Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let's emulate the Scottish experience...

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.

YES Scotland leader, Alex Salmond after being defeated in a national referendum for the independence of Scotland among others noted that the people of Scotland have chosen not to be independence and  he accepted their decision. 

Salmond pleaded to the people of Scotland to abide to the results of the referendum which he claimed was done in a democratic way. He and his rival, Alistair Darling of Better Together moved to bring Scotland together after months of fierce campaigning for and against Scottish independence from United Kingdom.

The First Minister said he accepted the people's decision and called for others to do the same - but defiantly demanded the British government meet promises to give more powers to Edinburgh. He too resigned from his First Minister post.

Darling said bitter divides which have opened up during the campaign needed to be bridged, adding: 'Come on Scotland. Let's get on with it together.'

Wikipedia noted that The Scottish independence referendum took place in Scotland on 18 September 2014. The independence referendum question, which voters answered with "Yes" or "No", was "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The "No" side won, with 55.3% voting against independence. The turnout of 84.6% was unusually high for a ballot in the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, setting out the arrangements for this referendum, was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the Scottish and the United Kingdom governments, and was enacted as the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013. To pass, the independence proposal required a simple majority. With some exceptions, all European Union (EU) or Commonwealth citizens resident in Scotland aged 16 or over could vote, a total of almost 4.3 million people.

Yes Scotland was the main campaign group for independence, while Better Together was the main campaign group in favour of maintaining the union. Many other campaign groups, political parties, businesses, newspapers and prominent individuals were also involved. Prominent issues raised during the campaign included which currency an independent Scotland would use, public expenditure, EU membership, and North Sea oil.

It is good to note that both Mr Salmond and Mr Darling had urged the people of Scotland to move forward; forgetting their rivalry but work hard and closely for the betterment of the people. It was 'sure a beauty' when Darling says: "Come on Scotland. Let's get on with it together."

Perhaps we in Malaysia, could learn something from the Scottish way of accepting elections results whether they were winners or losers. Perhaps we too could have and do 'some reflections' regarding our ways concerning appointing leaders to top party or government posts.

After elections we do still have a lot of bickering and there is a Malay proverb to prove this: 'Rumah sudah siap, pahat masih berbunyi' which literally means 'The house is finished but the chisel is still making sounds'. 

To top Selangor state leaders who have been appointed to their posts, let's emulate what Darling had said: "Come on Scotland (Selangor). Let's get on with it together." The same principle must be adhere by the opposition, in Selangor it is Umno-BN Remember the majority of people are bored with the ongoing 'sandiwara' (play), let's pay their sacrifice and trust in voting us in the last elections. 

In my opinion if a family's house is readied, then all (father, mother, daughters and sons) should move inside it and help to furnish it but the most important thing is to fulfill all requirements especially religious obligations to make it 'rumahku syurgaku' (my house, my heaven) for our own benefits in this world and the Hereafter.

On the international front perhaps the referendum of Scotland could gave inspiration to governments and people in other parts of the world. In was a well known fact that many governments failed to fulfill the aspirations of people of regions which are not in line with them. Examples of those people are the Kashmiris, the Uighurs, the Malays of Southern Thailand and of course the Palestine.

If the people of Scotland could have a 'peaceful referendum' then why not the United Nations and government of the said countries such as India, China and Thailand too proceed with referendum to the Kashmiris (Kashmir), the Uighurs (Xinjiang) and the Malays (Pattani)?

Let us focus to modern day conflict in Kashmir. A newly created state derived from the independence of India, Pakistan protested the annexation of Kashmir and calls for a referendum that would allow the people of 
Kashmir to decide whether they would rather accede to India or the new state. The conflict in Kashmir is one of the bitterest legacies of the partition of India.

Over half a century later, there is no sign of an end to this dense and complicated dispute. A series of wars (India and Pakistan were at war three times, two of them on Kashmir) and ongoing guerrilla operations have ensured that Kashmir has remained one of the most volatile and bloody regions of the world. Further demands and new conflicts have added twisted complications to an argument that has not been resolved. 

Pakistan has frequently sought outside intervention to resolve issues pertaining to Kashmir, but India vehemently opposes such involvement. The people of Kashmir were for a referendum, preferably run by United Nations but India opposed it while the whole world including the umbrella for Muslims, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) remains silent.

Not long ago, Indian soldiers stormed the village of Maloora near Srinagar, killed several people they claimed were militants and then used force to crush the people’s uprising. More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Kashmir since fighting began in earnest in 1989.

Why the world is silent on the suffering of the people of Indian Kashmir (total population about 8 million) who is 95 percent Muslim? Was it because they were Muslims; if they were not, those in power including the UN would rush to help?

Just, look at a recent history. East Timor (now known as Timor Leste) got liberated and so did Southern Sudan. There are other examples too; civilized world has no problem using its powers and influences to give them independence but not in the cases of Kashmir, Southern Thailand, Southern Philippines, Xinjiang, Chechnya and of course Palestine!

Perhaps events in Scotland could be an eye opener for all.

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