Thursday, May 28, 2015

Get your #SaySomethingNice poster now!

many colors,one raceThursdays with zubedy      

"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour. Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positve because your values become your destiny."

- Mahatma Gandhi

The #SaySomethingNice poster is an easy and simple way of promoting positivity. One poster can carry 72 messages and impact the lives of thousands. The #SaySomethingNice poster has been widely circulated since 2013. Join us in taking up the poster and adding values to those around you. 

Interested parties can request and place as many copies of the poster around their premises or on public notice boards from Hari Merdeka to Hari Malaysia. If you wish to customise the poster or print them at your own cost, we can provide the design upon request.With this poster up and ready to be written on, colleagues or students or members of the public have the opportunity to share something nice on the poster's yellow sticky notes.

Any interested parties can request for the #SaySomethingNice poster from zubedy. Just let us know how many copies you need, when (and how) you will pick them up, and we will arrange accordingly. For poster request or further information, please do not hesitate to contact our person-in-charge, Izdiyad Lockman at 019-2690804 / 03-77336419 or email

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


In 2009, a few friends and I got together and decided to launch a campaign to encourage people to read and understand the Quran better.

I feel that it is time to do another LRTQ Campaign, this fasting month – Ramadhan 2015.
If you are interested, please keep me posted either via facebook or email me at

As per the earlier campaign, this campaign is not only for Muslims, but also for our brothers and sisters who are Christians, Buddhists Hindus, Sikhs and those who believe in a God-Head but not so gung-ho about being in any brand of religion, too. The idea is to join us and share your ideas. Even an atheist could join – as long as we are well intentioned and are genuine truth seekers.

The goal of this campaign is to encourage people to read the Quran in the language they most understand and find in it areas of common values in our day-to-day living.
What is the Campaign all about?

Read the Quran in the language that you are familiar with.

When will the campaign start and end?

Ramadhan 2015 till Aidil-Fitri (June 18th to July 17th, 2015)

Where to share?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Articles, etc. Please use the hashtag #LRTQ2015 in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Make Quran relevant to our daily living. For Muslims, to know and practice; for Non-Muslims to feedback us when we do not and look for shared values between us.
Who can join?

Everyone who has positive intention - the more the merrier!


·         Read the Quran in the language you know best – from a physical book, the internet, etc.

·         Write, post or share Quranic Verses or short articles based on the Quranic text – both your own or a good article you came across. Like the LTRQ2015 Page and post your comments there

·         Ask questions about the Quranic message, ponder, reflect and suggest your thoughts and feelings.

Peace and Thanks,

Anas Zubedy

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Have A Meaningful Wesak - Tomorrow in The STAR

Larry Yap (1956-2015) was a client and a friend. A good man who did not complain about why others were richer than him but cared more about the poor in his midst. An example of a moderate Malaysian who was kind, understanding, wise and honorable.

Let us be Moderate:
How greed hinders moderation

In our Vaisakhi message, we elaborated the second point of the Ten Principles for a Moderate Malaysian. In this Wesak advertisement, we are happy to share the third principle. We hope you look forward to the upcoming seven.

Principle Number Three.

I will not be greedy. I will not complain about why others are richer than me but worry more about the poor in my midst.

1.     What is greed?

Greed is one of the Three Poisons mentioned in Buddhism. A toxin that hinders us from living in moderation. Greed has many faces - money, power, status, entitlement and gluttony. Greed is an uncontrolled craving that leads to unhappiness. Malaysians who are living with plenty but continue to fight for the right to have more, who compare their lives with the richer and fail to empathize with the poor suffers from greediness. Greed makes even the rich unhappy.

2.     Why greediness hinders moderation?

Greed is the poison that challenges our generosity. It chips away our humanity and blinds us from the joy of giving and helping others. Greed makes us want more, makes us selfish, makes us blind to justice, and makes us celebrate form over substance. The language of greed is ‘win-lose’ and ‘I’. Greed is all about ‘me’. Moderation speaks on ‘win-win’ and focus on ‘us’ and ‘we’. A greedy person can no longer be moderate as it is difficult to be moderate and greedy at the same time.

3.     How to conquer greediness and practice moderation?

We must decide on what is enough. We must choose to be thankful. When we look into our neighbour’s bowl, we worry if he has enough, not if he has more. By doing so, we will deal with our wants and focus on others’ needs. We must control our minds and take charge of our hearts. We must be convinced that greed makes us unhappy and generosity is the antidote. We must make ‘care’ more important than ‘cash’. Look around and we can see that generous people who live moderately are often the happiest, calmest and the most content among us. When we decide to find peace within our hearts, we will conquer greed. Then, we will become an agent of moderation.

At zubedy, our programs draw strength from shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

You and I, we must conquer greediness and be Moderate Malaysians.

Let us add value,
Have A Meaningful Wesak.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A plus point for non-proliferation by Shad Saleem Faruqi - The STAR

Despite many gaping holes, the framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme is a notable achievement
THE framework agreement between six world powers and Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Teheran’s nuclear programme is a huge diplomatic victory for United States President Barack Obama. He showed firm leadership in staying the course despite massive criticism from Israel and its sycophants in the US Congress. Likewise, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran stood up to the rightist ideologues in his country.
Despite many flaws, the blueprint may facilitate a breakthrough in ongoing but difficult nuclear negotiations. Prof Matthew Bunn of Harvard’s Belfer Centre says that the agreement is a positive step for non-proliferation. The deal contains stringent technical conditions that will make any “breakout attempt” (attempt to produce a nuclear weapon) easily detectable.
Iran will be required to decommission some of its enrichment facilities. Fordo, an underground site, will be converted to a research centre where fissile material is banned. Another heavy-water reactor will be redesigned to disable it from making bomb-grade plutonium.
These measures will prevent the development of a nuclear bomb during the 15-year period of the deal. Supporters of Israel must note that during this period Israel will retain its nuclear monopoly of the region.
If Iran secretly takes the tragic course of developing nuclear weaponry, the monitoring will lengthen the breakout time from a few weeks to one year, thus giving the West opportunity to explore all options.
For Teheran, the lifting of sanctions (valued at US$110bil a year) will create economic disincentives to experiment with nuclear arms.
Iran will return to the global economy in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme. The huge Iranian hinterland will be opened up to entrepreneurial Western corporations.
Further, the framework agreement may open the door to a new era in the US-Iran relationship and end the 35-year standoff.
Sceptics are however pointing out that the absence of key details on contentious issues makes the pact extremely fragile. The “fact sheets” publicised by both sides are already indicating clashing interpretations of key clauses.
For example, will sanctions be lifted immediately or in phases, on the day of the agreement or when the deal is put in place? Will inspections and verifications extend to “any place, any time” or will military sites be excluded?
To the critics, rapprochement with Iran is neither possible nor desirable because Iranian and US interests do not coincide on crucial policies. In the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the fight is between Iranian and Western proxies.
While there is place for such scepticism, one must remember that there are no problems that cannot be resolved. Nothing is insurmountable. The journey of a thousand miles must begin with one small step.
The technical details to be hammered out by June 30 pose immense challenges. Yet, it can be hoped that US and Iranian leadership will give peace a chance and accept the daunting task. The US President is a Nobel Peace laureate, and this may be his defining legacy.
In a spirit of reconciliation, both parties should stop regarding themselves as virtuous and the other as evil. Iran must end its silly rhetoric of calling the US a Satan.
It needs to make amends for the flagrant violation of international law by its illegal occupation of the American embassy and hostage taking of 52 American personnel for 444 days, beginning Nov 4, 1979.
The US, in turn, must expiate for the horrendous crime of shooting down an Iranian Airbus in the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988, killing all 290 on board. Besides a 35-year-old economic siege, the US has tried repeatedly to overthrow the government of Iran. There are claims that in cohorts with Israel it has murdered Iranian officials and scientists.
Western lies and hypocrisy about a nuclear-armed Iran must be ended. The truth is that Iran does not possess any nuclear bomb.
Israel does, and is secretive about it. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel is not.
Iran has openly stated that it seeks to enrich uranium for nuclear medicine and electrical power. Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty it has an “inalienable right” to do so. Its conduct is no different from what Brazil, Argentina, Japan and other countries do under IAEA supervision.
Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa (religious edict) in 2005 that the production, stockpiling or use of nuclear weapons is un-Islamic. Sometime ago Iran proposed a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. There was thunderous silence from Israel and the West.
As early as 2003-2005, Iran had sought accommodation with the West by limiting its number of centrifuges to 3,000. Had the West then responded, the recent agreement would have been reached in 2005!
Iran supports the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative endorsed by the Arab League that supports a two-state solution and recognition of Israel.
In violation of international law, the US and Israel have repeatedly threatened Iran with missile strikes if Iran continues to enrich uranium, even for peaceful purposes.
It is grossly dishonest of them to be armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons but threaten Iran for wanting to have nuclear energy.
A nuclear deal with Iran will do the USA, Iran and the rest of the world much good. Those who oppose war and regard nuclear weapons as a despicable abuse of science should welcome diplomacy between Iran and the major powers and condemn Israel and its congressional allies for their lies, hysteria and fear-mongering.
As with his initiative on Cuba, President Obama must embark on the path of reconciliation with Iran. He should put the interest of America first and not allow Israel to push his country into war with Iran. Like Abraham Lincoln on the abolition of slavery and Richard Nixon on bridges to China, Obama should provide leadership.
I think it was Jesse Jackson who said of situations like this: “Leaders of substance do not follow opinion polls. They mould opinion, not with guns or dollars or position but with the power of their souls.”

Monday, April 13, 2015

Have A Meaningful Vaisakhi - Tomorrow in The STAR

“I believe that the principles by which you live is a measure of your faith.” – Karpal Singh (1940 – 2014)

Let us be Moderate:The connection between 
thankfulness and moderation

In our Chinese New Year advertisement, we elaborated the first point of the Ten Principles for a Moderate Malaysian. In this Vaisakhi message, we are happy to share the second principle. We hope you look forward to the upcoming eight.

Principle Number Two.

I will practice the spirit of thankfulness. Instead of complaining, I work with what I have. I know deeply that the little that I have is enough to move me forward if I am sincere and conscious.

1. Why thankfulness?

A moderate person practices thankfulness. A thankful person celebrates life. To be happy, we must first be thankful. Thankfulness is a sign of peace within. A thankful person believes life is good and will surround themselves with positivity. A thankful person will always interpret a future that moves forward. A thankful person is a happy person; and happiness breeds moderation. When we are thankful, we cleanse our heart off greed, envy, anger and pride.

2. Why what we have is enough?
Because that is the formula of success. Only those who believe that what they have is enough will be able to take action immediately. Those who feel that they do not have enough will play the waiting game and delay their actions. A person who believes that what they have is enough will not put the blame on external influences. A thankful person will work with what they have. They would make a home out of a humble house and a school out of a shack. They would turn to creativity, ingenuity and hard work when faced with obstacles.

3. How to be a thankful person?
A thankful person trusts in a merciful God and sees life as a gift. When put to test, even a great one, a thankful person believes that it is an opportunity to discover God’s message and God wants us to first fight the enemy within. To do that, a thankful person must first deal with himself. As Guru Nanak rightly puts it; by conquering your mind, you can conquer the world. As such, a thankful person will always see the silver lining or hikmah in every situation.

At zubedy, our programs draw strength from shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

You and I, we must practice the spirit of thankfulness and be Moderate Malaysians.

Let us add value,
Have A Meaningful Vaisakhi.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

HUDUD: Between Dogma And Reality - by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

Dogma trumped justice and reason in the Kelantan State Assembly on the 19th of March 2015.

When dogma overwhelms one’s outlook, reality is often set aside. By tabling the Syariah Criminal Code 11 1993 (Amendment 2015) or Hudud Bill at a time when the people of Kelantan are still struggling to overcome the devastating consequences of one of the most severe floods the state has known, the PAS government has deliberately given greater emphasis to modes of punishment than to the dire needs of the masses. Reason and justice demand that restoring the shattered lives of the tens of thousands of flood victims take precedence over every other task.

In fact, if both state and federal governments addressed the underlying causes of the floods, they would discover that the failure to uphold environmental standards --- a cherished principle in Islam --- was one of the contributory factors. It is adhering faithfully to fundamental principles of this sort rather than remaining fixated on penalties and prohibitions that is the true essence of Islam. Similarly, a criminal code that concentrates upon modes of punishment will not solve the root causes of the many social ills that afflict Kelantan from drug-abuse to HIV/AIDS. What is needed is a determined effort to tackle the sociological and economic dimensions of these ills.

This inability to come to terms with the realities that confront them is also reflected in the reluctance of the proponents of hudud to examine the actual situation in the few countries that have implemented hudud. Nearly all of them are authoritarian, adopt a literal approach to laws and religious precepts, marginalise non-Muslim minorities and subordinate women. From the perspective of human dignity and social justice, not one of them is worthy of emulation.

Hudud proponents have also refused to consider the position of a number of important Muslim countries that have chosen not to implement hudud. The world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia, has, since its founding in 1945 remained committed to Panca Sila as its national ideology. Panca Sila whose first principle is the Oneness of God makes no mention of hudud. It is significant that on the 11th of February 2015 all major Islamic movements in Indonesia, including Muhammadiyah and NahdatulUlama with millions of members reiterated their endorsement of the Panca Sila in the Yogyakarta Statement.

Turkey, another country with an overwhelming Muslim majority and led by a party with an Islamic root is unambiguous in its choice of secular law as the basis of its system of governance. Neither the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt, an appendage of the Muslim Brotherhood, nor the An-Nahda of Tunisia, with its Islamic image, incorporated hudud into its manifesto when it sought power in the post- 2011 scenario following the Arab uprisings. Indeed, in the Arab uprisings as a whole which adopted freedom, dignity and justice as their battle-cry hudud was not a goal.

Why have hudud proponents in Malaysia ignored realities in Kelantan and in the Muslim world and persisted in adopting a dogmatic approach towards hudud? Part of the explanation lies in their narrow, superficial notion of Islamic identity. Like ultra-conservative groups elsewhere, they regard hudud as the defining characteristic of an Islamic state and identity when in reality punitive laws constitute a minute fraction of the Quran. What defines the identity of the Quran and Islam is a profound commitment to human dignity and social justice rooted in God-Consciousness.

In Malaysia, a hudud-centred religious identity has been reinforced by the intimate link between Islam and Malay ethnicity which has strengthened identity consciousness as a whole in a situation where the Malay-Muslim populace has always perceived the large, economically stronger Chinese community as a challenge  to its own position in what is historically a Malay  land. It is this notion of identity shaped by these forces which clings on tenaciously to hudud and other such exclusive, distinctive dimensions of Islam in the hope of asserting the religion’s power and authority.

The protection of identity along these lines has in turn spawned an irrational fear of discourse and debate within the Muslim community. This is why hudud as the inherited legacy of the jurists in Muslim history remains unexamined and under-evaluated. It is seldom highlighted by Islamic scholars in Malaysia for instance that the Kelantan Hudud Bill includes punishments for liquor consumption and apostasy which do not appear in the Quran. In the case of apostasy in particular the Quran does not provide for temporal punishment and only alludes to punishment in the hereafter.

What is even more significant, hudud (or hadd in its singular form) is not used in the Quran in relation to punishment per se. As Islamic jurists have pointed out, the term that is employed in the Quran is Hudd Allah which occurs 14 times in the sacred text to signify limits --- limits in the general sense. This general concept of limits or boundaries in human behaviour is an idea of tremendous value which is eternally and universally applicable. It is because discourse on Islamic concepts and ideas is frowned upon in Malaysia that there has been no attempt to understand this deeper philosophical meaning of hudud. Instead the Malaysian Muslim mind has remained trapped in a penal code view of hudud which focuses upon punishments and penalties.

There is a third reason why many Malaysian Muslims are fixated on hudud. For more than three decades now, the question of hudud has been sucked into inter-party political rivalry. PAS, especially after 1982, has invariably presented itself as the champion of hudud. The UMNO leadership in the past sought to diminish Pas’s claim by arguing that PAS’s hudud lacked legitimacy since it was at variance with certain Quranic principles. Since 2008 however when the UMNO-Barisan Nasional (BN) government lost its two-third majority in the Federal Parliament and Malay support began to wane, some UMNO leaders have sought to project the party’s Islamic credentials by also playing the hudud card.

Sensing that hudud is an almost insurmountable barrier separating PAS from its partner, the DAP, UMNO has attempted to exploit this difference in order to weaken the Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Some in UMNO may even see hudud as a way of strengthening ties with PAS. As a result of all this politicking, hudud has become more entrenched in the political landscape.

This brings us to the consequences of the hudud controversy for Malaysian politics and society. As we have seen, it threatens to split the PR. If either PAS or DAP leaves the PR, the PR will have less appeal in the electorally mixed constituencies which are vital in determining who is in power at the Federal level. On the other hand, this may also compel the PR parties to stick together in an uneasy, opportunistic alliance.

The hudud controversy will also impact adversely upon the BN. If UMNO is perceived to be colluding with PAS, the non-Malay, non-Muslim parties in the coalition will become even weaker vis-a-vis their base. This possibility could have a disastrous effect upon the BN’s ability to rule from Putrajaya since a substantial chunk of its electoral support comes the indigenous non-Muslim communities of Sarawak and Sabah. It is important to emphasise that it is not only the indigenous, non-Muslim parties in the two states that would eschew any UMNO-PAS collusion; even the indigenous Muslim parties would reject any such move, given the social ethos in Sarawak and Sabah.

What this means is that intra and inter-religious relations would deteriorate under the weight of hudud politics. Muslim opinion would become even more fractured. The Muslim non-Muslim chasm would widen. This deterioration could become even more pronounced if other Muslim majority states in the Federation also seek to follow Kelantan’s example and try to introduce hudud with the blessings of the Federal government.  The temptation to do so would increase especially if the imposition of hudud enhances one’s electoral standing.

Since hudud is not just a set of laws but a reflection of a certain approach to Islam, it is not inconceivable that as an ultra-conservative understanding of the religion becomes more widespread, alternative views on various Islamic issues will be marginalised and de-legitimised. A particular interpretation of Islam associated with the religious elites will become so dominant that differences of opinion will not be tolerated. Conservative religious authoritarianism impacting upon society as a whole may well become the order of the day.

This has to be checked immediately. One hopes that if the Kelantan Hudud Bill comes up to Parliament, the MPs will vote according to their conscience and not yield to a notion of Islam which does not represent the essence of the faith. The judiciary if it is called upon to exercise its wisdom in this matter should also rise to the occasion and protect the integrity of the Constitution. Most of all, the people should come out in defence of justice and reason and not submit blindly to dogma.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Create Your Own 1-Acre, Self-Sustaining Homestead -

How To Start A 1-Acre, Self-Sustaining Homestead
There are endless ways to create your own self-sustaining homestead using 1-acre of land. Some people prefer to keep cows, goats, pigs and hens, while others prefer to keep animal livestock to a minimum, or none at all. With or without livestock, your home can provide you with most of your everyday needs.
Here’s a brief overview how you can turn one-acre of land into a self-sustaining homestead.

How To Raise A Dairy Cow

There are a multitude of pros and cons to keeping a cow on your self-sustaining homestead, although mostly pros if you are willing to put in the extra work. Cows can provide milk, meat and their rich manure makes a great natural fertilizer.
Fresh, all natural cow milk is healthy for you and your family, and it also benefits other livestock such as pigs and poultry. Cow manure will also promote better soil fertility so that your garden continually produces more delicious produce each year.
Still, a cow is an annual expense that can tally near a few hundred dollars each year, or more. If you can afford the original bill for keeping happy, healthy cows, you will make your money back with everything a cow has to offer.
Photo Credit:
It’s not difficult to milk a cow once you learn how, and it can be done in as little as 8 minutes. Cow’s milk can be used to make everything from cream, cheese and a delicious glass of milk.
It is not impossible to maintain a self-sustaining homestead without a cow, but it’s much easier to do so with a cow. If you plan to add a dairy cow to your yard, you will need to milk her regularly and if you plan to go out of town you will need someone experienced to take over while you are gone.

Pasture For Dairy Cow + Crop Rotation

If you choose to keep a cow you can assume that half of your acre will be dedicated to pasture, which you may never plow, or you can plow every four-years if you plan to rotate crops.
It is recommended to rotate crops in strips of a quarter of the half-acre, resulting in freshly sown pasture that varies in age. If you have freshly sown pasture that is 2-years-old, 3-years-old, and 4-years-old, you will have the most productive land usage.
How To Start A 1-Acre, Self-Sustaining Homestead
Illustration by: Dorling Kindersley

How To Manage Grazing

If grass becomes overgrazed you need to remove cows from the area right away. Rotational grazing is key in order to keep the grass healthy, as grass does best when it has plenty of time to fully grow before being grazed or cut down. It is so important to carefully manage grazing in order to prevent your entire pasture from turning to dust.
A half-acre of grass should keep a little Jersey cow plump all summer. It is unlikely you will have any leftover grass, but if you do it can be used to make hay. In order to prevent overgrazing, your cow will need a place to stay inside for the winter, but will still require some fresh air every day.

Edible Gardens

The other half of your one-acre will be farmed as a garden. Ideally, you will separate this land into four sections so that annual crops grow in a strict crop rotation.
Example of an ideal crop rotation:
–Grass (four years)
–Plot 1: Potatoes
–Plot 2: Legumes (pea and bean family)
–Plot 3: Brassicas (cabbage family)
–Plot 4:Root Vegetables (carrots, beets, etc.)
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Over time, your 1-acre farm can become more productive than a 10-acre farm built using commercial lines.
Photo Credit:
A goat is a great asset for times when cow milk runs dry. In fact, all farm animals will provide their own unique benefits.
Different animals require different living conditions, but all require some sort of indoor shelter for at least part of the year. Bedding for indoor stalls is something you must factor into your budget.
Animals will consume any food you do not; in fact you won’t need a compost pile with animals around.
Photo Credit:
Even if you only have a very small amount of space to work with, you can still develop a self-sufficient home.
Photo Credit: Lamar Alexander
This information was taken from The Self-Sufficient Life and How To Live It, written by the late John Seymour. The treasured classic is now available as a 400-page illustrated masterpiece. If you are truly interested in starting your own self-sufficient homestead it’s a beneficial read!