Month: August 2010

PRESS STATEMENT – 20 August 2010

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan) views with grave concern the continuing occurrence of incidents where racial hatred is incited,  the latest being the statement made by the Johor  school headmaster during a school assembly.

It is unacceptable to suggest, as stated by the Department of Education that it considers the matter closed and that the matter has been settled between the said principal and the students and/or their parents.

This incident has been widely publicized and is a matter that affects the whole nation. It is also irresponsible to suggest that it is merely a misunderstanding.

Keadilan demands that the said Principal be suspended pending an investigation and if found true that she did indeed make such remarks, she should be immediately removed.

These recurring incidents of incitement of racial hatred and racial insults are a manifestation of a bigger problem i.e the Barisan Nasional Government’s tacit encouragement of incitement of racism and lack of real  political will to curtail such behaviour.

As long as draconian laws such as the ISA and Sedition Act exists and used to stifle healthy discussions and openly allowing extremist groups  to continue inciting racism with impunity, this problem will fester.

Keadilan’s view is that statements such as that made by the Johor principal are not isolated incidents and must be dealt with a holistic and comprehensive approach.

Our answer is to provide a genuine multiracial political paradigm based on principles of fairness, respecting human rights, democracy and justice to all and to reject race based politics.

Further, we and Pakatan Rakyat are committed to the enactment of a Race Relations Act to deal with such instances of incitement of hatred, to provide mechanisms for resolution of such problems when they occur and to safeguard unity and harmony of the rakyat.

Mohamed Azmin Ali

Vice President

Parti Keadilan Rakyat

20 August 2010

UMNO shoving press freedom to the gallows

By Mohamed Azmin Ali

19 August – If recent poll numbers are anything to go by, it indicates that the mainstream medialack credibility and the public’s increasing thirst for alternative news.

UMNO’s allergy to dissent is highlighted by no other than Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who couldn’t have picked a better time to reaffirm what most informed Malaysians are already aware of.

By stressing that the media should heed to the ‘government aspiration of the 1Malaysia concept’, Hishamuddin has officially nailed UMNO in its coffin.

Such obstinate statements heaped on to the already dented image of the mainstream media following the historic political tsunami of March ’08.

On the other hand, the 1Malaysia aspiration seem to be lost on UMNO-controlled Utusan Malaysia that thrives on extreme racial undertone polarizing the communities even further.

All these are carried out when Najib Razak’s government is desperate to present his ‘aspiration’ to the people.

Apco must have been doing a woeful job with their RM77 million contract to repair the government’s image with sub-standard messaging and policies lacking in substance.

With regards to the media’s role, be it mainstream or alternative, they should be reporting the truth without fear or favour.

Media should refrain from being used as a tool promoting cheap political agenda and unbiased reporting is vital for a more vibrant press in the country.

Media freedom will almost never happen under the UMNO-BN leadership that constantly and perhaps interminably interfere its editorial content.

Can the media be nothing else than the mouthpiece for the government’s political agenda?

The constraints on media freedom do not end there, as PKR’s owned publication Suara Keadilan had become the latest victim of this modern style oppression and slavery.

The Printing Presses and Publications Act is another draconian act that allows the government to silence and even to the extent of shutting down media organization not in line with the government.

Worse still, the government has been known to withdraw publishers licenses indefinitely resulting in a floodgate of repercussions, where violaters risk arrest.

UMNO-BN arrogantly justifies this by insisting that freedom has its limits in order to preserve racial and religious harmony, the two key taboo terms in Malaysian politics.

But where do we, as politicians from both of the divide draw the line? How would that be even possible if media freedom, in the country, is a double-edged sword?

If the stranglehold on media freedom continues, it would be like sending democracy to the gallows where its head would be chopped off, halting the breath of liberty

Jadual Bulan Ramadhan 1431H

Ramadhan Kareem,

Berikut adalah jadual saya di sepanjang bulan Ramadhan 1431H. Semoga ibadah kita mendapat keberkatan dan keredhaanNya.


10 Ogos 2010 ( Selasa ) ~ 30 Sya’aban 1431H

  • 2040 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh Serta Penyerahan Cek – Masjid Al – Khairiah AU3

11 Ogos 2010 ( Rabu ) ~ 1 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 0552 – Solat Suboh – Masjid Jami’il Huda, Kg. Melayu Ampang
  • 1728 – Iftar bersama keluarga – Kampong Klang Gate
  • 2041 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Kampung Klang Gate

12 Ogos 2010 ( Khamis )  ~ 2 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 0551 – Solat Suboh – Surau Ubudiah, Pangsapuri PKNS, Jalan 4 M, Ampang Jaya
  • 1830 – Iftar, Solat Maghrib, Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh Bersama YAB Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor – Kediaman Rasmi Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor Jalan Permata 7 / 1, Seksyen 7 Shah Alam

13 Ogos 2010 ( Jumaat ) ~ 3 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 0551 – Solat Suboh – Madrasah Ihsaniah, Jalan 14, Ampang Jaya
  • 1321 – Solat Jumaat – Masjid Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
  • 1800 – Iftar Bersama Tuanku Sultan dan Sumbangan Aidilfitri disusuli Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Sultan Salahudin Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam

14 Ogos 2010 ( Sabtu ) ~ 4 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 0553 – Solat Suboh – Masjid Al – Ridhuan, Batu 7 ½ , Hulu Kelang
  • 1927 – Iftar Bersama Keluarga – Taman TAR, Ampang
  • 2039 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Al – Ansar, Jalan Enggang Timur, Taman Keramat

15 Ogos 2010 ( Ahad )  ~ 5 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 0553 – Solat Suboh – Surau Al Muhajirin, Taman Sri Ukay / Hillview

16 Ogos 2010 ( Isnin )  ~ 6 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1926 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Madrasah Ihsaniah, Jalan 14, Ampang Jaya
  • 2038 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Madrasah Al – Huda, Lorong Enggang 6, Taman Keramat

17 Ogos 2010 (Selasa ) ~  7 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1730 – Iftar Bersama Tuanku Sultan dan Sumbangan Aidilfitri disusuli Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Al – Faizin, Jalan Satu, Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong

18 Ogos 2010 ( Rabu ) ~  8 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1700 – Iftar Bersama Tuanku Sultan disusuli Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Tengku Kelana Jaya Petra, Kelana Jaya

19 Ogos 2010 ( Khamis ) ~  9 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1925 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Surau Nurul Hijrah Al – Khalidiah, Kg Melayu Sg Sering
  • 2036 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Surau Al – Falahiah, Lot 1097 Jalan Haji Mokhtar, Kampung Pasir, Hulu Kelang

20 Ogos 2010 ( Jumaat ) ~  10 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1320 – Solat Jumaat – Masjid Kampong Nakhoda, Batu Caves

21 Ogos 2010 ( Sabtu ) ~  11 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1700 sehingga 2230 – MAJLIS JAMUAN BERBUKA PUASA JALINAN UKHWAH DI RAMADHAN AL-MUBARAK Anjuran YAYASAN SELANGOR – Dewan Sivik, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jaya

22 Ogos 2010 ( Ahad ) ~  12 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1924 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Surau Al-Ehsan Casmaria, Casmaria Apartment, Jalan Samudra Utama
  • 2035 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Surau Al-Kahfi, Pinggiran Batu Caves

23 Ogos 2010 ( Isnin ) ~  13 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1924 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Surau Taman Permata, Jalan Permata 4, Taman Permata
  • 2035 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Al Syakirin, Batu 5 ¾ Jalan Gombak

24 Ogos 2010 ( Selasa) ~  14 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 2034 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Jamek Al-Amaniah, (Dato’ Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man)

25 Ogos 2010 ( Rabu ) ~  15 Ramadhan 1431H

  •  1923 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib Bersama Anak Yatim – Surau At – Taqwa, Ukay Perdana
  • 2034 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Madrasahtul Islamiah, Rumah Pangsa Taman Keramat

26 Ogos 2010 ( Khamis ) ~  16 Ramadhan 1431

  • 2033 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Sungai Chinchin, Batu 7 Gombak

27 Ogos 2010 ( Jumaat ) ~  17 Ramadhan 1431H


28 Ogos 2010 ( Sabtu ) ~  18 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1922 – Program Remaja dan Sumbangan Zakat Untuk Anak-Anak Yatim dan Fakir Miskin Dan Iftar Serta Solat Maghrib – Surau Al-Izzah, Taman Samudera Selatan 10
  • 2032 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Surau Jabal Nur, Jalan SG 9/8, Taman Sri Gombak

29 Ogos 2010 ( Ahad ) ~  19 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1922 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Surau Bukit Mulia, Bukit Antarabangsa
  • 2032 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Masjid Bukit Antarabangsa, (Ust Zulkarnain Hamzah)

31 Ogos 2010 ( Selasa ) ~  21 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1921 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Surau Al – Karimiah, Kampung Laksamana, Batu Caves
  • 2031 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Surau Al – Hijrah, Tanah Gantian, Kampung Sungai Tua
  • 2200 – Majlis Qatam Al Quran – Surau Taman Selayang

1 September  2010 ( Rabu ) ~  22 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 0551 – Solat Suboh – Surau Ar – Raudhah Islamiah, Jalan AU 3/29
  • 2030 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Madrasah Addinniah, Jalan Bukit Antarabangsa

2 September 2010 ( Khamis ) ~  23 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1920 – Majlis Penyampaian Sumbangan Hari Raya kepada Anak-Anak Yatim Disusuli Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Surau Al – Hidayah Flat Taman Dato’ Ahmad Razali
  • 2030 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Surau Ubudiah, Pangsapuri PKNS, Jalan 4M, Ampang Jaya

3 September 2010 ( Jumaat ) ~  24 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1700 – Majlis Penyampaian Manfaat Mesra Usia Emas dan Aidilfitri  DUN Permatang dan Iftar, Solat Maghrib, Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Dewan Orangramai Kampung Seri Tiram Jaya, Tanjung Karang

4 September 2010 ( Sabtu ) –  25 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1800 – Penyampaian Sumbangan Hari Raya Dari Rumah ke Rumah, Ahli Parlimen Gombak Bersama ADN Batu Caves
  • 1900 – Majlis Penyampaian Sumbangan Hari Raya Beserta Iftar dan Solat Maghrib  – Surau Sirajul Huda, Taman Sri Batu Caves
  • 2029 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Surau An – Nur, Taman Jasa, Batu Caves

5 September 2010 ( Ahad ) ~  26 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1919 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Masjid Al Khairiah, AU 3
  • 2028 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Surau Darussa’adah, Jalan AU1C/2A, Taman Keramat Permai
  • 2230 – Majlis Penyampaian Sumbangan Hari Raya – Masjid Al – Khairiyah AU3

6 September  2010 ( Isnin ) ~  27 Ramadhan 1431H

  • 1918 – Iftar dan Solat Maghrib – Hulu Langat
  • 2028 – Solat Isyak dan Tarawikh – Hulu Langat

7 September  2010 ( Selasa ) ~  28 Ramadhan 1431H


Mohamed Azmin Ali

 30 Sya’aban 1431H

Nota : Jadual tertakluk kepada pindaan

Musuh Sebenar Umat Melayu

Oleh Mohamed Azmin Ali

14 Ogos – Politik yang membakar sentimen perkauman boleh sahaja diibaratkan sebagai “low morale and uncharismatic profession”; ungkapan yang sering disebutkan oleh Anwar Ibrahim tatkala beliau memimpin ABIM lebih 30 tahun lalu.

Benteng terakhir Umno sebagai parti tunjang Barisan Nasional (BN) ialah dengan menyalakan bara sentimen di kalangan orang Melayu.

Media perdana saban hari membayangkan kononnya Keadilan dan Pakatan Rakyat mengkhianati kepentingan orang Melayu.

Ini ditambah dengan provokasi untuk melaga-lagakan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dengan Raja-Raja Melayu.

Walhal, musuh sebenar yang patut ditentang bukanlah mana-mana Sultan, tetapi dua tiga kerat pemimpin elit Umno.

Soal salah guna kuasa, rasuah dan kecurangan terhadap amanah kalangan pemimpin elit Umno ditutup sebelah mata.

Umno memekik agar orang Melayu—sebagai kaum majoriti di negara ini—bersatu, bersatu, bersatu.

Tetapi persoalannya, bersatu untuk apa?

Reformasi juga menyerukan perpaduan, termasuk kepada umat Melayu.

Namun pada masa sama, dokongan semua rakyat jelata tanpa mengira kaum, agama mahupun ras penting untuk menjayakan agenda perubahan.

Apakah asas kepada jeritan perpaduan Melayu ini?

Kita tidak rela kalau perpaduan bangsa hanya untuk mengizinkan pimpinan elit Umno dan sang penguasa berterusan menggunakan kuasa mereka mengamal rasuah dan memperkaya diri sendiri.

Seandainya umat Melayu termakan umpan dan bersatu menyokong kecurangan sedemikian rupa, maka di hujung jalan kelak, musibah akan melanda bangsa dan negara ini.

Lihat sahaja bagaimana Hitler di Jerman dahulu, yang menyeru bangsanya untuk bersatu, tetapi beliau menggunakan kesempatan itu untuk menindas dan membunuh kaum lain.

Keterlanjuran diktator seperti Hitler adalah antara unsur yang menyumbang kepada tercetusnya Perang Dunia.

Begitu juga perpaduan yang diseru atas nama ideologi; sama ada di Rusia, China, di negara-negara Blok Timur di Eropah dan beberapa negara Latin Amerika; kesatuan rakyat yang akhirnya kembali membinasakan rakyat.

Perpaduan dan penyatuan sama sekali tidak boleh digunakan untuk perkara yang akhirnya mengongkong kerana kongkongan adalah hal yang bertentangan dengan jaminan Tuhan bahawa setiap manusia itu dilahirkan dengan maruah yang perlu dijamin.

Di antara laungan perpaduan Melayu dan senda politik perkauman ala-Utusan Malaysia, adalah bahawa orang Melayu tertindas dan merintih di negeri sendiri selama lebih separuh abad.

Kita bertambah sayu dan marah dengan berita bagaimana lebih 700 peneroka Felda mendakwa ditipu hasil jualan kelapa sawit sehingga mereka akhirnya mengemukan saman terhadap Felda.

Setiap seorang daripada mereka pada tahun 2008 sahaja dilaporkan kerugian sehingga RM20 ribu!

RM20 ribu mungkin bukan jumlah yang banyak kepada Ketua Bahagian ataupun Ketua Cawangan Umno. Jumlah itu juga terlalu kecil kepada bapak-bapak Menteri, bahkan terlalu kecil untuk Timbalan Perdana Menteri apatah lagi Perdana Menteri.

Namun, sejumlah RM20 ribu itu terlalu besar jumlahnya kepada peneroka yang meneroka hutan bergadai nyawa sehingga terbentang ladang kelapa sawit yang memberikan keuntungan jutaan ringgit kepada Felda.

Siapakah peneroka-peneroka ini? Bukankah kesemua di antara mereka adalah orang Melayu?

Arakian musuh orang Melayu akhirnya bukan kaum Cina ataupun India tetapi pemimpin Melayu Umno yang korup.

Apakah umumnya Melayu yang juga Muslim dapat disanggah perintah Allah S.W.T. dalam surah al-Hujurat, ayat 13 yang menjelaskan bahawa kepelbagaian kaum dan bangsa itu juga adalah tanda kebesaran Allah S.W.T.?

Maksud firmanNya: “Wahai manusia sesungguhnya kami jadikan kamu lelaki dan perempuan dan kami jadikan kamu berbangsa-bangsa dan berpuak-puak supaya kamu kenal-mengenal. Sesungguhnya sebaik-baik kamu di sisi Allah ialah yang paling bertakwa di antara kamu.”

Kita bersyukur apabila mutakhir ini umumnya orang Melayu nampaknya cukup matang dan tidak mudah terperangkap dengan polemik diskaun perumahan Bumiputera 7 peratus untuk belian hartanah dan rumah mewah.

Pelbagai lagi inisiatif dan subsidi yang sebenarnya masih dikurniakan pemerintah kepada golongan kaya tanpa mengira bangsa dan keturunan.

Malang seribu kali malang apabila dalam masa sama, subsidi kepada rakyat dihakis sehinggakan ayam dan gula di dapur juga semakin mahal.

Sebaliknya, yang harus dibicarakan adalah rumah yang mampu dimiliki rakyat pada harga yang munasabah yang memberikan keselesaan kepada rakyat marhaen yang sudah pasti melibatkan majoriti umat Melayu.

Lihat sahaja bagaimana kualiti rumah untuk rakyat miskin dibina tanpa menitikberatkan kualiti hidup rakyat.

Dapurnya sempit, kamar tidurnya bersiling rendah, bilik mandinya dipasang dengan jubin yang tidak berkualiti, tiada padang permainan dan jumlah rumah yang terlalu padat.

Ini adalah realiti sebenar di hampir setiap bandar dan kota di negara ini.

Kesempitan dan himpitan hidup yang tertimpa kepada majoriti Melayu berlaku tatkala tanah dan kawasan strategik di kota-kota diserahkan kepada tauke-tauke dan kroni.

Justeru itu, gaya politik yang memainkan api sentimen perkauman hanya sebagai gaya politik yang seperti diungkapkan Anwar sebagai “bermoral rendah dan tidak berkarismatik.”

Namun secara konsisten dan perlahan-lahan, orang-orang Melayu sendiri akan menghumban sang penguasa yang mengakibatkan hidup anak watan semakin melarat.

Lima puluh tahun adalah tempoh berkuasa yang terlalu lama bagi mereka.


Menyambung Amanah Bangsa

Oleh : Mohamed Azmin Ali

5 Ogos – Pemimpin yang hanya membela kaum sendiri, akan menyebabkan negerinya punah ranah. Tidak kiralah sama ada kaumnya itu merupakan majoriti mahupun minoriti.

Sejarah pahit Afrika Selatan – negara yang telah berjaya menganjurkan Piala Dunia baru-baru ini – pernah menyaksikan kaum minoriti kulit putih menindas kaum majoriti kulit hitam menerusi dasar perkauman yang dikenali sebagai Apartheid.

Penindasan dan ketidakadilan sedemikian juga turut berlaku di Amerika Syarikat sekitar 1940-an sehingga 70-an di mana kaum majoriti kulit putih menindas minoriti kulit hitam yang telah melahirkan satu gerakan ‘civil rights movement’.

Dari negara-negara ini jugalah lahirnya tokoh-tokoh pejuang demokrasi seperti Martin Luther King Jr di Amerika Syarikat sehinggalah Nelson Mandela di Afrika Selatan.

Para pejuang ini bangkit bersuara bukan hanya untuk mempertahankan hak kaum mereka sahaja tetapi juga kepada kaum yang dahulunya menindas. Berbekalkan tekad dan keazaman tersebutlah ianya telah menghasilkan masyarakat yang ‘egalitarian’ sepertimana yang kita saksikan hari ini.

Malaysia tidak dapat menolak arus massa dan kini mengalami getir ujian ini. Saki baki dasar dan kefahaman era penjajah semakin menjadi barah. Pengasingan antara kaum di dalam sektor ekonomi dan politik menimbulkan pelbagai konflik serta rasa tidak selesa di kalangan rakyat.

Melayu, yang di desa selalu dikaitkan sebagai pegawai pemerintah; Cina yang di pekan dan bandar sebagai peniaga; dan, India sebagai pekerja ladang di estet. Ini belum lagi diambil kira kondisi di Sabah dan Sarawak. Pemikiran yang kolot ini sudah mulai diseranah oleh rakyat.

Pemikiran feudal ini menyerap masuk ke dalam sistem pemerintahan dengan parti-parti politik dibahagikan mengikut kaum yang kini menjadi tembok penghadang kepada cita-cita melahirkan sebuah negara Malaysia yang bersatu padu.

Mungkin, lebih setengah abad yang lalu inilah persoalan yang mengganggu benak fikiran pendiri negara kita seperti Dato’ Onn Jaafar, Burhanuddin Al-Helmi, Ahmad Boestaman dan ramai lagi tokoh pejuang progresif.

Meskipun Dato’ Onn mulanya mendirikan parti untuk satu kaum, namun di dalam kesempatan yang singkat dan di ambang kemerdekaan, beliau segera pula mengorak  langkah menubuhkan wadah untuk semua kaum.

Beliau seakan-akan sudah dapat melihat kesilapan awal dan bahaya parti yang berasaskan kaum. Masa depan Malaysia adalah masa depan untuk semua warganegara atau seperti yang diungkapan sendiri oleh Dato’ Onn, “kepada sesiapa yang lahir dan mencurahkan taat setianya kepada negeri ini.”

Kita tak punya jalan berpatah balik. Kita harus mara, dan kepada pemimpin Melayu yang mewakili kaum majoriti di negeri ini, kita akan hanya terhormat apabila dapat menyuarakan kepentingan semua kaum dan wilayah.

Adalah sesuatu yang dusta kiranya kita bercakap mengenai kepentingan semua kaum, seraya melaungkan slogan “1Malaysia” tetapi suara itu datang daripada parti yang kebijakannya adalah dasar perkauman dan assabiyah.
Ia bertambah-tambah nista apabila gabungan-gabungan parti-parti tersebut dianggotai oleh parti-parti yang berlandaskan kaum masing-masing.

Kepura-puraan politik sebegini harus diketepi dan disingkir segera. Sikap perkauman melampau mengakibatkan polarisasi kaum dan ianya makin serius di era “1Malaysia”!

Dalam kekalutan dan riuh suara perkauman sempit yang bertujuan menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu khususnya, saya teringat puisi Usman Awang yang judulnya “Melayu”, yang saya gantungkan di pejabat saya sejak awal tercetusnya pejuangan Reformasi sedekad lalu lagi.

Antara lain, kalimah puisi itu berbunyi :

“Melayu itu kaya falsafahnya
Kias kata bidal pusaka
Akar budi bersulamkan daya
Gedung akal laut bicara”

Yang diseru dalam puisi Tongkat Waran ialah kesedaran untuk merungkai kebijaksanaan atau hikmah. Ia adalah asas penting sebelum kita mampu untuk menyambung tugas dan cita-cita perjuangan ‘founding fathers’ negara dan bangsa kita.

Menjelang Ramadhan Al-Mubarak yang mulia ini, marilah kita sama-sama merenung dan meningkatkan keringat kita untuk bersama kembali ke khittah (landasan) perjuangan.

Selamat berpuasa kepada seluruh umat Islam, semoga ibadah kita mendapat keberkatan dan keredhaanNya.

Malaysia’s Opposition on Trial

From Wall Street Journal
By AL Gore And Paul Wolfowitz

Anwar Ibrahim could be headed to prison again on trumped up charges. We urge the U.S. government to speak out on his behalf.

We come from opposite sides of the political spectrum and disagree about a great many things. However, one issue that brings us together is the case of Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia who is now leader of the political opposition in that country.

Mr. Anwar has been charged under very dubious circumstances with sodomy, a criminal offense under Malaysian law. If convicted, he faces a possible 20-year sentence—effectively life in prison for a man of 63. His trial, scheduled to resume next week, threatens not just Mr. Anwar but all those in Malaysia who have struggled for a freer and more democratic nation. It is also important for the rest of the world, because it casts a troubling shadow over the future of a nation that should be a model for other Muslim countries.?

Our views of Anwar Ibrahim have been formed completely independently of each other. We do not always agree with his views on foreign policy, but we do agree that as a political leader, statesman and intellectual, Mr. Anwar possesses qualities that encourage hope for the future. These qualities include lucidity and openness to debate and engagement; commitment to principles of accountability and good governance; and a serious concern for the future of his country and the world—not to mention his extraordinary courage in standing up for what he believes. We are convinced that he is committed to the values of pluralism, tolerance and freedom that are needed for Malaysia to flourish.

In the end, what matters is not our opinion of Mr. Anwar’s character, but the opinion of his fellow countrymen. Malaysians should decide for themselves, through an open electoral process, who they wish to lead them. They should not be deprived of that opportunity by an abuse of judicial power.

This is the second time that Mr. Anwar has been subjected to a politically?motivated trial on similar charges. The first time was in 1998, when as deputy prime minister and finance minister he dared to mount a challenge to then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed. Mr. Anwar was jailed, beaten severely, and condemned to years of solitary confinement after a trial that was a travesty of justice. That is not just our conclusion. It is the conclusion of the International Commission of Jurists, the International Bar Association, and a number of international human-rights organizations. It was also the conclusion of Malaysia’s highest court, which overturned the sodomy conviction in 2004, after Mr. Mahathir was no longer prime minister.

Mr. Anwar now leads the coalition of Malaysia’s three opposition parties, which won more than a third of the seats in the parliamentary elections of March 2008. This was the best showing that the opposition had ever managed against the governing coalition led by the United Malays National Organization, the party that has ruled the country for the past 53 years.

Three months after the election, Mr. Anwar threatened to call for a vote of no confidence in Parliament and take over the government. He was then arrested and charged again with sodomy. Like the charges 10 years earlier, the timing of these new charges carries the strong odor of political manipulation. And, if anything, the case against Mr. Anwar this time is even less credible and the violations of due process are even more egregious.

While Anwar Ibrahim is on trial before the state, the state is on trial before its people and the world. If he were to be convicted, the whole of Malaysia’s political life and its standing in the world would be damaged. And for what gain? The timing of the trial has led many observers to the conclusion that the objective is to stem the ruling party’s loss of popular support. Public opinion polls indicate that the great majority of Malaysians see the charges against Mr. Anwar as politically motivated. In any event, as Mr. Anwar himself would be the first to say, his imprisonment would not extinguish his cause. On the contrary, the movement he began a decade ago will continue to spread.

This is a pivotal moment in Malaysia’s history with consequences that are also meaningful on a global scale. With a population of nearly 30 million, Malaysia is not a small country. But it is also significant as an example of a Muslim-majority country making its way in the world. It has been able, over the first half-century of its independence, to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve economic growth while sustaining a degree of harmony among its religiously and ethnically diverse population.

In recent years, however, the country has been sliding backwards, with increasing exploitation of religious and ethnic differences for political purposes. The trial and conviction of Mr. Anwar would intensify these problems by destroying the confidence of millions of Malaysians in the possibility of justice under the law.

We urge our own government to make clear the importance the U.S. attaches to the role of the law in sustaining a political process in which justice and freedom are natural allies. We know from experience that sensitive issues of this kind are often best pursued quietly, government to government. But time is running out. A moment of truth is approaching.

Two days ago, a judge postponed Mr. Anwar’s trial in order to deal with charges of an improper relationship between a female prosecutor and Mr. Anwar’s accuser. This is an opportunity. Malaysia’s system of governance has the capacity to do the right thing—not only for Anwar Ibrahim, but for the millions of Malaysian citizens who look to him as a spokesman for their aspirations. We urge those in the Malaysian government who will decide this matter to act with wisdom.

Mr. Gore was the 45th vice president of the United States. Mr. Wolfowitz was deputy secretary of defense from 2001 to 2005.