Thursday, December 29, 2011

A quick dash ‘thru’ Pakatan states

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

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

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INTICIPATING the 13th general election that is just around the corner, the writer made a quick dash through the four Pakatan Rakyat administrated states (Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Kedah and Kelantan) from 17th to 21 December to hear grouses and comments by man on the street.

From my hometown in Melaka, I took the North South Highway heading north on Saturday morning and stopped at Masjid UPM (situated in Selangor) to perform the ‘zuhur’ and ‘asar’ jamak (combined) prayers. On the grounds of Masjid UPM, I saw two groups of people gathered around two would be ‘pengantin perempuan’ (brides) that would be ‘nikah’ (solemnized in marriage) in the masjid.

Late that afternoon, the writer attended a wedding reception of a friend’s son at a masjid in Ampang (also in Selangor). Some non-Malays were seen attending the ‘majlis’, so it was a harmonious one.

That scene was lovely; and as at the ‘masjid’ people were going and doing their routine chores in the state; everything is apparently in place and not going through a ‘terrible condition’ as described by a few Selangor delegates in the recently concluded Umno General Assembly. One speaker said she was “terseksa” (facing torture) under the Pakatan Rakyat administration.

Regarding the eagerness of Umno leaders to capture Selangor, my friend Ramli Adam who is involved in the media industry and lives in Klang, told me that “UBAN “ (Umno-Barisan Nasional) would ‘throw everything’ they have the administration of the state is back into the hands of Umno.

As an example he said, Datuk Habibah Mohd Yusof, the Tanjung Karang Wanita Umno Chief, said they would face the "do the die battle." She belittled the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat with this poem, entitled ‘Selangor Kini’:

“Pakatan rakyat makin terdesak,
DAP pula sentiasa mengasak,
Otak MB dah makin rosak,
Keputusan dibuat,
Betul ke tidak?
Rakyat Selangor sudah masak,
Lakonan mereka,
Semakin nampak,
Ke mana-mana orang,
Dah mula berborak,
Menyokong PR parti,
Yang haprak”.

(Pakaran Rakyat is under pressure
The DAP always aggressive
The MB's brain has degenerated
Decisions made
Are they correct?
The people of Selangor are conscious
Their act is obvious
Whence people are now talking
Supporting the PR,
A useless party)

After Selangor, I continued my journey to the northern states. The North South highway was ‘merry’ during this school holiday. I stopped a few times at the RR for some quick naps; and before the ‘azan subuh’ (dawn call for prayers) I was already in a masjid in Pendang, Kedah.

The calmness and sereneness of the morning while driving on the Pendang-Alor Setar road with paddy fields on each side of it, lit up inspiration in me. Alor Setar traffic was busy as usual that morning; people doing their usual chores.

From Alor Setar, I took the trunk road to Kangar and then to Arau before heading back to the Kedah state capital via Jitra. During the journey, I stopped to have a rest at Dataran Rindu Alam, near Kangar.

The tourist spot with a cave to explore has excellent facilities such as two ‘surau’ (for men and women) but they are in dire condition; such as the ablution area which is dirty. I too stopped at a restaurant named Anjung Keli; the food served there especially the fried ‘keli’ (catfish) was excellent. In Kedah I had a stop at some areas and spent the night in Kota Kuala Muda.

In Kedah, the locals told me, the Pakatan Rakyat government did a good job; the majority of people had nothing to complain. They said there was no big issue in Kedah; the opposition had to resort to making a mountain out of a mole hill for example making an issue out of a surau that had to be shifted in an urban area of Alor Setar.

After Kedah, I left for Pulau Pinang; entering the island by using the ferry. Then I drove along the expressway to Bukit Jambul where I stayed at level 22 of a hotel. The view of Pulau Pinang from my hotel room was lovely; high rise buildings dominated the area.

While driving along its highways and roads, I noticed Pulau Pinang roads were without plots or pots and vases of expensive flowers on road shoulders or dividers as seen in other cities and towns. In some areas, the grass had grown too long; perhaps the authorities were trying to cut the cost of operations. Overall Pulau Pinang (Georgetown) is a clean city.

While having lunch at a Malay restaurant in Bukit Jambul, I saw a group of about 10 Indian youth entering and having food in it. Then while driving along a back road, I saw tens of people lining to buy food at a ‘mamak’ (Kayu) restaurant. So things are going as usual in this Pakatan Rakyat controlled state.

After Pulau Pinang, I travelled along the ‘Jambatan Pulau Pinang’ and then moved to the Kulim highway, then was on the road to Grik, Perak. I drove along the East West Highway; it was smooth all the way and in four hours I reached Jeli, a small town in another Pakatan Rakyat (PAS) administered state (Kelantan).

I moved on to Tanah Merah and then took the alternative road to Kota Bharu via Pasir Mas. For the night, I stayed at a homestay near Wakaf Che Yeh. The homestay was near a surau, after prayers I had the opportunity to talk to a few ‘jemaah’ (congregators).

One ‘jemaah’ told me that for the coming general election, the chances of Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional winning the election was 50-50; but another one predicted Pakatan (PAS) would still have the edge if PAS spiritual leader, Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat led his party in the election.

This ‘jemaah’ surprised me when he said, some PAS state leaders are liabilities and they should be removed or not chosen as candidates in the coming election.

He said as a local, he knew their ‘games’, hence it was better for them to give up their position before they were told to do so by party leaders.

He warned some Umno candidates would make inroads in the coming elections; PAS had to work extra hard to maintain their status quo.

From Wakaf Che Yeh, I drove to Kota Bharu in the morning of 21st December. The Kuala Kerai-Kota Bharu road was chocked with traffic; it took me almost an hour to reach the city centre.

Business runs as usual in Kota Bharu but surprisingly the markets and shopping areas are not crowded with people as experienced during school holidays; perhaps outsiders had been warned about the probability Kelantan would hit by the flood during this period.

From Kota Bharu, I drove to Pasir Putih and then passed the Kelantan-Terengganu border; thus ended my quick dash thru the Pakatan Rakyat states. In my opinion, these states would be still under the Rakyat administration after the 13th general election, but beware because UBAN would be up to its tricks to wrestle it at any costs!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bus fares: Which is the ‘fairest’ of them all?

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

Reflection

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.
***

ONLY recently did I discover that express bus fares vary from one company to another although the route the companies take is the same.

For instance for the Kuala Lumpur-Melaka route that I often use, the highest fare is that of Transnasional at RM12.50 while the cheapest is offered by Delima Ekspres at only RM9.00.

Between the highest and lowest; the Mayang Sari fare is at RM10, Metro charges RM9.20 and KK-KL is RM12.20. I have not tried Jebat and a few other bus companies, so I did not know their fares. I too did not know whether this activity (competing to have the lowest fare) is legal or not.

From my experience traveling almost daily on the Melaka-Kuala Lumpur-Melaka route, express buses are only full during weekends and public holidays; on weekdays they are 'dry' of passengers especially in the middle of the month until the end of the month when the public's spending power is at its lowest.

A few days ago, on the morning journey from Melaka to Alor Gajah I was the only passenger in the bus; luckily at that small town it picked up three more passengers; so there was only the four of us during the one hour journey from Alor Gajah to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, Integrated Southern Terminal (TBS) in Bandar Tasik Selatan. Imagine there were only five souls (including the driver) in the whole big bus!

Once I asked a bus driver why the fares varied; to which he answered bus companies are now fighting to get passengers and this meant survival of the firm they were working with. When I asked him if his company was making a big profit; he shook his head and said: "If the owner concentrates only on running the buses, his business would have folded up a long time ago. Luckily, this company also runs other businesses."

If express bus operators are 'shaky' in the businesses; what could be said about stage bus operators? Reports from all over the country note that several bus companies especially serving in rural areas resolve their woes by cutting services; angering the man on the street.

Last month, thousands of commuters in Seremban were stranded when a consortium stopped serving a dozen routes, mostly in the outskirts.

Kampung folks have been complaining that buses that ply their route were not turning up as usual and it was normal for them to wait for two or three hours for the bus. Bus commuters who are depended to the bus service to their workplace time after time are frustrated; their woes were not treated with respect by the authorities concerned.

If leaders could boast in spending billions and billions of ringgit to upgrade the public transportation system in the city including setting up a new MRT line, what about the needs of the poor rakyat living in rural areas such as on the Jasin (Melaka) and Tangkak (Johor) road.

Recently a commuter has this to say: "We hope the authorities would help us. On 29th June, MOS bus for route Tangkak-Jasin from 8.45 am to 11.15 am, failed to picked up passengers. We, workers who depended on that bus service had to confront with our employer regarding this matter. Why do not inform earlier? Why create trouble for commuters?"

Recently a news report said that Cityliner which is owned by Konsortium Transnasional had stopped 21 of its 25 routes in Kuala Selangor, including villages around Klang, Banting and Shah Alam. Areas affected include Pandamaran, Kampung Delek and Taman Seri Sentosa. About 60,000 to 80,000 passengers were disrupted; they had to find other means of transportation.

Those at helm of the company said revenue from fares could not sustain stage buses as costs had gone up, but fares had not increased in tandem. To overcome this serious situation which affect the poor rakyat, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is scrambling to get bus service operators such as ‘bas sekolah’ (school buses) and ‘bas kilang’ (factory buses) to service the routes left vacant. About 3,000 buses are needed ‘to fill in the gap’ left by Cityliner in Selangor.

SPAD chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, in blaming the fiasco in Selangor to the state government refusal in assisting Cityliner in their economic woes, claimed his side would not stand in the way of any initiative that would benefit the public.

Tan Sri, why only blame the Selangor state government; the bus service in other states such as Negeri Sembilan and Pahang was also affected, they were in dire situation; so why not look at a broader scope because bus operators throughout the country are facing difficulties at this hard time.

Regarding the woes of bus operators of not being able to sustain businesses what’s more obtaining profit, I talked over the phone with Deputy President of Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association (PMBOA), Razali Endun who admitted it is not only ‘a Selangor problem’ but were faced by almost all of its members all over the country.

He said his side is working out for a solution including pressing SPAD to provide aid to bus operators based on a pay of RM1-per-kilometre formula but response from the government was not very encouraging. A meeting with Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najb Razak scheduled in October was also postponed.

PMBOA President, Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali in a local daily was reported saying: “We have been asking for help for more than a year now, but there has not been much response. The Melaka government has bought up all stage bus operators in the state, but the federal government is slow in responding.”

Razali who is also President of Melaka Bus Operators, clarified that the Melaka government had only suggested that a fund of RM5.4 million (the money forked out from the municipal council in the state) to assist the bus operators in the state.

“It was only an idea, nothing had already been put on ground,” said Razali. He also said the state government failed to secure a RM36 million loan from the federal government to ‘pay’ for the bus operators as it had promised more than two years ago in upgrading public transportation in the state.

Nevertheless Razali urged the state government to honour it promise in giving assistance to local bus companies, saying the money was urgent as operations by local bus companies in Melaka are in a dire situation as they are facing acute financial problem.

He said while waiting for the state’s assistance, operators were facing more trouble as the authorities such as the Road Transport Department (RTD) had compounded several of the old buses because they are not roadworthy.

Razali said he too had no idea how to renew permits for his buses next year as almost all of them are in dire condition. "Permits can only be renewed if the buses that are more than 15 years are replaced by new ones or upgraded," he said.

About 10 local bus operators that are facing financial problems are in dire straits and could cease operations, including in 2,000 employees being laid off, Razali said.

Thus he hope the state government would come to the rescue by honoring its pledge in helping local bus operators, if not they would cease operations, resulting in difficulties for thousands of commuters who depended on public transport.

So, to SPAD and Tan Sri Syed Hamid, don’t just look at the public woes in Selangor; but please act fast in other states too especially in Negeri Sembilan and Pahang where thousands of commuters are stranded when the buses they wait for, fail to turn up!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hanya 20% isi rumah berpendapatan lebih RM3,000

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

Renungan

Daripada Aisyah r.a., berkata: "Saya mendengar Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: 'Semua manusia dikumpulkan tanpa memakai alas kaki, telanjang dan belum dikhatan.' Aisyah bertanya; 'Apakah antara lelaki dan perempuan akan saling melihat antara satu dengan yang lain?' Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: 'Urusan pada hari itu lebih dahsyat daripada mementingkan hal-hal seperti itu.'" (HR. Bukhari dan Muslim)

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Kita mengucapkan terima kasih dan tahniah kepada kerajaan dan rakyat dalam pemberian wang bantuan RM500 sekali beri, tetapi dalam keghairahan pemimpin negara dan media massa membesar-besaran pemberiaan berkenaan kepada isi rumah yang berpendapatan kurang RM3,000 sebulan; terdedahlah satu hakikat yang perlu direnungkan – hanya 20 peratus saja isi rumah di negara ini yang berpendapatan lebih RM3,000 sebulan!

Kementerian Kewangan menyatakan RM2.6 bilion akan mula dibayar mulai pertengahan Januari depan yang akan memanfaatkan 5.2 juta isi rumah atau 79.5 peratus daripada isi rumah di negara ini. Jika 79.5 peratus daripada seluruh isi rumah berpendapatan kurang RM3,000 sebulan, bermakna hanya ada 20.5 peratus saja isi rumah yang berpendapatan lebih RM3,000 sebulan.

Sekarang ini pendapatan isi rumah biasanya disumbangkan oleh suami dan isteri; ini bermakna jika sebuah keluarga itu berpendapatan RM3,000 sebulan; masing-masing hanya berpendapatan dalam lingkungan RM1,500. Jika perkiraan begini dilakukan apakah ini bermakna kira-kira 80 peratus daripada rakyat berpendapatan kurang daripada RM1,500 sebulan?

Dengan berpendapatan RM1,500 atau kurang daripada itu sebulan, hakikat ini perlulah menjadi bahan renungan kita – benarkah rakyat dalam ambang berpendapatan tinggi seperti yang dicita-citakan sesetengah pemimpin negara ini. Bagi kita perolehan sebanyak RM1,500 sebulan tidak begitu jauh daripada garis kemiskinan apatah lagi jika seseorang itu tinggal di kota dan bandar-bandar besar.

Jika sedar bahawa sebahagian besar daripada rakyat adalah miskin atau golongan sederhana (kira-kira 80 peratus daripada penduduk), maka sewajarnya langkah-langkah drastik dan berkesan dilakukan untuk mengatasi masalah ketidak-mampuan rakyat ini. Dengan pendapatan RM1,500 sebulan di kota sebenarnya tidak banyak perkara keperluan hidup yang boleh dilunaskan. Sewa (bayaran ansuran) rumah, tambang pengangkutan dan bayaran utiliti bulanan sudah cukup untuk melangsaikan wang sebanyak itu

Jadi bagi kita, usaha mengurangkan beban golongan majoriti rakyat golongan miskin dan sederhana ini bukanlah dengan pemberian sekali beri tetapi merancang mengurangkan penderitaan dan kesempitan hidup mereka. Isu jelas yang paling membelenggu rakyat adalah kenaikan harga barangan keperluan dan perkhidmatan yang sejak akhir-akhir ini seperti tidak dapat dikawal oleh pihak berkuasa.

Memberi rakyat wang tunai RM500, dengan cepat mereka boleh menghabiskannya tetapi dengan berwibawanya kerajaan memastikan harga barangan keperluan harian seperti beras, gula, kopi, tepung, susu, minyak, sayur-sayuran, ikan serta ayam dan daging dalam jangkauan rakyat miskin, inilah seribu kali lebih baik dan mulia.

Demikian juga menyediakan perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam yang baik dan efisien terutama di kawasan luar bandar adalah amat dialu-alukan. Kini krisis pengangkutan awam di kawasan pinggir kota dan kawasan luar bandar menjadi terlalu buruk sehingga ribuan penumpang di Seremban, Temerloh, Shah Alam dan Kuala Selangor terkandas gara-gara penguasaha pengangkutan awam seperti bas berhenti-henti terpaksa memberhentikan perkhidmatan kerana syarikat mereka mengalami kerugian yang teruk.

Kita sedar syarikat-syarikat ini rugi besar kerana penggendalian perkhidmatan di luar bandar tidak menguntungkan tetapi bukankah menjadi tanggungjawab kerajaan untuk menangani permasalahan seperti ini. Jika kerajaan boleh berbelanja berbilion-bilion ringgit untuk menyediakan perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam canggih seperti MRT di ibu kota, mengapa tidak boleh diperuntukkan sedikit sebanyak untuk melegakan penderitaan rakyat luar bandar?

Berkenaan bantuan sekali beri RM500, kita berharaplah ia bukan umpan di kail, tetapi jika betul-betul umpan, harap-haraplah ikan yang ‘bersekolah’ akan mengigit-gigitnya secara bijaksana, jangan mulut tersangkut di kail sudahlah. Biarkah umpan habis tetapi ikan tak dapat-dapat juga!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wang bantuan RM500 akan lenyap dengan cepat…

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Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.
***************
Renungan
"...Sesungguhnya masjid yang didirikan atas dasar takwa (Masjid Quba'), sejak hari pertama adalah lebih patut kamu solat di dalamnya. Di dalam masjid itu ada orag-orang yang ingin membersihkan diri. Dan sesungguhnya Allah menyukai orang-orang yang bersih." (Maksud Ayat 108 Surah At-Taubah)
****************

TAHUN 2011 akan melabuhkan tirainya, kini jendela 2o12 hampir terbuka. Sesuai dengan tahun baru, tentulah ramai yang bersemangat baru. Kebanyakan daripada kita berharap melalui tahun baru dari sudut positif.

Walaupun demikian, banyak daripada peristiwa yang dialami menjelang tahun baru menunjukkan sesuatu yang negatif. Ramai yang tersenyum girang kerana bakal mendapat bantuan sekali beri RM500, tanpa menyedari wang itu akan lenyap dalam masa singkat disebabkan penanggungan rakyat yang sangat berat.

Satu perkara yang kerap dikaitkan dengan tahun baru ialah permulaan sesi persekolahan. Berhubung perkara inilah banyak ibu bapa yang 'pening-pening lalat' bagi memenuhi keperluan anak-anak.

Perbelanjaan untuk menyekolahan anak-anak pada zaman ini bukannya murah. Sekarang tidak lagi sesuai untuk berkata: "Cikgu saya serahkan anak saya ini pada cikgu, pandai-pandailah cikgu buat apa-apa yang baik ke atasnya."

Sekarang 'penyerahan' dilakukan dengan wang ringgit. Sekalipun pihak berkuasa kerap menguar-uarkan yuran persekolahan sudah dimansuhkan dan pendidikan adalah percuma hakikatnya banyak wang perlu dikeluarkan.

Bagi yang pertama kali menghantar anak ke sekolah, jangan terperanjat jika melihat pada 'book list' kanak-kanak itu dinyatakan jumlah wang bagi pembelian buku tulis, latihan dan pelbagai yuran yang boleh mencecah RM100 bagi sekolah pagi (SK) dan lagi RM100 bagi sekolah petang (agama rakyat)

Seseorang anak yang bersekolah rendah bukan saja menghadiri sesi pagi tetapi juga sesi petang (sekolah agama). Yuran untuk sekolah agama lain pula daripada sekolah pagi. Demikian juga pakaiannya, begnya dan juga bukunya.
Bagi yang mempunyai anak di sekolah berasrama lagi membebankan. Yuran makanan, asrama, Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) boleh mencecah RM1,000 seorang. Jika ada tiga anak di sekolah berasrama, laratkah kita sediakan RM3,000? Itu belum termasuk pakaian dan peralatan lain seperti beg dan kasut.

Demikianlah betapa beratnya bebanan ibu bapa hari ini. Jika untuk seorang anak di sekolah rendah, terpaksa dibelanjakan RM300 (bayaran di sekolah dan pembelian pakaian), hitunglah wang yang perlu disediakan untuk menyekolahkan lima orang anak, atau pun lapan orang anak. Jumlahnya tentulah membabitkan ribuan.

Ditambah dengan perkhabaran tambang bas sekolah yang akan dinaikkan, tentulah ibu bapa semakin pening. Dengan belanja harian (duit poket) anak-anak yang juga perlu dinaikkan sejajar dengan peningkatan usia mereka, tentulah ibu bapa semakin terpinar-pinar biji mata mereka.

Selepas termenung memikirkan belanja anak-anak, ibu bapa boleh merenung pula perbelanjaan yang membabitkan diri mereka pula. Jika yang terpaksa menggunakan lebuh raya, kadar tol lebuh raya mungkin dinaikkan. Demikian juga tambang bas. Inilah yang saban tahun berlaku apabila tahun berubah.

Bagi yang menaiki pengangkutan awam lain, dengar khabar tambangnya juga akan dinaikkan. Demikian juga dengan tambang bas dan teksi. Sekarang ini susah benar rakyat di kawasan luar bandar mendapatkan perkhidmatan bas berhenti-henti kerana banyak syarikat sudah gulung tikar kerana kos operasi yang tinggi sedangkan bantuan yang dipohon kepada kerajaan tidak diperolehi. Jadi tersadailah rakyat di stesen bas Temerloh, Seremban dan Klang serta Kuala Selangor.

Tidak cukup dengan perkhabaran itu, tarif kemudahan awam juga dikatakan akan dinaikkan. Jika 'semua' naik, tentulah sewa rumah, sewa kedai, sewa pejabat dan 'segala' macam sewa juga akan naik.

Demikianlah betapa rakyat begitu tertekan dewasa ini. Malangnya mereka tidak bersuara. Mereka adalah golongan majoriti, kata orang putih 'the silent majority'. 'The silent majority' inilah yang perlu disuntik semangat mereka untuk bangun menyuarakan ketidakpuasaan hati mereka terhadap pembahagian kekayaan negara yang tidak adil. Salah satu caranya adalah melalui pilihan raya umum ke-13 yang akan berlangsung tidak lama lagi. Fikir-fikirkanlah siapa yang layak anda berikan undi anda yang sangat berharga itu!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Of RM100 aid in Malaysia and KD1,000 in Kuwait

******************* In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. *********************** Reflection ******************** "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ********************** A close friend who was working and residing in Kuwait recently posted an e-mail to me asking whether I had received the RM100 cash given by the government to each school going child before school session ended last November. ********************* Yes, I replied to him, I had received RM200 cash because I have two school going children (two other children are in universities and the third one had just taken her SPM); but the money has finished. ******************* My wife had spent all of it to buy the children's school necessities; in fact I had to fork out another RM900 – a huge amount of money had to be allocated because one of the children needed to buy a blazer as he was appointed a prefect and he too needed a new pair of spectacles as he had lost his old one in his residential school. ******************** The money spent did not include books and fees scheduled to be bought and paid when school reopens on 4th January 2012. As I write this article, I looked at their book and school fees lists; the one in Primary Four needed a least another RM200 - RM100 for her SK school and another RM100 for her ‘agama’ (religious) school. ********************** For the boy in Form Three; his boarding fees which included food and student welfare fees (yuran asrama) amounted to RM780 per year. This amount is to be paid by parents whose monthly income exceeded RM5,000 per month while those with an income of less than that should pay RM280. ******************** The PIBG (Parents and Teachers Association) fees amounts to RM350. These include about 15 items such as the PIBG annual contribution (RM50), computer fees (RM50), tuition classes (RM120) and dhobi RM60). For exercise books and other requirements such as name tag, outing T-shit, the money needed is about RM120. So, I have to get ready about RM1,250 for this boy (RM780 + RM350 + RM120). *********************** Luckily for the boarding fees (food), parents could pay two times; RM390 during the first session of school and another RM390 during the second session (normally in the middle of the year). So the actual amount of money I had to fork out for this boy when school reopens on 4th January 2012 is about RM860 (RM390 + RM350 + RM120). ********************** As for the girl in Year Four; I had also to get ready RM50 for her school bus fees and perhaps another RM100 for unexpected payments such as buying her school house T-shirt and writing and reading materials. ************************** I had to get ready at least RM1,000 (excluding the RM900 I had given to my wife earlier) for my two school going children; so it is very expensive to sent to your children to school nowadays. ********************** Yes the RM100 cash given to each child helped parents a lot; so thanks to the government; but to the authorities concerned especially to top political leaders please do not go around boasting that education is free in Malaysia! ******************** If school going children in Malaysia were given RM100 each and in a month's time, citizens with a household income of less than RM3,000 a month would receive RM500 cash aid from the government, my friend in Kuwait sent me this news item just to ‘broadened my knowledge’. Perhaps he did not want me to be a ‘katak di bawah tempurung’ (a frog under the coconut shell)! ******************* KD1,000 ‘to every Kuwaiti’ Happy anniversaries! *********************** KUWAIT CITY: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has issued instructions granting EVERY Kuwaiti citizen KD1,000 (about RM10,000) as well as free food rations for 14 months as of next month, a Cabinet statement said Sunday. *************************** The Cabinet, chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, said it took note of the Amiri grant which would coincide with Sheikh Sabah’s 5th anniversary. ****************************** The Cabinet assigned the ministry of finance to take necessary steps to disperse the grant, which reflected the Amir’s keenness to helping citizens overcome their living conditions, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan said in a statement after the government meeting. ***************************** The Amir, he noted, also instructed food rations to be offered for free between Feb 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. ***************************** The grants, he noted, marked the occasion of the 50th independence anniversary, 20th liberation anniversary and 5th anniversary of Sheikh Sabah’s assumption of office, due next month. ************************** The Cabinet, meanwhile, paid tribute to late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-sabah who passed away five years ago. ******************************* Speaking to reporters, National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi said “I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to HH the Amir and stress the happiness of every citizen on the occasion of the country’s National and Liberation days and 5th year of the Amir’s taking over.” He stressed that the grant is not a new initiative for the Amir and said he hoped Kuwait and its people will continue to enjoy more such grants. *********************************** MP Khalid Al-Adwa commended the Amiri grant decision, saying “HH the Amir has always been supportive of common citizens who are facing economic difficulties of late due to the drastic hike in prices of consumer products.” He asked the government, particularly the Minister of Commerce and Industry; to monitor prices in the market over the next period for fear that some traders would take advantage of the Amiri grant to hike prices. ***************************** MP Hussein Al-Mezyad also praised the Amiri grant, stressing that the generosity of HH the Amir is well-known and that he had managed to spread happiness among all Kuwaitis. He also commended the Amir for ordering free distribution of foodstuffs to Kuwaiti families “which indicates his generosity and his concern for his children. We hope the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and municipality will strictly monitor markets to ensure that traders don’t play with prices and the Amiri grant is not wasted.” He also called for quick payment of the grant and suggested it be paid with salaries of February.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The sincere Preacher

****************************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ***************************** Reflection **************************** 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. ****************************** THE closure of the Klang Bus Stand also known as Pasarama Kota Bus Terminal, making way for a MRT project evokes fond memories of my younger years in Kuala Lumpur. ********************** The bus station which used to be one of the most notable landmarks in the Kuala Lumpur, ceased operations on 1st November to facilitate the construction of the new underground Pasar Seni MRT station. ************************* The Klang Bus Stand, located in Jalan Sultan Mohammed which was near the Klang River, has been serving Klang Valley folk for over 40 years. It was built in the late 1960s, and in the middle of 1980s, I was one of the regular patrons there. So the news on the demolition of the Klang Bus Stand brings back nostalgic memories to me. ************************** In early 1985 I began my university journalism practical training with a giant media house in Bangsar and a year later I was accepted as one of its staff. During those early years, as a green reporter, with my old trustworthy Yamaha Cup, I roamed the streets of Kuala Lumpur. ***************************** Some seniors told me, if you needed to 'master' the roads and areas in the city, during your off-day, just filled up the tank of your motorcycle to the maximum and have a 'jolly' ride without any specific destination in mind. ***************************** I did what they told me and in not more than a month, I had 'mastered' many areas in Kuala Lumpur including its 'red districts' such as Lorong Haji Taib in Chow Kit, Bukit Bintang and a side road at Padang Kelab Selangor, nowadays known as Dataran Merdeka. So to young reporters out there, try your luck by following my footsteps! ************************** During my 'rounds' I would stop at some interesting landmarks (to me-'lah') such as Campbell Shopping Complex in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the Klang Bus Stand, Hentian Puduraya (now Pudu Sentral), Dayabumi and of course Masjid Negara (the National Mosque) to say my prayers. ******************** One day during that 'carefree' time, I stopped at the famous cave of Batu Caves and had a try climbing the hundreds of steps there. It turned out to be history because it was the first and the last time I entered it until this day. ************************* Among those landmarks, the Klang Bus Stand stood above the rest because it was here since 1986 I normally fixed appointments to meet my sweetheart (now she had been my wife for more than 20 years and we have been blessed with five children); she would travel all the way from her campus in Shah Alam and I waited for her anxiously at the bench of the dirty and crowded terminal. ********************* At that time I I have nothing to complain because the anxiety and feeling to meet my 'rose' was too great, much greater than effect of the miserable condition of the station. ********************** At times she would arrive at the Klang Bus Stand by the famous KL-Klang-Port Swettenham red buses. ****************** At that time mobile phones were unheard of so meeting with one's love was a 'great and much awaited event' that was much treasured. ***************8 If she came to the meeting spot by bus, normally I would ride my Yamaha Cup and parked it at a lane that was sandwiched by two rows of shop-houses near Klang Bus Stand before making my way to the station. ************** I would leave the bike there; move to the premises of Klang Bus Stand and after meeting 'my girl', we would went on our way walking, taking buses or taxis to move around Kuala Lumpur. ********************* It was troublesome and not a 'cool' thing to bring one's helmet, what’s more when one is on a date, so I would just lock it at the bike. *************** One evening after sending off 'my love' to Shah Alam from the Klang Bus Stand, I went to seek my bike and was at a loss for words after discovering my helmet was gone. The thief had cut off the strap of the helmet, and without it, I had a long night at the station; only at 10.00 pm I did manage to call a friend who came an hour later with an extra helmet for me. ****************** The Klang Bus Stand had 'taught me a lesson' - never, never leave our things unattended or expose yourselves to danger because the place was hangout for many types of people; vagrants, beggars and drug pushers! But what 'a great impact' Klang Bus Stand had on me. It was at this spot, I 'watered and tendered' the seed of love that I had planted in since 1986; in 1988 I pulled enough courage to sweep 'my rose' off her feet as my fiancĂ©e and a year later, she and me got married and we 'live happily ever after' hopefully until our final breath. ***************************** When I was used to the life in Kuala Lumpur, I ventured to some 'trouble' spots such as the famous Lorong Haji Taib. Some senior journalists told me to be a ‘jack of all trades’ in the field of journalism; one had to have a true life experience meeting all sorts of people including prostitutes. *************************** All the years, I had heard about this 'red light district', after a few months of being a reporter, one night I went to the spot alone. It was easy to go there; I parked my bike near the Maybank building in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, walked along a small side road and then entered the red light district of Lorong Haji Taib. ***************************** I swear I did not indulge in any unmoral activities there; I was only to please my curiosity and of course ‘to broaden’ my knowledge and experience as a ‘thoroughbred’ reporter and writer. **************** After many nights observing activities there; I was attracted to a ‘pendakwah’ (preacher) at a roadside who would talk and talk about religious matter especially about the heavy punishment by Allah SWT to people who indulged in adultery. At one point, I saw him shout to some men who were seen entering a back entrance of a cheap hotel. *************** “Don’t enter!” he reminded them. “Adultery is a great sin. You would be thrown into Hellfire!” The men ignored him, but that did not dampen the preacher’s spirit. He continued his ‘lecture’; but people just passed him, they were more interested gathering around peddlers who sells items such as sex toys and stimulus products or around those who had opened fast gambling activities. ************************ That preacher had truly captured my heart. If an ‘ordinary’ religious teacher (ustaz) lectures or gives lesson in masjids (nowadays many masjids are fully air-conditioned), this man would surely stand high above them all. Perhaps he was not paid even a cent for his‘dakwah’ work. ******************* In my opinion he was very sincere in his work, he was only hoping to be rewarded by the Master of the Universe, Allah SWT who says: “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden has triumphed. The life of this world is the just the enjoyment of delusion.” (Qur’an, 3:185)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Haji, hajah perlu muhasabah diri

********************* DENGAN nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ****************** RENUNGAN ***************** "Hai orang-orang yang beriman, bertakwalah kepada Allah, carilah wasilah yang dapat mendekatkan kepada-Nya, dan berjuanglah di jalan-Nya." (Al-Maidah 5:35) ******************** Bersyukur ke hadrat Illahi kerana diberi-Nya kesempatan untuk kita memuzakarahkan isu membabitkan ummah. Kali ini kita ingin membicarakan perihal jemaah haji yang hampir semuanya sudah kembali ke tanah air masing-masing selepas menunaikan Rukun Islam kelima. *************************** Jemaah mengharapkan haji mabrur yang tiada balasannya kecuali syurga. Kemabruran haji (yang diterima Allah) inilah yang perlu dipertahankan seseorang haji dan hajah itu sehinggalah dia meninggal dunia. Seseorang 'haji' sewajarnya mengekalkan peranannya sebagai utusan kebenaran dan menjadi model kepada masyarakatnya. Jika berada di Tanah Haram, seseorang itu berusaha mematuhi segala hukum hakam Allah SWT termasuk menentang kebatilan sepanjang berada di sana, kini dengan kembalinya ke tanah halal (tanah air masing-masing), dia perlu terus istiqamah dalam amalannya. **************************** Sebagai contoh mudah, bagi seorang Muslimah, jika dia boleh menutup aurat sepenuhnya di Tanah Suci, tiada sebab dia 'membogelkan' kepala dan membuka anggota auratnya yang lain di tanah air. Hukum Allah SWT bukan hanya termaktub di Tanah Suci saja; ia diguna pakai pada sebarang masa dan di mana-mana seseorang itu berada. ******************************* Kita berpendapat ingatan kepada 'haji' dan 'hajah' itu tepat pada masanya bagi membolehkan mereka yang telah menunaikan rukun Islam terakhir, memahami, menjiwai seterusnya mengamalkan segala pengajaran dan falsafah daripada ibadat yang mereka laksanakan itu. Mereka perlu dingatkan bahawa mengamalkan Islam sepenuhnya dan menegakkan segala hukum-hakamnya termasuk hudud menjadi tanggungjawab setiap Muslim apatah lagi mereka yang kini bergelar 'haji' dan 'hajah'. Jika mahu berpolitik, mereka perlu melakukannya mengikut peraturan Islam yang sudah pasti menolak amalan buruk yang berleluasa sekarang ini seperti mengamalkan asabiyah (perkauman), menipu dalam pilihan raya, rasuah, memfitnah dan merompak harta negara. **************************************** Apabila dinyatakan mengamalkan Islam sepenuhnya, ia bermaksud menjadikan al-Quran dan hadis itu sebagai panduan hidup dalam semua bidang kehidupan. Ia bukan sahaja dalam soal ibadat khusus seperti solat dan puasa seperti difahami sesetengah pihak tetapi merangkumi segala-galanya - daripada soal yang dipandang remeh temeh oleh manusia kepada urusan mengatur masyarakat seperti politik, muamalat dan perundangan. Ketika berada di Tanah Suci, jemaah haji diberi nasihat mengenai hukum hakam Islam oleh Kementerian Hal Ehwal Haji dan Wakaf Arab Saudi melalui buku 'Panduan Untuk Jemaah Haji dan Umrah serta Pengunjung Masjid Rasul' yang antara lain menegaskan perkara-perkara yang membatalkan Islam. ********************************* Selain syirik iaitu mempersekutuan Allah yang dianggap kesalahan terbesar, turut disenaraikan perkara batil lain ialah berkeyakinan bahawa petunjuk yang lain daripada Nabi s.a.w. adalah lebih sempurna atau berkeyakinan bahawa hukuman yang lain daripada hukuman Nabi s.a.w. lebih baik seperti mereka yang mengamalkan peraturan thaghut (aturan manusia yang melampaui batas dan menyimpang daripada hukum Allah) dan mengenepikan Rasulullah s.a.w. Maka orang yang berkeyakinan seperti itu adalah kafir. ********************************** Sebagai contoh; a) berkeyakinan bahawa peraturan atau perundangan yang dibuat oleh manusia lebih utama daripada Syariat Islam; atau perundangan Islam tidak sesuai dilaksanakan sekarang; atau Islam adalah sebab kemunduran umat Islam; atau Islam hanya mengatur hubungan manusia dengan Tuhannya sahaja dan bukan urusan kehidupan dunia. ******************************** b) Berpendapat bahawa melaksanakan hukum Allah seperti melaksanakan hukum hudud, memotong tangan pencuri dan merejem penzina yang telah berkahwin (muhsan) tidak sesuai lagi pada masa kini. **************************** c) Berkeyakinan bahawa dibolehkan untuk mengamalkan perundungan yang lain daripada Syariat yang diturunkan oleh Allah SWT sama ada dalam hukum muamalat (perdagangan) atau dalam melaksanakan hukum hudud (jenayah) atau lainnya sekalipun tidak disertai dengan keyakinan bahawa hukum-hukum tersebut lebih utama daripada Syariat Islam kerana dengan sedemikian, ia telah menghalalkan perkara yang diharamkan oleh Allah SWT menurut ijmak (kesepakatan) ulama. ************************************ Setiap orang yang menghalalkan perkara yang sudah jelas dan tegas diharamkan oleh Allah SWT dalam agama seperti zina, arak, riba dan melaksanakan perundangan yang lain daripada Syariat Islam adalah kafir menurut kesepakatan umat Islam. **************************** Perkara lain yang boleh membatalkan Islam ialah membenci sesuatu yang telah ditetapkan oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. sebagai Syariat walaupun ia mengamalkannya. Dengan melakukan demikian dia telah menjadi kafir, kerana firman Allah SWT yang bermaksud: "Demikian itu adalah kerana mereka benci terhadap sesuatu yang diturunkan Allah, maka Allah menghapuskan (pahala) segala amal perbuatan mereka." *************************** Selain itu, mempersendakan Allah SWT atau Kitab-Nya, atau Rasulullah s.a.w. atau sesuatu daripada ajaran agama, maka dia telah menjadi kafir, kerana firman Allah yang bermaksud: "Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad): Adakah terhadap Allah dan ayat-ayat-Nya serta Rasul-Nya kamu sekalian memperolok-olok? Tiada ertinya kamu meminta maaf kerana kamu telah kafir setelah beriman." ************************ Dalam urusan masyarakat hari ini banyak perkara termasuk hukum-hakam disandarkan kepada undang-undang ciptaan manusia. Berdasarkan hakikat ini, sedar dan insaflah betapa banyak dosa yang telah kita lakukan. Hanya kepada Allah SWT-lah kita memohon keampunan kerana kegagalan kita melaksanakan hukum-hakamnya. ************************* Kepada insan yang bergelar haji dan hajah yang baru kembali, disarankan supaya berpegang teguh kepada perlakuan manasik dan falsafah haji yang telah sedaya upaya diterapkan semasa di Tanah Suci. Kita ulangi, di Tanah Suci sudah istiqamah membungkus diri dengan pakaian menutup aurat, termasuk rambutnya sekali, tetapi kenapa di tanah air kembali mendedahkannya?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Parti Islam perlu kembalikan maruah ummah

************************** DENGAN nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ************************ Renungan ************************* "...Sesungguhnya masjid yang didirikan atas dasar takwa (Masjid Quba'), sejak hari pertama adalah lebih patut kamu solat di dalamnya. Di dalam masjid itu ada orag-orang yang ingin membersihkan diri. Dan sesungguhnya Allah menyukai orang-orang yang bersih." (Maksud Ayat 108 Surah At-Taubah) ************************** Bersyukur ke hadrat Illahi kerana kita dipanjangkan usia bagi memuzakarahkan isu-isu membabitkan umat Islam, kali ini kita ingin mengucapkan tahniah di samping mengemukakan beberapa syor kepada parti-parti Islam yang telah memenangi seterusnya membentuk kerajaan di beberapa negara di dunia Arab. ************************************* Parti-parti Islam dilaporkan berjaya dalam pilihan raya di negara seperti Mahgribi (Parti Keadilan dan Pembangunan), Tunisia (Pergerakan Trend Islam, Ennahdha) dan kini gabungan Ikwanul Muslimin melalui partinya, Parti Kebebasan dan Keadilan (AJP), Parti An-nur (Salafi) dan Al-Wasat ke arah membentuk sebuah kerajaan baru di Mesir selepas meraih lebih 65 peratus undi pilihan raya negara itu. ************************************** Di samping bersyukur ke hadrat Illahi di atas nikmat kemenangan ini, kita berharap dan mendoakan parti-parti Islam yang membentuk kerajaan akan dapat menyemarakkan seterusnya mengembalikan maruah umat Islam yang telah dihina sejak sekian lama. Sejak zaman penjajahan dan jatuhnya kedaulatan kerajaan Islam terutama hancurnya pemerintahan Uthmaniyah pada tahun 1924, nasib umat Islam sebahagian besarnya bergantung kepada kuasa-kuasa besar yang mencatur dunia mengikut nafsu mereka. *************************************** Hari ini legasi cengkaman Barat terus kukuh di dunia Islam; mereka bukan saja ‘membaham’ negara ummah seperti Palestin, Iraq dan Afghanistan tetapi meneruskan penjajahan pemikiran dan teknologi yang melumpuhkan umat Islam seluruhnya. Bukan saja umat Islam yang tunduk kepada apa didakwa kemajuan oleh dunia Barat tetapi pemerintah Islam juga tunduk akur kepada kehendak Washington, London dan Moscow. Agak mengusarkan apabila penguasa di Washington kononnya lebih tahu tentang Islam seterusnya mengarahkan bonekanya yang menerajui negara umat Islam mengamalkan Islam mengikut kehendak mereka. Mereka nampaknya begitu berpengaruh sehingga mampu menentukan bentuk pengajian Islam (seperti membuang silibus jihad) di universiti-universiti terkemuka termasuklah Al-Azhar. ******************************** Kini dengan kesedaran tinggi umat Islam yang memberikan kemenangan kepada parti-parti Islam menerajui negara, adalah diharapkan pihak ini dapat kembali mengembalikan maruah ummah. Tidak guna pucuk kepimpinan bertukar tangan tetapi permasalahan umat Islam tetap sama. Kita menaruh harapan besar agar pemimpin baru ini dapat mengukuhkan ikatan perpaduan ummah sejagat yang sudah pun terasas melalui pembentukan Pertubuhan Persidangan Islam (OIC) untuk ke tahap lebih tinggi. ****************************** Jika dulu OIC tiada kemampuan untuk menangani secara berkesan permasalahan umat Islam global seperti isu Palestin, Iraq, Afghanistan dan kezaliman dilakukan ke atas umat Islam minoriti seperti di Kashmir (India), Xinjiang (China), Pattani (Thailand), Mindanao (Filipina) dan Arakan (Myanmar-Burma), kini pemimpin-pemimpin parti Islam yang sudah menerajui negara dapat melakukan tindakan berkesan. ****************************** Jika dulu OIC , negara serta umat Islam hanya mendiamkan diri ketika Amerika menghancurkan bumi Iraq dan Afghanistan, kini kita menaruh harapan pemimpin parti Islam yang sudah menerajui negara ini menjalankan tanggungjawab mereka sebagai khalifah di bumi Allah ini. Jangan sesekali membiarkan umat ini dihina, lakukanlah sebagaimana Khalifah Al-Mutassim yang menghantar bala tenteranya hanya kerana seorang muslimah dijatuhkan maruahnya! ********************************** Sekalipun kita menaruh harapan yang tinggi kepada pemerintah baru ini, kita berdoa agar apa yang berlaku di Afghanistan selepas kumpulan Mujahidin mendapat kuasa di Kabul selepas menewaskan tentera Soviet Union pada 1989 dulu tidak berulang. Kumpulan Mujahidin berpeluang memakmurkan Afghanistan namun terus bertelagah, negara menjadi huru-hara, kemudianTaliban mendapat kuasa dan diakhiri oleh serangan dahsyat oleh penjarah Amerika Syarikat yang diketuai si laknatullah Geoge W Bush. Afghanistan kembali dikuasai oleh rejim pro-Barat, ternyata pemimpin Islam telah mensia-siakan peluang; kita berdoa hal ini tidak berulang di negara Arab seperti Mesir dan Tunisia.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cerita selak kain...

********************* Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. *********************** Renungan ********************* "Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat yang membawa kerosakan." - Maksud Ayat al-Quran Surah al-Israa': 32 *********************** BARU-BARU ini ada beberapa kisah selak kain yang saya dengar. Pertama kes Ketua Wanita Umno, Shahrizat Jalil yang menjawab 'isu lembu' ketika Perhimpunan Agung Umno. Saya melihat memek muka beriya-iya Shahrizat melalui siaran langsung TV3. Saya lihat Shahrizat selinsing lengan; dan ugut untuk selak kain, tapi taklah dia selak kain. Namun perlakuannya itu mendapat sokongan gemuruh perwakilan Wanita, kebanyakannya bertudung merah. ********************************* Dia ugut untuk selak kain pada lain kali. Namun sepanjang Perhimpunan Agung Umno yang mendapat liputan besar-besaran semua siaran TV tanah air (sehingga seorang anak kecil saya pun naik 'boring'), dia tidak pula ditunjukkan selak kain. Jadi tiadalah peluang orang ramai tengok Shahrizat selak kain, mungkin pada pilihan raya umum nanti kot, jika dia tidak... ******************************* Melalui siaran TV3 juga, suatu pagi saya terdengar seorang pakar motivasi menceritakan kisah seorang wanita pada zaman Nabi dulu menyelak kain. Katanya, wanita ini akan masuk syurga terlebih dulu daripada Sayidatina Fatimah binti Rasulullah. Ya, Fatimah az-Zahra diumpamakan akan tunggang unta dan wanita itu memegang tali unta; jadi dia akan masuk syurga dulu. ********************************** Pakar motivasi itu tidak menamakan wanita itu; tetapi daripada pembacaan saya, agak saya wanita itu adalah Atiqa, orang yang dikhabarkan oleh Rasulullah kepada puterinya, Fatimah sebagai berakhlak tersangat mulia sehingga membuatkan Fatimah teringin mengetahui siapa wanita itu. ******************************* Kali pertama mengunjungi Atiqa, Fatimah tidak dibenarkan memasuki rumahnya malah diminta pulang saja sebab suami Atika tidak ada dan keizinannya pun tidak diperolehi; beliau berjanji akan memberitahu hal itu kepada suaminya. Kali kedua, Fatimah membawa seorang anaknya (Hussein atau Hasan); beliau juga tidak dibenarkan masuk kerana keizinan suami hanyalah untuk Fatimah seorang dan bukan bersama anaknya. ********************************** Kali ketiga barulah Fatimah dibenarkan masuk. Beliau mendapati wanita itu menyediakan air minuman dan rotan sambil menunggu kepulangan suaminya. Apabila si suami balik, Fatimah mendapati dia menyambutnya dengan begitu baik sekali; kata pakar motivasi itu di samping memberi minum sehingga puas, dia menyelak kainnya untuk tatapan suami; bertanya sama ada si suami inginkan dirinya. *************************** Fatimah tertanya-tanya apa guna rotan itu, katanya itulah bagi suaminya merotan dirinya jika layanan diberikan tidak memuaskannya. Demikianlah wanita mulia itu menyelak kain untuk suaminya dan bukan untuk tatapan umum termasuk berjuta-juta biji mata yang menyaksikan siaran TV. ********************************* Kisah selak kain (malah lebih daripada itu) berikutnya saya temui melalui pembacaan. Laporannya menyatakan, sebuah kelab isteri-isteri taat melalui buku seorang pemimpinnya, berkata cara untuk menyambut suami pulang adalah dengan berbogel. Saya tergelak membaca laporan itu; terbayang dalam fikiran 'jahat' saya, jika pasangan muda baru kahwin, bagus juga jika si isteri dengan badan yang ada 'cutting' dan seksi menyambut suami dalam keadaan berbogel, tetapi jika sudah veteran, si suami boleh pengsan melihat si isteri yang sudah londeh anggota badan, berbogel menyambutnya. ***************************** Kisah berikutnya, suatu pagi terkejut saya menyaksikan seorang pembaca berita wanita TV3 yang mengenakan 'tube' yang mendedahkan sebahagian besar bahagian atas dadanya. Sekalipun mengenakan 'kot' penampilannya yang menyelak 'penutup atas' membuatkan ramai 'kurang selesa'. Teringat saya zaman Tok Mat dulu (Menteri Penerangan, Allahyarham Dato' Mohamed Rahmat), selebriti pakaian kurang sopan termasuk lelaki berambut panjang yang muncul di kaca TV, akan dipanggilnya. Sekarang ini tidak adakah 'orang kuat' sanggup memanggil kakitangannya menghadap atas soal disiplin berpakaian ini? *************************** Baru-baru ini terdengar pula saya kisah seorang guru dipanggil menghadap pegawai tinggi kementerian kerana berkopiah ke sekolah; persoalannya kenapa kini orang sanggup menegur orang berkopiah (berpakaian bagus) sedangkan yang mendedahkan sana sini termasuk mengugut menyelak kain atau sudah berbuat demikian di tempat umum tidak ditegur? *********************** Kalau wanita nak sangat selak kain atau dedah dada, lakukanlah depan suami, insya-Allah akan mendapat kedudukan tinggi di sisi-Nya seperti pengiktirafan Nabi s.a.w. ke atas Atiqa!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kejatuhan Umno sudah dekat...

******************* Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ********************** Renungan ****************** "Sesungguhnya Kami menurunkan Kitab itu sebagai al-Quran yang dibaca dengan bahasa Arab, supaya kamu (menggunakan akal untuk) memahaminya." (Yusuf: 2) ******************* HANYA Umno-BN mampu buat itu dan ini. Hanya Umno-BN mampu perintah negara - demikian antara lain kita disogokkan dengan slogan berbentuk indoktrinasi. Sejak kecil sehingga dewasa dan seterusnya tua, kita menerima apa saja yang disogokkan tanpa kita berusaha menyelidiki kebenaran atau hakikat sesuatu perkara itu. ******************* Sebagai contoh ramai daripada kita diajar hal ehwal agama semasa kecil tanpa memahami apa yang sebenar kita pelajari. Ramai orang mengaji (membaca al-Quran) tetapi sangat sedikit daripadanya memahami maksud ayat yang dibaca apatah lagi mengamalkannya. Orang dewasa menyuruh kita sembahyang tetapi ramai daripada kita tidak faham apakah tujuan kita berbuat demikian dan pengertian ayat yang kita baca ketika solat. ************************ Ketika kecil, ramai daripada kita dipaksa menyerap dan menanam fahaman dan ajaran ke dalam diri kita secara bulat-bulat tanpa dapat mempersoalkan apa yang kita lakukan. Ini termasuklah bab hantu. Apabila dewasa dan tiada lagi pihak berkuasa (ibu bapa sudah jauh dari mata) mengawasi dan memaksa kita melakukan ibadat tersebut (seperti sembahyang), sebahagian daripada kita secara perlahan-lahan meninggalkan atau melakukannya hanya sebagai satu kebiasaan saja. ********************* Mereka yang melakukan ibadat tersebut, sebahagiannya hanya mengharapkan pahala (balasan baik) dan dijauhkan daripada seksaan api neraka. Hal yang sama berlaku tatkala kita dewasa. Kita dipaksa menerima fahaman-fahaman yang ternyata kita sendiri tidak faham tetapi kita juga tidak mempunyai hak mempersoalkannya. Orang lain cuba mengambil kesempatan daripada kelemahan kita untuk menanamkan fahaman-fahaman dan kepercayaan ini. ************************ Berdasarkan Perhimpunan Agung Umno terbaru di ibu kota, kita dapat saksikan betapa indoktrinasi parti tua ini sudah sampai ke kemuncaknya. Ambil saja ucapan berapi-api Ketua Wanitanya, Dato' Seri Shahrizat Jalil. Sebahagian ucapannya tiada 'substance', hanya mengekspoitasi serta memain-mainkan perasaan perwakilan. Lihatlah betapa bijak Shahrizat mengalihkan serangan musuh dalam isu 'lembu' terhadap dirinya kepada Wanita Umno pula. Kononnya kejituan Wanita Umno dicabar dan uji, hakikatnya serangan ditujukan kepada dirinya sehingga ahli Parlimen Kinabatangan (BN), Datuk Bung Moktar Radin juga meminta dia meletakkan jawatan. ******************** Kenapa Shahrizat berlindung di belakang Wanita Umno dan majoriti perwakilan Wanita beriya-iya bersorak menyokongnya? Persoalan ini begitu kompleks; jadi marilah kita teliti kisah 'The Emperor's New Clothes' (Pakaian Baru Raja) yang sudah sudah baca di sekolah rendah dulu tetapi tidak kita aplikasikan dalam kehidupan. 'The Emperor's New Clothes' menceritakan bagaimana seseorang yang berkuasa itu sentiasa dikatakan betul sekalipun dia tidak betul (raja berbogel tetapi dikatakan berpakaian paling cantik dan hebat). Hanya kebijaksanaan seorang budak dapat mengalahkan raja; memang raja bersalah (berbogel tetapi dikatakan berpakiaan paling mewah dan cantik) dan tidaklah payah untuk diselindungkan keaiban raja seperti dilakukan menteri-menterinya. *********************** Ringkasnya pemimpin benar kerana dia berkuasa. Yang penting di sini bukannya lojik sesuatu perkara itu tetapi siapa yang mengutarakan pendapat atau kata-kata tersebut. Kata-kata seorang pengemis atau tukang sapu sampah mengenai politik sudah tentu tidak akan dipandang dengan sebelah mata walaupun apa yang mereka katakan itu ada kebenaran dan lojiknya. Keadaan sebaliknya akan berlaku jika seorang raja atau mengemukakan pandangan. Walaupun kadang-kadang hal itu tidak masuk akal, disebabkan begitu berpengaruhnya orang tersebut, maka hal itu diterima juga orang awam (perwakilan) kerana masing-masing terpaksa atau dipaksa mengakuinya. Lebih-lebih lagi masing-masing ada kepentingan tersendiri. ***************************** Kenapa perwakilan bersorak, menyatakan sokongan tanpa menyelidik sama ada yang dikatakan itu fakta atau suatu manipulasi? Ilmuan psikologi dan sosiologi mengaitkan perlakuan manusia ini sebagai ‘collective behaviour’ (tindak-tanduk bersama). Kelakuan manusia berbeza sama sekali apabila di bersendirian atau berada dalam sesebuah kumpulan (beramai). Kelakuan beramai mempunyai ciri tertentu yang membolehkan kita mengenal pasti dan mengkaji tingkah-laku manusia dalam situasi itu.Individu yang termasuk dalam keramaian, bertindak kepada sesuatu perangsang (stimulus) yang berupa orang, peristiwa atau apa-apa saja yang boleh menimbulkan emosi rancak. ************************** ‘Collective behaviour’ telah menyebabkan perwakilan Wanita Umno (sebagai contoh) begitu berani. Berani kerana ramai, bukan kerana benar. Apabila bersendirian seseorang adalah lemah dan penakut – ibarat seekor tikus yang sentiasa takut akan bayang-bayang kemampuannya, jauh daripada takutkan bayangkan kucing. Sebenarnya kucing tidak wujud, tikus hanya takut pada dirinya saja. Namun apabila berkumpulan, barulah manusia berani dan lantang. Berani bercakap berapi-api dan lantang bersuara termasuk untuk ‘menyelak kain’ kerana dia yakin mendapat sokongan dan akan dibela oleh ribuan bahkan jutaan pak turut di belakangnya. ******************** Indoktrinasi begitu berkesan pada jangka pendek, tetapi dari segi jangka panjang pula terutama pada era teknologi maklumat kini, amalan jenis ini tidak dapat diterima kerana manusia mempunyai naluri untuk memikirkan fahaman serta ajaran apa yang mereka fikirkan baik apabila mereka diberi kebebasan dan ruang untuk berfikir dan menambah maklumat. ************************* Ambillah iktibar indoktrinasi fahaman komunis yang selama 70 tahun membelenggu rakyat Soviet Union dan negara Eropah Timur, akhirnya hancur saja. Setiap perkara (benda) yang sudah sampai di kemuncaknya akan jatuh. Lemparlah batu ke udara, selepas ia mencapai kemuncak ketinggian, ia akan jatuh. Apabila Umno sudah sampai ke kemuncak indoktrinasinya, percayalah ia juga akan hancur!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

TV, computers - parents' nightmares this holiday

************************ In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ************************* Reflection ************************** "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ************************** IT is school holidays again. It is a very long season; schools only reopen on 3rd January 2012. The days of November are slowly ticking away, we have another full month of December before kids scramble back to school. ************************* At home, I have a 14 year old boy and her sister aged 9, having a 'boring' holiday; they are waiting for me to announce a holiday package for the family but again it is about my busy schedule that hampers their wish. ********************** Hopefully before the holiday ends, I can manage to have a week or so off; only then I can take them to a few local favorite spots such as Cameron Highlands and Penang. ************************ Overseas destination for the whole family is definitely out of question; the hard truth is that we could not afford it. Perhaps if the journey involves only the two of us (my wife and I) we could managed to go to some not so far destinations such as Medan or Jakarta. ****************** For the time being, the children have to spend most of their time at home - the main trouble, they would spend hours and hours glued in front of TV or playing games, chatting and working FB over computers. ******************* Yes, the idiot box and computers keep the children at bay (busy at home) and help stop them from going out too often; but spending too much time on these electronic devices, are too bad for them. ******************* Beware; perhaps too much TV will kill your children. A review of published studies in the past 40 years has shown a higher risk of diabetes, heart problems and early death among people who watch lots of television, US researchers said. The results of the meta-analysis performed by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Heath are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently. ********************** An AFP-Relaxnews reported that more than two hours per day of TV watching boosted risk type two of diabetes and heart disease, while more than three hours a day increased a person's risk of dying prematurely. ********************** I was quiet concerned about this warning as my children especially the girl spent hours and hours in front of the box. If she was a 'kaki TV' (a person glued to the TV), my son would spend hours and hours on the computer. ************************* It was annoying when you had to face this situation - when you go out to work in the morning your child is in front of the computer and when you come back late in the evening, he is still there! ********************* The report noted that each two-hour increment in viewing per day was linked to a 20 percent higher risk for type two diabetes; a 15 percent increased risk for fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease; and a 13 percent higher risk for all-cause mortality. ******************** While the association between time spent viewing TV ad risk of type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease were linear, the risk of all-cause mortality appeared to increase with TV viewing duration of greater than three hours per day. ********************8 The habit of plunking oneself down in front of the television and watching for hours makes up about five hours of daily activity on average in the United States, but is also prevalent practice around the world. ******************** In Europe, people spend about 40 percent of their daily free time - or three hours - in front of the tube, and in Australia, the average is 50 percent of daily free time or four hours, the study said. ************************ "The message is simple. Cutting back on TV watching can significantly reduce risk of type two diabetes, heart disease, and premature mortality," said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard to the news agency. "We should not only promote increasing physical activity levels but also reduce sedentary behaviors, especially prolonged TV watching." *************************** Television and computers are modern day gadgets; during my childhood days in 1960s and 1970s, my family home did not even have a television set. If today's boys and girls would spend hours and hours in front of the TV and computers this school holidays, during ‘our school holidays’, my brothers, friends and I spent the days among others playing small sampans made from ‘seludang kelapa’ (sheath of the palm blossom) in a small river near my house. ************************* We would also play various games with rubber bands such as catapulting rubber bands arranged on a stick and throwing slippers to hit rubber bands put on tins. We also played ‘rounders’, ‘police sentry’, ‘hantu galah’, ‘teng-teng’ and ‘captay’ (a few feathers of fowl strapped on a circular rubber which was kicked or thrown at one another). ************************** Regarding the bad effects of TV and computers, experts said parents can improve family life by switching off televisions and computers to communicate better. Technological advances combined with hectic schedules have led to parents and children spending less quality time with each other, according to human development researchers. Their findings also show people who devote more time to digital technology are more likely to eat unhealthy, exercise less, and do worse in exams. **************************** Recently a news agency reported Prof Kelly Warzinik, from the University of Missouri, gave this advice: "Powering down digital devices is a vital step in maintaining family relationships. Instead of watching television or talking on a mobile phone, parents can take advantage of daily opportunities to interact with their children at meal times or in the car. Touch base throughout the day by calling, emailing or texting, and after children are asleep, out down the iPhone, turn off the television and just focus on each other." ************************* As well as strengthening family connections, turning off the television could lead to better health, said University of Missouri human development specialist, Saralee Jamieson. "People who devote more time to digital technology are less likely to make healthy food choices or be physically active and are less successful academically. Those who watch a lot of TV are exposed to thousands of ads for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods as well as violent programming. While it might not seem harmful, having a muted TV on while sleeping disrupts healthy sleep patterns and contributes to chronic fatigue." ********************** Tips for parents include limiting time with TV, video or computer screens to two hours daily, removing TV from bedrooms and learning to negotiate and take turns watching different shows. And families are encouraged to turn TVs off when eating or socializing and develop hobbies and become more involved in the community. *********************** So during this long and 'dull' holidays (many of the 'rakyat' cannot afford to have a good holiday because life is hard as prices of necessary items and services are high), dear parents, why not organized ‘old time games’ such as playing ‘hantu galah’, ‘teng-teng’ and ‘chaptay’ with your beloved ones instead of leaving them glued hours after hours in front of the TV sets and computers!