Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kemenangan Pilihanraya Bagi Ikhwan :mimpi ngeri bagi sebahagian

Business leaders ponder effects of Islamist parliament

Despite the Muslim Brotherhood's support of a free market economy, their expected success in parliamentary polls has the business sector bracing itself for an incoming parliament dominated by Islamists
Marwa Hussein, Bassem Abo Alabass, Wednesday 30 Nov 2011
parliamentary elections
An Egyptian man looks at a campaign banner in Arabic that reads, "The Freedom and Justice party," on the second day of parliamentary elections in Alexandria (Photo: AP)

Preliminary ‎indications suggest strong electoral showings by ‎‎Islamist candidates, especially those from the Muslim ‎Brotherhood’s ‎Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), in ‎Egypt’s first ‎post-Mubarak parliamentary polls.‎ Businesspeople, meanwhile, ‎are wondering how Egypt’s economy would be affected by an ‎Islamist landslide.‎

‎“Of course, I have some fears,” Bahgat El-Hossamy, legal ‎advisor to Egypt’s Junior Business Association, told Ahram ‎Online. “But if the rotation of power is guaranteed, my concerns ‎will be reduced.”‎

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has repeatedly stressed its ‎commitment to a free market economy. The group says that it ‎supports development by encouraging the private sector, ‎attracting foreign investment and promoting national exports. ‎

Key items in the MB’s political platform include calls for a free ‎economy that nevertheless ensures social justice, respect for ‎international conventions that are in the country’s best interest, ‎and the encouragement of labour-intensive industries.‎

To satisfy Egypt’s middle class, which constitutes an important ‎part of the MB’s membership base, the group has not altered its ‎main economic policies, some of which had been espoused by ‎the former regime. It calls for the application of a progressive tax ‎and the restructuring of Egypt’s tax-collection system, as wells ‎as the setting of a national minimum wage. It neglects to ‎mention, however, a maximum wage.‎

The MB has also promised subsidies and customs exemptions ‎for labour-intensive industries.‎

“The MB might halt some economic activities that it believes to ‎be incompatible with Islamic Law, but it won’t stand against ‎private property,” said El-Hossamy.‎

El-Hossamy, for his part, will not be surprised to see the MB ‎arrive to power after being the largest and best-organised ‎opposition movement for decades.‎

‎“It was necessary that they come to power to put an end to the ‎legend,” he said. “But if they don’t serve the popular will, they ‎won’t be elected in the next elections.”‎

A self-avowed liberal, El-Hossamy is more concerned about the ‎influence of Egypt’s Salafist trend. ‎

“It appears that the Salafists will capture more seats in ‎parliament than originally expected,” he said. “My concern is that ‎if the Islamists win a parliamentary majority, they could ‎conceivably pass legislation cancelling bank interest rates or ‎prohibiting alcohol, which would deeply impact the tourism ‎sector.”‎

Ultimately, though, says El-Hossamy, the MB does not stand ‎against economic liberalization. In fact, he points out, the ‎group’s economic program isn’t much different from that of ‎ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party.‎

Leading MB businessman Hasan Malek once told Reuters that ‎promoting manufacturing, bolstering national human resources, ‎and encouraging the private sector represented “the solutions to ‎Egypt's economic slump.”‎

One of the MB’s main financiers and business strategists, Malek ‎said the economic policies associated with the Mubarak era ‎were “on the right track,” but had been overshadowed by the ‎former regime’s blatant corruption and nepotism.‎

Mohamed El-Rachidi, chairman of the Gozour processed food ‎company, a sub-group of the Citadel Capital financial group, isn’t ‎very optimistic about the preliminary polling results.‎

‎“The MB has good economic sense. I work in the food industry, ‎which will survive in any case since people will always need to ‎eat,” he said. “The problem will be with short-term disruptions in ‎the coming period.”‎

‎“It will take months for elections to wrap up and for a new ‎constitution to be written,” he added. “Many businesses may be ‎forced to close before then.”‎

Tourism concerns

Egyptian tourism officials, meanwhile, express fears for the ‎future of Egypt’s once-thriving tourism industry if elections are ‎swept by Islamist parties.‎

According to Egyptian Tourism Federation head Elhamy El-‎Zayat, an Islamist-dominated parliament would put some LE200 ‎billion ($33.3 billion) worth of tourism investments in jeopardy.‎

‎“I’ve had several debates with Islamist figures about tourism and ‎I fear the sector will collapse under their rule,” he told Ahram ‎Online in a telephone interview.‎

El-Zayat went on to point to recent statements by a Salafist ‎representative in which he said that the movement did not want ‎foreign tourists visiting Egypt.‎

‎“They’re only thinking about alcohol and bikinis, not the huge ‎amounts of revenue the sector brings Egypt’s economy,” El-‎Zayat stressed. “They want to rely on ‘cultural tourism,’ which ‎currently accounts for only 11 per cent of total tourism revenue.”‎

Tourism has traditionally represented one of Egypt’s top foreign ‎currency earners.‎

Catitan Sut:

Nampaknya sambutan masyarakat Masir terhadap kelompok politik Islam, semada Ikhwan mahupun Parti an-Nour, dari golongan salafi telah menjadikan mereka dua parti yang paling mendapat sokongan pada pusingan pertama pilihanraya Masir kali ini.

Kemenangan kelompok Islam ini telah menimbulkan kebimbangan di kalangan yang menentang mereka, mereka menimbulkan kemungkinan kesan kemenangan ini ke atas ekonomi Masir, walaupun mereka terpaksa menerima yang indeks di bursa saham Masir telah melonjak mengatasi tahap tinggi melebihi 4'000 mata (pada 30hb Nov 2011), saham-saham utama melonjak naik tanpa diganggu dengan berita kemenangan kelompok politik Islam. Mereka juga bimbang kesan kemenangan ini ke atas industri pelancongan yang meraih $3.3 billion US/ setahun, mereka membangkitkan ugutan kumpulan Parti an-Nour yang ada mengatakan yang mereka akan menghapuslan minuman alkohol dan pemakaian bikini di Masir, serta tidak berminat dengan pelancong dari barat.

Walaupun selama ini Masir sendiri tidak pernah mendakwa ianya adalah sebuah negara yang kaya mahupun mewah. Kenapa golongan ini terlalu takut kepada kesan ekonomi, seakan-akan sekiranya kumpulan Islam berkuasa , maka mereka akan hilang segala kekayaan dan kemewahan mereka yang telah mereka nikmati selama ini?.

Kemenangan Ikhwan di Masir merupakan perkembangan yang logik seiring dengan kemenangan an-Nahda di Tunisia dan PJD di Morokko. Seakan-akan ianya kesan domino politik, yang pernah suatu masa dahulu dikaitkan dengan perkembangan kominisme di rantau Asia Tenggara (walaupun ianya tidak pun terjadi).

Yang menariknya juga parti yang menang di Morokko adalah PJD (Justice and Development Party). di Masir pula FJP ( Freedom and Justice Party), sebelum ini di Turkey yang telah menjadi inspirasi bagi negara lain yang menangnya adalah AK Party (Justice and Development Party), Nampaknya musim politik sekarang menunjukkan parti yang berjenamakan 'keadilan' yang menang, parti yang berjenama 'nasional' , seumpama di Masir Hizbu al-Watani (National party) terperosok dan tertinggal.

Ikhwan pula agaknya di posisi tengah (wasatiyyah) antara 'liberalnya' kumpulan reformis yang berinspirasikan barat dan kekejangan kumpulan salafi yang sepatutnya literalist. Perkembangan ini tentunya mempunyai kesan ke seluruh dunia Islam, termasuk ke negara kita, hanyalah masa yang akan menentukan, dan local flavour yang memberi citarasa yang sedikit berbeza. Antaranya golongan salafi yang bertindak sebagai suatu blok khusus yang esklusif dalam politik di negara kita hanyalah ada pada UMNO dengan kumpulan Ulama Mudanya!


  1. I only have one comment to make..I cannot understand why the brother in charge of the Tourist Federation should fear the so-called Islamists coming to the power...and stop the flow of tourists, putting the tourist economy in jeopardy. He assumes that we think it is the tourists who will come to Egypt, "put on bikinis and drink alcohol"
    The last time I went to Cairo, it was not the tourists doing that, it was the Egyptians. Most of the tourists were shopping in Khan el Khalili...that was why the bomb targeted them. They do not target the chic night clubs in Zamalek...

  2. so the sabotage could anywhere in Egypt except night clubs..