Tuesday, November 9, 2010

‘Melaka Maju 3’: The greatest evil is ignorance

Posted on 9th November 2010
In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

...act kindly just as God has treated you kindly. (Qasas 28:77)


ONE Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar who is residing in The Hague, Netherlands frequently sent me e-mails, normally quotations from famous personalities. The latest is a quote from Socrates – “the greatest good is knowledge, and the greatest evil is ignorance.”

Attached with it was a note, which Dr Ahmad, writes: “I was surprised to learn that, some of us (academician included) are unwilling to learn, unwilling to investigate information, unwilling to seek knowledge and willing to remain ignorant. We are more interested in deletion rather than investigation. And here we dare call ourself man of knowledge. How are we to be knowledgeable if we remain to be ignorance? So seek knowledge even though it is against our principles or stance.

Here in Europe I've met with quite a number of people who are Islamphobia or who are against Islam. But I don't run away or shy away from them, I learn from them. I talk to them to learn of their ignorance about Islam. They bad mouth Islam, they talk ill about Islam, but I don't DELETE them, I learn from them, I learn of their ignorance. I became knowledgeable about their ignorance.

In my classes I always teach my students that 1+1=3, so that they will investigate, to find out if what I'm saying is true, is 1+1=3. In Islam also it is said that "if a 'munafik' bring you a news", investigate (we have all the tools, the theories and equipment) not deletion. When you investigate you are seeking knowledge, when you seek knowledge you're not ignorant.

Islam teaches also that "Allah prefers one single knowledgeable person who prostrate over 1000 ignorance who prays."

Even Malay proverbs says "tuntut ilmu sampai negeri China" (seek knowledge even to China) and "cari ilmu dari buaian hingga ke liang lahad" (seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave).

My friends, seeks more information, there are two side of a coin; you will not know that the coin is valuable if you don't see the other side of a coin. It was because a coin with one side has no value. Similarly there are two side of an argument; you'll not be able to make a good decision until you have the knowledge of both sides of the argument.

Finally my friends, no malice intended, seeks more information to be more knowledgeable, please I beg of you don't remain ignorant.”

In my first article regarding ‘Melaka Maju’ (Melaka as a developed state) entitled ‘The Magic is gone’, I had clearly stated that there are two sides of a coin (praise and criticsm) about the self declared ‘Melaka Maju’ eventhough the leaders of Melaka claimed that the status was given by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an international organization located in Paris.

Melaka Chief Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has provided the ‘rakyat’ (people) a grand oppourtunity to check on his claim when he said it is up to the people themselves to decide whether the state is a developed state or not.

Even in the booklet ‘Buku Cenderamata Majlis Pengisytiharan Melaka Maju 2010’ distributed at Kompleks Sukan Hang Jebat, Krubong on the 20th October, quotes a note from John (Jon) Hall from OECD saying: “Sebuah negara dikira maju sekiranya rakyatnya berpendapat sedemikian (A country is considered developed if its people think so).”

Now, based on the spirit and eagerness to seek knowledge and information as stated by Dr Ahmad from Netherlands, let us explore what others had written and spoken about the claim by Melaka Chief Minister that his state is a developed one.

The Malaysian Insider has this report, quoting Jon Hall, who is OECD representative.

Malacca developed status self-declared, says OECD official
Tuesday, 02 November 2010

(TMI) The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has confirmed that it had not endorsed Malacca’s developed state status, despite the declaration by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made during a grand celebration on October 20.

OECD representative Jon Hall explained to The Malaysian Insider via email that the media could have misunderstood OECD’s role in the issue, pointing out that the organisation was not in the position to make such an endorsement.

“The OECD did not endorse the Malaccan declaration, mainly because we are not in a position to do so.

“As I tried to stress in my speech on Wednesday (October 20), there is no official definition of a developed country (at least none that I am aware of) so the OECD are in no position to set the criteria,” he said.

Hall, who managed the OECD-hosted Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies, was present during the celebration held on the auspicious 2010 hour on 20.10.2010 at the Stadium Hang Jebat here.

During the event, Najib had declared Malacca a developed state via tele-conferencing from Kuala Lumpur to a fan of thousands gathered at the ceremony, amid much pomp and pageantry.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malacca-developed-status-self-declared-says-oecd-official/

Following Dr Ahmad eagerness to see the blooming of investiage minds of his students (I always teach my students that 1+1=3, so that they will investigate, to find out if what I'm saying is true, is 1+1=3), let us look at ‘Laporan Ketua Audit Negara’ (Auditor-General’s Report) announced recently, for the Melaka State in 2009.

Among others, the Auditor-General was not satisfied with the management of vehicles in the ‘Jabatan Ketua Menteri Melaka’ (Malacca Chief Minister’s Department). It reported that JKMM had spent a total of RM2.47 million during the period of 2006-2009for the purchasing of 17 new vehicles.

“As a whole, management of vehicles under JKMM was unsatisfactory because there were loopholes that contributed to losses to the State Government and wastage of the peoples’ money."

A blogger have this to say: “A fleet of 51 official government cars used by the Malacca Chief Minister’s Department required RM 5.12 million in maintenance fees over three years from 2006 to 2009. This obscene waste of public funds was revealed in the Auditor-General’s 2009 report, which serves as a check-and-balance for the government bodies in Malaysia.

As you might expect, the report found that the maintenance fees actually surpassed the purchase price of the official cars: “The cost to maintain the official cars exceeded the price of the cars between 143% and 281% within five years from the date of acquisition.

Assuming the fleet to consist of only Proton Perdana units at RM 100,000 each, the car buying bill would be RM 5.1 million, a figure close to the RM 5.12 million maintenance fees for three years. It is either that the Perdana is extremely unreliable or that the Malacca government just could not care less since the taxpayers are footing the bill…”

The report also noted the unsatisfactory system of collecting and deposing of rubbish, the mismanagement of environment and to Muslims one issue that stands out from the rest was the mismanagement of properties by ‘Majlis Agama Islam Melaka’ (Melaka Islamic Religious Council, MAIM).

The report noted: “As a whole, management of properties by MAIM was unsatisfactory that has contributed losses to MAIM and the operations of properties in chaos.”

Among others, it criticized the building and revamp works on Kompleks Perniagaan Al-Azim in Bukit Palah saying: “The development project (Kompleks Perniagaan Al-Azim) with the involvement of Regal Merger Sdn Bhd (RMSB) had failed……resulting in MAIM had to advance the usage of ‘wang zakat’ (tithe money) amounting to RM13.8 million to complete the MAIM complex.

“MAIM was also careless resulting in MAIM lands sold to third parties by RMSB…and cost of revamp works on Pejabat Agama Islam Melaka (Melaka Religious Department Office) had an advance from ‘Baitulmal’ (Tithe Office) amounting to RM1.80 million.”

Regarding the MAIM properties sold to third parties, a blogger has this to say: “Shocking and a very sad episode indeed. MAIM properties had been sold to BC Lim Enterprise. Also to ‘Universiti Terbuka Malaysia’ (Malaysia Open University). What is becoming of this state? A developed state but lands dan properties trusted by Muslims to MAIM had been sold off?

To broden ones knowledge and information as Dr Ahmad has suggested, pay a visit to http://www.audit.gov.my

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