Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

33 tips on personal jihad against racism and nationalism

33 tips on personal jihad against racism and nationalism

Abdul Malik Mujahid, 13 May 2013

Mosques around the world are open to all people. Muslims pray shoulder to shoulder with no regard to any national, ethnic, class or color differences. Islamic egalitarianism still gains converts from the untouchables of India to Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali in America. However, this dominant reality is sometimes marred by individual behavior, which is contrary to the ideals of Islam.

Some Muslims fall for the age-old trick of Satan and start playing the silly inferiority/superiority game. Some stereotype others and tolerate prejudice against other human beings, despite the fact that all human beings are equal, from the same man and woman. (Quran 49:13)

How should we save ourselves from falling into this trap? How should we help others stay above the killing fields of racism and nationalism? What can we do now to become a better human being? Here are some tips on how we can launch our personal Jihad against this disease.
The Prophet said: If one of you sees something evil he should change it with his hand. If he cannot, he should speak out against it, and if he cannot do even that he should at least detest it in his heart, this being the weakest form of faith (Sahih Muslim).

1. Knowledge is power
Do we know what the Quran and Sunnah say about racism? The Quran established individual character as the criteria of success, not color, tribal or economic status of a person. The Prophet preached and established these ideals in the peace sanctuary of Madinah and Islamic society which he developed.
Let our parents, children, Islamic schools, and Imams learn and teach the ideals of Islam.

2. Ask the only One who can really help
We can get rid of racial and prejudicial attitudes within ourselves with the help of God.
Make sincere and focused D'ua (invocation) for those people and groups who remain oppressed, subject to humiliation, subject to difficult behavior. After all, D'ua increases love between people (Hadith). Also make Du'a for yourself and others to gain an appreciation of others. Pray together with your family for those friends in the mosque or at your job who are from other groups. And remember that dua without actions is nothing.

3. Hate the hatred
The Prophet never hated anyone. He neither hated Makkah nor the Makkans who tortured him, starved him and his people and killed his companions, may Allah be pleased with them. He continued to pray even for his worst enemies like Abu Jahl.

4. Make sincere Tawbah (repentance to God)
If we have hurt someone through our tongue or attitude, we need to seek God's forgiveness. It is also important to seek the personal forgiveness of that persons as well if s/he is within reach as an Islamic pre-requisite to seek God's forgiveness. There has to be a personal acknowledgment of wrongdoing and a commitment to change. This is done by turning to God and seeking His Forgiveness for looking down on other beings due to a false belief in someone's inferiority.

Even the Islamic term Kafir has to be use with care. Not every non-believer is a Kafir. This Quranic term, regarding those who rejected Allah's guidance after recognizing it to be the truth, should not become a term of hate.

5. Watching our tongue
The Prophet said: "Whoever can give me a guarantee for what is between his two jaws and between his two legs, I can assure him Paradise" (Sahih Bukhari).

Keeping this in mind, effort should be made to curb useless talk, which can lead to worse things like backbiting and slander of individuals and groups of people.

Defining backbiting, the Prophet said that backbiting is anything that you say about someone in his absence that may displease him. When he was asked by one of the Companions, ‘even if he is as I describe him?' he responded by saying, "If he is as you describe him then you are guilty of backbiting, otherwise you are guilty of slander (which is worse than backbiting)" (Sahih Muslim).

To add emphasis to how awful slander is, consider that the Prophet said it is worse than adultery because if a person commits adultery, Allah can forgive him if he repents. But a slanderer will not be forgiven until the person he had been speaking about forgives him (Baihaqi).

6. No ethnic jokes please
Ethnic jokes are not innocent humor. They carry the virus of bigotry most of the time. Think about how hurt we feel when some comedians depict Muslims as terrorist.

Consider this verse of the Quran: "O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one's brother after having Faith. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed wrong doers" (Quran 49:11).

Such silly and hurtful jest clearly goes against the type of manners Allah and His Prophet expect from us. It's a sin in Islam to ridicule or laugh at any beings, and if they are a group, the sin is stronger.

7. Don't call a community by offensive names
Muslims disliked being called 'Moslems', 'Moors', or 'Mohammadens'. We insist that since we write our name Muslims that's how everyone should spell our name. So let's call other people with the names they like for themselves. Fair enough?

Most Muslims don't do this. But once in a while we hear names, which we need to challenge. The Urdu term "Kalla" is used by some for African-Americans. While it literally means "black", the way it is used most of the time is demeaning. The same is true for the Urdu term Chapta or Peela, which refers to the color, and features of South East Asian people. Gora in Urdu for Caucasians falls in the same category although it also just means a white person, but is used to convey historical distrust and betrayal of the white colonial lords. Desi on the other hand is mostly used to describe stereotypical images of South Asians "curry smelling" Indians and "Pakis". It is often used as a term of self hate in the second generation.

Similarly some Arabs use the term Abd to describe black people, despite the fact the Prophet catogorically prohibited use of this term. Another term Zingy is used for the same people in the demeaning way. Some Arabs use the term Rafeeq (literally comrade) for Pakistanis in demeaning way similar to how the "N word" is used in the west. "Ibn al Khinzeeer" (son of a pig), a reference to whoever you are angry with amongst some Arabs and specially towards Jews is not only unworthy of the followers of Prophet Muhammad, it is a direct violation of his command not to insult one another's parents (Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim).

Even the Islamic term Kafir has to be use with care. Not every non-believer is a Kafir. This Quranic term, regarding those who rejected Allah's guidance after recognizing it to be the truth, should not become a term of hate.

Racism and nationalism are twin evils which have killed more people in last one hundred years than probably all the wars in last one thousand years including crusades and massacres of the infamous Genghis Khan.

■ Pic: A recent racist ranting by a FB user (see story here).

8. Challenge the offensive, names, jokes and comments
If someone uses a hurtful name in our presence, we might simply say, "Don't call him/her that. Call him/her by his/her name." If you are the victim, simply say "That kind of joke offends me," or say "You don't like to be called bad names and neither do I". We should feel comfortable in pointing out unfairness. It is very rewarding in the eyes of Allah, since by challenging this we are following three of Allah's commands:
-Stand up against injustice
-Discourage the evil
-Don't call people with bad nicknames

It's part of a Muslim's duty to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Let's do it with wisdom and patience. Be polite but firm.

9. Do not generalize
If you observe something wrong in some persons' behavior, don't generalize it to their ethnic group. Attribute it to those persons not their group. For example, I have heard several times that Arabs in Chicago run liquor stores. While it is true that there may be 100 or so Arabs who have this type of haram business, they are a small minority among hundreds and thousands of Arabs living in Chicago. Without condoning what they are doing, we must see that there are Muslims of other nationalities who are also involved in haram businesses.

10. Defend the abused group
Note unique and special qualities in other people. Show the positive points of an ethnic group that is being made fun of. Whether it's the hospitality of the Arabs, the respect for elders in Indo-Pakistani culture, the resilience of African-Americans, for instance, point out the positive to those who don't want to see the other side of the coin.

If you're still tongue-tied, consider this Hadith: the Prophet said: "If a man's Muslim brother is slandered in his presence, and he is capable of defending him, and does so, Allah will defend him in this world and in the next. But if he fails to defend him, Allah will destroy him in this world and in the next".

11. Speak everyone's language
What do you do when there are say, three people, one of whom speaks your native language and the other doesn't?

Too often, many of us do the wrong thing. It creates suspicion and discomfort if you speak a language in front of others who may not understand it. Use a common language understandable to all. So if  Munir and you both understand Arabic, but Yasmeen doesn't, speak in English instead, so she doesn't feel left out. If you observe this behavior tell them it's unfair. If you are the one who is doing the wrong thing, then don't defend it by saying, "you should learn our language".

■ NOT ISLAM ... A demonstration by several UMNO supporters in Shah Alam by insulting Hindu religious symbols

The Prophet said: "When three people are together, two should not talk secretly, leaving the third alone since this may grieve him." (Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim).

12. Read about others
Read about people to gain positive insights into other cultures. Read what they have written about themselves. Read about, for instance, what African-Americans have contributed to America. Even better, read an autobiography like that of Malcolm X, which recounts the personal experience and struggles of one Muslim African-American. Much of what he has to say is also a reflection of the experience of other African-Americans.

13. Share your joy
Have you invited people other than your cultural group at an occasion of happiness in your family?
Whether it's Eid, a wedding or the Aqiqah (feast) of a newborn baby, expand your next guest list to include those of different backgrounds. Sharing joy is a great way for people of all ethno-cultural groups to bond.

14. Share your sorrow

Have you visited a sick colleague, class fellow or a neighbor of another ethnic group? Have you been to the funeral of other people? Relationships are not only built on the good times, but on the hard ones as well. Visit the sick, attend funerals, and console those who need it, and don't reserve your sympathy to those of the same skin color or country.

15. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach

Have you learned to cook the food of other cultures? Have you shared your food with them?
I know people who have become Muslim because of the hospitality of Muslims. Food is a great way to bring people together, and to get to know others. Share food with neighbors. Food is power. Use it!

16. Smiling is a charity
Who do you smile at? Do you limit your grins to groups you know, especially your ethno-cultural group?
"Smiling is charity" (Sahihs Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi), not just for your people. Expand your smile 'directory' to include all. Smile opens close hearts.

17. Salam is for everyone
The Quran demands that we greet others better than the way they have greeted us. (Quran 4:86).
After Friday prayer, do you say salam and meet only those people you know or do you initiate a salam to those from another ethnic group?

Consider this Hadith: The Prophet said: "Those who are nearest to Allah are those who are the first to give a greeting" (Sahihs of Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi).

Saying salam is also a great way to increase your love for a fellow Muslim, no matter where they are from. Consider this Hadith: the Prophet said: "You will not enter Heaven until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Let me guide you to something which will cause you to love each other: spreading the greetings of peace (assalamu alaikum)" (Sahih of Muslim).

18. Hug someone today
Have you ever experienced a hug by a Muslim you never knew? What a feeling. This one just for the sake of Allah. Try it on a Muslim in your mosque and then introduce yourself to him. He is your brother. Isn't he?

19. Beyond salam
We see a lot of faces of different ethnic groups in mosques, but have we gone beyond salam with them?

Have we invited this brother or sister to our home this year? Let's take the initiative to go beyond the salam and invite a fellow human being of a different background over to our place. Don't wait for a specific occasion. Just invite them over for dinner, lunch, or a game of basketball.

20. A mosque tour of other neighborhoods
While in a number of cities in America and South Africa, mosques tend to become ethnically homogeneous due to the population patterns of the city; we can try to overcome this isolation.
Let's visit other neighborhoods and pray in a mosque there. So if you're an Urdu speaking person, visit the predominantly Arab mosque. If you're an Arab visit the mostly African-American mosque. If you're Turkish, visit the mostly Bengali mosque.

Let's defy the neighborhood divisions which we did not create. Let's take our Sunday school children on field trips to different neighborhoods and mosques. Providing opportunities for interaction with people of diverse groups instills understanding.

Studies show that children playing and working together toward common goals develop positive attitudes about one another.

21. Do your duty, but a little differently
Who do you usually give your Zakat to? Is it just to your ethnic group or do you use it as one of the categories-to win over hearts? Plan to give your next Zakat to a community or individuals who are not of your ethno-cultural background. This will be a practical way to give of yourself to those who are your brothers and sisters, and those who are in need.

22. Strangers should find an open mosque door
How are you at welcoming strangers to your mosque? Do you move forward in welcoming, guiding and introducing them to others or do you allow a stranger to remain a stranger while you busily chat with your own cultural group? Open your heart and arms to the new brother or sister who may have come to the mosque with great difficulty. Welcome their choice and don't let them regret visiting your mosque. The security staff at mosques need to have sensitivity training as well.

23. Watch those expressions and attitudes
Did you see that twist of the mouth, or the raise of that eyebrow? Sometimes, it's not just words, but facial expressions that also indicate ethno-racial degradation and intolerance. It's not enough for us to just avoid verbal jabs. Language is not just about words; it's about body language too.

24. Defend yourself
If you are the target of ethno-racial humor, slurs or attacks defend yourself. First seek refuge in Allah from Satan following the Prophet's advice, "If you are angry, remain silent, sit down, move away or make wudu (ablution)." If you feel your security is being threatened seek any help available. If you are attacked defend yourself if you are capable of it. Document and pursue the case with local police and anti-hate groups.

God tolerates a person who is being wronged to respond in the same coin but He prefers us to be better: "The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof, but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. Verily, He likes not the Zalimun (oppressors)" (Quran 42:40).

An ex-Marine member of the white supremacist movement the Ku Klux Klan became Muslim due partly to the polite and confident response of a Muslim doctor to his racist remarks calling him a "dog eater".
This is an example of following Allah's instructions that ask us to respond to evil with something which is better.

25. Stand up for justice
Take an active stand against injustices like profiling and discrimination in the workplace or at schools. Speak out against someone or a group being paid less because of their national background.
"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it is against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both (than you) are. So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do" (Quran 4:135).

26. Work with other anti-racism groups
Volunteer time to organizations and groups which are working for an anti-racism agenda or for social justice. All the prophets were sent to help people take a stand for establishing justice (Quran 57:25). Working for a common cause brings people closer. Islam encourages cooperation with non Muslims for the common good of humanity (Quran 5:2).

27. Multi-ethnic marriages
Some Fiqh books that dislike and discourage multi-ethnic marriages amongst Muslims are wrong because they conflict with the Sunnah of the Prophet and with the Quranic principle of all people being one. For instance, the Fiqh manual Reliance of the Traveler, in a chapter on Kafa'a (compatibility), while recognizing that there should be no consideration of skin color in marriage, does mention that a match between a non-Arab man and an Arab woman is unsuitable (page 523).

I am not advising anyone to offer him or herself for a social experiment. But we must accept our children's choice with an open heart instead of resistance based on the false interpretation of compatibility offered by some Fiqh books.

28. Jihad with your taxes
Your personal jihad against racism must also include a collective effort against racism and nationalism. Your taxes are used to institute policies, some of which you may agree with and others that you may completely oppose. You can use your tax money to fight against racism by supporting policies or institutions that encourage respect for differences. We should support subsidies to human rights organizations dedicated to fighting racism, specifically.

■ A group of non-Muslims welcomed to a mosque in Kelantan to hear then Kelantan MB Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat's speech
(see story here)

29. Vote against racism
Support candidates who oppose racism and nationalism both within America and without. For example, former US president Bill Clinton strongly campaigned against the use of tobacco in America but ironically he also helped the US tobacco companies to achieve record profits by helping them sell and promote tobacco in the Third World. If tobacco is wrong for America, it is wrong for every other human being as well. Let's not tolerate "cancer for other people."

30. Multi-ethnicity in your mosque
Make sure your mosque has a multi ethnic board and leadership. Follow the Prophet in engineering social change. He paired each Ansar and Muhajir as brothers as he started building the Islamic society of Madinah.

31. Put money where your mouth is
There are a number of organizations dedicated to fighting racism in America at various levels. Support them by your donation. If you don't want to donate, establish your own organization against bigotry.

32. Raising race-free children
Islam does not recognize race, but the society we live in does. Bridging this gap is the challenge of Muslim parenting. Choose to live in a multi-ethnic community. Children with multi-ethnic interaction grow up to be better human beings. Participate in your PTA with an antiracist agenda. Help your children feel good about themselves. Children who feel good about themselves are less likely to be prejudiced. Welcome children of all background in your home. Debrief them if they come home with a racial slur from the school.

33. Let's have a straight intention to please Allah
Let's make our intentions (niyyah) that we will strive to build human society based on the equality of all human beings as Allah has asked us to do. Insha Allah, He will reward us for each step we take to get ourselves, our community, and our society rid of racism and nationalism.


As Muslims who are dehumanized day and night by the media and opinion leaders, it is our duty to emerge as a better human being through this ordeal instead of engaging in the satanic game of counter dehumanization.

Whoever starts to look at others as lower beings first kills his own humanity. Prejudice, racism and nationalism are equal opportunity diseases. Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews, all have a choice of either using their teachings to rise up for the ideals of humanity or sink in the killing fields of nationalism.

Dehumanization of Native Americans contributed to their almost complete annihilation. Dehumanization of Africans as nations and individuals resulted in generational loss of life and heritage.

Dehumanization of Jews and Gypsies is associated with the mass murder by Nazis. Dehumanization of Japanese Americans contributed to their being sent to internment camps in America.

The dehumanization of Muslims in America after the 9/11 tragedy is responsible for the virtual internment camp Muslims in America live today and the tortures in Abu Ghraib and abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

Unfortunately there is a demonization of America taking place in the world, which by and large does not know how a majority of Americans today feel about the historical wrongs done on their names.

Even the strong American reaction to the Abu Ghraib images did not slow down the harm neo-con policies are causing to American standing in the world.

Racism and nationalism are twin evils which have killed more people in last one hundred years than probably all the wars in last one thousand years including crusades and massacres of the infamous Genghis Khan.

Let's launch our personal Jihad against racism. May God be with you.

* The writer is an American Imam and activist, film producer, and non-profit entrepreneur

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Menolak auta dengan fakta

Suhaimi Saad, 07 Mei 2013
Kecoh sekarang ini ahli parlimen Malaysia ramai yang bukan Melayu. Aduhai.. adakah kita mengalami kerosakan minda yang parah.. DAP bertanding di kawasan Cina menghampiri majoriti dan lawannya adalah MCA, MIC dan Gerakan.

Jika DAP kalah sekalipun Melayu tak akan bertambah dalam Parlimen sebab DAP lawan MCA, MIC dan Gerakan. Malah Kemenangan Pakatan Rakyat ini menyebabkan Melayu bertambah dalam Parlimen dan DUN, saya bagi contoh:-

Kerusi Parlimen :-

1. Rafizi (PKR) menang lawan Gary Lim (BN) - Pandan.

2. Dr Siti Mariah (PAS) Menang lawan S. Murugesan (BN) - Kota Raja.

3. Tan Sri Khalid (PKR) Menang lawan Tan Kok Eng (BN) - Bandar Tun Razak.

4. Imran Hamid (PKR) menang lawan Kong Cho Ha (BN) - Lumut.

5. Datuk Arif (DAP) menang lawan Hoh Khai Mun (BN) - Raub.

6. Kamarul Bahrin (PKR) menang lawan V.S Mogan (BN) Telok Kemang.

7. Khairil K. Johari menang lawan Teh Leong Meng (BN) Bukit Bendera.

Kesimpulannya :

Menang Pakatan Rakyat bermakna tujuh Ahli Parlimen Melayu bertambah dalam Parlimen. Jika Pakatan Rakyat Kalah, kita akan kehilangan tujuh ahli parlimen Melayu

Kerusi DUN:-

1. Azman Nasarudin (PKR) menang lawan S. Ananthan (BN) – Lunas, Kedah.

2. Datuk Anuar Abdullah (PAS) menang lawan Tan Ken Ten (BN) – Kota Lama, Kelantan.

3. Azan Ismail (PKR) menang lawan Datuk Toh Chin (BN) – Bandar, Terengganu.

4. Tengku Zulpuri (DAP) menang lawan Datuk Chuah Boon (BN) – Mentakab, Pahang,

5. Mohd Rashid (PKR) menang lawan Wong Mun (BN) - Pantai Jerjak, Penang.

6. Dr Idris (PKR) menang lawan K. Parthiban (BN) – Ijok, Selangor.

7. Aminul Huda (PAS) menang lawan Teo Yew (BN)- Parit Yani, Johor.

8. Abdullah Husin (PAS) menang lawan M. Sorianarayan (BN) – Puteri Wangsa, Johor.

Orang bertanya kepada saya bagaimana pula seorang Melayu, Ghani Othman boleh kalah dengan Lim Kit Siang.
Saya katakan Ghani Othman cari penyakit. Dia bertanding di kawasan (Cina 52%) (Melayu 34%) selebihnya India. Parlimen ini dulunya adalah milik MCA.

Kalau Umno masih bangkitkan isu Melayu dan bukan Melayu ni. Saya nak tanya bagaimana pula Kawasan majoriti Melayu, bukan Melayu BN boleh menang. Melayu UMNO undi siapa? Saya senaraikan.

1. Parlimen Simpang Renggam (M- 56%) Suhaizan (PAS) kalah lawan Liang Teck Meng (BN).

2. Parlimen Tanjong Piai (M- 52 %) Dr Mahzir (DAP) Kalah lawan Wee Jack (BN)

3.Parlimen Batu Sapi (Islam 51%) Hamzah (PAS ) Kalah lawan Tsen Tsau (BN)

4. DUN Gurun (M- 57%) Salma Ismail (PKR) Kalah lawan Dr Leong (BN)

5. DUN Cheka (M- 69%) Cikgu Abas (PKR) kalah vs Dato Fong (BN)

6. DUN Gambir (M- 56%) Datuk Mahfoz Mohd (PAS) kalah lawan M. Aso (BN)

7. DUN Chenderiang (M-36%, C-30%) Amani Abdullah (PKR) kalah lawan Dr Mah Hang(BN)

8. DUN Pemanis (M- 56%) Cikgu Normala (PAS) Kalah lawan Lau Chin (BN)

9. DUN Kahang (M-74%) Hamdan (PKR) kalah lawan R. Vidyanathan (BN)

10. DUN Pulai Sebatang (M-63%) Ungku Mohd Nor kalah lawan Datuk Tee Seiw (BN)

11. DUN Tg Aru (Islam – 52%) Hamid Ismail (PAS) kalah lawan Yong Oui (BN)

12. DUN Bingkor (Islam 38%) Ahmad Shah (PKR) kalah lawan Kennedy John (BN)

13. DUN Merotai (Islam-53%) Ahmad Dullah (PAS) kalah lawan Pang Yuk Ming (BN)

Masih percaya dakyah Umno. Umno menipu kita selama ni dengan memainkan sentiment perkauman. Sebenarnya yang merosakkan Melayu dan menggadaikan masa depan melayu adalah pemimpin Umno.

Hentikan main isu perkauman jika anda tak tahu fakta sebenar.

* Penulis adalah Ketua Penerangan PAS Pahang.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Deciding The Next Election – Part 3 of 4: Pakatan Victory Best For Country

April 21st, 2013
Deciding Who To Vote For In the Next Election
M. Bakri Musa

Downstream Analysis:  Pakatan Victory Best Outcome
(Third of Four Parts)

The best outcome would be a decisive Pakatan victory. This is the only way to effect much-needed change, specifically to end the current culture of corruption, cronyism and rent-seeking that is enmeshed and fast becoming the fabric of our – specifically Malay – society. Again addressing those under the sway of Perkasa and Ketuanan Melayu, Malays will never advance until we get rid of this destructive culture, of which UMNO is the prime enabler.

I am heartened that more than half of PKR’s candidates are new, with a substantial number of young faces. We can only bring about change with new personnel. Najib considers recycled and rethreads as fresh. How can he ever hope to transform the country with the same tired, tainted, and tattered team? It is significant that he has resurrected Isa Samad, the character suspended from UMNO a few years ago for “money politics!” Truly scraping the very bottom of the barrel! Rest assured that tainted characters like him will be in Najib’s cabinet.

Malaysia’s myriad problems would not miraculously vanish with a Pakatan victory; they may well get worse, at least in the short term. After the long drought years, it would only be human to expect Pakatan leaders and their patrons to treat their victory as durian runtoh (bountiful harvest) and get carried away with their excesses. It is to be noted that there are more family squabbles during the good times than during the lean.
Expect them to behave like the long-deprived family that had won a big lottery just before Christmas, Hari Raya, or Chinese New Year. Expect greedy squabbles on who would get the more expensive presents, the bigger duit raya, or more generous ang pows. Likewise, expect predictable fights over who would be Deputy Prime Minister, specifically whether he (or she, though unlikely) should be a Malay, and fights over critical portfolios like Finance, Education, and Home Affairs.

I am confident that under Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership, Pakatan would overcome these expected teething problems. Many still harbor doubts about him. However, I have tremendous faith in the human capacity to change. Anwar today is a much better person and an immensely wiser leader then he was 15 years ago. He has been through a dramatic reversal of fate, been literally battered, and survived nearly six years in jail until his conviction was overturned. Lesser mortals would have been crushed but Anwar emerged stronger with his reputation enhanced.

Anwar is not dumb. His years in solitary confinement have taught him a thing or two about fate and human nature. He is now well-tempered steel, not easily corroded, and able to withstand the tempest, exactly the kind of leader the country needs.

The chief of police who battered Anwar was finally convicted and jailed. It is significant that Mahathir and others in UMNO have yet to express regret much less condemn the despicable performance of this chief of police. That reflects the ethos of Najib, Mahathir and UMNO. That will never change; hence the need to get rid of them.

The religiously inclined, more pious or less worldly-driven PAS leaders would be a positive influence. They would impress upon their Pakatan colleagues to regard their victory not as a cause for celebration as with a Hari Raya, but the beginning of a long difficult stretch, as with the start of Ramadan. Their victory should call for restraint, patience, and generosity; a time for shared sacrifices, not a fight over the spoils of victory. There will be plenty of time to celebrate later, when they have successfully completed their fast (their programs bearing results).

There would also be the inevitable temptation to reward old stalwarts for their loyalty and past efforts. Yes, by all means thank and honor them but the nation now needs a new beginning. We need new leaders. It would be a tough sell but that has to be done, and done gently, firmly, and with class as well as magnanimity. The torch has passed on to a new generation. It is time for the elders to step aside, tough though that may be for some.

The more human and thus likely response from them would be, “Finally it is our turn!” Those seniors would then look upon the younger leaders not as the next generation of torch bearers but usurpers. “We have struggled for decades and now these upstarts are grabbing the rewards from us!”

Were the older leaders to react that way, it would be a tragedy for them as well as the party and country.

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new, / And God fulfills himself in many ways” (48,49) wrote Tennyson in “The Passing of Arthur,” “Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.” (50) That newness after the election refers not just to a new party but also a new generation.

Those seniors should instead heed this Tennysonian wisdom:  “When every morning brought a noble chance, / And every chance brought out a noble knight.” (38,39) The 2013 election will be a new morning for Malaysia, and with that our chance for a new noble knight. We should seize upon that.

There are other potential dangers, of course. If perchance PAS were to win big relative to the other members of Pakatan, then expect its leaders to overreach. They would want to immediately implement hudud and declare an Islamic state. That would fatally split the coalition and be a tragedy for the country.

With its sizeable victory PAS could be the de facto ruling party. Its members could threaten or be bribed by UMNO to “return to the fold.” Historically PAS was an UMNO splinter group. UMNO would not hesitate to throw its non-Malay partners MCA and MIC under the bus, if that be the condition imposed by PAS. UMNO would do anything to hold on to power.

If that were to happen, non-Malays have every reason to be worried. I do not expect another race riot. Malaysians are now too smart and too far developed socio-economically to fall for such chauvinism. Instead what would happen would be a massive brain drain and capital flight out of the country. This time those highly educated non-Malays would be joined by Malays, at least those who have qualifications recognized outside of Malaysia. Those Malays have seen Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan; they have no wish for Malaysia to be like those countries.

An UMNO-PAS coalition would survive; the demographic supports that. The nation however, would not, at least not in its current form.

Lastly, a Pakatan victory will have a salutary effect on UMNO. Presently it is burdened with corrupt, incompetent and sclerotic leadership. Despite Najib’s much-ballyhooed and increasingly futile “transformation” and “change or be changed” exhortations, the party is incapable of reform and self-renewal. Deprived of the loot from having lost political power, a defeated UMNO would quickly implode. That would be the bad news for the party.

The good news is that only the honest, competent, and committed would be left. They would rebuild UMNO slowly and painfully, inspired by its past glories. The example of Mexico’s PRI cited earlier is instructive.

There are fear mongers out there intimating that we risk another horrific May 13 with a Barisan loss. The irresponsibility factor aside, such fears are misplaced. If Malays are easily swayed by frothy mouths like Ibrahim Katak, then we have a far greater problem. Non-Malays are smart enough not to be bothered by characters like him. The Ibrahim Kataks could easily be bought out and effectively silenced by a few cheap directorships.

What I fear more is not a Malay versus non-Malay riot, rather a vicious and protracted intra-Malay conflict. Intra-communal conflicts have always been underestimated. Syrians now suffer much worse then when their country was at war with Israel. Further back, the communists in China killed more Chinese than they did the invading Japanese. Malays now are more deeply polarized along social, political, and religious lines. The fact that our leaders across the spectrum are blissfully unaware of these simmering fault lines makes them all the more dangerous.

The recent Lahad Datuk incursion in Sabah was widely viewed as an “invasion.” Stripped of the nationalistic jingoism and militaristic bravado, it was nothing more than an intra-ethnic fight. What startled and frightened me most about the incident was that the most virulent and violent sentiments were expressed not by non-Malays but Malays. Not a single person, least of all a Malay, had suggested any peaceful solution. It took a foreigner in the person of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to urge an end to the violence and to encourage dialogue for a peaceful resolution.

I view the current racial taunting and fear mongering as nothing more than Barisan’s crude and ineffective tactic into scaring Malaysians from voting for the opposition.

Next:  (Fourth of Four Parts) Downstream Analysis:  A Hung Parliament Would Not Be Bad

Barisan Win No Victory For Malaysia

April 14th, 2013
Deciding Who To Vote For In the Next Election
M. Bakri Musa

A Barisan Win is No Victory for Malaysia
(Second of Four Parts)

There can only be three possible outcomes to the next election:  Barisan to win with a comfortable victory; Pakatan Rakyat to prevail; and a hung parliament. A comfortable victory is one where the expected hopping of a dozen or so successful candidates would not materially affect the political balance. A hung parliament is where the buying or the shifting of allegiance of a handful of elected members would significantly alter the political balance.

Contrary to the pronouncements of many, the worst possible outcome would not be a hung parliament but a Barisan victory. The best possible outcome would be for Pakatan to secure that majority. A hung parliament is not the worse but then also not the best possible outcome either.

I begin with Barisan being returned to power, not with a supra majority for not even Najib Razak is predicting that, not in his wildest dream. In his speech dissolving Parliament, he implicitly conceded the possibility of defeat. Only his fanatic supporters are fantasizing big victory, but only after they have been high on their free tapai (fermented rice).

If you relish precious public funds being squandered through bloated contracts (think of the scandalous “commission” that slimy “Datuk T” secured for the non-existing crooked bridge) and outright pilferage (as with the “cow-gate” scandal and the Scorpene submarines that would not submerge), then expect more of the same with another Barisan victory. Only this time the scale would be even more outrageous both in scope and amount, difficult though that may be to imagine. Barisan, and UMNO specifically, would look upon their victory as approval if not vindication of their corrupt and wasteful ways. That is what Najib meant by not changing horse midway. He and his cronies wish to remain on their gilded saddles.

With a Barisan victory we would never get to the bottom of the “cow-gate” scandal or the outrageous civil settlement between Khazanah and ex-Malaysian Airlines’ boss Tajuddin Ramli. Consider that had Barisan won Selangor in 2008, that Khir Toyo character would still be its Chief Minister and not the convicted criminal that he is today. There are many Khir Toyos at the federal level; only a Barisan defeat would expose these scumbags. Only with a Pakatan victory could they be held accountable and be prosecuted.

For those expecting political stability as their reason for voting Barisan, that delusion would quickly be shattered. There is little chance for Najib to better his predecessor’s performance of 2008. If they started to scheme for Abdullah’s downfall before the total votes were tallied in then, this time the power struggle to replace Najib would be even cruder, more vicious, and utterly destructive. Forget about the old Malay budi bahasa (niceties); it would be the Mat Rempits gone amok, complete with the roar and gore.

After the 2008 electoral fiasco Muhyyiddin unhesitatingly turned on his erstwhile patron, Abdullah Badawi. The temptation for Muhyyiddin to topple Najib post-election 2013 would be irresistible. Being seven years older than Najib, this is the only opportunity for Muhyyiddin to do it. By the time the next general election comes he would over 71 years old, a spent force.

Muhyyiddin’s body language all along could barely conceal his contempt for Najib, both the man and his policies. So expect Muhyiddin to launch an even more emboldened and naked challenge. I disagree with veteran UMNO observer Abdullah Ahmad who noted that Najib would more likely to be challenged by younger leaders, not Muhydddin. It would only appear that way, at least initially.

This vicious do-or-die battle between Najib and Muhyyiddin would have all the trappings of classic class rebellion of feudal times, between orang bangsawan (aristocrats) and orang hamba (peasants). Expect the royal class to be actively involved; no marks for guessing which side they would favor.

At the personal level, it would be a brawl between a street-wise pugilist who has survived many such encounters, versus a soft-cocooned brat long used to having his way by hiring others to do the dirty work for him. The irony this time is that Najib would be at the receiving end of those calculating leaders who weigh things on what they would gain personally, an art Najib had perfected throughout his political career.

The junior members of Barisan, the Chinese and Indian parties as well as those from East Malaysia, would be reduced to being anxious spectators and helpless prey. Prey because their members would be vulnerable to tempting offers to switch side. There would be no political stability, instead endless scheming and changes of alliances. The ensuing looting of the public treasury to finance such shenanigans would be on an unprecedented scale.

Najib’s ballyhooed promise of transforming his administration is just that – hot air. He will again field his sclerotic ministers and they will all be back in his cabinet. Nothing would have changed.

We are already getting a preview of Barisan’s shenanigans during this campaign with Najib furiously bribing voters with our (taxpayers’) money! Make no mistake, after the election he will be expecting and collecting his dues. That would be the ugly scenario that awaits a Barisan victory.

The RAHMAN prophecy has it that the “N” refers to Najib; he would be the sixth and last UMNO Prime Minister. If Barisan were to return to power this coming election, then that RAHMAN prophecy would have an even more ominous meaning. It would mean the end of Malaysia as we know it. As National Laureate Samad Said put it, this is our only chance to spare Malaysia such an awful fate.
Next:  (Third of Four Parts) Pakatan Victory Best Possible Outcome

Who To Vote For In The Next Election

April 7th, 2013
Who To Vote For In the Next Election
M. Bakri Musa

Elections A System for Checks and Balances
[First of Four Parts]

When he dissolved Parliament on April 3, 2013, to make way for a general election, Prime Minister Najib advised us to “think and ponder appropriately” before casting our votes.

We can practice two mental exercises to help us “think and ponder appropriately.” One, imagine the best and worse possible consequences of our vote, that is, perform a “downstream analysis” of our decision. Two, reflect on the greater role of election as an effective bulwark against abuse of power by those in authority.

I will discuss the broader role of elections first. Subsequent essays will be a downstream analysis of the only three possible outcomes to this election:  Barisan Nasional returning to power; Pakatan Rakyat to prevail; and a “hung” parliament.

The most effective check on those in power is the knowledge that they could be replaced in an election. The more this is a reality and not just in theory, the more effective is this critical role. Elections serve as periodic useful reminders.

Even where elections are fair and free, but if the same leaders and party were to be re-elected over and over, they would sooner or later succumb to sclerosis and abuse of power, regardless how competent and well meaning they were initially. It is the rare leader who could escape this all-too-human tendency. We must have actual periodic change in government through elections, and not just the promise.

With rigged and fraudulent elections, or where the process is merely illusory, as with having only one candidate per slot (Russian elections of yore and the election of UMNO President), the less effective they would be in keeping those in power accountable. Saddam Hussein bragged that those who did not like him could always vote him out, but Iraqi elections under him were a sham. Had he kept those elections honest, he would have discovered his people’s true sentiment much earlier, and the price to both him and his country would have been considerably less.

The British decided through elections that their popular and effective wartime leader Churchill would not be the best person to lead them during peacetime. They wisely concluded that he would quickly turn the Cold War into a “hot” one, as reflected by his hawkish and haughty Iron Curtain speech.

Yes, the British were grateful to him for leading and inspiring them during the war, but that gratitude could be expressed in many other ways. Elections are for selecting the best future leaders, not for expressing gratitude for or rewarding past performance, no matter how exemplary.

Foremost and at the practical level, election is a way to pass judgment on the incumbent. It is not, as some have suggested, a contest between the incumbent and challenger. It is for the incumbent to prove that he deserves another term independent of the merit or capability of the challenger. The incumbent’s performance is a matter of record, and can be readily scrutinized.

If the incumbent has proven to be less than capable, then he should be voted out even if the challenger is thought of as potentially not up to the task of taking over. The argument would be that the incumbent has proven himself incapable while the challenger is only regarded (meaning, only potentially) as such. There is the possibility that our initial assessment could be wrong and that the challenger would prove otherwise. There are many ready examples of previously underrated candidates later shining in office; Harry Truman being one.

The first and only question voters must ask before casting their votes in this next election is whether the current Barisan government is deserving of another term. All other matters, as whether other parties are capable of taking over, are irrelevant and besides, conjectural.

Consider three critical areas:  economy, education, and level of corruption. Barisan’s economic leadership is passable. It is exemplary only when compared to that of Zimbabwe. Granted, by the figures Malaysia outperforms America and Western Europe (and even Singapore), but remember those countries are already cruising at high altitude. We are still ascending. We need faster growth. We should compare ourselves to China and Panama. Even Ghana and Laos surpassed us last year.

More pertinent especially to those under the sway of Perkasa and Ketuanan Melayu, is the aggregate economic performance of Malays. After nearly six decades of UMNO rule, we still could not achieve our modest 30 percent goal.

Then there is education. No one, not even the Minister of Education himself, is satisfied with our schools. Those who can afford it have long ago abandoned the national stream. Again looking from the Perkasa and Ketuanan Melayu angle, only poor Malays are stuck with that rapidly declining system. Consequently, while a generation ago I could still find many Malays at the leading universities of the world; today Malays there are as rare as honesty among UMNO politicians.

The much-heralded growth of the private sector in education is not a sign of health rather the contrary. It reflects a deteriorating public system. Alberta and Singapore do not have robust private-sector education because their public systems are so much superior.

Talking about corruption, well, there is no point dwelling on it anymore. We are past the tipping point; we are now where Nigeria was in the 1980s. The only way to stop corruption is to deprive UMNO of power. The recent Court of Appeal decision granting one Eskay Abdullah, an UMNO strongman and a member of the slimy “Datuk T’s” trio, his RM20 million “commission” on the aborted crooked bridge in Johor reflects the rot in UMNO. We cannot blame non-Malays for seeing that as the characteristic of contemporary Malay politics and ethics.

Elections are like multiple choice tests, to pick the best candidate from the list offered The incumbent always argue that his past performance had been superior or at any rate better than what his opponents could ever hope to achieve; the challenger offers the promise of a brighter future. Voters have to balance the risk of changing horse midstream versus being stuck with a lame one to face an incoming flood.

Malaysians already know how lame our current horse is. Worse, it has a voracious appetite that is severely taxing us, literally and figuratively. This next election is an opportunity for Malaysians to send this lame one to the glue factory and hitch our ride on a new vigorous steed.

There is only one effective way to teach those who have long been in power and grown arrogant into believing that they are destined to rule forever, and that is to vote them out of office. Then even if their successor were to prove less than satisfactory, it would still have served a salutary lesson on both.

Mexico’s PRI of today is a much superior political party and led by a much younger, more capable and decidedly less corrupt leader than it was a decade ago when it was booted out after having been in power continuously for the preceding 71 years.

Those who believe that UMNO is “rotten to the core,” no amount of calls for transformation and reform from within or without would be as effective as throwing the party out.

Malaysia has another equally important reason to see regular changes in government. Stated briefly, it is to teach our sultans specifically and the permanent establishment generally the important lesson of being politically neutral. They cannot bank on or be overly cozy with the ruling party. That our sultans and civil servants have yet to learn this crucial lesson of democracy was demonstrated by the ugly political mess in Perak, and to a lesser extent in Selangor and Trengganu following the last election.

It is also for this reason that I am optimistic of a smooth transition at the federal level with the coming general elections should Barisan be booted out. We are fortunate to have Kedah’s Sultan Halim as Agong, not because he had that role earlier, rather his recent experience with the smooth transition from UMNO to PAS in his home state following the 2008 election. His performance then shamed his brother rulers in Perak (especially), Selangor, and Trengganu.
Our sultans and members of the permanent establishment too need frequent reminding on the need to be politically neutral and to be professional about it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

'Ahli akademik hanya mahu Datuk, naik pangkat'

Kakitangan fakulti di universiti tempatan didakwa 'terlalu takut untuk memperjuangkan kebebasan akademik kerana ia boleh menjejaskan peluang mereka untuk naik pangkat atau menerima anugerah seperti datuk'.

NONEDakwaan tersebut dibuat di forum mengenai 'Kebebasan
Akademik dan Hak' malam tadi oleh bekas profesor undang-undang Abdul Aziz Bari dan pensyarah Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) Maszlee Malik.

"Mereka pergi ke Amsterdam atau Geneva untuk dianugerahkan pingat emas, menginap di hotel lima bintang ... selepas itu, mereka pergi ke Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi untuk mendapatkan lanjutan (kontrak mereka) untuk menjadi naib canselor atau timbalan naib canselor. Ini yang berlaku sekarang," dakwa Abdul Aziz.
Pakar undang-undang perlembagaan itu berkata tidak ada gunanya menyalahkan kerajaan atau Umno bagi keadaan tersebut kerana ahli akademik sendiri yang didakwanya malas.

Katanya, mereka tidak mempunyai idea baru, tidak menjalankan penyelidikan, tidak mengarang apa-apa - semua kerana takut.

NONEBeliau mendakwa mereka masuk ke universiti (atau menjadi
profesor, timbalan dekan, dekan, naib canselor atau rektor) dengan 'menarik kabel' - dan menjadi takut.

"... mereka tidak menggalakkan kebebasan akademik, tugas mereka adalah untuk memastikan universiti dikekalkan sebagai sebahagian daripada birokrasi kerajaan," tambahnya.

Pada masa yang sama, dakwanya, ahli akademik yang bercakap untuk masyarakat luar kampus dianggap sebagai orang yang tidak diingini di universiti, sepertimana yang berlaku pada dirinya.

"Kami tidak mendapat geran penyelidikan, kami tidak mempunyai ruang untuk bercakap, kami dianggap sebagai subversif, dan akhirnya ditekan untuk meninggalkan universiti," tambahnya.,

Aziz Bari berhenti daripada UIAM pada akhir tahun 2011 selepas membuat kritikan secara terbuka terhadap Sultan Selangor.

NONEMenyuarakan pandangan yang sama, Maszlee (kanan) berkata
budaya naungan dan takut di universiti sekarang, begitu menjejaskan ahli akademik dan pelajar.

Beliau mendakwa, ahli akademik bergantung kepada tuan politik mereka untuk dicalonkan bagi anugerah 'Datuk' atau 'Datuk Seri', atau kenaikan pangkat, dan mereka takut menerima surat amaran.

"Mereka telah hilang keberanian mereka, identiti dan keupayaan untuk berfikir. Mengapa? (Ini kerana) hati mereka diselubungi ketakutan.

"(Pelajar) takut (Pinjaman Pengajian Tinggi Nasioanal) akan ditarik balik. Mereka takut dapat markah rendah, takut dibuang  universiti, takut segala-galanya," tambahnya.

One a braveheart, one a villain

January 22, 2013 (Free Malaysia Today - on-line)
It was supposed to be a forum but the Bawani-Sharifah Zohra showdown had all the hallmarks of a political brawl.
When Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) law student KS Bawani was being berated, humiliated, belittled, not a single undergraduate rose to defend her or the integrity of intellectual discourse. At first they did applaud for some of the points Bawani made, but when Suara Wanita 1Malaysia (SW1M) president, Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin, rudely intervened, the whole atmosphere changed. This time, most of the 2,000 undergraduates cheered and clapped as Sharifah Zohra ranted away. Bawani asked a question about free education but received flak in return. She became a mere spectator to the caustic attacks heaped on her.
This was supposed to be a forum about students and politics but it turned out to be a one-woman show, with Sharifah Zohra talking down on Bawani in the large hall of UUM where the encounter took place. UUM gave SW1M the permission to use the hall, but the university chose to distance itself from the forum. The event was tarnished by Sharifah Zohra and it appears that UUM did not want to get its hand dirtied as well. Yet the mud thrown by SW1M also struck UUM in its face.
From the time Sharifah Zohra snatched the microphone from Bawani, the tenor of the forum became distasteful and inane. It was not even a discussion panel because Sharifah Zohra hijacked the event and went into a long, tiresome, irrelevant monologue, giving Biwani no right of reply. The law student could only look on speechlessly until she finally walked away while the SW1M chief mocked her with her parting farewell shot.
The hostile face-off happened last month and it would have remained unknown had it not been captured on video, which went viral. Overnight Bawani became a sensation – and a household name – for speaking her mind. She would have become a bigger hero had she snatched back the microphone, launched a counter-attack, fired up the audience and got all the undergraduates rooting for her and seeing her detested enemy beating a hasty retreat.
In the end it did not happen. Bawani respectfully stood her ground while the students let the domineering Sharifah Zohra have her way. They appeared to have been cowed into submission by her intimidatory attitude. She behaved more like a conceited, loutish headmistress lecturing her frightened class than a level-headed panellist engaging in a sensible argument. It is doubtful whether all the 2,000 undergraduates had learned anything from the forum which is just a brainwashing session. They came there not to talk about politics but to have politics thrust down their throats.

Ugly side

A university is supposed to mould students to be independent and mature adults who can think and reason things out with clarity and discernment. It must ideally be a “centre of free inquiry and criticism” on whose hallowed ground great minds are forged and brave souls born. Sadly, universities in Malaysia are not hubs of intellectual ferment and excitement, but have withered and become another weak limb of the civil service – beholden to the government. In this stifling environment, dons are afraid to stand up and be counted. Do not expect the undergraduates to show an independent streak.
If the UUM forum did nothing to enlighten the minds of the 2,000 undergraduates, the whole show gave them a peek into the coming verbal battle between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. Bawani and Sharifah Zohra are political partisans, with the former reportedly aligned to Parti Sosialis Malaysia, and the latter to the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma), which is BN-friendly. Sharifah Zohra was the more aggressive of the two, blatantly advancing the interests of the ruling party. The mindset of Sharifah Zohra is typical of Umno’s style of running down other races and showing little respect for people of other faiths.
But listen: let’s hear another debate now between the two antagonists moderated by an apolitical person. Let the showdown begin on neutral ground, and listen: invite undergraduates of all universities to the arena for them to cheer or jeer whichever speaker makes a strong case or whoever fumbles. And listen: let the young minds themselves join in the debate to question, prod, critique fearlessly and intelligently. There must be thousands of undergraduates out there who are willing to speak up despite all the hurdles placed in their paths. They must be politically aware of what is happening in their homeland and are prepared to play their decisive role as responsible citizens.
And listen, Bawani and Sharifah Zohra: you two need not say sorry to each other because there is nothing to apologise. To apologise smacks of insincerity. You both spoke from convictions and harboured very strong political views. Even if Sharifah Zohra apologises for grabbing the microphone, it will not wash away the mutual hostility. Listen, Sharifah Zohra: you need not forgive Bawani because nobody asked for forgiveness and you were not the victim crucified. Listen, Malaysia: voters have witnessed the incident and they are disgusted with the conduct of the elder woman. If Sharifah Zohra is fighting a proxy war for BN, her spat with Bawani only exposes the ugly side of BN.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hentikan proses pembodohan di IPTA!

Ahmad Lutfi Othman, 22 Jan 2013
Kontroversi "video Listen!" menyedarkan kita bahawa proses "brainwashing" dan "pembodohan" masih berterusan di kampus-kampus. Dan ia dilakukan secara terbuka serta dinaungi pihak berkuasa.

Lebih mengejutkan, majoriti mahasiswa, seperti dapat dikesan melalui paparan video berkenaan, nampak agak "kebingungan". Seolah-olah mereka bertepuk dan bersorak tanpa mengetahui hujung pangkal.

Terima kasih kepada ledakan teknologi maklumat dan keajaiban dunia komunikasi hari ini yang "secara tidak sengaja" telah mendedahkan  "penghinaan terhadap intelektual anak-anak muda" dan realiti sebenar di menara gading.

Sehingga 21 Januari, pengunjung klip video tersebut di YouTube mencecah lebih 960,000. Sekelip mata, pelajar tahun kedua undang-undang Universiti Utara Malaysia, KS Bawani dikenali ramai dan begitu popular.

Ada pihak melihatnya sebagai mengulangi jejak Adam Adli dan Umar Mohd Azmi, tetapi saya kira kes Bawani lebih klasik lagi.

UUM sejak sekian lama  dikenali sebagai antara universiti yang sukar memberi ruang selesa buat warganya menjalani kehidupan sebagai cendekiawan. Pernah mendapat jolokan "Universiti Untuk Mahathir" dan kewajiban mahasiswanya memakai "tali leher di tengah ladang getah" sering dijadikan bahan ketawa.

Saya teringat peristiwa lucu (dan juga tragis) pada akhir 1980-an, semasa menziarahi rakan-rakan pemimpin gerakan pelajar di Taman Siswa, Bandar Darul Aman, dekat Jitra (UUM ketika itu masih di kampus sementara).

Saya terpaksa dibawa menyelinap dari satu rumah ke rumah yang lain, kononnya untuk mengelabui pengawal keselamatan. Mereka cukup bimbang pelajar UM dipengaruhi "anasir asing".

Difahamkan, agak kerap pihak HEP melakukan pemeriksaan mengejut (spot check) ke atas bilik pengenapan mahasiswa yang disyaki menyokong pembangkang (PAS). Bukti yang dijumpai hanyalah buku-buku mengenai gerakan Islam!

Proses "cuci otak" ini -- seperti lagak Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin -- bukan hanya tertumpu di UUM atau kampus IPTA yang lain, khususnya di UiTM dan kampus-kampus yang agak muda usianya, malah melibatkan kakitangan awam di setiap peringkat, terutama dikendalikan Biro Tata Negara (BTN).

Program "brainwashing" itu selalunya dianjurkan secara tertutup, sarat dengan sentimen perkauman dan berselindung di sebalik faham agama yang sempit. Walhal tujuan sebenarnya hanyalah untuk mempertahan dan mengukuhkan kuasa Umno-BN.

Lagu "Anak Kecil Main Api", yang dinyanyikan di Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2012 merupakan mantera yang sentiasa diulangi dalam program indoktrinasi itu sehingga "bercucuran air mata" mengenang nasib malang "bumi dipijak milik orang". Alahai!

Bawani juga mengenangkan saya satu lagi peristiwa "memalukan", kali ini di kampus tertua, Universiti Malaya. Cuma adegan tersebut tidak dirakam dalam YouTube, sebaliknya hanya sekeping gambar mati.

Tarikhnya, 10 Februari 2011. Sekumpulan 20 mahasiswa UM dihalang secara tidak bertamadun daripada mengadakan sidang media, membantah beberapa peraturan pilihan raya kampus, yang sememangnya sengaja digubal untuk memberi laluan sukar kepada kumpulan Pro-M.

Tiba-tiba sahaja seorang pengawal keselamatan bertindak nekad menekap mulut seorang aktivis mahasiswa ketika beliau mahu memberi ucapan dalam sidang media itu. Gambar itu memang klasik dan patut diabadikan dalam sejarah "pembodohan massa" ini!

Dalam video Listen itu juga menyerlahkan bagaimana mahasiswa UUM dimomokkan dengan propaganda murahan mengenai demonstrasi jalanan, khususnya Bersih. S Ambiga diburukkan imejnya secara terbuka, begitu juga dengan pemimpin Pakatan.

Dan ketara sekali Sharifah dan konco-konconya mahu memaksakan pandangan mereka terhadap mahasiswa secara unilateral.

Cuma, saya kasihan melihat gelagat seorang pemimpin pelajar yang mengetuai bacaan ikrar-- yang kontang nilai dan maknanya -- rasanya Yang Dipertua Persatuan Mahasiswa UUM. Nampak dengan jelas beliau seperti "diperbudakkan" oleh Sharifah.

Saya turut bersimpati dengan Timbalan Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Saifuddin Abdullah, yang dilihat begitu bersungguh-sungguh, malah ikhlas, mahu membebaskan universiti daripada segala elemen yang merendahkan martabat ilmu dan ilmuwan.

Pada 5 Januari lalu, saya mengikuti forum anjuran Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) yang membincangkan pembabitan pelajar dalam PRU13, termasuk sebagai calon pilihan raya. Saifuddin yang diundang sebagai penalis (dan bersedia hadir) memberikan buah pandangan dan reaksi menarik, serta mengemukakan beberapa cadangan untuk mengembalikan status universiti ke landasan asalnya.

Saya kira Saifuddin keseorangan dan tidak mendapat sokongan, bukan sahaja daripada pemimpin Umno-BN, malah idea pembaharuannya itu diremehkan oleh pentadbir tertinggi universiti.

Baru-baru ini, beberapa universiti mendapat naib canselornya yang baru dan mereka yang dilantik itu merupakan bekas timbalan naib canselor yang menjaga hal ehwal pelajar. Sepanjang mengetuai HEP, permusuhan mereka  dengan mahasiswa yang mahukan perubahan begitu ketara.

Lebih menarik, mereka juga terbukti begitu aktif menekan persatuan pelajar dan turut memomokkan isu demonstrasi jalanan ini, seperti dilakukan Sharifah Zohra Jabeen dalam forum di UUM, pada 8 Disember 2012 itu.

Seorang profesor menulis surat kepada saya memaklumkan ia bukan satu kebetulan. Katanya, memang sengaja dipilih pegawai kanan yang berjasa  "menjinakkan" pelajar, sekali gus menyumbang kepada kepentingan elit penguasa itu sendiri. Mereka juga mempunyai hubungan rapat dengan pemimpin Umno.

Sepatutnya kes Bawani ini membuka jalan untuk kita meneropong dengan cermat apa sebenarnya berlaku di kampus-kampus?  Ia bukan saja menghimpit kehidupan mahasiswa tetapi juga "memenjarakan" para pensyarah dan kakitangan akademiknya. Kemudahan yang mereka terima dan lingkungan  universiti juga cukup daif dan langsung tidak menyuburkan tradisi ilmu.

Ada kalangan akademia yang masih memegang teguh idealisme terpaksa menelan segala peraturan dan situasi yang mengongkong itu asalkan dapat terus berbakti buat anak bangsa.
Dr Maszlee Malik sempat berkongsi "keperitan" tersebut dalam forum bersama Saifuddin itu. Saya kira sampai masanya perjalanan IPT di negara kita dibedahsiasat secara holistik ... atau mungkin proses itu lebih mudah jika kerajaan persekutuan bertukar tangan, insya-Allah.


Ramai pembaca yang masih tidak puas dengan foto-foto menarik Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat yang kami siarkan. Mereka mahu melihat lebih banyak gambar "candid" terutama yang menggambarkan sisi-sisi istimewa, seperti gandingan masyarakat pelbagai kaum melangkah seiring menuntut hak.

Satu daripada tohmahan media Umno ialah penglibatan rakan-rakan Cina yang didakwa jauh merosot berbanding Bersih 3.0. Beberapa rakan FB saya menunjukkan bukti bergambar bahawa mereka mendapat ramai kenalan baru, dari masyarakat Tionghua.

"Di sebelah saya adalah seorang ahli perniagaan Cina berjaya, bergelar Dato'," kata seorang daripadanya. "Saya perhatikan banyak juga yang dia dermakan," tambahnya. Ada gambar disertakan dalam emel saya.

"Semasa berjalan dari Jalan Sultan dan Bukit Bintang, saya perhatikan ramai kawan-kawan Cina, cuma mereka seperti tidak selesa masuk ke stadium, dan ramai di antara mereka yang tinggal sekitar Lembah Klang,  mahu memberi peluang kepada orang luar," ujar seorang rakan saya yang turut berarak lebih 10km.

Saya sendiri tidak berminat untuk menafikan tuduhan Utusan Malaysia itu. Semua sudah maklum gaya pemberitaannya, seperti juga TV3.

Namun begitu, bagi saya, kita terima sajalah laporan itu. Bukankah selama ini dibayangkan Pakatan Rakyat -- termasuk PAS yang dilihat agak menyerlah dalam HKH itu -- tidak mendapat sokongan bulat daripada masyarakat Melayu?

Orang Tionghua dikatakan bakal memberi undi tidak berbelah bahagi kepada Pakatan hinggakan  majoriti daripada 15 wakil rakyat MCA yang ada disebut-sebut akan tewas dalam PRU13.

"Orang bukan lagi bercakap soal berapa ramai ahli Parlimen MCA nanti, tapi orang berbicara soal berapa ramai lagi ahli MCA yang ada," kata seorang pemimpin kanan Pakatan, dalam nada bergurau.

Saya tidaklah sampai begitu sekali mahu memperkecilkan kemampuan MCA atau parti komponen BN lain, tetapi sekadar membayangkan bahawa BN kini hanya bersandarkan kepada sokongan orang Melayu. Seolah-olah sudah "berpatah hati dan berputus harap" dengan pengundi bukan Melayu, khususnya orang Cina.

Dan jika majoriti pengundi Melayu pun semakin mendekati Pakatan, khususnya PAS, termasuk menyertai HKR, saya kira itu perkembangan amat positif, 'kan? Bukankah mutakhir ini, kempen Umno -- yang nampaknya diterajui sendiri oleh Dr Mahathir Mohamad -- ghairah bermain dengan sentimen perkauman bagi mengikat sokongan orang Melayu?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013



Selasa, 8 Januari 2013




Sabtu 12 Januari 2013 minggu  ini satu juta  anak semua  bangsa – tua dan muda -  akan berhimpun di Kuala Lumpur. Ini adalah Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat.  Satu juta rakyat yang hadir di Kuala Lumpur telah disusun oleh badan-badan Ngo dengan kerjasama yang rapat dengan parti-parti politik dari Pakatan Rakyat.
Pelancaran resmi HKR ini telah dijalankan pada 3 November tahun lalu di Seremban.Pelancaran ini  telah disambut oleh 30,000 warga yang tidak berganjak walaupun hujan turun mencurah-curah. Kehadiran dalam hujan lebat ini telah dibaca sebagai ‘mood’ rakyat telah bersedia  keluar ke  jalan raya untuk membuat tuntutan. Lalu angka 1 juta dijadikan sasaran.
 Selama dua bulan ini para aktivis NGO bersama  pekerja dan pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat telah ke hulu he hilir berkempen untuk meledakkan kemarahan orang ramai. Para aktvis Ngo, perkerja dan pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat  telah ‘ mengocak dan mengacau’ dari  negeri ke negeri – dari kota ke kota – dari kampong ke kampong  - dengan niat jujur untuk menerangkan jenayah United Malays National Organisation.
Saya terlibat secara langsung. Tanpa segan silu  saya telah memperkenalkan satu ‘terminaloji baru’ – MENGHASUT - dalam istilah politik kontemperori Malaysia.  Saya telah merampas kembali  perkataan HASUT yang selama ini  melalui  Akta Hasutan telah digunakan untuk menindas rakyat. Tanpa berselindung, tanpa berlapik – saya telah menjelajah seluruh Semenanjung untuk ‘menghasut’  anak semua bangsa – tua dan muda – agar turun pada hari Sabtu ini.
Pasti ada yang akan bertanya : apakah tujuan HKR ini akan menghasilkan sesuatu? Apakah himpunan 1 juta orang ramai ini akan mengubah lanskap politik tanah air? Apakah himpunan ini akan membawa apa-apa kebaikkan? Apakah ianya akan membawa mudarat dan musibah keatas Pakatan Rakyat? Apakah nanti himpunan ini akan ditohmah dan difitnah?
Semua soalan ini adalah soalan yang jujur. Soalan sademikian lahir dari hati  jujur penyokong Pakatan Rakyat yang mahukan satu kerajaan dan pentabiran baru didirikan di Putrajaya. Justeru saya wajib menjawab soalan-soalan ini dalam usaha bersama-sama untuk membawa pencerahan dan perubahan.
Himpunan  Kebangkitan Rakyat ini adalah jalinan kerjasama antara Ngo dengan Pakatan Rakyat. Tujuan kerjasama ini cukup jelas.  Yang terlibat dalam HKR adalah Ngo-Ngo  yang partisan – yang berpihak.  Ngo yang berpihak kepada rakyat dan kebenaran. Ngo yang berpihak ini mengajukan ‘regime change – ubah kerajaan’ sebagai induk dasar perjuangan mereka. Ini bukan gerakan  Ngo yang kuntau muntau , berdolak dalik, lembik lagi mandul   dengan dasar perjuangan  – non partisan – tidak menyebelahi  yang zalim atau yang dizalimi.
Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat ini  bukan gerak kerja Ngo yang takut dengan falsafah ‘regime change’.  Atau Ngo yang secara senyap-senyap menyamar sebagai pro-rakyat tetapi hakikatnya bersubahat dengan United Malays National Organisation. Ngo-Ngo mandul ini berpura-pura melawan untuk menipu orang ramai walhal, hakikatnya pengamal Ngo bentuk ini menikmati hidup lumayan kerana bersubahat. Dengan konsep ‘non partisan’ – tidak menyebelahi mana-mana pihak -  mereka ingin dilihat  ‘melawan’ tetapi hakikatnya mereka membantu memanjangkan umur United Malays National Organisation.
Ngo sperti Anak, SAMM, UBU, Himpunanan Hijau, Royalti, GMI, SMM, ABU, Mufakat atau Ngo anti PPSMI – adalah pendukong tegar HKR. Ngo-ngo ini tidak menolak jalan raya sebagai kancah politik. Ngo ini menerima tunjuk perasaan sebagai wadah politik. Ngo-ngo ini secara jelas lagi lantang  mahukkan ‘regime change’.  Ngo-ngo ini telah letih dan penat menghantar memo. Mereka telah lelah  dan lesu membuat laporan polis. Mereka telah bosan ke mahkamah. 
Ngo-Ngo  ini telah mengumpulkan pengalaman.  Mereka melihat memo mereka ditong sampahkan.  Mereka naik bosan berbincang tak habis-habis. Akhirnya mereka menyedari bahawa polis dan mahkamah adalah milik United Malays National Organisation. Mereka juga sedar bahawa SPR dan SPRM  pekakas United Malays National Organisation.
Pengalaman mereka telah menunjukkan bahawa membuat sesuatu yang sama berulang-ulang kali dengan harapan ianya akan menghasilkan jawapan yang berbeza adalah kerja orang gila. Hantar memo, buat laporan polis atau ke mahkamah telah menjadi kerja bangang yang tidak membawa apa-apa hasil. Justeru mereka turun ke jalan raya untuk mengampohkan lagi tuntutan mereka.
Jangan silap faham – Ngo ini bukan pro-pembangkang. Ngo ini bukan alat  pembangkang. Ngo-Ngo ini adalah penyokong dan penggerak masyarakat madani yang anti-kerajaan.  Menuduh Ngo ini sebagai  pro-pembangkang ialah satu  penghinaan. Konsep Pro-Pembangkang dengan konsep anti-kerajaan adalah dua konsep yang berbeza-beza  - gula dan garam tidak sama.
Kerana itu jika kerajaan baru Pakatan Rakyat tidak menunaikan tuntutan-tuntan ini maka semua lembaga Ngo ini akan sekali lagi bangun  melawan. Justeru Deklarasi 12 Januari yang akan dinobatkan pada malam Sabtu ini nanti akan mengajukan dan mengingatkan tuntutan bukan hanya kepada kerajaan  yang berkuasa pada hari ini. Tuntutan ini juga diajukan kepada kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat  yang akan datang.
Apakah 1 juta  dijalan raya ini akan mengubah lanskap politik negara? Jawapannya : sudah pasti. Kemunculan 1 juta warga nanti adalah untuk membuktikan kepada umum bahawa Pakatan Rakyat  dengan sokongan Ngo memiliki kekuatan yang ampoh. Dalam bahasa asing...  a show of strength...’ ini membuktikan tututan orang ramai untuk mendirikan kerajaan baru cukup kuat lagi ampoh.
Kehadiran  satu juta dijalan raya akan  menenggelamkan segala  tohmahan  saperti -  Amanat Haji Hadi, Murtad Nurul Izzah,  kenyataan  Allah Mat  Sabu, kes liwat Anwar Ibrahim, masaalah air di Selangor  dan dan dan....Semuanya akan tenggelam dalam lauangan 1 juta rakyat.
Selama berbulan bulan  rakyat melihat Pakatan Rakyat telah  dibuli dengan pelbagai tuduhan dan tohmahan. Melalui media milik United Malays National Organisation  – siang dan malam – Pakatan Raktyat telah diduku.  12 Januari ini  ialah tanda noktah untuk pembulian ini.
Satu juta rakyat dijalan raya ini juga bermakna Pakatan Rakyat ini satu gerakan  politik yang ampoh dan popular. Satu juta penyokong Pakatan  sanggup turun ke jalan raya – tanpa diupah tanpa diancam. Ini adalah petanda bahawa  hari akhir  United Malays National Organisation telah sampai.
Jumlah 1 juta ini juga  akan menyedut para pengundi diatas pagar. Tunjuk perasaan ialah menunjukkan kemarahan dan kebencian  terhadap United Malays National Organisation. Kemarahan ini akhirnya  akan diterjemahkan sebagai undi. Warga diatas pagar yang tersedut  melihat 1 juta dijalan raya pasti tidak mahu dilihat ketinggalan. Mereka juga akan tersedut untuk  bersama mengundi Pakatan.
Apakah himpunan ini akan memudaratkan Pakatan Rakyat? Apakah akan berlaku kacau bilau? Disini lebih awal saya terangkan – jika berlaku kacau bilau, jika berlaku gangguan – semua ini adalah provokasi tersusun dan terancang dari jentera resmi dan tidak resmi milik United Malays National Organisation. Jentera dan pekakas resmi yang dimaksudkan ialah polis, FRU, dan mata-mata khas yang kerjanya terlatih untuk membuat huru hara.
Mustahil HKR yang pada ketika ini masih menunggu jawapan kebenaran untuk menggunakan Stadium Merdeka memiliki kudrat dan iradat untuk buat kacau. Jika kunci Stadium Merdeka pun tidak ada pada tangan jawatankuasa HKR maka  amatlah mustahil jawatankuasa ini ada keupayaan untuk membuat onar.
Biar saya nyatakan seawal mungkin – jika ada kekacauan  berlaku maka kekacaun  ini pastilah kerja jahat dari jentera upahan United Malays National Organisation. Hanya parti politik yang terdesak dan akan terkubur sahaja yang suka buat kacau. Manakala  Pakatan Rakyat yang imejnya sedang  naik cemerlang pasti berfikir 200 juta kali sebelum berfikir untuk membuat onar.
Pasti ada penyokong setia Pakatan Rakyat akan merasa cemas – apakah akan muncul dikaca tv, di muka hadapan akhbar – berita-berita negatif tentang Himpunan ini? Untuk pertanyaan ini saya menjawabnya dengan pertanyaan. Semenjak bila media dan tv milik United Malays National Organisation melaporkan berita tentang Pakatan Rakyat atau pemimpin Pakatan secara tepat dan adil?
Yakinlah - media musuh akan terus menyerang dengan pelbagai fitnah dan tohmah tanpa henti-henti. Jangan ada apa-apa mimpi dan angan-angan disini.  Hakikatnya sama ada  rakyat berhimpun  atau  duduk membakar jagung  atau memeram telor dirumah  - media United Malays National Oganisation akan  terus melahirkan berita tohmah dan fitnah. Media musuh akan terus menyerang – ini tugas mereka.
Akhirnya kita sampai kepada niat tersirat Himpunan ini.  Saya telah menjelaskan dalam hasutan saya bahawa jumlah 1 juta yang akan datang ke Kuala Lumpur adalah satu amaran kepada Najib, Rosmah, Muhyiddin dan Mahathir.  Jumlah 1 juta ini adalah  amaran agar mereka TIDAK akan menipu dalam PRU13 yang akan dijalankan tahun ini.
Abang, adik, dan pembaca – jangan salah tafsir. Jumlah 1 juta ini bukan satu ancaman. Jawatankuasa HKR tidak membuat apa-apa ancaman. Jumlah 1 juta adalah satu janji suci  dari para pengundi  - anak semua bangsa  - bahawa mereka TIDAK mahu lagi ditipu dalam PRU13. Hentikan penipuan dan jalankan pilihanraya yang bersih  dan adil.
Tarikh 12 Januari 2013 bukan meniru Arab Spring. Himpunan  Kebangkitan Rakyat pada Sabtu ini ialah Malaysian Durian.  Durian – susah untuk diambil isinya. Tetapi apabila  terbuka maka akan terbukalah ruang demokrasi yang isinya akan sama-sama kita nikmati. Kita berjumpa di Kuala Lumpur  Sabtu ini. (TT)