Jangan ugut gerakan masyarakat sivil untuk diam (BM/ENG)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Bersih 2.0 Sabah menyelar kenyataan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur Peter Anthony yang seolah-olah ingin mengawal gerakan masyarakat sivil daripada menyuarakan suara mereka membela komuniti yang terjejas dengan projek kerajaan.

Menurut laporan akhbar Borneo Post, Peter Anthony mengatakan bahawa gerakan masyarakat sivil seperti Pacos tidak seharusnya menghasut orang dan mematuhi undang-undang serta peraturan. Beliau juga menambah beliau akan mencadangkan akta untuk mengawal pergerakan NGO.

Kenyataan sebegini adalah memalukan dan tidak menggambarkan aspirasi rakyat menukar kerajaan terdahulu yang seringkali menutup serta membungkam suara rakyat.

Gerakan masyarakat sivil terutamanya gerakan yang mewakili komuniti yang terkesan dengan projek mega kerajaan hanya menggemakan suara komuniti mereka memandangkan mereka yang akan menanggung kesan dan disesarkan daripada tapak-tapak projek yang dijalankan.

Selain itu, Peter Anthony wajib menghormati kebebasan bersuara yang termaktub dalam Perkara 10 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Rakyat di peringkat terbawah hanya mempunyai suara sebagai saluran untuk mengkritik dan menegur dasar serta polisi kerajaan yang tidak mengambil kira kepentingan komuniti dan rakyat terbanyak.

Kepentingan rakyat Sabah seringkali dikorbankan seperti kata pepatah “Harapkan pegar, pegar yang makan padi”. Kebebasan bersuara dan masyarakat sivil yang kuat boleh mengelakkan ini berulang.

Kenyataan menteri menimbulkan persoalan: apakah ini untuk membela pegar yang harap dapat makan padi? Sekiranya tidak, kerajaan boleh menghadapi semakan dan pantauan masyarakat sivil dengan hati yang berani dan terbuka – jawab sebarang kesangsian rakyat dengan fakta dan logik, bukan takut sampai ingin senyapkan suara rakyat.

Rakyat Sabah mengubah kerajaan terdahulu dengan harapan demokrasi dan kebebasan bersuara lebih subur. Seharusnya sebagai seorang menteri lebih mendekati dan memahami tuntutan gerakan masyarakat sivil, bukannya mengugut untuk mengawal demi membungkamkan suara rakyat.

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Sabah Bersih 2.0

English version

Do not threaten to silence civil society

Sabah Bersih 2.0 condemns Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony’s statement which sounds as though he wants to control and prevent civil society from speaking up to defend local communities affected by government projects.

According to a Borneo Post article, Peter Anthony said that NGOs such as Pacos should abide by the law and regulations of the state and should not be allowed to incite the people. He added that he will propose an update to the act that governs the NGOs.

Statements such as these are truly embarrassing and do not reflect the people’s aspiration to change the past government, which shut down and silenced the people’s voices.

Civil society organisations, especially groups that represent communities affected by mega government projects, echo the voices of their communities seeing that they will be affected and displaced from the sites of mega projects.

In other words, Peter Anthony must respect the right to freedom of speech as enshrined in the Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. Citizens at the lower rung of society have only their voices as a channel to criticise and disapprove government policies that do not take into account the interests of the community and the people at large.

Sabahans’ interests are often sacrificed and preyed on by the one entrusted to protect them. The freedom of speech and a strong civil society can prevent this from recurring.

The minister’s statement raises a question: is this to defend the predator? If not, then the government can face civil society’s scrutiny and checks with a bold and open heart – to respond to scepticism with facts and logic, instead of fear, to the point of wanting to silence the people.

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Sabahans changed the previous government with the hope that democracy and freedom of speech will become more vibrant. As a minister, he should aspire to be closer to, and understand the demands of civil society organisations, not threaten to control for the sake of silencing the voices of the rakyat.

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Gimano Sanoki
18 Jul 2019 8.32am

Rakyat memilih untuk perobahan kerajaan dengan penuh harapan hak kepentingan Rakyat berhak bersuara. Kerajaan baru kena berani dan adil dalam hal hal yang dibangkitkan Rakyat yang bertentangan dengan tindak tanduk ke