Sunday, December 24, 2023


Have a meaningful Christmas

What is and what is not multitasking?

Contrary to common belief, multitasking is not about doing many things at once. Multitasking is focusing on one task at a time while juggling multiple responsibilities.

The former is simply being busy skimming through tasks in the expense of quality – no depth, no real productivity. The latter get things done and make things happen. Tasks are completed with the quality required and depth expected – one task at a time.

Multitasking as the ability to do many things at once is a myth. It is simply a ‘syiok sendiri’ attitude, being a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ – the ability to cover a number of areas but are superficial at best in all of them. A recipe for failure.

Multitasking that focuses on one task at a time while able to juggle many, is a skill and talent that has to be seriously learnt. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline. One must be willing to compartmentalize and have the will to stay focused. Ensuring each task is accorded the attention and dedication it deserves. Achieving this level of focus involves training of both the mind and heart to resist distractions, ensuring full commitment to each task rather than being swayed by impulses.

Defining multitasking correctly is crucial, both for the individual and the organization. It makes sure our talents get it right and do not consider attending a meeting while driving is effective work. It not only dilutes work, but it is also dangerous. When they get it right, work gets done and the talents perform. The organization achieves corporate goals, and the talents develop into successful people.

Let us multitask the correct way. Get things done, one task a time while juggling many. This will help us meet the demands of the new environment and job requirements. We become excellent productive workers and citizens while at the same time build great organizations and the economy.


 Peace, anas

    St. Benedict of Norcia (480-547)

St Benedict’s Rule emphasizes attentiveness, focus, and doing tasks well. It encourages the monks to dedicate themselves fully to each task, advocating doing one thing at a time and doing it with utmost attention.



Saturday, November 11, 2023

Have a meaningful Deepavali 2023 - Why Work-life Integration as opposed to Work-life Balance?


Have a meaningful Deepavali
Why Work-life Integration as opposed to Work-life Balance?
Today, it is fashionable to talk about Work-life Balance. Many see Work-life Balance representing the interplay between the time we apportion to work and life as two separate activities in competition with each other. Life is good, work is a bane. This is a short-sighted and superficial approach to work and life.
Work is part of life, not its competition. It is through work that we keep pace with life. Work is the source of our sustenance, a place to make friends and meet like-minded souls, a platform to learn and sharpen our skills, a journey to discover our potential and the mecca for our vocation. Why and how then do we see work as a bane?
As such, it is no surprise that all our traditions look at work positively. Hinduism considers work as an act of worship and faith. Confucius stressed that work should be more than just a means of making a living; it should be a vocation, a calling. According to The Buddha, when a man works hard night and day without being sluggish or lazy, every day is called a lucky day. Christianity suggests that when we work, do it with all our heart as though we are working for God, not men. In Islam, work is an amal that earns pahala – and man will not get anything unless he works hard and nothing belongs to him except what he strives for.
If work is part of life, we need to integrate it and find a winning formula. As each individual is different, we also have diverse challenges. One size cannot fit all as the conventional “9-to-5” mantra suggests.
One may be new at a job or a fresh graduate and need the extra hours and weekends to catch up on the skills required. The other may be ambitious and talented with big plans to be top management someday. What if you are the eldest in the family entrusted to earn and care for your siblings or a single mother in need to earn more to care for your kids? What about the low performer who cannot complete the job within the working hours? There is a need to integrate work differently in each of these situations.
We need to stop pitting work against life with ideas like Work-life Balance. Perhaps unintentionally, we are leading the younger generation astray hindering them from achieving their potential and success. Today, many “go home on time” without getting the job done in the name of Work-life Balance at the expense of Work-life Integration, productivity and performance.
Let us add value
Have a meaningful Deepavali
Peace, anas
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's life exemplified that work, when performed with the right spirit, can be considered a form of worship to create a more integrated approach to life. - Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927 – 2001)

Friday, September 15, 2023

Have a Meaningful Hari Malaysia - STAY MEASURED TO MOVE FORWARD


Have a Meaningful Hari Malaysia 


“BERPADA-PADA” - Don’t overdo it. Don’t underdo it. Do it just right.

We are living in an era of extremes where sensationalism dominates. To get attention, many go overboard. Our young risk their lives to take selfies and videos at the edge of tall buildings and sadly, many have lost their lives.

Our political actors pick the worst examples from their opponents and promote them as mainstream – to paint the worst picture possible about the other. They also go to extremes to point out our differences; things that separate us. Not things that can bring us together – our similarities and shared values.

In the corporate world, we must be watchful too. We must be measured in dealing with our multigenerational challenges instead of falling into rigid stereotyping – comparing and being condescending.

It takes wisdom to be measured. Being measured is a choice and a respoinsibility. We must be measured in our thoughts and actions and when the foolish go extremes, we remain steadfast and not react in similar fashion but instead offer peace.

Being measured is a sign of a beautiful Malaysian.

In politics, we use the Rukun Negara and Perlembagaan Persekutuan as our compass – both are measured documents prepared by measured leaders, our forefathers. In dealing with multigenerational challenges we practice the 6Cs – communicate, compromise, complement, collaborate, compassion, and commitment. We are clear that ultimately our business and corporate goals are to serve customers, not our generational desires.

To be measured, our young must remember who they are as a person; their character and contributions speak louder than the photos and videos they post on social media.

Let us STAY MEASURED TO MOVE FORWARD - Don’t overdo it. Don’t underdo it. Do it just right.

Let us add value,

Have A Meaningful Hari Malaysia.

Friday, August 11, 2023



The situation in Niger is still in flux. On 26 July 2023 a military coup took place in that West African state that led to the ouster of its elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, by Brigadier General Abdourahmane Tchiani. The Brigadier General has proclaimed that he is the new president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).
The coup has been condemned by the 15 member Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) of which Niger is a member, the African Union, the European Union and the United States of America. On the 30th of July, ECOWAS whose current head is Nigeria (not to be confused with Niger) issued an ultimatum to the coup leaders to restore Bazoum to power within one week, or face the consequences including possible military action. The deadline has expired. ECOWAS has not acted. It is alleged that the regional grouping would now prefer diplomacy.
One of the reasons why ECOWAS has changed its stance is because of strong opposition to any military intervention from some of its member states. Mali and Burkina Faso have made it explicitly clear that they would view military intervention as a “declaration of war” against the people of Niger and would defend the newly installed military junta. Besides, Niger is geographically one of the biggest countries in West Africa and possesses a well-trained army.
But an even more compelling reason why military intervention may not be an option for ECOWAS or anyone else for that matter is because the 26th July coup, it is obvious to most observers, has widespread support among the people. The people see the coup as an attempt to end continuous Western --- mainly French and now also American--- exploitation and dominance of Niger. Niger, once a French colony, is rich in natural resources, uranium, oil and gold. Its uranium industry for instance is owned and operated by a so-called joint venture, between Niger and France, the Societe des mines de l’Air ( Somair). 85% of Somair is owned by France’s Atomic Energy Commission and two French companies, while 15% is owned by Niger’s government. Niger is the world’s seventh largest producer of uranium, vital for nuclear energy while France relies heavily upon nuclear energy for 70% of its domestic power supply. As Vijay Prasad and Kambala Musavuli put it in a recent article, “One in three lightbulbs in France are powered by uranium from Niger, at the same time as 42% of the African country’s population live below the poverty line.”
France’s grip over Niger’s uranium is just one example of the former colonial power’s hold on Niger’s economy. This neo-colonial dominance expresses itself in many other ways. Niger, like other ex-French colonies in Africa, is tied to the French currency and the French financial system. It uses the Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) for its domestic and foreign financial transactions. 50% of the reserves of these African states are held in the French Treasury as part of an arrangement forged between the ex-colonies and France.
Consequently, when France devalued the CFA, the impact upon the African economies including Niger was disastrous. If we look at these economies as a whole, it is only in the fields of external trade and investments that some positive changes have occurred in recent years largely because of the emergence of China as an important partner.
Outside the Nigerien economy, the neo-colonial presence is most visible in the form of French and American soldiers and bases. French and American militaries were brought in by the government to fight Muslim insurgents. The rise of these insurgents is linked --- to some extent at least --- to the US-NATO overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 which paved the way for the growth of so-called jihadist groups in parts of North and West Africa. Of course, the Jihadist phenomenon cannot be divorced from US and British intelligence operations in the post 911 period.
Resentment against French and American troops has reinforced the perception that leaders like Bazoum, though elected, were mere puppets of Western interests. This explains why in the huge demonstrations that have taken place in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, and elsewhere Bazoum was denounced for betraying the people. It is not just in Niger that anti-French and anti-Western sentiments have peaked. In three other states, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea such sentiments have also found expression. The presence of French and American troops in those states has also played a role in the mounting anger towards Western power. Economic difficulties faced by the people which are often attributed to Western dominance have exacerbated popular feelings. It is significant that in all 3 states military coups had taken place between August 2020 and September 2021.
As feelings against France in particular and the West in general have become more pronounced in West Africa, the mood towards Russia seems to have become more positive. An article in the Guardian ( 5 August 2023) notes that “ Russian flags were brandished by those demonstrating outside the French embassy in Niamey, with many calling for Vladimir Putin to replace Macron as their biggest global backer.” Putin himself has been critical of the coup and has expressed the hope that civilian rule would be restored.
And indeed, civilian rule should prevail in Niger and other states in the region. But civilian rule should reflect the people’s legitimate desire for liberation from neo-colonial dominance. Civilian rule should uphold the dignity of the human being and the sovereignty of the people. It should protect the independence of the people which must include their right to own and control their economy and define and defend their own security.
Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
9 August 2023.

Monday, July 24, 2023



Note from AZ - Interesting gentle and civilizational explanation by Arof Ishak

Susulan laporan-laporan akhbar 3/7/23, yang menyebut Tun Mahathir telah menuduh mereka yang menaja Malaysia sebagai ‘negara pelbagai bangsa’ adalah melanggar perlembagaan negara, A. Kadir Jasin menulis pada 17/7/23, “Melayu perlu terima hakikat Tanah Melayu tidak ada lagi … apabila nama Persekutuan Tanah Melayu ditukar menjadi Persekutuan Malaysia” pada tahun 1963.

Pada 18/7/23, Aidil Khalid menidakkan pandangan Kadir dan menekankan walau pun Malaysia mengambil alih daripada Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, Perlembagaan Malaysia terus mengandungi istilah “Tanah Melayu” dalam teksnya, seperti “Negeri-negeri Tanah Melayu”, dan “Semenanjung Tanah Melayu”; manakala, istilah ‘Semenanjung Malaysia’ tidak terdapat langsung dalam Perlembagaan negara. Aidil merumuskan Perlembagaan “tidak sekali-kali mencairkan sifat, hakikat dan identiti Tanah Melayu” selepas pembentukan Malaysia. Disebut juga dalam Perlembagaan, Malaysia terdiri daripada “Negeri-negeri Tanah Melayu”, dan “Negeri-negeri Borneo”. Juga, disebut dalam Perlembagaan orang-orang Asli “Semenanjung Tanah Melayu”, tidak “Semenanjung Malaysia”.

Dr. Jahaberdeen Yunoos pula pada 19/7/23, tidak bersetuju dengan pegangan Aidil, dan menyebut beberapa rujukan dalam Perlembagaan yang padanya nyata menunjukkan Malaysia sebuah negara pelbagai bangsa, seperti rujukan akan agama[1]agama lain selain daripada Islam, dan kebebasan untuk bertutur dan mempelajari bahasa-bahasa lain, dan kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain. Jahaberdeen percaya Perlembagaan mahukan negara Malaysia yang bersatu berlandaskan kepelbagaian.

Memang tepat bagi Kadir, Aidil dan Jahaberdeen mengambil pendekatan perlembagaan bagi mengulas tulisan Tun Mahathir yang mahukan hakikat ‘Negara Melayu’ itu kekal, yang dilandaskan oleh Tun Mahathir dengan hujah perlembagaan negara.

Pendekatan perlembagaan yang telah diambil oleh Tun Mahathir, Kadir, Aidil dan Jahaberdeen memerlukan meneliti perlembagaan negara, dan mencari jawapan kepada isu yang dibangkitkan itu berpandukan kepada teks perlembagaan negara.

Namun, bagi saya untuk mencari jawapan yang menyeluruh saya mengemukakan satu pendekatan lain, yang saya namakan sebagai ‘pendekatan peradaban’ (civilisational approach). Pendekatan peradaban melihat keseluruhan fenomena, bukan sekadar perlembagaan negara sahaja.

Pendekatan peradaban meneliti masyarakat manusia dengan cermat. Dengan masyarakat manusia itu bermaksud masyarakat manusia yang berperadaban (a society that is civilised). Peradaban (civilisation) bermaksud masyarakat yang mempunyai satu umbaian budaya, satu umbaian nilai-nilai, dan satu umbaian kebijaksanaan (a society that possesses a body of culture, a body of values, and a body of wisdom); dalam kata lain, dengan tiga umbaian ini, peradaban memiliki peraturan, kelaziman dan kebiasaan yang dikenali dan diamalkan (recognised and practised rules, conventions and norms) dalam semua perkara nasional. Dengan pendekatan perlembagaan mereka, Kadir, Aidil, dan Jahaberdeen semuanya tidak membezakan antara negara (country/state) dengan masyarakat (society/nation). Pada hal ‘negara’ dan ‘masyarakat’ adalah dua entiti yang berlainan, walaupun berkaitan. ‘Negara’ adalah satu entiti politik, yakni satu entiti super-structure; manakala ‘masyarakat’ pula adalah satu entiti sosial, yang merupakan sub-structure. ‘Negara’ direka/dibentuk, dibina sebagai struktur atas masyarakat, manakala ‘masyarakat’ pula tumbuh semulajadi dan asli di bumi atau alam berkenaan, daripada zaman mula munculnya manusia di alam berkenaan.

Sebagai sebuah ‘negara’, Persekutuan Tanah Melayu muncul tahun 1957, dan kemudiannya Malaysia muncul tahun 1963, nyatanya sekali adalah negara “Tanah Melayu”, kerana Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dan Perlembagaan Malaysia cukup jelas mempamirkan struktur dan inti ‘Negara Melayu’ : Ketua Negara adalah seorang Raja Melayu yang bertakhta, pemerintah di negeri-negeri dalam persekutuan ini adalah juga Raja-Raja Melayu yang bertakhta, atau wakil Raja Melayu sebagai Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu berkedudukan dan berperanan penting dalam pemerintahan, Bahasa Melayu adalah Bahasa Kebangsaan dan bahasa rasmi, Islam adalah agama persekutuan.

Negeri-negeri yang membentuk Persekutuan Tanah Melayu adalah negeri-negeri yang nyatanya negeri-negeri Melayu. Seluruh Semenanjung adalah ‘Tanah Melayu’. Namun, istilah ‘Tanah Melayu’ tidak kena untuk Malaysia keseluruhannya. Malaysia terdiri daripada tiga wilayah iaitu Tanah Melayu, Sabah, dan Sarawak.

Pendekatan peradaban menghuraikan isu ‘Negara Melayu’ ini dengan membezakan antara ‘negara’ dan ‘masyarakat’, yakni negara Malaysia dan masyarakat Malaysia.

Penghuraian dua entiti yang berbeza ini (‘negara’, dan ‘masyarakat’) adalah dengan mengenali akan peradaban asas, iaitu peradaban yang membentuk negara di Malaysia. Peradaban asas itu ialah peradaban Melayu. Istilah ‘Melayu’ mempunyai dua pengertian dalam peradaban Melayu, yang tidak difahami luas, walaupun di Malaysia sendiri. Pengertian pertama istilah ‘Melayu’ ialah, ia satu kelompok etnik pribumi yang menghuni seluruh semenanjung yang dikenali sebagai ‘Semenanjung Tanah Melayu’  atau ‘Semenanjung Melayu’, wilayah pesisiran pantai timur Pulau Sumatera, Kepulauan-kepulauan Riau, Sambas, Natuna, dan seluruh wilayah pesisir pantai di Pulau Kalimantan. Kelompok ini juga disebut sebagai ‘Melayu pesisir’.

Pengertian kedua akan istilah ‘Melayu’ ialah ia satu nama generic merujuk kepada semua kelompok-kelompok etnik pribumi yang menghuni keseluruhan pulau-pulau di Asia Tenggara ini, alam yang telah dikenali antarabangsa sebagai ‘Malay Archipelago’, atau ‘Malay world’. Hakikat identiti etnik generic ini diistilahkan dalam Bahasa Melayu sebagai ‘Rumpun Melayu’, atau ‘Serumpun’, bermaksud satu rumpun etnik yang satu bangsa, dengan satu sejarah yang sama, satu leluhur yang sama, satu keluarga bahasa yang sama, satu rumpun budaya yang sama, dan satu peradaban yang sama. Rumpun Melayu terdiri daripada ratusan kelompok etnik pribumi ini, seperti Melayu, semua pribumi di Sabah, semua pribumi di Sarawak, Jawa, Bugis, orang Maluku, Filipina, dll. Hakikat keserumpunan ini dikenali juga oleh pengembara bangsa-bangsa Eropah dahulu, yang sampai ke wilayah kepulauan ini semenjak 500 tahun dahulu,seperti yang dinyatakan di abad ke-19 dahulu oleh Stamford Raffles yang berada di kepulauan ini, bahawa ‘the Malays are one nation’ - satu ‘kelompok bangsa yang satu’. Jelas istilah ‘Melayu’ digunakan oleh Stamford Raffles sebagai istilah generic.

Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dahulu, dan Malaysia sekarang ini adalah jelasnya negara[1]negara di ‘Alam Melayu’, atau ‘Kepulauan Melayu’. Maksud ringkasnya ialah, kedua-dua negara ini nyata hakikatnya adalah ‘Negara Melayu’, atau pun ‘Negara Rumpun Melayu’ (countries of, and in the Malay World), yang dimunculkan oleh satu peradaban, iaitu peradaban pribumi Rumpun Melayu.

Dengan mengenali dua pengertian istilah ‘Melayu’ ini, maka senang difahami bahawa Persekutuan Tanah Melayu itu memang mudah sekali dikenali sebagai ‘Negara Melayu’. Manakala, Malaysia adalah juga ‘Negara Melayu’ atau ‘Negara Rumpun Melayu’ berasaskan bangsa dan peradaban serumpun. Atau, dengan lain perkataan, Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dan Malaysia bukan ‘negara pelbagai bangsa’. Alam kedua negara ini adalah Alam Melayu.

Melihat entiti masyarakat, pendekatan peradaban tidak menolak hakikat bahawa Malaysia mempunyai penduduk etnik lain daripada Bangsa Rumpun Melayu. Maka, sub-structure ini dirangkumkan sekali dengan identiti negara. Dengan mengiktiraf hakikat masyarakat pelbagai etnik di Malaysia ini, apa yang terlahir daripada pendekatan peradaban ini ialah apabila dikaitkan identiti super-structure, yakni ‘negara’, dengan entiti sub-structure, yakni masyarakatnya, identiti Malaysia ialah ‘Negara Melayu, dengan masyarakat pelbagai etnik’ (‘Malay country, with a multiethnic population’). Bermaksud, kepelbagaian itu adalah daripada segi jenis etnik dalam masyarakatnya, ia tidak menyentuh identiti negara, kerana identiti negara berkait dengan alam aslinya.

Pelbagai etnik selain daripada Rumpun Melayu itu tidak boleh mengenepikan hakikat bahawa Rumpun Melayu adalah peradaban pribumi, dan masyarakat dan peradaban pengasas di Malaysia, yang dari awal sejarah bumi ini lagi telah membentuk pelbagai jenis kerajaan/negeri rasmi/formal di Tanah Melayu dan di Malaysia.

Nah, itu dia identiti Malaysia.

Cuba lihat di Benua Eropah, negara Norway dikenali sebagai ‘Scandinavian country’, kerana ia sebuah negara yang terbentuk di ‘alam Scandinavian’, oleh masyarakat dan peradaban ‘Scandinavian’. Begitu juga negara-negara Sweden, Denmark, dan Iceland – semua negara-negara ini dikenali sebagai ‘Negara Scandinavian’ belaka, di alam Scandinavian, walaupun ke semua negara-negara ini mempunyai warga negara yang berasal daripada negara dan benua asing juga, sehingga setinggi 25% penduduknya di negara Sweden. Tiada sesiapa mempertikaikan negara-negara ini semua adalah ‘Negara Scandinavian’.

Pendekatan peradaban menunjukkannya. Tiada sesiapa yang cuba menghujah negara-negara ini adalah ‘negara pelbagai bangsa’. Pendekatan peradaban menujukkan persamaan yang nyata antara negara Malaysia dengan negara Norway (dan lain-lain negara Scandinavian). Harus disedari bahawa istilah ‘Scandinavian’ merujuk kepada satu kelompok etnik, iaitu kelompok etnik bangsa Jerman. Dan, istilah ‘Melayu’ juga serupa, merujuk kepada satu kelompok etnik. Jadi, kedua-dua negara ini melandaskan teras identiti mereka atas kumpulan etnik belaka, yakni kelompok etnik yang membangunkan peradaban di bumi masing[1]masing.

Seperkara lagi yang dapat dikemukakan dalam pendekatan peradaban ini. Iaitu, sub[1]structure Malaysia, yakni masyarakatnya (masyarakat Rumpun Melayu) telah bersifat kepelbagaian (diversity) semenjak ribuan tahun dahulu lagi. Di seluruh Alam Melayu, terdapat ratusan suku-suku bangsa dalam bangsa serumpun ini, dengan pelbagai budaya, resam, dan bahasa mereka. Kedatangan orang masyarakat Cina dan India ke Malaysia sekadar menambah sangat sedikit sahaja lagi kepada ratusan kepelbagaian yang telah mewarnai Alam Melayu ini semenjak dahulukala. Maksudnya, kepelbagaian bukanlah satu fenomena yang baru di Malaysia atau di Alam Melayu yang tIdak pernah diketahui atau dialami oleh orang Rumpun Melayu sebelum ini, yang menyebabkan mereka menjadi kekok. Rumpun Melayu faham dengan kepelbagaian dan mengenali falsafah/amalan (recognised rules, conventions and norms) kepelbagaian dengan ratusan suku-suku bangsa mereka.

Seperkara lagi, masyarakat Malaysia harus diketahui sebagai masyarakat ‘pelbagai etnik’, bukan ‘pelbagai bangsa’ atau ‘pelbagai kaum’. Pendekatan peradaban peka dengan pebezaan sejarah dan makna setiap istlah yang digunakan. Ada perbezaan antara ‘bangsa’, dan ‘kaum’. ‘Bangsa’ itu adalah pembangun peradaban pribumi di alam yang dihuni. Manakala, ‘kaum’ itu adalah masyarakat yang telah berhijrah ke alam peradaban bangsa lain. ‘Etnik’ pula merujuk kepada kedua-dua ‘bangsa’ dan ‘kaum’. Bukan semua penduduk sesebuah negara itu adalah ‘bangsa’; dan, juga tidak semua adalah ‘kaum’.

Jadi, identiti Malaysia ialah “Negara Melayu” atau pun “Negara Rumpun Melayu”, dan jika perlu dengan huraian, iaitu “Negara Melayu, dengan penduduk pelbagai etnik”, (“Malay country, with a multi-ethnic population”) atau “Negara Rumpun Melayu, dengan penduduk pelbagai etnik”. Sejenis dengan “Norway is a Scandinavian country”.

Arof Ishak 23 Julai 2023

Wednesday, May 3, 2023


Intelligence and talent without


One of the most common enquiries during our sessions with the younger generations is how to stay motivated and avoid the “hangat-hangat tahi ayam” syndrome. They find it a struggle to just stay focused on daily goals and tasks.
Meaning, while we debate whether science and math should be taught in English or Bahasa, the challenges on the ground are more fundamental – a cry for better self-control and the ability to stay the course. This is a problem across the board, not just among the young. The young are simply worse at dealing with it.
Self-discipline is a decisive skill for success and has wide implications in life. It is the cornerstone for healthy habits that fashion a good life and ensure high-quality work. With self-discipline, willpower becomes natural and as such we are able to resist short-term temptations, and practice delayed gratification to focus on long-term goals.
There is a need to create the right environment that can facilitate the culture of self-discipline, especially for the young. But first, we need to go back to basics. Are they sleeping and eating right? Do they exercise regularly? Do they constantly read new things? Do they have “a strong anchor” that makes their heart strong?
Lack of sleep alone can eat self-discipline for breakfast.
Intelligence and talent are important but without self-discipline we cannot complete tasks in a given deadline, at the quality required. We will not be able to stay the course taking repetitive actions that are likely to be tedious. Yet, only those who are willing and able to fight through tedious periods can be successful.
Until we pay serious attention to shaping the right environment to create the culture that builds self-discipline, our young, our people, our nation are simply unaware of our ill-fated future as we continue down our primrose path.
“Though one should conquer a million men in battlefield, yet he, indeed, is the noblest victor who has conquered himself.”
The Buddha
Peace, anas

Thursday, April 20, 2023



We have many “KEM BINA SEMANGAT”, but what we really need is “KEM BINA TABIAT”
An individual, a community or a nation who is constantly dependent on, in need of, or worse, yearns for extrinsic motivation to make things happen, can never be successful.
Yes, having a positive attitude is important and we spend a lot of resources to motivate people. But it is crucial to have a clear distinction between attitude and behavior. Attitude is a mental state, behavior is about actual practice. Attitude focuses on intentions; behavior pays attention to outcomes and performance.
To put it simply, “we do not have to like our boss, colleagues or subordinates”, but we still have to be professional, do our best to work with them and deliver results. Ditto our jobs. We do not need to like or love 100% of our tasks, but we must still deliver.
Failing to define this distinction clearly, we have created a new generation who are undoubtedly positive in their outlook, having grand visions, declaring lofty dreams to change the world, but failing to wake up early in the morning to take simple doable actions to make things happen. A generation who constantly needs a pat on the back for accomplishing the usual.
The belief that we continually need to feel positive, be encouraged and happy to get things done and make things happen, is a sickness. It is a flawed belief system and a myth.
What about the practice of delayed gratification? What about discipline – the inner ability to do what needs to be done? What about the sense of duty and responsibility? To do things because it is the right thing to do, not because you feel good doing it?
In short, we have failed to create a generation who is happy because they are performing. Who knows that a difficult journey makes the outcome worthwhile and gives true joy.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” - Muhammad Ali
Success does not depend on moods; it rests on action and deeds. Not just on attitude, but more importantly, on behavior.
Peace, anas

Friday, April 14, 2023


Interfaith dialogue is good, but INTERFAITH ACTION is better.
What Malaysia needs is INTERFAITH ACTION. What is Interfaith Action?
It is Malaysians from different faiths coming together to take action for the good of the nation. Each one of us finding the motivation, energy and spirit from our own faith and unleashing pious fervor to do great work, make things right and correct wrongs.
Interfaith Action does not require us to visit each other’s places of worship nor share each other’s rituals or prayers. There is no need to worry about someone trying to proselytize another. If there is any change of heart, it would be because of the attraction to that someone’s good deeds, authentic values and fantastic moral character.
Interfaith Action seeks to harness our combined talents, cross-fertilize our creative energy and diversity, set free our artificial boundaries and germinate our potential. It takes place not in mosques, churches, temples, or any houses of worship. It directs us to where our interfaith togetherness and unity really count - the real world. To go where the poor and have-nots live. At the frontline against injustice and frauds. And, the forefront of new solutions and innovations that can bring us forward. Interfaith action focuses on real issues, not just lofty goals and the exchanging of pleasantries.
We can come together to tackle corruption, misuse of power, hypocrisy, homelessness, hunger, health issues, poor education, care for the elderly, pollution, unsafe neighborhoods and so on. Movements like the #RasuahBusters is a good example of Interfaith Action.
At work, Interfaith Action pulls us together to have good work ethics, integrity, to work hard and work smart. We stop each other from being lazy and tardy, curi tulang and not fulfil our job requirements. We encourage each other to be both efficient and effective and go the extra mile.
It is with Interfaith Action that we can truly share our common values – in deeds. We work together towards a common goal and create positive outcomes – through our faith, no matter which religion we profess.
“ With your hands carve out your own destiny”, Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539)
Peace, anas

Monday, February 20, 2023

Saving Humanity and Planet Earth (SHAPE) - Global Webinar



Greetings friends,
Saving Humanity and Planet Earth (SHAPE) is an initiative to address the multiple crises that have brought us to the brink of the precipice.
JUST has been part of this initiative since its inception, and now we are calling for invitations to join us on our second upcoming Webinar to be held on 23rd February 2023, 4.00pm MYT
The main goal of this Webinar is to lay down a frank appraisal of both on-going and arising geopolitical crises, and draws lessons from the Ukraine war and set new pathways to global security
To Register for the Webinar, please click the link below:
We encourage all our members and friends to also share this Webinar with others among their networks of friends
If you have any inquiries, please feel free to contact us
Hassanal Noor Rashid
JUST Programme Coordinator
H/P: +6012-3621155

Sunday, February 19, 2023



The International Movement for a Just World (JUST) urges the
American, British, Australian, Canadian, Swiss and some
European Union and Arab League governments to lift the
unjust, immoral sanctions against Syria in order to lessen the
immense sufferings of the people caused by the massive
earthquake of 6th February 2023.
A number of local groups including the Syrian Red Crescent
Society have already made this call. Among individuals and
groups at the international level who also want sanctions
lifted is Helga Zepp LaRouche of the Schiller Institute. It is
reported that the US and EU have suspended temporarily
their sanctions. But this is not enough because it means that
they can be re-imposed at any time. If sanctions have to be
terminated once and for all, it is because there were no
justifications for them in the first instance.
The US began targeting Syria in 1979 by placing it on the list
of state sponsors of terrorism. This was largely because of the
support that then Syrian president Hafez Azad gave
Palestinian, Syrian and other Arab freedom fighters seeking
to liberate Palestine, Syria’s Golan Heights and other Arab
territories from Israeli occupation. It is an indication of the
degree of influence that Israel and Zionism exercise over US
foreign policy in West Asia and North Africa (WANA).
Between March and August 2004, sanctions were intensified
as a result of new allegations of Syrian interference in Iraq
and Lebanon which impacted upon Israel. By this time, the
Syrian government’s relationship with Hamas in Palestine and
Hezbollah in Lebanon and its close fraternal ties with Iran
were at the core of US animosity towards the resolutely
independent minded nation. Needless to say, Israeli interests
were prominent in all these US stances.
However, it was only after 2011, camouflaged by the socalled Arab Spring, that organised, aggressive US led attempts
to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar Azad,
supported by some of its European allies and WANA friends,
gave birth to a whole range of new sanctions from travel bans
and asset freezes to prohibitions on exports and restrictions
upon the oil sector. The EU also joined the US in embargoing
the oil sector. 20% of Syria’s GDP came from oil. It has been
estimated that the country has lost 107 billion US dollars
from its oil and gas earnings since 2011.
Some Arab League states also froze Syrian government assets
as did Turkiye in 2011. But none of these actions had as
severe an impact upon the Syrian economy and State as the
capture of territories containing oil and producing wheat and
cotton by rebel groups linked to governments, ethnic
movements or terrorist outfits in the region. These groups
collectively known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are
led by Kurds with longstanding grievances against both the
Syrian and Turkish governments and are supported by the US.
They occupy parts of North West Syria badly affected by the
It is this fractured and fragmented country that Bashar Azad
presides over. It is a country in which 15.3 million people out
of a population of 21.3 million are in need of humanitarian
aid. Bashar’s power and authority have been further
weakened as we have seen by loss of control over vital
resources and by crippling sanctions. It is understandable
why his government was not able to respond quickly and
effectively to the earthquake catastrophe which as of 11
th February has killed at least 3,500 people. It is of course much
smaller than the more than 22,300 children, women and men
who have perished in neighbouring Turkiye.
Nonetheless, the Syrian tragedy demands a response that
goes beyond rescue and recovery operations. It is a colossal
tragedy complicated by sanctions which impede not only ongoing operations such as the flow of basic necessities and the
arrival of much needed personnel but also hinder medium
and long-term relief and rehabilitation work. This is why
sanctions have to be lifted immediately. This is why both
peoples and governments everywhere should make this their
priority plea.
The conflicts between competing groups the majority of
which are armed should also be brought to an end as soon as
possible. It is not going to be easy. One hopes that this
mammoth catastrophe will persuade some of the principal
actors in these conflicts to reflect deeply on what has
happened --- the unfathomable suffering of millions of
human beings on both sides of the Turkiye-Syria border. If
their suffering is to have any meaning at all, let it herald the
end of conflicts and killings along the border and in other
parts of Syria. In this regard, it is encouraging that the United
Nations has appealed to all warring parties to observe a
ceasefire with immediate effect to enable humanitarian
assistance to be channelled to the victims of the earthquake.
There is another glimmer of hope. Even before the
earthquake, on the 5th of January 2023, the president of
Turkiye, Recep Erdogan indicated that he wants to meet up
with the Syrian president, Bashar Azad, to discuss and resolve
their differences. Let us hope and pray that both men will
work towards such a meeting --- a meeting which will result
in a mutually acceptable solution to their problems. If the two
leaders who enjoyed a close friendship some time ago make
peace with one another, there is a strong possibility that
Turkiye and Syria will be able to come together on a firm
footing and most of the other protagonists will also be able to
bury the hatchet.
If that happens, the deaths of thousands --- especially little
children --- in one of the greatest tragedies in recent times
would not have been in vain.
Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the president of the International
Movement for a Just World (JUST).
12 February 2023

Friday, January 20, 2023

Have A Meaningful Chinese New Year 2023 - LEARN HOW TO LEARN


Learning how to learn is a skill – a crucial one.
It is a much-needed ability not just for our fresh graduates and newbies but for anyone who wants to keep pace with the world and stay relevant. A skill that will help us learn new things, grow, develop and avoid becoming deadwoods.
Learning how to learn helps us find answers when ‘we do not know what we do not know’ thus avoiding our blind spots – the antidote of being ‘bodoh sombong’. Learning how to learn is an attitude. To learn how to learn we need to cultivate the curiosity of a child and the awareness that it is okay not to know everything and to look for answers. To ask questions, is actually, being smart.
Practising learning how to learn requires action and good habits. When given a task, especially a new one, do not rest just on our past laurels, experience and skills – just in case they are not adequate or worst still, obsolete. One must read, read, and read. Investigate and do some research. Be active in looking for mentors, coaches and teachers. Be quick to volunteer for tasks outside our job scope and what we are paid for. These habits ensure that we learn something we would have learned less well, more slowly, or not at all if left alone.
A person who practices learning how to learn is like a seed. A seed has potential. But it would not grow into a big, strong, beautiful fruitful tree without absorbing and making full use of resources from the outside like sunlight, water and nutrients. We can keep a seed in a bottle for years and it will remain a seed. Good seeds can go bad if they are kept too long.
Like a seed that grows into a strong tree, learning how to learn ensures that we make full use of all resources available and grow to our fullest potential.
Let us add value.
Peace, anas