Friday, July 30, 2010

to ponder.....

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then shall you begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet, On Death

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 29, 2010

MADURODAM (Miniature of Holland)




International Court of Justice (ICJ-The Hague)


to ponder.....

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

to ponder.....

To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease
Lao Tzu

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


ULAMA TIADA KUASA VS ULAMA ADA KUASA

Oleh : MOHAMED HANIPA MAIDIN

Antara isu yang sering dimainkan media ke atas gerakan Islam seperti PAS adalah dakwaan kononnya Pas anti hiburan. Mesej yang cuba dibawa dari dakwaan tidak berasas ini - amat berbahaya untuk memberi kepada gerakan Islam seperti Pas . Memberi sokongan kepada Pas ertinya menyokong supaya industri hiburan ditutup. Tiada konsert, tiada filem, tiada nyanyian. Begitulah fitnah yang sering dimainkan oleh musuh gerakan Islam.

Tidak dinafikan jika yang dimaksudkan hiburan itu adalah satu bentuk keseronokan yang bebas sepenuhnya dari sebarang sekatan dan kawalan maka Pas mengaku bahawa ia memang menentang hiburan sebegitu. Jika yang dimaksudkan dengan hiburan misalnya adalah nyanyian atau lakonan yang melibatkan pergaulan bebas lelaki dan wanita yang tidak terkawal , pakaian yang menjolok mata, senikata dan skrip yang tidak membina keperibadian manusia sepertimana yang ditonjolkan oleh Hollywood atau Bolywood dan ditiru oleh industri hiburan tanahair maka hiburan yang seperti itu akan pasti ditentang oleh Pas meskipun seluruh alam membenci Pas.

Bagi Pas hasrat manusia untuk berhibur adalah satu fitrah manusia. Memandangkan ianya satu fitrah maka adalah mustahil untuk Pas melarang perkara tersebut. Sebaliknya hiburan itu patut disuburkan bagi membantu manusia lari dari masalah dan kerunsingan yang mereka hadapi. Bukankah itu matlamat hiburan ?

Apa yang malang manusia barat mengaitkan hiburan dengan keseronokan yang tidak dikawal. Industri hiburan barat menghiburkan manusia dengan meminta manusia mengikut selera hawa nafsu manusia . Tiada had dan batasan dibenarkan. Hiburan barat adalah berdasarkan falsafah hedonism – keseronokan yang tidak dibatasi oleh sebarang sekatan dan kawalan. Sistem ekonomi kapitalisme bukan sahaja merangsang industri hiburan barat malahan ia juga menjadi pengawal kepada industri hiburan tersebut.

Soal adab, akhlak , maruah, harga diri dan keperibadian insan tidak ada dalam kamus kapitalisme dan dunia hiburan barat. Apabila manusia dibiarkan untuk mengikuti hawa nafsunya untuk berseronok atas nama hiburan ia hanya membantu manusia lari sementara dari masalah dan kerunsingan . Bagaimanapun selepas menikmati hiburan itu ia akan membawa manusia itu kepada beribu masalah yang lain. Paparan akhbar tentang apa yang berlaku kepada artis-artis negara barat dan juga di negara ini – masalah dadah, khalwat, zina, gay, mabuk, kadar penceraian yang tinggi adalah contoh yang boleh kita lihat di depan mata kita.

Sebagai gerakan Islam yang ingin membawa manusia kepada kebaikan dan kesejahteraan yang hakiki Pas tidak boleh membiarkan dunia hiburan terus dinodai oleh acuan dunia hiburan barat. Maka tindakan mengharamkan terus industri hiburan sudah semestinya bukan satu pilihan yang wajar dan bijak. Jika itu pilihan Pas maka ia adalah satu bentuk escapism. Jika itu yang dilakukan maka ia menjustifikasi dakwaan jahat musuh bahawa Pas adalah anti hiburan.

Justeru itu tindakan Kerajaan Kelantan membenarkan konsert jom heboh baru-baru ini bagi saya adalah satu tindakan yang positif dan patut dipuji. Sebelum ini kita juga dapat melihat Negara Iran yang dipimpin oleh golongan ulama telah berjaya membawa revolusi industry perfilemen negara itu – dari industri glamour kepada industry yang membina. Perfilemen Iran menunjukkan bahawa sesebuah filem itu masih mampu menang award meskipun tiada arak dan adegan seks di dalam filem.

Bagi yang tidak senang dengan Pas, tindakan Kelantan yang dipimpin oleh Tuan Guru Nik Aziz membenarkan sure heboh di bumi serambi Mekah dilihat seolah-oleh menempelak kenyataan Mufti Perak sebelum ini yang mengatakan jomheboh atau sure heboh adalah haram.

Jika itu kritikan yang ditujukan kepada Kelantan , jawapan kita mudah sahaja. Haram atau tidak haramnya sesuatu perkara bukan hanya kerana namanya . Sebagai contoh adakah kasino itu haram kerana namanya kasino ? Bagaimanakah jika kasino menukar programnya dari yang berbentuk permainan dengan wang taruhan ( judi ) kepada permainan semata-mata tanpa ada unsur judi. Adakah ketika itu kasino masih haram hanya kerana namanya Kasino !

Sewaktu saya bersama dengan Presiden Pas bertemu para pelajar di Australia suatu ketika dahulu, Presiden Pas, Tuan Guru Dato Seri Abdul Hadi Awang memberikan satu contoh yang menarik kepada pelajar tentang kaedah hukum dalam Islam. Contoh yang beliau berikan adalah melibatkan makan nasi. Beliau mengatakan hukum makan nasi boleh jadi harus atau wajib atau haram mengikut keadaannya. Asal hukum makan nasi adalah mubah ( harus ). Bagaimanapun ia boleh bertukar menjadi wajib jika apabila seseorang itu dalam kebuluran dan hanya ada nasi sahaja dan tidak ada makanan lain di hadapan beliau. Makan nasi ketika itu jadi wajib kerana ingin menjaga nyawa. Makan nasi juga boleh jadi haram jika makan di waktu siang semasa berpuasa di bulan Ramadhan..

Hal yang sama juga boleh berlaku kepada sure heboh. Sure heboh boleh jadi harus atau haram mengikut keadaan . Jika program sure heboh dipenuhi maksiat sudah tentu ia haram. Tetapi jika kandungan maksiat di program itu dapat dibuang atau dielakkan adakah hukum program itu akan terus berkekalan haram hanya kerana namanya sure heboh. Sudah tentu tidak.

Kita percaya bahawa apabila Mufti Perak mengatakan sure heboh haram ianya bukan kerana namanya tetapi kerana isi kandungan program tersebut. Program sure heboh sebelum ini termasuk di Perak sendiri tidak dikawal .Para penonton lelaki dan wanita dibenarkan duduk bersama-sama . Artis wanita dibenarkan terkinja kinja menyanyi di pentas dengan pakaian yang tidak sopan dan tidak menutup aurat. Mufti Perak yang tidak bersandarkan kuasa politik tidak dapat berbuat apa-apa apabila sure heboh berkunjung ke negeri Perak sendiri. Beliau terpaksa akur melihat fatwanya dilanggar oleh orang-orang politik di negeri itu. Konsert sureheboh di Perak terpaksa mengikut gendang TV 3 sebagai penganjur program itu.

Keadaan yang sama tidak berlaku di Kelantan. Di Kelantan pihak penganjur terpaksa ikut gendang Kerajaan yang dipimpin oleh Ulama’. Apabila Kelantan bersuara tiada artis wanita – maka TV 3 ikut. Tiada percampuran lelaki dan wanita- sekali lagi TV 3 ikut. Inilah bezanya apabila Ulama yang bersandar dengan kuasa dengan ulama yang tidak mempunyai kuasa.

Ulama tiada kuasa hanya dapat menyatakan ini haram itu haram tanpa dapat berbuat apa-apa jika manusia tidak endahkan fatwanya. Apabila TV 3 tidak endah fatwa Ulama yang tiada kuasa maka ulama seperti Mufti Perak tidak boleh buat apa-apa .

Apabila ulama ada kuasa ia boleh bertindak dengan lebih aktif dan efektif. Ia boleh ‘dictate” pihak penganjur supaya tunduk kepada peraturan Kerajaan negeri. Akhirnya ulama yang ada kuasa boleh menawarkan rakyatnya hiburan alternatif yang terbaik kepada sure heboh yang diharamkan oleh ulama yang tiada kuasa.

to ponder.....

A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
Lao Tzu

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Monday, July 26, 2010

www.bakrimusa.com

Chief Secretary Sidek’s “Mother Hen” Folly

M. Bakri Musa

Chief Secretary Sidek Hassan did not acquit himself honorably in so quickly defending federal civil servant Nik Ali Yunus in his very public and ugly squabble with Penang’s Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Sidek’s swift reaction reflects more of a “mother hen” instinct of protecting its brood rather than the cool considered judgment of the head of an organization of professionals, as our civil servants would like us to believe them to be.

A state development officer (Nik Ali’s designation) is pretty far down in the federal civil service scheme of things, yet Sidek felt compelled to intervene. He did, in a rash and clumsy manner. At the very least he should have sought the views of both sides before rendering judgment. That would have been the mark of a true professional; it would also the decent thing to do.

Sidek’s quick reaction to this personnel crisis stands in sharp contrast to his lack of one to another far-from-exemplary behavior of a very senior civil servant. I refer to the utterance of Solicitor General II Yusof Zainal Abidin to the allegation that one of his lawyers was romantically involved with the key prosecution witness in Anwar Ibrahim’s “Sodomy II” trial.

While not categorically denying the allegation, Yusof simply dismissed it, adding this astounding assertion, “What my team does in their own personal time is not my business. Usually, I don’t check on their personal lives.”

A Solicitor General is high up on the totem pole of the civil service; you have to be very senior and capable to reach that lofty position. Yet we have this character failing to recognize the potential implications of a member of his team being romantically involved with a witness, especially a key one. To think that we have as Solicitor General a lawyer who is unaware of the essence of professional ethics and conflict of interest! This reflects poorly on the caliber of persons we appoint to senior positions in our civil service.

Yusof’s inept attempt at minimizing that lawyer’s role in his prosecuting team was equally unprofessional. Yusof conveniently forgot that he was dealing with a lawyer, a professional, in his department, not the office clerk. It does not matter whether that lawyer “was only brought in to help with taking notes, compiling data, evidence.” A lawyer involved in such unethical activities ought to be disbarred regardless of where she works or what she does.

Lack of Professionalism at the Highest Levels

So we have two disturbing displays of less than exemplary behaviors if not outright lack of professionalism at the highest levels of our civil service. One is the Chief Secretary not hearing both sides to the Lim Eng Guan and Nik Ali squabble before rendering judgment, and the other, the Solicitor General failing to recognize a breach of professional ethics.

Contrary to Solicitor General Yusof’s assertion, what civil servants do in private can and do have a major impact on the effectiveness of their official duties. If our top civil servants do not know this, as clearly demonstrated by Yusof’s remarks, then Sidek has a monumental task ahead of him.

Back to the squabble in Penang; in defending the federal officer, Sidek chided Lim for being extreme in resorting to public criticisms of the officer. Sidek also asserted that there was nothing unprofessional for Nik Ali to retaliate openly by condemning the Chief Minister at an UMNO gathering.

Nik Ali was obviously ignorant of the internal channels available to him to express his dissatisfaction; hence his enlisting the help of a political party. With Sidek’s rousing endorsement of Nik Ali’s action, this could well prove to be the new and accepted way. I shudder to contemplate the consequences to the nation generally and the civil service specifically should that be the norm. Perhaps I am being na├»ve here for this may already be the set pattern; hence the sorry shape we are in.

For his part, Lim claimed that he had sought a private meeting with Sidek as far back as May to discuss the matter, but he (Sidek) cancelled it at the last minute. Had Sidek acted professionally, he would have realized that the request came not from an opposition politician but the chief executive of a major state. If Lim’s assertion were true, then Sidek owes the public an explanation for spurning Lim. Sidek should have been more respectful of federal-state relationships.

Incredibly, Sidek also did not find anything unusual or a breach of the civil service code for a federal officer to be addressing partisan party gatherings. Sidek’s excuse was that he as Chief Secretary had to be present when Najib gave his speeches.

Sidek obviously failed to grasp the essential difference between Najib the Prime Minister and Najib the party president. Yes, Sidek should be by Prime Minister Najib on official functions, but Sidek should not be seen or be in any way officially or unofficially associated with the President of UMNO. Sidek is a career civil servant, supposedly politically neutral and a professional. If he were a political appointee, that would be a different matter.

Sidek’s incredulous assertion and crudely inappropriate behavior did not end there. As Chief Secretary, he manages matters to be discussed at cabinet meetings. That he saw fit to bring this to the highest level revealed Sidek’s warped sense of priorities. I would have thought that the cabinet had other more pressing matters. It was pathetic to see both the Prime Minister and his deputy putting in their dua-sen comments on this lowly personnel matter.

As leader, a major part of Sidek’s responsibility is to solve problems, not create them. He should also be able to anticipate them, and thus try to avoid or at least be ready. With the Penang issue, Sidek not only fails to solve it but he also aggravates it.

More deplorable, Sidek fails to anticipate the potential ugly racial undercurrent to this conflict. This is Malaysia and any conflict quickly acquires a racial hue unless intelligently and sensitively handled. Sidek’s management of this crisis fails on both counts.

The outcome would have been far more favorable, and the nation spared a potentially destructive racial crisis, had Sidek been wise, restrained and professional. In failing to have the earlier scheduled meeting with Lim, and not hearing both sides to the dispute between Lim and Nik Ali, Sidek flunked the most elementary test of leadership – nipping a problem in the bud.

Now that the different parties can be the governing as well as the opposition simultaneously at the federal and state levels, it behooves Sidek to provide guidelines on the proper relationship between civil servants and their political superiors.

Sidek must do this now, well before the next general elections. Failure to do so would risk our nation having to endure again the ugly spectacle that we witnessed at Shah Alam immediately following the last general elections. The next time however, it would be far more revolting. Then Chief Minister Khir Toyo in cahoots with the state’s senior civil servants acted like a bunch of yahoos in destroying state documents and properties, anticipating the change in political leadership. That was criminal. That they were not prosecuted again reflected the lack of professionalism in our civil service.

While he is at it, Sidek should also draw up guidelines on how our diplomats abroad should handle visiting Malaysians, specifically lawmakers from other than the ruling party. These Malaysians should not be ignored, as is the current practice. They are our lawmakers regardless of their party affiliations. Our diplomats should learn from their British and American counterparts in Malaysia and see how they treat visiting Labor MPs and Republican members of Congress.

As an aside, there was another unpleasant dimension to the Shah Alam spectacle of 2004. Selangor was not the only state that saw a change in political leadership; there was also Penang. Unlike Selangor, the transition in Penang was smooth and civilized. Again this being Malaysia, one cannot escape from drawing a racial conclusion to this difference. I am embarrassed to state this, but it is obvious though not talked openly in polite social discourse.

Sidek also needs to scrutinize more closely the performance of his top officers. He should not tolerate such inept and unprofessional conduct as displayed by the Solicitor General. That would be more productive than intervening in the personnel problems of junior officers.

Like his political superior Prime Minister Najib, Sidek talks endlessly of “transforming” the government. He would have a much greater chance of success if he were to first transform himself. He can begin by quitting being the “mother hen” and start being more professional.

www.bakrimusa.com

to ponder.....

If you are patient...and wait long enough...Nothing will happen!
Garfield

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

to ponder.....

A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad.  ~Arnold H. Glasgow

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sepuluh tahun sebelum merdeka

Please spent sometime and watch this documentary....with an open mind.....to ponder.


Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Daik yang memisahkan laut yang menjadi penghalang banjir di Belanda


Mana pergi subsidi kami

Mana pergi subsidi kami
Dr Asri Zainal Abidin

kalian rampas subsidi kami, entah ke mana dibawa lari
kalian beritahu, wang mesti dicatu, kita menuju maju..
kalian kata: jika tidak, semua menderita, habis harta negara..
kalian berbahasa: bukan barang naik harga, cuma subsidi turun sahaja..

kami orang desa, mungkin tidak pandai kira berjuta-juta..
kami orang kecil kota, mungkin tiada sedemikian harta..
jika kalian tipu sebegitu, biasanya kami diam selalu..
tapi dapatkah kami dibohongi, tentang suapan saban hari?

apalah yang dapat diberitahu anak ke sekolah..?
papa semakin parah..? wang semakin lelah..?
jika semalam berlauk, hari cuma berkuah..
kerana kerajaan kita sedang susah..?
maka subsidi kita terpaksa diserah..
jika semalam kau makan sepinggan, hari ini saparuh
kerana barang makin angkuh, wang papa makin rapuh..
apa yang dapat dibisik pada anak berkopiah ke madrasah..?
makananmu sayang, sebahagiannya sudah hilang..
jika mereka bertanya siapa yang bawa lari
kepada siapa patut kami tuding jari?
janganlah nanti mereka membenci pertiwi..
akibat pencuri harta bumi rakyat marhaen ini..
atau kami jadi insan curang..
kami beritahu; cuma subsidi sahaja yang kurang?
tiada apa yang hilang, nanti akan datang wang melayang..

dengar sini wahai yang tidak memijak bumi!
pernahkah kalian mengintipi kehidupan kami..
pernahkah kalian ngerti makna derita dan susah hati..
kami yang semput bagai melukut di kota kedekut
kami yang bekerja hingga senja di desa yang makin terseksa
bertarung nyawa dan masa, menghitung setiap belanja

pernahkah kau merasa?
rumah bocor yang lanjut usia..
baju dan kasut anak yang koyak
tinggal dalam rumah yang berasak-asak
siang kami sebak, malam kami sesak..

sedangkan kalian manusia angkasa..
istana permata dibina, kereta berjuta dirasa..
elaun di serata, dari isteri sehingga seluruh keluarga..
hidangan istimewa, konon meraya kemakmuran negara..

tapi kami masih di sini..di teratak ini..
dengan lauk semalam..
dengan hidangan yang tidak bertalam..
dengan rumah yang suram..
dengan wang yang hampir padam..

tiada istana lawa..tiada kereta berharga..
tiada layanan diraja..tiada baju bergaya
tiada kediaman menteri..tiada hidangan v.i.p..
tiada persen di sana-sini..tiada bahagian anak dan bini..

tiba-tiba kalian kata: kamilah beban negara..
aduhai celaka bahasa yang kalian guna..
kalian yang belasah, kami yang bersalah..
kalian buat untung, hutang kami tanggung..
kalian mewah melimpah, kami susah parah
kalian hilangkan wang, poket kami yang terbang..
kalian bina istana, rumah kami jadi mangsa..
kalian makan isi, kami dijadikan abdi..

lantas, kalian rampas lagi subsidi..
ke mana wang itu pergi nanti?
jika kalian berhati suci, wajib mengganti buat kami..
jika tidak pun buat gula konon merbahaya
mengapa tidak beras diturun harga?
jika tidak untuk minyak kereta..
mengapa tambang tidak potong sahaja..
tapi entah berapa kali janji..
konon: nanti kami ganti, kami ganti, kami ganti..
hari demi hari, ceritanya pun tidak berbunyi lagi..
kami terus termanggu di sini..
kalian juga yang nikmati..
kami hanya menggigit jari..

kembalikanlah kepada kami harta negara..
jangan hanya kalian sahaja yang merasa..

dr maza
July 2010

to ponder.....

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.

(from the character Atticus Finch)

- Harper Lee   

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 15, 2010

to ponder.....

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
Confucius

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

to ponder.....

A friend is someone who knows all about you, and loves you just the same.
Proverb

Note:
When you're far away and in difficulty, you'll know who  your friends are.

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jokers Without Any Sense of Humor

M. Bakri Musa

Banning books in Malaysia is now such a routine matter that it is no longer newsworthy. That is the scary part.

So when the Associated Press carried the news of the Malaysian government banning Zunar’s books of political cartoons, that perked me up especially when the news item was also picked up by major American papers such as the Washington Post and influential online portals like the Huffingtonpost.com.

I have long been a fan of Zunar, or Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque, ever since his cartoons appeared in Malaysiakini.com. What struck me then were his astute observations, brazen courage, and devastatingly powerful caricatures. Much to the discomfit of our politicians, Zunar has only gotten better. Now he is even more biting, cuts even deeper, and as reflected by the government’s action, can goncang (shake) even the most powerful.

In trying (that is the appropriate and operative word) to explain the government’s action, Home Ministry Secretary-General Mahmood Adam said, “[The books] have been banned for their contents that can influence the people to revolt against the leaders and government policies.” Adding, “The contents are not suitable for and detrimental to public order.” To think that this joker not only lacks a sense of humor but he is also the ministry’s highest civil servant!

Another way of looking at the Secretary-General’s “explanation” is that Zunar has really goncang powerful folks. Or that those seemingly powerful people are made up of softer stuff. Zunar is not at all perturbed by the government’s latest stupid action. On the contrary, like a Great Dane facing the irritating yelping of a diminutive pariah dog, Zunar is ready to pounce back, and with not an ounce of mercy.

The publisher of his One Funny Malaysia, one of the banned books, has already initiated legal action. As for Zunar, a cartoonist for over 20 years, his dismissive response was, “They can ban my books, they can ban my publications, but they can’t ban my mind! I will not stop drawing till the last drop of my pen.” That may not sound like a Great Dane ready to pounce on a pariah dog, more the flicking off an irritating flea. But then that’s what Great Danes do to lull their prey. So I am really looking forward to Zunar’s next cartoon following this latest government folly.

Zunar now has three prime ministerial notches on his cartoon belt. The materials on the first, Cartoons on Tun and Others, showed that Zunar was not in the least in awe of or intimidated by the most powerful and mercurial personality. He was merciless in his treatment of Mahathir. As Zunar rationalized in his introduction, “Why pinch when you can punch?” Way to go, Zunar!

Some would claim that at times he punches below the belt. I disagree. Rather that his victims have their belt and samping way too high!

Zunar’s critics take exception to his caricaturing Mahathir’s nose. Like Jews, we Malays are sensitive about the shape and size of our snouts, and Mahathir has been known to express his irritation to this less-than-flattering caricature. Beyond that, there was nothing more.

One of Zunar’s most memorable cartoons depicts a scene right after Mahathir’s shocking announcement of his resignation. Many, and not just his supplicants, were pleading for him to change his mind. There was Zunar appearing in his own cartoon lamenting whose nose he would be drawing now that Mahathir would be gone!

Zunar’s fame has spread despite his intentionally bypassing the mainstream media. Kowtowing to the establishment or the powerful is just not his style or mode of working. That is what makes his work so refreshing and, well, Jebat-like. Luckily, as Amir Muhammad noted in his preface to one of Zunar’s collections, “[His] talent matches his bile!” I would also add, “And courage too!”

Just as he was merciless with the mercurial Mahathir, Zunar was no less sparing with Mahathir’s pliant successor Abdullah Badawi. In many ways Abdullah was more of a challenge as he was so pathetically out of his league. Too tough and you would appear to be picking on the village idiot. That could backfire, evoking sympathy instead. At the same time you have to puncture the idiot’s increasingly uppity pretensions. A delicate balance!

Zunar was more than up to the task. The one cartoon that best captures Abdullah’s tenure is one showing him slumped in an oversized chair issuing endless edicts: “Zero Corruption! Zero Red Tape!” followed by a series of Zs ending with his snoozing in his chair. That summarizes better than the kilobytes of critical commentaries by erudite columnists. The chair was just a tad too large for him, or the man too small for it, and Abdullah was reduced to uttering useless slogans. He succeeded only in putting himself to sleep.

One would expect Abdullah’s successor to have minimal difficulty to shine. Alas that was not to be with Najib Razak. As for the reasons, you could torture yourself and read the various dry commentaries by the pundits and academics, or you could spend RM20 and get a copy of Zunar’s latest book, the one banned by the government, “1 Funny Malaysia. The title obviously pokes fun at Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan. You will be entertained, as well as being educated.

Thanks to the inefficiency of the Home Ministry, the publisher already sold the first printing of 5,000 copies before the ban. With Internet marketing and with many of Zunar’s cartoons readily available free online (www.cartoonkafe.com), the Ministry’s ban is, like all the government’s actions, all fury with no significance. That makes the whole banning exercise less scary than first thought.

The cartoon cover of the banned volume is illuminating enough. It shows Najib commanding his ship, KD Altantuya, presumably the newly-acquired and exorbitantly expensive submarine that would not sink, shouting out orders to no one in particular. Or perhaps no one cared to listen! Notice the ship’s name!

In other cartoons Najib is reduced to his oversized glasses, pin-sized eyes, and prominent forehead, an unmistakable befuddled deer-in-the-headlight look. That also describes Najib’s leadership – befuddled.

Zunar was equally tough on all our leaders. Not so the reactions of his subjects. I am certain that both Mahathir and Abdullah were none too pleased to be so unflatteringly caricatured and mercilessly skewered by Zunar. Nonetheless, very unlike Najib, they did not see fit to ban Zunar’s books or undertake any such nefarious actions.

That is the significant difference between them and Najib, a “transformation” in our leadership that should scare us. It is noteworthy that while the world notices this as evidenced by the extensive global coverage of the ban, the matter receives scant attention in the mainstream Malaysian media. Nor has the ban attracted much commentaries or editorials. That too is equally significant, and scary.

Zunar, we need you now more than ever. We need you to keep them straight when they strayed, soften them when they become sclerosed, and bring them down a notch or two when they get too uppity. May the ink in your pen never run dry!



Monday, July 12, 2010

Kalimah Terakhir

Kalimah Terakhir - Ramli Sarip

Jauh sudah perjalanan
Pahit manis dirasakan
Kini kau sudah di penghujung jalan

Di waktu yang sangat sempit
Di saat hampir terhimpit
Gerak bibir mu tanpa suara
Tenangkanlah jiwa mu
Di kalimah akhir mu

Tua, muda, miskin, kaya
Pasti kembali kepada Nya
Rumah, harta, gedung, istana
Tiada lagi berguna
Hanya amal, budi, bakti, suci

Jauh sudah perjalanan
Pahit manis dirasakan
Kini kau sudah di penghujung jalan

Yang jauh semakin jauh
Yang dekat semakin dekat
Berbaktilah sebelum terlambat
Bimbinglah kami ini
Ke jalan Mu Ilahi Ya! Rabbi

Andai Ku Tahu - Ungu

Andai kutahu
Kapan tiba ajalku
Ku akan memohon
Tuhan tolong panjangkan umurku

Andai kutahu
Kapan tiba masaku
Ku akan memohon
Tuhan jangan Kau ambil nyawaku

Aku takut
Akan semua dosa dosaku
Aku takut
Dosa yang terus membayangiku



Andai kutahu
MalaikatMu kan menjemputku
Izinkan aku
Mengucap kata tobat padaMu

Aku takut
Akan semua dosa dosaku
Aku takut
Dosa yang terus membayangiku

Ampuni aku
Dari segala dosa dosaku
Ampuni aku
Menangisku bertobat padaMu

Aku manusia
Yang takut neraka
Namun aku juga
Tak pantas di surga

Andai kutahu
Kapan tiba ajalku
Izinkan aku
Mengucap kata tobat padaMu

Aku takut
Akan semua dosa dosaku
Aku takut
Dosa yang terus membayangiku

Ampuni aku
Dari segala dosa dosaku
Ampuni aku
Menangisku bertobat padaMu

to ponder.....

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.  ~Seneca

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

to ponder.....

How reluctantly the mind consents to reality!  ~Norman Douglas

P.S.
Pertama kali dalam sejarah hidupku dapat menonton setiap perlawanan 'world cup', sebab waktu perlawanan di sini bukan tengah malam atau lewat pagi seperti di Malaysia. 

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

to ponder.....

A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out. ~Grace Pulpit

Note:
Pucuk pauh delima batu
Anak seluang di tapak tangan
Sungguh jauh beribu batu
Hilang di mata di hati jangan.

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

257,000 anak luar nikah membimbangkan

257,000 anak luar nikah membimbangkan

Mike Tyson menangis di Raudah

Mike Tyson menangis di Raudah

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

to ponder.....

All men should strive
to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.

~James Thurber

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Keshvinder diberi 14 hari dan gantirugi RM500,000

Keshvinder diberi 14 hari dan gantirugi RM500,000

to ponder.....

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
Mahatma Gandhi

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Friday, July 2, 2010

to ponder.....

I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 1, 2010

to ponder.....

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.  ~Vernon Howard

Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar
The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31616876609
www.drazman.blogspot.com