Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kalau Tidak Ke Putrajaya

Kalau tidak ke Putrajaya
ke Kemunting boleh sahaja
ke Sungai Buloh mungkin juga
selagi nasib sekadar duka

Tiba-tiba jadual agak terlewat
kerana ada sumpah diliwat
menjadi duri janji berkawat
gamat marhaen menggapai gawat

Heboh dituduh agen Amerika
tidur berselimut Yahudi durjana
konon melayu di jual segera
demi gelojoh untuk berkuasa

16 Disember atau tidak
undur kata atau terlajak
meriah gimik perihal katak
ramai yang tersedak-sedak

Masih belum tiba di Putrajaya
singgah sebentar di istana negara
kerana parlimen tidak dibuka
senarai pun tersimpan rahsia

Kalau gagal tiba di Putrajaya
siapa gila yang berdekah ketawa
siapa sewel yang terjual jiwa
terus merdeka di jajah puaka!

Fudzail
Al twar 3 (sambil tunggu kereta di basuh!)
20 September 2008)

Bayang-Bayang 1998 - Malaysiakini

Perjalanan itu menongkah arus
melingkar pada setiap simpang
sebagai imej-imej perjuangan
kami anak-anak jalanan
yang meronta dalam kekeliruan
mencari seribu jawaban
diantara kekaburan media
dan perundangan jalang
membakar jiwa marhaen

Tersentak dari kealpaan
yang membalut keselesaan
menyongsang kebebasan berfikir
kami anak-anak jalanan
bangkit dalam kehilangan
kepunyaan dan masa depan
di rompak oleh kebobrokan
satu kepimpinan machiavillian

Sedekad yang terus bergelora
masih harapan baru berbunga
mengubah kemelut suasana
kami anak-anak jalanan
tidak lagi bermimpi dalam bayangan
kerana langkah-langkah patriot
semakin cepat dan dekat
bersama mentari meratah kabut
ke Putrajaya!

Fudzail
20 September 2008
Dubai, UAE

FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY AND RACE

All man was born free, and hence, freedom is a God given right to every human being. To be free, means no other human being can force upon another fellow human being to accept a certain set of belief systems, way of life, practices etc. – unless he/she, in his/her own free will voluntarily submits to it.

Democracy, among today’s existing political system is the only one that fully supports this notion of freedom. Race on the other hand, in a fully democratic and free society should carry minor or lesser consequence, as the rights of the individuals are enshrined in the constitutions (or the laws) and these rights preside over all matters. Therefore, in a free and fully democratic society – race should not be the utmost concern. The question is, after more than 50 years of independence and “democratic practice”, why race is still an issue in Malaysia?

The problem actually lies with the fact that Malaysia has never been a “fully free and democratic” society; our democracy has been at best “very limited” in its implementations. Therefore, if we want this race issue to be addressed properly, the major prerequisite is to shape and bring Malaysia to be a “fully free” (in the sense of human freedom), and “fully democratic” in the proper democratic sense. These are the two issues that I will address in this writing.

First, on the issue of freedom: We are lucky, that we have a well defined constitutions and laws in the country. Our rights have been properly defined in these documents. The Malays have their rights clearly protected under the “Hak-Hak keistimewaan Melayu” (“Malay Special Rights”) under the constitutions, and the other races have their individual rights sanctioned in it as well. Honestly, the fuss that’s going on today has nothing to do with the constitution and these enshrined matters – the issues at the core of it is about all of our rights and freedom being trampled, and abused by one group of people, namely – the UMNO ruling elites.

In fact, the UMNO ruling elites are the one that deprived the Malays of their own civil rights and freedom, through intimidations, threat, and abuse of the process of law (just see the record of how many Malays has been detained under ISA compared to the other races? More than 80% of the existing ISA detainees are Malays). Malays are not even free to practice Islam, as the Islam that can be practiced must falls under the strict definitions by the Jabatan Agama Islam (“JAI”). You are not free to organize Jumaat prayers on your own, unless you are authorized to do so; a number of good Ustaz are not allowed to give sermons or lectures in the mosques, as they do not subscribe to a certain brand of Islam defined by the JAI.

For most, we know that freedom of speech is something that never existed in Malaysia; the same thing goes for the freedom of the media. We can go on and bring a whole set of lists on this matter. The poignant message is: we are not really a free country; and freedom is something that we never achieved. And it is affecting all of us from all races and background.

The second subject is about democracy: The basic tenets of democracy is that we have a government that is elected through a democratic process, whereby each citizen elect them by way of one person one vote, through a “fair, open, and transparent” process. A democratic society also is about a functioning check and balance within the system. One of the most important parts of this check and balance is the media and information.

A democracy that is not supported by an open, free and fair environment of information dissemination – is a blind democracy. A blind democracy is never a properly working democracy, in the sense that leaderships and government are being appointed by a blind public, who firstly do not really know who they elect and why, and secondly, will not have any way to provide a check and balance on those whom they have chosen.


Pure democracy posits that society needs media that is: a) a rigorous watchdog for those in powers and for those who want to be in power; b) which can ferret out truth from lies; c) and can present a wide range of informed positions on all important issues of the day.

In Malaysia, what we have is that our media is at best a charade for the ruling elite. The Media (Press act) laws are pretty much structured that any dissent among the media, means that you will not have the license to continue printing or broadcasting. The government owned (and funded) TV stations (TV1 and TV2), plus the GLC owned (the Media Prima), as well the newspapers (NST, Berita and Utusan) – all become the propaganda arm for the ruling elite.

Of late, they have deteriorated even further: the media now a spinning machine for Pak Lah and his cronies (as explained by Tun Dr. M himself in his blog). We can just observe how relentless (or desperate) they became in attacking PR in last Permatang Pauh by-election. The media is no longer a news medium and abide by the basic ethics of journalism; they became medium of lies and propaganda.

The conclusion that I would like to bring forth here are as follows: Yes, we should address and discuss about race, socio-economic arrangements between the races, and other sensitive matters among the races and across religious divides. But the precondition is we must first ensure that Malaysia is a FREE AND OPEN SOCIETY and WE ADHERED AND PRATICE STRICT MEANING AND INTENT OF DEMOCRACY (even albeit a “proper” Malaysian version of it).

As I have started in the opening paragraph – UNDER SUCH ENVIRONMENT OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY, RACE WILL NOT BE THE DOMINANT ISSUE IN OUR SOCIETY. The problem why race is still important today is because we have failed on the prerequisites. Hence, the urgency now is to us get our priorities straight.

This is what ANWAR and PR is fighting for; and for this we must support and make sure that he can and PR will implement it.



Endnotes

On the status of TV1, TV2 and government owned and funded by tax payers money media.
My proposal is that these media should be “free from the government” hands if they want to continue to exists. In the same manner that PBS (Public Broadcasting Stations in the US, or C-SPAN networks), or SBS (in Australia), for that matter BBC – all are managed, operated, and organized “independent” from the ruling government. Their funding is enacted by law, and they are no longer under the Ministry of Information. Their editors and reporters are free to report under clear guidelines of journalism ethics.

The reasoning of this arrangements falls in line with what I explained above, about the role of media in a functioning democracy. Off course I am also against making it to be privately owned (privatized), as we know that the owners of these entities are then the one that will dictate the news. May be one of the way is to set it up as an independent entity, with the public at large on board (similar to an Independent Commission or Suruhanjaya Bebas) overlooking them. Any other ideas also may work; with one fundamental condition: they are no longer a subject of any one who is in power!

By:
Dr. Wan Muhamad Hasni Wan Sulaiman
Kuala Lumpur

20th September 2008

PARADOXES OF SOVEREIGNITY – THE MALAY RIGHTS?

Of late, from several discussions with my Malays friends, I sense that there is a cloud of worry persisted in their minds about Anwar and PR. Namely that what Anwar and PR is doing eventually will hurt the Malays and saw the erosion of the Malay’s hold over the power of the country, and will put the Malays in a “challenged” position.

I can’t help but sympathized with them, as I myself have seen the plight of the rural Malays, and as I myself also came from an under privileged background. I know that without the scholarships and special helps to the Malays by the Government, I will not be where I am today. The issue is: is it true that Anwar and PR are clamoring such that the issue of the Malays will be put at the back burner? This is the misunderstanding that I seek to address in this article.

To start the subject I would like to bring to attention a subject that are being termed by Philosopher Karl Popper as the ‘Paradoxes of Sovereignty’. Popper argues that we as a society are generally too possessed by the question of ‘Who should rule or whose will should be supreme?’
This obsession is so much that we miss the core critical question to the society, which is: ‘How can we so organize our politics such that bad or incompetent rulers can be prevented from reining over us?’
In simpler terms, what Popper meant is that: we should worry more about bringing an orderly system to the politics, instead of focusing our worry about who should hold the power. Put it another way: Anwar and PR is not so much obsessed with removing Pak Lah and BN (and to hold on to power), but more so with changing the Malaysian political landscape for good and finishing their March ’08 Tsunami process, so that we will have a political system that is fair and proper for all.

What Malaysia (and the Malays) need is good governance. If good governance is in place, the Malays are the one who should be the least worried– because the Malays are and will continue to be the majority of the population; and hence will continue to be the dominant force in the Malaysian politics.


The key to the question of the Malays rights (or other races rights), is to understand the socio economic issues in a proper perspective: that is any affirmative action policies should and can only be justified, if it is for the purpose of providing upward social mobility of any under privileged group in the society.

Otherwise, the policies will only serve as a basis of corruption and nepotism, and increase the further chasm of wealth inequality in the society. This is the basis of PR rejection of NEP as it was and is. The replacement of NEP is to cast a proper affirmative action based on not purely race but income level and eradication of poverty, as well as upward mobility of the under privileged in the society, across all races and social divides. In another word, if there are more poor Malays in society, these Malays will be helped, as much as if there are many poor Indians, or Chinese, Ibans, Dayaks or what have you.

To borrow a personal quote from Anwar to me: ‘I can’t understand the basis of giving 5% Bumiputra discounts to anyone who wants to purchase a property worth few millions. Surely, those Bumiputra needs no help, if he is able to buy such an expensive property’. This is a blatant example of the distortions of the NEP.

Now let me also touch a bit about ‘meritocracy’, as some claims that NEP should be replaced with it. I have to say that those who calls for Malaysia to be a fully “Meritocratic” society is missing an important element, namely, life is full of ‘skewness and asymmetry’ – luck and success favors those in better positions by far and wide, much more than those who are in an under privileged positions.

It is always understood that it is easier for those billionaires to create an extra hundreds of millions than those who are struggling to make his/her first million; and the task become much more harder for anyone who wants to make his/her first thousands, compared to those who wants to make his/her tens of thousands, and so on. This is one example of what I meant by ‘skewness and asymmetry’, and there are countless other examples of such (those interested, please read: Nassim Nicholas Taleb, ‘The Black Swan’).


What is needed is a fair and open playing field for all economic agents in the society – with a clear objective that what’s being upheld is that we remove the skewness and asymmetry in society as much as possible; so that the outcome is not a distorted society and a well balanced economy. An overtly rejection of a failed system (NEP), can lead us to other form of distortions, hence what is needed is objective and sound assessments of the problems, before we simply jump to quick conclusions.

Therefore what we should focus first is to overcome the paradox of being obsessed with “Malay sovereignty”, but we all should exert our fullest energy towards good governance, and a fair society. Therefore, I called upon my Malay friends to remove their worries, and off course I also call upon my non-Malay friends to be on the same page with me for a common goal and objective – to make Malaysia a prosperous nation, starting with good governance and fairness to all.

By
Dr. Wan Muhamad Hasni Wan Sulaiman
Kuala Lumpur
20th September 2008

Bazaar Ramadan Rakyat Malaysia di Dubai

Lagi Foto di SINI
dan SINI
juga SINI

Malaysian Teenager wins Quran Recitation Contest in Dubai

Thirteen-year-old Mohammad Bin Ahmad Zahid from Malaysia
is felicitated after being adjudged the winner of the Quran
recitation contest at the Dubai International Holy Quran Award.


Teenager's Quran recitation wins hearts
By Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporter
Published: September 19, 2008, 23:43
Dubai: The young Malaysian participant who was eventually declared the winner of the recitation event at the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) event had the jam-packed audience in a thrall.
The contest began at midnight on Thursday after the conclusion of programmes associated with the event. The prizes will be announced today at 9.30pm in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Cultural and Scientific Association.
There were seven participants in all who vied for the top three prizes. A Turkish contestant and a Kuwaiti participant were adjudged second and third respectively in the recitation event.
Showcasing talent
Thirteen-year-old Mohammad Bin Ahmad Zahid's performance moved some members of the audience to tears. His recitation of verses from Surat Ar-Rahman (The Beneficent, The Mercy Giving) of the Quran during the stage of the competition when each participant was given seven minutes to showcase his talent went down especially well with those assembled.
The other contestants in the fray were from Yemen, Mauritania, Libya, and Somalia.
Speaking to Gulf News, other participants at the event recalled how they had pursued their Quran studies. Senoussi Daoud from Chad said he had memorised the Quran along with his three siblings in a Khalwa, a traditional mosque school in Africa.
The 20-year-old is a high school student at a public school that imparts the Saudi curriculum.
"Memorising the Quran is part of one's cultural upbringing in Chad. Most people in my hometown memorise the Quran," said Daoud.
Solidarity
He told Gulf News the Khalwa also served as key centres of education for those wanting to learn the Arabic language.
"Everyone in the Khalwa shares equally what is available. The values and the experiences of the Khalwa help to forge a solidarity among its members which lasts for a lifetime," said Senoussi.
Ahmedou Salem Taleb, a 21-year-old participant from Mauritania, said students used a lawlah, a small wooden tablet, to take notes while memorising the Quran back in his home country and generally across North Africa.
Students would then repeat what they memorised around 300 times-using the Misbah (counting beads), he said.