Reunion Batch 1994

Reunion Batch 1994

Monday, December 10, 2012

Laporan Harakah berkenaan Bajet Untuk SAR: Usaha Pujuk Ahli PAS atau Usaha Bodek DAP?



PAS yang terhimpit dengan masalah dalaman PR dan ketandusan isu terus cuba memancing undi dengan cara mengelirukan rakyat serta menyemai keraguan dan kebencian terhadap BN.  Fitnah konon BN menolak Islam, tidak Islam, kafir dan murtad telah menjadi wirid harian pemimpin-pemimpin mereka.  

Dalam pembentangan Bajet yang lepas, kerajaan BN telah ditohmah sebagai tidak menitikberatkan Islam kerana tidak memperincikan bajet untuk Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR).  

Sedangkan ini bukanlah satu isu kerana Sekolah Agama Rakyat bukanlah di bawah tanggungan kerajaan tetapi milik persendirian.  Justeru, adalah tidak munasabah meminta kerajaan menanggung kos operasi SAR yang ditubuhkan oleh orang atau pertubuhan persendirian.  Logiknya, jika tidak mampu menubuhkan sekolah, kenapa mesti ditubuhkan juga sehingga menjejaskan masa depan murid-murid akibat pembelajaran tidak berkualiti dan keadaan sekolah yang tidak sesuai dan mampu menganggu proses perkembangan minda.  

Pun begitu, kerana prihatinnya kerajaan terhadap anak bangsa dan agama Islam, maka bantuan tetap diberikan di mana pada tahun 2011, sejumlah RM95 juta telah diperuntukkan kepada SAR.   Malah, sebanyak 156 daripada 382 SAR di seluruh negara telah berdaftar dengan kementerian dan ditukar status kepada sekolah agama bantuan kerajaan (SABK) yang mana mendapat peruntukan terus dibawah bajet pendidikan nasional.  

Oleh itu, momokan pembangkang kononnya kerajaan tidak prihatin adalah momokan ahli politik yang gila kuasa, bukannya hujah seorang muslim yang benar-benar memperjuangkan agama.  

Kedegilan kebanyakan SAR untuk berdaftar dengan kerajaan juga merupakan satu kemusykilan yang masih gagal difahami.  Jika benar SAR ikhlas ingin mengajar agama, kenapa perlu menolak untuk berdaftar dengan kerajaan dan mendapat bantuan secara langsung?  Kenapa perlu terasing dari pendidikan nasional tetapi di masa yang sama melangut menunggu suapan kerajaan?  

Bukan rahsia bahawa kebanyakan SAR membawa fahaman PAS, iaitu fahaman pembangkang yang menentang kerajaan.  SAR juga kerapkali dikaitkan dengan berbagai masalah moral sama ada di kalangan murid-murid mahupun guru.  Ini mungkin antara sebab SAR tidak wajar diberi bantuan secara membuta tuli tetapi perlu dikaji dan disiasat dahulu agar tidak menjadi punca kepada kemusnahan ummah di masa depan.   

Berdasarkan hakikat ini, kita tidak hairan kenapa Lim Guan Eng tidak teragak-agak untuk memasukkan SAR di dalam peruntukan hal ehwal agama Islam dalam Bajet Pulau Pinang.  Guan Eng pasti sedia maklum bahawa SAR akan membantu melahirkan lebih ramai Melayu yang tidak mampu bersaing dan akhirnya hanya menjadi pak turut kepada DAP.  

Namun, kenyataan Ketua Pemuda PAS Selangor, Ustaz Hasbullah Mohd Ridzwan mengenai perkara ini dilihat sebagai satu tindakan mengampu Lim Guan Eng secara keterlaluan.   Kata Hasbullah, Bajet tersebut membuktikan Guan Eng prihatin dengan SAR dan kerajaan pusat wajar merasa malu dengannya.  

Sedangkan, menurut laporan Bajet negeri, Kerajaan Pulau Pinang telah memperuntukkan RM13.84 juta untuk tahun 2013 meliputi pembangunan masjid, surau dan sekolah agama rakyat (SAR).  Maknanya, tiada perincian khas mengenai bantuan untuk SAR.   RM13.84 juta sebenarnya tidak banyak jika dilihat dari projek yang di dalam perancangan iaitu pembinaan masjid baru yang mengambilkira prasarana mesra OKU, iaitu di  Masjid Jamek Sungai Gelugor, Daerah Timur Laut dan  Masjid Jamek Tasek Gelugor, Seberang Perai Utara.    

Lebih-lebih lagi, apabila bajet tersebut juga menyatakan bahawa keseluruhan peruntukan untuk tujuan keagamaan pada tahun hadapan adalah RM46.42 juta.  Klausa ‘tujuan keagamaan’ ini adalah terlalu umum di mana kita tidak dapat pastikan sama ada agama yang dimaksudkan adalah Islam atau semua agama lain?  Jika ia membawa maksud semua agama lain juga maka ini bermakna Islam mendapat peruntukan RM13.84 juta dan lebihan RM32.58 juta lagi adalah untuk semua agama lain.   Angka ini jelas belum cukup untuk menobatkan Guan Eng sebagai seorang yang memartabatkan Islam.  

Oleh yang demikian, jelaslah bahawa Ustaz Hasbullah ini tidak lebih dari sekadar tukang cuci kasut Guan Eng yang sanggup mereka-reka dan menokok tambah cerita semata-mata untuk mengampu DAP.   Malah, tajuk Harakah mengenai perkara ini juga mempunyai unsur-unsur fitnah dan bodek yang keterlaluan iaitu kononnya Pulau Pinang meningkatkan bajet SAR sehingga 300%??   Laporan yang tidak disertakan dengan statistik, angka dan fakta itu dijadikan modal untuk menghentam kerajaan Pusat.  

Soalnya, berapa ramaikah ahli-ahli PAS yang terpedaya dengan laporan Harakah tersebut?  Berapa ramaikah ahli-ahli PAS yang sanggup mencari fakta dan angka tepat bagi mengesahkan kenyaaan Ketua Pemuda PAS Selangor itu?  

DAP memperjuangkan Negara Sekular secara terang lagi jelas yang mana menghapuskan Islam sebagai agama rasmi sekali gus meletakkan agama Islam sama dengan agama lain.  Jadi, di manakah prihatinnya DAP terhadap Islam?  DAP langsung tidak berselindung dalam hal ini dan tidak pula memutar-belitkannya.  Tetapi, PAS pula yang nampaknya begitu beria-ia membelitkannya untuk DAP sehinggakan seorang pemimpin Pemuda PAS sanggup menggambarkan seolah-olah Guan Eng lebih Islam dari Dato’ Seri Najib.  

Justeru, salahkah lagi jika kita merujuk PAS sebagai anjing kepada DAP?   

PKR’s SECRET IS OUT, THE PARTY IS SHUNNED BY YOUNG WOMEN



Now it is now open secret…women are no longer interested in knowing what else to join PKR…a party that purported promotes equal rights but choosy when come to picking women as candidate for the general election.

Freedom and equal rights seem to have a double standard in PKR as the party struggles to find qualified women to be fielded as candidates or this is just an excuse to prevent women from taking a more active part in the party.

PKR Wanita chief Zuraidah Kamaruddin revealed that the party could only fill up 15 seats or 50 percent of the seats allotted for women, which means women are not appreciated in PKR.

Not only that, Zuraidah revealed the women the party approached were not interested in becoming candidates for PKR!

Imagine the response…women who are qualified…which mean that graduates, young and possessing leadership abilities rejected offers to become candidates for PKR!

This simply means PKR is being rejected by young women who are intelligent, who have the minds to think of their future and the future of the country…wise thinking these young women and all of them are Malays probably.

Now Malaysians know PKR is not a party any right thinking Malaysian in particular the Malays should support nor be part of it.

Zuraidah herself admitted and the scenario is in reality as what she revealed, not only among women but among males too.

PKR is slowly but definite being shunned by right thinking young generation as they continue laughing at the political gimmicks Anwar Ibrahim and gang are exhibiting.

Accusing BN of violent acts is nothing new as the younger generation know the tense political atmosphere is actually being created by PKR and PAS, this are talks among them in mamak shops at night.

The youngsters when met said they remember the days when they used to enjoy political ceramahs by BN as they could joke about them, they could even jeer or cheer without being harassed and at the end of the ceramahs, there sure would be some Umno men taking them for late supper despite being jeered.

Friendly despite possessing differences in political outlook and views, those were the days, they said.

But not now as they fear even the atmosphere, of course this is for those who are non-partisan. Those who love to listen without prejudice or taking sides.

Thus, PKR is really losing influence, not just among the women but also young people as the party struggles with reality, being phased out slowly in the minds of the people.

As the lyrics of the song goes …and now the end is near…ha ha ha.

Pas Punca Perpecahan Ummah



Sekali lagi Mursyidul Am PAS, Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat cuba mencuci tangan dengan memutar belitkan fakta apabila menuduh UMNO sebagai punca berlakunya perpecahan sesama orang Melayu Islam di negara ini.

Katanya, perpecahan orang Melayu Islam masa kini bukannya disebabkan oleh PAS sebaliknya berpunca dari UMNO yang didakwanya mengetepikan dasar Islam dan lebih selesa dengan semangat kebangsaan.

Hujah Menteri Besar Kelantan itu bukan sahaja menampakkan kedangkalan pemikirannya malah menunjukkan ketaksubannya yang melampau terhadap PAS.

Nik Aziz mungkin lupa, namun sejarah hakiki tidak mungkin dapat dipadamkan bahawasanya kewujudan PAS itu sendiri adalah hasil dari ketamakan kuasa. Dek kerana gagal merebut jawatan Yang Dipertua UMNO maka dari situlah wujudnya PAS hingga ke hari ini. 

Kewujudannya pula bukan atas nama perjuangan Islam sebaliknya bertitik tolak dari dasar dendam kekalahan yang kemudian merebak kepada perpecahan orang Melayu Islam.

Sedar dengan kelemahan itu maka pemimpin PAS berbohong pula kepada rakyat konon penubuhannya adalah hasil dari protes terhadap judi loteri yang dikaitkan dengan UMNO.

Walhal jika itu alasannya kenapa tidak sekarang PAS menjauhkan diri dari PKR dan DAP yang memerintah Selangor dan Penang, yang mana di negeri-negeri itu lesen judi ekor dan lumba kuda masih diluluskan oleh Kerajaan Negeri.

Hatta lesen kedai arak, rumah urut yang tak berlesen pun tumbuh mengalahkan cendawan selepas hujan di negeri yang diperintah oleh rakan-rakan sekedudukan dengan PAS itu. 

Atau mungkinkah semua senario di negeri-negeri yang diperintah PR itu menepati dasar Islam yang dituntut oleh PAS, maka kerana itulah PAS masih setia bersama PR?

Sudah menjadi lumrah mana-mana pemimpin PAS gemar memalitkan tuduhan semberono untuk memperlihatkan pada penyokongnya bahawa UMNO adalah parti yang tidak Islamik, manakala PAS pula didendangkan sebagai parti pejuang Islam.

Dengan berbuat demikian PAS percaya para penyokongnya akan terus setia dengan perjuangan PAS sekalipun sejarah membuktikan punca perpecahan ummah antara penyebab utamanya ialah PAS.

Sekitar tahun 1960 hingga 1980-an banyak perpecahan sesama penduduk sekampung dan sesama keluarga berlaku disebabkan perbezaan fahaman politik gara-gara taksub pada hasutan kepartian yang dibawa oleh pemimpin PAS.

Sembahyang dua imam dalam satu kariah, mendoakan kehancuran sesama Islam serta memboikot kenduri kendara orang Melayu Islam yang condong bersama UMNO, segalanya sudah sinonim dengan watak dan pembawaan PAS dan penyokongnya.

Namun disebalik semua itu, PAS tidak kekok untuk menerima dasar sekularisme dan pluralisme yang diamalkan oleh PKR, malah tidak canggung untuk berpeluk sakan dengan DAP yang akidahnya adalah sosialisme.

Islam bagi PAS hanya sekadar label dan jenama untuk mengabui mata khalayak semata-mata, namun gerak laku dan praktikal yang diamalkan oleh pimpinan PAS langsung tidak mencerminkan sikap Islamik.

Memang Patut PAS Nasihatkan Ahlinya Jaga Kelakuan



Disebalik momokan propaganda PAS dan PR yang giat menuduh UMNO dan BN sebagai punca wujudnya kegiatan samseng dalam dunia politik, tak semena-mena PAS melancarkan taklimat khas untuk menasihatkan ahli dan penyokongnya supaya berkelakuan baik dan menjauhi gengsterisme.

Ketua Penerangan PAS Pusat, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man mungkin berniat baik mahu mengekang kegiatan samseng politik namun secara tersiratnya ia menunjukkan kepada umum perintis sebenar budaya samseng politik ini dipelopori oleh PAS dan PR.

Lihat sajalah kelakuan ahli dan penyokong PAS sewaktu peristiwa berdarah Memali dulu di mana mereka berhimpun beramai-ramai dengan pedang, keris dan parang hanya untuk mencapai cita-cita negara Islam ala PAS yang akhirnya diakui oleh Presiden PAS, Hadi Awang sebenarnya tidak wujud pun dalam Al-Quran.

Akibat kegelojohan sikap dan tingkap laku samseng itu berbelas orang isteri menjadi balu dan berpuluh anak kecil menjadi yatim. Malah tabung Memali yang mengumpul pungutan berjuta RM juga lesap sedangkan tujuan asal kewujudan tabung itu untuk menjaga kebajikan balu dan anak yatim tersebut.

Begitu juga semasa peristiwa berdarah Lubuk Merbau yang menyaksikan beberapa nyawa melayang gara-gara sikap keras dan kurang ajar penyokong PAS dari luar kawasan yang berlagak samseng dengan bersenjatakan berpuluh bilah parang.

Jika dua peristiwa besar di atas tidak cukup untuk gambarkan kegagalan PAS dalam mentarbiah ahli dan penyokongnya supaya berkelakuan baik dan berjiwa Islamik, barangkali lakonan mati hidup semula berkali-kali yang dijayakan oleh penyokong PAS sewaktu demonstrasi Bersih 2.0 boleh dijadikan sempadan pengajaran.

Atau mungkin juga kegagalan PAS mengawal tingkah laku Unit Amal PAS yang memulakan rempuhan hadangan polis di KLCC semasa demonstrasi Bersih 3.0 beberapa bulan dulu lebih daripada mencukupi untuk membuktikan betapa kelakuan samseng sudah lama mendarah daging dalam perangai pengikut PAS.

Andainya itu belum cukup untuk membuktikan kelakuan ganas sudah sinonim dengan PAS dan PR, apa kata kita toleh semula kejadian ganas peserta Bersih 3.0 yang sengaja membaling kon dan objek keras sehingga kereta polis terbabas dan mencederakan pemandunya.

Tidak cukup dengan balingan dan kekasaran itu, peserta Bersih 3.0 yang terdiri dari penyokong PAS, DAP dan PKR serta NGO proksi mereka melompat-lompat pula di atas kenderaan polis seterusnya menterbalikkan kenderaan peronda itu. Tidakkah ini satu kelakuan ganas dan luar tabie?

Kemudian lihat pula kelakuan jelik dan kurang ajar penyokong PR semasa sambutan ambang malam merdeka tempohari yang dengan biadapnya berbogel menunjukkan punggung di khalayak ramai. Memalukan dan menjelikkan.

Lantaran itu, walaupun dengan wujudnya taklimat anti samseng yang diwar-warkan oleh Ketua Penerangan PAS pusat ini cukup melegakan kami rakyat Malaysia, namun diharapkan biarlah ia dilakukan dengan bersungguh-sungguh.

Cukup-cukuplah segala macam kelakuan ganas, jelik dan samseng yang sudah mendarah daging dikalangan penyokong PAS dan PR itu dipertontonkan pada khalayak ramai. 

Apapun tahniahlah pada Tuan Ibrahim kerana telah menyedari sikap biadap dan samseng yang sinonim dengan penyokong PAS dan PR ini langsung tidak membawa kebaikan sebaliknya mengundang pula imej buruk. Semoga Tuan Ibrahim berjaya dengan misi nasihat baiknya itu.

Harakah's Report On Budget For SAR: To Coax PAS Members Or To Flatter DAP?



PAS, a party which is stuck in PR's conflict and running out of ideas in confusing rakyat to spread hate against BN.

During the previous Budget presentation, BN was criticized for 'not focusing' on Islam as it does not go into details for the budget for Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR). 

This matter should not have been an issue because SAR is not under the government. Instead, it is privately owned. Thus, it is illogical to ask the government to cover all the operation cost for SAR. Logically, if they do not have the means to build a school, why build it in the first place only to destroy children's future for the low quality education?

Even then, the government still help these children where in 2011, RM95 million was given to SAR. Even 156 our of 382 SAR around the country were registered under the ministry and the status's changed to sekolah agama bantuan kerajaan (SABK) where they get direct budget under the national education budget.

That is why, the opposition's critics saying that the government do not care simply came from a politician who are crazy for power, not a statement from a Muslim who really fights for religion.

Other SAR's refusal to register under the government still cannot be understood. If it is true that SAR sincerely want to teach religion, why refuse to operate under the government to get direct fund? Why should it shy away from the national education plan but at the same time begs for the government's aid?

It is no longer a secret that most SAR spreads PAS's understandings, opposition's understanding to go against the government. SAR is also often linked with moral issues among students as well as teachers. This is probably one of the reasons why SAR cannot be given direct funds. Instead, the matter should be studied first so that the institution would not be the factor towards the destruction of ummah in the future.

Based on this fact, we are not surprised why Lim Guan Eng did not hesitate to register SAR into the budget of Islamic religios affairs for Penang's Budget. Guan Eng is well aware that SAR will help to develop more Malays who will never be able to compete and that they will only follow DAP.

However, the statement given by PAS Selangor Youth Chief, Ustaz Hasbullah Mohd Ridzwan regarding this matter is seen as overly complimenting Lim Guan Eng.

Hasbullah said, the Budget proves that Guan Eng do care about SAR and the central government should be ashamed of it.

When the fact is, according to the State's Budget report, Penang Government had put aside RM13.84 million for 2013 to develop mosques, surau as well as SAR. This means, there is no details regarding funding for SAR. The RM13.84 is not as much if we are to consider the development on the new mosque which they want to build which would be OKU friendly, Masjid Jamek Sungai Gelugor, Daerah Timur Laut as well as the Masjid Jamek Tasek Gelugor, Seberang Perai Utara.  

Moreover, as the budget mentioned that the overall budget for religious programs for next year is RM46.42 million, the term religious activities is too general and we cannot be certain whether that is for Islam or it covers every religion. If it is for every religion, then Islam only gets the RM13.84 million and the other RM32.58 would be for other religion. The number clearly shows that Guan Eng does not really champions Islam.

That is why Ustaz Hasbullah is no more than Guan Eng's loyal busboy where he would simply create his own story just to please DAP. Even Harakah's headline on this matter seems wrong when they mentioned that Penang raised the budget for SAR as much as 300%. The report did not even have any statistics, clearly used as their points to hit the central government.

The question is, how many PAS members fell for the report? How many of them would really go through the real facts to confirm the statement made by the PAS Selangor Youth Chief?

DAP fights for Secular country where getting rid of Islam as the official religion is a must so that everything could be equal. So, when did they really care about Islam? DAP has never really go around the bushes when it comes to this matter. But PAS seems to really fight for DAP that one of PAS's youth leaders even pictured that Guan Eng is more Islam than Dato’ Seri Najib. 

Hence, it is wrong for us to say that PAS is just a dog to DAP?

Reconciling with Rare Earths in Malaysia


Posted by Saleem Ali of University of Queensland (Australia) 
Guest article by Bernadetta Devi


“Rare Earths” are a group of 17 elements that are currently used in a wide array of modern technologies, ranging from hard disk drives to lamp phosphors to hybrid car batteries. At present 90% of these minerals are mined in China due to a range of economic and environmental factors. In 2012, an old rare earth mine in California reopened and the next major rare earth mine is on track for going into full production in 2013 at Mount Weld, Western Australia (owned and operated by Lynas Corporation). The ore from the Mount Weld mine will be milled and processed in Malaysia and this remote processing operation has caused considerable environmental conflict in Pahang state.

This article is authored by Bernadetta Devi, my colleague from the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining who visited the Lynas Corporation Ltd processing and refinery plant in Malaysia in October, 2012 to develop an independent perspective on the current status of the rare earths industry within Malaysia and to identify opportunities for research that could mitigate environmental conflicts on this issue, given its importance for providing important materials for green technologies worldwide. 


A 'rare earth' processing plant near Guangzhou, China: Majority of the world's rare earths are still mined and processed in China. Photograph by Saleem H. Ali

Context

The rare earth industry within Malaysia has been the focus of intense political scrutiny, social activism and media interest during the past 2 years, in light of the Malaysian Government approval of the construction and operation of a $1 billion rare earths processing and refinery plant at Kuantan in Pahang State.  This facility is owned by Australian corporation Lynas and  commonly referred to as the “Lynas Advanced Materials Plant” (LAMP).

In August 2012 the first phase of the LAMP was completed to accommodate 30,000 tonnes of raw materials that are shipped from the Lynas Corporation Mount Weld mine site in Western Australia.  It is envisaged that the processing of the raw materials will see Lynas produce rare earth oxides at 11,000 tonnes per annum.    The second phase of the LAMP project is still being constructed and when finished, the production of Lynas rare earth oxides will be doubled.  The company has commenced its first production following the November 2012 decision by the Kuantan High Court to allow processing to proceed (which continues to be under appeal but likely to move forward).

Current Debate

At present, there is a clear polarization of the debate surrounding the Lynas LAMP plant and its activities.  For example, the Lynas proponents consistently point to the significant contribution the LAMP will provide to the Malaysian economy.  Those against the LAMP argue there will be considerable negative implications to the environment and society in Pahang State arising from the operation of the LAMP and this will in turn have a negative effect on the Malaysian economy.  

Most notably, The Academy of Sciences Malaysia and the National Professors’ Council recently produced the report ‘Rare Earth Industries: Moving Malaysia’s Green Economy Forward’ based on the inaugural rare earths symposium held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2012.  

This report identified two important drivers for the rare earths industry in Malaysia:

1)      The rare earths industry can contribute to, and support the development of, a green economy both domestically and globally.

2)      As a nation, Malaysia will significantly benefit from the contribution of rare earths to the global market.  This is an important point to consider as the global supply of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) is dominated by China (approximately 97 per cent of global production).

With the advanced technologies and perceived benefits, the rare earth industry is seen as a promising new growth area under Malaysia’s New Economic Model of the 10th Malaysia Plan aiming to transform the country to a developed nation by 2020. Lynas, (a company that is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange) is a key contributor to the undertaking of the 10th Malaysia Plan as the Plan seeks to derive its objectives from predominantly private sector investment.

The government policy on Lynas however has received strong criticism from a number of stakeholders including opposing political parties.  The most identifiable movement against the LAMP is that of the Stop Lynas Save Malaysia (SLSM). 

This NGO has received widespread media attention and political coverage in their rejection of the LAMP which they state is essentially flawed and dangerous due to:

-          A poor project approval process that did not adequately engage with Malaysian civil society and the communities in the vicinity of the LAMP.

-          Government approval for the LAMP which was not based on any evidence based studies

-          The potential for future high-risk uncertainties, namely health, safety and environmental concerns from the operation of the LAMP

-          The Government providing a 12 year tax holiday for Lynas and this will reduce the flow-on economic benefits to the Malaysian people.

Essentially, for the past two years the opposing parties have continuously questioned the decision to allow Lynas to construct and operate the LAMP facility in Malaysia.  

Lynas, however, have been open in its responses to this question, with its Chairman recently stating (during the Lynas Corporation 2012 Annual General Meeting) that Lynas  undertook a ‘thorough due diligence process’ to choose a 100 hectare, dedicated petrochemical industrial park in the Malaysia’s East Coast Economic Corridor that considered factors such as:

-          Adequate physical infrastructure that support the chemical industries

-          A readily available workforce that is specialised in chemical refining

-          Close  proximity to key rare earths markets

-          Regulations that support a value-adding industry


Continuous monitoring data at LAMP facility in Malaysia to address concerns about pollution. Photograph by Bernadetta Devi

By locating LAMP in the Malaysian East Coast Economic Corridor, Lynas considers the LAMP will create a cluster of secondary positive economic impacts through high technology industries which align with the Malaysian government’s vision in its economic policy.  

Furthermore, Lynas and the Malaysian academia believe that with its advanced technologies, LAMP activities will have very small concentration of radioactive in the residues of rare earths processing and refinery.  Importantly, Lynas continues to develop its technology to promote sustainable development within the rare earth industry including innovation in recycling residues from the LAMP activities.

The exhaustive list of conflicting arguments from both parties could be seen as valid based on values, beliefs and needs that are followed by each party.     

However, the inability between both parties to fully appreciate the needs and concerns of the parties differing viewpoints is effectively protracting the debate and conflict.  It is therefore necessary that workable strategies are developed from both sides of the debate to bring to the table to create a sustainable long-term solution to this issue.

Opportunities from Conflicts

A brief analysis of the Lynas case based on feedback received during the field visit showed that there have been some changes within Malaysia in relation to heavy industries.  Those changes potentially can assist the improvement of rare earths industry as well as heavy industry in general.

1)      Evidence based policy making – Lynas has been scrutinised by many different ‘independent’ bodies. Despite debate on the objectivity and dependency of the chosen bodies that scrutinised Lynas, the involvement of these bodies could be seen as a process to improve the evidence-based policy making in Malaysia.  Although Lynas’s scrutiny process did not occur until the LAMP was almost fully constructed, it is hoped, that evidence-based policy could always be utilised to assist the Malaysian Government create their policies specifically for Lynas or other similar heavy industry enterprises.  Essentially, an evidence-based dialogue always promotes enriches decision making process in so long as there is accountability and transparency throughout this process. Ongoing oversight authority from academic bodies who will monitor the progress of the plan will be important in building and maintaining trust.

2)      ‘Better’ environmental measures and mitigations for heavy industries – Feedback received stated that Lynas has adhered to more stringent environmental requirements in comparison to other companies.  Lynas has implemented advanced environmental measures to monitor and mitigate their environmental impacts for example, the digital air monitoring which is an extra requirement that is specific to Lynas  and the latest technology to capture the emitted gases.  It is worth considering that this requirement imposed on Lynas has not been imposed to other heavy industries that co-share with Lynas due to aggregate cumulative impacts in the Gebeng Industrial Park.  To answer the pessimistic argument on the capacity of Malaysian Government in enforcing its environmental regulation, it is important to have an independent monitoring of the aggregate environmental impacts in Gebeng.

3)      Better multi-stakeholders engagement and consultation – The legacy of Lynas not undertaking a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) has severely affected the social performance of  Lynas.  This, however, has assisted the Malaysian Government to review its EIA process and legislation requirement e.g. to include automatically any radio-active potential waste from heavy industry to conduct DEIA.  The significance of DEIA is on the public consultation aspects. However, this public engagement in many cases is not sufficient to promote the company’s “social license to operate.”  It is important for companies to continuously and voluntarily promote community and multi-stakeholders engagement in their activities.  As the middle class with better education in Malaysia society increases, they are demanding for a more transparent and open decision-making process, particularly for matters that could affect the environment where they live.  During this visit, it was revealed that the demand for public involvement in the decision making should be undertaken earlier in the investment planning process by the Malaysian government.

4)      Information sharing between technocratic and social-humanities disciplines – it is apparent that there is a need to have an integrated research in the rare earths field that considers the technology / technical aspects of rare earths and social / humanities implications.  Social studies may aid technocrats to ensure meaningful findings that suit the needs of the local community and vice versa. As the rare earth industry continuous to grow, this has also attracted international research institutes to develop a research focus on this field.  For this, the Malaysia research institutes and interested NGOs will be of strategic importance to collaborate in such initiatives.

Conclusion

Lynas has a vision of being “the global leader in Rare Earths for a sustainable future.” There is potential for regional economic development to occur in Malaysia alongside this vision. However, risk communication and conflict resolution strategies will need to be more proactively managed by the firm. At the same time, activists will need to be more pragmatic in their goals and consider the costs and benefits from a more science-based (or evidence-based) approach rather than through confrontational litigation strategies that are likely to fail.  

Risk perception of radiation exposure can be managed through a vigorous monitoring program that has already been put in place by The Atomic Energy Licensing Board.  

The trust-deficit between the company and the community can be bridged through a more deliberative public-private partnership around community engagement at regular intervals.

The demand for rare earths is likely to grow dramatically in coming years and Malaysia can play an important role in leading the way in showcasing how a modern processing facility can be effectively managed to minimize risk. Constructive engagement between civil society and industry needs to be facilitated by the government. 

New metrics to evaluate cumulative impacts and a willingness for industry to adapt accordingly through the life-cycle of the plant is likely to further the goals of making this project more acceptable. Much has been achieved by Malaysia in its development path and as with any industry from palm oil plantations to oil extraction to mineral process, there are trade-offs. Diversification of the economy through a variety of strategies to meet the demands of the local population as well as providing essential products for modern societies must remain a long-term objective as this project and others in the sector move forward.

Postscript and acknowledgements: The University of Queensland is in the process of establishing a rare earths research consortium involving universities, mining companies, recyclers, downstream manufacturers, governments, international agencies and civil society groups. Our goal will be to provide a forum for consolidating research that helps to improve the performance of this sector on ecological and social terms. We would like to acknowledge the assistance accorded for the field visit by Lynas Corporation: Mike Vaisey – Vice President Research and Technology and Muthuchamy Suruli Bommu (Sustainable Project Research and Technology Leader); The University of Malaysia Pahang: Prof Dr. Badhrulhisham bin Abdul Aziz, p. Eng, M.I.E.M (Deputy vice chancellor for academic and international relation, University Malaysia Pahang) ; and The Academy of Sciences of Malaysia Dr Ahmad Ibrahim (Chief Executive Officer); Datuk Ir Dr Hj Ahmad Zaidee Laidin FASc (Council Member)  and Mr Loganathan Ponnambalam F.ZI.G.M – (Project Coordinator).

Konvensyen DAP: DAP Perlu Kalahkan PAS Dahulu Sebelum Kalahkan BN



Kongres Wanita dan Belia Sosialis DAP (DAPSY) kini berlangsung sempena Konvensyen Kebangsaan Parti DAP yang dijadualkan berlangsung pada 15 dan 16 Disember ini.   Konvensyen ini merupakan yang terakhir sebelum berlangsungnya pilihanraya umum ke-13.    Justeru, kita menjangka satu konvensyen yang meriah, yang merupakan tiupan semangat ‘perang’ sepertimana Muktamar PAS dan Perhimpunan Agung UMNO (PAU) yang baru saja berlalu.  Muktamar PAS menyaksikan ahli-ahlinya beratur panjang untuk ke bilik air dan membeli makanan.  PAU pula seperti biasa menyebabkan kesesakan bukan sahaja di jalanraya tetapi juga di dalam dewan di mana untuk berjalan sahaja amat payah sekali kerana terlalu ramainya ahli-ahli UMNO yang hadir, duduk dan ‘berkampung’ di lantai PWTC.  

Namun, keadaan Kongres Wanita dan DAPSY DAP nampaknya berbeza sekali.  Akhbar-akhbar Cina juga membangkitkan hal ini dan antaranya melaporkan Mesyuarat Agung Kebangsaan Wanita DAP hanya mencatatkan kehadiran sebanyak 33.8% walaupun ia adalah mesyuarat yang pertama bagi mereka.   Manakala kehadiran ahli DAPSY pula hanya 53%.

Menafikan yang ianya merupakan petunjuk awal bahawa DAP menghadapi masalah, pemimpin mereka memberi alasan bahawa kehadiran yang sedikit adalah biasa bagi DAP dan ia bukan petanda kekuatan DAP berkurangan.  Malah, menurut seorang pemerhati politik, Ng Whien Chin, keadaan itu tidak akan menjejaskan peluang DAP untuk mengekalkan kekuasaan mereka di Pulau Pinang berdasarkan hakikat bahawa ramai di kalangan rakyat Pulau Pinang yang membenci Barisan Nasional secara keterlaluan sehingga sanggup menutup mata atas apa saja kelemahan dan keburukan DAP.  

Apa yang diperkatakan oleh Ng di atas membuktikan bahawa DAP sememangnya bergantung sepenuhnya kepada strategi menyemai dan menyebarkan kebencian terhadap BN untuk berkuasa.  Atau secara lebih jelas lagi, DAP selama ini hanya bermain dengan emosi rakyat, menyalakan api perkauman dengan membangkitkan perasaan prejudis dan syak wasangka terhadap kerajaan yang diterajui Melayu. 

DAP berharap rakyat yang telah dirasuk kebencian yang amat sangat tidak akan mampu berfikir dengan rasional lagi.  Apabila ini berlaku, segala kebaikan orang atau parti yang dibenci mereka akan dinafikan, sekali gus terlepas pandang akan segala keburukan DAP.    

Pemerhatian Ng ini adalah tepat jika dirakamkan pada beberapa bulan lepas atau tahun lepas.  Tetapi, ia agak meleset jika dilihat dari keadaan semasa.  Mungkin Ng harus bertanya dirinya  sendiri, iaitu selama mana rakyat boleh membenci BN hanya berdasarkan hasutan DAP sedangkan di masa yang sama BN terus berkhidmat dan memelihara kebajikan mereka dengan baik dan sempurna?    

Selama mana kata-kata dapat mengatasi apa yang dapat dilihat, dirasa, disentuh dan dinikmati setiap hari – dahulu, kini dan selamanya?  

Keamanan, kemakmuran dan kemewahan kaum Cina, terutamanya, adalah hasil dari kecekapan BN memerintah.  Tidak mungkin kaum Cina mampu mencapai apa yang mereka capai hari ini jika BN yang diterajui UMNO begitu lemah, korup, bodoh dan malas serta kejam dan tidak adil kepada mereka.  

Oleh itu, untuk mengatasi BN, DAP perlu buktikan yang parti mereka jauh lebih cekap, telus, bersih, demokratik dan lebih adil dari BN.  Malang bagi DAP kerana rakyat melihat sendiri bagaimana DAP dikuasai oleh Dinasti Lim dan Singh dan bagaimana kebebasan akhbar juga sudah berkali-kali dicabuli hanya kerana mengkritik DAP.   Juga bagaimana angkuhnya pewaris takhta Dinasti Lim memecat terus ahli dan pemimpin DAP hanya kerana mengkritik tindakan dan keputusannya.  

DAP juga begitu tegar dan tidak tahu malu apabila mendedikasikan ruang di laman web rasmi parti itu  untuk membela mendiang Teoh Beng Hock seolah-olah lupa bahawa kematian mendiang adalah bertitik tolak dari siasatan terhadap korupsi yang melibatkan pemimpin DAP.   Sedangkan hakikatnya, DAP sebenarnya lega kerana mendiang yang merupakan saksi utama telah ditemui mati sehingga membantutkan siasatan.  Oleh itu, bagi mana-mana rakyat yang melihat DAP sebagai pembela kematian Teoh pastinya merupakan rakyat yang telah benar-benar dirasuk kebencian terhadap BN sehingga tidak mampu lagi berfikir secara rasional.  

Namun, kita percaya yang ahli-ahli DAP sedikit demi sedikit akan kembali rasional dan proses itu sudah pun berjalan secara perlahan-lahan di peringkat akar umbi dan juga rakyat biasa.  Kongres wanita dan DAPSY yang ‘sepi’ kali ini, membuktikannya.  

Bagi memulihkan semangat ahli, DAP tidak boleh membelakangkan soal pertentangan pendapat di kalangan sekutu PR dalam konvensyen kali ini.  Mahu tidak mahu, mereka terpaksa menangani isu hudud dan isu Negara Islam serta isu siapa Perdana Menteri, untuk kesekian kalinya.   

Perlu diingatkan bahawa PAS telah berikrar akan meneruskan agenda ini dalam Muktamar yang dihadiri beribu-ribu pengikutnya yang  mana merupakan satu tamparan hebat terhadap sifat kiasu ahli-ahli DAP.   Untuk itu, DAP wajib menunjukkan kekuatan dari segi jumlah ahli juga bagi ‘mengajar’ PAS siapakah boss dan siapakah kuli atau parti itu akan kehilangan undi dalam PRU kali ini.   Ini kerana kaum Cina penyokong DAP tidak akan sanggup duduk di bawah atau sama tinggi dengan PAS, PKR atau mana-mana bangsa lain.  

DAP wajar menerima hakikat bahawa strategi menyerap dan menyebarkan kebencian terhadap UMNO/BN yang tidak berasas serta keterlaluan mungkin masih belum cukup untuk mengekalkan Pulau Pinang.  

Mungkin, Konvensyen DAP perlu menumpukan seluruh tenaga dan usaha untuk menundukkan PAS terlebih dahulu, sebelum bangun menentang BN dalam Pilihanraya.  

CHINESE VOTERS SHOULD START THINKING OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PAS AND DAP



PAS and DAP will see their respective support eroding although leaders and members of both parties do not want to admit…normal la as they do not want Barisan Nasional (BN) to know what is happening inside their parties.

The reality is both parties are at loggerheads – PAS in Kelantan had been very active in implementing the Hudud Laws which included the non-Muslims which has the DAP in a ‘fixed’ situation.

The party’s Chinese supporters want their life and culture untouched but PAS is trying to impose its brand of politics – Islamic fundamentalism – to them which they do not want and cannot agree.

Party policy makers – Lim Kit Siand and son who is known now as To’kong Lim Guan Eng – have been quiet so as not to sour the ‘political relationship’ both parties are enjoying right now.

But they use Karpal Singh to voice out their dissatisfactions so that PAS would not have ‘sour faces’ when meeting them, the normal political game they in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) play.

Smile in the front while holding the knives to each other’s back…the hyporacy that all Malaysians know which they just do not want to say out loud.

Now the relationship is going to turn sour – PAS leadership is divided over the matter – about imposing Hudud laws to non-Muslims like what is happening in Kelantan right now.

The Chinese voters now see the truth in the political relationship between PAS and DAP – both parties are not on the same turf…meaning different ideologies and philosophies and both can never meet on same platform except to ‘gun down BN’.

In short, both parties are co-operating only to gain votes and topple BN and after that they will fight among themselves – that’s the reality – PAS and DAP cannot govern the country together because they do not have similarities in philosophies and ideologies.

They just do not have a meeting point to work together like in Selangor where both parties are at each other’s throat in every social and political issues.

The issue in Kelantan – hair dressing salon and khalwat or close proximity – will without doubt take centre stage in the relationship as the Chinese question DAP’s stand and PAS’s willingness to compromise.

Given such scenario at present, it is best the Chinese voters think deeply of the consequences of supporting the two parties because if the objective is just to topple BN, then that is not at all wise because the end result is chaos as both parties try to dominate one another.

If right now without power they are bashing each other, just imagine when they are in power…think!

Indeks Persepsi Rasuah (CPI) Bukti PR Pembohong Besar



Penambahbaikan ranking Malaysia dari kedudukan di tangga 60 pada tahun 2011 kini meningkat naik kepada tangga 54 bagi tahun ini berdasarkan Indeks Persepsi Rasuah (CPI), merupakan satu berita gembira yang patut dialu-alukan.

Lebih-lebih lagi apabila ranking terbaru tahun 2012 ini turut meletakkan Malaysia di kedudukan yang jauh lebih baik berbanding ranking ke 56 selama dua tahun berturut-turut pada tahun 2009 dan 2010.

Tambah membanggakan kita, Malaysia berada di tangga ketiga terbaik berbanding negara-negara ASEAN dan berada di kedudukan ke-9 baik bila dibandingkan dengan negara-negara lain di benua Asia.

Manakala dari segi perbandingan dikalangan negara-negara Islam pula Malaysia berada di tangga ke-5 terbaik berkongsi kedudukan dengan Turki. Bagaimana pun Iran yang sering dijadikan model negara Islam oleh PAS pula jauh terperosok ke bawah di kedudukan 133.

Ketika mengulas peningkatan ranking ini, Presiden Transparensi Malaysia (Ti-M), Datuk Paul Low berkata, "penambahbaikan ini (sudah) dijangka. Semua usaha dan langkah yang diambil kerajaan, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) dan Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelasanaan (Pemandu) telah membuahkan hasil dan kita berharap Malaysia berupaya memecah rekod."

Ini bermakna keupayaan Malaysia memperbaiki kedudukan ranking CPI adalah satu manifestasi kejayaan hasil dari pelbagai program transformasi yang diperkenalkan oleh Perdana Menteri, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Dari satu sudut yang lain, dengan penambaikan ranking CPI ini juga jelas membuktikan propaganda PR kononnya rasuah sudah menguasai pentadbiran Kerajaan BN ternyata hanyalah pembohongan besar yang bermotifkan politik semata-mata.

Bagaimanapun sekiranya prestasi urus tadbir di empat buah negeri yang ditadbir oleh pakatan pembangkang (PR) tidak seteruk sekarang, besar kemungkinan kedudukan ranking CPI bagi negara kita akan jauh lebih baik lagi.

Akan tetapi disebabkan pentadbiran di Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Kelantan dan Kedah masih berada di tangan pemimpin-pemimpin politik yang hanya pandai beretorik sahaja tapi urus tadbir sering bercelaru dan dibelenggu keraguan, akibatnya satu negara terpaksa menanggung bebanannya.

Bayangkan dari kedudukan ranking Malaysia yang selama ini hanya berlegar sekitar 33 hingga 43, namun bila sahaja puak opportunis dari PR bermaharajalela di empat buah negeri itu terus sahaja kedudukan Malaysia jatuh mendadak ke tangga 47 (2008) dikuti tangga 56 (2009), 56 (2010) dan tangga ke 60 bagi tahun 2011.

Namun mujurlah berikutan kejayaan pelbagai program transformasi dan berkat penambahbaikan di negeri-negeri BN diikuti kempen berterusan oleh SPRM akhirnya berjaya membantu meningkat kedudukan negara dalam ranking CPI, sekaligus berupaya menyerap sedikit impak ketirisan pentadbiran di negeri-negeri PR.