Khamis, 25 September 2014

Instead of scapegoats, restore confidence in exams

A number of Tamil school teachers were arrested since September 12 onwards for the leakage of UPSR science and English paper of national schools. 470000 students are required to re-sit the UPSR science and English on September 30th.

The media highlight on Tamil school teachers for the leakage of the UPSR science and English paper seems dubious and is trying to shift the blame to someone else.

So far no official from examination syndicate have been arrested. Why were the police so quick in arresting Tamil teachers for the leakage of national school UPSR Science and English papers?

Kuala Lumpur city police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said Examinations Syndicate officers lodged the reports about the leak of the UPSR Tamil and Mathematics papers on the 21th September, 2014.

But Tamil school teachers have been arrested since the 12th September 2014. The UPSR examination questions selection were entirely at the discretion of examination syndicate. Printing, storage in strong rooms and distribution to schools are managed by the officials from examination syndicate.

Why were the Tamil teachers targeted and not the examination syndicate officials?

The police report on 21st September seems an afterthought to legitimize the police action to arrest Tamil school teachers.

Last year 2013 SPM additional mathematics and chemistry papers were said to be leaked. Earlier moral paper was said to be leaked. There were rumors that examination papers had leaked in the past too.

Therefore there are serious flaws in the way the examination syndicate is safekeeping and distributing these examination papers to schools.

All of these things are very disturbing and utterly unacceptable in the context of running fair, balanced and accurate assessments of students through examinations.

There has to be through check on the entire distribution process and storage of examination papers.

Those who are entrusted to prepare, select the questions and safe keep and distribute the examination papers must be people of high integrity.

Ministry of education must restore the integrity and confidence in local public examination once and for all. Shifting the blame to people outside the examination process and low level officers does not look good on the senior officials of the education ministry.

Education minister had announced the suspension of examination syndicate director Dr Na'imah and her deputy Wan Ilias with immediate effect on 12th September 2014.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that the two civil servants should be held responsible for having tarnished the image of the ministry and that of public examinations.

But the Education Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad clarified on 20th September that Examinations Syndicate director Dr Na'imah Ishak and the deputy director of operations Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh had not been suspended from duty but were assigned to other duties unrelated to the Examinations Syndicate to enable the independent committee to carry out its investigations.

Meanwhile, Madinah said that the Education Ministry will take disciplinary action against all the teachers responsible for the leak of the English and Science papers in this year's UPSR examinations. She added that if any of the teachers are charged in court, they would be temporarily suspended from service with a 50% salary cut.

Ministry of education must be transparent and come clean on the investigation and restoration of a more leakage proof examination system.


(former Senator)

Zahid’s baseless and wild accusation of DAP throwing the stones at the car of the Raja Muda is uncalled for and he shall be subject to investigation on this fold. We hereby challenge Zahid to lodge a police report on the alleged stone-throwing incidents as accused by him to prove his case. However, Zahid should also be reminded that there will be serious consequence for lodging a false report.

Press Statement by YB Wong Kah Woh, DAP Perak State Secretary and ADUN Canning, on 25.09.2014 (Thursday) in Ipoh:

I recorded my statement for my police report against Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for his seditious remarks and baseless, wild accusations towards DAP with the Investigating Officer at 9.20am this morning at IPD Ipoh. I have also taken the opportunity to urge the Police to obtain a copy of Zahid’s ceramah recording from the Special Branch Officers and to take immediate action against him. 

The recording of statement took approximately 45 minutes. It is shameful for a seasoned politician like Zahid to have resorted to the creation of racial hatred and disharmony in his attempt to win the votes of the full Malay audience. Zahid also quoted the example of a demonstration in Kuala Kangsar during the Constitutional Crisis and launched baseless accusations that the DAP threw stones towards the car of the Raja Muda. Zahid has to be responsible for his statement.

No one is above the law, including the Home Minister, Zahid himself. As the complainant to the police report against Zahid, I have given full co-operation to the police within 24 hours and recorded my statement as requested. We will now see whether or not the police can act impartially in order to secure the presence of Zahid for his statement to be recorded.

At the same time, Zahid’s baseless and wild accusation of DAP throwing the stones at the car of the Raja Muda is uncalled for and he shall be subject to investigation on this fold. We hereby challenge Zahid to lodge a police report on the alleged stone-throwing incidents as accused by him to prove his case. However, Zahid should also be reminded that there will be serious consequence for lodging a false report.

The Police and the AG Chambers have levied a charge against the former Menteri Besar of Perak, Dato’ Seri Mohd Nizar bin Jamaluddin, based on the recording of one of his ceramahs in 2012, for allegedly criminally defaming the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. If the charge against Nizar is truly necessary, just and fair, Zahid will not be immune for his baseless accusation and attack against the DAP.

YB Wong Kah Woh
DAP Perak State Sectary
ADUN Canning

Isnin, 22 September 2014

Ramai Warga Emas & Ibu Tunggal Memerlukan Bantuan Kerajaan, Tetapi Peruntukan Kerajaan Tidak Mencukupi Untuk Membantu semua Pemohon Yang Benar-benar Memerlukannya

Kenyataan Media YB V.Sivakumar Ahli Parlimen Batu Gajah pada 19/9/2014 di Taman Badrishah, Ipoh

Telah mengadakan perjumpaan dengan rakyat di Taman Badrishah Ipoh pada 19/9/2014 dari jam 7pm himgga 9.30pmLebih kurang 50 orang daripada taman itu telah keluar untuk memberi pelbagai aduan dan memohon bantuan.

Ahli-ahli DAP Batu Gajah telah mendengar dan membantu mereka yang membuat aduan pada petang itu.

Antara masalah yang paling ketara ialah mengenai permohonan bantuan kebajikan.

Ramai diantara yang datang adalah dengan harapan untuk memperolehi bantuan kewangan daripada Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat

 Memang ramai diantara mereka memerlukan bantuan kerana keadaan sosio ekonomi yang amat mendesak. Terdapat juga kes-kes ibu tunggal dan warga emas yang ditinggalkan oleh anak-anak yang telah berpindah jauh daripada keluarga mereka.

Ada juga yang tidak bekerja dan mengharapkan bantuan pihak ketiga untuk menyara hidup.

Mereka ini tidak dibantu oleh mana-mana pihak. Permohonan yang dibuat sebelum ini juga pernah ditolak oleh jabatan kebajikan masyarakat.

Pejabat saya iaitu Pusat Khidmat DAP Parlimen Batu Gajah akan membantu mereka yang benar-benar memerlukan membuat permohonan bantuan kewangan jabatan kebajikan masyaraka.

Selasa, 16 September 2014

Exam paper leaks weaken the Integrity of Malaysian exams

 The annual leakage in examination papers under the Malaysian examination syndicate is undermining the integrity and confidence in the public examinations. These scams are very shameful and unfortunate given the amount of effort, time and preparation put in by students and parents. All the promises of bringing in the culprits behind these leakages to justice have not seen the light of the day. 

The second education minister announced today that UPSR English paper was found to have leaked and the students have to re-sit for this paper. Yesterday UPSR science paper was reported to have been leaked. The science paper of the 2014 primary school achievement test (UPSR) scheduled on the 11th September has been postponed to September 30th after detecting the paper leakage at the last minute. Examination syndicate said that a preliminary investigation showed that the questions for the papers had been circulated over social media.

 Last year 2013 SPM additional mathematics and chemistry papers were said to be leaked. Earlier moral paper was said to be leaked. Promises of probe by police into the leakage in previous years did not yield any outcome so far. In the past the education ministry blamed private tutors, cleaners and security guards for examination paper leakages. But the mishap still continues to add more stress and pain to parents, students and teachers.
 No official in the examination syndicate has ever held responsible for these leakages. As usual the education minister who is also the deputy prime minister apologized for the scam. When the SPM papers leaked last year the same deputy prime minister apologized too. What happened to the probe by police? What action taken to strengthen the security of these papers? Where is the weak link in the examination paper preparation? In fact the ministry of education announced the formation of task force to probe into the leakages. No news forthcoming on the probe till now.

 The general public has not seen any visible action taken to restore public confidence in the public education system. Mere apology without any concrete action to reprimand education ministry officers’ responsible and not taking corrective action is useless. Talking hard at the time of leakage and forgetting the issue in due course fades the confidence and interest in the public examination. Ministry of Education need to make every effort to track down and expose the perpetrators and make the offence and punishment publicly known. Secured and leakage proof examination is top priority to restore the integrity and confidence in the education system.


(former senator)


P.Waythamoorthy Meletak Jawatannya Sebagai Timbalan Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Siapakah Yang Mengambill Alih Portfolionya?

Kenyataan Media YB V.Sivakumar Ahli Parlimen Batu Gajah & Timbalan Pengerusi DAP Perak pada 15 Sept 2014 di Taman Badrishah, Ipoh.

Saya ingin bertanya kepada Perdana Menteri samada kerajaan Barisan Nasional benar-benar serius dalam menangani masalah sosio-ekonomi kaum India di negara ini. Setakat ini tidak ada apa-apa 'blue print' yang konkrit untuk membantu dan membangunkan iktisad masyarakat India.

Hanya terdapat janji-janji kosong yang ditaburkan oleh kerajaan sebelum pilihanraya umum untuk mendapat sokongan kaum India. Selepas pilihanraya masyarakat India telah dilupakan sama sekali. Bantuan yang diberikan untuk kaum India adalah terlalu sedikit yang pastinya tidak mungkin dapat melepaskan masyarakat itu daripada belenggu kemiskinan.

Setiap pemimpin India daripada pelbagai parti komponen Barisan Nasional hanya memperdayakan masyarakat India untuk kepentingan politik masing-masing. Ada juga pemimpin-pemimpin utama seperti Datuk Seri G. Palanivel yang tidak berani menyuarakan aspirasi masyarakat India malah ramai yang menganggapnya sebagai seorang pemimpin yang takut kepada bayang-bayangnya sendiri.

 Masyarakat India telah kehilangan pelbagai hak warganegara kerana pemimpin-pemimpinnya yang tidak berani menentang kerajaan yang diketuai oleh UMNO. Mereka terpaksa menjadi 'pak angguk' ataupun 'yes boss' kepada Perdana Menteri dan Menteri-menteri UMNO untuk menjaga kerusi dan kedudukan masing-masing. Agenda ekonomi kaum India telah dilupakan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin ini sama sekali. Perbuatan mereka ini seolah-olah 'ayam hitam terbang malam' melupakan tanggungjawab dan melakukan semua perbuatan jahat secara tersembunyi.

Apa sudah terjadi dengan jawatan Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri yang diberikan kepada P.Waythamoorthy selepas PRU13? Beliau telah meletak jawatan itu setelah sedar baha beliau dan masyarakat India telah sekali lagi dipermainkan oleh Barisan Nasional yang dipimpin oleh Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

 Tetapi, adakah perletakan jawatan itu boleh menyelesaikan masalah masyarakat India? Siapakah yang sebenarnya rugi kalau bukan masyarakat India? Apakah ruginya kepada kerajaan Barisan Nasional? Barisan Nasional akan berasa lebih seronok dengan perletakan jawatan itu.

Saya telah membangkitkan satu soalan lisan untuk dijawab oleh Perdana Menteri dalam persidangan Parlimen yang akan bermula pada 7 Oktober 2014. Saya minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan tentang status jawatan Timbalan Menteri yang diberikan kepada pemimpin Hindraf P. Waythamoorthy. Siapakah yang telah dilantik oleh kerajaan untuk mengambil alih portfolio yang diberikan kepada P.Waythamoorthy yang telah meletak jawatan. Adakah agenda sosio-ekonomi masyarakat India diteruskan oleh Jabatan Perdana Menteri dan apakah fungsi-fungsinya. Nyatakan juga perkara-perkara yang telah dicapai dan akan dilaksanakan dalam tempoh terdekat.

Tidak ada gunanya untuk pemimpin-pemimpin India daripada Barisan Nasional untuk merebut jawatan Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri jika tidak ada satu hala tuju atau 'blue print' yang diterima dan diiktiraf perlaksanaannya oleh kerajaan. Jawatan itu sahaja tidak akan membawa apa-apa keuntungan kepada masyarakat India. Malah, ianya akan disalah gunakan untuk kepentingan sendiri yang amat merugikan masyarakat India.

Selasa, 9 September 2014

Kerajaan Harus Mendengar Dan Lebih Prihatin Dalam Menangani Isu Kejatuhan Harga Getah Yang Melibatkan Kesengsaraan Ekonomi 427,000 Orang Pekebun Kecil

Kenyataan Media YB V.Sivakumar Ahli Parlimen Batu Gajah & Timbalan Pengerusi DAP Perak pada 7 September 2014 di Ipoh

 Getah merupakan komoditi perdagangan yang penting bagi Malaysia dari dahulu lagi. Pada suatu ketika dahulu getah menjadi tulang belakang ekonomi negara kita. Pada masa ini, walaupun getah tidak lagi menjadi komoditi perdagangan utama kita, tetapi sumbangannya dalam urusniaga antarabangsa tidak boleh diperkecilkan.

Masih lagi ramai terutamanya pekebun-pekebun kecil getah masih bergantung kepada industri ini sebagai bekalan pendapatan utama bagi menyara hidup mereka. Kini, Malaysia merupakan negara kelima terbesar di dunia menghasilkan 845,000 tan metrik getah asli setahun.

Masalah yang amat ketara dalam sektor tanaman getah ialah mengenai harga pasaran bagi getah. Harga getah adalah amat bergantung kepada mekanisme keseimbangan diantara permintaan dan penawaran di pasaran antarabangsa. Ketidak stabilan harga merupakan merupakan satu risiko besar dalam pasaran komoditi.

 Perkara ini memang tidak dapat dielakkan oleh negara-negara yang terlibat dalam pasaran ini. Malaysia, Thailand dan Indonesia merupakan pengeluar getah asli yang utama di dunia. Ketiga-tiga negara ini menghasilkan hampir 70% daripada pengeluaran getah asli dunia.

Harga pasaran getah ditentukan oleh permintaan dan penawaran di pasaran antarabangsa. Selain daripada mekanisme penentuan harga melalui permitaan dan penawaran terdapat juga beberapa faktor lain yang turut mempengaruhi harga getah seperti ekonomi antarabangsa, sosio-politik global, kewujudan stok, pertukaraan mata wang asing dan spekulasi pasaran getah. Penawaran getah juga boleh berubah-ubah mengikut keadaan.

Pada masa ini hampir 70% daripada getah yang dihasilkan digunakan dalam industri membuat tayar. China merupakan negara pengguna utama getah asli iaitu 40% daripada penawaran dibeli oleh negara tersebut. Ini adalah kerana China merupakan salah sebuah negara yang giat mengeluarkan tayar. Pada masa ini boleh dikatakan kira-kira 30% daripada tayar global datangnya daripada negara China.

Pengunaan getah di China telah meningkat kepada 4.15 juta tan pada tahun 2013 berbanding dengan hanya 2.84 juta tan pada tahun 2007 iaitu peningkatan sebanyak 46%. Oleh yang demikian, harga geta pada hari ini amat dipengaruhi oleh permintaan negara tersebut.

Memang tidak dapat dinafikan permintaan untuk getah asli berkadar langsung dengan industri automotif. Ini bermakna jika sekiranya industri automotif berkembang, permintaan untuk getah asli juga akan turut bertambah. Sebaliknya, jika industri automotif menjadi mundur, ini akan pasti menurunkan permintaan untuk getah. Pada dasarnya permintaan untuk getah adalah berkait terus dengan industri aotomotif dunia yang sebahagian besarnya dikawal oleh China, Amerika Syarikat, Jepun dan Kesatuan Eropah.

Selain daripada itu, getah asli juga terpaksa menghadapi persaingan dengan getah sintetik. Perbezaan harga diantara getah asli dan getah sintetik juga akan menjadi satu lagi faktor yang perlu diambil kira dalam menilai risiko yang dihadapi oleh pengusaha-pengusaha getah asli.

Getah tiruan dihasilkan daripada sejenis bahan mentah iaitu Butadiena. Bahan mentah ini diperolehi daripada proses penapisan petroleum. Jika kos penghasilan dan harga Butadiena meningkat, maka ini sewajarnya meningkatkan permintaan untuk getah asli sebagai pengganti getah tiruan.

Pada masa ini, kita menghadapi masalah penurunan harga getah. Penunurun yang ketara berlaku sejak bulan Jun 2012. Penurunan ini dikatakan berpunca daripada 3 faktor :

1) Krisis hutang negara-negara zon Eropah
2) Kelembaban ekonomi China
3) Pergolakan politik Timur Tengah dan Thailand

Menurut Laporan International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) jumlah stok getah asli sehingga bulan September 2013 berada pada paras 2.09 juta tan iaitu peningkatan sebanyak 13.5% bagi tempoh yang sama pada tahun 2012. Selain daripada itu, peningkatan stok sebanyak 270,000 tan juga direkodkan di Qingdao, China iaitu pelabuhan kemasukan getah ke negara tersebut.

Disamping itu, stok getah di Shanghai Futures Exchange juga berada ada paras 225,000 tan, peningkatan tertinggi sejak tahun 2007. Ini bermakna telah berlaku lambakan stok getah asli di China yang menjadi salah satu punca utama dalam penurunan permintaan untuk getah asli. Ini sememangnya akan menurunkan harga pasaran untuk getah asli.

Selain daripada itu, penutupan kilang-kilang di negara tersebut pada bulan Jan dan Februari 2014 kerana sambutan Tahun Baru Cina juga telah mempengaruhi permintaan untuk getah. Di tambah lagi, isu kelembaban atau kemerosotan pengeluaran kederaan di China dan Amerika Syarikat juga menggangu permintaan untuk getah asli pada bulan Jan 2014. Dikatakan bahawa terdapat lebihan penawaran getah asli sebanyak 384, 000 tan pada tahun 2014.

Kejatuhan harga getah yang dialami sejak bulan Februari 2011 adalah berpunca daripada ketidakseimbangan diantara kadar pertumbuhan penawaran getah asli berbanding dengan kadar pertumbuhan permintaan. Ini diikuti dengan keadaan kemelesetan ekonomi yang dihadapi di kalangan negara-negara pengeluar getah asli yang utama di dunia.

Mengikut rekod, getah asli telah mencapai harga tertinggi iaitu 1717 sen per kg pada 18 Februari 2011. Selepas itu, harga getah asli mulai turun kerana permintaan menjadi semakin lembab. Penurun harga getah ini telah memberi kesan yang amat negatif kepada pekebun-pekebun kecil. Pendapatan mereka telah jatuh dengan banyaknya. Peningkatan kos hidup dan penurunan dalam pendapatan telah amat menggangu status sosio-ekononomi kaum pekebun ini.

Mereka terpaksa menghadapi keperitan hidup tanpa banyak bantuan daripada pihak kerajaan. Walau bagaimapun terdapat juga beberapa langkah yang diambil oleh kerajaan untuk menangani masalah ini. Tetapi, sejauh manakah tindakan-tindakan yang diambil itu dapat membantu pekebun-pekebun kecil getah tersebut?

Sebagai contoh, kerajaan melalui Kementerian Perusahaan Perladangan Dan Komoditi telah memperkenalkan KAT-G iaitu Kad Autoriti Transaksi Getah melalui Lembaga Getah Malaysia. Bagai manakah tindakan ini sebenarnya berkesan dalam membantu pekebun-pekebun kecil menghadapi kesegsaraan ekonomi ? Walaupun jutaan ringgit dibelanjakan oleh kerajaan melalui Skim Bantuan Pendapatan Pekebun Kecil Getah (2001) dan Bantuan Khas Kejatuhan Harga Getah (2013), tetapi masalah yang dihadapi oleh pekebun-pekebun kecil masih meruncing lagi.

Sejauh manakah kerjasama 3 negara iaitu Malaysia, Indonesia dan Thailand yang dikenali sebagai International Tripartite Rubber Council yang memperkenalkan Supply Management Scheme dan Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme membantu menangani masalah penurunan harga getah ini? Walaupun beberapa langkah diambil dalam negeri dan juga melalui hubungan antarabangsa tetapi kesan penurunan harga getah masih lagi menekan golongan pekebun-pekebun kecil ini.

Kerajaan harus mengkaji semula semua langkah-langkah yang telah diambil untuk mengatasi masalah ini. Perkara ini tidak boleh dibiarkan begitu sahaja kerana mangsa-mangsa yang ditampar akibat kejatuhan harga getah adalah pekebun-pekebut kecil yang miskin dan memerlukan bantuan segera daripada kerajaan. Di negara kita terdapat 427,000 orang pekebun kecil yang mengusahakan keluasan tanah kira-kira 1.3juta hektar. Kerajaan harus menggunakan MARDEC dan RISDA untuk mencari jalan penyelesaian dengan segera untuk membantu mereka.

Dalam satu kenyataan yang dibuat oleh Menteri Kemajuan Luar Bandar Dan Wilayah, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal berkata kerajaan melalui RISDA akan memberi tumpuan untuk meningkatkan produktiviti getah sebagai alat bagi menangani kejatuhan harga getah. Bagaimanakah peningkatan dalam produktiviti getah akan dapat mengatasi masalah penurunan harga getah? Pada hemat saya, peningkatan produktivi dari segi kualiti dan kuantiti penghasilan getah tidak boleh menyelesaikan masalah ini. Harga getah ditentukan oleh pasaran antarabangsa. Malah, peningkatan dalam produktiviti iaitu dari segi kauntiti mungkin akan menjejaskan lagi harga pasaran pada masa hadapan.

Adalah kerajaan bercadang untuk melaksanakan 'social safety net' yang sesuai sebagai satu mekanisme untuk membantu pekebun-pekebun kecil getah? Jika ya, bilakah cadangan ini akan dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan ?

Charging Professor Azmi Sharom under the Sedition Act is a cowardly attack on academic freedom and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 3rd of September 2014

Yesterday, Professor Azmi Sharom, law professor at the University of Malaya was formally charged under Section 4(1)(b) and (c) of the Sedition Act 1948 for his comments in a Malay Mail online news article on the 14th of August, 2014. This is the section of the article in which he was quoted:[1]
Citing the Perak case, law lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom cautioned against such action outside the state assembly, and insisted the lawmakers wait until next sitting to indicate their lack of confidence.
“You don’t want a repeat of that, where a secret meeting took place,” the University of Malaya lecturer said, referring to the Perak crisis.
“I think what happened in Perak was legally wrong. The best thing to do is do it as legally and transparently as possible.”
Azmi said the open spectacle of a no-confidence motion would leave Khalid no choice but to resign from his post and possibly call for the dissolution of the state assembly,
“A vote by the house of representative should be done in the house of representative,” said Azmi.
(His quotes are in bold italics)

Professor Azmi was merely stating his academic opinion on what had transpired in Perak in 2009 which led to the fall of the then Pakatan Raykat state government. Many other stronger statements have been made by other academics, lawyers and former judges on the Perak episode and the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court decisions which followed.

For example, distinguished constitutional scholar, Professor Andrew Harding, wrote the following:

But the decision that came down from the Federal Court on the contrary endorses the idea that the fate of the people’s Government can be settled behind the scenes according to who-knows-what secret communications and extraneous considerations which would prevent the voter (or even, in this case, the MB himself) from understanding what had happened and why, and what attitude he or she should take towards the events and the standing of the Government)[2]

Emeritus Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi wrote the following:

The Judiciary has not come out of the Perak crisis well. When the case first reached the courts, a Judicial Commissioner gave judgements that deft understanding.[3]

Constitutional Professor Kevin YL Tan wrote the following:

In my comment “The Perak Crisis: Keep Focused on the Real Issues”, I could not help but note the willingness with which the Court of Appeal Judges were prepared to overturn a trial judge’s findings of fact. The recounting of acts went on for pages on end, and lamentably, the Federal Court did the same thing… The Federal Court castigated the High Court Judge for being perverse in refusing to believe the evidence of the State Legal Adviser and the documentary evidence before him even though they were not present at the trial.[4]

Former Court of Appeal judge, NH Chan, wrote the following:

The unconstitutional appointment of Zambry to the post makes him an imposter. This is a blatant unconstitutional exercise of a non-existent executive power by a pretentious constitutional monarch. Are we back to the days of the pretensions of King Charles I?[5]

Lawyer, Amer Hamzah Arshad, wrote the following:

The difference in treatment between Zambry’s and Nizar’s applications are like heaven and hell. The delay on the part of the Court of Appeal to hear Nizar’s setting aside application, deliberate or otherwise, also provokes one to wonder whether there were hidden hands hell-bent on preventing Nizar from continuing to perform his duties as MB despite the High Court decision which was made a day earlier?[6]

Lawyer, Art Harun, wrote the following:

In my humble view, and I say this with the greatest of respect to HRH the Sultan of Perak, the crisis in Perak was not caused by a lack of power. It was driven by a departure from conventions in the exercise of HRH’s discretion.[7]
(All of the quotes above are taken from “Perak: A State of Crisis, Loyarburok Publications, Petaling Jaya, 2010”)

The quotes above illustrate the fact that lawyers, judges and former judges, and law professors can and will have very strong opinions on a constitutional issue that is as controversial as the events which transpired in Perak in February 2009 and the associated legal cases which occurred in its aftermath. The decisions made to allow the change in government in Perak were heavily criticized as were the basis of the judgements of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

To charge Professor Azmi for expressing his academic opinion on the Perak issue in relation to the current political crisis in Selangor is mind boggling and a direct assault on academic freedom. If academics in Malaysia were to be targeted for expressing their academic opinions on controversial issues in the country, it would be akin to putting a muzzle on academia. This is a cowardly act and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. I call on all others who value academic freedom, in and outside Malaysia, to do the same.