Thursday, November 29, 2012

Political and Economic Transformation...

Political and economic transformation had now become the buzz words for the national leadership ( especially in UMNO, the principal wing of the ruling Alliance government).Political transformation requires the leadership to place the electorate (rakyat) first in all forms of consideration and decision-making and giving emphasis to performance. It also requires the leaders to go down to the field and meet the people, not wait for them to come to the leaders about their problems.

Economic transformation focuses on raising individual income especially among the poor with a family income of less than RM3000 a month, and making the country a high-income nation. Several public 'handout' and 'bailout' programs together with mega development projects had been promulgated to activate the transformation.

But from the political talks and complaints of the people on the street today, we need more than just a political and economic transformation. We need a personal,social and moral transformation which will give Malaysians a 'developed society' kind of attitude.
There are just to many narrow-minded self interest, blatant disrespect for neighbors and fellow citizens, lack of concern for the right of others, class distinction and superiority feeling, the holier-than-thou attitude, etc. etc going around. The multiracial nature of our society aggravates the situation.

What we need is an integral transformation proses, where all the divisive elements of the Malaysian society can be minimized and all the positive elements integrated at the personal, social, and cultural level. In plain language racial consciousness must be replaced by a 'we're all Malaysians and we must swim or sink together' kind of attitude. Political parties should stop ridiculing each other and threatening that the nation will go kaput if other parties come into power as if all other parties are useless.People shouldn't go about thinking that only their rights and interests matter and others' can go to hell. We must learn to respect the rights and interests of other people.(The lack of concern for others is clearly illustrated on the highway where some diver behave as if the road belongs to them alone). Kids, especially the offsprings of the wealthy, today show a kind of haughty, devil-may-care attitude that will develop into an egocentric narcissism as they mature.

The Malaysian multiracial society must undergo an integral transformation process to prevent further disintegration caused by political exclusivism or partisanship. This is all the more urgent when political leaders are making the political divide more pronounced and irreconcilable, leaving no room whatever for working together as shown by political parties in developed countries.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Murderous Tautology

"You fired those rockets at will
without a care for who you might kill
we have no choice but to retaliate in self-defence,
the whole world, especially US, knows the score
and Hamas must face the consequence
though the people of Gaza as a whole must suffer."

"We will continue to harass you
usurpers of our land and destroyers of our homes and families
those who chose to make peace with you are certainly untrue
to their faith and the Quranic warnings against the Jews,
we are prepared to die in the cause of our battle
to free the Ummahs from Dajal's evil."

"Yes, they have a right to self defence, (damn you)
they can't just allow their homes and cities to be reduced to rubble
and the best defence is an offensive - an air attack on the enemy's hq,
it's just unfortunate if the collateral damages are terrible
we have to and will continue to support our friends
who are surrounded by unfriendly neighbors but with greasy hands."

"No, we must call for an immediate cease-fire (you bastards)
the destruction and bloodbath caused are just too inhuman
call ourselves civilized while women and chidren are gruesomely butchered
and we hold conference after conference to draw up a peace plan:
what we have is a deadlock between obstinate claims
between people who love to get themselves killed or maimed,"

Oh, Allah All-Knowing and All-Mighty,
Please protect our brothers from the murderous hands of their foes
the Palestinians had suffered for years from turmoils and brutality
give them a break by softening the hearts of all those
who hold the power to wage wars and the weapons to cause deaths and agony,
stop the tautologies and let human beings find peace and understanding
in the various ways they pray to you and seek your blessings.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012/13 AD - 1434H.......

The Islamic calendar just took us into 1434H while the Georgian calendar will take us to 2013AD in less than a month and a half. How fast is time moving, yet it's so slow when we are waiting anxiously for something to happen with a hope of seeing a change for the better.On the other extreme time moves so fast when we see something undesirable approaching us.Tragedy always hits us before we're ready.

Things are still dangerous and uncertain in some of the Islamic countries, especially in the middle east and Africa. On wonders sometimes as to who or what really caused the fightings and bloodbath, the sufferings and the deaths. Are the Muslims themselves responsible for the turmoils and the massacre, or are there outside provocateurs and agitators, be they Muslims or otherwise?

The Islamic greeting "Assalamu alaikum" means "Peace be on you all" and it reflects the nature of the true Muslim - a peaceful and well-meaning person. The religion preaches a peaceful and forgiving attitude towards life, being trustworthy and helpful to those in need of help, and treating life on earth as a bridge to an afterlife where Heaven awaits the good and God-loving while Hell awaits the bad and unGodly. How you interpret 'the good' and 'the bad', the "God-loving' and the unGodly' depends on the faith you hold and the holy book that you based your faith on.

I wonder sometimes as to why some people question the faith and religion other people adopt. Aside from the fact that people often adopt the religion they are born into, the choice is basically theirs.The unfortunate thing is that the young are often not taught enoungh of the faith and religion their parents adopt to remain faithful to that faith and religion. Sometimes the method of teaching is unattractive, too authoritative, oppressive or too prohibitive for the young.What more when the enforcement of the religion is too inhibitive for the young who are just beginning to understand and enjoy the meaning of life. Especially when religion is supposed to enhance and liberate the soul....

But of more immediate concern are the turmoils, enmities and animosities among the adult Muslims themselves, as caused by political interests and affiliations, be it between Muslims in the same country or among Muslim countries. How could you as Muslims hate and antagonize other Muslims whereas you are supposed to be brothers and sisters? How could you fight and kill each other violating all the rules of good conduct and religious ethics in Islam? Can you truly say you are a Muslim when do all those things?

I hope the year 1434 H will make all Muslims sit back and think of what they are and where they are in today's world. If you could not live happily with fellow Muslims, can you ever live happily with others? Do you always think that you're a better or 'purer' Muslim than your neighbors in the same country or abroad? What does Allah and His Prophet say about who the truest or purest Muslim is? Wallahu alam.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Our Younger Generation

The US Presidential election has just been over and Obama was returned to office with a narrow margin over Romney. It was commented by CCN that Obama won in most of the States with a large voting population of youths and Latinos. Over in Malaysia, many had also commented that in the forthcoming general election, the younger voters would have a primary role in deciding who will be returned to power.

Let's not ignore the fact that even the youths who are below voting age have a great influence on how the forthcoming General Election will turn out. How come? They have a great influence over their parents - the voters. Children nowadays have as much influence over their parents as they do in determining what is to be cooked for lunch or dinner, or whether the family will just eat out. They also in many ways influence the furnishing, the decorations and the electronic equipment that you can find in the house.

The children and youths of today are the adult citizens of tomorrow. As such their education and nurturing, in and out of school, must be given a very special attention. Our concern must not only be centered on their getting as many As as possible in the examinations they have to go through, but must be focused on the total development of their character and personality. That includes the physical, mental and spiritual or moral aspects of development.

In terms of physical development, I don't think we in Malaysia face much of a problem today. Aside from a few cases of undernourishment, the more widespread danger today is of obesity among the children.Overfeeding and over pampered? Probably, but the parents love doing that. Mental development through the education system and at home, has faced a number of controversies, especially in regard to the school curriculum and syllabus, while expensive tuitorals at home have caused considerable worries to the lower-income parents.

School curriculum and syllabus in as much as the education system as a whole need to be constantly reviewed and the Ministry of Education claims to be doing that all the time.However, many feel that some of the so-called innovation and revamp in the system had led to less desirable results than the old 3R system manned by Kirkby- Brinsford Lodge- and even Normal-trained teachers. We still don't know whether its the curriculum, the syllabus, the system or the teachers who are at fault but the victims are the children of today, the citizens of tomorrow.

The ethical, moral and spiritual development of today's children and youths has of course been severely criticized by many. But there's nothing much that the schools can do except introduce some civic and religious classes. The ethical and moral standard of our society as a whole must be reviewed in the light of today's materialistic values and reverence for money and wealth.

After years off expanding higher secondary and tertiary education in Malaysia with several colleges and universities coming into being, we are rocked again with the realization that more children and youths now opt for the arts rather the sciences in furthering their education. Only 20% of the secondary school students opt for the sciences, says one report. Why so? For an easy answer one has only to ask how many high paying jobs in the market today require a science degree? You'll find a great number of science degree holders holding administrative and general management jobs.
The requirement to pursue a degree in computer science is also not too stringent to bar students from the arts stream to go it. So, where is the incentive to take up science? Giving some allowance to parents to encourage their children to take up science is certainly not the answer to the problem.

Only a good job market for science degrees will do the trick. How a switch to science will affect the development of our children and youths in terms of their ethical, moral and spiritual development is another issue to be dealt with.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Food Poisoning...

You never know when it will strike. You may even get it from a posh restaurant let alone from the cheaper ones or the food stalls operating under a tree. It doesn't matter whether you're a medical doctor or the average man who would eat anything when you're hungry.

Food poisoning could be very serious or just a severely upset stomach.
The serious ones will involve vomiting and purging to no end until you feel listless or even lifeless.There's so much of body fluid lost that there is the immediate danger of dehydration. In such a case you have to go to the hospital immediately.You will be put on the drip and given so many pills that you'll feel really miserable. You might have to stay in the hospital from five days to one week to allow you tummy to recuperate.
The not-so-serious one is more more interesting as far as I am concerned having suffered the attack a number of times.Yes, it's just as bad in terms of the puking and purging, but only for a short period.After that it's just the tiredness, the lack of an appetite and the need to just rest and go to sleep which can be very bothersome.

But think again. You have no appetite for anything at all and that's very good for your tummy.It's a chance to give the old mill a good rest. Yes you've to imbibe a lot of liquid to compensate for the loss. The nasty thing is that you cannot fart or something will come out with it. When your tummy growls and grumbles, you just got to tolerate it without opening the valve to let out the fowl air. Otherwise you'll have to rush to the toilet for a thorough wash and change your clothes. The use of pampers is an interesting idea but I'd rather just slip some tissue papers in my underwear, in case there's a leakage. It made me think of old age when you could get too sick to take care of your cleanliness and someone else had to do it for you. At least I learn how to do it with the help of the ubiquitous tissue papers.

You still need 3-5 days for your tummy to recuperate, even if you don't take any medicine, said a friend - Dr Ganeson. He had an attack himself after having some food in a posh restaurant. Yes he had all the knowledge and medicinal facilities to take care of himself and yet, " I had to suffer for five miserable days," he said.

Well, if a medical doctor himself had to suffer, how could I complain. 3-5 days of rest, eating very little except for some soup, bread and Milo O - and some 100 plus for energy - must certainly have some salutary and recuperative impact on the body...and soul.