Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dari 'Media' Waikato ke Mountain of Light secara global

Salah satu ucapan yang memberi aspirasi dalam perjalanan hidup saya adalah ucapan Steve Jobs, 'Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry.' Saya sejak bersekolah menengah di Wainuiomata meminati Steve Jobs dan Steve Wozniak, dua lelaki yang melahirkan jenama 'Apple.' Saya sedut sedikit kisah itu dalam trilogi 'Aotearoa.'

Saya pernah bertemu dengan Steve Jobs di pejabat Apple di Cupertino, selain di Apple World San Francisco dan Kodak Theater Los Angeles, dan dia masih lagi menjadi salah seorang idola.



Melihat kebelakang, saya pernah bersama rakan-rakan dalam Gabungan Pelajar Malaysia Waikato New Zealand dalam tahun 1985 menerbitkan newsletter bernama 'Media.' Newsletter itu menjadi hit dan pernah kontraversial.

Sebaik pulang dari New Zealand, saya bekerja sambilan di majalah Gila-Gila, New Straits Times, Berita Harian dan sekejap di Utusan Melayu sebelum kemudiannya menyertai stesen TV3 dalam tahun 1992.

Tahun 1997 juga membawa saya kembali ke dunia penulisan dengan karya-karya yang antaranya memenangi hadiah sastera Utusan dan Malaysia. Kumpulan puisi pertama saya, Waikato diterbitkan oleh DBP dalam tahun 2000, kumpulan cerpen 'dotkomania' (DBP) tahun 2009 dan Trilogi 'Aotearoa' (Karangkraf) tahun 2010.



Dalam tahun 2000, saya berhijrah ke Saudi Arabia, kemudian Dubai dan terlibat secara langsung dengan penubuhan Dubai Media City. Diantaranya membawa Middle East Broadcasting Corp (MBC) dari London ke Dubai, penubuhan CNBC Arabia, Al Majd TV, pemindahan Reuters, CNN dan penubuhan stesen bumi atau teleport 'samacom.'

Pada waktu itu juga, dalam tahun 2001, saya bertemu dengan Sheikh Dr Yusuf Islam, atau Cat Stevens dan membantu beliau menubuhkan dan mengembangkan syarikat 'Mountain of Light' sebagai pengurus besar pertama.

Usaha dakwah berterusan Yusuf memberi banyak inspirasi, aspirasi dan semangat. Dia adalah seorang insan luhur yang rendah hati dan penuh dengan stamina untuk menyampaikan dakwah.

Kami berpisah sementara kerana saya terlibat secara langsung dengan pembinaan Pulau Palm Jumeirah serta lain-lain projek lain dibawah Nakheel.

Dalam tahun 2010, ditakdirkan Allah untuk saya kembali bekerjasama dengan Yusuf Islam dengan membawa beliau untuk ke Malaysia. Kami bertemu dengan DYMM DYP Agung Sultan Mizan, PM Najib dan Tun Mahathir.

Lawatan itu membawa kepada perbincangan lanjut dan lawatan kedua dalam bulan ini, Mac 2011.

Sejarah panjang saya dalam media, dari 'Media di Waikato, membawa ke satu permulaan baru kerana ditakdirkan kini saya menjadi rakan kongsi Yusuf dalam Mountain of Light. Berpengkalan di Malaysia untuk usaha secara global dalam beberapa bidang tertentu, antara fokus utama ialah pendidikan dan multi-media.

Kami sedang dalam peringkat kedua, InshaAllah, sekiranya diizinkan Allah, akan mengumumkan pelbagai projek bersama di peringkat Malaysia dan antarabangsa sedikit masa lagi.

Quitting just to stay

You quit your job because of three reasons, whether singly or in a combination of all three. You have a better option. You feel betrayed. You are bypassed slash it’s the end of the professional road.
If it is any other reason like spontaneous rage, a dare, a desire to do something else and has no foundation beyond that of emotional self-delusion (that could be very real to you) you could end up with the thin wedge of the cake. Heroics don’t count and valiant resignations, like discarded swords tend to rust in their own glory.
Take a scenario that is played out often enough.
You are frustrated and truly feel you deserve more. Everyone does. If a company paid an employee what he or she deserves the company would not make profit. That is financial logic. What would you do if, after months of moaning and groaning and generally carrying on you finally quit your job because you felt you and your worth were not being recognised? Two days after your resignation had been sent in you were summoned to the management and they said they would up your salary or your perks and you should reconsider?

Dilemma time. Is it a question of too little too late.
Then again, after the first high of resigning dissipates and reality leers at you, there is some logic in investigating the offer. It is a hard world out there and no one is desperate to give you a job. Nor does the world owe you a living.
So, the enticement from the management assumes a different texture.
They could mean it.
They could be stalling so they can use you until they find an alternative. And you’d better believe that there is always an alternative.  Now it’s your call. So what are you going to do about it? Unfortunately, most of us would feel flattered that management has sort of sat up and taken notice but before we get too carried away let’s look at it this way- if management was so sensitive to what you deserved why hadn’t it given you the raise in the first place.
You can come to the most obvious conclusion that it did not intend to give you anything more because it did not believe you would have the conviction to quit. The more subtle version of this assessment is that it saw no reason to prematurely give you an incentive so the flaw lay in the fact that you were unconvincing in your approach and your threat to resign.
But now that you have done it, the management is pleased to re-negotiate your contract because it does value you and will take your decision to go seriously.
You’ll be surprised how often this sentiment is valid in the corporate world. It is called damage containment and it works on the simple principle of the bottom line. It is far more costly and far more of a hassle to send you off and find a replacement so the lesser cost factor of giving you a raise and a perk is conceded with suitable discretion so as not to set a precedent. This would depend on how discreet you have been in resigning. If you have been lowkey and no one knows on the work floor the odds increase dramatically of your getting what you have asked for. If you have set it to music, announced it to the world and generally badmouthed the company the odds fall to zero...a company cannot be seen surrendering to you.
Let’s say you have been careful, there is no loss of face on either side and the negotiations are successful and your resignation torn up.
Now what. However much you might like to think the chapter is closed it is not. From the corporate side, that is. So, while you are feeling nice and triumphant the company has a little mark against your name. You will never be seen a 100 per cent team player again. The crack is always there. Actually, the company has won. It has invested a minimum, bought time, will now find an alternative at leisure and be ready for your next attack... which you will lose.
The heat is now on you. When do you quit next, at what level of provocation, for what degree of increment, knowing full well that you can’t resign twice and even if you do, it is not going to cut any ice. Your wolf has done its crying.
So, remember, resignations that are recalled because managements render space are not victories but actually signposts to ultimate defeat.
If  you have written out such a letter then at least credit yourself with some sense, some grace and dignity and some awareness of what you are doing.
Then, before you withdraw ask yourself if all it is worth is a raise or a perk?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We have stopped being happy because we are so busy surviving



If most of us were asked if we had a sense of humour we would nod vigorously and say we certainly do. However, that said, the truth is a lot more different and as technology overtakes us and politics of all kinds (home, region, state, nation) feed and fuel and feed divisiveness and parochialism we have become a lot more thin-skinned and sensitive and that makes us far more vulnerable to taking slight where no slight exists.


There was a time not so long ago when individual confidence was at a higher level and we knew who we were, we had a rocklike family foundation and had inculcated in us a certain set of values. After the general collapse of the greater family, the nuclear replacement is not so strong and tends to be easily bruised. Add to this the pressure of success, the stress of financial goals, the heat from technology and the greed of ownership and it is no surprise that we are so much more touchy. This touchiness is further made fragile by rampant ignorance for many of us. We are ignorant of our roots, our culture, our heritage, the depth of our religion, the power and glory of blood ties, the majesty of our history, all of these reduced by two dimensional pre-digested audio visual pap. As a result of this rather messy pastiche of insecurity within ourselves we have largely lost the ability to laugh at ourselves. Instead, our laughter has now diminished to laughing at others rather than with others and this is a sad testimony to the world we live in where that happy ring of a laugh is now replaced by bristling indignation or by outrage that someone dare poke fun at us.

How has this come about, this grand fall from the robust often grassroot and rural self-deprecating humour, from the funny ha ha and funny peculiar texture of our lives where we could afford to laugh at ourselves?
That is the key word. We cannot afford to do that because there are far too many schisms in our mind. On the one hand we have the arrogance to believe that humour is frivolous and goes against the current tend of being taken seriously. Which is why we wear our armour of status symbols and designations and have that pompous attitude behind which we hide. We are all sanitised because we are politically correct. On the other we have the cheap and tacky sort of humour which is physical or racial in its overtones best described by the grotesque adverts that come on some of the radio channels where people accent regional dialects in what is ugly as sin and definitely offensive.
So, what has happened? Happy satire, a cheerful interpretation of our foibles and weaknesses, a heart warming let down of one’s own position, a little leg pulling, a jape, a joke, have rendered place to a sourness now expressed in snide comments, harsh words, a dash of nastiness and petty sniping, all of these kept together by a rubber band the Germans call schedeunfreud which is expressing glee over other people’s misery. Any way you hack it, the whole attitude is rather sad than happy.
One of the reasons is that we have stopped being happy because we are so busy surviving. That repose and rest which Plato spoke of in his dissertations on leisure in which the mind retreated and was creative in its isolation have now been discarded for the rat race in which we are like lemmings, rushing off the cliff, so afraid that if we stop we might lose this race even though most of us do not even know why we are racing.
In this despair where is the place for laughter? Ironically, it is probably the best medicine for a society that has lost that power and the glory of grand humour and now is so literal in its approach to the written word, the spoken dialogue, the comedy of the visual that these commodities are massacred immediately. “How dare you” is now the defensive sentiment  and we pride ourselves on how solemn we are because to our minds solemnity is equal to achievement.
More is the pity we do not think beyond it.

Cerpen : InterKok

(Mingguan Malaysia 13 Mac 2011)
InterKok

Oleh Fudzail


1. Kok Zumma
Semua ini adalah dari perbualan yang didengari dan pengalaman secara langsung. Bukan dari laman WikiLeaks mahupun mana-mana blog. Bukan dari pihak ketiga. Boleh dikelaskan sebagai prima facie. Segalanya adalah kebetulan. Sesuatu yang ditakdirkan akan berlaku. Sesuatu yang tidak dapat dielakkan dari merempuh kehidupan tidak harmoni satu keluarga kelas menengah di kota raya.

Bukan keluarga 69 yang lucu dan sinis. Bukan keluarga Kennedy yang menjadi keluarga "diraja" di Amerika. Bukan keluarga elit di kalangan senarai orang paling kaya. Bukan mana-mana kerabat yang glamor.

Sekadar sebuah keluarga yang tiba-tiba menjadi sebahagian dari perjalanan demokrasi. Mungkin satu teater yang tidak semena-mena menjadi pecah panggung kerana lebih hebat dari drama bersiri Korea dan Indonesia di TV.

Begitulah yang terjadi diluar jangkaan. Fakta lebih aneh dari fiksyen. Fiksyen pun tidak sehebat fakta kerana kehidupan adalah sebuah teater yang penuh dengan luar jangkaan dan kadang-kadang lebih tidak logik. Dan dia, ditakdirkan menjadi sebahagian dari konflik keluarga yang turut mempengaruhi ramai manusia marhaen.

"Saya mempunyai bukti semua salah laku Kok Zamin, abang kandung yang tidak mengaku saya sebagai adiknya sendiri kerana kepentingan politik dan mempertahankan mentor yang bertaraf dajal."

Suara Kok Zumma memecah suasana. Bergetar dengan nada kemarahan. Wajahnya memaparkan kebencian. Melepaskan segala yang menjadi lava dari gunung berapi dalam gua dirinya. Dengan usia empat puluhan dan masih sahaja belum berkahwin, masih anak dara, Kok Zumma cuba menonjolkan sedikit kegedikan aura wanita anggun. Keinginan untuk menjadi wanita pertama negara sudah lama terbenam, dan sisa-sisa impian masih terpancar dari gaya pembawaan, berpakaian jenama dan designer label mengerlap-ngerlip. Itulah dia, wanita berani yang perasan bertaraf mujahidah agung abad ini.

"Kok Zamin bukan sahaja menjadi alat kepada Sheikh Kok, alat politik, kadang-kadang alat melepaskan nafsu serakah, malah isterinya juga sebahagian dari pakej konspirasi terhebat abad ini. Mereka adalah pengkhianat bangsa yang boleh menjahanamkan negara kalau berkuasa!"

Kok Zumma sudah tidak boleh bersembunyi lagi. Mahu melepaskan semuanya dari dalam kelambu ke dalam seluar dalam. Cerita sensasi yang boleh menjadi tajuk besar di mana-mana tabloid dunia. Cukup sensasi sehingga boleh melariskan jualan mana-mana tabloid, apalagi dengan wajah Kok Zumma yang kadang-kadang menjadi ludahan para mereka yang tidak faham perjuangan sucinya.

Para wartawan yang hadir berkelip- kelip mendengar pembocoran rahsia selanjutnya dalam sebuah keluarga yang seakan siri Simpson. Cuma bezanya berkisar pada adik beradik yang berlainan arah dalam semua segi dan hala tuju. Hatta dalam membicarakan sesuatu yang berkaitan dengan hal-hal rahsia keluarga.

Maka Kok Zumma terasa lega, amat berpuas hati di sidang media yang menjadi lebih sensasi kerana bukan sahaja pelbagai dokumen di paparkan, malah segala carut marut yang dilontarkan sesama adik beradik.

"Saya tidak akan berhenti memperjuangkan kebenaran selagi Kok Zamin dan mentornya Sheikh Kok terus memperdaya bangsa, terus hidup dalam pembohongan dan penipuan. Mereka adalah munafik yang mesti ditentang habis-habisan, selagi nyawa bernafas, saya akan terus membongkar amalan luar tabie para pengkhianat ini!"

Bergema suara Kok Zumma mengakhiri sidang media tergempar di sebuah hotel lima bintang.

"Untuk maklumat lanjut, terkni dan sensasi, sila ikuti Twitter, Facebook, Youtube dan blog saya!"

Para wakil media terus menggempur dengan pelbagai soalan. Kok Zumma terus juga melayan kerana peluang untuk muncul di semua media perdana adalah promosi dan publisiti yang boleh membawa banyak bisnes baru. Kalau tidak musuh atau peminat baru.

Kok Zumma bertukar menjadi mata mesra sehingga setiap yang hadir mula merasakan dialah wanita luar biasa dekad ini yang mesti diberi sokongan kerana dialah penyelamat agama, bangsa dan negara dari konspirasi setan anggota lain keluarga Kok.

2. Kok Zawan

Katanya tidak mahu jadi stereotaip. Dia telah banyak melakukan perkara-perkara yang luar biasa dalam dunia hiburan. Misi dan visi dalam perjuangan yang membawa dia ke persada pentas dunia hiburan bertaraf nasional. Walau masih tidak ke mana-mana untuk ke peringkat asia tenggara, Kok Zawan tahu yang dengan apa yang telah dilakukan, dia sepatutnya telah lama bergelar datuk. Walau mungkin dianugerah datuk paling rendah dalam kelasnya, Kok Zawan tahu yang dia adalah material seorang datuk.

Semua orang tahu yang dia berani begitu meneroka dimensi baru dalam persembahan TV realiti. Kepopularan yang memungkinkan dia boleh dianggap satu ikon dan idola semasa. Keceluparannya dalam memberi komen, melebihi taraf Simon Cowell dalam program American Idol.

"Sundal!"

Sepatah komen Kok Zawan melalui Twitter.

Pelbagai komen menerpa dari sepatah kata yang sudah sinonim dengan lenggok bahasa Kok Zawan. Itulah Kok Zawan. Celuparnya sudah bertaraf antarabangsa. Komen-komen yang berisi makin hamun, carut marut dan lucah menjadikan dia lebih popular. Suka atau benci, itulah Kok Zawan, penghibur superstar.

Siapakah yang sundal?

"Kakak aku!" Jawab Kok Zawan selamba di sebuah pusat karaoke eksklusif untuk para jantan istimewa sahaja, seperti yang diiklankan.

"Kau cakap kakak kau Kok Zumma itu sundal?" Tanya teman baiknya, Kok Zanil. Keduanya kadang jadi seteru, bergaduh di TV, Twitter, blog dan dalam drama yang mereka terbitkan bersama. Bermaafan di program hari raya dan sambung bergaduh sebagai promosi yang sensasi. Itulah publisiti terbaik untuk meramaikan penonton dan menaikkan rating. Penaja berebut-rebut dan mereka jadi jutawan sebagai idola remaja masa kini dan boleh meminta bayaran setimpal di mana-mana pertunjukan, sama ada untuk amal atau untuk kaut untung semata-mata.

"Sundal kelas pertama, buat malu bangsa mahu saman adik beradik berbilion ringgit!"

Kok Zawan dengan kegedikan bercakap dengan tangan berpusing lembut. Dia pernah berkali-kali berlakon sebagai mak nyah dan tidak pernah menafikan yang dia adalah seorang mak nyah. Dia bangga sebagai mak nyah kerana baginya, utuk apa jadi hipokrit, jadi munafik dalam dunia yang terbuka. Tidak perlu bersembunyi dengan berlakon seperti orang biasa.

Lagipun dia sudah bertaraf ikon dan idola nasional, menjadi ikutan ribuan anak-anak muda yang dahagakan mentor dalam dunia globalisasi dan penuh dengan saingan produk import. Siapa tidak kenal Kok Zawan dan Kok Zanil sebagai tokoh penghibur dan budaya.

Bak pendekan ciri-ciri komputer, WYSIWYG, iaiatu What You See is What You Get!

"Semua itu adalah lakonan semata-mata. Badan sendiri penuh najis jijik, lesbian tak guna. Mahu bisnes lah itu. Selepas lama senyap sebab kenyang dengan projek, tiba-tiba kembali dengan modal sama, jatuh miskin apa! Memang sundal!"

Sambung Kok Zawan sambil matanya sesekali menjeling ke skrin TV yang menyiarkan protes rakyat Mesir. Dia pernah menyokong Hosni Mubarak kerana katanya pemimpin diktator kadang lebih baik dari demokrasi. Pendapat yang dia tidak pernah tarik balik walau jutaan rakyat Mesir bangkit memprotes berhari-hari di Dataran Tahrir, setelah 30 tahun bawah rejim diktator.

Kaki rasuah

"Tidak betul ke tuduhan Kok Zumma pada abang kau si Kok Zamin itu? Malah dahulu kau sokong Kok Zumma? Habis-habisan kau membantai Kok Zamin dan Sheikh Kok sebagai kaki rasuah, malah teroris!"

Kok Zawan tergelak. Kemudian terkekeh sendiri, seperti lakonan mak nyahnya walau pernah mengaku jantan sebenar yang belum mahu kahwin.

"Siapa kata aku ubah pendirian? Dahulu aku sokong Kok Zumma sebab masa itu memang aku rasa dia betul. Sekarang aku yakin dia tidak betul. Kenapa selepas berbelas tahun mahu tunjuk bukti-bukti baru. Apa bukti-bukti boleh direka-reka?"

Kok Zanil sama ketawa. Kedua-duanya saling berpelukan sambil menikmati jus. Memulakan sesi karaoke dengan lagu Maher Zain, MasyaAllah.

"Kok Zamin itu memang sah biseksual ke?"

Kok Zanil bertanya kembali dalam kesamaran bilik karaoke. Sesuatu yang tiba-tiba mengasak jiwa Kok Zanil kerana dia pernah berkahwin, sudah ada anak-anak sebelum mengenal dirinya yang sebenar. Jantan yang sukakan jantan. Kok Zanil teringat isteri Kok Zamin, kakak ipar Kok Zawan iaiatu Kok Zamzi yang berkawan baik dengan bekas isterinya. Dia pernah mengsyaki sesuatu kerana mereka kelihatan terlalu mesra. Walau tidak pernah terbukti, mungkin itulah proses usia yang penuh kekeliruan dalam kegawatan dunia material.

Kok Zawan menjeling manja. Menunjukkan wajah sedikit cemburu. Memang hatinya selalu cemburu dalam usia meningkat dan pelbagai pilihan yang ada di kalangan "ahli-ahli" muda persatuan sosial atas talian mereka yang semakin bercambah melalui Facebook.

Dan Kok Zanil segera mengusap rambut Kok Zawan yang didandan oleh seorang pendandan ternama. Yang sama-sama bertaraf jantan. Sama-sama menjadi sebahagian dari budaya semasa, jantan suka jantan. Trend abad ke 21 yang menjadikan kehidupan semakin meriah di sebuah negara majmuk dan menghampiri sebuah negara maju.

"Jangan kau nak goda abang aku itu, mentang-mentang dia bakal jadi pemimpin besar, apa kamu ada niat dan mahu jadi wanita pertama?"

Kok Zawan menampar-nampar Kok Zanil dalam suasana yang boleh menjadi sebahagian dari adegan sensasi filem pecah panggung, sebagai pasangan romantis yang serasi untuk siri komedi, Hantu Kok Zimah Kahwin Zombie!"

3. Kok Zamin

Dia telah hampir ke kemuncak hierarki politik parti. Kalau silap haribulan, boleh jadi ketua menteri. Begitulah yang berada di fikiran Kok Zamin sebaik disahkan sebagai timbalan presiden. Cuma, bila-bila masa sahaja mentor politiknya boleh masuk penjara kerana pelbagai pertuduhan di mahkamah dan luar mahkamah. Dari kes luar tabie, kes pengkhianat, kes perisik CIA, kes ejen Yahudi ke kes terorisme.

Begitupun, dalam politik apa sahaja boleh berlaku. Politik adalah persepsi dan persepsi adalah penting. Semuanya tidak mustahil dalam politik. Dia tahu semua itu, dalam politik, matlamat menghalalkan cara dan cara tidak pernah terbatas. Sama ada halal, haram, sunat, makruh, harus mahupun melanggar undang-undang, selagi ada kemahuan, selagi itu ada ruang untuk manipulasi.

"Bagaimana dengan kemunculan semula Kok Zumma? Ada strategi baru?" Sheikh Kok perlahan bertanya di ruang pejabat parti.

"Selain Kok Zawan yang memberikan sedikit ruang untuk bernafas, kita terperangkap dengan strategi kitar semula musuh!"

Kok Zamin masih terdiam. Dia telah membayar saguhati pada Kok Zawan untuk membeli sokongan. Adik bongsu yang pernah berpatah arang. Berputus hubungan adik beradik kerana pegangan dan pendirian politik terlampau. Kafir mengkafir dan memurtadkan sesama bangsa.

Sheikh Kok dan Kok Zamin telah lama mengukir hubungan, seakan adik beradik. Apa sahaja milik Kok Zamin adalah milik Sheikh Kok, bak kata Kok Zumma, termasuk isteri.

"Semakin banyak yang terbongkar dan akan terbongkar, sama ada melalui WikiLeaks, pembocoran oleh mereka yang meninggalkan parti dan tentunya musuh-musuh itu yang tidak akan berdiam diri. Kita perlu strategi baru yang lebih efektif kerana mungkin ramai kalangan kepimpinan yang mula meragui perjuangan kita, terutama apabila kita tidak dapat lagi mempertahankan diri secara siber!"

Kok Zamin melepaskan suaranya. Dalam dirinya ada kekeliruan setelah melalui pelbagai kejutan dan pelbagai peristiwa semenjak bernaung bawah kepimpinan Sheikh Kok. Semenjak merasa kekuasaan dalam pemerintahan, disingkirkan dan mahu kembali menapak ke kekuasaan. Pahit getir, suka duka, pahit manis dan kekayaan yang dikumpul belum cukup selagi belum mencapai impian sang mentor, Sheikh Kok. Mereka sama-sama mahu ke kemuncak walau apa cara pun.

"Apa strategi baru? Mereka boleh kitar semula strategi, kenapa tidak kita?"

"Kita sudah masuk tahun 2011, abad baru, dasawarsa baru, banyak strategi sudah menjadi lapuk. Lihat warga Mesir dan Tunisia bangkit melalui jalinan sosial atas talian. Walau majoriti penyokong alternatif bersama kita, musuh ada pilihan lain dan mereka mungkin belajar dari apa yang telah berlaku untuk memastikan tidak berulang di sini!"

Kok Zamin tidak mahu meneruskan kata-kata kerana tidak mahu mengulang perbualan kitar semula. Dia ada sesuatu yang lebih besar dan penting mahu disampaikan.

"Saya baharu sahaja menerima maklumat terkini dari Kok Zawan!"

Suara tegas Kok Zamin menyebabkan Sheikh Kok tersentak dalam melihat kertas-kertas pertuduhan yang akan membawa dia kembali ke mahkamah, menyambung perbicaraan yang telah berjaya dilambat-lambatkan. Strategi yang berhasil untuk memastikan dia tidak kembali ke penjara, tidak kembali menjadi banduan. Sesuatu yang cuba dielakkan dalam usia semakin tua, walau dia tahu yang tidak boleh menang dan dibebaskan.

"Adik beradik kami, keluarga Kok yang lain telah kembali bersatu, kali ini selain saya dan Kok Zawan, semua akan menyokong Kok Zumma, mereka menerima bayaran jauh lebih tinggi dari yang kita tawarkan untuk menutup mulut!"

Suasana menjadi sepi dan menyeramkan seketika. Seakan ada latar muzik dari filem-filem seram tempatan. Latar muzik yang kadang-kadang tidak kena pada tempatnya.

Sheikh Kok menyandarkan diri, merenung jauh. Menembusi dinding. Debaran semakin kencang. Wajah semakin menghitam. Bayangan penjara dan kehilangan sokongan merempuh kewarasan. Walau tidak mahu membayangkannya, dia tahu yang waktunya semakin hampir untuk pilihan terakhir.

"Tidak bolehkah kita dapatkan dokumen-dokumen yang ada pada Kok Zumma dan bakar seperti mereka yang membakar Interlok?" Kok Zamin menggeleng.

"Semua dokumen rahsia kita telah diberikan kepada polis!"

Sheikh Kok pun menghela nafas. Percaturan politik, persepsi dan perang psiko serta pelbagai perancangan, sama ada untuk jangka pendek atau jangka panjang menemui jalan buntu. Berita mengenai semakin ramai ahli dan pengikut yang keluar dan belot sudah semakin kerap untuk terus dalam keadaan penafian dan berlakon yang tiada apa-apa berlaku.

"Gerakan opsyen terakhir kita!'

Kok Zamin mengangguk. Hanya mereka berdua tahu untuk bila terpaksa menekan butang kecemasan dan terjun paracut. Kalau perlu, tidak lagi boleh lari ke mana-mana kedutaan untuk perlindungan politik sebagai gimik yang pernah memberi simpati. Pembohongan sudah lama terbongkar dan kalau diulang boleh menjadi cerita humor yang tidak kelakar langsung.

Mereka perlu segera mencari jalan, seperti bekas presiden Tunisia Zainal Abidin Ali, atau Shah Iran, lari ke mana-mana negara yang sudi menerima dan memberi suaka politik. Perang sesama keluarga porak peranda Kok boleh menjahanamkan segala yang dirancang rapi bersama sahabat-sahabat dari Washington dan Tel Aviv. Bertahun-tahun merancang dan melaksana, akhirnya realiti menyambar dan memusnahkan impian sang mentor dan protege.

"Cis! Kita tewas dalam perang saraf InterKok!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yusuf Islam - CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE DISASTER FUND in Malaysia

Yusuf Islam - An Other Cup [Deluxe Edition] [Audio CD]

THE CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE DISASTER FUND CAMPAIGN

Prizma (New Zealand Graduates Association of Malaysia) in association with other New Zealand university alumni organisations, will launch The Christchurch Earthquake Disaster Fund donation drive.


The donation drive to be held on Saturday 12 March 2011, at the residence of deputy minister in the Prime Minister Department, YB Datuk Ahmad bin Maslan. He is a graduate of University of Victoria, Wellington and patron of Prizma.

One of the guests is Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Islam or also known as Cat Stevens. He has recently composed music, named as "My People", those who oppressing people under authoritarian Middle East regimes.
Yusuf Islam also made a clip for its song near the Berlin Wall, which symbolizes the victory for the oppressed people and freedom lovers.
Islam said he composed the music for world people who are dreaming to break the chains from the authoritarian regimes of their countries.



Yusuf Islam composes a song for Mideast protesters

As part of fund raising, Yusuf Islam is giving an exclusive item for auction, his personal collection: 2006's An Other Cup Deluxe limited edition CD, autographed with special personal touch. Well, this is indeed a collector's item. 

His digibook 'The Last of The Last Prophet' will also be on sale for the fund and will be autographed by him.


(One of the song in the album is Maybe There's a World)



Fund launched to help Christchurch quake victims


MNZCC chairman Richard Tankersley says all Malaysians are welcome to contribute
MNZCC chairman Richard Tankersley says all Malaysians are welcome to contribute

KUALA LUMPUR: A fund to help earthquake victims in Christchurch was set up here yesterday. The fund, initiated by the Malaysia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (MNZCC), will channel money to relief organisations helping the quake victims in New Zealand.

MNZCC chairman Richard Tankersley said the fund was established to facilitate contributions of not only businessmen and alumni, but all Malaysians nationwide.

Introducing the fund in Balai Berita here yesterday, Tankersley said the MNZCC collaborated with Malaysian graduates from New Zealand universities and also the Malaysian Australian New Zealand Association to set up the fund.

"Many Malaysians and Malaysian companies have business links with New Zealand. As the earthquake has had a disastrous effect on businesses in the country, we hope they will come forward to help ease the sufferings," he said.

Former Colombo Plan scholar Teoh Lay Hock, who studied geology in New Zealand, said: "New Zealand and the people have been very generous to us in the past, and this is the way we should reciprocate their kindness.

"To date, an alumni from Victoria University of Wellington had pledged NZ$25,000 (RM57,305 ) to kick off the fund."

Just as the city of Christchurch was starting to return to normalcy after an earthquake six months ago, another lethal earthquake struck on Feb 22.

Those wishing to contribute can:

- Send your cheque written out to the "Christchurch Earthquake Disaster Fund" to Malaysia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, c/o Unit 18E, Level 2, Lot 18, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur; or

- Pay into the "Christchurch Earthquake Disaster Fund" CIMB Account No. 14250005676050 and fax, email or post the pay-in slip to: Malaysia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, c/o Unit 18E, Level 2, Lot 18, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur , Tel: 6-03-2144 2422 Fax: 6-03-2144 1422 email: info@mnzcc.org.my (Contact person: Executive officer Alphonsa Mariadass).

For more information on the fund, call Tankersley (0192212222 or email to rntank@tm.net.my) or Teoh Lay Hock (0125005779 or email to teohfam@gmail.com).

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2011



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Rank Name Company Industry Country
1 HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade Government UAE/UAE
2 Lubna Olayan Olayan Financing Company Banking & Finance Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
3 Salma Hareb JAFZA and EZW Construction & Industry UAE/UAE
4 Leila El Solh Alwaleed Bin Talal Humanitarian Foundation, Lebanon Culture & Society Lebanon/Lebanon
5 Lama Al Sulaiman Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry Government Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
6 Dalia Mogahed White House Office Culture & Society USA/Egypt
7 Fatima Al Jaber Al Jaber Group Construction & Industry UAE/UAE
8 Suad Al Humaidi Property Owners Union Construction & Industry Kuwait/Kuwait
9 Dr Amina Al Rostamani TECOM Business Parks Media UAE/UAE
10 Yasmina Azhari Maersk Line shipping services Logistics Syria/Syria
11 Thoraya Ahmed Obaid United Nations Population Fund Culture & Society USA/Saudi Arabia
12 Randa Ayoubi Rubicon Holdings Media Jordan/Jordan
13 Maha Al Ghunaim Global Investment House Banking & Finance Kuwait/Kuwait
14 Dr Hessa Al Jaber ICTQatar Telecoms Qatar/Qatar
15 Sheikha Al Bahar National Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait Banking & Finance Kuwait/Kuwait
16 Nayla Hayek Swatch Group Retail Switzerland/Lebanon
17 Dr Fawzieh Al Dorai Media Kuwait/Kuwait
18 Hynd Bouhia Casablanca Stock Exchange Banking & Finance Morocco/Morocco
19 Maria Maalouf Media Lebanon/Lebanon
20 Dr Nahed Taher Gulf One Investment Bank Banking & Finance Bahrain/Saudi Arabia
21 Muna Abu Sulayman Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation Culture & Society Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
22 Hafia Al Kaylani Arab International Women’s Forum Culture & Society UK/Palestine
23 Soha Nashaat Barclays Wealth Middle East Banking & Finance UAE/Egypt
24 Maryam Sharaf Dubai World Group Construction & Industry UAE/UAE
25 Raja Essa Saleh Al Gurg Essa Saleh Al Gurg Group Retail UAE/UAE
26 Rajaa Al Sanea Culture & Society USA/Saudi Arabia
27 Aminal Dasmal Alcove Entertainment Media UAE/UAE
28 Noura Al Kaabi twofour54 Media UAE/UAE
29 Rola Dashti Government Government Kuwait/Kuwait
30 Liana Badr Culture & Society Palestine/Palestine
31 Fatema Mernissi Media Morocco/Morocco
32 Hala El Saiud Egyptian Banking Institute Banking & Finance Egypt/Egypt
33 Wedad Lootah Culture & Society UAE/UAE
34 Mona Al Marri Brand Dubai Culture & Society UAE/UAE
35 Afnan Al Zayani Al Zayani Commercial Services Media Bahrain/Bahrain
36 Professor Rafia Obaid Ghubash Arab Network for Women in Science Science & IT Bahrain/Bahrain
37 Zaha Hadid Construction & Industry UK/Iraq
38 Nashaw Al Ruwani Middle East Film Festival Culture & Society UAE/Egypt
39 Tamara Abdel Jaber Palma Science & IT Jordan/Jordan
40 Hiba Jamal MBC Media UAE/Saudi Arabia
41 Nezha Hayat Société Générale Marocaine de Banques Banking & Finance Morocco/Morocco
42 Raghida Dergham Al Hayat Media UK/Lebanon
43 Leila Abouzeid Media Morocco/Morocco
44 HH Sheikha Hessa Bint Saad Al Sabah Arab Business Women's Council Culture & Society Kuwait/Kuwait
45 Sonia Ziamni Algiers Medina Project Construction & Industry Algeria/Algeria
46 Wajeha Al Huweider Media Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
47 Dr Basmah Mosleh Omair Al Sayedah Khadijah Businesswomen Centre Culture & Society Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
48 Nadine Labaki Media Lebanon/Lebanon
49 Ingie Chalhoub Etoile Group/INGIE Paris Retail UAE/UAE
50 Noor Sweid Depa United Group Construction & Industry UAE/UAE
51 Mona Eltahawy Media USA/Egypt
52 Donna Sultan KEO International Consultants Construction & Industry Kuwait/UAE
53 Riham Fouad Al-Ghanim Kuwait Finance and Investment Co Banking & Finance Kuwait/Kuwait
54 Manar Al-Hashash Science & IT Kuwait/Kuwait
55 Hind Sediqqi Ahmed Sediqqi and Sons Retail UAE/UAE
56 Soraya Narfeldt RA International Construction & Industry UAE/Lebanon
57 Raja Makhlouf Culture & Society Syria/Syria
58 Mona Al-Munajjed Media Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
59 Nashwa Taher Al Taher Group Retail Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
61 Randa Al Akkad Al Fahim Holdings Retail Syria/Syria
62 Mona Almoayyed YK Almoayyed & Sons Retail Bahrain/Bahrain
63 Nathalie Handal Culture & Society New York/Paris/Palestine
64 Najwa Al Qassim Al Arabiya Media UAE/Lebanon
65 Dr Maha ElShinnawy The American University in Cairo Culture & Society Egypt/Egypt
66 Lamiaa Fakhry YouGov Siraj Culture & Society Saudi Arabia /Egypt
67 Buthainia Al Ansari Qatariat Media Qatar/Qatar
68 Nancy Ajram Culture & Society Lebanon/Lebanon
69 Sahar Sallab HitekNOFAL Science & IT Egypt/Egypt
70 Nujood Ali Culture & Society Yemen/Yemen
71 Areej Mohsin Darwish MHD LLC Construction & Industry Oman/Oman
72 Lujiana Moshin Darwish MHD LLC Construction & Industry Oman/Oman
73 Israa Abdel Fattah Culture & Society Egypt/Egypt
74 Hend Al Mansour Culture & Society USA/Saudi Arabia
75 Sabah Khalil Al Moayyed Eskan Bank Banking & Finance Bahrain/Bahrain
76 Farida Mohammed Farid Khamis Oriental Carpet Weavers Construction & Industry Egypt/Egypt
77 Elissar Zakaria Khoury Culture & Society Lebanon/Lebanon
78 Lubna Azabal Culture & Society Belguim/Morocco
79 Soha Aboul Farag Banking & Finance Saudi Arabia
80 Cherifa Khaddar Culture & Society Algeria/Algeria
81 Dr Mayada Baydas Development Innovations Group Banking & Finance USA/Lebanon
82 Sulaf Fawakherji Culture & Society Syria/Syria
83 Noura Al Nowais Al Benaa Real Estate Investment Company Banking & Finance UAE/UAE
84 Lilia Labidi Minister of Women, Family, Children and Senior Citizens, Tunisia Government Tunisia/Tunisia
85 Maha Hussain Kuwait’s Petrochemicals Industries Company Construction & Industry Kuwait/Kuwait
86 Hala Gorani CNN Media USA/Syria
87 Leila Al Sheikhali Al Jazeera Media Qatar/Iraq
88 Laila Abid Media Holland /Morocco
89 Sara Ismail Mohammed Al Bashayer Investment Company Banking & Finance UAE/UAE
90 Khadija Ben Ghanna Al Jazeera Media Algeria (Qatar)
91 Samra Al Kuwais Osool Brokerage Company (Women’s Division) Banking & Finance Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
92 Salma Hayek Culture & Society Mexico/Lebanon
93 Reem Acra Culture & Society USA/Lebanon
94 Sheikha Munira Qubeysi Al Qubaysiat Culture & Society Syria/Syria
95 Fatima Shawqi Al Tajdeed Cultural and Social Society Culture & Society Bahrain/Bahrain
96 Heba Raouf Ezzat Culture & Society Egypt/Egypt
97 Sabrina Jawhar Culture & Society Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia
98 Alaa Kutkut Sport Jordan/Jordan
99 Noora Hamid Arabian International Financial Services & GM of International Financial Services Banking & Finance UAE/UAE
100 Rima Fakih Culture & Society USA/Lebanon

The dragon in the desert

Some Emiratis have chosen to send their children to a Chinese school, believing that knowledge of both Arabic and Chinese will be a key to success in the coming decades.

One of them is my former boss, Hamid Kazim (was the CEO of Dubai Internet City and Managing Partner of Arthur Andersen Dubai).

Non-oil trade between the UAE and China reached around AED42.6bn in the first ten months of 2010

Non-oil trade between the UAE and China reached around AED42.6bn in the first ten months of 2010

A behemoth dragon-shaped shopping mall in the desert near Dubai has become a symbol of the deepening links between East Asia and the Middle East.

Dragon Mart - 3,950 wholesale and retail shops, stretching 1.2 km, or about three-quarters of a mile, in a sinuous strip alongside a desert highway - is China's trade outpost in the Gulf, selling everything from marble tiles and artificial hair extensions to dried fish and Mickey Mouse telephones.

"I come here with my wife and four children every second week, it's much cheaper and it is a great shopping experience," Souhail Al Zaabi, a policeman from Ras Al Khaimah, said recently. "Today, we are buying a chandelier for our majlis," he added, referring to the traditional Arab sitting room, "not too big, but like crystals it must look".

Farther along the mall, Chinese massage machines were selling briskly.


"I have already bought three tools," said Ali Abdulkader, a 65-year-old customer, also from Ras Al Khaimah, shopping at a Body Care health and fitness outlet. "They are good for my body. I have a massage belt, a massage hammer, and a massage chair installed in my car. It's cheap stuff, cheap."

The Elite Sauna Belt, to reduce fat and decrease joint stiffness, costs AED50, or about $13.50, including a remote control. A Magic Hand massage hammer, usually priced at AED150, was on sale for AED45. Similar European models cost four times as much.

Trolleys loaded with children's bicycles and fluorescent lights were parked at the cashier desk of the Suntour restaurant, where the smell of stir fried vegetables and black bean sauce filled the air.

If it weren't for the veiled women and men in Arab garb, this could be a corridor in any of China's factory cities, crammed with merchandise and the cacophony of electric toys.

Inaugurated in 2004, Dragon Mart, a retail property division of the Dubai government's investment vehicle Dubai World, is one of the largest trading centres for Chinese products in the world outside China.

According to the Federal Customs Authority of the UAE, non-oil trade between the Emirates and China reached around AED42.6bn in the first ten months of 2010, up 3.4 percent from the same period in 2009.

There are almost 200,000 Chinese residents and more than 3,000 companies in the emirates, according to the Chinese Consulate. That compares with an estimated total population in the Emirates of about five million.

"The Chinese economy is resource hungry, and there is a need to access Gulf markets," said Mark McFarland, emerging markets economist at Emirates NBD in Dubai, who had previously worked in Hong Kong. "The commerce with China is a symbol of its rise as an economic power."

"China has been at the forefront of free-trade agreements with the UAE, which is of great benefit to both countries," he said. "Dubai is becoming a regional hub for a lot of Chinese operations that are setting up in the region, but also develop businesses in Africa."

The Dragon is a Chinese symbol of power and strength, and the mall aptly symbolises the growing strength of China's presence in the emirates, where a growing number of Chinese businesses have set up operations and store signs in Chinese intermingle with those in Arabic.

Some Emiratis have chosen to send their children to a Chinese school, believing that knowledge of both Arabic and Chinese will be a key to success in the coming decades.

Hamid Kazim, an Emirati business consultant, has sent four of his five children to a Chinese school in Dubai, where they sit on bright green and yellow stools - most likely bought at Dragon Mart - alongside Chinese, Malay and Brazilian children.

"I am an admirer of China. It's quite important for children to be skilled in different areas," Kazim said.

Chinese residents, meanwhile, are picking up Arabic. "The Chinese ambassador and the Chinese consul both speak very well Arabic," said Hamdan Mohamed, president of the Arab Business Club in Dubai.

"We have a big Chinese community in the UAE... To enter this community you have to speak their language."

A natural global hub for long-distance flights between Asia, Europe and Africa, "Dubai is a great location which reflects this," McFarland of Emirates NBD said.

"A lot of the companies here are construction and manufacturing-oriented. You can envision a big increase in trade between the UAE and China."

Monday, March 07, 2011

Batman's Muslim Sidekick

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Batman's Muslim Sidekick
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Nightrunner is a well trained athlete in parkour (free running) from the Clichy-sous-Bois of Paris. He was recruited by Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson to be France's representative of Batman Incorporated.

Origin

Bilal and Aarif
Bilal and Aarif

Bilal Asselah, a French-Algerian was raised by his single mother on the outskirts of Paris, France. Though peaceful, on Bilal's 16th birthday, he and his friend Aarif were caught in the middle of a French-Muslim protest, and beaten mercilessly by the police force. After they both healed, Aarif gave Bilal a gift including the music of Leni Urbana, an urban representative of the Muslim people in France, urging Bilal to listen to her words. That night Aarif was killed by police after he set fire to their station. After hearing of his friend's death, Bilal would forever be changed. He stated sympathizing with the protestors, and would find solace in becoming a talented parkour athlete. In order to help his people's cause, Bilal decided to adopt a masked identity and would become the vigilante, Nightrunner.

Creation

Nightrunner was created by writer David Hine in order to create a French representative of Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated. Nightrunner would first appear in the 2010 annuals of Detective Comics and Batman, drawn by artist Agustin Padilla. Writer Kyle Higgins and artist Trevor McCarthy would expand on Nightrunner's origins in the back up feature of these issues.

Character Evolution

Nightrunner was originally an untrained amateur vigilante running across the rooftops of Paris France. During a chance encounter with both Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson as Batman, it is decided that he should be the French representative of Batman Incorporated after extensive training under Dick Grayson.

Batman's Muslim Sidekick

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Batman's Muslim Sidekick
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Nightrunner is a well trained athlete in parkour (free running) from the Clichy-sous-Bois of Paris. He was recruited by Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson to be France's representative of Batman Incorporated.

Origin

Bilal and Aarif
Bilal and Aarif

Bilal Asselah, a French-Algerian was raised by his single mother on the outskirts of Paris, France. Though peaceful, on Bilal's 16th birthday, he and his friend Aarif were caught in the middle of a French-Muslim protest, and beaten mercilessly by the police force. After they both healed, Aarif gave Bilal a gift including the music of Leni Urbana, an urban representative of the Muslim people in France, urging Bilal to listen to her words. That night Aarif was killed by police after he set fire to their station. After hearing of his friend's death, Bilal would forever be changed. He stated sympathizing with the protestors, and would find solace in becoming a talented parkour athlete. In order to help his people's cause, Bilal decided to adopt a masked identity and would become the vigilante, Nightrunner.

Creation

Nightrunner was created by writer David Hine in order to create a French representative of Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated. Nightrunner would first appear in the 2010 annuals of Detective Comics and Batman, drawn by artist Agustin Padilla. Writer Kyle Higgins and artist Trevor McCarthy would expand on Nightrunner's origins in the back up feature of these issues.

Character Evolution

Nightrunner was originally an untrained amateur vigilante running across the rooftops of Paris France. During a chance encounter with both Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson as Batman, it is decided that he should be the French representative of Batman Incorporated after extensive training under Dick Grayson.

SUPPORT FOR THE CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE DISASTER FUND

New Zealand Prime Minister has urged people around the world to donate to “the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal”, where donations can be made at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz to help the victims.

There are intentions to invite celebrity talk show hosts like Oprah or David Letterman to rally people around the world to donate to the above fund that was established by the New Zealand Government.

Mr Key told NewstalkZB today. "We are talking two years before you see very much, five years you will see quite a bit, 10 years you will see a lot." The rebuild of Christchurch would be "a 15-year job", he said.

As part of the donation drive, parts of the proceeds of my books, will be donated to the fund, click HERE

photos of some of Christchurch's hardest hit buildings

from before and after the earthquake.

The Canterbury TV (CTV) building

Christchurch's Anglican Cathedral

The Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

The Regent Theatre

The Provincial Chambers

The Carlton Hotel

The Pyne Gould Corporation building

Charlie B Backpackers