janganlah sampai ke tahap mengabaikan kepentingan negara.

3. Menjelang PRU-14 ini, moga kita tidak lagi mengamalkan politik adu domba dan fitnah. Jika kita masih dengan sikap sebegini, maka kita jauh lagi dari mencapai tahap politik matang. Mencapai tahap politik matang adalah tanggungjawab bersama.Hargailah kestabilan politik yang telah kita nikmati selama ini kerana kestabilan dan keamanan ini terlalu mahal harganya.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The recycled foreign media attacks on Malaysia  


Salleh Said Keruak

Over the last two days, the foreign media has been attacking Malaysia in general and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in particular. This is not surprising considering that Tun Dr Mahatir Mohamad said, “Kita terpaksalah guna saluran media luar, BN bolehlah mereka ada banyak duit untuk upah penganalisis dari Cambridge.”

Basically, what the foreign media is reporting are recycled reports from years ago about corruption, fraudulent elections, lack of democracy, denial of freedom of speech, and so on.  Since 30 years ago when Mahathir was the Prime Minister until today they are still saying the same thing. The opposition then virals these reports to give the impression that the whole world is against Malaysia.

What the foreign media fails to mention in these reports is about the many cases of corruption now being investigated by the MACC in the Pakatan Harapan states of Selangor and Penang, or about the allegations of cheating in GE13, such as 40,000 Bangladeshi voters, that were proven false. The foreign media reports are not balanced but very one-sided giving the impression that everything about the government is bad while the opposition are angels.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Justice and Common Sense has Prevailed


Salleh Said Keruak

Today, a motion submitted by Swiss MP Carlo Sommaruga, was debated in the Swiss National Assembly. YB Lim Kit Siang, YB Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, certain Malaysian online media portals and so-called independent NGO leaders, such as Cynthia Gabriel of C4, shamelessly tried to spread fake news, by linking the motion to 1MDB.

Their perfidy even extended to letters being written to Swiss MPs and representatives of the Malaysian NGOs taking a junket to Switzerland, to lobby Swiss MPs to support the motion.

The Swiss Parliament today voted to throw out the motion, with an overwhelming majority of 138 MPs voting against, and only 53 MPs voting in favour. Notwithstanding this, the position of 1MDB and the Ministry of Finance has been very clear- the motion is a concern only for the Swiss Government, Swiss Parliament and Swiss Courts. It has nothing to do with 1MDB as the monies being sought by the Opposition does not belong to 1MDB.

Fortunately, justice and common sense has prevailed, over fake news and biased reporting.

Why did Mahathir not do all that when he was PM?  


Salleh Said Keruak

Yesterday, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said if Pakatan Harapan comes to power in GE14 they will allow more press freedom and will remove laws that restrict freedom of expression. What exactly are those laws that Mahathir intends to remove? And why did he not introduce those changes when he was Prime Minister for 22 years and had the power to do so?

When the New York Twin Towers was attacked in 2001, Mahathir said the Petronas Twin Towers is still standing because Malaysia has the Internal Security Act or ISA and if the US also had laws like the ISA their Twin Towers would still be standing. And when the government wanted to abolish the ISA Mahathir was against that move. So how serious is Mahathir about more democracy for Malaysia when he was opposed to democracy when he was in power?

It was not too long ago that Mahathir said Malaysia is a guided democracy and can never be a full democracy like in the west because of the delicate and fragile racial and religious balance of Malaysia’s population. Mahathir argued that unrestricted freedom of expression would invite racial or religious strife. Therefore the western version of democracy and free speech cannot work in Malaysia. Has Mahathir done a U-turn on that as well?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Is PPBM contesting under DAP?  


Salleh Said Keruak

There appears to be some confusion due to the contradicting statements by PPBM leaders. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he does not mind contesting under DAP’s banner whereas some PPBM leaders have said they do not mind contesting under PKR or PAN, which are seen as Malay parties, but not under DAP.

So which is it going to be or is Mahathir going to contest under DAP and the others are going to contest under PKR and PAN? Meanwhile Lim Kit Siang has said nothing regarding using DAP symbol.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mahathir’s most puzzling confession  


Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest confession is most puzzling and contradicts what had been revealed in court 20 years ago. First of all, when it was revealed that Anwar Ibrahim had a ‘black eye’, Mahathir said most likely Anwar punched his own face. When it was finally revealed that the IGP had punched Anwar, Mahathir did not offer any apology or retract his allegation that Anwar had punched his own face.

Tun Hanif Omar then revealed that Mahathir had sent him to meet Anwar to advise Anwar that the police were aware of his sexual misconduct and other activities and that he should stop before it becomes public knowledge. Anwar never denied this meeting but said the meeting was about Hanif’s chairmanship of Genting and not about his sexual activities. This means Mahathir knew about Anwar’s activities long before August 1998 and he had sent Hanif to meet Anwar to discuss the matter.

If Mahathir thinks he can change history then he is badly mistaken. Everything that happened since 1997 is well documented mainly because of the Internet. Mahathir had 20 years to set the record straight if what had been reported is wrong. It is now too late to change history. Furthermore, all this talk about GE14 being the dirtiest election in history sounds like Pakatan Harapan knows they are not going to win so they are lining up an excuse to explain why they lost. They did this in GE13 and it was later proven that all the allegations of Bangladeshi voters and power failures were false.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pakatan Harapan’s poisoned cup  


Salleh Said Keruak

Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto has been dressed up to appear like they are giving Malaysians milk and honey if they win the upcoming general election. However, in reality, they are giving us a poisoned cup to drink from. This is a case of short-term gain for long-term misery. As they say in America, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone, somewhere, has to pay for it. And Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto means future generations have to pay for the folly of the current generation.

Just look at the promises Pakatan Harapan makes in what they are going to do in the first 100 days if they come to power. They are going to abolish the GST and reintroduce the SST when all over the world countries that do not yet have GST are introducing it. But they do not explain how much they will earn to replace the RM40 billion that will be lost once the GST is abolished. Where is the alternative revenue that will be needed to pay for goods and services and to develop the country going to come from? How much will the SST bring in? Abolishing the GST is not an issue. The issue is there is no explanation on the SST, which used to be higher than the GST.

The second promise on the list is to stabilise the price of petrol and reintroduce subsidies for petrol. Oil prices are subject to global fluctuations and all sorts of external events beyond Malaysia’s control influence this: such as supply and demand, production surpluses or shortages, wars, etc. Commodity prices cannot be controlled and once before when Malaysia tried to control the tin market it ended up in a disaster that is still being felt until today. On the one hand Pakatan Harapan attacks subsidies while on the other hand they want subsidies for petrol. Most economist would disagree that subsidies for petrol is a good thing.

Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto is merely aimed at making the voters feel good. It is just like when they said in 2008 they will abolish highway tolls but after ten years in power they have still not abolished toll charges for highways in Selangor. Abolishing toll charges for highways means the Selangor State Government will need to pay billions in compensation to the concessionaires every year and that is economically not possible.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Pakatan’s manifesto mired in sensationalism  


Salleh Said Keruak

Pakatan Harapan’s 138-page manifesto makes a lot of promises such as giving more money to the rakyat. But how do they plan to replace the lost income? They also talk about giving the states the equivalent of 20% oil royalty. Will this mean grants and development budgets would now be reduced or is it an additional burden to grants and development budgets? How can the country afford that and where will the money come from? That question is never explained. We need to make promises that can be delivered, not just any promises to help win the election.

In that same manifesto Pakatan Harapan talks about restoring the ‘kedaulatan’ or sovereignty of the law. It is the actually the same thing the Opposition said back in 1988, and then in 1998, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was accused to practice rule by law instead of rule of law. Today, Pakatan Harapan are saying the same thing again and have chosen Tun Mahathir to lead the ‘change’. What logic is this?

Pakatan Harapan also says the sovereignty of the nation has been pawned (gadai). What does that this actually mean? Are they saying Malaysia no longer an independent country? This is again simple exaggeration and sensationalism. Malaysia is still merdeka and its sovereignty is intact.

We need to be realistic. The fact is that Pakatan’s manifesto is big on words but small in substance. With reduced income and increased spending, Pakatan is not going to deliver all their promises and still develop Malaysia.

We must build our nation on proven plans, not recycled promises.

Manifesto Pakatan dicemari dengan sensasi   


Salleh Said Keruak

Manifesto 138 muka surat Pakatan Harapan membuat banyak janji seperti memberi lebih banyak wang kepada rakyat. Tetapi bagaimana mereka merancang untuk menggantikan pendapatan yang hilang? Mereka juga berjanji untuk memberi negeri-negeri bersamaan 20% royalti minyak. Adakah ini bermakna geran dan belanjawan pembangunan sekarang akan dikurangkan atau adakah berlaku tambahan bebanan kepada geran dan belanjawan pembangunan? Bagaimanakah negara mampu semua itu dan dari manakah wang itu akan datang? Soalan itu tidak pernah dijelaskan. Kita perlu membuat janji-janji yang boleh disampaikan, bukan sekadar janji yang dapat membantu memenangi pilihan raya.

Dalam manifesto yang sama, Pakatan Harapan bercakap tentang memulihkan kedaulatan atau kedaulatan undang-undang. Ia adalah perkara yang sama seperti yang dikatakan pembangkang pada tahun 1988, dan kemudian pada tahun 1998, ketika Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dituduh mengamalkan pemerintahan melalui undang-undang berbanding pemerintahan mengikut perundangan. Hari ini, Pakatan Harapan berkata perkara yang sama sekali lagi dan telah memilih Tun Dr Mahathir untuk memimpin 'perubahan'. Apa logik ini?

Pakatan Harapan juga mengatakan kedaulatan negara telah digadai. Apa yang mereka maksudkan sebenarnya? Adakah mereka mengatakan Malaysia bukan lagi sebuah negara yang merdeka? Ini sekali lagi perkara yang mudah sengaja dibesar-besarkan dan disensasikam. Malaysia masih sebuah negara yang merdeka dan kedaulatannya masih utuh.

Kita perlu realistik. Hakikatnya adalah manifesto Pakatan Ini hanya besar dalam kata-kata tetapi kecil dari segi kandungannya. Dengan mengurangkan pendapatan dan meningkatkan perbelanjaan, Pakatan tidak akan menyampaikan kesemua janji-janji mereka dan masih membangun Malaysia.

Kita mesti membina negara kita berdasarkan rancangan-rancangan yang terbukti, bukannya melalui janji-janji yang dikitar semula.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Blogger dan pengguna media sosial harus bertindak dengan lebih bertanggungjawab


Salleh Said Keruak

Sejak kebelakangan ini, blogger dan pengguna media sosial bertindak melulu dalam membuat paparan atau posting di internet. Ini semakin meningkat mungkin disebabkan pilihan raya umum yang akan datang di mana sentimen adalah tinggi. Kita tidak boleh membiarkan perasaan dan sentimen ini menjejaskan keamanan, keharmonian dan kestabilan Malaysia.

Walau apa pun undang-undang yang mengawal penyalahgunaan media sosial - seperti penerbitan berita palsu, hasutan, fitnah dan sebagainya - blogger dan pengguna media sosial harus bertanggungjawab untuk mengamalkan penapisan sendiri. Kenapa perlu tunggu sehingga kerajaan bertindak ke atas penyalahgunaan internet? Rakyat Malaysia tahu apa yang boleh diterima oleh masyarakat dan apa yang menyinggung perasaan.

SKMM akan diminta memantau media sosial untuk memastikan pengguna bertindak secara bertanggungjawab. Dan jika sekiranya mereka tidak dapat bertindak secara lebih bertanggungjawab, maka kerajaan perlu masuk dan bertindak untuk memulihkan pesanan di internet. Jangan dibiarkan sehingga ia sampai ke tahap datang di mana tindakan perlu diambil terhadap penyalahgunaan internet dan media sosial. Lagipun, jika anda cukup terpelajar untuk menggunakan media sosial, maka anda harus cukup terdidik untuk membezakan antara yang benar dan salah.

Bloggers and social media users should act more responsibly  


Salleh Said Keruak

Of late, bloggers and social media users are acting quite recklessly in what they post on the internet. This has intensified probably due to the upcoming general election where temperatures and sentiments are running high. We must not allow tempers to jeopardise the peace, harmony and stability of Malaysia.

Notwithstanding the laws that control the abuse of the social media -- such as the publishing of fake news, seditious and libellous postings, and so on -- bloggers and social media users should be sensible and responsible enough to practice self-censorship. Why wait until the government needs to act or clampdown on the abuse of the internet? Malaysians know what is socially acceptable and what is offensive.

MCMC will be asked to monitor the social media to ensure that users act responsibly. And if they cannot act responsibly then the government will need to step in and restore order to the internet. Do not allow it to come to a stage where action needs to be taken against abusers of the internet and social media. After all, if you are educated enough to use the social media, then you should be educated enough to differentiate between right and wrong.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mahathir and Opposition fake news tactics


Salleh Said Keruak

Yet again, the Opposition have seized upon unverified and unproven allegations regarding a yacht named The Equanimity. Amongst others, it is alleged that the yacht is owned by Jho Low, and that it was purchased with funds from1MDB. This is yet another failed attempt to mislead Malaysians, using fake news.

The reality is that the source of the allegations is contained in the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) civil lawsuit, which in fact has been put on hold since August 2017. Until today, apart from bare allegations contained in the law suit, the US DOJ has not shown any tangible proof that Jho Low is the actual owner of the yacht or that it was purchased with funds from 1MDB. Furthermore, the US DOJ has yet to prove any of its allegations in a court of law, despite nearly 2 years passing since its sensationalised press conference of July 2016.

The Opposition has failed to reveal that the alleged source of funds in the DOJ lawsuit is from Aabar BVI, which according to the DOJ lawsuit, had alleged business dealings with Jho Low. The directors of Aabar BVI were Khadem Al Qubaisy and Mohammed Al Badawy, formerly senior employees in the IPIC group.1MDB has repeatedly clarified that whilst it did have business dealings with Aabar BVI, 1MDB has not had any business dealings with Jho Low and more importantly, 1MDB is not a party to the DOJ lawsuit.

The Mahathir-led, DAP-dominated Pakatan Harapan is using fake news as their primary political weapon to garner votes for the coming general election. Right thinking Malaysians will recall how Mahathir started the fake news attack on 1MDB, by wrongly stating that "RM 42 billion was missing", only to be proven wrong time and time again. In their desperation, it is sad to see that Mahathir and the Opposition are now mindlessly recycling unproven allegations and irresponsibly spreading fake news.