Friday, November 21, 2014

The Indonesians are swarming in Malaysian lands!

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

"Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80)

LAST Tuesday (11th November), I went to the UNO Building in the Chow Kit area of Kuala Lumpur to meet a friend. After seeing him, I went to the toilet at the far end of the building on level two. Just like the many public toilets in Kuala Lumpur, you have to pay to use it; this toilet charges 30 sen per entry.

What surprised me were two sign boards placed outside both the men and women toilets. At the men’s toilet it was written LELAKILANANGand MEN. At the women’s section it was WANITAWEDOK and LADIES. I understood all the words except for 'lanang' and 'wedok'. Surely both were words from a foreign language...I was curious; what language was that?

I tried to ask two elder ladies who were at their desk work in front of the toilets. At first, they did not lady only said: "Ngak tau Pak" (I do not know Sir). The other lady giggled and responded: "Itu bahasa Jawa Pak, Jawa Timur" (Its Javanese, Sir, Eastern Javanese).
So the word 'lanang' is for 'men' in Javanese; while 'wedok' is for 'women'. Toilets with their sign boards in Javanese speak volumes about the huge number of Indonesians not only in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur but throughout the country.

As I was back from an Indonesian trip recently, I choose to continue writing about the Indonesians; before I proceed, I would just like to share with readers this little joke while I was in Bandung. One day while on an outing alone, I was desperate looking for a toilet; I rushed to a private school nearby and asked a group of boys who were hanging around, where the 'tandas' (Malay for toilet) was.

They stared at me, giving no answer. Then a boy asked; what's 'tandas'? I was quick to answer; 'toilet' and instantly they pointed their fingers to a 'small building' not far away. Well, what we called 'tandas' in Malaysia, in bahasa Indonesia is 'toilet'. And at some places, they proudly display big bold words TOILET in front of their loos.

Back to the local scene, it was reported recently that there are about 6.7 million foreigners 'swarming' around in the country, the majority of them Indonesian. These foreigners outnumber the citizens of Selangor which stand at 5.8 million while for the whole country, Malaysians total about 30 million.

The 6.7 million foreigners compared to the 30 million of Malaysian citizens were alarming because it looked as though for every four persons, one would be a foreigner. They occupy work in the plantation industry, construction, as maids, work in restaurants and in factories.

It is also disturbing to know that out of the 6.7 million foreigners, only 2.1 percent entered our country with permits while the rest 'crashed' their way in. Why must this be allowed, aren't we having 'the best men in uniform' in the world?

Nowadays the Chow Kit area in Kuala Lumpur is like 'a big' (no more a little) Indonesia. On an underground floor of the UNO Building which I visited, almost all the shops were run by Indonesians. Some were travel agents which were seen very busy arranging flights to and back from many parts of the country and there were food stalls selling Indonesian food.

The atmosphere on that floor 'was very Indonesian' - with visitors and helpers of shops speaking in a thick accent of bahasa Indonesia and sometimes in languages locals would not understand - perhaps they were Javanese or Sundanese.

Outside the UNO Building, shops were run by Indonesian helpers while the majority of stalls were owned by them. The peddlers too were Indonesian, and most shocking was that many of the customers and people who jostled around there were also Indonesian!

Not only around the UNO Building but also the shops on the roads and alleys such as from the PWTC LRT station to Chow Kit employ Indonesian men and women as helpers. Indonesians could be easily recognized from their dressing and accent when talking.

Indonesian newspapers and magazines too are prominently displayed on racks of vendors. Cigarettes from that country too such as 'kretek' are easily available.

During my previous travel to Indonesia such as to Medan and Aceh, some individuals whom I had met told me that Malaysia was a land of plenty and opportunity; the attraction to come to this country was great so they just came in droves, many of them illegally.

Some think the majority of Malaysians were very rich, what more to those who could afford to have a holiday in their country. They were determined to go to Malaysia; and some aimed to be rich once they 'landed' on 'this lucky land' at any cost!

It is a fact that Indonesians are swarming our country including in the kampungs. In my kampung, a few Indonesians have became successful in the fields of their choice such as farming, becoming contractors and even 'ustazs' (religious teachers) and most important of all, they 'have succeeded' in having the hands of our women-folk as their life partners! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Giving an impromptu talk at Universitas Komputer Indonesia

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort 
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

AFTER attending 'solat Jumaat' (Friday prayers) at Masjid Baiturrahman in Jalan Dipatiukur, Bandung, Indonesia on 24th October, 'alhamdulillah' (all praise and thanks be to Allah SWT) I was one lucky guy when the 'khatib' (person who reads the sermon) himself met me, perhaps he 'could sense' that I was a foreigner. 

He introduced himself as Anton, a 'dosen' (lecturer) at Universitas Komputer Indonesia which is a walking distance away from the masjid. Later on I found out that he is Dr Anton Minardi who teaches International Relations and Communication in Universitas Komputer and Universitas Pasundan in Bandung.

In the masjid after exchanging information about ourselves; I told Anton that I was very impressed with his 'khutbah' where he openly criticized the newly installed administration of President Joko Widowo (Jokowi) and 'going further' by saying that "Islam and democracy do not fit" - Islamic political parties had failed to govern successfully any country; for example 'Ikhwanul Muslimin (Islamic Brotherhood) had failed in Egypt while Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) too failed in their bid to take power in Algeria even though they had won the election.

As a solution, Dr Anton in his 'khutbah' said Muslims must look back at how Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. successful transformed 'jahilyah' (barbarian) Arabs into refined people in all aspects of life and with their love for life in the Hereafter compared with pleasures and treasures of life unable them to rule three quarter of the world.

During our discussion at the masjid, Dr Anton once again stressed that the establishment of Islamic political parties that took part in elections as a part of democracy process is not a way out to Muslims problems but he was opened to ideas after I told him I was a member of PAS (an Islamic party in Malaysia) and it fact is a writer of its publication, Harakah.

Dr Anton showed interest in me and asked me to follow him to his room in Universitas Komputer. I thought we would further discussed the issue in his room, but he surprised and caught me off guard when he guided me to a lecture room where some 40 students were waiting in the chairs.

After addressing and explaining some points to his class of International Relations, Dr Anton turned to me, introduced me to his students and said: "Alhamdulillah' we are very lucky today to have a veteran journalist from Malaysia to give us some insight about the political situation in his country; especially regarding the Islamic party. We would also would like to hear from him on international issues pertaining to Muslims worldwide especially regarding contemporary subjects such as on Islamic State (IS) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)."

'Subhanallah' (Glory be to God) I was speechless, my throat dried; nevertheless I managed to calm myself and kept on repeating this word in my head: "come on LanH, you could do it, there's nothing to be afraid of."

As I pulled 'for a brave face' in front of the students, my mind 'raced' back to some of my latest article in the English Section of Harakah. Ohh, 'alhamdulillah', it helped me, and I did feel that my confidence was building up in me as I talked that PAS is not a political party but also a 'da'wah' movement; and at the moment it is trying hard to portray the beauty of Islam to 'non-Muslims'. 

I talked that Islam is for all; its is not only a religion for Muslims. I mentioned that in the Qur'an there are 'ayahs' (verses of the Holy Qur'an) which begins with 'ya ayyuhannas' which means 'Oh people' and 'ayahs' beginning with 'ya ayyuhal lazina amanu' that means 'Oh people who believe'. This proved that the Qur'an is sent by Allah SWT for all of mankind, not only for the people during the time of the Prophet and only for Muslims.

Islam is a religion of 'Rahmatan Lil 'Alamin' (blessing to all mankind); in 'Ayah' 107 of Surah al-Anbiya, Allah SWT notes: "We have not sent thee, O Muhammad, but as a mercy to mankind," I said.

Regarding issues pertaining to Muslims worldwide I mentioned that the world community were very concerned about apartheid in South Africa that brought to the end of that 'barbaric way of life' after a multi-race elections was held for the first time in 1994 that spearheaded Nelson Mandela from African National Congress (ANC) into power but the world especially super powers showed no commitment in solving the Palestinians issue.

"In my opinion this is the last apartheid; Palestinian lands should be returned to their rightful owners and Israel should be check by the world community; they must be punished heavily for their brutality in invading and striking Palestinians lands such as in Gaza and the West Bank," I told the students.

I too mentioned that Muslims were not alert and ready to assist fellow Muslims internationally stating for example after the fall of Soviet Union and the independence of of several Islamic republics in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in 1991, they were left to be influenced by the Americans, Koreans and China who set up large business identities such as in oil and gas related industries.

Regarding the IS or ISIS issue, my talk was based to the points that I had raised in my previous article in Harakah entitled 'IS - Two sides of a coin'. I mentioned to the students that it was better for us not to take sides as we have no idea what was going in that part of the world.

"Well, all the reports regarding IS or ISIL that we received were filled in by the foreign press, are we going to belief blindly at anything they write and report?" I asked them.

I reminded the students to study 'Ayah' 6 of Surah 46 or Al-Hujurat (Room) which reads: "O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate; lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful."

I end my talk by mentioning to the boys and girls a story on how particular was one of our 'imans' regarding facts - Imam Shafie who was on the back of a donkey when asked by a stranger how many legs do the animals have, stepped down and do the counting and only after that said: "It has four legs!" - ES 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meriahnya Bandung dengan orang Malaysia...

Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


"Wahai orang yang beriman, kenapa kamu memperkatakan barang yang tidak kamu amalkan." (Maksud ayat 2 Surah Al-Shaf)

PEMERGIAN saya ke Jakarta dan Bandung tempoh hari lalu adalah atas ajakan dan tajaan seseorang. Awalnya tidaklah saya ketahui tujuan ahli kumpulannya; setibanya di sana barulah saya ketahui bahawa mereka sebenarnya gila ber'shopping'. Mereka leka 'shopping' dan 'shopping' - kata orang putih, 'shop till you drop'.

Ya, mungkin itulah tujuan utama kumpulan demi kumpulan 'parivisata' (pelancong) Malaysia yang begitu ramai ke Bandung sama ada melalui melalui penerbangan terus ke Lapangan Terbang (Bandara) Husein Sastranegara di kota itu atau melalui lebuh raya sejauh 120 kilometer menghala ke timur selepas mendarat di Bandara Soekarno-Hatta di Jakarta.

Selepas tahu 'kegilaan' mereka ber'shopping', tidaklah saya kerap mengikuti rombongan itu kecualilah ketika mengunjungi Taman Visata Tangkuban Prahu. Ketika duduk-duduk di sebuah bangku bersama isteri betul-betul menghadap 'Kawah Ratu'  di kemuncak gunung berapi itu, seorang lelaki Sunda, penjual barangan cenderamata yang menggantung barangan jualan di tubuhnya, merapati kami (ahh, potong 'stim' pulak budak ni, fikir saya) dan 'membuka kisah sedih pribumi orang kebanyakan Indonesia' walaupun kami tidak membeli apa-apa daripadanya. Sungguh ramai penjual, mungkin menyamai jumlah pelancong!

"Ya, pak dan ibu, kami sangat suka sekali dengan orang Melayu-Malaysia. Orangnya berbudi bahasa, berlainan sekali dengan pelancong orang putih malah orang Asia lain yang bengis dan kasar menghalau kami yang mencari makan," katanya sedih ketika kami memfokuskan mata melihat dasar Kawah Ratu yang berasap-asap.

Dia terus bercerita dan bercerita - daripada mitos Tangkuban Prahu iaitu kisah Sangkuriang yang jatuh cinta dengan ibunya sendiri, Dayang Sumbi yang cantik jelita. Untuk menggagalkan 'cinta terlarang' itu Sangkuriang diminta membuat sebuah perahu besar; akhirnya Yang Maha Kuasa menelangkupkan perahu itu yang kononnya membentuk Gunung Tangkuban Prahu - kepada nasibnya sekarang.

"Presiden Indonesia sudah bertukar tangan, tapi nasib kami masih macam ini. Semua penjual (cenderamata) di sini bukan menjual barangan sendiri sebaliknya kami ambil daripada pihak tertentu. Kami hanya dibayar komisen saja atas setiap barangan terjual. Hanya penjual ada kartu ini saja boleh berjualan," katanya sambil menunjukkan kad nama lusuh yang tergantung di lehernya.

"Rakyat biasa Indonesia sangat susah," katanya. "Untuk dapat makan pun susah, apatah lagi mahu sekolahkan anak-anak." Lelaki Sunda itu mendakwa persekolahan di Indonesia adalah berbayar demikian juga kos rawatan perubatan yang begitu tinggi.

Namun penjaja itu menjelaskan etniknya bermaruah tinggi. Mengemis-ngemis tiada dalam kamus kehidupan orang Sunda yang dakwanya 100 peratus Muslim. Biar susah bagaimanapun, mereka akan keluar mencari rezeki. Dia sendiri berjalan berpuluh-puluh kilometer dari desanya ke Bandung dan Tangkuban Perahu demi mencari sesuap dua nasi.

Dia juga bercerita betapa ramai orang Sunda sudah ke Malaysia, mencari rezeki, Ditanya kenapa dia tak pergi; katanya kos pembiayaannya tersangat tinggi, dia tidak mampu membayarnya.

Ya, berdasarkan perbualan dengan lelaki Sunda itu tahulah saya 'betapa pentingnya sumbangan' orang Malaysia kepada perkembangan ekonomi di Bandung. Ya, ramai daripada pengunjung dari Malaysia 'bagaikan orang gila' menghamburkan jutaan rupiah mereka (selepas ditukar daripada ringgit) di premis jualan seperti kain, barangan kulit dan aneka barangan seperti di Pasar Baru Trade Centre.

Bagaimana saya tidak mengatakan orang Malaysia ramai di Bandung - di hotel saya berselisih bahu dengan orang Malaysia, demikian juga di tempat beli belah malah di puncak Gunung Tangkuban Prahu! Malah suatu pagi ketika bersarapan di hotel, saya berpeluang 'berceloteh' dengan seorang 'makcik' berusia lebih 70 tahun yang duduk di sebelah saya. Ya, Bandung dikunjungi beramai-ramai oleh orang Malaysia, tidak kira muda atau tua. Selain membeli belah, apa agaknya mereka buru di kota ini yang mereka turut membantu 'ekonominya' pak pengusaha hotel, pengusaha visata dan kedai-kedai?

Berdasarkan perkembangan ini, saya beritahu teman-teman baru Indonesia saya termasuk seorang 'dosen' (pensyarah) universiti, bahawa sebenarnya hubungan orang Indonesia-Malaysia adalah tersangat erat, mereka saling perlu memerlukan. Hal ini berlainan daripada 'kerja gampang' sesetengah pihak yang mahu mengeruhkan hubungan kedua-dua negara seperti 'projek ganyang' Malaysia.

Perihal hubungan baik Malaysia-Indonesia misalnya mahu terus dimantapkan oleh pihak berkuasa Malaysia seperti dilakukan Duta Besar Malaysia, Zaharin Mohamed Hashim (pembaca ingatlah balik siapa tokoh ini) yang menganjurkan Malaysia Day pada 25 Oktober lalu. Acara yang diadakan di Sekolah Islam Terpadu Fajar Hidayah, Kota Wisata, Cibubur, Jakarta itu, bertujuan antara lain mempererat persahabatan, kerja sama serta mempromosi nilai-nilai dan warisan kedua-dua negara. 

Ya, Malaysia-Indonesia adalah negara serumpun dengan rakyat kedua-dua negara saling memanfaatkan antara satu sama lain. Nama Bandung memberi inspirasi kepada rakyat Malaysia mencipta masakan seperti mi atau sirap Bandung, tetapi maaflah pak, mi Bandung tiada di Bandung!