Followers

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nation-Building Cannot Begin from Irrational Premises

By Dr Farish A. Noor

It has become ever-so-trendy of late to talk about nation-building in the most inclusive and open-ended of terms. After assuming office more than a month ago, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak began speaking at length about the notion of a ‘United Malaysia’ – which was in turn claimed by opposition parties in the country as their idea as well. In Thailand a slew of parties have claimed monopoly over the concept of a singular, united Thailand. While in Burma since the 1960s the aims of nation-building have been the same as they are now: to bring together the disparate array of ethnic, cultural and linguistic groups under the same banner of a singular Burmese identity.

Now there is nothing wrong with nation-building per se (for indeed one cannot imagine any form of governance without some semblance of a nation-building project accompanying it), and there is nothing wrong with wanting to bring different communities together. What has to be questioned critically, however, is this: What is the final aim of such nation-building projects; what are the premises upon which they are based; and can such projects ever get to their appointed destinations if the premises upon which they are laid are somehow faulty themselves?

The call for national unity can be troubling at times, for often we come across cases where nation-building is nothing less than a polite euphemism for the hegemonic cultural dominance of the majority. A case in point would be the experiment in nation-building in Burma following the coup and military take-over in 1963. The military leaders of Burma then spoke at length about the need to bring the diverse nation together, but forgot to mention that practically the entire leadership of the government, army and civil service was dominated by the ethnic Burmans, while other communities like the Shans, Chin, Kachin, Karens etc were effectively left out. ‘Burmese nationalism’ was therefore nothing more than an attempt to impose the specific identity of the Burmese of the Irrawady delta on the rest of the country…

Likewise Thailand’s identity problem stems from the fact that the Thai community is just one of many. Until today, the plight of minorities in Thailand such as the Malay-Muslims of the south is seen as a marginal concern that does not figure very highly in the political considerations of the elite in Bangkok. But as long as the ethnic Thais do not accept the fact that there are many other ethnic, linguistic and religious communities that occupy the same geography as Thailand, how can there be any real progress in the creation of a multicultural Thailand that truly reflects its diversity?

Likewise in Malaysia national unity has been the bugbear of Malaysian politics since the 1960s. But attempts to forge a sense of national unity and national identity have faltered on the rocks of realpolitik for the simple reason that what we have seen thus far is the steady encroachment of the cultural, linguistic and increasingly religious dominance of one ethnic-cultural group in particular. To compound matters even further, the landscape of Malaysian politics has been dominated mostly by political parties that are communal in character and whose natural vote base come from their respective ethnic, linguistic and religious constituencies.

As long as Malaysian politics maintains the communal and sectarian tenor that it has preserved for half a century, how can there be any real progress in nation-building and the sense of a united yet diverse Malaysia? For if the notion of a ‘united Malaysia’ merely foregrounds one ethnic-religious community at the expense of others, one would not be surprised if the minorities in the country react by saying ‘No thanks, we will keep to our ethno-religious ghettoes and we don’t want to be absorbed by your cultural and religious majoritarianism…’

Nation-building therefore has to begin from rational, objective and universal premises – the first of which is the concept of universal and equal citizenship where every single citizen is regarded as equal to another. The state has to remain colour-blind, and blind to the distinctions of race, ethnicity, gender and religion; and adopt instead the role of the secular ‘honest broker’ that does not favour one community over another.

But can this ever happen in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Burma or even India, Pakistan and Bangladesh one wonders? For too long the bane of post-colonial development has been the perpetuation of essentialised categories of race, ethnicity and religion. And for too long the reproduction of these essentialised categories has been maintained via an irrational, emotional and oft-time bellicose and confrontational discourse of narrow identity politics. Frankly, it is this adherence to the irrational logic of communalism that is one of the root causes of the failure of nation-building in so many parts of the developing world until today. At its most extreme it will take us to the point where the hardening of communal frontiers will render sensible, objective and critical dialogue on common national issues impossible.

But can the political elites of these countries make the changes that are necessary and over-due? Can the political parties of Malaysia, for instance, de-escalate the process of hardening the ethnic and religious boundaries between the communities; and come to the common agreement that the future of the country cannot be the responsibility of only one ethnic or religious group, but the nation as a whole? Can the politicians of Malaysia come to realise that Malaysia today is far more complex than it has ever been, and that to succeed on a national basis means having to abandon the sectarian politics of the past and adopting the inclusive democratic politics of the future?

The rationalist in me can see the problem, and even suggest a solution or two. But in the heated environment of Malaysian politics today, one wonders who will be the first to simply state the obvious: Malaysia will not get anywhere as long as the political parties of the country do not reject, once and for all, race and religion-based politics for the sake of the wider long-term goal of nation-building and democratisation. But being reasonable means being in the minority these days, and like all minority groups the world over, rationalists today are forced to watch the slow failure of nation-building thanks to the politics of unreason that has overcome us.

End.
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Dr. Farish Ahmad-Noor is a Senior Fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technical University (NTU), Singapore where he is Director of Research for the Research Cluster on Transnational Religion in Southeast Asia. He is also guest affiliated Professor at both Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS) and Sunan Kalijaga Islamic University, Jogjakarta. He is the author of ‘Writings on the War on Terror’ (2006), ‘From Majapahit to Putrajaya’ (2005) and ‘Islam Embedded: The Historical Development of PAS’ (2004)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My views on Perak?

It is amazing how some things excite some people while it does not others. I received a record 16 sms and 5 emails asking me about my views on Perak. What can I say that is not said already by so many people?

So I decided to let Tina Turner sing my views on Perak for you.



Here are the lyrics:

Out of the ruins
Out from the wreckage
Can't make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation
We are the ones they left behind
And i wonder when we are ever gonna change it

Living under the fear till nothing else remains

We don't need another hero
We don't need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

Looking for something we can rely on
There's got to be something better out there
Love and compassion, their day is coming
All else are castles built in the air
And i wonder when we are ever gonna change it
Living under the fear till nothing else remains
All the children say

We don't need another hero
We don't need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

What do we do with our lives
We leave only a mark
Will our story shine like a life
Or end in the dark
Give it all or nothing

Friday, May 22, 2009

ARE YOU STILL THE KID OR PLAY ACTING?

The other day and the other day and the other since I was a teenager who could think, some of the politicians’ speeches and statements that I read hurt me a lot. Not because it affected me directly, but because it seemed to hurt human dignity and showed the worse part of human nature.

I was also puzzled and disturbed how adults I looked up to for the best of values could express the lowest of attitudes and behaviors and thoughts. Being young, I was of course alien to the idea of vested-interest, lack of enlightenment, prejudices, etc. So being na├»ve, I thought to myself: “If being adult means one has to be evil. Then I never want to grow up. I must try to remain a kid however much I may age”.

It is not easy “trying to remain a kid” because everyone around you will want you to play act. For me, when I went into teaching, I am supposed to “act as a teacher”, whatever that means. It was not enough that I tried very hard to teach my students to be interested in Economics, I have to teach economics the way the adults around me wanted! But I was “lucky”, I got away with my way because I had a creative and equally “kiddish” director of studies who was in his fifties. Without him, being a teacher meant I cannot play snooker with my students who were supposed to be in my class.

I learnt snooker (and then beat them! Yes!) because I wanted them to attend my class. It is ironical that they started coming to my class after I told them “ haiya! Snooker also bad. Lose to me. Please, please don’t be my students because you’ll be bad in economics too!” One of them actually scored an A! They are good kids but not everyone can avoid peer pressure. So, you just have to show them that studying economics does not mean you cannot be “cool in snooker”.

So, the pressure to play act is great. When I became lawyer, people also tried very hard to make me behave “lawyerly”…what? Serious and clever looking? If you are stupid, you are stupid. If you are clever, you are clever. Only fools get duped by play acting. Haven’t you seen the grim, serious looking faces of some of those in some “power” with their artistic way of laughing and talking? That is play acting! They are living life for others – not living their own lives. I find this extremely funny.

Recently a VIP client of mine commented on my t-shirt which had two colours –one faded and a colour from another t-shirt that got stuck on it. I was also wearing this cheap slacks. It was “reminding me of basics day” (RMBD) for me. It just happened that the VIP wanted to see me on my rmbd. I was not going to change my clothing just for him.

Let him think whatever he wants, which to me will be a reflection of him, not me.

I am rambling here? Maybe. But I keep reminding myself to remain the kid. Just be me. Otherwise, the norms and the social “standards” will take over and you will not recognize yourself. You know, the girl must be slim, tall and leggy. The boy must be muscular, handsome (by whose definition?) and loaded. Facebook is in, so is twitter, that song is out, this is the latest. Geez…when can we just be ourself?
What a boring process? I had this view when I was a teen and haven’t changed a bit when I am an adult. I find it so funny and amusing when someone tells me about the latest fashion, for example. Yes, it will soon be the “late fashion”. But these things are harmless. Boring maybe but harmless.

What is HARMFUL is when adults play act dangerous roles and want to have toys that make them evil. Toys like plenty of property, expensive cars, expensive holidays, branded goods (smart business!), a big crowd behind them following everywhere they go – materialism and hedonism. Now this kind of play acting becomes less funny. I actually think it is a mental disorder but because society okeys it, it is accepted.

The fruits of such mental disorder becomes anointed by society as “successful persons”. There is so much I can write on this but time does not allow. It is the play acting of nobility and respectfulness by adults who are in substance the scumbags of the earth that irks me. It irks me even more when the ordinary fellow bestows respect or recognizes these scumbags as successful because they happen to have more toys than he does – unless he too is play acting!

Trust me young people who read this, MOST OF THOSE ADULTS OUT THERE ARE PLAY ACTING. Do not be fooled. Some of their playing acting is because they want to do evil for selfish gains.

And for the weekend, I dedicate this song to you:



PEACE.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CAN BN REGAIN LOST GROUND?

Someone I met last week sought my views on whether I think BN will be able to swing back the votes it used to enjoy prior to March, 2008. Ideally of course, I am more concerned with the citizen’s level of political and social maturity. I also wish that more and more citizens will evolve into Raperas so that they will be aware that it them and not the politicians who will safeguard the Nation.

The politicians should just be the “employees” engaged by the citizens to provide the political will and the framework to carry out the larger interests of the Nations, in a manner of speaking. Deification of politicians, whether on the BN or Pakatan side must cease as it will only bloat their egos and lead them to become monsters. These are of course ideals that can only be achieved in the long run because we need to prepare the basis and the framework for citizen’s awareness and participation – for example, greater excess to information, transparency, just laws permit responsible participation in the democratic process, continuing education, etc. All these will take time.

I foresaw the political disequilibrium that we have today eight months after (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came into power with his Islam Hadhari and his “Islamic image”. I was of course thoroughly convinced that Pak Lah will lead BN to election disaster, when after one year in power, he declared that the ”honeymoon period is over”. I also had the opportunity to see up close people who were supposedly “in charge of managing political affairs” then work. How they worked and what they perceived convinced me that they were living in another planet, not Malaysia. So many factors then clearly showed that BN was heading for a major erosion in political support.

My experience was that between 2004 to 2008, while the opposition was willing to listen and understand what was brewing on the ground, BN was turning a deaf arrogant ear. Civil society that may have worked “bersama-sama saya dan bukan untuk saya” ended up working with the opposition. To make matters worse, Pak Lah’s public image of being a ‘nice guy’ was not working in the BN’s interest. The country needed a strong, firm and efficient leader who can deliver. Rightly or wrongly, he was seen as a leader who was not taking any trouble to deliver. He was perceived as a weak and inefficient leader and his early departure from office proved this perception correct.

Those in power did not want to listen to objective professionals and analysts in the corridors of power. I recall being rebuffed by a “powerful” person when I cautioned them on the new power of the new media. In short, it was as if all the factors that will bring down BN were at work all at the same time and BN was blinded to see them.

From a historic majority in 2004, Pak Lah managed to bring BN down to a historic low in 2008. Within those four years, the socio-political landscape and players have changed. It seems even the rules of the political game and how it is played has changed. All these, I believe must be new to BN who is used to the unchallenged old ways. After all, we must remember that BN still has mostly OLD (ways of thinking, not age) ways of thinking which is steeped in the name of “party continuity”. Pakatan on the other hand is a new kid on the block and willing to experiment and modify its behaviour for political purposes.
Many of Pakatan MPs and Aduns are those who are familiar with civil society and NGOs and have worked closely with the ordinary people before coming into political position. In this sense, their awareness of the common citizen’s aspirations may be still fresh. Except for the very top echelons of PKR, most of the other opposition leaders are not of ‘bangsawan’ or elitist category. Compare this with UMNO or MIC. Most of the BN politicians are those who rose from political ranks with no other real exposure.

In all these developments, the Rakyat too have found new power of how to check the politicians. They now realize the true meaning of how absolute power corrupts. They now will strategise and vote according how their voices can truly be heard all the time and not just once in every five years at the ballot box. Apart from the diehard BN or Pakatan supporters, I believe the majority only want efficient, honest and strong leadership that can tackle the issues that the Nation faces. Many that I have spoken to have a wish list that is a combination of the “best” leaders from both sides of the political fence. Makes sense, tough not ‘pragmatic’.

So will BN regain its lost political ground? Looking at things as they are today, I doubt. BN will have to radically change if it wants to regain the political position prior to 2008. However, vested interests in BN will oppose this radical change.

what do you think?

PEACE !

It is annoying, said my friend

So said my friend. He said it is very annoying when someone comes onto his blog, uninvited and then leaves nasty comments. It is even worse when the commenter hides behind anonymity. This is the situation when someone makes a “brave statement” while hiding his identity. What is he afraid of?

I can understand that sometimes you need to remain anonymous for valid reasons. For example, you feel that the message is more important than the messenger. Or you have information that is vital for the Nation but fear repercussions from the culprits. I think these situations may permit anonymity though there are those who would still prefer to face the music for what they have to say. Such are true-blooded reformers who have their own principles.

But what about those who remain anonymous for the most trivial of reasons? Or worse, because they are cyber-thugs or cyber-pests or cyber morons who have nothing intelligent to say but nevertheless need to feel that they are alive. Their sense of being alive is by demonstrating to others that they lack total intelligence and any ability to think. They rationalize that the notion of freedom of speech gives them the freedom to be abusive, to be vulgar, to be plain stupid or just moronic. Of course, one is free to choose to be a moron if one feels that is the life one is destined for. However, it will be pleasant if morons can stay in the hole they came out from. I know that this is too much of a good wish.

On the other hand, imagine how boring and unchallenging life will be if these self made morons do not come into your life? Sometimes it is their presence that stimulates your thinking. You also wonder – hmm, brave behind anonymity? Why, did he have an abusive or deprived childhood?

And on the other, other hand, I suppose we have to realize that we are made of differing levels of intelligence and comprehensive ability. Some can understand, some cannot and some take a lot of time. Patience and hope for the best will have to be soothing factor when you are faced with such individuals. But one cannot get upset with someone who does not understand. It is those who refuse to take the trouble to understand that may irk you.

On the other, other, other hand, I recall what my late brother told me: “Everyone grows old, very few grow up”. How true. Many grow old without ever maturing in their thoughts.

I told my friend – when you blog you must be prepared for anything and anyone. Majority of those who read your blog are good people, people who understand and want to share. But be prepared there will be the occasional cyber-pest or cyber moron. Let them be. They are just being themselves.

They need to feel alive too.

PEACE !

Friday, May 15, 2009

POLITICAL POLARIZATION

by Dr Chandra Muzaffar

Wrong means lead to wrong ends. The imbroglio in Perak illustrates this. Because acquiring power through the back door is unethical, it was bound to create a crisis sooner or later. Defections within our legislatures, whatever the motive, is one of the less savoury aspects of Malaysian politics. Since 1961 when defections brought down a democratically elected government in Trengganu, there have been various other episodes which reveal that ugly side of our face. Legislators have been locked in and locked out; enticed and abducted; bribed and bullied, in the power game.

It is because this type of politics sullies the image of the nation in the eyes of both citizens and non-citizens that we should go all out to curb its practice. One of the measures that has been proposed is a law to check defections. There are a number of countries which have introduced anti-defection legislation such as India, South Africa and the Fijis.

However, more than legislation, it is the good example of leaders in both government and opposition, the determination of civil society actors to adhere to the principle of integrity, and continuous, systematic public education that will help isolate and marginalise unscrupulous political practices. Unfortunately, this will not happen as long as a significant segment of our society adopts a biased, one- sided attitude towards issues of ethics and integrity in politics and public life. Thus, defections are alright as long as they benefit one’s side. It is not just politicians who are
guilty of such blatant biases. Civil society groups, professional bodies and individuals who project themselves as the conscience of the nation were either silent or supportive of the Machiavellian manoeuvres of a Pakatan Rakyat(PR) leader to engineer the fall of the Barisan Nasional government at the federal level last year through massive defections to the PR Opposition. And yet they were livid with rage when the BN succeeded in enticing PR Assembly members in Perak to cross over to the BN and oust PR from office.

Double standards and selective condemnation pervade public life. The lack of accountability on the part of the group that one supports is downplayed or even ignored altogether. When one’s opponent exhibits the same trait in a similar situation, it becomes a major moral issue. If one’s own side resorts to violence, it is forgiven. If the other side retaliates, it is denounced as “barbarism”. It is the same mentality that hails a judicial decision in favour of one’s group “as a great
judgment” reflecting “the independence of the judiciary” and the next day assails another decision by some other judicial panel which may not be in its interest as proof that the Judiciary is subservient to the Executive. People with such biases forget that the worth and value of a judgment is not whether it benefits a particular party or not. What really matters is whether the judgment inclines towards truth and justice.

It appears that a lot of educated Malaysians are no longer capable of evaluating important political issues in a just and fair manner. Their political biases have become so pronounced that anything that party X does is good and everything that party Y does is bad. To a large extent this bias is reflected in their support for, and opposition to, the BN and PR. Polarization in attitudes and positions centering around party politics on such a vast scale is a new phenomenon in Malaysian society. It subordinates truth and justice to partisan politics and undermines the ethical fabric of the nation.

Perhaps one of the ways of narrowing the chasm that divides our people today is a unifying vision that transcends political party loyalties. ------------------------------------
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar.
Kuala Lumpur.
13 May 2009.

THE THIRD EYE

Friends,

I have included a new blog in my link list called the The Third Eye.

You may enjoy it.

PEACE !

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eye witness account of the Perak Assembly Ruckus

You may find this informative reading:

"I was at the Perak State Legislative Assembly on an official duty on 7 May only to witness the ugliest scene in Malaysia's legislative history. It was expected that some kind of ruckus would happen in the DUN on that fateful day but what I witnessed was beyond my imagination.....

You cn continue reading it here

Monday, May 11, 2009

Abdullah Darus: Intellectuals and Collectuals

Resulting from my last posting on “I am back, so what?”, I received two emails asking me the same question : “what is the difference between knowledge and information”? Well, to me there is a world of a difference between the two. I shall try to share the knowledge that I received on this from a genius I met more than 15 years ago – “Professor” Abdullah Darus (will be writing on him sometime soon).

Information is “maklumat” in Malay. Information consists of facts, empirical matters collected. Example you have information that Neil Armstrong flew to the moon and others don’t (does that make you more “intelligent”?). Or you know that this is called a glass, that is called a table and that the stupidity level of Blurland is 85%. You have so many statistics and facts at your fingertips. You are a very informative person. Does that make you a knowledgeable person?

How much knowledge do you gain from knowing that Neil Armstrong has gone to the moon. You may be repeating that to everyone whom you meet without even understanding what it means. Similarly with other facts and statistics. You memorized them like how you memorized how to tie your shoe lace and then keep repeating them. I personally know a certain politician who is completely fond of quoting philosophers and religious scholars without understanding what he is saying (and he is doing very well in the popularity sector). You can go on repeating facts that you gather and have in your hand. This way you may impress small minds (many out there). Few will see the trick and recognize you for the parrot that you are.

Abdullah Darus has a word for such people who collect information and then simply regurgitate them back. He calls them “collectuals”.

Collectuals are people who do not think, evaluate, understand or weigh the information that they have. They may be very informative but not necessarily knowledgeable. To be knowledgeable, you must be able to understand and make sense of the information that you have. Consider a computer. It is very informative, but can you say it is knowledgeable? Collectuals are like computers, garbage in, garbage out. Most collectuals have no time to think because they are busy with dispensing the information that they have collected to impress small minds.

With apologies, I must say that there are many collectuals even in the academic department, those with Phds and so on. Politicians are too obvious to mention (most do not read and those who do, do not think. Imagine they are busy advising us!) It is sad that the academic world which is meant to be the “center of thinking” is crowded with collectuals. These academic collectuals will insist that you become a collectual too, hence their insistence on you quoting another academic in support of your idea. Originality is frowned upon by collectuals because they do not know or understand what original thinking means.

I have been protesting for years that the term “intellectual” has been grossly abused in our beautiful country called Malaysia or the Land of the Blur. I squirm when every graduate is labeled an intellectual. Somehow, the Malay language seems most abusive in this matter when they refer to graduates and “professors” as “intellectuals” or “kumpulan intelek” merely because they are graduates or he has a professor POST (this is even more peculiar but later on this).

In our country, with the right connections, OR with sufficient publicity OR with some misguided policies any feeble minded person with some academic qualifications can easily be called an intellectual even though he/she has never used his/her intellect at all through life! Even though he is nothing more than a parrot.

A knowledgeable person weighs, evaluates and thinks about the information that he has gathered. He is not too quick to dispense with the information that he has. A knowledgeable person is forever aware that he is forever learning because information may change or the UNDERSTANDING of the information may change. Because he is forever learning, he remains forever humble in his quest for knowledge in life. A knowledgeable person, though he may advance his views passionately, he never puts himself on the same level as the All Knowledgeable Creator (compare this with priests who will swear you to hell if you disagree with him). He is prepared to consider different perspectives of the same information. This takes time. A collectual has no time.

A knowledgeable person is always using his intellect. He is thinking all the time. Of course he may be wrong. He is aware of it. A collectual on the other hand does not know this.

In our country, where we have been systematically trained for years not think by the politicians and the priests, it is so easy for us to be confused between a collectual and an intellectual. Raperas, do not be confused on this.

PEACE !

Friday, May 8, 2009

I AM BACK, SO WHAT?

I am back but so what? This question keeps ringing in my ears such that even when I studiously read my cases, it keeps reverberating in my ears. I decided I have to simply write it down (whatever may unfold), so that the echo will dissipate.

Not only does “so what?” seem to bother me but also “back to where?. Where I came back from the last week was full of contradictory and varied experiences. I had the opportunity to meet up with some foreigners in a foreign land. We had the chance to discuss issues and compare notes. We discussed “Islam. My feelings were mixed. While the foreign Muslims from the foreign land appear to be more open to discussions, more amenable to differences of viewpoint and genuinely respectful of alternative opinions, the locals (generally) seem to be warped in a worm hole.

I cannot help but feel that we (Muslims) in Malaysia have yet to reach the level of respect for other peoples views' on Islam. In fact, I think we have yet to reach even the level of being able and willing to discuss Islam in a thinking way. We have become too much of a parrot, repeating things that we do not know about nor understand. So sad. We live in a society where, frighteningly we have surrendered our souls to so-called “experts” in our midst. Scary! It is absolutely scary when you surrender your mind and soul to another mortal, IRRESPECTIVE that he graduated from some UNIVERSITY.

Information and knowledge are two different things. A person with information may not have any knowledge. He repeats and regurgitates the “facts” that he has collected without even verifying the facts in the first place. At the best, he cites that 20 scholars hold that view as if numbers make a wrong, right. But what about his view? He replies “ I am not an expert”. What? If he cannot think or refuse to think, then how in the world does he evaluate what the scholar had said? I cannot understand this. So sad.

A knowledgeable person is one who carefully evaluates information. He is not mesmerized by information for information sake. A knowledgeable person does not acquire information to show off but to learn. But this is the age of charlatans. And it is easy today for charlatans to be glorified because we have accepted that once you are a university graduate or better with a PhD, you must be knowledgeable. So sad.

No wonder, no wonder my mind tells me that Muslims are “bullied” by politicians and religious scholars with vested interest. We have been trained NOT TO ASK AND THINK. So sad.

The world is moving forward and we are regressing further deeper into our self created coconut shell. We have mastered the art and culture of being trivial. So sad.

If I am right in my thoughts (stand to be corrected, of course), I think we (Muslims) have forfeited the right to complain that the others are way ahead in life. Others are wiling to use common sense and rationality that Allah has graciously given human beings. They are able to see reality (“God’s signs?) whereas we….we what? So what I am back. I am just back to square one.

PEACE !

Note: Apologize for the mood of this article. I am just sad, too sad that humans have surrendered their soul and mind to other humans. May Allah forgive us all and continue to guide us.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Anas Zubedy's SOCIAL CONTRACT for consideration

Anas Zubedy, brother blogger has taken out an advertisement in the Star (6th May) to share his version of the social contract with the people of Malaysia. We at Rapera feel that it sounds reasonable and acceptable.

"This Wednesday May 6th, the message below will be advertised in The Star as a full page ad.

Many Malaysians have debated about the social contract. Some say it exist, while others don’t. Some are for it, some against.

But what is the social contract? Where is it? Does it really exist? Whether it exist or not, why not we come out with one?

So, here are my thoughts. You can agree with my ideas, comment about them or simply agree to disagree.

But, please use logic, love and wisdom.

Because,

Logic will make us fair with our minds;
Love will make us fair with our hearts; and,
Wisdom will lead us to combine our love and logic in the way of God and for the benefit of Mankind.

Thank you, cheers and peace,

anas zubedy"

You can read the SOCIAL CONTRACT here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Break For A Week

Friends, will be away for a week or more from Saturday. So possibly no blogging!

PEACE !