Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mau Cari Apa Dalam Medan Politik?

Apa yang hendak dicari dalam medan politik?

Bergantung.

Bergantung kepada siapa yang mencari.

Orang politik bagaimana?
Adakah di cari nya kuasa, kekayaan, kedudukan, anugerah atau - kesempatan untuk berkhidmat kepada Rakyat jelata secara ikhlas dan bersungguh?

Rakyat bagaimana?
Adakah di carinya habuan yang ditaburkan, berita-berita sensasi, hiburan oleh orang politik yang pandai berpidato namun isi nya kosong, orang politik yang berikan penyelesaiaan jangka pendek yang akan mencetuskan masalah lebih besar dijangka panjang atau - pemimpin yang berjiwa Rakyat yang berkhidmat kepada Rakyat secara ikhlas dan bersungguh?

Adakah Rakyat sendiri bersedia untuk mengenali pemimpin yang berjiwa Rakyat yang berkerja secara ikhlas dan bersungguh-sungguh?

Adakah Rakyat sudah bersedia untuk berperanan sebagai manusia yang bermaruah dan bertamadun?

Salam.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad: Melayu Oh Melayu ???


Tun Dr Mahathir (“TDM”) melahirkan kesalannya terhadap “seorang orang Melayu yang mendakwa dia kecewa kerana dianya dilahir berbangsa Melayu”. Pada amnya saya setuju dengan penulisan beliau kerana saya rasa saya faham dari perspektif mana beliau menulis.  Ini mungkin dipengaruhi oleh fakta bahawa saya mengenali beliau secara peribadi dan pernah berbincang dengan beliau berkaitan dengan beberapa isu yang bersangkutan. Pengalaman peribadi saya meyakinkan saya bahawa beliau berniat baik  dan saya dapat merasai kesayangan beliau kepada kaum Melayu. Mungkin kesayangan beliau kepada Melayu lah yang membuat beliau berhujah mengikut cara beliau berhujah.

Namun saya terpanggil untuk memberi beberapa pandangan saya sendiri disini kerana rencana itu menyentuh berkaitan dengan Islam dan saya adalah seorang Muslim serta beliau adalah seorang yang saya sayang. Maka maafkan saya ayahanda Tun kerana berbeza sedikit pandangan.

 TDM menulis bahawa “Seseorang yang dilahir dalam keluarga Melayu tetap Islam kerana keluarga itu tidak akan berbangsa Melayu jika mereka tidak Islam”.   Fahaman ini adalah betul dari segi undang-undang Negara kerana takrif Artikel 160 Perlembagaan Malaysia. Artikel 160 mentakrifkan bahawa seorang warganegara Malaysia yang beragama Islam, mengamalkan budaya Melayu dan bercakap Bahasa Malaysia adalah seorang “Melayu”.  Berdasarkan Artikel 160 inilah hujah TDM bahawa seorang Melayu yang keluar daripada agama Islam bukan lagi Melayu – dari segi undang-undang. Dari segi etnik, ia masih Melayu.

Maka, menurut Artikel 160, jika seorang Portugis, Cina dan lain-lain menganut agama Islam serta memenuhi syarat-syarat lain dalam Artikel tersebut, maka mereka juga dikira sebagai “Melayu” dari segi undang-undang.  Begitu juga seorang yang berketurunan India Muslim yang memenuhi syarat-syart tersebut juga adalah dari segi undang-undang seorang “Melayu”.  Sejauh mana Artikel 160 diberi kesan oleh Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam dalam praktiknya apabila ianya melibatkan “Melayu” dari etnik lain, saya kurang pasti. 

JIka kita masih mahu berpegang kepda klasifikasi etnik dan berhujah bahawa kewujudan “kaum-kaum” adalah ciptaan Allah (saya tidak nafikan perkara ini), kita juga harus mahu membezakan keadaan unik di dalam Negara ini dimana terdapat nya pentakrifan suatu kumpulan sebagai “Melayu” oleh undang-undang yang berlainan dengan pentakrifan etnik. Alasan mengapa Allah mencipta pelbagai kaum juga dijelaskan dalam Al-Quran dan saya pernah menyentuh topik tersebut disini.


Undang-undang Malaysia tidak terpakai diluar daripada Malaysia, maka diBali ada orang-orang Melayu dari segi etniknya beragama Hindu. Kalau kita menggunakan kacamata universal (sepertimana ajaran Allah adalah universal), sememangnya agama dan bangsa adalah perkara yang amat berlainan. Seorang yang bangsa apa pun apabila menjadi seorang Muslim, ajaran Islam lah yang akan menjadi dominan dan banyak unsur-unsur bangsanya akan lenyap kecuali yang tidak bertentangan dengan ajaran islam. Ini lah kekuatan Islam yang dapat menyatupadukan umat manusia tanpa mengira asal usul keturunan etnik. 

Dengan segala hormatnya kepada TDM yang amat saya sayangi, saya tidak begitu selesa dengan hujah beliau yang berikut:- 

“Apabila orang Melayu berasa dia kecewa kerana berbangsa Melayu, maka ini bermakna dia tidak menghargai nasibnya yang baik kerana dia dilahir sebagai orang Islam. Jika tidak kemungkinan besar dia tidak akan terima agama Islam”.

Saya kurang setuju bahawa jika seorang itu tidak dilahirkan sebagai Melayu, besar kemungkinan dia tidak akan terima agama Islam berdasarkan alasan-alasan berikut:-

1)      1. Begitu lebih ramai lagi Muslim bukan Melayu di dunia berbanding dengan Melayu. Dalam tahun 2009, jumlah orang Islam (secara rasmi) dalam Malaysia dianggarkan melebihi 16 juta. Sebaliknya, orang-orang Islam (secara rasmi) dalam tahun 2009, diCina sebanyak melebihi 22 juta, di India lebih daripada 222 juta, Indonesia sebanyak 202 juta, Pakistan (>174 juta), Saudi Arabia (>24 juta) dan lain-lain.

2)      2. Kita perlu ingat bahawa “orang Islam” yang dimaksudkan dalam perbincangan adalah orang Islam yang diktiraf secara rasmi sebagai “orang Islam”. Kita bincang hal “kulit” dan bukan dari segi “isi”. Saya kurang tertarik dengan hujah-hujah berdasarkan kulit kerana ia dibuktikan menyesatkan manusia dalam kehidupan dalam pelbagai aspek. Seseorang yang lazimnya ditakrif sebagai “orang Islam” tidak semestinya Muslim. Jangan kita meremehkan perbedaan ini. Allah telah memberi amaran mengenai orang-orang yang “Islam kulit” dan banyak ayat-ayat berkaitan dengan golongan munafik.

“Dan sebahagian manusia, ada yang berkata, "Kami beriman kepada Allah dan Hari Kemudian"; padahal mereka bukanlah orang-orang mukmin” (Al-Baqarah ayat 8).

”Mereka hendak menipu Allah dan orang-orang yang beriman, dan padahal hanya menipu diri mereka sendiri sedang mereka tidak sedar”. (Al-Baqarah ayat 9).

“Di dalam hati mereka ada penyakit, lalu Allah menambah penyakit mereka, dan bagi mereka, azab yang pedih disebabkan apa-apa yang  mereka dustakan”. (AlBaqarah  ayat 10)

3)      3. Samada seseorang itu menjadi “Muslim” atau tidak, dari aspek “akidah” atau Al-Quran (bukan aspek undang-undang atau kelaziman) ianya tidak bergantung langsung kepada kaum atau bangsa mana ianya dilahirkan kerana petunjuk dan hidayah adalah hak Allah.

Bukanlah kewajipan kamu menjadikan mereka mendapat petunjuk, tetapi Allah memberi petunjuk kepada siapa yang Dia mengkehendaki. Dan apa-apa yang kamu menafkahkan dari harta-harta kamu maka (kebaikan) adalah untuk diri kamu sendiri, Dan tidak lah kamu menafkahkan sesuatu melainkan kamu harapkan ridha Allah; Dan apa-apa yang kamu menafkahkan dari harta kamu, niscaya disempurkan Allah balasannya kepada kamu dan kamu tidak akan dianiaya” (Surah Al Baqarah, ayat 272).

4)      4. Saya berpandangan konsep “dilahir sebagai orang Islam” adalah suatu konsep yang agak berbahaya kerana ia sering mengakibatkan tindakan mewarisi “agama ibu-bapa” tanpa sebarang soal selidik walhal Islam mewajibkan kita menyoal selidik (Al-Israa ayat 36). Konsep ini juga mengalihkan perhatian daripada isu yang sebenar iaitu - usaha memahami ajaran Allah.  Saya lebih berminat untuk berpegang kepada firman Allah didalam surah

“Adakah manusia mengira bahawa mereka akan dibiarkan berkata, "Kami beriman", dan tidak akan diuji? (Surah Al-Ankabuut ayat 2).

Ujian ini akan berjalan sepanjang hayat kita dan jika kita hanya bergantung kepada “saya dilahirkan sebagai orang Islam” sebagai perisai akidah tanpa mempelajari Al-Quran maka timbul tanda tanya: fahaman kita datang daripada mana – kefahaman wahyu dalam AL-Quran atau sangkaan berdasarkan fahaman-fahaman manusia termasuk ibu-bapa? Begitu juga kita harus mahu mengharungi pelbagai cabaran hidup. Dalam konteks ini, peribahasa Melayu “kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang makan petang” atau “biar mati anak, jangan mati adat” dan lain-lain adalah nilai-nilai yang, pada saya, bertentangan dengan ajaran Islam. Dalam konteks seperti ini, “kemelayuaan” orang Melayu harus diganti dengan keislaman bagi mereka yang mahu berusaha menjadi Muslim.

Kita seharusnya tidak memanjangkan mitos bahawa oleh kerana Melayu “dilahirkan sebagai seorang Islam”, maka ia secara otomatis akan mengamalkan apatah lagi faham agama Islam. Saya percaya samada Melayu atau sesiapa pun yang berminat harus diajak untuk membaca dan memahami Al-Quran. Melalui cara ini keyakinan sebenar mereka berkemungkinan meningkat dan dengan hidayah Allah, akan berusaha menjadi Muslim yang sebaik mungkin.

Pada saya, Islam bukanlah seperti agama-agama tertentu yang telahmenjadi seperti kelab atau persatuan yang memerlukan ahli-ahli yang ramai.  Islam tidak tertakluk kepada permainan angka-angka. Politik memerlukan angka-angka besar.  (It is not a number’s game where you need to get the greatest number of followers. That is politics, not faith).

Wahai manusia, kamulah yang memerlukan (fakir) Allah, dan Dia Yang Kaya, Yang Terpuji”.
( Al_Quran 35:15)

“Yang demikian itu kerana sesungguhnya  telah datang kepada mereka rasul-rasul dengan keterangan-keterangan jelas, dan lalu mereka berkata, “Apakah manusia yang akan memberi petunjuk kepada kami?” Lalu mereka ingkar, dan berpaling, dan Allah tidak memerlukan mereka. Dan Allah Maha Kaya, lagi Terpuji. (Quran  64:6)

Salam.

Nota: Sila rujuk kepada Al-Quran masing-masing dan jangan terima sesuatu yang ditulis disini tanpa berfikir atau kaji selidik.

Payback in Malaysian Politics ?!

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind they say.

But if the eye for an eye is between politicians, then surely the Rakyat benefits no?

Surely those in politics where "there are no permanent friends or enemies" know each other well, no?

As long the Rakyat benefits and justice is done, who's complaining no?

Peace !

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The People’s Leader – discussions with young Raperas.


We had an interesting discussion with some university students last weekend.  It was about governance and leadership of the country.

It was agreed that political leadership is relevant because the people in general require direction for the Nation. There must be a captain who is steering the ship and a capable crew to help the ship move safely and efficiently. The safety of the passengers is paramount.  There also must not be pilferage on the ship either by the captain or the crew.  More importantly, economic considerations should not override the safety and welfare of the passengers like what happened to the Titanic. 

  Image thanks to here

Having agreed that political leadership is necessary, next on the discussion was various matters such as – the function and quality of the leadership. It must be borne in mind that while politicians provide general leadership, the actual work of governance of the Nation is being carried out daily by the civil servants. The civil servants carry out their duties in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations that are passed by politicians in Parliament. Hence, it is the politicians that set the legal framework within which the government functions.  Without the slightest of doubt, these laws, rules and regulations affect the daily lives of the ordinary citizen. For example, due to several “unfriendly” regulations concerning setting up businesses, many ordinary citizens are unable to readily feed their family by doing legitimate businesses.

Since the laws that are passed by Parliament (Politicians) affect our everyday lives, it becomes critical that we have not only clever and intelligent politicians but those that can emphatise with the needs of the ordinary Rakyat.  It is really pointless having a politician from Oxford or Standford or Harvard if he is unable to emphatise with the needs of the Rakyat, particularly so when his entire family background and growing up environment is detached from the lives of the ordinary Rakyat. Can a person who studied at exclusive schools, mixing around with children of elites, and living a life with an extra ordinary budget ever understand the social and economic challenges of the average citizen? Such a politician will only be manipulative of the Rakyat for his own political ends while serving elitist economic interests.

We agreed that in Malaysia, politics has become a family “property” to be passed on from generation to generation. This need not necessarily be a bad thing but it does behove us to ask several questions.  If the Rapera does not ask the relevant question, then we will be guilty of creating an aristocracy and some sort of political feudalism with its attendant problems.  If this happens, then there will be a master-slave relationship between the political leader and the ordinary citizen which is an antithesis of true democracy. In a democracy, the government is of the people by the people for the people. In other words, the People are the masters of the destiny of the Nation. 

Our discussion identified the important link between the quality of leadership, the laws passed and the welfare of the people. If there are “bad laws” in the sense that it impinges on natural rights of human beings, it reflects badly on the quality of political leadership in the country. If the wealth of the Nation is largely concentrated in the hands of the very few elites and families, then, it also reflects upon the quality (or possibly greed) of the political leadership. 

image thanks to here.

 
This is particularly so when the opportunities for such a wealth was gained largely by political interference. Responsible politicians should not create policies or do acts that deliberately create income inequalities. In our country, an examination of the control of wealth and essential businesses may reveal that it belongs to a very select few. This is an exercise that should be undertaken by a Rapera for the benefit of the general public. This exercise may even reveal the “political and money trail” that binds together the economic and political power in the country in the hands of some who can perpetuate power forever, ceteris paribus. If this is the case, then the ordinary Rakyat is doomed forever – it is just a matter of time.

We also agreed that the search for a “People leader” should continue and it need  not be confined to the leaders that have been offered by the respective political parties.  In fact, as I have argued before, political parties in our country are unable to allow the best “talents” to rise as leaders. The current political system and culture is so embedded in itself that it cannot evolve into something better without fundamental reforms within the political system, thought and culture. It is also equally challenging for Raperas to evolve because the political environment has engulfed the national environment where only politicians are given prominence in public space, and that too, the mainstream politicians.  Alternative views and thoughts that contest the mainstream are either systematically suppressed or ridiculed through control of the mainstream media.

We have yet to develop a culture that each citizen cares for the Nation and has a responsibility and duty towards ensuring its general well being. Over the years, our politics has descended to the level of championing rights to the exclusion of collective responsibility and general empathy to the needs of the other fellow citizens.  Our politics have yet to detach itself from the tribal, primitive or jahiliah basis of exclusivity based on ethnicity or religion (yes, religious discrimination included if it is intended to discriminate against fellow human beings).  When we are unable to identify humane leaders, how can we have quality political leadership? When we have feeble mortals behaving like God on earth, can we truly believe they serve God? It is all politics at its worse.

We admitted that bringing about a responsible thinking political culture among the citizens is a momentous task and requires long term awakening among the citizens of this Nation. Like Egypt and in all human history, the general citizens only act when they brought to the level of utmost humiliation. 

We also recognized that the elitists with their vested interests will try very hard to arrest the Rakyat’s awakening and political maturing.  Raperas must take this lead as the ordinary citizens are too busy with their daily lives. 

SO, the search for the People’s Leader continues. And we continued to enjoy our teh tarik and roti canai.

Peace !

(Note:  To the Raperas who made time to have teh tarik with me – thanks for educating me further. You all were wonderful and I have hope for the future with the presence of young people like you all)
 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Former Minister Returns RM200 million to Treasury: An Act Of Conscience.

Putrajaya: In a totally unprecedented move, a former Minister took the step of returning a total of RM200 million that he had allegedly amassed during the time he was serving in the cabinet holding various ministerial positions.

Dressed in a clown suit to avoid recognition, he told the press conference the reasons that prompted him to do so, citing disturbance of his conscience as the main reason.

[image thanks to here ]


“It is pointless for me to go on hoarding the ill-gotten wealth when I am not able to sleep well at night anymore. My family also had undergone various challenges including two of my children who have actually grown up not to be exemplary at all. Maybe that is nature’s way of punishing me for taking away other children’s’ rightful resources”.  

“Furthermore, I cannot take anymore the superficial and insincere respect that I seem to get whenever I attend any functions. It is as if they think I am the scum of the earth in their hearts”. 

A reporter asked if he could just explain it away as having made the money through investments and business.
He responded, “The people are not stupid anymore. They can calculate the number of years I was a minister with the official salary I get and the lifestyle my family leads. They also have access nowadays to the property I own. It is not possible anymore to explain that I got the wealth from business because I should have been busy as a Minister serving the People”.

“I can see the people’s trend now very clearly. The Rakyat are suffering and it will not be long before they all start lobbing for an Act to compel ex-Ministers and government servants to return ill-gotten wealth. I thought I’ll do it first before the law compels me”.

"I have also asked my children to give back all the government contracts because I am finding it embarrassing to explain how they could have got it while many other qualified ordinary Rakyats could not".

He ended the press conference by saying, “I hope my act will motivate others to do the same before they face the wrath of the Rakyat”.

I went back home and started drafting the Recovery of People’s Property Enactment (ROPPE) to be tabled at Parliament.

[I woke up and I realized all the above was just a dream. Damn!]

Peace!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is Friday halal?

Now this is disturbing. It is when we start going into history and then use the historical events and meanings to give meaning to the events of today with the help of "the logic of jump".

The Romans consider Friday as a sacred day to the goddess Venus, the godess of love and beauty. Likewise Friday is also the day in honor of the Norse goddess Frigg.
As the wife of Odin, Frigg is one of the foremost goddesses of Norse mythology. She is the patron of marriage and motherhood, and the goddess of love and fertility. In Old High German this day was called frigedag.

So, clearly, there are pagan associations with the holiness of Friday. In fact, it seems all the days from Sunday to Saturday have pagan associations!!! See here.

So, what now clerics?

Peace!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ustazah Tak Nak Jawab Budak2 ni ke?

Memang mengelirukan lagi memeningkan. Ustazah dah lah dijemput hadir ke forum. Ramai "kanak-kanak" bila tengok Ustazah bertudung dan bercakap dengan yakin mengenai apa yang dicakap...mudah orang percaya. Itu lah di forum "Islam" (dalam negara kita ni ada yang Islam dan ada yang bukan Islam sebagai contoh garpu Islam dan bukan Islam, kedai islam dan bukan Islam, dsb.

Ni pulak budak-budak daripada Effing Show kat Ustazah silap dari segi sejarah. HAH! Macam mana ni? Kalau Ustazah betul, kena pertahankan supaya "budak-budak" tak keliru. Kalau Ustazah salah, baik betulkan...nanti berdosa pula memesongkan fakta.

Saya ni loyar saja, seorang Muslim yang masih belajar Quran sampai dipanggil balik ke rahmatullah..bukan nya "pakar agama". Saya pun nak tau jugak pandangan "orang agama" macam Ustazah. Maklum lah, kita kan dah dibiasakan kena tanya Ustad dan Ustazah dalam semua perkara berkaitan dengan agama.



Datuk Prof Dr Maza,pula berpendapat sebegini:-



Here is another interesting video on Valentine's history:



Phew !!! Talk about going into history!!! Even these, you have to check out the facts for yourselves.

Peace !

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dispensing Justice or Dispensing WITH Justice?

The StarOnline reports that "The Malaysian Bar passed a no-confidence motion on Saturday against the Key Performance Index (KPI) measures introduced by the Chief Justice and is demanding its immediate withdrawal before a protest is called".

The KPI system was introduced with the idea of quick disposal of cases. In other words, the faster the greater number of cases are disposed of, the more efficient the court is. If court A can dispose of 20 cases compared to court B which can only dispose of 5 cases within the same time period, then, court A is considered efficient.

Sure, many cases have been heard (and some struck off) and disposed of quickly. The main criteria being speed.

While I think the administration within the corridors of justice (eg the filing, the extraction of cause papers and orders) should really be speeded up, I am not sure I can agree to the criteria of speed in hearing cases. Justice surely cannot be hurried but should be duly administered. The key word is "duly administered". All parties should be given reasonable time within the facts of each case and circumstance the chance to be be duly heard.

The Courts, the "government lawyers" and the private lawyers are all officers of the Court and each have a role to play. The rope of justice experiences tension when one party thinks or behaves in a dominating manner to the exclusion of the other.

For instance, in the matter of postponements, the perception is that it is alright for judges or the government lawyers to postpone but not the private lawyers. Why is this so I can never understand when the grounds are reasonable. Isnt the ordinary citizen who is represented by his lawyer entitled to prepare his case fully?

The other problem is even the Judges are feeling the strain of speed. There are good judges in our country who are able to use their judicial discretion but there are also human beings with human failings among them. It is this interference of human failings that may leave the public with a sense that justice was not done because speed often makes it seem that justice was not seen to be done.

Imagine a judge being very quick to deliver a judgement without hearing the other side because the other side was not present in Court. Those days, the Judge will stand down the matter and ask the lawyer present to call the other lawyer's office to find out what happened. After all, the other side lawyer could be struck by lightning or a huge trailer! I had also insisted to call the other side lawyer whenever they are not present or late so as to ascertain the reason. Reputable lawyers do not absent themselves without just cause.

However IF a judge simply strikes off a matter or passes judgement without the other side being present merely to achieve statistics of cases being disposed, then justice itself is disposed away. Imagine the sufferings of the litigant (the ordinary citizen)especially if he had a strong cases.

I intend to write more on this at a later date when time permits.

Peace !

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Never Say or Think These Things !!!

Image thanks to here.



There are many things that people do not want to hear even though it needs to be said.

What do you do?

You can take the “safe” approach and be “polite”, “diplomatic”, “remain popular” and not say it. Or most often, saying it may mean you think your “rice bowl” will be affected.

Or you may fear that your friends or relatives may not like you. But why would you want to live a life with friends or relatives that do not accept you for what you are? So you maintain elegant silence.

And then to console yourself, you can do all sorts of rationalizations. In the end when something does go wrong and what you should have said would have prevented it from happening -  you can give all sorts of excuses including a statement like “Actually I wanted to warn you about this but…” or “Wish I had done something..” or “What can I do?”

On the other hand, you can “risk” everything by being true to the Truth.

Let us look at some examples below: (you may add more)

For example, a statement like: There are credible and potential politicians in most political parties but most of them in all political parties are useless schizophrenics and narcissists will be unpopular.

A more unpopular statement will be: Why not take the “best” from all political parties and let them govern? As for the rest, we will call them when we need the crowd. This won’t work because our mind is trained to think along partisan lines.

An even more unpopular statement will be like this: How audacious can the ulama be that he expects us to accept everything that comes forth from his mouth as the gospel truth without any verification? He wasn’t exactly around when I was conceived in my mother’s womb was he? And he certainly will not be around in the same grave with me. This cannot and should not be said.

Some may not like to hear thisThere are many ‘poor” Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Kadazans, Ibans, Bidayuhs, etc in Malaysia. Let us help them all without ethnic labeling. Can we also stop the Malay bashing and manipulation of “Malay race” card for political and economic ends?

This statement may cause discomfort and hence unpopular: “How can anyone claim to be a believer of the Creator if he does not care for the well being of other children, especially that from another ethnic or religious grouping?”

This is even worse: “How can you say you are a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Tao, Buddhist, etc when you do not even attempt to read and understand the Vedas, the Quran, the Bible, the Sudras and the relevant scriptures?”

This statement may be a taboo: “Who is your God – the Creator or the mortal priests?”

Another unpopular statement will be: “Are you Malay or a Muslim and do you know the difference?”

So people avoid these kinds of questions and just go on living your lives safely. That way, you will have been born and then died like everyone else never living the life you could.

Peace !