Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt's day of reckoning

Robert Fisk
Friday, 28 January 2011

Mubarak regime may not survive new protests as flames of anger spread through Middle East

A day of prayer or a day of rage? All Egypt was waiting for the Muslim Sabbath today – not to mention Egypt's fearful allies – as the country's ageing President clings to power after nights of violence that have shaken America's faith in the stability of the Mubarak regime. 

Five men have so far been killed and almost 1,000 others have been imprisoned, police have beaten women and for the first time an office of the ruling National Democratic Party was set on fire. Rumours are as dangerous as tear gas here. A Cairo daily has been claiming that one of President Hosni Mubarak's top advisers has fled to London with 97 suitcases of cash, but other reports speak of an enraged President shouting at senior police officers for not dealing more harshly with demonstrators. 

Mohamed ElBaradei, the opposition leader and Nobel prize-winning former UN official, flew back to Egypt last night but no one believes – except perhaps the Americans – that he can become a focus for the protest movements that have sprung up across the country. 

Already there have been signs that those tired of Mubarak's corrupt and undemocratic rule have been trying to persuade the ill-paid policemen patrolling Cairo to join them. "Brothers! Brothers! How much do they pay you?" one of the crowds began shouting at the cops in Cairo. But no one is negotiating – there is nothing to negotiate except the departure of Mubarak, and the Egyptian government says and does nothing, which is pretty much what it has been doing for the past three decades. 

People talk of revolution but there is no one to replace Mubarak's men – he never appointed a vice-president – and one Egyptian journalist yesterday told me he had even found some friends who feel sorry for the isolated, lonely President. Mubarak is 82 and even hinted he would stand for president again – to the outrage of millions of Egyptians. 

The barren, horrible truth, however, is that save for its brutal police force and its ominously docile army – which, by the way, does not look favourably upon Mubarak's son Gamal – the government is powerless. This is revolution by Twitter and revolution by Facebook, and technology long ago took away the dismal rules of censorship. 

Mubarak's men seem to have lost all sense of initiative. Their party newspapers are filled with self-delusion, pushing the massive demonstrations to the foot of front pages as if this will keep the crowds from the streets – as if, indeed, by belittling the story, the demonstrations never happened. 

But you don't need to read the papers to see what has gone wrong. The filth and the slums, the open sewers and the corruption of every government official, the bulging prisons, the laughable elections, the whole vast, sclerotic edifice of power has at last brought Egyptians on to their streets. 

Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, spotted something important at the recent summit of Arab leaders at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. "Tunisia is not far from us," he said. "The Arab men are broken." But are they? One old friend told me a frightening story about a poor Egyptian who said he had no interest in moving the corrupt leadership from their desert gated communities. "At least we now know where they live," he said. There are more than 80 million people in Egypt, 30 per cent of them under 20. And they are no longer afraid. 

And a kind of Egyptian nationalism – rather than Islamism – is making itself felt at the demonstrations. January 25 is National Police Day – to honour the police force who died fighting British troops in Ishmaelia – and the government clucked its tongue at the crowds, telling them they were disgracing their martyrs. No, shouted the crowds, those policemen who died at Ishmaelia were brave men, not represented by their descendants in uniform today. 

This is not an unclever government, though. There is a kind of shrewdness in the gradual freeing of the press and television of this ramshackle pseudo-democracy. Egyptians had been given just enough air to breathe, to keep them quiet, to enjoy their docility in this vast farming land. Farmers are not revolutionaries, but when the millions thronged to the great cities, to the slums and collapsing houses and universities, which gave them degrees and no jobs, something must have happened. 

"We are proud of the Tunisians – they have shown Egyptians how to have pride," another Egyptian colleague said yesterday. "They were inspiring but the regime here was smarter than Ben Ali in Tunisia. It provided a veneer of opposition by not arresting all the Muslim Brotherhood, then by telling the Americans that the great fear should be Islamism, that Mubarak was all that stood between them and 'terror' – a message the US has been in a mood to hear for the past 10 years." 

There are various clues that the authorities in Cairo realised something was afoot. Several Egyptians have told me that on 24 January, security men were taking down pictures of Gamal Mubarak from the slums – lest they provoke the crowds. But the vast number of arrests, the police street beatings – of women as well as men – and the near-collapse of the Egyptian stock market bear the marks of panic rather than cunning. 

And one of the problems has been created by the regime itself; it has systematically got rid of anyone with charisma, thrown them out of the country, politically emasculating any real opposition by imprisoning many of them. The Americans and the EU are telling the regime to listen to the people – but who are these people, who are their leaders? This is not an Islamic uprising – though it could become one – but, save for the usual talk of Muslim Brotherhood participation in the demonstrations, it is just one mass of Egyptians stifled by decades of failure and humiliation. 

But all the Americans seem able to offer Mubarak is a suggestion of reforms – something Egyptians have heard many times before. It's not the first time that violence has come to Egypt's streets, of course. In 1977, there were mass food riots – I was in Cairo at the time and there were many angry, starving people – but the Sadat government managed to control the people by lowering food prices and by imprisonment and torture. There have been police mutinies before – one ruthlessly suppressed by Mubarak himself. But this is something new. 

Interestingly, there seems no animosity towards foreigners. Many journalists have been protected by the crowds and – despite America's lamentable support for the Middle East's dictators – there has not so far been a single US flag burned. That shows you what's new. Perhaps a people have grown up – only to discover that their ageing government are all children. 

Internet and text messages fail in 'facebook revolution' 

Egyptian authorities last night disrupted internet services and mobile-phone text messaging in efforts to stop protesters keeping in touch on social networking sites. The measure was taken as members of an elite counter-terrorism police unit were ordered to take up positions in key locations around Cairo in preparation for a wave of mass rallies today. 

Among the places where they are stationed is Tahrir Square, where one of the biggest demonstrations took place. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites have played a vital role in Egypt's protest movement, just as they did in Tunisia, enabling demonstrators to keep in touch and to organise rallies. 

Who could succeed Hosni Mubarak? 

Protesters on the streets of Egypt aren't just rallying against the 30-year-reign of President Hosni Mubarak, they are also taking aim at his son Gamal Mubarak, 47, an urbane former investment banker who has scaled the political ladder, prompting speculation that he is being groomed for his father's post. 

The youngest son of Mr Mubarak and his half-Welsh wife, Suzanne, Gamal was educated at the elite American University in Cairo, going on to work for the Bank of America. 

He entered politics about a decade ago, quickly moving up to become head of the political secretariat of his father's National Democratic Party (NDP). He was heavily involved in the economic liberalisation of Egypt, which pleased investors but provoked the ire of protesters, who blame the policies for lining the pockets of the rich while the poor suffered. 

Although he has always denied having an eye on his father's throne, a mysterious campaign sprung up last year, with posters plastered across Cairo calling for Gamal to stand for president in elections scheduled for later this year. His 82-year-old father has not yet declared his candidacy. 

Certainly the protesters appeared unhappy with the chosen son, chanting "Gamal, tell your father Egyptians hate you" and tearing up his picture. 

Mohamed ElBaradei 

Protests in Egypt today will be different from the others that have swept the Middle East in recent weeks in one important way. Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), landed at Cairo airport last night to lead rallies against Hosni Mubarak's rule. 

The 68-year-old was born in the Egyptian capital, from where he launched a legal career. He joined the IAEA in the 1980s, becoming head of the UN body in 1997. 

The 2003 invasion of Iraq thrust Mr ElBaradei into the public consciousness. He demurred on the US rationale for attacking Saddam Hussein, describing the war as "a glaring example of how, in many cases, the use of force exacerbates the problem rather than solving it". The award, jointly with the IAEA, of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize further rankled with the Bush administration. 

He has long been urged to challenge the 82-year-old President, but hitherto has bided his time, insisting first on electoral reform, but his participation in today's protests indicate he is ready. Recent speeches, including recently at Harvard, when he joked that he was "looking for a job" have done nothing to dissuade his supporters, but at 68 his presidency would surely be only a short-term fix to Egypt's problems.

Egypt: Death throes of a dictatorship

Robert Fisk
Sunday, 30 January 2011

Our writer joins protesters atop a Cairo tank as the army shows signs of backing the people against Mubarak's regime

The Egyptian tanks, the delirious protesters sitting atop them, the flags, the 40,000 protesters weeping and crying and cheering in Freedom Square and praying around them, the Muslim Brotherhood official sitting amid the tank passengers. Should this be compared to the liberation of Bucharest? Climbing on to an American-made battle tank myself, I could only remember those wonderful films of the liberation of Paris. A few hundred metres away, Hosni Mubarak's black-uniformed security police were still firing at demonstrators near the interior ministry. It was a wild, historical victory celebration, Mubarak's own tanks freeing his capital from his own dictatorship.

In the pantomime world of Mubarak himself – and of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Washington – the man who still claims to be president of Egypt swore in the most preposterous choice of vice-president in an attempt to soften the fury of the protesters – Omar Suleiman, Egypt's chief negotiator with Israel and his senior intelligence officer, a 75-year-old with years of visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and four heart attacks to his credit. How this elderly apparatchik might be expected to deal with the anger and joy of liberation of 80 million Egyptians is beyond imagination. When I told the demonstrators on the tank around me the news of Suleiman's appointment, they burst into laughter. 

Their crews, in battledress and smiling and in some cases clapping their hands, made no attempt to wipe off the graffiti that the crowds had spray-painted on their tanks. "Mubarak Out – Get Out", and "Your regime is over, Mubarak" have now been plastered on almost every Egyptian tank on the streets of Cairo. On one of the tanks circling Freedom Square was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Beltagi. Earlier, I had walked beside a convoy of tanks near the suburb of Garden City as crowds scrambled on to the machines to hand oranges to the crews, applauding them as Egyptian patriots. However crazed Mubarak's choice of vice-president and his gradual appointment of a powerless new government of cronies, the streets of Cairo proved what the United States and EU leaders have simply failed to grasp. It is over.

Tunisian leader Rachid Ghannouchi returns home

Tunisian Islamist leader Rachid Ghannouchi returns home
The leader of Tunisia's main Islamist movement has returned home after 22 years in exile following the ousting of President Ben Ali earlier this month. 

Thousands of people went to the airport to welcome Rachid Ghannouchi, 69, as he arrived in Tunis from London.

He has said he will not run in the next presidential poll but his party will contest a parliamentary election. 

Observers say his return is the most potent symbol yet of the change that has swept the country since then. 

Mr Ghannouchi fled Tunisia after a crackdown President Ben Ali against his banned Ennahda movement.

He returned after the interim government's announced that media curbs would be lifted, banned political parties allowed to register and political prisoners given amnesty.
Up to 10,000 young men and veiled women packed the arrival hall and car park at the airport, and some climbed trees and electricity pylons to catch a glimpse of Mr Ghannouchi, according to Reuters.

Alongside his supporters, the news agency said, was a small group of secularists with banners reading: "No Islamism, no theocracy, no Sharia and no stupidity!"

"I myself will not run for the presidency... We (Ennahda) have no intention of fielding a candidate in the upcoming presidential election," he said.

Life sentence

Mr Ghannouchi told the BBC in a interview last week that officials from Mr Ben Ali's former party, the RCD, should leave the transition government, and that Tunisia could benefit from a coalition government that would build consensus, at next for the next few years. 

Ennahda aimed to work with other former opposition groups in the October 18 Movement, founded in 2005, towards a democratic transition, he said. 

"All of these parties operated against the dictatorship regime and [can] co-operate to establish a democratic system in Tunisia."

He added that his Ennahda party was committed to a moderate Islamist approach and working within a democratic framework.

"We accept democracy without any restrictions and we accept the decision of the people whether they come with us or against us," he said.

He rejected comparisons that he said had been made in some Western media reports between him and Ayotollah Khomeini of Iran - who returned to Iran from exile to lead the Islamic Revolution there - comparing Ennahda instead to Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Officially, Mr Ghannouchi is still subject to a life sentence in Tunisia imposed in his absence for allegedly plotting against the state.

But the AFP news agency says that other convicted exiles have been able to return to Tunisia in recent days without hindrance. 

In 1989 Ennahda came second to the ruling party in elections, officially winning about 17% of the ballot. However allegations of fraud marred the vote and according to some estimates Ennahda's tally was as much as double the official figure.

Egypt’s uprising reaches point of no return

January 28, 2011, 1800 DST
Crescent-online, Washington DC

The fourth day of protests in Egypt has reached “the point of no return,” as numerous commentators on the street have noted. President Mubarak recently imposed a country-wide curfew, bringing in the military to complete the job that the police force failed to do—contain the Egyptian population’s mass protests. 

Late on Friday (January 28), Mubarak announced that he had sacked the government (led by Prime Minister Nazif) but that he would enforce "security". He also refused to resign. The military has been called out in all cities to enforce curfew but people are defying it. Egypt's Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Lt. General Sami Hafez Enan, in Washington to meet Pentagon officials cut short his visit and flew back home on January 28.

Press TV and Al Jazeera are reporting on Egypt around the clock, as the world waits with bated breath to see whether the revolution is able to oust Mubarak after an unprecedented 30-year reign. As Marc Ginsberg, former US ambassador to Morocco, put it in a recent editorial in the Huffington Post, the US is looking at the most likely options that will prevail in Egypt after Mubarak’s departure: “either ‘a relative unknown’ or ‘our worst nightmare.’” Translation: either Elbaradei or the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The protests that erupted after Fridy prayers (perhaps influenced by infusions from the Muslim Brotherhood, which announced on Thursday that they will support the popular revolt) have been the most determined. Mubarak was forced to call in the military and has shut off internet services, as well as Al-Jazeera’s Arabic News broadcasting. However, Egyptians across the country are defying the curfew—government buildings and police stations have been set on fire, Mubarak’s party headquarters have been overtaken in several cities, and the people are continuing to demonstrate into the night. The cost—870 people wounded and (according to latest reports) 14 killed. The next few hours will prove crucial for predicting the results of the revolution. 

Press TV has interviewed the UK spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Ghanem, who has stated that the demonstrations represent the collective will of the Egyptian people, rather than a particular religious denomination. Nevertheless, mosques and churches have proven to be key sites of organization in Egypt. Before Mubarak’s government shut down Internet services, protesters listed the names of mosques and churches where organizing for the demonstrations would be taking place. 

Around the world, people have organized demonstrations to express solidarity with Egypt, as it attempts to throw off the most brutal dictators in the Middle East. Protesters have congregated outside of Egyptian embassies in Tunis, Ankara, Los Angeles, and London. 

Similar demonstrations have been planned for Berlin (Germany) and Toronto, and Vancouver (in Canada). On behest of the United States, Kuwait dispatched troops to surround the Egyptian embassy to prevent demonstrations. The United States is publicly urging government forces to show “restraint” and allow demonstrators to protest peacefully. This appears to be a move to save face, and salvage the impending end of one of their prime Middle Eastern bases. Israel, on the other hand, has been urging Mubarak’s regime to use force to quell the uprising. In a recent turn of events, the US has also begun to publicly back ElBaradei as an effort to maneuver him to take over after (and if) Mubarak leaves the country. The US is praising ElBaradei and stating that government policy of keeping him under house arrest “has to change”.

Mubarak and his US-zionist backers clutching at straws in Egypt

January 30, 2011 - 1500 DST

The people of Egypt refuse to be intimidated by curfews, violence and US-supplied tear gas shells fired at them by the police. For several nights, people have defied the curfew as government control begins to crumble. At least 100 people have been killed and several thousand injured by the police in six days of protests.

Air force planes and helicopters flew over Tahrir Square in Cairo in a show of force on January 30. People asked, with justification, why these US supplied planes and helicopters were flying over Cairo when they have been conspicuously absent from the fight against Israel? Many people shook their fists at the planes flying overhead.
Unconfirmed reports on January 30 also said Saudi Arabia had refused Hosni Mubarak’s request for asylum. He was considering fleeing to Israel, according to other reports. In the meantime, 19 Egyptian businessmen have fled to Dubai in private jets. Gamal Mubarak, son of the aging dictator, and his mother Susan Mubarak, have also fled the country. 
On Saturday January 29, Mubarak appointed General Omar Soleiman, until then Intelligence Chief (head of the Mukhabarat) as Vice President, and General Ahmed Shafiq as Prime Minister. Soleiman is a nasty character. He is even more ruthless than Mubarak and is favoured by the US and Israel because he advances their agenda. Soleiman’s appointment is seen by many as paving the way for Mubarak’s departure that could come soon.

Meanwhile, Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of International Atomic Energy Agency and another favorite of the US, said on January 30 that “change was coming” and people should “show patience.” Most observers believe he has been sent by the US to take over from Mubarak so that the Ikhwan al-Muslimoon would not take power in Egypt in what is referred to as the "nightmare" scenario. So much for democracy and all that! 

Thousands of people have broken out of Egyptian jails as they overpowered their guards. The escapees include Ikhwan political prisoners. In the rest of the country, the Interior Ministry, still dominated by Mubarak loyalists, has unleashed thugs to go on a rampage of looting and burning. This would provide the regime the pretext to clamp down even harder on people. 

In the rapidly evolving situation, the Ikhwan al-Muslimoon announced on January 29 that they would not field a candidate in the presidential elections. They also supported a call by several political parties asking ElBaradei to negotiate with Mubarak so that the dictator would leave and ElBaradei could take over as interim president, arranging for presidential elections. 

How this will ultimately play out will depend on what happens in Egypt in the coming days and weeks but what is beyond doubt is that people are no longer afraid of the security forces. This should make Mubarak, the US and Israel very worried.

The Egyptian Revolution for NEW EGYPT now

The Egyptian Revolution
January 28, 2011, Day of Rage.

I’m watching live coverage of the Egyptian revolution on Al-Jazeera TV. Cairo is swarming with hundreds of thousands, defying the curfew, hurling stones at the police. The images recall the Palestinian youth waging their Intifadas. The National Democratic Party headquarters is in flames. Downtown Suez has been taken over by the people, two police stations torched. The security forces are out in strength and shooting into crowds. But the people have lost their fear.

Reporters and commentators on Al-Jazeera and other channels have no choice but to note that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is widely hated, and that those in the street are seeking freedom from a dictatorship. But they also keep saying “The situation is getting worse.” 


I think of Mao Zedong’s response to critics of peasant rebellion in China in 1927. He noted that “even progressive people” saw uprisings as “terrible.” “But it’s not terrible,” he declared. “It is anything but ‘terrible.’ It’s fine!”

Watching the live coverage, I see the people of Egypt, fed up with their oppression, and inspired by the revolution in Tunisia, doing something very, very fine. It is inspiring. It is profoundly hopeful. 

The Obama administration line (as summarized by Joe Biden, interviewed by Jim Lehrer on PBS), can be summarized as follows: Egyptians have the right to protest. Many are middle class folks, with legitimate concerns. But we should not refer to Mubarak as a dictator. It’s not time for him to go. He has been a key ally of the U.S. and Israel, in the “Middle East peace process” and the War on Terror. Egypt is dissimilar to Tunisia, and it would be “a stretch” to suggest that a trend is underway. The U.S. should encourage those protesting and Mubarak to talk. Everyone should avoid violence.

The mainstream infotainment media spin can be summarized like this: The “unrest” in Egypt puts the U.S. in a difficult position. On the one hand Mubarak has abetted U.S. “national interests” and been Israel’s only Arab ally. (These two are always assumed to be closely linked; the notion that an Arab leader is a friend of the U.S. to the extend that he kisses Israel’s ass is never questioned.) On the other hand, U.S. officials have been saying for years that the Middle East needs “democratic reform.” 

This puts in the U.S. in bind, we are told. The U.S. confronts a “dilemma.” The talking heads depict the U.S. as somehow a victim in this situation. (Isn’t it terrible, they’re implying, that the Egyptian people by their militancy in favor of supposed U.S. ideals are trying to topple the USA’s best friend in the Arab world? What a headache to have to deal with!)

Seems to me however that this is another of those instances of chickens coming home to roost. 

The U.S. has supported Mubarak primarily in appreciation for his stance towards Israel. (The mainstream media is referring to him as an “ally” of Israel.) It’s not really because he’s been a “partner in the peace process”---because there is no real peace process. Relentless Israeli settlement activity on Palestinian land supported by the Lobby in the U.S. has insured that. 

Wikileaks documents indicate that Mubarak has been content for the “process” to lag indefinitely so that he could represent himself as the vital Arab middleman while enjoying two billion dollars in U.S. military aid per year. But Palestinians hate him for cooperating with the demonization of democratically elected Hamas and the embargo imposed on Gaza. And Egyptians hate him for, among many other things, betraying their Palestinian brothers and sisters. 

Rather, the U.S. has supported Mubarak because he’s provided an Arab fig leaf for the unequivocal support for Israel that the U.S. has provided for decades. U.S. diplomats have, as Wikileaks reveal, at times expressed concern that the dictator might be causing some problems by his “heavy-handed” treatment of dissidents. But this is not a matter of moral indignation, or concern about the lives of Egyptians. It’s nothing more than an expression of concern that his fascistic rule might jeopardize his ability to help U.S.-Israeli policy in the region and keep the Suez Canal open.

And now that brutal rule has caused an explosion. The reaction from U.S. officials and political commentators is, “We never expected this.”

Well surprise, surprise! (These folks were dumbfounded by the Iranian Revolution of 1979 as well. Don’t they understand that people eventually fight back?)

I think of that old Langston Hughes poem:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up 
like a raisin in the sun? 
Or fester like a sore-- 
And then run? 
Does it stink like rotten meat? 
Or crust and sugar over-- 
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Egypt is exploding. The deferred dreams of the Arab world are exploding. And even the corporate media acknowledges that the people are jubilant (while warning that none of this might be in “our interest”). But for people with some basic morals, concerned about the happiness of humanity in general, is this not totally fine?

Al-Jazeera shows viewers how U.S. officials are changing the tone of their comments, backing off more and more each day from support of Mubarak. They’re reiterating with increasing emphasis that the demonstrators indeed have legitimacy. (Did these people they just figure this out?) What sheer opportunism!

Obama, always the centrist opportunist wanting to be everybody’s friend, wants to be the Egyptian people’s friend. He showed that in Cairo in 2009. In his celebrated speech to the Muslim world he on the one hand spouted platitudes about U.S. acceptance of Islam and on the other insulted everyone’s intelligence by calling the invasion of Afghanistan a “war of necessity.” He (accurately) described the vicious assault on Iraq as a “war of choice,” but said anything about how those responsible for such a crime ought to be punished. He does not support any investigation that would show how neocon Zionists in his predecessor’s administration faked a case for war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Arabs. 

His real message is: the U.S. can lie and kill, and then posture as the moral exemplar (maybe even apologizing slightly when crimes are embarrassingly exposed). Even so, the people of the world are supposed to understand that alignment with the U.S. is the best hope of their best hope.

And now Obama wants the best of both worlds: an ongoing engagement with Mubarak (if he survives), and a hand outstretched to the people of Egypt, tainted by so many other handshakes with so many dictators so far.

Demonstrators in Cairo note that tear gas canisters on the street are marked “Made in USA.” What should they to make of that? Who’s really encouraging their dreams? Who’s caused them to defer them, decade upon decade? It’s the same foe that has caused the deferment of dreams here in this country and around the world.

I learned to say shukran in Cairo. To my friends there now, engaged in this fine, fine battle, I say that now.  

Shukran, shukran for inspiring the world, showing that another world might be possible.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades. He can be reached at:

Protes Mubarak & gang di Mesir, beberapa isu utama

Protes Mubarak  di Mesir, beberapa isu utama

Haris Zalkapli  

Protes besar-besaran di Mesir kini memasuki hari keenam, selepas protes menuntut perubahan politik di negara itu meningkat dengan dramatik bermula selepas solat Jumaat yang lepas.

Situasi masih lagi panas dengan protes di bandar-bandar utama berterusan, dan aktivis Mohamed el-Baradei menyertai protes, mengambil peranan kepimpinan dengan memberi ucapan-ucapan menuntut pengunduran Hosni Mubarak dan menyatakan bahawa perubahan makin hampir.

Masih terlalu awal untuk memutuskan dan menyimpulkan apa-apa berhubung perkembangan di Mesir ketika ini, tetapi apa yang jelas ialah prospek perubahan semakin kelihatan di negara Arab berpengaruh itu.

Beberapa isu utama walau bagaimanapun dapat diperhatikan dalam perkembangan di Mesir, melibatkan tindakan Hosni, reaksi Washington dan laporan-laporan dan ulasan terhadap peritstiwa bersejarah di negara itu pada masa ini.

1. Berdasarkan perkembangan semasa, Presiden Hosni Mubarak tidak nampak lagi boleh mengekalkan kedudukan sebagai pemimpin Mesir dengan hanya melakukan perubahan-perubahan seperti melantik naib presiden dan melantik kabinet baharu. Sekiranya masih kekal, Hosni akan berdepan masalah yang besar dan bakal kehilangan sokongan kuasa besar dan masyarakat antarabangsa, serta terus berdepan tentangan rakyat.

2. Pelantikan Omar Suleiman yang mempunyai hubungan baik dengan Israel dan Amerika Syarikat (termasuk berperanan dalam extraordinary rendition) tidak menjanjikan apa-apa yang positif kepada rakyat Mesir melainkan hanya untuk kepentingan kuasa asing dan Hosni sendiri. Pelantikan Omar sama sekali bukan apa yang dituntut dan perlu dilakukan.

3. Mohamed el-Baradei semakin mempunyai potensi untuk muncul sebagai pemimpin baharu Mesir, sebahagian besarnya kerana sokongan Barat dan popularitinya di Mesir pada masa ini, dan digelar sebagai figur penyatu dalam politik Mesir. Beliau juga merupakan tokoh yang paling banyak menerima liputan positif media asing. Penyertannya dalam protes mendapat ulasan positif dan diangkat sebagai pemimpin yang berani berdepan Hosni serta menuntut diktator itu berundur. Hal ini juga menunjukkan sisi politik domestik bukan satu-satunya naratif yang sepatutnya diterima dalam melihat perkembangan di Mesir dan Asia Barat pada masa ini.

4. Ikhwan al-Muslimin mula menerima serangan mengaitkannya dengan unsur-unsur "militan" dan "teroris," dalam rangka wacana yang kritikal terhadap sebarang elemen Islam dalam politik. Walaupun sejarah menunjukkan rekod yang tidak sepenuhnya baik bagi Ikhwan, kumpulan ini merupakan kuasa politik yang sah di Mesir. Kritikan Ikhwan tidak terlibat dalam penentangan juga menyeleweng kerana kumpulan ini berdepan tekanan dan tangkapan pasukan keselamatan secara agresif, terbaharu sejak 2009.

5. AS telah bertindak berhati-hati dalam mengeluarkan kenyataan berhubung protes dengan cuba mengimbangi sokongan kepada hak fundamental rakyat dengan desakan perubahan kepada rejim Hosni. Kenyataan Setiausaha Negara Hillary Clinton Jumaat lalu cuba mengimbangi dan menyediakan ruang manuver pada masa depan, apapun kesudahan kepada rejim Hosni. Jelas bahawa Washington masih menyokong rejim sedia ada, tetapi tetap akan meneruskan hubungan baik dengan pemerintah selepas ini sekiranya rejim sekarang tumbang. Apabila tiba masanya, AS juga akan mendesak Hosni berundur.

6. Kepentingan AS - dan Israel - di Mesir terlalu besar dan tidak terhad kepada rejim Hosni. Selepas Israel, Mesir ialah penerima bantuan ketenteraan terbesar dari AS. Malah, kepentingannya mungkin akan dapat lebih dipelihara dan dicapai di bawah pemerintah baharu. Kedudukan Mesir sebagai negara Arab pertama mengiktiraf Israel dan yang paling berkeupayaan berperang dengan Israel - terutama disebabkan faktor sempadan - menjadikan Mesir tidak boleh dilepaskan oleh Washington. Palestin dan Gaza ialah satu isu yang paling menjadikan Mesir diperlukan oleh Israel untuk bekerjasama dengannya, kerana hanya Mesir negara yang boleh menguatkuasakan kepungan Gaza selain Israel.

7. Perubahan politik di Mesir bakal mencetuskan gelombang yang jauh lebih besar berbanding yang tercetus dari Tunisia. Walaupun tidak semestinya akan membawa kepada perubahan rejim lain, perkembangan di Mesir telah mengubah permainan di Asia Barat. Sekiranya perubahan yang bermakna terlaksana di Mesir, termasuk dalam aliansi dengan Jordan dan Arab Saudi, lanskap politik serantau akan berubah dengan dramatik. Perubahan dalam aliansi Kaherah-Riyadh-Amman secara dramatik mampu menjejaskan pengaruh kuasa-kuasa terbesar dunia Arab itu.

Ulasan: Bila rakyat sudah jemu, eloklah Mubarak pergi selamanya kerana MESIR BARU lebih aman dan selamat tanpa Mubarak

Countdown Day 6: Langkah Mubarak tidak berguna

KAHERAH 30 Jan. - Aktivis Mesir, Mohamed ElBaradei menyifatkan pelantikan Naib Presiden dan Perdana Menteri baru yang dibuat Presiden Hosni Mubarak sebagai tidak berguna dan tidak menurut apa yang dituntut oleh beribu-ribu rakyat negara ini yang mahu pemimpin itu menamatkan pemerintahan selama 30 tahun.

Kenyataan pemimpin pembangkang Mesir itu dibuat selepas Mubarak, 82, menamakan bekas ketua risikan tentera, Omar Suleiman sebagai Naib Presiden buat kali pertama dan bekas Menteri Penerbangan Awam, Ahmed Shafiq sebagai Perdana Menteri semalam.

"Hosni Mubarak tidak mendengar permintaan rakyat. Apa yang dibuatnya hanya perubahan melibatkan beberapa individu sedangkan kita bercakap tentang perubahan rejim.

"Rakyat Mesir menyatakan satu suara, mereka mahu Presiden Mesir berundur," kata ElBaradei, 68, yang menyifatkan pelantikan itu sebagai tidak berguna kepada televisyen Al-Jazeera semalam.

Bekas Ketua Pengarah Agensi Tenaga Atom Antarabangsa (IAEA) Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) itu turut menyeru pembentukan sebuah kerajaan peralihan baru supaya satu pilihan raya adil dapat dilaksanakan.

ElBaradei berkata, beliau juga mungkin bertanding pada pilihan raya Presiden sekiranya perubahan Perlembagaan dilakukan.

"Saya hormatkan Suleiman dan Shafiq tetapi menggantikan individu tertentu tidak cukup.

"Saya mahu Mubarak dan rejimnya meninggalkan Mesir secepat mungkin. Itu yang terbaik bagi Mesir dan mereka," katanya.

Reformis Mesir itu menegaskan tindakan kerajaan yang cuba menidakkan kemahuan orang awam hanya akan memburukkan lagi keselamatan negara dan Mubarak perlu dipertanggungjawabkan di atas keadaan itu.

"Presiden perlu dipilih oleh rakyat. Sudah tiba masanya untuk sesuatu rejim berundur sekiranya ia tidak memahami kehendak rakyat. Rakyat mahukan pemerintahan baru, jika tidak Mesir akan tumbang," katanya. – REUTERS

Ulasan: Presiden yang dibenci rakyat sepatutnya pergi sebelum rakyat turun memprotesnya ke jalanraya. Semoga rakyat menang iaitu mendapat kerajaan baru yang adil, bebas, telus dan anti-rasuah. Amiin.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chaos engulfs Cairo; Mubarak points to succession

By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press – 52 mins ago

CAIRO – Egyptians woke up to a dawn of uncertainty Sunday with several key buildings still smoldering in the capital and thousands of anti-regime protesters remaining camped out at the city's main square in defiance of an extended nighttime curfew.

President Hosni Mubarak, clinging to power with promises of reform and a new government, had named his intelligence chief as his first-ever vice president on Saturday, setting the stage for a successor as chaos engulfed Cairo. Soldiers stood by — a few even joining the demonstrators — and the death toll from five days of anti-government fury rose sharply to 74.

Overnight and as police melted away, residents set up self-styled checkpoints and barricades at street corners and intersections of their neighborhoods, armed mostly with clubs and sticks to protect their homes. By dawn, the city was eerily quiet, with armored military vehicles encircling main government buildings in the downtown...

Comment: When the oppressed citizens take to the streets, the countdown begins. Sayonara Mubarak. Legacy of 30 years of tortures. You have enough time. Time to GO.

Countdown Day 5: Hosni Mubarak enggan undur

Hosni Mubarak enggan undur

KAHERAH 29 Jan. - Beribu-ribu penunjuk perasaan antikerajaan kembali membanjiri jalan-jalan di tengah ibu negara Mesir ini hari ini, melaungkan slogan mengutuk Presiden Hosni Mubarak dan menyerang polis, hanya beberapa jam selepas beliau memecat Kabinet dan menjanjikan pembaharuan tetapi enggan meletakkan jawatan.

Tindakan penunjuk perasaan memenuhi Dataran Tahrir, tengah Kaherah dan bertempur dengan polis buat hari kelima berturut-turut menunjukkan ucapan Mubarak di televisyen sejurus selepas tengah malam tadi gagal meredakan kemarahan rakyat yang sudah bosan dengan pemerintahan autokratik beliau serta kemiskinan, pengangguran dan rasuah di negara ini.

Mubarak, 82, tampil di kaca televisyen selepas beliau mengerahkan askar dan kereta kebal ke ibu negara ini dan beberapa bandar lain dalam usaha untuk membendung ledakan protes jalanan menentang pemerintahannya selama 30 tahun.

Beberapa kereta kebal ditempatkan di Dataran Tahrir tetapi askar tidak campur tangan dalam protes di situ hari ini….

Ulasan: Kalau rakyat dah protes kerana kamu, eloklah kamu letak jawatan. Egypt Baru lebih tenteram tanpa mu. Kamu hendak 10,000 rakyat mati di tangan polis kerana mempertahankan pemerintahanmu yang kejam selama ini. Ingatlah Mubarak lwn 85 juta rakyat.

Uprising in Egypt: This is the Biggest Political Challenge the Regime Has Yet to See from the Streets

Protests have erupted across Egypt again today with the largest and most widespread anti-government demonstrations seen so far. In an unprecedented display of popular protest, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are gathering in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, Sharqiya and elsewhere. Intense confrontations are taking place with state security forces. The protests come amid a vast security clampdown. Earlier, the government blocked the internet, mobile phone and SMS services, with the hope of disrupting demonstration planning. We go to Cairo to speak with Ahmad Shokr, an editor at the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. [includes rush transcript]

Comment: Mubarak vs 85 million opressed citizen. Will his police kills thousands? Egypt is better without Mubarak.

Fear Barrier Seems to Have Been Broken

Fear Barrier Seems to Have Been Broken

Unprecedented protests in Egypt continue for a second day. On Wednesday, demonstrators defied a government ban on gatherings and took to streets in the biggest popular protests against President Hosni Mubarak in three decades. We go to Cairo to speak with Guardian reporter Jack Shenker. "That fear barrier seems to have been broken," Shenker says. "These are sort of middle-class people who are generally enjoying quite a comfortable standard of living... They’ve got a lot to lose, and yet they’re still being motivated to come out, to be beaten, to be hit by water cannons, to be carried off into the desert," he says. "There’s so much energy and so much momentum behind what’s going on ... I think we’ll still see a lot of people on the streets tomorrow." [includes rush transcript]

Comment: Sorry Mubarak, you have too much. Thanks for your brutal police force all over.

Live From the Egyptian Revolution

by Sharif Abdel Kouddous

Cairo, Egypt—I grew up in Egypt. I spent half my life here. But Saturday, when my plane from JFK airport touched down in Cairo, I arrived in a different country than the one I had known all my life. This is not Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt anymore and, regardless of what happens, it will never be again.

In Tahrir Square, thousands of Egyptians–men and women, young and old, rich and poor–gathered today to celebrate their victory over the regime’s hated police and state security forces and to call on Mubarak to step down and leave once and for all. They talked about the massive protest on Friday, the culmination of three days of demonstrations that began on January 25th to mark National Police Day. It was an act of popular revolt the likes of which many Egyptians never thought they would see during Mubarak’s reign. "The regime has been convincing us very well that we cannot do it, but Tunisians gave us an idea and it took us only three days and we did it," said Ahmad El Esseily, a 35 year-old author and TV/radio talk show host who took park in the demonstrations. "We are a lot of people and we are strong."

In Cairo, tens of thousands of people--from all walks of life--faced off against riot police armed with shields, batons, and seemingly endless supplies of tear gas. People talked about Friday’s protest like a war; a war they’d won. "Despite the tear gas and the beatings, we just kept coming, wave after wave of us," one protester said. "When some of us would tire, others would head in. We gave each other courage." After several hours, the police were forced into a full retreat. Then, as the army was sent in, they disappeared.

The military was greeted warmly on the streets of Cairo. Crowds roared with approval as one soldier was carried through Tahrir square today holding a flower in his hand. Dozens of people clambered onto tanks as they rode around the square. Throughout the day people chanted: "The people, the army: one hand."

While the police and state security forces are notorious in Egypt for torture, corruption and brutality, the army has not interacted with the civilian population for more than 30 years and is only proudly remembered for having delivered a victory in the 1973 war with Israel. A 4pm curfew set for today was casually ignored with people convinced the army would not harm them. The police were a different story. Their brutality the past few days--decades in fact--has been well documented.

Saturday, some of the police forces were holed up inside their headquarters in the Interior Ministry building near the end of a street connected to Tahrir Square. When protesters neared the building, the police began firing live ammunition at the crowd, forcing them to flee back to the square. Three bloodied people were carried out. "The police are killing us," one man yelled desperately while on the phone with al Jazeera from outside the building. When the firing stopped, defiant protesters began approaching the building again. In the background, the smoking, blackened shell of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party headquarters served as an ominous reminder of their intentions.

At this point it seems clear the people are not leaving the streets. They own them now and they are refusing to go until Mubarak does. They chanted, "Mubarak, the plane is waiting for you at the airport," and "Wake up Mubarak, today is your last day."

At one point, a rumor spread through Tahrir Square that Mubarak had fled the country. A massive cheer rippled through the crowd. People began jumping up and down in joy. One man wept uncontrollably. When it turned out not to be true, the cheers quickly ended but it provided a brief glimpse of the sheer raw desire for Mubarak’s ouster. Reports now indicate that Mubarak’s two sons and his wife, Suzanne, have fled Egypt, as have some of his closest business cronies. Many people believe that is a sign that Hosni will not be far behind.

There is a great sense of pride that this is a leaderless movement organized by the people. A genuine popular revolt. It was not organized by opposition movements, though they have now joined the protesters in Tahrir. The Muslim Brotherhood was out in full force today. At one point they began chanting "Allah Akbar" only to be drowned out by much louder chants of "Muslim, Christian, we are all Egyptian."

As the sun set over Cairo, silence fell upon Tahrir square as thousands stopped to pray in the street while others stood atop tanks. After the sunset prayer, they held a 'ganaza'–a prayer for those killed in the demonstrations. Darkness fell and the protesters, thousands of them, have vowed to stay in the square, sleeping out in the open, until Mubarak is ousted.

Meanwhile, across Cairo there is not a policeman in sight and there are reports of looting and violence. People worry that Mubarak is intentionally trying to create chaos to somehow convince people that he is needed. The strategy is failing. Residents have taken matters into their own hands, helping to direct traffic and forming armed neighborhood watches, complete with checkpoints and shift changes, in districts across the city.

This is the Egypt I arrived in today. Fearless and determined. It cannot go back to what it was. It will never be the same.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous is a senior producer for the radio/TV show Democracy Now.

Comment: May Allah help the citizens of Egypt to establish NEW EGYPT that is just, transparent and anti-corruption.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mubarak ‘diasak’ tanpa henti

Pembangkang gesa rakyat Mesir terus berdemonstrasi di jalanan

2011/01/27 KAHERAH: Sebuah kumpulan pembangkang menggesa rakyat Mesir meneruskan bantahan jalanan buat hari kedua, selepas berpuluh ribu penduduk negara itu mengadakan perhimpunan di seluruh negara membantah pemerintahan Presiden Hosni Mubarak sejak 30 tahun lalu….

Ulasan: Bila rakyat bangun eloklah Mubarak mengundurkan diri. Mesir lebih aman tenteram tanpa Mubarak yang 30 tahun melakukan kekejaman terhadap rakyat.

Lans Koperal hadapi dua tuduhan rasuah

2011/01/27 BUTTERWORTH: Seorang anggota polis hari ini mengaku tidak bersalah atas dua tuduhan meminta rasuah di Mahkamah Sesyen di sini. 

Xxxx xxx, 48, didakwa meminta wang suapan bernilai RM2,000 daripada xxxx xxxx xxxx, 29, bagi membebaskannya yang ditahan kerana memiliki dadah…

Ulasan: Kesian. Rakyat nak tengok kes profail tinggi.

Hospital pecat jururawat bertudung/berhijab

2011/01/27 SIDOARJO: Seorang jururawat di Jawa Timur berisiko dipecat kerana memakai tudung ketika bertugas dalam apa yang digelar suaminya kes jelas diskriminasi agama. 

Nurul Hanifah, yang bertugas sebagai jururawat di Hospital Delta Surya di daerah ini selama tujuh tahun sudah menerima dua surat amaran mengenai tudung itu, menurut suaminya, Mohammad Fahmi….

Ulasan: Merdeka tapi masih terjajah.

Penumpang kena bayar surcaj tol

GEORGETOWN: Persatuan Pengusaha Bas Seluruh Malaysia (PMBOA) bercadang mengenakan surcaj tol kepada penumpang bas yang melalui lebuh raya bertol berikutan langkah kerajaan menarik balik pemberian diskaun tol sebanyak 50 peratus, mulai 15 Januari lalu. 

Potongan kadar tol sebanyak 50 peratus itu mula diberikan kepada pengusaha bas sejak 15 September 2008 sebagai usaha membantu mereka yang terjejas berikutan peningkatan bahan api di pasaran ketika itu…

Ulasan: BN betul-betul mengenakan rakyat.

Silap beli rokok, empat beradik kena terajang dan dihalau

2011/01/27 PERMAISURI: Hanya kerana si kakak tersilap membeli rokok bapanya, empat beradik menjadi mangsa terajang lelaki tidak bertanggungjawab itu, sebelum dihalau dari rumah dan bermalam dalam hujan lebat di hutan berhampiran Guntung di sini, semalam.

Empat beradik berkenaan termasuk tiga perempuan berusia 8, 10 dan 14 tahun dan seorang adik lelaki berusia tujuh tahun dipercayai menjadi mangsa dera bapa sendiri termasuk beberapa kes sebelum ini, sebelum dihalau dari rumah kira-kira jam 1 pagi akibat kesilapan kecil itu…

Ulasan: Carilah bakal suami yang penyayang dan beragama.

Dera TKI: Majikan dipenjara 11 tahun

KUALA LUMPUR 25 Jan. - ''Walaupun saya bersimpati dengan nasib perayu sebagai seorang ibu tunggal dan mempunyai seorang anak yang cacat tetapi saya tidak melihat sifat keinsafan perayu mengenai apa yang dilakukan ke atas mangsa.''

Sejurus selesai membaca penghakiman tersebut, Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi di sini, Datuk Ghazali Cha memutuskan menolak rayuan suri rumah, Hau Yuan Tyng, 45, bagi mengetepikan sabitan salah atas tiga tuduhan mencederakan bekas pembantu rumah warga Indonesia, Siti Hajar Sadli.

Beliau turut meminda hukuman penjara lapan tahun dan denda RM5,000 yang dikenakan ke atas bekas ejen hartanah itu kepada penjara 11 tahun bagi ketiga-tiga pertuduhan tersebut.

Sebaik sahaja dimaklumkan oleh jurubahasa, raut wajah Yuan Tyng jelas kelihatan marah dan tidak puas hati dengan keputusan tersebut.

Bagaimanapun, wanita itu yang diwakili peguam bela, M. Manoharan sekali lagi berjaya mendapatkan penangguhan pelaksanaan hukuman tersebut sementara menunggu rayuan terakhir.

Pihak pendakwaan diwakili oleh Timbalan Pendakwa Raya, Lee Keng Fatt…

Ulasan: Mendera adalah kezaliman.

Kawal internet: Balas dendam kepada rakyat


KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Jan: PAS berpendapat cadangan pindaan memperluaskan skop Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan 1984 kepada internet sebagai cubaan membalas dendam kerajaan Umno BN kepada rakyat.

Ketua Penerangan PAS, Idris Ahmad berkata tindakan itu dibuat ekoran rakyat telah menolak media konvensional berat sebelah Umno yang telah membawa kepada tsunami politik pada Pilihan Raya Umum 2008.

"Ini adalah tindakan membalas dendam kepada rakyat yang menolak media umno yang sarat dengan fitnah dan propaganda umno semata," katanya.

Menurutnya, laporan oleh Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) antara tahun 2005 hingga 2009 melaporkan penurunan pengeluaran akhbar The Star daripada 310,000 kepada 287,000, New Straits Times daripada 139,000 kepada 111,000, Utusan Malaysia daripada 213,000 kepada 169,000 dan Berita Harian daripada 204,000 kepada 155,000.

"Syarikat ini hanya boleh bertahan kerana mendapat sokongan dan tajaan Umno sahaja. Jikalau BN tidak berkuasa di negara ini, maka syarikat ini akan berkubur," tambahnya...

Ulasan: Lagi ganas BN, lagi cepat BN berkubur.  Autocracies don't last forever

After Tunisia: Obama's Impossible Dilemma in Egypt

Shadi Hamid. Jan 25 2011, 7:00 AM ET

Could the U.S. find itself on the wrong side of history?

The Middle East just got more complicated for the Obama administration. The January 14 popular revolt in Tunisia, the first ever to topple an Arab dictator, has called into question a basic premise of U.S. policy in the Middle East - that repressive regimes, however distasteful, are at least stable. They can also be counted on to support key American interests, which is part of why the U.S. provides them with substantial assistance. Tunisia was considered one of the least likely to fall, but it fell. Across the region, opposition groups, hoping to repeat Tunisia's successes, are emboldened and increasingly active. For the first time, they know what change looks like. More importantly, they now believe it can happen in their own countries. But in the growing battle between Arab autocrats and popular oppositions, the U.S. is finding itself torn between the reliable allies it needs and the democratic reformers it wants. 

Nowhere is the U.S. dilemma more urgent than in Egypt. Predictions that a Tunisia-like uprising will soon topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are premature - the Egyptian regime, with its well-paid military, is likely to be more unified and more ruthless than its Tunisian counterparts were. But whether an Egyptian revolt succeeds or fails, we can be sure that one will be attempted. The first test of opposition strength will come today, when thousands are expected to participate in what organizers are calling "day of revolution." 

This raises a thorny question for the U.S.: If tens of thousands take to the streets - and stay on the streets - what will it do? The U.S. is the primary benefactor of the Egyptian regime, which, in turn, has reliably supported American regional priorities. After Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, Egypt is the largest recipient of U.S. assistance, including $1.3 billion in annual military aid. In other words, if the army ever decides to shoot into a crowd of unarmed protestors, it will be shooting with hardware provided by the United States. As Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations points out, the Egyptian military is "not there to project power, but to protect the regime." 

The U.S. can opt for relative silence, as it did in Tunisia. In Egypt, however, deep support of the Mubarak regime means that silence will be interpreted as complicity. On the other hand, if the U.S. offers moral support to embattled protestors, it will be actively undermining a government it considers critical to its security interests. Tunisia, as far as U.S. interests are concerned, was expendable. The revolt was spontaneous and leaderless. Islamists - mostly in prison or in London - were nowhere to be seen on the streets of Tunis or Sidi Bouzid. But if Egypt is lost, it will be lost to an uprising that includes some of the most anti-American opposition groups in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood - by far the largest opposition force in the country.

The U.S. is - at least in the short term - stuck.

It didn't have to be this way. After the attacks of September 11, a bipartisan consensus emerged that the status quo had created an environment conducive to extremism. For a time, the U.S. put pressure on Arab regimes to liberalize. But the problem the U.S. faces currently is the same it faced during the short-lived "Arab spring" of 2005: For now, it is difficult, if not impossible to have both a democratic Middle East and a pro-American one. Because anti-Americanism is so widespread (in part because the U.S. supports reviled autocrats), and because Islamist groups represent the largest oppositions, any freely elected government will want to distance itself from U.S policies. Unable to resolve this "Islamist dilemma," attempts to promote Arab democracy - including the Bush "freedom agenda" - were either diluted or postponed indefinitely. 

But autocracies don't last forever. This is what decades of democratic transitions in Eastern Europe, Latin American, and Sub-Saharan Africa - and perhaps now Tunisia - have shown us. The U.S., then, finds itself in the unenviable position of being a status quo power in a region where so many detest the status quo, wish to fight it, and may - or perhaps inevitably will - one day bring it crashing down.

Fortunately for American policymakers, the Egyptian regime will not fall tomorrow. The U.S. has a limited amount of time to, first, re-assess its Middle East policy and, then, re-orient it to ride with, rather than against, the tide of Arab popular rule. It can begin distancing itself from Mubarak by stepping up public criticism of regime repression and deepening contacts with the full range of Egyptian opposition - liberals, leftists, and, yes, Islamists alike. It is better to have leverage with opposition groups before they come to power than afterward. 

This by itself would likely change the Mubarak regime's behavior only slightly, if at all, but that's not necessarily the most significant objective for us. Far more important is to send a clear message to the Egyptian people that we support their democratic aspirations and that we will no longer offer unqualified support to a regime that systematically represses those aspirations. 

In the medium-term, the U.S., along with its European allies, should consider creative policy initiatives. For example, a "reform endowment" offering substantial financial incentives for Arab regimes to meet benchmarks on political reform, including granting space to opposition and shifting power from the executive branch toward the legislative. This would take a serious, sustained U.S. effort over several years. But the U.S. would have to get started soon, before it's too late.

Shadi Hamid is director of research at the Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Comment: Right will eventually win. 

Kami Semua Adalah Khaled Said

Khaled Said, 28 tahun seorang warga Mesir dari bandar pesisir Iskandariah, Mesir, telah diseksa sampai mati di tangan dua pegawai polis. Beberapa saksi menceritakan bagaimana Khalid dibawa oleh dua polis ke dalam pintu masuk sebuah bangunan kediaman di mana beliau telah secara kejam dipukul dan ditendang...

Sebagai tanda prihatin dengan saudara-saudara kita yang didera oleh regim Presiden Hosni Mubarak silalah melawat We are all Khaled Said

daripada hidup dan/atau mati yang menghidupkan kebatilan.
Doakan: Hidup mulia mengamalkan Islam ATAU mati syahid.

Penduduk Papua bantah autonomi Indonesia

JAYAPURA, Indonesia 26 Jan. - Lebih 1,000 penduduk Papua hari ini mengadakan demonstrasi menolak kuasa khas wilayah autonomi dan mendesak satu pungutan suara diadakan untuk menentukan hala tuju wilayah itu pada masa depan…

Ulasan: Dulu Timor-timur, sudah jadi Timor-Leste. Jaga-jaga jangan sampai terlepas.


Rakyat desak Hosni Mubarak berundur

KAHERAH 26 Jan. - Pegawai keselamatan Mesir menahan kira-kira 200 penunjuk perasaan semasa pertempuran semalam dengan golongan tersebut yang menuntut Presiden Hosni Mubarak menamatkan pemerintahannya selama 30 tahun…

Ulasan: Ada orang yang sanggup menipu, merasuah pengundi dsbnya utk menang, sangat zalim terhadap rakyat, memerintah menggunakan kekuatan polis, mengaut khazanah negara via keluarga dan kroni...dan akhirnya masih mempertahankan kedudukan walaupun ribuan rakyat turun ke jalan raya menyuruhnya letak jawatan. Kesian ya menjadi terhina. Rakyat vs Pemerintah Kejam: Siapa yang perlukan siapa? Siapa yang tidak bersyukur?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood Will Take Part in Day of Rage March Despite Threats

MB Chairman Confirms Group Will Take Part in Day of Rage March Despite Threats 
Sunday, January 23,2011 16:17 

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has confirmed that it will partake in the Day of Rage protests scheduled for January 25.

In a statement the group's chairman Dr. Mohamed Badie stated that the group's participation in the march demonstrates its patriotic tendencies stressing that the group has always made a concerted effort to be part of the political arena. He maintained that the group will continue as always in its call for political reform and constitutional amendments stressing that it is adamant in achieving change through peaceful methods.

Badie highlighted that despite threats by the regime which continues to enforce tyrannical methods it will not be phased. Security personnel have summoned all MB administrative officials nationwide to security headquarters threatening them with arrests, violence and detention if they insist on taking to the streets and participate in the march planned for Tuesday January 25th. 

Nevertheless Badie confirmed that the group insists on joining in solidarity with the other political trends demonstrating that the MB will not be intimidated and will never bow to dictatorship and fully rejects the security's threats instigated by the ruling regime. 

Badie asserted the group never has and never will shy away from its patriotic duties stressing that members are well aware of the sacrificies that have to be made in order to reach its goal of political, economic and social reform and stability only through peaceful methods.

Ulasan: Lawan tetap lawan untuk kebaikan rakyat dan negara tercinta. Bila rakyat bangun, akan larilah pemerintah yang zalim. Go on protesting for the sake of beloved citizens and the nation. When the citizen rise, the wicked ruler will run away.

Egypt regime to allow peaceful protests?

Amnesty calls on regime to allow peaceful protests 
Tuesday, January 25,2011 01:12 IkhwanWeb 

Amnesty International has called on Egyptian authorities not to clamp down on the scheduled nationwide demonstrations January 25, following reports of police threats to opposition members.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the NAC have been summoned and threatened with arrest and detention if they go ahead with plans to protest against unemployment, police abuses and corruption.

Authorities have issued warnings vowing that the police will deal firmly and decisively with individuals who insist on taking part in unauthorized protests.

According to Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa programme it is imperative that the regime allow peaceful protests, asserting that security personnel must stop arresting and intimidating peaceful opposition activists.

She added that Egypt's security forces have a tarnished record while dealing with demonstrators. She called on them to refrain from excessive force against protestors during the march. 

Tunisia's Al-Nahda Call for RCD to Dissolve

Tunisia's Al-Nahda's Islamist opposition Call for RCD to Dissolve

Thursday, January 20,2011 05:57 

Lotfi Zeiton, a senior member of the Islamic-oriented Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement, called for Ben Ali's Constitutional Democratic Rally (RDC) to dissolve, give up party membership and return to the state all the properties they obtained through the RCD, stressing that there are counter moves from some to gain control of the government.
During his interview with al-Jazeera's “Ma Wara` al-Khabar [Behind the News],” on Tuesday, he said it is unreasonable that deposed Ben Ali's RDC take the reins of government, indicating that they created a political vacuum because of the repression perused by Ben Ali against the opposition during his 23-year rule.

He also called for the ruling party to be dissolved and that there is no need to be afraid of a political vacuum in Tunisia, as some argued. "We just call for plucking out the party that is rooted in state institutions."


Pelajarilah sesuatu dari pemandu teksi

Saya cuba rumuskan bicara pemandu teksi Cina yang peramah itu, seperti diceritakan semula oleh isteri saya:

"Ramai orang susah sekarang. Macam saya, bawa teksi, hanya cukup untuk makan dan sewa rumah. Harga barang-barang naik melambung. Tapi lagi sakit hati saya apabila pemimpin kerajaan bandingkan harga dengan negara luar. Betullah, harga di sana lebih murah, tapi gaji mereka jauh lebih tinggi, berkali-kali ganda. Janganlah ingat kita ini bodoh.

"Malaysia ini cukup kaya. Jauh lebih kaya, dua tiga kali ganda daripada Singapura. Tapi you tengoklah sendiri, siapa yang senang? Duit tak sampai kepada rakyat. Orang berkuasa yang sapu. Siapa yang kaut semua? Sekarang, gaji di Singapura jauh lebih tinggi daripada kita walaupun negara kita sebenarnya lebih kaya.

"Kita bukannya tamak nak kaya, nak rumah mewah. Senang sikit cukuplah, bagi lega sikit hidup. Tak perlu teruk-teruk bekerja tapi hasilnya sikit, macam saya ini. Sudah macam-macam sakit sebab susah hati, tension. 

"Macam kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di Selangor, kita dapat air percuma, cukuplah. Kalau ada lebih nanti, mungkin banyak lagi yang kita akan dapat, okeylah tu sikit-sikit dulu ... 

"Saya nak bagitau you, jangan takut tukar kerajaan. Lima tahun saja. Kalau tak puas hati, tukarlah balik. Lima tahun bukan lama, sekejap saja. Kalau boleh tunggu 50 tahun BN perintah, kenapa takut nak cuba kerajaan baru ... untuk lima tahun saja.

"Nak undi apa pun tak apa. Tak kira PAS, KeADILan atau DAP, asal jangan Umno sudahlah

"Memang kerajaan tak suka orang lawan dia. Mereka guna ISA untuk tutup mulut rakyat. Tapi orang sekarang sudah tak takut lagi. Saya tak ada komputer tapi saya tahu orang lain tekan saja komputer, dapat tahu macam-macam rahsia kerajaan."

Apabila pemandu teksi itu menyebut ISA, isteri saya menyambut pantas: "Suami saya pun pernah ditahan ISA." Beliau juga berulangkali menyatakan kekaguman tidak terhingga kepada "orang tua di Kelantan" yang baginya terlalu hebat. "PAS tak akan kalah selagi ada orang tua itu di Kelantan," ujarnya bersungguh-sungguh. Isteri saya terpaksa menyebut nama Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz berkali-kali apabila nampak beliau seperti susah sangat hendak mengingati Menteri Besar Kelantan.

Sebahagian daripada artikel

Elak negara muflis: Debat Najib-Anwar penting

Debat Najib-Anwar penting elak negara muflis 
Nik Nasri Nik Malek  

Janji 100 hari Pakatan Rakyat jika memerintah Malaysia tiba-tiba merungsingkan BN. Bagi Pakatan Rakyat, ia adalah janji realistik yang mampu dilakukan.

Najib pula mengatakan ia boleh membawa Malaysia bankrap. Melalui berita radio, saya dengar ucapan Najib (lebihkurang ayatnya): ‘Dalamasa 2 tahun laksanakan janji itu, Malaysia boleh bankrap macam Greece.’

Ayat ini sangat penting. Anwar dan PR kata tak muflis. Najib dan BN kata janji 100 hari boleh muflis. Tak mungkin kedua-duanya benar. Salah seorang berbohong. Tapi siapa?

Malaysia menuju muflis juga sangat penting. Ertinya kalau Pakatan Rakyat memerintah dan menunaikan janjinya itu, ucapan Najib itu mungkin menjadi kenyataan, iaitu Malaysia boleh bankrap dalamasa 2 tahun. Tapi dari fakta yang ada yang disiarkan dalam pelbagai media alternatif, termasuk ucapan terakhir Datuk Mustafa Ali dan Anwar di program Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat: PAS Ganti Umno, PR Ganti BN di Geliga, Kemaman pada hari Sabtu 15 Jan 2011 menunjukkan janji itu mampu ditunaikan dengan izin Allah.

Justru, apa penyelesaian terbaik? Ia tidak lain melainkan satu debat terbuka antara Najib dan Anwar mesti diadakan. Di Amerika, UK dan beberapa negara lain, termasuk negara haram Israel, rasanya, boleh mengadakan debat antara pemimpin tertinggi parti.

Kalau begitu, mengapa Najib takut? Kalau sungguh rakyat tidak akan terpengaruh dengan janji kosong PR, mengapa tidak bersedia berdebat? Kalau janji PR boleh bawa negara muflis, di atas dasar mempertahankan negara dari muflis, maka sepatutnya Najib bersedia mempertahankan Malaysia dari menjadi muflis dengan sebab janji kosong PR itu?

Najib ada pakar ekonomi. Anwar ada pakar ekonomi. Masing-masing sediakan fakta dan angka. Bentangkan dalam debat itu. Apa takut? Najib kata debat tidak mendatangkan hasil. Siapa kata?

Atau takut kalah dengan janji ‘kosong’ PR itu. Kalau sungguh BN mendahulukan rakyat, Najib mesti bersedia berdebat dengan Anwar, dan biarkan rakyat yang menonton secara langsung dalam TV itu menjadi hakimnya. Masih takut?

Nik Nasri Nik Malek,
Kemaman, Terengganu


Ulasan: Ke arah menjadikan rakyat bermaklumat.

Hamas lambang kehebatan perjuangan Islam

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Jan: Kejayaan parti Hamas menubuhkan kerajaan di Palestin jelas membuktikan perjuangan Islam di mana-mana sekali pun di dunia ini pasti akan mendapat kemenangan juga akhirnya, walaupun ditentang setiap masa dengan pelbagai cara oleh musuh-musuh Islam.  

Hamas dan PAS merupakan parti yang mempunyai dasar perjuangan yang sama, namun cabaran yang dialami oleh para pejuang Hamas jauh lebih hebat berbanding pejuang-pejuang PAS di tanah air…

Hamas cipta kejayaan di sebalik tekanan

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Jan: Kerajaan Hamas Palestin di bawah pimpinan Perdana Menteri, Ismail Haniyyah berjaya melakar beberapa kejayaan, walaupun ditekan pelbagai sudut oleh regim zionis Israel dan konco-konconya terutama sejak peperangan 22 hari tahun 2009 lalu.

Jurucakap yang juga ketua rombongan pegawai-pegawai Kementerian Luar Negeri Palestin yang berkunjung ke Malaysia, Hani I. Y. Abu Owda menjelaskan, antaranya termasuklah kejayaan Hamas membuka kolej perubatan dan membina beberapa buah pusat menghafaz Al-Quran.

Menurut beliau, hasilnya, kini Hamas telah berjaya melahirkan ramai doktor dari kalangan rakyat tempatan yang antara lain bukan sahaja dapat membantu orang ramai bagi kepentingan perubatan, tetapi juga membantu perjuangan Hamas sendiri.

"Selain itu, Kerajaan Hamas telah berjaya melahirkan lebih kurang 1,000 orang hafiz (hafiz dan hafizah) setiap tahun sejak berakhirnya peperangan dengan Israel tahun 2009 lalu," katanya.

Beliau yang juga Pengarah Besar Pejabat Perdana Menteri memberitahu demikian dalam kunjungan rasminya ke Pejabat Agung PAS, Jalan Raja Laut, di sini, hari ini, untuk bertemu Presiden PAS, DatukSeri Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang.  

Menurut beliau, sokongan orang ramai terhadap perjuangan Hamas di Palestin kini semakin membanggakan, terutama sejak selepas kematian Allahyarham Syeikh Ahmad Yasin.

"Dalam masa yang sama, tentangan yang diterima oleh Hamas dari regim zionis Israel dan koncu-koncunya sebenarnya semakin dahsyat selepas tamatnya peperangan 22 hari dengan Israel tahun 2009 lalu menerusi pelbagai cara," katanya.

Bagaimanapun, beliau turut menyuarakan kesyukuran, kekaguman dan ucapan terima kasihnya bagi mewakili Perdana Menteri kepada seluruh umat Islam di negara ini khasnya dan negara-negara lain amnya kerana telah memberikan sokongan pelbagai sudut kepada Hamas dan umat Islam di Palestin sejak dulu hingga kini.

Hamas berjaya menubuhkan kerajaan setelah mendapat sokongan majoriti rakyat Palestin pada pilihanraya tahun 2006 lalu….

Ulasan: Tahniah Hamas kerana mengembalikan maruah Islam.

Pemikiran sinis Kuan Yew

MENTERI Mentor Singapura, Lee Kuan Yew kelmarin dilaporkan menggesa umat Islam di republik berkenaan supaya 'tidak terlalu kuat berpegang pada ajaran Islam' bagi membantu proses intergrasi dan pembangunan negara itu. 

''Saya fikir penduduk Islam tidak menimbulkan masalah dalam masyarakat tetapi mereka berbeza dan berlainan," katanya dalam buku bertajuk Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going yang dilancarkan minggu lalu…

Ulasan: Kita perlu berpegang kepada agama seperti kehendak agama. Bukan berdasarkan Lee Kuan Yew atau sesiapa pun.

Kroni Ben Ali ditahan polis

TUNIS 24 Jan. - Polis Tunisia mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap sekutu-sekutu Presiden yang disingkirkan dengan mengenakan tahanan rumah ke atas dua pegawai berpangkat tinggi dan menahan ketua sebuah stesen televisyen swasta kerana didakwa cuba memperlahankan usaha Tunisia ke arah demokrasi.

Langkah yang diambil ke atas kroni dan penyokong setia Presiden Zine El Abidine Ben Ali itu dibuat ketika demonstrasi jalanan berlarutan di ibu negara ini dan usaha kerajaan sementara yang lemah untuk mengawal gelombang bantahan yang berterusan.

Beratus-ratus penunjuk perasaan kebanyakannya dari wilayah selatan ibu negara Tunisia, berhimpun bagi mendesak penyingkiran rejim Ben Ali yang memerintah selama 23 tahun….

Ulasan: Protes sampai menang. Sehingga kerajaan yang baik berkuasa semula.

Persaingan di Felda jangan sampai berpecah

SHAH ALAM 24 Jan. - Kewujudan pelbagai pertubuhan mewakili masyarakat peneroka Felda tidak seharusnya dilihat sebagai satu bentuk persaingan yang akhirnya menjurus kepada kepentingan politik dan memecah-belahkan golongan tersebut. 

Sebaliknya, Pengerusi Gabungan Wawasan Generasi Felda (GWGF), Tan Sri Rozali Ismail berkata, sebarang persaingan perlu menjurus kepada usaha memajukan masyarakat tanah rancangan selain menyediakan aktiviti bermanfaat untuk para peneroka dan anak-anak mereka. 

Justeru, beliau bersedia menerima kemasukan organisasi seperti Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan (Anak) yang diterajui Mazlan Aliman sekiranya ia berkongsi matlamat untuk memajukan golongan peneroka di semua 317 tanah rancangan Felda di seluruh negara…

Ulasan: Bersama-sama kita membela yang tertindas dan membuat kebaikan dan menghindari mungkar dan permusuhan.

Wanita China diperdagangkan

BEIJING 24 Jan. - Semakin ramai wanita China diperdagangkan ke Asia Tenggara, Eropah dan Afrika oleh sindiket jenayah antarabangsa sebelum dipaksa terjebak dengan pelacuran, lapor sebuah akhbar tempatan hari ini.

Akhbar China Daily memetik seorang pegawai kanan polis sebagai berkata, kebanyakan wanita terlibat berasal dari keluarga miskin di kawasan pedalaman dan mereka diperdaya sindiket yang menjanjikan pekerjaan dengan gaji lumayan atau kononnya ditawarkan menyambung pengajian di luar negara.

Menurut Ketua Jabatan AntiPerdagangan Manusia di Kementerian Keselamatan Awam, Chen Shiqu, kebanyakan kes perdagangan manusia dikategorikan sebagai kes domestik dengan wanita dari kawasan miskin seperti wilayah Yunnan dan Guizhou di barat daya China, dibawa ke bahagian lain negara itu sebelum dipaksa berkahwin.

"Bagaimanapun, trend memperdagangkan wanita China oleh sindiket jenayah ke negara luar untuk bekerja sebagai pelacur kini dilaporkan meningkat," katanya seperti yang dilapor akhbar China Daily….

Ulasan: Kenapa lelaki tidak membela wanita? Demi wang wanita di tipu dan dijual untuk pelacuran.

Monday, January 24, 2011

RM1.6 bilion majukan Felda seluruh negara

LABIS 18 Jan. - Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mengumumkan peruntukan sebanyak RM1.6 bilion untuk memaju dan membangunkan warga Felda di seluruh negara pada tahun ini.

Beliau berkata, peruntukan itu merangkumi pelbagai usaha menambah baik kemudahan dan keselesaan masyarakat Felda termasuk pengurusan, pinjaman, perparitan dan prasarana yang lain…

Ulasan: Seronoknya kroni membahagikan keuntungan dari Felda.

Kementerian Kerja Raya perkenal NeTI proses bida tender

KUALA LUMPUR 18 Jan. - Selepas kejayaan program bekerja dari rumah untuk kakitangannya, Kementerian Kerja Raya terus mengorak langkah dalam penggunaan teknologi maklumat apabila memperkenalkan National e-Tendering Initiatives (NeTI) atau e-Tender untuk proses pembidaan tender.

Menerusi pelaksanaan NeTI, proses penilaian tender dibuat secara dalam talian dan kontraktor tidak perlu lagi datang untuk membeli borang di pejabat kementerian di seluruh negara.

Menteri Kerja Raya, Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor berkata, apa yang perlu dilakukan kontraktor ialah mengisi maklumat syarikat menerusi laman sesawang

Katanya, sebagai permulaan, projek perintis itu hanya membabitkan kontraktor kelas A yang memohon untuk mendapatkan projek membina bangunan yang bernilai RM10 juta ke atas.

Menurutnya lagi, program NeTI yang pertama kali diperkenalkan itu akan memastikan ketelusan dalam proses pemberian tender kerajaan kepada kontraktor kerana ia dibuat tanpa membabitkan pertemuan mana-mana pihak….

Ulasan: Tahniah kerana kegigihan JKR memperkenalkan National e-Tendering Initiatives (NeTI) atau e-Tender untuk proses pembidaan tender. Tapi selagi BN/UMNO memerintah sukar untuk selesaikan rasuah dalam industri pembinaan.

Bergadai nyawa kutip syiling RM75,000

REMBAU 18 Jan. - Jika sebelum ini, orang ramai hanya memperlahankan kenderaan untuk menyaksikan sesuatu kemalangan di lebuh raya, namun berbeza pada hari ini apabila mereka berpusu-pusu datang dengan lebih dekat.

Manakan tidak, sebanyak RM75,000 wang syiling bertaburan di atas jalan apabila sebuah kenderaan pacuan empat roda (4WD), Toyota Hilux yang membawa wang itu terbalik di Lebuh Raya Utara-Selatan.

Malah pengguna lebuh raya sanggup menggadai nyawa untuk mengutip wang syiling 10 sen, 20 sen dan 50 sen yang bertaburan sepanjang 100 meter di atas lebuh raya dan kawasan rumput berhampiran.

Kejadian berlaku di Kilometer 243, susur keluar Pedas, dekat sini, apabila kenderaan terbabit yang membawa sebuah peti besi berisi syiling itu dirempuh sebuah kereta BMW, pukul 3 petang…

Ulasan: Kalau tolong mengutip untuk diserahkan kepada pemiliknya baguslah orang kita. Tetapi kalau mengutipnya untuk diri sendiri, ertinya mengambil hak orang lain yang diharamkan Allah. 

Jangan debat, nanti demam. Siapa?

LABIS 18 Jan. - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menegaskan, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tidak perlu mendesaknya untuk berdebat kerana beliau mempunyai pelbagai maklumat yang boleh menyebabkan ketua pembangkang itu 'demam' jika dibongkarkan ketika berdebat.

Perdana Menteri berkata, beliau tidak gentar berdebat dengan Anwar tetapi menyifatkan tindakan berkenaan hanya membuang masa kerana pembohongan ketua pembangkang itu dan kegagalannya menunaikan janji.

"Sudah cukuplah pembohongan, janji banyak tak boleh buat, ini nak debat dengan saya pula, buang masa. Saya boleh debat dengan dia, saya tak takut, saya dengan menteri saya tahu segala maklumat.

"Jangan cuba nak cabar saya, kalau saya dedahkan segala-galanya, ada orang yang demam nanti," katanya…

Ulasan: Tak payahlah buka cerita buruk orang. Kita pun apa kurangnya. Lebih baik berdebat mengenai hala tuju negara. Ada manfaat untuk rakyat. Pemimpin negara sepatutnya melatih rakyat melihat lebih jauh ke depan hatta akhirat.

Study: Separate Classes Achieve Better Results

by Elad Benari

A recent announcement by Israel’s Ministry of Education said that hareidim who turn to academia will be eligible for stipends if they prove that they studied in schools with separate classes for boys and girls.

In light of this announcement, Arutz Sheva’s daily journal spoke on Tuesday with Shai Cohen, director of the Hakima psychometric prep institute for hareidim which itself provides separate classrooms. According to Cohen, the guideline set out by the Ministry is a logical one which will also result in better classroom achievements.

“If students study in separate classrooms they without a doubt achieve better results,” said Cohen, and added that a student who has achieved a score of 600 in the psychometric exam would be able to raise his score to 670 points in a mixed school, but would be able to achieve an additional 20 points in a school with separate classrooms.

According to Cohen, there is a logical explanation for this. “A young man during his adolescent years, when he is around the opposite sex, he feels the need to impress and does not give his full attention to studying. He does not listen. He has a lot of distractions. When we eliminate these distractions he can focus on learning.

Cohen pointed out a recent recommendation by the Ministry of Education to all high schools that some subjects should be studied in separate schools. According to him, the main reason that this recommendation is not implemented is due to budgetary reasons. “If it was only because it was not popular I believe they would implement this,” he said. “But the real reason is that it requires money. It causes a need to suddenly open double the number of classes. Most schools run on an independent budget, and they prefer to save rather than split classes.”

He added that in recent years the number of students in his own school has doubled and attributed this to the fact that religious students do not see the separate classrooms as a matter of extremism but rather as a matter of professionalism. According to Cohen, there are even many requests by secular girls to join the school due to their recognition that learning in separate classes is an advantage. He explained that secular girls are told from the beginning that the school is a religious one and that they would be required to comply with dress code regulations and the like, but added that the girls adapt to these requirements.

Despite it all, Cohen doubts that separate classes in secular schools will be seen anytime soon, due to the aforementioned budget restrictions.

Ulasan dari email: Antara rahsia kenapa Israel berjaya melahirkan pelajar yang bijak ialah mereka mengasingkan kelas antara pelajar lelaki dan pelajar perempuan. Kementerian Pelajaran Israel telah mengeluarkan arahan supaya lebih banyak kelas diasingkan antara pelajar lelaki dan perempuan. Semakin ramai rakyat Israel yang berfahaman sekular memilih untuk ke sekolah yang beraliran agama.

Islam sudah lama menunjukkan caranya, tetapi yang mempraktikkannya ialah orang Israel. Dulu pun kita pernah ada sekolah yang tak campur sewaktu masih dibawah penjajah British. Kita di Malaysia sekarang bagaimana?

Kerajaan BN tak pilih bulu agih bantuan?

ALOR SETAR 23 Jan. - Kerajaan tidak pernah bersikap 'pilih bulu' dalam pemberian bantuan kepada penduduk negeri ini sebaliknya sesiapa sahaja yang layak akan memperolehinya tanpa mengira kaum mahupun fahaman politik.

Ulasan: Betul ke? Silalah bertanya rakyat yang menyokong pembangkang selama ini untuk mendengar rintihan mereka. Tapi mereka tetap tidak menyokong BN kerana mereka ada harga diri.

Perkahwinan Putera William serba sederhana. Kita?

LONDON 23 Jan. - Majlis perkahwinan diraja Putera William dan Kate Middleton yang akan berlangsung pada 29 April ini tidak akan diadakan dalam suasana mewah seperti perkahwinan ibu bapanya, Putera Charles dan Puteri Diana, meskipun ekonomi negara ini kini kembali pulih…

Ulasan: Bagaimana majlis perkahwinan anak kita? Nak diundang tetamu seluruh dunia, 1Malaysia, 1 Negeri, 1 bandar, 1pekan atau 1taman? Bersederhanalah. Elakkan berhutang sekeliling pinggang. Tidak jadi hina bila kita bersederhana. Yang pentingnya rumah tangga anak dan menantu diberkati Allah.

Penunjuk perasaan desak kerajaan sementara Tunisia letak jawatan

TUNIS 23 Jan. - Kira-kira 1,000 penunjuk dari sebuah kawasan luar bandar di tengah negara ini tiba di ibu negara ini hari ini bagi mendesak kerajaan sementara Tunisia meletak jawatan.

Kumpulan penunjuk perasaan yang datang dari sebuah wilayah pertanian miskin, kawasan bermulanya pemberontakan menentang pemerintahan Presiden Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali sehingga membawa kepada pengulingannya pada bulan lalu kini mendesak kerajaan sementara turut meletak jawatan.

"Kami datang untuk menumbangkan kerajaan," kata kumpulan itu yang berteriak semasa mereka berarak melalui kawasan tengah Tunis.

'Kumpulan Pembebasan' itu semalam bertolak dari bandar Menzel Bouzaiane, di mana mangsa pertama tindakan kekerasan pihak berkuasa ke atas kumpulan pembantah yang menentang pemerintahan Ben Ali terbunuh pada bulan lalu.

"Kami telah datang untuk menumbangkan seluruh pemerintahan diktator," kata Mohammed Layani, seorang warga tua yang membaluti tubuhnya dengan bendera Tunisia.

Sejak kebelakangan ini ada sahaja bantahan yang berlaku setiap hari bagi mendesak Perdana Menteri, Mohammed Ghannouchi yang menjawat jawatan itu sejak 1990 walaupun Ben Ali telah disingkirkan.

Penunjuk perasaan juga mendesak pembubaran parti pemerintah, Perhimpunan Demokratik Perlembagaan (RCD) yang menguasai politik Tunisia selama berdekad-dekad. – AFP

Ulasan: Jangan buat kerja separuh jalan. Lawan tetap lawan, untuk kebaikan negara dan rakyat.

Algeria pula: Polis, penduduk bertempur 42 cedera

ALGIERS 23 Jan. - Polis Algeria bertempur dengan sekumpulan penunjuk perasaan pro-demokrasi di ibu negara ini hari ini menyebabkan 42 orang cedera ketika polis cuba menghalang perarakan ke bangunan Parlimen, bagi mengelakkan berlaku kekacauan seperti di Tunisia…

Ulasan: Kadang-kadang polis digunakan oleh kerajaan yang tidak popular untuk menzalimi rakyat. Kerajaan yang prihatin kepada rakyat TIDAK AKAN rasuah dan menyalahgunakan kuasa.

TLDM bakal guna kapal tempur lebih canggih

LABIS 23 Jan. - Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) tidak akan menggunakan kapal Meko A-100 yang menjadi asas kepada Kapal Ronda Generasi Baru (NGPV) untuk membangunkan skuadron Kapal Tempur Pesisir (LCS) sebaliknya, ia menggunakan model baru yang lebih canggih.

Sumber pertahanan memberitahu Utusan Malaysia, model baru itu mempunyai reka bentuk halimunan termoden yang setanding dengan keupayaan halimunan kapal friget kelas Delta milik Singapura yang diiktiraf selaku kapal perang tercanggih di rantau ini selain, memiliki kemampuan tempur tiga dimensi yang mantap….

Ulasan: Jangan sampai menghabiskan wang rakyat melalui skandal rasuah dan komisyen.

Inflasi boleh dikawal - Idris

KUALA LUMPUR 23 Jan. – Inflasi di negara ini boleh dikawal dan diuruskan dengan baik walaupun kerajaan mengurangkan pemberian subsisi, kata Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala…

Ulasan: ...apabila rakyat memilih kerajaan baru selain BN.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Web porno: Tiada lanjutan bagi Blackberry

JAKARTA 17 Jan. - Indonesia hari ini menolak untuk melanjutkan tempoh akhir yang ditetapkan pada hujung minggu ini kepada pengeluar telefon pintar BlackBerry untuk menyekat akses ke laman web pornografi.

Menteri Komunikasi, Tifatul Sembiring berkata, tidak akan ada peluang melanjutkan tempoh akhir yang ditetapkan pada 21 Januari ini, selepas rundingan antara pegawai dan wakil Research in Motion (RIM) diadakan di Jakarta.

"Kami tidak akan melanjutkan tempoh itu. Jika RIM tidak menutup laman web porno pada 21 Januari ini, kami akan memulakan proses undang-undang. Kami meminta komitmen ini dibuat dalam bentuk hitam putih," katanya kepada Parlimen, dimana menteri-menteri selalu berkomunikasi dengan BlackBerry…

Ulasan: Demikianlah erti kemerdekaan.

Khidmat bas wanita dilancar

KUALA LUMPUR 17 Jan. – Perkhidmatan bas RapidKL khusus untuk golongan wanita dilancarkan secara rasmi hari ini meliputi 15 laluan iaitu lapan laluan baru dan tujuh laluan yang diperkenalkan dalam tempoh percubaan bulan lepas…

Ulasan: Ke arah memuliakan wanita.

Kesilapan pembedahan: Suri rumah terima RM100,000

IPOH 17 Jan. - Kes saman seorang suri rumah yang kehilangan buah dada kirinya sejak lima tahun lalu akibat kesilapan pembedahan di sebuah hospital kerajaan berakhir hari ini apabila wanita itu bersetuju menyelesaikan tuntutannya di luar mahkamah.

Persetujuan tersebut dicapai setelah T. Silvarany, 56, menerima tawaran ganti rugi berjumlah RM100,000 daripada pihak defendan ketika kes itu disebut di Mahkamah Tinggi di sini.

Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman, Tarmizi Abdul Rahman kemudian merekodkan persetujuan tersebut.

Silvarany sebelum ini memfailkan saman RM2 juta terhadap pakar bedah Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun (HRPB), Dr. L. Vasu Pillai; Pengarah hospital tersebut, Kementerian Kesihatan dan Kerajaan Malaysia atas dakwaan cuai semasa melakukan pembedahan itu.

Dalam pernyataan tuntutannya, plaintif menyatakan, dia telah pergi ke hospital tersebut untuk mendapatkan rawatan berikutan sakit dalam perut pada 2005.

Menurutnya, pemeriksaan doktor kemudian mengenal pasti puncanya sebagai fibroid iaitu ketumbuhan pada dinding rahim.

Ujar plaintif, setelah ketumbuhan berjaya dibuang, pemeriksaan lanjut mendapati ada gumpalan atau ketumbuhan lain pada buah dada kiri yang disyaki sebagai barah buah dada.

Silvarany kemudian dimasukkan semula ke wad HRPB pada 6 September 2005 dan menjalani pembedahan untuk membuang buah dada kirinya pada keesokan harinya.

Menurutnya, semasa melakukan rawatan susulan pada Oktober 2008, seorang doktor pakar memberitahunya bahawa pembedahan membuang buah dadanya adalah satu kesilapan kerana dia sebenarnya tidak menghidap penyakit barah buah dada…

Ulasan: Berhati-hati sementara ada. Eloklah bertanya kepada pakar-pakar lain untuk pastikan pembedahan itu wajar.

Ramai rakyat Thai sedia terima rasuah?

BANGKOK 17 Jan. - Kebanyakan rakyat Thai didapati sedia menerima rasuah daripada calon pilihan raya dalam usaha membeli undi, menurut satu tinjauan pendapat yang dikeluarkan, semalam.

Tinjauan Abac yang dijalankan oleh Universiti Assumption mendapati, hampir 80 peratus responden mengakui 'politik wang' memang berlaku dalam masyarakat Thailand.

Keputusan tinjauan yang disiarkan di laman web berbahasa Inggeris Bangkok Post itu menunjukkan kira-kira 53.2 peratus responden sanggup menerima rasuah…

Ulasan: Bermula dengan pemimpin. Akan terus ke bawah.  Semua kemungkaran akan menarik musibah kepada negara.

Kadar kesuburan Singapura merosot

SINGAPURA 17 Jan. - Kadar kesuburan di Singapura merosot ke paras terendah pada tahun lalu, membawa maksud negara ini perlu sentiasa membawa masuk pekerja asing bagi menyokong pertumbuhan ekonominya kerana ramai rakyat republik ini semakin tua.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Wong Kan Seng berkata, kadar kesuburan negara atau bilangan bayi yang dilahirkan di Singapura jatuh kepada 1.16 pada tahun lalu, berbanding 1.22 pada 2009.

Kadar itu, katanya, jauh lebih rendah berbanding 2.1 bayi yang diperlukan bagi pembentukan generasi baru secara semula jadi di Singapura.

"Masalah utama untuk mencapai populasi yang kita mahukan adalah kadar kesuburan tempatan yang rendah.

"Dalam tempoh lebih 30 tahun, kita masih belum melahirkan bayi yang cukup untuk menggantikan generasi kita," katanya semasa berucap pada satu forum yang dianjurkan Institut Kajian Polisi…

Ulasan: Allah boleh tunjukkan kekuasaanNya melalui pelbagai cara.

Tunisia bentuk kerajaan baru

TUNIS 16 Jan. - Kepimpinan baru Tunisia mahu membentuk satu kerajaan campuran yang bersatu bagi usaha menangani kegiatan pencerobohan bangunan, perbuatan membakar dan tembakan yang berlaku selepas Presiden Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali digulingkan.

Speaker Parlimen, Fouad Mebazza yang mengangkat sumpah sebagai Presiden sementara semalam, meminta Perdana Menteri, Mohamed Ghannouchi supaya membentuk satu kerajaan bersatu bagi membentuk perpaduan negara.

Pihak berkuasa Perlembagaan berkata, pilihan raya Presiden perlu diadakan dalam tempoh 60 hari.

Askar dan kereta kebal ditempatkan di tengah bandar Tunis bagi mengawal kegiatan menceroboh bangunan apabila Ben Ali yang memerintah lebih 23 tahun, melarikan diri ke Arab Saudi ekoran rusuhan antikerajaan yang mengorbankan berpuluh-puluh nyawa…

Ulasan: Demikian berakhirnya rejim yang menyusahkan rakyat dan negara. Tahniah kepada warga Tunisia yang sanggup lawan tetap lawan mengalahkan kerajaan yang zalim.

Israel lulus bina 1,400 lagi rumah Yahudi

BAITULMAQDIS 16 Jan. - Israel akan meluluskan sebuah projek baru pembinaan besar-besaran melibatkan sekurang-kurangnya 1,400 buah rumah di sebuah kawasan penempatan haram Yahudi di timur Baitulmaqdis…

Ulasan: Demikianlah polisi sebuah  negara haram  yang menjajah Palestin, Israel.

Kembalikan era intelektual Melayu

KUALA LUMPUR 16 Jan. - Semua pihak bertanggungjawab diseru memperkasakan semula penggunaan tulisan jawi kerana ia mampu mengembalikan zaman kegemilangan intelektual Melayu pada masa lampau.

Sarjana Utama Bahasa Melayu Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Prof. Emeritus Dr. Abdullah Hassan berkata, langkah itu akan memeriahkan kembali wacana mengenai persuratan Melayu yang berkembang pesat sejak kurun ke-15.

Menurutnya, peradaban dan persuratan bahasa Melayu banyak terkandung dalam manuskrip serta hasil kesusasteraan golongan intelektual Melayu yang menggunakan tulisan jawi pada masa lalu.

"Indeks di Australia menunjukkan 1,829 manuskrip sastera Melayu dalam tulisan jawi disimpan di banyak perpustakaan negara itu hasil penulis seperti Hamzah Fansuri sejak 1600.

"Selain di negara kita sendiri dan Australia, manuskrip sastera Melayu dalam tulisan jawi juga boleh didapati di Jerman, Belanda dan Britain sehingga kini.

"Ini menunjukkan kegemilangan zaman intelektual Melayu boleh dikembalikan semula sekiranya para pelajar sekolah dan universiti mampu membaca jawi dengan baik dan sudah tentu ia perlu disokong banyak pihak yang bertanggungjawab," katanya…

Ulasan: Umno tegak tapi tulisan jawi makin mundur...

Serendah RM5 rawatan pakar di Pusat Jantung Hospital Umum Sarawak

KOTA SAMARAHAN 16 Jan. - Kewujudan Pusat Jantung Hospital Umum Sarawak (HUS) di sini melakar sejarah tersendiri apabila menawarkan rawatan pakar termurah di dunia dengan bayaran serendah RM5, kata Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Perdana Menteri berkata, pusat jantung itu manifestasi keprihatinan kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN) terhadap kebajikan rakyat yang menjadi pegangan sejak sekian lama.

"Saya tidak tahu jika negara lain ada bayaran RM5 untuk dapat rawatan jantung daripada doktor pakar, mungkin tiada agaknya.

"Saya rasa ini kisah luar biasa namun inilah yang kita lakukan di Malaysia, ia perlu disebarkan kerana pembangkang walaupun dia hanya bayar RM100 setahun (kepada rakyat) dia besar-besarkan, sedangkan kita beri pertolongan pada setiap hari," katanya berucap merasmikan Pusat Jantung HUS di sini hari ini…

Ulasan: Bila pembangkang semakin digeruni oleh pihak kerajaan yang mendapat manfaat secara langsung ialah rakyat. Tahniah Pakatan Rakyat.

Al-Quran bersadur emas di Pameran Artifak Warisan Islam

MELAKA 16 Jan. - Orang ramai berpeluang melihat al-Quran bersadur emas yang sedang dipamerkan pada Pameran Artifak Warisan Islam di Balai Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi, Bastion House di sini sehingga 15 Jun ini…

Ulasan: Al-Quran untuk dibaca dan diamalkan dalam hidup ini, bukan untuk jadi tontonan.

Saman Petronas: Pelik Pusat pohon jadi defendan?

dari Harakahdaily

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 Jan: Langkah kerajaan Persekutuan yang mahu mencelah dan seterusnya menjadi defendan kedua dalam kes saman kerajaan negeri Kelantan terhadap Petronas menimbulkan tanda tanya.

Exco kerajaan negeri Kelantan, Datuk Husam Musa berkata, permohonan kerajaan Pusat memohon untuk mencelah dalam kes itu akan didengar pada 27 Januari ini di Mahkamah Tinggi Perdagangan.

"Kita bantah permohonan itu. Biasanya defendan pohon untuk dikeluarkan tetapi dalam kes ini pihak yang tidak dijadikan defendan mahu (jadi defendan) pula," kata Husam.

Husam berkata demikian dalam majlis perhimpunan bersama bloggers anjuran kerajaan negeri Kelantan. Turut sama adalah Menteri Besar Kelantan Tuan Guru Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat dan para exco Kelantan yang lain.

Kerajaan negeri Kelantan telah menyaman Petronas kerana tidak memenuhi perjanjian yang dibuatnya untuk memberikan royalti minyak 5 peratus kepada kerajaan negeri.

Ia difailkan di Mahkamah Perdagangan atas dasar Petronas telah gagal memenuhi perjanjian yang ditandatangani itu.

Dalam saman ini, hanya Petronas yang dinamakan defendan oleh kerajaan negeri Kelantan.

Petronas disaman kerana tidak memenuhi perjanjian itu dan memberikan wang itu kepada kerajaan pusat. Kerajaan Pusat pimpinan BN pula menyalurkan wang itu kepada Kelantan melalui Umno dan badan-badan yang diuruskannya di Kelantan bukannya kerajaan negeri yang dipilih oleh rakyat.

""Kerajaan pusat mungkin rasa Petronas berseorangan atau rasa mereka memerlukan bapa kerana tak sanggup menghadapi (kerajaan negeri) Kelantan," kata Husam diikuti tepukan gemuruh dari para peserta perhimpunan itu.

Menurut Husam, perkara ini berlaku dalam keadaan Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail sedang diselubungi oleh pelbagai masalah termasuk sedang disiasat oleh Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).

"Kita berjanji akan tukar AG ini apabila kita memerintah Malaysia nanti," kata Husam dalam sertai tepukan kira-kira 200 bloggers itu….

Ulasan: Yang jelas langgar kontak atau kontrak pecah (breach of contract) ialah Petronas. Pihak yang berkontrak ialah Petronas dan Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan. Pelik kenapa kerajaan mahu masuk campur? Kerajaan BN elok batalkan Akta Kontrak terus dari negara ini. Senang. Tak payah berkontrak.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tulisan Jawi khazanah?

Tulisan Jawi khazanah bangsa perlu dipertahan

IPOH: Raja Muda Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah mengingatkan orang Melayu jangan terlalu cepat melatah dan terbawa-bawa dengan agenda sulit serta terselindung yang mahu menghapuskan warisan bangsa. 

Baginda bertitah, orang Melayu yang mempunyai sifat demikian biasanya bersedia diperalatkan untuk membunuh warisan bangsanya sendiri. 
Untuk itu, titahnya, usaha memastikan tulisan Jawi terus hidup dan tidak pupus adalah perjuangan bangsa kerana ia sebahagian khazanah yang wajib dikekal, diberi keutamaan dan dipertahankan selagi Melayu tidak hilang di dunia. 
“Keupayaan membaca dan menulis Jawi juga mempunyai kaitan penting dengan penghayatan terhadap agama Islam. Al-Quran, hadis dan kitab utama agama Islam adalah dalam tulisan Jawi. 

“Ketidakupayaan umat Islam untuk menguasai tulisan Jawi dikhuatiri menjauhkan mereka daripada sumber dan nashkah asal khazanah ilmu hasil karya pujangga serta ilmuwan Islam,” titahnya ketika merasmikan Persidangan Ke-174 Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Perak (MAIAMP) di Kompleks Islam Darul Ridzuan di sini, semalam…

Ulasan: Tulisan jawi menjadi khazanah sewaktu UMNO memerintah negara ini.