Isnin, 17 Februari 2014

The Star Online: Nation

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Nation

Manila and MILF to sign deal

Posted: 16 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST


PETALING JAYA: After 13 years of talks, which nearly broke down at one point, the final agreement of the Malaysia-brokered peace deal for the southern Philippines is ready.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) will be signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with Malaysia being the official witness at the ceremony.

"Everything is ready and waiting to be signed either later this month or in March," said a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

As the facilitator to the peace process, Malaysia had hosted 43 rounds of talks since 2001 to help both parties end one of the world's longest-running insurgencies that had claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four decades.

The peace process nearly derailed in 2008 when the Philippine Supreme Court overturned an agreement on ancestral domain that both sides had inked, causing armed hostilities to flare up. The talks resumed three years later.

In October 2012, both sides signed a framework agreement in Manila, witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The framework paved the way for negotiations on four "annexes" or key aspects of a planned fully autonomous region known as Bangsamoro, across the Sabah border.

The annexes are on transitional arrangements and modalities; revenue generation and wealth sharing; power sharing; and normalisation of civil life in a conflict-free environment.

Both parties completed the talks in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 25, clearing the last hurdle to the signing of the CAB.

"The next step will be to complete the drafting of a Basic Law (Constitution) for the autonomous region," said the source, adding it was being drafted by a 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commis-sion made up of eight MILF representatives and seven from the Philippine government.

Once ratified, a Transitional Authority led by the MILF will take charge of the area until a Bangsamoro government is duly elected in 2016.

Following the election, the Bangsamoro will have a ministerial form of government led by a Chief Minister.

Its govermnment will have powers over ancestral domain and natural resources, land management, budgets and the creation of sources of revenues.

The Philippine central government will be in charge of defence, external security, foreign relations and immigration.


Related story:

Peace efforts finally bear fruit

Posted: 16 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

It may have taken 13 years, but the Philippine government and MILF are now ready to sign a final agreement.

IN a Kuala Lumpur hotel at about 10pm on Jan 25, negotiators from the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) thrashed out the sticking points on the "annexes" or key aspects of a planned autonomous region in Mindanao.

"There were issues that needed to be resolved right until the final hours of the talks but there was a strong sense of relief by all present that they had finally arrived," said a source.

The conclusion of talks on the annexes, which paved the way for the signing of a final peace agreement, marked a new high in the 13-year peace process that Malaysia had brokered.

Committed to helping bring about peace in the region, Malaysia first became involved as a facilitator in 2001 when the conflict was raging.

A ceasefire agreement was reached in 2003. In the ensuing year, an international monitoring team (IMT) headed by Malaysia started to operate.

The fighting reduced after the IMT was set up, with the number of armed skirmishes dropping from 569 in 2003 to fewer than 20 a year over the next four years.

The peace process nearly derailed in 2008 when the Philippine Supreme Court overturned an agreement on ancestral domain that both sides had inked, causing armed hostilities to flare up. The talks resumed three years later.

An international contact group (ICG), made up of states and non-governmental organisations, was set up in December 2009 to help revive the stalled peace process.

The push that got the ball rolling again came from Philippine President Benigno Aquino and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Both took office within a year of each other, with Najib becoming prime minister in April 2009 and Aquino's swearing in as president in June 2010.

The talks resumed in 2011, culminating in the completion of negotiations on the four annexes.

Stabilising a region in which hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced due to conflict could, in the long run, reduce the problem of illegal immigration in Sabah.

There is also the payoff from improved security.

"South-East Asia is a region of stability except for several pockets of conflicts, all of which are potential nests for militants.

"Resolving the conflict in Mindanao means reducing one more potential sanctuary for militants," said the source.

An improved perception of security will help draw in investors, including from Malaysia, into the southern Philippines.

The establishment of the Bangsamoro is planned for 2016, close to the creation of the Asean Economic Community by the end of 2015 that aims to spur the pace of development throughout the region.

"Both sides have been firm in their belief that this is a conflict that cannot be won through arms and the only option is through negotiations," said the source.

The extensive nature of the deal has few peers, the closest being the Northern Ireland Good Friday peace agreement in 1998.

Michael Vatikiotis, Asia regional director for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, which is a member of the ICG, said the Mindanao peace process is special because the process was inclusive and reflected a popular will to negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict.

"The agreement itself is as comprehensive as possible and is a model of its kind.

"It builds on the shortcomings of previous agreements and ensures that autonomy is accompanied by demobilisation and monitoring mechanisms to insure against a resort to arms in the future," said Vatikiotis, referring to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that the Bangsamoro autonomous region will replace.

The ARMM was set up after the Philippine government signed a peace deal in 1996 with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – an armed rebel group which the MILF broke away from.

The source said the ARMM was a failed experiment by Aquino's predecessors to force the integration of the region into the Philippine system by creating political, economic and governance structures that was far from the aspirations of the mainly Muslim local population.

"The proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region, on the other hand, is more realistic as it acknowledges the need for an asymmetric relationship where both sides live within the same political body but with different political, governance and economic structures," said the source.

For example, while the ARMM is headed by a governor in line with the Philippine republic's system of governance, the Bangsamoro will be self-administered, with a ministerial form of government led by a Chief Minister who has more clearly-defined powers.

Despite the upcoming signing of the comprehensive deal, challenges remain ahead.

There are other smaller groups which remain opposed to the peace process.

They include fighters aligned to former MNLF leader and ARMM governor Nur Misuari, who alleges the Bangsamoro initiative will leave the people shortchanged.

Vatikiotis said the Philippines and MILF are hoping that potential spoilers on the ground will see the benefit of the new Bangsamoro entity and come on board.

"Intensive efforts will surely be needed to ensure other Moro factions, such as the MNLF, are given the opportunity to converge with this agreement," said Vatikiotis.

Major reshuffle in exco expected if Anwar becomes MB

Posted: 16 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

KLANG: The possible leadership change in Selangor is expected to result in a reshuffle of the exco line-up with many senior incumbents being dropped.

A senior Pakatan Rakyat insider said one of the exco members who would probably be the first to be axed is Local Government, Study and Research committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim.

He said this was one of the factors why the DAP was backing PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take over as Mentri Besar from Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim after the March 23 Kajang by-election.

"Teng does not get on well with the DAP leadership and all those linked to the party's top echelon leaders. Efforts to dislodge him from the state as well as an elected representative has been futile. His grassroots' support is very strong and unshakable although his party position is quite weak," he said.

He said Khalid also respected and valued Teng for capability and intellectual compatibility with him.

He claimed that a whispering campaign of sorts had been initiated against Teng by certain groups who accused him of "underperforming".

"But everyone knows Teng has achieved much in only a year. Most importantly, local council officers have grown to respect him for his ability," he said.

He said Teng, together with a few others, had been perceived by some leaders as a potential threat to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Meanwhile, a PKR insider said should Anwar become Mentri Besar, he would appoint someone from his own party to take over Teng's exco post.


0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved