Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Have a meaningful Christmas - Thursday in The Star

Datuk Peter J. Mojuntin (10 October 1939 - 6 June 1976) was a minister in the government of Tun Fuad Stephens. He was a man of high principles and beliefs. The rakyat was his priority - truly The Golden Son of Kadazan.

NEW MALAYSIA : What is to be done?

Accept and appreciate our History

It is crucial that we do not hold a myopic and naïve view that our nation simply emerged out of the blue in 1957 and thereafter in 1963 without accepting and appreciating its long illustrious history that spans thousands of years. This attitude will rob and negate the history of the land and its people.

To do so, one will need to pretend that everything about Semenanjung Tanah Melayu before 1957 and Sabah and Sarawak prior to 1963 as irrelevant. This is the main obstacle in putting together a balanced, fair and truly inclusive national history and consequently impacting how we see and interact with each other as its people.

What must we do?

1. Understand, accept, absorb and immerse our history wholeheartedly from the beginning of human migration to our evolution: from hunter-gatherers who practiced animism, shamanism and ancestor worship to the time when we were Hindus, Buddhists and the last many hundreds of years till the present, Islam as our main narratives. When we do these with vigor, we will be able to appreciate how our early beliefs, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and even Christianity have left socio-religious and cultural imprints towards our ways of life and common shared values today.

2. Look at our national history in at least in two main parts. Firstly, our history before 1957 and 1963, the Malay World, the history about the people of Malay Archipelago that includes the Orang Asli and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak – which rightly has to be Malay-Centric. At the same time, we must accept that the immigration history of our people from the east and the west is as real as the Malay-Centric experience and forms part of our national history, too. Secondly, our modern history that starts at 1957 and expanded, gained depth and breadth in 1963 when Malaysia was born. Our new history as its people.

3. Hold our constitution as the just and balanced center of reference that connects the dots to our past, present and the future. The constitutional provisions recognize the special position of the Malays and other natives the Orang Asli, Sabahans and Sarawakians while at the same time the rights and legitimate interests of the other communities. Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony.

Without constitutional provisions to ensure that their interests are protected, natives across the world will be helpless against the demand for ‘equality’ because the descendants of the colonial and immigrant communities tend to have a bigger advantage. Equality in the loose sense will favor the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and weak be it for economic justice or in drawing the historical chronicles of the people.

At zubedy, we do not preach what we do not do. Contact us when you want to get your team to appreciate and work together practicing diversity and inclusion. Our programs and activities draw strength from our shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, every Malaysian want good things for themselves and their brothers and sisters, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

Let us add value,
Have a Meaningful Christmas.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Have a meaningful Deepavali - Friday in The Star

Sir Mokshagundam Vishweshvaraya (15 September 1860 – 14 April 1962) was one of the most eminent engineers ever produced by India. He is a very good example of someone who has the drive, willpower, discipline, ownership, social skills and good habits to succeed.

NEW MALAYSIAN : What is to be done?

Business Organizations must play a bigger role in Nation Building and Unity.

We need to be candid. As captains of industries and human resource leaders, we are well aware of the concerns relating to the quality of our nation’s present and future human capital. When families, the education system and society fail to provide the life skills needed for the economy and nation, we have no time to complain, but to step up on our own actions.

What must we do?

1. Provide basic life skills. Yes! We need to teach them how to live, how to focus, how to interact and build relationships, language, how to handle money, time, health and fitness, how to get to work on time, how to complete the tasks given, how to manage their emotions and most importantly we need to teach them willpower. We need to be their parents, educators and critical but compassionate friends.

2. Self-learning, discipline, ownership and good habits. Training, development, and skills courses are short-term measures. For sustainable human growth, we need to create good habits and ownership where we impart the ability to practice self-managed learning, knowing ‘how to learn’ and the discipline of making things happen. These demands top management and line manager’s active involvement. Coaching discipline needs constant follow-up and engagement and cannot be pushed to the human resources department alone. It has to be repeated over and over again until self-discipline becomes part of themselves and willpower occurs without them having to think about it. 

3. Practice Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). The majority of Malaysians from different race and religion lived and schooled separately until they converge into the job market. For the majority, chances that the first time an actual and real interaction takes place will be at work - be it with coworkers, customers or vendors. We, in the business world, have the best platform to promote social cohesion, understanding, and empathy through our policies, practices and values. Let us make our businesses be the school for National Unity.

While we step up on the above endeavors, what can the government do to assist us? The government can assist us to achieve this goal by providing appropriate support, incentives and tax breaks for human development, coaching and the reschooling of the nation. This will ease the extra financial burden and we in the business industry can help take over where the education system left off.
At zubedy, we do not preach what we do not do. Contact us when you want to provide your people with basic life skills, self-learning, discipline, ownership, and good habits.

For Diversity and Inclusion, our programs and activities draw strength from our shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, every Malaysian want good things for themselves and their brothers and sisters, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

Let us add value,
Have a Meaningful Deepavali.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018



Chandra Muzaffar

One hopes that upholding and enforcing the rule of law will be one of the legacies of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership. He has emphasised the importance of this fundamental principle of governance over and over again since he assumed the prime ministership for the second time in his life on the 10th of May 2018. The rule of law, needless to say, is what distinguishes a civilised society. It has been at the core of the long struggle for human dignity and social justice for centuries.

The rule of law is not just about a society governed by laws. The laws must be just and fair. They must promote and protect equality and dignity. When the law is supreme there will be no room for arbitrariness. All segments of the nation should have a clear understanding of what the rule of law implies. It is a pity that this is lacking in our society though the Rule of Law is the fourth principle of the Rukunegara, Malaysia’s national philosophy.

As part of this understanding of the Rule of Law, Malaysians should realise that the greatest threat to the Rule of law comes from the abuse of power. The abuse of power associated with those who formulate the laws, who implement the laws and who enforce the laws. In the last few years under the Najib Razak government individuals and groups at different levels of society suffered from the consequences of such wanton abuse of power.

It has underscored the critical importance of establishing mechanisms to curb and, if possible, eliminate such abuse. A law that requires those exercising executive and legislative powers to declare their assets and liabilities to the public and another that regulates the financing of political parties are among the mechanisms in the offing. Making certain appointments such as the Chief Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission answerable to a parliamentary Select Committee would be yet another move designed to enhance public accountability.

In this regard, the Prime Minister had also announced on the 11th of September 2018 the establishment of two institutions which are crucial for checking abuse of power especially in relation to the ordinary citizen. The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) was perhaps the most significant of the 125 recommendations made by a Royal Commission in 2005 but it failed to materialise mainly because of opposition from certain quarters and the lack of political will on the part of the powers-that-be. The IPCMC was supposed to investigate and act on police corruption, criminal offences by the police and other misconduct. It was largely because police abuses had become rife and rampant that there was public clamour for an independent body to investigate and act. Now after 13 years, Dr Mahathir has taken the courageous step of bringing the IPCMC into reality. It is a timely move that is most welcome because there is increasing evidence of bribes allegedly influencing police investigations and of malice stemming from extraneous links driving the conduct of certain police personnel.

For misconduct outside the police, Dr Mahathir is proposing an Ombudsman Act which will install a public official who will receive, investigate and act on complaints of abuses by all public officials. To be effective, different spheres of public life should have different ombudsman. It is interesting that this idea was first explored in the early seventies by the second Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. One hopes that it will now see the light of day.

To be honest, there is no guarantee that the IPCMC and the Ombudsman will emerge as effective, independent instruments for checking abuse of power. There may be attempts by public servants themselves to dilute their independence, to weaken their strength. Or those who are given the task of actually designing these instruments may procrastinate or find all sorts of excuses to delay their implementation. In other words, we should not discount the danger of sabotage or subversion from within.

This is a danger that is real especially in view of the allegation made by the Chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), Tun Daim Zainuddin, that there maybe “moles” in the public services leaking information to the likes of Jho Low, wanted by the Malaysian authorities and other jurisdictions because of his pivotal role in the 1MDB scandal. What this suggests is that action against wrong-doers maybe hampered and hindered by those who are entrusted with the mission of protecting the public good. Sabotage from within is therefore a factor that should also be considered in the struggle to enforce the rule of law.

All the more reason why Malaysians with conscience and integrity should not waver in this momentous struggle.

Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Perpaduan Malaysia (YPM).

Petaling Jaya.

14 October 2018.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Jawatankuasa Tertinggi Institusi Hal Ehwal Islam Peringkat Persekutuan,
Pejabat Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-Raja,
482, Jalan Bukit Petaling,
50460 Kuala Lumpur.



I apologize for writing in English. I am writing in English because most of my reading and research regarding Islam all this while has been in English and as such I feel that I can convey my message better on this subject through the English medium.
My suggestions on how we can better our practice of Islam are:
  1. Make Malaysia the center and beacon and the leader for the practice of Universal Islam – making Islam inclusive. In order to do so we need to do the following:
    1. Relook the way we view, frame and understand Islamic History. We need to identify world and human history as ours – not the history of the Arab people. For a Quranic background on this position please go here
    2. Reframe and breathe new life into the word pluralism as a positive word within the Islamic tradition. In so doing we go back to the original message of the Quran. For a Quranic background on this position please go here
    3. Reframe and breathe new life into the word liberalism as a positive word within the Islamic tradition too. Make the Prophet as our number one example of a liberator. For a Quranic background on this position please go here
    4. Practice, promote and defend Diversity and Inclusion within the Islamic World by the direct endorsement of the Amman Message by the Majlis Raja-Raja. We should also, after reorganizing and winning the hearts and minds of our own people, organize an expanded and a more in-depth conference here in Kuala Lumpur and thereafter set a permanent office and processes to look into the practice of the Diversity and inclusion within the Islamic world.
  2. Update Jakim’s translations of the Quran especially the Bahasa Malaysia version. This is key in making the teaching of the Quran accessible to the majority population. Translations at different points of history is crucial in making the teachings relevant, up to date and practical.
  3. Support and protect all endeavors that promote the reading of the Quran in the language one understands best. In Malaysia, Bahasa Malaysia. Contrary to popular narrative, it is the translations of the Quran that is more important in the day-to-day practice for the average Muslim population as the majority are not Arab speaking. One such project is the yearly #LRTQ – Let’s Read The Quran Campaign. Refer here
  4. Colour Coded Hadith Collections by JAKIM- Create a website with a powerful search engine for all the hadith collections colour coding of what is Sahih, Hasan, Daif and Mawdu’. This will help minimize the wrongly used hadith by many both religious leaders as well as lay people.
  5. Lead Muslims to pay attention to substance rather than form. An example is our overly concern on dress codes rather than ‘pakaian Taqwa’. Refer here - . Getting Muslims to pay attention to what is more important is crucial as we are what we pay attention to. For an explanation, refer here
  6. If there is one thing the religious leadership choose and nothing else, it would be making READING the core message. PAY ATTENTION TO READING AND SEEKING OF KNOWLEDGE. Even if the religious leadership drops everything else and focus only on one thing reading and the seeking of knowledge, we will move forward, be leaders again and be successful both here and the hereafter. So, make reading core. Make reading and seeking of knowledge as one of the central pillars of Islam. After all it was the first of all commandments. Refer here and refer to the earlier link on the impact of reading to modern history since the Prophet’s time here

Thank you and Salam.

anas zubedy

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Have a Meaningful Hari Malaysia - Sunday in The Star

Dato’ Sudirman bin Haji Arshad (25 May 1954 – 22 February 1992)  the “Singing Lawyer” and the “People’s Singer”, you unite us and we miss you! 

 Make Malaysia GREAT:             

 Look for motivation from within!*  

Motivation is the search to discover the why(s) behind our actions and behavior. Why we do or not do something, or why we behave the way we behave. While we humans are sophisticated beings, yet the source of our motivation is fairly straightforward. We can divide them into three forces – Push(P1), Pull(P2), and Personal(P3).

What is Push (P1), Pull (P2), Personal (P3) forces?

When we perceive that our actions and behavior are due to the doing of a third party like family members, bosses, colleagues, politicians or neighbours, it is called Push Force (P1). On the other hand, when we think that they are due to external environments or situations like the traffic jam, economic slowdown, the weather, our age or positions, it is called Pull Force (P2). When we see our behavior as the direct cause of our own doing, it is a Personal Force (P3). P3 is knowing and seeing things from within – from the inside out. When we operate from P1 and P2, we give blame to external reasons. When we see our actions and behavior from the P3 angle, we start to take responsibility and as a result we take ownership.

What are the examples of P1, P2, and P3?

Take punctuality. If you are late for an appointment and blame your spouse or a family member, you are a P1 person. On the other hand, if you point to the traffic jam as the reason of being late, you are a P2 person. A P3 person caught in the similar situation will take responsibility and ownership of being late, apologize and recognize that he or she should have planned better. In fact, a P3 person is unlikely late!

How to become a P3 person and Make A Difference?

To Make a Difference through P3, we must first believe that in the final analysis, all actions come from within. While accepting the reality that P1 and P2 forces can have an effect on our thinking and feelings, as after all we are humans, we nevertheless make a conscious choice to be P3. We avoid the blaming game. We empower ourselves with the ability to take ownership and see our role in making things better. We believe that we can make a difference in any situation. A P3 person will be a better worker, boss, parent, sibling, spouse, friend, colleague, and citizen.

At zubedy, our programs and activities draw strength from our 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, must be P3 and ‘Make Malaysia GREAT!’.

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Hari Malaysia.

*The idea presented in this message is part of our Making A Difference through P3 program’s core concept.

Salam Hari Malaysia - Ahad di Sinar Harian

Dato’ Sudirman bin Haji Arshad (25 Mei 1954 – 22 Februari 1992) yang digelar “Singing Lawyer” dan  “Seniman Rakyat”. Kaulah penyatu kami dan kami merinduimu.

Jadikan Malaysia Negara Cemerlang:
Mencari motivasi dalam diri kita!*

Motivasi adalah suatu pencarian untuk memahami tindakan dan tingkah-laku kita – mengapa kita melakukan atau tidak melakukan sesuatu, atau mengapa kita bertindak dengan cara yang tertentu. Walaupun kita adalah manusia yang sofistikated, sumber motivasi kita adalah agak asas. Kita boleh membahagikannya kepada tiga daya – Penolakan (P1), Penarikan (P2) dan Peribadi (P3).

Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan daya Penolakan (1), Penarikan (2) dan Peribadi (P3)?

Apabila kita menganggap bahawa tindakan dan tingkah laku kita dipengaruhi oleh pihak ketiga seperti anggota keluarga, bos, rakan sekerja, ahli politik atau jiran, ia dipanggil Penolakan (P1). Sebaliknya, apabila kita berfikir bahawa ia dipengaruhi oleh persekitaran luar atau keadaan seperti kesesakan lalu lintas, ketidakstabilan ekonomi, cuaca, umur atau kedudukan kita, ia dinamakan Penarikan (P2). Apabila kita sedar bahawa perilaku kita adalah berpunca daripada diri sendiri, ia dikenali sebagai Peribadi (P3). P3 adalah mengetahui dan melihat perkara-perkara dari dalam - ke luar. Apabila kita berfikir dan bertindak dari P1 dan P2, kita menyalahkan faktor-faktor luaran. Apabila kita melihat tindakan dan tingkah laku kita dari sudut P3, kita mula mengambil tanggungjawab dan akibatnya kita mengambil pemilikan.

Apakah contoh P1, P2, dan P3?

Ambil ketepatan masa sebagai contoh. Jika anda terlambat untuk temujanji dan menyalahkan pasangan atau ahli keluarga, anda adalah seorang P1. Sebaliknya, jika anda menggunakan kesesakan lalu lintas sebagai sebab terlambat, anda adalah orang P2. Orang P3 yang berada dalam keadaan yang sama akan mengambil tanggungjawab, memohon maaf dan mengakui bahawa dia sepatutnya merancang masa dengan lebih baik. Malah, orang P3 selalu menepati masa.

Bagaimana untuk menjadi seorang P3 dan membawa perubahan?

Untuk membawa perubahan melalui P3, kita harus terlebih dahulu percaya bahawa di penghujung hari, semua tindakan berpunca dari dalam. Sebagai insan biasa, memang pada hakikatnya daya P1 dan P2 boleh membawa kesan kepada pemikiran dan perasaan kita, tetapi kita tetap bertekad untuk menjadi P3. Kita mengelak untuk menyalahkan orang dan situasi disekeliling kita. Kita memperkasakan diri kita dengan keupayaan untuk mengambil pemilikan dan melihat peranan kita dalam membuat sesuatu yang lebih baik. Kita percaya bahawa kita boleh membawa perubahan dalam keadaan apa pun. Seorang P3 akan menjadi pekerja, bos, ibu bapa, saudara, pasangan, teman, rakan sekerja dan warganegara yang lebih baik.

Di zubedy, sumber kekuatan program latihan kami ialah nilai-nilai murni dan tradisi yang dikongsi bersama. Kami percaya dalam hati rakyat Malaysia, kita mahukan yang terbaik untuk setiap anak-anak Malaysia kerana negara kita tidak akan berjaya jika ada yang tertinggal.

Kita haruslah belajar menjadi P3 untuk menjadikan Malaysia Negara CEMERLANG.

Usahakan yang terbaik,
Hayatilah Hari Malaysia.

*Idea dalam mesej ini adalah sebahagian daripada konsep teras program “Making A Difference through P3“ (Laksana Perubahan melalui P3) kami.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Chandra Muzaffar

There is little sense in grading a new government on its performance in its first 100 days in office especially if it has just replaced the world’s longest running coalition in power which had degenerated into a notorious kleptocracy in its last phase.

The Pakatan Harapan itself had set the stage for this evaluation by pledging to fulfil 10 promises within 100 days in its Election Manifesto. The 100 days idea is nothing more than a political fad that originated with the Franklin Roosevelt presidency in the United States of America. It is totally inappropriate in our context when the momentous change that occurred on the 9th of May and the monumental challenges that have unfolded since then require an appraisal that is continuous and comprehensive.

It is that sort of appraisal that society should provide as feedback to the PH government. It should be non-partisan and as fair and unbiased as possible.  The aim would be to encourage the positive dimensions in the PH’s governance and to caution against negative aspects of its performance.

Since corruption and abuse of power associated with the previous Barisan Nasional government was a major factor in its downfall, the PH leadership is doing the right thing in exposing the terrible wrongdoings related to the 1MDB scandal and other financial shenanigans. Understandably, the focus has been upon the former Prime Minister, Dato Sri Mohd Najib Razak and upon the handbags, jewelleries and other expensive acquisitions of his wife, Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor. In the course of these revelations, the Malaysian public has become acutely aware of the massive debts that the government had accumulated in recent years. In order to reduce these debts, mammoth projects undertaken with Chinese companies and the Singapore government have had to be cancelled or postponed.

For the people, especially those who were once unquestioningly loyal to Najib, the realisation that a leader that they revered had betrayed their well-being could be a traumatic experience. Nonetheless, one hopes that coming to grips with the truth in this painful manner will, at the collective level, lead to a catharsis --- a catharsis of the Malaysian soul that will fortify us, all of us, against the scourge of corruption.

Apart from baring the ugly face of corruption and its consequences, the PH government has also sought to address some of the woes of the people as expressed during the election campaign. It has abolished the unpopular Goods and Services Tax (GST) ; stabilised the price of petrol and introduced targeted petrol subsidies ; eliminated unnecessary debts imposed upon Felda settlers; and postponed the repayment of PTPTN loans for graduates whose salaries are below RM 4000 per month.

The government has also acted against two institutions related directly or indirectly to national unity. It has abolished the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) which many felt did not conduce towards the promotion of better ethnic relations. And it has also dismantled the National Service Programme which earlier studies had shown made very limited contribution to the integration of young adults.

While these are among the many positive measures, one should not ignore the gross errors and outright fumbles committed by the new government and entities associated with it.  I shall highlight just one. For a short while in July, Malaysia found itself in an embarrassing situation with two Chief Justices. It arose partly because in hastening a transition of authority in the Judiciary, respect for the independence and integrity of the institution was set aside.

In spite of this and other flaws, the PH government continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of the vast majority of the people as reflected in a number of surveys. It is perceived as sincere in its endeavour to rectify the shortcomings of the previous government. Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s pivotal role in ousting Najib and the commitment displayed by this 93 year-old leader in planning and executing important changes since the 9th of May, explain in part the high level of public trust in the government of the day. 

Nonetheless, Tun and his government will be facing monumental challenges in the days ahead. Even in combating corruption --- the first of seven challenges --- it has yet to present to Parliament a Bill to regulate political financing and to make electoral funding transparent. The declaration of the assets and liabilities of Ministers and Deputy Ministers at the federal level to the public through the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is awaiting implementation.  Other proposals on barring close relatives of power-holders from bidding for Federal or state government contracts and projects or on minimising and eliminating  the role of  “middle-men”  and proxies in procurement exercises involving  Federal and state entities have not been pursued with vigour.

Strengthening democracy has been largely about rescinding laws such as the Sedition Act, and Sosma, among others. But even this remains an unfulfilled promise. However, enhancing human rights must mean more than rescinding authoritarian laws.  Some of the vile and vicious excesses of the social media have convinced a lot of human rights advocates of the importance of integrating rights with responsibilities. A more profound commitment to responsibilities at all levels could help develop a deeper attachment to the principle of Amanah (Trust) which in turn will reinforce the spiritual-moral foundation of life and society.

An equally crucial challenge confronting the PH government is the situation of the relatively poor and disadvantaged. Increasing and equalising the minimum wage nationally is one of the prominent PH pledges. The government is also very much aware of why improving the quality of public housing, public education, public health-care, public transportation, and public amenities in general will impact positively upon the life of the poor. But relative deprivation in a society like ours cannot be overcome unless one also regulates the huge salaries, bonuses and perks that the affluent minority regard as their privilege. There is no sign to suggest that the PH is moving in that direction in a concerted manner.
A fourth fundamental challenge revolves around ethnic relations. Remarks and demands made within and without the PH by different individuals and parties in the first 100 days reveal ethnic and religious fault lines that the coalition has not dealt with as a grouping. For instance, the uneasiness among some Malays caused by certain senior government appointments indicates not only a lack of appreciation of the Constitution but also points to a superficial understanding of what citizenship in a modern society entails. Similarly, grossly inaccurate views about the ethnicity of ancient communities in the region, the flow of peoples within Nusantara and the reality of colonial migration and its adverse impact upon contemporary ethnic relations, shows how much ignorance prevails even among top political leaders in PH. Indeed, one gets the impression that the PH has not really imbued its leadership and membership with knowledge and understanding of how the Malaysian nation-state evolved essentially from Malay Sultanates shaped by the colonial experience and the non-Malay presence. Without such understanding, it will be difficult to navigate ethnic relations in the country.

PH has also got to deal with the rising crescendo of calls for greater autonomy from the citizens of Sarawak and Sabah. Enforcing the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 is a PH promise though very little appears to have been done in concrete terms. Genuine autonomy for the two states will require a re-appraisal of the federal structure itself.

Forging a foreign policy of dignity that safeguards Malaysia’s independence and sovereignty has become a much greater challenge today than it was when Mahathir first became Prime Minister in 1981. The United States’ negative response to the rise of China in recent decades has transformed ASEAN into a potential cockpit of conflict. To minimise tension and to avert serious friction, Malaysia together with its ASEAN neighbours will have to engage not just the US and China but also other states in Asia such as Japan, the Koreas, India and Pakistan in constructive dialogue.

Finally, in order to handle all these challenges, a seventh challenge centred upon Pakatan Harapan itself. While we acknowledge that it is a new coalition of four parties, we realise that because it is in power and forced to grapple with monumental challenges, it has no choice but to demonstrate a high degree of cohesion and unity. On many issues of governance it has already achieved an appreciable measure of consensus. However, the same cannot be said for issues of identity related to ethnicity and religion. For coalitions linked to ethnic and religious communities, directly or indirectly, the politics of identity would be as critical as the ethics of governance. 

To evolve a viable understanding on the politics of identity, PH’s leading personalities from all the parties will have a decisive role to play. One hopes that heart-to-heart communication among them will lead to greater empathy across ethnic and religious boundaries. It is such empathy --- and such empathy alone ---that will sustain PH in the years to come   
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Perpaduan Malaysia.

Petaling Jaya.

20 August 2018. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


In 1996, when I was 32 years of age, The STAR interviewed me for the first time. At the time I suggested that it is wiser to open the MARA colleges and ITM (now UITM) for non-bumis and having a single stream school system. My stand is still the same today. 

Here are some of the points suggested. 

1. Placed in a global situation, we should fare better than homogenous societies for we have the experience of working with varieties kinds of people.

2. We must see multi-racial Malaysia as an opportunity for creating universally-oriented men and women who would, one day, take centre-stage in leading the world.

3. But in order to achieve this kind of unity, Malaysians must first understand and accept two things: First, we have to understand and appreciate the fact that the Malays gave away what they called “The Malay Land’ (Tanah Melayu) and shared it with other ethnic groups like the Chinese and Indians, so much so that they have created a new entity called Malaysia. The Malays became a community within a community.

4. Secondly, since 1957, the non-Bumis have accepted and made this country their country. So, from now onwards, whether we like it or not, a new race called Bangsa Malaysia has come into being.

5. Efforts in building unity must start at the earliest age possible. Parents must ensure that their own personal biases are not filtered down to their children.

6. The school too plays a vital role in uniting all Malaysians. In the long run, it would be wiser and more beneficial to open all boarding schools like Mara, ITM, and Maktab Sains to all races. (One of the most important part in education is socialization)

7. The current national school system integrates the Chinese, Tamil and Arab schools under one roof. The ideal situation would be if the national school caters to those who desire to learn their mother tongue. It would be even better if we make it compulsory for all Malaysians to learn a language other than English and their mother tongue

8. For example, a Malay student should learn either Mandarin or Tamil as a second language. I think the Malays are presently on the losing end. The Chinese or Indians know at least three languages, but most Malays know only two.

9. Barisan Nasional’s efforts toward creating a single multi-racial party should be our next step. I believe most Malaysians would find it attractive if there is a direct membership to BN without having to go through UMNO, MIC or MCA. Perhaps after Wawasan 2020, Umno can stand for United Malaysian National Organisation.

10. At the end of the day, the move towards national unity should come from within each and every one of us. Every individual in this country must be aware that he or she plays a vital role. We should not unite due to political or economics reasons but because we truly desire to be one nation.
11. The Muslims must also remember that the Al-Quran preaches ummah wahidah, the concept is led by Muslims, this would be a great opportunity for them to practise this concept

Peace, anas

Thursday, July 5, 2018


Adakah kita mempunyai kontrak sosial?

Terdapat dua perkara yang dapat kita bincangkan dalam  kontrak sosial ini iaitu kontrak sosial secara bertulis dan kontrak sosial secara tidak bertulis ; Perlembagaan Malaysia dan Rukun Negara.

Berlaku perdebatan beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini mengenai kefahaman tidak bertulis iaitu kontrak sosial secara lisan di antara ketua masyarakat masa lalu. Pada pendapat saya, daripada memperdebat dan membuat spekulasi sama ada wujudnya kontrak tidak bertulis atau tidak, adalah lebih baik kita berunding dan bersetuju dengan satu kontrak sosial yang sedia ada iaitu berdasarkan Perlembagaan.

Mengapa  kontrak sosial ini penting untuk di bincangkan?

Keseluruhan perjanjian ini perlu dilihat dari semasa ke semasa- biarpun kita berurusan dengan polisi insurans, kita perlu menilai dari satu masa ke satu masa dan melihat apa yang perlu dikaji semula berdasarkan isu semasa. Sebagai masyarakat Malaysia, kita perlu membentuk kefahaman terhadap beberapa prinsip asas. Namun demikian, isu kontrak sosial ini sering diutarakan dan mendapat perhatian daripada parti politik sahaja. Oleh demikian, adalah lebih baik jika di masa hadapan, masyarakat awam dapat menyertai perbincangan mengenai prinsip ini dan sama-sama bersetuju dalam satu-satu perkara.

Walau apapun kontrak sosial yang mahu kita bentuk, adalah penting  kita fikirkan sebaik mungkin. Faktor penting yang perlu kita tekankan, apabila memikirkan tentang kontrak sosial ini ialah kita perlu mengambil kira konteks sejarah, kaitan masa lalu, masa kini dan masa hadapan.

Bagaimana kontrak sosial ini sewajarnya digubal?

Pertama sekali, kontrak sosial seharusnya digubal berdasarkan 3 perkara asas ini-Nilai yang dapat dikongsi bersama, Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan Rukun Negara. Menggubal kontrak sosial bukanlah satu tugas yang mudah kerana terdapat pelbagai faktor yang perlu diteliti terlebih dahulu. Ia perlu memenuhi keperluan komuniti yang berbeza, mengambil kira faktor kaum, agama, latar belakang ekonomi ; masa lalu, kini dan keadaan masa hadapan. Apa yang penting untuk kita fahami, kontrak sosial adalah  dokumen yang dinamik; ia bukan digubal secara sambil lewa. Ia seharusnya berasas dan pragmatik. Ia mesti digubal melalui rangka kerja sejarah, memenuhi situasi semasa dan meramalkan apa yang perlu pada masa hadapan.

Apa yang anda fikir perlu dimasukkan dalam kontrak sosial kita?

Satu kompenen penting dalam kontrak sosial ialah mengandungi nilai-nilai bersama. Terdapat beberapa perkara penting yang saya lihat perlu difahami dengan lebih  jelas di antara kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia dan berjaya menambah nilai kepada semua dan bertindak sebagai satu.

Ini terdapat beberapa syarat yang boleh kita persetujui :

1) Kita akan memastikan tiada individu atau masyarakat yang tertinggal ke belakang tanpa mengira kaum,agama, latar belakang atau asal usul;

2) Kita akan berusaha ke arah sifar kemiskinan. Kita akan menunjukkan kepada rakyat Malaysia bahawa adalah penting mempunyai rumah dan kehidupan yang lebih baik daripada bangunan pencakar langit dan monumen seni di negara kita.

3) Kita akan memastikan kanak-kanak di Malaysia mendapat pendidikan kelas pertama dan setiap kanak-kanak menerima sokongan untuk mencapai potensi maksimum mereka baik lelaki mahupun perempuan. 

4) Kita akan menyediakan penjagaan kesihatan yang mencukupi kepada semua;

5) Kita akan mempraktikkan pembangunan mampan dan menolak rasuah;

6) Kita akan membantu satu sama lain dalam bisnes dan berkongsi pengetahuan dan kemahiran daripada satu masyarakat kepada masyarakat yang lain ;

7) Kita akan mengambil kira Perlembagaan secara keseluruhan dan bukan mengambil serta memilih sesetengah klausa yang lari dari konteks bagi memenuhi hujahan sahaja;

 8) Kita belajar dan menghargai agama kita, dalam masa yang sama mengetahui dan memahami agama yang di amalkan oleh rakan-rakan Malaysia yang lain.

9) Kita menerima asal usul negara kita. Kita mengakui bahawa adat Melayu, dan bumiputera Sabah dan Sarawak sebagai budaya Malaysia serta kaum Cina, India dan lain-lain adalah sebahagian penting dalam integrasi untuk membentuk identiti nasional.

10) Kita tidak akan mengajar anak-anak tentang pandangan yang boleh memecah belahkan sama ada di rumah atau di sekolah dan memisahkan mereka di usia muda;

11) Kita akan meletakkan prinsip pengecualian terhadap pandangan yang berat sebelah. Kita akan melihat salah adalah salah, betul adalah betul tidak kira siapa yang melakukannya;

12) Kita melayan pekerja asing dan mereka yang berkhidmat kepada negara secara sama rata, hormat dan bermaruah.

13) Kita akan melakukan perkara yang sama kepada saudara-saudara kita dalam negara ini , seperti mana kita mahu mereka melakukan perkara sama ke atas kita.;

14) Kita belajar menerima perbezaan kaum dan bertindak sebagai satu bangsa. Kita menggelarkan diri sebagai Bangsa Malaysia.

Friday, June 29, 2018


Apakah pakaian terbaik di sisi Allah dan Al Quran?

Di dalam perbincangan yang berterusan berkenaan etika pemakaian, kita mungkin telah memberi perhatian kepada sesuatu yang remeh.

Al-Quran telah meletakkan panduan yang jelas tentang apakah pakaian yang terbaik. Semakin Orang Islam mengikut Al-Quran, semakin kita dipandu olehnya. Ia menjadi petunjuk dan hidayah kita.

Jika sebaliknya, kita dengan mudah tersesat jauh daripada Allah. Kita perlu jelas akan apa yang perlu lebih diberi perhatian mengikut hidayah Al-Quran, dan seterusnya bertindak dengan sewajarnya. Ikut Al Quran dahulu.

Al-Quran melalui ayat dibawah, dengan jelas menyatakan bahawa pakaian terbaik adalah pakaian Taqwa. 

"Hai anak Adam, sesungguhnya Kami telah menurunkan kepadamu pakaian untuk menutup auratmu dan pakaian indah untuk perhiasan. Dan pakaian takwa itulah yang paling baik. Yang demikian itu adalah sebahagian dari tanda-tanda kekuasaan Allah, mudah-mudahan mereka selalu ingat."

Al Quran 7:26

Memberi perhatian terhadap Taqwa adalah suatu petanda daripada Allah yg mesti di ambil penting. Kalau kita memberi perhatian terhadap lain-lain perkara dan bukan sifat takwa bererti kita lupa dengan Quran. Lupa pada Allah. 

Di dalam ayat lain, Al-Quran juga menyamakan kemuliaan kepada ketaqwaan. Ayat ini memanggil seluruh umat manusia untuk menghakimi maruah, kesopanan, kesantunan serta budi pekerti seseorang dengan ketaqwaan mereka.

Pada pandangan Allah, orang yang terpuji adalah mereka yang paling bertakwa. Di sini di dalam Al-Quran menekankan bahawa Allah maha mengetahui dan Allah yang paling boleh meneliti .

Kegagalan untuk mematuhi Allah dan Al Quran boleh menempatkan kita dalam golongan orang-orang yang jahil.

 “Wahai manusia! Sungguh, Kami telah menciptakan kamu dari seorang laki-laki dan seorang perempuan, kemudian Kami jadikan kamu berbangsa-bangsa dan bersuku-suku agar kamu saling mengenal. Sesungguhnya yang paling mulia di antara kamu di sisi Allah ialah orang yang paling bertaqwa. Sungguh, Allah Maha Mengetahui, Mahateliti.”

 Al-Quran 49:13

Secara semantiknya, Al-Quran telah menyenaraikan ciri-ciri ketaqwaan di dalam ayat di bawah.

“Kebajikan itu bukanlah menghadapkan wajahmu ke arah timur dan ke barat, tetapi kebajikan itu ialah (kebajikan) orang yang beriman kepada Allah, hari akhir, malaikat-malaikat, kitab-kitab, dan nabi-nabi dan memberikan harta yang dicintainya kepada kerabat, anak yatim, orang-orang miskin, orang-orang yang dalam perjalanan (musafir), peminta-minta, dan untuk memerdekakan hamba sahaya, yang melaksanakan shalat dan menunaikan zakat, orang-orang yang menepati janji apabila berjanji, dan orang yang sabar dalam kemelaratan, penderitaan dan pada masa peperangan. Mereka itulah orang-orang yang benar, dan mereka itulah orang-orang yang bertakwa.” 

Al-Quran 2:177

Pakaian apakah yang kita sering perhati? Pakaian luaran ataupun pakaian Taqwa? Kenapa kita ghairah dengan AURAT sedangkan Al-Quran menyuruh kita perhatikan pakaian TAKWA?



Monday, June 11, 2018

Salam Hari Raya - Selasa di Sinar Harian

Jadikan Malaysia Negara Cemerlang: Ubah… Marilah Menangani Fasa Peralihan!*

Perubahan adalah sesuatu yang tentunya pasti. Namun sesetengah perubahan mempunyai impak yang lebih. Hari ini, negara kita sedang mengharungi perubahan yang mampu mewujudkan satu anjakan yang penting untuk masa depan kita. Kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia mesti tahu cara terbaik untuk mencapai matlamat perubahan terutamanya bagaimana untuk menangani dan menguruskan fasa peralihan.

1. Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan fasa peralihan?
Perubahan mempunyai tiga fasa - masa kini, fasa peralihan dan masa depan yang diingini. Kita perlu bersedia untuk melepaskan keselesaan masa kini, untuk mencapai matlamat perubahan. Walau bagaimanapun, kita tidak boleh mengelak daripada fasa peralihan - tempoh perubahan yang tidak selesa. Sebagai contoh, jika kita memutuskan untuk bersenam selepas tempoh tidak aktif, kita akan melalui fasa peralihan dengan kesakitan otot. Tetapi jika kita beristiqamah dan bersenam secara konsisten, sakit tersebut kian hilang. Dengan itu, matlamat perubahan tercapai.

2. Bagaimana untuk menangani fasa peralihan?
Jangan sesekali melawannya. Semakin dilawan, semakin bertambah susah. Fasa peralihan tidak mempunyai tempoh tamat kerana ia adalah satu ilusi. Ia hanya wujud dalam minda kita, sebagai beban mental – satu sempadan palsu. Sebaik sahaja kita menerima fasa peralihan dengan hati yang terbuka, kesakitan yang dirasa akan hilang. Di pejabat, anda mungkin perlu berurusan dengan bos baru. Di rumah, ahli keluarga baru. Sebagai seorang anak muda Malaysia, berubah dari seorang pelajar kepada menjadi orang dewasa yang bekerja. Sebagai sebuah negara, bergerak politik yang berasaskan kaum dan agama kepada politik yang lebih inklusif dan muhibbah. Semakin cepat kita menerima fasa peralihan, semakin pantas kita melonjak ke hadapan.

3. Bilakah kita harus menangani fasa peralihan?
Hakikat bahawa perubahan itu pasti kini adalah sesuatu klise. Oleh kerana perubahan adalah berterusan, kita akan sentiasa berada dalam fasa peralihan. Untuk berjaya, kita perlu mencari keseimbangan dan keselesaan dalam fasa peralihan setiap masa. Sebagai contoh, matlamat perpaduan akan sentiasa berterusan. Pencapaian ekonomi tiada titik akhirnya. Cara mana kita mempersiapkan generasi akan datang juga akan mengharungi cubaan yang berterusan. Kita mesti bersedia untuk berubah berkali-kali supaya kita tidak sama sekali mundur dan menjadi tidak relevan. Oleh itu, keupayaan dan kesediaan kita untuk menangani fasa peralihan harus dijadikan kemahiran yang kita mesti ada.
Di zubedy, sumber kekuatan program latihan kami ialah nilai-nilai murni dan tradisi yang dikongsi bersama. Kami percaya dalam hati rakyat Malaysia, kita mahukan yang terbaik untuk setiap anak-anak Malaysia kerana negara kita tidak akan berjaya jika ada yang tertinggal.

Kita haruslah belajar untuk berubah dan menangani fasa peralihan untuk menjadikan Malaysia Negara CEMERLANG.

Usahakan yang terbaik,
Hayatilah Hari Raya.

*Idea dalam mesej ini adalah sebahagian daripada konsep teras program “Making A Difference through P3“ (Laksana Perubahan melalui P3) kami.

Have a Meaningful Hari Raya - Tuesday in The Star

Make Malaysia GREAT: Change… Let’s Manage the Transition Phase!*

Change is constant yet some changes have more impact than others. Today, our nation is going through a change that will create a significant shift to our future. We as a nation must know how best to achieve our change goals. To do that, it is crucial that we know how to manage the transition phase.

1. What is the transition phase?
In a simple equation, change has three phases – the present, the transition and the desired future. We need to be willing to let go the comfort and security of the present, in order to achieve change goals. However, we cannot skip the transition phase – the uncomfortable period of change. For example, if we decide to exercise after a long period of inactiveness, we will go through a transition phase of muscle pain. But if we are willing to stay the course and persist, the pain will go away. Only then, we will achieve the desired change. 

2. How to manage the transition phase?
Do not fight it. The more you fight, the longer it stays. The transition phase has no expiry as it is not real. It exists only in our minds, a mental burden – an artificial boundary. Once we accept the transition phase with an open heart, the pain will simply slip away. In the office, you may have to deal with a new boss. At home, a new family member. As a young Malaysian, changing from being a student to a working adult. As a nation, moving from race or religious based politics to one that is more inclusive and muhibbah. The sooner we let go and embrace the transition phase, the faster we leap forward.

3. When to manage the transition phase?
That change is constant is now a cliché. Since change is constant, we will always be in the transition phase. To succeed, we need to be able to find balance and comfort in transition all the time. Unity is a work in progress. Our economy too. How we prepare the future generations will also need constant making and remaking. We must be willing to change and change and change again, or become obsolete. This makes the ability and willingness to manage the transition phase a skill and attitude that we all must have.
At zubedy, our programs and activities draw strength from our 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 need to learn and be willing to manage the transition phase and Make Malaysia Great!

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Hari Raya.

*The idea presented in this message is part of our Making A Difference through P3 program’s core concept.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Siti Kasim is a friend.

Yes, she is loud. Very loud. She does not need any loud speakers. If we disagree about something even about the taste of the food served, be sure that the entire restaurant will hear her opinion. She may even give me ‘the finger’ followed with a four-lettered word but always accompanied immediately with her roaring signature laughter that will ring all over the room. No, she is not yelling. And no, she is not angry. That is her voice. She meant well. That is her style. She is who she is. She does not pretend. She is not a hypocrite. If you cannot handle that, just don’t join in. Just turn away lah…

But anyone who knows Siti will vouched that she is a wonderful and caring person. She is hard in the outside, but very soft in the inside. She has a very good heart. She is a friend that you can rely on anytime. She is fun to be with, a little unconventional perhaps but definitely a sunshine.

If you are in trouble, if someone bullies you, if you are poor and can’t afford a representation, if you are a marginalized group whose voice needs to be heard – you want Siti Kasim to be on your side. Siti at heart is a kind and good Muslim. The Prophet too fights for the poor, the marginalized and those in need. Siti represents that part of Islam in her colored hair and flamboyant style. Look at the substance and not the form … please.

As such, with all due respect to the good Perlis Mufti, Dr Asri, may I suggest you change your approach and target group. Instead of having an open dialogue, perhaps you can do the following.

Your Target Group

Firstly, change your target group. May I humbly suggest that instead of dealing with Siti, you should aim your focus towards the Muslims who are too weak in faith and easily shaken, overly judgmental and some, outrightly dangerous.

Let me explain.

Siti Kasim is a Muslim. She may disagree with the way mainstream Islam interprets the Quran, but she still uses the Quran as her guidance, her hidayah. In other words, the disagreement is about the interpretations. For example, the hair as aurat. Siti disagrees with the idea that the tudung is an important part of being a Muslim as she sees that there is no requirement to wear the tudung in the Quran. Her conviction is from her own understanding of the Quran. The Quran is still her hidayah! Whether she is right or wrong, I believe it is secondary to the fact that she found her guidance from the Quran. Even grand ulamas disagrees in many interpretations of the Quran – they too follow their own convictions. They too, use the Quran as their hidayah. Just like Siti Kasim.

Yet scores of Muslim due to Siti’s stand on some interpretation of the Quran and Islam have demanded that she is a murtad, anti-Islam, and many want her to be prosecuted and some has gone as far as wanting her dead!

May I suggest the good Perlis Mufti and all other Muftis and religious teachers help make Muslims less judgmental, kinder and more importantly fortify their faith so that they won’t be too easily shaken. Perhaps the good Perlis Mufti and other religious leaders can use the Quran’s story about Abu Lahab and his wife, Umm Jameel as a basic guide.

For the benefit of those who are not familiar with Abu Lahab, let me provide some background.

Unlike Siti who is a Muslim, a lover of the Quran and the Prophet and not a foe of Islam, Abu Lahab is the only person from the enemies of Islam who has been cursed by name in the Holy Qur’an. Thus, he is the number one reference for all Muslims as far as an individual who can be considered a true enemy of Islam. How the Quran and the Prophet dealt with him should form the standard operating procedure on how to deal with individual enemies of Islam.

Although he was an uncle of the Prophet he staunchly opposed Islam from the very beginning till his death. A whole short chapter (Chapter 111 – Al Masad) of the Quran is about him and his wife.

“The power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish.
His wealth and gains will not exempt him.
He will be plunged in flaming Fire,
And his wife, the wood-carrier,
Will have upon her neck a halter of palm-fibre.”
Quran 111: 1-5

The Quran predicted they will die a non-believer. In other words, they will be enemies of Islam till death. They will not change. Their hearts are locked. Yet, there were no prosecution, no shariah call to put them in jail. Instead, the Quran said that their punishment will come only during the hereafter. These two enemies of Islam who insulted the Prophet at every chance and yet there was no call for indictment!

According to historians, Abu Lahab and Umm Jameel brought excrements and offensive materials in the middle of the night to leave them in front of the Prophet’s home. All the Prophet did was announcing that it was a bad neighborly behavior and he simply threw the rubbish away. Umm Jameel is known to throw thorny bushes in the path of the Prophet to hurt him!!!

Abu Lahab made it his job to follow the Prophet wherever he goes when the Prophet share the message of Islam. He forcefully encourages people to not listen to the Prophet, to ignore him. At times Abu Lahab will chase and throw stones at the Prophet to stop him from spreading the message. Yet again, there was no calls to prosecute him. No shariah law thrown at him, no sedition and no death threats. Just Allah, promising he and his wife will suffer in the afterlife.

Today, a simple cartoon depicting The Prophet in a wrong way can make thousands of Muslims go out of control rioting and running amok. Some died during the madness - wasteful unnecessary deaths! It is obvious that we have failed to deliver and explain the Quran to the average Muslims.

In Malaysia, Siti Kasim’s non-tudung colored hair or a celebrity’s tight clothing can make many Muslims go into conniptions. A tudung clad female politician like Nurul Izzah is not spared either! A touched a dog campaign causes unnecessary fear to a kind-hearted Muslim like Syed Azmi who oozes with love and compassion. Have our religious leaders failed to explain the Quran and stress on the core examples and values of the Prophet? Have we failed to advise one another patience and compassion?

How did the Prophet behave? How did he deal with Abu Lahab? How did he deal with Muslims and Non-Muslims during his time? Let us let the Quran explain.

“So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”.
Quran 3:159

“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”
Quran 9:128

“And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion.”
Quran 90:17

To understand how kind and compassionate The Prophet was, history showed that Abu Lahab’s own children who survived him later converted to Islam and became fervent proponents of Islam. Would that have happened if the Prophet behaved otherwised?

I pray the good Perlis Mufti and all other religious leaders share and stress the Prophet’s way of compassion, kindness and sure faith in Allah and the Quran when dealing with challenges. Leave Siti Kasim alone, build each own’s Iman. Siti is just a Muslim who say outright what she feels and think about Islam. Many others feel and think the same but do so less loudly. You don’t have to impose your interpretation of the Quran at her. That is her choice. If you worry your children or others terikut-ikut  with her understanding, spend more time strengthening their faith not picking on Siti and the likes.

She is no Abu Lahab. Even individuals like Abu Lahab and his wife, the Quran ask us to leave them to God’s discretion. Stop persecuting and hounding people because of their ideas and interpretation of the Quran. Stop forcing your thoughts onto others. Practice Quran 2:256. Believe with all out hearts that there should not be any compulsion in religion. Between Muslims and Muslims and between Muslims and Non-Muslims.

Have a closed dialogue instead.

Secondly, instead of having an open dialogue, have a closed one. Get to know Siti Kasim, since you are interested. See through the form, look for the substance and discover her heart. Spend time with her when she goes into the jungle to care for the Orang Asli and fight for the poor. Chat with her about how and why she sees Islam the way she knows it today. The good Perlis Mufti must remember, when Siti talks about Islam she is not paid. She earns money by being a Muslim, not preaching Islam. She earns her income through her work as a lawyer.

And as I suggested at the beginning of this article, she is a friend and I know her. Even when she struggles with money, she helps the poor. I know that for certain. Siti works hard pleading here and there for funds to do good for those without power, without representation. She is not in it for the money! That is a sign of a true Muslim. The good Mufti must remember, when he speaks about Islam, he is paid a wage. Siti is not. We need to give due recognition to those who spend their own money spreading their conviction about Islam.

Last but not least, when you dialogue about Islam and the Quran with Siti Kasim or anyone for that matter, I plead you enter the dialogue as an equal. That is the basis of any dialogue. As the Quran says,

“And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height.”
Quran 17:37

And if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Quran 31:27

Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur