Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fitnah terhadap Anwar Ibrahim – Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

Segala puji bagi Allah, dan selawat dan salam ke atas Rasulullah SAW, keluarganya dan sahabat serta yang mengikuti petunjuk-Nya.
Malaysia mempunyai kedudukan yang tinggi di sisi kami, dan kami menaruh kasih sayang terhadapnya dengan hati yang jujur. Impian kami adalah untuk melihat Malaysia sebagai realisasi model Islam yang wasatiyyah, bertamadun, maju dan kontemporari. Semua itu tidak akan berlaku kecuali dengan perjuangan orang-orang ikhlas terdiri daripada anak-anak Malaysia, berusaha dan kerjasama berganding bahu, mereka yang amat ingin untuk menjayakan masa depan negara. Mereka saling bantu membantu sehingga berdiri tegak rakyat Malaysia seluruhnya.
Sesungguhnya Allah mengasihi orang-orang yang berperang untuk membela agamaNya, dalam barisan yang teratur rapi, seolah-olah mereka sebuah bangunan yang tersusun kukuh. (As Saff: 4)
Sesungguhnya kami percaya, kemajuan Malaysia, kebangkitan dan kekuatannya terpancar daripada ketinggian nilai-nilai kebebasan dan demokrasi, dan pengukuhan prinsip-prinsip kepelbagaian pemikiran serta persaingan yang mulia demi berkhidmat untuk negara yang berdaulat ini.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim terdiri daripada pemimpin ternama dengan sejarah dan pengalamannya serta perjuangannya, dan kesabaran serta ketabahannya sejak zaman usia muda sehingga ke hari ini. Anwar sewajarnya dilayani dengan jasa perjuangannya dan kerja gigihnya, bukannya menuduhnya dengan tuduhan-tuduhan batil yang tanpa asas.
Mahkamah sebelum ini membebaskannya daripada tuduhan itu. Tetapi jelas terdapat pihak yang yang merekayasa komplot dan tidak mempedulikan kebaikan negara dan masa depan rakyatnya.
Kami beriman dengan apa yang difirmankan Allah SWT tentang peristiwa Hadithat al Ifk:-
Sepatutnya semasa kamu mendengar tuduhan itu, orang- orang yang beriman – lelaki dan perempuan, menaruh baik sangka kepada diri (orang-orang) mereka sendiri, dan berkata: "Ini ialah tuduhan dusta yang nyata".
Sepatutnya mereka (yang menuduh) membawa empat orang saksi membuktikan tuduhan itu. Disebabkan kerana mereka tidak mendatangkan empat orang saksi, maka mereka itu pada sisi hukum Allah, adalah orang-orang yang dusta.
(Surah An Nur 12-13)
Aku menyeru kepada saudara-saudaraku rakyat Malaysia supaya bekerjasama dan saling bantu-membantu. Aku berharap saudara-saudara di Malaysia menjauhkan diri daripada konflik-konflik yang tidak ada faedah di sebaliknya, malah ianya memudaratkan, tidak memberi manfaat, menghancurkan,  tidak membina, merosakkan dan tidak mendatangkan kebaikan.
Segala puji bagi Allah, Tuhan sekalian alam. – 27 Oktober, 2014.
* Penulis ialah Presiden Kesatuan Antarabangsa Ulama Islam.

High income not enough to become developed nation

[Note: The article was first published on The Malaysian Insider.]
Simply becoming a high-income nation is no basis for Malaysia to be considered a developed country by 2020, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
The former prime minister said that equally important is research and development, as well as the skills that are available in the country, Bernama reported today.
Speaking at a seminar in Cyberjaya today, he said, "Malaysia may not be a developed country by 2020, if its only emphasis is on becoming a high-income nation but it still lags in research and development".
"At the moment... I am afraid. I am not very hopeful that by 2020, Malaysia will be a developed country," Bernama quoted Dr Mahathir as saying.
Giving the example of Brunei, he noted that while it was a high income nation, it was not developed, adding that high income and low productivity would only make the cost of living higher.
"The mindset of Malaysians on research and development (R&D) must be tuned. Malaysians still lack understanding on the importance of R&D and always question the return on investment of R&D."
According to Bernama, Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia was the only developing country which had its own automative industry and developing countries were learning from Malaysia.
Emphasising its importance, the Proton chairman added that the automative industry has the potential to be a catalyst in providing Malaysians skills, knowledge and ability in engineering.
However, he lamented that Proton's share of the car market in Malaysia stood at only 18%. – October 29, 2014.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Anwar’s UM talk fiasco stirred academic freedom push, say academics

Universiti Malaya might have blacked out and locked down its campus to prevent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from giving a talk this week but the students who defied the ban showed that they cherished the principle of academic freedom and wanted to reclaim their rights to it, say academics.
That sums up the good and bad that came out of the fiasco at the university where students broke through a lockdown and blackout to enable Anwar to enter the campus and address them.
The bad part was how UM authorities bungled the incident, the academics told The Malaysian Insider.
The good that came out of the incident was how UM students stood up to reclaim their rights to host a learning experience, which was UM’s responsibility to provide in the first place.
The student’s actions also revealed an awakening of sorts by a section of society that has often been treated as school children by university administrators, when in reality they go to university to become adults.
Prof Zaharom Nain of University of Nottingham's Malaysia campus said banning the event was bad enough from the point of view of nurturing academic freedom.
But the joke was that the wide publicity the event received made it seem as if UM administrators were secretly Anwar fans.
“If they had allowed the event to proceed it would have proceeded peacefully and not have attracted that much interest,” said Zaharom who is Professor of Media and Communication Studies.
Proof of this, Zaharom said, was in interviews The Malaysian Insider did with students who turned up for the talk.
Many students said they were not at all interested in the talk until UM administrators started closing the gates to the campus and shutting off the electricity.
The turnout, Zaharom said, was less reflective of Anwar’s appeal and more of the students’ reaction to the university’s mishandling of the event.
“It’s reflective of youths who want to take back their rights. It’s about them saying enough is enough,” said Zaharom.
UM administrators had tried to bar Anwar from attending a talk held on Monday, titled "40 years: From UM to prison", on the eve of his Federal Court appeal against his conviction of sodomising a former aide.
The university’s authorities had allowed staff to leave at 4pm and started a lockdown in order to stop Anwar’s talk.
After university staff had left the campus grounds, UM security personnel closed the Kuala Lumpur entrance to all vehicles and redirected incoming and outgoing traffic to the Petaling Jaya entrance.
However, determined UM students and supporters ensured that Anwar was able to enter his alma mater by forcing open the university's main gate at its Kuala Lumpur/Bangsar entrance and marching onto the campus grounds.
When Anwar arrived outside Dewan Tunku Canselor, the area was pitch black as the university administration's claims of electrical issues appeared to have some basis.
Anwar then gave his speech under a street light nearby.
Assoc Prof Dr Andrew Aeria of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said the UM authorities’ actions showed them for what they truly were despite the university’s image as a premier institution.
“It showed that the university is run by grovelling administrators who prioritise kow-towing to authority instead of committing to international recognised standards of academic quality,” said Aeria, a political economist.
It was also regrettable that UM’s current administrators had forgotten the institution’s glorious history of encouraging debates from all political spectrums, said Prof Datuk Abdul Rahman Embong of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
“The fundamental principle of a university is that it is a marketplace of ideas for students, scholars and the public. This is how it nurtures future leaders,” said Abdul Rahman who is Principal Fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS).
Abdul Rahman said unlike the UM administrators who did not live up to the institution’s tradition, the students reclaimed their movement’s past glory.
Historically, the UM student union was famous for being fiercely independent and influential in the country’s political landscape in the 1950s and 1960s.
Anwar himself was a famous student leader and the university has produced many of the nation’s future political leaders as well as world-renown scholars.
Aeria said the students’ actions were also an expression of their dissatisfaction with the quality of education that has been dished out to them by the university.
“The students are upset because they are patronised as children. They take out loans to pay for their education yet they are treated like children. It is insulting.”
The president of UM Undergraduates' Association (PMUM), Fahmi Zainol, who was among hundreds who stormed the university's main gates on Monday night to allow Anwar to enter his alma mater and address a crowd of about 2,000, said he was ready to face the consequences of his actions.
He said the programme was not just to support Anwar, but to send a message that students were fed-up with the various restrictions imposed on academic freedom.
"We are sick and tired of hearing all the complicated procedures constantly dredged up as an excuse to curb students' freedom," he said.
The students’ courage in taking on the university administration earned the praise of Negara-Ku co-chair and former Bar Council chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan who said she was amazed by the fighting spirit displayed by the students.
Describing them as the agent of change in the country, Ambiga said: "What we see now is change happening, now we are seeing our youth rising up against oppression."
And although there will be severe penalties for the students who organised the talk, Zaharom believes that their actions sent an important message to the university and other students.
“There students have stood up and said that they will not be led by the nose. That they wanted to be creative, critical and questioning citizens.”

The article was first published on The Malaysian Insider.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Al-fatihah buat Farid Wajidi Ariffin

My deepest condolence to the family and friends of Farid Wajidi Ariffin, an old friend that I made when I was studying at MARA College Banting in 1990s.

May Allah forgive all your sins and place your soul amongst His believers.

Sesungguhnya, arwah seorang kawan yang baik. Al-fatihah.

p/s: Thank you Affendi Rashdi for conveying the news to me.