Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Zakat collection is 4 ALL who R poor - Non-Muslims included

Muslim zakat collectors like JAIS is also responsible and must answer to God if anyone in Selangor, which is under their care, lives in poverty - like these families.

from Malaysian Insider -
KUALA SELANGOR, Feb 23 — Letchmy Ponasamy has not heard of a political tsunami. Neither has her friend Selvimari. The change that it was supposed to bring did not reach their village of Sungai Yu, Kuala Selangor.

Letchmy and Selvimari do not have identity cards. Nor do Lecthmy’s four children and Selvi’s middle child. The women cannot get jobs and their IC-less children have never attended school. To read further click here.

How come zakat (alms) in Malaysia is only for the Muslims when the Quran says...

"The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise. - Quran 9:60

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Majority Malaysian Race

The Majority Malaysian race in Malaysia are Malaysians.

Accordingly there are 28.96 million of us. Many minority groups also reside in Malaysia. They are mainly those who came here to secure a job – sending money home to their families. While they are here to make money, at the same time they contribute to our growth and well being. The largest amongst them are those from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc and the smallest groups would be the Caucasians.

This 28.96 million majority race in Malaysia can be subdivided into many sub-races that represent like a rainbow, colours of people with the brown shade representing the largest spectrum. This rainbow of people consists of the Malays, Chinese, Indians, natives of Sarawak and Sabah, Eurasians, etc. This rainbow was formed in 1957 and later enhance in 1963.

Many Malaysians, including scores of respected leaders from both sides of the political divides are still trapped in the past, stuck to pre 1957 psyche. They still carry a colonial mentality and make the mistake of seeing one of the sub-races as the main race and some of the others as the minorities. This translates into public and party policies and also the base for opposition.

So instead of working to assist the weak and needy among the majority Malaysian race, that is the poor among the 28.96 million, they place more emphasis towards a particular sub-race. Those who oppose too, work within the same myopic framework.

Thinking Malaysians like you and I need to help these leaders see things with more clarity. We need to give them a gentle reminder that we are first and foremost a Malaysian :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I am disappointed that Dr. Kua Kia Soong has misrepresented my position in his “Rehabilitating Ketuanan Melayu: A Bad Attempt at a Discredited Concept.” ( 9 February 2011). In his eagerness to denigrate me he shows very little concern for facts or historical truths.

1) He proclaims that the term “ ketuanan Melayu” is not in the 1957 Federal Constitution. Who has suggested that it is in the Constitution? This is a clear example of setting up ‘a straw man’ and hitting him down.

2) He appears to equate Ketuanan Melayu with “Malay political dominance” a’la Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad. Both the term “ketuanan” and its underlying meaning have a long history behind them. As I have pointed out elsewhere, “ketuanan” is related to the Malay monarchical institution---- “tuan” as in Yang di Pertuan Agong, Yang di Pertuan Besar, Yam Tuan, and so on. The term implies sovereignty of the Malay Rulers. Since the Malays, in the historical sense, were subjects of their respective Rulers, “ketuanan Melayu” --- the sovereignty of the Malays--- came into vogue in the early decades of the 20th century as part of the growth of Malay nationalism. When the Malayan Union scheme threatened the Malay character of the land the Malays naturally rallied to protect the identity of the land --- hence the goal of restoring Malay sovereignty. Do not forget that the British colonial power recognised Malay sovereignty in their treaties with the Sultans of both the federated and un-federated Malay states, though we know that in reality it was the British who were in effective control.

3) Kua should also be reminded that even after Merdeka, ‘Ketuanan Melayu” was a central feature of the Islamic Party’s (PAS) political struggle. “Restoring Malay ownership of the land”, “defending Malay sovereignty,” “protecting the Malay birth right” were among PAS’s slogans in the fifties and sixties. Pas was totally opposed to what it perceived as UMNO’s generous conferment of citizenship rights upon the non-Malays.

4) In my writings, from my Master’s thesis in 1974, right through my tenure as Aliran President from 1977 to 1991, and up to the present, I have always sought to understand Malay sentiments surrounding concepts such as “Ketuanan Melayu.” But at the same time, I have maintained consistently that it is a divisive idea that jeopardises the quest for a united nation. There is no contradiction at all between elucidating a concept and rejecting its usage.

5) In fact, Kua’s strenuous endeavour to show that I have been inconsistent is actually part of his subtle attempt at character assassination: portraying me as someone who has betrayed his principles. He suggests that I accept Malay political dominance today when I had rejected it in 1986 in my critique of Abdullah’s assertion about the legitimacy of Malay political dominance. I challenge Kua to reveal to the public a book, or article or even a sentence that I have written anywhere that seeks to justify the dominance of one community over another. I have always subscribed to the view that dichotomising power on the basis of a superior and subordinate relationship demeans human dignity, and is antithetical to national integration. My A Plea for Empathy (Kuala Lumpur: Zubedy Ideahouse, 2010) testifies to this.

6) Nonetheless, I have also maintained in the last 40 years that while Malay political dominance should never be elevated to an immutable principle of governance “the nucleus of national political leadership will remain Malay for many years to come.” These words are taken from the very essay that Kua refers to in his attack on me. How is it that he can excerpt at length from my essay and yet ignore this sentence and six other paragraphs that explain why the Malay nucleus in leadership is logical and understandable? To quote from that 1986 essay, I had stated, in reference to the Malay nucleus, “This is only logical considering the political historical background of the country. The present Malaysian state evolved from a Malay polity.” ( K. Das Malay Dominance The Abdullah Rubric ( Kuala Lumpur: K Das Ink, 1987, p 88)

7) The truth is that Kua and his ilk have always sought to repudiate this fundamental historical fact. They just cannot accept the fact that this nation has a Malay root. It is a root that is explicitly acknowledged in the Constitution through the position of the Malay Rulers, the role of the Malay language and the status of Islam. For people like Kua this is “Malay dominance” while Malaysians who have a better grasp of Malaysian realities will see this as an essential dimension of the equilibrium that sustains this nation. It is an equilibrium which at its best expresses itself through a profound appreciation of the Malay position, on the one hand, and a genuine accommodation of non-Malay interests, on the other, embodied in the incorporation of their languages and religions into the nation’s social fabric. Because Kua views the ethnic situation in our country from a skewed perspective, he has very little empathy for the Malay position.

So after more than 30 years, Dr.Kua Kia Soong and I have changed very little. He remains, as he has always been, an ethnic hero who camouflages his tracks with his human rights postures while I am still true to my calling as an inter-ethnic bridge-builder in an increasingly challenging environment.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan 1Malaysia and Professor of Global Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Petaling Jaya.
15 Febraury 2011.

To read KKS's article click here

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Malaysia Boleh – Take uncompromising position about a book without reading it

Ahmad Muthu Tan (not his real name) is a friend of mine. He is well educated, has a law degree and now running his own business. He has made millions and now lives comfortably in one of the more expensive housing areas in Klang Valley.

We had a rather loud argument last evening. He was very angry with me as I kept on insisting that he should first read the book before condemning it. He was full of opinion, angry ones. He said I was been bought over. He took offence with one or two words in the text, and wants the book to be thrown out wholesale if possible. Definitely we cannot allow Malaysians to read the book, what more our young.

When I suggested that he has taken the words out of context, he suggested that I am an idiot for not seeing the hidden agenda behind it all. I pleaded he just have a look at the other side but he can still keep his point of view afterwards, but he wants nothing of it. It is like anything I say will just add to his anger – even if it was logical.

I decided not to continue as I could see clearly; smart he may be, but he is making his point from a wounded heart. It is not the book that he has issues with. He is not even angry with me.

He has issues with himself. Even with all his wealth and trappings, deep inside he is not a happy person – for reasons he himself cannot fathom. I used to tell him it is greed, but now I stopped as he exploded each time.

He has A REAL BIG issue with those people BEHIND the book, those using it with an ‘evil’ agenda. He is not even angry with the scribes; after all they are just paid servants. It’s just the entire organisation call PAKATAN RAKYAT. And he, being a full blooded BN person is not willing to consider the other side. Not an iota. The world is black and white. I am right, you are wrong. If you are not with me, you are against me.

I decided to let go and excuse myself. I left him a copy of the booklet – PAKATAN’s 100 Day Promise.

I turned back as I left the coffee shop, he was about to toss the book, but he stopped. He looked at the cover, put it down on the table, took a sip of black coffee and picked the booklet again, and started reading ...

I smiled, there is hope. There is always hope:)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Interlok - My tots AFTER reading it :)

I finished reading the book yesterday.

It is a good book and one who has read it will wonder how the hell this controversy became what it is in the first place. Our 17 year olds must think we adults are really screwed :)

Politicians on both sides have managed to hoodwink us further going deeper into partisan positions, as such entrenching their places within their own supporters and sympathisers. In time for the next elections? They must be worried about those who are in the middle. But, the cheap trick seems to be working. We are indeed a nation with wounded hearts, and as such it is so easy to rile us up.

I have strong convictions you will change your stance once you have read the book. It is not only good for 17 year olds, but to all in the country – perhaps to mend the wounded hearts.

The book and the education ministry have an AGENDA – it is written at the back cover of the book, it reads..

“Interlock covers the period from the early 20th century to Malaya’s independence from British rule. The main theme in this novel is the integration of the various majority races of Malaya and how the Malays, Chinese and Indians, represented by three families, have contributed towards this sovereign nation”

The fiction showed that our lives are interlocked with each other. My wish is someone like Yasmin Ahmad is around to make it into a movie:)

Cheers, anas .