Tuesday, December 23, 2014

10 Prinsip Wasatiah Warga Malaysia

Wahai Warga Malaysia

Mari kita wasatiahkan Malaysia. Amalan wasatiah wujud dahulu, kini dan pada masa hadapan.

Mari kita bersama-sama praktikkan 10 prinsip Wasatiah Warga Malaysia.

1. Saya akan bertanggungjawab. Saya tidak akan menunggu yang lain untuk mengamalkan konsep wasatiah. Saya akan mengambil langkah pertama. Saya adalah agen wasatiah.

2. Saya akan mengamalkan konsep kesyukuran. Saya akan menggunakan apa yang sedia ada dan tidak merungut. Saya tahu sedikit apa yang ada adalah cukup untuk maju ke hadapan jika saya ikhlas dan taqwa.

3. Saya tidak akan tamak. Saya tidak akan merungut tentang mengapa yang lain lebih kaya, tetapi mengambil berat terhadap yang kurang bernasib baik.

4. Saya akan sentiasa berfikiran positif dan sentiasa melihat masalah sebagai peluang. Walaupun seseorang bercakap menyakitkan hati, saya akan melihatnya sebagai peluang untuk memahami apa yang mengganggu hati seseorang itu.

5. Saya akan sentiasa bersikap kritikal terhadap diri sendiri dan komuniti saya. Jika saya adalah seorang yang beragama Islam, saya akan kritikal terhadap individu beragama Islam lain terlebih dahulu. Jika saya seorang yang beragama Kristian, saya akan kritikal terhadap individu beragama Kristian lain terlebih dahulu, dan sebagainya.

6. Saya akan jujur kepada kedua-dua belah pihak. Saya tidak akan menjadi hipokrit.

7. Saya akan mengamalkan "Golden Rule" iaitu kod etika yang mengatakan bahawa saya akan berkelakuan sepertimana saya mahu dilayan oleh orang lain. Saya tidak akan berkelakuan buruk, di mana saya juga tidak mahu dilayan sedemikian.

8. Saya akan mengambil berat dan mempraktikkan kepelbagaian dan keharmonian. Saya yakin dengan penuh hati bahawa kepelbagaian adalah anugerah Allah yang terbaik dan tanda-tanda kebesaranNya.

9. Saya akan sentiasa menambah nilai kepada orang lain, kepada setiap situasi dan apa sahaja yang berinteraksi dengan saya.

10. Saya akan sentiasa mengamalkan sikap pengasih. Saya akan cepat memaafkan dan melupakan. Saya akan sentiasa beri peluang kepada keamanan.

Saya percaya bahawa majoriti rakyat Malaysia bersikap wasatiah. Kita adalah antara golongan yang yakin di hati bahawa rakyat Malaysia mahukan yang terbaik buat diri mereka sendiri dan juga untuk rakyat Malaysia yang lain, kerana negara ini tidak akan maju secara keseluruhan jika ada yang ketinggalan.

Mari amalkan sikap wasatiah.


Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur

Monday, December 22, 2014

Have A Meaningful Christmas - Tomorrow in The STAR

Sybil Kathigasu (1899 - 1948) selflessly took on the duty to help others during Japanese occupation of Malaya with the means she had as a nurse.

Let us be Moderate: Principles for a Moderate Malaysian.

Dear brother and sister Malaysians,

Come make Malaysia moderate. The practice of moderation is our past, present and future. Let us together follow the Principles for a Moderate Malaysian.

1.  I will take ownership. I will take responsibility. I do not wait for others to act in moderation. I will take the first step. I AM THE AGENT OF MODERATION.

2.  I will practice the spirit of thankfulness (kesyukuran). 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.

3.  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.

4. I will always choose the better meaning and always see all problems as opportunities.  Even if someone says hurtful words, I will see it as an opportunity to know what is painful in the other person’s heart.

5. I will first be critical of myself and my own community. If I am a Muslim, I will be critical of other Muslims’ wrongdoings first. If I am a Christian, I will be critical of other Christians’ wrongdoings, and so on.

6. I will be honest on both sides. I will not be a hypocrite.

7. I will practice the Golden Rule. I will treat others as I would like others to treat me. I will not treat others in ways that I would not like to be treated.

8. I will embrace and practice diversity and inclusion. I will believe with all my heart that diversity is one of God’s greatest signs and gifts.

9. I will always add value to everyone, every situation and everything that I interact with.

10. I will always practice mercy. I will be quick to forgive and forget. I always give peace a chance.

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.

Let us be first and foremost, Malaysians.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Need for consultative process - The STAR

WE, a group of concerned citizens of Malaysia, would like to express how disturbed and deeply dismayed we are, over the continuing unresolved
disputes on the position and application of Islamic laws in this country.
The on-going debate over these matters display a lack of clarity and understanding on the place of Islam within our constitutional democracy.
Moreover, they reflect a serious breakdown of federal-state division of powers, both in the areas of civil and criminal jurisdictions.
We refer specifically to the current situation where religious bodies seem to be asserting authority beyond their jurisdiction; where issuance of various fatwa violate the Federal Constitution and breach the democratic and consultative process of shura; where the rise of supremacist NGOs accusing dissenting voices of being anti-Islam, anti-monarchy and anti-Malay has made attempts at rational discussion and conflict resolution difficult; and most importantly, where the use of the Sedition Act hangs as a constant threat to silence anyone with a contrary opinion.
These developments undermine Malaysia’s commitment to democratic principles and rule of law, breed intolerance and bigotry, and have heightened anxieties over national peace and stability.
As moderate Muslims, we are particularly concerned with the statement issued by Minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, in response to the recent Court of Appeal judgement on the right of transgendered women to dress according to their identity.
Jamil viewed the right of the transgender community and Sisters in Islam (SIS) to seek legal redress as a “new wave of assault on Islam” and as an attempt to lead Muslims astray from their faith, and put religious institutions on trial in a secular court.
Such an inflammatory statement from a Federal Minister (and not for the first time) sends a public message that the Prime Minister’s commitment to the path of moderation need not be taken seriously when a Cabinet minister can persistently undermine it.
These issues of concern that we raise are of course difficult matters to address given the extreme politicisation of race and religion in this country.
However, we believe there is a real need for a consultative process that will bring together experts in various fields, including Islamic and Constitutional laws, and those affected by the application of Islamic laws in adverse ways.
We also believe the Prime Minister is best placed with the resources and authority to lead this consultative process.
It is urgent that all Malaysians are invested in finding solutions to these longstanding areas of conflict that have led to the deterioration of race relations, eroded citizens’ sense of safety and protection under the rule of law, and undermined stability.
There are many pressing issues affecting all of us that need the urgent leadership and vision of the Prime Minister, the support of his Cabinet and all moderate Malaysians. They include:
i) A plural legal system that has led to many areas of conflict and overlap between civil and syariah laws. In particular there is an urgent need to review the Syariah Criminal Offences (SCO) laws of Malaysia.
These laws which turn all manner of “sins” into crimes against the state have led to confusion and dispute in both substance and implementation.
They are in conflict with Islamic legal principles and constitute a violation of fundamental liberties and state intrusion into the private lives of citizens. In 1999, the Cabinet directed the Attorney-General’s Chambers to review the SCO laws.
But to this day, they continue to be enforced with more injustices perpetrated.
The public outrage, debates over issues of jurisdiction, judicial challenge, accusations of abuses committed, gender discrimination, and deaths and injuries caused in moral policing raids have eroded the credibility of the SCO laws, the law-making process, and public confidence that Islamic law could indeed bring about justice.
ii) The lack of public awareness, even among top political leaders, on the legal jurisdiction and substantive limits of the powers of the religious authorities and administration of Islamic laws in Malaysia.
The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land and any law enacted, including Islamic laws, cannot violate the Constitution, in particular the provisions on fundamental liberties, federal-state division of powers and legislative procedures.
All Acts, Enactments and subsidiary legislations, including fatwas, are bound by constitutional limits and are open to judicial review.
iii) The need to ensure the right of citizens to debate the ways Islam is used as a source of public law and policy in this country.
The Islamic laws of Malaysia are drafted by the Executive arm of government and enacted in the Legislative bodies by human beings.
Their source may be divine, but the enacted laws are not divine. They are human made and therefore fallible, open to debate and challenge to ensure that justice is upheld.
iv) The need to promote awareness of the rich diversity of interpretive texts and juristic opinions in the Islamic tradition.
This includes conceptual legal tools that exist in the tradition that enable reform to take place and the principles of equality and justice to be upheld, in particular in response to the changing demands, role and status of women in the family and community.
v) The need for the Prime Minister to assert his personal leadership as well as appoint key leaders who will, in all fairness, champion open and coherent debate and discourse on the administration of Islamic laws in this country to ensure that justice is done.
We especially urge that the leadership sends a clear signal that rational and informed debate on Islamic laws in Malaysia and how they are codified and implemented are not regarded as an insult to Islam or to the religious authorities.
These issues may seem complex to many, but at the end of the day, it really boils down to this: as Muslims, we want Islamic law, even more than civil law, to meet the highest standards of justice precisely because it claims to reflect divine justice.
Therefore, those who act in the name of Islam through the administration of Islamic law must bear the responsibility of demonstrating that justice is done, and is seen to be done.
When Islam was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. in 7th century Arabia, it was astoundingly revolutionary and progressive.
Over the centuries, the religion has guided believers through harsh and challenging times.
It is our fervent belief that for Islam to continue to be relevant and universal in our times, the understanding, codification and implementation of the teachings of our faith must continue to evolve.
Only with this, can justice, as enjoined by Allah S.W.T. prevail.
1. Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Rahim Din
Former Secretary-General, Home Ministry
2. Tan Sri Ahmad Kamil Jaafar
Former Secretary-General, Foreign Ministry
3. Tan Sri Dr Aris Othman
Former Secretary-General, Finance Ministry
4. Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican
Former Director-General, Health Ministry
5. Tan Sri Datuk Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim
Former Secretary-General, Finance Ministry
6. Tan Sri Datuk Dr Mustaffa Babjee
Former Director-General Veterinary Services
7. Tan Sri Nuraizah Abdul Hamid
Former Secretary-General
Energy, Communications and Multimedia Ministry
8. Tan Sri Dr Yahya Awang
Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Core
National Heart Institute
9. Datuk Seri Shaik Daud Md Ismail
Former Court of Appeal Judge
10. Datuk Abdul Kadir Mohd Deen
Former Ambassador
11. Datuk Anwar Fazal
Former Senior Regional Advisor
United Nations Development Programme
12. Datuk Dali Mahmud Hashim
Former Ambassador
13. Datuk Emam Mohd Haniff Mohd Hussein
Former Ambassador
14. Datuk Faridah Khalid
Representative of Women’s Voice
15. Datuk Latifah Merican Cheong
Former Assistant Governor
Bank Negara
16. Lt Gen (Rtd) Datuk Maulob Maamin
Lieutenant General (Rtd)
17. Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin
Former Ambassador
18. Datuk Ranita Hussein
Former Suhakam Commissioner
19. Datuk Redzuan Kushairi
Former Ambassador
20. Datuk Dr Sharom Ahmat
Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Universiti Sains Malaysia
21. Datuk Syed Arif Fadhillah
Former Ambassador
22. Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad
Former Director-General
Malaysian Timber Industry
23. Datuk Zainuddin Bahari
Former Deputy Secretary-General
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and
Consumerism Ministry
24. Datin Halimah Mohd Said
Former Lecturer
Universiti Malaya and President, Association of Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE)
25. Hendon Mohamad
Past President
Malaysian Bar

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Beset by anger & hate - The STAR

The pervasive political atmosphere is stifling rational discourse.

WHAT has the song First Cut Is The Deepest got to do with political sentiments in Malaysia?

That was my precise thought when a rather inebriated guest singer proudly made references to his ethnicity and the recently concluded Umno general assembly before and after his rendition of the song at a popular local pub on Sunday.

For those who are unfamiliar with the 47-year-old tune, it sums up the anxiety of entering a new romantic relationship while still suffering from the hurt of one’s first love.

Most people associate it with British rock icon Rod Stewart, but the poignant song was written by Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, in 1965.

Stevens, born Steven Demetre Georgiou, composed it when he was still a struggling songwriter and sold it for £30 to P.P. Arnold, a former Ike and Tina Turner backup singer, who turned it into a hit in 1967.

Cover versions by Keith Hamp­shire and Sheryl Crow also became huge hits, but Stewart’s classic interpretation remains the most renowned.

What was the song’s connection to the Chinese community and not being understood by Umno, as the guest singer said after his three minutes on stage? I was left wondering, too.

Perhaps it was yet another manifestation of the pervasive political atmosphere in the country today.

It is scary, but everything in Malaysia is somehow associated with politics and the overbearing anger and hatred it begets is stifling.

As expected, last week’s Umno general assembly provided more fodder for the ill will to go on.

Party president and Prime Mi­­nister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has come under fire for declaring that the Sedition Act would not only remain but would be strengthened.

His detractors are denouncing it as a “flip-flop”, but the decision clearly had the support of the party, which secured 88 of Barisan Nasional’s 133 seats in the 13th general election last year – one short of the total of 89 won by Pakatan Rakyat parties.

It is true that Umno needs to go beyond its Malay heartland base and gain support in the urban areas to remain relevant, but only the politically naive would expect a leader to go against the tide of the grassroots.

In any case, whatever Najib does has never been right in the eyes of those opposed to his leadership. It has always been the case of damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

Much has been said and written about the assembly, but for someone who has observed such gatherings for three decades, it was a rather tame affair.

Sure, there were some heated moments, the expected venting of communal frustrations, the usual clownish remarks and attempts at bashing a particular community, but Najib and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin drummed home some pertinent points at the end of it.

Muhyiddin brought home the stark reality that Barisan, which lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament for the first time in the 12th general election, could be ousted from Putrajaya with just a loss of 2% support in the next polls.

Amidst the rhetoric, Najib sent the most important message – Umno needs the support of the other races to remain in power – stressing that this was why Tunku Abdul Rahman formed the Alliance, which evolved into Barisan Nasional under Tun Abdul Razak.

A close friend, a retired politician who has served as a Member of Parliament for two terms, said such assurances might do little to sway diehard supporters of Pakatan Rakyat, but had restored a semblance of hope among those who want to see the return to rational politics in the country.

Both sides of the political divide have to pull back from digging deeper trenches separating Malaysians from each other.

The rational and moderate among us must remind political leaders and their supporters that there is more to life than trading insults and perpetuating endless hatred.

Malaysians must be made to realise that politics has always been about battles between competing interests and attempts to balance partial truths.

Instead of looking at the complex perspectives involved, we are constantly drawn into the partisan hate through simplistic beliefs about being right and wrong, or good versus evil.

With today’s digital technology and widespread use of social media, it is even easier for those bent on stirring discord to get quick and extensive coverage.

In the old days, rookie journalists were reminded that just because somebody says something shocking it would not mean that it was news.

Not anymore. Any rabble-rouser for a small and insignificant group can now manipulate the media into getting ample attention by making incendiary remarks.

But there is a limit to how much political rancour and hate people can stomach.

Even in countries where two party systems of democracies are practised, voters are being turned off by the intense politicking, especially when there is no difference between the parties when it comes to corruption or standard of governance.

As a result of this aversion, what is being referred to as “anti-politics” is very much in the air in Europe.

The United Kingdom’s 64-year-old Political Studies Association has set up an Anti-Politics and De-Politicisation Specialist Group dedicated to providing a forum for researchers examining the trend.

According to the group, “anti-politics” appears to have marginalised political debates, taken power away from elected politicians and fostered an air of disengagement, disaffection and disinterest in politics.

The way politics is being played in Malaysia, I wouldn’t mind a dose of it here.

Associate Editor M. Veera Pandiyan likes this observation by F. Scott Fitzgerald: The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

Article taken from The STAR