Thursday, September 20, 2007


I'M SURE WE'VE ALL BEEN FOLLOWING THE TRAGIC CASE OF NURIN JAZIMIN. She suffered the worst of what a tormented, sadistic, perverted criminal mind can offer, facing up to the most heineous of all sexual crimes, and showing up to all Malaysians what the most abnoxious criminal among them could do. Nurin showed up the the most evil criminal among Malaysians at the cost of her life, taking all the tortures and sufferings that such a criminal could deliver and won by attaining the ultimate peace in death.....

Yet....there are only sighs and groans of sympathy among most of us. From the national leadership to the common man-in-the-street. Yes, there's an offer of a reward for information leading to the capture of Malaysia Criminal No.1. But that's about it. We forget about what the little girl had suffered, and what she must have gone through to bring to light the worst of the perverted human minds and how helpless we are in the hands of such criminals, including the Police and the network of authorities that's supposed to safeguard the safety of our children.

To me Nurin died a heroine's death and the nation should be moaning her death with a full realization of the fact that the country had given birth to such a criminal, that such a criminal exists among us, and that our entire public security system has a flaw that needs to be immediately remedied. Shouldn't the policemen on beat in busy streets and shopping and food centres be also on the lookout for innocent kids moving alone in the crowd, ready to offer help and responding to any cry of help etc.,etc.? Shouldn't they be on the lookout for suspicious characters,,,or are they more interested in jumping on traffic offendersand petty law breakers who will ultinmately be nabbed....?

The nation must show its respect for the girl who became a sacrificial lamb for the laxity of parental care on kids, the flaws of our public security system and creating the style of life which creates such satanic criminals. Nurin should be proclaimed a national heroine for standing up against the most repulsive sexual crime in Malaysia's history and paying for it with her life.
Other children had also suffered and died as victims of such criminals but Nurin suffered the worst and will become the symbol of ciminal mental abberations and perversion as imposed on a young and innocent girl.

The ability of this country and its people to revere her memories and honour her death will indicate the extent to which this nation is committed to the eradication of such criminal abnoxiousness as suffered by her. In other countries people will
light up the candles and stand virgil by her grave to wish her peace and comfort in her afterlife. Over here it would be sufficient if a "majlis tahlil" is held all over the country to offer prayers that Allah may place her among the "syuhada". Nurin's death is, to me, more like that of a child-warrior who stood up to the satanic wrath of a "kafir", a convoluted and sick mind.
Her picture should be displayed all over the country as a reminder of what a perverted and sick mind can do to our children and our nation.

Let's all pray for her soul.....Alfatihah...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Festivities, Uncertainties and Realities..

The hectic festivities around the 50th Merdeka Anniversary ( I watch them over the TV mostly for the KL traffic is most threatening!), and some of the vitriolic remarks about them in the blogs, left me very uncertain. Even the picturesque "Jubli Emas Merdeka 50" booklet which gives some historical highlights to the Anniversary, failed to convince me that the whole country would be "inspired" by the extravaganza mounted by the 16 big-wig committees which masterminded the entire celebration.

Uncertain of what? Many things! The objectives other than just commemorating an important national event, the expenses involved, the high-level manpower put to work (at the expense of other tasks certainly), the participation of the public roped in, the response of the public as reflected by the small number of cars and buildings flying the national flags, et., etc. Well, the festivities will go on for a month. But I feel that the budget announcement has made more people happier than the annivesary fanfare.

Whatever it is, in the light of uncertainties people normally search for realities and truths. In that mood I always go back to the source of unltimate truth in Islam - the al-Quran and Hadiths. I wanted to know what Islam says about holding anniversaries and celebrations, beside the general ruling that everything should be just so-so and not too lavish or extreme. In the website I find that Kassim Ahmad, Mahaguru 58, to some extent The Moderator and a few others have said a lot about Islam itself and the way government is handling it. But as usual, the reading is tough and laborious. I wonder how many of our Muslim bloggers follow their writings.

And I asked myself again and again, how much can our non-Muslim bloggers learn about Islam from their writings (besides others sources in the internet)? Or care to read and share their experience as part of the total Malaysian experience in order to increase our common awareness: a very important factor in forging national unity. The more experience we share the more we have in common and the closer we feel to each other. But that's a subject for Sensitivity Training, T-Group Sessions, Group Dynamics etc. which our educationists must consider introducing in schools to enhance national unity in this country...

In as far is Islam is concerned, all Malaysians should know what the important tenets of the religion are, as simply as possible, so that there could be no misunderstanding about a Muslim or the Malay who could be your next door neighbour.
If you think you know about your neighbour without understanding what type of a Muslim he or she is, you can be in for a great surprise some day! Even if you have been neighbours for years. Why? Because a Muslim can be as different from each other as Kassim Ahmad is from Mahaguru 58 or The Moderator, the Ulama's, the appointed religious leaders such as the Imams and Muftis. the western trained Muslim intellectuals, the "sekolah pondok" ustazs, and the ordinary urban and rural Muslims (Malays). They can be very different from each other in their views of life and how it should be lived as a good Muslim! So, unless you know something about Islam and its many schools of thought, you could be making a lot of wrong assumptions about the neighbours that you have known for so long...

Most of our non-Muslim friends can certainly identify well or easily with the western trained religious scholars or just the ordinary Muslim with a good western education . They are very rational and based their arguments on sound reasoning. Yet some can be so steeped in orthodox Islamic teachings that they might not agree with the product of rational thought as a result of holding on to some religious values or believes. Don't try to discuss things or argue with them using common sense or straight logic. They will never agree with you. To question their logic would be to question their belief or faith.

In general, the stronger a Muslim's belief or faith in a certain aspect of religion is, the more difficult it is to make him change any of his views. There are of course some plain stubborn people but a stubborness or obstinacy born out of a religious belief is even more difficult to overcome. This in fact is true for all religions and it is for this reason that religious fanatics are more difficult to get along with in this world than the less religious people. Strong minded people often elevate their believes, even in non-religious matters (such as politics), to the level of a religion! Hence we have people in this world who are ready to go to war and kill other people because of their religious beliefs. And those who are ready to die because of their religious beliefs, rightly or wrongly imbeded in the religion they embrace, as understood by themselves.

I think all of us are influenced in some ways by our religious beliefs, or just our cultural orientation (which is a very potent source of values) when reviewing the 50 years of post merdeka development in our country. We evaluate our leaders against these beliefs and values. Unless we appreciate more of each other's value system can we ever come to a consensus on how things stand and how things should be? If people say that national unity in this country is backsliding, can this be the cause of the problem? If so we need to check back on our values and reallign them so that we see more things in the same light rather than highlight things in such a way that the same things looks different and we begin to get nervous about them!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Nation and Leaders

In many of the frustrations, dissatisfactions and grievances that I read or hear about Malaysia, I noticed a terrible confusion between THE NATION, MALAYSIA, and some of its people called "leaders". Because the aggreived party doesn't like certain leaders -hate them like shit, maybe - he or she started to rave or rant against the nation, insulting THE CONSTITUTION, THE NATIONAL ANTHEM,or certain racial groups, calling names and nemisis, indicting THE NATION as a whole.

Hold on to your asses my friends! It's not our nation or the beautiful country, Malaysia, and her beautiful people, I'm sure, that is at fault. It's those leaders that you abhore and would like to see hanging from the nearest tree, that you're up in arms against. So why insult our country and our people, our Constitution and our national symbols of nationhood, our pride and prestige? You insult Malaysians, you also insult your own self, your parents and your ancestors who have lived and thrived in this country. You cuss the nation and it's like cussing your own home!

Let's get our orientation right. If there are leaders that you hate, just aim your vitriolics at them and rap out why. The democratic processes in this country is still in place or otherwise we would not even be able to say the things that we have been saying. Politics is an evil that all human beings in this world must live with bacause it's about people influencing other people and getting themselves elected as leaders in an organized society. The alternative to politics is anarchy and lawlessness. Or getting foreigners to rule over you, perhaps with guns, rockets and missiles aimed at you and your homes....

If respect begets respect, insult begets insult. Who are we going to respect if we start insulting each other? The mark of civilization is when we can protest in a civilized way and not seek refuge in vociferating invectives using four-letter words....
especially in rap songs that only certain people will appreciate. Don't insult the whole nation and its people ( that is OURSELVES) because you dislike certain leaders. Let's get rid of them through the democratic processes....


Monday, September 3, 2007

Allegations and Resignation.

The Japanese Farm ( Agriculture) Minister, Takeheko Endo, quit after just a week in office (NST Sept.4) acknowledging "inappropriate" conduct, following scandals involving party bigwigs. Prime Minister Abe's 1st Agruclture Minister killed himself over the allegations he misued public money.

As I see it allegations of corruption, scandals over misuse of public funds, misuse of authority etc are rampant in all governments - in U.S., UK, Europe, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia etc.,etc. The difference is the parties who are subject of the allegation or scandal, often resign or withdraw from the scene, in their own honourable way. They don't even wait until a court of law convict them and are then "forced" to resign. In Japan of course, they redeem their honour in the most courageous way..

Elsewhere, allegations and charges can pour like a rainstorm. Until a court of law pounds the gravel and pronounces the accused ( if brought to court at all) "guilty", the dogs can bark at the hill as much as they like. The hill will not move or disintegrate. The barking will stop after the dogs are well fed.

I've read so many pronouncement of dissatisfaction, frustrations and accusations in both the media and the blogs over the week, both overt and covert. Some are fair but others....are a little over the edge. What we certainly need in Malaysia is a basis for measuring things quite objectively, so that broad negative generalizations can be avoided as much as subservient and sycophantic endorsement of futile efforts to achieve amorphous goals. It is always in the fuzziness of goal-statement that failures can be potrayed as success or vice versa. More destructive, people can be made to believe that pomps and grand ceremonies are the embodiment of success itself.

Well, as they say " Some people can be fooled sometimes..not all can be fooled all the times...!"

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cheers..and Tears on September 1, 2007

The 50th Merdeka Anniversary parade and festivities on the morning and night of August 31, were of course superb, magnificent, grandiose, with perhaps a hundred thousand Malaysians jamming the Dataran Mereka for the march pass and thousands thronging the Merdeka Stadium for the mega concert. A bouquet of roses for YB Datuk Seri Utama Rais Yatim and his many high-powered Committees and Sub-Committees for producing a mind-boggling spectacularama...

But the anniversary cheers for me and family was rudely interrupted by news of the death of a cousin - a very jovial chap with diabetes, heart and kidney problem whose company could make you smile and laugh until your tears roll down and your stomoch aches. He had a chequered but successful career as a Felda Manager but he certainly carried his physical woes with dignity and decorum, right to the end. May Allah bless your soul, Adik Kamarul. We miss you dearly.

Hence the morning of September 1, was a sad and solemn day at his house in Jempol, NS. Tears flowed readily from many of our elderly relatives and his elder brother told me that when he visited some relatives in KL a week earlier including myself, he did say on parting that he was going back for the last time. Nobody took him seriously then. Without his presence the bungalow house he designed himself on a two-acre fruit garden,felt so desolated in spite of the hundreds who came to pay their last respect...

I had hardly managed to control my emotions when my wife and me drove to our next venue - a wedding reception for the daughter of another cousin. The sudden change of mood from tears to cheers left me somewhat confused. I met so many happy faces and exchanged the usual pleasantries while still choked with the thoughts of the other cousin's untimely death. Accommodating two contrasting experience on the same day suddenly made me realize its similarity with celebrating this year's merdeka anniversary - jubilation, pomp and ceremony on the one had and an awareness of the nation's nagging problems on the other.

But what the heck! I'm now just a senior citizen who can only reflect on what has passed and what is held in store for the Malaysians and the nation. After attending the wedding reception I still had the responsibility of visiting two Aunties before going back to KL, both of whom had had a big hand in helping me to grow up. One is my Uncle's widow with whom I stayed when I was attending school in Kuala Pilah. It was tears again when we met, even as I recount the days of my naughtiness and naivette which must have exasperated her to no end. Her illustrious second son whom I helped to take care of as a child was also present and the serious-looking ex-Director General of Felda looked so boyish and amused as we skimmed through some of the interesting pages of history...

The second Auntie is my late fathers's sister. She's of course like my own late mother...and she was alone at home when I stopped by, with two sons having passed away and the others working in KL and Seremban. She's about the only senior relative that I know who chose to stay home and not move around staying with her sons and daughters. It was tears again interspersed with laughter as my wife and I hugged and kissed her. Both frail and sick, she is still to me a tower of strength and inspiration, the grand old lady who helped to make my life both meaningful and pleasant. I love you very much, Auntie.

If August 31st is most memorable, September 1st has been most sobering and edifying for me, full of cheers and tears, fulfilment and anxiety with regard to the issues that Malaysians must now face....after the jubilations and falicitations are over.....