Thursday, January 05, 2012

Haris Ibrahim resigns as President of MCLM

Haris Ibrahim committed to ABU and a Pro-Rakyat Government

The following is posted in his blog and reproduced here:

January 2, 2012

"From the very first post in this blog to this day, my political viewpoint has been the same.If we are to transform this into a nation of a single, united people, and to finally start to see a just distribution of the nation’s wealth, to offer equal educational and economic opportunities to all our children, and, most importantly, to restore vital institutions of state back to their role as servants of the people, UMNO and BN had to be removed from Putrajaya.

My faith, though, in seeing this realised, has been with an awakening people working with the non-BN political parties who are truly pro-rakyat.This, too, remains unchanged.

On October 30, 2010, whilst attending to guests at an SABM dinner- lecture, I received an sms from RPK informing me that that very night, in London, at the inaugural meeting of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, I had been unanimously elected as President.

3 weeks later, I was in Manchester where, after much deliberation with RPK, I agreed to accept the position subject to our agreement on several issues.I will only mention two here that I believe relevant to the difficult decision I have made today.

First, matters of policy and direction of MCLM were to be determined and made after mutual consultation and consensus between us.

Second, RPK would oversee the administrative affairs of MCLM, in his capacity as chairman, as well as look into all overseas matters. whilst I would drive our operations here at home.

In December, 2010, in London, RPK announced the launch of our Barisan Rakyat Independent Candidate Initiative. In July, last year, MCLM announced the deployment of our first candidate, Dr Neduchelian, in the Kapar consitutuency.

In December, last year, after conferring with RPK, MCLM joined several other groups in issuing a warning to Najib that should he call snap elections without first carrying through the electoral reforms demanded by BERSIH 2.0, he should brace himself for street rallies that might culminate in his government being toppled. I wish to reiterate here that this was no idle threat.

Again, after conferring with RPK, MCLM had, last month, firmly aligned itself with the many NGOs and several political parties that hve given life to the Asalkan Bukan UMNO or Anything But UMNO (ABU) initiative.

Yesterday, the New Straits Times published an interview with RPK that was conducted in Singapore last week. I had been informed by RPK whilst I was with him in Phuket over the Christmas holiday that this interview was to take place. I was not, however, fully appraised of all that was to be said in the course of the interview.

The matters spoken of by RPK have been quite wide-ranging. I only propose to allude here to the two parts that have led me to the decision I have made today.

Under the heading “Rights group not a third force – RPK” that appeared in the NST and is reproduced in full on Malaysia Today, RPK is reported to have said that “MCLM had decided it would not field any candidates for the coming general election”.

I can confirm now that no such decision has been made after due consultation.And under the heading RPK – Anwar may become irrelevant”, also reproduced in full on Malaysia Today, RPK is reported to have said that “the Egypt-style people’s revolution was not an answer for Malaysia due to the delicate racial balance. “They (Chinese voters) don’t want Tahrir Square type of change”.”

These comments just referred to greatly undermine efforts I am making, albeit through MLCM, in the ABU initiative.It also saddens me that even as initiatives like SABM (Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia) and so many others continue daily to undo the ill-effects of UMNO- BN’s 40 over years of race-based, divide-and-rule, my friend should continue to see us as Malays, Chinese, Indians, and others.

I remain committed to all efforts to see this a nation of a single people, all equal. And I am fully committed to the cause of ABU.

In the circumstances, I find it impossible to continue to serve MCLM as its president.I have communicated my resignation to RPK by email.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the many who have come forward and volunteered their time and energy towards the cause of MCLM. We could not have made it this far without you.

I want to apologise to the funders in UK for this sudden decision of mine and pray that they will understand that my commitment to see change in our country, whether through elections or on the streets, remains unwavering.

To my friends in Sabah and Sarawak, my commitment to your pursuit of the promises of the 1963 agreement and to rid yourselves of the curse that UMNO and BN have become, remain on course."

I am fully committed to the reforms that we have, up to now, been pressing to see introduced by a new pro-rakyat government in Putrajaya. God willing, we will, together, plant love, tenderness and respect in this land of ours."

I am sorry I spoke too soon. I was sadly mistaken as I thought it would have been normal for close colleagues in common cause to consult each other and discuss substantive policy matters before either of them gave an interview.

Policy differences on MCLM caused a serious rift between RPK and Haris Ibrahim, making it impossible for the latter to continue as MCLM President. Haris has decided to be part of the ABU movement so that he may continue with his reform efforts. Good luck, Haris and May God Bless you.--Din Merican

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